Welcome to Tuesday=) In hopes of brightening your week, Adventure Awaits You brings you a short story involving a young girl and trolls. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy=)
“You know,” the storyteller leaned in and the kid’s eyes widened, “trolls like to smash into houses in the dark of night and take children!”
They gasped, April included although she was a few years older than the rest.
“With their hammer fists and their…”
“Enough!” Broman, the tavern keeper, glared. “You’re here to amuse them, not scare nightmares out of them.”
The storyteller, Magellon by name, bowed his curly head. “Of course, Sir. My apologies.”
Broman huffed but went back to cleaning tables.
April’s eyes followed him as his heavy frame moved smoothly between the chairs. She’d always trusted Broman. As Magellon picked up a new, happier tale, the tavern keeper’s eyes watched him with a slight narrowing.
He doesn’t trust him.
April looked back to the storyteller, trying to figure out why but she couldn’t place a reason. Magellon boasted broad shoulders and a wide face with eyes a bit too large for the rest of his features but other than this oddity, he gave off a friendly air. Perhaps too friendly. Maybe Broman found the man too much.
Letting it go, April settled back to the tale Magellon was weaving about fairies stealing fruit from the trees.
He finished and began packing up for the night. A few kids begged him for more but Magellon smiled and shook his head.
“Need sleep and rest for my voice,” he said.
With him disappearing upstairs, the tavern floor cleared of kids. April swung her cloak about her shoulders and called a good night to Master Broman before ducking out after the rest.
The chill night air bit at her nose as she walked home. She passed the town lanterns on Main Street and headed out into the night for her parent’s ranch. Although she’d walked the dark stretch of road hundreds of times, the night seemed more sinister than usual. Perhaps it was because Bailey, her friend from the farm nearest her parent’s, wasn’t with her. Or perhaps it was because it was a new moon and only a few stars pricked the darkness of the sky above. She should have brought a lantern but forgot it in her hast and excitement to see the storyteller.
“Stupid April,” she scolded under her breath.
A twig popped and she jumped. Her heart hit her throat. She imagined giant troll feet snapping bits of trees. Shaking her head hard, she continued on.
“Stop imagining things.”
But a moment later another twig popped and then the sound of running feet. Heavy, running feet. Glancing back, April spotted a black shape racing toward her from the trees. It was too dark to see its full size but that didn’t matter, it was a lot bigger than her fourteen-year-old frame.
Whimpering, she took off down the road. The barn, the first building on the ranch, wasn’t in sight yet. April pushed harder but there was a low grunt and something shoved her from behind.
She skinned her hands as she hit the dirt. Before she could roll away or push back up to run again, a bag was thrown over her head.
There was a thud and April flew to the side along the ground. The hand disappeared. Heavy scuffling and grunts came from only a few feet away.
Tearing the bag from her head, April stared at two things wrestling. It was too dark to tell anything other than that they were big. Trolls!
April spun and ran. The scuffling continued behind her until she reached the house and bolted through the door. Once it was secure, she leaned against it and started at the familiar surroundings in the light of the lantern her mother left burning. The scared dining table. The rack for their boots and the hooks above it for their cloaks. The bucket for washing cloths and the washboard. It all had a simple, reassuring feel.
As her breath evened, she imagined she could still hear the faint fighting of the two trolls.
Heading for bed, she crawled in, cloths and all, and covered her head with the blankets, trying to block out the frightening sound. If she didn’t know better, she’d think it was just the wind in the trees or the horses being restless in the barn. But she knew better…
To Be Finished on Thursday.