Troll Bridge

Sharon’s note: So, this story came from nowhere and is going nowhere, but I think it’s entertaining. Hope you enjoy. Warning: Kids being slightly psychopathic and accepting of the situation. You know, like kids.

“Trolls aren’t real.” Robbie leaned against an old wrecked car, his arms crossed tightly and his nose wrinkled. 

Chris tugged the goat over to tie it to the bumper. The empty creekbed was full of all sorts of old trash and heavy things, but the car was the closest to the bridge. “It’s real. I saw it.”

“You probably just saw a really hairy guy.” He pointed at the empty space under the old bridge. “There’s nothing there.”

“He only comes out at night. Just watch, as soon as the sun sets, he’s going to come out to eat the goat.” 

Robbie snickered. “If you really thought that you wouldn’t have brought your mom’s billy. She’s going to be ticked off enough that you took him. If you don’t get him back before she gets home tomorrow she’s going to go nuclear.”

“I’m not going to let it eat him, I’m just trying to lure it out so I can get a picture.” Chris waved his phone.

“If there really is a troll, how are you going to stop it?”

Chris opened his mouth but didn’t have a good answer. Instead he sneered at his friend. “If there really isn’t a troll, why are you sitting over there all scared like you’ve seen a ghost?”

“Shut up!” Robbie uncrossed his arms and stood up straight. He tried not to pout as he stalked towards a large strand of scraggly trees at the edge of the dried up bed. “Come on. It’ll be dark soon. If you want to hide and wait for this thing we better hide.”

They huddled behind the plants while the sun set and played with their phones. The billy goat bleated plaintively and tried to tug its lead loose. When it was finally dark something beneath the bridge stirred. 

It crawled out onto the dried creekbed, its hulking form stumbling over the bits of debris as it moved towards the goat. The billy tugged desperately against the bumper as it started to scream. Robbie and Chris stared in horror as it stood up straight, towering over the panicked animal. It was something like a man, but twice as tall with bluish skin, corded muscle and a beard made of scragledy weeds.

Chris scrambled to bring his phone up and in his haste it slipped from his hands. The phone hit the rocks, and went tumbling out into the open, clattering loud enough to be heard even over the goat’s cries. The creature from the bridge slowly turned it’s head to look at the boys. It shuffled toward them and stopped just shy of the phone. Both boys were frozen, staring up at the monster.

It pointed a long finger at the goat, and spoke in a gravelly voice. “Is that offering mine?”

Chris looked at his friend who shrugged. He looked back at the bridge troll, who was patiently waiting. “Um, maybe?”

It snorted. “Uh, I didn’t think so. No one gives me offerings anymore. Not that I blame them. A water spirit with no water isn’t much good.”

“You’re a water spirit? I thought you were a troll.” Chris wrinkled his nose.

The spirit snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous. There’s no such thing as trolls.”

“Told you.” Robbie smirked. 

Chris glared at him for a moment before turning back to the spirit. “So what happened to your water?”

“Eh, they built a dam to divert it.” It sighed heavily. “I couldn’t follow it. Before that, I was a great spirit, and could have done much with an offering like that.”

Chris eyed the spirit speculatively. “Well, what could you do with it now?”

Robbie punched him in the shoulder. “You can’t give away your mom’s goat.”

The creek spirit snorted. “It’s not even yours to offer. I should have known. Away with you, then, and take your beast with you. I have no use for what’s not offered freely and in good faith.”

“What if we got your water back?” Chris’s eyes were sparkling with possibilities. “Would you owe us like a wish or something?”

It eyed him speculatively. “Yes, such as I could grant.”

“Okay, we’ll come back when we’ve gotten you your creek back.” Chris stood and walked boldly past the spirit to retrieve his mother’s goat. Robbie scampered after him, and the spirit watched them pass with only mild interest.

“What are you doing?” He hissed at his friend. “How are you going to get the water back?”

Chris waved him off. “Oh, it shouldn’t be hard. With how small the creek is, and can’t be a very big dam. We can probably blow it up.”

Robbie looked horrified. “Isn’t that illegal?”

“Nah, it was his creek in the first place, so we’re just getting it back for him.” Chris untied the lead, and started to lead the goat away. “It’s like being Robin Hood, only for water.”

“This is a mistake,” Robbie grumbled.

“You said that about going to see the troll.”

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