Trolls and caves go hand in hand. This story explores what a cavern domain would be like and also a Tolkien-ish problem of two species trying to share a world in which they don’t get along. Also, I have to add that the funnest (ok, I know it’s not a word, but ‘most fun’ sounds wrong to me too) part about writing stories is coming up with names for the characters. If you like my stories, please check out the Trolls for Dust ebook now available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. –Pixie
February 11, 2010 (Story Forty-Two)
They came for Bryne, swarming over the stalagmite-ridden caverns in hords, knocking down lime sculptures and stalactites that were thousands of years old. The trolls were swarthy, stubby and wore burlap clothes that hung with fallew-lichen, and other mosses of the Deep. Kryle saw them first and interrupted the game of pebbles to stand in front of her friend. No matter what he’d done, Bryne didn’t deserve to be a prison slave in the darkness fathoms below top soil. Though the cavern people only ventured to the outside once a month, it was better than never, better than the way of the trolls, counting their jewels and roasting in the darkness of the Deep, the great chasm at the center of the world.
Bryne tried to be brave; he pulled out his sword and pushed Kryle aside. She fell onto the smooth cavern floor and fumbled around for her own weapon, a throwing knife. Kryle grasped the knife in her right hand, and sitting up on her knees, threw it with terrific force at the lead troll. With a loud thwack, the knife hit home, and he fell, his elaborate head dress skittering across the stone before him. Just then, the Soldiers of the Watch rode up on their steeds, grey-green horses with unsettling lime-colored eyes that glowed in the darkness. The soldiers pushed back the troll hordes, shouting to the children to run and alert the city.
Kryle, along with her brother Myrh, grabbed Bryne’s arms and ran, forcing him along with them to the safety behind the city gates. The gates were strong, made of stalactites thicker than tree trunks; the cracks between each one were sealed up with cavern pearls. They closed quickly behind the children who ran immediately to the palace. All around them, the watch bells rang their warnings. Cavern dwellers raced around, arming themselves or getting loved ones out of harm’s way. Kryle and Myrh pulled Bryne with them to the throne room and flung him at the feet of his father. Melkim sat with his advisors surrounding him and barked out orders to prepare the city for battle. He pushed them aside, staring down at his son with barely controlled fury.
“What––have you done!” His lips quivered. “My son, what did you do? What did you do that they have the right to take you?” Bryne wouldn’t answer, and then he started to weep horrible, haggard breaths of remorse. Melkim sank down and enveloped the boy in his arms. “Oh, my boy, my dear boy.” He looked up at Kryle and her brother. “Well?”
She swallowed hard, not wanting to be the one to confess. “We…went to the Fallew Meadow, to pick some––we’d heard there was Mettle. We knew it was wrong, but we wanted to see..and–and Bryne was so sure that we could catch it and bring it home and––”
“And what? You thought it would end our shame on the earth? That it would be our passage into the sunlight?” Kryle and Myrh nodded dumbly. Melkim sighed. “It’s only a legend, and you are only children. You shouldn’t have done this. “Where have you put the Mettle?” He asked Bryne. “Son, where have you hidden it? Come now, I must return it to the troll king or he will make such a war on our city that hasn’t been seen for eight hundred years. Is that what you want? Would you rather have them take you?”
“No-no!” Bryne sniffed. “I h-hid it with Feyre Myn, I g-gave it to him.”
Melkim sat back in horror. “The sorcerer? No. Son, how could you do such a thing? He is a wicked man, he is not of our people. The sunlight walkers, even the trolls, all fear him!”
“The legend said that only a magician could use Mettle to bring us out of the caverns.”
“It is only a story, a story! You’ve doomed us all, my son.” He stood. “Take your friends into the inner realm. I will stay here and protect the city. Go! Now! You’ve doomed us all!” Their great king brushed aside his tears and set off with his advisors.
–Original story by Pixie Beldona was previously published on pixiebeldona.com. It has been edited for this post. Happy Reading.–