With a spring in my steps, and a song on my lips, I I hoisted my bag on my shoulders and set out towards the home of the love of my life. I was finally going to meet her parents today, and ask for their permission to marry their only daughter. You would have thought I would be nervous, but with my winsome personality, and roguish good looks, how could they say No to me?
I took my usual forest trail to go towards her cottage. It was a bright and sunny day, the birds were chirping, the flowers were singing, it was almost as if the Gods themselves were blessing our union. I was half-way through my journey when suddenly, I saw something that I had never seen before- two large boulders right in the middle of the trail, blocking my path.
Photo prompt courtesy Sue Vincent
I looked left and right, but the foliage was so thick on either side that there was no way around the stones. I could go back of course, and take the longer main road, but that would mean an extra one hour, time that I did not have. I had to go to work after meeting my girlfriend’s parents, and could not afford to take too many leaves, now that I was going to get married.
All these thoughts swirling in my mind, I started climbing the rocks to go past them, when something pushed me, and I fell back on the ground. I looked up in shock and saw something that stunned me. The two ‘rocks’ had faces, and small but powerful arms and legs were jutting out of them.
Before I could react, one of them, in a deep voice, said, “Stephan, wait.”
I was shocked beyond belief. Not only could these rocks speak, they also knew my name.
The same rock continued, “Yes, we know who you are, and where you are going.”
I replied, “Errr…that’s creepy.”
The other rock now replied, in a female voice, “Not for us. The laws and norms of you humans do not apply to us. We are the last trolls left on this planet, and we need your help.”
That shook me even further, if that was possible. My head was getting all muddled up with all these strange happenings. But somehow, I managed to speak out, “Good morning trolls, but I am confused. You are among the most powerful magical beings in the world, how can I possibly help you?”
The male troll took a deep sigh and said, “We ruled this land for millennia, we were worshiped as Gods. However, in the last century, humans have mined and blasted us almost out of existence in their quest for making roads and reclaiming land for construction. Our brethren died one by one, trying to protect the rocks and mountains that formed their homes. Now, only the two of us are left, and we are weakened beyond belief.”
I could understand their grief and frustration, but I had places to go, and so I said, “That’s really sad to hear, O Great Ones, but how can I possibly help you?”
The female troll replied, “Around 15 days walk away, to the west, at the point where the earth meets the sea, there is a huge cave. It is made of white limestone, while every other cave in that region is black in colour. So, it should be easy for you to recognize it. In the cave is a huge diamond. This is no ordinary diamond, for it is the source of all the powers of us trolls. Go and get us this diamond, so that we can regain our powers and stop this mad rush for what you humans call progress.”
I thought about the quest for a few moments, and then asked, “But what is in it for me?”
The male troll replied, “Our blessings, and the satisfaction of saving us from extinction.”
I mulled over it, and then asked, “And when does this quest start?”
The female replied, “Immediately, we have enough power only to sustain ourselves for a month, just about the time you will take to get to the cave and come back. We can hardly move as it is, all our powers have left us.”
That finally convinced me, I could not allow this to happen.
I quickly opened my bag, and as I started fishing around in it, said, “I would have loved to help you, but there are two problems:
- I HAVE to meet my girl’s parents today at any cost; and
- For them to say yes to me, I need to be holding a steady job
But if I help you, neither can happen, for as you no doubt know through your residual magical powers, I am a demolition man at the mines.”
With that, I finally found the dynamite in my bag, set the charge, and walked away. I had already wasted too much time, my girlfriend and her parents would be waiting. I could always go for the diamond after our honeymoon.
Written as a part of Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.
Trolls have always been a fascination with me since I visited their home country of Norway last year. I had done a series of posts on them during that trip, using photos of various locations there. In case anyone is interested, here are the links of some of those stories: