Type of Story: Short Story
Summary: Who knew that deforestation would open up the realm of the Fae? And that fairy tale monsters would start plaguing America’s most prized landmarks? In the humorous short story, “A Troll Under Golden Gate Bridge,” special police officer Cathy Pembroke and her partner Robert have to tackle super-sized trouble, as a troll gets loose on the bridge. Also includes “Damsel in Distress”, about a damsel who can’t wait for a prince to come rescue her but decides to handle things herself.
The troll was about twenty feet tall, with mottled grey-green skin, black hair, and teeth easily as long as my fingers. He was as ugly as I’d expected him to be, with long ape-like arms, ears that stuck out, and beady black eyes. As I watched, he hefted a Volkswagen over the railing and whooped as it plunged into the water far below.
Then he spotted me in my armor, and a wide, feral grin split his face. “Mmm, warrior meat!” He said in a ghastly Norwegian accent.
This was a little too soon for a confrontation–I had to wait for my partner. The officers standing behind me backed up, whispering about how the nerve gas and shots from their pistols hadn’t worked. I stood firm, but my stomach felt like lead. I wondered what it would take to stop this fellow. I’d definitely need my partner’s help. Time to stall.
“I always thought trolls were small annoying pests with a taste for goat meat! How’d you get so big?” I asked.
He scrunched up his face, trying to think of a reply. “Big bridge need big troll. I grow to fit nice beautiful bridge. It’s mine now. Come here–I show it to you!” He casually ran his dagger-like claws along the metal rail. My jaw clenched at the awful grating sound.
“I can see it perfectly well from here. You do know, however, that this is a public bridge. It’s not yours, it will never be yours, and if you don’t surrender and turn yourself in, I will be forced to kill you. You’ve already been charged with homicide, destruction of property, obstruction of justice, aggravated assault, not to mention loitering!”
The troll laughed, a horrible braying sound accompanied by much knee-slapping and snorting. I peered over at the captain and shrugged. Well, at least I’d tried the conventional approach. Time to fight. I only hoped Robert would arrive soon to assist.
I stopped his laugh with the soft hiss of my blade leaving its sheath. To put some distance between myself and the squad cars, I came forward about fifty feet onto the bridge, then planted my feet in the ‘en garde’ position, daring him with a cool gaze to make a move. He didn’t seem particularly bright, but you can never tell with the big ones.
He stared at me, and his lip twitched. Then my vision was filled with his gigantic form as he lunged, teeth bared and arms outstretched to take off my face. With a clean swipe of the sword, I cut off the tip of his thumb, then dove out of the way of his charge. I landed hard on the asphalt, went into a tuck and roll, and came up, ready for the next attack.
None came. He was hopping from one foot to the other, making the entire bridge shake. “Ow!” He yowled, holding his hand to his chest and glaring at me. “Fight dirty! I hurt you good when I eat you!”
Hugging his hand, he lurched away and leapt over the rail, landing with a terrific splash in the shallow waters by the shore where the old fort stood. He waded to shore, then ran to the fort and shoved his massive shoulders through a doorway that had already been enlarged by the removal of several stones.
I stood there, sword raised, mouth agape. So that was it? One swipe and he was going to run and hide? This fellow wasn’t so tough, it seemed. I sheathed my blade and crossed to the parking lot overlooking the fort.
I heard a shout behind me, and there was Robert, running towards me with a crate full of small glass balls with short fuses and his own protective armor. He set down the crate and began pulling on the armor, light blue eyes darting around in search of the monster.
“Did you get him already?” He asked between breaths.
“No, the damn thing hid himself in the fort,” I said, pointing. Robert was bending over backwards to strap on the vest, his fair skin turning red with the effort. I went around behind him and fastened it. Meanwhile, the captain had joined us, and was perusing the crate, muttering nervously.
“Think that’ll work?” He asked, thrusting his thumb at the crate.
“He’s flesh–he’ll burn,” I answered for Robert, who was balancing on one leg to fasten a demi-grieve. A rumble from below halted further comments.
“We’d better get moving. He sounds pretty mad,” Robert said, strapping on his own weapon, a double-bladed broadsword.
We each grabbed a pouch from the crate and filled it with the Molotov cocktails, as well as with a few firecrackers Robert had saved from his last trip to Mexico. The captain wiped his forehead.
“I’d really appreciate it if you could avoid using those near the fort–I’d like to stay out of trouble with the local historical society. See if you can lure the thing out first.” With that, he stalked off, and I could hear his orders to the blueshirts, “Get those people back! I want a hundred food perimeters–there’s going to be fireworks, and I’m not joking!”
As we headed down the hillside to a little cluster of historical buildings, he called down a last plea, “And please, try to keep it away from the bridge–this side just got repainted!” Robert and I just looked at each other.
We thought we’d have to pester the troll to get him out in the open, but instead, as we neared the fort, he clambered out, now wielding a wicked looking club. The thing was made of redwood, easily five feet long, and the troll had taken the time to drive several large nails into the rounded head. “I guess he wasn’t kidding when he said he’d ‘hurt me good’,” I commented to Robert. Maybe this wasn’t such a hot idea after all.
Author Sites: Website