Trolls & Rabbits

By Geoffrey C Porter



This story was originally published by MicroHorror.

The rain fell like icy steel pins. Lightning etched between clouds high above illuminating the landscape. The troll ducked under a tree and shivered. He looked down at the knife in his right hand. He dropped the knife and ran for home.

The troll ran through the woods until his lungs burned and his heart raced thumpety thump in his chest. He'll miss that knife, he thought. The rain stopped, and he started walking back to where he left his blade. He picked it up and stared at the gleaming metal.

He knew the sun approached, and he couldn't afford to be seen in daylight, so he started running again for his cave. He approached the bridge as the first rays of daylight burned their way into the clouds above. He climbed under the bridge and into his cave. If only he'd caught a rabbit, he thought. He tossed a few logs onto his fire pit and blew feverishly on the coals to spark their energy once again.

Soon enough, he had heat in his abode. He stashed a potato at the bottom of the fire and waited. No meat, he thought. He waited a long time and nudged the potato out of the fire. He waited again for it to cool. His hunger gnawed at his insides. He grabbed up the potato and bit into it over and over taking great chunks out.
He curled up in the far corner of the room and drifted off to sleep. He dreamed of a great feast of roast boar, cinnamon apples, and wine, for he knew of those things from his homeland.

He stirred awake, but rays of sunshine still crept in his cave entrance. He stirred his fire and cooked a potato. The light dwindled into twilight, and he waited. He stepped out of his cave and took a drink of water from the river. The troll's heart froze as the iron clad hooves of a horse thundered across the bridge above.

The troll went back in his cave for his blade. A rabbit, he thought, if he didn't get meat soon he would waste away. He chose a new path through the woods that night. He traveled and traveled hoping for a rabbit as the need for meat gnawed away at his stomach.

He stumbled upon a patch of raspberries and ate greedily, but he knew in his heart he needed meat. His tendons ached, and his muscles were growing stiff. He wandered through the night. Plagued by the aches in his flesh, he didn't notice the sun rise.

His eyes squinted. A shape loomed in the distance, and he slowed his approach. A rabbit, he thought. It carried a giant basket and picked at clusters of ripe grapes. He tried to be quiet as he approached it from behind. Within a few steps of the creature, he stepped on a twig.

The creature breathed in heavily and turned to face him. It had bright blue eyes and long blonde hair. It was wearing a blue dress of sorts and had long delicate fingers. It spoke in some language the troll couldn't understand. The troll advanced. The rabbit turned to run, but the troll was quicker leaping forward with the knife thrust in front of him like a great spear on the end of his arm.

The knife plunged into the rabbit's back, and it screamed a high pitched wail. The troll gutted the creature cleaning out its intestines to make for an easier carry. He threw the carcass over his shoulder and took off in a run for his cave.

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