THE TROUBLE WITH TROLLS

Written by DTYarbrough

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved

THE TROUBLE WITH TROLLS
Written by DTYarbrough "We've got another mission, Tim," said Liz. "Father wants us to get started immediately." "What sort of mission is it?" asked Tim. "Does it involve giants or hobbits or dwarfs?" "Trolls," said Liz. "It involves trolls. I think you'll like this mission. It involves a riddle." "Like the one I guessed so we could ride free on the ferry?" asked Tim. "Say, that was a troll that asked us that riddle." "That's right, Tim," said Liz. "Trolls are master bridge and ferry builders so we let them build all of them. But they decided to charge everyone that wanted to use them." "That seems fair enough," said Tim. "It would have been," said Liz, "but the trolls got greedy and kept raising the tolls until most folks couldn't afford to pay every time they wanted to use one." "So what happened. Where did the riddles come in?" asked Tim. "The council voted and forced the trolls to allow anyone who could answer the troll's riddle to ride free," said Liz. "That's fair, isn't it?" said Tim. "Yes, until everyone learned the answer," said Liz. "The trolls petitioned the council to allow them to change the riddle each Monday." "That seems fair enough," said Tim. "So what's the problem?" "The law says that they may change the riddle. It does not say that they have to," said Liz. "The trolls have discovered a riddle that no one has been able to answer, and they refuse to change it." "Then why doesn't the council pass another law?" asked Tim. "They plan to the next time they meet," said Liz. "In the meantime, the economy is being ruined. We have to do something now." "Well, I'll just solve the riddle," said Tim. "I'm really good with riddles." "I know you're good with riddles, Tim," said Liz, "but this is a tough one." "What's the riddle?" asked Tim.

It's the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. The beginning of every end and the end of every place. "That is a tough one," said Tim. "I'll have to give it some thought." "Well, in the meantime, we have to go see the High Troll and convince him that he should do as the council wishes," said Liz. "How are we going to do that?" asked Tim. "We've got to figure that out by the time we get there," said Liz, "unless you can figure out the riddle." "How long will it take to get there?" asked Tim. "A couple of days. Maybe longer if we don't pay the tolls," said Liz. "We can use my underwater breathing spell to get across water but getting across canyons and gorges is another thing," said Tim. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," said Liz. "Good one, Liz," said Tim. ..................................... "It will be so much easier when we learn to fly. I can hardly wait for next semester to begin at Fogmore," said Tim. "Stop daydreaming, Tim," said Liz. "What are we going to tell the High Troll?" "We'll say that we're going to build our own bridges and ferries," said Tim. "And we'll let everyone ride free, except trolls." "We don't know how to build bridges," said Liz. "He'll know we're bluffing." "We'll say that we're going to find the answer to the riddle and tell everyone," said Tim. "Not only this riddle but every one they can come up with." "If we could do that, we wouldn't be there talking to him," said Liz. "We're going to fly everyone across," said Tim. "Along with the horses, wagons, etc?" asked Liz. "Think, Tim." "We'll say that the council is going to put an end to tolls completely if they don't cooperate," said Tim. "There are trolls on the council today," said Liz. "They'll be lucky to get any new law passed." "Then we have to solve the riddle," said Tim, "We'll use magic to create the answer."

"That could be very dangerous," said Liz. "We don't know what we might create. Do you really want to put an end to time and space?" "Okay, no magic," said Tim. "One of us has to figure out how we are going to get across Gremlin Gorge. Surely we can use magic to do that." "This is making my head hurt," said Liz. "No more thinking while we're walking." "Stop walking, Liz!" said Tim. "We're at the gorge. Wow, that's a long way down." "Look Tim, Nangels," said Liz. "Aren't they beautiful in flight?" "Hard to believe that they can glide all day on those thermal currents without ever flapping their wings," said Tim. "We need a glider of some sort," said Liz. "Any ideas?" "I used to carve all sorts of airplanes and gliders out of wood when I was back home," said Tim. "You've got a knife," said Liz. "Can you carve one now?" "Not large enough for us to ride in," said Tim. "Oh, I get it. You're going to use shrinkweed to make us smaller." "I suppose that could work," said Liz. "But what would we do for the next several hours while we wait for the spell to wear off?" "Then what?" said Tim. "Can you make the glider bigger?" "Yes," said Liz, "but not heavier." "That's perfect. We don't want it to be heavier," said Tim, "but will it be strong enough?" "If we make it from ironwood," said Liz. "That's an ironwood tree over there." "I'll just break of a small piece," said Tim. "Wow, I can't even bend it." "Use your knife, Tim," said Liz. "See if you can cut it." "This is going to take a while," said Tim. "Go ahead and get some rest." "I'll try to figure out the riddle," said Liz as she sat down on a large stone. .............................. "I think the answer is death," said Liz. "It would mark the beginning of eternity in heaven or hell and the end of time and space as we know it. It would mean the end of every place we knew." "The places wouldn't end just because you're not around. And it wouldn't seem like eternity if time didn't exist," said Tim. "You could make that last argument no matter what the answer is," said Liz.

"This is a strange riddle," said Tim. "I'll bet that death is the answer," said Liz, "unless you can come up with something better." "I'm finished," said Tim. "Make it big enough so we can both fit into these seats." Make the glidder long and wide so we can fit the seats inside. Make it so that it will glide and get us to the other side. "Where did those ropes come from?" asked Liz as she looked at the enlarged glider. "They were spider webs. I put them there to help us control the glider during flight," said Tim. "Very impressive, Tim," said Liz. "How do we take off?" "It's extremely light," said Tim. "You get on that side and I'll get on this side. We both get a running start while we hold on to the plane. We both jump and then climb into the seats." "Sounds easy enough," said Liz. "That's the attitude," said Tim. ...................................... Tim and Liz lifted the plane and backed up for a running start. "Ready Liz?" asked Tim. "On three," said Liz. "One .. two ... three." In a moment Tim and Liz were over the deep gorge. The glider, after a breif decent, had leveled off and was gliding perfectly. Time tried the controls, tugging first on one rope then the other. The glider turned left then right then back toward the other side of the gorge. "How do we go higher?" asked Liz. "I tug on both ropes at once," said Tim. "Like this." Tim tugged on both ropes but the flaps didn't move. "It's harder than I thought," said Tim. "Help me pull." Liz grabbed the ropes and pulled. "Harder," said Tim. Liz strained with all her might. The ropes snapped. "Tim!" screamed Liz. "What do we do now?" The glider continued it glide, descending ever so slowly, and gradually tilting

and turning to one side. "Shift your weight to that side," Tim said as he pointed. In a moment the glider was level again. Tim looked back at Liz. Liz had a slight smile on her face but Tim could see the fear in her eyes. He tried not to show his own fear. "It's going to be okay, Liz," said Tim. Suddenly the glider began to climb. "Look, Tim," said Liz as she pointed to the tip of the wing. Tip glanced at the wing and saw the nangel holding onto it. He looked at the other wing and saw another and a third holding the tail. As the little glider climbed high and higher, Tim saw the look of relief in Liz's eyes. A while later they were safely on the ground. "It's still the safest way to travel," said one of the nangels. "You save our lives," said Liz. "Thank you so much." "Don't be so meladramatic. Your pilot seemed quite capable of landing safely. We merely saved you from a long climb out of the gorge," said the nangel. "Well, thanks for that, anyway," said Liz. "You're very welcome," said the nangel. "Goodbye, and may the winds of life be favorable." "That was so exciting, Tim," said Liz. "I wasn't scared for a moment," "Yeah, exciting," said Tim. "But let's try something different at the next gorge, just to break the monotony." ..................................... Tim and Liz walked passed a small church and noticed a sign in the front lawn. It was more of a message board than a sign and some of the letters were missing. The sign read .. _ime waits for no ma_ . "Look at that sign, Tim," said Liz. "It's missing the beginning of time and the end of man." "Say that again, Liz." said Tim. "It's missing the beginning of time and the end of man." said Liz. "The riddle, that's it." "Let's go home," said Tim. "This time we take the tool bridge." ................................ "Answer this riddle and you may pass for free," said the Troll. It's the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. The beginning of every end

and the end of every place. "It's the letter 'E'," said Tim. "You may pass," said the Troll.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful