Troll Invasion

by Nicholas J. Perry © 2003

"Troll invasion! A troll is coming for our gold!" The warning call spread through the village. The houses emptied into the night, as did the inns, a sure sign of panic. The brothel was evacuated, an even surer sign of panic. Both the mayor and the brothel owner fled, after securing their gold.

The villagers had suffered this troll's invasions before, so they knew to run away until sunrise when the troll needed to hide or be turned into stone. All the villagers disappeared before the troll arrived, save one.

The old wizard Gus came to the crashing even his diminished hearing couldn't miss and stepped into a troll standing where his door had been. Gus had heard the warnings of the troll invasion, but thought it was just the revelry of the young. His hearing wasn't what it once was, nor was his sight.

"What do you want, boy?" Gus asked, assuming the visitor was a teenager enjoying the night.

"Want," answered the troll.

"For the girls? I remember what it was like to be your age," Gus told the troll.

"Gold," said the troll.

"That does impress the girls," Gus admitted with a wink.

"Need gold!"

"Watch your manners, boy In my day, the young respected their elders," Gus lectured. "Oh, you want something turned into gold. If you want that, you need to see an alchemist. Not my line of work. I'm a wizard. I do spells, transformations, curses."

"Gold" repeated the troll. "Want."

"I told you I can't do that. Today's youth just don't listen. Still, maybe I can help. Girls prefer gold but also like shiny jewelry even if it's not real gold. I'll make a gold-colored necklace with a big sparkling gem in the middle. It won't stay a necklace for long, but maybe long enough to impress a girl."

The troll looked at the old wizard doing his incantations over a piece of cloth, studying the transformation from fabric to necklace. The troll keep staring as Gus held up the finished product into the first rays of the sunrise. The newly risen sun reflected off the faux-gem into the troll's eyes.

"Argh!" the troll started as the sunlight turned him into stone.

* * * * *

"You saved the village," the mayor congratulated Gus a few hours later.

"I did?" answered the old wizard. "It's about time the youth were taught a lesson. You should find some more respectful boys to move this big rock they left at my door. Youth today."

x x x

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