When you stumbled on the trolls, you weren’t even surprised anymore.  It seemed like everything on this journey was out to kill you, and you had two options – 1. turn around and go home to the sheep, or 2. try to kill it, or at least avoid having it kill you.  Truthfully, you wouldn’t have guessed you’d be the type to try option two, but whenever you thought of turning around, the memory of chasing an escaped sheep through a field of sheep poo would surface and you’d keep moving forward.

You’d had some time to really imagine what you might find at the end of your trip. Treasure was what you were really hoping for.  Treasure enough that you could pay someone else to watch the sheep for you.  Any dreams of more ambition seemed a bit risky, as far as you were concerned.  So you were just going through the roster of village youth who might go for the position when you were hit with the smell of unwashed bodies and untreated furs.  Somehow, you already knew what you’d see, even as you turned the bend and found the two hulking creatures sitting there patiently, as if waiting for you.  Sadly, you’d built up too much forward momentum to stop your stride and go around, and now there you were, face to face with the warty, stupid faces.

One belched in surprise at your appearance.  The other did something less pleasant that is really best not commented upon.  Still, awkward though they were as they lumbered to their feet, they did manage to pick up their giant clubs in tandem and swing them at you.  You glanced down at the trusty rusty sword that had gotten you so far.  It seemed very, very small.  And the smell you’d have to wade into in order to get close enough to poke them with it seemed…. unpleasant.

Glancing to the side of the trail, you noted a tall tree with some low branches, sturdy enough for you, for sure, but probably not for them.  With one last look at them, you darted to the side and scrambled up the branches as if you were ten again and trying to hide from the evening slop duty.  Now, as then, you were risking a serious hiding if you were caught, and apparently the adrenaline added a boost to your climb.

The trolls, undeterred, lumbered under the tree and stood, gazing stupidly up at you, mouths hanging open, a trickle of drool running down the chin of the larger of the two.  It didn’t seem to notice.

How long you perched on the branch looking down at them you didn’t know.  Then one got half a thought and struck the base of the tree with his club.  Startled by the change in your stalemate, you jumped, and your foot came down hard on a dead branch beneath you.  Apparently, with a fair bit of force, as it sent the branch falling down the tree to smash both trolls squarely in the face, knocking them to the ground.  WIth a last burst of unpleasant winds, they were still, bleeding quietly into the forest trail.

Afraid they were merely out cold and could wake, you darted down the tree and set off running down the path for as long as your legs and lungs would take you.  Behind you, you never heard if they stirred again.  Either way, the trolls were defeated and you continued on your way.