Bloody mouth, sharp teeth, bulged eyes; this was Aimee's first contact with Kutril. As any dutiful lady would do, she promptly fainted.
Kratan and Kutril looked at each other and screamed their lungs out. Kutril started pacing and Kratan crouched, covering his head with his own arms. Kutril accelerated, stomping the ground below them and rescuing Kratan from the dark place he was heading to.
Kutril held his foot a few inches from Aimee's leg. Still on one foot, he turned his head to Kratan and said, "We should go back to the fire and think what to do when she wakes up."
Kratan nodded. Kutril took Aimee ever so gently; he found a flat stone with rounded edges to use as a pillow and joined Kratan on the other side of the fire with his back to the stone wall. They sat in silence for a few moments watching Aimee's peaceful countenance, then joined their heads to discuss what to do. They had never had direct contact with a human before, except for being hunted down and the eventual fighting they avoided at all costs.
Eventually they silenced, unable to reach a conclusion. Shortly after, Kutril started banging the back of his head against the wall in a cadenced movement, which woke Aimee up.
Kutril stopped mid-movement; Kratan's jaw fell to his chest; Aimee jolted up and sat facing them, shoulders tense and hands tightly closed into fists. They stared at each other, Katran's mouth still opened becoming a drooling cascade.
Eying his mouth sideways, Aimee asked, "Are you... Are you going to eat me?"
This put the troll's brains into action; Kutril sat upright and Kratan closed his mouth with a clank, leaving a trace of watery goo on his chin.
It was Kratan who reacted first, "No, no," he said waving with both his hands, "we don't eat humans as people say. Humans taste bad."
Aimee's horrified face prompted Kutril to intervene. He looked straight to Kratan, punched him in the ribs and said, "Don't scare the girl you idiot."
A single tear slid down Kratan's cheek and he said to the girl, who cocked her head, "We brought you food, didn't we?"
Aimee's eyebrows shot up, "Oh, it was you? How did you manage to get my mother's pie?"
"Is it your mother who makes this thing?" asked Kutril with a disgusted face, pointing to the bundle.
"It was at the window. All we had to do was take it," said Kratan.
"Yes," said Aimee shooting a dark look at Kutril, "it's my mother who makes it. Her meat pie is famous, you see? The fine people's servants travel for hours to buy them." She lifted her chin and straightened her back.
"What a great waste of time," said Kutril to Kratan's ears, poking his sour rib.
Kratan glared at him, massaging his side.
"Thank you for the food, and for not eating me alive," she said, letting her shoulders fall.
They grinned ear to ear, showing their sharped teeth; she smiled forcefully, not wanting to offend them.
"What I don't understand," she continued, looking at the fire, "is how you managed to steal it. I appreciate what you did, don't get me wrong, but she's very protective of her pies." Not only the pies, she thought grimly. "She wouldn't leave it at the window by itself."
"Well, the village was empty. It was even easy to get our goats and yours. I whish Kutril was with me instead of taking this stinky thing with him. I could have used his help so we'd get more goats. I can't believe we lost the baby one. They're so soft and tasty," babbled Kratan almost to himself. He sighed and licked his lips.
Kutril watched Aimee's face close as Katran's speech progressed. Not knowing what to do, he looked at him and her repeatedly.
Hold your temper girl. It's obvious that they are not ill intended. I must try to understand what's happening.
She took a deep breath and smoothed her face.
"Are you sure the village was empty? That's odd."
"Yes," replied a relieved Kutril, "your window was the only one with light on it. It was all dark and quiet." Turning to Kratan he added, "Now I understand why you arrived before me."
Aimee stood up. "They must be hunting you down! My father was really angry because of the missing goats, and they believe the children and the women are in danger."
"What I don't understand is why the women were absent too," she added.
Aimee paced, making two trolls very happy with the view. She halted, startling her dreamy eyed companions. Kutril farted; she looked indignantly at him getting a puzzled look in response.
Shaking her head she said leaning forward, "Look, it's possible that the empty village was a trap to ki--catch you both." She paused and straightened her back, "Are you sure you weren't followed?"
"No, no 'demoiselle," said Kratan, "no human can follow us here. We're too fast for them and we make many twists and turns on our way up." He shook his head as to reinforce his point.
She was about to say something when they heard the loud whinny of a horse and saw the frontal hoofs belonging to the animal kicking in mid-air.
Note 1: Kutril's venting was inspired by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith's funny and bad smelling story, Booty Call. Thanks for the inspirational boot Maria! ;)
Note2: Katran and Kutril are featured at the b-day giveaway, where they meet Gracie Crone's dragon. Lexx Clarke also put one of my zombies together with his scary MC, and I'm trying to pull off a date (sort of) between Laura Eno's Jezebel and Jodi MacArthur's Carnivorous Pony. Plus, there's prosecco and gelatto at will, and pssst, there's a gift waiting for you. Check it out! :)