Friday, October 15, 2010

The Sweetest Trolls #11: Kreptus's Explanation, part 1 -- #FridayFlash

This is the 11th installment of the Troll Serial. To read from the beginning, or to find past and future installments, click here.


Kutril woke up with the smell of dried blood in his nostrils. He tried to stand up and lost his balance, seating back painfully. It took him some time to stand up and stumble to the dying fire. He threw a few logs on the coal and turned to the sprawled body he thought to be Kratan's.

His chin fell to his chest when seeing Kreptus's bloody face. He rushed to his side and waked him up. Kreptus groaned and shook himself off Kutril's arms. He sat and glared at his nephew, who staggered back to get the last bandages. 

Kutril wrapped them around his uncle's head, who grumbled, "Do you know how hard it was to get these? In one night you idiots used them all up, one night!"

Kutril was too sleepy to hear, his full attention focused on his hands and the crimson head beneath them. 

"There," said Kutril, sitting before the fire. When Kreptus seemed to start recovering, Kutril asked, "What happened, uncle?"

"Get me something to eat. Then I'll talk." 

"But uncle!"

"No freaking buts with me!" Kreptus winced, and then growled, "Just do as I say, you moron. You're too sleepy to understand anything anyway, and I need food to get better." 

In response, Kutril stiffled a yawn and asked, "Where's Kratan?"

"What did I just say?" He glared.

Kutril sighed. "Okay..." 

Kreptus pointed to his back and said, "Take the dry exit. Follow the path with more footsteps and you'll be fine." 

"Okay..." said Kutril, standing up. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Yeah, son. Just remember that we're in the middle of the night. You don't have much time." 

Kutril nodded and left. The dry exit opened to a vast forest with no sign of human civilization in any direction. He crossed paths with several eatable animals: deers, boars, and in case of emergency, bears. Unfortunately for Kutril there were no goats. He came back tired and annoyed at the prays' increased speed.

"What the hell did you catch?" said Kreptus, getting up. He swayed and supported himself on the wall behind him, never loosing the grasp on his club.

Kutril hadn't noticed having arrived. Startled, he looked up from his feet and said, "A bear."

"Why would you do that?" said Kreptus. "There are plenty of harmless preys out there." He walked towards Kutril to certify that the bear was dead. "Look at these scratches! You look like shit." 

Kutril blinked and then yawned. 

"What the hell; let's eat," said Kreptus, sighing. 

Kutril dragged himself to the fire and sat down with a thump. 

"Get your fat ass back here!"

Kutril looked back through heavy eyelids. "What?"

"Help me out, you idiot." 

"Oh, right." 

Soon Kutril was snoring. Kreptus finished eating and crossed the waterfall, climbing down to the pool below it, as fast as he could. By the time he finished up, the sun was drinking the water right above Kreptus's cave, its tongue licking further down at each passing minute. At his arrival, he made an unguent with the fresh herbs he'd collected, which he put on Kutril's wounds and on his own. He lied down watching Kutril through the low flames, the slightest smile creeping on his face, and fell asleep hugging his club.

The next night Kutril woke up feeling refreshed. He stretched, yawned broadly and sat up,  catching up instinctively a large meat loaf thrown at him. 

"Eat," said Kreptus.

Kutril's nostrils flared at the smell of fresh food and a grin formed in his face, which died into a frown as soon as he identified it. 


Kreptus shook his head. "Shut up and eat. I've got some explaining to do." 

Kutril took a bite meekly and said, "Okay uncl--" 

"What did I say about talking with your mouth full?" 

Kutril opened his mouth and closed it with a click. He swallowed forcefully and said, "It's not polite." 

"That's right. Now shut the fuck up. I have a headache, which you may share with me soon." 

Kutril cocked his head to the side. His uncle lifted a prohibiting finger and Kutril covered his own mouth with his free hand. 

"There's something I need to tell you, and you're not going to like it." 

Kutril swallowed again.

"Kratan left and I don't think he's coming back." 

"What? Where did he go? Why didn't he wake me up?" gushed out Kutril, with trembling lips. 

"Calm down, son." 

Kutril forgot about his food, watered eyes focused on Kreptus. "Where is he?"

"I don't know," replied Kreptus. "But I have an idea of where he might be heading to." 

"Is he okay? His head hurts too and I'm worried about him." 

"I'm afraid there's not better way of putting it," said Kreptus, with a pained voice. "He's in danger, and so are we."

Kreptus told Kutril what had happened the night before, limiting himself to the facts. Kutril shook his head throughout Kreptus's explanation.

"This cannot be, uncle. Kratan would never do that!" 

"I know. Normally he wouldn't, but he's not himself. Or rather, he is himself since last night."

Kratan kept shaking his head. Losing his patience Kreptus stood up and slapped him on the face. 

"Listen to me, smart ass. You think you know Kratan but you don't. And you don't know yourself either." 

"What do you mean?" said Kutril, massaging his cheek. 

"Remember what I said about no one knowing you can turn back from stone?" 


"Well, that's because you're different, and being different is dangerous." Kutril kept silent, so Kreptus continued, "Neither of you were like this before." 


"Before..." Kreptus trailed off, thinking of the best way to make himself understood. "Once, you were like all the other trolls." He made a broad gesture, as to encompass the whole species.

Kutril chewed on that thought. "But the other trolls are scary."

"Precisely. And dangerous. You see, Kratan is like them now." 

Kutril frowned and Kreptus continued before he had the chance to react further, "We have to stay away from him for a while, until he gets better." 

"We need to help him!" 

"Good boy," said Kreptus with a rare smile. "That's exactly what we're going to do, and for that, we need to find the knight with white eyes." 


<< Back to episode 10                   Go to episode 12 >>


  1. I have a doubt in grammar I'd like to ask you guys, if you don't mind.

    On the second to last paragraph I used a comma before the quotation mark, since the precedent sentence indicates that a character is speaking. However, the phrase that introduces Kreptus's speech feels whole, complete in itself.

    My doubt is, should I have used a full stop in this case? Here's the problematic part, to make it easier to understand:

    Kutril frowned and Kreptus continued before he had the chance to react further, "We have to stay away from him for a while, until he gets better."

    I'd appreciate any inputs you'd like to share on this or any other passage. Thanks! :)

  2. Doubling as an accusation at the audience, that we may not know Kratan either.

    But of course he doesn't know the real Kratan. Real trolls have so little personality that there isn't much to know about them. Just don't trust them with your money.

    On the more ogrely matter of grammar, the comma belongs there. The preceding statement is complete and (even if we didn't have rules about comma usage) should be separated from the dialogue by an independent pause anyway.

  3. --John: So typical of ogres to distort everything without knowing what they're talking about.

    Trolls have a fast and wicked thinking, differently from our slow and sweet heroes. ;P

    As for the grammar point, I was in doubt as to which independent pause to use and you clarified it. Thank you once again!

  4. Ooer, Kratan's gone all scary and evil. O.o Another great installment.

  5. --Sam: Yeah, I miss the old Kratan already.

  6. So... why aren't they like other trolls? Whhhhhhy??? Maybe they're really princes under a curse? No wait, they used to be like other trolls... *shakes head in frustration*

    Nice way to build suspense!

  7. Kratan? Are you there? What's wrong with you??

    Great turn of events here, Mari dear. Now I'm worried for them all, but mostly Kratan. And I can't wait for Uncle to tell us what he knows.

    Wonderful as always!

  8. I absolutely love the line about the sun drinking up the water, and its tongue licking down. Very nice. I really have a soft spot for these trolls.

  9. --Cathy (ganymeder): That's a good old idea. Too bad I didn't think of it before you mentioned it. :)

    --Gracie: Kratan asked me to tell you that there's absolutely nothing wrong with him, and if you'd like to check out for yourself he'd love to make an appointment. Or should he stop by your house? *evil laugh*

  10. --Laurita: Thanks! I tried to change the mood a bit, without loosing the sense of urgency on his return. I hope I've managed to convey that too.:)

  11. Fun stuff! :) I love the description of the sun & the waterfall :)

  12. The mystery of the unusual trolls deepens. Great segment, can't wait for more.

  13. Another dark one, but excellent! I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next.

  14. --Jemi: Thanks! Eric is right, we needed some light in this episode. ;)

    --vandamir: Thanks for the visit! :)

    --Eric: Thanks for mentioning that you found this one dark too. It was meant to be balanced but you may be right.


    You're doing a wonderful job at ratcheting up the suspense!

  16. --Icy: Thanks! hehe I hope I won't disappoint you when the big picture is revealed. :D

  17. I like trolls. Uncertain why. I guess it's because they are fun even when I'm the focus of their anger. Fun episode.

  18. --David: I don't know about the kind of trolls you're used to. I sort of envy your ability of finding humor in that sort. O.O

    Glad you liked the story, though. My trolls are nice. Err, usually. heh

  19. Oh, Mari, these aer so fun.Yuo hve yuor own unique charm whn it comes to writing.

  20. --Jodi: Ohhh, thanks so much for commenting! You know you didn't have to. :)

    Also thanks for the great compliment. It lifted my spirits more than you imagine. <3

  21. They'd better help him! What a mess. I wonder how the knight can fix him...

  22. That's a nice bridge to the next installment...with the knight? The uncle seemed very cranky this week. Did he swear like that in the past couple of stories? I can't recall.

  23. This is a great read. Atmosphere nicely invoked and by the way I love your site, it's really well laid out and nice theme.

  24. Oh, favorite installment yet! Hope the knight knows a fix :)


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