Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Sweetest Trolls #17: First Gathering - #FridayFlash


This is the 17th installment of the Troll Serial. To read from the beginning, or to find past and future installments, click here.

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Monsieur Velin didn’t like his assignment. Although he was sure that the stone trolls could not get deader than they were, he didn’t know what to think of the third troll. He did trust De Faumont though; he didn’t believe such modest prince would be bragging about something he hadn’t done. He was mulling about the discussion he'd had with the others at the barn, his gaze lost on the rising moon, when Kreptus grunted.

“Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, I’m too old for this!”

Velin turned, gaping at the white beared troll and at Kutril, who scratched his head and yawned. Velin stepped back, breath held, and babbled, “Ho-how?”

Kreptus scanned the petrified man from head to toe and waved him off, “Don’t worry, we’re not going to hurt you. What’s your name again?”

“Eh?”

“Name! You do have a name, don’t you?”

“Ah, I do…” Velin’s gaze raised to Kutril, who had stood up and whose head was above Kreptus’s, right behind him.

“Then sa–”  Before Kreptus could extract that simple information, Velin was grabbed from behind by Kratan, whose eyes shone despite the darkness. The more Velin struggled, the more Kratan pressed his hand on the man’s face. Velin’s eyes were rolling on his head as his limbs were getting heavier and heavier by the second.

“Let him go!” shouted Kutril. “You’re killing him!” Kreptus stepped aside, so the two of them could face their foe. The thought that Kutril was now an enemy weighted like a ton on Kreptus’s heart.

Kratan grinned at his once closest friend, “So? It seems you’ve provided me a good meal for the night.” He cracked the man’s neck and threw his body on the side of the road, looking defiantly into Kreptus’s eyes.

The old troll looked tired and weak. His pride and strength seemed to have been drained by the evil counterpart of his protégé.

“What are you doing, Kratan?” he asked, shoulders slumped. “Don’t you see that you have become everything you most feared?”

“Why, uncle,” his voice was filled with sarcasm, “I’m grabbing a good piece of meat, just as you taught me.” Kratan put his hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side.

“I did not –” Kreptus started to reply.

“Kratan!” interrupted Kutril and stepped forward, arms stretched and teary eyes. Kreptus raised his arms, blocking Kutril’s way, and shook his head, eyes set on Kratan’s.

“But, uncle, Katran needs our help!”

“I need your help? You’ve gotta be kidding me!” said Kratan, and roared with laughter.

Not having his club with him, Kreptus lurched with his fists, not wanting to give Kratan space to put in motion whichever plan he had. Kutril stood there, his chin falling limb like Velin’s body, his eyes alternating between his uncle’s incredible fighting ability, which he never imagined him having, and Kratan’s strength and speed, which he'd never had before.

Even before attacking Kratan, Kreptus knew there was no hope of defeating him on his own. He prayed Kutril would be scared away by the fighting, but he seemed paralyzed. He cursed himself mentally for underestimating Kutril’s surprise and braced himself for death. Kratan felt the defeat inside his uncle and increased his blows, while Kreptus got slower and weaker. Kreptus's eyes were swallowed, his ribs hurt and he was getting too tired to dodge Kratan's punches. Hit by hit, Kreptus pondered why Kratan wasn’t using his club to finish him off more quickly. Was he having fun, or was it the sign that there was still hope?

Kreptus fell on his knee and searched in vain for Kutril. He wanted to apologize for not having told him the truth, for leaving him and Kratan to their faith, for not being a good… Kratan’s last punch knocked him to the floor. As he gradually lost conscience he heard the sound of hoofs approaching. Why did they sound familiar?

De Faumont arrived in full armor, his sword ready and his eyes set. He crowed a thank you to the bird above and made a slicing movement to decapitate Kratan while his horse jumped over Kreptus. Kutril yelped and jumped to the side, making room for the horse and knight to pass. While De Faumont assessed Kutril readjusting his horse's position, Kratan picked up his club and copied one of his uncle’s fighting stances. De Faumont dismissed Kutril and lurched forward, sword pointing at Kratan’s neck from above his shield. Kratan dodged his attack and hit De Faumont’s horse with such force that the beast flew two meters, passing over Kreptus without touching him. Kratan looked about himself in surprise while De Faumont released his feet, jumped on the spinning horse and landed safely on the ground. He then looked up and smiled at the horse’s whining and De Faumont’s fear. He smelled delicious. Kratan wondered how he could retain a man’s body freshness without cooking it. Or maybe he could share part of De Faumont with Aimee.

They sparred for a long time, sword against club, club against shield, fist against shield. They were incredibly fast, thought the amazed Kutril, who could do nothing but watch and hope that his uncle was still alive. Only when the moon had raised a third of its way the fighters’ attacks started to slow down. Kreptus grunted for the second time that night while waking. He joined the fight, punching Kratan from different and unexpected angles, but the troll was too fast. Kratan managed to keep both opponents at bay, even though they seemed to know what the other was going to do before it was done.

De Faumont laughed aloud at the sound of new hoofs arriving, but in his glee he got distracted for the split of second necessary for Kratan to hit him. De Faumont fell to the ground unconscious, Kreptus paused in surprise and Kratan took the opportunity to flee, taking Velin’s body with him and a hidden woman, who screamed in pain and horror.



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<< Back to episode 16                   Go to episode 18 >>


23 comments:

  1. This doesn't look good for Aimee!!!

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  2. --FAR: It doesn't! It seems she'll be in Kratan's pleasant company for a while longer. :P

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  3. doesn't look for the prince, either, or anyone except Kratan.

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  4. --Sonia: Kratan has become a real villain, as incredible as it sounds for who've met him before. Important things will happen at the second gathering, when that might change. Who knows?

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  5. What happens if you dump the petrified trolls in warm, dark water? Can they loosen up like clay?

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  6. Kratan has become a real nasty, I don't hold up much hope for Aimee!

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  7. Lots of white-knuckle action here, Mari - will be interesting to see what happens ...!

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  8. --John: Uh, petrified trolls are made of stone, not clay. I'm surprised, Mr. Ogre. O.o

    (Oh, you made me laugh out loud again, John! lol)

    --Helen: Please have a little faith in me. I have a liking for heroins! (mostly ;p)

    --PJ: Thanks for the visit! Glad to know you're enjoying the story, even having jumped right in the middle of the action.

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  9. A great fight scene showing Kratan's strength. I can't wait to see what happens next!

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  10. --Chuck: I had been babbling about Kratan's strength for a while and it was about time to show how strong he got (is, whatever :P).

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  11. Fabulous to see a fight scene from them. Excited to see the big reveal about what made Kratan bad!

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  12. --Icy: There will be some hints in the next episodes until the whole thing unfolds. And there will be more. ;)

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  13. Woah! Cool fight scene there, Mari. I struggle with those things and always hone in when someone writes one. You did really well. I am still so tickled you are writing trolls. Loved this line "Kratan wondered how he could retain a man’s body freshness without cooking it. Or maybe he could share part of De Faumont with Aimee." Curious about how this plays out.

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  14. Going to have to find some time to cosy up some space and head to the beginning of this series. Well wikkid.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  15. Nice action sequences in this segment. I like how you use different techniques to capture the action.

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  16. Oh my! This is not good, not good at all (the situation - the story is riveting!) :D

    You have a wonderfully involved world here, Mari. And a great fight scene.

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  17. --Jodi: Thanks! I was worried not to give too much details and make the scene boring, heh.

    I'm not surprised you liked those lines, you lovely wicked mind. ;D

    Now that you ask, I do have a werewolf story in mind. It's going to be a hard one to write, but I'll put it on top of my list just for you. :) It's gonna take a while though. This one is going to be tricky...

    --Adam: I hope you'll enjoy it. The story has been changing a lot, and will change even more!

    --Aidan: Thanks, glad to know it worked. :)

    --Kevin (KjM): I got the idea, no worries. ;) Glad you're liking the story's development. The plot is about to thicken, a lot.

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  18. Whew. I had a lot of catching up to do. It's good to be back in the land of the trolls. Loved the fight scene. :)

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  19. --Laurita: Wow, super welcome back! You were missed here. :) I'm so happy that you took the time to catch up with the series. Hope it'll keep you hooked from now on too.

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  20. Augh! You know how to end on a cliff-hanger :P I feel so bad for Kreptus. Poor old guy.

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  21. --Angela: You do know how to make a good compliment! :) Kreptus is old and thus very wise and experienced. The good thing is that he's not dead, so we can count on his wits for the future. ;p

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  22. Oooh, bad Kratan!
    I love that we smell delicious when we're afraid!

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  23. --mazzz: Surprised? heh ;D

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