You walked down a familiar street in a familiar way. This was something you did on routine. Every day you would pass by that same oak tree, its leaves just starting to float down and become responsible for more crunching noises under your two left feet. You would turn your head, and look at the same exact empty playground about a block from that tree, watching the swings slowly sway with the gentle, cool breeze.
Something suddenly interrupted that serene escape from reality and you shoot your hand in one of the jean pockets. Taking out a cellular device with an obnoxious ring that looped menacingly, you press ACCEPT and speak into the receiver. “’Sup Egbert.”
“Finally you pick up! I’ve been growing mold over here with the time it took for you to actually answer me.” Your dorky friend complained in a half assed manner on the other end. You could feel that damned buck toothed smile from across the call.
“Impatient are we? Or is it that time of the month again?” You don’t miss a beat.
“Oh shut up. I left my Calculus book over there and I need to study.” Egbert groaned into the phone. You hear a few things fall over on his end and a breathy curse.
“You know if you come over you aren’t going to get any studying done. “ A sigh, “At most you’ll bring your video games over again and play those the entire time…again”.
“Come on Dave, I won’t take up too much time, I swear.” He whined, obviously too stubborn to let this down. Another sigh and you find yourself giving in.
It’s not that you didn’t want to spend some quality time with your bromigo. John Egbert was your friend, best friend in fact. Yet, due to your living conditions, you have to attend work and school and your energy levels were at an all time low. Thank god it was the weekend.
The sky seemed to have never held any form of light when John finished his “studying”. Just as you assumed, you two played games the entire time, leaving John with only a few hours to study before he would most likely pass out at his house with the book over his face.
“Well maybe if you let me beat you every now and then I wouldn’t stay over for so long!” John turned the tables. He grabbed his sneakers and lazily slipped each foot in toe-first.
“Says the guy who fell off the map all by himself,” you retorted teasingly. John was so terrible at his own games. The charcoal haired one stood up, giving the shades a quick attempt at a glare.
“Well Mr. I’m-so-amazing-at-everything, why don’t you walk this poor soul to his house. I could get abducted by some crazy homeless person.” John exaggerated, picking up the book that he came here for in the first place.
“I fed you dinner and now you want me to walk you home? Damn, if I knew this was going to be a date I would’ve dressed nicer.” you joke, pushing him out of your apartment and heading for John’s house. John retorted something clever, but your mind wandered.
His house isn’t far, and you two don’t discuss anything important. His father gives you a smile as you leave the premises of the house. If this wasn’t so repetitive, it would be a mystery on how you’re able to walk home in such a pitch black town. Even though it’s dark, it still seems to feel as safe and peaceful as during the day.
That is, until something catches your eye.
You look over to your right, and see a small clearing. There is nothing built there, and all architects refuse to go near that area. In the distance is an old looking building just behind the clearing. A light flickered warningly. The wind seems to pick up around here, as if there was some barrier that caused the weather to rile up. It was almost as if it was pulling you in. You never give in, though, knowing what lies beyond that building past the clearing. But you still feel the desire.
Every instance when you drop Egbert off and head home, you stop in this exact same spot. The clearing that lies near the park uncomfortably close to your house always seems to beckon you. You don’t know what is inside that far off building, but it is the only landmark separating you from those creatures.
Those monsters were known as trolls. You’ve never seen one personally, but from what adults have taught their children, they are nightmares. Trolls are violent, rough, disgusting, blood thirsty beasts. You do not speak about them in public. They live their existence on their side; the humans live on the opposite side. You coexist without actually coexisting and both sides seem to not mind.
Throughout your entire life you have come to ignore them, but that abandoned building still calls out your name like a serenade. Luckily, the only thing scarier than a troll is society. You know what will happen if you cross that building. Once before, a child was curious enough to cross that border. You haven’t seen that child ever since.
Suddenly, a shiver runs down your spine as a small, pathetic cry is heard near the building. Someone was out there. What if it was another kid? Or a small dog? Should you help? Your mind was racing and before you knew it, you took your first step toward the building.
Your heart was racing as fast as your legs as you carried yourself into the building. The pain coming from your side was threatening to leave a trail of disgusting red blood behind you. The day you dreaded ever since your wriggling day has finally come, and you were definitely not ready to die yet. You weren’t weak, you refused. You would even consider dying from those goddamn drones compared to this stupid defect. The only thoughts you had were instincts screaming that whatever the hell you do, don’t stop.
Two large, wooden doors were located at the front of the building and it took all of your strength to thrust one open. The door swung into the wall heavily, creating a loud, echoed bang. The room was huge, and there were a few, small desks from what you could tell. Everything was dusty and dark and you couldn’t exactly make out what half of anything was.
Ducking under the nearest piece of furniture, your hand rested against the burning wound. You took this time to catch up to your breath, your lungs desperately trying to refill and empty itself of oxygen at a continuously fast rate. Your mouth was dry and your throat stung. Clutching carefully, you let out a small whine, looking down to investigate your injured side.
Curiosity got the best of you and you wandered deeper into the building. The large desk held a few scattered books. Some were torn and ripped; others were covered in layers of dust as thick as the book itself. You picked one up and tried holding it up to any form of light that you could, but the room was too dark and your shades didn’t exactly help.
Oh right, your shades.
Being the dumbass that you were, you slid your shades out of your face and onto your head. The book’s cover seemed to be decorated with an organized set of designs that you certainly were not familiar with. Before you could investigate further; however, a sad whine startled you and you nearly dropped the dusty book.
You heard the scurrying above you and you panicked. Peering above the desk you threw yourself under earlier, you noticed a tall, pale figure standing beside your hiding spot. It was a human. Your panic increased tenfold when his eyes met yours. That is, until you saw the color of his eyes.
You were staring dead at one of them. You expected every bone and nerve in your body to scream at you to run, to get away. But that didn’t happen. You took a safe step back, but the lack of danger you felt confused you. His eyes almost glowed majestically in the darkness. He didn’t look in the least bit menacing. If anything, the small troll looked more afraid than you were of him.
A frantic click and hiss was heard from a distance, and the troll jumped, his fright increased as he leaped behind you. Looking around, the small troll was desperate for an escape. You noticed this, and an incredibly dumb idea came to you.
You knew you would regret this in the morning.