Did you know it’s difficult to find any folk tales about trolls? Other than ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ that is. I was very surprised. So when Princess Agnes of Three Towers encountered trolls under a bridge, I had to make something up…
No sooner had she put one foot on the bridge than two trolls jumped out from underneath it, one on either side of her. They growled, and one said, “Wait right there!”
“Go no further!” said the other.
“We are the trolls of this bridge-”
“-and no one crosses without paying us first.”
“Good morning, trolls,” said Agnes, doing a small curtsy. “I am glad to meet you. I have not met trolls before.”
The two trolls stared at her, dumbfounded. Both were more than twice her height and four times as broad (if not larger), with leathery grey skin and scraggly hair that came to their elbows. They had droopy eyes and large round noses. Some would call them hideously ugly, but Princess Agnes found them a little endearing. “Aren’t you supposed to scream?” asked the first troll.
“Why would I do that?”
“Because we’re trolls!” shouted the second, raising up his arms and snarling.
But the princess only shook her head. “No. You’re not nearly as frightening as the boggart who lived under my bed. But then he wasn’t very frightening in the end. I told him I wouldn’t taste very nice and he would like my bedtime cookies much better. He agreed.”
“You had bedtime cookies?” asked the second troll.
“Yes, the brownie would sneak them up to me. Now, what do I need to give you to cross the bridge?”
I like Princess Agnes. When something out of the ordinary happens, she’s totally cool with it and stays polite. Her grandfather Silas and father Linus taught her well. The above excerpt is from Chapter Two, which I finished last night, bringing my novel up to 10026 words. The princess needs to escape her impending marriage to the Toad Prince. How will she do it? I’ll soon find out…