Troll Toll Collections

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short old fashioned story about a nasty troll taking tolls for crossing a bridge, but there is more to it than that.

Submitted: May 06, 2016

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Submitted: May 06, 2016



My story starts with the defining of Trolls that lived in this area of the world, many years ago.

These Trolls were most dangerous at night when Sunlight was absent and their eyes were most useful. Much like the Badger, they were relentless in approaching their victims and as deadly as a  starving Hyena. And there too, in their appearance was dread, as if half Hyena, half human that had morphed into a disgusting creature that only a mother could love.

These Trolls would eat almost anything, but preferred a high protein diet of meat whenever some unsuspecting something would come their way.

In dark places they resided during the daylight hours, mostly in caves and under bridges when there were no caves available.


The story begins:


A voice from the dark recesses of a tunnel beneath a stone bridge bellowed, "Who Crosses My Bridge?"

"Who asks such a pompous question?" The crosser demands to know.

"I am known as Sagawah, Tax-Troll for the King of Daggot, Lord of Trime, and Leader of the 5 armies of the Daggot Alliance."

"State your intention Sagawah," the crosser's voice inquired.

"To collect the King's Crossing-Tax, one silver coin for each human crossing, one copper coin for any animal you may be crossing with, billy-goats, gruff, horses, cows, mules, or dogs; makes no never-mind of the number or the species."

"I am known by my given name, Slumbertone, and I am a traveler on the way from Sly Corners, that is within the Kingdom of Jibercorn.

I was not made aware of any Tolls on any bridges within the kingdom of Daggot. Who authorized these tolls and for what reason?"

With his chest puffed out Sagawah replied, "Never you mind! I get my orders from the King himself. He comes here regularly to collect his tolls and to bring provisions for my keep. He is much obliged for my service to the Kingdom and pays me handsomely; even more than any other Toll collector."

"Is that so?" Slumbertone queried.

"Well, it just so happens that I travel to Daggot on this very day and on the King's business, so I must claim the right of free passage in accordance with the treaty of Killinder Abby.

Now come out from beneath that bridge and state your answer to my request, Toll keeper, or I shall have to report your rudeness to the King's guard."

"You have no free passage on this bridge!" the Troll bellowed. "I know of no such Treaty and there is no provision that I am to allow free passage to anyone, save the King and his accompaniment."

Slumbertone laughed and exclaimed, "Well, there you have it, come out and greet your King!"

Sagawah bellowed angrily, “You are not MY king!

I saw you upon the road when you rounded the bend and your figure is none like I have ever seen. I would be hard pressed not to refer to you as part man and part armadillo. And it is the same for the horse that you ride, flickering in the Sunlight like a clunky jewel.

So enough said! I have made a deduction and it is a solid one by any recollection. Your shape is not kingly at all, you have no long robe, nor a crown upon your head, as I have heard kings do. And you have no attendants fussing all about and attending to your every need, as I am sure my king would demand. So you cannot be my king, or a king of any kind. Therefore, cross the bridge and pay your due. You may give the coins to the Rats that wait at the end of the bridge; they will bring them to me."

"And what will you do if I refuse to pay, Oh Toll-Troll? I am someone of large stature and carry upon my person a sword of swift motions, so you cannot bully me into paying," replied Slumbertone.

"I am ravenous when provoked," snarled the Troll! "I will track you in the dead of night until you are overtaken, as I have done many times before. Then I will kill you in utter darkness, where no man can see, and afterward I will eat you. Besides that, I will take all your coins and eat your horse too. So you'd better do as I said, give your coins to the rats as instructed."

"What, you do not collect the toll yourself? How am I to know that this toll charge is official if I do not see the official-ness of the Toll Troll?" Slumbertone questioned. "I will not pay without a receipt and I am quite sure that these rats cannot write. Therefore you must present yourself, or no coins will find your purse today," he demanded.

"A receipt?" questioned the Troll, "No one has ever asked for a Receipt before. Besides, I do not come out from under the bridge in daylight hours because, ah, the Sunlight bothers my skin and gives me a rash," the Troll stated, but lied.

Actually, the Sunlight blinds him so he is defenseless for the moments that it takes for his eyes to adjust to the blinding light.


There was moments of silence and then Slumbertone suggested, "Come out on the shaded side of the bridge, it is late afternoon and the bridge is casting a hefty shadow to my left. You could stay in the shadow and I will come to you to pay my toll and to obtain my receipt of payment."

"That is still a lot of light," the Troll replied, "but still within reason. If doing that will satisfy you and prompt you to pay, then so be it."

"Oh yes, I will be satisfied with that arrangement," said Slumbertone as his horse sidestepped across the bridge.


Upon reaching the other side of the bridge, Slumbertone dismounted and walked down into the bridge's shadow.

As the large, hairy, and totally disgusting Troll came out from under the bridge, his eyes strained to focus on the figure before him.

Too late, the Troll was dead in two flashes of the King's sword.

"Oh yes, that did satisfy me," said the King of Daggot, Lord of Trime, and Leader of the 5 armies of the Daggot Alliance.

"Note to self," said the King, "Let it be posted throughout the land that there are three things that I will not abide by; the unauthorized collection of tolls, the employment of trolls, and the eating of travelers."



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