Not only that, but the troll that lives under the bridge is a right bastard. I don’t blame him. It must be very difficult to toll people who want to cross your bridge when you have to climb a thousand feet to catch a car blasting off to visit the Hubble.
The troll was sitting behind the dumpster of the Lake Charles Sonic. He wore a Sonic uniform and hat, and chain smoked on his break.
‘Hey, shouldn’t you be taxing people who want to cross your bridge?’
‘Can’t catch any of the damn cars, so I took a day job to pay the bills.’ He sounded a lot like Richard Burton with a smidge of Charlton Heston.
‘Oh. That sucks. My name is Pallid Bust.’ I said to the squat, scaly hirsute little Childe of Grendel.
‘I’m Ambrose Thrytou.’
‘But you have four toes.’ I knew this because he wore Birkenstock sandals. He grew angry.
‘Its spelled T-H-R-Y-T-O-U! It’s not an English name, it just sounds like Three Toe.’
‘Oh. What does it mean?’
‘Damn it, I'm not a sissy imp. My name isn’t a riddle, stupid human, its just my stupid name! What does your name mean? Nosy Jackass?’ He lit another cigarette.
‘No, it means "Whey-Faced Head Statue".
‘I hate you, and I hate all humans, and I really hate my shift manager.’
I could see the poor little fella was suffering, and being Christian, I wanted to help the ungodly troll offspring of the Dark Host, Satan. ‘Hmmm.... Hey, why don’t you just barricade the bridge, like with a toll booth?’ He sneered at me.
‘Take some of the sport out of it, don’t ya think? Besides, I’d have to pay taxes.’
‘Hmmm.... I see. Well, why not use a bungie cord to slingshot yourself from the bog you live in onto the top of the cars as they pass?’
So, after his shift ended, we stretched a bungie cord from the base of the bridge, and anchored it to a tree below the bridge, next to Ambrose’s Yoda-like swamp hut. We tied a parachute suit to the cord and fastened Ambrose's little green body to the suit. Then I put a little league football helmet with a rail road nail sticking out the top on the fella. He hung a few feet up the trunk of tree, and rubbed his claws together.
‘Now comes the hardest part of the game: the waiting.’
We didn’t have to wait long. A minivan full of a vacationing
‘Ok... ok.... wait for it...’ He mumbled to me. ‘Wait for it........ now!’ I pulled the pin in the clamp, and Ambrose rocketed into the fair blue sky.
‘Go, Ambrose, go!’ I cheered.
He shrank into a mere dot in the blue, but what goes up must come down, even Trolls, and in a gentle, swan-like arc, the greedy beast zeroed into the happy, innocent family. It was natural and beautiful. At first Ambrose seemed not to move up there, and I feared the family would escape his extortion, as their van had almost reached the mountain high apex of the bridge, but it was just a trick of perception. Ambrose only appeared to crawl through space because he was so far away.
In truth he zipped. His plummet reached terminal velocity(which is faster than a human's, as Trolls are quite aerodynamic), and with the impossible speed of someone who owes me money he crashed head first into the roof of the minivan, face to face(though Ambrose’s was upside down) with the driver of the van, a dentist from
‘Give me a fucking dollar!’
Excuse the language, but that’s what he said.