My name is Emily Andrews and I'm a vampire. I'll start out by telling you Jodie forced me to write this. She wants her characters to become involved in the blog.
Well, I for one don't agree with her. Don't get me wrong, I love to talk, but writing is just not my thing. Anyway, she said if I didn't agree, she'd give me a gnome for a mate. Hello! That is just totally gross! They eat bugs and stuff. How nasty is that?
Jodie is adding new stuff to the blog, including a new type of article named Character Flash Fiction. The deal is she picks a character and they write a blog article about their past or whatever. Dumb, right? That's what I told her, but does she listen to me? No, of course not, I'm just a secondary character.
My story is about trolls. I can't believe she made me tell you, because she knows how much I hate trolls.
Last summer, when I was still a scrawny pre-pub, we went camping in the Ozarks, the Ozark Mountains inside Ozark Valley, not the mountain range on Earth.
Jared (my brother) and Nick (my cousin) had already gone through puberty. They had fangs, claws, and could teleport among other things. As a pre-pub, I didn't have any Sídhí abilities. I was a vampire in name only.
The three of us were playing Hunter. It's a game created to sharpen a person's tracking ability after they go through puberty.
I'm sure you guessed it - I was the prey.
The rules of the game stated the hunters could not teleport or use telepathy, as if that would level the playing field, giving the prey a chance to escape.
One evening, we decided to play Hunter the next day so I knew about the next day's activities. That night I packed a small fairy bag with enough food to last me all day and then some. (For any of you mundane humans, a fairy bag keeps food fresh.) I got up at the crack of dawn and went down to the creek, like I always did.
I didn't dawdle. I headed down the edge of the creek, staying in the water. I made several false trails by pretending to leave the creek then following my footsteps back into the water.
Three hours later, I climbed-out of the creek using a low-hanging tree limb near the base of a washed-out area. The dirt was crumbling, dangerous looking.
Once I reached stable ground, I started running. As a pre-pub, I wasn't very fast, but I knew my limits. I kept a steady pace, aiming toward a towering wall of rock called Devil's gorge.
That was my first mistake.
The gorge had a bad reputation from years earlier. Supposedly, a pack of trolls herded a young pre-pub (a vampire) into the gorge. They attacked the girl, ripping her to pieces. Most people stayed away from the gorge, saying it was haunted.
I wasn't worried. The area was one of the safest in all of Ozarks. There hadn't been a troll sighting in years.
I reached an area just south of the gorge, where the walls of the gorge started shrinking. I hoped to trick the guys into thinking I had headed into the gorge, while I sat on the rim, watching them search for me.
I heard a twig snap. Well, crap. Jared (or Nick) had tracked me, even after all my hard work.
I wasn't going to give up, so I pretended like I didn't hear them and headed around the lip of the gorge, following the rim. I circled around a large bunch of markles (a nasty goo spraying bush) and hurried toward a tumble of boulders.
I heard a scattering of rocks and then another branch broke.
I started climbing the smaller boulders, heading higher. I knew the game was about over. The guys were herding me toward a dead end. At least for me it was a dead end. There were boulders twice and three times my mere five feet in front of me and to my left was the edge of the gorge.
That's when I smelled rotten eggs.
Fear froze me. My chest constricted and I knew I was a dead girl walking.
Among Sídhí animals, trolls are one of the worst smelling of animals.
Neither Jared nor Nick were hunting me, trolls were.
If I could smell them, it was already too late to try running from them. I opened my mouth and starting shrieking at the top of my lungs. "Trolls! Help me! Trolls!"
I ran toward the nearest bolder and a huge, eight foot monster stood on top of it. The forest troll, with brown and green splotches covering its nearly hairless body, jumped from foot to foot. Bulging arms hung way past its waist, nearly to its knees. Long, lethal black claws matched sharply pointed horns.
The troll screamed at me, a bellowing sound that ending in hyena-like laughter.
The edge of the gorge was quickly approaching. I had two choices, jump and get splattered on the rocks below or face them and get torn to shreds as they fought over my body.
Inches from the edge, I skidded to a halt. My heart felt like it was going to explode straight-out of my chest.
Turning, I faced a nightmare. A dozen trolls stood scattered, less than twenty feet from me. Not a single troll was less than six feet tall. I started praying.
Nick appeared between the trolls and me. Semi-white claws extended, he roared a challenge at them.
Jared appeared next to me. He grabbed my arm and teleported me back to the safety of camp.
Nick appeared a moment later.
"Are you okay?" Jared demanding, his solid black eyes looked even darker as he shouted at me.
I choked on a sob and threw myself in his arms.
"Ah, sorry, Emily." Jared's body shook. "I didn't mean to shout at you."
"You scared the wits out of us." Nick wrapped his arms around me. "We were still at the creek when I heard you mentally screaming for help."
"Huh?" I looked-up at him in question. I shook my head. "I'm still a pre-pub." Pre-pubs didn't have telepathy; he knew that.
He snorted. "I guess you started puberty through the night and a good thing you did."
I tried arguing with them, but neither of them listened.
Hours later, we were at the guardian outpost filling-out paperwork about the attack, when a guardian with white-blond haired walked in. He had a slight smile on his face. "I heard Maggie saved your life."
"Maggie?" I'm sure I looked as confused as I felt.
"Yep, little Maggie Smith was a young vampire that got lost out here some forty years ago. Trolls trapped her up in Devil's Gorge. They killed her, ripping her in so many pieces there weren't enough for a proper funeral. Anytime there are trolls around, she starts shrieking in someone's head until they help her." He nodded at me and walked away.
You can either believe me or not, but I will tell you this, I didn't start puberty until a year later.
Until next time,
Jodie B Cooper