Grimm Mordingi was a troll. Living under the Sun Death of Sunna, for him to be touched by the sun was to die and crumble into naught but gravel and rock. It was perhaps not the most enjoyable existence in the world but Grimm admitted that never aging, having skin that ignored most of the loud noisy things that men used instead of spears these days, and the ability to ignore such petty human concerns as “Mad Cow”, after all, none of them were particularly happy to meet a troll, pretty much balanced things out.
Grimm Mordingi ruled the rail bridge over the Pitt River. The river was mostly fat and contented, as the best rivers are, passing under the bridge in burbling unconcern. The rail bridge itself showered him with grain from the great wheat carriers, which allowed Grimm to feed the fat stupid pigeons that never seemed to learn the difference between nice little old ladies and hill trolls from the old country.
Some nights he would fish, others hunt deer, coyote or rabbit. On major feast days the city workers presented him with a rather confused cow, wondering at the purpose of being staked out to graze beneath a rail bridge. This was part of the deal. Canadian Geese were the bullies of the bird world, and took to urban life as easily as trolls. Cute and fluffy, they were too pretty to allow the city to kill so me off every year without losing votes and elections, so the city crews who worked the tunnels and knew the lore of Trolls made the deal. Control the geese and get cow at feast.
Grimm was thus as contented as a troll could be. Fine bridge, fat river, all the geese he could eat and a cow at feast days. Left free to contemplate life, he did what easily confused trolls had been advised to avoid doing for centuries; he eavesdropped on human teenagers.
He discovered they were obsessed with their phones, which oddly they talked to and not on. They used them to do this thing called “social networking” which seemed to consist of ignoring the people you were with to talk to people who were somewhere else, ignoring the people they were with too. He admitted, it sounded like a very Trollish way of doing things.
Then the magic happened. He learned there were Trolls on the internet. Not some trolls, apparently Trolls were greatly feared, raiders of terrible power who stalked the internet terrifying whole communities of humans.
Thor had made it clear, that any actual terrorizing of villages would be met with a hammer from above, if the fire and spears didn’t get you first, but this “internet” trolling was allowed. The prayers of these silly humans for their priests to wield the Ban Hammer in Thor’s name to crush the trolls were seldom heeded. There was a whole thriving world of trolls he could connect to via the “internet” whatever that was. All Grimm Mordingi must do was to get a phone or tablet (a stone carved phone?) and he could join his people, become again a wild hill troll, this time in cyberspace!
There were humans who came to stay under his bridge. There were the god-touched, the street people. They were wary around him, as they were each other, for predators lurked behind every tree and rock, every bridge and shadow. There were the couples, the young lovers who came to practice their mating. While some clearly needed the practice, others seemed just naturally gifted or really well taught. Neither of these groups would be interested in helping a Troll to find his folk on the internet.
That left the horns and skunks. The horns were those who gathered in groups up to a dozen and drained odd horns of metal, or bottles of some sort of plastic as well as glass beneath his bridge. They were loud, funny, but frequently quite violent when surprised, so probably not the ones to teach him the ways of the Internet troll.
That left the skunks. As with the horns, they did not actually use their traditional namesake. As the horns drank from bottle and can, rather than civilized horn, the skunks did not smoke actual skunks, but a local weed whose buds made them sillier than usual. They were usually relaxed, frequently happy, or at least sitting down or lying down while complaining.
That night as the “Stoners” opened a laptop to play their music, and smoked enough of the skunk weed to be relaxed (yet still able to speak), Grim Mordingi dropped from his perch under the deck to land among them.
Tossing two geese (cleaned and plucked) into the lap of the one who was complaining loudest about the “munchies” Grim landed in full troll splendor on the up wind side of the “stoners”
“Good evening, I am Grim Mordingi, the troll of this bridge. You are my guests here and I offer you these two fine geese for your feast tonight. All I ask in return is that you show me how to use a log to get into the “internet” so that I may meet my brethren, the Trolls of the Internet
After a certain amount of giggling, swearing, one person falling in the fire, it was generally agreed that:
- He was a troll
- He was real
- He was not going to eat them
- He really wanted to surf the internet and meet other trolls
- Far freaking out
Laughing and giggling the boys and girls showed Grimm around the internet, into chatrooms and forums, and things called “mailing lists” although why you would want a list of mail was never explained. In each he was shown the Trolls they knew, famous trolls, known trolls.
Each was worse than the next. These were NOT HIS FOLK! Grimm Mordingi was a proud troll name, meaning brutal killer, but what these internet trolls did was foul, monstrous! They broke guest laws, defiled the places they called their own worse than even humanity had done to this beautiful land with their cities.
Troll after troll he found, each one more hate filled than the last, howling their spite and poison on anyone and everyone that attempted to share a moment of joy, or create a thing of beauty. These were not mighty hunters, fierce raiders, these were torturers, vandals, barrow defiling honourless NITHLINGS!
There were tears pouring down his face, hot copper tasting things he had not shed since his long ago mate had ran afoul of a bull moose in a winter hunt. His folk were fallen, the proud heritage of the troll was fouled by what lived today. Rather than finding the connection to his own kind on the internet, rather than social networking, he found himself moved to do a thing most un-troll like. He wanted to pray.
Falling to his knees, he took from the cooking goose the fattest breast and tossed it to the night for the wights. As two half starved dogs fought over it, showing it was accepted the Troll raised his paws in supplication and prayed as he had never prayed before.
In far off Asgard, Thor awoke, his hand straying to his hammer. His wife the beautiful Sif looked over in love and alarm and asked her dread husband what was the matter.
“There is a troll on the internet”
Sif giggled and hit her husband, the mighty giant slayer with a solid smack to the back of his stone hard head
“There are Trolls on the internet, polar bears are white, water is wet and politicians lie. Anything else obvious to say?”
Thor shook his mighty head, red beard hiding a bemused smile.
“No dear, an actual troll. He is on the internet, and just now he has offered a prayer and sacrifice most sincere and worthy, invoking my name and my aid as the Defender of Man and Guardian of Social Order”
Thor began to dress and arm himself. Sif working swiftly to attach his armour and gauntlet, fixing his belt of strength around him with the ease of the warrior she herself was. As she worked to help him arm, she wondered again and again, what would a hill troll pray to Thor for, and why invoke him as the defender of man and the social order? What could a troll possibly be asking for? Seeing her husband trying manfully to hold in his gales of laughter, his face going as red as his beard trying to contain it, Sif finally relented and asked the question she knew he was dying to answer.
“Alright, I give up, what was our Internet Troll praying to Thor Hammerthrower for?”
Raising Mjolnir in his mighty fist, he struck a pose and shouted
“To drop the Ban Hammer on all the Internet Trolls!”
The laughter of god and goddess sounded like thunder as Thor rode to answer the prayer of the one true Troll on the internet.
John T Mainer