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A FEW NOTES ON TROLLS
(found in a garbage can)


Do you believe in trolls? I do. Through the ages, Dark and otherwise, people have whispered tales of horror late at night, with fires burning low and children wide-eyed in dumbstruck terror. Trolls are not the stuff of fairy-tales, though. They really do exist, as they have since the first human being tread this earth. They are easily spotted, if you know what to look for, but general society tend to be ignorant of their presence and cynical to suggestions of their existence.

Where do they come from? The only reasonable explanation could be that they are some brute offspring from Early Man, an abhorrent strain of symbiotic humanity created when there still was confusion in nature's gene pool and fantastic creatures lived and perished in an unforgiving, young world.

I am, at present, under dire threat from such a troll and have at length decided to expose their foul association with our kin. My thoughts are disturbed on this matter as it could result in my untimely and (some would say) tragic demise. I am writing this as the perishable memories seethe in my mind, so hopefully you would bear with me as I lay down this manuscript from hell.

The last few months were the most appalling I have suffered at the hands of the most abominable of foes; but more of that later. Trolls do not stick to their kind, which is probably why they are not recognised as a definite group, or classified as a distinct species. I am certain that this contributed to their continued survival, for how simple it would be to eradicate them - being a conspicuous, offensive and malignant brood.
They do not dwell under bridges, as legend would have it, nor are they gnome-like in appearance. Trolls tend to be big and unabashedly intimidating. They have adapted well to our society, and although I cannot pretend to have reliable figures at hand, I know that they are multiplying and flourishing.

The first thing you will notice is the odour: a dank, pungent smell of decay clinging to their bodies and their clothing. When in close contact with a troll you will detect the odour as an disagreeable whiff as it brushes past you, or a sour, lingering scent where it has been seated a only a short while before. Trolls enjoy flatulence, and being very territorial by nature, would mark their area in such a manner. Sometimes when perceiving a threat, they would defend themselves by directing a blast of rancid air from their bowels towards the offending party.

Another peculiarity about trolls is the prodigious secretion of their bodily fluids. Their hands would be damp with perspiration, even on cold days. When you are about to shake the hand of a troll, you will notice a hurried wipe of the hand on its garments, as it tries to conceal this characteristic. There are many other physical traits that are prevalent in the troll gene. Their eyes tend to be small and pig-like, their noses sizeable. They have large feet and always suffer from some kind of fungal growth over there. (This is almost certainly as a result of their aversion to water and washing.)

Trolls are not intelligent, but are gifted with a cunning streak that would confound most. They have a curious nature and relish the opportunity to investigate hidden corners, to explore behind closed doors. If you are unfortunate to have a troll in your house and you are so indiscreet as to leave it on its own, you might return to find it wandering from private domains, or happily rummaging through your cupboards or your refrigerator.

If there is nothing of interest in their surrounds, they revert to exploring and probing into the nooks and crannies of their own bodies...
Observe this habit: If a troll in your presence starts to scratch its nether regions, you know that it finds you boring.

Generally trolls enjoy each others company, but as I have stated previously, these liaisons are by nature brief and are quite volatile. Once a troll has recognised a cousin, composure would slip and any genteel gathering would be fragmented by their raucous, drunken orgy.

I made my first fateful acquaintance with a troll on a glorious summer day in 1994. I had a small, moderately successful business which I was administering from home and I had a desire to expand. I placed an unassuming little advertisement in the local newspaper, requesting people with marketing skills to contact me. The most promising respondent was a hefty man of about thirty. He went by the name of Geoff Rogers.
Although obviously overweight, he had a tensile strength about him. His gregarious attitude and the underlying hunger for success attracted me.

Those were the ideal qualities needed, I told myself. I still shudder when I think of how ignorant, how blind and vulnerable I was at that stage.

He duly started in my employ, and the results were almost immediate. Soon I had a dozen new clients, and I began to see my ship on the horizon. Then the problems started. Geoff insisted that he be given an equal partnership in the business. The idea galled me, for I had built up the business through years of my own blood and sweat. I had become my business. How could I share myself with this relative stranger?

We had an argument, violent and acerbic. He threatened my person and my property, and railed about the clientele he had brought the business. There he had a point. With clients come commitments, and I realised that those commitments were inextricably intertwined with his association with the business. If I fired him, my livelihood would be wrecked and I would be a fugitive from an army of creditors. He had effectively hijacked my bread and butter while I was blissfully beholding the rosy future. My anger, as I stared into his surly face, changed to despondency, and I capitulated.

The result? I toiled every day and every night in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the business. But there was a subtle change in our relationship: it was as if he secretly enjoyed my misery and actively seeked to intensify it. He struck up a friendship with some fellow drunkards, and entertained them on my meagre budget.

If you would bear with me, I have decided to portray the following important events chronologically.

May 25 - It was at this stage that I became certain of the existence of trolls. I observed some of his friends and noticed their disgusting, familiar traits. The sweaty palms, bad odours, all the characteristics I have come to know so well.

May 31 - I finally found some time to go to the local library and rummage through dusty shelves for the lost knowledge I sought. At that stage it was only a hunch, but long nights of furtive reading paid off. I was now able to classify them as a distinctive group!
I felt elated as I realised that I have the one weapon that trolls fear most: disclosure.

June 3 - How short-lived was my elation. It must have been all the stress that caused me to accidentally leave some notes lying around for prying eyes to discover. I am now certain that he knows of my plans.

June 25 - The last few days have been terrible. The tension caused me to develop an ulcer. I know that I must persevere and be firm in my resolution. My knowledge could be my salvation, but it could also be my destruction.

July 1 - Oh God! There was just a peculiar sound outside. I was so sure that I locked the gate, but then again...
When I opened the window I got a whiff of that putrid smell!
I must not lose control. I must concentrate. These notes should be put in a safe place. There was another sound! I could swear that I heard a key in the front door. Where on earth did he get a key? Sly bastard! No time. I think I've got it. I have....


Footnote to the Investigating Officer:
We have studied these notes which implies obvious foul play in the death of Mr. Eric Smythe, but have found no record that there ever was, or is a Mr. Geoff Rogers. The deceased seems to have had an active imagination, maybe even slightly unstable? How would you like us to proceed? - Sgt. Doyle (Forensics)

Etienne A.  Marais   1995