What if trolls lived under the bridge in the park? And remembered your promises, even after you'd long forgotten them? In this urban fairy tale, a young boy learns that trolls have a long memory and no mercy and that sometimes growing up means letting go of the past.
The Park Trolls
On a clear Sunday afternoon in September Billy's dad took him and Scruff to feed the trolls under the footbridge down by the duck pond in the park.
"I heard they're like goldfish, they can only get as big as the bridge they are under, Dad!" Billy said.
"Really? That's interesting." Dad took out his cell phone and looked at it.
"Hey, Dad," Billy said, and shook the crumpled bag of troll treats in his hand. It was just some leftover dog food, but trolls loved it. "Do you think we'll see the one with the hooks?" Scruff nosed his hand, asking for some kibble. He had just been fed but that didn't matter to Scruff.
"The old bull? Maybe. That one has been around since I was your age." Dad stopped by the water and sat down on a bench overlooking the water. "Why don't you go ahead, Billy, I'm going to have a quick smoke." He tapped at his phone some more.
Billy left Dad at the bench and headed up the winding path along the duck pond, leading Scruff on his leash. Fall had left piles of leaves raked into neat piles and Scruff spent as much time as possible nosing into each until Billy tugged on his leash. Eventually, they reached the bridge, a single low arc over the thin stream that fed the duck pond, and Billy stepped out onto it. His feet made tappity-tap-tap sounds as he walked across.