troll-bridge-1100xTroll Bridge


John Kaniecki


Sir Wallace continued to swing his massive long sword with all the strength he could muster. With lightening quickness he manipulated his blade grunting as he strained his muscles. In contrast Walter the Troll as he was known as simply moved his staff back and forth. It seemed as if he was operating with the least bit of effort. In the background stood a group of onlookers intently gazing at the deadly duel. For Sir Wallace had declared upon his honor that he would vanquish Walter the Troll and uproot him from the Bridge of Lalalal. From the troll’s point of view this just wouldn’t do. After all he was very comfortable in his present home and he had no intentions of moving. He held no particular malice against Sir Wallace. For actually the two had never met before this afternoon. Sad thought Walter how he must kill the knight. But it was the warrior’s arrogance that would bring about his own demise.

Clerk Milo was an official representative of the town of Mellon Valley. This humble hamlet was an agricultural producer. Their crops as their name suggested were melons of all sorts. Honey dew, cantaloupe, and of course the greatly coveted water melon. As an agricultural sustainer of the city of Emporia it fell under it’s protectorate. Any threat to Mellon Valley was considered a threat to Emporia and it’s allies. This was in part the reason for the battle that Clerk Milo was observing. Though the entire story gets convoluted. Milo’s particular interest was recording the days event. He was acting in the capacity of scribe. It was his thirteenth venture down to the Bridge of Lalalal. He hoped that the infamous number would bring bad luck to Walter. But as clearly could be seen things were going as usual.

Of course Clancy the Orc serving as squire to Walter the Troll was present. His nervous eyes intensely viewed the combat. Clancy knew the secret of Walter the Troll’s prominent fighting style. The troll had traveled East over the great sea to a land far away. A grand place where trolls in general were not considered outcasts and dangerous. There amongst these people of strange ways Walter learned their unique forms of combat. And twelve dead knights testified that Walter the Troll had learned his lessons well. But Clancy knowing the secret of the method was not so confident.

To Clerk Milo and the fair Maiden Elena it seemed as if Sir Wallace was just spinning his wheels. Clearly the knight was the aggressor in the melee. Such was the customs in the land of Emporia and it’s surroundings. To savagely attack a foe with the intent of killing them. But in the lands of the far East battle was not waged to obliterate one’s opponent. Rather it was to exhibit form and control. And that was exactly what Walter the Troll was doing. He was moving his staff like he was a child and Sir Wallace was some toy. But Clancy the Orc who sparred daily with Walter knew that just one slip up could prove deadly.

On her part fair Maiden Elena cringed for her beloved. “He never knows when he’s beaten” she whispered to Clerk Milo. Tears were beginning to fall at a constant pace from the young lady’s eyes. Terror had bitten her heart like a pit bull dog and wouldn’t release it’s tightly fastened claws. As a proper lady she had no experience in combat and had never undergone even one class of instruction. But she had seen plenty of this dueling. Much more than she cared to. In fact if she never saw another fight she would be happy. Sadly her last time would most likely be the witnessing of her beloved being slain. For in her inexperienced opinion it appeared the Walter the Troll was just playing with Sir Wallace.

Amos the squire of Sir Wallace was severely tempted to rush in to the rescue of his charge. In doing so he would compromise the honor of his friend. But also he would perhaps save his life. However if Amos dared to make any move whether honorable or dishonorable, Clancy the squire of Walter the Troll would intervene. Amos sized up Clancy. Sir Wallace’s squire looked at the muscular arms and the massive battle axe hanging by his side. In truth Amos was afraid. Too frightened to do anything. Not that Sir Wallace would want any interference. This was his fight to live or die. He knew the story of a dozen previously slain. Victory would bring him great honor. Defeat. Well if defeat was the outcome nothing would really matter anymore.

Clancy intently watched the fight. The saddest thing of all was that the cause of the fight was inconsequential. The Bridge of Lalalal had at one point been the main throughway into Melon Valley. As such the bridge had constant traffic. Today however the pathway was obsolete. In fact the journey from Melon Valley to the battlefield was hampered and impeded by the ill condition of the road. There were holes in the road in many parts. As well as shrubs and weeds infesting the path. It was a pointless conflict. Presently the town of Melon Valley was served by a much finer bridge several miles south. A stone structure the humbled the raggedy wooden Bridge of Lalalal. But be it ever so humble Walter the Troll called it home. And in Walter the Troll’s book, home was something worth fighting for.

Sir Wallace was approaching the point of exhaustion. The battle had been raging for a good half hour. Being conducted during the fury of noon played perfectly for Walter the Troll. As his fellow Clancy knew his friend was not playing with Sir Wallace. Rather it was just the nature of the unorthodox style. It was simply defensive in design with really no offensive tactics. However Walter knew several methods of delivering deadly blows. He had much experience in the ways of combat in the world of Emporia.

Clerk Milo really didn’t want to watch what he now considered inevitable. It was as if he was reading the same horror book over and over. The only thing that changed was the name of the hero that would be slain. Of course from Clancy’s point of view Walter the Troll was the heroic one. He was fighting for both his way of life and for the sanctity and safety of his home. Besides the whole point was mute. The bridge was out of use. That was the main attraction for the Walter the Troll. He simply wanted to live out the latter years of his life in peace. Unfortunately for him his experience was quite contrary to that. Case in point Sir Wallace and a dozen other dead knights. In fact the ground where they were dueling was stained red. And it was about to get redder.

Walter the Troll had been observing Sir Wallace’s style in combat. In all honesty the knight was quite good in his method. He swung his blade hard while never losing his balance. Always maintaining control of his weapon. Unfortunately for the brave knight every swung he made was countered by Walter’s staff. Which unbeknownst to the opposing warrior was magical. The magic had a duel effect. The first was that the staff was in fact weightless. That was the secret as to why Walter was not tiring. Secondly it greatly strengthened the wood it consisted of. It was the secret behind Walter’s great success.

What now had been observed by Walter the Troll was that whenever Sir Wallace swung his sword his shield in his other hand dipped oh so slightly. It had been happening with irregular frequency earlier in the fight. But now it was happening consistently. Not one hundred percent of the time. But often enough for Walter the Troll to take a chance. Better to go on the offensive before the knight went into a last ditch desperate fit of an attack. So Sir Wallace swung his sword. Walter the Troll chose to block the blow a little bit quicker then usual. This disrupted the balance of Sir Wallace. His shield dipped low. Walter the Troll twirled his staff laying a stunning blow on the side of his adversary’s helmet. There was a loud ringing as if it was a bell. Sir Wallace crumbled to the ground. Not taking any chances Walter the Troll let out a succession of brutal blows.

Clerk Milo closed his eyes. He hated this part with a passion. Fortunately there were no cries of agony from his hero. But the banging noise of the smashing blows were dreadful enough. Milo sighed knowing that after recording the tragic events his next job would be to fine another knight to depose the scoundrel troll. At task that got progressively difficult. There was a long agonized scream as the fair Maiden Elena witnessed the slaying of her beloved. Clerk Milo dared to open his eyes. Amos was running to the field of combat to attend to his duties. He would make sure his Lord got a proper burial and then his service would be relinquished.

Walter the Troll was being administered by Clancy the Orc. First need of operation was to hand his friend a wineskin full of water. For a good minute Walter drank from the skin. Intermittently he pulled the valve from his mouth and allowed the cool water to flow over his sweaty body. “I’m getting too old for this,” Walter the Troll spoke with sigh, “one of these days luck will do me in.”

Clancy in sadness recognized the truth in the statement. It was only a matter of time.


The Town of Mellon Valley was in an uproar. For the humble hamlet this was not saying much. A cock crowing too early in the morning would arouse a frenzy amongst the population. However this time there was something more substantial for the excitement. Into the tiny village rode in a knight upon a stallion. All the eyes of the farmer were steadfast upon this hero. Would he be the one to finally depose of Walter the Troll and emancipate the bridge of Lalalal?

Clerk Milo was roused from his bed by the crying of many voices of his fellow citizens. Uncertain as to the nature of the disturbance the official quickly gathered his clothing so he could investigate. The overwhelming majority of the populace arose with the rising of the sun. There was always something to attend to in the fields of melons. However Milo was not a farmer. Thus he took the liberty to sleep to a later hour.  With all urgency the town official raised out of his humble abode.

There before him was a knight in black armor upon a tall white stallion. Uncertain as to the purpose of the visitor Milo nervously raised his voice, “Do you come in peace?”

“Nay good sir,” replied a deep voice, “I come in war!”

Milo was speechless in utter panic. He through his hands over his head in horror not knowing what to do!

“To war with Walter the Troll,” continued the knight.

“Well that is wonderful good sir,” Milo spoke with great relief putting his frustrated hands down, “what is your name and from whence do you come?”

“My name is my own and my origin is secret,” the knight declared.

“Why is that good sir?” inquired Milo feeling an urge to probe. This after all was most unusual. The previous knights who battled Walter the Troll had to be heavily recruited. Lured with promises of silver and gold if they were victorious.

“I am a man of honor from a distant land,” the knight spoke dismounting. “If I win I shall bring shame upon all the orders of Emporia. If I lose then I shall bring shame upon my own name. Therefore I shall leave my identity secret.”

“Excellent,” called out Milo, “I shall arrange the duel at your bidding.”

“The sooner the batter as far as I am concerned,” the knight took out a mace from his side. With a couple of stiff movements he swung it here and there in the air as if fighting some invisible opponent.


“I hereby declare a duel unto death,” Clerk Milo cried with a loud voice.

There standing next to his stallion was the mysterious knight. In the distance was Walter the Troll leaning upon his staff. By his side was Clancy the Orc who was Walter’s faithful squire.

“The grand knight from a distant land shall fight Walter the Troll to the death,” Milo went on. It was the fourteenth time that a battle had been made to free the bridge of Lalalal. Milo felt the futility of the whole matter. The bridge hadn’t even been used in a decade.

Walter the Troll went forward to engage in combat. Clancy the Orc spoke in a low voice. “Be careful about this one Walt, he’s got a mace. You haven’t had much practice against that type of weapon.”

“I’ll be alright Clancy,” said Walter the Troll trying to convince himself.

The knight and Walter the Troll met in the customary area. The stranger bowed in respect. In turn Walter did likewise. Then with a startling cry the knight began the battle. He swung his mace with a mighty swing. Walter in turn whirled his wooden staff in blinding speed and knocked the weapon off of it’s course. The knight recovered quickly and another blow darted. This in turn was also deflected. Clancy the Orc gave out a sigh of desperation. It would be a long day. The time when Walter the Troll was in combat seemed ten times it’s actual time. Such was Clancy filled with anxiety and care for his friend.

Clerk Milo was observing the contest. Right away his heart was full of promise that this unknown knight would be the one to vanquish Walter the Troll. Foremost was the fact that the knight was wielding a mace. All the previous heroes had all used swords. It seemed that the unorthodox weapon was not being handled with the regular ease that Walter the Troll displayed. Not that this stranger was really having a greater measure of success. It just seemed somehow that the contest was more in the hand of the new challenger then the previous champions who were defeated.

However as time passed on it seemed to Clerk Milo that things would go the usual way. The Knight was breathing heavy. He was taking more and more time between assaulting blows. On the other hand Walter the Troll had that confident smirk upon his face. The one that spoke volumes of who was in fact in control of the contest. Milo cursed the day while simultaneously praying to the gods. It seemed that the freeing of the bridge of Lalalal would be an endless task.

After about half an hour of fighting it was clear that things were well in the hand of Walter the Troll once more. The challenging knight seemed to near exhaustion. Milo had seen this scene repeated far too often. Soon Walter would switch from purely defensive to go on the offense. He would place one well chosen blow and depose of his enemy. And then it happened.

Walter the Troll stepped forward as his staff twirled in his hand to strike an attacking blow. However much to the beast’s misfortune his foot slipped in the mud. To keep his balance Walter had to shift his weight. In order to avoid this disaster his staff had momentarily dropped. It was all that the knight needed. The mace was swung and hit a solid blow upon Walter the Troll’s head. The beast fell to the ground with a whimper. The knight threw several more blows to finish the job.

Clerk Milo ran over to the contest with excitement. “We won, we won,” he screamed in unbelief. Clancy the Orc advanced to attend to the body of his master. There the knight stepped back and began to heave deep breaths. He was at the point of exhaustion.

“I shall have his head chopped off and placed high upon a pole to celebrate our victory,” cried the happy town official.

“Over my dead body,” hissed Clancy.

“That can be arranged,” sneered Milo the Clerk.

“How many of your knights fell and we did not desecrate their body’s?” returned the unhappy squire.

“Who cares?” returned Milo. “We are the winners now, everything changes.”

“Nay!!” cried the knight defiantly. “Walter the Troll was a worthy combatant. I declare that his body shall not be disturbed nor shall these grounds be desecrated. These are now hallow grounds and forever shall be in memory of my fine foe. Or else I shall return to deal with any transgressors.”

Milo the Clerk hung his head low. He had many fantasies about the day when Walter the Troll would finally be deposed. In every one he had Walter’s head high upon a pike. There would be a parade and Milo would carry the tall trophy for the joy of all the town’s citizens. Now Milo the Clerk dared not offend the champion.

“Come,” called the knight to Milo, “let us return. I shall rest and then be off on my own way.”

Clancy the Orc had tears in his eyes as he watched the departing pair. He continued to watch until two faint specs disappeared over the horizon. Then he turned towards his master’s body. “Are you alright Walter?” asked Clancy.

Walter the Troll rolled over and gave off a grand smile. “Otis hit me a little harder then I expected. But you always did say I had a thick skull.” The pair then gave off a long laugh together.

“Do you think our little charade is going to work?” Clancy asked as he stooped down to help up his friend.

“We’ll have to wait and see I guess,” said Walter with a sigh. “But ever since I’ve lived here the only intruders have been those seeking to free the bridge of Lalalal.”

“Well Milo won’t be hiring anymore knights, that’s for certain,” Clancy said thoughtfully. “And these grounds are now hallowed. That will prevent curious seekers won’t it?”

“Hopefully I can live here in my home in peace until my hair turns white and I am called to that Great Bridge in the Sky!” Walter the Troll felt real good about life.