While walking home a few weeks ago, daydreaming, I saw this pipe by the 10th Street railroad bridge. It's been there a long while, but it was the first time I noticed it... and it sparked this idea of a displaced bridge troll.
Troubles of a Bridge Troll
a short tale by Meagan Eller
It didn't used to be this way. Time was, a young troll could find a vacant bridge and be set for life. Bridges were easy to find. Maybe not much traffic, but humans are slow and scare easily. And their horses, well, horses will spook unless you know how to approach them right.
But those days... those days are gone.
I thought I had found a perfect bridge. Not too big, a ready place to live underneath. I should have been suspicious.
Those humans, they're tricky. Like vermin, they spread all over. And engineer (that's one of those fancy human words) a place to suit them. Time was, they were a good kind of vermin, easy pickings.
I miss those days. I miss the days before they tore down my bridge. No, it was before that, before they stopped using my bridge.
I had a nice wooden bridge over a stream. Plenty of water, critters to keep me company, the gentle creak of the wooden planks lulling me to sleep at night. My bridge wasn't a very busy bridge, but there were enough humans to keep me in business.
Then one day it changed. A new bridge was built just up the stream. I watched them build it. At first I wasn't sure what they were building. There was already a bridge here, just a little ways down the stream. But sure enough, it was a new bridge. And they just stopped crossing mine.
By the time I realized what had happened, a young troll had taken up residence under that new bridge. Business didn't seem to be going well, anyway, what with those fast carts racing over. Maybe it was better they weren't on my nice wooden bridge. My bridge wouldn't have been the same.
Ah, what does it matter? Old bridge, new bridge. My home was worthless. A troll shouldn't have to up and move bridges like that. Not at my age. That should have been my bridge for life.
But move I did. That's how I wound up here. In this tiny cave, under a useless bridge. I'm too old to move again. And chances are I wouldn't find a bridge worth having if I did. I'll just wait out my time, watching the fast cars (that's what the humans call them) go by, groaning as the bridge above my head shakes each time one of those big heavy trains rumbles over my bridge.
You see, it not be easy for a bridge troll nowadays, but at least I have a bridge. I'll get by. That's what us trolls do.