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The Elf, the Trollgood and the Magic Sword (youngsters:fantasy, 1496 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Jan 17 2009Views/Reads: 4822/1635Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An elf finds his way barred by an ugly creature.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

'Where do I live?' Snuffler replied.  'I live in a cave under the
bridge: not that that's any business of yours.'  He looked closely at 
Ripley's coat and felt the material around the collar with a thumb and 
forefinger.  'Well what about your coat, then?  It feels nice and soft 
and would help to keep me warm on cold nights, and I'm sure I could 
squeeze into it.' 

Ripley's coat was woven from the finest wool and dyed a beautiful shade
of autumn gold.  'But I don't think my coat would fit you, Mister 
Snuffler,' he said.  He slipped off his coat and held it up for the 
trollgood to try on, but Snuffler couldn't even get his fist into one 
of the sleeves.  'No, just as I thought, it's far too small for you,' 
said the elf.  'But, anyway, what do you eat?'  He looked over the side 
of the bridge and down into the crevasse again.  'There can be nothing 
down there to eat but spiders.' 

Snuffler pulled another excruciatingly ugly face, showing the gaps
between his crooked, brown teeth  it was the closest he could come to 
smiling.  'I eats travellers,' he replied.  'Them what can't pay to 
cross my bridge.  I ate one this morning; he was a dwarf, and though he 
had gold in his pocket, he refused to pay, so I ate him; which is why 
I'm not too hungry right now, but if you go on talking for much longer, 
I will be.' 

It was then that the trollgood noticed the short sword that sat neatly
in a leather sheath that hung from Ripley's belt.  'Now there's 
something I could use,' he said, pointing to it with a big, hairy index 
finger.  'You can pay me with that, and right sharpish, with no more of 
your silly questions, or else I'll snap you in half and eat a bit now 
and save the rest for later.'  He flexed the muscles in his huge, hairy 
arms, as if to show that snapping an elf in half would be easy. 

'Well, I suppose I could give you my sword,' said Ripley as he put his
coat back on, 'though it was a present from my father.' 

As he touched the sword, running his fingers over its carved, wooden
hilt, he remembered his father's words.  'Keep this with you on your 
journey, but never take it out of the scabbard; for there is magic 
inside it, magic that might save your life one day.' 

Reluctantly, Ripley unfastened his belt, slipping the sheathed sword off
the end and handing it to the trollgood, who immediately pulled it from 
the sheath and examined it closely.  It was a most unusual sword, as 
its narrow blade had a greenish tinge to it and curved gently from left 
to right, forming an elongated S-shape, while its hilt, also green and 
gently curved, had a bulbous end with two small dimples that looked 
rather like eyes. 

'Huh, this sword's not even straight,' said Snuffler, testing the
sharpness of the blade against his thumb.  'And it's blunt!   What's 
the good of a bent sword with blade what's blunt?'  He threw both the 
sword and the leather sheath to the ground and then set his hands on 
his hips and stared malevolently at Ripley.  'You have done nothing but 
waste my time, elf, but at least I've got my appetite back, and I think 
you'll do very nicely for my supper.'  And with that, he grabbed hold 
of Ripley with his huge, hairy hands, opened his mouth wide, and was 
about to take a bite out of Ripley's neck, when he stopped. 

'What's that?' Snuffler asked, as he felt something slither across his
right foot, and then,  'Arrrrgh!'  He uttered a very loud scream, and 
let Ripley fall from his hands, as he realised that a snake had sunk 
its fangs into his ankle.   'Arrrrgh!'  He screamed again, hopping up 
and down on one foot, while shaking the other foot to rid himself of 
the snake.  It was a long thin snake, and a poisonous one and, although 
it soon let go, the poison was already taking effect, and the trollgood 
staggered backwards and fell over the side of the bridge and into the 
crevasse, and was never seen again. 

Ripley, sitting where he had been dropped, had watched with
astonishment, but he was even more astonished to see that the snake had 
slithered back into its sheath and turned into a sword once more. 

'Thank you, father,' he said with a smile.  Then he got to his feet,
picked up his magic sword and set off for home. 


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