Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Story: Three Draenei Girls Gruff

Once upon a time there was a bitter troll named Mandiblestank Grubsnucker. He was neither young nor old, and basically unremarkable in any way. His tusks were average, his physique hunched just so, and his piercings and pokey-places mediocre. He lived under an inconspicuous bridge, near the south end of Booty Bay. But he possessed one talent that sustained and delighted him. He loved to eat dander and hair follicles, the remains of growth, and the effluvium of existence.

His quirks, nay—fetishes—were even too much for his troll tribe. His mother, concerned with his obsessive and compulsive need for hair and dander took him to the village’s best witch doctor. The doctor performed every trick he had, purged and cleansed, dispelled and disenchanted, to no use. Over time and increasing creepiness, Mandiblestank become an outcast from the other trolls. He just couldn’t stop. The final condemnation came when he sidled up to the chief’s daughter, taking her long rat-tail hair in his fingers, sniffed it, and declared it “delicious,” did they finally drive him away forever.

In that steamy glen in south Booty Bay, his bridge was neglected. Heroes and monsters alike had little cause to cross, but on occasion, travelers journeyed on foot or hoof over the splintered planks. Any passersby who crossed his bridge would inexplicably scratch their scalps, and yank out hair in amounts that could not be explained by the normal shedding or molting of every day existence, such as the loss of dead skin and hair cells expected on any living creature, fish, fowl, mammal or other. He would peer up through the cracks, catching dander droppings on his tongue like snowflakes. Everything from stringy, greasy hair kept under pirates’ head rags, to earthy, tangy, loosed-locks of Night Elves, and the flossy candy-colored tresses of gnome girls (which were a little too sweet for him), and the nail and hoof clippings from draenei hooves and horns, all sifted down to his awaiting pots, pans, troughs and tongue to be savored and swallowed. He relished the wiry, coarse hair of Dwarfs, though it choked and gagged him, and occastionally put him off his feed. But of all the flakes the flittered and filtered down, he loved the shaggy leg hairs of draenei girls the best. He wasn’t satisfied, though, with the droppings and bed bug sized meals. He needed more.

One fine spring morning, the kind he detested for its clarity and cheer, a beautiful draenei warrior went climp-clomp-climp-clomp over the bridge. Mandiblestank, or “Manny” to his friends, if he had any, stirred from his nest of empty Brewfest bottles and leftover Lovefest charms. He looked up and peered under the robes and cloaks of the young adventure seeker, obviously not very skilled or equipped. Her gear was pale and weak, and her coin purse jangled with the thin sounds of coppers, with a pinched clank of one or two silvers. She paused overhead, turning to the west, turning to the east, when the sun’s harsh light slapped her eyes. Not having eaten in twenty-one days, Manny was famished. Not satisfied to wait for her goat-y fur to fall naturally, his tummy growled with greedy, deadly intentions. He reached his long, scrawny arm over the side, snatched her down, sliced her open from stem to stern, roasted, toasted, added a dash of jerk seasoning, and ate her all up.

The meal satisfied, like a python after boar-and-piglet dinner, however for only for fourteen days, though. Good fortune smiled on him like a dirty joke—funny, but with a foul punch line. A more skilled, but elementarily naïve, draenei shaman skipped over the bridge, lightening bolts in her pockets, sparking off light like Elders’ fireworks, and flashes of fire on her bracers. Her flying mounts had been temporarily repossessed by the gryphon masters for failing to make a few payments, and instead of waiting for the goblins to stop by and break a few two or four kneecaps, she decided to get lost for awhile, hang out in the Bloodsail Admiral’s hold for a spell, and stay low. (She had done them an unsavory favor in the past, and though their loyalties were varying and gelatinous, their rum was also sugary and plentiful. Coming home on a warmer evening, and a bit into her cups, she thought the bridge provided a good hidden spot to, well, get rid of some of the extra rum she was carrying. She sang a little song about an elf and a tauren, a ditty a one-eyed, emerald-green parrot taught her, and she never felt the troll’s warty hands around her neck. The smell of barbecued goat with a hint of Bloodmyst Isle red crystal hash hung in the air for days.

Though Manny picked and plucked the hairs, horns, and hooves from his hapless victims, cleaning them down to the marrow, he never felt a shadow of remorse. In fact, he was more irritated than ever. There was another craving he could not name. “This just too easy,” he thought, “Where is the challenge in living under a bridge and snatching stupid draenei girls?” He grumbled, rolling over onto some broken glass, quest items, and shredded scrolls and guild news parchments, he slept with a sour stomach.

The smell hitchhiked on a western breeze, and was carried off to far braver, intelligent, and heroic nostrils than the warrior and shaman’s. A draenei mage had heard the rumors of the troll terrorizing the area for years, and this smell of radioactive burnt fur confirmed her worst fears. It took her seven days to locate his bridge. Flying overhead on her drake, once she opened her eyes, she chided herself for not finding it sooner. His vermin’s nest of a home blared out at her like a trumpet call. There he sat, crusty and barnacled, under a bridge that served no purpose. On that seventh day, she stood on the sad apex of the bridge, and called out to the troll.

The evening was warm, the sun not giving up its post. She sang:

“I’ll cast you out, you small little sheep
With frost and fire, your soul to keep
Come out, come out, you black-hearted freak
Your hours are numbered, and rendered weak.”

The troll had been under the bridge, waiting to spring, to enjoy the taste of mage-enhanced draenei delicacies. (It is well known mages have a particular aroma of pine trees, juniper berries, and crisp linens. They smell lovely, and keep malarial mosquitoes from biting.) He spied her from the slats in his bridge, flying overhead. “Foolish mage!” he scorned. He prepared for her by promising himself that he wouldn’t gobble her up in one sitting, but put her in a stew to last him a week or more at least.

The night was hot, the moon curdling its whey. She hollered:

Well, come along! I've got sharp spears,

And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;

I've got besides two curling-stones,

And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.

She heard him grunt, with an undertone of smugness. This was his bridge to molest, to harass. She couldn’t do a bloody thing.

Steam came from the moon, when she heard a sound like someone getting up, but only to spring, to get ready, to go. She shot out:

“Sick tiny coward,
Come to meet your meat
But you will not be getting any of this treat
Get out and show yourself to the light of the night
Try to break your bread, with all your might!”

And with that, he sprung up, but miscalculated his frog-like leg strength. He had lived far too long under the bridge. Before he could say “Juju Mon,” she changed him into a sheep, arcane blasted off his wooly pelt, and sent him into dark oblivion. She knitted a scarf out of the wool, but it always felt itchy and choky. And it never did take to the proper dye cast.

No one knew why the area felt safer somehow; but, she knew she had done her best with this place. She resigned herself, though, when she smelled the scent of finger clippings and unwashed hair on a fire pit a few weeks later, and the rise of public grooming practices increased. Ugh. She shrugged. For all of her powerful spells, she chose to ignore the trolls: just too many bridges for them to hide under.  Starving the pests, cutting off their food supply, was the wisest course.

1 comment:

  1. When I wrote this allegory, I had no idea this had happened:

    (I went to Islands for cheeseburgers instead of any concerts...)


Thank you for your comment!