The War of the Rebellion: Virginia, 1863

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To say the troll was angry would have been an understatement.

Fighting had raged around the bridge for the better part of a week, though I’m not quite certain as to why. Neither the Secesh nor my own people had any reason to. There was no tactical or strategic gain by controlling the bridge, and, as we discovered, it proved to be a poor piece of property to own.

The Secesh had managed to beat the local Federal unit back for the last time and sent the boys scurrying to camp. It was a short time after their return that we heard a terrible eruption, and for a moment, some men thought that a tremendous amount of gunpowder had been employed nearby.

What I heard was not so much an eruption, but an angered voice, and I set off as quick as I could in the direction of the sound.

When I saw the smoke rising up from where the bridge had been only a few hours earlier, I approached with caution. There were no warnings, nor were there any shots fired at me.

In fact, I didn’t see any men, either living or dead.

What I heard was the crunch of bones and the tearing of meat.

I came at the bridge from upstream and saw a large troll sitting in the shade. He had a pile of corpses around him and he was eating ferociously and without any semblance of enjoyment.

I watched him for a short time as he tore off clothes and spat out those he missed. In less than half an hour, he devoured the entire pile. He let out a large belch, passed gas, then drank his fill from the wide stream, careful to avoid the sunlight.

After several minutes, he straightened up, belched again, and slipped into a dark crevice barely visible in the wall.

I returned to my camp and informed the others that the Secesh had destroyed the bridge.

Though if we had owned it at the moment, the troll lost his temper, the Secesh could have said the same of us.

With a shake of my head, I accepted a cup of coffee and thought of what the morrow would bring.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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