The Spring Troll
Father Lefvini Hears A Rumor
Alffina woke up early the next morning. She was excited and eager to have her mother meet her Troll friend, and she wanted to get started as soon as possible. Alffina was sure that her mother, who was obviously angry with her, did not believe that her new friend was real, but she knew that once she met the Troll Sirik she would forgive her. And her thinking was that the quicker they met the better it would be for everyone.
Elina felt something tugging at her, and in her half - sleep state slapped at the little hands that were disturbing her rest. Hafr, who was a light sleeper, awoke immediately when he felt the bed move, and because his wife had told him of the, " Troll nonsense ", as she called it, he rolled his wife over and helped to shake his wife awake.
" Get up Elina and take Alffina to the bridge so that we can end this ridiculousness once and for all. " he told his wife with a little grin.
Elina pulled the covers up around her neck, yawned, and closed her eyes again before replying sleepily :
" Why can't I go later ? The imaginary Troll isn't going anywhere ! " she told her husband sarcastically.
Hafr pulled the covers completely off of his wife and pointed to the door.
" Go now and get this over with ! When I come back from the fields for lunch I do not want to hear any more about the Old Gods, or Trolls ! We are in deep enough water with father Lefvini and I do not wish for him to hear of this silliness ! " he explained to his wife harshly.
Elina took a deep breath before reluctantly throwing her legs over the side of the bed.
" What do you want for breakfast Alffina ? Would you like some oatmeal sprinkled with honey ? " she asked with a yawn.
Alffina, who was already fully dressed, put her hands on her hips, and narrowed her eyes.
" Can't we eat breakfast after we come back ? ! " the impatient little girl shot back.
Then she added with a little smile :
" Besides, Sirik will have tea and honey biscuits for us ! " she explained to her mother.
" You should hurry my dear ! You don't want to miss out on tea and honey biscuits ! " he told his wife in a rather sarcastic tone.
Elina playfully punched her husband in the stomach.
" You have always been a cold and heartless man ! " she replied, scolding her husband for his remark.
Elina washed and slowly dressed herself for the early morning journey to the stone bridge. All the time she was readying herself, Alffina stood impatiently watching her mother with her arms folded across her chest. After several choruses of "Hurry up mommy ! ", Elina finally lost her patience and responded angrily.
" You may not be hungry, my anxious little daughter, but I intend to have a goblet of berry juice before we leave ! " she told her Alffina.
Hafr rolled over on the bed and laughed.
" Ah,..... and who has the cold heart now ? " he asked.
Elina narrowed her eyes, before throwing her night clothes at her husband.
" Go back to sleep ! Obviously you have nothing of importance to do this morning ! " she yelled loudly.
The summer sun was bright and hurt Elina's eyes, making the journey uncomfortable for her as they made their way down to the river. Alffina, however, was as happy as a lark, skipping far out in front of her mother as they went. From time to time Alffina would spin around and yell back to her mother trying to make her walk faster. She quickly learned that this simply aggravated her mother, and made her walk even slower out of spite.
When the bridge finally came within view Alffina ran ahead to alert Sirik, and have him ready to meet her mother when she arrived. In her eagerness to awaken the Troll Alffina slipped and slid down the muddy embankment, stopping just feet away from the river's raging waters. The fear of almost winding up in the muddy churning water did not diminish her excitement over her mother meeting her Troll friend, and she quickly scrambled up the slope searching for the corner of the turf entrance to his underground home.
Elina watched as her daughter reached the edge of the slope that went down to the water. She shook her head in amazement at how active her daughter's imagination had become. She had expected that as they approached the bridge Alffina would relent and admit that the Troll did not really exist. Instead she seemed to grow more excited the closer they came to the river. Then, in an instance, Elina's fascination with her daughter's creativity turned to sheer horror as Alffina quickly disappeared down the hill.
" Alffina ! " Elina shouted as she began to run after her daughter.
Elina was no longer sleepy or lethargic ! With a speed that she did not realize she was capable of attaining, she ran as fast as she could to where her daughter had disappeared. When she reached the top of the embankment her eyes frantically scanned the swift flowing river for signs of her daughter. What she saw instead was Alffina under the bridge clawing at handfuls of turf, and crying loudly.
" Sirik ! Sirik !! Where are you !!? My mother is here to meet you ! Come out Sirik !!!! " she blubbered loudly as she pulled up fistfuls of grass searching for the home of her friend.
Elina's emotions quickly turned from horror to anger, and finally to pity, as she realized that her daughter's fantasy had just come crashing down upon her. Elina carefully made her way down the muddy slippery slope over to her frantic daughter. She tried, as any mother would, to calm down to Alffina, but she had become inconsolable at this point.
Alffina continued to pull at the grass, and scream at the ground, until her mother finally pulled her off of the ground, and held her tightly in her arms. Alffina, however, was not yet done with her temper tantrum. She broke away from her mother and began to pull all of the white flowers out of the ground that surrounded the bridge. As she gathered the flowers she screamed over and over again :
" Sirik ! Sirik !! I am going to take all of your flowers if you don't come out and stop me ! "
Elina sat down on the embankment and waited with teary eyes. She knew that her daughter would soon run out of energy, and then it would be her duty as a mother to pick up the pieces of her daughter's broken heart.
After what seemed to Elina an eternity, an exhausted and thoroughly filthy Alffina came stumbling over to her mother.
" He is gone ! Why is he not here ?! Where did he go ?! " Alffina asked in rapid succession.
Elina wanted to be furious. Her daughter had dragged her out of bed early in the morning, forced her to trek all the way down to the river, and now Alffina was covered from head to tow in mud. Yes ! She wanted to be angry, but her daughter's sad reddened eyes, and tear stained cheeks, would not allow her to show anything except sympathy for Alffina. Elina picked up her daughter, who was crying even harder than before, and carefully walked back up the embankment.
" It will be alright. Everything will be just fine. When we get home I will clean you up and make you a nice breakfast. " she told her daughter in a calm soothing voice.
Alffina was emotionally and physically spent. All she could do was hold on to her mother and whimper as they slowly made their way home.
Elina was happy when she reached out for the latch on the front door of her home. For now, in the comfort of their home, she could make things right for her daughter. When she opened the door and slowly stepped inside, however, she had a most unpleasant surprise ! Sitting at the table, across from her husband, was a nun, and she had a sour look upon her face.
Hafr looked up at his wife, who was surrounded by a halo of strong light from the morning sun, and spoke :
" Sister Magdalena has come from the Bakke Abbey to speak to us. " he informed his wife in a nervous tone.
The sister shaded her eyes against the incoming sunlight and looked at the muddy child for a long time before speaking.
" Yes ! Father Lefvini has been hearing ugly rumors about the stories your child has been telling the other children ! He wishes to see all of you at once ! " she commanded angrily.
- End Chapter 7
- Next : Chapter 8 : The Archbishop Threatens !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.