Tag Archives: short story

Trollina and the dragon

dragonAs was her normal routine, Trollina danced before a group of travelers. They waited at the edge of the bridge and watched with delight as she pirouetted and promenaded. Soon, she would finish and they would toss money at her feet, for the troll family no longer frightened people into paying to cross. But before the final curtsy came, a loud roar sounded in the sky. Trollina lifted her head, but as soon as she did, two sharp objects pierced her shoulders. The people gasped and fell to the ground. A strong wind tore across the bridge. And then, to Trollina’s amazement, her feet lifted into the air.

Her father, the big mean troll, ran toward her and reached out, but it was too late. Trollina was lifted higher and higher, away from his reach. The people below appeared as little more than small specs until eventually vanishing from her sight. The pain in her shoulders intensified, but she knew better than to pull away. Even if she managed to free herself from the large talons, a long drop to the ground below was all that awaited her.

In the distance, a castle came into view. Crumbling towers and cracked stones formed the outside walls. Apparently, the castle had been abandoned for many years. Trollina’s captor flew up to one of the towers, roared, and then released her. She fell and landed with a hard thump against the stony surface. Massive wings blew sand and lose rocks across the tower, forcing Trollina to cover her eyes. When the beast landed in the courtyard below, Trollina peeked out and saw a gust of fire that shot out of the creature’s mouth. It roared before settling down by a pile of bones.

“A dragon,” she said. Panic surfaced in her chest, but she quickly pushed it down. “I need to find a way out.”

She peered through a crack in the floor to see a set of stone steps. But they had mostly broken away and were too far to reach. And so she crawled to the side of the tower and poked her head out over the edge. Jagged rocks were what awaited her should she try jumping from such a great height. And then she noticed a spec in the distance. It was black and round and slowly took the shape of her father.

“Father!” she called out, but then thought better of it. It could not be him. He only ever roared at her or ignored her; coming to her rescue would require a love and care he did not possess. Risking his own life to get her back? No. Things would be easier for him now. One less mouth to feed. One less body in his way.

And yet the approaching figured looked very much like her father — tangled black fur and glaring yellow eyes. The dragon noticed too. It leaped up and charged the castle entrance as fire streamed out of the sides of its mouth. Each step thumped against the ground, which shook the tower. Trollina had to hold tight against an old battlement to keep from falling.

A loud roar filled the castle, but to Trollina’s surprise, it came from the dark figure, not the dragon. For a moment, the dragon hesitated. It nearly took a step back. But then anger flared in its eyes. With an open mouth, it uttered a loud reply. The hair on the figure fluttered in the wake of the dragon’s strong breath, but he did not back off. Instead, he sucked in a deep breath of his own and responded with a sound nearly as deafening.

Trollina knew that inflection well. It was the same one she heard whenever her father was in a bad mood. The memory of sleeping late and failing to bring him his food flashed in her mind. Shaking her head, she squinted and focused in on the figure. Her heart pounded as full recognition came. It was him. It really was him. It was her father.

The dragon cringed as the mean troll stepped closer. He was strong with anger. A resolve shown in his eyes, which represented one word: danger. Even though the toll was less than half the size of the dragon, his determination was much larger. Greater. Even frightening.

Twitching its tail, the dragon looked up at Trollina, then turned back toward her father. With a snort, the great beast took to the air and flew out of sight, leaving the mean troll and his daughter alone.

“Daddy!” Trollina cried as her father scaled the side of the tower. When he reached her he threw his arms around her and squeezed her tight.

“I’m sorry, Trollina,” he said. “I’m sorry for being such a terrible father. From this day on, I will do my best to love you the way you deserve.”

With Trollina on his back, the mean troll climbed down the tower. At the bottom he set her down and guided her past the bones and out of the castle. Walking side by side and holding hands, they made their way back home.

The end.

For Cosette, 6/26/14

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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Short Stories


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Trollina the dancing troll


Once upon a time a mean troll lived under a bridge. He waited for people to approach and then jumped out to scare them. Those who did not run away were expected to pay money to cross. This went on for many years. Eventually, the mean troll found a mean troll wife. The two of them were ruthless. They fought and argued and frightened people from miles away with their loud roaring.

And then one day, the mean troll couple had a child. They named her Trollina. She grew up learning how to be mean by watching her daddy roaring at the top of his lungs, and her mommy beating her chest in anger. When it was time to eat meals, they grunted and slobbered over their food.

When her parents slept, Trollina crept away and danced in the moonlight. Her reflection sparkled against the surface of the river as she swirled and twirled to her heart’s content. After several routines, she picked flowers, put them in her hair, and then curtsied to an imaginary audience before creeping back to bed.

One morning, when a group of people approached, Trollina leaped onto the bridge and started to dance. She twirled, leaped, bended, glided and nearly flew through the air. When at last she finished, she looked up. To her amazement, the people smiled and clapped. Some even tossed money at her feet.

Suddenly her daddy jumped onto the bridge and roared, but Trollina roared back and told him it was not nice to scare people. When he saw the money on the ground, he scratched his head in amazement. From that day on, instead of frightening people, the troll family put on performances to captivate their audience. And of course, Trollina’s dance remained the most admired attraction of all.

The end.

For Cosette, 4/15/14

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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Short Stories


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The Brave Little Puppy – A short story me and my 4-year-old came up with together


There once was a puppy named Kenichi. He lived in a nice house with a family who loved him — a girl named Cosette and her mommy and daddy. But one day, as Kenichi was home alone, he noticed it was getting dark outside and his family was running late. He was very hungry, but he couldn’t feed himself because his food was locked in a cupboard.

Kenichi waited and waited, but they never came. And then, all of a sudden, he heard a thump. It startled him and he didn’t know what to do, but then the thump came again. Creeping over to the stairway, Kenichi looked down, but it was too dark for him to see.


It was louder this time. At first, he wanted to run and hide, but then he remembered it was his job to protect the home when his family was away, and so he took a deep breath and sniffed at the air. Another thump — this time it was accompanied by a low growl.

With a shaking paw, he stepped down to the first stair. The thumping continued as he crept along, peeking through the rungs in the railing.

When at last he got to the bottom, a large monster jumped out and tried to grab him, but he quickly turned and ran outside. Hiding behind a bush, Kenichi shook while the monster searched for him across the driveway. But then, thinking about his family, he felt courageous, and so he dove at the monster and attacked it. The monster fell to the ground and shattered into pieces. When Kenichi looked up, he saw his family pulling up in their car. They came out and petted him and hugged him and told him what a good puppy he was.

And they fed him dinner.

The end.

For Cosette, 10/1/13

This is part of a series of very short stories I recently told my 4-year-old daughter. I would start telling a tale, stop, then ask her what happens next. We would continue this back and forth until the story was finished.


Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Short Stories


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The Little Lost Girl

This is part of a series of very short stories I recently told my 4-year-old daughter. I would pull random tales out of my head and ask her what happens next. She would tell me her side and then we’d finish the story together.


Once upon a time, there was a little lost girl. She ran as fast as she could, screaming and crying, but no one could hear her. Her feet hurt and tears blurred her eyes, but she continued to run. No matter how fast she went, she never got anywhere because she didn’t know where she was going. But still, she continued to run and run until finally becoming exhausted. When at last she came to a stop, she looked down and noticed a turtle next to her feet.

The turtle turned its head and told the little girl, “Follow me and I’ll take you home.” The girl did as instructed, but the turtle was very slow. She followed behind, one step at a time as the beating of her heart began to calm. After a very long walk, she recognized her surroundings, and in the distance she saw her home.

Instantly, she left the turtle’s side and ran to her family, who were so very happy to see her. They hugged her and gave her kisses, and told her how glad they were that she was safe.

The end.

For Cosette, 10/1/13


Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Short Stories


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The Lonely Dragon – A short story me and my 4-year-old came up with together

baby-dragonOnce upon a time, there was a big, mean dragon who lived in a big, dark cave. The big, dark cave was inside a big, tall mountain. The big, tall mountain sat atop a big, wide island. And at the sides of the island was a vast amount of water, which stretched for miles.

The dragon had chased all the people off the island, and lived alone for years. But he began to get lonely, and felt sad while sitting in his big, dark cave. So he climbed down the big, tall mountain and walked across the big, wide island. He went from north to south and from west to east, but he couldn’t find a single person.

Standing at the side of the big, wide island, he stretched out his big, mighty wings. But they were stiff because he hadn’t used them for many years. He flapped and flapped until finally, his body lifted into the bright, blue sky.

And so the big, mean dragon flew over the vast water until finally coming to a tiny island. When he landed, all the people were afraid and hid behind rocks. But the dragon called out and said, “Don’t be afraid, I’m a nice dragon now. I’m sorry for being so mean to you before. Please, let’s be friends.” Slowly, the people came out and walked up to the dragon. They reached out their arms and hugged him, and they smiled and laughed. Children climbed onto his back and he gave them rides, and so they lived happily ever after.

The end.

For Cosette, 10/1/13


Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Short Stories


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