I recently joined a spec fic writing group here in Korea and one fun thing they do is assign three random words (a character, an object, and an adjective) and at the next meeting we come back with a 500+ word story.
The first prompt I took part in the prompt was Troll, Chair, Resplendent. Here is my story, which is just over 600 words.
It had been a long night at the pub and Tom was epically drunk. He did not notice as he crossed the old stone bridge that led back to his dark village that there was a new occupant living below. Earlier that day, Old Joe, the transient who often slept under the bridge in inclement weather, had, in fact, been devoured. The creature that had eaten Old Joe now he jumped onto the bridge and confronted poor, inebriated, beleaguered Tom.
“I’m the Bridge Troll,” he roared, for so he was. “And I claim you as my nightly meal.”
“Bridge Troll,” Tom said, blinking stupidly as he looked up at the massive troll. In the faint light of the moon he could make out a body three meters wide and just as tall, with curling horns and mouth round as a sharks. “Don’t I get to guess your name?”
“Wrong story,” the troll said. “This is the one where I gobble you up!” His mouth opened wide and he took a massive step toward the young man.
“‘ang on,” Tom said. “I’ve got it. You can’t fight goats. That’s it. That’s your weakness.”
“So what if it is?” The troll mumbled. “Don’t see any goats round here do you?”
“There’s goats not ‘alf a mile back,” Tom said. “Old man Brown’s farm. Wait a tick,” he added, pulling out his mobile. “I’ll call him right now.”
“That isn’t necessary!” The Troll said. He’d caught a hircine scent on the wind earlier and it made him nervous. “I was only kidding about eating you. But how about we make a deal?”
“What kind of deal?”
The troll coughed uncomfortably. “Well under the bridge is wet and stoney and full of broken glass. My back isn’t what it used to be in the 17th century. You bring me a nice piece of furniture, and I won’t gobble you up. Deal?”
“Deal,’ said Tom, who at that instant decided to never ever drink another Jagerbomb again.
Tom walked back down the road, and he was back in no time at all, dragging a moldy box spring with more coils showing than mattress. The hard edge scraped along the cobblestone road
“I’ve got it,” Tom said. He felt foolishly proud of himself.
“What is that rubbish? I passed it myself on the road not a day ago.”
“Look, mate,” Tom started crossly. But the troll roared, and it was a lion and the sea and Tom was very frightened. He staggered back down the road, his shadow stretching in the moonlight.
He returned several hours later, as dawn was about to break. In his hands he bore an enormous cardboard box.
“A box? Are you taking the piss?” The Troll asked.
“Look, mate, that’s a good sofa right there. It took me ages to find an Ikea that was open 24 hours. Some assembly required, naturally.”
“I am a troll. From Norway? I grew up right next to like three Ikeas.”
Tom stared at him blearily. “Something else?”
“Yes something fucking else!” The troll roared, teeth black and breath fetid.
Tom scurried off. He was gone for a long time. Many hours passed. and then days and finally a week, then two. The Troll fumed and roared and impotently gnashed his teeth realizing he’d been duped.
At last, one rainy April evening, Tom returned, dragging the Royal Throne of England in a large red wagon. The Troll emerged from beneath the bridge, stretching his aching back.
When he saw Tom, he roared with delight. “That,” said the Troll. “Is a resplendent fucking chair.”
Then he ate Tom anyway.