The Troll Princess Part 3

*continued from The Troll Princess Part 1 and The Troll Princess Part 2.*

The next morning Emma woke from powerful dreams of fish mince.  Something was tickling nose.  She opened her eyes to find Ratkin peering closely at her face.  Emma sat up.  “Hungry?”  It was late morning.  She must have overslept.

She washed and dressed and made her way to the breakfast room. There was no one there.  The food was untouched and nearly cold.  Emma served herself  porridge and the kitten was soon deeply engaged in a plate of salmon.


Things were unusually quiet for this time of the morning.  Usually by this time,  King was pacing the room, followed by his chief minister attempting to organize his schedule.  Cook would be barely containing his irritation at the Queen’s leisurely suggestions for tonight’s menu. And what about all those human servants and men-at-arm?  Where was Prince Gregory?

Just as she was finishing her meal, and Ratkin had started his post-breakfast wash, the doors opened and the King and Queen entered mid-argument.  “Good riddance, I say,” the King was saying. “Spared me the trouble of chasing him off.”  “But what on earth will we do now?” said the Queen.  “Oh – Emma – there you are.  Where have you been all morning?  Such a fuss.  And we couldn’t stop him either.”

“What on earth is going on?” said Emma.  “Have you chased this one away as well, Pappa?  Another newspaper article?”

Her father laughed despite himself, but Emma could see he really was upset.  “No, this time it wasn’t me.”  He looked significantly at his wife.

“What?  Do you think I did it?  I tell you, that room was securely locked.  No one has been in there because no one had any business to go there.”

Emma looked from one to the other.  “Mind telling me what’s happened?”

“Oh Emma,” said the Queen, sinking down into her chair, sending a startled  Ratkin scuttling.  “Somebody left the door to the old throne room open.  Prince Gregory wandered in there early this morning.”  She looked significantly at her daughter, who looked blankly back.  “The old throne room.  You remember – where we keep your Grandpappa’s…mementoes.”

Emma gasped.  “The trophies!”  For a while she was helpless with giggles. “So much for his hunting trip.”  Her father chuckled grimly.  “I tried to explain to him, I truly did!” he said.  “Those things are ancient relics.  And the war is over, after all.  Has been for years.  Nothing but good relations, these days.  Good for trade!  But he would not listen.  Bolted out of here like a rabbit.  Servants, furniture and all.  Never saw a stage coach leave so quickly.  But you seem to be taking it very well, my dear.  Not broken your heart, has he?”  He smiled half anxiously at his daughter.

“No, I’m relieved” said Emma.  “I was wondering how to get rid of him.  Its all rather convenient, actually.”

“Well, that’s just as well then,” said her father, but he was still considering her carefully.  “I’m starting to reconsider this whole human plan.  Not working out too well, is it.  Nothing but trouble and upheaval.  Maybe we should have another look at the available Trollish royalty.”

“There is cousin Edreal,” said the Queen.  “He has a wonderful cook, you know”.

“Cousin Edreal is already married.” said the King.

“Oh, you are just being difficult” said the Queen. “Well, what about his younger brother then?”

Emma left them deep in consideration of the local Troll nobility.  She spent the day concentrating fiercely on her various projects.    That evening she wandered down to the kitchen steps. The  large horses were gone from the stables, and no stage coach stood in the stable yard.  She sat on the steps for a while, not quite knowing what she was waiting for, watching Ratkin explore the shadows in the moonlight.


The next day was not much better.  She avoided her parents who were once again busy with their lists of eligible bachelors.  Somehow none of her projects could hold her attention for long.  She sat in the sunlight on her bedroom window sill, watching the road winding away from the castle gates.  At last, as the sun was sinking , she saw a cloud of dust in the distance.  She was on the kitchen steps by the time the stage coach rattled through the gates and drew up in the yard. Driver jumped down from his high seat, but the coach itself was empty of passengers.  Emma watched as Driver unfastened the huge horses. They stood quietly as he groomed them, twisting their ears to listen to his deep voice.  Trollcat lay on the roof of the coach, studiously ignoring Ratkin who was sniffing at its wheels.

Eventually Driver came over to the steps, scooping up the kitten on his way.  He sat down next to Emma.  Ratkin was trapped between his claws, kicking and squirming to break free.  Driver opened his hands – and instantly the kitten was butting at his fingers, anxious to start the game again.   He struggled in ecstasy as the large troll-hands closed over him again.

“So,” said Emma “Prince Gregory could not leave us fast enough, apparently”

Driver glanced at her, but said nothing.”

“Somebody showed him my Grandfather’s trophies.”  Driver became absorbed in containing the Ratkin’s efforts to escape.

Emma sighed. “I suppose it’s not so surprising that he ran away.”  She sat quietly for a while, watching the troll and the kitten.

“Father is reconsidering the whole idea of me marrying a human.  You know, its funny but till now, I did not really care one way or the other.  But now  it all seems so needlessly complicated.”

“What do you mean?” said Driver, letting Ratkin claw his way up his sleeve to his shoulder.

“Well -”  Emma heard herself say, “why couldn’t I just marry some one – someone like you, for example?”  The words seemed to hang there in the air between them.   Driver became very still.  Ratkin perched on his shoulder.  Trollcat woke from his nap on the stage coach roof. There was a moment of deep, waiting silence.

Emma looked intently at her hands. “Would you?  Marry me, I mean?”

The silence sucked in upon itself and flowered out into expanding cloud of sound.  The steps rocked.  Driver disappeared and in his place sat an unusually large but very human man.

Emma leapt up.

”I really hope you meant that,” said the man.

She spun round in time to see the stage coach groan and collapse under the weight of a large battle scarred troll.  “Trollcat?”    The troll saluted her wryly.

The young man on the steps sat very still, as though he was holding his breath.

Emma watched as Ratkin clambered down Driver’s sleeve and butted at his hand, impatient for the game to begin again.  Emma nodded to herself, and sat down again.

“Driver,”  she said.

“Yes”.  Said Driver.  “Actually, I’m called Sam.  Was called Sam.  And this is my business partner,  Grump.  He got the hind end of the same spell that caught me.”

“He’s no prince, you know,” said Grump, moving closer.  “Hope that doesn’t matter.”

“I don’t see why it should.” said Emma.  She curled her tail around her knees and sighed happily.

Once upon a time there was a Troll Princess.  She was big and fierce and had sharp teeth and curly horns- like any proper troll.  And like a proper princess she was beautiful, loving and brave.

The End


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mashadutoit
    Sep 06, 2009 @ 07:57:17

    And next week, if all goes well, I’ll be posting the first part of my new story, “Heart of Glass”.

    I’m wondering what people think of the serialised stories. Should I post the entire thing in one go? Breaking them up like this gives me time to write another one.

  2. andries du toit
    Sep 06, 2009 @ 10:25:13

    Serialize. This is fantastic, Masha!

  3. mashadutoit
    Sep 06, 2009 @ 16:14:42

    Thanks 😀 The next story is not about Emma and Driver. Although I have some ideas how I could continue their story.

    I think that Driver might turn back into his troll form in moments of stress. I liked him as a troll.

    The next story is about somebody called – at the moment, anyway, Jan Boontjierank. But things might change before Sunday.

  4. meliss
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 11:53:23

    Sci fi Mills&Boone rocks! I like it as a series too.
    Well done, Mash.

    Terloopsie – ek dink jy moet consider om jou musiek weier as lounge sessions te vat. Dit het my heeltemal oorweldig.


  5. mashadutoit
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 12:23:58

    Hey thanks Melissa I like the genre 🙂 Sci & Boon? Mills fi?

    Ek is bly jy het die musiek geniet. Ons will binnekort ‘n recording maak, alhoewel daar ‘n paar copyright issues sal wees.

    Op een of ander stadium moet ek van my eie songs sing – ek het nog net twee !

  6. richard
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 14:26:39

    Definitely serialise, but I did read all 3 in one gulp. Now I would like to print it out to read to my god-daughter Ruby. I love Ratkin!

  7. mashadutoit
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 14:29:21

    Yes Ratkin is not so distantly related to your little black devil kittens. Did not realise that till this moment, though. The next story I’m writing also features a kitten, but not such a fierce one though, more of a clown.

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