Fantasticoe 2004

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Liz Schoendienst

One Moment of Bravery


     "Flum, you moron! Get out of my way!" Thup, the older of the twins, was again yelling at his brother for not scaring the two young girls who had just crossed over their bridge.

     "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Thup roared chasing after the two young blond girls. Flum could hear their high pitched shrieks as they ran away. "Hehehe," Thup chuckled cruelly to himself while returning to their underground dirt home.

     "Thup, I don't know why you always have to scare the little ones. Just leave them alone," Flum said sighing. Flum was just as miserable living under this bridge as Thup was, but he did not feel the need to try to make everyone else miserable for the few moments they were passing by.

     Thup and Flum were the ugliest of all the trolls that lived in Topit Land. They were born five minutes apart. Thup had seven fingers and seven toes and Flum had the extra three with thirteen fingers and thirteen toes. Even though they were twins some would say that Thup was with out a doubt the uglier of the two. He had three eyes, two were brown and one was red. His nose was very large and oddly shaped with only one nostril. Above his eyes he had two pointed horns poking through the tangled mass of dark fur that covered his entire body. Flum looked relatively similar with his three eyes being all green in color and light colored fur. Even their own mother disowned them saying they were to hideous to raise in town. There were no other trolls with horns in Topit Land. All anyone could think was that the devil had brought them forth to destroy Topit Land.

      As soon as they could walk, she dumped them under the old wooden bridge that had been there for as long as anyone can remember. The bridge was on the outside of town and connected the road from Topit Land to the path that leads to Once Upon a Time. Once Upon a Time was the largest town in the area. It was full of happiness and love. There were many kings in Once Upon a Time, but there was never any conflict over land or power. Most of the bridge's travelers were older children from Once Upon A Time who were dared by other children to cross the bridge that the ugliest trolls lived under. Flum didn't mind when Thup scared them, but he hated it when he frightened the little ones who were just plain lost.

     "Oh Flum, stop being a baby about it. Scaring kids is the only thing we are good at. It's the only thing we can do. If I have to live in this dirt hole for the rest of my life with a whining baby brother who still sucks his thumb, then I am gonna scare anyone I want! You got that!" Thup hollered at Flum, who was now wiping spit from his face. Flum cowered in the corner and began to suck his thumb. "No wonder mama left you here. I'd ditch you too if I could," Thup sneered at Flum.

     The brothers were doomed to live under this bridge for the rest of their days. They tried to make the best of it in the beginning. They dug a deep hole and expanded it into an underground home. There was no light that ever shone in the hole, and when it rained it turned into a giant mud pit. It always seemed to smell bad and was never clean.

     That night while Thup snored the night away, Flum lay awake wishing that somehow someway he could stand up to his brother when Thup treated him like that. He yearned for a normal life; a life like those who live in Once Upon A Time. He wished he could look like them. He knew that if only he was a human they would accept him and love him. Knowing this could never happen though, he decided to try to help those little ones who were from Once Upon A Time and lost from home. He thought and thought but came up with nothing. Then almost like a light switched was turned on he sprang out of bed almost tripping over a pile of dirty dishes. Thup moaned and rolled over, but quickly returned to his previous snoring that shook the bridge above.

     "Why didn't I think of this before? It so easy," Flum whispered to himself.

     The morning sun shone on the old rotting bridge. Thup awoke to an empty room. "Where is that idiot?" he asked himself aloud in a groggy voice standing in the middle of the one room tunnel. "What the-? He better not be doing what I think he's doing." Thup picked up the paint brush dripping red paint onto the floor.

     Outside the dirt hole Flum was whistling as he hung up the last of the signs he painted the night before. "There, now all the little girls will know not to cross this bridge"

     Flum had just gotten back under the bridge when Thup stormed out of the dirt hole ranting and raving. "You think I'm stupid? Huh? You think I don't know what you're doing? Stop trying to keep me from having fun will ya! You over-grown baby thatů" He stopped. Flum noticed he was now looking over his shoulder. Flum turned to see what he was looking at.

     A young girl, maybe about the age of nine was just staring at them with her brown eyes wide with curiosity. An evil smile stretched across Thup's face.

     "NO!!" Flum protested stepping in front of Thup.

     "Move now!" Thup said coldly.

     "NO! You are not scaring any more little girls. I am not letting you!" Flum's voice trembled with his bold words.

     "What are you gonna do to stop me?" Thup laughed coldheartedly. "You can't even stop crying when I yell at you."

     Now, more bravely, Flum stepped between Thup's path to the little girl. "I will stop you! I am not afraid of you anymore Thup!" Flum declared. Flum now felt more courage than ever in his brothers presence. "You are not going to hurt her," he stated as he turned to gesture to her. But when he turned she was gone.

     In her place was a beautiful fairy. Her gown shimmered in the sunlight. The two brothers covered their eyes from the blinding light that radiated from her. Her once brown eyes now twinkled a transparent blue color. She spoke with a voice that was hypnotic and soothing.

     "Flum, I am here to grant you your wish. You have shown that you possess the strength to stand up to you brother. You hold the worth of the most heroic of men. I give you a chance at a new life." She pointed at Flum.

     Flum felt something happen to him. He looked at his over-gown calloused hand as they transformed into soft human flesh. He counted his fingers; five one each hand. His feet shrank to fit into human shoes with only ten toes. He looked at himself. His matted fur disappeared revealing soft, smooth ivory skin. He was human. A normal person. His dream had come true.

     She looked at Thup, who was on his knee's begging forgiveness for scaring so many little girls. "You are to live the rest of your life here in the dirt hole, in silence and hidden from all. Your worth has determined your future." Thup was silenced and forced back into the dirt hole he despised so much.