Troll Rock – Short Story


By Wendy Brannon

Light ocean breezes brushed against the faces of the three wanderers, carrying tiny beads of mist that gently kissed and clung to their faces. It was a dimly lit and cold day, the sun blocked by heavy fog from the water. The wanderers walked in single file along the cliff edge, sending showers of pebbles down into the rough waters below.

“Donovan!” the smallest called out. “Donovan! Are you sure this is a good idea?” She tightened her grip on her shawl and wrapped it snugly around her body. The leader paused and waited for the others to join him.

“Do not worry, Ash,” he said, “I have been this way before. These cliffs are stable.”

“But— is this really goin’ to be worth it? It’s darker than when we set out.”

“Oh, just trust ‘em, Ash,” huffed the third. “We’re losin’ daylight.” Donovan nodded in agreement. “Besides, Dono says this is the best view around. Right, Dono?”

“Right. Troll Rock is a one-of-a-kind formation in Aill Chuain.” The girl adjusted her shawl again, pouted, and made no move to argue further.

“Well, let’s get on, then!” The three continued on.

Dark clouds continued to roll in from the water, and the cool ocean breeze began to bite into the wanderers’ bare skin. The cliffs began to turn into pebbly inclines, although they were still too steep to climb down.

“Remind me again why this is goin’ to be worth it?” the girl complained.

“Oi, Ash, it hasn’t even been that long!”

Donovan placed his hand on the third’s shoulder. “It will be worth it, Ash. I promise,” he stated calmly. “Did I ever tell you and Waylon the story behind Troll Rock?”


“Well, it is said that a long time ago, mischievous little trolls plagued Aill Chuain. The townspeople could deal with them until they started taking all of their livestock.” Pebbles cascaded down the slope as the wanderers’ feet slid. “They decided then that they had to take action.” 

“Why were they takin’ livestock? Trolls eat rocks, don’t they?” 

“Yes, most do, Ash. But something different was going on here. And so, the townspeople set out to find the trolls. They found them and then chased them away.”

“Yea’, but what’s this gotta do with Troll Rock, Dono?”

Donovan smiled. “You will see, Waylon.” The three continued on.

Ash continued to pout and grumble. The two boys sauntered ahead while she tried to find a way to wrap her shawl around herself even tighter.

“Donovan!” she cried out. The wind carried her voice away from the others. “Donovan! I think we should turn back!” The girl looked out towards the ocean, then up at the sky. Clouds completely enshrouded the sun, and a dark wall of rain slowly approached the shore. Ash turned back towards the boys. “Oi, Waylon!” Her call was unheard, and she pursed her lips. A cold rain began to drizzle as she stared. Ash sighed and walked back up the slope.

The boys continued on. They slipped and slid down the rocky slope until they finally reached the beach. Dark, wet, mossy cliffs surrounded the bay the boys had traveled to. A large, round mound stood in the middle of the bay, but it was too far away to see what it was.

“‘Ey, Ash, you see this?” Waylon asked. He turned to look behind them. “Ash?”

“Where did your sister go, Waylon?” Donovan asked.

The other grunted. “She probably ran away. Weather scared ‘er off.”

“You will just have to tell her about it when we return. Come on.” The two made their way toward the edge of the water. “There it is,” said Donovan, hands on his hips, “Troll Rock.”

“Wow! Would y’ look at that? Looks just like a troll, nose and all!” Waylon exclaimed.

Donovan held his hand up to his face and squinted. “It is a shame that the weather turned so quickly. You can barely make out the eyes and mouth.” 


“Yes, Waylon?”

“Finish the Troll Rock story for me, won’t ya’?”

“Well, it is getting pretty dark, and we would not want to get trapped in this storm. I will tell you on the way back.” They turned around to leave. “Ash was right to bring her shawl.”

“Finish the story, Dono.”

“Ah. Yes. Well, the townspeople chased the trolls away here, to the bay, where all the trolls ran into the water and disappeared. They thought they had won, so they all cheered and began to leave. But their cheering, and the flight of the little trolls, woke something up.”

“Woke what up, Dono?” As Waylon asked, the ground lit up before them with a flash of light. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and waves pounded against the shore. The sound of cascading, splashing water echoed from somewhere behind. The ground shook with another flash of lightning, like the pounding steps of a giant. The thunder came slowly afterward.

“Well, Troll Rock did, of course,” he said, “It was the one eating all the livestock.”

“S’ just a story, right Dono?”

“I would think so.”