A Christmas Tale


There was a whole bunch of children chasing him. Throwing icy snowballs. He was running on the asphalted walkway, filled with spots of ice and that black sharp pebble gravel. He slipped and fell on his hands a knees again. He had lost his mittens and by now his hands were full of those little black stones mixed with blood. The knees was the same, trousers all torn. He could feel the pain with every step he took. As he lay there on the asphalt, he waited to be bombarded with icy snowballs. His pulse running so high he could no longer hear the children behind him, screaming and calling him names. Everything was wet and on top of it all, he pissed in his pants of fear.

To his surprise no ice balls were coming. Nobody came up and showed snow in his face and down his neck. Now he could hear the screams of his tormentors, but something had changed. It actually sounded like they were screaming in fear. He looked up and saw a pair of legs in front of him. Next to the legs was something that made him stiff with fear. A walking stick with a metal point end! He looked up with his wet eyes and saw the face of The Troll!

Sketch by Ulle Haddock©

He really hated children and the children’s neglecting parents. He fought for them. Twice he went over there as a volunteer. First time he froze three toes of in the cold. Now he was stuck with this stick and unable to run. If he just could get a hold of those children. He would teach them a thing or two with his stick. At least he could keep them at safe distance with it. Second tour he was severely wounded by splinter from a landmine. Lucky to be alive the doctor said. Lucky! Now he had to live in this hell hole with screaming children that made the constant alarm in his head even more painful.

Now he stood here looking down on this little child, maybe six or seven years old, laying there in the wet sludge crying his eyes out. He almost ran into him before he fell. Most children kept their distance, so he was a bit surprised. That was until ten or fifteen older children came screaming around the corner. He was quite pleased that they stopped as they saw him. Knowing they called him the Troll, he raised his cane and they turned around screaming. The little boy slowly got on his feet. Looked up at him with fear in his eyes. The old man saw the blood on his knees and hands. He grunted and looked up at the many windows on both sides of the path. Nobody looked out, nobody was missing this crying boy.

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He looked at the boy and asked with a grunt where he lived. The boy pointed at the apartment complex across the street. Well go on go home then he said. The boy tried to take a step forward but the pain in his knees stopped him and he fell again. With a long sequence of cursing he lifted the boy up and over his one shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He started walking while cursing. He only stopped to ask if anybody was home at his apartment. No, sobbed the boy, but I got a key. Somebody needs to take care of your wounds the man said, between the cursing.

The boy was to scared to say anything when the Troll carried him home to his apartment. It smelled like an old mans apartment and the smoke was thick as fog even if they just came in. He was sat down on the only kitchen chair. He sat there wiggling his legs in fear while the Troll grunted and cursed while he messed around in one of the cabinets. He came back with a first aid kit. The boy recognized the red cross and the text in Finish stating this belonged to the Finish army. To his surprise the Troll handed him a chocolate bar with a low grunt and what almost looked like a smile.

Photo by Ulle Haddock©

He carefully cleaned the wounds from all the small sharp black pebbles. Every time the boy sobbed the Troll grunted a curse word. Carefully he put some plaster on. Don’t you like chocolate, he asked the boy. The boy answered with a tiny voice that, yes he did. Go on then, eat, he said and nodded towards the chocolate bar. Struggling a bit with all the plasters the boy managed to open and started to eat. He broke of a piece and offered to the Troll. Now he was sure it was a smile in the Trolls face. He grunted again. Now lets get you home, I’ll walk you.

The boys tormentors stood silent. Watching at a distance when they walked the two hundred meters the the boys door. Half way the boy slipped his hand into the Trolls hand. First he pulled away but the boy persisted and finally he let him grab the hand. They stopped in front of the door and the Troll grunted, spiced with some swear words. Off you go, turned and started to walk away tapping his stick hard onto the asphalt. Mister, the boy said! The old man turned around and found a boy hugging him around his waist. Okay, okay, he said and gently pushed the boy to the door. As he walked back home he had to wipe some dirt from the corner of his eye.

Even if this story has a bit Dickens flavor it is based on a true story from my childhood in suburbs of Göteborg in the seventies. Hope you like, subscribe and comment. Merry Christmas everybody. Ha de Gött!

Categories: Life, WritingTags: , , ,

4 comments

  1. a stunning tale: it really moved me and the fact that it’s a true tale makes it even more remarkable; this story needs to be read widely !

    Like

  2. Such a nice story. Merry Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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