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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Joseph the Troll

This is a story about a boy named Joseph , and how he became a troll. Joseph lived in Shenandoah. A quiet town where nothing extraordinary or exciting ever happened. That is, until things like sodas, candy, pillows and boots went missing. That's when the citizens of Shenandoah realized they had a kleptomaniac in town. Joseph was that klepto.
When he got caught he'd pout his bottom lip and give a doe eyed look. The individual would look at him and think “Aw! Look at his face. He looks contrite. He won't do it again.” They would just tell him not to do it again. Joseph would agree by nodding his head. So Joseph would get away with it. Obviously Joseph wasn’t learning right from wrong. So he kept stealing things. Why? Because he could get away with it.
Until one day he stole a wand from the old lady who just moved in across the street from his house. The only person ,in town, no one knew anything about. Curious, Joseph decided to sneak into her house through the doggy door. It was dark so Joseph didn’t notice the watchful eyes of a black cat.
Beams of light shone through the cracks of the drawn curtains. The light caught on something in the living room. Joseph stepped lightly from the kitchen into the living room. When he got closer he noticed it was a stick with a diamond on the tip of it. There was a curved design carved into it. It was too fancy to be an ordinary stick. It reminded him of a wizard's magic wand. Like the ones in the Harry Potter movies.
His hand inched towards it. “Mmrarw!” Joseph turned and saw a black cat growling at him. “ Hi,kitty”, he cooed stroking the cat's fur absentmindedly. Picking up the wand and swimming it around in the air. He spoke the word Abracadabra. Completely focused on what he was doing, he hadn’t noticed the cat change into an old lady.
“What do you think you're doing?” she shouted at the boy. Joseph jumped guiltily at the sound of her voice. He gave her his doe eyed look, and pouted his lip.
“Nothing.” Joseph said. The old lady was not fooled. She had just seen him enter her home through her pet door. She even watched him pick up her wand. Now here he was looking at her with his big puppy dog eyes, thinking that he was going to get out of this with just a look. It made her furious. She had seen him give the same look before, whenever he would get caught taking something that wasn’t his.
“ A troll shall you be until you give an apology.” The old lady's necklace started glowing and her hair whipped wildly around her face. Joseph dropped the wand and scampered away.. He ran into his house, up the stairs and into his bedroom. Joseph knew the old lady had been trying to scare him and it had worked.
The next day when he went downstairs for breakfast, as he was going for his mom's APPLE JACKS , he froze in his tracks. Sitting on the kitchen counter was the same cat that was at the crazy old lady's house. “She's cute,right ?” His sister Jessika asked as she picked up the cat. “I'm going to call her Midnight.” Joseph watched as his sister skipped off with the cat in her arms.
Breakfast completely forgotten, Joseph opened the front door to look for that creepy old lady. When he saw that she wasn’t anywhere around he relaxed. Later, he found out that his sister was cat sitting for the old lady.
With the old lady gone Joseph decided to test out the “curse”. But first , he was really hungry. He had seen his mom give his sister a plate of brownies. Sneaking up on his sister he stole a handful of brownies. What he didn’t realize was that his mom had told his sister to share. So technically he didn’t steal them. However he didn’t know that. But because he didn’t know that he thought that the old lady wasn't a witch. That she hadn’t cast a spell on him. She was crazy though.
Now that he wasn’t worried about turning into a troll Joseph ventured into his sister's room. He had seen his mom give Jessika a pack of gum and he wanted a piece. More than likely it would be in her room. Just as he found the gum his sister walked in the room. He took a piece of gum out of the pack and put it in his mouth.
He seen his sister's face turn red with fury. But then something strange happened. Jessika got smaller and smaller. The smaller she got the more frightened she looked. “Mom!” she screamed “Joseph’s a troll!”
“Jessika, no name calling!” he heard his mother yell up the steps. He knew his sister had to be really mad at him if she was calling him names.
“I'm sorry, Jessika.” he said, giving his sister his puppy eyes and pouty lip. As he was handing her the pack of gum he noticed his hands were HUGE and they were GREEN. It reminded him of The Hulk.
“Mom!” Jessika shrieked. She backed away from her brother. “Something's wrong with Joseph!” She took off running downstairs. He assumed to tell on him. The black cat was sitting in the doorway now. Swishing her tail back and forth. She seemed happy. That or she was getting ready to pounce. He wasn’t sure which. His mom ran upstairs and rushed into Jessika's room. When she saw him she looked relieved. But she still asked if he was okay. Joseph looked at his hands again but they were no longer green. So he nodded his head and told her “ Yeah.” His mom left the room and he heard her scream at his sister.
He didn’t know what was going on. Maybe he had imagined the green hands. So he shrugged it off. The black cat seemed to follow him around all day. Like she was keeping an eye on him or something. It wasn’t until Wednesday, when Joseph was pouring himself a bowl of APPLE JACKS, that he realized what was going on. He knew the APPLE JACKS cereal was his mom's and that he should have asked before pouring himself a bowl but he didn’t want his mom to say no. He really wanted APPLE JACKS this morning. But when he poured the APPLE JACKS into his bowl and put a spoonful in his moth he felt his body change.
He had those big green hands again. He freaked out and dropped the bowl. He ran to a mirror and saw that he was a big green hideous troll. He was still screaming when he ran out of the house. Bad move. The people outside started screaming and anyone who was inside ran outside to see what the commotion was about. When someone shouted “Get a gun!” Joseph took off. He was big so it didn’t take him long to get our of town.
He didn’t know what to do or where to go. He was near a mountain and decided it would be safe enough to hide in. He found an opening in the mountain and ventured in. It was very dark, so it was hard to see. However he knew he couldn’t stay in the light least someone cine by and see him. So he hid deep in the cave. After a while his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he was able to see again.
What he hadn’t expected to see was a pile of treasure laying before him. He spotted a sword in the pole of goblets, coins,jewels and crowns. He marveled at the treasure. He looked at the sword thinking that he would need something to protect himself. He snapped out of it when he heard a noise. Quickly grabbing the sword from the pile of gold he took off. But he froze awestruck by what he saw. It was a dragon! The cave wasn’t as safe as he thought it was. So took off running as fast as he could and out of the cave. What he doesn’t see is the dragon transforming into that crazy old lady from across the street.
Now he is back to having no place to go. It was still light out so anyone could see him. So he used the sword to cut some branches off a tree. He held the leafy branches trying to blend in with the trees. He drops them once he gets deep in the woods. He was starving. Seeing a blackberry bush he grabs a handful of berries and eats them. They were delicious ! The sweetness of the berries was almost as good as eating candy.
His was sleepy now that his tummy was full. So he started to look for a place to nap. The best he could do was make a pile of leaves his bed. It took a few minutes before Joseph fell asleep. When he woke,the sky was dark and the stars shined brightly in the sky. Under the cover of darkness Joseph felt more at ease. So he moved around freely without the camouflage of tree branches.
Thew smell of burnt marshmallows wafted in the air, making his stomach growl. Without thinking he followed the scent. When he got to a campsite his wits had returned. He was about to turn around when he overheard the campers talking about a witch who was willing to cast spells for a price. Joseph listened intensely, hoping that they would mention where this witch lived. But he lost his patience when they changed the topic to the latest episode of “Ghost Adventures”.
He jumped out of behind the trees and screamed “Who cares! Where's the witch?” The campers froze too scared to move. “Tell me where to find the witch or...” he thought of something quickly to threaten the campers with. “Or... I'LL EAT YOU !” Everyone took off running in one direction or another.
All except for one camper who stood frozen in feat and in a puddle of pee. Joseph went towards him and as soon as he opened his moth the kid screamed “Please don’t eat me!”
Joseph smiled and said “Then you had better tell me where to find this witch.”
“7734 East Main Street, Ringtown.” he said in a rush. Satisfied with this answer Joseph left the kid and started his way to Ringtown. It was easy to stay camouflaged getting there. Ringtown was a secluded town surrounded by forests. Finding the address he hesitantly knocked on the witch's door.
A young red haired beauty answered the door. She didn’t spazz out when she saw him. She simply said “I take cash only.” Joseph realized he didn’t have any money on him. When the redhead seen the look on his face she told him to come back when he had money. She was about to shit the door on him when she noticed his sword. “But I'll make an exception for that sword.” She extended her hand expecting him to hand it over.
“I need it for protection.” Joseph told her. The witch looked at him like he had 2 heads.
“You have horns on your head, sharp teeth in your mouth and claws coming out of your fingers.”
“Really?” Joseph said “No wonder people are afraid of me.”
“What are you? You aren't a troll. Or at least you don't act like one.”
“I'm not! I'm a boy! We;; I was until 2 days ago.”he told her. “Oh and my name is Joseph.”
“Hi, Joseph.. I'm Minda.” She took his large green hand into hers. “I think I can help you. But I'm going to need payment.” She looked pointedly at the sword. He begrudgingly gave her the sword. “Now before I begin, do you know how you became a troll?”
“Yes. The old lady who lives across the street from me did it,” he told her.
“Wait! A witch did this?” She handed back the sword. “I can't help you. You are going to have to go back to the original witch who cast the spell.” When she saw his face she told him he looked like he needed some rest and that he could crash at her house, if he wanted. So he did.
When he woke up the next day he smelled waffles. He followed his nose and found himself in the kitchen. Joseph's stomach grumbled. Minda jumped at the sound. “Oh! Good morning, Joseph.” Minda smiled welcomingly. “Help yourself to some waffles before you head out.” Joseph grabbed a handful of waffles and shoved them in his mouth. Minda laughed. “I'll make some more.” She started making more batter. “Where are you heading anyway?”
“Shenandoah.” he told her simply.
“Shenandoah? I have a grandma who lives there.” She smiled, then asked. “Do you know a Katrina Sullivan?” Something clicked in Joseph's brain. He remembered his sister saying she was cat sitting for Mrs. Sullivan, the old lady from the street. Minda saw by the expression on his face that he did indeed know he grandma and she would bet her grandma had placed this curse on him.
When Joseph came back from his thoughts he saw that she was on the phone. Shouting at the person on the other end. “Obviously he doesn’t know what to do! Now transport your butt over here!” With that said Minda slammed the phone onto the counter. Almost as soon as Minda slammed the phone down , a purple mist started forming in the kitchen.
The mist transformed into that crazy old lady who lived across the street from Joseph. “Don’t you ever hang up on me again, Mindy!”
“Grandma!”Minda rushed to give the old lady a hug. “Joseph, I see you still haven’t learned your lesson.” Tabitha (the crazy old lady) said as she turned to look at him.
“What lesson? I don’t even know why I'm a troll!” Joseph stamped his foot and the dishes shook.
“Now, now ,Joseph. Calm down. You wouldn’t want to break any of my dishes ,would you?” Minda soothed.
“No, Minda” Joseph said contritely.
Tabitha looked thoughtfully at Joseph and her granddaughter. “You are a troll, Joseph, because you keep taking things that aren't yours. And” she added “ you keep getting away with it because of your looks.” Joseph looked down ashamed of his past actions. “I won't reverse the spell. The spell doesn’t affect you if you don’t steal anything.” Tabitha finished
“Why would you leave him to be a troll for the rest of his life.” Minda asked incredulously.
“Of course not. He can turn back into a boy.” When she didn’t continue Joseph asked.
“You need to return what you stole.” Minda answered.
“And apologized.” Tabitha interjected.
“Psst! Joseph!” Minda whispered. “Give her the sword.” Joseph reached behind him and produced the sword. He handed it over to Tabitha.
“Why are you giving this to me?”Tabitha asked Joseph. Joseph looked at Minda for an answered.
“It's your sword, isn’t it?” she asked her grandma.
“I took it from a dragon !” Joseph confessed.
“Grandma! Shape-shifting? Really?” Joseph was astonished. The crazy old lady was the dragon? What else could the old lady shape-shift into, he wondered. “I can barely shift into a simple house cat! How can you transform into a dragon?” Minda asked Tabitha.
Tabitha gave her granddaughter a look telling her to shut up. “ We can't change shapes.” Tabitha told Joseph.
“Oh yeah?” Minda challenged then transformed into a tiger stripped, green eyed, red furred cat.
“Mindy! I should strip you of your powers!” Tabitha reprimanded her granddaughter.
“Don't you dare!” Joseph snarled.
“Oh my!” the old lady fanned herself. “So menacing.”
“More trollish.” Minda said back in her human form. “He needs to turn back into a boy, Grandma.”
“You're right, Mindy.” Tabitha conceded. “All he has to do is return what he stole since the spell and apologize.” Tabitha looked at Joseph expectantly. When Joseph didn’t say anything Minda nudged him. He looked at her quizzically. She jerked her head towards Tabitha.
“Oh!” he finally understood. “I'm sorry for taking your sword,Tabitha.”
“And.” Tabitha encouraged.
“And...I'll never do it again.” Joseph added.
Joseph looked at Minda for help. She lifted her shoulders as if to say “I dunno.” “Honestly, Tabitha, I don’t know what else.” Joseph apologized.
“Maybe this will refresh your memory.” Tabitha said emphatically before she changed into a black cat. That's when it hit him. This was the same cat that was at his house. It had seen him pick up the wand in the crazy old lady's house. The cat was the crazy old lady, Tabitha.
“The wand? I didn’t take the wand!” When Tabitha the cat growled at him he said “Okay! Okay! I'm sorry!” The cat shifted back into Tabitha's form.
“Why is he still a troll, Grandma?” Minda demanded.
“I'm not the only person he stole from, Mindy” Tabitha revealed. Joseph thought back to everything he had ever taken without consent and his face turned white. “Oh no,honey! Just since I cast the spell.” Tabitha told him. “So what have you stolen since you left my house?”
“Grandma!” Minda chastened. Then she turned to Joseph and asked what he had been doing before he turned into a troll.
“I was eating cereal.” As he said that he realized he at his mom's cereal. Without her permission. “I need to apologize to my mom.”
There was a kaleidoscopic flash of light and then he was in his living room. He materialized on top of the coffee table. Under the pressure of his weight, the table crumbled. Joseph's mom came running into the room. Seeing a troll in her living room his mom screamed. Then her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she collapsed onto the floor. “MOMMY!” Joseph cried, rushing to her side. “Mom!” He shook her. “Mom, please wake up! I'm sorry I ate your cereal. I won't do it again, I promise. Please wake up.” He was crying uncontrollably, thinking his mom was never going to wake up.
But she did. Her eyes slowly open , then, gingerly she touched her head. When she saw Joseph she hugged him. “Joseph?” She said unsure of what she was seeing.
“Mom! You're awake!” Joseph exclaimed, wrapping his arms around her, hugging her back. But the moment was soon over when his mother demanded to know where he was for the last 3 days. So he told her the only thing he could. The truth. Unfortunately she didn’t believe him. If it hadn't happened to him, he wouldn't have believed it either. So he forgave her.

Joseph never turned into a troll again. Not because the curse was lifted. No matter how much Minda tried to reason with her grandmother, Tabitha wouldn’t undo the spell. Joseph stayed human because he had learned his lesson....that and of course he didn’t enjoy being a troll.

drawing and sketches

Some of these sketches are for a story I am writing for my daughter. The rest I did for one reason or another. I hope you like them.

Derik's Christmas Adventure

Out with my brother looking for reindeer
It was something we did year after year.
On our way over I tripped over an egg
My brother laughed cause it hurt my leg.
The egg seemed to glow.
Why it did, I don't know.
Then there was a crack
And my brother gave the egg back.
“I don’t want it. It's broken.”
Were the words he had spoken.
Then off he went
Without my consent.
I was really freaked out
When I saw a scaly snout
Yellow spikes were on it's head
And the rest of it's body was red.
All of a sudden my brother was there
I quickly hid the dragon in my blond hair.
He wanted to go back to our house
So we snuck in as quiet as a mouse.
In my room I watched the dragon sleep
This was something I wanted to keep
I named the red and yellow dragon Spike
I thought it was a name that it would like.
I went to tell me brother Dylan
But he yelled at me like I was a villain.
I went to my room but Spike was gone
I didn't know what was going on.
I searched under my bed
I even checked on top of my head.
He wasn't there
He wasn't anywhere.
I checked in the kitchen
Thinking he had wanted some chicken
But he wasn't there
He wasn't anywhere.
I was checking the living room
When I heard my brother boom
“Get out of my room!”
I rushed to my brother
Trying not to wake my mother.
In Dylan's bedroom I found Spike
He was about to do something I wouldn’t like.
Spike was about to eat a mermaid
But I stepped in front of him unafraid.
“No, Spike ! No !” I cried
Spike sat down and rolled on its side
Out of no where a pink dragon appeared
Oddly enough I didn’t think it was weird.
I kissed the mermaid
And her fins began to fade.
She leaned in close to me
“Wait til you see
The dragons of the sea.”
I was fascinated
Her words had me captivated
I followed her to the sea
Where she had me eat a pea
Then my legs disappeared
And a tail appeared
She had one too.
But mine was blue.
We dived in the water
Even swam past an otter.
She wouldn't stop braggin
When we found the dragon
It looked more like a serpent
But it soon became apparent
That I was discontent
I wanted to be back with Spike
And know what his world was like.
The mermaid seem to know
Where I had wanted to go
So she told me about her aunt the sorceress
Then she led the way to her aunt's fortress
“Hello Adela .” The sorceress said
As she bent to kiss her niece's head
“Derik wants to go to the Sky Kingdom.”
The mermaid, Adela said
Her aunt smile and handed me a slice of bread.
She told me to take a bite
So that I could take flight.
Suddenly I was in the sky
With giant wings so I could fly.
I had yellow spikes and blue scales
I had claws instead of nails.
I followed an instinct inside of me
and I made it there finally.
To the kingdom in the sky.
In a blink of an eye
Spike was in front of me
And he seemed happy.
His tail was wagging
like a happy little dragon.
He knew it was me
And I lived happily
with my dragon family.