It was a long way back to the village for Elidor, Pierce and the princess. A long way takes time. And time was exactly what Elidor needed.
”Yer know, kid…” he finally began.
”My name is Pierce!”
”…yep, right, sorry, Pierce…yer know, Pierce, I been finkin’ and…er, proberbly I really hafn’t been dere for yer der way I shoulda been all dose years!”
”Sorry!” he said.
”That’s alright! Don’t be sorry! I mean, after all, you saved our lives up there! Was a pretty good fight you put up, you know!”
”I did, din’t I?”
”You liked it?”
Elidor cleared his throat.
”I’m pretty strong, yer know!” he said.
The two embraced each other with the princess standing next to them, smiling.
”Dere’s jus’ one fing dat bofer’s me!”
”And what is that?”
”Dem trolls sounds strange when dey tark!”
”They talk like you, dad!”
”Yep, I know! But why do dey do dat?”
”Me, I dunno…” Pierce said as the three walked on.
When they came to the place where they had met Saponeceous, Elidor asked.
”Dat tree shouldn’t be dere, right?”
”No, Dad! You mushed it up a little while ago!”
”Looks bigger now!”
”I think it is!” Pierce said and went over to the tree. He knocked on the trunk.
”Go away!” Saponeceous yelled from the inside.
A little later a crowd welcomed the three back and accompanied them up to the castle. When they got there they heard the Herald’s heraldic voice echoing along the ancient walls:
”Your Majesty!” he yelled into a pile of air in front and a little above him.
”Well, then…should we stop, say?” Pierce smiled towards the confused Herald and patted him on the shoulder. ”Save your breath!”
The three walked in with the princess storming towards the throne and embracing her father. Elidor followed slowly, Pierce staying at his side.
”Head’s up, yer Majersty!” he said as they reached the throne. ”Lookin’ good in dem pants!”
“Dad!” Pierce said. “The royal pair of trousers is of no particular interest here.”
“Oh, er, sorry.”
The King looked up. There was a tear rolling down his royal cheek.
”Ah, Elidor and Pierce O’Caigh! It is good to see you two again and…thank you!”
He straightened up and took a deep breath.
”Now for your rewards! First, Elidor O’Caigh, you have served well!” he went on. ”And you will receive…”
”Nope, ol ‘ man…”
”I beg your pardon!?”
”Sorry, yer Majersty, I jus’ says: Me, I don’ wan’ half der kingdom!”
Pierce stood beside his father, with hands behind his back and a twinkle in his eyes.
”It has not been said that you would…I mean, I didn’t want to…” the King continued.
”If yer haf ter giffid away, den jus’ giffid ter him, right dere!” Elidor grabbed Pierce by the arm. ”No flesh on der bones, yer know, but a hell of a lot clefererer dan me!”
”Yep, an’ why dontcher frow in der princess, too, daddy?” the princess laughed.
The King stared at his daughter with his mouth open wide.
”Where did you learn to talk like this?”
”Me, I dunno, daddy…” she flirted into the air like a twelve-year old who had used mascara and fake eye-lashes for the first time3. ”…must’ve been, like, the trolls, I guess!”
The King found himself not understanding anything and shrugged. This lot would not give him the proper respect anyway. And, besides, when it came down to it…well, what exactly, when it came down to it, really? Oh, to heck with it!
”Well, then,” he said. ”Pierce O’Caigh, will you accept what has been suggested as your price?”
The boy bowed.
”Yes, with delight, your Majesty!” he said as the crowd started cheering.
And so Pierce O ́Caigh served at the Royal Court for a little while until he – and the princess for that matter – were old enough to get married and crowned King and Queen of half the kingdom. Then they lived happily ever after while in a mountain far away from the kingdom, one of the trolls kneeled down and asked:
”What I wanna ter ask yer…yer know…er, why do yer tark like us?”
”Me, I dunno. Hoped yer could tell me!”
”Yer fink we could be relertifs or some’n?”
”Do I look like I know how ter fink?” Elidor asked back and started to slurp hot soup out of a giant, rocky egg-cup.
”Nope.” the troll said and scratched himself absent-mindedly behind der ears…
3 Of course, Pierce was the only one knowing what mascara and fake eye-lashes actually were…he had read about it, I say…er, you know…well, anyway, let ́s finish off the story, shall we?
© 2012 Alexander Biebricher All Rights Reserved.