Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 03

Don't Feed the Trolls (cover)Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.


Kim woke me up. trolls being weird

Standing around -> jerky. Something’s wrong

Vik to rooftop, report: trolls in tizzy (hypnagogic jerk?)

Trolls start banging on windows + doors

Retreat to 2nd floor

Sent Ty to roof.

Trolls try doors. Doors all locked.

Did not force entry

Periodic banging

Ty report: 2nd group trolls

Vik says 2nd group weird (kuru?)

Ty says: 1st group circle house

Vik report: 1st and 2nd group trolls fighting?

2nd group pass by

1st group stay 1+ day then go (why?)

We left. No trolls spotted.

 


June 13th 2018

Williams,

Sorry, ignore that. I was jotting stuff down so I wouldn’t forget it when I wrote this. We’re at a bed and breakfast place, it looks like. The sign was broken, so I can’t read it, but we’re still in NC. We were trying to put as much distance as we could between us and the trolls, but with the banging and everything for the past couple days…

So. Breaking it down for you. Kim woke me up, I think it was the night after the last letter I wrote, I don’t remember. Honestly, my brain is a little shot. I’m not even sure what day it is, but my watch says it’s the 13th, so that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway, Kim woke me up. He said the trolls were being weirder than usual. Before, remember what I said about the one troll just standing there? And it moving so Kate could get to the breaker box? That was a good kind of weird. Kinda. Freaky, but it worked in our favor, so good. This though…this was bad. They were pacing and snarling, nose up in the air like they were dogs or something. And they were…it was almost like they were having convulsions? They were twitching. All over. Hands, necks, shoulders…

Anyway, I thought maybe Jean had started taking pot shots at them, but I checked, and he was with Mike upstairs. They both swear he didn’t do anything to get them riled up, so I sent Vicki to the roof to check in with Sam and get a better look around. I thought, maybe it was just the ones by the house, you know? No such luck. She came back and said all the ones in sight were doing the same thing. Said that it looked more like those leg jerks you do when you’re about to fall asleep, than an actual seizure, but without studying their brains, she couldn’t tell for sure. I sent her back up to relieve Sam.

As soon as she was out the window, all hell broke loose. The trolls started banging on the windows and doors, but it was strange, now that I think about it…it wouldn’t’ve taken much to put their hands through the window, I mean, hell, I broke a window once, when I was a kid. I still have the scars from it, so why didn’t they break any windows? The more I think about it, the more I think they were just trying to scare us. But why? I mean, it worked, I pulled everyone to the second floor, but what was the point?

I’ll have to talk to the others about that. Maybe I’ll have something more for you later. Right now, I want to get this wrote out before I forget.

Got everyone to second floor, and the banging stopped, for the most part. I sent Ty up to the roof to check in with Vicki. While we waited for him to get back, the trolls started jiggling the door handles. Not like they were trying to break in, though. It was more like they were checking to make sure the doors were locked (why?!). I had everyone get ready to evacuate to the roof, just in case, but the trolls seemed to stay calm as long as we were upstairs. Whenever one of us tried to go down the stairs to check out the sitch, the banging would start up again.

Ty finally came back, and said a second group of trolls were approaching, but they were different. Vicki pointed out that the trolls in the first group looked somewhat clean…like, their clothes had black marks on them, probably from when they first turned, but the dirt on their face was mostly washed off from the rain we had, and underneath, they looked fairly clean. The new group (group 2) were covered in brown. Dark brown on their arms and face.

They also “walked funny” according to Ty. Our trolls walked normal until this all started, but Vicki thinks the twitches and jerks of the new group is their “norm.” She told me to make a note of something called “kuru”. Said you would know what it means, and then spent a good ten minutes bitching about the lack of text messaging. Ty also said our trolls had split their…forces? I guess? One of them circled the house, the other was, basically, having a pissing contest with the new group. Ty and Vicki both reported the same thing. The new trolls kept trying to walk straight down the road towards the house we were in, but “our” group wouldn’t let them. They kept snarling and lunging at the new trolls if they got too close to the road (this goes back to my theory about the protecting, but still doesn’t explain WHY they did it). Lori said this is similar to what they saw on their trip down to dad’s farm, so I mean, at least there’s precedence (sp?), but still…

The second group eventually passed by, it took a while though…I went up on the roof at one point to watch, and Vicki told me a little about the kuru thing. If she’s right, this might be good news for us. She said people with kuru usually die within a year from starvation, and the jerking and twitches are signs of motor control loss. The problem she’s seeing is that, for one thing, it usually takes YEARS for it to manifest any symptoms, AND usually, by the time a person with kuru is jerking and twitching like that, they’ve already lost the ability to walk. These trolls are still moving, which means, whatever keeps these things alive, is also counteracting the effects of the disease. Vicki doesn’t know how, or for how long it will be able to continue doing so, but she said it gives her a bit more to work with, regarding the virus that caused the outbreak in the first place.

Anyway, once the new set of trolls were gone, our first set…they kinda lingered? They hung around for another day, and then, they left. The ones around the house went first. They just…walked away. Mike and Lori were on roof watch. They said the house trolls joined up with the trolls around the neighborhood, and then the entire group moved on. We hunkered down for another day after that, and then got the hell out of dodge. We haven’t seen any trolls since then, but we did come across a couple dead bodies. Definitely deaths by trolls.

Vicki and Tiny did a quick check of the bodies, and then made us move on. Tiny said the heart was missing from one of the bodies, and part of the lung. Another body was missing three fingers. I couldn’t figure out why that freaked them out so bad, until Vicki told me that all four bodies were missing the same three. The thumb and ring finger on one hand, and the index finger on the other.

Why would the trolls do that? It’s almost like they were taking them as trophies? But…that’s more of a human thing, isn’t it? And they were all missing different internal organs…one of the bodies, we found a good 30ft away. Tiny said the woman probably would’ve lived, if we had found her sooner. Probably would’ve turned anyway, but the trolls only took her fingers, and three ribs. Most of the bodies had been dead for almost a week, that one though…Tiny talked it over with Sam, and taking into consideration the heat and everything, says that she probably died in the last day or two. If we have the timing right, that puts those people’s deaths at about the same time we reached that house, and all the trolls blocked us in.

Which brings us back to the possibility of the trolls protecting us. It still doesn’t make any sense, but neither does anything else. Why would they keep us basically locked up in that house, but not attack us? Even the banging on the doors and windows, it’s not like it would’ve taken that much to break the glass. And the windows were HUGE. I didn’t mention it before, because it didn’t seem important at the time, but that was the one thing I was against when the scouts suggested that house. The living room had windows that were damn near floor to ceiling! If the trolls had wanted to, they could’ve WALKED through them. Hell, the first thing I did was make everyone take apart the box springs of all the beds and board that shit up! And then piled MORE crap in front of THAT. I wasn’t taking any chances, so wtf, Williams? Why didn’t they come after us? They should’ve seen us all piled in, and made like we were a friggen smorgasbord, but they didn’t?

I don’t like it, Will. I mean, I like that we’re still alive, but I don’t like not knowing what the hell is going on.

Whatever. We’re moving at first light, and I need sleep. Will have to think about this more.

Shelly


 

June 14th, 2018

Williams,

So I talked it over with the others, and we all agree. The way the trolls were acting definitely seemed like they were trying to keep us on the second floor, with no intent on actually harming us. Still not sure of the “why” but Lori told me something interesting…

Apparently, some of the people she was with had similar experiences with trolls, where they acted out of…well, character, I guess? When they were staying with George and Danni, one of their look outs saw a troll fall down, and the other trolls helped her get back up. Then when the troll fell again, and couldn’t stand up, they stayed with her until she could. She also said, they had a group come through George’s farm, but the trolls didn’t go crazy attacking everyone then, either. From the best they could tell, as long as no one ran, the trolls would pass right by the person. Is that prey instinct? Or predator…whatever.

Her and Danni also witnessed them trying to eat REAL food. Dick was feeding that one troll back at dad’s place, and it seemed to like it, so…what’s going on, Will? Is this a mutation? If it is, is it a mutation of the virus, or a mutation of the troll? If it’s a mutation of the virus, what does this mean for the rest of us? If it’s a mutation of the troll, what does it mean for them?

Yeah, I know, you don’t have the answers, and even if you did, I won’t get them til I get back, but that’s where my brain is at right now.

We didn’t make it very far today. One of the drawbacks of horse drawn carriages. We have all these roads, and that’s great, but they’re not much use when they’re chock fucking full of cars. We had to keep pushing cars off to the side before we could go anywhere. We ended up going off-road a couple times, there just wasn’t anywhere to put the cars. Even the sides of the roads were blocked up. The sun started setting, so we gave up on making any more progress today, and looked for a place to camp. Kim went out with Lori earlier to scout the area. Trying to figure out whether it’d be quicker to go off road some more, or have teams working through the night to get the cars out of the way.

This place isn’t bad. Typical rich-bitch type house though. More ridiculously large windows that no one really needs, but hey, whatever. Sam already found his perch on the roof. I swear, that man reminds me of a cat. Always has to find the highest place he can.

Everyone else is still checking through the house. The kitchen was still fully stocked, so Ty and Kate are going through everything and packing up anything still good. There’s a lot of bulging cans though, so I don’t think we’re gonna walk away with much. Most of what I see going in the totes are friggen noodles. I think BG saw the face I made at the lasagna noodle packages. He laughed at me, and asked if he should go egg hunting. Asshole. (Jokes on him, if I see a bird’s nest, I’m sending him up a tree, see if I don’t…)

Anyway, we cleared the house before we moved ourselves in, of course. It was empty, except for the garage. I guess the owners decided to take the easy way out. All things considered, I guess I can’t blame them too much. This life is hell, Will. Even on the farm with all of the amenities we have, it’s not easy. Not like it used to be.

Man…never thought I’d see the day I would miss Candy Crush…

Shelly

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