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“Let’s send another crew up.” growled the one and only, King Rifclaw. “Yes, sire” replied the servant.
There was hustling and bustling as the trolls gathered around the opening. “Let’s go, faithful trolls!” shouted the leader. The trolls marched up the hole. They stepped on to the surface. Despite of their size, their steps could not be heard. They marched deep into the forest. Soon, they reached a building. These trolls walked calmly in the building. Two of those creatures stayed out to guard. You could hear the grumbling of those trolls inside the building if you were there. Every so often you might hear a bang or crash if you were there.
In a few hours, right before nightfall, the trolls would march out of that building, relieved that the work for that day was done. But they knew that they would have to return every day until they were done. Getting back to Lake Louise, they slipped down the hole once more, returning to their home. They are tired after the long day, but those trolls know very well one of the outcomes that will come after this work. Many trolls had always thought, “We would be lucky if a human child came upon us…”
Tom–age 7–summer 2513
I walked along, just looking at the toys in the toy shops and the cars at the car dealers, when I met upon… my friend Ashley. “;Hi! What are you doing here?” she questioned. “Oh, I guess you’re window shopping.” Ashley quickly added without waiting for my reply. “I–I w–was thinking a–about g–going for a s–swim in L–Lake L–Louise.” I stammered, trying to hard to stifle my giggles. “Great, then let’s both go!” So, we walked along in the hot, scorching sun. After we got to the shore and put on our suits, we agreed on looking for things like lost jewelry, watches, and other queer things that you can think of. But about five minutes later, we were amazed by the thing we found, which was much better than a necklace lined with gold. There, we found, at the bottom of Lake Louise, a big, black… spot. Well, at least I thought it was a spot. “Why don’t we get our tanks of oxygen and check this out?” I suggested. So, we went back to the surface, got our tanks, and then went back to the “spot” to investigate. As I reached toward the “spot,” I found that it was actually a hole. There were streams of bubbles coming from the opening. “Let’s go in.” we said in unison. We went down the hole. Down, and down we went. I thought we would never reach the bottom, when…we hit the ground. When we looked out, there was a city. This was so magnificent, so spectacular. We could see the houses, the buildings, the parks, and many more things. We saw the creatures, the monsters, lumbering around.
Then we saw a carriage being pulled by two of those troll–like monsters with a big troll thing in it. Now when I describe troll as big, I mean TREMENDOUSLY GIANT. He had to be at least ten feet tall, weighing at least eight hundred pounds. He was wearing a very big crown on top of his head enriched with beautiful shells sparkling in the light. He had on him a purple cape embroidered with golden thread and tassels. Inside, there was a red uniform, including a matching top and pants, with luxurious designs of green, red, silver, blue, gold, and purple thread with floppy sleeves. “He must be some kind of king.” whispered Ashley, as we watched silently. Indeed, she was right. As the carriage moved pass the monsters, those creatures dropped to their knees and chanted many things such as, “All hail King Rifclaw! Long live our king! Make way for the king of Hydropolis!” Then…I burped. All the trolls looked in my direction. Good thing we were hidden well. When they saw there was nothing, they went back to chant. We quietly swam back to the top.
When we got to the surface, we jumped out of the lake and took off our suits. Ashley was the first to speak. “What should we do about those ‘trolls’?” she asked. “I think we should leave them alone for the while. We don’t know them yet. So, how are we supposed to know if they’re good or bad?” We walked to my house in silence. “Why don’t we go check that city out again tomorrow?” I asked Ashley. “Fine, but don’t eat too many grapes next time.” “I didn’t! I think I…well… I think I ate too many pancakes and grapes.” I admit. Ashley was always teasing me of my appetite. “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Ashley–age 7–summer 2513
I walked along to Tom’s house. We had agreed to check out that hole again. He was sitting on the steps, with his oxygen tank and all, waiting for me. Soon, we arrived at Lake Louise. After putting on our swimming suits, we got our oxygen tanks and went to where we had found the hole last time. Again, we went down. Deeper and deeper we went. Now to tell you the truth, I was scared. I could tell Tom was too. His face was all red and his eyes full of fear. When we got to the bottom, we could hear some of the trolls talking. “I have brought the king’s orders.” one troll said, “He wants us to send another crew up to look at that technology. I really hope that the research is finished soon.” “Me, too.” said another, who seemed to be a servant of some kind. “Then we will become friends sooner and I’m not as busy with all those avalanches of work King Rifclaw assigns my family and me. My children, Thorgaf and Sgrin, can’t stand going up to the earth’s surface much longer unless we become friends.” Tom and I shared glances. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Who are you?” said a voice. We turned around in a flash. There stood two of the trolls. They looked like they were trolls. “I’m Tom and she’s Ashley.” I heard him say, his eyes growing wide with fear. “Maybe I should say… what are you?” the trolls asked. I could see that they were nervous, too. Their eyes were growing wider and their bodies were shaking. I couldn’t tell why they were scared. We wouldn’t do anything to hurt them. “Us?” it was my turn to speak. “We are humans.” Those two trolls looked at each other in amazement. “H–humans?” one of the trolls stuttered. Then the other creature spoke. “We’re Thorgaf and Sgrin. I’m Sgrin and she’s Thorgaf. Oh and…are humans evil?” I laughed at this. “Well that depends, Sgrin. Some humans are bad, some–I mean most humans are good.” I grinned. “Are you good humans?” Thorgaf asked curiously. “Yes, we are good humans.” Tom replied, “What about you?”“Oh, we’re good little trolls. Our father works for the great King Rifclaw. He works as a soldier for General Vicktree.” Sgrin said proudly. They both grinned. I thought that their teeth would be nice and clean. Oh, but they were so nasty! They were all decaying with cavities and had a horrible shade of yellow. “Come with us. We will show you the village.”
As we walked along the street, people in the houses would stare and people outside would run to us, shaking our hands and shouting greetings. We saw many wonders below this lake. It seemed to be more like an ocean. There were fish everywhere we looked! Soon we arrived at the school. Thorgaf and Sgrin were still too young to go. But still, they had many friends there. At the first sight of us, the trolls–even the teachers–were running out to greet us. When it was time to go home, Thorgaf gave us a warning. “Do not mention us to anyone. That will bring us great danger if we are not ready. But even if we do not allow others, you are welcome here in Hydropolis.” After we promised not to tell, we went back up to the surface. “That was quite and adventure.” Tom said with his voice filled with excitement and his eyes sparkling. “I can’t wait to go back.” I replied, “But I wonder what Thorgaf meant when she said &$8217;unless we are ready’. I guess that will be a mystery.”
Sgrin–age 6–summer 2513
When those humans came, my sister and I were so scared! We thought that they were going to hurt us. But we found that they were pretty gentle. They had said that they would come back. Now my sister and I are waiting by the opening of the hole for them. While we waited, Thorgaf and I discussed what we were going to do when Tom and Ashley got here. “Let’s play in the park.” Thorgaf suggested, “Then we can introduce them to our father and General Vicktree.” “That’s a great idea!” I exclaimed, “Maybe General Vicktree can even introduce Tom and Ashley to King Rifclaw!” Before we could say anymore, Ashley emerged from the hole. She was followed by Tom. “Hi! What do you have planned for us today?” Ashley questioned, cocking her head to one side. “Let’s go to the park!” Thorgaf screamed, running off. “Come along, my friends! Last one there is a piece of rotten seaweed!” I exclaimed, racing after my sister. I could hear the footsteps of the humans behind me. We ran along, filling the air with laughter.
When we arrived at the park, Tom and Ashley immediately jumped on the swings and started swinging. I grabbed a handful of seaweed and squished it into a big clump like I always do. I used that ball to play catch with my sister. While we were playing, Tom and Ashley told us about their families. Tom said that his dad was an engineer. Ashley said her mom was a nurse. Then Thorgaf explained how our father was an army officer in the General Vicktree’s army. “Would you like to meet our father and General Vicktree?” I asked. “Yes we do!” exclaimed the humans. So, we ran off to my house. There, we found our father and general Vicktree. Sitting in the yard, they seemed to be discussing things.
I waved to my father to get his attention. He stood up, ran to my sister and me, and pulled us away for a moment. “The research is nearly finished.” He whispered to us, “Soon we can reveal ourselves.” Thorgaf smiled at me. Then we went back to introducing Tom and Ashley. Thorgaf turned to General Vicktree. “General Vicktree, this is Tom and this is Ashley.” She said, pointing to the humans, “Tom and Ashley, this is General Vicktree.” Then it was my turn. “Father, this is Tom and Ashley. Tom and Ashley, this is our father.” After everyone shook hands, General Vicktree spoke. “Would you like to visit the king?” he asked the humans. “Yes, please!” they replied. They seemed to be very excited to go. Soon we arrived at the palace. The king’s palace was made with the finest coral and the strongest seaweed. There were large domes and high towers. On top of each tower, there was the flag of Hydropolis. Above the entrance, there was a design of colored stones and carved shells.
When we entered, there was a large hall, full of glimmering windows, the floor paved with sparkling shells, and a breathtaking, stunning throne made with gold engravings at the end of the hall. Upon that throne sat the mighty King Rifclaw himself. No matter how many times I came to this place, I always marveled at the beauty. My father dropped to his knees. “King Rifclaw, we have brought guests from the surface of the earth.” he cried. “Humph.” mumbled the king, “It’s too early for them to know about us.” Then it was my sister’s knelt down. “Oh, sire. They discovered the holes themselves. Anyway, they have kept us secret.” The king inspected Tom and Ashley. “Fine, they are welcome here. But don’t give us away. We are not ready yet.” After that we left. It was time for Tom and Ashley to go home. “Come again soon!” Thorgaf and I shouted. We kept on waving until they were out of sight.
Thorgaf–age 6–summer 2513
Today is our last time to go up for research. Then, we can reveal ourselves! My brother and I are so excited. Sgrin and I can’t wait to become friends with the rest of the humans. We’re climbing up the hole with the rest of the crew at the moment. We have our father at our side. So, we feel perfectly safe. The last thing we need to do study is what they call computers. Then after we announce it through the city, we can reveal ourselves! My brother and I guard our secret laboratory while the others work. “I can’t wait to see the faces of those humans when they see us.” Sgrin said. “Yes, I can’t wait to be their friends. Maybe we can all even be one civilization!” I exclaimed with excitement. Sgrin grinned. “Yes, that would be splendid!” Sgrin said dreamily. After hours of waiting, the other trolls finished all their research. We were all smiling as we marched back to the hole. We would have chanted if we could, but that would attract the humans’ attention.
When we arrived back at Hydropolis, a royal subject announced the last of the discoveries. He ended his speech with: “Make a good cleaning of your homes! Finish tending your garden! When Hydropolis is all clean, we can reveal ourselves.” A booming cheer went through the city. Then everybody hustled to work. King Rifclaw asked Sgrin and me to polish the hundreds of windows in his castle. “I announce this day to be a holiday to celebrate the closing of our research!” King Rifclaw said cheerfully. Polishing his windows was tiring work. But when we finished, the king said we could play in his yard as long as we didn’t bother the gardener. My brother and I rushed out at breakneck speed. We laughed as we tumbled over the seaweed, getting bits of seaweed stuck to our light blue skin. I grabbed a clump of seaweed, formed it into a ball, and started to play catch. This was tons of fun. Hours later, Sgrin and I sauntered back to our home. There, we helped scrub the floor.
After we finished, we ate our dinner. During our dinner, I suddenly had a thought. “Father, what will we do if the humans attack us instead of being our friends like we expect?” I asked. “Well, honey, we have a plan. Don’t worry.” We ate the rested of our dinner in silence. Usually when we finished our dinner we would have a family time together, but today we were too exhausted to even try to have fun. So, we all climbed into bed and fell asleep.
The next morning, our family checked if everything was still clean. Soon, the whole city was finished cleaning. Then, we all gathered by the hole, getting ready to reveal ourselves.
King Rifclaw–age 64–summer 2513
One by one, with me in the lead, we swam up the hole. Soon we had all emerged at the top. There we chanted rhymes and sang songs in the old troll language. We did this to get the humans’ attention. Soon, hundreds of people were staring at us in awe. “My fellow humans,” I announced, “We are the sea trolls of Hydropolis. We trolls have come to be your friends. Please note that we come in peace.” Nothing was spoken. “The sea trolls have worked hard to develop your habits. We would like to be your friends.” I added. Still nothing was spoken. A few minutes later, thanks to my waterproof wrist watch, some men dressed in uniforms came to the front of the human crowd. “Now who are you?” I questioned. “We are policemen.” one of those officers said through gritted teeth, “We take care of all the problems in this city. You trolls are one of those problems.”
“Us?” I laughed. “What did we do?” “You scared the people of this city, that’s what.” replied the police officer. Then I heard a loud boom. A troll beside me fell. “Sometimes we must kill you or other times we take you captive and then kill you.” Many More policemen rushed up. They took one troll each, and then shoved them into a cage. Those trolls screamed for help. “What? You can’t do this!” I shouted. “Those trolls are dead meat. I’m sure you don’t want to be like them. Now go away.” exclaimed the police officer.
When we returned back to Hydropolis, I called in Vicktree. “Vicktree, please send a warning to the humans before we carry on the plan.” I ordered. “Yes, sire.” Vicktree went to another room and began to write. Soon he emerged and showed me what he had written: