The Bridge Troll of Jubilee Park

Me and my boys were going down to Jubilee Park to throw rocks at the light rails when we met a bridge troll.

ART BY JUN KWOUN

Me and my boys were going down to Jubilee Park to throw rocks at the light rails when we met a bridge troll. He was underneath the bridge, all hunched and fucked-up looking and shit. Donny was like “Hey, troll boy! Why are you so fucked-up looking and shit?” And the troll was just like “I don’t know, I just am.” Donny was kinda out of line to say that to the troll’s face, but I wasn’t gonna say shit because Donny is sort of our leader because he’s got an XBox One and his cousin buys us beer. Besides, he was kinda right too — the troll had this gnarly, fucked-up face that was all pockmarked and stony, and he was covered by this crazy lichen shit and stuff, and he was wearing a mushroom as a hat which was crazy, too. Donny was all like “why are you wearing that mushroom as a hat, though?” which was fair because, again, the mushroom looked real fucked up. 

The troll just went like “well I need it to keep myself out of the sun,” and Mikey pipes up and goes “my guy, the sun? You are a bridge troll! You live in the shade!” I won’t lie, this was kind of unexpected coming from Mikey because he’s a new addition to the group and we’ve been hazing him a lot by pouring Diet Coke and Mentos down the back of his shirt, so he hasn’t been speaking up much. But he asked the troll about his fucked-up mushroom hat, so I guess he’s been gaining confidence, which means the hazing must be working. 

Art by Jun Kwoun

Anyway so the troll says some shit like “well I need the hat for when I venture outwards from the bridge”, which was such a loser thing to say — like, “venture outwards”, who are you, my freaking English teacher? So anyway, after we got done calling him a pussy for saying “venture outwards” Donny goes all like “why do you even need to venture outwards bro, like what do you even need to get from the outside world?” Which, not gonna lie, was kind of stupid for Donny to even ask because like, a) The bridge kind of is the outside world, like the troll doesn’t have a roof or a door or any shit he just has a dense pile of fur and straw that he sleeps in and a rivulet of water running down the arch of the bridge — like, the guy doesn’t even have a fridge. And b) Like, fucken — what if he needs to get food, bro? Like he’s a troll not a fucken tree, he needs to eat too, or maybe sometimes he wants to chill out or go to the movies, like of course he’s going to need to leave the bridge. But I didn’t wanna say shit to Donny so I just kind of let it slide.

Anyway, the troll says “well, when I need to get food, that’s when I venture outwards” like, duh, you can’t be surprised at that Donny, of course he needs to eat. But Donny just goes “well what do you eat then, troll-boy?” and the troll makes this fucked up creepy looking grin and goes “well, bread of course — just like you!” and Donny goes “what, like fucking Wonder White?” and the troll just goes “no, no, I make my own!”

At this point, Mikey starts to seem real nervous and I kinda get nervous too because we realise that at some point the sun has set and the park has emptied of people, which is weird because usually we come to the park to throw rocks at the light rail in the afternoon so we can scare all the pensioners who are going to the casino. But somehow it’d just turned to night in the time we’d been talking. I tried to tell Donny to knock it off but he wouldn’t listen, and just kept trying to fuck with the troll. He was all like “oh so you make your own? You buy yeast and flour and shit, pussy?” and the troll just smiled and went “well, I make my own flour — I mill it from the bones of naughty children, like you.”

Art by Jun Kwoun

That set Donny the fuck off, and he just starts yelling at the troll all like “you can’t threaten me, my dad’s a cop, he’ll fuck you up!” Donny’s dad isn’t actually a cop, he just says that to people when they’re getting up in his shit, like when the newsagent won’t let him sample the Diet Cokes or when a troll threatens to mill his bones into flour. 

Anyway, Donny’s all mad at this fucking bridge troll, who grabs him by the arms and starts pulling him towards his gaping, slavering mouth, and I’m just standing there like yo, Donny is fucked, he’s about to get eaten by that bridge troll, when Mikey pulls out a crowbar from his backpack and starts whaling on the troll — I’m talking going to town on this fucking bridge troll, like THWACK THWACK THWACK. So the troll drops Donny and starts cowering all like “stop, stop!” and Donny and me pull out our crowbars from our backpacks — we all had crowbars because we were gonna go smash up the cars in the teachers’ car park — and we just beat the shit out of this fucking troll with our crowbars. Anyway, eventually the troll is just cowering there or whatever, and we decide to hit the bricks before his troll buddies show up, but we dig through his pants for his wallet first and we find like fifty bucks in it, which is pretty sweet.

Art by Jun Kwoun

Anyway, so basically we bought ourselves some food from the Tramsheds food court with the fifty, which was pretty tight, but then Donny had to head home to get ready for his brother’s dance recital or whatever. Every now and then we’ll see the troll again chilling underneath the bridge, and we’ll just nod to him like “sup” and he’ll nod back like “sup” because even if we whaled on him with those crowbars or whatever, we’ve got a relationship of mutual respect so we don’t fuck with him and vice versa. It’s pretty tight, cause he’s started eating the kids from our school, the ones that don’t carry crowbars around. And I think that’d kind of suck.