The Troll
The Final Chapter

Letters from Scott Jacoby
Dear Mr. Whitten,

My name is Scott Jacoby; I am one of the boys with Garrett Samson just before he died. I promised him I would be in contact with you in case anything happened to him. I want to let you know what happened that night but Mr. Samson took care of that himself. Along with this letter, you will find his notes and a small notebook. The notebook contains a recollection of the events as they occurred after the Mr. Samson and the troll left our camp. We found the notebook on top of his body near a creek in the woods where we were investigating. He died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
I hope you know what to do with these papers. If you publish this material, please add the fact that Mr. Samson acted unselfishly and saved my life.

Scott Jacoby
Dear Mrs. Samson,

My name is Scott Jacoby; I am one of the boys that was with your son the night he died. I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry for your loss. Garrett was so brave that night; he traded his life for mine without fear. I thank you. If there is anything I can do for you, at anytime, please let me know. Your son saved my life, and I thank him every day in my prayers.
I am forever in your debt,
Scott Jacoby P.S. I have enclosed a copy of your son's notes, I'm sure you will find them interesting.
Garrett Samson's Record of His Last Minutes
As I walked with the creature to its lair, I felt no fear. I'm not entirely sure why. Something about the thing almost made me feel comfortable. I never even thought of trying to use my gun.
We hiked through the woods in total darkness for several minutes until it lifted away a false floor next to a large tree. Soft light coming from the hole pierced the darkness around us. It let go of my arm and led me down a steep stairway.
At the bottom of the stairs was a large room, the ceiling just low enough that both of us had to duck. "Please, have a seat," the thing said.

I sat down on a sturdy looking bench made out of a split trunk of white oak. I took out the small note pad and pen that I always carried with me and began recounting the event that had occurred tonight. The thing sat on the floor across the room, watched, and patiently waited for me to finish. "So what do you want to talk to me about?" I asked.
"Anything you'd like."
I couldn't imagine having a casual conversation with this murderous creature; it was one of the few times in my life I was at a loss for words. Finally, my journalistic instinct took over. "How long have you been living in these woods?"
"Since 1985, what year is this?"
"It's 2003."
"It's seems like such a long time. I'm glad it's over."
"What do you mean?"
"The life of a troll is very short. My end is near." I could hear the relief in his voice.
"How old are you?"
"As a troll, I am 18."
"What do you mean 'as a troll'?"
"I have not always been a troll."
"I think you're losing me."
"I was once a man, like any other human on the earth, like my father and his father."
"How did you become what you are now?"
"At the minute of my birth on my thirtieth human birthday, I.became this."
"You just, like, mutated into that?" The troll nodded. "Did you know it was going to happen?"
"I found out days before."
"How did you find out?"
"My father told me." He took a deep, raspy breath and cleared his throat. "I had taken my son camping in these woods. My son was fishing in the creek not far from here. I returned to our campsite to get more bait when I found a troll rummaging through our things. That troll was my father. He grabbed me and carried me here, to his home. He sat me down on the bench where you are now sitting and told me of my fate."
Even in the warm dampness of the room, a chill shot up my spine. My stomach tied itself into a knot. "You said you've been a troll for eighteen years, do all trolls die so young?"
"No, I am one of the lucky ones. A troll dies when his son is ready to change. How old is your son?" he asked.
I was surprised by the question. "I don't have any children."
He seemed more surprised by my answer. "What about the boy, the one that I caught?"
"He's the son of a hunter you killed a few years ago."
The sadness in the troll's eyes intensified and his powerful shoulders slumped. "I am sorry," he said softly.
I stood up quickly and hit my head on the ceiling. "Dammit!" I said rubbing my head. "You should be sorry! You kill that poor boy's father!"
The troll shook his head. "That is not what I'm sorry for. I did what I had to do to survive. I should not be surprised that you would risk your life for a child that is not even your own. The one I'm sorry for is you."
"You're not making sense again," I said sitting back down. "Why would you be sorry for me?"
"I have read one of your books; you are a smart man, Garrett. You were a smart boy. I am sorry, my son, that you have no one to take your place. I am sorry that you will be in these woods for eternity."

***This was one of the stories that didn't make the cut in the short story contest. I hope everyone enjoyed it. More to come very soon.***