Sampler: Trouble with Trolls by Sue Joslin

Can they prevent a war that threatens to sweep mankind from the face of the earth and send the remaining trolls to their last ‘Big Sleep’?

High up in the ice caves of Norway, the trolls are angry.

Their world is warming up and more and more are failing to awaken after the Big Sleep of summer.

Those that are left know that the only way to save their kind is to stop the humans from destroying their world.

Can Morag, Ailsa, and Kvarts prevent a war that threatens to sweep mankind from the face of the earth and send the remaining trolls to their last ‘Big Sleep’?

Sue Joslin

Sampler: Trouble With Trolls

Mark pulled up beside Christian, and the Shanklins and the ambulance drew alongside.

“How are you doing Mrs Shanklin?” he asked gently.

The woman grimaced, shivering. She was deathly pale. “A bit cold, but I’ll be fine once I get my wretched arm sorted out,” she smiled bravely.

“Well, I’m bloody well not! Look what you’ve done to my wife. That sled ride was dangerous. You should have had a trained driver for every sled. When I get home I am going to get my lawyers onto you and you are going to be sorry you didn’t look after us properly. I..”

“Bill, please…?”

“… am going to sue you for every penny…”

“Bill! Not now. I just want to get to the hospital. I don’t want any fuss.”

“It’s okay, Mrs Shanklin. Christian is going to go with you to the hospital and your tour guide will join you there and stay with you until you can be discharged. They will make sure that you can rejoin your ship, or get you to the airport if you wish to go home. We aren’t going to abandon you.

“Go with them, Christian. See that they have everything they need.”

“Oi! Where are you going?” Mr Shanklin demanded as Mark marched off towards his buggy.

“There is a matter I need to see to urgently. The ambulance crew and Christian will take care of you. I am really sorry about your accident, but I’m afraid I have to go.”

“Oh yes, you run off and leave us to a junior member of staff. I will be adding your lack of interest to our complaints when I see my solicitor.” But Bill Shanklin was talking to a cloud of exhaust fumes as Mark turned his buggy down the fork in the trail.

The red tail lights were soon lost to sight.

Mark had no illusions about finding the girls quickly. They had a very good head start and even if they did begin to suspect that they had taken a wrong turn, they were unlikely to be able to get the dogs turned round and heading the right way.

The most that he could hope for was that they had managed to stop the dogs and tether them, and had huddled together for warmth.

In the sort of clothing the tourists wore, frostbite and hypothermia were a real danger if they were out for more than an hour or two. He preferred not to think of the possibility that they too might have crashed.

He shook his head, trying to clear his negative thoughts, and concentrated on looking ahead along the track and listening for the sound of the dog team. At least he would know about it if he got close.

An hour later, he was cresting a rise when his walkie-talkie crackled to life.

“Mark. Come in, Mark. Over.”

“Mark here, Lisa. What is it? Over.”

“The dogs are back.”

“Thank Christ!” Mark breathed to himself, slowing this buggy to a halt.”

“…not with them. Over.”

Mark missed the beginning of the sentence, but a cold hand clutched at his heart.

“Please repeat that last bit, Lisa. I didn’t catch that. Over.”

“I repeat. The girls were not with them. Over.”

Mark’s brain finally caught up with him. “That is not possible, Lisa. The dogs did not, I repeat, did NOT pass me. Which direction did they come from? Over.”

“I didn’t see. I was inside with Mrs Mackenzie when we heard the barking and they were back at the kennels by the time we got out there. There was no sign of the girls. Over.”

“Did you check the yurt and other buildings in case they have gone looking for one of us?”

“Affirmative. They are not at the centre. Have checked the track in both directions as far as the trees. Over.”

“Okay. I’m heading back to the start of the trail to look for where the dogs left it. They must have cut across the snow or I would have met them.

“Please notify Greggor of what is happening. Over.”

Mark turned the buggy and began making his way slowly back towards the centre. Examining the snowbanks on each side of the track as he went. Those girls were out there somewhere, possibly injured, and he needed to find them, fast.

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