Winner of The Daily Flash Fiction
As the two boys came down the hill, Joey saw the bridge for the very first time. To Joey, it looked like any other bridge, except for the fact that it was completely out of place out here in the middle of nowhere. They were in a lush green meadow surrounded on all sides by old thick trees that seemed to guard this secretive spot. Flowers of all colors bordered the trickling creek, and the grass was unusually high for this time of spring.
"And none of them ever came back?" Joey asked.
"That's what they say," said his new friend, Tim.
Joey was new to this town, and Tim was the first person he met. Joey wanted to explore this strange new territory, and Tim was happy to oblige. On their way out here Tim had explained the story behind the bridge. According to legend, if any young child crossed the bridge in the middle of the day, a small evil troll would jump out from under it, grab them, run back under the bridge, and eat them for its lunch.
"What's that over there?" Joey asked, pointing to a brick path that started on the other side of the bridge.
"Who knows?" Tim said. "Are you going to cross it or not?"
"Yeah. I'm not scared."
Joey took two hesitant steps onto the bridge.
"You're not all the way across."
Joey took another small step, and then ran for the other side. But as soon as he reached the middle, the troll jumped out, grabbed him, and dragged the screaming child back under the bridge.
Five minutes later, the troll came out and handed Tim a gold nugget. "Not much meat on that one," he said.
"Sorry," Tim said. "I'll try to bring a bigger one tomorrow."
Published in the October 2012 Ezine edition of Fiction & Verse