Friday, May 26, 2017

The Troll Hunters

Gilbert had been right about the smell. Clarissa figured he wasn't lying, but she could definitely smell the creature before she saw it. Almost like a scent line from a cartoon of old. She couldn't see it yet, but she knew it was there. Clarissa couldn't also see Gilbert, but too knew he was out there somewhere. They were in the Idaho wilderness outside of a woman's ranch. The troll had apparently been eating her Llamas and she wanted it gone. Gone of course meant dead, Gilbert didn't do monster catch and release.

The plan was to catch the troll between the two of them. Clarissa didn't entirely understand because she figured them being apart meant it would be easy for the troll to take one of them down and thus defeat the planned attack, but Gilbert seemed confident in his plan. Clarissa did find herself clutching the bow pretty tight with an arrow notched at the ready.

"He's coming your way, pretty pissed off too!" Gilbert shouted, though Clarissa could hear the Troll smashing through the woods toward her. She readied the arrow, Gilbert had told her repeatedly aim for the center, he'd attached some "greek fire" some kind of air fire that would explode on impact and ignite, though as the sounds came crashing at her she trusted her weaponry less and less.

The troll burst through into a clearing in front of her. Clarissa felt like time stood still, the creature looked at her, its large tree trunk sized body glistening in sweat and it's own blood from whatever Gilbert had done to it. It must have known it had gotten caught in a trap, because it roared at Clarissa and charged her. She drew the bow tight and fired, the arrow found its mark dead in the creatures chest, piercing and setting it a flame. Momentum carried it forward toward Clarissa, a flaming screaming creature, she stepped back in time for it to die just shy of her feet.

"Is it dead?" Gilbert arrived a few seconds after Clarissa had killed the troll. He fired two shots from his relover into its head.

"Is now, well mostly. If you have time you really want to chop all the arms and legs off and burn them separately trolls have a tendency to regenerate otherwise."

"Do we have ti..." Gilbert had his machete out handle first to Clarissa.

"Welcome to the business, now remember when de limbing a troll..."


"I'd make the obvious star wars joke, but I smell so bad I probably am the star wars joke." It had taken Clarissa more swings than she wanted to count to cut up the Troll, but she got the job done. Gilbert made sure the pieces burned properly which only helped augment the smell.

"What's star wars?" Clarissa looked at Gilbert with a bit of shock.


"No not seriously, you should have seen you face, it was amazing looking."

"You said you didn't joke on the job!"

"About the job, not on the job." Clarissa scowled and didn't say anything else, the sun was coming down and she wanted to ask the Rancher if she could use her shower. They left the woods and got the ranchers house just as the sun was going down. Ms. Parker the eldery Llama rancher was sitting on her porch a shotgun across her lap.

"The triumphant exterminators return, smelled you before I could see you." Parker looked to be in her early sixties to Gilbert, though something was off about her he couldn't put a finger on. Her house was large, as was her far, but Gilbert in his limited time there had seen no evidence of help or workers, or even a spouse of some kind. Parker herself looked to be Egyptian though her last name wouldn't have suggested that. She could have married into it, but she made sure to mention she was a Miss Parker and not missus.

"Can I use your shower Miss Parker? I'm so sorry about the smell."

"Don't be honey go on ahead while I settle up with your boss here third door on the right use whatever towel you prefer." Clarissa went into the house, Miss Parker smiled at Gilbert and rocked on the chair. Gilbert took out his pipe and started to smoke it was his ritual.

"Forgot to ask if it would bother you."

"Nah smoke doesn't bother me at all, made the girl cut up the troll? She new or something."

"Fresh on the job, she's a wizard with that bow though, best I've seen in a while."

"Shame if we had more time I'd love to have seen her shoot, but its dark and I'm sure you folks want to get back on the road, avoid that asshole sheriff." Parker wasn't surprised that Gilbert had run a foul of the Sheriff, Gilbert assumed based on her skin color she had too.

"So payment."

"Don't have it in paper, but I do have this." Parker produced a ruby, it was blackish red and about the size of a marble.

"That's well north of what I normally charge."

"Well you were so thorough and friendly, and discreet exterminator, exceptionally discreet." When Miss Parker said discreet Gilbert noticed the smoke drifting out of and not into her nostrils.

"That we are Miss Parker, that we are."

"Appreciate it, maybe in the future I call upon you and your gal and you can do me another favor, something a bit more complicated than a troll killing my Llamas."

"Maybe we can."

"Well then that's that." Miss Parker got up from her seat and walked into the house. Gilbert let out the breath he didn't notice he'd been holding. Clarissa came out a few minutes later in clean clothes, she said Miss Parker had been kind enough to just give them over.

"She's a nice lady."

"She's a dragon, and we need to be going." Clarissa stood there in shock for a bit and then hurried to the van before Gilbert left her behind.

Friday, May 19, 2017



"I'm starting to think people just don't like me." Clarissa and Gilbert were lost in northern Idaho. They had stopped at several gas stations and Clarissa had volunteered to ask for directions, and every time the person there was a rude asshole. The most recent just spit on her and told her she wasn't welcome.

"You're a white woman driving around with a black man, we're lucky they haven't called the police." Gilbert went to back up the van and almost hit the sheriff. He cursed, he had tempted fate, and now fate was there to kick him in the ass. The Sheriff was a young guy, at least half of Gilbert's age, he had his gun drawn, a large revolver and he was shouting orders.


"Now son hold on now." Gilbert had gotten out his hands up, Clarissa as well.

"GET ON THE GROUND!" Gilbert and Clarissa both complied.

"You know as much as I wanted to tell Doris I told you so, I didn't want to do it from a prison phone."


Boundry County jail wasn't very big, only four medium sized cells. Sheriff Hauser had locked Clarissa and Gilbert up in seperate cells across from each other. Gilbert figured it was because of racism, Clarissa thought it was because he figured they'd try and bust out if they were in the same cell.

"You know Sheriff we get a phone call." Gilbert and Clarissa had been locked up for three hours. Hauser had not said anything after he had arrested them on charges he wouldn't explain.

"You know you can shut the fuck up before I make you." Hauser appeared to be the only person at work that day, or maybe he was the only Sheriff period.

"Man's an asshole." Gilbert was laying on his cot, it wasn't his first time in a jail in a small town, but he kept hoping each time would be his last.

"Maybe if we asked nicely?" For Clarissa it was her first time in a cell, she was pacing back in forth.

"I don't think this guy does anything nicely."

"Will we be charged for anything in the van?" Clarissa was wispering and Gilbert smiled.

"No, well I don't think so, not like this dumb ass could get the van open, you need a lot more than just the keys." Gilbert heard the Sheriff slam down whatever he was reading and come stomping back.

"I told you to shut the f..." Before he finished his sentence the door the Sheriff's office opened and Santinni dressed all in red entered. Gilbert hadn't expected the demon warden, but he was happy to see him. "Who are you?"

He had a smile bigger than his face to Clarissa, "Sannnnnn tinni." The demon said as if that meant something to anyone.


"And Mis ter Howwwwwwwwww zer, you've got my man in a cell." Santinni never just said anything, he had to over emphasize everything and then speed through the rest. To Gilbert it was just him mocking humanity more than anything else, to everyone it just made him come off as the worlds worst carnival barker.

"Sheriff Hauser asshole, and if this," Hauser paused he was about to use a racial slur and thought better of it, "Fella, is your man he's in a heap of trouble." Santinni had closed the gap between him and Hauser, Clarissa could smell ozone, she didn't like the implications.

"Soooommmmmeeee one, is in a heeeeaaapppp of trouble," Santinni licked his index finger and then snapped, conjured by thin air was a badge wallet with FBI and Santinni's picture as the agent.

"Cute trick, but if you think I respect the federal fucking government up here in my cou..."

"Shhhhhhhhhh you're ruining this for me Mister Hooooooooooowzzzzzzer, I'm not asking, I'm telling, release Mr. Dunkley and Ms Shipley."

"Or what Agent," The sheriff leaned in to read his badge, "Santinni? What kind of fucking name is that." Santinni didn't respond where Clarissa and Gilbert could hear him, he just leaned in close to the Sheriff's ear and spoke in fast whispers, as he talked the Hauser looked less and less well, by the time he was done Hauser hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. When he hit the ground the cell doors opened.

"Lady, Gennnnttlllllemmmmmman, time for you to get back on the road, Sheriff Hauser is going to need a sick day."

"Do I want to know what you told him?" Gilbert had let curiosity get the better of him. Santinni smiled wide again.

"You dooooonnnnn't want to know, keeeeeep on my good side, and you woooonnnn't." They left the station, Gilbert's van was parked in front despite Gilbert not driving it there he assumed that was Santinni.

"Claaaaaaaaarrrrissssa, my dear, I need my feeeeeee." She knew this was coming, Gilbert had mentioned the soul thing and despite her being leery of it, she knew it had to be done.

"Will it hurt?"

"Diiiiiidddd it?" Clarissa was confused.

"What do you mean?"

"It's done my deeeeeaaaar, you're liiiissssscennnssed, have a pleasant day." And with that Santinni disappeared as if he was not there.

"Gilbert I'm confused." They had gotten back in the van and were driving down the road.

"Don't be, its more about consent than an actual physical cost, you gave him permission, so it was done and done, now the hard part."

"Killing a troll?"

"Finding the god damn thing, we're still lost in Idaho."

Friday, May 12, 2017



"So let me guess just throw out everything I ever knew about Trolls?" Gilbert and Clarissa were on the way to the Double O. Clarissa figured he didn't just keep Troll killing stuff around.

"Nope, keep everything you ever heard its mostly true, big, stupid, super strong, super resilient, corrosive blood, weak to fire, iron, and fey wood."

"Fey wood?"

"Yeah wood from the fey, sometimes called purgatory, but its really a place between worlds, not heaven or hell, souls I don't believe ever wind up there, but I've personally never been."

"You can go there?" Clarissa remembered being a young child and loving fairies, she wondered what the real ones were like Gilbert's one off handed comment about them wasn't very encouraging though.

"Certain people can, holy people, shamans, that kind of thing, you have to basically be a plane walker of sorts, someone told me once about the preperation for the journey and it sounds like not something I'd ever want to do, and its dangerous over there, there is shit in the fey that should never leave it and when they do we all suffer, like dragons."


"Calm down Clarissa, trust me you never ever want to meet a real dragon, just trust me on that."

"No way, you can't just drop a bomb like that and just expect me to accept it." Gilbert rubbed his eyes, they had a bit of a way to go to the Double O and he just knew he was just starting a conversation that would take most of the morning.

"Ok, what do you want to know?"


"So they can transform, and they have literal gold for blood?" Gilbert was just pulling into the Double O's parking lot. Clarissa showed a real interest in Dragons, too much interest for Gilbert's liking. He knew a guy that was super into them too until he was burned alive by one, Gilbert didn't like the feeling Clarissa would go that route herself.

"They also eat people, remember that, they are dangerous, dangerous creatures, not to be screwed with on a good day, and like all Fey creatures, they are consummate liars." The Double O was empty for the time being. Larry was peering over some kind of magazine.

"The triumphant killers return! Clarissa here is taking to your tutelage well Gilbert."

"She's a fast study, Larry I'm after a troll."

"So just punch the keyboard commando in the face what are you doing here?" Larry chuckled and made his way to the back.

"Every god damn time people make that kind of joke, I swear to god."

"Ok so I got Iron swords, daggers. polearms, greek fire, and we did just get a shipment of fey wood arrows." Larry put up all the items on the counter as he rattled them off.

"You know what I want Larry."

"Wasn't talking to you Gilbert, I got your iron machete already on the order, I was talking to Clarissa."

"Do you have a bow with those arrows?" Larry smiled.

"Do I ever!" Larry rummaged around under his counter and procured a white wood bow with intricate carvings, "Top quality fey ironwood, with manticore string, great pull, made for a righty so I hope you're ok with that."

"Hold on, Clarissa can you even fire a bow?" Clarissa took up the bow like a musician with a guitar, feeling the finish and then running her finger down the bow string testing its tautness.

"I went through a hunger games phase a while back, shot amateur for a while, figured there'd be no use for it in regular biology and I hated hunting animals, which ha is kind of funny now that I think about it."

"Tell you what Clarissa, you put two bulls eyes in out of three and I'll give you the bow, arrows of course still a cost, got to make money somehow."


"Wait don't go making..." Larry was already off to another part of the Double O. Gilbert himself had never seen the archery range, but he'd heard it existed. It was done up like an old castle wall, with targets at medium range, right underneath the wall, and on top of it.

"Forgive the wall, was hosting the local ren fair group the other weekend." Clarissa had already taken up a couple arrows from a loose quiver.

"So was that two in a row?" She notched two arrows, "Or simultaneously?" As soon as she let go Gilbert was already shocked. Not only did she hit the bullseye with both up top an down below, she'd done it almost dead center.

"Jesus you said you shot amateur?" Larry wanted to sell the arrows, but figured he'd be able to talk her into a lower cost on the bow, not run across Robin Hood reborn.

"Well shot amateur, my trainer said I could probably go pro, but dad was dead set against had to have a college education."

"I got god damned hustled! She hustled me!"

"Deal's a deal Larry." Larry had a huge smile on his face.

"Ok ok, well you need the quiver to match the bow, and a carrying case!" Larry rushed back to his shop area to procure the other items, and was able to upsell Clarissa on additional items, Gilbert found himself proud of her for finding her place in the exterminator world. He'd always wanted someone who could shoot a bow for the versatility of it, but previous archers he'd run across were not down for hunting monsters.

"So trolls?" They were back on the road, Clarissa was lovingly holding the new bow.

"Well first off, have you ever been to Idaho?"

Friday, May 5, 2017

Work As Usual


"... In other news work continues on what regulators are saying is the worst natural gas disaster in recent history..." The radio was on in Roy's shop, the news was covering up the Dufton massacre as a gas explosion. Gilbert had told Clarissa the media was in on it, she just never thought it would be so blatant.

"If you think this is bad, you'd probably really freak when you'd hear what really went down with the titanic." Gilbert seemed in a better mood even with Sylvia still hanging around.

"It's like everything Art Bell was talking about was real."

"Everything he was talking about was real, well the cryptozoological stuff, aliens are bullshit best of my knowledge."

"Aliens are real too." Sylvia smiled when she said it, Clarissa had almost forgotten she was there.

"Don't lie to the girl Sylvia."

"I'm not lying Gilbert, we have been visited by multiple species of aliens."

"Is that from something you know, or something he knows."

"Such an asshole Gilbert." The he that went unsaid was the god Sylvia was connected to.

"And the results are in." Their argument was interrupted by Roy's reemergence. He had the ax grasped between two thick fireman's gloves with weird runes scrolled on the back of each one.

"Don't keep me in suspense Roy."

"Nothing, all gone, not a trace of the spirit that I had seen before. It's just a shitty ax now." Roy handed it over to Gilbert.


"So about my house..." Gilbert sighed, he didn't even want to look Roy in the face.

"You lost my ax to a man who used it to murder an entire subdivision Roy."

"So that's a you didn't cleanse the house or?"

"It's done, but you owe me."

"Sure sure, now can your little entourage leave your disrupting my customers." Gilbert looked around the store and found no one else there other than Clarissa and Sylvia.

"Right all the customers." Gilbert took the ax and made note the next time he'd ask for Roy's help, it would be with something that was extremely gross/took a long time for the smell to leave your clothes, like a troll or a trash spider. Once outside the entire town felt dead. Gilbert didn't even say anything to Sylvia, just waved at her as she drove off, their time together finished and he was grateful for it. Gilbert and Clarissa didn't say much on the way home, just talked about the weather and how everyone was a shitty driver. They both went to sleep hoping that the next day was not as tiresome as the one before it.

"Doris where are we on the Dufton estate?" Gilbert had been in the office for less than five minutes, Doris sighed, she'd told him where they were the day before, and the day before that. Gilbert was like that, he wouldn't care about something until he did.

"They are still clearing the check, but we are getting paid, where are you with regards to that Troll in Idaho?" Doris couldn't see it, but she knew Gilbert had wrinkled his nose, he hated trolls, and hated Idaho.

"Don't see it as much of a problem, I mean what's one more troll in Idaho?"

"Bills to pay Gilbert."

"Somethings ain't worth the money Doris." Clarissa was not currently in the office, Gilbert had allowed her time to go buy some new clothes and toiletries, since she'd become his assistant he wanted her to look more professional much to her chagrin. The haircut he was assured would happen as well, having laid an ultimatum of lose the hair or find a new place to work.

"I'll make sure to tell the electric company that."

"Doris I swear..." Gilbert was interrupted by Clarissa coming into the office, she had her hair nicely trimmed and was wearing a short sleeve work shirt and cargo pants, she almost looked like a professional if not for the nose ring.

"Nose ring?"

"You said no dreads you didn't say no nose rings."

"Ok fine first thing that rips it out of your nose I am not not telling you I told you so."

"Double negative Gilbert."

"All correct, so you want to hunt a troll?"

"Like someone who's an asshole online?" Gilbert chuckled.

"Nah something that smells nicer than those guys." He had grabbed his jacket along with the piece of paper Doris was holding out.

"So where we going?"

"Northern Idaho."

"This job takes me to the nicest places."