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.
"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.