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Friday short story time: "Digestive Correctness"

After last week’s intense emotional revelations (not really), back to the realm of silliness this week with a story about a troll. I’ve been reading a lot of comics this week and fancied doing something a bit less grounded.

As ever, see the full range of available stories here, and now, here’s the big green man.

Digestive Correctness

By Nick Bryan

‘So your name is… Yaf?’

‘Innit. Yaf. One F.’

‘Yaf, okay. And you are a… “troll”?’

The troll gave this some thought, which took a while because his brain was the size of a peanut. ‘Uhh… yes?’

‘And you eat…’ On this note, the man shuffled his papers and took a moment to push his glasses up his nose. ‘You eat people, is that right?’

‘I s’pose,’ the troll began, unsure, ‘I mean, we usually only eat Englishmen, or sometimes Christians if we can’t find anyone English.’

‘Right.’ The official paused and took some notes, sweating into his suit. ‘I’m a Welsh atheist, by the way.’

‘I thought you seemed a bit rank.’

‘Thank you.’ He was now straining to sound less overjoyed.

Yaf, on the other hand, didn’t care at all. Squashed into a reinforced chair, which he’d been told he couldn’t get out of, his legs were cramping. He was also uncomfortably hungry, so he picked up a nearly bin and ate the contents in a single gulp.

Some of it was gooey, especially the parts near the bottom, and that drawing pin might give him trouble on the way out, but as a quick, filling snack, it would do.

‘So, look, Mister Yaf…’

‘Yaf is fine.’

‘Yaf. They’ve asked me to have a word with you about your preferences.’

After hours staring at the same backdrop, Yaf was very bored. When was something going to happen? He didn’t want to make small talk with this dull man about his “preferences”. Nor was he sure what that even meant. He wondered briefly if the man was calling him gay, but Yaf lacked the intelligence necessary to even be a homophobe. So he didn’t really react.

But his green, slavering visage, with large tusks, often got a reaction from people without him needing to do much. Here, once again, the man was staring at him with wide eyes, until he quickly looked back down at his clipboard.

‘Okay, so apparently your approach to choosing food is seem as discriminatory?’


‘Discrimina… okay, unfair, basically.’

‘So you want me to… eat everyone? Like Belgians and Muslims and stuff?’

‘We’d prefer it if you ate people without any criteria to be honest. Makes things less… sticky.’

‘Huh.’ Yaf considered the idea. It would certainly have made things easier that time he got lost near a pagan festival in Germany. He’d only managed to find one who had been a secret Christian, and that had been a baby. Rich meat, but so little of it.

‘So now I should start eating all the people?’

‘Well, obviously we may have to intervene if you start posing a threat to public order.’

‘How many do I have to eat before that happens?’

The interviewer scratched his chin nervously, eyeing the door. ‘Depends how subtle you are about it.’

Unfortunately, Yaf didn’t know the meaning of the word “subtle”. Instead, he got up from his chair, having just noticed that being told to sit in it didn’t mean he had to stay there.

‘Can I eat you?’

The interviewer gave it some thought, went very pale and finally shook his head. ‘I’d rather you didn’t, I’m afraid.’

Yaf wondered whether reaching across the table and popping off his head for a quick snack would be “subtle” or not. He wasn’t sure. In fact, he was so lost in thought that he barely heard the bloke offer to call his work experience boy in instead.

Teenagers, it turned out, tasted rather greasy. Was Yaf allowed to avoid them in future, or would that still be discremanory?

Don’t steal the story or a troll might eat you. Queries about justified stealing welcomed by email.


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