A Trolls First Kiss - a short story

Bobo has a very big nose. It is so huge that all the other trolls find it hard to talk to him because they can't stop staring at it. But there is one troll who loves Bobo's nose: his mother. In fact Sheila thinks it is an incredibly important nose. Now Sheila is a very practical troll who runs the family cleaning business.

"Come here Bobo," she would command when he was a young troll. And Bobo wold shuffle over to his mother. "Stand tall," she would say and then she would hang one end of the washing line onto his nose and the other to a branch of a tree. For trolls are large and trolls are strong and Bobo's extra strength meant that she could get more clothes dried quicker - at less expense.

But Bobo was now a bigger troll and was fed up of being used as a clothes troll.

"Come here Bobo," his mother called to him one day. Bobo looked away, trying to look as if he were engaged in a most important task. "Bobooooooww," his mother called, her voice taking on that obey me or else edge to it that always made Bobo feel just a  little bit scared. "I know you can hear me, I need you." Bobo breathed in, exhaling slowly then pushed himself up and walked over to his mother. "Mother I am not going to do this anymore, here," he said taking the line from his mothers clutch and then dropping it on the edge of the nearest tree. And then turning, he wondered off feeling jubilant as his mother watched her son walking away. A soaking wet ball gown dripping from her arms, a look quite unfamiliar stretched across her face.

Will You Kiss Me? Bobo walked down the road feeling ecstatic. He'd done it! He'd stood up to his mother! He looked around desperately wanting to celebrate with someone. "Geena!" He cried running towards someone he vaguely knew. "Bobo, is that you?" He looked so handsome! So strong! Why had she never noticed this before? "It is!" And then reaching out he picked Geena up and twirled her around. Geena laughed with glee. Then placing her down Bobo was overcome with a desire to kiss her. Geena was looking at him open-faced and welcoming and he felt different to how he had ever felt before. What was this feeling? He brought his face to Geena's. Geena brought her face to Bobo. "Owh!" Geena cried rubbing her forehead. "Your nose Bobo, it hurt me." Bobo stopped horrified. He didn't know what to say. He tried again and again Geena let out an owh. "I don't think this going to work Bobo." She said quietly. Bobo felt so sad. And then turning he walked off wondering if he should go home and see his mother. She would know what to do. But just as he was about to turn back he spied another beautiful troll ahead, Sandra.

Bobo ran to Sandra convinced this time he would get it right. Sandra looked at Bobo running. He looks different she thought. He swung her to the side in a romantic sweep but it was not to be. Ba-Ding! Bobo's nose banged her face. Sandra looked at Bobo and Bobo looked at the ground. "I'm so sorry," he mumbled before shuffling off. Was there anyone he could kiss?

Shooting Stars Later that day as the sun was setting Bobo headed for the rocks by the sea. He had tried kissing other girls but all to the same effect. Maybe I'm just not cut out for kissing he thought to himself. And as the sun slipped behind the horizon of the ocean Bobo dropped his head in his hands feeling helpless.

"Look Bobo, a shooting star." Said the sweetest voice Bobo had ever heard. Bobo looked up quickly, his nose pointing upwards at the sky. And at that moment he felt a warm soft pair of lips give him the gentlest kiss he had ever known.

What a wonderful feeling! And he inhaled and smelt that familiar scent - it was Gwen! The troll who lived right next door. Why had he never noticed her before? Ah, it didn't matter. And then reaching out with one hand he wrapped his arm around this beautiful woman troll and with the other he grabbed hold of the shooting star soaring above them so that they shot across the skies, the adventures of the unknown calling to them on the wind.

And that is how a troll called Bobo received his first kiss.


The Girl Who Fell From The Clouds

Cloud Stuff

Houses sit on sloping hills.

Trees are scuffed with soft green mosses and yellow grasses tickle the thick juicy cactuses that stand as if that’s where they’ve always been – marooned on top of volcanic black soil.

Burnt orange heathers cover red ochre earth and grey charcoal stones – large, small and in between - stretch out along the shore below.

In the waters swim small brown fishes, darting amongst rocks covered with black and copper crabs, who when the sun sinks towards the ocean come together, waving their claws in the air, as if to say – “Till tomorrow, till tomorrow.”

Humans here don’t like clouds much. If they ever see one, they moan and make gestures with their hands, as if hoping that they can wipe them away like smudges on a table.

“Clouds are like scabs. I can’t wait for them to be peeled away.” One gentleman would say to himself if he ever saw them. Not knowing, (because no one knows), that high up in the sky, right there on the clouds, lives Lily.

Lily makes cloud things for the people below.

Her work goes largely ignored.

Who wants to look at a cloud anyway?

That is apart from Anam.

Anam loves looking at the things that Lily creates with cloud stuff.

And because he spends so long looking up at the sky, his mother has bought him a telescope for his birthday.

“It’s for looking at the...” but before she could finish her sentence, Anam was racing off down the hill towards the rocks near the sea, telescope in hand, Bongo his dog racing behind him, barking in delight.

Now every day Anam looks up at the sky


at night-time when the stars twinkle, Anam puts down his telescope and comes in for supper.

All Our Geese Are Swans

“Your son is odd.” Said a friend of Anam’s mother one day as they watched Anam running around on the hill with Bongo, looking up at the sky.

“Doesn’t he know that telescopes are meant for looking at the stars?”

“Doesn’t look like it, does it?” replied Anam’s mother.

Her friend couldn’t help herself – she smiled. And after a pause -

“Maybe he can see stars that we can’t?”

“Maybe!” Replied Anam’s mother.

And when they thought the other wasn’t looking, they both peeked up at the sky curious to see if they could see a star sparkling, glimmering beside the afternoon sun.

But mostly Lily and her clouds were ignored. If someone did look up at the sky and see something unusual  they would turn to their friend and say “Look! What’s that in the clouds?”

cloud stuff

And their friend would hurry off and call behind them, “Oh it’s nothing, come on, we are late for where we are meant to go!” And off they would rush leaving Lily and her cloud stuff alone.

Occasionally there would be periods when Lily went to other places and countries, traveling on the clouds, curious to see where they would take her. And then she would look down at the people below, and start playing with the cloud stuff, wondering if she would ever be seen.

But no one anywhere was as curious and attentive as Anam.

And even though it filled her little heart with joy to see how quickly he searched for her, she couldn’t help but grow sad, as most below ignored her, not even knowing she was there.

And so her messages began to get a little more infrequent. A little more irregular. And in her sadness she grew lonely, eventually losing the will to jump from a cloud just before it dissolved completely. As it was important to do.


And so one day when the cloud that she was on dissolved, Lily fell through the skies, plummeting to the ocean beneath her, where with hardly a splash she sank through the waters, sinking to the deepest darkest depths below.

“Lily!” Called Anam desperately. “Lily!”

And Bongo barked frantically sensing the sadness of his human. And so he began to howl and was soon joined by the other dogs on the island, as they wailed to the empty skies.

“Must be something in the air.” More then one human muttered as way of explaining away the call of the dogs.

Not knowing how right they were!

But where Lily was, no sound from above could be heard. And as she landed on the bed of sand, she stood up and looked up her watery ceiling. Used to looking down, her neck creaked slightly.

With bubbles floating out of her mouth, she quickly grew accustomed to this new way of breathing. Taking a few steps forward, a few steps back. Noticing how the view above remained the same for she was so far below in the deepest part of the ocean, that the space around her seemed as large as the sky. Infinite. Never ending. It reminded her of home, allowing her to relax.

“I shall never sit on those clouds again.” She whispered to herself. For for a girl of her size, once down, it would be impossible to come back up. In fact it would be most dangerous. And so Lily accepted her fate. Quicker perhaps then most.

But Anam was very sad and not even his canine friend could make him smile. (And he could always make him smile). So he spent all day swimming in the ocean, or going out with his uncle in his old motor-boat, looking for Lily, pointing his telescope through the waters, where he would peer and squint to try and find her – the girl who had lived in the clouds. And when night came and the stars shone across the skies, Anam would put his telescope down and forlornly walk back home.

“Will I ever find her?”

"Under the sea....life is sweet here, we got the beat here...We got the spirit, you got to hear it, under the sea." Sebastian - A Little Mermaid

Then one day, when he had all but given up hope, Anam heard a delicious sound: Lily laughing. And he stood up so very quickly in the boat, causing it to rock slightly. Taking out his telescope he dipped it into the ocean to point it far below.

And there he saw Lily, laughing and swimming alongside her new friends the squids and the sharks, the angel fish and the phospherence. All the great and small beasts that swim in those depths below. And he watched his friend so very far away and knew that this was her home.

HOney Flows

But even though he knew this, a part of him did not want to accept it.

“Maybe a great current will come and sweep her back up to the surface.” He whispered to Bongo that night. And Bongo looked at Anam, an expression on his face that made Anam close his eyes.

And because his uncle was a generous man, he continued to let his nephew come out on the boat with him every day. For he loved the oceans and relished any excuse to travel out over them.

So Anam spent his days peering to the bottom of the ocean with his telescope whilst Bongo lay in the shade under the taurplin. For the days were hot and though Bongo liked to watch the leaping fish and the dolphins, the sound of the water lapping against the boat would soon lull him off into deep tranquil snoozes.

And whilst Bongo snoozed, Anam would watch his friend Lily as she played around with the seaweed making things for her friends, the beings of the depths below. And unlike up above in the clouds and down below with the humans, every time the sea creatures saw Lily making something they would stop and watch her intently.

“What will she make today?”

One day Anam was watching as Lily was making something for passing sting rays who were waiting nearby. For a moment Lily stopped and looked up. Up through the ocean’s waters. Up through the seaweed and fish that swam around her. Lily looked up to see Anam looking down. And in that moment Anam felt what he hadn’t realised he knew. And he smiled at Lily, a smile that felt like a good-bye. And at the same time, a hello, a hello, a hello. And he sat up in the boat and turned to his uncle and said, “I believe it is time to go back home.”

When Anam returned home that night, he went into his room and placed his telescope against the wall. And there it stays like the trunk of a tree, rooted, never to be moved. Occasionally Anam will look at it, patting it fondly as he walks past, but he has not since felt the need to pick it up and point it up at the skies, or down though the waters below.

And Lily, a girl who fell from the clouds now lives in the bottom of the sea, using seaweed not cloud stuff, content in her new world below.

For all around us floats seaweed and cloud stuff - I wonder what it is that you see?

Note about the illustration

Honey Flows - Jane Lilian Vance

A Rose & A Sunflower

What Happens If...

Roses and sunflowers do not usually go together. Roses are a roseful bunch – they love to group together and sunflowers like rising tall, waving in the wind.

One day, a garden-keeper decided to drop some rose seeds and sunflower seeds side by side, curious to see what they would look like next to one another. The redness of the rose, the yellowness of the sunflower. Would they clash? Or would they look quite beautiful?

Now out of these seeds came a rose called Herbert.

Herbert is a very sensitive soul and though a male rose, he loves to talk to the female roses and see what’s the thought of the day. He likes the ease with which they talk amongst themselves, their smells, their laughter and the way they leap from subject to subject.

Herbert's other love is Petal Surfing. Now Petal Surfing is an extreme sport in the flower world. Let me tell you about it.

The rules of Petal Surfing are simple. Rule No.1: Do not turn back. Rule No. 2? There is no Rule No. 2. Rule No.1 says it all. You see once you have started Petal Surfing you better see it through, or oh boy the other roses aren’t going to let you live it down.

Typically Petal Surfing will only take place on the days when the wind blows at its most ferocious, on days when the rains slaps the ground and when the sun retreats so far away you wonder if it will ever come back.

So as the wind roars, the roses huddle together safe for a few moments in their groups, refusing to let the others know how their stems shake. Laughing that the wind is indeed strong but of course, it could be stronger!

And then the first rose goes. Flash! The rose will open its petals to the wind - the thrill is exhilarating! Soon another rose spreads out his petals like a fan allowing the wind to slice through them, intoxicated by the knowledge that for this moment their life dances so close to death. Maybe four or five roses do this at the same time and the winner of the game is the one who dares stay open the longest.

Herbert, or Herb as his friends call him, has never won a game of Petal Surfing. Something always seems to pull him back. Unlike Ronald who has had so many petals ripped off that he only has his bud left.

“Why do you stay so long Ronald?” Herbert asked one day. “Why do you stay so long, even when all your petals have been ripped off?”

“Just livin’ the dream man,” Ronald muttered in response.

“What dream?” Herb asked.

“Freedom man.”

“Freedom?” Herb replied, slightly bewildered, “Freedom from what?”

But Ronald didn’t reply and Herb didn’t ask again, scared to look stupid in front of such a praised rose, so he smiled in what he hoped was a wise manner. And then promptly changed the subject.

On other days, Herb just liked to stare at the sunflowers. He noticed their bright yellow petals with their big buds all exposed - not hidden like a roses. And he liked that. The daringness of it. He thought them open-natured. But of course this is a mistake all roses make, for though sunflowers expose their buds to all, their real hearts are revealed to only a few. For sunflowers are shy creatures and the thought of letting anyone too close scares them more then a rose can guess.

Sunflower mandala

But to Herb, the sunflowers looked incredibly alluring and independent. So tall! And at the same time just ever slightly so alone as well. For what other flower can grow as tall as a sunflower? To him their lives seemed to be one giant Petal Surfing competition. One too often lost. For frequently Herb would wake some mornings to find yet another sunflower flattened against the soil, too old or weak to withstand the nights winds. And so the garden-keeper would come and bind the sunflower tight against a wooden pole.

You & Me - forever maybe entwined

“To give you strength my lovely sunflower,” the garden-keeper would smile, thinking she was doing a good thing. Unaware of the jail she had placed this one particular sunflower in. For as every flower knows there is a hell few can imagine worse then the pain of being tied to one thing, for even to be flattened for a while (for as every sunflower knows, all things, no matter what things they are, are only for a while) is to experience something different, it is to learn of a way not yet lived, not yet known.

One morning Herb awoke to the sound of a sobbing sunflower who had just been tied up by the garden-keeper. She looked so sad, Herbert wished he could do something to help, but he felt helpless. How could a rose help a sunflower after all? But as he looked around at the other sunflowers he noticed a particular sunflower that lived quite close to him that for some reason he had never seen before. That's odd he thought, I must say hello to her. And so he did.

“Hello,” he said.

The sunflower turned around. She smiled with surprise at seeing that a rose was saying hello. For the truth was she had never even realised that there were a bed of roses so close to her.

“Hello,” she said back, “how are you?”

“I am sorry about your friend, will she be okay?”

“I don’t know,” the sunflower girl replied. “I hope so.” And with that a big smile broke across her face which made Herb beam back at her.

“My name is Herbert. Or you may call me Herb”. Herb said bowing his head slightly in greeting.

“My name is Lucy.” Replied the sunflower and from that moment on Herb and Lucy became very good friends indeed. Such good friends that Herb forgot all about Petal Surfing, keen to spend as much time with Lucy as possible. He wanted to know everything about her.

“Isn’t it lonely up there? Isn’t it boring up there?” He asked his Sunflower girl one day.

“Oh no, how can it be boring when the view is so good?” Replied Lucy. And Herb smiled, thinking this a very good answer indeed. And he looked up at his friend and felt something in his heart that he had never felt before. It was as if for the first time he was really feeling his heart. He felt his whole body in fact and it felt extraordinary and he knew that he had never looked at another flower and felt this feeling before. But it felt so great he didn’t know how to tell Lucy about it. It might scare her away, he thought. So instead he chose to say nothing at all.

"A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose"(Gertrude Stein)

Then one day the garden-keeper walked over and seeing how beautiful the sunflowers and the roses had become growing next to one another smiled and said to them.

“Tomorrow you will all be going on a trip.” For everyone now and again the garden-keeper would collect herflowers and give them away to friends who lived nearby.

“To human homes!” squealed Lucy with excitement. “Oh Herb we are being taken to human homes! What an adventure!” Perhaps forgetting all about the adventure that was beginning to blossom between her and her rose.

Herb tried to look happy in response, when the truth was there was a great ache in his heart so painful he didn’t know if he could even breathe. He looked up at his beautiful sunflower girl and wondered how he would be able to spend day after day without her. How could he express this thought to her? But now it was too late as tomorrow they would be separated and Lucy would never know how he felt about her.

Herb’s eyebrows furrowed and the gaze of his eyes sunk to the earth below, in the way that happens when your thoughts swirl and you wonder about a million things all connected to just the one thing that you are thinking so deeply about.

“Pretty selfish to have so many thoughts and not at least share one of them with an old friend?” Ronald nudged Herb with a kind smile in his eye.

“Oh Ronald.” Herbert replied. “It’s Lucy. Tomorrow… we’ll be separated and I will never see her again. And and…”

“You love her?” Herbert’s old friend with the one petal finished the heart sick roses’s sentence for him, for it was clear to all the other roses what had been growing between the sunflower and the rose. And then Ronald said something that made something in Herb ping and his petals unfold like a sunflowers!

herbert's heart

And it was this: “Herb if you don’t say what you want to say now, when are you going to say it?” And in that moment Herb knew that his friend was right and so he turned to his beautiful sunflower girl and called up at her.

“Luuuuuucy.” He called. “Luuuuucy.”

“Yes Herb?” And for a second Herb could have sworn that he saw a look of sadness gallop across his friend’s eyes but Lucy blinked and the moment passed so quickly he wasn’t sure if he was imagining it. But he hadn’t. The sadness had been there, but being of a sunflower disposition Lucy had pulled herself together before Herb could see what she was feeling. For Lucy had suddenly stopped making all her plans for tomorrow to realise what she felt today: that she loved Herbert. That the rose beside her was the rose she wanted to be with for all her days.

“Lucy.. I…” and for a second of a second Herb almost stopped, feeling fear stomping around in his belly. So he swallowed and took a deep breath and then looking up at Lucy told her that he loved her that she was his sunflower girl and she made him happier then even Petal Surfing did.

And when he finished Lucy stopped and looked at her rose, his face open and a little nervous and she smiled and in that smile Herb knew. He knew that his sunflower girl loved him. And then they started a conversation that felt as if it had been waiting to be let out since they had first met, they spoke rapidly and in hushed tones throughout the night, sometimes giggling, at others groaning at their own silliness and shyness.

Late into the night the garden-keeper woke.

“Something is happening,” she said to herself as she stepped out of bed and pottered over to her window, pulling back the curtain and peering out into the black of the night to look at her wild large garden. Whereupon her mouth fell open and her hand came to her heart. For there in her garden it looked as if the sun were rising in her flowerbed where the roses and sunflowers lived. For at the line that separated them, two different flowers had become entwined as if to appear as one. The redness of the rose, the yellowness of the sunflower coming together to create a glow so brilliant that it looked as if the sun were rising right there in the garden-keeper’s garden.


And in that moment the garden-keeper realised that she would never be able to cut down these flowers and separate them. And so she left them next to one another for the rest of their lives and Herbert and his sunflower girl grew old together and people from all around would come to the garden keeper’s garden to come and look at the flowers that made a little garden look as if the sun was always rising and never setting.

In fact, I feel like a trip right there now…

Over to you...

Have you ever been scared to reveal the truth of your heart? I'd love to hear - and you can share it in story form! - if  you have ever had an experience similar to Herbert in the comments below. (thank you...)