Map Mondays – The Bridge

“Times’ve been tough, miss. Got repairs to do, and ain’t no one wantin’ to take my bridge.”

Map Mondays – The Bridge

by Ethan Hudgens    Twitter     The North Seat

Download Day:

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Download Night:

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The warm, early summer breeze met three travelers walking down an old trail to Aberdovey when the tallest amoung them stopped and retrieved his map. “Oh dear.”

 A young woman stopped quickly, the shield on her back clanging against the chains of her shirt. “…What is it?”

 The tall man pointed at his map and then to the bridge in the distance. “We’ll have to go around that bridge.”

 “What for?” The young woman stood on the tips of her toes and looked over the worn stones. “If’n we were in a coach might be trouble, but looks like it’s fine otherwise.”

 “That isn’t the issue.” The three travelers continued toward the bridge, the gentle sound of water trickling through their ears. “They say their is a troll who lives under that bridge.”

 The shortest of their group spit onto the grass at the sound of the word.

 The woman quirked an eyebrow at the short one’s reaction. “There ain’t been a troll sighted since the old empire.”

 “I’d still prefer not to risk it.” Now dangerously close the the bridge, the tall man veered to the left and began heading to the stream’s muddy banks. The short man looked at the bridge, spit again, and followed.

 “You are all just a bunch of superstitious idiots and going to end up with soggy bottoms while I-”

 Just as the young woman took her first couple steps onto the cobbled stones of the broken bridge, a long, lanky creature covered in reeds and cat-tails appeared before her. It took a deep breath through it nose, slurping dripping water along with the air. It spoke with a low, gentle tone. “Two gold to pass.”

 “…What?”

 “Two gold, miss.”

 “That’s-” The woman thought for a moment, now aware the creature wasn’t going to kill her. At least not yet. “That’s a lot of money for such a short bridge.”

 “Times’ve been tough, miss. Got repairs to do, and ain’t no one wantin’ to take my bridge.”

 “No one’s going to pay two gold to pass a broken bridge.”

 “Then this bridge is going to keep on being broken.”

 The young woman looked over the side of the stones to see her companions having crossed the stream, apparently unaware as they began to empty the water from their boots. “If you lower your prices, maybe more people will try and cross.”

 “But then I would need more people to cross.”

 “Well, right now, no one is crossin’, so you ain’t getting anywhere, right?”

 “…Hum. I suppose you are right.”

 “If’n you asked for five silver instead, maybe people might want to cross, and help you out, right?”

 “You think people would do that?”

 “Five silvers’ much more reasonable and people will ‘specially pay since it’s also going to a good cause, yeah?”

 “Hum. Yes, maybe I will have to do that.”

 “Well…” The young woman counted out her coins out of her disappointingly light purse and placed them into the troll’s gooey hand. “Five silvers, all yours.”

 “Better than nothing I guess.”

 The young woman passed, waving at the troll. “Better than nothing, definitely.”

 

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