The Troll ‘ neath the Towers
(Story elements = Conflict and Character)
The troll lives ‘neath the forever-shadows of the twin towers.
On his commute, through the dustbowl city, he brings light to the masses with his disarming smile and a tip ‘o the cap.
In the ramshackle apartment he calls home, he has ten thousand names.
He eats from roughly hacked cans. He slumbers in contented dreams of pain.
All his riches spent on proxy servers, fake identities and cloud accounts.
He trolls the victims of the twin towers. Taunts the religious for being stupid. Castigates the non-believers for their intolerance. Feeds the conspiracy beasts of the illuminati, oh the beautiful illuminati.
He waits for the days of the glorious hashtag.
#AskELJames—it calls him like Meth. He fires insults at both sides. Today is a Platinum Ticket for the Troll.
And tomorrow you will see him and smile—for he has the glow of a child in a chocolate factory.
I got a lovely 2nd Runner-up prize for this one. More importantly, some lovely judging comments:
SE: In the daytime our troll is a normal person, smiling, charming, a pleasure to know but … in his home he becomes something else, hiding behind ‘proxy servers, fake identities and cloud accounts’. Every day he casts his net to catch, latch, onto anyone who has suffered, anyone who has any ideas or beliefs, anyone at all that he feels he can abuse and insult in any way, inflict pain in more than fifty shades, delighting in the hashtag #AskELJames. He is addicted and he knows it, pain ‘calls him like Meth’, soothes his dreams, keeps him content. Even in his poverty, he is the kid in the sweet shop and you would never know him, he could be sat next to you now. Definitely a tale for our times.
JB: Upon reading the title, I figured I would be reading about those good old trolls of folklore and myth, but reading—pleasantly (or perhaps unpleasantly) surprised, I read a story not about those trolls with which I am well familiar, but trolls much more sinister, those who hide in the cyber sphere. Here is an individual full of hate, seemingly choosing anyone and everyone, firing “insults at both sides” who, despite his apparent poverty spends “all his riches” on technology to spread his malice, malice born of pain, and for whom trolling the internet is an almost cathartic experience.