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Down in the city, a few night owls probably thought they heard thunder, despite the clear skies.

In the depths of his cave, the troll clutched at his grumbling belly and moaned. He had never been so hungry. He had walked almost all night without so much as a sniff of proper food. He wondered what could have brought such a change upon the land.

Not so long ago – barely a few heartbeats, it seemed – he could have taken just a few steps outside of his cave and his three noses would have been assailed by a host of appetising aromas. It was so easy, back then, to simply snatch up a squishy and juicy man or two and eat his fill.

Why, once upon a time, they had been so plentiful that he didn’t even bother grinding their bones up for soup.

Soup. His belly grumbled again. What he wouldn’t do for just a few of those bones now.

He crept to the entrance of his cave. He knew that dawn was dangerously close, but he was so hungry that he didn’t want to give up just yet.

He sniffed, each nose probing the winds. He smelt smoke, chemicals, artificial perfumes that imitated fruits, flowers and musk. He smelt tobacco, drugs, fried chicken and petrol fumes.

But he couldn’t smell any humans.

© Kari Fay

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