She nestled her weary body in his powerful arms, searching for refuge from the chill. “If you’re king,” she began, trying to phrase her question delicately as possible. “If you’re king, then you should be ruling all over this land, right? Because you’re king.”
“I do,” said the Troll King. His powerful steps fell in to a soothing rhythm. “I am king of the under places, and the ones above. Those who would look at a bridge and see a roof are my subjects, as are those who would look at a roof and see a bridge.”
“Do you have many subjects?” she said, a yawn obscuring most of her words.
“Too many to count. I rule over the forgotten, the misplaced, the unexpected. All those who do not fit fall under my rule. Which makes my kingdom very large, indeed. I have been traveling it since I became king, and I have yet to see the end.”
“How did you become king?” she asked.
“The usual way.”
“Was your father king?” The Troll King laughed at that, a rumbling like an avalanche of boulders underneath his waistcoat.
“No, Little One. My father was not king. He and my mother drowned in dirt and dust all of their lives. Nobility is not a birthright.” The Troll King looked down at the brave girl in his arms, her eyes lidded with sleep. “But I imagine you know that, don’t you?”
Photo by J.R. Blackwell
Costumes by Jared Axelrod and Avalon Batory Waegel
Make-up by Bunny Greene and Avalon Bathory Waegel
Models: Jared Axelrod and Avalon Batory Waegel