A rotund woman in a flour splattered apron sat on the porch of the Book Inn crying softly.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“War,” she said sorrowfully.
She sighed, “Everyone thinks their lot is unfair. Me, I just want to make my pies and sell them, but we’re all swept up in this awful conflict now.”
“Really?” I said. “Wait… I have to pick a side too? Who do I pick?”
A warrior galloped up on a fierce white stallion, armor gleaming, her hair flying wild and red behind her.
“Stand with us,” she said. “Stand against the tyranny of trolls. Stand up for the weak and defenseless, those who have less than you! It is your duty.”
As if on cue, a troll slinked in from the shadows sneering, leering at the warrior with lust and derision.
“Oh yes, stand with them,” he scoffed. “We only built this land. We only made it rich. And now the self-righteous would see us punished for every perceived slight and liberty.”
The warrior drew herself up in indignation, eyes flashing with anger and virtue.
“You’re act so persecuted but still hold all the power, vile though you may be.”
A Jester somersaulted from inside the Inn between the arguing pair tweaking the trolls nose and blowing a raspberry in the warrior’s direction.
“It’s all meaningless,” he said. “Why fight? We’re all food for worms after all, just have a laugh with me instead.”
The warrior and troll just glared at the jester until he shuffled back into the inn and continued their fight.
“What power do I have?” the twisted creature demanded. “Your kind have seen to it mine are scorned at every turn! My existence is purposeless and lonely thanks to your efforts to ruin my kind’s good name.”
The old woman sighed, “We could all just get along if only…”
“Your kind holds every high office!” the warrior cut in. “And most of the wealth! When you commit crimes they are swept under the rug. And still, you disgusting misshapen, tiny dicked…”
“Maybe we should refrain from personal attacks,” the old woman said.
The troll growled and drew a wicked knife.
“I will find your address and murder your whole fucking family, you fat, lesbian whore!”
“Whatcha doing, babe?”
I look up from my phone and blink.
“What’d you say, sweetheart?”
My wife sees my eyes drift back towards the screen and rolls her own.
“How long have you been sitting there scrolling?”
I shrug, “I dunno, half an hour, 45 minutes. There’s a flame war on Facebook right now.”
“You’ve got to take a break from that thing,” she says. “Do you want to help me make dinner? I get stuff for tacos.”
I glance back down at the phone and grimace.
“Sure babe, sounds good.”
I leave it on the table and follow her into the kitchen.
Thanks for reading The Land! If you enjoyed it hit that like button and leave a comment. If you’d like to check out more of my weird stories and musings about life, the universe, and the meaning of existence, then subscribe to mindful of madness. You can also find me on twitter @drewjokeringram or on Instagram @andrewingram88. Thanks, my self-esteem depends on you.