It was the biggest fear of every troll, daylight. Such a simple, beautiful thing, but only from a distance seen – never touched. An excruciating, painful death, said to last a thousand years in a few instances.

No one was quite sure what power made trolls so vulnerable to the thing that gave the Earth life. Perhaps because they were creatures of the underground, the stone and the rock, so they could never step above in the light. Some particularly dismal factions believed that trolls did something horrendous in the past, giving the gods cause to kill them with something so warm and pure, forcing them into the darkness where they belonged. Others said that daylight itself was a curse, too hot and too bright, and that trolls were blessed to be given a sense for the gems and the stones of the celebrated earth, their eyes attuned to every nuance of shadow, their ears hearing the heartbeat of the world itself.

Whatever the reason was, trolls could not touch the sunlight without it turning their living stone still and cold, until they calcified into lifeless rock. So beautiful, but so deadly.

And so incredibly inconvenient, thought the troll attempting to dodge death in a small Californian suburb.

The main problem with daylight was that it snuck up on you. You didn't realize that it was getting brighter – too bright – until the sun was upon you, and then it was too late.

The troll jumped a fence and slid down the wood, taking a moment to catch his breath in the shadowy reprieve. He didn't have much time. In a few minutes, if he couldn't find a safe route, he would probably die. But in order to get to safety, he would have to pass through the neighborhood and the tiny town beyond, in full view of the denizens there, thus exposing himself and his people.

He was exposed whatever he did, unfortunately. At some point a human would look out their window to see a statue of a four-armed creature having mysteriously appeared in their backyard. By now it was just a matter of deciding if getting caught alive was worth possibly making it to safety. One errant ray, one streak of sunlight through the buildings, and he was dead anyway.

The wood on his back had warmed considerably during his musing, and he quickly dashed away from it, hiding in the shadow of a tree, but a bit of sun caught one of his elbows and he cried out, slamming against the tree trunk as he jerked away.

His elbow sparkled blue for a moment, but the damage was already fading, if a little sore. It was a sobering reminder of what was at stake.

He was too afraid to cry and too despaired to rage at the unfairness of it. He'd only stayed out too late raiding the humans' public library! His price for the stolen books, it seemed, was going to be very steep indeed.

The morning sun began to filter through the leaves of the trees, and he tried to make himself as small as he could without putting any limbs out from the tree's shadow.

Up ahead of him, the west side of the house was dark. There was a large garbage can tucked against the fence; it wouldn't hide him forever, it was too small, but he'd have more time to think of a way to get back home.

Unfortunately, the path between the tree and the fence was washed in early morning light. He could make the distance if he was fast, but he'd take serious damage to his right side, and if he wasn't fast enough he'd turn to stone before ever reaching the shadow.

The light was already reaching around the trunk of the tree, so he didn't have much of a choice, but the knowledge of exactly how painful the sprint was going to be made him hesitate.

Utterly, utterly useless. Just do it. Do it. Run. Go. Go!

"GO!" he yelled, and he ran out from under cover of the tree.

The sunlight hit him immediately and he screamed in the pain, bright blue lightening crackling over his skin and blinding him. He turned his head and bolted as fast as he could, but realized within a split second that he had underestimated the distance and overestimated how fast his short legs could run. He wouldn't make it. He was already shaking with the pain, and he collapsed only a few yards away from his goal.

He closed his eyes against the sunlight and curled into a crouch, his turning skin making him stiff and slow.

It all happened in an instant.

Then a soft, smooth sound echoed in his one working ear, and something light draped itself over his entire body. The sunlit grass under his hands suddenly was drenched in shadow, and the horrible pain stopped. He wasn't dead.

Something – or someone – had covered him with a cloth. By the smell of flowery soap and skin cells, it was the bedsheet of a human whelp.

The front of the sheet rustled and a tiny face peeked underneath the fabric, wide eyes meeting wide eyes.

"My name's Jim," the little human whispered, patting his spindly fingers over the troll's face.

And Blinky…blinked.



Jim had been eating cereal when he saw the monster in the backyard, having trailed downstairs, still wrapped in his bedsheet, to watch the early cartoons.

His mother was already at work, even though it was a Saturday. She trusted him to look after himself as long as he didn't turn on the stove or the oven, because he was nine and hadn't set anything on fire for years. He still used the stove and the oven, because he was nine and knew how to use them perfectly fine, and his mom didn't notice most of the time.

But he liked eating cereal while he watched cartoons on weekend mornings, and that's how he saw the monster.

It jumped over the fence first and then sat for a bit, before running and hiding behind a tree. It was really too big for the tree, and as it got brighter and brighter and the monster tried to make itself smaller and smaller, Jim realized that it was afraid of the daylight.

The monster looked at the fence that led to the front yard, and Jim knew it was going to run for it. He dropped his cereal and ran for the back door, unlocking it and sprinting outside just as the monster ran out from the tree's shadow. It sparkled with blue light and screamed in pain, and Jim swept his sheet off over his shoulders and onto the monster, sheltering it from the sun.

The monster stayed still and crouched and Jim worried that it hadn't worked; was it too hurt? Was he too late to save it? He peeked under the edge of the sheet and met three pairs of frightened brown eyes.

They were screwed up and watering in pain, the ones on the right half-closed. The monster's face was huge; Jim screwed up his face as it panted shakily, but his mom had said that it wasn't polite to tell people that they smelled after that time with Toby's nana.

The monster just looked at him and he told it, "My name's Jim," just to get it to calm down. The monster's left eyes blinked. He wasn't sure if it understood him. Part of its face, the half where the sun had hit, was grey and sparkled slightly, and Jim tried to touch the sparkles before they disappeared. The skin under his fingers was hard and cold.

He shifted the sheet further to grab the monster's hand, but when he touched it, he realized it too was made of stone.

The monster made a low moan of pain, and Jim grabbed the other hand. It took a while because he had to make sure the sheet stayed put, but he eventually got the monster inside the house.

Of course, now this meant that he had a monster inside his house.

He still was afraid of monsters under his bed and he'd just taken a monster inside his house.

The monster stood up with a groan, and Jim felt afraid of it for the first time. The sheet slid off of its shoulders and pooled on the floor around its feet. It was very tall, and it had four arms. The only clothing it was wearing were shorts with big side pockets and suspenders; Jim had only ever seen suspenders on old people. The monster looked itself over, poking gently at the limbs that had stone crusted over them, and then turned all six eyes on Jim. It bent down halfway, a grimace of pain crossing its face, and then gave him a tiny, but grateful, smile.

"Young whelp, you have saved my life," it said, in a deep, smooth voice. "I owe you a debt of gratitude."

It straightened back up, and bowed its head.

"I am known as Blinky," it – he – said, and then he collapsed against the wall.


But Jim was already rushing to the kitchen, shutting all of the curtains as he went. He got a glass of water, to get the monster re-hidred…re -hydrated, and quickly soaked a dishtowel in the sink. He ran back over to Blinky and slapped the towel over his face.

"Ow, my eyes…"
"Here's some water," Jim said, shoving the glass into one of Blinky's left hands. Blinky slid himself into a sitting positing and gulped down the water, and then ate the glass.

"I thank you," he said shakily.

"It's…okay," mumbled Jim. "Um. What are you?"
"I am a troll,young human," said Blinky, taking the towel off of his face and wiping it over his stone arms. "We live in secrecy underground, so that humans such as yourself are not sensible to our existence."

A troll!

Jim watched in utter amazement as the troll raided his kitchen, eating - not the food - but the contents of the recycle bin and the trash can, as well as the flytrap from the window and the empty box Jim gave him as he finished off the cereal.

He was the weirdest-looking thing Jim had ever seen, and he'd peered into his mother's med-school textbooks more than once. His head took up almost a third of his entire body, and he had short, stubby little legs to carry him around. His skin was blue where it wasn't stone, and there were lines carved right onto it. He had huge teeth, so big that they didn't completely fit into his mouth, and his four hands only had four fingers each.

Blinky chatted as he ate, roaming around the kitchen but stalwartly avoiding the windows, as well as the actual topic of trolls.

"As I've said, young master Jim, trolls such as I live in secrecy, and so I am unable to further educate you on our world. The mere fact that I've interacted with you is an unconscionable offense."

Jim didn't know what that meant, but he wasn't deterred. As Blinky munched on a handful of old batteries, he sat himself down on the couch and kept asking questions.

"What's it like having six eyes?"

Blinky paused from squirting whipped cream on top of a lightbulb, and blinked the three eyes that he could move.

"I suppose it is similar to having only two eyes, but…three times as much. I've never truly thought of it. It is normal for me."

He then smiled at Jim, and gestured the lightbulb.

"Tell me, if we are exchanging questions: what do you think of me so far? Surely this is frightening for you."

Jim shrugged.

"You're not really scary," he said. Blinky chuckled and looked down at himself.

"No," he said, "To trolls, certainly I am not. But to a human, especially one as young and small as yourself, I would think even a goblin would be scary."

"You've been pretty nice," said Jim. "And you ate all our recycling, so I don't have to put out the can tomorrow. Aren't you cutting your tongue?"
Blinky shook his head, his overlarge teeth crunching the lightbulb to dust.

"Trolls are made of living stone," Blinky said, tapping his fingers against an arm to make a stony sound. "And I will reveal no more. It would be better for you to know as little of us as possible, for the safety of yourself and of trollkind."
"But you're going to be stuck here all day," said Jim, putting his feet up on the couch. "I've never met a troll before! Can't you tell me anything?"
Blinky shook his head. He looked around the room and made a beeline to the bookshelves in the living room, having finally run out of refuse to eat. Bits of his right side were slowly, slowly turning from grey to blue, and he rubbed his hurt arms.

"You should continue on as if nothing had happened," he said. "I shall have to remain here until night falls, but your day does not have to be spent entertaining such an unexpected guest. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself while you go about your day."
"I was just going to hang out with Toby," said Jim. "He's my best friend. We were gonna play video games. But I…"

Blinky turned around a bit and caught Jim's eye.

He really didn't want to just leave and play video games when there was a magic troll in his house. Maybe he could get a little more out of him about trolls, maybe not, but it would be weird to just…go back to normal, like he hadn't met Blinky at all. Things were different now. He couldn't just leave.

"Actually, while my sojourn to the human world has been extended…"

Jim wrenched himself from his thoughts and looked at Blinky, who was leaning against the wall next to a window.

"Would you mind too terribly fetching my books out of the back yard? There," he said, pointing when Jim got up and twitched open the curtain. Blinky shot back from the glass, but the sun wasn't even shining in the window yet.

"Er, there, yes – by the fence."

Jim padded out the back door and picked up the books that were jumbled on the ground by the fence.

"'Arcadia Oaks Public Library…'?"

He went back inside and handed the books to Blinky, who dusted the grass clippings off onto the floor.

"You went to the library?"
"Of course!" Blinky exclaimed, opening one of the books to shake out any debris. "Why else would one such as myself venture into the human realm? Your public library is quite extensive for such a small town."

"You have a library card?"
Blinky, to his credit, looked guilty.

"Well, er…I do return the books in a timely manner," he muttered. Jim looked at him. Blinky looked back. Jim raised an eyebrow.

"Oh, it's not as if I'm stealing a Gutenberg Bible," said Blinky, hugging the books to his chest.

"I won't tell anyone," said Jim, looking curiously at the pile. "What are you reading?"

Blinky couldn't have looked happier than if it were his birthday come early.

"Well, I've gotten this wonderful history of the Quaker settlements in New Jersey," he said, toting the books to the living room and turning on the desk lamp, since the closed curtains made the room pretty dark. He sat down on one end of the couch and handed Jim the book when he took the other. "As well as a book on metalworking techniques across Europe and the Middle East and this beautiful little volume of poetry from the nineteen-fifties and sixties, the third in a series of four. It's only just come back from being borrowed, I've been waiting for it for two months, the inconsiderate people kept extending it…"

Jim flipped through the metalworking book, his eyes drawn to the armor and swords.

"Ah, yes. Do you notice that detail on the nineteenth Chinese Dao, there? Such intricate engraving is prized by many a troll blacksmith!"

"Is that how you got your…" Jim waved a hand at the lines carved into Blinky's skin. He looked very pleased.

"Indeed, young master! I shan't tell you much, but trolls are very fond of decoration and detail. Our tattoos are a cultural necessity."

They looked like they hurt, Jim thought, but he didn't say anything. He hadn't really seen many people with tattoos. Blinky even had them on his face.

They studied the book until it was finished, and then Blinky settled into the couch to read while Jim quietly made a phone call.

"Hey, Jim! What's keepin' ya, you're late, dude!"
"Tobes, I…uh, I don't feel so good today. I'm just going to stay home, okay?"
"No problem-o. Did you call your mom? Do you need me to bring you anything? My nana made some soup a few days ago."
Jim risked a glance at Blinky, who looked completely absorbed in an enormous historical fiction book.

"…I think I'll just go back to bed," Jim said. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Yeah, sure Jimbo. Call me if you need anything. And don't forget to call your mom!"

"'Kay. Bye, Tobes."

Jim hung up the phone and rushed up the stairs, closing his bedroom door behind him before going over to the bookshelf.

He'd tell Toby about everything later, despite what Blinky said. Toby was good at keeping secrets, and he felt really guilty about lying to him and skipping out on their plans, but what was he supposed to do? Just leave to play Go Go Sushi and forget about the seven-foot troll in his living room?

Jim gathered up an armful of books he thought Blinky might like to see and headed back downstairs. He stopped in the kitchen to make two cups of tea, and then set the books down on the coffee table.

"Oh, what's this," Blinky muttered, using a finger to mark his place while he examined the pile.

"Some of mine," said Jim. "I like science fiction a lot, but I like old westerns, too. What's your favorite?"
Blinky examined a graphic novel with an appreciative smile.

"I prefer historical fictions myself," he said, holding up his own book. "But these graphic novels are very beautiful. Have you read V for Vendetta or Watchmen? I hear they are rather well-known amongst you humans."

Jim shook his head.

"Well, they're – what is your age, exactly, young Jim?"
"I'm nine."

Blinky looked a little stunned, and gently put the novel back down on the pile.

"Perhaps not yet, then. They are rather suited for an older audience. Ah ha! Asimov?"

"We had to read it for class," said Jim. "I liked the robot."
"I have not read most of these," said Blinky, and Jim suddenly worried that he didn't like them. Maybe they were childish – how old was Blinky, anyway? Jim wanted him to like the books. Toby didn't really like to read and his mom was always busy, so he never got to talk about his favorite books with anyone. Maybe Blinky would like some of his mom's novels?

But Blinky was already picking up one of Jim's favorites, a time-travelling western, and had started on the first chapter. So Jim picked up another, took a sip of his tea, and settled down to read as well.

Unfortunately, he couldn't concentrate on his book as well as he would have liked. He simply couldn't get over the fact that there was a troll.

In his living room.

Absently sipping a cooling cup of tea, with five eyes on the rapidly-turning pages of his book and the sixth that would occasionally glimpse over at Jim.

Would Blinky disappear forever? What if Jim distracted him long enough for Blinky to meet his mom? Or he called Toby to come over?

"I appear to be distracting you from your reading, young human."

Jim looked up guiltily; Blinky was smiling.

"I understand that…this is certainly an unforgettable experience. But the less I involve you, the better. There are trolls much more dangerous and less accepting than I. To allow you to know about our world would put both us and yourself at risk."
"You said," murmured Jim. "But I'm good at keeping secrets! I promise I wouldn't tell anyone."
Blinky looked mildly uncomfortable at this.
"As reassuring as that may be, I would not wish you to have to lie to your family and friends. Secrecy can be damaging, and I would not choose you to have to use it any more than is necessary."

Jim chewed on the inside of his cheek. He didn't like the idea of lying to his mom or to Toby either. But he couldn't just leave it be.

"So…what's your favorite color?"
Blinky softly sighed, and closed his book.

"It is green, master Jim. I find the color soothing and peaceful. Yourself?"



They spent the next several hours talking and reading, as the sun migrated from window to window. Blinky wouldn't tell Jim anything about trolls or their society, but he was significantly open about his own interests. Jim found out about his deep respect for humankind, even if he was rather derisive about some of humanity's beliefs and physical traits; he told the troll about his mom's busy work and described the graduation ceremony he'd attended last year; Blinky revealed his desire to drive a car, and was very disappointed to learn that Jim couldn't get a driver's permit for seven more years.

They discovered a mutual interest in mechanics, and Jim brought down several of his motor magazines and the little blue Vespa model his mom had given him last Christmas. They discussed the various highs and lows about scooters and motorcycles from different countries and manufacturers, and the advantages and disadvantages of scooters vs cars.

Jim assured Blinky's eventual return by pressing upon him several of his mother's novels and medical texts so that the troll would have to return them, not noticing that Blinky later wrote down the names of the books and quietly left them on a corner of the bookshelf.

They managed to get in a few hours of reading, now that their mutual curiosity was more or less satisfied, and Jim didn't realize that nightfall was upon them until he came back from making another cup of tea, and found the living room empty and Blinky and his library books gone.





I love how Jim cooks these nice, elaborate, tasty meals for Toby and his mom, but literally all he's eaten himself is fucking cereal. He also feeds Strickler cereal, just because he doesn't want to waste his mom's good food on him.

Imma start this off by saying that I have never been around children and have absolutely no living clue how a nine-year-old is supposed to talk or act. If he was a cat it might be better, but children are completely out of my experience. I don't even remember being a child. I don't even remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday. Where am I going with this. I completely don't understand children. Are they even sentient by nine? Probably. Don't they scream a lot? I know fuck-all about kids, so if Jim sounds too young or too old, please forgive me.

Anyway. This was a story I came up with while walking to my mom's house and I was daydreaming bc wouldn't it be cool, to see this random monster in the backyard, rescue it from the sunlight, and become best pals? I don't have the energy to make another oc right now, so here's some Spider Bookworm Dad and a possibility of Trollhuter!Barbara later on, if I get that far.