Smugglers of Earth – 3

Sodom. Pronunciation: /ˈsɒdəm/

  1. A town in ancient Palestine, probably south of the Dead Sea. According to Gen. 19:24 it was destroyed by fire from heaven, together with Gomorrah, for the wickedness of its inhabitants.
  2. Collective noun for a group of shepherds.

If a shepherd troll offers you help, turn and run the other way.

As the leader of a filthy sodom of shepherd trolls, Lughar had delusions of grandeur. He forced his followers to treat him like a king. On hot summer days, he ordered the female shepherd trolls to fashion rich goat skin canopies to shade him from the sun. In winter they had to bed with him as often as he wanted and feed him warm goats milk on tap. He permanently had a crown of goat bone on his head and a cloak of goatskin hanging down his back. Bigger than the rest of the shepherd trolls, he crushed any opposition, flattening their skull with his bare hands. Many an uprising had resulted in blood and splintered bone staining the plains of Colm Naiir. Lughar felt as though he owned all of Colm Naiir and the Nea Tor. In reality he probably only owned a few goats and held one very valuable prisoner.

Lughar sniffed and wiped water from his nose, and what a nose it was. Disproportionately large for his face, in fact it made up most of his head. The nose started at his forehead and protruded out four or five inches, only rejoining his face at the top of his chin. Needless to say he had a good sense of smell. With his nose being so large, his mouth was distorted and squashed to the left side of his face like a cubist painting. Huge warts and nose hairs poked out of his nostrils and the rest of his body was hairy and dirty and slimy as you might expect a troll to be. This night he was also soaking wet, and excited about the storm of the century.

Lughar and his sodom were debaucherous on storm nights. First they cast a hex on the campfire to keep it going all night, turning the flames emerald green. To celebrate the storm of the century they had chased their herd of goats around the campfire trying to get them struck by lightening. When that didn’t work the shepherd trolls cornered the herd in the sticky mud. Picking victims one by one the trolls would drag the goats by the hind legs to open space away from the herd. Many goats had already been killed. Dismembered and physically abused in the plains, their bodies were left in the puddles to rot. All of them were terrorised and the goats sensed they would be lucky to make it through the night. There was no chance of escaping the torture, but they might not drown or get eaten if they huddled together and accepted the punishment when it came. It delighted the trolls to have their way with the goats in the mud.

The storm of the century was looking like it would last all night. Ideal for trolling. Lughar had his eyes set on a small kid suckling furiously for comfort from its mother. Swigging the last of his whiskey from his pot, Lughar started to approach his next victim. Then the night took a turn.

From high up above, there was a high pitched thunderclap and then there was silence. To the trolls’ dismay the storm of the century disappeared into thin air. No more rain, no more lightening, no more thunder. The terrified goats looked up and found they could not turn their heads back down. From tense, frightened animals the goats became calm, even happy at what they saw. The beauty of the clear night sky calmed them.

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