Grag was under the bridge typing away when Frod came to visit. “Hey Frod,” he said. “Where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you in years.”
“Yeah, well, you know how I never paid attention in class?” Frod said.
“Of course I do. You snored so loud that we could hardly hear what the teacher was saying,” Grag said.
Frod laughed. “I wasn’t that bad, was I?”
“Do you remember any of the lessons?” Grag asked.
“Good point,” Frod said. “Anyway, when we were talking about life skills, I thought I needed to live under a fridge to gather my hoard. Wow, it was a tight fit. I only ever managed to grab a handful of dropped change, but the food was good.”
“You’re joking, right?” Grag asked.
“Not really,” Frod said. “But enough about me, tell me how you’re doing.”
Above their heads, they could hear the pounding sound of someone crossing the bridge. Frod looked over at Grag. “Aren’t you going to go get that?”
Grag typed something on his laptop. “Nope.”
“Don’t stop trolling just because I’m visiting. I may have slept through all our lessons, but I could help,” Frod said.
“No one trolls in person anymore,” Grag said. “It’s all online now.”
Frod looked around. “On what?”
“Online. Look.” Grag turned his laptop screen around.
Frod squinted. “Your dog is ugly and has fleas,” he read. “Did you write that?”
“That’s modern trolling,” Grag said.
“But what good does saying weird things online do?” Frod asked.
“What do you mean?” Grag asked.
“Well, you can’t eat your words,” Frod said. “Or gather them up to keep you warm at night.”
“You really missed a lot sleeping through all those lessons,” Grag said. “I don’t troll to make a living. I do it because I’m honoring my cultural heritage.”
Frod scratched his head. “But you still have to eat. And you still need to build a hoard so that you can find a nice cave to settle down in, right?”
“Of course I do.” Grag closed his laptop and turned to look at his friend. “I work as a customer service representative.”
Frod frowned. “Are those really words?”
“Of course they are. I work for a human company, answering questions about the stuff they sell and handling returns. Things like that.”
“That doesn’t sound like a good job for a troll,” Frod said.
Grag laughed. “You’d be surprised.”
“Listen,” Grag said, leaning forward. “Do you want to build a hoard and earn money you can exchange for food?”
“Good, good,” Grag said. “It’s the modern troll way. I know of a collections agency that’s hiring. I think it would be a great job for you. Do you know how to use a telephone?” Grag held up a cellphone.
“That’s a telephone?” Frod asked. “It’s so small.”
Grag sighed. “I think you were under that fridge too long. Don’t worry. You’ll pick it up really quick. Are you hungry? We can talk over lunch.”
“I found some bread in the park this morning, but I had to fight some ducks for it,” Frod said. “I’m starving.”
“Let’s get a pizza,” Grag said.
“That sounds wonderful,” Frod said. “Thanks for being a good friend.”
“Don’t mention it,” Grag said. “Ever. I’ve got a reputation as a troll to keep up.”