"The Troll Queen is the most beautiful, towering, anthropomorphic leopard frog you will ever see. Tied down on the bed, as I was, she would tower over you, just as she did me. . ."
Daniel's nightmares are as clear as the glass knives The Troll Queen used, playing with him as she did, for those years and years and years.
In his nightmares, Daniel is strapped to a wooden table, an ancient rack made for stretching, and, knowing what's to come, he struggles, frantic. The first time this happened, he was drugged, euphoric.
The Troll Queen appears with a clapping sound and a raging sting on his face and, the first time, Daniel's eyes had snapped shut, been pried open, but in his dream, his eyes are already wide open, and she strolls into his vision casually and backhand wallops his face. In the dream, his flinching makes Daniel's eyes burn.
There she stood: the most beautiful amazonian brown, voluptuous and smiling; dressed in thin shadows, her huge lips a smile, her eyes recessed and hidden. A seven foot, sexy sexy sexy anthropomorphic leopard frog. A fearsome, bald dominatrix. A matron to be cuddled by.
She asked, "What were you doing in my orchard?" so sweetly.
"I was lost." Daniel replied.
"I was lost in a forest. I fell through a gate, and then heard voices, like a party or something, further in the woods and..." He stopped.
She waited, patiently.
Minutes ticked by, but finally, Daniel continued, "I think I was in there for days. I'm hungry."
"A party, or something?" The Troll Queen prompted.
Another back hand, harder this time. And an uncomfortable prod at his mouth with her fingers. The Troll Queen said again: "A party, or something."
So he told her about his stumbling through thick leaves, and the heavy smoke, and, finally, of finding the camp fire, and the three young people roasting meat on sticks. He told her about the rosy glow of the fire, and chatting, then singing songs together, and no, no, no, he doesn't know how he knew the words.
"And found yourself in my orchard, how?" she asked.
So he told her about the winding down of the songs, and the nap they all took, and the getting up again, and then one of them -can't remember which- suggested they play hide and seek, and the wary faces the others put on. But he was happy, wanted to play a game, and so they said yes yes yes, let's play hide and seek, and hasn't it been a long time? And so they'd chosen an IT person, with bickering and play slaps, and Daniel ran off into the verdant forest, until he could barely hear the IT person counting to fifty. And he'd hidden, and no one had found him, and at first: yeay! But, after the minutes turned too long, he got nervous, decided to head back and . . . had wound up in the, excuse him, her orchard.
"And you were still hungry, so you ate one of my fruit?"
Yes, he said, and apologized again, and over and over and over until she pounded his face numb with a palm, to shut him up. She said, "You're getting to be a good big mouth, tattle tale teller, aren't you? Let's see if we can't help you blossom fully."
And then the glass knives came out. And the king crab sat on his chest and held down Daniel's tongue. And in went the knives. And The Troll Queen whistled, croaked a happy, wet and throaty tune, while she-
-Daniel always bolts upright, sweat drenched and shivering before the real pain begins.