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Harry, the Troll of Ten Thousand Terrible Faces

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Harry, the Troll of Ten Thousand Terrible Faces

Harry’s House is here. He’s known as the Troll of Ten Thousand Terrible Faces. Within his adobe are rows and rooms of masks and costumes, props, and replicas: cruel cardboard cleavers, wicked wicker warlocks, paper mache monsters, maps of imaginary realms, gold-painted nuggets and fools’ gold, dark mirrors, misty crystals, wands that gleam and spark, fake noses, fake beards, glass eyes, darks paints and eerie lighting and sounds that go bump at the touch of a switch.

He emerges from his lair each night, clothed in robe or fur or scale, to pursue young and old. He walks beside them, just out of the corner of their eye, or plods heavily, unsteadily, behind them with slow, relentless steps. He never appears the same and is skilled in being half seen or shrouded in shadows. He has perfected, through long practice, the sounds of many animals, real and unreal, and can shriek like a swamp serpent pierced through the tail or whisper like a phantom of a long dead past.

The best way to avoid him is to be the sort of person who believes in nothing at all. Otherwise, it might be worth whispering at his door how very frightening he is. That pleases him greatly, and losing himself in admiration of his own cleverness, he sometimes passes a night without scaring a single soul.

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