The Frost Giant

A giant, centuries old, aged timelessly massive in the frigid frothing cold of the northern winter. Hungering hulking hunting, for the flesh of man.  It towered over the trees, eclipsing the largest buildings smashing villages and scooping up their inhabitants in its monstrous hands and cracked them like sticks of straw, slurping the meat from their bones before swallowing them whole.  The monster plundered villages all winter and slunk away before the buds of spring and blades of summer only to return once the cold set in again.

Countless warriors, kings and champions of men braved the great monster in an attempt to rid it from their land.

But,
they,
never,
returned.

One such warrior, compelled by the tales of tragedy and destruction set off against the giant beast. A midst a tangle of wanton destruction,  he found the mountainous monster.

The warrior, atop his mighty steed with sharp steel in his hand he hacked and he slashed, doing scarce damage to the monster’s right calf’.  The giant unhorsed the warrior,  catching the whinnying whimpering steed in its massive talons, before tearing the horse’s head from its thick shoulders, leaving its massive body shuddering doubled over.

The warrior was quick to react, slicing and slashing desperately before being caught in a giant fist and shoveled into open jaws and hungry maw. Deftly he avoided the gnashing teeth and swirling tongue opting instead for the dark gullet that led beneath.  The greedy beast was only too eager’ to devour its meal whole.

so

the

warrior

fell.

Darkness surrounded him.  And there he remained, shaken by every thunderous footfall, and feeling every repulsive beat of the creature’s blackened heart. He swam in a pool of horrors, half eaten horses and pieces of men still in their armor, clanking and clattering together with every howling breath.  Flesh fell from above: arms and heads, torsos and legs and meat too chewed to recognize’ as the monster engorged itself on everything the warrior loved.

After Three days, the Warrior passed through the tract of the beast, emerging filthy but thankfully intact.  And so, gasping in a smeary pile of fallen champions– he swore revenge.
The beast disappeared as spring began, heading north into the colder winter lands.  The warrior went without rest and instead’ saddled up his fastest horses and set off in pursuit.   The chill clung to his cloak and stuck needles through his bones, the frost froze his face in a permanent grimace, with the only thing keeping him warm– revenge.

He found the giant sleeping in its frozen cave; a massive hole in the rock face, the sound of its powerful snores reverberating off the walls.  As he approached, the giant opened its golden glittering skittering eyes.  Mouth open wide, with a tremendous roar the giant lunged.

The warrior took off on horseback, with a fistful or reigns’ he and his team of horses the prey the Giant chased.  Its massive head blocked the faint sun, it monstrous arms toppled trees as it ran, and its thundering towering legs shook the stones free from the earth,  as the warrior lured the giant from the North.

When the giant tired, the warrior circled back slashing at its right leg, carving cuts upon cuts, strike upon strike.  Over time those wounds enlarged;  tiny nicks became scratches became valleys became patches of flayed flesh, and a lattice of criss-crossed blood loss.  The giant slowly lagged and limped.

As his horses exhausted and wore out from their continuous run, the Warrior leaped to a fresh mount.  The giant clamored  for the winded horses, catching and consuming the most tired ones, reducing the warrior’s herd.  But the shrewd warrior had packed his saddlebags to the brim with poisonous herbs.  As the slain horses dissolved in the monsters stomach the toxins emerged.  Leaving a frothing foam, sloughing from the Giant’s open maw– its insatiable greed, its ultimate downfall.
Finally when the warrior was down to his last horse– he halted.  The vibrant blooms of Summer surrounded the fragrant floor, the chirping of birds and the warm breeze blew gently against the warrior’s cheek, as the giant gave its final roar.  The warrior turned to face the beast, and made a final pass, swinging at its open calf.

A beautiful slash.

A wound deep, and lasting.

The Giant bent beneath its unwieldy gait, a mangled leg unable to bear weight, and only one good foot, lost in the slippery tangle of the fresh birth of Summer.  A stomach full of poison and ill intent.  The beast toppled, slowly from its towering frame, down to its battered knees and then laid flat upon the fragrant flower plains.  Down the giant went, and the earth trembled, and then was silent and still.

The warrior approached, his boots crunching a carpet of colors,  petals and stems of flowers.  Before him the Giant lay toppled and sprawled, Horse meat and toxic foam dribbled from its greedy open mouth.   The void that had once taken so many now  shuddered with each lumbering breath– awaiting its bitter last.

the warrior steadied himself, raising his steel overhead for the killing blow —

— he was pricked by a sudden pain in his ankle.  A small stinging creature at home in the flowers no bigger than his thumb had buried its nature born lance into the tender flesh just above’ his heel.  Without so much as a thought the warrior plucked the creature from his skin.

The monstrous Beast lay fallen before him, the strikingly small stinging insect crushed in the warrior’s hand.

The warrior paused’ moving from the giant’s head down to the great Beast’s bare feet.  A pair of blacken soles twice the height of a man, each toe as thick as the warrior’s waist.  With expert precision, he cleaved each toe clean off, one by one.   The monster howled and moaned struggling to escape.  The warrior sliced off its cruel and crooked fingers.   With two heavy cleaves he severed the bones of the Beast’s filthy mangled jaw full of filthy itchy mange and bitter yellow rickety teeth, leaving it hanging like like soggy deadwood from a broken tree.  Lastly, he cut out the monster’s tongue.

Leaving the beast to crumble and decay, unable to stand, unable to feed, and unable to get away.  Slowly consumed by it’s own terrible greed, eaten from the inside out.

And with that, the warrior returned home.

the Albizia Tree

The Albizia tree grew quickly out of the soft back earth.  Trunk extending, limbs outstretching to the skies ever-growing in search of more skyscape to claim.  And the branches traveled outwards on agendas of their own.  One shucked the seeds from saplings and left them ruined in the cold.  Two were content to hide in the shadows and suck life from the rest, as for the strongest, they procured enough sun and sustenance to feed them all.  

But burdened upon the thickest branches they hung the bodies of the slain: the Fencer, the Boxer opposite the Dealer and the Pirate King; their four bodies left swinging in the wind– the only fruit this fast growing tree would produce.  The great heft of their corpses over the great length of the branches, became the fulcrum to the breaking spine.  With a groaning, straining, snap!   the massive trunk was cracked in twain.

And left standing in the middle was the tender marrow heart of the tree.  A green spear of soft sapling sinew.  The Pirate King dusted himself from the tangle of broken boughs, plucked the green spear and carried her out– to be planted in softer soil anew, where her aspirations for sunlight and her toil would be justly rewarded, and not shared with deadwood.