Friday, January 24, 2014

Flash Fiction: Wolves and Giants

Northern Asia (Modern Day Finland), 399 AD

The giants dominated the valley.  Six or seven times the size of a fullgrown man, each giant's bronze and ice armor glittered in the sunlight.  From her spot on the ground they looked like they towered over the mountains.  A legion of Giants.

The tallest, most scarred of the giants stepped out toward her.  He looked like their leader to her.  She scanned her thoughts, reaching back into the mask she wore.  The memories and ideas of a past generations of her bloodline didn't tell her anything about him.

She tried not to let that discourage her.

The leader pointed down at her.  His voice boomed, like a large drum slammed hard.  "We come for the one who took our brother.  Where is the monster who is called Lupis?"

She stood a bit taller.  She regretted not having the others here.  But this was a thing she had to do by herself.

"I am she."

The giant blinked at her.  "You claim this realm for thyself?"

"It belongs to no one.  And those here obey my laws, beast."

"You are the one who slew our brother?  One damaged in mind, who wandered lost, who you choose to kill instead of return to our own realm?  You realize the dishonor this brings, do you not... she-Wolf?"

"I am not She-wolf, giant.  I am Hela of Lupis, my father was the Wolf before me, and my grandfather was the Lupis before that.  And yes, I know your brother was slain.  You are too late, its been many years since.  Go home, and I'll let you live."

The giant chuckled.  "Perhaps you think highly of yourself, high enough to face a Jarl of Ygg?  Or do you think us weak to let such a dishonor stand untested?"

Giants in the horde behind started to chant, pulling out bronze coated with ice.  They pounded their feet, swords clanged on shields.

The wolf raised a hand.  Their shouts died down, the sound itself being drawn into her.  She took their voices, the loudness of it for herself.

"Your brother slew my Father, giant.  You think I don't know what it is to face dishonor?"  The sheer volume of her voice deafened the larger creatures.  Some bleed from their ears, cringing in pain.  "I grant you mercy."

She was glad that she had enough control to keep tears from streaking down her face.  She'd learned that much, these last twenty years.

The giant nodded, and sheathed his blade.  "We go then, monster.  We will forget this slight, this day.  But those of Ygg and the many other worlds watch and wait.  We you exiled so long ago are waiting.  One day this world will pain for the suffering you caused.  One day we will take this world back."

"But that day isn't today, now is it?"  She said.

The giant shook his head.  And the giants left her alone.  She tried to keep the tears down.  To keep them away.  The mask thrummed, memories of many others whispering to her.  Including her father's.

"Long live the Wolf God," they chanted, making Hela of Lupis shudder in fear.