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Chapter 1

The underbrush shook, then parted as a small figure in buckskin exploded from cover.  Small bare feet pattered along the barely visible trail as a roaring of incomprehensible words sounded behind the figure, to be followed by the crash of giants bursting into view.  There were two of these large creatures, nine feet tall, and dressed in furs and leathers, and clutching spears the size of lances.  Their bellows of bloodlust were aimed at the diminutive quarry ahead of them.

Their prey, a female of mixed human-elf blood, continued running despite the burning of her lungs and the ache in her calves.  She didn't try to look back, for to do so could mean slamming into a tree, hooking bare toes under a tree root, or not seeing the sudden drop into a ravine.  So the elfling pressed on, her dark eyes snapping this way and that as the trail continued to bend sharply among the tree trunks of this unknown Missouri woodlands.

The giants came on, breathing deeply like bellows.  Their large brutish heads were covered in stringy black hair and shaggy beards.  Arms the size of small trees brushed aside  branches as they shouldered their way between boughs in quest of the quarry ahead.  The pair paid no heed to the numerous cuts and tears along dark skin, and mindless of the rivulets of blood being smeared along the lengths of their limbs.  The gargantuan creatures had been out hunting most of the morning and, empty-handed, were returning to their rough camp when they stumbled across the elfling drinking from a stream.  All three were stunned at the other's appearance.  She recovered first and shot off like a deer across the running water into the green wall on the other side, leaving behind her leather pack.  It was a long moment as the sight worked its way through the giant's brains before registering what they saw.  With deep roars the pair stormed across the stream and into the tree line beyond after the small figure.

At one point the little mixed-blood female paused on a rise, wiping the short black hair from a sweaty face.  Before the run before her life the elfling's hair had been worked into two braids, as the native human women in the region wore theirs.  However, during the mad dash for freedom, those braids became entangled in the whips of some briar bushes.  She was forced to sever them with her knife, leaving her hair in a ragged bob.  And the knife had been dropped with those braids when the roars of the giants sounded too close to her liking.

Now armed with only a short bow and a handful of arrows the small figure hurried on, feeling her strength ebbing away.  She stumbled when her toes caught on a rock that had nosed up out of the dirt, and she almost fell.  But the elfling caught herself and drove herself on when the trail broke out into a broad meadow.  Her heart sank at the sight; a realization that the advantage would now favor those massive beasts behind.  With this open ground the duo will easily overtake her, even striking her down with a spear made from a small tree.  A triumphal chorus of bellows announced the giants had reached the land that favored them.  The small female's heart sank down to her bare feet as she began praying silently to whatever woodland spirits would listen to her pleas for a swift journey to the next world.

Someone must have been listening.  Out of the corner of her right eye the elfling noted a tall figure in buckskin step out of the woods.  She couldn't make out much about this person other than he was a human; the giants storming after her being gross copies of him.  There came the motion of this human setting something long up to his shoulder, followed by the blooming of dirty gray smoke that preceded a thunderclap.  Somewhere behind the female there sounded a meaty smack that was punctuated by a scream of pain.

Hazarding a glance over her shoulder the girl saw one of the giants go down, clutching his chest.  His companion slowed down some, torn between continuing the pursuit or facing this new danger.  Determining that avenging his friend was of a greater importance the remaining giant turned towards the newcomer.

The human dropped his thunder weapon while unlimbering a bow from his left shoulder.  Turning his left side to the charging creature, the man - for such was the human - held the bow in his left hand while drawing an arrow from the quiver on his right hip with the right hand.  He nocked it, drew, and loosen in one fluid motion.  The arrow sped towards its target, burying itself into the giant's stomach.  There came a grunt as large hands groped at the feathered shaft protruding from its belly.  This was followed by three more arrows that landed in the beast's chest near its heart.  The gargantuan man-beast stumbled then fell outstretched on the ground.

The elfling girl slowed, then stopped, breathing deeply.  She was transfixed at how quickly the man dispatched the second giant.  And so stunned was she by this action that she forgot about the first one.  A groan reached her ears, and turning towards the sound the girl saw the first giant working himself up into a sitting position.  Beetling brows knitted in painful confusion as he stared at the bloody hole in his chest.  The long face turned up to look stupidly at what he and his brethren had been hunting moments ago.

A slow rage began to build in the small figure's chest.  That thing had been chasing her earlier was now staring vaguely at her.  A short scream burst from a sore throat as the elfling nocked her own arrow, sending it into that heaving chest.  It was followed by several others unto the giant's chest looked like the back of a porcupine.  There came a rattling gasp from thick blood-flecked lips as the massive creature slumped over onto its side.

Deep breathes rattled through her own thick lips as the small figure stood shaking from the effort of running.  Slowly she too slumped to the ground, bow slipping from shaky fingers.  She sat there staring at the dead giant that had been chasing her through unfamiliar woods.  A shadow passed over her.  It was an effort to turn her head to look up at the human standing over her.  A strange smile quirked his thin lips as he stared down at this small figure who let a shaky smile of her own cross her dark face.

*Merci,* was mumbled as the elfling passed out.

To be continued . . .
HappyWaterAngel Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2016
The description of place and  characters are okay. The way you kept the  way suspense was alright. Only that the situation was quit predictable. Per total was good.
cullyferg2010 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2016
Thank you.  However, chapter 2 is on a flash drive and haven't done much with it since.  Been working on two stories for the Spontoon Island website <>.  You'll love it.
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Submitted on
December 8, 2015
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