Abraham huffed as he bathed in the lake, grateful that he lived far away enough from the village so he avoided the humans but still close enough to the water so he could bathe in peace. Of course, he could only do it at night since if a human caught him, they would try to kill him.
Giants were not as magical and mythical as humans make them out. They were not as tall as skyscrapers or anything and they were not seeking out humans as meals. They weren't hideous troll creatures either that didn't wear proper clothing and covering either. Not all of them live and wandered all. Those fairytales and folktales completely twisted the truth. People hunted after them as though they were beasts of burden and told stories to their children in order to scare them from wandering off by themselves at night since "the giants would find them and eat them."
In truth, giants, to put it into the simplest of terms, looked exactly like humans, just obviously bigger. They weren't so big that they towered over forests, but most were tall enough to tower the eleven-foot huts and twenty-two-foot taverns in the human areas. Though they ate meat, very few giants actually preyed on human flesh. Most turned to town livestock or animals in the forest for food; those who knew magic would conjure something up for themselves. It was also due to magic that they had clothing much similar looking to that of humans. Also, only some, like Abraham, lived alone. There were giants that lived in groups and villages over the mountain side, far away from any humans that wished them harm.
In short, most giants were like humans. Just much bigger.
Abraham sighed as he finished his bath, looking up at the stars and the moon in the distance. If there was one thing he enjoyed about being a giant on the human parts of the land, it was having the view of the moon. It hardly ever shown back in his homeland; the mountains always blocked it. He decided that since there was a full moon, he would do a little stargazing. It helped pass the time and it didn't make him feel so lonely.
Just as he got out of the lake and dried himself off, he heard voices in the distant. He instantly stiffened and glanced behind him. Impossible humans were forbidden to come into the forest so late at night. Not just because of giants, but other creatures that humans had warned each other about. He knew this; he often spied on town meetings in order to know what they were doing and where hunting parties were going so he could avoid them.
Quickly, he threw back on his clothes and ran behind the trees, listening in closely to the voices. He could hear rapid and frightening panting, small feet slamming hard against the earth surface as someone ran from the voices, which sounded harsh and slurred. There were two voices and he wasn't able to make out exactly what they were saying, but he knew their words were toward whoever was running away. He looked a bit more closely, eyes widening when he saw a human woman run out in the open, out of the far side of the woods, stopping when she reached the edge of the lake.
He stared at her in awe for a few moments, completely ignoring the fact that she was panting heavily and franticly running along the edge of the lake, glancing behind her as she ran. Her long black hair blew behind her, her bright brown eyes glowing even in the dark. If he hadn't had such powerful nocturnal vision, he might have failed to notice how pale and smooth her skin looked or how elegant her facial features were, despite her look of fear. She wore a tattered gray dress, one of the sleeves missing while the hem had been torn unevenly around her knees. She looked frightened, though Abraham didn't understand why. Concern swelled up in his chest, but he didn't dare to move. Humans were afraid of giants; this woman was no different, though it was obvious her fright was focused on something else at the moment.
The woman let out a startled cry as she tripped, falling hard to the floor. Neither she nor the giant had realized that the two men had caught up to her, smiling down at her. She gasped and tried to get up, but both men jumped at her and pinned her to the ground. She screamed and thrashed against them, calling out for help while the other men laughed. They were drunk and stupid, grabbing at her dress and tugging at it. The woman continued to scream for help and for them to get off and let her go. Her pleads, however, were unheeded.
Abraham simply stood there, breathing heavily, his mind swirling with what he was thinking and feeling. A rage built up in his chest, his hands shaking with fury. Despite his caution toward humans, he knew he couldn't just sit back and allow this to happen. He was never one to simply allow others to get hurt. She was crying and begging she was suffering at the hands of these barbaric men! He had to do something anything! And he knew he only needed to do one thing in order to save the woman. He just prayed it wouldn't get him killed in the long run.
He stepped out into the open and in the sights of the one of the drunkards. Immediately, he gave a yelp and jumped away from the woman, complete fear washing over him as he locked gazes with the giant, who was glaring down at him.
The other man looked over and gasped, running over to the other man, too frightened to speak. The woman didn't understand as to why her two attackers suddenly backed away in fear. Just as she was about to get up and run herself, she heard a hard and booming voice growl out, "You disgusting pieces of vermin
I should kill you for what you've done."
She gasped looked behind her, eyes widening in terror at the sight. A giant. She was looking at an actual giant. Oh God, she was going to die. This giant was going to kill her and the two drunks that tried to hurt her. She didn't know she had run straight onto his territory! If stories and legends were true, giants were incredibly territorial and would kill any trespassers. Right now, she and these men were trespasser and they were going to die.
The woman didn't dare move as the giant moved toward the men, who backed away in fear. Abraham wasn't going to hurt them, but at least try and scare them off. If he were to kill them, which he could easily do with just the swing of his foot, it would only mean a massive giant hunt for him. He snarled at the men, stomping his foot near them. They screamed and took off running, never looking back as they disappeared into the forest, abandoning the woman that they had been pursuing earlier.
Satisfied that they had left without much of a hassle, he turned to the woman on the ground, who gasped when the giant stared at her. Getting a better look at her, he noticed that she was a rather pretty woman, petite and delicate looking. Of course, he couldn't say much since he was a giant everything was petite and delicate compared to him. Cautiously, so he wouldn't frighten the woman already more than he did, he stepped toward her. She, in turn, crawled away from him, trembling as his eyes followed her every movement.
He inhaled deeply and, in a softer voice than before, said to her, "Are you alright, little one? Are
The woman simply stared at him, eyes wide as he spoke. She held her breath, fearing that he simply wanted to trick her and kill her later. She scooted back more from him, slowly rising to shaky feet. They stared at each other for a few moments before the woman turned around and took off running toward the trees.
"Wait!" he cried.
Without thinking, he ran after her, placing down a hand in front of her path. She let out a startled scream and fell backwards, trying to avoid the hand in front of her. His eyes widened as she casted him a fearful look, tears pouring down her face while shaking like a leaf. He frowned. This was to be expected since giants were feared, but he didn't expect it to hurt so much. He had just saved her from those two drunks. Then again, if he was a human and a giant was acting like this toward him, he would probably be afraid too.
Slowly dropping to his knees, he moved his hand away from her. "I'm sorry," he said gently. "I'm not going to hurt you
I know my kind frightens you, but I'm not like that. I won't hurt you, so please
Don't be afraid."
The woman just stared at him, her heart pounding hard in her chest as she swallowed. She looked over the giant, biting her bottom lip. He certainly didn't look anything like the giants in the storybooks she read as a child. Also, he had just saved her from those two drunks; he couldn't have been that bad. Yet, she understood that one good deed didn't make someone a good person. She couldn't trust him, not because he was a giant, but because she just didn't trust anyone.
"I won't hurt you," he said again.
He reached for her, scooping her up into his palm, which caused her to shriek and grip on tightly to his fingers, fearing that he would drop her if she didn't hold on. He brought her closer to his face, studying her carefully. His eyes widened as he noticed the bruises on her body, more noticeably her arms and back.
are hurt," he muttered softly. "Why are you so injured?"
The woman looked over herself, shocked that he was observing her so closely. She bit her bottom lip and looked away, too terrified to answer his question; besides, it wasn't his business. Still, this was a giant. If she didn't say anything, he might grow angry and kill her. Finally, in a soft and quivering voice, she whimpered out, "I
I was attacked on my way home."
Abraham felt mentally relieved that she had finally spoke to him, despite her fear. Of course, the word "attacked" was unsettling. He frowned. "Was it those men?"
The giant huffed, thinking that perhaps he should have gotten rid of those drunks permanently rather than allowing them to get away. Now they had a chance to hurt some other defenseless creature for sport. He shook his head and said softly, "I'll take you back to your village. I'm sure you'd rather be at home than with a giant after what you've been though."
When she didn't say anything and simply looked down at her knees, he raised an eyebrow. "Is
"I can't go home," she said softly, forgetting for a moment that she was talking to a giant, tears developing in her eyes. "I
They are my brothers."
His eyes widened at the confession, watching as the human in his hand burst into tears and she buried her face into her hands. Abuse physical, verbal, or sexual was not a strange concept to giants or to any creature really. That was why Abraham left home in the first place to get away from his abusive father. He felt sympathy for the human and wanted to comfort her, though he went against it since she probably wouldn't appreciate it. He remembered what they both were, which made him huff.
is there anywhere you want me to take you?" he said gently. "Is there anyone I can take you to?"
The woman though when he looked at her more closely, Abraham could tell she was merely in her later adolescent years looked up from her hands, her eyes red from crying while tears still pouring down her face. She shook her head and whimpered, "I
I d-don't have anyone to turn to
"Not even your parents?"
She kept silent, which made Abraham mentally scold himself. Her parents had probably died when she was younger, hence why she was living with her brothers. That or perhaps they were just as abusive to her as he brothers were.
He gently set her down to the floor, allowing her to scramble off of his hand and back away from him, obviously ready to make a run for it. He huffed and rose to his feet, making her swallow as she looked up at his great size.
"I'll leave you to do what you want," he said. "I
understand that you don't wish for me to help you since of my appearance."
Just as he was about to turn away from her, his eyes widened as he heard angry and frantic cries in the distant, though it was coming closer, a bright light shining in the horizon. Oh no those men had called upon a mob. A mob for a giant. A mob for him.
He looked down at the woman, debating with himself. He could leave her here and run, just as she wanted; no human wanted to be in a giant's company. But it was obvious she did not want to return to her brothers, or rather as he defined them, her abusers. He quickly knelt down beside her, not caring that it seemed to frighten her. She backed away from him, but he held out a hand to her, much to her confusion.
"Those men your brothers are coming this way," he explained hastily, glancing behind him as the mob drew nearer. "You said you couldn't go home. I
You can come with me. I won't hurt you. I know you are hesitant to trust me, but you must believe me. I will not hurt you now or ever."
The woman simply stared at him before glancing down at his hand. He wanted her to trust him? A giant she didn't know? A giant that plagued her storybooks? A giant who was part of a species that was said to be monstrous and evil? But, as she thought about it, she knew that she'd rather die at the hands of a giant rather than be continuously abused by the hands of her brothers, those who she should have been able to call family and trust with her life. She shut her eyes, nodding and thus sealing her fate. She had given herself to a giant.
He wrapped his hand around her, lifting her up and bringing her against his chest. He turned around and ran into the forest, just as the mob came into the opening. He ran as fast as he could without making the sprint too jarring for the young woman in his palm. He didn't need her getting hurt or falling out of his hand. He had to get her to safety. Despite all his life telling himself to never meddle in human affairs, a victim of abuse was someone he just could not ignore.
The yelling behind him gradually disappeared as he got further away, his pace slowing as he arrived closer to his home, which was an abandon cave over by the far mountain side. Lights from lanterns he had taken from his old home were lit outside like he had left them earlier that evening, brightening up the area and giving him a better look of the area. Though it wasn't anything special or outstanding for both human and giant standards, it was his home. Glancing down, he pulled his hand away from his chest and looked at the woman, who had curled up into his palm and was shaking violently.
"Little one, we're safe now," he said, carefully shifting as he sat down against a tree, not wanting to make any sudden movements and cause her to fall off his hand. "Everything's fine now
" Then he feared that made she was shaking because she was in pain. "A-Are you hurt?" he asked. "Did that run hurt you?"
She finally moved, looking up at him with her body trembling madly. He gently dropped his hand to the floor, giving her the chance to climb to the ground and back away from him. She looked at her surroundings, trying to see if she knew where she was. It didn't take her long to realize that this was an area she was unfamiliar with. The woman suddenly became even more nervous and cautious than she already was, turning to look at her savior and possibly her demise.
As she had observed earlier, he didn't look like the giants in the picture books or the way the elders had described them to everyone. Those giants were like great trolls that towered over castles and ate anything and everything in its path with barely any clothing on. This giant looked almost like a grown human man. He had a normal face with short light brown hair and green eyes, his skin a bit rough and tan. He wore human-looking clothes and wasn't dirty or foul smelling or anything. He was just like a human just much larger than any human would ever get.
She bit her bottom lip and looked down at her feet, shaking a bit as she waited him to do something, anything. There was only one purpose a giant had for a human to eat it. What else would she be besides food?
Abraham observed that she obviously wasn't hurt and was relieved in an instant; he had feared that he had hurt her. Now the question was what he was to do with her. She could very well stay here, but he doubted she wanted that. She was quivering like mad, despite she had been the one to allow him to carry her away.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
She looked up at him with a confused and frightened expression. God, why did he continue to stall? She just wanted to get this over with already. It wasn't like anyone would miss her. To the world, she was nobody and worthless and from what she had learned in life, worthless people didn't deserve to exist.
In a shaking voice, she choked out, "P-Please
! I-If you're going to eat me, th-then do it now!"
Abraham's eyes widened at the sudden cry, noting how just as she finished talking, she burst into tears and gripped her dress tightly, as though she were waiting for him to hurt her. He frowned a bit. She still thought he wanted to hurt her? He ran a hand through his hair, somewhat frustrated with the fact that, even after he saved her, she thought he was like the giants in the fairytales.
"I honestly don't know what I have to say or do to convince you that I don't wish to harm you," he said softly, sounding genuinely hurt by her plea. "I'm not keeping you here either. I simply brought you here so you wouldn't be taken back
You are free to leave if that is what you wish." Then he stood up and walked away from her, making sure not to look back as he ducked into his cave.
She stood out there for a few moments, her tears slowing as she allowed the giant's face to sink into her mind. He looked upset, as though she had hurt his feelings. Did her asking him to eat her offend him? If so, she felt a pang in her chest. He did save her
Perhaps she should have been thanking him. For a giant, he was rather civilized. At least that was what she had gathered from the very short time with him. Had she'd been too rude? Too insensitive? The latter seemed to make the most sense at this moment and, despite him being a different species, the feelings of guilt were still very much there. She had to apologize, if anything just to stop the small yet heavy feeling in her chest.
Cautiously, she walked inside the cave, keeping close to the walls. She looked through the large rock home, eyes widening when she saw that there was actually a small set-up similar to a house inside. There was a fire pit with a bot over it, though nothing was cooking. There were lanterns throughout the cave, being suspended by thick strings or held up by posts. There were stacks of large books as well as a pile of clothes next to what looked like a bed. She saw the giant by the fire, sitting on a large log possibly an old tree while he watched the flames with his elbows on his thighs, his chin resting in his hands.
He was surprised that she had entered, considering how frightened she was earlier. Still, he didn't move or look at her, focusing his attention on the crackling wood before him. It was a soothing sound, especially at night after almost running into a mob of potential giant hunters. However, out of the corner of his eyes, he spotted the young woman slowly make her way toward him, which surprised him a bit. He sat up straight and looked over at her when she stopped by the edge of the log, holding onto the wood tightly as they looked at each other.
"Is there something wrong?"
She muttered something. Despite his excellent hearing, she had spoken much too quietly for anyone to hear.
"I'm sorry, but could you repeat that?" he said. "I couldn't hear you."
Once again, she mumbled her response.
He huffed and rubbed his eyes. "I understand that you're afraid of me, but
I really cannot hear you unless you talk a bit louder and clearer, little one."
" she muttered again, loud enough for him to hear. "I
for thinking you wanted to eat me
His eyes widened at the apology. He hadn't been expecting it, but it did feel nice to hear, nonetheless. He gave her a soft smile and nodded. "It's understandable. After all, your kind has made stories of my kind and indoctrinated you from a young age to fear giants."
you saved me," she said, even louder than before, though she still clutched onto the tree. "I
I should be more grateful
He shook his head. "It's fine, little one. I understand." Then he sighed, his smile fading away. "I suppose now you will take your leave and go
wherever you need to."
He raised an eyebrow. Was she trying to tell him something? By the way she was shifting in her stance, he could tell she didn't know how to put it. She looked and glanced around his home, as though trying to find an answer somewhere. He titled his head and said softly, "Do you wish to stay here, little one?"
She said nothing and looked at her feet.
He gave her a gentle smile. "If that is what you wish, it truly isn't an issue
You are more than welcomed to stay in my home. You'll have to excuse the mess and such, though
I'm not the best housekeeper." Slowly he rose to his feet and stepped over to her. Though she flinched back, she didn't try to run away, much to his delight. At least she wasn't so terrified of him anymore. "I'll set up a black for you to sleep
Anywhere in particular?"
She shook her head.
Abraham nodded. He took a short stool that was on the other side of the log, picking it up and carrying it over to his bed, placing it by the headboard. Then he reached over for one of the two pillows on his bed, pulling it on the stool. When he was satisfied enough, he nodded to himself and turned to the woman on the floor, who had become slightly curious and followed him to his bed, though she stayed over by the far edge.
He gave her a soft smile, crouching down on the floor and stretching his hand out to her. "You'll need my help to get up onto the stool. I would've put you on the floor, but I don't think that would be safe
I hope you don't mind."
The young woman shook her head and slowly emerged from hiding and toward the hand. He kept perfectly still and waited her for to climb into his palm. Any sudden movement might have made her run for the exit. He knew that if she was going to stay here, he would have to be gentle and careful in every single action he made around her. Otherwise she would become fearful of him and treat him as if he was a monster.
She climbed onto his palm, allowing him to gently lift her up and place her on the pillow. Her eyes widened as she touched the soft, fluffy surface. It was even softer than her bed at her house. Of course, her family was poor and her entire village was poverty-stricken, so it wasn't a surprise that the pillow of giant would be more comfortable.
"Would you like a blanket?" he asked. Then he frowned a bit. "Though
I don't actually have any your size. But I do have some things that could serve as a substitute."
"That's fine," she said timidly. "But, I'm not tired yet, so"
The giant shook his head. "It seems to me that you have had a long and hard day
You need your rest." He turned away from her to walk over to his pile of clothing, searching through them for a suitable piece that he could cut up and give to her as a blanket. "Ah, I should say now
I close the cave up at night. So other creatures don't come in
Will that be an issue?"
Truth be told, she found it a bit unsettling to think about being locked up in a cave with a giant for a night. Still, he honestly did not seem like a bad creature and he didn't seem to have any intention of hurting her. "No
" she murmured. "I
I'll be fine." She lied down on the pillow, surprised that once she curled up a bit on the fluffy surface, she was suddenly overcome with fatigue.
Abraham found a shirt that he had outgrown. Why he kept it, he wasn't sure; at the moment though, he was glad that he had. He ripped part of the sleeve off, holding it out to himself. It seemed like a decent size blanket for a human, but of course, he might have been off since he was a giant; he was bound to disproportion the size. Just in case, he tore more of the sleeve off, tossing the rest of the shirt onto the edge of his bed. He then walked back over to the human, surprised to find her swaying to sleep. Carefully, he placed the two pieces of fabric over her body, seeing that they were just a bit bigger than the average human blanket, but would keep her warm, nonetheless.
"Are you comfortable, little one?"
She gave him a nod and just as he turned away, she whispered out, "Josephine."
He blinked and looked back at her, eyebrows raised. "I'm sorry
But what did you say?"
"My name," she said softly. "I'm not 'little one
' My name is Josephine."
He gave her a soft smile. Now she trusted him enough to actually give him a name. He was surprised at how much he enjoyed knowing it and being given the privilege to say it. It felt unbelievably nice to be able to call her by something other than "the woman," "human," or "little one." She trusted him enough to give him her name. And it was such a pretty name too.
"Josephine," he repeated softly. "My name is Abraham. I hope you can find comfort in
in staying here."
"Hmm," she murmured, all ready have fallen asleep, snuggling into the pillow as she curled up to keep herself warm.
He smirked and walked away from her, allowing her to sleep peacefully as he moved to close the cave. He stepped over to the entrance, deciding it was time to close the cave. A shame since he was planning to stargaze that evening. Still, it wasn't a waste. He had just gained a potential companion and she seemed like a nice woman, this Josephine. He had saved her from getting hurt and had got her to trust him, at least a little bit.
He moved the great stone in front of the entrance, closing off himself and Josephine off to the rest of the world. He glanced over his shoulder, still seeing her sleep. Abraham couldn't help to smile as the sweet sight, walking back over to his bed and sitting down on it. He watched over his new guest and just couldn't stop smiling. A human. A human was in his home, had given him her name, and was sleeping peacefully by his bed.
He remembered how once his mother said that friendship could never be limited. Maybe this was what she meant. A friendship between a giant and a human. He didn't think it was possible, but with Josephine, maybe it was. He didn't know now, but maybe he would one day.
He just had for that day to come.