Sneak Peek!

( Presenting a special Halloween-edition sneak peek of the giant Jacob storyline! Everyone stay safe tonight, and watch out for Samhain! )

A snapped twig, then a rustle, and then a splash drew him out of sleep and Jacob pushed himself up partway to look around. Then, he heard a quiet sound mixing with the rushing water of the stream.

His gaze shot downwards to find a person not ten feet from him, sitting in the streambed. It was only a kid, he realized, with grubby shorts and a shirt with splashes of color on it. The little girl’s pigtails were mussed and she sat in the water with both hands clamped over her knee, but she stared with wide, teary eyes up at Jacob.

“Woah, hey,” he murmured, slowly lowering his head again so he didn’t loom over her. One tiny hand left her knee in a flicker of movement to brush at her eyes before clamping over it again.

“Y-y-you, y-you’re a giant,” she pointed out as Jacob lay down again. The stream wasn’t deep at all, so he could still see her clearly, and she actually seemed more upset about her knee than about how close she sat to a giant.

“I am,” he admitted in a quiet voice. “And you’re all wet. Did you slip?”

He kept thinking the hunters would come running to drag the little girl away from him, to keep her safe from his potentially dangerous movements. But they didn’t come, and Jacob was on his own with the tiniest kid he’d ever seen. She had to be around ten, he guessed absently.

She shook her head, and then sheepishly nodded. “I-I was … sneaking up on you …” she admitted.

Jacob offered her a tentative smile. “You were? I think it worked. Looks like you might have banged yourself up, though,” he replied. With his free hand, he took a chance to slowly lower it towards the stream so he could point at her knee that she so diligently covered with her hands.

His fingertip, bigger than her head, was only a few feet away from her, and she stared at it in more awe than terror. Something about the innocent wonder on her face lifted Jacob’s tired, weary spirits.

When she looked past his hand to his face again, though, she was frowning again. “I hit it on a rock,” she told him, lower lip pouting and quivering just a little. If Jacob didn’t pay attention, he’d miss it.

“Let’s get you out of the stream first, okay?” he said gently. His voice was quieter than he’d ever managed to make it, but there was no chance of her missing it. Once she nodded, Jacob’s hand closed the distance.

He pinched his thumb and first finger around her little waist, and she removed her hands from the forming bruise on her knee as he lifted her from the gently rushing water. Jacob set her down on the dry ground opposite the stream from himself and his hand retreated hastily.

She didn’t make a peep. Instead, she sat propped on her hands and stared at his huge hand.

“That’s gotta be better, right?” he prompted.

She nodded, and then, like kids are wont to do, checked on her bruise with all the seriousness she could muster. “My daddy’s gonna need to get me a ice pack,” she determined.

“That sounds like a good idea,” Jacob said. “I think you should go and get one from him, okay?”

She got to her feet with a wince. Her teeth bothered her lower lip as she tested putting weight on her injured leg. Once accomplished, she gave him a hopeful look. “Can I come back and talk after, mister giant?”

Jacob smiled and remained where he was lying down to avoid startling the trusting child. “I don’t think so,” he told her. Before she could sling her protests at him, he put one finger in front of his lips. She mimicked the motion with wide, surprised eyes. “I need to stay quiet out here, and my friends wouldn’t want you getting in trouble, okay?”

“I can play quietly!” she insisted, then closed her mouth and pursed her lips.

Jacob chuckled. “I bet you can. But if someone else finds out this is where you’re coming, then other people will find out I’m here, right? There are some people who are scared of giants and they might try to … take me away,” he explained, sparing the kid the details.

She looked worried and glanced over her shoulder. “So you’re a secret,” she surmised. Jacob nodded, and the girl drew herself up proudly. “O-okay. I can keep a secret, I’m not a snitch like Paul at school!”

“I’m really glad,” Jacob answered, his smile lingering. “You go get your ice pack, okay?”

The girl sighed, still looking disappointed. She stared at him for a few seconds more before turning and jogging away between the trees. Jacob saw her look back several times before she passed out of sight.


13. Snow

A little story from Kara while her daddy was missing!

Kara sniffled, brushing away a tear as she curled into a ball.

Her dad was gone. Christian was gone, and she had no idea how to get him back.

Her tiny form was hidden away in the walls, just like he’d always told her to do if she was in trouble. Stay out of sight, out of reach, beyond notice by any humans. She had to choke down her cries, forcing herself to stay quiet in the vents.

She’d run long and hard to get away from that terrible, horrid room where he’d been taken from. Why? Why him, why now, why did she have to lose the last person she had in her life?

Her mom was gone, nice old Mikael had vanished a week ago, and now daddy had followed, grabbed in huge hands.

She blinked her grey eyes open again, and uncurled enough to creep along the vent. The metal was cold to the touch, but it wasn’t on. If she heard the clanking motors activate deep in the bowels of the motel, she’d be forced to find a new place to hide.

Ahead, there was a slit. She came up to it, peering out to see where she was.

One of the motel rooms stretched out before her, and she very nearly ducked back down. But there were no humans up and about, just one guy sitting on the bed down there. The television was on nearby, and she stared at it. Her dad had told her about televisions before. How they could show humans things that happened very far away.

This one had a white forest on the screen, and her grey eyes reflected the sight of gentle snowflakes landing on the ground.

It was so peaceful and idyllic. A scene that Kara would never be able to see outside of the walls.

She took a deep breath, holding the image in her head. Peace. She needed to get her daddy back so they could find some peace of their own.

The human shifted, and her terrified eyes flashed back to him. He was huge. Why did humans have to be so massive?

Him moving caught her attention to something she’d missed. On his shoulder, there was another man.

The human’s voice was drowned out by her shocked reaction. She almost scrambled away from the vent, then inched forward once more to see if she’d been imagining things.

But no. It wasn’t her imagination. There was a man on the human’s shoulder, and he looked as relaxed as anyone she’d seen. No fear, no worry. Casual words exchanged between the two of them as they argued over what they should do next. The human stood and snapped off the television, dispelling the image of the snowy forest.

Kara blinked, then her resolved firmed. When the human wasn’t around, she needed to talk to this new guy. Sam.

Maybe he could help her find her daddy.