Winter was the most infamous season in Görlitz. Beautiful flowers ranging from daisies to tulips wiltered under the beautiful sun. Once green leaves turned as brown as bark. Animals that once roamed the grasses hibernated to a comatose state. Trees lost their awe as leaves fell.
However, some still viewed the season as 'prepossessing'.
The season encouraged the humans to dwell in their warm cottages as a certain blonde giant peered from his home on the peak of the mountains nearby. He sat on the branch on the tallest oak tree amongst many. W ell, one of the stronger ones that could hold his changing weight.
Squinting below, his piercing blue eyes noticed that said humans lit their chimneys right as their young ones came inside. Speaking of; the children had red noses due to the freezing weather. They resembled red berries which made the giant chuckle. They may have gotten it from running errands against the cold winds, or perhaps from sickness. The giant shrugged and smiled at the warm sight of families gathering around the fireplace-his body relaxing on the sturdy branch.
Boys and girls scattered inside to rejoice from a successful day. Some of the boys bragged about the fish they caught with their fathers(who in return boasted to their wives), others were just ready to escape the wrath of the season’s winds.
They took off their coats in hurry. Coats made from the hides of nearby animals ranging from brown to black...Bears?
They remembered to pat their leather boots dry before coming inside their hearth. They were constantly reminded by their mothers to do so, or risk a good lecture about staining wooden floors. As a matter of fact...
The giant shifted on the branch, scolding at his legs that were beginning to strain. Some of the snow on the branch's leaves falling as a result. He stared even more intensely at the humans, something he wished was not a natural trait. It scared them even more as they glared into his ‘bitter’ eyes.
“Maybe it’s the coat…”, he thought with a chuckle as he glanced quickly at his personal wear. His signature cloak was dyed black, but had gaping holes from his use of the material for too long. Stains from berries or blood were not obvious from far, but evident from a closer look. As if his height was no scary enough...
Shifting positions, he watched the mothers take their freshly baked rye bread from their man-made stone ovens. Which, the giant took notice of, would be accompanied with the meat of the animals their strong partners captured.
Deer meat was toasted to a nice dark brown, chicken from their farms were in a hearty stew that quickly disappeared into stomachs.
Mothers were finishing their cooking, fathers listening to their rowdy but happy children...
A beautiful sight really...
The giant was jealous of it.
He laid his bag full of arrows and wooden bow against the tree’s bark. Taking his wool blanket from the gigantic bag he had on his back, he sprawled it across his lap. He began to eat his own arrangement of bread and salted meat. Maybe it wasn't as appetizing as the humans', but it provided enough nutrition for the next day. However, h e loved watching the people while eating, it entertained him every afternoon before slumber.
He slowly took bites of his food, imagining himself in a warm cottage one day.
The giant realized how fast the sun was setting after he finished his meal. Splashes of golds, reds, and purples filled his vision. The top of the sky dispersed into dark blues and stars that shone brightly. Quickly, he grabbed his personal belongings from his bag and placed them on the blanket. He made sure to count everything, and to make sure he did not forget or lose any items. The giant liked to be organized, something the humans tend to forget.
He nodded at his belongings, and he began to climb down the tree he toke residence for an hour or two.
On the bottom of the tree, the giant took one last look at the humans who were chattering about their days to their families. The cottages were spewing smoke from the chimneys, indicating a warm household, and light illuminating from the windows thanks to the candles being lit.
Children were laughing, mothers and fathers were proud of how much their children had grown. Chuckles, shouting, and scowling were thrown here and there...
He turned back to return to his cold cave.
-quiet as ever.
The sun rose earlier that day. The giant’s eyes slowly opened as sunlight came from the opening to his face. The warmth kissed his skin, making the blonde smile. He let out such a booming yawn that the cave trembled. His face grew red from embarrassment. The giant hurriedly counted his items again in case a human dared to steal from him that night. Luckily, nobody wanted to risk his fury. It’s not that the giant was violent or anything. He liked to be secluded, and hell. He was not that tall. He was just a foot or two taller than the men in the village. He traded with some of them from here and there. Brave ones made conversation, which in return delighted the giant. Sadly, these relationships were always cut short by the warnings of others.
He respected their decisions, but humans were tremendously cautious creatures.
He did not blame them.
Sometimes, he’d hear stories of murder amongst the humans. Other times, he’d hear stories of rape, corruption, and etc.
“Ugh..”, the giant grumbled.
His long blonde locks were in the way of his sight again.
He grabbed a tie made from cloth, and he gathered his hair into a braid of some sort. When he was satisfied with the tightness, he sat down to put his black leather boots. His thoughts ranged from hunting rabbits to trading some of the fur he managed to clean as a nice trade. He decided that it was time for a cloak that did not have holes, making him appear as a spotted rabbit..
The latter was tempting to the man.
The humans would occasionally bring in souvenirs from foreign lands that excited the giant. Once, a man from a neighboring land brought dyed cloth.
“Pink!”, the man called the dye. It was rather soothing to the eyes, and many of the townsfolk bought the material in a haste to wear and brag(the foreigner promised to come once a year for such a good profit.)
The women even incorporated the dye to their skirts for spring activities, or ribbons for their light hair.
The memories of the villagers dancing brought a smile to his pale face. Blossomed flowers were collected and placed in vases, rivers ran fresh crisp water, and more scenes occupied his thoughts. Hell, he was even invited to these celebrations a few times by humans that felt generous.Perhaps out of pity, who knows with them. He would drink beer quietly with the men around a fire as the lot would make a ruckus, or help the baker with the numerous orders of bread. In some cases, the baker would discount the prices as a thanks to his customers.
It was a nice change to his usual patterns..
He stood up, and made way towards the opening. The sunlight shining even brighter, and revealing the white landscape. Positive vibes erupted from the giant. It made him want to soak in every last second of it. Upon the entrance of the cave; snow blanketed the bushes and trees, but it was a sunny day nonetheless.
His mind was brought back to the trading.
Although the trinkets brought no use but to admire, he was fixated on buying Asian silk or a new cloak. He wanted a new cloak that gave him much needed warmth for the long winter ahead. Remembering to bring his finest fur skinned from a bear almost as tall as him, he began to think of such a fine trade. He pondered on the thought of finding a nice dark green cloak..maybe a blue? The giant sped down the mountain still lost in thought. Squirrels and birds stopped to stare at the giant before attending their own business. He glanced once more at the white substance that covered almost everything in sight. The sun threatening his eyes with bright rays.Looking around, he noticed how peaceful his corner of the world was. In fact..
It reminded him of his birth to the world. Strange enough, he knew nothing of where he came from, or if he had parents. Perhaps...that is why he was so jealous of the villagers. They actually knew what they were, where they belong, and their duties. The giant knew nothing of how he was born, and for what reason he had in the human world. For all he knew, he might have been a mistake by the gods themselves. All he remembered was that he appeared on the mountain peak during a blizzard. Quick flashes of white had blinded his vision, making it hard to see. The ice had disguised the land with a white blanket, and the giant did not recognize such feeling of...living. He winced at the painful action of taking his first breath. It had felt unorthodox at the moment, as if he held his breath for hundreds of years. The cold beginning to numb his limbs, he began to walk around searching for an escape from the harshness. The winds were so cold that he felt as if he was being slapped across his body.
Growing red, he remembered that he was naked until a passing villager felt pity for the giant. He thought back to how wide the man's eyes became, and stuttered at while seeing how naked thw giant was. The villager was an elderly man known throughout the village as a nice fellow, with a wife to match his kindness. Both were no taller than four feet, due to old age. The husband had silver hair that gleamed under the sun’s rays. He had a big belly due to his, ‘wife’s cooking skills from the gods.’ He was the type of being who would always have a positive outlook on life, much to the delight of the townsfolk who cherished such innocence. As for his wife, she had blonde hair transitioning to the same situation as her husband's . Her rosy cheeks made her look even more innocent than her husband's red face. The two made a perfect pair, but they knew they were missing something from their life: a child. Unfortunately, the villager’s wife could not bear children due to an injury sustained during childhood. Her uterus had been punctured and torn, almost causing her to die. Yet, she had lived her life to the fullest, and found a man who never once made her feel any less of a woman for her situation. However, she did fantasize about upbringings, and her husband always had a glint of joy when looking at the young children in the village run about.
As they grew older, time flew by quicker than they thought. Reality hit the woman, for her age made it impossible to even consider children. Nights of crying, days of sadly peering through windows at the families who appeared utterly content made her heart ache.
However, that had all changed one day.
The elderly dragged the giant to his cottage where his wife sewed a nice outfit for the fellow. Her face engulfed in red, barely making eye contact with the giant seeing as he was naked. However, she finished the clothing, making it suited to his height. His body became warm from the cottage's fire, and the new material on his skin. Confused with the rapid change of environment and actions, they helped the poor giant conquer life; one step at a time. Seeing as he had no parents, they immediately took him in. Finally, a son of their own! The blonde giant remembered how nice the couple was, giving him food and shelter until he understood the basic human workings perfectly. From using utensils, bathing, and etc. The couple even taught him English and German through books.
The elderly man also taught him how to hunt and skin animals, while the wife taught him how to cook(cookies were their speciality). Both scenarios consisted of rambles about their days, jokes, hugs, and etc. The giant became used to the physical contact, returning every hug and kiss whenever he could. It was the least he could do for their efforts.
Unfortunately, the couple grew older and older. The giant noticed that the man could no longer perform his tasks, so he took it upon himself to take his place. Then, the woman did as well. Thus, he was the all around nurse for the two. They were put on bed rest, the smallest tasks made their bodies twitch and ache with pain. He fed them, washed them, cleaned their bodily fluids, and etc. One could argue that this was torture, but the giant was just pleased with making sure their last days were spent together.
They managed to live long past seventy, which was a rarity. They eventually died soon thanks to natural causes. The man who found the giant had died in his sleep, and his wife laid dead the day after due to heartache. Both had their wishes of a son granted leaving them happy towards the end.
Images of flowers on tombstones made the giant’s heart throb.
After they had died, he lived in their house for a while. He could not eat for days, and he burst into sobs whenever he passed by their room. Yet, he could not bring himself to be surrounded by the memories of the pair as he spiraled into insanity from the loss. He was the one who arranged their graves, and he would place flowers everyday to give his respects. This took a toll on the giant to an extent.
One day, he had an idea to live on the mountain to bring ease to his shattered heart.
He gathered his valuables, and he set off towards the icy peaks. Luckily, he discovered a cave that was on the highest point with a full view of the village below. Fauna and flora surrounded his new dwelling, bringing some color to the otherwise grey section. The giant remembered to bring a small portrait of his family. It was a folded paper of the three. Obviously, he was the tallest of them all. The elders about three heads shorter, but smiling nonetheless. The giant was laughing, creating a beautiful captured moment. On the back of the paper it read: "Father and Mother." He made sure to carry it around, for good luck. On such lonely days, he opened it up to remember their kind smiles. Although the weather says otherwise, his body felt warm otherwise.
No longer cold..
"..!" The giant was brought back to reality. Blinking twice, h e walked faster down the mountain to where he was at the edge of the village. Cottages had appeared, and some men were preparing their stalls to sell goods. A specific blonde haired man caught his attention, the trader who sold pink fabric. However, he had brought cloaks from an array of colors and patterns. “Like, hey there big giant!”, waved the foreign man who finally noticed the blonde staring, “Come over and see these totally amazing cloaks I brought from my homeland! I think this color might suit you…”
Perhaps shopping would get his mind out of whatever internal conflict he was going through. He waved back and asked, "What did you bring today, Feliks?"
“Oh no, it’s getting dark.” What the hell, has the night always been this quick to arrive?
The giant was currently walking uphill to his cave on the mountain. The moon was on the verge of replacing the sun, and the giant had just finished his trading and shopping with the humans.His bag that he swung over his back was filled with a soft material. Luckily, he bought a green cloak that ‘paired totally well with his blue eyes’. The foreigner had a funny way of talking, but he had gotten used to it. Exhausted, he came near to the entrance of the stone, right beside the cliff. The moon in the sky shone brightly between the trees-as if the gods were giving a little help to guide the giant back home. He was starting to walk inside when he heard a voice. A rather feminine voice that is. It caused him to stop in his tracks like the deer he hunted.
The giant furrowed his eyebrows at the strange language.
He quickly clasped a steel knife he kept tucked in his boot, and slowly made his way inside. He made sure to be as quiet as possible, but he couldn't help the sweat that formed on his temple. Upon entering, there was a dim light near his belongings, and he quickly grew angry. The giant never stole, and found it rather rude that someone would dare touch anyone’s personal belongings. However, theft was inevitable in the world. Tiptoeing closer, he realized that the voice sounded less feminine. It resembled a woman with a deep voice. If the situation were different, the giant would have thought it was rather beautiful how the words echoed off the walls in the cave.
The giant came near the figure that was trying to warm him or herself by the makeshift fire. He held the knife tighter in his hand.
The blonde had only ever killed animals for their fur and meat, never had it crossed his mind that he might have to kill a human. Yet, he was never sure for what humans were capable of. They were their own paradox of their own. The mysterious person appeared to be shivering, and the giant felt sympathy for a moment. He knew how harsh the winters in the village were. Sometimes, he’d hear stories of humans having their limbs fall off leaving nubs. He’d hear others would die from the dropping temperatures, bodies turning as blue as his eyes… Mother nature sure is a bitc-
“Hey, you there!! Tall guy!”
Wait...he knows English?
He stood flabbergasted for a second, and looked at the person who was only a foot away from him. The man before him appeared to be slightly shorter than him, which did not surprise him. He also had dark brown hair that gave off a slight wave. He had honey-colored eyes that stared right into his soul, tanned skin which was extremely rare in his village, and he had muscles that could rival the giant’s. His attire was strange, for he had not seen clothing of this fashion anywhere before. The intruder had thin white clothing that appeared to benefit him for a warmer climate.
Even from the foreigner from the shops lacked the weird material!
-And for a brief second, the giant felt a familiar feeling in his heart the longer he focused on the shorter male. The same feeling he had when he would laugh and joke with the elderly couple that took him in. The same feeling for when they would hug him and congratulate him after he brought meat and fish after a hard day hunting…
"How..what", he thought with a flushed face.
“Is this your cave? My-my, it’s really cold in here! I made a fire to warm up, I’m not used to this damn cold!”, the intruder said with a chuckle at the end. The stranger made emphasis to the lack of heat by rubbing his arms. The giant blinked at the stranger while still holding his knife in an armed position. Was he not scared? He had a knife for god’s sake! Yet, he chose to talk about how cold his cave was. (Which kind of offended him) The stranger was literally invading his home, and he was not phased by being caught?! He was a giant! Surely, there was something off about the brown haired stranger. His grip on the knife became somewhat painful as he himself became worried by the intruder's bold behavior.
“Who are you?! Why are you here?! I should stab you for trespassing-”
Before the other could open his mouth, they heard footsteps and men talking. Both of their heads whipped to the direction of the noise. The footsteps grew closer and closer. Boots crunched against hardened snow, and the clanks of swords could be heard. The intruder blew out the fire faster than lightning striking the ground, and put his hand over the giant’s mouth. He whispered, “Please, I’m not here to harm you or anyone. I’ll explain later...but please, be quiet!” He tilted his head up to face the giant, golden eyes meeting blue eyes. The intruder silently stared at the taller man, his eyes pleading.
It was at this moment, the giant did not know what to do. He was not fond of getting involved in affairs that were not his, but his man looked truly harmless. Plus, he had no weapons on him, just the clothes on his back. The shorter male’s honey eyes begging for an answer, and he finally sighed. He whispered just as quietly back, “Explain later. Do anything funny, and I will skin you.” The shorter man’s eyes grew wide, but he smiled and nodded. They both leaned against the wall near the entrance, overhearing the conversation from the men outside:
“Porca miseria! Where did Roma go?!”, said the first guy with an accent that signified snobbiness.
“Maybe inside the cage?”, replied another with a deep voice.
The first voice gasped, “The cave?! The locals say a giant lives in there! Roma would not dare risk it! Plus, it’s probably too cold in there.”
The shorter male smirked at the giant who rolled his eyes in reply. The men outside passed the cave, leaving the two men silent until they could no longer hear footsteps or chatter. Still, the tanned male remained silent for minutes. He went back to light up another fire while the giant looked outside to make sure the men were gone. The blonde made sure to carry the knife to give a threatening vibe. He came back to cackling of a fire, and sat down next to the stranger who was still shivering. He took notice of this, and went further inside the cave to look for a bag. He took the thickest wool blanket he owned, and put it over the male. The shorter man grabbed it without question. He smiled and replied with closed eyes, “Thank you for the blanket! Oh! And for not ratting me out! My name is Roma!”
He took his hand out, to which the giant shook back hesitantly.
“My name is Rübezahl. Germania if you prefer.”
“Yeah, Germania is easier on the tongue…” Roma smiled at the blonde who in return gave a hearty chuckle.
Unknown to both sides, this night would be the most crucial chapter of their lives. They sat by the heat, Germania waiting to hear Roma’s story about how he ended up in his cave out of all places in the universe.
-And oh boy, was this about to get good.