Authors: E.G. Foley
THE GRYPHON CHRONICLES, BOOK TWO:
JAKE & THE GIANT
Don’t miss Book 1 of The Gryphon Chronicles series:
THE LOST HEIR
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Credits & Copyright
The Gryphon Chronicles, Book Two: Jake & The Giant
Copyright 2013 by E.G. Foley
Cover Illustration by Mike Motz.
Cover Design by Kim Killion.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, recorded, or stored in any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations for review purposes.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
First edition, 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
~Old Saying, 19
The Giant Who Fell From the Sky
hunder rumbled over the fjords—or so the humans thought down in Midgarth. But up above the clouds, it was only Snorri taking out his frustration on the rocks that cluttered his sheep meadow.
He pried another boulder as big as a human’s cottage out of the turf and hurled it onto the pile, clearing a nice, smooth
field for his flock to graze.
he scowl on his low, sweaty brow had his woolly charges worried, however. Bleating anxiously, the sheep ran to and fro to escape the flying boulders.
The angry giant paid the
m no mind.
He was too busy fuming over how Prince Gorm had made a fool of him—again!—
in front of the entire great hall. Even worse, in front of Princess Kaia-of-the-Yellow-Braids.
The truth was,
the brightest folk in all the Nine Worlds. But Snorri the Shepherd was, sadly, dumber than most.
So he had been told.
So he had come to believe.
For sometimes, even a giant could be made to feel small.
With a glower, he tossed another boulder onto the pile and shook
the world of men below.
I am never going back to the great hall.
He was sick of being humiliated by Gorm and the other warriors. Nobo
dy appreciated him around here.
there was somewhere else to go!
But Odin and Thor had sealed off
Jugenheim from the world of men below. This, the boastful gods decreed, was to stop the giant folk from running amuck. Humans did enough of that sort of thing on their own, he’d heard.
Snorri had never
actually seen a human, but he’d heard they were very tasty. Stuck here, of course, he’d probably never know.
He laid hold of a particularl
y stubborn boulder nearly as large as himself and fought against it, trying to wrestle it out of the dry dirt where it was lodged.
He struggled and pulled with all his might, sweating and grunting against its stubborn bulk, and getting angrier at himself by the minute for being the
stupidest dolt in the village.
If he had to be stupid, at least he should be
strong! he thought as his muscles strained. Gorm was always bragging about how strong he was, that vain know-it-all. Oh, how he’d like to show him!
Everyone said Prince Gorm was the smartest, bravest warrior who had ever come to serve King Olaf. Indignation bubb
led like a great cauldron in Snorri at the thought of that wind-bag marrying the chieftain’s lovely daughter and becoming the next king of their people. Gorm would be intolerable once he was in charge.
The thought filled Snorri
with an extra, angry heave of strength, and all of a sudden, the boulder budged.
As it left the spot where it had wedged in the earth for a thousand years, there was a tremendous pop, like a cork being pulled from a bottle.
Snorri fell onto his giant backside as the boulder rolled free, a sudden updraft of wind gusting up from the hole where he’d removed the rock.
“Huh?” How could wind come out of a hole in the ground?
That didn’t make any sense.
Puzzled, Snorri crawled over on his hands and knees and gasped to see a HOLE in the earth! Not a simple crater in the dirt, but sheer air, like the m
iddle of a donut—clean through.
Dread filled him.
“Oh no! What have I done?” he whispered under his breath. “Idiot! I’ve gone and broke the earth…”
He could already imagine Gorm howling with laughter at him over this blunder, but it was no laughing matter. No,
indeed, this was serious. Snorri realized he had just ruptured Odin’s seal between the worlds.
He blanched. What if Thor found out? That hammer of his could take a giant’s head off. Aye, those wild Norse god
s scared the daisies out of him.
They were so unpredictable, angry one minute, laughing over their drinking horns up in Valhalla the next, and always threatening to
turn you into something horrid, especially that bewildering trickster, Loki—the bad one of the gods’ royal family.
Loki was a slyboots…
heless, curiosity got the best of Snorri the Shepherd; he peered over the edge of the hole into empty space below.
He drew in his breath in reverent wonder as he found himself staring at the mighty Tree of the Universe, Yggdrasil, that held all the Nine Worlds of god
s and men in its vast branches.
He stared at its endless trunk, whose length stretched down into the mists, and whose width was so enormous that to encircle it would have taken a string of olifants joined trunk-to-tail.
Fascinated, Snorri leaned out farther over the hole, peering at the particular branches that held up the only world he had ever known.
A world he really would’ve liked to leave, since everyone was mean to him around here except Princess Kaia
Even Gorm spoke of leaving Jugenheim,
even though it was not possible. It went against their adventuring Norse nature to stay always in the same place.
I wonder what’s down there…
Snorri lay down on his fat belly at the edge of the hole, trying to see as much of the other worlds as he dared. Reaching ever so carefully to pluck a leaf of Yggdrasil as a gift for Kaia; he focused all his attention on his task.
He leaned a little farther—a
nd suddenly heard a dire crack.
mumbled as the dirt gave way beneath his tremendous weight.
t thing he knew he was falling…