They told me that I couldn’t climb the mountain. They told me the Guardian Giant would stop me. I didn’t believe in their superstitions, so I chose to prove them wrong.
Oh, how mistaken I was.
I climbed the stairs, feeling the air around me get colder. I thought that the Giant would be nothing more than a cultural memory of avalanches in the mountains. I’m glad that I wore my furs, including the helmet liner. I cringe to remember the icy feeling of my helmet, imagining it on my bare head.
When I saw the Giant from a distance, I thought it was a statue. As I got closer, I wondered what dedication would cause the tribes to build this colossus on the mountain. I wondered at the weapons they insisted I bring. Did they truly believe that a sword would be needed against stone?
As I drew nearer the Giant, I saw that it wore a fur kilt. I wondered at that. Did the cold prevent the fur from rotting to the ground?
As I looked at the statue, I began to feel fear. Was it a trick of my eye, or was it facing slightly off from where I had seen it while climbing? My steps slowed as I saw the illusion of eyes following me.
“WHO DARES CHALLENGE ME?”
The statue was looking down at me.
At my running back.