There was a cabin in the woods.
It wasn’t too big, being only one story high, but not too small either. Only yesterday had a sleek, shiny car pulled up and two men had moved their belongings inside—one small and dark-haired and wearing a rather nice suit, the other much larger and blond and more rugged-looking.
Now it was the next night, and the humans slept, and there came scratching noises from the kitchen.
From behind the old rickety dishwasher, one by one, stepped out tiny people no bigger than an inch and a half tall. Each had large, furry, tufted cat-like ears atop their heads, and long, flexible tufted tails, of varying colors. They also had fangs and claws. There were seven of them.
The youngest of the group—approximately eighteen years old—came in last, timid and unsure. She had long red-gold hair and tawny-colored ears and tail, and her eyes were a deep warm honey color. Her name was Lori.
“Look at this place,” the leader of the group whispered, a tall redheaded male. “All this food. We could feed the entire village for months.”
“If we could get to it,” said a black-haired, gray-eyed female named Kalla. Her eyes narrowed as she sniffed the air. “I’m more interested in their poisons…and what it would do to them.”
A second male laughed. “My mate, the warrior.”
Meanwhile, a third male—red-blonde like his sister Lori—was speaking with a strikingly beautiful Grassfolk girl with silver hair and eyes and white ears and tail. “Stay close to me, Luma. I can fight off any giants that come our way!”
Lori rolled her eyes. The only reason she was here was to keep her stupid brother from getting himself killed over a crush on a girl who he didn’t have a chance with. Not someone as smart as Luma.
The last and final unmentioned member was another male, the leader’s younger brother and mate to Lori’s older sister. He was also redheaded, with dark brown ears and tail, and his name was Nor. He, at least Lori thought, had to be the smartest of the group.
“Let’s go the bedroom,” Kalla’s mate suggested. “I wanna see them.”
And, to Lori’s horror, they began to walk.
She didn’t not want to be left alone in this place, nor abandon her brother, so she followed. And she didn’t dare question the leader’s choice. You never questioned the village leader’s son.
They slipped under the bedroom door, eyes little pinpricks in the dim light of the full moon shining through the window. Lori could hear the giants’ breathing, every rustle they made like a miniature earthquake, and she crawled as close to the floor as possible.
Then she smelled it: food.
While the group explored, Lori found a strange contraption at the end of the enormous bed. A wooden rectangle and metal bars…and a large square of cheese, something Lori had only heard of before, sitting at the end. Curiosity took over and she grabbed the cheese.
And the bar closed down on her leg with a loud snap.
Lori couldn’t help it, she screamed and screamed. Out of pain and horror and confusion. She could feel hands on her, could see hands on the bar, could hear her brother and his upset words, but all she could really focus on was the pain.
And the mini-earthquakes from before became much, much bigger and that was when everyone realized that the giants had woken up and at least one of them had gotten out of bed.
Instinct took over. They all ran—Lori’s brother had to be dragged away. Lori could barely see through the haze of panic and agony, just hear the loud thuds and the screams as the second giant rose out of bed.
She could make out Kalla’s mate, her brother, and the leader escaping…but only them. Where were Luma, Kalla, and Nor? Still here?
And then there was a giant approaching her and she screamed again, ears flat against her skull as she trembled.