Jack the Giant Slayer: Afterwards
It had been a few weeks since the giants attacked. Our kingdom was now working it's hardest to repair all of the damage done to it. I wasn't allowed to help, as my father said that construction wasn't a job for his little princess. I wasn't anything close to a princess, but he liked to believe I was. We were just a poor family on the outskirts of the castle, my father and I. But the king had required all able bodied men to help in the reconstruction of the castle and buildings and such.
So as my father slaved away, I tried to do as much as I could to help around the house. I cleaned, I cooked whatever we had, and I tended to my father's animals. But eventually, there wasn't anything left to cook anymore. Time and time again dinner would be whatever our animals had decided to produce that day. I could see by the bags under his eyes that my father wasn't getting enough sleep, and adding that with the malnutrition, his health was going downhill, fast.
My first thought was to sell some of our belongings. Maybe a thing or two that mom had left behind. But I couldn't bring myself to part with any of the things that were in the chest she left behind. For one reason or another, they all had too much significance to part with. My second thought wasn't as innocent as my first. If we needed food, I could always go into the market and take some, right? After many days of thought, I finally decided that that would be my final plan of action.
The day I had decided to steal, or borrow without permission as I renamed it, I had taken care of all my chores very early in the morning so I could leave without a problem. I pulled my father's cloak up over my head and set off for the castle. It wasn't very hard to get into the castle, as the giants broke down the bridge on their way in. The bridge was left broken in half, floating into the charred moat around the castle. It was easy for me to maneuver my way in without being seen.
I headed along the alleyways, sidestepped along walls, and ducking down against barrels whenever I felt someone was near. I giggled quietly to myself, enjoying my adventure. When I had finally reached my target, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. There was stand after stand, rows upon rows of beautiful produce, all mine for the taking. Not only that, but the quality of all the food impeccable. Bright, vibrant fruits and vegetables. Red, tender, succulent pieces of meat. They all had my mouth watering before I even got the chance to take them.
Quickly and quietly, I zigzagged through the stalls, stealing an apple here, a steak there, all swiftly going into the cloak before I finally got enough. With my heart racing and my legs almost giving out from nervousness, I ducked back into the safety of the dark alleyway. I hit my back against the wall and slowly slid down, not believing I had done such a tremendous deed. I opened the cloak to check my prizes, when an irritated male voice came from behind me.
"And what, exactly, do you think you are doing?" Said the voice, making me flinch, and slowly turn around. The owner of the voice wasn't a disappointment in the least. He wore a guard's outfit, and I could tell it was authentic by the little plate he had on his arm. The symbols on his chest also proved that he was of the kings men. He was a tall man, probably had a good head on me, but that wasn't really hard to do, I wasn't a very tall girl. He had the coolest hair I've ever seen on a man. He was a redhead, and his hair spiked up, and tilted a bit to the side, a very good look for him. But his most noticeable feature, as far as I could tell, was his eyes. They were a beautiful blue green color, completely contrasting his tough guy demeanor. They looked sorrowful, yet full of energy. Overall, he was a very attractive man. But that didn't change the fact that I was in major trouble. When I finally came to my senses, he was urging me on with his throat clearing, and crossing his arms.
"I-I'm so sorry, sir." I bowed down, looking at the ground and waiting for the worst. "I just… My father and I, we don't have a lot of money… And I just…" I hung my head even further and listened.
"You understand that what you did was absolutely inexcusable, don't you?" Came his voice again, after what felt like eternity. I nodded my head, not wanting to look into those beautiful eyes of his.
"Yes, sir. I'm deeply sorry for what I did."
"Well, I suppose we could find a way to make you pay off what you've stolen." His voice sounded thoughtful, but I was afraid to ask what he meant by that. After a bit of silence, I heard him scoff. "And if you thought I meant with your body, you're sorely mistaken. No man would want to get involved such a kid looking woman like you."
I felt a surge of rage come through me, but decided to ignore it, in fear of getting a worse punishment. He could insult me all he wants if it means I come away from this alive.
"So, what is your plan, sir?" I asked, still on the ground. Is he ever going to allow me to stand? My answer came when he grabbed my arm and dragged me up and away from the alley.
"We're going to see the king."
And it was that encounter that would change my life entirely. That is where our story begins.