Haakon tightened his laces, feeling the chill beneath him sink in. Jötunn Lake was his favorite place in the world.

Haakon was never a 'bright' boy. Not that he wasn't smart– he was– but his disposition was far from sunny. He barely slept, his palor verged on sickly, and the bags beneath his eyes were permanent. The boy didn't mind.

What he DID mind were the looks he got from other boys his age, the hesitance and coolness in his mother's embrace. Frankly, something was OFF about the boy. Haakon knew it, and those about him knew he knew it.

Still. Jötunn Lake was his special place, for all intents that mattered. No-one bothered him here. No-one dared. For reasons no-one dared explore, Jötunn Lake remained frozen year-round. The snow on its banks never melted, the trees that sipped from it never blossomed. It was a perpetual wasteland.

Something bad had happened there. It would be easy to see (if not understand) what, from a bird's eye view… if any birds (or anything else) dared fly overhead. The mystery would persist. It was simply too big to grasp.

Haakon didn't care. All he cared about was time alone, which he'd have in abundance any time he liked. All he needed was to tie up his laces. Whistling a dirge, low and sweet, the boy glided over the ice, dancing across the frost giant's bones.

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Last year, I tackled a self-imposed challenge, to write 100 short stories in 100 days. I'm gearing up to tackle it again this year. I'm an author and screenwriter, and to be completely frank, I'm hoping to reach more readers. My article about the Yellow King had 2,000 readers in less than 24 hours, so the idea holds water. Do let me know what you think: whether or not the O-Deck is the place for material like this, what you think of the piece, what you want to see more of, anything you feel is worth sharing.

(I must credit the amazing John Hendrix. Just amazing work.)

- See more at: http://www.caseyjonescaseyjones.com/story-001-requ…