Kharla watched as a trio of hunters left the settlement. Their lumbering mounts, titanic camels with a single shaggy hump vanishing into the distant steppe. Three more young Jotunn men to bring back food, fur and ivory.
She hoped Ivann would bring her something. She’d marry him if he asked.
She stood in the doorway of her mother’s Dive. Her hard square face had an Amazonian beauty that was desired amongst Jotunn women. Her kinked black hair hung halfway down her back. The deep throated Rus-Jotunn rap rolled over the radio. Her brother cooking in the back always played it.
Two elders sat by the window playing a card game. Their faces were dark and wrinkled like boiled leather and hair like pale ropes. They enjoyed their game quietly.
Kharla returned to her tasks. She crushed onions with the side of a cleaver, ground dried fish into powder, boiled megafauna bones into stalk and seared flanks of elk meat. The Dive was always a place for everyone. The lunch rush would hit be hitting soon.
The Rus-Jotunn rap continued to boom from the stereo.
Kharla preferred the operatic-metal from Europa.
The door chimed open as Kharla dropped bundles of buckwheat noodles into the boiling water. Sweat dripped down her face.
Kharla wiped her hands and stepped out into the dining area. “Welcome to-”
In the doorway stood a silhouette. Someone barely standing halfway up the height of the doorway. Barely child-sized if they weren’t so thin. Jotunn children were notoriously big boned little monsters.
The customer stepped inside, a bag over her shoulder. Her blue eyes were like tiny sparking beads. She climbed into a table like it was a ladder.
“Greetings,” she said in half-decent VolgaJotunn.
The human sat like an awkward child in a chair, waiting for Kharla to overcome her shock. Humans never come this far north.