Wind whistled across the frozen steppe. Wisps of grass flickering across the rolling landscape. The endless blue sky stretched unblemished from horizon to horizon.

Jhonas wiped the back of his hand across his boulder-like face. His thick eyelashes blinked away any dirt that blew into his face.

He zeroed in on his prey. It had been a long week of tracking. Now he saw the lumbering target in the distance.

Jhonas moved quickly to cover the distance. His tree trunk-sized legs carried the young Jotunn across the landscape.

His long-barreled cannon in his hand. The firearm tipped with a shining steel spike.

His breath streamed across his face. His black hair flying in the wind.

Downwind. Perfect.

He moved fast. By the time the fat Unicorn turned its shaggy brown head, he was already in position. The beast’s great blubbery shoulders dripped with condensation. It’s immense ridged horn sprouting high from its low hanging head. Its coal coloured face housed its dumb little eyes. It grunted.

The cannon aimed from a crouch, Jhonas fired.

The blast rumbled across the steppe.

The Unicorn fell sideways. Its spine severed behind the head. Blown out by the bullet.

Jhonas smiled at the clean kill. Food, fur and ivory. A good kill. He pulled back the bolt, releasing the shell and catching it. The brass was hot in his calloused hand. He glanced at the sky. Gods bless the gift.

He rose from his position.

His nose flared and he realized he wasn’t alone. He could hear the muffled paw steps closing in around him. He turned. A pack of six spotted Steppe Lions surrounding the young Jotunn. Their sabre-like fangs bared and dripping.

They had been downwind and hunter had become prey.

He was not some helpless dumb animal. He growled, raising his bayonet for the incoming attack.


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