Jack had an uncle who lived in Alaska. He sent jack pictures of an iceberg. The ice in the pictures was blue, but his uncle told him that the photos couldn’t show the real color correctly. In person, his uncle said, the deep clear ice was a color unlike any other. It was a blue that was very deep and empty. It was a blue that made you feel cold when you looked at it. Olga’s eyes seemed that color.
Olga was ready to say more, but suddenly stopped speaking. She looked over his shoulder and her blue eyes spread wide.
Jack turned. On the highest edge of the slope was a shape, a shadow larger than a person. It moved. It was something on four legs.
Jack stood in front of Olga.
There was a growl.
“What is that?” Jack said.
“Lift your shield Jack!” she said, “Take out your sword!”
“What is it, though?!”
“It’s as I feared!” Olga murmured. Her low bell voice sounded urgent and scared, “Please Jack! You must fight it! Protect me, please!”
The shadow prowled closer through the thick mist.
“He’s scented us, Jack! He’s coming to devour us! You must protect me!”
Jack’s heart froze. Balzor leaned even closer, and Jack saw the monster’s nasty sharp teeth.
“My father only invited you because he wants your vote,” Olga said.
“Your daddy, Ragash, invited me because I’m the last thunder giant. That makes me and him into brothers. He invited me because he wants to… ah… unite our two families. Ah… darling…” Balzor stood up so that his face was even with the seated Olga.
“Let me take down some of your silver hair,” he said, “Show me what you keep in there. Your heart maybe?”
In the circle of yellow light cast by a big candle, Sally saw an old woman. She was on her hands and knees pushing a big rolling pin the size of a tree trunk. She rolled it back and forth over a sheet of cloud stuff, humming all the while, but sometimes grunting from the exertion.
She wore gray rags, and she had long messy gray hair that fell over her face because she was bent over. When she straightened up, she was huge. Not as big as a giant, but certainly the tallest person that Sally had ever seen, with long skinny arms and legs. She would have been even taller if she stood straight, but her back was bent and hunched. Perhaps it hurt her, for she after she stood up, she held and rubbed her lower back with gnarled hands and sighed.