“Flag up!” screams The Giant to no one in particular. “Flag up, I say! Fish on!”
The snow is piled up high in drifts fit to topple a cabin were they taken by the wind and cast over the waterfall; The Giant moves through it like a heated blade through deer butter. It has been two full cycles since his tribesfolk joined him on the ice of Monksville, but still he shouts his rally cry as if he was followed by dozens. The metal claws strapped to his feet leave great meaty gashes in the ice as The Giant plows his way from one point of his triangle to the next, parting the pink powdery snow colored by the shineset and leaving a deep trench in his wake, a trench far deeper than that carved by his wooden sled.
He drops to his knees immediately upon reaching the tip-up. The flag has stopped waving at this point. As he pulls the wooden contraption from the water, shattering the thin layer of ice that resealed the hole shortly after the tip-up was planted, The Giant sees he’s neither a moment too early nor a second too late – the spool is nearly spent, the wire nearly pulled to full length. Something big took the bait on this tip-up, but which tip-up is this? The cold worked its frigid way into The Giant’s mind, he cannot remember if this is the hole in which he planted the eel or the hole in which he planted the shiner…
‘But it doesn’t matter, does it?’
No, decidedly not; whether this tip-up was baited with the snakefish or the last shiner, something took the bait. Something massive, something fast, and by the speed the reel is spinning, something strong. There will be a fight, The Giant can see this much clearly, and so he dips into the pockets of his pants and reveals to the none watching a pair of thick deerhide gloves, fishing gauntlets crafted specifically for the handling of wire line on the coldest of winter days where fingers exposed to the frozen air and icy water may turn a venomous blue as the sensation is slowly pulled from them like meat from a crawdad claw left to simmer over an open campfire.
With his gauntlets strapped on and not thrown down, though they really might as well be, The Giant grabs hold of the line with his left hand and loops it around his right, anchoring him into battle. He feels a raw pull, then a jerk, then a downright tug as he’s lurched forward by whatever beastly thing may be on the hook end of this line. Lying beside him is the wooden tip-up, crossbeams still crossed and ready to catch hold of the surface of the ice cap, a last resort if the line is slipped from The Giant’s glov’ed grasp. His vision, once blurred by the snowstorm and then by the tears frozen to his eyelids as he ran through the snow, is now pristine and clear, and his blood runs hot as the bonfire he shall spark later on in the eve’ when he returns to the Fishing Village victorious.
That much is not guaranteed, though, and none know better than The Giant that to drill a proper hole in the ice, one must work the auger; first, he will have to land this lakebreather.
First, he will have to win the battle.
This has been the sixteenth subchapter of the third chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~