Short Stories

It was love at first sight. (Catch-22, Joseph Heller) 

The Love Story of Snegurochka and Henryabb the Blue 

It was love at first fright—sight—when Snegurochka, a witch more ancient than most who inhabited the far north forest, saw Henryabb the Blue lumbering past her whirling dervish of a house, Henryabb, a three-eyed giant with seven toes on his right foot and a hook where his left hand should be, Henryabb munching on a rabbit. He belched, belched with such violence that Snegurochka’s house stopped in mid-spin, casting her out onto the path of chicken bones and crab shells.

Now this all was a surprise to both.

Henryabb leaned down. He tilted his head to get a better look at this sprite of a woman. But Snegurochka, seeing those three great eyes like headlights focused on her, scrabbled away. However, Henryabb stopped her with a word: “Pardon.”

He dabbed the slobber from his lips with the haunch of rabbit. Then, as if besotted by love, Henryabb offered the haunch to Snegurochka.

“Is it fresh?” she asked.

“Road kill,” he said.

“Then I’d prefer not.” Snegurochka, like a love-struck youth, batted her one eyelash at the giant. “Perhaps I could interest you in a little dessert to go with that snack, say a pan of cabbage fritters?”

“Ohh, too sweet.”

“What if I were to spritz them with sea salt and troll’s blood?”

Henryabb wiped his greasy fingers on his massive shirt while he considered the offer. He grinned.

“Troll’s blood,” he said. “You do know how to make a giant’s cavernous heart sing.”


© Jerry Peterson.

Early's Winter by Jerry Peterson