When the door opened, I was surprised. Not because there was company, though that was quite a shock. What with living this far out of town, I never received guests.
There are other reasons—reasons that revolved around my father’s decisions more so than my own—but that’s the one I use to calm myself when I’m alone at night.
Anyhow, I heard the knock, opened the door, and was surprised.
Before me stood a man.
A giant man.
A man wrapped with so much muscle someone might claim him a god. The scars that adorned his muscle would’ve certainly backed that up.
His skin seemed to hold evidence that the muscle was not all talk. That it was backed by fist, and strength, and blood. But that wasn’t even the most surprising thing about him. About this giant, strong man, showing up at my door in the middle of the country side right at dusk.
It was the lion’s skin.
He wore what was, unmistakably, garb made from lion’s skins.
And when he saw me, this giant beast of a man, he bowed a bit. Before I could react, he spoke.
A strange accent coated his words, coaxed them out with a lilt.
He said, “Ma’am, I am a traveler. I am new to this part of the country, and I have no family or friends to speak of. I am knocking on your door because I am in desperate need of a place to stay before the weather sets in. If you wouldn’t mind.”
I stared at him a moment more.
Stared at his empty hands. His scars. His bulk and height. His clothes made from the king of beasts. From the lord of the jungle.
He was strange, for sure, but…
“If you’re going to stay here, you’ll have to work for it.”
When he came out of his bow, he looked solemn. He nodded.
“Aye. I can do that.”