A crash and a rumble stopped the king mid-sentence. As one, he and his court looked up from their game of croquet. Tiana’s heart dropped. A large figure was hurtling through the forest toward them, plowing down trees as it went.


Shrieks and screams and scrambling to get back to the castle. Dean took Tiana’s hand and tugged gently. She forced herself to focus on his words.

“…get inside. It’s the safest place.” He pulled her toward the castle. Tiana had to hold her skirts out of the way as she ran so she wouldn’t fall on her face.

The ground shook.

Inside was chaos. Guards tried to shuffle the members of court to inner rooms, but no one would calm down and the servants were joining the fray. The old stories were feeding their panic. Tiana squeezed Dean’s hand.

He led her around the edge of the room to a door, where he guided Tiana through and down the tiny servants’ staircase. His hand on her back comforted and calmed her.

The castle shuddered. The giant had arrived.

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