#Landon laughed, turned, and began running—or stumbling—toward the edge of the woods with his brother in hot pursuit. A snowball whizzed past his ear. He ran first to the left, then to the right, trying not to trip over his own feet. He heard rapid, crunching footsteps just behind him. Then—WHAM!—it felt like a boulder of snow crashing down on his head.
“Got you with the big bomb!” Tom cried.
Cold, glittering crystals cascaded over his shoulders. This time, Landon lost his balance and went down on his knees. He heard Tom’s footsteps just behind him. He ducked and covered his head with his arms, certain the next bomb was about to fall. Then he noticed something in the snow to his left.
Another blow, and snow crumbled over his head and shoulders.
He paid it no mind. “Wait a minute! Look!” He pulled one arm away from his head and pointed at the snow-covered ground a few feet away.
For a long moment, he expected Tom to hit him yet again, but nothing happened.
“Wow,” came Tom’s low voice.
Both boys’ gazes now took in what had caught Landon’s attention: a double row of deep impressions in the snow that led through the yard along the edge of the woods.
They looked like footprints.
Huge, gigantic, unbelievable footprints.
Landon and Tom gathered around the nearest print and stared at it in silent awe. It had to be fully two feet long. The next nearest lay at least six feet away. The falling snow had partly covered the tracks. But there could be no mistaking their distinctive outlines: they looked like the prints of a giant man’s bare feet.
“I’ve never seen anybody that big before,” Landon whispered.
“Yeah. And who would be out in the snow with no shoes on?” Tom said.
Landon followed the prints with his eyes. He pointed off to the right. “That’s where they go into the woods. Can’t tell where they go from there.”
Both boys stood motionless, listening to the soft, fluttering sound of falling snow. Beyond that, there was only the low moan of a slight, distant breeze.
Landon heard a heavy crunch from somewhere not far away....