In the Fist of a Hinox - (S1.E1)

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The screams woke him for the third night that week. Heart pounding, he rolled out of bed, with a jerk. Nineteen, thin, and wiry, he landed lightly on his feet with the practiced balance of a fisher at sea. He fumbled against the wall for his knife. It wasn't just any knife. No. It was his skiff-blade, a present from his father three years ago when he had turned sixteen. He grabbed the long serrated blade, thin at the handle, wide at the top with an upcurve to a point on one side, and pulled it free of its protective eel-skin scabbard. The people of Port Lurelin learned long ago that the standard fishing knife couldn't protect you from the monsters that still lurked in the fishing grounds.

That was the problem. That was always the problem. It was why he had been awakened to blood-curdling screams three nights of the past five. The monsters were worse during the full moon, but for the past six months, the attacks had gone far beyond the occasional raid on the storehouses, late-night fishing vessels, or the farms on the outskirts of town. Now they brazenly stalked the streets, smashing into homes, chasing children.

He imagined himself, holding his skiff-blade as if he held the ancient sword itself, the Master if he were King Link before he took the throne, obliterating the monsters without so much as a forethought. Many young men and children have been named after the heroic monarchs of the history books...King Link and Queen Zelda. There were currently four Links and six Zeldas in Lurelin, all of various ages and all eager to live up to their given names.

He wished he had been named Link. Instead...

"Zel!" shouted the gruff voice of his father from outside.

Zel rushed out of his small house, built adjacent to the much larger house he had lived in as a child. As he did, the warning bells sounded. Torches lit up beside houses and oil lamps blazed along the streets. Shouts filled the air as men rushed by, brandishing skiff-blades, flue harpoons, and boat hooks. Screams filled the gaps as women and children fled in the other direction.

Zel stepped down and joined the men rushing north toward the center of town. As he rounded the final corner, Zel slid to a halt. His limbs fell cold and he nearly dropped his skiff-blade. A monster he had never seen before but had heard stories of stood before him. A hinox towered above the men like a mighty oak. It held the bottom half of a tree, roots sticking in all directions, as a club to keep the men of Lurelin at bay. Around its waist clung a tight, rough cut, pair of trousers, made of what Zel thought might have been the skin of another monster. And in the center of its forehead was a large, single eye.

As the stench hit Zel full force, the giant swung the tree roots and a dozen men flew through the air to crash into the side of a building. Then the monster turned and sprinted toward the docks.

Zel took a deep breath and ran to join the men in pursuit. As some reached close enough to slash its legs, the giant would roar, swing the roots again, and turn back toward the water. Once the ocean was nearly in reach, it spun on the men, bared its teeth and bellowed so loud that the sound echoed through the crisp night air. Then it slowly backed into the water.

The men had stopped to watch, an uncertain mumbling passing through them. Zel glanced to the left and the right along the shore wondering why the monster didn't flee. Surely it didn't intend to swim. Did it?

At knee deep, the giant dropped the tree roots and purposefully turned to stride into the depths. That's when a hush fell upon the men of Lurelin as they all noticed something else happening in the bay, beyond the reach of their torchlight. Zel pushed to the front and peered into the darkness, beyond to the commotion that the giant seemed to be trying to reach. It was as if the sea boiled. Something blacker than a moonless night bubbled out of the water and floated into the air to disappear. At the surface, creatures thrashed...octoroks beating against each other for supremacy. A gyorg launched into the fray, slashing and tearing the octoroks apart. Even though Zel did not see it, he could swear he heard the battle cries of a lizalfos or two.

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