Written by Jonathan Kruschack
Hello, how are you? Well, I hope. What was your name again, lady? Sorry, I’ll try and remember. I’ve had better days. I think. Thought? It’s hard to remember much since . . . that day. The day, I met that giant. What? Sure, I’ll tell you what I remember, forgive me if it doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t understand it as it was happening until it was over. And I do apologize if I go back and forth with how I describe it with past and present tenses, it just doesn’t seem important now. I’m sure you understand.
The day was going as most of my days went. I was walking along, looking for food and shelter among the green of the jungle, which shaded me from the intense light and heat of the sun. By nightfall, the air was finally cool. I needed to be careful though, even though my armour was tough and strong I am not a fighter. My kind, hide when confronted, curling inside our armour until the aggressor gives up. It works . . . for the most part.
Moving along the dirt I reached the enormous lair of a giant. My kind tells tales of these giants. They are to be avoided. They often attack without provocation, as they are fiercely territorial. I didn’t believe them, though. Why would a giant care about us? And how could they even notice us. I’ve seen them from afar, and even hundreds of miles away they tower over most things, especially us. Hungry, I press onward, climbing the stone of the domicile. It took me hours but I finally got to the first ledge. I could see light, faintly. The ledge was some kind of porthole to the giant’s home. There was a ginormous netting meant to keep my kind out, but it had a tear in it. Apprehensive at first; I thought to run away, the risk not worth it. My stomach growled, though and my foolhardy pride kept my feet planted.
I was brave and I could prove my elders wrong about the giants, maybe even be like one of the truly brave who ventured into other giant’s homes and lived there in secret. Forward went my feet, rhythmically tapping as I scurried along. Upon entering the home, I promptly fell off what I thought to be a cliff. Without time to think about how afraid I was I reflexively hid in my armour, hoping it would cushion my fall. The feeling of the impact was . . . jarring to say the least. But after a few moments not being sure if I was dead or not, I realized I was in fact still breathing. Ceasing my orbicular stance I looked around my surroundings. I was on a ledge again. But the material was different. Not the stone I had climbed or the alabaster wood I’d fallen off of. This was cold, hard and a brownish grey. There was a crevice, which my kind loves as I often seek shelter in them though I could not fit into it. Oh well, what’s over OH NO. GIANT! There is a giant. Oh, please don’t notice me, please.
I had shut my eyes and prepared to curl inside my armour again when I noticed something. I hadn’t been immediately crushed by its mountain-sized fist. In fact, it wasn’t even looking at me. Exhaling, I regained some confidence in my earlier thoughts. It won’t notice me. I’m too small. Laughing at my cowardice, I began to look for food and shelter, as I was confident, not stupid. Unfortunately, there was none. Oh well, plenty of time to SHIT, THE GIANT IS MOVING! I froze. The giant stretched its elongated limbs as it rose from its bizarre throne in front of the light-creating rectangle it manipulated with what I could only assume was magic. The sound of its joints popping was like thunder, and its yawn like the roar of a great beast. Or more accurately, like the roar of a great beast multiplied by a thousand. It stretched its neck to one side then the other, vertebrae grinding loudly. It looked very tired, with its huge eyes barely open. I calmed down slightly but not much as I realized it may just be going to sleep. I resumed moving, albeit very, very slowly. Then the giant turned to face the wall where I was. I watched his brown eyes trail down, again thinking I stature too minuscule for him to care. He seemed very uninterested, which made me feel very good. That feeling died though, as I noticed he was now staring, face devoid of any emotion, at the exact spot I was occupying. Staying incredibly still, the most still I had ever been in my life unless I was asleep, I once more looked at his eyes. They were slowly focusing, fighting his sleepy state. Appropriate, because I was slowly losing any hope of a continued existence, fighting the urge to commit suicide. Please, please don’t see me. I’m not worth it I’m not HE SAW ME! RUN! RUN AND NEVER STOP RUNNING, OH WHY AM I SO SLOW? STUPID, STUPID ARMOUR! STUPID SHORT LEGS! As I cried and cursed myself the giant moved, easily crossing a distance that would’ve taken me hours in the blink of an eye. Panicking, I shut my eyes tight. Hoping for death’s grip to be gentle, quick and painless; alas, he didn’t smash me, though. I opened my eyes. He didn’t look angry. Or scared. Sometimes the giants kill because we startle them. But he didn’t look at me with any malice that I could see. Curiosity? Maybe. Pity? Kind of obligation? Yes, actually. I certainly wasn’t happy. But he did seem as if he had to do whatever he was about to do. I just hoped this task he didn’t like was called ‘Murder The Small Thing’. I saw something I’d never seen before, suddenly. A huge, alabaster rectangle of a soft material. It was flat, and the giant placed it in front of me. Why? I turned away and the giant placed it in my way again. Why, I asked again. He definitely wanted me on it. What could it be? Then I had another one of my great ideas, in a moment of hope. What if it was a makeshift vessel of some sort. A kind of large, white olive branch.
Maybe…maybe I was to be an emissary of peace between our people. Usher in a new age of peace, where we coexist in harmony. So, I stepped onto the white rectangle, finding it very soft. Ah, what comfort. He may not look happy when tired but boy is this giant friendly. He said something, I did not understand it. But there would be time to work out a way to communicate later. Come, my new friend. Let us rest and why is he folding it over me? Oh, he’s sealing me inside it.
I HAVE MADE AN ANOTHER TERRIBLE DECISION! Oh no, oh no, I must find a way out but there’s no way out WHY ISN’T THERE A WAY OUT?! Wait, I know, I’ll just curl into a ball. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. That always works. It has to work. Please, please let it work. He’s lifting me up. Carrying me, but where? I can’t see out. Maybe he’ll take me outside his home and release me? Oh, how foolish I was. He carried me very quickly and then let gravity take me. I fell for what seemed like ages, and then I landed in a lake. At least I think it was a lake. The water was very cold. Wait, is he drowning me? I can’t get out of here and the material is taking on water and HE IS DROWNING ME? Is that why he looked unhappy? He didn’t want to smash me but knew he couldn’t let me live, so he gave me this for a death? A watery grave? THAT DUMB, GIGANTIC BASTAR–what was that noise? Why am I spinning? The water was rising very fast. Oh no, I thought. This is it. With my last gulp of air I curled into a ball but as usual, it did me no good. I was rushed down with the water, wherever it was going. I knew it wasn’t taking very long but when you’re drowning it feel like an eternity. Then, I lost consciousness and true blackness took me.
And when I…awoke, is an appropriate word for this, right? Okay, when I awoke I felt no pain. And there was no water or giants. Only you . . .
Just you lady with your robe and your big grin; I guess I can’t really call that a grin. Yeah, you totally do need lips for that. Oh well, I still like you. Nice robe by the way. I like the way it compliments your sharp, shiny thing on that curvy stick. Thanks for waking me up, by the way. So, what’s this place you’re always going on about? The sunless-lands, huh? Sounds neat. Hey, how come I hear wings?