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LONG BLOG

Short Story | The Giant

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Hi there, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this - but this is a short story I have been writing over the last couple of days in my spare time. Criticism is greatly appreciated, and I hope you enjoy :)

 

The Giant

Between his shoulder blades my tent is pitched. The two great peaks atop his curved spine provide me shelter, and the creature’s cold, drab hide has always been my home. Sometimes I wonder if the pegs from the tent bother him, or if he even feels them at all. He marches forward, endlessly, into the phthalo horizon - as he always has.

The world below is dull and lifeless - a featureless desert. The ground is a rotten gray color, with unworkable clay and rock polluting the place. The occasional shrub or long-dead tree passes us to no fanfare. This is how the world has always been. No settlements nor kingdoms dare exist here anymore. Some waylaid masonry catches my eye, here and there. However, no history has ever graced it.

I have explored this creature, as far as is horizontally possible, at least. A large, bronzed colosseum dominates the top of the only mountain. Enormous, squared ramparts decorate the brim of its crumbling walls, and the memory of a long-lost golden hue hangs low, like a terrible mist, surrounding the place. I make a pilgrimage to the peak, now and then - for the view, more than anything else. The climb is not terribly treacherous, in fact there are no ridges or obstacles at all – save for the inevitable swaying of the terrain. Despite the bleakness of our surroundings, the view from the top is a rewarding one. The magnificent structure has no entrances – at least not by design. I climb my way through one of the crumbled sections only to see that there is nothing inside, but the same hue-drained flesh that is my terrain.

Past the structure, in the horizon, we approach an isolated stone archway. The once-rectangular bricks are eroded and darkened with moisture - with strange crustaceans inhabiting the dark cracks. A curtain of seaweed hangs motionless from the center, the amber sky nestled deeply in its slimy skin. I screamed at the almost alien sight of it! Decades have passed since I have seen anything but the salted, unworkable clay of the old world.

We venture further toward the strange, isolated stonework. I can just see through it from here – to nothing on the other side. The thing looks as if it were plucked from some old fortress and hurled, at random, to where it now struggles to stand.

The wet, green shawl grasps at my hair as we pass through, as if it were trying to pull me back. We reach the other side, and suddenly, he begins to shift – and my footing becomes almost vertical. I am now clinging to my tent pegs, still planted firmly into his skin, able only to stare at the dizzying drop below - and for the first time - I see the creature’s feet. Shackles - now separated - of the most illustrious gold, that once brought the thing to a shambling crawl.

The deep groan of relief and cracking of bones echoes through his back and into my ear, like an entire forest falling at once. Then, he lets out a sound. At such a magnitude of volume that I could not even hear the nature of it. I hear the beginnings of a bellowing howl, a sound untethered by any kind of societal conformity, a painful and struggled relief which quickly transitions into ringing, white agony.

I look back at the tired and miserable stonework – only instead to see a magnificent sheet of masterfully cut white bricks. Where the wall was once sheared off, there are now bastilles of unfathomable height – taller even than my host. The perfectly ornate walls now engulf us, surrounding what is now a splendorous city. We are surrounded by gardens of a lost green- interlaced with strange, colorful things on top. I am mesmerized by the colossal architecture; the same white stone takes the form of monolithic structures that span far into the distance, with baroque golden ornamented trims and azure blue accents. An ancient metropolis preserved in immaculate condition.

I clamber up what was once sure footing, back to the colosseum – which, now, is the purest of golden artistry. It radiates a lustrous, sanctified aura; the sunlight is reflected back as a holier version of itself. One wonders what method of construction could be used to create such a thing. Although, there are still no entrances of any sort – and the cracks I once traversed, now sealed. I gaze at the structure – with my new setting on the horizon, and for the first time, I finally see. A crown.

He begins to move again, quickly now. He strides, with determination this time, through the divine gardens and the path, along which, he seems destined to walk. This is his home.

As the sky slips into its tangerine eveningwear, I pitch my tent once again at the foot of the golden headpiece and gawk at the true scope of this place. My eyes absorb it all, as hours pass through me, like a warm sunlight. I still cannot fully come to terms with it. I begin to wonder, too, if he knows I am a spectator to this. Or if he always has.

Night falls, and the stars are unfamiliar to me – the constellations which I could point out at the drop of a hat are gone, and are replaced with unknown ones. These stars are far brighter, too - nearly blinding me. The sky is dotted with these miniature moons. I gaze at the sky and the eyes of serpents glare back. I feel a cold silhouette drift into my chest at the sight of these celestial marvels, just where am I? I’ve no idea how long I stared at them, I feel as if their icy light is somehow transmitting secret information into my mind – trying to whisper something to me in a language I might have once known.

My eyes open once more, and for what is now the second time in my entire life, we are stationary. We find ourselves at the foot of a round and solitary building with a sapphire domed roof. Smaller by comparison to the rest of the buildings, yet still towering over us both. This is where the road ends. This is where he has been going all these years.

Almost as if he were waiting on me, I am launched from my cot as he sets off inside. Immediately as we enter, there is a spiraling staircase made from the white stone. The sun must be directly above us, as there are no lamps nor candles here. No light can enter but for the glass roof, yet there are no shadows, we are swathed in light.

We reach the uppermost floor, there is a dark room ahead, perhaps the only dark I have seen since passing through the archway. In the door, there lies another one of His kind. Dead. I am finally able to lay eyes on him. The same dark gray flesh is stretched over his lanky, ravaged frame. The flesh is akin to the bark of an ancient tree – graying and flayed. Shackles also adorn this poor soul’s ankles, as well as his wrists. His left hand reaches clearly towards the room before us, and his right is open – with what used to be a grand blade. Shattered, and broken - similarly to the archway. The Giant stops for a moment, in respect I assume, and wraps his despicable fingers around the hilt of the former weapon.

He can only manage to drag the thing, shamelessly scoring the white stone as we make our way into the room. This is a grand chamber, blue pillars support a golden rim, surrounding yet another domed roof. We approach a sort of dial with strange markings, it is formed of 3 circles, overlapping into a triangular shape. There are swords, the same as the one He now wields, stabbed into this thing – in slots on the circumference of it. Four of them, with a fifth beckoning Him. He swings the once-ornate weapon above his head in anticipation, unleashing yet another abhorrent, pitiful bellow – and with this, the domed ceiling crumbles and falls in on us. The sun now crushing down on top of me, its final burn bites my back. The crown slips from his head, and splits on the brickwork.

With a defeated, and final thrust, he plunges the blade into the fifth slot, and immediately – I am transported. After what seems like hours, days, years, millennia… I open my eyes - to Stars.

The same stars from before, only now I can see them up close. They are angry, vicious, a constantly erupting force of pure energy – I would be terrified, had I the body to feel such a thing. They are screaming at me – painful and restless, their unlimited voices pierce me like a volley of hot spears. I can no longer feel my body, my limbs are nowhere to be found.

All I see is blackness, the colors which blessed my briefly are but memories now, dreams. Time no longer exists. I am frozen here - sleeping, waiting. For what, I do not know. Yet - I am imbued with a new, primal, instinct.

Soon, the gray planet cowers below me. The screams are louder now, their ravenous pleading and begging howls ring in my mind, and I begin to sink. The largest of the stars I have become, but briefly. I catch a glimpse of the city I found myself in before, accompanied by the thunderous roar of my body colliding with the terrain.

The glorious skyline I once gawked at is now blown apart like the ribcage of some animal. The towers and gardens and waterfalls scattered like a bloodstain upon the earth. They no longer stand out, the same inhospitable muck as I’ve always known. And somewhere, in that featureless desert – a single, emerald sprout emerges.

And then, I am buried. Dead.

 

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my work! I really hope you enjoyed it. I have been writing this over the last few days, adding to it whenever I get a moment to myself, and I quite like the way it turned out. Like I said at the top, constructive criticism would really help me out, so please let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

- Currently drinking out of Sonic's disembodied head.


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About Sleevesone of us since 6:21 AM on 02.21.2022

Howdy pardners, I'm Sam! I'm a video game man and I like to write shit in my free time. Might as well bring those things together right?
I'm passionate about reviews and wanna hone my skills! Please tell me what you think about my stuff :)

I'm a huge metalhead and I've played guitar for over 10 years. I also make pixel art!



I'm new to Destructoid, but I love this community so much already! Lots of amazing writers and hilarious articles. Stay glacial, Gourds B)

Some facts about me:
I'm a coffee devourer, I'm colourblind, and I'm part of the Sonic fanbase - I apologise profusely.