Oct 06 2012

Giant

Two swords clash heavily in the valley of a faraway land. The sound smashes against the surrounding mountains and rushes back to re-join another clash of swords. Steel gleams savagely in the late light of the day. The two combatants grunt through every thrust.

Clank, grunt, clank.

Heavy feet shuffle across the grassy land in search of a strong purchase. To fall down would mean death. To fall when laden with heavy armour as they both are, would plant them into the ground making them a simple target for the opponent’s mighty sword.

Clank, grunt, clank

Samuel Barwon lifts himself to his full height and brings down his massive blade with a force that makes William of Cantrell stumble back. He blocks the blow just in time to stop his opponent’s blade cutting him in two.

Clank, grunt, clank

The two giants stomp through the land, locked in battle. There is no subtlety in their dance, no refinement, no lightness of step. Every move is made up of violent intent; each step is moving toward the destruction of the other.

Clank, grunt, clank

William rushes his opponent. As he approaches he swings the mighty blade. Samuel swiftly raises his sword to block the thrust.

Clank, grunt, clank.

They are so close that Samuel can smell the other man’s bacon smudged breath. He is breathing excessively hard, thinks Samuel. He can see the adrenalin running out of William.

Their proximity allows Samuel to insert his hand in behind the other’s armour via a side vent and pull William to him. In the same movement Samuel raises the sword’s handle up hard and fast into the underside of the jaw, planting itself heavily into unprotected soft flesh.

“Ooooooowwwww!!”

William’s head snaps back, a small light goes out in his eyes and he slowly stumbles back. He is falling. Samuel removes his hold on the armour and without that William crashes to the ground.

In the distance a crow sings its discordant melody, the river that cuts through the valley casually rushes along loudly, the wind escapes through the trees.

One giant leans over another. Samuel raises his sword intent on dealing the final blow, “Finally William it comes to this. One of us must lose and today it has been you. I apologise for what I am about to do …” Suddenly he stops and his head snaps to the right.

A voice … calling …. “Samuel” … his name. He can hear a woman’s voice calling his name, “Samuel …. Samuel …”

The blade slowly comes down. Samuel can hear the voice, it is getting louder, but he can’t see anyone. “Who are you?” The world goes black.

“Samuel,” This time the voice is soothing and soft in his ear. It is close by. “Samuel, what do you mean who am I? I am your mother. Come along, come along.”

Samuel opens his eyes. His mother is looking at him over the side of the bed. “I hope you had a good sleep.” Sometimes Samuel had thought he would wake to see her transformed into a mum like most other kids his age had. Normal height, long hair, average looking, generally boring and someone who should never tell jokes.

That never happened, except for the last item.

According to the entry he had read often in Wikipedia: “Dwarfism occurs when an individual person or animal is short in stature resulting from a medical condition caused by abnormal (slow or delayed) growth.”

“… or animal …” thought Samuel as he dangled his short legs over the bed. Samuel jumped down out of bed. His mother reached up to his shoulder, and she gave him a hug, “Samuel, you look like you’ve been in a fight all night, what on earth were you dreaming about?”

The other entry he had found online was at the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “dwarfism, condition of growth retardation resulting in abnormally short adult stature and caused by a variety of hereditary and metabolic disorders.”

“Look at you” said his mother, “you’re getting bigger every day. You’re my beautiful teenager.”

“I’m a dwarf, mum.”

“Even dwarfs can be giants, love.”

He always chose a different route to school. Sometimes he got lucky and sometimes he didn’t. Today was not one of the lucky days. As he walked down the lane way, coming down the other side was Billy Cantrell and a couple of other boys he hadn’t seen before.

Billy beamed. Sam dropped his head and tried to keep walking past, but Billy stood in front of him and wouldn’t let him by. “Oh, what’s that? Look fellas, it’s Samuel. Sorry Sam, I didn’t see you down there.”

The other boys watching did high 5s and grunted their approval.

Clap, grunt, slap.

Billy turned to the other boys and said as an aside: “He’s not a dwarf, he may look like one, but don’t call him a dwarf. The proper name for them is little people.”

He turned back to Sam, “How is my little person this morning?”

Clap, grunt, slap.

Sam moved to the left, and so did Billy, he moved to the right and the same thing happened. Billy’s friends looked on in amusement. “Let me pass, Billy.” Samuel tried to push through harder.

“Oh, the little person wants to pass?” said Billy angrily, “Not yet, short arse.” Billy pushed back hard and Samuel fell hard onto the ground.
Clap, ho, ho, good one, slap.

“Just want to talk to you, little guy.”

“Fuck you, Billy.”

“Oooooooo…” went the chorus watching.

Billy stood over him. “What did you say?”

“Fuck you Billy”

“Oh my God” said Billy in mock horror. “It’s like your little brother swearing. There he is standing in front of you with his little face and his little shoes on, and little pants and shirt and you think he looks so cute and he says fuck you.”

By this time Sam had got to his feet. He remembered what his mother had said (“Even dwarves can be giants”), and in that instant, with the dream still hot in his head, he actually believed it was true. But he wasn’t stupid.

So he turned and ran.

“Hey, get him!!” He heard feet chasing him “hey look at those funny legs” one of the feet said. The other feet laughed. It didn’t take long to catch him. He turned and saw William’s face there. In that instance he didn’t think and he threw a punch up past William’s chest and straight into the fleshy part at the bottom of his jaw. This slammed William’s jaw shut and thrust his head back. In doing so, his teeth bit through the front portion of his tongue severing it.

“Ooowwwww!!” screamed William.

“Why you liffle fuffer!” He spat out some blood which included a meaty piece of his tongue. And he hit Samuel in the face hard. Samuel nearly dropped, he felt his legs give way but the other boys were holding him up. A sudden fire lit up his face just under his left eye.
Billy cocked his arm again and slammed his fist into Samuel’s nose. He felt blood clogging up his nasal passage, splintered bones popping through skin.

And then all went black. It was quiet, the cool of the ground was against his face, a soft breeze was swirling around him and off in the distance, not too far away he heard the sound of sword against sword, getting louder, closer.

 

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