A Tale of Giants
Sit and listen, small giants,
for the endtimes have found us,
and I’ve one final story to tell.
The Foreign Giants
The small giants watch from the plateau with their tribe as the wrangler and two of the five elders descend into the valley. Wisps of dust skit behind their footsteps on the sandy downslope – the base of the crescent moon valley, however, is thickly blanketed in supple green grass, with the occasional purple or pink puddingstone jutting out of the meadow like gemstones encased in boulders. It’s as if the world’s biggest whitetail was slain and its fur dyed greener than the springtime, then laid across the valley’s floor like a rug in the old huts the giants once slept in. One small giant, one known for interrupting a good flow, can’t help but lose himself in thoughts of how large the antlers would be if such a beast existed; the eyes of the cougar appear to him from the darkness of his mind and he’s startled back to the outside world.
The pair of foreign giants waiting between the rivers look like little black blobs from where the small giants stand, like a pair of ants who fiddled about and learned how to stand up on two legs… or like a pair of black bears who have eaten so little that they began to float towards the starpool, only held down by the weight of their heavy black claws. Their wrangler and the shamans she walks with aren’t that small yet – in fact, they look more like a large spider the way they walk in a group through the valley below – but they’ll get there. Well, hopefully; if the ambassadors come upon the pair of foreign giants only to be dwarfed in size and hoarfed over sharp teeth, not much could stop the ensuing stampede of small giants back down the treacherous climb behind them. Fear spreads faster than loose silt in water, and though perhaps one of the small giants wouldn’t flee upon watching the demise of their elders, the rest surely would. Then nothing would stop the interrupting one from marching down the dusty hill and dealing with the assailants himself.
But the black specs are indeed foreign giants and not despicably intelligent black bears, and they hold a short palaver with the tribe’s ambassadors before turning away and trekking deep into the valley, disappearing behind the bend. The ambassadors return with wooden masks of disbelief strapped to their faces, but they relay the good word regardless: the valley is the tribe’s to settle, as it had been for five cycles now, ever since the recurrent drought began to haunt them. It would have been six cycles if they dared another autumn down in the wildlands, but they hadn’t, and so, here they are.
A particular small giant questions his wrangler about the foreign giants she met as the tribe prepares to descend the dusty slope into their promised land. The wrangler says they were draped in black garments with hoods that shrouded their faces, that they called themselves monks and that they had watched over the valley since the first star shone its light through the veil of the starpool. She tells the small giants – and the rest of the tribe, as their curiosities had been piqued – that the rest of the monks had moved on long ago, and that only those two stayed to wait for the giants, and now the tribesfolk are the new stewards of the valley.
“But where did the pair of monks go?” the small giant asks, then pleads when his question doesn’t immediately go answered.
“They did not say, young one, only that it’s now time for them to move on like the rest of their kind. Now hush up and follow their example! The great shine will soon set, and we’d do well to have birthed a fire before then.”
This has been the fourth subchapter of the first chapter of The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~