“I beg your pardon if this offends you,” he began, it seemed to me, in rather gentle tone for a being known to have bellowed up a hurricane, “but you seem mighty small for something which calls itself ‘King of this land and all the land you’ve ever known,’ some small trifle claiming to command us, the Brethren of the Mountains, as his subjects.” Gentle, perhaps, but not without a significant undertone of malice.
To my credit, there was no quiver in my body, no quaver in my voice, though the former I am not sure his massive eyes could have registered in my minuscule form even were the shaking of great extent and the latter may actually have been drowned out by the volume of the holler required to reach their ears with my tiny vocal chords. That is, I put the full effort of body and diaphragm into the reply.
“SO IT WAS DECREED BY ONE WHO IS OF GREATER STATURE AND FORCE OF BEING THAN ALL OTHER CREATURES AND ARMIES OF THIS EARTH!”
The giants all chuckled, the gestures of which loosened small stones from the canyon walls that skittered to the valley floor.
The one giant leaned down again, and whispered a small gale at me, “What God is this you speak of, puny creature?”
“NO! NOT A GOD!” I shouted back, hurting my lungs with the exercise, in response to which the giant cocked its head with the inquisitiveness of a mountainous puppy, allowing me a brief moment to compose myself for the final thrust.
“IT WAS MY MOTHER!”
A small shock registered in his eyes. A wry smile formed. So I offered the denouement.
“THOUGH, I AM OFTEN ASSURED SHE DISAGREES ABOUT THE GOD PART!”
The guffaws of a lone giant are disturbance enough in a realm not of the giant’s own construction. A party of three literally slapping each other’s backs shook the valley of stone with something of an earthquake. For a few moments I mustered all the calm I could while dodging, straight-faced and straight-backed as possible, the boulders tumbling here and there through the spaces I momentarily occupied during a deluge of granite.
In that moment, I knew I had them — so long as I could survive the stone fall, mind you. Without the legal decrees and fiddly bits of paper my own people deemed so indispensable, I became officially in their giant hearts, a guild member to The Brethren of the Mountains; they would do not as I bid, but as I asked as a matter of abiding friendship among men of equal spirit. Because I, in a moment of lethal tension, had sold myself with a joke.
Still, having earned the gifts of life and hindsight, it was rather fortunate none of the giants’ mothers were present.
Taken on location for Lost in Space, 2018
The Pic and a Word Challenge is a weekly creativity prompt offered Sundays.
Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.
- Use any title you like
- Your response can be words and/or an image
- You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
- Place the challenge’s Pic (if you use it for inspiration) and Word prominently in your post
- Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
- Add a link to this post in your response
To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:
- Add a comment on this post to announce your response
- Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post
Each week, I’ll list the previous week’s responses at the end of the new challenge. I may also share some on my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.
The word for last week’s Pic and a Word Challenge #157 was Pastel, along with this sunset photograph of the Food Islets near Ucluelet on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast, British Columbia, Canada.
Seven bloggers rendered the subtler tones of Pastel this past week. Thank you, everyone! =)
- Pastel, by Dancing Echoes
- Pastel, by Unexpected in Common Hours
- Pastel, by Woolly Muses
- Pastel Life — a Poem, by I Do Run
- El pastel, by Mexi Movie the Third
- Erosion of Distance, by Stuff and what if…
- Failure & Success, by Hadd Hai Yaar
View all the Pic and a Word Challenges, including the current challenge, on the Pic and a Word Challenge tag page.