Where the Giants Now Rest
Dandelion H. Kalandir
Careful, child, walking where the giants once did. You don’t know how tall they stood, how far they could see. Haven’t you heard of the girl who wanted to see the world, wanted to see it all? Hardly prepared for rain or cold or beast, she led herself to the gentle prairie, never stopping to wonder how the snakes avoided her gaze or the birds and bears did little more than twitch at her footsteps the closer she got. So set on the sight before and already charged with ambition, she couldn’t tell her scarf was billowing without wind or that the cloudless thunder followed the beat of her heart. She made it, you see, to where the giants once walked but now rest. Child, we don’t say dead, we say dormant. She made it to the bottom of that ossified skull, hoping to see things from the giant’s eyes, hoping to see the world. But the giant had no eyes, not anymore, and lay close to the earth, facing only the stars above. No rot, no decay, no eyes. Even the snakes and the bears and the birds could not see her. She made her way to the forehead with ease, her coat bustling with energy, her hood like a ring of light. The first human up there, realizing the same thing that all previous creatures of this path had: even the view from up there is nothing like the view of a giant. But no creature before her could fall into a fit as wild as hers. Nothing before had stamped and screamed and cried, jostling static from the restful remains of the giant. So when she howled in her rage, deaf to the giant’s mouthless voice, she did not hear what it had provided for all those before her. So when she threw up her arms, blind to the giant’s generous offer, she did not see how every other living thing that had reached this place could see her now, winking in and out of existence above her, blinking spontaneously one over the other over the other like the bubbles in a boiling pot. Instead, she tore the corners of the world towards her like a blanket. Cities on mountains and aquatic beasts, mountainous stems, colonies of lichen, and ancient tombs; they all came trembling, towering, tumbling towards her. She ripped the sky from its place and it carved through the valley, pouring into the land. She exhausted herself and all of the giant’s energy. She was the first creature to reach it and see the world despite ignoring the giant’s proposal—all she had wanted was to see the world. The first human to climb a giant’s skull, and the first to actually kill one. All other things that had gone there were given a place in the stars, the ability to watch the world as the giants had. But the girl—she remains in the cavity she created, trapped by the wonders she always wanted to see.