From the Bodies of Giants: Chapter I

From the Bodies of Giants: Chapter I



John was leaning on me at the bar because he’d had too much to drink again. He was talking big about things he couldn’t possibly know anything about; it’s what he does when he’s drunk. “They smell like rotting meat and cheese, like they have so much they can afford to just let it rot.”

“How could you possibly know that? One of them hasn’t ever been within 100 miles of town,” I said.

“My dad. He was in the first resistance group that killed one.”

“Your dad was in logistics! He was behind a fucking desk.” 

He didn’t deny that. “The giants,” he said. “The giants reek of excess.”

My glass refilled on its own again, chilled to the perfect temperature as always. I quickly pounded it and told John, “Alright, let’s get you home, we’ve had enough to drink.”

Helping him up, we made our escape before the bar could ‘offer’ and charge us for another round.

I managed to get John home in one piece. He sobered up a little bit because of the brisk night air and the long walk.

He started rambling about the giants again. “My dad was there, for the fight where they killed it— they moved as many as they could to the front. My dad always used to tell me that as soon as the giant hit the dirt a thousand new and wonderful things sprouted from its corpse.”  

Before I could reply, he threw up and passed out. I really wished he would learn to hold his liquor.  

I didn’t feel like walking home after dealing with Drunk John, so I crashed on his sofa. I flipped on the news to fall asleep and I drifted into a fitful sleep thinking about the story John told me.  

I woke up and John was making french toast. When I got up and sat at the table, John passed me a plate. We went through the typical “I passed out drunk on your couch” morning pleasantries and I asked him to tell me more about the giants while we had the news playing in the background. He told me everything he could think of, but one thing stuck out to me:

“They eat people. But they don’t chew or anything that would give a quick death, they swallow you whole. I don’t believe this part but, the soldiers say you’re kept alive the entire time until the giant has completely digested you.”

I said, “That’s ridiculous, how would they keep you alive? You require food and water or you die in four days— well, unless you’re a gnoll but that’s not the point.”

He replied, “I don’t know man, there’s a lot we don’t understand. Like, we still don’t completely understand magic and we use it everyday. But regardless, the stories about people being kept alive— they’re just rumors from the front as far as I know.”

We finished breakfast in relative silence and headed into work for the day. My mind was occupied by the stories John had been telling me all night, but I had to put off following up on that until the weekend when John and I could hang out again.