Large, jagged brown teeth jutted from behind the cracked lips of the giant. He breathed deeply, filling the room with the scent of brine vinegar and salted yak butter. His eyes were full of vicious intent as they stared down at me. I was caught red-handed, on the edge of his monumental table, grasping tightly to the down feathers of his treasured golden goose. He caught me stealing her, but I didn’t care. I needed her. My village needed her.
His swarthy brow furrowed as his eyes narrowed. He spoke in a language I couldn’t understand, but the meaning was clear through its pitch. He wanted his prized animal back and he wanted my life. He could have neither. Both were of too much importance to me.
I clinched the bird to my chest and began my sprint across the giant’s table. The grains of the wood slapped against my bare feet, but were too large to hurt me. His screams shook the plates and silverware as I hurdled over them. I was an insect to him, an infestation that plagued his home. He intended to exterminate me.
I could see the exit in front of me. A large segmented leaf hung through the open window seal, beckoning me to the stalk I climbed to come here. I was almost out.
His hand slapped against the table, throwing bits of ceramic everywhere. I barely managed to dodge the pieces as they skipped across the oak wood surface. Everything slid closer to the window. I just needed to reach the stalk, then I’d be safe.
I threw the goose up to the window seal and began climbing the leaves. The giant was getting closer. His eyes were red. His teeth were clenched, drawing blood from his diseased gum line. He was livid. I needed to hurry. He was close—within reaching distance. I scooped the goose up and jumped into the open air just as his hand reached out for me.
The chill of the wind blew through my flannel shirt as we fell. The giant cursed me from above the clouds, disappearing behind the thick tufts of white mist as we fell. The fresh air calmed my nerves. I was home free. I could save my village. The children could eat. The trade for the beans would have been worth it. We could stop worrying and we would be able to keep our farm.
I pressed my fingers into the soft crust of the beanstalks stem, slowing my decent. The cool green film gathered around my fingers before splashing onto my cloths and face. We were almost home. I could see it in the distance.
Suddenly, the goose became erratic, squawking and throwing its wings open uncontrollably. Sticks and large brown leaves fell from above us. As I looked up, I could see the animal hide trousers of the giant, in the distance. He was following me, climbing down the stalk to take back my prize. I looked down at the village, wondering of what tragedies I was bringing them. Was I bringing them destruction? Would the legends be true? Would my bones be ground to make the giant’s bread? I couldn’t let that happen.
As my feet hit the ground, I sprinted towards my family cottage. I called to my mother, praying that she wasn’t home to see the mistake her son had made. Death followed close behind me and in that moment, I knew I should have never gone to greet hmm. She was in the kitchen, cleaning. Before she could answer I threw the goose at her feet and grabbed the axe from the backyard. She called out to me, but I had no time to answer.
I ran towards the beanstalk and sank my axe head into the base. The force rumbled up the monstrous stem. I followed with more chops, breaking through the layers of the stalk. I could see the giants bare feet above me. He was getting closer. I could not falter. I mustered all my strength and threw the axe over and over into the beanstalk, breaking through to the other side. The giant stiffened up, as the beanstalk began to lean. The sound of wet vegetation flew through the hills. Branches and leaves and large fruit began slapping against the earth as the giant came tumbling down.
His head cracked against the ground. His arms fell limp around his broken neck before the rest of him hit the ground. The fall had killed him. Viscous pools of blood leaked from his ears and mouth. His final breathes parted the clouds above. The dust and debris slowly fell, exposing the damage done to the village. The fields were covered in large greens. The giants hand and blood went into the river, damming it’s flow and contaminating they fish. I had destroyed the village by bringing the giant there. But worst of all, my home, my home and mother—they were crushed beneath his feet.