In the early days of the world, not long after the sun and moon took up their patrol in the sky… somewhere around the time that color splashed into existence… or thereabouts, giants grew from the soil. Where other creatures had formed themselves modestly, using only a little of this and a smidge of that, the giants carved themselves from great swaths of earth. Mountains lifted onto legs and traversed the land. Gorges formed in their absence.
For more years than anyone can count, the giants shaped the world as they saw fit. Soaring palaces shadowed the fields and rich forests carpeted the hills. The giants grew fat off the beasts below and music and dance shook the land.
Crouching among the beasts underfoot was a creature that resembled the giants, though far, far smaller. Mankind watched with an envious eye. Mankind began to build palaces and keep their own beasts for eating. They formed towns and filled their halls with music and dance. The giants noticed mankind’s efforts and set aside land for mankind to call their own. The smallest beasts, the ones not worth eating, were deposited within easy reach of mankind to be hunted. The giants watched with pride as their ambitious pets flourished.
The giants appointed a guardian to watch over their pets and ensure that none of mankind strayed accidentally into the giants’ fields, lest they be trod upon. This guardian was called Sky Sniffer. Sky Sniffer stood sentry for more years than he knew how to count, and mankind watched him, in turn. They played music for him and performed dances. They brought him food to fill his belly and great pools of ale to wash it down. Sky Sniffer grew comfortable, and warm with his full belly. After a while, he drifted off to sleep.
When Sky Sniffer awoke, a great silence met his ears. He left his post in search of a giant who could tell him what was happening, but there were no giants anywhere. Instead, he found mankind living in the soaring palaces that shadowed the fields and feasting on the large beasts that roamed the giants’ fields. Mankind filled the large halls with their music and dancing.
Sky Sniffer searched the world from one end to the other and found none of his kin. Everywhere, the small people watched from the too large halls, sharpening long, long blades.
It is not recorded when Sky Sniffer was last seen, though it is said that he roamed the world for many years before he disappeared. Some claim that he and the other giants left this world to make room for humans. Others draw a darker conclusion. All that is known is that Sky Sniffer’s seat, where the world of mankind was separated from that of the giants, sometimes casts a shadow onto the cities below that looks an awful lot like a man is seated there, watching.
Written by W. C. McClure www.wcmcclure.com. This short story may be shared (and please do); just please be sure to share it in its entirety, unaltered (and including this fine print), with credit given to W. C. McClure. Comments are welcome at www.farsideofdreams.com. Oh, and if you want to show your support, tell your friends about this short story blog – and pick up a copy of “The Statues of Azminan” by W. C. McClure. Thanks!