The Mountain in the Clouds, Part Twelve
Gumpelthwomp carried me for at least half an hour, moving slowly but covering so much ground as he went. We crossed a river, went through a forest and arrived at a mountainous valley of rock.
The whole time he carried me, I couldn’t help but experience the life being squeezed out of me by the giant’s grip. It felt like my ribs would crack and my lungs were more empty than full. I attempted to shimmy my way to more room but that usually evoked a little extra pressure from the giant’s hand.
“P, P, P…” I stuttered somehow through the pain.
“What?” Gumpelthwomp asked, annoyed but confused.
“Ple, please…” I continued to stammer.
“Please what?” he said with an angry furrow in his brow.
“Please let… let me breathe,” I finished.
“Hah,” roared the giant whose hand nonetheless lightened its hold. My breath returned and the fear of death faded. My body had all the room it needed for all its parts again.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked.
“What’s your business?” was his answer.
“What are you going to do with me?” I tried.
“Gumpelthwomp crush you,” said the giant. “But first, Gumpelthwomp let other giants play ‘crush you.’”
I was sorry that I asked. I felt better before I knew for a fact that I was going to be crushed by multiple giants today.
Is this supposed to teach me strength? I thought to myself. Am I supposed to find hidden strength within me to pry open my captor’s claw and make my escape? Or better yet, grab the the giant and flip him on his head while at it… That would be some sort of strength, wouldn’t it? Super human… God-like…
Damn, my bones still hurt from those enormous fingers that had wrapped around me so tightly….
Without disturbing Gumpelthwomp, I tried to shift this way and that to get my muscles moving and to help realign my joints… Ow… Ow… Ouch… ah…
It helps to know some things about the body. Not everybody does, you know… Know about their own body that they live and breathe in every day.
I learned it in my time, in my line of work. And it has helped me time and again to face challenges in my life. To be able to know enough about my own physical makeup to help repair it along my journey in this world.
There are so many things that can be found readily to alleviate any… well, anyway, stories for another time, perhaps….
So there I was, regaining my posture. But still, I was locked in fear.
Fear for my very life!
What do I do now, what do I do now, I pondered over and over in my mind.
I thought one last thought, and that is: why don’t I ask that inner knowing about how I feel about my options. If I feel bad about it, throw it aside, and fast. If I like it, keep working with it, mold it like clay, keep forming it into something until…
Then the gods began to answer me in these ways:
First option, do nothing, which it truly feels like is the case, and that leads to certain death. Not a good option, not feeling good about it, actually quite rotten, it’s gone, now!
Or yell for help like you always know you will do when you are in danger. Nah, not much breath for that and it would likely upset Gumpelthwomp, can’t handle another squeeze, so no, that one’s out.
Maybe leave something, tear some shirt fabric off and throw it on a branch so that anyone following after could could track…
Ah, that’s if anyone is coming…
Well of course they are, aren’t they? Alright not feeling like the best option now either but table it. Might be handy as a last resort. Hell, throw it anyway, here goes.
Rip, shet, pfft.
Gone, good, caught that royal dogwood tree, right where it can be seen at eye level. Dark brown shirt strip on a…damn, brown tree in the woods… Alright, last resort, right?… moving on…
Well, if there’s anything to do at all, what is it? I mean, I have a limited amount of resources, no weapon, hell I can’t even more my arms.
Mouth! Yes, that’s it. Speak to the giant. But what to say?
“Ahem, Gumpelthwomp,” I looked in all directions in the air around me as if I were going to see the message I was suppose to speak next. It wasn’t there. Anywhere.
“Puny human, why do you trick giants?” his captor grunted.
“Um, well, there’s where you’re wrong,” I mulled over my response. “You’re wrong about me being human. Because I’m not.” I paused. I really had no idea where I was going with this.
“Huh?” begged the giant, truly confused.
“That’s right, I said it. I’m not a human. And I’m not afraid to say it again. Because, because,” I stalled. Then I had it. “Because I am a Magi.”
“What?” Gumpelthwomp stopped dead in his tracks and looked down at me with raised eyebrows. “You, Magi? You so small.”
“Yes, well, size is not what counts about the Magi, after all. We are the immortal beings who created the world, you know. We can be any size we wish to be.”
The giant’s eyes narrowed as her tried to follow everything I had just said, but he nodded in rapt agreement. Then he looked befuddled again and queried, “You god?”
“More than a god, a Magi,” I answered. “One of the nine celestial beings that formed the entire world of Paelstor as you know it.”
“Ok, Magi god, welcome Gumpelthwomp home,” said the giant.
As we entered the mountain pass and into the valley of stone monuments and craggy hills of rubble… there before me I saw a whole tribe of giants. And it was terrifying to behold.
There was nearly thirty all said, and they took up maybe an acre of land, just standing in a clutter at the back of the valley where the mountains closed in like a trap.
Most of them were men, but there were two or three females among them and to be honest they looked the most fierce. All of them had huge pelts of leather strapped in disarray across their bodies as armor. And each had a massive weapon, all lethal. I mean, really lethal. Like kill a family of deer in one blow lethal. And not leave them edible…
Gods, be with me, I said almost aloud. Please don’t let me die today. I know I can figure out how to get through this. I feel confident that the messages will be clear when the timing is right for them. And that the answers I will get will hasten me through this trial. And I know that I will come out on the other side, a changed man, forever blessed by the offering of guidance from your wisdom. See me safely through. Be with me now.
“Hey!” thundered Gumpelthwomp across the valley, bringing every giant to a stand still.
My captor held me up and said, “Prisoner Magi god!”
And the whole encampment erupted in uproarious applause and cheer.
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Blessings to you,