Gus Bigman, the Giant

There once lived a giant, not your ordinary run-of-the-mill giant. Spiders and beetles fought each other for a place to room in his greasy hair. He never brushed his teeth. They were greenish-yellow. Some people who lived in the next state over said they could easily pass out if they got downwind of his breath. Clearly, he knew nothing about mouthwash, let alone toothpaste.

His hands were so large that ten basketballs could fit inside a single palm. He used his nails to plow the earth for corn and soy beans. Unfortunately, Gus got boulders stuck beneath his fingernails and cried out when he used a stick to pry them loose, bleeding everywhere and making the rivers run red.

I know you’re wondering about his feet. There wasn’t a shoe big enough to fit his horny toes. Gus was so big that the country where he lived named a state after him. It was called DeGus State, the de someone’s idea of French to make it sound fancy, as though that would help. Anyone who was crazy enough to cross into his state, found a big gold post with a huge sign, also gold, that said: Keep Out. Most people were glad to turn around and go home, except for those thrill seekers who wanted to have an exciting story to tell their grandkids. That wasn’t easy. DeGus State was surrounded by an electrified fence. The country of Gratis Land was happy to pay the bill to keep their families safe.

Gus was a loner. He was happy to grow corn and soy beans and to be as dirty as he pleased. But he began to get agitated. You see, there was a mountain in his state that was taller than Gus. He couldn’t stand how it cast a shadow on his fields. He wanted to be the only thing tall enough to cast a shadow. Mountain! You’ve got to go! The mountain was stubborn. It had been in the same spot for generations. The mountain dug its feet deep into the earth and stuck a bunch of trees up his nose and down his throat. Gus got so angry, he scooped it up with his two hands and tossed the mountain outside his state, which killed hundreds of people and caused an earthquake. Everyone hoped this would be the end of it. Things were quiet for several months until Gus realized that the sun was his real problem. It had nothing to do with the mountain. He was embarrassed to admit that to himself, but oh well. How could he have known? So Gus looked up at the sun and said, Grand stander! Get your shadow off my land! I’m the only one to cast a shadow!

The sun laughed as he shook his fist in the air. You’re just a silly little man, it said, and whispered to the moon. The moon smiled. Gus was trying to find something to climb so he could pull that imbecile sun off its pedestal. He’d show him who was boss! But Gus already had destroyed the mountain. And just then, the moon crossed in front of the sun. Slowly, the sky became dark and day turned to night. For the first time in Gus’ miserable life, he became very very scared.

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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