Welcome back to the adventure! Readers have chosen to offer a gift in hopes of being allowed into Raylaylin. Let’s see what happens leading up to the next vote=)
Giant Town Option B: Offer A Gift
The eyes blink several times as you consider your response. Somehow it feels wrong to have come empty handed but you don’t have much to offer as a ‘gift.’
“I come bearing a gift,” you say, slinging your slim pack around to your front so you can dig inside.
“A gift?” the voice rumbles like it’s laughing deep in its chest though you’re not even sure where the voice originates. “You are not the first to offer a gift at these doors. None have actually come with a gift worthy of entrance and neither have you.”
You pause, stunned that you haven’t been allowed to present anything. You’ve already been judged.
The ground shudders beneath your feet. “Nice try, Treasure Hunter.”
A crack appears between your feet and, as the shaking grows worse, you realize it’s growing wider.
You race for your tethered rope but the ground tilts toward the cliff and before you can grasp the rope in your fingers, you slide backward into the widening gap.
Tumbling head over heels, rocks bite into your skin and the world turns dark. Time becomes meaningless before you hit the bottom with a solid thud that leaves you gasping for air.
If you doubted the giant’s intelligence before, you don’t now. Only an intelligent race could create such a trap to protect their home.
Your breathing slowly comes back and you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Hurts like you just went through flame but you grit your teeth and only a groan escapes, not the full fledged cry in your throat.
“Hurts something fierce,” says a voice to your left. “Break anything?”
Relief washes over you as you do a quick inventory and find nothing seriously out of place. Then comes the consternation that you’re not alone.
“I’m all right,” you answer.
“Right about now you’re wondering who’s in here with you. Then you’re considering how to get out.” Whoever it is chuckles. It’s a deep sound disturbingly like the door. “Let me save you some time. I’m Alexander and I know of two ways to escape if you’re small enough.”
“This place was built for giants,” as Alexander speaks, he moves and his voice, which started on the same level as yourself, lifts into the air until it’s coming from far above you. “It holds giants quite securely but it wasn’t made to contain a human. Only reason it holds a human well is because you’re not tall enough to reach the window or vent.”
“But if there’s a giant and a human—“ you trail off, waiting for Alexander to confirm he’s as big as he sounds.
“Exactly,” Alexander finally says. “Only thing is, the giant’s got to believe the human will free him if he helps.”
You hum acknowledgement as you consider. Then you ask, “why’s the giant in here in the first place?”
A gusty sigh answers. “It was a dispute between friends that got way out of hand.”
“What’s that mean?”
“We knew humans feared us and had started to hunt us. To make sure we weren’t caught unawares, we developed a serum that would shrink us to human size. It was enough for five giants to become spies. The major drawback was we couldn’t reverse the effects. One shrunk, always shrunk. A dispute broke out as to who would take the serum. No one wanted to be small forever. One night after much debate and no sign of a solution, I invited some of my friends over for drinks. We were all trained to interact with humans. I slipped the serum into our drinks. I meant to take it too but when they started to change, I poured most of my drink down my front in shock.
“I’d seen the lab results but watching my friends change-I hadn’t thought about how painful it would be. The little I did ingest changed my ears, nose and several of my toes. That was painful too but not the same.
“To say they were angry would be a gross understatement and I don’t blame them my imprisonment. But they grew suspicious of all the remaining giants and imprisoned them too.”
“How?” you ask, trying to picture five human sized giants imprisoning the others.
“They told the first few that I’d gone insane and they needed help moving me to a safer prison. The next ones were told there’d been an escape attempt and the first group was involved. Then they asked the next group to feed the prisoners because they were afraid to after being shrunk. The stories didn’t have to be anything extravagant. Giants distrust the outside world but we believe each other to a fault.”
If nothing else the story explains why giants haven’t been seen in a long time. Not quite convinced you still ask, “and what would convince you the human will free you?”
“You’re a treasure hunter, no?”
You consider lying but then remember the door’s reaction. “Of course.”
“Than I offer you treasure in return for freeing me. You gain the treasure’s location as soon as I’m free.”
Seems like an odd way to convince him but it does make sense.
“And what are the two ways out?” you ask.
“Ah,” there’s triumph in Alexander’s deep voice. “One is a ventilation shaft next to the ceiling. It’ll take you to the top floor just under the top of the cliff. The hard part is the fans in between. The easy part is the release for the prison doors is in the next room over from the vent room. The second option is a joke of a window. It’s a short vent that leads up into the base of what we call ‘The Pit.” It’s the central meeting area for the giants. Easy part is there’s no fans and the vent’s short. Hard part is, to reach the room to free me, you have to climb the walkway around the pit and there’s not much by way of a hiding place. So pick your poison.”
Do you say…
(Please post a comment with your choice. One vote per comment per day please but comment as much as you like=) Voting will end at 8pm Mountain Time Monday. Tuesday I’ll post whichever option gets the most votes and we’ll see where the adventure continues!)