My Father’s History: Height


The man stood amongst the gathered hay and stared.

‘I passed into a field of hay, the sheafs gathered into cones, all of which stood a foot taller than myself,’ my father wrote.

‘As I moved among them, picking out my path with care, the wind shifted and carried to me the smell of baking bread. I confess, my stomach grumbled at the sound, and when it did, the earth beneath my feet trembled.

‘The hackles rose on the back of my neck, and I slipped into a deep shadow, hiding between a pair of hay sheaves that had tilted in towards one another. Crouching down, I drew the curious pistol, made certain that the rounds remained in its firing cylinder, and waited to see what made the earth itself shake.

‘I did not have to wait long.

‘A giant soon came into view and stopped but a short distance away from me. He wore spectacles on the bridge of his nose, the nostrils of which flared as he glanced around. The man towered above the sheaves, and he would have dwarfed me had I been fool enough to stand close to him.

‘He glanced around, his eyes passing over the place where I hid.

‘When he spoke, the air vibrated and my ears pulsed. “Little Blood,” the giant laughed. “I smell you. Come out and sit with me. I would have words with you.”

‘I did not respond. The smile faded from his face. “Blood!” he yelled, and birds took to wing, fleeing into the air. “I hunger, and your bones are what my recipe calls for!”

‘The old rhymes clambered from the depths of my memories, and I tightened my grip up the pistol. I was no Englishman, but I had no doubt that my bones would serve this giant’s bread quite well.

‘He rambled and howled, and for a long time, I remained hidden. Finally, he gave up his demands and stomped back from whence he came.

‘I kept to the edges of the field and the pistol in my hand.’

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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