Giant Slayer: Flash Fiction by Cam for Annart's Challenge

Updated on October 10, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 150 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Source

Ann's Challenge and My Response

This story is a response to Annart's (Ann Carr) challenge to write something based on the photo which you see at the top of this hub. My response is in the form of Flash Fiction. I've written a 1,000 word short story based on the image of the Long Man of Wilmington.

Thank you, Ann for issuing this challenge. I hope others will respond as well. You can find links to the other responses to Ann's challenge on the hub where the challenge was originally issued.

Giant Slayer

Arthur scuffed his boots along the dirt road watching the distant hillsides for his first glimpse of the church of Wilmington with its three bells. That's really all he knew about the village. Whether the bells ever sounded and on what days or at what hour was all a mystery to him. After all, he hadn't come to see the church or the bells or Wilmington. Arthur had traveled the length and width of England for five years battling giants.

In all truth, Arthur had not encountered any giants in that whole time, a fact he attributed to his fame preceding him wherever he went. Clearly, the giants were on the run as he scuffed his way hither and yon. He had it on the trustworthy word of a gentleman he'd met in an Ipswich tavern that the giants of Wilmington were a barbaric band which kept the village and manor house in a constant state of terror.

Arthur was a man of no means. In fact, the only things of note which he owned were two staves, or staffs, if you wish. One was for walking, the other for fighting. He could use both in battle. On one occasion the staves served as poles for propelling a small raft downstream on a canal. The baker's lovely wife had been kind enough to have let him out the back door just before her paunchous husband entered. Alas, the smell of the morning's bread on his clothing had given the baker away.

As he walked, Arthur would, on occasion stop, toss the walking staff away and hold the fighting stave in both hands. He would twist and jump, jab and sweep. But it was only an imaginary giant. He would settle back into his scuffing along and imagine the battle that lay ahead––He hoped.

Source

Just as he neared the first cottage of Wilmington, the bells of the church began to sound. In Arthur's mind, they were tolling the arrival of their deliverer. He went directly to the village inn where he made the acquaintance of two of the town's leading citizens. The men must have been weighed down with such concern for the wellbeing of the folks who depended on them that they were drowning their worries in pints of ale before midday.

"Come now, Arthur, my new friend, you must stay and have a pint with us before you run off jousting giants." The portly man who spoke was waving half a pint in the air as he swayed in alternate time.

"I wouldn't think of drinking at the expense of two such prominent citizens of this fine village."

The two men were momentarily flummoxed since they had not even broached the topic of payment. But rather than start an argument with the brave and famous giant slayer, both men anted up. After all, he had referred to them as prominent citizens.

They drank and talked long into the early afternoon. Arthur learned, to his disappointment, that giants weren't a concern of the people of Wilmington. The blasted Frenchmen were the problem.


Source

French raiders crossed the channel in the cover of darkness and hid, during the daylight, among the boulders on the shoreline. On the second night, they climbed the cliffs that lined the coast and began raiding villages between the coast and London before the rising of the sun.

Arthur had never met a Frenchman before, so he journeyed five days to the channel and waited for another raid. His two friends from the inn were curious to see what the giant slayer was up to, so they followed at a distance until they came to the bluffs overlooking the channel with the coast of France in the distance.

During the night on which he arrived, a commotion rose from below the cliffs. Arthur grabbed his staves and ran to meet the Frenchmen before they began their plundering. The sky was cloudy and the night was as dark as a sinners heart. He was only feet from the cliff's edge when his walking staff got tangled in his legs and feet.

The first of the raiders pulled himself up just in time to see a wildly tumbling Englishman whose arms, legs and two staves flipped and flopped like a flailing ragdoll. The impact sent the hapless Frenchman back over the edge. Like a cannonball, he plowed through the climbing column made up of his countrymen, sending them all to the rocky beach far below.

Cliffs of Dover, UK

Source

Arthur's two pub-mates were astonished. They ran to Arthur, slapping him on the back, hooting and hollering about how he had single-handedly defeated the raiders from across the channel.

By the time they reached Wilmington, the story had grown to legendary proportions, and Arthur's estimation of himself had expanded right along with it. The clumsy tripping and tumbling had become finely timed and executed fighting prowess.

The celebration and feasting went on for days until Arthur decided it was time to move on. There were other battles to wage, and maybe even real giants to conquer. His two companions accompanied him for a few minutes. They stopped and turned Arthur around to look back toward the town. All the villagers had gathered to wave goodbye as the bells tolled. On the side of a hill, covering the entire slope from bottom to top, was the chalk-white outline of a man holding two staffs; one a walking stick and the other a battlestave.

Arthur scuffed along a rutted road that wound through the downs on the way to Southampton. He relived the Battle for the Bluffs, as the villagers had named it. For once his mind wasn't preoccupied with giants. Nevertheless, two such creatures leaped out of the ruins of an ancient hill fort and blocked his way on the road.

Arthur was as ready for a fight as ever he had been. He attacked the behemothic brigands, twisting and spinning, leaping and hopping, jabbing and sweeping. Fortunately, at the last second, he tripped over his battlestave.

Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

        You're welcome. There is some fun in a clumsy wannabe hero.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 7 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Robert, thanks for visiting my hub. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

        Cute story, I like the tripped over the battlestave ending.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 7 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Thank you, Catherine. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I had a blast writing it. There's a bit of Don Quixote here.

      • CatherineGiordano profile image

        Catherine Giordano 7 months ago from Orlando Florida

        What a clever delightful story. I loved it.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Becky, I like a good challenge, like making you laugh before you have a chance to wake up.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Eric, thank you for taking time to read this. Glad you had a chuckle at the poor guy's cluelessness.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

        I could sense the fun you had! Yes 'paunchous' I noticed; it's great. Do let me know if you visit England. Would be fun to meet up if poss.

      • Becky Katz profile image

        Becky Katz 8 months ago from Hereford, AZ

        Left me chuckling first thing in the morning. That was a monumental accomplishment.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Marvelous. A chuckle a minute and a glorious ending. And a great explanations of the Chalk Man.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Ann, also take note of my creation of the word "paunchous" here...."The baker's lovely wife had been kind enough to have let him out the back door just before her paunchous husband entered." Talk about creative license....

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Ann, I was hoping you and others would appreciate that line.

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Ann, I had a lot of fun with this challenge. I have to tell you, I changed the part about Dover twice after I put it in the capsule. I made it a five-day journey on foot. Both times the capsule seemed to accept it, but now it's gone. hmmmm. Anyway, I'll attempt it again. As for having been to Sussex, nope, never. But I hope to get to the UK and other parts of Europe within the next two years. Thanks for reading and thanks for the excellent challenge.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

        I love that para; it is funny and always great to have a poke at the French! Naughty me!

        Ann

      • cam8510 profile image
        Author

        Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        John, I do that double paragraph thing on purpose just to keep you sharp in your hub reading. And you always catch it and tell me. Thanks for being willing to speak up. I also left out this small paragraph. I'll share it here because I thought it was a funny poke at the French.

        "They drank and talked long into the early afternoon. Arthur learned, to his disappointment, that giants weren't a concern of the people of Wilmington. The blasted Frenchmen were the problem."

        Thanks for visiting, John.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

        What a brilliant ending, Chris! Great story too; I love it all. You must have been to Sussex before because you took me there (and I know it well). I'll give you poetic licence for Dover being close-ish!

        Thank you so much for stepping up to the challenge. You've done a great job and I love the humour in it. John's already mentioned the repeat so I'm sure you'll sort that in due course - easy done.

        I'm off to add your link to my hub.

        Ann

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

        This was hilarious Chris. I enjoyed it immensely. What a great response to Ann's challenge. (You have repeated a couple of paragraphs starting with "French raiders crossed the channel..")

      • rebelogilbert profile image

        Gilbert Arevalo 8 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

        Humorous story Chris, I'm pleased to see you are having so much fun writing short stories these days. Keep it up.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)