Screaming Giant

Mainline City’s giant started screaming one day. He wasn’t usually like that. Usually he was a quiet giant. Usually, he just stood there saying nothing.

At 11:42, just before lunch, he just started screaming, louder than an air raid siren. And he didn’t stop, either. People were surprised at first, then they were just mildly annoyed. It wasn’t until about 7:30 at night that people began to think he wasn’t going to stop. The mayor called the governor who phoned other states. Nobody’s giant had started screaming. It was just Mainline City’s.

Understandably, this was bad for business and tourism. People could hear the giant screaming in the next cities. The governor called a meeting to figure out how to stop the giant. They tried reasoning with the giant, but the giant just screamed over their bullhorns. The people began to resent their giant. They demanded that he be stopped.

Building anything soundproof around the giant would be too costly, and they couldn’t reason with the giant. Nobody knew why he started screaming in the first place. Times weren’t great lately, but things had been relatively the same as long as most people could remember. After days of deliberation, they decided they needed to eliminate their giant. Nobody had killed their giant before, but not every city had a giant, after all. If they could at least drive him out, it would be best for everyone. It was the giant’s fault, after all. If he hadn’t started screaming, they wouldn’t have to do this. The giant had forced the city to act.

First, they cleared out the area. An emergency bulletin was issued, though not everyone heard about it over the screaming. Police shot him in the legs. Warning shots. They gave him an hour before they sent in fire brigade with axes and chainsaws. He demolished the entire city on his way down. It took another hour and a half before he started screaming. The ambulance came and declared him dead.

Cleanup took weeks. The smell stayed for months. No plants grew again where the giant had landed. The water in the city became tainted. The reach had moved out early on but even the middle class were packing up and leaving now. Mainline City became a blight on the map, a disgusting zit for the rest of the country to point at and wonder what went wrong. The government maintained that the giant began screaming on its own, but the people began to wonder what they could have done to make the giant scream like that. They wondered if it could, or would, happen to their giants, too.

The giants themselves remained tight-lipped, at least until the giants in Kinderton County began to weep uncontrollably. Suicide rates in Kinderton raised over 600% in the following year.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

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