Giantess Stories: The Giantess  by Robert F

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The Giantess

by Robert F. Young

Strophe

Hill halted at the base of the hogback to re-sling his '02 Weslich,

It was a heavy piece, and he did not wish it to encumber him while he

was climbing the ridge. This time he slung it diagonally, leaving

both arms free. It did not interfere with his overnight pack, nor

with the wide belt that supported his canteen, his two way radio and

an extra cartridge clip, In leaving his fly-buggy, he had taken no

other weapon: if he couldn't bag Cheida with an '02 Weslich, he

couldn't bag her, period.

The question arises why, with so formidable an obstacle as the

hogback still separating him from her demesne, he should have chosen

to go the rest of the way on foot. The answer lay partly in the

impossibility of his getting off a good shot from a moving aircraft

and partly in his desire to catch her unawares. Were she to see the

fly-buggy come down, she would be alerted, and bagging her then would

be a ticklish operation. It was true her valley was a vast one and

she might at the moment be on its far side, remote enough from the

hogback not to be able to see the little fly-buggy land. But in

Hill's profession you took nothing for granted: you played the hand

you were dealt and never asked for an unknown card.

He started up the side of the hogback, digging the pointed toes of

his black Beowulf boots into the bank, Small trees afforded him

occasional handholds, and in places shale ledges provided erratic

stairs. He had been off booze for a month and was in superb

condition. When he neared the end of the climb, he slowed his pace

and inched his way the final few feet to the top. He saw a grassy

promenade dotted with bushes on which big red berries grew. He moved

on all fours across it and surveyed Cheida's demesne from the

conceaIment of the tall grass. Midsummer haze dimmed the details of

the valley, reduced the farther slope to a bluish blur. A riser

wandered down from mountains on the north, wound its way across the

prairie-like terrain to green hills on the south. Trees grew thickly

along its banks, forming an anfractuous forest. There were a number

of widely scattered rock formations, and far to the northeast, well

beyond the river, a little lake shone dully in the

afternoon rays of Alpha Aurigae. Semicircling it was a stand of

sequoia-like trees.

Hill saw no sign of his quarry. Nevertheless, he knew she was

somewhere in the valley. The Hujiri had told him she was childlike in

more ways than one and kept irregular hours. More than likely she was

taking a nap in some secluded bower.

He had begun his survey with the opposite slope, moving his gaze

gradually back to the ridge. The slope immediately before him was so

acute as to be perpendicular, and presently he found himself gazing

straight down to the valley floor, over a thousand feet below. He

also found himself gazing straight down upon the naked body of a

sleeping girl.

In Hill's mind the height of the hogback shrank drastically in order

to accommodate the pattern he had instinctively imposed upon the

object of his gaze. Consequently, it was some time before he realized

that the young and lovely girl sleeping at the foot of the cliff far

exceeded her seeming size.

Other factors delayed his re-acceptance of reality. She was lying

there the way any girl, tired from the day's exertions might lie -

one arm shielding her eyes from the sun; one hand lying on her

stomach; one leg drawn up, half hiding her pubes. Then there was her

wild black  hair, her full rose-nippled breasts, her long, slender

legs - one simply did not associate such qualities with a giantess.

When the realization finally did take root, he was astonished. The

Hujiri, in telling him about Cheida, had failed to mention that she

was beautiful. Perhaps to them - in the light of her cruelties - she

was not. But it did not matter really - what mattered was that he had

found her without having to track her down, had caught her unawares

and in a vulnerable position. It was true he could not get off good

shot at her from where he lay, but it would he a simple matter for

him to descend the hogback and circle out onto the prairie. Once

there, he could bring her to her feet with one blast of the Weslich

and blow her brains out with a second. He grinned. It was going to be

easy - a lead-pipe cinch. And for this one he would receive not only

his usual fee from Galactic Guidance but an additional one from the

Hujiri. They had promised him five hundred head of cattle if he

succeeded in destroying the monster they had unwittingly brought to

life and five hundred head of cattle woul

 d bring him a small fortune on the galactic exchange. The thought of

all the elegant boots he could buy made

his senses swim; anticipation set his hands to trembling. He

experienced only a modicum of self-loathing. The real loathing would

come

afterward.

He moved back from the edge of the cliff and stood up. Some distance

to his left the cliff gave way to more typical terrain. He walked

along the ridge top and began circling down to the valley floor. The

slope was covered with huge berry bushes taller than he was. Some of

them were broken, their berries scattered on the ground. Once, the

hogback seemed to tremble slightly, and he nearly lost his footing.

He did not unsling the Weslich till he was almost to the base of the

ridge; then he brought it round and held it at ready.

A huge rock formation that he had not noted from above rose up a

considerable distance from the cliff. It would provide ideal cover

from which to earn his double fee. He backed toward it, eyes fixed on

the base of the cliff where he had seen Cheida lying. He found it odd

that he could not see her now...Odd? Preposterous! Aware of the

cunning trap into which he had walked as naively as a purblind ant

swept over him, and for a while he could not move. When at last

paralysis left him and he spun around, the "rock formation"

had already come to life and extended a granitelike "ridge'' in

his direction. Slablike fingers closed round him, the Weslich knocked

from his hands, went flying butt over muzzle toward the base of the

cliff. Awesome pressure drove the breath frorn his lungs, and the

sky, so benignly blue a moment ago went black.

Antistrophe

If we are going to sing of the monsters primitive races create and

and if we are going to sing of the professional hunters who hunt them

down and kill them, we must realize front the start that essentially

we are singing the same song.

The Hujiri of the planet Primeval invented Cheida ostensibly to

frighten their children but actually to frighten themselves. They

told ever taller tales of her over their cook fires at night, and as

the legend of her grew, she grew too. For maximum effect they located

her in an uninhabited valley less than two days journey from the one

in which they raised their crops and grazed their sheep and cattle

and made wool. They confined her diet to nuts and berries and wild

apples, disqualifying her from ogrehood; but the games they invented

for her to play were scarcely less horrifying than anthropopagy,

would have been. They pretended the world was her playpen and adopted

the role of toys for her to play with.

Inevitably they came to believe their own lies. Among primitive

people there are no skeptics, when a primitive society believes

something, every single member believes it; and if there are no

outsiders to temper that belief, a paradox is born. On the one hand,

we have a

whole race of people believing en masse that something exists and on

the other hand, we have the bald fact of its nonexistence. Such a

paradox cannot be tolerated. Reality is forced to relent and fiction

becomes fact.

Cheida appeared on the Hujiri horizon one fine day, strode into their

valley and sat down beside one of their villages. She began playing

with the houses and the people hiding in them. She turned the houses

upside down; she picked the people up by their heels and held

them high above the village street and let them drop. She pushed

Hujiri wagons back and forth till their axles broke and their wheels

fell off and the beasts of burden harnessed to them dropped dead. She

pulled up trees by their roots and replanted them in the village

square. She dug a channel down the sacred Avenue of Departed Chiefs

and rerouted the brook that for centuries had purled along the

village outskirts. She knocked down the roundhouse that was the then

chief's pride and joy and squashed the shed where the communal

farming equipment was stored. Growing bored, she yawned, then lay

down full-length and fell asleep, her legs demolishing the few

buildings that still remained standing, her head resting on the

sacred mound where ten generations of village chiefs lay buried. She

slept all afternoon, then got up and found another village and

wrecked it, pouting because there were no people in it for her to

play with. Finally, after kicking-over a silo, she returned to her

own valley.

That was her first visit. Others followed. The Hujiri dismayed,

demoralized, disorganized, no longer dared live in their own houses.

They fled to the woods, to caves in the hills. Cheida tracked them

down, resumed her terrible games.

At length word of the Hujiri's plight and its authoress reached the

local Galactic Guidance center, whence it was relayed to GG

Headquarters. Advanced space exploration had brought to light many

superbeings like Cheida and had resulted not only in the creation of

an authority to cope with them but in an exhaustive inquiry into

Earth's past, that bad revealed that among primitive Terran peoples

fiction had frequently become fact also and that many of the

superhuman figures hitherto relegated to mythology fell into the

superbeing category and had enjoyed actual - if ephemeral -

existence. It was after the slayer of one of them that Galactic

Guidance bad named its hunters.

At the time of Cheida's rampage, GG had at least a dozen such

"Beowulfs" on its payroll. But most of them were in the

field, and of those who weren't only one could be located. Norman

Hill.

Enter Normal Hill. Slayer of Gogmagogs, Grendels and Fafnirs.

Frequenter of stargirl stations, seeker after pain. Hung-up Norman

Hill.

Strophe

There were a number of semilucid intervals during which Hill fancied

himself lying in a warm sling from which his head and feet protruded

and which was attached to the end of a huge pendulum that was

swinging slowly back and forth in an impossibly long arc.

Accompanying the swing and inexplicably connected with it were evenly

spaced rumbles as of thunder.

He did not open his eyes. To have done so would have dispelled the

illusion that was enabling him to retain his sanity.

When complete consciousness finally returned, he became aware first

of all of pain. It enveloped his entire thorax but seemed to he most

acute in the lower left region. Motion had ceased and the

''sling" had been supplanted by a hard surface of some kind. A

wind was blowing at rhythmic intervals, but he could not feel it upon

his body.

He lay without moving, letting the memory of what had happened seep

slowly into his mind. He kept his eyes lightly closed. Gradually it

became clear to him that he had not played his hand quite carefully

enough; that Cheida must have spotted the approaching fly-buggy while

berrying on the hogback and watched it land from the concealment of

the ridge. Then, divining the reason for his presence, she had

pretended to be asleep long enough to lure him into the valley. It

also became clear to him that he had taken the Hujiri too literally

when they had described her as an inarticulate child, that she could

think, and think well. Moreover, her intuition must be highly

developed indeed for her to have perceived that, when he saw her at

close range for the first time, his mind would automatically reject

her and substitute a more believable phenomenon.

Only after he had safely absorbed the memory did Hill open his eyes.

Night had fallen. He was in a large box. A box with vertical bars on

all foursides. Its miasmal stench informed him that he as far from

being its first occupant.

Between the bars he saw starlit foliage. Painfully he got to his feet

The bars were branches broken from trees, spaced three inches apart.

The floor and the upper section consisted of branches lashed together

with vines. The truth struck him - he was in a cage and the cage was

hanging in a tree.

Far below and perhaps a thousand yards distant the waters of a little

lake shone in the starlight. He remembered seeing the take from the

hogback. Cheida, evidently, had carried him all the way across the

valley.

But where was she now? Paying the Hujiri another visit?

Hearing the rhythmic wind, he lowered his gaze. Beneath the cage and

extending partway into the forest, was a smooth granite outcropping.

He traced its contours out onto the prairie, saw that it joined a far

larger outcropping from which two granite tors jutted. From the tors

the outcropping extended northward toward the lake, dividing into two

ridges; to the south it terminated in a great granite boulder,

heavily wooded on its southern side...

He heard the wind again and saw the magnificent tors rise and fall.

No, Cheida wasn't visiting the Hujiri. This was her night to stay

home.

Hill taped his ribs as best he could with adhesive strips from the

first aid compartment of his overnight pack. Cheida had not removed

it, nor had she removed his carryall belt. His two way radio, however

was hopelessly smashed. He broke open a carton of concentrated

rations and ate silently in the darkness, washing the food down with

a few swallows of water from his canteen. Finishing, he put the pack

back on and began a systematic survey of his prison.

It netted him nothing. The vines Cheida had used to bind the branches

together were unbreakable, and he had no knife to cut through them.

The bars were firmly secured to both floor and roof, and try as he

would, he could not bend them. He did discover a door- not that it

did him any good. It consisted of six vertical branches and two

horizontal ones and was held tightly in place by means of more vines,

those on the right functioning as hinges.

He was wasting his time and he knew it. Even if he could break out of

the cage and even if he could make the climb to the branch from which

it was suspended, he still wouldn't be able to climb down the

sequoia-like trunk to the ground.

He forced himself to lie down, to relax. He slept fitfully through

the night, sank into a deep slumber just before dawn. A. series of

tremendous splashings and loud gurglings awakened him, and opening

his eyes and sitting up, he saw that Cheida was in the lake, bathing.

He gasped at the sight of her vast water-rivuleted breasts as she

stood there waist-deep in the water he marveled at the black

abundance of her hair. Her complexion was fair, like the Hujiri's,

the pigmentation of her skin, like theirs, impervious to the sun.

She was combing her hair with a large hayrake taken from one of the

villages. The wrought-iron teeth exceeded a foot in length but were

spaced too far apart for her to do a good job. Presently she finished

and tossed the rake to shore; then she squatted down neck-deep in the

water. Her hair spread out like a black kelp bed, losing the modicum

of order combing had imposed upon it. She must have felt Hill's gaze

upon her, for she looked up at him - and smiled.

She emerged from the lake, drops of water dancing down her arms and

shoulders, tumbling down the escarpments of her thighs. Still

smiling, she approached the cage. He shrank back against the rear

bars. Her face loomed ever larger upon the blue-green-gold canvas of

the morning. Seen from the top of the hogback, it had been the face

of a beautiful girl; seen from the cage when she had been bathing, it

had been the face of a beautiful giantess. But he could no longer see

it in toto. The eyebrows were like cornices upon which dark thickets

grew; the nose appeared as a near-vertical granite ridge. A beauty

mark on her check had degenerated into a black ulcerous mass; her

lips were pink rimrocks beyond which showed the vertical slabs of

slightly yellowed teeth.

He saw her right am rise, the blur of her hand approach. Dumbly he

watched her fingers fumble with the vines that held the door.

Abruptly the door swung open. She reached in and got him and set him

gently on the ground.

He looked up at her, up past the pale precipices of her legs, up past

the dark coppice of her mons veneris; up past the white expanse of

her belly, up between the awesome overhangs of her breasts at her

still-smiling face.

Subtly, the smile became a grin.

Goose flesh erupted over his entire body. A thrill of anticipation

intermingled with his fear.

She nudged him with her big toe. He began to run.

He ran out of the forest and onto the prairie. The grass sang around

his legs. Within him sang the pain of his bruised and broken ribs and

another song. He ran in the direction of the distant hogback - not

because he expected to reach it, but because logically there was no

other direction for him to take. The '02 Weslich lay somewhere in the

grass at the hogback's base (unless Cheida had found it, and he did

not think she had), and the Weslich represented his one and only hope

of living a long life.

The ground jarred beneath his feet, and sudden shade engulfed him. He

began running erratically to avoid being scooped up in her enormous

palm. But such did not prove to be the nature of the game. Instead,

she stepped over him and brought her right foot down squarely in his

path. He collided with her heel and fell back bleeding to the ground.

There was a sound as of a thousand power saws biting into a thousand

bars of high-alloy steel. It was her laughter.

He groveled in abject ecstasy at her feet. She turned him over with

her toes and he got up dutifully and began to run again. He

understood the rules of the game now. It was a variant of the game he

had played many times before in the stargirl stations. The fact that

he had real rather than artificial gravity and real rather than

feigned sadism to contend with only made the game more thrilling.

He wondered why it hadn't occurred to him in the beginning that he

was psychologically unfit for the Primeval assignment.

He wondered why it hadn't occurred to Galactic Guidance.

Antistrophe

It had occurred to Galactic Guidance.

Hill's dossier contained not only the information he had volunteered

but the data GG's investigative division had dug up behind his back.

The latter far outweighed the former, and it said as plain as day

that a mission involving a sadistic giantess would be suicidal for

Norman Hill.

Why, then, had Galactic Guidance dispatched him post-haste to

Primeval?

Did they do so because they abhorred his sexual aberration, or did

they do so because they saw reflected in it latent aberrations of

their own?

Whatever their true motive, their official reason was irreproachable:

the Hujiri had been in desperate need of help, and there had been no

one to send but Hill- Hung-up Norman Hill.

Strophe

Hill lay upon his back on the floor of the cage. His body was bruised

in a hundred places; at least three of his ribs were broken; blood

oozed from his broken nose.

It was midday. He had wanted to keep on playing the game, but Cheida

had grown bored and put him back in the cage. Then she had departed.

Probably she was visiting the Hujiri, shopping for a new toy to

replace him when he wore out.

The thought made him writhe.

Miraculously his pack still clung to his back, his carryall belt

still encircled his waist. When his strength began to return he sat

up, leaned against the treebranch bars and ate and drank. Sparingly.

Why sparingly? After today he would have no further need of food and

water. By tomorrow he would be dead.

Dead.

That was what he wanted, wasn't it? To be dead?

Wasn't that what he had always wanted whenever he visited a stargirl

station? Hadn't he, every time a heavy whore ground a spiked heel

into his naked chest, wanted that heel to pierce his heart? Hadn't

he, every time the stargirls walked on his naked body in the elegant

spiked boots he bought them, wanted death and orgasm to be one?

Yes, that was what he wanted at the time. But not afterward.

Afterward, despite the pain, despite the shame, despite the guilt,

despite the selfloathing, he knew peace.

He knew peace now. And he did not want to die. Not quite.

A warm wind came up and breathed sporadically down the distant

hogback and across the valley floor, and the cage swung gently back

and forth, back and forth. For some time he had been staring absently

at the little lake. Presently he realized that his gaze had shifted

to something lying on the shore. At first he did not consciously

identify it. Only gradually did he become cognizant that it was

Cheida's "comb".

Even then, he did not for a long while realize why he was staring at

it. He kept thinking of the game he and Cheida had played all morning

long, kept remembering her uncanny timing whenever it was her "

move". Part of it was owing to his unvarying rate of speed and

to his adherence, after he'd learned the rules, to straight rather

thin erratic courses. In effect, he had established a pattern, and

she had become conditioned to it.

If he were to re-establish it when they next played the game and then

suddenly vary it, would not the "move" she had already

started to make be completed through sheer momentum?

He knew then why he was staring at the hayrake.

It wasn't much of a card, but it was the only one he had been dealt.

When Cheida returned he would play it. Play it for all it was worth.

But he did not play it that day. Cheida did not return till late, and

either she was too tired for games or did not care to risk losing him

in the gathering darkness. She peered at him through the bars of the

cage, the whites of her eyes like pale moons in the night sky of her

face, He smelled wild berries on her awesome breath ... To his horror

he found himself wishing to be set upon the ground, to be prodded by

her toe to begin the game again not so he could employ his stratagem

and flee, but so he could reexperience the bliss of being utterly

subject to her will.

He sat perspiring in the darkness after she lay down to sleep. His

nose began to bleed again; his broken ribs were jagged peaks in the

ragged graph line of his pain. Around him the leaves rustled in the

wind of her rhythmic exhalations. He fell suddenly, horribly alone.

Alone in the night, alone in eternity; forever, evermore alone -

Antistrophe

He is not alone. In the surreal shadows behind him the pages of

Psychopathia Sexualis flutter in the winds of time, and a

Krafft-Ebing company steps upon the stage. Footlights blaze, a danse

macabre begins. A harlot makes a pirouette, a sadist does a rigadoon,

a masochist a minuet. A fetishist waltzes with a shoe, a sodomist

with a sheep. Queers dance with queers. And from the wings, Rousseau

and Baudelaire look on.

Strophe

Morning found Cheida again bathing in the little lake. From his cage

Hill carefully noted where she tossed the hayrake after she finished

combing her hair.

He had eaten the rest of his rations and drunk the rest of his water

before she arose. While she bathed, he retaped his ribs. He did not

bother to put his pack back on. It was useless to him now. He

detached his empty thermos from his belt. He had already thrown the

useless two-way radio away. It had been useless to begin with. The

Primeval GG Center consisted of one man, one modular hut and one

flybuggy, and Hill had borrowed the flybuggy for his mission.

He expected Cheida to begin where they had left off yesterday. She

did not. Instead. after removing him from his, cage she waded back

into the water and dropped him in the middle of the lake.

He landed on his left side and nearly blacked out from pain. He sank

deep, kicked free from his boots and clawed his way back to the

surface. He began swimming toward the opposite shore. He knew she

would be waiting for him when he got there. She was. Her delighted

cachinnation crashed upon his eardrums as she picked him up and waded

back into the lake and dropped him into the water once again. This

time he surfaced in a dead-man's float, hoping to make her understand

that he was not built for this kind of play and that if it were to

continue she would have an inanimate toy on her hands.

Either she got the message or had already become bored; at any rate,

she picked him up out of the water and deposited him on the grassy

shore. He lay there on his right side, breathing heavily. From where

he lay he could see her "comb". It was partially hidden by

the tall grass. He had seen similar rakes in the ruins of the Hujiri

villages he had visited during his reconnaissance. They had long

wooden tongues with which to attach them to yoked oxen. This one had

no tongue. Probably Cheida had broken it off.

She did not let him rest for long and presently she nudged him with

her big toe. He groveled in the grass at her feet, fighting an

impulse to kiss them. She laughed delightedly and nudged him again.

This time he got up and began to run. He headed toward the trees,

knowing he would never reach them. He did not. Her right foot

descended in his path and he crashed into her heel, toppled backward

to the ground. He fought back an impulse to grovel again, screaming

to himself that he must kill this outsize whore or be killed himself;

then he got up and ran out onto the prairie.

As he ran, he counted his steps. Her right foot descended in his path

again. Again he collided with her heel, but managed to cushion the

shock by turning sideways. He got up and set off again, once more

counting his steps. Her right foot descended on the same count as

before. He was well out on the prairie. Still counting, he began

circling back toward the lake. He was divided Into two parts: one

part wanted to go on playing the game; the other wanted desperately

to reach the hayrake and bring the game to an end.

But merely reaching the rake would not be enough. He must reach it at

exactly the right moment.

Cheida was laughing almost continuously now, and forest birds,

flushed from the trees by the terrifying sound, hung high in the

benign blue sky... He could see them clearly as he lay on his back

for the sixth consecutive time. He had estimated the last three

"moves" carefully, and the next one should bring him to the

rake.

He lay there, breathing heavily. Cheida squatted above him, looking

down into his face. Her knees were a pair of granite knolls, her dugs

wreaths of wild red roses. Her hair hung down around her face like

the black streamers of a summer storm.

He got up again and began running toward the rake, pacing himself

carefully. The soles of his socks had worn through, and his feet were

bleeding. He did not even feel them. When he was halfway to the rake,

the ground trembled from the impact of her first step. He continued

to run at the same even, pace; then, ten feet from his goal, he

doubled his speed. Reaching the rake, he raised it on edge, so that

its teeth pointed toward the sky. Cheida's enormous foot was already

descending, the whole of her massive weight behind it. He held onto

the rake till the last second, then let go and jumped to one side.

THUDDDD!

Her scream sent the forest birds winging far out over the prairie.

The waters of the little lake quivered in the morning sunlight. She

sat down with an earthshaking crash and, crooking her right leg over

her left knee, seized the imbedded rake and pulled it from the sole

of her foot. She screamed again. Hill expected her to throw it at him

and stood where he was, prepared to dodge. But she did not. Instead,

she laid it to one side and looked at him in terrible contemplation.

He waited no longer. He was off over the prairie, running.

Antistrophe

Run, Hill. run.

Run run run,

Run from your twisted yesterdays; run from your tortured tomorrows.

Run from the mother that begot you; run from the mother that forgot

you.

Run, Hill, run.

Run run run!

Strophe

Hill came at length to the anfractuous forest that bordered both

sides of the river, and entered the coolness of the trees. When he

reached the river, he halted on the bank. His legs were a pair of

wooden stilts, his feet two concrete blocks. He sank down on the

grassy bank to get his breath -

Only to leap instantly erect when he felt the bank shudder beneath

him.

He waited for the tremor of her next footstep. Almost a minute passed

before it came, and it was almost imperceptible. Good. She was

limping badly. There was an excellent chance he could reach the

hogback before she overtook him, a fair chance he could find the

Weslich in time to save his life.

He waded into the river, began swimming when the water reached his

waist. The pain of his damaged rib was so acute that he could barely

move his arms, but at last he crawled up onto the opposite bank. He

lay face downward, taking in great lungfuls of the morning air

expelling them in huge sobs. A tremor brought him to his bleeding

feet, and he reentered the forest at a stumbling trot.

Through the forest and out onto the prairie again. He could see the

hogback distinctly now. The cliff he had so confidently looked down

from less than two days ago stood out starkly from the greenness of

the rest of the ridge. He pointed himself toward it, ran on. From

behind him came the crash of failing trees. Cheida had reached the

forest.

She screamed at him, but he did not look back. Little animals erupted

from the ground and ran with him toward the hogback. He was so weak

that he nearly fell when the next major tremor came. The minor

followed a long time afterward

Suddenly the sunlight gave way to shadow, and before him he made out

the ragged outline of her head; on either side, the shape of her huge

shoulders. However, the sun was still low in the sky, and her shadow

was long; she was still 2 considerable distance behind him. The cliff

loomed tantalizingly close; he pushed himself toward it. Behind him,

Cheida screamed again. Her shadow had not yet reached the hogback,

and the grass along the base was still bathed in morning sunshine. He

scanned the grass as he ran, and presently his eyes caught a faint

gleam of metal near the foot of the cliff. It had to be the Weslich.

He came upon it still running, did not pause but snatched it up and

veered sharply to the right and started up the slope where the berry

bushes grew. To bag her at such close range, he needed all the height

he could get.

He had not climbed far before he felt the warm wind of her breath

upon his back. He turned, then, and fitted the butt of the Weslich to

his shoulder and braced his feet against a shale ledge. She loomed

awesomely above him, obscuring the morning sky. Her hair was like a

black thundercloud, her arms were raised, her fingers curved into

massive claws. Her face was in shadow, but he could see her cold

pitiless eyes. Suddenly he remembered how a long time ago he had

watched a little girl vent her rage upon a doll she had taken a

dislike to. First she had pulled out its hair; then she had torn off

its arms; then she had gripped it by its feet and slammed it

repeatedly on the floor till finally the head had fallen off and

rolled into a corner.

He had already pointed the muzzle of the Weslich at Cheida's

forehead. He had merely to squeeze the trigger. To his horror, he

found that he could not. He gazed helplessly up at the vast

magnificence of her body; he remembered the thrilling game they had

played. What stargirl in what orbital brothel could ever match her

terrible tyranny? What boots could ever symbolize the primitive

imperiousness of her naked feet?

Screaming with rage, she reached down to pluck him from the bank. He

lowered the muzzle of the Weslich till it pointed at her neck. closed

his eyes and squeezed the trigger. She fell forward onto the slope of

the hogback. Slowly; there was plenty of time for him to get out of

the way. Her hair spread out around her head and shoulders, covering

bushes and little trees. He found wild flowers growing farther up the

bank and picked them, blue ones, yellow ones, orange, and placed them

in her hair. The ground was turning red from the blood pouring from

the huge hole the Weslich had blown in her throat. His feet were red

as he climbed the slope a second time and picked more wild flowers

for her hair, red with her blood and his own. He sat beside her all

afternoon. Toward nightfall he climbed the hogback for the last time

and descended the opposite slope. The fly-buggy was unharmed; either

Cheida had forgotten it or had disdained to play with it. He got

behind the controls and lifte

 d it into the night sky. The stars came out; peace lay upon the

land.

I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of

frankincense...

The starlit land drifted by beneath him, the fields and the streams,

the bills and the little outlying places pale with flowers..  After

selling his five hundred head of Hujiri cattle he would return to

Earth and collect his fee from Galactic Guidance. He knew how he

would spend the money. He knew how be would spend the rest of his

life. He would frequent the stargirl stations as he had never

frequented them before; like a man condemned, he would search forever

for her ghost among the whores.

Antistrophe

Her ghost among the whores.

 

Giantess Stories: The Giantess  by Robert F

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