Hello All! Here is a wonderful story by Jivalax! Sorry it took me so long to get this one out…There are 12 music tracks on this one which will be noted near where they appear in the story.
Gene the Giant Killer by Jivalax
The Real Story
“Cool Beats 1.0 by Syncopika” I’m sure y’all know the stories of Gene the Giant Killer, I wrote enough of them after all, and they did play on the Tesla radio for years. “A hero for whom larger than life is just the right size!” I wrote. Course it all started with ‘Gene the Giant Killer’, which won me a ton of awards and made him the most famous slayer of ogres, ettins and trolls of all time. Then there was ‘Gene the Giant Killer Revealed’, which was more popular than the first book. Oh, and the critically acclaimed – though somewhat less popular – ‘Gene and the Giant’. But, the thing is, the lot of it was hogwash. That’s right, I said it. Oh, sure we was best mates and all. I loved the man like a brother. But the things I wrote weren’t all that there was to say. Fact is, I took a lot of liberties in the telling of those stories. He didn’t want me writing the truth. And, looking back, I admit he was right. But, after a time, it got to itching me. The truth that is. Funny thing the truth. It seems easy to stuff away or bury in some shallow hole, forgotten. Then one day it starts wriggling away, working its way to the surface. I went to him and told him I wanted to write the real story. He swore. Well, he swore all the time – didn’t read that in the other books did ya? Oh we went round and round about it. Hours of arguing, a broken nose (mine, not his) and a few pints later we reached an agreement. I would pen the truth, but not publish it until we were both dead. I was at his funeral a few years back so I know he’s gone and since you’re reading this … Hey now, don’t fret about us none. I’m probably up at the Bear Tavern in the sky sharing a pint with the Giant Killer himself. Or, if me mother-in-law was right, down at the fiery Bear Tavern below sharing a pint. Either way, neither of us’ll benefit from a spilled tear now. Course, I’d still be obliged if you’d read on and say something nice in review of this, me last piece of work. It may be the only piece of non-fiction I ever wrote.
“Chill BGM by syncopika”
“Oi mate, I’m Gene the Giant killer. What can I do for ya?” I turned to look at the man who had uttered these now famous words. He was the smallest man I’ve ever seen. A dwarf really. I don’t mean the mythical kind with a long beard and a penchant for gold and smithing, no, I mean a little person. He was standing on a table and still had to look up at me. I began to wonder, not for the first time, why I wanted to be a writer at all. The local Tesla radio had offered me a pittance if I could find and interview a guy in a nearby town who had gained some local fame for killing a few giants. Simple cash I thought. It was turning into a total snipe hunt. I’d already been to three taverns, each with some brawny ox who claimed to be the fabled Gene. Now here I was in some rat hole bar looking down at a little man with a big grin, rough cut brown hair and sparkling blue eyes – claiming to be a killer. “Sorry. I’m looking for the man who has killed giants, named Gene. Who are you?” I was fresh out of scribe school, all six foot seven inches of me, and wasn’t about to let some dirt dumpling go jerking my chain. “I said I was Gene, you farking string bean! Are ya bloody deaf? Demning pencil pushing gobshites!” He spat on the floor. It might have been tobacco. Might not. “You? You’re the killer of giants?” I asked, incredulous. “Aye! What of it? Ya got a giant that needs killing?” His eyes shown bright as the possibility of income crossed his mind. “I’m writing a story about …” I began. “Piss off!” he waved, dismissively.
“melancholicbeats-prototype by syncopika” “Excuse me?” “Did I stutter? Or do you not know what ‘Piss Off’ means?” “Now see here, I’m looking for the man who kills giants, so I can write about him. I’ve already interviewed three men in this town alone who have claimed to be him. And let me tell you, sir, every one of them was a big man. You, well …” I arched my eyebrow and looked down at the little man. It made my point. “Well then, if ya already got three big killers, what do ya need me for? Go get one of those fools to tell you lies. I’ve got giants to cut down and precious little time for radios or writers.” Gene took a swig from his mug and shot me that cockeyed smile that made him look so smug. I wanted to punch him right then and there. “Their stories, they didn’t, well, they didn’t make sense.” “Uh huh.” Gene oozed condescension. “But yours do, I suppose? You’ll tell me how you broke a trolls nose, even though you barely reach his kneecaps? Or maybe how you knocked an ettin out with one punch, while everyone knows they have two heads. Or maybe you’ll tell me that you’re the mightiest man alive, tougher than any giant. I’ve heard it all so far. So, how are you stronger than a giant?” Gene guffawed. “Don’t be right daft, Cupcake. There’s no way I’m stronger than even an ogre. Then again, neither are you. Nor any of that lot you been wasting your time with. Stronger than a giant? Pfft! Idiots!” “So, how do you kill them then?”
“The Path Revealed by Eliot Corley from ChaosIsHarmony” “I cut off their heads with my magic war axe of giant killing.” He pursed his lips and took another sip from his cup. “Really? You have a magic axe?” I was intrigued, as at least a magic axe was believable. Well, more believable than what I’d heard so far. Gene looked at me with mock kindness. “You really are pure gobshite aren’t you? Do I look big enough to wield a war axe? It’s a wonder you haven’t traded your family’s savings for magic beans.” “The family savings was spent going to the finest scribe school in all of New Britania! I’m going to be a famous writer.” In retrospect, that might not have been the best comeback. Gene gave me a puzzled frown and shook his head. “I kill giants. Not much more to know.” “But how? How do you do it?” The little man looked up from his mug as if seeing me for the first time, studying me. “Why do you want to know?” “I want to write about it! I want to tell the world how you do it,” I beamed. “You do realize I make money from this right?” I nodded. Gene spoke clearly, as if I was a slow child. “I make money from it because most people can’t do it. When a giant starts bothering a town they call me and pay me to solve the problem. If some wank of a writer goes and tells them how I do it, then anyone can do it and I’m out of a job. That’s not much incentive for me to tell you how I do it, is it?” I could see what Gene meant about a steady job and since I myself was currently in a cash flow deficit, I took a different approach. “I could just tell them about the adventure, and not actually how you do it. You know, make it a big story.” “Now who would care about that?” “Are you serious? Look at how popular such things are in books. There is the ‘Lord of the Bracelets’ trilogy, the ‘Dragons of Parn’ and my favorite the ‘Game of Iron Chairs’. Surely you’ve read them?” “I don’t have much use for satire. And I don’t like fiction.” I was stunned. “Those are all true! I’m sure of it. Maybe. But, look, my point is, people will want to hear your stories.” “I don’t know …” “When everyone hears that you are the one to get the job done, you’ll have more business than you can handle. More money!” Gene’s hand flashed out to grab my shirt and pull me closer. “Beanpole, my friend, why didn’t you say so before? Have a seat and let me tell you a story.”
“Fairy Tail by Alexandr Zhelanov https://soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov” “There was this one time a troll was terrorizing some little thorp. Big feller too. He’d come in and eat their sheep about once a week. Yup. Well, to make a long story short, I killed him.” Gene smiled as if that explained everything. “Are you serious?” My jaw dropped. “Oh yeah, I killed him good,” Gene’s toothy grin split his face. “That the kind of story you’re looking for?” I shut my gaping mouth. After a moment I said, “That’s a little shy on the details.” Ok, ok, if I am telling the truth what I actually said was, “That is the single most idiotic story I’ve ever heard.” Gene said, “I’ll try to elaborate a bit.”
“Winter Waltz by Alexandr Zhelanov https://soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov” Ha, yeah right! He dashed his mug to the floor and wove a tapestry of profanity like none I’d heard before. I don’t think he repeated a single word during the entire tirade. I was lost in thought about possibly writing a book on swearing, when I realized he was staring at me. “Sorry, what?” “I said, ‘If you don’t like my story, you underfed priss, come with me on a giant hunt and tell it any way you want!’ So, what do ya say?” My skills as a writer were very good, I know, I’d told myself many times. But, I made no illusion that I was any kind of warrior. Me, on a giant hunt, the idea alone was ridiculous. Impossible actually. “I’d love to.” My stupid mouth has betrayed me more than once. “Great, I know of this ogre near here. The pay isn’t what I like to earn, but with your story making money, I figure it’ll compensate. We can leave in the morning.”
“Brave Infantry by Alexandr Zhelanov https://soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov”
In the original story I wrote, “Gene was knocking at my door before the sun kissed the sky.” Writer fluff. In reality it was too bloody early. But, he was insistent and so, off we trudged. Off to kill a giant. It took until mid-morning to get to the edge of a cliff. Looking down the hundred plus feet to the rocks gave me a queasy feeling and made my head spin. “Why are we here exactly? This doesn’t seem like a good place to kill a giant.” Gene glared up at me and then began to unpack the gear we had brought. “Look here, one of us is an expert in killing giants and the other is a sissy pencil scratching wuss. I’m the former, you’re the latter. So we hunt where I say we hunt. That simple enough for you?” I watched the little man pace off back and forth, check the dirt for who knows what, sniff the air, taste a blade of grass and finally draw a tiny circle in the dirt with his foot. “What exactly are you doing?” Gene got very serious. “There’s an ogre around here. He hunts in this area. He’ll come over that little rise sometime today. When he does, I’ll spring this magic trap and dispatch him.” I looked at the rock Gene held in his hand. It looked like any other rock in the area. “That’s a rock.” “Well, it has to look like a rock so the big lug doesn’t know it’s a trap. If he senses it’s a trap, he’ll avoid it and then we’ll have trouble,” Gene explained. It still looked like a rock to me. “You sure it will work?” “Absolutely! Mostly. Probably. It should. But sometimes …,” the dwarf shrugged. “Sometimes what?” I demanded. “Well, sometimes it doesn’t work, so I use my magic ring and turn invisible. The giant will stomp around for a bit killing anything it can see, but then it will eventually wander off and I’ll try again later.” “Turn invisible!” “Well, yeah. You don’t want to be around when an angry giant is trying to kill you. They’re big. And mean. And hungry.” “So you turn invisible!” “Yup.” “What am I supposed to do?” I asked. “Well, you just wave your arms and seem vulnerable and when he comes over the rise he’ll walk past the trap and I’ll spring it and we’re done.” Gene seemed very confident. “What happens if it doesn’t work?” “Told ya, I turn invisible.” “What happens to me?” I screamed. “Well you’d better … oh I see what you mean. Hmm.” “That’s your solution? Hmm! I can’t turn invisible you know!” “Ok, ok, there is another option, but you won’t like it.” “Will I like it less than being stomped to death and eaten by an ogre?” Gene smiled. “Oh no, it’s not nearly that bad. Here’s what we’re gonna do.”
“Escadre by Alexandr Zhelanov https://soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov”
“There ya go, snug as a bug,” Gene purred as he checked to make sure every adjustment on the climbing harness was tight. “I don’t know about this,” I started. “Now Beanpole, you wanted to come on a giant hunt. This is a giant hunt. You can’t turn invisible, and so this is the only other way. Trust me.” “I sure hope your trap works,” I mumbled. “Me too,” Gene admitted. “Gene, what happens if he doesn’t fall for it?” “Oh he’ll fall for it, you just be sure not to catch the trip line with your foot. You run for all you got and leap over the edge. Leap, not crawl. Not slide. Leap.” “But only if the trap fails. Right?” “Right. Right. Of course,” the little man smiled soothingly. So I sat down where I was instructed to sit. My safety rope was hidden, buried in the dust. All I had to do was be bait for a man eating giant. Simple. You know, as I write it here and now, it seems rather silly. But when I was a young man, this is what passed for excitement. We were a brave breed back then. Ok, foolish probably. Me, I was desperate, I’d do anything to be a famous writer. And, in the end, you don’t really care. You just want to know what happened. Well, I’ll tell ya, I sat there for nigh onto an hour when I heard a chuffing sound. I looked up just in time to see an ogre step over the rise. That’s when it all started to go sideways.
“Takeover 5 by Horrorpen”
Now, I know in the books you read, the story goes that three ogres came over the rise. I dropped one with a magic crossbow bolt between the eyes, Gene stuck one with his magic trap and we struggled bravely and finally cut the third one down. Well that was just a story. It didn’t happen. There was only one ogre. The brute seemed to smell something, likely me, but hadn’t yet spotted me. His eyes were all squinty, like he needed ogre glasses or something. I thought, ‘how can he not see me? I’m right here.’ So, I stood up and waved my arms, just like Gene had told me to do. That did the trick. He let out a bellow. A snot flying, spittle spraying kind of bellow. No, I don’t mean a scream, like your sister might do. Not a yell like your mother when she’s mad. Not even the sound like your wife might make if she found you in bed with … well actually, it was a little like that. But, mostly it sounded like a rampaging bull. I mean the kind of volume you can feel in your chest. At that moment I became so paralyzed with fear the only thing that moved was my bladder and my mouth, and mouth only got out, “Gngk!” I need to take a moment at this point for those of you who may not be familiar with ogre speak. I wasn’t at the time. You see, their language is relatively foul and crude. Pretty much the only thing it consists of is references to food, fighting and a few select insults. Completely unbeknownst to me, what I had uttered was a close approximation to one of the worst ogre insults. It insinuated some rather lurid acts with a member of the family. “Invasion by Eliot Corley from ChaosIsHarmony”
The giant in front of me responded to my “Gngk!” with eyes widening to saucers and standing to his full height. It was nine-foot-something huge. He then let out a war cry that made it obvious his first bellow had simply been a kindly, “Hello, I’ll be your ogre today, and I’m going to eat you.” Now this noise was more of a, “You have offended me, my family, and my honor. I’m going to stomp you into a puddle of red goo, pick out any bone shards and smash them with a rock!” Yes, as a matter of a fact, I did get all of that in his single cry. I assure you my mind was working rather quickly at that moment. My entire life flashed before my eyes, and after replaying the good parts a time or two (and three for that night with the miller’s daughter) I decided I had not had nearly enough of it. Life that is. And since I had a huge, raging, killing machine thundering in my direction I thought it would be best to be somewhere else. I completely forgot that I was tied into a harness, connected to a rope and all that. I simply knew I needed to be away from the landslide of death that was heading in my direction. I ran for all I was worth, straight away from oncoming death, directly toward the cliff. At some point I recall thinking how it was strange that the beast was still coming, getting ever closer to me. I thought Gene would surely spring the trap and I would be saved from diving headlong over a cliff. Yet, I could feel ogre spittle hitting the back of my neck as I careened for the edge, running out into the air, legs still pumping as fast as they could. I actually felt the ogre’s hand brush me as he snarled past on the way to the rocks below. Then I hit the wall and blacked out.
“elpin by Jan123”
“Hey, there you are. You were perfect!” Gene smiled at me. He must have pulled me back up the cliff with the tiny block and tackle setup he had attached to the rope. “Wha?” I am so elegant when I am just coming back to consciousness. “You were perfect bait. We killed the man-eating ogre! You got your story and I get another kill to build up my reputation. That’s money, Beanpole.” “Your trap. It didn’t work?” “Sure it did. We killed the ogre.” “No, your magic trap. It didn’t stop him.” “Huh? Oh, right. The magic trap. Yeah. Tough break there. Can’t trust those magic traps.” Gene went to packing up our gear. “Gene?” “Ya, mate?” “There wasn’t a magic trap was there? Your plan was always to have me be the bait and run over the cliff.” “Well …” “I could have died!” “Aye, but ya didn’t. That old ogre was nearly blind, I knew he wouldn’t see the trip line or the cliff edge. I needed a runner and in case you haven’t noticed, your legs are a tad longer than mine.” “You used me!” “Oh don’t go getting all high and mighty. You were going to write all about my giant killing to get rich and famous. I’m out here risking my butt at every turn while you wanted to make money by talking about my deeds? Is that what passes for fair where you come from?” Gene crossed his arms and looked a bit offended. “Well …” “I’ll tell ya what, gobshite, I’ll split the reward money with ya, IF you split the story money with me.” “Hmm, how big is the reward?” I asked. “A hundred gold coins.” Gene raised an eyebrow as if to inquire if that was enough to buy me.
“mythica by congusbongus” I hesitated. Not because there was any doubt, but because I thought blurting out “Abso-farking-lutely!” would lack grace. After all, the paper had offered to pay me only one, that’s right, one gold coin. (I was not as well-known back then as I became later, when people would give me a coin just to autograph their copy of my book.) “Oh come on, Beanpole. You gotta admit, it was exciting.” “Maybe, on one condition: we go on another giant hunt – and I am not bait this time – and we split the reward money and the story money, even. “Done! I been thinking you could write a whole book about me killing giants. We can fill it with stories like this.” “Yeah, a book is a good idea. But I think I’ll take a little creative license in telling the stories. So you got any other jobs lined up?” Gene smiled at me. “As a matter of fact, I recently heard there’s an ettin a days ride north of here.” Then he looked directly at me with his sparkling blue eyes. “So, what are you gonna call this book? ‘How to Beat Giants’? Maybe ‘Encyclopedia Gigantica’?” I did my best to mimic his smile and his accent. “No mate, I think I’ll call it ‘Gene the Giant Killer’.”