Writing June 2019

by 12publishers

Across the hill; Giants

The sound of the hard ball leaving the bat echoed along the front street.  Screams pulled the boy from tree to tree.  Above them chestnut leaves spread out filtering sunlight.  In the grove at the intersection of the back street and great hill gathered the children of summer.  They came from the nearby cottages to meet their cousins from town.  Under this canopy they held council on the world in between games of tag and hide and seek but none would venture towards the hill.  Until the sun left the sky they occupied the outside realm while adults held their council indoors.  Sometimes, to pass the time, they would throw sticks at young chestnuts, only to be disappointed, secretly wishing for autumn but loving the summer.  As the shadows grew long so did their stories.  With backs against the heavy trunks they wove a fabric to resist the creeping cold.  One story concerned a race of giants that lived across the hill.  John was nine when he first heard the story.  It was late and shadows had given way to thick shade and though the sky remained azure with orange clouds, the valley grew dark.   The laneway that led up the hill between a hedge and row of beech trees was darker still.  He stared at this emptiness as the story unfolded of how they had withdrawn to the nearby forest secreted away from others.  “Sometimes you can hear them play rounders”, the eldest boy explained, “ever see lightning, the crack is the ball flying from the bat and thunder, that’s the sound of the giants running the bases”.  When the call home came, John welcomed it.  Stars had begun to appear and as he sauntered home he heard the faint rumble of thunder.  Nervously he looked back into the darkness.  Sleep eventually enveloped him.  The following morning John took himself outside.  The air was sharp and the filled with fresh rain.  In the Chestnut grove he looked up through the thicket of branch and leaf to the sky.  Leaning on the trunk he watched the tree top twist in the wind.  As his arms stretched out and embraced the tree he felt the pull of the wind on its knotted bark.  A sudden crack turned his head towards the hill.  Across the back street, a small stream and through the gate to the lane he started.  As he climbed the beech row to his side opened out onto the plateau of the hill.  At the top he saw the valley fall beneath him the rivers and lakes joined together bathed in morning light.  He wondered if this is how giants saw the world.


Number of words = 444

© Jon Gregory 07 April 2012