Sunday January 14th, 2018

The exercise:

Write about: giants.


Greg said...

Giants? What inspired that then? :)

"Surface area to volume ratio," said Vivian quietly. The class, neatly arrayed in rows along long benches in a room like a Victorian laboratory, leaned unconsciously forward, listening carefully. The scratch of pens across paper was even muted as they wrote more lightly, more delicately, to avoid missing any details. "This is the characteristic problem for gigantism in mammals. Taking a mineral, or a refined element, or a quantity of unliving matter and making it gigantic is easy." She placed emphasis on the last word, but the class, to a student, disagreed. Making things bigger involved turning raw energy into matter and was hard work that left them feeling drained, as though they'd spent all day and all night harvesting grain.
"Mr. Suture," she said, gesturing to a slight young man in the second row. "Please, you are aware of Plennistock's Feather Bed?"
David Suture stood and took a moment to adjust the hang of his suit jacket. "Yes," he said. "I can cast the spell."
Vivian nodded, her bald head shining slightly in the spotlights in the rooms ceiling. "And Lady Fermet -- I believe she was your examiner -- affirmed to me that you would have no trouble making adjustments to it as requested."
David swallowed. Casting learned spells was straight-forward, though sometimes tricky. Casting a prepared variant of a spell was trickier, but still simple. What Vivian was proposing would be a test of how well he really knew the spell. "I believe I am capable, Madame," he said. To his own ears he sounded diplomatic, especially with the French title Madame thrown in. To the rest of the class he sounded pompous.
"Then let us start with Plennistock's Flesh bed," said Vivian. "Beef, for preference."
Light laughter rippled around the classroom, and even David forced a smile. He stopped planning how to cast the bed with giant feathers and started rethinking for a change of material.
"OK," he said after nearly ten seconds of furious thought. He picked his wand up from his desk, uncertain that he could manage the changes without its help, and bent the flow of magic through the world to his will.
There was a scintillation in the air like a fall of fine frost and the laughter stilled. As the wand moved, its tip describing a complex mathematical curve there was a thickening of the air, and then, with a pop, a large four poster bed appeared with a mattress and canopy made of red, raw beef.
There was a moment of silence and then a smattering of applause. David wiped sweat from his forehead.
"Well done," said Vivian. "Now let's try for Plennistock's gigantic flesh bed. Still beef, please, but I think we should be able to fit the whole class on the bed this time."
David swallowed again and lifted his wand once more, wondering if all the higher level classes were going to be like this.

morganna said...

They say there were giants once
I don't believe them
They say I shouldn't yell about that
Out in the hills after school
I don't believe that either
"Giants never existed!"
I scream into the wind.

Then I scream for real
As the hill curves under me,
Lifts me high into the sky
Looking into a giant eye
Set into the top of the next hill.

Oops. I guess the giants were just sleeping.

Marc said...

Greg -

Ah, terribly pleased to see Mr. Suture make a return! And a little back story as well, how awesome is that?

(the answer, to be clear, is *very*)

Morganna - this is fantastic. Almost feels like the start of a much longer tale, but I also really like it as is. Either way, if you have anything more to write of this setting I would be happy to read it :)