Here Be Giants (short fiction)
“What if there really are giants?” she asked from the backseat.
“Giants?” he repeated from the driver’s seat. “Sure there are. Remember when we looked up that stuff? The most poisonous snake in the world, all that stuff? Remember the world’s tallest person? That guy was way up there. Forget how tall, though.”
“No, no, I don’t mean tall people. I mean giants. The ones that’re taller than houses.”
“Like in Gulliver’s Travels?”
“That wasn’t a giant,” she said from the passenger seat. “He was regular size. The people were really small. The Lilliputians.”
“I always thought he was a giant,” he said.
“Nope. But there was a giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.”
“Right. That was a giant. A giant with a castle in the clouds.”
“What if they’re real?” she asked from the backseat. “What if they’re not in the clouds, but they’re hiding down here? Like behind those mountains over there?”
“Could be,” he said. “I can’t see over those mountains, so they could be there.”
“Would they be mean giants?” she asked from the passenger seat.
A pause, then from the backseat: “Maybe some of them. But not all. Like people. Some are mean, but most are nice.”
“Do the nice ones keep the mean ones in line?” he asked from the driver’s seat.
“Yeah. Yeah, they do.”
“Good. ‘Cause if the mean ones got loose, wouldn’t they smash things? Being giants and all, couldn’t they smash buildings to bits?”
In the rearview mirror, he could see her roll her eyes.
“Why do you go right to the violence?” she asked from the passenger seat.
“Dunno. Just figured if giants are real, then people should be worried. Those giants could snap skyscrapers like they’re made of twigs.”
“What if they’re just shy?” she asked from the backseat. “They don’t destroy things, and they don’t walk around because they’re really, really shy.”
“Could be,” he said. “So… what do they do all day?”
“Hide. Maybe they don’t want people to steal their stuff, like Jack did.”
“Like when he stole the giant’s gold?” he asked.
“Exactly,” she said from the backseat.
“But what if they built castles in the clouds to get away from us?”
“Even that’s not safe. As proven by the story.”
“True, true. I suppose they’re smart to hide then.”
“Yep. ‘Cause they’re really good at it.”
The three of them looked far into the distance, at the clouds and mountains, and tried to see if they could spot any evidence of giants.