- Jordan Lyga

Jack And The Beanstalk Revisited

The tale I am about to tell is one you've undoubtedly heard but never from my point of view. My name is Bob and I'm a giant. But I am not just any old giant. The BFG is my cousin, but you know me from the child's fairy tale called "Jack and The Beanstalk."

Now I know what you're thinking. "Isn't he the guy that tried to kill Jack?" But hold on a second, and let me tell you my side of the story.

I was born a long time ago to a prosperous family named the Ostragnes. My parents, Philepene and Ostous, were the leaders of our small community in Heaven's Gateway. Heaven's Gateway was a land made in the clouds to avoid humans prying eyes. Because anything that is different from them they have a tendency to destroy. A few of us we refer to as "fallen giants" have been destroyed by your species for just that reason.

They are called "fallen giants" because they have actually fallen through sinkholes in the clouds and landed on earth. You're probably saying now, "How could they survive such a fall?" Well, us giants use larger cows than the ones you see on earth. Therefore they have more calcium, and we know how important that is. I often drink ten cups of milk a day.

Anyhow, back to my parents. Well one day we got news of an army of giants under the control of Harpo, a leader of a nearby village, only hours away. My parents got the word out throughout the town and assembled the best army they could muster in what little time they had. I was just six at the time and didn't find out about all this until much later on in life.

That day, my parents came to me, tears running down what used to be happy faces, washing away the beauty they had once held. They told me that I had to go away for a while and they would come and get me when the time was right. They packed me a sack full of food that I could live off of for a while and sent me to find the Royal Palace a few miles south of here and stay there until they came for me.

So off I went not being able to comprehend why my parents were sending me away. I thought it was me for a while, so I became depressed and sought shelter from the storm of emotions raging inside of me as well as outside. So I found a sheltered cave on the outcropping of a hill, lay down my luggage, and fell immediately to sleep.

I don't know how long I was asleep but when I awoke, I felt a sense of renewed hope, and gathered up my belongings quickly and set off for the palace. I reached the hill overlooking the palace and looked down upon the pride of Heaven's Gate. What I saw made my heart skip a beat.

I saw thousands of dead giants, surrounding the castle as well as in the magnificent building. The grass was stained a musty red color, from the blood it bathed in. I wanted to scream out loud but my voice was caught in my lungs. Only a harsh whisper escaped.

The horror I experienced there would stay with me for the rest of my life. Those horrible moments I stood overlooking what had become of a once proud and valiant race. I walked down through the carnage and up to the slashed and torn golden gates, which symbolized the freedom of our people.

I walked through them in total shock, when I noticed a man limping over to me. He stumbled and fell a few feet from where I was standing. I rushed over to him, eager to learn what had caused this devastation. I turned him so his face pointed at the sky. He had a battle-hardened face, with cold blue eyes, searching for acceptance, and matted down brown hair. Upon looking at him I realized these were his last moments. He had lost too much blood to do otherwise. I propped him up in my arms and mumbled false assurances to him that everything would be all right. He was mad and kept mumbling random things, so I didn't learn what I sought from him. He died minutes later in my arms.

Seeing a man die like that, so early in my youth, scarred me for life. It changed me in ways unnoticeable at first but that would make the biggest difference later on. Those next few days were a blur. All I remember was wandering the halls of the once great castle, memorizing each detail down to the last secret passageway. I needed something to take my mind off the horrors I had seen, and even more of my inner demons.

In the following years I kept busy fixing up the castle. I disposed of the corpses of the dead and went to work on the inside. My only goal was to return it to the state of beauty it once held. Occasionally a straggler from somewhere would come seeking the safety the great building instilled in your soul, and I gave them all jobs after I had learned their story. Piece by piece I worked on the mystery of my past, and the past of the world like a great jigsaw puzzle, until all the pieces fit. I was saddened to find out that I was the last of my kind. The sole survivor of a war that took so many lives.

When I was sixteen the castle was entirely finished and I had a multitude of servants. Some human and others enchanted. There was a great deal of magic in that old castle that needed wielding and I spent most of my free time learning it. Some of my greatest creations included, a harp that played itself, and a hen that laid golden eggs. The eggs just added to the fortune stashed in the vaults. But along with a great fortune there comes thieves. That's when I met Jack.

Now giants weren't the only ones in Heaven's Gate. There was also a minority of humans. Now every so often one of them would go AWOL, and someone would have to be sent for them before our secrets were leaked and our domain violated. Few got away, but an old man named Jades did, with some Melchants seeds.

Melchants were a plant that supplied most of Heaven's Gate's food. It was what kept us from starving sometimes. They could grow to be hundreds of feet tall and produce enough food to feed thousands. They were considered extremely valuable and if they got into the hands of the wrong people on earth, could be used against us.

That's exactly what happened. Our agent had lost track of Jades so we were at a loss. Somehow he got into the English countryside and saw a man leading a cow to town. Jades thought he had better look the part, if he was to stay in this country so he approached the young man and asked if he could trade for the cow. He offered the boy what he called "magical seeds" and reluctantly the boy took the deal.

The boy we know as Jack went home to show his mother the seeds. They were a poor family so she got into a horrible mood that caused Jack to leave abruptly. After retreating to the safety outside, he cursed the retched old man and threw the seeds to the ground about ten feet from the house, stomped on them as if they were the cause of all his displeasure and left them for the worthless seeds they were. Or so he thought.

The next morning, he had awoken to find the Melchants growing tall and proud in his backyard. It was all he could do to keep from shouting out in joy. He woke his disgruntled mother and showed her what he perceived to be a beanstalk. She hugged him and they danced around it in happiness for a few minutes more before Jack decided he was going to climb it. So he kissed his mother goodbye and started on his adventure.

It was later that week when he finally reached Heavens Gate and the castle. He stepped back at the site of it; almost falling through the breach he came in through. It took him just a moment's thought and he was inside the golden gates and wandering through its great halls.

I was in my sleeping chamber at the time so he came unnoticed. He had made his way into the diner mouth still gaping at how huge everything was. He jogged over to the table, and scurried up a leg for a better view. That's when I entered the room, hungry as a hippopotamus. I sat down in my great chair with a thud that knocked Jack over as he hid behind the fruit bowl. The harp I had created started playing and he immediately took an interest in it. He gazed at its golden frame and its unicorn hair strings, with longing. He had to have that harp. But right next to the harp was my beautiful hen, and at that very moment it laid one of its astonishing golden eggs.

The plan had formed in Jack's mind so quickly that he didn't even stop to think of what might happen. He snuck over to the objects seizing a bag of money on his way and waited for me to start eating. After the meal, my head started to wobble and he took notice of it. The harp's music was putting me to sleep. He waited until my head drooped into my turkey and then made his break, seizing the hen and the harp and running for his life.

The harp's magic called out to me just as he flew out of the golden gates and I was up at a minutes notice. There was no Fee Fi Fo Fum as all the stories say. Honestly, what kind of idiot would say something like that? I saw him crossing the terrain towards the breach the Melchant had caused and put on an extra burst of speed. He was halfway down its length when I had reached it and would gain the safety of the ground long before I could, but I had to chance it. Down I went branch over branch slowly gaining, not knowing how close I was or able to see beyond the Melchant. Then the plant started to sway, just when I had come within eye range of him. He was cutting it down. He was going to add murder atop of robbery. So I quickened my pace. Our eyes met for just a second, fear reflected in his as he hacked away at the wondrous plant. Then without warning it gave way, sending me tumbling downward into a tree, rendering me unconscious instantly.

As the stories say I was presumed dead by Jack and his mother who lived a rich and happy life. But I escaped, to the African rain forests, where no one could find me. That's where I am writing this tale from, still trying to get back to Heaven's Gate but knowing no such way. Jack might have won, but he wasn't the hero he was made out to be.