Story for the Day: The Interview: Part 5
The last part of the Reporter from Marridon story. Enjoy!
The reporter groveled in terror when the giant was standing before him: arms built, features austere, a sword so gargantuan, a trove of trappings so varied and astounding as he had never before seen. The giant’s black and violet eyes and intimidating glare were enough to silence him, and though he wished to abscond and hide behind a nearby tree, his notions could not govern his frozen legs.
The commander held out her hand and the giant made a curt bow without lowering his eyes. “I would like you to meet my mate. Here is the affable Den Asaan Rautu, prepared to answer all of your inquiries with smiling agreement.” She paused and heard a few whimpers from the shivering reporter. “What? Have you nothing to ask? A moment ago you were brimming with questions. I believe you asked about Khopra. My mate shall be happy to illuminate your understanding.”
“Come, woman,” the giant bellowed. “We will give him a demonstration.”
The reporter was agape with horror: to hear a woman so addressed was deplorable, but to see the beast turning one who was supposedly his beloved wife around and forcing her to bend over the railing of the bridge while pressing his lower region against her backside was unforgiveable. He closed his eyes with one hand and waved the other about in a fever of agitation. “I understand you! I understand you perfectly! No need to show me,” he shrieked.
The giant, too rapt in the prospect of his mate’s warm thighs, ignored the man’s entreaties and began removing his kilt when the commander interrupted him.
“While I should relish a public display, especially while in view of the Church,” she said, righting herself, “I don’t believe it prudent to show the flocking children such a bestial custom.” She pointed to the children beginning to gather in the churchyard.
“Hmph,” was all the giant’s reply, and he reluctantly backed away from his mate, considering the enjoyment he would be having later.
“I believe you understand the ritual now,” the commander said to the reporter. “The request is made, consent is given and Khopra is had.”
“Yes, yes. I understand you perfectly.” The reporter fumbled with his charcoal and wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. “I was made to understand that you enjoy chocolate Den Asaan,” he said nervously. “Ever since the Triumvirate Chocolate Company has opened a branch in Frewyn, its revenue has tripled, many believe due to your contribution alone.”
Rautu stared at the reporter. He waited for a question but there was none to follow. “And?”
“And you seem to consume more chocolate in a month than all of Marridon does in a year.”
“And how do you account for this odd diet?”
Rautu’s eyes flared at the accusation. “I train recruits and condition my form for most of the day. I eat my meals with my mate, and when I am hungry, I eat what is available until I am able to hunt when training for the day is done.”
“Or,” the commander said, “until I’m free from my daily orders so that I may continue my duties to him as cook, chocolate is his food of choice when he has already eaten all the meat in the larder.”
Growing calmer and more sly, the reporter reached into his pocket and produced a small bar wrapped in foil. “Then I was not wrong in bringing you this,” he said offering it to the giant.
Rautu observed the small gift with a chary eye. He inspected its shape and thickness and could be under no mistake as to what it was due to the subject under discussion. His only question now was what kind of chocolate was within the foil. Were it a dark chocolate, he should be pleased at such tribute; were it semisweet, it could be deemed as tolerable; were it milk chocolate or some variation of such with nuts, it could only be considered mildly acceptable; and were it the abominable white chocolate or something tainted by fruit, such objectionable effrontery would warrant the giver an expulsion from the capital. He must catch its scent to know what it was, and though his sense of smell was exceptional, he could not exhibit his powers through a blockade of foil. He must accept it, he must take it into his hand, and he must peel back the wrapping to establish its worthiness.
A look, a scent, and the giant’s countenance grew livid: within the folds of the silver foil, he noted a white colour, and in a mistake of aspiration that perhaps he was only seeing the end of one piece, Rautu tore open the remaining foil to find a bar of solid white chocolate decorated with dried fruits. The white chocolate was horror enough, but that it should be laden with fruit was unforgiveable. The offense was too great, and something must be done. Only being ejected from the capital for such a slight would sate the giant’s anger, and to prove his infuriation, the Den Asaan threw the chocolate in the river, grabbed the reporter by the collar of his shirt and roared at his prey.
“Your presence has been tolerated long enough,” he said in a dreadful wrawl.
He stormed along the Diras River with the whimpering man dangling from his clasp and did not stop until they reached the docks. A trade ship bound for Marridon was being prepared for leave and the Den Asaan notified the docksmaster of there being a new passenger aboard.
“Gihondenri,” Rautu seethed, addressing the docksmaster, “this man does not leave this ship until it has docked in Marridon.” He displayed his prey for the docksmaster to examine and then hurled him across the wharf and onto the deck of the trade vessel, where he landed upon a pile of wheat sacks and did not dare right himself until the giant was gone.
Rautu thundered back to the castle while the commander made all the arrangements for a letter to be sent with the trade ship to the Duchess, thanking her for providing some entertainment for her mate and asking her to send another just like him for a future time. She passed the note along to the ship’s captain, and before leaving the wharf, she decided to give the toppled reporter one last piece of advice:
“The easiest way to tame a giant is to feed it when it is hungry, and the easiest way to anger it is to feed it something it does not like.” She turned and began walking down the steps of the pier. “Give my compliments to my friend the Duchess and do not return to Frewyn without hers to merit your visit,” she called out as the ship was beginning to take sail.
As the vessel steered out of Diras Bay, morning had arrived in the Frewyn capital. Trade at the docks renewed, shoppes and stalls in the marketplace were opened, and the kingdom’s main city was aglow with life. The reporter recollected himself just in time to hear the peal of the church bell calling Frewyn children to school and to see guards at the port changing for their morning patrol. Although the reporter had met with almost every personage of consequence in the Frewyn capital excepting the king, his visit had yielded little result: being rejected at the castle gate, sleeping in a stale Church, being forced to humble himself before two common commanders, being terrified and nearly mauled by a ferocious giant, suffering the snickering remarks of a complacent woman; these occurrences were all excellent for a novelist, but for a reporter in want of a story, they could afford no material worthy of print.
Hope you enjoyed the story! Enjoy the rest of the series!