A few months after I thought the story of the giant was over, I discovered that the story of a giant is never really over, or at least can never be said to be over with any degree of certainty. I had cleaned out the barn; had stopped waking in the night to hold my breath and listen for the sound of a giant snoring and worry about whether anyone else could hear it too; had written down everything I could remember about my dealings with the giant; had put all those files in a locked folder in the equivalent of a dark basement corner of my hard drive. I no longer expected anything, in regards to the giant.
bird passing through a forgotten whistle
One season ended and another began and ran most of its course. A chill came over us all, a hush engulfed us, a void replaced activity. When I wasn’t reading or writing I wandered the house and yard with no intention or plan to guide me, until one day, a day of rare clarity in November, when I stepped onto the porch and realized that the shedding of leaves had ended and the trees were waving their bare limbs in resignation. The horizon had returned, and with it the mountains. I looked out to them, to where the giant said she had come from. I had hardly ever seen them in such sharp definition.
the clock’s ticking
Something made me retrieve the binoculars; something made me put them to my eyes. The slopes were a solid mass of bare trees, except for the stony crags on which nothing grew, and it was across one of these crags that something was moving. I thought, at first, a deer, a mountain goat, a rock climber, an ordinary hiker. But the scale was off. The cliffs were too small, or the moving thing was too large. I moved out into the yard, focused, focused. My hands were cold. I was close to obtaining resolution, but then my numb hands fumbled, the binoculars fell, the lens cracked. When I lifted them to my eyes again, I saw only a jigsaw of glass. And that, although I bought new binoculars, although I looked every clear day for as long as I lived in that house, was the last time I saw anything like that moving across those cliffs.
first frost—a myth on the verge of being invented