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The Giants’ Fingernails by Jonathan Sellars

The Giants’ Fingernails by Jonathan Sellars, Flash Fiction Finalist, LISP 3rd Quarter 2020

The Giants’ Fingernails by Jonathan Sellars

Giants’ fingernails. That’s what they are.

Oh they may look nothing more than briars and brambles, sat alone up on that looming hill at the far end of town, but they are not. Those twisting, tangled webs of thorns meander deep down into the hillside, worming their way through the stone-ridden soil until they reach the fingers at their roots.

I’ve stood up there a thousand times, staring down at the trucks that rumble round the ring road, looking up at the smoke that spews from the factory funnels, I know what secrets that hill hides. I’ve felt the earth move under my feet from long and peaceful breaths. I’ve smelt the stagnant stench of sleeping bodies. I know that there are giants there. For centuries they’ve lain hidden beneath that thick duvet of dirt, so long that even history has betrayed them. Their story has been abandoned for fairy tales to feast upon, discarded as nothing more than fantasy.

Yet, with each passing year their fingernails have slowly grown, millimetre by millimetre, relentlessly weaving their way through the darkness of the earth, branching out in search of the cold hard light of day. Now their tips reveal themselves, disguised as shrubs and saplings, swaying softly even when the air is still, living memorials marking the tombs of the undead below.

One day, soon, those giants will wake and once more look down upon their kingdom. What will they think of the smog infested wasteland it has become? What will they make of the concrete jungle that has smothered the great green grasslands they once knew? Who knows, but I will keep waiting for that day of judgement, up there on that hilltop, up there among their fingernails.



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