It had been years since the first giant appeared. No one was still sure how or why it had happened. One day some guy just started growing and growing, and by the time he had stopped he towered over the wreckage of what was once his home. Since then a few other cases had popped up here and there; some woman in Wyoming, a guy in Japan, a few people scattered across China, and so on. There was some panic when the first case was announced. People were calling it a sign of the apocalypse. There were people claiming that those who grew were chosen by some unseen force. Cults formed to worship the giants as messengers of the gods, but at the same time other religions publicly condemned the giants as false idols. Over time, as is the case in most things, people just sort of got over it.
Nowadays everyone knows about the giants, but life goes on much the same as it ever had. For Devin, it hardly mattered one way or the other. He had been a child when the first giant had arisen, and now that he was a freshman in college, he could hardly remember a time where the world didn’t have giants in it. It didn’t make any difference to him though. They were so rare and so few and far between that he had never seen one before—not a real one anyway. As far as he was concerned that forty foot titan he had seen on TV marching with the rest of the people in the Macy’s Day Parade was just as fake as the titanic lizard he had watched demolish Tokyo in those old movies. In the area he lived in, giants just weren’t a thing.
That’s not to say he didn’t sometimes daydream about what it would be like though. Everybody has had a time in their lives where they wondered what it would be like to be huge, and that went double for Devin. He was as far from huge as a guy could get. He was an absolute, total shrimp! He was barely over five feet tall and hardly had any meat on his bones. Even his younger brother in high school towered over him. Gavin was the polar opposite of his ‘big’ brother. Even though he was still just a junior he was the captain of the basketball team. He was big, strong, and demanded the attention of everyone around him—quite the opposite of puny, pathetic, uninteresting, unremarkable Devin. Devin barely even reached his ‘little’ brother’s chest.
Devin slouched over and slowly plodded towards his next class. Just thinking about how shrimpy he was caused his mood to nosedive into the dirt. He didn’t necessarily want to be a giant, but he’d do anything to gain a few extra inches. He just wanted to stop being so plain. He was less than plain, in fact. He was completely unremarkable save for the fact that he was so small.
Devin’s bout of self-pity was derailed by the familiar feeling of a pair of heavy arms resting on his head. Devin had two guesses who was using him as their own personal table, and both guesses were Craig.
“Huh. I wonder where my buddy went. I thought for sure he was around here somewhere.” Craig mused out loud in the most overly dramatic tone he could muster which just helped to hammer home the fact that he was being a grade A smartass.
“You know damn well where I am...” Devin muttered testily.
“What’s that? You’ll have to speak up. I can’t hear you down there.” Craig replied. He even went so far as he cup a hand to his ear to act like he was straining to hear.
Devin didn’t reply. He merely turned and shot his big buddy the most annoyed, menacing glare he could muster. The fact that his glare managed to make Craig balk despite the fact that Devin had roughly half the body mass of his big, beefy friend said a lot. Devin was in no mood for Craig’s normal shenanigans.
“Oof. Someone’s salty today.” Craig muttered in reply. Devin didn’t reply. He just silently trudged away from his friend.
“Ok. Now I know something’s up. What’s wrong?” Craig asked. This time he sounded genuinely concerned for his little buddy.
“It’s nothing...” Devin replied dismissively.
“If you say so...” Craig replied uncertainly. He could tell it definitely wasn’t ‘nothing’, but he could tell that Devin wasn’t in the mood to talk about it. That didn’t mean that Craig was going to leave things well enough alone. He knew Devin well enough by now to know that there was something eating at him. All that Craig had to do now was sit back and wait, and that is exactly what he did. He quickly trotted to catch up to his pal and matched Devin’s pace as the smaller guy made his way towards his next destination.
The two pals continued their trek in silence. It quickly became apparent that Devin had no real destination in mind. He would take a seemingly random turn at every intersection they came to. Eventually they found themselves right back where they started, but Devin still had not said anything. Craig continued to stay by his friend’s side though. He could tell by the occasional glances that Devin was shooting his way that the smaller guy was slowly working through some things and even more slowly working up the nerve to speak what was on his mind, and Craig had long since decided to be there when Devin was good and ready to talk.
After what felt like ages, Devin finally managed to say something. “Hey...” He started uncertainly. Craig didn’t respond, but he quickly perked up and eagerly awaited whatever Devin would say next.
“... You ever wonder why it is that some people grow?” Devin eventually managed to ask.
“Grow? Like the giants?” Craig asked.
Truth be told Devin wasn’t specifically thinking about the giants. Rather he was still lamenting his own size compared to his friends and family, but he didn’t feel like having that conversation again. He had already chewed Craig’s ear off about those same sentiments many times in the past, and he knew the answers he would get would be the same as always. Craig would do his best to cheer Devin up and remind him that there’s nothing wrong with being short, and then Devin would feel even shittier for having brought it up in the first place.
“Well, not exactly, but I guess...” Devin replied.
Craig didn’t reply immediately which started to make Devin a little uncomfortable. Devin worked up the nerve to eventually look over his shoulder and check out his pal, and he was surprised to see a huge, toothy grin plastered on his pal’s face.
“... what...?” Devin asked. If his tone didn’t make it clear how skeptical he was, the cocked eyebrow said it all.
“I didn’t think you the type.” Craig replied still grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
“Ok. I’ll repeat myself. What?” Devin sputtered.
“You have a thing for giants? You want to be one? Come on, tell me. How big would you want to be?” Craig rattled off rapid fire questions so fast that Devin couldn’t even reply to them. All Devin could do was stare up at his excited best bud and silently mouth a stream of confused “...what?”s.
“I bet you would look fantastic at the size of the San Francisco giant.” Craig continued without even giving Devin time to collect his thoughts.
Once again Devin’s only response was “...what?” He was steadily catching up with his friend’s rapid pace though. Already Devin’s mind was racing with ideas of what it would be like to be that size.
The San Francisco giant had the dubious honor of being the smallest of the macro crowd, but even so, twenty feet tall was nothing to sneeze at. Devin doubted he’d even reach the dude’s knees if he was standing before the undersized titan.
Devin couldn’t help himself. His mind was already playing out images of what it would be like to be that size. He imagined himself standing in the middle of the quad with students and faculty milling about and staring up at him. Even Craig, the 6’7 beefcake who stood a good two heads taller than Devin and whose broad, beefy chest was easily twice as wide as Devin’s scrawny shoulders, barely reached the now massive Devin’s middle thighs. Just thinking about it caused a smile to spread across Devin’s face and a surge of blood to rush to his crotch.
“Ah Ha! That got a grin out of you!” Craig cheered. He quickly capitalized on Devin’s brief moment of shock at his outburst to land a quick, playful jab on the sensitive spot on the side of Devin’s belly where he knew his buddy was extra ticklish.
“Ha ha, h-hey!” Devin shouted between giggles. His friend’s playful jab wasn’t the only reason he was so giddy. His brief daydream about being so huge had done wonders to lift his mood, and Craig’s good cheer was all around infectious.
“Hey. Wanna feel what it’s like to be a giant?” Craig asked.
Devin barely had a chance to squeak out his favorite word of the day “what?” really quickly before Craig was on him. In one swift motion, Craig reached down and scooped his smaller pal into his hands as if he was picking up a small puppy to cuddle with. Devin was too baffled to fight back. He just laid there in his pal’s arms as Craig lifted him higher up and eventually lifted Devin up onto his shoulders. Before Devin really had a chance to fully process what was happening, he was staring down at his pal’s dusty brown hair and trying to steady himself atop his pal’s shoulders.
“Woah! What’s the big idea!?” Devin yelped.
“Hold on tight. You know the words. Feel free to sing along.” Craig shouted up at his friend and started stomping forward.
Craig’s slow, heavy steps echoed through the courtyard. Devin was more than half expecting his friend to bust out in a round of “Fee Fi Fo Fum!” but instead he was greeted by a rather melodic tune that he had heard on the radio a lot lately.
“I’m ten feet ta~aaalll! I’m ten feet ta~aaalll!” Craig sang at the top of his lungs while Devin rode at the top of his shoulders.
Devin tried to sing along, but all he managed to do was mouth the words between giggles. He was laughing too hard to really form any real words. Devin looked around at all the people who had stopped to stare at their antics. They all looked so small from up on his perch atop his pal’s shoulders, and he wasn’t even half as tall as the so called smallest giant. Devin’s mind was racing with thoughts of what it would be like to be that huge. He was so giddy from thinking about it that his mind couldn’t stop there. Twenty feet was great, but why stop there? The Tokyo giant was easily fifty feet tall! As long as he was daydreaming about being a giant he may as well shoot for the starts. The sky was the limit. Literally!
It wasn’t long before Craig’s singing slowly tapered off and his stomping steadily gave way to a relaxed stroll. The rush had passed, and Craig could tell that he had successfully dragged his friend kicking and screaming out of whatever funk he had found himself in.
Devin’s laughter slowly died away as well. Soon he was silently staring at the crowds passing him by as he rode atop his pal’s shoulders. Devin may have stopped laughing, but that didn’t mean the rush had died away completely. His mind was still racing with thoughts and images of what it would be like when he grew to be a giant himself.
Devin was so lost in thought that he didn’t even realize the shift in thought. He was no longer daydreaming about what it would like if he were to become a giant, but rather he was fantasizing about what it will be like when he grows. It was a subtle shift, but it was one that made all the difference.
A silence fell over the two pals, but it was a much different silence than before. It was no longer the tense, awkward, uneasy silence that Craig had found his friend in. Rather it was a peaceful silence—one filled with daydreams and hopes for the future. The storm seemed to be over, but what Craig couldn’t know at the time was that it was just the beginning of something huge.