I stared up at the giant Zlodeyskiy. I had no idea how I was going to defeat him. The General looked down at me and laughed. It sounded like an avalanche. “It’s over, little man,” his voice boomed. “No matter who you really are, there is nothing you can do to stop me!”
He raised his foot and I could tell where this was going. I should run, I thought. I got up and started to run, but I barely took a dozen step before I remembered Wu. I couldn’t just leave him there on the ground. He would be squashed. He was defenseless. I had to do something. I had to go back and get him. I had to save him.
I rushed back toward him, but by the time I started to bend down to pick him up it was already too late. The General’s giant foot was coming down toward us. It was coming down too quickly. There would be no way to avoid. Even if I ran unencumbered by Wu’s weight, I wouldn’t be able to get out from underneath it. It was too big to escape. There was nothing I could do. I knew it was the end. There was nowhere I could go. I was going to be squashed.
The earth began to vibrate slightly. So slight was it that at first I didn’t notice the vibrations. But soon something happened that I couldn’t miss. Pillars began to rise out of the ground. First there was just one. Then there were three. Then four. And finally there were five. And they rose, until I realized that they weren’t individual pillars, but fingers of a giant hand rising out of the earth!
The giant hand rose above me toward the foot. Before the General knew what was happening the hand had intercepted his giant foot. The rock hand had stopped the giant human foot! I was saved! I wasn’t going to be crushed! But the hand didn’t stop there. It continued to rise. Out of the ground came a giant rock wrist and then a giant rock forearm and then…and then we were rising, Lu and me! There was something beneath us! The hand kept rising. There was an elbow and an entire arm. It was pushing the General backwards, he was struggling to maintain his balance.
As the arm kept rising, I realized it was connected to a shoulder and we were sitting on that shoulder. With that realization, I quickly turned my head to look to the other side. I could see that the rock continued to rise past us to what I imagined what was was another shoulder. I was absolutely stunned. What were we standing on? What was this thing beneath us? What was coming up? It was big. I knew that.
The General toppled over. The ground shook as his giant form hit the ground. But I could barely feel it on my perch as I continued to rise in the air. I glanced down below me, carefully. I didn’t want to fall. We were getting quite high now. I could see a chest beneath. It was clear now, there was no doubt, that I was on the shoulder of a giant rock creature!
The giant rock creature continued to rise out of the ground and we continued to get further and further away from the ground. At this point, I was basically trapped up there. Jumping down had long disappeared from being an option. I wouldn’t survive that. Climbing down seemed unlikely, too. The body seemed too smooth for me to hope for decent handholds. The question was, what was this creature and what did it want with me? Did it even know I was here? Did it care? Was I in grave danger?
As these thoughts began to rise up in my brain, rock began to rise out of the giant’s shoulder. I turned around and saw that it was rising all around me! I was being boxed in! I had to get out of there! Otherwise I would trapped, stuck in there to suffer what ill fate awaited me. I wasn’t going to allow that. I wasn’t going to let this creature do whatever it wanted to me.
I started to climb out over the rising wall, but as I was about to swing myself over I remembered Wu lying unconscious on the ground. I couldn’t just leave him back there. I dropped back down and ran over to get him. I lifted him up and put him over me shoulder before rushing back toward the wall, hoping I could get out of there. But, no, I was too late. The walls had risen too quickly. It was too high now. I wouldn’t be able to leap over it while carrying Wu. I considered tossing him over, but even if I could have managed it, he’d have no one to catch him on the other side. If we were lucky he would just land hard on the rock on the other side. If we weren’t so lucky, he would go tumbling over the side toward the ground. There was no safe way I was going to be able to get him over. It seemed we were both trapped in here.
to be continued…