Guardian is this week’s #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent. I meandered around a couple of ideas in my head, then studied the photo a little longer.
It rang a few bells – good ones!
Last year my story achieved a shortlist place for Rhonda Parrish’s anthology Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles (Elemental Anthologies, #2). It didn’t make the final cut, but I was pleased it’d got that far. I’m keeping it off the blog to try elsewhere when appropriate.
So I thought about my hero—or villain—in that story, and came up with this (c300 words). I’m fairly sure I’ve changed the name of the guardian 🙂
Samhair the Guardian
His lifespan was long enough to sit out all year, ignoring the intrusions.
Several times a week, he’d be pestered by these humans, climbing over his face, stealing the various pebbles that adorned him. Some even banged bits of shiny metal into him. Those were the ones that visited often, wrapping ropes around themselves, and sliding up and down, seemingly for fun.
He could never understand why humans had a need for fun. Surely existence was enough. Awareness of the world around him. The constancy of the waves and tides. Providing safe nesting sites for birds, both burrows and ledges. Birds were such fun chaps, friendly and so colourful. If messy.
Yes, the calm days in the spring through to autumn were days of disturbance, and of contemplation of the ephemeral life about him.
Winter, though. That could be harsh. The waves smashing up against his crevices and freezing, getting further, deeper into his joints. That was no fun, no fun at all.
But the turn of the year, that was when he had a whole day to himself, in his other form. A day when he left the sanctuary of his cliff, strode about the clifftops and farms, checking that all was well in his world.
The local humans would hear him and say “There goes Samhair” and their small humans would say “tell us the legend of Samhair!”
Sometimes he’d pause and listen. It was good to hear his own story, the gigantic troll who came to life once a year, even though he would never eat little humans who hadn’t been good. They still remembered him, in their farms and crofts.
Then he’d return to his chair, and guard the cliffs for the next three hundred and sixty four days.
© J M Pett 2020