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The Giant

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I've never been able to feel my fingers or feet so well. I'd always get blisters or rough spots, and not notice until they got bad. I never minded too much, but it always worried Mom. She always worried about problems that people like me get, especially as I got older. It took a long, long time for me to hit puberty and change like the other boys. But there was never any problem about me growing tall.

I was five feet and five inches when I turned six. I had sat in medical offices all over the country, seen doctors from all over the world. They called me the next Robert Wadlow, which at first I didn't understand because my name is Renny. My parents didn't know either, but when they read about him they went real pale and got real quiet and checked in my old bedroom. Last I checked I was eight feet and three inches. I check whenever I get my feet more often. They and the doctors tried a ton of different treatments and surgeries to make me stop growing, but none of them worked too well. Eventually I ran out of room for height notches on the doorframe really nervous. That was a couple months ago. I'm nearly seventeen now.

It took awhile to convince my parents to let me to go to real school. It wasn't that I didn't like their teaching me-they worked on computers all day and were stupid smart. I just woke up one morning and realized I didn't have any real friends. This, however, wasn't really enough for them. It took a summer spent working on a three page essay, two well-researched PowerPoint presentations, and relentless begging and pleading. Promises to be the good were frequent, though that wasn't really a problem with me. The campaign finally ended with a hunger strike that lasted around two hours. I think they were just tired of me moping around. I was ten years old and six feet exactly when they agreed. Sixth grade loomed ahead, and I was so excited.

To be honest, I expected to be kind of a novelty at first. The other kids would think I was cool, being a giant and everything, but they'd soon forget, or look past it. I was nothing but a tall kid. But that didn't happen at all. The questions began on the first day, and didn't stop. At first they were just curious, like "Why're you so tall?" or, "What size shoes do you wear?". I expected those. But questions like "Are you gonna be on Ripley's Believe it or Not?" or "Were your parents embarrassed and that's why you didn't come to school 'til now?" were the worst. The teachers always told them to hush up after questions like that, but I still felt them, and I still answered. The adults always looked so sorry for me, so I tried my best to work hard and show that I was capable. But I never told my parents about stuff like that. I didn't want them to worry any more than they had to.

I made it to the week after thanksgiving. We had all come back from break, but there were still some kids gone, either still on vacation or sick from playing in the cold. The sky was gray and all the trees had lost their leaves. It was recess, and the ground was frosted with snow. The few friends I had made at that point were gone or playing somewhere else. I sat on the corner of the concrete border between where the woodchips ended and the field began, reading. Something fell to the ground a couple of feet away and rolled to my feet. Glancing up, I noticed a small soccer game being played maybe fifty yards away. "Kick it back!", a kid yelled. I stood. This, I remember thinking, could be my chance. My first shot at proving that I could be one of them. Normal. Just a kid. I drew back my leg and swung it forward with all my might, compensating for any weakness I thought I had.

Before I go on, there are three things you should know: 1. It is common for people with gigantism to have very poor eyesight, 2. We also often don't know our own strength, and 3. There is a pretty busy road behind the field I was aiming for. Somewhere during the ball's trajectory through the air, I looked down at the kids on the field. I watched their heads turn to the road and I knew, in that precise moment, that I would never, ever, be one of them. The kid that had first yelled at me started walking my direction. The rest of 'em followed. As they drew closer, I could make out their leader's face: blonde hair, freckles, kinda chubby. One of the kids that had asked the awkward questions. I was already on his bad side. "You did that on purpose!", he yelled.
"I-I didn't, I promise!" I backed up and over the concrete and onto the woodchips. The doctors had told me how easily I would break, and I really didn't want to think about fighting this kid.
"Did too! I saw you, you kicked it extra hard! Are you stupid and a freak?" , he was angry and young and stupid and totally didn't deserve-
"Hey, I saw on T.V. that giants are supposed to have weird foreheads," one of the other kids piped up, "Did your parents get yours fixed so you could show your face at school?"
"No, it d-doesn't always-" I backed up into the pole of a swing-set, still trying to answer their stupid questions.
"Just shut up!", the kid roared and I saw him draw back a fist. I can remember everything from this point really, really well. All the kids on the field had stopped playing and were just watchin' us and I think someone tried to stop the freckle-kid, but he moved fast. I remember wondering where in the hell all the teachers were and how easy I could die compared to everyone else and how this kid must've had some sort of anger problem and every bad word I knew at the time ran through my head. That's what I was thinking as I thrust out both my hands, palm-out towards the freckle-kid. I braced myself against the pole and pushed him back with full force just as his swing connected with my torso. I wasn't expecting him to fall straight back. I wasn't expecting for his head to spill open on the concrete barrier behind him.

The others and I peered over him. His eyes were wide open, staring at the gray sky. A puddle of blood steadily grew underneath his head and dripped off the concrete. He wasn't getting back up. Someone screamed. Someone else pushed me into the pole. I don't remember anything after that.

I woke up a couple of days later, with a concussion and broken wrist. My own weight broke my wrist when I passed out. They said I was lucky that was all I got. But I wasn't lucky, and that definitely wasn't all. Freckle-kid, or Jeremy, that was his name, was dead, and it was all my fault. I was so worried for my own fragility I didn't even think of his. The community was in an uproar, of course. Freckle-kid's parents thought I had killed him in a fit of giant-rage (their reasoning being an imagined link between my size and my mental state), and half of our small town agreed. The other half, including the school, knew it wasn't my fault, that I didn't know my own strength, and that it was an accident. The court thought so too, and after a few stressful days, freckle-kid's death was ruled to be in self defense. His mother stood up and wailed at the sentence. That still haunts me. I didn't speak for a year.

We moved far away, to a town called Alton. It's quiet, and small, and my dad said they'd be more understanding of people like myself. We live in a much bigger house now, in the outskirts of town.. It has a good amount of trees and running-around space. We bought a dog, the kind of mutt children in old shows all seem to have. I took the attic as a bedroom, since it's the only room I can walk comfortably in. The town has a school, but I don't go. My parents teach me again. Although the people here are kind, I don't leave the house much. I mainly stay inside and read. Whenever Mom or Dad go into town, they usually bring me back a book. Lately it's been the Dune series. When I first moved here, I fell into books: the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, and anything and everything by Roald Dahl and H.G.Wells or Jules Verne. But what really pulled me out of my funk was The Lord of the Rings. The second I finished The Return of The King was the same second I started speaking again. Sometimes I would pretend normal people were hobbits, while I was a human who just hung around. It didn't really help, though. I still wanted to be like them.

Giants don't live very long, and that's just an unfortunate fact of life. My life's nearly half over, which is pretty crappy, and I haven't spent much time in the real world, which is pretty crappy too. I'm going to have to apply to college pretty soon. I don't even know what I want to do out there, or what it's like being away from home and your parents and your dog and all your books. And I especially don't know what someone like me is gonna do out there. But I can't stay here. I can't sit and read other people's adventures. I think I have to make my own. I check my height against the wall. Eight feet and three inches still.





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