Below is the start of book #7, The Ultimate Dragon Fighting Championship
Don’t read this if you wanna wait for the book release!!! 😉
Gungren sat in front of a mountain of rocks.
There were small ones, big ones, round ones, and jagged ones. Each of them had their own advantages and disadvantages, especially to the discerning eye of a giant. A few of them stood out against the grain, of course, but Gungren would gladly launch any of their number far into the distance.
It was a thing with giants, after all.
A small shadow crossed the ground in front of Gungren. He looked down to spot someone that he knew, someone he had once spent a lot of time with, but he couldn’t quite place the name. At least not fully. He knew that it sounded something like “Winkiepiddle” or “Waspsniffle,” but he wasn’t sure.
“Gungren,” said the little man while wagging his finger in a chastising way, “you’ve got to get a hold of yourself. Throwing rocks like this can only lead you down a path of giantism again.”
Gungren looked at himself. As far as he could tell, he was a giant already. Then he frowned thoughtfully at the recognition that he had understood the term “giantism.” The fact was that he knew giants weren’t that bright. This additional rationalization seriously confused him because, again, giants were not that bright.
He glanced back down at the little old man who was wearing the pointy hat.
“I can’t help it, mister,” he said in his childlike voice, “I see a rock and I want to throw it.”
“I understand that,” came the gentle reply, “but you must resist.”
Gungren could not think of any way to keep himself from his favorite pastime, though. And why should he anyway?
A little voice in his head told him that he was on the road to being a great wizard. That road was being blocked by him morphing back into a giant. The more things he did that were in line with what giants did, the faster his transformation would be.
“How do I resist?”
“There are many methods, actually,” said the old man.
“Hmmm.” The fellow scratched at the pointy hat. This seemed silly to Gungren, but he assumed that it was just something that little old men who wore pointy hats did when they were thinking. “Well, you could try aromatherapy.”
“I think it’s when you smell something bad when you want to do something you shouldn’t be doing.” The man glanced up, raising his hand to block out the sun. “This way your brain manufactures a learned distaste for the thing you shouldn’t be doing.”
“Hmmmm.” Gungren didn’t want to smell bad things. Of course, he had grown up in Restain, which was the land of the giants. They weren’t exactly known for smelling like roses. “I not like that one. What else you got?”
“Meditation is supposed to…”
“The only kind of medertation I does is throwing rocks. What else?”
The man took off his hat and threw it on the ground angrily.
“I don’t know, Gungren! It’s not my job to fix your addictions. It’s my job to tell you to fix them. I have enough trouble keeping my drinking to only magical support.”
A flicker of memory came back at this mention of drinking. “But you drink all the time, Master.”
Master? thought Gungren. This was so very confusing.
“My point exactly,” said the fellow.
“But I want to throw rocks.”
“And you can’t.”
The man picked up his hat and brushed it off. The color of his hair was red, but it was slowly turning to yellow. Gungren thought this was strange, but it offered up another memory that this elderly fellow’s name was Whizzfiddle.
“But I want to,” Gungren said in a grumpy voice.
Gungren banged the ground with his overlarge fist.
“It my life and I want to throw rocks!”
“I want to throw them!”
“I WANT TO THROW…”
The little giant bolted upright.
He was in bed in his master’s house. It was dark except for the light that was floating just above Whizzfiddle’s hand.
“What happened?” asked Gungren as the dream quickly faded from memory.
“You were having that rock-throwing dream again, I’m afraid,” answered Whizzfiddle.
“Oh.” Gunren was sweating. He sighed sadly. “It getting worse.”
“I not know what to do, Master.”
Whizzfiddle patted Gungren on the shoulder and took a deep breath.
It had to have been the middle of the night because the sun wasn’t yet up and Gungren tended to go to bed not long after sundown.
“Let’s go have some tea and see what we can figure out together, shall we?”
“Is that your way of saying you want tea, Master?”
“Of course not,” replied Whizzfiddle as if he’d been slapped. Then he raised his chin a bit. “Okay, maybe, but we should still discuss a plan for your situation.”
Gungren climbed out of bed and followed Whizzfiddle out to the kitchen.
His body still felt strange after the adjustment done to him by the Fate known as Heliok. Gungren was in the midst of a three-part Fate Quest that was to help him become a wizard before the change spell that rested on him reverted. He had only a short window left to finish that third quest and become a card-carrying magic user. If he didn’t succeed in time, he would morph back into a giant. He’d no longer have any interest in doing magic, his thoughts would fill again with dreams of rocks, and everything that he’d learned over his time with Whizzfiddle would dissipate. But Heliok had also been changing Gungren’s looks after he completed each leg of the quest. The first change was to his teeth. They used to be bent, gapped, and yellowy. Now they were big, straight, and glowingly white. His body was once rotund, but it had been changed after completing the second quest to being thin. The only thing that still remained “normal,” in a manner of speaking, was his head. It was bulbous with bushy hair.
The kettle was boiling water as Whizzfiddle pulled out his new TalkyThingy.
“You like that better than the old one?”
Whizzfiddle nodded. “It’s a bit smaller, but not much, so that’s good. It has something called ‘video chat’ on it, too.” He flipped it over and shrugged. “Whatever that is.”
“Am there a manual?”
“Why would I need that?”
“To learn how that thing works,” answered Gungren while pointing.
Whizzfiddle gave him a studious look. He did this whenever he was about to say something that didn’t make any sense. At least that’s what it seemed like.
“Gungren, if you need to read a book on something in order to use it then it’s not worth having.”
“Besides, if you just press buttons and such it’ll eventually do what it should.”
Whizzfiddle began tapping the little squares on the screen. Apparently, this wasn’t the best idea since the TalkyThink suddenly started to play the sound of a siren. It was an annoying sound, especially when it hit certain frequencies, and it was a fair bit louder than Gungren would have expected possible from such a small device.
“What in The Twelve is that?” yelled Whizzfiddle as he smacked the TalkyThingy repeatedly. “Shut up, you bloody noisemaker!”
Gungren snapped up the manual and started scanning the pages. He jumped to the index and found the word “alarm” listed near the top. He then jumped to the page it referenced, grabbed the TalkyThingy from Whizzfiddle, and pressed the red button that showed a little bell on it.
The siren stopped.
“Hmmmph,” said Whizzfiddle, crossing his arms. “I would have figured that out eventually.”
“Fine.” Whizzifiddle picked up the manual and stuck it in his robe. “I’ll read the blasted book later. For now, let’s talk about your rock-throwing issue.” He briefly looked away. “Maybe there’s a book about that?”
“Could be,” conceded Gungren. “I’ll check tomorrow at the library.”
“Good idea. Aside from that, I would say that maybe you should wear gloves or something.”
There was no studious look this time, but Gungren was suspicious about his master’s idea anyway.
“What would that do?”
“Well, when you go to pick up a rock, you’ll not be able to feel it against your skin. This would serve to remind you that you’re not supposed to be touching rocks.”
“Actually, that not a bad idea, Master.”
Whizzfiddle wore a smug face, clearly feeling rather impressed with himself.
“I do have my moments.”
“But what if it’s just the throwing that I want to do? I mean, I also like to throw apples and tomatoes and stuff.”
His smug face disappeared.
“Valid point.” The elderly wizard started tapping the table with his index finger. “How about if I cast a spell on you that will give you a jolt of electricity every time you pick up a rock?”
“That another good idea.” Gungren was quite impressed, truth be told. “How would that work?”
“Simple. You touch a rock and you’d feel a jolt of electricity.” He shivered as if he was experiencing the feeling himself. “It’d sting something fierce. I can promise you that.”
“That might be a good detergent.”
“I think you mean ‘deterrent.’”
Gungren furrowed his brow. “That what I said.”
“Right.” Whizzfiddle peered up at Gungren. “Do you want me to do that, then?”
“Please do, Master. I need to keep the giant in me away for as long as I can.”
“Agreed,” Whizzfiddle replied with a vigorous nod. “Just drop a couple shots of whiskey in my tea and I’ll sort it out.”