It’s a very good idea, to be sure.
A very wise idea.
One that I did not take into consideration as the cook of the house creeped toward me with the frying pan. She had not let me in; in fact she had been very much against it. But the owners of the house didn’t want to be fried themselves by Zeus, so they let me in. Thanks to them, I was in this terrible house.
They let me in, but they wouldn’t let me out. Never, in a million years, would I have asked to come into this house if I actually knew what was inside.
Like many others, I had been lured by the prospect of treasure, which was something I was in need of very much. I needed to pay for my mom’s new pot- a larger one for a birthday present. We lived on the streets- disgraceful because my mother was a juniper nyad and should have been treated like royalty like in the “olden days”, as she always called them. To make it worse, we lived in the middle of New York City! There were worse places for trees to exist, but few of them.
And was I supposed to be glad my mom didn’t live in a smoldering volcano?
And was it something I often thought about?
This all started when I saw the pot in the store- huge, and beautiful- engraved with what looked like pictures of trees. I just knew I had to buy it. My mom would totally rock in this new pot. So I tried to steal it. But that didn’t work. So, as a normal citizen, the logical thing to do would be to save my money.
But then again, I’m not your average person.
So I went to the nearest house that had treasure in it.
The best way to get into any given greek house is to knock on the door. They are obliged to let you in, because you might be a god. I wasn’t a god. But they let me in anyway.
But, as I have previously stated, I want to get out. And get the treasure. If possible.
But getting out was more important.
Yes, they let me in, and they couldn’t hurt me, but when the residents swore the oath, the cook was out shopping. The cook wasn’t obliged to be pleasant to me.
So the residents used her as an assassin.
Besides the cook, whom I could undoubtedly handle, because she was chopping spinach, or at least she was in the middle of it when she decided to knock me out with her deadly weapon of kitchenware- there are other bad things in this house.
There are monsters here. There are traps. The curtains tried to smother you if you walked past them. And yes, there was treasure. Great piles of it, but not the treasure I was expecting. I was expecting gold drachmas, or mortal currency, or something like that.
But what I found was heads.
Lots of heads.
Lots and lots of heads.
You name it, they got it. Minotaur heads, human heads, skeleton heads, animal heads, hydra heads…
And for sure those would be worth a pot, right?
So I packed up a couple heads in a bag, a mesh bag that I had gotten for this very purpose. Only I thought I would be scooping up gold.
I winced as a soft hydra head disintegrated in my hand.
So then I ate one.
Just kidding, I didn’t eat one. Of course I didn’t eat one. What I did was hide the mesh bag with the heads under the guest room bed of the evil people.
Wow. That was something I thought I’d never do.
So now I had just walked out, right? And then the cook came back from shopping and started menacingly advancing towards me with her frying pan.
It was more of a cast iron pan, actually. Those are heavier. It still had remnants of whatever gross thing that had been cooked before in it. It was burnt- a side effect of oil, and scratched. But it would still be good for frying and for murdering people with. So I did the wise thing in this situation.
I walked away.
“Not so fast,” the cook said. Was this coming to a fight? That would be fun. “I’m not going to let you steal those heads,” she said.
How did she know that?
I fingered the sword I had, sheathed in my belt. It wouldn’t do anything to humans, but It sure could harm monsters. And it could de-arm frying-pan-carrying-spinach-chopping lunatics. If all failed, I still had my fists.
But perhaps I wouldn’t need to worry about not being able to use my knife.
Because the cook began to transform. She grew taller and taller, and uglier and uglier, and all of a sudden her frying pan grew too, expanding in large bursts that looked like it took effort, and when she spoke, she spoke in a different voice.
“Be prepared to die!”
Now I knew what she was. She was a giant; a small giant, but a giant nonetheless. And she raised her frying pan. I took my sword out of its sheath and gripped it tightly in a standard grip that would allow for quick darts but sturdy defenses when in contact with the opponent’s sword, or in this case, the giant’s frying pan. For a moment she looked befuddled, like she didn’t recognize me, then it looked like she suddenly realized who I was. Her eyes rolled up in her sockets until there was only white in them, and that white started to glow.
“You shall die,” she said, in a voice that sounded ancient as the titans. Of course, she couldn’t actually be that ancient. Unless it wasn’t her speaking…
She lunged for me brutally with her frying pan. I dodged to the left and jabbed, hitting her side. A little around where the sword jabbed her flesh disappeared, but not much progress was made.
I needed a strategy.
While I thought I kept doing quick moves like this, dodge and jab, dodge and jab. It worked. The beast started to look weaker, but I needed a couple more good attacks to finish her off. But I knew just what to do.
The next time she lunged, I ducked and sliced, her hand coming clean off. Monster blood flowed from the wound, but she laughed maniacally, and struck again. I ducked again, basically dropping to the floor. The frying pan that she swung at me hit her own body and sent her flying back.
I quickly dispatched her and threw her dead body out the window, a strenuous task, for she was 15 feet tall. You couldn’t be too careful. When monsters reincarnated, good as new with their full memory, they would do it in the exact same spot. I was just buying time.
I had forgotten about the curtains, but they weren’t a major problem. I sliced them so that they couldn’t strangle me to death like they always tried to. The red drapes fell to the floor. They hadn’t gone for the giant though. Weird.
Now the residents had full permission to kill me, after I had killed someone in this house, even though it was a monster.
So I had better watch out.
It was time to blow this joint. I kept my sword at the ready while I made my way back to the guest bedroom slowly, avoiding the monstrous curtains who were out to kill me. Always a good idea, doing that, you know. When I finally got there, I opened the wooden door and walked in. I reached under the bed, and looked for my mesh bag with the heads in it. I even crawled under my bed with a flashlight. No luck. Just then I heard a dry cough behind me.
“We, ahh, caught notice of your plan.”
The husband who let me in tosses my bag of heads in the air. He has a mace flail at the ready. I’ve never fought anybody with a mace flail before. This is going to be interesting.
“Okay,” I say. “Cool. Good job seeing a bag of heads under my bed. But let’s strike a fair bargain. I get the heads, and you get to live. You don’t give me the heads, you die.
I gulped. If I died, those would probably be the words on my tombstone.
“You don’t give me the heads, you die.”
No, that wasn’t going to be on my tombstone. I was (hopefully) going to win this battle. So I waited for the response from the husband. Of course, he started to try and kill me.
He did the same thing the cook did; he started to grow. He was a giant too. Maybe everyone in this house were giants. If so, then I had a lot of fighting ahead of me. This husband giant, the one with the scratchy looking orange beard grunted and denied, speaking verbally what he had just said nonverbally.
So we started fighting. I used the same technique as I did with the cook, ducking and dashing and dodging and jabbing. To be clear, it worked. Soon Scratchy Beard was on the ground, and I threw him out the window before taking the sack of heads and walking out the bedroom door. But my trouble wasn’t over. I had abandoned all hope of subtlety and was now storming through the giant’s house with a bloody sword and a bag of heads. I looked awesome, depending on how you thought awesome looked like. If you thought awesome looked like a barbaric sword wielding maniac, then I looked awesome.
Because that was exactly what I looked like.
So I walked through- slicing curtains and jiggling my bag of heads like Santa Claus would shake his bag of presents- and feeling relieved that a certain sentence wouldn’t be on my grave.
Making my way through the house. Walking fast, sword at the ready. The wood floors seemed to creak with every step. It wasn’t going to be long until I ran into another small gígantas, or giant. Yep. I was right.
A giant cat stared at me. It was about as big as a small car. It bared its teeth and growled, spit flying from its mouth. It leaped, caterwauling while it was, jumping straight over me and landing on the other side. It pounced. I stuck up my sword and it seemed to be a little hesitant, so it sprung back. I advanced, trying to coax the kitty into not killing me.
“Nice kitty,” I said nervously, “Good, good, kitty. Kitty that would not harm a fly.” I gulped. It was worth mentioning that armed guys were not flies. So I added that too.
“Nice kitty that would not harm a fly or armed guys just trying to steal a bag of heads to buy a pot for their mothers.”
It creeped forward, and darted around. It pounced back at me, scraping my back with its huge claw. My back was in agony, but I couldn’t let it win. I couldn’t fight it though. I ran. I had no chance of beating it out of the house, but I had a chance to do something that would make me not have to fight it.
An image of a lady handing rice cakes to a three headed dog from her hand. That was exactly what I was going to do… except not.
The lady- Psyche was going to be me. That much was easy to tell. The beast- Cerberus, would be the cat. And the rice cakes, you ask, my friend?
The rice cakes, I thought, opening the refrigerator, would be the stack of tuna cans on the second-to-top shelf! I started opening can after can, and I dumped them on the ground in front of me. I didn’t stop to see if it would work. I ran away from the giant cat and the beeping of the refrigerator who was angry because I hadn’t even closed the door. I didn’t hear giant kitty paws coming after me, so I figured I was good. I turned a corner into this weird hallway filled with portraits of evil-looking people. The paint was cracked and old. The walls were coated with dust, and the wood was like an orchestra, except it wasn’t nice music that the wood was playing.
It hurt my ears.
I gulped. I imagined a voice in my head saying, “You have reached the end game,” all dark and creepy-like. And indeed I had. The wife of Scratchy Beard stood in the door, after all this time I had not learned her name.
So I’m just going to call her “Evil Giant Lady”. Or EGL for short.
EGL stood in the doorway, already transformed into full giant mode like the cat had been. I heard the cat’s skittering paws slide to the stop behind me. I froze, the hair on my back sticking straight out. I guess the tuna didn’t hold it back for long. It stalked closer and closer, forcing me toward EGL.
EGC- Evil Giant Cat- stared at me with those intelligent but terrifying yellow eyes. The beast’s orange fur quivered. It looked like a giant tiger, what with the orange fur and black stripes and being giant and everything. Only the proportions were off. It looked like it was struggling to keep it’s huge head up. It was going to need stronger neck muscles to beat me. I twirled my sword in my hand and put down the bag of heads. I stood still, letting the cat come closer and closer. It was going to walk right into my sword. Suddenly it pounced. I just managed to swing my sword up.
Would you like to hear the good news or the bad news first?
I’ll tell you the good news first. The good news was that the sword pierced straight into the monster cat’s chest. The bad news was that the cat slid down my sword and down. The sword fell- the flat part rested on my chest- and the cat landed on me.
I couldn’t breathe. The cat was too heavy. I could barely move. I held my breath and steeled myself to get up on the count of three. My vision turned green and clear. I could see anything now, and time was frozen. Oh yeah, it was time for Dryad Mode. This had only happened once before. And that time…
Well, let’s just say that the bully had regretted pushing me into the road to get run over by a car. Yes, he regretted it very much.
I heard EGL’s EGL. You get it? Evil Giant Laugh? I know, I’m so funny, even in the most hopeless of times. She cackled maniacally, thinking that she had finally bested me, and walked over with her club to make a new indent on my face. It would look exactly like someone hit me with a giant spiked club.
“Oh,” Evil Giant Lady said, keeping up her Evil Giant Laugh. “How I am going to enjoy this!” She raised her club, prepared to strike.
I jumped up with all my force. The dead cat went flying into the cabinet, smashing through the wooden walls and knocking down a poor bag of chips. I rocketed upward, almost touching the ceiling, jumping with a green rocket behind me- my mother’s nature magic. I raised my sword above my head, and prepared to fall. I got into my dive position, and fell.
As I fell, I sliced with my sword. Making it short, guts sprayed up in my face and I landed in a crumpled heap.
Thankfully, those guts were not mine. They were EGL’s.
She disintegrated into ash, and I surveyed what I had done proudly.
I walked out, guts on my face, sword at the ready- it was covered with dripping golden blood, a proud smile, and a bag of heads waving in the breeze.
Ready to buy my mother a new pot to live in.