© 2011 Josh Kinbo

Perpetual frustration engine.

He stomps through the fields, frightening the animals, thumping footfalls shaking the valley.  When he leaves, there is little left.  In his passing, there’s just waste, exhaust, dust, and decay.  Each time he comes, it’s louder. The footfalls feel like earthquakes. He drinks entire lakes.

From afar, he’s a glistening giant; glinting in the sunlight, something majestic; a walking fortress carved of glass and marble; hands reaching out in all directions, interested in everything, like a child filled with wonderment with the world.    When he crests the treeline, and sunders the earth before you, some details come in to sharper focus.

He is built like a living machine, a naked mass of writhing and shimmering constituent parts, endlessly squriming to hold the shape of the giant.  In fact, it seems as though the giant is composed of smaller giants, pressed together in the semblance of a man. The warped, distorted humanoid bodies just squeezed together, becoming legs and arms of a bigger, uglier form.  Those constituent beings, though nearly unrecognizable, writhe, still alive, impossibly clinging together, working in a rigid uniformity, jittery and alien, but also human.

Each of those lesser giants within the greater form, they too seemed similarly composed, men squeezed together, flesh against flesh, knit in interlocking fingers, arms, legs; the whole of the thing being propelled forward on lumbering footsteps, the result of a unity of purpose, what could only be an irresistible common drive.    And those, the least parts of the whole, wore the desperate masks of avarice.

Dangerously close, the naked foot slammed down near us.  At this distance, we could see the struggle within the giant, each of the men who composed the beast was fighting with his neighbors, each one desperately fighting for position, climbing over one another to reach a peak, a knee, an angle, or position his mouth to bite at the world, or reach out a hand to tear at it.

As we watched him pass, gnashing at everything in his path with thousands of hungry mouths, trailing sweat and shit and piss; one of the men fell from within the monster.  He slid down a leg and fell, cast off by the heel, to roll across the now barren earth.   We had a moment to think fondly towards that castaway, that he was now free from the monster.  But as we watched, he climbed to his feet, and blind to the world around him, he burst into a desperate run after the giant; and upon reaching him, climbed, clawing desperately, to squeeze back in.

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