The Giant’s Esophagus
Bill Pendle offered a hand to Jimmy Ropemaker. ‘See, not so bad.’ He heaved his friend up to the ledge and waved at the opening. ‘And the view’s ok, isn’t it?’
Jimmy took a moment to adjust to the daylight, switching off his torch. ‘This the Giant’s Esophagus, is it?’ He sounded both tired and skeptical. ‘Can’t see it myself.’
‘It’s clearer outside.’ Bill proffered a smile which Jimmy ignored.
As they scrambled over the rocky lip and down the short sharp scree slope, Jimmy said, ‘Why do they insist on these stupid names. The Giant’s Esophagus? What was it, the tunnel where we entered? The Ogre’s Orifice?’
Bill waited till Jimmy joined him and then waved his hand in the direction from which they had come. ‘See.’
Jimmy did see. ‘Ok, yes it looks a bit like a face. And if you were some uneducated, superstitious stone-age cave dweller then yes, you might think giant. But these days…’
Bill had his phone in his hands and fired off a series of pictures. ‘There are all sorts of tales about this place. Rumblings underground, the rocks shaking, gas escapes.’
Jimmy snorted as he looked at his companion. ‘Come off it, Bill. They’re easily explained. Volcanic activity. I know there’s none now, but thousands of years ago it would have been different.’
‘Legend says he eats lost souls.’
‘Good job we know better, eh?’
Both men froze as the ground began to twitch; they toppled over as if there was a rug beneath their feet being tugged. From their prone position they felt then heard a deep throbbing pulse of sound. As the sound built to a crescendo they braced themselves for the eruption, expecting imminent death either from vaporizing lava or a ball of fire. Instead a deep yellowy tinged gas cloud rolled over the lip of the cave and covered the two men. They tried not to breathe but they had to. When the cloud had gone, they were still very much alive and very confused.
Jimmy was the first to react. ‘Did you smell that? It’s very familiar.’
‘Sag Aloo? Tarka Dahl?’
‘It can’t be.’
‘Yes, it can.’ Bill smiled and open his rucksack, pulling out his paper. He flipped to the business page. ‘Here.’
Jimmy read the headline.
Food Giant Swallows Curry Group
This is in response to Sue Vincent’s latest picture prompt