George G. Economou
their buzz on
The family F.
consisted of four members: Father, Mother, Son, and Daughter. They roamed
freely in the vast void, searching for food and shelter. They didn’t have a permanent
home, nor was there a place to hold them.
They were constantly on the move, scavenging and collecting
everything they could. This is also how they ended up roaming a bizarre
landscape, which was, however, not entirely unfamiliar to the parents. The four
were quite young, yet mature enough. Despite this, the children didn’t dare
venture into the dangerous world on their own because of the horror stories
they’d heard about what happened to those who attempted to live alone.
The father took the first daring step inside the new area,
exploring the scary landscape; soon thereafter he called the rest of his family
to join him, since the area had plenty to offer. There was enough space for
them to explore, and food was scattered freely and plentifully all around,
making the new, unknown area an ideal place to settle for a while.
However, not everything was idyllic in their newfound
Paradise. Soon after they entered and, almost instantaneously, began picking up
pieces of tasty, slimy, and well-aged edibles, a Giant intruded. The monstrous
creature walked lazily and heavily among them, ignoring them.
It was the daughter who first noticed the Giant and cried
out; her voice was shrill, her squeaking loud, and yet the Giant still didn’t
notice her or the rest of her family. The father tried to calm his daughter
down by explaining to her in a soft, understanding, yet stern voice, that
Giants, like the one they now tried to avoid, were often seen by their people.
The son recalled, almost in terror, several stories he had heard about the
Giants from some friends he had met in another place—horror stories of how
Giants had killed their parents and/or acquaintances.
His mother laughed it off and said that his so-called
friends were only jesting; the Giant wouldn’t hurt them a bit, as long as they
stayed out of his way. And thus, the family F. decided, almost unanimously, for
the daughter still wished to leave, to stay in this new area and take advantage
of the provisions so generously provided them.
For a time, the family F. was able to live in harmonious
symbiosis with the Giant, who sat peacefully on a large, black object and was
occupied with an illuminated object, which was standing in front of him. Only
the daughter paid close attention to the strange creature and observed the
images on the reflecting object—images of other Giants, doing things to each
other, the meaning and purpose of which the daughter (or any other member of
her family) couldn’t comprehend.
The rest of the family kept roaming the open space,
scavenging the crumbs of food scattered all around. A bottle of milk was thrown
in a corner, and both the mother and the son rushed to it, enjoying the sour
taste of the white liquid, which they both cherished. Father ate heartily from
a box, which was covered in grease and butter; the Mother scolded Father for
eating so unhealthily, but she, too, sampled the greasy substance with gusto.
The daughter, on the other hand, could not enjoy the goods
with which her family had been provided. She hovered near the Giant, observing
both him and the constantly changing images on that illuminated object. She
moved in circles around the Giant, trying to understand the bizarre creature.
She flew away with a pounding heart, when the Giant
abruptly raised his arm, and an airwave passed by the scared daughter. The
Giant produced a loud, terrifying noise (probably
some incomprehensible speech, thought the daughter). Regardless, she was
scolded by both Mother and Father, and told to stay away from the Giant and
focus, instead, on collecting food and on surviving another day.
Besides, they would have to start exploring the area, too,
because they needed a shelter for the approaching night. The place was,
apparently, the Giant’s lair, and therefore they had to ensure that they would
rest away from the monster. Nevertheless, the son continued tasting the
variable edibles of Paradise lustfully and uncontrollably.
He, too, came close to the Giant, who, once again, shoved
him away with his heavy, hairy arm. The son scented something delicious and
inviting on the Giant’s hair, and therefore landed on the monster’s arm. The son,
heavily preoccupied with the search for the delicacy, only barely saw the hand
coming his way. He managed to evade the strong, heavy hand and airwave, as well
as the subsequent slapping sound, but only in the nick of time.
Father hurried to his son and scolded him, after he saved
him from falling; both parents tried to make perfectly clear to the children,
once again, the importance of staying clear of the Giant. Still, neither of the
two children, each for their own reasons, were able to stay away from the Giant
Family F. was very peculiar, in that they only were four,
and were always travelling together (whereas most of their people traveled
alone, or with a friend); these peculiarities, however, were also the reason
why they were able to survive this long in the hostile, and danger-filled world.
(The father was one of the oldest surviving members of his people).
The parents, especially, had also managed to shed all forms
of curiosity and possessed increased survival instincts and a stronger will for
preservation, which allowed them to stay away from the Giant, and focus solely
on searching for shelter and food. Even though they had tried to inculcate the
same principles in their two children, both the son and the daughter were still
young enough to be governed by the primordial instinct of their nature and
were, thus, curious and guided by their need to learn more about the world.
Both children were intelligent, and the son, in particular,
hoped to become a great philosopher when he grew older; philosophers, among
their people, were very few, but were also some of the most respected members
of their society, since they were the ones who taught the rest about the
wonders of the world, as well as of its dangers.
At that specific moment, then, the son was solely devoted
in tasting the delicacy emitting from the Giant’s arm; unfortunately for the
aspiring philosopher, who daydreamed of the recognition he’d receive if he
succeeded in this self-imposed mission, the Giant seemed extremely reluctant to
allow the son taste the thick liquid (it was a liquid, so much the son had
managed to deduce).
The Giant, flinging his arms wildly in the air, was in a
state of unrest. He was completely ignoring the images on the object—images the
daughter was still examining, as she moved around the illuminated object
constantly, driven by the desperate need of youth to learn everything.
The parents were, at that moment, preoccupied with
exploring their surroundings. Finally, they discovered a dark, quiet place,
where they could spend the night in peace and safety, and, therefore, emerged
back into the open space to announce their discovery to the children.
Mother was aghast when she saw her two children circling
the Giant, who was now frantic and red-faced. The Giant flung his arms,
striking himself and several objects around him, trying to kill the two
children! Father was enraged, mostly at his children, and launched himself
towards the Giant, wishing to save the kids from the creature, then scold them
as he never had done before.
However, and as Father recklessly approached the Giant from
behind, who was too occupied with trying to smash the son, who kept landing on
the Giant’s arm, the Giant threw his huge arm backwards and hit the father’s
Mother screamed helplessly as she saw her lifelong partner
falling down in a whirlwind and landing on the hard ground lifelessly. The son
hurried towards his father, while the daughter remained close to the
image-playing object, too fascinated with the bizarre and grotesque images to
even notice her father’s death.
The son stood right by the motionless body of his father;
he shed no tears, for he couldn’t, but felt a weight crushing his little heart.
He still wanted to taste the Giant’s liquid, but knew he had to ignore his
natural disposition towards curiosity. He was now the one who had to protect
his mother and sister.
He raised his eyes upwards and was rendered breathless as
he saw the Giant’s foot coming towards him at great velocity. His small size and
the agility of youth allowed him to evade the foot at the last moment; still,
he did see the Giant step on his father’s body, smashing it into a black pulp.
Mother, in a state of deep sorrow and confusion, remained
in the dark corner, too frightened to even attempt to rescue her children. She
stared in disbelief as the Giant put Father’s body inside a white object and
threw it inside a plastic object—a most macabre burial place to her.
The Giant then returned to his seat and tried to slap the daughter
away, but she managed to evade the threatening hand, still unwilling to abandon
the illuminated object, her fascination over the images growing.
The son went to the daughter hastily and, with
determination (grief still tormenting his soul), shoved her away forcefully; he
had heard his mother’s cries and thus located her hiding place. Despite her
loud, protesting cries, he led his sister in the safety of the Shelter. Yet,
disregarding his mother’s sobbing pleas, he left them there and returned to the
Giant, approaching him in careful zigzagging moves. He simply had to taste the
And thus, driven by his determination and lust and hunger,
the son left his mother and sister behind, in the relative safety of the
corner; he approached, once again, and more carefully, the Giant, who had,
after the murder of the father, calmed down and returned to his image-playing
The son circled around the Giant’s limbs with swift, elegant
moves, avoiding, albeit often just barely, the Giant’s attempts to strike him down.
However, the irritated movements of the Giant, and his spasmodic flinging of
limbs, didn’t allow the son to stay on the Giant’s skin for long. Thus, the son
was frustrated in not being able to taste the smelly liquid, now running in
abundance along the Giant’s arms and legs.
Mother was holding on tight to the daughter, who was
struggling in the mother’s stern embrace, wishing to return to the images of
the object and continue her observations. The mother was staring befuddled and
in fear at her son moving around the Giant, touching the monster’s limbs, then
taking flight whenever the Giant slapped his limbs violently. Despite the
distance, she could see red spots appearing on the Giant’s skin, courtesy of
his own slaps.
The son was growing impatient, flustered and reckless, for
he needed to taste the unknown liquid, anticipating the congratulatory remarks
he’d receive, the heroic reception that awaited him. He could see far into the
future, his name being remembered among the very few names that had survived in
the memory of the people; yet, if he couldn’t taste the strange liquid, and
perhaps take a sample of it too, all his dreams of becoming a hero and a
philosopher would vanish. And, because of the Giant’s mania to protect the
liquid, the son had no doubt in his mind it was precious and valuable, which
could only mean even more honors for him.
When the hand of the Giant hit the son, the mother let a
heartbreaking cry, loosening her grip around the daughter. The son fell, in
dizziness, on the ground, laying there alive but perplexed, incapable of rising.
Mother took a step outside her lair, yet retreated back almost immediately, as
two of her most primitive instincts came in conflict: should she preserve
herself, or try to rescue her offspring?
The daughter, in the meantime, almost oblivious to what was
happening to her family, abandoned the hiding place and launched herself
straight at the image-playing object; the images on it had changed, as the
Giant had, presumably, tired of the old ones. The new ones were eerily similar,
only this time the daughter distinguished four different Giants, performing
similar, inexplicable acts on each other as in the previous images.
The Giant muttered something incomprehensible that the daughter
knew was some kind of speech, and left the area. Mother, observing her Giant
enemy’s departure, finally found the courage to abandon her dark, safe corner
and rush to her son, who was still alive, but struggling to move.
The mother carried him with difficulty, by just pushing him
along the ground, to the hideout; in the meanwhile, she was screaming at her daughter
to return to safety as well; but her well-meaning begging was completely
ignored by the daughter, who was hypnotized by the images.
Mother patted the son’s head, trying to comfort him.
However, the son, although uneasy, was unwilling to abandon his quest for the
mysterious liquid. He got back to his feet for a second or two, then crumpled
back down, dizziness and weakness overwhelming him. Mother continued to nurse
the fallen son, who simply refused to stay down, utterly determined to taste
the liquid, willing to even give his life for an opportunity to earn eternal
The daughter reached the object of her fascination,
focusing solely on the constantly changing images, and, a brief moment later,
the Giant returned, holding a new object—a weapon, to the mother’s petrified
The Giant smiled, exposing the yellow teeth hiding behind
his hair-covered lips, as he raised the sparkling object. He flung it against
the daughter violently, who just merely managed to escape the flattened surface
of the oncoming object. She felt the heat emitting from the strange object and,
for the first time, managed to forget the fascinating images and realize the
dire situation in which her family was.
The daughter glanced briefly at her mother and brother in the
corner, and started towards them, in wild zigzags, as she had to avoid the
constantly flung object; the Giant, in hot pursuit, was following her closely,
with a flushed face and heavy panting.
Yet, the daughter, due to her youthful agility, easily avoided
the object; however, she couldn’t go to her family because the Giant seemed
unaware of their presence. Therefore, she turned abruptly, and for a moment was
heading straight towards the Giant, who grew bewildered, but only for a second.
The daughter turned left—her mother watching helplessly
from the safety of the corner, while nursing the slowly recovering son—once
again avoiding the object thrown at her. The Giant was following her extremely
closely, appearing determined not to stop till she was gone.
The daughter turned again, this time to the right, avoiding
the heated object; yet, the Giant, seemingly more resourceful than expected,
flung his free hand at the daughter, and hit her, bewildering her. The daughter
couldn’t move in a straight line, for her vision had grown blurry; she saw two
Giants standing in front of her, but she couldn’t tell which one was real. She
took her chance and headed towards the one to her left.
Mother cried in agony and finally left her hideout,
launching herself towards the daughter, who was going straight towards the
Giant. The mother saw how the Giant drew his arm backwards, holding tightly the
bizarre, macabre-looking object; then he flung it violently and astonishingly
fast at the daughter.
The mother screamed painfully and in vain as the daughter
was hit. One second, the daughter was still moving lightly and in her curvy
course, due to dizziness, and the next she was hit by a heated net; an
electrical wave traversed her small, fragile body for only an instant, but it was
more than enough to fry her internal organs. The lifeless and unrecognizable
body of the daughter was stuck on the surface of the object.
Mother remained still, unable to think or react, as she
witnessed in helpless horror her daughter’s body thrown by the Giant, unceremoniously,
into the same plastic tomb where the Father was laid.
The son had regained enough of his composure and senses to
witness the murder of his beloved sister; more weight was added on his already
crushed heart. Yet, with his stone-cold calculations and train of thought, he
hurried to his frozen mother, who was still breathless and immovable.
The Giant threw a rushed, murderous kick towards the mother,
who, at the last moment, managed to escape her saddened trance and avoid it.
Yet, the tremendous airwave created by the Giant’s kick was enough to make her
stumble wildly. If it wasn’t for the son, who came from behind her and shoved
her away from the flung object, the mother would have met the same fate as her daughter.
Mother was still devastated by her losses and thus, when
the son left her back in the safety of the corner, in order to return to the
Giant and finally taste the precious liquid, she strolled outside the safety of
the darkness without thinking.
The son, cunning and more determined than ever, moved along
the lines of the tall wall that surrounded the area, almost undetected by the
Giant, as he (the son) made sure to remain in the darkest spaces, getting lost
within the black spots. At first, the Giant followed the son with his gaze, but
then he (the Giant) noticed the mother, who had emerged from the safety of the
corner, and was wandering about.
A sinister smile formed on the Giant’s face, which the son
noticed and which caused his heart to fail; the Giant raised his left foot and,
abruptly and brutally, stepped on the mother. The son, aghast, screamed in vain
at his mother to move away, but she, seemingly, never heard him. When the Giant
raised his foot, the son was unable to breathe or move, as he saw his mother’s
body transformed into a black spot on the ground, a mere stain, which the Giant
coldly wiped away with a white tissue and threw into the plastic object—the
tomb of the son’s entire family.
Despite his utter devastation and the mourning (feelings
few of his people had ever experienced so strongly), the son remained
determined to hunt down fame and eternal remembrance. Therefore, and with the
corner of his eye constantly staring at the plastic object, where his now-dead
family lay, he approached the Giant once more; the smell was stronger, seducing
the son even more, nearly forcing him close to the Giant.
The Giant, flushed and obviously frustrated, kept wildly flinging
his weapon about, desperately trying to hit the zigzagging son. The son,
despite his uncontrollable desire to taste the liquid, had enough clarity of
mind not to attempt anything straightforward and, instead, approached the Giant
from the side, trying to stay clear of the weapon’s range.
On the other hand, the son couldn’t stop pursuing the
liquid, his entire body burning with the lust to finally taste it, his mind
filled with images of the honors that would be his if he returned to his people
with a sample. His family had been cold-bloodedly murdered, and he feared it
was his obsession with the liquid that had been the main cause of it, but he
hoped and wished to redeem himself by passing all the honors of the discovery
to their loving memory.
Suddenly, he saw the long awaited opening. The Giant had
been distracted by something else—a faint sound, which the son barely heard—and
thus, the son landed on the Giant’s upper arm. He protruded his tongue
hungrily, yet reluctantly, as he found himself surrounded by the slightly
sticky and odorous liquid. He took a tiny taste, and was disappointed; the sour
taste was nothing special and definitely did not live up to the hype promised
by the strong smell.
A crashing weight fell on his small body, for the son never
noticed the hand’s descent, being occupied solely by the disappointment of his
discovery and the vain deaths of his beloved family. The pain from the
collision lasted only a second, then the salvation of death and nothingness
embraced the son, just as quickly as it had embraced the rest of his family.
“Fucking flies,” Gary, (the Giant) muttered angrily,
as he picked up the dead body of the last
fly and threw it into the garbage can, finally able to return to his computer
George Gad Economou,
firstname.lastname@example.org, of Risskov, Denmark, who
wrote BP #74’s “The Family F.” (+ BP #72’s “In Dreams There Is No Time,” BP
#68’s “Angel of the Dark,” and BP #64’s “The Day I Started Believing”), is a
20-something horror author from Greece, whose first novel, THE ELIXIR OF YOUTH,
was published in Greece in 2010. He wrote this first novel at the age of 15,
and has since written more novels, as well as short stories, all in the horror
genre. See www.facebook.com/GeorgeGadEconomou.