One of the scariest moments in my life happened in Wales. It wasn’t a storm from the Irish Sea or a plane crash or even a bar fight. It was just a game.
I’d saved up enough vacation time for two solid weeks of travel. That’s to say, nine days: I planned my trip around a holiday and its three-day weekend. That doesn’t sound like much but my job’s benefits are shit, and it took two years of keeping my nose to the grindstone and never being sick. Well, “never”: I was passing-out sick with the flu for a week, but I kept coming in to do my job. I’m sure I infected a few people but my boss is an asshole and he never noticed my condition. He’s one of those petty power-mongers that…
I digress. I just want to emphasize that it took a lot of effort and concentration to save up for two whole weeks of vacation. And when I requested it, sure, my boss looked like he was considering firing me. What I had going for me wasn’t my argument: I printed out a stack of articles about how going on vacation is good for productivity, how it’s essential for mental and physical health, how it costs less than the burden on the health care system from not taking a break. No, he turned that around on me and tried to accuse me of embezzling office supplies to print these out, until I showed him my receipt from Kinko’s. No, the persuasive argument was that this asshole had already been taken to task by HR for firing someone else who wanted their rightfully earned vacation time. Some smart-ass in Finance ran up a report on how his trial actually cost the company three times as much as it did to train in a new employee.
So he had to let me take my vacation, and he had to promise my job would be waiting for me when I got back, and he couldn’t show a shred of rancor or resentment. Just to be safe, though, I stopped checking email and shut off my phone for all of Friday before I took off, because I knew he’d try to find some way around this and rope me in for an assignment, or just leave some kind of message to sour my good time. One step ahead of you, asshole.
Why Wales, though? That’s where my family comes from. Not that I was going to visit family, no. Everyone on that side of the family’s dead already. We came to the states three generations ago, my father’s side did. I was going to check out some of the villages we might have come from, but this wasn’t an authentic genealogical excursion. I didn’t know one place from another in Wales, and it happened that I was going at a poor time of year for cultural events or anything, so to make it relevant at all I thought I’d visit the old homesteads of yore. Failing that, I’d make a pub crawl from Swansea to Cardiff for a week and a half.
As it happened, my family’s not from south Wales at all. No, we seem to come from the northernmost shore of the Irish Sea, the region called Gwynedd. I flew into Cardiff, rented a car and drove up the A470 all the way up the entire country. Not to be insulting, I found the whole thing quaint as hell, honestly: beautiful stone-masoned buildings that must’ve been at least a century old, clothes drying on actual clotheslines, and winding switchbacks that lead down into rolling rural parishes and farmland. I hate my job and I would easily quit it to live anywhere else, but everything I saw in Wales made me want to park the car, throw the keys into the lavish, jade forests, and bear-hug the locals until they made me one of them. I drove past guesthouses and blooming hedges of wildflowers, my mind racking to imagine what I could have offered the nation, to entice them to sign off on my emigration.
Finally I hit the land of my ancestors and located my hotel, or “free house” on the edge of “downtown.” I would’ve been happy just to wander around, stare at the quaint (can’t stop using that word) buildings and houses, feeling the tradition wafting off the streets, running my hands over every foot of jagged stone wall, gawking at the monuments. I’m sure they would’ve locked me away or being soft in the head or something, but I really felt like I’d entered another world. I was totally cut off from my asshole boss and that thankless labor mill, and I was someplace where they didn’t favor vowels. I was tempted to just lie in the grass in someone’s yard until a police car happened by at that moment, so I went to the pub instead.
They were friendly, up there in Llanfairfechan, or else their team was winning: rough men in sweaters and apple-picker caps watched sports on a small, old television, drinking Brains Beer, snacking on the same stuff their forefathers have. Probably with the same television. But they were in a good mood and they tolerated my chatter pretty patiently.
I bought them a round of Brains—”Aww, tidy smart,” they said—and very politically refrained from making the obvious joke. “What’s to do around here?” I wanted to know.
“Well, you can pitch yourself into the ocean, aye,” one of them said, and they laughed gruffly. I won’t attempt to replicate their dialect in writing here, but it was pretty thick and took me some getting used to.
“Nothing wrong with warming a stool. Mynadd,” said another, and they all nodded.
They went around like this, suggesting tedious little pastimes that I wouldn’t have been disappointed to lose two weeks in, but I really wanted to do some sight-seeing. After a few more jokes they mentioned a range of mountains just south of us, the Carneddau Mountains. “Aye, the Marilyns’re iawn,” said the first one, the oldest. “Bechod, to miss out on that, if you want to take in the local sperrit.”
The others didn’t nod at this suggestion, however. Two men only glanced at each other and the third studied the Belgian lace in his mug. I thanked them for the suggestion and went down to the convenience store for a map of Snowdonia National Park. The clerk chatted with me a bit but by his expression, he didn’t think much of the four Marilyns, which I learned was the range of mountains that made up the Carneddau. It took some convincing for him to even circle the area on my map. I suppose this is what they call foreshadowing, but I heeded it not.
After that long flight, after that five-hour drive up north, I thought I’d take in a nap in my hotel before going back down to the bar for dinner, but my body had other ideas. I passed out as soon as I pulled my shoes off and didn’t wake up until late the next day. I was disappointed to get my clothes all funky, but it made stripping down and showering all the more refreshing by contrast. I had a breakfast of a variety of meats, with a touch of eggs for flavor I guess, and a couple mugs of coffee. I was stuffed but wrapped up the laver cake in a napkin for the hike.
I had to leave the car back at the hotel. I could see on my map the mountains were less than four miles away from town, but the only navigable driving route there was a circuitous loop of half an hour around Conwy and surrounding territories. If I was going to spend that much time walking around, I might as well do it on foot, I figured. So I headed east-by-southeast and marched into the wilds of northern Wales, happily munching my savory laver cake along the way. The wilds are vast stretches of grass with clumps of tall, reed-like plants, with a near-perpetual view of the sea just north of you. It really was lovely and the weather was even temperate. I took off my field jacket and slung it over my arm, pocketing the laver and tromping along wherever it looked solid and dry. Occasionally I passed the length of an old farm, though it was impossible for me to tell if anyone still lived there. They had the stone fences and walls like in town, except these didn’t seem to use mortar, and the stones lining their tops were less decorative and more threatening. I’m sure there had to have been a good reason for that, but there was no one around to inquire.
“Mountain” may have been a misnomer, or I don’t know what the definition of a mountain is. I found Tal y Fan easily enough, after rambling through some aromatic brush. It looked only so much like a large gray nipple upon a vast, mossy breast, if I may be so crass. A stone wall wound its way up the hillside and I followed this to the crest of the craggy “nipple.” There was nothing here to suggest the ominous tone those old guys back in the pub had taken the night before, so I sat upon a rocky mound and tugged out the laver cake. This is a kind of dense oat bread that they fry in bacon grease, so it’s nice and hearty when you’ve worked up an appetite.
“Harry Styles,” boomed a woman’s voice.
The musician’s name broke through the atmosphere like the sonic boom of a fighter plane. I nearly dropped my snack, the force of the sound smacking into me like a tremendous slap. Was this a sound check for a band? Was there a sound stage setting up for a performance? Swearing, I took a bite out of my cake and started scrambling over the large rocks to see what was going on the other side.
Lounging on the slope into the valley were three women. They were completely nude and absolutely enormous. I don’t mean they were obese: I mean, from head to foot, each one had to be over 50′ tall. I don’t want to exaggerate such an impossible experience, but I would’ve placed them closer to 80′ tall, if I had to. All I know is they were huge, taller than nearly every building back in Llanfairfechan. Probably every building.
Other than their impossible height and nudity, they looked like any group of women in their early 20s. One had lavish, honey-blonde hair and the other two bore thick, spilling brunette manes. They took no care to cover their breasts, sunning them in the warm late morning. Their limbs and bodies were stained here and there with wide swathes of mud and moss, but otherwise they were perfectly formed, nubile young women, except they were giantesses.
My heart froze and my legs gave out, so I collapsed among the crags and stared at them, unblinking, breathless.
“And who else?” said one of the brunettes.
“I’m thinking!” said the blonde. She smacked her friend with the back of her hand, and a sharp peal of thunder blasted the countryside. “Daniel Craig… and Russell Brand.”
The brunette who spoke up hummed and chewed her nail, a large and jagged affair at the end of a shapely finger like an old-growth tree. “I’ll say stomp Harry Styles… vore Russell Brand, and insert Daniel Craig.”
The other two giantesses laughed and rolled back and forth on the hillside. I gripped the rocks in terror, as a small and localized earthquake shuddered the otherwise implacable crust of earth around us. “Okay, your turn,” said the brunette who’d just gone to the one who hadn’t spoken yet. “Prince Harry, Simon Cowell−”
“Stomp,” said the second brunette without waiting. Her friends exploded in laughter and frighted all the birds in the region.
“Okay, okay. You still have Prince Harry and let’s say Calvin Harris.”
“Oh, you josgin cunt.” The second brunette chewed her finger. “That’s dead tight.”
“Quit stalling,” laughed the blonde. She rolled to her front: her breasts plowed into the fragile turf and drove up new hills of soil. Her butt, which would’ve been slight on a normally sized girl, spread massively under the sunlight. She bent her knee and twirled her huge foot idly in the lower atmosphere. I stared helplessly, transfixed, trying to take in these over-sized young women. Cute in their own right, something about their enormous proportions made them maddeningly desirable. Yet some primal fear held me back from leaping up and announcing myself to these women as large as dinosaurs.
“Well, insert Calvin Harris, that’s for sure, so I guess I have to vore Prince Harry.”
The blonde laughed. “Those were some minging options, aye. What you got for me?”
The second brunette narrowed her eyes with a truly wicked grin. The first one commented, sarcastically, that this would be a good one. “Cara Delevingne, Sienna Miller, and Victoria Beckham!”
“You cunt!” Laughing, the blonde giantess plunged her long, strong fingers deep into the earth and gouged out an immense plot of land and hurled it at her friend. She missed, and the small island sailed over Tal y Fan, speckling me in debris. Rocks and soil pecked at my field jacket and hammered my head, but I bit my lip and remained quiet as a dormouse.
“Can I sit on her instead of stomping her? Like, can it be a crush?” The brunettes agreed this was acceptable, for now, so the blonde continued: “I’m going to plop my fat ass down on Beckham,” and her friends cracked up.
“You hardly got an ass at all,” one of them said, and the blonde blushed but went on.
“And I have to insert Sienna Miller.”
“Using your ass for that as well?” said one of the brunettes, I couldn’t tell which, and they all laughed and rolled and tore the earth apart.
The blonde raised herself to her elbows, her slim breasts hanging free, clods of earth slowly flaking from them and tumbling back to the ground. “And I’m going to vore Cara… but I’m going to damn well take my time about it.” Her friends liked that answer, very much. The blonde grinned and preened, lapping at her lips with a thick, writhing tongue.
The first brunette froze in her place. I could only see the crown of her head until she abruptly rolled over to her front. She had huge, flashing green eyes that narrowed and spun left to right. “Hang on, girls,” she said quietly. “Do either of you smell meat?”
The second brunette shrugged. “What kind of meat? The blood of an Englishman?”
I nearly shit myself. My valves nearly opened, one and all, and released every fluid and solid in me to the outside. The first brunette started to raise herself up, and the earth groaned beneath her palms. The other two giantesses looked at each other, then started to sweep the landscape with their scrutiny.
Panicked, I looked over my shoulder. The landscape was flat and plain, with absolutely nothing to hide behind. If a normal man were chasing me, perhaps I could’ve hidden behind the stone wall that led me here. But this would have been useless to shelter me from the gaze of a gigantic woman dozens of feet above me. My field jacket was a nice, bland beige, but it didn’t resemble the rocks around me.
The first brunette heaved herself upright and was nearly kneeling, and that meant she would’ve been seconds from spotting me. I had to think quickly.
Taking on what I hoped was a woman’s voice, I shouted as loudly as I could: “Ed Sheeran!”
The second brunette giantess froze in position, eyes wide. Her friends turned to look in my direction, not spotting me yet.
I gulped tremendous lungfuls of air. “Rupert Grint!”
The blonde giantess choked on a giggle. “That’s dead tight,” muttered the second brunette.
I racked my brains for a last challenge. “Gordon Ramsay!”
The second brunette’s jaw dropped. Her mouth became an enormous, blackened cavern I could’ve parked my rental car in. As it hovered aloft mere yards away from me, I grew sick at the thought of falling into such a chasm.
“Who’s saying this?!” demanded the first brunette.
The blonde smacked her friend again. “Answer it!”
“Bloody hell,” said the first brunette, settling back down into the earth to riddle this one out. Her friends poked and prodded her, demanding an answer, and I took the opportunity to hop up and sprint across the fields as fast as my little legs could carry me, but not before hurling my aromatic laver cake as far to the side as aerodynamics would take it.
There was no awful thunder of huge, bare feet pummeling the earth behind me in pursuit. I never even saw them again as I fled Snowdonia National Park and staggered into Llanfairfechan, breathless and sobbing like an infant, scared out of my wits. I stumbled up the lane and hurled myself into the pub of my hotel. The four old men were still there, nursing their beers and staring at the telly.
“You bastards,” I gasped. Their old heads snapped around, took one look at me, and they tumbled out of their chairs in their mad dash out of the bar.
I spent one more sleepless night in that hotel, eyes wide, waiting for the telltale thunder of young women’s footsteps come searching for me, but it didn’t happen. I checked out as soon as the sun was up, hurled my baggage into the rental car, and drove the long way around the national park to start that pub crawl from Swansea to Cardiff, killing time until I was safely back at work, under the protection of my wonderful boss.