There was a billboard near Richard’s office. In it, standing, hulking, akimbo, was Giganto-Man. Underneath his crotch was a release date, and a “directed by.” Someone who had already directed 17 other “-men” in various forms and stages of undress. Giganto-Man had giant, engorged noodles of veins that jutted out from his neck, and arms, and chest, and forehead, and perhaps coming right out of his eyeballs. The sun was always just over the board when Richard went to work, so it was haloed in a painful blaze, with that gleaming, boastful face leering forward.
Richard stood a small, almost 5’7’’, with a growing ponch on his stomach. In another life, he had studied classical piano, and could still sight-read Bach with approximate accuracy. Although, the translation from that to words-per-minute while drafting summons for Hank, Densmore, Baskett, and Johnson, attorneys at law, was even more approximate.
On this particular day, his khakis were still coated with the smell of Goodwill, since he hadn’t washed them since purchase. They carried a hundred other stories. The sun burned over Giganto-Man’s proud dome, and that day Richard hated him. The endless parade of super hero movies, franchise, of things created in giant images only to be blown up with 4DX. He remembered listening to Vladimir Horowitz, of watching Seven Samurai while drinking whiskey and eating Indian food. He remembered watching an honest-to-goodness stage performance of Richard II and watching the lead forget his lines. And this day, squeezed into a red checkered button down bought when he was skinnier—before the office luncheons, the morning bagels, the king cakes every Fat Tuesday—He decided he was going to be a freedom fighter.
“Who needs this?” He shouted to the gloating chin of Giganto-Man. “Where is the art? Where is the depth? Is this what we really want? Just go away, we don’t need another one of you!”
Then, the gleaming figure moved. First, it was just a little nudge. Richard thought he hallucinated it. Then the giant in the billboard moved his hands, and slowly lifted himself out, using the bottom frame to prop himself up. The giant’s head blocked out the sun. He reached down to Richard with one giant, vein-engorged arm. His massive, fat fingers stretched wide as it neared Richard. Richard could see the singular atoms of color that made up the hand, the dots that were becoming pixelated with distance. But that was the last thing that Richard saw. The hand of Giganto-Man crushed Richard into the pavement, leaving only a red splatter on the ground, a button-down shirt, still buttoned together, and khaki pants that smelled now like Goodwill and blood—one hundred and one stories.
Giganto-Man returned to his home, and his pose. As the police later searched for the murderer, they never looked up at the gleaming, perfect smile of Giganto-Man, surveying his dominion from above.