Chapter 38

Strange Audience

After ninety days, and ninety nights,

Of learning all the island’s delights,

And everything its wealth enabled,

Its food and drink, castles and stables,

Poepi was starting to feel at home,

Glad that she was not alone,

Since her own beloved sister,

Shared her learnings gladly with her.

They had danced and they had rode,

And visited new friends abodes,

And every home, and each address,

Saw Poepi as a new princess.

And many waved, as cousins do,

And were glad to know her too.

She felt welcomed to the hold

Of the Island’s monarch fold.

Poepi felt no more a guest,

Until one morning, breaking fast,

With tea, and fruit, and jam, and buns,

She received the Giant’s summons,

Delivered swiftly over land,

By a Reywal, hand to hand,

Who bowed, and said he could not stay,

Then just as quickly rode away.

Poepi read the little note,

And sat up straight, and almost choked,

Upon her tea, and all the food,

And asked her sister what to do.

“You have no choice, you must accept,

The giant’s summons must be kept.”

All the morning she paced and stressed,

And went off to think, and threw up breakfast;

It took a thick and frothy drink,

Of cayenne cocoa, to get her think,

Back to a healthy state of calm,

And stop her sweaty wetting palms.

Her nerves recalled, she had forgot,

Her dead parents, laid to rot,

By the giant for betrayal,

While she, down to her finger nail,

Was waited on both hand and foot,

By servants in the Giant’s put.

And now that she was used to this,

“Something,” she thought “has gone amiss,”

And feared the loss, of her new found bliss,

In the castle with her sis,

Enjoying luxury, and love,

Deserving a princess of Islegrove.

Thus Poepi’s face went thin and gaunt,

Wondering what the Giant could want.

That afternoon, in her best dress,

Poepi walked the Giant’s steps,

To his palace, where Reywal guards,

Bowed once more, with pulled back arms,

So she could pass through two great doors,

And receive what was in store.

There inside, hot torches lit,

A carpet long, each side of it,

With a line of Reywal guards,

Standing tall, and strong, and hard.

The giant, in his huge throne sat,

Looking at Poepi, squinting flat,

As if he was in another place,

Trying hard to remember her face.

“The Princess Poepilandia Poupons,

Has appeared to meet your summons!”

Was what the Reywal guards announced,

Their words reverbing loud to bounce,

All around the Giant’s chamber,

Neither happiness nor anger.

The giant stood, and looked close then,

At Poepi, and she wondered when,

He would speak and tell her true,

What he wanted her to do.

While she waited, she watched his face:

His head seemed fat, and out of place,

Being as ugly, as she remembered,

In this beautiful, splendid, chamber.

The Giant hunched down in his chair,

And put his huge head before hers,

His great green face a-squint one side,

Observing with one massive eye.

“Poepilandia Poupons” he breathed,

“Poepilandia Poupons” he wheezed,

And then he sat again, straight back,

Into his chair, a mountain of fat.

Folding his hands, on jelly belly,

He inhaled incense, burning smelly.

“It was good of you to come,”

The Giant spoke, raising his thumb,

And smiled behind the incense smoke,

As if he knew some inside joke.

Poepi paused and looked at him,

And sudden anger rose within.

It came from somewhere long unseen,

Out through her eyes in bubble glow green

In total contrast of her fear,

Of losing her new life found here.

It was as if some magic old,

Had her under its control.

“You brought me here” said Poepi. “Why?”

“Once you left me alone to die,

With my sister, in a blizzard,

Of lightnings that rained like a river,

And cursed at us, and took offense,

Against our kingdom and our parents.

Now I am honored in your lands,

By the citizens of your hand.

What could it possibly, possibly be,

That you want to get from me?”

The giant’s eyes flared flatly red,

Then they cooled, and instead,

Of anger, they appeared serene,

And stared at Poepi, sharp and keen.

A triumph in his gaze awoke,

And he sweet and lovely spoke:

“It is never too late to become,

What you always should have been.

You can always abandon the scum,

That has kept you from your dreams.

You dreamed of being a princess,

And now, you truly are one.

You should bask in that success,

And do as your sister has done.

It could have been thus, from the start,

Had your parents, kept their part.

Yet though they failed, to keep their vow,

I will see it fulfilled now.

All that I require from you…

Is a single task, to do…”

But suddenly, the Giant went quiet,

And Poepi feared he would be violent,

For his green face had gone blue,

As if something was askew.

Then giant took his eyes from her,

And rolled them round, pupils a-blurr,

As if some message was receiving,

Within his head, bad news conceiving.

And with a jerk, he grabbed his head,

And utter shock, a look of dread,

Crossed his face, and bulged his eyes,

As well as horror and surprise.

Down at Poepi he looked once more

Standing trembling on the floor.

Then next to his chair, resting on velvet,

The giant reached for his magic helmet.

Poepilandia remembered it well,

And the lightnings it once fell,

Upon her oh so long ago.

It made her cringe now, fearing though,

He might use it once again,

To Send Poepi to her end.

With the helmet on his head,

It shone of blue, and white, and red,

Ugly, green face concentrating,

Dark black pupils dialating,

As his massive fingertips,

On each hand curled into fists.

The whole ground shook, his body glowed,

And in the chamber, time quick slowed,

So every second seemed a year,

While Poepi cowered down in fear,

Head full covered, with both arms,

Waiting to receive worst harm.

But just when she thought death was near,

The giant magically disappeared!

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