“Giants” by Steven John

For you, the best part of our honeymoon was the Giant Tortoises. You’d collect lettuce leaves off the hotel’s buffet table in your handbag, then go to the tropical gardens that surrounded our bedroom veranda. You’d feed the tortoise’s neanderthal faces and stroke the warm mahogany houses on their backs, as if they could feel your pale, delicate hands.

For me, the best part of our honeymoon was winning on the roulette table the night we arrived. I put a hundred on number 10 – the date we got married. Won enough to pay for the trip. Then, over the next three nights, you sat beside me at the tables, head on my shoulder, turning to the light the jewel I’d put on your finger. And I turned you to the light, for other men wonder at. I lost every penny.

We’d drink pink wine at lunchtime in the heat of the sun then go back to our room. We didn’t have much to pull off each other – a bikini, a pair of swim shorts. You’d fondle between my legs and say that it reminded you of a tortoise’s neck and head. All it needed was a grasping mouth. I’d walk into the bedroom from the shower and see your form on the huge white bed, the mosquito nets blurring your breasts and limbs, your face turned to the open window. The giant tortoises were calling. Their sad, low pitched mating groans that shook the foundations.


“Giants” first appeared in Bending Genres, 2019.

IMAGE: Tortoise

Steven John

Steven John’s writing has appeared in numerous online magazines and printed anthologies including Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020. He won Bath Ad Hoc Fiction a record seven times and has read at Stroud Short Stories on four occasions. He is Joint Founder and Managing Editor at The Phare www.thephare.com and lives in The Cotswolds, England.

Twitter:  @StevenJohnWrite

Website: www.stevenjohnwriter.co.uk


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paul beckman

Steven, I loved your story.

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