The Five Trials of Peru: Trial 2

The two survivors crawled onto shore and collapsed from exhaustion and hunger. When he awoke the prince found himself in a cave, dim and damp, locked in a cage built into the wall with his crewman. Looking to his right he saw several other men locked up in similar fashion. To his left was a pen housing sheep and piles of various treasures. Peru called out to the other men, asking the who’s and what’s.

A man from the next cage answered. “My name is Lothar, captain of a ship sailing east. This is my crew, or what remains of them. Months ago we wrecked upon this island where a terrible cyclops captured us. He keeps us as slaves and food, picking whichever pikes his tastes to roast over a fire at random. He sustains himself on sheep all other times. There is no hope for us; many have tried escaping but none have succeeded.”    

Just then the cyclops returned; walking through the entrance of the cave he blocked out the light with his mass. Five stories high and four wide his single eye fell upon his newest hostages. The prince heard a low chuckle as the cyclops went about his business, stoking a roaring fire in the middle of the cave before approaching the cages. Looking Peru up and down he found him lacking much substance so moved to the other, the prince’s one remaining countryman, who he found to be more fatted around the middle. Taking him from the cage he gave one great heave and slammed the man against a nearby rock, cracking his skull. Cooking and eating the human the cyclops threw the scraps to the sheep and rolled over, falling into a deep slumber.

“See?” Lothar whispered to Peru. “There is no escape or hope.”

The prince was wroth with wrath at the death of his man and swore vengeance against the giant. The next morn the cyclops released the men and herded them to a nearby field full of crop, indicating they should tend the field. Peru followed the other men’s lead and set to work, knowing it best. Many months passed in such fashion.

Gradually Peru befriended the other prisoners and told them of his unfortunate account. One bitter night when the giant felt particularly hungry and ate two men Lothar bargained with him: “Should you kill the beast and free my men I swear to do all in my power to help you reach your destination.” 

Pleased with such a proposal the prince thought of ways to kill the cyclops. A week later night fell and the men were led back to the cave from a hard day in the fields. A sheep was on the menu and after eating his fill the cyclops rolled over and fell to sleep.

Once assured the monster slept the prince brought out a sharp rock he picked up when the cyclops had his back to him and began sawing the ropes binding his cage door shut. Gradually the ropes broke and the cage door swung open. Inching his way out, begging the others looking on to remain silent, he crept to the pile of treasure, the pillage of any ship wrecked upon the island shore, hoping to find what once belonged to him before the giant enslaved him. At last he happened upon his sword, a gift from his father for the journey across the ocean. Creeping back the prince raised the blade and stabbed the cyclops in the eye, blinding him.

Roaring awake the giant raged about the cave, grabbing for the prince. But swift of feet the boy dashed left and right, slashing at his ankles until the cyclops collapsed to the ground in despair for his life. In one fell swoop the prince took his head clean off.

The men cheered, praising the prince for his strength and bravery. He quickly untied the others and they rejoiced in their freedom. Exploring the cave and treasure the giant had hoarded the men took back what was theirs. After some they left the cave behind and set about exploring the island, wishing to walk from one end to the other in hopes of finding some means by which to sail on the sea once more.

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