Therapy

58DegreesJuly is going through an identity crisis. Temperatures aren’t record low, but they feel utterly unusual. Not as shocking as spotting a tiny man in my home, and certainly not as delightfully puzzling, that’s for sure. I’ve been trying to find little people since birth (there are pictures of me as a baby, being held by either of my parents, always looking down, searching for who knows who), so if one day I do meet a tiny man as he emerges from a small baseboard door, or my shoe, or my panty drawer (what was he doing there?!), or my cupboard, I’ll- I’ll… what will I do? I don’t know. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out. Also, long ago I considered therapy for “this”, but no more. Why destroy the precious bloom of my fantasies with mental health? Also, I don’t like pistachios. Also, I’m rewatching the World Cup games, just for fun.

* * *

Maxine shifted in her chair, looking uncomfortable. “My back hurts.”

“What happened to your back?”

“In my incredible wisdom, I decided to sit in bed so I wouldn’t fall asleep waiting for the little guy to reappear. But I invariably drift off in a terrible position for my back, and after two nights, it’s killing me.”

“Would you like me to get you a cushion? I have a heating pad in my kit that you can use for the rest of the hour.”

“No, thanks. I’ll be okay. Let’s get on with it.”

“Very well. Let’s go back to what you said about the little guy. You’re waiting for it to reappear?”

“I know how that sounds, okay? But I also know what I saw.” She wanted to add, “He’s not an ‘it’, he’s a ‘him’,” but the addition of those words to her declaration felt self-incriminating and counterproductive.

“During your last visit, you spoke of it as a product of your imagination. A hallucination brought about by stress. Has something changed?”

“No. I don’t know! I’ve been telling you for weeks that I think I’m nuts. During my visits, as you so quaintly put it, like you’re my great-aunt Gertrudis, and we’re sharing a cup of tea, and you’re telling me about the Spanish duendecitos that helped you escape Franco’s military police as they chased you through the woods.”

“The Spanish what?”

“Duendecitos. The diminutive form of ‘duendes’, Spanish for ‘elves’.”

“I see. Maxine, you seem upset.”

“Of course I’m upset! Why do you think I keep coming here? I need help. I need to stop feeling like this. I need to stop needing to find some stupid little guy that doesn’t exist! Can’t you just give me some drugs, like I asked? Just prescribe me some Ambien so I can sleep, and something that numbs me so I don’t think about him, or care about the clues he leaves!”

The therapist sat quietly this time and listened.

“Great. Now I’m talking about the clues as though they are real.”

“What do you think they are?”

“They are things I want to see. They are accidents of nature. Or things I forgot I bought.”

The therapist’s silence nudged Max on. “It’s just… if I’ve forgotten so many things, then there’s something very wrong with my memory.”

“I recall you said there have been a few things you found. A ring, a wreath, a letter written on the back of a used stamp. Have you seen more of these tiny objects?”

Max had not told her therapist the whole story, or mentioned the real number of gifts she kept in a box under lock and key; gifts she inspected almost every night as she marveled at the craftsmanship. Craftswomanship, if she was doing that to herself. Over thirty precious little tokens of… what? Friendship? Showmanship?

They felt like more than that; much more, but she refused to define that feeling. One insanity at a time, please. The first order of business was regaining her ability to sleep, which she had lost to the notion that there was a little man living in her house and making her presents and writing tiny notes for her.

“Maxine. You seem distracted.”

“Huh? Oh, I’m sorry. What was I saying?”

“I asked you about the items in your possession. You mentioned three gifts.”

No, lady. Try over thirty gifts. One for each month, one for each of my birthdays, holidays, and a condolence note when I lost my sister. But I’m never going to admit as much, and I’m certainly not going to show them to you. “Yes, that’s right. Three gifts.”

“Do you mind if I see them?”

“W-why do you want to see them?”

“I’ve heard you talk about these gifts as real, palpable objects you can touch. I’d like to offer my set of eyes if you feel comfortable showing me the objects. That way I can tell you what they seem to me.”

“Yeah, ok.” I’m showing her the crown, but I’m never showing- Shit, what’s wrong with me? She’s only trying to help! Max couldn’t help but hold back. As badly as she wanted peace and a good night’s rest, there was something she could only describe as a feeling of foreboding when she pictured spilling every secret about the events that had been taking place for two years. “I wear the cro- the thing that looks like a crown like a pendant around my neck.”

“May I see the wreath and the note as well?”

“Uh, they… the wreath fell apart, and the note did too after I handled it too much. It’s just as well. I probably just imagined it was a note.”

“That’s unfortunate. I would have liked to see them.”

“Yeah…but here’s the crown.” Max pulled a delicate chain from the front of her blouse. The crown slid slightly, a pendant so light it barely had any effect on the silver links. The therapist stood up from her own plush chair, and approached Max. She bent over her and squinted at her chest, trying to get a good look at the infinitesimal gift.

“Would you mind if I get a closer look?”

“Not at all. Look as closely as you can.”

“Would you please remove the necklace from your neck so I can look at it with my magnifying glass?” The therapist said that while walking towards her desk, which for some reason annoyed Max tremendously.

“I’d rather not”, she said as politely as she could. The therapist seemed surprised, and to Max’s shock, slightly annoyed. “Maxine, I’m only trying to help. I can’t see small things up close-”

“Then put your reading glasses back on, and that magnifying glass will really come in handy.”

“Yes, but the chain around your neck is quite short, and the light in this office is not sufficient for close inspection.”

“Then I’ll stand by the window, in direct sunlight.”

“Maxine, how can I help if I can’t do my job?” The therapist’s voice was pleasant enough, and she was smiling when she said the words, but there was a glint of anger in her eyes that she failed to hide for a fraction of a second; long enough for Max to notice.

“I’m not removing my grandma’s chain from around my neck. If you like to see the ‘object’, then get as close as you like. I don’t mind.”

“Very well”. The therapist walked around her desk, and while she unlocked a drawer and searched for her magnifying glass, Max stood up slowly–her back twinging painfully–and walked over to the window. While she she looked for the lever to open the blinds, they lifted by themselves with a soft whoosh. Max turned around and saw the therapist holding a small remote.

“Fancy”, she said, suddenly feeling uneasy. The therapist only smiled again as she moved closer to Max. She set down the remote on the window sill and held up the most ornate magnifying glass Max had ever seen. Max brushed her hair back from her shoulders, and fished out the tiny crown again. When the therapist reached for it and pinched it between her fingers, Max felt a wave of nausea hit the pit of her stomach.

“See the tiny red jewels?” She asked, when she felt the therapist’s fingers grip the crown and tug at the chain. “What are you doing? Stop!” Max’s own hand flew to the therapist’s hand, closing around it and struggling to keep it close to her chest. She looked at the therapist in disbelief, and saw a look in her eyes, a mixture of rage and desperation that made no sense.

The therapist reached for her with her free hand, and Max realized she was determined to tear the crown away from her. Fury filled her thoughts like a red curtain. She rushed forward, tackling the therapist and sending her sprawling on her back. The fall had the desired effect as the therapist’s grip loosened. Max, having toppled over her with considerable more weight in her much wider hips, rolled off the steamrolled therapist, and scrambled to her feet as quickly as she could.

“You fucker. What the hell do you think you’re doing? What’s wrong with you?” The therapist lay still on the floor, clearly conscious, a calculating look streaming from her eyes like a stock market ticker. She’s… regrouping. Fuck, I have to get out of here. Am I locked in here?

“Max, why did you attack me?” The therapist was lifting herself from the floor, and Max took a couple of steps back. “Max, stop. Please, calm down. I want to help. Why did you push me so hard?”

Max only took a few more steps away from her, too scared to look around for the door, thinking the moment she did, the therapist would rush her, but she had no choice. The moment she glanced around, she looked back long enough to see the therapist lunging toward her desk. Max didn’t wait to find out the reason, and half expected the door to be locked as she turned the brass knob. She heard it click a fraction of a second after she opened it. As she rushed out of the office, the therapist screamed in frustration, but Max ignored her. She saw no one as she ran to the main entrance and then sprinted off again, looking back at the glass and metal doors of that brand new office building, now thankful she hadn’t driven there.

My paranoia finally paid off. I didn’t give her my real address or phone number, and I paid cash. I only wish I hadn’t used part of my first name. But she can’t find me, can she? And what the fuck was that about? Why would she try to rip his crown from my neck? Fucking lunatic. Just my luck. The adrenaline pumping through Max’s body made everything look too bright, and she realized she was still running when she saw people staring at her.

She slowed down and looked around. She had no idea where she was, but she hopped on the first bus she saw. Four bus connections and one hailed cab later, she was home. She didn’t mind having taken the long way home. She didn’t always take her cell phone with her, and now she was glad she hadn’t. There was no GPS, no cell tower, no credit card trail on her.

In the dim light of one single lamp in her living room, she spoke out loud, alone, to someone not herself. For the first time in two years, she addressed the little guy that had been leaving tiny notes containing one single message, always somewhere they could be spotted easily. The notes were always clues to the location of a gift, and there was no explanation for any of the dozens of gifts in her possession.

“Well, that was a bust. I hope you’re happy. I hope you’re real. I saw you… I know it was just a glimpse, a moment, and I was blitzed beyond belief… but I know I saw you standing there, next to my shoes, polishing a scuff mark on one of them. And then you dove under the couch and I couldn’t find you no matter how hard I looked.” Max was speaking softly, affectionately, the way one might address an adorable kitten clawing his way up one’s leg.

“I tried to get some help. Mainly drugs. So I can sleep. For two years you’ve been giving me these precious little presents, and I’m grateful. I’m even grateful if it’s just another personality trapped in my head making these tiny works of art, because there’s real talent and creativity behind all that work. But I really need to sleep. I’d be very grateful if I could have enough sleep sometimes… and thoughts of you make my brain burn like it’s on fire.”

Now Max felt her exhaustion, all the adrenaline that had coursed through her like a tornado added to that devastation, and tears began to fill her eyes; however, her voice did not break. “I don’t know why you’re doing this, or if you need my help, or are recruiting me for your army of giants. If you could let me know, maybe I can get some decent shuteye.”

In the wall, in the darkness interrupted by an otherworldly source of light, the air stirred.

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The Right Gift

Häagen-Dazs
We [would] share this kind.
I was having some ice cream earlier, and thinking how astoundingly lovely it would be to share it with someone that doesn’t exist. I’d fish out some of the crunchy bits and give him something small enough for him to hold by himself, and I’d let him lick my fingertip after dipping it into the creamy parts. That’d be the life, I thought. And then I thought the perfect follow-up entry to my latest blog post would be the opposite of my opposite, so let me fire up my Sexy Music playlist (ooh, Pixies), and here I go…

* * *

Once upon a time, there was a man very much in love with his girlfriend. One night he returned home from work very late because he had driven a long way to pick up a very special gift for her. As he entered the house he was carrying the gift in his jacket pocket. He quietly went upstairs, made his way to their bedroom, and stood in the doorway looking at the moonlit shape of her body in bed, under the blanket. It only took him a moment to realize she was still awake.

“Honey.”

She stirred and pronounced groggily, “Yeah.”

“I’m sorry I’m so late. I have something for you. I should’ve waited til tomorrow morning to give it to you, but I can’t wait! I’m kind of nervous about it; we’ve never discussed this before and I don’t… can you please turn on the lamp and look at me?

She acquiesced as she lifted her head away from the pillow and extended one graceful arm toward her bedside lamp. She flicked it on and looked at him as she blinked away the pain of that sudden light.

“What is it?”

He smiled salaciously at her at her and his voice descended into vocal fry. “You know those new toys for sale now… those little sexual aids for couples that- God, I’m listening to myself now, and I can’t believe I got one. I can… return it tomorrow if you want, but I thought you might like to try and see…”

“What are you talking about? Sexual aid? We don’t need that. We’re doing OK… aren’t we?”

He turned red, his eyes unblinking as he looked at her. It was obvious he was extremely aroused. She didn’t know this, but to him it felt strange to feel aroused and simply stand there, because she was the woman he loved, the woman he was going to share the rest of his life with, and he could always go to her. Why was he not running to her side?

She was now fully awake as she sat up. “Are you talking about a dildo? I will tear you a new ass if that’s what you want. In fact, I just got a-”

“No! No, no, no, no. No!” He laughed nervously and found himself taking one step away from her. “It’s nothing like that.”

“So you want me to wear something? I’m fine with that. What is it? A robot costume? I’d love that! So hot. Give it to me, I’m gonna go change.”

And he said, so quietly she almost didn’t hear him, “It’s not that, but let’s have a conversation about that later. I’ll just show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out the box, and brought it to her.

“That’s a very small box. What sort of sexual aid can possibly fit in there?”

“Just open it.”

She held out her hand and he set the box gently in her palm. She examined the exterior as it looked like it might’ve contained a bracelet. She opened it, hoping he wasn’t connecting jewelry with sex. That would certainly turn me off, she thought as she realized there was no bracelet, but a small man, very tiny, only 2 inches in height. He seemed terrified out of his mind, his eyes shut tightly as he trembled helplessly. She shot a look at her boyfriend, her fingers tensing around the box, her hand shaking slightly. The tiny man in it felt the box that contained him rocked to and fro, and he squeaked and grasped at the trademark blue velvet around him, trying to grip it.

“What is this? It’s one of those little guys in the news, isn’t it. Those toys, those sex toys everyone’s talking about! Why? Why did you-? Why is there one in our home? Oh, my God! I can’t even- he- he’s beautiful.”

“It’s for you. I got it for you. I got it so we can try it out. There was this interview with the inventor…”

“I know. We watched it together two months ago. What did I tell you then?”

He looked at her, clueless, fishing for the memory, knowing his brain would fail him.

“You don’t remember, do you? You weren’t paying attention to me, as usual! What I said was that little men as sex toys were the most appealing idea ever. What I said was that men are supposed to be tiny! They’re supposed to be small, weak, powerless. Protected in the realm. Look at this fabulous little thing. Fuck yes, this will be helpful in bed. I watched the interview. I know what they do to these little things, and… fuck! Just take it, take it away from me. I’m having a hard time…”

“What? You don’t want it? I’m confused.” He extended his arm in a perfect rewind of the moment before, so as to take the box from her. He stood in place, holding his hand in the air, watching his girlfriend stare at the tiny man in the box. “Are you going to give it back to me?”

She gave him a distracted glance.”No, never mind. I’m just… feeling. Setting my mind to using this tiny body for sex. So much sex. Sex all night and all day.”

“What? Uh, honey, what are you talking about? These things don’t last very long, you know? It’s good for a couple of times, but then-”

“Get the fuck out of here.”

“What?”

“W-what?”

“You told me to get ‘the fuck out of here’!”

“Oh, I meant figuratively. Just… surely this little man can go longer than a couple of times…” Her voice changed aim from him to the man in the box, her tone overwhelmingly sweet. “Yes, you can, can you? I bet you can go hundreds and hundreds of times, isn’t that right? You just need the right touch, the right hand, the right words.”

“What are you doing? You’re talking to it!”

“You know what, honey? I think you’re scaring him with your voice. He keeps trembling and I think he’s even crying. Every time you say something, he shivers. Maybe we should give him time to adjust, don’t you think?”

“Adjust? It’s a sex toy! It adapts, or it doesn’t. You’re acting weird.”

“Just give us some space, alright? Maybe sleep downstairs tonight.”

“Us? Us?”

“I mean… give me some space with the little man. I’ll explain what’s what, and get him settled. This is your gift to me, right? Just let me enjoy him the way I want to enjoy him.”

“It was supposed to be a toy for the both of us.”

“You said it was for me. You said you got it for me.”

He opened his mouth to say something in response, but she was looking down at the contents of the box, and the heat in her gaze made him feel invisible. He felt flames of anger in his head, and a mad wish to grab the box and smash it against the wall. He took one step towards her, his hand shooting out from his side, when she looked up at him, at the expression on his face, and pulled the box to her chest. She held it there and rose to her feet, keeping perfect balance even in bed, on the unsteady mattress.

“Touch him and I’ll kill you.”

Her hostile words knocked speech out of him entirely. His jaw dropped, his eyes bulged out of their sockets, and he shook his head in disbelief. Then he spoke, his words branded with hurt.

“I’m going to go downstairs. I’ll be in the living room when you’re ready to apologize to me.” He walked out of the room, closing the door behind him and opening it instantly after, before he disappeared in the dim light of the hallway. She moved the box away from the protection of her chest, and looked at the little guy. Her face broke into a smile wider than the whole world. Her heart was pounding hard, and she wondered if he could hear it.

“Hi.”

He winced at that single word. She lowered herself back into a sitting position, always managing to hold the box level in front of her.

“Shh, don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you. Look at me. Stop shutting your eyes, and look at me. Look at your owner.”

He trembled harder, but opened his tiny eyes, and lifted his gaze up, as high as it would go, and fixed it into her eyes. She swallowed hard and made herself breathe. The gale of her breath moved his tiny curls back from his face, and she lost her mind a little more.

“Do you know why you are here?”

“Y-yes.”

“Tell me.”

“I’m going to be used as a sex toy. Your boyfriend and you are going to-”

“No. Wrong. You are my sex toy. Just mine. No one else is ever going to touch you. Not ever. Mine, mine forever. Do you understand?”

“But…”

“No, no buts. All you have to say is, ‘I understand, owner.’”

“O-owner?”

“Yes, that’s what I am to you. I own you. Only I own you. No one else exists.”

The tiny man was still trembling, but now he sat up, his tiny bottom barely sinking in the soft velvet that framed his body.

“What are you going to do to me?”

She smiled again, giving him the warmest look he had ever received in his life. She reached for him with one single digit. The soft tip of her finger touched the infinitesimal tuft of his hair, and she watched his head sink between his shoulders with the weight of that small fraction of herself. She felt another notch of self-control break into pieces.

“Anything I want, any time I want.”

“What does that mean?”

“Rephrase that, little toy.”

“T-toy? My name is-”

“Your name is Toy. Fucktoy. Say it.”

“Toy.”

“Say, ‘My name is Toy.'”

“My name is Toy.”

“Rephrase your question, Toy.”

“What does that mean, owner?”

Her boyfriend forgotten in more ways she thought possible, she lowered her toy where it was needed. It found itself tumbling from the jewelry box. It found itself trembling. It found itself crying. It found itself screaming. It felt a terror that was new to it, but mingling with all those sensations there was an all-encompassing certainty that it was wanted. It was the most wanted thing on Earth.

The Gift

I was having dinner when I thought, What if I were the exact opposite of me? What would I be like? And I thought of the following scenario. It isn’t the exact opposite of me in a couple of ways (and whoever can guess those will win one fabulously lousy t-shirt), but it’s close enough in most ways. This is not my usual writing, so pay attention to tags and categories if you like.

* * *

Once upon a time, there was a man very much in love with his girlfriend. One night he returned home from work very late because he had driven a long way to pick up a very special gift for her. As he entered the house he was carrying the gift in his pocket. He went upstairs with quiet steps, made his way into their bedroom and stood in the doorway looking at the moonlit shape her body made in bed under the blanket. It only took him a moment to realize she was not asleep.

“Honey.”

She stirred and pronounced groggily, “I’m awake.”

“I’m sorry I’m so late. I have something for you. I was going to wait until tomorrow morning to give it to you, but I am kind of nervous about this… we’ve never discussed this before and I don’t… I- can you turn on the light and look at me, please?

She acquiesced as she turned away from her pillow and extended one graceful arm toward her bedside lamp. She flicked it on and looked at him as she blinked away the pain of that sudden light.

“What is it?”

He smiled weakly at her at her and his voice was nearly a whisper. “You know those are new toys they have out now… those little sexual aids for couples that- God, I’m listening to myself now, and I can’t believe I got one. I have- You know what? Never mind. I’ll return it tomorrow. It was stupid not to ask you first.”

“What are you talking about? “Sexual aid“? We don’t need that. We’re doing OK… aren’t we?”

He turned red, his eyes unblinking as he looked at her. It was obvious he was extremely uncomfortable. She didn’t know this, but it felt strange to feel uncomfortable because she was the woman he loved, the woman he was going to share the rest of his life with, and he could always tell her anything. Why was he so out of sorts?

She was now fully awake as she sat up. “Are are you talking about a dildo? D-do you want me to go up your-”

“No! No, no, no, no. No!” He started laughing, yet he seemed more nervous than ever. “It’s nothing like that.”

“So you want me to wear something? I’m fine with that. What is it? A French maid outfit?”

And he said, so quietly she almost didn’t hear him, “No. I’ll just show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out the box, and brought it to her.

“Well, it’s a very small box. What can possibly in there that’s helpful to anyone?”

“Look at it.”

She held out her hand and he set the box gently in her palm. She examined, as it looked like it might’ve contained a bracelet. She opened it, half hoping there was a beautiful piece of jewelry in there. That would certainly put me in the mood, she thought as she realized there was no bracelet in it, but a small man, very tiny, only 2 inches in height. He seemed terrified out of his mind, his eyes shut tightly as he trembled helplessly. She shot a look at her boyfriend, suddenly holding the box as though it contained a catastrophic red button covered in bug shit and vomit.

“What the fuck is this? It’s one of those little guys in the news, isn’t it? Those toys, those sex toys everyone’s talking about! Why? Why did you-? Why is there one in our home? Oh, my God! I can’t even- Here, take this box!”

“But it’s for you. I got it for you. I got it so we can try it out… and there was this interview with the inventor…”

“I know. We watched it together two months ago. What did I tell you then?”

He looked at her, clueless, fishing for the memory, knowing his brain would fail him.

“You don’t remember, do you. Do you? You weren’t paying attention to me, as usual! What I said was that little men as sex toys were the most repugnant idea ever. What I said was that men are not supposed to be tiny! They’re supposed to be large, tall, strong, powerful. Defenders of the realm. Look at this ridiculous little thing. How is this helpful in bed? I watched the interview. I know what they do to these little things, but… gross! Just take it, take it away from me. I can’t even look at it again.”

He extended his arm in a perfect rewind of the moment before, and took the box away from her. He stood in place, holding it like it was headlights and he the deer. As she turned to turn off her light, she said, “Are you coming to bed?

“Wait a minute, what am I supposed to do with this?”

“I don’t know. Flush it down the toilet. I don’t care, just get rid of it.”

“Okay.” He looked at the little guy, and felt a pant of guilt he knew would pass, yet he spoke up. “Can we talk about this some more?”

His girlfriend sat up with the speed of a tornado, and spat furiously, “No, we can’t. We won’t. Not ever. I don’t want that thing anywhere near my bed. I don’t want it on my skin, I don’t want it between us, I don’t want it in me or on you. I want it gone.”

There was a flicker of anger in his heart for a moment as he looked down at the little man and said to him in his quietest whisper yet: “What did you do to get in this situation? Why did you sell yourself? What did you get in exchange? Just talk to me. I know you’re not supposed to talk, but fucking talk.”

There was a little voice that came from a box, a warm, beautiful voice he’d never forget when the little man said, “I got shrunk in exchange for medical treatment for my sister. She needed a new liver, and she got it, and now she’s alive, and… I’m here.”

“I’m sorry, little dude. I am. I don’t know what to tell you. This not going to work out–at least commercially–as you might’ve expected.” The little man shrugged as the big man continued, “Actually, you’re probably better off this way, but I can’t take care of you. I work. I have things to do-”

She sat up anew, having turned into her bed again, but still listening to her boyfriend as he addressed what she only considered a disgusting bug. “What the fuck are you talking about? I work too, remember? If you’re thinking I’m gonna take care that little roach…! I don’t take care of bugs. I crush them with my feet. I put poison in their bodies. Get rid of it and come to bed!”

The man walked over to the dresser, carefully closing the box. He opened one of her drawers, as he couldn’t face putting it among any of his belongings. He chose her underwear drawer, as she was sure to see it the next morning if it was there.

No sex took place in their home that night. In other homes, many tiny people were screaming. The next morning she got up to get ready for work. As she fetched a clean pair of underwear, she saw the little box. For a blissful moment, she didn’t know what it was until the full force of the memory came back to her and she swallowed back her repugnance, looked at the box, and shoved it off her panties with the tip of one fingernail.

Unable to face wearing panties that had shared the same confines as the vermin-filled box, she emptied the entire drawerful of undergarments in the dirty laundry basket, and went to work wearing nothing between skin and suit. The next day she went full commando again, and had that day not not been a Friday, things might have turned out slightly differently.

On Saturday she decided to wash her perfectly clean underwear, and disinfect her undergarment drawer. She also planned to make the long drive to the jewelry store and return the little guy, if he was still alive. Her boyfriend was wonderful, but terrible at facing merchandise refunds. She slid the drawer open, paper towel wielded in latex-gloved hand. She picked up the box and put it on top of her dresser. When she was done disinfecting the drawer and replacing its contents, it was already lunch time. She didn’t want to open the box, as she was hoping the little guy was dead so she could flush it down the toilet, but after she ate (and with difficulty, because the stomach kept turning at the idea of having to face this insect of a guy) she returned upstairs and opened the box.

The little man appeared asleep, and looked very dehydrated. He hadn’t had anything to eat or drink, yet he was still alive. He opened his eyes and blinked ever so delicately. The food in her stomach threatened to come back up, and all she wanted to do was smash the box and its contents against the nearest wall.

Instead, she set it down on the dresser rather violently. When her gaze refocused on his shape, he opened his eyes fully, and gave her one single look of understanding. He might’ve wanted to form words, but he didn’t. He nodded slightly as she grabbed the box, and flipped it over. The little man plummeted all the way to the beautifully polished wooden floorboards.

She didn’t wait to see if he had survived the fall. She brought one single flip-flop-clad foot over his minuscule form, and brought it down on him in one fell swoop. At the other side of the rubber sole, she heard a soft crunch, and the unmistakable spread of something both soft and hard she couldn’t face cleaning. She removed her foot from her stained flip-flop and walked away. Limping indistinguishably, she visited the refrigerator to see if she had any ice cream left for dessert.

Happy Independence Day!

Independence_Day_2018

Imagine for a moment that on a day like today, you are very small. You love your country. No matter who you are, no matter who you voted for, no matter what your crazy ideology is, you truly believe you know what’s best.

But it doesn’t matter what you think because you are very small compared to the person  that holds you in their possession. He or she decides your rights. He or she nudges your day–this day–in the right direction.

If she or he or they or whatever, is anything like me, they’ll start your Fourth of July with massive amounts of sex, voluntary or not, because… darling little person, the only independence you have is of thought.

I did tell your that you were very small.

Right now, where I am, how I am, that’s how I would start my day. I would poke that small shape hidden in fabric or skin folds, and say… “Again…” by way of “good morning”. And then, after a few agains I’d have other things to do.

That little shape, very male and very adorable, would get some sleep while I do my 4th-of-July things… but not for long. Before or after or during lunch time I would poke poke poke him again for some more fun. And he needs to eat to keep up his strength.

Then there’s dinner and more fun to plan. Where are we going to go see the fireworks? That’s for me to decide and execute, and while I make those preparations he’d be right there with me, doing as he’s told so I can focus and get the job done.

Because there’s no real independence, you see? Oh, since the beginning of time and for whatever reason you tiny people think you need to make your own decisions. It’s a very human instinct, wanting to be free and live your life on your own terms.

But on a day like today I dream there’s a version of me in a world like this one, and I’m spending the entire day with the tiny man I shrank, and he’s utterly dependent on me for everything, because he’s so very small.

The same way you have no choice but to breathe, and your heart has no choice but to beat, and your brain has no choice but to connect lines of thought, that tiny man has no choice but to be small for me.

Yet we celebrate today with all the energy it deserves. We live in a country to which I could immigrate freely, where I can come and go as I please, read and say what I want, blog what I want, and nothing can stop me. So far.

In that universe I have the freedom to shrink who I want, and on a day like today I would want that chosen man to feel that freedom. I wouldn’t stomp him, eat him, crush him, torture him, blast him with my farts nor make him smell my socks.

I might assault him a little bit, but believe the hell out of me when I tell you he’d have as much fun as I have. Maybe a few more times. And he’d celebrate every damned second I have the freedom to use his little body and love it as I do.

But back to the real world: I wish you a very happy Independence Day, whatever you’re doing today. You’ll probably spend it with your girlfriend or wife or children or yourself, but whatever you do, you’ll probably hear some fireworks if you’re in the States, or watch it on the YT.

When you do, think that those booms are my footsteps. Tiny or normal sized, let your mind transform those explosions into footsteps. Alright, not mine, but the giant feet of someone you like or love. And imagine they are coming for you, and only you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

And pretend there is nothing you can do about that desperate, innate desire for independence. That’s my wish for you today. You are free in real life, but maybe today you’ll imagine how much better your life would be if only you were someone’s tiny property.

I know I do.

P.S. Baseball is the boringest ball sport ever.

Chalk Line

Merry_Christmas_by_DrT3T
Untitled, by MrT3T

You, down there, sprawled on the floor, probably know that clearly delineated line that separates pain from pleasure, as advertised by that Friday night feeling of Now You Get To Drink, and you know exactly how much you can drink before you get sick. Is it eight shots? Nine? Fourteen? Once I did four shots of rum and three of Everclear and I resurfaced relatively unscathed. There was that one night I only downed five shots of vodka and hurled everything but my soul down the toilet.

Still… there’s that feeling. That measuring cup in your brain that begins to reach the brim and tells you, “That’s enough drinking. One more shot and all that numb pleasure will become pain, and toilet rim, and empty promises to never drink again.” Did you ever listen? I always did. I’m walking the line right now; that line as clear as the chalk my teachers used as a tool to explain algebra or chemical compounds. I loved Chemistry. I aced every test, the way they failed every test, even though they were a perfect match.

I thought so, anyway. You, down there, also know that giantesses like to play with crowds, but not this one giantess. She only liked to play with a crowd of one. Why didn’t you warn her? You should have. Someone should have told her to play it safe, to scatter her attention unlike so many huge eggs in one tiny basket. I blame you, and you should blame yourself now that the end is here, because she grows taller now; she keeps growing and we’re her punching bag.

Once upon a time she was just like you, a woman of normal size and a normal life of little effect upon the world. Had she died at any point before everything changed, her friends and family would have noticed and grieved, but no one else. That would have been okay, but then she grew. That day her heart was pounding hard, and her joints hurt as though she was riddled with arthritis–which she did not have–and her skin felt as though it was on fire. She took some ibuprofen, but it didn’t help. 

At 12:25 that night she began to grow, the same as the others. She felt it in her bra first. She always had to wear one like armor, because her breasts were quite large… yet she looked away from her computer screen and down at her chest, and watched it swell. She might have thought she was imagining it, and as she did every month, she said, “Fuck these things, and fuck their size! How they hurt! That’s it! I’m having a breast reduction!”

No, I have no idea if she really said that, but that’s what large-breasted people say sometimes. She said something of the kind in one of those early interviews. Breasts of any size can hurt, no matter what all that porn made anyone think. That moment, her back hurt but so did her front, her top, and her bottom. Her eyebrows joined as one and she looked down at her thighs. They were pressing up at the underside of her computer desk (Mac desk, if you believe the press), and that’s when she finally realized something was very wrong. Her heart grew a few inches, lacerating itself against her normal-sized ribs and healing instantly as every bone in her body cracked and healed again and again as they followed the wave of expansion.

Try to imagine every one of your two hundred and six bones in your body shattering simultaneously, slicing your muscles and organs because they are growing a few inches. Imagine the pain doesn’t kill you. Imagine those inches are now feet, and those feet number in the dozens, then hundreds. But that excruciating pain didn’t render her mindless.

She threw herself back and away from her Mac, and found herself boxed in a room that barely contained her. Then, thinking of her family, she hurled herself forward to no avail, because she grew to the front and to the back too, and her expanding body crushed her husband and children just as they woke up to the sound of her screaming, and wood and plaster cracking all around them, and the butchering sounds of her exploding flesh. They didn’t feel a thing. Feeling everything was her job as she looked back and saw red in the night, saw bodies under her, and screamed all the nine-one-ones that were left in the world. Her madness was immediate.

Months later, she had healed… adjusted, remember? She had a job, a new life, and every night she went to sleep in her designated field with thoughts of that family she had killed with her growth. And one day she saw him. One morning she’d been patrolling the city as always, as all normal giantesses did (never mind the building-raping ones… they belong in another story). She’d been talking to the [little] people, listening to their complaints, comforting them when she could with a warm word or embrace. She’d been tippy-toeing her way across streets and highways, picking up stranded drivers, giving them rides to work, nursing and transporting the injured, when she saw him. She decided he was perfect.

But you knew he wasn’t, didn’t you? You knew what he was. Why didn’t you tell her? You should have. And maybe this end would not be your fault. Maybe there would have never been reason for that anger, and she would not have decided to become the biggest, tallest building fucker of them all. Maybe she would have stopped growing. Maybe she would have been happy. Fuck you for not telling her you all knew he was a jerk.

Now look at everything. Look outside. I said look, asshole! Scrape yourself off the floor and pull the curtain to the side and see the world she’s made. Did you see where there used to be those buildings downtown? Did you count the people that were working there that day when she finally had enough? Did you know it was all your fault? Thousands of shattered lives that day. Did you know anyone that worked there? Oh, the flurry of comments online; the chats and tweets. “She’s lost her mind!” you cried out. “Somebody do something!” you clamored. But there was no one left to do anything, because she was pissed beyond belief, and she was growing.

She was a couple of hundred feet tall when she saw him walking down the street. What do they still call that? Something about some little fucker with a bow and arrow. She saw him and he was Nutella and heat and rushing blood and chocolate and tequila and fire and holidays all turned into one. He was in color when the world was black and white. Shit. I crossed the line. I fucking crossed the line with this hard seltzer. That last swig made my  stomach turn into a churning nightmare… but can you blame me? This is the last drop of alcohol left in the world. What a shitty deal. Let me tell you about her a little longer, because I don’t think I have enough time left to throw up.

She loved him, but he didn’t love her back. She took him, but he didn’t really take her back. Oh, he could have. If you don’t have any intelligent questions to ask, then keep quiet. Yes, you can take a giantess if you’ve of a mind to. All you need is little words. Tiny words and a dance she understands. And boy, did he dance for her! He said all the right things, and you heard him. I know you did. You just sat in your miserable, unventilated office and let him hold that megaphone as he gave her crumbs when she wanted a feast.

But when she discovered what he was, what he truly was, she screamed and she grew. How tall? Don’t ask me that. I don’t know. Look out your window. No, look. Stop crying and look. LOOK. Part the fucking curtains and see her come, because we’re the last of them, and she’s coming for us. You should have told her it wasn’t true.

Don’t ask dumb questions. Her feet aren’t parting the clouds. Those aren’t preexisting clouds. That’s the natural heat from her toes evaporating her sweat, and creating a stream of moisture in the atmosphere, which looks to you like swirling clouds as it mixes with the Earth. Yes, she makes our atmosphere even as she destroys it. Hundreds of thousands of feet above, where there’s no oxygen, she pulls every molecule of oxygen from down here into her lungs. I know you can’t see her face, even though you’re looking at it. All you see is the fire on her skin as the sun cooks it with no atmosphere to protect her. It burns everything, yet she keeps breathing ignited air. Do you feel sorry for her? Don’t. She heals instantly, and she’s killing the Earth with all that combustion.

But don’t worry your tiny little head. There’s nothing you can do about it now. Calm down. You should have told her early on he was just humoring her. Now she grows… Yes! She still grows. Can’t you see? LOOK. Do you see the blue in the sky disappearing? Look at all the rainbows by her ankles as every particle that made our air shifts to make prisms. There must be a million rainbows… Yes, like ankle bracelets. I feel the vacuum now. I feel it in my joints. Do you feel it in your lungs? Try to take a deep breath. No, you stupid fuck, do not open the window. There’s very little air outside now. She’s taken it all for herself, and she grows. Soon she’ll be the only one left.

Look at her shins, if you can. It’s like looking into space made of skin. Imagine the Everest is two feet walking toward you, and multiply that by ankles and shins and calves. Yes, that flesh-colored horizon you see is the rooting of her legs into the ground. Do you see the clouds of dust as they spiral up into the moisture her toes create? Look at their shapes. Yes. Tornadoes. Hundreds… no, thousands of tornadoes belching out of her skin as it creates weather. She’s walking each of them over toward us. Have you made your peace?

Then make peace now. Whisper a last goodbye in your head to those you love. They are long gone. No, you’re not going anywhere. Every time she takes a step, the earth claims a million lives. Stay put. We don’t have that many floors above us. Look at the buildings crumbling all around us. Now we can barely see her past the storm of debris. Look. Soon that glass will break and you’ll breathe in nothing but blood and bone. I warned you. You should have told her he was an opportunistic asshole. This is all your fault. My god, why does my body hurt so much?

Keep looking. Strain your eyesight upwards. Do you see her knees? You knew her before she grew this tall, so you can transpose that memory into the world she is now. I know you can’t see her thighs. They are far too distant, far into space, more moonfolk than Earthfolk now. What? No, you can’t stop her. Apologize? You can try, but you know there’s very little oxygen left out there. How is she going to hear your little screams? You should have warned her when you had the chance. When she was only a couple of hundred feet tall, and not thousands upon thousands of feet of flesh bearing down upon us.

Try saying you’re sorry. Why not? You and I know he never did. Maybe if he’d tried she wouldn’t have kept growing. Do you remember when she started fucking buildings? That should have been a clue that something was wrong. You should have said something then, but by all means say something now, when her ears are atmosphereless, when her heart should be the size of a moon but has been shattered into factions and rebellions and muscle that pulses with the strength to demolish worlds.

But wait. Wait until the window shatters from her feet digging into Earth plates that were supposed to shift on their own. Wait until she gets closer and the roof above our heads has fractured into splinters and the cancer of remaining asbestos that is now a loving embrace compared to what awaits us under her sole. Do you doubt it? She won’t miss. She’s coming for us. Her footprints are as large as states, and she aims well, and you will pay as much as I will. We are both destined to be red for an instant and then grey as our liquified remains mingle with dust. We will be absorbed, and deteriorate in the void of a dead Earth. My heart is pounding so hard! And my bra… my clothes! Oh, my god!

Now! The window shatters. Tell her! Beg! Claim you didn’t know, and cry for mercy. Distract her. Her foot comes down. Dark. Darker. Darkest. Look away. Look at me and hold my

You enjoy immense posteriors…

And you cannot utter that which is opposite to the truth.

If you like July’s contest theme to be butts, vote accordingly:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7ibdbNjsMsUUlzkRE_pXNoPNpVte0QN-yK4imJi_d8dn05A/viewform

If you vote for something else…

I will find you.

I WILL FIND YOU.

Pucker up and kiss my…

Ass-4-small

As you know, my friend Aborigen runs writing contests. It is now time to vote for the theme that will dominate the next contest. I want to write stories about giant asses… and I don’t mean people of incredibly large sizes that behave unseemingly—I’m talking about that star-shaped enclosure surrounded by soft, embracing flesh, found on just about everyone’s body. I also want to write about tiny butts because they are adorable.

If you feel the way I do, vote for “butts” here:

http://bit.ly/2xhtnYv

If you feel differently, vote for “butts” anyway because there is a future where I rise above the clouds and rule this Earth with a tender, loving fist…

…unless you vote for anything besides “butts”. If that’s the case your horizon will darken, the air you breathe will spiral away from you in a violent vacuum, your mind will break as you see that shape—my shape—shatter the earth as I come closer. The last thing you’ll hear will sound like thunder but will be, “So you voted for stories about pee-filled balloons? That was unwise.”

You’ve been warned.

Where it ends

Lightning_by_quaoarus
“Lightning” by quaoarus

My optical drive is misbehaving

Like everything in my life

Except for my son and my cat

So I fix it

Because a giantess doesn’t only break things

She builds and she grows and she goes on

She moves on and leaves the past behind

Burning bridges with a smile

Like the one I formed that morning

When this body was born

But I was already here, in this world

Looking at the map of my life

Moving the pieces on a board that runs amok

Because that’s what they do

Life changes the rules and pulls the rug

And the rug under me was huge

It had to be

I can sit here and sink

Or I can grow taller and laugh

And think of how I see the world

Everyone in it a small toy

Everything in it a small toy

Because that’s how my brain works

And I love it

Sometimes I think of medication

Because sometimes it hurts

Would I change seeing it all from up here?

No

This is how I am

And when this body drops and rots

I’ll go on

Growing

And I’ll hold the tiniest thing

And I’ll love the biggest thing

And they won’t be any different to me

Because everything is small to me

Infinitesimal

So when you feel the air move and touch your face

That’s my breath against your flesh

When you plant your feet against the Earth

That’s my will spinning it

Look up and see the stars rushing by

That’s my game of lights

Lift your hand and say hello

And when you hear a distant rumble

When the sun winks from behind a cloud

When there’s a halo around the moon

When the Earth trips and dusts itself off

That’s me, saying hello back

My cat

If you’ve ever been sad, heartbroken because you lost a pet, a part of your family, a part of you, and when you manifested that sadness someone despicable around you said, “It was just an animal,” know that I understand your anger is justified. Such a lack of empathy is unforgivable. This morning I sat up after having slept exactly zero minutes, grabbed my bottle of vodka, and downed four shots in quick succession. When I felt my heartbeat slow down a tad, I grabbed my shovel, my heavy gloves, and my pick, and I dug a deep hole in my yard. Once that was done, I fetched my beautiful, beloved, wonderful cat’s lifeless body, and placed it in that hole, only a few feet away from the grave of the first cat I ever lost.

She was also wonderful, beloved, beautiful, and when I still cried about her loss, someone without a heart told me impatiently that she was “just an animal”. Wrong, fucker. She was a grumpy cat with a funny face that was loyal and bossy, and extremely vocal about it. Her meows were operatic, and she made an art out of catching a bird midleap. She was not “just an animal”. And the cat I buried this morning was not “just an animal” either. She was afraid of everyone but me, her meows were the squeakiest I’d ever heard in my life, and she thought my boy cat was her mom. She liked to eat moths, she gifted me half a bird or half a snake on several occasions (apparently it was clear to her I had no idea how to hunt and she was afraid I’d starve), and she was family.

I’m sad. So sad.

Caught

Put_Me_Down-by-Ben_Boston
He’s a feisty little one…

He couldn’t believe he’d been caught, not after a lifetime of hard-won freedom, of narrow escapes, of costly solitude. Arrogance. That’s what’d done him in. He’d imagined himself undetected after years of living in her walls, of waiting patiently until she was gone, or asleep, or showering, or watching TV. He’d thought nothing of the subtle changes… that time she came back unexpectedly after leaving for her yearly beach vacation. Five years he’d been in her house without a single incident, five years of knowing her schedule—and her— by heart, and that last time she’d come back after he’d heard her car rumble away. He always waited thirty minutes after she left the house for an extended period of time, to make sure she was gone before he left his hole in the wall, and when he finally emerged from concealment, she’d been standing there.

He’d frozen then, thinking he’d been seen, his hand flying to the blade he always carried with him. She might kill him easily, but he’d give her a scar that would force her to think of him every time she looked at her hand. Instead, she’d peered down at some papers, old mail, bills she kept in the mail basket, shifting them until she appeared to find what she needed. She’d then left without looking at him, even though he was sure he’d been within her field of vision. He’d run to his hole and had waited a whole day before he stirred from it, and the following two months he’d been riddled with anxiety, extra cautious, depending on his well-stocked pantry rather than adventurous trash-can spelunking expeditions, curtailing his staring sessions during her showers down to a frustrating zero. He’d also checked her Internet browser history and expenditures to make sure she hadn’t bought a cage, or clothes for tiny people, or anything that would indicate knowledge of his presence. There’d been nothing, so he’d begun to consider relaxing a bit.

Maybe that’s why she caught him. Maybe he should’ve checked her receipts more carefully and realized she’d been purchasing materials for a trap, but there was nothing she’d searched online that gave him cause for alarm. Still, he’d been caught. He’d just finished killing a rat that had squeezed its greasy body under the back door, where she’d removed the worn gap seal and had yet to install a new one. He’d stood there, eyeing his kill, recalling days not too long ago when the first thing he did was tear into the still warm flesh and devour the heart. He was spoiled now, grown lazy in her warm home, a little thick in the middle from eating up her carbohydrate-rich crumbs. Disgusted with himself, he got down on his knees and split the rat’s skin with his blade, finding its heart, which gave a couple of pumps when he sliced it free and brought it to his snarling mouth. And then… darkness.

He woke up slowly, his head swimming, his nostrils filled with the overpowering scent of something familiar. Nausea coiled inside of him, but he suppressed it and forced his eyes to open, regretting his decision immediately. Over him loomed a woven canopy, and he recognized the smell right away. Bamboo, from the backyard. He’d harvested some fresh shoots in the past to make a cot that still stood solidly in the hole that was his home inside this house. He’d cut them with his own blade. His blade! He reached for it and found nothing but fabric. His belt was gone and with it the weapon he carried everywhere. Now he sat up and felt as though he’d been punched in the gut. His lips moved as he tried to scream, but all they produced was a slow, dry gasp. Before him, encompassing every inch, every foot at the other side of the cage bars was her face, closer than it’d ever been, closest to him than he had ever allowed anyone her kind to be.

“Hi,” she said, her breath blasting him with warm air, his curly hair pulling back and away from his face in a dance that stopped almost as soon as it began. He scrambled backward, not knowing he looked just like a little beach crab to her at that moment, and not knowing that’s what made her laugh goodnaturedly at his useless effort to move away from her. When his back hit the opposite side of the cage, he stared at her and tried to scowl. His face felt so frozen in astonishment he almost wanted to knead anger into his features with his fingers. Instead, he cleared his throat and swallowed hard before speaking with what he wanted to be a firm tone.

“Stop laughing at me and let me go this very moment,” he squeaked, instead. That seemed to stop her giggling, but the vacuuming gasp that replaced them only increased his distress.

“You are amazing,” she whispered, a gale of minty heat swirling all around him and then past him, and then another when she spoke again. “I’d never seen one of you this closely. Not once. Not until now.”

“I don’t believe you! Let me go, and I swear you’ll never see me again. I won’t even pack my things. I’ll just walk right out and never ever come back.”

“Things? You have… things?” Her face moved closer to the fragrant bars. “What things are these you have? Are some of your things my things?”

He whimpered in horror, knowing that everything he owned he’d stolen from her. Everything but the blade he was sure she now had, and a loincloth that had eventually turned to shreds, replaced now with tiny clothes he’d sewn himself from the fabric of old panties and bras she discarded.

“Yes- I mean, no. Just my knife. Give me back my knife!”

“Absolutely not. So you can slice into my palm?”

“Why would I do that? You’re not touching me.” He felt regret at his words, even when knowing that what then took place would have happened no matter his response. Something out of his range of sight shifted like mountains turning in their sleep, and her hand rose over the horizon, fingers stretched like sunbeams in his direction. She pinched the cage door’s latch open, and the space that contained him was instantly reduced to nearly nothing, occupied now by her hand. He screamed and rose to his feet to run somewhere, anywhere but here, only making it easier for her hand to grab him. Wordless shrieks, high-pitched and following the rhythm of his fists as they pounded on the wall of her thumb, her forefinger to no effect. He tried to turn in place, using the softness of his skin to try to slither out of her hold, having never been held by a petal-soft hand as strong as iron, not knowing there was nothing he could do to escape her grip. A passenger all the way to her face, there were no bars between them now as she held him so close to her face he could almost touch it. Horrified at the impulse to hold out his hand until he could feel the tip of her nose, he begged.

“Please, don’t eat me!”

A roomful of air somewhere below expanded and contracted as she laughed silently. Or nearly so. More air, quite moist, bathed him as the corners of her eyes crinkled. He looked at both of them, his head moving from side to side and then his gaze dropped point blank to the lightning-white rows of teeth that shone in front of him. He felt stupid now, thinking of his knife. It was nothing compared to these enormous blades. They would slice and dice him until he was a mass of unrecognizable red. He made himself stare at them. He had screamed and begged, but he wasn’t going to close his eyes. He was going to make her look at him as she killed him.

“Eat you? Such a silly little thing. The thought never crossed my mind. Why should I eat you? Are you delicious?” Her middle and ring fingers held him in place to the center of her palm, but she extended her pinkie finger and curled it under his leg, forcing it to straighten before him, towards her mouth. Something snapped inside of him, and he became enraged as he realized she was going to make him watch her eat him. He let loose a string of words in his language and hers, terrible insults, the most vulgar names reserved for one’s worst enemies. In response she pinched his thigh between her digits firmly, and smiled brightly as her lips spread, saliva popping against her gums as her mouth grew wider, her tongue emerging to welcome his foot. He tried to kick that wide swath of pink flesh away, only to see the upper row of her teeth come down to pin him, shin deep, against it. He stopped saying words and started howling, expecting to see, to feel his leg split into two pieces when she severed it with a single bite. Instead, he felt suction as her tongue pulled away, her teeth clamped him firmly… but instead of biting, she licked. And licked. Again, and again. And a moan as deep as the center of the Earth traveled from her chest to her mouth, plucking him until his ears rang. Yet he screamed until his throat was raw.

Her head cocked a little so she could turn one ear closer to him, and his lower body twisted in place, dragged by the hold of her teeth as his leg stretched too much, enough to pull his groin painfully. Pain, he thought. That was pain. What happened before was not painful. His screams stopped, now nothing but dry heaves as she continued to play with his lower leg like it was candy. Her moaning stopped as well, and he dared to move his eyes away from her mouth to look up and see her open her eyes. Why had she closed them? With part of him still inside of her, she hm’d quickly, and spit him out.

“I don’t know. You don’t seem very tasty to me.”

He was quite hoarse but still had enough voice to say, “Your kind eats our kind all the time. Don’t pretend you don’t.”

“Have you ever seen… how long have you been here?”

“Uh…”

“Tell me the truth. It’s better that way.”

“Five years.”

“In those five years, have you ever seen me eat any of your kind?”

“No, but maybe when you go out to eat…” he trailed off, knowing from looking at her every receipt that she never ordered those dishes when she went out to eat.

“I don’t. Some of my friends do, but I can’t stand to watch them eat when they do. I’ve never eaten one of you. I wouldn’t.”

He only stared at her for a moment before he croaked again, “Please let me go now. You’re not going to eat me, so please don’t kill me.”

“Oh, I don’t know about not eating you now… I’m just not sure. Your meaty leg is quite fuzzy, but it’s only your leg. Maybe the rest of you is more flavorful. Perhaps in broth? With some wine, I think. Red… yes, red wine.”

He never saw it coming, her other hand. It reached him suddenly, and two of its thick prongs met him below her firm hold. He thought to scream again and instead watched in shock as two polished fingernails, as shiny as mirrors, pinched the fabric of his underpants, the only garment she had not removed from him. When she began to tug gently at the fabric, he found his frog-like voice again.

“What- what are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

“It- uh, it looks like- Hey, stop! No!”

She ignored him, pulling slowly at the fabric like she was peeling the film off a boiled egg until the waistband bumped over his groin, exposing it fully as it slid past his legs. She half-moaned, half-grunted a very dirty word.

“I’m going to really taste you now, and see if there’s any truth to how delicious you are. If I don’t like what ends up in my mouth, I’ll let you go… but if I like it, I’ll keep you forever. Is that clear?”

He didn’t really get a chance to answer. Not for a few hours, anyway.