She stood alone in the kitchen of her small apartment, feeling the cold seeping up and into her feet from the tile floors, through the gel floor pad. Its give did nothing to comfort her, because the ache didn’t come from her feet; it was in her heart. She thought of his words the previous night, his tears, and how he had yelled at her until he’d had no voice left. He blamed her, and with good reason. She had been the one that shrank him. She took another deep breath, and it came in raggedly. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to stand there, and not look at him. When she finally admitted she was too selfish to return him to his original size, she broke down and started sobbing.
How can I give you up now? I can’t. You are mine. You are part of me now. Please deal with it, and soon. I can’t stand to see you like this.
She opened her eyes, and looked through the blur of her tears. Enough! It’s time to move. Time for action. She looked down at the counter. Dinner ingredients: half a pound of steak, one red bell pepper, one carrot, one small white onion, one garlic clove, salt, pepper, and a bottle of teriyaki sauce. All she needed now was a little man. Her little man. She turned her head to call him, but her lips froze in mid-action. She saw him standing on the floor, by the bedroom doorframe across the hall from the kitchen. He looked so small! How long had he been watching her?
“Hi,” she saw his lips move, and imagined she heard him.
“Did you sleep well?”
A tiny shrug.
“Come closer. I have something for you.”
He started walking, not exactly at a snail’s pace, but it seemed so slow, when measured against her desire to touch him, to have him by her side. She thought to walk over and retrieve him, but instantly decided against it. Better let him get used to these new distances. He has to get used to how long it takes to get to places. He has to have it all mapped out in his mind. The sooner, the better. She stared at him, wishing her eyes were tractor beams. As small as he was, she could see the beauty of his body, the manly way he took each stride, tiny feet gaining distance slowly, but surely. She imagined those little feet on her skin, again. Her cheeks turned to fire, and her breathing caught on the hook of her thoughts. She tried dismissing them. There was more important business at hand. He finally reached her, and she lowered her body from the waist up, sending her hand down as an ambassador for the rest of her. She opened her palm to him welcomingly, and invited him in.
“Come on up, my darling. I have to show you something.”
He lifted one little foot up and off the floor, and set it on her ring finger’s pad. When he dropped down on one knee and let his arms stretch forward to fall into a crawling position, she felt her body tremble, and had to use all her willpower to stop herself from closing that hand, and bringing it into herself. Instead, she let him find the center of her palm.
“Your hand is cold.”
“I’m sorry, tiny one. My blood is elsewhere.”
She smiled when he gave her a quick look as she lifted him slowly. He no longer shifted from side to side, looking everywhere in a panic, thinking she might drop him clumsily. Progress! It didn’t matter that he didn’t smile back. At least he wasn’t yelling at her anymore. She reached her upright position once again, and brought her hand to the countertop. “Here we are. You can get off, now.” She rolled her eyes inwardly. Everything she said to him had a double meaning. All she wanted to do was talk dirty to him. Focus!
“Tonight, I’m going to teach you how to cook, my way.”
“What? What is it? Don’t you want to learn something new?”
“Would it matter if I didn’t?”
She didn’t answer, but he had a point. Or she did. He shook his head, as though dismissing her thoughts.
“All I want is for you to measure me again.”
“Alright, sure. Just let me get my ruler.”
She had been measuring him every day after she shrank and kidnapped him. Every day he had been smaller, until the shrinking stopped. Every day he had panicked more and more, until he seemed to lose his mind. She still forced him to get up, to eat, to accept her cleaning him, holding him, tasting him, loving him. He had been limp, he had fought her, he had cried silently, and noisily. She was very interested to see how he would react now. She stood the wooden ruler on the counter next to him, and set down the paper where she had been writing down his height, every time. He walked over to the ruler, and stood facing away from it, his lovely back gently pressing against it. Her throat closed again.
“Ah, two inches. Still two inches. It’s been two inches for four weeks now.” She didn’t say “I told you so.”
“OK. I guess that’s it then. I’ll be a two-inch-short little bug for the rest of my life.” He looked up at her then, but the fire, the anger, wasn’t the same. She withstood his gaze with equanimity. It burned through her, but the only response she gave him with her eyes was the only response she had: you are mine. She watched him sigh, but his shoulders didn’t slump this time. Progress!
“So… what am I learning today?” She could have kissed him. He didn’t call her monster, or bitch, or monster bitch, or grow me back, you monster bitch. She smiled and said, “I’m going to teach you how to deal with food, this size.” And she made an exaggerated flourish with her hand, to show him the parade of ingredients on the counter.
“I don’t know- what can I do? How can I cook any of this stuff? I’m too small.”
“Well, let me get the pan preheated, and I’ll show you.” She leaned over to turn on the burner, on which a non-stick sauté pan sat. She added no oil to it. It could splash onto him, and burn him to disfigurement. Then, she gingerly picked up something from the counter. Something she had kept hidden from him until now. She thought she could trust him with it now. She set it in front of him with a tiny clink.
“It’s a… a sword? You’re giving me a sword.”
“A katana, specifically. I had it made just for you.”
“And what am I to do with it, specifically?”
“I want you to chop this garlic clove,” she pointed at the curved shape, white, covered in a thin, tissue-like membrane. “Have at it.”
He bent to grab the katana by the hilt. He lifted it slowly, and stood there for a moment, wielding it. He cut a languid slice of air with it, and she could have sworn she saw the corner of his mouth lift a little, for an instant. All she wanted at that moment was to kiss him. Focus!
“While you do that, I’ll chop everything else.” She watched him attack that garlic bulb with unequaled fury. Soon he was coughing, his eyes tearing up as the bulb attacked back with its oils, but he didn’t stop. He brought his katana down on it, into it, over and over again until it was a pulpy mass. She broke into infinite smiles as she watched him, and almost lost twenty fingers, he so was distracting her own work.
“Very well! I think we’re all done with that. Now, I want you to stand right here, and toss what I hand you into this pan.”
“What!? Into that giant pan? What if I can’t do it?”
“You can do anything I put my mind to, sweet, tiny man. You’ll see. Now, stand here, and get ready.”
He obeyed, rolled his shoulders, his neck, and cracked his knuckles. “I’m ready.”
She started handing him bits of food. Very small to her, but enormous to him. He stood his ground at the edge of that counter, next to the stove, and he tossed each bit in a long arch, into the awaiting pan. Each time his grunts were louder, and his skin glossier. She didn’t stop handing him food until every bit but the garlic was gone. She let it all sizzle without looking at it. All she wanted to do was feel him, so she did. She brought one single fingertip to his forehead as he stood there, panting, and she swept a lick of sweaty hair off his forehead. His head was forced backward, but he did’t slap her away this time. Progress!
She smiled, “thank you, my tiny darling,” and moved her finger away, to give the food a quick stir, and add the garlic, pepper, salt, and sauce. It smelled wonderful. “Now, we eat!”
She put a portion of food on one plate, and offered him her palm again. He climbed it almost expertly now, and she moved them to the kitchen table, where a candle burned on a tablecloth where she had already set a napkin and flatware. She sat, and set the plate in front of her very carefully. She then brought him to the edge of the plate, where he finally accepted a seat. She started pulling a piece of beef apart, and offered him a shred. He ate it. She then mashed a piece of pepper between her fingers, and brought the resulting paste to his side. He scooped it up with his tiny fingers, and brought it to his mouth. She couldn’t eat, she was so happy to see him take nourishment on his own, for the first time.
“Yes,” he said, between bites. “Aren’t you- gonna- eat?”
“I am. I will. When you’re finished.”
He shrugged delightfully, and had his fill. He licked his fingers and lips, and looked up at her. “I’m done.”
“No, my love. You’re not done. You’ve only just begun.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m hungry, so hungry. But for you.”
He only looked at her in horror. He made to move off the plate, but knew there was nowhere to go. She reached for him, and in an instant he was in her grip, between thumb and index finger, riding, flying from table to her lips. Her face grew closer, and larger, until he saw nothing else. The kitchen was gone, the ceiling had disappeared. All there was, all he could see, was the curve of her half-opened mouth, the rounded tip of her nose, and her eyes, black as night, beginning to cross as she looked down at him. Then she closed them, and lifted her upper lip.
“No!” he screamed, but she stopped herself, and his body, right there. She began to kiss him, the entire length of him, slowly. He felt his body dip into those bed-sized lips, and be lifted again by her fingers, as she wet him completely with deep, hot kisses.
“Oh, my little guy… you taste wonderful.”
“I thought- I thought you were gonna eat me…”
She let a single gust of laughter out from her nostrils, and bathed him in her warm breath.
“Eat you? I could never eat you. Don’t you know how I feel about you? You are everything to me, my tiny man. Everything.”
And she kissed him again, endlessly.