* * *
My cheeks were still on fire when I reached over and grabbed his little body. All I wanted was to comfort him, when his reaction, again, shocked me. He started punching at the webbing between my thumb and index finger, slamming his little fists with as much fury as I’d ever seen in a little creature. They felt like little caresses, and I tried not to smile, because his face was contorted in a mixture of rage and horror. I could see he was trying to form words with his mouth, but failing.
“Hey, easy there. Easy. I’m not going to hurt you.” He finally found his words.
“Put- me- down- you- great- beast! I’m- not- a sex- toy!”
Then I understood. He thought I’d picked him up to ram him inside my body, or some other distasteful idea. I must have grimaced, because he stopped punching me, or at least he slowed down a bit, and added puzzlement to the list of events happening to his features.
“Well, you are sold as one, so I guess you’re programmed to resist the idea? That’s strange. Who had the notion that women like to be fought off in bed? Or found it attractive to be repulsive? Because, let me tell you, the only disagreeable notion here is the one of putting you between my legs, and start sliding you in and out…” I slowed down my speech as I searched my mind and my body for that old revulsion that had not outlasted the afternoon. In fact, what I found during my search was an agitation of my pulse, and a twitch between said legs. I wonder if he saw it on my face, because he started squirming again. I turned my thoughts to him again.
“Hey, stop! Stop that right now!”
“I’ll stop when you start listening to me!”
I decided to humor him, mostly because I figured I’d look it up later, how to play with these toys. The store attendant told me to ignore everything he said, but I couldn’t manage it, for some reason. “OK, I’m listening. Give me your spiel.”
“Tell me your story.”
“That’s the problem. There’s a lot about it I don’t remember. But I remember I was born in… some place with few people, and I was as large as you are, and there was corn. I remember corn. And cows. And my brother. You left him there, at the store! What if someone buys him-”
“Hold it, slow down… corn? And you were grown in a lab. All of you are. You can’t have memories of cows and being large.”
“I’m telling you. You have to believe me. I’m desperate! Please, my brother has given up. He doesn’t think anyone will listen. I’m making the effort. I’m begging you, please listen. Go back to the store and buy my brother. We’re real people. We were once like you, but someone took us away, and made us like this.”
“I don’t remember that part, but…” And his words faded in the background of his thoughts, because I began to think, to remember everything I had read about the tiny people being grown in labs, the Mad Queen’s grand masterplan to save the planet. Mankind reduced in size meant less impact on resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and all that green talk. I always wondered why all the little critters had been male. Was there something to what this little one was saying? I stared at him as he talked. Oh no, there it was again. That stirring at the center of me. It felt like something was melting. A pounding. Someone was knocking on that door. Someone was ringing that bell.
I wanted to give him my full attention, I really did; but my full attention was on his legs, dangling from my closed hand. Legs that moved and twitched as he spoke, alive with his energy. Legs that would kick and feel amazing if I just slid them in between my wet- No! No! Pay attention. Attention to his tiny hands. How little were they? They were small enough to grapple with something the size of his head, maybe slightly swollen. It would grow bigger if those hands massaged it, and rubbed it, and- No! No! Pay attention. Attention to his itty mouth as it moved. And a flash of that pink tongue. What would that little tongue feel if I forced his head down on my breast and ordered him to- No! No!
I must have grunted or moaned, because when I came to, he was silent, and staring at my face. My cheeks felt like two volcanoes erupting. There was another volcano spewing lava already, but I wasn’t going to make him privy of it. I took a deep breath, and maybe to assuage my guilt and confusion at my new feelings, I said on the hard exhale which slightly blew back his tuft of tight curls, “Let’s go.”
“Let’s go where?”
“Let’s go get your brother.”
He started crying again, this time I imagine with relief, and I was glad of it, because then he’d be distracted from having noticed my gawking at him. Lusting after a tiny man when he’s crying feels like a sin. I walked to my car and realized I had left the house without my purse, without my keys, and holding my toy in my hand. I grimaced and was grateful I always kept an extra key hidden in the garden. When I reentered my home and grabbed my purse and keys, I walked up to my car again, and when I sat in the driver’s seat, I realized (again) I was still holding him. I had to put him down somewhere. I did the first thing I thought. I dropped him between my legs, the only space available, as the shotgun seat was occupied by my purse. Or is that what I told myself? I didn’t dare look at him, so when I let go of his body, I focused on driving.
I’d been on the road for a few minutes when I felt his body shift and reposition down there. His shoulder grazed my inner thigh, and my brain felt like a grenade going off. Shrapnel was piercing my heart, my head, my eyes, my crotch, and I realized I was swerving. “Hold still!” I said, a little too loud. Again, that guilt. It wasn’t his fault I was going insane. Mad. Like the Queen. Maybe her madness was contagious, but I was sure she didn’t lust after tiny men. She just wanted to make things better for everyone, and frankly, driving was easier now that road rage had been cancelled, and tailgating was punishable by death.
He stopped moving, and if it had not been for the slight heat signature that pulsed from his body, right into that empty triangle bordered by my flesh and fabric, I would have forgotten he was there. As it was, it’s a wonder I didn’t kill us both. There was that one time I applied the brakes a little too hard, and his body backed into me fully, and safely bounced off the soft shape of what was trapped in my panties. I, on the other hand, had a head-on collision of the senses. He immediately straightened up and moved away from me, farther out the chasm of my thighs, and I could feel his eyes on me, and even his thoughts… I focused on traffic, and on telling myself it had been accidental. A leg jerk. Nervous legs. Needed to start taking magnesium. Exercise more. Yeah.
When we got to the store’s parking lot, it was still open, but there were only fifteen minutes left on that clock. When I ran to the display, no one had bought his brother. The other little guy was gone, however. The sweet little fellow was shocked to see me again, and even more surprised when I lifted his brother to him, and they spoke manly words I’m not going to repeat here. I grabbed the remaining box as an elderly lady made for it. She said some choice words in my wake, and I was grateful there was a daily flip-the-finger quota enforced by law, because I filled it at that very moment.
The ride home was a little calmer. Once in the car, I ignored my toys’ pleas to be reunited, and left my newer toy in his container. I did, however, have the foresight to stick my first toy in the shopping back with his brother, so I wouldn’t have an excuse to place him between my legs again. That had been a mistake I was not going to repeat. Well, that’s what I thought at the time.
Once we were back at my place, I ripped open the box, and freed that little man. What followed was another shock that day. They both embraced and laughed and talked at the same time. The emotion pouring from their little bodies was such that I felt my own eyes brim with tears. After they’d had their fill of that, they turned to face me and approached me slowly. My first toy cleared his little throat once, then again, and failed to say anything. His brother patted his back, and looked at me with an uncertain smile. He said “thank you” so quietly I almost didn’t hear him, but the shapes his lips made were not to be mistaken. I smiled back and looked at my first toy.
“Are you alright?” I asked him.
“Yes”, he said, and we all stood and sat there for a minute, saying nothing until I spoke again, startling them into reaching for each other.
“Alright! Hey, stop that. Don’t be afraid of me. I’ve done nothing to hurt you, and everything to help you, so stop acting as though I’m the enemy. I was just going to ask you if you were hungry. When’s the last time you had anything to eat? Because… you do eat, don’t you?”
It was amazing how fast they went from fear to indignation.
“Of course we eat!”
“Yeah, we’re real people, lady.”
“None of this ‘lady’ crap. Call me Coraline. That’s my name. Now tell me your names.”
They hesitated and looked at each other.
“We don’t… I don’t remember.”
“I think my name began with an ‘N’. Maybe Nathan.”
“That was my name. As soon as you said ‘Nathan’ I remembered mom’s voice calling us to dinner. ‘Nathan’. ‘Neil’. Those were-”
“Are. Are our names. We’re twins. Non identical.”
I watched and listened to them in disbelief. Could this be true? Was the Queen aware human beings were being taken for these sanctioned experiments? Dragged away from their lives, and reduced in size, and then sold like objects at stores across the country? What was going on? This was a monstrosity. Something had to be done. But what? I didn’t know. All I know is that these little men were under my care, and I had to do what I could to help them. If there was a normal life waiting for them somewhere, it was my duty to help them regain it.
“Alright, Nathan, Neil, it’s time to eat. Do you like beef stroganoff?”
“C’mon. I’ll show you. Let’s ride my hands to the kitchen. I’m going to cook for you.”