She drove quietly for a while. She wasn’t a big talker unless they were in the bedroom. There she could talk forever, and he loved it. He was grateful for every dirty word that came out of her mouth, for every time she tied him down and sat on his face, and what she screamed at him while she made it seem the bed would come crashing down, and with it, the world.
“When I was little, my mom didn’t want me to like certain music groups, so every time they came on the radio, she’d turn the station.”
“Did it work?”
“No. Sometimes she couldn’t get to it in time because she was making meatballs or cleaning the toilet or whatever, and I’d be exposed to shit, as she called it.”
“Who was ‘shit’?”
“Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots-”
“I know. So I grew up listening to Duran Duran, U2, Hall & Oates, all those guys, and learning all the lyrics to their songs.”
“I’m not sure I want to meet your mom. She sounds mean.”
She gave him a quick glance, and in the gleam of her eyes that should have only reflected the diminishing light of day, he caught something alien. His teasing smile faltered, and he swallowed hard. His heart started pounding inexplicably, as though he’d been running.
“You’ll be fine. You’re with me. As long as you’re with me, you’ll be safe.”
He laughed at that, but nervously. His own laughter grated in his ears, and he grew annoyed with himself. He thought he’d be calm about meeting her parents, but perhaps he wasn’t. She seldom talked about them, and it wasn’t because of her taciturn nature. After dating a few months and now living together, he knew her well enough to love her, but to bring up her parents always seemed to make her withdraw to a nearly unresponsive state. He decided to risk a couple of questions, now that she was driving and couldn’t hide inside herself. He inhaled deeply, slowly, and let out the first question.
“Could you tell me something about your dad now? I mean, I’m about to meet him, and I know next to nothing about him.”
Another quick glance from eyes as dark as unexplored ocean depths, a glance that felt as heavy on him as their organ-crushing pounds per inch. He swallowed hard as she brought her gaze back to the road, and sighed.
“My dad. Well, you’re about to meet him, so you might as well know. My dad is… small.”
“Small? Like, short? So what? There’s no shame in being short.”
“No, I don’t mean ‘short’ in stature. I mean small. As in, only inches in height.”
He laughed again, this time naturally. He didn’t know why because what she’d said wasn’t funny at all. If it was a joke, it wasn’t a good one.
“I’m serious. Ah, never mind. You’re only going to believe me when you see him. In every other way he’s a normal father. He was always there for me when I got home from school, and he’d help me with my homework, and always took my side when I got in trouble with mamá.”
“That’s sweet. So you’re daddy’s little girl.”
“I’m his big girl, and I’ve never in my life called him ‘daddy’. It was always papi, and now papá.”
“But your mom never speaks Spanish.”
“Not to you, because you’ve only talked to her on the phone. In person, she’s all arroz-con-frejoles this, and en-mi-país that, and ese maldito hijo de puta con su cuenta de Twitter, que no tiene huevos para-”
“Whoa, hold on, I have no idea what you’re saying!”
“I’m telling you, that’s what it’ll probably be like tonight, and she won’t care that you don’t understand. In her mind, you already speak Spanish by osmosis. I told you, you’re gonna have to learn to speak it with some fluency.”
“Shit. Can’t I just pretend I understand her?”
“No. But don’t worry. You’ll learn.”
“I don’t know when I’ll have time to learn, with a full-time job, and you.”
To that, she said nothing and continued driving in silence until they arrived at their destination, just in time for dinner. The front door opened, and down the front steps came a middle-aged woman, clearly Hispanic, with the longest brown hair he had ever seen, only beginning to gray. He realized now why his girlfriend had such a curvaceous ass. She had clearly inherited it. Both women greeted each other with strong hugs and loving kisses. Then she turned her attention to him. He was startled by the darkness in her eyes, which he had seen in his girlfriend not long ago. Her bright smile distracted him.
“So, there you are, corazón. Come, give me a hug.”
Once inside, the couple sat down at the table, and her mother filled their plates with food but served nothing for herself or her husband, who was nowhere to be seen. He didn’t tuck in as his girlfriend did, surprised that she was not waiting for the man of the house. His girlfriend was munching heartily when her mother turned her smiling face his way and realized he was not eating.
“What’s the matter with your man, mijita? Doesn’t he like our food?”
“No, mamá. It’s not that. I’ve taught him to cook like us, and I fix it myself often. I think he’s waiting for papá.”
Her mother laughed.
“Don’t wait. My hombrecito is shy, and he won’t be joining us until later. He’s otherwise occupied.”
She groaned softly at her mother’s words and sliced off a large bite of the most fragrant meat he had ever smelled. He still didn’t imitate her, waiting for her mom to sit and join them.
“No, mijito. You go on and eat. I’m not hungry right now. I’ll have something later.” When she said those last words she smiled and winked at him so lasciviously, he felt his cheeks turn red, and he looked down at his meal. He tore into it without delay. He wasn’t a big eater, but his plate was clean before long. All throughout dinner the mother stared at him, and the daughter moved her calm gaze back and forth between her two companions.
The moment his place was empty, the mother stood up, pushing back the back of her chair with her large, round ass cheeks. She then turned to her native language.
“Vamos, mijita. Ayúdame con los trastes.”
“Mamá, in English, please,” she said, uselessly.
“Mueve el culo, que tenemos que hablar.”
Once in the kitchen, her mother peered out at him and saw him stand up and walk around, looking at pictures on the wall, and moving closer to one of them, tilting his head forward, as though he was having a hard time making out what he was seeing.
“No es ningún bruto. Ya encontró la foto de tu papi en el bolsillo de mi blusa.”
“Maybe, but he won’t be able to discern it’s a real man in that picture.”
“Estás segura? Tiene las piernas tan flacuchentas. Y la nariz tan grandota. Y los ojos tan endemoniadamente azules.”
“Mamá! You do realize you just described papi. His legs are also scrawny, his nose is huge, even on such a tiny face, and he is, as you’ve so often described, a blue-eyed devil.”
“Yes. I’m sure. I’ve never been so sure of anything. He’s the one. I knew he’s the one the moment I laid eyes on him. I want him. I want him so much.”
“Está bien. Lo preparamos, o le damos la sorpresa?”
“Just do it. There is no preparing him for this. There is no explanation that’ll make sense.”
“Yes. But I’ll follow you and watch from the doorway. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“Ay, mijita, no te preocupes. No va a pasar nada. Todo va a estar bien.”
“Yes, I know. I’m not worried. Go ahead, mamá.”
Her mother smiled and gathered the fabric of her skirts with both hands, and pulled it up to her waist. She then gently dug something out of her panties and handed it to her daughter, who grimaced with some disgust.
“Guárdalo bien. Y necesita un baño.”
Her daughter said nothing as she held her damp father in the palm of her hand, and watched her mother transform. She had witnessed the change a couple of times before, but it was always a tremendous shock. Still, she stared at her mother’s body which was now a mass of swirling tentacles, and walked out of the kitchen holding her head high, even as she watched him turn to them and scream at what he saw.
“Don’t worry, my darling. It won’t last forever,” she said to her shrieking boyfriend as his face disappeared inside her mother’s gaping, expanding maw, and his body was immobilized by tentacles that had been arms and legs and hair only a few minutes earlier.
“Don’t try to fight. It only hurts for a bit, my love. And when you emerge, you’ll look just like papá,” and she held her tiny father so as to show him, even though her boyfriend’s head and shoulders were now inside her mother, and he could no longer hear her. The little man stretched and yawned, blinking as though he had been asleep.
“Hi, honey. What did I miss?”
“Nothing. There’s nothing that concerns you now, but I’ll need your help when he emerges.”
“Why? Is he stupid? Is he weak of spirit? No one helped me when your mami did this to me, and here I am!”
“I know, papá… but I’m not sure he’s like you. I just need you, OK? I don’t want him to be alone in this.”
“Of course, baby girl. I’d do anything for you. Your mami is going to sleep for three days as she changes him. That’s three days I get to sleep, and eat what I want, and watch what I want on TV.”
She brought her father up to her lips, and kissed his pungent forehead, or tried to. Her lips encompassed over half his height, and only pushed him back into the scoop of her palm. He giggled and looked down at himself, blushing furiously.
“Get me some clothes, will ya?”
A few feet away, her mother finished swallowing her boyfriend’s body. All tentacles seemed to fall dormant, and the skin that held them together bulged here and there, its insides slowing down their struggles until they came to a stop.
Three days, she thought as she lowered her tiny father into a sinkful of warm, soapy water. Three days until I own you completely, my beautiful sex toy. Three days.