“I’d kill for you,” he said, his voice calm, as though he was talking about the weather, or where his parents took him for vacation every year. But tiny critters didn’t have vacations, did they? It wasn’t as though they could pack their cars and go to the beach. What might have been the equivalent of that in tiny size? Pack their rat and go to the pond across town? She felt her mind dive into the ridiculous. It always did that when she didn’t want to face something. And she had to.
“I’d steal for you,” he continued, and she smiled at him with her lips only. “I think you’ve stolen from me plenty, haven’t you?” she said, and he gave her that crooked smile, the one that highlighted the scar on his cheek that looked like a dimple. Irritation flashed through her, but only because of how distracting his little face suddenly became. She should have squashed his body as soon as she caught him; instead, they were having a conversation. They were talking.
If my friends could see me now, she thought as she stared at him. She recognized bits of her own clothes in his shirt and shorts, and fully understood the disappearance of her favorite panties, and the odd cut-out shapes that had shown up in different pieces of clothing, the clearest sign that her home had, at some point, been invaded. She sighed and watched her breath play with his curls, push them flat and away from his adorable face. He brought his eyelids together the way people do when they are out and it’s too sunny or windy. She sighed again on purpose.
“I’d die for you,” he said, and that stopped the smile she was about to give him freely. “Stop that, silly bug. You’d do no such thing. You’d kill me, more likely.” That earned her such a look of shock from him that she must have mirrored with her own expression. Boy, he’s a good actor. He’ll have me feeding him and keeping him- No, oh no. Hell, no. I’m taking care of this now! “Now you’ve messed up. I should have killed you the moment I caught you! I’m going to do it now. You’d die for me? Very well, you’re about to get your wish.”
“Wait! Please! I’m sorry! I don’t know what I did wrong. That’s not what I mean- Ouch!” She’d been looming over him after she placed him on the couch, a cushion his background. Her hands had framed him, and her heart had jumped in her chest until it hurt. Now she moved her hand and pinched his left arm between fingers and thumb to lift and carry him to the bathroom, where she would flush him away. When he cried out in pain at her rough treatment, her mouth watered, and her breath quickened. Her ears burned red, and on her mind there was a crazy thought, and another thought she imagined sane. I want to hear that sound again, and I’m fucking losing it.
She realized she was no longer walking to the bathroom. She was standing still, holding her arm high enough to have brought his dangling body up to her face. Her burning face. He was moving back and forth from her face like a pendulum, and she realized she was panting. At him. On him. Jesus Christ, what is going on here? What is wrong with me? When he extended his tiny arm in her direction and touched her face with the gentlest of caresses, she should have swatted it away with disgust. Instead, she heard herself moan, and felt fire between her legs. No coherent thought presented itself this time.
“Make that sound again,” he said, breaking the spell only to cast a new one. “What?” she said, “What sound?” Her voice sounded strange to her, as though it was coming from far away. “Stop,” she added, half-heartedly lifting her free hand, finally thinking she should do something about this little bug getting his germs all over her face, her lips, the roundness of her nostrils. How had he gotten so close? His chest was bouncing gently off the tip of her nose, and his free hand swept across her cheek like the wings of a butterfly, or something far more beautiful. And what in the world was that thing pressing insistently against her philtrum?
That woke her up, and she yanked his body away from her face, understanding what that thing had been. Her mind did the math, and she calculated that thing to be at least half an inch long. She now desperately wanted to see that thing. She thought of that thing stretching under his shorts as she flushed his body down the toilet, and grunted with displeasure.
“No, not that sound, my giant owner; the other sound. The one that’s like a song.” She must have moaned again, because he smiled brightly at her as though nothing was wrong with the world, and uttered dreamily, “that sound.”
“What did you call me?” She thought she had heard the word “owner”, but that couldn’t possibly be right. Roaches didn’t have owners. Wasps, spiders, disgusting bugs were not owned or beloved or wanted desperately when they molested a human with their squiggly little front legs, were they? No; they were crushed underfoot, and flushed away or tossed into a trash bin. They didn’t have hard little things anyone wanted to see and touch and taste and maybe even- Why was his body moving closer to her face again!?
“Owner,” he repeated, “owner… owner,” and that last one sounded like it had been ripped from his throat, a strangled sound that made her smile with her eyes as she watched his unfettered arm reach for her face again. Before he could hypnotize her again with his tiny fingers, she dropped her hand to her side and with it his tiny body, and walked straight to the bathroom. He screamed all the way to the blue-walled room.
“I’m going to flush you down the toilet now, little infestation,” she sing-songed, bringing his squirming body over the toilet, “though I think I should kill you first so you don’t have to drown.”
“Owner, please don’t kill me. I can be good. I can make you happy if you keep me. There’s an upside to letting me live! Please, allow me to show you!”
“Upside? What can something like you do for someone like me? And don’t give me that shit about killing and stealing. A mere bug-”
“Samuel J. Cole,” he said, in that same the-weather-is-fine voice. She almost dropped him from the shock.
“What did you say?” she managed to ask.
“Owner, Sam Cole was your boyfriend a few years ago, wasn’t he?”
“Until he died.”
“Under mysterious circumstances.”
“After beating my beautiful owner, and breaking nearly every bone in her body throughout the course of several years.”
She only kept looking at him in response.
“I’ve killed for you. And I’ll do it again if I have to. I’ll kill the world for you.”
No one died that night. All across the land of her bed, all that could be heard were the slightest chirring of bedsprings and those sounds, repeated again and again.