She held him firmly in the grip of her soft hand and made her case.
“Are you sure you want to make your point by using an insect that eats shit as an example?”
“It’s not what it eats, silly. It’s how it fucks.”
“Some male dung beetles are quite small when compared to other, larger males. These smaller beetles will wait until the male they cannot fight is distracted, and mate with the female beetle.”
“And she’s okay with that?”
“Well, those tiny ones have huge sperm sacks.”
“Then I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you on that count. My boys are normal. Or were normal, before you did this to me.”
“They work just fine.”
He blushed furiously and said nothing.
“Do I have to?”
“Yes. The bone-eating snot flower—”
“Good god. Why do all your example creatures have such terrible diets?”
“She eats from the bone, and I force fed you bone broth when you were sick. Quick being so high and mighty.”
“I’m currently nothing of the kind. I’m only high because you’re holding me in your hand. As to mighty? I’m only two inches tall.”
“Stop interrupting! The snot flower is female, and depending on the species, can carry over a hundred husbands inside of her. They are very small, and their only job is to provide sperm. She makes them fuck her all the time.”
“Then you must be part snot flower,” he mumbled so quietly not even bats could hear him, but she picked up on his meaning.
“Got something to say to me? What did I tell you about mumbling?”
“To never ever do it!”
She gave him a slight squeeze to punctuate her meaning and continued on.
“There’s a type of fish, and I can’t remember the species, but some of the smaller males lose their coloring and pass themselves as female. As female-looking fish, they can swim past the jealous males, and cavort with the ladies, passing on their genes.”
“Are you gonna make me wear a dress?”
“I will if you don’t take this seriously.”
“Look, you’re talking about nature, Mother Nature! She selected the human male to be larger. She made me taller than you; that’s just how I was born. You can talk about fish and snot and dung all you want, but facts are facts. Out there in the world, there are billions of men that are taller than you, and will always be so.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.”
“I’m not wrong! I’m one hundred percent right.”
“Sweetheart, you’re not the only one that shrank.”
The little man said nothing, but his skin turned white as he blinked. Even at his size, she thought she could feel his little heart fluttering against the pad of her forefinger.
“Every man on Earth is now the size of a small insect.”
“No. Why? Why would you do this?!”
“Calm down! I didn’t do anything.”
“I don’t believe you. You didn’t act surprised when you found me this tiny weeks ago. You’re lying.”
“I’m not. I didn’t do anything. It wasn’t something I did. It doesn’t matter. The point is, it’s time you—”
“It doesn’t matter? Of course it matters! How did you do it? You better tell me!”
She squeezed him hard. The curl of her fingers around him tightened until he could no longer expand his lungs and speak. She kept her face expressionless as she maintained her grip on him, and watched him turn blue. When he did, she released her hold slightly and allowed him to breathe again.
“Don’t ever speak to me that way. Don’t raise your voice at me, and don’t make a single demand. You ask for things nicely, and I decide what happens from now on. Nod so I know you understand.”
She caught anger remnants in his eyes, but they rode on a wave of fear that pleased her.
“You don’t need to know how it happened. What you do need to realize is that it’s time you rejoin society, now in your proper place. Now that you understand why none of your friends stormed the house to look for you, you’ll get to visit them again. Your father is coming over tomorrow to see you.”
“M—my dad…?! He’s….”
“Very small, just like you.”
He was adjusting. She could see it happening, and it made her glad. She would have hated to watch him fall apart and go mad. There was only one thing to do when a shrunken man could not accept his fate, and she much preferred having him by her side. He moved his lips.
“What did I tell you about mumbling?”
“I’m sorry… I’m just… shocked.”
“Very well. I’ll allow it this time. Now repeat what you said.”
“Do I get to wear clothes now?”
“Absolutely not! No man will ever wear a single stitch of clothing ever again.”
“What?! And you’re just gonna parade me naked in front of my family and friends?”
“They’ll be naked as well. All of you will be nude for the rest of your existence.”
He closed his eyes and nodded, though she had the strong suspicion his head had just dropped to his chest from despair. She smiled and decided to make him something extra special for dinner. He was a wonderful little man who was adapting to his fate, and her heart filled with joy that she would not have to crush him underfoot.