Some of my ideas for vignettes are sparked by Tweeter discussions. At some point near the end of last year, I not only decided to write more but to keep better track of my writing ideas with notes, screen caps, sketches, whatever it takes to solidify my story ideas long enough to get them written. It’s working very well. The following is an example of that, and the idea originated from this.
* * *
She entered the confessional and sat down, wrinkling her nose at the heavy perfume from the previous occupant, an older woman that had taken twenty minutes to spell out her every transgression. The line behind her was mostly, if not entirely, composed of women. There was something inexplicable about Father Healy that inspired trust. Something about his voice that made her tell him everything, the way she’d been doing for a few weeks now.
There was nothing about the cross outside that made her feel a single thing. Nothing depicted on the stained glass windows, nothing she had heard when she’d been a young girl and her father had dragged her to church, where she sat and watched girls from her class bow down and pretend they were good when the following day they would tell her terrible things, cruel things about her clothes, her hair, her glasses. She had no faith in the building, but what else could she do? She had to tell someone.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”
She heard a quiet gasp at the other side of the latticed opening, and then silence. She knew he was there. She could smell him.
“Father Healy? Are you there? I know you’re there.”
She heard a sigh, and then he cleared his throat, his only acknowledgment. It was enough for her.
“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been a week since my last confession.”
There was another sigh before she heard him speak again. “My child, I’m no longer sure I can help you. The things you say to me don’t seem like real sins-”
“Father, how can you say that? I’ve come here for help. There’s no one else that can help me! Please, just listen. I need help.”
“Of that I’m convinced… but I’m not sure I’m the right person-”
“I’m here because you are the conduit to God. He or She has to know I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done. I am!”
After a brief silence, the priest only whispered the quietest, “go on.”
“Yes, Father. My sins are numerous. I’ve been absolved of all, but I still feel terrible every time it happens again.”
“Child, do you mean to tell me it’s happened again?”
Tears started rolling down her cheeks, and she nodded, hoping he could see her from the darkness of his half of the confessional. He must have, given what he said next.
“Then I can’t absolve you of your sins. You have to show honest contrition, and if you continue to commit the same sin, then you are not sorry. I’m afraid I can’t listen to this anymore. Please leave, my child. May God be with you. And… if you could call my office later, I can give you the number of a psychiatrist friend of mine. He might be-”
“I AM SORRY!” She was shouting now, and she was sure the entire church’s occupants could hear her. She didn’t care. “I’m sorry for every single one of them! I never meant for any of it to happen! But they are all so fragile, Father. So small and delicate. I know, I just know I haven’t found the right one. As soon as I find the right one, I can stop looking. I can stop hurting them!”
“Stop calling me ‘child’. My name is Emily. We went to school together, Michael. We sat together in class. We were never friends, and you never said a kind word to me then. You’ve listened to me now. Help me. No one else can, I’m sure of it.”
“Okay, okay. Emily. Lower your voice; you’re in the house of God.”
It was her turn to sigh. She took a couple of deep breaths and started talking again. This time she brought her face to the window and whispered words like they were corkscrews scraping her throat on their way out.
“I killed another one.”
“You’ve been drinking.”
“I know, I’m sorry. I can’t face it otherwise. It’s so horrible.”
“Emily, I’m sorry for the way you were treated when we were in school, but I was never mean to you. I want you to get the help you need.”
“I brought his body. I know you think I’m crazy, but I brought his remains. This happened last night, so they haven’t spoiled yet. The other ones were simply too rotten to recognize. Most of it I had to leave on the dancing floor, but his head is intact, and-”
“Jesus Christ. Emily!”
She reached into her purse and pulled out something that sounded like plastic. He couldn’t help but turn his head and peer down past her delicate, anguished features, and look at the dark coagulate contained in a small sandwich bag. Despite his every instinct, he felt the sting of curiosity. After weeks of listening to different versions of the same confession, he wondered how far this clearly insane woman would go to substantiate her mad claims. Her “sins”.
“See?” She brought the bag to the window, and he stared at it. He told himself that whatever he saw was a clever manipulation, but it looked real. Whatever material she had used to create the mostly unrecognizable crimson mass, the broken bones were exquisitely carved, as was the tiny face. He’d seen his fair share of dead people, and this one was a convincing facsimile of one.
“Yes, I see. Go on, Emily. Tell me what happened.”
“This power, Father Healy, this power I have, I can’t control it. I’m trying, and I’ve gotten better, but last night I was so drunk. So drunk. I was trying to forget the rest of them, in particular the one I shrank last, the UPS guy, remember him?”
She ignored him and went on, taking breaks to drink something from a flask he was sure did not contain water. “He was the one that brought the treadmill I ordered up the steps… and his hair was red, and I don’t like redheads, but his legs, father… he was wearing those brown shorts, and I asked him to bring in the large boxes, and when I saw those calves stretch and flex as he moved… I had to touch him. I thought he was the one. He looked so strong! But then, after I touched his shoulder, he disappeared into his clothes, and when I found him, he started screaming, and wouldn’t stop!
And then I tried to calm him down with sex, and I was so gentle, Father. So careful! I held him so sweetly and brought him between my legs, and pressed him into me, pretending he was made of petals or glass… but I’ve told you how it gets when- when I get close. I lose control, and I was looking down at him the whole time, and he seemed calm. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be sleeping. But then I got closer and closer, and I shut my eyes, and I don’t even know when it happened, but after I came once I had to do it again, and then I just couldn’t stop myself. After the last time, I finally saw that nothing was left of him but a smear.
I was so sorry, Father. I cried so hard. I cried all week. When police officers came by the house to ask me about him I still had his hand truck in my basement, but they didn’t come back to do a thorough search. I’m a woman, and my record was expunged, and there was no body to find anyway…”
“Emily, for God’s sake!”
“And last night I wanted to be good, Father. I thought being out in public would help, so I went dancing with my friends. But then I started drinking so I would not be as horny, but I saw him, Father. He was so hot I just melted right then and there. I wanted to fuck him right there on the dance floor. So we danced, but I never touched him. I swear I kept my hands to myself! But he touched me, Father. He went right for the money, right on the dance floor, right in front of everyone. I reached for his hand to get him to stop, and he shrank. I didn’t meant to, I swear! You have to believe me. And there was a guy dancing next to us that stomped right on his pile of clothes. He tripped and fell, which made me laugh… but then I picked up his clothes to look for him, and this is what I found.”
“This… you mean this glob of corn syrup and red No. 40?”
“Father, this is a human body.”
“Emily, you need help.”
“Father, I’m sorry for my sin. Give me forgiveness. Give me absolution.”
“I can’t do that, Emily. I need you to get real help.”
“Father, I want God’s forgiveness! Please!”
“Emily, listen to me-”
Emily wasn’t listening. She made a fist, a tight coil of her fingers and thumb, and she drove it like a battering ram through the lattice that separated her from her old classmate. He drew away in surprise, but there was nowhere for him to go. Her hand closed around his wrist as he pulled it close to his face, trying to shield it from what he assumed was a drunken attack. He felt it right away, the plunging darkness that was worse than anything he’d ever felt, the swirl of space that was no longer what it had been a second ago, and the heavy downpour of his robe, no longer his size. Then the skies thundered with a voice he knew but had never known.
“Let me show you, Michael. You’ll see I wasn’t lying. And you’ll forgive me, won’t you? You’ll forgive everything I do because I truly am sorry. You’re strong, aren’t you? All those years of soccer, then the army. Yes, Michael; I think you’ll make it. I think you’ll tell God I’m sorry.”
Her feet were used to the path, and she relied entirely on muscle memory as she turned her legs this way and that, and lifted her feet to avoid this parked car, that power line, that neighborhood child. She didn’t have to look down to weave past the family homes in the residential area where he lived. She started accosting him the moment she saw him and finally won his heart five years later. It felt like yesterday. How had she accomplished such a feat? She thought about it as she walked and waited for him to get home from work. She thought about how it had all begun.
Not how her mysterious growth had begun, as that felt a part of her life as menstruation had become, as ovulation was a matter of course. Both changes started when she was eleven years old, and a few weeks after that, abnormal growth had announced itself to her and a few dozen other girls across the planet. Their increasing height had been monitored, managed, and contained until it could no longer be. Until Incident 109. But in her heart nothing had really started until well after most healing and reconstruction had taken place; until she saw him that one day as she made her rounds, watching traffic as was her duty. Until she saw his dark blue sports car advance in slow bursts on a packed highway after work hours.
That day was marked on her mind forever. She had observed vehicles for years and had never had an emotional reaction to a single motorist. When she saw his face for the first time, and watched his one hand on the steering wheel while the other one fiddled with the radio, something exploded in her heart. A more romantic soul would have used the word “blossomed”, but that would have been inaccurate. There was violence in what broke free from deep within her, and she forgot everything else, her focus razor sharp in his direction.
She heard the song playing on his radio, and smiled. His windows were closed in the heat of summer, and she could see his brown curls dancing in the wind of his a/c. She counted the times he blinked and pursed his lips with impatience at the slow advance of cars in front of him. She reveled in the way his head bounced slightly to the terrible song as he listened. She attuned her hearing to the words, blotting out all else, and heard “-but I want something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live.” Fitting, she thought. I want him. He makes it beautiful to live. Everything else is worth tolerating. He’s worth everything.
She moved then, her building-length legs lifting and pounding the ground over traffic, over homes, following him block after block, street after street, until he parked his car next to a home with a SOLD sign the only red on the green lawn. She stood on designated land for as long as it took to see him get out of his car, dig into his pocket for a set of keys she heard jingle with the keen aiming of her senses, and open the front door of his home. When he closed it, she took the first breath she had inhaled after seeing him, and struggled to keep her balance. All she wanted to do was run to him, peel off his roof, and rush his struggling body to her awaiting crotch.
She didn’t. Instead, she returned to the forest that was her home, and spent the entire night thinking about him, the ground near her hips soaked with womanly issue. No nearby woodland creatures slept that night. The following morning she bathed and tussled her hair in place a little longer. She considered leaving her gigantic panties behind, tented on a canopy of trees to warm in the sun, but her route pullulated with pious, easily frightened people that would not countenance the view of her enormous sex as anything but a threat and a reminder of nightmares past. At best, she didn’t want to spend any time fielding police officers and polite requests to go back home and cover herself. No, if she was going to make him notice her, she would find a better way.
And she did. Every morning she woke up with a smile, got ready for work, and stamped the path that might as well have been marked “for giants only” as she made her rounds. Every morning she met the same people, if not in exactly the same order. There was the baker with the government contract to feed her breakfast; the school buses filled with teens that stared openly at her, a few with their hands moving under jackets and backpacks; the men and women walking dogs that had gotten used to the constant tremors of her moving body; the cars and trucks like tin cans tied in lines with invisible strings, and finally his red tile rooftop in the distance.
In the beginning, she waited long before he left for work to see if anyone else emerged from his home to catch a bus or taxi. During those days she thought of accidents that might befall that person. They happened. Giantesses had huge feet, and some of them were rather clumsy. She wasn’t, and she’d have had a difficult time explaining the bloody splat on the ground that was once someone to him. Most importantly, she’d have to face his fear and hatred. There was no need to make things difficult for herself. His gaze never lifted in her direction as it was. It was likely her charming personality was not enough to make him notice her.
Unfailingly, she stood on the same spot every morning. The two-block distance from his house seemed appropriate, and as the rising sun turned the sky rose and orange, so did her cheeks when his car zoomed past her feet, music rising to meet the ponding of her heart. One morning she choked on words that might have been “good morning”, but came out as strangled cries that woke a baby and gave occasion to a few annoyed looks from several faces peering up at her through softly lit windows. After that, she spent a few months standing still for a while every morning, her eyes and mind shut to everything but every sound he made. She tuned out every other noise, and engraved his routine onto her heart.
His breathing changed when he woke up, and sped up when he stirred to stroke himself in bed. She wished she could join his private grunts, peel his stained sheets from him after tearing off his roof, and chew and devour his body between her lips, never drawing blood. She listened to his making breakfast, and her nostrils whipped lively as she picked up the scents of his meals. She heard the rush of tinkling water running over his tiny body, and the rustle of a dry towel wicking him dry. After a year, she could tell what clothes he was wearing before seeing him, by the sound they made when he put them on. A year of saying nothing, a year of watching him patiently.
One day she took a deep breath, accidentally inhaled a pigeon, and intentionally brought down her right foot in his path as he drove to work. The squeak of his brakes was lost in the fit of her coughing, and the broken pigeon finally emerged, a projectile from her sinuses that hit his windshield and shattered it in pieces that barely held together and gave her the opening she needed. He jumped out of his car, his eyes burning on her skin as she stopped coughing. She swallowed hard and apologized profusely as she closed her hand around his body, ignoring his complaints and the protest in his kicks and squirms as she lifted his car with her free hand. She then walked on, not thinking clearly, breathing loudly as she resisted every impulse to plunge his body into her soft flesh, to glide him along her moist, yielding curves right there, so all passersby and drivers could watch.
Instead, she lifted her man-filled fist to her lips, and whispered calming words, only stopping when she reached the industrial complex where she knew he worked. When she bent low to spread her palm open, his shape fell from it and sprawled onto the ground. His clothes were damp with sweat, and his face was contorted with rage. She bit her lip, barely containing laughter, and explained over the bubbling torrent of his vocalized anger than she would take care of all damages. She then walked off with his car and took it to the nearest shop, where she gave employees instructions to have it repaired promptly, to the exclusion of all other repairs.
All damage repairs incurred by giantesses were covered by a federal finance department with very little to no oversight, and transaction immediacy. That meant that any business could charge any amount they wanted for repairs done locally. A windshield replacement would bring the shop more money than any other repairs conducted that day, so when she was back to pick up his car, it was not only fixed but detailed to perfection. When she returned to his place of work, his car tucked between her arm and ribcage like a purse, he was waiting. She watched his mouth open and his cheeks turn red, presumably with anger. She smiled gently and set his car down on the stretch of asphalt in front of him, “I’m sorry” her only words to him. He gasped and shrank away from her, and she noted with pleasure an increase in his core temperature as he rushed to his seat, started the car with a purr, and drove off. She followed him home, no longer bothering to keep a discreet distance.
After that day, she was never very far from him. After that, she started sitting outside his home, singing or talking to him until he came out and told her to go away. After that, he stopped telling her to go away. After that, when the laws changed, she stopped wearing clothes. After that, she started touching him without invitation. One night she couldn’t take it anymore, and she rushed from her bed of leaves and ceiling of stars to his home. His front door flung open and she took him without delay, standing on her two feet, moans turning to screams echoed by the uproar of witnesses, howling dogs and patrol cars, none of which had any effect until they were both done. After that, they each filled every empty space the other one once had.
Now she smiled as she watched the sun begin to hide on the horizon. She grinned at the trail of exhaust his little car left for her ankles. She sighed with joy when she watched him move from car to home, giving her a look and a wave. She knew he’d grab something from the fridge and have dinner out in the balcony, where they could talk. She waited until she saw him emerge carrying something that had been frozen until a few minutes ago. She drew a long breath.
“Mmm. Curry. Your sweat. Your soap. Your drink.”
“But what am I drinking?
She descended upon her legs, crossing them in front of his home as she touched the street with her bottom, and felt it give a little, cracking under the weight of her massive curves. A different fragrance began to spread in the air from her open thighs.
“Are you looking for trouble?”
“Only from you.”
“Christ, woman. I can’t eat or drink anything if you’re going to sit there like that.”
“This is the only way I can sit and watch you eat. So eat. I have something to say to you.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He chewed slowly, lowering his gaze helplessly as he swallowed, bringing it to the play of shadow and light between her legs, and lifting it again to take another bite, another swig. He did as he was told. She smiled her approval as she took a deeper breath, and blew back his hair on the exhale of her next words.
“I love you.”
He choked. Choked and coughed the way she had when that pigeon flew into her nostril. She waited until he was done, smelling tears in his eyes. Regret? Shock? Horror? Revulsion? She waited until he could breathe again, and stared at him quietly, trying to stop her rushing mind from giving any meaning to the frantic racing of his heart. She knew he could hear hers, even in the loud hum of nearby city traffic and neighborhood clatter, he could discern the pounding that was only hers.
“I know,” was all he said.
She didn’t have to hear back her words, so his answer was enough. It didn’t really matter what he felt, as she had claimed him for herself in that irrevocable way that doesn’t ever end. Her love was undying, undefeated.
“I love you, and I’m pregnant.”
Remember this thing? It’s time to woman up again, whether or not I want to or feel ready. I don’t want to and I don’t feel ready, but I’m going to participate anyway. I don’t read Cruel stories and I don’t like to write them, but ideas are in my head, so I’ll enter them… if I complete them. I failed to do so during Unaware October, and I’m not being too hard on myself about it, but I’ve reached a point as a writer where I have an obscene amount of incomplete stories, and notes on stories about which I’ve done nothing. If I insist upon calling myself a writer, I reckon I better write.
If anything can put me in a Cruel mood, it’s probably being welcomed back into the contest while being addressed as a “fun-sized snack”. Feeling I’m the tallest woman in the universes and reading that I’m nothing but a between-meal nibble conjures up the very essence of cognitive dissonance. I’m sure I’ll channel that into the whirling vortex of emotions now coursing through my heart, so as to produce something truly despicable.
Anyone that wants to compete still has the whole last third of December to do so, and will be in very good company: https://sites.google.com/view/crueljan18. If you’re a writer of Cruel stories, you’ll be in your element and challenged to present it viably in two thousand words. If you write Gentle stories, you can try something new, and see if you can redefine the genre and yourself. If you’ve never written anything before, you can start with a story for this contest.
As for me, I’m going to do what I always do; I’m going to type up the stories already in my head even if they defy conventional size cruelty, or even if they align perfectly with what’s out there. It will be difficult, bitter, heart-wrenching, and exhausting. But hey, that’s a Wednesday in Size world… what else is new.
Nearly nine years I’ve been working on this post. I started it and then pedaled back; restarted and deleted it once more. And again, a few times. I’m not sure where I’m going with it now, but I have thirty-three drafts waiting to be completed as blog entries, and this one, being one of the oldest, will be tackled first. I have a NaNoWriMo story to begin, after all.
And another false start. Why is this one so hard?
He sat in the palm of her hand, his scowl matching her wide smile twitch by twitch. His eyebrows, thick and dark as though drawn with a stencil and a permanent marker, came together every time her hand shook too hard. Her excitement was difficult to contain, but she paced herself. She was going to enjoy this moment, and no flaring temper would take this away from her.
“Now your new life begins.”
“I should have never let you talk me into this.”
“You worry too much.”
“Someone has to. I see your goofy grin and I know you can’t wait to drop me down the waistband of your pants. Boy, that will be so much fun for me.”
Her smile faltered, but only because she was trying to keep her smirks in check. Her hand, however, told on her as its surface beaded with sweat, and its temperature spiked to host blood that rushed faster.
“Hey, stop it! This is gross! Your hand is all wet now. And your skin is too hot. You’re such a pervert. Here I am, my life completely altered, and all you can think of is sex.”
“I can’t help what my body does. I can’t help wanting you the way I do. This is the best feeling in the world, to hold you like this. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted.”
She watched him shift uncomfortably, and gather his legs closer to his body. Despite the heat leaving her hand in waves, he shivered. Or was his body simply responding to the pulsing of her skin? She couldn’t tell, and that fact made her jerk in place with a wave of unexpected pleasure. Her hand rocked in place, and he with it. He yelped and called her a word he had never used before.
“Would you watch it? Be careful! I’m only a few inches in height now! You drop me, I die. Die. Is that what you want?”
Her smile was gone. She looked at him, and had visions of dropping him on purpose. He’d fall into her lap, and his eyes would show fear that would only increase as she used that same hand that held him now to swat him off her, and down to the floor. Then, she thought of crushing him. His bones were so thin now, so delicate, she wondered if she would be able to hear them snap. She was still looking at his defiant face as she weighed her options, and made a decision.
“You will never use that word on me again.”
“And what if I do?”
“It will be the last time you do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I know you are upset, but you will calm down, and treat me with respect. Your looks will only take you so far. I want you, and I want to keep you forever. Your life will be perfect. But make me unhappy, keep up this bitchy attitude, and I’ll say goodbye to you as easily as I can replace you.”
“Replace me? Me? You’d never! You can’t. I’m special. I’m unique. And you love me.”
“Maybe you are one of a kind, but that won’t make a damned difference if I’m not happy. And I don’t love you. I like you. I like you a lot, which is much, much better than love. Love is a childish, useless feeling seldom accompanied by permanence or loyalty. Piss me off, and I’ll stop liking everything about you that made me choose you.”
“You are moody. I don’t know how anyone can stop you from being pissed off.”
“True, but there’s a big difference between normal flares of temper and chronic unhappiness. You can survive the former.”
“How quickly you moved from happiness to threats.”
She stared at him for a few long seconds and found a smile on her lips again. “Not at all. I’m still ecstatic. I’m delirious with joy. This is the best day of my life.”
“Really? The best day?”
“Well, one of the best.”
“And I bet your very best day has to do with some other guy.”
“Not ‘some other guy’. My son. The best day of my life was when I gave birth to my son.”
“So how do I rate as best days go? Like on a scale from one to ten?”
“You are a close second.”
“But you are ready to get rid of me if I piss you off too much.”
“I am. I did this so I could be happy. If I’m not happy, then I was wrong, and must rectify my mistake.”
“And it doesn’t occur to you to regrow me instead of… whatever else you have planned?”
“There is no going back. I shrank you permanently. This is forever.”
“If it were forever, then you wouldn’t get rid of me just because I make you mad. What if I become depressed? Are you just going to flush me down the toilet?”
“Of course not! I would do what I can to help, if possible. I would cuddle you and hold you and get you whatever you need. You are my toy, but you are also my little man. Your feelings matter.”
“What if I feel I need to grow back and return to my job and my home? And that’s the only thing that will help my depression?”
“Then I will help you see that you must accept what you can’t change. If you continue to be depressed and unable to accept your life as it is, that’s something we’ll face together, and whatever I decide will probably be informed by your wishes.”
“Probably. Wow. OK, what if my cock falls off?”
“Stop that. Now you are being silly!”
“Seriously. What if you attack me one morning the way you did when I was big, and you come down on me so hard, it breaks off?”
“Let’s not get into every macabre what-if. Anything can happen, but I will try to be as careful as possible.”
“That’s good to know. That means sex is out of the question. Sex is dangerous, and you might kill me while trying those things you like so much.”
She contained her laughter so as to keep her hand as still as possible, but she clarified matters immediately.
“Sex is the only thing that will always happen, my little toy. Sex will never stop. Sex is why I did this. Sex is the only reason you exist as you are now. My sex, your body. Every day of the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter what falls off, or what breaks off, you will be used for sex. You can be depressed, angry, insane, happy, asleep, in a coma… it won’t matter. I will grab your little body every morning, and use it. Then I’ll wear it every afternoon, and use it. And when I’m done with my day, I’ll peel it off me and use it one last time before I go to sleep. Sex. You are sex now. That’s all you are.”
His mouth opened and moved as though to form the beginning of a word, but nothing came out, not even when her hand dropped slowly, carrying him to his final destination. The screams only started a minute later.
I don’t usually reuse collages for different posts, but I don’t see the blog police anywhere around here. This came to me while I was thinking of something completely different, and is soon to become a major motion story. As in, my fingers will be moving in a major way. During NaNoWriMo.
* * *
The man stood his ground, despite the fear tattooing his heart. His target stood dozens of feet above him, and there was no way he could reach it as she demanded. He wanted to be angry, to tell her exactly what he thought of her, but to do so would only seal his fate, not that it didn’t look sealed already. His fate was tightly packed, vacuum-wrapped in her whims, stamped and delivered into the future, but anger would probably make it worse.
“What are you waiting for? Touch it, or I’ll eat you.”
“Why do you do this?”
“Because it’s time, and I’m hungry.”
“So you are going to eat me anyway. Why do you ask me to do something impossible? You know there’s no way I’ll touch you there. I’m a gentleman.”
He couldn’t see her face from his disadvantage point, but she had cracked a smile.
“So it has nothing to do with your height?”
“Certainly not! I could have climbed your legs in an instant. I’m an amazing climber. I won climbing medals when I was big, before you did this to me.”
“So show me. You don’t have to touch it. Just show me how you can go up my leg, which from here looks like a tree trunk when compared to you.”
“I’d love to show you.”
“But I’m afraid I can’t.”
“And why is that?”
“Well, you shrank me as I was delivering your pizza, and then proceeded to fatten me up for a period of… I’m not sure how many weeks-”
“You see this belly here? This was not here before. This blubber makes it impossible for me to climb as I did before. I was a bundle of manly muscles before. Now look at this cellulite.”
“I don’t see any-”
“Is that why you gave me all that delicious food? To ready me for some sort of banquet?”
“Yes. Obviously. Well, since you can’t do what I’m asking you to do, I’m going to slash your throat now, and make sausage with your blood.”
“Ah, blood sausage. The breakfast of champions. That’s great, but I never said I can’t climb your leg. I only said I can’t climb it in an instant, the way I might have before you turned me into a butterball.”
“Then climb it already!” She had forgotten that brief smile and had replaced it with impatience. She was hungry, and it would take some time to hang his carcass properly so as to bleed it in a bucket and not spill a single drop. To waste one molecule of his delicious body would be a sin.
“Very well. It’s a shame about the spiders, really.”
“The spid- what? Did you see a spider? Wait, you said ‘spiders’. Where? Oh, you know I hate those things!”
“Yes, I saw a bunch of spiders, you know, the really venomous ones that can kill you with one bite, the widow ones.”
Her expression changed immediately to one of suspicion.
“Oh, did you. A bunch. A bunch of black widow spiders?”
He thought faster than he’d ever thought in his life.
“Oh. Black? You say they are black? No. I didn’t see a bunch of black ones.”
“Of course you didn’t. They are solitary.”
“Yeah, I just saw one in your bedroom, and the other one was way back, behind the washer in the laundry room.”
“Yeah, so just two. I’d get them for you, but I’ll be busy roasting in the oven.”
“Oh, you are lying. You’re only trying to extend your little life. It will do you no good. I’m going to kill you, and cook you up, and eat you!”
“Yes, I know. Good luck with the spiders. I hope you’re not allergic to the antivenom. Goodnight.”
“Shut up. I’m thinking.”
“I’ll shut up now.”
“Look, uh… ok. Show me the webs.”
“Gladly! Do you have a sledgehammer? Go get it.”
“What? Why do I need a sledgehammer?”
“Because the black widow spider’s web is inside the wall, silly. They don’t build them out in the open. You know that crack on the wall under your bed? That’s where it lives. I can fit my head through there… if you squeeze your phone through the crack, then maybe you can take a picture. But then you’ll have to get out from under your bed very quickly because you know how aggressive they can be, and when your phone’s flash enrages it, it will come after you, and what if you’re stuck under there-”
“Shut up! Shut up, I get it. Fine. Show me the other web. The one in the laundry room. And you better not come up with a clever little story for that one, because if you do I’ll gut you right here, and make kidney with your pies.”
“Shut up and show me.”
“Yes, of course.”
And tiny as he was, he led the way past the kitchen to the laundry room, where he hoped there was a spider web somewhere.
* * *
And so you shrank me
And left me here
Alone with you
Who gets to sleep
So I get up from between your sheets or panties or feet
And I climb down the side of that mountain you insist on calling bed
And I spit in your food
Just a drop or two
And so you use me
Day in and day out
And leave me here and go
Out with your friends
So I break into your closet and unzip my toylike pants
And leave something in your shoes
You won’t even notice it when you wear them
A drop as invisible as me
And so you yell at me
Because I’m irritating
And say what’s on my mind
Tiny but not small
So I hack into your phone and text his number
Your most unfavorite ex, the one that did that
And beg him to come over at 3am
And so you keep me
And tell me it’s forever
I don’t mind; I kinda like it
But sometimes you piss me off
“I like going to that ramen place on Tate.”
“We can go there tomorrow.”
“I wanted to go to Comic con on Friday. It’s a two-hour drive, and I wanted to get there early.”
“We’ll see what I have planned for the weekend. I’d like to go to the Air Show instead.”
“I had already decided to go to Comic con.”
“I understand that. Now you are a married man, and you don’t get to simply up and leave when you want.”
“No, you are quite wrong. I’m a married man, and I don’t get to up and leave, as you put it, because I find myself reduced to the miserable height of two inches!”
“Don’t raise your voice. There’s no need to be angry.”
“No ne- No need to be- Fuck. Woman, grow me back. I want to be my old height again. This is not right. This is wrong. I didn’t ask for this.”
“Of course you didn’t ask for this. No one asks for this. It simply happens.”
“I can’t deal with this. This is a nightmare!”
“Now you are being hurtful. You love me. You asked me to marry you. I told you what would happen. I told you every day that this was going to happen.”
“I can’t believe you. I can’t- Fuck. I don’t even want to look at you right now. Do you think that because you told me, that makes it right? Do you think that I ever imagined you were serious? I thought it was one of your idiosyncrasies! One of your little jokes! ‘Yes, darling, as soon as we are married, you’ll magically shrink down to two inches in height, and it’s not reversible’. Nobody would believe such nonsense!”
“Look at yourself, little love. Is it really nonsense? Besides, there have been a few men that believed this would happen. Their names are inscribed in the Great Book of-“
“A few men? You mean there are others? How many times have you done this?”
“Don’t be silly. You know this is my first marriage- Sorry, my only marriage. I’m talking about other marriages. This has been happening since the beginning of time, my love. You are not the first, nor the last, and you are certainly not the only one.”
“What are you? You never told me you were an alien. You should have told me!”
“Alright, now you’re being ridiculous. There are no such things as ‘aliens’. I’ve always told you the truth. I’m from here. It’s just a different Here.”
“The truth. Here’s the truth: Grow me back, or I want a divorce. Stop laughing. Stop laughing!”
“Oh, sweetheart. I’m sorry! You’re just so funny sometimes. You make me so happy. And no, there’s no growing you back. Once our timelines are inextricably intertwined, you shrink and stay that way forever. I know I explained that to you several times.”
“I thought it was some fairy tale or joke.”
“Why would I joke about your existence? Also, there’s no divorce. We’ve been married for two weeks now; I’d think you’d be used to it by now.”
“When we left for our honeymoon, I spent the entire flight in your pocket.”
“Not the entire flight, honey.”
“You’re not seriously bringing that up again.”
“I know you had fun.”
“I was crying and… or shrieking the entire time!”
“That’s not all you did. I saw.”
“And then you almost drowned me.”
“I’ve apologized about that! How was I to know you didn’t do your breathing exercises as I ordered?”
“And that’s another thing. You keep ordering me about. I’m a man. I’m my own boss. I’m the head of this family, and I expect you to defer to my authority. Why are you- fuck, I wish you’d stop laughing at me.”
“I’m- Oh, god. I can’t breathe! Oh, that was so precious! And you are quite wrong, sweetie. You are my husband and my love, but you are also completely mine, as much as you were when you were a big guy. I’m the head of this family, and as always, what I say goes.”
“So that’s it, then. I’m now this bit of flesh that can’t do anything on his own. I’m a lump, without a job, college education gone to waste. I don’t know what you’re going to tell my parents. I don’t know what I’m gonna tell the guys next Sunday.”
“Nothing, of course. Your parents love you, and they’ll keep the secret, but everyone else has forgotten you ever existed.”
“You understand we can’t make it known that our husbands shrink. We can’t allow that fact to be widely known. It would be terrible for this here. It was catastrophic when it happened Here. We don’t want a repeat of that. It’s for your own safety.”
“How could you do that? How could you do this to me? I’ve given you no permission to destroy everything about my life like this!”
“Enough. I don’t need your permission. Now, August is in the know. He’s your best friend, and I know you love him. He’ll be here every night next week for training, and he can take you to the game if he learns to handle you properly.”
“To handle me?”
“Of course. You are my precious toy, and I don’t want anyone to break you.”
“Yes, my toy. C’mon, darling. Don’t look so forlorn. It may not feel that way yet, but this is how life is supposed to be. You are here to make me happy, and the happier I am, the better the world will be.”
“What about my happiness? What about my dreams? What about what I want?”
“Your wants and needs are secondary to mine. I adore you, and I’ll make sure your life is full and happy, but never as a counterweight to my own fulfillment and joy. You’ll complement me. You already do. I feel a tremendous amount of peace simply because you are here, with me, in my hand, talking to me.”
“You’re squeezing me a little hard right now.”
“S’ok…. What you said… about making sure my life is full… what does that mean?”
“It means you’re not just going to sit around and do nothing all day long, simply because you’re tiny. You’ll make friends, have duties, learn many new things, and eventually, depending on your skills, assume responsibilities.”
“You are artistically inclined. There ample room Here for a creative mind such as yours. The Great Book of Gifts needs to be archived, and the Husbands of the Heart are doing a wonderful job of it.”
“I don’t understand what that means.”
“You will. Now, enough talk. It’s time for your bath, and I think we have enough time for a quickie before your parents get here.”
“Why am I stretching?”
“It’s not as though I’m going to get any taller.”
“Please, be quiet.”
“I don’t like yoga.”
“That’s not yoga. We’re not doing yoga.”
“Then what are we doing?”
“Can’t we relax indoors?”
“Do you know why I brought you to the beach in the middle of October?”
“Because I’d like to drown you.”
“But I’m not going to. Instead of picking up your little body and holding it underwater until it stops moving, I’m sitting here, erasing all thought from my mind, and trying to remember everything I like about you.”
“What did I do?!”
“Why are you so mad at me then? Talking about drowning me. That’s not nice.”
“Do you want to know what’s not nice? I could tell you everything you do that’s not nice. Instead, I’m going to sit here and think good thoughts. It’s either that or packing up your few belongings and kicking you to the curb.”
“I don’t even know what I did wrong!”
“I remember when I met you. I’d seen small men before. Even dated a few. Almost married one. When I saw you I forgot every other man I’d ever met, big or small.”
“You wanted me.”
“I did. More than anyone else on Earth. That’s why I took you the way I did. I knew you were in need, the way you were working that corner, eyeing every woman that drove by, ducking out of sight when you saw the drivers were men.”
“Then I saw you.”
“I stopped the car long enough to open the door and grab you. I didn’t even ask you how much for the night.”
“And I didn’t say.”
“And I never paid.”
“And I never left.”
“You never left.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“You can be so sweet at times. So tender. That’s when I delight in every word that comes out of your mouth. When I come home and you run to my side, stretching your little arms to be picked up when you can’t even reach my knee.”
“I like to see you when you come home. I like the way you pick me up and hold me close, and kiss my whole face at once.”
“I like that too. I like it when you ask me how my day was, and you get mad at the people that made me angry. I really like when you lift your hands to my lips and massage away their tightness, your tiny fingers smoothing over every pucker and wrinkle.”
“You don’t have any wrinkles.”
“Lines. I mean lines. And wrinkles? I’m starting to… just look at this eleven shape between my eyebrows.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t scowl at me so much.”
“Maybe you should stop making me.”
“Shh. I like your voice. I like the way it makes my heart beat faster even though I haven’t been running. I like the horrible sounds you make when you sing-”
“Hey! You said you like my voice!”
“I do. I love your voice, but you can’t sing for shit.”
“I’ll have you know I used to sing lead vocals in a very popular group back in the day.”
“You have an appalling singing voice, but I’d take your singing any day, over any other singing.”
“Even Luciano Pavarotti’s?”
“I like that you’ve stuck around this long. I like to wake up and see your little body next to mine, my panties your blanket tangled around your legs. I like to bring my face to your body and breathe in your scent… which is usually my scent, left to marinate overnight.”
“I’d really like a bath every night.”
“Not gonna happen.”
“I had to try. So, if you like me so much, what’s wrong?”
“I like the way you walk. Your little legs barely covering any ground at all, but your stride is so confident, you look like you’re stepping over mountains. You are a giant in the body of a toy-sized man.”
“That sounds weird… I don’t feel giant.”
”I like the way you make me forget my worries when we’re together.”
“I sound great! I don’t know what the problem is, then.”
“The problem is, this is not real.”
“What’s not real? What do you mean?”
“You. Me. None of this is real.”
“Stop. This is real.”
“It’s not. You’re not here. I’m not here. This is not a real place.”
“Stop saying that.”
“Every day is the same: I wake up first, and wake you up. We have breakfast. I go to work. Next thing you know, I’m back. Then we have a nice, relaxed evening, or we go out. We go on trips together. Our holidays are wonderful. But nothing is real.”
“Shut up! Shut up! Shut the fuck up!”
“Why is it that you never talk about yourself?”
“I don’t- I don’t like to talk about my personal details.”
“Really? Personal details? In this world, you belong to me, but you can’t tell me your phone number?”
“That’s priv- I mean… we have the same phone number. Oh, god. What’s happening?”
“Every night is the same: the sun sets, and I tell you the truth. You and I met online at a VR station. We were roleplaying this whole size world when you had a stroke, and collapsed on the floor. I wasn’t there to witness the event. To me, it only seemed as though you dropped the connection, and decided to ghost me. I didn’t hear about you again until your girlfriend contacted me-”
“Your girlfriend. The woman you love. The one holding your real hand right now, waiting for you to wake up from a deep coma. She’s been waiting for a year.”
“Please, stop. Shut up. No more.”
“Every night I tell you she found me. As it turned out, every time they tried to unhook you from our VR world, you died. I don’t know how she figured it out. Something about the VR unit being stuck to your port all the way to the hospital or something like that. The point is, she contacted the VR company, and got them to release my name. Got lawyers involved and everything. One day I’m bringing the laundry in from the line, and there’s a knock on the door. After she explained everything, she begged me to help. She had tried hooking up to your environment from her own account to no avail. It was only when I entered it using mine as I used to do that I saw you there. Waiting. Working that corner and looking in every direction like you were lost.”
“No. No no no no.”
“Yes. That’s why you fight my getting close to you. That’s why you don’t love me, and never will. You need to wake up and get back to reality. She needs you. She’s waiting for you.”
“Stop. Stop fucking with me. You’re lying. I can’t believe you can be this cruel.”
“I’m only here to help. At the expense of my own life, and my own heart. Wake up soon, because I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”
“I want to go home.”
“I know. And you will.”
“No! I want to go to our home. Our house. Where we live.”
“We don’t have a house. We don’t have anything. But shh. That’s enough for today. Come to me, sweetie. I’ll take you back inside that fake beach house, and hold you and love you one more night, and when you wake up you’ll remember everything about today, except this conversation. You’ll be happy. I might be a little happy too. Sometimes I am. Then, when the sun sets, I’ll try again.”
He sat on her chin, making a distinct effort not to laugh every time she tried to peer at him over the summit of her nose. Her eyes crossed before she closed one, then the other, trying to look around each of her nostrils to catch a blurry glimpse of his tiny shape. Why she chose to set him on her chin was beyond his ken, like so many things she did or said. He bit his lip and listened to saliva clicking in her mouth as the muscles that governed her lips began to shape words. She was about to say something. He dug into her soft flesh with his little hands. He knew his hold was meaningless if her words were strong enough to buck.
“I need a story.”
“A story?” he asked, feeling himself bob up and down helplessly as her jaw stretched. He could hear muscles longer than his body play with the opening of her mouth, even if he could not see them inside her head. He wondered why he had asked her that when he heard her so clearly, instead of making sure she said as little as possible. Instead of doing all he could to avoid being hurled into her heavily guarded mouth, even if by accident. She answered with a frustrated gust of warm wind hitting him square in the everywhere before she reiterated her demand.
“Yes. Tell me a story.”
“I-I don’t know any.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Can I move to your chest? Every time you say anything, I feel I’m going to fall off and tumble down either side of your head, and crack my skull so many feet down to the ground.
“Feet to me.”
“Yes, but inches. And you’re not going to fall. You’re going to sit there and tell me a story.”
He clutched handfuls of her skin as tightly as he could. His fingers, infinitesimal as they were, could not compete with whatever moisturizer from hell she applied to her face every morning. Even when he dug his heels into the border of her lower lip line and turned his feet into wedges between it and the protrusion of that massive swath of pink flesh, he felt as unsteady as a leaf in the wind- no, a leaf in the gutter, to be swallowed by darkness too profound to contemplate. Still, he thought, and thought, and came up with nothing. Rather than say as much, he recited his own life to her.
“Once upon a time there was a man. His name was-”
“What? I’m telling you my story.”
“I… I don’t know. I’m… I feel alarmed to know your name, after all this time.”
“How do you know it’s my name, and not just a made-up bunch of random words?”
“Because I know. I know things. Like how I knew I could shrink you even though such things are impossible.”
“I see. I guess you do know, because I was about to tell you what used to be my name. We both know that’s not my name now.”
She sighed so hard, she almost blew him off her. And she didn’t notice.
“His name was Orton Ransom McGillis- Hey! Watch it!”
It was clear she was trying to contain her mirth, and badly. She was biting her lower lip, and the skin on her chin felt dimpled and taut under him. She was gasping and about to throw him off.
“Stop! You’re gonna make me fall.”
She kept at it for a few seconds longer before her amusement was brought to check, but not before she sighed a bit too happily.
“Aren’t you happy your name is Toy now?”
“Yeah, sure. Ecstatic. Look, do I tell you a story, or can I get off now?”
“Not yet. Go on, tell me your story. I’m sorry.”
“OK, that’s better. So, his name was Orton, and he worked in the porn industry-”
“Just- let me finish.”
Again, contained laughter about 5.4 on the Richter scale. He waited it out, wishing for a dark corner in which to hide. Once it was over, he cleared his throat and went on.
“Poor, misunderstood Orton worked in the porn industry composing summaries for porn films. His carefully worded descriptions and delicately crafted keywords filled the world of Internet porn and the still existing DVD market. The money was adequate, but the hours were hell. One particularly grueling day, Orton made his way to his car. He was exhausted, and not paying attention to his surroundings. When he was unlocking his car, he caught movement on the side window’s reflection, and turned his head long enough to see a woman reach his side.
He turned to defend himself, but instead stood there as she smiled at him, and brought her face up to his, and kissed him fully on the lips. He was so startled by her behavior that the prick in his neck went almost unnoticed. What he did notice was that everything turned into darkness then, and when he came to, nothing looked familiar. He would not realize for a full minute that he had been taken from his life, his work, and everything he once knew, and transformed into a two-inch tall man-”
“Man. I’m a man, no matter what you say or how you treat me.”
“Shush. Don’t tempt me to prove your wrong. Finish your story.”
“So, this little man finally made sense of the roaring sound that assaulted his senses, and understood it to be the engine of a car. He finally made sense of the heat surrounding him, and understood it to be mountains of smooth human flesh. He finally made sense of the coarse texture on which he stood, and understood it to be the seat of a car. The driver’s seat.”
The wall of her lower lip stretched into a smirk, and Orton, now Toy, read her thoughts in it. He knew she was thinking of what she made him do as soon as he recovered consciousness. No explanation, not a single demonstration of care, or an attempt to assuage his fears. His panic. His horror. He graduated from man to sex toy that very moment. Magna cum loudly.
“After months of being treated like an object, Orton began to think of himself as one. He stopped begging to be regrown or returned to his life. He didn’t have to work anymore, except as a human dildo for the woman that shrank and took him. He had zero responsibilities, except to keep her satisfied. His family, his friends, everyone that had once known him were still grieving for him, looking for him, crying for him; but the woman, his owner, didn’t care. She wanted him so badly, none of that mattered.”
“Poor, unfortunate Orton.”
“I’m surprised to hear you say that. You’ve always said I’m the luckiest toy in the world.”
“I’m talking about Orton, not you. You are the luckiest toy in the world.”
“Anyway. Orton made peace with his fate, and realized his place was with this giant woman that loved him as the most precious thing in the world.”
“The universes. Reality. Realities. All dimensions.”
“Is that what I am to you? The most precious thing in all universes dimensions everything?”
“Yes. Everything, everywhere, and beyond, where there is nothing and nowhere. You are the most important nothing there too.”
“Hmm. Thank you. I think.”
“Did you like my story?”
“Yes, I loved it.”
“Can I get off now?”
“No, Toy. Ladies first.”