I was checking my Twitter TL today when I spotted this tweet, by talented author Taedis. Naturally, I had to snag the image and make it better. It doesn’t quite reflect my thoughts; it simply tells a Size story in the way the original cannot.
In other news, my blog is moving up in the world, as now I get visitors that search for:
I’m certainly referring to the second search phrase since the first one has been a given since the beginning of this blog. Now, some of you may ask, “but Undersquid, that’s a terrible word. Whatever do you mean when you say your blog is moving up in the world?” To which I respond, “never mind, little ones. It will all become clear in subsequent blog entries”.
[Giggles] “Okay, you’re a little scabby, so why don’t we get you a nice treatment so you can get your mojo back?”
“Come on. Some high-grade uranium, and you’ll be good as new. Hang on, tiger.”
I dare anyone (mostly myself) to watch the above scene in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and not imagine a shrunken little individual inside that cage. I know I did. I did to the degree I had to stop watching the movie so I could talk about my feelings. Many feelings. I have a thing about cages and writing stories about the kind of living trinkets kept in such cages and what happens to those trinkets once those cages are transported to the home of their new owner. Typically, the owner looks a lot like me, and she says (the same way Laureline said to Valerian) to whatever boyfriend/husband/nearest giant around, “He’s very cute, you know? And a real charmer. You may have some competition.”
I’d say no giant can compare to the idea of a shrunken man, but I can’t say that since I perceive all giants as smaller than me.
Other great lines from the movie:
“There. That one is a male.” “How can you tell?” “Oh, they are much smaller than the females.”
“I thought you said they weren’t aggressive.” “Except when you take their little buddy.”
I first thought of creating a series of full-sized images a few weeks ago, when at Pixton looking at some comic creations, and thinking of what to do next. There’s a similar set of images I’m working on, but from the perspective of my little toy Hopier… and though it’s fun to imagine what he thinks and feels, I have a much clearer idea of my own perspective.
This is a work of love. These images come from conversations I’ve had with him, visions of how life would be if only he measured two inches in height. We share this fantasy, and try to make it as real as we can in whatever way we can, through art, or words, or whatever means within our reach.
He may never reach that desired height, and I’ll never grow to be two hundred feet in height. Never ever never never never never never. But there is a place in some dimension where a version of me is doing all these things to with a version of him (call me Shirley, but I’m really hoping for that right now):
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.
“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.”
I’m getting ready to start one of my many writing projects, but before I do I wanted to mention this to you….
Most of you own at least one pillow. Pillows are great. I don’t have a pillow fetish, but I’m always on the search for the next great pillow. If I suddenly experienced a great growth spurt, I’d probably attempt to procure a comfortable pillow before I try to find articles of clothing. Believe me, I’m not going to be one of those silly giantesses that use a stupid boulder on which to rest her head.
Likewise, I think of the comfort a shrunken man might require while in my possession. It doesn’t even matter that I might never acquire shrinking powers; I still would like to prepare everything for his arrival. For a long time, I put aside my dream of owning a dollhouse and threw away all the furnishings I had bought for it. I feel that dream slowly returning to me. I begin to see possibilities, and I’ll document them here, on my blog, as they progress. In the meantime, a shrunken man is always going to need a pillow.
But what do you do when you want to feel tiny, and your body refuses to acquiesce? Stupid body. But you are not. You get your size fix however you can engineer it, and unusual pillows are one way you can do that. How about this kind?
I know you are not a baby, but if I felt tiny and wanted gentle hands holding me as I sleep, I’d make myself a pair of giant fabric hands I can stuff with soft material, and strategically place sand weights in them so that some pressure is exerted on my body. Never mind how that would be helpful for those of us with sensory differences; I can imagine that crawling into bed and positioning enormous hands on your body would put you in a certain frame of mind. But what if you don’t want to be held? What if you’d like to be et?
Then step right up and onto a couple of fried eggs for a hungry giantess’s breakfast. The white rug and accompanying yolk cushions are so cute, I’d consider them for my living room, even though I don’t like rugs that can stain easily. I have cats, and I’m a clumsy giantess, especially when I’m drunk.
I have no idea how I’d explain such a decor choice to friends and family who would helpfully inform me my house looks like breakfast. I’d act surprised, and say, “Oh, really? Well, I had not noticed!” Then I’d kick my Size books under the rug and hope they don’t notice my shrunken-man pillows. What shrunken-man pillows, you ask?
I like the idea of constructing man-shaped pillows, the same way this woman did. Mine would not be lifesize, of course; mine would be small. I think they would then have to be called “dolls”, but see if I care. If I could have a two-inch long pillow shaped like a little guy, I’d be tickled. Of course, it wouldn’t be very comfortable… but at least if I roll over it, I wouldn’t kill it with my giant form.
Alright. I have some writing to do. Have a nice day, and don’t forget to wash your pillows on a schedule, and dry them well, and protect them with a hypoallergenic cover.
“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.”
I… don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m thinking about it now, and you are just sitting there, so you might as well listen.
* * *
Gabriel Maurice Sanchez, experiment No. 132, walked into his psychiatrist’s office and kept on walking. He only measured four inches in height, so it took him a while to reach the side of the comparatively gigantic seat. Once there, he stood still and waited. Doctor Pembrose, a noted mental health practitioner specializing in the treatment of shrunken people, raised his gaze from the iPad he was holding and welcomed him in.
“Gabe, how are you? Please, sit down.”
“Hi, Dr. Pembrose. I’m OK. Just let me…”
“Do forgive me,” said the doctor, lifting his enormous form from an ornate chair, and offering Gabe his palm. Gabe climbed in, visibly uncomfortable. “I’m sorry, Gabe. The new chair has not arrived yet. It’s currently airplane cargo, if these updates are to be believed. It’s too bad only the Japanese are true masters of miniature furniture.”
The doctor pressed the back of his hand gently on the cushion of his patients’ seat, and waited for Gabe to waddle off his palm and onto the velvety surface. He waited still, until Gabe reached the back, turned to face him, and slid down to sit, a ridiculously small shape drowning in the red fabric background. Once his patient seemed as comfortable as he was ever going to get, Dr. Pembrose returned to his seat, lifting the iPad and swiping the smooth screen with his finger, to access what he had highlighted from their previous session. He gave the device a quick nod, and looked at Gabe again, smiling negligibly.
“Tell me, how did the conversation with your wife go?”
Gabe’s cheeks turned red, and his eyes gave a new gleam, but no tears ran down his tiny cheeks. He swallowed and spoke quietly. The doctor didn’t have to strain to listen. He had installed a microphone in the seat, and it allowed him to listen to every word his patients spoke. They had enough to deal with, being so small. They didn’t need to contend with a giant tilting his head to pretend it might help him listen to them when he was only here to help.
“She didn’t want to listen. She says I’m her toy, and if she wants to fart on me, she will. She said she loves me, but she owns me….”
Gabe words trailed off, and he seemed trapped in thought until the doctor spoke again.
“Did you tell her you are not a toy, but a man? A real man that was shrunken violently, without permission?”
“I told her everything we discussed. I sat down with her… on her, last week after dinner, and I began to tell her how it makes me feel when she lets them rip, and she’s sitting on my body, and doesn’t even stop to go to the bathroom like I’ve asked her. I told her it makes my- you know. My… erection go away. I have to tell her because she doesn’t even notice, or doesn’t care to look. She just keeps sliding and rocking in place, until she’d done! Sometimes she farts on me more than once, especially after we’ve eaten Mexican food. That’s another thing, doc. I kept a record just like you said, and I knew I was right! I knew it! We’re now eating more Mexican food than ever. She’s even started preparing Indian food, which she never did before.”
“Please, go on.”
“I told her it’s disrespectful… no, I told her I feel like she doesn’t respect me. I feel hurt and mistreated. I don’t want to tell her I’m going to report her yet. I don’t think she’d like that.”
“Let’s stop there for just a moment, Gabe. Report your wife? For what reason?”
“Mistreatment of an illegally shrunken person. I’ve looked it up.”
“Have you found a particular passage that relates directly to what you are experiencing?”
“Well, no. There’s nothing about farting on a tiny person, but I’m sure if I find the right lawyer…”
“Gabe, I’m concerned about the notion of taking your wife to court. I have to tell you that I’ve seen similar cases in court before, and none result in satisfaction for the plaintiff. Not yet, in any case. But most importantly, what effect do you think that will have on your marriage?”
“It’ll make my wife stop farting on me! Seriously, doc, I’ll do anything at this point. Anything to get her to stop.”
“Yeah. I mean, I love her. I love her with all my heart. And I guess she loves me. She didn’t have to marry someone so small. She could have just… she was going out with my handler, you know… that’s how we met. I’ve told you this.”
“Go on, Gabe. I’m here to listen. Say whatever’s on your mind.”
“OK. Well… my handler was taking me to get groceries, and he saw her at the store, and he wasn’t going to say hi, on account of the rules, you know? “Never take your attention away from your charge,” and all that… but she saw him and she came over, and then she saw me. And I was the first one she’d see up close like that. He told her they couldn’t talk on account of me, and instead of giving me a venomous look like they all do, she smiled and winked at me. I couldn’t breathe. Somehow we kept bumping into her at the oddest times and places, and then… she got her Handler’s license. That’s when my handler proposed, and instead of saying yes, she broke it off. She never told him why, but he must have figured it out when we got married.
So, you see? She could have married someone she’d never have to watch over constantly and carefully; someone who can’t ever get a job doing what I used to do…. Do you know how long I’d last as an engineer? Probably less than a minute. So here I am, going to school again, being a burden and a worry to her, but still a man. A real man with all my real parts. Did I tell you she wants to start having children? What’s going to happen then? How can someone my size be a father? Farts will be the least of my worries! Diapers? Teething? Walking? Tantrums? Teen years! College!”
“Gabe, take a deep breath now. I want you to breathe deeply. Your cheeks seem a little blue. Let’s pause for a couple of minutes, shall we?”
“OK, OK!” Gabe did feel faint. His mind was swirling with heavy thoughts, one darker than the next. He let them all slow down, and focused on letting air in and out of his chest. He did that for a few minutes while Dr. Pembrose looked at him with a great deal of attention, making sure he wasn’t witnessing a medical emergency. There was such care in his eyes; it was obvious. Even if he couldn’t up and tell his wife to stop farting on his patient, he was truly there for him. It felt nice.
“Listen, doc… thanks. Thank you for listening, really. I’m not going to sue my wife. She says she owns me, maybe she does. I don’t know. I don’t think she means it in a negative way if that makes any sense. She might say I’m her property, but her life is centered around me. She might tell me I’m not a man, but she seeks me out all day long, so she can do to me things women do to men. She calls me all manner of unmanly names when she’s in the throes… but then she lifts me up and cleans me and kisses me and hugs me so sweetly.
I’m confused. I was so upset about it. I have been so angry about it since it started happening with real frequency, these last two months! And now it- I’m- I feel different. I don’t know how to explain it. I can’t say it doesn’t matter anymore because it does. I hate it. I guess… what I mean is, I have to make a choice here. My choice is to go down a path that will perhaps get her to stop farting on me, but then I risk losing her. I don’t want that. I hate the thought of that more than anything; more than the thought of her farts.”
The doctor sat quietly, listening, nodding imperceptibly, his face impassive. Gabe went on.
“Maybe if I learn how to cook. I’ve heard of kitchens that are set up to accommodate a tiny chef. Maybe I can change her diet so her farts aren’t as overwhelming. What do you think?”
“I’ve heard of those kitchens. I saw a show about them last week. The woman that had her home redesigned to fit her needs was doing a wonderful job with a frittata.”
Gabe sighed and smiled.
“I’ll have to look into that. The coping classes I’m taking are mostly just common sense stuff, and I’m ready to get on with my professional life. When I was normal sized I couldn’t even boil water, but I’ll give cooking a try. If I can control what goes in, then at least I have some say about what happens when it all comes out.”
“Let me know what happens when we see each other next week, will you?”