Things you only tell your best friend

Present

“Happy birthday, Patty.”

“But you already gave me a gift.”

“That was wine for the party. This is your real present. I wanted to wait until now that we’re sober to give it to you. To hand it over to you last night with all of us here would have been a disaster.”

“You’re being very mysterious. What is it?”

“Open it and see!”

Patty smiled at her friend and sat down on the couch, her living room still littered with beer bottles and party debris from the previous night. Emily sat next to her and took a deep breath. She hoped Patty would be pleased with her gift. She watched her tug at the bow and the taped gift wrap in her typical careful manner, and when she unfolded it from the box inside, she gasped.

“No! You didn’t!”

“I did.”

“But this…how? I mean, why? I…I…I don’t know if I can, Emily!”

“Look at it.”

Patty looked at the now unwrapped gift. It was clearly crafted by hand in the fashion of action-figure cases. Cardboard back and sides, and the front transparent vinyl, perforated to allow oxygen entry to the two-inch tall man trapped inside. He was struggling against the plastic binds that kept him attached to the inner back of the case. His mouth was moving incessantly, and his facial expressions seemed to alternate between anger and terror.

“It’s Tony.”

“No, Patty. It was Tony. Now it’s only a toy you get to rename.”

“I’m not like you, Emily. I don’t know if I can find this as fun as you find Michael-”

“Don’t call it that. Its name is Fucktoy now.”

“You are crazy!” said Patty good-naturedly, and Emily laughed with her.

“Well, that’s what it is. Look, you can treat it… fine, you can treat ‘him’ however you want to treat him, but my advice is that you put him in his place as soon as you can, or he’ll never learn. I don’t need to tell you the kind of asshole he was before. He’ll need your guidance and firm hand to be what he needs to be.”

“How are we supposed to… you know.”

“You’ve asked me that many times before. You know what I do with Fucktoy.”

Patty blushed. Her cheeks turned red every time she heard their old classmate’s new name. When she’d seen him again, many years after they’d graduated, he’d been two inches in height and very quiet, and once Emily had left the kitchen leaving him on the table, he had begged Patty to help him escape. Patty had done nothing of the kind and had told Emily what he said, word for word. The next time they visited he was still healing. She looked away from her friend’s face and down at her gift. Tony stopped screaming and struggling as soon as he felt her eyes on him like a weight on his body. His jaw dropped and his eyes opened wider. Patty felt a bubbling brook of giggles explode from deep within her. Emily smiled softly, her deep connection with her friend allowing her entry to her thoughts. She still asked.

“Tell me what you’re feeling.”

“I don’t know! I can’t describe it. I’ve never felt this way before.”

“Try, Patty. Look at it and tell me…”

“Ah… it’s so different. My heart is pounding so hard. When you told me you’d done this to Mich- to—she coughed—Fucktoy, I was initially horrified, but I also remembered what happened that day in school so many years ago… I don’t want to bring it up, but the way those assholes cornered us during recess, and just started… and what you did to them. I thought for years we had hallucinated it; even when the police… anyway, my loyalty has always been with you. I have this odd faith in that power you have, and I know Fucktoy is where he- shit! Where it belongs…”

“Go on, Pattimelt,” said Emily, placing one hand on her friend’s shoulder and pressing it lovingly.

“I feel… happy. Like… I can handle this. Like I have the upper hand. Finally, after enduring years of betrayal, I get a say. I know I chose to stay with him before, and when he’s not a monster he can be wonderful.”

“Right, like Hitler was wonderful to his dogs.”

“Oh, stop! Tony is no Hitler.”

“No, but you had surgery, Patty. I had to go with you to the hospital several times. You were so depressed your health was falling apart. Always running a fever, always looking like you’d been crying.”

Patty said nothing, still staring at the man inside the box. Emily let go of her shoulder and reached for her purse, from which she pulled a thin utility knife. “Here, Pattimelt. Do the honors.” The little man in the case saw the knife transfer from hand to hand and started screaming afresh. Patty’s smile deepened into dimples on her cheeks, and she perforated the vinyl sheet easily with the sharp blade. After she sliced through the plastic ties that kept Tony in place, she watched him flop down to her lap. Tony scrambled to his feet and could not negotiate the tilted, smooth terrain. He lost his footing again and started crawling toward the edge of Patty’s thighs.

“What’s he doing?”

“He’s being a shithead, like always. It’s up to you to train him.”

“I don’t know what to do! You do something.”

“No, Patty. He’s your toy. I’m never ever going to touch him again, not until he’s properly trained anyway. He was unconscious when I wrapped him, so he’s really disoriented right now. Just cover him with your palm.”

Patty did as she was told, cupping her hand and bringing it down on Tony’s squirrely body before he foolishly jumped off her and down to the couch. “Now what?”

“Now you name him. He has to know right away that there’s no turning back.”

“Didn’t you explain anything to him?”

“Not at all. I went to his office, and before he saw me I did my willing thing, and he disappeared behind his desk, but not before he banged his forehead on the edge of it as he shrank. You see he still has a bump there. I think he’s been awake for a couple of hours, but I wrapped you present before that.”

“I don’t know what to say to him!”

“Yes, you do. Just tell him what’s in your heart. Tell him his place now. Tell him his name. Tell him how things are. And don’t worry about squeezing too hard. I make these things sturdy now.”

Patty whimpered softly and took a deep, calming breath. She then lifted the dome of her hand off Tony, and seeing he didn’t waste any time trying to escape again, she curled back three of her digits and grabbed him between thumb and forefinger. Emily leaned back a few inches and watched her friend come to life for the first time in years. Patty turned Tony’s wriggling body slowly and lifted him until he was only inches away from her face.

“Stop!” Her voice was firm, and Tony screamed again, his hands flying to his ears. His eyes were closed and he kept kicking his legs.

“I said stop.” Her tone was still quite stern, but lower in volume. She gave him a little squeeze. Suddenly there was no longer any air in his lungs left for screams.

“There will be no more of this unruly behavior. You are no longer Tony. You are… Nothing. You will continue to be Nothing until you learn how to please me. Then you may become Something. If you fail to do so, you will acquire a final name: Shit Toy. Do you understand?”

Tony gave no sign of understanding. He dangled from Patty’s hand, trembling like a leaf.

“I asked you a question, Nothing.” She gave him the slightest of shakes, and his head flapped back and forth. “That is a yes. Next time you’ll speak up, or find yourself in deep shit.”

“Damn, Patty. You’re a natural.”

“Yeah, well. I do have four younger siblings.”

“I don’t think you ever threatened them with final names of any kind.”

Patty grinned at her friend even though her gaze was still fixed on Nothing.

“How do I teach him tricks?”

“The same way you teach a pet to do anything. Repetition, immediate discipline, and eventually some rewards.”

“Is there any way you can get Fucktoy to talk to him?”

Emily seemed surprised at her friend’s idea. “I guess. Fucktoy is well trained now, but we must supervise all encounters.”

“Definitely.”

“I’ll be back in a bit.” Emily went to her friend’s bathroom, where she looked down and carefully folded the hem of her skirt up, again and again until it rested on her abdomen. She then hooked her thumb into her panties’ waistband and stretched it away from her body until she saw a tiny shape slip from her crotch down to her panty gusset.

“Fucktoy.”

Fucktoy’s eyes were tightly shut as light flooded its confines and blinded it. Emily turned until her body blotted out the bathroom light. Fucktoy opened its eyes, regurgitated thick liquid from its mouth, and coughed some more until it could speak.

“Yes, my owner?”

“I want it to have a toy-to-toy talk with my friend Patty’s new diversion. I want it to explain to it the rules of being a sex toy.”

“What does it say?”

“It repeats what it knows. It explains to it how to survive. I will be there with my friend for support.”

“Yes, my owner.”

“Good toy. Now let’s get it cleaned up a bit.”

And she cleaned it, but not before she dirtied it all over again.

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Cruel January 2018: the Stories

Mantis.gif

I’m no longer going to explain the history behind my friend Aborigen‘s contest because it’s rather easy to learn if you poke around long enough. All tiny people need to know is that the contest series exists, and this is its second year running. Last year I entered the #CruelJan17 contest and had a very difficult time wrapping my head around writing a Cruel story. I was pushing my boundaries as a storyteller, and it transformed me. That came as no surprise, since forcing the brain to do something new generates change (I wish that change involved a literal height increase, but you and I know this Universe is appallingly malevolent when it comes to making my Size wishes come true).

I didn’t experience the same thing this year. I had many ideas for my stories and was only able to work on a few, but it happened effortlessly, and I actually enjoyed the process. That change pleases me, as it’s exactly what I wanted to accomplish last year. I did have a great deal of difficulty with one story I didn’t complete. I’ll explain why when I post it here in a few days. It will be password protected as some of my entries are now, so if you like to read it, contact me and I’ll make sure you get the password. If you want to steer clear of my naughtier content, your wisdom is to be commended and your logic is impeccable. Though I will make note of your location for future destruction, as it appears to be a hotbed of subversion and entropy, a wretched hive of scum and villainy, etc.

Something else I did was offer readers the chance to win some “prizes”. It’s mostly just for fun, and I have yet to get around to delivering rewards to people that guessed correctly the #ButtyJuly17 stories that were mine. I haven’t even posted those! I’m running behind. As always, whoever guesses which story (or stories) is mine wins a drawing of their choice, to be delivered sometime in 2020.

All #CruelJan18 stories can be found here.

Read them, or I will destroy you.

Enjoy them, or I will end everything you love.

Vote for your favorites in various categories, or I will crush all the ice cream.

You’ve been warned.

The Plantar Hug – Alternate Ending

Because every time I read this I know that something must be done. The original blog entry was written and is owned entirely by my friend Aborigen, to whom I’ve asked no permission to do this, and who has been made no part of this travesty fan fic. Let the healing begin.

at_the_gym_gts_2_by_mike973
“At the Gym GTS 2” by mike973

The Plantar Hug

“You’re bad,” she says to me, frowning.

I look up at her and shrug. “I don’t have much to work with, here. Limited freedom, limited resources.”

She sits cross-legged before me, looming far, far overhead. I’m only as tall as her crossed ankles. We are each of us naked. My erect cock stands—at my size—like an unruly whisker. I can just see the gentle swell of her belly, beyond where her calf flexes prominently. Up above her belly are two shy, round breasts, ripe with late youth and almost done developing. Excellent form. Each is crowned with tan nipples pointing proudly in nearly opposite directions, far to my left and right and very far up above me.

I wish I were clinging to one of them, dangling like a piece of jewelry. Digging my nails into that wrinkly flesh and feeling it grow harder against me, slowly pushing me out into space with only this tan node of flesh to hold onto. She can feel me staring at her breasts, so she stretches her arms back and pushes her chest out—her tits stand triumphantly, deservedly so. Down go her arms, propping up her massive upper body (massive, to me), and her face melts from its “I’m taking a deep stretch” expression to resume frowning at me. Darkening eyes, pouty lower lip, disapproval written all over her brow.

“But I love you,” I offer.

She hmmphs irritably. “Then why do you act like this?” One tremendous, smooth leg stirs and pulls out of the cross-legged position. Her knee rises into the air and her foot plants heavily to my left, thudding into the carpet whose fibers stand around my shins. In my mind, her legs form what I call the Great Gate, slowly opening.

“I get restless and bored.” It’s true: she keeps me in a shoebox all day without even a shiny ball to roll around. My only reprieve is when she cages me and sets me before the TV, but inevitably she turns it to E! and I have to curl up, clasp my ears and sing all day long to keep from going mad.

One leg moves, one large foot sliding on its side to my right. I start to babble an apology. There were times in the past when the Great Gate signaled a wonderful evening together, but this is not one of those nights. Her other knee rises into the air, her toes flex the carpet beside me, and my eyes turn inexorably into the courtyard of her pale, fresh thighs. Momentarily forgetting her glowering visage above me, I study the stubble of tiny hairs hinting at the space below her navel, growing stronger toward her mons, and then the strip of clearly shaven whiskers that split and descend around her labia. Those luscious pink and orange folds of skin, so sweet, a little tangy, and with a warmth that feels like love.

And her feet slide over the carpet, the balls of each foot mowing down wide swaths of dense acrylic fiber, until they flank me. Her knees slowly descend and the pallid, fragile soles of her arches expose themselves to me. I apologize again but there’s no indication she’s heard me. My cock twitches with desire at the sight of her inner thighs tensing, clenching, but my cock is stupid. Her thighs are pushing her shins together, and the walls of her soles rise up on either side.

The balls of her feet catch me right at my rib cage and they begin to press. Her toes, those sweet, pink little pearls, flex and hug behind me. Above, her eyes regard me blankly as though I were an uninteresting experiment on a video recording, even as she manipulates her feet to roll me back and forth until I fit along the knuckles of her toes. I wish this were an act of love. There’s no point or even time to apologize further as her feet press my sides, her toes clench and snap my back, the balls of her feet pop my ribs and my lungs and shatter my pelvis. And her feet grind and roll me around, pull back, then smack together with a clap.

Alternate Ending…

I heard the loud rasping of her feet on the carped as she drags them away from the lump of my body. “You love me. Prove it.”

“Ngh.”

“Get up. What are you doing? Stop contorting that way.”

“But- ugh, I’m dead. You killed me. I’m broken, bleeding internally in several places.”

She sighs impatiently. “Stop being so dramatic. That’s part of the problem, always such heart-felt anguish about nothing at all.”

I remain perfectly still, my eyes closed as I turn my attention to my own body. Aside from perhaps a cracked rib, there is no pain beyond the humiliation of having been trapped between her feet and released like a bug caught and thrown outdoors in the middle of a winter storm.

“I said I love you.”

“And I said prove it.”

“How do I prove it? I have no means to do so.”

“What do you need?” she asks, and I remove my limp arm from my face, turning to look up at her. A glimmer of interest has dawned in her eyes.

“I need paper. I need writing materials, and a place where I can write. Good light, and-“

“Whoa, hold on. I keep you in a box. That’s good enough for you.”

“But it isn’t. Do you love me?”

“What?!”

“I’m speaking very clearly. Do you love me?”

She looks angry now, but interested. She’s definitely interested. “Never mind what I feel.”

“I think you like me, at least. So give me the opportunity to show you how much I care. Give me one week and everything I ask, and if I don’t make things better then flush me down the toilet, because I can’t stand loving you the way I do and having all my love trapped in an old shoe box.”

She blushes, her eyes bright with… tears? Dislike? I can’t tell. She nods, a tiny muscle twitching in the corner of her mouth.

“Very well, you can have paper, and ink, and I’ll make you a desk with cardboard and tape. Oh, it will be so cute! I can go to the 3D printer place on 8th St. and have them print out a tiny chair. I can put them both on my desk next to the laptop, and you can write while I watch my shows.”

“How will I write? There are no quills my size.”

She thinks for a moment, her gaze cast far over my head, her features still like the carved side of a mountain. She blinks, and one of her eyelashes jumps to the void below, sacrificing itself for me. I watch it drop and get up with a sharp pain on my side. I don’t care. I dive to catch it, and when she looks down at me, I’m panting and on my back again, but holding the lash up with one hand, like a torch.

“What’s that?”

“One of your eyelashes. You just gave it to me. It’s the perfect implement for writing.”

She swallows hard, and all remnants of anger abandon her face. She smiles and brings up her knees, her soles now on the carpet. I keep very still as I watch her body take over every inch of my sky, my ground shaking again and again. It goes on forever as she rises to her feet, until she peeks down at me, still on my back between them.

“Get up, slowpoke. Let’s find some cardboard for your desk.”

Two Words – the Twitter Edition – Part 2

How it happened…

Over a year ago I tweeted the following:

heytwitter

Days later I posted the first two-word entry. Naturally, I made haste to write the second part as soon as I could. Here it is, over a year later.

The second volunteer, famous Bard to Giantesses and professional raconteur Aborigen, offered the following two words. There are two remaining sets of words that will form a total of four I’ve pompously decided to call Two Words (a game) – The Twitter Edition! fireworks

Alleviate, Sandalwood

Game-Dollhouse.jpgPerdita traveled to Vermont every month to oversee the construction progress of her dollhouse and deliver materials for it she procured on her own. It had been a year since she first started having dreams that soon became nightmares. Only when she heeded them as instructions, the bad dreams stopped and became messages. From whom, she didn’t know; all she knew is that she started receiving them the moment she began searching for a good dollhouse maker, and contracted one in Vermont to build the dollhouse of her dreams.

As she handed the man sandalwood logs she had gotten from an Internet stranger she met for coffee and barter (she gave him one of her chicken in exchange), she knew the craftsman thought she was mad. She could see it in his eyes. She almost suggested he keep his glaring to himself, after the fortune she was paying him. The house had to be right; it had to be perfect.

“Yes, sandalwood shingles; you heard me right.”

“But that’s going to cause another delay! The special hinges you wanted for the windows, and the iron balustrades for the balcony and the stairs-”

“I don’t care. It has to be sandalwood… it has to be on the outside so the fragrance doesn’t overpower him…”

“I beg your pardon?” he spat, and she realized she had been talking to herself.

“Never mind. Do as I ask, please. I’d like to see the house now if you don’t mind.” She saw that he thought about it for a moment, thought about sending her—and her crazy requests—away, but there must have been something in her eyes, something that told him she was capable of anything, because he took her to the back, a long way past the workshop and different varnishing and woodworking rooms, out the back door and past a well-kept backyard where the dollhouse maker’s wife was cutting flowers.

She ignored her surprised nod and meaningful look between the two of them, and followed him to the barn, where all nearly finished products were curing. She also ignored all the beautiful homes that were ready for delivery, a large one being carefully packed in several boxes by shop workers, until they reached the worktable where his home stood. Her toy.

His home, she thought; the home of someone impossible, someone not real. I hope you’re happy, little man, because your home is almost ready. Then it will sit empty in my room, on the floor; a constant reminder of the thousands of dollars I spent because I had a couple of nightmares. She stood still, mesmerized by the beauty of the tiny home, perfect in every way. Twenty-four inches to every side, with an adorable porch where she would place a wooden bench and table, perfect for reading a book while drinking lemonade… if one measured a few inches in height. She bent low, which earned her a warning from the dollhouse maker.

“Please don’t touch anything yet. There are certain applications that are still drying.”

Perdita didn’t want to touch it. She thought reaching for it might break the spell, though as to who might have cast it, there was no answer. Her heart pounded when she saw the glimmer of light reflected in the beautiful mahogany floorboards. She sighed when she peered past the balcony doors and saw the tiny master bedroom, though she was never going to call it that. It would always be the toy room. His room. She almost giggled at her own madness as she continued the tour with her eyes and wondered what they might look like from the other side, the tiny side. Huge brown orbs spanning the entire home, from top to bottom in one glance; moving pupils darkening with interest; eyelids creasing at the corners if her lips smiled somewhere out of sight, beyond that sturdy exterior wall.

I need to be able to sit on it, she had explained. The master craftsman had been so insulted his face had turned red. My creations are not stools, Ms. Cordovan, he had hissed. She almost picked up the dollhouse to bring it down on his head, but she contained her anger and repeated the details of her request, as she politely thought of it. She knew it was a demand. She knew if he didn’t comply and do as she wanted, the spell, the goddamned “magic” would dissipate. There was no way she was ever going to allow that to happen. Not if she had to kidnap his wife, or him, or hold them both at gunpoint. So special reinforcements were made, and the house was sturdy enough to sustain sitting on it.

My life is a euphemism, thought Perdita with a sigh as she straightened up and followed the dollhouse maker back to the front office. A conjunction of actions I’ve decided will somehow alleviate my situation. I’m making toys when I should be making friends. I’m building a toy home when I should be thinking of a real one. I’ve bought furniture that fits in the palm of my hand when I’ve had the same old couch for years. A couch my ex-boyfriend’s father gave me while offering to “break it in” with me. And it’s orange. But no, here I am, spending a hundred and fifty dollars on a small living room set made by self-designated witches in Belarus. How extraordinary. 

But that night, in the cheap hotel room she’d leave in the morning, and after all those months, she had a dream. She was in her own bed, a euphemism for a mattress on a rusty frame, and a deep voice was calling her name with a whisper, and a warm hand was caressing and flicking her earlobe as it told her his name. She woke up with his dirty words still in her mind and looked to the side to see if there was anyone in bed with her. The hand had been the size of a seed.

There were no more dreams of him as she waited the right number of weeks for her toy to be ready for shipment. She took the day off work to wait for its arrival and refused to allow the delivery man to stack the boxes together to bring them to her doorstep. Instead, she helped him carry each, one by one, and deposit them gently on her porch. She thanked him and he ignored her with a furrowed brow as he drove away. Alone, she brought the boxes into the living room and opened them with relish. Each part had been packed carefully and was in perfect condition. The rest of the day was spent assembling together each floor of the toy home until the slanted roof was in place. She was vacuuming each tiny room with miniature cleaner attachments when she realized what she had to do.

Every night after work, Perdita rushed home and unpacked one piece of furniture at a time. Each piece was given a very unique baptism between her legs, the kind that didn’t stop until that piece was fully coated. She didn’t dare skip a single piece because the impulse to do what she was doing had felt like a final message. By the end of the week, she was sore but extremely relaxed. Every room was decorated. The kitchen had a working fridge and a stove, and the bathroom had a tub and sink that worked and running water from a tank in the attic she had filled once everything was in place.

That night she stood over the beautiful toy and grinned from ear to ear. She knelt low and looked through the windows once more. Very carefully, she inserted her hand through the front door and flicked on the porch light, displacing the porch table and chair that sat empty. Once she rearranged them, she opened the hinged roof, checked to make sure the tilted tank was not leaking and turned on the light in his bedroom. She brought her face very close to his bed, as close as she could fit it over the room’s walls, and whispered his name.

In the morning she opened her eyes, flung her legs over the side of the bed, and walked back to the small house. She dropped down to her knees as gently as she could, and peeked through the window. In the tiny bed, there was a male form. His brown-haired head shifted ever so slightly, and his chest rose and dipped with every small breath he took. She had to cover her mouth to muffle her cry of joy, and only spoke when she could whisper his name again. When she did, he woke up.

She

Kissing_It.jpg
“Kissing It” by Avantika Shaha

One day I’ll write a blog entry titled “Adventures In Commissioning Art”, but until I do, I’ll say it’s been a mixed bag. The above is something I love, taken from the depths of my heart and the deepest love I feel for that tiny man that I wish I had the power to shrink and manhandle. Toyhandle? Yes, toyhandle. That sounds better. The artist is Avantika Shaha, or @aviviavai. She creates art beyond size images, and here’s her Patreon page.

Now I will tell you a story. Close your eyes and read.

* * *

The mall was packed with people that Sunday afternoon. The two police officers stood near the escalator and talked as though every muscle in their bodies wasn’t ready for action. Not that it would make any difference. The day before they had been present during the protests on 4th Street, and now they were here, under an equally important pretense. If She had shown up yesterday, there would have been no police, army, navy, air force presence that would change her course of action, and if she made her way to the mall today, two or a hundred or a million armed men would be unable to protect a single soul. Yet they stood, and watched, and hoped.

“Look at them. Every month, the same.”

“They forget. They have to forget. Not forgetting makes you mad. I’d rather they stay home, but you know how She is. Once she makes her decision, she takes what she wants no matter where it hides.”

“Man, I want to go home. I want to watch the game, and I want to drink a thousand beers because I can’t forget. I wish I could. I wish the faces of those men I’ve seen her take could be erased from my memory.”

“What’s the stakes now?”

“$500.00”

His partner whistled. “I could use that money.”

“Get in on it. Talk to Jerry. He’ll be happy to take your money.”

“Forget it. It’s stupid. None of you is ever going to find out what she does with the men after she takes them. After a year of abductions, all we know is that she comes into town near the end of every month, takes one man, and disappears in the horizon with his screaming shape writhing in her fist. Twelve men gone, never heard from again, and we have to sit and watch it happen.”

“I don’t want to remember what happened when they tried to stop her.”

“Shut up. I’m still missing part of my roof. Every time I mow the lawn I find pieces of building hidden in the grass. Once I think I dug out part of a femur. A human one.”

“Fuck.”

“That’s what I said.”

“No, shh. Do you hear that? Fuck, fuck. Fuck! She’s coming!”

“Calm down. Everyone sees you freak out- Oh, Jesus God, look at the display windows!”

As though affected by some spell, the crowd of thousands came to a near complete stop. They all moved in perfect synchronicity as they lifted their gazes to the tall ceilings, and tilted their heads to listen to the rumbling crescendo. Then all hell broke loose.

The man walked out of the dollar store with a Gatorade and a couple of lipstick tubes in a bag. There was a $5.00 purchase minimum at the store, and he never carried cash anymore. He hoped his girlfriend liked the shades and looked for a place to sit. Across the walkway there was a play area for children with some tables and chairs and a couple of benches. Only one of the latter was unoccupied, and he wondered if he could sit there and down his drink in peace without getting the evil eye from parents who might think he was a pervert. He was a pervert, but his only interest were adult women.

Maybe if I close my eyes and pretend I’m asleep, he thought, taking his place on the wooden bench. It felt warm and welcoming, and he let his eyelids droop, and the surrounding noise lull him to tranquility. It was over in a moment, when he felt the sort of vibration one might perceive if in a still position and someone stomps the floor in close vicinity. He opened his eyes and looked around, wondering whether he had heard or felt that slight shaking of the floor when he heard the next one. After a year of monthly invasions, there was no mistaking those shockwaves.

Everyone around him felt the third one, and when they did, parents grabbed their children; some stood in place, knowing there was no predicting a safe location; others ran off in whatever direction their legs took them. He didn’t make any effort to leave his spot, and only moved enough of his body parts to call his girlfriend, knowing he would not be able to reach her. He let his hand and phone fall to his thigh and waited as he observed every reflection in every display window distort as though the surface had become liquid. Somewhere near (or far), one of those windows couldn’t take the next booming step and shattered in a spray to the floor.

He hoped no one was hurt, but sat without moving. I have no idea if I’m calm, or hysterical. I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know. Poor guy, whoever she takes this time. Why doesn’t anyone stop her? Stupid stupid thought! What if she can read minds and she- Oh, my God! Something had broken loose from the skylight ceiling and crashed loudly into pieces not twenty feet away from him, and he looked up and realized the light fixtures had been shaken from their moorings by the upheaval of her steps. She’s coming here, isn’t she? Please oh please I beg you I don’t want to see her again I never want to see her again A shadow blotted out the cloudless afternoon sky quilted through the trembling patches of glass, and hell was unleashed.

She had made the trek again after her last disappointment. None of the little men she had chosen had been able to stand her attention. Her devotion was unfiltered, and her love was one of a kind. When she entered this world, her mind filled with wild scents, and her skin tingled to new depths, with new electricity. The power here was like a drug. There were many here; why the ones like her were so small, she didn’t know. But the other ones, the ones with hair on their faces, and full muscles on their legs, and different pitch in their squeaks… among them was her mate.

She had been able to follow his trail every time. Once she spotted him, she plucked him from the crowd of scattering little toys, and she took him home. There she built a life around him and gave him everything of herself. Each him had lasted a few days before failing to fulfill his role. Each him had broken her heart, but she didn’t stop. She was no quitter, and she could feel him out there. He had to be there. So today she had left her home again, and walked the path again. She followed his trail again, humming to herself, stroking her belly as she imagined their children, drumming her fingers gently over her lips, sleepwalking for a few moments as she imagined him there, swimming from shallow to deep end.

She smiled when she saw the mall. She walked on old streets that still held the shapes of her feminine footprints (she noticed one had been turned into a vegetable garden and shook her head with glee), and over new ones, freshly black after the previous layers had succumbed to her visits. She strutted past cracking structures and buildings that held firm to her glancing advances. She caressed them in passing, plowing four parallel trenches with her nails, leaving a cloud of dust and debris in their wake. People ran from her, and she smiled, loving their beautiful bodies even though she knew none were perfect for her. Only he was. She could feel he was not running. She almost stopped in her tracks. The other ones had always fled. How did he know she was coming? Did he know she was coming for him?

She was so close she could taste him. His little body was perfect. She could see him with her heart as she drilled the mall’s wall deep with her fingers, and lifted the roof as though it had been hinged on. Bits of flesh were running out every entrance, but she was blind and deaf to them. She only felt his heat. The roof cracked in half as she removed it, and she drove her other arm deep into the space she had created to support the cracking material. It would not do to crush her mate when courting him. Next into that space followed her head and shoulders, and the ceiling/roof held together even as it groaned. She looked down and saw him sitting there, looking at her, utterly still but perhaps not calm. There was a dark stain on his pants.

Kisses.

He was drowning in them.

Kisses.

She had pummeled the air with her giant hand and had removed him from his life. His Gatorade and his girlfriend’s new lipsticks a weak goodbye to his humanity.

Kisses. His neck bent painfully when she delivered the next volley. Lips alive and on him, unforgiving masses of thick red.

He had finally screamed when she brought him to her face and said something that felt like hello and wrinkled her nose at his pants. He had continued screaming when she tore them from his body like they had been a layer of soap suds and her fingers an interminable flow of water.

Kisses.

He screamed with the strength of two men when she looked at his member, hidden from his own view by her grip, but not from the cameras of hundreds, if not thousands of people.

Kisses. There. His screams turned to gasps and then to a different scream.

Laughter. Hello.

“Hello.”

Kisses. My perfect one. I’ve found you. We’re going home.

Kisses, kisses, kisses.

Language

the_chase_01_by_johnnyscribe.jpg

Friday mornings were the worst. There should have been some forethought to easing into the weekend for government employees that had difficult jobs, but it didn’t seem anyone had cared when legislation passed, and the Rehabilitation and Inclusion Policy was implemented. RIP, or Rest In Pieces as the opposition gleefully called it, was executed by various institutions and clinics around the country. In cases of emergency, even schools were called in to help out. What the public didn’t know—and she was determined to keep it that way for as long as she could—was that RIP included termination procedure for those tiny people that were found injured beyond repair, or too antisocial to join polite society. And all terminations were scheduled to occur on Fridays.

Maura sat in her car and drank her coffee. It was a very cold morning and she had been up early, peeling a layer of ice from her windshield. Doing that had felt like heaven compared to what her job was on Fridays. Every previous workday she took tally of new arrivals, newfound and captured tiny men and women that were brought in by volunteers, or had been abandoned by previous owners. Plenty of these tiny creatures (she didn’t dare call them people openly) could speak and understand language. Many could perform small tasks after some training. Quite a few found their way into new homes where they were cared for and maybe even loved. It was the rest of them that had really begun to bother them. The Friday lot.

The terminations, she thought. What a joke. Why don’t we call it what it is? Murder. Assassinations. Mass killing. Her stomach turned and she looked at the entrance of the clinic where she worked. Four of five days she sat with tinies in her workroom and evaluated them for possible mental or developmental disorders. She reached for them to see if they shied away from her touch or welcomed it easily. She spoke to them in English and ascertained how many of them spoke that gibberish they seemed to have invented for themselves a couple of centuries ago. If they talked, they could learn to speak properly. She trained, hugged, fed, taught, cleaned them. She loved those days of evaluations and care, but on Fridays she was obliged to terminate the ones that were deemed, by law, to be permanently unfit for placement.

She looked at the time, finished her coffee, and prepared herself for the stabbing of cold weather. She enjoyed the Winter months, but this temperature only woke her up even more, and she wished she could show up drunk for work. At least today. Today she knew two of the tiny men she had examined for days would have that nauseating diagnosis added to their files. She made the trek from her car to her office and sat down to look at her schedule. Yes, there they were. Two terminations today. Fantastic. She thought of buying a bottle of tequila during lunch.

One was an old man that could no longer walk. He had been found on a roadside by a volunteer, and all week he had cried out the same words, over and over again. She wrote them down, knowing what they meant: “hi-dey-tee-gee”. Hide the children. She read them again and thought of every hour she had spent with the fragile critter, trying to calm him down, watching him soil himself again and again, washing him as he struggled and spat at her, and getting nowhere fast. She knew it would be very difficult to numb him. She sighed, positively yearning for tequila, and looked at the other file. Yes, here, this was the reason she’d been unable to sleep.

She looked closely at his file on her tablet and stared at the beautiful face. He had taken her breath away when she found him in the cardboard box brought in by church workers. It had contained tiny clothes, sewn to impossible perfection by hands that only cared that the tiny people were not nude, as nudity was a sin. She didn’t mind because she loved to wash those little bodies and have them choose new clothes for themselves. In most cases, little people only wore rags and bits of plastic they fashioned into basic covering they never seemed to want to clean. To watch them wear garments made to fit them perfectly filled her heart with something close to joy.

The box had contained a stowaway she had only seen when she dumped its contents on the washroom table to clean and disinfect them, and saw the tiny body descend with a soft thud on the pile that soon continued to cover him. She stopped with a gasp and started peeling tiny pants and shirts and dresses from the pile until she found him. He screamed and charged her, and she was too amazed to stop him before he fell into her lap and started pounding and kicking at her thighs. After she placed him in a cage all by himself and made some phone calls, she found out that none of the people from the church knew anything about him. She then admitted him and started treating him. Nothing had worked, and after enough days her supervisor had determined he was mad beyond recovery. She was to kill him in a few hours.

She’d done it before. The clinic lacked enough funding for a Crusher, a newly developed, fully automated machine that took a tiny person from a living state into a deeply drunken or drugged stupor, and finally crushed them into a paste that was them marked “medical waste” and incinerated. Here, she had to do it all herself. Initially, there had been enough funds for drugs that stopped their tiny hearts, but after a few years all they could give her was tequila. She had to force the tiny drops into tiny mouths until they passed out, and then she had to place them on a medical mat, and wear a special bootie to cover her shoe as she crushed their unconscious bodies with it.

In the beginning, it had been easy. She was following the law and she knew when someone was no longer mentally competent. She had a degree that showed the world she could make that determination, but after years of seeing and hearing them, of touching them and talking to them, of teaching them words and seeing their faces light up when she treated them with civility, it wasn’t easy anymore. And she was afraid this little guy was going to be impossible to terminate. She didn’t care that he seemed rabid. There was something hiding in the gleam of his eyes that seemed more than she could understand. Something she wished she could reach. She didn’t care if it got her a Letter of Reprimand in her file; she was going to dip into that government tequila if she was to do her job today.

She left her office and went to the barracks, a euphemism for the room where the little people were kept in cages. She walked over to his cage and saw that he was still sleeping. The clothes she had put on him were torn to shreds, as had been every set of clothes she ever forced him to wear. She sighed and stared at his perfect little legs. His ass was the most adorable shape she’d ever seen, and she thought of how much fun it had been to clean it constantly as he made every effort to defecate in her presence and fling feces at her from his cupped hand every chance he got. She looked at the webbing between her thumb and finger and saw the tiny welts he had left there every time he bit her. It had required every ounce of patience she possessed not to shout at him or squeeze him hard. She thought only love would bring him around, but she had gotten nowhere, and she was out of time. He was out of time. Her eyes filled with tears, and she wept silently.

She wipes her cheeks dry after a few minutes, not knowing he was awake, his eyes blinking with hatred he could hardly contain as he stared at the wires of his cage. He heard her walk to a different cage, and remove the old man from it, the one that couldn’t walk. The Chief, as he called himself, of the Boyardee clan. A grandiose name that only meant his people were landfill folk. He listened to his feeble cries, and knew the man’s mind was no longer there. He kept crying out to people that weren’t there. Whatever reason there was to bring him out of his cage, it couldn’t possibly be a good one. He shut his eyes and ears to the plaintive sounds and waited for the woman to leave the room so he could keep on trying to figure out how to escape.

Maura pulled the paralyzed elderly man out of his cage, and placed him in her soft palm. She was supposed to wear gloves, but never did on Fridays. If there was any comfort to be drawn from the warmth of her touch, she wanted this old man to feel it. She left the barracks and took him to the Room With No Name, called that way and many other ways across the country, she was sure, because it wasn’t an official room. It didn’t exist. But it did.

She held the tiny man in her palm as she fetched the dropper, the bottle of tequila, a medical mat and a bootie for her shoe. As gently as she could, she sat at the wheeled steel table that had a drain and an attached water hose just like autopsy tables. After years of practice she could, using only her free hand, remove the cap from the bottle of tequila, pour a few drops in a shot glass, fill a dropper and leave it resting on the side of the shot glass while she removed the medical mat and bootie from their sterile covers, and placed them each on the floor and on her right shoe, respectively.

She then forcefully fed a couple of tequila drops to the old man, though after the second drop he demanded a third and a fourth one. She kept pressing the tip of her dropper into his mouth until every bit was gone, as was he. She didn’t wait to see if he’d recover and wake up to his surroundings before she placed his unconscious body on the math, and applied her protected shoe on his tiny shape. Adding pressure as quickly as she could, Maura felt his body give way and spread under her sole. Quick and painless. She placed it all, mat and bootie, now stained in deep red, in a hazardous-waste bag, and tossed it into the incinerator chute.

Damn it all, she thought, and downed three shots of tequila, fast and into a stomach that had only contained coffee up to this point. It hit her very quickly, so she braved her way to the second scheduled termination, and once again stood outside his cage. It seemed to waver in space as the barracks walls spun all around her.

”Hello, you cutie,” she said, and giggled when she caught a glimpse of his behind again. “Boy, you’re beautiful. Lemme look at ya,” she added, puzzled because he wasn’t moving. “Turn ‘round I said.” Slowly, his head rotated until he peered up at her over his shoulder. He leapt to his knees, and much to her shock, grabbed a hold of his little member. At first she thought he was going to masturbate his contempt at her, but the translucent stream rushing from his penis told a different story.

”You sure know how ta influence others an’ make friends, don’t ya? Well, I really wish it’d been diff’rent for us. For you I mean. You’re so gorgeous I just wanna… mmm!” She brought her lips together and made a smacking sound that could have only been translated as the lascivious regret of a delicious missed meal. She saw he was done peeing, and he saw he was done peeing. They both looked at his drained bits simultaneously, and he decided that the next offense should be a lewd demonstration. His hand flew to the tip of it, and back to its base. Once, and again, and once more, hard, like an insult.

She smiled and considered watching the show, earning a look of surprise from him she was too drunk to catch, and a reconsideration of his methods. He stopped what he was doing and flipped his body onto his fours, pointing his ass at her and pushing with all his might.

“Oh, no, little one. No more shit from you. You can shit when you’re dead. Now we drin’ to your health. C’mere!” She opened his cage, and reached for him, clasping his prone body tightly. She felt his struggles and she was sure he was screaming, but there was nothing he could do from the tight hold of her fist, and she returned to the Room With No Name with him.

Everything she did before, she repeated.She opened her firm grip on his body enough to release his upper body from her hold and turn him around so she could push drops of tequila down his throat. As soon as he had some freedom he went nuts, screaming wordlessly and scratching at her with fingernails too infinitesimal to inflict any damage. She ignored the nature of his anger and wondered how all that movement would feel between her legs. She considered terminating him that way for a moment, but shook her head at such a notion.

When she began to force the first drop of tequila into him, she had to pin him by the throat with her thumb, her palm cradling his thrashing body as she held the plastic tube tip against his tiny mouth, and squeezed tequila into it. For every drop he took, she swallowed a shot. After the third drop he started yelling at her in perfect English.

”You fucking bitch! I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill all of you!” She thought it was the tequila in her making her hear things, but it was the tequila in him making him say things. He went on for a while, saying terrible things, calling her horrible names, but all she could do was smile until she couldn’t help herself anymore, and started kissing him.

”My precious lidl one, you get to live! I don have to kill you now! I can juss keep you forever. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours!” She kept placing her lips on his angry face and fists until he stopped moving, lost to exhaustion. She smiled and looked at the door. She’d lock it, and have a little fun with his wonderful shape before taking him home for the rest of his life.

Enough

gg180_by_amgipi
“Gg180” by AmGiPi

“Guess how many different kinds of handshakes Stephen Colbert has for his guests,” she asked him, her words only slightly slurred. These past weeks she’d been working diligently on drinking every bottle of alcohol she’d accumulated in the last decade and had never consumed. Years ago she’d claimed she was saving them for a nuclear winter, or Armageddon, or some such calamitous event. He only thought of it in passing, because all he wanted to do was fall asleep. He was resting comfortably on her chest, right between her breasts, where it was warm. Not calm, given the strength and proximity of her heartbeat, but after all these years he could virtually sleep through all her quakes. Well, most of them.

Only tonight she’d been drinking from a bottle of sickeningly sweet blood orange liquor, and the scent of citrus permeated the air. His air. His atmosphere. He didn’t want to play games or guess things. He was so relaxed he was practically purring. She’d allowed him to rest a surprising amount of nights lately, and his bruises and cuts had almost healed. Every part of his body looked nearly the same color. He was glad about the new sleeping hours and happy he was not being brought to the brink of death every night by her constant sexual needs. Her fingertip was running down his back, caressing him from neck to calves, only dragging him in the slightest by friction.

“Four? I don’t know. One,” he ventured, knowing she’d see he was only throwing numbers in her direction, not interested in giving her question some thought. That was something he knew irritated her, his lack of enthusiasm, but he was too comfortable to care at the moment. Still, he regurgitated another number, half drunk from inhaling the alcohol in her breath.

“Unbelievable. You’re not even trying to guess, Toy. Look. Just look! You’re not looking.” He could feel her heartbeat speed up under her skin, and he made a half-hearted effort to look over his shoulder at the TV screen that blinked and shone at them from blocks (to him) away. Stephen Colbert was talking to some British man he vaguely recognized. Some kind of funny man. “What am I waiting for, Owner? They are just talking, and I’m this close to falling asleep…”

“Count them in your head: He has one handshake for people he loves and respects, like Michelle Obama. He shakes their hand very gently, and then lets go by spreading his hand flat… not completely flat, but almost like a concave wall of fingers. I don’t know what to call it yet, but it’s quite different a shake from the one he gives the people with whom he can go love-nuts. He goes in for the shake, and keeps holding their hand, and then covers both hands with his free hand. I call that one Moving In Together-“

“Kill me now,” he interrupted disrespectfully, turning away from the TV and burrowing into her skin again, making that warm fingertip on his back stop and press down onto him a little too hard. “Ow, Owner! Stop, I’m sorry. I mean, Kill Me Now is the handshake he reserves for people he despises! That’s what I meant. I really-“ She pressed her finger down on him again, forcing the air out of his lungs and effectively shutting him up.

“You need to be quiet now. I’m tired of your lies and your disrespect. But yes, he has a special handshake for people he doesn’t like, like that guy… what’s his name? The really rich guy that wants to go to space or sell space in space or some shit like that… Elon Musk. Yeah, let’s call it Kill You Now. He gives them the briefest of handshakes, and then he disengages his hand as though the other person is a leper.” She tucked her chin into her chest to look at him and saw he had turned a reddish blue. She unpinned his body and massaged it gently until his breathing normalized, and his face turned pink, and then an angry red.

“Or maybe you’re just imagining the whole thing, Owner. He doesn’t really know most of the people he interviews. He probably doesn’t have any definite opinions about any of them. Can I go to sleep now?” He didn’t wait for her answer, and curled his shape into a fetal position, breathing deeply and closing his eyes determinedly.

“Understand something, Toy; I wanted to keep you forever, but I’ve decided I’ve changed my mind. This arrangement no longer suits my needs. When I saw you and chose you to shrink, I thought you were the one I wanted. I mean, you were. I wanted you, so I took you. I made you mine and I didn’t care what you thought. I endured your constant complaining even as I made you the center of my universe. You tried my patience endlessly with your ill temper even as I moved heaven and earth to give you my every attention. You had no worries. I had all of them. Your only concern was my happiness, while I had to deal with family, friends, work, chores, your health, and your constant emotional absence.”

“Run that by me again?” he asked, lifting his head and looking at the outline of her jaw. “I really don’t want to fight. It sounds like you want to fight. Why can’t we just have peace?” As small as he was, she could feel his body tense up. She had wanted a little man that had a modicum of patience, of fortitude, of love. But this man had none. The world revolved around him, and he took no notice of anyone’s needs but his own. She wondered what in the world she ever saw in him.

“Soon you’ll feel an intense pain in your joints, Toy. It will spread inexorably all throughout your body. That signifies the beginning of your regrowth. It should start tonight, at some point. I mixed the formulation in your food, and you had enough of it to return you to your original size. Probably a couple of extra inches, which I’m sure your girlfriend will like. I contacted her… anonymously of course. She’s waiting for you at the airport. She moved on after you, but she seemed nice enough to want to see you and let you stay with her, at least until you get back some semblance of a normal life.”

“Excuse me? What the fuck? What did you do to me? You’re growing me back now? Without my permission? Who do you think you are? No! I don’t want to go back! This is my life now, with you. This is what I want. This is what I’ve always wanted! Why are you sending me away? You said you’d keep me forever! That you’d never give me up! Why are you doing this?”

“Love, my little Toy. I’m doing it for love. I gave you everything, and you gave me next to nothing. I want love. I deserve much better than what I have. I deserve everything. All you gave me were lies and betrayal. I need a tiny man that stands on his own two feet and does what’s necessary to make me happy. You either never moved a finger, or only pretended that you did. I see you’re upset, but I know you have no understanding of how this feels for me. It feels I’m losing everything after realizing I had nothing. You are losing everything after having everything, and you never knew it, or appreciated it, or cared.”

Feeling pain begin to radiate from every joint in his body, he tried to respond with obscenities as was his habit, but instead he gasped and began to tremble. She pinched his body between her thumb and finger and deposited it in her other palm. Slowly, she left her couch and called a car service. By the time he’d finish regrowing he’d be unconscious and she’d be able to dress him and leave him somewhere she could observe his coming to. Whether he found his way back to his girlfriend with the information, phone and money she’d placed in his pockets was his business. He was no longer her problem.

Confession

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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!”

“Child-”

“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.”

“Oh, God.”

“I’m sorry.”

“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?”

“Yes-”

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.”