A shrunken man’s plans go awry.
Brendon stared up at the distant ceiling, trying hard not to think about how many days it had been since he had shrank himself. His plan had been so perfect and it should have gone off without a hitch; yet here he was, stuck in an old shoebox while despair threatened to consume him. Groaning, he reached up and rubbed at his tired eyes.
A massive shadow passed over the box and the glimpse of the ceiling was replaced abruptly by a face. Brendon froze, stared up at the huge visage as the features gradually came together: deep blue eyes behind tortoise shell glasses, a pale rosebud of a mouth. Claudia, the one who had put him in this box. The one who had haunted his dreams until he had taken the shrinking potion and crept into her apartment.
“Please don’t hurt me!” Brendon shouted up to her, and slowly she frowned, pushing up her glasses with one slender finger.
“I wish you’d stop saying that every morning,” Claudia said, and then she leaned over. He held his breath, and to his disappointment, he saw the tiny plate balanced on her palm. In his private fantasies, he imagined her serving him the scraps of her meals, food that was unfit for cockroaches and rats. Instead Brendon saw slivers of fresh fruit and toast and turkey bacon, all carefully cut and arranged on the doll-sized plate.
“Thank you,” he huffed as she put the plate down near his bed. It was an actual bed, probably from a dollhouse, with little sheets that Claudia cleaned on a regular basis. When she had first given him the shoebox, Brendon had been expecting a filthy mound of rags, or worse. Unhappily he stared at the food on the plate. He wasn’t particularly hungry, but he ate anyway, and she joined him. Watching Claudia eat was amazing; she shoveled the colossal spoonfuls of cereal into her mouth and he could hear the thunder of her teeth mashing the food into pulp.
“You seem kind of down,” she commented, and Brendon shrugged as he bit into half of a blueberry.
“I guess so.”
“We should do something today,” Claudia said. He immediately perked up, imagining all of the possibilities. Being chased through the apartment, dropped into her sneaker, forced to beg as she glanced down at him with a cool, detached expression.
“I bought some more comics,” she told him. Brendon’s good mood plummeted. Fantastic, more comic books. Claudia kept them in plastic sleeves and treated them like they were divine objects. Once, when she had left to make some more tea, he had seized one of the immense pages and attempted to tear it. He had still been working at the paper when she had returned, and she had been more confused than anything else. No punishment, no threats. Brendon had been forced to spend the rest of the day reading about superheroes and romantic love triangles.
“Or we could watch that new anime,” Claudia suggested. Brendon’s mouth twitched and he was contemplating spitting his breakfast at her when her hand dropped down into the box. It startled him, sent a delicious jolt throughout his body. Her hand was beautifully gigantic, the nails painted an alternating green and gold. He hoped that those long fingers would wrap around his torso, lift him high up into the air. But she invited him onto her palm and reluctantly he climbed onto the soft flesh.
She was incredibly careful with him, holding him as if he were made of fragile porcelain. Even when he struggled, or pretended to struggle, she never squeezed. When he had still been normal-sized, he had had recurring fantasies of being held in her hand, of being teased and taunted. Sometimes in those fantasies she would strip his clothes, peeling off his pants or shirt while her nails roughly scraped his skin. In reality Claudia had never seen him naked, and her cheeks would flush deep red if she happened to walk in while he was undressing.
It was all so frustrating.
Claudia held him near her face, close enough that he could smell the Apple Jacks on her breath. “What do you want to do today?”
I want you to act like a real giantess, he thought. I want you to own me, forever and ever. Subject me to your will. Why can’t you do that?
“I dunno,” Brendon said at last. “Maybe…maybe we could build a city out of cardboard?”
Claudia’s eyes lit up behind the lenses of her glasses. “Like on those Youtube channels? I could build tiny furniture and everything!”
“And then you could stomp on it!” He exclaimed gleefully.
Her expression was somewhere between a frown and a bemused smile. “Uh, maybe we could do something else.”
He sagged in her hand, defeated.
“I’m sorry, Brendon,” Claudia said. That was it; no “shrimp” or “squirt” or “speck,” just his name, spoken respectfully. “I imagine that being so small must be tough for you.”
What was tough was all of his denied fantasies. He craved the feeling of her immense sole covering his body, pressing him down into the hardwood floor; the pain and pleasure of being sat on and smothered beneath her heavy buttocks and thighs.
“I hate it,” he muttered.
“I know,” Claudia said softly. “Let’s do something to take your mind off of it, alright?”
She brought him into the kitchen and set him on the counter by the toaster. As she pulled pots and pans out of the cabinets, Brendon studied her intently. What had he seen in her when they had been coworkers? Had it been her feistiness, her confidence? How many times had he watched her at staff meetings, wondering if she was secretly like him? Too many times to count. Of course, he had been wrong, and now he found himself watching the giantess of his dreams prepare food for some potluck dinner or baby shower. Watching as she hummed along to her favorite songs and danced in front of him.
Resenting her more than he would have thought possible.
They ended up watching television after that. Brendon was seated on Claudia’s shoulder and he had to push away the thick strands of her coppery hair so that he could see the screen. Not that he was really interested in the show; the sweet, floral body spray that she used lingered in his nose, distracting him, and for a moment or two, he was almost happy.
When Claudia took her bath later that night, Brendon weighed his options. He could leave, try to find someone else. Her neighbors were both men and the idea of being with them was unacceptable; he wanted a goddess to worship. If he stayed with Claudia, he could try to sway her toward his way of thinking. Convince her that her beauty came from power. That his endless adoration was more than she’d ever need from anyone else.
She came out of the bathroom wearing a bright purple robe, her skin pink from the hot water. To Brendon’s delight, Claudia grabbed a bottle of nail polish and settled down to paint her toenails. As she twisted the cap from the bottle, he scurried toward her, bounding over the hills of her bedspread.
“I can help, goddess!” Brendon told her. She chuckled, thinking that it was a game, and gently pushed him away with a forefinger. But Brendon refused to give up, grabbing for the enormous polish brush hovering above him.
“Give it to me!” He howled, his voice high and petulant.
Her brow furrowed and she spoke a single word: “No.”
Brendon sulked as Claudia painted her toenails, knowing that he could do a much better job. His brush strokes would have been minute and perfect, with none of the sloppy polish overflow. Flawless, his work was always flawless. When she was finished, she scooped him up and brought him back to the shoebox. He laid down in the miniature bed, teeth clenched together, his body shaking with fury.
“Good night, Brendon,” she said as he wept into the clean sheets.