She set her foot down with theatrical deliberation. A shock wave spread from her boot’s sole in a nearly perfect circle: the street gave way like a sponge cake, the sidewalks shattered and crumpled, and all the windows of the storefront businesses disintegrated into diamond dust, like scintillating clouds, there and gone again. She turned on her fuck-me heel, and she couldn’t even detect a gentle ripple as her toe obliterated a skyscraper’s foundation, as it descended in slow-motion upon her boot, taking itself apart and spreading like confectioner’s sugar. She watched the peak of the tower sink below her knee, rub shyly against her calf, then fall to slumber upon the ruined avenue.
The people of this city crawled like drugged ants. They were probably sprinting, but at her height everything was so tiny and so slow.
The sunrise shone in cold-fire streaks on her teeth as she grinned at the beginning of the devastation.
This was the second-to-last city in the only nation left on the last continent for her to visit, so she knew she’d better savor this.
Shifting her weight to her left foot, she swept her right leg in a semi-circle about her. No building, no skyscraper, no monument offered her the least resistance: her tremendous leather boot plowed through the proudest structures of man much like any of these minuscule people could sweep their bare foot over the grass of their back lawn. She laughed to see all the buildings toppling beneath her merest effort—not like dominoes, where one building cants on its base and nudges the next one askew. More like a cartoon in which a row of hapless people are sitting on chairs, and those chairs are abruptly swiped from beneath them, and it takes a moment for gravity to realize what has happened and claim these unsupported individuals. They dropped one by one, straight down into the ground, crumbling as they went.
The effect was mesmerizing so she did the same thing with the next blocks (she could eradicate several city blocks in one casual swipe of her foot), and then with her off-foot for the next attempt. The descent wasn’t as controlled or graceful as with her lead foot, but there was still something charming in the chaos, as these business complexes and headquarters lost their footing and canted badly at odd angles. Their dark mirrored walls flashed briefly in the sun as they went down, sending beads of light to race up her thighs.
She wondered how many hundreds of people were in that building, among all the buildings she’d toppled. It was only 8:30 in the morning: janitors, maybe, some maintenance, some early-birds. The receptionists of every building, doubtlessly, opening the doors and turning on the lights, manning the phones… before their floors upended and tons of steel and concrete pummeled them into a thin paste.
She laughed at the idea of struggling lower-middle-class women, loveless and middle-aged, finally in their one sphere of control, only to have their world ended by her mere foot. It just goes to show ya, she thought, neglecting to complete the sentiment.
The rest of the city and its first-tier suburbs were smoothed out into a dusty wasteland within 15 minutes. When she was done leg-sweeping the tallest edifices into ruin, she simply dragged the sole of her boot over everything and leveled it all out. It took no effort beyond diligent attention to evenness. She piled civic ruin in aggregate over crawling highways, choked with a few bright souls attempting to flee, cutting them off like a narrow river of ants. She woke up the late-risers in their homes, immediately burying them in parts of the city it would’ve taken ten minutes to drive to. Patrolling the area, she tamped out any hilly spots of devastation, ignoring the tiny black craters of ruptured gas mains, until the greater metro area was nothing more than a near-perfect disc of gray/beige.
Then she did the same thing with the absolute last city on Earth, too.
And that was it. Unless some small pockets of humanity managed to flee underground, deeper than her profound weight and violent stomps could reach, everyone was dead. All the people in every city and every village, every state park and wildlife preserve, and even most stretches of interstate highway connecting these wretched blisters of disgusting, microscopic life to each other like strands of nasal mucus.
She stood above the wreckage of the final city and cast her gaze upon the horizon: “All gone,” she sang, the sun rising behind her head. All life on the planet… no, all surface-dwelling life…
Cursing, she stomped off to the ocean. Kicking tsunamis to clear her path, she waded into the seas, high-stepping and driving her boots down violently, blindly, intent on smiting every whale, every lurking squid, every alien undersea base the world governments had covered up. The water blasted apart where she stomped; she raised her foot for another strike, and the water oozed into the print from her boot. Over and over, taking far longer than she would have guessed.
After a day of this, she decided this was good enough. She plumped her denim-wrapped buttocks upon the US’s eastern seaboard, drew her knees up to her chin, and quieted her mind.
She asked herself one question nearly every day for the first year. She watched the sun rise over the ocean: Now what? She stretched out over arid and lifeless countryside, watching the stars crawl across the black dome of night: Now what? She rolled around on the mountain ranges, she clawed into the lithosphere; she ate forests and ran into tornadoes and melted glaciers over her breasts.
After that year she guessed she had her answer, and she roared at the mocking stars.
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3 thoughts on “None More Powerful”
Beautifully written, but no.
This is the sort of lunatic giantess I’ve fantasized destroying in an epic battle in which, unfortunately, cities are destroyed; but there’s always some remaining population left to continue life on Earth, nigh unabated.
I kill her slowly, punch after punch after punch, in a straddle she can’t escape. Maybe she regains her wits before she expires, maybe not. In the end, she does, and her flesh is left to rot on some distant patch, perhaps the Arctic circle, where penguins can cannibalize her remains, and years later, piano keys can be made from her bleached bones.
“Every lurking squid”? What a bitch.
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What an epic… the pummeling scene, the maddened giantess suddenly sympathizing with weakness and defeat… the avenging giantess, hauling her body across Manitoba and Nunavut, dumping the corpse north of the 80th parallel… hell, sliding it into the ocean, letting it break apart and renourish that part of the ecosystem, in a gesture of irony.
But the passion of a gentle giantess giving her all to protect the world is emotionally endearing. Hopefully the ruined cities will understand and forgive. None of the devastation would’ve happened, were it not for the other giantess, the one who finds mild amusement in suffering and disaster.
And the Tinies hide underground, unsure which one survived, whether she can be trusted. But in any community greater than 120 people, opinions will diverge beyond strict survivalism, and there will be one little man who sneaks away to climb the tallest tree in the forest and scan the horizon… one who’s been practicing his speech, which he’s sure will soften the hardest heart…
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I have a big backyard, and when I go there to mess around with that evil giantess that is Nature, and her weeds, I like to imagine there’s a colony of underground little people. OK, a colony of one little guy somewhere back there, spying, studying, preparing for… what? And during the winter months he’ll break in, and scavenge my cupboard, and maybe I’ll find tiny, sticky ketchup footprints (he loves his condiments).
So I imagine that kind giantess will be thrilled to spot that little guy perched upon that tree, and will listen to his speech very carefully. He’ll be wasting his time, since he’ll already have won her gigantic heart. I can almost heart that speech.
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