Plastic slid against metal and clicked, clicked again. There was a quiet beep, a green LED lit up, and metal slid against metal. Roman Herrero twisted the handle and shoved the door open wide.

The hotel room smelled exactly like a hotel room: compressed wood, fresh linens, AC, and a trace of flowery/powdery soap from the bathroom. He grinned, lugged his  bags in one last push, and dumped them in the middle of the oh-so-clean room. With one joyful leap he dumped himself in the middle of an impossibly fluffy, impeccably fresh bed.

He loved hotels. Why wouldn’t he? His only association with them was sci-fi/fantasy conventions like this, and his only association with sci-fi/fantasy conventions was four long days of exhaustive, outrageous fun.

He lay there, letting his overheated body bleed temperature into the quilted bedspread. His shoulders slowly unknotted and his skin tingled with recovery, from where the shoulder straps of his bags bit into them. His luggage was especially heavy this year: he was going to compete in the journeyman-level cosplay competition, and he went all out with an incredibly precise replication of [INSERT: popular anime character] from [INSERT: popular anime series]. He taught himself tailoring for the doublet, pauldrons, and vambrace; he assisted a local leatherworker on the boots; two days ago he got an audacious haircut and dye job, wrangling special permission from his supervisor on the proviso he get it straightened up before returning to work on Tuesday. The $300 custom contacts were the least of his expenses in making this [INSERT: popular anime character] ensemble… but it would be worth it when he walked away with 1st prize. Roman grinned into the sheets, permitting himself a heavy sigh of relief. A double room all to himself for three days and a morning… that is, to himself and any lovely ladies he met at any point.

The shower’s pressure was nice and strong, and its water ran nice and hot. Careful to leave his hair out of the stream, he rinsed down and braced himself with a one-minute icy blast. It was a shock, but it felt nice on this steamy July afternoon. The hotel’s AC was going to be pushed to capacity with a few thousand attendees laden under a couple dozen pounds of costume. If he could store any cold water in his own body, all the better.

Alas, his limbs warmed right up as pulled on his body suit and began assembling the pieces to his outfit. They went in a specific order, locking into place in the end (with a thoughtful emergency release for bathroom breaks), and getting dressed was a small workout in its own right. But when he looked at himself in the mirror, looking for all the world like a live-action [INSERT: popular anime character], it was all worth the effort. Roman knew he looked amazing, and the only thing left was to strut around for a couple days in full dress, attracting attention until the ceremony Saturday night. He ran through a couple poses, typical to [INSERT: popular anime character]… when the door click-clicked, beeped, and opened.

His smile went away and his brow furrowed to see a hotel staff member enter with a young woman behind him.

“Uh, excuse me. This is a private room,” Roman said, stomping over in heavy leather boots. Lights ran up and down his whole body in a programmed EL tape display. “Don’t you have to knock before you come in?”

The staff member looked up wearily and lapsed into a short but threadbare spiel. “I’m very sorry sir, and Monongahela Suites and Hotel extends its deepest regrets. Due to the robust attendance for SplendiCon, we have double-booked some of our rooms rather than disappoint our loyal customers with relocation and transfer.”

From behind him, the woman snaked around and tossed her bags on the bed, right next to the indentation from Roman’s body. She looked at him with huge eyes, then hopped and clapped her hands. “OMG OMG! You look just like [INSERT: popular anime character] from [INSERT: popular anime]! That’s amazing! How many hours did that take? And can I glomp you?” She was lovely but pretty curvy and healthy: if she threw herself at him at velocity…

Roman took a step back and raised his hands. “Please don’t glomp me until Sunday. I’m competing.”

“You’re totally gonna win! Ganbatte-ne!

He nodded, more than a little pleased at her vote of confidence, then shook it off and turned to the staff. “But I booked this room nearly a year ago. Nothing on your website said anything about jamming some else in here! And anyway,” he glanced at the young woman, already dressed in what looked like a spot-on Kakogawa City junior high school uniform—was that her costume, or does she just wear that?—”I think she’s a little young to stay here, even in the other bed. What’m I supposed to do, tape a bed sheet to the ceiling or something?”

“Monongahela Suites and Hotel is instituting an innovative new measure, in accordance with our Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy, that permits respected room-holders to safely absorb the overflow, to the satisfaction of all concerned parties.” Without warning, the staff member raised one arm and pointed a small, black box at Roman. Before Roman could duck or even speak, a purple light flashed in the front of the box, overwhelming all of his vision.

He was thrown to the bed. He could feel the cool sheets through the layers of his costume. Far above, the stucco ceiling stretched like a sky, with one cut-crystal light fixture almost directly above. His eyes stung a little bit, with little yellow spots burned into his retinas but fading quickly. “What the fuck was that?” he muttered, sitting up carefully to protect his costume.

“Monongahela Suites and Hotel thanks you for your generosity during this time of extreme need,” boomed the staff member’s disinterested drawl. “Please enjoy your weekend, and contact the front desk if you have any questions.” The young man turned away promptly and exited the room, despite Roman yelling at him.

That is, Roman’s voice sounded thin and tinny, even to his own ears, and the young staff member’s back towered far above, his wrinkled vest spanning like the side of a building as he hustled back out into the hallway.

The shriek of the young woman stunned Roman to the point of disrupting his vision, and he collapsed into the sheets again.

When his heart rate slowed and he regained his breath, he looked up to see the schoolgirl standing over him. Like, seriously looming over him, in the style and manner of a skyscraper. Her long, glossy, black ponyfalls swayed around her face, pointing directly at Roman. Her beige cardigan hung at a strange angle, cutely baggy but somehow looking like it was about to pile on top of him. And her short tartan skirt swung back and forth above him like a massive curtain…

This didn’t make sense. Her breasts were of respectable size, before, when she was breaking into his room, but now they jutted out and started to block the lower third of her maniacally grinning face. And that skirt: it swung massively through the air, like a theater curtain, except all it revealed where her tremendously huge, round, full thighs, coated in smoky tights, through which an authentic pair of white-and-blue striped panties barely showed.

Her thighs stood like old-growth trees at the edge of the bed. Roman’s feet, layered as they were in [INSERT: popular anime character]’s large boots, looked like nothing compared to them. When she came in, she was a full head shorter than he, but right now it looked like his entire body could slip right through the narrow gap between those titanic thighs.

She squealed and scooped him up in both hands. His large, costumed body nestled easily in her two palms… how could this be? Roman raced through the cool air of pressboard and detergent up to her giddy face. When she opened her grinning maw, his hands flew reflexively to protect his ears and he grimaced deeply.

In response to this, the girl only whispered “sugoi kawaii!” but the vibrations of her voice still rippled right through Roman’s entire body.

He peeked at her: her enormous brown-black eyes flickered up and down the length of his body… which did not take much effort at all, he could see. “What the hell just happened?” he called up to her.

“The hotel guy shrunk you down so that you can’t pose a physical threat to me,” she whispered. “He explained it to me on the elevator. They have this new tech that does it. I can’t stand how cute you look!” She raised him to his face, and he threw up his arms to defend himself. She could have crushed him easily, but at the first touch she drew back: “Oh, right: I don’t want to ruin your costume.”

“I’m shrunken?” he screamed. “How the hell is this supposed to work out? How am I supposed to enjoy the weekend?” Real terror struck him then: “How am I supposed to compete on Saturday?”

The girl spun and sat on the bed—his bed—and cradled him against her bosom. “I guess you can’t, not like this. Hmm.” She bit her lip: her teeth were white but spaced with gaps, like a child’s. Roman wondered how old she was. He thought she was a little younger than him when she came in, but that could’ve been her premature curves. Her teeth and her behavior in general told another story entirely. Why wouldn’t the hotel just shack her up with another young woman instead of doing this to him?

“What if… we entered the competition together?” She smiled brightly upon him from above. “You could be like my resin collectible or BJD!”

He blinked repeatedly, processing this. It would be the most unique costume display ever, sure, but… “And what about the next four days? I can’t go walking around like this, I’ll get stomped flat in ten minutes! I’ve been waiting months for this weekend! How am I supposed to enjoy SplendiCon?”

She pursed her lips—he still didn’t know her name—but then she brightened. “Well, I’ll protect  you, okay? I can carry you around and make sure nothing happens to you.” And then she looked away and blushed. “And as for fun… maybe we can think of something…” She placed him upon the hammock of her tartan skirt, where he sunk down between her thighs. He could feel them, powerful and round and very warm, sandwiching his shoulders as he slipped between them.

Roman wondered how he could possibly reach the front desk to discuss their Vulnerable Persons Policy, because they had overlooked something important.

4 thoughts on “Conventions of Engagement

  1. Two things cracked me up: “[INSERT: popular anime character] from [INSERT: popular anime series]”, and the name of the convention, Splendicon. It might not have been meant to be amusing, but it was. In my head, he was dressed as Vampire Hunter D.

    The conventions to which I’ve gone have been on education, so there were no costumes, no fun haircuts, and definitely no indifferent concierge that changed my size. I could have dealt with a growth apparatus, but such a thing would not be of any help in case of room shortage. Though… it would have been if they had wanted me to help with security.

    I enjoyed this entry. I have no idea what “glomp” is, and I’m too afraid to look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There comes a point when one just can’t keep up with what the hottest anime is anymore, and opinions conflict, and old anime you thought had fallen by the wayside comes back with the characters in teenage form for a reboot, and-and-and [holds head in anguish]

      This way, the story remains timeless.

      I had dressed as Kakashi (Naruto) for a ‘Con out here, and shortly before that I had coincidentally learned what “glomping” was, so when a young woman asked if she could glomp me, I was ready. I braced my rear leg and spread my arms, and she took a running leap into my embrace. That’s what it is, it’s onomatopoeic. It sounds terrible but it’s quite sweet, and I’m sure I’ll remember this moment on my deathbed as one of my personal victories in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL My goodness, you’re such a little dork. That’s great!

    At first I thought you were tearing down that fourth wall, but to see it repeated again, and again, made it hilarious as hell.

    I don’t know much about Anime. I used to be big on those weekend afternoons hosted by Ralph Bakshi on the SciFi channel. That’s how I learned about, and loved Project A-ko. But aside from that, and Vampire Hunter D, I’m out of the loop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how much time you have, but if you have time to pursue some short anime series and movies, I would recommend the first season of Last Exile (the sequel was… I couldn’t stomach it, I like to pretend it doesn’t exist), Haibane Renmei, and Read or Die (the first TV series and the movie). These titles will not win you cool points with t3h k1dz, but they’re very thoughtful and pretty.

      And anything by Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli, but you already knew that. Everyone knows that.

      Liked by 1 person

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