Krista lounged in the hard, wooden chair as best she could. They provided her with a cushion, but it was still uncomfortable for a four-hour shift. The room sharply echoed with children screeching, water splashing, and the reverberating echoes of whatever Muzak they pumped in here.
She flexed her toes and stretched her tanned legs, straightening her lifeguard’s jacket. The summer job at Monongahela Suites and Hotel didn’t pay much, but it didn’t take much of her time, either. Occasionally the son of some visiting family would try to chat her up, but they were rarely around for two days, so the only other people around her age were her coworkers, who she also knew from school.
After adjusting her garish red bikini top a bit, she began picking out every individual head of every person in the pool, a mental trick to make her focus and look for anything suspicious. She blew her whistle and yelled at two little boys for running; she blew her whistle and yelled at a fat, middle-aged man for bringing a beer into the hot tub. Everyone was always trying to get away with something.
For all her observation, she never saw the young guy who sneaked up behind her stilted perch. She did feel the coolness of the jewel he pressed against the back of her calf, in the moment before she disappeared.
When Krista woke up, she was sprawled all over the hard chair. She sat up in alarm: how long had she been asleep? Crappy as the job was, she couldn’t afford to lose it. Yet everything around her was wrong: it was much quieter here, most prominently. The enormous glass roof with permanent condensation was gone, the fake palm trees and squabbling vacationers were gone, and the large pool of water over which she governed was likewise missing.
Her chair was no longer the heavily painted wooden seat on stilts. Now she was sitting on what looked like a simple throne carved out of gray stone. It matched… no, it was one piece with the broad gray stone floor, walls, and ceiling. Krista sprang from the chair and looked around: there were no doors or windows. Light was coming from somewhere, but she couldn’t see where. It was just a large, plain room of solid stone.
She tugged her white windbreaker closed, then zipped it up, suddenly self-conscious about wearing nothing but skimpy swimwear in this strange setting. How the hell did she get in here? “Hello?” she called out, her voice bouncing promptly off the walls. “Hey, anybody?” No response. She went to a wall, began feeling around for cracks or seams or even a breeze, and worked her way around the room in this fashion.
Krista went over all the walls three times, with increasing scrutiny, before realizing that it was all effectively solid. “Anybody, hello?” she screamed as loud as she could, without hurting her own ears. If this was a solid room, there was a limited supply of air, and yet the room was fully illuminated by an unseen source, which didn’t make sense. For that matter—and she sat upon the stone chair to confirm—the stone in here was warm. She was warm. She should have been cold, dressed like she was, and the stone should have drained the heat out of her body. But she was relatively comfortable, despite being seriously creeped out by this unrealistic prison.
Twenty minutes later she was sobbing. No entrance, no exit, nothing made sense. She didn’t know if she was supposed to wait here until she starved to death or what. Calling out yielded nothing, and the walls were far stronger than her little fists. She wondered how much longer it would be before she went crazy.
Not long, it seemed: in the base of the wall facing her, a tiny rectangular portal opened. The hole simply slid into being from the floor to about six inches in height. It made no sound as it opened. Krista stared at it, wide-eyed and silent: part of her wanted to examine it, see if it could be widened; the more imaginative part of her wondered if poison gas would start hissing out of it.
Instead, tiny little men flooded into the room.
They were all of various sizes, from two to four inches tall, with a range of skin colors, and they were stark naked. They all grinned, they all seemed delighted to see Krista (who drew her knees to her chest and covered her feet with her forearms), and they sprinted up to surround the throne. “Oh, my goddess!” they shouted, with quiet, thin little voices. “I love you so much! You are so beautiful! Please, tell me how I can serve you!” Every single one spoke as an individual, despite there being maybe a hundred of them pooling around the throne.
“Let me out of here,” she said, shakily.
“But I love you!” they pealed. “I’ve dreamed of you for so long, and now you’re here! Please, my goddess, tell me how to worship you!” Some of them were jumping excitedly; others, she noted with disgust, had wrapped their tiny hands around their tiny penises and were stroking them vigorously.
She raised her voice. “I just want to go.” She disliked looking at them, as they were equal parts obscene and incomprehensible.
“Oh, my goddess! Let me worship your feet! Please, let me pleasure your toes!”
The thought of these gross little people touching any part of her made her skin crawl. She covered her face with one hand and resumed sobbing. This was too much.
“She’s hungry!” the chorus went up. “Get her something to eat! The goddess is hungry!”
Krista paused. Was she hungry? She hadn’t thought about it, but her stomach was feeling a little empty, sure. She peeked over her shoulder and watched half the crowd fleeing back into the small, rectangular vent. They soon returned in a little parade, like ants, bearing individual grapes, slices of banana, segments of tangerine. Not exactly what she was in the mood for, but these would do for now.
She reached down to pluck the fruit from their grasp, but they cleared a space in the crowd where she reached for it. “Oh no, my goddess! You must let us feed you! Yes! We will feed you!”
Frustration was beginning to set in Krista. “Just give me the goddamned food.” She added, “I order you, as your goddess.”
A cheer went up. “But no, my goddess! We have to do this for you! Please, lower your head to the arm of your throne!”
What was that supposed to do? She had no idea, but she grudgingly complied, resting her jaw upon the self-heated gray stone armrest. Nothing happened for a while, and then chanting, singing little men climbed over the edge of the armrest, bearing their offerings. Krista’s brow furrowed, and she peeked over the edge of the seat: a switchback staircase had emerged from the side of the gray throne, and the tiny people hustled up this as well as they could.
Resuming her position, she warily eyed the first few tiny men who walked up to her face. Every last one of them had tiny little erections, which was disgusting, but she wanted to eat. She opened her mouth, said “aaah” for no reason, and one little man heaved a green seedless grape onto her tongue. She pulled back, chewing it carefully to pick out any odd flavors, then ground it up and swallowed and lowered herself for another.
This worked out okay. A tiny man would lob fruit into her jaws, cry out with adoration, then hustle back down the stairs. Three little men of only a couple inches in height hefted a wedge of orange between her waiting lips, and before she knew what was happening they climbed in after it. She was too comfortable with the new routine, too startled to prevent herself from chewing, and her incisors and molars mashed them into chunks in one stroke.
Her eyes went huge with terror, but the tiny people on the arm of the throne were cheering, waving, masturbating at her. This is insane, her mind shrieked at her.
She didn’t taste blood, however. Krista grimaced, holding her jaw open but her lips shut, and very gingerly probed the corners of her mouth with her tongue. There was orange, yes, and little chunks of meat… that… tasted like lemon herb chicken. What the fuck?
She chewed once more. She didn’t pick out any arms or legs, couldn’t sense any little skulls: it was just like she’d taken a bite out of a rotisserie chicken leg. That’s it. And she couldn’t believe how readily her throat accepted this when she swallowed the mouthful down. She waited for her stomach to churn, for something to revolt and flow in reverse. But the revulsion never came.
So these little people would bring her food, and if they didn’t… they tasted like food.
“Okay, okay,” Krista repeated quietly to herself. “That was weird.”
She looked down, and a large group of tiny men had set down the fruits they carried. They all stared up at her—she could feel their tiny gazes on her skin, like laser pointers—and they all jacked off for everything they were worth.
“That’s enough,” she growled, and with one arm quickly swept them all to the floor far below. It wasn’t really that far, she knew, but there were more of them than there were of her, and they made the gray stone throne seem huge, like a temple, and that made her feel huge, like a goddess.
Slowly, cautiously, she unfolded her slender, tanned legs and rested her bare feet upon the warm gray floor. The tiny people held back at a respectful distance at first, then approached her step by fearful step, watching her closely, masturbating slowly. A breeze welled up in her chest, something like a small storm swirling into being. She nodded to them, and the tiny men gradually approached her long, huge feet and began to rub the bridge of her foot, began to slip their tiny heads between her toes… and lick.
* * *
Months of this went by. Some weeks were worse than others, but Krista had become acclimated to her environment. Her body rarely shuddered and shrank when she lay on the floor and the tiny men swarmed her greedily, all begging to let them worship her. There was a period when she told them what she wanted them to do, when she felt racy and daring, and they did it all to the best of their ability. Physical stuff. Sexual stuff. Playful stuff. She ordered them to hoist her up and carry her around the room, for example. That was hilarious, the first several times, but eventually it palled.
They were always up for the sexual stuff. If left to their own devices, they would creep and wriggle into every available orifice on her body. Snaking into her butt was creepy enough, but she had to swat them out of her eyes on a few occasions. They generally obeyed orders from their goddess—though there was always that element seeking to push the envelope, exploring what they could get away with—but they had no fear of death. There was one bad week where she snapped and lost her shit. She went on a stomping spree, crushing their little bodies with her long, flat, bare feet, mashing them flat.
They didn’t flee her. They cheered. “Oh, my goddess!” they squealed. “Please spare me! Do not harm me this way!” They only had a tight rotation of unnatural, stilted phrases they ran through, which angered her further. But they were never afraid: they smiled up at her, waving to be next. “Whee!” they said as her feet came down. Soon there was a thin rug of greasy meat before her throne, surrounded by a hundred masturbating little men. The rug spread into a carpet, and the thinness thickened considerably in an hour’s time. She kept stomping, and they kept flooding into the room.
Eventually she freaked out and curled up on the throne, which they seemed to respect as her private space, and fell asleep. When she woke up, every last scrap of lemon herb chicken had been removed and cleaned up. Not a stain on the floor, not a whiff in the air. Just a new flood of tiny little men marching out and demanding to gratify her sexually, ironically insisting that she not stomp them, sit on them, or gobble them up.
Sometimes she did. Sometimes she didn’t. Krista lost months this way.
They rarely conversed with her. As much as they insisted they were all here to please her, were all devoted to her pleasure and happiness, they didn’t seem to regard her as an actual person. She tried to ask them questions, and their answers always pivoted back to squirming inside her vagina or jacking off in her toes.
“You’re driving me crazy!”
“I love you, my goddess!”
“You don’t even care who I am! Why am I here?”
“You are my goddess and I love you!”
“Then what’s my name? What color are my eyes?”
“I’m sorry to displease you! Please let me lick your asshole clean as a punishment!”
At this point, we will not elaborate upon what became of her waste products. Krista still consumed food, and her body still ejected waste, but whatever the reader wishes to imagine happened to this material is either accurate or grossly underestimated.
The worst was when she tried to rebel. Krista curled up on her throne, drew up her legs, and refused to engage. She wouldn’t eat their food, and she wouldn’t eat them.
So they went away and they didn’t return for a day.
She didn’t starve to death, but she learned where the true power lay. “Goddess,” indeed.
One time, during a feeding, Krista ran over to the little rectangular portal from which the tiny population issued. They didn’t stop her: when she stooped to thrust her arm inside the hole, they simply jacked off on the soles of her feet and climbed up to slip inside her bikini bottom, all the while insisting they were worshipping her, doing this for her pleasure and glory.
The corridor went off into the distance. She saw no light at the end of it, and her hand couldn’t find any bend or feature in the passage. It made no sense, how this hole could just open up in a solid stone wall, but so many things made no sense here that it seemed reasonable.
* * *
Krista slumped to the side of the gray throne. Time meant nothing. The light came from nowhere and shone on flat gray walls and floor and ceiling. The temperature, air and stone alike, was an inflexible 73°F, always. Gravity always pulled down, the air was never stale, and the supply of tiny little horny men was quite literally endless.
They worshipped her, coating her feet in a thin layer of jizz, which they diligently washed off, then diligently replaced. They never tired of worming into her vagina or her anus or her ears or whatever. She hardly felt them anymore, and she definitely stopped hearing their voices. They insisted they loved her and would do anything for her. They insisted they were worshipping her, honoring her, glorifying her. She just didn’t hear it anymore.
So it took a few “excuse me”s at her shoulder to get her attention.
“What,” she said, dully.
“Don’t move suddenly.” It was a man’s voice, soft, almost conspiratorial. “I’m standing on your shoulder, under your hair where the others can’t see me.”
The young woman’s eyes blinked slowly. She looked around: the tiny men flowed like rivers of ants, back and forth across her feet, endlessly masturbating on her. To hold perfectly still was second nature to her now, just to let them have their way and save her energy for when she needed it.
“My name is Tamas. I’m here to help.”
“What can you do,” she whispered.
“I can get you out of here.”
Her body seized and jerked. She hadn’t felt such energy in a long, long time. “I don’t believe you.”
“Then you have nothing to lose by doing what I tell you.”
She sat up, and she felt a sharp tug on her scalp. Pretending to brush her hair a little, she felt a tiny man against the backs of her knuckles. He must’ve been clinging to her tresses like rope. “I’m fucking sick of sex acts, Tamas.”
“I’m not here for that. I just can’t watch you suffer.”
The thought of someone in this new world being interested in her was so foreign, so alien, her body rejected it.
“But I do have to ask you something in exchange for this.”
There we go. That made more sense. “What is it, are you a butt-guy or a boob-guy?”
“I’m not in this for carnal acts!”
“Then what do you want, you little fucking saint?”
Pause. “Take me with you when you go.”
What did that mean? Krista wanted to turn her head and look at the guy next to her, but he was clinging to her head by her hairs. He was standing on her shoulder. This tiny little person, this Tamas, was talking as though he could get her out of this dull, gray cell.
“Why do you want to leave?” she whispered.
Tamas’s voice turned dark. “Look around you. Look at them, everyone else here.” He gave her a moment to take in the spectacle, but she’d seen more than enough of it already. “I don’t know why but I’m not like them. Have you tried talking to them?”
“I talk at them but they just give me that bullshit about worshipping me.”
“Same here. I’ve tried to ask them about anything else, why we’re in this cell, where we come from. All they talk about is how sexy you are and you’ll do anything for them.” Another pause. “You clearly don’t belong here, so you had to come from somewhere else. So before I made the run down the corridor, you know, where we all come from to feed you?”
“Yes, I know.” Krista was feeling impatient.
“Before that, I looked around. Where we come from is a lot like this place, a big empty room. That is, this room has a throne, and that room has a control panel.”
She nearly leaped out of her chair. “What do you mean, a control panel?” She really wished she could look at him, so she innocuously combed her hair with her fingers and scooped him into her palms. Slumping into the throne, she stuck out her shapely legs to distract the teeming hordes of tiny horndogs and couched Tamas on her left breast, above the bikini but inside her windbreaker.
He was good-looking. Krista had no opinions about the other tiny little men, they all just bled into each other visually. They ranged from inoffensive to halfway cute, but that’s it. Tamas, however, had penetrating eyes and a serious mouth. And though he was nude, he covered his genitalia with both hands. She hadn’t seen that courtesy in… however long.
“It’s a small, gray mound covered in jewels,” he continued. Krista abruptly wondered how it was they shared a language, that he knew what jewels were, if he were born in this chamber… if he was born at all… She shook her head at the unceasing insanity and listened. “There’s one of us who never leaves that room. He’s bigger than any of us but smaller than you. He watches you on a piece of glass.”
“He watches me? Like on a monitor?” Krista’s eyes flickered around the room, but there were no apparent seams between the walls and ceiling, no lights or cameras anywhere.
“Yes, he monitors you. He can see you through the eyes of us. The piece of glass shows the view of running up your legs and between your…” Tamas lowered his gaze. “He sees you from our angle, if you know what I mean.”
She stared at him. “So all he does is watch me secretly?”
Tamas shook his shaggy brown hair. “He touches the jewels to make the corridor appear. He also makes more of us. The jewels do all sorts of things.”
She sighed. The tiny man rose and fell on her chest. “Do you know how the crystals work?”
“Jewels, and I think so. I haven’t been alive very long, but there was one time he used a jewel to leave.”
It took everything in Krista’s power to not jump up and claw at the wall with the corridor in it. “He left? Do you know how to leave?”
The little man nodded. “I think so.”
And that was it. They hissed at each other, making plans, and in a minute she released him down the side of the chair, where the other tiny little people wouldn’t notice him. When he made his way across the room—painstakingly slowly, for her tastes—and ducked back into the corridor, she kicked off the tiny people and stood up.
“Little sick fucks,” she bellowed, planting her fists on her hips. “I have a command for you.”
“Anything! Oh, anything, my goddess!” The vast crowd of tiny people stood erect, their ears pricked.
“Your goddess demands… riches! Wealth! Gold and gems!”
The crowd wobbled for a moment. “It’s with great sorrow I confess I can’t bring you these, my goddess!” they cried. “How about if I floss your teeth with my penis, oh sweet goddess?”
“Not the same!” She stomped on several of them for effect. “I demand this world’s finery, the better to glorify myself!”
Some of the little people began to drift and wander in circles. A small group of them stepped forward. “I can provide you a pearl necklace, my goddess!” they ejaculated.
“Wrong again!” She swept her long foot and kicked a dozen of them viciously, hurling them against a wall, where they left greasy yellow streaks. “Now, produce these riches or suffer my wrath!”
Some of them began to suggest various punishments, like being eaten or stuffed inside her rectum, when Tamas emerged from the corridor. “I have a jewel, your majesty!” he hollered, charging toward the throne.
Krista declared this excellent, but her word was drowned by the roar of outrage among the tiny people. They fled her bare feet, mostly, and surged at Tamas, holding aloft a crudely cut green gem. He flinched at them and attempted to circumvent the mob, but they rose up like a wave at him.
Screaming, Krista charged at the tiny people. It was nothing for her to kick them aside, cutting a wide swath across the flat, gray stone. They never fought her but focused all their animosity upon her sole ally, bearing the green jewel. They subsumed him in their wave, crashing upon him like a meaty tsunami, and Krista fell to her knees, swatting and swiping them away. They thanked her for her blessing as she flung them, they cheered even as they broke against the walls, and they poured more than ever out of the corridor.
Krista flung herself to the floor, blocking the corridor with one bare foot, while rolling on her side and trying to dig heroic Tamas out of the mess. Then the tiny people washed over her as well, burrowing into the sleeves of her lifeguard jacket, snaking around her bikini and tugging at the strings that held her two-piece in place, top and bottom. They tugged at her hair, and they squirmed inside her orifices with all vigor.
With one hand she brushed them off, clutching them in her fists, throwing them behind her. She clamped them between her long thighs, she rolled back and forth and ground them into the stone floor. Her other hand plunged into the wave, plowing through the little bodies, shrugging them away until one fingertip bumped against the cut stone.
Krista seized the jewel and anyone around it. Scrambling to her feet, she looked at her captors: three horny little men, which she picked away and flung with renewed viciousness, and one Tamas, battered but cheery.
“Now what?” she asked him.
He wrapped himself around the jewel. “Squeeze it in your fist and picture your home.”
“That’s how it works?”
He shrugged. “Probably?”
With nothing else to do, she wrapped her slender fingers around the little guy, pressed her fist over her heart, and pictured the most familiar scene that came to mind, her own bedroom.
All the tiny men in the room frothed into a frenzy, running, scrambling, attacking each other. A bitter howl echoed down the narrow corridor, a much louder and bigger voice than any tiny man’s.
* * *
Krista seized on her bed, bouncing with a myoclonic twitch on the mattress. She lay perfectly still, eyes wide, alert to everything. Pink walls reached up around her. Sunlight shone directly through the window behind her head. The soft bed smelled sweetly of her various perfumes and hair products.
The only tiny man within visual range was the one she clutched between her hands.
Tamas shielded his face from the unfamiliar sensory load. “Where are we?”
She sat up slowly, hardly able to believe it, fearful of being snatched back to the gray room at any second. She flung the green jewel from her person; it bounced off the seat of her chair and rolled under her desk.
“I’m home…” She looked around, breathing deeply to make it real. “I’m home.”
Then she shuddered. She cast Tamas aside, and he tumbled against her pillow. The past lifetime began to creep up within her. She looked at her feet, violated so many hundreds of thousands of times by disgusting little men…
“I’m sorry,” she told Tamas. “Stay right there. I can’t deal, I can’t deal.” He said nothing as she tore the clothes from her body and ran into the bathroom.
“Krista? Aren’t you supposed to be at the pool?” called her mother from another room.
After a long, scalding shower and a crying jag, Krista stumbled back into her bedroom, dripping wet, the fluffiest towel wrapped around her body. She stood in the sunbeam for a minute, unmindful of the unguarded window, just feeling light warm up her skin.
“I can’t deal with you right now, Tamas,” she said quietly. “Thank you for getting me here, but I’m sorry.” She wouldn’t look at him.
“What do I do, then? I don’t know this world.” Tamas crawled up to the center of her pillow for the advantage of height.
“I don’t know.” She looked at her forearms, red welts forming where she’d scraped at the memory of a coat of semen.
“What’s all this stuff on the walls?”
She lifted her head. “Those are my swimming trophies, my running medals. That’s a picture of my grandparents.”
“No…” He didn’t have the words, just pointed at an empty patch of wall.
Her mouth opened, then closed. “Pink. That’s a color. You’ve never seen colors before?” She looked at him. “You’ve seen gray walls, skin colors, and whatever colors those jewels were.” She realized he didn’t know about dogs and cats, cars, or shoes on thoughtless, unseeing pedestrians either.
She sat at the foot of the bed, still not looking at him. “I’ll keep you fed. I’ll protect you, okay?” The memory of her grandmother’s dollhouse surfaced in her mind, stored in their attic. Easily retrievable, and her parents might think it sweet, reconnecting with her deceased grandparents like this. She hoped so. “I can even talk to you so you don’t get lonely. But I can’t touch you or look at you. Not now. Maybe later.”
“Lonely,” he repeated. He had a strange inflection with the word. “I’ve been lonely since I was made wrong.”
Half an hour later saw Krista retrieving a short ladder to climb up into the attic. Her mother, now more actively curious, was easily dissuaded with a story about a child shitting in the pool and everyone being evacuated for the day. Her mother was touched that she wanted to bring down her grandmother’s old dollhouse, as predicted, and told Krista stories while she dusted it off and polished it up. “This used to be hers, and then mine, you know,” her mother said. “We used to imagine little families of people in there, going about their business.” Her mother laughed. “I used to talk to them.”
Some nights, Krista would jerk awake with that full-bodied twitch. Rarely would she scream, but she’d slam awake, convinced she hadn’t escaped at all. But she had. She’d jerk, the bed would creak, and a tiny little face in a tiny little window would ask if she was okay. Every time.
Until one night, when the miniature model house lay empty. Krista curled up on her side, breathing slowly, her quilt draped over her body just as her palm draped over Tamas.