Keys jangled against the deadbolt, which slid and clicked. A beam of bright daylight pierced the living room as the front door swung open, and in walked a young woman.

“Mom? Dad?” called out Ruby in her dulcet tones. She let herself in. Her cheap lime-green flipflops padded upon the linoleum of the entryway, rasped over the plush carpet of the living room. Her short black dress swished over her pale, lean thighs. “Anyone home?” When the echoing silence of the house was the only response, her garish red lips split in a sharp grin.

In one move she shucked her over-sized shoulder bag and dumped its contents into the middle of the floor. Makeup, candy, trash, and everything else spun through the short fall to clatter around her manicured toes. And when it all settled, in the middle of this domestic treasure-hoard lay a young man, dazed and disoriented. Recently he’d been PFC Raymond Morr, stationed at Ft. Gordon, GA; now he was an eight-inch-tall, living action figure and the possession of this capricious young woman.

Her manicured toes flexed cutely as she nudged at his body, red glossy nails standing out against his desert-drab BDUs. “Wakey-wakey, artichakey!” she crooned. “Wait, that doesn’t work.”

The little man, sprawled on champagne pile carpet, shook his head and blinked at her. “The fuck’s going on?” his tiny voice said.

Ruby grinned and threw herself down to kneel over him. Her bobbed raven hair swung excitedly, shrouding her face. “You belong to me, now! You’re mine,” she said, “an’ I’m gonna tickle you!” She reached one slender arm down to tickle his chest and tummy. Morr fought against her, of course, but neither his cycling legs nor his swatting arms had any effect against her comparatively huge hand. It was a small hand, lean and fine, but it was large enough to wrap around his chest (mostly) after she shrunk him down and stowed him in her bag, and now it was large enough to overpower him and lightly rake his sides with glistening scarlet fingernails.

The private’s face grimaced as he struggled to rally his wherewithal. He rolled away from her nails (toward her knees, as it played out) and leaped up in a four-wheeled sprint for the door. Thick cords of acrylic carpet fiber raced beneath him, giving beneath his boots, but he clawed on. He sprang over mascara and eyeliner, dodged a pile of used tissues, kicked an empty box of Tic Tac out of the way and charged on.

Behind him Morr heard delighted laughter and clapping, and this made no sense but he pushed it out of his head and made a beeline for the obvious out: the front door.

Ruby licked her lip and watched his powerful little body working. Rounded shoulders, toned thighs… She rested her palms on her legs and gave them a squeeze, witnessing the determination of this fierce little beast. It was less impressive when he smacked against the enameled steel door, sprawling to the side with a stupid look on his face. But she let him work at the jamb, worrying the rubber wind guard with his tiny little hands and fingers for a while, before she slowly hauled herself to her feet. Kicking off her flipflops, she padded quietly with bare feet across the springy carpet, to the gritty patch of linoleum.

Wordlessly, she raised one slim foot above his little body. He didn’t even notice, so intent was he on scrabbling to freedom. She lowered her foot until her toes brushed against his broad shoulders; she lowered it further, resting the ball of her foot upon his back, and that got his attention. It was too late, of course. He could only spin to his back before he was completely pinned.

She stared at him intently with glowing, jade eyes. Down the length of her smooth black dress, down the length of her slender leg, beneath her weak little footsie lay a struggling, grunting little soldier. His BDU jacket rustled beneath her sole, his chest and abs tensed and pulsed against the ball of her foot. His knees kicked ineffectually at her heel. Biting her lip, she spread her toes and caught his little head between them. Yes, she pinched gently at his head, watching his face redden between her big and second toes.

Grinning, she hopped on her other foot and spun around, dragging the helpless little guy away from the door. “Uh-uh-uh,” Ruby admonished, her smile glinting in the sunlight. “Nice try, but you’re still a little too big to slip under that door. You need the doorknob for something like that, and you need help to reach it. Would you like some help?” She nodded, raising her eyebrows at him.

He wouldn’t respond, only growled quietly. Morr wrapped one tiny around her big toe, and his other hand poked up between her second and third toes to grapple with her. She gave her foot a slight shake and waggled the diminutive soldier violently. His expression became more confused and his hands slowly slipped away. “Okay, I’ll help you out,” she said. She removed her foot and stooped to clutch his body in both hands, lifting him up like an infant. She turned him around carefully, her senses suddenly full of his tiny little bones, the way his abs pulsed with gasping breaths, how he really wasn’t that light for being only eight inches tall. He must’ve been nearly pure muscle! Her breath hitched in her chest, to think of this cute little slab of meat in her hands, but she carried him back to the front door.

“There you go, little guy. There’s the doorknob.” Ruby lowered him until the shining brass sphere hovered just before his chest. “Give ‘er a good turn.”

The tiny PFC craned to look up at her. “You messin’ with me?” he asked her in his thready little voice. She nodded, her bobbed hair swinging, and he reached out for the knob. He placed both hands on either side of it, and she could feel muscles rippling up his chest and sides as he secured his grip. He turned mightily, but the knob wouldn’t budge, so the eight-inch-tall soldier only rotated in her hands. His little legs flung to the side like a dancer’s, but with less grace.

Ruby laughed so hard she nearly dropped him. “I’m sorry! I’ll hold you steadier!” she promised, but he wouldn’t have it. He just folded his arms and hung there, in her grip, like a petulant little baby. “Aw, did that hurt your feelings?” She pulled him back into her chest and crossed her forearms over him protectively. She tried to kiss him on the side of his head, but he only snapped at her and tried to bite her lip.

“Hey, now, that’s not nice.” A struggling little guy was one thing, but an impertinent little shrimp taking a shot at her? “I think you need to learn a little lesson about power and control.” So saying, she brusquely tucked him under one arm and strutted to the living room couch, with plenty of hip-sways to rock him back and forth. She caught him by the leg and tossed him carelessly into a throw pillow against one armrest; she dumped herself into the middle of the couch and turned to recline away from him.

The little soldier bounced once and tumbled to the cushion, but he recovered quickly. “Big mistake, lady,” he grunted. “Sayonara!” With this, he turned and threw himself off the couch. Yet Ruby was ready, simply raising one draped leg with all nonchalance. The bridge of her slender foot caught him in midair and knocked him cartwheeling back into place. And this time, she stretched out her shapely legs and parked her heels on either side of the little man’s body. Her pale shins shot forth like walls, her slender feet stood like sentries over his sprawled form.

“I suppose you think you got me,” he muttered. His voice was barely audible over the ambient noise of light traffic outside. Slowly he picked himself up to lay supine on the throw pillow, in a pretense of settling down and getting comfortable. “I been in worse scrapes’n this one. I just gotta bide my time, wait for my shot. You ain’t got me.” He smirked, but she thought even he looked like he didn’t believe it.

She rubbed her instep over his close-cropped scalp. He didn’t appear to enjoy her huge foot smacking into him, but he didn’t fight her off this time, either. “How come you got such a poor attitude, soldier?” she challenged.

He shrugged, looking at her big toe waggling overhead. “How’d you shrink me down like this? Some kinda chemical or black ops military tech?”

“Exactly.”

“Which?”

“I dabble.”

Private Morr was about to ask her what she meant when she folded at the waist, her lean body rising up to come at him. Despite his pose he yelped and tried to turn, but her foot pinned him to the pillow until her hands could reach out and seize him. She lay back down, hoisting the little man in the air above her.

He still wasn’t resisting. He let his arms and legs go limp, pointing at her, while his tiny, dark eyes flickered over her face. “I hope I’m as interesting to you as you are to me,” she purred.

“I’m interesting?” He seemed surprised.

“I think you’re fascinating!” She licked her lip again. “Look at your little boots, with the tiny laces! Look at your little belt, holding up your little pants! What’s your nametag say?” She squinted at him. “Morr? That’s your name?”

“PFC Morr, yes ma’am.”

“Well, that’s a misnomer. Your name should be shit, because you’ve been nothing but a little shit so far.” Her thumbnail plucked at the buttons on his BDU jacket. “But if you learn to behave, then yes, I think I’d like a little Morr.”

His tiny hands clutched at his jacket. “What are you doing?”

“Come on, private,” she said, giggling. “Give me some Morr.” She pinched his waist between her left hand’s thumb and forefinger, and with her right hand she pushed his arms away and tried pinching at the tiny buttons. Two popped neatly free, and she flicked the third one open. His brow was furrowed as he tried to secure his jacket, but then the last button came free and Ruby started tugging the back of it over his head. “Quit fighting, little man, just give me what I want!” She tugged harder, and the jacket pinioned his arms over his head, helplessly, and she laughed. But not only did she laugh, she slowly lowered the private’s face toward hers. She spread her garish red lips and let her teeth flash, and she opened her jaws and brought his head closer, and she really showed off how her throat glistened and flexed while she laughed.

The little man only stared, plainly frightened. His arms were helpless and his legs couldn’t reach anything to kick. Ruby’s pupils widened to see his alarm, and she slowly gusted warm, humid breath up over his little body in a long sigh. The scarlet nails of her thumb and index finger plucked at his rolled sleeve and slid it over his bicep, then tugged it free of his arm. The other sleeve took less work than this, as Morr struggled in space to push himself away from the enormous, gaping face below him.

She lifted him, then, and admired him. His brown tee was form-fitting and showed off his young, lean, developing body nicely. Oh, she loved watching the soldiers on a weekend pass at Augusta Mall. And now she had one of her very own, a rough-and-tough little soldier for keeps! She tossed his jacket aside and flicked her thumbnail over his belt.

His hands flew down to protect himself. “Hey, whoa! What’re you doing?” he yelled. It was strange, how far-away his voice sounded even when she held him only a couple feet away.

She laughed and pinched his belt between two fingernails. “You can help me out with this,” she said, “or I’ll just tear all your clothes off and they’ll be unusable. Your choice.”

“Or I can stay dressed! Jesus fuck, lady, what’s your problem?”

She laughed again and shook her head, and she pinched his belt and drew her other hand away, so he swung in the open living room air, suspended from her thumb and forefinger by nothing more than the belt holding his pants up. In each of their heads, they were distantly surprised the belt was strong enough to do that, but Morr recovered first. He tried to curl up and grab at her thumb, then her index finger. He clutched this and pulled himself up a couple knuckles, taking the tension off the belt, which was biting into his back. “Goddamn it! Fine! I’ll take it off!” He would have roared at her, had he been any bigger, but at his size his words came out like a little dog murmuring in its sleep.

Ruby rested Morr upon the broad, flat, black surface of her belly, and she heard the brassy *clank* as he undid his buckle. His little head poked up comically to peer at her, then disappeared behind his legs as he untied his boots. She appreciated his thoughtfulness: he stuck out each leg, and she very gently pinched the soles of his boots in her fingertips, yanking them off cleanly. His back scooted across her bellybutton, through her dress and his shirt, as she tugged at his boots, and then pulled his pant legs off of each muscular limb. Her eyes shone at him as she dangled his pants above him.

Morr watched the garment swing from her huge hand, before she tossed them over the cliff’s edge of the couch. Slowly, watching her face, the tiny soldier climbed to rest on his knees, on her belly. Ruby sighed very deliberately, watching the little man rise and fall with her breath. He was down to a brown tee shirt, brown boxers, and tan socks. She thought this would go much easier: she plucked at the collar of his shirt, and he obediently raised his arms and ducked his head. He knelt there, bare-chested, flexing his neck.

She went for his boxers. “Oh no, you don’t!” he cried, warding off her fingernail with two hands. She laughed and jabbed at him, and the nimble little guy actually dodged her blow and rose to his feet. His stance was unsteady, as her belly wasn’t an ideally solid surface, but he made the best of it.

Her hand hovered over the diminutive man, and her fingertips commanded his fullest attention. She jabbed, and he blocked her fingertips with his forearms. She went for his leg, and he sprang aside and kicked her knuckle. It didn’t hurt, and it was an impressive display, so they were both pleased with the show.

It was when Morr took up a battle-ready stance that it all fell apart. Ruby thought he looked ridiculous, posing for a fight, clad only in boxers and socks, and she laughed. Her abdominals tensed and shuddered, creating an earthquake for the little guy, who attempted to tuck and roll to another position. Unfortunately for him, his flailing leg got caught between her fingertips, and off went his sock. He kicked out at her, but she simply tugged the other sock off as well.

“Well, well, well, little man,” she said softly, grinning with way too many teeth. “It’s come down to this.”

Morr’s eyes went huge, and he crouched, attempting to secure his underwear in both fists.

“Oh, you might as well give up right now, little soldier.” Her fingers pinched and flexed before him. “General Ruby is here to inspect your privates.”

Morr blushed and took a step back, then another, and in this fashion he backed up into the palm of the hand he’d entirely forgotten about. Despite his shouts of protest, Ruby only laughed and grabbed at one leg of his boxers. He yelped, but his fists could only run down his legs, clutching the fabric that wouldn’t tear, only tugged down his thighs, over his knees, past his calves, and then they cleared his feet. Ruby held up the boxers triumphantly, but Morr wouldn’t relinquish, and so he too hung in the empty air, buck-naked and clinging to his underwear. He blushed deeply and tried to look away.

Ruby laughed but softly, with warmth, and not a trace of mockery. “There’s no point in being bashful, either. You’ve got a lot to be proud of, my tiny little man.” She turned him gently and admired him from all angles: his fine little toes, his bulging leg muscles, the knife’s edge slit of his butt, the lean waist that led up to his developed chest… “Mmmmm,” she purred. “Aren’t you delicious.”

The nude little soldier looked up at that. Ruby was raising him up and bringing him to her face once more. Her red lips made blossoming kissy-faces at him, then parted wide with her teeth to open the pink, hot chasm below his bare feet. The little man seemed to be conflicted, at one moment tucking up his legs securely to his chest; the next, cautiously extending one bare foot to touch the tip of her tongue, you know, just to see…

Ultimately, however, he found he was just large enough to plant the soles of his feet on her incisors and stand, straddling the moist chasm directly below his balls.

Ruby laughed and tugged him up. “Oh, I wouldn’t eat you, my tiny little lover!” She draped him across her chest, right between her breasts, and she covered him with her arms in a huge, cuddling hug. She planted a garish red ring of lipstick all around his shorn scalp, in a big and sloppy kiss. “Not yet, anyway…”

[Commissioned piece for Flagg3D]

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