The dull purr of tires on pavement far below rose and faded with the breezes at this altitude. One long, carmined fingernail pried open two frail doors, and then a long and shapely finger reached in over the iron balcony and into the darkened writing studio. A thick fingertip nudged bluntly into a bookcase, making all the books complain; into the escritoire, sending papers spilling onto the hardwood floor; snuffling around the clear spaces of the room, as though searching for something.

It found a large pile of papers and books and funky clothing in the far corner of the room. An exasperated sigh exploded, blowing all the curtains in nearly vertically and sending the papers up into a tizzy. The mound parted and dissembled, to reveal the sleeping form of a disheveled man.

“Wakey-wakey, artichakey,” whispered a tremendous and feminine voice, filling the room with its roar.

One slim arm scooped up some papers and piled them upon where his head must be.

The huge finger withdrew, but the fingertip commenced to rattling the windowsills in the wall of the balcony. This sharp clutter elicited some swearing from the unruly heap.

“With all due respect,” moaned a gravely voice, “please do fuck off.”

There was a gust of air, twin nostril blasts that let off some of the pressure in their massive skull. “You do not speak to a muse like that, of all people in the world.”

In the darkness, a tiny middle finger unfurled and extended. “If you had any idea what I’ve been through−”

“Who knows better than I? You haven’t returned my calls, and I can see my postcards building up in the corner, there. I’ve tried to give you your space, out of respect, but this is too much.” The gigantic nude woman rested her forearms against the facade of the tiny writer’s apartment building and bent her face to the balcony. Pursing her broad lips, she issued a powerful stream of her lungs’ exhaust into the den. Papers hissed and crackled, fluttering madly like bats. Visuals were impossible and hearing was difficult, but within the storm of paper, the tiny writer was exposed.

At some point he had dragged a used mattress into the corner of this loft and covered it with new sheets. The sheets were rumpled and badly stained with the funk of his body, and they pulled up from the corners, and they were torn. After this came the sediment of old stories and forgotten manuscripts, which at first the little writer had been studying in hopes of continuing, then hiding beneath as a quilt or a large shield. Perhaps as the ruins of a fallen building he hoped might crush him.

Now his somber retreat was puffed into chaos. He sat up, swatting at the papers and trying to glower at his giantess muse. His eyes were puffy, however, and his teeth were gummy, and his hair was a fright. He was in no sense dangerous-looking, unless “dangerous” had shifted to mean “pathetic” in recent months.

The writer pried off one stinky shoe and hurled it across the room and out the balcony. It bounced off one shining, white incisor and spun against the escritoire; the giantess didn’t seem to notice the impact.

“Come on, now,” she purred. “You want this. You know you want it. Don’t you miss me?”

The writer’s false denial caught in his throat, and he nodded weakly.

“Then… up, up, up! Find your legs, little writer! Shuffle your feet to your desk, and plant your hands upon your keyboard!” Her voice was as bright and intrusive as the sunshine.

The writer leaned his head to the right, grimacing at the aches in his neck, and smoothed his hair back (unsuccessfully) with his palm. “Give me a minute, all right? I’m out of shape.” He looked around for any errant glasses of water, then grumbled bitterly as he had to trudge all the way across the room to the basin, filling up a sticky rocks tumbler with his first dose of hydration.

The wind slowly shoved the giantess’s heavy locks across her eyes, sliding over the long, fine bridge of her nose. “Don’t waste too much time, my little writer. You know that the clock is ticking, right? Just a couple more weeks, and−”

The tumbler tumbled from numb fingers and shattered, tiny crystal triangles dancing across the dark floor. The writer wheeled to gape at the giant face hovering outside his double doors. “Wait, what? Weeks? What day is it? How long have I been out?”

Her large, soft lips opened, closed, opened, then closed once more. “I don’t think you want to know, my sweet admirer,” she said quietly. “Just sit down at your desk and… write as fast as you can.”

Bug-eyed, the writer clutched his chest. “Oh no, oh no, oh no…”

The giantess licked her lips nervously. “You can do this, beloved. You can do this, all you have to do… is do it.” Her brow furrowed, lending an intensity to her gaze. “I believe in you, and I’ll be with you all the way. Okay?”

The writer looked at the plane of broken glass all around him. He stood in the epicenter with one Oxford shoe and one dark sock. He muttered about having to clean this first.

“Oh, no you don’t,” she growled. She wrinkled her huge nose once, and all the glass fragments melted away like ice, slipping between the fine cracks in the floor. “Don’t you look around for any other project to do besides slipping your teeny little butt into your chair and tickling your typewriter with a vengeance.”

He looked up at her, then at the desk. The socked foot lifted, advanced, planted; the shoed foot followed suit, pulling the bedraggled body closer and closer to his desk.

“That’s it,” his muse said. “Please, just do it.”

He looked at the sunset in the empty whiskey bottles, the glint of beveled diamond patterns in so many other rocks tumblers on shelves, in windows. He promised himself a reward of one more drink of water if he could produce two solid pages of uninterrupted writing. And she watched, her large eye glowing with anticipation. And in a while he got his glass of water.

And they didn’t stop.

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