“You are a little warrior, aren’t you,” Shavonne said. Her byzantine broom skirt in red, gray, and black bloomed slightly where her slight hips bent and buried into the couch cushion beside me. As nice as it might have been to be dandled in her soft palms or cradled in her lap, I was still coming down off my survivalist’s high and feeling tetchy.
I kneeled on the cushion in the center of the couch, she lounged over one arm and, beneath her billowing skirt, crossed her legs. Before me was a salsa dish filled, instead, with peach schnapps, and she gave me a cool, wet fiber peeled from a stalk of raw sugar cane to dip into the booze and lap up. Far from insulting, it felt like an exotic luxury. Shavonne’s loft was just the craziest layout: paintings and easels over there, mannequin parts and rusted machinery parts over there, little LED strands and Asian paper lanterns everywhere. I didn’t buy into the apparent chaos: all I felt were the solid concrete walls, the thick glass plates fitted into iron panes, the solidity of the repurposed industrial space. There was nowhere safer than here, and I didn’t realize how tense I’d been for the last several weeks until they began to melt and unknot on this couch, next to an affectionate hippie, in the fumes of Nag Champa, listening to Billie Holiday.
I sighed heavily and dipped the cane into the schnapps and lapped it off the side. The meat of the cane was coarse and cool, and the booze just tasted like candy. “You’d be surprised how long you could survive, when you need to.” I smacked my lips and swished the fiber back and forth in the bowl. “You’d be surprised what you’re capable of.”
Her massy head canted back and her frizzy honey-colored hair spilled all over her shoulders, all over the back of the couch. “Oh, no! I never would! When the shit goes down I’ll be in the first wave of casualties!” She laughed, and I watched her throat ripple in the sunrise through the windows. Her indigo blouse lay flat upon her slim frame, and from my low angle I watched her body rock gently with her mirth, glancing up her armpit and up her nose and yeah let’s have another hit of schnapps.
I changed tack and went straight for the biggest question of all. “So you don’t know where she went?”
She ran her fingers through her hair—how she didn’t snag all those rings in her hair, I’ll never know—and her arm heaved and her breast swayed, and I guess that was a shrug. “She doesn’t tell me anything, D____,” she said, “sorry. We were never that close, just… good-time friends, you know? Go out Bennett Pointe Grill and get shitty on wine, see a movie, drive out to the beach, that’s about it.”
I should note here that Shavonne insists on calling me by my birth-name, which puts her head and shoulders above C____. When my warren was crashed, when my mom was killed, several of us were captured for sale at the pet store. They tried to give us new names, but I remembered the name my mom gave me. C____ called me by that name up until I told her the story of how I ended up in that shop. That was after months of language lessons, learning the Normal tongue the best way, through immersion. And we Tinies have an advantage: we can actually crawl up into the mouth of a native-speaker and watch the interior form the sounds and words we’re not used to, actually bedding upon the mother tongue. Anyway, C____ said my name made her feel horrible, so she just made up a brace of nicknames to call me instead. I used to rebel, and then I just became resigned to it. More misomicrotic insensitivity, or as we call it, “Wednesday.”
But Shavonne calls me by my original name, so I will let it be known here I’m called Dagny. She pronounces it perfectly, too, and I really appreciate that. Shavonne impresses me left and right with her carefulness and awareness, despite the seeming artist’s chaos all around us. Whereas C____ is still unmentionable C____, in these records, to commemorate the grace she never showed me.
“C____ kinda kept to herself, man,” Shavonne said in her dreamy drawl. “She was all business, tight-laced, buttoned-up-whatever…” Her slender forearm rose in a beam of morning and incense, and her graceful hand looped fluidly in the international gesture for et cetera. “I used to tease her that she was a CIA spook or something, and she’d joke that that was closer to the truth than she was permitted to discuss, but that was bullshit. I saw her key card: she worked at Arlington Trust.” Her skirts shifted and she switched legs: instead of her knee jutting toward me, now her bare sole hovered in space above my drinking vessel.
I sucked my cane fiber and stared at her foot without even trying to hide it. Her head rested on the couch back, and her foot twirled slowly at the ankle, toes flexing and catching the light. Her heel was callused and had seen some days, but she was in terrific shape and… I sighed and tossed the fiber back into the bowl and leaned against the couch back as well. I haven’t had sex in a few months, outside of rubbing one out in C____’s old panties, back in the “salad days” of a condo circling the drain to eviction. Fuck me. Well, I wasn’t going to try anything with Shavonne. I didn’t have the bond with her yet, and it didn’t feel right. Last thing she needed to deal with was some inches-tall horndog.
Music chimed over the stereo, a sequence of little hammers striking bells. “What the hell was that?” I yelled up at my host.
Her massive head came swinging down, and piles of frizzy gold hair floofed around her lopsided grin. “I got a little surprise for yo-o-o-ou,” she sang, waggling her head playfully. I watched her body twist and her billowing skirt mask the liftoff of her pert little butt from the couch. She walked around and disappeared somewhere behind me, and I trotted over to lie face-down in the warm indentation of her seat. Goddess help me.
Women’s voices. They were indistinguishable over “Easy Living,” but Shavonne’s sounded lazy and comfortable and the other’s voice was perkier, excited. It was familiar, too, though I didn’t know how. I hoped the artsy chick didn’t invite some size fetishists over to mess with me. I don’t think C____ would’ve told her about that community, though maybe everyone knew about them. They weren’t exactly hiding in this environment.
Sneakers clomped up behind me like rolling thunder, and I scrambled to position myself by my swimming pool o’ booze once more. A tremendous woman rounded the other arm of the couch, then fell to her denimed knees. Pretty breasts parked themselves on the edge of my cushion and a grinning, leering face lunged at me. “Hi, Dagny!” Her voice pealed in my ears. I cried out, collapsed to the side, and covered my head.
“Oops!” she belted, then, quieter: “Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot! I’m just so happy to see you again!” I peeked out from under my elbow and saw Freda smiling at me like my own private sun.
“Freda!” I yelped. “Put… put two of your fingers down on the cushion, like a little person!” She did, and I leaped up and sprinted around the bowl to hug her fingers. She gushed and cooed and her cheeks turned a deep pink.
“Shavonne! C’mere and look at this!” she cried. “It’s the cutest thing ever!”
The hippie-chick sauntered over and looked: I held Freda’s index and middle finger’s in a lover’s embrace, resting my head on her base knuckles and grinning up at her. Shavonne also made cutesy noises and clasped her hands together, pressed against her lips. “Holy Agartha, that is just too perfect.” She came down and draped her elbows over the arm of the couch, staring at us. I hooked my leg around Freda’s finger and they burst out laughing, too loud for me but I bore it.
It was just nice to be around happiness again. It was nice to be around lovely women, gentle giantesses, and to feel safe and cared for. It took all of my will to peel myself off Freda’s hand—Shavonne told her to check if I left a stain, we laughed. My arms, my chest felt like my major muscle groups were crying. I’ve been so lonely, and just like my need to feel safe, I never realized how deep it ran until I got a taste.
“Aw, fuck,” I squawked, collapsing to the couch cushion and stiffening up.
“What’s wrong?” one of them said.
“Pulled a muscle in my back. Dammit.”
Freda sounded truly distressed. She hopped up, grabbed the groceries she brought in and hove them to the kitchen counter, then asked Shavonne where she kept the ibuprofen. She ground it up in a mortar and pestle while Shavonne scooped me up carefully and took a seat at her dining table, a smoky brown glass affair. She rested me on her thigh and gingerly, oh-so-gently began to rub two fingertips into my back. Freda procured an eyedropper, filled it with ibuprofen dissolved in water, and retrieved my schnapps to cleanse my palate. Medicine administered, she went back into the kitchen and began to cook. I draped my arms down either side of Shavonne’s leg and tried to go limp, surrendering to the tender ministrations of the large, blunt fingertips rubbing wide circles around my upper and lower back. It wasn’t precise work but I wanted it to go on forever.
I explained to them what the last several weeks had looked like, the fighting, the scavenging, my victories and defeats. Basically an endless workout, each day ending with curling up on hard soil. “And I lost a finger in a fight with a squirrel,” I added.
Shavonne’s fingers lifted. “You did not!” I stretched out my little arm and splayed my fingers for her examination. She rested my hand on the fingertip of her middle finger and bent down close to check it out. Her frizzy mane fell upon me, and I was quilted in warmth and herbal shampoo. She sucked in her breath: “Oh my Goddess! You poor little guy!”
Freda called out, “What, did he really?” and she ran over to see, leaving something simmering on the stove. She leaned on the hippie-chick’s other thigh and peered at me. “I will never forgive C____! I will never forgive that bitch!” She stormed back to the kitchen and slammed pots around. “She just left you in that condo to fend for yourself! Just drills a couple holes in the fridge, and that’s supposed to be good enough? Goddess, you poor little guy!” She took out her aggressions on celery, carrots, and onions with a knife that needed sharpening, by the sound of it. “I will claw her fucking eyes out, I swear to Goddess, if we ever see her again. Oh! That reminds me.” Her voice brightened, and I heard her sneakers dance to her shoulder bag behind the couch. She came back, waggling a rectangle in black glass mounted in a white body. “I found her phone.”
I was much more shocked than Shavonne, who offered a tired, “Oh, yeah?” She returned to rubbing my spine… and then one fingertip gently grazed my butt. It could have been an incidental brush, but she leaned down and smiled at me toothily. “Sorry?” she said.
I grinned back and waved at her. “No, no. It’s cool.”
The tip of her tongue ran over her upper lip and she straightened back up to talk to her friend. Now her fingernails ran lightly down the length of my body, from my shoulders down my spine and over my butt and thighs. My entire body flushed with delight (and ibuprofen, and schnapps). This world was full of surprises.
Freda went on from the kitchen. “I drove by the night after the new couple bought the house. I started to look through the trash, but there was too much of it and I didn’t know what was important, so I just tossed them into my van and took off. I was getting weird looks from the neighbors.” She laughed and tossed some bread into a toaster oven: I heard the gentle boff of baked goods hitting wire racks and the creak of the door’s springs. “I found her phone and charged it, just in case there were any messages. I also have a ton of other crap if you want to look through it. Like I said, I didn’t know what’s important. Except I did grab a sock full of tiny clothes, figured that was probably yours.”
“Yeah, probably,” purred Shavonne, running her pinky fingertip in little circles around my butt. Was I going to get laid tonight? What did this mean? I tried to relax and just let it happen. Though I did flex and nudge my butt into her touch, as well. Least I could do, with the whole front of me mashed into her thigh like that.
“Well? Does anyone want to go through her messages?” Freda sounded giddy. I suggested we look at it after brunch, over drinks, and the giantesses didn’t require much convincing. For my part, I didn’t give a rat’s ass: if the rest of my life consisted of this moment (minus the torn back muscle), I couldn’t have been happier.