I was acutely conscious of how my Ferragamos clacked across the polished granite floor. Leaning against a suede chaise, I toed my loafers off and padded in bare feet to the wet bar. Stopped myself just as I reached for the ice bucket. Made myself a whiskey neat: wouldn’t do to give myself away with the rattle of ice in my glass.
My penthouse was nearly as dark as the city that stretched around me. Studying the glinting lights of late-night civilization, I sipped my drink and held my breath. I could hear the wind up here, whistling against my full-length windows. The ropes of a cleaner’s scaffold rapped gently against a pane of glass. What poor bastard was working at these hours? The upstairs neighbor’s TV was blaring—good, that would cover my movements—a news broadcast about another strike by Temple Forrester. Two more this month, the anchor said, seven in total. “Jesus fuck,” I whispered, swirling my drink. “They know who she is. Why can’t they pick her up?”
“They don’t know who I am,” said a woman’s voice behind me, “and they never know where I am.”
Startled, I dropped my whiskey. It shattered all over the granite floor. I spun, stabbing my toe on a shard, only to catch a glimpse of Temple’s grin in the city’s glow before a field of purple overwhelmed me and everything went big.
Temple, now enormous, rushed at me with the impossible, frightening speed of a locomotive. Her arm shot out and I fell lightly into her warm, cushioning palm. Full-bodied ringlets of mahogany hair heaved and bounced around her face, and she never lost her grin. She sniffed: “Redbreast, 12 year. Cask strength?” I nodded, more out of reflex than anything. “What a waste! I should have let you enjoy your last cocktail a little more.”
She rose to her full height, though half-height would have been more than enough for me. My jet bar cabinets raced past me as I flew up in her palm like a magic carpet ride. I cleared the counter and my own darkened penthouse spread out before me like the city itself. My stomach grew queasy with the new perspective, seeing familiar objects from a tighter perspective and great distance. I clapped my hand over my eyes and tried to control my breathing.
I heard another crystal tumbler placed gently upon the marble counter, heard a cork squeak out of a bottle, then the soothing, promising gurgle of good liquor dancing into a glass. “Still, it shows that you have excellent taste,” she purred, “which I am uniquely qualified to appreciate. Bottoms up!” The broad hand beneath me angled sharply and I dumped into the glass. I struggled briefly, sputtering, shocked at the high proof sting all over my face, then discovered I could kneel in the amber fluid.
My outfit was soaked in good booze. My body chilled immediately as the alcohol evaporated. Looming over the glass that contained me and the counter on which I rested was the romanticized assassin, the hero of the people, or a low-budget super-villain if you asked me. Her long, massive torso creaked inside her tight leather jacket. Her arms flowed down like twin funiculars, two rows of carmined fingernails clacked in gentle tattoo upon the countertop on either side of me. Still grinning like an ivory blade in the night.
“Two senators,” I called up to her, my thin voice ringing in the cut crystal tumbler. Seems I didn’t need to shout. “Good job on those. They bought their way into office, and they betrayed their constituents.”
The monstrosity shrugged. “Such is the nature of a republic.”
“But I liked your work. Good job on that.”
“I don’t need your approval.”
“And th’ CEO of that nonprofit. I heard she c’llected rayshe-horses. ‘Zat true?”
Her grin faded. Two full lips pouted, far overhead. My heart pounded to see such ridiculous voluptuousness in so small a patch of facial real estate. Or a kiddie pool of high-proof whiskey was soaking directly into my bloodstream.
“You’re stalling. Fuck me, I can’t believe I fell for this!” She scowled at the windows, and in a flash her large hand seized my glass. Her palm paled and flattened in a perfect ring all around me. The marble counter fell away and my glass chamber floated up along her steel zipper and over her chest. Her other hand dug in a pocket, procured a smartphone, and opened up the camera app.
“Y’got the wrong guy!” I shrieked.
She snorted. “If I had a nickel…” She raised me to her face where her grin returned, then parted. In the cerulean glow of her phone’s screen I could see thin glints of moisture over her lips, the glare of her teeth, and the scintillating current of a huge, restless tongue in front of me, and soon just below me. How her eyes flashed, happy and intense. I braced my palms against the sides of the cylinder, gripping the rim with my toes, shouldering against the glass’s bottom.
My electromagnetic, keyless palmprint access, African blackwood double doors exploded. Savage men’s voices echoed off of all my glossy, expensive surfaces: “Get down get down get down!” “Drop your weapon! Hands up, drop your weapon!” “Do not fucking move, Forrester!”
Of course she moved. She hissed a choice expletive, slammed the tumbler to the marble counter. The deafening, resonant ring shocked my entire body, but before I could collapse into the drink, one shapely finger fished me out. The would-be assassin stuffed me into the chest of her jacket, and everything went dark and warm for me.
The men’s voices were muffled, then drowned entirely in astounding decibels of gunfire. Part of my mind clicked reflexively with the expenses incurred in this, but then drunken-me took over and I slumped against a mound of warm, smooth skin, my cheek resting against her−
Temple took two footsteps—thoom! thoom!—that thundered throughout her enormous body. There was a cacophony of shattered glass, and a stray wisp of chilling wind brushed my damp legs where they stuck out. What was happening couldn’t be what I thought had happened, so I found it easier to pass out.
* * *
“Sloppy, sloppy!” I heard Temple’s voice at some distance. “Stupid, stupid!” She was thumping around in what sounded like a wooden crate.
I was lying on something tough and cool, and my clothes had mostly dried. Everything was on its side. Pushing my tiny body away, I saw that I was resting on her folded leather biker jacket, across a vast room with no ceiling, just exposed sky. An engine roared into life, a small engine, almost singing. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes, watching the furious giantess storm back and forth. She grabbed a backpack with long ropes and threw it out of the room… no, overboard. We were in a boat, and she tossed a parachute overboard into what had to be our city’s river. The giantess’s denimed rear hovered over me for a moment—a lean, pert butt, my boozy mind was compelled to note—before she hopped to the controls and the engine sang and her frizzy mane tugged back with increasing winds. The skyline began to sway and drift to the side; the footbridges overhead raced past.
“Where are we going?” I couldn’t even hear my own voice over the motor, the whistling winds. Chilled, I crawled beneath the lapel of her jacket and tucked myself inside, or mostly inside. I had to keep an eye on this crazy woman.
She raced through the city. Young people on the bridges waved and cheered at her, and she waved back. I couldn’t see her expression, just the stunning V of her shoulders under a tank top tapering down to a lithe waist and painted-on black jeans. I watched the muscles along her spine shifting seductively beneath velvety skin, even as I hated myself for thinking like this about a terrorist who was going to eat me.
Not go down on me, with those luscious lips−… shut up, shut up! I mean devour me, living and whole. Temple Forrester attained national notoriety after eating two sitting Republican senators, as though gulping down five corporate heads wasn’t bad enough. Everyone had seen the YouTube footage of Hollis Jacob, chair of Astrofy and Temple’s appetizer. Using Astrofy’s own watershed shrink technology against its leadership, she recorded her first strike. Whether horrified or tantalized, viewers watched those pudgy legs in pinstriped Italian wool kicking and wheeling between two rows of huge, glistening teeth, listened to her chuckles. She laughed, her throat flexing around the mass of a tiny little man who had never turned down a pork chop in his life. Her long, writhing tongue slid up between his thighs and pulled him into her gullet and she sucked him down in one go. No bites, no blood, just a frenetic, terrified struggle of a fully clothed human being descending into a beautiful woman’s gorge, his blood-curdling screams abruptly muzzled by walls of flesh.
The comments were almost as horrifying as the grisly video document. But the point was this document was a declaration: “Who’s next?” she chirped at the end. The answer to that was Flavio Sabbatini, CFO of Gradilane Financial Advisors. Before he could go to trial for predatory lending to a few hundred immigrants and refugees, Temple waltzed into his office (this was the brief refractory period before she was widely recognized). She shrunk him down and recorded the minuscule man sobbing, howling, scampering across his own paperwork as her cackling maw chased him around, finally descending upon him and sucking him down like so much pasta alla carbonara. After that was Stepanie Boling, skimming millions in administration fees off of her own nonprofit to satisfy her horse fetish. Then Senator Oren McCrary, the tax-evading child-molester from the Bible Belt, and that, amazingly, was when the shit finally hit the fan.
I shuddered in this insane woman’s jacket as her speedboat lurched left and right through our metropolitan tributary under cover of night. I didn’t know where we were going, and I didn’t know how to escape. But if I ever got the chance, I had to show Temple that she was wrong about me.
She entered downtown proper, ebony towers stretching far overhead, sirens still too distant to mean anything. For a split second I saw a rusted gate covering a half-circle portal, before it folded into the river and granted us passage. We entered an inky-black aqueduct; I saw the gate rise out of the water behind us, as the half-moon of the city’s ambient lights receded rapidly. The boat’s engine reverberated sharply against unseen walls, and I tucked myself within the jacket, waiting for our craft to shatter against any solid object, any minute now.
We never did. After more wending through the city’s intestinal tract, I heard the engines cut and then a gentle, tympanic boff against a wall or a post. Temple’s boots thrummed against the boat’s floor, grabbing things, shuffling things, and then a moment of silence before she started swearing again.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck! Where did you go?” There were no more footsteps: she was afraid to step on me. That was a good sign, I thought, suggesting that she needed me alive a little longer. Gambling on this, I crawled out from under her jacket’s lapel and waved my arms in the darkness.
Immediately her heavy hand slapped upon me, knocking the wind out of my lungs. Long, strong, hot fingers clutched me without restraint. I swung back and forth with sickening velocity as her boots thudded against stone or brick, echoing down a corridor. Everything was dark. The webbing between her thumb and forefinger bore against my shoulders, and I strained to keep my neck from snapping as she ran, seemingly knowing the way by intuition. Her leather jacket was tucked under one arm, and she dug into this when she stopped in front of a steel door. Steel, I decided, because it sounded like metal as her keys clattered against it, and it sounded heavy as it swung upon its rusted, groaning hinges. She closed it behind us, locking it definitively, and then the room flooded with light.
Wincing at the shock, I glimpsed the giantess tearing a set of NVGs off her face. She rested these on a wooden table and I looked around: we were in a small service room or a large utility closet, badly neglected and likely abandoned. My drunken mind found this terribly romantic, a disused chamber in the heart of the city, the hideout of a sexy young vigilante with perky little nipples casting shadows beneath her tank top.
I really hated my manhood sometimes.
Temple tossed me to the table roughly, like a losing roll of the dice. She stood over me, the edge of the table pressing into her thighs as I lay right before her jeans’ zipper. Her body was a sheer cliff face I strained to follow, and her face was backlit quite a lot like a thunderhead. For my part, I sprawled most ungainly upon my back, straining to collect my thoughts.
“You little shit,” she growled. “The only reason you’re still alive is because I lost my phone when I jumped out of your damned window. As soon as I get a new one, though…” She pantomimed dropping something into her mouth, masticating it, gulping loudly, then rubbing her belly. Her slender fingers thumped against her flat, toned stomach like a hollow log.
I tried to crab-walk backward, scuffing my hands on large, jagged chips of paint. “You can’t eat me unless you document it? It doesn’t count otherwise?”
She parked her fists upon her hips. “The world’s better off without you, but no, it doesn’t. I need to send a clear message to the other robber-barons and corrupt officials.”
“Hey, I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not a bad guy.”
“Fuck you. That’s what they all say, but you know what? They’re all fucking liars, and they’ll say whatever it takes to keep them outta here.” She opened her jaws scarily wide and jerked her thumb at her moist, pink cavern.
“I haven’t done anything wrong! I can prove it!”
“I don’t care!” She slammed her palms upon the table, and the wooden platform trembled beneath me. The NVGs jumped, even. Her torso bent over the table, sheltering me with all the protection of a building about to collapse. “You’re full of shit and this isn’t a discussion! And you know what? You keep trying to weasel your way out of this and I’ll just fucking waste you! Got it? Undocumented! I’ll just stomp you under my goddamned foot and take a picture of that and people can make of it what they will!” Her mane shuddered around her furious expression. My whiskey-stained clothes caught a couple flecks of saliva from her gnashing teeth and snarling lips.
How did I not have a heart attack and die right there? I don’t know. All I could do was pant and tremble and try not to piss myself. Temple glared down at me for a long moment, muttered “pathetic” and snatched me up in one hand. As though I were a pair of glasses, she stuffed me in the scooped neck of her tank top and left me to clutch the hem for my life. She stormed around the room, kicking this, grabbing that, finally stuffing her personal effects into a small, black duffel. I could only watch her activity by straining to crank my neck around; otherwise, my legs dangled down the front of her shirt and I stared at the broad, featureless wall of her sternum.
“Please, give me a chance,” I croaked.
She said nothing, only opened a hollow, rattly door and shut the lights off behind her. Her boots cautiously trod a concrete staircase as the dull roar of city streets began to rise. I swung and bounced against her chest, my head still spinning and my throat beginning to parch. The darkness began to dissolve and she tossed her duffel to a step and dug into it. She found a stocking cap to tame her explosive mane and a pair of glossy bugs-eye sunglasses, and then she grew a slight double-chin as she glared down at me.
“Dammit,” she whispered. A motorcycle belched not far from us. “Listen to me. Tiny as you are, you’re a liability. It pisses me off that I need to keep you safe until I can record your execution.” Her thumb slid under my chest; two fingertips couched my back and my butt, and she plucked me away from her shirt, holding me before her luscious, dancing lips, and apparently I was just going to be stuck seeing the world through a horny lens. Liability, indeed.
“Don’t get any funny ideas. Be quiet. Don’t crawl around, don’t cause me any problems. I’m two seconds from swatting you like a fucking mosquito, got it?” Her round, black nostrils flared, two bottomless wells I stared up into. I nodded wordlessly. Snorting on me, she tucked me inside her tank top and pressed me against her skin. I held still, terrified and confused. It wasn’t until she thumped my skull with her fingertip that I realized she actually wanted me to grab hold of her nipple. My cock thought that was a great idea, but it had had a lot to drink and I didn’t share it’s optimism. With grave trepidation, I placed my palms upon the wrinkly, spongy node before me.
Almost immediately Temple released my tiny body and I dug my tiny fingernails into the tough flesh of her nipple. It stiffened soon after, giving me a bit more to hold onto; between that and the jacket she put on again, pressing me to her chest, it wasn’t terribly difficult to anchor myself in place. I hauled my little body up to rest my head upon her protruding nub, and I listened to her interior machinery working as she ran on.