I heard a heavier door swing open, and Temple’s boots rang out in a vast, empty space. I guessed this was a warehouse. Another door, and the noise of the city came at us much clearer. Not terribly loud, just a few cars prowling around at this time of night. Temple’s footsteps became more confident as she strutted down the sidewalk. All I had to do was hang tight, trying not to sneeze as the baby-fine hairs of her slender boob teased my face.
If she’d been fuller-bodied, curvier, then this arrangement would have been more hazardous: more swinging, more shuddering, more opportunities to shake me free. Or maybe she would’ve worn a bra and I would’ve been hammocked up in that… or maybe her boob would’ve crushed me where I lay. Temple was a lean, lithe woman of action. No wasted actions, no identifiable tattoos or piercings, no inefficient curves or padding. Hell, she looked like a weapon. I mean, I don’t know how well she fought, but she was competent, she always seemed to have a plan in place, and apparently she had a cruel imagination. Eating full-grown people! Who does that? I could only imagine their terror, watching the light go away as they get stuffed into a pink, glistening throat with no chance of fighting back, horrified to imagine what comes next. I started to think of all the other ways to kill a tiny person, stomping on them, snapping their heads off like dandelions, until I got nauseated again. I took a deep breath to clear my head and caught two lungfuls of Temple’s mild perfume. Or maybe her skin was naturally that sweet. I rested my cheek against the side of her nipple and tried to listen.
After several minutes of car horns and shouting drunks, doors clicked into place behind us and shut the world down. Temple’s boots clopped over a floor not unlike the one in my penthouse. A night guard mumbled something, but there was no follow-up. There was the familiar ding of any elevator bay, the doors rumbled, we entered, they rumbled again, and we lurched as we rose, and rose swiftly it felt like. A song quietly played.
“Gonna eat you up,” she whispered to the music. “Gonna eatcha, little fucker.” I was pretty sure those weren’t the lyrics.
Another ding, boots clomping down a carpeted hallway, brass keys opening a door, the door closing behind us, and the click of a light switch. It smelled like a hotel, and I tried to think of all the hotels in the area, but when’s the last time I needed a hotel in this city? There was a heavy thump like a body fainting, must’ve been her duffel. There was a loud zip, and light poured upon me as the giantess shed her jacket. More muted footsteps, the musical sting of a laptop firing up, but as soon as I craned to look up at Temple’s collarbone and jaw, her palm swatted me and her fingernails scraped me off her skin.
She placed me on a table, next to her laptop. At my size the silk-screened wood grain leaped out at me. I was still woozy and rested my hand on the laptop, its exhaust blasting warm air over my legs. When I collected myself I watched the cannibalistic vigilante puttering about the room.
It was a hotel. A nice one, not a great one. White walls, almost-interesting art, and a very inviting king-size mattress on the other side of a vast chasm from me. I stayed put, out of fear of this goddess of vengeance as well as a rising sense of vertigo. Everything was huger, everything was farther, and it messed with my head at least as much as the whiskey.
When Temple stormed up to the laptop and threw herself into what looked like a mission-knockoff chair, I struggled against the urge to scurry away and hide. Primal instinct, primal reaction. I only watched her huge hands resting before the keyboard, eight fingertips punching the keys with devastating force. That’s all it would take, I knew, one smart rap with her index finger and she could cave my face in. Why didn’t she? Why didn’t she sever my neck with one long, glossy fingernail?
“What’s that, 80 wpm?” I asked, beyond thought.
Her fingers froze in the air. Her massy head snapped way too quickly at me. “What?” she said with a tone that made it feel like a swear word.
My arm jerked awkwardly, trying to wave the attention off. “Sorry, I’m sorry. I was just impressed by your typing speed. It’s amazing to watch from this angle.”
She closed her eyes slowly and turned back to whatever she was typing.
I sat down slowly, crossing my legs. Her smoky eye flickered once to check on me but her typing flowed unabated. “I can prove I’m innocent, you know.”
“You can look it up for yourself. I’m a patsy. My greatest crime is being an unaware asshole in charge of way too much.”
She glanced at me without turning her head. “I’ll meet you halfway on that.”
“Look, why haven’t you killed me already? It’d be easy, you could move on to the next guy.”
My heart lurched as her hands lifted, then slammed to the desk. One crashed to the other side of the keyboard; the other pounded the ground scant inches away from me. “Believe me, I will as soon as the fucking phone store opens! I’m not eating anything specifically to be nice and hangry for when I get a goddamn phone!”
Her words hurled at me like boulders, and it was awful to watch an enormous creature bellowing at me, but I remained in place somehow. “You’ve got a camera on your laptop. Why don’t you film it that way?”
She laughed. “Right, I’ll just activate the camera and microphone on my laptop, eat you, upload it, and just chill the fuck out until the SWAT team arrives.” She shook her head and read her screen without typing. “Fucking brilliant.” She rested her chin in her palm, her index finger reclining over her upper lip.
I watched her chest rise and fall with a long, slow breath. So much power, so much mass. I could scarcely wrap my mind around it. “Nice hotel. Not under your name, I suppose.”
“Not with my money, either.”
“There, that makes sense. You’re killing all these rich people and appropriating their funds. That’s the piece I was missing.”
“Fuck you. I ain’t stealing shit.”
I forced a light laugh. “Can’t steal what’s already been stolen, right?”
She rolled her eyes, her cartoonishly large, alluring eyes. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You’re right. I’m stalling again because I’m scared shitless.”
One corner of her mouth turned up. “Good. You should be.”
“But I’m innocent. If you kill me, you’ll be killing someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.”
Temple sighed and pressed the heels of her palms into her eye sockets. “Fine, little fucker, you wanna talk? We’re gonna talk. And if you don’t miraculously convince me of the impossible in…” She set up an alarm on her laptop. “One hour, then I’m going to slowly twist your stupid head off.” She sat up and stretched, arms overhead, chest thrust outward, nipples prominent again. “No. I’ll pull your arms and legs off, like the wings of butterflies your type tortured as little kids.”
“I never,” I started, scooting back. I caught myself and held still.
“I’ll pinch your elbows and knees, tug your arms off, then your hips and shoulders.” She reached over with one hand and made a pinching gesture with two long, deeply red fingernails not far overhead. “Then maybe I’ll twist your head off. See if I can tug your spine right out of your body.”
I clenched my jaw, trying to keep the bile down. “Nothing quick and easy, huh?”
She sneered at me and clamped my torso between two fingers. I flew over her laptop, straining to see what she was looking at: electronics stores in the area, with one tab open to YouTube. The legs of the chair hummed as she scooted it back. No sooner did she rise from it than she threw herself to the over-sized bed, crashing to her back like a demolished skyscraper. Temple stretched her long, slender arm far over her body and turned me about in the upper atmosphere, regarding me.
Her face had momentarily lost its anger and cruelty. Her eyes were half-lidded, twinkling in the light of a bedside lamp, and her full lips were parted slightly in wonder. All about her head, her frizzy hair in brown fading to amber splayed like a glorious halo. I forgot my vertigo, held suspended over this truly lovely giantess like this. Her whole body was a landscape, stretching far off to the south of me. I felt so light, resting solely upon the pad of her thumb, my spindly limbs dangling around it.
“I’ve never taken the time to really look at one of you,” she said distantly.
I scrutinized her reaction once more, not wishing to make a false step, then spread out my arms and legs like a tiny Superman. Or a tiny falling man. “Help yourself.” I tried to smile.
She blinked twice rapidly, as though she’d forgotten I could speak. Even her eyelids were large, flashing to cover those huge eyeballs completely, long eyelashes slicing through the wind, fluttering cutely despite their size. And then I did fall, as she lowered her hand toward her broad face. My heart pounded at the descent, watching her face grow larger and larger, all features filling out and expanding, as the bed around us reached out into all distances. She held me before her, just far enough to regard without straining to focus. I watched her dark eyes turn cutely inward, near-black irises twitching slightly as she zeroed in on my arms, my fingers, my toes. I swore I could feel a physical property to her gaze.
To be helpful, I held my hand out and spread my fingers. She studied the detail, apparently. I flexed my fingers a couple times. “Wow,” she whispered. I started to smile, and she started to smile, exposing just the tips of her upper incisors behind a broad upper lip done in a lush red-purple hue.
Out of habit I smoothed back my hair with one hand, but it flopped forward immediately. Temple giggled, a real giggle, her lower lids swelling with merriment. Her hair rustled all over the environment when she laughed. I let my legs hang and pointed my feet at her, then raised them and spread my toes for her perusal. Her eyes twitched left and right, scrutinizing them. I couldn’t help but notice how pasty my feet were, contrasted with the dark skin one short fall below me. I started to question her motives for hunting powerful people, but I balked when that question opened up much larger, farther-reaching questions.
Temple wasn’t a bad person at heart, I felt. It was certainly hard to think poorly of her, hovering above her lovely face, above her cute expression. She had been pushed into extremes, perhaps, and if that was true then who among us wouldn’t do the same thing in her situation? She saw a problem and was responding to it. Even I got that, in my ivory-tower penthouse, every square inch of interior design an accusation of opulence and greed. Even I understood this. In fact, every news report about her caused me to question my existence, not out of self-preservation but in marveling how far my priorities had spun away from my original vision, what I thought my life would be about.
All my thoughts shattered when Temple lowered me into her mouth. “Your camera!” I screamed desperately, but she only hummed with laughter at me: her nostrils gusted humid wind over my chest and legs, and her thick, full lips locked around my shins. At this angle I could hardly see her eyes, bright and wide, staring up at the ceiling before closing in concentration. Then her tongue ran over my feet. Hundreds of little papillae rasped at my sensitive soles.
I hugged her thumb where it lightly pinched me, and I howled with laughter. Temple laughed too, her massive body rumbling behind me. I could hear how the mattress strained to support the colossus, then remembered this wasn’t unusual at all. I was the strange thing here, clinging to the thumb of my kidnapper, kicking futilely between the sensuous lips of my soon-to-be-devourer, fighting against a massive tongue that tasted me over and over again. Tears ran down my cheeks, I laughed so hard, and I could hardly catch my breath. Temple only hummed with pleasure and amusement, alternately prodding delicately at my feet with the tip of her tongue or ravishing my soles with the full length of it.
“You’re… you’re killing me…” I stammered.
She parted her lips and released me, at least with her mouth. “Not yet, I’m not.” Her breath washed over me like steam from some primordial hot spring. “How about you start talking now.”
I explained, and to her credit, she listened. I told her about the start of my company, working out of a garage with a friend, building up capital with local business, then saving up and taking the plunge to rent a storefront for a year. We filled a niche, unoccupied for one year before people realized what we were doing and competition sprang up, but by then we’d cultivated substantial relationships.
Temple’s eyelids in glittering purple and gold began to sink. I traced my toes lightly over the ridge of her upper lip. She screwed up her expression and jerked her face away. “What the fuck?”
“Don’t fall asleep on me,” I said gently. “Figuratively and literally. I’m trying to save my life.”
Grumbling, she sat up and rested against the blond wood headboard, cradling me in her palms against her chest. I explained how we amassed personnel, headhunted talent, forged a mission statement of gratitude to our workers and loyalty to our community. It really was the golden era, back then, the adolescence of our corporation: powerful, idealistic, small enough to move quickly.
It was inevitable that a certain element of humanity would necessarily sniff us out and attach itself to us. You never see these things coming, you can only trace them to their source. Diane Fleming, promising young vice-president, full of big ideas of her own: she began cultivating alliances, making life unpleasant for people she didn’t like. Her dislikes were irrational, personal, irrelevant to the work we were doing. Temple stared at me as I struggled with heartbreak to relate the story of their betrayal with all the honesty they deserved. She began introducing her own friends, former coworkers, building up a cabal within the company, culminating with Steven Barber, president, named Chair for reasons unclear to me. I was busy wooing partners and clients, I’d always been good at that, establishing the human connection. Yet I let that connection deteriorate within my own organization, and when I turned around, power and stability were crumbling out from under me.
“They couldn’t fire me,” I growled. “They needed my face on their brand. They were smart enough to realize that, at least: not one of them had an ounce of humanity between them, so they propped me up as their identity. In exchange for my official capacity and influence, I would be guaranteed a comfortable existence.”
I had curled up into a fetal position. Embarrassed, I stretched out but there was no convenient way to arrange myself within the large bowls of her hands. “I know I’m not the victim here.” I stared up into her limpid eyes, unblinking. “If I could ask anything of you−”
“Yeah, ‘don’t eat me,’ I get it.” Her sleepy voice was no less condescending.
“No, just help me make it right.” I resigned myself to stretching my legs up her chest and cuddling back into her nested fingers. “Kill me afterward, whatever you want to do, but don’t help my corporation by turning me into a martyr first. Take my funds, all my resources, and put them to good use. Give them back to the people I’ve hurt, support other good causes, and then take those assholes down. I’ll give you all the tools you need to do this. It’s not for me: it’s for all the people you’re standing up for, when you hunt down people like me.”
“All your money? All your stocks and investments and savings and crap?” Her lip tugged derisively. “And what are you supposed to live on after that?”
I don’t think I could have kept the dreamy look out of my eye. “The earth. If you don’t kill me, drive me out somewhere wild and uncivilized, right? Drop me off, let me live off the land. I won’t eat much like this, I can make my own shelter without using up any resources. Except, like, trash or bark, whatever’s leftover.”
Temple tilted her head to the side. Her floppy hair heaved and spilled. My heart wrenched in my chest to see it. “And what if a wild animal eats you?”
“Then you’ll never hear about it.” I smiled broadly at her. “I’ll be gone, justice will be served. Six of one.”
She frowned and I started to babble, wondering where I’d gone wrong. I was sincere, I meant everything I’d said. I really did feel as detached from this life as I made myself out to be. It surprised even me, really, to hear these words come out so easily, like they’d been waiting to be expressed.
The lovely giantess shushed me. “I don’t want an animal to eat you,” she whispered, “and I don’t want to eat you. Let me think about this.” She set me on the mattress beside her, and I watched her torso bend and erect itself, watched her long legs fold and her knees rise, watched her graceful, huge arms swing so far down to unlace her boots and pull them off. Her long legs stretched out to eternity, and she undid her jeans, arched her body like a triumphant sculpture, and tugged that form-clinging garment off. The mattress bounced and heaved chaotically as she turned to her side and bowed herself around me, bare thighs stacked atop each other, one arm spanning the sky above me from where her tank top crumpled.
“You going to sleep now?” I asked quietly, awed by the goddess wrapping herself around me.
“What if you roll over me in your sleep?”
“Six of one.” She smiled and closed her eyes.
Temple didn’t roll over me. She lay there and drifted to sleep, and I didn’t flee. I stayed up and watched her sleeping there, feeling the heat roll off her body like waves of the ocean, smelling her sweet breath. I was still awake when she opened one eye, swore, seized me in her fist and tucked herself beneath the sheets. She craned back to shut off the bedside lamp, and it was dark enough even before she tugged the sheet and quilt up over me. The last thing she did was draw me up to her face, couching me in that luscious hair of hers, so springy and supportive I couldn’t detect a pillow beneath me.
Her face was a wall of darkness before me. I heard the sharp snap-snap of saliva bubbles between her lip and gums as she opened her mouth, and I held obediently still as the tip of her tongue ran from my foot, up my leg, prodding my belly, up my chest, then nuzzling against my cheek. “Gonna eatcha,” she mumbled, fading back to slumber.
My heart was pounding and my cock was raging. I lay there and commanded them both to settle down.
* * *
The giantess Temple didn’t roll over me. I woke up hugging her index finger like a lover.
“Uh?” She raised an eyebrow at me. I apologized and crawled off her hand.
She showered, bringing me in with her. “Last thrill for ya,” she chirped, sudsing up her chest and belly. I stood in the soap dish, staring at the soapy rivulets wending their way down her narrow hips, firm thighs, slight calves, down to the bubbles that spun around her toes. She wouldn’t let me touch her, but she did flash her butt at me a couple times, and she soaped up her boob and rubbed me vigorously against it. As nice a bath as I could’ve asked for, all things considered. She rinsed out my clothes and patted them dry in the plush hotel towels. They still stank of booze but they were clean. Cleaner, anyway.
Our first trip was to the phone store. She bought a second-to-latest model Android with a good camera, paid for it in cash. Then she stopped by a bookstore and bought a package of postcards from around the world. She ran back up to her hotel room and packed all her belongings in that efficient little duffel, taped a postcard to the wall, and lined up her new phone.
“A little more to the left,” she told me. I stepped slightly. “No, my left.” I corrected. “I’m still getting some glare, hold on.” She shut off the lamps behind her and opened the curtains, leaving the sheers to diffuse the light and discourage any peekers.
“How do I look?” I tugged my hair to the side and tousled the front.
The monstrous vigilante grinned winningly at me. “Like you’re on the other side of the world. You ready?” I cleared my throat and nodded; she futzed with her phone and nodded back.
“Hi, my name’s Luke Evans, and I’d like to talk to you about my company.”
Five minutes later she was editing the clip and, via her new smartphone, I was transferring everything in my name to three names she gave me. I realized that Temple wasn’t likely her actual name, and I didn’t care. I could feel pounds and pounds of pressure lifting off my shoulders. She reached over and gently stroked my spine, tilting her head with that look of marvel on her face. “You ready to do this? For real?”
I looked up at her and slowly shook my head. “My part’s already done. We’re all waiting on you, my goddess.”
She blinked twice at me and broke into a wide grin. “Goddess. Huh.” She chuckled quietly and clicked Upload. We looked at each other while I held up my hands and counted the seconds passing on my teeny-tiny little fingers. I almost got to six when the new phone vibrated on the desk, then again, and then a bunch in rapid succession. Temple reached down and angled the screen for us both to read by.
The first three emails were from Diane Fleming, requesting to know what I was doing in the Czech Republic. That was our favorite postcard. Then one from Steve Barber, then two more from Diane. Their subject lines decreased in civility with each iteration. After that was one very polite email from the FBI absolutely forbidding me from talking with Diane and Steve and to turn over any and all communications from them. No problem with that, I thought. When they requested a one-on-one meeting I winced: that was unlikely.
Temple stretched her long and lovely limbs, flexed her neck (which popped gruesomely), then plucked me up and carried me to the bed. She sat on the edge and rested me on her thigh, and I stretched out on that exciting curve of leg while we listened to the phone freak out with incoming messages.
“You know your life’s over now, right?” She looked down upon me from far overhead. The light made her hair glow in that lovely halo, but her darkened face didn’t seem nearly as ominous now. Just a pleasant mystery to stare up into, like a whole new realm of possibilities.
I nestled into the sweet warmth rising from her thigh. Can heat have a flavor? Hers did. “The end of my life, huh?”
“Life as you knew it.”
“Farewell to that!” I laughed and waved at the air as though blowing smoke out of my face. “What comes next?”
Temple sang a long note of uncertainty, and the phone beatboxed on the desk. “I haven’t thought that far ahead. Why don’t we just, um, play it by ear for a while? Coast on your savings, duck out of the country, learn how to make love to each other, go out for some Chinese.”
I wondered if my heart might burst. “Whatever you desire, my goddess.”
She laughed and forbade me from ever calling her that again.
[Based on an idea from Undersquid.]