Arturo washed his hands for the third time this morning, wiped them dry upon his apron, and turned to regard the news crews with excitement. “This is going to be fantastic,” he said to himself, before raising his voice. “Nathalie! How is the supply coming?”
“Bumper crop, and it don’t stop,” yelled back a tall, burly brunette. “I can see three more loads coming in, and the rest of the fleet is still loading up.”
“Excellent, excellent! It’s been a great year, hasn’t it?”
Nathalie was overseeing hundreds of gallons of water dumping into a small artificial pond beyond a reinforced oaken vat of the same size. Nodding at the progress, she clomped over in heavy boots to join him. “Understatement of the year, Artie. I don’t know what the rest of the field looks like, but I’m calculating no more than two tons of spoiled or unusable clusters, total.”
Arturo’s face lit up. “You cannot be serious! Only one percent spoilage?”
“These last two years have been unbelievable.” She rested one strong hand upon his fine shoulder. “At the upper end, we could come close to 400 barrels—12,000 cases, Artie—of Un Solo Paso for 2018.” Nathalie removed her heavy leather gloves and wiped her forehead. “So, I guess I owe you an apology…”
“¡De ninguna manera!“
“No, no, I do. I thought you were going overboard with contracting those harvesters and pickers and trucks and everything. I didn’t know what we were looking at. I knew it was looking good, after you imported that volcanic fertilizer, and your drone arrays really streamlined the maintenance of the grounds.” The tall woman knelt and took up her boss’ hand. “Please accept my deepest apologies for not having enough faith in your vision, you brilliant man.” A reporter smacked her camera operator on the head and pointed out the shot he should be capturing.
Arturo blushed so hard he thought his head might burst. He yelled at her and cuffed her head until she rose again, towering more than a foot above him. She swaddled him entirely in long, muscled arms and lifted him off the ground. “Four hundred barrels, Artie! I’ve never… Is that a record for Wulflæd Vineyards?” He grunted and affirmed it was. She released him and began scanning the horizon. “And how about your special guests? Are we still on?”
“I confirmed with them last week, but you’re right, they should have been−” Before he could complete his sentence, a steady sequence of explosions throbbed in the atmosphere. The news crews jumped into life like someone had knocked on a hornet’s nest, reporters clearing their throats, cameras trained at the sky beyond the farmhouse. Arturo looked up at Nathalie with bright eyes before they split and ran off. Arturo ducked into his house for a megaphone and to text the laborers not to panic, while Nathalie mounted her ATV and raced around, clearing the area around the tub and concrete pond of personnel and vehicles.
Two massive heads emerged over the vintner’s house, their dark eyes flickering and picking out the details of the countryside before each step. Arturo grinned up at these, raising the megaphone to his lips. “It is wonderful to see you! As always, Wulflæd Vineyards is honored to welcome our protectors! Greetings to you, Leofwaru and Athelweard!” Behind him, 20 acres of laborers paused to bow and wave at the gigantic couple, and three channels of local news captured it all, reporters barking sharply over each other, feigning delight.
The boldly nude couple, heavily muscled and with a little padding from age, stepped into the clearing, and nothing was nearly as tall as they were. Athelweard grinned tightly with broad, pursed lips, giving the workers a short wave in return. Beneath his mane of mocha hair, his brow was creased with concern. For her part, Leofwaru put on a sunny expression, luminous green eyes framed by honey-streaked russet and sienna locks, waving to the furthest acreage and setting her pendulous breasts to swinging. “Thank you so much for having us again,” she said in her booming, dulcet voice.
“The pleasure is all ours, certainly!” responded Arturo, turning up the volume on his megaphone. “It is a tremendous honor to collaborate with you once again!”
“Sorry we couldn’t get here sooner.” Athelweard’s voice rumbled like thunder, and the sun behind him cast his countenance in shadow. “Someone was having trouble drying her hair.”
“Don’t start this again.”
“I’m not starting anything. He just asked us to be here at nine o’clock, and it’s nearly ten.” He shrugged, and his massive shoulders glowed majestically in the sunlight. Giggling emerged from the news crews.
Leofwaru’s wide and full lips melted from a radiant smile to a frightening scowl. “I’m not taking the hit for this one, Athel. If you ate more trees, maybe it wouldn’t take you an hour to pinch your loaf.”
The giant glanced at the squads of media. “Oh, that’s lovely. Really classy talk for our little friends to enjoy.”
“I’m not the one who started this!” She leaned into his face, exposing her prodigious rump to the field workers and cameras. Arturo found himself gazing into an immense black crack that shuddered with fury. He was suddenly struck with the fragility of his farmhouse. “If you want to put on a show for our ‘little friends,’ buster, I will meet you shot for shot and then some.”
Nathalie came roaring up. “Uh, is everything okay here, Artie? We’ve got four trucks ready to unload but the drivers are scared to approach.”
“Oh, Dios mío.” Gulping hard, Artie ran over to the gigantic pair, with Nathalie shouting for him to come back. Every nerve in his body stiffened into freezing needles as he darted between Leofwaru’s huge bare feet, her powerful toes digging deep gouges in the dark loam. Regardless, the little man stepped up to her arch and stroked her skin in long swipes, putting his shoulders into it. He yelped when her other foot rose far overhead, overshadowing him, then pummeled the earth just behind him, but he did not stop his massage. Gradually the giantess’ toes relaxed, lying flat upon the ground. Her calves stopped pumping and, directly above him, her powerful thighs slowed their clenching and trembling.
Her hair spilled over her shoulders and swung around her breast as she peered down and smiled upon him. “My word, Arturo, you know just the spot to hit, don’t you?” She looked up at her partner. “Let’s put this on the shelf for later, okay? We’ve got a job to do here.”
A huge, soiled big toe hovered over her foot and nudged Arturo’s head and shoulders. “I’d tell you to back off my woman and call you an impudent little bug,” Athelweard intoned, “but you’re quite the miracle worker. Maybe you can teach me that trick sometime?”
Laughing nervously, Arturo patted his big toe in as manly a gesture as he could muster, then trotted out from between the womanly feet. “Amazing work there, Artie,” Nathalie hissed at him, “but you scared the shit out of me.”
“You were scared.” All the blood had drained from his face, and his hands trembled violently. “You were scared.” She crushed him in another bear hug until he calmed down. Smoothing his apron, he retrieved his megaphone and turned to the immense couple. “All right, is everything in order? Are we ready to make over a hundred-thousand bottles of wine?” In the periphery, news anchors flagged their crews and camera operators crept as close as they dared.
Athelweard glanced at the honking behind him. “Oh, you’re in the way, dear,” he said, placing an arm across her boobs and forcing her to step back as he did.
“You know, you don’t always have to find someone to blame,” she said through gritted teeth, smiling at the news teams.
“I’m not blaming you for anything, just stating a fact.”
“But it’s the way you said it. I feel judged.”
“Wasn’t my intent.” The giant watched truck after truck, heavily laden with hundreds of pounds of grapes, trundle just past his toes. “I’m not responsible for how you choose to interpret things, if you want to be a victim.”
“If I want−…!” Leofwaru slapped his chest with the flat of her palm, issuing a sharp peal that set off some car alarms in the dirt parking lot. “Why are you being like this! Do you want a fight? You’ve been picking at me since−” Abruptly she glanced down at her own feet: in turning to face her partner, she inadvertently brushed her pinky toe against a large, heavy truck, knocking it to its side. “Now look what you made me do!” she growled at the giant, then turned to Arturo, a nervous white speck on the ground. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Here, let me fix this.” Before anyone could react, the giantess hurled herself to the earth in a broad squat. With one delicate index fingertip she nudged as many spilled grapes back into the truck as she was able, then picked the vehicle up between thumb and finger and spilled the load directly into the stomping vat. She shot an ugly glare up at the giant, and thus failed to notice she had also dumped the driver into the middle of 200 tons of wine grapes. Two camera crews focused on the large truck Leofwaru so easily manipulated and the semiconscious driver, sprawled upon the grapes, while the third trained upon how the giantess’ vast labia spread beneath the dense grove of curly hair.
“Some things are worth losing your job for,” he would later insist on Locker Room Brawl, a right-wing YouTube talk channel, momentarily boosting its viewership.
Rising to her immense height, she turned her back to the giant. “Let’s just get this over with before you say another fucking word,” she said, eyeing the clean water reservoir by the vat. It sparkled in the late morning sun, a long concrete pool roughly in the shape of a gigantic foot. “You go first: you’re filthy.”
Grunting, Athelweard slowly placed his broad sole into the pond, just touching it to the water. Were he to pile his full weight upon it, the yard-deep bed of poured concrete would crack and sunder, and all that water would flood the north end of the vineyard. He grumped back at her, noting they both came up from the valley after washing up in the Pacific, he couldn’t be any dirtier than she was. He paid no mind to the crowd of tiny, multicolored dots massing on one side of the vat.
“Get him out of there!” Nathalie bellowed at some workers and a news crew. “Artie, stop him!” But before Arturo could fire up his megaphone, the sun was eclipsed with the immense sole of the gigantic man. It descended upon the vat, and the truck driver came to just in time to have his pathetic shriek cut off by the ball of Athelweard’s right foot. Nathalie swore and looked away, and Arturo clutched her hand. One of the reporters sobbed until she vomited.
“If anything,” Athelweard continued, “you’re the disgusting one. You insisted on kicking that beached whale back into the water. You should’ve just left it.” He stepped back for Leofwaru.
“Unbelievable! You laughed your ass off when it blew up, spraying shit all over my foot!” she snarled. “You thought it was the funniest thing you’d ever seen.” She had taken care to scrub the carcass off her skin, scouring it in the shore, but to be safe she placed her other foot in the cleansing pond.
Athelweard’s face bore a dark grin. “Not the funniest thing. I’ve seen your face when you cum.”
Far below, Nathalie began kicking men’s asses. “He’s all right! He’s all right! Get in there and get him out before she steps in!” She hastily unscrewed a garden hose from the front of the farmhouse and tied a loop for the driver to grab. Arturo looked from her to the tremendous leg that lofted impossibly from the ground and hovered above his property. He swore respectfully.
“Oh, you son of a bitch.” She didn’t scruple to hold back her weight, and the pond cried out as she pulverized the concrete beneath her tread. She glanced down at it ruefully. “You’re just intent on making this a magical fucking occasion, aren’t you.” And like the giant man, she also did not attribute any significance to the tiny people swarming over the lip of the vat; she barely noticed them at all. “It’s a good thing we’re stomping on these grapes and not sitting on them, like six years ago, or else they’d have to rename this vintage Athelweard’s High Colonic 2018.”
“Everyone back! She’s coming in!” Nathalie, having tied the other end of the hose to her ATV’s hitch, revved her engine and leaned forward. Unfortunately, her wheels spun in the freshly created mud from the deluge Leofwaru produced. The media crews shouted and fled, splaying in a graceful, slow-motion pattern from Athelweard’s perspective, but Leofwaru wasn’t looking as she brought her immense foot down. Nathalie growled and twisted her handlebars, until her front wheels finally bit into solid turf. Her ATV jerked and crawled away, faster and faster, and the crews cheered at the driver, glistening and purple, slowly sliding over the swamp of grapes toward the rim of the vat.
Down came the woman’s heel, driving into the pulp of skins and tannins.
Down flapped her long, wide sole into the morass.
And down slammed her cute, round, pink toes, falling like boulders around the driver’s shoulders. The hose instantly stretched taut and Nathalie was thrown from her vehicle. Arturo shouted her name and ran to her, but she was up in an instant and charging at the vat. “Lift her toes! Artie, get her to lift her toes!”
“And you snore!” yelled Leofwaru over the tiny vintner’s frantic cries. “And you fart, oh my Goddess, do you fart when you sleep! I’m surprised they haven’t called out the National Guard against your widespread gas attacks!” She didn’t notice the dozens of little people trying to pry up her toenails, wedging 2x4s under her toes as three or four men struggled unsuccessfully to leverage even one digit free. She certainly couldn’t feel the driver swimming beneath her foot, catching pockets of air as her toes flexed and mashed the grapes. The only news crew that hadn’t pitched in to rescue the laborer managed to record the entire fiasco.
Nathalie clamped one hand over her mouth, staring at the would-be rescuers, at the high-volume squabbling transpiring dozens of meters overhead. Arturo rested his head against her shoulder.
“This is going to be a very sour batch,” he said.