It was generally understood that Jewel was untouchable. No matter where she was on campus, she could snap her fingers and assemble an entourage of sycophants who would mindlessly do her bidding. It had gotten to the point where the administration rarely took action against her, aware of how futile an endeavor that would be.
Today, as Jewel strode to her table for lunch she was accompanied by three other girls, one of whom had not had time to finish getting her food before Jewel had summoned her. The four of them took their regular seats, then turned their gaze on a fifth girl sitting at the table, casually eating and minding her own business.
"Excuse us," one of Jewel's posse said. The interloper looked at them, mildly surprised, then shook her head.
"Oh, no, you guys are fine, I'm not with anyone." She gave a friendly smile before returning her gaze to some distant point in her memory.
"That's... really not what she was saying," another added, affecting an even snarkier tone than the first girl. "You need to leave."
"Look," Jewel said, bringing a sudden silence over the table. Her friends instantly fell silent, watching the stranger with smug grins. She let the effect her speech had sink in, brushing aside a stray lock of her blonde hair. "We don't want any trouble. You're, what, a freshman?" The young woman nodded her head, and Jewel smiled. "That's wonderful. So nobody will notice if you disappear."
The girl stared at Jewel, incredulous. "I'm sorry, are you threat-"
"I'm saying that if I decide that I want you gone, it'll be much easier to deal with the clean-up than it might otherwise be." The absolution in her voice was unmistakable. She knew exactly what she was saying, and her piercing gaze left no question in her foe's mind as to whether or not she was serious.
"W-whatever," the other girl said, hastily gathering her stuff and scurrying away, spilling a stack of papers a few paces away in her haste. Jewel's friends laughed at her clumsiness, while Jewel herself just wore a triumphant grin and began eating.
For a while after that, the girls around Jewel talking about things. She didn't know what things, but since she found it all uninteresting she also concluded it must not have been very important. After a quarter of an hour had gone by with Jewel savoring her lunch and musing over her victory against that little nothing, another girl sat down opposite Jewel.
Deciding that whatever this person wanted was probably far more fascinating than the current conversation, Jewel chose to acknowledge her presence. "Yes?"
"Hey, um," the small girl began. Her red hair was pulled back in a small ponytail, and contrasted sharply against her bright blue eyes. She fidgeted in her chair as she spoke, and kept her eyes lowered to the table, as if she was already cowed by Jewel. "I-I have something to show you."
After a brief moment of silence, Jewel spoke again. "Well?"
"In, uh, in private?"
Jewel's eyes narrowed as she studied the creature before her. She looked nervous as hell, but she also seemed to know who she was speaking to, so why shouldn't she be nervous? The college-aged aristocrat pondered the offer for a moment longer before shrugging. "I guess so," she acquiesced. "Did you have a particular location in mind?"
"Yes, actually!" The redhead beamed, practically shooting to her feet. She bounced with energy as she skipped around the table, taking Jewel's hand in her own. "602 is unoccupied for the next hour! That should give us more than enough time!"
"Time for what?" Jewel had already been lifted to her feet and was being dragged off as she voiced the question. Her enclave looked mildly distressed as they watched their leader being somewhat kidnapped, but she calmed them down with a wave of her hand before she turned a corner with the girl. She fell in pace with the eager newcomer, staying a few steps ahead of her even though she was the one being led. "Time for what?" she repeated.
"I've got something great to show you. You're really gonna love it, I promise." She beamed at Jewel. "I'm Cass, by the way. Or Cassie. O-or whatever you want to call me, really. I think you're..." Cassie took a deep breath, letting out a soft sigh. "I think you're wonderful. I've seen the way you interact with others, how you have those little lampreys following you around everywhere. I want to be part of your group, Jewel. B-but I wanna show you I'm better than them. So I come bearing gifts!"
It occurred to Jewel that a legitimate way she could interpret this girl's affection was creepy, but she decided against it. The poor thing was obviously head-over-heels for her, and that delighted Jewel. They walked in silence for a few moments more before coming to a classroom door. Cassie shot a furtive glance to either side, then opened it and slipped inside. Jewel followed with much less fanfare.
The overhead lights kicked on at their entrance, sensing the motion in the room, and Jewel put her hands on her hips. "Okay. You got me here. What is it you want to show me?"
Cassie brought a desk between them, then reached into her backpack. From one of the smaller pouches she extracted a small object and set it down on the table. It rolled from Cassie's fingers as it fell, and continued squirming. It was pale, and about four inches long. Jewel found the thing distasteful.
"What is that, a worm?" she asked, the contempt plain in her voice. If she picked up on it, Cassie didn't seem to acknowledge it. She nodded eagerly, her eyes wide and brimming with excitement as she searched Jewel's expression.
"Kinda! It's my sister!"
For reasons of which Jewel herself was not entirely sure, she laughed at the assertion. In the moment, it seemed like the perfect response, and was delivered with such earnesty that she almost believed it. She looked down again, now noticing the small black lines, what she had assumed were just creases in the flesh of the thing, seemed to line up with the outline of a human body. Her eyes narrowed.
"What... the fuck..." she said softly, lowering herself to get a better view of the tiny thing before her. At this distance, she could make out the details better; there was certainly a face, though its features had been distorted. A strange black line criss-crossed over the lips, and there was something strange about the eyes Jewel couldn't put her finger on. Despite these differences, there was no question about it. Before her was a squirming, four-inch human being.
"Do you like her?" Cassie asked expectantly, then giggled. "Do you even recognize her?"
Jewel's mind was overloaded with questions, momentarily shutting down her personality. "N-no," she said quietly as she continued to watch the pitiful being before her. It was making a strained mewling noise from behind its mouth, which for some reason never actually opened.
"It's my sister! Her name was Wendy, and sometimes you'd pick on her and call her Wendy the Worm. Oh man, she hated the shit out of you." Jewel's eyes snapped to Cassie's, and the latter put her hands up defensively. "B-but not me! Not me at all! I'm not here for revenge or anything, honest! I-I really did bring her as a gift! I did this for you!"
"You did... what, exactly?"
Cassie frowned, looking down at her creation as though it was obvious. "Well... I, uh, I mean, I sewed her up like that." It took Jewel a full five seconds to process the sentence, but once she had the entire scene before her clicked into place. Black threads held her arms at her sides and pinned her legs together, effectively immobilizing the little thing save for the pathetic squirming it was performing, and a final thread ran through the shrunken girl's lips, tautly sealing it shut. The noise coming from behind her mouth wasn't mewling – she was screaming. "Oh, and I plucked her eyelids off. 'Cause, uh... I dunno really!" Cassie giggled, hands clasped in front of her as though she was delivering a report on a school project.
She remembered Wendy the Worm. She hadn't really done anything to earn the nickname except for be in Jewel's way one time, drawing her ire. From then on Jewel had practically declared war on the unfortunate girl, looking for excuses to harass her. The last she'd heard, Wendy had started taking classes online for fear of running into Jewel or one of her many cronies.
That thought had given Jewel pleasure once. The idea that she had terrorized a girl so much that she changed her life was comforting, and reaffirmed Jewel's position as superior to anyone she chose. Objectively, she supposed that this should make her feel similarly; here Wendy was, mutilated to fit her moniker and presented as a present to Jewel.
Instead, she just felt sick.
Jewel collapsed into a nearby chair, her legs quickly giving out beneath her. Cassie looked genuinely concerned, rushing behind Jewel and giving her shoulders a brief, affectionate rub.
"Are you all right?" she asked, brushing Jewel's hair to one side.
"This is fucked," the blonde girl croaked. "You're fucked." She heard Cassie make a choked whimper behind her, the insult obviously having impact. For once, Jewel wasn't sure if she'd something mean just to hurt a person.
"Wh... um, I-I mean," Cassie stammered, circling around to look Jewel in the eyes once more. "D-did I come on too strong? Or... or, w- um, was it my sister? The sister thing? I c-"
"It was the sister thing." Jewel's voice was unnaturally calm, and she stared directly into Cassie's eyes as she spoke. "It was the fact that you ran a needle and thread through your sister's arms and legs and lips and sewed them all together. That is why I am saying you are fucked." She paused. "In the head."
Cassie's face was nearly as vividly red as her hair at this point, and Jewel could see tears welling up in her eyes as she took abuse from a woman she obviously admired. "I just thought-" she began, cutting herself off as she choked up. She brought a hand to her mouth, wiping at her eyes with the other.
"I'm going to go now," Jewel said, rising to leave. Faster than she could react, Cassie's arms shot out, pushing her shoulders down and forcing her back into the chair.
"Wait!" she cried, her eyes now wild with panic. "W-wait, you're not gonna... t-tell anyone, are you?"
The two young women searched each other's eyes for a long moment before Jewel finally broke the silence. "No. Of course not, Cassie. Cass," she corrected. "I'm just going to go." Her eyes flicked down to the table, down to the lidless eyes screaming up at her for mercy. Jewel tore her gaze away. "I have class."
"No. No, no, no this was not how it was supposed to go." Cassie took her hands off Jewel's shoulders, pacing back and forth in front of the classroom. "This was supposed to – you were supposed to love it, goddamnit," she hissed, seemingly talking to herself. "Why didn't you love it? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with..." The short redhead stopped midstride, looking up at Jewel. "What's wrong with you?"
Again, Jewel barked out a laugh. "Wrong with me?" The emotion was returning to Jewel's voice, and her personality was slowly coming back with it. "I don't know, Cassie. Why don't I send you a postcard in prison the next time I shrink and torture one of my family members, okay?"
"I knew it!" Cassie hissed. Jewel was surprised by how quickly the short girl's personality had shifted, and it made her seem like a completely different woman. When they first met she had seemed goofy and harmless, but now her eyes betrayed an inner edge that Jewel had never in her life come up against. "I fucking knew you were going to turn me in!"
"Of course I am, you psycho! Look at that! What the fuck is that!? Normal fucking people don't fucking do that, you fucking fuck!"
Cassie was visibly trembling with rage. "Weak. You're weak, just like her. God, I can't believe I looked up to you! I admired you! I had ideas for us! We were going to tear this school apart limb from limb! You and me! Why are you ruining this for us!?"
Jewel snorted, shaking her head. "Get the fuck outta my way, nutso." She tried to shove Cassie to one side, but the smaller girl was much more stable than she appeared. She grabbed Jewel's outstretched arm and stepped forward, twisting it over her shoulder. The arm snapped with a thick crunch against Cassie, and Jewel fell to the carpet, shrieking in pain. In the next moment Cassie was on top of her, cramming a rag into her mouth.
"Always be handy with a hanky," she said to herself, chuckling. Jewel tried to fight against her assailant, but Cassie kept her arm in agonizing pain, making it hard to focus on anything else. Cassie fished around in her purse, retrieving a small black object that lay within. "I hate you," she said down to Jewel. "I hate you, Jewel. I thought you were strong, but you're just like her. Just like everyone."
She jabbed one end of the device into Jewel's throat, and immediately the pinned woman felt the effects. Her limbs went stiff and rigid, and Cassie climbed off of her, staring down at her with naked disdain. "I can't believe you," she spat. "I thought you were better than this. I loved you, Jewel. How could you disappoint me?"
Trying to respond, Jewel made a series of choked gurgling noises. Her eyes were wide and wild with fear as all the muscles in her body contracted painfully. She silently prayed for unconsciousness, but it never came. Instead she was forced to stare into Cassie's hate-filled eyes as she suffered, and... shrank?
In the span of a minute, Jewel lost most of her size, coming to a stop around four inches long. Her muscles began to relax, allowing her movement, but it was now far too late to escape Cassie. The once-smaller redhead had already begun gathering Jewel's things, stuffing them into the trash can by the front door. Her clothes, her school supplies – all of it discarded right before her eyes.
"H-hey," Jewel said, stuttering at the sound of her own voice. Even to her own ears she could hear how tiny her voice sounded, and how it much more closely resembled squeaking than anything. "Cass... Cass, listen, I-"
"Save it, short stuff," the giant girl said, lifting her tiny prisoner up onto the desk beside her sister. At this new size, Wendy's suffering was even more grotesque. The individual needle wounds were red and swollen, and what Jewel had mistaken for meaningless whimpers were actually words.
Kill me, Wendy repeated from behind her mouth. Kill me.
"Cass, please!" Jewel shouted, tearing her eyes away from the aberration before her. "Please, listen to me! I want to torture her! E-everyone! Anyone! I want to torture them all, please! I w... I was kidding, Cass, god!" She forced a smile that took more effort than anything in her life ever had before, even going so far as to couple it with a laugh. "Of course I don't care about her! Y-you... you need to learn to take a joke, s-sister!"
Cassie watched her little plea with an uninterested expression. "Ya done?" she said after a period of silence. "Good, because while I do have some time, I need to be kinda quick about this. Now, do you wanna lose your speech at the beginning or the end?"
The tiny woman on the desk blanched. She sank to her knees as tears flooded her eyes. "P-please..." Cassie already had the sewing needle out, occasionally glancing up from threading the needle to look at her newest little toy. "Please, no..."
"I'll do it last. Out of respect for the woman you used to be." She lifted Jewel up, bending her leg back at the knee. The tiny girl squirmed and fought against Cassie's giant fingers, struggling herself to exhaustion without making an inch of progress. "Okay, here it comes."
The needle pierced through Jewel's heel, and her whole foot erupted in fire. Howling in agony, Jewel threw her head back and struggled for all she was worth, but Cassie didn't chide her once. She masterfully manipulated Jewel in her fingers such that she always had complete control, and even giggled softly as Jewel would occasionally struggle herself right into a better position for Cassie.
The next few minutes were hell for the shrunken thing. Cassie diligently focused on her work, carefully threading the needle up Jewel's calf and thigh, binding the two together with a thread that seemed much thicker than it had on Wendy, now that it was coursing through her own legs. Her whimpering and crying and pleading all fell on deaf ears; if nothing else, Cassie was a determined woman.
"One leg done!" she said cheerfully, repositioning Jewel in her hands such that her other leg was now exposed.
"Cassie... listen..." Jewel began, taking this brief respite to once again try to bargain with her captress. "I c-can... get you money."
"I can get me money, thank you very much," Cassie said indignantly, folding Jewel's other leg up the same way. "I didn't want to hang out with you for your connections. I wanted to hang out with you for you. But you ruined that, and now you're going to make it up to me. Here it comes."
"How is this making anythaaaaaaaaaa!" The ex-socialite was interrupted by another searing jab of agony from her heel. Her struggles renewed, though they were much less energetic this time around. Jewel's throat was raw from screaming, and she could feel the wet warmth of her own blood trickling down her legs. The second leg seemed to go faster than the first, and in a matter of minutes both her legs were bound up, her little knees wiggling helplessly in the air.
"Oh, you look so cute! Yes you do!" Cassie giggled. "Now the arms. Let's do the left one first."
Jewel tried to struggle out another plea for mercy, but Cassie seemed to have lost all interest in communicating. She easily posed the tiny woman how she wanted, her arm reaching up over her shoulder and her fingers laying flat against her back. Once again the blood-covered sewing needle dug through her flesh with surgical precision, lacing her forearm and upper arm together in a series of criss-crossing bindings.
"You know, this is probably for the best," Cassie said, looking over her work with satisfaction. "If you'd accepted my sister and behaved like you were supposed to, there's still no guarantee you wouldn't have done something annoying later." She folded Jewel's other arm, and began working on tying it up. "Like, maybe you'd wanna steal my shrinker or something, you know? And it would have been a lot harder to get you alone then." A silence followed as Cassie concentrated on her work, getting the stitching through her victim's flesh just right.
"Perfect!" she exclaimed. She set Jewel down on the desk in front of her sister, propping the tiny girl up on her elbows and knees. Like this, she looked like some sort of weird crab, scuttling awkwardly on her rigid limbs. The tormented girl fell over repeatedly, only to have Cassie pick her back up and encourage her to keep moving around, delighting in her clumsy movements. Finally, she picked the little girl back up, studying her face.
"Okay, it's time for the final piece!"
"Please..." Jewel croaked out, her head lolling back and forth in an exhausted attempt at shaking it. "Please... don't sew my mouth shut... please..."
"Oh, silly," Cassie said, chuckling. She put away the sewing needle, fishing for something else out of her school bag. "I'm not going to sew it shut. I'm actually going to do something a lot more interesting. Now, I've only succeeded at this a couple times, but I have a lot of practice, so I feel good about my ability to do it. But you're going to need to hold still, okay? Do you understand? Very. Still."
Jewel tried to shake her head again, but it was obvious that Cassie was no longer paying attention to her. She retrieved a small bit of metal – a staple, Jewel realized after a moment – and a small pair of pliers. With one hand she bent the staple straight against the desk, then held Jewel up close to her face.
"W-w-what are-" Jewel stammered before Cassie's thumbnail entered her mouth, tugging down on her lower jaw and forcing her mouth open. She let out a series of uncomfortable gurgles as Cassie continued to work her jaw open and shut, studying her face like a hawk.
"Okay," she finally said. She used her thumb to pry Jewel's mouth open one last time, then gently set the end of the paperclip against her cheek. "This is going to hurt a lot, and I know you're going to wiggle. But just do your best to hold still, okay?"
She was only given a half-second to consider the implications of what was about to happen to her before the paperclip forced its way through her cheek. Her skull rang with pain and every instinct she had told her to struggle away and run and run and run, just get away from this horrible girl, do anything. Instead, tears rolled down her cheeks, coming to a rest on Cassie's thumbs as she held Jewel's head perfectly still.
The paperclip bored through Jewel's open mouth, catching her waggling tongue as it pressed forward. She realized too late what had happened, and before she could move it the staple jammed against the inside of her other cheek, pinning her tongue against the inside of her mouth and the edge of the staple. There was barely enough time to let out a frightened squeal as Cassie tested the location of her jaw once more before the staple punched through, pinning her tongue along with it. She could taste her blood flowing over her tongue, and gagged on it as it trickled down her throat.
"I did it!" Cassie exclaimed giddily. The young woman was positively beaming as she pushed the last centimeter of staple through, then brought up the pliers. "I did it, Jewel! Oh, this is fucking fantastic!" She snipped off the excess metal from the end of the staple, then carefully bent the two ends, affixing them in place on either side of Jewel's head. The second her fingers left Jewel's face, the tiny girl tried to close her mouth, but found herself unable. Every time she did, more pain rang through her cheeks.
Cassie set her down on the desk once more, this time retrieving a small pocket mirror. She held it up to Jewel, letting her look at herself. Her mouth was opened grotesquely wide, and a thin stream of blood and saliva leaked out of one corner, with Jewel powerless to close her mouth or even wipe away the slime. In the span of fifteen minutes, Cassie had made her into a freak just like her sister. She looked at the other girl on the desk beside her, and the giantess followed her gaze.
"Oh. Yeah," Cassie said, as if being reminded that there was a spill she hadn't yet mopped up. "What to do with this one, huh?" She rose from her seat, casually brushing Wendy off the desk with the side of her hand. The tiny worm-girl fell to the floor, curling up as much as she was able on the carpeted floor. A second later, the redhead's trainer fell upon the little woman, crushing her to pulp under the immense pressure. Cassie lifted her foot and brought it down again, repeatedly performing the action with a little less force each time.
"There we go," she said, scraping off what pulp remained on her sole. "Just like a worm."
Jewel was shell-shocked. She was a mutilated lump of flesh in the possesion of a girl who had just smashed her also-disfigured sister under her shoe. She wondered why she was even still alive, then realized that if she had been willing to discard her sister once she'd run out of usefulness, whatever the giant girl had in store for her must be horrific.
"Hey, what're you doing?" Cassie said, a laughing lilt in her voice as Jewel stumbled over herself, repeatedly falling on her face as she did her best to crawl away from her new owner. The giant woman scooped her up, placing her gently in a soft, enclosed space in her backpack; the same space from which she had brought her sister. "You stay in there, silly. I know just what I'm going to do with you."
Later, a group of girls huddled together in a private circle, away from the main building and any prying eyes. In Cassie's upturned palm stood Jewel, staring into the faces of girls she recognized from the school. Girls she'd wronged. As she looked into six pairs of smiling, sadistic, hate-filled eyes, her mouth gaped open dumbly and she felt the increasingly-familiar sensation of saliva leaking out of her mouth.
"Ladies, I'd like to introduce you to the best thing to ever happen to you," Cassie said, beaming. It was unfortunate that Jewel hadn't been accepting of her, but she'd found a clique of her own, and one she was in charge of. "I call it... Drool."