The drab, gray building before me looks exceptionally uninviting, much to my disappointment. Having the psychology building itself look like a prison must be some sort of long-term experiment. I check the printed schedule in my hand to confirm the building number and sigh, then slide it into my back pocket and tread up the stairs into the building.
Inside the building is not much better, with some plastic potted plants in the corners around a row of chairs in the middle of the tile floor. On the far side of the lobby a receptionist sits behind her desk, typing away on her keyboard in the frenzy of the first day of classes. She looks to be in her mid-20s, with slim glasses over her blue eyes and her blond hair done up in a bun. At least this building has some color to it.
I stop my music and head to the hallway on the left to start looking for room 225. Deliberately I walk the whole length of the corridor, noting each room number as I pass, but see nothing that matches. When I reach the fire exit I turn around and go to the other side, with the same results. In fact the numbers intentionally skip 225, with no trace that such a room even existed. Perplexed I take out my schedule again to check and confirm that my memory is not playing tricks, but sure enough that is the designated room number.
After standing at the end of the hall for a few seconds I turn around to return to the lobby. With my first step, however, I run face-first into the bare shoulder of a woman purposefully striding past me. She knocks me off balance and reflexively I exclaim "Sorry!" With a loud clang she forces open the stairwell door, and I gain the presence of mind to ask, "Hey, do you know where room 225 is?" The woman gives no indication that she heard me, or even that she noticed running into me. I shrug, replace my schedule, and go back to the entrance.
The lobby is starting to fill up now, entirely with women except for myself. Some of them are engaged in quiet conversations with each other, while others look at their phones and still more are reading for classes they had earlier that day. Absent anything else I walk up to the receptionist's desk to ask her, but find her completely occupied with a phone call. Expecting a brief wait I take out my phone and start scrolling through one of my social media feeds.
The wait turns out to be significantly longer than expected, several minutes at least, while I idly sit there on my phone. Someone bumps into me, pushing me into the desk, and I turn around to see a downright Amazonian woman looming over me. I have never been particularly tall, my eyes just come up past her waist. Momentarily I let my eyes linger on her, guessing that she is eight feet tall at least, before turning back to the receptionist.
Strangely she now sits a head taller than I stand, and I could rest my chin atop her desk if I wanted. She lowers the handset from her mouth and covers it, then asks, "Can I help you with something?"
"Yes, I'm looking for-"
"Could you tell me where Doctor Stroud's office is?" the amazon asks, talking over me as though I weren't even there.
"Up the stairs, third door on the right," she answers, pointing down the hall. The amazon thanks her and leaves, and the receptionist goes back to her phone call. Unbelievable. I just need one simple question answered, and this woman won't even acknowledge me!
"Hello? Ma'am? Can I get some help? I've been waiting here for a while," I say, trying to get her attention. No matter what I say though she shows no awareness of my presence, not even a glance. I glance up at her name plate and try, "Miss Stephens, I have a quick question."
Still no answer, but something finally registers in my mind. The top of her desk was now just above eye level, and I couldn't see the receptionist at all anymore. Stunned I take a step back and my vision swims, and I find myself unable to focus on anything. I hear the click of a phone followed by the resumption of typing, and watch the desk rise just a bit more. My mouth goes slack. This realization hits me the same time a knee hits my shoulder, staggering me to the side so hard I fall to a knee.
A woman who looks to be twenty feet tall strides through where I had been standing. I linger on the floor rubbing my wounded shoulder and she continues past, without so much as a "sorry" or even a "move." Carelessly she enters the hall and I stand back up to look around. All the women are now sitting significantly taller than I am, but no one seems to notice me rapidly getting smaller in the middle of the room.
While I stand there in shock a woman wearing gray low-top Converse and yoga pants stands beside me. I look up, feeling downright tiny next to this woman who is probably average height, and try to get her attention. "Hey. Hi. Hello? Excuse me?" The only response from her is to pull out her phone and hold it at about waist level. There is no doubt that she should be able to see me, but I may as well not even be here.
Each time I call out to her she grows a little larger in my view, and keeps getting bigger while she messes with her phone. Out of desperation I reach up and poke her firm, round butt with a finger. She spins around to face me, fury in her emerald eyes, and bellows, "Did you just grab my ass? Get the hell away from me, you creep!" Before I can move she kneels down and shoves me in the chest, throwing me off my feet and into the row of chairs. The back of my head slams against the wood and my vision swims with stars for a moment while I sit there incapacitated.
Once I feel sufficiently recovered I stand back up and stand agog at my surroundings. The chairs' support bars running along the ground come up to my waist, and the room itself looks like a concert hall. The green-eyed woman, now taller than many buildings to me, is apparently satisfied with nearly knocking me out and has returned to her phone. The footfalls of people coming and going through the room are terribly apparent to me now, and I watch each person carefully when their feet slam into the ground too near to me.
Finally, a brunette wearing a denim skirt with peach stockings and simple black flats stops about a foot away from me, and I resolve to get her help. At this point it isn't so much about the lecture, I tell myself, but the supremely vulnerable condition I am in. I vault over the metal tube leading off from the chairs and sprint over to her, stopping just short of running into her ankle. Up close the feeling of her towering body overwhelms me, and I begin to have second thoughts.
While I wait she looms even larger, and I realize I have no time to waste. I try all the ways I previously have to get her attention until it dawns that she probably has trouble hearing me down here. Out of frustration I take in a deep breath and shout, "Hey, I'm down here by your shoe! Notice me!" Nothing, except for her nearly doubling in height.
Out of patience I reach out and poke her ankle. Her head instantly swivels to look at me dead on, and she releases and ear-piercing shriek. Futilely I cover my ears, and she bellows "This perv's trying to look up my skirt!" Before I can explain she kicks her foot forward, briefly catching me with the toe of her flat before I fly off of it. I land hard on the tile floor and slide along the surface until I run into the wooden frame, mercifully bringing me to a stop. "He ran under that chair, get him!"
Even though my entire body feels like a bruise I force myself to get up and find a way out. The way I came in is no good, the brunette will be there shortly. I look the other way and see the back of a pair of Adidas, comfortably resting against the floor with two smooth legs rising out of them like pillars. The decision is easy enough. Vibrations rumble through the floor and the pair of black flats comes to a stop behind me, and I run for the Adidas.
Before I can hop on and ride them to safety the shoes lift, revealing a pair of gray, low-top Converse at the base of some yoga pants. I look back and see a pair of furious blue eyes locked onto me as she kneels behind the chair, waiting for her chance. Quickly I turn around and my path blocked by an enormous woman squatting, her green eyes shining underneath her black curls. She has a hand poised to strike, and I realize that I'm trapped.
She wastes no time, shooting her hand forward as violently as possible. I'm swept off my feet when the palm collides with my back and she closes her fist around me. My stomach leaps up into my throat when she yanks me toward her, and my scream is muffled by her fingers. Soon enough her fingers open and her freckled face fills my vision and I lay in the palm of her hand, too terrified to say anything.
It doesn’t seem like she is too interested in hearing what I have to say anyway. She tilts her hand sideways, sending me sliding out of her hand and onto the floor. I tumble in the air before landing on my back, dazing me momentarily, while she stands back to her full height. By now she is absolutely titanic in size, and while she looks down at me in disgust I can’t help but be filled with wonder by her.
Vibrations from a set of footfalls pull me out of my sense of wonderment, and I see the pair of black flats stomping angrily toward where I lay. I remind myself that these women want me injured or dead and force myself back to my feet. Swiftly I look between the flats and the Converse, no taller than the toes of their shoes, trying to decide which way to go. The titaness before me lifts one of her grey Converse, and I resolve to escape her angry gaze.
I turn and run toward the flats, ignoring the pain in my legs from all the punishment I’ve taken recently. The instant I’m clear she brings her shoe down with a resounding boom, sending an earthquake through the floor with her stomp. Severe vibrations resulting from it cause me to stumble and fall onto the toe of the flat in front of me. Thinking quickly, I manage to get my arms out, keeping the shoe from knocking the wind out of me, and roll along the edge of the shoe. With a slight shift of her foot right now she could squash me flat, I realize, but she must have lost track of me, and the Converse-clad titaness must not want to step on her feet.
In a few seconds I’ve cleared the flats entirely and started running through the open area of the lobby. Much to my surprise the pair of infuriated women doesn’t follow, and I silently cheer my escape. I point myself toward the hallway, intent on ducking into one of the rooms and seeing if I can find some help there.
An enormous crash rings out accompanied by a violent quake, and a black, patent leather pump slams into the ground before me. Unable to stop in time I run face-first into the high heel at full speed, knocking me onto my back. I look up and see the receptionist, Miss Stephens, towering over me, her well-shaped calves supporting her thin form well. She narrows her eyes and declares, “He’s over here.” Her sheer size in comparison to me gives her voice a low, rumbling quality, and my eyes go wide with fear.
I feel two sets of shoes inexorably approaching, and after a few seconds they come into view. The three women form a triangle around me, blocking me in, while they each look down at me scornfully. While I sputter in abject terror they seem to grow even larger, until I’m not even sure they would be able to see me from their high vantage points.
The receptionist flicks the toe of her shoe forward, forcing me out of my contemplation and sending me rocketing across the floor. I slam into hard white rubber before falling to the floor. Dread fills me when I look up the body of the giantess, her shoes alone a dozen times my height. She lifts the toe of her shoe and rotates it over me, blocking out my view of anything else and allowing me to see nothing but the never-ending diamond pattern of her sole. Quickly she brings it down and hard rubber meets tile, crushing me absolutely between them. For good measure she lifts her heel and grinds her foot back and forth, utterly obliterating me before moving on.