I’m far from the most socially active person on campus, so when I got an invite to an end of semester party at the most exclusive sorority on campus I had been blown away. It wasn’t just the invite itself, but also who invited me. Mariam was my dream girl, and I suspect the fantasy of many other men on campus too. Blond hair, green eyes, skinny, a few inches over six feet, and downright nerdy interests made her the complete package for me, at least from afar. She said I could bring some friends, but I didn’t want to worry about having to corral them at the end of the night.
It was easy enough to find the Gamma Tau Sigma house. Since I was coming in fashionably late there was already a lot of noise coming out of the dimly lit house, and there were small groups of people out front smoking and talking. I walked up to the sturdy wooden door and knocked twice. Several moments passed, then a narrow slit in the door opened about a foot above my head, revealing two bright blue eyes. “You here for the party?” asked a surprisingly feminine voice. I nodded, and the door opened inward.
A woman with flowing blond hair dressed in a white T-shirt and white short shorts stood in the doorway. I had expected there to be a step up, or a stool in front of the door, but her physically powerful form was indeed so much taller than me that I only came up to her chest. She looked me over again and said, “Not sure who invited you but they did good. Come on in.” With that she stood aside and I was able to freely enter the house.
Once inside the party proper something seemed off. There was copious alcohol, loud music with people trying to be heard over it, paired off people drunkenly making out – then it hit me. Every single woman here was significantly taller than the men. I must not have noticed it on the way in since everyone was sitting down or leaning against the wall, but once I noticed it was glaringly obvious. The shortest woman here was still over a head taller than me.
“Hey, I’m glad you made it!” came a familiar voice beside me. I turned and saw Mariam standing there in a painfully short denim skirt with a white half-sleeve shirt tight around the arms and loose around the body. She took a step forward, placing one of her black studded flats next to me and handed me a drink. “Vodka’s okay, right?” she asked, her eyes sparkling like emeralds. I nodded and took a sip, gagging a little at the its strength. Mariam laughed and grabbed me by the wrist. “Just pound it, that way you won’t taste it.”
Mariam led me to a burgundy leather couch against the far wall, keeping a tight grip on me the whole time so that I would have no issues keeping up with her long strides. I kept the drink close to my chest while we navigated the crowd, her bowling out of her way any man unfortunate enough to be in her path and me weaving between people as I’d done at every concert and bar I’d ever been to. When we reached the couch she sat down and crossed her long, lovely legs, then slapped the cushion next to her for me to sit as well.
“I was starting to worry you wouldn’t make it,” she began, smiling down at me after I took my seat. “You were the only person I invited, and if you didn’t show I’d look like a total loser. It’s my last party before the Gammas decide if they want to take me, so it really means a lot that you’re here. Helen seemed really impressed with you.” She paused to take a sip of her drink. “Did you bring any friends?”
I took a deep gulp from my drink so I could finish my wince before answering. “Nah, I couldn’t convince anyone,” I lied. In truth I hadn’t even asked anyone out of fear they’d say yes. “Guess they’d seen some of the other members around and got intimidated.” Hopefully my comment made it seem as though I was above it all, though I imagined she was far from impressed.
“Well then,” Mariam began, taking my hand nearest her with a sly grin, “that just means you’re all mine for the night, doesn’t it?” She placed my hand on the bare skin of her thigh, perilously close to the hem of her skirt, and pressing my fingers into the inside of her leg. “Finish that drink and that might actually get you somewhere.” I took another long draught after that encouragement, hoping it would give me the encouragement to actually do something tonight.
For a while we sat on the couch like that, gradually draining our drinks and talking. It quickly became apparent that Mariam was a practiced people watcher, and we both took great joy in mocking the other party goers between ourselves. A particularly rich target was a man who got the attention of the woman in white – Helen, I guessed – despite barely being taller than her legs. It seemed like the moment she locked onto him he got a lot less interested.
Mariam checked the small watch on the inside of her wrist, then reached over and took the plastic cup out of my hand. With a firm tug she pulled it out of my grip and into hers, then lifted it up to my mouth. She placed its rim on my lips and tilted the bottom upward, forcing my head back and allowing the strongly alcoholic contents to flow into my mouth. When it was empty she tossed it over her shoulder, then watched me intently until I swallowed. In this last gulp I noticed a new taste which had been masked under the vodka and mixer.
Several seconds passed after my drink was empty, Mariam still leaning heavily over me. “Guess I have to do everything myself,” she whispered in my ear. She threw a leg in the air and brought it down on the other side of me, straddling my lap. Her hands laid atop my shoulders, and she stayed as straight as possible so that she loomed over me. I looked up, my eyes about level with the top of her skirt, one hand still between her thighs, and she grinned down. “Unless… you find me attractive, right?” In no time flat I had both my hands around the back of her legs and tried to pull myself up, but her hands kept me firmly in place and slouching on the couch. She leaned in, bending over so far she ended up nearly doubled over and pinning my hands between her thighs and calves, so that her face was mere inches from mine.
“Guess you’re okay letting me be in control, huh?” she teased before briefly placing her lips on mine. “That’s probably for the best.” Her lips lingered a little longer this time. “I like being in charge, anyway.” After that her lips were practically glued to mine, joined soon after by her hands on the side of my face so that her fingers could wrap around the back of my head. I had been waiting for this all night and tried to put my arms around her, but Mariam’s legs held them firmly in place.
We passionately made out as only two drunk college students could until a resonating chime sounded, interrupting our rhythm. Our lips parted, and Mariam began to run her hands back toward my face. My hands were suddenly free to move, but I found that my arms simply weren’t responding to my brain. Mariam seemed to be pulling away, getting further, but somehow simultaneously getting larger. It kept going until not only did she dominate my whole field of view, but she seemed further away than she had all night.
A rolling barrage thudded across the floor, shaking me even on the couch. Mariam’s knees were like two marble tremendous boulders on either side of me, and her skirt stretched several dozens of yards wide now, taut enough that I could see the minute indentations it made in her skin. Beneath me, a brass stud supported the entirety of my prone body while I gazed up at Mariam as she stretched toward the sky. A realization stuck in my head that I didn’t want to acknowledge, but couldn’t deny: I had just been shrunk, and to a fairly small size.
Mariam’s hand descended toward me, and I felt powerless to move while she pressed me between her fingers. She lifted me from the couch cushion and held me up to her gargantuan green eyes, her other hand acting as a backdrop for her. “Good thing you let me be in charge,” she declared, her voice a low, booming growl now. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.” She laid her unoccupied hand horizontal and dropped me into its palm, then stood to begin walking through the main crush of party-goers.
While she walked I noticed something peculiar about the crowd again. Whereas previously the women had simply been taller than the men, now it was only women. Some of them were talking excitedly to each other while others were bent over picking things up off the floor, and a couple were taking turns laughing and drinking. I thought about the rapid sequence of thuds that rang out right after I shrank, and realized what had happened to the other men; what would have happened to my friends, had I brought any.
Mariam had just turned the corner into the hallway leading into the stairs when a tremendous wall of white blocked her path. She narrowly avoided running into the living roadblock, cupping her hand to keep me from flying off and onto her breasts. “Going somewhere, Mariam?” she asked. I peeked over Mariam’s palm and surmised that Helen was in our way. Previously I had found her slightly intimidating. Now, however, she was incredibly terrifying. “And what’s that you’ve got in your hands?” Helen’s blue eyes locked onto me, holding me in place through her force of will. “Because it looks like the tiny man you brought tonight.”
“Um, yeah, it is,” Mariam replied, suddenly very sheepish. “I was just taking him upstairs to get ready, we’ll be back down in a few.”
“Like hell you are.” Helen put her hand out, darkening my sky and placing it directly on Mariam’s collar bone. “Put him on the ground. Now. You’re doing this right here.” I sized them up mentally, and there was absolutely no way the waifish Mariam could displace Helen. It seemed that she made the same calculation, since I found myself gradually being lowered to the ground.
Mariam turned her hand over, dumping me onto the floor. Between the two monolithic women I had nowhere to go; even the toes of their feet were close enough to give me trouble. The studded black ballet flats contrasted with Helen’s stark white Converse opposite them while the two faced off. Mariam was still crouching, so I looked up into her eyes. For once she didn’t make eye contact and instead simply stood as though she hadn’t just dropped me on the floor.
“Go on,” Helen implored. “Do it, right now.” Mariam still didn’t move, so Helen continued. “I’ve been telling you all month that you were going to have to do this at our semester party, that should have been plenty of time to get ready. Have you not been listening to me this whole time?” Helen seemed downright frustrated, and Mariam was having trouble bringing herself to say anything in reply.
Instead of saying anything, Mariam lifted her right foot and set its heel down in front of me, letting the rest of the shoe hang over my head. She held it there for a bit, letting her foot quiver up and down, the line bisecting the ball of her foot wobbling back and forth over my head. After an interminable time she brought her foot down, angling it to the side so that it set down next to me with a jarring crash.
“I can’t do it,” Mariam said with a completely deadpan voice. “I- I actually like him. I don’t want to crush anyone, but… not him, especially.” She took in a deep breath, then asked Helen, “Could I just use one of your extras tonight? I think me and him could have a lot of fun.”
“Oh, well if you like him it’s different,” Helen retorted, her voice heavy with sarcasm. “You’ve known about this for a while. If you like him you should have invited someone else, now get to it.”
Mariam’s bottom lip quivered hundreds of feet above me. I was really regretting not bringing someone with me now. She raised her foot until it was almost level with her waist and let it hang there, trying to work up the nerve. Moments later she brought it down beside me again, unable to convince herself to go through with it. Helen sighed deeply while Mariam slumped her shoulders.
“Mariam, I’ll be straight with you,” Helen started. “You’ve got one more chance to do this. You already know what we do, so if you back out I’m going to shrink you too, make you watch while I step on him, and then step on you too. Just don’t think about it. Raise up your foot and bring it down on him, quick and hard. He’ll be killed instantly under your weight, honestly what you’re doing right now is way more cruel.”
“Can I at least say goodbye?”
Helen rolled her eyes. “As long as you smash him in the next five minutes I don’t care what you do. Just hurry up, I left my cage unattended and I’m worried it’ll be empty when I get back.
Mariam squatted down and leaned forward, looming over me. I was practically paralyzed from fear and could do nothing but look back up at her. “Hey. I’m really sorry you got involved in this. You know I don’t want to crush you, right?” Her voice was shaking, and I could tell she was on the verge of tears. “I really don’t. But it’s going to happen anyway, from the sound of it, so it might as well be me, you know?” A single tear dropped from her cheek and landed in front of me, splashing me with its salty water. “Wish we had more time though, we would’ve been a great couple.” I remained silent. It wasn’t up to me to make her feel better about any of this.
Helen noisily cleared her throat. “Unless you want to join him, it’s now or never.”
Mariam nodded and stood back up, remaining focused on me between the toes of her shoes. “Goodbye,” she whispered, lifting her foot again. She closed her eyes and stomped it down, centering the sole directly over me. Its approach was too fast for me to even scream, and in an instant I had been flattened to a red smudge about the size of a nickel. Helen was right about one thing, at least: aside from the momentary explosion of pain when all of my bones were simultaneously pulverized, it didn’t hurt at all.