To say I’m not a gym guy is like saying that fish aren’t so hot at mountain climbing. I had never been inside one outside of school, and the most I ever did for strength training was the odd set of push-ups when I felt bored. My t-shirt and shorts are store fresh, literally bought that afternoon and quickly thrown on, and I feel incredibly out of place. If Lynsey hadn’t been so insistent that I give it a shot I would be on the couch reading and having a drink right now. That’s where I belong. She needs a few training sessions with a rookie to get her personal trainer certification, though, and I didn’t see the harm.
I scan the area looking for her, cringing at the people subjecting themselves to this torture. Throughout the room barely dressed men and women grunt loudly while lifting weights, then grunt even louder when putting them back down. Some of them can’t keep control, and their load crashes to the rubber floor with a horrific clatter that makes me nearly jump out of my skin. No one else seems fazed by it, and one woman even smiles while she hoists what looks like three hundred pounds on her back. Above is what looks like an interior balcony, lined with treadmills and elliptical machines, where people put on their music and run without interruptions.
“Hey, over here!” a familiar voice calls, and I turn to my right. Lynsey is waving at me from beside a flat, padded black bench, barbells of various weights strewn around it. I had never seen her in gym clothes before, but it made me seriously rethink my dedication to the couch. Black lycra pants run down to the top of her calves, accentuating the lean curves of her muscles, and a lime green sports bra reveals her flat tummy while hinting at the cleavage it’s trying to suppress. Her wavy, almond-colored hair is tied back in a ponytail, and black Nike shoes form the sturdy platform for her smooth legs to rise out of.
Perhaps too eagerly I stride toward her, side-stepping the arms of an oblivious man who, from what I could tell, never stops doing curls. I stop in front of her, eye to chin at my tallest, and smile up at her. “I almost didn’t see you here!” I say, taking another quick look around. “Everything here is just so chaotic.”
Lynsey’s hazel eyes glimmer. “I can say the same thing about you, shorty,” she teases. “Now, before we start, you’re sure you want to do this, right?”
I glance at the weights on the floor, and doubts begin to fill my mind. Lynsey’s shoe twitches and catches my attention though, and looking up the length of her sculpted body renews my resolve. The sight of her butt cleft into two perfect hemispheres in the mirror makes up my mind. “Yeah,” I affirm. “Yeah, let’s do this.”
Lynsey bends down and effortlessly hoists two barbells marked with 15 on either side, then places them in my hands. I slump under the sudden increase of weight. She quickly pushes me back upright, then walks around behind me. “Spread your feet shoulder’s width apart,” she instructs, and I quickly comply. “Little wider.” I scoot my feet along the floor until she says to stop. “Now, raise the weights up to your shoulder.” Again I comply, and after some minute adjustments she seems satisfied. “When you feel ready, lift both arms above your head until the weights touch, then bring them back down to this position. Take your time and remember to breathe; each extension should take three seconds, as should each retraction.”
Trying to psych myself up I look in the mirror, take some deep breaths and adjust my grip. It’s not going to get any easier, I tell myself, and press up with the weights. Three seconds must be a lot longer than I thought since Lynsey keeps urging me to go slower. After only four reps I begin to feel faint and wobble on my feet. She urges for me to keep going, placing her hands on my sides for support. I manage one more, then my arms refuse to budge their burdens any more. With a secure grip Lynsey rolls them out of my hands and into hers.
“Not bad for a first time.” She tries to sound encouraging, but I had the strong feeling she was secretly judging me. This is probably the first time in a while she’s seen someone so weak. “Take a seat on the bench and rest while I knock out a quick set.” Lynsey sets herself up expertly while I plop down on the padding, hunched over and trying to decide which sore arm to rub first. Over the next minute or so she knocks out twelve of what I just embarrassed myself at then lowers the weights to her side, not even breathing heavily.
“Normally we’d do three sets,” she begins, turning her attention to me, “but we can work up to that. Stand back up and we’ll move on to the next exercise.” I groan and shove myself up from the bench only to find myself looking straight at the top edge of her sports bra. Confused, I tilt my head back and see her looking down at me expectantly. Seems that posture and attitude really do make a difference – Lynsey looks half a foot taller than before!
Without missing a beat she slips the same weights into my hands, and I fumble with the grips a little. “Okay, stand like you were before,” Lynsey instructs, and I place my feet carefully. She looks me up and down and comments, “Looks a little narrow, but it’s almost a perfect line, so it’ll do. This time you’re going to raise them in front of you until your arm is parallel to the floor, then lower it, alternating sides. Do as many as you can, and if it looks like you’re having trouble I’ll help you.”
She might as well have said that if I’m too much of a wimp to handle it she can bail me out. I push the thought out of my head: I’m not here to look cool, I’m here to help her, and if she can get me on the path to fitness there’s no way she won’t get certified. With a deep breath I raise one arm, getting it as close to parallel as possible before dropping it again. After doing it once with each arm I want to stop, and after three times my arms are shaking so hard I can barely keep my grip. Lynsey reaches over my shoulders and grabs me by the wrist, forcing me to go through the movements. My arms are along for the ride while she does the work, and when she finally lets go it feels like they’re about to fall off.
With me scarcely able to hold on Lynsey easily slips the barbells out of my fingers. “Take a few minutes to rest again, and watch me closely. If you follow my form you’ll be able to mimic it much easier next time.” I take a step to the side, giving her plenty of room to work. Just as before she gets into her stance almost immediately, and effortlessly hits my pathetic record of three. Anticipating her chiding remarks, I sigh and watch while she inadvertently destroys my self-confidence.
Each rep she does past mine seems to make her stronger, more powerful than she was before. I certainly did not expect the results to be quite so immediate, nor did I think she would be gaining so much from what I would charitably call beginner’s weights. She executes several more reps, growing even larger, and I notice that her muscles aren’t bulging to enormous proportions. Lynsey is simply getting taller, inch by inch. That doesn’t add up either though, since if she had grown five feet since starting she’d be putting her fists through the mirror.
The set finished, Lynsey lets the weights sag and turns to me. I’m level with the broad waistband of her pants, my face only a few inches above her crotch. “I hope you were paying attention,” she says, looking almost straight down at me. Either she doesn’t notice that she towers over me, or she doesn’t care. “This is just an intro session, next time I’ll be a lot harder on you.” Nervously I look away from her to the nearby bench, and see that it almost comes up to my armpits. That means she isn’t growing, but…
“Lynsey, I want to stop,” I declare. “My arms are too tired to do anymore, and I just remembered I have a ton of reading to do before tomorrow morning.”
“No, we agreed, remember? Five full sessions, an hour long each,” Lynsey sternly reminds me. “I know it hurts, but you’ve got to keep going. Trust me, you’ll feel better when it’s all over.” Five sessions? At this rate I’ll be microscopic after three!
“Seriously, I can’t do anymore,” I insist. “I don’t know what’s going on, but every time you demonstrate for me I get smaller. Look at me, you have to notice that I’m shrinking!”
“Shrinking?!” Lynsey repeats, and punctuates it with a laugh. “Dude, I know you’re short, but trust me, you’re not shrinking. You’re just as small as ever.” Looking up at her navel, I beg to differ.
“Wait, do you actually remember me being waist-high to you earlier?” I ask skeptically.
“Yeah, seems right to me. Come on, stop making excuses, I’m going to give your arms a rest and work your legs.” I stare up at her, mouth agape, and she places a hand on my shoulder, just barely long enough to reach it. With a gentle nudge she pushes me toward the squat rack – her favorite, if her quads and glutes are anything to go by. She gestures for me to stand beneath the bar stretched across the rack, then moves to grab it herself.
“This one is really easy,” Lynsey explains while she unhooks the bar and lowers it for me. “I’ll just have you do the bar so that we can get a solid baseline for you.” She hooks it at the lowest peg and slides the plates off each side. “Now, when you feel ready, unhook it and sit like you’re in an invisible chair. Don’t go too far or you’ll hurt something, and don’t stop short or you’re not getting proper form.” Feeling that she had explained it sufficiently, she stands behind me and poises her arms to bail my puny muscles out.
I raise up on my toes in an effort to dislodge the bar, but it’s a few inches too high for my shoulders to hit it. Seeing my difficulty Lynsey seizes the bar with one hand and hoists it, then rotates it so that it can move freely. Slowly she lowers it until it lays across my shoulders and lets go. Without her hand supporting it the bar crashes down, knocking me hard to the ground. It clangs at the end of its guide rails, the only thing keeping it from crushing me.
“Really? The bar’s too much?” Lynsey asks in disbelief. Quickly she picks up the bar and resets it, this time for someone her size. “Don’t worry about it, we’ll work something out and you’ll be up to the bar in a week, I guarantee it.” She reaches down and grabs my hand, engulfing mine like a glove, and pulls me to my feet. The top of my head barely reached the bottom of her waistband now – that pitiful display must have been enough by itself.
Effortlessly Lynsey lifts a plate on each side and slides it back onto the bar. “I know you’re trying your hardest, I really do,” she begins. “You can’t help it that you’re so small, and even the smallest weights topple you.” I shrink again, coming to eye level with her crotch, and she gasps and covers her mouth. She noticed this time! “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude! Just, watch me do a set of squats as an apology, huh?”
Lynsey braces herself against the bar, placing her perfect ass right in my face. My eyes follow it a short way up when she shrugs the bar up, then down as she sinks beneath the weight. Her butt hits me in the chest while it pushes out, shoving me back several steps, and by the time I recover she is standing tall again. No longer am I graced by her ass in easy view: now I have to look up at it while she’s at rest. She lowers herself again and I wince. Inch by inch I shrink down the length of her chiseled legs until I have to leap up to reach the bottom of her gym pants.
A metallic clang rings out when she sets the bar back in place, then she turns around. I gawk up at her. Lynsey looks like a giantess to me now, hundreds of times my size. She looks down at me, scanning the floor with her eyes, and finally spots me beside her ankle. Instead of shock or surprise, her expression betrays that for her nothing is out of the ordinary.
“Let’s go do one more,” Lynsey implores, “I’d like to keep you balanced on arms and legs.” At this size her voice sounds deeper, louder, just generally bigger, and it takes a moment to get used to.
“Lynsey, no!” I shout up, hoping my voice can reach her. “I’m barely taller than your ankle! This isn’t normal, it can’t be, I’m shrinking!”
“Uh, yeah? It is?” Lynsey replies. “Don’t you remember the first time we met? You complimented me on my boots and I offered to let you live in one if you like it so much. So either you’ve always been this small or you were trying to look up skirts, which, ew.”
I sigh. How am I going to convince her to stop this and let me at least retain a few inches? “You have a waist tape in your trainer kit, right?” I ask, my voice cracking as I shout. She pauses and gives a slight nod. “Take it out and measure me. If that doesn’t prove I’m shrinking I don’t know what will.”
Lynsey shrugs. “If it’ll get you to be quiet about it, sure.” She reaches into her bag and pulls out a long, thin tape, hanging freely from her hand. Carefully she kneels next to me and pinches one end between her thumb and forefinger to hold it firmly against the ground. It’s impossible for me to focus on anything other than her looming over me, threatening to crush me if she loses her balance. With a hand nearly as wide as I am tall she grabs it at the one foot mark and holds it straight against me.
I glance to the side, and see an eight the size of my head. “Aha!” I declare. “Eight inches! I was five-three when I walked in here, I have shrunk!”
Lynsey is spectacularly calm for the first person to witness a human shrink. “No you weren’t, and no you haven’t. Remember when you walked in here? You had to dart in between someone’s feet when they opened the door, and when you made it over to me I said I almost didn’t see you?” As absurd as this story is, she does a great job selling it. “And I’m not sure where you got five-foot-three from. Does that sound impressive to you? I guess when you’re not even a foot it seems huge, but that is really short to my five-eight.” She stands back up, and I nearly fall over while I try to keep her gaze. “Now come on. Just one more, I promise, and we’re done.”
Before I can answer Lynsey walks away, a single step conveying her several dozen feet. I do my best to keep up, but with her legs so much longer than mine I quickly get left behind. She stops and turns around, taking up position beside an enormous bar, as high off the ground as I am tall, and watches me approach. To her credit she remains patient, as though she’s used to me taking this long to walk after her. Maybe she’s right after all? While I begin to consider that her eyes widen in surprise and she points to the side.
An enormous Converse All-Star slams down in front of me, missing me by half an inch. The gigantic shoe is almost twice my size, and with how hard it hit the ground I would have been smashed under it. While I consider the near-fatal footwear and its negligent owner – at a glance a woman’s, and with my head level with her ankle bone, an amazon at that – her other foot comes forward. Hard rubber strikes me in the shoulder, bowling me over and sending me rolling along the floor. Her shoe’s brown rubber sole skims above me, its pattern flying by so fast it’s a blur. Its heel sets down just beyond me, barely past where it would have crushed my arm.
The titaness takes another step and looks back, an auburn ponytail flopping over her shoulder. She spots me and smiles, her blue eyes glimmering. It looks like she’s about to turn around and come back, but Lynsey intercedes between us. “Hey, watch where you’re going!” she admonishes the redhead. “You could have crushed him!” In response the taller woman only laughs, but since my protector doesn’t come tumbling back on me I suppose she kept walking.
Lynsey kneels in front of me again and lowers her head until it nearly touches mine. Seeing her face this big, this close to me, that it blocks out everything else is a shock. In a way though, it also feels a little right, like I ought to be used to it. “Fucking unbelievable,” she mutters, just loud enough for only the two of us to hear. “I mean, it’s not a secret that you go here, and I told all the staff to let people know you’d be here today. It’s like she didn’t even care if she killed you!”
This is my chance. She’s involving other people in her weird attempt to gaslight me, and the first person will no doubt think she’s crazy. “It seems pretty far-fetched that there’s an eight-inch-tall man on campus,” I begin, “and that everyone would know about it. I didn’t shrink to this small until a few minutes ago, after all.”
I can tell from the exasperated expression on her face that Lynsey’s patience is wearing thin, maybe she’s ready to drop the façade. “I’m going to tell you one more time: you. Are. Not. Shrinking. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up, but you’ve always been eight inches tall. Everyone finds out about you during orientation, and we go to extreme lengths to keep you safe. If you don’t believe me, here, I’ll prove it.” She points to a nearby woman taking a drink out of her water bottle. “You know about the eight-inch-tall kid, right?”
“Yeah, of course,” she answers without missing a beat.
Lynsey moves to point at someone else, apparently at random. “You know about him?”
“Yeah, he’s so cool!” she answers.
It goes on like this. Before Lynsey is done she’s polled almost twenty people, all of which firmly believe I’m only eight inches tall. One of them even pulls out the orientation pamphlet about me and offers it to Lynsey. She waves it away, but I clearly see myself depicted on it. Either this is an elaborate prank to disguise that she somehow knows how to shrink people, or I really have been this small all along. I rack my brain for a solid memory, and they all slip out of grasp before I can picture it. A vivid recollection hits me of the gym door opening, and me dashing between a pair of running shoes to get through. Did the woman I ran under smile at me as I went past?
“There. Now do you believe me?” Lynsey is struggling to keep her cool and avoid deafening me by yelling so close to my face.
“I… Yeah, I guess I do,” I answer. Doubts still cloud my mind, but all the evidence seems to back her up.
Relief washes over Lynsey’s face, and a smile spreads across it. “Oh, good, finally. I’m sorry about putting you on the spot like that, but you just wouldn’t stop insisting that you were shrinking and I had to dispel it. I don’t know where you got the notion from, but it’s just… not healthy, you know?” I nod, and she continues. “Now come on, we just need to do deadlifts and then we’re done. Mind if I pick you up? For safety, of course.” I shrug. Being carried by Lynsey is better than getting stepped on, I have to admit, even if it always chafes my ego.
Her hand wraps around me, palm in front with fingers overlapping on my back as I’m accustomed to. I don’t remember when I became used to this, but I have vague memories telling me that this is the most comfortable method of picking me up. Not only that, but this is far from the first time Lynsey is doing it. Apparently we spend a lot of time together, but I don’t remember whether it’s private or we hang out with friends.
The trip in Lynsey’s hand is only a few steps, and she doesn’t even bother standing all the way up for it. Still, it would have taken me a minute or so to cross, and as someone just proved that can be incredibly risky for me. Lynsey sets me down in front of a metal bar twice as thick as my head and exactly level with it. I run my hands along the smooth surface, contemplating how she expects me to pick this up. My hands don’t even make it halfway around the bar.
“Go on, give it a shot,” Lynsey says, trying to be encouraging. “The worst that happens is you fail, right?” Hardly a vote of confidence, but if it gets her to take me home to my dollhouse I’ll make an effort. I brace both hands on the cold metal and push as hard as I can, summoning all the strength left in my arms and legs. Despite giving it my all, the deadlift bar doesn’t budge, let alone raise off the ground. Exhausted, I back away to rest.
I barely even have time to move away from it before Lynsey seizes the bar with both hands – it seems she had just as much confidence as I did. She spreads her feet until one of her shoes is nearly touching me, the dip for its ankle as tall as my waist. With nary a grunt she lifts what had been an immovable object to me. Her triumph gives her a triumphant growth spurt, gaining what I can only imagine is several feet.
She lifts it again, just as easy as the first time. Once more she grows rapidly – if she had gained five feet last rep, she gained ten this time. Lynsey is growing so rapidly that her round, protruding ankle bone is now the size of my head and directly level with it, and the top of her shoe comes to my armpits. I cheer her on; her massive growth shows that if I lifted like her, I might have grown taller than eight inches.
With a quiet groan Lynsey hoists it again, shooting up twenty feet. Her shoe is now taller than me in some places, and I marvel at her incredible growth. While I estimate her growth, it occurs to me that I have no idea how much she’s actually growing. Any increase would look massive to me, after all. How tall did she say she is earlier? Five-eight? That would mean she’d nearly double in size with another five… maybe she was only growing a few inches? But with how much time she spends here, surely she should be twenty feet by now.
Another suppressed grunt, and Lynsey rockets up another forty feet. The bar still fits perfectly in her hands though, shouldn’t it be getting smaller compared to her? And if she’s growing so much, wouldn’t she have pushed me aside? I’m shorter than her shoe all around now, with her ankle hanging tantalizingly above me. Am I on the verge of being dragged under her massively expanding shoe?
This doesn’t add up. Everything else is growing with her, too. While I try to piece it together she lifts it again, and immediately becomes gigantic compared to her previous height, with the toe of her shoe as tall as my chin. I tear my attention away from Lynsey’s explosive growth to look at the other gym patrons. The first woman Lynsey asked about my height is still drinking water, but has more than doubled in size since I last saw her. My eyes fall on the pamphlet about me someone had pulled out earlier. Where it had said eight before, it now says three. I’m shrinking! But Lynsey had convinced me that’s impossible, and I’ve always been eight inches…
A louder grunt, much deeper than I’d expect, escapes from Lynsey’s throat, and she grows more than I can even guess. Wait, no, she isn’t growing, I have to be shrinking. It’s the only thing that makes sense. The white foam of her sole comes up to my waist, and the rest of her shoe dwarfs me. “Lynsey, help!” I shout, hoping that my tiny voice can reach her. “Please, Lynsey, I’m shrinking!” I bang on the side of her shoe, but doubt that I’m strong enough for her to feel me through it.
Once more Lynsey grunts, though it sounds more like a dinosaur’s roar now, and completely doubles in size. I look up at her leg that seems to stretch for miles, and can’t help but admire how she towers over me now. Her shoe spans the length of a bus, and its white foam sole is a bit taller than me. If I could climb up on her shoulder, I think, I could see forever. I spy the same pamphlet from before, only now it says one. One inch. And if she had just doubled in size…
In seemingly slow motion Lynsey lowers her butt toward the ground, getting ready to lift one more time. “Lynsey, stop!” I shout. “Don’t do it! If you pick that up, I’ll shrink into nothing!” I plea up to her, but all of her muscles tense in sequence. I cry her name once more, but my voice can’t be anything more than high-pitched squeaking now. As I watch she explodes in size what must be several times. No, I’m dwindling, I correct myself. I’ve been shrinking this whole time, and if this continues I will become literally nothing.
By sheer providence I don’t disappear, though the tremendous white wall before me does not bode well. Luck is on my side again and Lynsey releases the bar, standing to her full height. I can’t even imagine how tall she is – or rather, how small I am. She must be thousands of feet, possibly a mile, compared to me. There’s no way I’m anything more than a speck to her. Effectively, she had shrunk me into nothing.
Lynsey’s feet shift, and the shoe against me soars over my head by a hundred feet, each clump of dirt caught in her treads approaching my size. When it lands tremors run through the ground, and a tremendous thud fills my ears. Before I can recover her other shoe comes forward, setting down with a similar crash and quake. She is almost exactly squared up with me, though she must be remembering where I was before I shrank out of the sight of the naked eye. “Now, what’s so important it couldn’t wait for my set to finish, sweetie?” Her voice is a low rumble, barely recognizable as human to me, but it’s just familiar enough to be clear to me.
Sweetie? She had never called me a pet name before. Wait, am I her pet now? Did I shrink so much that I’ve become property? Did she shrink me so that I could become her property? “I’m shrinking!” I shout, hoping she can hear me. “I- I’m tiny! Please tell me you can see me!”
Lynsey sighs so hard it sounds like an entire typhoon rushes from her lungs. “Yes hon, you’re tiny, but you’re not shrinking. Didn’t we just go over this?” She arches an eyebrow. “Okay, I’ll humor you. If you’re ‘shrinking,’” the irony quotes are more than evident from her voice, as overpowering as it may be, “then how tall did you used to be?”
I scratch my head. This should be easy, right? The faint image of walking up to her earlier runs through my head, tilting my head back to meet her gaze. “Five-three!” I shout decisively. Then I remember standing next to her ankle and my awe-struck gaze up at her, being carried in one hand, and nearly getting crushed by that woman. “No, eight inches!” I correct myself.
Lynsey chuckles, a low rumble that somehow comforts me. “Which is it, five-three or eight? There’s quite a big difference between those, you know, you can’t shout random numbers and expect to be taken seriously.”
“Uh, both?” I honestly could not be sure anymore. “First one, then the other. I think. If I’ve been shrinking it’s possible, right?”
“That’s a pretty big if, though.” Lynsey squats in front of me, bringing her heels together with a loud clunk. At dizzying speed her legs shoot over me, drastically limiting my field of view. Between her thighs she looks down at me, a massive juggernaut. I feel myself being judged under her gaze, thousands of feet above, but still large enough to fill the sky. If she became frustrated with me, she could squash me without a second thought, a thought that remains at the fore of my mind.
“Let’s run through this one at a time, okay?” Now that she’s closer Lynsey’s voice is many times louder, but still maintains a small measure of gentleness. “You woke up this morning, and you were five-foot-three. Tremendous for you, but still short to me, mind. Don’t you think you would have been in a bed, and not in a jewelry box on my night stand?”
I try to remember back to that morning. First thing is pulling my blankets back over my head to get a few more minutes of sleep. No, that doesn’t seem right. There’s a caterwaul that comes from everywhere and nowhere, then the roof flips open, allowing light to pour through. Lynsey’s enormous face fills everything I can see from my velvet bed. “’morning, cutie!” she whispers, then blows a kiss at me from a pair of lips wider than a semi-truck. I blow a kiss back, and… wait, are we together now?
“That… yeah, that makes sense,” I agree. “Every morning for the past six months you’ve blown a kiss to me right after opening that box.”
Lynsey nods enthusiastically. “Yeah, now you’re getting it. So, back to eight inches. Pretty big, huh? Actually, you’d still be tiny, not even as long as my shoe, to be honest. If you were that big a few minutes ago, you’d have been crushed under that bitch’s shoe instead of small enough to be unscathed, remember?”
The immediate picture that comes to mind is being having my path blocked by a Converse twice as long as I am, then kicked hard enough in the side that I’m sent flying and barely escape being crushed under her other foot. That seems hazy though, like something I imagined. Much more clearly, I remember a gust from the vent picking me up while Lynsey does her squats and carrying me halfway across the room. I smack into the white rubber stud of an All-Star, then fall to the ground. Unfortunately, the redhead notices and surreptitiously places her shoe on top of me, thinking no one would notice. She twists her foot back and forth, making an awful racket while rubber grinds against rubber, but I end up inside her thread. When she lifts her foot I fall back onto the floor while smiles malevolently. The mystery woman walks away and Lynsey rushes in, picking me up to make sure I’m okay.
“Yeah, I remember now,” I tell her, surprised she can even her me. “I ended up between her treads, if I were any bigger she would have crushed me.”
“She would have! And then I would have been crushed when I found your splattered remains split between the floor and her shoe. What kind of person bullies someone a millionth of their size, anyway?” Anger flashes in Lynsey’s eyes, then she clears her throat and continues. “So, you know you didn’t shrink just now, right?” I nod, causing her to smile. “Then surely your story of how we met will match mine. Go ahead and tell me what you remember.”
Well this is easy, I sat next to her and made a corny joke about her lip piercing. Wait, that seems implausible at best. I stood next to her at a party, complimented her boots, and she made a corny joke about my size. No, not that either. Those boots were so big I could have climbed up the sole, walked along the toe, and scaled the top and she still wouldn’t have noticed me. It was definitely a more direct touch.
“I was standing on a chair when you walked in,” I begin. “As it turns out, it was your chair. You leaned over me and set your coffee down on the desk while I shouted up at you. ‘No, please!’ I said. ‘This seat’s taken, please don’t sit on me!’”
“Your voice was just a little squeak to me then!” Lynsey interjects. “I thought it was the desk creaking while I leaned on it.”
“Then, once you got situated you sat down! I have never been more thankful for yoga pants, you know. They parted your butt cheeks just enough that they landed on either side of me. Throughout the class I squirmed, trying to get free, and you kept shifting to stop me. I thought you were going to squish me so many times!” I laugh at the ridiculousness of the idea now, forgetting the fear that gripped me in the moment. “Finally you reached in and grabbed me, I’ll never forget the sheer power I felt when your fingers seized me. Then you held me up in front of your eye while I screamed and begged for mercy. I thought for sure you were going to squash me! But you remember what you said?”
“’This pencil lead can talk!”’ we said simultaneously.
“You may be a quarter inch tall,” Lynsey begins, “but you’re much more fun than anyone else I’ve met.” She reaches down, thumb and forefinger carefully poised, and with a gentle touch pinches me between them. We had agreed at the very start that the cold, impersonal touch of tweezers makes me uncomfortable, and I would much rather feel the soft skin of the whorls on her fingers than a metallic twinge. Quickly she lifts me up and places me in the trench of a crease on her other palm, then stands.
Gradually Lynsey raises me from her waist on the great open plain of her palm. I pass the depths of her navel and the flat wall of her tummy, which easily gives way to the cleft, lime green cloth straining against her breasts. Soon after that another tower of lightly tanned skin, bordered on either side by great green ribbons. Her sharp chin dominates my view as my ascent continues, though once I pass that I see her lips are pulled tight in a joyful smile, pearly white teeth just visible behind them. She holds me at the tip of her rounded nose while her humongous hazel irises focus on me. For a moment we’re both silent, me feeling tiny under her awe-inspiring gaze, she, reveling in the power she feels devouring me with her eyes, both of us content. “You are too cute,” she finally whispers.
“Excuse me,” an immense voice rips through our quiet moment, rattling my bones and threatening to blow me out of Lynsey’s hand. In a panic I turn and see a tremendous iris dotted with brown throughout its blue field, the pure black of its pupil dead center on me. “Did that quarter-inch guy ever show up?”
Lynsey simply points at me, the deep whorls of her finger moving hypnotically with her pulse. The interloper leans in close enough that her eyelashes nearly close on me. “That’s him,” she explains to the woman to differentiate me from a freckle.
“Really?” I do not much care for this woman’s rumbling voice nor her insistence in getting close enough that I might stick to her cornea, but if Lynsey is okay with it there’s nothing I can do. She nods, so I guess she’s not too upset by it. “He’s so adorable!”
“Yeah, isn’t he?” Lynsey purrs. “So, did you just want to gawk at him, or…?”
“Oh!” The other woman seems taken aback that Lynsey wants her to get out of her face and stop harassing her flea-sized boyfriend. “When you told us he was coming in with you we made something to accommodate him, do you want it?” She produces a tiny bench press from below Lynsey’s hand, pinching it as delicately as possible on the tip of Lynsey’s finger. It looks about twice the scale for someone my size, as though my feet would barely reach the end of the bench. Like I didn’t feel small enough already. The woman twitches, and with a loud squeak of metal her fingers converge, mashing her gift into unrecognizable metal scrap.
Lynsey laughs while the woman cringes, and I finally understand why she is so selective about who gets to hold me. “No, that’s fine,” she reassures her. “He doesn’t really like working out anyway, he’s just here for support. Plus, I think he likes to stand beside me and bask in my raw size and power while I lift. Isn’t that right, my itty-bitty boyfriend?” She sweeps her face forward, rubbing her nose back and forth over me several times before moving back. The woman, clearly weirded out, turns and leaves, and the surge of wind from her ponytail sends me tumbling across Lynsey’s palm.
Fortunately, her nose stops me from plummeting to the floor, and with a quick nudge she pushes me back to the center. “Come on, let’s go have some Friday fun,” she declares, then lowers me from her magnificent face. Her fingers curl inward, and the soft pads of her fingertips hold me snugly in her palm. The gentle rhythm of her slight arm swing sets in, and I can’t imagine a better life than being a quarter-inch tall with Lynsey.