I only met her once and I barely talked to her. The girl living in the house next to mine was a mystery I still couldn’t solve: she didn’t like to stay outside a lot, and most of all she didn’t like to talk. Despite that, I couldn’t help but thinking about her day and night. I knew almost nothing about her, and that was what made me so deeply interested in that enigmatic girl. So, one morning I gathered my courage and went to her door. I still didn’t know exactly what I was going to do. Maybe she forgot that we already met that one time and I would just introduce myself again, and that would be the end of it. Or maybe not, maybe… Unfortunately, I never had the occasion to know for sure what would have happened. As soon as I casually stepped into her front garden with my head in the clouds, I heard a single, loud, beeping sound. Out of nowhere I started to feel dizzy, and I think I passed out for a few seconds.
I had to look around to realize what happened to me. Blades of grass stood tall above me, each as big as a house and, among them, an unnatural cylinder of metal that emitted a feeble red ray from its top, almost invisible in the warm light of the summer morning.
It was in that moment that I knew I was an idiot. A shrunken idiot.
I had heard before of modern security systems using shrinking technology, but, considering their expensive prices, I never thought I would see one in action. Let alone being its victim. So there I was, stranded on the garden of my mysterious neighbour. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do to improve my situation. I started to panic, as I frantically made my way through the lawn without a real destination. Suddenly, a loud beeping sound came from the cylinder of metal that I identified as part the security system. At my size, it was deafening, but as sudden as it came, it quickly went away, and with it, the red ray shining at its top. Simply, it was turned off.
Suddenly I heard it. A loud thud in the distance, powerful enough to shake the ground I stood on. Then another, and another soon after. My heart began pounding. Even before seeing it, I knew exactly what it was. I could hear the grass give in and bend under a massive pressure, somewhere not too far ahead. A pressure caused by a single step. I looked above, but the thick forest of grass didn’t allow me to see much far. Soon, however, the clear sky above me was covered by a shadow. Then, she came into view.
The cheerful, simple girl next door was huge.
Her light brown hair was flowing in the air, moved by the gentle breeze of the morning. She gently moved a lock of her hair away from her face, as she looked around in the peaceful garden, strolling in the warm sun of the morning. Her eyes were squinting in the blinding light. She had a relaxed expression on her face. She was probably enjoying that moment of peace, alone, with a hint of a smile on her lips. She had no clue I was exactly below her.
This view only lasted a few seconds. Then, she took a step forward. The sole of an old, black shoe materialized above the forest of grass, hovering above me for a fraction of second. After long years, it was consumed and battered by long walks through town. Then, it slowly came down. I quickly dashed out of the way, just in time to avoid its destructive landing. The ground quaked after the impact, shattering around the area of the collision, and even the huge forest of glass had to bend under Lara’s massive weight. That was the aftermath of such a simple action at my size. I drew closer to the massive old shoe, now completely motionless after its display of destructive power. I looked up again: Lara in all her might, wearing a pair of ragged jeans and a faded t-shirt with the logo of a basketball team. She had closed her eyes and stood still in the light. Her nostrils flared as she inhaled the fresh morning air, as if she was trying to pick up the scent of summer itself. She slowly exhaled from her mouth, satisfied.
“This is the life…” she muttered to herself. Then she assumed a thoughtful expression, as if she was pondering something. After a few moments she just shrugged. “Who cares, why not?” she said to herself in a low voice. The shoe in front of me rose in the air, towards her hand. Lara quickly untied her shoelaces and, with a swift movement, grabbed the shoe and took it off. The blades of grass were just starting to straighten back up when her foot came down in the exact same spot where her shoe was. Another loud impact, as the girl settled her bare foot on the soft grass. She reflexively curled her toes, adapting to the new surface, and proceeded to repeat the same process with her other shoe. I stepped back before the huge mass of flesh. Its sheer size was… intimidating.
And yet… I felt like I was lured to it. Without even realizing it, I lifted my hand and touched the massive surface of the girl’s foot. The heat radiating from her skin was slowly cooling in the fresh air and in the natural soil. The breeze brought to my nostrils a faint smell of canvas, due to the time spent inside the old shoe.
Then, her foot lifted again, and began hovering back and forth just above the forest. It took me a few seconds to realize that she was enjoying the tip of the blades of grass on her skin, gently tickling the enormous, looming sole. A quiet giggle came from above. Soon after, her huge toes landed again on the ground, in the middle of the forest behind me. Slowly, she moved her foot forward, feeling the grass bend and yield between her toes. While Lara, oblivious, simply enjoyed her time in the open air, from my perspective the whole forest was shaking and breaking under her colossal toes. And they were coming towards me. Before I even knew it, they were upon me. With no time to escape, I was hit right in the face by one of her toes. For a split second, I adhered to the soft, plump surface, only to be thrown among a bundle of blades of grass and caught between her second and third toe immediately after.
She stopped. Frankly, I doubt she even felt me down there, while the grass caressed her foot and passed between her toes. But that particular bundle – the one I was trapped in – was being held tight. Her toes wiggled, squeezing it between them, savouring the feeling against her soft skin. I was surprised by the pressure she could apply with just that small part of her body. I was being smothered against her refreshed skin, still warm, but covered in small droplets of dew. She was just playing with the grass, absent-mindedly, pulling it, then grabbing it again. Inadvertently, I had ended up as part of her pleasant experience.
She lost interest in a couple of minutes. She left the strand of grass and just walked away to another part of her garden. I fell on the ground, gasping for air. I checked and, miraculously, her delicate toes hadn’t broken my bones. I watched Lara as she disappeared over the horizon of tall grass. The titaness didn’t even perceived my existence. There was nothing “human” in her scale.
But at least I knew I had a chance to be rescued, however feeble it may have been. My objective was to get Lara to help me. I still didn’t know how I would do that exactly, but at least she was there. And I knew eventually everything would turn out alright for me. So, I set off to trail her. I had to walk just a few steps to find a giant, foot-shaped crater, moulded in the soft ground. It wouldn’t be hard to find her.
The trek in the forest of grass lasted longer than I expected. At my size, I seemed to make very little progress crossing Lara’s lawn. I had been following her steps, quite literally, for what felt like an eternity, when the girl came into view again. On the horizon of the forest, I could see her walking idly around, without a real aim, looking far away in the distance. What was on her mind? I asked myself. Even now, I couldn’t help but wonder about the mysteriousness surrounding her. I almost didn’t notice her randomly coming in my direction, too dedicated in admiring her. I almost didn’t also notice the titanic mass of her foot rising into the air dangerously close to me. I contemplated the pink skin of her sole, now being covered by a thin layer of dirt, cumulating with each step, the result of her barefoot walk. A few blades of grass were plastered under her foot, torn from the ground and trampled as part of her playful curiosity. As the foot began to descend upon me, I could make out more and more details: the smallest pebbles stuck on her sole, the defined ridges of her skin, the tiny vines entangled between her toes… It was mesmerizing, seeing the microscopic world hidden under that girl, invisible to everyone except me. If only she weren’t about to step on me.
I snapped out of my fantasy and made a run for it, but the thick grass hindered me in every direction. Lara’s foot was lowering quickly, and I wasn’t going anywhere. When its shadow had already engulfed me, I just threw myself on the ground, praying that the grass would soften the impact. Then, the light disappeared completely. And Lara stepped on me.
A deafening thud, then darkness and immeasurable pressure. Fear and shock took over my brain and for a few moments I couldn’t even think straight. Then I realized it. I was beneath Lara. Her warm foot pushed me down in the soft ground, sparing me the sorry fate of being squished under the foot of the oblivious girl. Even so, I had no reason to rejoice: soon enough, I noticed that I couldn’t move a single muscle. I was trapped between the soft terrain and the equally soft and dirty sole. Everything stood still for a long moment. Then, the giantess above me lifted her foot. I was left in the middle of the newly formed giant footprint. “What was that?” I heard the girl murmuring to herself. Lara grabbed her foot and examined the dirty sole. She had somehow felt me. Then, something unexpected happened: for the first time that morning, Lara looked down. Her enormous face leaned closer to the ground, exactly where her foot was. Her inquisitive eyes locked on me. “A bug. Hope I didn’t kill the poor thing” she said to herself, genuinely concerned about the small life at her feet. Two massive fingers reached out towards me, my only chance to be rescued. Lara gently pinched me between her thumb and index finger, bringing me closer to her face. I flailed my arms into the air like a madman, shouting her name, begging her to understand me. And finally, after squinting her eyes with a puzzled look, she was shocked to recognize me. Although her first reaction wasn’t exactly what I expected. “What. the fuck”, she simply said, with her deafening voice. “Explain yourself. Now”. She didn’t seem very friendly. And for a good reason: after all, I was in her garden, uninvited and small. Everything was my fault. So, I just explained her my mistake and how I ended up like that. She carefully listened to me, doing her best to grasp my words at that size. When I was done, she just nodded and, still holding me in her fingers, she started to walk back towards her house. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I was saved.
Or so I thought. About halfway through the way back, Lara stopped. Again, she brought me in front of her face. Unable to wait, I unwisely asked her how I was going to be turned back to normal. She let out a loud giggle. “Turn you back…? Nah, why would I do that?”. I almost collapsed on the spot. “Look, my parents insisted on installing the security system in the garden, but I have no idea how shrinking technology works. And I don’t really feel like learning it just for you. It’s not worth all the time it takes. Besides, I never met someone so dumb to actually get shrunken… I think a tiny person may come in handy. Yes, you’re far more useful just the way you are now!”. Then, she moved me away from her amused face, and lowered me towards the ground. No, not really the ground: with the corner of my eye, I could see the entrance of her discarded old shoe getting closer and closer. No, it couldn’t be happening! Why would she do this to me just when I had my chance to return to normal? I thrashed and kicked and punched at the giantess’ tough fingers, but she just squeezed harder, unmoved. Looking up, she seemed almost amused by my futile struggles. Her hand now was just above the entrance to the dark cavern. The smell of old canvas emanating from the inside already reached me. I pleaded desperately to avoid such a terrible fate. Lara responded by immediately dropping me inside.
I landed on the dark, consumed insole. Above, I could see Lara’s giant face inspecting the inside of her shoe. “Don’t worry. In a week or two I’ll probably just grow tired of having you around and I’ll take you out… Assuming there will be something left of you by then!”. Her face was soon covered by the sole of her dirty foot, trying to make its way in after the walk outside. I could not believe it was about to end like this. Instinctively, I turned back and ran deeper in the cavern of canvas. Unfortunately, I could not reach the bottom in time. Lara’s filthy toes smashed me on the insole on their way in, and before I knew it, I was buried under her dirty sole. Earth and sweat from her foot covered my body, while I was being suffocated by her flesh. She barely took a few steps before I passed out, trying to escape from beneath the uncaring girl’s foot.
She barely felt me fight back against her foot. She was surprised when I stopped. “Huh. Weakling”, she said to herself, before going back inside her house.