NORTH GREENWICH ARENA,
(7 AUGUST, 2012)
The petite Italian girl looked at him, curiously.
"Che cosa e questo?" she muttered to herself.*
Little Bob Bullfinch tried to control his fear. But, the intense stare he was getting from Vanessa Ferrari was making him increasingly self-conscious. And, when she used the index finger of her free hand to gently move his shrunken arms away from the center of his waistline, he just plain blushed!
One of _two_ instinctive reactions she did not fail to notice.
"Un uomo piccolo!" she gasped.
Whereupon, she partially unzipped her sweatsuit's jersey and tucked Little Bob into its left inner pocket. After that, he was--once again--bounced around in complete darkness. That is; till he was once more blinded, temporarily, by bright light. And, when his eyes had readjusted, this time, he found himself looking at an all-too familiar strip of material.
"Oh, no," he pleaded: "Not again. Not more kinesio-mmmmmmmmmmmmph!"
Sure enough; once again, Little Bob was turned into a miniature mummy. Only, this time, the adhesive part of the tape was on the outside! As a result, when Vanessa Ferrari tucked him down the neckline of her turquoise leotard (with translucent sleeves), he only fell as far as her navel before stopping...and sticking.
He struggled with all of his might to free himself. But, he might as well have been a fly on a strip of fly paper for all the good he did himself. Therefore, he eventually had to admit defeat and just hang there. Unable to even articulate the words "Help me" without it sounding more like "Hmmmph mmmmmph!"
He listened as the American gymnast, Aly Reisman, went through her floor exercise final, first. Followed by the Romanian gymnast (and Catalina Ponor's teammate) Sandra Izbasa. Finally, it was Vanessa Ferrari's turn. And, Little Bob's fears...
...proved worse than imagined.
He did not even _try_ to listen to--let alone, recognize--the music she was performing to. All that consumed most of his other four senses (as he obviously could not touch anything) were the prison wall of turquoise fabric he saw before him; the seismic vibrations that he felt go through his body when she hand-sprang; and the slight taste of regurgitation from the motion sickness that he was starting to develop!
Worst of all, however, was the intense pain that went through his body whenever she belly-flopped on the rubber floor mats. The last one she performed, just before the conclusion of her exercise, mercifully caused him to black out.
When he finally revived, it was to the unlikely words of:
Vanessa Ferrari was tickling him awake. But, definitely _not_ on the soles of his feet.
"No! OH! HAHA! No, plea---HAHAHAHA! Please, don't do-HAHAHAHAHA! Please, stop---HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Ahhh," sighed the auburn-haired Italian gymnast with relief: "Molto bene; molto bene."
The tie score she had had with Aliya Mustafina might have been decided in the latter's favor. But, at least Vanessa would be going home to Italy with something more unique than a bronze medal.
"Un uomo piccolo! ("A little man!")
"Molto bene..." ("Very good...").