“I c-collect… cute girls…”
Adrian opened her mouth to speak, but her lips slowly sealed back around the edge of her soda in a submission of silence. She wanted to digest that justification a little further to make at least some sense of it. She took a sip, then nodded. There was a lot of sense that needed to be made, something she remembered in this awkward scene.
“Cute girls?” Adrian stammered, swaying slightly with the drink still close to her mouth. “You collect them?”
She asked this to Melanie, the shy girl before her. They were classmates in the same college course, but beyond that, Adrian knew nothing about her. She had her assumptions of Melanie, all were fair to make; she was quiet, introverted to say the least, and it was easy to call her goth in an age where the goth lifestyle was a little less extreme. In truth, Melanie’s gothic features were limited to her long black hair, riddled with messy waves, and an attire that favored darker colors, though the skirt was a more energetic touch -- it was something Adrian commented on to Melanie, once, in passing. The more she thought about that in the moment, the more Adrian realized how far and few their conversations had been over the past four months.
Somehow, that was enough to signal to Melanie that Adrian was approachable, at least from Adrian’s perspective. Both girls had found themselves staying late after class, working on computers just opposite of each other on the same lonely table. Some casual conversations lead to Melanie asking to be escorted home. Adrian replied with a positive smile and a thumbs-up. She understood that it wasn’t comforting to walk home, not with reports of girls going missing in the area, and Adrian was regularly willing to service herself out to others in need. A simple favor like this, and for someone who looked so innocent and weak, was nothing to think twice about.
“D-Do you mean like, on social media?” Adrian chuckled. That silence had lasted for several seconds too long, and it was worrying that Melanie never clarified herself. “If you wanna friend me, I’m down, b-but I don’t really go online much--”
“You do,” Melanie corrected. Adrian blinked in surprise. “Y-You’re online a lot, actually. A lot of the time. I’ve noticed.”
“H-Have you?” Adrian bit her lip, then forced out another chuckle. “You got me! I am on my phone a lot. I don’t-- Err, I-I’m not proud of that, is what I mean…”
“Not just your phone…” Melanie’s voice was weaker, and though she smiled, it was a weak expression that she angled away. Adrian felt a bump in her throat, realizing she had been caught in a lie, and yet perplexed as to how her lie was so confidently called out.
Adrian spun the remaining soda in the can she held, unable to come up with something else to move the conversation along. She looked to her left and right, acknowledging the walls on either side of them, cramping her spatial options. A pitstop to a convenience store along the way home had taken the two on a short detour, and now Melanie, having been the lead in the duo’s walk, had guided them into an alley lit with only a single light from one of the buildings. Adrian denied that she felt trapped, well aware she could turn around and dash off whenever she wanted, assuming first that she couldn’t somehow overpower Melanie and trample forward, and assuming second that it was going to be necessary to flee.
“Alright, well… I think I’m feeling a little bleh right now,” Adrian said, still maintaining a sense of humor. She massaged her upper stomach. “Are you ready to keep going?”
“Bleh?” Melanie replied. “How bleh? I-Is your stomach and head spinning?”
Adrian was losing patience, but her lips were stuck in a polite grin. “Actually yeah, a little bit of… both, yeah.” She had meant to lie, but she was soon convincing herself it was real. She lifted the soda up to her head, pressing its cool surface to her brow for just a second. “A-Actually… I really am feeling kinda out of it…”
“O-Oh, oh,” Melanie took a step forward and placed hesitant, gentle hands on Adrian’s shoulders. “Sit down-- Y-You should take a seat, b-before we go on.”
“I’m okay,” Adrian said, but found her balance weak enough that Melanie’s gesture was actually enough to move her. She stumbled slightly, but found her back against the brick wall to her side. It didn’t take any more force for Adrian to scoot down and sit along a low-level ledge, just barely wide enough to hold her. She took another drink, then sat the rest down on the pavement at her feet, a movement that made her feel more sick.
“Are you sore? Tired?” Melanie leaned in over Adrian, her face only inches above. “If you’re tired, we shouldn’t walk. I-I can watch you, while you take a… a breather, or…”
“I’m not--” Adrian winced, like something cold and sharp had sunk through the core of her body. “I just want to… g-get to bed. C-Can we…?” She tried to lift up, but between Melanie remaining right where she stood and her own fatigue burdening her, she was unable. Instead, she let out a deep sigh. It was getting warm.
Melanie continued to watch. She fidgeted and swayed, she would look to the sides to make sure no one was eavesdropping, but otherwise her eyes never left Adrian. She watched her classmate go from idle twitches to semi-delirious squirms. Whatever sickness was plaguing Adrian was bringing a subdued excitement to Melanie, and Adrian, in a flickering state of consciousness, was catching on.
“Collecting… girls…?” Adrian repeated that point from minutes ago. Melanie’s expression didn’t change, but Adrian did note that her lips were quivering. “Heh, okay, was that a joke? Maybe this whole thing is just-- I-I’m a little freaked out, Melanie, w-what did you mean by that? Just tell me.”
“I…” Melanie looked down, her face hidden until she brought it back up with a more confident smile, a little hectic look in her eyes added as well. “I collect girls. I find girls I like, that are cute girls specifically, and I shrink them. I make them a few inches tall, a-and then I collect them. I can just pick them up, and they look so cute, and t-tiny…”
Adrian’s expression grew more desperate with every reveal in Melanie’s words. She was quiet for awhile, then she worked up the energy to laugh, even through her discomfort. “Okay, s-sure,” she said, “you… think I’m cute? I-Is that what you’re trying to say?”
Melanie nodded, “I do… which is why I’m… I’m shrinking you. Right now, I’m making you tiny.”
Adrian shook her head and covered one half of her face. “That’s not-- It isn’t happening. I’m not shrinking,” Adrian affirmed. She didn’t open her eyes, fearful that she could be wrong. In doing this, a careless movement from her foot knocked her soda down, but she ignored the spillage entirely. “Damn, Melanie, d-did you do something to me?”
Melanie’s smile was bigger than before. “I told you already,” she whispered, bringing her face closer to Adrian, but only as close as it had been just moments ago. “You’re getting smaller. It’s because of my curse. I-I put a curse on you, and the other girls, i-it shrinks them. It’s from a spellbook.”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Adrian chuckled, one last time. “Melanie, whatever the hell is happening, please… can we…?”
Adrian, through a gap in her fingers, finally looked up. What she hated to imagine was right in front of her. Melanie was there, but no longer was she a short woman that could be blown over with a moderate wind. Though Adrian still denied she was the one changing, she saw Melanie now as a beast, a formidable wall that hovered completely over her. Adrian had taken to leaning on the wall for support, but now she felt cornered, overwhelmed with the girl in front of her that had now, spontaneously, doubled in height.
“See? It’s very obvious from here,” Melanie giggled. “You’re becoming smaller~”
Adrian huffed. She twisted to one side and made a dash to leap away, to make some distance between her and Melanie, but she was cut off just as quickly. A thick arm blocked her path forward, and a hand the width of her shoulders had firmly grabbed her from behind as well. The touch wasn’t rough, more of a precaution, to help manage the tired motions Adrian committed to in her dazed state.
“L-Let me go!” Adrian ordered. She even tried to kick at Melanie, but she missed, just shy of hitting the shins. Again, she attempted to escape, but Melanie could restrict her while still having the humor to laugh.
“You’re becoming weaker, too,” Melanie said. Her blocking arm shifted to help hold Adrian as well -- as wide of a difference in strength between them, Melanie still estimated well how Adrian could realistically get away if she was careless. “P-Please, I understand you’re scared… You don’t have to be! Y-You really don’t!”
“Y-You’re shrinking me, Melanie!” Adrian shouted, unaware of how her changing size was diminishing her volume as well. “Stop it! Whatever this is, stop it! Stop it now! Th-This is scary!”
Melanie cooed, much to Adrian’s dismay. The creeping horror of her predicament was all for Melanie’s entertainment. Acquaintance or not, Adrian was beyond trying to understand and reason with the situation, yet struggling wasn’t doing anything, except pressing out more and more giggles from Melanie overhead.
Soon after, Adrian ceased to put up a fight. It wasn’t from submission, but from the lack of energy. The entire time she argued with Melanie, the swirling sensation deep in her stomach, her mind, and even her center of balance was only getting worse. There was no value in trying to ward off Melanie now, especially when Melanie was getting equally larger and stronger. Adrian had refused to look up at Melanie again, and to admit once more that she was dwindling away, but inevitably she would catch a glance of her classmate and become sicker knowing that the effect had brought her to knee height.
“Th-That’s right… Keep shrinking... “ Melanie offered wispy words off encouragement, as if Adrian’s problem was a lack of confidence. “Keep-- Keep shrinking… Breathing helps, probably. Breathe…”
Adrian growled, but it wasn’t unsound advice. Eventually she did resort to just breathing, sliding back more against the brick wall while her face was flushed red. She draped an arm over her forehead, using the sleeve to wipe away a line of sweat. Her support behind her was giving out, but more specifically, she was finding herself shrinking beyond the ledge she sat on. Now, the height at where she once rested was overhead, acting as another reminder that she was shrinking -- actually shrinking, becoming smaller, losing something as unappreciated as her normal, human height. And all the while, her only options were to squirm helplessly under Melanie’s watch.
“Ahh… I really don’t want you to… a-actually be sick or something,” Melanie went on. Even though she was quiet, her words were echoing in Adrian’s head, and not because of any size difference. “Uhh, you’re taking this pretty rough… Worse than… the others…”
Adrian flinched and rolled her head back. “The… others…” She managed to mumble that much, then swallowed to say the rest, “The other girls… Y-You kidnapped them…? You’re gonna kidnap me…”
Melanie chortled. She didn’t need any reason now to continue holding Adrian down, there was no way her short legs would actually break enough distance between them, especially with her classmate getting weaker by the second. Melanie stepped back, as if to appreciate her work.
“Kidnapping… Uh, err…” Melanie blushed at Adrian’s accusation. It was impossible to lie about her own actions when spoken about so bluntly. “Well, y-yes, but I’m nice. I’m so nice! I-I love tiny things. I’ll treat you really…”
“Bullshit! M-Melanie, please!” Adrian looked up again, she wanted to wish that this time would be different, and that her eyes would bless her with a mundane scene and reveal it was a twisted daydream. She was hit with the same reality she feared, even smaller than she was seconds ago. “Why are you doing this?! H-How is this even fucking possible…?”
“I… already said, I-I like cute girls…” Melanie’s fingers pressed against each other. If Adrian didn’t know better, she would have thought Melanie was the victim here. “And you… I like you the most… I like you a lot, a-a lot more than the others… Oh!”
Melanie turned away from Adrian in order to reach around to the bag at her waist. While she shuffled through it, Adrian naturally tried to engineer an escape. Her captor was distracted, and so easily too, it felt like the only opportunity she had. Freedom was such a privilege in that moment, it was hard to not have the drive to fight for it. Yet, when she went to dash forward, it was only a step. A shakey, unbalanced step that lead right into a tumble. A messy dance took her right into the soda can she had been enjoying just a few minutes earlier. It was a barrel now, which a puddle of black fluid had seeped out of. This waist-high can on its side was now the new form of support for Adrian to lean on, doing so while she gasped for breaths, but even this would fail her. The can slipped from under her weight, and it rolled aside, leaving her to trip forward into the ground. She whined, curling her body close together.
The sound of a can being rolled brought Melanie’s attention back to the latest victim at her feet. Melanie wasn’t frightened by any of this, expecting Adrian to have tried as much, and she was accurate in estimating how far she would even get. The results made her smile, even though the target of her affection was laying on the ground, bent in pain.
“Be careful, now,” Melanie warned. “You’ll get hurt sooo easily! Th-This is why you need to stay close to me…
“Look at what I have, by the way.” Melanie squatted down. She sat on her haunches and leaned over Adrian’s form, casting a long shadow over both her and her toppled beverage. “This is what I was going to show you. Sit up, look.”
Adrian despised this attitude, being told what to do, but she despised her own obedience twice as much. On command, she worked to push herself up, at least enough to be laying on her side, and she focused her vision to clear up. She squinted up at what was overhead, the enormous Melanie taking up the sky. Adrian’s breathing became colder and more ragged, just witnessing Melanie’s gigantic shape was enough to get her worn body to spasm in fear. To her left and right were loafers that could rival semis, which were only the roots to legs as thick and sturdy as adult red wood trees. Even Melanie’s long black socks could blanket over Adrian’s entire body, several times. Behind said socks was a glimpse up and inside Melanie’s skirt, but in her shrunken state, that glimpse of white panties was more like an outdoor theater’s view. Adrian struggled to process an appropriate emotion, overtaken only by the fear that she was shrinking seemingly out of existence.
Yet, with all that effort just to look at Melanie, she hadn’t even seen what she was told to look at. Unable to stretch out any further to better her perspective, Melanie leaned in more to meet her halfway. Propped up in front of Adrian was a clear, plastic container, and inside it was another person. Caged within the otherwise ordinary box was a woman, completely nude, shaking in the corner furthest from Adrian. Measurements seemed meaningless to Adrian now, but to her, the plastic container was just shy of her current height, and the lady imprisoned on the inside took up less than half its allotted space.
“This is someone else… that I shrunk,” Melanie explained, but Adrian had figured as much. “Look how cute she is~! I wanted you to appreciate how small you’ll become, b-before you actually become that small.”
Melanie’s words had grabbed Adrian from the inside and twisted, hard. Adrenaline was kicking in just enough that Adrian could move again, and she spent that burst of energy to get back to her feet. Maybe she thought to escape again, but all her body would allow her to do was to look at the woman. Finally on her feet, Adrian approached the container, still only as tall as she was by the time she leaned against it. She couldn’t believe what she saw, and neither could the other woman. Adrian was nearly twice her height, providing a whole other layer of fear in how she calculated how much bigger the world was bound to become.
“She’s an office worker,” Melanie said. “Err, she was, anyway. She’s now my… second test. She’s older than me and you, and she’s still smaller than you! A-And really small to me…”
Adrian put her hand against the plastic, looking deeper inside while her breathing fogged the surface. The woman, who certainly looked like a woman in her thirties, was only half the size of Adrian, but that difference was closing. Adrian could feel it, the way her fingers’ grip on the plastic shifted as fractions of her remaining size just disappeared. When she looked at the woman again, with an expression drained of hope, she saw a reflection, an outlook of what she, too, was going to become. Compared to this prisoner, Adrian was so much stronger, an appreciation for a fact that was fleeting.
“You’re almost done~” Melanie giggled. This entire time, her attitude had only improved. She became gigglier, lighter, her smile free of anxiousness. “You’re the cutest one so far, d-definitely! I-I’m not just saying that. I always thought you were cute…”
“Please!” Adrian backed away from the small container, unable to look at its contents any more. She dropped to her knees quite hard, and she begged, like a servant forfeiting everything before a goddess. There were no regrets, even with the naked stranger sitting nearby. “Please, Melanie! This is fucked! I’ll g-go out with you, I’ll do anything! I-Is this what this is about?! D-Did you just--”
“Ah, I-I wouldn’t be happy with… just that,” Melanie interrupted. She didn’t care how calm her words were, nor how they cut into Adrian’s desperate pleas. “I don’t just like you. I love you. W-When I first saw you, my… heart throbbed.” She giggled, blushing just like the school girl she was. “That sounds stupid, d-doesn’t it? It sounds so stupid…”
Adrian shivered and her body became limp again. She had been stricken of all her power as an everyday human, and the justification behind it was only now being challenged by her captor. Her degrading new position in life was just to entertain a fellow college student, a creepy girl that everyone avoided on instinct, and even she was berating herself for how silly this all truly was, now that it was far too late to correct anything.
“Ahh, I’ve confused you, probably,” Melanie said, addressing Adrian’s silent response. “But it’s true. I want you. I-I want you entirely. I feel it’s more like a need, actually… Like I need you to be super small, s-so I can have you everywhere… Everywhere I go, I can keep you around, a-and you’d make me feel better. I get so nervous, but just seeing you in class, or walking back to your dorm… o-or texting your friends, or eating! Everytime I see you, my blood gets… really hot! Like, like something inside me wants to explode out and consume you!”
Adrian was beyond the point of shivering in panic. Melanie had transcended beyond being just overwhelming. She felt like everything to Adrian, every facet of reality now was connected to her. She whimpered again, but she knew it was fruitless to argue. She had to endure these words, all of which were just unveiling more dark truths about their relationship and how unexpectedly deep it had apparently been. In hindsight did she find so many moments where she swore she was being watched or studied, and all this time, those suspicions were right.
“And after I found this weird book, I knew it was fate.” Melanie continued, not missing a beat. “I could put curses on people… It looked like little things, um, like sneezing, coughing, m-making hair fall out… But when I found this shrinking curse, even if it was kinda complicated, I knew I could do exactly what I wanted. Exactly what I wanted! I-I never realized how much I wanted this, and now it’s-- it’s here, it’s happening! Heheh... ! Ahh, it’s actually, really happening! I have you tiny and shrunk, and no one can stop me from doing a-anything to you!”
Adrian screamed. All at once, a new flood of energy, from the deepest of pits within her, had flared to life. She scrambled, back up to her feet and charging off, choosing to head right only because that’s where she had ended up facing. She had gotten smaller since the last time she had compared herself to the soda can, which had grown into a cylinder matching her size even while tipped over. She had just enough strength to get it to roll an inch out of her way, but just a second later, it was crushed completely, only a few paces behind where her run had taken her. Melanie’s foot had been stomped down, and between the thundering quake it made and the crippling sound of the car-sized can being flattened, Adrian was tripped back to the ground. Even then, she tried to crawl, but that second wind had already faded, its precious energy depleted in an instant -- a footstep, if even that.
“Sorry, sh-shit,” Melanie stammered. She then giggled, lifting up her foot to look at the damage. One soda can, crushed just enough that it remained stuck to her shoe’s sole for a brief moment before it was kicked aside. Adrian flinched again, only able to wish that this stumbling giant would at least try to comprehend how huge she was.
Melanie waited for a second, expecting Adrian to get up again and try to run. When Adrian didn’t and she remained on the pavement, Melanie didn’t hesitate to dive in and snatch her prey. One hand was all it took to lift up the limp body. Adrian whined in protest, trying to ward off even just one finger, but the boney tendrils overpowered her with casual ease. Her body was wrapped up in a fist, picked up from the ground like a lost trinket. She desperately tried to reach out for something to hold onto, but she found nothing, not even the slightest possibility of escape.
“Haah, heheh… You’re sooo small!” Melanie brought Adrian up close to her face, perfect for observing her latest victim. “You feel really light… Are you hungry? You can eat all the food you want now! D-Doesn’t that make you really happy? I can buy your favorite burger, it’ll be so big now, won’t it? And I know you don’t like onions or pickles, it’ll be exactly how you want it!”
That was Adrian’s life now. These were the events she had to prepare herself for now. She had to admit it, she told herself to accept it and to force herself to accept it. But for now, it was too much to swallow. She wondered if that despair would ever go away, or if this depression was permanent, that she would never come to terms with her new role in life.
She was moved again, this time closer to Melanie’s stomach. Still trapped within the fist, Adrian had no say in the matter, barely able to yelp in response to being so casually repositioned while so high in the air. Melanie shifted her fingers around so that Adrian was pressed right against her belly. Through the fabric of the black shirt, Adrian could feel the wide surface of Melanie’s stomach. A moment later, she heard it as well. Just beyond that bouncy, warm wall was an organic engine that could digest a house, and there Adrian was, being massaged into it from the outside.
“Hah, I’m hungry, too~” Melanie laughed, embarrassed by her stomach’s growling yet unaware of how monstrous it sounded to her shrunken crush. “Let’s go home, I-I’ll order us that food. You’ll have lots to eat~”
Melanie stood up. Even that act brought a new world of sickness to Adrian’s fatigued system. Melanie was infatuated with her latest addition to her collection, especially a target she had prized from the very beginning. Her obsession nearly made her forget her previous target, the office woman whose only crime was accepting overtime, and how she had displayed the miniaturized worker for Adrian earlier. While Melanie offered Adrian a handcrafted, personalized traveling experience, she discarded the other shrunken victim back into her bag, locked up in the container all the same and practically forgotten once out of sight.
For the first time that night, Melanie’s smile was beaming. She couldn’t hide her joy, it was written all over her face. She practically sang aloud the plans she had in store for Adrian, grateful for how empty the streets were. She bragged about how she would personally feed Adrian, and play with her, and her eyes and lips flared with excitement at just the teasing thoughts of what else she would do to Adrian.
“Endless.” This single word was etched into both Melanie and Adrian’s minds as they separately readied themselves for their new futures together.