The coup was quick, surgical, and absolute. A small team of all-female espionage agents, financed by a still unknown puppet master, destroyed the nation’s power supply and took control of all satellites. The military, comprised of mostly men, were powerless to resist the female uprising after the spies uploaded a program to be broadcast from each satellite. Electromagnetic waves emitted from the military-grade weaponry vibrated with a specific resonance that only affected the atoms making up the male chromosome. The Y chromosome, bombarded with this strange radiation, turned the bodies of all men against themselves. The rapid mutation was too much for most to handle. The remaining men were quickly shepherded into breeding camps. Years passed and the next generation of men were born into a country run solely by women. Additionally, the damage to the survivors’ bodies was severe. Their male children were born tiny, merely inches tall and unlikely to ever grow larger than a foot in height.
The breeding camps turned into factories. Initially only a small percentage of the shrunken men went missing, spirited away by daredevil handlers. But, as the black market for these tinies grew, supply began to meet demand. Government policies allowed for the purchase of tiny men, provided they worked to integrate these tiny men into the home. However, due to the lack of enforcement, the anger of centuries of oppression rose up in most of the owners of these tiny men. Popular opinion changed. These men were not human. They are objects. Enterprising startups created eco-friendly sustainable packaging for adult tinies. Eventually, every male above the age of 18 was packaged and sent to a distribution center. They would end up in specialty stores across the country, their entire existence soon to be in the hands of whichever woman chose to buy them.
Ironically, it only took several generations before the radiation faded. The male population never recovered but enough normal men were born to start re-integrating them into society. Unfortunately for them, objects they remained. Any transgression, any failure, the government would whisk them away to a breeding camp. After they completed the “re-education” program they would only have a single chance to participate in society. If they stepped out of line again… Well, the technology caught up. Instead of taking a generation to shrink men, women could do it instantly now.
Jeff Stevens closed his notebook, exhausted from hours of intensive studying for his history final. Of course, he would never phrase it like he had in his notes. If his teacher found them he would be sent to a packaging center to be shrunk and distributed. He still had nightmares after his first infraction. Several years ago, he tried to steal a shrunken man from the mall. Unfortunately for him, security was always watching. Before he could try and run he had been carted off to a re-education program and reminded that it was only through luck and the grace of his female overlords that he could live a normal-sized life. He shuddered, thinking of the number of tiny men his sister went through in a week. If he failed this final he wouldn’t graduate high school. If he didn’t graduate high school he would be deemed worthless and returned to be shrunk.
“Better not fall asleep champ, hate to see you end up like this guy here.” The mocking voice of his sister, Hannah, met Jeff’s ears. He groaned, not bothering to look up from his desk. She loved to remind him of his place in this world.
“It’s not fair. I’m still using textbooks and you get to use your datametric implants” he responded.
“No point in wasting expensive tech on something that’s just gonna end up inside the superior gender anyway.”
“Gross, Hannah, not everyone uses tinies for that.”
“If that makes you feel better go ahead and believe it. But believe you me, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Just ask any of these guys.” She let out a cold chuckle.
Jeff finally looked up. He was right, she was waving a small plastic case in front of his eyes. Twist ties held the body of a terrified looking man in place. Premium Free-Range Males, the package read. We at TINEE guarantee you only the highest quality shrunken tinies. Harvested exactly at age 18 in peak physical condition, these men are held in stasis to be delivered to you in perfect condition. Below the packaging holding the small man, Jeff also noticed some fine print. We guarantee your satisfaction. If the tiny is damaged in any way please return to store for an immediate replacement.
“Anyways, get out. I want the room.” Hannah demanded. “And no studying where I can see you, I don’t want to be reminded of school when I’m trying to relax at school.” As she said “relax” she thumped the package against her crotch in a crude gesture.
“Come on Hannah, I’m your brother! Don’t do that around me” John cried in exasperation, packing up his things.
“I may be your sister but that doesn’t make us equals. You’re more like a pet than a person. Remember that.”
All Jeff could focus on was the ticking of the clock. The girls in his class had finished nearly 30 minutes ago. Time was running out. He shared a nervous glance with the only other boy who had made it this far through senior year, Thomas. Clearly, they were both struggling. Before he knew it time was up and he could only pray he passed.
Thomas passed. His B+ was nearly unheard of in terms of male academic performance in this day and age. Jeff on the other hand… His D- did little to offset his generally horrible history performance. He was informed by a somewhat gleeful-looking teacher, that he had not passed history class and thus would not be able to graduate high school.
He wasn’t even able to say goodbye to his mother and sister, not that they would have cared. A mean, muscled crew of no-nonsense women shoved him into an unmarked, windowless van. Jeff knew where he was going. The factory. He stepped out of the back of the van onto a conveyer belt that stuttered into life as he exited. The factory was a decrepit place, more rust than metal at this point. Steam burst from tunnels of interconnecting pipes that only got more complicated the further Jeff was dragged into the abyss. Eventually, he entered an ominous doorway into a chrome-gray room. The conveyer belt paused. A harsh, metallic female voice echoed loudly from a hidden speaker, “strip.” In a daze, Jeff stripped naked. Dropping his clothes into an open bin he found next to him. As the bin closed he began to move again, his hands cupped around his genitals in an attempt at modesty.
He felt, rather than saw, the wall close in around him. There was no running now. Tentatively, he stuck out an arm. Sure enough, he felt walls on either side of him in the darkness. The conveyer belt brought him deeper into the factory, so deep that he guessed they didn’t even bother lighting it anymore. After all, he was just an object. They made that very clear in the re-education program.
A rush of dry, cold wind blew against him suddenly as he heard the hydraulic hiss of machinery. He stood at the end of the conveyer belt, naked and cold. A pale ie light blinked in front of him. Jeff blinked, the green light was etched on his eyelids. He opened his eyes to find more green lights blinking. They formed an expanding square, blinking rhythmically, filling his vision with green light. Soon his entire field of vision was obscured by the blinking lights. Jeff felt dizzy, the lightshow was confusing his brain, making him feel seasick. Was that the lights? Or was that something else? Jeff was definitely feeling odd. His vision blurred. He fell to his knees, unable to stop the room full of blinking lights from spinning around him. His last memory was solid green.
When his eyes opened again, his vision was blurry. Jeff tried to rub them but found that his arms and legs were tied up. The realization dawned upon him that he was now one of the tiny men he had seen his sister bring home so many times. His vision wasn’t blurry, he was encased in plastic. Straining, he could make out the back of a package outside his plastic cell. He was hung behind another tiny man in some store. Worried, Jeff had nothing to do but stress and wait.
Occasionally, a pair of hands would rock his package in their search for a new tiny man. Some were young with trendy nail polish, some were old and lined, but none picked him. He couldn’t measure how much time had passed, only try and count how many times the lights were turned off and on as the store opened and closed.
“Hey mom, check this out. You’ll never guess what I found.”
Jeff’s packaged was handled roughly, removed from the wire it was hanging on. He was raised up past a pair of skintight jeans hugging long, slender leg. Up past a curvaceous waist, belly button slightly exposed, as a red crop top emphasized the smooth, toned skin of the girl’s stomach. The top did little to hide her cleavage too, giving Jeff an ample view of her perky C-cups. Her skin was white, not pale, but not tan, but the winter white of someone who needs more sun. Finally, he stopped in front of the face of who else but Hannah.
“Huh, look at that you found it. You want to buy it Hannah?”
“Oh, you know I do.”
“So precocious, I remember my ‘appetites’ when I was your age. Try and make it last though, opportunities like this don’t come along often.”
“Trust me mom, I’ve waited a long time for this and I’m gonna make this experience last.” Her cruel grin betrayed no sense of familial closeness. Jeff was, and always had been, an object to her. A distraction as her brother and now her toy, her property.
“Okay, pick one for me too. I’m going to pick up some groceries while we’re here.”
“Sure.” Hannah tossed him in a red plastic basket. He was quickly covered by another plastic case containing another shrunken man. Groceries followed. A bag of potatoes, some frozen vegetables, a shrink-wrapped pork loin. The normality of the situation taunted Jeff. He knew that as soon as they got home the torture would begin. The worst part was that he grew up with Hannah, he knew she had a cruel streak. What bad luck it was that he ended up with her instead of in the hands of one of the other millions of girls in the country.