Poor little Alice was only 15 when she first used her powers. It all happened because, in her school, there was a boy who bullied her. She tried to ignore the mean brat, but one day, as she was going to meet her friends at the school park, he followed her and made fun of her the whole way there. Seeing that she didn’t answer to his detestable teasing, the boy shoved her, and she fell on the muddy ground of the park. Alice had never been more furious in her life: she just wanted to swat away that annoying bug, she wanted him to disappear, to become nothing, to vanish from her sight. She focused so much on her hateful thoughts that the bully in front of her actually disappeared. She stared, blinking, at the thin air where only a second before he was standing. Unable to understand how such a thing could have happened, she was about to leave, when she heard a feeble squeak, coming from the ground. A little, human figure was squirming before her, trying to get her attention: it was him. Suddenly realising that she had shrunken a person with her mere force of will (and that she could get in trouble for it), the young Alice panicked, and landed a kick on the shrunken boy, sending him flying across the grassy field. She ran away, shocked, and went to meet her friends. Spending time with them, she calmed down, and thought that, even if she didn’t mean to do it, shrinking that annoying bully was a fitting punishment for his behaviour. During the afternoon, Alice and her friends chatted and had walk around the park, as usual. She looked out for her tiny victim but found no sign of him. It was only when she got home that evening that eventually she found him squashed to death under the sole of her tennis shoe. She froze in terror: if someone knew what happened, she would really be in troubles. It was a serious matter, she could not get away with it. But then, she convinced herself again of the righteousness of her actions: she was assaulted, and she defended herself. Moreover, that thing wasn’t even a person: it was a bug, shrunken in size like that. And she did just what everybody would do with bugs: crushing them. Besides, she wouldn’t be in troubles, if nobody knew about it. After all, shrinking was impossible, there was no way a little girl like her was able to do such a thing to people. Alice decided to keep this little secret for herself and, in time, convinced herself that she could benefit from her power.
Over a year passed since she used her power again, but this time, Alice had planned everything. Since there was nobody bothering her anymore, she grew more and more confident, and became popular. She felt accomplished, powerful and unstoppable. There was only a little obstacle in her way: her classmate Claire. She was even more popular than Alice, and that made her furious. Claire was kind, always smiling to everyone and had no grudge against her. Her attitude made Alice feel beaten, defeated, relegated to the second place, and she could not tolerate such humiliation. She was special, she had a hidden power, and could not be outmatched by a normal person. Alice prepared her revenge for months, looking for the best occasion to use her power on the poor girl. It happened one morning, on her way to school. It was still a normal day for Claire, walking all by herself on the sidewalk. Alice was waiting for her and blocked her way. She started to concentrate, as Claire watched her without understanding what was going on. Soon, Alice’s power was released and struck Claire full force. Powerless, the girl started shrinking, and found herself reeling on the ground, between the immense shoes of her rival. Alice smirked with satisfaction, seeing the girl reduced to an insignificant size, completely at her mercy. Claire was picked up, screaming and kicking, and she was shoved in the back pocket of Alice’s jeans. For a long time, nobody knew what happened to Claire. Presumably kidnapped, people searched for her for weeks, but she vanished without leaving a trace. Just when they were about to give up, one night Claire showed up at her home, bruised and battered, barely standing. She never spoke of what happened to her, traumatised by an experience that nobody could have guessed. Eventually, she came back to school, but she was never the same again: that popular, cheerful girl was gone. For all that time, she was tortured in the most unimaginable ways possible, under Alice’s control. Every day, Alice wore her in her shoes, forcing her to submit. Crushing her both physically and mentally under her foot, torturing her with unimaginable humiliation. And every day, Claire knew that her own life, the places where she belonged, were out there, on the other side of the gigantic canvas shoe, so close and yet so unreachable. Alice played with her like a toy, and left her broken, in body and spirit. The night she decided, in a moment of mercy, to free her, she also threatened her. She told Claire that if she told anyone about her power, she would capture her again, and would do the same to her family. It’s not like anyone would believe such a story anyway, but she wanted to be sure of her loyalty. Now, with no rivals on her way, she became even more popular, and even more powerful.
During the following years, she threatened, beat and eliminate everyone who hindered her path to glory. Alice felt, and basically was, unstoppable. Every other person in her way was nothing more than a pebble in her shoe, an inconvenience that had to be taken out. And I was unlucky enough to witness her evil doings and be her victim.
Of course, I didn’t know any of that when I first met her in school, when she was already 19. I was a shy, unpopular and naïve person, while she was the exact opposite: the athletic, charismatic, popular girl everybody talked about. It couldn’t be any different, after all, considering the ruthless action she had made to reach that position. However, as I said, I had no idea of what she had done, nor did anyone else. I simply saw Alice as a girl like many other. Sure, she was particularly attractive: taller than most girls, with long, blond hair and a pair of crystalline, breath-taking eyes. Every boy in the school would give anything for a date with her. I knew better: unlike most people, I’ve never been interested in following her just because she was popular and beautiful. And so, we ignored each other. Until that fateful day.
At the beginning of the year, we started attending the same class. I noticed her because none of my few friends was in that class, and so I was on my own. As usual, she was surrounded by people, and had plenty of presumed friends to talk to. One day, at the end of the lesson, Alice waited patiently inside the class, while all her loyal followers slowly left. I found quite bizarre that she purposely abandoned her crew, but payed no attention to it and started to head out. As I passed in front of her desk, she grabbed my sleeve and casually greeted me. I was quite surprised, to say the least: Alice was the last person I expected to talk to. We casually started chatting as we headed off to the next class. Suddenly, out of the blue, she asked me: “Hey, so, are you free on Friday afternoon? I play a match with the basketball team, maybe, uhm, you could come and see me play. How about it?”. I was caught off-guard. A sudden act of… intimacy? From her? It was unheard of. And, most of all, why did she choose me? It was strange, I’ll give you that, but being invited by Alice herself was… kind of flattering. I awkwardly accepted, and she gave me a broad smile, but there was something hidden behind it. I paid no attention to it, and naively started to think of it as an occasion to create a friendship, maybe. How wrong I was.
As days went by, I looked forward to our meeting, and, when Friday came, I went to the sports hall where Alice was going to play. She was waiting for me just at the entrance. She already changed in her basketball outfit: a black jersey with the effigy of her team on it, matched with a pair of shorts and a pair of expensive-looking sneakers. When I arrived, she gave me a suspiciously mischievous smile. All was going according to her plans, even if I didn’t know it yet. Alice grabbed my hand and started walking quite fast. “Come with me, I’ll bring you to the athletes’ entrance. You know, I have a whole locker room all for myself” she said, proudly. She led me to a huge, empty locker room. It was large enough to be used by a whole team and I thought it was weird that such a big room was given to a single player. What I didn’t know was that Alice specifically requested to have the locker all for herself, and nobody on her team dared to oppose her. Probably, many of them had already experienced first-hand what she was capable of, and they feared her.
Alice sat down on a bench. She looked down, and casually asked “Do you know why I wanted you to come today?” I gasped, uncertain of what she expected. I answered that I didn’t know. She got up again, and slowly walked towards me. A handspan taller than me, Alice went in front of me and gently grabbed my chin. “Because you ignore me. You don’t consider me. You know who else ignores me? No one” she whispered, sending shivers down my spine. “And you have no right to do it. I hope you don’t feel superior, because you are not. Quite the contrary, if anything. But I’ll make sure you can no longer pretend I don’t exist. And you will treat me well, like everyone else does”. As she finished that sentence, she grabbed me by the shoulders with both hands, her eyes flaring with something unnatural. Then, I started shaking, reeling, taken over by an overpowering dizziness. I watched as Alice’s entire body flowed before my eyes: first her proud smile, then I was facing her bosom, slowly descending to her naval, to her waist and down her long bare legs. When I stopped, I was facing the tip of her running shoes. I looked up to see the imposing figure of Alice, infinitely bigger than me, crouching down with a satisfied grin on her lips. Her loud voice boomed: “How does it feel to be a worthless microbe? To be insignificant? Now I’m the superior one, and you are nothing”. Still unsure of what had just happened, I slowly backed away from the massive girl that just a second before was just a regular teenager. Alice let out an annoyed sigh and added: “You’re all so scared at first. Every time is the same with you shrinkable people…”. Then, she proceeded to tell me her story: she told me about her powers, about the first time she used it, about her poor classmate Claire, about all her years of prevarication and abuse, unmistakeably proud of her actions. I couldn’t believe someone could be that cruel, and I that I was so stupid to fall right into her grasp, becoming another of her playthings. I had attracted her attention and now I was part of her sick game. I was shocked, and from her smile, I could sense she was enjoying every moment of my fear and of my disbelief. “Oh, I almost forgot, the match is starting soon. Guess there isn’t enough time to stash you away. It seems that you’ll have to come with me”, said Alice, faking a sorry tone. Her grin grew wider as she reached down for me and closed her hand around me.