A woman sat alone in a metal room, with a metal floor, metal walls, and a metal ceiling. Fittingly, she sat at a metal desk, only this desk spanned the entire length of the wall opposite the door, roughly 10 feet. She sat at the far right corner of the desk, on a rather ordinary office chair. She had her hands neatly folded on the desk, near a collection of similarly ordinary office supplies- scissors, tape, and so on. This woman is Allison Starr, age 23, and as you could probably guess, she was busy at work.
She had just finished reading an important document, which was now resting inside of a cabinet under the desk, above her legs. Legs, by the way, that were healthy and supple, albeit hidden behind a rather plain office skirt. Allison was a plainly attractive young woman, with a fashion sense to match. Her medium-long auburn hair was usually kept in a neat ponytail, and her dark brown eyes carried a sense of polite professionalism, leaving little room for casual familiarity with her coworkers. She was a woman who tried to keep work and play separate, and right now she was in “work” mode.
What did she do for work? Well, she had a most unusual job, something she was hesitant to talk about outside of this strange metal room. Essentially, she worked in the criminal justice system, and she was about to have a very important meeting with a criminal. Now that the document was tucked away in the cabinet, her eyes were trained on a spot about five feet away, directly above the middle of the metal desk. Built into the wall was a strange door.
This door was rectangular, and covered in various religious symbols. Allison could make out a Cross, a Star of David, a Taijitu, and many others she did not recognize. Additionally, this door was lacking a doorknob, handle, or any other apparatus one might use to actually open it. Strangest of all, though, was the fact that this door was only 2 inches tall. Rather than marvelling at this door, though, Allison was simply sitting in modest anticipation of what was about to come through it.
Suddenly, a harsh buzzing sound rang out across the room, causing Allison to flinch. The door seemingly vanished into the wall, leaving a small hole in its stead. Then, pushed by an unseen force, a small figure came flying into the room, faceplanting on the desk below it. It was a man. He looked to be in his late twenties, and had a slim, muscular build. His complexion, currently masked by a metal desk, was that of a handsome gentleman, the kind that would make any young maiden’s heart flutter. Most notably, he was currently 1 inch tall, completely naked, and resting on a table that, to him, was the length of several football fields.
The strange door suddenly reappeared behind him, leaving him trapped in the metal room, still unaware of his giant roommate. Seemingly unimpressed by the appearance of this marvellous miniature, Allison silently watched as the tiny man stirred, slowly rising to his feet before rapidly shaking his head, as if he was clearing a mental fog. He turned so his back was facing Allison, and opened his eyes. He was instantly awed by the immense scale of this new environment, with the walls so far away, and the ceiling seemingly rising for miles. The cold metal under his feet caused him to shiver, and he started to scan his surroundings as he looked for a clue as to what he should do next.
Still silent, Allison waited for the big reveal. The man eventually noticed something strange in his peripheral, and quickly turned to face it. Sitting before him, from his perspective, was a living mountain. A woman of titanic proportions, far bigger than anything he had ever seen before. Although far away, he could tell that just one of her fingers was nearly double the length of his entire body, and could easily swat him like a fly. His senses assaulted by this giant creature, he let out a shriek and fell to his rear.
To Allison, his shriek came out as an adorable yelp, and she internally smiled at his reaction to her. Having waited long enough, she decided it was time to get on with the meeting. Introductions were in order.
“What’s your name?” She asked calmly.
“S-So big…” the man remarked after a brief hesitation.
“So big?” Allison asked with a raised eyebrow, slightly amused.
“N-no, my name is Joe. Nice to… meet you,” said Joe. After his initial shock, he quickly remembered the nature of this meeting, and his face became sullen.
“Joe. Likewise,” replied Allison, declining to provide her own name before asking “So, Joe, why were you sentenced to death?”
If you recall, Allison works in the criminal justice system, and she was meeting with a criminal. Not just any criminal, though, but one given the death penalty. Allison was the executioner, although the official term was Chevalier. Some odd years prior, a concept was introduced into the world of criminal sentencing known as the Shrink Penalty. Taking advantage of the highly secretive shrinking apparatus owned by the United States government, the worst-of-the-worst criminals would be shrunken down to 1 inch tall, and handed off to special individuals known as Chevaliers who would torture, humiliate, and ultimately kill them. Despite being highly controversial, it was eventually adopted on a limited basis. That all changed when those behind the Shrink Penalty got involved with the media, however.
Suddenly, media networks owned by the richest and most influential politicians began a targeted media campaign in favor of the Shrink Penalty. The most twisted, disgusting, gut-wrenching criminals were suddenly broadcast across the country, appealing to people’s anger and desire for punishment. A man murdered his wife and two daughters? Death is too good for that scum, let him suffer first. Somebody kidnapped, mutilated, and killed twelve people over the course of a month? Let’s put them through hell, really make them regret it. Suddenly, initiatives popped up in multiple states proposing their state adopt the Shrink Penalty, with record signature numbers. Eventually, the federal government chose to adopt it nationally, so as to consolidate control from the states. Despite the ongoing outcry from various political and humanitarian groups, the knowledge that the absolute worst criminals faced truly awful deaths kept the approval ratings high, renewed each time the news covered a sensational crime. Chevaliers became a controversial, yet lucrative, career choice. Our Allison was one such person.
“Joe, what crime did you commit?” Allison asked again, slightly more forcefully this time. Joe had averted eye contact when she asked him the first time, but suddenly looked back to his gargantuan would-be-executioner with questioning eyes.
“You don’t already know?” Joe asked, to which Allison replied by shaking her head.
“Think about it. I’m basically a glorified electric chair, so the bosses say I have no reason to know the crime. I just like to ask,” she said.
Joe started, “so… does that mean I’m under no obligation to tell-”
“You WILL tell me, Joe” said Allison sternly, while leaning in so her face was right before the helpless criminal.
“I’m not giving you a choice” she said, her warm breath washing over him. The warmth was actually quite pleasant, but the enormous mouth it was coming from, far bigger than he, caused him to shiver as if he was naked in the Arctic. He turned away in fear, but after a moment his eyes slightly widened in realization, and he turned to face Allison with renewed vigor. The change in his expression and posture was far too subtle for most people to recognize, especially at his size, but Allison was not most people.
“They say I killed a man!” Joe exclaimed, causing Allison to retreat back to her original posture.
“A man? As in… one singular person?” she questioned, to which Joe vigorously nodded his head yes.
“You know, the SP is reserved for the worst-of-the-worst criminals, we’re talking high body counts. There’s only ever been one case of a single murder getting the SP, and you’re definitely not him, so I don’t see how-”
“It’s true!” Joe interrupted, causing Allison to shoot him a stern glance.
“Sorry, ma’am. I-it’s just, I’m sure you know, you have to, it’s just they’re constantly moving the goalposts on what a worst-of-the-worst criminal is, you know?” Joe babbled, flustered. “At the beginning, it was serial killers, of course, but t-that wasn’t good enough! The SP wasn’t being used enough, see, so the public started to lose interest, a-and now they use it all the time, right? S-soon, just littering will get you the SP!” he continued, sensing that Allison was starting to lose interest.
“Yeah, I suppose. That doesn’t reduce the seriousness of what you did, though. A murder is still about as bad as it get- wait, you said ‘they say I killed a man,’ right?”
Joe vigorously nodded.
“I was framed.”
Allison leaned back in her chair, a raised eyebrow and smirk on her face.
“You were framed, were you? she said sarcastically. “Never heard that one before.”
“It’s true! I know you have no reason to believe me, but please, please, PLEASE give me a chance!” he cried, falling to his knees with tears in his eyes. Inspired by his passion, she dramatically gestured for him to continue, the smirk never leaving her face.
“I… I had some troubles. Like many people, I suppose, but I got involved with people I shouldn’t. I needed money to take care of the people I loved, and I borrowed some when I had no way of paying it back. I was so, so stupid.” Joe said, looking down at the metal beneath his knees. Allison’s smirk slowly left her face as he continued.
“Eventually, they grew tired of my excuses, and told me to meet them in a specific place or else they… or else they would kill me and my loved ones. So I did, I went to this place really far out of the way. I went inside, and… and, well, they killed somebody right in front of me” Joe said, small tears now running down his little face. “Before I could really comprehend it, they suddenly all left and a police officer was holding me at gunpoint. They must have called the cops right before I showed up. The person was apparently high-profile, and my trial was sped through due to the ‘overabundance of evidence.’ So… that’s how I ended up, well, here” he said, while gesturing to the whole room. Allison was now slightly leaning forward, with an intense look in her eyes. Joe simply stood there, wiping the tears from his eyes, waiting for a response.
“So… what exactly are you hoping I’m going to do for you?” said Allison, after a few long moments of silence. Joe was overjoyed, although he tried to keep his facial reaction muted.
At least I’m still alive, this might work! he thought. Realizing he, an insect, was about to ask her, a goddess, for an unbelievable favor, he swallowed his fear and proceeded onward.
“Ma’am, I know this is so much to ask, and you would be risking so much, but… could you please smuggle me out of here? If you could get me to my brother, I can tell you where he is, I know that together we can prove my innocence. I swear I would never tell anybody about you, and… Please don’t let them get away with this!” Joe shouted his last statement, slamming his forehead on the desk and prostrating himself before Allison. An agonizing silence fell across the room, as Allison stared at his minute figure. Slowly, Joe raised his head to see what her reaction was, and found that her eyes were furrowed, seemingly lost in deliberation. He fully stood, fists clenched, entirely vulnerable to this massive woman, both physically and mentally.
Eventually, Allison gave a nearly imperceptible nod to herself as she made a decision. To a tiny man like Joe, however, every movement from her was visible, and he stood with his fists closed so tight that his nails were digging into his palms, causing small drops of blood to streak down his hand and pool on the desk below him. Allison turned to Joe with a small smile, and began to reach for him. Joe cried in relief.
Giant fingers slowly came towards him, eclipsing his field of view. Soon, her thumb came to rest on his stomach, while her index finger applied pressure at his back. It felt like his body was squished against two mattresses, and the wind was knocked out of him. Once she was satisfied her grip was tight enough, she whisked the one inch tall man between her fingers into the sky, rising, to him, hundreds of feet.
“Ah!” Joe cried, “please, ma’am, not so quick! Everything is so intense for me.”
Holding Joe to her modest but respectable bosom, she stood from her chair for the first time, and began to walk towards the plain, metal door opposite the wall with the desk. Joe couldn’t handle the intense movement, and got lightheaded. Suddenly, Allison stopped moving, halfway between the desk and the door. She waited a moment for Joe to get his bearings.
“Joe, I just have to ask one thing," she said.
Still slightly woozy, Joe said “yesh, of course, w-what ish it?”
Without warning, his stomach entered his throat as he was lowered to the ground, dropping at a steady but unbearable speed. After a few torturous moments, the gargantuan fingers released their pressure, and he dropped to the cold, metal floor. What to Allison was several inches to him was multiple feet, and he crashed into the floor with a cry of pain. Unbelievably dizzy from the sudden drop, and in pain from the crash, he rolled onto his back.
What entered his vision was the underside of Allison’s jet black heel, rising above his body as if it were a gargantuan rocketship leaving the earth’s atmosphere. Then, imperceptibly high in the sky, it stopped moving, and a cold voice assaulted Joe’s ears.
“Do you have any last words?”
The shoe started to come down on him at breakneck speed.
"I DIDN'T DO IT!” cried Joe before it made contact with his insignificant body. A small squish was drowned out by the loud echoing thump of Allison’s shoe stomping the floor, and silence soon filled the room once more.
“Liar,” Allison angrily whispered, before grinding her shoe into the mess that was once known as Joe. After taking a few calming breaths, she turned and hastily made her way back to her chair, refusing to look at the bloody stain she had left. Without looking at her shoe, she opened a drawer and pulled out paper towels and some cleaning solution. She cleaned and sanitized her dirtied shoe, then threw away the evidence in a nearby trash can. The deed was done, and Joe had been executed by a Chevalier.
Allison opened the cabinet below the desk, and pulled out the document she had examined prior to meeting Joe. The document was simple- it listed three things, and contained a picture. The picture, of course, was of Joe, and the three things were as follows:
NAME: Joseph Reynolds
CRIME: Triple homicide, two underage girls and one adult woman
METHOD OF EXECUTION: (blank)
Allison grabbed a nearby pen, and under “Method of Execution” wrote
And then signed her name at the bottom. She let out a long sigh, and turned to look at the door, careful to avert her eyes from a specific spot on the floor. Above the door were two large lights, one red and one green, of which only the red one was lit. Above it was a timer that read “55:12” and continued to count downward.
“Damn, only five minutes?” Allison said to nobody in particular. “I should work at making it last longer. I just hate talking to them.”
She turned back towards the desk and reclined in her chair, taking out her phone. “Guess I have 55 minutes to kill” she grumbled, before opening up a news app.