@olo She might get shredded to pieces by all those jagged metal edges.
for users who identify as tiny women
RE: Petrichor - a novel in "open beta" - [M/f, minigiant, post-apocalyptic dystopia, slavery, military setting]
@Nyx Thank you SO MUCH Nyx. I was told by someone else on another platform that the way I write is still very “purple”,
Christ. I must be maroon or something, then.
No; I love how you slice, dice, dissect the characters’ inner worlds. Don’t stop it. Don’t ever stop it. It’s a talent that’s woefully overlooked, I think. Too many people get praise for the heavy logistics of moving set pieces in a story (like Snyder); I would rather see their inner world, because painting that fearsomely, but believably, whilst still providing peripheral story and ongoing narrative without missing a beat? That’s talent.
I enjoy Gray and her inner musings. Don’t stop. I mean, entire literary empires have been erected on the inner-world premise ('hem, George RR Martin has entered the chat. And so does Stephen King of his older works, to be fair, we’re talking Lisey’s-Story-era).
Forget those idiots. They don’t know what they’re talking about.
I’m going to use that from now on: “stylistic overwhelm.” Love it.
RE: Swallow Me, Like Your Little Pill (Dark and moody; supernatural-horror; erotic size-kink and vore)
Love it, love it!
This story would provide the very definition of an SW psychological horror in my book. It reminds me of a modern Rosemary’s Baby in some of the best ways.
I am so glad that I hit the mark. I have a preoccupation with dark psychological gestalts, and I find SW themes excellent topical anchors for not just plumbing the human experience, but also exploring horror-erotica. Or, “dark romance,” as it were. Vore, also, is an excellent metaphorical conceit for this.
I notice a lot of writers put their protagonists in solitude because writing dynamic interactions is fucking hard, but Heather’s isolation is deliberate and insidious,
Yes! You are so very right. Heather is in a hell of her own making, so it’s only appropriate she’s written in isolation. But, ah, the dynamic between these two will be intense
and the way you paint everyone else she knows and encounters as these strange wisps inhabiting a disconnected ghost world has the intended effect of describing what she’s doing to herself rather than being an indictment against consensus reality.
Yes! Great writer’s intuition! Bang on! She is definitely walking ghostly through the barrens of her own social-exile.
(Joseph is bland, but I know I want to live in his world instead of Heather’s and our soon-to-be-introduced “antagonist”'s mutually constructed hell.)
Can’t wait for more!
And I can’t wait to share more. I have always love, love, loved writing the interactions of this couple. Because, it goes dark and deep, with raw, pivoting perspectives, and addiction, as we will learn, is a weapon pointed on both ends.
RE: Petrichor - a novel in "open beta" - [M/f, minigiant, post-apocalyptic dystopia, slavery, military setting]
I am very particular about what I write, and even more particular about what I read, because - as a writer - there’s a certain emotional labor in having to read other people’s work. It can be exhausting; you’re expected to have a critique (or two); and you’re unable to dip below the current of the story and lose yourself to it because it’s altogether uninteresting.
I usually know within a sentence or two if something is worth reading.
This is it.
This is worth reading.
I love how you indoctrinate your audience in a sort of hyper-meta-critical nod of something that’s fearsomely alien but also unrelentingly familiar. We learn of this world in a very wide, instinctive way without being patronized. The pacing, the dialogue, the connective language that weave together elements of plot, narrative, and action are very well done.
I love the small but vital clues that I can excavate like a treasure-hunter. There are some anachronisms in some of the scenes, and outright contradictions (oil lamps coexist with lightbulbs) I think, much like an an extended conceit of how something obsolete (human) can coexist with something futuristic (lightbulb) which appears to be the driving force in this story. And this juxtaposition continues throughout in a way that isn’t frustrating: the mystery and the intrigue you have lain at our feet is arousing.
It’s slick. It’s provocative. It’s accessible without losing its center: an unapologetic dystopian cyber-punk war-drama that doesn’t feel like a caricature of the real thing.
I’m invested. I want to know what happens next.
After thought I often like to tease out what a writer’s subconscious passion is (aside from the obvious), in not the elements of the plot or the theme, even; but, I see a sort of affectionately-loaded attention placed on trees! How uniquely refreshing!
RE: Swallow Me, Like Your Little Pill (Dark and moody; supernatural-horror; erotic size-kink and vore)
“Joseph!” Heather cried out, heart hammering. “You scared the shit out of me!”
“Sorry. You were…well you looked like you needed to be snapped out of whatever th-that was,” he remarked sheepishly.
Ever the book-worm, Heather privately regarded Joseph as her savior. Young men like him were canonized many tines over, in the very many novels of beauties and beasties that populated her very many bookshelves. He was, very much like his literary effigy: an anachronistic saint. Perched at the end of his nose was a set of red-rimmed glasses which did little to detract from his hazel eyes. They were too soulful.
Where’s your flock, Joey?
Joseph, her shepherd. And against his better (best) judgment, he would lead Heather to her poisoned chalice. A moment in time, would be a moment in divine: he would do anything for Heather. He would bend over backwards for a damaged girl like her: one he could take care of, one that would make him feel masculine and capable. A woman, whose rough coarse edges could be made smooth by his saintly aspirations.
And saintly they were. He had been working at the pharmacy for the better part of a year, handing out medication to the disadvantaged. It was a legally adjudicated practice, established by political fiat by a congressional sycophant, but it still required a doctor’s note. And Heather had no note to her name.
Heather had consistently, with a fearsome singularity of focus, refused to seek therapy. How could she? The words never left her lips.
And she had a new one now that was starting to nest in the bee-hive of her brain. It had become parasitic; latching onto the underside of her. She went to bed with it. She woke with it, she –
“Endoscopy,” Heather blurted. “Joey, what do you know about that?”
Joseph looked at her, startled. “That’s random, Heather.”
Heather suddenly looked up at her companion. “It – I… I, uh, what is it exactly? I mean, I have an idea, it just,” she shrugged, and after a clever, calculated second: “YouTube Rabbit hole, you know how it is.”
“Ah, all too familiar,” Joseph responded. With a twitch of his lab-coat arm, he eased open the door to the pill dispensary.
You wouldn’t do that, Heather thought silently. You wouldn’t do that to me, Joey. You wouldn’t subject me to ‘endoscopy.’
Not Joseph. Never Joseph. He was too kind. Too saintly. Too perfect. Which is why Heather had never projected signals of interest; and he, too polite, had never even ventured to try.
No; you like them rough, don’t you, Heather? You want them to fuck you coming and going.
“Well, it’s a medical procedure,” he began airily, as he took his erstwhile companion to the back room.
Heather half-listened as the pharmacy technician began an effortless, uninterrupted dissertation that at junctures where mere mortals would normally need to breathe, Joseph brightly carried on with detectable excitement.
Off her look: "Sorry. Medical stuff gets me excited. Especially since I want to study to become a gastroenterologist. "
Heather barked a humorless laugh.
In the posterior of the store there was an annexed area, one where the employees would linger between shifts. The front desk woman looked up as they transited, smiling a knowing smile. Heather resented her. She probably thinks I’m gonna suck him off for some pills. Mad world.
They left the front desk woman in their wake and advanced into the storage room proper.
Heather resigned herself to one of the stiff blue chairs standing vigilant by the coffee table. Anxious, she thumbed through an old magazine. A glossy magazine spread for indigestion medication materialized. Frustrated, she flung the magazine to the floor. (Besides, the drawing of the mouth in the insert had been too stylized to be accurate, and it was frustrating her further because how was she ever to learn what happened to her if -
Fortunately, Joseph returned, saving her from her racing thoughts. It was a shame she couldn’t just buy a bottle off him. The regular pittance he normally offered her wouldn’t last more than a week. But as he explained (in his saintly voice) he was filching from the stock. A bottle would be noticed, but –
“…a few pinches” Joseph said in unison with Heather’s returning chorus. It was their refrain, and they had grown to enjoy it. “Like always. Since if I take anything else, it’ll be noticed.”
Joseph handed Heather the pharmacy bag. In a spasm she clutched it. “All there?”
He nodded. “One to sleep, one to calm your nerves if you have another panic attack. And one to feel like you’re floating on air.”
Heather began to rise –
“Wait, Heather. Sit.”
She did. (Surprisingly). In fact, so surprised was she by this turn of character, that she was not even sure it had been a cognitive decision. She simply had.
He sat down in the chair beside her, leaning in, back hunched like a beaten cur. “You don’t talk to me anymore… Sure, we meet up once a week and do - do this - but, man, Heather, I’m risking serious jail time doing this. And I don’t even know why I’m doing it.”
Heather hardened. “No.”
Off her tone: “Heather?”
“No. I see what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to get me to open up and talk. And I told you, Joey, I told you, I’m not going to do that.”
“Something happened to you. You were free spirited and happy. The life of the party! Now you – what – hide inside like a crazy cat lady and pop pills? Come on, just let me in. Let someone in!”
Heather didn’t even look at him. She sat in the enormity of what had happened in that terrible bodily silence.
“D-did… did he hurt you? Your… the guy you’ve been dating. The one… he…”
Heather felt a coolness, a numbness whisk inside her.
Had he hurt her? Doubtless, they had had their squabbles; their tiffs; their outbursts. But his every argument, his every gesture had loosened Heather from her moorings. She had become unleashed, unabashed, and had begun meeting him stroke for stroke: in bed, in conversation, in ego.
If she was honest - perfectly honest - with herself, she would have, with all of its complications, complexities, and conflictions, dissected her relationship down along its seams into neat, taxonomical slices of abuse.
Heather felt lost, then. To be asked so directly had rattled free a memory as painfully as anatomical dissection.
Wrestling with the knowledge of whether he had wanted to hurt her or pleasure her had plagued her days and nights. It felt like everything - everything - he did had the unspoken potential of becoming violent. There had been an intangible quality to him that had always felt feral. (Once an appealing trait had now become something vexing to Heather). The oral sex he performed had been emblematic of this. Heather knew he had been bribing her with his tongue (seeking her clemency) whenever he’d bring her to flawless orgasm; she had resented this, relished it, hated it, loved it, because it had felt sacred, apologetic when he did it, even if it was licentious bribery. Each tongue stroke had felt like it was an apology for the times he had hurt her. (Or she hurt him).
And that was the seduction of it, wasn’t it? He could be cruel; but he could also be sorry. So sorry. So very, very sorry.
Lost to the memory, Heather resurfaced, and looked over at Joseph. “I… I don’t know. We were… complicated.”
“Complicated enough that you need to pop pills?! Jesus, H-town. What happened between you two?”
“Endoscopy,” she said lamely.
In a moment of invention: "He - we - I … we argued over the term for it, and we got into this stupid fight, and - "
He tried to eat me, her brain supplied.
Heather felt brittle, like she would crack. This was the closest she had ever gotten to admitting, out loud, what had happened, to anyone. "It got pretty bad. It got violent – "
I think he tried to swallow me
“And…” Heather’s voice evaporated. She looked at Joseph with wounded eyes. A quiet universe of pain. She urged him, telepathically, to understand, to see - to see - through the verbal sleight-of-hand and observe the ugly truth running parallel to her fantastical metaphor, and –
With great intuition: “He… molested you?”
Heather could scream. Heather could cry. It was all so close.
She was drowning. Drowning with the need to say something, anything, to her spectacled savior. And whatever fault lines Joseph saw in her, he amended with a gasp: “He raped you?”
Bless him. Joseph could scarcely say the word. And Heather inured herself to this. She offered a silent, taut nod.
If she couldn’t explain what had happened in the black-letter of the law, then she would - God help her - get him on the same wavelength as this elaborate metaphor, so, then, at the very least she could milk him for his sympathies, and receive her precious (precious) pills, untroubled.
Left to his own reverie, it would seem, Heather daintily plucked the brown pill bag from the table and made hasty exist, but not before wondering if she had broken the poor boy, because he still had not moved from his seat, even as she strode under the soft, silvery tinkle of the dispensary bell.
She ignored her phone for quite some time out of spite.
It had went off again, a minor reminder that there was a text waiting.
A prickle of curiosity. Maybe it was Joseph? Maybe she forgot something at the drug store? Was it work calling? Is it that sassy slut who thinks she runs the place? It’s a florist shop for chrissake, not a modeling agency. There was no ‘perfect bouquet.’
In a cloud of thoughts, Heather entered her apartment with a huff, slapping the brown paper bag down on the table. It toppled over gracelessly, and her precious, precious pills clattered free.
She stared down at the sordid collection.
They were what her father would call ‘horse pills’. Too big and too hard to swallow.
Would I have been too hard to swallow?
Fuck! She could slap herself.
Heather pulled a face and walked resignedly into the kitchen.
She felt its every waxy inch. Heather nearly gagged. The quick wash of water disposed the pill down her throat.
Was it this? Was this what it felt like to swallow a tiny human?
Did he – uncontrollably, her thoughts wormed free from the pocket in her brain – did he feel it? That bolus, that sensation lodged in her throat, did he feel that? The pressure in her chest as it moved beneath her ribs: did a tiny human traveling through him move the same way?
Fuck aren’t these pills supposed to stop the bad thoughts?
Troubled by her thoughts, and unsure how to reconcile them, she tried to outpace them: she crawled into a nest of pillows on the bed, and fished her phone free.
She was lilting. Laying on a cloud. She scanned through her emails (doggedly ignoring the one, errant text message), and she saw that her application for apprenticing at the Cosmetic Atelier, uptown, had been accepted. It would appear that working at a floral shop for the better part of her young adult life would pay sizable dividends. The hiring manager had thought she had potential: and she could see the glimmering promise of an artist in Heather’s sketch portfolio.
And, suddenly, Heather felt a sudden lift, a buoyant updraft of what could only be optimism. Perhaps, she could do this after all. Maybe – just maybe – she wouldn’t just survive, but she could thrive.
The pill was melting away her inhibitions, loosening her mind, she felt like she could stretch; forever.
The phone buzzed again. She ignored it.
Instead, Heather, reasoned, in order to celebrate, she would abort her current efforts, and detour into more ministerial acts.
Because it had become something of a religion hadn’t it? No; a ritual. Still, it persisted.
Heather sat a little taller; a little more upright. She typed the sacrosanct word into the text-box field.
And she was rewarded with her feed; her feed that, due to repeat alchemical reactions, was becoming more and more curated – in fact, the search engine seemed to take on a nigh-sentient ability, because the latest cropping of videos were exactly what she needed.
There was, she learned, a small, gifted population of people (nameless, faceless) that could ingest their own endoscopes. And unlike the unflattering, stilted video footage she had procured originally from medical archives, these were entirely different.
Heather knew, immediately - only as a madwoman could - that these videos were voyeuristic. And the host was possessed of a talent that distilled down into what she realized was an uncanny ability to control the motility of the mouth and throat.
Rapt, she watched. Unblinking, she watched. The drugs in her bloodstream conscripted in her an ability to see the images with arresting clarity.
The red of the reds. The black of the blacks. The raised texture of the tongue like very many cobblestones.
She felt safe in her nest of pillows. So she permitted the footage to play, uninterrupted. The pill had certainly imbued a soft, relaxing aura. Normally, at this juncture, she would have paused the video in an alarmed spasm.
But, tonight, as a silent reprisal against her erstwhile lover (imagining she was needling his oh-so-fabulously constructed ego) she deliberately forged ahead. She watched the precise moment the epiglottis flattened itself, neatly and –
The esophagus, appearing as nothing more than fault lines in the throat at first, suddenly peeled open.
Trembling, Heather leaned in. But the video smashed to black.
Shaking. She was shaking. She had not even been aware of it.
All of those shapes, those lines, those contours, they were horrifically familiar. No: they were not the lines, or shapes of her ex boyfriend’s oral cavity (and she dare not wonder why she knew this so affirmatively), but they were familiar to her in that…
That was a guy’s mouth She felt squeamish. The others, she realized suddenly, had been mouths attached to women.
But this one, this mouth. It was a guy’s.
So, there appeared to be a division of the sexes in the fetish. For fetish it was. Heather sensed that the intention of the filmmaker was to take their videography and charge it with an erotic undercurrent.
While she could appreciate the effort, it was certainly lost on her.
She was repulsed by it. Fascinated by it. Perhaps she steeped herself in it in order to armor herself against it. Be that as it may, she had started watching these more erotic versions, because the more slow, sensual presentation (unlike the medical ones) afforded her the luxury to actually see the environment (instead of the garish chaos of medical footage) and study the bodily architecture in great detail.
To what end, she was unsure. But she felt it was critical she do this, every night. It was critical she understand.
Understand what happened to her.
It did little to inspire though. The only thing these nightly rituals succeeded in doing, was fortify her belief - however absurd - that she had been in the very areas of her boyfriend’s mouth and upper throat where the endoscope had transited in those stranger’s videos.
So, he had never swallowed her. Small miracles, I guess.
But that left her raw with a new reality that was even more potent and dangerous; one now exacerbated by confusion: Why?
An entire universe lay in that single syllable.
Why had he rejected her?
Similarly, she realized, she was still rejecting that lone, errant text message.
It felt good. It felt good to be in control. It felt good to operate from such spite. It felt good to lie to Joseph, it felt…
Heather suddenly gasped back a panic. What was happening to her? What kind of monster was she becoming? Why was she undergoing some metamorphosis after escaping her erstwhile boyfriend? Certainly, he had lied often, cajoled readily, and twisted the truth to suit his purpose. But did that mean she did, too? Did she have to?
Well, you’ve certainly learned from the best, Heather.
Feeling contrite (and a smidge guilty) she finally thumbed away the rest of her open windows, and searched out the text message that had been pitifully chirping at her the better part of an hour.
Sorry, Joseph. Didn’t mean to leave you on read. I just don’t want to think about you, because thinking about you means I have to think about me. And what a monster I am.
Heather clicked to retrieve the message by rote.
Heather caught her breath, panting. What was that? What was she looking at? Her subconscious brain had registered it long before her higher-mind ever had. But whatever she saw, she wanted to reject it from her reality.
Instead, she glanced down again.
The phone clattered from her hands. She jerked back like it was a viper. Her fingers tightened, smothering her mouth. Blood coursed through her veins so quick that she felt like she would drop down on the hardwood floor and loose that precious pill. Right then and there.
No, I’m seeing it wrong. I’m seeing things.
Bracing herself, she looked down at the screen again.
It took her a moment to understand what she was seeing. What she was seeing didn’t naturally register. But it did. She knew what she was looking at. Determined to confront the image, she studied it. Her chin jerked up in alarm. That’s me. Of course, she knew that. It was a photograph of herself, taken from a distance.
There was an object, two of them, blocking her back in a way that looked suspiciously like they were - Oh God, no - like they were –
Little Heather had enjoyed such optical wizardry in her youth, hadn’t she? Playing with perspectives and distance was a time-honored tradition.
But this was not the innocent, fanciful play of a child.
This was –
The two objects – fingers – superimposed on her tiny body as they were, at the distance she stood, appeared to be gigantic in form, holding her upright.
A god holding an ant.
Having opened the text message by rote, she had overlooked the sender. It wasn’t Joseph. It wasn’t her spectacled saint. How could it ever be Joseph? She had no saint. She had no savior.
And, a sudden follow-up text.
Unknown: In my neck of the woods today?
No, of course not. Heather was not allowed nice things. Heather wasn’t allowed peace.
She had only this. This cancer of the silence that stretched between them. Of what he had done. And what she had survived. And that she knew. And that he knew she knew. And he would mock her for it.
And, so typical of him, he was coming at her like a snake: sideways. Neither confessing to his sin, nor dismissing it.
And in what could only be termed a spiteful lunge of her finger, Heather retaliated by sending – with what felt like telepathic whiplash – one of the endoscopy videos she had been watching.
A long immeasurable second passed. And Heather had not the luxury of that second to contemplate what she had done, what she was doing, that she was engaging him real-time, and permitting him to move ever-closer (she could almost feel him) when she responded with what she hoped to be equally unruffled glibness, when her cell phone chimed an incoming text.
Unknown:That?! That amateur-hour shit?!
Heather:Oh, of course. Silly me. Since you’re such a professional and all.
Unknown:We aim to please.
Unknown:Aw, cute. So pissy. Hugs, not drugs, kitty cat.
Heather lifted her finger to type; stopped.
Subtlety was his craft. Suddenly, she understood.
Her heart stopped.
He knows, oh God, oh shit, he knows. He knows where I get my pills
And, in that uncanny way of his, of being able to answer her, in an almost-telepathic whiplash:
Unknown:You’ve got me curious, Heather Feather. How bad is it? You gonna lead me back to your hidey-hole?