Eat Me, Too
Heather felt herself laugh as though she was in a long tunnel, as though she was far away. Light, and lighter. Weightless. Like she was floating. Like she was high and mighty.
Like she was winning.
But, when she looked up —
Something had turned, something had changed, and she couldn’t tell if it was in her favor. Now, the giant man looked less like a protrusion of parts and – suddenly – more like “her” Danny: slowly emerging, slowly familiar. And she didn’t like it. And the tone he spoke with, she didn’t like that either. To play with her — she twisted her lip between her teeth. It was a curious choice of words.
She was hedging the quantum of her life against his amusement. But what, exactly, did that entail? She reached out a hand toward him, seeking connection; stopped. It was like trying to touch a mountain on the horizon. Heather could sense the panorama developing around them.
He: hovering above her, faintly amused, ready to reach down with giant fingers to make mischief with her tiny body. Her: small and trembling, wrapped in his predatory inertia, kneeling on the table. And that’s what made it uncomfortable, she realized. It suddenly looked too much like him. The familiarity was overriding and overcoming her mental sequestration so that she felt a scalding intimacy. She almost felt a peculiar second-hand embarrassment knowing what he wanted to do, having seen the approximation of it in the catalogue of videos she watched. But, this was no video. This was no abstraction. This was happening.
She couldn’t even pity him over it, couldn’t even dispense a symbolic there-there pat to his head to soothe the frustration of an overly-active imagination; not when he made it real.
Heather’s teeth clattered together as she repeated the taunt in her mind. Play.
Would she slip inside him and disappear?
He was cavernous. Her eyes tracked down his face, hovering over his features: the large, powerful jaw; the keyhole of his lips; the long columnar neck; the top of his chest —
He went on forever.
Or would he knot himself around her in a slaughter-hug?
Suddenly, it didn’t feel like she’d plink harmlessly off his teeth to retreat soundlessly into the pit of him. That felt too simple. Too expedient.
Because she knew, only as a madwoman could, that he wouldn’t want her to flit into him like a whisper. He wanted to take her with a roar. This wouldn’t be a case of: open slot, insert.
From his body language she knew this wasn’t transactional.
There was an erotic softness etched around the lines of his mouth.
To it she looked, then at the planes of his face.
Under the hollows of his cheekbones was a visible impression of his jaw anatomy: she could see masseter muscles.
The dense, powerful chewing muscles. On him, they were over-developed, and they flexed even in the stillness. Once, they had been twin advertisements of his masculinity; now, they were twin reminders of insidious purpose. They were bands of muscle that commanded a snarl of teeth. Mastication.
It was, her brain chirruped, only a few letters off masturbation.
And that’s what’s going to happen to me. Heather realized. That’s what this is. This is… this is a form of mental masturbation.
Heather tumbled the thought in her brain. It was strangely on-brand for him.
His proclivities, like the rest of him, went staggeringly deep. How involved was this, exactly? She knew from watching those endoscopy videos that the fetish was as convex as the lens that traversed the multitude of humans —
Human. Her brain snagged on the word.
Was his body human? She had seen some skilled practitioners perform impressive gymnastics with the endoscope instrument, expressing elevated motility and control. But they were human. And, she realized, if mere humans could do what she had seen…
He’s dark. But she had always known that, hadn’t she? In her previous life, she had turned a blind-eye to it because it had inconvenienced her. But, something like this, it never remained hidden, did it? Or, at least, not for long. It had a funny way of presenting itself. In conversation, in lewd humor, in —
“You were telling me all along weren’t you,” Heather remarked sadly.
What had first been a metaphor, now morphed into blood, bone, and predatory inertia. Because something as ugly as this could not contain itself. Eventually it would have to rouse; to surface; to stretch its tendons and hunt.
Heather wished that it was something as simple as that: a dark beast coming to roost; stalking her; hunting her, ingesting her in rote, clinical obligation. Not this. Not this man-beast that fantasized about slowly, calculably torturing her while extracting sadistic pleasure from every joint, every dimple in her body.
How bad was it? The compulsion?
You know, Heather’s brain mocked. You know damn well what he wants to do to you. Danny took everything to its extreme. He had to take everything to its extreme; to its inner tendon; shaving it close to the bone. He liked pleasure; he liked pain; he liked hurt. And if his limbic system was a dizzying ouroboros of pleasure — it would be her head in his jaws.
And he’d shave that close to the bone, too.
“Play with me,” she repeated hollowly. “You want… to - to play with me.”
Now what Heather-Feather. You bought some time but at what cost?
If she was winning, it was with regret; a strange oxidized regret that began flaking away. Her survival was slowly, like a wounded rail-car, clicking forward. She could almost count the seconds as they screeched audibly at rusted cross-beams, her brain clanking to a body-jostling halt. She was living on borrowed time, dangling over the precipice. But what lay in wait for her at the bottom of the plunge?
Him. She realized.
He would be waiting. His jaws open.
Because there was nothing after; nothing beyond this.
She was the woman that would never be; the woman that never was. No trace of her existence would be left behind. Not a whimper of her. She had no car, no phone. Her entire existence contracted down to the upended water glass, the infinite forest’s worth of mahogany, and the giant man before her.
Unlike her beloved fables of beasts and maidens, this was not a three-part act. There had been a beginning, certainly, a meandering middle, and now, this. But her conclusion, her end wouldn’t have catharsis. There would be no denouement. Her fingers clenched reflexively. She was lost in this singular wrinkle of existence. She had no phone. She had no…
A terrible, aching sadness whisked inside her. How would she ever walk the million miles necessary to… How could she… How
She looked down at her tiny, tiny hands. Am I stuck like this?
No. Later. Freak out, later.
“Hey,” she breathed, “I need to… you need to… you need to put me back to normal.”
“You look normal to me.”
And just like anything important, he had answered: but sideways, not directly, not forthrightly. Which meant, Heather realized, either he couldn’t control her size, or —
And if he could?
Oh God. The thought of him being able to control it, made liquid of her bones, because that meant he was a self-contained weapon. He could control her body at his whim.
I don’t want him to have that kind of power, Heather strained. Please, God, don’t let this hell-spawn have that kind of power.
Heather swallowed the lump in her throat. She had to believe that she could return to normal. She had to. She had once before, why not again?
Because it had never been this long.
Doubt crept along her spine. Small, he had made her once before; but it had been fleeting. This, felt like an eternity.
"In fact -
He was speaking. Heather looked up.
“You’re the way you should be.”
The anger that ticked inside her, surprised even her; there had been something so demeaning about that taunt that Heather couldn’t help but feel absurdly offended by it.
“The way I should be?” Heather returned, but this time with more color, more conviction. It rankled her, being told the type of woman she should be, three inches or no. She wasn’t daddy’s perfect little virgin, that was clear, and she certainly wasn’t at her Catholic Best when she was with Danny, which was a given, but God did she ever come alive when they crossed words, just as they did now. She wasn’t a fucking doll, not his, not now, not ever. And despite everything that was happening, everything that was poised to happen, she found herself absurdly angry; in fact, she felt the entire situation to be absurd. And she was just about done with it. All of it.
And here she held her breath, her head swimming with a strange suicidal urge to clapback —
— and thankfully this had the effect of creating a large, dramatic pause rather than an apprehensive stall-out, because he was fixed on her, watching, when she blurted: “You know what. Fuck it. Fuck all of it. I’m tired. I’m sick and tired and exhausted and, just — fine. I get it. You want to eat me? Do it. I’d rather fucking die than be told what to do, or what I’m supposed to be.”
“You would,” he remarked. “You absolutely fucking would. You’d rather die than be controlled.”
She slung back with a dismissive, yet pointed: “I get it. I’m hot, I’d eat me, too.”
Danny rocked back on his heels.
She raised an arch eyebrow up at him. “It’s a sex thing, Danny. It’s always a sex thing. I’m not stupid. I’m not gonna pretend to have figured it out, but, yeah, it’s like they say: what you repress, you end up expressing sideways. And I can’t think of anything more sideways than trying to eat your fucking girlfriend.”
“Ah, I see. I’m repressed,” he responded dryly.
“You know me,” she repeated churlishly. “I’d rather die than have you control me.”
“Oh, but how can I resist,” he responded in a low, intimate voice.
And Heather had not the luxury to meditate over this further, when something advanced. The shadow of it stole the words from her tongue.
It was a shape that was familiar to her, that she understood, just as it moved closer, in an eye-blink of movement to be —
his finger —
as it curled around her waist.
This had been the critical element, the missing piece, the one discordant note lilting through this entire exchange that had hung on the beats: this is what had made it feel entirely too surreal, this is what had made it feel like a dream, so when he finally breached the invisible wall between them - reaching through time and space - did Heather feel the colossal piece of what was missing by its absence suddenly being scrubbed away: touch.
He was touching her.
He was joining their worlds.
Her entire existence, her entire being contracted down to this breathless moment, this wrinkle in time in which nothing else existed except for his finger around her tiny, naked waist.
It was a peculiar reflex, but she found her tiny, tiny hands lifting to touch his. Her small fingers, like delicate petals, overlaid his gigantic one. It was like an Escher painting, and in this impossible perspective, she saw her tiny fingers overlaid on his, like concentric shapes.
There was something poetic about it. And she could appreciate how romantic it was, if it were not for the fact that a most-sobering thought entered her rational brain: his barbaric finger could crush her.
He was so much bigger than her. A single contraction of muscle could crumple her body. But, instead of fretting over the possibility of his violence, she studied the shape of his finger from the bed of his nail, down to the rise of his knuckle with the raptness of someone heavily medicated.
And in his giant eyes, his pupils enlarged, then retracted, the pale irises glinting; it was the gleam of a wild animal caught at dusk.
“This is such a turn-on,” he remarked quietly. “You know what I can do. What I want to do. And cuz I know all of that is rattling around inside your head, it makes it even more hot.”
His finger, around her perfectly small waist, curled down to create a perfect apostrophe on top of her vulva.
The physicality of it was stunning. A small sound escaped from her, but she observed an opening in their primitive dance.
“This is why,” Heather started in a small voice, “This is why you can’t kill me. Because, if you do, if-if you do, you don’t just snuff me out, but you snuff out what’s in my head, too.”
The slow, indulgent movement over her vulva stopped.
The maiden overlaid her tiny, tiny fingers on the beast’s large claw in a gentle perversion of an olive branch. "I… I’m going to be forever changed by this, Danny. I can’t… I can’t go back to normal. I saw what you can do, I saw what’s out there. They say, if you’re gonna sup with the devil, you need a long spoon, but they don’t tell you what to do when the devil comes to sup on you. There’s no off-ramp for that; there’s no exit strategy. How the fuck do I return to normal after this, Danny? And how do you get rid of someone that’s… that’s… seen the darkest side of you and —
“Don’t,” he snarled. And the acoustics of his voice expanded, developing into something Heather would characterize as an ‘undervoice’ - a faint, secondary voice that overlapped his primary one with a metallic rasp. It was inhuman.
But it was him. That was the demon that was lurking. Heather gripped his finger in an autonomic spasm.
“Don’t,” he continued in that binaural voice, “pretend that you’re okay with any of this.”
A snarl, vicious like a wolf’s carved into the lips that canopied her shadow. Heather’s head ticked down; the sight of all that anatomy moving was briefly - but powerfully - nauseating. An undulation through the jaw muscles, an expansion of the keyhole in his lips to flash a sickle of teeth: these were the gears of war that he brought to this battle.
But she brought something more.
Honesty. And she would bear it like a blade.
“I’M NOT,” she shot back heatedly. “I’m not okay with any of this. I’m definitely fucking not. I’m so not okay with this, that I’m the not-okayest okayest of this I could possibly be. I’m not even going to pretend to be okay with any of this. I don’t know if I ever will be… but somehow I’m not surprised? Somehow this feels like you. Even now, this is… this is you. This is totally something you’d do. I’m just surprised you haven’t popped a cup over me sooner.”
Danny looked down at her, frozen.
Off his look: “I talk a lot.”
He snorted a wild, uncontrollable laugh. “I’ll admit, I’ve thought about it.” He remarked coyly. His voice was normal again.
“But, seriously.” She continued with sudden graveness. “Three hundred and sixty — fuck, however long it is — it took me three hundred and sixty-something days to - to finally talk about any of this. But… but here I am.” And she folded down on herself, frowning. “I get you,” she spat. “I do. I ran from you all this time, all to be back at the start. I went over last year in my head a thousand times. I remember everything. Everything. And I still - I - it wasn’t what you did that made me so… so fucking upset. I’m upset because you did everything you did and then you pretended nothing happened; like it was no big deal. But I know that isn’t true. And you know that isn’t true. What happened - what happened between us was a Big Fucking Deal. And it was a Big Fucking Deal 'cuz otherwise you wouldn’t be tripping over your dick to get to me a whole fucking year later. And, here I am, in front of you, three fucking inches tall and there’s a part of you that’s still terrified of me.”
For a long, trembling moment there was nothing, just the sharp lines of his face set against a backdrop of domesticity. Then,
“No,” he mouthed.
And in a surge of anger, he pushed himself back from the table. “No, no, no,” he repeated. He made a mindless circuit around the furniture, then slammed his hand down on the wooden surface. The glass bounced off the table, shattering. The tiny woman sent to her knees.
Heather had, with an optimist’s inch, avoided the violence. She looked at the carnage of glass, then back up at the seething giant.
She almost couldn’t speak. It had felt like the world was ending when the glass had imploded. And there was a wildness, a frenetic nature to her stalking giant that she didn’t like. He looked like a bright-eyed, hackled wolf.
And the metaphor, against her better judgment, continued: in a languid movement he surged over the table, his sleek profile advancing until the blade of his nose touched her. He had turned over her gentle burrow in the earth, and - saliva pooling in his mouth - was scenting her. Heather screamed out.
The smooth tip of his nose skimmed over her scalp, her shoulder. The sensation was reported to her as a soft band of pressure. Heather held her breath in stupefied confusion. His nose hung ponderously low, and his breath washed palpably over her. She snapped her head away from the two black orbital holes, convinced if she started at them too long she’d be snorted up into his cranium. Soundlessly, she felt herself pulled into a humified slipstream. It was a warm pulling; pushing; pulling; pushing that cycled with the syncopation of a heartbeat.
He panted over her. With a creak, his lips parted. The inhale from his nares prickled her skin; the out-breath from his mouth blasted her.
He withdrew (but only by half), but not before giving her a small regretful little nuzzle. Heather looked at him, stunned.
“Shame you’re so high, Heather Feather. Otherwise I’d show you.”
This close, she felt every syllable of his humid breath.
“So, this is it then? Is this my new normal?” She retorted moodily.
“Something like that,” he murmured.
"Make it good, then, since you know you can only do it —
He could only have her once.
The word pounded in his brain. His neck. It had a power, a shape all its own.
But what if he could have her each time? And each time he’d slowly bring her closer to the brink? The wait would be torturous. But the release. Ah God, the release. (It would be worth it). To deny himself over and over again, until he could finally turn on her in one stunning, violent moment? He’d see it on her face, in her eyes. It’d be so tragic. It’d be so beautiful.
Bedding, wedding, and slaying the lamb.
He looked at her, suddenly aware of her size. And, oh, how aware of it he was.
So tiny. So very, very tiny. His vagus nerve twitched.
I could swallow you so easily. But he didn’t want it easy. Not with his Kitten.
And he curled his fingers around her, tenderly pulling her into his palm. Gently, with the fingers of his other hand (and moving with the precision of someone that had done this many, many times before) he encircled her waist, like a giant tweezing the beautiful parts of a butterfly.
“What the fuck am I ever gonna do with you.” She was in perfect replication, down to her eyelashes. His vagus nerve twitched, again, at the vision of her.
And his thumb moved, gliding down her soft underbelly. Stroking up, stroking down. He held her eye-level, like a tiny glass figurine. It was like something out of the canon of the Greek fairytales he read as a child.
Lust held Pride in his hand and devoured her.
“You’re not wrong,” he murmured. “It would be a shame to get rid of the only lady-prey that’s been keeping my secrets.’” He was more talking to himself, his eyes skimming across her bare body. The anger had dissipated and it was replaced by the languishing, softening glow of lust. “Wouldn’t it. Heather Feather.”
It wasn’t a question.
Yet how easily he held her caused her mind to drift.
Heather held the golden urn in her arms. How had a woman, a tall beautiful creature of this world who had carried her forth, possibly fit into this tiny vessel? Once, she had been the one carried in the arms of this perfect and wholesome figure, but now how was she to react - only a child - as the one who cradled the dead remains of her mother?
Heather was a woman. Flesh and blood, heart and soul. Yet Danny held her easily, as though her entire self could be folded up into a receptacle. As though she could be deposited into the box of his obscene needs.
Was she willing to welcome them? All of them? Every single last one? He had given her a glimpse of what lay beyond. His black magic, his fetish, his compulsions be damned, his existence meant that he belonged to an intricate system, a constellation of possibilities that should have only been stamped on the inside pages of a dark fairytale.
And she wanted to be a part of that tale; not lost in its footnote.
It was just him: Danny, her intelligent handsome monster. They were so tragically and poetically perfect. Was it not the stories of Beauty falling for Beast that she had loved the most?
And if Beast had tried to devour Beauty?
She considered his question. Could she really harbor his secrets? Could she?
Heather could feel the unspoken letters of a threat hanging; building like a cloud of potential.
Could she allow him to bring countless women into his body? Likely even his bed just to make the act that much more sensational? What of her? Could she forgive him his sins? Worse: could she carry them? Enable them? Did it matter? Did it really? Should she shed any sympathy for those that weren’t clever enough to outwit or outsex her demon?
“I know, I know,” she said sadly, “You want to play with me. But… that’s the thing of it, isn’t it? That’s what you always do. You take. And you take, and you take, and you take. Why not, for once… let me give? Why not, for once, you let me give to you? Sure: you can have me. You can take from me, you can take me, just like you normally would. But that’s the same energy, that’s the same vibe. Why not let me try to give? I can try to give you space… I can try to give you understanding. I can try, maybe, one day to try and willingly…” She couldn’t even say it; it pained her. The thought of giving herself willingly to his jaws was overwhelming. She swallowed thickly, and continued in what she hoped was an appeal to his more human side: “We can try.”
And he had taken to this new turn of events with an unexpected relief, and a new-found feeling of contentment. He liked holding her in his hand; it felt overwhelmingly precious to him.
He looked at her, this tiny figurine in his upended palm, not solely as something to be devoured, but he looked at her as something more.
She was no longer just a collection of attractive womanly parts.
Danny canted his head to the side and listened. He felt like a wolf that had scented something indeterminable in the wind. But he heard her; he listened. He always listened whenever Heather spoke, because whether it was a coarse rebuke, or an elegant rejoinder, Heather was always interesting.
She’d give herself to him willingly?
He felt – he felt overwhelmed. He deflected with a harsh: “I don’t need your consent.”
“No,” he heard her say in a small, simple voice. “But that’s the one thing you can’t take. Nobody can. H-have you tried consensually…” Her voice petered out, then hardened: “No. You haven’t. That’s obvious.”
She wasn’t wrong.
He licked his lips; stretched his jaw in a quick frenetic pulse of excitement.
It would - as she said - be a different energy. It would be a vibe that was entirely impossible to recreate. It was like she had taken a stick to his mind and bashed it open like a beehive.
“Why,” was all he croaked. And his voice was raw and unvarnished.
“Because, I’d rather crawl into your jaws, than the jaws of domesticity.”
(Danny looked at her in open astonishment).
“I don’t want normal, Danny. I never did. I don’t want average. There’s gotta be more to life than nine-to-five, and-and watching the dishes pile in the sink… I… don’t want any of that. I,” her throat tightened, she felt overwhelmed, “You know me. You know how I love those Beauty and the Beast stories where the girl gets her beast. Well, maybe, deep down Beauty did want to be eaten. Maybe, maybe not. And, maybe, deep down Beast wanted to eat Beauty. Who knows. All I know is- is that if I have to go back to the flower shop, and p-pay taxes, and scroll social media, and pretend that none of this happened, none of this was real, if I have to walk around like a fucking ghost talking about the fucking Kardashians, pretending that none of this happened — I’d go fucking crazy. I’d go absolutely bonkers. I’d kill you, or myself. I’d rather fucking die and have that knowledge die with me than try and go back to normal…”
She took a deep breath. “Don’t you want to be seen?”
He looked at her pensively. Then, offered a:
“Bad news, Kitten.”
He was calling her Kitten. She looked up.
“I still pay taxes.”
She snorted a wild, uncontrollable laugh. “Ah God, not even demons can dodge the IRS.” (He barked a laugh).
“But,” she continued in a sad, strained voice, the hysterics of her laughter carrying her through: “I’m tired. I’m really, really tired. I’m tired of pretending I’m strong right now. I’m not. I’m weak. And I’m scared. And I have to pee, and I just want… I just want us to be okay. We can s-start over, or whatever, or just… pretend none of this happened, or see what can, or just… I’m just,” she began to cry silently, “I’m sorry, for both of us. I’m sorry for every damn thing. I’m sorry you’re locked into this damn addiction like I’m locked into mine, and I just…” fault lines began to open in her face, “Let me be your… your lady-prey. Let’s figure this out together. Let’s just…” Heather’s face sank into her hands. She blotted out the world, she blotted out the demon. She didn’t care. She just wanted to curl up and cry. She made a sad sound from between her laced fingers, “Eat me, or don’t. I don’t care anymore. I just need to… There’s a lot to unpack here, and there’s a lot… and I’m just,” she looked at him with wounded eyes.
His large hand brushed against her.
And there was a contraction, a movement, a sensation of lift.
Which compelled her to open her eyes so that she could see — and what she saw startled her enough that she tumbled off the table –
– normal-sized –
but before she could impact with the ground, his arm went around her waist.
There was shock: and she was not sure from which body it was generated.
She looked at his arm looped around her waist – just as it was, a year ago – used as a barricade to protect her from her fall, and she had not the luxury to contemplate if it was affection that had motivated him – or instinct – because her face was falling, her face was crumpling, and she buried it into his chest, thinking about what she had negotiated with the devil.
Oh God, what did I get myself into.
And she wept.