I came home from class on Friday excited as always. Friday nights were for going out and forgetting everything else. I was ready to hit the bar immediately, but when I pushed open the door to our apartment, Rachel was on the rug, laying on her stomach with her chin in her hands.
Her shoes were in front of her, side-by-side and facing me. Red bottom lace-trimmed platform pumps. I froze in the doorway, standing and watching her as I let my bag drop to the floor.
“Oh, you’re home.” She barely glanced up, dropping her eyes back to her shoes. “Come here.”
I did as she did and watched her shoes as I stepped into the room. The one on the left seemed to wobble a bit and my already racing heart pounded all the more. I should be down with her, so I lowered myself, stretching my legs out to the side and sitting in front of her on the floor.
“Notice anything?” She smirked, bending her knees behind her, kicking her bare feet back and forth through the air while watching me.
I stammered and I nodded. “I think, maybe--”
She interrupted me. The instant her voice began mine automatically ceased. “Go on, take a peek.”
Even though I half-expected it, I never prepared for the rush of seeing this. I leaned all the way down until my cheek brushed the carpet. I shivered with this sighing coo when I saw him struggling, pinned by the weight of Rachel’s shoe.
He was maybe in his forties, but I could only see part of his face and some of his arms. He was tiny and trapped, two or three inches tall.
I knew that he’d been bigger than me. I knew that Rachel had shrunk him--it had been a while, but it wasn’t the first time. My body buzzed when I imagined the instant he’d gone from being a tall, powerful man to a helpless speck at my girlfriend’s feet, but almost immediately a cloud of guilt smothered my excitement.
He was a person--he had a family and a life. Was he married? Did he have kids that were going to miss him, going to never know how he’d disappeared? This was an actual human life.
Pinned under Rachel’s gorgeous shoe.
I shivered and asked. “What happened?”
Rachel was cool and casual. “I was at Starbucks and I liked his wife’s necklace. She wouldn’t give it to me, so when I came out of the bathroom wearing it he started asking too many questions.”
“You followed her into the bathroom?” Of course she did, but couldn’t resist asking the question.
“Well, yeah. It’s a cool necklace.” She ran her fingers along her neck, brushing the deep red stones set in the thick golden chain.
“What happened to her?” I felt my voice quiver with the question, and Rachel noticed it too. Again I knew the answer, but I wanted to hear it from her. She flashed me a grin.
“She was right where he is now. I scraped most of her off, but there’s probably a tiny bit left on my sole for him to see.”
I groaned while the shrunken man’s struggles surged. The designer shoe on top of him tilted bit by bit, leaning a little to the side, then settled back into place with a wobble.
Their lives meant less to her than the instant gratification of having a necklace. She was unstoppable, reckless. Impulsive and vain, sadistic and cruel.
And I loved her. I worshipped her in every way, and even though Rachel might not be capable of loving anything but herself, she liked--or at least appreciated--me. She kept me. I couldn’t tell if I was her partner or her pet, but there probably wasn’t much difference.
I had been. I’d rolled over onto my belly and was resting my chin on the back of my hands, watching the little man strain and gasp under the weight of an empty shoe. That sunk in now that she’d shaken me out of my thoughts, and the hollow ache of shame crept back into my chest.
I imagined his confusion when he ran in to check on his wife and found nothing besides maybe a little red smear on the bathroom tile. I could almost experience his terrified despair as he dwindled away to miniature size, suddenly able to see and smell the bits of gore on the bottom of Rachel’s shoe.
“Why don’t you tell him what I’m going to do?”
I flushed a little at that. I had to close my eyes and take a long, sighing breath. There was only one thing to do with the people Rachel shrunk. We weren’t going to keep any tiny pets around our apartment. I mean, he was already under her shoe.
This poor man. He’d lost everything in an instant, all because my selfish girlfriend decided she wanted something. I kept my head lowered but lifted my gaze to look into her sparkling dark eyes.
“Can I see him?” It came out as almost a whisper.
Rachel’s response was to slip a finger inside the back of her shoe and tilt it back on its heel just enough to expose him. He was still in the shadow of the raised pointed toe, but now I could clearly see his scuffed, anguished face, his torn slacks and wrinkled sweater.
“Hey there.” It was such an awkward thing to say and I felt it as soon as the words tumbled out of me. I could see the tears that had dribbled down his little cheeks. I could see his tiny chest rising and falling, his arms beneath him ready to push him up so he could take off running.
“Oh no, no, you don’t want to go anywhere.” Suddenly I was scolding him like a child. Rachel heard me and let the shoe drop back down on him with a dull thud. When she leaned it back again, blood was running from his smashed nose.
“Hey, alright, you’re going to stay right there, okay?” Talking to him was feeling a little more natural. “What’s your name anyway? I don’t know why I’m asking, I should know by now that I can’t understand your squeaky little voices. I’ll call you Christopher, though. You look like a Christopher, right?”
Rachel laughed, and glancing up to see her smiling was like filling my soul with music. I shared her smile and continued. “See, Chris, it looks like you weren’t a very good boy. This is the kind of stuff that happens when Rachel has to deal with people who don’t know how to behave.”
I knew how to behave. I knew my place. I loved doing every little thing that Rachel could possibly want me to do. I loved living my life to keep her happy and entertained, and it thrilled me endlessly to know that she could change her mind at any second and smash me like a bug.
“You’re going to vanish, Christopher. Nobody’s ever going to know what happened to you. Nobody’s ever going to see you again.” My voice was softer, more steady with each moment. He was so, so scared--he listened to me. He didn’t even try to run.
His fear thrilled me. I’m sure he might have been an important man, but to Rachel he was nothing. She’d forget him by Monday, but I’d be running these moments through my mind for weeks.
“In a minute, my girlfriend’s going to stand up and slide her foot into that shoe you’re looking at, Chris. You know what that’s going to do to you, right?”
He looked like he was trying to reason with me. He kept gesturing and his mouth was moving a mile a minute. I couldn’t hear him and I didn’t care. I just wanted to watch his face. “You can’t imagine the pressure. It’ll be like a mountain rolling over you. Like the moon smashing down just on you.”
His jabbering stopped as I continued to whisper in a husky voice. “It won’t be like when she stomped your wife, Chris. I don’t think Rachel likes you, and she’s really, really good at this. She knows how to take it slow. Your bones are going to splinter and snap. Your insides will squelch and spurt, and you’re going to feel every last bit of it until finally, as you beg and pray for your silly little life to just stop, she’ll crush your skull beneath her toes.”
I breathed those last few words and was almost squirming against the floor myself. Rachel pushed herself up off the floor and I watched in fascination while she rose up above Chris and me. I was thousands of times bigger than him, but it felt for all the world like she could just as easily splatter me beneath her heel, too.
Her long, slender foot rose and moved through the air towards me. I cupped her warm sole in my hand and pressed a tender, reverent kiss just above her toes. They slid into her waiting left shoe with a practiced ease.
Her right received the same eager worship when she lifted it in front of my face, and then I lowered myself flat to the floor, fixed my eyes on the flailing, panicked man pinned down just as flat, and watched.
Her sublime toes passed through the lacey throat of her stiletto pump, and I heard the first animal howl from the man trapped beneath. That was just the faintest touch.
Her toes worked their way forward and I pressed my ear to the floor so I could hear the first snap. His arm bent at a grotesque angle underneath her platform sole and he began a constant, agonized scream.
A whole round of crunches and pops tickled my ear as some weight shifted forward while her heel slipped into the back of her shoe. I worried he might stop breathing if his shattered ribs badly punctured his lungs, but I could still hear some screaming after her foot was all the way in.
We knew that it was time. All she had to do to snuff him out was step down. I kissed her shoe again. “Bye, Chris,” I whispered as my lips pulled away.
I let out a moan, watching her stiletto heel rise from the floor. She shifted her weight gradually, so I could watch her crimson sole crush down, compressing his body more and more. I whimpered with desire when she started to twist her shoe, bearing down amidst the wet crumpling until there was nothing left but the squeaking of her sole grinding into the rug.
I ached for her in that moment. Her callous cruelty surpassed my every fantasy. Her dominance drove me towards tearing off my clothes and throwing myself at her, desperate for her touch or the weight of her crushing step.
“Kiss.” I did none of those things. I did as I was told, and slid forward to kiss the shoe that just obliterated a man.
“Clean.” She gave her orders with a satisfied smirk, and instead of acting on my maddening lust, I popped up off the floor and rushed back with carpet spray and a towel. Wiping Chris off the bottom of her shoe and scrubbing him out of the carpet while she stood over me and watched only gave me time to think about how hungry I was for her. Maybe she’d at least step on my hand, maybe remind me how easily she could shrink me down and do the same thing to me.
“Let’s go.” I finished cleaning and she walked right by me towards the door. “I want a drink.”
I knew she could see the desire in my eyes, but we were heading to the bar because that’s what Rachel wanted.
Rachel’s desires were the only ones that mattered.
And that’s why I loved her.