or, enter your birth date.*
Flames licked weakly at the air above the fire pit as the huddled group of thespians held forth their fingers, trying to gather what warmth they could from the dying embers. Little fuel remained to feed the once mighty blaze, and now only a small handful of colleagues remained to try and keep the spark alive.
Shadows lengthened about the courtyard, engulfing the vague silhouettes of the other performers as one by one they succumbed to slumber, hunger and exhaustion. The company’s mood was sour, and though many did their best to keep the peace, the fractures were already starting to show.
“Bollocks to this.” Amber exclaimed suddenly, dropping her head a moment later so as to avoid spying the looks that had turned her way from those around the fire. Her palms grasped at the side of her head, squeezing her skull as Dirk rested his hand upon her shoulder in an attempt at comfort.
A moment passed before she rose once more, gazing into the flames from beneath the curtain of hair framing her face.
“We can’t go on like this.” She continued; her voice lowered so as to remain unheard by any outside the circle. “Passion and dedication can carry one a great distance, but they cannot feed the belly - nor alone do they provide nourishment to the soul.” Low murmurs of agreement rippled from her companions, emboldening her to continue.
“The company has done so much and come so far, and though we still have far to go, we aren’t getting there fast enough. Our collective spirit is at its breaking point; something must change, lest we fall into apathy and despair.”
Across the stone circle from Amber, Bernadette nodded solemnly, the pinpricks of light from the fire aglow in the depths of her eyes as she spoke.
“We all know where the problem lies. We have all known for weeks on end.” She replied, a conspiratorial firmness in her voice as she scanned the faces around her for any sign of deceit or reservation. Finding none she leaned forth, hands clasped between her knees as she spoke at scarcely more than a whisper. “Lord Markoth’s lack of flexibility has thwarted us at every turn; his narrow vision and stubborn adherence to his own ideas is a great ball of iron whose shackles have slowed any attempt at true progress.”
“Miss Bernadette,” Dirk replied, agreement in his expression but caution in his voice, “Lord Markoth brought this all together. Without him, this production would ne’er have launched to begin with. To defy him so openly would risk disaster at this stage.”
“Lord Markoth cares not for this production.” Bernadette replied, her disgust evident as her gaze wandered to the depths of the flickering flames. “He claims leadership over the production and purports to direct its course, yet he consistently ignores suggestions that would improve its quality. And when those suggestions are carried out in spite of his insistence to the contrary, he claims them as his own and states that they are to be continued! He would rather be sole monarch of an unremarkable show than surrender his power to truly let it blossom.” She let the moment hang in the air before she spoke again. “Yes, Lord Markoth started us down this path, but he has repeatedly demonstrated he is unfit and unwilling to truly lead. Not only would the show not suffer from his absence, it would very likely flourish!”
“Alas, thou may be right, but there is little to be done.” Dirk replied solemnly, reaching for the last piece of wood and setting it down to breathe one last gasp into the fire. “If thou wish to try and confront Markoth about this, then I wish thee good fortune – but ‘tis a fool’s errand. Mark my words; if thou step into the Lord’s chambers with such accusations, death shall soon visit after.”
Silence hung in the air as Bernadette considered Dirk’s words. After what seemed to be a small eternity, she rose to her feet. Though she was not a tall woman, standing in that instant with the light of the flames at her feet, she seemed grand beyond measure; a titan of the stage.
“It may be time to call upon an old favour.”
Making her way across the courtyard from the comforting glow of the fire, Bernadette weaved through the throng of tents and sleeping figures, heading towards the corner nearest the sea. There, huddled up by the glow of a lantern and scrawling feverishly on a length of papyrus was a figure garbed in layer upon layer of discarded fabric; a living pile of dirty laundry from which protruded two hairy arms.
Only by peering deep into the darkness beneath the hood could one perceive the twinkle of eyes reflecting the light of the lantern. All about him on the ground lay a number of glass vials; herbs, containers and other substances one tried not to think too hard about.
“Orson.” Bernadette said in greeting, marching briskly up to the enormous, foul-smelling lump and shamelessly throwing her arms around it in a display of affection. The man within rumbled happily, returning the gesture with its one free arm as the young actress rested her head upon his shoulder. She turned a fraction, masking her face as she whispered in his ear. “… I am in need of one of your wayward concoctions.”
“Enter.” A voice called from the far end of the chamber as Bernadette rapped on the thick oaken doors. She leaned her weight against the wood as she pressed within, a wave of heat washing over her the instant she was inside. Though much of the room was garbed in darkness, the distant form of a wingback chair was framed amidst the glow of the towering inferno churning in the hearth beyond.
Closing the door behind her with a low ‘boom’, Bernadette made her way slowly up the length of the room, trying not to look too closely at the plates of half-eaten food on the table. As she drew near the fireplace, the grey-bearded figure in the chair turned just far enough to spy her out of his peripheral before returning to watch the flames.
“Yes, miss Bernadette?” He asked, plucking the glass of wine from the table beside him and lifting it to his lips. The young woman paused for a step before continuing, arriving a moment after Lord Markoth had set down his goblet and standing roughly between him and the fire, though making sure not to block it directly.
“My Lord, my fellow actors and I have compiled a short list of suggestions for the show that we believe could still be implemented before the show opens that would greatly help the performance. Robin in particular has had many-”
“No.” Markoth replied without looking at her. “We have discussed this during rehearsals, and I have made my will very clear. Undermining my direction will not improve anything; it will only result in confusion and chaos. Now…” Raising the goblet once more, he leaned back in his chair to imbibe a long draught of the ruby liquid. “… Was there a reason you felt it necessary to waste my time with this for the tenth time? Or is your mind so feeble that you cannot retain simple instructions?”
“In truth Lord Markoth, I did not expect you to be reasonable in this regard. I merely wished to offer you one last chance to redeem yourself before I took action.”
For the first time, Markoth’s beetle-black eyes spun sharply to glare in her direction.
“Is this open defiance, girl? Do you threaten me in such a brazen manner?”
“For the good of the company, I do.” Bernadette replied, her palm opening partially to reveal the glittering glass vial within. A sneer of amused contempt twisted Markoth’s face as he regarded the thing.
“Thou foolish, feeble-minded female; dost thou know not how to perform even the simplest tasks? If thou had chosen to attempt this absurd, reckless endeavour with something like a dagger or even a blunted cudgel, perhaps revealing it in such a manner would not rob thee entirely of thy advantage. But poison is not a weapon employed in this way; unless thou intend to cast the bottle at my head.”
With a surge of motion one might not expect from so slothful a man, Lord Markoth lurched from his arm-chair, hand clasped firmly around the head of his cane.
“I am confident in my success.” Shadow spread partially across Bernadette’s face as she took a step back towards the hearth, not breaking the exchange of glares as the grizzled man advanced ominously.
All at once, as though time itself had slowed about him, Markoth’s motions froze in place. His grim expression contorted, confusion giving way swiftly to alarm as his posture slackened. The heavy cane slid from his grasp, clattering to the floor with a ‘thud’. Teeth gritted, the lord struggled to remain standing even as he sagged in place.
“Wretched, treacherous woman; with this folly thou hast sealed thy own death as much as mine. Swift as this poison may be within my breast, the demise it grants thee in turn shall be a slow march to the gallows.” A jagged groan of pain shuddered from his throat as he clutched at his chest, toppling to one knee.
“On the contrary my lord.” Bernadette said, a trace of something satisfied in her voice as she watched the scene unfold, perceiving the coming change before the man himself noticed. “No retribution shall befall my person; thou shalt have no opportunity to pass on these tidings… and no body shall be left behind to herald thy passing.”
Comprehension dawned on Markoth’s face as he at last saw the transformation. The trickling tendrils of purple smoke that wafted from the pores of his skin, the spiny black shards pricking from his flesh as his limbs visibly shrivelled before his eyes. Opening his mouth to make some exclamation, no sound escaped save for a rattling of chitin.
Bernadette’s heart pounded in her chest as the twisted concoction took its course, her gaze watching steadily as Lord Markoth collapsed lower and lower to the cold, wooden floor.
“Lord Markoth, thou hast been mistaken countless hundreds of time over the course of these months. An endless string of terrible decisions and stubborn inability to see the merit in the ideas of others has led thee to these final errors. First, to assume that this vial was not emptied into thy goblet the moment I passed it first.” She paused, venom in her voice. “And second… understand, wretch, that this toxin in thy veins is not itself lethal. Live through it thou shalt, if for no other reason than I would not let mere poison rob me of the satisfaction of expressing my displeasure to thee directly.” Stepping forwards, Bernadette observed as the spines protruding from Markoth’s arms tore gashes in his sleeves, his fingers fusing together into a single, jagged spike. In turn, a hideous metamorphosis rearranged the shape and features of his face to something out of an insectoid nightmare – even as it dwindled in size from a melon, to an apple, and onward towards a grape.
“This brew does nothing more or less than bring physical form to thy own insignificance. Indeed, had thou been truly invested and dedicated to thy cast and crew, this same potion would bolster thy vitality – give thee strength and vigour to match that of thy long lost youth… However…”
Bernadette stood over the empty pile of clothing as the choking cloud of purple smoke at last evaporated, all motion ceased save for a slight twitching in the collar of the brown coat.
“… I wouldst suggest the results speak for themselves, wouldn’t thou?”
The shadow of the actress engulfed the crumpled suit as its occupant scuttled out onto the floor. A fat, brown cockroach extracted itself from the depths of the ruined clothes and made a frantic, bewildered dash across the floorboards. Bernadette laughed richly in response, shaking her head as she crossed the entire distance in a single stride and planted her heel behind the scurrying bug.
“No, no… no… I think not.” The sole of her boot pressed firmly upon the back of the insect, though not so heavily as to outright crush it. It squirmed helplessly beneath her, unable to vocalize its dismay as she spoke over it. “For too long have I been forced to endure thy stubborn dismissal of my ideas, been forced to concede ground to thy poor choices. But just this once ‘my lord’…”
A feline smile spread across her face.
“I am afraid I really must put my foot down.”
Bernadette stood quietly in the hall as she twisted the ball of her foot back and forth, grinding the mess beneath her until it was naught but a smear of pulp. Without a word, she turned and stooped down to pick swiftly through the pockets of the empty clothes. Once she was satisfied they were empty, she gathered up the bundle in her arms and cast it into the fire, the thread catching alight almost instantly – consumed in moments by the inferno.
Turning on her heel, she strode forth from the hall, leaving naught but silence in her wake.
“Lo, she returns?” Dirk noted in surprise as Bernadette re-joined the circle. “How didst thy meeting with Lord Markoth fare?”
“It was as thou predicted, young Dirk.” Bernadette replied, smiling faintly.
or, enter your birth date.*
Popcorn Stories 5
#1 – Crush, Shoes, Shrinking
The wave of relief that had momentarily swept over the poor little thing’s body vanished as they saw the look of recognition on the waitress’s face twist into something that resembled thinly veiled smugness.
“You know,” she said in a hushed, trembling tone as she placed a palm against the wall, leaning against it and pretending to check the lacing on her shoe, “I always thought by now I’d have come up with something cool to say if this moment ever came. Maybe if I had as much time to waste as you on writing, this would be more… y’know?”
She could see their miniature features contorted in horror as she double-checked over her shoulder to make sure she wasn’t being observed. Turning back, she planted the heel of her sneaker on the ground and pivoted the ball of her foot over her soon-to-be victim.
“But… fuck it. Die.”
Before she had a chance to press down however, the door to the storage closet beside her opened up. One of her colleagues stepped out wiping their hands on their apron, almost colliding with the murderous blonde. For the briefest of moments, their gazes met – the apology that the brunette was about to give dying in her throat as she caught the look on her work-mate’s face. They stood frozen on the spot as the new arrival took in her flushed cheeks, her stance… and a moment later, the fallen, cowering customer on the bricks below.
All at once, a look of comprehension rippled over her. Her eyes swept the empty courtyard as she uttered at scarcely more than a whisper.
The little thing’s cries were too tiny to be heard. The last sound they ever made was a weak, disappointing, barely audible ‘splat’ beneath their killer’s sole as she tried not to breathe too hard, her heart hammering in her chest as she twisted her shoe back and forth. Silence hung in the air a few moments as the two let it sink in.
“O-one less order to remember, eh?” The blonde said, her voice shaky as the brunette struggled to take her eyes off the smudge on the brick.
“Yeah.” Her colleague replied a moment later, swallowing. “Uh… want to get a drink lat-“
“Yes.” She said emphatically, wiping her sole off on the step. “Best get back to work.”
#2 – Implied Doom, Shrinking
At the end of the day, sometimes there are problems that have no easy solution – problems that cannot be solved with a binary answer. You don’t even have to be actively cruel or malicious to wind up in these situations; all you need to do is show kindness to the wrong person.
Nobody can predict the future. Nobody can discern all the facts of the past. And dipping your toes into a new social pool without knowing the whole story first can lead to treading where you don’t belong. It really didn’t matter which side York chose to support; the days upon days he’d spent agonizing over how to proceed were naught but a delay of the inevitable – a cloud of hope that obscured the simple reality that he’d been doomed from the moment he first said ‘hello’.
Perhaps if he’d simply severed contact and let himself drift back into the woodwork, he might have survived. Perhaps if he hadn’t insisted on trying to support both sides of the clandestine social conflict, he wouldn’t have wrapped the proverbial noose around his own neck. Perhaps if he’d just cut his losses and fled, he wouldn’t be in the position he was now.
There was no way to escape the pair of looming figures; a thousand sprinting strides would carry him only the length of a half-pace for them. There was no way to talk his way out of this, or convince them to resolve a decade of personal strife in mere minutes. At best, the one he didn’t choose would simply tread on him – snuff him out in a heart-beat and forget him just as quickly.
At worst, he would be allowed to live long enough to lament the decisions that brought him here – and curse his own naivety for hoping that things could be resolved so quickly.
#3 – Booty, Shrinking, Taunting, Crush, Insertion
The temptation is far too great. My eyes wander across to her butt at the adjacent table. It’s so big. It’s so round. It just sits so perfectly in her seat, that utterly superior posterior clad in jeans that fit so snugly as to set the mind aflame with desire. My mind spirals downward in the list of naughty things it wishes to indulge, plunging rapidly from the plausibly sensual to the blissfully impossible the longer I linger.
I want to touch it. I want to kiss it. I want to bury my face in it, to feel her fingers in my hair as she presses my entire skull against it and laughingly orders me to plant my lips upon it. I can feel her cheeks on mine.
I want to kneel before it, to shrink before it, to stare up in awe from the gap between her sneakers as she smirks at me. I want to tremble beneath it in primal worship. I want to dangle above it and be reminded how futile resistance is. I can hear her voice ringing in my soul as she encourages me to just cave in and ask for it.
I want to be plunged between her buttocks, squeezed in the rolling mounds of flesh, shaken back and forth in helpless, teasing torment and either crushed into a sticky red smear… or pushed completely within, left entombed forever inside her – my soul a willing prisoner of her own.
All this in my mind in the space of a heartbeat. Truly, the perversions of the brain move too fast for mortal fingers to record.
#4 – Shrinking, Gentle, Body Terrain
Streams of steaming wind rippled periodically through the hair of the combatants, adding one more obstacle to their ever-growing list of threats to keep their mind on. Though both had fought bravely up ‘til this point, the signs of their exhaustion were mounting, and it was clear that one of them would soon fall.
Quite literally in fact, as the pair clung with one arm each to the ropey mesh that hung suspended from the sloped cliff. With the strength of their grip being the only thing between them and a long plummet to defeat, the two opponents had to be careful with each new move; a mistimed strike or a bungled parry, and it would all be over.
“Just give it up Daisy,” the shaggy-haired barbarian called over the sound of the cheering onlookers, “I’ve got this one in the bag; concede and save yourself some dignity.” He clutched the makeshift weapon in his free hand, keeping it held in an aggressive posture as his foe hung just outside his reach. Though she was lacking in pure size, she was no slouch when it came to speed and reflexes; a fortunate thing given her own weapon had been swatted from her grip moments before. “I promise the fall won’t be as scary as it seems.” He added with a grin, edging yet closer until the young woman was almost to the edge of the mesh; any further and it would be game over.
“You’ll have to tell me what it’s like.” She retorted, her mind racing as she tried to think of a way out of her situation.
“C’mon Daisy, everyone’s waiting…” The hulking fellow shifted another segment over, readjusting his grip and giving an experimental jab of his weapon in Daisy’s direction. She recoiled as the tip brushed her hand, her heart leaping into her throat as she realized she had run out of time. “… it’s time to take the leap.”
All at once, Daisy’s eyes widened.
“Yes,” she tensed herself as she focused on her adversary, “it is!”
A cry of adrenaline went up from the onlookers, sensing the contest’s final moments as Daisy released her grip on the mesh... and threw herself onto her opponent. Though she lacked his pure stature, she wasn’t a feather either – and given how precarious their position was, all it would take is one upset to throw them off-balance.
Barging through his startled attempt at a block, Daisy clutched wildly with her entire body at the hairy barbarian, doing her best to ensure the full force of her momentum connected. If she was off even by a little, she would plunge into the canyon of defeat – but her aim was true, and she could feel her opponent’s grip loosened from the mesh-covered cliff. He let out a grunt of surprise as he teetered backwards, and in a blind windmill of limbs Daisy lurched about, arms scrabbling for the rope. It didn’t need to be pretty, it just needed to work.
The barbarian’s weapon fell away, his face contorting in disbelief as he tumbled down seemingly in slow-motion.
Daisy’s hand caught hold of the suspended rope, halting her descent.
A moment later she felt the barbarian’s meaty fist clamp around her ankle, her whole body jerked downward under the weight as she shrieked, her hold on the arena slipping until she hooked her other elbow over another strand of fabric. She looked down, feeling the strain on her leg as the hairy lump of a man strained to reach up toward her.
“No… you… don’t…” She grunted, punctuating each word by stamping the sole of her foot on the man’s face and fist, trying ineffectually to dislodge him. She couldn’t hold on much longer, and if he got high enough to get a grip on the mesh again it would almost certainly mean defeat. She was slipping, the last of her strength was ebbing, and a flush of crimson exploded in her cheeks as his free hand caught hold of her calf, the weight of the man causing the waist-band of her pants to slip a fraction.
A sharp inhale entered in her throat as she started to shimmy frantically from side to say.
“H-hey Orville!” She called in a shrill, breathless voice.
“What?” He grunted as his first hand reached up and clamped onto her knee.
“Just this once… I think I’m going… to let you take off…” She said through gritted teeth as she felt the belted cloth around her hips give-way. “… my pants!”
As the words left her mouth, the waist-band of her jeans slid past the widest part of her bottom, losing all grip on their surroundings and sliding free – along with their passenger. A dismayed bellow left the barbarian’s mouth as he plummeted downward, the onlookers to the battle roaring at the spectacle. Daisy’s eyes momentarily met those of her friend as he fell away…
“Oop! Looks like Daisy wins.” Lauren announced brightly, reaching down and plucking her friend off the front of her shirt, the black-mesh over her collar-bone evidently more than up to the task of serving as a temporary arena. “As per the rules, she – and her jeans – will be restored at once to their normal size!”
Setting Daisy down on the adjacent seat, Lauren’s fingertips glowed a pale blue colour as she wound them backward in an anti-clockwise motion, her bare-legged friend swelling upward and outward until she was back to the size of an ordinary person.
“And now, Orville wi-”
“Ahem.” Daisy interrupted, cocking an eyebrow and looking pointedly at the tiny pair of jeans in Lauren’s hand.
“Oh… yes…” She replied with a barely suppressed smile, handing them over and repeating the spell before looking down at the hairy little fellow sprawled upon her black-leather thigh. “As for Orville here, you lost the game – so you’ll be staying toy-sized for the time being.”
“Ah fiddlesticks.” Orville grunted, batting aside the snapped half of a cotton bud he’d been using as a makeshift sword and folding his arms haughtily.
“Pfft, don’t even pretend like you care.” Lauren admonished, picking him up by the foot and setting him down in a Tupperware container on the living room table with the word ‘Party Toys’ scrawled on the side.
“I don’t know what you mean.” He retorted, chin held high as he pointedly avoided her gaze – though the tell-tale signs of a smile creased the edge of his mouth beneath his beard.
“Oh don’t sweat it, you’ll get another chance to compete in a different game a little later on; we’re taking a break for now.”
“Wait… a break? How long of a break?” He replied, dropping the haughty façade almost instantly and turning to look up at Lauren.
“Oh, long enough to watch a movie at least – and have some cake.” The other party-goers let out a cheer. She winked at him. “You don’t mind staying toy-sized for a couple more hours do you?”
Orville’s mouth opened, though it took several seconds for the words to come out as he clearly suppressed the first few things that came to mind.
“I mean… I suppose. It’s your party after all.” He gave in a faux-dismissive tone.
“I thought so.” She grinned as Daisy turned around, having finished pulling her jeans back on.
“Hey; nice going.” Orville said as Daisy chuckled.
“Thanks.” She replied sportingly as Lauren nodded in approval. Then, slightly less sportingly, reached down and knocked Orville over with the tip of her finger the moment the birthday-girl had looked away.
“Sorry; couldn’t resist. Better luck next time.” She laughed pleasantly as Orville pretended to fume angrily. A moment later, Orville became aware of a vast shape in his peripheral vision. Glancing over, he found Daisy’s upturned palm waiting for him. “Gonna come watch the movie?”
Orville looked at the hand, then up at Daisy and beamed warmly.
“I’d love to!”
#5 – Meta, Crush, Ass Worship, Same-Size
“You look like you’re pondering something really hard there.” Emilia noted with a knowing grin as she held her shoe over the grape on the kitchen floor, pointed heel balanced on the ground as she tried to remain still for the photo. Roland met her eyes for a fraction of a second, his cheeks a shade pink as he snapped another photo.
“Yeah, it’s uh… being here now is kind of surreal; I think the fact that you agreed to help me out with this came as such a surprise that it’s kinda made all those things from the past that I’d dismissed as ‘impossible’ come bubbling back to the surface of my brain.” The prostrate man shuffled a few inches to the side, awkwardly titling the camera flush to the floor to try and get the best possible angle of his friend’s foot over the grape.
“Oh? Like what?” The lady sounded sincerely interested, her voice bearing just a fraction of tease; years of friendship and flirting will do that to you.
“It’s…” He started to reply, letting the word hang in the air for a dozen seconds as he struggled – partially for the words, and partially for the courage to actually say them out loud. “… Well, it’s like… these photos are to help with my drawing references, and I super appreciate it…”
“Happy to help by the way.”
“Thanks,” Roland added briskly before continuing, “but like, now that you’re actually here in the moment, it’s way more difficult to contain my silly little desires than it was when we were arranging it.”
Emilia chuckled in sincere amusement.
“What sort of desires? It can’t be anything that bad, surely.”
“I mean, not really if we’re being honest, but they’re still personal – y’know? When you’ve gone your whole life being convinced that your fantasies are completely fucked up, actually asking others to be directly involved can be uh… intense.”
“Just spit it out Roland; I’m not going to be upset, I promise.”
“Well…” Roland said, his blush deepening as he clutched his camera in trembling hands. “… I mean… the video clips that we were going to take at the end of this… Strictly speaking, all I need from them is the video for the full range of motion – but I would love to like… hear you say something while you were stepping on the grape. That has nothing to do with my sketch-work, it’s just something I’d really enjoy – and it’s not like such things would ever actually come up in ordinary conversation.” He paused a heartbeat before adding quickly, “It’s totally fine to say no.”
Emilia laughed richly, her hand raised to her toothy grin as she looked at her friend spilling his proverbial guts on his kitchen floor.
“That’s not bad at all, and I’d be happy to. What do you want me to say?”
“O-oh, good!” Roland said, his voice almost breathless as he found himself quite unable to meet Emilia’s gaze. Flicking his camera into filming mode, he carefully angled the lens to capture as much of the scene as he could, his mind abuzz with the possibilities. It took him several seconds to actually reach a decision; even with consent to ask for whatever he wanted, he couldn’t help but feel like keeping it as vanilla as possible would be best for this moment. “Could you just say like… uh… j-just poise your foot over the grape and say like… ‘Buh-bye Roland; this is where you belong.’ Then press your foot down and twist it back and forth.”
Part of him was prepared for Emilia to just recoil and call him a freak; a relic born from years of self-doubt. Instead, she merely nodded with a determined smile.
“Tell me when it’s rolling.”
Roland’s heart leapt into his throat as he pressed the ‘record’ button, waiting a moment for the sound to catch up before giving Emilia a nod of his own. Through the preview-screen on his camera, he watched as the underside of his friend’s shoe pivoted over the grape; his own little green stand-in.
“Buh-bye Roland; this is where you belong… Underneath me.” The prone man’s knuckles went white as he gripped his camera, his heart skipping a beat at the little ad-lib while Emilia’s sole came down like a hydraulic press on the doomed fruit. It buckled, squeezed outwards and burst a moment later with a ripe ‘crunch’, the oozing squelch of its guts smeared on the woodwork as his friend twisted the ball of her foot on it as though she were crushing a cigarette butt – albeit in a more sadistic manner than usual.
Once she saw him press the ‘record’ button again, she broke character and grinned. “Good?”
“Oh yeah. Very good.” Roland replied, his cheeks burning as his gaze remained fixed on the gooey mess stuck to Emilia’s shoe. “L-let me just grab a paper towel to wipe that off.”
“Maybe save it? Did you want me to step on a few more? Say some other things?”
Roland could only glance up at Emilia, his soul positively glowing as heat rushed through his veins. He nodded, pulling the bag of grapes over and brushing aside the corpse of the previous one. Plucking the next victim from the vine, he set it down where its predecessor had sat moments before.
“So uh… h-how about this time, you like… instead of pressing down on it and all that, you... like… keep both feet planted on the ground, say your bit, then lift your shoe and just stomp down. Still twist and stuff at the end, but just like… crush it like a cockroach.”
“And what should I say?” Emilia said, not bothering to conceal the delight she felt at how flustered her friend was becoming.
“Maybe uh… ‘What a pathetic little thing you are Roland; I can’t believe you ever thought you might be good enough for me.’” A moment after he said it, Roland’s soul froze inside him, wondering in a moment of all-consuming panic if he’d gone too far. Given how casually Emilia got into position, he hoped not. Following the previous routine, he pressed the ‘record’ button and watched carefully through the preview screen.
“What a pathetic little thing you are Roland; I can’t believe you ever thought you might be good enough for me. Your whole life since we met you’ve lusted after me, ever since high school you’ve been fantasizing about what it might be like to get close to me.” Roland could feel his heart-rate increasing with each passing second. There was no mistaking the teasing, faux-haughty tone of voice; Emilia was merely acting and nothing more, but… hearing the words coming out of her mouth, unbidden and unprompted was piercing straight to that deep, dark pit of arousal that blazed in his belly. “After all those dirty, sinful little thoughts you’ve had about me, it’s only right that your worthless existence ends here… Crushed by me…” Her foot lifted and slammed down so fast that a few flecks of grape juice spattered against Roland’s fingers. “… and forgotten moments later.”
There was silence as Roland ended the recording, swallowing to clear his throat before looking up at Emilia. Judging by her expression, she felt like she’d done a very good job.
“Very… That was kinda perfect…”
“We’ve been friends for a while; I know what you like.” She winked as Roland drummed his fingers along the edge of his camera.
“Bearing that in mind, and bearing in mind that today is a day of risk taking, and that you’re free to say no to anything you don’t want to do…” Roland said, building himself up to the next question.
“Can I ask you something I’ve wanted to ask for over a decade?” Emilia cocked an eyebrow, her smirking grin widening as she awaited the question. Roland blushed furiously before forcing himself to blurt out his request before he lost his reckless courage. “Emilia, may I kiss your ass?”
His friend let out a laugh of sincere, affectionate entertainment.
“I’m so sorry, I’m really not laughing at you; it’s just funny to hear you actually say it out loud for once, rather than just obviously thinking it.” She stepped forwards, lifting her foot and playfully wiping the guts of the grape off on Roland’s hand before turning her back to him, planting her palms against her hips. “Roland… shut up and kiss my ass; you’ve got twelve years of waiting to make up for.”
Roland’s heart soared as he rose to his knees, and leaned into the perfectly plump posterior before him.
or, enter your birth date.*
The rules: Up to three key-words from those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Roughly one hour time limit, but really just until I’m done. Roughly two-sentences. Enjoy!
Insurmountable, Undying, Continent
For centuries untold, warriors and wizards from across the globe had sought the vast continent in search of the titan-Goddess, seeking to prove their prowess by besting her in battle. Had any of them ever worked out the immortal Goddess was the continent, they might have succeeded.
Ash, Breeze, Red
The once-gold armour of the empress was stained grey with the ash of her city, her hair drenched red with the blood of those who had betrayed her as it fluttered in the wind. She would grind the ruins to dust beneath her boot before she gave her home to such undeserving creatures.
Rain, Rifle, Hair
Glimpses of the warship’s avatar could be glimpsed through the lashing rain with each flash of lightning, its monstrous form looming closer to the coastal post. Juniper frantically wiped locks of hair from her vision as she held the rifle steady; she would only have one shot.
Avocado, Glacial, Robustness
“You know,” the ice queen noted pleasantly as she smeared the innards of the avocado across her sandwich, smothering the hated summer troops beneath, “this is a type of green I can actually get behind.” She licked her frosted lips as she eyed off the murderously robust little snack.
Axe, Mussels, Toybox
“Time for dinner sweetheart.” Gorok rumbled out through the house, slamming the door behind himself and setting aside his woodsman’s axe. He never judged his daughter for still playing with dolls well into her twenties, but he still hoped someday she would pull her weight and crack open some micro-mussels in her free time; he could cook dinner much sooner if she did.
“You know,” Tina noted pleasantly as she reclined on the waterfall, her long auburn hair cascading over her shoulders as much as the stream, “I do so love that sound.” If the struggling little thing between her fingers agreed, they made no indication.
Apocalypse, Cyborg, Man
All the greatest minds had predicted that the end would come when one of the giants lost control of their urges, and insisted on the creation of towering robots to keep them in line. But it was only when the machines and the giants began to merge that the cyborg apocalypse truly arrived.
“How many TIMES do I have to…… you know what? Fine! You want that wound to be smaller; HERE! … There, see? All better. From up here your cut looks no bigger than a grain of sand. What? Still complaining? Maybe a high-impact boot-massage will quell your whining!”
Boobs, Booty, Bountiful
And thus, the birthday-bug did gaze out upon the two-dozen friends who had kindly agreed to lie hip to hip upon the floor, a carpet-sea of breasts and bottoms that jiggled invitingly like the world’s most magnificent trampoline-park. “Lo, for it is good.”
Mermaid, Chimera, Folly
As Richter backed up slowly along the shore, trying to keep his eyes on the massive mermaid to ensure she didn’t make any sudden moves, he found himself bumping almost inevitably into the colossal chimera he’d momentarily forgotten about. “Shit,” said Richter.
Sarah, Maccas, Sorry
Doug knew Sarah had a problem. Doug was Sarah’s friend. Doug thought that he could use his unique condition to convince Sarah to stop scarfing down dozens of nuggets by seating himself on one of the nuggets to make her slow down. Doug was wrong; sorry Doug.
Hollowed, Argon, Food
“Wait… how in the Hell did you pull that off?! Aren’t you a scientist?!” “Yeah, that’s how I made it work; nobody suspected it. It was like that old Trojan horse story, except the horse was my stomach.”
Obstreperous, Bondage, Violin
“Please, no! Anything but that!” Her instructor begged as she lashed his limbs to the strings of her violin. “But I’m just doing what you said… I’m owning how bad I am at this.” She grinned, aimlessly sawing her bow along the cords. “UGH! IT’S SO AWFUL! I HATE IT!” “Muahahaha!”
Unexpected, Worry, Forethought
Madeline just stood frozen, her monolithic, naked form exposed not only to the elements, but to the billions of people in the city beneath her, their highest skyscrapers barely reaching her ankles. “… Of everything I planned for, I didn’t plan for this… Oh God… what now!?”
Balcony, Porcelain, Fidget
She didn’t understand why her now doll-sized creator was backing away from her; wasn’t she everything he had dreamed of? Her rigid fingers stretched out for him, the sight of her own porcelain face reflected in his spectacles as he let himself fall from the railing rather than be taken.
Martian, Chemistry, Guide
The secretive species that lived on Mars never really intended to interact with the people of Earth until a particularly dense student completely bungled their chemistry assignment and wound up accidentally creating the now-infamous ‘gigantification serum’. All at once, Earth’s militaristic leanings didn’t seem so threatening anymore.
Indignant, Soccer, Mom
“Nuh-uh coach; ‘aint no way I’m lettin’ you get away with such excuses – my lil’ girl is the perfect lil’ angel and I ‘aint hearin’ none o’ this trash-talk about her ditchin’ practice; you’re an enormous ass of a coach if y’all can’t accept responsibility… So an enormous ass is the most appropriate punishment for y’all!”
Brutally, Honest, Politician
“My esteemed opponent is clinging to every possible piece of antiquated law they can find, trying to find some precedent or justification for their continued existence – I’m just here to say what we’re all thinking: tiny-folk are not people anymore; they’re pets at best, pests at worst, and the law should reflect as such.”
Sneaking, Orange, Avalanche
The little lady’s last moments were rather reminiscent of the old saying, ‘sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes he eats you’. Except the bear is your ginger-haired wife, and instead of eating you she rolls over in her sleep and steamrolls you beneath an avalanche of pale flesh.
“Well boys, I think we’ve solved the curious case of the shoelace pilferer!” Detective Brown noted as they dangled the flailing culprit between their fingertips, their miniature fist shaking furiously. “I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling shrinkees!”
Cough, Blue, Synonymous
Martha clutched a fist to her mouth and coughed, shivering beneath her vast, ocean-themed blanket as she watched the little merman swimming lazily in his bowl. “You are the only joy in my world.” She sighed, knowing he could not understand.
Vine, Shackles, Joy
Harley Quinn turned her gaze to the reader as Ivy’s tendrils snaked around her thighs. “I get the feeling this is gonna be a great issue if you know what I mean.”
Mad, Flower-Power, Rasputin
“Ha, you think that will be enough to defeat me?” Rasputin rumbled as Emma checked the sole of her foot. “WHY WON’T YOU DIE!?” Said Emma as she resumed grinding the Russian priest into a field of rose-thorns.
Armadillo, Entrancing, Diabolical
“HA-HA!” Sneered the leader of the cult as the spell reached its zenith, “They said I could NEVER make a Macro-Armadillo sexy; well WHO’S LAUGHING N- … Oh damn she’s actually hot. Shit. What was I saying?”
Petrichor, Disaster, Release
The rural communities thought at first that the distant rumbles of thunder were the heralds of a blessing after the prolonged drought. When they saw the looming figure within the storm, they knew the creature had escaped – and her wroth would accompany the rain.
Paper, Clouds, Hoping
Each day she would write a message with crayons, hoping that the big woman who walked through the clouds would look down and see her… No good; she would have to use a bigger piece of paper.
Spell, Crime, Desert
“It will be a cold day in the desert before I let scum like you thieve from me.” The hooded woman purred, stepping forward through the shifting sands and lifting her feet above the cowering bandits.
Damn-It, Just, Missed-Out
Mere moments before the sultry femme fatale could turn to seat herself on her little victim, she was bowled off her feet by another woman dropping with full-hip-force onto the chair, splattering the little bearded bug of a man. “What the Hell?!” She demanded. “Fuck off bitch; he’s my friend - ‘aint no booty taking him out but mine.”