Thursday, 29 September 2016
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
A tribute to a great comic since lost to time.
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Daniella was the first in the coffee shop. She was 22, Caucasian, born in England and she had long blonde hair. She was studying The History Of Feminism And The Sociological Impact Of New Media at Wolverhampton University. She was dressed in jeans, ugg boots, a limited print run fitted shirt and a leather jacket.
Daniella ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte from the barista a short Asian looking lady who spoke fluent English and whose name tag said: Riksu
Lisa arrived next. She was 21, Caucasian, born in England with shoulder length blonde hair. She was studying to become an architect at Wolverhampton University. She wore thigh high cowboy boots, black tights, a short pink skirt and a tight green fitted sleeveless top that left little to the imagination. She ordered a pumpkin spice latte from the barista, fishing the necessary change from out of her bra.
Daniella and Lisa started talking and the barista joined in when she overheard them discussing the importance of location and set dressing in film. Only slightly motivated by the prospect of tips.
Cassie, Amy and Alisha arrived together and ordered pumpkin spice lattes.
Cassie was 24, Caucasian, born in Texas with long hazel brown hair tied back in a ponytail. She was doing a masters in the field of Artificial Intelligence development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She wore a tailored black suit.
Amy was 23, Caucasian, born in Scotland with long flame red hair. She was studying to become a lawyer at Harvard. She wore canvas shoes, tights, a short gray skirt and a large red jumper.
Alisha was 28, African American, born in Baltimore with short black hair. She was teaching at Harvard in the field of Quantum Mechanics and had invested early and well into Facebook, Twitter and Google. She wore stylish lace up flat leather shoes, red jeans, a tie dye tank top and a short leather jacket.
Emma was last to arrive. She was 25, Caucasian, born in Yorkshire with shoulder length bronze coloured hair tied back in pigtails. She was doing a paid internship Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She wore imitation ugg boots, tights, jean shorts, a pink branded shirt with a picture of a cat on it, and a cagoule. She ordered an iced caramel latte.
They sat and talked for a while before they noticed it happening. This meet up had been arranged by Daniella because she and Lisa were spending a year at Harvard as part of their courses at Wolverhampton, had bumped into Emma and Amy and become instant friends owing to their shared experience of being Brits in Boston. Cassie and Alisha had been invited because Amy was already friends with them. The barista Riksu joined them and flirted with Daniella to the point of sitting on her lap because she understood just how much money stood to be made from white girls when pumpkin spice lattes were on sale.
As the spice flowed so the young women shrank. It was a slow process and as they were all engaged in interesting conversations about complex ideas, and aware of the hallucinatory properties of coffee they dismissed the notion if it crossed their minds and besides almost everyone they were talking to was shrinking at the same rate so it was harder to notice and nobody else seemed concerned. Except for Emma.
Emma was from the north of England, where just enough immigrants and refugees settled to be noticeable but not enough to become a dull ordinary sight and her town in particular had a history of electing far right sorts like UKIP and the BNP so a part of her subconscious kept her looking in Alisha’s direction. Her choice of iced lattes and comparative poverty prevented her from drinking so much coffee what with the risk of brain freeze and her unwillingness to ask for or accept a free drink. There was also a bit of a comprehension gap preventing her getting too ensnared by conversations.
So Emma was in a position to notice that Amy and Cassie were now noticeably shorter than Alisha and that their clothes were absurdly baggy while Alisha’s clothes fit her like a glove. She recalled the stories her old friend from Wolverhampton wrote and felt a strange sense of foreboding. She noticed that her own clothes seemed to be hanging off her oddly and dug out her phone from her bag. Her phone seemed larger than she was used to.
Alisha disengaged from a conversation with Lisa about non-euclidean geometries, letting Cassie veer the conversation into the topic of algorithm controlled cities of the future. Alisha grew up in Baltimore and worked in Boston, she was no stranger to racism, to the small subtle ways even the most enlightened of white folk would dismiss her or belittle her. She had learned to use this knowledge to her advantage exploiting assumptions about her intelligence to get good deals on investments and courses. What kindly liberal white American would ever consider the possibility that Alisha had a rich extended family ready to bail her out and loan her the necessary finances, however dear, to get ahead? She knew racism but this was something more and Emma’s glances seemed far too consistent and intrusive for the racism level it seemed like Daniella and Lisa would tolerate. Something different was going on here.
So Alisha studied Emma, studied her close enough that she would see the subtle micro expressions of body language and emotion. Emma might hide it well but if there was a mote of genuine fear, disgust or hatred within her Alisha would spot it. That’s when Alisha noticed Emma shrinking. Everyone who was anyone knew how big an iphone was, even an old model i5, so the fact the i5 looked like a tablet pc in Emma’s hands sent alarm bell’s ringing.
Then Alisha looked back to Lisa. Alisha hadn’t been able to notice the change happening consciously because it happened so slowly, particularly when locked deep in intellectual conversation. Now she saw what had happened to Lisa though, her once so tight top looked baggy and the straps were halfway down her arms. Alisha scanned her eyes over Daniella, Cassie and Amy. All looked to be wearing the clothes of much larger boyfriends, something that stood out particularly on Cassie given her fierce independence and insistence on respectability.
Riksu got up to fetch another round of Pumpkin spice lattes and tripped over her shoes, falling flat on her face. As Riksu struggled to get up Lisa, Daniella, Cassie and Amy stared in horror. Coffee could cause hallucinations, humidity and sweat could do weird things to fabrics and if you were watching a change happen it was too slow and subtle, never seeming out of place, but they all knew just how rigorously uniforms were tailored. Once the seed was planted by Riksu they looked at themselves and Alisha, now a giant in absurdly well fitting clothes, and started considering the impossible.
Emma was resting the phone on her seat beside her and was shouting into it. “William, I know it has been a long time and I swore I would never call but this is urgent. You will never believe me but you need to get to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT in Cambridge, Boston now. I will pay for the flight, transport, hotel and food. I’ll have someone there to greet you and explain the situation. Just get here now. I’ll even pay for you to bring along your entire gaming rig if it would make you feel better and I will pay you for your time. Just get here.”
Alisha stared at Emma. “You weren’t looking at me because of the colour of my skin were you?”
Emma shook her head. “I have a friend - Well he’s more than a friend and would like to be far more than that. Point is he writes things, strange things. You’d like him. I think I know what’s happening to us and if I am right then he is the best person to help.”
Alisha swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. “If you’re right, what should I do since I am clearly not affected?”
“Get a container, gather us up, gather our things up and take us home with you then meet William when he arrives and show him us.” said Emma. “I’ll try to keep them calm.”
Daniella had gotten off her seat and was trying to help Riksu up when she was tripped up by her own absurdly large clothes.
Cassie and Amy were hurriedly phoning round their friends and family, all lines were busy.
Lisa sipped her latte, apparently unconcerned by the vagaries they now faced, even if she she was now holding the coffee mug in both hands.
Alisha started gathering up the group’s bags and sized them up. Daniella had the biggest bag so Alisha emptied it then started refilling it with tampons, condoms, and packs of tissues from other bags, anything that might provide a relatively soft and springy bedding.
A young white woman with long chocolate brown hair ran in the coffee shop barefoot, holding overly large clothes about herself and glasses several sizes too big for her. She was shouting desperately “Is there a land line phone I can use!? Please!? I need to call my sister!”
Alisha sprang forwards and enveloped the young woman’s field of vision with an approach honed by years of experience dealing with flustered white idiots. It was calming professional but friendly manner. “Hi, I’m Alisha, I can get the landline for you if you like?”
“Oh thank God!” cried the young woman with obvious relief. “I’m Jody, Jody Madison! Some... thing is happening to me and shit, I don’t know what to do. If I can phone my twin, hopefully she can help me. The number’s in my phone. If there is somewhere I can sit?
Alisha nodded and smiled warmly. “You’re safe now. There are chairs just over there.”
Jody nodded and walked towards the seats, clothes dragging on the ground as she walked.
Riksu was sobbing. “Shit, shit, shit. What the fuck is happening?”
Daniella shook her head. “I have no idea but I promise you, you are not alone. I’m going to be right here by your side until we fix this.”
Riksu asked. “Are you sure? Aren’t I just the barista?”
Daniella grabbed Riksu by the shoulders and looked deep into her eyes. “You were never just the barista. You are a beautiful, magnificent, talented, young woman and it is my honour and privilege to help you now.”
Riksu kissed Daniella on the lips then pulled back. “I’m sorry. That was – That was wrong. You are my customer.”
Daniella stared at Riksu and spread her arms wide, they were standing on the floor being swamped by their own clothes. “I think that stopped being relevant a while ago.”
Daniella shot Riksu a questioning look.
Riksu grinned wickedly and drew her arms in tight about herself, letting her uniform fall off her so she was standing naked before Daniella.
“Oh?” said Daniella with a grin. She shrugged off her own clothes then embraced Riksu.
Lisa had abandoned her latte know and was instead wriggling free of her clothes to lie on her seat.
Jody had decided to sit next to Cassie, there wouldn’t actually have been room to do so were they normal size but as they were shrinking it had seemed like most logical place and now Jody and Cassie were talking animatedly about what they expected to happen next.
Amy lay on her chair, hidden beneath her clothes, desperately trying to use her phone but the network had crashed in the local area due to traffic.
Emma was eerily calm as she lay beside her phone.
Alisha arrived with a roll of black plastic bin bags from behind the counter and started putting all the bags and clothes into the bin bags. Leaving just her own and Daniella’s bag out.
Riksu and Daniella were mid-coitus when Alisha scooped up their clothes.
Alisha frowned. “Don’t mind me.”
As Daniella looked up at Alisha it suddenly became all too real. “What the fuck is happening?”
“You’re going to be alright.” said Alisha. “I’ll look after you and there’s an expert coming.”
Daniella breathed a sigh of relief. “So, what now?”
Alisha lowered here palms to the floor. “Climb on and trust me.”
Daniella groaned. “If this is a trick...”
Alisha glared at Daniella.
Riksu was already reclining in Alisha’s hands and looked back at Daniella with come-to-bed eyes.
Daniella sighed and shrugged then she climbed onto Alisha’s palms.
Alisha lifted the pair of women up then lowered them gently into Daniella’s backpack.
Riksu crawled off Alisha’s hands and Daniella followed.
Amy was glad to be freed from her clothes but nervous about trusting Alisha.
Cassie and Jody weren’t exactly keen but they weren’t about to turn down their best hope of survival.
Lisa was practically giddy with enthusiasm as Alisha carried her to the bag and lowered her inside.
Finally Alisha approached Emma. “This friend of yours, you made a lot of promises to him, can you keep them?”
Emma smiled innocently, crossed her hands behind her back and stared at her feet.
Alisha sighed and rolled her eyes. “Lucky, I have money then isn’t it?”
Emma nodded. “He’ll know how to look after us and certainly if I am to be this way I can think of no-one I’d rather entrust myself to. Though you will have to do for now.”
“Thanks.” said Alisha somewhat bitterly then she caught herself, bit her lip and looked away.
“Think hamster.” said Emma. “That’s the best advice I can give you.”
Alisha nodded then unzipped the front pocket of her jacket meant for phones.
“I’m not going in the bag?” asked Emma, confused.
“You’re the closest we have to an expert and our only connection to a real expert, I want you where you can advise me.” said Alisha, laying down her palms. “Now come on, we’ve got to find a pet shop.”
Emma giggled and climbed onto Alisha’s hands.
“Do you like this?” asked Alisha, as Emma climbed down into her pocket.
“Why do you think I know so much?” said Emma with a chuckle.
As Alisha drove to the pet shop, Daniella’s backpack worn about her chest, she heard a broadcast on the radio about unconfirmed reports of shrinking happening across town. Apparently someone was willing to sell one of these “creatures”. Others were calling them “demon spawn” and “the work of the devil”. Alisha decided it was perhaps best not to let anyone know what had happened for now.
Once a large hamster cage, travel cage, saw dust, bedding, hamster food and human multi-vitamins had been bought Alisha drove home to her loft apartment. She carried everything inside stealthily then bolted the doors and windows, closed the blinds and put the TV on loud. She removed Daniella’s backpack and rested it on her bed then she coaxed Emma out of her pocket and lowered her into the backpack, so Alisha was then free to prepare the cage for its new occupants.
Once the cage was ready Alisha placed the travel cage on the bed with the side hatch open, then she opened the backpack and leaned it against a pile of pillows that would act as an off ramp onto the bed. She explained the situation and within a few moments Emma was leading the other girls out of the backpack and into the travel cage. Then Alisha closed the hatch, lifted the travel cage up, placed it inside the large hamster cage reopened the hatch and closed the large hamster cage’s roof access. She found a whole load of hair ties and clips in the bag where evidently the girls had extracted the last hair accessories still clinging on despite their different forms.
The phone lines, mobile network and internet were all basically out of commission due to demand and the media was still refusing to acknowledge how big a deal this event was, preferring to focus on the latest political hot potato instead. So Alisha focused on sorting out whose belongings belonged to who and finding out who to contact the next day while Emma educated the girls on what they could expect from their new lives. Something the girls listened to with horror.
The next day the news story was if not on the shrinking itself then on the apparent mass hysteria that was gripping the country. Emma and Alisha convinced the girls to notify their next of kin and explain that they were perfectly fine but that due to the chaos they might not be able to be in contact for a while. Jody and Lisa had the rather disquieting news that their sisters still hadn’t been heard from but managed to maintain the illusion that they were perfectly fine. They needed the time away from scrutiny so that Emma’s expert friend could arrive.
By the next day the shrinkings were themselves a political hot potato, with various ministers, senators, congressmen, attorneys and TV experts being asked to give their perspectives on the “creatures” who were fast being associated with the term “Sylph”. The Sylph was a mythical air spirit that was said to lure vain young girls into becoming ever young and beautiful. The men who were also shrunk were ignored or had the term applied to them because of the confusion over gender and sexuality certain newscasters had and the way others would assume shrinking was itself an indicator of femininity. Of course some outlets just preferred to use the shrinking phenomenon as an excuse to talk about vulnerable naked women and thereby attract more views and clicks.
By the third day since the shrinkings started, documents were circulating about how to train a “Sylph” and the President announced that measures would be taken to tag all “Sylphs” and check them against the missing persons records with hefty payouts per “returned Sylph”. This was ostensibly a measure to help with the ongoing investigation and prevent mistreatment, regardless of what the Sylphs actually turned out to be. As a result it was tentatively suggested that Sylphs might be allowed to stay with their new “owners” if the Sylphs could give enthusiastic consent. This was largely a ploy to encourage people to come forward but it set the tone for how the rest of the civilized world would deal with the bizarre situation.
Meanwhile Emma was helping the girls adjust to life as Sylphs by explaining the necessities of their new lives, such as what they ate, how they went to the loo and how they cleaned themselves. Riksu and Daniella stayed sane by fucking each other while, Amy and Cassie found solace in an old friendship and Lisa and Jody found comfort in each other over the ambiguous fates of their sisters.
On the fourth day since the shrinking, Emma’s phone rang. Alisha answered it then placed the phone inside the cage so Emma could speak. Emma arranged to have Alisha pick up her friend from the airport and said she’d send a selfie so he’d know it was legit. Forced perspective can do amazing things, especially when the viewer is primed to expect a certain scale to things.
So Alisha met Emma’s friend, a 24 year old, Caucasian Englishman called William Dickson Wright, at the airport. Then William was led inside her flat and shown to the hamster cage. At first he wondered what a bunch of dolls were doing inside a hamster cage. Then he saw the dolls were waving and one that looked and sounded an awful lot like one of his best friends was saying “William, this is not what I wanted to happen but you know how to look after us. I know you do, so consider us your early Christmas presents.”
William near fell onto the bed and simply said. “Shit.”
Alisha left the room and reappeared with a whiskey and coke. “Drink?”
“I never normally drink.” said William, taking the glass then draining it glass with a grimace.
Alisha nodded her understanding then returned with the bottles and a chair to sit on.
William was staring at the shrunken women in the cage. He hardly dared to believe what he was seeing. He had spent many a late night explaining his desire for a pet woman to Emma and his shame at that desire. Now here his friend was, naked in a cage, having called him here for the express purpose of owning her, and she was not alone in the cage. He drained the glass Alisha handed to him. At the same time though he knew why his fantasy was impossible, that there were limits to how small things could get. These girls were utterly impossible or in very great danger, probably both. “How long have they been like this?”
“Four days.” said Alisha simply.
“Then if the shrinking was going to kill them they would be dead by now.” said William. “And there is no way shrinking from 5foot to 5inches wouldn’t kill them or at least cause massive problems such as hypoxia and brain damage.”
Alisha stared at him. “How are you such an expert?”
“Misspent youth.” said William glibly. “How were they when they shrunk?”
“Normal.” said Alisha with a shrug. “There was no switch that I could see, just shrinking while cognitive reasoning remained in tact. If you take being lowered into a backpack and kept as pets in a hamster cage as sanity I suppose?”
“And Emma?” asked William, as he watched his shrunken friend.
“She was a star.” said Alisha. “Told me what to do to keep them all safe.”
William nodded and said sincerely. “I love her with all my heart and I think maybe I can look after her, but the others?”
Alisha nodded. “It’s a lot to take in and a big responsibility I know but I know these girls, or at least I know enough about them. They need someone who know what they’re doing to care for them.”
William frowned. “I’m a mad fetishist, hardly an expert, and besides I can barely feed myself let along six others.”
“Then let me hire you to look after them. I don’t think I want to be in America if it’s legal to own people again and I hear Britain is working on its own tagging program.” said Alisha. “I will buy a house for me near where I can get a job and gift you a flat within it and set up trust funds for you that I won’t be able to touch so you will always have money to look after them.”
“Why?” said William looking at Alisha earnestly. “Why do I deserve this?”
“Because those girls are scared, as are many others, and I am prepared to throw money at the slightest chance you can help them feel better about their lives.” said Alisha then she smiled. “Also I am rich enough to afford it.”
William nodded. “And I suppose the more you give away now the less tax you have to pay later? Can you get Emma out of the cage for me? I don’t want to risk hurting her.”
Alisha smiled, opened the hamster cage and laid her hand inside, palm up. Emma climbed on and Alisha carried her out.
William swallowed nervously.
Emma grinned. “William! I am so glad you came. We are going to have so much fun, and I’ve been working at teaching the others the protocol. Oh you will love Daniella and Lisa, they are so your type and so adorable. And there’s Amy, I know how you like them ginger.”
William stared at Emma stunned.
“Well what are you waiting for? Pet me already.” said Emma cheerily. “After all that’s what I am now.”
William tentatively reached out a finger and brushed his old friend’s hair.
“That’s it.” said Emma with a smile. “Baby steps, we’ll have you properly stroking us in no time.”
William nodded then passed out from jet lag, shock and the alcohol.
The next day Alisha took William out to breakfast at a waffle house to set his mind at ease before returning to the loft apartment and introducing him to the girls properly and getting him used to holding them. While William was bonding with the girls, Alisha was booking flights, renting out a house and getting in contact with her estate agent.
The day after Alisha explained that the girls would have to be smuggled through customs. William had never broken a law in his life, so even under such strained circumstances he was conflicted and clueless. Alisha thus took charge of that little operation. They would use ribbon as gags over the girls’ mouths and tie their hair into position, then they would use cable ties to fasten their ankles together and their wrists behind the backs, at which point the girls would each be placed inside the hollow of a dildo.
The girls were not exactly pleased with the ordeal, even Emma, but they understood the need for discretion and went along willingly. Once the flight was over and they had left the airport Alisha and William freed the girls from their confines and let them lounge in a travel cage for the rest of the journey.
Most of the Alisha’s stuff would be packed up and shipped over later but she had a suitcase full of clothes, her ipad pro, iphone and smart watch. William had insisted on taking his gaming rig with him though and focused on setting that up while Alisha tended to the girls and welcomed them into their new home.
On the seventh day since the shrinking William and Alisha were finally in a position to get the girls tagged. Each was examined, lightly questioned, given the option of signing a consent form to become the legal property of William Dickson Wright then sedated, tattooed, micro-chipped and given collars and leashes.
Lisa and Daniella were eager to become William’s pets as they knew from Emma that he wasn’t going to mistreat them and would allow them to continue studying. Even if they couldn’t actually get qualifications. This meant Amy and Riksu said yes to be with, retrospectively, their friends and romantic partners. Cassie and Jody were less certain about what they wanted but Jody found out that her twin Jamie was registered as a Sylph belonging to a friend of hers at college called Robert so she decided she may as well throw her lot in with her new friends. Cassie didn’t have anyone else to go to and had been pinning her hopes on joining Jody at her new owners so when they didn’t work out she gave her consent. William and Alisha took the opportunity to ask after their families and found out that Lisa’s younger sister was now in the ownership her girlfriend with a clean bill of health.
Months passed as Alisha negotiated buying a house and tried to get a job. It wasn’t that she needed the money, it was that she liked to work and to inspire future generations. William chronicled his experiences with his new pet sylphs as he got to know and understand them both as people and as pets. What amazed him was how entirely human they still were. Society treated them like exotic pets but everything was the same as normal only smaller. That started to bother him over time and he started to get headaches. To feel a deep hunger that seemed entirely alien to him.
Once Alisha had got the job teaching Quantum Mechanics at the actual Cambridge University in England and they were set to move into the new house in a week William decided it was safe recording a tour of the rented accommodation to give context as to his research and care of the Sylphs. Unfortunately landmarks were visible through windows he walked past. The next day a stranger was ringing his doorbell.
The stranger was tall, broad chested, wearing a three piece suit, Caucasian, had long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and was astoundingly beautiful. “I'm Lucy Danse, pleased to make your acquaintance.” She said extending a hand. “I'm a big fan of your work.”
William warily shook her hand. “Right... Of course... The house tour…”
“Yeah...” said Lucy, ever so slightly cringing at the knowledge she was technically stalking this man. “Look, I know this is rude but I need your help. Or rather I need the help of your girls.”
William shot her a questioning look.
Lucy reached her right hand down her trousers and pulled out a 6 inch high blonde male Adonis. “This is Arthur.” She explained. “I was fucking him the night of the shrinkening, poor guy was riding me when he shrank. Damn nearly got swallowed up he got me so loose. I think he could do with some company his own size.”
William made a concerted effort to look Lucy in the face, no matter how many times he found his gaze drifting to Arthur’s tiny cock and balls. “So you want to put your boy out to stud with my girls, is that it?”
Lucy shrugged. “I promised to look after him, how would you feel if you couldn't have sex for a week.”
William shot Lucy a death glare. “My best friend knew that I would know what to do and would gladly accept her and her friends as my responsibility when they started shrinking. What does that tell you?”
“That you’re a nice guy?” said Lucy hopefully.
William shot her a sarcastic smile and started to close the door.
“Wait!” cried Arthur.
William reopened the door and stared at the little man.
“Do you ever think about what the girls want?” asked Arthur. “They’re red blooded females, they might actually want some cock for a change.”
William groaned. “I am insane.” He opened the door wide and walked inside, letting Lucy follow.
Lucy and William found the girls lying on astroturf beneath a skylight in a kind of courtyard part of their cage.
“If you hurt them or engage non-consensually with them I will burn your tiny cock off, is that clear?” said William.
“Crystal.” said Arthur.
Lucy looked to William.
Lucy lowered Arthur onto the astroturf.
It was a matter of minutes before Arthur was fucking Lisa and from then on it only took an hour for the girls to learn how to share. Even Daniella and Riksu found themselves wanting a piece of the new man in the cage.
When Alisha arrived she was a little crestfallen to see William with a woman but she was clearly happy for the couple as well and very helpful, offering Lucy a room and an allowance, no matter how many times William and Lucy made clear that they were just friends, if that. So Lucy moved in with them. Even when they moved to the proper house there were more than enough rooms for Lucy to have her own.
William’s mind seemed to tighten its focus and increase in speed now Lucy was with him, though he also got more headaches and had the most terrible nightmares about mechanical octopuses shooting lazers from their suckers. Then after months of hard work and study he came up with a thesis.
“Shrinking is impossible.” He explained to Lucy and Alisha in the dining room. “Literally biologically impossible. The quantum level is a fundamental limit on how far things can be shrunk safely without affecting cognition or blood pressure.”
“And yet we have the proof that it is possible.” said Lucy. “Once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes.”
“Exactly.” said William. “Once you eliminate the impossible whatever remains must be the truth. So what is happening instead? Well put these on.”
William presented Lucy and Alisha each with a VR headset that had a camera pointed at their faces.
Once Lucy and Alisha had strapped on the headsets, William ran into his bedroom and checked the video feeds before patching them through and heading into the living room. 3d webcams had been rigged up to computer controlled movement sensors that would more or less sync up the movements of the VR headset wearers with the movements of the cameras and small high def screens below the cameras displayed the video feeds of the corresponding headset wearer’s facial expressions. Cassie, Emma and Jody stood on the table, their heads at about the heights of the cameras while William loomed over the table.
“Now I'm not saying this shrinking is just virtual reality and drones.” said William. “There’s too much evidence against a switch taking place but I am saying that you don’t literally need to shrink a person to convince them, and the world, they have actually shrunken.”
Lucy and Alisha looked up through the VR and asked as one. “How then?”
“Fuck if I know.” said William. “Maybe they found a way to teleport exotic matter beneath the skin evenly and burn away the excess matter in a way no one noticed? It’s more possible than actual shrinking at any rate.”
William wrote up his thesis and continued his study of the Sylphs, trying to determine any more clues but he always had to stop before hunger overwhelmed him. Alisha and Lucy started to become close after that experience of being shrunk and eventually Lucy managed to convince Alisha she was entirely free to make the moves on William.
After a month of shy flirting William kissed Alisha and soon they were snogging and tearing each other’s clothes off. Then police stormed the premises before any actual penetration could occur.
William woke up in the dark, naked and shackled to a wall. His head hurt like hell. Then he remembered the police bursting in.
“The Tower of London.” said a young looking Caucasian brunette in a three piece suite cheerily. “You know in the olden days they would just lock people up in here and leave them to die?”
William stared at her. “You shot me in the head.”
“No, I didn’t. Someone else did.” said the cheery brunette.
William rolled his eyes and groaned. “A fucking pedant!”
“Yeah, you really don’t like pedants do you?” said the cheery brunette. “Can you remember why?”
“Because they are really fucking annoying.” said William. “Why the hell am I here? What have I done?”
And then a flash of vision. The metal octopuses chanting “The equation must be solved! You will be eradicated!”
“Nah, it’s not just that.” said the cheery brunette. “And ooh lets see rape, murder, cannibalism, genocide and the attempted destruction of the entirety of reality. That’s my favourite. And then there’s the manipulation, gas lighting and founding reprehensible guardian empires...”
“What on Earth are you talking about!?” said William as a flash of vision showed him slaughtering a woman, eating a different woman alive and finishing the bomb that could destroy all reality.
“Look me in the eyes, old friend, and tell me my name.” said the cheery brunette.
William stared at the woman and a flash of vision appeared before his eyes. A young cheery brunette serving drinks for great tentacled monstrosities with spider legs and eyes on stalks 5 rows deep. An austere cruel lady watching over her and – Was that Lisa? Being put on a spit?
“Eliza?” asked William at last, the memories from a trillion other lives flooding back to him.
The cheery brunette grinned. “As you live and breathe, good Sir.”
“But how?” asked William. “Your ship was sent to the front line.”
“You saved me remember? One of you anyway.” said the cheery brunette.
William nodded. “I told you to watch over the multiverse for me. Make sure the Logicios didn’t get too big for their boots again.”
“And so I did, Sir!” said Eliza, saluting now.
William grinned. “The Great Slick survives, that’s fantastic!” Then he frowned. “Suppose I’ll die now.”
“Why do you think we shot you in the head?” said Eliza with a smile.
William chuckled as he remembered. “The loop hole?”
Eliza nodded. “The loop hole, Sir.”
“And Lucy?” asked William.
“Galla Placidia is debriefing her now.” said Eliza.
William nodded and whistled. “So MI5 were watching my back the entire time?”
“We had a number of possible targets.” said Eliza. “Thank you for helping to narrow it down for us with the blogs.”
William frowned. “The shrinking?”
“Not us, Sir. A Bam-Kursh got bored, decided to build a device capable of turning any random citizen into a toy then modified it further.” said Eliza.
“Toy? As in people who can only be destroyed by black holes, stellar cores and logical void fire? Beings who don’t need to eat, sleep, breathe or excrete? Who can be completely dismembered and have the body parts continue to function as if whole and so have a cognitive off switch in the name of mercy?” said William, surprised by the words coming out of his mouth.
Eliza nodded. “Thems the ones. She just created an appropriately scaled infinite bag under the skins of the toys.”
“Genius!” said William amazed, recalling vaguely that infinite bags were folds in space time where the inside was not limited by the outside.
“I mean completely evil but genius none-the-less.” said William correcting himself.
Eliza clicked her fingers and the shackles disappeared and William was dressed in a three piece suit like her.
“We have a policy of non-interference unless reality or a valuable asset is under threat. Now that you and Lucy are safe we will be going. There is nothing in our guidelines about giving you supplies however.” said Eliza. She clicked her fingers and William was wearing a backpack. “In there you’ll find three Quantum Oscillators with shrinking and growing resonances programmed in, an Albino Sylph Squirrel, three memory gun pistols, each with 2 blank clips and 2 syringes filled with wereshark blood.”
“Only two?” asked William, confused. He called that Weresharks were creatures born to survive and conquer, able to re4grow entirely from a single beating heart and they had three.
Eliza grinned and held up what looked like a mint imperial. “This will create a proper shrinking Sylph. Use it wisely. The Logicios will be in touch. I am sure they will be eager to recruit you three. And of course, pets are allowed. If they choose to stay with you.”
William nodded and saluted. “General!”
“Admiral!” saluted Eliza.
William walked out, blinking in the midday sun and bumped into Lucy, dressed similarly but without a backpack. They smiled when they recognized each other and headed home together.
William and Lucy explained everything. The elder gods, the nothingness, the great Septagonoid war and what real sylphs were compared to what these “Sylphs” were. Emma, Lisa, Amy, Daniella, Riksu, Jody, Cassie and Arthur sat listening on the table while Alisha sat on a chair behind said table. It took most of the night but at the end of it Daniella asked. “So does this mean you can turn us back to normal?”
“Ish.” said William. “We can make you your old sizes but you’re ageless immortals with off switches capable of spending millennia trapped, dismembered and very much alive. And you legally belong to me, not that I’m going use that against you.”
Daniella swallowed then said. “I think I’m good as I am. Though maybe some clothes might be nice now we know it won’t kill us?”
Riksu squeezed Daniella’s hand and nodded. “We belong to you. That isn’t changing now.”
“Aww... Thank you.” said William, scooping Daniella and Riksu up in his hands then positioning them on his left palm so he could stroke them with his right hand.
Lisa and Amy held hands then looked up at William and nodded. “Master, forever.”
Lucy chuckled and scooped up Lisa and Amy into her hands so she could stroke them.
Arthur squirmed then looked up at Lucy. “I am as my fairest of maidens wishes.”
Lucy blushed leaned close to him then whispered. “Alright, we’ll try it again but you are still my pet and I still own your little tushy.”
Arthur smirked then kissed Lucy on the chin and said. “As you wish, Mistress.”
Jody shrugged. “My home town is across the other side of the world. My family with it. I don’t belong here.” Then Jody laughed and strode forwards before William and Lucy. “Except this is my home now and it isn’t a home of student debt, saving for my pension, health insurance and working as a waitress. You are my new family now and I love you.”
Alisha scooped Jody up in her hands and kissed her on the forehead. “Though I never knew you as you were I am glad to have found you.”
Jody blushed and smiled.
Alisha stroked her idly.
William looked down at Emma. “I know you called me because you had no other choice. I am not expecting you to stay. You are not my pet, you are my very great friend.”
Emma sighed. “Face it you’ve got the girl of your dreams, William...”
William’s lip wobbled and he looked away.
“And I don’t plan on going anywhere.” said Emma with a smirk.
William stared at her.
“I’m your pet Sylph, William, you better get used to it because I don’t want to lead any other kind of life now.” said Emma. “And anyway someone has got to be cuddled by you while this lot are off boning each other or boning up on knowledge.”
Cassie shrugged. “I like you, I like this life, I like these people. Though you are going to have to teach me how to use all that new tech so I can work on developing better AI. Maybe we can work out a schedule or something to let me do that. I mean that way I can keep an eye on the others if you plan on going out as well?”
William nodded. “I think we can work something out.”
Cassie grinned. “Thank you.”
Alisha asked. “So what happens now? I mean if they’re immortal and we’re not?”
William put Daniella and Riksu back on the table then he pulled the backpack off his pack, pulled out a memory gun pistol and ammo clip and gave them to Lucy. “Back up your memories.”
Lucy nodded, set down Amy and Lisa on the table then placed her right hand firmly on the grip of the pistol, loaded in the ammo clip and pressed record on the fold out touch screen.
“What is that?” asked Alisha.
“A necessary part of my plans.” said William. “You see I was given two samples of wereshark blood. Now weresharks are vicious unstoppable killing machines with amazing regenerative abilities. Injecting a sample of wereshark blood will thus make a person immortal. It will however send them mad, turn them into hungry, lustful berzerkers bent on domination.”
Alisha stared at him in horror.
“Fortunately there is a cure. The blood of a sylph as known in the wider multiverse can counteract the desire to dominate with the desire to be dominated.” said William. “Now I have an Albino Sylph Squirrel, a kind of biological machine, so I could brew up potions for us all that would not affect us yet would counter act the ill effects of being a wereshark and once you have one sane and nice wereshark getting hold of more wereshark blood is obviously much easier. Except for one thing.”
William held up the thing that looked like a mint imperial. “Do you know what this is?”
Lucy grinned. “You know damned well I do.”
“And you know damned well I don’t.” said Alisha, irritated by how scared she now was.
William pat Lucy on the back and kissed her cheek then looked to Alisha. “Lucy and I, our souls are linked but it’s not like you think. I was a could of fuzzy proto-logic drifting through the multiverse and she was a distraught mother reincarnated in the green nothingness as a ghost wanting her existence to end. I granted her that mercy and she granted me knowledge and wisdom. I absorbed her soul into mine and became obsessed with humanity and women for eons afterwards. Now to me she is my morality, my greatest creation and my pet.”
Lucy nodded. “I know what that pill does because he gave it to me before in another life only this time it isn’t so he can turn me into some kind of super weapon it’s so you will understand that I am yours and his. “
“Why?” asked Alisha. “You’re a strong woman in your own right and you are so much more his type. Leggy, blonde and beautiful.”
William frowned. “Alisha. You are right I do have a type. A type of pet to be precise. You however are a woman I can see as my equal and out sit eternity with. You owe me nothing, you understand? It is I who is indebted to you. Lucy shall belong to us and her blood shall keep us both sane. You are a good woman and I do not deserve to know you.”
Alisha looked to Lucy.
Lucy smiled then put the memory gun on the stable and started stripping. “I’m not going to remember any of this so good luck with things, take good care of me and maybe we’ll speak again later.”
Alisha swallowed then nodded. “Okay then, do it.”
William gave the pill to Lucy and watched as she swallowed it. “Honey, get us a bucket of water won’t you? Lucy’s gonna start heating up fast.”
Alisha nodded and placed Jody back on the table.
Smoke started wafting off from Lucy. “You might want to pack away the pets. This is not going to be be quiet.”
Daniella, Riksu, Lisa, Amy, Jody, Emma, Cassie and Arthur were ferried back to their cage in the living room as Lucy headed down to the basement of the house where she could scream without bothering anyone. Her excess biomass was being burned away moment by moment, with what was left continuously trying to repair itself with less and less matter. It was a long, slow, excruciatingly painful process, the only upside of which was that it erased the memory of the shrinking along with everything else. Finally Alisha bought in the bucket of water and Lucy climbed inside to cool off as the last of her senses were burned away to leave her nothing more than a tiny thing that looked more or less human but had the mind of a rodent.
The weeks passed, Alisha and William raised Lucy up from the tiny thing back to being a fully grown woman again, then they shot her with the memory gun to give her her memories and personality back. Then finally William and Alisha injected themselves with the wereshark blood so they might live long enough to reach graduation as Logicios.
Things changed with the expectation that this was how things would be forever. A correctly scaled set of showers and flushing toilets were installed in the cage, no more burying their poo like animals. Smart watches were set up in the cage to function as media centers with an allowance for internet purchases should they decide to purchase new music, films or TV series.
The pets were each made a selection of clothes to wear if they felt like it. Daniella was given light flowing summer dresses. Riksu was given shorts and tshirts, Lisa was given short skirts and tight sleeveless shirts. Amy was given button down shirts and jeans. Cassie was given low cut suits that showed off her ankles and midriff. Emma was given a selection of everybody’s styles in her size to wear at her leisure and she was also given selection of cat ears and tails to wear with them. Jody was given a selection of tight tube tops, shorts and short skirts. Arthur was given shining plate armor, chain-mail armor, a three piece suit and a selection of shorts. They were all given a selection of bikinis, except for Arthur who had to make do with a selection of jock straps.
Alisha and William started dating, Arthur was allowed out every Wednesday so Lucy could enjoy him. Daniella and Riksu made plans to have a wedding and let their families know of the turn their lives had gone down. Amy and Lisa had become friends with benefits. Cassie and Jody had entered into a BDSM relationship with Jody being the submissive to Cassie’s dominant. Emma was revered as the grand matriarch of the cage and the girls all supplicated themselves before her, often choosing to approach her before hand and offer her the opportunity to watch or get involved in their own activities. Emma was however relatively unsatisfied and could often be found trawling the internet in search of shrunken boys to buy.
Daniella continued her studies of feminism and analysis of the new media. She listened to audiobooks and read through papers, magazines and books using the smart watches in the cages. She planned an investigation into the impact of the shrinking on representation in the media.
Riksu had been working as a barista that day because her family wanted her to understand what it meant to be poor and there was still a media empire out there waiting for her involvement in it so Riksu helped Daniella in her studies as part of her own desire to familiarize herself with the business. To continue the education her parents had been trying to instill about the plight of the working class, she approached Emma and asked to be treated as an unpaid intern. She didn’t exactly imagine her parents would hold her shrinking against her, or see it as a shirking of her duties, but it was a matter of personal pride for Riksu that she would continue her studies.
Lisa continued her studies in architecture and project management with her own smart watch that she bought with money earned by making and selling digital art of building designs. She would curate the adding of new modules to their vast cage complex and started designing her own range of cages specifically for sylphs to live in. So many cages were just bird or hamster cages, often with barely any additions or originality to account for the different occupants. Even the designs that looked original and designed specifically for sylphs seemed to have been designed for the convenience and aesthetic value to the owners.
Amy continued her studies to be a lawyer, exploiting Alisha’s contacts at Harvard to hire her lecturer to continue teaching Amy via the internet. Course documents and reading would be shared and Amy would submit her own work to be graded. Of course no law firm would actually hire Amy. Even if she could wrangle a degree as part of online learning with the permission of her owners, no law firm would take the degree seriously and certainly would never hire a sylph. That wasn’t her plan though she kept hearing horror stories from her favorite new podcasts: Victims of abuse sold to their abusers after shrinking. Live sylphs used as unwilling sex toys. Sylphs who were being abused and gaslit under the guise of “training”. Even the odd case of sylphs being bought by cannibals or simply snatched away when given the opportunity, some sylphs even reportedly lived through the experience and were clearly traumatized.
Cassie continued following Artificial Intelligence development and kept up to date with the latest code and logic theory. She would pester Lucy and William for details about Artificial Intelligence in the multiverse, learning about the Plasticlones who chased the Paragon of Virtue’s civilization deep into space, and of her own alternate self’s role in the development of Omega, the first sapient super computer. Once she learned of how an alternate toy Lisa had her brain removed without harm so it could be sliced up and continuously scanned to help the learning algorithm simulate a brain she decided she had to try developing sapient AI herself in this universe. She studied a memory gun and Quantum Oscillator, resolving to make her own variants to help her understanding of how the seemingly psychically operated devices worked. Cassie would make apps and sell her services as a programmer to fund the purchase of equipment and supplies and had plans to buy a high resolution brain scanner, to build a device capable of continuously scanning a sliced up yet still active and functional brain, to plant a ton of sensors in at least one of her friends and build a prototype, human inspired, drone.
Alisha taught Quantum Mechanics at Cambridge and built a little fame for herself as a wielder of a Quantum Oscillator and memory gun. She was a woman who knew of things beyond this reality and she could restore sylphs to full size or shrink them. Desperate family members would ask to have their loved ones restored. Others would come asking Alisha to shrink people they knew, sometimes just so a loving dominant could properly satisfy their submissive, other times they made the request because they felt their crushes or friends were in vulnerable positions and deserved to be taken care of. Sometimes people would ask to be shrank, either for cosmetic purposes to fit in, tall women asking to be reduced by a few inches for example, or out of a genuine desire to live a life as a pet. Alisha almost always said yes to those cases and made sure they were sold to loving owners who would treat them right. At the same time Alisha was working on a paper about the science of the multiverse following William and Lucy’s experiences.
Emma took up art again, using photography and digital painting to create a graphic novel about what it meant to be a sylph.
Jody had less of a plan when she went to college, choosing to study Revolutionary History as it seemed an interesting enough degree to get but she had no great love for it so instead she focused on improving herself. She took up online courses on learning French, Latin, Esperanto and Klingon. She also decided to take up gymnastic, yoga and pole dancing. That last one was for Cassie’s benefit.
William took up meditation and started writing a book series about his adventures in the multiverse and how that could inform upon this universe. At the same time he tried to remember and figure out how to use the Quantum Oscillator and kept reporting on the progress of his sylphs. Particularly his taming of Lucy.
Arthur took up fencing and archery to better resemble the knight Lucy wanted him to be. It fit with his degree in military history anyway.
Lucy had been training to join the police force before the shrinking started, now she had her eyes set on a higher prize. Becoming a Logicio policing the multiverse. At the same time she didn’t want to push herself too hard or commit to anything too important as she knew William was trying to tame her and wanted him to succeed. She was aware however that the taming couldn’t properly take place unless Lucy was trying to still be independent. So she started work curating a safe space online for sylphs to talk with other sylphs and try to find friends or romance. She also included a trading service where sylphs could put themselves up for sale in the hopes others users might buy them for company. She made sure William and Alisha knew how to maintain, shut down or sell the website in case Lucy was no longer able to do so herself.
A message arrived in William’s public email:
I’ve been following your blog for a while and always marvel at your unique perspective on the world, even before the shrinkening. I have been paying particular attention to your blog since then because of your insights into sylphs and your revelations regarding to the science behind it. I don’t normally like getting in contact with people I follow online as I know how frustrating it can feel to be overloaded by messages, even positive ones. And I can particularly appreciate your reclusive nature given the trouble you’ve had with doxxers and trolls. Still now your latest lives at the end of your leash hopefully they’ll be dissuaded from attacking in future. Anyway I’m not writing to you for me but for my pet.
The National Sylph Registry contacted me just recently to inform me that my own Sylph’s missing family had been found and was in your possession. Now obviously when I saw your pictures of Jody I noticed the similarity immediately to my own Sylph but dismissed it as a coincidence and possibly evidence that I was a little sylphist. To have it confirmed then by the government no less that my pet and yours were twins was surprisingly mind blowing. As I understand it your life span extends far longer than mine so I have written into my will that Jamie is to become your property upon my death. I hope this is not an imposition and I can change it if you wish but I think Jamie deserves to be with her family in the long term.
When I told Jamie about the letter from the registry she insisted I write to you now to tell you about a new restaurant opening in Soho. You will want to book months in advance as I know to my cost. It was a couple of months after I got Jamie registered that me and this girl started dating. Jamie was real supportive and keen to make a good impression but she was worried that her mere existence might cause tensions in my new relationship and wanted to make very clear that she would not be coming between us. So she talked some of my colleagues into helping her plan the meeting. Which was how I found out about the Spit Sylph, Jamie had printed up a full breakdown of travel times, menus, suggested outfits, what to drink, even subjects to bring up and avoid to make the best impression. So the date was made, the plans adhered to – And that’s when I learned about the waiting list. The whole night would have been ruined if not for a kind couple who had to head off early and let us order deserts on their tab. It was a surreal dining experience but I have never seen Jamie so happy (see included picture) and it certainly set my date’s mind at ease about Jamie.
Anyway if you do go, take Jody along and make sure you blog about it later. Jamie may most want to see what her sister makes of the experience but I am far more interested in yours. Oh and make sure you give Jody lots of care and attention afterwards. Even if she likes it.
William showed the message to Alisha then read it to Jody. Alisha and Jody agreed the Spit Sylph seemed like an interesting dining experience so William booked a table and was surprised to get one as early as a week later.
Lucy, Arthur and Cassie were left to watch over the sylphs as William and Alisha arrived for their romantic meal with Jody and Lisa in tow. William and Alisha each wore their fanciest clothes, which meant a tuxedo for William and a backless dress for Alisha. Jody was dressed in a green boob tube and green skirt to match William’s eyes. Lisa wore a pink sleeveless crop top and pink skirt to match Alisha’s shade of lipstick.
William and Alisha were shown to their table by a waitress who took their drinks order then went away.
“It’s a nice place.” said Alisha, observing the gentrified nature of the restaurant. Pretty young men and women on minimum wage showing rich couples to tables, bringing them champagne and wine.
William sniffed and looked about the place nervously. “I subsist of a diet of fried chicken, mountain dew and vitamin pills. This place is alien to me.”
Alisha looked at him oddly and smiled. “I would have thought this would be right up your street. I half expect James Bond to walk past seducing a woman young enough to be his daughter.”
William shifted uncomfortably in his seat and cleared his throat. “Yes, well, I must admit part of my discomfort is how well this fits with lives I have lived in the past. I keep looking at these girls and my mind starts calculating their bone strength, metabolism and cooking times.”
Alisha smirked and grabbed William’s hand. “I think we’re going to have to drain Lucy when we get back, don’t you?”
William glared at her. “it’s not like that. There’s no hunger or lust there. Just habit. Habits formed from lives this me never experienced.”
Alisha nodded. “So tell me. That couple over there for example? What can you tell me about her?”
William glanced in the direction indicated then proceeded to read off his almost instinctual deductions.
Lisa and Jody sat on the table, Lisa before Alisha and Jody before William.
“The food smells fantastic.” said Lisa as a waiter walked past with a couple of plates. Lisa couldn’t see what was on it from her position on the table. “Can’t wait to try it.”
Jody chuckled then said. “Lisa, we’re the food.”
Lisa stared at Jody in horror then grinned. “You’re pulling my leg. They love us, they wouldn’t eat us.”
Jody stared at Lisa. “If we were brought along because of how much we matter to them then William would have bought Emma and Alisha would have bought Amy.”
“But that doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to kill us?” said Lisa pointedly.
Jody paused mid thought at then frowned then nodded. “You are probably right about that but still, I wouldn’t get your hopes up about ordering off the menu.”
The waitress arrived with a bottle of Prosecco and two glasses as William was explaining how he’d make sausages from a woman to Alisha.
“Are you ready to order?” asked the waitress.
William was hurriedly scanning the menu.
Alisha asked. “How exactly does it work when you order Sylph? I mean I assume you aren’t actually killing them?”
The waitress smiled reassuringly. “Oh of course not. We love Sylphs here at the Spit Sylph. I’ve got a boy myself, adorable idiot he is.”
Alisha smiled with good humour. “You ever thought of taking him here?”
The waitress snorted. “As if I could afford these prices.”
Alisha laughed politely.
“Look, it’s really very simple.” said the waitress. “Shrinking is just virtual reality with telepresence right? They think they’re small but really they’re big in a pocket of space time. Well thanks to our engineers it is possible to put Sylphs into VR devices that will let them control 3d printed bodies. The cooking is in the make up of the 3d printed bodies but the Sylphs drive the bodies and live through the experience of being eaten. I see you’ve got a couple of Sylphs here but if you didn’t you could always hire one of the restaurant’s Sylphs to drive the body you intend to eat.”
Alisha nodded. “Well that’s reassuring, thank you. In that case I think I would like Lisa here served up as Lasagna with a side salad if that’s okay?”
“Perfectly.” said the waitress making a note on her tablet PC.
“How exactly does the Hunter’s Chicken work?” asked William. “I mean how do you turn chicken, bacon and cheese into something that looks like a Sylph?”
“Well I obviously can’t go into specifics about how the telepresense works but the edible sylph body will have bacon taking the place of bones, cheese taking the place of internal organs and chicken breast taking the place of muscle and fat. Finally the hair will be mashed potato and the blood barbecue sauce.” said the waitress. “Do bare in mind that regardless of what you order the telepresence mechanism ensures the exterior of the sylph body will always look like the sylph you intend to eat.”
“Okay then, I’ll take Jody as a Hunter’s Chicken with a side order of chips and onion rings.” said William.
“Excellent choice, sir.” said the waitress, making a note on her tablet then she gathered up the menus. “I’ll just get the chefs working on your order then I’ll bring the telepresence devices to your table.”
The waitress smiled and left.
“See, I told you we were the food.” said Jody.
“And I told you they weren’t going to kill us.” said Lisa.
William scooped Jody up in his hands and stroked her hair. “I do hope this isn’t a problem but your sister insisted.”
Jody snorted. “Well of course she did. Just be gentle with me, yeah? No need to cut me up all at once.”
William smiled. “I’ll be gentle.”
Alisha had scooped Lisa up and was stroking her. “It’ll be fine. Worst comes to the worst it’ll be over quickly. I mean there’s not very much of you.”
“But what if I decide I like it?” asked Lisa.
“Then I shall have to eat slowly and book another table here,” said Alisha with a smile.
The waitress came over with two large gray boxes and put them on the table. She smiled when she saw William and Alisha stroking Jody and Lisa. “Aww, they’re adorable and you actually dress them? I bet they love you.”
William and Alisha looked up from their charges, met each others gaze then looked to the waitress.
The waitress tapped the boxes. “Telepresence machines. You put your sylphs inside, their bodies will be paralyzed and the signals sent to the bodies our chefs are making up for them now and then we bring them over and you enjoy your meal in the knowledge that your sylphs are safe in the boxes.”
William nodded. “Thank you.”
“You will have to strip them first though, the clothing interferes with the mechanism.” said the waitress.
Jody pulled off her top and pulled down her skirt.
Lisa looked Alisha in the eyes then smirked.
Alisha sighed and stripped Lisa of her top and skirt.
The waitress accepted Jody and placed her inside one of the boxes before receiving Lisa and placing her in the other box. Then the waitress left the table.
Alisha poured herself a glass of Prosecco. “So we’re actually going to be eating them alive I wasn’t expecting that.”
William poured himself a glass of Prosecco then raised his glass in a toast. “To Sylphs, the most useful of creatures.”
Alisha smiled and raised her glass. “To Sylphs.”
William and Alisha sipped their Prosecco.
William grimaced. “Prosecco is distinctly overrated.”
Half an hour later the waitress returned with two plates. On one was a portion of salad and a naked Lisa, on the other was a portion of chips and a naked Jody. The girls were sleeping.
The waitress returned a moment later with Parmesan cheese to grate over Lisa, a bowl of onion rings and a bottle of barbecue sauce. Before she left she pressed buttons on the boxes, causing the girls to wake up.
“Hey...” said Jody as she wake up atop the chips.
“Hey.” said William as he picked up his knife and fork. “How do you feel?”
“Normal.” said Jody. “Like I fell asleep in the box and woke up here. I’m not actually certain this isn’t my real body.”
“Well I am.” said William, patting the box Jody was actually lying in.
“Good...” said Jody, fear washing over her now like a wave.
“Are you sure about this?” asked William.
Jody picked up a chip and nibbled the end of it hungrily then she looked up at William and nodded. She held up her left hand and asked. “What do you think?”
William slid the tines of his fork about Jody’s wrist, ran his knife along the bottom of his fork, slicing through her wrist easily and pulled her hand off his fork with his teeth. He moaned with joy at how good the hand tasted.
Jody grinned, losing her hand had felt amazing.
William looked at Jody hungrily.
Jody blushed. “I think I am very glad that we came here.”
William nodded and licked his lips.
Jody said. “Well go on then. Eat up. Don’t want me to get cold do you?”
William devoured Jody in seconds, slicing piece are piece from her until there was nothing left of her and he started on the chips.
Alisha played with Lisa, slowly cutting her up and eating the pieces, grinning at Lisa’s obvious pleasure.
The waitress arrived when they had cleaned their plates and asked. “Would you like to see the desserts?”
William nodded, a half smile on his face.
Alisha grinned. “Oh yeah, I’ve got a hell of a sweet tooth right now.”
The waitress smiled. “And I take it there were no objections from your meals.”
“Surprisingly not.” said William.
Alisha chuckled. “Well maybe we did rather stack the decks but they certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, while they lasted.”
The waitress chuckled and left with the plates.
“We need to come back here again.” said Alisha. “I think it would be so romantic to take Daniella and Riksu here. And Amy does have one hell of a bite-able bum.”
William snorted, despite himself. “This is so wrong.”
The waitress returned with the dessert menus then left.
“Ooh, tiramisu!” said Alisha enthusiastically.
William wrinkled his nose. “Spotted dick? Who the fuck looks at their dear pet sylph and thinks. “I want to eat a version of you made of spotted dick?”
“I know, the strawberries and cream sell so much better.” said a familiar voice that sent a chill down William’s spine.
A tall Caucasian woman dressed like a steampunk Mary Poppins pulled up a seat.
William locked eyes with her.
Alisha looked at the strange woman nervously. “William, do you know this woman?”
William nodded slowly. His hand reaching for the Quantum Oscillator in his pocket. “This is my oldest friend and most consistent adversary, the Bam-Kursh.”
“And I believe you’ve already met my toy.” said the Bam-Kursh with a gesture to the young blonde woman in flip flops, a short pink skirt and white sleeveless crop top, pulling up a chair opposite.
“Lisa?” asked Alisha. “How?”
“We live in a multiverse.” said the Bam-Kursh. “I met this young woman a very long time ago with the intent to turn her into a willing toy for mass market sale. I did not count on coming to care for her but there we are.”
The young woman smiled.
“What are you doing here?” asked William icily.
“I own this place.” said the Bam-Kursh cheerily.
William glared at the Bam-Kursh and closed his hand around his Quantum Oscillator.
“Don’t be so stupid, friend.” said the Bam-Kursh meaningfully. “I am quicker on the draw, my girl is loyal and I am not as mortal as you or your lovely lady friend here.”
Alisha stared William.
William hissed. “You shrank the world.”
The Bam-Kursh shook her head. “Not me, Darling. That was a different Bam-Kursh. All I’ve done is create an effective counter to the cannibalism plaguing this world, a safe space to play out fantasy and explore new ways to interact.”
William glared at the Bam-Kursh. “Why? Why be nice?”
The waitress arrived to take their orders.
Alisha swallowed nervously.
The Bam-Kursh said. “She’ll have the tiramisu and he’ll have the toffee sponge cake atop three scoops of mint choc chip ice cream. Same sylphs as last time.”
The waitress nodded, noted down the orders on her tablet pc and left.
William stared at the Bam-Kursh, incredulous. “What do you want? What’s your angle here? What do you have to gain?”
“Money?” suggested the Bam-Kursh.
“At too small a scale to mean anything to you.” said William dismissively.
The Bam-Kursh nodded. “You’re right. It doesn’t make sense from your past experiences with me. But damn it man you died for me, died for everyone. You know there’s a new Queen of the Multiverse because of you? Daniella Hopkins. A young feminist weresylph. By the Multiverse I want copy of her to have as my own she’s so sweet. She’s out there now, ruling in your stead, because even though you’re cheating death again you have turned your concerns inwards to the politics of your own universes. Daniella sent me out into the multiverse to do your job for you.”
William frowned. “And you’re actually doing it?”
“I’m trying.” said the Bam-Kursh. “I got here after Eliza had got you back up to speed and I couldn’t resist the urge to settle down for a bit, do some good, make some money, make some new toys.”
William stared at her. “But you’re the Napoleon of the Multiverse? You do everything out of selfish pragmatism?”
“And you’re the champion of the sylphs and spirit of chaos yet you created the Logicios and the United Civilisations of the Multiverse.” said the Bam-Kursh. “We’re neither one as polarized as the other thinks.”
William fell silent, unsure what to say.
The Bam-Kursh looked to the young woman and grinned. “Besides, I fell in love.”
The young woman blushed and reached her hands across the table.
“She may be a daft thing, but she’s my daft thing.” said the Bam-Kursh. “I don’t want to be a monster any more. You were my best friend in the whole nothingness and now you’re back from the dead I wanted to thank you. Anything you need, anything you want, I’ll get it for you. If I can.”
The waitress arrived with two bowls. In one slept a tiny naked Lisa beside a spoon, in the other a tiny naked Jody slept atop three scoops of mint choc chip ice cream beside a spoon. The waitress pressed buttons atop the boxes then left.
The girls woke up.
The Bam-Kursh stared at Jody. “She’s a brunette?”
“Yes, she is...” said William slowly.
“But you never fall for brunettes.” said the Bam-Kursh.
“I didn’t fall for her. I just happen to own her.” said William.
Jody smiled awkwardly at the Bam-Kursh. “Hi, should I know you?”
William groaned then said. “Jody, honey, this is the Bam-Kursh. A very old friend.”
Jody smiled warmly. “Well hi then. Feel free to have a morsel. I rather like this.”
“Aww...” said the Bam-Kursh in delight. “I want one.”
Jody grinned. “Well I do have a twin...” Then Jody realized what she had just said and looked to William excitedly. “Oh my god, we have got to meet up with Jamie and Bobby. It’s been so long since we last spoke and you could eat us when we start to get on your nerves.”
The Bam-Kursh looked to William pleadingly.
William glared at the Bam-Kursh.
Alisha burped suddenly and stuck her used spoon in the mint choc chip ice cream.
“Two spoons...” said Jody with a smile.
William looked warily at the Bam-Kursh.
The Bam-Kursh grinned.
William shrugged then said. “Jody, why don’t you eat some of the ice cream while we work things out.”
Jody grinned and started scooping ice cream into her mouth with her hand.
William picked up Alisha’s used spoon.
The Bam-Kursh picked up the unused spoon in the ice cream.
The waitress stopped by to pick up Alisha’s empty bowl. “Everything alright, gentlemen?”
Jody was rolling in the ice cream and lapping it up with her tongue.
The Bam-Kursh was quite distracted by the sight.
“Got any chocolate sauce?” asked William.
The waitress nodded and left the table, she returned a moment later with the sauce and left again.
“Say when.” said William as he began pouring the chocolate sauce over Jody.
Jody felt the sauce cascade down her back and leaned back with her mouth open to try and catch the sauce in her mouth.
The Bam-Kursh was apparently mesmerized by the sight as she said nothing.
William snapped the lid of the chocolate sauce bottle closed with a sigh when Jody was completely drenched in the sauce.
William stared at the Bam-Kursh.
The Bam-Kursh frowned and shrugged. “I can’t. She’s too lovely.”
William shrugged and slammed his spoon through Jody’s left wrist, scooping up some ice cream along with her hand.
When the Bam-Kursh saw the look on William’s face as he ate Jody’s left hand, she shrugged and thunked her spoon through Jody’s other wrist.
As William and the Bam-Kursh devoured Jody and the ice cream, Alisha did some research on her iphone.
Finally William and the Bam-Kursh sat back contentedly before a clean bowl. When the waitress arrived to take it away she asked if they wanted anything else before removing Lisa and Jody from the gray boxes so she might back the boxes away.
Alisha scooped Lisa up in her hands and started stroking her.
Jody looked up at William and grinned. “That was awesome! Please can we do this again? Please? Please? Please?”
William chuckled and stroked Jody. “Get dressed, little one.”
The Bam-Kursh said. “You know I have been thinking of drawing up a domestic version? I could always send you the prototype.”
Jody pulled her top on and said. “If you’re going to do that then you simply must give my sister the same. She would love it so much.”
William looked to the Bam-Kursh questioningly. “You did say anything I needed?”
The Bam-Kursh smiled. “That I did.”
Jody pulled on her skirt then looked up curiously.
“May I?” asked the Bam-Kursh.
The Bam-Kursh scooped Jody up in her hands and stroked her. “Aren’t you just the most adorable little thing?”
Alisha placed her iphone before the Bam-Kursh and said. “Make a note of that time and place. You’ll want to intercept Jody before she enters the coffee shop, say you’ll help her contact her sister then lead her to somewhere warm and safe and be there for her as she shrinks. If you take good care of her give her lots of affection she’ll gladly belong to you like ours does. And once you have her, finding a way to get her sister shouldn’t be much too difficult.”
The Bam-Kursh stared at Alisha. “You would do this for me?”
Alisha nodded. “Lisa seems to like you and you clearly have some affection for Jody so you can have her. Just don’t try and take her from me now.”
The Bam-Kursh nodded and gently sat Jody down before picking up Alisha’s iphone so she could make a note of the time and place she had to travel to. “Don’t worry about the bill. My treat.”
A year passed happily and then at Christmass there was a knock at the door.
Robert was standing on the door step with a rather large box. “So a strange woman gifts me a machine capable of 3d printing edible bodies for Jamie to possess. She asks me everything I know about how Jamie shrunk then she gives me a folder filled with tickets, money and an itinerary. I think this huge box is for you.”
William laughed and welcomed Robert inside, fetching the package in himself.