Friday, June 18, 2010
This story is now featured in Up. Check it out.
She is smaller than him. Not child-like, but short. Slim. She stands on her toes and clutches his sleeves. She looks up at him, into his eyes. Her hair is tied back, her tiny face is bright, alive with wonder and love. It is hard not to think of a girl adoring her father but she is a woman. Fully a woman. And although he towers above her, he is not her father. Not anybody's father. She wants him to pick her up, to hold her tight, to carry her to the bedroom. She likes being smaller than him.
But he looks away, to the side, the TV is on. A game. Football. Cricket. She whispers, something she wouldn't dare say out loud. But he cannot hear her. "How was your day?" he asks.
She's growing now. Taller. The tenderness in her face fades. Her body stretches. It bends. She is a monkey. A gorilla. Her hands, her nails are sharp. A werewolf perhaps. She grabs him by the neck and forces his head around. She looks down, into his eyes again, deeper now. She can see inside of him and he is not a big man anymore. He is folding in two. The thing inside of him is eating his guts out and he is crying. He is shrinking. He is smaller than her. Fully a man still, but weak and sad. She does not like being bigger than him.
Now she packs her bags. She is leaving. Her reflection in the mirror whispers to her. "You will always be small," it says, "but you won't ever be smaller again."