The official results for Size Riot’s CruelJan20 have been announced! There were three categories of winners:
Accidental Cruelty: PerspectiveShift, “Get the Message”
Psychological Cruelty: Undersquid, “Creature Comforts,” and HthereBeGt, “Little Mary’s Strings”
Humiliation: Scidram, “Insignificant Other”
My submission, “Bridget,” received some votes in the “the stories that made us care about their characters” (where it placed third) and “which stories featured ‘accidental cruelty’ the best” (where it tied for fourth) categories. (Yes, I’m one of those who used the name “Bridget.” I have no idea why three of us used the same name! Maybe we’re latent telepaths?)
The feedback I received was thoughtful and helpful, and I am extremely grateful for all of it! Further, Aborigen deserves a huge amount of gratitude for organizing these quarterly contests and continually providing writers with opportunities to hone their craft. That accomplishment would be more than enough to warrant praise and it’s not even considering that fans of size fetish have regularly received a large number of new, high-quality stories each and every quarter since January 2017!
Regarding this contest’s theme, I was apprehensive about writing a cruel story and I think that was apparent. I focused more on the consequences, and perhaps my tale was not truly ‘cruel’ in the sense that folks expected. I felt a bit like the Devil in 1967’s “Bedazzled.” In that movie, the Devil is feeling unmotivated, and the most evil act he is capable of doing is trivial and consists of going into printing presses and ripping out the final pages of Agatha Christie detective novels. 😉 (He also makes parking meters expire early and spills an old lady’s groceries The fiend! 😈 )
You can read Bridget in full below:
Two giantesses prepared themselves; whether today would see contrition or defiance was unknown. The sun was obscured by the bay’s thick morning fog. A commercial airliner passed above leaving a contrail behind it. There was a bugle call. A metal rod, the size of a California redwood tree, was pulled through two steel rings. One was welded onto the cell door and the other on the door frame. Cindy stood and pushed against the door.
Several sea gulls flew off the top of the rough-hewn door as it swung open. The manacles around her wrists clanged as she moved forward. Trailing from those manacles were huge chains which connected to posts back in the gigantic makeshift cell. The chains were long enough to permit a few steps distance outside the cell, but no further. Cindy spotted gunships off the coast slowly patrolling around her island prison.
Before Cindy stood a two-hundred foot tall dark-skinned woman. Cindy wondered to herself. “How do people brief her before our daily meetings? Do they use a slide projector, a magnifying glass, and a thousand bed-sheets sewn together?”
Cindy was of equal height, but the woman in front of her was more toned with striated musculature in her arms, torso, and legs. The buff giantess approached the massive stool that she had sat at every day for the last month. Cindy sat down on another stool.
“Who is it today Monique?” Cindy asked.
“Bridget Reeves, age 14, local kid on a school field trip.” Cindy looked to the side for a minute. Then she turned her gaze back to Monique.
“Why do you bother?”
“Bridget Reeves’ story must be told. She did not deserve her fate.”
“No one deserves what they get in life, good or bad.”
“There’s a difference between random acts of fate and calculated malice.”
“You think I calculated anything? That I purposely selected poor little Bridget? Wrong! I didn’t kill her because of who she was, I did it because she was there. Her death was the culmination of all the events that brought her there that day. Nothing else.”
“True. You acted without consideration. The rampage was selfish. You killed without justification. Murdered folks because you felt like it.”
Cindy recalled that fateful day. The sound of bones cracking and bodies popping under her bare toes. The high-pitched screams when she flung victims into her mouth. The spreading slick redness underneath her feet. A metallic smell in her nostrils.
She recalled how those tiny bodies were once frantically scrambling people. Cindy stopped her actions, and looked down. People moved desperately in order to survive just one more second into the future. “They no longer have a future.” She thought.
Then there was immense pain as a closed first connected with her face and she fell unconscious into the ocean. It was hours until she awoke with a splitting headache. She met the woman who threw the punch. The one who halted the destruction. The same woman speaking to her today.
Cindy sighed. “Get it over with. Tell me about this girl.”
“Bridget was one of nine hundred thirty-seven victims who lost their lives on February 26th, 2020.”
Cindy rolled her eyes and muttered under her breath. “Have to give the death tally ever fucking time?”
Monique continued. “Bridget was born in Jaywick, England. She immigrated to America with her family one year ago. Bridget was a conscientious student who demonstrated a great deal of potential. She was often teased for her accent, but nonetheless managed to make a few friends. Those friends, the ones still alive, remember Bridget fondly, and stated that Bridget had come out of her shell and was adjusting well despite the challenges in her life. Her mother recently divorced Bridget’s father and filed charges of child abuse against …”
“Was that true?”
“Was what true?”
“Did Bridget’s father actually molest her?”
“That’s what her mother, Molly, claimed.”
“But was it true? Or was Molly lying to get more alimony?”
“I don’t know all of the details. But, I do know that a medical examination was performed and afterward the judge issued an injunction preventing contact between Bridget and her father.”
“Sounds like I should have swallowed him instead.”
“You shouldn’t have swallowed anyone. You’re a barrista, not a judge nor an executioner.”
“Was a barrista. I was fired that morning. Did you know that? Not that I’ll ever make another latte. Transformation is permanent, right? You’re stuck like this forever, like me. Aren’t you glad?”
“I am glad. Someone had to stop the bloodshed.”
“So you chose to be a white knight?”
“There was no time, the beam was beginning to fail. I didn’t understand why or how it was working. It had failed dozens of times before, but it was working then. Saw what it did to the test subject, then to you. I made the choice so no one else would have to.”
“Maybe you didn’t calculate the situation. Maybe you acted without consideration. Ever think about that? What about your husband? Did he ever question your choice?”
“James supported my decision.”
“Did he really? Sure, I’ll bet he loved it at first. What red-blooded man wouldn’t love to fondle the world’s biggest knockers?” Cindy gestured toward Monique’s chest. “But how fulfilling is your sex life now? Is his equipment up to the challenge? Talk about throwing a hot dog out an open window! Am I right? Can you feel his prick? Can you even see…”
“Shut up ” Monique said with teeth clenched and hands forming tight fists. “now.”
“Got it. Might makes right, do what you say or you’ll beat me up.”
Monique sighed. “No, right makes might.”
Cindy laughed. “What?”
“You should do things because they’re the right things to do. Doing that makes you stronger.”
“Bullshit! They teach you that crap in Sunday school?”
“You do not need religion to understand morality.”
“Maybe, maybe not. But do you believe in God is what I want to know.”
“Why do you care?”
“Look around! Who else can I talk to? Just you and me on this island for the rest of our miserable lives.”
“Speak for yourself. I’m not a prisoner.”
“Sorry, I misspoke. You’re a free citizen. No restrictions, no need to seek permission for a conjugal visit. Free to let your husband go spelunking in his galoshes through your nether regions whenever you want. But it’s gotta be hard to relate to James. Your man can dine in his favorite restaurant. Go dancing at the club, sunbathe on the beach, or drive to the movie theater to watch the latest blockbuster. But you can’t do any of those leisure activities anymore.”
“I get by.”
“Not me. I’d love an espresso, haven’t had one in months.”
“Then you shouldn’t have jumped into the beam. If you have just stood by, instead of plunging in, then 937 people would not have died and you could still drink your damn espresso’s.”
“I saw a chance and took it. My aim wasn’t to hurt people. I merely seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Things just got out of hand.”
“Really, and do you feel powerful now? As a prisoner, locked up for the rest of your life?”
“Yeah, I’m a prisoner. But power less? Why would the Navy run day and night patrols around my island if I wasn’t a threat? Do you not recognize that those sailors consider me a force to reckon with? They…” Cindy pointed off shore. ” know deep down inside that their bullets and rockets and missiles cannot hurt me. Hell, if I was to break out of these chains then all they could hope for is time enough to call you, their white knight, before I swallowed ever last one of them!”
“No king or general or warrior has ever been as mighty as me. You may be stronger, but you squander that fact. People would worship you as a goddess, but instead the mighty Monique wastes her life as a babysitter.”
“Great height does not equal divinity. I have no desire to be a cruel tyrant. My existence should make the world a little better, not worse.”
“But does it? Does talking to the world’s biggest murderer serve a purpose? Why do it?”
“I am making things better…”
Cindy stood up, her chains rattling. “No! You’re not fucking making things better you goddamn mindless sheep! You’re wasting time! Spend day after day describing victims one by one to their butcher. The butcher, an ugly bitch that was fired for showing up late at the coffee shop for the sixth time in a row. And what did that piece of shit do when she was fired? She went to Daddy’s lab to complain. But when she arrived she stood slack jawed as a white rabbit grew under a sci-fi ray gun to the size of a horse. So, what did the lazy cunt do then? She waited until the eggheads took the bunny away and jumped into the beam while they were busy.”
“No! Don’t tell me to shut up, I’m gonna tell you what you should have done. You should have killed me that day. Should have done it for the sake of humanity.”
Cindy sat back down. A single tear drop fell. “For fuck’s sake, at least you could have avenged Bridget Reeves.” More tears followed the first. “Do it now, kill me so Bridget’s Mom will know that vengeance was eventually served.”
“I will not kill you.”
“Screw you then! Give me the right materials and I’ll make something sharp to slit my wrists! Why not? Think people will be mad?! For Christ’s sake, people will sing your praises!”
“Because Bridget deserves better.”
“That’s what I’m saying. Bridget deserves better, she deserves justice!”
“You don’t care about justice, you want the easy way out.”
“Up yours cunt!”
“Try something tougher. You say that you’re powerful; so, why don’t you use that to do something good. Make this world better, even if only a little bit. Build or improve something, do it for Bridget.”
Cindy hung her head low.
Monique and Cindy sat there, wordless. Minutes passed, then Monique broke the silence.
“We can continue tomorrow with Bridget’s best friend Sophia Marks, also on the field trip.”
Cindy said nothing for a moment. Then she whispered. “How?”
“How… can I be anything else? I’m a mass murderer. Used to be a slacker, an embarrassment to my high-achieving parents. Burden on society and waste of oxygen. But, on February 26th I became something worse, a monster.”
“Perhaps together we can find a way forward. I have faith that you can be more.”
“Faith, huh? Guess you really are religious.”
Monique smiled. “I have faith, that’s all that matters. I believe that everyone can learn from the past and make new choices. Set ourselves on different paths than the ones we followed before. Now, it’s time for me to leave. Next time, I’ll tell you about Sophia. Afterward, we can discuss how you might build things, not just destroy.”
“Rather not think about the lives lost. That’s painful to remember. However, I understand why you tell the stories. ”
“Even with your acceptance and understanding, it will not be easy. I will continue to recount the histories of those who perished. Grocery store clerks, web site developers, young couples in love, old retirees, etc. There are many tales left.”
“I know. If you won’t end my suffering, then I want to do something with my life.”
Cindy nodded, and turned to walk back to her cell. She sat down on the bed inside. Monique secured the door and waved to the sailors off shore who responded with a short flash from their deck-mounted spotlight. A small drone flew by. Then the bugle call was heard once more.
All Rights Reserved.