Jack the Giant

Jack the Giant

Jack the Giant-Killer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

by Andrew Nellis

[email protected]

copyright 1997

 

My name's Jack. Maybe you heard of me. I'm a giant-killer. They don't call

them giants any more. The brainiacs that gave us the New Deal say we gotta call

'em vertically-gifted humanoids. Me? I call 'em... history. Don't matter what

label you want to scribble on their name tag; when they start cutting rough, it

can ruin your whole day. And that's when the dimes start dropping into my meter.

I was sitting in my office with my feet up, doing my Rip Van Winkle impression,

when the call came. I figured out which was the business end of the blower on

only the third try. That's why I'm the professional. "Jack," I said. If they

don't know who I am and what I do, I ain't got time to jaw with them.

Imagine a couple of randy cats fighting in a garbage can full of gravel and

broken glass rolling down the stairs. That'll give you some kind of idea what

the voice was like: "Got a live one. How about you fix that?"

"Your nickel, Woody," I said. That'd be the guy with the voice like a love-lorn

buffalo, Woody Cutter. Captain of some of our Finest and a whole lot more of our

not-so-fine. Also a friend of mine, ever since I gave him the break he needed

and showed him a couple of shortcuts on that case with the wolf and the dame.

"What you got?"

"Class-G bi-gyno, pulling a grildrig over on the upper west side. Chief says

we'll give you the standard contract plus expenses and hazard bonus."

I whistled with my teeth. "Nasty job."

"Yeah, you watch your ass, Jack," said Woody. "Don't you be watching hers."

Woody knows me too well. "I'm on it," I said, and rung off.

You survive in this game for long enough and you get a feel for these things.

This was going to be a messy one. Class-G made her a Giga, bigger than 100 feet,

but less than 1000. I deal with a lot of Megas, but not too many Gigas. I only

ever met one Tera, and that's enough for me. They're still looking for bodies

from that one. Hell, they're still looking for a few of the cities.

The bi-gyno meant she was a broad, and liked to play both sides of the field.

Tough luck for the skirts, because it meant she wouldn't be cutting them any

slack.

And she'd gone grildrig, which is bad news. It meant she had a thing for

listening to little things go crunch, and at her size just about everything and

everyone qualifies as little. We keep seeing more of that kind of thing. Me, I

blame the 'libbers.

I put my feet on the floor and made them go. You always want to catch these

rampages before they get too far or else the damage really starts eating into

the expense money. I made a quick stop at the closet that served as my armory,

and made a few selections. Right tool for the right job is my motto. I ain't

decorating the bottom of some broad's foot, so I figure I must be doing

something right.

I left my office at something less than the speed of sound, and loitered in the

waiting room long enough to enjoy the scenery.

"Hey Jack, off to get us some lunch money?"

That's Tink, my secretary. She's a real doll. No, really. Couple inches tall,

with wings like a mosquito. There ain't much of her, but what little there is is

all in the right places. Them little numbers she wears don't leave too much to

the imagination either. Her and me, we might have a thing together if I ever get

out of this racket.

"You know it, kiddo. Got us a she-Mega, so don't expect me in until tomorrow.

Better lay in a stock of bandages too."

Tink hopped off the typewriter and buzzed through the air at me. I put out my

hand for her, and gave her the old eyeball up and down when she landed. Trust

me, there was lots to look at. She preened a little before she lit into me. "You

be careful, Jack," she said, shaking a tiny finger at me.

"You're so cute when you're mad," I told her, and patted her on the ass with my

finger. A little bit of faerie dust fell from her and glittered in my palm for a

second or two.

She stamped her foot, and her wings buzzed like a hornet. I was glad she'd left

her stiletto heels over on the desk. "I'm serious, Jack! You know how you get

with the really big ones."

I smirked. "I promise I won't be making any dates." I knew it didn't matter what

I said. We've done this dance before, so often that it's just about a ritual

with us. I didn't bother to tell her my 'client' was already stomping up a

grildrig. No sense making her worry.

Tink sighed and shook her gorgeous little mane of blonde hair. "One of these

days you're going to push too hard, Jack," she said. "You make sure you come

back in one piece, or I'll do a number on that hussy myself. You hear me?"

"Loud and clear," I said, and chucked her on the chin with my thumb. She flitted

up and planted a little kiss on my big, bent nose. I managed to get out of the

building without tearing off her clothes or her getting into mine, and headed

for my old jalopy. It's big and ugly, and the body is shot, but it runs and it's

all mine. I figure Tink must think the same things about me.

I got enough pennies to rub together. I could own something classier than the

beater I got, but I figure there's not much sense in springing for something

better when I know it's gonna get stepped on sooner or later. You wouldn't

believe what I pay for insurance. It started on the second try, which I took for

a good omen, and got it rolling in the direction of the upper west side.

Traffic was heavy, but it was all going the other way. Surprising as it seems,

some people got a natural aversion to getting squashed for some dame's kinky

thrills. Go figure.

I was still miles away when I saw her, just her head and shoulders at first,

floating over the skyscrapers like some kind of luscious parade float. She was

800 feet if she was an inch, and she had blonde hair. I got a thing for blondes,

and this dame was a looker. I could tell from the grin pasted on her puss that

she was in seventh heaven.

Buildings were keeling over like sailors on a shore leave, and concrete dust was

making it hard to breathe. When I got within a few blocks of the mayhem, my

heart gave a little pitter-pat. That was one hot tamale, and I could tell at a

glance in the right place that she was a natural blonde. They find themselves

standing head-high to the clouds and the first thing they do is rip off their

clothes. Damned if I know why. Sure makes my job more interesting, though.

I parked the car and got my gear from the trunk. I'd leg it the rest of the way,

and save me some wear and tear on the tires. The streets were full of rubble and

broken glass, not to mention big old footprints full of greasy red smears that

used to be people. Big, blonde, and beautiful was really getting into it. It's

nice to see someone who enjoys their work.

My biggest problem, sometimes, is getting them to notice me. Especially when

they're all keyed up and making like Godzilla. I found a half- crumpled bus

within a block of the giantess and climbed on top with my bullhorn.

"Hey dollface, down here!"

But my big tow-headed dance partner wasn't in a listening mood. I stood and

watched as she bent over - giving me a good look at her assets in the process -

and found a big handful of taxpayers from somewhere, which she promptly shoved

in her yawp. From the way they screamed and carried on, I gathered they weren't

too keen on the idea. While she noshed on the gentry, I considered my options.

Big Blondie finished her snack and I figured I'd better get her attention before

anyone else got an up-close lesson in orthodontics. I hauled out my flare gun

and popped one off where the blonde was likely to glim it. The chute on the

flare opened and it floated down in front of her face like a falling star. I saw

her blink twice in surprise and look around, but not down. I pulled the trick

with the bullhorn again, and them big blue peepers of hers rolled down in my

direction.

This was the trickiest part. A lot depended on the dame herself, and whether or

not she was curious. Sometimes they just stomp first and ask questions later,

and that makes my job a lot harder. I could see the indecision on Big Blondie's

face, and I tried radiating nice, harmless, ain't-we-all-having-fun vibes at

her. Maybe it worked, because the next thing I knew, one of them big hands was

winging its way in my direction like a flying battleship.

I had a bad moment when two of those gigantic fingers gripped me like soft, pink

walls and squeezed. It was like getting a full-body hug from boxspring

mattresses, and I wondered if she was just gonna pop me like a pimple. That'd be

the smart thing to do, but lucky for me they never do the smart thing. I was in

an express elevator going up, only my stomach decided to stay behind and I was

real glad I hadn't stopped for chow.

When the fingers let me go, I dropped five feet to a big, flat area about forty

feet across, and soft enough to cushion my fall. I knew before I even looked

that I was standing in her palm. Been there, done that. Her face was about

thirty feet away, close enough I could feel her breath on me. She had a cute

nose, and if I had a death wish I wouldn't have minded getting to know those

lips a little better. Those were some killer lips in more ways than one. And

that hair -- I did say I was a sucker for blondes, didn't I?

I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and flashed her some teeth. I used the

bullhorn again to talk. "Howdy, little lady. You got a name?"

"CANDI," she said, just about bowling me over. "CANDI WITH AN 'I'." At normal

size, her voice must have been pretty child-like, but coming from a mouth you

could land a small plane in, it sounded like a pronouncement from the Bride of

God.

I got the impression that when they were handing out brains, lovely Candi was

standing in line for a double-helping of lungs. And a nice set of lungs they

were. "Hi there, Candi with an 'i'. My name is Jack."

She giggled, and I wobbled a little as her hand shook. "HI JACK," she enthused

with enough decibels to blow The Who offstage. "DID YOU COME TO PLAY WITH ME?

ALL MY LITTLE FRIENDS HAVE RUN AWAY."

I bet. "Sorry, sweetcakes, you play a little too rough with your toys. Fun's

fun, but I got in the habit of breathing and I can't give it up."

"I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE MUCH CHOICE," she said, still with that impish grin on

her face. She didn't know she was in for it yet, but she would before too long.

"See Candi, it's this way. A lot of important people get upset when you start

stepping on the voters. Squash enough of 'em, and they drop me a line. I earn a

living making dolls like you real unhappy."

I could see she wasn't buying it. Her smile was starting to slip a little

though. "I'M NOT A DOLL. I'M A GODDESS... LITTLE MAN."

When they start pulling the goddess crap it's time to lay down your cards and

cut to the chase. "I'm gonna give you one chance to save yourself some grief,

Candi. Only because I'm such a swell guy. Why don't we go on over to the

brewery, grab ourselves a couple of vats, and talk about it?"

The smile was gone now, and she was frowning. Bad sign. And there was a whole

lot of face for her to frown with. "I THINK YOU NEED TO LEARN SOME RESPECT FOR

YOUR GODDESS, INSECT."

Her hand twitched, and I pulled out my cannon from under my trenchcoat. I

pointed it at her face before she could do something I'd really regret, like

squash the juice out of me. "You know what this is, Candi?"

The fingers stopped closing around me and opened a little. Candi leaned in close

and squinted at me. She had real nice eyes. Too bad she was such a flake. I

wouldn't have minded playing a little hide and seek, with her as the playing

field.

"IT'S AN ITSY BITSY LITTLE GUN," she said, sneering. It's actually a damn big

gun, but I let that pass.

"It's called a transdermal cannon, and it fires a rocket-propelled canister. The

canister contains a gallon of digitalis. I could kill every man, woman, and

child in the city with this much digitalis." I could, too. Drop that in the city

reservoir, and the place'd be a mortuary inside of 24 hours. "It probably won't

kill you, but it could make life real unpleasant for you."

She didn't know digitalis from a didgeridoo, but I could see the doubt in her

eyes. I'd given her something to think about. "I DON'T BELIEVE YOU."

"I think you do," I said. I was smug.

If you're gonna duke it out with giants, you gotta get inside their heads,

because you sure can't stand nose to nose with 'em. Male giants are easy. You

tell them you're a giant-killer and challenge them to a showdown outside the

city. Nine times out of ten you got them by the machismo, and when they show up,

you just dump about a million gallons of nerve gas on them.

Broads are different. They never quite believe that they're as big or as

powerful as they are. You gotta work with that, undermine their confidence until

they're ready to cave in. Works every time. Which is why I was so surprised when

something like a herd of elephants landed on my back.

The world went black for a second as the air whooshed out of me and I was

pressed face-first into the flesh of her palm. My ribs would have given way

except that there was a lot of give in her skin, and I sunk a couple of feet in.

I laid like that with my face mashed into her palm and a mountain on my back for

a few seconds that lasted just a hair longer than the last ice age.

When the elephants decided to climb off my back, I sat up and drank a little

city smog to get the old lungs going again. I decided to fire myself for

incompetance, but realized I'd never find anyone stupid enough to replace me.

I'd been so confident I hadn't watched her other hand, and it had snuck up

behind me. Stupid, stupid. She could have squashed me like a bug instead of just

holding me down with a finger. You don't get many second chances in this game.

I was half-cupped in that big hand and I had no doubt I'd be paste long before I

could make the edge. Candi had her attention divided between me and cannon,

which she held like a little sliver between the thumb and forefinger on her

other hand. As I watched, she flicked the gun 80 storeys to the ground, then

pushed an office tower on it for good measure.

"YOU WERE SAYING?"

The bullhorn had been flattened, but it didn't matter because she wasn't waiting

for a reply. Her hand tilted, I started moving, and then I was flying through

the air between those hot lips of hers. I flew for about twenty feet before I

hit her tongue hard and skidded in a spray of saliva. By the time I'd stopped

bouncing and rolling, I was near the back of her tongue and staring down that

big rabbit hole to eternity. Her lips closed, and I was in the dark. She gave me

a few seconds to get my feet under me, then the tongue started moving. She was

swallowing.

Now, you'd think getting eaten alive would be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of

thing. Pretty much near the end of it. But a guy in my line of work, it comes

with the territory. I been eaten more times than I can count. I was only

swallowed once, though, and that was an accident. She felt real bad after. Nice

girl, but gets carried away with the foreplay. You don't want to know how I got

out. Trust me.

I wasn't panicked. I got the penlight out of my pocket and took a powder for the

side of her tongue. My trenchcoat is waterproof, but my pants were soaked to the

knees within two steps. I felt her tongue lift, and shift backwards. I had about

20 feet of clearance to the ridges on the roof of her mouth so I wasn't worried

about being crushed, but I was a lot farther back on her tongue than I was

comfortable with. I pushed off in a jump from the edge of her tongue using her

taste buds for traction just as the part I was standing on starting tilting

back.

Perfect timing. The tongue swept past me and I bounced off the side of her

wisdom tooth, then slid under her tongue, right at the back. I knew she could

feel me, and her tongue kept twitching and pushing on me, but there was no way

she could get me loose. It was hot and wet, and the flesh held me wedged in a

slimy embrace. Candi's breath was all around me like a mint-scented fog. But I

was safe -- for the moment.

In a few seconds, Candi was gonna go probing with one of her fingers. Even if

she couldn't pry me loose, she'd figure out how to make herself a toothpick out

of a telephone pole or something pretty fast. Before that could happen, I hauled

out the flasks I keep for occasions just like this. I pulled open the stoppers

and splashed the liquid around me as best I could. There was a constant wash of

saliva like a thick, gelid tide, and that helped spread the stuff. I guess I was

making her hungry.

That stuff in the flasks is an industrial concentrate of Bitrex. They use it to

protect kids from household poisons that taste good, like solvents and

antifreeze, by making them taste bad. How bad? Real bad. Candi was about

to learn why you shouldn't go sticking foreign objects in your mouth.

I pulled out the big coil of nylon rope from my trenchcoat, and spread the

folding vanes of the grappling hook. I had just enough time to make myself a

harness before things started happening. There it was, the light at the end of

the tunnel. Candi's luscious lips were curling open like every lemon in the

world had come to live in her mouth. Her voice roared past me like a freight

train, something real clever like, "URRRGH, UUUCK." Her tongue recoiled and

lifted. I pried myself out and scooted forward, ready for what I knew was

coming.

"ACK-PITOOOOOOO!"

The whole world turned upside down and inside out. Candi's tongue shot forward

like the world's biggest, softest battering ram and suddenly I was rocketing out

from between those lips in a tsunami of Bitrex-tainted saliva. Two hundred feet

straight out past her lips and just as I was starting to worry about whether or

not my grappling hook had managed to catch onto something, I ran out of rope and

was just about jerked out of my harness. The cloud of spit smacked into me going

mach five, then continued sailing past. Gravity shot me a dirty look and then I

was swinging back towards Candi in a 200 foot descending arc.

I had time to blink and mutter a few choice words and then I was doing my

damnedest to become a permanent addition to Candi's not inconsiderable

decolletage. Could have been worse. I saw pink flash by me, and then I was

squeezing between hot, silky walls of woman. I was still dripping with saliva,

so I slid wetly into the flesh between her breasts like a watermelon seed. I

lost enough momentum to friction that I stopped without breaking anything.

Another narrow escape for daring Jack the Giant-Killer. Now all I had to do was

figure out how I was going to breathe.

There was flesh all around me. Soft, hot woman flesh. Candi's heart beat like a

giant drum in the background, LUB-DUB, LUB-DUB, and I vibrated with every pulse.

Everything wobbled slightly every time she moved. I wouldn't have minded

spending a some time there getting to know Candi a lot better, but I decided to

think with my brain for a change and started wriggling my way upwards.

My head poked out first, and then I pulled the rest of me up onto her right

breast. I looked up and I could see Candi still grimacing and wiping her mouth

with the back of her hand. She hadn't noticed me, and she hadn't wondered where

I'd got off to. Probably figured she had blown me all the way to Pittsburg. I

was still wearing my harness but the rope was dangling down, probably torn loose

when she wiped her mouth. It was still a 600 foot drop to the ground, and I had

nothing to tie the rope off to. That was when Candi decided to bend over.

It didn't take long, just a second for her to reach down and grab a water tower

from the roof of a building to wash her mouth out with. But in that second, my

perch went from 45 degrees to vertical. I slid over her aureole just as she

straightened, and managed to grab onto her nipple with my arms as I fell. It was

the same size I was and had plenty of little wrinkly handholds. Grunting a

prayer of thanks to whatever saint is in charge of giant nipples, I clambered on

top.

My hands and knees sank in about six inches, and the whole thing bent under my

weight like a diving board, but it held. Candi didn't strike me as the

hard-to-arouse type, which is great news on a date but a real white-knuckler if

you're loitering on someone's nipple hoping you won't get noticed. I hauled up

the rope and made a big loop, which I tied off all the way around the nipple. My

platform suddenly extended out like a balloon inflating and I knew my time had

run out.

"OOOOH." Candi gave a little moan and looked down. I grinned and waved at her.

Her eyebrows shot up, and her mouth made a cute 'O' shape. Before she could

recover her senses, I gave her nipple a friendly slap and threw myself out into

space.

I made like Tarzan again and swung out from her body, then back again, dropping

like a stone until the rope caught and rattled my teeth in my head. Candi's

abdominals loomed up at me and I put bruises on my bruises bouncing off one of

them. I traversed a dozen feet to one side like a spider on the end of a web and

made a rolling dive into the cave of her navel, shucking my harness as I went. I

had just enough time to thank the Powers That Be for making Candi an innie

instead of an outie when everything went dark and my ears popped.

Candi's hand slammed down like an avalanche over the entrance to my little

cubbyhole. A second earlier and I'd have been a thin smear of glistening oil on

those taut abs. Not a bad way to shuffle off, but I had a lot of breathing left

to do. I put my shoulder into it and bulled my way as far as I could into the

back of her belly-button, then shoved myself feet first into the puckered skin

and wriggled right in. Candi could feel me alright, and I could hear her giggles

booming all around me while the whole world seemed to shiver.

One of Candi's huge fingers rammed its way in, making my ears pop again, and

pushed until the tip was pressed right against me. It was pitch black and there

wasn't much air, but I laid real still and hoped Candi was a stupid as she

looked. The finger retreated for a few seconds, and I guessed she was looking

for a spot of blood that would tell her she had got me. When she didn't find it,

the finger came slamming back inside again, pushing me even deeper into the

puckered flesh. Candi was real determined to make sure I was history, and the

finger shoved every which way for almost a minute. Eventually she drew her

finger out.

The entrance to Candi's bellybutton slammed shut and I was smothering,

immobililzed, buried in her flesh. I nearly panicked imaginging myself entombed

inside a living bimbo - which would have given away the whole show. I realized

just in time that she was pinching her navel flat, making sure that I was a

goner. She hadn't realized just how deep I was snuggled in, and I wasn't about

to do any moving around to enlighten her.

Light flooded inside again as her navel opened and I sucked in some tasty,

sweat-scented air. Hot, sweaty flesh was all I could smell. I wish I could

bottle that and sell it. I'd make a fortune. Candi was quiet and so was I. Her

plumbing rumbled and gurgled behind me like a factory as she digested her fellow

citizens. After a few minutes of silence, she was satisfied I was taken care of.

I guess she didn't mind the idea of a mangled corpse mouldering in her

bellybutton. Lovely Candi needed a few lessons in personal hygiene.

My sweaty cave rolled up and down gently, and I could see through the end of the

tunnel that Candi was on the move again. I could hear things breaking outside.

Big things. I thought about my bonuses going up in smoke and I seethed, but I

was smart enough to sit tight. I'd try sneaking out again when Candi was

occupied with other things. The city is a breakable Wonderland for giants, and I

had no doubt Candi would eventually find something suitably distracting.

The distraction came in the form of the local high school football team. The

screaming tipped me off and I got ready to make my move. Everything tilted, and

there was a whole lot of smashing noises. Blue sky flashed through the opening

of her navel, and I realized that Candi was lying down.

When Candi started moaning, I took my chance and wriggled upward. I stuck my

head up and looked around. There was the football team in one of her hands, and

Candi had them between her thighs, making them disappear. Oh my. And them

without their wetsuits. I noticed in passing that a few of the cheerleaders were

doing a little spelunking too. Team loyalty, gotta love it. None of them looked

any too happy to be taking up a new career in gynocology.

Candi had her head thrown back and I think a herd of buffalo could have

stampeded across her belly without her noticing, but I was real quiet anyway

when I climbed out of her navel and started beating feet due south. Even with

her lying down, it was a forty foot drop to the ground, too far to jump. I had

to climb down, and there was only one spot I could do that.

I made it to the bikini line and starting edging around the honey pot, dodging

tree-sized fingers. Even without the shrieking and crunching noises coming from

that huge crevasse, I had a healthy respect for the dangers of internal

spelunking. I've ended too many dates with cracked ribs, and that's with proper

equipment and a lifeline.

Pungent woman-smell was wafting all around me, and her skin was damp and

slippery underfoot. There wasn't much hair to get traction on - she must trim it

regularly. I was tempted to risk copping a feel. I do possess some common sense

though, contrary to what Tink and Woody happen to think, and took a pass on it.

Later, maybe. Hey, what can I say, she was my type.

Treading carefully past the temptations of the Crack of Doom, I started lowering

myself between Candi's thighs, using the short, stiff hairs, each the thickness

of my finger, to hang onto. They were wet and I got myself drenched from head to

toe, but I made it down to the ground without falling to my death or getting

crushed between Candi's thighs.

I hit the ground running, and took a chance passing under the arch of Candi's

bent knee. I realized that I was on a football field. Candi must have been lying

on the school, because it was nowhere in sight. I sensed the school board would

have some serious renovations to do in the coming weeks. The bright side, of

course, was with the sudden lack of students there might not be a need to

rebuild it. Always the optimist, me.

Most of the cars nearby had seen better, less flattened days. I did find a

motorcycle on its side, though, still in pretty good shape. Its previous owner

wouldn't be needing it. Most of him was spread paper-thin inside a foot-shaped

pothole sixty feet long. The bike was flooded but I got it going. Damn thing had

a glass-pack muffler, and it roared like the hounds of Hell. I swivelled my head

around and stared right into Candi's baby-blue peepers. They were a little

glazed, but they were focussed right on me. I said some choice things, said a

few more choice things, and got the cycle moving in the direction of elsewhere.

No Einstein was Candi, but it didn't take her more than a few seconds to

remember who I was. "YOU!"

Give the broad a kewpie doll. I was me. I made two blocks before she climbed to

her feet and went into her fee-fi-fo-fum act. "I'M GOING TO PULL YOUR ARMS AND

LEGS OFF, YOU MISERABLE LITTLE BUG! AND THEN I'M GOING TO SNAP YOU IN HALF LIKE,

UM, A THING THAT GETS SNAPPED IN HALF!" That's my Candi. Never at a loss for

words.

I had a better chance if my blonde-haired honey wasn't tossing buildings on me,

so I pointed my wheels at the area she'd come from. She hadn't left too much

standing, and there was lots of rubble to hide in if it came to that. I had to

get her good and mad. I had a plan, see.

The ground shook with the impact of Candi's steps. The streets were not

completely deserted, and I glanced over my shoulder in time to see a TV remote

news van crumple like an old cigarette carton under Candi's nice round heel.

That ought to boost ratings a couple notches. Nothing like a giant, naked,

rampaging bimbo to bring in the sponsors.

I had to dodge and weave as I navigated the battered streets. Candi was of

course under no such limitations. A shadow loomed over me. I went into a wild

swerve, and sixty feet of fine, feminine foot slammed down about six inches to

my left. The gust of displaced air just about took the cycle out from underneath

me, but I got it turned around and sped off in another direction. I was cutting

it so close, I was worried I'd get athlete's foot.

I spotted a big steel post taller than me sticking out of the ground and decided

to make my move. I hopped off the cycle and shinned up the post to the very top.

Candi had spotted me, and her foot lifted up into the sky. From my trenchcoat I

pulled a little ace in the hole, something I call the Tack. It's actually a cone

about a foot high and six inches across at the bottom. It's made of a

tungsten-iridium alloy, harder than steel. The point is laser-sharpened. It cost

me more than I make in a month, and it has saved my ass on more than one

occasion.

Candi's foot had swung over and was starting its downward plunge. It was too

late for me to run, even if my nerve broke. I shoved the Tack over the end of

the pole and slid down real fast. The sole of Candi's foot was all I could see.

It loomed overhead like the wrath of God. She had a nice instep, I had to give

her that.

The world turned pink and then black as Candi's foot slammed to earth on top of

me, unknowable tons of sexy female flesh pressing down. I curled up in a ball

inside a small area where the skin was tented by the pole. There was silence for

a second, and then the foot lifted so quickly the updraft pulled me to my feet.

The pole was torn from the ground beside me.

Candi screamed. At least half the length of the pole was embedded in the sole of

her foot, driven through her skin by her own weight on the point of the Tack.

"OW! OW! OW!" The earth shook as Candi dropped to her ass onto the ground,

pulverising everything and everyone underneath. I could see a thin stream of

blood under her foot where the pole was impaling her. Candi took one look at the

pole and the blood, and her lip started to quiver. Tears sprang from her eyes.

It was hardly even a sliver to her, but I was guessing Candi wasn't the bravest

soul in the world. It was going to take her a while to work up enough nerve to

pull the pole out.

And suddenly I had a problem. The motorcycle was flatter than my bank balance,

and there was no way I was going to be able to outrun Candi. I started looking

for a cubbyhole in the rubble I could hide out in until I could figure out a

plan. Another one.

"You stink, Jack. You smell like a motel bedsheet."

I grinned and held out my hand for Tink. "How'd you find me?"

Tink landed in my palm and felt her hair to make sure it was all in place before

she spoke. "You kidding me? Your ugly mug's on every channel in the city.

They're still showing slow motion repeats of you climbing off that slut. And

don't think I didn't notice the way you looked at her, you bastard."

I tipped her a wink and she scowled at me. "I got kind of a problem here, Tink."

"I noticed. So here I am to haul your balls out of the fire. Again." She had her

legs planted apart and her hands on her hips as she glared up at me.

"You know what I need, Tink." Smile. Wheedle.

"Yeah, yeah. Go on. You know that's what I came for." Glare.

I picked Tink up between my thumb and middle finger. Holding her over my palm, I

used my index finger to give her ass a good swat.

"Ow! Not so hard!"

"Sorry, Tink." I wasn't. She knew I wasn't. I grinned. I gave her a few more

swats, and faerie dust began to rain from her little body and gather in my hand.

"Ow! Ow! Oh, I swear, I'm going to -- ow!" She did that every time we did this.

I knew she loved it, and she knew that I knew, and that made her mad as hell.

She wriggled and squirmed, and not with pain. By the time I had swatted all the

dust from her, she was purring like a kitten.

I sprinkled the faerie dust over myself in a shower of twinkling light, feeling

a little tingle of magic everywhere it touched. When the dust had been absorbed,

I turned Tink over and smiled. "Thanks."

Tink smiled ruefully back at me and rubbed her tiny tush. "You make sure you

gimme a good seat, Jack."

I nodded and put her in the breast pocket of my suit, under my trenchcoat, where

she could see out when it was open, but I could shield her real fast by closing

it. Once Tink had given up her dust, she wouldn't be able to fly for a day or so

while it built up again. She was helpless. She had given me her magic, and now

it was my responsibility to make sure she stayed safe.

Candi, meanwhile, had managed to work the pole with its spike out of her foot,

and was rubbing her sole. She turned and saw me, and she shot daggers of hate at

me from her eyes. "YOU LOUSY SON OF A BITCH! I'M GONNA CRUSH YOU SO SLOW YOU'LL

PRAY FOR DEATH."

"Gotta catch me first," I muttered, and vigorously applied some boot leather to

the pavement. The world shook and I knew Candi was on her feet. I waited a few

seconds, and then jumped into the air. I didn't land.

With faerie magic coursing through me, I swooped straight up into the sky like

the national debt. "Wa-hoo!" I let out a whoop. I had forgotten how much fun

this was. I was having so much fun I nearly flew straight into the

building-sized mitt that tried to swat me.

Tink squeaked. "Damn you, Jack, keep your mind on business!"

"Yes, ma'am." I took her advice and kept one eye on Candi. It's not as if

looking at her was some kind of punishment.

Candi was red hot. I mean, she was furious. I looped and dived and buzzed her

face until I thought she was going to have a stroke. There was nothing in those

eyes except the will to do old Jack some serious hurting. Which was just how I

wanted it.

I didn't think Candi was bright enough to figure it out, but I wasn't going to

take any more chances than I had to. I zigged and zagged apparently at random,

so she wouldn't suspect I was leading her. It was a little hard on the city, but

I tried to keep out of the residential areas. Ain't I a swell guy?

When I arrived, I felt it before I saw it. The air was alive and sending tingles

through me. I checked to make sure Candi was still with me, then hovered a few

feet off the ground. Without thinking, my big, beautiful, boneheaded blonde

launched a kick that would have turned me to putty had it connected -- and

planted her foot into the biggest power generating station on the entire coast.

Candi was big, but you could have toasted Mount Everest with the kind of power

that station was putting out. One second there was a raging giant, and the next

the air was filled with arcing electricity and the smell of cooking meat.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Candi did the frug and the jitterbug and the watussi, but her

foot stayed wedged into the smoking ruins of the generating station. Lights went

out across the whole city. They would be going out all over the country, I

guessed. Con Ed wasn't going to vote me Man of the Year, that's for sure.

Something blew, and the power snapped off. Candi fell over like a toppling

mountain, reducing a whole neighborhood to matchsticks and scrap metal. The

shocks registered on seismographs a thousand miles away.

And then something strange happened. Candi started to shrink.

It was slow at first, barely noticable. I couldn't be sure until I landed beside

her. After the first hundred feet, it started to pick up speed, until I had to

run to keep up with her. It was crazy, like she had sprung a leak somewhere. All

that mass just vanished into nothing.

Soon she was just a naked woman, unconscious in the smashed-down rubble of the

street. But it didn't stop. Whatever was causing this wasn't done with her yet.

Five feet, four feet, three feet. Was it my imagination, or was the shrinking

process beginning to slow? Two feet, one foot. No, I could tell for sure now

that it was slowing. But was it slowing fast enough? Would it stop before she

had shrunk away to nothing?

Ten inches. Six inches. I picked her up and held her in my hand so I wouldn't

lose her in the rubble. Two inches. Same size as Tink now. One inch. A half

inch. Almost stopped now. A quarter inch. An eighth.

At something close to a sixteenth of an inch, little Candi who was once big

Candi, stopped shrinking. I was afraid to breathe for fear of blowing her away,

and had to cup my hand to keep an errant breeze from lifting her off. Her whole

body was nestled into a line on my palm, so small I couldn't see her except as a

speck. I lifted Tink out of my pocket and set her on my palm beside Candi.

Tink bent down and picked up the little speck, turning Candi over in her hands.

Tink's expression was unreadable.

"What do you think we ought to do with her," I asked. A slow smile spread across

Tink's face. I didn't like that smile. It was nasty.

"Why, what else would you do with Candi?" said Tink, grinning. Before I could do

anything, she shoved the little speck in her mouth -- and swallowed. "You eat

it."

I wonder, these days, what's going through Tink's mind when I catch her

daydreaming and she has that same sinister little smile on her face. And I

shiver.

 

Jack the Giant

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