Lotus Eater

This was my entry for the quarterly SizeRiot contests – specifically GentleApril20 – organized by AborigenGTS. I was a lot more experimental with this one (at least from my perspective) so when I received the feedback that I did and saw that it did rather well in the evaluations, I was floored and humbled.

Link to SizeRiot

Link to GentleApril20 Stories

I’ve added around 180 extra words to this story, and have modified some existing lines based on some feedback I received, along with input from my wife. The original version can still be found at the link above, and if you haven’t read the stories, I highly recommend looking through them. This go ’round seemed to hit me particularly intensely and I’m so happy to have had the pleasure of reading through these.

For this story in particular, with the topic being “Rescue”, I spent a long time deliberating how I wanted to approach it. In a lot of media, whenever there is any situation needing a ‘rescue’, often times the rescuee is often the one subject to change, rather than an agent of it. I wanted to make it clear that Cana wasn’t just caught in tides and eddies of something larger than her, but that she was an active participant in her fate.

There comes a point with writing that I want to add too much to a story. Most of my original drafts are often bloated with description and dialogue, so I find that I have to pick and choose the most impactful lines to fit a scene. This story could have existed as something much larger, and its original incarnation was something like 4K~ words, but in trimming it down to meet the word count, I was able to pick out the sections that I feel delivered the best story I could. It’s better as a shorter story, than a longer one, which is a lesson I try to take to heart.

Content Warning: giantess, F/f, gentle, NSFW, giantess, failed relationship, gaslighting, language, nudity, panic attack, rescue, ambiguous ending

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes


The surface she’d been lying on rose and fell in smooth, rolling motions, in time with the waves.

Her world looked down at her with a beatific smile. “You with me, Cana?”

“Always.”

Orphea started humming something: some ancient song that dug deep into Cana’s spirit and brought light to the surface like bubbles in a bath. Cana laughed and stood up from her lover’s navel. Soon she was dancing, diving into the languid melody with her body and halfway to heaven.

“You’re very good,” Orphea said after what felt like hours of dancing. Hours or centuries. Cana collapsed and draped herself along a thigh that stretched from the tree line to shore.

Cana shrugged lethargically and turned over on her side. Orphea’s corded muscle was comfier than any mattress. The corner of her mouth was sticky with the remains of some fruit she couldn’t remember eating.

“What do you want to do today?” Orphea ran a finger along her back and Cana shivered at the ember warm touch. “Anything my special girl feel like doing?”

“Special?”

Orphea, her world, cooed, “You’re my special girl, aren’t you?”

“You’re going to spoil me.”

“That would imply you could ever be anything but adorable.” Orphea’s palm settled over Cana like a blanket. “Why are you arguing?”

Cana shook her head, digging her face into the sun-kissed tan of her lover’s massive leg. Stray sand pricked at her eyes. “I’m not. I’m just… happy.”

She smelled like the ocean. Like salt and sun and a sea so vast Cana could get lost in her for eternity.

“What’s wrong with that?” Orphea said. “Don’t you deserve to be happy?”

Cana closed her eyes, listening to the whispers of the reef. Nightfall wasn’t far.

Fingers the size of logs scooped her up into a palm, but Cana wasn’t startled. Enormous lips settled on her body, gentle as a flower’s petal. The kiss was otherworldly soft and caring and Cana giggled drunkenly on the endorphin high of affection.

When she pulled back, Orphea was beaming. “I love you, little bird.”

Heat bloomed in Cana’s chest at the words, followed by a tightness in her belly.

“Cana?” Orphea frowned, brow knitting together. “Are you with me?”

Cana shook her head and wiped away sudden and unbidden tears. Orphea looked distant, too distant. Even sitting in her palm surrounded by her, it didn’t change the mysterious pang and wrench in her heart.

“…always,” Cana said eventually.

The concern in Orphea’s eyes abated. She stroked Cana’s head with her thumb before offering a leafy branch, daintily pinched between two fingers. Golden yellow fruit hung from its leaves.

Cana plucked one. It glistened with a lovely, enticing sheen and tasted even better than it looked. Slick fruit juice dribbled down the side of her mouth and her vision swayed.

The world felt so big. She felt so safe.

Eons passed and she laid there, content and dazed. Everything was perfect.

***

“Cana?”

Cana ignored it, curling up and digging her head into her arms.

The voice tried again, more insistent. “Cana, wake up.”

She groaned, aimlessly shooing the voice away.

“Cana, you need to wake up right now…”

***

Life with Orphea was a treasure. It was waking at dawn and rising with the moon and always fitting time in moments when nothing was happening. Cana couldn’t remember the last time she didn’t have a fruit in her hand and a giantess around to tease her.

“Join me!” Orphea called, winking at Cana, who approached the newly discovered lake with a suspicious eye. “Come on! Someone’s been making me work up a surprising amount of sweat lately.”

“Is it safe?” Cana asked, but couldn’t help how her eyes drew to the way water sluiced down a thigh many times larger than any tree around. She could take a shower in just the runoff from Orphea’s body.

“I’ll keep you safe.”

***

A hand grabbed her shoulder. Cana’s eyes shot open at the foreignness of the sensation. A woman knelt over her. A regular woman.

She had her hair up in a bun, had some kind of jumpsuit, and she looked off in that most crucial of ways.

“Hey,” said the woman, smiling. She sounded relieved. “Good to see you, little bird. Thanks for coming up.”

Tears pooled in Cana’s eyes.

***

She and Orphea stared at a never-ending sunset, burning a trail down the horizon and their corneas. She sat cross-legged in Orphea’s lap, the heat of her lover’s body protecting her from night’s encroaching chill.

She felt…worn. Which was expected, given the day’s activities, but it went deeper than just the mild stickiness and delicious relief everywhere in her limbs. Four times may not have been a lot to some, but it was a point of pride of Cana’s that this time it was all unassisted. Her body ached with something like satisfaction but far more delicious.

“Do you think you’ll ever get tired of me?” Cana asked.

“Oh Cana,” Orphea cooed, above her. “How could I ever get tired of you? Now come here, I think you need a tongue bath for that mess you made…”

Cana jumped to her feet, leaping off from the lap of a woman who could run laps around a small country.

“You’ll have to catch me first!”

***

“You can’t be here.” Cana scrabbled backwards, away from the aberration, kicking up sand. It was nighttime. The wind had stopped. The sea was still. The island was asleep. “You can’t. This is wrong. This is— no, you’re wrong.”

The woman looked like Orphea. She had the same general features—deep auburn hair, round face, cupid’s bow lips, and a mole just below her left eye—but the similarities ended there. Orphea’s expression was always kind, her mouth never held anything but smiles. This stranger’s mouth was pursed thin, and her eyes were hard.

Imperfections that accented a nightmare.

“I’m here,” the woman said, as if that made it better. “Cana, sweetie, I’m here.”

“You left,” Cana accused. “You left.”

Orphea—no, not Orphea, Cana reminded herself—grimaced. “I’m sorry. I…I didn’t mean to hurt you. I know we left on a bad note but…we weren’t good for each other.”

“That doesn’t make it better!”

The woman flinched, but took a step closer anyways. “It makes me human.”

Cana snarled at the blasé retort. Words she’d thought long forgotten rose to the tip of her tongue, ready to spew. They were words reserved for someone who’d always made her feel worthless. Made her feel like nothing, like she never mattered.

“I’m sorry,” said the fake. “I’m sorry I said those things, but we can’t stay here, Cana. This place isn’t right–”

“Then leave!” Cana spat. She grabbed a rotting fruit from her branch and lugged it at her, missing by a mile. Her muscles shrieked at the sudden, violent motion but Cana paid them no mind. “Leave like you did before! Leave like you did when I bared my soul to you, told you about every fucked thought that’s ever crossed my head, about my fantasies, about how I—” here her voice broke, and Cana cursed her weakness to follow through.

***

“You’re incredibly small,” Orphea said one day, out of the blue. “Do you ever get tired of that? It must be awfully inconvenient.”

Cana giggled and bit into the jujube fruit in her hand, smearing sweet juices along her cheeks but emboldening the pervasive tipsy glow beneath her chest. Her brown hair was long and tangled, and her face hadn’t seen a makeup brush in forever, but still she felt precious. Precious and treasured on this isle of nothing, surrounded by a single woman.

“It would be,” Cana said, before running along the branch of the enormous tree that extended out over the lower back of the only woman for her, jumping off without a thought. She was over fifty feet in the air, and still she felt no fear. Air rushed past her face as she reached near terminal velocity, and—

“Careful!” Orphea scolded, turning over and catching her so gently it defied all logic.

“But I know you’ll always be there for me.”

***

“Leave,” she croaked. Her voice cracked with thirst and heartbreak as she continued. “Please. I— I don’t want to see you again.”

Where was Orphea? She wanted Orphea.

“That’s not fair,” the fake said. She looked wretched, leagues better than Cana felt. “You can’t just throw this stuff back in my face. That was a long time ago.”

Was it? Cana could scarcely remember things outside of earlier that morning. That pleasurable haze of rock-climbing up the rump of her enormous lover, diving into that bush between two legs that parted to reveal treasure more precious than any pearl. Of singing and dancing in the flat of her palm, singing words that had no meaning for the one who meant everything.

“You have to leave,” Cana asserted weakly once more.

“Cana, sweetie, I’m right here. I came back!” said the fake. “I’m sorry about before. I’m sorry I was so insensitive, but you’re in trouble if you stay here much longer.” Something in her chest pocket beeped and the woman made a face. “Look, just stay right here. I need to send up the signal to get home and the longer I wait—”

Cana stood and turned away from her. She suddenly felt ashamed in front of this woman. She barely even remembered the idea of clothing before now, but she wanted to hide now. Hide her self, her body from this creature who rejected her once before.

A series of low toned buzzes and beeps, along with rushed codified terms from the woman that Cana couldn’t catch in its entirety.

She tried storming off but stopped due to a sudden onset of vertigo. She fell to her knees, skin prickling with dislike.

“What did you do to her?!” she rasped, and then called out, “Orphea! Orphea!”

Cana coughed. Her head was stuffed with cotton, her arms and legs filled with cement.

“Christ. This is what I’m talking about,” muttered the fake. She walked up next to Cana and plopped down beside her, knees up and facing the sea. Another difference struck Cana: this woman didn’t meet her eyes. “It’s this place. Your dreams. Lotus Syndrome.”

“Shut. Up.” Cana breathed in hard through the tears and gasped once again, “Orphea!”

The fake shot her a twisted, yet familiar expression. Pity. “You’re dreaming, Cana. There’s no one here but us.”

“You’re—” she coughed, “—lying.

“I’m the only one around.” The fake lit up a cigarette, pulling it and a lighter out from some chest pocket in her suit. “And you would not believe the crap I had to go through to get here. Tests, training, brain dives… you’ve got a real fucked up head, you know that? Signal’s been sent by the way. We’re going home.”

Cana sobbed, robbed of her energy in this most sacred of places.

“I’m really sorry about before,” the fake continued, not even referring to what. “But when I heard you got hit with Lotus Syndrome, I couldn’t just leave you.”

“I was happy. I am happy.”

“Oh honey.” The thing in Orphea’s skin sounded earnest and condescending. “You’re sick. I’m sorry me leaving did this to you.”

Cana would have laughed if she wasn’t choking on air. The sweetness from before was gone, along with Orphea.

“Don’t worry, things are going to be rough up there, but—” and here the woman had the gall to smile, and pat her on the head comfortingly, as if she had the right, “—we’ll make it through this, little bird. Together. Are you with me?”

“Never!”

The woman jerked her hand back from the outburst.

“We were together!” Cana yelled, “We were! But then you called me a fucking sicko and you left and now you’re back and I’m supposed to just accept that? What, did the guilt suddenly get too much?” She snorted derisively. “Did they promise to fix the sicko’s fetish for you too if you jumped in her head?”

Her breaths came like sucking down a gas pipe of frustration, but still she fought against her body, at the feeling of reality shackling her. She clawed desperately at the ground, digging into the beach for something other than useless sand. It couldn’t end like this.

“Cana, you don’t think that,” said the fake, as if she thought this was a conversation. “It’s just the disease. We’re real deep in your subconscious right now and—”

There. Her fingers found purchase on something soft and buried. She clenched her hand instinctively around it and yanked it out.

The fake stopped talking, and swore.

“Cana,” said the fake. She sounded wary. “Put that down. It’s not actually there. You’re mind is just supplying a substitute for—”

Cana bit down. It was rotten, mushy and disgusting to the core, but the pit seed still had some juice, and she whimpered as she realized what it was. What it always tasted like.

Orphea.

***

“So what do you want to do today, little bird?”

6 thoughts on “Lotus Eater

  1. This was my anonymous feedback: A well-executed dive into the mind and the self, which are not always in accord. When it comes to fantasies and dreams, I am chary of terms like “healthy” and “illness.” I was glad to see Cana follow her bliss.

    Your story earned my vote for Most Unexpected Approach to “Rescue.” Rescue attempts are often difficult and sometimes even misguided. Good faith usually isn’t enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit I had to look up what “chary” meant when I received your feedback, so thank you for the new word!

      And thank you for that vote, truly! I desperately wanted to make it clear that the “real” Orphea, wasn’t as altruistic as she claimed, and so I had to be very careful about how to portray her, lest all readers sided with her good intentions. Calling Cana “sick” is really something that makes my skin crawl.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit I had to look up what “chary” meant when I received your feedback, so thank you for the new word!
    And thank you for that vote, truly! I desperately wanted to make it clear that the “real” Orphea, wasn’t as altruistic as she claimed, and so I had to be very careful about how to portray her, lest all readers sided with her good intentions. Calling Cana “sick” is really something that makes my skin crawl.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminded me of “Total Recall”, the movie, never the story, except in this case the fantasy appears far more palatable than reality.

    I enjoyed it, even if it made my heart ache at times. But hey, no rescue would be believable without my sensing that Cana is in distress.

    This is the first #GentleApril20 story I’ve read. Well done, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite the origin of the story being rooted in myth and fantasy, it certainly came out with some sci-fi influences! The comparison to “Total Recall” is incredibly apt too, because I too found the fantasy more appealing in that premise. I can at least acknowledge that I probably wouldn’t be able to reject falsity so sweet, for truth so bitter. At least not presented like this.

      I hope you enjoy the other stories! There were truly some amazing stories, and several that have stuck with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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