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Daniel tapped away on his keyboard. He hadn’t stopped in a long time, his eyes were practically glued to the screen as he wrote line after line of code. His eyes were sore but he couldn’t stop, he needed to keep going and meet his deadlines. Daniel enjoyed his work and when he got into the right frame of mind he could easily work non-stop for hour after hour.
With a swipe of his hand Daniel brushed his hair out of his face. It was growing too long, that was what his mother always told him when she visited. He clicked save and looked away from the screen for the first time in hours. He had to blink a few times, every time his eyes closed he saw the code on the screen again. He knew it as the “Tetris Effect”, when you look at something happening for so long you can see it when you close your eyes, it was very disconcerting. He rubbed his eyes, he only had sight in the left one though he hadn’t let that stop him from doing anything.
“What the…” Daniel realised his one good eye wasn’t going blind. It had got very dark indeed. He checked the clock on the corner of the screen to see it was late in the evening. He had worked long past quitting time.
The office was empty. All the lights were off and so were the computers. Daniel was the last person to leave and his shift was meant to have finished hours ago. If he had any kind of social life he would’ve been upset but, in truth, no one would notice he had worked overtime. He lived alone and didn’t really have many friends, certainly not ones he often went out with.
With the computer shut off Daniel picked up his things and left the office. He lived in the city and didn’t own a car, he didn’t mind walking and using public transport. It was good for the environment and his own fitness. He was a slim guy anyway but a little extra exercise never hurt anyone.
It was already dark out and the wind had a slight chill to it that made Daniel pull his coat a little tighter to himself. He gave a wide berth to some teenagers that were loitering outside an electronics store. He always felt nervous when passing rowdy groups thanks to his diminutive 5’4” frame. He was very slight physically and that made him anxious about becoming a victim.
Daniel hurried by and carried on home. He lived in an apartment halfway up a building. His programming for an independent video game company didn’t pay a great deal but living on his own meant he didn’t actually need much money, it wasn’t like he went out often after all.
Daniel opened the front door of his place and walked inside. He flicked on the lights and walked through to the kitchen. It was late and he didn’t feel much like cooking, he warmed up some instant noodles and then dropped on his couch in front of the television. There wasn’t much on and Daniel ended up watching a random roller-skating competition on one of the niche sports’ channels. He had no interest in skating but he was essentially just killing time until he went to bed and then went to work again. This was his life. Working and then sitting around waiting to work again.
With a sigh Daniel looked around. He was an introvert, he didn’t mind being home alone rather than out partying but at times like this he wouldn’t have minded having someone just to talk to a little bit. He had considered getting a pet before but it didn’t feel like he would be home enough to take care of them.
For the next hour Daniel looked at social media on his phone whilst occasionally glancing up at the television. Most of the people on his friends list were either colleagues or family. There was nothing exciting going on.
Daniel turned off the television and stretched. He walked into his hallway with the intention of visiting the bathroom before bed. He paused when he saw a letter on his doormat. If it had been there when he got home he hadn’t noticed it, and yet it felt like he would’ve seen it. He frowned, he rarely got letters that weren’t bills but he could see his name and address handwritten on it.
Daniel picked the letter up and turned it over. There was no clues as to where it came from. He opened the door out in to the building’s hallway. He wasn’t sure what he expected to see but no one was there. The only movement was on the light on top of the elevator, one of the numbers was descending as it lowered down towards the ground.
Closing the door Daniel started opening the envelope. He pulled the single piece of paper out and read the handwriting.
“Hi Daniel, it’s been a long time!” The handwriting was very neat with all the letters curving into the next one perfectly, “You should come visit and catch up. I’m sure we have a lot to reminisce about. It would be a lot of fun to have you stay for a while. Your favourite cousin, Emmy.”
The note ended with a return address as well as an e-mail. Daniel read the note a second time. He remembered Emmy well. She had been practically his best friend as a youth but once he had moved to the city they had lost touch. Daniel remembered getting into a lot of hijinks with Emmy, she was two years younger than he was but always seemed to be the one who took charge of their arrangements. She had been taller than he was to the point most strangers assumed she was the elder cousin, she seemed to enjoy that a lot.
Daniel climbed into bed but placed the note on his bedside table. He would send a reply from work the next day. Going out to the countryside to revisit his youth and catch up with an old friend would be just the tonic to his stressed life.
Daniel sat on the bus with his suitcase pulled up between his legs. He had woken up at the crack of dawn to get ready and head to the train station, then he switched to the bus to get him as close as possible to Emmy’s rather remote home. He felt excited but also anxious, social situations had been alien to him for a long time.
When Daniel stepped off the bus with his suitcase he had to look around to try and work out where to go next. This wasn’t the town he had grown up in though it wasn’t far away, he had only been here a few times before and that had been many years ago. He pulled out the piece of paper with directions and then started walking down the street.
After talking to Emmy through e-mail and deciding on a visit Daniel had gone to his boss to apply for time off. He was able to take quite a significant amount of time since he hadn’t used his holiday time that year. Daniel wasn’t planning to spend all his time off with Emmy, he didn’t want to impose, but he liked that there would be no rush on their catching up. Emmy had a spare room that she said was ready just for him.
It took thirty minutes for Daniel to eventually end up on the right road. He had underestimated the distance and pulling his suitcase with him the whole way had left him out of breath. The buildings on this road had plenty of space between them and each seemed to be situated in its own sizable parcel of land.
Daniel stopped in front of one of these isolated homes and checked his paper again. This was the right address but everything seemed to be a little odd. He couldn’t put his finger on it as he looked at the house from the road. He started walking down the long driveway.
“What on Earth…” Daniel’s eyes widened the closer he got to the house.
Everything about the house appeared normal at first glance. The white two-storey walls had regular windows and a front door on a porch, it looked like the carbon copy of thousands of other houses until Daniel walked up the large steps of the porch. The front door towered over him, the letterbox was at head height whilst the handle was even higher. The brass door knocker was out of reach even if Daniel had tried to jump for it. It had to be at least ten-feet off the ground.
Daniel turned around and saw some wicker furniture on the corner of the porch. The two chairs, table and rocking chair looked gargantuan. If Daniel didn’t know better he would’ve thought he had shrunk to half his height.
After another check that this was indeed the correct address Daniel knocked on the door. He heard a loud scraping and then footsteps coming to the door. He could feel the wooden boards under his feet vibrate with each booming step. Daniel instinctively took a step backwards as the door’s lock clicked and then swung open. Daniel had just one second to take in his cousin Emmy before she was right in front of him.
“Daniel!” Emmy excitedly stepped forwards with a huge smile, “You haven’t changed a bit!”
Daniel saw a woman in front of him that wasn’t just tall but a giant. Her arms reached around Daniel’s waist and before he knew it he was lifted into the air in a great big bear hug. He felt his cheeks reddening as he was held against his cousin’s chest, her voluptuous breasts threatened to engulf him. It was more than a little uncomfortable and awkward.
“Mmm!” Was the only sound Daniel could make as he wondered if he was going to suffocate right there between his cousin’s boobs.
“Oh, sorry. I sometimes forget my own strength!” Emmy loosened her grip.
To Daniel’s embarrassment Emmy didn’t set him down on the floor. Instead, she shifted him to the side with remarkable ease so that he was sat on her hip. His arms and legs automatically wrapped around Emmy as she took his suitcase and carried it inside.
Daniel felt embarrassment coursing through him along with questions as to how Emmy had got so big. He hadn’t even had a chance to say anything!
Daniel was final set down in the living room as Emmy sat on the couch. Daniel was left stood in front of her feeling like a child sent to report to the Principal. He was finally able to take all of her in and he was astounded. Emmy was incredibly tall, he could only estimate but if she was shorter than eight feet tall he would’ve been extremely surprised.
“How was your trip? Was it OK?” Emmy asked. Despite her size her voice was very light. Her shoulder-length golden hair bobbed slightly as she sat up straight. The apron she was wearing over her black dress bunched up and she had to pull it down.
“It was fine.” Daniel replied quietly.
Looking around the room Daniel could see the interior of the house was the same as the exterior. Everything was bigger than normal, the couches and armchairs were so tall he would struggle to clamber up on to the cushions, Even the windowsill was so high up he could’ve used it for chin-ups. He had never felt smaller as he looked round at the giant room.
“Oh, where are my manners?” Emmy chuckled, “Let me help you up.”
“Wha-… No I’m-” Daniel found himself being lifted again and this time deposited on the couch. He hadn’t been handled this much since he had been a baby, it seemed like Emmy had some real issues with personal boundaries. Much to Daniel’s embarrassment his legs hung over the edge of the seat without touching the ground.
“So what have you been up to?” Emmy asked excitedly. She leaned back and turned sideways to face her new guest. Her breasts were very distracting as they pushed out towards Daniel.
“Oh, you know… This and that.” Daniel muttered as he forced himself to look away. He had so many questions but Emmy wasn’t giving him a moment to say anything.
Daniel wanted to ask Emmy what had happened to make her so incredibly tall and about her house. Did she have a genetic problem that kept her growing? Did she have this house custom made? Why wasn’t she a star basketball player? Were those boobs real!?
“You have to give me more than that!” Emmy giggled and draped one of her long arms over Daniel’s shoulders, “Come on, we’ve got all the time in the world. Tell Aunty everything.”
“Aunty?” Daniel replied with a frown.
“Oh, silly me!” Emmy giggled again, “I’m so much bigger than you I forgot you aren’t one of my sister’s kids! Just a maternal instinct I suppose, you’re actually older than me by a couple of years, hard to believe, huh?”
As Emmy laughed heartily Daniel forced a trepid smile across his face. If he could’ve done he would’ve excused himself from this bizarre house and run away because Emmy was acting very strangely. He didn’t like the very “hands on” approach she was taking to him, it wasn’t normal to just be picked up like this.
“So what have you been up to?” Emmy said again.
“I went to university.” Daniel looked away from Emmy as he shifted uncomfortably, “Studied video game design and then got a job at an independent company. I wor-”
“Wow!” Emmy interrupted, “Impressive! I’m proud of you, what a clever boy!”
Daniel blushed a little as he was praised in such a strange manner. He bit his lip as he felt his face flush with embarrassed heat. This had been a big mistake. His social isolation had pushed him into this meeting but he had never expected a situation like this. Despite his loneliness being alone at home seemed very attractive at this point.
“Let me show you your room so you can get settled in.” Emmy said after a couple of seconds of uncomfortable silence.
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