Posted by C on January 30, 2001 at 11:45:04:

With compliments to the Doctor.

By C

I. Invasion

If you go driving south of San Fancisco some day, you'll soon find yourself in the little town of Los Gatos. About the least remarkable sight in Los Gatos is Tatsu's Nursery, a jumble of huts and greenhouses on the town's main drag, just inside the city limits. Walk past the nondescript architecture, however, and you'll discover something very remarkable indeed: the lushest, most varied flower garden on earth. How can it be? you'll ask. How can Dutch tulips flourish in the same clime as South American orchids? Where else do peonies share their beds with Venus' fly traps? How can blooms from every zone on earth from tropical to temperate abound in the same soil? Somehow, Hideo Tatsu has made it happen.

The old man is not just a master gardener. He is one of the few living adepts at Tokairo, the ancient art of shrinking human beings, and other things, down to a fraction of their original size. The old rogue has put his knowledge more than once to a decidedly sinister use: miniaturizing unsuspecting young women and then letting them loose in his garden. Not only does the garden contain more varieties of flowers per foot than any other; it has an unusually large concentration of arachnid and insect predators. Stumbling into this critter-eat-critter world, his lovely victims have provided Tatsu with much piquant entertainment.

One day, he had just introduced a pretty young court reporter to his favorite dragonfly. Now he was strolling back through the garden toward his house with a light and carefree feeling in his heart. Then, suddenly, everything changed. He turned to cast an admiring glance at his tea roses, only to find that--horror--every single rose bush had been stripped of its blossoms! A few sodden flower-bits littered the ground, but that was all. What could have happened? He ran up to get a closer look.

As he surveyed the wreckage, he heard high-pitched, piping little voices from his left, in the direction of the tulips. He went that way, and what he saw next was almost too much for the old gardener to bear. Standing in the tulip bed were three—no, five little fairies, each about the size of a large squirrel. Each had big, beautiful white wings, just like a butterfly's. Each had long hair of a different color: green, yellow, red, white, and violet. Each wore a well-filled halter-top, panties, and high heels, all the same color as her hair. Each—so far as he could tell—was exceptionally pretty. And each was devouring a tulip!

"Hey Bambi," said the redhead to the green girl, "these taste better than the roses, don't you think?"

"Mmmm, you may be right, Lulu. These are (burp!) E-Ticket! What do you think, Chloe?"

The white-haired girl piped up: "You know I'm a rose fan, but these are good."

"I hate tulips!" said the yellow girl (who nonetheless was stuffing one into her face). Let's try the orchids!"

"Haven't you ever heard of saving the best for last?" This reference to Scripture came from the violet girl.

"Hey!" shouted Tatsu. "Hey you!"

"Uh oh," said Bambi (the green-haired one). "Time for blast off!" And sure enough, up into the air they went.

"Hey, harpy-girls!" shouted Tatsu. "Will you destroy honest man's livelihood?"

"If you're an honest man," said Bambi, "I'm a garden gnome!"

"Say, ladies," said the violet girl, "know what?"

"What, Nana?" asked Chloe.

"It's April! You know what that means!"

"April showers!" laughed Lulu.

The fairies all spun into a tight, circling flight around Tatsu's head, just inches out of his reach. Then, as if on a prearranged signal, they lifted their legs, slipped their panties to their knees, and splashed him with urine.

"Aaaggh!" cried Tatsu, who had been looking up just when his little tormentors let loose. "Little bitchy-girls pay for this! I guarantee!"

"We're paying for it already," shouted Bambi. "We've had to listen to you! Say Mitzie, you've got a weak bladder, haven't you?" This was directed at the yellow girl.

"I sure do; I'd better take another potty run!"

At this, Tatsu took off as fast as his aging feet could carry him. In fact, the fairies' efflux was about as unpleasant to the taste as sugar water—it was more the humiliating symbolism that made him beat a hasty retreat.

Gasping and wheezing, he came to the nearest greenhouse, flung the door open, and dashed in, He next slammed the door and locked it, then made sure there were no open windows. Now he sank to the floor and tried to catch his breath.

What did he know about fairies? Not much. They were always beautiful, and nearly always malicious and destructive. They came in every conceivable shape and size. And some—he remembered now—some fed on flowers. "Ohhh, Jeez Louise," he said to himself. "Flower fairy infestation! What I do now?"

He waited for what seemed like an hour, then crept out of the greenhouse to one of his toolsheds. Inside he found what might do the trick: a tank of patented Acme Bug-Blast, with a special high power nozzle. "Ohhhhhh," he said. "Fly-babe gonna snuff it now!" He strapped the tank to his back and headed out to where he'd last seen the mischievous little pixies.

Having destroyed the tulips, they'd found the peonies, and were happily munching away. "I think they're better over here; they get more sunlight," he could hear Bambi say. Then she turned and saw him. He was almost certain that she rolled her eyes as she said: "Not you again!"

"Chew on this, girly-fly!" said Tatsu, pointing the nozzle at her and releasing it. A full blast of the insecticide caught her and knocked her sputtering on her back. She lay there for a moment. Then she jumped up, shook the drops of bug-spray off her wings, planted her hands on her hips, and said: "That's yucky-tasting! Come here, girls, I need some help!"

The other four immediately came and flanked her. Then each pulled a little tube out of her panty-waist, pointed the tube at Tatsu, and blew into it. He suddenly felt sharp stings, one on his right cheek, one on his left hand, one on his neck. He looked at the little black barb sticking out of his hand: it was a rose thorn! From one of his roses! The girls put the tubes to their mouths and blew again. More stings! Tatsu decided it was time for another retreat. As he dashed away, the fairies followed him with their shrill, piping laughter.

This time he ran into his house. Again he shut and locked the door. Again he made sure every window was closed tight. Then he sank to the floor next to his phone. Who could help him? Atsuko! She knew everyone who was anyone in magic. But the price of her help—it might be too much. Then he thought of his ravaged garden. Nothing was too much. He picked up the phone.

II. A Call for Help

About half an hour later, Atsuko Farnsworth, a languidly beautiful Eurasian, was lounging on Tatsu's divan. She wore a beige business suit, with matching spike heels, and was admiring herself in the mirror of her compact. Tatsu brought her a cup of tea. "Please favor me with taste of poorly prepared cha, Atsuko-san," said the old gardener.

Atsuko arched a carefully sculpted eyebrow and said: "Not the drugged stuff, I trust?"

"Oh, ho ho ho!" said Tatsu. "You funny lady, Atsuko-san! You know I not do such a thing."

"I know you'd better not," said Atsuko and took the tea. She was a very powerful sorceress, as more than one enemy had learned to his or her regret. "So what's up? What does the great Tatsu-san need my humble help for?"

"You know stuff—and people—I not know, Atsuko-san. I got problem; maybe you know expert who can handle."

"What problem?" she asked, tapping her pretty foot with just a hint of impatience.

"Evil, flower-eating fairy," he said, looking around anxiously as if the room were bugged. "Five fairy in all. Another day or two, these five fairy eat my garden up."

"It's 'five fairies,' not 'five fairy'! How long have you been living in California anyway?"

"Since I was boy; why you ask?"

"Oh, never mind. You know, dear, I'm not an expert on fairies at all, but . . . I may know someone who is."

"That why I call," he said expectantly.

She sat there for at least a minute, with that smile on her face that always made him want to strangle her. At last, he sighed and said: "OK, what you want?"

"You've created a new strain of miniature orchid, I hear."

"You hear right! They gorgeous, let me tell you. They . . . No. No. Not my new orchid. Can't have that."

"Very well," she said and started to get up.

"All right, all right! You can have! I keep in main greenhouse. Fairy not get in so far, so should be fine."

"Excellent; I want every one of them: not orchid, but or-chids. Are we clear?

"Yes, we clear," said the old gardener resignedly.

"All right, then," said Atsuko, "you know where to deliver them. Now just let me check my portable rolodex . . . ." With these words, she pointed a long-nailed finger at the air in front of her, and a spinning rolodex materialized. ("Show-off!" said Tatsu to himself.) After just a few seconds, a card flew from the contraption into Atsuko's right hand.

"Ah," she said. "Yes, he should fill the bill. He's a very knowledgeable sage, well-versed in the lore of evil supernaturals. If you're willing to make the journey, he may be the one to help you."

"Journey?" said Tatsu. "Does he live on mountaintop, or perhaps on edge of mighty desert?"

"No, he lives in Encino. Here are the address and phone number. His name is Ganymede Braunschweiger. Don't forget the orchids, Tatsu-san."

The trip to Encino was long and tiring, and by the time he parked his SUV next to what he thought was the right building, Tatsu was in a foul mood. It was a faux-Spanish two-flat sort of thing, and Braunschweiger, of course, lived on the second floor. After being buzzed in, Tatsu huffed and puffed up the stairs, cursing the whole way.

"Ah, Mr. Tatsu," said Braunschweiger, a slender man with gray hair, a gray goatee, and a firm handshake. "Your reputation precedes you. Come in, come in." Tatsu followed him into the living room of a pleasant bachelor's apartment. Braunschweiger motioned him to a comfortable-looking couch and took an over-stuffed armchair for himself.

"May I get you anything?"

"Ah, gracious host! Water very nice now, thank you."

Once the water had been seen to, Braunschweiger asked for the details of Tatsu's problem. Tatsu told him everything he knew from start to finish.

"Flower fairies, all right," said Braunschweiger. "They feed on flowers, as you already know. They also feed on the chagrin of the gardeners whom they torment."

"Then I giving them all-you-can-eat banquet," said Tatsu. "Where such evil honey-girl come from?"

"South America, from the time of the Conquista. An eccentric, garden-fancying Spaniard thought he had mastered shamanic lore. He wanted to create a supernatural being that protected gardens. Unfortunately, he also wanted it to be really cute--so he added extract of saucy femininity, and, you might say, over-seasoned."

"Oh no," said Tatsu. "As poet say, 'Little knowledge are dangerous thing' . . . ."

"Ah, a student of English literature, too."

"Thank you for notice," Tatsu said with a happy smirk.

"Well, if you're done with your water, please follow me to my lab." Braunschweiger escorted the gardener to a locked room at the back of the apartment. He took a key out of his pocket and opened the door. What lay behind was a white room with several tables. At the far end was a sink. The walls were lined with shelves, creaking under the weight of books, instruments, cages, terraria, and aquaria. Filling the room was a heavy, jungly odor; until he got used to it, Tatsu found it difficult to breathe.

Braunschweiger went to one of the shelves and got a tray, evidently filled with dirt. This he laid on the nearest table. At first, Tatsu thought the tray contained several eggs. On closer inspection, he realized that he was looking at a kind of plant he'd never seen before. It was white, with thin roots, a stalk with a bulbous sac attached to it, and a nest of tendrils emerging from a point on the sac. There were seven plants in the tray. "What that?" he asked.

"Faybane," said Braunschweiger. "The only thing that's guaranteed to catch a flower fairy. Let me show you how it works."

He went to another shelf and got a bell jar. In the jar was a single rose. He took the rose and its pot out of the jar and placed the flower next to the faybanes. "Look carefully, and don't blink."

Tatsu looked. Suddenly, with no warning, he was seeing not one rose, but eight. The faybanes were gone. "What happen?" he asked, though he already had an inkling of the answer.

"I think you know what happened, Mr. Tatsu; you're just not sure you can believe it. The faybane is a perfect mimic. It takes on the appearance of a nearby flower, and then it waits. Sooner or later, a flower fairy comes along, sees what she thinks is her lunch, and reaches for a petal. Then those tendrils you saw earlier—all of them ending in tiny stingers—suddenly emerge and bury themselves in a vulnerable part of her body, usually her bosom. The sac then pumps a powerful venom through the stingers, and she's helpless."

"And this kill wicked flower-girl?"

Braunschweiger sighed. "I'm afraid it's more complicated than that. This is a case that requires a one-two punch." And he went to yet another shelf and came back with a cage.

After Braunschweiger had explained everything and brought Tatsu back to his living room, he named his price. Tatsu gasped.

"These are costly specimens, Mr. Tatsu. How much is your garden worth to you? Let me repeat: they come with a guarantee."

"Like I got choice," said the old gardener. "You take check?"

Braunschweiger nodded: "And all major credit cards."

III. Showdown

When he finally got back from Encino, Tatsu didn't even look at his garden. He didn't want to know what had been done to it in the meantime. Instead he went straight to bed. His dreams were troubled by the malicious music of fairy laughter.

The next morning, he went to his main greenhouse. So far as he could tell, it had not been invaded. The miniature orchids were still there (he had agreed to send them to Atsuko later in the week). He knew from overhearing them that the fairies liked orchids, so he'd use one of these for the pattern. He took the most succulent-looking of the miniatures and set it out on a work table. Then he put a tray, containing five faybanes, down next to it. Sure enough, within moments he was looking at six orchids. According to Braunschweiger, the faybanes would keep their new form for twenty-four hours. That should be plenty of time.

A one-two punch, Braunschweiger had said. For the next part of the plan, Tatsu put his second purchase in a very large cage of his own design. This he then lugged out to a part of his garden already ravaged by the fairies. Since there was nothing left to eat, it was a pretty good bet they wouldn't be there. He hid the cage under some yard waste without (he hoped) being seen.

Then Tatsu returned to the greenhouse for the counterfeit flowers. He took them in their tray out to where the full-sized orchids were growing. Had been growing. They were all gone now, except for a few shredded stems. It was all right, he thought. Only natural for him to re-plant, given what had happened. He didn't know whether the fairies were watching as he gently transplanted the miniatures to the soil once occupied by their larger cousins. It didn't matter. Given their gluttony, they'd find the miniatures soon enough.

He went back to the greenhouse. One window gave an excellent view of the fake orchids. He sat behind it in a comfortable chair and waited. Soon, he was fast asleep. It was the screams that woke him.

He heard one high-pitched, piping shriek after another. He jumped out of his chair and looked into the garden. He couldn't see any orchids. Instead, he saw the five fairies, who appeared to be doing a violent, jerking dance. He quickly swallowed a predator immuno-drug and checked to make sure that he still had a remote control, crucial to his plan, in his pocket. Next he checked his Tokairo simples, which he kept in another pocket. As he thought, he had the right amount of everything. Then out he went into the garden.

As he got closer, the picture got clearer. Not only were the fairies screaming, their faces were white with shock, fear, and pain. The reason was obvious: each girl's breasts were wrapped in a tangle of stinging faybane tendrils. They frantically jerked back and forth, tearing desperately at the tendrils with their hands. It did no good: for each tendril they ripped away, two more shot up to take its place. The tendrils were emerging from the big white faybane sacs, of course; these lay on the ground near the girls' feet and kept up a rhythmic pulsing as they pumped their poison into each victim.

Soon, the unlucky fays all fell, sobbing and kicking, to the ground. They were now pretty nearly helpless. Knowing that they no longer posed a threat, Tatsu quickly consumed the necessary Tokairo simples. Within seconds, he had shrunk to the size of a squirrel—or, rather, to the size of a flower fairy. He walked now towards Bambi, whose previous actions had marked her as the ringleader.

When he'd come within ten paces of her thrashing, squirming body, he halted, dumbstruck. Even with a face wet and swollen from crying, she was a beauty! It occurred to him that green was a lovely color for a lady's hair; why didn't more women think so? He got a grip on himself and advanced a few more steps. At this point, Bambi raised her feet to puncture him with her sharp heels. She was still woozy, however, from the faybane's venom; so it was an easy matter for him to dash forward, grasp her legs, and hold them down.

"Let go! Let go!" she cried. But Tatsu had other things in mind. Sitting on her calves to keep her legs in place, he took hold of her panties ("Ahhh, green!") with both hands and, as quickly as he could, worked them down to her knees. A delicate pink slit was thereby revealed, surmounted by a lovely half-diamond, green like the hair on her head ("Ahhh!"). Then he scrambled back very quickly, pulling the underpants past her feet as he went. She squealed indignantly and fell into a tantrum of violent, pointless kicking. "Boy," said Tatsu, "fly-girl get mighty kicky when hammer drop!"

It was a strain, but the old man then did the same thing to the others. Each had a dainty, color-coordinated muff. Each fussed and kicked, but it was no use. When he had stripped them all, he sniffed their panties ("Ahhh!"), dropped them in a heap, and lay down to catch his breath.

After he had recovered, the wily gardener spoke, loudly enough for all to hear: "Whoo! It is as I am thinking: you each got pretty pussy in pretty, scented package. I the one open package. Rule for girl fays: man who take your panty down—be he husband, master, catcher—you got to do what he say."

"W-we will do what you say!" said Bambi, though clearly the thought pained her.

"Y-yes, we'll obey you!" said Lulu.

"And g-give our bodies to you . . . ." said Nana.

" . . . and our magic," added Chloe.

" . . . and anything else you'd like," concluded Mitzie.

"Oh, you bad girls cute," said Tatsu, "but kinda dumb. Can't give what already taken. Thanks to faybane sting you big-time, I got your bodies, and your magic, and anything else—to do with whatever I want. But you right about one thing: you will obey."

"Y-yes we will!" .

"We'll be your w-wives . . . ."

"Your s-slaves . . . ."

"Whatever you desire . . . ."

"Anything at all."

"What I want, you soon see." With these words, he began to draw Bambi's legs apart. At first she raised her feet again, as if to resist, but he said: "Uh uh; no kicky stuff while Tatsu working! Kick later; that is order!" Whimpering, she submitted. Then he slipped a finger into her vagina. How delightfully tight she was! He had to work back and forth a few times, but at last she was moist enough for him to get another finger in.

"It hurts!" she cried. "It hurts!"

Tatsu withdrew his fingers and saw that they were slick with blood as well as fay honey. "Awww, way of the world, girly-fly. Sooner, later, like it or not, magic girls gotta get broken. (Something that bitch Atsuko gonna learn, but that another story.) Could've been nice fairy boy done it to you, but you had to mess with Tatsu. He your husband now, your master now. Too bad for you." And he worked his fingers back in, this time with greater vigor.

After yelping a few more times, she stricken girl composed herself enough to say: "It doesn't have to be b-bad, does it? I mean, if you just stay this size, we can do anything for you a human wife could, and then some. Why h-hurt us when you can use us?"

"Sorry harpy-girl. You fuck with Tatsu's livelihood—you pay." He scrutinized her dishonored slit and her trembling hips. She was on the edge, but so far had resisted falling off. "Now let me see," he said. "You wet, and blooded; but you not come yet. How to help that? I know." And he leaned forward and bit her, hard, on her cunt.

Her scream then was long, and shrill, and desolate. The other girls shrieked with her. And it worked! She began to kick again, and this time the fay liquor actually spurted from her with each thrust of her legs. He then gave the same treatment to the others, and reaped a rich harvest of tears and bloody honey.

After the screams, and the struggles, and the forced climaxes, they just lay there, quietly moaning. Tatsu sniffed his fingers, then greedily licked them off. Mmmmmmm," he said. "One part sassafras, one part lobster bisque. No wonder spider love you so!"

"Sp-spider?" said one of the girls.

"Yes, spider. But spider dime a dozen here in Tatsu's Garden. Need special spider. Called Peruvian Fatamorganivore. He and faybane got deal going: scientist call it sym-bi-o-sis. Faybane good catcher, not good killer. Fatamorganivore slow, sluggish, can't catch worth diddly. But his venom—ahhh, it turn pretty fay-girl into pretty dead fay-girl every time. So they get together: faybane catch, spider kill—then split proceeds."

Seeing horrified perplexity in the girls' faces, he paused and said: "You not know any of this? Of course not. Your grandparents come up north to land of opportunity, not want to frighten with story of back home. So faybane and Fatamorganivore new to you, eh? Well, I always say to young folk: don't give up on old country all the way; old knowledge come in handy."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his remote. "Now Fatamorganivore almost blind. Go by sense of smell: love fay honey, love blood, love (whatyoucall?) pheromones. Faybane help with all that, but this time I get jump on faybane—'cause it so much fun." He pushed a button, which sent a radio signal to the cage he'd secreted about fifty feet away. In response, the door to the cage snapped open. "Won't be long now." He prudently withdrew to the shelter of a nearby geranium. (He had taken the immuno-drug, but it was finicky; and who knew how a foreign predator would react?)

He had an excellent view. The girls trembled, and kicked, and wept. "Please, Tatsu, please!" they sobbed. "Anything at all! Anything! We're yours now, we're yours! Oh dear God, please!"

"Ahhhhh," said Tatsu to himself, rubbing his hands in anticipation. "I love it when they cry!"

It took awhile, but the entrée was worth the wait. Five Fatamorganivores appeared, each as big as a medium–size frying pan. They looked something like tarantulas, only larger, and with jet-black fur. They converged slowly, with a kind of undisturbed dignity, on the now hysterically screaming fairies.

As if by agreement, each picked out a victim, then grasped her madly squirming legs and forced them back as far as they could go. Then, with surprising speed for such slow-moving beasts, the spiders snapped their heads down, and sharp fangs punched into each already wounded pussy. The girls shrieked, of course, as the fangs plunged into them and released their venom: it was a strangely unearthly wailing, unlike anything Tatsu had yet heard that day.

More frantic kicking and thrusting now, as the venom shook the captured girls from crown to toe. They spurted again, and again, and again. Excited to the point of frenzy, the spiders eagerly sponged up the sweet-smelling discharge with their soft mouth-parts. At last, the luckless fays appeared to have shot their bolts. They moaned softly, and occasionally kicked--but that was all. They dwelt now on the hazy border between life and death.

Now the spiders began to feed in earnest. It was very different from the feeding of other arachnids, and Tatsu emerged from the shelter of his geranium to get a better look. From the mouth of each beast a sort of proboscis emerged, looking very much like a transparent drinking straw with a sharp tip. This was then forced into the victim's pussy. Soon the proboscis began to draw a red stream of liquid up into the spider's mouth. After a few minutes, the red stream became a cloudy pink; a few minutes after that, it turned clear. The spiders were draining every bit of fluid from the girls' bodies! Toward the end, the victims all gave a few last, hard kicks, whimpered resignedly, and were still.

The spiders, it turned out, were good symbiotes. Each went to the appropriate faybane and slipped its proboscis into a fold in the plant's sac. Now liquid was pumped downward. From the time it all took, Tatsu later estimated that the spiders had given their accomplices exactly half of the fay fluid.

Soon everyone had fed. The spiders lumbered off. The faybanes released their now-dead captives and once again pretended to be orchids. Tatsu walked over to the five bodies. They were transparent shells now, crystalline in appearance. He reached down to touch one of them, and it crumbled instantly into tiny shards. "Whooooo," he said. "Far fuckin' out!" Then he ate the required simples and returned to his normal size.

IV. Post-Denouement

In a way, Tatsu was sorry to see the last of the little flower thieves. Besides, how was he going to feed his very expensive symbiotes? He had an idea.

The first shipment of twenty Flower Fairies arrived about a week later. He looked into the cage at the frightened, trembling little sylphs and said: "Listen up, honey-girl! I let you go now, and you got two choice. Choice one, stay here in Tatsu's Garden, eat to heart's content, but (I guarantee) meet bad end." To prove his point, he set another cage down beside theirs. This held the five Fatamorganivores, which he had recaptured. Smelling their natural prey, they surged over toward the fairies and tried to squeeze their way through the bars. The girls all recoiled in shrieking terror. "Choice two, go to gardens owned by my competitors. That win you some time, but be advised: soon competitors come to me to buy my spiders. It all up to you." Then he opened the girls' cage and let them fly away. (He purposely did not tell them about the faybane. Let them keep an eye out for spiders, heh! heh!). As he expected, when the little gluttons saw the wonders of his garden, more than half decided to stay. His symbiotes fed well that week. The other girls flew off to what they hoped were safer pastures. After a few months of these deliveries, orders from Tatsu's neighbors started pouring in.