Tiggy and Verena
When Tiggy was three, her parents took her to see a paediatrician. One Dr Dick.
At three, Tiggy already stood at nearly six foot tall! She was a bright green girl with long, fiery red hair. She was the one pushing the buggy with her little sister Verena, a pink, bouncy, blue eyed baby with blond hair when the family arrived at reception.
"Mr Corey Harris," said the receptionist, ticking off the father's name. "Mrs Nadine Harris." She ticked off the mother's name.
She frowned at the giant green girl with the buggy. "Who's this?"
"These are our daughters, Tiggy and Verena," said Nadine.
Soon it was time for the appointment.
"I believe that little girl is not your child!" said Dr Dick to Corey.
"Whatever do you mean?" said Corey, rolling his eyes.
Dr Dick turned to Nadine. "Is there something you're not telling us?" he asked her.
"The biological father is an ogre, OK?" said Nadine, feeling her face flushing. "And we both knew that perfectly well!" This doctor was so unprofessional!
"Nearly your height, Sir, and showing no signs of stopping," said Doctor Dick, pointing at Corey. "That kind of growth comes with risks!"
Nadine felt a cold chill to her stomach. "What kind of risks?"
"Strain on muscles and bones, for one thing. The only cure is anti-growth hormones. But they have their own risks. Like infertility."
Tiggy was playing with Verena in the corner, cooing at her little sister and showing her the dolls.
"Hey!" said Doctor Dick. "Green girl! It's probably too soon to talk about stuff like this, but do you actually want kids?"
Tiggy looked up and smiled and nodded at him.
"Then you don't get any treatment," said Doctor Dick. "You just have to take the risks that come from being half-ogre. Besides, no medicine can cure your bad genes."
Nadine glared at him.
"What was that talk about anti-growth hormones about then?" demanded Corey.
"I remember nothing of the kind," said Doctor Dick shaking his head. Corey had heard of medical amnesia, where the medical institutions forgot about their own rules and histories, but this was ridiculous!
It was now time for Tiggy to go to playgroup. Even though she was nearly six foot, she was like a three year old in other respects.
Tiggy gazed around at the other kids, all around her age, but so tiny by comparison. She grinned.
The playgroup was supervised by a lady named Clary.
"I wanna help!" said Tiggy to Clary, who was bringing out a tray of milk and cookies.
"No, dear, it's OK," said Clary, having to look up to make eye contact with Tiggy! "Go and play."
Tiggy smiled and went over to a little boy with curly hair. He was so sweet. His wide eyed look as he gazed around reminded Tiggy a bit of Verena, her perfect little sister. That made her feel warm and happy inside. She knelt down by him and he looked at her with wide eyes. "Wanna play?" She asked. "I wanna play wiv you, cos you're so sweet!"
"That's nice," said Clary, glancing over at them. "Jax, why don't you play with Tiggy?"
"You can be my li'l baby!" said Tiggy, beaming at him.
"Why're you so big and green?" asked Jax. "You the Jolly Green Giantess?"
Tiggy giggled. "Noo. I just have green skin."
Jax consented to her picking him up in her arms and cooing at him, then demanded that she give him a ride on her back like a horsy. "You're like an alien horse," he commented.
Then Clary gave out the milk and cookies. Tiggy took a cookie, but choked and spat it out. "Can't…" she said, shaking her head.
"Oh, sorry hon," said Clary. "Your Mum did warn me… you have to eat raw meat."
"Why?" asked Jax, who was sitting on her knee. "You're so weird."
"Yes, 'm a bit weird," said Tiggy.
After that, the kids all had to sit around Clary while she read them Jack and the Beanstalk. The version where the giant's wife is kind to Jack even though he keeps stealing.
"Are you the giantess?" asked Jax. "You're nice?"
"Yes. I guess I'm like her," said Tiggy.
"Are you a bit dumb? Jus' like her?"
Tiggy wrinkled her nose at him. "Meanie."
Nadine came to collect Tiggy that afternoon.
"Tiggy was good as gold," Clary told her. "I read the version of Jack and the Beanstalk you recommended. The one where the giantess is friendly."
"Mum!" Tiggy put her arms around Nadine and kissed her on the cheek. Nadine's bright green daughter was already as tall as her mother. Her red hair obscured Nadine's vision for a moment.
Jax had sidled up to Tiggy. "C'n Jax come 'n play?" asked Tiggy, gazing at her mother with wide brown eyes, so like Nadine's own.
"Certainly!" said Nadine, beaming. "So glad you're making friends."
So Tiggy made a friend her own age, but her sister was always the most dear to her. One day, Nadine got a silver music box that played a song for them – the kids' song: 'I love you, you love me.'
As their mother showed them how it worked, Tiggy held little Verena on her lap. "That's our song, doll," said Tiggy.
"Doll?" said Nadine.
"She's sweet 'n perfect 'n I love her. She's my little doll," said Tiggy. "So this can be our song."
"Song!" agreed Verena.
The song stayed with the sisters in the years that followed. Tiggy grew more and more, and at the age of fifteen, she became a truly massive, green skinned giantess. Verna became a beautiful girl who won every single beauty pageant she entered.
One morning, soon after her fourteenth birthday, Verena showed off her silvery pageant dress as Tiggy and their parents sat around the grand table. The grand table was the only table so big that Tiggy could sit at it and not have to sit cross legged on the floor.
Tiggy grinned at the sight of her sister. Always so sweet and perfect, with her freckled nose and cheeks, her dark blue eyes, and her golden blond hair.
"Well look at you!" said Dad. "My little Princess! You take after my mother."
Tiggy glanced at him. He was her Dad, but he was not her biological father. Only Verena was his biological daughter. Deep inside, Tiggy felt sad about that, but she wouldn't cause Mum and Dad unnecessary stress or sadness by talking about it.
"Absolutely beautiful, as always, Verena!" said Mum, beaming with pride.
"I still need to try on my pink dress," said Verena.
"No need, Sis. You're already perfect," said Tiggy. "You're such a doll."
They smiled at each other. "You're so sweet," said Verena, blowing her a kiss. "But I'm far from perfect."
Tiggy pulled a weird face, causing Verena to giggle. "You're just being silly, Sis. Course you're perfect."
Later that morning, Tiggy and Verena walked up to Crystal Valley High, their school. Tiggy was feeling apprehensive. "Wish Jax could come to school with us," she mumbled.
"His mum and dad can't afford a place like Crystal Valley," said Verena. "But look on the bright side. I got moved up a year, so we have some classes together."
Tiggy beamed down at her. Verena looked so sweet, even in the plain school uniform. "Yes, Sis. You're so clever. Eighteen months younger than me an' already in my year. I could never get moved up."
They walked through the open gates, mounted by stone unicorns. Tiggy could already feel the hostile stares the other kids shot her way. A ten foot tall green girl really stood out. Everyone knew she must have ogre blood, and ogres didn't exactly have a good rep. She tried to ignore the stares and think about how lucky she was to have a cool little sister.
Tiggy had to bend down to fit through the main doorway of the school building. In the corridor, her head very nearly touched the ceiling.
She and Verena reached their lockers.
"Cheerleading practice tonight," said Verena.
"I'll come watch," said Tiggy. "Then we can walk home together."
A boy going past muttered "fe fi foh fum" under his breath.
"Excuse me," said Verena, jumping in front of him. "Do you have something to say?" Her dark blue eyes were glinting.
Tiggy hung her head. "Please, Sis…"
Kimmy from the cheerleading squad walked up to them. "That blockhead bothering you, Cap'n?"
Verena was captain of the squad, so the other cheerleaders sometimes called her 'Cap'n.'
"He was being rude about my sister," said Verena.
"It's alright," said Tiggy. "Honest."
"Just as well," Verena told the boy. "Just as well for you, that is." She and Kimmy let the boy pass.
"Hang in there, Tiggy," said Kimmy, with a tight lipped smile that didn't quite reach her dark eyes.
Verena had advanced calculus next, so Tiggy had to go on her own to the biology lab. She hoped they wouldn't have to dissect the eyeballs of another poor sheep. Her huge fingers couldn't hold a tiny scalpel and the presence of raw meat of any kind always made her feel hungry. It was an ogre instinct. She couldn't get rid of the instinct – it was in her genes. She just had to ignore the cravings.
As she crossed the tarmac, she heard a commotion and saw a group of boys surrounding and ganging up on a lad with a bad case of eczema, that made his face look cratered and pockmarked.
"Plague bearer," jeered one of the bullies.
"It's not catching!" said the boy with eczema.
"You're diseased, Dom!" said one of the bullies, thumping him.
"Diseased Dom! Get away from us, diseased boy!" They jeered, pushing the boy around.
Tiggy felt anger rise in her and she strode over to them. "Hey! Stop picking on him!"
The boys turned around.
"Buzz off, greenie," said one of them. Another elbowed him in the ribs. "Idiot! She's that ogre girl. She might eat you."
Ouch! Tiggy winced at that. The thing about being a half-ogress that pained her most was that some ogres did eat people. Not all, but some definitely did eat humans and even other ogres. She felt tears prickling the back of her eyes, but she blinked them back.
"Why're you bullying him?" she demanded. "How would you like it?"
"Come on, let's scram," said one of the bullies, and ran off. The others followed him.
"I could've handled it myself," said Dom.
"Sure, Dom," said Tiggy. "You OK?"
"Just fine," he said, and stalked off.
At lunch, Tiggy usually had no one but her sister to keep her company. She sat cross legged on the floor, while Verena sat in a chair. But this time, Dom came up to their table and plumped down.
"Nice lunch, Tiggy," he said.
Tiggy had a plate of raw beef.
Tiggy smiled at him. "Hi Dom."
"Oh. You know each other?" said Verena.
"Yes, I do," said Dom, setting down his tray with the canteen lunch. "Tell me, Tiggy, could you stomach this?" He grimaced at his tray which had a plate of beanie-weenies. "Doesn't it look like cigar butts in gallstone sauce?"
Verena wrinkled her freckled nose at him in semi-disgust. "Gross."
Tiggy smiled at him. "I don't do very well with beans."
"Beans're rubbish," said Dom. "Like the Beanstalk Brigade."
"Yeah, those idiots who hate giants," said Verena scowling. "They'd better not mess with my family."
The subject of the Beanstalk Brigade was something Tiggy didn't want to think about if she could help it. She grimaced and Dom and Verena looked at her and then each other. It seemed they came to a silent agreement not to talk about the obnoxious subject anymore.
"No gross cafeteria food for you today, Verena?" said Dom.
"I've got to watch my diet," said Verena. "If you see me eating carbs, Tiggy, you've got to bellow at me!"
"Nooo..." said Tiggy. "You know I'd never yell at you. And you're perfect already."
"The prettiest girl in the school," said Dom.
"But I've got to be better that that," said Verena. "The county pageant is coming up. I've got to be prettiest in the county!"
That night, Verena fitted herself with a red dress that was two sizes below what the dress shop lady had said was her actual size, but Verena would show her. She could scarcely breathe however, as she came down the marbled staircase.
Tiggy was sitting at the grand table with Dad. The lamplight glinted off her bright red hair and shone off her green nose and cheeks. She was clearly struggling with the Maths, even though it was not as advanced as the class Verena took. Dad was trying to help her.
"You make it sound so simple, Dad," said Tiggy in awe.
Dad patted her green hand. "This type of Maths is nice and logical."
"Hey, look!" Called Verena, somewhat breathlessly.
"Aha! Hello Princess!" said Dad. "You outshine the stars themselves."
Tiggy looked up and gazed at Verena, her smooth green brow creasing in consternation. "Verena! What're you doing? Can you even breathe with that on? It's too small."
"I've achieved my perfect body!" said Verena, wheezing slightly.
"It's hurting you. Take it off!" said Tiggy.
As if! Verena could wear the dress, even if it was uncomfortable. She had achieved her perfect body! But had she? There was a niggling doubt in her mind…
Suddenly she heard a cackling, coming from the ornate, gilt framed mirror nearby. She whirled round to see a weird apparition in the glass. The apparition was in the form of a girl, a girl with long, golden blond hair like Verena's, and a lithe, slender body wrapped in a dress just like the one Verena had on. But her dress fit the Mirror Girl like a glove. Verena's didn't fit her like a glove! Not by any stretch of the imagination. Verena could really see that now Mirror Girl was flaunting her own dress right there in the glass! Mirror Girl was also wearing a flawless mannequin mask. Why? Why did she wear a perfect face as a mask? She was pointing and cackling.
She was pointing and cackling at Verena!