Festival 2: A year laterbyNemoAnother day of peace and music. :)The original Festival was posted under my old nick (Number 10) and can beaccessed by the link at the end of this post.

Big thanks to my friend Moley, who suggested that I continue the story andwho previewed both parts before I posted them.


 Festival II - A Year Laterby NemoMaggie let herself in Jane's house as she always did. All was quiet. The bigwoman tiptoed down the hall towards her sister's bedroom and carefully pushedopen the door.

There was Jane, sleeping deeply with a little man on her chest. One of herhands wrapped his small body. 'Awww,' said Maggie quietly as she took a chair.

She watched the sleeping lovers with an amused expression, then seemed to shakeherself. She got up, did a backward jump, and landed ass-first on the bed. Theimpact shook Jane awake and almost caused Jeff to sail across the room. Luckily,Jane had held on.

Jane saw that it was only her sister, Magnolia, and closed her eyes again.

Her voice, when she found it, was an irritated croak. 'Maggie, you gotta stopdoing that. You're going to scare us to death.'Maggie gave a short laugh. 'Naw, you'll be alright. Good for ya. Right,Jeff?'The tiny man smiled. He liked these visits from Maggie.

'See, Jane? There's a happy camper. Now get your butts outta bed, 'causetoday's Festival. Come on, move!''I'm not up for Festival this year,' Jane whined. 'Let's stay here, Jeff, andwe'll make our own fun.'Maggie was not to be denied. 'Uh-uh. I'm heading out in forty minutes andyou're both coming with me. Up, up!'Slowly, the lovely Jane and her small boyfriend began to get ready. Festivalawaited.

A short time later the women were standing in front of Jane's house, with Jeffsafely tucked into Jane's shirt pocket. It was colder than normal for earlyfall, but sunny. A familiar figure came bobbing toward them, and both Jane andMaggie called out greetings.

'Hey Scarlet! Woo hoo! Come on, you can walk with us!'Scarlet walked up, slightly breathless. She had a funny but cheerful face,thick eyebrows above brown, laughing eyes. She wore a nose ring, which mostpeople felt accentuated her unusual face. Her most notable feature was her hair:mounds of curls that spilled and pointed every which way. No one could look ather without smiling.

'Hi guys! Sure I'll walk with you. But there's something you should know.

Lucy's coming too.'Maggie wasn't pleased. 'Not Lucy! Please don't say Lucy is coming toFestival.'Scarlet nodded. 'Yes, that's right. But she promised to be good this time.''Well, we'll see. I just hope she doesn't catch up to us. We'd better go.''Just a sec.' Scarlet bent down to pick some flowers from Jane's garden andtucked them into her hair. 'Okay, I'm ready.'The women began to walk towards the outskirts of the village, and then theroad leading south to the river. They would be there in an hour or so. As theywalked past a wooded area, an unusual sound came from within: a long series oflow whistled notes with an occasional slurred-rasping whistle. It was like thesound of a saw being sharpened.

They all stopped, and Sweet Jane raised a finger. 'Oh, I know. It's the songof the Saw-Whet owl.''That's my baby sister,' said Maggie, 'the walking encyclopedia.' They alllaughed and continued on, the anticipation of Festival growing with every step.

This year, for a change, Tom and Dan decided to leave much earlier than usual.

They hadn't seen their friend Jeff at all in the past year, not since theprevious Festival. It was obvious to everyone that he and Sweet Jane hadconnected on some deep level, and no one was really surprised when he left withher the following day.

What did surprise his friends, though, was the fact that he never returned,not even once, to his home village. His words at their parting were mysterious:'I'm going to take her home.' Today they might find out what Jeff had been up toall year.

The two of them chatted as they walked north.

'Funny just the two of us walking to Festival,' Dan said. 'Last year it wasthree of us, and the year before that, four.'Tom nodded. 'Yeah, four. That was when Goldenrod came with us. Did you hear?The Festival committee banned him.''Yes, I did. Maybe things will go more smoothly this year.''Oh yeah, a LOT more.' They laughed and began to talk about the usual things;the women, the music, the festivities. Off in the distance, the strange call ofan owl could be heard.

By an odd coincidence, the three giant ladies arrived at the river setting atthe same time as Tom and Dan. And it looked just the same as the year before, awide expanse of water that curved around the clearing. The clearing wassurrounded by trees on three sides; a perfect place for Festival.

The ladies walked up to the men and stood grinning over them.

'Hey guys!' Maggie bellowed. 'You made good time. Great to see you!'The men looked up shyly. 'Hello ladies,' said Dan. 'You haven't by anychance...I mean do you have...have you seen...' Dan seemed at a loss for words.

Jeff, who had been hiding in Jane's pocket, now sprang into view.

'Surprise!'Jeff looked up at Jane. Her slender hand picked up Jeff and set him downbelow. Jane spoke warmly to him.

'Go ahead, Jeff. Hang out with your friends for a while. You need to catchup.'Jeff was ecstatic. 'Come on guys, let's go talk by the river.' The three ofthem hurried away as the women giggled. Then they set about preparing for thearrival of the others. In a short time, the clearing would be filled with amultitude of men and giant women.

Not to mention the band.

In previous years, the band had no known name, or was just called theFestival band. Now they were known as the Heart of Gold Band. As they trailedin, the women noticed a few other changes as well. There was a new keyboardplayer and a non-giant female vocalist. This was a first for Festival, but themuch larger women made her feel welcome, and as the day wore on, it just feltright to have her there.

Soon the food and drink was laid out, more people arrived, and the music wascranked up. Festival was in full swing.

Far back in the forest, however, a giant blonde woman lay on her stomach,concealing herself in the herbage. By her side was a sack with a leatherdrawstring. She seemed to be waiting for something. She peered out, her eyes apicture of concentration.

A noise to her right made her gasp. It was a small man with yellow hair.

'Lucy?' said the man. 'What the hell are you doing way out here? Up to nogood, I'm sure.''Holy shit, Goldenrod. You shouldn't sneak up on me like that. It could getyou squished,' she said, her voice becoming playful. 'Anyway, what are YOU doinghere?''I asked you first. But if you must know, I've been banned. I'm a lurker now.

So that's what I'm doing - lurking. I never could stay home during Festival.

Okay, so now it's your turn.''Well, all right. But you better keep this under your hat. Got it?'Goldenrod grinned, and waited.

Lucy continued. 'I'm tired of playing by THEIR rules. So I'm gonna have aparty of my own. All I hafta do is round up a few men. You know that area backthere where they go to...relieve themselves? Well, I know some of them come backthis way, and then...into the bag, if you know what I mean.' Lucy locked eyeswith the man for a moment. He understood completely.

Then Goldenrod was struck by a thought. 'Hey! Why don't you pop ME into yourbag? I wanna come to your party too.' In a flash, the giantess snatched him upand brought him to her face, a face with striking features and a wicked smile.

She began to study him like a bug.

'Hmm, I dunno, Goldy. You're just a kid, really. I don't shake the tree whenthe fruit ain't ripe. Sorry.' And with that she dumped him back on the ground,where he fell with an 'ooof.'As he caught his breath, Lucy spoke more kindly. 'But I'll tell ya what. Ifyou can keep your mouth shut, maybe we can have some private fun beforeFestival's over. Is it a deal?'Goldenrod swore quietly through gritted teeth. 'Awright.' Then he tramped offthrough the brush.

Lucy watched him go. 'Hmm,' she said to herself. 'Me and Goldy, Goldy andme.' Then she shook her head vigorously. 'Nah.' The blonde giantess hunkereddown once more to await her first victim.

On the banks of the river, shaded by a massive willow tree, Tom, Dan and Jeffstretched out and talked over old times and new. Jeff was now filling in hisfriends on life with the giant folk.

'Yeah, I have to admit,' he was saying, 'It was a little weird at first. Afew strange looks from people as Jane took me around, but they didn't last long.

Life has been pretty good, believe me. I don't earn any money there, but Janedoes, and I help out as much as I can. We go everywhere together, too; concerts,parties, friend's houses. It's a great life.''Wow,' said Tom. 'Sounds too good to be true. I think I'd be petrified - waytoo risky for me.''Not at all,' replied Jeff. 'The people I've met have been great. And thewomen; that's the best part. They're everywhere. The ones from Festival and alot more. I get to see Maggie and Scarlet almost every day.''Scarlet.' said Dan, thoughtfully. 'Was she the one with the curly hair andthe...nose ring?'Jeff smiled and nodded.

'Hmm.' Dan continued. 'Nice looking girl. Maybe I should...but that ring! Idunno, man.''Hey Dan, look past the jewelry and see the person. You should talk to her.

In fact...''I hate to interrupt, guys,' said Tom, 'but I think Maggie's making anannouncement. We better go see what's up.'The three friends sprang to their feet and headed back to the clearing. Acrowd was gathered around Maggie, who had just begun a welcoming speech. Theband had stopped playing and Maggie had everyone's attention.

'So, everyone, I'm glad you all could make it to the party. I do have onething to announce though. I've decided to retire the water slide.''No!' roared the mostly male crowd.

'Yes, it's true. No more water slide - sorry guys. But here's an idea. Let'stry something new. First, I need seven female volunteers.' A handful of giantwoman stepped forward. Maggie looked at them with satisfaction. 'All right, wehave six. One more. How about you, Scarlet?'Scarlet blushed and shook her curls.

'Jane? Come on little sister!'Jane timidly stepped forward as the men yelled their approval.

'Okay, then. Ladies, form a circle. Slip off your panties and toss them inthe middle.' The women giggled but did as they were told. 'Then sit down withyour legs out, like this.' Maggie sat and placed her legs straight in front ofher, slightly bent at the knee. The other women did the same, until their feetcould almost reach the pile of underwear.

'Now I need the guys. Line up here next to me. No pushing now, everyone getsa turn! Okay. What I'm gonna do is to pick up the first guy with my toes, thenpass him to the lady on my left, who will use her toes to pass him to the next,and so on. The guys can't touch the ground and can only be moved by our feet.

When the guy come back around to me, I'll drop him into the undies pile, wherehe stays until everyone's done. Everyone got that? Let's do it!'The first man to go through, entirely by chance, was Jeff. There was a momentwhen he almost fell when being passed to Jane, but her soft, giant toes caughthim just in time. With nervous laughter she conveyed her tiny boyfriend to thenext woman, then began the process anew.

The play continued for quite some time. The women loved it and the mendiscovered the pleasures of being prodded, maneuvered and squeezed by a varietyof feminine feet. It proved to be a great icebreaker as well, and Maggie's ToeAround seemed destined to become a popular tradition for years to come.

Dan had decided to sit out the event, however, and near the end, edged hisway closer to Scarlet. The young woman was watching the merriment with everyoneelse and did not notice Dan at first. Then their eyes met. Dan gave a littlewave, and Scarlet flashed a smile. Feeling he ought to say something, he shylyspoke up.

'Um...nice nose ring.'Scarlet beamed. 'You like it? Here, take a closer look.'Before Dan could reply, he found himself between enormous fingers and sailingup to her face. The hand turned into a palm/platform from which Dan had anextreme close-up of not only the ring, but her check, freckles, a cute dimple,and long, long eyelashes. Her very nearness washed over Dan and flooded hissenses.

'You can touch it if you want,' she said.

Dan had little interest in the nose ring but wanted to be polite. He reachedout and felt the gold metal with one hand. He traced the curve of the ring towhere it disappeared inside her. And then it happened.

Some microscopic particle tickled the back of Scarlet's nose. The sneeze wasso explosive and fast that she was unable to take precautions. Dan's palmplatform was rocked as if by an atomic blast, causing the young man to teeterand fall. The first impact was on Scarlet's outer thigh. Dan bounced off and hitthe ground with a brutal thud. The crowd grew silent.

Tom came running over and examined his buddy. Luckily, Tom had medicaltraining and knew what to do. The anxious crowd drew around him.

'Is he all right?' asked Scarlet.

'No fractures as far as I can tell,' Tom called up. 'He's just a littlenervous from the fall.'Dan recovered himself and sat up, smiling a little as the people gave him around of applause. Then he looked at Scarlet. The hand came down again, and withthe utmost gentleness, enclosed his body again.

Scarlet's concerned face scanned Dan's. Then she returned his smile and beganto shower him with little kisses. 'I won't drop you again, I promise,' shewhispered'That's all right,' said Dan seriously. 'It was worth it.'After the accident, the place got back to normal. The Heart of Gold Band beganto play a variety of tunes and jams that transported the eager crowd to newheights. It was when the band was in the middle of a long jam that Maggiedecided to answer nature's call.

It was about a five-minute walk back and very quiet. Only birds andbutterflies were present as the giantess squatted in some bushes. She had justhitched up her skirt and was walking back when a familiar figure jumped into herpath.

Maggie stopped short. 'You! Ya know, Goldenrod, you shouldn't be scaringpeople, AND you shouldn't be at Festival, period.' Her eyes narrowed. 'Did youwatch me pee?''Aw, come on, Maggie. Would I do that? Anyway, I got something to tell ya.''You do?''Yup.' The young man's voice took on the tone of a bratty child. 'I knowsomething you don't know.'Maggie sighed and plunked herself down. 'Okay, little man. Make it quick.'Lucy had bagged four men already, and as the afternoon shadows grew longer, sheneeded just one more for her 'party.' Still lying on the ground, she heard theapproach of large feet. She covered her head with her hands and looked straightdown.

The sound stopped. When she looked up, the feet were in front of her. Shecringed when she found they belonged to Maggie.

'All right, Lucy, get up. And hand over that bag.' Maggie took it, loosenedthe drawstring and tilted it toward the ground. Four very startled and confusedmen tumbled out.

'Let me guess,' said Lucy in a sardonic tone. 'Goldenrod.'Maggie smiled and held forth the yellow-haired kid. 'Good guess. Now,' shewent on, 'I really should boot you out. That was my first impulse. But now Ihave a better idea.''Oh yeah?' said Lucy, feigning boredom.

'Yes. I want you both to come to Festival, where I can keep my eye on you.

And I want you to keep track of this guy. He's not to leave your sight, untilit's over - got that? Now do you join the rest of us, or would you prefer myextra-large foot up your backside?'Lucy considered. 'Yeah,' she said at length. 'I'll give it a shot.''Good. Here, you take Goldy and I'll get the others.' Maggie hurriedlyscooped up the four men and headed back to the clearing.

This year the bonfire was smaller than usual to allow more room for dancing. Butat this point many were content to sit by the fire and enjoy the music. The fourmen freed by Maggie stayed with her throughout the night, often in strategicplaces. It was a pleasant change from the afternoon and their brief captivity byLucy was soon forgotten.

Sweet Jane sat nearby with Jeff on her lap. Some of the men came over to chatwith them both. They all noticed that Jane seemed herself again, her full glowand sparkle restored. Much of the credit went to Jeff.

Next to Jane was Scarlet, who was carrying on a close conversation with Danin her palm, their faces almost touching. They didn't exactly ignore the rest ofthe world, but anyone could see that they needed their space.

Across the fire sat Lucy. She was playing with Goldenrod, passing him fromhand to hand as if he were a pet mouse. Occasionally she would hold him aloft,upside-down over her gaping mouth as if to drop him inside.

'Give me one good reason I shouldn't eat you,' Lucy teased. Goldenrod made noreply but thrashed wildly in a vain effort to escape. The giantess laughed andopened her jaws even wider.

Tom casually wandered the Festival grounds, breaking into dance when he feltlike it, or just looking around. His smile froze when he saw the empty spacenear the band where Calliope had played so beautifully a year ago. The populargiantess failed to turn up this year, and again, no one knew why. Tom felt asmall tug at his heart as he recalled the great fun they had together and mightnever have again. 'I wish you well,' Tom said quietly, 'wherever you are.'The band began a new tune, a bubbling, highly infectious number with aCaribbean feel. Many more people got up to dance. The men stayed mostly to thesidelines, but a few brave souls weaved and whirled in close proximity to thewomen's feet, adding the spice of danger. The women noticed them, however, andwere extra careful.

Dan paused in his conversation with Scarlet to listen to the music. Some ofthe song's lyrics seemed to entirely capture the spirit of Festival:'Strangers stopping strangers,Just to shake their hand.

Everybody is playingIn the Heart of Gold Band,Heart of Gold Band.'Yes, Dan thought, there was a connection, an unbroken chain between the bandand all who were a part of Festival. On this special night, everyone was in theband.

The tune broke off for a moment, then catapulted in a new direction. The beatgot funkier, the band went into overdrive and the female singer wailed like abanshee. Almost everyone was dancing now.

Perched high on a branch of the tallest pine, the diminutive Saw-Whet owlgazed down at the frenetic scene below. Normally a reclusive creature, hiscuriosity about this strange species drew him to this spot. No one at Festivalcould see the owl, but if they did, they might do a double take and still notbelieve their eyes.

He was bobbing his head to the music.