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A Thousand Tiny Feathers


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“Karina! Come here, it’s finally time!”

“Again, it’s finally time?” Karina mused under her breath with a smile, as she followed the echoes of the voice that summoned her. Dr. Boris Markannov, her boss, could only be classified as a mad scientist. “Evil genius” wouldn’t quite fit, because Markannov’s intentions were never evil, but he was a little… mad. Devilishly handsome, yes, but not fully sane. He was an outcast in his hometown due to his strange interests and reclusive nature, so he took to creating different gadgets and machines, hoping to be able to strike it rich someday by patenting and selling one.

Karina paced carefully down to Boris’s lair – er, laboratory – no, what was it really? A garage, more than anything else. He worked with machinery, not chemicals or Frankensteinian corpses. Sure, he was mad, but not crazy.

“Ah, Karina, my lovely assistant!” Dr. Markannov greeted her when she arrived. He was approaching thirty years old now, with very little to show for his career so far – spare parts from old failed contraptions were sewn around the room. “I’ve finished it! And I wanted you to be here to help me make its first trial run!”

“Of course, Dr. Markannov.” Karina knew he was referring to his latest brainchild, however unoriginal it was – a shrink ray. He hadn’t made it any secret for the last few months he’d been working on it, discussing it with his “lovely assistant” and even the maid, who luckily could keep a secret. Parts of it were conveniently recycled from his old failed freeze ray, his old failed time machine, his old failed atom splitter… you get the picture.

“If all goes well with this,” proclaimed Boris, “I will be able to shrink anything I want down to .004% of its original size!”

Karina, an Oxford grad, could do the fraction conversion in her head. “That’s 1/250th of its original size…” She was impressed with the idea, as long as it actually was going to work.

“Exactly!” confirmed Boris.

“Sometimes I feel like this lab coat you make me wear is 1/250th of the size it should be!” Karina joked. She wasn’t far off; all of the work clothes Boris gave her were especially snug around her attractive, curvy body, and she sometimes wondered if that was on purpose.

“Well, maybe if this goes well, I’ll build a reverse one to make things larger, and use it on your uniforms,” Boris joked back. He’d never really want to do that, of course; the tight-fitting clothes were indeed on purpose. Yes, she was very beautiful, but she was also a great friend to him. Female companionship, however platonic, in the guise of a work relationship was one of the few things an otherwise-loner like him needed.

“Well now! Back to the matter at hand! Karina, find me something we can shrink! Preferably something we won’t need to grow back to normal size, in case that doesn’t work here…”

Of course, Karina thought and sighed, but laughed a bit to herself. Sure, his stuff never worked, but it was funny to watch the inevitable happen. She was a faithful assistant who tried every way she could to be helpful, but there was always a snafu. That time machine incident was particularly hilarious; who knew a simple spark plug in the wrong place could send the pair back a millennium further than they meant to go?

Karina found an abandoned, empty cardboard box in one corner of the room. “Do you need this anymore, Doctor?”

Boris looked over his shoulder and called back, “Nope! That’ll be perfect to use!”

Karina brought over the box and placed underneath the shrink ray’s arm. After dialing in a few things into the machine, Boris announced, “Commencing shrinkage of box! Now!”

He pressed the final button. A thin but powerfully-glowing green ray shot out at the box, and in a flash it seemed to have disappeared. The pair bent in to get a closer look, and sure enough, there was a small brown speck that must be what a cardboard box look like at 1/250th of its original size.

“I knew this extremely powerful magnifying glass would come in handy someday!” Boris commented as he reached for said magnifying glass. The pair looked through it and even then could barely see the form of the box.

“It worked!” Karina exclaimed.

“Yes! Now let me try to bring it back to size.” Adjusting some of the machine’s switches and levers, Boris sent another green ray at the box, and sure enough, the box grew back to its original size.

Boris was hysterical in his rejoice. He danced around the room, first solo and then grabbing Karina, which surprised her. Karina was celebrating too, but not as much, but she understood how much of a personal triumph it was for Boris.

“It works! It works! Let’s shrink something else!” he was saying.

“Okay, okay! What else can we shrink?” asked Karina.

In his wild jubilation, Boris stumbled over an old pillow and fell to the floor. “Damn, I’d been meaning to throw this old pillow out. It’s ripped,” he said, picking himself up along with the pillow, and spitting a feather out of his mouth that had erupted from the pillow. Then his face turned from sour to beaming. “Hey, how about we shrink this?”

“Okay, let’s, let’s!” agreed Karina, happy that her boss – and friend – was happy for a change, not agonizing over another failure.

The scientist brought the ripped pillow over to the shrink ray, placing it down where it would be in the beam’s range. “Commencing shrinkage of pillow!” he shouted in pure jubilation, knowing for sure this time that it would work. Sure enough, when he pressed the button, the green beam produced encased the pillow and rapidly shrunk it until it was practically invisible. “YES!”

“Yes, Dr. Markannov, it was a success again! – watch out – ”

Karina’s warning did not save Boris from, in his celebration, bumping the table that held the tiny pillow – and its tiny feathers.

“Oh no, now what’ve I done?!” complained Boris. “I’ll never be able to find that pillow now, even with the aid of the magnifying gla-hass…”

“Gla-hass?” Karina teased.

“Hah-sorry, it felt for a second like I heh – was going to sneeze…” Boris hitched.

“It sounds like it still feels like that!” said Karina.

“Oh no.” Boris realized what must have happened. “Those feathers were loose by where the pillow ri-hih! – ripped…”

“Ohh…” Karina said as she now, too, realized.

“It fih-feels like there’s a thousand, tiny fea-hehthers in by nose…” Boris described.

“Well… Doctor, that would be because there are a thousand tiny feathers in your nose!” replied Karina.

“Well, not a thousand Karina, there must have been only – HASHOO!” The first sneeze crept up on Boris.

“Bless you!” Karina offered.

“Ugh, that didn’t help be at all… Heh-ESHOOO!” he sneezed again.

“Bless you, again!” offered Karina. “Here, Doctor, I have tissues in my pocket.”

But as she brought the tissues she always kept in her pocket to Boris, she walked right through where the miniscule feathers still floated in the air. One poorly-timed inhale through her nose, and now Karina felt it too. “Hah!” she inhaled sharply. “– oh, dear!”

She handed the tissue to her boss just in time for his third explosion: “Hah-CHOOO!” Boris’s sneezes were always masculine and forceful like that, but he rarely sneezed more than once in a time and they were far and few in between. This just showed how lethal the tiny feathers were – Boris was already gearing up for another sneeze.

Meanwhile, once Karina gave Boris the tissue, her focus went immediately to the new itch in her nose. She rubbed her petite nose furiously, turning it pink quite fast. If there were a better situation to apply Boris’s cliché description, she couldn’t think of it. Karina knew this is what it really felt like to have a thousand tiny feathers in your nose.

She couldn’t help but give in to her first sneeze. “Heh…hih’tshoo!” Then she remembered the tissues in her pocket – she could use them too, after all. While Boris had already sneezed two more, powerful “HACHOO!”s into his tissue without thinking to blow his nose, Karina prepared to clear her nose of the tiny irritants with a blow. She folded her Kleenex in half, very neatly and lady-like, and covered her small nose with it. She blew, one nostril at a time, as she had been taught to do as a child and continued to do all her life. However, Karina never felt a stronger urge to sneeze after a good blow, the way she had to sneeze now!

“Heh-tchew! Hah! Ha…Hashooo!” Karina sneezed twice, before adding, “Damn.” Maybe because her nose was very small, smaller than Boris’s large, masculine nose anyway, it was harder for the feathers to escape her nose than his? Karina thought about this theory. Her nostrils were smaller than average, too, so they were proportionate with her small nose. Hmm.

But there was no time to think about it more, now. Boris was in the middle of a sneezing fit and needed both tissues and attention. “HA-CHOO! HEH-SHOO! HiSHOO! Hih…” The hitching seemed to sound more like he was catching his breath between sneezes.

“Heh…heh-heh-HEH-choo! HASHoo!”

Karina stumbled over, still furiously rubbing her own nose, and grabbed three more tissues for Boris. “Blow, Doctor!”

Boris did what he was told, wishing he’d thought to do it sooner. He wrapped the first tissue over his nose and mouth and blew both nostrils ferociously. It helped, but minimally. Sniffling, he grabbed the second tissue, and before he could blow his nose some more, sneezed into it. “Heh-ESHH!”

“B-bless you, D-doc – hih’CHEW!” Karina sneezed loudly. She didn’t usually sneeze so loud. Once again, probably the uniqueness of the situation.

“Bless you too, dear!” replied Boris, now able to blow his nose again. “That was a big one!”

“Look who’s talking!” Karina teased back. “But it helped, I feel better now…” This was the first silence they had since they both started to sneeze. Karina and Boris looked at each other for a split second, and then both started laughing hysterically.

“What a couple of nuts we are!”

“Even when something I invent succeeds, we suffer somehow!”

“Ha ha, but it’s okay, Doctor, really. Just some sneezing, nothing to worry about! It’s over now.”

“You’re right…” Boris looked down at his assistant as they embraced, and realized Karina’s ample chest had become a bit more dislodged from her tight uniform, probably from her sneezing. “…my lovely assistant.”

Karina looked up at Boris, from her head’s original position on his shoulder. “I like it when you call me that, Doctor.”

“I like it when you call me Doctor, my lovely assistant.”

“I know! Okay, how about Dr. Sexy?” he joked.

“After all that, that just happened? …sounds about right.”

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What a brilliant story! Mad scientists are always fun, but it's nice to have one who shares his sneeziness with his lovely assistant. I confidently expect that he will keep experimenting in other ways.

It would be lovely to find out how Karina became his lovely assistant. too.

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OH MAN did I love this. So fun and imaginative! It really reminds me of those wonderfully creative, zany fetish daydreams I'd have when I was young...just staring off into space (usually at school, lol), playing out whatever sneezy situation struck my fancy.

And can I just say - I looooooove Boris Markannov. I used to have a Russian scientist character, too. What is it about those damned Russian scientists that make them so sexy? I still haven't figured that one out.

I adored everything about this, absolutely everything. I hope you can revisit these characters some time. :D They were so lively and a joy to read!

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I love everything about this. It has a mad scientist, feathers, and it's cute and funny.

Everything's better with mad scientists. Just sayin'. :V

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wonderful!!! a truly amazing story!! Please re-visit these caracters some-time! i would love to see them in a sneezy-situation again! :)

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Thanks everyone! Maybe someday soon when I get the time, I'll expand on the story! Thanks for the support, glad you liked it! :)

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