A New Light
After eight months of being away at college I was excited to finally be heading home for the summer. Of course, little did I know that this summer was going to be the weirdest that I had yet to experience, but before I get into my incredible story, maybe I should say a little bit about myself.
My name is Toby Keelerman. I have long, wavy, black hair (kind of like uncle Jesse from Full House) and I stand about 6,2' and weigh 200 pounds. I am pretty lean and have nice sized muscles. I wear faded blue pants, steel toe black boots, a white tucked in shirt, a belt with a belt buckle that has a Harley Davidson on it, and an old brown leather jacket and black shades.
In the past many of the people I knew in high school feared and hated me. I was a bit of a bully. You know, the kind of guy who would dunk the nerdy kid's heads in the toilet and give them a swirley. Yep, the guy that would lock the weak little freshmen in their lockers, or try to;ofcourse, I mean tv isn't that accurate, lockers aren't really big enough to fit a person inside of, however, I did my best.
Ofcourse, I am ashamed of all of those horrible acts now, and this is basically what this true story is all about, how I developed a new outlook on life, saw the light, basically.
Getting back on topic now, I was excited to be heading home, to my family and friends (I wasn't feared by everyone, just the guys I didn't like, but it's not like I ever saw them much after high school). You see, I left the house in Virginia to go to go off to college in Miami. I sure stuck out like a sore thumb down in Miami, but I didn't care. Anyway, I got in my Black Dodge truck and began the long journey to Virginia. I didn't care much for planes as I wanted to save money, since my truck has that gas efficient hybrid engine, I get 50 miles to the gallon. And so, I drove for days and days. I went through housing developements and suburbs, stayed at Hotel after Hotel. I was about two days from home when I decided to myself, "why don't I skip the night's rest at a motel and continue on home, I'll cut my time in half and I don't really need that much sleep anyway." Well, I get really crounky and rude when I don't get my sleep, well, perhaps it was mostly my personality, but this is when the trouble began. It was storming and I had gone down the wrong highway and ended up some where I had not intended to be. I didn't want to stop and ask for directions, that macho guy, not ask for directions sort of thing, but I didn't really have much of a choice. The only house for miles was this little trailer in the middle of nowhere basically, with a sign on the door that read psychic readings. So, apparently she was a psychic, I figured. I drove up to her house, got out and knocked on the door. A whitle haired, tanish, wrinkley old gypsy woman opened the door. She asked "Can I help you?" And I asked if she could tell directions to get back on the main highway. She said "Sure, I can tell you how young man" and with that she gestured for me to come in, and I followed wanting to get out of the rain. She sat down on the couch and I stood, hoping her directions would be short and accurate. As she started talking, it wasn't long before she was side tracked and ended up telling a story about something that happened to her in the past. For example, she mentioned turn right at Kedroe's Bakery, which triggered her memory in which she said "oh my, I remember the time......blah, blah, blah, and this went on for about a half an hour. I didn't feel like waiting here forever while this woman talked me to death. She saw the look of frustration on my face about half way through one of her seemingly pointless stories, and so she got up and said, "you know, I think I am going to whip us up some Herbal Tea, I'll be right back" and I was enfurriated. I wasn't a patient man to begin with and this lady was pushing my buttons. After ten minutes, the lady came back out with the tea and really got on my nerves when she said "oh, have I got a story for you" that was the last straw. I started shouting at her furiously as I slapped the pot of tea right out of her hand, saying "that is it, I have had enough of your stories you old hag, I just want to know how to get back on the main highway, is that too much for your tiny little brain to understand?" and then the old lady's face grew a bright red and anger shown up over her face. "You with your size and muscles, showing no respect for anyone but you self, do not think I don't know about you Toby Arthur Keeler or the deeds you have done." She said, and with that, pulled out a handful of red dust. She then brought it up to her lips and blew it all over me. "What do you think your doing you crazy psychic psycho?" I howled at her. "Mark my words Toby, you will learn what it means to be small and weak and have to deal with people like you." She stammered as she pointed to the door. "Fine, whatever, I don't have time for this" and hurried on back to my truck. I continued driving on my way, trying to figure out what she meant. I backtracked far enough to see a few places along the street that I remembered having passed, and eventually found my way back on the main highway. By the time I had arrived home, I was dog tired. I drove up the curved road of my stepmom's drive way. (My mom died when I was real young in a car accicent, my dad remarried and he later died of a brain tumor, so I live with my stepmom, younger stepsister and baby stepbrother) I knew they were planning a surprise return home party for me, however, I arrived a day early and at night while they were sleeping. I can't say I didn't have it planned, because I just hate it when they do that and try to pull a surprise party on me. I used my key to the house and walked right in, quietly to my room. I then crashed on the bed, not having any idea what the next day would have in store for me.
I woke up around twelve the next day, well, only because my stepsister Samantha (Sam) came in and jumped on me waking me up, saying "Toby, wake you big dumby." Sam is 16 and can be irritating at times. She talks like a valley girl from the 1980's and even combs her hair in the style that girls would wear in the eighties. She only listens to Duran Duran and New Kids On The Block. "What is it Sam?" I said in a groggy voice, still tired from the long ride home. "You like, weren't expected home for another day, you totally ruined the surprise party." I got up and looked down at her (she's about 5'6) and said "Well, you know how much I don't like surprises." Looking at me kind of irritated, her frown slowly turned into a smile. She jumped into my arms and hugged me. "I know, its just that we missed you like very much" she said as I let her down. "Well, I'm back. So, where is every body?" I asked, as we left my room and headed toward living room. "Mom's at work, she'll like, be home in couple of hours and Uncle Henry's flying over from Seatle in about two weeks for the family reunion." We walked out of the house and into the garden. I was just so glad to be home. Then Sam says, "Oh Toby, I forgot to tell you, Heather called, totally wanted to know when you were, like, coming home." Heather was my best friend since we were little kids. She lives next door to us, well, not next door as in next door neighbors, but she lives on the neighboring farm next to us. She always was really cute, she stood 5'8 and had long brown hair, blue eyes and always wore a sleaveless flannel shirt that she would tie in a knot at the bottom, revealing her belly button and her slightly noticeable lower ab muscles. She was one of the very few who knew the real me and not the me that I forced myself to be while around my friends. Though alot of their mean personalities did rub off on me, and eventually I did start treating people mean even without their help, Heather always looked at me nonjudgementally and always talked to me as if I was her closest friend ever. Even when she saw me in school about to polverize some little punk, she would walk right in front of me and smile at me saying, "please don't hurt him, for me 'kay? She never asked me to change or never treat people like that ever again, even though I could tell she wanted me to, but I still never found myself able to do all of those mean things in her presance. I was wondering when she would be coming over, but, then I noticed something odd. Sam looked taller than she had when I first woke up, possibly an inch or two. I just shrugged it off though, figuring I probable hadn't noticed it before and that she may have just had a growth spirt while I was gone. "What? Why are you looking at me funny?" Sam asked, noticing my weird and quizzical expression I had on my face. "Oh nothing, you just look taller, that's all. "Hmm, now that you mention, you are totally not as tall compared to me as you were before you, like, went off to college. Like maybe I will be taller than you someday, wouldn't that be something, big bro?" I just looked at her and smiled. "Just because you've grown some over the year doesn't mean you'll ever be taller than me, runt." I said as I put me hand on her head, messing up her hair. "Hey, cut it out!" she shouted and hit me on the arm playfully. Ofcourse, I had stopped paying attention to Sam the moment I saw who coming down the distant hill. It was Heather. I jumped over the wooden fence that ran across the property line and jogged over to meet Heather half way.
We finally met eachother half way and immediately jumped into a long hug. I then noticed something was wrong, and I think she noticed it also. We looked at eachother for a long time and it appeared to me that she was now 6' instead of her natural 5'8 and I knew that something was up. "Toby, are you ok? You seem shorter to me some how." I was starting to get worried here, and was looking for any explanation which seemed any where near logical. "Me? Shorter? No, but you seem taller, did you grow an inch or... five over the summer?" I asked. "Umm... Toby, I haven't grown an inch since the last time we seen each other. Oh man, it is highly possible that you could be shrinking. My friend Kelly borrowed this spell book from the library that had this shrinking spell in it so......." I had to interupt her, sometimes she just babbles on when she is excited or nervous. "Hold it, I can't be shrinking, that just isn't possible, people don't just shrink." She then gave glare, and ofcourse it was easier for her to look me in the eyes since she was now only two inches shorter than me. "Trust me Toby, there are things in this world that don't seem possible, but are, mystical and mysterious things and this obvious difference in height is one of those things." I was starting to get worried, but her eyes just seemed to comfort me, as if she was telling me she would be there for me no matter what. "I just don't get it," I said, "I was just talking with Sam and she did seem taller, but there wasn't that much of a difference as there is now." Heather then got that look in her eye which told me she just had an idea, "lets go to my house and measure you, then I am going to see call Kelly and ask her if she knows what the name of that spell book, and maybe we can research the validity of those spells on the internet." Before I knew it, we were on our way to her house. I didn't know then what was going to happen, I still had my doubts about her theory, but I sure didn't know anything of the incredibly wierd experience I was about to have.
Heather kept talking about my height during our entire walk to her house. I was getting kind of annoyed by my friends persistance in having see things her way, that I was shrinking, but I just wasn't having it. I didn't believe in anything magical I wasn't planning on that point of view changing. I was a bit surprised at the speed and rate at which Heather came to the conclusion that I might be shrinking. She had to put such a science fictiony spin on what my be nothing at all.
"I'm telling you, you have definitely lost height some how, what other explanation do you need?" Heather blurted out.
"I just don't believe in magic, I never have and I never will. It's not possible." I explained, despite her persistance.
"You know I wouldn't have believed it either a while ago, but after all my friend has told me about magic, although I find it creepy, it seems like the only possible explanation. Come on, let's just get to my house, we'll measure you and if you come up to your own height, six foot whatever, then I'll admit I was wrong, that it must be me who grew, whatever. We have a deal?"
Now I couldn't argue with that, logical and to the point. "Maybe she'll realize how dumb that idea is if I agree" I thought. "Ok, you have a deal" I said, "so in that case, are you up for a little race?" I asked playfully. And with that I darted on down the field.
"Hey, wait up" Heather yelled. I ran down past the few trees that go along the area, continued on for about 10 minutes, jumped over the fence and finally decided to look over my shoulder when to my surprise she was only several feet behind me. That has never happened before, normally I would leave her in my dust and be waiting for her for about 4 minutes, and laugh at her when she would finally get there. This was not the case this time, and I didn't even think that she would be behind me the whole time, I was too busy running at top speed to realize it. Anyway, the whole seeing her behind me threw me off and I wasn't looking where I was going, so I ended up running into the thick wood pole that Heather's family hangs their birdfeeders and birdhouses on. I slammed into it and ended up on my back, breathing hard looking straight up at Heather, smiling down at me with a smile that just told you she wanted to bust out laughing. Ofcourse she wanted to make sure I was ok first, and asked "Are you alright?" which I replied "yeah, I'm fine". Which was followed by a 'Haa, ha, haha, ha, hah, that was hilarious" blurted out as she handed me her hand to help me up.
As I stood up I noticed something weird yet again. Not only did Heather's smiling face turn into a face of fearful confusion, but I saw what had made her face do such a 180. I was looking her straight in the eyes. "Heather, what's going......." before I could finish the sentence Heather said in a serious tone, "let's get you inside, and I'm going to call Kelly.
"I don't care that she's gone to California to visit her aunt, I have to talk to her now, I have to get up with her...Jimmy..this is important...Jimmy? I can't believe the little squirt hung up on me" she shouted as she slammed the phone down and stared at me quizzically for a few moments.
I didn't feel like being the object of such complete examination so I decided to sit down in the recliner. I just slumped down in the chair and leaned on the armrest with my hand rubbing up and down my face.
"I couldn't get up with Kelly" Heather states as if it wasn't obvious. "Her brother said she went to California to visit her aunt Mel and won't be back for three weeks. We've definately got a problem, you have shrunk whether you want to believe it or not."
I finally had to say something, she knew I didn't believe in magic, but I couldn't deny any longer that I was getting shorter. "I am not saying that I believe in magic, or that it's scientifically possible for me to actually 'shrink' but whatever is happening.....well...is happening."
"Have you upset anyone suspicious looking lately?" Heather asked with her consistant stare. The question threw me off guard because it seemed to come out of no where.
"What do you mean?" I asked taking my hand from my now slightly red face.
"I know you better than anyone Toby, I know you have relapses of your old highschool gang days, and I know this is the handy work of someone familiar with the mystic arts. A magic that isn't just thrust upon someone unprovoked."
I just couldn't argue with Heather at that point, she gets into one of these moments where it looks like she's looking deep into your soul and you just know she's right. What's a guy to do? "Ok, so you believe this magic, fine. I'll humor you, and as a matter of fact, I may have a had a run in with someone on my way home. Some gypsy woman.."
"Gypsy woman? Are you kidding me?" She got up from her seat and just couldn't hold it in any more, she just started shouting. "Do you realize what bad mojo you just released on yourself?" As she finished she seemed to calm down and regain her composure. "You do realize the book of spells I was telling you about, well, it's a really old book of spells that belonged to gypsies, I checked into the history of the book at the library, because I wanted to see where these spells originated. Legend has it, many years ago, an old gypsy woman traveling with her clan made a deal with the devil, her soul for the ability warp reality to her will. So she was endowed with the knowlege of every magical encantation there was, so she began writing them down to be able to remember them. Her plan was to use the eternal life spell. She was real sick, eaten up with cancer most likely. She mustn't have been too bright, because it would have been better to just ask for eternal life instead, but apparently she had bigger plans once she achieved eternal life. Well anyway, half way through the spell she collapsed and died. Her book remained in the clan and was passed down from generation to generation, and some how made it here to America. Chances are, that spell in that book is the same one that has caused you to shrink. I checked it out, that particular spell I had seen in there."
"Fascinating story really, but the old woman did recite anything, she just blue dust in my face and said I will know what it's like to be small and weak..." I said but was imediately cut off.
"I knew it, she did cast a spell on you. You do know that just because an artical of magic is in a spell book doesn't mean an actually incantation will be recited. Thy dust is what has the spell cast on it, it's done just once so the incredibly long spell doesn't have to be recited again. And just so you know how serious this is, that particular spell, it doesn't end, unless the spell is broken, you will continue to shrink until there is nothing left of you."
"What?" I said, not being able to believe my ears. I was still having trouble believing that I was shrinking, considering waking up this morning thinking I was the same size I have been for like ever, next thing I know I'm looking into the eyes of someone I had always remembered being six inches taller than. It all happened so fast, it's hard to believe it's real. People don't just shrink.
"You heard me. That particular spell, is designed to shrink the victim until he is completely gone." Heather said, with a tear in her eye. It dawned on me that this was serious, the look in her eyes told me that she was afraid she was going to lose me.
"Ok, lets just say that I do believe, that magic in some form may be real, what do we do?" I asked, hoping that there was a way to stop this shrinking.
"I don't know how to break the spell, I personally don't dabble in the mystic arts, I only did a report on them not too long ago, which is why I aquired so much knowlege of magic. My friend Kelly does practice magic, but it's going to be three weeks until until she gets back. I might be able to get up with her. We do have a couple of options though. Find the spell book, it's either at the library or Kelly's house. Hope and pray it isn't borrowed from the library by some one else, or in California with Kelly. And the other option, is finding that gypsy and see if there is any way to get her to take the spell of. And right now, I am going to have to have you tell me everything that woman told you, every little detail."
I looked at her from the chair I was sitting in, feeling a little bit better, Heather always did have a way of making a situation that appeared hopless, look hopeful. "Ok, it's not there's much to tell anyway, I stopped to ask for directions at this place on some backroad area off the main high way, talked to this old lady, she rambled on and on about stupid stuff, offered me tea, knocked it out of her hands...she was real mad, and said 'mark my words Toby Keelerman, you will know what it's like to be small and helpless blah, blah, blah.' And blew some dust on me."
She stared blankly at the ceiling for what seemed like forever, before finally breaking the silence. "Ok, from what you said, it would appear that she wanted to teach you a lesson, but the spell she chose is more harmful than just a lesson. A lot of gypsies seem to take it upon themselves to try to change those that they don't like for the better, however, the only shrinking spell associated with the gypsy magic is lethal, in that you eventually get so small that something, whether it's a mouse or bacteria, kills you. So....it just seems extreme to me... I don't know what the reason behind that was, but we're going to have to do something fast, this spell is an unpredictable one, the rate at which you will shrink is at probably many different rates, it could last slow down and last months or speed up and be mere minutes before your mouse sized. We might have to figure out where this gypsy woman lives, do you think as a last resort, that you might remember how to find her place."
"Yeah, possibly" I said as I stood up. "What?" I noticed Heather's mouth had dropped. And that is when it hit me, I was shrinking right there. I noticed she was getting taller. When it was over, she was a full head taller than me.