Big Mine Small Mine

By Timothy Lacey

From an idea created by Mike Ingerson

Sol Sway was enjoying his walk down the back road that led to his home. It was cold and the gusty wind even made it colder. Sol tightened the collar to his jacket around his neck. The wind as it pricked at his cheeks and nose, made him feel so alive.

Going around a curve, Sol heard the sound of an electronic alarm. He figured it must be some distance away, for it wasn't all that loud. Sol stopped in his tracks. He heard it again. But this time it sounded like it came from below the ground. At least it sound like it was coming from below him. He looked down at his brown work boots. In front of them was a little field mouse,thought Sol, at first. He stooped down to take a closer look. Wiping the tears from his eyes, caused by the bitter wind, Sol found himself staring at a tiny live person in a brown jumper, trying to release itself from a patch of weeds.

A smile appeared on Sol's face as he came to the realization he was really looking at a two inch person. His smile vanished when he could he saw how scared the little man was by the way he was trying frantically to untangle himself. Sol reached down and gently pulled the bits of wiry roots off the tiny man. The tiny man had his hands over his eyes. "It's ok; you're free now," whispered Sol, to the tiny man who still was covering his eyes and was shaking.

Sol heard the sound of a car coming. He couldn't just leave the little person there afraid and alone in the road. He gently, with two fingers picked up the brown- clad little being. He cupped his hand and walked over to the side of the road to let the car pass.

Sol looked at the little person in his hand. The little guy was still shaking. Sol put the little man in the pocket of his jacket and went home.

Sol entered the white three story apartment building. Once in his own apartment, Sol went to his bedroom, which also acted as a study. He took the little man out of his coat pocket and placed him on his bed. He saw in his laundry basket a pair of clean gym socks and wrapped them around the little man hoping that would warm him up.

Zearf watched through scared eyes as the giant took off his coat. When the giant was a distance from him Zearf observed how the giant appeared to be the same age as him. The dark eyes of the giant, beneath the cliff-like wave of black hair, appeared friendly to him.

Sol took a magnifying glass to have a better look at his tiny guest. He kneeled down in front of his bed. Through the magnifying glass he took a look at the brown uniform the man was wearing. The tiny person looked like him, except for his small size and the suction cups that were at the end of his fingers.

"Are you from outer space?" asked Sol. The little man just blinked at Sol. Pointing upwards with his index finger, Sol said, "From out there."

Zearf was starting to trust the giant. The giant seemed nice. Zearf hit his forehead with a hand. He just remembered his translating device. That was one thing he remembered from his cadet training. He pulled it off from his belt.

Seeing the tiny man removing something from his belt, Sol moved back from his bed, a bit concerned.

"Thank you. For making me comfortable. Large man. I am Zearf from Juioeria. On the outer rim."

"Ah. Ah, sure you are welcome. My name is Sol."

"Sol. Sol, with your great size, you must be great hero."

Sol chuckled. "No. I am your run-of-the-mill twenty two year old."

"Twenty two. So am I. Just out of cadet school."

"Why are here or what happened to you?"

"I just wanted to test the new eight sixty. A new spacecraft. I was enjoying myself too much and well, here I am."

"Can you get back. To your own world."

"I think so. Just need to get back to my ship."

Part Two

Sol took Zearf up in his hands and placed him in his shirt pocket. To Zearf, it was something out of one of his mother's bedtime stories. There was one story he remembered, about the friendly cosmic giants of planet Quar.

Sol felt like he was in one of those fantasies his father used to read to him at night. Stories of little people. And here he is now, an adult with a little alien in his pocket.

Zearf stood up as best he could, in the shirt pocket that rocked with every giant step Sol took. He pointed to the area where his ship was. Sol spotted a red and silver object next to a sprawling thistle bush. Zearf shouted into his translator, "There it is!"

Sol kneeled down in front of the oblong shaped craft. He took the little alien out of his pocket and lowered him down to the ground. "I guess you will be leaving."

"No. Before I had ventured out, I programmed the ship to recharge its power source. It won't be ready until the next star rise."

"Great. If you want Zearf, I could bring you and the ship back to my apartment until then. We can have more time together and you will be safe."

Sol's new friend agreed. Putting his friend back into his shirt pocket, Sol picked up the ship and headed home.

Several kids were playing outside of the apartment building, when they spotted Sol with the ship tucked under his arm. "Hey Sol, where did you get that neat model?" asked an inquisitive mopppet.

"Ah---this. A friend made it. It's for my younger brother." After Sol had hurriedly entered the building, the children returned to their games.

After putting the ship down, Sol asked, "Will you get into trouble?"

"Most probable yes. I didn't receive permission. And I have made contact with a race which my people haven't prepared to meet." Zearf leaned up against Sol's thumb, starting to comprehend the full impact of his actions.

Sol tried to be helpful. "Zearf maybe you could fix it, so at least your unscheduled excursion to Earth won't be recorded."

"There is no way I can tamper with the flight recorder. Plus, I will have to go through decontamination."

"Yeah, you couldn't take that chance. In case there is a microbe on you that could be a threat to your people." An idea flashed into Sol's brain. "Could you record a message from me. At least they could see one of the inhabitants you contacted. And I could at least tell them you did no harm." Sol's face softened. "It's just an idea."

"Maybe, it could help." Zearf went inside his ship and took out a recording device.

Sol thought about what he should say. Meanwhile, Zearf was getting things ready.

"I am not the model inhabitant of this world. But I will give it a try."

Zearf smiled and said, "I think the officials back home, will see that for themselves."

"Wise guy," responded Sol. When Zearf gave him the signal, Sol started talking. "Hi. My name is Sol Sway and I am human. In fact I am very much like you, except for my giant size." Sol lifted up a plastic action figure. "This is how big you are to us. Zearf told me he came here by mistake. And I am the only one he met, or will meet. As a being from another world, I ask you please not to be angry with him. I guess---that is part of being rational, to be irrational at times and hopefully to learn from those irrational actions. On behalf of my people of planet Earth, peace." Sol stopped. And spoke to Zearf. "I hope that will help you back home."

"I think it will my giant friend."

"I did better than I thought I would. I bet you didn't think I had it in me."

Zearf chuckled, "True." Sol picked up Zearf who still was marveling over a being many time his size.

"Its too bad nobody here will know I for a brief time was an ambassador for the human race," said Sol, a little sadly.

"You're much bigger than me. You could keep me here," remarked Zearf.

"Yeah, I could turn you over to the authorities. Or keep you with me. But I want to be your friend. Not your keeper." Sol placed Zearf on his shoulder. "Hang around with your giant friend," said Sol warmly.

A knock was heard. The sound startled Zearf, so that he jumped and clung to Sol's wavy black hair. Sol went to the door, while he felt Zearf moving through his hair and over his scalp. Sol opened the door. It was his land-lord, Lisa Slate. He went over to a side table and brought out an envelope. "Here you go Mrs. Slate." She was about to leave, when she noticed the top portion of Sol's hair was moving. Sol saw her look. "Anything wrong?"

"No, no." She then left.

Zearf was making his way through the field of black hair. Sol could feel him moving around and gently picked him out from his head of hair. "That was different," said Zearf, jokenly.

Zearf, pointed to a yellow object and asked, "What's that?"

"My work helmet." I work in construction. Zearf wanted to see it closer. Sol sat him on top of it.

Zearf, slid down the helmet. "I know it is silly, but I still get a charge out of simple things."

"Yeah, me too. At work, I still love it when I take the elevator up a building we are working on. Feel the air hitting my face. Walking high above the ground. With nothing but six inch metal between me and the ground."

Zearf and Sol, shared many thoughts. Some that were similar. Both marveled at their size difference.

When sunrise came, the two were still talking. But the time did come for them to part. Sol took the ship back to the field. "Bye, giant Sol."

"Bye,tiny Zearf."

The ship glowed and as silently, as a dried autumn leaf blowing through the air, the ship lifted up.