One Eighth-inch Eric

by teeny-tiny02

Eric Eggleston was a little boy with a BIG brain!
Eric could read books upside down, backwards, forwards as quick as quick can.
Eric could also whip up crazy concoctions with his Junior Scientist's Chemistry set. The eleven year-old wonder child could whip up formulas to grow hair, ease achy joints and migraines. Lift fallen arches and lower one's waist size; he could smooth out wrinkly skin and wrinkle up smooth skin, There was nothing this boy genius could not do.

Yet, of all of Eric's remarkable accomplishments one stood out for him as his magnum opus. Eric could whip up a SHRINKING POTION (oops, let's try again: shrinking potion) in which Eric could shrink himself to the size of a tick to get a tick's-eye view of the world. The 4'10" Eric could shrink way down to one eighth of an inch in height, about the height of this letter, `P'.

On this particular day, Eric did just that.
And that's where our story begins today,
with the Adventures of One-eighth Inch Eric and Big Brother's Basketball Sneaker of Doom! Enjoy!

Eric, the boy genius of the Eggleston household, had shrunk himself to one eighth of an inch in height. He was as tall as the thickness of a computer disk. He wore a (now tiny) button-down shirt, (tiny) jeans, (teeny, tiny) glasses, and (nearly microscopic) red sneakers. Eric was MUCH smaller than most insects, so he knew he needed a way to get around quickly. That's why he invented the `Micro-Craft 3000'. The `Micro-Craft 3000' was actually a hover craft built with a shop van, a car battery, an industrial-size fan, and with a motorcycle `side car'. Eric built the craft before shrinking, tested it out, and shrunk the craft before shrinking himself. Like I said, the kid's got sense!

Anyway, the `Micro-Craft 3000' worked to a tee! The boy and the hover craft combined were about the size of a pea. He flew it all around the house, careful to avoid open windows and drafts. Just then, Eric heard some massive rumbling, thumping, and bumping, from inside the kitchen of the Eggleston house. Into the kitchen lumbered Jeremy… CLUMP!! CLOMP!! CLUMP!! BUMP!!…went Jeremy's massive footfall. Jeremy was Eric's big brother. Of course, at Eric present size, Jeremy was Eric's big, big, BIG brother!

Jeremy was a big, surly teenager, full of attitude and full of back-talk sarcasm. Jeremy was the typical an eighth grader, he and his buddies RULED Lincoln Middle School, a reign which Jeremy felt extended into the Eggleston house, where he picked on little Eric. Jeremy could be downright cruel to little Eric. Which is why he did NOT want to be found by Jeremy at such a pitiful, teeny tiny, helpless size!

Careful not to be seen (or else, he could be mistaken for a tiny, flying insect and be swatted down), Eric whipped the `Micro-Craft 3000' away, hovering over the kitchen counter and hovering behind a crystal glass. From his hiding place, he watched Jeremy as he dialed the cordless and plopped himself down at the kitchen table. Jeremy wore blue carpenter pant jeans, a white T-shirt, and a pair of black boots. Jeremy was the captain of the eighth grade boys' basketball team and was the league's leading scorer. Jeremy was tall for his age, about 6'1", and had big, huge feet—-size 13!!

Jeremy's voice thundered across the kitchen as he spoke to one of his friends on the phone. Apparently, Jeremy was going to head over to someone's house in a few minutes. Soon, Jeremy clicked the phone off and walked...RIGHT TOWARD THE GLASS THAT ERIC WAS HIDING BEHIND. Colossal fingers reached out for the glass as Eric flew the hover craft farther back into the corner. To Eric, the glass was the size of a ten-story building, yet his big brothers HUGE paw seized it firmly and yanked the skyscraper up and away effortlessly (of course). He took it to the fridge and put it under the fridge's water tap. Jeremy gulped down the water and placed the glass near the sink, and thundered out of the door…CLOMP!! CLOMP!! BOOM!!…went Jeremy's boots against the linoleum floor.

Eric flew the `Micro-Craft 3000' out from the corner and flew into the open kitchen. Eric had an idea of how to spend his afternoon. The shrinking formula would NOT last long; maybe a few hours (like I said, Eric's got brains!). Eric, like a typical little brother, so DESPERATELY wanted to get into Jeremy's room and explore. He tried this a few times before. But even when Jeremy didn't catch him, he could always tell Eric and been in there, and he would administer on Eric the granddaddy of all "wedgies"! Jeremy kept his bedroom door locked when he wasn't around, anyway. But…a locked door is no deterrent to a 1/8 inch tall little brother, who easily flew his tiny hover craft up along the staircase, down the short hall, dove down and flew in under the door marked with signs like: `DANGER' and `Trespassers Will Be Flogged' signs; it was the door leading into big brother Jeremy's room!

The room was filled with the aroma of cold pizza, socks, dirty clothes, feet, and glue. Jeremy liked to build model ships. Jeremy's rooms really wasn't as messy as one would expect, but he did leave clothes piled up in the hamper until laundry day and he had papers and model parts strewn across his desk. On the desk was a 1:500 scale model of the USS ARIZONA, nearly complete. Eric was able to land the tiny hover craft right on the deck of the model ship. To Eric, the ship seemed the size of an ACTUAL battleship. Tiny plastic sailors laying on the deck were only about four feet tall to him, but it was still shocking, as these tiny figures can barely be SEEN at normal size!

Eric spent a while running along the desk, up tiny plastic stairs to the tower pretending to be the skipper. It was an amazing ship, seemingly indestructible to tiny Eric. Yet he had to remind himself that the ship was only about a foot long or so and plastic, something that can be easily crushed in a teenager's hand. Eric mounted his `Micro-Craft 3000' and flew off the ship's desk, into the vast space of Jeremy's room.

Eric lowered the hover craft so that he was only about a foot above the floor (it still seemed quite high to tiny Eric!). Eric flew around a pair of Jeremy's basketball shoes. He wore them exclusively for games, so they were still fairly white, although deep creases appeared near the toes, creases due to intense wear upon hardwood floors. He landed the hover craft on the soft leather toe of the colossal basketball shoe. It was an Adidas brand, a mid-high top that was mostly white, with a little bit of light gray trim. Eric looked up at the lacing…the shoe was larger than the battleship; the laces alone appeared to be about 10 feet thick!! The shoe itself seemed about the size of the town's recreation center/fieldhouse! "Gulp!!" went tiny Eric.

Eric climbed back into the hover craft and flew it a few inches above the right sneaker, longways along the shoe. It still appeared like a normal shoe, but he kept reminding himself that it would take hours to climb up the lacing to reach the top of the shoe's tongue!

Finally, he reached the abyss that lead inside the sneaker. Eric carefully guided the hover craft down inside the dark abyss. Though the scent of sweat was strong, Eric was fascinated! It was like a cathedral, capable of holding thousands of devoted worshippers. Yet it was just the inside of a teenager's basketball shoe!

Eric guided the hover craft in the dark, along the insole until he reached the toe of the shoe. He landed the craft in the center of a huge depression. The depression was made by Jeremy's big toe. Suddenly, Eric began to hyperventilate…he was wigging out! Eric's brother seemed like a god to the tiny boy. Plus, he was in a large, DARK space…he was having a phobia-related attack. Agoraphobia never stuck Eric before, but there must be something about being in a large open space (which, to a 1/8th of an inch tall boy, a inside of a size 13 shoe IS as VERY large open space!) and being there IN THE DARK created much anxiety! Now, the sweat-smell was beginning to cause Eric to wheeze. Frantically, he jumped onto the tiny hover craft and fired it up. Eric flew it as fast as it could go , zipping along the shoe's insole, flying to the light from the shaft. Eric flew up and up and up, right past the huge `13' on the tag.

Eric carefully parked the craft at the edge of the shaft. He got off and looked down into the dark abyss. From the edge of the shoe's abyss to the insole below had to be a 230 foot drop, for the 1/8th inch tall boy! Eric mounted the `Micro-Craft 3000' once again and took off.

He flew over to the left sneaker, which was laying on its side with the sole exposed. Eric flew close to the deep recesses and grooves of the shoe's sole. He flew the hovercraft in and landed it on a ridge, a part of the sole tread. Eric was relieved as it became apparent that he needn't worry it ever stepped on by a sneaker. All he would do is crotch down, and he should fit easily between the tread without a hair on his head harmed!

Eric flew off and returned to the right basketball shoe, landing again at the top of the shaft of the high top. Suddenly, he felt mild vibrations….SOMEONE WAS IN THE HOUSE, COMING UP THE STEPS!!

Eric froze in horror…Jeremy had returned home!! The massive door flew open and in thundered Jeremy. He grabbed his gym bag, threw in a pair of basketball shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt….OH CRAP!! Jeremy was getting ready to play basketball! Eric had to fly off and away from Jeremy's basketball shoes QUICK!! Eric mounted the hovercraft and tried to make it go, but it was snagged!! The tiny hovercraft was snagged on a micro-fiber of the shoe's material!! Eric screamed as Jeremy's gargantuan fingers reached for his shoes.

Jeremy's hand bumped the hover craft free, but Eric and the craft were now falling down INTO the shaft. "AAAAAHH" screamed Eric, as he fell. Before he landed against the insole, the hover craft was fired up. But, with Jeremy carrying the shoe over to the gym bag, the inside of the shoe was lurching around. The craft was bumped into on "wall" and sputtered down on the insole, skidding along until coming to rest inside the toe-indention of the insole.

By this time, Jeremy had his sneakers packed inside the gym bag. Jeremy jogged down the steps, humming some rhyme by Nelly. He went out of the house and proceeded to head down to the community recreation center, where the basketball courts were. Jeremy and a few friends were going to shoot hoops, and poor, tiny Eric was going to be a part of the action. Eric began to whimper. He always wanted to play basketball with his brother and the `big kids'; but NOT while maggot- sized!!! Eric panicked: "Good God!" he thought, "At my size, those guys are at least a half mile tall!! I'm gonna get stepped on! I'm gonna be squashed!!! Out on a basketball court full of jocks when one is the size of a grain of rice!! It's a death sentence!! I don't wanna die!!"

Eric hoped that the shrinking formula would wear off quick. It would happen slowly; he would grow gradually over a period of 15 minutes until he returns to normal size. But Eric was worried that it would be an hour until he starts to re-grow. In an hour, though, Jeremy and his friends would be well into their game…

Part Two Eric was able to get the `Microcraft 3000' re-started, after making some minor repairs. Eric flew the craft a fraction of an inch above the insole of the sneaker.

Suddenly, in the pitch-blackness of the shoe, Eric bumped into something soft and very, VERY stinky. It was a gym sock! Jeremy must've stuffed a pair of his sweaty gym socks into his shoes! Little Eric was gagging, the putrid odor was filling the interior of the sneaker and was suffocating! Eric was trapped!! What was he to do? Eric had to get out of there. "Why can't he wash his socks? (cough, gasp) God, it's HORRIBLE!" choked the tiny boy.

Suddenly, Eric had a hunch. He flew the hovercraft straight up until he reached the "roof" of his dank "prison". Eric thought he saw a faint crack of light from where the tongue of the sneaker was settling into the shoe. Sure enough, there was a ½ inch gap opened between the tongue and the leather upper, right where the network of lacing was. Eric slowly wormed his was through the gap. JOY!! Eric was now hovering free, right above the shoe! Just then, the world inside the gym bag lurch fiercely. Eric was jostled to and fro…the gymbag was being carried by Eric mammoth-sized brother. The poor little boy was knocked off the hovercraft. He tumbled and tumbled around among Jeremy's basketball clothes. Suddenly, with a violent `Whump!", the bag was motionless.

Eric clawed his away around in a silky, rayon "mountain" that had enveloped him…the mountain was Jeremy's basketball shorts. Finally, he reached a 15 foot thick "rope", formed out of several thinner ropes, each one about three feet thick. It was the drawstring of the shorts. Just then, light poured into the bag. Echoes of footfall and deep voices thundered overhead, resonating too fiercely to be deciphered by the 1/8th inch tall boy. Eric, without thinking, grabbed hold of the colossal drawstring and buried his hands and feet into the network of ropes that made up the massive "rope".

Eric screamed and cried with fear…he was on a rip-roaring ride!! Up and down, through "tunnels", as colossal fingers tied the drawstring in a massive-sized bow. Thank God Eric wasn't tied into the knot, or else he would've been crushed easily. As it was now, he dangled for dear life near the tip of one of the "ropes". Jeremy was sitting on the bench, for his massive legs stretch out horizontally before disappearing straight down toward the floor. Jeremy's face was visible…he was bent over, tying the laces of his basketball shoes, shoes that his very tiny, little brother had just escaped. Jeremy slid on his sleeveless t-shirt. The shirt hung over the waist of Jeremy's shorts and over the drawstring knot. Eric saw the colossal tent-like cloth fall over him, blocking out the world. All Eric could see was glimpses of the floor below.

Suddenly, Eric felt vertigo…Jeremy was standing up and was walking around. Eric held on tight, although he needn't to, as his hands and feet were imbedded deep within the microfibers of the smaller "ropes" that made up the massive drawstring. Eric wasn't going anywhere…just a piece of lint, now. Eric looked down at the floor, which is the only view he had of the outside world from under Jeremy's t-shirt. Eric could see his tiny hovercraft laying on the floor. Then Jeremy's foot appeared, his sneaker smacking heavily on top of the poor micro craft. Then, it was gone. It must be stuck between the tread of Jeremy's sneaker. Little Eric's heart broke.

Once Jeremy started playing basketball, Eric tried with all his might to keep from getting sick. The bows of the drawstring were bumped up and down as Jeremy ran up the court. The thunder of sneakers and the piercing squeaks of rubber soles against the floor were nearly deafening. Finally, with all the jostling, Eric felt himself become loose from the drawstring!! Eric, whose strength was sapped, realized that this was the end. He would meet his end, falling the equivalent of hundreds of feet to the hardwood ground below, among colossal sneakers and basketballs. Eric screamed as he came loose and plummeted. He was in a free fall!! What a horrible end!!!

Just then, Eric landed into something wet…"SPLASH!!" Eric couldn't believe his luck. He had somehow landed in a massive lake…a paper cup full of water!! Apparently, Jeremy had gone over to the bench for something (he took out his gum, after one of the fieldhouse attendants yelled at the boys that gum chewing on the court was against the rules), and was standing over a row of tiny cups of water. Eric fell into one of them!

Eric was relieved!! Possibly, Jeremy would take a drink and find him!! Jeremy soon disappeared from overhead, apparently returning to the game with his friends. Eric splashed around in the water. Several minutes passed, and Eric wondered if he would start growing soon. However, in the middle of his wondering, he felt the cup being picked up. Overhead a face appeared…a face that was NOT his brothers!!! In fact, the guy appeared to be around twenty or so. The giant was handsome, with dark hair and eyes and who wore a mustache and goatee. And the moustache and goatee was quickly approaching the lip of the cup "OH CRAAAP!!!" screamed tiny Eric. The high school kid was going to take a drink. Poor Eric was too tiny to be seen! The giant would probably finish off the water in the cup in one gulp!! Eric paddled and paddled to try to get away, but the current was way too strong. Eric was being sucked toward two full, very massive lips and into a black hole. Eric had tears streaming down his face…"HALP!!! DON'T DRINK ME!!!" Eric screamed, as he bumped against the lower lip of the giant.

Part Three

Eric felt himself be pulled by a current away from the "abyss" and along the fleshy lip. Soon, Eric plummeted. The giant was drinking too fast! He was dribbling water down his chin! Eric grabbed hold of the hairs in the giant's goatee. It was like a scrubby forest to the 1/8th inch tall Eric. He held on for dear life as he saw the giant ball up the paper cup and toss it into a wastebasket. Holding onto the eight-foot long hairs of the giant's goatee, Eric turned his head and saw Jeremy and his friend playing ball on the neighboring court. A group of either high school age or college age guys were playing on the court next to Jeremy. Eric was going to get "front row" seats to the BIG boys game of basketball. Eric turned and closed his eyes, hold on for dear life as the giant jogged up the court, dribbling the basketball. Little Eric knew he was in for one heck of a ride!!

After about 15 minutes, the giants stopped. They huddled together, huge, Colossal young men. Just then, Eric's eyes met the eyes of a huge, African American colossus. ERIC WAS SPOTTED!! The African American guy, who appeared about 20, squinted at Eric and spoke: "Dude, what the hell's that stuck to your beard?"

Eric concentrated so hard on not falling from the young giant's goatee that he didn't notice that the shrinking formula was wearing off. Little Eric was growing! At this point, he was about a centimeter tall. To Eric, the giants seemed "smaller", still larger than most skyscrapers; it was about a 900 foot drop down to the hardwood floor. And the giants were still large enough to squish Eric effortlessly.

Eric screamed as the giant's thumb and forefinger quickly approached Eric. The giant seized Eric by his right foot and yanked him free of the goatee. The giant held Eric foot very firmly…Eric winced in pain. Soon, Eric found himself in the young giants palm. Eric was still in one piece, although the ligaments in his right ankle, leg and hip were wrenched pretty good. Tears steamed down Eric's face. A huge, bass voice thundered overhead: "Holy Crap!! It's…it's a tiny BOY!!!" exclaimed the giant.

The giant's friends hovered over the tiny boy. Their breath blasted against him as they peered and squinted, each one uttering shocked curses.

The young giants peered down at Eric, who was still slowly growing. Eric was about ¾ of an inch. Eric heard the name of the giant that had `captured' him: his name was Scott. He was a twenty year-old student teacher at the middle school! Scott's face, flushed and sweaty from basketball, appeared to the not as tiny Eric as the size of the Presidents' on Mount Rushmore. Eric was still very small and vulnerable, but he was getting bigger! And since Scott was a teacher, Eric knew he was is good hands (so of speak).

Scott spoke again: "Hey, you're the Eggleston kid! In 6th grade! I had you in class with Mrs. Matthews. Eric nodded in affirmation. Of course, Eric hoped that Scott (called Mr. Jenkins) FORGOT about the trouble he and his friends gave the student teacher. Eric hoped that Scott wouldn't try to get `even', as Eric was now so tiny. Of course, Scott didn't, even though he remembered Eric well. Scott knew that Eric was just being a kid, and Scott Jenkins was a devout Buddhist who revered all life, not matter how tiny and vulnerable. Eric stood and pointed to the neighboring court, the court where Jeremy and his friends were still playing a fast-paced game of `three-on-three'. Eric screamed as loud as he could, but he was still to tiny to be understood.

"What are you trying to tell me, little guy?" asked Scott gently.

"He's pointing to the other court, I think." Responded the African- American guy. Scott looked toward the other court and saw Jeremy. "It's the Eggleston boy's big brother! Jeremy, I think—" said Scott.

Scott and his friend yelled over to the eighth graders over at the neighboring court. The boys stopped and looked puzzled, shrugging. Scott called out for Jeremy to come over to him. Jeremy walked over to Scott. Scott, who, at 6'6" was five inches taller than Jeremy, held out his hand where tiny Eric stood. By this time, Eric had grown to about two inches. Jeremy saw his little brother, all two inches of him, standing in the student teacher's palm.

"Wh-what the hell--??" Jeremy stammered weakly. His face lost all color. Jeremy appeared ready to pass out. One of Scott's friends, a blonde guy, stepped behind Jeremy as he began to fall and caught him.

"I think he's growing!" exclaimed John, the African-American young man, staring at little Eric.

After a few minutes, Jeremy came to. He was laying on the court near the bench. The young guys carried Jeremy over to the bench after he fainted. By this time, Eric hand grown to about sixteen inches tall. Jeremy got up and sat on the bench, appearing very shaky. He didn't believe he had seen what he did. That is, until, Eric walked out from among the forest of legs and stood before Jeremy.

"Eric!! What did you do to yourself!?! How did you get HERE??" Jeremy stammered.

Eric told them all the story of his shrinking formula. By the time Eric finished the story, he had returned to his full height of four feet, ten inches. Eric remembered that he had a small vile of the shrinking formula in his pants pocket. He fished it out and handed it over to his despondent-looking brother. Jeremy held up the cracked glass perfume bottle filled with a bluish liquid. "That's the formula! Be careful!!" said Eric.

Suddenly, the weakened bottle gave way under Jeremy's grip! The liquid spilled all over Jeremy's hand!! Within a few seconds, Jeremy disappeared from sight. A tiny, tiny speck moved around where Jeremy sat…now Jeremy had shrunk! Jeremy shrunk to the same scale that Eric had….Jeremy was now about four millimeters tall!

Eric found a paper laying near the bench and tore off a corner. Eric them coaxed his tiny `big' brother onto the piece of paper and held it in his hand. Scott, his friends, and all of Jeremy's friends stood around aghast. Jeremy was freaking out, no bigger than a grain of barley.

"C'mon. Big Brother!" smiled Eric. "I'd better get you home. Don't want anything bad happening to you. Don't worry, you'll only be at this size for a few hours."

Eric paused for a second.

"Of course," Eric began, still smiling, "you DID take in a much BIGGER does of the formula than I had. You MAY be this size for a much longer period. A few days or even a week, maybe?"

Tiny Jeremy jumped up and down on the piece of paper in Eric's palm. His tiny squeaks could not be heard, but Jeremy was wigging out:
"A WEEK!?! A WEEK!?! I have basketball tryouts in a few days!!! Eric, you little jerk! If I miss tryouts, when I do grow back, YOU ARE DEAD!! You hear me, DEAD!!!"

Jeremy's friend, Kyle, smiled down at the hopping speck. "Man, he looks pissed! I think he remembered about basketball tryouts coming up."

Scott, who at 6'6" appeared to the tiny teen to be about 3,000 feet tall, joined in: "Yeah, you're right! Poor kid. It'll be a shame if he can't try out. But if he's still the size of a flea, what can he do? Jeez, and Jeremy was the biggest kid on the team. Coach will be disappointed!"

"NO!! NO!!" shouted up Jeremy pointlessly, "My dweeb brother SAID I'd grow back! I WILL grow back! I'm the best ballplayer in the damn school. Coach'll wait till I grow back!! God, I HOPE he does!"

At least, Jeremy got a few days off from school. Jeremy's friends were careful not to spread word about Jeremy being four millimeters tall. After all, he had enemies around the school, especially enemies who were in Eric's class. Eventually, Jeremy did grow back… mostly. Jeremy HAD taken too much shrinking formula. Permanent damage was done. Jeremy only grew back to four feet, nine inches tall. As he was still proportioned to his former six foot-one, 160 pound slender frame, Jeremy weighed a mere 61 pounds! Even Eric outweighed him by twenty-five pounds! Jeremy was not even allowed to play basketball for his small size (it was too dangerous). Nor could Jeremy bully any more sixth-graders. Now ERIC was the one who administered the wedgies in the family!!

Over the next two years, Eric grew to be a six foot tall, 145 pound eighth-grader, while his brother would remain at 4'9" for the rest of his life, even as a high school sophomore. But Jeremy took up weight training and put on some bulk…he was a `whopping' 80 pounds!

But the brothers would soon grow a strong bond that eventually would be built on mutual respect. For Eric remember how it was to be small, and Jeremy now was living it. And Jeremy found happiness as a superior chess player, going all the way to national tournaments. Meanwhile, Eric kept whipping up formulas, while promising NEVER to create another shrinking formula. Or, WOULD he???

Anyway, they all (eventually) lived happily ever after!