Kevin's Little ProblemsBy Timothy Lacey
"Yeah, wouldn't that be cool," said Sara, her eyes filled with prankster's delight. The other five teens laughed also.
Kevin, a fifteen year old with wavy brown hair responded, "Sure would be. I think I would have Mr. Bishop sleep in my socks. He's always making a stink over something in Social Science class. I would give it back to him."
The five teens were in a fast food joint talking about what they would do if they could shrink people. They were: Kevin, Cindy, Sara,Gary and Roger. Most of the talk was about getting even. Not hurting anyone ,but just giving back some of the trouble they were given from the more fractious students at the high school they attended.
"I would have the football team clean my feet," said Gary, shyly.
Cindy, a bouncing red-head, responded, "Oh, you guys. It is nothing but smelly socks and feet. Be inventive. Have the little jocks do your homework. Have them do a football game just for you."
Gary rubbed his chin and replied back, "Yeah, that would be cool."
Kevin with a sparkle in his eyes said, "I would rather shrink the cheerleaders. They could sing for me before I went to sleep. Better still! They could sing me to sleep." The two other males laughed. "I could keep them in my pocket, where they could jump up and down cheering for me." Kevin sat back in the seat of the faded orange booth and sighed.
Cindy looked over at Kevin with big lambs' eyes. "Why would you want them." Cindy's voice lowered just for her to hear, "Why have them, when you could have me." She looked at Kevin. She studied his big brown eyes. Cindy thought to herself, "A girl could get lost and drown in those big brown eyes and never be saved."
The air-conditioning to the restaurant started and cold air blew from the vents above their heads. Cindy noticed how the air pushed around portions of Kevin's wavy brown bangs of hair. She thought again, "If I was shrunken I would run through his hair as if it were a field." She saw herself, in her mind, running and jumping through Kevin's hair. She could imagine how soft and sweet it must smell. Cindy sat there with a far-away glaze on her face. She rested her head on one hand, while that arm rested on the edge of the table.
Sara put a hand on Cindy's shoulder and asked, "Hey, you ok?" Sara's voice startled Cindy out of her day dream which caused her arm to slip; sending her head banging with a thud onto the table.
"Cindy! You all right?" asked Kevin.
Cindy's face turned red, as she said,with a snap, "Yes,I'm ok."
Roger, who knew Cindy had a crush on Kevin said, "Hmm, I wonder who you were thinking about?" Cindy gave him the type of look that says, "Say anymore and you're dead."
Gary with a smile then turned to Kevin and asked, "Why so upset?" Kevin looked at Gary with a pair and intense brown eyes, which took Gary's smirk away.
Kevin stood up and told his friends, "Well, comrades in arms. I have to get home. Promised my father I would finish painting the front stairs to the house. I want to get it over with so tomorrow I'm free. See you later and hey, tomorrow is Friday!"
Kevin then left the restaurant.
On the way home, Kevin thought how cool it would be to shrink people. He could keep the bullies in line and protect the weak. About fifty yards from the fast food joint, Kevin looked back. He saw Cindy through the window. He felt his heart beating. He never told her how he felt. Kevin thought, "If I shrunk Cindy she could always be with me."
"Wishes can be a curse my boy," said an ancient and tiny voice. Kevin stopped and looked around. He saw nobody. Kevin started to walk again. "Yes sir; must becareful with wishes, especially when friends are concerned with."
"Who said that?" asked Kevin.
"Why, I did young friend."
Kevin was starting to feel bewildered. "Where are you?!" he demanded.
"On your shoulder."
Kevin did as he was told. He wondered if this wasn't a demented joke from one of his friends. Jumping into his hand was a large bull frog. "What the...is this?"
"You might not remember this, Kevin. But a year ago you saved my
"Yes you did. Several boys had caught me when I was only a child. I still had my tail. They had set me on fire but you stopped them. You saw I was a child and took pity and compassion on me. You took me home and nursed me back to health."
"But---I didn't think frogs talked and could appear on peoples' shoulders. In movies or in a crazy person's mind perhaps. But not for real."
"My son, when a heart is motivated by love and compassion nothing is impossible. I was given these special abilities cause of your free-will to do good."
"Are you working toward the point... you want to grant me a wish?" asked Kevin.
"Since you have cut to the point, my compassionate human, yes."
"Cool. I have to think," replied Kevin to the frog. At that moment, several people were walking by and gave Kevin a strange look with their eyes. Kevin turned red. When they had sufficiently moved out of ear shot, Kevin said, with energetic animation, "I want the power to shrink things!"
"Hmm, for what purpose?," asked the frog.
"Oh, just for the fun of it. And I wouldn't hurt anyone, if that is what you're thinking."
The frog replied, "No, I don't think you would intentionally hurt anyone. But..."
Cutting the frog off, Kevin added, "And I want to share the power with my friends."
The frog rocked back and forth on its webbed feet. "Kevin my kind giant. I don't think that is a good idea."
"You trusted me and I trust you to keep to your word."
"Ok, my young human. I will grant what you ask." Kevin felt a tingling sensation that started in the hand he was holding the frog in. It slowly crept throughout his body. "It's done."
"Thanks! And...I was glad I could help you."
"I know you did, Kevin." And the frog vanished.
Kevin was excitied. He looked at his hands and wondered what it would be like to shrink something and how would it work. Kevin's mind went wild with imagination. Could he send out shrinking rays like streaks of lightning from out of his finger-tips? He wanted to try. Going up to a trash can, he aimed his fingers at it. Nothing happened. He touched it. Again, nothing happened. "Oh, of-course," thought Kevin to himself; "I won't have the power till I'm with my friends."
Later that evening, after he finished painting the stairs to his parents porch, Kevin called his close four friends and told them to meet him at his locker. Kevin found it hard to sleep that night. He was looking forward to be able to shrink things. It then occured to Kevin that the frog never told him how long he would have the power.
The next day at school, Kevin waited in front of his gray locker for his friends. When he saw them coming (especially Cindy) , his palms started to sweat with a mounting, joyful expectation. As his friends drew nearer, Kevin felt a surge of energy run down to his hands. At the end of his fingers, he saw a pulsating red light. Kevin put his hands behind his back. Kevin gave his friends a big smile. "What's up?" asked Cindy. The others said the same.
"Remember how we were talking about shrinking people yesterday," said Kevin; "Well, it is possible." Kevin brought around his hands from his back and lifted them up. His friends stared wide-eyed at his red glowing fingertips. "I have the power. And I want to share it with you all."
"No way!" exclaimed Roger.
"It's true," replied Kevin; "All we have to do is hold hands."
Sara said, "Neat. If it is true."
Kevin looked around the school hallway; it was starting to become crowded with other students. "Let's duck in this stockroom," suggested Kevin. Once inside, Kevin said, slowly with mounting excitement, "Ok---let's---do it." They all held hands.
Gary replied smugly, "Kevin, you're my friend but I think it's all a pile of crap."
When they all had held hands, a ring of red light shot from hand to hand. Sara's and Cindy's hair stood on end. "Ha-ha-ha!" laughed Gary; "You two look like the Bride of Frankenstein."
"Shut-up Gary," said Roger.
"Oh, I'm just joking, chill," replied Gary.
"Wow, we will be able to shrink people. We will be the big cool kids on campus!" said Cindy.
"Yeah, and we can clean this school up of jocks and protect the weak," replied Roger, in a solemn voice.
"Not me. I'm going to scare a little respect into a few people," said Gary, with menace in his voice. Cindy squeezed Gary's hand and gave him a stern look. "Wh-wh-what, did I say?"
Kevin, with a worried face, looked at his friends. "Look you guys; I trust you. We're not going to hurt anyone?" Kevin directed his gaze at Gary.
Gary lowered his eyes in shame, conscious, of what he had said and what it implied. "I wouldn't hurt anyone."
Sara said, "Still, it would be fun as Roger said, to clean up this school." They all started to giggle and talk about putting certain teachers in-line. Gary thought it would be cool to have his own pocket size cheer-leaders.
Kevin looked at his friends with gaping mouth. "Hey stop it! You sound like little children."
There was the sound of thunder that Kevin heard in his head. A flash of red light appeared before his eyes. When the flash of light vanished, so did his friends. Well, not really. Down at the base of his sneakers was his friends. Two inches tall! Kevin knelt down in-front of them and told them, "I'm sorry. And please don't be afraid." His, now tiny friends, didn't seem to be afraid he observed. In fact, they seem to be treating it like a joke. They were jumping around and laughing, in their high pitched, tiny voices. Gary was trying jump onto Kevin's sneaker. The others started to run off. "No wait!" shouted Kevin. Picking Gary up by his waist, Kevin deposited him in the side pocket of his baggy gray sweat pants.
"Weeeeee!" yelled Gary, with excitement, as he slid along the fleece lining of the pocket down to its bottom. Kevin felt the slight thud Gary's body made as it landed at the bottom of the pocket. The pocket had a zipper, which Kevin pulled up part way. Now he had to find the others. He spotted Cindy jumping up and down on those plastic air-bubbled sheets used for packing. He cupped one of his huge hands behind her and gently pushed her into his other hand. He smiled lovingly down at his tiny little girl. He placed her in his other pocket. And went to search for the others.
He found Sara, who joined Cindy at the bottom of a pocket. Kevin's stomach turned, when he spotted Roger slipping under the door...
"Roger, no come back?" screamed Kevin, as he raced for the door. Kevin's heart started to settle down when Roger stopped. Roger was still partway under the door. Kevin didn't want to frighten Roger. Getting down on one knee, Kevin said in the type of voice you speak to a puppy with,"Come from under the door. Come on." Roger started to move away from the door. "Good going Roger. That's it."
Roger stopped and in his tiny, high pitch voice, told Kevin. "I want to go and see everybody."
Kevin tapped nervously several of his fingers on the bottom of his cheek as he thought. "Hey Roger. How about a ride in my pocket with your other friends. Then I will give you ice-cream. How bout it?"
"A lot of ice-cream!?," replied Roger, with an excited voice.
"Yeah! I will make you a small hill of ice-cream." Kevin put his hands together in prayer, hoping his would work.
"We want ice-cream too! Please-please," said all these tiny voices coming from out of Kevin's pocket. He could feel them up against his leg, as they jumped around inside the pocket.
Kevin jiggled his pocket slightly. He told his friends, "You can have ice-cream too. Just stop jumping around." The commotion in his pocket ceased.
Roger started to move out from under the door. Kevin slowly lowered his hand, ready to grab Roger when he was in range. Roger had just cleared the bottom of the door, as some animated laughter commenced on the other side. Roger looked up at Kevin, smiled and said, "I wonder what's so funny." Roger slid under the door again. Kevin reached down and grabbed hold of Roger's left foot. Kevin could feel Roger's leg jurking as he tried to get away. It reminded Kevin of the time he once caught a frog by the leg and how it jurked trying to get free. Kevin was afraid of pulling to hard on Roger's leg. He didn't want to hurt him.
Roger stopped jerking. Pulling gently on Roger's leg, he slid him out from under the door. However, Rogers tiny sneaker came off and he disappeared under the door. Kevin put Rogers sneaker in his shirt pocket. He opened the door. The hallway was crowded with students rushing to class. Kevin was really afraid his friend was going to get squashed. With mounting anxiety, Kevin searched the floors with his eyes. Several students passed him saying, "Lose something Pal?"
Kevin kept turning back and forth looking up the hallway for his tiny friend. "He kept thinking the whole time, "Why did I ever make that wish? Why did I have to include my friends?"
Suddenly, Kevin spotted Roger. It was a mixed blessing. Roger had climbed up on to the back of a pair of baggy denim trousers. Trousers belonging to a very big guy. Roger was holding on to the baggy cuff. Kevin moved in closer. He could hear Roger's squeeky laughter, as he was flopped from side to side.
Spotting Kevin, Roger waved and started calling up to him. Kevin put a finger to his lips. Roger just imitated Kevin and giggled. Gathering nerve, Kevin reached down and plucked Roger off of the student's pant leg. The guy turned around. Pushing Kevin and pinning him to the wall with his hand, "Are you nuts man. Why were you touching my butt?" Other students started to crowd around.
Kevin looked down at his clenched fist. He could feel Roger squirming inside. Feeling sick to his stomach now, Kevin replied, "It wasn't your butt. It was your pant leg."
"Who cares! Why did you touch me?" asked the irate teen.
"Well-I-well-I," repeated the teen, mocking Kevin.
"I spotted a cockroach."
"Is that what you have in your hand? Well, is it!?"
Kevin looked at all the leering faces. He replied softly, "Yes."
The teen let go of Kevin and told him, "You're a XXXX nutcase."
Kevin walked away, while several students howlered at him, less than flattering names. When the cost was clear, Kevin opened his hand up. His palm was all wet from sweat. "Sorry to have kept you in my sweaty hand," said Kevin, apologetically. "But you shouldn't have run away. You could have gotten stepped on or caught," said Kevin, who waved a gigantic finger in front of his diminutive friend. Roger just tried to grab the waving finger playfully with his two hands. Kevin smiled down at his friend and gave Roger a friendly poke to his tiny stomach.
Kevin unzipped his side pocket. With two fingers, he extended the lip of the pocket. He saw three tiny little faces covering their eyes from the light that poured in. One tiny little hand tried to brush the bottom of his finger. It was Cindy. Kevin's heart melted looking down at the tiny girl he loved in his pocket. He took her out and with his other hand, placed Roger in with the others. He moved his hand close to his face. Cindy extended her arms out to Kevin and told him, "You're so big. And handsome too." Kevin brought her closer and could feel her tiny hands on the tip of his nose. He could still pick up the scent of her perfume. Bringing his hand away from his face, Kevin gave Cindy a light kiss on the top of her head. He sighed.
Kevin saw how fragile she looked at only two inches. He worried about her being this small and his other friends too. He placed her back in his pocket. As he was lowering her in, Gary slipped underneath his hand. He slid down along the contours and folds of the fleece material. Kevin zippered up his pocket and went after his other friend. Kevin never knew such a tiny person could move so fast. Gary ran around the corner. Kevin froze in terror as he heard a voice say, "What a cute tiny person. Where did you come from?" The voice sounded to Kevin to be that of a girl.
Kevin slowly looked around the corner. A girl with long brown hair wearing a pink sweater placed Gary in a brown backpack. The girl hoisted it on her left shoulder. Kevin thought to himself, "Gary always wanted to be noticed by a pretty girl."
Kevin followed the girl. The girl entered a classroom. This wasn't one of Kevin's classes. He thought,"If I don't go in. I won't know what will happen to Gary. She will most likely tell her friends." Kevin looked at his watch. He had five minutes before classes would start. His locker was on the same floor.
Quickly, he headed for his locker. He could feel the tiny weight of his friends being jostled about in his pocket. Kevin put his hand to his pocket and gently applied pressure against his little friends, to keep them from being banged around. Once at his locker, Kevin opened it up. There wasn't anything he could put them in. There was just a pair of sneakers at the bottom. Kevin had an idea. He took one sneaker and took off the shoe lace. Before taking them out of his pocket, kevin looked around to make sure the coast was clear. Taking his friends out of his pocket, he put them in the other sneaker. He wrapped around the foot opening, the shoe lace from the other sneaker. He kept wrapping the lace around the opening, until he closed it up enough so his friends couldn't escape. He whispered to them, "Sorry to have to lock you up in an a old sneaker. It's for your own protection." Kevin removed his books and closed his locker.
He entered the classroom. He sat several rows behind the girl that had his friend. The teacher; a Mr. Andrews, did a quick head count. Kevin tried to stay low in his seat. Twenty minutes into class the teacher pointed to Kevin and said, "You there. You don't belong in this class." Kevin just turned around, as if the teacher was speaking to the guy behind him. "No, I mean you in the baggy gray sweat pants. What's your name."
"Kevin Nelson. I just got moved to this class." The teacher cheched his list.
"Sorry, I don't see your name. You better go to the office of; students records and clear it up." Kevin got up slowly as he passed the girl, his eyes went to the backpack. He dropped his books. Picking up his books he also grabbed the girls backpack.
As Kevin went through the door, he heard the girl howler, "He's got my backpack." Rushing down the hall, Kevin went into the boys room and into a toilet stall. He fished through the backpack, until he found his friend. Kevin quickly tossed Gary down his pocket. Pushing his hair back into place, Kevin left the boys room and returned to that class. "Sorry, my mistake," said Kevin, as he dropped the backpack on the teacher's desk. Kevin then bolted out of the room.
Running down the hallway, back to his locker, Kevin heard someone say, "Why in such a rush." Turning around Kevin saw Tony. A big and rather stupid jock type. Kevin continued on to his locker.
Sweat was now streaming down his face when Kevin arrived at his locker. He opened it up and removed his friends from the sneaker. Before putting them back in his pocket, he asked if they were ok. His tiny friends just waved at him.
Kevin was about to leave his locker, when he felt a presence behind him. "Please," he thought to himself, "Make it not be Tony."
"What you got in your pocket?" asked Tony, in his dull, mono-toned voice.
"Nothing," responded Kevin.
"Oh," responded Tony. After a moment silence. Tony asked, "If it's nothing, why did you talk to it?"
"I was just mummbling to myself."
"Show me," said Tony who started to grab Kevin.
"I don't need this now you idiot."
"What you call me?"
Kevin's mouth went dry. "It was nothing." Tony's face started to turn red. When Tony stepped toward him, Kevin extended his hand and said, "I wish you were small." Something like lightening came out of Kevin's fingers. "Cool," said Kevin, under his breath. Down at his feet was a two inch Tony. Kevin squated down and picked up Tony. Talking to Tony, Kevin said, "I didn't think I could make a second wish. Anyway, do you know how many people would love to be in my position right now."
Kevin gave Tony bit of a violent shake. Kevin couldn't help and chuckle, as he kept shaking Tony. The tiny bully just swung back and forth under the mammouth fingers that held him by the collar. Several times in the past, Tony had socked Kevin in the stomach, along with his bully friends that hung out with Tony. "Not so tough are you at two iches," said Kevin, who continued to shake Tony. "Or, not so tough when your friends aren't around either." Kevin was enjoying the power he felt. And the glee of giving Tony back some of his garbage.
Kevin stopped shaking Tony, when he thought he heard a high pitched sobbing. Lifting tiny Tony up and across from his eyes, Kevin saw Tony wiping his eyes. "You scared me."
Kevin placed Tony in his hand. Tony backed up and covered his face up with his hands. Between sobs, Tony said, "Don't hurt me. Don't hurt me. I did nothing wrong." Kevin thought Tony was acting like a small child. Just like the others.
Tony continued shaking. In a kind voice, Kevin told the scared tiny teen, "I'm not going to hurt you. Stop crying now." Kevin took some tissue paper from his back pocket and wiped off Tony's tear stained face. Kevin then placed Tony in his other pocket.
Kevin walked off to class. He now had five tiny people in his pocket. He wondered if they would be safer in his locker. However, with the time spent getting Roger back, Kevin was already late for class. Looking down at his pockets, Kevin unzipped them so his friends and Tony would have air. "Still, it must get pretty stuffy in there," thought Kevin, to himself.
When Kevin reached the door to his class; Math 201, Kevin thought he could pretend to be sick and go home. He dismissed that thought. He has been seen all ready and would draw more unwelcome attention. "Glad to see you decided to join us," said Kevin's math teacher, a Mrs. O'Toole. Kevin went to his desk and sat down. The pockets containing his tiny people flopped over the sides of his seat.
Kevin first hated these sweat pants he was given, as a birthday present from his uncle. He thought they were too baggy and with too many pockets. For carrying little people they are perfect. Kevin chuckled to himself. He could imagine ads for these baggy sweat pants on television or in magazines. The ads could show teens placing their tiny people in the pockets. And have their tiny friends give testimonials on how comfortable these pockets are to travel in.
Kevin, became serious. And did his math equations.
When math class was over, english was the next class. During the middle of class, Kevin started to hear high pitched sounds. He glanced down at his pocket. There seemed to be a good amount of activity going on at the bottom of the pocket. From the tiny bulges he could see moving beneath the fleece material. Kevin thought, one of the high pitch sounds of laughter, came from Cindy. Kevin started to feel uneasy. The sounds seemed, to him, to be increasing. Kevin moved his hand down to the side of the pocket and gave the tiny bulges a gentle tap with his hand. The sounds stopped. Kevin felt relief. A few minutes later, they resumed. Putting his hand to his face, Kevin leaned over in his seat, right above the pocket and pretended to sneeze. "Beeee-quuiiet," Kevin tried to say in the form of a sneeze. Laughter spread around the room, from the unusual sounding sneeze. Mrs. O'Toole raised an eye-brow. The sound anyways, coming from his pocket stopped.
Kevin was glad when lunch time came. He figured they must be hungry too. He had thought of dropping the food down his pockets. Kevin though, didn't think that would be very nice. Nor very clean. After getting his food at the cafeteria, Kevin went outside to eat. His biggest problem was to make sure they wouldn't run away. Kevin decided to feed them two at a time. He sat down on the warm, dry grass. Kevin took Cindy and Sara out first. The baggy material made a deep fold in his lap, which would be a steep climb for a two inch person to try and make. Placing them down in his lap, he handed them their food. Kevin was charmed by Cindy's tiny delicate hands that would take the food, and break it up. When the two tiny girls were done eating, Kevin ran part of his napkin up the side of his soda can. The napkin, absorbed the wetness on the outside of the can. Very gently, he picked up Cindy and wiped the food from off her face. He then did the same with Sara.
Next were Roger, Gary and Tony. Kevin was surprised to find Tony had been quiet all during classes. Tony was always shooting his mouth off everywhere. He placed the little guys down in his lap. Roger kept trying to climb the sides of the fleece valley he was in. Kevin kept telling them to stop. When they wouldn't, Kevin let them crawl to the top of the fleece depression. Once at the top, Kevin wiggled his legs, which sent them tumbling back down. They looked up at him. They had long faces. "Now will you guys settle down? I don't want to be mean, but you have to listen to me. I don't want you running around. You could get hurt." said Kevin. They still had long faces. Kevin made a few silly faces for them. Soon they were jumping up and down laughing. Now behaving, Kevin gave them their food.
When they were done eating, Tony extended his arms out to Kevin and said in a child like voice, "My hands sticky." Kevin picked up the tiny jock and wiped off his hands. Once they were safely back in his pockets, Kevin went back to his classes.
On the way to his class, he passed several of Tony's friends. "Little do you know I have your leader in my pocket," he thought to himself. Kevin, as he thought, remembered all the cruel stuff they had done to him and his friends. Knowing he had their leader in his pocket, made Kevin feel cool and tough. "Maybe I should shrink them. I would be doing everyone a favor by removing them. I could later sell them and make a lot of money." Kevin's mind brought the image of Tony stretching out his arms out to him like a child in trust. Kevin also thought, "If I started something with Tony's friends, what would happen if I got pushed to the ground. My friends would get squashed." Kevin just quickly walked by.
Kevin was so glad this school day was over. The first thing he did when he got home, was go to his room. He took them out of his pockets and placed them on his bed. Kevin thought, "Now that school is over, maybe the spell will reverse." With his two hands, Kevin gently moved his friends and Tony together. With a solemn face and somber voice, Kevin spread his hands over his friends and wished them big. Nothing happened. He tried again. Again, nothing happened. Kevin sat down on the bed next to his friends. The weight of his body caused a minor earthquake to his tiny people. Sending them rolling into his hip. "Oh, sorry," said Kevin to his friends. He lifted them up in his hands, where they started to jump around and giggled. Kevin just looked with amazement and joy at the five tiny people having a fun time in his hand.
Later, stretched out on his bed, Kevin let his friends crawl around his head of hair. Use his arm as a slide. Tony was even in the act. Tony climbed one of his brown socked covered feet and tried to stand erect on his big toe. "The world should have such innocence," said Kevin, under his breath. He gazed over and down at Cindy, who was jumping over and between his fingers. He picked her up. "Small like this Cindy, I can protect you from this crazy world." His heart started to beat faster. "Ah, Cindy. I want to be the guy of your dreams. Am I? You have never told me. I want to take you to places where no other guy can. I want to be your hero. And discover new places with you. Maybe, there is a place that has many golden suns and each and every year is one constant spring."
Cindy placed her arms behind her head and in her sqeaky voice, said, "I love you too."
"Mmmm, Cindy." Kevin placed her against the side of his cheek for a moment.