Shrinking Man's Kid Troubles

by Shrinkingman

inspired by Richard Matheson's Incredible Shrinking Man

Scott lay on the sofa and thought of better times; earlier. Life was not easy for the world's only shrinking man but there was one time when he was about 3 feet tall, and the shrinking had stopped--at least temporarily. He had met a circus dwarf in a coffee shop and they struck up a friendship.

Sure, he was still married to Louise, but life was awkward between them. Clarice, though, was just Scott's size--both of them were about shoulder-high to a kindergartner--and she understood him. But it would end. One day they were sitting on a park bench talking and they each got up--and that was when Scott noticed it.

"What's wrong?"

"Well can't you see? I'm shorter now..."

"Oh, Scott..."

"It's starting!...It's starting again!" With that Scott ran away from her; he never saw her again.

Yes, the shrinking had started again and he got down to three INCHES tall when, again, it stopped. Would he be this tall for the rest of his life? Could he grow again? Or would he...he shuddered at the thought. Well, so much for "happy" memories, he thought.

He heard noise outside and got up from the sofa, then looked outside the window. Outside was not a lawn or a driveway but the carpeted floor of a larger living room, with gargantuan tables and chairs not far away. Yes, of course, Scott's house was a dollhouse.

What he saw outside was two giants; one wearing sneakers, and one just in white socks. Each foot was three times as long as he was tall. Above them was jeans, a T-shirt, and a youthful face seemingly 100 feet up. He knew one of them was his 12 year old son Bret, and he assumed the other was one of Bret's friends.

And indeed it was--a classmate named Luke Green. Both were in the same grade but Luke had just turned 13. He was about 8 months older than Bret. Oddle enough, while Luke was older, he was shorter (4'10") and looked more kid-like, while Bret, despite being 12, was 5'4" and looked more like a teen.

He saw Bret crouch down and reach into the dollhouse's living room with one hand. Scott ran up the dollhouse stairs to its second level; he could hear his son say "C'mon, Dad! I wanna show you to someone." Scott felt the whole house shake--Bret had pushed against it with his other hand.

He wanted to escape but knew he had no choice. So he went into one of the upstairs bedrooms, walked onto a balcony, and looked up at the two giants.

Bret introduced Scott to Luke; the older boy was fascinated, and Bret allowed Scott to walk onto his cupped hand.

"Kinda like Indian in the Cupboard, huh? Only my dad's real."

Real SCARED, thought Scott. If only Louise were there to protect him--God only knew what these boys could do to him. But now that Scott was far too small to work, Louise had to take a job at the library, and that's where she was right now, in the middle of the afternoon.

He knew Bret was a good kid...usually. Luke? Not so sure.

Luke was noticing how small Scott's hands and feet were. "You're so lucky, Bret--you don't have a dad bossing you around."

It was true. Scott could no longer keep the boy in line, what with the size difference. It had been that way since Scott got to be Bret's size, and then much smaller.

"I'm still your dad, young man," said Scott in his cartoonish voice. Both boys giggled.

"Hey, have you ever thought of bringing him into school and showing everyone?," asked Luke.

Bret looked disappointed. "I'm not supposed to. He stays here."

"You must be lonely, lil' guy," chuckled Luke. He put his thumb and forefinger around Scott's puny body. "When we're at school, what do you do all day?"

"Not much," volunteered Scott. What could a man his size do--that wouldn't get him into danger?

"Be careful with him. I gotta hit the john," said Bret.

Oh no, don't go, Son!, thought Scott, but the colossal boy took off quickly. Scott looked up and saw that Luke was smiling.

A minute or so later, Bret returned and asked where his tiny dad was.

"Oh, he ran away!"

"Cut it out! This is important! Do you know how much trouble I'd--"

"Take it easy, he's in here..." Luke pointed to his shirt pocket. No, he wasn't in there, as it turned out.

"You're lying! Where IS he!"

"Oh, he wanted to cool off..."

Cool off? Bret knew right away what Luke meant. He ran into the kitchen and opened the fridge. No sign of him. Oops--wait...

He opened the freezer section and there he was, shivering next to some ice cream and Green Giant vegetables. Bret quickly got Scott out and put him in a cloth napkin to warm up.

"Hey, I saw some beer in there...let's have some..."

"STOP! You jerk! You could have--"

"C'mon, Bret...who's gonna stop us...him?"

"No way! We'll both get in trouble..."

"Sorry, dude," Luke told Bret.

"That's OK, but you should be apologizing to my dad." Luke walked over to the kitchen table and looked down. "Sorry, lil dude!"

"I'm not a toy, guys. You could kill me! It's hard enough being this small, you know. I shouldn't have to be put in a...freezer..."

The boys both nodded, though they chuckled a little as they once again heard Scott's high pitched voice. It was weird: to Scott's own ears, his voice didn't sound much different--maybe SLIGHTLY higher, but to the kids, it was like a cartoon mouse. Another sign of the loss of power he was suffering due to the shrinking.

"I'll protect you, Dad--you know that," said Bret.

Luke walked over to a cabinet and took out some coffee cups. Bret asked what he was doing.

"Oh, I've got a game we can play--watch this!"

Scott was standing on top of the kitchen table. Suddenly, a four-inch-tall coffee cup was placed over him. Luke placed two other coffee cups down on the table in the same manner, upside down.

"The ball under the shell game! With your dad!" With that, he moved them around. "Guess which one he's under!"

As the coffee cups were moved around, Scott was shoved around--he had to walk around quickly so the side of the cup didn't hit him.

"Stop that!" Bret reached around and placed his hands on Luke's wrists. Luke had the cup which contained Scott under his right hand, but in the jostling, the cup was shifted over to the edge of the table--and out came Scott, falling down some thirty inches on top of one of Luke's sneakers.

Scott wasn't really hurt by what to him was a sixty foot fall, and the top of the footwear somewhat cushioned him. But before he knew it, he fell off the sneaker top and wound up smack dab between the 13 year old's feet, moving up and down as the boy struggled with Scott's son. "Where is he--is he..."

The looked down just as Scott stumbled to his feet and ran off. A gigantic hand scooped him up. He was safe in Bret's palm. Bret put his hand up against his chest and looked down at the tiny figure, who screamed up at him. "Get him away from me! He'll kill me!'

"Sorry Dad! I tried to--"

Luke was a bit shocked to see that he had almost stepped on Bret's dad. "Bret, I didn't mean to hurt the lil' guy..."

"I think I made a mistake bringing you here...I wanted to show him to you--"

Scott demanded he be put back in his dollhouse. "The two of you go play outside or something! Leave, the both of you..."

"It's too rainy," said Bret. And indeed, the sound of a torrential rain could be heard from outside the kitchen. They both apologized to Scott, Bret placed him back in the dollhouse, and they went off to Bret's room to do some computer stuff.

Scott was safe again. For now.