Tiny Speck

by Shrinkingman


Gord Lowe walked across the nightstand and sat for a moment on a dime. He looked around at the grossly exaggerated objects there. A 600 foot long pen; an audio cassette that was just over 20 feet tall. A few coins, including a quarter that was 100 feet in diameter.

These seemed so tiny to him before but now he was one sixteenth of an inch tall, so every inch seemed like almost 100 feet.

He was clad in a T-shirt and some shorts (kind of like a bathing suit type) and was barefoot. A cool gust of wind came from a nearby window and nearly blew him away. But then again he weighed not much more than a few specks of dust. The tiniest breeze would feel like a great wind gust.

He had awoken an hour earlier and found he had shrunk to a very tiny size. He had no idea how it had happened, although he had a guess. The night before he'd been out for a walk and saw a kid of about 14 or 15 point what looked like a cell phone at him; the kid pressed a button and quickly walked away, but Gord could swear he heard the kid say, "rats, it didn't work."

Some kind of shrinking device? Maybe one that had a time delay effect? Could it be that the kid was trying to shrink him and thought it didn't work...but now Gord had found out that it did.

A fly had buzzed down to where he was on the bed and walked over to him. It towered over him like an airplane. He tried to run away but one of the fly's legs curled around him and he was lifted up as if by a helicopter. It flew over to the nightstand and descended down to it; Gord wiggled free and saw the fly take off elsewhere.

So here he was on the nightstand. He walked over to the edge and looked down. 30 inches. 3,000 feet to him. He saw an FM antenna from his clock radio-- a thin piece of wire--extended down about 1,000 feet or so. Far below was a white object that looked soft. He figured he could climb down, then jump the rest of the way. At his diminished size, it might not hurt him. So he did just that, jumping off when he got to the end of the antenna wire.

He landed on a plush white landscape that extended for about 1,600 feet or so. It was one of his socks. And he did indeed make a soft landing.

Gord climbed down off the sock and walked across his wooden bedroom floor. There was one of his sneakers, over 1,200 feet long and about 400 feet wide. Bits of dust and rock-like bits of dirt littered the floor. He walked a couple of miles, heading from the bedroom to a short hall, then into his living room. There he found some food. He knew he had eaten some cookies the night before, sitting on the floor and watching a little TV. Some crumbs remained...but it was more than enough food for him.


Gord had eaten some cookies from a Pepperidge Farm bag the night before; he'd thrown away the bag (back when he was big) but some crumbs had remained on the floor. He dug into one; being flea-sized, there was more than enough for him. Then he walked back toward his bedroom.

Hmm, he thought; what to do now? Try to find that kid and get back to normal size? Good luck. He padded barefoot over the floor. He was wearing the same t-shirt and shorts he'd had on the night before; they had shrunk with him but the socks he'd discarded before getting into bed had NOT shrunk. Odd.

Suddenly a noise came from outside the gargantuan door and he remembered that his older brother was supposed to be stopping by, perhaps with his nephew in tow. Gord (who lived alone) knew he needed help and they might do just that for him. Of course there was no way he could open that door. But he could run underneath it.

And he did, winding up on the carpeted top of the stairs leading down to the other units in his apartment house. Suddenly he saw two colossuses (colossi?) arriving just outside his door; one was about 7,000 feet tall, the other a mere 5,500 feet or so. The taller one knocked on the door and of course got no answer.

Gord could tell it was his brother and nephew but he knew they couldn't see or hear him. Well, he could hitch a ride. He went over to one of his brother's sneakers and looked up at the cliff that was the bottom edge; it ranged from 80 to 120 feet tall. He could climb it but found it easier to use a wayward shoelace that drifted down to the floor. In moments, he was on top of his brother Lorne's sneaker. He found a spot in between the tongue and his brother's white sock; it was comfortable and hopefully safe.

A mile above him he could hear their voices, like claps of thunder above the clouds.
"Guess he's not home."
"His car's here, dad. Maybe he went for a walk." That was the voice of his 10 year old nephew. At this point, his nephew seemed so tall that the Sears Tower would just about come up to his knees.

"He'd probably leave a note if he did; he was expecting us. Maybe he went outside to grab the paper. Well, let's go."

Gord held on tight as Lorne Lowe and his son Sean, both over a mile high, walked down the stairs. A truly bumpy ride in the secluded hideaway Gord had found in his brother's sneaker. Before long he heard noises that sounded like car doors closing. He looked up and saw his brother insert a 300 foot long car key into the ignition; a key that was really about 3 inches long. This was insane; the smallest objects were ridiculously huge.

He didn't think he could climb up his brother; Lorne was wearing shorts. Even if he'd had long pants on, it would have been tough. No, he'd have to wait for his opportunity.

It turned out that Lorne and Sean were going to a city park to walk around. Gord emerged from his hiding place and looked up at his brother. Suddenly Lorne started walking--and Gord found himself being flung down to the ground. The 7,000 foot tall giant headed away. In horror, Gord looked up and saw that his 5,500 foot tall nephew was heading straight for him. As if in slow motion, each 900 foot long sneaker touched the ground--then his left sneaker arose in the air and descended down. In a panic, Gord curled up in a ball and awaited the end. The titanic sneaker landed right on him.

Then it moved away and Gord found he was still alive.

It dawned on him: there were crevices in the sole of his nephew's sneakers...gaps that were much deeper than Gord was tall. That was how he had survived.

"Come back!," Gord cried helplessly. So ridiculous; a 55 inch tall boy was moving away from his uncle (all of 1/16th of an inch tall) and here was Gord, running after the impossibly huge boy. He tripped over a tiny dirt speck and fell flat on his belly.

"Hey, Sean, don't forget to put that can in the recycle bin." He heard his brother instruct his nephew to throw a soda can away.

"Yup!" Just like that, Sean turned and headed back toward his uncle. The massive sneaker moved closer--then suddenly stopped a fraction of an inch from the shrunken man.


Gord was just about to try to climb up his nephew's sneaker but he saw the boy's left leg suddenly move up in the air. The boy took off his 900 foot long sneaker and lay it on the ground; he also took off the other sneaker as well as his socks. Gord ran for cover.

"Gonna take a swim?," he heard his brother ask his nephew Sean.

"Yeah. I'll put my stuff over here." He lay his socks and sneaks off to the side, and the 10 year old barefoot boy walked off. Gord had dashed into the jungle--actually a bunch of 100 foot tall grass. He didn't want to go in too far, fearing the kind of insects there. Gord thought of trying to go back over to his mile-high brother, but Lorne had taken off.

In the short time Gord had been 1/16th of an inch tall, he'd noticed that the "giants" kind of moved SLIGHTLY slowly. Maybe it was an illusion.
But he also noticed that they covered a lot of ground quickly as they walked. Thousands of feet with each stride. He could not have kept up.

Suddenly Gord saw giant fingers searching through the grass and a 5,000 foot giant appeared, complete with magnifying glass. Gord dashed over next to a bottlecap--suddenly the boy grabbed the bottlecap, and it scooped him up.
The giant lifted the bottlecap up to his face. Gord saw a 700 foot long face of boyish innocence; a boy of about 8 or so. The kid's eyes widened as he looked down into the bottlecap.

"Hey, Dad," he heard the giant boy say, "lookit the bug I found."
With that, the boy tipped the bottlecap over and Gord tumbled onto his hand. The boy held his hand up to his father and held the magnifying glass with the other hand. Gord began to jump up and down and wave his arms.

The giant saw what looked like a very tiny man, clad in T-shirt and shorts. He looked almost like someone would appear if one were to go up to the top of a tall skyscraper and look down at someone on the street, using a telescope.

"Amazing! May I...?" The man put one of his own hands up to his son's and asked him to gently tilt it; Gord felt like he was rolling down a hill. He wound up on the man's hand and looked up. Eyes and nose much bigger than him...a thick forest (that is, a beard) surrounded his gargantuan lips.

Gord tried to shout but knew right away he couldn't be heard. Heck, he could barely be seen. "It's not a bug, Jason, it's a...a very tiny man."

"Hmm," said little Jason. "Yeah, I guess it isn't a bug. Bugs don't wear clothes."

"I thought it was a flea or somethin'," the man said, "but he looks too much like a person." The man sat down on a picnic table and placed his hand at an angle so that Gord could easily walk over it and down to the table.

"I guess he'll be a cool pet," said Jason. "Though he's really kinda too small, ya know. Don't know what t'do with him."

"Well, you can keep him in that bottlecap I guess. Fill it with water and he can swim around. I don't know what else--"

The man suddenly stopped, as the observed a gust of wind blow Gord across the table and then off it. It was a mere 3,000 foot fall to the ground but at Gord's size it didn't really hurt him.

The voices came from far above:
"Oh well...he'll be tough to find down there."
"Daddy, I think I saw where he went..."
Gord got up and started walking toward the voices but was momentarily distracted by some ants. He discovered that he was right in their way; a giant had dropped a candy or something and they were marching right toward it. Gord tried to get out of the way but the horde of shoulder-high (to him) insects were just too fast for him. They brushed up against him and he screamed GET OUT OF HERE! The next thing he knew, he was on top of the horde of ants, being carried away as if he were food! He was unceremoniously dumped when they reached their destination, a piece of candy about 35 feet in diameter. Looked like an M&M.


The M & M wasn't the only thing the ants were after. Other treasures could be found in the grass, like some crumbs from an animal cracker and one object that was light-green colored, oval shaped, and about 20 feet high and 80 feet long.

A grape.

Gord went over to it and grabbed some handfuls of it, then ate the miniscule parts of the fruit. He had to move fast, as more than a few ants were jostling for it, too. The ants he had originally seen were shoulder-high to him; now, he same some who were even taller than he was.

He went back to the dirt path and decided to try and find his nephew's socks and sneakers, so he could hitch a ride. His nephew Sean was swimming (this was a city park right on the ocean) but maybe Gord could get to the footwear before Sean got back. He walked down the path; occasionally, a mile-tall kid would walk or run down the center of the path. Gord tried to stay near the grass, hoping he wouldn't get trodden on. It was about a 2 mile walk to him. (To the giants, about ten feet.)

He climbed up on the sneaker and thought about what to do. He could stay in the sneaker and, when his brother and nephew got home, try to climb up and grab their attention. What would that do, though? He had no way to get back to normal size. Sure, he could spend the rest of his life like this. His family would feed him (he wouldn't eat much, that was for sure!) and take care of him. He was too small for a dollhouse but maybe they could find him some kind of shelter.

But no, first he had to get shelter again, via his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew, then think about finding that kid that had shrunk him. Of course he would have trouble communicating with the giants...

Being a foot tall would be bad enough; or six inches, or even just one inch. But Gord was one-sixteenth of an inch tall. Every inch seemed like 100 feet or so. Heck, the size 4 sneakers he was now on seemed about 900 feet long--9 inches long in reality, to contain Sean's 8 and a half inch foot. (A half inch wasn't much to the giants but it was about 50 feet to Gord!)

He heard Sean return and looked up to see him toweling himself off. Sean put on his socks and sneakers, unaware that his uncle was nestled in one of them. He had taken shelter near a shoelace hole. When Sean put his foot in the sneaker, Gord shifted slightly, finding a reclining position just under the shoelace hole and on top of Sean's sock. The sock was comfy--like a two foot thick quilt underneath him.

Soon, Gord's brother and nephew were back home. Sean kicked his sneakers off; Gord prepared for that possibility by grabbing hold of a shoelace and holding on tight. The sneaker flew away a couple hundred feet, but Gord was safe.

Sean had a computer in his room, and a separate phone line. The phone cord separated, one part going into the computer's tower (on the floor) and the other going up onto the desk...into a phone. Gord began to climb up the cord. Only 3,000 feet to him. But he finally reached the top just in time to see Sean turn on the computer and start typing. Instant messaging, maybe.

He walked over toward his giant nephew, wondering how to make him notice him. He realized that Sean might mistake him for being a bug, some mite that had decided to crawl across the table. But he had to take the risk.


Gord saw a Walkman just to the left of the computer monitor. It was a kinda small one--radio only, with a pair of headphones attached. He ran over and climbed to the top of it, using the headphone cord.

It was kind of similar to one he had. There was a HOLD button in one corner; a way to prevent it from being accidentally turned on, or to "lock" a station in. Gord went over to it. He had to push it maybe a third of an inch to unlock the "hold". He pushed against it with all his might; finally it suddenly shifted back. Next he ran over to the on/off button and began jumping up and down on it. He wondered if his tiny weight would make a difference.

An April Lavigne song started to come out of the headphone speakers. Far up, his nephew Sean looked over to the side, puzzled. Gord then ran over to a pre-set button and jumped on that; the sound of a baseball game came forth.

He started to run toward the side of the Walkman but started slipping. He fell over the edge of the personal radio and fell down some 120 feet or so but instead of falling onto the desk, he wound up on a sort of business card that had been hurriedly thrust under him, to "catch him". Alarmed, he looked over at his nephew who still had a kind of puzzled look on his face. Sean brought the business card closer to his face (it was a reminder card for a dental appointment) to get a better look at the odd bug he'd just seen on his radio.

Gord got closer and closer to his nephew's face, as if a camera were zooming in. There was his whole face, then his eyes and nose, and finally just his eyes.

"Hey, Dad," he heard Sean say. "Look what I just saw on the desk..."

His brother entered the room and looked down. "A flea?"

"No, take a good look..." Sean reached into his desk and grabbed a magnifying glass. Through it, the shrunken man could be seen just a wee bit bigger. They saw that this bug looked much like a man, complete with T-shirt and shorts.

"My God...a tiny man. Heck, son, he almost looks like your uncle Gord." Gord started to jump up and down, excited; nearly falling off the card in the process. He could yell but knew they wouldn't hear him. Even if he crawled into one of their ears, it wouldn't work. That was the maddening part of all this: They could communicate with him but he could not with them. He was too small.

"Maybe that's why he wasn't in this morning..."

"Gord? I dunno what happened to you, but we'll help you out..."

Gord's sister in law Penny walked into the room. "I thought you said you couldn't find Gord," she asked her husband.

"Well, he's right here..."

"I don't see him."

"He's down here...somehow he shrank." Lorne Lowe accidentally tilted the card and Gord fell off it--but Sean's fast reflexes came in handy. He fell down onto the 10 year old's cupped hand.

"Nice save, lil' guy," smiled Gord. Lorne showed his brother to Penny, via the magnifying glass.

They found a "room" for Gord, namely part of Sean's computer desk. The carpet was a thin facecloth on top of a mouse pad they didn't need. He could use a flat eraser as a bed, with a speck of cloth for a blanket.

"The cable company will be here tomorrow--Liliput Cable," joked Lorne. Hardy har har.

"He looks barefoot," said Penny. "Can't we get him something to protect his feet?"

"We could improvise but it won't be easy--I mean, if he were a little bigger, I could find some thin felt and some string and make him some sandals, but he's just simply too small..." Lorne was right. Gord's feet were maybe one 100th of an inch long. His hands and feet were almost invisible to the giants' eyes...


He imagined the kind of setup he could have if he had to remain that size. A scaled down house, maybe with a swimming pool in the back (One eighth of an inch deep, half an inch long...) Some kind of protection around it to keep insects away. Well, the "bedroom" they gave him would have to do.

The night before he had been normal sized. Now, people who were his size or slightly smaller were now a mile high or so. His ten year old nephew's feet were each nearly as long as three football fields laid end to end. Objects an inch tall seemed as tall as huge apartment buildings. Everything was over 1,000 times as big and probably millions of times as heavy.

And he couldn't tell his brother's family how it had all happened, so that maybe they could try to get him back to normal. It had been a 14 (or so) year old kid who had pointed a device at him; not only did he have no idea who the kid was, but he couldn't tell his brother and his family ABOUT that kid. Voice too faint to hear; hands that were one-160th of an inch long. If a pen existed for hands that small, he could write and tell them, but they would need a microscope to see what he'd written. The best he could do was leap up and down and wave his arms, to kind of answer "yes" to a question. He'd figure out a way to answer "no" somehow...

"Will he be OK like that?," Sean asked his mom.

"You mean, protected? From insects and stuff?"


"Maybe I have something we can put up as netting, or something to block them from..."

"What about a weapon?" Sean saw a very tiny pin. He put it down on the ground next to his uncle.

Not good. The pin was about four times as long as he was tall. That would not do.

"Maybe he could just sleep in a small box. I have a ring box here somewhere," said his mother. "We could leave it open a crack for air." True, sleeping on an eraser with a thin cloth for a blanket wouldn't be too comfortable. But the ring box would be even worse...though he could feel a bit protected.

One of Sean's classmates, Danny Branford (also 10), had a kooky older brother who always seemed to be trying to invent something. The weirdest one was the device that could shrink someone. Danny didn't believe it, especially when that brother (14 year old Mark) pointed a device at him and pressed a button.

Before, Danny was 4 foot 8. After, he was 4 foot 8.

"Your thing doesn't work."

"I'm still working on it. You're gonna be my test subject!"

"No I'm not! Ya might as well point the remote control at me. Won't work!"

About six hours later, when Danny was playing around with some friends, he found that it did work. Suddenly he was reduced to one foot tall!
He gazed up at his fellow kids, several inches shy of their knees. "Whoa, maybe it does work!"

"What? Hey, what're you doin' down there!," said one classmate, picking up Danny and holding him between both hands.

"My brother shrank me! Lemme down!"

With that, he ran home, pursued by at least one gargantuan dog who had spotted him. About a block from home, the dog knocked him down and started barking. Not in a mean way--he was just playing with a now-too-short boy.

He got up again and kept running--but he was spotted by his classmate, Sean Lowe.

"My God, Danny, what happened to you!"

"My brother shrank me! I gotta get home!"

"Wait a minute--hold on...I think he musta shrank my uncle, too! Though he's REALLY small..." He ran into his house and grabbed a ring box, then tenderly put his uncle in it, stuffed it in a shirt pocket, and ran back out.

They got to Danny and Mark's house. Mark answered the door.

"Hey, Sean, what's up? I don't think Danny's home."

"Yes, I AM home!," came a voice from below. Mark looked down and saw his reduced brother. "Your piece'a crap thing works! Now get me back to normal!" Danny was not much bigger than his 5'9" brother's feet.

"Yeah, and whatever you invented...shrank my uncle, too!," chimed in Sean.

"Uh...well, sorry to hear about that--though are you sure I shrank him?"

"Had to be you that did it!"

"Where is he?"

"Right here!" He took out the ring box and opened the plastic top. The tiny speck jumping up and down was Gordon Lowe. "So bring them back to normal size!"

"Uh, I wish I could," said Mark, still kind of excited that his device actually did work, though apparently there was a kind of time-delay. "But I don't know how...just yet..."

seven (added 12/25/03):

14 year old genius Mark Branford was glad to see his shrinking device worked, but he was also scared once he realized that he had a younger brother and the uncle of his brother's classmate who were both shrunken-- and unless he could develop a way to bring them back to normal size, they could be stuck that way.

"You haven't figured out how to grow me again?," asked Danny, his foot-long younger brother. "Stupid!"

"Well....I kinda am working on it, but I was so anxious to try out the shrinking machine that I kinda got ahead of myself."

"Mom and Dad are gonna be P.O.-ed at you!" Little Danny was right. Once they saw that their oldest son had shrunk the youngest one, he could be grounded for life.

"Well, at least the shrink ray works," mumbled Mark.
"It must take awhile to take effect but it works. Now if I can apply that theory to GROWING..."

In the ring box, Gord Lowe sighed. How long would it take--hours, days, weeks or months? Or would he be stuck at this size--or, worse, would he meet a premature demise, being so small and helpless.

Mark grabbed the shrinking device. "Get that thing away from me!," shrieked Danny, running under the table and colliding with a small plastic wastebasket.
"You'll shrink me even more!"

"Danny! Get back here...I wanna try something. If I set this a certain way, it may grow you again. We can try it on you and if it works we can try it on Sean's uncle."

Sean placed the ring box on a table and sat down on a living room chair. Mark went over and picked up his younger brother and placed him on Sean's lap. "Pretend he's a dummy and you're a ventrioloquist," laughed Mark. Then Mark looked over at the ring box and glanced down at the tiny figure inside.

"I'm really sorry...I didn't know you were Sean's uncle. I mean, I didn't mean to shrink you and--well, I just wanted to try it out on someone."

Danny was trying to run away but Sean held him firmly against his chest. "Danny! Don't worry, I'm sure Mark can get you back to normal....Can't you, Mark?"

Mark sighed. "I think I can." He looked down at the shrink ray and punched some numbers in. "Danny, when did you shrink, just now?"

"yeah...about 15 minutes ago."

"Hmm. I think I pointed this at you about 10 am. Six hours...So if I do it now it won't take effect till 10 pm or so. Unless I do some more adjustments-- and get it to grow you a bit faster than that."

"How do you know it'll grow 'im at all?," asked Sean. "How do we know it won't just shrink him some more?"

Danny shrieked. No, that would be even worse--to try and grow him again but make him shrink even more instead...maybe to as small as Gord now was.
"No way!!," he yelled.

"I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out why it doesn't work on someone right away. It SHOULD. But it takes six hours..."

Sean smiled. "Well, he does look kinda cute being so small..."

"This stinks, being so small! I wanna grow again, Mark!"

"Well, Danny, I'm gonna try this on you--be brave. In fact I'm gonna try to speed it up a bit. Maybe it'll take just 2 or 3 hours this time."

"But you've never even grown anyone at all.."

"There's always a first time. There was, with your uncle. He was the first to shrink. Maybe Danny can be the first to grow."

Mark looked at his younger brother. "Danny, you can let me try this and get back to normal in just a few hours. Or you can stay that way and always be knee- high to a first grader."

Danny agreed, and his older brother punched in some codes on the device and pointed it at him.

to be continued [the rest of the story got lost! will try to find]