Mr. Newell is Underfoot

by Timothy

For days Paul Newell had slaved over his accounts. Both food and rest he threw to the winds. Even the new shrinking story that he loved, he put set aside as he worked.

Then, it was liberation day for Paul. His accounts were in order. However, Paul found he could not sleep. He tried everything. Sleeping pills. Listening to political debates. Nothing worked. He was starting to become worried. Really worried. For he was starting to feel strange. Really strange.

If he must stay up all day, Paul figured he might as well enjoy himself. He started reading again the shrinking story, 'How Small' by Clive Rimshaw. Parts of the book he found funny. Even if he was outside in a park or in a library, he would burst out laughing. People would give him strange looks. He didn't care. He was too tired and loved the book. All he could think of, even when he wasn't reading--- was the book. Until----

Tuesday 3:45PM. In Large Marge's Supermarket, to get some loose apples. Walking down an aisle, he found himself being bombarded by large Granny Apples. He was confused. Stacks of canned soup, boxes of crackers rose above him. 'Shrunk? Me, shrunk?' That is what Paul thought. His thoughts went elsewhere when he saw the giant black wheel of a shopping cart coming right at him. He jumped out of the way. He watched the pair of black leather pumps go thundering past him.

He saw a mob of shoes and sneakers coming down the aisle so he looked for safety. A stock boy had just come to fill up a display of powdered sugar. Paul ran to the base of the boy's work boot. He tried to call for help. His tiny voice was no match for the chattering of voices and the piped in music. Grabbing hold to the end of a shoe-lace that was dangling over the side of the teenager's boot, Paul grabbed hold. He climbed up the side of the boot. He then sought safety in the cuff of the boy's denim pants. For the first time in weeks Paul felt as if he could fall asleep and he did.

When he woke up, Paul thought maybe it was all a dream. No! To his surprise, he was still inside the teenager's pants cuff. He stood up and looked over the top of the cuff. He was in a room.

He just stood there wondering what to do when a giant hand came down and started to remove a boot. There was a loud thud as the boy threw the boot on the floor after he had taken it off. Then another thud from the other boot.

Paul didn't know how this boy would react to finding a little person in his cuff. He figured he would take the chance. When the foot was still, he climbed out on to the moist brown sock. Feeling movement on his foot, the boy shook it. Paul found himself spinning through the air and landing on the plush orange carpet.

Paul sat up gathering his thoughts. Before he could react two giant fingers picked him up by his mid-section. Two large thoughtful green eyes studied him. 'Cool,' said the boy's voice. The boy put Paul down on his bed. The boy's voice reminded Paul of his paper-boy.

'Stephen, is that you?,' asked Paul. The boy brought his face down. He blinked his huge eyes several times.

'Mr. Newell? What happened?' asked the boy.

Before he could respond, Stephen told Paul not to be scared. He had some friends coming over and they would get a kick out of seeing him. 'Just stay put, Mr. Newell. I will be back in a few minutes with my friends.' The boy started for the door then stopped. He turned back to Mr. Newell. 'Please stay there. You will be safe, pal.' Stephen gave Paul a big smile and thundered out of the room.

Paul knew Stephen to be a good kid but he wasn't so sure about a whole group of these high energy output junior high schoolers. Feeling uptight, Paul went to the end of the giant bed and shimmied down a wooden leg. He walked around the boy's bedroom wondering about all that had happened. Walking to the center of the room, Paul heard excited voices and the rumbling of footsteps outside of the bedroom door. The door flung wide open. Paul knew with sickening clarity that he should have listened to Stephen when he saw those many pairs of sneakers coming right towards him.

Mr. Newell tried the best he could to avoid the on-rushing herd of sneakers. Falling on to his back, he saw a brown shape coming down right for him. He closed his eyes waiting for the pain of death. Instead, he felt a warm moist pressure. He opened his eyes. Paul found himself trapped under the instep to Stephen's foot. He figured it had to be Stephen, since he had seen the boy take off his work shoes and had brown socks.

Paul knew he had to think fast, for his luck couldn't last. He started squirming under the foot. Stephen lifted his foot with surprise when he saw Mr. Newell's little figure rolled up in a ball. He was relieved that the tiny guy was unharmed. Reaching down and picking him up, Stephen found his friends crowding around him wanting to take a look at the little person.

They all wanted to hold Mr. Newell. Stephen told them they could but to be careful. For Mr. Newell, it was unsettling having all these huge fingers poking and probing him. One teenager, named Brad, a large guy in a gray tank-top, was wondering how Mr. Newell came to be so small. Stephen told his friend he didn't know. Brad with his index finger gently moved Mr. Newell's head from side to side as he studied his tiny features.

Another boy named John pulled out of his shirt pocket part of a cracker and wondered if he would like a piece. When John offered it to Mr. Newell, the tiny man shouted up to the boy, 'I'm not a parakeet!'

Brad put Mr. Newell down on the floor where the four teenagers gathered around the little guy. As best he could, Mr. Newell told the giant teens he really didn't know. All he knew was, he couldn't sleep and kept reading the new shrinking book by Clive Rimshaw.

After was done with his explanation, a smirk appeared on Brad's face; he picked up the little person and pulled on Stephen's shirt collar and dropped Mr. Newell down it. Poor Mr. Newell found himself rolling down Stephen's back. 'Hey, what do you think you're doing ---jerk,' said Stephen, angry at his friend for being so thoughtless. Slowly and carefully, Stephen felt for Mr. Newell at the base of his shirt. And slowly he took out his shirt tail and felt his tiny person roll out from under his shirt into the palm of his hand.

The fourth boy, Fred, a quiet lad with glasses, said shyly, 'Yeah, take it easy.' Brad jokingly but roughly placed him into a head-lock. While he was roughhousing with his friend, Brad bumped into Stephen, causing Mr. Newell to fly out of the hand into the air. Fortunately, John (who was next to Stephen) thought fast and caught Mr. Newell. He knew wherever Brad went, some trouble is sure to follow. At that moment, Stephen's mother came into his bedroom wanting to know what all the fuss was about. John shoved Mr. Newell into the side-pocket of his sweatpants.

'Sorry Mom. Just horsing around,' said Stephen, with an innocent face. The mother turned to Brad who still had Fred in a headlock. After a stern glance from the mother, Brad let go of Fred. Fred then straightened out his shirt and glasses. John felt Mr. Newell moving around inside his pocket and gave out a sudden laugh. The mother just shook her head and left the bedroom.

When the mother had left, John took the little guy out of his pocket and gave him back to Stephen. Sitting down in Stephen's hand, Mr. Newell spat out a few balls of pocket lint.

'Are you ok?,' asked Stephen. Mr. Newell gave out a tired yes. Stephen put Mr. Newell into his shirt pocket and after putting on a pair of shoes, the four teenagers went out to have a few hamburgers. It was a fast food joint that also had a bowling alley, computer games and slot machines. Stephen took Mr. Newell out of his pocket, and placed him next to his hamburger. Hungry, Mr. Newell took little bits of bread and hamburger. Brad took a french-fry, dipped it into ketchup and handed it to Mr. Newell. Brad was trying to show the little guy he meant him no harm. However, the french fry was too much for him to handle and Mr. Newell fell over backwards.

Meanwhile, three fish-teenagers approached the table. Stephen covered Mr. Newell with a napkin. These teenagers were part of a new fad called Change Yourself. Their eyes were like fishes; they had multi-colored scales instead of hair and made a blop-blop-blop sound. Brad turned to closest fish-teenager and said, 'Go kiss a shark.' That fish-teenager made a gurgling sound and left with his two fish friends right behind him.

'There's a danger in what they are doing,' said Fred shyly. He was going to say more but Brad told him to be quiet. Fred just sat there picking at his food.

Later after playing a few games, John suggested playing with the new remote models. 'They have a new one called Desert Combat.' The four teenagers signed up for the game. Brad thought maybe Mr. Newell might want to take part in the fun. Stephen, after checking with his little person and finding it would be safe, lowered his little charge in a model tank. With the roaring of gears, Mr. Newell found his tank running swiftly over the sand. Other model toys appeared from over a small hill of sand firing rubber pellets. Mr. Newell was protected from the pellets, and he found he could somewhat steer the model tank. He was able to stop two small model jeeps. Stephen started cheering him on. Mr. Newell was bit of a war-buff and was enjoying himself. At one point, he felt like General Patton on one of his desert campaigns from World War II.

After the game, the four teenagers decided to have a few more hamburgers. Mr. Newell was tired and fell asleep in Stephen's warm hand. Stephen felt rather protective of him and made sure nothing disturbed his sleep. Brad, John and Fred were slighly in awe of the little man sleeping in their friend's hand.

Everybody said their goodbyes and went home. Brad went home with Stephen to go over some homework.

Stephen didn't want to wake Mr. Newell who was still asleep in his hand. As they walked home, Stephen kept his hand cupped and close to his chest.

Once home, the two boys sneaked quietly and quickly up the stairs. Mr. Newell woke to the shutting of Stephen's bedroom door.

'So what do you want help with?,' asked Stephen.

'Math,' responded Brad. Seeing his little person was awake, Stephen told Brad that Mr. Newell was an accountant and could help him. Stephen placed Mr. Newell on Brad's shoulder. Mr. Newell hung on to the gray material of the teenager's tank top.

After an hour, Mr. Newell found himself nodding off. When Brad asked a question and the little guy didn't answer, Brad gave him a poke. Mr. Newell, startled , said, 'Yes, what is it.' When he was awake more fully, he helped Brad.

After Brad was finished, he took the little guy off his shoulder and thanked him. Shyly, Brad's face softened up and he gave him an affectionate squeeze with his hand. Brad said goodbye to his friend and left.

'Boy,' said Stephen. 'You can punch Brad in the face he can get all roughed up in a hockey game and he will show no emotion or pain, but show him some kindness, and the guy softens up.' He pointed at Mr. Newell. "You have a friend now in Brad."

Mr. Newell half asleep, said, 'That---is---great.'

Stephen took Mr. Newell into the bathroom with him. He set his little guy, after he got out of his clothes, in the sink with warm water so he could clean up. Using the nail of a finger, Stephen scraped off a shaving of soap for Mr. Newell. He also made sure the water was low enough in the sink-bowl so that if the tiny guy fell asleep, he wouldn't drown. When his little person was all set, Stephen took a shower.

After getting dried off and into his bed clothes he made a poncho from a handkerchief for Mr. Newell, who was standing with the cap from a jar of cold cream in-front of himself.

With Mr. Newell in hand, Stephen stretched out on his bed and went over some of his own homework. He placed Mr. Newell at the base of a leg, where the little man leaned up against the titan teen's waist. The soft material of the pajamas and the heat radiating from the boy's body sent Mr. Newell to sleep. Stephen looked down at the little man; he felt bad for the guy that he shrunk, but he was glad it was him that had the tiny person. Slowly, Stephen placed Mr. Newell on his pillow as he got up to get something from his desk. A little later, Stephen fell asleep.

In the morning, as he woke up, Mr. Newell was met with a rush of dank warm air and found he was wet. He turned his head to the right and saw the cave-like maw of Stephen's mouth. A little river of drool was slowly leaking out.

When the two were dressed, Stephen brought up breakfast for Mr. Newell. As the tiny man was eating, Stephen went back downstairs to eat with his parents.

Stephen placed his little person (he was trying not to think of Mr. Newell as his pet) in the side-pocket of his new loose-fitting corduroy pants. It was a dark warm cavern to Mr. Newell, who was trying not to think of Stephen, as some mighty being; after all, he was a teenager who for four years was his paper-boy.

Once in a while during class, Stephen would look down at his right pocket, where he could see the slight swell that Mr. Newell's body made. He did find it strange when he felt the little guy moving up against his leg.

Wanting to get some fresh air and see out, Mr. Newell started to move his way, on his hands and knees, toward the opening of the pocket where he could see slivers of light pouring in. Feeling Mr. Newell nearing the opening of his pocket, Stephen slid his hand in and gently shoved his tiny man back to the bottom of the pocket. He was afraid that his little man would be seen or fall out of the pocket.

Stephen left his hand on Mr. Newell for a moment, as a signal for him to stay put.

Between classes, alone in a bathroom, Stephen took Mr. Newell out of his pocket and told him, 'The next class is a math lab. I find it wicked (very) hard. I thought if you are behind my ear, you could whisper to me what the heck the teacher is talking about.' He placed Mr. Newell behind his left ear and covered him up with his slightly wavy hair. During class at different parts, Mr. Newell pushed down on Stephen's giant ear and told him what to do.

At meal time, Stephen sat with his friends, Brad and John. Mr. Newell was out on the table but hidden behind Stephen's arm. The three were talking when Fred showed up. 'So what's going on?,' he asked.

A big wise-cracking grin appeared on Brad's face. 'Do you know what we are talking about, Freddy.'

'No---but I...'

'NO but I what?' Brad's already big grin grew even bigger. 'You're like a child who wonders into a living room during half-way through a tv show saying, 'what's going on.'

Fred just sank into his seat. But he lightened up when he saw the little man. 'Can I hold him?' Stephen told Fred he could.

Fred was about to pick the little guy up, when Brad grabbed his hand and said, 'Be careful, he's fragile.' Fred shook his head in agreement and picked Mr. Newell up with his index and second finger and thumb. He could feel the little heart beat beating against his thumb. Brad meanwhile, took out of his shirt pocket two small paper containers, the kind you use for ketchup at fast food joints.

Much later, after school, the four friends and a tiny man went to a bowling alley. The sound of the balls rolling and hitting the pins was a bit much for Mr. Newell, but he put up with it. They were sitting down at a table at their bowling strip. Fred was coming to sit down at the table with a can of soda he was about to open, when he stared at a pretty girl who was walking by. He opened the can of soda, spraying Mr. Newell off the table and on to the polished wooden floor.

Everything seemed to happen so fast. Getting up, he saw a bowling ball the size of a house bearing down on him. Stephen was in the next lane. Brad called to him and pointed. Stephen thought he was going to throw up when he saw Mr. Newell, standing frozen, with a ball coming right at him.

Stephen jumped over to the next lane, fell and slid in front of the rolling doom and grabbed Mr. Newell. He turned over several times and got up. Stephen thought to himself, 'Please may he be ok.' Stephen had grabbed him pretty hard. However, opening his hand up and seeing Mr. Newell was alive and un-squashed, he gave out a sigh of releif.

Fred thought he was going to get it from everyone but with his eyes filling up with tears, from being afraid he might have gotten the little guy killed, no one, not even Brad gave him a hassle.

No one else in the bowling alley saw the little guy. Stephen was happy that his little person was safe. And Mr. Newell, started to have deep respect for his giant hero!

Putting Mr. Newell back into the safety of his shirt pocket, he and his friends left the Bowling Alley. On the way home, John, said to Stephen, 'Remember how after I helped you fix your father's lawn mower, you said you owed me a favor.'

'Yes,' responded Stephen, who occasionally patted his pocket, with the relief that his little person was truly ok.

'I want to carry Mr. Newell for at least part of the day at school tomorrow. It would be so cool even if no one else knows that I have a person in my pocket.'

Stephen was silent for a moment. In a voice full of anxiety, 'You can. I trust you. But you must promise me, on pain that you will never date Tina Jons, you will look after him.'

'I promise.'

Later, back at Stephen's bedroom, Mr. Newell was still in awe of his giant guardian. No one before had saved his life, let alone taken an interest in his well being. 'Maybe being inches tall isn't such a bad thing,' he thought to himself.

Stephen had no brother or sisters, and he always wished he had a younger brother. Mr. Newell wasn't his brother but an adult, which Stephen had to constantly remind himself of; it was cool to have someone who he could confide in, besides his regular sized friends, and who looked to him for support.

Before going to bed, Mr. Newell wanted to use Stephen's computer. When he found the graphic he was looking for, he had Stephen click on it to print. It was a picture of a badge of honor. After it printed up, Mr. Newell, shouted up to Stephen, 'It is only a copy, but to you a hero's star.' Stephen smiled, and gave Mr. Newell, a friendly poke to the chest.

However, tiny Mr. Newell was thrust-backwards on the computer key board and found his arms and legs caught between the keys. After a few tiresome minutes of gently pressing down on the keys he was stuck between, Mr. Newell was free. Stephen apologized. He placed Mr. Newell on a bed he made out of a sponge, and put the paper with the picture of the badge of courage, tacked to his wall.

The next day, Stephen took his little person to school with him, and kept him in the side-cargo pocket of his denim trousers. Halfway through the school day, Stephen met up with his three friends. With Mr. Newell sitting in his hand, everyone talked about Stephen's great rescue of him. Brad slapped Fred on the back, sending the teen a few feet forward and said, 'All of this was made possible by our friend who can't look at a girl and open a can of soda at the same time.' Fred just turned red.

John remarked, to Mr. Newell, 'Clive Rimshaw, the writer of that book you were reading, is going to be at Books A Rama tomorrow. Maybe, there is a way to return Mr. Newell to normal.'

'Return him to normal,' said Stephen, who looked down at the tiny man sitting in his hand with a weak voice.

John then said, 'Hey,I'm ready to carry Mr. Newell in my pocket for the rest of the day. You said I could.' Stephen grudgingly handed over Mr. Newell to his friend. He instructed him on how to look after the little guy.

Before he could say anything, Mr. Newell found himself desending into the dark gulf of the front pocket to John's green military pants.

Stephen, with a bad feeling in the pit in his stomach, watched John walk off to his next class. Brad put a hand on Stephen's shoulder, 'Don't hassle it. John's a good jerk.'

'Thanks---that makes me feel better,' said Stephen sarcasticly.

On the way to his class, John passed Tina Jons. As he walked by giving her lamb's eyes, he could feel the slight weight of Mr. Newell at the base of his pocket. He wished he could show the little man to Tina. 'Boy, she would think I was pretty cool,' he thought. He put his hand down his pocket and closed his fingers around the living tiny man. He could feel him moving against his skin.

Mr. Newell, in the dark stuffy pocket, wondered what was happening.

John was giving Tina a big smile. A growp of other students rushed by. He then thought, what would happen to the little guy, if others saw him. He felt in one way kind of powerful, since he held this person in his grip. He could feel the movement of life in his hand. He released his fingers from around Mr. Newell, who, with a quiet thud, hit the bottom of the pocket. John, felt the burning duty of responsibility to the tiny man in his pocket and to his friend---Stephen.

John started to feel real pleased with himself, that he thought that way. 'What a great guy I am,' he thought. He walked to his next class feeling real cocky and walked with a swagger. Poor Mr. Newell, was being tossed from side to side inside the baggy pocket.

Stretched out, once again, in a teen's pocket, Mr. Newell could hear the muffled voice of a teacher. The air was getting hot and musty. He banged his hand down a few times on John's leg. Feeling the urgent movement of Mr. Newell, John put the tips of two fingers in his pocket and spread them upward; this allowed for extra air to enter his pocket.

Mr. Newell took in the fresh air. He was moving one of his feet, when he found he was stuck on something. He tried pulling his leg. When he gave it one hard tug, he heard a tearing sound.

John, couldn't figure what all the movement was about and gave the tiny moving bulge in his pocket, a gentle swat.

After the students were given the signal to leave, and when John stood up, Mr. Newell's weight caused him to create a large hole in the pocket. John's rapid motion out of class, caused Mr. Newell to swing back and forth in the pocket, making the hole bigger. Mr. Newell, found himself falling out of the pocket into the darkness of John's pant leg. He frantically tried to hang on to strands of thread from the pocket. He even with his other hand, as he dangled over the pitch black chasm, grabbed hold of a few single leg hairs.

John, put his hand to his leg, pinning Mr. Newell against it. Trying to hang on, Mr. Newell grabbed on tighter to the leg hairs. John gave out a few high pitch yelps. Feeling Mr. Newell starting to slide down his leg, he bent over and walked, while trying to keep the tiny person from falling anymore. He felt like an idiot the way he was walking. Fellow students were laughing at him. One guy in a crew-cut hollowered, 'Lose something there, bud?'

Meanwhile, Mr. Newell's face was pushed up against John's leg and his leg hairs, felt like bristles of a brush against his face.

When he made it to the sanctuary of a bathroom stall, he reached in his pocket and through the hole grabbed hold of Mr. Newell. Bringing Mr. Newell out, he said, 'I hope you're ok. It was a rough ride---for both of us.' Mr. Newell nodded. He then found himself right back in the darkness of John's other pocket.

Several hours later, the four friends were laughing over it. Mr. Newell was back with Stephen. He thought to himself as he sat on Stephen's finger, 'And I thought riding the subway during rush hour was a pain.'

Stephen was getting used to Mr. Newell as being part of his life now. He even has been thinking of a way to present Mr. Newell to his parents. For Paul Newell, he accepted his condition of being several inches tall. And he saw Stephen in a unique way. In part, Stephen was his protector,(he didn't want to think of Stephen as his master. or think of himself as a teenager's pet) and in a way he is Stephen's little mentor. That thought gave Mr. Newell great joy. For he really liked Stephen.

For the last several days, Mr. Newell had been feeling run down. Seeing this, Stephen made sure nothing disturbed him.

Friday Morning at 7AM. Stephen turned over in his bed and smiled at Mr. Newell, who was also getting up. "If you're up to it," said Stephen, "I thought I would take you to school today and tonight to the big hockey game. Our friend Brad is playing."

"Sure. I hope the big guy wins."

Stephen getting use to carrying Mr. Newell around in his pockets, had developed new ways for having more air enter his pockets. The baggy denim pants pockets Stephen plans to carry Mr. Newell in had little holes poked in them. Once placed in the depths of the front pocket, Mr. Newell was prepared for the swinging ride by hanging on to the in-seam of the pocket.

Sitting in the warm darkness of the pocket, Mr. Newell listened to the various classes. During lunch break, Stephen brought out his little man to share his lunch with him. As always, Brad, John and Fred were there. "I hope you can come to the big game tonight," said Brad in a big booming voice. Mr. Newell told Brad he wouldn't miss it for the world. Brad afterwards gave Mr. Newell a friendly poke to the stomach but Brad, never aware of his strengh,(even in a finger) sent Mr. Newell into Fred's rice pudding. Brad quickly cleaned Mr. Newell off.

"Oh! Before I forget. I am going after school, to that book signing with Clive Rimshaw," said an excited John.

"Yeah, someone should tell that jerk what his book did to Mr. Newell," added Brad.

"I don't want to call attention to Mr. Newell," said Stephen, who picked up the little man and placed him back into the front pocket of his jeans.

Friday Afternoon: 4:25PM. John dressed himself up as a nerd. Brad had made the comment that if a nerd was to be sent in, it should be Fred. He afterwards gave Fred a big friendly slap to the side of his head. Fred didn't care for that.

Clive Rimshaw was busy signing books and with the help of a security guard, moved everyone along. When John's turn came, Clive Rimshaw looked up at the teenager with slick-downed hair, big black glasses and a tweed coat. In a high pitch voice, John said, "Well, Mr. Rimshaw. Are you aware of what kind of problems your book can bring. Well--- do you, hmmm"

"Please,what do you mean."

"I mean this book can cause people to shrink."

Clive Rimshaw leaned over to the security guard, who asked John to leave. As he was being forced up out of his seat, John yelled out loud, "I don't want your stupid book or autograph." Looking around at everyone, "Careful, his book will cause you to shrink, if you're not careful. Watch, that you don't find yourselves shrinking." Everyone laughed, as John was thrown out the store.

Later. "Well, I guess I didn't handle that too well. The only way they would believe would be if they saw Mr. Newell."

"No! As I told you as we were going down to the store. They would only put him in a lab for a bunch of egg-heads to study and poke over," said Stephen, with both fear and anger in his voice.

"Ok Steve. I wouldn't want anything to happen to him." John gave Stephen a friendly punch to the arm, which Stephen returned.

Looking down at Mr. Newell, Stephen noticed how his hair seemed to be turning white. He was concerned.

Friday evening: 7:30PM. Down in part of the locker-room, where no one was around, Stephen brought Mr. Newell down with him, to wish Brad good luck. Brad lifted Mr. Newell up and as he ran the surprised little guy over his short crop of hair, told him, "This is for good luck."

As he tried to get the taste of hair cream out of his mouth, Mr. Newell shouted up to Brad, wishing him a great game.

The sounds of hundreds of teenagers screaming, was a bit overwhelming at times and Mr. Newell, in Stephen's shirt pocket, had to cover his ears.

After the game and it was Brad's team (Stephen's school) that won, the three friends ran up to their friend. As they were giving Brad all sorts of hugs and hand shakes, a teen bumped into Stephen, who lost his footing on the ice and fell down. Also falling was Mr. Newell, out of the pocket.

Mr. Newell, was sure one of the many sneakers and/or ice-skates were going to get him. A teen from the other team, a big strapping lad with orange hair, saw, to his surprise, the tiny figure of Mr. Newell trying to get up. He took his hockey stick, and pushed Mr. Newell away from the herds of shoes and ice-skates.

"Where is Mr. Newell!" yelled Stephen over the din of cheering voices. He grabbed John and Brad. They started to push through the crowds.

Fred, who was slowly making his way over the ice, spotted the teen pushing Mr. Newell, along with his stick. "Hey---over here!" screamed Fred, who fell down on to the ice. Brad looked over, and saw the other teen moving away.

He didn't see what the other kid was pushing with his hockey-stick, but he had a good idea. Using his own stick, Brad flipped up the bottom of the other kid's stick, and saw Mr. Newell spinning around on the ice. The other kid, gave Brad a hard jab with an elbow in the chest and said, "The little guy's mine."

The teen, reached out at the tiny spinning figure of Mr. Newell and with the flat end of the hockey- stick, brought in reach, the tiny man.

Mr. Newell, during this, was in great pain and fear.

Meanwhile, Stephen, John and Fred were trying to cut off the teen. Seeing them, the teen stopped and was about to reach for Mr. Newell, when Brad slammed into him. Sending the teen and himself on to the ice. Stephen ran up to the still figure of Mr. Newell.

Many other kids, seeing the excitement, came and stood around Stephen and his friends. In a tearful voice, Stephen said, "Mr. Newell?"

Mr. Newell stirred, just barely. He motioned with his hands for Stephen to bring him up to his giant ear. In a low whisper. "I enjoyed my time with you. If I was ever to have had a son(he touched and stroke Stephen's ear-lobe), I would want him to be like you---son." Mr. Newell went still. Stephen was numb all over.

Before, anyone could stir, they heard Stephen give out a loud, "Wow." He started to turn faster and faster on the ice. A glowing ray of light shot up from Stephen's hand as he continued to spin even faster. For a moment, Stephen was nothing but a blur.

Several kids yelled out, "What the heck?"

Brad, Fred and John couldn't believe their eyes. Standing before them was Stephen and the adult size Mr. Newell.

Story dedicated to real and true friends everywhere.


By Timothy Lacey 12-14-2000