The Prott family decided to vacation somewhere different this year-- on a planet similar to theirs, with compatible atmosphere and human inhabitants. The locals called this planet "Earth".
It would be a couple weeks of relaxation and socialization with the Earthlings. Drox and his wife Lekka had seen TV shows from Earth (signals which had wandered through the galaxies). They managed to pick up the language, as did their twelve year old daughter Rewi and their eighteen year old son Werjo.
The Protts landed their space pod in a field and got out, ready to explore the landscape. If they had to, they could stay in their space pod, but Drox figured that they could find a motel, if possible.
They found one impossibly huge structure which had a massive door on its front side. Drox could just about reach the doorknob, but found it wouldn't turn. "We'll check out the back door," said Werjo, who ran off with Rewi to the back of the structure.
It wasn't a traditional door but one with a sliding glass-- and it was unlocked. Werjo had to strain with both hands to get it open and boy was it heavy, and tough to move. He and Rewi went inside and found that it looked like a dining room of some sort--only the table was just about as tall as they were, and mammoth chairs circled it. Werjo, clad in his T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, climbed onto one chair and Rewi took a picture of him on it:
They would find out later that the people who lived in this structure were all over twice as tall as they were. In fact, under Earth measurements, Werjo was about 30 "inches" tall and weighed about twelve "pounds".
At this point, Drox and Lekka were heading toward the back of this structure, which they figured was probably a house, not a hotel. They spotted the back door but before they knew it, a huge, reddish four-footed creature sprinted by them, followed by a even bigger two-legged creature who had to be about twice their height and much heavier than the two of them put together. And the giant looked like an eleven year old boy.
The boy entered the house (the sliding glass door wasn't much of a bother to him) and spotted the diminuitive teen sitting on the dining room chair.
Werjo abruptly slid off the chair and scampered off into the distance, Rewi in tow. Lekka and Drox peered cautiously into the room from behind the glass door. "oww! Leggo of my hand," said Rewi as her older brother grabbed her and they tried to make a run for it. There was a door in one direction and they fled for it when-- THUD! Werjo collided with the dog, which was nearly as tall as he was (but much heavier).
Werjo collapsed on the floor; Rewi tried to help him get up when suddenly the Earthling spoke.
"Hey, hold on lil' dudes, I won't hurt ya." Werjo looked up, and up, at the towering figure who stood almost twice as high and weighed about 7 or 8 times as much as he. Werjo hoped that the boy would hold true to his word-- he sure seemed big and strong enough to cause damage to them, but the kid seemed OK. The boy sat cross legged on the floor as if to get closer to their level, but it was clear his arms, hands, legs, and feet were much more huge that those of his little visitors.
The dog actually began to lovingly lick the faces of the 30" tall Werjo and 25" tall Rewi and then lay on the ground. Sensing no danger, Werjo and Rewi started to pet the dog who rolled over on his stomach, enjoying the attention.
Werjo spoke first. "Uh, I don't know if this is your house, but we didn't break in or anything-- I mean, we needed a place to stay and your door was--"
"It's OK," smiled the boy. "Wow, you dudes are small-- I mean, you aren't much bigger than a 2 or 3 year old." He pointed to Werjo. "You look like you're, what, 16?"
"18. And my sis is 12...about your age."
The boy gently shook Rewi's hand. "Yeah, I never seen someone my age who's so tiny. Dollsize...well, maybe bigger than that."
"We're all this size on...," started Rewi. Should she tell him?
"On our planet," came a voice from near the dollway. It was her mom, Lekka, who was entering the room with their dad. "We're visiting from planet Myekrow." She and her husband extended their hands up toward the boy (they remembered the custom from the Earth TV broadcasts they'd seen). "Your world is kinda like ours-- well, other than the size of the people..."
Drox shook his head. "I knew people like us lived here on 'Earth'. I just never knew you'd be so big."
The boy introduced himself as Zach Brewer and told them they could stay with him if they wanted. "Maybe two of ya can sleep in my room and two in my brother's room."
Just then a massive vulpine figure appeared at the door. It was covered in red fur, with a red and white tail; massive paws, and bulky arms and legs. "Arrrrggh! Where's the chicken coop?"
The tiny visitors were shocked and scared-- Rewi and Werjo clinging to Zach for protection, while their parents tried to hide in a closet.
"Randy! You're scaring my friends!"
"I am?" A less manacing voice came from the massive furry creature. The gigantic fox took his head off...
It's transforming!, thought Drox.
"Don't worry, everyone, it's just my brother." They looked up again and saw that it was another human, even bigger than Zach, but he was wearing a fox costume. The human face seemed weird atop a vulpine body. "He's wearing his 'fursuit'...a costume!"
Werjo cautiously walked up to the boy's brother; it was almost like an Earthling confronting a 14 or 15 foot tall creature. Yes, far above the mass of red fur was a human face. Almost looked a couple years older than Werjo.
Randy Brewer looked down at the wee 18-year old below him, who was not just very short but extremely thin. Werjo extended his hand up to shake Randy's "paw". Randy seemed puzzled...this person below him was about two and a half feet tall but sure didn't look like a 2 or 3 year old, or even a dwarf.
"They're from another planet," Zach explained.
"Oh. Well, I guess that's a bit more off beat than just being a 'furry'!," he laughed.
And so it was that the four humanoid aliens met up with two giant (to them) boys from Earth. To Randy and Zach, it was kind of mindblowing to think that they were actually meeting two creatures from another planet-- and that they were so much tinier than them. Shorter, lighter, and weaker.
When Werjo stood next to Randy, it was almost like an Earthling meeting a fellow humanoid (in a fox suit, though) standing 14 feet tall and weighing well over a ton. Werjo felt a mixture of fear and excitement standing next to Randy. As it turns out (and he explained this later), he'd always been interested in giants and the prospect of being in a world of giants (he'd even written some short stories about it on 'the connector', which is kind of like planet Myecrow's version of the internet). He was excited because he was finally meeting a giant...and also a bit scared when he saw just how big "big" could be!
"So will mom and dad mind if they stay with us?," asked Zach.
"Maybe, maybe not...we could kind of keep it a secret. They might take 'em away from us--"
"Why would they do that?"
"Well, remember these are aliens, Zach...maybe they'd take them to the police. They might be afraid they'd spread disease to us or somethin'."
Drox looked over at Lekka and then up at Randy. "Surely not us!"
Randy crouched down a bit and looked Drox in the eye. "Well, maybe you don't mean to, but how are we to know? And hopefully we Earthlings won't give you any strange diseases. We wouldn't mean to, either..."
Lekka nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure if you guys showed up on our planet, some of our people would freak out too."
"'Specially since we're so huge to you," said Zach. True. Even though Zach was just under 5 feet tall, he was just over twice as tall as the Myekrowvians and outweighed them by plenty.
Zach and Randy laid down a sleeping bag in Randy's room and some blankets in Zach's room; Drox and Lekka would sleep in the older boy's room while their kids would sleep in Zach's room. "I guess you're our 'little brother' now," laughed Werjo. Maybe little in age but not size-- he was easily at least twice as tall as Werjo and Rewi.
The Brewer kids had decided not to tell their parents (as it was, their father was away on business for a couple more days and their mother wouldn't be home much of the night, as she was attending the wedding of a classmate. She'd left Randy in charge of taking care of Zach, and gave him some money so they could order some pizza. Zach planned to watch some TV and Randy wanted to do some MUCK-ing on his computer. (He'd taken his fox fursuit off.)
"Can I--can WE go to the pizza place with you?," asked Zach.
"I guess--er, even our new friends?"
"Yeah--people might think they're dwarfs or something." Actually, they were slightly smaller than most "little people" and also weighed a bit less...although Drox was rather overweight for his height. He weighed...twenty pounds.
They headed for Randy's car which was parked across the street. Zach held the hands of Rewi and Werjo as they cross the street (leading them across as a parent might, on the way to school). Randy carried Lekka in his arms but Drox insisted on walking by himself.
There was a squeal of tires-- Drox wasn't watching where he was going and a massive car lurched at him! Randy held Lekka in his left arm and reached out to grab Drox with his right, pulling the tiny alien back just in time! He profusely thanked Randy for saving his life.
They drove to the pizza parlor and were told that the pizzas were almost ready. The counter was far too high for any of the aliens to see over-- they just heard the voice of the girl behind it. Some families were eating pizza at tables, and a TV in the corner of the room was showing "SpongeBob Squarepants". For the most part, that diverted the attention of the kids in the place, though sometimes they looked over at the Prott family, ranging from two to two-and-a-half feet tall. (They were the size of really little kids, but they sure looked older than that...)
One boy of about ten or eleven walked over to them and looked down at Drox; the tip of Drox's head was just under the boy's waist. Drox was used to being taller than kids that age, not half as tall as them. "Hey lil' dude," the boy said cheerily. Then the boy noticed Zach, who was one of his classmates. "Hey Zach, you with these lil' guys?"
"Yeah...they're from another planet."
The boy nodded his head slowly. "Right..." He didn't believe Zach. "Sure they are..."
They headed back to Randy's car with the pizzas (Randy and Zach carried them, as they were a bit too big for the aliens). When they got in the car, Rewi was the first to speak. "Is that a friend of yours, Zach?"
"Yeah, his name's Mark."
"He's cute. I was almost gonna talk to him but I was kinda shy."
They all enjoyed pizza and soda at home (the aliens drinking from coffee cups, as full-size glasses were a bit too big for their tiny hands). Randy showed Werjo some of the things he'd found on the internet about his "furry" interest. He mentioned that in just a few days, he'd be going to a "furry" convention nearby and would wear his fursuit there. "Maybe we can get one for you, too... you could be a lifesized raccoon or something." (Actually, while Werjo was slightly taller than a real life raccoon, the raccoon probably would weigh twice as much.)
Werjo was already excited at being in a giant's world...now, he was also getting interested in "furry" and he and Randy, being of roughly the same age, were getting along well.
Soon, Werjo and Rewi retired to Zach's room while their parents shared a sleeping bag on the floor of Randy's room. Mrs. Brewer came in a bit after that.
Around 12:30 am, Drox found he had to go to the bathroom. He walked into the hallway and found that the lightswitch just outside the door was about 51 inches up, way too high for him to reach. He found a broom nearly twice as tall as he was and used that to flick the lightswitch on.
He was just about the use the mammoth toilet when the bathroom door opened and Mrs. Brewer spotted the strange man, all of 29 inches tall, in there. She let out a shriek and yelled at him to get out. "WHO-ARE-YOU, WHAT-ARE-YOU-DOING-IN-MY..."
Drox fled into Randy's room; the scream had awakened just about everyone else. Mrs. Brewer poked his head into Randy's room; he turned the light on next to his bed and wearily said, "Mom, I can explain..."
Randy and Zach (who had been awakened by all the commotion) took turns explaining that the Protts were indeed a family from another planet who needed a place to stay. ("We could sleep in our spaceship but it's kind of cramped," said Drox. "Figured we could meet some people here to put us up for awhile...")
"I guess you can stay here," said Mrs. Brewer, who then looked at her sons and said to them, "I wish you had asked me first. You can't just take in strangers like this-- without asking me, at least."
Mrs. Brewer looked back at the tiny family (the four of them combined probably weighed less than 60 pounds). "I'm sure you're nice people and all, but, well, we haven't really met before and..."
Lekka Prott gazed up at Mrs. Brewer. "That's OK. I understand, ma'am. I'd probably feel the same way if my kids brought a family of strangers in without asking me first."
"I bet we'd be a bit too big to fit in YOUR house," laughed Zach. They all nodded their heads and chuckled.
The next morning, Zach and Randy went into the woods where the Protts' spaceship was. It was a bit heavy but they managed to carry it back to their own backyard (certainly, all 4 of the Protts wouldn't be able to do the same, but the ship weighed much less to the Earthlings.) Now it would be safe (who knew what would happen to it if it stayed in the forest...)
The Protts and the Brewers got to know each other, and exchanged bits of info about their respective planets. In some ways, Myecrow was like Earth (though its human citizens were all no bigger than two and a half feet tall). Instead of dogs and cats, foxes and wolves were pets (and the animals of Myecrow were just as small in proportion with the humans of the planet). Drox Prott was a bit of a science buff-- not only did he design the spaceship they rode to Earth with, but he put together the satellite dish that received Earth TV programs (thus learning a bit about Earth customs and the language of English, among other tongues).
He had convinced his family they'd have fun going to another planet, one with humans as well. And, well, they DID have fun, together with their Earth hosts, the Brewers. (They did eventually meet up with Mr. Brewer, whose reaction to his sons' befriending of the Protts was similar to that of his wife: he was a little leery at first but warmed up to the idea with time.)
The young Brewers went for walks with the Protts (though the tiny visitors had trouble keeping up with the lankier Earthlings). They visited a neighbor's pool (due to their small size, the Protts tended to stay in the shallow end). Werjo and Rewi rode with Zach on his scooter, tagging along with the gargantuan 11 year old.
And Werjo did indeed attend the "furry" convention with Randy. A raccoon costume scaled down to Werjo's short and skinny frame was designed, and he wore it in the convention's "masquerade", which was a variety show where people dressed as animals and did skits or musical numbers.
Randy, in his fox costume, got on stage and started lip-synching to a 1970s top 40 hit by a group called First Class (though it sounded much like the Beach Boys). "Do you remember back in olden days/ When everybody drove a Chevrolet/ Whatever happened to the boy next door?/ The suntanned, crewcut all-American male?
"Remember dancing at the high school hop/ The dress I ruined with the soda pop/ I never recognized the girl next door/ The beat up sneakers and the pony tails...Beach baby beach baby, give me your hand/ Give me something that I can remember..."
To that, other people in fursuits (foxes, wolves, raccoons-- yes, even little Werjo) joined him and lipsynched to the music: "Long hot days/ Blue sea haze/ Juke box plays, but now it's fading away..."
The crowd loved it! Later, Werjo joined the other "fursuiters" as they paraded around the hotel.
("Beach Baby" by First Class copyright 1974 Carter-Shakespeare)
-6- Rewi was determined.
She found out that the boy she'd seen in the pizza parlor was named Mark Greenwell. She turned the massive pages of the local phone book to find out where the Greenwell family lived (she hoped it was the right one-- what if they actually had an unlisted number instead?) and she utilized a map in the phone book to find out how to get there. And on a sunny Saturday morning, she got up early and took a walk to see Zach's classmate Mark.
She saw him emerge from his house, headed out for a bike ride. Rewi said hello to him and his mouth dropped open. A twelve year old girl, just a hair over two feet tall! She was a pretty little thing in a dress scaled down to her miniature frame. Mark loomed over her, his youthful face way up in the sky, a bulky (to her) torso, long legs, and big feet. Actually he was just above five feet tall and weighed 100 pounds-- what most adults would consider fairly puny-- but to her he was like a colossus. His body blotted out the sun and cast a long shadow over her.
Mark put his bike aside and crouched down beside her. "You're one of them 'aliens', right?," he asked her. "The ones I saw Zach with?"
"Yeah. And he's not lying to you; we are aliens."
"You're cute!," said Mark. (Rewi was about to say the same thing to him!) "And so small--I feel bad for you."
"Yeah--I mean, I don't know how big you are on YOUR planet, but here you're just a lil' weak thing. Must be tough for ya."
"It's OK. I don't mind."
They heard a voice nearby. "Rewi! Oh, THERE you are!" It was Werjo. He walked over to Mark and his little sister. "We were worried sick when we didn't see--"
Mark stood up straight, to his full 61-and-a-half inch height. He looked down at Werjo and frowned slightly. "She'll be OK, 'big brother'..." Werjo backed away slowly, intimidated by the mammoth pre-teen. Rewi gazed back and forth, from her older brother to her giant new friend.
Suddenly Mark smiled. "Don't worry, lil' man, I won't hurt ya." He looked down at Rewi. "You look nice, honey. You need someone big and strong to protect you."
Just then a couple of Mark's classmates walked by and they saw him next to the tiny, twelve-year-old Rewi. "You baby-sitting?," they chuckled.
"She's not a baby. She's our age," replied Mark.
She waved up at them. "Hey guys. Nice to meet you," she said nervously. Rewi and Werjo were now surrounded by three towering twelve year old boys and they both felt a bit uneasy.
They spotted Werjo and walked over to him. "Hey, shrimpy. You LOOK like a college kid but...," said one.
"Boy, are ya scrawny or what!," added the other. "We oughta race you." He stood next to Werjo and placed his big, sneakered foot next to Werjo's baby-sized foot. "I guess I have a bit of an advantage..."
"C'mon we gotta get going," said the first (they were on their way to Little League practice). "We can deal with the midgets later." They both laughed and headed off.
Mark waited till they were out of sight, then he crouched down and tenderly took Rewi's puny hand. "You're not gonna hurt my brother, are you?," she asked warily.
"My name is Rewi." She pronounced it "RE-wee".
"Rewi, I won't do anything like that. I was just kinda kidding a minute ago." He stood up again and went over to Werjo, then crouched down again and extended his right hand, palm up. "Right, little buddy?"
Werjo, remembering an Earth custom from the TV broadcasts he'd seen, slapped his miniscule hand on top of Mark's hand, and Mark carefully did the same in kind to Werjo's hand.
So as far as Mark Greenwell and Rewi went, the feelings were mutual. It was love, or at least a pretty strong friendship. They did things together and Mark made sure to watch out for his little girlfriend, knowing that she was (at least temporarily) stuck in a gigantic and possibly dangerous world.
"Dangerous" was right. Dangerous for the tiny aliens-- and also for Earthlings as well. Everyone found that out the hard way.
Zach was walking around by himself, listening to a Walkman and enjoying the late summer day. He was at a fairly deserted park and made the mistake of going into an area hidden by some bushes and tall trees. Suddenly Zach felt a huge hand grab him by the arm. The next thing he knew he was being dragged away by a tall, powerful man. He tried to struggle but it was no use--and he was hustled into a car.
Werjo was out for a walk himself and he managed to see Zach being dragged into the car which then sped off (he did catch a glimpse of the license plate. He saw a cellphone on the ground-- it was Zach's (it had fallen out of his pocket). Werjo pressed the "9" key which automatically dialed 911. He told the police that he had just seen a young boy being abducted and he relayed the license plate number and tried to describe the type of car and appearance of the man as best he could.
It was in the news often, TOO often. Children being abducted, assaulted, and in some cases murdered. Werjo did manage to get a glimpse of the abductor and get his license plate, but he only wished he could have been big enough to run after him and fight him. But the size difference was just too much.
Werjo ran back to the Brewers' house, which was a block or so away. He told Randy (Randy and Zach's parents were off at work) and he and Randy headed over to the police station to see what they could do to help (Randy used the cellphone to call his parents at their jobs).
"We'll get him back," Randy told him, though deep down he wondered if they would. These type of sickos prowled places like that park, looking for kids to abduct-- and sometimes by the time they were caught, it was too late. They had killed their prey and buried the bodies in their back yard.
Just the other night they had seen something on the news about a child molester being sentenced to life in prison for his capture, rape, and murder of a young girl. After he was sentenced, the parents of the victim said they were relieved that he was being brought to justice.
"But it doesn't bring our daughter back."
Randy hoped it didn't come to that.
Soon afterwards, Randy's parents showed up at the police station-- just in time to hear that several units were in hot pursuit of the kidnapper. The description of the car and the license plate were identical to what Werjo had seen.
The kidnapper had placed a cloth containing ether up to Zach's face, and he fell unconscious. Meanwhile, the police had a plan to capture him: they placed a "spike strip" on the road ahead of him. Sure enough, the kidnapper drove over the strip and three of his four tires went flat. He continued to drive, the blown out tires now simply exposed rims, but couldn't get very far; so he stopped the car and ran off--but was easily captured by officers. One officer went to the car and got Zach out; he regained consciousness after awhile.
At the police station, Zach was reunited with his family--and with his "other family". When he was told that Werjo had called in the kidnapper's license plate, resulting in the crook's arrest, Zach kneeled down and hugged Werjo tightly. He may have been half the height and one sixth the weight of Zach, but Werjo managed to save the boy from what could have been a horrible fate.
Well, the Prott's vacation time was soon ending. Drox and Lekka had become friends with Mr. and Mrs. Brewer, and said goodbye to them. Werjo promised to spread the word about "furry" and "fursuits" to his home planet of Myekrow, and Rewi bid farewell to her big new friend, Mark Greenwell.
"Maybe you can visit us on our planet," Werjo told Zach. "We could send a spaceship to bring you there--of course, it's have to be a big one..." Everyone agreed it was an awesome idea.
(That night, Zach had a dream that he was on Myekrow, where he was twice the height and many times the weight of the average Myekrovian. He dreamed that he saw a kidnapper grab Rewi but the crook didn't get far--he looked up to see the huge Zach running after him, loud THUD!s from his overly huge sneakers! Zach rescued Rewi as the kidnapper ran away, terrified...)
Later, back on Myekrow, Werjo posted some pictures on The Connector, his planet's version of the Internet. It showed a giant (to him) family huddling around the Prott family. "That's gotta be trick photography," one person emailed Werjo. "No-one's that big!"
Werjo replied, "Well, at least one planet does have people that big. And who knows--you may get to meet them in person someday, when they take a vacation on Myekrow..."