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Rated: 18+ · Book · Sci-fi · #2286844
Old novella I wrote between 2000 and 2008, recently updated!
#1041885 added December 28, 2022 at 8:08pm
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Chapter 8: Arrival At My Destination!
Chapter Eight: Arrival At My Destination!

I stood on the window ledge and tried to remain absolutely still. The cat hadn't seen me, and despite knowing that Nixie the Pixie had told me that normal sized people and animals can’t smell shrunken people and vice versa, I wasn’t completely convinced. It just wandered around the front yard, smelling the grass. The cat seemed interested in a gopher hole in the center of the yard, and was circling the hole as it made its way around. The cat was obviously aware that a gopher made its home there.

The silence was shattered by the arrival of the paper boy on his bicycle. When he threw the morning newspaper, it smacked the concrete not far from the cat, and scared it away. After the cat disappeared around the side of the house and the paper boy was far enough down the street, I began pounding my fists on the window as hard as I could. One hundred men my size couldn't have knocked a hole in that window, because it was almost twice as thick as I was tall. It was obvious that the sounds of my pounding weren't very loud to normal sized ears, but I had to try to make contact with Jerrica or her mother before the cat returned.

I detected movement through the thick glass. A familiar figure went about her daily routine as she prepared to leave for work. It was Jerrica’s mother, known to the law-abiding citizens of Matheson county and feared by its criminals as District Attorney Susan Calypso.

As she tried to hold both her briefcase and her morning cup of coffee a figure stirred on the couch. Covered in a blanket, Jerrica had apparently fallen asleep on the living room couch watching television, which was a consistent habit for her on weekends and holidays. Mrs. Calypso had more than enough money to buy a TV and VCR for Jerrica to keep in her bedroom, but Susan Calypso wouldn't allow it. Susan Calypso firmly believed that the bedroom was a place for studying.

When Mrs. Calypso opened the front door, it became apparent why my futile efforts at making contact by pounding on the window had zero effect. My tiny ear-drums were assaulted by the music of a heavy-metal band transmitted through the now open front door. The volume probably wasn't loud to the ears of a normal-sized person, but my six millimeter stature had endowed me with very acute hearing; the sound penetrated my ears at the deep end of the bass spectrum, minus about half of the higher-pitched sounds, but with the decibels amplified to a level equal to that of a jet engine starting up less than a foot from my ears. It had been years since I had seen a heavy metal video on TV, and I found myself wondering if they were having one of those top-one-hundred-videos-of-all-time countdowns on one of the music video channels.

The front door opened. Jerrica’s mother walked over to the driveway, and started up her Mercedes. The front door was still open, so I took a running start and leaped from the window sill to the leaf of the agave plant just below me. I made my way down the plant, sliding down and letting gravity do most of the work. Mrs. Calypso let her car idle as she returned to the house, and shut off the television. She probably wasn't as concerned about the wasted electricity used by a television that wasn't being watched so much as she was by the fact that the lyrics of the song were encouraging listeners to commit crimes, and those lyrics were being amplified to the ears of neighbors who knew Susan as the District Attorney of Matheson county.

I jumped from the bottom leaf to the door jamb, and ran in just as Mrs. Calypso turned from the TV and started walking back to the door. I ran behind a house plant just as she closed the door behind her and left. She hadn't seen me. I had made it. After all of this time, I'd finally reached Jerrica’s house. Now, my only problem was finding a way to get her attention without getting accidentally stepped on.

Jerrica was still asleep up on the couch, far above me. I knew it was best to avoid the areas of the carpet that were walked on the most, by sticking close to furniture and the edges of the walls, because there was no way of knowing if Jerrica would suddenly wake up and lumber across the center of the carpet without seeing me, and I didn't want to be in her path if that happened. The world can be a dangerous place when you're six millimeters tall.

I saw the basket that contained Susan's yarn and sewing supplies near the living room closet. It had always been there, but I had never paid attention to it when I was normal-sized, but now I saw that it was the key to making contact with Jerrica.

I began to climb the wicker basket. It was about eighteen inches high, which to me seemed like the size of a building. By the time I was halfway up, the height would've made me dizzy had I been at the same proportionate height at normal size, but I knew my decreased mass protected me from falling from altitudes that would kill a normal size person if they fell from an equivalent altitude.

There was a spindle of purple yarn, and I realized it would contrast with the off-white carpet. All I had to do was unwind enough yarn and spell out Jerrica’s name in cursive, and she would see it. Climbing the yarn was easier than climbing up the wicker basket, and soon I found the end of the strand of yarn.

I pulled it and unwound the strand of yarn, working my way around and around the top of the spindle of yarn. I lowered what I unwound to the carpet below, and after a few minutes I had what I needed, so I climbed back down.

I stretched out the length of yarn on the carpet, and began manipulating it until I spelled out the name "Jerrica” in large enough cursive letters so large that a normal sized person would be able to easily see it. I sat down by the yarn, and waited for Jerrica to wake up. It had taken me a half hour to climb the wicker basket and retrieve the yarn, so another hour or two wouldn't matter.

She finally woke up about an hour later, and walked over to the bathroom. She was still sleepy, so she didn't notice the yarn. When she came out of the bathroom, she walked straight toward the kitchen, then stopped when she spotted her name spelled out in yarn.

"Deuce?" She asked.

"Deuce!" she shouted, when she realized that it was really me.

She hopped down on her knees and kneeled down to get a better look at me, and I thought she was going to collide with me and smash me into oblivion, but she stopped just in front of me. She was titanic, noticeably larger than Amber had been. Her blonde hair was longer than the last time I had seen her, but she was as cute as ever. Her first reaction was to place the palm of her hand in front of me. I jumped up into her hand.

Jerrica lifted me up, and I felt the same momentary fear I had felt when I had first been captured by Amber, but my fears subsided as I realized that I was safe with Jerrica, because I knew she was still in love with me. I could tell by the look in her eyes. She started to cry.

"Deuce," she asked, "what happened to you? Everyone thinks you're dead!"

"Take me to professor Stiles, he might be able to reverse the shrinking process!”

"I'll take you to the professor right after we eat breakfast, Deuce! He's just as worried about you as everyone else! Are you hungry?"

I explained how the time traveler named Nixie had made me immortal and no longer in need of food or water.

As I watched her eat, it occurred to me that I was finally in the company of someone I completely trusted. I had at long last reached my goal, and I felt relieved. The world is a terrifying place when you're six millimeters tall, with cats, giant insects, and girls like Amber who thought of me as a convenient toy that could be kept in a jar, completely oblivious to the fact that I was a human being with the same rights and freedoms as her.

After breakfast, Jerrica got ready, and carried me to her car and dropped me in the cup holder next to the driver's seat. She started up her Volkswagen, and drove to the university. She knew where the professor's lab was located, and though it was late September and classes had started, he was busy with his experiments, as usual.

Jerrica kept me clenched in her fist, gently, to surprise the professor, as she walked up the path behind the physics building where his lab was located.

"Hi, Professor Stiles!"

After a brief pause, I heard the unmistakable voice of the professor. "Jerrica! How have you been?"

"You're never going to believe this, professor!" said Jerrica, dropping me on the table. "Look who showed up at my house today!"

I was on one of the tables in the profesor's familiar laboratory. He walked up, amazed.

"Unbelievable," said the professor, "but it verifies my theory!"

Before Professor Stiles could go on, Jerrica interrupted, "Deuce needs you to find a way to reverse the shrinking process.” Jerrica couldn't care less about the professor's theories, and would tell him to his face, if he ever asked.

"Amazing..." said the professor, "young man, I would appreciate it if you would explain where you've been for the past month and a half! I'm sure it must be extraordinary!"

"Yeah Deuce," said Jerrica, "I think you at least owe me an explanation... I've been worried sick about you!"

And so I began to tell them of my adventures. How I started to shrink right after the professor left to go call the police the night the lab was robbed, how I ended up in Santa Margarita and got captured by Amber, the car accident that enabled me to escape... about halfway through my story the professor went and brewed a cup of coffee. I continued my story, telling about the strawberry thieves I helped capture, and my trip along the El Camino Real to Jerrica’s house in the tool pouch under a bicyclist's seat. When my story was finished, every detail of it, both the professor and Jerrica were astonished.

"It's amazing that you survived, Deuce!" said the professor, "You should've stayed with that girl, you probably would've been safer! But everything turned out all right in the end!"

"And Deuce," said Jerrica, "I remember when those strawberry thieves got busted! The newspaper tried to make it look like something supernatural happened... but it was you all along!"

"Professor," I asked, "Do you think you'll be able to duplicate the cold fusion experiment that those thieves destroyed?"

The professor began to chuckle to himself and said, "They got what they deserved, Deuce... the cold fusion experiment turned out to be a dud!"

"What do you mean, professor?" I asked.

The professor replied, "There was no nuclear fusion taking place at any time during the reaction, however, I did stumble on the theory for miniaturization, as your reduced stature demonstrates!"

The professor went on to explain, "The power gauge displayed an increase in kilowatts, but it was just the atoms in the air in the vicinity of the reactor being stripped of electrons as the tritium-deuterium solution gave off neutrino particles. What I thought was an increase in wattage was actually just a side effect of the miniaturization reaction that shrunk you, Deuce!"

“Nixie told me you used a piece of meteorite that was part of a time vessel from the future, is that true, professor?”

“Yes, another professor acquired the wreckage of the space weapon that crashed at Pirate’s cove near Avila beach. He allowed me to borrow it to try to reverse engineer it. I figured out how to activate some of the technology, but not completely. I wanted to unlock the secrets of fusion, but stumbled onto neutrino dissimilation instead.”

"So what does that mean?" Jerrica asked professor Stiles. "Can you make Deuce big again?"

"It means," replied the professor, "that I failed to solve the mystery of cold fusion, but in the process, I inadvertantly discovered how to miniaturize atoms! However, I regret to inform the two of you that Deuce can never be restored to his normal stature, at least not with existing technology. My guess is that it'll be at least a century before science can perfect a neutrino transfer technique that can restore miniaturized atoms to normal size! Deuce my friend, I'm afraid you'll have to get accustomed to being the world's one and only six millimeter man!"

"Professor," I asked, "I just want one thing. Promise me that you'll testify in court when we bring those bozos who robbed the lab up on charges! I want revenge against the bandits, and the jerk who hired them!"

"Without hesitation, Deuce my friend! It's the least I could do for you after all you've been through!"

After the professor promised to testify, Jerrica took the amplifier equipment and put me back in my jar, and took me home. She was determined to help me track down whoever was responsible for robbing the lab. On her home computer, Jerrica tried to figure out who might be the most likely suspect responsible for hiring the crooks who robbed Professor Stiles's lab. I had spent the past month pondering this, so I immediately asked her to look up the shareholders of stock in the local electrical companies. After checking PG&E, SMUD, and Southern California Edison, one of the local companies had the name of a stockholder listed, and it was a name I recognized.

"That's him!" I yelled up to Jerrica pointing at the computer screen, and she recognized the name, too. "He lives around here," said Jerrica, "that's Doctor Von Darius, the former Bullet Bay University professor who got kicked out of Cal Poly for running a gambling operation! Do you think he's involved, Deuce?"

"He was asking me for the schematics to the technology that turns hydrogen into tritium just minutes before the robbery, and one of his associates was at the lab a few weeks before it was robbed asking questions," I replied, "I think it's a safe bet that he's a suspect!"

And so now it was coming full circle. With Jerrica’s mom as district attorney for Matheson county, it wouldn't be too difficult for her to secure a subpoena for Doctor Von Darius to have his day in court. After all my trials and tribulations, it looked like I might finally have my chance for revenge against the man responsible for turning me into Deuce Orion, the world's first six millimeter man!

To Be Continued!
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