by Aaron Avery
The start of Paige's story
Mirrors. Such simple objects that we take for granted. A mirror reflects what you want to see. It takes the weight off of who you really are for just a moment. That’s why Paige loved her mirror so much. She was able to see who everyone thought she was. Another pretty girl. Someone with a simple, peaceful life. Only a few people knew who she really was. David being one of them. He knows what I’m really like. My anger issues. My insecurities. For some reason he doesn’t care. One day he’ll be disappointed. Would I want that though? He’s my only other escape from what my life is like. Loss, sorrow, and failure. Paige tied her hair up into a ponytail, grabbed her book bag, and left her apartment. She was immediately met with a smack on the face in the form of cold wind. Winter was here and Paige’s car just had to have a broken heater. This worthless car. Guess I deserve it really. She entered her car and started the engine, hoping for some reason that it would start to heat her up. She was still met with the same cold that was her life. She felt a vibration in her pocket before she pulled out of the driveway and she noticed David in the caller id. “Hey!” she said, in a voice that masked the pain she felt inside.
“Hey Paige. Listen, when you get back home tonight I’d like to see you. I have a lot I’d like to talk about. I’ve been a jerk lately and what I did on Thanksgiving only makes it worse. I’d like to make it up by telling you, well, everything.”
“That’d be great Dave, but-“
“If you don’t want to that is totally alright.”
“No, I just have this final project I’m working on in Chemistry. I need to put as much work into it as possible. Maybe this weekend?”
“That would be great! Meet at my place then?”
“Sounds like a plan! Love you!”
“Love you too Paige.”
She hung up and let out a sigh. I guess it is a Chemistry project, per se. I hate to lie to him like this, but he’d never approve. He’d probably say something along the line of ‘even though it can be done, should it’. Should I go through with it? She stopped any thought of quitting her work after so long. She started on her way to her partner’s house to finish what the two started so long ago.
It was around noon when Paige arrived at her partner, Viktor’s, house. She felt her stomach grumble as she walked up to the door. No time for lunch. Vik said it would be best to not eat anything at all after midnight. I really hope this works, because I may die of hunger if I have to wait another day. Viktor opened the door and pulled her inside.
“You listened to my instructions?” he asked in a worried tone.
“Every single one of them. Why do you sound so worried?”
“Because of this,” he said as he pulled a vial out of his pocket with some weird chemical in it. “This stuff is, to say the least, illegal in the U.S. I’d rather not be caught with it, so let’s get started.”
“Wait, what is that stuff?”
“It’s called Carbon Cuplochloride. It’s been tested before on animals and the results were…catastrophic.”
“Is it even remotely safe to use?”
“Yes, and no. By itself, you could die, but mixed with Argon it tends to stabilize.”
“Argon is an aggressive reactant though. Shouldn’t the chemicals, you know, explode upon impact?”
“Not with Carbon Cup-“
“Yea ok, I get it. Look as long as this will help me get what I want.”
“Oh, without a doubt. It’s just that this has never been tested on any living creature before. You are sure you want to go through with this too right?”
“Absolutely.” Paige said this a little reluctance, but knew it was for the greater good. Viktor brought her down into the basement where he had set up his own gas dispersal chamber. Viktor’s father was an extremely rich man and getting something like that was easy. Funny that he never questioned what use Viktor would have for it. He walked up to it and inserted his chemical mixture into the chamber.
“Once I initiate the dispersal, we should see almost instantaneous results. You do need to change clothes though.”
“Because the gas only affects living things. Your clothes won’t be affected. I fixed this though with a special suit I designed myself. It will change with you, so that way you don’t rip through clothes all the time.”
“Alright then.” She stepped into a closed off room to change and walked out in a black jumpsuit. It covered almost everything, aside from her hands and head.
“Wonderful! Now, step on in and-.” Viktor was cut short when he heard someone banging on his door.
“F.B.I, open up!”
“Paige, hurry. I’m initiating it now!”
“I’m not leaving you Vik!” She heard the door slam open as footsteps we’re heard on the floor above them. Viktor shoved her into the chamber and hit a button on a control panel next to him. She banged on the glass as she watched him get tackled to the ground. Before long, the entire chamber was filled with gas and an odd feeling crept through her body. She felt like every bone in her body was contracting, and the pain caused her to lose consciousness.
Paige woke up with a banging headache. She slowly sat up, looking around her. Something feels strange. I feel, lighter. She looked around some more and noticed the immense size of the gas chamber. This thing is huge! I must not have noticed it in all the confusion. She got up and started to walk to the door. All the while she still felt light headed, but the feeling was wearing off. She reached what was supposed to be the door, only to be greeted with a wall of metal. You have to be kidding me! What-. She suddenly was filled with a flood of memories as she realized what had happened. She was almost the size of an ant. She had to stop herself from passing out again as she looked at the scale of everything around her. Everything is gigantic! I can’t believe it worked! I do hope it isn’t permanent though. She examined the chamber, hoping to find a way out. She saw a door just to her right and went towards it. There was a small inscription that had been engraved in the metal. It read ‘Paige, if you’re reading this then the experiment worked!’. She opened the what would be miniscule door and exited the chamber.
The room that used to be a little small to her at first was now big enough to fit the Empire State Building. At least from her perspective it was. She made her way to the stairs and looked up at the massive task ahead of her. Here goes nothing. She bent down and jumped as high as she could, only to be rocketed into the air. She landed on the third stair up and had to try to keep her balance when she landed. “Dang!” she said aloud. She tried again, this time reaching the door to the first floor. She slid under the door and walked into the gigantic living room. “This is so cool.” She trekked along the floor, taking in the wonder of the massive objects, unaware of the imminent danger behind her. She stopped when she heard footsteps coming her way. She turned around and looked up at Viktor’s cat staring right at her. “G-good kitty, nice kitty!” The cat made its move and Paige leapt out of the way with all her might. She landed near the couch and started to run underneath it. She slid under, just missing the cat’s paw trying to swipe at her. She stepped back, taking a few breaths as she tried to regain herself. I have got to figure out how to return to normal size. What if I can’t? What if Viktor wanted me to stay like this? The nerve he would have to leave me in this position! That’s probably what he did. This was on purpose!
Her anger was building up as blood starting coursing through her veins. She suddenly felt a sensation flow through her body that was similar to when she shrank. This time was different though. Her bones creaked as she felt them press against her body. She felt like she was ballooning up, and it was happening fast. The feeling was all over her body as she started to grow. She hit the couch and had to lean down as she continued to expand. She struggled to crawl out and eventually gave up as she grew even more. Eventually, she was back to her normal size and was able to get out of under the couch, but it didn’t stop there. “Oh no.” She continued rising up as she hit the roof of the house. She sat down, hoping the growing would stop, but she filled up that space in no time. Her legs were pressing against one wall of the house as her arm was stuck in the basement stairs. Her head hit another wall and she felt like she was ready to tear out of the house when the sensation finally stopped. Her suit had remained unharmed, but she couldn’t say the same for Viktor’s house. Furniture had been crushed and the walls were looking like they were ready to collapse. Ok. Anger. That made me grow. I just have to calm down a bit.
She took small breaths as her body slowly shrank down and stopped just at her height of 5’9”. She stood up and looked at the mess she had caused. “That was something else.” She looked at a clock on the wall that hadn’t been destroyed and noticed the time. It was already 6 pm! She rushed downstairs and changed clothes. As she put on her pants she pulled out her phone and saw a missed call. It was David. She called him back as she walked up the stairs.
“Paige! I’ve been trying to call for hours. I’ve been so worried. Where have you been?”
“Still at Viktor’s. I had to turn off my phone since he needed complete silence. You know him.”
“Ok, thank goodness. Did your experiment turn out well?”
She looked at the mess around her. “You could say that.”
“Well I’m glad. I know how much this field means to you. Goodness knows I couldn’t make it in Chemistry.”
“Well, you are smart in your own way. Hey, can I see you tonight instead?”
“Of course, why?”
“I need to tell you something I’ve kept hidden for a while.”
“Okay. Is everything alright?”
“Yea. I’ll see you later, bye!” She hung up and exited the house. I sure hope Vik will be alright. I’ll have to worry about him later though. I need David’s help with this. She walked away, unaware of what these new powers would bring into her life.