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Rated: 18+ · Novella · Sci-fi · #2180549
First six chapters of the original version of the six millimeter man
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the original version of my first novel, I am currently working on an updated version known as "The Six Pica Man" where some modifications have been made, such as: He is one inch tall instead of six millimeters tall, His last name is Orion instead of O'Ryan, and there is more interaction with the normal sized female characters in the story.

Chapter One: The Lab Accident!

I was a student at Matheson university, studying to get a degree in nuclear physics, and a minor in electrical engineering. My name is Deuce Orion, and I am 25 years old. I was good friends with a professor there, a certain Professor Stiles, a theoretical physicist who was experimenting with a method of perfecting cold fusion.

Professor Stiles hired me to assist him in his laboratory after school, and he payed me pretty well. I didn't completely understand the professor's theory, because he kept the details a secret, but what I knew about it was that he had stumbled onto a unique theory that would allow the quarks and gluons of the protons and neutrons of a tritium/deuterium serum to be stripped of neutrino particles. Somehow, this miniaturization of the atoms composing tritium and deuterium would initiate cold fusion and form helium atoms.

The part of this whole theory I was unsure of was whether or not quarks and gluons are composed of neutrinos, and the professor had found a way to seperate the outer layers of the quarks and gluons of neutrinos, or if quarks and gluons were made of something else entirely, and the professor had found a way to convert this sub-quarkian matter into neutrino particles.

As far as how he did this was was the biggest secret of all. Professor Stiles simply said it was through an application of quantum physics, and left it at that. I wasn't interested in stealing his theory and taking credit for it, I just wanted a piece of the action; I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren some day that I was there in Professor Stiles's lab when he initiated the first successful documented and verified cold fusion reaction. I couldn't blame him, though. There were a lot of different people who could profit from stealing his theories. Any company that generates electricity for a profit could either prevent the public from having access to this new technology, or they could control the patent, so they could generate electricity for a fraction of what it costs now, while still charging consumers the same price as before.

I'll never forget the Friday afternoon when the experiment was an apparent success. All of the read-out monitors started beeping, and the digital power gauge L.E.D. display indicated that the micro-reactor was generating much more electricity than the power supply that pumped electricity into the reactor. We had broken past the break-even point, and the digital thermometers indicated no increase in temperature! The inside of the micro-fusion reactor was the same as the room temperature of the laboratory.

Before Professor Stiles could grab a bottle of champagne he had stashed to celebrate, the door to the lab was kicked in by a group of gun-men with ski-masks on, and they held us up at gun-point!

They specifically asked the professor for all CD-ROMs and floppy disks with any and all information pertaining to the cold fusion experiment recorded on them. After Professor Stiles handed them what they requested, one of the masked hoods used a machine gun and opened up on the cold fusion experiment I was standing right in front of!

Neither I nor the professor was injured in the attack, thank God, but I did find myself drenched in the mysterious tritium/deuterium solution. The crooks had told us to count to two-hundred before we were even to think about moving, so after they left, and after the professor reached what he assumed to be a reasonable interpretation of what counting to two-hundred should be, he left to call the cops at a payphone at the student study hall, because the bandits had clipped the phoneline to the lab just before the robbery, and they had taken our cell-phones.

I would've went with the professor, but I told him I'd better sit this one out, because I felt really dizzy. Must've been the tritium/deuterium solution that got all over me.

As I sat down in a chair, alone in the lab, the strangest sensation overtook me. I closed my eyes hoping that it would go away, but when I opened them, I could see a layer of what appeared to be steam rising from every part of my body. As I looked around the lab, the dizziness seemed to return in greater intensity, and I had a strange sensation similar to vertigo as the lab seemed to expand in all directions all around me.

I blinked my eyes to make this optical illusion go away, but that did no good, because the walls of the lab seemed even farther away each time I opened my eyes...because this wasn't an optical illusion!

The lab seemed to fill with the steam I mentioned before, and I decided to stand up to catch my breath and maybe open a window or two. It's a good thing I did, because as soon as I stood up, the chair I had been sitting in seemed to expand directly behind me until it was bigger than a one-story house from my perspective!

That was when it finally occurred to me that I just might be shrinking, but even at that point I wasn't completely convinced yet, like a drowning man grasping at straws, I tried to rationalize what was happening to me by assuming that I was suffering from previously unknown hallucinogenic side-effects of being drenched in the tritium/deuterium solution.

Apparently, the steam I saw was the subtracted mass of all the quarks and gluons making up the atoms of my body being simultaneously reduced in size and forced to occupy less space. The reaction the professor had discovered did in fact cause miniaturization to occur in quarks and gluons making up the protons and neutrons of the tritium/deuterium solution before fusion was intitiated, so that was in fact exactly what was happening to my body...

I was shrinking!

When I finally stopped shrinking, and the steam finally went away, I was reduced to the helpless size of six millimeters tall! I knew this because I had helped the work crew that installed the tile floor in the professor's lab one weekend last summer, and the distance between each two individual tiles was six millimeters, a measurement I had to make many times that weekend to ensure that the tiling was installed as neatly as possible. That was my exact height, the same distance between two of the floor tiles!

I knew I had to escape from the lab before the police arrived, so I could try to find a solution to my problem. It wouldn't do any good if I ended up as a government experiment at Area 51 somewhere in Nevada, now would it?

Luckily, the professor had been in such a hurry before he left that he left the door to the lab ajar just a couple of inches, something I hadn't even noticed before, but at my diminished stature, it was now very obvious. At six millimeters tall, a door that is open a couple of inches would be a door with a width large enough for an elephant to go through, had the same distance been duplicated proportionately for a normal-sized man.

I ran outside into this brave new world of giants that was just waiting to be explored, where I would now try to live out a fugitive existence in an attempt to restore myself to my former stature. My closest family members lived over 100 miles away, so I had to find another plan. Who could I trust? My studies didn't leave much time for any kind of a relationship, and all my spare time and vacations were spent working for Professor Stiles in his lab, because I definitely didn't come from a rich family, and I needed all the money I could get.

There was one possibility, a seventeen-year-old chick named Jessica. She was in love with me. She was basically the only one I could trust besides the professor. The only problem was, she lived about ten miles away. So I made my decision, to set off on a quest to find Jessica, come Hell or high water, and damn the consequences!

Good or bad, I was willing to accept the risks, whatever they may be, as a six millimeter man!

Chapter Two: The Journey Begins!

It was late afternoon the day of the lab accident that reduced me to six millimeters tall, so it was still daylight.

It was pretty easy making my way around campus without being spotted. I mainly stayed in the planters, walking among the plants and decorative tree bark.

I was on my own in a world of giants, so I had to be careful. Anyone was a potential predator, and I knew I could trust nobody at all, not even Jessica. But I knew that eventually I had to try to trust someone, so if I was going to be foolish enough to make my condition known and introduce myself to someone, it was going to be Jessica. After all, she was in love with me, and although it was stupid to trust anyone, it seemed to me that there was the least amount of risk involved in trusting her than there would be in trusting anybody else.

The only problem was, Jessica lived in a small coastal California tourist town that was ten miles away, and getting there would be one hell of a journey. At six millimeters tall, one ordinary mile to me is equivalent to between thirty and thirty-one miles. If I averaged one mile a day, I should be able to get to Jessica in a week and a half.

It was getting to be late afternoon, and the sun would be setting before too long. so I would have to wait until morning to begin my journey. At my reduced size, my body temperature was reduced also, making me vulnerable to low temperatures. Even though it doesn't get too cold in the month of May on the central coast of California, I was going to need a warm place to crash for the night.

I knew of a place where there was a steam-grate that was connected to the utility room that supplied heat to the dormitories. It took close to an hour to get there without being spotted, and by the time I arrived the sun was going down. I built a little camp with some leaves I dragged over to the edge of the steam-grate, and I was concealed from view. I had shelter for the night.

It took a while to fall asleep that night, because I hadn't eaten anything since earlier that afternoon, and I was hungry. Sleep finally came, and I slept peacefully.

When morning arrived, I had almost forgotten that I was shrunk, but when I opened my eyes the reality of it was painfully evident. I peeked out of my camp that was constructed of leaves, and I could see a bright blue morning sky. It must've been early still, because I didn't see too many students walking around, which was good, because it would make it that much easier to get around without being spotted and captured by one of the giants.

Before I had fallen asleep the night before, I had developed somewhat of a plan. I knew of a place behind the engineering classrooms where there was a dumpster that was used to throw away useless electronic components. If I could find a broken piece of magnet from an old speaker, maybe I could tie it to a piece of string, and utilize it to ascend to the rear axle of a vehicle at a gas station. Then I wouldn't need to walk to Jessica's, I could hitch a ride!

Progress was slow, and it took up a good portion of the entire morning to get to the engineering classrooms. Avoiding being spotted was the main reason, because several times I had no choice but to dart across exposed areas where I had to make absolutely certain that there was nobody around to see me. The other reason was the distance. To a normal-sized student, the distance from the steam-grate to the dumpster would take about five or ten minutes, walking at a moderate pace. But when you're six millimeters tall, it takes a lot longer.

When I arrived at the dumpster, it was just as I had hoped. In addition to several pieces of wire, nuts and bolts on the concrete beneath the mammoth dumpster, there was the frame of a discarded stereo speaker, and several chunks of the magnet that once made up the innards of the speaker. Some of the pieces of the magnet were larger than me, some were the size of grains of sand, and there was a plethora of sizes in between. I picked up a chunk that was to me about the size of a basketball.

It was kind of heavy, so I decided to look for some string to tie it down with, so I could wear it like a backpack. After looking around for a few minutes, I did eventually find a nice long coil of string among the discarded trash at the foot of the huge dumpster. I laid it out end to end, then I tied it around the chunk of magnet.

There was a flat side on the magnet that I tied several loops of string around, and before long, I had an improvised back-pack. When the time came, I could simply untie the string from the magnet, unroll it, and with one end of the string still tied to the magnet, I could swing the chunk of magnet over my head and use the string as a lasso to hurl the magnet to the iron axle of a car at a nearby gas station.

I wished there had been some way to obtain some food, but wherever there was food, there would be people, and if I valued my freedom, I had to completely avoid any and all people for as long as possible. I knew that as soon as somebody spotted me, I'd be through. If someone did ever capture me, which would be extremely easy to do, I knew escape would be virtually impossible. Who in their right mind would ever allow a miniaturized man to ever have the opportunity to escape? Nobody that I had ever met, that's for sure.

And so, with an empty stomach and a plan of action, I set out for the nearest gas station, where I would try to hitch a ride with my magnet and my piece of string. The nearest gas station was about half a mile form the college campus, so I figured that I should be able to make it there just before nightfall.

I experienced the greatest amount of difficulty just getting off campus, because at that time of day it was especially crowded, and I couldn't take any chances. At one point, I was stuck hiding in a planter at the bottom of a huge bush for a good twenty minutes or more, because two female students were standing on a sidewalk I needed to cross. They were making what to me seemed to be insignificant conversation, but maybe I just felt that way because they were blocking my path. If I had been foolish enough to chance it and run across the concrete walk-way, the two women would've easily spotted me. While I waited, however, the view wasn't so bad. The brunette had some pretty incredible legs, and it was interesting to view a great pair of legs from this new perspective. Finally, they left, and I looked to my left and my right, and I ran across the sidewalk to the planter on the other side as fast as I could, and nobody saw me.

Once I was off campus, my progress was much swifter, and before long I was more than halfway to the nearby gas station that was located not too far from campus. It was amazing, I had never pondered the relatively close distance of the gas station when I was at my normal size, but with my reduced stature, I was angry at myself for having taken it for granted for so long. It was only about half a mile from Matheson University, but the proportionate distance to me at my reduced size made it equivalent to a distance of about fifteen miles. I had walked the distance from the college town where I went to school to the beach town where Jessica lived many times when I was at my normal size, so I was conditioned to make this kind of a journey.

I ducked through back alleys and went through apartment complexes that would've been impossible for a normally-sized person, and I only had to cross a street once to get to the gas station. That was the greatest obstacle, because I had to wait for just the right opportunity to cross when there was no traffic and no pedestrians that could've seen me.

When I finally arrived at the gas station, it was late afternoon, with a couple of more hours of daylight left. I had gotten there sooner than I had anticipated, which was good. There was a drainage pipe I hid inside of, where I had a good view of the cars and trucks that came and went.

I made a point of reading the license plates, to see if the vehicle was local or from out of town. Sometimes, there were bumper stickers or some other signal that indicated the car was local, like a familiar radio station on a bumper sticker, or a tag that advertised a local car dealership where the vehicle had been purchased.

I couldn't get too picky, so when a woman stepped out of her car to go inside and pay, I ran out from inside of the drainage pipe where I had been hiding, and began to swing the chunk of magnet around on the string that I had prepared while I had been waiting for the right moment.

It took a couple of tries, but eventually the magnet connected to the differential in the center of the rear axle, and I started climbing up the string. Before I had even reached the axle, the woman had returned to her car, and closed the front door and started the ignition.

I climbed up as fast as I could, and soon I was standing on top of the differential, and I pulled up the length of string and coiled it up. As the vehicle started moving, I held onto the string like reins on a horse, and the magnet held firm to the iron differential casing.

Soon, we were on the freeway, just as I had hoped, but from my estimation, we were heading in the wrong direction, north, instead of south! Every bumper sticker and dealership tag had indicated this was a local car, but by a random stroke of fate, I had chosen a local car from the north county, under the mistaken assumption that the car dealership advertised on the woman's car was from the south part of the county, so therefore, the woman driving the car was from the south county, but I'd been wrong! And so North we went, the nearest town being thirty miles from Matheson university, and the next town was twenty miles still further!

Chapter Three: Thirty Miles Off Course!

The entire trip lasted over half an hour, and just as I'd feared, we went up and over the Cuesta grade, which meant the vehicle I'd hitched a ride on was going a minimum of thirty miles in the opposite direction I needed to go to reach Jessica's house. The car finally pulled into a driveway and parked, and two doors popped open.

I heard a pair of voices, the woman who had driven the car, and a younger female voice, obviously the woman's daughter. When they had gone inside, I climbed down and pulled on the string, in an attempt to release the magnet, but it wouldn't budge. It would be very difficult to obtain another chunk of magnet, so I decided it was very important to retrieve it, but eventually I just gave up entirely. I just didn't have enough strength in my miniaturized body to accomplish this task.

After struggling with the magnet for the better portion of a good solid hour, I began to smell the delicious aromas of food being prepared in the house of the people that owned the car I'd hitched a ride on. The sun was going down, and I hadn't eaten in over twenty-four hours, so I was pretty hungry to say the least.

The temptation proved to be overwhelming, and I finally decided to try to find some way into the house, to try to obtain food. The plan was to sneak in, grab some food, and sneak out again, and it didn't seem too difficult at the time. At the front of the house was an open window, and there was a large rose bush that would provide easy access to the three foot high window ledge.

I began my ascent, and before too long, I found myself standing on the window ledge. The smell of the food was intoxicating; I could distinguish pot roast and mashed potatoes through the open window. I stepped inside, and made my way across the window ledge to the curtains on one side. The fabric of the curtain had stitching that was just the right size for me to use as handles to climb down to the floor. I just hoped these people didn't have any pets, especially the hungry kind!

My hunger won out over my fears, however, and soon I was standing on the wooden floor of the living room of this strange house. The giant girl, about twelve or thirteen years old, was paying attention to the television, so she hadn't noticed me. She had long dark blonde hair, and blue eyes. Her mother was in the dining area at the other end of the room, setting the table. She spoke to her daughter:

"Amber, it's time for dinner. Could you shut the window, please?"

From my hiding place beneath the living room couch, I watched in horror as Amber walked over and slid the living room window closed. That was my only means of escape, so now I was trapped in the home of these giant strangers! I didn't know whether I should feel angry that the window had been shut, preventing my escape, or relief that I had managed to infiltrate the house to obtain food before my only means of entry had been closed off.

The girl that had been addressed as Amber by her mother walked over to the giant dinner table, and I watched the giant duo load down their plates with pot roast and mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and chocolate pudding. I couldn't figure out how I was going to manage to procure some of the prodigious pot roast, but I was so hungry that at one point I didn't even care if I was captured, just as long as I could get something to eat!

My dilemma was solved when the girl asked her mother if she could finish her dinner in her room, because she had a lot of homework to do. Her mother granted her permission, and Amber picked up her plate and disappeared into the hallway to the left of the dining area. I heard her bedroom door close.

It wasn't difficult at all to make my way under and behind furniture as I made my way toward the hallway, and soon, I was at the corner that separated the dining area and the hallway. The only problem was, the giant woman was facing in my direction as she ate, and I would have to cross her field of vision momentarily in order to get across into the hallway.

I saw the woman turn her head as she heard something interesting on the television, and I took a chance. I ran around the door jamb seperating the dining area and the hallway, and I made it before the woman could spot me. Now all I had to do was climb under the girl's door.

Luckily for me, the door to the girl's room didn't have weather stripping, and there was at least half an inch of clearance between the bottom of her bedroom door and the wood floor. I didn't even need to duck down as I walked under the door and into Amber's room. I guess that's one of the advantages of being six millimeters tall!

Once inside, I could see Amber facing away from me, typing away on a computer. To her left was a massive desk, and that is where I assumed her dinner was located. There was a digital clock radio located in one corner high atop the desk, and the electrical cord supplying power to the clock radio extended from the wall outlet down to the ground before it ascended to the top of the desk and connected to the rear of the clock radio. It would be an easy climb!

I began to make my way up, and soon I reached the top of Amber's desk. She was unaware of my presence, still typing on her computer. I hid behind the digital clock radio, and I could see the plate of delicious pot roast and the pile of mashed potatoes dripping with butter. Every few minutes, the girl would pause from her work, and reach over and grab her fork and scoop up a portion of either mashed potatoes or pot roast, and take a bite before resuming her work on the computer.

The lip of the plate was higher than my height, so I was faced with still another challenge to overcome. If I could get onto the plate, it would be easy to eat my fill unseen by the giant girl, then I could escape back the way I came. But how could I get up to the plate to begin with, without attracting the attention of the giantess?

The girl provided me with the most obvious solution entirely unwittingly, by placing her fork back on the plate after taking a bite, and leaving the handle of the massive fork extended down to the top of the desk. With Amber's attention diverted to the computer screen, I quickly made my way up the length of the fork handle, and jumped off onto the plate of food.

The plate of food was enormous, and I'll never forget the experience of seeing a plate of food for the first time from my new perspective of standing six millimeters tall. The plate seemed to me to be nearly the size of a coliseum. The large pieces of pot roast were of Olympian proportions compared to me, and I felt that I was standing on a plate of food meant for a gargantuan goddess, rather than an ordinary twelve-year-old girl.

I hid behind a piece of pot roast and waited for the giant girl to take another bite before I did anything, to avoid being seen by her if she glanced over to eat some more food while I was still out in the open. After she took another bite and resumed working on her computer, I began tearing off strips of meat from the pot roast, and savored every delicious morsel!

Before long, I had eaten my fill, so I waited for the girl to take another bite, so I could begin tearing off additional strips of meat to take with me when I resumed my journey. After she took another bite, I started collecting strips of meat, when suddenly, the giantess broke from her pattern, and reached over to scoop up some more food with her fork.

In my haste, I had failed to realize there was only one more piece of pot roast remaining on the girl's plate, and this was the piece I was holding onto as I tried to hide from the giantess. Sure enough, this was the exact piece she scooped up with her fork, and I was scooped up along with it!

Amber wasn't really paying attention to what was on her fork, her eyes were focused on the report for school that she was typing up on her computer. I knew I had only one chance to avoid being plunged into the depths of her colossal mouth, and my only option was to jump!

From the time her fork left her plate until the exact moment she plunged the bite of food into the cavernous depths of her mouth, less than a second went by. During that brief period of time, I let go of the piece of meat I'd been holding onto, and fell downwards, toward the edge of Amber's colossal desk! I avoided slamming into the side of the desk and plunged downwards still further...

The top drawer of Amber's desk was open just slightly, but since I was only six millimeters tall, there was plenty of clearance for my tiny body, and I fell into the drawer and landed on the firm yet soft surface of a large eraser.

From the light shining through the opening in the desk, I could see that I was in a desk drawer full of paper-clips, pencils, pens, erasers and a large pencil sharpener. The scale of ordinary objects is quite impressive when your stature has been reduced as significantly as mine. At six millimeters tall, the weight of an ordinary pencil was so immense that it was impossible for me to even lift it. Using the pencils for a ramp to climb up and out of the drawer was definitely out of the question!

And so there I found myself, trapped in a girl's desk drawer, unable to escape. The only option seemed to be to give myself up, and get the girl's attention. Of course, this would mean being captured, and I knew that the girl would never allow me to regain my freedom once I was under her power, but what other choice did I have?

Chapter Four: Amber's Prisoner

The entire trip lasted over half an hour, and just as I'd feared, we went up and over the Cuesta grade, which meant the vehicle I'd hitched a ride on was going a minimum of thirty miles in the opposite direction I needed to go to reach Jessica's house. The car finally pulled into a driveway and parked, and two doors popped open.

I heard a pair of voices, the woman who had driven the car, and a younger female voice, obviously the woman's daughter. When they had gone inside, I climbed down and pulled on the string, in an attempt to release the magnet, but it wouldn't budge. It would be very difficult to obtain another chunk of magnet, so I decided it was very important to retrieve it, but eventually I just gave up entirely. I just didn't have enough strength in my miniaturized body to accomplish this task.

After struggling with the magnet for the better portion of a good solid hour, I began to smell the delicious aromas of food being prepared in the house of the people that owned the car I'd hitched a ride on. The sun was going down, and I hadn't eaten in over twenty-four hours, so I was pretty hungry to say the least.

The temptation proved to be overwhelming, and I finally decided to try to find some way into the house, to try to obtain food. The plan was to sneak in, grab some food, and sneak out again, and it didn't seem too difficult at the time. At the front of the house was an open window, and there was a large rose bush that would provide easy access to the three foot high window ledge.

I began my ascent, and before too long, I found myself standing on the window ledge. The smell of the food was intoxicating; I could distinguish pot roast and mashed potatoes through the open window. I stepped inside, and made my way across the window ledge to the curtains on one side. The fabric of the curtain had stitching that was just the right size for me to use as handles to climb down to the floor. I just hoped these people didn't have any pets, especially the hungry kind!

My hunger won out over my fears, however, and soon I was standing on the wooden floor of the living room of this strange house. The giant girl, about twelve or thirteen years old, was paying attention to the television, so she hadn't noticed me. She had long dark blonde hair, and blue eyes. Her mother was in the dining area at the other end of the room, setting the table. She spoke to her daughter:

"Amber, it's time for dinner. Could you shut the window, please?"

From my hiding place beneath the living room couch, I watched in horror as Amber walked over and slid the living room window closed. That was my only means of escape, so now I was trapped in the home of these giant strangers! I didn't know whether I should feel angry that the window had been shut, preventing my escape, or relief that I had managed to infiltrate the house to obtain food before my only means of entry had been closed off.

The girl that had been addressed as Amber by her mother walked over to the giant dinner table, and I watched the giant duo load down their plates with pot roast and mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and chocolate pudding. I couldn't figure out how I was going to manage to procure some of the prodigious pot roast, but I was so hungry that at one point I didn't even care if I was captured, just as long as I could get something to eat!

My dilemma was solved when the girl asked her mother if she could finish her dinner in her room, because she had a lot of homework to do. Her mother granted her permission, and Amber picked up her plate and disappeared into the hallway to the left of the dining area. I heard her bedroom door close.

It wasn't difficult at all to make my way under and behind furniture as I made my way toward the hallway, and soon, I was at the corner that separated the dining area and the hallway. The only problem was, the giant woman was facing in my direction as she ate, and I would have to cross her field of vision momentarily in order to get across into the hallway.

I saw the woman turn her head as she heard something interesting on the television, and I took a chance. I ran around the door jamb seperating the dining area and the hallway, and I made it before the woman could spot me. Now all I had to do was climb under the girl's door.

Luckily for me, the door to the girl's room didn't have weather stripping, and there was at least half an inch of clearance between the bottom of her bedroom door and the wood floor. I didn't even need to duck down as I walked under the door and into Amber's room. I guess that's one of the advantages of being six millimeters tall!

Once inside, I could see Amber facing away from me, typing away on a computer. To her left was a massive desk, and that is where I assumed her dinner was located. There was a digital clock radio located in one corner high atop the desk, and the electrical cord supplying power to the clock radio extended from the wall outlet down to the ground before it ascended to the top of the desk and connected to the rear of the clock radio. It would be an easy climb!

I began to make my way up, and soon I reached the top of Amber's desk. She was unaware of my presence, still typing on her computer. I hid behind the digital clock radio, and I could see the plate of delicious pot roast and the pile of mashed potatoes dripping with butter. Every few minutes, the girl would pause from her work, and reach over and grab her fork and scoop up a portion of either mashed potatoes or pot roast, and take a bite before resuming her work on the computer.

The lip of the plate was higher than my height, so I was faced with still another challenge to overcome. If I could get onto the plate, it would be easy to eat my fill unseen by the giant girl, then I could escape back the way I came. But how could I get up to the plate to begin with, without attracting the attention of the giantess?

The girl provided me with the most obvious solution entirely unwittingly, by placing her fork back on the plate after taking a bite, and leaving the handle of the massive fork extended down to the top of the desk. With Amber's attention diverted to the computer screen, I quickly made my way up the length of the fork handle, and jumped off onto the plate of food.

The plate of food was enormous, and I'll never forget the experience of seeing a plate of food for the first time from my new perspective of standing six millimeters tall. The plate seemed to me to be nearly the size of a coliseum. The large pieces of pot roast were of Olympian proportions compared to me, and I felt that I was standing on a plate of food meant for a gargantuan goddess, rather than an ordinary twelve-year-old girl.

I hid behind a piece of pot roast and waited for the giant girl to take another bite before I did anything, to avoid being seen by her if she glanced over to eat some more food while I was still out in the open. After she took another bite and resumed working on her computer, I began tearing off strips of meat from the pot roast, and savored every delicious morsel!

Before long, I had eaten my fill, so I waited for the girl to take another bite, so I could begin tearing off additional strips of meat to take with me when I resumed my journey. After she took another bite, I started collecting strips of meat, when suddenly, the giantess broke from her pattern, and reached over to scoop up some more food with her fork.

In my haste, I had failed to realize there was only one more piece of pot roast remaining on the girl's plate, and this was the piece I was holding onto as I tried to hide from the giantess. Sure enough, this was the exact piece she scooped up with her fork, and I was scooped up along with it!

Amber wasn't really paying attention to what was on her fork, her eyes were focused on the report for school that she was typing up on her computer. I knew I had only one chance to avoid being plunged into the depths of her colossal mouth, and my only option was to jump!

From the time her fork left her plate until the exact moment she plunged the bite of food into the cavernous depths of her mouth, less than a second went by. During that brief period of time, I let go of the piece of meat I'd been holding onto, and fell downwards, toward the edge of Amber's colossal desk! I avoided slamming into the side of the desk and plunged downwards still further...

The top drawer of Amber's desk was open just slightly, but since I was only six millimeters tall, there was plenty of clearance for my tiny body, and I fell into the drawer and landed on the firm yet soft surface of a large eraser.

From the light shining through the opening in the desk, I could see that I was in a desk drawer full of paper-clips, pencils, pens, erasers and a large pencil sharpener. The scale of ordinary objects is quite impressive when your stature has been reduced as significantly as mine. At six millimeters tall, the weight of an ordinary pencil was so immense that it was impossible for me to even lift it. Using the pencils for a ramp to climb up and out of the drawer was definitely out of the question!

And so there I found myself, trapped in a girl's desk drawer, unable to escape. The only option seemed to be to give myself up, and get the girl's attention. Of course, this would mean being captured, and I knew that the girl would never allow me to regain my freedom once I was under her power, but what other choice did I have?

Chapter Five: The Car Accident

When Amber had started the seventh grade, she had taken an algebra class, instead of taking pre-algebra first. Because of this, she was unprepared for it, because she had been doing basic arithmetic in the sixth grade. She was doing well in most of her other classes, but she had been getting F's in algebra.

Her mother was a high school drop-out who was unfamiliar with anything above and beyond basic arithmetic, so she was unable to help her own daughter with her math homework. Now that I was there, that all changed.

It was difficult to communicate with Amber, because my voice was not loud enough for a normal-sized person to hear me, unless I yelled at the top of my lungs. Therefore, I had to use a chunk of pencil lead to explain algebra to Amber, which was tedious. It wasn't long before I had explained the fundamentals of pre-algebra to Amber so that she could understand, and I was also able to help her comprehend the concepts of whatever homework her algebra teacher had assigned on a particular night.

After tutoring her the night before a surprise pop-quiz, Amber got an A minus on a quiz that had 10 problems. She only missed one out of ten, and that was because of a clerical error, not because she didn't understand how to do the problems.

After a few weeks of this, Amber informed me that her teacher had started asking her how she had improved her math skills so drastically. He never would have guessed that Amber had a full time tutor living at home; or that her tutor was a sophomore at Matheson university majoring in nuclear physics, and minoring in electrical engineering. He also never would have guessed that I had been reduced to six millimeters tall in a lab accident during a cold fusion experiment, and that I lived in a glass jar on a shelf in Amber's bedroom.

Amber's mother also noticed her improvement, and no explanation or alibi could quench her mother's curiosity. After being questioned unrelentingly by her mother about her improved grades, Amber finally decided to tell her mother the truth.

I was in the glass jar that Amber kept me in, relaxing in the small dwelling that Amber had sculpted for me out of clay. Amber picked up the jar, and informed me of her decision to show me to her mother. Before I could protest, Amber carried the glass jar, with me inside, into the living room.

After being dumped out onto the coffee table and being introduced, Amber's mother was at first astonished, but after Amber explained my story, her mother remembered the newspaper articles and the television news broadcasts about Deuce O'Ryan, the missing college student; at that point it all made sense to her.

I had to communicate with Amber's mother in the same inefficient way I had communicated with Amber herself, with a chunk of pencil lead. After explaining that I needed some electronic components to assemble a microphone and an amplifier so they could hear me, her mother's first reaction was to deny my request, fearing I would build something that would enable me to escape. At that point, she still wasn't sure whether she was going to allow her daughter to keep me indefinitely and keep my captivity a secret, or if she was simply going to allow her daughter to keep me temporarily, until my relatives could be notified of my dilemma.

One thing I did discern about Amber's mother was that she was concerned, and wanted to make sure that no harm would come to me. After writing down on paper the fact that I was extremely vulnerable to cold weather because of my drastically reduced body temperature, the mother decided to immediately purchase a heat lamp that Amber could place above my jar at night, to keep me warm.

I was returned to my jar, and Amber and her mother piled into the car, to drive thirty miles into the main town to go to a well supplied pet store, to purchase a heat lamp. Once in the car, Amber kept my jar in her hand, but soon placed it in the cup holder above the ashtray below the dash board, so her hands would be free to look through her many C.D.'s, to figure out what she wanted to listen to.

The car got on the freeway, and we were on our way to the same college town where Matheson University was located. We went back down over the Cuesta grade, in the opposite direction that we had come when I had accidentally hitched a ride in their car, when I had mistakenly thought that that they were heading south, instead of north.

Amber put the C.D. that she wanted to listen to into the C.D. player, but still resumed looking through her collection when the accident happened. From my vantage point, I could not see what caused it, but I assume that someone tried to change lanes in front of our car, and Amber's mother was cut off. Luckily, both Amber and her mother had seatbelts on, but the window on the passenger side where Amber was sitting was rolled down, so when the car went off of the side of the road and flipped, My jar was thrown from the car.

Amazingly, the car flipped over completely, but Amber and her mother were unhurt. The car was totalled, and my jar was thrown violently from the vehicle, and rolled down the hill and hit a boulder that was wedged half-submerged in the ground, shattering the glass jar I was in.

I was a little shook up, but when I stood up, I knew that this might be my only chance to escape from Amber and her mother. There was a possibility that Amber's mother would have decided to return me to my relatives, but I couldn't count on that. So, after looking back to make sure that the two of them were safe and unhurt, I started off on my own.

We were almost all of the way into town when the accident happened, so it wouldn't have been too far for a normal-sized man to reach town, but I was six millimeters tall, so the distance for me was significantly magnified. It was early afternoon, and it was less than one more mile into town, so I expected to get there some time not long after nightfall.

During the first hour of my journey, Amber tried to locate me, and I was worried that she would capture me, so I walked west instead of directly south, to throw her off of my trail, and I was successful. At times I could see her in the distance, calling out my name, but I was so small that from that distance I was undetectable to the human eye, so I wasn't spotted.

As early afternoon became late afternoon, Amber's voice could be heard farther and farther away in the distance, until finally I couldn't hear her at all. I lost a lot of time on my detour, but if I had gone south, as Amber had assumed that I would, there would have been no way to elude her, and I would've surely been captured again.

After nightfall, I reached the top of a hill, and I could see the outskirts of town below. Although it was soon going to be the beginning of summer, I had to make a camp to protect myself from the cold, because of my reduced body temperature.

That night, before I fell asleep in my hidden campsite, I pondered the events of the past month. The lab accident, getting captured by Amber, and my serendipitous escape. I wondered if I should continue on my quest to contact Jessica, or if I should try to get in touch with the professor.

I had studied enough about nuclear physics in college to know that not enough was known about the elusive neutrino particle; that is why the professor's theory was so revolutionary. He had actually found a way to manipulate these particles, and remove them from the quarks and gluon particles that made up the protons, neutrons, and electrons that are the three components of all atoms.

I also knew that because so little was known about neutrinos, there was little if any hope at all of replacing the neutrinos that had been subtracted from my body. This is the reason I had first decided to contact Jessica, because I didn't believe that the professor could do anything to help me, and I figured that if I had no choice but to accept my current situation, it would be better to establish contact with Jessica, a girl who was in love with me, than the professor.

I knew I could trust the professor, and that if he was to find me, he would return me to my mother or any relative of my choice, but was that what I really wanted? sure, I would be safe, but my mother was so over-protective of me, she would probably make sure that I would remain single until I was 80 years old.

After seeing the way Amber and her mother had decided that my freedom was an option, not a right that was carved into granite, I now realized that even Jessica could probably not be trusted, either. When human beings have unlimited power over other human beings, there is an instinctive human weakness to abuse that power, and I wasn't sure there were any normal-sized human beings on Earth that I could trust any more, even my own relatives.

Now that I was free, I wondered if my best option was to stay away from normal-sized people for the rest of my life. It would be a difficult existence, but it was probably the best plan. I decided to wait until morning to make my decision, so I went to sleep under the stars on that clear June night, free for the first time in over a month. Time would only tell what fate had in store for me, Deuce Orion, the six millimeter man!

Chapter Six: Freedom

When I woke up the next morning, I felt better than I'd felt in a long time. For the first time in over a month, I was free. I didn't have any food, but I was free.

I broke off a piece of a blade of grass, and took a few bites. Actually, it wasn't bad. I hadn't eaten since yesterday, so I guess anything would've tasted good. I remembered the last time I'd gone a long time without eating, the day after the lab accident. My hunger had gotten the best of me that time, and I took foolish chances that had allowed me to get captured. I vowed to myself that I would never allow myself to make mistakes like that again, regardless of how hungry I got.

I decided to try to find a house on the outskirts of town that had a garden in the yard, so I wouldn't be forced to eat grass. I made my way towards town, and after a couple of hours, when I was not far from the nearest house, I saw an ant.

To me, it was as large as an average dog, because I was only six millimeters tall. Then, I saw another one. Just as I was walking down a slight incline, I saw a whole colony.

I can't remember ever being so terrified in my entire life. There were hundreds of them that I could see, and probably thousands more in the foliage and in other places where I could not see them. My fear subsided when I realized they had no interest in me.

There were more than just ants from one colony, as I had at first thought. There were several different varieties of ants, all from different colonies. One group were large black ants, and another group were the same size as the black ones, but were yellowish in color. Still another group were a combination of black and yellow, and there were two groups of smaller ants, each a different type.

What I marveled at as I stood there observing them was the fact that they all seemed to interact peacefully with each other. There would be a group of ants from one colony marching along in an ant trail, and when their trail intersected with the trail of ants of a different variety, for instance, black intersecting with yellow ants, they did not attack each other. Like cars at a stoplight, each ant took his turn, then an ant from the other colony would move forward.

Then I saw a different kind of insect that I could not identify, other than saying it was not an ant. Remember, I studied nuclear physics in college, not entomology. When it intersected an ant trail, a group of ants from that trail would team up and attack the intruder. When the beetle or whatever it was left the ant trail, the ants left it alone, and resumed their daily business.

Then, not long after that, the same insect again accidentally intruded on another ant trail, this time in a location where two trails from two different species of ants intersected one other. Both species attacked the intruder as a team, and after the insect fled, the ants returned to their trail, each variety of ant rejoining the trail of their individual species.

I found it amazing that several different colonies of ants could all interact peacefully, and I wondered if the human race would ever evolve to a similar level of understanding. Could people of different creeds and religions ever accept each other and live peacefully as equals, just as these ants were able to do? The human race could learn a lot from the wisdom of the ant.

As I sat there watching the ants, I thought about my life. I had always been interested in science, and from a young age I had wanted to be an inventor, like Thomas Edison. I made a decision to be a nuclear physicist as a youngster, after being inspired by the Bruce Banner character from "The Incredible Hulk" comic books I had read. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a nuclear physicist because I wanted to have huge muscles like the Hulk character, or if my love of science and technology were the main inspiration.

I eventually put that goal on hold, when I reached junior high school, because I discovered bodybuilding, and I decided that lifting weights was a more efficient way of increasing my muscle mass than studying about gamma radiation. I continued bodybuilding on through my high school years, but I had never considered going into competition.

I did have friends who were interested in going into competition, and they were all interested in experimenting with steroids, to give them that extra "edge." In my junior year, I decided that supplying them and other body builders was a quick and easy way to make money, so I started making trips down to Mexico on the weekends, where steroids could be purchased legally.

This went on for a couple of years, and it was an easy way to pay the rent and any other bills that I had. I didn't feel that I was really doing anything wrong, because after all, it wasn't like I was pushing addictive street drugs on people or anything.

I finally decided to get an accomplice, so more steroids could be brought over to fill the demand brought on by an increased number of customers. A friend of mine agreed to do it, but he just didn't have what it took to be a smuggler, and I never should have trusted him to begin with.

The last time I ever tried to smuggle steroids across the Mexican border, we got caught. I had the 'roids stashed in a hidden pocket of my jacket, and I had sewn it up, so everything was concealed. An American border patrol guard asked a simple question, and my friend cracked up under the pressure. If he had kept his mouth shut, we would've never gotten caught.

My friend and I were taken to a jail in San Diego, and we were split up. I was only 19, and it was my first time in jail. I ended up with a sentence of six months, but ended up doing about four months, with time subtracted for good behavior. It was pretty simple; you don't fight or get into any trouble, and you only do two thirds of your time. You screw up, and time is added. You screw up too much, and you end up doing your full term.

While I was in there, I was in a cell with a guy that was an electrician. There was no television, so we talked about his job. I'd have to say, he was the main inspiration in my adult life that was a major factor in my decision to go to college. He taught me about Ohm's law, voltage drop formulas, and equations concerning transformer coils. He really rekindled my childhood desire to learn about science. When I told him that I had wanted to be a nuclear physicist, he didn't laugh at me, he actually encouraged me. He told me to go for it.

There was a nuclear power plant in Devil's Canyon less than ten miles from Matheson University, and if I had a degree in nuclear physics, there was a good chance I could get hired there. I could probably make pretty decent wages. The electrician told me that I'd better minor in electrical engineering also, just in case they weren't hiring physicists. I'll never forget what he told me. He said that as long as they had power flowing through powerlines, they would always need electricians to work on those powerlines. He said computer programmers could be layed off when a company downsized, and college graduates with degrees in business marketing or cinematography could be flipping burgers because the jobs they were qualified for just weren't in demand, and they couldn't find anything else. An electrician, however, would always find work; and any contractor would rather hire someone with a degree in electrical engineering than someone who had less impressive credentials.

So when I was released from jail, I took a Greyhound back home, and enrolled at my local junior college. It took three years to get my general education courses out of the way before I could transfer to the university, because I had alot of prerequisites to take.

During my years at junior college, my mother moved to Oxnard, and I was left alone in the town I had lived in since my first year of high school. I chose to remain, because I'd had enough moving around when I was growing up, and I decided that I was never going to move away again; at least not to another part of the state. That was also when I first met professor Stiles.

I started doing work for him, because he taught classes during the day at Matheson, and worked on perfecting his cold fusion experiment until two or three in the morning, and he needed someone to run errands. Sometimes he remained working in his laboratory until the predawn hours, despite the fact that he had classes to teach the following day. I went to Radio Shack and other electronics supply stores to purchase materials he needed to conduct his experiment, and I swept and mopped his lab. He payed me pretty good money, so that I had enough money to pay my rent and bills.

When I was done with junior college, I was able to obtain a grant, and I enrolled at Matheson University. It's hard to believe that now, all these years later, professor Stiles finally succeeded in his cold fusion experiment, only to have his ideas stolen from him by those masked gunmen. At that point I made up my mind; I wanted revenge.

Revenge against the thieves that robbed professor Stiles of a lifetime of work. Revenge against the men who had afflicted me with a curse that made me a potential victim to normal-sized human beings. Humans are by nature social animals, and if a human being was cut off from others for too long, he could lose his mind. The bandits who robbed the lab that day took away my ability to interact normally with other human beings, and my condition was terminal. There was no way to reverse the shrinking process that subtracted over ninety-nine point nine percent of the neutrinos from my body, reducing me to six millimeters tall. For that I wanted to track them down, and make sure they were convicted for their crime.

Professor Stiles was probably the person I could trust the most in my unusual condition, but I knew he would be working night and day to duplicate his cold fusion experiment. He just wouldn't have the time to help me track down the bandits. Jessica was the only other person I could trust, besides my family; I couldn't trust them, because I knew my overprotective mother would never allow me to leave the house if I was under her care, so that wasn't an option.

As I continued to observe the activity of the ants that were not much smaller than me, I remembered back to the time I'd first met Jessica. It was my last year at junior college, and I was at the top of my class in every math class I took there. I ended up with a 3 point zero GPA, however, because I wasn't as fortunate in some of my other required classes.

My grades were good enough to qualify for a grant, and one grant that I had applied for required me to tutor math for students K through 12th grade, and one of my students was Jessica. Ironically, Jessica was the daughter of the District Attorney of Matheson county. Fortunately, nobody knew of my criminal record, because I had done time in San Diego.

I wanted to make sure that she did good in math, so that if anyone ever found out about my criminal record, Jessica's improved grades would vouch for my integrity. Fate dealt me an unkind hand yet again, because Jessica was, without a doubt, my most difficult student. She was fourteen, yet she still had not learned her multiplication tables. This wasn't her fault, though. From K through the second grade, Jessica and her family lived in southern California. In that school district, multiplication wasn't taught until the third grade, but Jessica's family moved to the central coast of California during the summer between second and third grade. In the Matheson county school district, multiplication was taught in the second grade, and they moved on to division in the third grade.

By not knowing her multiplication tables, division was too far beyond her grasp, and her grades plummeted. She became discouraged, and her problems in math haunted her until her mother finally decided to hire a tutor, because as a District Attorney, she just didn't have the time she needed to tutor her daughter herself. That's when I came along.

It wasn't easy to teach her, but eventually I figured out games I'd created that helped her memorize her multiplication tables, as well as various pre-algebra formulas. By the time her grades went from F's to C's, and from C's to B's, she fell in love with me. I tried to discourage her, but if I had dropped any of the students I was tutoring, I was afraid I would be denied the grant that would allow me to transfer to Matheson University. I couldn't qualify for a loan, because I didn't have collateral. A grant was the only way I would be able to attend the university.

She was really the first female in recent memory who had claimed to be in love with me; two other girls had been in love with me during two separate occasions in my childhood, but my mother chose to relocate to a different city, ending any possibility for pursuing those relationships. That is why, when I arrived in Matheson county during my teen years, I vowed never to leave the area. I planned on raising my children and grandchildren here on the central coast of California.

The last time I had seen Jessica had been about one week before the lab accident. As always, she proclaimed her never-ending love for me, and reminded me that her eighteenth birthday was in July, and that she expected a ring from me. An engagement ring.

I knew what I had to do. It was ten miles to Jessica's house, and I had to find her. She was the only one I could trust to help me track down the criminals who were responsible for my diminished stature. I stood up, and said goodbye to my ant friends, and started walking south...

If I could walk one mile a day, I knew I could reach the coast in about a week and a half. As I mentioned before, one mile to me is equivalent to between thirty and thirty-one miles. So I set out, as I had done the day I had first been miniaturized, before my unfortunate detour. With revenge on my mind, I had a new goal: to seek out Jessica, and enlist her help to formulate my plan of retribution on those responsible for transforming me into Deuce Orion, the six millimeter man!

To Be Continued!
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