It’s a start...
|Neil looked around his room, panicking.
The once 6’2 freshman in college was shrunk to nothing more than a two and a half foot midget. He frowned as he approached his desk, disappointed that he couldn’t even see the top at this height.
Just this morning, everything was perfect...
He banged his head against the wooden desk leg in frustration as he remembered. His brother’s shrink ray, and how his naivety ultimately became his downfall. Nothing would ever be the same, he guessed.
Nothing at all.
In the distance, Neil heard a click. Frantically, he scrambled behind the waste bin and crouched in anticipation. The door clicked again, and as it swung open towards him the nineteen year old realized the embarrassment of his predicament. He, who used to be a 240 pound muscle boy, was now hiding behind a waste bin that could somehow conceal him in all his 40 pound glory.
His heartbeat hastened as he heard the giant stomp into his dorm. Shaking behind the waste bin, he deduced that it was either his brother or his roommate. Both had a reason to be mad at him - the former for all the crap he made him go through for the past sixteen years, and the latter because he never paid his bills in time.
He shivered. Now’s not the time to contemplate mistakes...
Just my luck.
The college freshman almost gasped out loud, but was restrained by his right hand just in the nick of time. His body went into overdrive, it seemed. Beads of sweat dropped down his forehead as he took rapid breaths into his hand.
He stayed silent, refusing to respond. He knew that voice. The one he had dealt with for years on end, and was once just a daily annoyance to his ears.
Who would’ve thought that in the span of ten minutes that nagging would become life or death for poor Neil?
He stayed silent, bouncing on his toes as he continued to crouch. His legs were tired, they felt hot and he knew they wouldn’t last.
The two and a half foot wonder trembled as he rolled himself of the waste bin, surprised that he even knocked it over with his small stature. With that surprise, though, came fear as he heard his brother’s footsteps hone in on his location. The midget shut his eyes tight, opting to feel the giant’s shadow engulf him instead of seeing his face overwhelm him.
A minute of silence passed, and when Neil finally opened his eyes, he saw the surprise etched into his brother’s features. However, he wondered, what would happen after the surprise faded? Would he be angry? Confused? Both?
Only time could tell.
The nineteen year old only nodded in confirmation. He had just gotten used to his younger brother towering over him by four inches, but by four feet? That was another problem in itself.
Neil frowned, and hesitantly shook his head side to side.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Neil’s lips formed the “n” for “no”, but never got to finish as he found himself nodding “yes.” Something about the giant’s presence and surprisingly compassionate demeanor had heightened his level of honesty, and compelled him to please the colossal man. Even if it was his brother.
“Okay,” his brother huffed, crouching to the balls of his feet, “put your arms up, little bro.”
Neil knew he could just climb the bed and sit on it with his younger brother. However, he still couldn’t control himself the way he wanted, so he wasn’t suprised when he lifted up his arms as instructed by the sixteen year old. What did surprise him, though, was the heat rushing to his cheeks when he was called “little bro.” He knew it wasn’t meant to be affectionate, if anything it was supposed to be a jab at his current height, but for some reason the words made him feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Neil felt his brother’s large and burly hands grasp his waist and torso, but nothing could prepare him for being hoisted up as quick as he did. For the moment he felt motion sick, the lift like a rollercoaster he wasn’t buckled in for. The older brother found his head tilt to the side as he was hoisted onto his brother’s shoulder as one would do with a small child.
“Of course I’m the size of a toddler,” Neil grumbled, the blush across his cheeks suggesting otherwise.
As he was carried to his bed, Neil began to focus on the ridges of his brother’s hand that kept him steady. He never really noticed how calloused and powerful his brother’s hands were - and was shocked that the hands that beat him in arm wrestling since his brother was eleven were the same gently securing him in place.
His brother set him down first, to his dismay. Neil missed the warmth of his younger brother’s hands, but before he could voice it he felt the bed groan under the weight of his sibling. Neil looked into his brother’s piercing blue eyes, and wondered - truly wondered - what he had in store for Neil. The surprise that Neil felt when his brother didn’t crush him or scold him was, granted, unexpected - but felt like nothing compared to the anticipation Neil felt concerning what was to happen next.
It was phrased as a question, but to the two and a half foot college student, it sounded like fact. A proclamation of sorts, boastful and loud. Neil couldn’t help but cower a bit as his brother Caleb looked to his form in anticipation.
“O-oh...yeah, I guess I did,” he trailed quietly, unable to meet the piercing gaze of his brother.
Caleb frowned, “Do you know how it happened?”
He gulped. Truth time. “I was messing with your shrink ray, and...”
Caleb leaned forward, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”
He knew his brother wasn’t teasing, but the timing of it made it seem like so to little Neil. He huffed in frustration as the tips of his ears went red, and retried.
“I...was messing...with your shrink ray, and...”
Caleb smirked, but it disappeared as fast as it came. Neil didn’t get to comment on how the action made him feel on edge, for his brother asked another follow up question:
“Do you know how long it’ll be until I can make an antidote?”
This question made his face go redder, and he attempted to bury his head into his chest in embarrassment after shaking his head “no”. Caleb sighed, he didn’t mean to be so blunt, but he did overlook how Neil felt about this.
Being shrunk is punishment enough.
“It’ll take about 3 days, at least,” he answered. “Do you think you’ll be okay until then?”
Neil sniffled. He never meant for this to happen. He just wanted to bond a little with his younger brother. Especially because the young teen didn’t have a lot of friends, he was too busy making things like this for goodness sake!
Neil found his nose itching, and immediately tried to bite back the tears that would follow. Caleb, observant as ever, offered both his hands to his brother in solace. The smaller brother looked at himself, then at his brother’s open arms, and fell into them. Neil grabbed fistfuls of his brother’s shirt and allowed himself to sob into them.
“I’m so sorry,” he said over and over, muffled by the cotton of Caleb’s shirt.
Caleb was hesitant when his brother latched on so quickly, but adjusted accordingly, and even began to stroke his brother’s back with his right hand. He knew his brother regretted what he did, and even after all that was done to him in the past, Caleb let it all go as his older brother sobbed into his shirt. Besides, there was always later for payback.
Right now, they were just two brothers - lost in a sea of communication, trying to find their ways to each other.