(DECEMBER 13, 2013).
The name is Calvin Cahill. "Cal," to my friends. Back when I used to have them, that is! Now, all I have are keepers.
I guess I'd better explain myself. I used to be a private detective specializing in spousal surveillance ("I tail 'em; you divorce 'em") at sea. But, I diverted from that trademark routine when I accepted a job from J. Amos Saunders. The richest inhabitant of Fisher's Island, New York.
I was supposed to keep his high school-age daughter from using the Big E, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, as camouflage for a rendezvous with her Harvard jock lover, "Wild Bill" Dalton. But, I not only failed to do so. I suffered the same he ultimately did.
I got shrunk to about half a foot tall by what was supposed to be a magic scepter in name only!
The only explanation that made any sense, at the time, is that it happened to us on Friday the Thirteenth. Exactly three months ago, to the day. Now, Dalton and I were secretly sharing the same dorm room, at Miss Salisbury's School for Girls, as our keepers: Penny Saunders and her twin roommates, Billie and Nellie Thorp.
Unfortunately, for us, we weren't in the dorm room at this particular moment. Instead, we were backstage of the school's Little Theater. Preparing to become (highly reluctant) participants in a final dress rehearsal of "The Nutcracker!"
Dalton and I looked out from the tipped-over shoe box where we were currently imprisoned. Scotch tape binding our hands behind us, while Scotch tape stretched across both pairs of our ankles kept us in a kneeling position.
Penny was dressed as the Snowflake Queen. Her white tutu streaked with blue, and her tiara-crowned hair in a bun. Nellie, the younger of the twins, was identically coiffed. But, as she was dressed to be the Sugar Plum Fairy, her white tutu was streaked with orange. And, Billie, the chronologically older twin, sat between them. Dressed as the female belly dancer from the "Arabian Coffee" number (although, truth to tell, she looked more like a fez-less Barbara Eden from I DREAM OF JEANNIE).
This trio of giantesses was conversing on one of those topics that's only of relevance to teenage girls when, suddenly, the knob to the locked dressing room door began to rattle.
"Girls?" called out the voice of the drama-and-dance coach, Madame Zephilia: "Girls, are you dressed yet? It's time for everyone to gather on stage."
Billie swore under her breath as she leapt out of her chair and over to the shoe box. Upon reaching us, she ripped off the Scotch tape strip from our ankles and lifted us up. One in each hand. At the same time, Penny hurriedly tip-toed over to the door to unlock it.
By the time she had fully opened it, Dalton and I were stuffed down the back of Billie's translucently-skirted bikini brief. One of us against each posterial cheek...and with the fabric of the brief gagging us more effectively than Scotch tape across our lips.
In short, the loudest thing either of us could shout was:
Which, of course, Madame Zephilia didn't even hear as she escorted the five of us to the stage.