“Sorry about the seating arrangements. I’ve never actually interviewed people of your…ah…stature before.” Madison lowered her head apologetically.
The tiny man sitting on Madison’s desk shrugged, “It’s nothing we haven’t been through before. We understand.” He gestured to his silent friend.
“That’s good. I don’t want to waste any more of your time than necessary so shall we go ahead and get started then?” Madison signaled for the cameraman to begin recording.
“Hello everyone, today I am going to be interviewing Clarke Gale and Tyler Dickson: two victims of the widespread shrink epidemic. Two years ago these men were both six feet tall. Now after catching the shrinking virus they have been reduced to an inch. Now then, before we begin I would first like to thank both of you for coming.”
“Thank you for having us.” Tyler responded politely.
“It’s my pleasure. So tell me Clarke, Tyler, how have things been since you’ve shrunken down?”
“Rough.” Tyler gave a dry laugh.
“I can imagine.” The woman nodded. “Ever since the shrinking virus first spread three years ago crimes against infected individuals has been steadily growing.”
“Yeah…It certainly hasn’t been easy. After we had to relocate to a shrunken-care facility me and my family were pretty nervous. Thankfully we’ve avoided some of the worst though.”
“That’s good. Has anyone else in your family caught the virus?”
Tyler shook her head, “Thankfully no. It was just me, my wife, and my two daughters. The rest stayed normal-sized. It’s still an adjustment but we’re carrying along just fine.”
“Some of us can’t be that lucky unfortunately.” Clarke grumbled.
“Yes, I’ve heard about your family…sorry to hear Mr. Gale. You have my condolences.”
“Thank you. It’s because of them I came here to be interviewed.”
“Ah yes…” Madison’s expression grew stern. “I understand it’s very painful but…would you be willing to share your story with everyone listening at home?”
“Yes it all started when…” He coughed to clear his throat. “When me and my family got kidnapped by this teenage girl…”
“Sadly these events are all too common these days.” Tyler patted his friend on the back.
Madison nodded, “What happened then?”
“Well…We were a family that didn’t live in a care facility. Once we’d shrunken down my brother offered to watch over us. He and his wife were really good to us. Then one day…their daughter had a friend over. Her name was Tara and when she found out about us she…she took us when no one was looking. Just stuffed us into her purse like we were a pack of gum or something!”
“Did your brother’s family not notice you gone?”
“Not until it was too late. That bit-…Tara…she snuck us into her house and said we were her new pets. I told her we were still people and she could go to hell…She didn’t take too kindly to that.”
“What did she do?”
“She…she…” Clarke sniffled loudly, “She…”
“It’s okay, you can do it.” Tyler rested his hand on Clarke’s shoulder.
His hands clenched tightly. “She killed my wife. Like a fly she just smacked her with her hand! Like it was nothing! She just crushed my wife into paste. And you know what she said to me? She said she didn’t need pets who didn’t listen! As far as she cared we weren’t even people anymore. We were just toys to her!
“I’m so sorry Mr. Gale. She deserves to suffer for her crimes.”
“Suffer?” Clarke laughed, “She got grounded. She fucking murdered my family and she got grounded! What kind of suffering is that? I lose my family. She goes without her phone for a week!”
Madison’s eyes widened in surprise, “The court’s didn’t punish her?”
“Courts….Like they help any.”
Tyler cleared his throat. “What Clarke’s trying to say is they haven’t had a court case yet. With so many shrink victim related accidents they’re heavily backed up.”
“Time’s like this I wish they still did the death penalty. That bitch deserves to die for what she did!”
The woman gestured to the camera, “Cut that line.”
“Sorry…It just…it makes me so mad when I think about it.”
She nodded, “I understand Clarke. Don’t worry. Just try to continue with your story.”
“Well…After Tara…did that. Me and my son were too busy freaking out to really listen to her. So she figured she needed to teach us another lesson. She grabbed my son and…” He shivered, “She dropped him onto the floor and stomped on him. Then it was me and her…”
“And the authorities showed up?”
“Yeah…My brother’s daughter noticed I was gone and called the police. They managed to get me out of there just in time but my family was…”
“I’m so sorry Mr. Gale. Truly. She deserves the worst punishment that-“ A painfully loud rattling sound cut her off.
“I’m sorry. I must have forgotten to turn my phone off. Let me take care of that now.” Madison picked up her phone from the desk. The caller ID was her boss. “I think I need to take care of this. Hold on.”
A gruff male voice came faintly from the other side of the phone. “Hello?...Yes sir I…Are you sure?...But what about….I understand….No sir it’s alright. I’ll let them know. Thank you. Goodbye.” She ended the call, clicking her tongue.
“That didn’t sound good.”
“There’s been a slight change of plans. My superiors want to change this interview a little.”
“To what?” Tyler asked.
“A memorial piece essentially. He said it should help ratings if we dedicate the interview to someone.”
Clarke raised an eyebrow. Something about the phrasing sounded weird. “You mean my family?”
“Something like that…”
Without warning Madison’s hand smacked her desk. A loud crunch came from beneath her fingers as a disgusting red began to ooze out from under.
“You…You bitch! You just killed Tyler! Why would you do that?!”
Madison plucked Clarke by his torso.
“It’s nothing personal Mr. Gale. It’s just how this business works. Think about it like this: this way a lot more people will hear your story.”
“By killing me?!”
“Don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.”
“Like hell I’m letting you kill me!” Clarke bit her finger as hard as he could. A quick yelp escaped Madison’s mouth as her fingers released him. The shrunken man plummeted below. A soft surface cushioned his fall but it was still large enough he let out a pain-filled scream, over half his bones shattered on impact.
Angry eyes stared at him from above. “I suppose you wish to go out like your son.” Madison said coldly. “Lucky for me, look where you ended up.”
Clarke was in tears, screaming at the top of his lungs. The world around him was a vague blur at best. His pain blinded him to everything, including his location.
Madison silently raised her foot and began to gently insert it into her heel. The annoying screams of Clarke quickly grew muddled until she soon felt another crunch beneath her foot.
“Great now I need to go wash my foot.” She sighed, wiping her hand clean with a tissue. She stood up and began to walk out. As she opened the door she glanced to the cameraman who filmed the interview. “Make sure to cut that part out.”