The Scent of Shrinking
Asukafan2001 & Littletoy
Why isn’t Caitlin back yet? I thought to myself as I sat in the silent darkness. I shifted uneasily on the pile of silk fabric that I was sitting on. The events of the past few days were a hazy blur to me now. These past few hours had been one of the rare times I was left alone to myself, free from the peering eyes and trampling feet of my sister and her roommate. Outside my dark enclosure, I could hear people walking down the apartment hallways, the high pitch voices of young women echoing through my ears. I didn’t bother yelling at the top of my lungs because nobody can hear me. It had been almost four hours since my sister Caitlin and her roommate Chloe had had gone out for a night in the bars. I shuddered at the thought of those two college sophomores drunk around me. Normally I would have just left but in my current predicament, I had nowhere to go. I had to wait for one or the other to return and release me. It’s crazy, I thought to myself, once I was a normal college sophomore with a girlfriend and a part time job and now here I am, four inches tall sitting trapped in my twin sisters’ dresser drawer in her dorm room. I lay back against one of her silk teddies, and took myself back a few days to the start of it all…
I was Friday afternoon early September, college had just started for the fall semester and it was the first week of class. I had finished my English composition class, which was my final class of the day and headed over to the vintage clothing boutique where my twin sister worked. I had promised mom that I would have dinner with her at least once a week since I had transferred schools. Caitlin wasn’t too thrilled with having to commit to seeing her brother every week and I figured it wouldn’t last. But tonight was the first time I had seen her since we had moved into our respective apartments last week. I had to promise her we would be finished by 8 pm so she and her roommate Chloe could get ready for some party she was invited to.
The old bell above the door rattled out my entrance to Granny’s Boudoir Clothing Boutique. I hated being in a place like this but it was almost 5 and my sister was due to get off work soon. I had promised to come by and pick her up and we would go to dinner. I spotted her near the rear of the story, straightening out a rack of old scarves.
“Jeez Sam you’re early. I don’t get off work for another half hour.”
“I thought you said 5:00?”
“I said 5:30 I cant leave yet. Just hang out.”
“Just chill out and wait. Don’t mess with anything.”
I wandered around the store as Caitlin helped some customer that had wandered in to buy a blouse that was in the window. I grazed through the men’s section with little or no interest. Not paying much attention I slowly made my way across the back of the store to the side with the women’s clothes and stuff. I leaned up against the glass counter at the rear, bored out of my mind. There were about a half dozen ladies purses sitting on the counter to my right, and to my left about 20 small but very ornate antique perfume bottles. My hands lazily glided over to one of the bottles and as I fingered it clinked against its neighbor. The perfume bottles were all of different sizes and colors and were all made out of glass. Some of them were very pretty and I thought about getting one as a gift for my girlfriend Emily when she came to visit next month. I grabbed a round one that had an atomizer on top. Thinking that it was old and empty I squeezed the bulb and instantly was blinded as a puff of mist shot out at my face and body. A strange blue fog enveloped me from head to toe. I inhaled and instantly started coughing and gagging. My head felt like it was going to explode as I sank to the floor. I felt everything around me tingle; my clothing became incredibly itchy. I tried yelling to Caitlin for help but all I could get out were a few gasps of air as I hit the floor and blacked out.
I came to a few minutes later. My eyes fluttered open as I surveyed the vast plain before me. It was vaguely familiar. I looked up at the sky but really could only see a vast ceiling of white. Around me was a titanic wall that rose straight up into the sky. I noticed the wall was made of wood beams framing what looked like vast clear glass, but that was impossible. It was undoubtedly man made. Where was I? The place looked vaguely familiar but still I felt horribly out of place.
Just then, the earth started shaking. I cowered in fear against the base of the wall as two pillars clomped into the middle of the plain. I looked up to see the pillars ascend to a mammoth tube of denim wrapped around where they joined together. Above that was a field of green, jutting out in the front. Strands of brown hung on the green, framing the white surface of …Caitlin!
“Sam? Sam where are you? Stop hiding this isn’t funny.”
“Caitlin! Caitlin! Help! Help! Down Here! I’m down here!”
I watched my gigantic sister look around for what she heard to be a very faint voice. I continued to scream and waive my arms wildly until finally she looked down. She froze as her eyes became as big as saucers at the site of me.
“OH MY GOD! SAM? SAM IS THAT YOU? WHAT HAPPENED?”
“Caitlin thank god. I don’t know you’ve got to help me. I got sprayed with something from a perfume bottle and…”
“Sam I told you to not to mess with anything.”
I watched in awe as Caitlin bent over her knees still far above my head. I screamed in panic as I saw her reach for me, her fingers curling about me tightly. I felt the floor leave my feet as I rose up, up, up into the air.
“Wait! Caitlin lemme go! Lemme go!”
“Relax Sam I’m just putting you on the counter. You’ll be safer here. This is horrible; we have to get you to a doctor ok?”
I was set down on the counter and I felt her fingers loosen their grip. I was still only at the height of her waist as she towered over me. I felt relief that Caitlin was here when the shop door opened and a middle-aged woman and her daughter walked in.
“Sam you wait here while I take care of the customers. Just stay put and everything will be fine, k?”
I had no real choice as she turned away. I wandered around the counter. The perfume bottles that before I had fingered were now easily my height if not higher. I estimated my size at 4 inches tall. Thankfully whatever had shrunk me had taken my shoes and shorts to the new size as well. The mist had permeated them as well as me.
“Can I help you Ma’am.”
“My daughter here is looking for a pair of hip boots.”
“Over here I think we might have just the thing. What is you size young lady?”
The sounds of Caitlin with her customers on the other side of the store masked the sound of the bell ringing as somebody else came in. I heard the footsteps getting closer and closer and began to panic. I looked at the perfume bottles on one side of me and at the row of purses across the counter. I made a mad dash toward them as the footsteps and talking got louder and closer. The purse on the end was open. It was one of those knitted white bags with a very loose weave and a drawstring. I ducked inside and prepared to wait for whoever it was to leave and for Caitlin to return for me. It was dark but I had fresh air from all around since the purse was woven so loosely.
“How about that little black one Rochelle?”
I heard the thud of something being lifted up and dropped next to me on the counter. I closed my eyes and prayed silently.
“Oooo look at this one Nadia. Its red Italian leather. It matches the couch in our apartment.”
“That one would be cute with your two piece you got at Sak’s last week.”
“Oh it 100 bucks, that more than I wanted to spend; besides I want something more casual to carry stuff in when I am at class.”
“Hey how about this bag here?”
I suddenly gave a yelp as my fabric prison was yanked off the counter. I sank to the bottom of the soft bag, unable to get to my feet as the purse was swung side to side.
“This one looks cute Rochelle. I can wear it with my jeans to class.”
“Yeah and I can borrow it when I wear that little white mini I have. It’s perfect you should get it.”
“Hmmm it’s only 30 dollars. Cool.”
“Get it Nadia.”
Oh god no, I thought as the bag I was in began swinging from side to side. I was jostled as these two giantesses carried me unknowingly to the front of the store. I screamed at the top of my lungs but my voice no longer seemed to carry.
“Find everything you were looking for today?”
“Yes thank you, this cute purse is just what I was looking for.”
“That’s thirty dollars, plus the skirt is twenty five. Sixty two fifty including tax please.”
“Ok, wait Rochelle I don’t have enough cash. Can you put this on plastic and I will pay you when we go to the ATM?”
“Caitlin! Please! Help!”
“Sign here please. Thank you and you have a great day.”
I finally scrambled up against the side of the bag. I could look out between the weave just in time to see the door of the clothing store as we left. I was facing backward. To one side I could see the immense bulk of another giant walking side by side with my unawares captor. I looked out at the giant world as this girl named Nadia and her roommate Rochelle carried me down the street. The clothing store got further and further away and so did Caitlin and any hope of getting help. I was trapped as helplessly as a fly caught in a spider’s web. Giants and giantesses passed by me, titans to my tiny four inch height now. Everything mundane in the world was now a danger. It was clear that I wouldn’t get far in this terrible place without the help of big people. I looked up out of the purse and tried to imagine what my captor and her roommate looked like. I could hear their voices making small talk, but I couldn’t see them. I saw the ground far below and knew I was suspended about three feet off the ground.
The girls stopped at an ATM machine so Nadia could give Rochelle her money. Then they started walking at a brisk pace again and I could see the stores and shops recede into the distance replaced by tree-lined streets of houses and low-rise apartment buildings. I gripped the fibers of the purse as it swayed back and forth, determined to get back to Caitlin someday, despite being a tiny prisoner in the purse of two young women who weren’t even aware they had me.
That, as I was going to find out, was about to change.