Jason gasped as he violently snapped back into consciousness. The last thing he remembered was searching through his dad's home lab in the basement for spare Petri dishes, before he had accidently tipped over beakers containing volatile chemicals, causing a small explosion.
He lay motionless, his skin sticking to the cold floor. He breathed deep, gathering his bearings. Eventually he slowly opened his eyes, allowing him to adjust to the light high above his head. . . High above his head? Why were they high above his head? Also their intensity seem to be magnified.
Deep in thought, he slowly sat up taking in his surroundings. His heart dropped. There in the distance, 60 yards away, was his father's lab. It was for sure his father's lab equipment, only. . . It was huge now. The beakers and tubes appeared to be at least his height. . .maybe more.
Jason looked down at the ground, a shiny metal surface. His dad's lab table. 40 feet to his right, a large gouge in the table. He knew this gouge well. An accident he had caused working with his dad on an experiment years ago.
Seeing that really drove the point home. He was shrunken. Tiny. His mind began to run wild and panic set it. He dropped to a knee, and started to take a few deep breaths. Jason had to keep calm. He always did work well under pressure, and if he was going to survive, let alone get help, now could be no different.
He composed himself, standing back up, and began walking toward the lab equipment. First, he approached a giant beaker. He placed a hand on the smooth glass container. The lip stood a solid 3 feet above his head. He thought about it for a moment, remembering from experience in the lab, that this particular beaker was 6 inches tall normally.
He did a quick calculation, and came to the conclusion that he now stood roughly 4 inches in height. Dire circumstances indeed. Again doubt and despair set in. He sighed heavily, leaning into the beaker with his hand. To his surprise, the beaker slid across the metal table 8 feet.
His eyes opened in disbelief. By his calculation, at this scale, the beaker should have weighed at least 1350 pounds to a human his size, but he had moved it with just the force of his arm. He decided to test himself. He moved through the clutter of assorted lab supplies on the table until he found what he was looking for.
There, on a stack of papers, was a pen. Jason walked to it, and slowly reached for the plastic tube. He palmed it, his fingers scanning the raised letters that read "geneticorp" in red letters. He took a deep breath, focusing on the task at hand, and began to squeeze.
He started lightly, observing small cracks forming in the cylinder as he slowly increased pressure. With one finally breath, he gave it his full strength, the pen splintering into pieces.
Jason stared at his hands, not sure what to make of this newfound strength. All he knew was, he had to test his limits. He roamed around the mess of a table until he found the suitable tool. That tool came in the form of a test tube rack made out of thin metal bars. It had 4 empty test tubes sitting at random in its slots.
He walked to the rack, placing his hands on the lowest most bar. Spacing them a shoulders width apart, he tightened his grip and began to lift. To his amazement, the rack began to rise, slowly but surely. Jason strained against the bar, heaving it to his chest, his hand squeezing as tightly as he could.
With a final exertion of effort, he passed his chest, hoisting the entire rack above his head. He focused on balancing the rack, and it steadily became easier and easier to lift.
He was elated. Being scrawny and weak, this physical victory meant the world to him. Even at his small size. The victory was short lived. At that exact moment, he heard a noise from above him. A noise he knew well, the the tone slightly different to his tiny ears. It was the sound of the front door being unlocked and opened.
With the lab right below the front door and garage, it was easy to tell when people were coming or going. He froze in place, listening closely. There was a moment of silence before the ceiling above, as high as the sky, began to thunder with the sound of foot steps.
Jason was caught off guard. In the brief time since his accident, he hadn't yet stopped to think about the prospect of the rest of his family. He could only pray that the person he heard above him was his father.
As the foot falls creaked the ceiling, he lost focus and the rack began to sway in his hands. He tried to correct it but it was too late. Jason barely managed to dive into the clear as the rack tipped awkwardly and fell on its side.
He watched in horror as the test tubes rattled free of the rack and began rolling towards the cliff that was the edge of the table. He climbed to his feet, sprinting towards them in an attempt to stop them from falling.
He made it to within 10 yards when the first tube fell. He stopped dead in his tracks, watching it roll over the edge before smashing on the floor. There was no time to mourn, the other glass cylinders following suit a second later.
All was quiet. Above him, the footsteps had stopped. Jason held his breathe, praying that they hadn't heard. His prayers weren't answered. He looked up, bewildered as the steps began again, heading for the direction of the basement door.
Panicking, Jason made a mad dash for a stack of binders his dad kept formulas and hypotheses in. He ducked behind them, just as he heard the door open at the top of the stairs. What he heard next chilled him to the bone.
"Dad, are you down there? What was that crash?" It was his bitchy older sister Emily.