It was unusual for Caleb not to feel as if he was in control of a situation. Whether he was out with his mates, messing around in class or even arguing with the people who called themselves his superiors, he never felt as if he was subject to their will, or that things were going in a way that he could not influence. Even after being banished to after-school detention with his friends by their ever-irritating philosophy teacher (which, granted, was partially due to Caleb’s said surety in himself manifesting in argument), his pride and accompanying arrogance remained, that feeling that a victory had been won, and the now routine detention they were to suffer was Miss Blaine’s go-to response rather than come up with any form of coherent line of argument. Indeed, Caleb had felt a particular sense of pride after this particular clash; his argument for her subject being boring and pointless had been executed perfectly, in his lofty opinion, and her apparent lack of counter-argument had made the fruit all the sweeter. His haughty swagger into the detention room had said it all; despite the situation and the supposed power dynamic they were in, she was in his control, and her dagger-flinging scowl as she had looked up from the teacher’s desk upon his entry had proved it.
Yet now, for the first time in what had to be a long while, he felt strangely, helplessly powerless. And he was as terrified of that as he was his warped and yet totally familiar surroundings.
He had already tried to wrap his mind around what had happened, and come up blank. It had all seemed so regular, so routine. They had all sat down, ready to complete the hour and a half as normal; him and the lads, in a ninety-minute staring contest with the wall and the hazel eyes of their stony-faced supervisor. He had intentionally sat as far back as he could, to emphasise his place as leader of the pack, behind his loyal cronies, who all sat slouched in their chairs in their general display of sullen defiance at their sentence. Miss Blaine had taken the register, and after the typical snide remark she’d make of them had buried her nose in some old-looking book; presumably some tedium about Aquinas or some other old bastard who talked too much. Caleb, as was his practice, had immediately started scrolling through Instagram, without trying to hide his phone in any way. Indeed, all five of them were constantly chatting through messenger throughout the period, berating their situation and the youngish woman who had placed them in it. They had to have been at least half an hour in when suddenly and seemingly without any cause a blinding flash had permeated the room, blinding him and causing him to lose consciousness.
He wasn’t sure when he had woken up, but he did so slowly, and with a blinding headache. Whatever had made him lose consciousness had also knocked him to the floor, as he found himself sprawled out upon the hard surface; which had been strange, considering the room he was in was carpeted. That had been the first indicator that something certainly wasn’t right. The second came when he finally managed to open his eyes.
It was as if he had been transported to another planet, or even another dimension, and even with the clarity he had now he was still awestruck by his seemingly new surroundings. The platform he found himself on stretched for at least half a mile in either direction, a strange, smooth blue plain seemingly made from some form of high plastic. On one end, it curved off into an edge, below which was unknown to him, the ground being replaced by a horizon of huge black pillars extending down into a blue ocean. On the other side, it curled up to form a high wall. He had followed it up, craning his neck to see it rise, until it finally ended at least a mile up. Above that, the sky was made up of colossal grey squares, with no form of light source or sun in sight. None of it made sense to Caleb; his mind was unable to process what the alien surroundings were… until he turned around and saw the higher platform above him. As he turned around fully, he saw that the platform he was standing on was somewhat covered by said higher platform, which was far larger than his own dull blue belvedere. To the left and right it stretched, ostensibly supported by the black pillars that reached down towards the vast ocean below. As alien as it seemed and as crazy as his mind processed it to be thinking such a thing, the gears in his brain finally started to grind, and familiarise this phantasmagorical new sight. As the one thought manifested itself, others finally came with it, and to his wonder and horror a picture pieced itself together.
The platform above him was a table. And the platform he was standing on was a chair; a table and a chair of gargantuan proportions. And if he remembered correctly, these were the exact chair and table he had sat down in.
Revelations as they were, he had no way of proving them. Whether out of a basic need for logic or a final, desperate attempt to prevent the fears in his mind from being true, he needed proof of his predicament. Standing up finally on shaky legs and walking over to the edge of the chair, he looked up at the underside of the colossal table. He didn’t want this to be true, he had thought, he had honestly hoped against his own logic that he would find nothing under that table, the table he had always sat at, stuck gum under, written obscenities about Miss Blaine under. And yet, there they all were; dried, shrivelled wads of gum from his own mouth, now arguably as large as he was, stuck to the table; random scribbling done by a pen he knew he owned dashed across the bottom of the wood; and, the cherry on the cake, a large, poorly scrawled message explaining exactly what his annoying teacher could suck if she so wanted. If there had been any doubt before, any hope that this wasn’t real, that it was all just a strange dream from his stupor, it was as dashed as the myriad blobs of gum along the table underside. It was the unthinkable. The impossible. Yet somehow, against all laws of physics and reason, it had happened. He had been shrunk, to almost miniscule size, in the detention classroom.
Such was the situation Caleb found himself in, and all he could think to do was question how this had happened, and what was the source. Mentally, he was shaken to his core, and all sorts of questions about what life at a measly half an inch would be like plagued him like flies. However, though his bravado and confidence were certainly knocked, it wasn’t dead. Slowly, his mind returned to a sense of order; he couldn’t lose his cool now. There were questions to be answered, and things to be done. Small though he was, he was still the king, and the king had to get his realm in order. A plan had already formed in his head; first, he would need to find and gather his cronies, second, they would answer the remaining questions they had about their predicament; third, they would try and get themselves back to a normal size, hopefully find their clothes (self-confident in his body as he was, he didn’t particularly feel like walking around school in the buff) and leave this entire predicament behind. Everything was accounted for; or so he thought.
In all his planning and theorising, his callous disregard for one person had meant they were entirely left out of Caleb’s equation. As it so happened, they had been theorising themselves, and were about to put their own plan into action. Unbeknownst to Caleb, his second goal was about to be achieved, though through no power of his own.
Up until that point, the room had been deathly quiet. The only sounds had been the monotone whirr of the computer and the quiet eddying of the wind outside, blowing the autumn leaves around. Caleb had taken little notice of it while deep in his thoughts, and was about to move off when a dull, yet loud thump echoed through the room.
Initially, Caleb was startled, but he passed it off as just an ambient noise, perhaps from another room.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The sound was becoming more methodical, a dull boom every few seconds. And it seemed to be getting closer.
As before, Caleb stopped, his mind unable to process what the sound was. It appeared to be moving around the room, and had a clear pattern.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The sound got closer still, and the tiny gang leader began to worry slightly again. Whatever was making that sound was coming towards him, and whatever it was, Caleb didn’t think it sounded good.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
As it happened, Caleb did not need to imagine the number of horrible and dangerous beasts and creatures that were flying through his subconscious at that moment to figure out what the source of the sound was. As he stood there in fear and wonder as to what it was, his eyes suddenly caught onto a massive pair of black pillars moving into his vision from the other side of the table.
Except those aren’t pillars, Caleb immediately realised, all his other knowledge coming back to him to reach a terrifying clarity. They’re a pair of giant legs. And there’s only other one person in this room who would be wearing black tights.
This wasn’t some beast or horrible creature that was coming for him. No, this was far worse.
Miss Blaine, the teacher he so enjoyed irritating and making life hell for, had just become his biggest problem- quite literally, he realised dryly, through his fear.
Now stock-still, he watched the giant pair of calves sail past the front of the table and along the row, trying to reason with himself once more to quell the panic building inside him. There was no proof that it was Miss Blaine. Any woman or girl in the school could be wearing black tights- it was the autumn, after all, and a bloody cold autumn at that. It was entirely possible that this was another person come in to check what had happened, perhaps (or so he fervently hoped) someone more benevolent in regard to his plight. He tried to reassure himself of this as he watched the monolithic pillars stop periodically at each giant chair before moving on, trying to look at her now visible open-top shoes and trying to remember what shoes his philosophy teacher had been wearing earlier, failing miserably thanks to his previous ignorance. As the pair of legs finally stopped at the final chair, next to the wall on the horizon, they stopped, before turning a full 180 degrees a few seconds later. She was picking up his friends, he realised; to do what with them, he didn’t know, but when the giantess sailed past him again he realised he would probably be finding out soon, as he was next. He hoped against hope that she would turn around and leave, if it truly was the person he most feared it was; terrible as it sounded, he hoped she just took his friends and left him be. He prayed to the god that he’d never believed in that she would just go away; but, much to Caleb’s panicked dismay, God clearly wasn’t listening. The gargantuan legs turned as they rounded the table, and he could only watch as the rest of the chair was cast into shadow.
Caleb, being who he was and judging how he reacted to her lessons. had never paid too much attention to Miss Blaine as a person, preferring to mess about until the inevitable scolding and ensuing argument came. He knew she was young, perhaps in her early to mid-twenties, and quite short; he had always loved the way he towered over her at his once lofty five foot eleven inches that he told people was six foot. Of course, now, it was him looking up at her; and where Caleb had once had a few inches on Miss Blaine’s height, she now was to him was a skyscraper or even a mountain was to a normal person.
Even from far away, he could see every detail on the short, slightly chubby woman’s billboard-sized face. Her chestnut coloured hair fell like a waterfall down to her chin, with her signature block fringe covering most of her forehead. Her chubby cheeks were pushed out by her full, dull red lips as they spread into a grin, displaying a long, terrifying wall of perfect, yellowed teeth each bigger than Caleb himself, a pink sliver of gumline visible between the two. Above her button nose, easily large enough to be a small hill that someone of Caleb’s stature could surmount, her hazel eyes gleamed like gems in what the tiny student far below could only describe as excitement and malice mixed together. He knew, then and there, that he was going to be in for a very rough ride- perhaps one that he wouldn’t survive. Her voice suddenly filled the air, booming all around him like the voice of a British accented feminine deity.
“And last but not least, the little gang leader. I think I’m gonna have the most fun with you.” She giggled, the cacophonous laughter hurting his ears. But even at his size, and scared as he was of the titanic teacher laughing at his fate above him, Caleb wasn’t about to just go meekly into what he presumed would be his own death. He was going to stand up, and make his last stand as king, even if the power dynamic was now well and truly shifted out of his favour.
“What do you intend to do to us, you giant bitch?”
In response, Miss Blaine only laughed harder, her mouth opening and leaving Caleb wondering in fear just how large that cavern was; and whether he would be entering it. Eventually she was able to control herself, her malevolent beam returning this time with the tip of her colossal tongue in between her stained teeth.
“Oh, I wouldn’t speak to me like that, little Caleb. After I’m done with youand your little cronies, you’re never going to want to have another detention again.”
Caleb could only stand there, frozen in terror, as her laughter boomed around him again and her titanic hand began to reach for his tiny, helpless form.