Andrea had never felt nearer to the sky. White cloud wisps drifted above, seemingly in reaching distance. Testing this theory, she reached out a slender arm and curled her elegant fingers through the nearest passing patch of white. Wind generated by the mere opening of her hand scattered them about. It felt like she could snatch up the atmosphere itself in her fist. She giggled curiously, only at that moment taking the time to look down the unassuming earth below.
The sight which greeted her beautiful dark eyes nearly caused her to topple in shock. Which, incidentally, might have proved devastatingly catastrophic to the planet below. As it happened, she felt she was gazing down at the ground from the window of an airplane; except for the fact that she could still see the length of her feminine form contoured by her white top and skirt, it would’ve been impossible to believe she was standing.
Yet she was standing. Her bubble-gum-pink flip-flops rested in terrain patch-worked with color and life, like moss on a log, while her long toes wriggled idly on the rubbery insole. Only when she squinted was she fully convinced of what she believed she’d seen on first glance. That this was not a daydream, a waking nightmare, or the result of a chemical hallucination from something slipped in her iced coffee at breakfast. That she was standing on solid ground in her newly three-mile tall body.
“What the f-” The words caught in her throat in a booming whisper. She could hear her softly uttered words nonetheless echo across the horizon like the seismic crack of the earth’s crust. Instinctively, she threw her hands over her mouth. Her eyes swelled to the size of flying saucers in crippling disbelief and fright.
But how? The last few minutes of lost time, previously lost in the blackout, crept back into her mind’s eye: A laboratory demonstration by her science teacher. A call for volunteers. Her adventurous spirit spurring her to the front of the room. An explanation of the painless, harmless effect of the micro-pulses of radiation. A quick step inside the chamber. A flash of light, and then sudden dark.
Andrea felt herself beginning to hyperventilate. Her chest rose and heaved. She knotted her fingers into the strands of her luscious black hair in toe-tingling anxiety unlike any she’d ever experienced in her life.
It was all far too much to drink in. Mountainous terrain was speckled by hair-sprig trees, no more than a stone’s throw away, and all the combined fields of high hillocks appeared like loping anthills to Andrea. She caught sight of the city within the valley, its mighty skyscrapers now resembling silver-and-glass blades of grass. Most of them were about the size of her finger. At its tallest, the urban sprawl couldn’t have risen much higher than Andrea’s bare ankles. The whole pathetic spread was only a few steps ahead for her, though in reality at least five miles away from the suburbs in which her high school resided.
Or used to reside, anyway. With a start, Andrea recognized the geometry of the earth below and realized the gritty platform of her flip-flop was now planted in a deep crater formed by her foot, precisely where her school used to stand. The entire school building had been obliterated by the weight of her sole, and with it, every living inhabitant inside, the second her teacher had switched on the device and grown Andrea into a three-mile-tall behemoth.
Air caught in her lungs. The eighteen-year-old, already befuddled, but now nauseated to discover the mass grave which rested beneath her heel, staggered. The very thought that all her classmates and teachers were now minute red specks amidst the rubble under her unassuming shoe was too much. Her head swam. Out of self-preservation, she pulled her flip-flop out of the cushy earth and kicked in the other direction. She only just managed to catch herself in that single step backward, and in doing so, heard the crunch beneath her sole.
Understanding spread over her in a cold wave. She’d done it again.
Brushing her dark bangs out of her eyes, Andrea stooped down as gingerly as she could without shifting her feet again. Sure enough, the last step she took had wiped out multiple acres of forest, plus a fully functioning power station. It crackled and sparked like a crushed firefly beneath the soft treads of the giant girl’s flip-flop. With all the tenderness she could produce, she peeled her footwear from the earth, watching landscape and shrubs come away entrapped in the pink material like cake frosting. The powdered remains of the power plant plunked back to earth in a cloud of dust.
“Oh my God,” she breathed. She cupped her palms around her lips. “I’m so SORRY!”
Her bellow rebounded over the hills and canyons far beyond. The sound filled the tiny ankle-high city beyond, surely shattering windows and vibrating foundations in the process. Just as quickly as last time, she covered her mouth again, fearful of what other destruction she might inflict simply by trying to apologize too loudly.
Down below, entrapped in a set of circumstances so wholly removed from that of the three-mile teenager that they might as well have been in different planets, was Mr. Duncan. A seasoned world history teacher and occasional dabbling chaos theorist when he wasn’t trying to pay the bills, he’d just begun the trip back to the high school from his lunch break when he saw the dust cloud billowing out over top of the little red-brick, mom-and-pop town adjacent to the city. Dirt curled in lengthy tendrils of tornado-strength gales. The sky was obscured. Panicked, Mr. Duncan pulled his car to the side of the road into an alley to avoid being blown over in his meager two-door vehicle.
As the dust settled, coating all surfaces in soil and leaves, the middle-aged history teacher crept out of his car and squinted into the middle distance. Difficult though it was to keep his eyes open through the swirl of grime, there was no ignoring the object which now filled the skybox beyond.
Well, “object” was a woefully underserving descriptor, because the structure which currently blotted out the sun and obviously was directly responsible for the quaking of the earth, was absolutely enormous. She was not merely gigantic, but nearly beyond description in terms of size. She. It was then that Mr. Duncan recognized the monumental shape as that of a woman: a young woman, specifically, hardly aged past an adolescent, complete with the soft curves and shimmering dark locks of a certain student he’d come to respect for her kindness and work ethic. The man crumbled to his knees in the ruined street. It couldn’t possibly be her, in that body longer than the entire downtown district, could it?
Could it actually be Andrea?