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Story Notes:

This is what the movie Downsizing should have been honestly.

There were many factors that could be said to contribute to the latest developments in science and fashion. Many would cite the impending housing crisis, environmental issues, problems in the workplace, or just the general desire to disconnect from the current culture at large. No matter what the reason for it, however, nothing would ever be the same again.


Milly looked down happily at her new ring. A little present for herself she had been saving for the past few months. She loved the green shine that reflected off of its surface, giving it a nice healthy look as it rested on her hand. She brought it closer to her face to inspect it closer, scanning the green for any imperfections or “special” abnormalities.

“Ah, there you are,” Milly said in an idle whisper, finally spotting a small dark brown blip amongst the green. As her eyes focused she could also spy a slightly larger, though still insignificant, spot of blue next to her new finding. 

“Heh, cute.” Milly said, now satisfied she hadn’t been scammed with a counterfeit Micro-Carat jewelry. 


Micro-Carat was a new premium jeweler that arrived on the scene in the late 20X0s, offering a whole new kind of fashion experience, while simultaneously striving to fix many of the world’s most serious crises, one piece of jewelry at a time!

A tall order for a jewelry company, no? Well, not for one with a patent in new shrinking technology! Now those who were tired of their day-to-day life can finally escape, literally in style itself. 

Anyone who wanted to could volunteer to be shrunken down to near-microscopic and placed in a piece of jewelry. The traditional gem has been replaced with a dome of extremely durable material to keep the residents inside safe, but also visible to anyone outside. 

The inside of the dome was crafted into one of the many models of the volunteer’s choosing. Many choosing to live in simply smaller neighborhoods with few other volunteers, exact models of famous cities from around the world, or the one Milly had chosen, “F*ck Off and Live in the Woods Emerald”. This model was designed for either singular volunteers or small families. These were most often the kind of people who always talked about leaving society and living “off the grid”, now being given the chance to live in the luxury log cabin of their dreams onlooking a spacious lake.

Special measures were also taken so no matter what way you held the piece, the inside would experience no change. You could shake it all day and no one would notice if they weren’t looking up.


Milly held her hand out to her friend, Bethany, twisting it gently to show off the shimmering green of the microscopic forest. 

“Oh my god!! It’s so pretty!” Bethany said in a loud enthusiastic tone, leaning forward to get an even closer look as she stirred sugar into her coffee.

The green inside seemed to wave and move as the tiny fans inside blew the tree branches. 

“Do you know who’s inside?” Bethany asked, looking back to her friend as Milly pulled her hand back. 

“Oh yeah,” she said, cheerfully attending to her own coffee, “on their app you can see a little profile of everyone inside. I got a little family from Michigan; husband, wife, and their two daughters are SO cute. They remind me of my girls when they were younger."

Milly gave a heartfelt smile to Bethany before adding with a giggle, "too bad their parents were such losers though."

Those "losers" inside Milly's ring were the Stevens family. Jerry and Wendy both loving parents to their daughters Katy and Veronica. Before they decided to shrink, Jerry was an accountant at a failing financial firm. He'd once done very well for himself, taking care of his family and even taking them on vacations. But when a market crash resulted in his termination, the Stevens soon fell on hard times. There were no high paying jobs in the area, and they had no savings to move. They were on the brink of losing their house when a traveling representative came by and asked if they'd ever heard of the Micro-Carat volunteer program. 

With no other options, the family was soon sold on the idea. Jerry loved the idea of living in a cabin in the woods, finally some freedom outside the office. Wendy, the stay-at-home mom type, was very hesitant at first, but soon cozied up to the idea of the cozy life a cabin could offer. Their daughters, of course, were not crazy about the idea of moving away from their school, friends, and in Katy’s case her boyfriend, to live in some dumb cabin inside someone’s RING for the rest of their lives. But, because they were children (17 and 15 respectively), their opinions did not matter at all in the decision. 

Not long after that initial visit, the family packed their things and went to the shrinking facility of Micro-Carat. They were all put to sleep to hide the patented shrinking process, and soon awoke on the wooden floors of their impossibly tiny new home. 

It all seemed so surreal. So sudden and almost impossible. It was like waking into a dream. All of their belongings were placed neatly as if they’d put them there themselves. The air was cool and pleasant. Outside they could hear the chirping of birds, though it would later be found those were artificial sounds from implanted speakers. At that moment, however, everything seemed normal.

That was until they stepped outside.

As the Stevens family went outside of their new cabin, stepping off their beautiful dark wood porch, they were greeted with beautiful trees, branching trails leading in almost every direction, one such leading to a beautiful lake, and high above them… 

The view from the inside of a jewelry store display cabinet.

This would be their new sky for the next two weeks, before finally being purchased by Milly.

Their days passed by like most others. They would wake up with the store’s opening lights acting as their sun, before spending their time however they wanted. The first few were dedicated to exploring their new land. Jerry and Wendy spending their time at the lake, Veronica began hiking the trails around their cabin while her older sister Katy would be sulking in her room, missing her boyfriend. At times they would glance up at the sky and see the gigantic people, mostly wealthy looking women, looking down at them, silently considering purchasing their new home to decorate their fingers on their nights out. 

They were chosen when they weren’t even looking. The next thing they knew their home went dark as they were placed into a ring box. After what was likely a long drive home, light finally flooded back across their land, along with the beaming face of Milly. Their new owner.


“Imagine being so lazy you’d just want to live in a ring,” Milly continued to Bethany, chuckling before taking a sip of her coffee.

“Oh I know,” Beatrice replied with a dismissive wave of her hand, “it’s pathetic. Like, just get a job and buy a house. My Micheal is actually thinking of joining. Honestly, I think it’s an excuse to just lay around and play video games all day instead of going to college and working for a living.”

“Yeah well,” Milly began, setting her coffee down and looking back at her ring, trying again to discern the tiny brown speck of a cabin inside; “I own them now, so I guess we know who the real winners are.”

Both women chuckled at the remark, feeling quite superior in their positions.

“And tell Micheal that if he does decide to become a ring, I wouldn’t mind saving more and making him my toe ring.”

Both women laughed harder.

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