“Well this sounds like such a fun trip, sweetie!” Carrie said, as her daughter grabbed a spare suitcase and brought it down the hallway towards her bedroom. “You’re gonna have so much fun!”
Marie smiled, dragging the suitcase down the hallway and dropping it off in her old bedroom. She then turned to face her mother. “Yeah I’m excited!” she said with a smile. “Heather and I are gonna have so much fun. Gonna do some drinking, some hiking,” she lied. “It’ll be nice to get away for a bit.”
“You’ve been working hard, you deserve it,” Carrie responded. She turned, wanting to give her daughter time to pack up her bags. Marie was in her late twenties and didn’t live with Carrie anymore, but she often came by to visit her parents, which Carrie loved.
What Marie told her family, was that her and her good friend Heather were taking a road trip for a week in a town a few hours away. She told her mom that they would be doing typical tourist stuff, hitting the bars on the Main Street, doing some hiking, all that stuff. While Marie didn’t technically lie to her parents about going on vacation for a week, she definitely lied about where exactly she was going.
Working in the field of quantum physics, Marie had been working on a top secret project in her free time. It was a device that could most easily be described as a shrink ray. Marie hated that description though. That sounded like something too sci-fi for her. She often referred to her creation as the “temporary matter reducer.” The device was described to look like a lamp, which she kept in her old bedroom at her parents house. She knew her family almost never went into her old room, so she figured it was safer there than at her apartment where her boyfriend, Dan, could get his hands on it. The device was programmed so that the user could input a certain duration of time. The person would then stand in front of the device as it scanned their body, and would shrink them down in thirty seconds. After the duration of time had passed, the person would automatically be returned to their normal size….assuming they had enough space to do so and were still alive Shrinking could be hazardous after all.
This was a major passion project for Marie. The young woman had successfully shrunken and re-grown herself multiple times, and now wanted to put this to the test. She planned on spending the next week just relaxing, while about two millimeters tall. Rather than exploring some new town several hours away with her friend, Marie was actually planning on taking a week to herself, in the relative safety of her parents home. Using a 3-D printer, Marie had created a miniaturized city, which was almost three feet across. It had everything from model buildings to pools to parks, and it was perfectly set to accommodate a two millimeter person (Marie’s favorite size to shrink to).
Marie had packed multiple suitcases with clothes, meals, water and everything else should we need to relax for seven days. Her old room was set up well, with her bed and dressers positioned in a way that the natural light from the windows could illuminate the model city during the day, and it would be naturally dark at night. The shrink ray was disguised as a lamp near the device, which she kept unplugged when she was not home to keep anyone from messing with it. She had a magnifying glass next to the model city, in case there were any incidents and she, or someone else, needed to be found.
“Alright,” she said to herself, putting her suitcase down next to the model city. “Time to say goodbye to the family.” Marie’s parents and brother had asked her about the model city on her desk in the past, but Marie again fell back on her half-truths. As far as her parents knew, she just enjoyed 3-D printing and this was just a work of art she had created.
“Hi Ruby,” Marie said, as her parents three-year old black cat walked up and brushed against her legs as she sat back down in the living room. Marie reached down and hoisted up the chubby cat, and began scratching her head.
“Okay Marie, do you know about the hotel’s security policy, and where the nearest police department is?” It was her dad, Victor. He was a loving father and always had her best interests at heart, but he could be extremely paranoid and overbearing when it came to the safety of his younger daughter.
Marie could only give a half-hearted smile, and nodded. “I know dad,” she said. “I’ll keep in touch with you guys, you know you can always get me on my phone. Both her parents continued to give Marie a lecture, listing the warnings about travel. Marie had no idea why her parents were acting so paranoid. She had traveled outside the country and gone to Germany with her friends before and everything was fine. What was the big deal about her going a few hours away.
“Yeah, and make sure you watch your hangovers,” laughed Eddie, Marie’s twenty-one year old brother who was in his last year of college. He still lived at home and his room was across the hall from Marie.
“Hey I was drinking before you,” laughed Marie. “I know what I’m doing.”
“You did!” responded Eddie. “You’ve been out of college too long, your tolerance is gone.”
Marie continued to bicker with Eddie and chat with her parents, when she decided it was time to go to bed. She made a point to tell her parents that Heather was going to pick her up early in the morning before they woke up. She said good night to her parents, her brother and to Ruby.
“And here we go,” Marie said to herself, giddy with excitement. She scanned her suitcases, backpacks and everything else she needed for the next week. She watched as they all dwindled down to a barely visibly size in the palm of her hand. Even though she had done this before, her hands quivered with excitement as she placed the tiny luggage down in the model city.
Marie stepped onto her desk, the remote to control the matter reducer clenched in her hand. Her white, silk scarf with decorative black lace was bunched up against her neck. Her blue shirt felt tight as her body tingled with excitement. The blue sleeves wrapped around her slender arms and Marie could only imagine how she'd look tiny and living in her own, little world. Her legs were dressed in black skinny jeans that would glide right through the empty, shrunken streets.
Marie let her marvelous auburn brown hair loose, tones of brown shined in the light of her bedroom as it cascaded down her body and shoulders. Marie made her final adjustments to the Temporary Matter Reducer. Two millimeters in height. Seven days, one hundred sixty eight hours to be exact. Marie double checked her math to make sure everything was right. “Next Sunday night I’ll be back to normal,” she mumbled. She made one last change, giving herself thirty seconds to climb up onto the desk after she was scanned.
“Okay, time for a week off,” she laughed, pressing the button. A blue beam struck Marie’s body, and her signature was stored inside the device. Again shaking in excitement, Marie climbed up onto her chair. As she clock counted down towards one, she jumped, and reduced while in the air. The tiny woman landed on a soft pad she had strategically laid down, now reduced in her model city.