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A 23-year-old college student named Dennis Daniels and 21-year-old collegian Hilary Swanson were in Munich during the first week of Oktoberfest. It was late September and the mild temperature was neither warm nor cold. They were charmed by the architecture of the buildings, a mix of futuristic, Gothic and the half-timbered structures Germany was known for. Dennis and Hilary navigated through the tents where they could pay a reasonably small price to taste the different styles of beer, as well as other local delicacies. 

"I thought we were going to a festival in Bavaria," said Dennis.

"We're in Bavaria," Hilary replied.

"I thought we were in Munich!” said Dennis.

"Munich is a city in the state of Bavaria, which is in Germany," Hilary replied. 

“Really?" Dennis replied. "I always thought of Bavaria as a whole different country.”

”A lot of people from the United States think that,” Hilary replied, but her use of sarcasm went right over Dennis’s head.

”Hopefully, we can find a gym after the miniaturization demonstration, I missed a day of working out on the flight over here from Cali."

“The demonstration is our priority,” said Hilary, “it starts in a few minutes, you can find a gym later.”

They found a crowd of people surrounding the demonstration, and stopped to observe it. Up on a platform a scientist unveiled a futuristic chrome-plated cannon on a tripod connected by thick cables to a sophisticated electronic control console. 

”Neutrino dissimilation was first developed in the United States during the 2080s, but only now has it progressed enough to be tested on people. Germany is the first country to allow human testing. This technology allows us to shrink people and objects and re-enlarge them without harm. Would anyone care to volunteer?” The locals who were crowded around the platform looked at each other uneasily; nobody was willing to have the device tested out on them.

“You’d better get up there!” said Hilary, nudging Dennis. “You’re barely pulling a ‘C’ in our class and you need the extra credit! I'll film you with my mini video camera.”

Dennis was the only one to volunteer. Dennis thought: I hope this gets me laid. I’d hate to fly out here all this way just for a dry run! The problem with Hilary is that she’s so focused on this school project that she might not be willing to put out.

The scientist said, “Step right up here, young man!”

As Dennis climbed up onto the platform, the scientist said, “Over ninety-nine point nine percent of the matter within the centers of the quarks and gluons composing the protons and neutrons in this man’s body will be converted into neutrino particles, and subtracted from his overall mass! Neutrino dissimilation theory also involves generating a group of dimensional fields.

“A sophisticated gravity gauge detects the positions of the quarks and gluons of the person or object being miniaturized. Dimensional singularities are initiated inside the centers of each of these quark and gluon particles composing the protons and neutrons of the atoms being targeted, causing the quarks and gluons to collapse around the now-empty space because of the vacuum that forms. The excess matter is discharged through these dimensional vortices and forced into another dimension. This causes the nucleus of the atoms to decrease in size, weight, volume and mass.

“The electrons remain normal sized. A dimensional membrane alters the strength of their charge so it corresponds with the decreased strength of the charge of the miniaturized protons, while simultaneously maintaining the proportional distance of the atoms from one another; this means the shrinking atoms are forced closer together.

“A reactive dimensional field or dimensional membrane is given that name because it reacts to changes in the environment. A reactive dimensional membrane surrounding a shrunken person speeds up or slows down the vibrations of the miniaturized atoms of their body so the shrunken person has increased or decreased thermal resistance, giving them the same proportional body temperature as at normal size. This protects a shrunken person from getting too cold or too hot. These dimensional fields must be maintained for as long as the person is miniaturized.”

Dennis smiled at Hilary as she filmed him. He stood directly in front of the miniaturization cannon. There was a large crowd of locals waiting in front of the platform trying to observe this strange new technology.

The scientist continued: “The neutrino dissimilator cannon shoots an invisible beam, but we have given it blue coloration strictly for demonstration purposes. Sir, are you ready to be miniaturized?”

Dennis gave a thumbs up and said, “Rock and roll!”

The scientist activated the control console, and a blue beam reduced Dennis to an inch tall. The scientist picked Dennis up and said, “Shrunken people need air, food, and water reduced to their proportionate size. This man can breathe because the synergistic reaction of the various dimensional fields permits air molecules to shrink down to his scale before entering his lungs, and the carbon dioxide he exhales is restored to normal size when it exits the dimensional fields.”

The scientist asked if anyone wanted to hold him. A local girl about twelve years old with long blonde braids wearing a traditional Bavarian dress raised her hand as she approached the platform. The scientist gave him to her. As soon as she had Dennis clenched firmly in her hand, she ran off with him.

“Stop that girl!” the scientist shouted.

The German girl ran down an alley and hid behind some crates. When the people chasing her lost sight of her, she continued down the alley and exited on another street. She spotted two girls her age she knew who were also dressed in traditional Bavarian garb for the Oktoberfest celebration. One girl had short shoulder-length blonde hair, and the other was a brunette with long hair. She invited them back into the alley she had just emerged from so they would be hidden from locals on the street.

“Look what I just captured!” said the first German girl to her two friends. She knelt on the pavement and set Dennis down. The girls knelt and surrounded him. Dennis took heed that the girl spoke of him as if he was an inanimate object.

“I’m an American! You can’t do this to me!” Dennis shouted.

The brunette said, “We can do anything we want, as long as we don’t get caught!” 

The girl who said this lifted Dennis into the air as she opened her mouth and lowered Dennis slowly downward.

The girl who had first captured Dennis grabbed him and told her friend, “Stop that! We need to decide what to do with him!”

”Let me swallow him!” the brunette pleaded. “That would make me feel powerful!”

”He’s too valuable for that!” the girl holding Dennis in her hand argued.

”I have a set of dice,” said the brunette, “let’s gamble for him.”

”No! Learn to control your appetite! If we’re smart, he can make us wealthier than anyone we know!”

The girl who had wanted to swallow Dennis introduced herself to him. "I'm Wendelgard, you're being held by Gisela and the other girl is our friend Heidi."

"Don't tell him our names!" shouted Gisela, as she set Dennis on the pavement in front of her. 

As Dennis looked across the cobblestone paved alley, he could see several different directions to run if he made an escape attempt. Dennis thought: I’ve got to ditch these titanic twelve-year-olds and find my way back to Hilary! Dennis made a run for it between Wendelgard and Heidi while Gisela and Wendelgard argued.

Dennis managed to escape, at least for the time being. Gisela was angry at the other two girls because they had failed to capture him as he ran in between them. 

“You idiots! You let him escape! Do you know how valuable he is? We could’ve sold him on the black market! Help me capture him!”

Dennis ran down a different alley than the one where Gisela had originally taken him. 

The girls were hot on his trail! A door was open, so he ran inside. He found himself in a large beer hall with long wooden tables and chairs. Women wearing traditional Bavarian dresses sat at each chair, with a one-liter glass stein filled with beer in front of each of them.

The girls who were chasing Dennis entered the beer hall looking for him. He spotted a curtain and began climbing up, hoping to ascend above the eye level of the predatory preteens who were hunting him. If an adult spotted him, maybe they would rescue him from them.

Meanwhile, there was a drinking contest about to take place. A man had a trophy in his hand, and he said: “The man or woman who drinks their stein of beer first wins the trophy. Go!” All the contestants started drinking.

Dennis was pretty high on the curtain when Gisela spotted him. “There he is! Up there!”

Heidi and Wendelgard tugged on the curtain, hurling Dennis up into the air, and he landed in a glass beer stein half-filled with beer, which an attractive blonde German woman was drinking as fast as she could. Dennis tried to out-swim the current of the amber-colored liquid flowing toward her open mouth. As she tilted the stein back, Dennis was forced by gravity straight into her mouth. The woman reflexively swallowed, and Dennis headed straight down her esophagus.

Dennis tried to hold his breath as he splashed down in the woman's stomach to conserve his air. When forced to take a breath while he was treading chyme, he could smell the beer the woman had consumed. He fought to survive, not accepting that this could mean the end for him.

The three girls surrounded the woman who had swallowed Dennis. "You swallowed our captive!" said Gisela.

"Swallowing him was my idea, give him back!” Wendelgard shouted.

Heidi made a quick exit from the beer hall while Wendelgard and Gisela argued with the woman who had accidentally swallowed Dennis.

The woman realized she had swallowed someone and gagged herself with her fingers until she vomited Dennis back up; he came plunging out of her mouth into the stein, covered in vomit. The German woman fished him out and held him in her hand. During the time it took the woman to purge her unwilling prey from her belly, a winner had been declared and she had lost the contest. Another woman held up the trophy in triumph.

"I was shrunk as part of a miniaturization demonstration," Dennis explained to her. 

She knew English, and was aware that a shrinking cannon was being exhibited that day and knew where to go. She headed out the front door of the beer hall to take him back to where he had been miniaturized. While the concerned woman was walking with Dennis in her hands, Gisela and Wendelgard followed her. The third girl named Heidi had fled out of fear of arrest and was long gone.

"Don't let them convince you to give me back to them!" said Dennis. "They tried to kidnap me."

When the German woman arrived at the demonstration area, the scientist who was conducting the miniaturization experiment gladly took Dennis from her and set him on the platform. He didn’t bother to explain the theory behind re-enlarging someone, he used the miniaturization device to reverse the process, and Dennis was restored to normal size instantly.

“When I was an inch tall, I was all wet because I got swallowed,” Dennis asked the scientist, “but now I’m completely dry. How is that possible?”

”That is because the atoms of the liquid remained the same size and spread uniformly all over your body as the miniaturized atoms of your body returned to normal size. Unfortunately, you still smell of vomit.”

Dennis hopped down from the platform and was approached by some local policemen who had grabbed the two girls after they were pointed out by the woman who had rescued him. He told the police that he didn't want to press charges against the girls, and they were released after being questioned.

He found Hilary in the crowd. "I got chased by some German thunder children, and I ended up accidentally getting swallowed by a German woman during a beer drinking contest!”

"So that's why you smell like puke!" said Hilary.

"When we get back to California I hope I get an A for this!" said Dennis. "How about the two of us go out for dinner?"

"You've got a deal, as soon as you go back to the hotel and take a shower first!" said Hilary. "You stink!"

The End
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