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  What happened the next night would change my life forever. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I had arrived at the front porch of the condo, and once again, the door was unlocked. I entered, announcing my presence, and she came to greet me, drifting into the room like a benevolent ghost. She stood there smiling at me. Her smile made me a bit uneasy; the last time I had seen that particular smile was during the previous night's incident. Partly to help me forget about that incident, I tried to start up a conversation. I asked her about school. She replied with single words: "fine", "good", etc. She seemed genuinely interested in me, though. Pretty soon we were watching television together while she prodded me about my job, something I didn't think would interest her. Suddenly the subject of my wife came up. Something about our conversation struck me even then.

  "Wait a minute, so your wife became your boss?"
  "Yeah, that's right."
  "That's kinda weird."
  "How so?"
  "Well, I don't know...it's like, she wants to be in charge of you. That's very weird..." she mused.

  I explained to her that she wasn't just my boss, she was in charge of the entire branch, and that she had always had a managerial personality, for as long as I'd known her. Even still, Annie's youthful inquisitiveness piqued my interest, something about the way she phrased it seemed peculiarly significant, as if she was asking me questions I had neglected to ask myself. But more on that later.
  It was getting to be dinnertime. Tonight I had brought some leftover spaghetti and meatballs that Linda had made. My wife was a busy woman, yet she always found time to cook nice meals. Once again, Annie set the table. This time, I took note of the glasses. Mine and Annie's were the same size. Our plates and silverware looked identical as well. We sat down and started to eat. I observed Annie closely. She stared at my food once again. She seemed to be daydreaming as she curled a large wad of spaghetti around her fork and after chewing it three times, she swallowed it! She disposed of several meatballs with similar ease. I couldn't take it. Something strange was definitely happening.

  "How are you doing that?"
  "You're barely even chewing your food, yet you eat so fast!"
  She seemed surprised that I had noticed.
  "Oh, I have a big appetite, remember?"
  She smiled.
  I reached out for my glass of milk. I eyed hers and then mine. I grabbed hers.
  "Hey, what are you doing?" she asked.
  I placed them next to each other. Hers was about an eighth of an inch taller.
  "Why is your glass larger?"
  She looked at the glasses.
  "Oh yeah, it is. That's strange."
  She smiled at me strangely and continued eating.
  "Are you playing some kind of practical joke on me?" I asked.
  "What would make you think that?" she asked.

  Suddenly I felt my grip close as the glass shrank in my hand. The milk overflowed, spilling onto my hand and the table.

  "What the hell?" I nearly shouted, dropping the glass.
  "Hey, be careful," Annie shouted. "This is a new tablecloth!"
  She cleaned me and the table with a napkin. I stared incredulously.
  "What... the hell... is that?" I said, pointing to the empty tumbler, now the size of a shot glass.
  "Oh, that's the amazing shrinking glass. Oldest trick in the book. I got you good, didn't I?" she said, grinning.
  I just stared at her, speechless. Her expression changed. Her face was almost serious now, but it retained a hint of mischief. Then she said:

  "I can shrink things."
  "Excuse me?"
  "I can shrink things," she repeated. "With my mind. Like that glass over there. All I have to do is think about it and concentrate, and it happens. But it helps if I'm looking at it. Watch."

  She demonstrated her ability for me by shrinking various things on the table. She stared at her fork, and it dwindled to about half its size. Then she shrank her plate, food and all.

"This is how I eat so fast," she explained. "I put the food in my mouth, shrink it, then chew and swallow, and when it gets to my stomach, I un-shrink it. It saves time. Pretty cool, huh? I call it the food bomb."

  She was explaining her impossible abilities to me as if they were no big deal. I watched in dumbfounded awe as this typical teenage girl, whom I had just barely gotten to know, defied the laws of physics as I thought I knew them.

"How would you like me to shrink you, Will?" she asked, with a ring of excitement in her voice. "It's perfectly safe. It's very fun to be tiny. How about it, Will?"

  The next few minutes are still a blur. It was so unreal that I wasn't even in shock. It seemed like a dream. I didn't feel any fear; I felt perfectly safe in the presence of this girl. Her offer seemed innocuous, and, curious, I decided in the affirmative. Though I don't remember it, I must have said "yes" because suddenly the walls began to pull away from me. If you've never been shrunken before, let me tell you, it is an odd sensation. Physically, the closest thing I can think of is riding an elevator. Psychologically, it's disorienting, like an optical illusion. Your surroundings seem to transform into something different. Your instinct and senses tell you it can't be happening. You feel as if you are not even in the same room any more, but rather a jumbo-sized mock-up located somewhere else, on a movie set perhaps. It dawned on me later that here was a girl with a tremendous, even frightening power, a power I wasn't sure even she comprehended. I still get the creeps wondering how many other teenage girls out there have this power.
  My feet lifted off the ground, and my legs straightened, as the chair seat jutted out in front of me. Annie gave me a peppy wave as her face disappeared behind the edge of the table. Now I could only see her knees straight ahead, bent out from the chair where she was sitting. I saw her get up, and I heard the slapping of her bare feet on the floor as she approached my side of the table. I turned, and I saw her, kneeling in front of my chair. I gazed up at her face, and she gazed at me. Her lips curled into a tremendous smile. I felt then as I did when she had intruded on me in the bathroom. After all, here she was again, eying me over, and here I was again, in a vulnerable state. Perhaps I should have been more frightened. But her smile was gentle and reassuring, and her eyes sparkled with benevolent wonder. She was an attractive young woman. For a moment, I was enchanted by her pretty face, and I almost forgot what was happening. Just then, I saw her lift up her hand, and beckon me with her fingers. She placed her open hand against the chair. I began to walk.

"It's okay. I'll be careful."

  Slowly, I walked over to her hand. She smiled, showing me her teeth. She seemed like a child admiring a butterfly. I set foot on her soft flesh, and she let out a giggle. Her hand was shaking a bit. I thought I would feel safer if I sat down, so I did. We looked at each other without exchanging words for a while. She let me down gently on the table, and sat in the chair.

  "So, Will," she said suddenly, "What do you think?"
  "My God, Annie, this is incredible! How long have you had these powers?"
  "Since I was in grade school. I've kept it a secret, though..."
  "Why are you showing me, then?"
  She blushed.
  "Well, I, um... You seem like a nice guy. I feel like I can trust you. Do you feel like you can trust me, Will?"
  "Yes, Annie."
  "Then it will be our secret?"
  "Of course."
  "Great! Well, I guess I should make you normal-sized, again."

  She placed her hand on the table, and I climbed up with some difficulty. She lifted me up, and stood up from her chair. She walked into the dining room, set me on the floor, and stood up. Ahead of me, now, I saw Annie's naked toes poking out from under her pajama bottoms. Looking up, I could see her towering figure. Her face was hidden by a shadow, and the light from the kitchen ceiling shined through strands of hair. Suddenly, I felt that strange feeling again, and I watched as Annie's body sank past my field of vision. I rose above her knees and her waist, until I found myself eye to eye with her.

  "There, that seems about right."
  She smiled. I inspected myself, then her, and said,
  "Annie, I think I was taller than you."
  She smiled, and said, "Just kidding."

  Soon, I found myself back to normal, looking down on Annie.
  "So, Will..."
  "I was thinking... since you and I are going to be living together this month, I thought maybe we could have some fun with my powers. What do you think?"
  "What kind of fun?" I asked, with some trepidation.
  "Like, I don't know, maybe I could shrink you and we could play games and stuff, it could be fun."
  "Sure," I replied, still a little hesitant.

  She beamed, and clutched me suddenly in a tight hug.

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