The first thing I noticed, when I re-opened my eyes, is that I was able to re-open them at all. I then noticed the noise level. There was a near-deafening "whoosh-whoosh-whoosh" sound coming from somewhere. As if someone had turned the ceiling fan, in Ms. Towne-Kerr's office, up to full volume...times one hundred!
So I instinctively closed my eyes, again, and covered my ears with my hands. But, the thought of that ceiling fan made me realize something else. I was cold! So I sat back up, and transferred my hands from my ears to my shoulders. Assuming one of those fetal positions so typical for the night-time campfires on Northgate Ranch cattle drives.
And, that's when I finally felt the bare skin of my upper torso.
Hastily re-opening my eyes, for the second time, I looked down at my waist. Sure enough: I was stark naked!
"What the frig...?"
This (admittedly cliche') question was answered in a most unusual manner. By a series of giggles that were just as unmistakably female as they were thunderous. But, when I looked skyward, I suddenly found myself being covered by a giant white tarpaulin as smooth as silk. And, my struggles to extricate myself elicited even more of those giggles!
"Here!" said a vaguely familiar voice: "You might need that."
Needless to say, when I finally found the light of day, I looked upward, once more. Whereupon, I felt my eyes grow as round as an anime character's.
Three billboard-sized faces were looking down at me! Two of them belonged to a pair of young women clad in gray, kimono-like bathrobes. The third, to a slightly older woman with a pearl-white "power suit" with matching midi-skirt.
In short? I was looking at giantess versions of Sarah Lee Baker, Julie Kamanawanaleia, and Geraldine Towne-Kerr!
"Am I dead?" was the first thing I thought to ask of them. All three of them merely smiled and shook their heads.
"No, Adam," said Ms. Towne-Kerr: "You're very much alive. But, you're now three inches tall! And, the only explanation I can think of, for both, is a plain-and-simple...miracle!"
"Or, a Navajo good luck token," I muttered to myself (suddenly remembering the "tie clasp").
Then, I had another thought: "Does everyone else know that I'm...?"
This time, all three of them nodded their heads, while smiling sympathetically.
"As soon as we saw what had happened to you, Julie ran to get help," replied Sarah: "Naturally, Ms. Towne-Kerr didn't believe her, at first. But, once she saw you (in my cupped hands!), she immediately called a halt to the photo-shoot."
"And, naturally, I swore Armand and everyone else to silence," added Ms. Towne-Kerr: "The only question is; what do we do, now?"
"What do you mean, 'what do we do?' " I instinctively demanded: "We call the nearest hospital! That's what. To try and get me some help!"
Ms. Towne-Kerr frowned: "That's not very practical, Adam. I mean; think about it. Your present condition is unprecedented, to say the least!! So, what would happen if a doctor examined you? You'd probably become a human guinea pig, in some top-secret government lab, for the rest of your life. Never again to have a moment's privacy!"
"So?" I shrugged: "What other alternative is there?"
"This one," replied Julie: "Since it was our mineral waters you were delivering to us, when this happened, Sarah and I sort of feel responsible. So, we talked it over with Ms. Towne-Kerr. And, she's had her lawyer draw up a special contract. We--Sarah and I--agree to become lingerie models for Elizabeth's Engima. And, in return? You'll come to live with the two of us, in a plush little penthouse, in Beverly Hills. As both our ward and our financial advisor!
"WHAT?????" I exclaimed, in disbelief, as loudly as I could.
"Well, it's the only sensible approach, Adam," Ms. Towne-Kerr explained: "After all, they're not seasoned veterans, at modeling, like the rest of our girls. So, you'll remain with them to reassure them they're not being cheated when they start receiving their first professional modeling fees!"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"B-But," I stammered: "Don't I get any say in this?"
The three of them just resumed giggling, all the harder.
* * * * *
Well, it's been over a year, since that happened. And, my initial indignation gradually turned to resignation. Which, I grudgingly admit, wasn't too difficult. For one thing, Julie and Sarah are really quite gentle when handling me. And, then there's the fact that Ms. Towne-Kerr finally learned my first name was _not_ "Hey, you!"
So, perhaps, that Navajo good luck totem did work, for me, after all.