“Oh, I’m not doing much. Just watching Katie while my parents are gone.” Arthur was talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend Charlotte. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, but he was inside the house with his 3 (almost 4) year old little sister. “My mom’s at work and my dad’s at a conference. Why don’t you come over and hang out? I know how much you like playing with Katie.” He paused for her to answer. “Great! I’ll see you in a few minutes.”
Arthur hung up and directed his attention to his sister. The adorable toddler was wearing a pink shirt with denim overalls that had a large pocket on the front and was completely bare foot. She was currently sitting on the ground playing with her dolls. Then she noticed a large ant moving across the carpet. Katie reached over and grabbed the bug with her little fingers and brought it up to her face. She smiled and opened up her mouth to drop it in.
“No, no, no!” Arthur exclaimed abruptly as he dove off the couch and grabbed Katie’s wrist. “No, Katie, you’re not supposed to eat bugs. They’re gross.” He moved her hand away from her mouth and she dropped the ant. The bug landed on the carpet on its back. “This is what we do with nasty bugs.” Arthur drove his thumb into the ant and twisted it into the carpet. Just for good measure he also gave a quick stomp. Katie watched the whole event but Arthur wasn’t sure if she really understood or not.
“I guess you’re probably just hungry. Let’s get you something to eat.” Arthur picked his sister up and carried her over to a chair with a booster seat so she would be tall enough for the table. “Now what do we have for you...?” Arthur walked over to the fridge and looked inside. “Here we go!” He reached in and produced a plate of leftover chicken nuggets and mac & cheese. He placed the plate in the microwave and hit start right when the doorbell ring.
As he expected, Arthur opened the door to find Charlotte standing there. “Hey, Artie! How’s it going?”
Arthur chuckled. “Same as I told you five minutes ago. I was just heating up some food for Katie.”
“I see.” Charlotte stepped inside the house. “So what do you want to- Ooh! What’s that?” She asked, pointing to a strange futuristic gun on the kitchen counter.
“I had a feeling you’d ask,” Arthur replied as he shut the front door. “That would be my dad’s new invention.”
“Cool! What’s it do?”
“Well, he’s still working out the bugs, but it’s supposed to make objects grow bigger.”
“That’s awesome! So it’s basically the opposite of his shrink ray.”
Charlotte picked up the gun and aimed it at her boyfriend. “You know, I’ve always wished you were a few inches taller.”
Arthur panicked. “Charlotte, put that down! It’s dangerous!”
“Relax. I’m just kidding. I love you just the way you are. Besides, you just said it doesn’t work anyway.”
“It doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, I meant. Seriously, though, put that down.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll put it-“
*BEEP* The microwave sounded when the food finished cooking. Arthur’s dad had modified it to be much louder than normal so the family could hear it anywhere in the house. Charlotte, however, was not used to it and was startled. She unintentionally squeezed her finger on the trigger of the gun and fired off a blast that looked like blue lightning. Her startled jolt also shifted her aim and she missed Arthur. The shot went past him and hit a mirror behind the couch which reflected it back toward Charlotte. It missed her too and hit something behind her.
Charlotte fearfully but carefully set the gun back on the counter. “Oh, my gosh! What did I hit?!”
Arthur was in shock. “You- you hit Katie.”
Charlotte gasped. “Is she alright?!”
Arthur ran over to his sister to check on her. To his pleasant surprise, she was giggling. “That tickled,” she said happily.
Arthur sighed in relief. “Well, she clearly wasn’t hurt by the blast and she doesn’t look any bigger, so I guess nothing happened.”
“Oh, thank goodness!”
“I’d better call my dad to make sure, though. Keep an eye on Katie for a minute.”
Arthur pulled out his phone and saw that it had died. He put it on a charger and walked away to a different room where the home phone was. Charlotte walked over to Katie and asked her, “Hi there, Katie! How are you feeling?”
“I’m hungry,” she replied.
“Oh, yeah. Arthur was heating up some food for you.” Charlotte pulled the food out of the microwave and set it down on the table. “There you go!”
“Yay!” Katie exclaimed before promptly chowing down on the plate of food.
Meanwhile Arthur was trying to call his dad Harold. On the third attempt he finally reached him. “Hey, son, what’s up? I’m driving home right now.”
“Hey, dad. Um, we might have a problem.”
“Uh, oh. What might that be.”
“Well, you know your new growth ray? Charlotte accidentally shot Katie with it. She seems okay, but I’m not sure.”
Harold paused for a moment before responding. “This is bad.”
“The dial on the machine must have been set to zero, which is why nothing happened... yet.”
“Yet? What do you mean yet?”
“Recently we were testing the gun on some mice. After we shot them nothing seemed to happen. However, they soon became incredibly hungry and once they ate, they began to grow.”
“Wait, are you saying that as soon as Katie eats something she’ll start to grow?”
“Correct. And the more she eats, the bigger she’ll get.”
“Then what should we do?”
“As soon as I get home I’ll break out the shrink ray and use it to reverse the effects. Just make sure Katie doesn’t eat a thing until then.”
“Gotcha! I think I can handle that. I’ll see ya when you get home.”
Arthur hung up and walked back into the kitchen. “Alright, Charlotte. Everything’s going to be fine. We just have to make sure Katie doesn’t eat anything or else-“ He suddenly noticed the clean plate in front of his sister.
Charlotte also realized the situation. “Or else what?”
“Or else she’ll start growing.”
“What?! Food triggers the growth?”
“Yeah.” Arthur stopped to think. “But it’s only one plate of food. How big could she get?” Arthur picked Katie up out of the chair and held her. After a few seconds he said, “See. She isn’t even growing. It must be a side effect for the mice only.”
As soon as he said that, Arthur felt an increase of weight on his arms. He looked back at Katie to see that she was getting bigger. He quickly set her down and she said, “I feel funny.” Katie continued growing before her brother’s very eyes. She didn’t stop until she reached 7 feet tall - over a foot taller than her big brother. “Whoa! I got big!”
Arthur didn’t know what to do. “Uh, yeah. You got very big. Now let’s go play in the living room until daddy gets home. Okay?”
“No. I’m hungry.”
“I’m sure you are, but you can’t eat anything. It’s dangerous.”
“Food isn’t dangerous. It’s yummy!” Katie walked over to the fridge and opened the door. Due to her new size she was much stronger and accidentally ripped the door clean off. She tossed it to the side and began gorging on the contents within. She ignored the packaging and ate everything whole.
Arthur panicked and ran over to pull Katie away from the food. He grabbed hold of the back of her overalls and pulled. The two hundred pound toddler didn’t budge. “Charlotte help me out here!” Charlotte quickly joined in but even with her help Katie stayed put.
After a minute or so of eating nearly everything in the fridge, Katie turned around and let out a short burp. She seemed happy but the other two were still freaking out. “We need to get her outside!” Charlotte stated.
“But we can’t let the neighbors see her.”
“Either she goes out the front door or you guys get a new sunroof.”
“Good point. Katie let’s go play outside!”
“Okay!” She replied happily. She was so happy, in fact, that she grouped Arthur and Charlotte together in her arms and gave them a big hug. The two thought it was a sweet gesture, but it was also quite painful. After Katie let go, Arthur grabbed her hand and led her outside. As soon as she made it past the threshold, Katie began growing again. Arthur let go of her growing hand and watched her increase to 25 feet. Katie was now as tall as the house! She observed her surroundings and said, “I got even bigger. The house is like a doll house.” She looked down at Arthur and Charlotte who were 6” tall compared to her. “So that makes you the dollies!”
Arthur was now even more afraid. “No, Katie! Don’t- oof!” He was cut off when Katie’s pudgy palm wrapped around his torso and hoisted him into the air. He yelped from the sudden motion.
The same thing happened to Charlotte. “Katie please put us down!” She pleaded. But the giant girl ignored her, sat down criss-cross and continued to have fun. She bounced the teens up and down to simulate walking as she pretended like they were normal dolls. Arthur felt like he was gonna puke from the motion. Before he did, though, a loud sound erupted. It was Katie’s stomach gurgling.
Katie was hungry once again, but what could she eat? She looked around for something and noticed some shrubs in front of the house. Unlike most kids, Katie loved vegetables - especially broccoli - and to her these bushes looked just like that. She didn’t have an open hand to grab them, though, so she had to put Arthur and Charlotte down. However, she didn’t put them on the ground. She raised them up to her front pouch pocket and placed them inside. The two teens held on tightly to the edge of the pocket which only held them up to their wastes. Katie effortlessly yanked the bushes out of the ground and carried them up to her mouth. Dirt fell off of the roots on the way and landed on the captive’s heads. Katie placed the “broccoli” in her mouth, chewed it up and swallowed.
Katie frowned after noticing the true taste of what she ate. “Yucky! Broccoli tastes weird!” She gathered saliva in her mouth and then spit out the nasty taste. The glob of spit shot down like a meteor directly at Arthur’s convertible, which was parked in the driveway. The brown and green saliva seeped into the seats of the once nice-looking car.
Arthur groaned in sadness and whined, “Aw, man! Not my car!” Then he felt a light rumble. “Hold on!” he told Charlotte. The two both gripped the pocket tightly as Katie grew again. She was now all the way up to 50 feet tall! Her once large house was now the size of a normal doll house to her. But Katie was done playing at her house. She stood up and decided to check elsewhere in the cul-de-sac for fun.