March 12, 2017


She sat in the corner of the room, staring out from between her fingers in contemplation.  Somehow, everything had grown to be much larger than it ought to be, or rather, she had shrunk.  The latter seemed more fitting, she sensed, although she remained unsure of how it had happened.  One minute, she had been going about her day, a normal happy girl, and the next moment she had found herself growing smaller and smaller until she was little bigger than a mouse.  From this perspective, several things became quite clear to her.

Firstly, the safety of a corner is rather ingrained.  There was comfort in having a place to squish into while one surveyed an unpleasant reality, not to mention the fact that nothing could sneak up behind her here.  This limited the potential for danger and gave her a better vantage point of the majority of the room.

Secondly, the most mundane tasks had suddenly become possible at this size.  The room was lightly furnished with a rose patterned sofa, two armchairs of similar design, a rocking chair, and a collection of wooden tables situated for convenience.  The table near to the rocking chair even had a white linen cloth covering it which draped down to dust along the hardwood floor.  There was a fireplace with a cheery blaze burning away merrily in the hearth, a basket for knitting things, and a handful of trinkets and odds and ends which tied the room together.  Three large windows currently helped to light the small sitting room, and a gigantic wooden door provided egress and ingress.  All of these things were far larger than she, and seemed terribly daunting to scale.

Thirdly, with no one else her size, she felt horribly alone.  Mere minutes ago, her youngest sister had entered the room to retrieve a book which had been left here during the last time the had retired into the room.  She had called out to her sister, yelling and waving and even hopping up and down in the hopes that she would be seen, but to no avail.  Her sister had simply come in, completed her task of book retrieval, and left.

"She did not see me," this had been her mantra since her sister had left.  "She did not see me because I am so small.  Otherwise she would have tried to help me, I am certain."

The answer was glaringly evident.  In her heart, she had known what he would need to do to break this spell upon her.  She would need to pull herself up to the top of one of those tall tables in order to make herself known.

"I'm so weak, though," she practically wailed again.  But this time she did not continue to weep in the corner.  Picking herself up off the ground and wiping away the tears, she clenched her fits in a sudden fit of determination and marched across the room towards the dangling white linen tablecloth.

The journey was only a few quick strides from the door, but it still took nearly fifteen minutes to cross.  Each tiny step in the right direction was a victory and a defeat.  Her mind kept informing her that if she were only larger, she would not have to travel quite so far to the table.  "But at least I am trying," she told her mind and took some consolation in that.

"I wonder if this is how Alice felt," she mused to herself as she flitted about the base of the cloth, looking for the best way to rise to the table above.  She eventually settled on the path which would utilize the most of the rocking chair's natural patterning and began to make her climb.  "She faced far greater dangers, it's true, but I fail to see how she did this with such a steady heart.  I'm so nervous I'll fall...I'm so nervous I'm talking to myself!"  This vein of conversation would persist until slowly, but surely, she had finally reached the arm rest of the chair.  "Just a little hop, I think, only it seems so very far."

The table was only a few inches away from the armrest, but it had the misfortune of being slightly taller.  There was a very real chance that if she threw herself at the table, she might miss and hurtle to the hardwood floor below.  She could try to grab onto the tablecloth, but she still might get hurt in the process.  "And if that should happen, I doubt anyone would find me there."  She steadied her breathing and took a running leap at the table.  Her heart pounded in her ears as she neared the edge of the ledge and leapt...only her foot had slipped at the very end.  Rather than soaring effortlessly towards her destination, she faltered and flung out her arms.  Her hands gripped solidly upon the cloth covered wood of the table's edge.  It was a lucky catch and this seemed to embolden her slightly.  She glanced back at the chair which no longer seemed quite so far away, stretched out her legs, and found that she could reach the armrest to help hoist herself up onto the table, which she promptly managed.

Winded and relieved, she sat down on the table and gazed across the room from her new vantage point.  Everything looked a little smaller from up here now.  She knew that she was still tiny, and this was a problem, but now at least she was above the floor.  Things were a little more manageable, a little less dire.

Just then, the door to the room swung open.  A rather enormous girl burst forth through it.  She was slender, gigantically tall, with ruddy brown hair tied back with a ribbon.  The force of the breeze from the door caught on her lilac colored dress, twirling it delicately so that it danced.  The remaining force blew over the table, and knocked the tiny girl onto her back since there was absolutely nothing to prevent the full force of the gust.  "I don't see Mary in here!"  The girl called.

Mary scrambled to her feet and waved to her sister from the table, "Lisa!  Over hear!  Oh, yoohoo!"

The sudden movement halted Lisa in her tracks.  She took a second look about the room, spotted Mary on the table, frowned, and quickly boomed her way across the room.  The table rocked with the shifting wood, and Mary fell to her knees once again, catching herself with one of her hands.  Her wrist hurt for a moment, but at last she was steady, and Lisa now knew she was there.

"Mary?" the girl laughed and it seemed to Mary that the noise positively boomed.  "What are you doing there?"

"I'm afraid I've shrunk.  Will you please help me get big again?"

"I don't see why I should.  If you've shrunk this is clearly your problem."

"Because we're sisters?" Mary pleaded.

"Well...have you tried just being big again?"

Mary blinked up at Lisa, frowning in frustration and holding back tears.  She felt smaller somehow, but she knew it wasn't Lisa's fault.  She was, after all, only trying to help.  "I don't know how to just be big.  It seems entirely impossible.  I mean...being so small is rather difficult to manage."

Lisa snorted down at her sister and nearly knocked her over from the gust.  "Well it's no easier being regular sized either.  We all have to manage just the same.  If you don't want to be helped, though, then there's really nothing I can do to help you.  I mean, it seems to me that if you really wanted to be big again you could certainly try harder at it, rather than just sitting down there on the table."

"But...but I had to climb just to reach the table.  And look!  I managed to do that!"

"Hm...maybe so, but you're still small.  So climbing the table didn't really help you, did it?  If you aren't going to put more effort into getting big again, I just can't help you.  Besides, I have things to do.  I'll let everyone know where you are though."

Lisa turned to leave and Mary shot her hand out towards her sister, "No please, don't go!  Just...maybe if you stay here a while, we could figure out something."

"No, I can't do that.  You'll probably make me start to grow smaller or something, I do feel shorter now you know.  Honestly, I don't know how you get into these situations.  Anyway, good luck, Mary!"

The door closed and another gust of wind burst into Mary.  This time, she let it send her tumbling to the table and roll her flat onto her back.  It was a hard thing to be so small, but maybe she could find a way to make the best of it.  After all, larger people didn't seem to understand her anymore and they were terribly frightening with their size.  Anything could easily crush her in this state, after all.  Yes.  It was best just to stay small. At least for now.

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