The official results for Size Riot’s GentleApril19 have been announced! Taedis’ “Even an Ox,” and Syrus Durham’s “Sticky Notes” placed highly. You can read Sticky Notes, plus about 250 additional words that had to be cut to meet the contest’s requirements, here. Links to all the original stories can be found in my previous plug.
Given my predilection for sexy growing women, it’s perhaps no surprise that I greatly enjoyed RobClassact’s “Lynnae’s Journey.”
And while I don’t normally seek out shrinking tales, I really liked “Who’s the Smallest Now?” (NOTE: I’d like to credit the author, but the creator has not yet been identified.) In fact, reading every entry exposed me to shrunken fantasies that I would normally pass on; however, I’m glad to have seen them as they were all rewarding.
You can read the full results here: https://aborigen-gts.org/2019/05/30/gentleapril19-results/
My own entry, “For Better, For Worse,” won the “Which story would you like to read more of, wish had gone on longer?” category. I’m grateful that readers wanted to read more, and will continue it at some point in the future, here on my blog. Until then, readers can check out the original story below:
Jim sat on the gravel beach across the water from where his wife lived. Tiny waves splashed over his open-toed sandals. The sun was setting and the salt water felt chilly. Jim prayed that his wife would not feel cold during the night. Cindy recently turned 45 years old and suffered from arthritis. At least, she used to. He had not spoken to her in quite a while. He tried to talk to her, even shouted at the top of his lungs and yelled through a megaphone. Yet, Jim never received a reaction. She gave him no attention no matter what he tried.
Still, Jim hoped to see her one more time today. However, he would not risk getting closer. The last time that he stood on her island, Montague Island, his visit ended with him fleeing in terror.
“I was a fool.” The middle-aged man thought. “I lost faith in her. That was my fault.”
That particular incident happened a week ago. Jim had pulled his small boat onto his wife’s island against all advice. Then he climbed one of the few remaining hills close to the water. Ferns dotted the ground. The hill was a rare piece of undisturbed land. Jim’s position provided a view of acre upon acre of trampled land.
He was shocked to see a Sitka black-tailed deer standing nearby. “Can’t animals sense danger? What is it doing here?”
Then a terrible tremor knocked him down onto his knees. A shadow fell over the area around him, and he ran. Faster than ever before. “Damn out-of-shape fool.” Jim admonished himself. He remembered seeing a shattered cottonwood tree just a few seconds ago. “Did she even notice crushing that full-size tree? Or did she do it as nonchalantly as other people step on a blade of grass?”
He untied the rope anchoring his boat. Then another footfall sent him to the ground. Without thinking, Jim let go of the rope and threw himself into the ocean. The fishing boat slowly drifted away from shore as Jim swam for his life. The periodic booms possessed a volume his ears could not hope to process. His heart rate raced and his breathing was labored.
“Slow down. Focus. Can’t help if you die of a cardiac arrest.”
Twenty minutes later, Jim sat on the beach of the adjacent island. He peered through his binoculars. The same deer stood in the same spot, unperturbed. His wife had moved on, continuing to walk around the island.
“You were right deer.” he said out loud. “You knew that nothing would happen. But I, I was a moron.” Jim watched his skiff slowly drift toward the open water. Eventually, a passing Coast Guard patrol boat spotted him and helped recover his boat.
Now, Jim’s mind went back even further in time to the incident that caused this dilemma. That night, among the spruce trees outside town, when Cindy stood in front of the visitor, between it and the surrounding mob. She believed that the stranger bore no ill will and refused to let anyone attack it. As a result, the being was unharmed. Before it left, the diminutive green being manipulated its machine. A ray struck his wife. Then the stranger disappeared.
His wife glowed for an instant, then she placed her palm on his cheek. She told him not to follow. Then she ran. Jim chased after, banging his knee on a granite rock and cursing his clumsiness. As he struggled to catch up with her, a thunderclap flung him back. He did not see it, but he imagined that it must be a lightening strike. Jim lost consciousness, but beforehand, he heard a voice.
“My darling, I told you not to follow.” That was the last thing he heard from her.
Jim awoke the next day lying in a hospital bed. A tall slender nurse stated that he had been found on the steps of the emergency room last night.
“Did Cindy bring me?”
The woman looked at him for a second, her lips were tightly closed, and then she left.
He called out. “Nurse! Where is my wife? Where is Cindy?”
A doctor came in later and explained that his wounds were superficial. When Jim asked about his wife, the doctor turned on a local news show as if no other reply would suffice.
Jim’s eyes opened wide as he watched the television. “How is this possible? Is this a joke? Is this a fucking joke!” Jim shouted. The doctor glared at him with a look that combined censure with pity.
“Mr. Matthew, I can’t say for sure that the woman you see is still your wife. She… has changed, you must acknowledge that. Changed more than anyone has ever done before.”
“That’s my wife. She’s the gentlest person I know. Who else could leave town in that state, that condition, without hurting a single soul? Property was damaged, but not a single human being got a scratch.”
“Yes, no one was hurt. That was a blessing.” replied Dr. Mardika.
“I need to talk to her, tell her that it’ll be okay.”
“I’m not sure that’s safe. She went to the island and has not left. She’s isolating herself. It’d be easy for someone like her… to, uh, inadvertently hurt others.”
“She’s alone! How could I abandon my love when she needs me more than ever?”
Dr. Mardika sighed. “What will you do?”
“Take my father’s old purse seiner, his fishing boat, go and see her.”
“Be careful, even if your wife is gentle, her condition frightens others. People might overreact, become violent if they think she’s a threat.”
“I won’t let that happen.” Jim replied and left the room for the small boat harbor. “Why? Did the stranger intend to curse her? Did it want to re-pay her kindness with cruelty? Was this a sick joke?” He thought.
He struggled to turn his thoughts back to a cure for his wife’s condition, but despair hit him. “I need to build something like the visitor’s machine. Then use that to reverse the effect. But how will I make such a thing? Easier to teach a fish to build a boat or to teach a pig how to build a barn.” Animals do not have fingers to manipulate human tools, nor the minds to understand human engineering and fabrication techniques. In the same fashion, Jim’s fingers were never intended to manipulate alien tools, nor did he have the mind to understand alien engineering.
Nonetheless, Jim still set out to find a cure. He questioned the best scientists. “They were all useless.” he thought. He asked for their assistance and nearly every one of them repeated the same lines. They told him about the square-cube law and how everything that had happened was considered impossible. They did not how to replicate the alien machine. They could not even tell him where to start. The more sympathetic scientists said nothing, except that they were sorry.
Jim believed he would someday get his wife back. He disregarded anyone who tried to dissuade him. His eyes burned with a maniac fervor of unshakable optimism. He could not survive without the hope that he and his wife would someday re-unite. So, hope he did.
Back in the present, Jim spent his savings buying ten large search lights. Then he explained his intentions to the naval officer leading the blockade around Montague Island.
“We will respond if your action provokes her. It is my duty to take action if she becomes a threat.” Commander Lee reminded Jim. “The Task Force will not permit her to approach any populated areas.”
“Look, I can’t begin to understand what you’re feeling. I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone… like this. If my superiors knew what you have planned they would order me to stop you.”
“I understand. Nothing bad is going to happen. I promise.”
“There’s something else you need to know.”
“This current situation can’t last. Elections are next week. A new administration will have a different perspective. What do you think will happen under a new President?”
“What are you saying?”
“Haven’t you been following the news?”
“I don’t have the time.”
“Make the time. Vickers is expected to win. She doesn’t have experience in national security, and can’t afford to seem soft. Vickers said she’d task the military to prepare, quote, ‘options to eliminate the extraordinary threat carelessly allowed by President Dalmas to thrive in south-central Alaska.’ I don’t know if that was just tough talk to get votes, but I do know that my superiors share that sentiment and are uncomfortable with this status quo.”
“I spoke to Lieutenant General Wilsbach on JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson) the other night. He’s the head of Alaskan Command. He said if there is even a slight chance that she is our enemy, then we should take it as an absolute certainty.”
“She’s not our enemy! Cindy would never harm anyone!”
“I hear you Jim, I do. But the power she possess scares important people. They worry that nothing we do could stop her. Why do you think the Air Force has B-2 bombers on 24-hour stand-by sitting on Elmendorf’s flight-line?”
“We need something. A sign, an indication, that … she’s still the woman you married. That she’s a person, not a mindless beast. Sooner the better.”
Jim nodded. “I could use some help, can you spare some men?”
Days later, Boatswain’s Mate Third Class O’Malley topped off the gas tank on a large portable generator. The crew of Commander Lee‘s ship had cleared several acres of land on the island closest to Montague Island.
“Did you see her the other night?” O’Malley asked Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Roberts. Roberts was plugging in a cable from the generator to the search light.
“Yeah, yeah, I saw. How could I miss her man? That’s not even remotely possible!”
“She’s stacked man! Like, I knew her boobs would be big. She’s so tall, I knew her titties had to be really large, but they looked amazing! Perfect shape and bigger than an airplane or hot air ballon!”
“I know! She’s incredible.”
“O’Malley! Roberts! Stop bullshitting and set-up the next generator!”
“Got it Chief, we’re going.”
A few hours later and Jim was testing the array of lights. The sailors were ready to depart, but were waiting for their commanding officer. Commander Lee walked over to Jim. “Give us a hour before you start.” He said and extended his hand to shake Jim’s. “Good luck.”
Awhile later, and Jim held the activation switch in his palm. The steady hum of ten generators surrounded him. He pushed the button. Bright lights shone high above him onto a gray cloud, forming a familiar iconic shape. Cindy continued her path walking around the northern edge of Montague Island. Her pace did not change. Minutes passed.
“Can you see? Are you aware of what I’m trying?” Jim fretted.
Suddenly, her walking stopped. Her right leg bent, lowering at a glacial pace as she moved to kneel. Commander Lee shouted “Stand by!” to his bridge crew on board the USS Barry. “Be ready for anything!”
Ten seconds later, her knee settled onto the beach. Geysers of sand erupted from the ground around her lower leg. A shower of pebbles flew high into the air and rained down violently upon the ocean. Cindy smiled down on Jim. Petty Officer O’Malley whispered to himself. “Now that’s a mile-high MILF.”
She brought her hands together, the tips of her thumbs were pressed together and pointing down. Her fingers were curved. She formed the heart symbol, mimicking that which Jim’s searchlights had created.
Jim’s face beamed and he shouted into his tactical radio. “Commander! Do you see? She’s still my wife, she’s not a threat!”
“Jim, don’t get me wrong, this is a good sign, but we’re going to need more.”
“You’ll get more! And then I’ll find a cure, no matter how long it takes.”
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