Excerpt from my novel, Size Matters
By Jeff Salter
Saturday, early morning
“What do you mean you were a foot tall?” asked my friend Vickilee, after I’d tearfully repeated what happened to me last night.
“As in literally,” I explained for the fourth time. “I was standing eyeball to eyeball with thirteen Cyndi dolls in my big display in the main room.” I live above my shop but had fallen asleep downstairs still wearing my traveling clothes.
Vickilee sat me down again — though I kept popping back up because I was too rattled to sit — and tried to pin me to her chair by pressing on both shoulders. “Now, start from the beginning, after you woke with the horrid migraine.”
This wasn’t helping. It was early Saturday morning, and I’d invaded Vickilee’s home, where her fiancé Brisco was loudly snoring in the back bedroom. “Maybe it was a mistake to come here. I’m sorry.” I tried to peel her hands from my shoulders so I could slink away into the Verdeville, Tennessee, morning.
After she released me, she slumped back into her own chair with tears in her eyes. “Emma, I want to help, and I’m trying to understand. Honestly, I am. But all this malarkey about being one foot tall is freaking me out. Is this about your dreamy lawyer boyfriend? What’s going on?”
“Logan Stride is not officially my boyfriend yet.” Though I already thought of him that way. “I told you he’s a stickler about not dating clients. So we’re just pre-dating until Grandma Nana’s estate is completely settled.” That required one final appearance before a judge, presumably within the coming week. “Logan says all the paperwork is fine. It’s just some certain period of time—”
“Maybe you’re too stressed about your shop,” she suggested, interrupting again. “Is business okay? You’re not about to lose everything, are you?”
“It’s not about the shop, either.” Vickilee was correct. My nascent business was iffy; however, the books were in the black and I could still pay the modest salaries of my two reliable assistants. “Something happened, Vickilee, and I’m trying to explain.” I was wearing hardly more than pajamas with a bathrobe when I’d raced over as the bright sun was rising. Fortunately, Vickilee lived directly across Marple Street. “I know it sounds extraordinary, but it happened. I shrank, gradually, over a period of about an hour or so. I’m guessing a bit. At first I thought I was having a stroke, then I figured I was dying. Somewhere along the line, I must’ve passed out. When I came to, I realized everything was fine… except I was only eleven inches tall.”
Vickilee grasped my hands tightly across her kitchen table and sniffled, one step short of bawling. She was taking it almost as badly as I had. “But you’re regular size now, Emma. Of course, you look like leftover pizza, but if we clean you up a bit and get you dressed, things will seem better.”
Yep, she thought I was nuts. “I know how it sounds. If you came rushing over to my shop with this story, I’d think you were off your rail. I understand how you feel. But I’m telling you it really happened. I was face to face with Cyndi dolls…”
“A dream, Emma. That’s all it was.” She rose and moved to her coffee pot, where she stood monitoring me. It seemed like she was about to call the local psych ward. “You had a bad dream. That, mixed with the migraine, and your brain tricked you into thinking it really happened.” When Vickilee tried to pour, her hands shook so badly more coffee spilled to the floor and counter than entered either cup. “People can’t shrink down to nothing and then grow back out. That’s only in schlocky science-fiction movies.”
I would agree with her if it hadn’t actually happened. No, there were no witnesses, but I was wide awake — for parts of it, anyway.
Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin, Emma Hobby shrinks to the size of those fashion dolls she collects and sells in her shop. When she resumes normal size, Emma must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those crazy messages he sent). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than her case? Size Matters. Novel, $1.99. http://tinyurl.com/SalSizeMat
[JLS # 315]