Excerpt # 2 from my novel, Size Matters
By Jeff Salter
Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin, Emma Hobby shrinks to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those unsettling messages he left). 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, $2.99. http://tinyurl.com/SalSizeMat
[Note: the following scene continues the initial discussion between Emma Hobby – who somehow accidentally shrank to the size of a Cyndi fashion doll overnight – and her incredulous friend, Vickilee. It’s the next morning, after Emma has regain her full, normal size.]
“Look, this lasted for hours — first the shrinking, then me zonked out, and later me in hysterics. Then I hiked around the shop trying to climb up stairs to get to my phone. Needed a ladder or tall stool, which I didn’t have among Cyndi’s accessories. I finally calmed down enough to realize whatever had happened, it was real. Then I just dragged one of those Cyndi beds out of that extra dream house on the floor… and lay down.” That particular doll house was destined for storage until I sold something or reconfigured my Cyndi display. “A couple of hours later, the sun was coming up, and I was full-size again, on the floor of my shop.”
“What happened to the doll bed?”
“It was crushed to smithereens and poking into one of my kidneys.” I moved toward her to help pour the coffees, but she backed up slightly with a fearful expression. “Look, Vickilee, whatever happened is not contagious.” At least not that I knew of.
“I’ve got it — you were hallucinating. Stress can do that, you know.”
I shook my head. “Not hallucinating.”
“I need time to process all this, Emma. If you’re not totally nuts, then it will be fascinating to discover what really happened, and why. But if you are a raving lunatic, I don’t want to get thrown in the asylum with you.”
I understood. And maybe in her shoes, I’d feel the same. “Let’s take it slowly. We’ll drink this coffee and figure out how to proceed. Then I’d like you to walk with me back over to the shop so I can show you the crushed doll bed and some of the other things I dealt with last night.”
“But I’ve got Brisco here.” Her fiancé didn’t stay over often, and I didn’t ask what the occasion had been. Maybe it was just a Friday night thing.
“I’m not going to hold you captive in my shop, Vickilee. Just come with me and help me figure this out. It’s Saturday. Doesn’t Brisco sleep ’til nine or ten? You’ll be back in time to make his breakfast.” I finished pouring both cups and brought mine back to her table, where I took my seat again. “Okay?”
“Just a quick look around and I come straight back home.”
“Absolutely. I need somebody else’s eyes over there to help me figure out how all this happened.”
“You might need more than a friend and neighbor for that, Emma Hobby,” she said, before taking a hurried, shaky sip. She always sounded stern when she used my full name.
“You mean a psychiatrist?”
She returned to the table, sloshing coffee the whole way, and lurched again to her seat. “That might be what you need, but my mind’s open. I’ll go have a look, and maybe we’ll find some experimental nerve gas that somebody piped through your air conditioner or something.”
I started to protest again.
“Hold on, Emma. What I really meant before is that maybe you need a scientist… you know, somebody who understands stuff that’s, um, supernatural.”
“Supernatural? You mean like witches and ghosts?”
“No, the other kind. Things like ESP and tele-kinesis. You know, all that whiz-bang sci-fi stuff.”
“The only scientist I know is my cousin Ralph, but I haven’t heard from him in ages. He’s been locked in some lab somewhere for about a dozen years working on secret projects for all I know.”
“Maybe he’s exactly the kind of expert we need,” said Vickilee, appearing to have finally regained a degree of calm. “But first, I need this caffeine to get my head on straight. Then I’ll have to change into some legitimate clothes.”
I waved my hand over my own attire. “I crossed the street in this.”
“I know, but I don’t want the neighbors to see me that way.”
I understood. And she was probably right — I looked a mess. But after you’ve been eleven inches tall for several hours, you no longer worry if you’re outside in a robe and PJs with bunny slippers… and your hair is reaching for two zip codes.
To read the short portion which preceded this scene, check out Excerpt # 1:
[JLS # 546]