Always Small by reedman

Always Small

Netafo had just stepped out of the shower. The gray cat dried himself off with a towel and blow-dryer. Towel wrapped around, he walked out of his bathroom, and across the hall to his bedroom. He opened a drawer, and pulled out some underwear. Another drawer had his shirt and shorts. He didnt have much planned for today. There were some chores to be done, and a bit of grocery shopping to do later. He was planning on making ramen tonight, and also wanted to bulk cook some rice for a few meals this week. Walking out of his room, Netafo saw his roommate at the kitchen table. Ludoka the brown mouse was muching away at his cereal. He sat down across his roomie. His knees bumped the table as he sat at arms' length. This table was made for the three foot mouse, not the cat twice his height. The gray cat grabbed a banana and apple from the table's fruit bowl. The banana was quickly eaten. Followed was the munching of the red apple.
"Alright Ludoka. Shower's open for ya."

"Thanks. Just gotta finish my cereal."

"I'll clean it after you're done. You want dishes or living room?"

"Living room. Stupid step stool broke. We need a new one."

"I'll buy one that isn't from the dollar store. Gotta head to the grocery store anyways. They have some."

"Alright, sounds like a plan."

Ludoka lifted his bowl, and drank the milk out of his bowl. He walked over to the bathroom. The door closed, and the shower was on shortly after. Netafo finshed off his apple. He tossed his fruit scraps into the trashcan. The cat had thought ahead and filled the left sink basin with hot soapy water. The dishes had been soaking since he had been in the shower. He grabbed the sponge, and began scrubbing away. There weren't many dishes. A pan from last night's stir fry. There was an assortment of plates, bowls, and cups as well. The left sink basin was soon emptied of dishes, save for a few utensils. He drained the sink. The sponge was placed next to the faucet. Hot water was turned on to rinse off the soap. The dishes were placed in the drying rack. Almost on cue, Ludoka walked out of the bathroom, and took a right into his bedroom.
The gray cat walked over to the bathroom. It was still a bit steamy in there. Netafo wasn't the type to wait. Cloth in one hand. All purpose cleaner he totally didn't buy at the dollar store in the other hand. He scrubbed at the sink. Not much to clean there. The toilet bowl was cleaned with the toilet brush, and the outside was done with the cloth. He sprayed the entirety of the walk-in shower, and wiped it all down. The perk of a small apartment was definitely its short cleaning time. Exiting the bathroom, Netafo looked over to his roommate's bedroom door. It was half the size of the other doors. It never ceased to amaze how relatively affordable it was to have an apartment made to mostly the scale of them both.
In the living room, the tv was on. Ludoka was cleaning while watching 'Stories of Scale'. It was his favorite show. Nothing but people telling stories of size-related events that happened to them. As the cat was tying his shoes, he could hear a story about a micro lion that claimed he used to be a skyscraper-sized macro. Something about shrinking, and no one believing he used to be macro. His macro family saying he was always small. The narrator said it seemed to be another case of DragVer syndrome. People thinking they were bigger and got shrunk, but were never bigger in the first place.

"Bathroom's done Ludoka."

"Awesome. I'm about done. Just gotta vacuum the couch."

"Gonna fall asleep to Stories of Scale after?"

"No......maybe."

"Well, Imma head out to get the ramen and rice. Those are the only things we're out of."

"Don't forget the new stool!"

"I won't!"

Netafo left his apartment. A quick trip down a level of stairs, and out the lobby. He had his car parked in the apartment's reserved parking out front. He got in, and drove down the road. The store was a ten minute drive with no traffic. It must've been his lucky day. A short drive later he was at the store. Parking wasn't too bad, only halfway back. The walk was short anyways. He waved to the greeter, a middle aged bear. The ramen noodles and rice were in the same aisle. He walked past some of the employees. He was usually taller than a chunk of the younger ones. They all matched his height, and one of them was taller. He didn't think much of it. Chalked it up to them just being taller.
Netafo turned into the aisle with the ramen and rice. The ramen was on a higher shelf than usual. The bag said the chow mein noodles were a five pound bag, but it felt much heavier. The bag of rice was bigger too. The prices were still the same, so the deal was worth the work. Right by the registers was a small display of fold up stools. All three items were lugged into the checkout lane. A tigress that was a full head taller than him began to scan his items. He could've sworn he was taller than her. Oh well. Growth spurt probably.

"Need any help carrying this to your car?"

"That would be nice. Bit heavier than I thought."

The tigress carried the stool and ramen. The gray cat lugged the rice. It was starting to feel even heavier than before. He wondered if he was just tired. Netafo pondered taking more naps like Ludoka. As they made their way to the entrance, he looked over to wave at the greeter. His jaw nearly dropped. The bear with whom he was always the same height as. The same exact bear was now much taller. he could just barely see past the bear's gut. The greeter was bent over to wave at the cat. He waved sheepishly. As the tigress and now smaller cat were walking to his car. He looked back to the towering doors of the store, and up to the tigress who was now carrying all three items he had bought. His arms were empty. The keys were in his hand. He had pressed the trunk button. She was already loading the stuff inside. The confusing part was the car itself. It wasn't a massive behemoth like the other cars. Just like his current comparison to the tigress, everything had doubled in size. He mumbled out a thank you. He got into his car. The only space that made sense. He was getting smaller, and no one was reacting to it? He needed to get home to make sense of things. He turned on his car and rocketed out of the parking lot. At least as fast as his shrunken car would go.
Traffic was starting to build up. The car next to him looked like the size of a semi-truck. The light changed to green. He turned, and started driving the space between the cars. He dodged massive wheels. he glanced back to see his items from the grocery store hadn't shrunk. The backseats were down. The bag of rice, bag of ramen, and stool were partway out of the trunk. If he got any smaller, things would get extremely cramped.
After a panicked drive, Netafo had finally made it to the front of the apartment. He pulled over, drove between a house-sized truck and an equally large car, then got out. He stepped up the curb, and dodged through people's legs as he ran inside. The lobby was like a massive hotel lobby. He sprinted to the elevator. He got in as the door was closing. One of his neighbors, a female tabby, loomed over him with a smile on her face.

"Second floor Netafo?"

He nodded as he caught his breath. What was happening to him? Was Ludoka pranking him? Shrinking disease? He was vaccinated for the major shrinking diseases, so that wasn't it. The elevator dinged amd the doors slid open. The very small Netafo ran over to his apartment door. He pounded on it with his tiny fist. He hoped the mouse wasn't too deep into his nap.

"Ludoka! It's Netafo!"

After a moment, the door opened. The mini kitty almost dropped to the floor. In the split second of the door opening, everything became unfathomably gargantuan. Ludoka was huge! The massive mouse smiled down at Netafo.

"Back from the store I see. Stuff still in the car?"

"Y-Yes."

"Awesome. I'll drop you off on the couch and go grab it all."

Netafo was too shocked by everything to react. The mouse bent over, and picked up the puny cat. His hand wrapped around him so easily. A few thuds of Ludoka's paws, and he found himself begin plopped onto the couch. The mouse was gone before he could utter a word. Netafo pulled out his phone. He logged onto his Mastadon account. Surely he had proof he wasn't always shrunk. Just pull up an old picture. The selfie he took the other day with Ludoka! His hopes were up, and immediately shot down. There he was, holding the camera. However, his roommate was now in the background, looming.
As he heard the steps of his now bigger roommate approaching, he opened his browser, and searched DragVer syndrome.

Always Small

reedman

21 January 2020 at 22:51:18 MST

This is my first actual post in awhile. Idea came to me when driving earlier today. Folks on twitter were talking about the idea of shrinking, but reality shifts and everyone acts like your smaller size is totally normal. I threw it all together into this.


1610 words written in 3 hours. Nothing crazy, but a personal record for me. I want to try to make more short stories like this. At the very least to stay in practice. This was mainly a de-rust writing session.


Comments are appreciated. I would love some feedback.

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