John Gabriel Adkins ~ A Man’s Fantastic Reduction in Stature, and the Adventure that Followed Thereupon

As my grandfather’s bust had once foretold to me, completely unprovoked, I did shrink to the size of a gnat on my twenty-second birthday. I’d been making my signature lettuce-and-yellow-mustard wrap on the kitchen counter when a sense of horrible inadequacy shot me through, and then I was small. An iceberg lettuce leaf on the Formica arched over me: frozen tsunami, stunningly green and fibrous, damp from the faucet. A fleck of lettuce shrapnel, perfectly snowboard-shaped, lay beside me. I decided to be a miniaturization survivor–not a victim.

I’d have preferred a ski lift, but I was able to climb the leaf. Curved in the center, it formed an enormous half-pipe, covered in water droplets. Hitting those would give me the velocity I needed for a Backside 720. The slope moisture, caught in the sun, glared like the snow in Telluride, Colorado. I dropped in. The ride was fast and smooth, even better than snow, but I botched the landing, tumbling. I found myself lodged in a spongy leaf crease, where no amount of grunting and squeezing could untrap me.

Then, a sudden slow clap from the peak: a woman in a boarding jacket, around my age and gnatesque size, walking down to rescue me. Laughing, and incredibly attractive. It occurred to me that my grandfather’s bust’s prophecy’s other half, the part about true and lasting love, might also come to pass.


John Gabriel Adkins is a writer of microfiction, antistories and other oddities. A member of the Still Eating Oranges arts collective, he has been published in The Escapist, Gone Lawn, Squawk Back, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and Apocrypha & Abstractions.


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