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Up and Down

by on January 2, 2017

We shrank down into the puckered green vinyl of the seats. Before I had a chance to really get a handle on what vinyl looks like at the subatomic level, we shrank up again. When I and the guinea pig popped out full-size into the lab, the doctor was rubbing his hands and giggling. “It works!” he said, rather obviously. “My Incredible Shrinking Machine works!”

“And it’s given me a splitting headache,” I said.

“Silence, Igor!” the doctor snapped. “The headache is a mere residual side effect of the process and will resolve itself in due time!”

I had been trying for two years to get him to realize that my name isn’t Igor. It’s Jane Summers. The doctor is a traditionalist. He’s a mad scientist; therefore, his assistant is Igor. I’ve had about as much success convincing him otherwise as I had with getting him to use solar panels in the castle laboratory instead of lightning. If you’re going to violate the laws of nature and reanimate dead tissue, you might as well be environmentally friendly. That was my thought. The doctor didn’t agree.

I put the guinea pig back in its cage, and turned to switch off the Incredible Shrinking Machine. It seemed smaller than I remembered. So did the vinyl school bus seats I had scavenged, and which the doctor had used for the first run. Then my head bumped against the laboratory ceiling. “Hey, doc?” I said.
“Not now, Igor!” the doctor said. “I must recalculate the neutron discharge polarity and reduce the absorption matrix of the perimeter flange!”

“Yeah, yeah, sure,” I said. “Listen, doc, about those side effects?”Β  I began moving towards the door, hoping I could still squeeze through.

“Minor residuals,” the doctor sighed. “As I said, it will resolve itself shortly without undue stress.”

“Oh, okay,” I said. The door was out now: too small. I could smash through the window and get out that way.Β  But then I remembered the bars on the window. Comes with putting your laboratory in an old castle, unfortunately. I had to crouch down to both knees now, and my back was pressing up against the ceiling. Something was about to give, and soon.

“Listen, doc…”

“WHAT?” the doctor bellowed, clearly out of patience. Unfortunately, I was also out of room.

“Could you fire up the Incredible Shrinking Machine again? I kinda need to be shrunk back.”

“What in blazes are you-Β  Oh. I see. One moment.”

It turns out that, besides a headache, one small side effect is that when you are restored to normal size, you might not stop. Fortunately, the doctor managed to reverse the process. He got so absorbed in this interesting new problem, however, that he forgot to stop the shrinking bit. So I got a nice long look at the subatomic properties of vinyl after all.

I am an Igor, and this is my job.

This post was written for the yeah write weekly writing challenge. One of my new year’s resolutions is to write more often, and participate in the grids more. This is the result so far.

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From → Jane the Igor

20 Comments
  1. Reminds me of that movie Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. πŸ˜€

    • I haven’t seen that in a long time, but I did enjoy it. Especially when the one dad hijacks the stereo system and pretends to be the voice of God. Hilarious. πŸ™‚

  2. Very dangerous combination, a scientist who gets easily distracted by interesting new problems and a machine without an auto-off feature. Poor “Igor”!

    • Dangerous indeed! If there were an independent body tasked to oversee mad scientists, I’ve no doubt Jane would report him for violating safety standards. Obviously there should be. πŸ™‚

      • Good idea, although I shudder to think what a mad scientist oversight committee would think is reasonable and safe! πŸ˜€

      • There’s a story in that somewhere. πŸ˜€

  3. If you are going to reanimated bodies you might as well be environmentally friendly. Bwahahaha! Though… Isn’t lightning natural? Hehehe πŸ™‚

    • That is a good point that probably did not occur to Jane. On the other hand, perhaps she was referring to a lightning-generating machine, such as Jafar used in “Aladdin.” Which is not natural. πŸ™‚

  4. Aww I love this! Very funny and cute. The last line is a real winner. I would love to read more about “Igor’s” adventures, and I think blogging is a great format for it – you could actually make a your own blog or podcast from the point of view of just this character! I think you have the seeds here of an awesome recurring story.

    • Thanks! I just might keep this up; I do enjoy writing recurring stories. πŸ™‚

  5. I’m always impressed with the natural flow of your dialogue and creative characters. Thanks for sharing!

  6. So happy to see you here again! Love this–” If you’re going to violate the laws of nature and reanimate dead tissue, you might as well be environmentally friendly.” And of course, your spin on the prompt line. πŸ™‚

  7. I love the “this happens every day” tone!

  8. “So I got a nice long look at the subatomic properties of vinyl after all.” Hahaha! Nice to have you back, Michael.

  9. I love the Igors. I keep meaning to write an RPG adventure around them.

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