It’s a Microscopic World Out There

Writing Prompt: You’ve been kidnapped by a mad scientist as a test subject for his shrink ray. Its successful, but for some reason he’s making you fight insects and smaller animals like a gladiator with makeshift weapons like paperclips and steel nails.

“The microscopic world shall tremble before the might of the Dreaded Dale!”

Dale had no idea just who this madman was, but the garish white overcoat, the absurd and over-sized spectacles, and the frayed and greying hair all pointed towards him being some sort of a scientist.

Oh, and then there was that damn shrink ray, of course.

Dale’s voice was barely perceptible to the average human ear, on account of him having been shrunk down to the size of a grape. But this scientist, Dale’s mad hatter captor, had strapped some sort of horn to his left lobe, and it was thanks to this horn that the scientist was able to hear Dale’s high pitched, mouse like voice.

“What’s the meaning of all this?” Dale squeaked, “You turn me back right this instance, or I’ll… I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” the scientist grinned, “You’ll bite me?”

“I might.” Dale grumbled. He was stood on the counter top of a precariously high work station, high for him at least. Various vials and drips and the makings of beginner chemistry kits were strewn about the counter top, and on the far side, kept inside small plastic containers (the sort of containers that a Chinese take away restaurant might use to deliver their food; and as the laws of physics duly dictate, such containers must be retained for future use and cannot, under any circumstances, be thrown away) there were all manor of insectile creatures, reptilian pets and even a Chihuahua who was unfortunately missing an eye.

“I call it the Ch’huahua.” the scientist marveled at the small dog, “On account of the missing eye.”

“Oh god.” Dale muttered, “I can see where this is going…” unfortunately the Ch’huahua couldn’t, it had blinked (or winked?) at precisely the wrong moment and so missed entirely whatever it was that Dale had seen going.

“You will battle,” the scientist roared, unperturbed by Dale’s whining, “The most fearsome of minute beings. You will fight for fame, for glory, for your life!”

“But why?” Dale asked.

The scientist looked confused, “Why should you fight? Or why did I choose you? Or perhaps the questions is why do I have a cheese grater in my pocket?” the scientist pulled the grater
out of one pocket, and from another revealed a wheel of brie, “Why brie? Or maybe you want to know why my pet parrot has stopped its incessant talking?” the scientist glowered at his parrot who shied away, “Oh, wait, I know what it is!”

“Never mind…” Dale grunted, in so much as he could grunt with so high pitched a voice. He leaned over the edge of the counter and immediately retreated from the immense looking drop.

“There’s no escape.” the scientist giggled as he presented Dale with a bottle cap meant as a shield, and a cocktail umbrella meant as a… well Dale didn’t really know what the umbrella was meant to be. Perhaps the scientist was going to take him to the beach? Dale decided that was nonsense based on the fact the scientist wasn’t wearing any arm bands, or his swimming trunks for that matter.

With a hand lingering over the plastic containers on the counter, the scientist selected Dale’s first opponent. It was to be the tarantula.

“Wait, hold up a minute, can’t we talk about this?” Dale staggered back as the eight legged beast crawled out of the container in which various holes had been punched, “You do realise I’ll die?”

“Oh, I’m counting on it.” the scientist glowered again at his parrot, in a way that only a man with money riding on a bet is able to glower.

The parrot shook its head.

“If he dies,” the scientist waved a fist at the bird, “then you’d better pay up!”

Dale ran behind a concave flask filled with a pinkish liquid, the glass warping the shadow of the monstrous arachnid, thick bristles lurking, all eight eyes flickering in each a different direction.

The tarantula reached round the glass with a lone leg, pawing at where Dale cowered. The minute man stabbed at the leg with the sharp end of his umbrella, but the point simply bent and snapped off.

Carefully, the tarantula crept around the flask, knocking over a stack of staples and half a thimble of orange juice.

Please, God, let this be a dream.

It wasn’t.

The eight legged, eight eyed, bristle bound monstrosity clambered over Dale, revealing a mouth laden with tiny teeth that didn’t look so tiny now. A steady drool dripped down over Dale, soaking him through and through.

“Jump.” the parrot sqauwked.

“Shut your damn beak!” the scientist snapped.

That damn beak opened again, “Jump. Dale. Polly wants a new pair of heels.”

Dale crawled back towards the edge of the counter, staring first at the tarantula, then at the floor, and finally at the now blunt end of his cocktail-stick umbrella.

“Sh*t.” he thought, “I can’t believe I’m actually about to do this.” and then he did it.

He jumped, throwing open the umbrella as he fell. A rush of wind (or what was more likely a light draught, if size and scale were to be trusted that is) whipped up against the paper top of the umbrella, carrying Dale gently down.

Gently, that was, until the scientist’s parrot took flight and snatched Dale up.

“Run. Dale.” the Parrot sqauwked.

Dale thought to argue about how he was currently in the clutches of the parrot’s feet and so couldn’t possibly run, but before he could say Polly the parrot had dropped him, sending him falling perfectly through the open slits of a grate in the floor.

“Great… just great.” Dale looked around, the underfloor passage was dark, damp and generally quite depressing. Then he heard a voice, then several voices, and out of the dark there came first another man the size of a grape. A man Dale knew to be Percivelle Jones (the local orthodontist).

“You too, huh?” Percivelle sighed, “You might as well make yourself comfortable. We’re only trapped in here indefinitely.”

Copyright © K R Perry 2019

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