In this Story, Shasta is working on a self-portrait for art school. However, looks like the scale is a little off, and he needs to make the image of himself smaller. Well that should be simple enough.
A Small Update
“Ugh…” Shasta groaned as he read the message that had popped up on his computer screen. Apparently, a critical update had just been released and had to be installed; right now. This was despite the fact that Shasta had automatic updates turned off on top of having the computer set to only install updates in the wee hours of the morning while he’d be asleep. “Can I at least save my work?” Shasta quickly tried to click into the art program he was working in, but the computer had already closed it out to shut down and restart. “Of course not…” He let out a sigh as the update began to install.
The wolfmutt stood up from his desk chair and stretched. Currently, since he was just hanging out in his crowded dorm by himself he was dressed comfortably with only a hoodie and slacks over his gray and white fur. Frustrated at losing his work, he moved one of his blue tipped paws through his similarly colored hair. He then glanced down at the computer screen. The update was now 1% done.
“I suppose I might as well get a snack while this is going on.” Shasta grabbed his bag from atop his bed and moved towards the door. There was no point waiting around.
Hours later, and after a much needed snack Shasta returned to his dorm. It appeared that the update was finally over with, and he could get back to work. He sat down, logged back in and pulled up his art program. Naturally, a lot of work had been lost, but thankfully due to good saving habits it wasn’t a completely lost cause.
Shasta had been working on a self-portrait; just as a drawing exercise. The picture was actually a picture of him sitting at his desk working on the portrait. When he had lost progress earlier he had been in the middle of working on the background. Thankfully, the entirety of the base sketch was still there, and Shasta had only lost the inking process. He picked up his tablet and stylus and continued his project. However, as he did a new problem became apparent.
It wasn’t anything too major, but within the picture Shasta was a little too big for the room and chair he was sitting in. Shasta’s head rose over the back of his chair, it made him look almost gigantic. It was like he was seven feet tall. Shasta took a moment to fantasize about what that’d be like. The thought was kind of amusing. However, this self-portrait was due in art class tomorrow, so he needed to get back to work. At least this was an easy fix.
He switched over to the layer that his own drawing was on, dragged a box over his model to select the entire thing and brought up the resize tool. He figured, 85% would be small enough to make it look right. Quickly typing that in, the image readjusted… And it was perfect! All he had to do was reposition himself on the chair slightly so that he was sitting correctly in it… And done! Now all he had to do was finish the background and color and the project would be done.
Shasta still had the resize tool open. He had suddenly gotten a rather silly idea. He entered 5% for the new proportioned. As soon as he hit enter, the image of him on screen shrunk down to the point it looked like it was only a few inches tall compared to the rest of the room.
“Heh, tiny pupper.” Shasta giggled to himself. He wondered how his teacher would take it if he turned in the picture like that. Probably not well. It was supposed to be a realistic self-portrait after all.
Although… There had actually been incidents in the past where Shasta had actually been that small. It turned out, the world was full of a surprising amount of wonder, and throughout a series of previous incidents and misadventures Shasta had found himself shrunken down to no bigger than a mouse several times in his life. The experiences had been… Somewhat traumatizing at first. After all, he hadn’t been expecting them to happen, and before the first time didn’t even know such things were physically possible. Still… After he had taken enough time to calm down, he had actually managed to enjoy himself a little bit despite the situation. There were a few things you couldn’t do at normal sizes. Such as using a single leaf to glide through the sky, or enjoying your favorite snack when it’s ten times your size. All in all, being small wasn’t horrible. Not a situation he wanted to be stuck in, but it was fun to kind of fantasize about it every now and then.
“Well enough playing around. Back to work.” Shasta refocused himself, ready to work on the project again. He hit enter, exiting the resizing tool, and thus saving the current resize of his image. “Whoops.” He hadn’t meant to do that, luckily, fixing it was just a CTRL-Z away. However, as his fingers reached for the keys, he suddenly felt a strange sensation run down the back of his spine. It was oddly familiar… He had felt something like that before… Back when he…
“Oh no.” Shasta realized what it was just as it began. The wolfmutt suddenly felt the floor beneath his paws suddenly move away from him, and the top of his desk was starting to move upward compared to him. He was shrinking. Again! “Gosh darn it! How does this always happen to me?” Shasta’s mind raced as his body continued to dwindle and he began to sink into his clothing. What had caused it this time? He hadn’t exactly encountered anything strange today! Hadn’t eaten anything unusual for a snack. Had not encountered any bizarrely upbeat and mischievous kittens on his way back to the dorm. The only thing he had been doing was working on the picture… And…
He stared at the computer screen, and the image of the tiny Shasta in the center of it. There was no way. That couldn’t be possible. He had encountered a lot of absurd situations in the past… But this was taking it too far! He was shrinking in real life because he had resized a picture! That was the only thing it could be… But at least that meant it was easy to fix! Just had to hit that CTRL-Z and it was business as usual! Shasta quickly reached out the keyboard, but his hoodie got in the way. It had grown quite large on him, to the point that the sleeves completely enveloped his hands. It made it somewhat difficult to hit just the two keys at once. In his attempts, he had managed to hit the windows key in the process and brought up the start menu.
“No! No! Nooooo!” Shasta whined as he scrambled to grab his mouse. He needed to select the art program again so he could fix it. However, he was starting to get really small. At this point, while sitting in the chair the top of the desk was now above his head and Shasta was just reaching around blindly with his paws.
He quickly stood up, he had plenty of room to do so in the chair. This had the side effect of dropping his pants off him as they landed on the dorm floor. Him sitting on them had been the only thing holding them up. That didn’t really matter. His roommate wasn’t here right now anyway, and he had far more important things to worry about than being a little embarrassed.
Besides, he was far more used to that happening now than he would have liked to admit.
Standing in his chair, Shasta grasped to reach across the desk where his mouse was. His arms were completely covered by the hoodie, with the edges of it trailing off at the end of them. It made it difficult to grab anything, let alone manipulate it… But the bigger problem was the mouse was too far away for him to reach at all.
Shasta was shrinking faster by the second. Even standing up, he was now eye level with the top of his desk. And then ear level. He had to act fast. He grabbed the edge of the desk and tried to pull himself atop it. Previous incidents had at the very least been good for his upper body strength, having to have done this same thing in the past. And, the one good thing about being smaller was you weighed a lot less, making it was easier to accomplish such feats. It was kind of amazing how familiar he had become with the square-cubed law.
Unfortunately, getting a good grip to pull himself up proved to be much more difficult. His hands had gotten really tiny, it was hard to grasp anything with them stuck in the hoodie’s sleeves. He managed to feel the edge of the table, and just barely grab it for a brief second, right before it slipped out of his hands. Figures.
“Et tu hoodie?” Shasta asked, feeling betrayed by his own clothing. At this point though, it was a trivial thing to slip out the neck hole and free himself. Now, Shasta stood naked atop the chair and hoodie, and only about a foot tall in height. No, a little shorter. The edge of the desk was now above where he could reach with his hands. But… That didn’t mean it was over. He just had to reach it; and then pulling himself up would be easy.
Shasta backed up. The hoodie didn’t make the best surface for running on, and he didn’t have a ton of room, but anything he could do to pick up momentum helped. He broke into a sprint, or as close as he could with the short distance, reached the edge of his hoodie, and leaped from the chair with his hands outstretched grasping for the ledge of the desk.
And he managed to grab it with the tips of his fingers.
“YES!” Shasta had made it! Everything would be fine now! Except, the same momentum he had used to leap now slammed him against the side of the desk when he grabbed the edge. The impact was enough to make him recoil, let out a squeak… And lose his grip on the desk.
“NOOOOO!” Shasta fell downward, still shrinking, as he landed inside the neck hole of the hoodie. The hoodie moved slightly from the impact, the neck hole falling downward, cutting the light off from shining inside it. Shasta was now completely in the dark inside the thing.
“Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.” Shasta tried to get back to his feet. The fabric of the hoodie felt extremely heavy over him. He had to be really small now… Only two or three inches tall at the most. At least now the shrinking had stopped. It seemed he wasn’t going to get any smaller than he was in the picture. At least that gave credit to his theory fixing the image would fix him in real life. All he had to do, was while being only a couple of inches tall, climb to the top of his computer desk, which likely looked like a cliff now, select the right window with a mouse that was bigger than him, and stretch himself out to hit CTRL and Z at the same time. Easy, right?
Shasta laughed nervously.
One step at a time.
“How does this keep happening to me?” Shasta moaned as he began to fumble around in the dark. He repated to himself mentally, one step at a time. No point in worrying about how to climb something until he got to that point. For now, he just needed to get out of his own hoodie.
Of course, he had just had to wear a black one today, meaning that no light was able to shine through the fabric. Shasta was completely blind, able to only find his way around by touch. He took a few steps forward feeling around blindly, only to immediately trip over a fold in the fabric. Thankfully, due to a combination of weighing almost nothing, and landing on fabric the fall hadn’t even hurt. Still, he realized he should probably be more careful.
He dropped back down onto his hands and knees to crawl, that way he could avoid tripping. He wasn’t sure where inside the hoodie he even was. At his scale, it just felt like being underneath a giant tarp that extended in every direction. Still… There were four exits from the hoodie. The neck hole, the sleeves and the tail. As long as he kept moving in one direction he would eventually hit one of those exits, or a wall he could follow.
After a few minutes, Shasta’s plan worked. He had hit something, and it felt like he had crawled into a much smaller tunnel. He must have made it into one of the sleeves. All he had to do was keep going forward and he’d be out and-
“GAH!” Suddenly, Shasta found himself falling downward. He flailed his arms trying to reach out and grab the fabric. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able get a good grip, and continued to fall until suddenly there was light again.
Which meant Shasta could see the floor that was now fast approaching.
“GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” He let out a louder scream as he fell, now with no hoodie to grab onto and save himself. All he could do was watch in horror as the ground approached closer and closer…
Until he landed on his back with a slight bounce, completely unharmed except for a mild bump.
“Oh right… Square-cubed law…” Shasta muttered as he stood up. Logically he understood it. Smaller things had less mass, created less of an impact when they fell. Get small enough, and you could in theory fall an infinite distance without suffering any ill effects. However, knowing something logically and believing it emotionally were two different things. No matter how much he knew it wouldn’t hurt, falling what felt like hundreds of feet was still mind numbingly terrifying.
Shasta looked around to see where he was. He was standing atop the carpet in his now enormous dorm. He could see the beds in the distance behind him, the door waaaaaay off in the distance, and of course… There was the computer desk before him that now looked as insurmountable as Mount Everest. By comparison, the computer chair looked slightly impossible but still pretty terrifying to climb. He could also see his hoodie sitting over the edge of the chair. One sleeve was dangling over the end, and Shasta knew how he had fallen out of it at least. It was a shame the sleeve wasn’t dangling any lower. It was at least a foot up off the ground, far higher than Shasta could reach right now. The cloth texture would have made it really easy to climb the hoodie too. There would have been plenty of handholds, and traction to hold himself against it.
Maybe it was for the best. Even if he got up into the chair, he had no idea how he would get from there to the top of the desk. That was the goal. That’s where he had to go to change himself back to normal.
“Alright Shasta, relax. You’ve been in this situation before. Way… Way too many times actually.” He grimaced. “You should know how to handle this by now. Think.” He began to pace back and forth trying to figure out what to do. He came up with a few options.
Option one was to get help. At his current size it’d be no issue to squirm through the crack beneath the dorm doorway. Then once out in the hall, he could try to find someone that could come into his room and fix the picture for him. There were three major problems with this though. They were avoiding being stepped on, succeeding at getting someone’s attention, and somehow getting them into the room without a key since there was no way for him to deliver a set of them to his helper. He set that option aside as a last choice.
Option two was to simply wait it out. His roommates would be back eventually. And then he could easily reverse the changes to the picture. Shasta would be back to normal, problem solved, nothing to worry about. It would leave him with some time to kill; but was easily the most sure and safe way to get things done.
Well… Probably. Being seen in this state, a tiny little naked canine was going to be a little embarrassing… And there was the matter of if his roommate would choose to change him back right away… Or possibly tease him a little bit first. He might even wind up riding in his shirt pocket to class for a few days. Well… He’d eventually get back to normal that way… But maybe he should try to find a faster method.
The only other option was to somehow get to the top of his desk and fix the problem himself. That was of course a rather daunting task… But it’s not like he had that many choices right now. Even if he chose to wait for his roommate and risk teasing, that would still leave him with a few hours to kill. He might as well spend it trying to find a way to fix it himself.
Shasta studied the mountain that was his desk, figuring out the best way to go up it. The desk was made of wood, so there might be splinters he could use to climb it… But it had a pretty smooth finish meaning it was unlikely. He didn’t think he had anything he could use to make a rope… And wasn’t sure how he’d secure the rope even if he could. Maybe if he got to his bed he could jump across? He might be able to reach the edge of a blanket and use that to climb… Though then again, he might as well jump the Grand Canyon. How was he going to reach that computer mouse.
Wait! That was it! The mouse!
Shasta’s desktop was underneath his desk on a small ledge. Meanwhile, his mouse and monitor were both atop the desk. There were wires running from his PC to his mouse, leading right up the desk! Shasta just had to climb that! Ok, that wasn’t going to be as easy as it sounded… But it was possible.
Shasta ran beneath his desk and looked up at the shelf. His desktop was about four inches off the ground, easily low enough for him to reach with a jump. He got a running start, leaped, and remembering his previous experience pushed his feet forward. When he grabbed the ledge and when he swung forward from the momentum he caught the desk wall with his paws, allowing him to stabilize himself. From there, he was able to pull himself up.
“Oof.” Shasta managed to get over the edge and stand up next to his tower. “You know, being this small is a real workout.” He thought about that for a moment and giggled. “Heh, maybe I should take advantage of how often this happens to launch a career in health and exercise. Shed those unwanted pounds and tone your body, all with Shasta’s Mouse Acrobatic Course!” Trying to keep a sense of humor made it easier for Shasta not to feel overwhelmed.
Shasta walked behind the tower where all the wires were located. He traced them with his eyes, seeing the ones that led up to the desk. After figuring out which one was the mouse, he began to climb the back of the tower. This was actually really easy. With as many ports in the computer and wire sticking out, there were dozens of hand and footholds for Shasta to move up. It only took him a few seconds to reach the mouse cord. It was about as thick as his fist in size. It shouldn’t prove to be an issue to climb, it’d be just like climbing a rope back in gym class.
Shasta supposed he owed his middle school P.E. teacher an apology for believing that this skill would never come up in real life.
Shasta started up the wire. This was a slower process as he wrapped his arms and legs around the cable and moved upward. The good news was the cable had plenty of traction, which meant that Shasta wasn’t in danger of losing his grip and sliding down. The bad news, there wasn’t really anything resembling a grip other than the entire cable itself. So, Shasta had to make his way up by grabbing higher up onto the cable with two hands, pulling his body and legs up, then grabbing a higher spot again. Even with how little he weighed it was an exhausting endeavor. He had to stop several times along the way to catch his breath. But… Slowly but surely, he made his way up, until he finally reached the top.
“Made…” Shasta was panting heavily. “It…” Once atop the desk, Shasta flopped onto his back to rest for a moment. His muscles were screaming at him over that climb. He needed a couple minutes to catch his breath before he was ready to work again. Besides, there wasn’t really a sense of urgency now. He had made it up, he could solve the problem whenever he was ready. In fact… He might even wait for a bit. If he could change his size in real life by resizing himself on the computer, that meant he could shrink himself anytime he wanted to have a little tiny fun. After all, there were things about being small Shasta enjoyed. It was the unexpectedness of these incidents that made them so rough. Now, he could change his size in a controlled environment where he’d be expecting it. Heck, he could probably rig up some kind of ladder or ramp to make it easy to get back to his desk. Maybe, he could even bring other people in by adding them to the picture.
Yeah… This was actually a pretty alright situation.
Now that the situation was under control, Shasta decided to take a longer break. He took time to nibble on a chip bigger than he was, and to try a giant soda. The soda part proved difficult. He was able to climb atop one of his speakers to reach the top… But the soda was of course at the bottom of the bottle, and Shasta didn’t want to get trapped inside there, but he also had no way to lift the bottle. However, a few droplets were caught in the neck, and Shasta managed to reach his head just over the edge to get a lick up a few. He then made a mental note that if he made a habit of this in the future to set up a system of straws.
After about an hour of relaxing, Shasta decided it was time to change back. After all, his roommate would be back in another hour and a half. Pushing on the mouse with both hands, he was able to move the cursor over the correct window. Then, it was easy to click it just by sitting on the mouse! From there he ran back to the keyboard. This was the tricky part. CTRL and Z were a little too far apart for him to stand on both at the same time. Instead, what he had to do was go stand atop the CTRL key, then try to stretch himself out, and fall forward with his hands outstretched so that he landed supported on the Z. He managed to do it in one try! But… The picture didn’t change back to normal. Instead, there was a message on the monitor. Shasta nearly fell over when he read it. There was another update.
“Gosh… Darn it…” Shasta muttered as he fell backwards onto his bottom. Well, now he was stuck waiting even longer. He just hoped it was done before a certain someone came back into the room.
Lucky for Shasta, the update was much smaller than the previous one. It only took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Once it was back up, a series of patch notes popped up. Shasta ignored them, as he began moving the mouse to get his art program opened. From there, he opened the picture again. He was still tiny in it, the program must have auto saved it. Of course, now he couldn’t CTRL Z it. He was going to have to actually enter the size manually. That figured.
After using the mouse to highlight the image of himself, Shasta then pushed it to the resize tool. From there, he ran to the top of the keyboard as he tried to think of what size to put it at. He had down 5% earlier… So that was about a twentieth his normal size. That meant he needed 2000%. If it was wrong, he could adjust it afterwards. He carefully stepped a paw onto the 2, then ran to the 0 and hit it three times. After that, he ran around the outside edge of the keyboard to avoid hitting anything by accident and hit the enter key. The picture of him on screen immediately blew back up to its normal size. He had done it!
Shasta ran to the front of the desk. He wanted to make sure he was able to get off the desk quickly once he confirmed he was growing large enough. He wouldn’t want to break the desk or his computer. He waited for the changes to begin. And waited… And waited…
“Why isn’t it working?” Shasta stared at the computer. He had figured it out! He knew what caused it! This should fix it! So why wasn’t it working!? The only thing that had changed was that there had been another update. “Nooooooo.” Realization began to dawn on Shasta.
He walked over to the mouse and moved it again to bring up the patch notes. Most of them weren’t that important, but there was one note in the middle.
‘Fixed a critical issue with previous update where changes made to files would overwrite the Akashic Record.’
However the art program had shrunk Shasta, it had been related to the previous update… And the new one had just fixed that problem. That meant… No matter what size Shasta changed the picture too, he was going to stay tiny.
Shasta’s ears sagged slightly, then perked up. He heard someone unlocking the door. His roommate was home. Well… It seemed he was going to be attending class in someone’s shirt pocket after all. Possibly for a long time.
“Gosh… Darn it.”