YCH story for Micro May, featuring Metaxi, Zeelo, Kido and Little Tex. In this story, three already small figures find themselves shrunk even smaller by a witch’s tiny familiar.
The Small Get Smaller
A small cottage rested in a deep corner of the woods. It was known to belong to a witch of considerable power. It was said she could brew potions of any enchantment, cure any ailment and if crossed lay down the most powerful of curses. Naturally, this made her a dangerous person, and so most reasonable people avoided the cottage. Those crazy enough to visit her were either desperate or fools, often both. Of course, she wasn’t nearly as bad as people claimed. But rumors had a way of building and it was believed to deal with her was akin to deal with the devil.
The grass parted as something small moved through it. A moment later a very tiny kitten emerged from the grass into the clearing where the hut was built. Said clearing was full of cobblestones causing the kitten to sigh in exasperation as he saw how many rocks he’d have to climb over. This journey had taken him days! But he was almost there.
The kitten himself was about seven and a half, with blue eyes and dark brown fur. He was currently wearing a very simple white loincloth; one he had created by tearing off a piece of a tissue. None of his normal clothes fit since the incident. It was at the school science fair; one of the students had an exhibit that was one of those lightning balls where the lightning would move to your paws when touched and generate static electricity. Except… That wasn’t what it had been at all. It was actually an incredibly complex device and upon touching it Zeelo felt a sharp shock, and then found himself stranded down on the gymnasium floor sitting atop his own clothing. It had shrunk him! And nothing at the fair could reverse it. Being small had some advantages, especially when it came to treats and having a bigger backyard to play in… But it was making the walk to school each day incredibly difficult. So hearing of the witch, Zeelo had come in search of a potion to restore himself to normal size. But of course, at two inches tall the forest was quite the adventure to explore and it had taken him days to get here. He was so close though. Just one yard of rocks away. He leaped atop one of the pebbles and began to work his way towards the cottage.
He was far from the only guest to show up that day. An arctic fox with light blue and white fur and black tipped paws had also been working his way through the forest. He was shorter than Zeelo, though by less than a head, but was much older being an adult. This was Kido. Kido had also come seeking the witch but for very different reasons. Kido had been this small since the day he was born, it was what he knew and was comfortable with. No, what he wanted was a love potion, something to help him find the perfect mate.
He leaped from the grass, eagerly hopping from stone to stone towards the cottage. One advantage of being under two inches tall your entire life is you got pretty good at getting around giant environments. He made it halfway to the cottage when he stopped and noticed the kitten who was struggling slightly to climb over each rock.
“Ahoy!” Kido waved happily. He had not expected to encounter anyone else here, let alone anyone his own size. Though, strangely enough the kitten was far younger than Kido, and yet a full head taller.
“Is… That a fox?” Zeelo asked as he scrambled up another pebble.
“It’s faster if you just leap across in rapid succession than pause at each one!” Kido shouted from the stone he was atop. “The momentum helps make each jump!” To demonstrate he began to bounce among the pebbles again until finally he was standing on the witch’s doorstep.
“He makes it look so easy.” Zeelo muttered. But, Zeelo was a cat, and they were natural jumpers. He took a couple of steps back and then leaped to the next pebble, and then leaped again. Going faster did make it easier and soon he was standing right next to the fox on the doorstep. But, both of them were faced with a new problem. How to open the large wooden door before them.
“Hmmmm.” Kido got flat on his stomach to examine the crack beneath the door. It was too thin for even him to wriggle his way through.
“I don’t suppose you have any ideas on how to get past the door?” Zeelo asked hopefully.
“Not a clue.” Kido swished his tail. “But you know how it is, there’s always another way in for people like us.” Kido glanced around from the doorstep then smiled as he saw something. A crack in the stone base of the house, half hidden by a few blades of grass that had made it through the stones. “This way! Follow me!” He jumped down and ran for the crack. Sure enough, as he suspected there was a hole in the wall, likely created by some rodent who had chewed their way in. “And entrance found.”
“You spotted that fast.” Zeelo followed as quickly as he could after the fox. Then the two of them both walked through the crack and into the house, happy that they would finally be meeting the witch.
But there was one last visitor today, and he was not here for aid. He was a full-sized person, a goat with a brown fur of different shades, two curved horns and a mane of dark brown hair. He was dressed in a simple loincloth, though unlike the earlier kitten’s, his was from expensive hand-tailored cloth, cloth that had always been intended for his outfit. His name was Metaxi, and he was a prince among fey. And he was here for one reason and one reason only.
Someone had intruded upon his domain.
Perhaps the witch’s house had been here for almost ten years now, but faeries had something of a different scale of time. When you could easily become thousands of years old, ten years is an exceptionally short amount of time to respond to an urgent matter. In fact, he might have waited another twenty, but he was bored, remembered this was a situation to deal with, and so it was something to do.
Metaxi approached the front door of the hut, reached a hand to open it then recoiled. He slammed one of his hooves down on the doorstep in annoyance. There was a single iron horseshoe nailed to the hut directly above the door. Even the nails were iron.
“Now that’s just rude.” Metaxi gave a weary sigh. As a member of the fey, even a prince, him and iron didn’t get along. He couldn’t go through the door. “Build your home within my domain and have the indecency to bar me entrance? Know you a shred of hospitality?” Of course, that was only one possible entrance. Metaxi could easily find another, or make his own should it come to that. The windows were the obvious choice, but breaking those would be rude, and just because the witch had acted inappropriate was no excuse for a breach of etiquette on his part. He began to pace in a circle around the house and then noticed the small crack in the wall. That would work.
“Pray you have the foresight to lay an offering of milk inside, lest I-,” he descended into a murmur of anguish and annoyance before shrinking in size until he was a mere six inches in height.His loincloth shrunk with him, the spell being of his own design. And then he entered the hole and made his way into the house.
The inside hut at first glance looked abandoned. The witch’s potions and implements were still around but there was no sign of her. However, there was one person inside. In the back of the hut near the witch’s bedroom there was a hamster cage sitting atop a shelf. And inside that cage was a longhorn cow in her mid-twenties who stood six inches tall. She was wearing a dress, but it was clearly not professionally tailored. It was a simple dress Little Tex had made herself after the incident. And she completed the look with a small ribbon tied around her waist.
Little Tex was living proof that the witch was not as cruel as rumored. Sure, she may have lived in a hamster cage, but it wasn’t because the witch had captured her. It was quite the opposite. Little Tex had visited the hut awhile back, not long after she had lost her family. She wasn’t sure what she hoped to find, no potion or spell could return a life once it was lost. Upon finding out she was alone the witch had offered to let her stay.
Of course, not for free. Little Tex was required to help around the shop. This had originally involved cleaning and organizing the merchandise. But Little Tex was not the most graceful of cows. When organizing the potions one day she dropped a shrinking potion, shattering the bottle and soaking herself in it. By the time she had gotten dry she had been reduced to a mere six inches tall.
At her new size, she could hardly use her old bedroom anymore, and most of her old duties were impossible. So the witch had gotten her a hamster cage to use as a bedroom. It was always kept open so she could get in and out at will. Now she acted as the witch’s familiar, her job to help with research and occasionally retrieving smaller ingredients for potions.
Little Tex had been relaxing in her cage when suddenly she heard the sound of voices. She hadn’t heard the door open, no one else should be here. The witch was away and Little Tex was responsible for watching the place while she was gone, a task that should have been simple as the front door had a number of spells and enchantments to prevent anyone from entering… But someone was here.
Little Tex crept out of the cage and walked across a wood plank that ran from the table her cage was on to the edge of a bookshelf. From here Tex was able to climb to the very top of the shelf until she could get a good look around the hut. There were two intruders! But… They didn’t look threatening, and they were small like her! One was a fox, and the other a kitten. They were looking around the hut in confusion as if looking for someone. Perhaps the witch? Little Tex should inform them of her absence. But… she wasn’t used to talking to strangers, and even if they were small like her, she found the idea intimidating. She slowly climbed down from the bookshelf and made her way onto a wall shelf. The shelf placed her directly above the two. She got down on all fours and peaked over the shelf… Just in time for the kitten to look up.
“Hey I saw something!” Zeelo shouted.
“Eep.” Little Tex pulled her head back and quickly ran from the shelf, jumping onto a stack of boxes instead.
“Where?” Kido asked.
“Up on the shelf.” Zeelo pointed and the two backed away from the shelf trying to get a full view of it. There was no one there, and they backed right into the pile of boxes Little Tex was now hiding among.
“Ah!” Little Tex let out a small gasp and quickly ran around the other side of the boxes and climbed up onto a table.
“There! I saw someone!” Kido pointed. “Hey come back!” Him and Zeelo ran around the boxes on the floor hoping to catch sight of her, instead they nearly ran into a cloven leg. As they gazed up, they saw a peeved goat nearly three times their own height.
“You two don’t belong here.” Metaxi replied crossly. Lingering on that displeasure, he sighed and shrugged. “But I have other matters to attend, I’ll let it slide. Are you some form of servants for the witch said to dwell here?”
“N-no.” Zeelo found the goat intimidating, and it wasn’t just the size difference. He just seemed to radiate that kind of aura. “We were looking for her too… I was hoping she could make a potion that could change me back to my normal size.”
“And I’m just looking for a love potion so I can find a partner!” Kido wagged his tail happily, clearly less intimidated.
“Oh-ho?”The answers got a legitimate laugh out of Metaxi. “What a perfect pair. A foolish child and a childish fool. So, you, fox. Unlike your friend you have no desire to return to your normal size?”
“This is my normal size.” Kido seemed confused.
“Ah, so while still a fool perhaps not as bad as the child.” Metaxi stroked his chin.
“I have a name!” Zeelo’s tail bristled. “It’s Zeelo!”
“Oh! And I’m Kido!” Kido replied in a more chipper voice.
“You would give your names away that freely?” Metaxi gave a wicked grin. “Perhaps I shall teach you a few things later. But I suppose fair is fair, you have given up yours, and so you may call me Metaxi.”
“Do you have any idea what that means?” Kido looked to Zeelo who just shrugged.
Meanwhile, up on the table Little Tex had crept closer to the edge where she could see there was now a third person… He looked to be around the same size as her while the other two were a third her size. But… Something about him was really intimidating. Little Tex knew she should talk to them, and in fact very much wanted to. It was lonely watching such a large hut by herself. Well it was a small hut, but at six inches tall it was greater than a mansion. She swallowed nervously trying to think of how to approach, then paused as she noticed something else on the table. A wand the witch had been working on before leaving. One zap of that, and none of them would be very scary at all, then it’d be easy to introduce herself.
Careful not to make a sound Little Tex made her way to the wand. She reached it right about the point they had exchanged names. She dragged it to the edge of the table and pointed it down at the three of them.
“Hey! There she is again!” Zeelo was the first to see her.
“Is this the so-called witch?” Metaxi seemed unimpressed. Her small size was no reason to exclude her from being the one who intruded. If she was a powerful spellcaster she should be able to change sizes too. In fact, Metaxi thought it about time to return to a larger size but paused briefly when he saw the wand pointed directly at them. “Pah; mortal magic?” He asked right before a cone of light erupted from the tip of the wand bathing all three of the visitors in it.
And suddenly, all three began to shrink. For Kido, this was a new experience. Zeelo let out an exasperated shout that it was happening again, as his tissue loincloth became too large and fell from his hips. Metaxi was caught off guard, his princely garb swelling around him before sliding off his hips and onto the floor like a loose towel. The already seemingly large hut grew even grander in size to the point that it seemed like might as well be its own country. Metaxi was a mere third of an inch tall by the time he stopped shrinking, with the other two each being a third his size.
“What nonsense is this?!” Metaxi fumed with anger. Then, just as suddenly as that fire rose from his throat, his tone changed and became a playful wink. “Do you greet all your visitors this way?”
“I can’t believe it happened again! Zeelo climbed down from the tissue he had been wearing, now naked except for his fur. “I came here to get bigger, not even smaller! And oh wow…” His ears folded back as he saw just how big everything was. He thought traveling had been hard before, he didn’t know how he was going to get anywhere now.
“Huuuuh.” Kido was amazed by the effect. The idea of being shrunken had never occurred to him before. He had met other small people before Zeelo who had been shrunk, but the idea of it happening to himself had never occurred. It was a little scary, but also kind of exciting to find out what it was like.
The visitors now no bigger than insects, seemed far less intimidating to Little Tex. She slowly climbed down from the table till she was on the floor with them, but of course now she towered over them like a giant.
“Um… Hi…” Despite her advantage in size, Little Tex still managed to sound nervous when she spoke to them. “I’m uh… Little Tex and I heard your names and um… Hi.”
“That’s nice.” Metaxi took note of the name. No one here had an ounce of common sense. “So, are you this infamous witch I’ve heard so much about?”
“Oh no!” Tex shook her head. “I’m just her familiar. The witch is on holiday, she won’t be back for a month.”
“WHAT?” Metaxi’s voice, tiny as it was, rose to an elk’s bellow. “She would settle within my domain, then not even have the decency to be present and answer for her transgressions? This is absolutely unacceptable! I demand you contact her and make her appear before me at once!”
“Wow…” Zeelo’s eyes widened. “He’s a lot angrier about that than the shrinking thing…”
“Hey it’s not that bad!” Kido was still chipper.
“Are you kidding? My teachers wouldn’t even notice if I somehow made it to class like this.” Zeelo had not quite accepted his new size yet.
“I um… Can’t…” Little Tex looked ashamed. “Sorry. I can’t really do magic myself… Not without the assistance of pre-made spells like those in wands. I just assist… But if you come back in a month she’ll be here… But I was kind of hoping you might stay for a bit… I haven’t had anyone to talk to while she’s away.”
“Useless familiar!” Metaxi threw his hands toward the distant ceiling as if beseeching the gods. “I have no reason to stay and muddle myself with simple servants.”
“What about getting back to a normal size?” Zeelo asked, still irritated.
“Oh!” Little Tex grinned getting an idea. “How about a game. Please, just one game, then I can undo the spell. I just haven’t had anyone around. Hide and seek! And whoever finds me wins… Then I’ll use the reversal on the wand.”
“Oh! A game sounds fun!” Kido bounced up and down.
“A game, hm?” Metaxi considered. He was fairly confident he needed no help from her. And yet… He let out a hearty laugh, his former words but a sigh from his goaty lips. “You would challenge a prince? Very well: I accept, and I shall play along. To be a prince among paupers, I will handicap my own talents: my size is sealed until a winner is declared…and it shall be me.”
“Ugh…” Zeelo looked around. “I guess, there’s no harm to it.”
“Right! Count to ten… And then come find me.” Little Tex quickly turned and ran, climbing up a crate filled with bottles to help her reach a shelf. She was pretty practiced at getting around the place at her small size by now.
“One! Two! Three!” Kido started the count.
“I feel she has an unfair advantage. She knows the place.” Zeelo complained.
“Think before you speak.” Metaxi gave a weary sigh. “Given our disparate sizes, she’s going to be impossible not to notice. Like a mouse hunting an elephant.”
“I guess… But how are we supposed to even get around the place?” Zeelo asked.
“Four! Five! Six!” Kido never lost his focus while the other two talked.
“I would think it obvious. You climb. You have claws and legs, do you not?” Metaxi sounded bored.
“But that high up?” Zeelo asked.
“Tis only a few feet. Practically an arm’s reach,” Metaxi grinned and it was at this point that Zeelo caught on he was being made fun of.
“Seven! Eight! Nine!” Kido was almost finished.
“H-hey!” Zeelo objected.
“Well, I suggest you be ready to move.” Metaxi spoke smugly. “If you hope to be back to normal size.”
“You’re stuck like this too!” Zeelo shouted.
“And yet you’re the only one here perturbed by the situation.” Metaxi’s grin grew wider. “Think of the game to be won!”
“TEN!” Kido shouted. “Ready or not here we come!”
“Eh?” Zeelo looked between Kido and Metaxi. Kido was excited by the experience, and already 100% into the game. And Metaxi just seemed well… Zeelo wasn’t sure. He couldn’t tell if he was mildly interested or mildly uninterested… But it was definitely mildly something. “Fine… I’ll stop complaining.” Zeelo looked around. At this size there were plenty of places to hook his claws to climb just about anything. The main problem was the fact that everything was so tall.
In her hiding place Little Tex did her best not to giggle. It made her so happy that they had agreed to play. And she had picked out a really good hiding place too. Up on a desk where the potions were stored once put in order among wooden crates, each one held in place separated by small wooden bars. Little Tex was hidden inside an empty slot in one of these creates. She was surrounded by glass bottles, but with the different colored liquids filling each bottle she was certain she was obscured from sight.
“Hmmmm.” Metaxi slowly walked across the floor, trying to think of where she’d hide before he put any effort into searching. Spying the hamster cage, he decided to check that out first. He could see a plank running from it to the bookshelf. The fey prince possessed incredible acrobatic ability, especially at such a small size. It was trivial for him to leap up to the shelf to start his search.
Zeelo and Kido meanwhile had stuck together and were both just trying to get to as high ground as possible. Together they climbed up the leg of the table Little Tex had shrunk them from. It took awhile, but when they got to the top they at least had a better view of the hut… As well as the wand that had shrunk them.
“Hmmmm.” Zeelo looked at the want considering it. Could he use it himself to just reverse the shrinking now? Maybe go all the way back to full size?
“Do you know how to use that?” Kido asked.
“Well… No.” Zeelo admitted. He was just as likely to make himself smaller than bigger. He decided to focus on the game instead. But something other than the giant longhorn caught his eye as he was searching around. The desk full of potions. He wondered if they were labeled, and if any were a growth potion. For the completely wrong reason he started going in the right direction. “Let’s try this way!” He pointed towards the desk. Of course… Now that meant getting down from the table, all the way across the floor and climbing the desk.
Metaxi had reached the hamster cage. It was surprisingly nice for a cage. Instead of newspaper clippings or chips for bedding the bottom of the cage was covered with a soft velvet cloth. It was comfortable enough to nap on the floor, but there was also a bed, or at least a hammock. Hung in the corner, it had a small cotton ball that was likely used as a pillow and a few pieces of cloth for blankets. There was a plastic food bowl, which after jumping up to the rim, Metaxi could see was filled with sweets. He supposed if someone was going to live as a familiar, which was just a glorified term for pet, it wasn’t a bad setup. However, he saw no place she could be hiding, at least not from this vantage. The cage was larger than a house to him, but from what he could see he thought it was possible she could be under the blankets in the hammock. But getting up to that was going to be tricky. He decided to get a higher view, leaping up directly above the cage and landing atop the bars. From here he could look down to get a better view. Nowhere to hide, except the obvious place he had already spotted. He walked across the bars then dropped down into the hammock. He was small enough to walk right under the blankets to check them. Empty. Well, it would have been a pretty boring game if his first guess had been right.
Metaxi jumped down from the hammock and walked out from the cage, making a quick hop out its door. He looked around the hut trying to think of another hiding place. Perhaps up in the rafters? She seemed pretty timid, he doubted she would climb that high. There were plenty of boxes she could be in and-
Metaxi froze as his gaze passed over a desk in the distance. He saw Zeelo and Kido as they finished climbing up the desk, and then began to climb the crates containing the potions.
“Well, that’s going to end terribly.” Metaxi chuckled. He put off the search for a bit, he wanted to get a closer view of those two when one of them managed to slip up or break something. Maybe they’d wind up stuck at the bottom of an empty potion bottle. Would probably be rude to sit on the edge of the bottle and laugh at them. But, a moderate amount of rudeness was allowed for royalty. Metaxi leaped down from the table to a shelf, and then across to a chair. He continued to leap to travel this way, heading to meet up with the others.
“Ah-“ Little Tex threw her hands over her mouth to silence her gasp when she saw Zeelo and Kido appeared. Were they onto her place already? They wouldn’t be able to see her through all the different colored potions… Except… They were climbing up onto the top of the crate. There was no way they’d miss her looking down from above. She curled into a ball trying to make herself as small as possible. If she was very, very still they might overlook her.
Had Zeelo had his attention fully on the game, he might have won relatively quickly. However, he was paying more attention to the contents of the potion bottles and had little interest in the empty slots. Kido was being more active in looking but hadn’t gotten close to where Little Tex was yet.
“I can’t believe none of these are labeled.” Zeelo stared down at the potions. “How do they know which one is which?”
“Maybe they don’t need labels!” Kido suggested. “If every potion is a different color you could tell just by looking.”
“I guess.” That didn’t help Zeelo though. And he wasn’t about to play potion roulette and just dive into one. Still, he looked through them hoping for some clue on what each of them might do.
Kido meanwhile was getting closer and closer to Little Tex’s position. He was within minutes of finding her. At least until Metaxi arrived. The fey goat stayed down on the desk himself and simply stared up at the two of them.
“You searching this area too?” Kido asked.
“Oh no, I’m just waiting to see which of you falls into one of those bottles first.” Metaxi grinned. “My personal bet is on Zeelo. You seem more careless, but I bet he’s more prone to surprise.”
“Uh that’s not really being very helpful.” Kido lost the chipper tone in his voice for the first time. “Don’t you think you should be helping?”
“I’ll continue searching for the witch’s pet in a moment.” Metaxi replied. “Besides, I’m still considering the next location to search.”
“Okay…” Kido shrugged and resumed his search.
“Well potions are useless.” Zeelo muttered as he walked towards Kido. “Can’t identify any of them.”
“We’re searching for a cow, not a potion.” Kido sounded slightly annoyed. Was no one else playing the game properly?
“I can do two things at once.” Zeelo walked across the bars separating the potions towards Kido and of course closer to Little Tex.
From her current vantage, Little Tex could see the two of them vaguely through one potion. If they looked in this direction it was over. She had really hoped the game would go longer, but at least she got to have company for a bit.
“There’s a couple more empty spots.” Kido was back to his usual chipper mood. “Soon as we check those we’re ready to move on.”
“Right, right.” Zeelo resumed the search for the cow. He leaped across one of the bars separating the potions but miscalculated the jump and came up short. He felt his foot claws dig into the wood, but he was suddenly falling backwards.
“Called it.” Metaxi made no effort to help. He simply crossed his arms and flared his tail and ears in knowing triumph.
“Zeelo!” Kido was close enough to dive for Zeelo and catch the kitten by his tail before he landed inside a potion. He pulled him back up onto the frame… But the sudden momentum was enough to send him tumbling back and while Zeelo was safe, Kido fell backwards landing in one of the potions.
“Huh, a surprise upset.” Metaxi shook his head. “Each tragedy has its season, I suppose…”
The potion Kido landed in was a blue one. There was a tiny plop as he landed in the liquid and began to shrink even smaller. It was a shrinking potion.
“Game’s over that’s enough!” Little Tex saw one of her new playmates in trouble and quickly stood up. She was still big enough to pick up one of the test tube sized potion bottles so long as she used two hands. She grabbed the one with Kido inside of it and quickly pulled it out of the crate and dumped it over the edge onto the desk.
“Do! You! Mind?! I am standing here!” Metaxi took a step back to avoid getting splashed by the potion.
The blue potion was now a puddle on the desk, with Kido still in the center of it and getting still smaller. Zeelo was the one who leaped into action next, quickly climbing down the side of the crate he got directly above the spill, reached a paw down and scooped Kido out of it. The good news was that Kido was safe and no longer shrinking.
The bad news was that he was small enough to fit in the paw of the very tiny Zeelo.
“Whoa you got huge.” Kido’s eyes were wide as he stared up at the giant kitten.
“Not exactly…” Zeelo felt slightly guilty. Kido had fallen in saving him.
But he didn’t feel as guilty as Little Tex did.
“The game’s over.” Little Tex spoke firmly. “We’ll end it without a winner. I’ll reverse the spell now.” She jumped down from the desk and ran for the table.
“Amusement over already? Or has it…” Metaxi approached Zeelo as he climbed down and looked at the tiny fox in his hand. He slowly reached forward with one finger and poked the fox knocking him over in Zeelo’s paw. “…just begun?”
“H-hey that tickles!” Kido protested.
“Don’t be mean to him!” Zeelo huffed. He then carefully lifted Kido up and put him on his shoulder. “Sorry… But I’ll keep you safe till she unshrinks us.”
“Okay…” Little Tex had made it back to the table with the wand, she pointed it at the group again. And nothing happened. “Uhhhh.” She walked over to the other side of the wand and held it pointed at them again. Nothing. “Uh oh.”
“Uh oh? What is uh oh?” Zeelo asked, a nervous edge to his voice.
“I may have encountered a small problem with the wand.” Little Tex replied.
“Oh come on!” Zeelo complained. “You used it fine enough earlier!” He jumped down from the desk without thinking, but was small enough to be unharmed from the drop. Kido kept two handfuls of Zeelo’s fur in grasp to avoid being dislodged as the kitten made the jump and started up the table.
“And fate’s hand conspires yet again to extend this charade.” Metaxi followed, at his own leisurely pace. But eventually everyone was up on the table with the wand.
“Soooo, turns out the wand doesn’t have a reverse option.” Little Tex looked ashamed. “I can’t unshrink any of you.”
“Isn’t there a potion that could undo it?” Zeelo asked. He pointed at Kido on his shoulder. “If one can make him smaller there must be a one that can make us bigger.”
“Yes and no…” Little Tex held her arm nervously. “The wand is a more powerful enchantment… You can stack other enchantments on top of it, but you’d need something equal or greater in power to reverse it. And… There’s nothing like that here.”
“Um… What exactly does that mean?” Kido asked.
“It means the shrinking spell is too powerful for any of the potions to reverse it.” Metaxi explained in simpler terms. “Do you mortal youths not bother learning the instruments of inescapable torment in your fear groups?”
“We didn’t even get to finish the game…” Kido seemed more upset about that than the fact he was currently smaller than a flea.
“Kido…” Zeelo looked down at the fox then over at the fey goat whose comments made the fur stand stiff on his tail. “Is that really what we should be worried about right now?”
“It’s okay! I’ll make up for it! I’ll keep you as pets!” Little Tex looked excited. “Don’t worry, I’ll care to your every need, keep you well fed, and shower you with affection.”
“I beg your pardon? You think me a pet?” Metaxi was insulted, but not for the obvious reason. No, mostly until having it described like that, he had not realized how similar the positions of a pet and a prince were.
“Well, you’re not exactly big enough to make it on your own out there…” Little Tex explained sadly. “You wouldn’t last a day.”
“Ugh she’s right…” Zeelo thought about it for a moment. He would at least be safe, and taken care of… And not have to go to school, or do homework, or chores. Actually, being a pet might not be that bad.
“Mhm~.” Metaxi grinned. “So you’re a pet to a pet now.” Metaxi gestured towards the tinier Kido. “So, I guess he’s your pet now.” He gestured at Zeelo next. “A pet’s pet patting a pet’s pet’s pet.”
“Hey you’re stuck in this situation too!” Zeelo retorted. “What do you think that makes you?”
“A prince.” Metaxi replied as matter-of-factly as possible.
“Um… I know this is all awkward, but maybe everyone would feel better after a snack?” Little Tex vanished from the table. She may have lacked grace, but she could get around this place fast for her size. She returned with a single chocolate chip, it was bigger than each of them. She slowly broke tiny pieces off and handed one to Zeelo and another to Metaxi.
“I guess I can get Kido’s.” Zeelo broke a tiny piece off his own piece and passed it down to the very tiny fox.
“Thanks!” Kido wagged his tail happily.
With a dry gulp, Metaxi looked at the piece of chocolate with concern. A gift, and he had nothing in return. Well, a prince’s attire, perhaps, but it was his favorite! He couldn’t possibly part with it (save for the fact it parted from him with ease). That was actually a problem, one of two. He had promised to play along and stay this size until he won the game. But the game had ended without a winner, and he was bound to his word. His magic was likely strong enough to fix his size, but his own word prevented him from using it. He was stuck just the same as the mortals. “Quite the low I’ve been brought to.” He seemed amused by his own predicament.
“So… I don’t think I mind being a pet… But you sure this thing doesn’t have some way to reverse the spell?” Zeelo asked. “I mean why make a wand that’s one way?” He was too small to lift or position the wand like Little Tex so instead climbed atop of it with his claws. “Maybe you just have to hold it backwards or something…” Zeelo walked towards the edge of the wand, he didn’t know what he was looking for, but he was looking for something. Shame it wasn’t a machine, then there might just be a button marked reverse. Here though, there was nothing. “How do you use a wand anyway?” Zeelo asked as he thought about the shrinking spell.
“Mostly just focus on the spell inside it.” Little Tex replied. “That’s when I realized there was no reversal. No matter how hard I focused on making you bigger again, nothing happe-“ Little Tex froze as the wand lit up. “Zeelo get off that now!”
“Huh?” Zeelo by thinking about the shrinking spell had unwittingly activated the wand since he was technically focusing on the spell. And he was standing on the end of it. There was a bright flash of light… And suddenly Zeelo was lost in a maze of wooden walls. Kido was still on his shoulder, but he couldn’t see anyone else. “What… What just happened!?” Zeelo hadn’t realized he had shrunk himself even smaller.
“I suppose someone should help him. One pet helping another and all that. Metaxi climbed up on the wand, and after looking around and spying Zeelo plucked his tail between his fingers and lifted him up.
“Gah!” Kido fell from Zeelo’s shoulder and the kitten barely managed to reach out a paw in time and catch him. But it wasn’t until Zeelo found himself upside down and staring at the giant face of a very entertained Metaxi that he understood what had happened to him.
“I’m even smaller!?” Zeelo exclaimed.
“As diminutive as your friend Kido was, yes.” Metaxi grinned and poked Zeelo lightly with his other hand. “Speaking of which…” He squinted at Zeelo trying to see what had become of the fox. He could just make him out as a tiny speck in the kitten’s paw. “I imagine this could be a little bit of a problem for the two of you.”
“Ha ha.” Zeelo muttered. “Put me down.”
“Suit yourself, speck.” Metaxi released Zeelo’s tail and let him fall to the table. Thankfully, if he was too small to be hurt by falls before, now they didn’t even have noticeable impacts.
“Hey don’t be mean to him!” Little Tex replied in a panic. What was she supposed to do? Taking care of Metaxi would be easy, but Zeelo could fit on the tip of her finger, and she couldn’t even make out Kido’s form. She could vaguely see something white and blue, but couldn’t trace its shape.
“Just take care of the kitten. It’s not like he’s impossible for you to see. You’ll just have to be gentle with him when you play.” Metaxi sat down on the table feeling bored again. “And let him take care of the fox. Owning a pet is a good way to teach children responsibility…or ferocity. Whichever you wish to foster.”
“Did he just call me your pet?” Kido asked. Only Zeelo was close enough to actually make out the words.
“I think I’m the only one small enough to really take care of you…” Zeelo responded.
“Huh we’re really tiny then…” Kido looked around. The world was more an alien landscape at his size than having any recognizable shapes. Sticking with Zeelo seemed like a really good idea. “I can be your pet! I don’t mind!” He began to wag his tail.
“You bounce back from anything really fast huh?” Zeelo asked. Watching Kido act like that, it made it easier for him to accept his own size.
“I’ll make a bed for each of you in my cage!” Little Tex assured them. Don’t worry you won’t want for a thing.”
“So it would seem.” Metaxi laid back on the table and rested his head on his hands.
“You’re taking this really well.” Zeelo walked over next to Metaxi’s head to make sure he’d be heard. Like a giant windmill, Metaxi’s ear buffeted the pair with a gust of air as it caught Zeelo’s voice; the goat seemed to change moods on a whim.
“I’ve thought about it and decided to just ride this out till it all blows over.” Metaxi replied. The contract he had accidentally made with Little Tex bound him to this size, but didn’t actually prevent him from leaving. However… With his needs taken care of here, and two tiny sources of entertainment to tease, he didn’t mind just waiting it out. A contract was no good once one party was gone, and most mortals couldn’t even make it a century. From his point of view, the affair would be over in no time at all.
“Okay then…” Zeelo muttered then looked down at Kido in his paw. “And um, I promise I’ll do my absolute best to keep you safe!”
“And me the same for you!” Kido wagged his tail. “Even though there’s not a whole lot I can do… But I’m here!”
“They’re strange ones.” Little Tex gave a gentle smile. She wasn’t sure how they’d respond to the pet idea… But still, the cat had shrunk himself and the fox even further… And she had the feeling the goat was going to be something of a bully to the other two. She was going to have to keep an eye on them to keep them out of trouble.
But no one ever over said owning pets was easy.