1. Discovery – Something amazing happens to Stan Baker.
Trigger Warning: Mentions of bullying and physical/emotional violence
Stan was in a heavy mood when he returned home.
His dragging footsteps were heavy, his bedroom door banged heavily as it shut, his backpack dropping to the floor and the way Stan tossed himself into bed were both almost as heavy as his heart.
At thirteen years old, he’d long since gotten used to bullies. He could hardly recall a time in his educational career that he hadn’t been picked on for one reason or another. He was small for his age, slim as a twig, and his pale complexion and bright hair made him stick out all the more among his peers. It barely mattered that his brothers were teaching him how to defend himself; any muscle he gained from training and fighting seemed too lean to make a visible difference.
Stan heaved a long sigh and buried his face in his pillow, hugging it close.
By the time he’d flipped a few of his bullies and seemed to deter them from coming after him, they all shifted gears. With hormones raging high and everyone hyperfocused on popularity and who liked who, Stan was physically picked on less and instead became the subject of harsh words and rumors that knocked him down the social hierarchy.
The harsh words stung and stuck with Stan and hurt worse than any bruise. They hurt because some of them were true. They swirled around Stan’s head long after he heard them, and they made him feel so small.
A strange sensation made Stan peel his shining cheek away from his pillow. If he didn’t know better, he’d think it was getting bigger.
Stan bolted upright and realized the blanket was expanding beneath him. His heart jumped into his throat and began pounding, and Stan could swear it all started to go faster. He could feel the fabric passing past his hands and even gave himself a quick pinch in the arm amidst his slight panic. It was impossible to deny.
He really was getting smaller and smaller!
He gave a yelp when it all came to a sudden stop, the vertigo knocking him flat on his back. His arms flailed as he righted himself, green eyes wide as he looked around. The ceiling was so far away now, and all at once the room that had so often been his sole safe space became an alien landscape, made up of massive structures and bizarre shapes.
Stan had no idea how long he sat there, awestruck. Before terror and confusion could override, he had to admit that seeing things from a few inches tall was pretty cool.