After getting used to the swaying rhythm enough to take a short nap, Cameron was abruptly awakened by a jostling of his surroundings. He could hear talking from outside the bag, but only portions of the dialogue.
“…lost bag…” a male voice could be heard fading in and out,
“…I’ll check…” said the other female voice as a quick zipping sound was accompanied by a bright light from above, “…inside for ID…” she said much louder now.
Cameron shielded his face as the sudden influx of brightness stung his eyes. From in-between his fingertips, he saw an enormous hand separate the cloth from above revealing the larger than life face of a young blond woman. As her eyes darted to various items within the backpack, they grew wide with surprise when his eyes met hers. He was certain she had spotted him, but the hand grabbed Kate’s pocketbook instead and just as suddenly the bag zipped up again.
“No, wait!” Cameron gasped out as he was once again enveloped in near darkness.
A moment later he felt horizontal movement that would start and stop every few seconds, with a familiar humming sound in between. He knew that sound well.
“Oh…” he started to say as he felt a tingling in his body and downward butterflies in his belly, “…shit…” he finished, his voice rising to an even more ridiculous helium pitch than it had been at before.
He then felt the entire bag be lifted up once again, this time much much faster than before. There were smaller, but still disquieting movements up, down, side to side for several moments until the top of the bag opened once again. Two gigantic fingertips, each nearly as wide in circumference as his own torso, invaded the space and firmly secured his body between them, lifting him up and out.
His vision was a blur he was moving so quickly, but he knew he was up high, very high. His legs dangled helplessly as he wasn’t sure whether he was more scared of the distance beneath his feet and the tiled floor far below or the vice-like pressure on his lungs as the fingers held him in their grip. He could see pink paint peeling off of one of the oversized nails, and could actually see and feel the ridges of skin that swirled around his body into a fingerprint. A moment later, he was lowered most of the way down into a orangish clear cylindrical tube about the size of a small closet to his perspective. The grip released him to drop a few feet roughly to the translucent plastic floor. As he carefully rose to a standing position, using his arms to steady himself against the smooth curved surfaces, he noticed that one of the sides had a white label the size of a large poster on the outside. He couldn’t make out much of the wording because the writing was backwards from this side, but one word did stand out because of it being a palindrome: Xanax.
As a white lid sealed him inside, Cameron pounded on the walls, creating a small ‘thump’ sound and yelled at the top of his tiny little voice demanding to be set free, A moment later his small prison was engulfed in complete darkness and the entire enclosure fell over to one side.
Kate frantically searched for the blue backpack with the white stripes, but it was nowhere to be seen. She was on the verge of tears and after half an hour decide to ask for help. “Excuse me, sir…” she poked at the airline agent in the shoulder, “have you seen a blue bag? I left it right here just a moment ago.” Her voice was quivering with panic.
He shook his head for a moment, “No ma’am, I didn’t. Give me a description and I’ll alert the crew to be on the lookout.” She quickly described the bag: blue with thick white stripes and a mesh pocket on the front. “Any valuables inside?” he asked, and while she described the portable electronics, she conveniently left out the part about the shrunken stowaway inside for the moment.
He placed the two-way radio a few inches from his mouth and she could hear his message being echoed by the radios of other nearby agents, “Attention agents, please be on the lookout for a blue and white backpack with mesh front. Tags for a Ms Kathryn Johnson. Page agent Carson if found.” He put his hand on her shoulder to reassure her. “I’m sure they’ll find it any momen…”
He paused to answer the chirping of his radio. “It is? Okay that’s great. Thanks so much. Our guest will be happy to hear that.” he turned to her. “Ms. Johnson, your bag is waiting for you in baggage check.
“Oh, thank you so much!” she gave him a quick hug and then ran back to the luggage area which was now largely abandoned except for the bright smile of a young blond with a button on her lapel that said “Hi! I’m New!” next to her name tag which read “Jenny”.
“I’m Kathryn Johnson. I think you have my bag?”
The young trainee perked up. “Ms. Johnson! We sure do. It’s right here.” the girl opened up a drawer behind the counter and pulled out the missing treasure. “It’s been sitting here for half an hour. We were really worried.”
Kate stared at the now pocket-sized backpack. “Oh god…” she sighed with part panic and part relief. “Um… can you re-enlarge this for me? I… um… left my iPod inside.”
“I’m so sorry.” Jenny said, her smile turning into an extremely empathetic frown, “but I’m not trained in re-enlargement yet. My boss will be back from his break in half an hour if you can wait?”
Kate bit her lower lip as the airport announcement came over the intercom: last call for boarding. “But the flight is about to leave… Ugh… Is there any way…?” but she trailed off as the girl shook her head firmly from side to side.
“Sorry Cam,” she whispered into the tiny backpack as she sprinted towards the doors of the reduction chamber, ticket in hand, barely making it through before they closed.
“Bye bye now.” Jenny waved from across the hall as the doors closed on the last group of straggling passengers, her smile turning a bit mischievous. After the door sealed and the machinery of the reduction technology engaged, she looked around slyly before reaching into her jacket pocket for a pill bottle. She held it up to the light and admired the inch-and-a-half tall man pounding on the sides of his plastic amber prison.