Stefan Wennarowsd was also starting at Darlinghurst University. He was a science student, who had done exceptionally well in the Higher School Certificate, but had not confined his studies and experiments to his school work. At the end of each school year, there had been around eight weeks of holidays before the next school year started.
On this occasion, Stefan had finished his final Higher School Certificate examination in mid November 2005, which left him from then until February 2006 before he even had to enrol in University: around three months. He had used this time to put in a lot of extra work on his own pet project, which, although very different from Duncan Fennister’s, was in fact an equally unprecedented scientific breakthrough. Yet Stefan had achieved most of it as a boy in the 2000s.
Stefan’s invention was a pair of chemical formulae incorporated into tablets, which were designed to cause either reduction or growth in a person’s physical size. Once he had access to the university laboratories, with more chemicals and his knowledge growing with tertiary education all the time, he hoped to perfect the tablets, which so far had not succeeded in making him smaller or larger.
And classes were starting soon …
Stefan was having a challenging time during chemistry classes. He was managing to both keep up with his university chemistry class experiments, and make use of the laboratory chemicals to try adding other elements to his unperfected shrinking and growth tablets. Every Friday, his last lesson for the day was chemistry, which enabled him to wait for everyone else to leave and then make yet another fruitless test of his tablets.
To compound the drain on his train of thought, his chemistry teacher was a beautiful 38 year woman named Mrs Robertson. He struggled with the way he found her so attractive, and continued to discipline his mind not to entertain any adulterous thoughts about her. One day he hoped to be married himself, and he wanted his marriage to last forever, without being undermined by the interference of a third party. He knew that nothing good could come out of allowing himself to lust after Mrs Robertson. What he didn’t know was that she was one of two middle aged ladies at the university who had formed a close friendship … as widows.
So he put all his efforts into learning enough to guarantee himself a pass with distinction in chemistry, and also to coming up with the correct combination of chemicals to reduce size.
He was sure that chemicals known to cause decay or break-up should be the right path to follow for the shrinking tablet. Conversely, those which provided energy or strength might well be the ones to use in the growth tablet.
One Friday afternoon, Stefan made another of his tests. He would always use the shrinking tablet first, and then make use of the growth tablet if he’d gotten it to work. If the shrinking tablet failed, he’d not be game to try the growth tablet for fear of becoming too conspicuously large with no way to immediately reverse it until more experimentation had been done. For all his months of testing, neither had ever worked.
Once again, Stefan waited for the laboratory room to empty and then took the shrinking tablet. Once again it seemed as though nothing would result of all his hard work. He gave a sigh of disappointment, and began to pack up his books, and tightened the strap on his backpack, while it was still resting on the laboratory table.
Then to his surprise, he found himself beginning to shrink...
Stefan continued to shrink slowly. He looked across at the laboratory table top, which was now just a few inches above his eye level. He instinctively remembered that his growth tablet had been packed away in a small container in his backpack, which was on the table. He reached up blindly, feeling about with his hands for the backpack.
However, he was still shrinking, and found that the backpack was out of his reach.
Now he was only the height of the laboratory stool.
Stefan continued dwindling in size. He was looking around the undersides of the laboratory table, wondering if he had any way of climbing the legs to the table top and tugging at the zip of his backpack, to get it open and retrieve the growth chemical.
What an over anxious amateur he had been. He had not even considered the ramifications of the possibility of the shrinking tablet working, if the growth tablet did not. He wanted desperately to climb to the table and give himself the piece of mind of restoring his size, since he had no idea whether or not such restoration would be possible.
At last his seemingly endless reduction came to an end. Stefan’s size stabilized at a height of 1 ¾ inches and a width of less than an inch. The distant table top might have been the height of a skyscraper building away from him now. Even if he could climb up onto the stool, which looked unlikely, he would not be able to reach the table top from there. The distance would still be too great for a boy who was less than two inches tall.
Suddenly Mrs Robertson opened the door and entered the room. He darted behind a table leg, but his clear line of sight towards her entry made it most likely that she had been able to see him too, if she had been looking slightly downward with her peripheral vision. If his science teacher learned of his experiments, she might not let him retain the patents to them. With her current size advantage, she could easily take over his work and claim the credit for it, not that he had ever planned to reveal his inventions to anyone but his closest female friends.
She had presumably come in to tidy up after the lesson and lock the room for the day.
Mrs Robertson started walking slowly towards the table that concealed him.
Mrs Robertson continued slowly walking until she was beside the table, and then stopped. Stefan looked up, and edged around the table leg, so that he was once again out of sight. It appeared to him, that Mrs Robertson had not noticed this movement. Yet she was not moving on, to go about her duties. Then Stefan remembered that his backpack would be in full view to her on the table.
Even if she hadn’t seen him when she’d first entered the laboratory, she would wonder why his backpack was on the table, if he didn’t appear to be in the room. If she left the room with it, he would find it a lot harder, if not impossible to get to his growth tablet. If she found that and removed it, it would be worse still.
How he hoped that she would put the backpack down on the floor, and then lock up and leave.
She stepped behind the table, and then bent her legs until her head was just below the table. Stefan tried edging around the table leg again, but it was no use. He saw her right arm and hand approaching, passing the table leg, and then felt her fingers enclosing him gently from behind.
She brought him around in front of the table leg and held him. He could see her lower legs looking like powerful towering limbs, capable of relatively giant steps now. He looked down immediately below his neck at the fingers which enclosed his body. They felt soft and comfortable to the touch, but the strength behind them dwarfed his own so much that his greatest potential efforts to break free would not budge even one of her fingers in the least.
Mrs Robertson gaped at him in surprise, as his glance wandered up past her towering neck to her immense face.
“I’ve never seen anyone so small,” said Mrs Robertson, “I don’t suppose you noticed why one of my students left his backpack behind.”
To her full sized eyes, his tiny form was so small that his face was around the size of her eye. She simply couldn’t discern his diminutive features now. She had not joined the dots and guessed that he was Stefan.
“It’s a bit hard to see from down here,” said Stefan truthfully.
“My name is Mrs Robertson. I’m a chemistry teacher at this university,” said Mrs Robertson, standing up and putting him down on the table, “I suppose I’ll have to lock the bag in the cupboard until next week. I’m sure the student will claim it then.”
“I could keep an eye on it up here,” said Stefan, without telling her his name.
“But you won’t be here all weekend,” said Mrs Robertson, “I won’t have time to eat you now, but I’ll come back and pick you up at 9:45 tomorrow morning and take you with me up into the Blue Mountains and have you for a picnic lunch on an isolated hillside.”
He noticed the happy gleam in her eyes, as he took in her incredible announcement. She had mistaken him for some sort of tiny being who had always been small, and demonstrated an appetite that he had not foreseen.
Stefan watched Mrs Robertson locking his bag away in the cupboard, closing and locking two laboratory windows which the students had left unlocked and then approaching him again. She picked him up and sealed the classroom from the outside, and turned the key in the lock.
Mrs Robertson carried Stefan to her own office and placed him on her desk beside a cup that was taller than himself.
“Mrs Robertson, could I please say something important?” he asked nervously.
“By all means, but you’ll need to be brief about it. I’m going out to dinner with a friend of mine on the administration staff. I don’t want to keep her waiting.”
“Well I hope you enjoy your dinner,” he said, “I don’t mean to show you any discourtesy, Mrs Robertson. It’s just that I …”
“What?” she prompted.
“I feel a certain reluctance in the area …”
“In what area?” asked Mrs Robertson.
“The area of being eaten,” said Stefan, “You can understand it from my point of view, can’t you?”
“I hope it won’t seem too callous to say that I guessed you’d feel that way,” said Mrs Robertson, “But I have told you my lunch plans for tomorrow, and I won’t be making any allowance for your reluctance. I honestly hope you’ll enjoy most of your trip up into the mountains, but you’ll be riding down again inside my stomach after I’ve eaten you up. Here’s a cushion to sleep on and some food for you. I’ll see you tomorrow, little boy.”
Mrs Robertson met her friend Thora at a restaurant in Darlinghurst, and learned that her day had been largely uneventful.
“Mine was one of a kind,” said Mrs Robertson, “You simply won’t believe this, Thora, but I found a tiny boy in the laboratory after all the students had left.”
“How tiny?” asked Thora.
“As small as one of my smaller fingers,” said Mrs Robertson.
“I wonder how that could be possible,” said Thora.
“We know so little about the universe, and even about the university, it seems,” said Mrs Robertson, “He could have come from some undiscovered location of tiny folk on earth, or he might even be from another planet.
“The scientific implications are phenomenal!” said Thora.
“I suppose they are, but I’ve been more interested in the culinary implications,” said Mrs Robertson, “I’m going to eat him for a picnic lunch in the mountains tomorrow.”
“Really?” asked Thora, smiling with interest, “Does he know yet?”
“Oh yes. I told him before I left. He’s in my office now.”
“How ironic that a being who may be from outer space will soon be exploring inner space,” Thora mused, “And how is he taking the news?”
“He did suggest an alternative,” said Mrs Robertson.
“Both our cars are still parked at the university. Could I walk back to your office with you and meet him before you do it?” asked Thora.
“I don’t see why not. I’m sure I can trust my best friend to keep my secret,” said Mrs Robertson.
They finished their dinner and returned to the university and Mrs Robertson’s office.
“This is my friend Thora,” said Mrs Robertson.
“I’m pleased to meet you,” said Stefan.
“Thank you,” said Thora, “I understand that you’re going to be playing an integral part in Mrs Robertson’s lunch tomorrow.”
“So it seems,” said Stefan.
“She’ll appreciate it,” said Thora, “She always enjoys her food.”
Then she realised she was teasing an already frightened little boy. Mrs Robertson was much taller than Thora. There was no way that Thora could save Stefan, but it would not do to make fun of him.
They briefly talked some more, and then the two ladies left him alone to think.
Stefan slept on the cushion provided by Mrs Robertson, and dreamed of the trip, which awaited him the next morning. He saw images of the Blue Mountains from his excursions there a few years earlier, mixed with towering views of Mrs Robertson preparing to eat him. When one dream progressed to the point that he would be eaten, with no means of further delay, he suddenly awoke, and saw that it was morning.
Stefan looked around at the clock on her table. It said that it was just before nine o’clock. In less than an hour, Mrs Robertson would arrive on her merciless mission. He thought about it from her point of view. She had gone out and enjoyed a restaurant meal with her best friend, talked happily about her plans for him, he presumed, since their meal had led to his meeting Thora, and then gone home to a pleasant night’s sleep.
She was well aware of his unwillingness to participate in her luncheon plans. Yet nothing could prevent her from getting into her full sized car, driving to the university, and taking him with her into the Blue Mountains where she would …
If only he had been sure that both tablets worked first, before testing them. If he’d taken a small sample of the shrinking tablet, just enough to lose a foot or so in height, then at least he’d have had most of his size to work on perfecting the growth tablet, should it have failed to restore his size. He had been impulsive, reckless and careless, and Mrs Robertson would soon see that his mistakes would come with a very high price.
Soon Mrs Robertson arrived at her office.
“Good morning,” she said, “I think this is the first time I’ve ever come in on a Saturday, but the benefits speak for themselves.”
She took him to the car, and put him in her lap until she was well out of the city. As the Great Western Highway led her closer to the Blue Mountains, she lifted him up to her shoulder and let him look out at the scenery.
“Just hold onto the top of my jumper, so you don’t fall back down to my skirt,” she said, “I won’t have a free hand to catch you at the moment.”
“Nice to know you care!” he said sarcastically.
“Oh don’t be like that,” said Mrs Robertson, “You know you look delicious.”
“Sorry,” said Stefan, instinctively reacting as he would have reacted to her when he had been her normal sized student.
“It’s alright,” she said, smiling without turning her head, “I can’t expect much enthusiasm from you.”
When Mrs Robertson and Stefan reached Lapstone, the Great Western Highway began to curve in an uphill way, with tall trees presenting a view on both sides of the road.
Then they passed Glenbrook, and a few other suburbs, as Valley Heights drew nearer.
“How far up do you think we should go?” asked Mrs Robertson.
The question surprised him. It was the first time since she had ‘met’ his tiny self that she had sought his opinion on anything. Since he was acutely aware of her control of the situation, he presumed that she was only asking as a matter of inquiring about his personal taste.
“Medlow Bath is nice,” he said.
“It is, but there could be a fair few tourists and holiday makers around. We don’t want to be disturbed, do we?”
“No, I guess not,” said Stefan.
“Blackheath has a marvellous isolated lookout, which we can get to from a track that goes around the high school and then off into the Kanimbla Valley. Would you find that a scenic place to be eaten?”
“I imagine it would. Those escarpments would even be large from your perspective.”
“You certainly know Australian geography well,” she said, “I imagine you got around in a spaceship or some other way before I caught you.”
Stefan had an idea to delay her in the hopes of escape.
“I’ve never been past Mount Victoria though,” he said, “Maybe we could find a nice spot between there and Lithgow.”
“It dips a lot after Mount Victoria,” said Mrs Robertson, “Are you really interested, or are you just hoping to gain time?”
It was no use.
“I guess we could go to Blackheath,” he said.
Mrs Robertson drove into Blackheath, turned left at the rail crossing, and made her way over the line and into the back streets, until she came to a large school that looked out onto the expansive valley. She stopped the car and turned her head to smile at him.
“We’re here,” she said.
She put him on the dashboard, while she collected a picnic basket from the boot of the car, and then set him on top of the uppermost item: a folded rug. Then she began walking around the school and along a path. He looked up at her hair flowing in the occasional slight breeze, and couldn’t help admiring her carefree confidence.
Her hair had been neatly brushed. Her clothes were elegant indeed for a picnic. Her strides were graceful. One of her hands was curled around the handles of the picnic basket, which carried him, and the other swayed by her side as she walked.
She certainly knew how to eat a boy in style.
“This looks like a nice place, don’t you think?” she asked at last.
He stared down into the valley and out to the green wilderness beyond. He would even be glad to lose himself in that isolated spot, if it meant she could not go ahead with the next stages of her plans for him. How he hoped that there might be something in the picnic basket that he could fold into a hang glider and use to glide off the edge of the escarpments, which would make it impossible for her to follow. It would take a real giantess to step down from them.
“Yes,” he said nervously.
He watched his hopes sink away, as she put him down, unfolded the rug, placed the basket and himself on it, and then sat down, looking out at the scenery. She picked him up and turned him around on her open palm to face it.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” she said.
“I’m sure you couldn’t think of any panoramic in Mount Victoria, that you’d rather see as your last view from inside my mouth,” said Mrs Robertson.
“That’s true,” said Stefan.
Mrs Robertson turned him around to face her again, and licked her lips with glee.
“It’s time, little fellow. You’ve had last night, and a nice long pleasant drive here to get yourself ready. Now I’m going to put you into my mouth and gobble you down whole.”
“I wonder if Thora would have done this to me,” said Stefan.
“I don’t think she would,” said Mrs Robertson, “We’ve known each other since high school, and our friendship’s grown stronger, now that we’re both widows.”
“I thought you were married,” said Stefan.
“I was for a long time. I got married when I was 19,” said Mrs Robertson, “I dated my husband through the last three years of high school.”
He was still in more danger than he could have imagined 24 hours earlier, but for the first time since his university semester had begun, Stefan could abandon the struggles he had been having with his feelings for Mrs Robertson. She was a beautiful woman who had enjoyed a happy youth without him, and she was about to swallow him for pleasure, but at least he could allow himself to enjoy the touch of her mouth as she did it.
“That must have been fun,” he said, “… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ask a lot of intrusive questions. I just wanted to get to know the lady I’m going to be eaten by.”
“There’s no harm done, and I was happy to tell you, but I’m afraid we’ll have to cut this conversation short. You’re out of time now, little fellow. I’m ready to start.”
As he watched and felt it in awe, Mrs Robertson’s enormous tongue came out of her mouth and began to slide slowly over him in various movements. Stefan had been dreading his final moments since the afternoon before, but the pleasant nature of the current stage of her activity was unexpectedly enjoyable.
After what must have been fifteen minutes of sustained licking, she withdrew her tongue and stared intently at him.
“Farewell, little fellow,” said Mrs Robertson, and slid him into her mouth.
She let him manoeuvre himself into position to look out at the panoramic view for the last time, as she had promised, kept her mouth open for a few minutes, and breathed gently, which made her tongue move up and down a little. He spent only the first minute looking at the view outside, and then found himself captivated by the feel and sight of the relatively gigantic female taste organ below him.
How relieved he was to learn that she was now single. He could at least enjoy this with a clear conscience. He slid himself slightly forwards and backwards, enjoying the feel of her tongue, until she suddenly lifted it up at an angle, and drew the boy into the top of the throat.
“She’s not letting the proverbial dust settle for long,” he thought.
Mrs Robertson gulped, and he felt himself drawn down a little and trapped halfway down her long neck.
“This is incredible!” thought Stefan, “I’m in the middle of Mrs Robertson’s lovely long neck. It was all I could do to keep my eyes on the road ahead and stop thinking about its beauty, when I was seated right beside it on the way up here. Now I’m inside it. She’s adorable. If only she had been as benevolent to me as she was to her students… Wait! That’s it! Now I know what to do! If only I haven’t left it too late!”
He stretched out his arms and his legs, in the hope that her next gulp would not be able to move him further down her throat. He soon felt her powerful neck struggling to try to gulp him down. She would not have been comfortable with him occupying that position for long, and would soon prefer to have him deep down in her stomach.
He dug his hands and feet in hard against the inner wall of her throat, but wondered how long he could stay stretched out like that…
Stefan suddenly felt himself moving upwards in her throat instead of downwards. He realised that Mrs Robertson was coughing instead of gulping. In very little time, he reached her tongue again, and then he saw her mouth opening. Her full lower lip looked interesting from that angle, and he could see the scenery once more. Then it was blocked by the approach of her finger and thumb, as she reached into her mouth and lifted him out.
Mrs Robertson held Stefan in front of her face and looked at him with a confident frown.
“If you don’t keep still, when I’m gulping you down, I may well have to tie your hands,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” said Stefan, “It’s just that I don’t think you actually understand who was going to end up as your picnic lunch. I’m Stefan, one of your new students this year. It was my backpack you found yesterday. I shrank myself with a tablet I invented. By the time I realised that it was working, I couldn’t reach the growth tablet in my bag, and then you came back into the laboratory and found me.”
Mrs Robertson held Stefan right in front of her eye.
“Stefan!” she said, “I just couldn’t see who you were!”
She suddenly began kissing him. The feel of those beautiful giant lips was so magnificent. It seemed ironic, that they were available to a shrunken student, who had thought them unavailable, back when he had been full sized.
She gave him several slow affectionate kisses, while he reached out with his arms and pressed a hand affectionately against each cheek.
“I brought more food for my afternoon tea,” she said at last, “We might as well have that and head back earlier than I’d planned. This can be our first date.”
Stefan had been happy enough to have averted the likelihood of being her lunch, when he had revealed his identity to her. This sudden show of affection was beyond his wildest fantasies.
They lay on the rug together and talked for a long time, and then she took him back to her home and let him rest on the pillow beside her adorable face.
Thora and Mrs Trixie Robertson were having lunch together in the university gardens.
“So how’s the toy boy going?” asked Mrs Robertson.
“He’s adorable,” said Thora, “He’s certainly in a better situation than your tiny toy boy, even if Duncan doesn’t know it.”
“Maybe not,” said Mrs Robertson, “I took him up to the Blue Mountains last May, the morning after I showed him to you, but here’s the bit I kept secret from everyone since then. You’ll never guess who he turned out to be.”
“One of Ireland’s less known citizens,” said Thora.
“I was gulping him down my throat,” said Trixie, “When he began to fight back. I coughed him up to give him a warning, and then he gave me his real identity. He was too small for us to recognize, but you probably helped him on enrolment day. He’s Stefan Wennarowsd, one of my own chemistry first years.”
“What? How?” asked Thora.
“Another example of better shrinking through chemistry, how else?” said Trixie.
“Did he go down easier, once you knew why he’d been skipping so many classes?”
“That’s just it. I didn’t eat him. Once I’d seen his cute miniaturized face, I couldn’t help kissing him.”
“Really? I thought I was a cradle snatcher.”
“I’ve fixed him up with tiny comforts at my house. Nobody else knows he’s still around and dating me.”
“So where do you go now?”
“What about you?” asked Trixie.
“Well I’m dating mine tomorrow night … in a manner of speaking,” said Thora.
Mrs Robertson had been caring for her tiny student and secretly dating him since May 2006, when she had discovered who he was. One morning, he woke up and kissed her giant lower lip, as she lay with her head on her pillow.
“Good morning, little fellow,” she said.
It was the first time that she had called him “little fellow” instead of Stefan, since the day she had almost eaten him. He remembered that day vividly now, triggered by the reintroduction of the soubriquet.
“You gave me quite a start, when you found me and said that you’d make me a Saturday meal,” he said.
“I’ve been thinking about that myself lately, and talking a fair bit with Thora. I told her about you. I do like you Stefan. I think you’re a brilliant inventor, and handsome and sweet.”
“I think you’re a very beautiful sweet lady too,” said Stefan.
“Thank you, my young gentleman, but I also think you’re small and appealing. It’s occurred to me of late, that you’d still be a great pleasure to dine on.”
“Really?” asked Stefan in surprise, “I didn’t imagine that you’d still consider doing that, now that you’re well aware that I’m a boy who was in your class until the day I shrank. You came to love me. I felt the luckiest boy in the world, when you started kissing me at Blackheath. I’ve felt that way ever since. Surely you love me enough to go on as we are.”
She gave him a hauntingly beautiful smile, and he stared back at her and waited, awestruck by the suspense of wondering what her answer would be.
Stefan then spent days eagerly awaiting the decision that Mrs Robertson had been pondering, about whether to continue as his girlfriend or to resume her earlier plan of eating him.
“I’m sorry, dear Stefan,” she said at last, “It’s lovely to be with a student so friendly and young, but I’m going to have you for dinner tomorrow night. I’ll have to make sure you can’t escape today, while I’m at Thora’s wedding and the reception. Tonight will be our last night together in here, before you’re in HERE.”
She pointed to her stomach.
She then held Stefan closely and kissed him for some time, before dressing in her bridesmaid outfit and departing for the wedding. How wonderful she looked in that outfit. It had all the glamour of the wedding dress that Stefan wished she would have eventually worn for him.
At the end of the day, Mrs Robertson came home to see how Stefan was doing, and snuggled him against her cheeks for the night.
Late the next day, she went into the kitchen with Stefan and left him beside some soft fruit. She went to answer the telephone, while he seized an opportunity to escape her. He pushed some of the fruit off the bench, and jumped onto the fallen soft fruit, cushioning his fall.
Stefan ran out to the garden, glad for the reprieve. The walls which surrounded Mrs Robertson’s garden were far too high to climb. So he gave up his hopes to escape. All he could do now was hide out until nightfall, and then look for a more permanent hiding place, until he could figure out how to get back to the university and somehow get at the growth pill in his backpack.
The flowers concealed him, when Mrs Robertson soon finished her telephone call and came looking.
“It’s not over yet,” she said, “You can’t get out of my garden. I’ll find you and catch you and eat you, if it’s the last thing I do!”
Thora met Trixie Robertson for another meal together during the holidays, and swapped notes. Thora went into depth about those aspects of her relationship with Duncan.
“Last time you asked me where things would go from there, it got me thinking,” said Mrs Robertson, “I let Stefan know that I was reconsidering eating him again.”
“Oh. How long did you keep him dangling?”
“Over the question, for several days. Over my mouth … well it would have been for several seconds, but he got away into the garden. I’ve had a real time trying to find him ever since. I don’t suppose you could come and help me chase him one day. Between the two of us, we could cut him off. You’re the only one I can tell about him.”
Thora didn’t want to upset her friend. She agreed to come over once, just to see if her assistance would help corner Stefan in the garden.
One day Stefan peeked out from a place of concealment and saw Mrs Robertson coming out into the garden to look for him. Close behind her was Thora!
“They’re going to team up and hunt me together!” he thought.
He did his best to avoid them both, running through flowerbeds in Thora’s direction, if and only when it was necessary to avoid Mrs Robertson. After a whole afternoon of this, he noticed the sun starting to go down, and then saw Thora’s shoes stop right in front of him. He looked at her ankles and then up to her towering face. She looked back down at him. There was no doubt that she had seen him. Had they agreed to let whoever found him first be the one to eat him, or was she going to hand him over to Mrs Robertson?
She looked at him pensively for several seconds. The power she had at this point was not lost on him.
Then she looked up and called out across the garden.
“I don’t think this is getting us anywhere,” said Thora, “If you still want me to stay for dinner, you might need to start cooking while we talk inside.”
“I guess you’re right,” said Mrs Robertson and headed indoors.
He waved his thanks at her. She smiled back. It had been difficult to deny her oldest and best friend her wishes, but Thora felt for the boy’s safety, conscious of the fact that Stefan could easily have been Duncan.
* * * *
For months, Stefan had hid out in Mrs Robertson’s garden, dining on fruits while she was at the university teaching. She occasionally put out other food for him, so that he would not waste away before she could catch him and eat him.
One day she was more successful than usual in her pursuit of him. She cut off escape routes and converged on the place where the petals concealed him, having finally located his best hiding spot. Her fingers brushed the petals aside and revealed Stefan completely.
“You’ve been so unrealistic to keep this up all this time,” she said, “You’re still going to be eaten, and there isn’t another way left you can avoid it.”
On a day that took her fancy in 2008, Mrs Robertson took Stefan into the kitchen to make another attempt at preparing him for her dinner. She opened the oven and placed him inside it and turned on the setting quite low. He watched her smile and close the door and stand up and then walk away from him.
Soon she served him up at the table and sat down and lifted him and held him in front of her widely opening mouth. He looked into it and savoured the beautiful sight, not losing awareness of all its ramifications.
Suddenly the reduction tablet lost its effect, and he fell from her hand to her lap, slowly expanding back to his full size.
“It seems you’ve escaped from my trap,” she said, “Though you wouldn’t have, if I’d eaten you before the unknown expiry time of the tablet’s effects.
He was glad to be able to take her in his arms, even after all that had happened between them. Mrs Robertson enjoyed it too.
Thora was amazed to learn of Stefan’s survival and normal size. She used her position on the administration staff to cover his absence and re-enrol him in classes. He continued to live in Mrs Robertson’s house, as he had been absent from society too long to explain it without giving away his secret inventions.
Stefan and Mrs Robertson dated for some time, but the day eventually came along when she said that she was not likely to marry again, and that their relationship couldn’t really go anywhere.
“Would you like to avoid being lonely by shrinking once more and being a lunch for the woman you love?” she asked.
He agreed, feeling sure that it was better than pining for her for the rest of his life.
* * * *
Stefan and Mrs Robertson decided to shrink Stefan with another shrinking tablet, and be sure to have her eat him long before it wore off, but to allow him a few days to get used to his tiny size again.
When the day came for him to be eaten, she came home from teaching.
“Mrs Robertson, I think I’ve recovered emotionally from our break up,” he said, “And I’ve been having some second thoughts about being eaten. I’d like to wait for the tablet to wear off and resume my normal size again.”
Mrs Robertson left him and went out on her own that night. Over the next few weeks, she hardly spent any time with him. One day she came home and spoke to him.
“I was enjoying the thought of the meal that we had planned for me to make of you. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, and I hope that you’ll understand that it was lovely to share in the best of romantic affairs. However, I have decided to eat you without your permission next week, downstairs, since there’s a non-teaching week.”
When the day came, Mrs Robertson dangled a cage from a hook on the ceiling, which hung on the end of a chain. She locked Stefan inside it and went upstairs to mark some chemistry assignments.
While Stefan waited for her to come back down and eat him, a girl his own age walked into the house. She saw him and smiled with lips, which were level with him.
“I’m Ellen,” she said, “I moved out when I turned 18 two years ago. Mum and Dad had me when they were 20. I’ve been shopping near here today, and decided to drop in and see Mum and stay the night.”
“I’m one of her students, albeit reduced. Later she’s going to come down and eat me for her lunch.”
Ellen opened the cage. He wondered if she would love him or just set him free. The girl had inherited her mother’s beauty, and had never been married. For her, a marriage to Stefan would have all of the excitement of a first marriage for a woman.
Ellen began licking Stefan’s cheeks.
“You taste delicious,” she said, and opened her mouth and placed him inside it.
He felt defeated, contained and forlorn.
“She’s just like her mother,” he thought, “This is it.”
Then she took him out of her mouth and put him back on her palm.
“Did you think I would swallow you?” she asked, “I was just teasing.”
Ellen had taken Stefan with her, and looked after him, after he’d explained that his reduction would eventually wear off, though it may take a couple of years. She dated him secretly, not even telling her mother how the boy had gotten away from her.
Stefan’s full size came back, and he and Ellen approached her mother and explained what had happened. He would never make another shrinking tablet, having several times experienced first hand the danger that they caused the user.
Ellen and Stefan continued dating, though now at the same sizes.
“I haven’t told Ellen about our former relationship, and you can be sure I never will,” said Mrs Robertson, “I want her to be happy.”
“I’m grateful,” said Stefan, “You’re both lovely.”
“You would have made a lovely lunch though,” laughed Mrs Robertson quietly.
Mrs Robertson kept experimenting, and kept licking her lips at the sight of certain first year chemistry students; but try as she might, she was unable to reinvent a certain size altering tablet…
The end, at least for now.