CHAPTER 1: Imagination
His shrill voice resonated throughout the corridors of the classroom. It seemed tension arose for the feminine scent lingered- the animals roared (both the men and the animals). Perhaps it was a queer ordeal, for students were not accustomed to learning the properties of Imagination with animals about. The professor began, "First, take your index and thumb, and squeeze an object in your horizon." He squinted and wrapped his fingers in the air, squeezing the silhouette of a cat as it purred on his desk. Within an instant, the cat popped as if it were inflated and made of the thinnest material. Its blood coated the front row of students as bits of fur clung to the ceiling and walls. A wave of fear showered the faces of the students as the parrots, pigeons, and seagulls began to pick with gluttony, at what was once a docile feline. "Now, you try", he dared any of the frightful youth. One boy, with a look void of emotion, squinted his eyes at an ant that was crawling on the corpse, and rather than clamping his fingers, he expanded them around its silhouette.
The ant stretched into a size much larger than the professor's desk. Immediately it began to wrap its pincers across the frame of a youth closest to itself. Before it could harm the youth, the professor flicked the ant's silhouette, (without once leaving the seat of his desk) and sent the ant violently against the wall. It winced in pain but it was determined to express anger on anyone nearby. The professor wrapped his fingers around the ant's silhouette and shrank it back to its original size.
His spine shivered as he looked at the youth responsible for the ordeal and felt the coldness from his eyes pierce his own. "Don't get too ahead of yourself", the professor scolded the boy with cold eyes. He continued, "The Principles of Imagination alter and create dimensions of astral projection".
Pens and pencils scribbled away furiously, replicating each word. All except the boy with cold eyes, who, was distracted as he repeatedly shrank and enlarged a parrot who had the misfortune to land on his shoulder. The parrot shrieked, and every time it attempted to fly away, the boy would shrink it to the size of a thumbnail only to catch it in his hands in the shape of a makeshift cage. A fire replaced the coldness in his eyes, and for a moment, the professor was distracted for the passion sent nostalgia- which reminded him of himself when he too was a lad.
The professor laughed, and for an instant, the youths ceased their scribbling and a curtain of confusion fell before their naive faces. Even the cold boy became so disrupted by the shrill laughter that he forgot about the parrot as it flew away. "How curious the parrot looks, as if a fly" uttered the professor. As if a form of approval, or perhaps a subliminal message, it caused the entire class to shrink all the animals in the room. Tiny elephants wrestled with mice equal to their size and fear. Laughter and excitement filled the classroom until the boy with cold eyes shrank the silhouette of a fellow peer. Anger and fear- a combination exposed on the professor's face as he picked up the shrunken youth with quickness. He slapped the cold eyed boy and blurted "Once you alter a human, it is impossible to alter them further", as he said this, he felt his head become damp with the tears of salt water. The cries of the shrunken youth sent the whole room into a dead silence- even the animals expressed a sense of empathy."What's your name?" the professor demanded. "Zen Casanova", uttered the boy sheepishly.
"Well Zen, I'm afraid the consequences of such a deed results in expulsion from the school". "But, n-no! You can't! I have nowhere to go, if I leave this place and go back to the orphanage I will not be able to live!" he confessed with tears swelling at his face, "I'm too weird for them, they all laugh and mock! All my friends betrayed me, they all beat me, I have nothing to go back to! I..I-". The tears began to swell up and glaze his hazel eyes as they ran a river past his cheeks and onto the edge of his chin. The tears collected at the bottom of his chin but would not fall, they seemed to be on the verge, but before they could they were wiped away from the sleeve of his ragged shirt. The professor felt a pang at his chest- which he associated with his overweight stature. A squeak interrupted the melancholy, and as the professor moved the shrunken youth to his eye level (for his eyes were tiring in his age) a feminine voice whispered "Please, for myself and his, let him stay, at least for the remaining class time" She leaned in closer to his ear and whispered in an even lower voice, the youths all around them were on the edge of their seats desperately trying to hear a word, but unable, "for you see this was the first day of class, how disappointing it must be to be turned away", she whispered empathetically. 'Is empathetically a word', she wondered. She was glad her thoughts were only to herself for had they been aloud she might have embarrassed herself for improper studying.
For a brief moment the professor could not fathom such forgivefullness. Then he wondered to himself if 'forgivefullness' was even a word. Her smile entranced him as she said, "I do not mind this size, if anything, its amusement tickles my feet and nose." She tried to wiggle her nose but it was too small to flare. Tamed he sheepishly said, "I will have to address the head master but I'm sure if even you could forgive such a beast, then perhaps Zen is not as such". He paused for a moment, pondering, revealing, "Very well, I'm sure we may resume class as it were". He put her on his desk where he could make sure the animals would not attack her. He was unsure if by animals I meant the youths or the creatures.* *
After the mayhem, from the outside of the classroom, the doors that led into it vanished and were replaced with a silhouette, which to the observing eye, one would wonder how the light shinned in place of the door frame. Given, had such an eye caught a glimpse of the door before its existence was stolen, it almost looked natural against the summer daylight. The youths left the room playing with their Imagination out in the courtyards as stars fell all around them. A couple of boys plucked the stars from the skies and collected a handful, and began playing a game of marbles with such materials. A foolish girl had attempted to touch the sun only to have her finger blister, which prevented another curious boy to taste the sun with his tongue directly. A few youths had engaged in a curious game of hiding inside rose buds as they stepped inside and then expanded the flowers to hold them in pairs. In opposing directions they squinted and with teamwork (which they had learned in class) began plucking the silhouette of each other's flowers, (but not their own-which they too learned in class), as they caused each other to jump into the sky and flutter above. The only ones to lollygag such activities were the trio consisting of: the professor, Zen, and the shrunken girl. Wrinkles flexed around the sides of their grins, hinting evidence of the trace of laughter. Apparently through the ordeal they had engaged in good company, credit obviously due to the charms of the girl. It seemed as if her personality entailed a flirtatious nature, which in turn caused the males around her to fall victim to the drive of fueling her smile.
How entrancing, the boys thought, at least Zen, for the professor regained consciousness of his professional status. With a hint of guilt, the professor swept away his awkward interest in such a tiny character resting in his left hand and instructed Zen, "take her to the head master, reveal the story and await the head master's decision".
'Head master or Headmaster' the boy wondered if it was spelled as one long word or two words. He began to say it faster and faster in his head until both 'Head master' and 'Headmaster' were 'Headmasterheadmaster', which inevitably progressed to 'hemasahemasahemasahem-'. He recalled his surroundings and returned focus directing the professor, "Aren't you gonna come with us?" questioned the boy suspiciously- lacking in the trust of secondary sources (for he had experienced enough cynicism in his homeland that he even began to doubt himself.) The professor gave a look of disgust only for a flash for he realized the boy's perspective, and said, "Why in the world would I do such a time consuming ordeal? I have another class to guide and I must enlarge many clouds to lift myself past the gate, this takes a great deal of time for in my old age and current weight-" Zen fell out of focus and redirected his attention to her and wondered if she had a name as beautiful as her silky curly hair. For a moment she caught the sense of his gaze and met his eyes with her own, to which Zen looked away immediately and attempted to focus on the professor. He then wondered if she had caught him staring for longer than he should have (his etiquette was practiced with strict obedience) 'Not so much if I had shrunken her' he retorted, to my own narration! How about that! After forgetting his previous thoughts and upbringing, he wondered if she had been starring at him when he was not.
'Dare she look...now-" and he quickly seized his thoughts in fear they were not thoughts at all but actual spoken words for the professor seized his conversation. Perhaps the professor caught the two in a trance and simply left. Either way, Zen and the shrunken girl could not for the sake of memory remember saying goodbye to the professor for it seemed Zen's feet found their way on their own down the narrow candle lit dim halls. Indeed, she did not notice, and as they were at the front of the marble doors with twin lion statues at its sides, he hesitated to enter. He wondered how the walk was so abrupt and longed for more time with her, thus he attempted conversation to distract her from the task at hand. He looked at her sitting in both his hands (for he did great care not to drop her) and said, "Well you know my name, Zen, what's yours"? She looked at him for too long for the boy to bear. His heart began to beat faster as she scrunched her right eye brow (from his perspective) as her lip squished to the left side of her face (from her perspective) which shifted the look on her face to that of a curious and affable nature.
'Oh no', he wondered frightfully, she can feel my heart beating faster. I'm so nervous, I feel as if my thoughts are going to yell! OH WHAT"S YOUR NAME' his eyes pleaded. He realized the demeanor of his eyes and nonchalantly attempted to look away but he was caught in a trance. 'Can she read my thoughts? They're so loud she must!" His thoughts screamed at him and for a moment, it was silent as he noticed her lips twitched as if to speak. She then paused herself and fixed them back to one side. 'DAMN IT' his thoughts ringed. He shrugged it off and walked into the door, pulling their white and black checkered finish. 'I'll find out once we talk to the head master I'm sure" he assured himself.
Upon entering the doors, an old woman greeted them, and as soon as she recognized the shrunken girl, a look of shock followed by disappointment flushed the surface of her face. A flash of anger took over and it seemed as if she tried to flare her nostrils but they were too small to provide such a performance. Her aggression took hold of her voice as she scorned, "How dare you use your Imagination on a human!" Before the boy could wrestle his tongue for an argument, the shrunken girl spoke, "It's okei. I find it's rather amusing" she smiled with a blush. Her charms worked fast as a wave of comfort took hold of the head master to which she said "Alright fine, but if you are ever to be harmed in any way I hold him responsible. He is also charged with the task of fixing this mishap. Speak to the magistrate. He will guide you on how to go about fixing this".
As she spoke to the shrunken girl, Zen noticed on her desk: scrolls of archaic wonder, and globeswith curious pigmentation of which colors he could not put to words. An overturned nameplatewith only the word "FLOWER" was collecting dust. 'Must be a last name' he figured. After the discussion Miss Flower, or Misses Flower, (the boy was unsure) for she wore many rings, hurried them out of her door. 'She must have other, dire, matters to attend to which surely must require urgent attention', thought the shrunken girl. Just before leaving the door, above the passage there was a small banner made of silk spider thread (an exotic scarf rare to even the most adventurous of travelers) which read the slogan, "I, NATION".
As he exited the marble doors by pushing them with his shoulders and with her in both hands, he caught her yawning. "When was the last time you slept" he asked with curiosity in his eyes. "I dunno" She whispered giggishly. A snowflake fell on her, which completely drenched her clothing (for it seemed the youths had gone about stretching the snowflakes while they were attending to Head master Flower (how appropriate he thought, of my narration, no longer would he question if she was a miss or misses).She began to shiver profusely and to their amazement he noticed winter had arrived, and they were caught in the middle of it. "But it was spring only moments ago" she noted, or it seemed she thought only to herself but the couple had the same thought. The boy said, "no I think you mean it was summer only moments ago, not spring" She looked shocked at him, and for an instant they wondered if they were in fact talking at all.
"Wait, I still don't know your name!"
She giggled, "Isabella"
As the couple made their way, or rather, as he carried her in his hands, he led them down the dim long candle lit halls. He wandered, and wondered, whilst she spoke her charms, and could not help but recall not bearing witness to her utilizing her imagination the way the youths had, but then again, neither did he. An epiphany sank. "Oh-"he stopped his thoughts with an epiphany and apparently his feet stopped. "I shrank her" he choked out loud accidentally.
"No, I'm breathing just fine then", she said, slightly muffled in his hands. He wondered if his voice was too loud and disrupted their communication. Perhaps he would have to whisper gently, as to not hurt her ears. He had, for a brief moment, forgotten she was in his hands for he was lost in the jungle maze of his thoughts. He was unsure if she meant her response in regards to the literal shrinking incident, or the obvious notion due to her being in his hands, and he was unsure of his strength. He resolved by holding his hands wider but without as much stiffness. He thought to ask to satiate his paranoia, but he dismissed his attempts after seeing her smile.