A Small Round Boy with White Stones

by Thorin Klosowski

A very small boy sits in a garden. He is extremely small. Terribly small. Remarkably small. Excessively small. Uncommonly small. He is the smallest boy possible. Yet somehow, rotund.

In front of the boy are several white stones, arranged in a circle with a line through it. The boy concentrates on the stones.

After several minutes of concentration, the boy lets out a sigh. The air grows thick, like a sauna. The boy collapses to the ground with a weak thud. All the moisture in the air collects around the boy, causing nearby plants to drip and tree bark to stretch thinly around the trunk, like linen wrapped around a wet leg. The boy begins to grow.

After a few minutes, the boy resembles a normal boy, in size at least. But like a balloon full of helium, the shape seems temporary. He tries a step, but wobbles, uneasy with his new size, and falls over. He rolls on the ground briefly trying to right himself, like an egg attempting to balance on the tip. He gets back onto his feet after a few tries, and takes his first large boy step. Then another. He’s figured out how to balance, at least.

But with each step, he deflates slightly. In order to progress through the world, he will shrink. He stands still for a long time, deciding what to do. His face squints into the same concentration pose as before. His shoulders climb up to the sky, as though he’s willing himself upward.

Eventually, he releases all his tension, lets a sigh loose, and takes another step. Then another. Until he is once again extremely small.

=