SHORT PUTTSBy. Contrast LoverAs I sit here contemplating my last two years, the samequestions keepcoming to me, without answer. Why? Why me? How? The doctorsgave up tryingto answer the questions six months ago. Oddly enough, Istabilized shortlyafter that and have been stable since that time. That isnot to say thatstable is good, but I suppose it is better than furtherdeterioration. I'vealready had my 15 minutes of fame, being featured intabloid and respectablepapers alike, as well as a few talk shows. I soon becameold hat though, ascheating husbands and lesbian wives proved to be moreattention getting andprofitable. I was told by one host, off the record, that Ihave a cutegimmick, but of course, no one really believes me. Sure, Imay be little,but I couldnt expect anyone to believe that the pictures ofthat 6-ft. tallguy are really me. Dwarf acts have a short shelf life, Iwas told. So hereI am, 40 years old, with a wife and 14 year old daughter,contemplating myfuture at the size of a newborn child. The future is lessthan rosy.

Two years ago, I was a 6 ft. tall, 170 pound club pro at alocal golfcourse. I grew up playing and loving the game, but wasnever quite goodenough to make a living playing it. For years, I bouncedaround thenortheast, moving from one assistant pro job to another,waiting for thebreak when I would land a high paying job as a head pro ata good club. Mywife Mary was always supportive and never complained, eventhough I knew thelack of real roots bothered her and was not the best thingfor our littlegirl, Katie. Three years ago, the break came and I landedmy dream job. Webought a house and all was well, for a year at least.

Around Christmas, 1998, I started getting occasionallydizzy and didnthave my usual energy. I went for a check up, where thedoctor found nothingwrong, but I had lost weight, down to 165. I was given somevitamins andtold to take it easy over the winter. Most likely, it wasthe stress of myfirst year on the new job. I did everything I was told, andweighed myselfevery other day. Two weeks later, I had lost another 5pounds, barelybreaking the 160 mark on the scale. I started to beconcerned.

Concern turned to bewilderment on the night of my 38thbirthday. Maryand I were going to our favorite restaurant to celebrate.

We both gotdressed up fancy, which we rarely did, and Mary even put onhigh heels. Shedoesnt' like to wear them because she's a little selfconscious about her 5ft. 10 inch height, and her 3 inch heels made her slightlytaller than me. Ialways loved her look in them though and she made anexception for mybirthday. Mary was packed off to my parents for the weekendand we werelooking forward to a romantic evening.

As I was zipping her dress for her, I casually remarkedthat I didn'tknow she had bought new shoes with a higher heel. Sheturned around with apuzzled look on her face and asked me what I was talkingabout. I said shejust seemed a bit taller and I assumed she had new shoes.

As we stood faceto face, I became confused too. My eyes were below hernose. I asked her totake her shoes off, and I did likewise. Standing side byside, we looked inthe mirror and I was barely taller than my lovely wife, bywhat seemed lessthan an inch.

'I think your should see my brother's chiropractor, Honey.

I thinkyou've shrunk a little. I understand it happens as we age,because ofcompression in the spinal discs. He can probably straightenyou out beforeit starts really causing you pain.' It's probably from allthose years ofyou hauling those damn golf bags around and stooping toplace the ball forthose idiot students of yours. I chuckled at hercharacterization of thewealthy members of the club that paid my salary andaccepted her explanationas reasonable. We went to dinner and had a wonderful time.

That night,while making love, I had the odd feeling that I was notjust shorter thanbefore because of a back problem, but that everything aboutme was slightlysmaller. As I held Mary's hand, it seemed bigger than ithad. As our legsentwined, hers seemed longer. As we kissed, her tonguefilled my mouth morethan I remembered. I chalked it up to too much wine and anoveractiveimagination. I decided to see the chiropractor as soon aspossible.

PART 2The appointment was set for the following week. I noticedmy clothes werestarting to feel big on me. The cuff of my pants dragged onthe floor. Myshoes were loose. The sleeves on my sweater were long. Ifelt paranoid. Icouldn't actually be shrinking beyond would could be curedby a simplestretching of the back muscles to relieve tightness andcompression.

Although I said nothing to Mary, I sensed that it wassomething far moreserious. I arrived at the doctor's office and was asked tostrip to myunderwear in the examination room. After a few minutes, awoman entered andintroduced herself as Dr. Leslie Cody. I was a little takenaback, as I hadbeen expecting a man. I was even more taken aback when Istood to greet herand realized that she towered over me. My eyes were belowher chin and I hadto crook my neck up to speak to her. I reflexively dartedmy eyes to thefloor to discover she was wearing flats! Standing there inmy underwear infront of this woman's commanding presence, I felt like avulnerable littleboy.

I was told to stand on the scale and did as I was toldwithout a word.

To my shock, she read off my new vital statistics. I wasnow 5 ft 9 ¼, 152pounds. It struck me that I was now shorter and lighterthan Mary. TheDr. asked me a series of general questions, but when I toldher I used to be6 ft tall, she simply chuckled. She explained that peoplemight shrink asmuch as an inch or two over the course of many years, Noone shrinks almost 3inches in a mater of weeks. Very rarely are people theactual height theythink they are, she explained. I was probably just mistakenabout everactually being six feet tall. I debated whether to tell herabout mycomparison to Mary, the clothes, the shoes, but realizedshe simply wouldn'tbelieve me. I allowed her to examine me, take x-rays andexplore thealignment of my spine with her hands, which actually feltvery good. In theend, she measured me again and nothing had changed. Shethen told me what Iinstinctively knew would be her only conclusion, that therewas nothing wrongwith me. I went home angry, confused and scared.

That evening, I found myself avoiding standing next toMary. I reallydidn't want to have her notice that I was now smaller thanshe was. Itdidn't last long. We passed each other in the kitchen afterdinner and 12year old Katie all of a sudden shrieked with laughter,'Hey, Dad! Whathappened? Mom is taller than you!' 'Don't be silly, Katie,'chided Mary, Iam not bigger than Daddy.' 'Oh yes you are. Stand back toback. Please?'Reluctantly, I stood with my back to Mary's as our daughtershouted with glee'Wow! Mom is at least an inch taller. That's so cool!'Mary turned to face me with a look of confusion on her faceand I saw herlook to the ground to confirm that I was in my socks andshe in herpantyhose. 'Ok, honey. I guess you're right. Now go do yourhomework.' AsKatie bounded up the stairs, it occurred to me that I wasonly five inchestaller than she was now, and we were going in oppositedirections. Thethought of actually being smaller than Katie gave me anawful feeling in thepit of my stomach. Mary jolted me out of my thought bytaking my hands inher now larger hands and asking, with greatconcern, 'Bill, What'shappening?' I simply shrugged my shoulders. I had noanswer.

PART 3I decided to just wait a few weeks to see if the shrinkingstopped on itsown. It didn't.

Luckily, it was the season when northern golf pros are onvacationanyway, so I didnt have to show up at the club for a while.

By mid January,I was 5 ft 7, 138 pounds. None of my clothes fit me. Wedecided to goshopping when I realized that my shoes were now so big onme, I couldn't wearthem without tripping over myself. Mary suggested that,until we get to thestore to get new shoes, I wear her penny loafers. Youcouldn't tell theywere women's shoes to look at them and they just might fit.

To my surpriseand embarrassment, I put them on, over a pair of Mary'swhite athletic socks,and they fit perfectly. 'Now I'm not just a shrimp, I'm atransvestite too',I grumbled. Mary smiled and just told me to not be silly.

It was just for acouple hours and no one could tell. With a sly grin sheadded, 'It will beour little secret', and kissed me on the forehead.

At the mall, everything was a new experience to me. I wasused to beingable to see over crowds and look down to men and womenalike. Now, the onlypeople I could see over were children and the occasionalpetite woman whomight wonder by. I felt weak and puny. I feared what layahead as I grewsmaller. I tried on and bought some shirts and pants, whichtook quite sometime since I had no idea of my size. We decided to keep itto just a fewthings, since I may not fit them in a matter of weeks. Atthe shoe store, Iwas waited on by a giant black man, who had to be 6 ft 6300 pounds. As heprepared to measure my foot, he noticed from the labelinside the pennyloafers next to me on the floor that they were women's. Hesmiled at me andsaid he liked my taste in loafers and held my foot in hishand longer than heneeded to. His hand was bigger than my foot and before heput my foot on themeasurer, he told me that he could see already I was a 7 ½C. A wave ofanger and fear spread over me as I realized this blackgiant was making apass at me because he thinks I'm a crossdresser. I wantedto get up and run,but I didn't want to have to explain things to Mary. I felthumiliated. Hefinally measured my foot the right way and I was, in fact,a 7 ½ C I boughta pair of casual shoes and a pair of sneakers and got outas fast as I could.

On the ride home, Mary mentioned that at least now I hadsome decentclothes to wear to Katie's music recital at school in acouple weeks. I hadbeen able to avoid neighbors and friends so far, and I toldher that I didn'tthink I was really up to a public event like that until Ifigured out whatwas happening to me. For the first time since the shrinkingstarted, Maryshowed a flash of anger at me. 'Well then, you had betterstart finding adoctor who can help you, because we are not disappointingthat child afterall the work she's put into this.' I felt scolded andmeekly agreed.

Three days later, I was at the University hospital, beingexamined by thechief of internal medicine. I was admitted overnight and aseries of testswere run. The next morning, the doctor asked me if I hadbeen urinating morethan usual since the shrinking started. Thankful that he atleast appearedto believe that I was indeed shrinking, I thought back andrealized that Ihad been. Expecting a diagnosis and cure on the spot, sinceI had given himthe answer he was expecting, he simply gave a thoughtful'HMMM' and told meto come back in two weeks for follow up tests.

As I dressed, I was feeling somewhat hopeful, and decidedto take Mary todinner at a fancy restaurant. My spirits were higher thanthey had beensince the beginning, for a few minutes at least. That waswhen I turned acorner in the hallway and was steamrolled over by a hugewoman in a greenhospital uniform. I went down like a sack of potatoes andwas momentarilystunned. The woman, speaking in some language I didn'tunderstand, wasapologetic in her tone and I suddenly found myself beinglifted to my feetwith her hands in my armpits. Still babbling away in whatsounded likeRussian, she brushed me off as she would a child, tussledmy hair and wentabout her business. I realized she had handled me as easilyas I might havehandles Katie a few months ago. Totally embarrassed, Idecided that dinnerout was not a good idea just yet. I met Mary in the lobbyand told hernothing except that they want more tests in two weeks. Aswe approached thecar in the parking lot, Mary got in the driver's seat. Thatwould seemnatural, as it was her car and she had driven to thehospital to pick me up,but it was the first time she had driven when we weretogether since beforewe were married, regardless of which car we were using.

Something in thedynamics of how we were relating was changing, and I feltinsecure that I waslosing my once unquestioned benevolent dominance over ourrelationship.

Neither of us said a word, but the change was thick in theair.

PART 4The following Friday was the music recital. I contemplatedfakingillness, but ultimately decided that I had to face themusic eventually, soto speak. I had taken to wearing sweats and t-shirts aroundthe house, andhad not yet worn my new clothes. I should have used themmore when I had thechance.

I had not measured my height since the hospital, but I hadcontinued toweigh I every other day. I knew I was down to 125 poundsand really did notwant to know how short I had become. Mary was starting tolook like anamazon to me. The new clothes were all big on me now,although they fitclosely enough to wear without fear of them falling off.

Mary dressed up inthe same dress she had worn for my birthday. This time, shewas wearingflats, which did not compliment the dress at all. When Isaw this, I feltbad for her, knowing she was going out of her way to avoidembarrassing me.

I told her how much I liked her in heels and asked her toput them on. Shehesitated, but agreed. Then, she apparently misread myintentions. Shewalked toward me with a sly grin and said 'So you thinkyour great big wifeis sexy, huh little guy?', as she drew me to her in a hugthat mashed my faceinto her chest. My initial reaction was to pull away, whichprovedimpossible. After a second or two, I felt myself beingaroused. I didn'tunderstand why. While I knew there were men who hadfantasies of being withwomen much larger than they were, that had never been mything. Yet, Icouldn't deny the feel of my growing erection against hershapely thigh.

Leaning down, she kissed me full on the lips and thenreleased me, saying wedidn't want to be late.

At that moment, Katie knocked on the bedroom door andcomplained throughthe door that she cant wear 'these stupid shoes' with herdress, and that shejust had to wear her new ones. I had no idea what she wastalking about, butMary sighed for a moment and finally told Katie to go aheadand wear the newshoes. Katie screamed with glee as she trotted back to herroom. 'What'sthe big deal about a pair of shoes?', I asked. Mary took myhands in hersand told me how important it is for a girl her age to beseen as stylish.

She had allowed her to get a new pair of shoes the otherday, but told hershe couldn't wear them tonight. Seeing I still had no clue,she squeezed myhand a little and told me that they were platform shoesthat would make Katiequite a bit taller than me and she didnt know if I wasready for that. Shealso told me that, in case I hadn't noticed, Katie was in agrowth spurt.

She might even be taller than me without the shoes. She haddiscussed thesethings with Katie, but she didn't really understand how myshrinking musthave been affecting me. For the first time since the ordealbegan, angerrose within me. I was being treated as an object of pity bymy wife and evenmy daughter. I decided to put an end to it once and for allI stormed into the hallway and called for Katie. She camefrom her roomin a beautiful new dress and clunky platform shoes. Iwalked right up to herand found her to be at least three inches taller. Iconfronted her. Ascalmly as I could in my state of rage, I explained to herwhat she alreadyknew about my shrinking and added that just because she maysoon outgrow me,I am still the head of this family and she should neverworry aboutembarrassing me. I would figure out the problem and be backto normal soonenough. In the meantime, nothing has changed. Mary steppedin and askedKatie if she understood what I was saying. Confused, thepoor girl noddedyes, but added that she didn't do anything wrong. Marycomforted her, saying'We know, Sweetie. Daddy just had to clear the air alittle. Now go finishyour hair and we'll leave in a few minutes.' I felt awfulnow and addednothing to Mary's comments. I turned to walk away and Maryfollowed behind.

As Katie went back to her room, I could swear I heard afaint giggle.

PART 5The recital was not as traumatic as I had feared. I hadanticipatedhaving to field countless questions from other parentsabout my new size, butit never happened. Mary went early with Kate to help herget ready and Islipped in the back of the auditorium after the lights wentdown. Duringintermission, no one seemed to recognize me. One fathergave me a quizzicallook as if he thought he knew me, but looked away quickly,apparentlydeciding that I must just be someone that looks like me,only smaller, like ayounger brother. I slipped out immediately at the end ofthe show and washome a half hour before Mary and Kate.

Daddy, did you see me play?Yes, Katie. You were wonderful. The best of everyone Ithought.

How come I didnt see you there?I was in the back row.

Katie seemed perturbed. She obviously didnt think I went.

Sheapproached me and stood right face to face with me.

Yea? Then what piece did I play? Her tone was angry.

I had recognized the piece, but Im a golf pro. What thehell do I knowabout classical piano? I felt myself going on thedefensive.

I..I dont know the name of it. Its the one youve beenpracticing for twomonths.

Ive been practicing three different pieces. You werent eventhere, wereyou?I looked up at my 12 year old daughter, staring me downfrom atop herplatform shoes, which gave her a small height advantage,and I felt like achild being scolded for fibbing.

Yes I was. It went like . I hummed some of the piece asbest I could.

Oh, Daddy, you were there. Im sorry. She hugged me and Ifelt herstrength. Ive always been very slim and as she hugged me, Ifelt her weightand realized she probably outweighed me already, even if Iwas still slightlytaller.. It was all very disconcerting.

Mary had run to the bathroom as soon as she came in and hadmissed thewhole thing. I didnt mention it. I went right to bed andpretended to beasleep when Mary came in. As she undressed, Isurreptitiously watched,feeling like a voyeur with my own wife. I felt as if i wasbecoming someoneelse and didn't really have the right to watch my own wifeundress. I wasglad I had snuck those three quick shots of Old Granddadbefore they gothome. In a few minutes, I was asleep for real, until thenightmare awoke me.

PART 6 I awoke with a start. A terrifyingly loud andstrange noise was comingfrom outside. The room was bright, though it was the middleof the night.

I ran to thewindow and realized on the way there that this was not mybedroom. Thefurniture wasdifferent. The window was in the wrong place. Here the hellwas I? Then Irealized Iwas naked. The noise got louder. I looked out the windowand it semed thatthe streetwas moving, buckling like a bridge in an earthquake. And itwasnt my street.

I saw nofamiliar landmarks. It didnt even look like a street now,more like shiftingsands. It wasthe color of sand.I ran out of the room and found thestairway, running toget outside andsee where the hell I was and what was happening. I ran outthe front door,oblivious tomy nakedness, and was able to see all that was before me. Ifroze in shock.

The shiftingground was not the ground at all. It was, unbelievably, mylovely wife,seemingly as longas a football field . Her breasts heaved back and forth asshe lay on herback, makingnoises I had never heard before. Was she in pain? I had tohelp her somehow.

No. Wait.

Whats that? Between her legs. It cant be. A head, the sizeof a full grownweepingwillow tree. A tongue, sliding itself across my wifes No.

This cant behappening.

I banged my head on the door a few rimes to try to knocksome sense intomyself. Thehead loked up. It must have heard me. O shit! Its eyeslooked right at me.

I scanned itsface and my stomach turned. It was Bob Lent, my assistantpro. He laughed.

Hey, Mary. Look whos up! You said hed sleep for hours..

Damn it! Heshould have slept till the morning with the dose I gavehim. Bill, you getback in yourhouse right now and well discuss this in the morning. Myhouse? I turnedandlooked at the house I had just left and suddenly recognizedit. It wasKaties old dollhouse. I stood there, frozen. Bill, I said get back insideand go backto bed.

NOW! My giant wife was bellowing at me. Aww, leave him beMary. It lookslike he was enjoying the show. Come here, little fella,wanna get a closerlook? Stopit Bob. Cant you see hes scared enough already? Scared,schmared. Hewasnt tooworried about my feelings last year when he thought hecould fire me. Hewas a big manthen. His gaze never left mine..Not such a big man now, areyou Billy? NowImgonna show you how a real man makes love to your wife. Comehere. Ill giveyou aclose up look.BOB! Dont. Leave him be. You might hurt him.

Come herelittle man. His hand reached for me. It was wider than Iwas tall. Ibacked up againstthe house. A thumb and forefinger encircled my waist. I wasbeing lifted. Iscreamed. Iscreamed again. Wake up honey. Wake up. Youre having a baddream. Astrong hand held my shoulder, lightly shaking me. I openedmy eyes. I wasback in myown bed. Mary was beside me. You were screaming bloodymurder. What thehellwere you dreaming? I gathered myself, rolled onto my backand lookedaround.

Everything was as it should be. Im sorry sweetheart. It wasnothing. Goback tosleep.You sure? Thats not like you.Im sure. Sorry I wokeyou.We both rolledbackover , back to back. OK, if you say so.It was not untilthen that I noticedmyerection.                                                                                                                         Part 7                                                                                                                       A week later, I was back at the hospital for further testing. Mary drove, as hadbecome the the unspoken norm since I had become smaller than she. I was sent toan examining room and told to disrobe. After sitting naked for what seemed likean hour, geting angrier by the minute that they had not supplied me with a gown,a large black nurse with a Jamaican accent entered and chuckled at me. 'What youdoing sitting there with no clothes on ? ' I stood to protest and realized shewas taller than Mary and twice as wide. I felt like a little boy cought doingsomething wrong. 'They, ... I mean ... the other nurse didn't give me a gown''Well, no matter. You don't have anything I haven't seen before>' Again shelooked down at me and chuckled. 'Let's measure you and weigh you and then wellget you something to wear, OK?' Her tone was very condescending. She motioned meto step on the scale and I shudered when I heard the readings. 'My, You're alittle one now, aren't you? Five foot two and a half and 112 pounds.'I guilped at the realization that I was shrinking evenfaster than I had been. The nurse left the room and returned a mamoent later,tossing me a gown. Again, I was left alone with my thoughts for what seemed aneternity. How small would I become? How would I continue my job if I continuedto shrink? How would I support the family?Technicians then started coming and going, taking from memy blood, my urine, my stool, my saliva, a scraping of my skin, a lock of myhair, and even a vial of my semen. None of them could provide an explanation ofwhy the samples were needed, but all assured me it was just 'routine' The semensample was particularly difficult for me to produce, as the setting was hardlyarousing to me. Searching my brain for an image to conjure up the necessaryexcitiement, a memory from years past, long ago buried, forced its way into myconsciousness.

I remembered the day I first saw Mary. She and her familyhad just moved into the neighborhood and we shared a bus stop. I was fifteenyears old and just starting senior high school. I was also skiny and scrawny.

Altough it didn't occur to me at the hospital, I remember now that at the time Iwas the same size I was again at the hospital, about five foot two and 112pounds. I was shy, geeky and introverted. As far as I knew, I was the only kidin my grade never to have had a date or kissed a girl. Even the kids in thechess club had each other. My small size and young face made me look like Ibelonged in sixth grade, not 10th, and I didn't have the personality to overcomemy 'shortcomongs'. The second I saw Mary, my heart melted, for she was the mostbeautiful girl I'd ever seen. I knew immediately she was out of my leaguethough, as she seemed a foot taller than me and obviously a senior, or at leasta junior. I knew from that moment on that I would have to be content withworshipping her from afar.

I studied her and sensed that she was uneasy and seemed asshy as I was. She talked to no one and seemed to slouch, as if trying to hidethe fact that she was tall. I wanted to say hello, but my fears ruled and I saidnothing. She looked my way and I managed a weak smile and nod, before quiocklylooking away. As I turned my gaze, I thought I saw her smile back, but I chalkedthat up to wishful thinking.

Seconds later, the junior high school bus pulled up and, tomy amazement, Mary got on. It wasn't until three weeks later, after watching herevery morning at the bus stop, when my parents invited Mary's parents over fordrinks, that I learned she was only 12 and in the seventh grade. For somereason, that information gave me some hope that, if I do something over the nextcouple of years to make a name for myself, maybe a short skinny 17 year oldwould have a chance with a tall beautiful 14 year old. I thought and thought allnight. I knew I was too small for football and basketball and had never realyliked baseball. I wasn't smart enough to be valedictorian or anything like that.

I remembered though that, the summer before, my father had taken me to the localgolf course and I played for the first time. As I hit the ball off the firsttee, I was surprised that it sailed straight down the fairway about 150 yards,but I assumed it was just an easy thing to do. The club pro happened to bewatching and complimented me, asking how long I had been playing. When I toldhim it was my first time, he didn't believe me until my father confirmed it. Forreasons I didn't undersdtand at the time, the pro seemed to be following mearound as I played the round. I hit a lot of bad shots and had no idea how toputt, but I also hit many good shots. At one point, he came over and adjusted mygrip and told me to swing as hard as I could at the ball. The ball sailed overthe green from 180 yards out. When we finished, he told me I had an unusualnatural talent for the game and that he could make me a fine player if I waswilling to devote the effort to learn. Lessons were expensive though and myfather politely tolf him we weren't imn a financial position to make golf apriority. As we were leaving, the pro called to me that, as soon I was 15, if Iwanted to work at the course and get free golf and lessons, I should come onback.

As I lay in bed thinking of Mary, I decided to become thebest golfer my school had ever seen. Then she'd pay attention.

Sitting on the hospital toilet, gown bunched up around mywaist, I remembered watching Mary that first day at the bus stop. I rememberedwanting to kiss her, but not knowing what it would really be like. I remeberedwanting to touch her breasts, already evident under her bulky clothes. As thememories flooded into me, my juices flooded out of me. My mission wasaccomplished.

I never did see the doctor that day and was told to comeback in a week, after he reviewed the labn results. On the ride home, Mary toldme she had the strangest day dream as she was waiting for me. She said she wasremembering the first time we met. The first time we actually spoke was when Iwas a senior and was receiving the award as male athlete of the year at a yearend awards dinner for athletes. I had filled out to 6 feet tall by then and hadrealized my goal of becomong the best golfer in the school. In fact, i hadbecome the best high school golfer in the state, winning the state tournement bysix shots. Mary was sitting next to me on the dias, being honored as the femaleathelete of the year. Still only a freshman, she had won the state all aroundswimming title, setting two state records in the process. She had no isea I haddone it all for her and that I had been worshipping her for more than two years.

To this day, I have never told her. We spoke and got along great, each of ushaving overcome our shyness, at least to a point. By nights end, we had agreedto a date for the movies and our life together had begun.

'Yes, honey, I'll never forget that awards dinner. You werebeautiful.''No silly, not the awards dinner. At the bus stop my firstday of school in seventh grade. You smiled at me and I smiled back. You were thecutest little thing I'd ever seen. I had a crush on you for years. I evenstarted swimming to get your attention. I bet you didn't know that did you?Funny how things turn out'I looked across at my huge wife and she sniled at me as sheput her arm around me and hugged me to her. I switched off the air conditionerin the hoipes my goose bumps would goaway.                                                                                                                        PART 8Another week passed and I could tell I was still becomingsmaller.My new clothes were all too big on me, as well as my shoes. Katie wasdefinitely bigger than me now, and I found myself avoiding being close to her.

One day, I came into the kitchen to have coffee with Mary,and I tripped over my own pants. I fell ass over tea kettle, losing one of mynow oversized shoes in the process. Mary rushed to help me up, and as shebrushed me off, i felt like she was inspecting me for cuts and bruises, just asshe did when Katie was younger and would fall.

'Looks like we have to do something about this clothessituation again. Until we get to go shopping, I have a plan. Come with meupstairs.' It wasn't a request or a suggestion. It was a direction. Mary hadnever spoken to me like that before. I was confused and embarrassed by the fall.

Part of me wanted to say 'Whoa! Who do you think you're talking to?' For reasonsI still don't understand, I said nothing and just followed her up.

As Mary proceeded me up the stairs, I watched her firmbttocks and strong legs, a sight i had always enjoyed in the past. My feelingnow was different. It was not my usual lustful appreciation. In retrospect, Itwas fear: fear that I was no longer man enough for someone that big and strong.

It was also intimidation, realizing as I looked at her most powerful body part,just how much stronger she must be than I was at the moment.

'Go in the bedroom. I'll be there in a minute' Again, I didas directed, without a word. As I sat on the bed, my feet now dangling wherethey once reached the floor, I heard Mary go into the attic and return momentslater with a big black garbage bag full of clothes. She spilled the clothes ontothe bed, an assortment of mostly jeans, t shirts and socks.

' Start trying these on. Most of it should fit.''Where'd you get this stuff,Mary?''Don't worry where I got it, just see if it fits.' Therewas impatience in her voice.

I hesitated, but started to undress, as she rummagedthrough the pile. As I got down to just underpants and socks, she turned to meand looked disapprovingly. I looked down and saw my shorts hanging off my hips,about to let go and fall to the ground. The toes of my socks extended a fullinch past my feet.

'Those shorts have to go too. I'll pick you up sometomorrow. The socks I think we can handle here.' Take it all off and try theseon', as she handed me a pair of jeans and a t- shirt. I protested and said I'llleave my shorts on thank you very much, and her impatience grew.

'Honestly, Bill, do you think I'll see something new inthere? Maybe smaller, but not new.'Before I could even react, her tone changed and she wasimmediately apologizing. 'I'm sorry, honey. That came out the wrong way. I knowthis is hard on you. It' hard and stressful on me too. I'm so worried aboutyou.'The apoloy was sincere, but the damage was done . I felthumiliated.

'Now let's just get this over with, Ok honey? Take offeverything and try these on. 'I meekly sripped off my remaining coverings as she lookedon with a watchful eye. Again, i felt like she was regarding me as a child, nota man. I tried on several sets of jeans and t shirts plus a couple of buttondown shirts which i had trouble with, because the buttons were backwards forsome reason. About half of the stuff fit, while the other half was a bit toosmall. The things that fit she put in my dresser. The things that were too smallwent back in the bag and up to the attic..

Upon her return, she was carrying a pair of Nike sneakersthat looked brand new, but upon closer inspection I could tell they had beenslightly worn. I put them on over some white crew socks from the bag and theyfit just right.

I felt much better as I went back downstairs, dressed in awell fitting pair of Levi's and a flannel shirt from the Gap. When I asked herabout the buttons, Mary told me that's a thing that the Gap does to nake theirclothes a litle different. Never having been a shopper, it seemed reasonableenough for me. I was still curious about the origin of the clothes, but let itslide, figuring she'd tell me when she was ready.

Just then, Katie walked in the front door, returning fromschool. She said hello and started upstairs , but stopped and turned back to mewih a quizzical look on her face.

'Daddy....?' She walked over to me and stepped close. Inher platform shoes, I was barely as tall as her shoulder as she looked down atme.

'Daddy, Is that my shirt from last year?'A second later she took my arm and turned me to look at thelabel on the back of the jeans. 'And are those my old jeans?''Of couse not. Don't be sil...' I didn't finish the word asI saw Mary walking up behind Katie with a sad look on her face. I looked up atMary in bewilderment. 'They.. they're not, are they?'Mary didn't say a word, she just nodded yes.

Upon seeing this, Katie screeched with laughter and turnedback to me, looking me over again. 'You look so cute in them Daddy. Well, i havehomework.' She bounded up he stairs, muttering to noone in particular how shecouldnt wait to call Cindy laer to tell her.

I felt a tear well up in my eye as Mary stepped to me andwrapped her arm around me, drawing me to her chest and stroking my hair as Iburied my cheek in her bosom andcried.                                                                                                                                     Part9                                                                                                                        Weeks passed and i continued to grow smaller. Tests and more tests were done. Iwas able to get a paid leave of absence from work, but I knew that wouldn't lastforever. The doctors said they had figured out part of the problem, but hadnever seen it before and didn't know what to do about it. It seems that i wasshrinking at the cellular level, with my individual cells becoming smaller as aresult of losing fluid. I was also secreting a hormone that had never been seenbefore, but they didn'.t know if the two were connected.

Life at home settled into a routine. I rarely went out,except for medical visits, and I helped out a lot at home. Mary took a part timejob. She didn't say anything, but I knew she was worried about me being able tosupport the family. I had new clothes, mostly things like t-shirts that could belong and loose as I grew smaller, and gym shorts or sweat pants with an elasticwaist. Mary usually bought them without me, because she knew shopping in thechildren's section embarrassed me. The first time I had to do it I wasmortified.

Mary took me to the mall and we headed to the boys'department at Sears. We weren;t sure of my size, but Mary knew that Kate hadrecently outgrow girls size 14, so we started with boys 14. She picked out apair of jeans and a polo shirt and told me to go in the dressing room to trythem on. She waited outside for a few moments while I changed, then called to mewith a hint of impatience in her voice to ask if they fit. I had alreadydetermined that they were way too big, but didn't want to yell it out. When Ihesitated, Mary came into the room and pulled aside the curtain. 'Obviouslythey're too big. Why didn't you answer me?' She was making me feel like amisbehaved child, though I am sure that wasn't her intention.

Before I could stammer out an answer, the salesladyappeared at the entrance to the room and asked Mary if there was anything shecould help her with. She smiled a little smile in my direction, but did notaddress me. . Mary told the woman, who appeared to be well into her 60s, thatshe was having trouble getting the right size. 'Oh, you're not alone,' repliedthe saleslady, 'they grow like weeds at this age. My grandson is already out ofthings I got for him just six months ago. The best thing is to just takemeasurements and check the charts.' With that, she produced a tape measure fromher dress pocket and addressed me directly for the first time. 'Ok, sweety, letstake off that shirt and those pants and see how much you've grown.' I looked toMary to save me from this awkward moment, but she simply Said, 'It's ok, honey.

The lady is just going to measure you so we can get the right size clothes foryou.' The smirk on her face told me she thought it was funny that the saleswomanthought I was a young boy, and that she had no intention of telling herotherwise. When I stood there motionless for a second or two, Mary simplystepped to me and, before I could react, took the shirt I was wearing andslipped it up and over my head, leaving me bare chested. 'Shall I do the pants,too, or are you big enough to cooperate now?' Red faced, I undid the pants andslipped them off, so that I was now standing before Mary and the batty old ladyin nothing but my socks and the new briefs that Mary had bought me the daybefore.

As she started to measure my chest, waist and hips, the oldlady tried to make small talk with me by asking me what grade I was in. When Ididn't answer, Mary just chimed in that I can be very shy with people I don'tknow. 'Well, that's a good thing to be careful with strangers, the way the worldis these days.' Addressing me again, when she had finished the measurements, thelady said, 'Do you think you'll be all right here by yourself for a few minuteswhile Mom and I go pick out a few things that should fit you?' I shot an angrylook at Mary, who was having trouble keeping a straight face, and she answeredfor me that I would be fine, as the two of them walked out, leaving me standingthere in my underwear.

Mary returned a little later, alone, with an armload ofclothes in sizes 10 and 12. Most fit fine and we bought about a week's worth ofcasual outfits. When we got to the car, I exploded. I yelled at Mary to never dothat to me again. Her initial reaction was to laugh it off, saying it was funnyto see the old lady so easily confused, and that it was certainly better to lether think I was a little boy than to try to explain that I was shrinking. Whenshe saw that logic didn't persuade me and that I was still very upset, shechanged her demeanor and apologized. Since that day, she simply brought homeclothes whenever she thought i needed them and we never discussed the matteragain.

That night, we made love for the first time in a long time.

It was a new experience being so much smaller than Mary, and both disconcertingand strangely erotic at the same time. There was no question who was stronger,as i found myself being turned twisted and rolled into various positions byMary, seemingly without effort. When we were done, I was laying on top of her,my head between her breasts and my feet on her shins. The last thing I rememberbefore falling asleep in that position was Mary kissing the top of my head andhumming a lullaby .