I truly am sorry for this chapter being so late. This idea turned out more difficult than I first thought and there have been some serious turns of events happening in my life that I had to put several things, including this story, on hold. I want to make it clear that I haven't abandoned any of my fics, but I will warn everyone that because of the way things are right now and since I am writing out of my usual style, there is a high probability that some stories will be on hiatus between chapters. Hopefully I can manage my time well enough again to keep up with all my tales better.
It took some time for Hope to get her bearings. For some reason she had felt very dizzy and off balanced from the powerful flash of light she had seen just moments ago. She began calling out to the others as she stumbled around while rubbing at her sore eyes. It hadn't been long before she ran right into something very big, very soft, and really fuzzy. Now, even more confused than before, the redhead shook her head and was finally able to clear her blurred vision. What she saw in front of her was a wall of soft brown felt, towering will above her small stature, and just beyond that was a giant recognizable head of a sweet teddy bear.
Ron knew that he was in trouble. First he gets some kind of light flashed in his face. Then he was suddenly alone in the room and for some odd reason a surprisingly large wooden toy car was sitting right in front of him. He took a moment to question wither or not he was seeing things when a shrill of a scream had broken out from somewhere behind him. Recognizing the voice, he gets a sudden rush of adrenaline and ran like mad towards the cry and found his redheaded female friend hysterical. She was on the verge of fainting dead away, jumping and fidgeting away from what had to be the biggest stuffed bear he had even seen in his life.
"Hope!" Ron had yelled as he tried to grab the girl before she hurts herself in someway. "Hope calm down!" He finally had to settle for grabbing her by her upper arms and forcing her to look and focus on him. "Get a hold of yourself!"
The commotion they were making had attracted the rest of their group whom were just as freaked out by what they were seeing. Patrick had been lost in a city of building blocks when he heard the shouting. Justin had somehow gotten stuck on top of a jack-in-the-box, which had unexpectedly popped up and sent him flying a short distance into some play-dough, which, thankfully, was still soft enough to cushion his fall. Jennifer and Heather had gotten trapped in the folds of the window curtains and had managed to crawl out from under them when they heard Hope scream. Now that they were all together again and in relative safety they huddled around each other while they tried to calm the most affected by this unexplainable phenomena. It had taken sometime, but they had managed to calm the red head down enough to sit down on a large plastic doughnut ring.
"Okay!" Heather stated out loud as she tried to keep a cool head. "Okay, lets all get a grip here and figure things out."
"Figure things out?!" Justin half shouted as he paced back and forth in a nervous fashion. "What's there to figure out?!" He didn't like his current state in the least. Everything was too big and imposing. "We've shrunk!"
"No duh, genius!" Patrick had snapped. He was just as scared as the others, but knew that hysterics wouldn't do any of them any good right now. "The question is, how did it happen?" He had to stay calm and keep his wits about him and make sure to help the others do the same.
"This can't be happening…" Jennifer had said in complete disbelief at what she was seeing. "Maybe this is just a dream…" There was just no way that this could be real.
This brought on a rather sarcastic remark from Justin. "That we're all having?"
"Leave her alone, Justin." Patrick warned in response to his friend's current attitude. "We're all in trouble here, alright?"
Ron nodded in agreement. "And we'll all get out of it if we work together." He soon began rubbing t his chin in thought. "Now everyone think." First order of business was to try and figure out what might have caused this to happen to them in the first place. "Did anyone see anything before we've shrank?" He had been next to the door, listening for who ever had been in the hall.
"Jen and I were behind the curtains when it happened." Heather informed the group to help start the thinking process.
Justin had been next to report his position in the room. "I was behind that mountain of toys when that crazy light flashed." He remembered specifically that there had been a flash of light before finding himself on that jack-in-the-box.
"It came from behind me when I was behind the weird stroller." Patrick knew this because he had turned around and nearly slipped on the same play-dough he had fell in.
"The baby…" Hope finally spoke after silently recovering from her initial shock. "I was near the crib and trying to quiet the baby down when…" Her mind brought back the memory exactly what had happened. "His hands started to glow!"
Ron could only blink that the claim. "What?"
"The baby's hands were glowing!" The red head repeated as she insisted on what she had seen. "That's where the light came from!"
Jenifer wasn't so sure she had heard right by that statement. "Are you serious?" That sort of thing is usually found in movies, wasn't it? "What, like, magic?"
"Well that makes a lot of sense." Justin stated with heavy sarcasm dripping from every word. "Did you hit your head on something?" He knew the redhead was known to be a bit paranoid when scared or nervous, but this really took the cake.
However, Patrick didn't find the idea completely far-fetched. "Aaah… Justin…" Especially when he pointed up towards the giant sized baby, glowing like a lamp and hovering right over his crib.
"No… Freaking… Way…" Heather had managed to say despite the speechless moment at hand.
With a cheerful giggle the infant began to descend right over the shrunk group. "Look out!" Ron yelled as soon as he realized exactly where the flying baby was going to land. "Scatter!"
With a yell the entire group spilt up among the nearby toys just as the magic infant touched down with a light thumb. However the vibration of the landing was strong for the tiny teens and had sent a couple of them to stumble in their sprint. At the sight of his new playmates, the red headed babe quickly gave chase and crawled after them. Seeing that there was no way for them to outrun the giant size infant's crawl, Patrick quickly hollered for everyone to run for the mountain of soft toys nearby the crib. With a happy laugh, little Alex chased after the potential new toys as they climbed and scurried into the pile of plush toys to hide. As soon as he had thumbed over to his plushies, the large babe began to grab at the first one in reach in search for the moving targets. Within the virtual cavern of fluff, fur, and felt, the young teens were able to maneuver through to the other side without being spotted by the distracted infant. Justin immediate pointed out the toy castle that was obviously designed to open like a dollhouse. Seeing that the plastic drawbridge was down, the group rushed for it and took shelter within the made up grand hall. Meanwhile they could hear and feel the heavy steps of something very large sending vibration through the ground.
Ms. Fox Xanatos has had a busy day. Receiving the food order for tomorrow night's event and double-checking their quota. Meeting the young volunteer decorators at the lobby and showing them which wing would be used for the haunted house. Collaborating with Owen on the security layout in order to keep out unwanted guests and make sure no one went anywhere they shouldn't and double-checking on the number of guest, servers, media personal, and guards for the grounds. Thank goodness for her darling husband, David, who had agreed to watch their son through the day. Since he could easily conduct his business from his office while watching their baby, it had given her the freedom to handle everything else for this holiday event. Such out of the way charities are always good publicity to have, especially when you're as well known as they were. She had been especially pleased when the visiting students had already marked out the trick-or-treating path with bright colored sticker arrows and had at least a team of four in each room working on a different theme. The preparations for the open house had been steady and would be done in an impressively timely manner. Fox had been so impressed that she made sure that each team had been treated to some baked treats on top of what they had brought for lunch. Those kids had good heads on their shoulders and will go far in life if they continue this kind of work ethic. There have been a near incident when one of the security guard had asked about a group of kids that had came earlier but weren't there anymore, but it had soon been dismissed when one of the teams informed her that some of their friend didn't bring food with them and simply left to grab a bite to eat.
After putting her son down for his nap, Fox had taken the time to leave home and pick up the custom made costumes she had ordered for David and herself. She figured Owen would either change into Puck for the party tomorrow, dress as a squire, or paint and dress in stone gray so that he could just blend in his stone arm with the of him. It ought to make for some interesting reactions when he breaks his steadfast posture to carry out a request. As for the rest of their 'residences', chances are they will either come as they are or the youngsters will at least dress up for the occasion. Keeping track of the time while finishing a few more errands, she had returned home to find that the volunteers had been putting up the finishing touches on each of the rooms. She congratulated them on a job well done and rewarded them further by giving them special passes that will allow them to be first in line for the buffet line that was going to be set up during the festivities.
After checking to see if the bowls of sweets for tomorrow where all accounted for in each room, Fox was now on her way towards the nursery to check on her baby. With any luck he was still napping and would be easier to move him into their personal living room where his nocturnal sitter was currently perched. Yet as she approached closer and closer to the nursery, she began hearing the delight giggles and squeals on her dear special child. Sounds like her son was wide-awake and most likely very active. Thank goodness she had Puck magically seal the windows so that her precious baby couldn't fly out of them. He only just begun to levitate after all and she would very much rather not have her infant trying to follow his favorite playmate out into the night.
As the group of teen did their best to hide from their large pursuer, soon enough the door opened to reveal a giant, redheaded woman in a blue shirt and black jeans entering the room. "Heh, hey, what's so fun in here?" Fox laughed as she made her way to the toddler on the floor, whom at the moment was trying to crawl over his plushie winged bear. "Alex, did you floated out of your crib again?" With a few steps of her massive strive, she reached her giggling child and lifted him up into her arms. "You silly boy." The mother could only laugh herself as she nuzzled her little boy.
While the mother and child bonded over their hug, the teens could only stare from the safety of their hiding spot. "Did she just ask the baby if he 'floated' out of his crib again?" Heather had asked after getting over how much larger the mother was compared to her baby from their new perspective.
"Yeah." A breathless Hope had managed to say in between gasps. "So?"
"So, it means he does it all the time!" Justin half shouted in realization. Which meant that the baby really had to have been the one that shrunk them all before. "Maybe he can change us back as well." With that in mind the group raced out, yelling and calling out in the hopes of getting the mother's attention.
However, for all the commotion they were making, it went unheard by the longhaired woman. "Now come on." Fox chatted with her little son as she began to turn around and walk towards the door. "It's almost nightfall, and you know who comes to visit when it gets dark." Within no time she reached the open door and turned to the left down the hall.
"Wait!" Jenifer had yelled loudly after the giant woman as she easily reached the frame of the door. "Wait, come back!" However all her cries were left unheard as Ms. Xanatos left the room without pause. "Help!"
"It's no good, she can't hear us!" Heather had stated as she kept pace with all her friends towards the open door. "Our voices are too small!"
This only spurred Ron to run faster and encourage the others to do the same. "Then keep running!" The door was wide open, which shouldn't slow them down in the least if they keep up the pace. "We can't lose them!" If they can at least make sure to see which way the lady turned while walking than they should be able to keep up until the find a way to get her attention.
The stone floor proved to be more rugged terrain than they all first thought. The old stone held small ridges and crevasses that might as well been craters and deep ravines to the shrunken teenagers. Not to mention that the grooves in between the stones were practically deep ditches that were easier to get into than out of. Thankfully the happy mother was made to slow down because she was playing with her dear child by lifting him up and down and sometimes gently jiggling him when bringing him down again. This was clearly a favorite game the child enjoyed for he'd laughed, giggled, and wiggled through out the trip. This distraction allowed enough pauses for the tiny group to make up as much distance as possible as they chased the giant woman down the mostly straight hall.
Suddenly without warning, Fox had stopped and turned her son towards a window. "Oooo, who's that?" She cooed at her child playfully as she held him in front of the glass. "Who is that?" From their position, the exhausted teens could only see the reflections of the two giants and figured it was another baby game. "We know who that is don't we?" Whatever the reason the sudden break was prompted, the teeny tiny gang had been grateful for the chance to reach her shoes.
One by one they had been beginning to tire, especially Hope whom had suffered from asthma when she was younger. Ron, being a track runner, and Justine, being a soccer player, had made it to one of the shoes first and coached for the others to hurry before the woman decided to move again. Jennifer was the third to make it, thanks to the stamina she developed through cheerleading, and Patrick, being more of a weight lifter than runner, came up right behind her. Heather had actually backtracked to grab a hold of Hope and half hauled her along so that she wouldn't get left behind. As Ms. Xanatos lightly chuckled at Alex's excitable reaction at the window, she never noticed or felt anything crawling onto her shoe. Each teenager scrabbled like crazy to get at the strap design on the side of the shoe in order to climb up them. The last two girls had barely gotten a hold before Fox began moving again. The sudden movement had the nearly knocked everyone off the shoe and had had the kids gripping tightly at the straps. Patrick instantly secured himself and grabbed Heather by her forearm and managed to hauled her and Hope up to the group. Ron scrambled over during the first step down to grab Hope in order to pull her to a better position and relive some of the weight of his friend's arm. They all held on for dear life, risking to move only in between steps when the foot they were riding was still, until they've all reached the crisscrossed black laces. There, they secured themselves as best they could and could only wait for the large woman to finally stop moving.
It hadn't been long before the mistress of the house reached her destination and continued on toward the balcony door. After opening the door and walking out into cool the night air, she stopped a few feet away from a stone statue. The statue was positioned with it's back facing them and had it's arms positioned above it's head. The stance was wide like it was about to pounce on something below it and made the flared web-wings give the illusion that the stone figure was much larger than it actually was. The tiny teenagers were only too happy that their unknowing scoffer was content to just stay put where she was.
"Okay…" Justin broke the silence after a few tense moments. "We're here." He lifted himself just enough to look at everyone without letting go of his grip on the shoelaces. "Now what?"
"We… We have to get her attention somehow." Ron said after a few deep breaths to slow his heart rate down. Running the equitant to the 100meter dash on top of playing the hero with Hope really took it out of him.
Heather, still shaken from the trip, also kept a tight hold the lace fibers. "M-maybe we could pinch her?"
"Something tells me at this size she won't feel it." Patrick stated as he looked up at the large ankle.
"Alright, Alex, it's almost sundown…" Fox suddenly spoke after watching the last raise of the sun begin to disappear. "Ready in 5… 4…" The happy little count down was met with excitable squeals and little grabby hands at the statue. "3… 2… 1!"
As the count down ended, the twilight at last ended and the sky was dark. A sudden crackling could be heard and from what the miniature group could see, the stone statue was splitting and crumbling. Yet instead of falling apart into a mess of rock and rubble, only small thin slabs began falling and or sliding off of the main structure. Underneath the crumbling stone was a green colored skin that rippled and shivered as if to shed the rock-hard cover off faster. Finally the entire figure just stood up, flinging pieces of stone in every direction and falling just short of spilling onto Fox's shoes. Thankfully the teens had climbed up a little high on the laces so that they could at least try and strap themselves down incase their ride decided to up and move out again. Also the new position gave them a slightly better view of the large creature now turned towards the giant woman and her child, with glowing white eyes. It was when the pint-sized group got over their initial shock that they realized what they had just witnessed. The awakening of a real live gargoyle.