Teresa’s Dilemma

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]eresa lounged in the sun room of her country home, paging through her wedding album, smiling over snapshots taken barely seven weeks ago. Alone in the house on this quiet afternoon, she bathed sedately in the sunlight, enjoying the peaceful mid-day ambiance of a breeze filtering through the open window and the distant hum of the refrigerator.

Suddenly, a faint scratching sound from the window caught her attention. She looked over in time to see the drapes on the right side shudder.

She rose silently and tip-toed over to investigate. Near the floor, visible through the material, a small creature was clinging to the drapes, apparently trying to climb.

Teresa quickly withdrew from the room and closed the door. Moments later, she returned with broom in hand. The unidentified animal was no longer on the drapes. She knelt down and saw a flash of movement under the apolstered chair. She moved the chair aside and dragged a table out. With a panicked cry, she swung her broom at a small animal running across the carpet.

She froze. Her eyes widened.

There, trapped in the corner of the room, stood a tiny figure no more than eight inches high, held at bay by Teresa’s outstretched broom. It was a man, clothed in a grey suit and tie.

“Arthur!” exclaimed Teresa.

“Teresa, this isn’t what it looks like!” he shouted.

“What are you doing here?” she cried. “Why are you so tiny? Have I gone insane?”

“Listen carefully, Teresa. I’m not the same Arthur that you know. I’m a visitor from an alternate universe.”

“What on Earth? Does this mean your experiments were finally successful?”

“Yes– not your Arthur’s experiments, but my own experiments in an alternate timeline. I was able to cross over into your realm.”

“But why did it change your size?”

“That was an unexpected consequence,” said the miniature man. “The scale of dimensions here are different, so that I’m a tiny creature among giants.”

“Arthur, why were you trying to climb the drapes?”

“I was trying to get through the open window so I could get back to the lab. I intended to transport myself there, but since the buildings are laid out differently in this dimension, I materialized in your bedroom. I tried to sneak by you; I was afraid that the shock of seeing me would do you harm. You see, Teresa, in my dimension, you and I are married.”

“What?!? But I married Frank!”

“Yes,” said the diminutive scientist. “I saw your wedding photo in the bedroom. Apparently, in your dimension, Arthur never worked up the courage to tell you his feelings. You ended up marrying his assistant.”

“Oh! This is just too much to absorb!” cried Teresa.

“Please, Teresa, I don’t know how long I can survive in this dimension. I need to see Arthur and Frank right away. I’m hoping they can figure out a way to send me back.”

Teresa was taken aback. “You want to talk to Arthur and Frank?”

“Yes,” said the tiny figure. “They’re the only ones who can help me!”

Teresa shook her head. “That can’t happen! I won’t allow it!”

The little Arthur suddenly comprehended, and made a dash for it. Teresa brought down her broom, but missed the running figure. She turned and took another swing at him, and hit the wedding album laying on the couch. The heavy album slid off the couch just as the fleeing scientist was dashing by. It came down on top of him.

She picked the album up. The tiny man lay perfectly still on the carpet. She went to the kitchen and got some detergent, paper towels and a grocery bag. Back in the sun room, she transferred the tiny body to the grocery bag and cleaned up a small red stain. She dropped the paper towels into the grocery bag and folded it up.

She got dressed in her gardening clothes and carried the folded bag out to the flower garden. She dug a deep hole with a trowel and dropped the bag in. She transferred a potted plant into the same hole and carefully smoothed the ground. Just then, a car pulled in the driveway.

“Welcome home, darling!” shouted Teresa, walking towards the car.

Frank, handsome and athletic in his lab coat, jumped out of the car, trotted over and embraced his wife. “Hey, Love Cakes, how was your day?”

“Boring,” she said. “Just waiting for you.”

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