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Lilliput Chronicles

Posted by Charles Gray on July 19, 2011

Having finished my hard sci-fi novel, I’m now venturing into the wonderful world of YA.  The Lilliput Chronicles, set in 2063 is set to come out in the next two months or so, but here’s a teaser from the prologue. I haven’t run it by my friendly editor yet, so their may be goobers. (You must ALL have a friendly editor, or at least one who won’t throw things about you. It makes life much better).

Lilliput Chronicles


50 years ago.

When Denise went to bed, she wasn’t thinking of anything more than a good nights sleep and seeing her Todd in the morning. The Comet Fall, the shower of sparks that had entered the atmosphere like a thousand glowing fireflies, had been just as dramatic as the astronomers had promised.

Denise pulled her covers up, smiling at the fact that unlike the day side, they’d been able to see them in their full glory. The way the stars had almost been blotted out by the falling motes had been like something out of a fantasy story.  The astronomers said it’d keep happening for about the next two weeks.

“Maybe it’ll last until my birthday,” the fifteen year old said to herself.  That’d be great.  she thought.  She’d been trying to get mom to let her have it out at the lake, and if they did, she might be able to dance with Todd under the lights of the Comet Fall.  She smiled at the image as she drifted off to sleep.


The next morning, Denise woke up, yawning, and stretched, arching her back as she worked the kinks out of it.  Half asleep, she took her shower, wondering why it seemed a bit harder to get into it, and then got her school clothes from the dresser.

That was when Denise stopped.  Her clothes were… big.  Way too big for her.  She checked another, and another, and realized they were all like that.

Did Mom play a joke on me?  Her mother was a doctor and didn’t tend to play jokes, but…  Denise grabbed the smallest thing she could find, some old clothes she’d been intending to get rid of, and then started to head out of her room.

Then she stopped in her tracks.

My old clothes, her mind repeated.  The t-shirt with the old rock band that mom hated. The one that she’d bought two years ago and was getting rid of because mom had decided it was too tight to wear in public.

And it was huge on her frame now.

Denise gulped.  “It has to be a joke,” She said, her voice quavering. She walked over to the mirror and looked at the shirt, seeing the stain where she’d spilled ink on it, the tear from catching it on a nail…and the fact that it was far too big for her.

And then, she almost fainted, realizing for the first time, that she was shorter.  The girl that looked out of the mirror at her was identical to the one who had gone to bed last night, but she was almost a foot shorter.

No. This is a bad dream. This can’t be happening, her mind gibbered. People didn’t just shrink.

“Mom!”  Denise shouted. “Mom!” She said again, hysteria in her voice as she ran out of her bedroom.

Coming into the front room, she stopped in disbelief.  Mom was standing in front of the TV, pale and silent…and not much taller than Denise was.  They didn’t look like little kids, Denise thought numbly, it wasn’t like they were getting younger…

Just that they were getting smaller.

“Reports are coming in from all over the world,” the famous anchor said, her face now pale with barely repressed panic, “of individuals who are shrinking.” She paused and took a deep breath. Suddenly Denise realized that she was actually sitting on a stack of books.  The anchor didn’t look like she was much over four feet tall now, if that.


“Shhh!”  Her mom said, eyes fixed on the reporter.

“It, ah…” the woman swallowed and continued, “seems to be related to the Comet Fall, which obviously has had effects greater than what astronomers expected.  The effect is not immediate, but as yet there has been no indication that anyone knows when– or if, the effect will cease.”  She looked off screen and nodded quickly.  “I’m told the White House will be making an announcement in a few moments.  As we stated at the top of the hour, for the duration of the emergency, all commercial interruptions will be suspended…”

Mom muted the TV, the remote large in her hands.

“Mom..what do we do?”

“Go into the kitchen and block the refrigerator open,”  Mom said.  “I’ll open the door.”


“If we wait too long and this continues, we may not be able to open the door, Denise.”  Her mother swallowed. “If it goes on too long…” She shook her head. “No sense worrying about that.”

“What about scho-“

“I think schools cancelled,”  Mom told her.  She gave a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. “At least until everything goes back to normal.”

But by the end of the day, Denise was barely a foot tall, and the TV broadcasts had stopped, save for “please stand by” messages.

School never was started again, at least not for Denise, and nothing ever went back to normal.

End Prologue


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