Author's note: This story was done really fast. I learned at the last minute that my friend Dragon was going to celebrate the one year anniversary of his site and I had nothing ready for him. So I sat down and wrote this short story. This has got to be the fastest short story I ever did. Congratulation Dragon and thanks for all your help over the year.
A small job
Thomas Berbanksky was a scumbag. He had a crappy childhood and at the end of his teenage years had decided that the world owed him. For the next fourteen years, he had done his best to screw people out of their money. In all the years he conned people out of their hard earned belongings, he never got caught once nor felt any guilt about what he was doing.
Just before he came to this quiet little town of Bricon, he had emptied the bank account of a lonely old woman. As usual, he had used false identification and transferred the money out of the country. She would never be able to track him down since he never really existed. Over the years he had changed names and faked so many personalities that he was beginning to forget who he really was. It didn't matter much to him since what he was doing was fun and his bank account always full.
His bank account was so full that he didn't need to con people out of their belongings anymore all thanks to a lawsuit he put on a limo company a couple of years back. He would never go hungry again. This lawsuit had been pure luck. He had been walking down the street of another town and saw that the driver in the limousine coming down the street towards him was not paying attention. The limo was not coming too fast and Thomas decided on impulse to let himself be hit. He timed the arrival of the car just right and when it was all over, he was lying in pain in the street with a broken leg. A doctor that he had known and had helped him once before came down to help him. The limo company settled for a large amount out of court and even after Thomas had given the doctor his cut, he knew that he was set for life.
After a while, he got bored. The rush he got from getting something out of nothing was missing from his life. He realized that doing what he did brought him pleasure and challenge. So he went back to his old habits. It had been a week since he had conned that old woman. He was just about to move on to the next town when he saw an ad in the paper that peaked his interest. The ad was placed by the daughter of an old woman living all alone with her cats in a very old house just outside of town. The house was haunted and the daughter was looking for a psychic to help the ghosts in the house leave so that her mother could finally live in peace.
At first, Thomas thought this ad must have been a joke, but then he thought, what if this was real? This could be an easy job and usually these old houses have some pretty valuable stuff in them. He decided to check with the daughter and if the job didn't say anything to him, he'd leave to the next town and see what other opportunities lied over there. He made a phone call to the daughter and was given the time and place on where to meet her.
Fortunately, He did not have to wait long to meet her and had no trouble finding the meeting place. It didn't take long for him to get the job. He had made her believe that he was some sort of expert on apparitions and that it was fate that had brought him through this small town. She gave him one big smile when he told her that and agreed with him that it must have been fate. As he listened to her give him the details, he knew right away that this was going to be easy money. She told him where her mother's house was and also told him not to worry because she was going to call her mother and tell her to expect him. Once the job was done her mother would give him his reward.
Thomas went back to his hotel, picked up all his stuff and put them in the car. As he drove to the house, he just kept thinking how easily those old ladies fell to his charms. Those old bats were so lonely that they easily accepted any company they could get. Once in a while, he would get one that was playing it careful, but it didn't take him long to break through whatever resistance they put up. In the end they were glad that someone was paying attention to them. That was always the perfect time to take whatever he wanted and leave.
The drive took a little longer than he anticipated. He thought at one point that he had missed a turn somewhere and was just about to turn the car around when he saw the house in the horizon. There it was, standing all alone in a field of green and yellow grass. The sun was starting to go down and it was coming down right behind the house so he couldn't get a good view of the house, just a dark silhouette. As he got closer to it, he could see more details. The house looked almost like something out of the movie Psycho. You could tell right on first glance that it was old and not very well taken care of.
Thomas was thinking that this might not be such a good idea. If the house looked this bad, maybe it was because she did not have the money to take care of it. But then Thomas decided that he had made it this far so why not finish the job he was here to do. He parked the car in front of the main door and got out. The first thing he noticed was the wind blowing trough his hair. It was a nice warm breeze, pretty unusual for this time of the year. As he climbed up the stairs, he saw four cats at the end of the long balcony looking at him. He didn't pay any attention too them and knocked on the door.
He waited for about a minute before he knocked again. While he was waiting for an answer, he saw two more cats join with the previous group. Now there were six cats looking at him. At that same moment, he heard a noise inside the house. It sounded like something big had fallen down on the floor. Thomas wondered if the old lady had not fallen down or something while coming over to answer the door. He put his hand on the doorknob and turned it. It was unlocked. He opened the door slowly and asked if he could come in. He got no answer so he then asked if everything was okay. Still got no answer so he decided to go in.
He took five steps inside and heard a noise behind him. He jumped and turned around to see that it was the door that had slammed shut. This was looking like a bad horror movie to him so he checked if the door was still unlocked. He was relieved to see that he opened as easily as it did the first time. He let it go and saw that it closed by itself. He thought that was a nice touch. He sure didn't expect that from an old house like this one.
He turned his attention back to the room he was standing in. On his right was a nice big living room and on his left was a big stair. He always thought that in house like these that these stairs would be in front of the main door. He started checking out the living room; see if there was anything interesting to take when he heard a whisper coming from up the stairs. He went at the bottom of the stairs and yelled if anybody needed help. He got no answer once again. He went up the flight of stair and tried to hear the whisper again. Instead of the whisper, he heard a cat meow. He turned around and saw three cats down the stairs looking at him. He was pretty sure that these were not the same cats as the one he had seen outside a few minutes ago. He had seen this before, old lady living all alone and was bored, so pick up as many cats she could to get some of that loneliness out of her life.
Again he heard the whispers. It came from the end of the corridor. All the lights were off, but the sun shining through the window gave him enough light to see where he was going. He had to admit to himself that this was creeping him out, and he was beginning to think that house might just be haunted after all. As he got further down the hallway, he started making sense of the whispers. It sounded like the voice of a small child telling him to get out. That sent a shiver down his spine and he turned around to leave the house. He had enough money to live with that he sure didn't need to be here. Just as he was nearing the staircase, the door closest to him opened up.
Unlike the rest of the house that he had seen so far, a big light coming from the ceiling lighted this room. He entered it with hesitation and was surprised to see an old lady sitting in a chair staring at him. He jumped as he heard the door behind him close. Before he lost what was left of his nerves, he presented himself to the lady and told her why he was here. The old lady just looked at him with a crooked smile and called him by his name...his real name.
In a sudden flash, anger replaced his fear. This had to be a trap, which was the only reason she could know his name. Of course he tried playing dumb, pretending not to know what she was talking about, but she was not impressed. She told him that she knew everything about him and that was why he had been chosen to be here. She told Thomas that she needed him as a replacement. Recently she had lost one of her toys for her precious cats. He was going to join this family whether he wanted to or not. Thomas told the lady that she was completely nuts and turned around to leave.
He grabbed the doorknob but was not able to turn it. It was like all the strength in his arm had left him. Both his arms fell to the side of his body and he was not able to raise them up. He yelled at the old lady asking her what she had done to him. She told him that he still had his strength; it's just that now it was adjusted to the size of his new body. Sweat came down Thomas face when she said new body. He asked her what she was talking about but she just sat on her chair and smiled. He felt something happening to his hands and looked down at them. He saw them retreat inside the sleeves of his shirt and just before they disappeared from his sight, he saw the nails grow pointed and longer. As he felt his hands shrink inside the sleeves of his shirt, his pants and underwear fell down on the floor. It hit him that it was not only his arms shrinking, but his whole body was getting smaller too.
Thomas saw his nose growing larger and longer. His whole face was changing and all he could do was plead with the old lady to stop. He was now half the size he had been and with his tongue, felt his front teeth grow longer. He got out of his shoes as they were getting much too big for him and he was starting to lose balance. His feet had deformed since last he saw them. If it were for the fact that he was shrinking, he could have sworn that they had gotten longer and narrower. The nails had gotten longer too.
His shirt fell off him. He had gotten so small that his whole body passed through the neck hole. There he was, shrinking and changing around a pile of clothes. Then came the worse change for him. His genitals changed shape. He looked at was once his proud manhood and it now looked nothing like human anymore. He now knew that he was becoming a small. Just as he was reaching the size of a mouse, a tail grew out at the bottom of his back and white fur covered his whole body. New scents and instincts invaded his new body. He didn't know what to make of them.
He started to insult the old lady and realized that he still had his own voice, but it sounded so diminished. He had heard that kind of voice before, it was just before he had entered the room, the voice that warned him to get away. It hit him that he was not the only one in this predicament. There were others like him in this house. The old lady got up and picked up the clothes. She told Thomas that he better find a place to hide fast before she opened the door and the cats came in. She was glad with the new addition to the house. Her daughter had chosen well as usual.
Thomas found a mouse hole and hid in it. He found others like him and learned that the rest of his life was going to be spent in this house. There was nowhere else to go now for him, as the world out there was too dangerous for a tiny mouse.