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Tiny Viola ~ Chapters 11-20
Eleven ~ Off to Japan
Over the next two days Viola was ignored more than anything else. The apple in her cage grew brown and the carrot wilted. Luckily Viola did not need to eat very much at all, just little nibbles here and there. What was left of health in the food was ample enough for Viola.
Viola was mostly bored and despondent. She tried to keep her spirits up and even tried to get some exercise on the little mouse wheel. When she first used it and began running, the little wheel squeaked. Lielle came running and made some French remarks. She left and got Jean to check out Viola on the wheel. They took pictures. It was the first picture of Viola at her tiny little size. Viola tried to ignore them.
Mostly Viola was sad. She missed her classroom, she missed her friends. She worried that she had lost her job. The two days until the weekend were long and slow. She was tired of wearing the same pajamas every single day.
Finally the morning came when the couple were to set off for Japan. Ramon showed up to get the keys from Jean and Lielle. Viola had never felt such relief.
Twelve ~ The Great Escape
As soon as Lielle and Paul had left, Ramon grabbed Viola gently and lifted her out of the cage.
"Look what I brought you!" smiled Ramon.
Ramon set Viola down on Lielle and Jean's kitchen table.
It was a little bathtub and tiny, two-inch sized clothes. Tiny light-blue overalls and a red long-sleeved shirt, and two pink slipper socks.
"Where did you get these clothes?" asked Viola.
"I made them," said Ramon. "The bathtub I got from a doll house shop. Let me fix the bath for you."
Ramon ran some warm water from the faucet and then filled a cup of water and filled the bathtub up. Warm steam drifted up from the tub. Then he found the bar of soap from the kitchen and cut off a little corner of it for Viola to use.
Finally, he arranged five boxes of crackers around in a circle and put a pie-sheet on top, so Viola had some privacy. He left a little cloth napkin inside the circle of boxes and the clothes inside and said, "Come out when you're ready. We have plenty of time."
Viola thanked Ramon, and then bathed for the first time in a week. Dirt and stench left her and she happily scrubbed padding grime off her feet. She washed her hair with the soap also, which wasn't so bad. When finished, she emerged from the soapy water and dried herself with the cloth napkin. She dressed in the little overalls, shirt, and slippers and exited the circular box structure to greet Ramon.
"I'm ready," she said. But Ramon was at the stove and couldn't hear her. He turned to the table and smiled.
"I have breakfast ready for you. What would you like?" asked Ramon.
"I'll have what you're having," said Viola.
Ramon brought over a steaming bowl of oatmeal and two spoons. The oatmeal had maple syrup mixed in, cooked apple and blueberries, and cinnamon on top. He took a spoonful of oatmeal and set it on a little tea cup saucer for Viola. Then he gave Viola a little Barbie spoon.
Ramon's oatmeal was the best Viola had ever tasted. Even though the scoop of oatmeal dollop was half the size of Viola, she did end up eating a lot. After having days of just rotting fruit, it was a welcome meal.
Thirteen ~ More Planning
"Where are we exactly?" asked Viola.
"We're in the sixteenth arrondissment, Paris, France," said Ramon.
"How did this happen?" asked Viola. "I'm a teacher in San Francisco."
"I don't know!" said Ramon. "But I'll help you. No person should be locked up, slave to others, even if they are only five centimeters tall."
"What should we do?"
"First, let's visit my friend Bonofacio. He's a bio-engineer. Maybe he can help."
"Great!" replied Viola. "Let's get out of here."
Ramon picked up Viola and put her in his shirt pocket. If she pulled down the top part of the pocket she could see clearly out. Then Ramon simply left the apartment, Viola safe inside his pocket.
Fourteen ~ Bonofacio the Bio-Engineer
It was a beautiful day.
The first thing Viola did was ask to somehow call her work. Ramon let her use his cell for the long distance call. She spoke with the secretary of the school, Ms. Martwell.
"Where have you been?" Ms. Martwell asked sternly.
"I've been sick," said Viola, leaning down and talking into the receiver of Ramon's cell phone.
"How are you doing now?"
"I feel better now that I have access to a phone," said Viola.
"Access to a phone?"
"I'm sorry but I have a small problem."
"It's more than small. It's huge. Everyone was depending on you for the upcoming show and you never even called until now! Are you OK?"
"I'm sorry," said Viola. "An emergency came up and I'm still dealing with it. But as soon as I'm back to normal, I'll be there."
"I'll have to look into this but I think you might need a doctor's note to come back," said Ms. Martwell.
That would be some doctor, thought Viola.
"I promise I'll bring one," said Viola.
"Do you know when we can expect you?"
"Not exactly, but I'm doing my best to figure that out. I have to get some things sorted out."
She could hear Ms. Martwell on the other end sighing.
"I'm sorry to do this to you and to everyone at the school," continued Viola. "I really had no choice. As soon as I'm better I'll be back, I promise. I'm trying to make that happen as quickly as possible."
~ * ~
Ramon called Bonofacio and Bonofacio agreed to meet Ramon at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Viola wanted to meet there because she had never been to Paris and had never seen the Eiffel Tower. She wanted to go up it and look around, safe in Ramon's pocket.
Ramon and Bonofacio were to meet first thing. Ramon and Viola reached the famous landmark first. Viola watched from Ramon's pocket as gypsies begged from tourists and people got in line to go up to the top. Everywhere a dozen languages could be heard.
Ramon waited in line and after some time, they entered an elevator and went up to a mid level. Ramon looked around so Viola could see everything. All of Paris was spread below them. Then they took another elevator to the top level. At the top, Viola was even more impressed by the view. She was glad she was snug in Ramon's pocket. She was so high up. Paris spread around them sparkling under a bright blue sky.
"There's Bonofacio," Ramon said.
Ramon went over and greeted his friend. Bonofacio also spoke English, as well as his native Italian, and French.
They kept the conversation in English for Viola's benefit.
Bonofacio was astounded to meet the tiny Viola. He was in his 40s, a genteel middle aged man with spectacles and a calm, academic grace.
"Dr. Bonofacio Sacchi," said Ramon. "Please meet Viola Anderson."
Viola peeked out from Ramon's pocket. Bonofacio extended a finger to Viola, and she shook his finger with her whole hand.
"Pleased to meet you," said Viola.
"I will do my best to help you Ms. Anderson," said Bonofacio. "I'm amazed at your size."
"It's remarkable," said Ramon. "Apparently it happened after she ingested a potion found in a red glass bottle floating in a lake."
"It's too bad there is none left," said Bonofacio. "It would be helpful to concoct a cure. I will have to work with my chemist friend and see what can be done. He was working on H-Hyrobi Factor X, which was able to shrink living organisms. I need to find out from him about Lycomobin Synclopia Rye, a potion that apparently grew mice at an alarmingly fast rate. This LSR might be what can work for you, Ms. Anderson."
"Let's hope so, Doctor," said Viola, "and please call me Viola."
Fifteen ~ The Lab
While the French couple were in Japan, Viola, Ramon, and Bonofacio hung out in Bonofacio's lab in Bordeaux. It was a gray building of cement walls. The inside resembled a prison cell, but with her new found freedom, Viola didn't feel locked in. Bonofacio worked on locating Lycomobin Synclopia Rye from a sample he received from his chemist friend, Mariana, which contained a mixture of Lycomobin Synclopia Rye in formaldehyde. Bonofacio had to extract the Lycomobin Synclopia Rye and use Viola's blood to grow a culture of the LSR potion, which, free of the formaldehyde, could then be drunk without harm.
After using an infant's needle and a tiny pippette to get one teensy drop of blood from Viola, Bonofacio set to work.
Sixteen ~ The Frenchies are On to Them
Jean and Lielle returned from Japan in less than a week, with the full support of Heisen, their Japanese friend, to fund the start of a miniature circus with Viola as the star. They envisioned a collection of miniature people as the performers as well as miniature exotic animals like elephants, tigers, and lions. The couple planned to grill Viola to find out where they could find more miniature creatures like herself.
When they returned home they were mad as hell that Viola was missing. They screamed and yelled French curse words like, "Merde!"
They knew that Ramon must be in on it, and so they hired a thug, Remorse (yes, that was his name), to hunt down Ramon and find Viola.
Ramon returned to his apartment to get more clothes and found the apartment had been bombed. All that was left was a note from Remorse.
"I will make you feel me. Remorse." said the note.
Ramon put it together, although he wasn't sure how bombing the apartment would be helpful for the thug finding Viola since Viola might have died in that apartment had she been in there, but frankly, at this point, he didn't give a damn about the thug's stupid logic. He just wanted to get Viola and keep her safe. Truthfully, he was quite fond of the little woman.
Ramon raced back to Bordeaux from Paris to find Bonofacio still without a potion and Viola getting anxious.
"Let's get out of here!" said Ramon. He explained the situation to them. He wasn't safe in Paris, maybe not even here in Bordeaux, and Viola was then not safe either. How about a vacation away from Bordeaux and France, somewhere the stupid thug would never think to look?
Seventeen ~ Vacation Time
Ramon had already used three weeks of his vacation but he still had one week left. Thank goodness I live somewhere that gives you four weeks of vacation, thought Ramon.
"Let's go to San Francisco!" cried Viola. She missed her kids.
"That's so far," said Ramon, "are you sure? You'll need Bonofacio to help you get big, and he must stay here in Bordeaux to make the potion."
"Bonofacio can simply mail the potion to me, can't you Bonofacio?" asked Viola. "That way I can be safe and see my kids and Ramon will be safe too."
"That's an excellent idea," said Bonofacio.
"You guys go ahead and let me hunker down and create this stuff. Once it's good and ready I'll send it to you overnight. All you'll have to do if I do this right is drink it and go to sleep."
Ramon and Viola left for the airport that day.
Eighteen ~ Getting Past Airport Security
Viola hid in Ramon's pocket while he went through airport security. He walked through the metal detecting frame and nothing happened. He didn't get patted down, everything was fine. Viola let out a sigh of relief.
At the terminal, Viola struggled to see more. Ramon wanted her hidden so he kept putting his jacket over the pocket, obscuring Viola but also obscuring her view. Finally she pinched him and he got the picture.
"I'm just trying to protect you!" he hissed down to her. But he let his coat open up a little so Viola could see.
"I'm hungry," said Viola.
Ramon went and got a bagel and sat and ate. He broke off a chunk and put it in his pocket. As usual, it was much more than Viola could eat. She ate her fill and threw the rest of the bagel over the pocket so it fell on Ramon's lap. He picked it up the little piece and ate it.
Nineteen ~ An Uneventful Flight
Ramon had a window seat. Viola looked out the window happily. She felt safe and secure and the potion with Lycomobin Synclopia Rye would be in her mailbox at home in no time, she was sure. She would have to send Bonofacio a thank you letter and some flowers once she was a regular sized human and could do that.
Ramon began talking with the lady next to him. She was gorgeous, she looked just like Espie Meadows. Wait a minute. She was Esperanza Meadows, the famous movie star! Viola's heart thumped. She'd had a major girl-crush on Espie since she could remember. Those beautiful blue eyes, confident and knowing, the lovely blonde hair.. her compact beautiful body with its cat-like moves. She was the star female kick-boxing queen in the US and made Jackie Chan-like movies for a niche market of fans. No wonder Ramon could talk to her so easily. He must have no idea who she was. Viola was already sweating and trying her best to think up the best way to present herself. What should she say? Should she ask her for her autograph?
She thought she was partially hidden behind Ramon's jacket, but she was wrong. Espie was looking right at her with her delicate eyebrows up. She looked shocked but quickly recovering.
"I'm Viola," said Viola. "I love your movies."
Espie smiled. "Pleased to meet you, Viola."
Ramon blushed. "Your movies? I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you, Miss..?"
"Esperanza Meadows," said Espie and Viola at the same time.
The three smiled.
"I thought you were going to try to keep hidden," said Ramon to Viola.
"I couldn't help it, she's my favorite actress," said Viola.
"I won't tell a soul," whispered Espie. "But I don't understand how you're only two inches tall!"
"It has to do with H-Hyrobi Factor X potion. But don't worry, Bonofacio is going to make Lycomobin Synclopia Rye potion for me which will bring me up to my regular size," said Viola.
Espie seemed even more surprised. "I've never heard of either of those potions."
"Neither had I," said Viola. "It just so happens I drank the H-Hyrobi Factor X potion one night in San Francisco and then I woke up in Paris and only two inches tall."
Ramon and Viola filled Espie in with the details of how they escaped from Jean and Lielle, who wanted Viola to be a profit-making two inch circus performer, and took her freedom away from the first night they found her.
"Ramon is much nicer. See? He made these clothes and let me bathe and he lets me have total freedom. Which is why I'm staying with him. He and Bonofacio are going to help me get big again," explained Viola.
"I'll help in any way I can," said Espie. "Where are you staying in San Francisco?"
"We wanted to stay at my old apartment, but I don't have the key any more. It must be locked inside," said Viola.
"Then you can stay with me if you'd like," said Espie. "I'm renting a house there for a few months until we wrap filming. There's plenty of room. Especially for you!" Espie indicated Viola.
"That's very generous of you," said Ramon.
"We'll have to tell Bonofacio where we're staying so he can mail us the LSR potion."
Ramon pulled out his tailor shop business card and Espie wrote her address on it. It was in the Inner Richmond, a residential neighborhood known for its Asian and Russian influences. Once the plane landed Ramon would email the address to Bonofacio.
Twenty ~ Arriving
The house in the Inner Richmond was old and beautiful. The rooms had trim in them and everything from the door handles to the furniture was an antique. Espie turned on the lights and had her cook fix a meal for her and Ramon. Viola ate beside them, sitting cross-legged on the table, nibbling a small spoonful of mashed potato and tiny corner part of a lentil loaf. One lentil was as big as her face. She was again amazed with her own tiny size.
The cook, Sophia, was sworn to secrecy. She had worked for Espie for over 10 years and also did housekeeping. Espie trusted her completely and so Viola and Ramon did too.
"There is one thing you're going to need," said Espie.
"What's that?" asked Viola.
"You're going to need your very own home," said Espie. "How about we go shopping to find a doll house, something more suitable to live in."
"That sounds like an excellent idea!" said Ramon.
"But what about the Lycomobin Synclopia Rye potion? Once it comes I'll be normal size again and I won't need the doll house."
Espie shrugged her shoulders. "In the mean time we can get you a bathtub, try to find a working toilet, give you your own kitchen, a living room, a bedroom... it's up to you but I really think it'd be fun to find you the perfect home!" she said.
A working toilet sounded great to Viola. Frankly she was tired of doing her business in a manner quite undignified.
"You're right, I'd love it," she said simply.
"Tomorrow we'll find something," said Espie.