Ponk Vonsydow

Graphic designer Mark Karis awoke that morning feeling out-of-sorts. He knew there were nights when he didn't sleep as soundly as usual but as he lay there wondering why he felt so odd, he figured his morning cup of caffeinated coffee would help him shake off the feeling.  He looked over at his wife Cindy who was still sleeping peacefully and remembered he should be careful not to disturb her when he got up.  She liked to sleep in a few hours longer than he did because she was a stay-at-home housewife who didn't have to rise at 6:00 AM to get ready for work.

After Mark crawled out of bed and got to his feet, he noticed the legs of his pajamas were about his feet. He instinctively pulled up his pajamas at the waist only to discover they were already pulled up in the normal fashion. It was a mystery to him why his pajama legs were slightly too long. Mark wondered if they were a new pair his wife accidentally purchased in the wrong size and stuck in his drawer without telling him she got him some new pajamas. They were similar to all the others she bought him, so he guessed he absentmindedly put on the new pair failing to notice they were a little too long for him the previous night.

Mark took his shower and shaved his face in the mirror and was ready to put on his suit. As he got into his pants, he noticed they too were gathering around his feet!  Mark wondered if Cindy had bought him new pants also in the wrong size, but thought these were familiar.  He then wondered if he had lost weight around his waist which would make his clothes hang lower on his hips, but when he put on his white, long-sleeved dress shirt, the cuffs were too long as well! 

"Dammit! My clothes are all too big! What the hell?"

He wondered if Cindy had bought him new shirts in the wrong size just like the new pants and pajamas that must have been the wrong size. Mark took off the pants and shirt and selected other clothes, but when he got on the pants they were too long too! He recognized this pair as being ones he already owned, but why didn't they fit anymore?  There wasn't enough time to ponder because he had to get his coffee and toast before work if he wanted to catch the morning bus.

Mark tried to ignore the conundrum and got his breakfast, then grabbed his briefcase, and headed out the door locking it behind him. Mark and Cindy lived in Denver's Capital Hill in a one bedroom apartment located in a large building called the Bahama on Logan Street. Mark made his way two blocks down to Broadway Avenue to the bus stop.  The bus arrived on time just as he expected and he got onboard to ride a number of blocks down Broadway to Alameda Avenue to the building where he worked at the Harrison Brothers Graphic Design firm.

Mark spent the rest of the day working on the Kreigstein account, developing original artwork for the company's new brochure. He took his usual half-hour lunch, then completed that day's work and departed the office promptly at 5:00 PM. The bus brought him as close to his apartment building as it came on Broadway. Mark walked back the two blocks to the Bahama and let himself into the front security door then he walked down the hall of the ground floor to his apartment door, number 36. Once he was inside he found that Cindy had prepared his usual nightly dinner. This time she served him chicken penne pasta in cream sauce with a side of steamed asparagus. Mark was hungry and thanked Cindy for cooking for him as he always remembered to do when he came home to whatever meal Cindy had prepared for the couple each evening. Mark and Cindy made small talk over dinner and then Mark helped with the dishes.

Mark completely forgot about his pajamas and other clothing being a little too big until that night when he put on a different pair of pajama bottoms only to discover they too were also slightly too long.

"Listen Cindy, about my pajamas and some of my pants and shirts. Did you get me some new clothes and forget my size? These pajamas are too big and my pants and shirts are too large, too!"

Cindy was perplexed.

"I'm sorry, Mark, but I haven't gone shopping to buy you any new clothes or pajamas in over six months. You say your clothes don't fit right? I can't imagine why not. Let me see."

Mark walked around the bed to where Cindy was sitting on the edge of the mattress and modeled his pajamas.

"See, honey? The pajama legs are bunched up around my feet, but I have them pulled up around my waist in the normal way. They also seem to be a little loose around the waist as well. It's the same for the pajamas top. Look how the sleeves come over my knuckles now."

Cindy frowned and was confused.

"You said your work pants and shirts were too big, too? It doesn't make sense."

Mark looked confused just like his wife.

"The only thing I can think of is my pajamas and clothes are exactly the same size, only it's me who's smaller to the extent they are too big for me now."

Cindy laughed.

"Don't be silly, Mark. People don't just wake up to discover they got smaller."

Mark wasn't so sure.

"There's one fool proof way to find out! Go get you sewing kit and get out the measuring tape. We'll take my measurements and compare."

Cindy shrugged and got up to go to the hall closet to get the sewing kit. She returned with the measuring tape as Mark held out his arms so his wife could measure him. She figured finding out how tall he was would be good enough for the moment.

"It says you're five feet six."

Mark  immediately became concerned.

"Cindy! I've been five feet nine since I came out of puberty at 14 years old! This means I’m now three inches shorter! Measure my arms and waist!"

Cindy reported the measurements.

"Dammit, Cindy! My arms are three inches shorter and my waist size is three inches less, too! How is something like this even possible? Still, it’s plain as day. We measured right, didn't we?"

Cindy was amazed.

"You're taking the day off tomorrow and going directly to see Dr. Robinson! Maybe he can offer you some kind of explanation. I don't know what else we can do for you besides you seeing our doctor."

Mark was fretting.

"This is going to keep me up all night! Maybe I should take one of your sleeping pills."

Cindy tossed Mark her pill bottle.

"Take two!"
Mark and Cindy’s doctor, Dr. Robinson delivered more bad news.

"Well Mark, according to my measurements you're actually no longer five feet six. I have you standing at five feet three inches tall. I'd like you to step on this scale so I can weigh you."

Mark stepped onto the scale and replied:

"You mean to tell me I am am a full five inches shorter than I am supposed to be?"

Robinson replied:

"Not only that, but your current weight is 120 pounds. That's a full 25 pounds lighter than you weighed the last time you were in my office. I can't explain this Mark. It's not supposed to be possible for a human being to simply become five inches shorter and 25 pounds lighter for no discernable reason or any reason at all! Not to mention you came in to tell me you measured yourself just last night and at that time you stood five feet six. It means somehow, overnight, you decreased in height by another three inches! Now listen to me carefully. Your condition has got to be monitored on a daily basis for the time being until we can sort this out. I've got you ordered for bloodwork and a nurse will come in shortly to draw blood samples. Before you go, I want to do a full body scan in our MRI scanner. We'll get that blood sample then the nurse will take you down to the scanning room. Between your bloodwork and that MRI, we should find some kind of abnormality that can give us some clues as to what exactly is taking place here. Try not to get too upset about this. I am sure we can figure this thing out in a few days."
Mark Karis explained to his boss he was in the midst of a medical crisis and needed time off from work to continue being examined by his doctor. Mark returned to Dr. Robinson's office the following day where Dr. Robinson was waiting anxiously to see him.

"Good morning, Mark. Before we discuss your test results, I'd like to measure your height and get your weight. Please stand on this scale."

Mark got on the scale and the doctor slid the caliber until it rested on top of Mark's head then he got Mark's weight.

"I can't believe these measurements, Mark! You're standing five feet even now, and you've lost another 10 pounds! To begin with it's impossible for someone to lose a full 10 pounds overnight as you appear to have done! And it's medically impossible for a healthy man to decrease in height another three inches overnight as well. I know that sounds bad enough as it is, Mark, but I have more disappointing news. According to your bloodwork and MRI scan, you're in perfect health! We found no evidence of abnormality at all that could explain why you're getting smaller. Now listen to me. I've explained your case to my associates and they are very interested to meet with you. I think it's prudent to get several more heads nodding in your direction if you can tolerate more tests and examinations by other doctors, some of which may be more qualified than me. There's little else I can think of to do for you myself. I know specialists in genetic abnormality that you should see. If this isn't a genetic defect or some kind of genetic mutation, what else could it be?"

Mark frowned.

"I guess I don't really have any other choice but to see more doctors about this. Go ahead and schedule me to see these associates of yours, doc."
Mark arrived home to see his wife after a full days worth of testing, but he had little to tell her about his condition.

"They were unable to find anything wrong with me again, Cindy. After today's battery of tests, and after all the tests I've gone through already the past two days,  none of the so called experts had a damn thing to tell me! There's nothing else anyone can do for me. I've been shrinking steadily the entire time since this started. My measurements today determined I have reduced in size proportionally, and now I only stand four feet one inch and I weigh only 80 pounds! You know this because you’ve had to go out nearly every day to buy me new clothes that fit only to have them end up being too big for me after a few days. Now I am wearing clothes meant for an adolescent boy! If this doesn't stop, I'll be wearing children's clothes, until I am stuck wearing a toddler's footy!

"What's killing me, Cindy is what's happened to my body especially my privates! It’s getting smaller there right along with the rest of me. I don't even want to try having sex with you now because it will only serve to humiliate me! I'm too small now to please you anymore! Besides you'd only end up feeling like you were molesting a little kid, because I'm like a kid now. You have to stoop over just to kiss me! 

"Well, at least I don't have to see any more stupid doctors! They made me feel like a lab rat and a pin cushion poking me with needles over-and-over. I'm actually glad all that's done with! I guess there's nothing left for us to do, but try to enjoy what's left of our marriage. We just got my first unemployment check after I had to resign from my job for medical reasons. The payments are good for six months, and after that we still have our savings to live on and that will hold us out probably as long as we can expect me to survive. I hate to say it like this, but if I keep shrinking eventually I'll just disappear. You'll have to carry on without me and get some kind of job. Maybe now is a good time for you to go back to school."

Cindy began to cry.

"I can't stand to listen to you talking as if you're going to die! You don't know that will happen! Maybe you'll stop shrinking and stay the same, only you'll be smaller. You'll still be the man I married and love. I can live with out having sex anymore. We'll survive this, Mark! You've got to stay hopeful because if you're hopeless I'll get too depressed to endure everything that's happening."

Mark tried to cheer up.

"Maybe you're right, sweetheart. I always did have a positive attitude. There's no reason for me to become a fatalist now, even if I am still shrinking. Look on the bright side. I won't eat much!"

Cindy pretended to laugh.   
The next morning when Mark woke up, Cindy got up with him.  She wanted to spend as much time with him as she could.  Mark hadn't said anything just yet, but Cindy seemed concerned when she spoke to him that morning.

"Oh my God, Mark! You've got to go look in the mirror! We already know you got small as an adolescent boy, but now your face looks like one too! I think you're also starting to get younger!"

Mark went to the full length mirror in the bedroom and looked at himself. He recognized his face, only he hadn't seen that face in the past 25 years!

"Holy crap, Cindy! You're right about me looking as though I am getting younger! This is how my face and body looked when I was only 10 years old! Maybe it's never really been so much about me shrinking as it's actually been about me just getting younger and accordingly I got smaller at the same time!"
Cindy tried to keep it lite.

"You're pretty cute for a little boy, Mark."

Mark tried sticking his hand under his shirt reaching for one of his armpits.

"Yep, there's no hair in my underarms anymore. It's just as if I never went through puberty. I can hear the difference in my voice, have you noticed that?"

Cindy nodded and replied:

"I guess if they were both still alive, you're mother and father saw you like you look now, they would recognize you as their 10-year-old son."

Mark was still concerned.

"Listen Cindy, I am pretty certain this thing isn't going to stop. Who knows how much younger and smaller I'll become? There's something else, too. When I think about it, I have noticed that I am now only about as intelligent as a 10-year-old boy. 

Cindy frowned.

"Maybe that's true Mark because you are a 10-year-old boy!"
By the next week, Mark Karis had transformed into a person the same size as a toddler looking to be about three years old! Mark didn't just appear to look like a toddler, but his intelligence and emotions were that of a three year old as well. His wife Cindy, by then had given up trying to behave like a wife towards her husband. Instead, Cindy adapted herself to her current situation and she let her motherly instincts come forward, so she treated Mark as if he was her little baby because that's just exactly what Mark really was at the time. For that matter, Mark was also the baby Cindy and Mark never got to have because Cindy had already been given a hysterectomy before they were married. They had discussed planning to adopt a baby, but then Mark started to get small and now he was Cindy's baby. 

Mark was still potty-trained so that was one thing Cindy wasn't dealing with yet. Cindy liked to play with her new baby, and she purchased a variety of toys and stuffed animals for Mark to play with or sleep with. She got Mark his own child's size bed and she got him an appropriate wardrobe. She thought little Marky looked cute and adorable in his red overalls, blue and white striped tee-shirt, and baby-size, Nike sneakers. Mark's hair had not shrunk along with him so by the time he was the size and age of a toddler his hair was down to his shoulders, but Mark was dressed as a boy so that meant nobody would mistake him for a baby girl.
A total of 12 days after the ordeal began Mark Karis had regressed in size and age to that of a three month old infant! Cindy was happy to care for Mark, her little baby. She managed to still be a stay-at-home mom by living on Mark’s unemployment and their savings and later a job she could do on her computer at home, working as an instant messenger, technical support person for Dish Network.

But then by some miracle, Mark did not keep getting smaller, disappear or die.  In fact, it is now some 20 years later, and both Cindy and Mark are 50 years old!  Cindy still takes care of Mark, her little baby. He never grew up again.  He has remained a cute little baby forever.  

Mark behaved like any three month old baby did. Cindy was a good mommy for baby Mark. She didn’t try to explain his lack of growing to anyone because the doctors never figured it out, the news media never got involved because it happened so fast and no one outside her immediate family knew or cared.  She relocated with Mark to another city to live with her elderly parents.  As the years went by, everyone forgot Mark used to be a fully grown man. Cindy was content to have the baby she never thought she would never have. Cindy's parents accepted baby Mark as their grandchild. 
Little Mark Karis was a happy baby.