-A Writer's Reflection

The Shrinking Baby

“It’s all your fault. You are never careful enough with our baby,” said Kerri entering their home. She threw keys into one of the two bowls sitting on a table by the door.

“Calm down, honey. It’s no big deal,” said George entering the home behind his wife with their son. Their Son, Jack, was sleeping on George’s shoulder.
 
“No big deal? No big deal?” Kerri stopped in the hallway and turned back, animatedly. “Do you realize George our boy just shrunk four inches or did you not hear what doctor said?” George walked passed her into the living room choosing not to reply. 

“Are you listening to what I am saying?” barked Kerri at the top of her chords standing her ground. Cool as a cucumber, George put Jack into his cradle in the bedroom and returned to kitchen. Kerri shouting at the top of her voice was new neither for George nor for neighbors. Kerri walked up to George by the refrigerator and said, rather quietly, “George, the doctor said one in a million baby shrinks after a month of their birth.”

George continued his activities of getting a soda can out of refrigerator, opening it and drinking. Kerri’s eyes were continuously following him and lines on her forehead sustaining for a long time. George sat down on the couch and looked at her wife. Measuring expectation in Kerri’s eyes, he smiled and said, “Be merry, Kerri. Our son is one in a million.”

“What an achievement!” replied Kerri and looked away. She started doing something in kitchen with loud noise. Finally, George gave up and walked up to Kerri in the kitchen.
 
“Look Kerri. I know it’s disturbing for you, but we can’t do anything. Besides, our son looks healthy and happy. That’s all there is to it,” said George taking Kerri’s hand in his hand. With a wry smile Kerri withdrew her hand.

Turning away she said, “I’m just worried.”

“Don’t be,” said George putting his hand on Kerri’s left shoulder.

After a brief moment of silence, Kerri said, “I worry about what if Jack is under the effect of…”
“Don’t start that again,” said George withdrawing his hand and walking away. He returned to the couch and shouted, “I’m an accountant there.”

“Yes, but your company has invented some pretty let’s say controversial chemicals,” said Kerri.
“So what? It’s not like they research a baby shrinking formula and test them on their employee’s babies. Just think about it. How ridiculous you sound!” said George. He subconsciously picked up the remote control and switched on the TV.

“You threw a party for your colleagues,” said Kerri coming out of the kitchen.

“Yeah and one of my colleagues came with a baby shrinking powder to spray on Jack. Do you ever think before speaking?” said George.

“..but doctor..” Kerri tried to say something, but George continues his tirade. “The only person from R & D was Doug. Do you suspect Doug? He’s been with us since our freshman year. He’s the godfather of Jack. Do you suspect him?” George pushed on. He changed to a news channel on the TV.

“How do you explain our baby being one in a million?” asked Kerri.

“One in a million. Not the first one. And doctor said it could be a mistake. They are assessing the reports,” said George calming down.

“Right. You know what. The doctors diagnose one in every 10000 babies as shrunk and then scrutinize the reports. After the scrutiny, declare one winner out of 100, one in a million shrunk BABY!” Kerri was nose to nose with George by the time she finished saying that.

“Your math is quite good,” said George after a second’s pause.

Kerri jerked back. “You are….Doug.”

“What?” asked George.

“Increase the volume. I heard Doug’s name,” ordered Kerri focusing on 50 inches’ screen on the opposite wall.

“…In case you missed our special report on Zinjin pharma. One of their employee Doug Bracewell blew lid of their ambitions,” an attractive news anchor was saying. Kerri and George exchanged looks. “According to him, the recent molecule of the company that went into phase one clinical trials for bone cancer has a rather unusual adverse effect. According to Doug, who is right now under protective custody, new promising drug is so potent that it can shrink the bones.” Kerri’s mouth fell open as she looked at George, silently saying she won the battle.

George might have conceded if not for the ringing of phone. George reached for the side table and answered the call. “Yes speaking……Ah Dr. Abend……Oh….Thank you.”

“So what was it?” asked Kerri.

“The doctor said, they didn’t find anything wrong in Jack’s report. Jack may have been shrunk. They suspect his reports might have been mixed up with another kid.” They both just stared at each other, then at TV, and at last the phone.
The Shrinking Baby The Shrinking Baby Reviewed by Mihir on 7:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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