Case of the Shrinking Room

Sally slowly walked through the brightly filled corridors. The heavy, canvas jacket covering her arms felt like a lead weight. Apprehension filled her heart and made her chest feel too small to hold her lungs and heart. The blinding halogen lights on the glaring white walls and floors burned into her eyes and throbbed throughout her skull.

“In here,” one of the white jacket men holding her arms said. The other man who had hold of her other arm stepped forward and unlocked a steel door.

They roughly threw her into the room and the loud click of a lock turning filled the still air. More metal slid against metal, then another lock turned, and yet another. From the metallic sounds coming from the other side of the door, Sally guessed that there were around five or six locks on the door. They must really want her here!

“Hello?” Sally asked. No answer. She was totally alone in a blazing white room. The floor was soft against her bare feet and the walls appeared to be thickly padded. “Well, since no one’s here to enjoy the fun, I’ll just have to have it all for myself!”

She ran up against the wall and bounced off of it. Wheee! The padding acted like an excellent buffer and sent her several feet out into the middle of the smallish room. She bounced around for a while enjoying the sensation of semi-flying. Somehow, the fact that she couldn’t use her arms (they were tightly bound to her side in the lovely white jacket they so kindly gave her) didn’t impede her flying ability.

Sally had no idea how long she had been “soaring” when someone banged on her door and slid a metal plate through a slit near the bottom. Some odd brownish/gray goop covered half of the plate and in a corner was something that looked like it was breathing. A bowl of water was soon pushed after the food.

“Well, anybody going to join me in my feast?” She cocked her head as if listening for an answer. “Ok then, all mine!” She studied the plate for a while before deciding doggie style was the best way to eat. Hey, she couldn’t sue her hands, so why not have some fun and pretend to be a dog? “Grrrrrrrrr……….. Grrrrrrrrrr.……….Grrrrrrrrr. Woof!” She happily placed her head in the food and began licking it up. Those dorks, if they wanted her to act civil, then they would have given her a fork at least! Sally took special care not to eat the still moving bit that was on her plate.

She looked up from her plate, a gloppy brown mess covering her face. She shook her head a little, but it refused to release its death grip upon her visage. Sally shrugged and dunked her whole head into the bowl of water.

“I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout.” She began to sing. What else was there to do? Well, she could fly again…

“Yahoo!” Sally leapt at the walls again, only this time she leapt from one wall to the other. She bounced between the walls for a while without touching the floor before she realized that she hadn’t been able to do that before. She stopped bounding and slowly sank down the wall to the floor. She carefully counted the steps from one wall to the other. 20 steps. Ok, she should remember that.

The lights blinked once and Sally suddenly realized just how tired she was. Well, those blinking lights may be the signal to go to bed. She curled up in one corner and tried to find a comfortable position in which to sleep.

An insistent pounding on the heavy metal door dug into her sleep and Sally woke up to see more brown goo and more breathing mass on a plate shoved through the door. Honestly, if those shrinking walls didn’t kill her, the food would.

She ate some more food and sat down, trying to figure out what to do for the day. There really was no entertainment in here and she was getting quite bored. She got up and paced from one end of the room to the other. Out of boredom she counted her steps, 15 from one wall to the other. Wait a minute, that should be twenty! She had made sure of how many steps were there last night.

Neglecting the food, she sat down in the middle of the room and rolled onto her back. Staring up at the ceiling, she thought she could see it better because it was lower.

“Ok, They think I’m crazy, but I’m not.” She began talking to herself trying to figure out what was going on. “I KNOW I’m batgirl and they think I’m psychotic for knowing that one simple fact. I’d just like to know how they got that information. And why are these walls shrinking? Are they trying to make me crazy for real? Perhaps it’s the food. That food is nasty.” She started singing nonsense songs to herself to keep the guard occupied with her inane psychobabble. Then, for the heck of it, she began listing off the names of any dinosaur she could think of. Yah, make them think she was really and truly crazy.

When lunch came and she still had not eaten, Sally got up and paced the room again; 10 steps from wall to wall. This was getting ridiculous.

The guard looked through the barred window and sneered at her. “Try to get out of this asylum Miss Batgirl. No one has escaped yet. You’d better eat; Cook will be disappointed if you don’t.” He walked away laughing at something that was apparently funny that Sally didn’t catch.

“No, thank you, that food is bad enough,” she muttered under her breath. Ok, time to get out of here. This room was shrinking and she didn’t like it one bit. Almost casually, she easily dislocated her left arm and brought it over her head. Then she dislocated her other arm and brought that over her head. Almost too simple really, straight jackets were incredibly easy to get out of if you were flexible enough. Once her arms were in front of her, she popped her shoulders back into place and unbuckled the straight jacket effortlessly and tossed it away.

Now, there was air coming in here from somewhere. She walked around the room till she could feel a small breeze coming through the padded walls. She picked up her jacket and used a buckle to attack the seams of the padding. In a few minutes, she had the padding away from the wall and lying on the floor. Behind the padding was an air vent. She kicked it in and started to climb through it when a stroke of brilliance struck her.

Going back, she took the time to smear the uneaten breakfast and lunch around the room. When she crawled through the vent again, she pulled the padding back to where it belonged. Now, Sally was on her way to freedom.


Around dinner time the guard looked in the room and saw it was empty. There was no sigh of anyone leaving except for the oatmeal mash everywhere. When he looked closer, he could see that it spelled out “Thanks for the wonderful stay, but the jacket was just too confining.”