Personalias's Flash Fictions

by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 14, 2023

Chapter 4
Patient 18 Months

Chapter Description: A young woman finds herself in a hospital after having mysteriously shrunk.

Flash Fiction: Patient 18 months

Angela sat in the hospital’s examination room. Emotionally, she was numb. Physically, she was cold, hungry, and had to pee. All of this was very understandable. Hospitals were kept chilly and the shirt, jeans, bra and panties, she’d put on this morning had been replaced with a hospital gown. Likewise, she hadn’t eaten anything all day.  Peeing? Well…

She was emotionally numb as a way to preserve her sanity. A lesser madness to offset the looming greater one.  Better to be in denial than to accept the impossible reality.  Part of Angela would rather die than accept this as reality.  

She might be dying, anyways. Hard to say.  She might have contracted the first of some kind of deadly life ending virus that was eating away at her insides faster than tapeworm.  People weren’t supposed to shrink.

The only thing that gave her comfort was the fact that she hadn’t been isolated in a plastic bubble by men in hazmat suits like in the movies. Nobody else seemed that perturbed by her circumstance.  Curious? Yes.  Bothered by it?  No. That gave her hope that whatever she had wasn’t deadly.

She shifted her weight, the papery rustle was nails on a chalkboard.  She lied to herself and said that it was just the paper cover of the examination table she was on. The nurse stationed with her looked up from her phone.  “You okay, hun?”

Angela lied and nodded.

“Need to lie down and take a nap?  Go night night?”

Angela blushed and shook her head.

“Thirsty?  Need some water?”

Angela’s gaze got distant. Again she shook her head. No. No more water.  Water would lead to something worse.

Besides the gown, Angela had also been forced into a Pampers, size 4. That’s why she’d had to pee so badly. The nurse had put it on her after she’d been checked into the emergency room.  She’d been told it was the only underwear they’d had in her size.  

She’d accepted it because the nurse had framed it in such a way as to seem reasonable:  

She was sick.

It was less invasive than a catheter.

She’d be less naked.

It was the nurse’s job to put one on her. Doctor’s orders and all that.

Angela was regretting her consent.  Before she’d indicated the need to go to the bathroom, the nurse had talked about using the diaper to measure her urine output. Attempts to negotiate using a medical urinal had been shot down.  

“Don’t worry about that honey.  We’ll just weigh your diaper next time we change you.”

That’s why Angela had to pee. She hadn’t gone all day and was mortified to the point of paranoia.  When you’re afraid of being forced to pee your pants, your brain hones in on the bladder and hyper focuses to the point of discomfort and distraction.  

She’d let the bevy of tests distract her from that, and other invasive thoughts.

A knock on the door, and the doctor, an Indian man with a thick mustache and a thinning head of hair, came back in.

“Hello, Angie,” he said. “I have your test results and I have some good news.”

Hope invaded Angela’s heart.  “You know what’s wrong with me?” she asked.

The doctor nodded.  “In a matter of speaking, yes.” He looked at his clipboard and.  “According to our tests you are, effectively, a perfectly healthy eighteen month old girl.” He looked up and his smile brightened. “That’s very good! Nothing to worry about.”

Angela couldn’t comprehend what was being said.  “What are you talking about?”

The doctor looked at his clipboard again.  “Well, according to all our tests, you are the median height for an eighteen month old, and at the median weight for an eighteen month old. So that’s good.”

“But I’m thirty-six!” Angela objected.

“Yes, yes.” The doctor waved her off. “I know. I know. That’s what ‘effectively’ means.  I know you are not actually eighteen months old. But your height and weight are well within the parameters of an eighteen month old. So you’re healthy.”

“Why is that important?!” Angela demanded. “I’m thirty-six! I shouldn’t be this size!”

“Well you shouldn’t also be running around like a little jaybird in public, but here we are.”

“I shrank out of my clothes!” Angela was so mad she was practically bouncing in her seat. Literally hopping mad!

The nurse placed a comparatively enormous hand over Angela’s. A soothing attempt or a quiet warning?  Both?  Meanwhile, the doctor remained unphased.  “You’re more than the height and weight of an eighteen month old, you also have the capabilities of an eighteen month old.”

That did not make sense at all.  Angela was so confused that she couldn’t even vocalize it.

“Remember those tests we did, Angie?” The doctor said, patronizingly.  “According to all of them, you’re capable of everything an eighteen month old is.  So you’re not behind at all! Isn’t that nice?”

“Of course I’m capable!  I’m an adult!”  The tests had all been simple. Basic shit.

“Not according to this test,” the doctor said. “You’re perfectly within the eighteen month range.”

The color drained from Angela’s face. “You mean I failed?!”

“No,” the doctor repeated himself. “You passed with flying colors! Right where you should be. As soon as I confirmed you were at least as capable as an eighteen month old, testing stopped. I didn’t wish to cause you undue stress by frustrating you.”


The nurse began rubbing Angela’s bare back and shushing her.  “It’s okay, honey. It’s okay.”

“Young lady,” the doctor said, firmly. “I have been a pediatrician for more than thirty years. I think I would know the capabilities of someone like you more than you do.” He chuckled as if he said something clever.  Then to the nurse he said. “Have we gotten any urine output or a stool sample yet?”

The nurse shook her head. “No, doctor. I’m afraid she may be dehydrated or there’s some kind of blockage.”

Angela balled up her fists. “I don’t need a diaper!”

“Then why are you wearing one?” The doctor smugly replied.

Angela pointed up at the nurse. “Because she put one on me!”

“Of course she did. You’re the size and developmental capacity of an eighteen month old. We don’t expect you to use the toilet or dress yourself.”
“I shrank today!” Angie said pleadingly. “That’s not something that happens! Aren’t you the least bit curious about that?!”

The doctor shrugged. “I’m a pediatrician. Shrinking is not my area of expertise.”


The doctor clicked his tongue. “You really are proving my point about not wanting to push your limits.”

“I want a second opinion, you quack!”

Both the nurse and the doctor laughed.  “Yes, yes,” he said. “You can get a second opinion. You can tell your mommy all about the mean doctor who wouldn’t let you have your way when she comes to pick you up.”

Angela’s eyes widened. “My…mommy?”

“Yes. We looked up your emergency contact form and called her. She said she’s happy to know that you’re healthy and safe.”

Happy? Why happy? Angela had shrunk!  Who could be happy about that?  Why was nobody as freaked out about it as her?

“She’s on her way,” the doctor went on as if any of this was normal. :”She’ll be a bit. Said she needs to get a car seat, but she’s looking forward to seeing you.”  

More surreal bullshit that Angela couldn’t understand. She should be going to some top level CDC facility or something. Not back to her Mom’s place wearing a diaper and sitting in a baby seat.

“In the meantime,” he said to the nurse, “see if you can get her to produce some urine. I don’t want her checking out until we get at least one wet diaper out of her.  Need to make sure everything is moving along. Make sure the shrinking hasn’t adversely affected her.”

“Yes, doctor.”

The man walked out and closed the door behind him.  Angela was left in complete and total shock.  The worst, most insane day of her life, a medical marvel and terror, had just been reduced in importance to something mundane and trivial.  How was this happening?! And why her?!

“Oh Angie,” the nurse cooed, wriggling her fingers. “You better watch oooout!” Her hand came close and closer to Angela’s ribs.  “Here. Comes. The. TICKLE MONSTER!”
One and a half seconds later, Angie’s diaper was no longer dry.  Through the forced laughter and tears, she already knew that the only thing she could look forward to was a dry one after the nurse or her mommy changed her.  And that was the only thing she knew for certain. Everything else was too surreal to predict or understand.  Or maybe it wasn’t.  She wasn’t a doctor.



End Chapter 4

Personalias's Flash Fictions

by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 14, 2023


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vended · Jun 17, 2023

Your best flash fiction so far. Very fun to imagine the character literally regress out of her clothes, only for everyone else to disregard what happened to her and delittle her like a real child, seemingly unable to recognize what happened.

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