I've been performing (I use the word "performing" because things can get quite loud and animated)this story live for a couple of years. The monster is the creation of my own little boy, and whenever I do the downsizing bit kids can't wait to join in and add whatever they think the next smaller creature may be. I think there's something valid in the way that children can reduce something big and scary into something small and harmless, through imaginative participation.
What follows is a record of how it is told, rather than a gramatically correct peice.
The little train puffed and chuffed happily up the wiggly mountain track. Steeper and steeper the track became, harder and harder the little train puffed, it's cheery passengers urging it on as it chuffed fit to burst, struggling up the last steepest bit, around the last rocky corner, crawling almost to a standstill.
Then the train stopped.
The driver got out, there was a tiny pebble on the track, as he picked it up there was the tinkle plink of another small stone, then another, then a whole load, he looked up the side of the hill, to his horror a massive crack was opening up, wider at the top. Out of the top on the end of a long slimy tendril was, a huge eyeball. Another eyeball plopped out, then another, then another. They looked around, the crack got wider and wider and out slithered a HORRRIBLE MONSTER. It had nineteen mouths all over it's slimy green blobness. It had huge slimy long purple tongues slobbering and licking in every direction.
The monster slimed and slobbered around the little train, it picked the train up, it's slobbering tongues trying to find an open window. The passengers screamed and screamed and screamed.
Suddenly there was a flash of lightning, and lightning man appeared. "Well what have we got here, naughty monster eh?" He waved his arms in a mysterious manner, a pale glow appeared, the monster began to shrink.
Down to the size of a 1975 mark 1 Ford Transit,
Down to size of a goat,
Down to the size of a mouse
Down to the size of the smallest flea.
He then reached out and scooped it up in his special matchbox.
"Oh Lightning man you've saved us, how can we ever thank you_
"Think nothing of it, all in a days work", and with that lightning man flashed back to his energetic plane of existence.
Lightning man is an energy being who chooses to manifest when he is disturbed by say unlikely monsterousnessness.
The crack opened wider and an even bigger monster slobbered and slimed it's way out of the side of the mountain. It had even more mouths and tongues and eyeballs looking around for juicy morsels. It slithered and slobbered down to the town, where it slimed its way completely around the town hall. The civic personnel screamed and screamed as the monster slurped it's giant purple tongues, searching for an open window. Help us, help us, they screamed.
There was a sudden flash of lightning and Lightning man appeared
"Hm, what have we got here, looks like a bigger naughty monster"
He waved his hands in a mysterious manner, a pale glow appeared and the monster began to shrink
Down to size of a haystack
Down to the size of a caravan
Down to the size of an armadillo
Down to the size of the tiniest ant
He whipped out his special matchbox and scooped it up.
'Oh Lightning man how can we ever thank you",
"Think nothing nothing of it, it's all in a days work"
And he disappeared in a flash of lightning.
Then an even bigger monster appeared. It slobbered and slimed it's way all the way down to sea where it found a huge ocean liner. It picked the whole ship up, all the passengers screamed and screamed and screamed, "help us help us", as it,s huge slobbereing tongues slithered and slimed along the rails and portholes.
In a flash of lightning, Lightning man appeared.
He waved his hands in a mysterious manner, a glow appeared and the monster began to shrink.
Down to the size of a multi-story car park
Down to the size of a garden centre with gnomes on offer all this week
Down to the size of an articulated ice-cream van
Down to the size a cat with buttered toast on it's back
Down to the size of a bread bin that somebodies left their entire collection of how to play the banjo cassette tapes in.
Down to the size of a tiny shrew
Down to the size of a plancton
He whipped out his special matchbox and scooped it up.
"Oh lightning man,how can we ever thank you"
"Think nothing of it, it's all in a days work" and with that he dissapeared in a flash of lightning.
But what came out next,was a billion, billion,billion,trillion,billion,billion, tiny tiny black speck monsters, in a thick black ever increasing swarm. They ate and ate,absolutely everything. They started eating reality. The whole of everything started to dissappear.
Help us help us there'll be nothing left.
In a flash of lightning, Lightning man appeared. "Oh dear, I can't put them in my matchbox, there's far too many of them, I'll have to think about this, I know, I'll reverse time and send them back where they came from"
He waved his hands in a mysterious manner, a pale glow appeared, the horde started to ungobble reality. Slowly they crept back into the crevice.
"Better follow them and see whats behind this"
Inside the mountain was some sort of energy worm hole portal. Lightning man being completely familiar with this sort thing hopped right in, and, voosh,there he was in Dr Mangles laboratorium. "Eauugh" snivelled Mangle, "just what do you think you're doing setting rampant great monsters loose amongst earth people, they don't need that sort of thing", "They kept going wrong, I didn't have anywhere to put them, I didn't think anyone would notice, the vegatables keep running away, I was only trying trying to make some new freinds."
Well try not to do it again. Why not come along with me to my line dancing class, everyone's very friendly"
"OK I'll give it a go"
And they've met every second Thursday ever since.