Daniel Grandbois

The Novian Paradox


You arrive through the door and find the room empty, save for a glass of water that, surprisingly, remains the same size as you approach. Either the laws of perspective have been violated or you have shrunk in crossing the room. You turn. The door has not changed either, though it should be smaller. Yet, you cannot possibly have grown and shrunk at the same time. No one told you, but this is the Novian Paradox, named after you, Jill Nove, because your mother was a giant and your father a dwarf, putting you in the unenviable position of having to meet the clashing wishes of your parents.

Go all the way in. Pick up the glass. Almost suitable for a kindergartner, no? Gulp the water down in one breath, as if you’ve just burst in from playing. Continue to pant as the excess drips off your chin. Where the droplets touch the floor, they burn like acid until a passageway is revealed—dark, hot and humid. It closes in around you and squeezes. Coming out the other end, you encounter your parents. Though they are correctly proportional to each other—she twice his height—they are both small now compared to you. What’s more, neither increases in size no matter how close you get, which gives the impression that they’re always receding.

Thank you, Jill Nove. That will be all.