As Much as Things Change.....

By Louder

Patty was in tears. She had just found out that her husband had once
again been unfaithful. He had promised her that there would be no more
and that he would clean up his act after the last time. She thought
the counseling had actually helped....~until~ she found out he was
cheating on her with the counselor! Her emotions flowed from anger to
jealousy to a flat numbness. This would be the last straw she decided.
As much as she loved John, she couldn't go on like this. Her family
had never really trusted John so they wouldn't have a problem with her
leaving him, but Martha, her mother-in-law might be a different story.
Martha was a widow and Patty felt especially close to her. It was
Martha who had arranged a large surprise party for Patty's last
birthday. It was her 35th birthday and Martha wanted to do something
special for her. Patty feared it would break Martha's heart to hear
the news about her son and the breakup of the marriage. Regardless,
Patty knew what she had to do and picked up the phone.

"Martha, this Patty....we need to talk" she said choking back tears.

"What is it, dear? You sound positively terrible!"

"I, I, I don't know how to tell you this but John.... Me and John.....
He's been cheating...."

"What? Are you sure? Oh, honey! I'm so sorry..."

"I'm sure.... And it's happened more than once! I just can't....I
can't take it anymore...I'm sorry, Martha...... because I know you'll
hate me.... But I've got to leave him. This is all too much!"

"I don't hate your Patty. In fact I understand. His father was that
way too. I only stayed with him because of John. I put my family
first. John's father had a good job working for the government and
back then people stayed together. But I never should have..."

"What? You're not mad at me?"

"No, I'm not. I think of you as the daughter I wish I had! I should
have gotten out of that relationship and raised John properly. Don't
you see? Like father, like son!. You know, Patty...this could be a
good opportunity. If you really want to get away from John I have an
idea. I really think John should be taught some type of lesson. I
almost feel this is all my fault! I never should have tried to raise
him in that kind of environment."

"It's not your fault, Martha! Maybe it's mine for not leaving sooner.
Maybe he would have shaped up?"

"Regardless, their is a center in town that I want you to meet me at
in the morning. Bring John but don't tell him anything about your
leaving him yet! There is someone there that was a friend of his
father's and he owes me a favor. He was an ~enabler~. He knew what was
going on and kept it from me. I'll set it all up and you two meet me
there in the morning."

Martha spoke a few more minutes convincing Patty to bring John
downtown in the morning. Patty was reluctant. She just wanted to pack
her things and leave. Still, If Martha could somehow teach John a
lesson it might be worth it. The only thing that scared Patty more
than the thought of staying was the thought of starting over as a
single 35 yr old woman on her own! Meeting John had caused her to give
up her plans of going to college. She didn't know what she was going
to do. She was glad she had never had children. She would only be
leaving John behind...and maybe, someday, he would change.


John arrived home oblivious that he had been found out. Patty wanted
to choke him but she obliged Martha's wishes and kept quiet. It wasn't
easy. Time seemed to move in slow motion. She just wanted the night to
end and get John downtown to please Martha and then just put an end to
this charade! When he kissed her she felt as if she was kissing a snake!

"Not tonight, John.... I, I, ummmm don't feel well" she lied.
"Besides, your Mother wants us to meet her downtown early in the
morning. It sounded really important and so I told her we'd be there"

"Ahhhhhhhh Why did you do that? Geez, Patty, she's MY mother and I
don't pander to her like you do!"

"I really don't see the problem. We'll go meet her and see what is so
important and then me and you can..... ummmm come home!"

"~Whatever~ Sure, wake me in time to shower first." John told her as
he turned toward the bedroom.


Patty woke John. He was argumentative but eventually relented. She
figured he wanted to get this over with so that he could have a
'meeting' with the 'other' woman! Once again, Patty felt a strong urge
to choke him! She bit her lip and proceeded to get ready. In a matter
of minutes they were on the road downtown. Patty drove and followed
Martha's instructions.

"That's where Pop worked! What are we going here for?" he asked.

"I don't know....this is where she said to go...."

She parked the car and they stepped inside the building. The building
was supposed to be closed on Saturday's but was unlocked on this
morning. An older gentleman was seated on top of the desk, apparently
waiting on them.

"John? Patty?" he asked.

They shook their heads 'yes' in unison.

"Patty, you wait right here. Martha wants me to 'talk' with John
privately. She wanted me to give you this to read while John and I
talk." He handed a paper to Patty and then  locked the door to the

The old man then led John into another room.

"John, go ahead and have a seat over there" he said motioning to a
rather uncomfortable looking seat.

He looked at the man curiously and took a seat.

"I hear you have a bit of a roaming eye, John?"

"Ummmm, What? I'm not sure that is any of your business!"

"Your mother mentioned it to me....."

"SHE knows?" John asked sounding a bit surprised.

"So it IS true then, huh?"

"Maybe, but hey, I bet you like a young piece of ass too, Gramps!
Nothing wrong with a little fun as long as the wife doesn't catch ya!
...Or is too ~dumb~ to see the signs!" John answered smugly.

"That's all I needed to hear. Martha filled me in...but I had to be
sure." The old man said as he entered some data into a control panel.

John watched, his curiosity growing by leaps and bounds. He mind
started racing. 'Where WAS his mother? Was this old man going to tell
Patty? What was this all about?' He was more than a little worried by
this point. Suddenly, his stream of thought was broken by the sound of
movement above his head. A futuristic device looking all the world
like some kind of ray-gun was now poitning at him from the ceiling.

His eyes widened "What the Hell?....."

A beam of light shot down from the device and seemed to engulf his
whole body. He felt tingles and waves of chills as the light seemed to
swallow him. Then the light shut off.

"What the Hell was that all about?" he yelled.

"Your Mother's favor being repaid!" The old man told him.

"Huh?" he said as he squirmed a bit. Something didn't feel right. If
he would have been able to see himself he would have noticed that his
body was beginning to rejuvenate. The 'light' had reprogrammed his
body. The first sign was the hair on his head thickening and his
hairline moving forward. The closer his body came to re-entering his
20's, the faster the hairling moved forward. 31, 30, 29....Now his
midsection was starting to shrink.

He jumped out of the seat "What is happening?" he asked as he had to
grab the waistline of his Dockers as they slipped on his now smaller

The old man shook his head "It'll all be better soon. That wife of
yours really deserves better anyway. I should have never let your
father do what he did to your mother. For better, for worse...til
death do us part.....Those words should mean something!"

22, 21, 20.....

"What kinda crap are you talking about......" John tried to ask before
his hands grabbed at his throat "My voice! What gives?"

John now was a teenager. He looked barely out of high school. The
muscles were fading as was his manhood. His face no longer showed any
trace of a shadow.  His clothes were getting baggier by the minute.

18, 17, 16.....

"I think you know what is happening. It might not seem possible to you
but it's happening. You're getting younger John....Johnny! And your
mind is getting younger too. Not at the same rate as you body. But
slowly it will catch up."

John look down at his feet. The bottom of his pants pooled around his
shoes. He was maybe 14 and looking much more child-like.

"But Sir, please....noooo" he pleaded.

"It's happening already. You probably don't remember how old you
really are....."

"Yes sir" answered a boy of about 11 "I'm twenty-ummmmm...I
mean.....uhhhhh" he looked down at himself. His pants were now
slipping off his waist and his shirt was hanging past his knees.

The old man smiled "You don't look like you are in your
twenties.....are you sure, son?"

John looked down at his dwindling body. He wasn't sure. He knew he was
getting younger but it was getting hard to remember! He didn't know. A
frown started forming on his face.

10, 9, 8...

"The younger you get, the faster your mind goes!"

The 7 year old boy let go of his pants and let them fall to the
ground. The large shirt now covered him more than adequately. The
frown seemed to deepen and a tear started to form "You're an old
MEANIE! You hear me? A MEANIE....Nobody like you cause you're mean!"

The old man grinned as he turned around and walked toward another
door. He opened it and said "I think you can come in now...."

Johnny looked as a young woman walked into the room. She had dark hair
and a slight build. She looked to be in her early twenties.

"Mommy, Mommy!!! he said as he ran out of his shoes and toward her. A
tear formed and slid down her cheek as he grabbed and hugged her leg.
He was now a curly haired 5 year old!

She rubbed his head and then turned to the old man "Did you give Patty
the letter telling her what was going on?"

"I did everything as you asked. This wasn't nearly as hard once I
talked to him. The way he thought of women...." The old man answered
as he slowly shook his head in disgust.

Martha was now barely 20 and Johnny was just a toddler. She felt his
grip slide lower on her leg as he got even smaller.

"Mommy, I widdle...." Johnny said as his hands slid even further down
his young mother's leg.

"I hope this works out. You're probably already feeling your mind
slipping. You won't have any of your years of wisdom to draw on. That
is how this works. Just like I told you. You'll be a teenage mother.
You had him when you were so young"

20, 19, 18.....

She giggled "That sounds so funny.... Martha the teenager! Wow! You're
right about my mind....I feel soooooo bouncy... I feel all I could take on the world.......Ummmm Do I look
pretty? What if boys don't like me? I want boys to like me, ya know"
All of a sudden Martha began to worry about boys!

"Settle down! You're as beautiful as can be young lady!"

The 17 year old girl smiled at the compliment and then looked down at
the 1 year old boy who was now sitting on his rear staring up at the
two big people.

Martha looked at the old man "Ok, while I can still think.... What we
talked about earlier? Ya know? I think I want to do it....I mean I
KNOW I want to do it. It'll be like a good idea I think...."

The old man shook his head "I owe you....If that is what you want....."

The young teen bent over and picked up the tiny newborn. Her long dark
hair fell across her face.

"I'm sure....." she answered as she walked toward the chair. Her shoes
slipped on her feet as she walked and her old fashioned dress now hung
even lower below her knees. By the time reached the seat she had
walked out of her shoes and the baby was absolutely tiny! "Let's do


Patty looked up to see a skinny 16 year old girl walk into the outer
room. She was wearing an old fashioned dress and no shoes. The old man
was behind her.

"Martha? Martha, is that you?" she asked. Her eyes were as wide as
silver dollars!

"Yeah, It's me...."

Patty barely recognized the voice. It was Martha's voice, just clearer
and higher in pitch!

The old man spoke "Her mind is still regressing. Her body is finished.
It'll now begin to age at a normal rate. The mental regression is why
she might be a little confused some"

"Martha, you really did what was in the letter? But John is gone????"

"I decided to go, ya know, farther back..."

"Is he GONE!?" Patty worriedly asked.

"No....Well, I'm pregnant....."

"Actually, by morning she'll have completely forgotten all this. ..."
The old man added.

Martha interrupted the old man "I guess I'm gonna be in for a shock
when I find out I'm preganant!"

"But, what about John? How can this be better? He'll have to grow up
all over!" Patty wondered.

"~HE'LL~ not have to grow up all over...." Martha giggled "Cuz, I used
the machine to, like, alter him to be a SHE this time!!!! Johnni won't
mistreat girls this time!"

Patty's jaw dropped in disbelief! "Oh My God!" And then she remembered
what John had done to her. Slowly, an evil grin crossed her face.  She
almost felt guilty for thinking how appropriate this was for John! Her
thoughts were broken by the sound of Martha's teenage voice.

"Excuse me, mam. Do you have some money I could borrow for the coke

Patty handed her a dollar. 'She called me mam" Patty thought to herself.

"The regression. It seems to be speeding up. Now, there was one last
thing Martha asked of me....." The old man said to Patty.

Patty listened to the old man and to what Martha had asked of him.
Finally, she agreed to Martha's request.


....Another young teenage girl joined Martha "This is soooooo cool!
Now I'm not a 'MAM' anymore!! I'm Patty the teenager!!... Would Patty
be better spelled with an 'i' now? P.A.T.T.I? Patti? I like that! Do I
look like a Patti with an 'i'? I should wear my hair different....and
get some new clothes. Do you think I look fat?....I don't think I am,
but whatda you think?....."

The old man grinned at the giddy teen. He could tell that her mind
also was fading into teenage bliss. He couldn't help but wondering
what was going to come of them and if Martha would really raise
John....Johnni any better this time. "You look just fine, Patti with
an 'i'!"


Martha gave birth to a baby girl. She considered putting the baby up
for adoption but decided against it. She was living in a small trashy
apartment with her boyfriend and one of his friends. They didn't have
much money for a child but she was sure they would be rich one day.
Her boyfriend was a singer in a band. She had his band name tattooed
on her ankle.

Patti, found a boyfriend who played on the high school baseball team.
A couple of other boys had asked her out but she didn't think they
were as 'cute' as Sam! Even though she had caught Sam cheating on her
she knew that deep down he loved her and so she took him back! She
decided she just needed to stay nearer to Sam and decided against
going away to college.

The End.....