“I hereby declare this session of the Family Council open,” said Mike Albertson as he banged the side of a wooden meat-tenderizing mallet on a breadboard at the end of the kitchen table. He duly noted that all members of the Albertson family – his wife Joyce, 18-year-old daughter Mallory, and 9-year-old daughter Eudora – were present.
As the first order of business, Mike ceded the floor to Joyce to discuss a current family problem.
“As we are all aware, Mallory was brought home tipsy by the police the other night,” Joyce sternly remarked. “She was with her ‘friends’ after midnight in a van that ran a traffic light and then tried to outrun a squad car. When the police looked into the van, they found everyone engaged in the underage drinking of beer. Before we vote on punishment, we’ll let Mallory offer rebuttal.”
“Hey, I only had a couple of brews. Big deal,” Mallory testily replied.
“I recommend that Mallory be grounded for a week. Family vote,” Joyce said. It was Mike and Joyce, yes; Mallory, no; and Eudora abstaining. “Motion carried!”
“No fair,” Mallory protested. “You’re always coming down on me for nothing!”
“Nothing?” said Mike. “You call getting into two auto accidents, the second on a suspended license, nothing? You call you and your boyfriend Rupert being caught pressing your bare butts against the front window of the home of that teacher you dislike nothing? You call…”
“Mike, you made your point,” Joyce interrupted. “Before that vein on your forehead bursts, let’s go on to other business – the children’s requests. You first, Mallory.”
“I’d like to request financial help for going to the senior prom,” Mallory started. “Now this is the gown I’d like to wear. It’s low-cut strapless, loaded with lace and ruffles, has a cutout section to bare my navel, and large slits up the sides. And it only costs $759.99. To go with the dress, I’d like these $200 matching shoes, a $75 bouquet of orchids, use of a limousine all evening (only $150), and overnight room downtown at the Marriott for $212, and $50 spending money for an after-prom dinner. This will make me the most prominent girl at the prom and the envy of my friends…” “That’s way too much money. Why can’t you wear the gown we bought you last year, and have your date pick you up and bring you home afterwards?” Mike retorted.
“But Daddy, don’t you want me to look good at the prom, the have great memories…” Mallory explained. “And to top – no, blow away – your rival Kristin Hauge,” added Eudora.
“It would be different if we hadn’t already bought you a car,” Mike began. “Or if you weren’t paying so much to send little miss egghead Eudora to that private school for gifted children. I at least have a social life. But you spend all your money on her and none on me,” Mallory protested.
“Look, your little sister has one of the highest IQ’s for a girl her age, so I consider it a good investment to help her expand her knowledge in the sciences at that private school,” Mike said, adding, “And its not like we don’t begrudge you anything. Look at all the clothes in your closet! You’re just jealous of Eudora.
“Maybe if you were doing more to help around the house, instead of going out all the time with Rupert,” Mike said, cringing at the thought of his daughter being involved with that scruffy slacker.
“I think I have a solution,” Eudora offered. “As you know, the science fair is coming at Patterson Academy, and I could use a little help in getting my project ready. If Mallory would assist me, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind helping her have the prom experience of her dreams.”
“Me? Help that brainiac? Can’t she move her own papier-mâché volcano?” Mallory protested.
“At Patterson, the students are way beyond those basic science projects,” Eudora noted. “We’re all working on stuff involving advanced technology and digital electronics. In fact, some of us are working on ideas that we hope can one day be marketed for the benefit of mankind.”
“Yeah, right,” grumbled Mallory, who at times found it hard to believe that Eudora was her sister. They had little in common. Eudora wore glasses, refused to have braces put on her crooked teeth, and wore a basic hairdo, often uncombed. Mallory, however, wore contacts, had straightened teeth, and had her hair styled to please the boys. An outgoing person, Mallory read the fan magazines and knew the first name of all the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. Eudora stayed home and read only science and mathematics textbooks. Mallory sympathized with the Will Smith character in “Men in Black,” who at the firing range ignored the cutouts of monsters to plug the little girl with the Quantum Physics book because she didn’t look “like she belonged in that neighborhood.”
“It’s a marvelous suggestion,” Joyce said. “I motion that if Mallory puts aside sibling rivalry and gives Eudora all the help she needs on her science project, that she get everything she’s asking for her prom.” And Joyce secretly thought that in working together on this project, they’d see that they really like each other, and it would end the squabbling and Mallory’s constant teasing of her brainier sister.
In the family vote, Joyce and Eudora voted yes, while Mike voted no. After thinking a while, Mallory joined the other females in approval. Eudora couldn’t need all that much help from Mallory, who was barely passing her high school science classes. And she really wanted to show up Kristin at the prom.
Then Mallory grinned sinisterly. Helping Eudora would give her plenty more opportunities to tease her, wreck her project, and cement her claim to being the bigger and more important sister – as always.
Two evenings later, as Mallory was brushing her long blonde hair in the bathroom, Eudora, who said, “I need your help right now,” approached her.
“Wait until I put some clothes on. I’ll be with you in 20 minutes,” Mallory said with a peeved tone in her voice. “No, come as you are. You can better help me if you’re only in your underwear,” Eudora replied.
Puzzled, Mallory, dressed only in her bra and bikini briefs, followed Eudora back to her room. Eudora then instructed Mallory to step into her closet.
Totally baffled but more than a tiny bit curious, Mallory walked into the closet, where she first noticed that there were no clothes carefully stored on rods and hangers. “Silly Eudora,” Mallory chuckled to herself. “What’s the use of having a closet if you can’t have it stuffed with beautiful and sexy clothes? Then again, if I looked like Jerry Lewis’ Nutty Professor reconfigured as a 9-year-old girl, no amount of stylish clothes or even makeup would ever help me attract boys,” she grinned.
Mallory next noticed that the walls, ceiling and floor of the closet had been covered with sheets of chromed metal. On the ceiling and upper walls of the enclosure were large lamps of some sort. Halogens? Mallory wasn’t sure. Peaking out of the closet, Mallory noticed scads of wires running from the booth-like room to some sort of control panel and an old desktop computer. Eudora also had a camcorder set up on a tripod aimed at the open door of the closet.
“What is this? Some sort of super tanning booth?” Mallory asked. “Just get back in there and stand still, and I’ll show you,” Eudora said. “Good! I can use a good tan. It will compliment the color of my prom gown,” Mallory giggled.
Mallory watched as Eudora fiddled with some dials and switches on the control panel. Then the lamps in the closet turned on, causing Mallory to be bathed in the brightest, most pink light she had ever seen. So bright was the glow that she could see nothing else. After a few minutes, Mallory called out, “I think I’m done now. You don’t want me to burn, do you?”
Almost immediately, the bright pink glow dimmed. Mallory rubbed her eyes and stared out of the closet. She felt a bit disoriented, as the perspective of objects outside the closet had seemed to have changed ever so slightly. She rubbed her eyes again, but things didn’t rectify. Mallory then noticed Eudora walk toward the closet and hold out her hand to her sister. Mallory grabbed Eudora’s hand and let her lead her from the closet. Outside in the bedroom, Mallory was again baffled as to how slightly different everything looked from a few minutes ago. She just couldn’t put her finger on it.
Then Mallory noticed that she wasn’t looking down at her sister Eudora. Mallory was more than a foot taller than Eudora, but for some reason, they were now on the same level. Mallory was looking directly into the Coke-bottle lenses of Eudora’s eyeglasses, and Eudora had an extremely pleased smile on her lips.
Mallory quickly redirected her eyes toward the floor, where she saw her bare toes pointed toward Eudora’s sneakers. Returning her head to normal tilt, she again looked into Eudora’s eyes. “What gives?” she asked.
“You certainly are slow on the uptake. Do I have to spell everything out for you?” Eudora said as she seized Mallory’s hand and pulled her to the bathroom, and before the full-length mirror behind the door. Mallory could clearly see Eudora in the reflection, but who was the girl next to her? The strange girl was Eudora’s size, but she had long blonde hair like Mallory. And the girl was wearing bikini briefs and a bra; well, a girl’s bra, anyway. It had to be a girl’s bra, as it matched the contours of the girl’s flat chest. It wasn’t at all like Mallory’s already 36C chest. But on closer inspection, Mallory noticed that the bra had stitching for cups and cup support – but no cups! Then it all sank into Mallory’s head. The strange girl was mimicking every move she made. Mallory stuck out her tongue, and so did the reflected girl. They were one in the same.
Her stomach rumbling more than the papier-mâché volcano she now wished Eudora had made for her science project, Mallory moved quickly backward from the mirror, bumping into the sink and tumbling to the floor. “How come I’m your size now?” Mallory quivered as she sat painfully on the floor. “Why, I made you younger. You are now 9-years-old, just like me,” Eudora happily remarked. “But how…” Mallory nervously queried.
“After reading all those books about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the key to making people younger just leapt off the pages at me,” Eudora proudly noted. “It was so easy – and logical. And it was right under the noses of all those quantum scientists. But it took a little girl to identify it. The key is to manipulate the flow of light in a closed area. And you are the proof that my thesis is correct.”
“Well, I don’t want to be a 9-year-old again,” Mallory fumed as she bounced back to her feet and grabbed Eudora’s arm. “I can’t be seen in public like this. What would my friends – or worse, my rivals – say if I showed up at the prom like this?”
“All eyes would certainly be on you, which I believe is what you were seeking with that big demand for expensive prom clothing and gear,” Eudora chuckled.
“Look, little sister, You’ve had your fun. You change me back, right now,” Mallory uneasily pleaded, putting her arm around Eudora’s shoulder. Eudora only snickered. “Why should I? You’re not my big sister any more. We’re equals now. And it will be a lot harder for you to tease or pull rank on me, now that we’re the same size and age, although not brain wattage” she explained.
“So maybe I haven’t been the best big sister in the past, but (heh heh!) you’ve taught me a good lesson,” Mallory said, striking a false smile on her face. “You grow me back, and I’ll be the best big sister you ever had.” Eudora frowned. “I’ll be the judge of that. Maybe in a few months,” she said walking away.
Mallory ran after Eudora, screaming, “You’re not getting away with this.” Mallory caught up with her sister, reached into the back of her shorts, and sharply yanked up Eudora’s panties in the most massive wedgie imaginable. Eudora reacted by bugging out her eyes and striking a pained look. She retaliated by pushing Mallory away. Mallory then grabbed Eudora from behind, but found it harder to throw her to the floor than days earlier. In becoming younger, Mallory lost much of her near adult muscle tone. She was more equal in size and strength to Eudora than she realized.
The two girls tussled on the floor, rolling across the throw rugs, each trying but failing to land punches. Eudora had the advantage of Mallory having long hair, which she could grab and pull with abandon. But Mallory had been more athletic and gradually climbed on top of Eudora and asked her to cry for mercy. Pinned to the floor, Eudora still refused to surrender. So Mallory pulled off her glasses.
“I’ll smash your glasses if you don’t promise to restore me to my old age of 18,” Mallory demanded triumphantly. “You’re blind as a bat without these glasses.”
Eudora surrendered, and motioned for Mallory to return to the closet. Mallory kept the glasses, saying that Eudora could have them back as soon as she was 18 again.
“This will teach you not to pick on family members, especially me,” Mallory scolded while waving Eudora’s glasses above her head. Eudora replied, “But you were the best subject. If I took 9 years off an adult, there wouldn’t be evidence that my device worked. But take 9 years off a teen – big difference in size and appearance. And I caught it all on my camcorder.”
“And when you grow me, be sure and regrow my underwear. I don’t want to be strangled by it when I’m big again,” Mallory demanded. “If you understood the space/time continuum, you know that couldn’t happen,” Eudora added.
Eudora slowly manipulated the dials and switches on her device’s control panel, often using a magnifying glass to get the right setting. She then activated the device, causing Mallory to be enveloped again in the warm pink glow.
Minutes later, the glow faded, and a reshaped Mallory happily skipped out of the closet. But she stopped abruptly. Queasiness spread through her entire body as she discovered herself to now be looking up at Eudora, who was wearing a different pair of glasses. “I always keep a few spares,” Eudora chortled.
Panicking, Mallory ran back to the bathroom and stared into the mirror, with Eudora joining her. Mallory could see that she now came up to only the middle of Eudora’s chest. Mallory’s body was now that of a chubby toddler, which continued to be tightly hugged by her bikini panty and bra that again shrunk with her. “Now what did you do to me?” Mallory painfully asked.
“Since you were unhappy with being a 9-year-old, I made you into a 4-year-old. How do you like it, little sister,” Eudora said in tones of total pleasure with herself. “Don’t call me that,” Mallory screamed as she plunged her tiny fist into Eudora’s stomach. “Didn’t feel a thing. You’re too young to do anything that can hurt me now,” Eudora grinned as she walked away.
Mallory jumped onto the toilet and snatched her Mother’s hairbrush from a cabinet, then ran after Eudora. Catching up to her in the bedroom, Mallory smacked Eudora with the brush hard across her knees. Eudora grimaced in pain, then turned toward Mallory. Although she attempted a quick retreat, Mallory was easily captured. Eudora twirled Mallory around and plunked her chest down over her seated legs.
Eudora held the struggling Mallory in place with her left arm. Picking up the hairbrush in her right hand, she proceeded to give Mallory a spanking like she had never received in her life.
“Ever since I was the age you now are, you’ve made my life miserable. Now its payback time,” Eudora said as the brush made initial contact with Mallory’s posterior. This caused Mallory to howl, and to wiggle her legs wildly in hopes of breaking the grip holding her across Eudora’s lap.
Adopting a grim smile, Eudora paired the hits with the sins. “This is for all the names you called me. Poindexter (smack), Brainiac (smack), Egghead (smack), Little Miss Smartypants (smack), Professor Kelp (smack), Chipmunk puss (smack), Four-eyes (smack). This is for comparing me to Junior in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons (smack), for comparing me to Harecules Hare in the Beany & Cecil cartoons (smack), you kept asking for my ‘guided muscle’ (smack), here it is (smack). And this is for sneaking up on me while I’m studying to give me wedgies (smack), dumping water on me (smack), hiding my books (smack), bullying me when Mom and Dad aren’t around (smack), and you know what else (smack smack smack smack smack…).
Less than half way through the punishment, Mallory was bawling like the toddler she had become. “Lemme go! Waaaaaaaah!” she repeatedly said, all the while kicking, squirming, and developing increasingly warm buns.
Eudora finally let Mallory go. She ran from Eudora’s room to that of her parents. “Mommy! Daddy!” she screamed, giving her parents a huge shock. Joyce quickly sat up in bed, pulling the sheets up to her chin as she glared at the strange blonde-haired toddler crying her eyes out before her.
“Who are you?” Mike asked nervously. “Don’t you recognize me, Daddy. I’m Mallory. Look what bad old Eudora did to me,” Mallory cried.
Joyce studied the girl carefully. “She does look like Mallory did when she was a preschooler,” Joyce observed. “Maybe you better go and investigate,” she told her husband.
Mike followed the 4-year-old back to Eudora’s bedroom, nervously contemplating what fiendish trap may await him. He was relieved when he saw only Eudora sitting on her bed with the remote control for her VCR. The diminished Mallory eagerly pointed at Eudora, prattling, “There she is. Eudora bad girl. Turning Mallory into little girl. You make her grow me back!”
“Is this true?” Mike asked. “Of course,” Eudora replied, then offered proof by playing the videotapes she made of Mallory’s two rejuvenations. Mike watched as the jerky footage depicted his 18-year-old daughter shrinking along the lines of reverse growth into a 4-year-old.”
“That’s impressive, but couldn’t you grow your sister back?” Mike asked Eudora. “I need her at her current size as proof that my process works,” Eudora explained. “This footage is so jerky, it looks like stop-action animation. After I win the Patterson Academy Science Fair, then maybe…” her voice trailing off to a whisper.
Mike nodded, then grabbed Mallory’s hand. “’Dora gonna grow Mallory back to big girl?” Mallory asked. “Later, sweetie,” Mike responded.
Mike quickly marched Mallory back to the parents’ bedroom, where he explained the whole situation to Joyce. Looking at her regressed older daughter with wide-eyed astonishment, Joyce heard Mallory whine for her to do something to help her. Joyce responded by unhooking Mallory’s shrunken bra.
“Hey, I need bra,” Mallory complained loudly. “No you don’t, honey,” Joyce countered. “You’re way too young to be wearing bras, even a training bra. You really have nothing to train.”
“But I wanna be big girl again,” Mallory tearfully protested. “According to your Father, you’ll have to stay a 4-year-old at least through the science fair. Then, well…” Joyce said, adding, “Now off to bed with you!”
In her own bedroom, Mallory scoured her drawers, pulling out all her best clothes and trying them on. All fitted her like tents. Her mini-skirted cheerleader costume reached her toes, before it slipped from her body. Her 18-year-old-size bras draped off her shoulders to below her waist. She was able to put both legs through the same leg hole of her panties. She fell asleep, cuddling her previous year’s junior prom dress.
The next morning, Mallory awoke to find her Mother leaning over her, announcing that she had found some hand-me-downs from Eudora that would fit her. They consisted of a size 4 girl’s panty and a T-shirt with a charicature of Madame Curie. Ever the brain, Eudora had asked her parents to buy it at the gift shop in their downtown library when she herself was only a 4-year-old.
At the kitchen table, Mallory demanded a cup of coffee to get her started. But Mike reminded her that as long as she was a 4-year-old, she would drink milk at breakfast and other meals. Mallory grumbled, but went along with her parents’ demands, especially after seeing Eudora miming a desire to spank her again.
After breakfast, Mallory ran after Eudora. Looking up at her little sister and striking a contrite pose, Mallory pleaded, “Daddy says you gonna grow me back after I help at science fair.” Eudora grinned. “I’m not sure that’s what Daddy said, but…” Eudora’s voice trailed off. But she added, “I’m certain your life will be greatly changed from what it is now after you help me demonstrate my device at the fair.”
Mallory skipped off, extremely happy with herself.
For the next few days, Mallory was kept at home, being too young to attend high school. Joyce phoned the school, claiming she had an illness that left her as weak as a child. Mallory didn’t mind. She seemed to enjoy the free time. But she was puzzled as to why her Father also was home from work. He spent nearly all his time in his bedroom, the door closed, talking into the household’s portable telephone.
To entertain herself, Mallory reconnected with her childhood. She scaled the living room furniture as if they were mountains. She used the long dormant swing and jungle gym set in the backyard. She hid behind the dryer in the basement, only to jump out to surprise her mother, who smiled lovingly at her newly rejuvenated daughter.
But as the days dragged on, Mallory became restless. It was fun watching cartoons on TV for a couple of days, but the fun soon drained from this activity. Out of boredom, she picked up her schoolbooks to bone up for finals. But she had a hard time trying to concentrate. She no longer understood most of what she was reading. In fact, she was starting to have trouble assembling the letters into words.
Worse, Mallory had been keeping a notebook of the things she would do to get revenge on Eudora for subjecting her to the humiliation of being turned into a preschool girl. But while she began writing in the longhand script she used in high school, the writing had deteriorated to a childish level, and she found she had printed the last two entries. The last, to Mallory’s shock, contained backward R’s and S’s.
Hurry up, Science Fair, so I can be grown back to normal before I lose my mind,” Mallory shuddered.
Finally, the day of the Patterson Academy Science Fair arrived. Mallory was excited and couldn’t wait to go. So were Eudora and her parents. For the occasion, Joyce purchased Mallory a cute little pink dress with purple trim. She even tied a large pink bow in Mallory’s hair. Mallory didn’t care. By the end of the day, she’d be grown up again. “Isn’t that what Daddy and Eudora promised,” Mallory thought.
Eudora got use of a broom closet at the edge of the Patterson gymnasium in which to set up her age-altering booth. It took more than two hours, but Eudora was happy that all would work as it had in her bedroom.
Mallory was happy too. So happy she would soon regain her former age, she had invited Rupert and three of her girlfriends to watch the event at the Patterson Academy. When they arrived, Mallory, who had gladly hid her rejuvenation from all, eagerly greeted her quartet of chums, who were mouth agape at seeing their old friend a 4-year-old cavorting in a pink toddler dress.
Mike was busy meeting with men he too had invited to the demonstration. He herded them into a classroom where he played the tape of Mallory’s rejuvenation, then promised them a demonstration that would knock their socks off (or at least shrink them out of their socks).
By 7 p.m., the school judges reached Eudora’s science fair exhibit. A large crowd had assembled to watch, which included parents of other Patterson students, Mallory’s four school friends, and a half dozen men in dark suits. Eudora explained that her device had the ability to produce controlled rejuvenation in humans. She gave a thumbnail description of the scientific theories at work, then replayed the video of Mallory’s earlier rejuvenations. Rupert, for some reason, applauded both tapes.
Eudora then introduced her sister Mallory, who pranced around like Rocky running up those Philadelphia stairs. Announcing that she would now conduct a live demonstration, Eudora turned to her sister and ordered, “Mallory, strip to your panties and get into the closet.” Mallory set a record for doffing dress, socks and shoes. Grinning broadly inside the closet, she watched as Eudora hit the switch.
As before a bright pink glow filled the closet, obscuring any view of Mallory. Only the camcorder with the filtered lens recorded what actually happened. After several minutes, the glow subsided, and the observers gasped at what they saw.
Mallory had not grown older, but instead had become still younger. She was now a 15-month-old baby standing in her shrunken toddler’s panty on unsteady legs. Realizing what had happened, Mallory looked pitifully at Eudora and whined, “You wied to me.” Snuffling a few times, she then began to cry. “A-ha a-ha a-ha! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaa!” she wailed.
“Aw, she’s so cute!” one of Mallory’s high school friends cooed. The three female friends ran to the closet. Seeing them come, a suddenly frightened Mallory tried backing up, but fell on her rump, causing her to cry all the more.
As the girls carried the infantized Mallory from the closet, Mike signaled to the dark-suited men to follow him. Joyce ran to the girls and claimed Mallory. Cradling her pantied bottom with one arm, Joyce soothed Mallory with her other hand, seeking to end her loud yowling. She then felt dampness form on her arm under Mallory’s fanny.
Viewing the contorted look on Joyce’s face, a woman in the crowd told her, “Oh, that happens with even the cutest babies. I have a spare disposable diaper, a baby wipe and some powder in the diaper bag I brought for my little Sarah. Here, let me give her a change,” the woman added, lifting Mallory from her Mother’s protection.
Placing Mallory on a nearby table, the woman removed the soaked panty, and cleaned Mallory with the wipe. Holding up her ankles to powder her butt, the woman added, “Don’t you recognize me, Mallory. I’m the teacher you and your boyfriend mooned from my front window a few weeks ago. I must say you’re tushie looks a lot cuter now,” she added as he finished affixing the diaper.
Lying on the table, Mallory next saw the face of her boyfriend Rupert. “Er, Mallory? I don’t know if this is the time, but… I’d like to break our date for the prom. If that’s okay with you,” he said. Mallory reacted with a new burst of tears.
Soon afterward, Eudora picked up Mallory, sat her in her lap and tickled her chest. “Quiet, little Mallory, quiet,” Eudora said. “Sorry about all this, but Dad needed you for one more live demonstration in order to sell my device. Dad’s auctioning off rights to my device at this very moment. We’ll all be rich and live well the rest of our lives, thanks to you.”
Mallory looked quizzically at her now much older sister. Eudora smiled and added, “My device doesn’t age people. It only rejuvenates them. But Dad and I didn’t think you’d volunteer to try the device one more time if you thought it would make you still younger. We never actually said you’d be grown up. You just sort of convinced yourself.
“But don’t worry,” Eudora grinned. “That’s my next project, finding the quantum physics that will reverse the rejuvenation process. I just don’t know how long it will take.”
Mallory began to whimper as if she still had a good cry left in her. But Eudora cut it short, stuffing the nipple from a baby bottle into her mouth. “If you want to get bigger at the same rate as other babies – one day at a time – try this. It’s high-iron soy formula.” Mallory accepted the nipple and was soon heartily sucking down the bottle’s contents. She found it had an almond-like taste that resembled espresso latte.
“Actually, I’m not sorry I couldn’t grow you back today,” Eudora added as she bottle-fed her older-turned-baby sister. “I read your notebook. The horrible things you were going to do to me. You didn’t learn anything from this experience. Now you’ll have all the time in the world to contemplate why it’s wrong to torture and belittle your little sister.” Back at home later that evening, Eudora cuddled her little sister on the living room sofa while their parents busily converted Mallory’s bedroom from a teen’s room to a baby’s nursery. Out went Mallory’s bed, dresser and racks of “with-it” clothing. In came a crib, changing table, and chest for baby clothes.
“You know, I’m actually looking forward to raising Mallory again,” Joyce told Mike. “I’ve always wanted a third child, but I like the idea of getting a second change at my eldest. This time, we’ll raise her so she doesn’t end up with a rebellious crowd, drinking alcohol, smoking, driving like a maniac, and showing disrespect for teachers.”
Mike agreed. He then handed Mallory an old friend he found in the basement – a teddy bear Mallory played with the last time she was an infant. Mallory gave it a huge hug as she renewed its acquaintance.
Joyce later fitted Mallory into fuzzy pink blanket sleeper. “No like,” Mallory whined as she fought being put into the infantile clothing. Joyce merely smiled at her daughter. “Don’t fret, honey. We promised that if you helped Eudora with her science project, we’d spend the money for your prom. But since you’re too young to attend, we’re spending it on stuff better suited for your new age. I can buy two week’s changes of baby clothes for what the prom dress cost.”
Placed in her crib, Mallory placed one hand on her friend the bear. With her other hand, she stuck the thumb in her mouth and sucked it until she fell asleep.
Three days, seven jars of baby food, three-quarters of a box of strained rice cereal, 12 bottles of formula, and 28 Pampers later, baby Mallory noticed plenty of activity among her parents and Eudora. Grabbing her teddy bear by its leg, Mallory dragged it behind her as she took uneasy steps down the hall to the bathroom, where she found her Mother still in her underwear applying makeup while Eudora was buttoning up a fancy dress with a skirt to her ankles. Her Father was already dressed and waiting in the living room.
“Where you goin’?” Mallory asked. Joyce picked her daughter up and sat her on her lap. “We’re going to dinner,” Joyce explained. “Can I go?” Mallory replied, her face breaking into a bright smile.
“No, honey,” Joyce said. “It’s going to be a long evening. We’re meeting with the highest bidder for Eudora’s rejuvenation device and we may be up to all hours hammering out a technology licensing agreement. Since you need your sleep, I’m calling in a babysitter. No, not Grandma. This is the night she goes to the riverboat casino to play the slots. Instead, I’m…” The ring of the doorbell cut her off.
“Here’s your sitter, Mallory. You know Kristen Hauge?” Mike said as he escorted the teen into the house. Mallory knew Kristin all too well. She was her high school rival who did everything she could to humiliate Mallory before her peers. And now Mallory was under her control; way too young to do anything about it.
After the other three family members left, Kristen lifted Mallory from her playpen.
“Well, well, we meet again; and now you’re wearing Pampers. I hope you don’t mind. I brought along my camcorder,” Kristen said, pulling the appliance from her large bag. “I’m sure all your friends will enjoy seeing you diapered, fed your baby food and bottle, hugging your teddy bear and all – at the prom.”
Terrified by the prospect, Mallory broke into shrieking tears. Kristen sat her on the floor and began to record the scene on the camcorder. “Perfect! Wonderful footage,” Kristen said as she tried to stuff a pacifier in Mallory’s mouth with her free hand.
Mallory took cold comfort in the fact that the next Albertson Family Council meeting was tomorrow. After the events of the previous week, Mallory was going to propose that she be put up for adoption. Maybe she could hook up with an ordinary family; preferably one whose other daughters had IQ’s of less than 120.