Jane, your average 12-year-old girl preteen almost teen,
was out tricky-treating like a lot of younger kids a while back on
Halloween night. Jane considered staying home with
her mother this night, but her mom talked her into
going out one last time.
"Jane, enjoy childhood while itís last." Her motherís
words still echoed in her head.
"God, she still thinks Iím a little girl." Jane muttered
out loud as she walked on and not noticing she was
going down a dead end street in her block.
Jane had dress up as a diva after her mom talked her
into going out. Her biggest worry was one of her close
friends would see her out on Halloween.
Jane looked up at last when she heard the quiet around
her. There were no sounds of doors opening and closing or
childrenís laughter all around her now.
Jane was about to head back when she noticed a pair of
lights in front of her some distance away. Through
the mist she saw what look like the outline of a
house. Jane was puzzled and confused for moment. She
had lived in this area all her life and never remembered
anyone putting in a house down the dead end.
Janeís curiosity got the better of her. She had to go
to get a closer look at it.
"A store!?" Jane said out loud, seeing the front part in
much clearer view now as it loomed out of the mist.
A wave of relief had come over her at that point. Jane
expected some creepy house to loom out of the darkness and
mist. This friendly looking store with what had to be
owner standing in the doorway was comforting.
"Hello there, young miss. Youíre the first
trick-or-treater I had all night long. "A man with
grayish hair said, spotting her.
Feeling sorry for him for just standing there all
night long Jane smiled and walked up. He looked so
frail and kind looking, Jane couldnít help but feel
sorry for him.
"Hi, this is the first time I have seen this store here and
I have lived here my entire life." Jane said innocently.
"Well, itís sort of a specialty store and I only attend
to certain customers." He said and slowly reached into
a bag by his feet. He pulled out a large handful of
toffee looking candy.
Jane couldnít help by gawk at how much he was giving
"I got a feeling Iíll have plenty left over so donít you
worry about the other kids." The old man said after
dropping the handful into her bag.
"Thank you." Jane said and took a moment to look
through the glass behind him. She could only see
grandfather clocks along the left side of the wall and
nothing else inside.
ĎClock repair or salesmaní she thought to herself.
"Look at the time it is getting late." The old man said
glancing inside his shop.
Jane couldnít see the hands on the clocks inside and
didnít have her watch on. She took his word on it.
"Better run along home before your mother worries." He
said picking up his bag and opening the door to his
shop then disappearing inside.
Jane started off back toward home giving the shop one
last look. Again her confusion was back. Shop seemed
to disappear or was hidden in darkness now. Maybe he
turned off the lights outside his door.
Jane was back home in no time. After taking a few shortcuts
, her mother wouldnít never approve of, she was home again
and little worried she was late getting back.
"Honey, back so soon?" Her mother asked seeing her
coming toward the house. The mist was now gone and
looked like clear skies.
"I had to been out for over 2 hours. I walked the entire block."
Jane knowing she had been out a really long time, but unsure how long it had really been.
"Well, you must have walked just under 30 minutes." Her
mother said glancing at the hallway clock.
Jane looked as well. Only thirty minutes had passed
since she had left. Jane could have sworn that much more
time had passed. Shaking off the feeling she was out a long
time, she set her bag of candy down in the living room
and ran up to her room to take off some of the make-up she
Jane smiled as she looked at her slightly over painted
face in the mirror. This was part of the disguise just in
case one of her friends saw her out.
Washing off her make-up she dried her face and went
back downstairs. Jane heard something in living room
and turned the corner just in time seeing her mother
sneaking some candy out of her bag.
"Mom!" Jane said catching her mother taking candy.
"What?" Her mother said through a mouth full of
candy. The word came out muffled.
Jane saw her mother looking embarrassed because she
acted like a little kid stealing candy from her own
"Mom, I didnít even check it yet." Jane said feeling
like a responsible girl she always was.
"Iím sure itís safe. I looked before I ate them." Her
mom said then clutched her stomach.
"Mom, you okay?" Jane said, seeing her mother holding her
"Yeah, I think I just ate too much all at once." Her
mother said stumbling her way back to the master
bedroom. Jane followed and noticed something odd.
Either her momís witchís outfit was getting bigger or she
was getting smaller.
"Jane, on second thought, I do feel a little strange."
Her mom said taking a seat on the bed and looking into
the dressing mirror.
Jane stared in disbelief as her motherís face was
getting lighter in complexion. She looked closer,
seeing the wrinkles that were starting around the eyes
were gone now.
"Mom, your face." Jane managed to mutter out.
"What about it?" Her mom said looking at the mirror.
Jane saw her momís face go into a confused look.
"Mom, you look younger somehow." Jane said after a few
seconds to think about it.
"I do, donít I?" Her mom said feeling her face and
smile forming on her lips.
"Mom, it had to be the candy. I got handful from an
old man in front of strange looking store. Iíll be right
back." Jane said and ran down the hall back to the
living. Picking up a discarded silver wrapper, she
saw the words printed in bold on the clockworkís candy with
what look like more writing in the twist of the
Jane read it fast.
"Clockworkís Candy: makes you act your age." Jane read
then dashed back into the bedroom.
She stopped when she entered. No longer was a woman sitting
on the bed, but a Teen in an oversized witches outfit.
"Mom!?" Jane asked not believing just teenager was her
"Yeah, I almost didnít recognize myself." Her mother
said and enjoying the image in the mirror, feeling
her hands and face. Jane noted her motherís arms were
covering up her chest. Was she hiding the fact her
breasts were smaller.
"Mom, what were you thinking or felt like when you ate
this candy that was in this wrapper?" Jane said giving
a moment to take in that her mom looked no older then a
senior in high school.
"Silly, I felt like when I was a little girl and my
older sister had caught me sneaking some candy out of
her bag on Halloween night like this." Her mom
explained and her voice was younger in sound.
"How young were you thinking?" Jane said looking down
at the words on the wrapper then her mother.
"Well, itís was an early memory I have, I guess around 3 or
4 years old." Her mother said and having a much easier
time recalling it. A worried look came over her face
once she realized she was stilling getting younger.
She had only one piece of that candy.
"Mom, itís says act your age on the wrapper I think
your going to be a little girl again." Jane said
explaining what she thought would happen. The shock of it
was still a bit to handle.
"Honey, There is no need to call dad early from work or
anyone. We will just go back to where you got this
candy and fix this." A very calm 16-year-old teen
said looking at her with a serious look.
Jane knew her mom was just acting like she was calm.
On the inside she was most likely worried to death.
"Okay, mothÖÖer" Jane said feeling very funny about
calling this teen in front of her mom or mother
"Lauren from now on." Her mom said feeling much more
comfortable then hearing the word mom.
"Jane, I need some better fitting clothes. First letís
see how young I am going to be." Her mom said returning
her attention back to the dresser mirror. The mirror
was leveled with the bed so she could her body changing as
Jane stared as long she could without blinking.
The changes were so subtle and smooth no one would have noticed
unless they were watching her like a hawk.
"I think Iím your age now." Her mother said, removing her
arm across her chest and looking down at her body. She
was forced to shift her clothing around to cover
"We could be sisters." Jane said taking a seat beside her
and looking at herself besides her mother. They
looked somewhat alike yet a little different here and
"This even might be fun until I return to my normal
age." Her mother said trying her best to make her
12-year-old voice sound mature and like her adult
Around 8 or 9 years-old, Lauren let go of all modesty.
There was no point now in holding up her adult
clothing. She was now flat chested again and very skinny
in her arms and legs.
Jane saw her start to cry.
"Ití okay. Iím here." Jane said putting her arm
around her motherís back. The child beside her was
just passing kindergarten age now.
"Iím all right. Itís just looks like everything is
getting so big and tall." A 4-year-old Lauren said
sounding very funny, like a person who breathed in
Jane had been stroking the childís head feeling the
hair becoming thin and very soft. At long last she
stopped getting younger. Jane looked down at the
3-year-old with her head in her lap. Her momís green eyes
where there in that chubby little girlís face. She was
adorable and there was no other word to describe her.
"You wook so big, Jane." Lauren said looking up at
"Well, yeah. I imagine to a baby Iím pretty big."
Jane said letting out a sarcasm remark.
"Iím not a baby, Iím more of toddwerís age." Lauren
said taking great offense.
"Lauren, where you potty trained yet?" Jane said
jumping up from the bed.
"No." Lauren said while sliding off the bed. She nearly
fell down, but stayed on her very short legs.
"So youíll need diapers or trainers?" Jane said rising
her right eyebrow.
"Guess so, but Iím not planning on staying this way. Lets
find something I can wear and quick." Little Lauren
said walking toddler-like out of the room.
Jane followed and easily beat her mother to her room.
There they both went thru the drawers and closet in search
of clothing. After a furious search for about ten
minutes, only Janeís oldest and smallest shirt would
fit without sliding down her body through the neck
The shirt still puddle around her feet hindering her
ability to walk right.
"Maybe we should go to the drugstore around the
corner. They are open till eleven and they had some
childrenís clothes last week." Jane said quietly after
her mother stumbled trying to walk in the oversize
"Yeah, wets go." Lauren said struggling again as they
both were now in the living room again.
"Be faster if I just carry you." Jane said and picked
up the toddler with both hands. Lauren had a scared
or worried look at the moment.
"We need some money." Lauren said reaching out for her
purse some distance away with her little chubby hands.
"Think a twenty will do it." Jane said fishing out a
bill and getting a cold stare from her mother that she was
taking too much out. Jane ignored the accusing gaze
and turned toward the door.
Jane shut off the lights outside and stuck the bowl of
candy by the door before locking it from outside.
It was slow going on their way to the drugstore. It
took twice as long because Jane couldnít carry Lauren
for very long and little Lauren couldnít walk very
fast or far without tripping over.
Once they were on the more well lighted street where
the drugstore was, Jane put Lauren down and grabbed her
hand. Now she would look like a big sister taking her
little sister out.
Lauren hated being on her bare feet with the cold
concrete almost as much she feared being carried.
Quietly they entered and only saw a middle aged lady
behind the counter.
"Hello, May I help you?" The salesperson said looking from
the homemade rag a muffin costume on the toddler and
what appeared to be some movie star get up on the older
"Childrenís clothes for my sister. She had a little accident" Jane said
"Sorry, we wonít have anything in her size till next
week. Sold out just yesterday." The sales woman said
Jane felt a tug on her arm. Looking down she saw
Lauren turning her body toward the small corner of the
There were Halloween costumes at half off price and
one of them looked it would fit and it came with itís
own pair of Halloween style shoes.
"What about that one?" Jane asked out loud.
"Looks like her size. Is there anything else your
"Got any training pants?" Jane asked, seeing Lauren
out of the corner of her eye going red in the face and saw her
move behind her as if to hide.
"No, we only sell diapers. Youíll have to go to the
store in town to get those." The sales woman said
Jane only looked back down at Lauren after she had the
diapers and pumpkin costume on the counter. Lauren
was sucking her thumb looking up at her with
an expression of I want to leave.
Jane wonder if her momís old habit of nail biting had now been changed into being a little thumb sucker.
"Since Iím out of free candy I just throw in this package
for free, because she really shouldn't suck her thumb
and you can pick out a candy bar from the shelf on the
house." The sales woman said looking from the toddler back
to who she assumed was her older sister.
"Thanks." Jane said eager to go. Lauren was now
tugging on her arm more then ever. Eager to leave and get
dress in some warmer clothes.
After paying for everything except the freebies, Jane
took Lauren to a spot just behind the drugstore. Hidden
from view, Jane dressed her mother and even convinced
her to open the pacifier packaging for her.
Jane had just finished diapering her when she saw her
mother had the pacifier in her mouth.
"Guess you were curious to see whatís it like?" Jane
Little Lauren shook her head yes and suck on the pacifier
like it was second nature.
"Mom, do you still understand whatís going on? Are
you still you?" Jane asked very worried her mother was
turning into a real toddler mentally.
Again Little Lauren shook her head yes.
"Good, because Iíll have a hard time explaining this to
dad." Jane said helping her into her toddler size
costume of a little pumpkin then putting the pumpkin
color shoes on her feet.
"Come on my little pumpkin, we have another store to
visit." Jane said grinning and started to really enjoy
this odd situation. Jane had to stop herself from
laughing out loud as she watched her mother waddle
down the street just ahead of her.
"We going to the dead street, Pumpkin." Jane said
giggling a little at her motherís waddling.
They reached the dead end street in just ten minutes
before nine. Like before, the store lights loomed out of
the darkness and a mist seemed to line the edge of it.
Jane pushed open the door and with little Lauren at
her feet, they were inside.
"Iím sorry, but I only allow one hand out to a
person, but the pumpkin girl can get a handful of
candy if she likes." A young male voice said as a
young man stepped through the doorway to the back.
Jane saw a man about 20-years-old smiling as he took
his seat behind the counter.
"Of course. If you can make yourself old. You can be
young too, Mr. Clockwork." Jane said realizing who it was.
He nodded a little.
"Well fix this. Look at what your candy did to my mom."
Jane said pulling her mother to stand in front of her.
"Oh such a beautiful child. I simply canít undo what
has happened." Clockwork said leaning back.
"Why? I canít have a toddler as a mother." Jane said
starting to feel angry inside her.
"Calm yourself. The effects are only temporary and
will wear off in 3 hours time. Unless you eat more
then one piece. Then itís 3 hours for every piece of
candy you eaten." Mr. Clockwork said giving a
"Weally?" Little Lauren said once she had taken her pacifier
"Oh yes, madam. I do these things for certain
reasons. Iíd suggest you take some of your own advice.
" Mr. Clockwork said quietly.
"Enjoy childhood while itís last" Jane said repeating
her motherís words.
"Yes. Very wise words I must say. So what are you
still doing here standing around? Go now, enjoy my
little gift." Mr. Clockwork said grinning at their
"Mr. Clockwork, why?" Jane asked not wanting to leave
"Because time is short and there is so much in life
to experience." Mr. Clockwork said as he was getting
up from his seat.
"Jane, lets go." Lauren said wanting to leave. This
store with its grandfather clocks and such was making
her skin crawl.
Jane didnít fully understood the reasons behind his amazing
candy and led the way out anyway. Once they had step
through the doorway, the store vanished.
Jane and Lauren stared back at an empty lot with tall
weeds and a small forest of trees in the distance.
"Come on, Pumpkin." Jane said liking the nickname she
had for little Lauren.
"Where we going?" Lauren asked feeling timid.
"First weíll go home to drop off this bag with diapers in
it and then hit every house we can for candy and get back
home before you grow up again." Jane said lifting up
the plastic bag in her other hand she had been
"Okay." Lauren said then put her pacifier back into
Some hours later back at Janeís house. A toddler girl
slept on the floor on top of some soft blankets. She
was a cute toddler girl dressed only in a diaper and
was drooling a little on her pillow as she slept on.
"Fresh from the dishwasher." Janeís mother said
quietly as she walked into the room. She was now back
to her old adult age and wearing her regular nightly robe.
Quietly she bent down and put the pacifier in her
daughterís mouth and in an instantly the toddler closed
her mouth on it out of instinct or a desire to suck on it.
"So nice to have my little angel back even if itís
only for tonight." Lauren said looking at her
daughterís little cherub face.
Lauren heard the front door and her husband was home at
last from work.
"This working overtime and on holidays is murder." He
said seeing his wife coming around the corner.
She had her index finger to her lips and pointed to
the living room.
Recognizing the gestures to be quiet, he looked in the
other room at the baby girl sleeping on the floor.
Three empty candy wrappers laid beside her
"Honey, who is that and where is Jane?" He said and
looked down the hall toward her bedroom. This was the
first time in a long time his daughter hadnít been
there to welcome him home.
"First have some candy and Iíll explain it all" Lauren
said to her husband holding up a silver wrapped piece
"Sure." He said taking the candy and unwrapped it
quickly. Out of habit, he bit down hard on it and
could feel it melt in his mouth.
"Well, it all started when I ate a piece of candy out
of Janeís bagÖÖÖÖ" Lauren said launching into the
Jane, your average 12-year-old girl preteen almost teen, was out tricky-treating like a lot of younger kids a while back on Halloween night. Jane considered staying home with her mother this night, but her mom talked her into going out one last time.