by bobby

Francine trudged through the front door and threw her keys on the counter. Her day had been one of the worst on record. She almost got fired; at the very least her career at her company was no longer viable. She'd be stuck in that job the rest of her life unless she went somewhere else, and at 42 that was easier said than done. Her husband Tom wasn't home yet, she noticed, thinking it was just as well; she was too exhausted to get into much of a conversation. Francine hung her coat up on the rack in the hall and looked in the adjacent mirror. 'I still look pretty good,' she said to herself as she ran her hand through her long, permed, reddish blonde hair. One thing she was thankful for was that she only had a few grey hairs, and didn't even bother coloring her hair as many of her co-workers and friends now did. Her face was still attractive too, though she was starting to show signs of her middle-age, with some faint laugh lines around her mouth, and crow's feet by her eyes. Her lips were still quite full and kissable, but they were just barely beginning to wrinkle.

Francine's best feature was still her body, though. When she was in a mood to really dress well, she still turned some heads with her hourglass figure. She had only recently developed a slight bulge in her tummy, but nothing major, and her legs were still smooth and shapely for the most part. She had seen the very faint beginnings of varicose veins and cellulite, but with pantyhose on they were unnoticeable.

All in all, Francine was still quite an attractive, sexy woman on the outside, but inside she felt old and undesirable. When she would tell Tom about how she felt, he would just laugh and say she was being ridiculous, she was even more beautiful than the day he met her, but it was little consolation. They were happily married, but Francine still enjoyed flirting with men. She knew it wasn't right and she felt guilty, almost as if she were cheating on Tom. She knew she'd never actually have an affair, but at the same time, the thought really excited her; when she was flirting, she felt very desirable, the way she did in her 20's when men would line up for dates with her.

'Mom, are you home?' Francine heard her 16-year-old daughter, Stacy call from upstairs. 'Yes, sweetheart,' she replied, wearily. Stacy came running down the stairs and gave Francine a quick hug and kiss. 'Dad called and said he'd be late tonight, so don't bother with dinner.' 'OK, dear,' Francine said. She wasn't really hungry anyway. She'd stopped at the video store on the way home to find a movie she could relax and unwind with tonight, and found one with a very unusual title: AGE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. There was no description of the movie, it was in a plain red box, but something called out to her to rent this oddity.

'Are you OK, Mom?' Stacy asked, a look of concern on her face, startling Francine out of her reverie. 'Oh, yes, dear,' she smiled, waving her hand dismissingly, 'I just had a long day, that's all. Say, do you want to watch this movie with me?' 'I can't now, Mom, I'm finishing my homework,' Stacy replied. 'But I'll come down later and join you.' 'OK, dear,' Francine said, kissing Stacy on the forehead. It suddenly struck her how grown-up Stacy was now. Her daughter was only a few inches shorter than herself. She shuddered thinking how Stacy would be going to college in less than two years; that really made her feel old.

As Stacy ran up to her room, Francine popped the tape into the VCR and sat back on the couch. After the customary FBI warning and some annoying previews for movies she wouldn't be caught dead renting, let alone going to the theater to see, the main feature started.

Instead of the typical movie as Francine expected, all that appeared was a blank screen with one sentence in white lettering which read: 'What age would you like to be today??'. 'What is this, Bill Gates' idea of a joke?' Francine said, bewlildered. For some reason though, Francine started thinking out loud about the question. 'You know, I wouldn't mind being back in high school again like Stacy is,' she mused as she laid against the back of the couch with her hands clasped behind her neck. As soon as the words left her mouth, the caption on the screen changed to read: 'Your request is being processed'. 'Huh?' Francine said, watching the screen as it turned completely blank. After a minute or two, nothing else happened, so Francine picked up the remote and hit fast forward for a few seconds. When she hit play again the screen was still blank. 'What is this?' Francine said with disgust. Suddenly another line appeared on the screen reading: 'Please press rewind to complete transaction'. 'What transaction?' she said, then shrugged her shoulders and pressed rewind. When she pressed the remote button, a strong tingle passed through her body, then was gone as fast as it came. 'Whoa!' Francine said. 'That felt pretty weird.'

As she sat watching the tape counter on the screen roll backward, Francine started to feel different. She couldn't quite figure out why, she just felt different. She adjusted her business suit jacket, as it felt a little loose. After a few more seconds, it kept feeling baggier and baggier so she took it off and laid on the arm of the couch, leaving her in just a white satin sleeveless blouse. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms, suddenly feeling a little chilly, and noticed that her arms didn't feel as flabby as they had before. They were never really flabby, mind you, but lately the skin was getting a little looser. Now her arms looked and felt much more toned, and the skin was definitely tighter.

'Wow, this feels pretty good,' Francine thought as the last few gray hairs disappeared, leaving her with a mane of solid reddish blonde curls. Francine didn't notice that she was youthening quickly and was back to 35. Her face was losing its recently acquired fullness, as fat deposits were disappearing from her body. Her small tummy bulge was getting smaller by the second and her legs were also becoming leaner. As all this was going on, Francine's skirt and blouse were going the way of her jacket and getting very loose, too big for her increasingly athletic body. 'Why is my suit so loose all of a sudden?' 30-year-old Francine asked herself. As she re-entered her 20's Francine's body was regaining its old head-turning curves. 'I really feel great!' Francine said as she stood up. She walked toward the kitchen to get a drink and passed the hall mirror, freezing as she happened to glance at her reflection.

She saw a 25-year-old knockout looking back at her. Her hair had gotten incredibly shiny and silky now, as it cascaded to the middle of her back. Her eyes sparkled; the dark eyeshadow and mascara she had put on this morning really highlighted the beauty of her eyes now. Her lips had lost any trace of wrinkles and were once again smooth. Her breasts which had been sagging as of late were as pert as when she was in college, and her stomach was now firm and flat. The curves of her hips were more prominent now as any excess fat had since melted away, and though she couldn't see, Francine's legs were silky smooth and totally free of lumps or varicose veins. 'My God!' the young woman exclaimed in a clear, smooth voice. 'I look like a college student. What's happening to me?'

Francine was still getting younger. She was now about 20 as she stood staring in the mirror. Little by little, Francine was now losing height and her reflection was getting lower and lower in the mirror. 'How young am I going to get?' she asked, getting scared as she heard her voice now rising in pitch. The suit was starting to get uncomfortably large as her body shrank, and she had to hold the waistband of the skirt to keep it from sliding down her still womanly but thinning hips. The 18-year-old looked down to see her pantyhose wrinkling as her thighs and calves thinned and no longer stretched the material out. Her hair also was losing some of its perm as it was getting less and less curly as Francine got younger. The reddish tint was fading as it became more blonde, and it had shortened to just below shoulder length. 'I'm like really getting young now!' the 17-year-old said as she turned 16 again, and the regression stopped. Francine, once a mature business woman, was again a skinny high-school junior, the same as her daughter. She still had a figure but it was now hinting at what it would be in her 20's. Her legs had gotten quite thin and her curves were much less defined. In particular, her breasts were now between A and B-cups, certainly much less impressive than the large C's of adulthood. Francine walked back into the living room, slipping in her overly large pumps, and wobbled over to the couch to sit down in shock. 'This is like, totally freaky! I can't let anybody see me like this,' she thought in a panic. As she sat wondering what to do, her daughter's voice broke the silence.

'MOM? Oh my God, is that you?' Stacy had come downstairs and was staring open-mouthed at her now teenage mother. As she looked back at Stacy, Francine realized Stacy's body was now more mature looking than hers at that age. 'It's me, Stace,' Francine said with a weak smile.

Meanwhile, neither of them noticed the tape had stopped rewinding and the screen read: 'Transaction complete. Ready for next request.'.