Rated R. No explicit sex, but may contain descriptions and situations considered objectionable by some.
Rated R. No explicit sex, but may contain descriptions and situations considered objectionable by some.
Story text may be reposted and reproduced without compensation and without additional permission as long as (a) attribution is given (b) no charge is made for access (other than a nominal charge to cover the costs of media or transmission) and (c) the essence of this notice is retained.
Story text may be reposted and reproduced without compensation and without additional permission as long as (a) attribution is given (b) no charge is made for access (other than a nominal charge to cover the costs of media or transmission) and (c) the essence of this notice is retained.
A young woman discovers a remote control with the power to alter a person's age. The mysterious device winds up in the hands of her two young neighbors, who use it to wreak mischief and mayhem.
Lori Sheffield carefully balanced the plastic tray as she deftly navigated her way through the noisy lunchtime crowd, her eyes darting back and forth as she tried to find an empty table in the jam-packed cafeteria. Normally, she liked to take her lunch break as early as possible to avoid the noon rush, but an unusually hectic morning at work had made her customary schedule impossible to keep. An unexpected sales meeting, a visit from a potential client to discuss marketing strategies, and several phone calls had all conspired to make Lori's Monday morning such a frenzy of activity that she actually felt lucky to have found any time at all to sneak away for a brief midday snack.
Lori had just celebrated her 32nd birthday several weeks ago. She was a fairly tall woman, close to 5' 10", but her trim build and easygoing personality made her seem less imposing than her raw height alone might suggest. Her neatly styled light brown hair was just short of being shoulder length, and was nearly straight with the exception of a gentle curl that tapered in toward her neck.
After several minutes warily circling the noisy sea of tables in search of an empty spot, Lori finally discovered a vacant seat. Glad to have found a place to rest her feet, she set her tray on the table, carefully hung her purse on the back of the plastic chair, and reluctantly squeezed herself in between a table of older women and a group of children. She popped open her bottled water and had started to unwrap her sandwich when she noticed that there was a small rectangular box on the table next to her tray. The silver rectangle was small - about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, and thin - perhaps a half inch or so. It appeared to be made of metal, and the top surface was covered with a series of small raised round areas - buttons? - arranged in a symmetrical pattern.
"Excuse me," Lori addressed the woman sitting next to her. "Is this yours?," she asked, indicating the box on the table.
The woman put down her sandwich and turned to look at Lori for a moment, then briefly studied the box on the table. "It's not mine," she said. She turned to speak to her companions. "Hey ladies, that thing doesn't belong to one of you, does it?"
The two women sitting across the table both stopped eating for an instant while they peered at the object. "It looks like a calculator, whatever it is, but it's sure not mine," one of them smiled.
"Someone else must have left it here," commented her friend dismissively between bites of her salad.
Lori turned to a woman sitting with several children on her opposite side. "Excuse me, did you leave this here?" she queried. The woman took a quick look, smiled at Lori, and shook her head to indicate no.
Lori shrugged. If someone did accidentally leave the small rectangular box on the table, possibly they would come back for it later if it really was valuable to them. She thought it looked like some kind of high-tech pager or possibly a cell phone. Not particularly interested in electronic "toys", and feeling a bit disheveled from her especially busy morning, she put it out of her mind and began eating her lunch.
In a few minutes, the trio of ladies seated next to Lori collected their belongings, picked up their trays, and departed. They were followed a short time afterward by the woman and children on the opposite side. By the time Lori had finally finished her burrito, the lunch crowd in the food court was starting to thin out. As she prepared to bus her empty tray and shouldered her purse, she noticed that the small metallic box was still sitting on the table undisturbed where she had first seen it. Nobody had claimed it. She looked around at people in the vicinity, casting her eyes around in a vain attempt to find anyone who looked like they were seeking something they had misplaced. The crowd of diners remained indifferent. Reluctant to just leave the object on the table, Lori somewhat hesitantly picked it up, looked around for a possible owner a final time, and dropped it into her purse. If the object turned out to be rare or expensive, which Lori was beginning to doubt, she could always come back the next day on her lunch break and turn it in to the mall security lost-and-found.
Lori walked the two blocks back to her workplace. Glancing around the office, she was grateful to note that the morning's frantic pace appeared to have let up somewhat. She had just started going over her notes for the new sales presentation she was giving the following week when her good friend Lisa poked her head through the door.
Lisa Calloway, one of the senior sales managers, was about six years older than Lori. Lisa had been impressed with Lori's ability and work ethic when Lori had started with the firm shortly after graduating college, and had gone out of her way to mentor Lori as she had progressed through various positions in the company. In the process, her and Lori had become good friends outside of work.
"Hi, Lori," she smiled. "Sorry I missed you for lunch."
"What a crappy morning!" sighed Lori. "It seems like everything always happens at once. I'll be glad when this day is over."
"Where'd you eat?" asked Lisa.
"I didn't get done till almost twelve thirty, so I just walked over to the food court and had a burrito."
"Wish I could have gone with you," apologized Lisa.
"Hey - check this out," said Lori, remembering the rather strange looking small box she had found on the table. She grabbed her purse and rummaged through it for a moment until she found the object. She offered it to Lisa, who gently took it in her hands and held it up to her eyes while studying it.
"Well - I give up. What is it?" asked Lisa.
"I'm not sure," said Lori. "It was sitting on a table in the food court. I asked everyone around, and nobody seemed to know who lost it. I didn't feel like I should just leave it there on the table, so I put it in my purse. I might take it to the lost-and-found tomorrow."
"Those round things look like buttons. Maybe it's a new type of cell phone or remote control," observed Lisa, handing it back to Lori.
At the moment, Nancy Kenford walked into Lori's office.
"Hi, Nancy," greeted Lori.
"What are you guys up to?" asked Nancy, noticing that both Lori and Lisa had their attention focused on a small metal box that Lori was holding.
"Someone left this little box on a table over in the food court, and Lori found it," explained Lisa. "We can't figure out what it is."
"We think it's some kind of electronic gadget," added Lori. She noticed for the first time that the raised round areas had very small symbols next to them. The symbols had no readily discernable meanings; they appeared to be mostly geometric shapes - acute triangles pointing in various directions, a circle, a circle with a dot in the center, a square, a square with a dot in the center, and so forth. Their were exactly thirty of them, grouped in five columns and six rows.
"Well, beats me," remarked Nancy. "It looks kind of expensive, whatever it is."
"I'm putting this sucker away until I can figure out what the heck it is. Maybe somebody at the meeting can tell me," said Lori, gingerly dropping the box back into her purse. "Well, I'd better get going if I'm going to be at the crosstown office for my two o'clock meeting. See you guys tomorrow."
"Good luck on your presentation," said Nancy.
"You'll do great, Lori," encouraged Lisa.
Lori plopped down on her living room couch, totally exhausted from her work day. At least it had concluded on a positive note. Her presentation at the crosstown office had gone very well, and she had received several nice complements from her coworkers.
She decided to turn on the TV to unwind for a while. As she took the remote control from the coffee table, Lori was suddenly reminded of the strange device she had found abandoned on the table in the food court. It was presumably still in her purse, which she just happened to have tossed at the foot of the couch where she was sitting. Curious, she picked up her handbag, and after briefly searching through a jumble of lipstick and personal items, picked out the strange metallic control.
Lori studied the weird device again. Were the round things really buttons? They all looked similar. Scrutinizing the top of the thin metal box, she could see labels of sorts, small cryptic symbols, located directly above each key.
On a sudden (and, in retrospect, reckless) hunch, Lori tried pressing one of the "buttons". Unexpectedly, the front of the box facing her emitted a soft blue light. Lori gasped in surprise and nearly dropped the control.
She experienced a gentle, barely perceptible, tingling on her skin for a brief moment. It was faintly warm and pleasurable, and as it passed through her body Lori felt a bit guilty as she felt herself become very slightly aroused. The next thing Lori experienced was a mild but very strange sinking sensation - almost as if she was a passenger on a slowly descending elevator en route to a lower floor level. She shook her head a bit, trying to clear her dizziness. The sensation had stopped as suddenly as it had started.
She took stock of herself; everything seemed to be back to normal. She felt fine. Relaxing, Lori looked at the box again, wondering if she had perhaps just imagined the effects. How could a little box like the one she found give her an electrical sensation? She chided herself for possessing an over-active imagination.
That's what I get for skimping on breakfast again, Lori rationalized. I need a snack or something to boost my blood sugar, she told herself.
Lori was headed toward her kitchen for some munchies when she noticed that the cuffs of her pleated dress slacks were now dragging slightly along the floor. Lori frowned; she had worn these pants at work all day, yet they didn't seem to fit her nearly as well as she remembered. Not only were they a couple of inches too long, but they she noticed that they even looked a bit baggy. She tugged on her belt in an attempt to lift them up and straighten them out, and found to her surprise that her waistband had become extremely loose. Could I be losing weight? she wondered at first. Lori was always quite trim, and hadn't recently started any new diet or exercise routines.
As she entered her kitchen, Lori found herself inadvertently stepping out of and nearly stumbling over her shoes. Lori groaned; they were cheap dress flats, and somehow they had worked themselves loose. Pausing and trying to slide her feet back into the shoes, she noticed again that her pants seemed to be much larger than she remembered. Puzzled, she hitched her thumbs through the front belt loops pulled them up again; it was very obvious that the 28 inch waistband was much too big for her. Well, maybe I am losing weight, she concluded with a mental shrug. Or are my clothes getting larger?
Lori straightened her outfit as much as she could. After a brief review of her refrigerator's contents, she opted for nothing more a can of diet cola and headed back to the living room. Her shoes continued slipping off her feet and clopped annoyingly as she walked.
"What the heck is going on?" she said to no one in particular. Lori's hands fumbled as she tried to hitch up her droopy pants yet again and tuck in her sagging top, which she now noticed had seemingly grown to XXL size. The sleeves of the white ribbed knit top no longer stopped at her wrists; they now drooped all the way down to the end of her fingers. Annoyed, Lori cussed inwardly at the apparent cheap quality of her clothes.
On her way back to the living room, Lori passed the full-length mirror in the hallway and inadvertently caught a glance of her own reflection.
Lori stared at her image in complete shock - the soft face of a pretty young adolescent girl, dressed in baggy clothing and at most 15 years old, stared back at her with wide brown eyes. For a moment she stared at her reflection, not believing that the image in the mirror was her. Lori gently touched her face, which had grown smoother and lost most hints of adulthood, and then her hair, which was still styled the way she always arranged it, although it now seemed lighter in color and finer in texture.
"Shit - This can't be. I'm younger," she whispered to herself. She realized now why all of her clothing seemed to be getting larger. The things she was wearing hadn't changed at all - she had shrunk inside of them. Peeking down the front of her colossal top, Lori observed that her modestly proportioned breasts, never her most impressive feature to begin with, had become so small that they no longer fit into her bra cups. Her pants were baggy, particularly in the rear.
What miracle had happened to make her younger? In a flash, Lori realized that it was the mysterious device she had found earlier that day!
She dashed back to the couch and picked up the oblong metallic box where she had left it. She studied it in awe this time – somehow, this little thing had regressed her body from adulthood back to adolescence!
The power contained in the small box seemed incredible. What would happen if she pressed the button again? Would she become even younger? Her curiosity consumed her until it became unbearable. Lori picked up the device and walked over to the mirror. Watching herself in the mirror and taking a deep breath, Lori gingerly touched the same round metal key she had pressed before.
There was a momentary emission of blue light from the front of box directed toward her. Once again, she felt a rather pleasant warm sensation course through her body. This time, Lori could actually feel her clothing shifting slightly as her body grew younger - her already oversized pants sliding a bit further down as her hips became narrower, her bra straps slipping further along her shoulders. Distracted by her image in the mirror, she was captivated at the sight of her body gradually losing height, watching as her top sagged and drooped over her contracting shoulders and shrinking breasts, seeing her pants legs start to bunch up as they pooled on top of her shoes.
After just a few seconds, she released the button.
Lori studied her reflection in awe. The effect had been a bit stronger than she had anticipated. After cautiously engaging the device for no more than a moment or two, she no longer looked like a teenager. At best, she guessed that she was a grammar school girl! Her slacks now looked like clown pants, and the neck opening of her knit white top had become so much larger relative to her body that it now exposed both of her shoulders and a bra strap.
"Oh my gosh," she gasped in disbelief, noticing that her voice had gone up in pitch.
Her vastly oversized clothing and mature hair style both looked considerably too grown-up for her now, and her adult makeup - particularly on her eyelashes - looked overdone for a girl her age. Lori had to admit that her overall appearance had become a bit comical. She noticed that she seemed to have acquired a light sprinkle of freckles across her nose, a facial feature she dimly remembered from her girlhood.
Lori looked around at her surroundings. From her new vantage point, it seemed that everything in her apartment had become a bit larger. The furnishings all seemed perceptibly higher than she remembered.
"Wow! This is impossible," she said softly to herself, wincing again as she heard her voice come out in a clear and very girlish sounding soprano.
Lori let go of her belt and her enormous pants fell to the floor in a pile around her ankles. Another look confirmed that her adult sized underwear had also become absurdly large. Pulling off her knit top, which had fit nicely this morning but now seemed as large as a tent, Lori involuntarily giggled out loud - partly in shock, and partly because it was genuinely funny - as she saw how her formerly mature body had been changed. As an adult, her figure at best had been unpretentious, but now her breasts had receded completely, her areoles were very small and pale, and her nipples were tiny. The wrinkled cups of her bra had caved in and hung incongruously against her smooth, flat chested front, and her bra straps were so long that the previously form-hugging garment was sagging all he way down to her navel in front. She found it difficult to believe that something that now looked so oversized on her was only one of the same ordinary size 34 inch B cup brassieres that she had worn during much of her adult life. Ironically, she recalled that the particular style of bra she happened to be wearing was called "Thank Goodness It Fits". Not anymore, Lori thought with irony. Gripped by curiosity again, Lori peered down the front of her droopy panties - a cursory glance below the loose elastic waistband confirmed that the anatomy of her private womanly regions had similarly been reduced to a hairless prepubescent status.
"Unbelievable – the fountain of youth in a box," she whispered to herself. It was hard to tell exactly, but based on her greatly diminished height and complete lack of breast development, she guessed she was now somewhere between 8 and 9 years old - somewhere around the age of a kid in the 3rd grade. Lori Sheffield, an athletic young businesswoman in her early thirties, struggled to come to terms with the fact that she had just used what appeared to be nothing more than a small remote control to reduce herself from a mature adult female to a school girl.
For the first time, Lori began to consider the practical ramifications of having her adult body reduced to the age of a third grader. How would her friends react when they found out what had happened to her? That might be fun for a while. But having her business and social rivals - like some of the stuck-up, overbearing young women she worked with - see her shrunk down to the stature of an eight year old kid would be embarrassing to say the least. What would her boyfriend Scott say if he discovered that his beautiful (and adult) girlfriend had managed to change herself back into a child?
What about her family? Lori thought about her younger sister Terry - not only would Lori no longer be the oldest sibling, in her present status she would barely be older than either of her nieces. Lori started to feel a bit of fear as she realized there was a good possibility that nobody she knew would even be able to recognize her. Besides her radically revised appearance and reduced size, even her voice had changed.
Lori studied the device again. Which button had she originally pressed? They all looked similar. Would one of them reverse the process, and restore her to her normal size and age?
Lori decided that she would try the button next to the one she thought she remembered pressing originally. She had to eventually try something. Closing her eyes, she tentatively applied pressure to the raised area. Nothing happened. She tried pressing harder without any results. Over the next few minutes, in a mounting panic, Lori tried pressing all of the other buttons on box, first with gentle pressure and then with fear-driven jabs, skipping only the one she had used to make herself younger. Nothing she did had any effect.
She sighed. Based on what she knew, there was virtually no possibility of figuring out how the device was supposed to function or how it had made her younger, much less how it could be reversed, at any time in the near future. Or, she worried, maybe ever.
Defeated for the moment, she sullenly set the metallic control on the coffee table and started considering her options.
The prospect of spending an indefinite time as a eight year old girl again was daunting. She realized she would have to somehow find some child-sized clothing that would fit, since her entire existing adult wardrobe would be much too large for her to wear, even on a temporary basis. She reflected that she really didn't have any idea of what size clothing she would need now. One thing was obvious - she was going to be dressing in much smaller sizes than anything she was used to wearing, at least in the last twenty years or so.
Lori cursed herself, wishing she had reigned in her curiosity better - she should have left well enough alone after her first accidental exposure to the power of the device. She reflected that being a 14 or 15 year old teen would have been a lot easier in terms of living adjustments than being an eight year old child.
Lori scampered into the kitchen to retrieve a measuring tape from one of drawers. She discovered that the countertops and drawers were quite a bit higher than she remembered, and had a bit of trouble reaching items that used to be easy for her. Measuring her height by placing the top of her head against the wall and marking it with a pencil confirmed that Lori was no longer exactly statuesque, even though guessed that she was pretty tall for a girl her age. Hmmm,54 inches, or 4 and half feet. She had lost well over a foot of height,sixteen inches, to be exact. She thought about her circle of friends and acquaintances, and realized that she would no longer be the tallest woman in the group. In fact, she would be quite a bit shorter than even her smallest friends. Nancy was only about 5' 3", as Lori remembered. It would be really weird to have to look up to someone as petite as Nancy.
Measuring tape in hand, Lori checked out the rest of her youthened body's greatly diminished dimensions. She involuntarily winced as she took her measurements, noting again with considerable dissatisfaction that she had lost all of her most important womanly attributes when she had passed puberty in reverse. Her very flat chest now measured 26 inches around, and for all intents and purposes, her total lack of mammary development meant that her bust size was also now 26 inches. No wonder her bra wouldn't fit anymore!
Her waist had shrunk from 28 to 23 inches, and her "hips" (such as they were) had gone from 36 inches all the way down to 27 inches. Lori had been a "tall" Size 10; she figured that she was now only a Girl's Size 8.
Lori sighed again and headed for her bathroom. She could barely see her head in the mirror thanks to her reduced height, and she had to stand on her toes in order to see her face peer back in wide-eyed wonder. Her front teeth seemed larger in proportion to the rest of her mouth. As she remembered from her childhood, they were slightly crooked and now had a small gap between them.
"Damn – If I'm stuck as an eight year old kid, I'm going to have to go to the orthodontist and get braces - again," she thought.
Lori started to undress, pulling off the enormous top she had temporarily used as a dress. She carefully folded it and placed it neatly on a nearby chair. Along with the rest of her outfit, her ribbed cotton V-neck shell seemed both reassuringly familiar and yet strange - it was part of her own comfortable business wardrobe, and yet it was bizarrely giant sized now.
Lori noticed her bathroom scale near the sink. When she had checked her weight before she left for work that morning, the scale read 150 pounds. Of course, she had been an adult woman then. Lori gingerly stepped on the scale and saw with some amazement that she now weighed only 62 pounds. After contemplating her unexpected weight reduction for a moment, she stepped into the shower.
A long reach for the faucet and a difficult stretch for the soap and shampoo reminded Lori of her new stature. She lathered herself under the warm water, gradually adjusting to the fact that she no longer had any breasts to wash and that all of her pubic hair had disappeared. She gently scrubbed the remainder of her adult makeup off of her face with a washcloth.
After a few minutes, she stepped out and dried herself. The normal sized towel now seemed like a beach blanket. Lori stepped back into her dressing area and studied herself in the bedroom door mirror. She looked like any third grade girl - there was nothing about her physical appearance that would indicate she had been an adult less than an hour ago. Lori combed out her hair, which after her shower looked long and straight, just like a girl's. It was no longer styled in a way that looked too grown-up for her.
She had a hard time reaching the top of her dresser. Her engagement ring, of course, no longer fit on her finger. Her only jewelry consisted of a few favorite bracelets and necklaces, all of which were too large for her to consider wearing anymore. Earrings would look silly on a girl her age. Two of her dresser drawers - the topmost ones that she discovered she was going to have a slightly hard time reaching at her new height - were still full of grown-up underwear. Doing a bit of experimentation, Lori discovered that she could easily fit both of her skinny, girlish legs through one of the leg openings in her "normal" sized woman's panties. If she was permanently stuck as a child, she would definitely need some new undies.
Lori's adult sized clothing was still hanging in her closet, except that now she had to crane her neck to view her own wardrobe - she had become so dramatically shorter that most of it was located over her head. She could barely reach some of the hangers, and it was highly unlikely that most of what was hanging in her closet would fit her anyway. Partly out of curiosity, and partly because she had nothing else to wear at the moment, Lori retrieved a chair from the kitchen to stand on and decided to see if she could possibly wear at least a few of her "grown-up" things with a bit of creative adaptation.
Lori felt like a kid playing dress up - which, she reflected, was basically the situation. Based on her experience regressing herself, she didn't even bother trying any of the pants. She had many nice skirt suits she liked wearing to the office. She found that if she held the waistline of even her most revealing (i.e. shortest) skirts all the way up to her armpits, the hems still touched the floor. The jackets were equally out of the question; they were just plain too big. Her tightest, slinkiest dress no longer clung to body to accentuate her curves - worn by a girl of Lori's apparent physical age, it looked like a baggy sack. Several other conservative dresses that Lori periodically wore to the office were no longer wearable because the necklines - appropriate for Lori when she had been an adult sized woman - were so wide that they threatened to expose either her shoulders or chest. She ultimately tried wearing several of her office blouses as a dresses, rolling up the sleeves to make them shorter, but the woman-sized shoulder pads and huge collars just looked silly on her small frame.
The best Lori found she could do was with her casual clothes. A pair of her smallest white Khaki shorts were long enough (against her 8 year old legs) to hang nearly full length down to her ankles, but she could roll up the legs a bit. She discovered that although her belt was too large to use in conventional fashion, it could be tied in a knot and used to hold up the shorts. Lori initially donned one of her tank tops and was chagrinned to find that, just like her dresses, the neck and armholes were large enough to reveal most of her embarrassingly undeveloped chest. She replaced her tank top with a polo shirt. It was a Woman's Small size, but even so, it sagged like a tent on her and the "short" sleeves were long enough to hide most of her thin arms. Normally she would have left the top collar unbuttoned, but at her present size she had to button it up all the way to avoid exposing too much of herself. Her new outfit looked and felt somewhat sloppy, but at least it was better than running around naked. It would have to do until she could figure out how to get some new girl-sized clothes, or - hopefully - change herself back into a grown woman.
Lori heard laughter outside and peered through the curtain. Outside in the parkway, she saw her neighbor Sharon's two daughters, Stacey and Connie, playing with some friends from school. Sharon was a single mom, three or four years older than Lori. With a bit of consternation, she realized that even Sharon's children were actually older than she was now - Lori vaguely remembered that Stacey was in the 4th grade, and that Connie had just started middle school this year, which would make her a 6th grader.
Lori suddenly remembered that Sharon and her had exchanged keys several months ago, in case some emergency or maintenance situation came up that would require access to the other's apartment. It had proved handy on several occasions, and Lori figured that whatever had happened to her to change her back into a kid qualified as an emergency. She remembered that Sharon's youngest daughter Stacey was about 9 - tall for her age and thin, just like Lori. Certainly, Stacey's clothes would be a closer fit for her than any of her own attire, which after all was sized and proportioned for a grown woman.
After peeking through the curtain to make sure both girls were preoccupied, and that Sharon's car was not in the lot (indicating she had still not arrived home from work), Lori snuck down the hall and opened Sharon's door.
Lori had just stepped inside when she heard the patio door open. A vaguely familiar figure suddenly entered the apartment and approached her.
"Hey! Who the heck are you?" asked 11 year old Connie, looking down at Lori. Lori had frequently been a babysitter for the two sisters, and felt uncomfortable seeing how much shorter she was than Connie. The girl towered over her.
"Connie, it's me - your next door neighbor," said Lori.
Connie looked puzzled. "You're not our next door neighbor," she asserted. "Miss Sheffield lives next door."
"I am Miss Sheffield," insisted Lori.
"But,but Miss Sheffield is older,she's my Mom's age," objected Connie.
"Connie, I know this is hard to believe, but I am your Mom's age," replied Lori. "At least, I was your Mom's age until,until,well, until this happened to me," she tried to explain, gesturing at herself. "Look,these are my own clothes." She tugged at her baggy attire to show Connie.
"If that's true - then how did you get so small?" asked Connie.
"I mean,this afternoon, I was having lunch, and,I found this box – like a remote control. When I got home a while ago, I tried pressing a button, and suddenly I started to get younger and younger, until,well, until I was like you see me now," Lori explained.
Connie still looked puzzled and skeptical, but Lori could tell that Connie at least seemed interested in hearing more of the story.
"You mean - you shrank?" asked Connie incredulously. "But that's impossible. People don't get younger."
"I don't know how it happened, but I know it's not impossible. Somehow, that thing changed me back into a kid. Connie, look at me really carefully - don't you recognize me?" pleaded Lori.
Connie studied Lori carefully, squinting her eyes. "Well,I guess you do kinda look a little bit like Miss Sheffield,and I have to admit you even sound a little bit like she does - but that doesn't mean you're her. How do I know you're not just some relative of hers or something?"
"Connie, last week I babysat with you and your sister Stacey," began Lori.
"Miss Sheffield was our babysitter," corrected Connie.
"Yeah - It was me," insisted Lori. She proceeded to tell Connie in exact detail what they had eaten for dinner, described the video they had rented, and related other details that only someone who had been present with the girls could possibly have known.
Connie's mouth hung open in surprise. "Gosh - maybe, somehow,maybe it is you," she finally admitted reluctantly.
"How would anybody else know those things? Now will you believe that I am who I say I am?" asked Lori, looking up at Connie.
"I,I guess so," gasped Connie. "But, how - well, what happened to you?" she asked. "I mean,you're just a kid now." Connie squinted as she looked Lori over carefully.
Lori felt vaguely uncomfortable. Clearly, in her present condition she was no longer regarded as a particularly imposing adult authority figure.
"Gosh,look at you," continued Connie. "You used to be about the same age as Mom, but now you're so small that you don't even look as old as Stacey."
"I know,I think I'm only about the same size I was when I was about 8 years old," admitted Lori.
"Wow,this is so weird," said Connie. "I mean,you were the same age as my mom,and now you're younger than me."
"It seems that way," agreed Lori.
"How do you like it?" asked Connie.
"Do I like what?" asked Lori.
"You know,being a little kid again," replied Connie.
"Well, let's just say that I hope that whatever happened to me is just temporary."
"Do you think you can change back?"
"I don't know," shrugged Lori. "I pressed a button on that box that made me little. I've got to find out if,I mean how,to reverse it."
Connie's younger sister Stacey walked in the room. Lori sheepishly noted that the pretty 4th grader was now at least three inches taller than she was, making her feel even smaller than she already felt.
"Hi, Connie. Who's your friend?" asked Stacey, looking curiously at Lori. It was obvious to Lori that Stacey was unable to recognize her and had absolutely no idea who she was, even though Lori had babysat the girl literally dozens of times.
"Stacey, you're not going to believe this, but,," started Connie, who proceeded to summarize Lori's story for her sister.
Initially Stacey was sure that her elder sister was pulling some kind of practical joke on her; however, after a few skeptical remarks similar to her older sibling's, she finally accepted the notion that the little girl in their house was actually their adult babysitter and Mom's friend, who had somehow been reduced from grownup status to childhood.
"Will you guys please help me?" begged Lori.
"We'll help," promised Connie.
"What do you want us to do?" asked Stacey.
"Well, first of all, I really need to borrow some clothes," explained Lori. "As you can see, my stuff doesn't fit too well anymore."
A few minutes later, Lori had picked out a girl's shirt and jeans, along with a pair of athletic shoes that Stacey had recently outgrown. Lori by now had grown weary of her own incredibly baggy, tent-like clothing and was pleased to find that Stacey's clothes fit her much better. The girls giggled uncontrollably as Lori struggled a bit while she donned a pair of Stacey's panties and slipped into Stacey's borrowed jeans. A pink tank top completed her ensemble. They were a bit big on her, but were infinitely preferable to Lori's own clothes, which due to her vastly smaller size had become practically unwearable.
"Now you really look like a kid," observed Connie.
"I guess I do," admitted Lori. "I need to go back to my apartment to get that control box. What time does Sharon,I mean, your mom,get home?"
"She'll be back any time now," responded Stacey.
The two girls followed Lori back to her own apartment. Lori quickly went over to the coffee table and picked up the control, which was sitting in the same place she had left it a few minutes before.
"There's got to be some kind of reverse function," mused Lori, gazing once again at the cryptically labeled raised areas on the top surface of the device.
"How did it make you small?" asked Connie, looking over Lori's shoulder.
"Well,I pressed this button here," explained Lori, pointing to the button in the upper left hand corner.
"C'mon - Lemme take a look," said Connie, who impulsively snatched the box out of Lori's hand to get a better view.
"Hey!" exclaimed Lori. She instinctively tried to grab it back, but was immediately reminded that Connie was now much taller than she was. Connie was easily able to hold the device well out of her reach.
"Let me see too," said Stacey, crowding in to get a peek at the mysterious object.
"You girls be careful with that thing!" warned Lori.
"Hey – I've got an idea," said Connie. She ducked out into the hallway, taking the control with her. Lori and Stacey dashed after her, following on her heels as she went back to the girl's apartment.
"Connie, please. Give me that back!" demanded Lori. Connie continued to hold the age changing box just out of Lori's reach while she squinted and tried to figure out what the labels meant.
Suddenly, Sharon entered through the front door. Lori was a bit surprised to see how tall Sharon seemed – she was a small woman, only 5'5", but she now towered over Lori like a giant.
"Connie, Stacey, what's going on?" she demanded, glaring at her two daughters.
"Hi, mom!" chimed Connie. "Guess who this is?" she asked, pointing at Lori.
Sharon smiled down at Lori for a moment, then turned back to Connie.
"Honey, how would I know your friend's name?" asked Sharon. "Why don't you introduce her?"
"It's Lori Sheffield from next door," giggled Stacey.
"Huh?" asked Sharon, assuming that she had misunderstood what her daughter had just said.
"Tell her, Lori," laughed Stacey.
"Sharon,don't you recognize me? Look at me,look at my face really carefully. I'm Lori,Lori Sheffield. Your next door neighbor," explained Lori as convincingly as she could manage.
Sharon smiled. "Come on, young ladies. You know better than to try to pull a joke like this on me."
"Sharon - it really is me," insisted Lori.
There was a long, awkward pause while Sharon studied the young lady, who did seem strangely familiar. Connie and Stacey squirmed and giggled while their mom peered intently at the new girl.
"But,but you're just a child," gasped Sharon, squinting her eyes as she continued to scrutinize Lori's face. "How,I mean, what happened,"
"I found this thing like a remote control – Connie has it," said Lori, nodding at the smiling girl who still held the metal box in one hand. "Well, I shouldn't have,but I pushed one of the buttons, just to see if it would do anything. Zap! The next thing I knew, I was just like you see me now."
Another awkward pause followed. Sharon was having a hard time swallowing the story.
"Look - here's my apartment keys," said Lori, holding them between her fingers. "Who else would have them besides me? And I walked over here in my own clothes - the smallest things I could find - until Stacey lent me a few of her things. My clothes are still in Stacey's room - clothes big enough for an adult woman, a pair of shorts and a polo shirt - how could I get them if I wasn't who I say I am?"
Sharon looked like she was wavering but still seemed doubtful. "I don't know,but how,"
"Sharon, last Saturday you and I went out to dinner," began Lori, deciding to follow the same course of action that had convinced Connie that her unusual tale was true. Lori proceeded to relate to Sharon the precise details of their dinner together that only someone who had been present with her that evening could possibly have known.
"Oh my God! Lori, it really is you!" gasped Sharon in sudden realization.
"I'm glad that you finally believe me," Lori sighed.
"But, good heavens, look at you! I mean, you've been changed into a little girl!"
"Sharon, you've got to help me," said Lori, a pleading note in her voice. "Please! I don't want to stay like this and have to go through puberty all over again in a few years."
"But how," began Sharon.
"Maybe the control can be used in reverse," Lori explained. "Connie has it right now, but I'm sure if she lets me try to figure it out, I can get everything straightened out and change myself back to my normal age."
"Connie, do have this thing Lori is talking about?" asked Sharon.
"Yeah, Mom. Here's what she's talking about," said Connie, displaying the control.
"Connie, what is that? Let me see it," said Sharon firmly.
"Just a second, mom - I want to try something first," said Connie. Still skeptical that the control was capable of altering someone's age, Connie tried to think of some way to put it to a test. What - or who - could she try it out on? An idea suddenly popped into her head. On the spur of the moment, she pointed the front of the device toward her mother and pressed the button that Lori had shown her earlier. To her surprise, a blue beam of light shot out of the front end of the flat box, briefly engulfing Sharon.
"Connie,no!" shouted Lori. But it too late to do anything.
Connie, Stacey, and Lori watched in awe as Sharon became shorter. As she grew younger, her body started shrinking at a rapid pace. Her business suit apparently wasn't affected by the device, however, and in just a few seconds her skirt hung nearly down to her ankles as she became shorter and shorter. Her hose was starting to wrinkle as her legs – especially her thighs - became thinner.
"Hey! What's happening to my clothes?" Sharon squeaked in a suddenly soprano voice. Her white blouse was growing larger, ballooning out while the sleeves inched down past her hands. The material in front was no longer held taught by her breasts, and she could feel the collar growing longer and wider until it nearly exposed both shoulders. She felt her skirt – no longer tight around her waist - slowly slipping down both of her hips. She grabbed her belt and held it up with both hands as she continued to grow smaller.
In a moment, Sharon found that she now had to look up to talk to either of her daughters, both of whom loomed over her. Stacey and Connie both began giggling uncontrollably as they observed their mother, suddenly reduced to the stature of a little girl, struggling inside her huge business clothes.
"Oh my God! What on earth did you do to me with that thing?!?" shrieked Sharon in a high-pitched, little girl voice.
"It really worked!" exclaimed Connie. "This is awesome!"
"Mom, you look like a five year old," Stacey laughed.
"Connie! Young lady, you are so grounded," Sharon said with all of the threatening parental tone she could muster, trying to maintain her balance while standing in her huge pumps.
"This is so amazing," said Connie.
"Connie, please - give me that thing," pleaded Lori.
"You mean give it you - like this?" chuckled Connie, pointing the business end of the device menacingly toward Lori. "I think you're already shrimpy enough. But if you'd like to be even younger - maybe a baby,"
"No, Connie, please," whimpered Lori, suddenly afraid that the 11 year old would carry out her threat, either intentionally or by accidentally hitting the button. Lori had already lost her adulthood, and had no desire to find out what it would feel like to be even younger. It was humiliating enough to be an eight year old girl, and if she wasn't careful, Connie might reduce her further - back to kindergarten (like poor Sharon), or even all the way to a toddler or crawling infant. Lori resolved to remain calm at all costs and figure out some way to get Connie to return the age altering control.
"Young lady, you give me that control thing back right this instant," demanded the diminutive Sharon. Connie and Stacey burst into uncontrollable giggles at the sight of their little kid-sized mother, looking silly dressed up in her adult clothes, trying her best to sound and look authoritative.
"Both of you look really cute now," said Stacey, surveying Lori and Sharon. "You two could be little sisters."
"Me and Stacey are older than either one of you," Connie observed. "Now you guys are the kids."
"We're still the adults," insisted Lori. She realized how ridiculous it looked and sounded for an eight year child to be making such a statement.
"Are you ever gonna try to change ‘em back to their regular ages?" asked Stacey, looking first at her sister, then glancing down at 8 year old Lori and the 5 year old girl who had been her grownup mother just a moment before.
"Connie, please let us have that control back," begged Sharon, looking up at her eldest daughter.
"Mom, I promise that we'll try changing you back later. C'mon, Stacey, let's go have some fun with this thing before it gets dark out," said Connie as she darted out of the house, clutching the control in one hand.
"We'll be back later." hollered Stacey as she followed her elder sibling out the door. She slammed the door behind her, leaving Lori and Sharon alone to ponder their predicament.
Lori and Sharon debated what they should do next. After a few minutes discussing all possible options, Lori agreed to call her coworker Lisa.
"Hello," answered Lisa.
"Lisa, thank goodness you're home!" exclaimed Lori.
"Who's this?" asked Lisa, not recognizing the little girl's voice.
"Lisa,Lisa, it's me, Lori. Please,you've got to help me," Lori pleaded breathlessly.
"Lori?" asked Lisa, dimly recognizing her friend's voice on the other end of the line. "Lori, is that you? You sound,different. Your voice sounds funny."
"I know," said Lori. "Remember that box I showed you this afternoon..?"
"You mean the one you said you found at lunch?"
"Yeah,well, you probably won't believe this, but, Lisa, the reason my voice sounds different is that it,well, it made me younger."
"Huh? Younger!?" asked Lisa, obviously incredulous. "How could you be younger?"
"I know it's hard to believe, but right now I would have to guess that I'm only about eight years old."
"You mean - like the fountain of youth? Lori, that's impossible," sighed Lisa.
"Lisa, please - if don't believe me, come and see for yourself. Connie - my next door neighbor's daughter - stole the thing right out of my hands. She changed her mom - my neighbor Sharon - into a little kid. We've got to get that thing back from her, and figure out how it works. It's the only possible way to change me and Sharon back to normal."
"Where are you now?" asked Lisa.
"At my apartment," replied Lori. "Please, you've got to help us."
"Lori, I sure hope that this isn't going to turn out to be some practical joke or something," warned Lisa. "Because I'll be really pissed if it is."
"Lisa, I swear, this is a real emergency!"
"OK, you win. Wait there, I'll be over in a few minutes." Lisa sighed, still suspecting that she was somehow being set up to become the victim of a practical joke.
"Where should we go?" Stacey asked her older sister once they had left the apartment.
"We should go somewhere we can have lots of fun with this thing," said Connie as she toyed with the silver control box. "Somewhere where there's lots of people to try it on."
"How ‘bout taking the bus to the mall?" suggested Stacey.
"The mall - that would be perfect," agreed Connie.
They began walking toward the main street to catch the bus to the mall. The bus stop was less than half a mile away. Their route took the girls past a small park, which this time of the afternoon was filled with neighborhood residents engaged in various activities.
Connie and Stacey stopped for a minute to avail themselves of cool refreshment from a drinking fountain located near one corner of the park. As they stepped away, they noticed two young women, one walking a dog on a leash, approach the fountain. They were both wearing running clothes.
"Watch this," whispered Connie as soon as they were well out of earshot of the women. Making sure they weren't being watched, Connie pointed the control in the general direction of the drinking fountain and pressed the regression button. Positioned several hundred feet away, she had to pretty much guess at the target.
For a moment, it appeared as if nothing had happened. Then both of the girls tried to stifle their laughter as they saw that the medium sized dog on the leash had been changed into a tiny puppy!
"What the heck?" exclaimed the woman holding the leash, suddenly aware that her pet had somehow dwindled in size.
"What happened?" asked her friend, referring to the dog.
"My god,she looks like she's a puppy again."
From her distant vantage point, Connie took more careful aim, making sure that the woman who was sipping out of the drinking fountain was directly in the path of the nearly invisible beam from the control. Both of the girls watched in wonder as she began to loose height. In a second, she was noticeably shorter than her friend.
"Hey, Caroline,how did you get so tall?" the woman asked her companion as she suddenly noticed that everything around her seemed to have grown slightly.
"Kim – I'm not taller, but,but you're shorter," gasped the other woman, doing a double take. Kim no longer looked like a woman in her late 20s – she looked like she was a ten year old kid, and her jogging clothes looked much too large for her.
"Oh – my god, what happened to me?" moaned Kim unhappily, looking down at herself – her uncharacteristically baggy sports bra drooping low on her nearly flat front, her formerly tight running shorts rendered so big that they now covered her legs all the way down to her knees, even her white athletic socks so large that they had slipped down her ankles and piled up on top of her (now very loose) training shoes.
"You look like you're younger," observed Caroline, her brow furrowed. "A lot younger! This is incredible – that's must be what happened to your dog! And now you, "
Connie aimed the device at the second woman, who in an instant dwindled to the same size as her regressed friend.
"Kim,look, now it's happened to me too,," said Caroline, finding that she was now reduced to the same height and age as her friend. She looked at her hands, marveling at how small they were, then gazed in disbelief at her body. "Oh, no,my clothes," she complained, seeing how oversized her outfit was.
"Caroline – this is really weird. What should we do?" yelped Kim, who was nearly in a panic.
"We've got to get out of here and find some help,let's go back to your place," suggested Caroline.
The two new ten year olds took off, their puppy in tow behind them. Connie and Stacey chuckled hysterically at the sight of the ten year old girls trying to rearrange their woman sized jog bras and doing their best to hold up their pants.
"Hey, I just remembered something - one of my teachers lives right around here somewhere. I think she lives in one of these apartments," remarked Stacey, nodding in the direction of several large apartment buildings about half a block up the street.
"What's your teacher's name?" queried Connie.
"Miss Anderson," replied Stacey.
"Miss Anderson? I know who she is. I had her a couple of years ago for math," said Connie. Miss Anderson's math class hadn't been one of her favorite memories from the fourth grade. "Do you know which apartment is hers?"
"Well – no," admitted Stacey. "But maybe we could look at the names on the doorbell."
"Hey, that's a good idea. Let's check it out."
In a few moments, the two girls had entered the public lobby of the nearest building and began scanning the rows of names listed next to the doorbells. Although the apartment complex was large, it only took them a few minutes to locate Stacey's teacher.
"Miriam Anderson," read Stacey. "Apartment 2E."
The girls pressed the button, and after a brief wait were rewarded with Miss Anderson's voice from the intercom speaker.
"Hello - who's there?"
Stacey was momentarily surprised – she hadn't actually expected to find her teacher so easily. "Hello, Miss Anderson? Hi. It's me – Stacey. Stacey Richards. From school."
"Stacey?" There was a brief pause. "Stacey! Well,hello! This is certainly a surprise," said the pleasant sounding female voice from the speaker. "Wait just a minute, I'll come down and let you in."
In a moment, a woman in her mid-thirties appeared in the vestibule and opened the inside door.
"Hello, Stacey!" she smiled down at her 4th grade math student. Miriam peered at the older girl for a moment, until she recognized her as Stacey's older sister. "Connie Richards! I remember you from my class a few years ago."
"Hi, Miss Anderson," chorused Stacey and Connie.
"So what brings you girls into my neighborhood?" asked Miriam. "Anything in particular, or did you just stop by to say hello?"
"We found something we wanted to show you," said Stacey.
"Come on in, then," smiled Miriam, holding open the door as the two sisters stepped inside. She led them up a flight of stairs and into her apartment. After the girls were seated in the living room she retrieved a couple of cold cans of cola and a plate of cookies from the kitchen.
"So what did you want to show me?" Miriam asked Stacey, after exchanging a few pleasantries with her young friends as they politely sipped at their drinks and nibbled on the cookies.
In answer, Stacey displayed the age changing box. "We,umm,found this," she lied.
"Well – it looks to me like someone lost the remote control for their VCR," laughed Miriam, mildly disappointed that Stacey hadn't found something a bit more interesting or educational.
"I know it looks like that," agreed Stacey, "but this,uh,remote control can do some really cool stuff."
"Oh?" asked Miriam. "What kind of ‘cool stuff' does it do?"
"It can do stuff – like this," said Stacey, who casually pointed the device at her teacher and gently pressed the special button.
Miriam Anderson felt a strange sensation course through her entire body. The next thing she knew, Connie and Stacey were growing – becoming larger and larger even as she watched. In a moment, Connie had grown taller than she was, and Stacey now stood at her height.
It took a long moment before she realized the even more incredible truth - that it wasn't the girls who had grown taller, it was she who had grown shorter. Shorter, and smaller – and younger. Much, much younger.
"Now you're my age," grinned Stacey.
"Oh my," gushed the diminutive teacher.
"How does it feel?" asked Stacey.
"Gosh,I guess I'm not used to this,," replied Miriam, who was still checking herself out. "I mean, I'm used to being a woman,I haven't been this small since I was in grammar school,"
"You're the same age as your students, now," said Stacey. "You would fit right in with the rest of the girls in our class."
"Stacey – whatever that thing is, it's – it's the most amazing technology!" beamed the diminutive Miss Anderson. "This is incredible. I think you're right – I could fit in with the students in my own class like this," she laughed.
"You couldn't exactly show up at school dressed like you are," observed Stacey. "I mean, your clothes are way too big for you now."
"I guess you're right," agreed Miriam. She was wearing a woman's medium golf shirt and flat front woman's khakis. They had fit well until she shrank, and now her clothes were huge on her small body.
"Your clothes are going to be way too big. You need to get some stuff to wear in your new size," indicated Stacey, pointing at her teacher's droopy pants legs.
"But I'm not going to stay like this," said Miriam, suddenly concerned about the direction her conversation with Stacey was taking.
"Miss Anderson, you gave us way too much homework so far this year," spewed Stacey. "I think you need to find out first hand what it's like to have grownups always giving you more and more assignments to do." Stacey crossed her arms defiantly, glaring at the girl her age who until a few minutes ago had been an adult.
"But, Stacey! Be reasonable! I'm your teacher – you've got to grow me back to my normal self," pleaded Miriam. "I mean, how can I go to work? I can't go to school tomorrow – like this."
"Then I guess our class will have a substitute teacher tomorrow," smiled Stacey. She thought for a minute about the consequences of changing Miss Anderson into a fourth grader. Stacey wanted to punish her teacher, but enjoying a small amount of revenge for a short period of time was sufficient in her mind to balance the scales of justice. She had no desire to be overly mean.
"Please, Stacey! I'm an adult woman, not a little girl your age. You don't understand," Miriam continued, her desperation increasing. "Please, you can't leave me like this."
Miriam briefly imagined herself face to face with her fourth grade students. Some of the girls would now be taller than she was. Miriam had been rather scrawny as a child, and realized that many of her female students would be more physically mature than she was - many of them were already starting to wear training bras.
Stacey found her former teacher's whining annoying and tiresome. She brightened as an even funnier idea occurred to her.
"OK, Miss Anderson, you win. I promise I won't leave you like that."
"Thank god! Thank you, Stacey. I've learned my lesson – I didn't realize that you kids were so upset about math homework. I promise I'll try to lighten up on the assignments from now on."
"C'mon over here," Stacey directed her child sized teacher. "Stand still while I figure out how to use this thing in reverse."
Miriam stood in the center of the living room, still holding up her pants, while Stacey aimed the control and pressed the button again. Miriam smiled as she again felt the tingling sensation flow through her.
In a few seconds, Miriam's smile withered as she realized something was drastically wrong. The world was again growing bigger around her, and her clothes began expanding again. In a few moments, she could see that she was only as tall as nine year old Stacey's waist. Miriam Anderson looked around the room from a new perspective – from the viewpoint of a three year old toddler.
"No! No! No!" Miriam cried, stomping her tiny feet. "You made me thmaller, not bigger!"
"You really look like a rug rat now," laughed Stacey, patting her pint-sized teacher on the top of her head.
"Th-tacey, you cawnt do thith to me! You pwomithed!," Miriam sobbed, looking up into the face of the giant sized girl who was one of her 4th grade students.
"I promised that I wouldn't leave you like you were – in the fourth grade – so I made you even younger."
"No! Pweath! Not wike thith – I'm too thmall to weach anything," cried Miriam.
"Now you'll see what it's like to be a really little kid," laughed Stacey.
"Look at her eyes! She's so cute looking!" Connie chuckled.
"Don't weave me wike thith," sobbed Miriam.
"Miss Anderson, listen to me," commanded Stacey. "I promise I'll change you back in a few days, but not right away. I want you to stay like that for a while, just long enough to remember how it feels to be a kid."
"But how will I eat?" asked Miriam, wiping her tears. "I can't even weach the thtove."
"I'll stop by tomorrow to make sure you're OK. If you behave yourself, I'll change you back on,let's see, today's Monday,on Thursday," offered Stacey. "That way you'll have four whole days to think about how you treated us in your class."
"You twicked me," Miriam sobbed.
"Hey, Stacey, now that Miss Anderson is just a baby, let's check out her clothes and stuff," suggested Connie, heading toward the bedroom.
"No!" protested Miriam. "Weave my th-tuff awone!"
Three year old Miriam, still clinging onto a few of her woman-sized garments, toddled behind the girls and looked on helplessly while they started rummaged through her closet and dresser drawers. She felt that her private life was being invaded by the two sisters as they methodically perused her personal belongings and clothing, but in her present size there was nothing she could do to stop them.
"No offense, but you do have kind of boring dresses," remarked Stacey as she checked out Miriam's wardrobe hanging in the closet. "When I grow you back up, maybe you'll want to buy some cooler clothes."
"Ooh, Miss Anderson – this looks a bit daring for a teacher," giggled Connie, holding up a black satin bra. "Of course, it's a bit big for you now."
"She won't be wearing any of these for a while," Stacey smiled as she looked through a collection of dresses, which disappointingly looked much like the dull, businesslike clothes her mother wore to work every day.
The two girls continued looking through Miriam's things for several minutes before getting tired and deciding they needed to make haste to their original destination - the mall. Before they left, Stacey stopped to give the young Miss Anderson a final warning.
"Remember, you be a good little girl," she admonished, stooping down to Miriam's height and waving her finger in Miriam's face. "No phone calls! This is a secret between me and you and Connie. Nobody in the world would believe that you're really a fourth grade teacher – they'll just think you're a little girl telling crazy stories. And if misbehave, I won't change you back on Thursday - and that means you're going to stay like that."
"I'll be good, I pwomith," said Miriam, shuddering to think what it would be like to remain as a three year old permanently.
After the girls had departed, Miriam rapidly discovered how difficult it was for a child of her height to use furniture and bathroom fixtures designed to adult scale. She debated calling 911, but realized that nobody would believe her story. Simple actions that were taken for granted by a fully grown woman, such as reaching items on the kitchen table or opening a door, required prodigious feats of jumping and stretching by a toddler.
Miriam had no clothes that would even come remotely close to fitting. After puttering around naked for a while, she finally made a sack dress out of an old pillowcase to preserve a small bit of her modesty.
The doorbell rang. By force of habit, Lori went to peer through her security peephole to see who was there, but suddenly realized she was no longer tall enough to use it. She sighed and opened the door.
"Lisa, thank goodness you made it!" Lori exclaimed at the sight of her friend. Lisa was of about average height and weight for a woman, and normally several inches shorter than Lori, so it was a bit disorienting for Lori to see how huge Lisa seemed now.
"Lori?" asked Lisa, looking at down at the girl with a puzzled look.
"Don't you know who I am?" asked Lori. "Like I tried to tell you on the phone, I'm just a bit smaller than I was earlier today."
"Lori – Oh my god, it is you!" Lisa exclaimed in amazement. She bent down to be at eye level with her youthened coworker. "You were serious! No wonder your voice sounded so weird. Holy cow - just look at you!"
"It is kind of strange to be so little," managed Lori, becoming a bit self-conscious from Lisa's attention. "I mean, I'm used to being tall."
"What the heck happened to,um,make you like that?" asked Lisa, a bit tongue-tied with the concept that of one of her best friends now looked like she belonged back in grammar school. "I mean, how did you,get so young?"
"Well, it was pretty much like I told you. That metal box I found at lunch – the remote control "thing" I showed you and Nancy at work this afternoon – well, I was curious, and tried pushing one of the buttons."
"And,it did this to you?" said Lisa, gesturing at Lori's "new" body.
"I guess whatever power is in that device was a bit stronger than I expected," explained Lori sheepishly. "I wouldn't have minded losing a few years, but it wasn't exactly like I planned on changing myself into a kid like this."
"Where's that box at now?" asked Lisa.
"My neighbor Sharon's daughters took it with them when they left," said Lori. She turned the other way for a moment and called out toward her bedroom. "Hey, Sharon, my friend Lisa is here. Come on out."
"Just a minute, Lori – let me finish getting dressed," called back a childish voice.
A moment later, a little blond girl, even younger than Lori, stepped into the living room.
"Hi, I'm Lori's neighbor Sharon," she introduced herself, looking up at Lisa. Sharon had managed to dress herself in some of Stacey's old clothing, which she had fortunately washed and packed away several months ago with the intention of giving it to charity.
"Uh,hello, Sharon," responded Lisa uneasily. "You mean,you were older too? I mean, like Lori?"
"I'm 35 years old," said Sharon. Seeing Lisa's quizzical squint, she realized how outlandish her words must seem coming out of what looked like a 5 year old's mouth. "I guess that I should say I was 35 years old."
"Her daughters grabbed that thing right out of my hands while I was trying to figure out if it had a reverse setting," explained Lori. "The next thing we know, they zapped poor Sharon with it. They must have given her a really strong dose."
"Those girls – they're usually good kids, but when they get out of line, they get really disrespectful," said Sharon. "When I get my hands on them,I mean, when I get changed back to adult size,"
"Sharon, how old are your daughters?" asked Lisa. The question seemed like a ludicrous thing to be asking a five year old child.
"Connie just turned 11, and Stacey is 9," replied Sharon. "Hey – I just realized, my kids are both older than I am now."
"They're both bigger than me now, too. That seems weird - I used to babysit them," reflected Lori. "Sharon, we need to find them to get the device back. Where do you suppose they might have gone?"
"That's a good question – but if I know my daughters, they really wanted to go to the mall after dinner."
Lori vividly imagined the chaos that the two preteen girls could cause with the age-altering control box in a crowded shopping mall.
"Lisa, can you drive us to the mall?" asked Lori.
"Let's go," said Lisa, already heading out the door.
On their way to the mall, Lori and Sharon debated on the best strategy to find the girls, assuming they had in fact gone shopping. Lisa remained quiet and oblivious to their conversation as she drove. Her thoughts were running through her brain at triple speed as she gradually accepted the incredible reality that the small control box Lori had found at lunch was really some kind of ray gun that could reduce a person's age. How else could anyone explain what had happened to Lori? And, assuming that they recovered this fantastic device,well, once Lori and her neighbor had been restored to their normal ages, what logical reason would there be not to shave a few years off Lisa's own body? She had just celebrated her 37th birthday two months ago. While she was very attractive for her age, Lisa imagined how nice it would be, for example, to be Lori's ‘real' age - 32 years old - once again. Or maybe even become a few years younger than Lori.
Discounting the short amount of time they spent testing the age changing device and pulling a few harmless pranks on bystanders, it took Connie and Stacey a total of less than ten minutes to walk to the bus stop near their apartment. Going shopping at the mall was always fun, and with the age-changing control in their possession, the evening promised to be much more enjoyable than a routine shopping trip.
A bus arrived only a few minutes after they reached the otherwise deserted bus stop, and the mall was only a ten minute ride away. The terminal stop happened to be directly in front of one of the large anchor department stores. Cutting through the store on a beeline to the mall proper, Connie and Stacey were in the process of dodging through the maze of promotional displays placed in the aisles when they were momentarily distracted by a scene at one of the cash registers.
"But Mommy, I don't like those dresses," complained a little girl who looked to be about 5 or 6 years old.
"Honey, we've gone over this time and time again. For once and for all, you need new clothes for school, and that's the end of the discussion," said a woman, apparently the girl's mother, who was holding a pile of girl's outfits in one hand while trying to open her purse with other. She was a rather large and imposing woman, both tall and quite chubby. She had short blond hair and was wearing a blue v-neck tank top, jean shorts, and expensive athletic shoes. Connie guessed she was in her early thirties.
The big blond handed her credit card to the clerk, who was doing her best to cheer up the little girl.
"Are you starting first grade this year?" she asked.
"Yes," said the girl.
"And don't you like all the pretty clothes your Mom is getting you?"
"I know mommy is trying to buy me nice things, but I just don't like those dumb dresses," the little girl explained.
"But they're so pretty!" the clerk beamed. "I'll bet your Mom picked them out especially for you."
"I know," sighed the girl. "Mommy won't let me pick them out myself."
"Now, Linda, you're too young to know what to buy. I'm just trying to buy you things that will look decent when you go back to school next week," sighed her mother.
Just as Connie and Stacey were walking out of earshot, they heard the mother make one last attempt to cheer up her daughter. As if on cue, the woman added, "Linda, If I were your age, I'd love to be able to wear these clothes."
Connie and Stacey looked at each other and started giggling, an obvious idea for trying out the age changing device suddenly having been handed to them. Having both been recently subjected to the humiliating annual ritual of selecting school clothes under the guidance (or censorship) of their own mother, the sisters could not imagine any better instant karma than to give Linda's mother an opportunity to demonstrate the truth of her expressed sentiment - namely, that Mom would simply love to be able to wear the clothes she had picked out for her daughter. Normally, that would be impossible. With the age control, Connie and Stacey realized that one small zap was perfectly capable of changing the rather chubby thirty-something soccer mom into a first grade schoolgirl the same age and size as her own daughter.
The girls stepped into a nearby aisle, pretending to be looking at some merchandise while Connie found a secluded vantage point behind a display that afforded a good view of the cash register area.
She had planned to aim the control toward the mother at the cash register, but noticed that the clerk and another woman customer who was now standing in line behind the fat blond and her daughter were preventing her from getting a clear view of her initial target. Connie glanced at the three hapless women standing in the front of the check out area. Besides the mother, there was the clerk, who looked like she was maybe college age, and the other customer, who looked to be about 40.
There was no readily apparent method that the remote control could be aimed precisely to pick one person out of a crowd, especially at a distance of more than 50 feet. Connie mentally shrugged, aimed the device at the woman to the best of her ability, and pressed the button.
Where a moment before stood three adult women, there were now three little girls. Their clothing had remained the same size, and for a moment, the regressed women stared at one another in shock, struggling with their suddenly oversized apparel.
The formerly overweight soccer mom was now about the same height and size as her five year old daughter. She had lost her shorts and panties, which had dropped straight off of her hips and lay in a large heap around her feet. Her tank top hung on her like a full length robe.
The other customer who had been standing in line was no longer a woman in her forties. She had been reduced to a ten year old girl about the same size as Stacey.
At first, Connie couldn't see what had happened to the clerk – she appeared to have disappeared behind the counter on which the cash register sat. After a few seconds, a toddler crawled out from behind, still wearing a long sleeved white top with a store nametag attached. The little girl appeared confused as she looked up her surroundings with wide blue eyes and an open mouth.
"Mommy – what happened to everyone?" Linda exclaimed. "You're little like me!"
"No, no, this can't be! Linda, find someone to help us!" shrieked the panic stricken little blond girl who was Linda's mother.
"Oh my god," gasped the older girl, struggling with her overly large clothing. "We've been changed into kids."
The tot - who had been a rather buxom college sophmore just seconds before - began to cry. "I don't wanna be widdle," she wailed. "My cwothes don't fit."
Standing some distance away, Connie silently motioned for Stacey to follow her as she hurried off toward the main entrance from the store leading into the mall itself, leaving the three drastically downsized victims to contemplate what had happened to them.
"You shouldn't have shrunk Mom before we had a chance to eat dinner," complained Stacey.
"Stacey, quit being so grouchy," Connie admonished her sister.
"But I'm really hungry," continued Stacey.
"Hmmm,well, OK. Let's get something to eat," suggested Connie. "There's a McBurgers next to Sears."
When the girls arrived at the fast food eatery, it was the peak of the dinner hour. Most of the tables at McBurger's were full, and a long line of hungry shoppers looking for a fast meal extended back from the counter.
"Hi," smiled a teen girl with braces behind the counter. The name tag on the front of her shirt read TIFFANY. "May I help you?"
"Oh, Hi," replied Connie. Knowing from long experience what Stacey liked to eat, Connie gave Tiffany her and Stacey's order. Tiffany walked back to get their burgers, fries, and Cokes.
"Should I make her a little bit younger?" hissed Connie to her sister when Tiffany had stepped back behind the counter.
"Go ahead," encouraged Stacey.
Connie pulled out the control. Making sure no one was watching, she aimed it at Tiffany's back and very briefly pressed the regression key. Watching attentively, the girls saw Tiffany loose a couple of inches of height. Although she had no idea of what had happened, the unsuspecting sixteen year old high school junior had just been reduced to a fourteen year old high school freshman.
When Tiffany returned to the counter with the food, something seemed a bit out of place. The girl she was waiting on seemed taller than she remembered.
"Your fries will be up in just a minute," Tiffany indicated. She unconsciously hitched up her pants, which caused Connie and Stacey to burst into muffled laughter. When the hapless teen turned her back to the counter to check on the progress of the order, Connie directed the age changer at her and again gave the button a quick touch.
Tiffany lost a few more inches, and now appeared to be only a year or two older than Connie. Her breasts had disappeared into the folds on her oversized shirt, and the rest of her clothes looked distinctly droopy on her substantially smaller frame.
"That'll be $6.59," she smiled as she handed Connie the food, struggling a bit with the tray. Tiffany didn't remember the counter being quite so high.
"I don't think so," said Connie.
Tiffany hesitated a minute, not sure what to do. Connie aimed the control at Tiffany and pressed the button again, once more reducing the former teen's stature by several years.
Tiffany now looked eye to eye at Connie. She looked down at herself and frowned in puzzlement when saw how big and loose her uniform suddenly seemed. Her pants were nearly falling off, and her hands looked much smaller.
"Hey - what happened? What did you do to me?" she demanded. She noticed that her voice sounded different.
"Hey, where'd Tiffany go?" asked another teen girl who approached the counter, apparently one of Tiffany's coworkers. She suddenly looked at the somewhat familiar youngster in the oversized uniform and did a double take.
"Tiff – is that you?" she asked, squinting as she stared at the girl who from all indications looked like she was only ten or eleven years old.
"Jenny, what happened to me?" wailed Tiffany, finding to her surprise and discomfort that her petite friend Jenny was now much taller than she was. Or had been.
"Tiffany - you've,you've shrunk!" exclaimed Jennifer, gaping in wide mouthed wonder at her youthened friend.
While the downsized preteen Tiffany and her still teenaged friend Jennifer tried to comprehend what had happened, Connie and Stacey disappeared into the crowd with their food.
"Tiffany's is Marlene's older sister," explained Connie. Marlene was one of Connie's friends, and Marlene was constantly regaling Connie with complaints about the alleged cruelty of her older sibling. Connie vaguely wondered if Marlene would appreciate the fact that she had rearranged things so that her older sister Tiffany was a few years younger. Quite a bit younger, actually, since she had reduced Tiffany to back to Marlene's age.
"Watch this," said Connie, aiming the control box toward the line of people being served at the counter. She hesitated for a second, glanced around to make sure nobody was paying any attention to what she was doing, and then pushed the reducing button and held it down.
Connie rapidly flicked the beam across front of the restaurant. Uniformed workers standing behind the counter, dozens of customers waiting in lines, and groups seated in the front of the dining area were hit by the youth ray at random as Connie clandestinely swept the device across the room before inconspicuously dropping it back into her purse.
The youthening ray had a dramatic and instantaneous effect on the unsuspecting people it touched. Both onlookers and victims stood and stared at one another, trying to comprehend what had just happened.
From where Connie and Stacey stood, several workers waiting on customers behind the cash registers seemed to disappear momentarily. They had suddenly become so young that only the very tops of their heads could be seen behind the counter. The (formerly) teen crew members looked around in astonishment at their dwindled coworkers as the toddlers gradually discovered that they were too short to reach the cash registers or soda dispensers.
Adults waiting at the front of the line who had been struck by the youthening rays found that their height was reduced to the point where they could barely reach over the counter. Customers who were seated nearby suddenly discovered they were too short to reach the food on their tables.
"Aunt Patty, what happened to you? Look at everyone! How come you're all so small?"
"Oh my God,sweetheart, help me carry this tray," said a little red-haired girl, dressed in a red tank top that was now about the size of a nightshirt. Adult sized pants had fallen to the floor around her ankles.
"They must be around here somewhere," said Sharon, peering around in all directions in the hope of spying her daughters. She found it difficult to see very far, since she was now so much shorter than the groups of adults (and most of the children) shopping in the mall.
"How are we going to stop them?" asked Lori. "Connie seems pretty trigger happy with that youth ray remote control. If Connie or her sister see us, chances look pretty good that she'll just zap us with it again."
Lori was being accurate in her portrayal of Connie and Stacey's prolific and unhesitating use of the device. As Lisa, Lori, and Sharon had proceeded through the mall, they were greeted by dozens of incongruous scenes that had resulted from unsuspecting people suddenly being rendered many years (and often decades) younger. It was easy to spot the many victims – bewildered children and young teens of all ages wearing (or trying to hold onto) vastly oversized clothes. Some were crying, some looked shocked or were frozen in a state of disbelief, and some were trying to explain their appearance to other children or adults.
"I guess we'll just have to be careful," said Lisa. Initially, she was halfway hoping that she actually would get zapped by the youth ray – it would be really nice to lose five or ten years. As the trio continued hunting for the girls, however, Lisa realized that most of the victims had received quite a bit more youth than they probably would have volunteered for. It appeared that few of the people who had been hit by the device remained over the age of puberty. Lisa wanted to be a bit younger, not turned into a kid again like poor Lori.
"Hey - I've got an idea," Lori volunteered. "Sooner or later, they're going to have to use the restroom. I'll betcha that Connie leaves that age-reducing thing on the shelf when she uses the stall."
"So?" asked Sharon.
Lori was streetwise enough to remember that women were often advised to avoid placing their purses or other valuables on shelves or hooks in toilet stalls, since a thief could reach over the side and take them. This bit of knowledge had given her an idea.
"We'll keep our distance and follow them until they go into the Ladies' Room. Connie and Stacey would recognize us if they saw us, but they don't know Lisa, so they shouldn't be too suspicious of her. Lisa should be able to just walk up and make a sudden grab for it."
Connie and Stacey walked nonchalantly through the mall, both of them keeping an eye out for opportunities to use the age changing device. In the time-honored tradition of kids everywhere, one of Connie and Stacey's greatest enjoyments was to periodically find new ways of embarrassing the various adult authority figures in their lives. It was one (barely) socially acceptable way children had to compensate for their relatively unempowered status in the overall hierarchy of modern society. The age altering control changed all of that - possession of the device had suddenly and unexpectedly upset the usual balance of power and made Connie and Stacey's wildest dreams possible. They could reduce any all-powerful grown up they wanted to a child their own age - or younger.
Connie and Stacey found that it was particularly funny to use the age changing device on groups – especially when it was a group of various ages. Their favorite exploit was to find an adult accompanied by one or more children, and then using the youth ray to reduce the (former) grownup to become the youngest in the crowd.
It took no more than the slightest whim or whimsy for the girls to unleash their incredible new power on a hapless and unsuspecting subject - and the mall was full of targets.
Connie accidentally discovered a new and previously unknown feature of the control box. The new feature turned up during Connie and Stacey's sojourn into the Lady Footlocker store.
"Hi. Can I help you girls?" asked a rather tall teenaged girl, who was wearing a green golf shirt and tan khaki pants. The sisters could see that the small nametag on her shirt read "Rebecca". Rebecca had short blond hair and was very pretty.
"We have to get some shoes for our PE class," lied Connie. "Our mom will be here in a few minutes, so she told us to go ahead and pick out some shoes we like in the meantime."
"I like those," said Stacey, pointing at a pair of athletic shoes on display.
"Great. Let me go get something to measure your feet with," offered Rebecca, who turned her back on the girls as she walked toward the back of the store.
"Watch this," chuckled Connie, producing the age changing device and pointing it toward the unsuspecting young woman.
"Hey, I've got an idea," whispered Stacey as she watched Connie brandish the device. "Let's see what one of the other buttons does this time," she suggested.
"Alright," agreed Connie. She pressed the button next to the one she had been using to make people younger.
Watching carefully, they could clearly see that Rebecca, her back turned to the girls, was beginning to shrink. The girls giggled as they watched her unwittingly become younger. This time, however, something slightly different happened. To their amazement and delight, Rebecca's clothes – instead of being unaffected – were actually shrinking right along with her. Even her shoes were apparently included in the effect.
In a minute, Rebecca had located the foot measuring device and returned to assist her young customers. As she approached Connie and Stacey, she felt vaguely ill at ease. The girls seemed much taller than she had remembered.
"Uh,huh,umm,," muttered Rebecca, feeling momentarily disoriented. "Hey - what's wrong with my voice?" she complained, trying to clear her throat. Her voice sounded high pitched, almost soprano.
Connie managed to contain her laughter. It was obvious that Rebecca was no longer a teenager. Because Rebecca's clothes had diminished to fit her reduced size, she apparently wasn't yet aware of what had happened to her.
"How,how did you,I mean, how come you're so tall all of a sudden?" asked Rebecca, puzzled by the fact that she was now about two inches shorter than Connie.
"We're still the same size," explained Stacey. "But look at yourself in the mirror."
"What the heck,?" gasped Rebecca as she looked at her reflection. Her mouth dropped open. A ten year old child with a freckled face peered back at her. Rebecca looked like she belonged back in middle school. Somehow, her clothes had been miniaturized to perfectly fit her new size. "Oh shit,I'm smaller," she wailed in disbelief. "What happened to me?"
The knit green shirt Rebecca was wearing, to which her employee nametag was still pinned, had decreased in size to fit her new girlish dimensions. It clearly showed (by the conspicuous lack of any bumps in front) that Rebecca not yet reached the age of puberty.
"C'mon, Connie,let's get going," hollered Stacey, who was already scampering out of the store towards the mall.
"Wait,no, you can't just leave me here. You can't leave me like this," pleaded Rebecca, raising both of her hands and pressing them against her flat chest where her breasts used to be.
At that moment, Rebecca's coworker Lizbeth emerged from the back of the store.
"Rebecca?" she asked, looked down in puzzlement at her diminutive coworker.
Rebecca looked up at Lizbeth and tried hard not to cry. Lizbeth was so much larger than she was now!
"What happened to you?" asked Lizbeth, scrutinizing the ten year old girl who bore an uncanny resemblance to her coworker.
"Those two girls - they shrunk me," squealed Rebecca, pointing out the door in the direction that Sarah and Connie had gone.
"Holy shit! You look like you're maybe ten years old at most," gasped Lizbeth, still staring at Rebecca.
"I know," said Rebecca, looking up with pleading eyes into Lizbeth's face. "Lizbeth, what am I going to do now?"
"Gosh, Rebecca,I don't know what to say," replied Lizbeth in a sympathetic voice. She was at a total loss on what advice to give a friend who had suddenly had her body reduced to that of a ten year old girl.
"Look at me,the clothes I was wearing all shrunk with me too," marveled Rebecca.
Lizbeth noticed that she could still see the outline of a bra beneath Rebecca's knit top. Although in her present condition Rebecca wouldn't have a practical need to wear a bra for at least a couple of years, it evidently had been reduced to fit along with Rebecca's other clothing. Even her shoes and socks had shrunk to fit.
Unfortunately, the effect extended only to shrink the apparel that Rebecca had been wearing. Lizbeth and Rebecca discovered that Rebecca's jacket, which was on a hanger near the employee entrance, had retained its original size, and was consequently much too big for Rebecca to wear. She clearly wasn't big enough to wear even the smallest Junior sizes anymore, and wouldn't grow back into most of her clothing for another seven years.
A few storefronts beyond the Lady Footlocker was one of the girls' favorite stores – Old Navy. Connie and Stacey casually strolled into the store, which was nearly empty. The only people they could see were a blond teenager waiting while a sales clerk was totaling up her purchase.
Connie estimated that the sales clerk was about college age, somewhere in her early twenties. She aimed in the right general direction and pressed the activation button on the regression device.
"Hey! What happened?" squeaked Kathy. No longer a college age woman, she was now six years old. From Kathy's vantage point, the world had suddenly become larger. The counter had risen up to her new eye level, and the cash register had somehow become too high for her to easily reach.
Kathy noticed that her clothes suddenly felt heavy. Looking down at herself, she discovered that her entire outfit had become much too large for her to wear. She managed to grab her belt just in time to prevent her floppy pants from sliding off to the floor.
"Hey! You shrunk!" gasped the young teen girl on the other side of the counter.
"How in the world..?" said Kathy, pure confusion in her voice. Looking up, Kathy could clearly see that her teenage customer was now at least a foot taller than she was!
"You're like all little," exclaimed the surprised teen, looking down at the little girl who a second before had been taller than she was.
"What happened? Look at me," six year old Kathy wailed in confusion.
As the trio entered the mall, Lori noticed what seemed to be an unusually large crowd gathered around one of the restaurants near the central courtyard. As Lori approached the area, followed closely by Sharon and Lisa, she could see that the McBurgers entrance had been cordoned off with yellow police tape, and that a group of police officers had arrived on the scene to control the mob. Several of the officers were apparently taking official statements, scribbling rapidly on clipboards as various persons in the crowd related their observations.
"Excuse me, m'am," said Lori, as she hurried toward a woman at the nearby mall information counter who was momentarily unoccupied. "Why are all the police here? Was their a robbery or something?"
The woman looked down at Lori with a condescending smile. "No, honey. There was no robbery or anything like that. There's nothing to worry about."
Lori bristled with anger and glared at the woman. She was being dismissed like an overly curious 8 year old – which, physically, she appeared to be.
Lisa and Sharon approached. Lisa could tell from Lori's unhappy expression that she had not been successful in finding out what had happened. "Um,please don't bother the busy lady, Lori. I'm sure she's got her hands full right how."
"Hi," smiled the woman, directing her attention to Lisa. "Are these your daughters?" she queried, nodding toward Lori and Sharon.
"Uh,um,yeah, they're both mine," smiled Lisa.
"How old are they?" she asked, smiling at the girls.
"Well,gosh,uh, Lori here is in the third grade now, and,uh,Sharon just started Kindergarten this year," lied Lisa, conscious of the dirty looks she was getting from her two reluctant ‘children'. "Gee, what's all the excitement?"
The woman stepped to one side and lowered her voice so that only Lisa could hear her. "Nothing to worry about, it's not an armed robbery or anything like that. I didn't want to upset you or your daughters, but we got a bunch of 9-1-1 calls starting about twenty minutes ago. We think some people shopping in the mall may have been suffering from mental illness or something. The calls sounded like they were having hallucinations."
"Hallucinations?" asked Lisa, raising her eyebrows.
"Yeah, it's pretty weird. Maybe like a mass hysteria. We've got all these kids dressed up in oversized clothes, trying to tell us that they're really adults, claiming they were suddenly shrunk down to a younger age. There must be at least thirty of them insisting on this crazy story.
"Then we have a bunch of adults who say they actually saw this magic happening. What wild imaginations these folks must have."
"It sounds pretty crazy to me," agreed Lisa. "Thanks for the scoop." She turned back toward Lori and Sharon. "C'mon, girls," said Lisa, motioning them away from the crowd.
"Well, now what are we going to do?" asked Sharon once they were out of earshot.
"I say, stick to the original plan," replied Lori. "We can wait until one of them uses the restroom."
"We should be able to find them pretty easily," Lisa agreed.
A girl with who looked to be of preschool age was trying her best to push a stroller containing a baby. She was so short that she was having a difficult time reaching the handle.
"Somebody please help me!" the little blond girl cried, floundering inside her huge sleeveless dress. It was now so much longer than necessary that it slid along the floor behind her, and one of her shoulders was now exposed through the open neck. She had already stumbled out of her shoes.
Three women were engaged in conversation with a toddler. The women and the little girl were all wearing business clothes. The three year old girl, who looked quite distraught, was dressed in a perfectly tailored miniature power suit and was wearing toddler-sized black hosiery and high heels.
"I am not a little kid! This can't be happening to me!" Lisa overheard the toddler saying as she walked past.
Donna Larson was in the Zale's jewelry store, checking out the wedding rings. The saleswoman in back of the counter was showing her several selections when they both noticed two girls walking past the front of store at a brisk pace. One of the girls was holding what appeared to be a small remote control, which she aimed toward them.
The glass counter suddenly started to grow higher, and in seconds it was over Donna's head. Donna looked around in confusion, and noticed that the sleeves of her dress were now very baggy and so long that they hung past her hands. What was happening to her?
Donna heard a child squeal somewhere on the other side of the counter - she was no longer tall enough to see over it. Looking through the display glass, she saw a little girl with dark hair frowning as she tried to straighten out the adult-sized blouse she was wearing. It was the saleswoman, reduced to the size of a child.
She and Donna were both now four years old.
Sharon knew her daughters well enough to recognize that they each had a bit of a jealous streak, and she had delivered several motherly lectures aimed at curbing their youthful envy. Connie was now at the awkward age where budding young ladies become hypersensitive to the size and shape of their growing bodies, and no doubt some of this mania had been communicated to her younger sister.
There were more than two dozen customers and clerks who were unfortunate enough to be in the Victoria's Secret store when Connie and Stacey happened to be walking by with the age changer. Sharon suspected strongly that Connie and Stacey had made it a special point to reduce the particularly well-endowed females to humiliatingly younger and smaller sizes, or - even worse - to reduce them back to prepubescent girls, rendering them completely flat chested.
Peering through the windows, it was clear that the girls had worked quite a bit of mischief. Most of the unsuspecting women who had been shopping in the store looked like they would now have to wait a few years before they would need to wear a bra again. It was hard to tell in most cases, since the clothing the shoppers had been wearing no longer showed off their figures - all of the customers' dresses, sweaters, tops and pants had been rendered many sizes too large. The loose, baggy outfits made it difficult to see what - if anything - remained of the young teens' breast and hip development.
The distraught thirty-something manager was now only about 12 years old. She had gone from wearing a 36 inch C cup to nothing larger than a training bra. Sharon felt sorry for her, but the manager was actually relatively fortunate - several nearby customers were now four year olds, and at least one toddler was crying on the floor near a pile of clothes she had been wearing just a few minutes before.
A sad looking preschooler with medium length curly brown hair stood in front of a three-way dressing mirror, holding up a vastly oversized bra up to her chest, while her older friend (a thirtyish woman who had apparently been lucky enough to avoid the youth ray) tried to comfort her.
"Don't worry, Teri,we should find out soon that there's some explanation for this. I'm sure this is probably just some temporary effect,"
Tracy Logan was headed toward the fitting room at Donaldson's women's department with two dresses to try on when she noticed two young girls hurrying past her. Having no reason to pay them any attention, she turned her back and didn't notice as one of the girls pointed at small box in her direction. By the time she reached the fitting room, Tracy was no longer 28 years old.
In the fitting room, Tracy placed the dresses on a hanger and began to disrobe. She easily slipped out of her pants and pulled off her turtleneck sweater, carefully placing them on a shelf. Her underwear somehow didn't feel right – she needed to adjust her bra. She experienced a great deal of difficulty as she reached around to unhook the clasp on the back. It was almost as though her bra had somehow grown larger. It was then that Tracy realized that her bra wasn't just large - it was absolutely huge. Both cups drooped down all the way to her navel. Her panties likewise seemed to have become much larger; the elastic band around the top was barely tight enough to hold them up.
Suddenly afraid, Tracy noticed that the dresses she was planning to try on were now difficult to reach - as if the hangers were higher. Or, she realized belatedly, as if she had become shorter. She panicked when she finally took a look in the mirror. Instead of a 28 year old woman, Tracy saw a flat-chested 3rd or 4th grade girl dressed in enormous underwear.
"Help! Please, something weird happened to me!" she yelped as she struggled out of the dressing room, doing her best to hold onto her clothing. Tracy had left her hopelessly outsized pants behind, since she was now small enough to use her own sweater as a dress.
Gabrielle Mathews was a practical woman who appreciated the value of a dollar saved. Gaby had made a quick trip over to the mall to take advantage of a sale on bath towels. She had expected the entire excursion to be uneventful and to take no more than 10 minutes of her time. Unfortunately for her, Gaby had become another more or less random recipient of Sara and Connie's age reducing treatment.
Gaby vividly remembered her last few moments as an adult – she had been striding through the store, on her way to the bed and bath department, and had stopped for just a moment to check prices in the personal care aisle. Ironically (considering what was about to happen to her), Gaby had just picked up a box of tampons when she felt a subtle, weird sensation pass through her. When she tried to put the box back on the same shelf, she discovered that it was now a long reach over her head. Puzzled, Gaby stepped back into the main aisle, only to find that all of the other people in the store now towered over her - as if they had somehow grown into giants. It took what seemed like a long and confusing minute or so for Gaby to figure out that it wasn't her surroundings that had changed, it was her. She had shrunk – and from examining her own body, and noticing that her womanly attributes had somehow dwindled back to prepubescent proportions, it took Gaby only a short while to discover that she had somehow been changed into a little girl.
Just before she had zapped Gaby from behind, Connie had accidentally set the age changer to the "adjust clothes size" mode she had first used on the sales girl in the Lady Footlocker store. Gaby was thus part of the small minority of age regression victims who were spared the embarrassment of literally shrinking right out of her own clothing in the middle of a public place. Because Gaby's clothes (a simple red polo shirt and plain black slacks) had been reduced to fit her six year old physique just as well as it had fit her mature woman's body, she initially had a much more difficult time convincing others that she was (or rather had been) an adult. Fortunately, there were enough similarly reduced grown ups wearing proportionately miniaturized clothing in the vicinity that Gaby was eventually able to convince the authorities of her identity.
At nearly six feet tall, Gaby was used to towering above the crowd. As a child, she was now not quite four feet tall, and had a tough time getting used to looking up at virtually everyone. Other than the clothes she had been wearing when she was shrunk by the age ray, absolutely nothing in Gaby's entire wardrobe would even come close to fitting her as a six year old.
Connie and Stacey were too absorbed in their fun to notice that they were being trailed. Lisa, Lori, and Sharon tailed them for nearly an hour, being careful to stay sufficiently far away that the sisters would be unlikely to discover them. Finally, as they observed from a safe vantage point, Connie entered the Ladies Room.
"Now's our chance!" hissed Lori to her friends.
After a short wait, Lisa casually walked into restroom. It was nearly empty. Lisa discovered the toilet stall Connie was using. Peering through the narrow opening between the door and wall, Lisa spied what looked like a remote control on the inside shelf of Connie's stall.
Lisa entered the stall next to Connie's, as if to use the toilet. When Lisa heard the toilet flush, she knew she had only a few moments to spare. Without further pretense, Lisa suddenly stood up, reached over the top of the partition, and quickly snatched the device off the shelf. She grabbed the control so quickly and quietly that Connie didn't even notice. Lisa quickly departed before Connie had a chance to realize that anything was amiss.
"I got it!" exclaimed Lisa to her two young friends as she showed them the device.
"That's it!" beamed Lori with delight as she saw that Lisa had retrieved her one possible chance of escaping her unwanted second childhood and becoming a fully grown adult woman again. Now all she had to do was figure out how to activate the reverse function.
Lori tried her best to sound confident and optimistic, but in fact she was trying to convince herself as much as her friends that the age changing device actual did possess some sort of ability to reverse the youthening effect. If it didn't, and she had to grow up again day by day,well, that was nearly unthinkable. Lori fought off a feeling of despair, unwilling to consider that there was a very good possibility that she was going to be stuck as an eight year old child.
Connie looked everywhere to no avail. Apparently, the magic remote control had disappeared. After checking every possible logical place multiple times, Connie was exhausted and reluctantly forced to accept the fact that the device was gone forever.
"But – how are we going to change Mommy back? And what about Ms. Anderson?" asked Stacey.
Connie started thinking about the dozens of people that she and Stacey had exposed to the youth ray. Besides her mom and Stacey's teacher, there were all of the strangers they had encountered on their way to the mall. Without any way for them to get changed back to their original ages, their lives would be permanently changed in many unexpected ways.
With the control firmly in her hand and ready to use, Lori entered the restroom right behind Lisa. Sharon immediately spotted Connie and Stacey in the otherwise empty room. Her and Lori stepped out from behind Lisa and confronted the girls.
"Mom? Miss Sheffield?" asked Connie, surprised to see them. Connie smiled inwardly as she noted that her mom was wearing some of Stacey's old clothes, which fit her new, smaller body rather well.
"When I get you girls home, you are both going to get the spanking of your life," said five year old Sharon.
"She's got the remote!" exclaimed Stacey, her eyes growing wide as she saw what Lori was holding.
"Sorry, Connie and Stacey," said Lori as she aimed at the sisters and pressed the activation button.
Connie and Stacey got a taste of their own medicine as they found themselves rapidly shrinking inside their clothing. In just a few seconds, both of the girls were reduced to infancy. Lisa helped Lori and Sharon gather up the two squirming baby girls, and they all made their way back through the mall (still a scene of mayhem and confusion) to the car.
Lori studied the buttons on the device carefully. Getting it back had been only a small part of the battle; now she had to figure out if there was a way to increase her age using it. She remembered her panic when she had first changed herself into a child, and how she had desperately tried to press each and every button on the box without any effect at all. This time, Lori was determined to take a careful, systematic approach.
She noticed that one of the small, round recessed buttons was slightly different than the others. They were all metallic in appearance; however, looking carefully, she saw the button in the lower right hand corner had a gold, rather than silver, coloration. It was barely noticeable. She had a sudden brainstorm. What if the golden hued button worked like a shift key?
Lori hesitated a moment before trying an experiment. She worried for a moment that if her guess was wrong, she could wind up even younger than she was now. It was bad enough being eight years old again - how would she deal with being shrunk down to even a younger age, say four or five like poor Sharon? Or what if it changed her all the way back into a toddler or,heaven forbid,a newborn baby?
Realizing she ultimately had no choice but to try something or remain a 3rd grade girl forever, Lori pressed and held the gold key while simultaneously pressing the key that had originally regressed her back to childhood. The was an emission of blue light, just like those she remembered seeing whenever the device had been activated. Closing her eyes with determination, she continued to press both of the buttons.
In a moment, she felt her body subtly change. She released the control, determined to check out what effect the device was producing - hopefully, before it had a chance to make her very much younger than she had already become, in the event her guess was wrong.
As she walked to the mirror, Lori realized that the borrowed girl's clothing she was wearing seemed to be much tighter. A look in the mirror confirmed her fondest hope - Lori realized that the device had functioned in reverse - it had made her older! Only a year or so,but it was definitely noticeable in the way the clothing she had borrowed from Stacey no longer fit very well and in the fact that she had gained an inch or two of height. Even Stacey's shoes were a bit too tight for her feet.
Lori scrambled back to where she had left the control and headed toward her bathroom. She quickly stripped off her girl-sized ensemble and undies, realizing that they would either rip or strangle her if she continued to wear them while growing back to the size of a woman. Standing naked next to the shower, she pressed the combination of buttons on the control again, this time knowing what the effect would be.
She let out her breath with a mixture of relief and amazement as her body began to change while she watched. Her height gradually increased, and her chest tingled and hurt for a moment as she re-entered puberty. Her nipples became larger and darker colored as two small breast buds began to swell out slightly from her chest. The little cones gradually grew larger and rounder. They continued to expand (although not nearly as much as Lori would have liked) while her hips widened and a cloud of soft, curly pubic hair sprouted around her genitals. Lori watched in the mirror - which was much easier to see now that she had regained her adult height - as her soft facial features became sharper and better defined. In just a few seconds, she had regained her "normal" appearance, and released the buttons.
"Thank god," she sighed to herself, rejoicing to discover that her girl's soprano voice had once again become a womanly contralto. "Welcome back, girls," she chuckled to herself as she cupped her modest breasts with both hands, appreciating their weight. For the first time since her adventure had started, she realized needed to wear a bra - a real one, not just a training bra. She was perfectly happy to discover that she once again nicely filled out the cups of her own underwear.
Lori's pleasure was immeasurable as she walked into her own closet and picked out a pair of comfortable jeans and a favorite tank top. No longer oversized and baggy, they both fit her trim but mature body perfectly again.
Feeling normal for the first time in what seemed like ages, Lori suddenly remembered that her friend Sharon was still stuck as a five year old. She hurried down the stairs.
"I feel great!" said Lori as she returned to her living room, where Sharon and Lisa waited.
"Lori – you did it! You're a grownup – again, I mean!" exclaimed Sharon.
"Gee – looks like you're back to normal," remarked Lisa with a smile on her face. "I was almost thinking that you were going to have to go through puberty all over again. I mean, the slow way."
"Thank goodness no," Lori laughed. "I really hated being so short. Not to mention being flat chested," she added, cupping her breasts with her hands. "They may not be the biggest in the world, but they're still better than nothing."
"Lori...can you,uh,grow me back now?" asked Sharon, staring rather wistfully at the two mounds pushing out from the front of Lori's sweater. Now that both Lisa and Lori towered over her, Sharon felt even smaller and more out of place as a five year old girl.
Lori suggested they follow the same procedure she had used. They stepped into Lori's bedroom for a bit more privacy. Sharon removed her clothes (actually, her daughter's clothes) and stood naked in the middle of the room while Lisa and Lori looked on.
"Well – are you all set?" queried Lori, holding the control in her hand.
"Ready," replied Sharon. She felt a bit uncomfortable standing completely naked in front of Lisa and Lori, but understood why it was necessary.
"O.K. – Here goes," responded Lori. She pointed the front of the control at Sharon and carefully pressed the same combination of buttons she had used to restore her own body to womanhood.
There was a long moment of anticipation before the strange emanations from the device began to effect Sharon in any noticeable way. After a slight latency, Lori and Lisa saw that Sharon was unmistakably growing taller inch by inch. As Sharon continued to gain height, the area around her nipples began to swell and a bush of light colored pubic hair sprouted above her genitals as she matured from a girl into a woman once more. Her nipples and breasts grew larger, and her hips began to widen. In a minute, Sharon was an adult again. A few moments later, Sharon's breasts started to sag a bit and a few laugh lines appeared on her face. Sharon began to put on a bit of weight and had developed a very slight pot belly when Lori released the button. Sharon was roughly the same age as she had been before her encounter with the youthening box.
"It worked," observed Lisa.
"Thank heavens!" remarked Sharon, staring down at her restored body. "I guess I need to put on some clothes."
After considerable effort, Sharon managed to set up an old playpen in Connie's bedroom, and deposited her two "baby" daughters inside. At their present age, it would be an effective confinement. Their clothes were too big for them; Sharon used a couple of old towels and some safety pins to create some makeshift diapers.
"Just so you learn from your behavior, you're going to stay babies at least until next week," said Sharon, directing her best parental disapproval look at the bawling infants. Eventually, Connie and Stacey stopped crying and fell asleep.
Sharon went downstairs, where Lisa and Lori were watching the local TV news. There was live coverage of breaking news at the Eastgate Mall, where – according to the reporter on the scene - there appeared to be an outbreak of mass hysteria. There were scores of children claiming that they were really adults who had been involuntarily reduced in age. The camera panned over the scene in the parking lot, where police had cordoned off the entrance and were in the process of interviewing witnesses.
"We'll have to figure out some way to get all those poor people changed back to normal," said Lori, feeling sorry for the victims as she watched the televised scenes of children, ranging in age from "tweens" down to toddlers, mostly in various stages of dishabille trying to hold on to their colossal garments. Having just experienced the predicament of being an adult stuck in a child's body first hand, Lori empathized with them. She reflected that at least she had the benefit of knowing the source of her unexpected youth, while the dozens of innocent people that Connie and Stacey had randomly regressed had no idea of what had happened to them. One moment they had been casually shopping, the next second they were years or decades younger.
Just as Lori had, the victims would have to deal not only with their own disorientation at being changed from adults to kids, but with the reactions of their friends and relatives - children, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, coworkers and employers. As far as they knew, their new sizes were going to be permanent. Because she hadn't remained a child for long, Lori felt fortunate that she had avoided some of the more embarrassing scenarios one could imagine – such as shopping for clothes in the girl's section. Lori vowed that she would not only do her best to track down all of the bystanders who had been regressed and use the age control to restore them back to their normal physical maturity, but that she would do so as soon as possible. Although it would take a bit longer than she would have preferred, Lori knew she would have to reverse each victim's regression surreptitiously on a one by one basis to avoid drawing attention to herself – after all, she wanted to keep the "remote control", and any overt public display and/or demonstration of its abilities would probably result in it being appropriated by some government agency. Now Lori knew, at least in very general terms, how it functioned, and the secret was shared (if one was willing to discount Sharon's daughters) only by herself, Sharon, and Lisa. And by the original owner - whoever (or whatever) that may have been.
Before putting it away in her purse, Lori looked once again at the mysterious device she had found. Where had it originally come from? How did it wind up being left on a table in a crowded cafeteria? Besides the many intriguing questions surrounding the control's origins, there was a definite element of power and excitement associated with the ability to alter the age of anyone she wanted. Indeed, just the idea of it was rather intoxicating. Lori's 15th year high school reunion was coming up in a couple of months. She speculated on the possibility of secretly adding a few years to some of her former rivals. Or perhaps changing them into infants in front of all their friends. Lori smiled, knowing that the future held many possibilities.
THE END - for now