"Times Are A Changin'"
Margo continued running as fast as she could. She was rapidly forgetting exactly why she was running from the boys or that she had ever been lost in the first place. In fact, she began to know exactly where she was. She was in her hometown and was late for dinner! She remembered her mom bringing food from McDonald's home but then she left instead of eating it. Left? To go where? Here? McDonald's? There is no McDonald's in this town ... yet! Confusion raced thru her regressing mind. Her body shivered again as it physically tried to catch up with 1970! She was easily only 25 now and the shivers were coming more rapidly.
She could now see the two little girls ahead at her house. One looked like her and was holding her little sister. That girl looked confused as well. Her mother had just pulled in from her grocery store trip and grabbed a camera to take a picture of her very responsible older daughter caring for her little sister. The scene was too cute to let pass, she thought.
Margo started to yell for her mother when her path was cut off by Stan and his device. He had ran across a couple of yards to get ahead of his youthening mom while Max continued the chase from behind. They all came crashing into the portal that Stan had opened up. In a few moments they found themselves on the same street but now 30 years in the future.
"Whoa ... that was close!" Max said. "I don't think she'd wanted to get much younger! Sorry Mrs. Miles," he said as he turned to Stan's mom.
Margo was now barely 20. A very youthful 20! Trim, tanned and her long hair a light shade of blond.
"Are you OK?" Stan asked.
She shook her head to indicate yes and the put her thumb in her mouth!
Stan grabbed her arm to force her thumb from her mouth. "Mom! Quit that! You gotta get back to normal!"
"I'm a big girl?" she said as she surveyed her 20-year-old body and loose-fitting clothing.
"Yeah ... a little younger than before though...." Max said.
"I want my mommy," she sobbed.
"How's come she still is acting weird? And is she gonna be stuck looking like a college girl?" Max said to Stan.
"Ummmmmmmm, I dunno.... I gotta think about it. C'mon ... let's get her home!" Stan replied.
Confused, Margo obliged them and they walked her to their home even though she wanted to go to her 'old' home just up the street.
"Dad's gone for business for a couple of days and Liza won't be in until late. Maybe it'll all straighten out before very long!" Stan told his companions. "Mom, what do you remember? Maybe you can get it all back!"
"Uhhh.... Mommy brought us food from McDonald's and I went looking for you and saw ... something...." she began, speaking in an innocent voice.
Stan and Max shared a glance at her description of the events. They knew she was confusing her old self as another person. That was a hurdle they hoped they could cross!
"And then I ummmm, fell ... and ... then I got scared ... looking for you guys.... I was in a big field...." Margo nervously twisted her big toe into the carpet as she relayed her tale. It didn't make sense to even her. "And then you guys chased me.... So how's come I forgot about bein' big?"
"Ummmmmmm, because you went back to a time when you were little I guess," Stan explained, "And time was trying to 'right' itself. But now that you're back I guess it'll all be OK."
"Shouldn't you know more than just guessing?" Max asked.
"I'm sure!" Stan answered confidently.
Just then the door swung open. It was Margo from 30 years ago! She grabbed Stan's time machine from the table.
"HA! I got it now!" she said.
Both Margos stared at each other for a moment.
"How'd you get here!?" Stan demanded to know.
"I saw what happened to you and followed. You took your time closing it up!" little Margo said. "So ... she gets young and dumb while I get smarter?" she said as she motioned to the very confused 20-year old-Margo.
"You shouldn't be here. I don't know what will happen. You two shouldn't be in the same place," Stan pleaded.
"Ummmmm, you've been getting 'smarter?'" Max asked the child.
"Yeah ... and it is great.... But it stopped. It stopped about when you disappeared into thin air. 30 years? She must've gotten younger too ... but why didn't I get older?" the younger Margo asked
"Uhhhhhh, well-l-l-l, umm ... because 30 years ago you were ... ummmm, are ... a little girl. So you ... she ... were 5 years old 30 years ago. See? And maybe 30 years ago you were the real Margo? I mean, sure you were the real Margo. 'Cause you were first. Hmmmmm ... and so you couldn't get older because the real Margo was, ummmmmm, is ... 5 years old. Maybe certain rules of time can't be broken? So future Margo, mom ... ummmm, you ... just started getting younger and stuff to, ummmmm, equalize things? Maybe?" Stan explained as he babbled.
"For a genius you sure leave a lot of questions.... So why did the REAL Margo get smarter then?" Max questioned.
"Hmmmmm. Because that kinda stuff hadda go somewhere and so the real Margo gets it? The one that exists in real time! That makes sense to me!" Stan said.
"Me too," said young Margo. "And I like being smarter. I don't know what'll happen here ... especially if you are right ... but I know what happens if we both exist 30 years ago! See ya!" she said as she clicked the time machine on and grabbed the hand of a very confused 20-year-old Margo.
Soon they were gone.
"Hey what's going on?" Asked Stan's 16-year-old sister Liza who had returned home early.
"Just help us!" Stan said. "Follow us!" And with that Stan and Max entered the still open portal. Bewildered, Liza followed.
"RUN! You idiot!" little Margo yelled to her older self as they hit the ground. In a matter of moments they were running toward an old abandoned farmhouse that Margot had spotted earlier. They had a slight head start on the others. The effects of time travel again began to work. Little Margo felt more knowledge filling her head. Her older self forgot more and more. She lost confidence and grew more frightened with every moment. She again began to youthen. With every step of her bare feet she grew smaller and younger as she ran. Running grew harder as her balance continued to change and her clothing grew ever looser.
"Where the hell are we?" Liza asked her brother.
"No time to explain ... we gotta catch 'em!" he replied but was thwarted by her grabbing his arm! "Let go! c'mon!"
"Not until you tell me what is going on!!!!" she screamed in fright and frustration.
Little Margo heard the diversion and knew that it was affording her time to get away so she could gain all the knowledge possible! Her older self was shrinking through her teen years and becoming a mass of confusion. Her skirt slid off her thinning hips and her blouse hung like a dress. 13-12-11.... She was now younger than her children and still growing younger.
Little Margo quickly directed the scared 10-year-old inside the old empty farmhouse. The 10-year-old Margot sat down and hugged her knees. She wanted to go home! Her younger self relished in even more knowledge pouring into her head. She felt like an adult! She smiled as she watched her older self youthen even more while she gained even more adult knowledge. 9-8-7-6.... Suddenly the knowledge didn't seem as important. She saw the frightened child swallowed by her large blouse crying. 5 ... and the transfer was complete. Little Margo had what she though that she had wanted all along. But with all of the future Margo's knowledge and experience she now fully realized what she had done!
The door opened and Stan, Max, and Liza entered the room. They saw two identical looking little girls crying.
"What have I done?" one of them asked. It was 1970 Margo. "I've turned her into a child! She's me! I'm her! It was only when I had all her knowledge and experience that I could use it properly! I don't want to be a child! Not anymore ... and so I'm sure she doesn't either except she doesn't know any better! How could I have done this!?"
The other Margo could only sob for wanting her 'mommy.'
"Maybe Stan can make you older and she can stay here where she's a child?" Max offered.
"What is this all about .... who are these kids?!" Liza demanded.
"I'm your mother," 1970 Margo said. "But not really.... SHE'S really your mother! I'm her 30 years ago but I've taken her essence! Max, it wouldn't be right ... I'm still 'me' ... a kid ... I don't wanna be an adult stuck in a kid's body nor do I want to suddenly grow 30 years older even if Stan's invention could do that! I know what she knew .... but I'm not her ... not yet ... not for 30 years! Stan ... Liza ... she's still your mother as far as the threads of time are concerned. I belong here in 1970. She belongs in 2000 ... just not like that! I was just a kid or I'd never done this! Please forgive me!"
Liza didn't know what to believe or what to say. It all made no sense yet all the sense in the world considering what had just happened to them.
It was all very confusing. 2000 Margo was just a scared child in unfamiliar surroundings. 1970 Margot was also a child but had gained the knowledge that the future Margo had once retained. And they both were existing in 1970.
"So, I'm supposed to believe all this?" Liza asked incredulously.
"Yeah...." Stan said. "It's my fault so we gotta figure something out!"
Max thought some more. "You know, on 'Star Trek' every time they have a problem like this they just use the memory in the transporter."
"Well, this isn't a transporter!" Stan sharply replied. "But - hmmmm, ummmmm, maybe...."
"What?" 1970 Margo asked. "An idea?"
"Uhhhhhh, maybe. I guess. The Time Portal Mechanism can tell us exactly when someone used the machine. So if we pinpoint that moment in time when mom didn't exist in either time ... when she was between times ... then maybe...." Stan said as he thought aloud.
"Maybe what?" Max wondered.
"I'm not sure but it has to mean something. That's a point where she doesn't exist in the future anymore so maybe we send her back so they meet on the trip? Right in the middle!" Stan explained.
"Which one?" Liza asked.
"Ummmmmmm, I'm thinkin' about that part!" Stan said.
"Great," Max said. "Plus won't we have 3 of 'em then in the same place?"
"Uhhhhhhhhhh, ummmmmm, no ... uhhhhhhh, - no - because in the middle isn't really anywhere in time so maybe it can all come together!" Stan explained
"You and your maybes!" Max said.
"We gotta try.... It'll work.... We need both of 'em to go thru at the same time. We we all meet in the portal we won't allow mom to pass through. We'll make her meet these two and let the real 1970's Margo come through in her place and then mom should merge with her present self! It'll work! That's it!" Stan said. "Everything'll correct itself in the portal since all the out of place elements will be grouped together. It'll do it to right the flow of time! When it happens I change the portal to send her back to a time after we've left. The portal will be running both ways."
It was then that Liza noticed that 2000 Margo was acting strange. She appeared to have a fever and didn't look well. "What's wrong with her?" Liza asked.
"Gee.... Maybe although she's grown younger she still can't exist here because there's already a Margo here? All her knowledge and experience have been retained by one of them so there is no reason for the other to continue on." Stan theorized. "We gotta move quick!"
Stan extended his hand and helped his 5-year-old mother to her feet. "c'mon, we're gonna go for a trip." He set the controls and opened the portal. It was set to return them to the time their mother first used entered the portal. She would be on her way through to this side.
All of them entered the void and began their trip through the long tunnel of time. 2000 Margo held onto Stan's waist to stand as they seemingly floated forward. Ahead a fuzzy image come into view.
"Mom? Mom?" Stan said "It's her ... stop her ... her ...her...."
Their voices seemed to echo. Movements seemed in slow motion.
"You ...You ...You...." Stan echoed as he tried to get 1970 Margo to stand in his mother's path.
"Stan? Stan? Stan?" His mother questioned as she realized they were all somewhere very strange indeed.
1970 Margo and the Margo traveling through the portal touched. Both grabbed for their heads. The tunnel filled with light and sound. It was loud and bright.
"I want my mommy ... mommy ... mommy....!" 1970 Margo screamed.
"It's working ... working ... working...." Stan yelled as their voices bounced around and repeated. He felt himself starting to black out. He quickly reset the portal to a different time destination so that 1970 Margo wouldn't arrive until AFTER she had left her own time. The machine wasn't really designed for two way usage and things were happening quickly now. They were being pushed and pulled in the flow of time. Now he had even redirected it. As he pressed the last button to complete his theory he collapsed to the ground.
Max saw 1970 Margo reverse direction. "It worked.... It worked.... It worked...." Max's words went on and on and he also fainted.
1970 Margo found herself back in the farmhouse and back in 1970. She didn't know how she had gotten there. She only wanted to get home.
Max, Stan, Liza, and Margo landed in a lot where the farmhouse had once stood. Once they all gathered their senses they began to take inventory. The biggest problem was that Margo was still 5 years old!
"You didn't get older!" Stan said upon seeing his mother was still a little girl.
"What?" she said as she grabbed her throat upon hearing her young voice. She looked down at her bare legs and at the blouse she now wore like a dress which was part of the outfit she remembered wearing earlier. "What happened to me?"
"You know who you are?" Max asked.
"I think ... I think I'm Stan and Liza's mother but I sure don't look like it right now! What happened?" Margo asked, "and why is it so hot here?"
"Hot? Hmmmm. What happened.... Well, it's hard to explain... ummmmmm ... hmmmmm...." Stan said. "You went back in time and it made you younger ... but now you have your memories back thanks to me! And anyway ... hmmmmmmmmm...."
"What now?" Liza asked him
Stan sniffed an odor he recognized well. It was the odor of burnt or hot electronics. He looked down at his machine and saw that it had dumped them out in 1980! Apparently the two-way trip through time had been too much for it and it had overheated.
"Uhhhhhhhh, well ... it looks like we're in 1980!" he said.
"1980? What have you done?" Margo asked Stan. "Make me older!"
"If your mom had problems existing in 1970 won't she have problems here too?" Max asked.
"Ummmmm, hmmmm. It's hard to say...." Stan answered.
"Problems.... What kind of problems?" she asked as she felt a twinge of a headache.
"Mom, this is too freaky! I can't have a 5-year-old for a mother!" Liza said.
Margo shook her head. She was feeling lightheaded. "Ya ... well ... geekboy better be figuring something out!" she said.
Stan noticed his mother begin to fan herself. Did she look like she was growing a bit? "Ummmm, I think I better try and get this thing working pretty quick!" he said.
"What is it?" Max asked.
"I got a feeling there is a 15-year-old around here somewhere who just felt something come over her!" Stan said.
"Not again!?" Max replied.
"I'm afraid so.... Nothin' changes except we're just 10 years down the road is all." Stan replied.
"Hey geekboy! Make me older like right now!" Margo ordered.
"There's no way just yet!" he told her.
"Yes, WAY!" she said as she fanned herself again.
to be continued
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