Madame Zelda: Life is a Beach

by Louder

Timmy and Lisa were busily explaining their problem to an older woman. The house was dark and all the curtains were closed. Candles lit the room. The old woman sat back in her chair as the two children pleaded with her for some kind of help.

'People say you can do...magic, Madame Zelda. Can you do something to help us?' Lisa asked.

'It is true that people speak in hushed tones of my having 'powers'. I don't deny my 'gifts' when asked about them. Most people are too afraid to seek my help. But what you seek of me has a cost. In fact it can be very expensive! Even moreso if you wish that the spell be used against someone's will and without their knowledge.'

'How much?' Timmy queried the old woman.

'It always depends. But I like you two. Maybe we can work something out?'

'Ya mean like chores or something?' Timmy asked.

'That could be arranged. I have a lot of cleaning around here and Winston might enjoy the company' she said as she motioned to a black cat that seemed oblivious to the guests. 'But first let us come to an understanding. You feel like your parents aren't fun? You think them to be....shall we say....'sticks in the mud'?'

The two kids shooks their heads in agreement. 'Daddy works alot away from home and mommy is home but she never has time for us to do anything fun. Other kids get to go to the park and the beach and stuff!' Lisa said.

'Yeah, Mom works from her computer and is always on the phone. Even on weekends!' Timmy added.

'I might be inclined to help if you agree to some chores around here for me.....BUT you must bring your parents down here so that they know how you feel. I'll do something for you only with their blessings!'

'Awwww ...they have to come HERE?....And TALK?' Timmy whined.

'I'm afraid so. You children are too innocent to do things any other way. Besides, the cost is way too high otherwise. I'm an old and wise woman and I think you'll be pleased with the results!'

'But Dad is out of town until next weekend and ALL the kids will be heading to the beach THIS weekend! It's the first weekend of Summer vacation!' Timmy told the old woman.

The old woman looked knowingly at the two youngsters. Timmy is 10 and his sister Lisa is 7. Their innocent stares seemed to tug at her heart. 'Bring your mother in the morning and I'll see what I can do. If you are happy with my results then you can start on the chores first thing Monday morning. That should give you plenty of time to enjoy the beach this weekend!'

Lisa and Timmy again shook their heads in agreement. It wasn't exactly what they were hoping for. They had hoped the old woman would cast a spell and suddenly make their parents more 'fun'.

'Do ya think that old woman really casts spells?' Lisa asked Timmy as they walked the few blocks back home.

'I dunno. It sounds like she is just gonna talk to Mom and try to get her to loosen up. Maybe she is gonna hypnotize her....'


Timmy laughed. '....Hyp-NO-Tize HER. When people are hypnotized you can make 'em think they are a chicken or that they're cold when they're really hot.... Make'em sing even if they can't sing a bit!'

'Oh...' Lisa answered but not fully understanding.

When morning came both Lisa and Timmy were up quickly and plotting to get their Mother to go to Madame Zelda's.

Their mother, Susan, was 40 and actually looked even a bit older than her 40 years. Not grossly fat, but slightly overweight. Her blond hair had dulled and she always wore it pinned up. Although the kids had seen pictures of her with curly, long flowing hair and pretty clothes....all they ever saw her wear was dowdy, conservative outfits and her hair clipped up. This morning was no different.

'Mom... we want you to meet someone down the street. It won't take long....'

'Timmy, I have plenty to do today. I don't have time to socialize! If you have a new friend you'll just have to play outside and leave me to my work!'

'No, no.... It's Madame Zelda...The only woman that lives in that house on the corner by that big ol tree.'

'Madame Zelda? That crazy old woman? Have you kids been hanging around her? I'm not sure about that!'

'She's OK Mommy' Lisa said.

'Mom, she's not crazy....You'd see that if you met her!'

'Well, I don't have time....and I don't I want you bothering an old woman anyway!'

'It would take just a minute or two...and we're not bothering her! She said her and her cat could use some company and....uhhhhhh she has chores for us and wants you to OK it personally. I'd sure like to make some money to buy stuff this Summer!'

'Chores? I guess you're getting old enough to do things like that. You kids are growing up so fast! Tell her to call me and I'll tell her it's OK with me as long as there are NO power tools involved!'

'Ummmm She doesn't have a phone. Come down there with us so she'll let us do the chores. It won't take you long...'

'Plllllllleeeeeeeeeazzzzzzzze Mommmmmmy' Lisa chimed in with her best manipulative child's voice.

'All right...BUT let's go now and get it over with. I want to get back here and get somes emails sent before lunch.'

It was easier than Timmy had hoped!

The three walked to the home of the old lady. Most people assumed her to be a bit eccentric. A few people had talked about her being a gypsy. Some of the kids had said she was a witch. Susan had never really seen the old woman in person but figured to meet a senile old woman, hard of hearing, and unable to get around very well.

Susan caught her breath as she knocked on the door. Much to her surprise the old woman that opened the door seemed to be rather spry for her age. Her eyes were clear and looked out of place in such an old body. She had no trouble hearing and smiled as Susan introduced herself. The old woman invited them in for a seat. She took them to the same room that Timmy and Lisa had been in earlier.

Susan looked around and decided that the old woman was a bit odd regardless of how healthy she appeared. The room was again dimly lit with candles and many odd trinkets lined the shelves. Some things appeared to be very old.

Before Susan could speak the old woman began the conversation. Madame Zelda told her about how unhappy the kids were and how much they wished their parents had more time for them. She explained that today was the first day of Summer vacation and that many children and their parents would be off to parks and pools. She told Susan how important this time was for the kids.

Timmy and Lisa looked a bit embarrassed. Instead of casting a spell, the old woman was trying to reason with their mother! What was worse was that she was telling Susan everything they had told her!

Susan appeared to be growing agitated at what she felt was the old woman sticking her nose in where it didn't belong. Finally, she blurted out 'And I suppose you know JUST what the problem is and how to fix it, huh?'

'Why, yes I do. You've allowed yourself to get old before your time. You've became pessimistic and sour. You're bitter. You've worked yourself until you're tired. Tired to the bone Your bones are weary!'

For some reason the words rang in Susan's head. As much as she wanted to tell the old woman to mind her own business, a part of her was astonished at how the old woman had analyzed her so well. The more she reflected on herself the more she realized how bitter she had become.

'Maybe I have became a little bitter...but life does that to you! And now there's no time for little things. What can I do?'

The question was meant to be rhetorical but the old woman had an answer. 'My dear, I have a vial here that's contents I made especially for you. You need to lose the bitterness and see things from another perspective. Because I want to help, I give this to you .'

'What? What is it?'

'My dear, a drop of this can erase 5 years from your tired brow! 2 drops will erase 10 years! But it is only temporary. It only lasts about 24 hours. It is not meant to be any kind of a curse, or a gift of permanent youth. Those things can carry a toll...a burden to some maybe. This is just a gift to allow you to live your life in a different way. To hopefully allow you to change you perspective. You should WANT to take your children to the beach on such a glorious day, not stay at home in front of the computer terminal!'

Susan wasn't sure how to answer! She also was surprised to hear the old woman mention the computer. 'How did she know I was planning on a day in front of the computer?' she wondered 'And how does she know about computers?'

'Take it, Mommy' Lisa begged.

'That's stuff is not real! It might even be poison!' Susan quickly protested.

'Here, I shall allow you to place a drop upon MY tongue' Zelda told her as she placed an eyedropper in the bottle.

'I, I, I don't want to poison you....Let's just go...'

'NO!' And with that statement Madame Zelda jumped up and grabbed Susan's hands. Holding both hands in only one of hers she used the other hand to deposit a drop of the liquid in Susan's mouth. The liquid was quickly absorbed. Susan couldn't believe the strength of the old woman. She wanted to spit the substance out of her mouth but it was quickly absorbed. She was a bit relieved because it only tasted like water. She figured that was EXACTLY what it was.

'I'm sorry I had to do that but I feel you needed the 'coaxing'. The effects will be gone by this time tomorrow. You should already be feeling it start. Once you see that I am telling you the truth I trust you will want to take another drop. That will be your decision. I just needed to prove to you that this was possible.'

Susan didn't feel any different. She hopped up and was about to order the kids to follow her. She was stopped by the sight of a scar fading from her hand. It disappeared as she watched. She had cut herself a couple of years ago as she was trying to prepare dinner while talking on the phone. The scar had since served as a warning against taking knives for granted. Now it was gone!

'Is it working, Madame Zelda?' Lisa asked.

'Oh yes, at full strength it works fairly quickly. But at only 5 years being removed the effects won't be dramatic. I believe she should notice the scar from her accident in the kitchen is now totally gone. Lines won't be quite as deep....'

'This IS working..... Are you a witch?' Susan asked still not sure whether to be excited or worried.

'Me? I'm of no consequence. Just an old woman.... But I should warn you, the drops each remove 5 years. They also remove the maturity that those years bring! That is the only way to remove the bitterness. Young people are dreamers. You must get in touch with that ability to dream without limits. 2 drops will leave you a vibrant 30 year old woman. Still youthful but yet not so impatient....still a bit practical I would imagine. 3 drops and you'll be a 25. Barely an adult really. You might prefer that age. Youthful and full of energy, probably a bit impractical, passionate...but still an adult. 4 drops is more than I would recommend. While not completely a child, your 20 year old self will be full of passion and energy. Very youthful and maybe even a bit ummmmm unrestrained...rebellious maybe? Any more than that would render you unable to fuction as an adult at all! Remember your ability to drive didn't come until you were 16! There is plenty in this vial. Use as much or as little of it as you feel you need. Use it whenever you wish. It will only last about 24 hours each time.....And when it is gone... it is GONE! I'm a business woman first and foremost. Your children have offered to help me around here to work off the price this time. I'm afraid that another vial, or a more lasting spell, would be more than you could afford!'

The children listened intently and hoped this would finally put some fun into their parents lives.

Susan, maybe a bit intoxicated with the effects or simply desiring to be younger than 35, placed another drop on her tongue. Madame Zelda smiled. So did the children. The undiluted solution quickly went to work. This time everyone could see the changes. Her body trimmed up. Her sagging breasts firmed up somewhat. Her clothes began to get slightly baggy. A youthful sheen began to radiate from her blonde hair. In a few minutes a 30 year old Susan Langford stood before them!

Susan reached down and pulled on the excess material that was clinging around her waist. She ran her hands over her now flatter stomach. 'WOW!...I mean I'm a little poochy, BUT it feels so much firmer......'

'Mommy, can we go to the beach today? Can we? Can we?' Lisa asked as she jumped up and down clapping her hands.

An even larger smile broke out on Susan's face. 'It would kind of be a shame not to show this body off while it's back! I guess I'll need a new suit....maybe even a couple! Thank you, Zelda! Thank You!... What do YOU tell Madame Zelda, kids?'

'Thanks, Madame Zelda' they answered in unison.

End Part ONE

Madame Zelda: Life's a Beach/ PART II

Susan felt better than she had felt in years. 10 years as a matter of fact! As they left Zelda's house she couldn't wait to get back to her house and get her car. She had the vial tightly secured in her purse. She decided to run. The two kids had to hurry to catch up! Lisa's short legs were no match for her mother's longer legs. Even Timmy was barely able to keep up. The only thing that slowed Susan was her baggy pants wanting to slide down. She couldn't wait to get some new clothes for her younger body!

As soon as they arrived home she sent Timmy and Lisa up to get the beach clothes and then herded them into the car. Susan was ready to head to the mall. She kept sneaking peeks of her younger reflection in the rearview mirror. The first thing Timmy noticed was that his 'always careful' Mom was suddenly driving a bit OVER the speed-limit. This didn't scare him but he rather kind of liked it! In a few moments they were at the mall. The kids couldn't remember ever making the trip in such good time. Once inside, Susan headed for the junior section of her favorite store.

She looked at the posters advertising the latest swimwear. The racks were filled with brightly colored suits and cover-ups. She looked at the one piece styles. She wasn't sure if she should really be looking in the junior section. A couple of teenage girls were going through a rack of two-piece suits. She envied their ability to wear ANYTHING and have it look good! Still, she didn't want to be a teenager again! Not even for a day! The two kids fidgeted as Susan seemed to take forever to make up her mind.

'Mommy, I'm ~thirsty~' Lisa whined

'OK, Timmy take a few of dollars and get us all something to drink'

Timmy took a 5 dollar bill out of her purse and he and Lisa were off to the snack bar.

She could hear the two teenage girls giggling as they looked at the suits. Susan held the one piece up to her body. At first she smiled and admired the look but her eyes slowly fell to her waist line. There was still that 'pooch' she had felt earlier. It was flatter than it had been when she was 40 but it was still a little much she thought...especially when she could do something about it! She then looked back toward the two teens. They were a bit too gawky looking she decided, almost feeling a bit of jealousy! She then spied a cute two piece suit that she quickly fell in love with. She looked down at her purse and then opened it and got another drop of the liquid from the vial. ' I come!' she said under her breath. Just as the drop hit her tongue two teenage boys approached the girls. It was clear the boys were trying to impress the girls. Susan knew what was going on. She also knew the girls knew what was going on.... but they played along as the boys continued to make their moves! Susan sighed as she found the two boys kind of 'cute'. But they didn't even seem to notice her. 'What the hell' she said softly as she loaded the dropper and dropped ANOTHER drop on her tongue. 'I'll be 20...that's plenty old enough to know what I'm doing' she thought to herself. She quickly grabbed a light shirt for a coverup, some cutoffs, and the two-piece that she had fallen in love with. She entered the dressing room and hurriedly put the items on. Even in the few seconds it took she could see that the pooch was disappearing.

Back outside the dressing room Timmy and Lisa returned with their colas. They had one for Susan.

'Look at those girls! I bet Mommy was at least as pretty as them!'

'I think she is pretty happy right now, sis!'

'Well, it's only temp'rary.... And I bet she'd be a lot more fun if she was a teenager!'

'Maybe.... We can ask her when she comes out'

'Huh uh....How many drops to make her a teenager?'

'Lisa? ......Bad idea.....'

'How many!?'

'Three, I guess. She's 40....or she was....she's had two, so three more would make ~fifteen~'

Lisa smiled and reached into Susan's purse which she had carelessly left on one of the chairs. She grabbed the vial and carefully placed three drops into her mother's cola.

'Lisa, I hope you know what you are doing!'

'It'll be OK....' she laughed innocently.

Just as Lisa got the vial back in the purse the dressing room door opened. It was Susan.... a 27 year old Susan!

'Wow, look great!'

'Yeah, Mom...Wow!'

What they didn't know was she was still getting younger!

Lisa handed her the cola and she quickly took a sip. 'Thanks, Sweetie'

Susan walked to the counter and handed the salesgirl the tags. 'I'll take these and just wear them. And go ahead and add a pair of these beach flops too.' As she talked she loosened the clip that held her hair. Blonde curls came cascading down around her shoulders! The salesgirl had to do a double-take. The 25 year old standing at the register seemed to look different than when she had came in earlier! She took another sip of the cola as the salesgirl put her old clothes into a sack.

'C'mon kids! Off to the beach!' She said as they marched out of the mall.

By the time they reached the car it was a 23 year old Susan sliding in behind the steering wheel. She noticed the two teenaged boys from earlier sitting in their car staring at HER! 'Mission accomplished!' she thought to herself.

Timmy and Lisa thought that the youthening was from the drops that Lisa had added to the soda. In reality it was the drops that Susan had taken while the kids were away! The diluted drops in the soda were yet to take affect.

'We better hurry' Timmy said 'We wanna park close'

A 22 year old Susan answered 'Geez, we'll get there when we get there...chilllll....'

Timmy really wasn't worried about a place to park but rather that his mother would turn 15 before they arrived at the beach!

Fortunately, she was only approaching 20 as they pulled into the parking lot. Timmy watched as his mother started messing around on the floor board. 'What are you doing? Let's just park!' he pleaded.

Clunk-Clunk 'We're at the beach silly...don't need shoes...and you two are a bit overdressed doncha think?'

Clunk- She threw the now empty soda can into the back seat along with her shoes.

'You both ready?' an 18 year old Susan asked them.

Lisa was giddy at seeing her teenage mother ready to have so much fun! 'Yip! I'm ready, Mommy!'

Susan felt a few male eyes watch her as she exited the vehicle.

Timmy threw off his shirt and hopped out of the car. 'Ow!' he exclaimed as the hot pavement touched his feet. Timmy motioned for them to head over to a shady spot on the other side of some rocks. 'There's nobody over there....'

'Why go be by ~ourselves~? Maybe I ummmm 'we' can meet some new friends?' a 17 year old Susan wondered out loud.

'This IS supposed to be a time for US...not other people....'

'Ohhhhh OKaaaaaay' Susan whined

Timmy wanted them to hurry before someone noticed that the 20 year old that had pulled in the parking lot was now 17....maybe ~17~! The potion was working just as Zelda said it would. The younger her body got, the youger she acted. She didn't even notice that she had gotten any younger!

As they approached the edge of the parking lot a 16 year old Susan whined 'Ohhhh Pooooo!!'

'What?' Timmy asked sounding a bit frustrated.

'I forgot my new beach sandals in the car..... I'll get 'em'

'No! I'll get 'em...You go on with Lisa' Over there!'

Timmy went back to the car as Susan and Lisa went on to the spot Timmy had pointed out. As they walked Susan's cutoff's were getting too big. She was getting skinnier. After tugging on them a few times she stopped and pulled them off. She seemed a bit puzzled as to why they suddenly didn't fit but she shrugged it off.

Lisa spread out a couple of beach towels and the two plopped down.

'The sand feels sooooo good' Susan cooed as she twirled her toe in the sun warmed grains of sand. She pulled her shirt off fully revealing the bikini that she had purchased earlier. One difference...She no longer had the breasts to fill the top and the bottom was sagging. When Timmy returned with her sandals he saw a 7 year old girl and what looked like a 15 year old girl sitting on the towels!

'Can you help me tie this, Timmy? Pleeeeeeeeeeease' Susan asked as she indicated her bikini top was loose.

Timmy nervously lifted her long hair and pulled the strings as tight as he could and then tied them for her.

'Thank you' she sang

'You're welcome...ummmm Mom?'

Susan and Lisa talked and laughed. Timmy was worried. He started wondering how they were going to get home. It was obvious his mother wouldn't be able to drive them! He couldn't TELL anyone what had happened. And he didn't want to have to wait all night for the effects of the potion to wear off enough so that his mother would grow up enough to drive! He ~knew~ his sister's putting more in the soda was a bad idea...and now he was starting to see just HOW bad of an idea. As his mind wandered he was jolted back to reality as he heard a young girl's voice asking him a question....

'Timmmmmmy....Timmmmmy..... Will ya Tie this again?, C'mon Timmmmmmy...Pleeeeeeeeeease'

The girl he had thought was fifteen now looked even YOUNGER! Maybe 14! The hair didn't look as full and wavy, the body was much flatter, her features were more childlike, and her voice was much higher. He could see indentions in the sand where her heels had reached and now were too short!

'Ummmm maybe you should forget about that and just put your T-shirt back on?'

'Why? I don't wanna!'

'I, I, don't think it is gonna fit....maybe you strectched it..... errr I think I pulled the strings to tight and stretched it....I'm sorry' he lied, hoping she would believe it.

'You ruined my bathing suit!' she yelled as she pulled the T-shirt back on. 'I shoulda known I couldn't trust YOU! You didn't want me to get it anyway!!!!'

'I'm sorry...I didn't mean to .....OW!' he yelped as the 13 year old Susan threw sand in his face!

She grabbed her flops and stormed off across the beach.

'C'm back Mom...err Susan' Timmy yelled as he tried to open his sand filled eyes.

About then he felt he kick to his shin 'OWWWW'

'You made her mad! How do you expect her to have ANY fun if YOU make her mad...MEANIE!!!

'Sis, it looks like she's getting even younger than 15'

'How? You said 3 drops would make her 15!'

'Maybe she took some drops we didn't know about? We have to find her and keep her with us'

Timmy was finally able to get the sand out of his eyes and convince Lisa to help him find their ~mother~.

The beach had filled since they arrived. He hoped he could find her before anyone noticed a girl aging rapidly the wrong way! He followed her footprints and found the bottom of her bathing suit. Then he found her sandals. Then the top of her bathing suit. The footprints in the sand were getting smaller! They came to a point where the footprints were obscured by lots of footprints. Timmy looked all around and then heard someone say 'DUCK!' Unfortunately it was too late and he was whacked in the head with a frisbee. Pretty soon a group of 8 or 9 year olds descended on the frisbee.

'Ummmm I'm looking for a girl...ummmm maybe a 'little' girl. She has on a big T-shirt....'

'Yeah, she played with us for a little bit but she was too little and took off crying. I don't think she really got just scared her...'

'Hurt? Why did you let a little girl play anyway?'

'Ya know she didn't look that little at first....But I guess she was... I dunno....I think she's OK...she went that way' he said pointing farther up the beach.

Timmy and Lisa took off hoping to find more footprints or to get a glimpse of her amongst all the people. He finally saw another set of footprints that led away from the crowd. They were even smaller than before! They followed them toward another group of people. Timmy wasn't sure because these footprints weren't getting any smaller. He followed them to find two little girls building a sand castle.

'Excuse me....girls...I'm looking for.... Uh Oh' Timmy said as he thought that one little girl looked like a younger version of the 13 year old Susan that he had last seen ' uhhhhhh Little girl....ummmm what is your name?'

'Suzy' lisped the little girl.

'Suzy Langford?' Timmy asked

'Nu Huh' the girl answered shaking her head 'no'.

'Whew' Timmy sighed glad that this 5 year old wasn't his mother.

'My name is Suzy Miller' she answered proudly

Timmy's eyes widened. Suzy Miller was his mother's maiden name!

Just then a woman headed toward them. 'I'm Kelly's mom. You must be this little one's brother and sister! I can see the resemblance right away! She was playing with those big kids over there and got her shirt ripped. They were really playing rough. I let her have one of Kelly's T-Shirts. We're your parents getting worried?'

'Ummmm we were trying to find her...she got mad at me and took off. No need to worry her errr uhhh the parents'

'Ahhhh That's good. Well you better take her back before they start to worry. You can keep the shirt. She seems like such a sweet child'

'Cmon Suzie...Let's go back' Timmy said as he took her little hand.

'Nooooooo I wanna pway with Kelllweee!!!! Noooooooo' she cried as she drummed her feet up and down into the sand.

'C'mon Suzy, we hafta get back!' Timmy said as he tugged on Suzy's hand.

'I think they made fast friends! Maybe Kelly and me will just have to move where you're at! I'd like to meet your mom anyway. Kelly and I just moved to town and we don't have a lot of friends....actually we dont have ~any~ yet! ' Kelly's mother said trying to make the best of the situation.

While this was going on, Lisa was making friends with Kelly also.

'Ummmmmm you don't have to be ummm put out' Tommy answered hoping to alleviate the problem of not having a mother to introduce her least not a mother that was the age she would be expecting!

'We wouldn't be 'put out'. Kelly and I could use some friends our own age!'

'Ummmm my mom's not your age exactly.......'

'That's OK. I just mean I could use some ADULT company, silly!'

'C'mon, we can help you get your stuff' Lisa chimed in.

Timmy turned to see Lisa, Suzy and Kelly gathering up the thermos, basket, and towels that Kelly and her mother had brought.

'Lisa! Maybe they don't want you messing with their stuff!' Timmy shouted as he realized he was losing this battle.

'Don't be silly. They make a cute group and are all about the same age. Kelly's 6 and she's at the age that she likes helping me'

'Ok, let's just go' Timmy said dejectedly.

The three girls hung back and talked and laughed as they carried the beach supplies. Suzy had a hard time carrying the two big beach towels as they kept unrolling. Soon, they were back at the original spot. There was their towels and his mother's purse, all untouched since they had left.

'Does your Mom always leave her purse unattended?'

'Ummmm Sometimes, I guess' Timmy answered as Kelly and Lisa laughed at his awkward answer.

Timmy sat his mother's now oversized shoes by the blanket and buried her adult swimsuit in the sand when he saw Kelly's mother turn her head. When he looked back up he saw that she had walked away and was scanning the beach.

'Whatcha lookin' for' Suzy asked.

'Oh, I'm just looking for you kid's mother. I bet she's worried about you and went looking.'

Suzy shrugged her shoulders. Her mother wasn't even here at the beach. She never wanted to have any fun. 'Why would Kelly's mom think she'd find my mom here?' she wondered.

'Now what are we gonna do, Lisa? She's gonna expect to see a 'full grown' mom show up!' Timmy whispered.

'It'll be OK. This is all your fault any way for making her mad!' Lisa answered.

'ME? We've gotta think of something! It's not OK!' Timmy shot back.

'Shhhhhhhhhh I fixed it. I told Kelly that Suzy was our mom. I told what we did. She thought it was funny!'

'What?! She'll repeat it and her mom will really start to worry about us!'

'Nope! She wanted her mom to have 'fun' too!'

'No way! That vial has caused enough trouble! We'll figure something out and get through the night and let it wear off.'

Lisa shook her head 'no' 'You're too late. I already put some in to her thermos cup...AND she's drinking it! You just don't want anybody to have any fun!'

Timmy suddenly felt like an old man! He was only 10 but he suddenly realized he was about to have maybe 4 kids to take care of and keep out of trouble until the potion could wear off on the adults and they could return to normal....and THEN he'd have some explaining to do!

'Lisa, How many drops did you put in there?' Timmy quizzed hoping that it was only a couple.

'6 drops so she could be little too!'

Timmy quickly did the math. 6 drops times 5 years equals 30 YEARS! He wasn't even sure if Kelly's mother was 30 years old!

He thought quickly and then took off running 'Mom!?....MOM!?' As he passed Kelly's mom he pretended to trip and fell into her knocking her to the ground and causing her to drop the cup.

'Sorry, I thought I saw Mom.... I was trying to get her attention but it wasn't her' he lied.

'No harm. I guess you're starting to worry too, huh?'

Timmy never answered. He was looking at the spot where the cup had hit the ground. It was dry. The cup had been empty. She had already drank the contents!

'Huh? Yeah errrr No, she'll be OK' he finally answered.

Timmy wasn't sure how old Kelly's mother had been but he could see she was starting to change. He really couldn't decide what was different but he could tell that she looked different.

'Kelly, how old is your Mommy?' Timmy asked the little girl. 'She's OOOOld' the little girl answered.

'How Old?' he asked wanting a bit more specific answer.

'Ummmmmm over 30 whole years! She doesn't like to tell people though' she replied 'Will that stuff really make her little again like your mom?'

'I think so..... But Lisa gave her so much.....I think it might make her REALLY little.... I don't know what to do! We just have to stay away from people so no one notices her getting younger! I'll think of something. I just don't want to make Madame Zelda mad so we can't tell her!'

'Who's Madame Zelda?' Kelly asked

'She's an old woman who has powers to do things. She's the one that gave Mom the potion in the first place!'

'Oh...' Kelly answered and went back to playing with Suzy and Lisa.

It was now mid-afternoon and Timmy could see that the potion was working on Kelly's mom. He wasn't sure why but it was working very slowly. More like when his mother turned from a 20 year old back into a 5 year old, rather than the relatively fast transformation from 40 to 30 that he had witnessed when his mother had first used the potion.

'Timmy, could you rub some lotion on my back?'

Timmy saw Kelly's mother lying on her stomach with the strings of her suit untied. Her dark hair looked fuller and a tad longer as the sun's bright reflection danced off of it. He could see that her shoulders appeared more defined and youthful. Although the potion was working slower than he expected, it was still working!

'I don't guess I ever heard your name?' Tommy said as he made small talk.

'Oh sorry! I caught your and your sister's name but I guess I never introduced myself. I'm Rebecca Thomas'

'OK, good to meet you Ms Thomas' Timmy answered politely.

'You don't have to call me Ms Thomas, Rebecca is fine'

'Alright.... Rebecca....' Timmy repeated sounding slightly nervous 'I, I... err think you have enough lotion now'

'OK, thank you Timmy'

Timmy wondered if her voice sounded higher. He knew that it eventually would if it didn't already! In a little over an hour the thirtyish Rebecca Howe had became a young twenty-something woman. Timmy stood back up and looked at the beauty sunning herself. He wondered what her face looked like. She still looked to be about the same size. Just firmer and better toned.

The 3 girls all played together in the sand. They would build sand castles and then tear them down. Every so often Lisa and Kelly would sneak a peek toward Rebecca to see how much younger she had become.

'Timmy, she doesn't look like she is getting very little. Maybe she needs more?' Lisa stated to Timmy.

'Lisa...NO! It's still working. Look how much different her body looks. It's just taking longer for some reason.'

'If it doesn't hurry up, I'm gonna give her more!' Lisa said defiantly.

'No you won't! I'm gonna take this vial outta Mom's purse so you can't cause anymore trouble!' he said as his hand searched around the contents of the purse.

'Ya ain't gonna find it 'cuz I hid it!' Lisa told him.

'LISA! This is not a game! You have to quit this. We just need to let everything get back to normal!'

A young voice broke up the two sibling's argument 'What ARE you two fighting about?'

They looked to see a young lady of around 20 staring at them. It was Rebecca. Her face looked like the fresh face a coed. Unlined with bright eyes. Her body was lean and tan.

'Ummm sorry, never mind. I guess you're right need for anymore of it right now!' Lisa giggled and then walked away.

Timmy felt helpless. His sister was in control of the situation and unless he could find the vial he didn't know what to expect. He was afraid he would soon be the oldest one in the group! It was getting near 4PM and he couldn't have anyone see this girl who looked like she should be in college slowly turn into a toddler. How would he ever explain it he wondered? His sister was too young and stubborn to see what trouble she was causing!

'I'm gonna go get us all a hot dog for dinner. I'll be right back' Rebecca announced.

'Maybe I should go instead?' Timmy offered.

'No, you watch the children. We don't want to lose any!'

'Or ADD any!' Timmy answered under his breath.

Timmy watched her as she walked toward the Hot Dog stand. She now looked about the same age as his cousin...and his cousin had just graduated from high school! Timmy waited nervously and hoped that the line would go quick at the stand.

'Hot dogs...Get yer hot dogs!' a now even younger Rebecca yelled as she returned. The girls all ran toward her and grabbed a sandwich. Timmy could see that she was now shorter and not so 'curvy' anymore! She looked a lot like the babysitter, Monica, that his mom would hire for Lisa sometimes. Monica had just turned 16! As the girls all ate their hot dogs they would point at Rebecca and giggle, whispering in each other's ears. Timmy knew that they were enjoying this. As the sun moved deeper across the western sky he saw Rebecca's bathing suit appear to grow. He knew that it was Rebecca that was shrinking in reality. He was very worried just how young she would get!

'Ya wanna play with us....Mommy?' Kelly asked.

'Sheesh girls. I'm too big to play with you. What if some boys see me?' Rebecca replied.

Although Timmy didn't really know much about the changes a body goes through as it grows up, he was getting a good lesson watching the process in reverse! Rebecca was losing any sign of her adult body. He went to the car and returned with the T-Shirt that he had shed earlier. 'Here, Rebecca. This'll probably fit better and you've had enough sun' A 13 year old Rebecca took the shirt and put it on not asking any questions. He was glad he didn't get the treatment he had gotten earlier from his teenaged mother when he suggested that her suit didn't fit. Rebecca continued on unfazed. She grabbed some nail polish from her bag and started doing her nails. Each nail was a different color. Timmy watched her youthen even more as she was absorbed in her 'art work'. He saw the T-Shirt, which was pushed out ever so slightly in the chest, slowly deflate. As she finished her work and admired her multi-colored nails Timmy could tell she was no more than an 11 year old girl!

'You like?' she said as she displayed her nails 'Look, Happy toes!'

Timmy wasn't sure what to say. He finally answered 'Yeah, I guess so....'

'Have you got a girlfriend, Timmy?'

Timmy started getting nervous. Anytime girls started talking about boyfriends and girlfriends he got nervous....and especially since this ~girl~ was really a 30 something woman! 'I dunno...maybe....' 'Maybe? Whatsat mean?' she asked, her voice now higher and her body even smaller.

'I just don't have one I guess. There's this one girl but she doen't like me...'

'I bet she does too...If ya'd tell her ya like her! ....I think you're kinda cute' she said and turned her face away so Timmy couldn't see her blush.

Her voice was sounding very childlike now. Timmy figured she was younger than him now. He hoped that she would drop the girlfriend conversation!

'I betcha get lots girlfriends' the 9 year old Rebecca continued.

Timmy was relieved to hear the others yelling for Rebecca thus saving him from the conversation.

'Hey...Mommy.....uhhhhh Rebecca' Kelly yelled.

'Umm I think they're yelling for you' Timmy told her.

'Nobody calls me Reeee becca.... Just Becki' answered the 8 year old.

Kelly, hearing that, tries again 'Becki, you wanna play with us?'

Becki turned back to Timmy and tried to look serious 'I gotta go pway but I'll be back'

Timmy saw young Becki running to join the other children. Things weren't getting any better! It would be dark soon and he had 4 young girls to watch out for....and one of them was still getting younger! His mind raced as he tried to think of a solution. He didn't think he should try and stay at the beach all night. His ran a thousand ideas through his mind. All of them turned out to be too impractical. He continued thinking realizing it was up to him! His deep thoughts were disturbed by the sound of crying.

'They w-w-won't let me p-p-pway with 'em anym-m-m-more....' cried a little girl tugging on his pant leg.

Becki was now a 3 year old! Timmy had to bend down to try and comfort her.

'She tore down our sandcastle and we were gonna make the biggest bestest sand-castle in the whole wide world!' Suzy yelled back at them.

'Yeah, she's too little to play with us' Kelly added.

'I, I, I, I'm sarwee....It was uh ax-dent' Becki sobbed.

Timmy picked her up and sat her down on a large rock. He then grabbed Lisa and pulled her aside.

'LISA! This is your doing...why can't she play with you?' Timmy demanded to know.


'Cause why?'

'Just 'cuz she's too little to play fair!'

Timmy was about ready to explode when he heard crying again. He turned around to see that little Becki had fallen off the rock and was trying to get back on...the problem was that she was too young to hardly stand! As he walked toward her he saw her finally fall on her butt and stay there. She didn't even try to stand this time. Timmy's shirt appeared to swallow her. Her hair was thin and wispy and her arms and legs were covered. Before Timmy could get there she quit crying and then a chubby hand poked out of the shirt. The hand went straight toward her face where she happily began sucking on her thumb. Baby Becki still had the multi-colored nails that she had painted when she was older.

Timmy just wanted to get home...somehow....where he could lock themselves in the house and his sister not cause anymore trouble. In 24 hours everything would be back to normal. As he pondered the situation he heard an engine coming down the road. It was a bus. A City Transit Bus!

Madame Zelda: Life's a Beach PT 4

'THE BUS! Why didn't I think of it before?' Timmy wondered as the bus rolled into the parking lot. 'Lisa, start rounding the stuff up and let's get home!'

'No, I don't wanna go yet! We're still having fun!'

Timmy had been on a slow boil all day long. Although it had been his idea to visit Madame Zelda, everything was turning out wrong.... and it was Lisa's fault! He'd bit his tongue all day long because he knew if anyone figured out what was going on there would be loads of questions. The last thing he wanted to do was call attention to the situation. If anyone found out about Madame Zelda and went to her for answers he was afraid what she would do to him! Lisa's latest defiance was the last straw. The youthening had stopped and no one was still getting younger so he figured now was as good of a time as any to put his foot down.

'LISA! I'm your big brother and I say it's time to GO! Either you come with us or you stay here by yourself!'

'You can't make me! I'll stay if I want! Everybody's having fun 'cept you!'

Timmy decided to use some psychology on her. 'OK, you stay if you want. Have all the fun you want. But in just a little while it'll be dark here. This is the last bus. What will you do if a policeman stops you? What about a stranger? There's lots of strangers here!'

'Well, you don't scare me..... I'll go 'cuz I wanna..... It's getting too dark anyways!'

Timmy smiled because he had won a round. He watched as everyone gathered up their things. He saw Lisa dig around the rock by Baby Becki. It was the vial....she'd buried it and Timmy had been right by it!

'You'd better giva that to me....' he said as he pointed at the vial.

'Nope, you've been too mean today. This belongs to Mommy. And I'm gonna keep it safe for her!'

The smile on Timmy's face quickly disappeared. He may have won a battle but he was yet to win the war. There wasn't any time to fight about or they'd miss the bus! At the least, they were heading home as soon as they boarded the bus.

Timmy picked up Baby Becki who was happily cooing and sucking on her thumb. He folded the bottom of the T-shirt and scrunched it up around her. Timmy hadn't been around a real baby since his sister was born and so didn't know much about babies. He figured she was about a year old or maybe a little more. Every once in a while she would try to form words. As he picked her up she started babbling 'Da.....Da?......oooo' As soon as he held her she started grabbing at his nose!

'Quit that....' he told her as he tried to move her hand away. She seemed to grin and then grabbed his finger as he tried to keep her from grabbing his nose.

Timmy herded everyone onto the bus and then paid the fare. Soon, the bus was rolling. In a couple of stops they would be walking distance from his home. He relaxed in his seat as the girls started singing. He could tell they were annoying some of the older passengers but he didn't care at this point.

Then Baby Becki started crying.....and crying some more!

'Shhhhhhh stop baby.....don't cry....shhhhhhhhh....people are starting to stare....SHHHHHHH....C'mon...Quit crying....Stop it baby! Shhhhhhh....'

'You seem to have a problem, young man!'

Timmy looked up. It was an older couple who had gotten up and moved next to him

'I dunno....she won't stop crying....'

'Maybe she needs changed?' the woman asked.

'Changed?' Timmy thought 'She's changed plenty for one day!'. He wanted to say it out loud but decided that it wouldn't be a good idea. He also realized just what the lady meant!

'Ummmmm I don't think so' Timmy finally answered.

'As she had anything to eat? Maybe she is hungry.'

'Yeah, she had a hot dog earlier....' his voice trailed off as he realized a baby wouldn't eat a hot dog.

'A HOT DOG? Why on earth would you give a baby a HOT DOG?'

The woman's husband joined in the conversation. 'Honey, maybe you better check her out? So are all you kids together? Where's your mother?'

'Uhhhhh she's not here....ummmm she was.... I mean....uhhh'

'Are you runaways? You're not running away from home are you?' the man then asked.

Timmy realized he was going to have to think quick. The lady took the baby from him and starting trying to get her to stop crying.

'Nahhhh....we're just uhhhhhh.... well the baby sitter didn't show up so I kinda took over and we just went to the beach...... we do it all the time!' Timmy was pretty proud! That answer sounded good to him. The man looked skeptical but seemed satisfied as well.

'Frank! This baby doesn't have a diaper! These kids shouldn't be taking care of a baby! We need to see that this baby gets home safe and then have a long talk with its mother!'

'Argh, so much for my story!' Timmy thought. 'We'll be OK...honest....' 'I'm afraid not son. When Maggie sets her mind to something it is best to do as your told'

'Yes sir....' Timmy answered meekly. From thinking he had everything worked out Timmy had gone to thinking he was in worse shape than ever!

'So where IS your stop?' Frank asked.

'The next one....We live a few blocks down the street....' Timmy replied.

The bus rolled to a stop and they got off. Timmy pointed the way home and the group began walking. In reality it was more than a few blocks! For 10 year old Timmy the distance didn't seem all that far, but for Frank and Maggie it seemed like an eternity. Finally, they made it to the house.

'This is it..thanks for helping us....See ya, mister' Timmy said as he held out his hands to take the baby. He didn't figure they would leave, but he thought it was worth a shot!

'Oh nooooo... we're going to wait on your parents. Besides, this baby needs a diaper' Maggie told him.

They entered the house and Maggie asked where his mother kept the diapers.

'Uhhhh I dunno...'

Maggie looked at Frank with a look of concern. 'You don't know where your mother keeps the baby's diapers? Where is the baby's room?' 'Ummmm down the hall...' Timmy said only stalling the inevitable. He knew there was no nursery for the baby!

Lisa looked at Timmy wondering what he was doing. She knew the baby didn't have a room and didn't know why Timmy sent them down there!

' gotta give me the vial! We gotta make them younger so they don't get us in trouble!'


'Shhhhhhh...We have to hurry! There gonna find out that there's no place for a baby here and we'll have to tell them about Madame Zelda....'

'Huh uh.... You just want me to give you the stuff 'cuz you don't want anybody to have any fun!'

'Whatever....Ok, YOU go fix some water or something and put some in it and we'll give it to 'em!...Don't use too much!'

'How much?'

'Ummmm I don't know...they must be atleast 40 so use 6 drops...errrr 7 drops..that'll do it! Just HURRY!'

Frank and Maggie returned. 'Son, I don't know what is going on but there's no room for the baby down there....'

'Uhhhh we just moved here...It's not ready yet! It's gonna be down there' lied Timmy, still stalling.

Once again the couple looked skeptical.

'Well, I found some safety pins and some soft material that'll probably do until your mother gets here. But I think someone has a lot of questions to be answered!' Maggie told him.

'Yes, mam.... Mom could probably answer 'em....'

Maggie laid Baby Becki on the couch and grabbed her legs. Baby Becki didn't seem to want anything to do with a diapering! She kicked and made noises 'Na....uhhhhhhhh Na.....'

'Stop your fussing baby....' Maggie said softly as she wiped something on the baby's bottom.

'Who did this to the baby's nails?' Maggie demanded to know as she saw the nail polish. 'Uhhhh Lisa did it....' Timmy told her.

'DID NOT' said Lisa as she and the other girls returned carrying a pitcher of ice water and some glasses.

'Well, who did then?' asked Maggie.

'She did it herself!' Lisa answered.

Timmy knew THAT answer got HIM off the hook!

'Who ever did it....don't do it again!' Maggie said, her eyes staring directly at Lisa.

Maggie continued to diaper the baby. Once the diaper was on Baby Becki seemed to settle down. Once again she happily placed her thumb in her mouth.

'Hey Look! The girls brought you something to drink....for while we wait on mom. Dad's out of town' Timmy told the two adults.

'Out of town...It figures!' Maggie whispered to Frank.

'I think this ice cold water will certainly hit the spot. These 50 year old bones of ours can't handle those long walks like they used to!' Frank said as he gulped on his glass of water.

Maggie took hers too. 'Thank you, children' she told them.

'50 years?' Now Timmy wondered if there was enough potion in the water. He kept close watch to make sure they drank all that was in their glasses. With 7 drops they should still end up teenagers. Maybe that would be enough so that they would stop worrying so much. Now he had to stall! He hoped that since they both would be getting younger neither would notice the others transformation.

Minutes seemed like hours to Timmy. He saw the two adults changing but it seemed painfully slow. Maggie looked a little more fit and Frank's belly seemed to be a little less pronounced.

He thought Frank's hair was moving forward a bit. And it seemed darker. All the while they kept asking questions. Timmy did his best to answer without really saying anything meaningful. He just wanted them to get younger and leave him alone! They seemed oblivious to any of the changes.

Timmy glanced at the clock. It had been an hour. Baby Becki had fallen asleep with her thumb in her mouth. Lisa and Suzy had went outside to play on the swing while Kelly had stayed inside to watch over the baby. Since the baby was asleep she decided to join the others on the swingset. Timmy had tried to seem overly interested in the TV in order to curtail the conversation with the two adults. He didn't even want to look their way for fear that they might start asking questions again. Finally, he gave in and looked. Instead of the couple he had saw earlier he saw a much younger couple. They had scooted closer together and seemed to be more interested in each other than him! Maggie's hair was down around her shoulders and Frank's hair was now almost completely regrown. Only a trace of a receding hairline! She had taken her glasses off. Her skin had taken on a healthier glow and his also looked less course. Timmy figured they weren't much older than Kelly's mom....atleast Kelly's mom's REAL age!

Timmy turned back to the TV. All he could do was wait and hope. He figured that by the time Frank and Maggie returned to normal his mother would be back to her 'old' self and could explain everything and they'd have to believe her. He knew they would never believe that Little Suzy was his mother right now though! The

Another hour passed. Timmy heard a noise and looked to see what it was. It was Frank and Maggie! This time they looked like college students! No receding hairline or beer-belly on Frank and a very attractive, athletic looking Maggie snuggled up against him. Her hair was messed up and looked like it had gotten longer than before. He looked away before they saw him staring. In a few more minutes he peeked again. This time he saw that Maggie had taken off a shoe and was rubbing he foot up and down Frank's leg. They were snuggled even closer together and their clothes had grown loose. Timmy decided that they could barely be 20..if that! Both looked youthful and full of energy....and very much in love...just like what Timmy sometimes saw on TV if he watched real late! Timmy was amazed at how much different they looked than from when he first saw them on the bus!

A few more minutes passed and he started hearing some light moaning. He looked again. This time Maggie looked like a high school senior! Still athletic, but less defined. Maybe even a bit skinny. Frank looked every bit the 'gawky' teenager. Skinny and no real muscles to speak of. Maggie's long curly hair was mussed up and Timmy could see one of Frank's hands in her hair as he kissed her. He looked for Frank's other hand and saw that Maggie's dress had been pulled up exposing her thigh and Frank's hand had disappeared under the material.

Almost as if she had felt a presence watching her, Maggie opened one of her eyes and saw Timmy staring at her. 'HEY....he's watching!' she told Frank.

'Huh?...Oh, don't worry 'bout it' a young sounding Frank replied.

They whispered a bit and then Frank spoke 'Kid, you'll be OK won'tcha? We probably oughta be takin' off....'

'Uhhh yeah...sure.... See ya!' Timmy said bursting with joy. This was working better than planned!

Maggie tried to put on her shoes and Frank tugged on his pants. Nothing fit anymore. This seemed to confuse them a little but they had other things on their minds!

As the two teens left Timmy noticed Maggie's eye-glasses sitting on the table. He yelled to her 'Maggie, you forgot your glasses!'

She blankly looked at Frank and the yelled back 'Glasses? I don't wear glasses!'