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Part I
by sumner

"Awww, Mom! Not again," Jason moaned.

"Now, this comes up every time around the holidays. You know how much this means to Grandma and your dad and me. Besides, it's only for a couple of hours," his mother's rebuttal was verbatim every Easter, Christmas, or family reunion. Though she knew very well her son loathed the repeated experience, she couldn't help but want it. It was her job as a mother.

"I'm twenty years old, Mom! I said I'd do it until I turned twenty. Isn't that what we agreed?" Jason remembered the verbal contract he'd made with his mom a couple years before.

"Now, honey, it's just for a few hours and--"

"You just said a couple of hours. Now it's a 'few' hours?"

"You know what I mean. Just enough time for it to be meaningful. Come on. Your grandma is getting up in years and she might not be on this earth for much longer. I think the least you can do is--"

"OK, OK. But just for a little while," Jason gave in, while buttoning his favorite shirt. Being home from college had not been the restful period of recovery he'd hoped it would be. His mom seemed more jittery and neurotic than ever and his dad remained the detached android he'd always been. God what a summer, he thought to himself, not particularly looking forward to tonight's festivities.

"Does Jenna have to... ya know... this time?" he asked his mom.

"I told you before. Jenna's going through a rebellious time right now. God only knows. I don't want to embarrass her while she's going through all this. It's not every day a sixteen-year-old loses her best friend to cancer."

"Actually, it probably is every day."

"Now, you know what I mean. Besides, you and Mark will have fun." Mom grew a wide smile.

"Mom, we never have fun. You know that. Why does this seem like a double standard?"


"Jenna," Jason huffed, "I say if Mark and I have to, so does Jen."

"Just have a little sympathy for her, would you, Jason? Just think how you would be feeling."

Jason stewed over his mother's all-too-easily-uttered words. Sometimes -- just momentarily -- the notion would cross his mind that his mom just liked Jenna more than she liked him. Though he tried to dismiss it, recently, the feeling had become more persistant. Think how I would be feeling...

"Shit," Jason muttered just under his breath.

"What was that?" Jason's mom had auditory canals like no other.

"Nothing, Mom."

"Oh, and I almost forgot," she smiled, "Here are your pills. You can take them around five, OK?" She sprinkled three blue capsules on his dresser.

Jason struggled in his mind, but only "OK" came out. Tonight would be anything but "OK."


The steam from Jason's shower was creeping out from under the bathroom door. A coke was sitting on the counter adjacent to the rumbling shower -- Jason had reluctantly taken his tiny azul pills. As the water flowed in small tributaries down his body, his mind trailed off from thoughts of that evening, giving him a precious few minutes pause from the commotion of relatives arriving downstairs.

The water droplets beat down on his chest.

A poigniant rapping came at the bathroom door.

"Who is it?" Jason yelled above the rushing shower.

"It's Mom. I just wanted to give you some clean clothes for tonight. Can I come in?"

"Yeah," Jason replied, making a quick check that the shower curtain wasn't noticeably ajar. He soon heard the sounds of his mother placing fresh clothes on the far end of the counter and hurriedly exiting. Here we go again, Jason's masked dread returned.

"Oh honey, don't take too long of a shower because-"

"I know, Mom."

But the firey shower continued to relax his tension spots, losing him up. At twenty, Jason was a fairly well-rounded male specimen -- broad shoulders, hansomly symmetrical face, average height. For his appearance, Jason, however, was rather reserved... even around family. Make that especially around family. Though blessed with a loving family for the most part, he couldn't help but think life would be easier if they, perhaps, weren't so involved. His father was the obvious exception: a stolid pipe-smoking conservative that somehow seemed to be something out of the 1950's. His sister Jenna was a conformist of the highest degree, refusing to wear anything but the most hip clothes. Yet, despite her fervent attempts to stay thoroughly in vogue, she had a rebellious streak that occasionally reared its head. Tonight was one of those times.

The water droplets beat down on his neck.

It usually doesn't happen this quickly, Jason thought, feeling a slight bit disoriented. He'd only taken the pills just five minutes before.

His cousin Mark was coming over tonight. Jason and Mark normally got along well, but with occasional flairings of temper. Mark had a tendency to be outgoing and attention-grabbing -- the polar opposite of Jason. Their two personalities didn't always mesh with the easiest of conversation. Also, Mark leaned toward the sports end of the spectrum, whereas Jason leaned toward the more arty end... making topics even that much harder to come by.

The water droplets started to beat down on the bottom of his face. Well, no turning back now, Jason reminded himself. His entire shower had been spent staring straight ahead at the tile in front of him, not wanting to look down. It was around this time, though, that it became neccesary to acknowledge what was happening.

Once twenty years old in every way... now not so much. Turning his eyes down, he let out a sigh just as he had done every time since Mom had started this eleven years before. Eleven years ago, Moxodraphin, now popularly known as "Youthies," had burst on the market, and his mother used it every holiday she got the chance. Now, even at twenty, Jason was once again undergoing its effects... his muscles decreasing, his height slowly moving downward, his facial hair thinning to nothing, his freckles returning... it was all part of the fun (or so the adverts said).

Having done this more times than he wished to recall, Jason was now a good judge of his age. He guessed, in his current condition, that he had been regressed to a lad of sixteen at most. "It's the end of the world as we know it," he sang, hearing that his voice was still deep. But this would only last for another minute or so more, he foresaw.

Still partially engrossed in the relaxation of his shower, Jason didn't hear his sister's entrance into the bathroom. Jenna glanced around the steam-filled room that now resembled a sauna like something from Fellini's Satyricon. She noticed, lying innocently on the counter, some child's clothes consisting of a small pair of Levis, a cute red and yellow striped shirt, and of course an undersized pair of Fruit of the Looms.

The rebellious light bulb shone over Jenna's head as she crept her fingers along the shower curtain, headed in Psycho-esque fashion toward the edge. Grinning, she yanked back the only barrier between them, revealing Jason in all his glory. Letting out a very audible, higher yelp than his normal voice, he hopped back, reaching for his privacy. Jenna chuckled at her joke... and at other things.

"Man, Mom made you take Youthies again!" she laughed.

"Jenna!" Jason pouted, wet and naked, covering his lower region with the slick curtain.

"Looks like you're about halfway there, Jas. Don't think I've ever seen you at this age before," she commented, smiling and having to look down slightly at her brother. "Don't guys usually have a little hair down there by thirteen?"

"Jenna! Damn!" His voice cracked.

"Geez, it's not like I'm not gonna see your little dickie again tonight."

"What?" a confused Jason looked up at his growing sister.

"Mom said she gave you three Youthies."

"Yeah... so what? That makes me five."

Jenna smirked. "You mean she didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

"She bought the extra-strength this time."


"Haven't you seen the commercials with that little song?" she asked. She proceeded to sing the jingle. "Bein' young is cool but don't you fear... extra-strength Youthies give you one more year!"

"One more year?!" the now ten-year-old Jason whined, "That means I'm going to be practically a baby!"

"Not practically, Jas. You are going to be a baby. Two years old this time. Sorry, bro," Jenna said, hopping toward the door. "Guess it's diapers tonight, heh heh."

The door slammed. Jason dropped his head and surveyed his changing body with his usual amount of non-enthusiasm. Barely in the double digits, Jason had gone from a toned twenty to a scrawny ten in a matter of minutes. The descent was not over, however. If Jenna was telling the truth, he had more in store for him this evening than a trip back to his kindergarten days. With the dosage he had ingested, Jason was headed back to his infancy. I can't believe she bought those and didn't tell me, Jason complained in his head. Pulling the shower curtain a bit, he peeked out into the foggy bathroom; the towel rack next to the shower already coming nearly to his head. Standing on the tips of his shrinking toes, Jason got one last look at himself in the nearly fogged mirror.

Freckles dotted his face and his medium-length hair had turned to a short spike a few shades lighter than usual. He hated himself at this age. All he could remember of the fourth and fifth grade were the taunting remarks of his peers and the two prominent buck teeth he sported throughout the end of his elementary school career. Jason didn't know whether to dread what was in store or be relieved when it passed, leaving him at roughly seven years of age.

Better get out before this bathtub gets too big, he thought, stepping out of the tub and whipping a towel around his thinning waist. Jason now believed Jenna's words; at this juncture in the process, the regression usually slowed, taking four minutes or so for him to become five again. But this one was speeding past that at the same rate. Leaning as far as he could, Jason snagged the tip of the pile of clothes his mother had left for him, but not before the towel slid completely off, leaving him nude. For a moment, he stared in what had become only moderate disbelief at his image in the full length mirror on the door. Now approaching his pre-school years, Jason shrugged, seeing his genitalia shrink before his eyes. His once hairy legs back to their old baby smoothness. His face quiet and full of youthful innocence. His body had become acclimated to this procedure, leaving him with little or no discomfort. It had been much different the very first time he took the drug: dizzyness, nausea, and stomach pains marked his initial use of Moxodraphin. But at the same time, he remembered how happy it made his mom, how she almost cried at being able to see her first born as a kid again.

In thirty seconds (but what seemed like a lifetime), Jason's mom came through the door, and met with a shivering two-year-old lying on his back with his feet pulled almost up above his head.

"Awww," she hummed, knealing down and rubbing his stomach. "That's your tummy, yes... your little tum-tums!" His mother loved reverting her speech back to his baby talk, even though the process didn't affect Jason's mental capacity one iota. His childhood instincts would sometimes return, coercing him into a number of things: sucking of the thumb, uncontrollable giggling, drooling, and, much to Jason's chagrin, unpredictable bowel movements.

Jason's old clothes piled in the corner were now all the evidence that existed that moments ago Jason had been a junior in college. Downstairs, relatives were chatting just as you would expect relatives to do: carping on and on about medical conditions, the weather, and bills. Noticeabley lacking, though, were the complaints about children "growing up too fast."

Mark, twenty-one in his everyday life, was almost done with his treatment, which was to leave him a healthy 2nd grader for the night. Thankfully, Jason's female cousin, Britney, was not able to attend due to a camping trip. The rest of the party consisted of: Jason's parents John and Katherine, his grandparents Roger and Nina, Jenna, and Mark's parents Harold and Linda. In so many words, a full house.

"Lookin' good, boy," Harold rubbed his son's head. "What are you now, nine? Ten?"

"Stop teasin', Dad" said Mark, bummed that he couldn't spend the weekend with his frat buddies. On the other hand, being eight years old again wasn't quite the nightmare for Mark one might expect. Athletic as he was, it was freeing to occasionally relive the carefree, dig-in-the-mud days of his youth.

"C'mon over here," Nina said, puckering up her lips for a big grandma-style kiss. Mark hestitated, but eventually placed his little cheek within smooching distance. After all, it was Grandma's birthday.

In the kitchen, Katherine had placed Jason in Jenna's old playpen whilst she readied a "surprise" for everyone. Jason's vantage point didn't allow for much, but he managed to at least see that his mother appeared to be pouring drinks... some more fizzy than others. He tried to say something but the words just wouldn't come out. Oh well, he mused, at least this'll be over with soon. His mother usually gave him the reversal pills after a couple hours had passed. Something was iching in the back of his mind though, something important he couldn't quite place.

My date with Susan! Tears welled up in Jason's eyes. He'd forgotten all about his girlfriend! Of course, there wasn't much that could be achieved at his current age. But the frustration was building up, so much so that he felt a mushy substance fill his back end. Oh no. Panic set in. The smell was not one that could be easily concealed, and Jason's mom soon turned around to face her little college student.

"Jason, honey!" she exclaimed, lifting him from his little prison and onto the table. Much to Jason's embarrassment, Mark and Uncle Harold walked in. How opportune.

"Whew-ee!" Harold pinched his nose. "What did he have for lunch?"

"Awww, have mercy, Harold. He's only two tonight," Katherine explained, unbuttoning Jason's pants. This was turning horrific for poor Jason, whose inch long manhood was soon on show for all who happened to meander past the kitchen table. Mark also held his nose as he surveyed the situation. But a diaper was soon fastened in place and Jason regained a small part of his privacy.

Soon, the entire gang was gathered in the living room for an announcement from Katherine, who had promise her mother something especially memorable for her 85th birthday.

With Jenna lounging on the couch, Nina and Roger seated on the La-Z-Boys, and various other relatives scattered around the room, Katherine waited until the cacophany had subsided before she cleared her throat and began:

"This being Nina -- my mom's -- 85th birthday, I wanted to do something special. Now, I know it costs an awful lot, but I've bought us enough of the new youth drug to have us all be younger for a night!"

The room gasped.

"Yes, yes, I realize it's expensive. But I think, well, it would just be a lot of fun, don't you think? How about it, Mom?" Katherine's eyes widened.

"Oh my. Well, are you certain you have enough for an old lady like me?" Nina joked.

Getting up from her position and walking to her mom, Katherine laughed, "Mom, we have enough to make you fifty years younger!" Nina clapped. The room followed suit.

Mark had escaped the rally in the living room, though, and had run across the line of drinks sitting on the counter. All Jason could do was coo from across the room as Mark examined the glasses. Each of them was labeled with a Post-It note. There appeared to be a drink for everyone but Jason and himself. Mischief might have been out of the question for a college senior, but not for a grade-schooler.

Jason's eyes lit up as he spied on Mark. He's changing the labels! Carefully considering each of his moves, Mark switched Nina's label with Katherine's, Roger's with John's, and Linda's with Harold's. He also climbed up onto the counter and started digging in the box with the reversal pills, all the while sporting a fiendish smirk on his face.

In his lonely playpen, Jason stood up and tried to motion at Mark, but it was to no avail. Mark was already messing with tablets and pills, switching drinks, and thinking it was quite hilarious. As a last resort, Jason began to cry, balling like the toddler he was. Katherine soon came to his aid, but not soon enough to see Mark's prank; he'd long disappeared.

"Mawk, Mawk," Jason tried to muster a few words but his vocal chords just seemed incapable.

"Jasy, are you jealous?" Katherine picked up her son, "you know you'll back to your old age soon enough..."