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And A Little Bit Of This'd Get You Up
And A Little Bit Of That'd Get You Down...
Part II
by sumner
Eight-year-old Mark, in the words of the Bible, “knew not what he did.” The evidence of this fact was soon to manifest itself in the living room of the Schaffer household. While the relatives lined up like the patients awaiting medication in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Katherine eagerly passed out the liquid that was to make for an evening of “fun.” The random combination of drinks, reversal pills, and whatever else had occured to Mark bubbled and fizzed in each of the guests’ glasses. Mixing drinks was warned to cause unpredictability and create irregular age changes, and consequently, not suggested by doctors. Looking around the room at one another anxiously, everyone was waiting for someone else to drink first.

“Now, I’m assuming you’ve all tried this stuff at one point, but if you haven’t, you may experience some slight discomfort. Everybody still up for it?” Katherine gave her hastily put together caveat for the crowd. “You should take the reversal pills within four hours. You have to drink all of it too, to get the full effect. And the box says you have to wait for the effects of the pills to be complete before you take the reversal ones...”

Everyone shook their heads, except Jenna, who had stealthly retired to her room. An evening with regressing relatives was hardly what she deemed entertainment. Being two years old like her brother was the last thing on her mind... well, the next to last thing. The last thing was what she would meet with downstairs later that evening.

“A toast,” Harold chanted, raising his cup, “to the good ol’ days.” The room agreed, all hoisting their tickets back to youth into the air. An evening of delight is what the box promised. All closing their eyes and hoping for the best, they took their first and most dramatic gulps.

“Tastes like it’s carbonated,” Roger spoke up, leaning back in his recliner. “How long is this supposed to take?”

“Depends on the person, and the amount you drink, Dad.”

“Well, how much did you put in mine?” he inquired further.

“Just wait,” Katherine winked.

It was an odd feeling, an entire room of people waiting for the effects of a drug to kick in. There was nothing to distract them from what they were all anticipating, and so the room remained mostly quiet, as some of them began to clutch their stomachs.

Upstairs, Jenna had her music on, and in thinking about her brother and how great it felt to tower over him, she reached under her bed for a cardboard box she kept secret from her parents. Far from being snapshots of her departed friend or even some marijuana or cigarettes, the contents of the box gave her a new type of high. A stash of pure reversal pills. Each tablet would increase one’s age by five years, unlike their counterparts which reduced age by the same amount. These pills were blue just like the Youthies, but somehow these just begged to be taken.

At sweet sixteen, Jenna was generally satisfied with her appearance, but she didn’t mind an occasional jolt into adulthood. She’d done this before a few times and even taken pictures of herself after one trip, but that never equaled the experience of actually seeing oneself in the mirror... grown up. Tosing a couple in her mouth was as easy as taking Tylenol or drinking a glass of milk. Of course, this “did a body good” in an altogether different manner.

Downstairs, the action was starting. Originally, Katherine had planned to give enough Youthies to make her mother thirty-five, her father thirty-six, Harold and Linda both twenty-one, and herself twenty and her husband twenty-five. At least this was how the math had worked out, each pill equaling five years and so forth. As the physical effects soon began to set in, the joy and nervousness in the room was palpable. Joyvousness.

Harold and Nina appeared to be suffering some stomach pains, but Katherine quickly reassured them that this would fade in a matter of minutes. Only a few rare cases like Jason included a violent first reaction to the drug, but doctors assured that, like chicken pox, it only happened once and all would be smooth sailing thereafter. Right around this time, visual differences began to be evident in Katherine’s face, as well as her mother and father.

“Hey!” Katherine pointed at Nina, “Hey, look at that! It’s working, Mom. You look good.”

“You do too, honey,” Roger noted, feeling his gut shrink a bit. About this time, Harold’s change commenced and John felt the shrinking initiate. Jason, reflexively sucking his thumb, sat on the floor, letting himself go for the moment. What really was the difference anyway? As long as I’m two, I can’t do anything anyway was his feeling. While his grandfather was looking ahead of the pack, most everyone was starting to seem younger, Linda notwithstanding. Linda’s changes didn’t set right.

“Honey, do I look younger to you?” Linda said, giving her husband that “Does this make me look fat?” expression husbands so often loath.

Giving her a good glance, Harold couldn’t answer. Honestly, she was actually looking older than normal. But that wasn’t possible. “I... uhhh,” he stuttered, “ummm, you look...”

Katherine, usually in her forties, now was indistinguishable from a twenty-something. “Kathy, you look like you were born in 2000!” her father said. (This had become, for whatever reason, a euphemism for being hip: “Born in 2000.”) In this case, Katherine actually appeared to be a college senior... the same age as her nephew, Mark. Roger’s regression was moving fastest, already turning him from a geezer in his eighties to a middle-aged man, with his wife coming in a close second.

Harold’s regression was going normal, and all seemed nominal except Linda, who most assuredly was progressing instead of getting younger. Wrinkles were spreading across her forehead and her skin was beginning to sag just enough to be apparent.

“Honey, I don’t feel right!” Linda said, looking down at her hands. The veins growing more visible, a worried look came across her face. “Oh my god, why am I getting older??” she let out a cry.

“Just stay calm, Linda,” Katherine advised.

“Easy for you to say!” Linda stood up, breasts hanging a bit lower, “You did this, didn’t you? This isn’t funny, Kathy!”

“No, I didn’t! I poured everyone’s drink the same way!” Katherine stated, not noticing that she had surpassed her projected age and was headed into her late teens. “You’ve always blamed me for everything!” some of Katherine’s teenage language seeped in, most noticeably the more frequent use of “always.”

“Now, girls,” Nina piped up, “this is no time to be fighting. We’re supposed to be having fun.”

“Umm, dear,” John tried to get his wife’s attention, “dear, what age did you say you wanted to be?”

“Twenty or so. Why?” an eighteen-year-old Katherine replied.

“I think you should take a look in the mirror.”

Katherine’s dress was becoming more useless every second. Jason watched his mother stand up and her clothes dangle from her shoulders. Bra straps were no longer a secret contained under the material of her dress, and her breasts -- the ones who’d nursed two children -- were rising higher and higher. She was shocked when she finally looked down at herself. Something was, as they say, “in the air.”

Nina and Roger’s transformations were now more in synch, moving them both back into their early thirties, their skin almost glowing as it turned a more vital shade of pink. Delight was written all over their faces as they turned to greet each other, looking just like they had fifty years before.

Meanwhile, Linda’s fears were, bit by bit, increasing as she currently looked to be in her late fifties, if not early sixties. Harold, on the other hand, hovering somewhere in his twenties, back to his most fit and trim. Katherine, now roughly the equivilant of her daughter’s age, had run back into the kitchen to see if she could discern what might have gone awry in her calculations, trying hard not to notice how young she was actually becoming. The “evening of delight” was, for some anyway, now moving closer to catastrophe.

“Damn, now where are they??!” she mumbled to herself, as she climbed onto the counter and started to rummage through the box of reversal pills. And for a brief moment, as she looked down to see that her regression had not halted, Katherine suddenly felt sorry for having made her son go through such an awkward thing so many times before. She had never taken the time to fully realize what a surreal feeling it was to age backwards, and now, the feeling was growing worse.

In the privacy of her room (door locked of course), Jenna was nearly in the buff, posing for an imaginary onlooker in the mirror, enjoying a temporary growth spurt. Except for a pair of cotton panties and a bra that’s limits were being tested, Jenna was admiring what god had yet to give her. It had been her fantasy to one day waltz into her biology teacher’s (Mr. Donnovan) office and give him an all new lesson in “biology.” On many occasions, she had dreamed similar scenarios: aging to her twenties to be with him, or him regressing to his teens to be with her. It really didn’t matter, as long as he was Mr. Donnovan.

Jenna let out a sigh, regretting that the body staring back at her would only last a few measily hours. She flopped back on her bed and sighed, “It’s just not fair.”

In the kitchen, Katherine’s search for the reversal pills was leading nowhere. Much of her dress was hanging like a table cloth off the edge of the counter, as her height decreased inch by inch. At first she had been kneeling on the counter and now she found she could fully stand and not touch the ceiling. She then heard footsteps headed toward the kitchen. Her sister soon rounded the corner.

“Oh my God!” Linda put her hand to her mouth, “Oh my God!”

Katherine rubbed her eyes to make sure she was seeing correctly -- Linda looked to be around sixty-five years old. Once tight skin was hanging off her body and everything about her screamed senior citizen. Simply unreal.

“Linda, is that you?!” Katherine blurted out, not even listening to the change in her voice.

“Kathy?!” Linda half questioned and half screamed. “I can’t believe it!”

“What?” Katherine asked, and looking down, answered her own question.

“Look how young you’ve gotten!” Linda almost coughed, “You’re just a little girl again!”

Linda was right; Katherine’s overdose had taken her back to her elementary school days. Barely crossing the eleven-year-old threshold, Katherine knew the Youthies had far exceeded their goals, leaving her... a... a pre-teen?! The v-neck dress, it appeared, had not been the best of clothing choices. The bottom of the “v” hung so low on her frontside, it might as well have been a Jennifer Lopez awards show dress. Sadly, unlike Jennifer, Katherine now possessed little to be shown off.

“This is-- what’s happening to us?” Linda gulped, entering her early seventies.

“I don’t know. Something must have gone wrong. I--” Katherine was interrupted by a commotion sounding from the living room. Doing her best to remain outwardly collected, she bunched up the lower half of her dress so as not trip over it, and maneuvered herself off the kitchen counter, in the process discovering she stood at least a foot and a half lower than her aging sister.

With her dress rolled up, Katherine soon realized she’d lost her panties and quickly compensated, lowering the jumble of material slightly. The noises coming from the living room did not bode well. And walking in, she was greeted with the strangest sight ever to grace the Schaffer household.

“What’s going on here?!” she yelled, getting myriad responses from around the room.

Harold’s transformation had left him off in his early twenties, but he appeared to be the only one whose regression had come about correctly. Katherine herself had stopped somewhere around ten years of age, making her flatchested and for all intents and purposes, a child. Judging from her face, Linda appeared to be seventy-two or so, give or take a year.

“Oh my, oh my!!” Katherine’s mom exclaimed, seeing she now had the ripe body of a sixteen-year-old. She was so pert and irresistible Katherine hardly recognized her.

Turning to the other side of the room, Katherine saw the spot where her husband had been sitting. “John?” she called. “John?” raising her voice again. Moving closer she saw her hubby’s favorite khakis and underwear were now just a pile, and seated on top of them was John, looking to be fresh out of pre-school. Babyfat almost swallowing his face, little John looked up at her with a scowl. He cleared his throat, and simply replied in his girlish voice, “Honey!”

But perhaps the most disconcerting image of the night was seeing her father, Roger. His sport coat draped over his boney frame, Roger had become nothing but a freckle-faced kid. It was like being whisked away, back to a time before she had existed. Here was her dad, the man she’d looked up to for forty some odd years, the reliable, scratchy-faced daddy she had always known standing in her living room a pre-adolescent, void of facial hair or even a small hint of his former muscles.

“Huh?” was all Roger felt compelled to muster, as he raised his arms up and saw how far the sleeves had grown over them.

Katherine dropped the roll of ruffles that was formerly her new dress. Nothing in the room was as it should be; all was a mess.

"Now, everyone, stay cool, all right?" Harold tried to console the confused room before it turned into a maelstrom of discontent.

"Stay cool?" John muttered, already furious at his wife, "I look like I'm five at best!" He crossed his shrunken, pudgy arms. "Dear!"

Before Katherine could apologize, Linda spoke. "I just can't believe it! Can you believe this, hon--" she stopped mid-sentence when she turned around and got her first view of Roger. "Honey, you--" Words were hard to find at the moment. Moxodraphin had left Roger younger than he had been when he first met her. Nina was almost frightened by this glimpse at her reduced partner -- light brown freckles stretching over the bridge of his nose, a scruffy moptop for hair, and a voice that was pitched like a member of the Harlem Boys Choir.

"Please, just everybody, don't panic. Whatever has happened, it can all be changed back. Remember this is hardly permanent," Katherine stated, trying to feign authority over the situation.

"Nina, Nina, you look beautiful," Roger tried to comfort his wife.

Still too flustered to relax, Nina could only say, "And you look... you look..." He waited. "Well, cute." He wasn't sure that's what he wanted to hear, but all the same, this whole experience had certainly jumpstarted his pulse. Unable to believe it entirely, Roger headed toward the closest bathroom, his pants falling casualty to his size. Wandering across the floor in only his coat and shirt, Roger made it to the bathroom, amazed at how large the house, the doors, and everything around him seemed.

Once inside the bathroom, he shed his coat and stared directly into the full length mirror hung on the door with an expression known as befuddlement. His light, almost pale, Irish boyhood was back. "Well, I'll be damned," he whispered, stroking the area above his upper lip and feeling the smooth, hairless skin. "I'll be damned..."

Virtually ignored now was poor Jason, still barely a toddler. And though his appearance would lead one to think otherwise, Jason's mind was still running as fast as ever. Maybe it was his own curiosity. Maybe it was all those McGyver reruns he used to watch after school. Whatever it was, it kept Jason on his toes. Hardly blind to what was happening, Jason had spotted Linda's drink. A small portion of it still remained and putting two and two together, Jason staggered over to it. Grasping it as firmly as he could, he tipped it up and drank the leftovers. God I hope this makes me old enough, he prayed.

Growing noises and clatter downstairs prompted Jenna to decide to take a peek downstairs. Expecting no more than the usual healthy argument between family members, she walked halfway down the stairs and peered out so no one would notice her.

"Holy shitballs," she said to herself. "Who's that little girl?! Mom? And Dad?" The Youthies must have gone AWOL. In disbelief, Jenna walked a few steps more. Weird. A few steps more. Freaky. Finally to the bottom. Awesome.

Peering through the living room window was Mark, his eyes wide with excitement. The trickster at his best. He could almost feel that same boyish exhiliration he felt as a kid, watching the entropy he'd caused. "Cool," he squeaked, witnessing his bewildered relatives raise their voices and point fingers.

Satisfied his game had been a rousing success, he moved back away from the window, just in time to see a white Chevy Cavalier pull into the Schaffer driveway. The door opened and out stepped an attractive brunette wearing sunglasses and looking moderately pissed. Mark hid behind a nearby bush until he got a clearer view of her; she didn't ring a bell at first, but as she got closer to the front door, it clicked.

Jason's girlfriend he had to keep from giggling. This should be an interesting addition. There might be more to this scheme.