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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 IV
by sumner
”Uh oh,” left Katherine’s lips as she rounded the corner and met with an infant in her brown recliner. A hasty examination of the T-shirt and pants lying in crumpled piles at the foot of the chair was enough to fill Katherine in on what had happened. “And how did you end up like this, Mark?” she whispered into the baby’s ear. No answer but slobber.

So Katherine picked her nephew up and headed back for the living room. But coming downstairs was her daughter. “Jenna, I thought you’d gone already.”

”Oh, not yet,” Jenna shrugged. “But I’m on my way.”

”Not so fast, young lady,” Katherine paused (the term “young lady” seemed obsolete at the time). “Do you have any idea why your cousin just went from eight years old to a baby?”

”Me? Why would I know?” she tried to rebuff what she anticipated was an oncoming accusation.

”Oh, I don’t know. Hey, what’s that squirt gun you’ve got there?” Katherine pointed to Jenna’s side.

”Just a toy. I... I got it out for Mark to play with.”

”Well, it doesn’t look like he’ll need it now,” Katherine had to keep shifting Mark from one side to the other to support him.

Jenna felt a presence behind her. She spun around to see her Uncle Harold looking somewhat concerned. It was bizarre, seeing as he and she were now about the same height. Wow, Uncle Harold was kinda cute when he was young Jenna turned her attentions toward Harold for the first time. Oh, ewwww, did I just think that?

”I think someone’s been messing with the Moxodraphin stuff in the kitchen!” he blurted out. Then, after he got a view of his son, now reduced far beyond his proposed age for the evening, his jaw nearly hit the floor. “What happened to my son??”

”I’m not quite sure,” Katherine explained, “I just came in and he was lying on the recliner, just gooing away. Are you sure you gave him the right amount before you came over tonight?”

”Positive. At least I think we did,” Harold ran his hands through his thick, blonde hair, “I remember he made us promise not make to him too little. He said he’d do eight but no less. But Katherine, I think you should take a look in the kitchen. Something’s going on. And Jenna, weren’t you supposed to be getting some reversal pills for us?”

”I was just on my way,” Jenna reached into her pocket for her car keys, and pulling out her hand, a couple of little blue pills spilled out onto the carpet. “Ummm...”

”Young lady,” there was that odd phrase again, “what exactly were you doing with those, eh?” Katherine’s face, now too young to convey any really intimidating emotions, was one of shock.

”Mom, I--”

”Jennifer Lynn Schaffer, were you the one who caused all this trouble?” Katherine said, looking up at her towering daughter.

”And did you do this to poor Mark?” Harold crossed his arms and stared at Jenna.

”No, I--” she reached for words, “Mark was the one who screwed with everything!”

”Now, Jennifer, do you expect me to believe that? If Mark did all this, then why is he a little tot in my arms? And you’re older than any of us!” Katherine had a valid point.

”I think you have some explaining to do!” Harold’s voice became lower when he was angry. “I think you’re going to owe all of us a big apology.”

”I’m not apologizing for anything!” Jenna yelled down at her ten-year-old mother.

”You know this is going to mean big time punishment, Jennifer. Big time. I won’t put up with this from you. How dare you speak to me that way! I don’t care if I do look like a kid! I’m still your mother!” Somehow, Katherine’s youthened state made her want to cry when she heard those words -- even though they were coming from her mouth.

”And after you realize what you’ve done,” Harold continued the line of fire, “I think you need to get a real sense of what you’ve put us all through tonight. Including your cousin!”

”What?” Jenna stepped one foot back, “Are you threatening me? Force me to take Youthies?”

”You know what I mean. I think you should spend a week or two in diapers! Maybe that would teach you a lesson about respect.”

”Respect this!” Jenna shouted, squeezing the trigger on the super-soaker. Harold immediately felt a chill run down his spine.

”What did you put in that?!” Harold knew the feeling was familiar.

”You’ll see,” laughed Jenna.

Before any changes became apparent, Harold had raced to the nearest mirror, the same one in which Roger had observed himself. “Oh great,” he said sarcastically, watching his face go from a splendid twenty-two-year-old specimen to more of a college senior. His hair was soon fading to an even lighter shade of blonde and he knew instantaneously he was growing even younger. 17... 16... Harold retained his grown-up features, only losing a little height and weight. His clothes started to become a little more roomy. 15... 14... Now the real changes set in. Harold’s face went from that distinctly adult look to a more adolescent aspect in mere seconds. 13... His facial hair had all but disappeared like a magic trick had been performed on it, and his body dropped several inches. Muscle tone lessened, his chest lost all curly hair, his nose turned up just slightly, his teeth were too big for his mouth again, and it wasn’t stopping. 12... 11... Now fully a child, Harold knew all too well what was coming next. 10... 9... His arms shrunk as his legs did the same. Though his clothes were dragging behind him, Harold managed to reach the scales at the other end of the bathroom. Stepping on, he saw the numbers fall: 80... 76... 71. He squealed. 8... And finally, 7. His mouth wide open, Harold stood, motionless, gazing at the reflection in front of him. His rejuvenation into his twenties was gone, before he even got to enjoy it. Now, he was only a kid.

”You need to get control of yourself, right now!” Katherine yelled up at her daughter. “When your Uncle Harold comes out of that bathroom, I’m having him get you in line. No more of this funny business!”

The bathroom door creaked open, but where was Harold? Katherine’s eyes moved down until she saw a coquettish first-grader cracking the door. Her expression went from one of disciplinarian to a vague kind of fright. There was more than water in Jenna’s red squirt gun. The implications began to run through Katherine’s mind: Harold is no longer old enough to control Jenna, and the rest of the family is incapacitated, and there’s still something sloshing around in Jenna’s gun. Katherine knew this meant a great deal of diplomacy, if the evening was ever going to get back on track.

”Jenna, I want you to give me the squirt gun, all right?” Katherine put out her hand, carefully balancing Mark in the other.

”Look what you did to me!” Harold motioned at his mammoth shirt. “This is humiliating!”

”Jenna, Jenna, look at me. Hand me the gun and we can deal with all this later,” Katherine knew how impulsive her daughter could be when she was in one of these moods.

”Later?!” Harold nearly flailed his arms. “You expect me to stay like this? Your daughter just turned me into toddler!”

”Now, come on, Harold, you’re not a toddler,” Katherine tried to calm all parties involved so that nothing would be altered further. “You’re at least six or seven.”

”Six or seven?!”

”Yes, and we’ll all be back to normal before the night’s out. So don’t get your underwear in a bunch.”

”They are in a bunch! On the floor! And how do you know we’ll all be back to normal by the end of tonight, huh?” Harold had turned skeptic.

”Because the medication wears off in about two hours,” Katherie replied, as she wiped some baby spit off her shoulder.

”That’s if you have reversal pills to act as a catalyst!” Harold remained furious at how nonchalant Katherine seemed.

”We’ll get some. Somehow.”

”And what if we don’t?”



”Are these bucket seats?” Jason asked.

”No, silly. You’ve been in my car before,” Susan chuckled. “It’s just that you’re... a little smaller that’s all.” Susan was acting as cheery as she knew how. In light of the the circumstances, she realized Jason must be light years beyond embarrassment. Still, her eyes kept being drawn back to the passenger seat and the cute little boy sitting in it. Inside, she wished a silent wish that their child might one day be as lovable as Jason was.

”Why are you looking at me like that?” Jason finally spoke up.

”I’m not looking at you.”

”Yes, you are. You’re looking at me.”

”OK, so maybe I am. I can’t help it. It’s not everyday you get to see your boyfriend as a twelve-year-old,” Susan admitted. Then she saw his bottom lip start to poke out. “Awww. Don’t be that way. It’s only for today. And if you don’t mind me saying, you’re a real cutie-pie.”

”Spectacular,” Jason said, turning his face toward the window (which was now a bit higher than he wanted). “So where’s the closest drug venda?”

”In the mall, I think.”

”All right, let’s go there,” Jason shifted in his seat, trying to find the position that least emphasized his new size. During all the occasions his mother had asked him to swallow some Youthies, he had always managed to protect himself from any situations that might prove denigrating. But this one just had to be different. Now, THIS is the last time I take those stupid things! Jason fumed.

A quick drive to the Southfield Mall (albeit drawn-out for Jason) proved advantageous. It was still open. Walking through the mall, weaving past couples, Jason felt more and more uneasy. A modest neon sign up ahead read “Science Hill Pharmacy: The Only Venda You Can Trust!” But before they could get to the door, Susan bumped into Kristy and Seth, some old high school friends. Marvelous, Jason thought to himself. I couldn’t have planned this better if I were Satan.

”Susan! Hey, how’s it going?” Kristy smiled her pearly white smile.

”Oh, OK, how are you guys?” Susan couldn’t help but chat.

”Great,” Seth answered, “You know we just got engaged.”


”But you really look great! Geez, it’s only been what, two years?” Kristy completely ignored Jason, much to his relief.

”Yeah, something like that.”

”God, I don’t know. You just look so... grown up now.” Kristy finally noticed the little guy standing next to Susan. “And who might this be?”

”Oh, Ja-- Jeremy. I’m just... umm... babysitting him for some neighbors,” Susan had never been one for on-the-spot improvisation.

Babysitting. Jason felt a wave of unbridaled embarrassment fall over him after that word. Did she have to say “babysitting”? All this time, Jason had to witness his old friends from this weird new angle, his face situated just at Kristy’s bountiful bosoms. Everyone around him seemed so mature, so impressive now. And he winced whenever a child his age passed by, one of which looked an awful lot like Seth’s little brother...

”Hey, guys.” It was Seth’s little brother.

”Hey Zach, you about ready to go?” Seth patted his little bro’s mangy head.


Jason couldn’t help but slide down memory lane. He tried to match up the Zach in front of him with the whiny seven-year-old he’d known when Seth and he were in high school. I’m the same age as Zach Jason couldn’t believe it. While they stared awkwardly at one another, as kids often do, the “adults” continued their conversation.

”Jeremy, eh?” Seth bent down to the same height as the two boys. “You know you look a lot like a friend I had in high school. Are you related to Jason Schaffer?”

”No,” Jason said plainly.

”Jason Schaffer... Jason Schaffer... Hey, Susan, didn’t you go out with Jason in high school?”

”Yes,” Susan hoped she didn’t have lie anymore.

”I was just telling Jeremy here he looks a lot like Jason... when he was in middle school,” Seth informed, “I thought maybe Jason was on some Youthies again.” Seth grinned over at Jeremy. “Have you two met?”

”Nope,” Zach responded confidently.

”Well, maybe you two can get together and play sometime or something,” Seth suggested.

”Well, I’ve got some errands to run,” Susan did her best to hasten the proceedings. “Nice seeing you two again. Congratulations on the engagement.”

As Seth, Kristy, and Zach walked on, Jason and Susan continued toward the brightly lit pharmacy -- on the way passing Oni’s Gifts, LouderMart, Hair By Maire, and a curious shop called simply SRU. This marked the first occasion where Jason had been in public while under the influence of the age-altering substance. Though lying on his back and being diapered was by no means a treat for Jason, the feeling was almost worse at the mall, being on display for the world. Susan insisted on holding hands too, even though their relationship now appeared to be one of babysitter and child or, god forbid, mother and son.

I could swear she seems different somehow Jason looked up at his companion. Was it her height? Or her breasts? Something was changing; he just couldn’t put his finger on it.

Just as they reached the pharmacy, the man working there pulled down the jail-like security curtain.

”Sir, sir...” Susan tried to get his attention.

”I’m sorry, we’re closing, ma’am,” he answered in a chain-smoker’s voice. Ma’am? Susan thought for a moment Nobody’s ever called me that before.

”I know, but could you please just let us in. It’s kind of an emergency.”

”An emergency, you say?” he seemed amused.

”Yes. I need to know if you have any Moxodraphin reversal capsules.”

”Heh, reversal pills, eh?”

”Yeah, that’s what I said. Do you have any?”

”Well, I don’t know. Maybe. All right, come on in, I suppose,” the seasoned employee replied, lifting the security chain, and allowing them to pass under it.

As the three went up and down the thin, half-lit aisles, the old man asked, casually, “So, this for your little friend?”

”Well, kind of. But there are others back at the house.”

”Somehow I’m not surprised,” the man muttered almost incoherently, “ever since that stuff came on the market, it’s caused all sorts of little problems. You know each box comes with a set of reversal capsules. You sure you looked for them?”

”Yes, we’re sure.”

”OK, fair enough, fair enough. How many capsules do you need?”

Susan glanced at Jason. “I don’t know. Would fifty do?” He shook his head no. “No, one-hundred.”

”A hundred? Must be quite a mix-up. What have you got a party full of one-year-olds crawling around at home?” the old man raised an eyebrow.

”No, nothing that serious. But we just need to get a family reunion back in order.”

”All right, all right. Hey little fella,” the old man eyed Jason, who responded with a half-hearted grin. “You have to be twenty-one to buy this stuff...” he turned back to Susan.

”Oh, I’m--” Susan started.

”But it’s late and you look old enough to me, so I’ll go ahead and give it to you,” the old man rang up the purchase with little hesitation. Wow, that’s never happened before. Do I really look twenty-one? Susan fished around in her purse for her makeup mirror. When Jason heard that, he knew it wasn’t just his own imagination running wild. Susan had indeed changed... just in the brief time they’d been together. “Thanks, come again... on time,” the old man waved goodbye to them, still sounding ever so slightly amused.

As they exited the Science Hill Pharmacy, Susan was still rummaging through her purse in search of a portable mirror and Jason was once again staring at Susan. Under the uneven florescent lights, Jason couldn’t get a clear picture of Susan’s aging. As they once again approached the Food Court area in the heart of the mall, Susan spotted a Polaroid Photo Booth...

”Hey,” Susan squeezed Jason’s hand, “I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we get a picture taken? Just for fun, ya know.”

”You can’t be serious,” Jason returned, “I don’t exactly want to remember this occasion. Besides, they’re waiting on us back at home.”

”Awww, please. We’ve got loads of time to get back to your house. And I think it would be cute, having a picture of us this way,” Susan started batting her eyes, knowing this had some unusual persuasive power over Jason. And at his current age, it did more than persuade; it caused a tentpole in his pants.

”OK, if I must,” Jason reluctantly climbed into the booth. Susan did the same on the other side. Sitting down, the difference in their height was magnified even further, Jason’s head coming to roughly Susan’s shoulder. The pictures took only a few seconds to capture, but this did not lessen the level of discomfort for Jason. Something about knowing that this experience would be immortalized on film made it inevitably unsettling.

Outside the booth, they both waited for the pictures to slide out. On the side of the booth was a TV, advertising -- of all things -- new, improved Moxodraphin. The commercial featured among other celebrities Micheal Jackson, looking to be around nine years old and back to his semi-normal black self, saying, “Just like A-B-C, 1-2-3, it makes dreams come true!” Jason had to laugh just a little, noticing that Micheal’s voice didn’t seem to have undergone any octave changes.

The pictures soon shot like bullets out of the machine. Tearing them off, Susan finally got a good look at herself. She stood stationary for a few moments, breathing just a little deeper than she had been.

”I look like I’m in my late twenties!” she screamed, both interested and scared. “My face!” she ran her hands across her nose. “And my...” she ran her hands across her chest. “What’s happening to me?”

”You remember Gloria?” Jason inquired, while dancing up and down a bit.

”Yeah. Why?”

”Well, she’s not my cousin. She’s my sister, Jenna”

”I thought your sister was, like, sixteen.”

”She is... but she took some reversal pills earlier, making herself appear older.”

”OK, but why am I getting older?”

”Did she do anything to you while you were in the kitchen together?” Jason furthered the investigation.

”No, not really. We talked, and I think she might have given me something to drink.”

”A drink? Damn it.”


”I bet she put some reversal pills in it.”

”Why would she do that?”

”I’m not sure. Unless she just wanted to embarass me some more by having you be that much older,” Jason suggested, shrugging his undersized shoulders.

”You think?” Susan kept her eyes glued to the Polaroid.

”Let’s just get back home, OK?” Jason was beginning to be really tired of being twelve.



Five minutes into the trip back home, Susan caught another good glimpse of her face in the rear view mirror, and nearly shrieked at it.

”What’s wrong?” Jason asked.

”Look at me!” she cried. Jason did. His girlfriend had not stopped growing older; in fact, the rate of transformation was accelerating. Susan’s outfit was growing tighter, and her face was becoming quite mature, far from the “innocent little girl” impression she normally gave. The skin on her hands was starting to look more wrinkled, as her toned body began to lose its firmness. Her hair seemed to gain some length, and Jason thought he even saw gray hair amongst it. Tiny crow’s feet were soon on the way, as Susan now looked to be approaching her forties. “When will this stop??” she grew more and more concerned, as her youth rushed away.

”Just keep driving,” Jason said, buckling his seat belt.

Just as Susan sped up and started to weave in and out of the traffic, red and blue lights started flashing in the rear view mirror. The obligatory siren soon followed.

Just what we need, Jason thought, as the car came to halt.