Jimmy took a moment to observe the rest of the classroom. Finger-
paintings hung from fishlines on the roof and crayon drawings lined the
windows. Even the door was decorated with a smiley face backdrop on the
Welcome To KR sign. As with the rest of the world, this room
seemed so huge to him. Jim detected the distinctive scent of art and
craft, the nostalgic aroma of a typical kindergarten classroom.
All the children were playing on the floor, a scattered assortment of shy
five-year-olds. Jimmy found the warm, friendly atmosphere reassuring. At
first the concept of standing eye-to-eye with these little children
intimidated him, but there was something about this place that alleviated
that apprehension. He spotted a group of little boys huddled in a corner
playing with blocks and hurried over to join them.
--- --- ---
Joella sat at the front desk with Ms. Rose, who looked very relaxed
crossing her legs over and sipping a cup of tea. They both watched as
Jimmy worked up the courage to introduce himself to some of the other
"Isn't he adorable?" Joella murmured as Jimmy settled down to play on the
"Oh yes," Ms. Rose said. "So how old was he before you regressed him?"
"In his mid-twenties. He was my high-school sweetheart, but we got
separated after we graduated. I ran into him at a cafe a couple of months
"Yep, a lot of these children got rejuvenated under similar conditions.
It's an ingenious spell, really - it doesn't just make 'em younger, but
once they're kids they like it that way."
"I made him think he rescued me from a gang and all sorts of things,"
Ms. Rose laughed. "Well, he might come to his senses after a while, with
a story like that. If you want I can fix his lunch milk with a mental
regression formula... it'll make him forget ever being older at all."
Joella glanced back at her little boy. He was settling in nicely with his
new friends and he looked so innocent and happy with them... what if he
did figure it out one day? She couldn't bare the thought.
--- --- ---
"Hey," Jimmy said as he sat cross-legged next to the other kids. "Can I
play wif you guys?"
The first boy looked up and smiled. He was tall for his age, with blond
hair, sky-blue eyes and a lightly freckled face, with a nametag reading
Jake. "Sure," he said. "We're playin' wif twucks."
"And blocks," added a child whose tag read Chris. The red-haired
boy was building an archway of wooden blocks for Jake to destroy with his
toy truck. He accompanied each crash with sound effects.
"Cool!" Jimmy knelt down to join in, happy to be accepted.
"You c'n have tha liddle twuck," the third boy (Danny) said,
passing him a smaller toy.
Jimmy found himself playing and behaving just like a regular child in no
time at all. After a couple of minutes he wasn't even thinking about it,
just acting like any other five-year-old boy would. The stress and
memories of his adult life faded away as he steered the truck and played
on his knees.
He snapped back into focus when Joella knelt down next to him. "I've
gotta go, sweetie," she said. "Will you be all right on your own?"
Jimmy almost felt embarrassed having his mother say goodbye in front of
his new friends, but they didn't seem to notice or care. "'Kay, Mummy,"
he said. She pecked him on the cheek and walked off.
"Okay, children!" Ms. Rose yelled once she was gone. The squeals and
laughter faded throughout the classroom as the kids all turned their
attention towards their new teacher. "Can you all pack up your toys and
come sit in the taped area on the floor, please?"
Jimmy felt a rush of excitement. His first day at school was about to
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