Wendy noticed that her mother had thrown a piece of paper to the ground.
For whatever reason she grabbed it as they headed to the car. Her and Dani
were in the backseat and Wendy quietly uncrumpled the paper to see what it
She had to read it twice. It made no sense. She could read what the words were saying but they couldn't possibly be true. Jim and Katie were brother and sister? Danielle was a grandmother? The two dweebs, George and Pete were father and son? And the thing that Wendy had the most trouble with- She herself was a middle-aged woman, the MOTHER of Jim and Katie and the wife of Pete??
Danielle noticed that Wendy was looking very confused. "What's up?"
Wendy gave her a look that said 'Not here, not now' without saying a word.
When they got home and away from Jim and Katie Wendy immediately opened up about the piece of paper she had.
"C'mon... You don't believe that?? Do you?" Dani said.
"I shouldn't... I know... But there's been some weird things going on in my head. Stuff, like, I can't really explain. And Dad has been hanging onto that funny looking thing with buttons on it. What is that exactly??"
"Wendy, we're like 17 years old. You're scaring me acting like you believe this stuff! Like, I'm supposed to really be old?? As if!! And why would your dad and mom want to be a dad and mom if they were really brother and sister?"
"Ok, I know this sounds freaky but what if dad's remote thingie can change people. And what if it can change more than their age, like their minds too! Maybe a lot! Maybe that's why she wrote that note to herself? Maybe it's a side effect or something... Maybe she wrote it so they wouldn't get us all stuck in some strange altered reality!?"
"Altered reality? Wow... I think you're losing it! Tell me you're just making this stuff up!"
"I dunno. Just be cool and think about this. Why else would mom write this note?"
"Maybe she's like as crazy as you are starting to sound!?"
Wendy sighed. Dani just wasn't getting it. And maybe Dani was right, this did sound crazy.
"Wendy, honey, can you come inside for a second?" her mother called to her.
"Be right back" Wendy told Dani as she handed her the note "We still need to talk about this"
Dani took the note and read it for herself. She had to admit it was odd but it also was just silly. It was impossible.
"Wendy, your dad and I were talking about how fast you're growing up. It really feels like too fast sometimes. Now, we've made some mistakes along the way and we've gotten some things right too. Most parents only have one shot at getting things right. But maybe this family is a bit lucky in that regard..."
Wendy wondered what on earth her mother was getting at.
"Katie, you don't need to explain, it'll all be forgotten anyway...." and with that he aimed the device at Wendy and watched the 17 year old begin to youthen. For a brief moment she realized what was happening but then the numbness came. She wanted to tell her shrinking limbs to run but the fog in her mind wouldn't let her.
...and finally 13... Just a freckle faced kid again.
Then Jim hit the clothing button and Wendy's clothing changed into something more appropriate for a young teen, her hair now pulled back in a ponytail. Bangs in front. Any sign of makeup gone.
"I hope this works" Katie said as she grabbed Wendy's hand and led her to the doorway.
Dani looked up to see the now barely teenaged Wendy holding onto her mother's hand.
What had just happened? Wendy wasn't some 13 year old kid!
"Danielle, we really appreciate you watching Wendy for us this afternoon" Katie said.
Dani was just getting ready to yell "What did you do to her..." But then that seemed so wrong. Such an out of place thought. Such an out of place emotion. In fact, she realized she should be grateful for the money. Wendy was a good kid. In fact, they were close enough in age that Wendy was more like a little sister to her anyway. It wasn't so much like baby sitting as it was just to make sure Wendy wasn't home alone.
"It's no problem at all!" Dani replied "Wendy and I get along great! You two go do whatever it is you need to do!"
"Great! Thank you Danielle!" Katie said
"I told you it would work" Jim whispered.
"I guess you're right. I just hope our minds never get affected like that and we don't forget who we really are" Katie answered quietly.
And with that Jim and Katie left to discuss their plans for changes in their parenting of a teenager. "I just want to see her be more respectful" Katie said.
"I understand" Jim replied "I want her to have fun, don't get me wrong, but I want her to have better role models. More responsible role models. Maybe we should think about joining a church? And what do you think about a private school?"
"There's a lot to consider, Jim. Most people don't get a second chance to remold their teenaged daughter"
"Most?? You mean 'not any'!" Jim said laughing.
"Well, yeah, I guess you're right" laughed Katie "Still, between now and when she turns 17 again is a long time. I guess we'll have had 8 years to get 4 years right.
"Yip, and if we don't like how it turns out we can use what we learn and do it over again"
"I don't know, Jim... I don't know how many times we can rewind a life. And what about us? We'll have to go thru those years with her every time too"
"Yeah, I get your point. And you know... I was thinking... I wonder if there are shortcuts?"
"What happens if we start Wendy on a different path that we want for her and then use the device on her? Maybe we can accomplish in days or weeks what should take years?"
"Interesting... Would it work?"
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