by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Jun 2, 2022
Chapter Description: Allie and Julia solve a mystery: "The Strange Disappearance of Nancy Druid"
On a bright and chilly Saturday afternoon. Two girls sat in their room and discussed their upcoming joint book report.
“I think it’s cool that Nancy Druid was able to solve the mystery of the clock,” said Allie, age 9.
“It’s a good thing the teacher specified the 1959 version as well,” commented Julia, age 10, “You wouldn’t have wanted to meet her prior to her reset.”
“Wait, wait, wait! You’re saying that Nancy Druid is real? I thought she was fictional and what’s a ‘reset’?”
“Oh, yes, she’s real! She was old when I was just starting my adventures and I happened to meet her in one of my travels -” began Julia.
“But she’d have been older than Betty by then!” interrupted Allie, “She’d have to be at least in her sixties and very ancient.”
“Well, forgive me for being in the same boat!” interjected Julia with mock seriousness. She knew that Allie thought anyone over thirty was ancient due to her childish mindset.
“Oh, sorry!” apologized Allie, “So, what’s a ‘reset’?”
“The way that I understand it, Nancy was 16 in the 1930s. She mentioned that something or someone had somehow reset her clock back to 16 again in 1959. I just passed it off as a tall tale because, at the time, I didn’t believe that one’s clock could be reset.”
“Oh!” said Allie, and then fell into silence for a bit, “So, Nancy Druid is real, then?” she finally asked.
“As you or I, Allie. Somewhere out there, she still walks the earth. I lost track of her about a decade ago.”
The pair returned to their book report. Allie was now more interested because Nancy was now real to her mind.
With their book report completed, the two turned to more important things for children. They whooped and hollered in the backyard, playing out a fresh play adventure created by Julia on the spot.
“I’m really going to miss these play dates,” thought Julia as she ran the wrong way up the slide and jumped off the top to land Ninja-style on the ground without feeling any pain or injury.
A patrol car rolled up and the county sheriff stepped out. He stepped up to the door and rang the bell. Allie and Julia stopped their game and snuck up to the edge of the building to listen.
Betty, aged 33, answered the door.
“Why, hello Ted! What brings you around here? It’s not a noise complaint about the girls, is it?”
“No, Ma’am,” said Ted as he pulled out a picture from a manila folder he was carrying, “I’m looking for this woman and I’m hoping you’ve seen her. She’s been spotted in this area recently.”
“Can’t say that I have, Ted,” she turned to face the corner the girls were spying on them from, “Girls! Have you seen this woman?”
Finding out that their stealth tactics were for naught, the two guiltily came out of their hiding spot and examined the picture.
“Why, that’s Nancy Druid! I haven’t seen her since -” started Julia, before she caught herself and finished lamely, “Our book report. Right, Allie?”
“Oh, yes, that’s her alright!” said Allie with a pretend seriousness. Her little girl's senses were tingling with a new mystery – “The Disappearance of Nancy Druid”.
“Have you seen her around is my question,” said Ted patiently, “She wandered off from a nursing home yesterday and needs to be cared for.”
“No, Officer Ted, we haven’t seen her around here!” responded Julia. Allied nodded her agreement vigorously.
“Okay, ladies, if you do,” he handed his business card to Betty, “Call me, okay? It’s very important that we find her before she comes to harm.”
“Will do, Ted!” responded Betty. Julia and Allie both responded with “We Will!” simultaneously.
After Sheriff Ted got in his car and moved up the street to the next house, Allie turned to Julia and said, “Jinkies! We have a mystery to solve!”
Julia smiled at Allie’s enthusiasm, and as the two moved towards the woods to search, Betty called out, “Not too far, girls! Supper will be ready in another hour.”
As luck would have it, after about 15 minutes of walking, the pair came upon a little girl sobbing quietly in the woods. She looked to be about 5 or 6 years of age and wore an oversize frumpy-looking dress that was meant for a much older person. Upon seeing Julia and Allie, she got up and ran to them. Allie immediately gave her a hug and held her tight to reassure her.
After a while, she asked “I’m lost! Have you seen my mommy?” as Allie dried her tears gently with a handkerchief.
“Maybe, can you tell us her name?” asked Julia.
“Um, I think it's Kate, but I don’t for sure know ‘cause I call her ‘Mommy’,” answered the little girl.
“Does she have a last name, um, sorry! What’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Nancy! Nancy Druid!” responded the little girl, “I’m this many years old!”
She held up her hand to indicate she was 5.
“Uh-oh! Nancy, did you by chance eat some mushroom, recently?”
“I dunno,” she said as she checked her pockets and pulled out a small piece, “Is this it?”
“Well, that settles that! Mystery solved!” said Allie as she explained that eating the mushroom erases not only age but experience as well. Julia let her prattle; she knew the story by heart, and Nancy only caught every other word.
“That be as it may, Allie,” said Julia as she turned to the preschooler, “Nancy, we can help you. Where are the rest of your clothes?”
The little girl pointed at a mound of clothing. Sneakers, socks, and a t-shirt bra were piled up in a heap. Prominent in the pile was an adult diaper, still clasped and well-used.
The girls picked up Nancy’s clothing and walked her carefully out of the woods. Her tender young feet couldn’t cover much ground very quickly. Eventually, Julia piggy-backed her and they made it back to the house.
“Is my mommy here?” asked the tot as she was put back down. She grabbed Julia’s hand and sucked her thumb for comfort.
“Not yet, Nancy. We need to go over to that mushroom first,” said Julia as she walked slowly towards the mushroom.
As they approached, the caterpillar looked down from his chaise lounge atop the mushroom and greeted them. Technicolor bubbles drifted from his mouth as he exhaled his latest drag on the hookah vape next to him.
“Wassup, babies!” he spotted Nancy, “Hiya girlie! I see that mushroom aged you down just fine!”
“Caterpillar, we cautioned you about handing out free samples!” said Julia sternly, “Why did you give Nancy here such a large amount?”
The caterpillar sniffed at Julia hurtfully and explained that Nancy had wandered over to him.
"She was old, lost, confused, hungry, and asked if I had any food."
He continued, “So, I gave her a piece that shouldn’t have taken off no more than 10 years or so. She must have grabbed another and wandered off while I wasn’t looking.”
Allie gave him a mock-serious look. She pretended to scrutinize him under an imaginary bright light. The caterpillar immediately understood that she was play-acting and responded in kind.
“I’m telling ya the truth, detective Allie! She must have got greedy, see? It ain’t my business to prevent them from overeating the mushroom, see?” He grinned broadly at his performance and reclined back on his chaise.
“Well, I guess his story checks out,” said Allie, “Another mystery solved!” she proudly added.
“Can I see my mommy now?” asked little Nancy. She was getting bored standing in front of the mushroom listening to the older kids. She either wanted her mommy or to play with a dolly. Either would do at this point.
“Tell you what, Nancy,” said Julia as she moved her to the back of the mushroom, “If you eat a piece of the mushroom, we’ll take you to her.”
The little girl grabbed a child-sized handful and ate it immediately. The effect it had was to age her up to 16 immediately. She filled out the baggy dress and looked around from the vantage point her new height gave her.
“What am I doing here?” she asked, “I was looking for the clock which held the last will and testament of my uncle and …”
She turned to Julia. “Who are you? Where am I? This mystery is really getting confusing!”
“Take it easy, Nancy Druid, and all will be explained,” assured Julia.
“How do you know my name?” she asked as she took in the backyard. She saw the swings, the sandbox, the slide, and then the mushroom with its occupant. He smiled and waved at her.
“I think I need to sit down,” said a very confused Nancy Druid. The girls guided her to the house and into its living room. Betty said hello as they entered.
After a long explanation and many questions, Nancy felt she had a handle on her situation.
“So, I’ve become really old and senile, my detective career dies after age 20, I have no offspring and my life has been wasted on one bad adventure after the other.”
“That about sums it up, yes,” said Julia sympathetically, “at this point, you can relive your life from age 16, or we can return your memories and your true age and let you go back to the old folks’ home.”
“Could I have my adult memories back, please? I’ll decide what to do afterward.”
She was given a special batch of Mirror tea and she drank it.
“Oh, my!” Said Nancy Druid, “What a great waste of talent I’ve squandered!”
She turned to Julia. “I see that the years have been kind to you, Julia Grange. What would you suggest be my course of action?”
“Well-l-l, in my case, I’m enjoying a second childhood. I attend school and play with Allie all day.”
Her mood turned somber, “But, I’ll have to give it up one day and continue my adventures,” she pulled out a plastic water pistol from her kiddie belt and played with it.
“I think the only thing holding me back is Allie, here. She’s like the cool sister I never had.”
Allie’s face turned red with embarrassment. She hugged Julia with happy affection and even gave her a little peck on the cheek.
Julia accepted the hug but rejected the PDA and pushed her away playfully. Allie laughed at the effect her teasing had on Julia.
Betty came into the living room and announced that supper was ready. She invited Nancy to sit in the guest’s spot at the table.
After dinner, they all watched a movie based on one of Nancy’s more successful cases. “Nancy Druid and the imperceptible staircase” was a hit with Betty, Allie, and Julia. Nancy watched herself act with great nostalgia and longing for those halcyon days.
“Time for bed girls!” announced Betty.
“Awww!” was the response from Allie and Julia. They grumped towards the bedroom for pajamas and then to the bathroom for washcloths and toothpaste. Nancy envied their simple motions and watched longingly as they performed their bedtime chores.
Her nostalgia wasn’t lost on Betty. She whispered in Nancy’s ear and Nancy asked “Do you mean it?” excitedly.
Betty smiled and nodded her head.
The girls were surprised to find their beds pushed together after they’d come out of the bathroom.
“What’s this?” asked Allie.
“You’re going to sleep with your sister tonight,” said Betty as 7-year-old Nancy entered the room dressed in a set of tiger pajamas and a pull-up. The girls jumped for joy and gave her some hugs before the three went to bed.
After a few hours of happy pillow-talk, the three fell off to sleep in each other’s arms. They would wake up in the morning as siblings from different mothers, but siblings just the same.
Nancy had decided to wait for a little while before she decided what her next move would be. Her time was limited, but she didn’t want to worry about that right now.
Later, she joined her new sisters in the backyard to enjoy some childish adventures. Today they would be detectives!
Betty smiled as the three frolicked and played together. In her heart of hearts, she felt that another child would soon be attending the same school as Allie and Julia.
Allie's adventure in the land of wonder.
by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Jun 2, 2022
Stories of Age/Time Transformation