A pair of friends sets out to recapture their youth on Halloween... But what happens when they're a little too successful?
Chapter Description: The girls meet up, and try on their costumes.
"Velcome," I exclaimed as I opened my front door, booming laugh echoing throughout the foyer. I gave a smile upon seeing the person standing there, lips slowly curving up to reveal a pair of fangs. "How... lovely of you to join me. Vould you care for a... bite?"
"You are such a dork." Nancy couldn’t keep herself from giggling, though, pushing past me as I held the bowl of candy out to her, though not without pulling out a mini-Reese cup while passing by. "I thought you were going as yourself."
"I was going to," I confirmed, setting the candy back down and shutting the door before following her into the living room, where she had already tossed her overnight bag, embroidered with a small "N. Thompson" on one side, onto the couch and begun digging through it, "but it turns out that I’m a bit of a whore."
"Well, obviously," she replied, deadpan until she caught my unamused glare. She giggled with a shrug. "Were you really expecting to find a non-children’s Alice in Wonderland costume that wasn’t meant to be sexy?"
"They do exist," I insisted, as I had when I’d originally told her my plans, only to have her give me a strange look and ask if I was planning on working a street corner for some extra cash after we finished trick-or-treating. "They were just out of them when I got to the costume store. But there was a place for them!"
"Whatever you say," she shrugged. "Dracula’s a better choice anyhow. Very classic."
"Why, thank you." I twirled a bit, though I was pretty sure that was something Dracula wouldn’t do, letting my cape flap a bit behind me. It was black on the outside, of course, but lined with purple. I wasn’t sure that Dracula would have picked that, either, but such is life for the undead. It was held shut by a pair of silver clasps, connected with a similarly silver chain, which matched the buttons on the dark red vest I wore over a plain white dress shirt, and black pants. I’d found a bat shaped bow tie, but I hadn’t yet decided whether that was a little too much, or just campy enough.
By then, looking at Nancy’s black hair, I was kind of wishing I’d gotten some hair dye after all, at least the spray on kind. I had my hair slicked back, but it just didn’t seem right as blonde, while I was sure that if it was just Nancy’s color, it would look so much better. I considered running to the store while Nancy got into her costume, but I knew I’d feel silly going into any place around home all dressed up - that was, after all, part of the point of our little escapade.
"What do you think?"
"I think you’re gonna be pretty cold in that," I said, eyeing the dress, if it could even really be called that, when it was barely longer than the shirt she was wearing. It was a light pink sailor dress, the collar and lace trim at the hem white. A pink ribbon tied in a bow sat at the center of the chest, where the corners of the collar met, and above the lacey hem, which I only then noticed was cut in the shape of waves, sat a pair of simple pink and white sailboats.
"It’s not bad out," she pointed out. "I’ll live." I was glad to see that there was, indeed, more to the costume, as she continued taking things from her bag, including some more lace, this time wrapped around the top of a pair of socks, a pair of black Mary-Jane shoes, and what looked like very baggy, -very- short shorts with elastic and ruffles on the leg holes, though as she pulled out the next item, I realized with a giggle that it was meant as a diaper cover. Presumably to cover the thick cloth diaper she’d just gotten from her bag.
"A baby!" I pointed out, feeling a little dumb as soon as it was out of my mouth. It probably shouldn’t have taken me quite so long to wrap my head around it, but most of the baby costumes I had seen while shopping were just those footed pajamas, and maybe an oversized pacifier.
"Thank you, Miss Obvious," she stuck her tongue out at me.
I shrugged sheepishly. "I wasn’t sure..."
"Can you think of anyone other than a baby who would actually wear something like this?" She held up the dress again and, of course, I couldn’t.
"I see it now," I told her. "And I’m sure if you’d had it on, I would have figured it out right away."
"Yeah, sure," she teased. "I don’t know, I thought it was kind of cute... And it seemed appropriate, kind of, you know?"
I nodded; I did. That had been part of the reasoning behind my original costume choice, beyond the obvious joke that I shared the same first name as her. We had decided a couple years ago that we were far too old for trick-or-treating, and yet, as Halloween approached each year, we couldn’t help but feel as if we were missing out. It just didn’t seem like autumn without spending afternoons laying under the oak tree in my back yard as its leaves slowly died and tumbled downwards on top of us as we talked about possible costumes, and what the best trick-or-treating route was. But we’d made our decision, and it didn’t feel right to go back on it, especially now that we were even older.
I think it was Nancy who came up with the solution, as simple as it was - we didn’t go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Now that we had our driver’s licenses, we could go wherever we wanted, like, say, the rich neighborhood, someplace where nobody knew us, where in all likelihood, we’d never have to see the people again. We could recapture our youth, without letting everyone who knew about our decision know that we had relapsed. When my parents had decided to go for a little three day weekend getaway, leaving me in charge of passing out the candy, we knew that it was fate, that we were meant to do this.
Honestly, it fit in with our intentions so well, if she’d bothered to share her brainstorm with me, I might have joined her in babyhood. Though I probably would have went with the more traditional version of the costume, since I wasn’t about to show that much leg, even to people I didn’t know. That, and I wouldn’t know where in the world to find something like she had on in anything other than toddler size. I hadn’t seen anything like that in any of the costume shops I’d scoured, and I was pretty sure I’d searched them all. "Where did you find that?"
"Some new place," she said, pulling her pajamas for the sleepover that her parents thought was the real reason she was at my house from the bag and setting them on the couch so that she could get to her brush and ribbons, down at the very bottom of the bag. She set her hair things down with the rest of her costume, put the pajamas back into the bag, and then tossed it down onto the floor by the couch. "Kind of."
"You kind of got it at the new place, or the place is kind of new?" I was leaning towards the second option, though neither made a whole lot of sense. There hadn’t been any new costume shops in town that I was aware of.
"You know that empty store on main street, by the deli?" I nodded, though she hadn’t answered my question at all. The store had been empty for years - I don’t think there had been anything in there but dust since before I was born. "Well, I was walking past a couple days ago, and I saw that there were blinds up in the window. I thought that was kinda odd, so I went a little closer, and there on the door, there was a little, handmade sign saying ’Halloween Costumes On Sale!’"
"And you went in?" I raised an eyebrow; Nancy, bless her heart, didn’t always think to look before she leaped, but even she should have been wise enough not to wander into what sounded very much like some creepy trap.
"Actually," she said, noting my disapproval, "some guy came out. He was kinda old, but in a cute way. And he had a cool scar through his right eyebrow." Because that, of course, is a great reason to trust somebody. "’Are you looking for a costume?’ he asked me. ’Nobody’s been in all day... I guess I should have ordered that sign a bit sooner, huh?’ And he winked at me.
"He seemed nice enough, and I could see past him into the store, to see that he actually did have costumes, and not freaky bondage ones or anything, some really beautiful stuff, so I told him that sure, I was looking for something. And I told him I didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend on it, which he didn’t seem to mind too much. He showed me a few things, kinda old fashioned looking, but not too bad. There was this beautiful ball gown, but he didn’t even bother having me try that on. I bet it was really expensive."
"And then he suggested you try on the skimpy baby outfit, and you did, hmm?" I rolled my eyes; she could be so naive.
"It’s not skimpy! A real baby would wear it! It’s not much fault my legs are a little longer than theirs. And he didn’t suggest it, either... It just kinda caught my eye from one of the racks. He did say he thought it was a perfect choice, though. Not really sure what he meant by that." She shrugged, apparently not too bothered by the mystery. "Anyway, I did try it on, and he told me I looked so cute in it, he’d give me a discount."
"I’m sure he did." I rolled my eyes again... Honestly, there was just no way I could stop myself.
"Would you let me tell the story?" she snapped. "You’re making him sound like some pervert!"
"No, you’re pretty much doing the work for me," I smiled, ducking as she grabbed a pillow from the couch and launched it at me.
"He was very sweet! It was actually a bit on the expensive side, but with the discount, it wasn’t too bad, so I decided to go with it. But then, a few days later, I was walking past there again, and the store was empty again. So I guess he went out of business already or something... So it isn’t really a new store, since it’s not there anymore."
"So, this old guy," I asked, waiting a moment to be sure there was no more to her tale. "I don’t suppose his name was Ethan Rayne, was it?"
This time, she rolled her eyes at me, starting to gather her costume up into her arms. "I’m gonna go change now."
"Aww. does the baby need a new diaper?" I teased. "Did she have an accident?"
"You’re not funny, Hardy har," she informed me, playing off my last name in an apparent attempt at being humorous herself, while heading to the bathroom. She turned back at the living room door to ask, "Don’t you have some bugs to eat?"
"That was Renfield," I corrected her retreating form, feeling a bit like the dork she’d accused me of being earlier.
"So, what do you think?" Nancy asked a few minutes later, coming back down the hall with a bit of a waddle from the thick cloth diaper between her legs. I couldn’t help but giggle, looking at her like that. She had always been far prettier than me, even if she never seemed to be consciously aware of it herself, and despite being a month and a half younger, always looked more mature than me. And yet, here she was in a very babyish dress, pink ribbons standing out quite clearly against her black hair, wearing a diaper.
"Cute," I replied simply before noticing the look she had been giving me since I started laughing, and I realized she hadn’t been finished with her question. "Sorry, go on."
"On or off?" she finished, holding the diaper cover in front of the diaper, then pulling it away.
"I don’t know..." She repeated the action, not that it helped me make up my mind any. "It’s cute, but it might make it less obvious that you’re actually wearing a diaper, so people might not get what you’re supposed to be..."
"I doubt that," Nancy rolled her eyes. "What else would I be?"
"I don’t know," I shrugged. "Try it on and let’s see how it looks."
"All right." She stepped into the diaper cover, gently working her already shoe clad feet through the lace-ringed leg holes. She pulled it up her legs, tugged on it to get it high enough to cover the whole diaper, then let it snap into place. She stared down at it for a second, then gave a brief giggle before putting her thumb into her mouth.
I assumed that meant she liked it better that way. "Yeah, you’re right... The diaper still fills it out enough to be pretty obvious." I glanced over at the clock, surprised to see that it had gotten so late already. "Well, I’m gonna hit the bathroom, then we’ll get going, okay?" As I walked past her, I reached up and patted her on the head, to which she giggled again, not quite like her normal laugh... More high pitched, kind of, certainly more baby-ish sounding.
I decided she must be getting into character; she wasn’t a theater nerd, but she’d been in a couple plays at school, and she wasn’t too bad at it. This wasn’t quite the same thing, but since it would likely be our last true Halloween hurrah, I wasn’t going to begrudge her attempts at getting fully into it. I hadn’t really planned on forcing anyone but her to listen to my terrible Romanian accent, but, really, since we were going to be around total strangers, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Maybe I’d let myself loosen up a bit, too.
Using the bathroom was somewhat more of an adventure than I’d anticipated, since it hadn’t occurred to me at first that I should take my cape off first. I made a couple attempts at finding a good way of holding it up before coming to that realization, and then after I was done, it took me a couple minutes to get it back on just right, even though I knew that I’d likely wind up screwing it up driving to our trick-or-treat spot anyway.
"Sorry it took me so long," I said as I passed back through the living room, after ducking back to my room to get my keys, and make sure that I had my desk light off. Nancy didn’t seem to mind - rather, she looked quite happy to see me, hopping down from the couch and toddling over to me with a smile, grabbing my hand with her own slightly warm hand.
"Awice," she declared, using her toddler voice.
"Yep, that’s me," I played along with her, flipping off the light in the living room as I led her out to the garage. She seemed to stumble over her own feet a couple times, making me have to stop while she regained her balance. "It must be pretty hard to walk with that diaper," I observed. Maybe her costume choice wasn’t as inspired as I’d thought, at least when it came to the practical part of actually trick-or-treating in it.
"Hawd to walk," she agreed.
I let go of her hand when we got to the garage, hurrying down the steps to unlock the doors on my parents’ ancient car - it didn’t even have a remote! Talk about the dark ages... I peeked into the backseat, confirming that our candy bags were there and waiting, along with a back-up pair. I looked up from that, halfway wondering what was taking Nancy so long, before seeing her still at the top of the stairs, one foot lifted uncertainly. She stayed like that for a few moments, staring down at the step below her, before setting her foot back down. Whether she was actually trying to make it to the second step, or to go back to the first, I’m not sure, because she eneded up about halfway between the two, for the split second before she tumbled down to the garage floor. She sat there, stunned, and then her bottom lip began to quiver.
"Oh, Nancy, I’m sorry!" I hurried over to her, kneeling down in front of her to give her a hug. It seemed a little ridiculous that a single article of clothing could make getting around so much more difficult, but then, I hadn’t worn a diaper in years, so it was possible. Her knee was a bit scratched up, no big deal, but it was better to be safe than sorry. "I’ll be right back," I told her, leaving her there, sniffling softly, while I went back to the bathroom to fetch a couple Band-Aids.
"I don’t know why we got them in the first place," I told her as I sat down on the bottom step, un-peeling the first, "but I saw that we still had a couple Strawberry Shortcake Band-Aids left, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use them." I reached down, gently putting the bandage over the little scratch. I put the second one on over that, in an X formation. "There, now your costume is complete!" I helped her to her feet, which might have gone a little easier for her if she hadn’t suddenly decided to start sucking her thumb again rather than using that hand to help herself up, brushing the dust off the back of her diaper cover and dress.
I went around the car, hopping into the driver’s seat and starting the engine, but still, Nancy hadn’t gotten in. I looked out the window, only to see her standing out there, staring blankly at the door as if it were some alien device. "Nancy, come on," I rolled my eyes; her little act was cute at first, but we weren’t even out the door yet. Maybe she should save it for the customers. After a couple seconds more, I gave an annoyed sigh, reached across the car to push her door open. "Come on!" I repeated.
She half stepped, half fell into the car, scrambling around in her seat for a bit before managing to get into the right position. "Do I need to buckle your seat belt, too?!" I asked, a little too harshly. She stared at me, her big, blue eyes starting to fill with the tears that had threatened to spill when she’d fallen. "Sorry," I mumbled, feeling as if I’d yelled at a real toddler. "But, seriously, buckle up."
I turned back to the steering wheel, mentally going over my to-do list, not getting far before finding something I couldn’t check off. "Crap! Be right back!" I got back out of the car, running into the house to the front door, quickly setting the candy bowl outside of it.
Nancy still hadn’t put her seat belt on by the time I’d gotten back to the garage, which cause a brief wave of annoyance to wash over me. But she was probably just getting back at me for having snapped at her, so I went along with it, reaching in to do it for her, and shutting her door before going back to my seat. "All right," I said. "We’d better get going, or all the good candy is gonna be gone!"
Nancy smiled and clapped her hands. "Candy!"
Stories of Age/Time Transformation