A man toys with a pendulum he was given by a friend.
Chapter Description: A man is given a pendulum by a friend. But, what powers does it hold and how long can he control them?
Monday, 17th March.
Tom walked along the bright, sun-lit park sidewalk. It was about 2:30 pm, and things were going just as normally as ever. TOm was in his mid 20’s, and often took an afternoon stroll during his lunch break. He worked in the industrial estate in Washington and lived with his Girlfriend Emma.
Shortly, he came across an unusual sight. His former colleague, Bill, sitting on a bench, smoking. Bill was not the type to be smoking, and, normally, Bill did not have a grey beard, or grey hair, for that matter. What’s more, his skin was pitted with wrinkles and scars.
Bill caught sight of Tom and sidled over towards him. "Alright, mate?" Wheezed Bill. This was certainly not the 33-year old man Tom once knew. Bill, having guessed Tom’s next question, pointed to his face and said, "You see that? Scars, Wrinkles, Grey hairs! and on a 33-year-old!" he chuckled.
He held up a small chain, on the end of which was a small, blue diamond. The diamond glowed from within, a goldy-yellow glow. "This amulet, which you see before you, did this to me. It was given to me by a soothsayer in Verona. Poor chap. He had a young girl of about 7 shrieking at him for betraying her. He said he couldn’t cope anymore."
"But, what does it do?" Inquired tom, curiosity getting the better of him. "Ah. Now this is the problem. It can change a person in any way. Mind, body, age, gender, anything. Unfortunately, once you use it on a person, it can’t be used on that same person again. even if it’s yourself. I made myself 67 accidentally and now I’m stuck like this. Not even you can change this." He dropped the pendant on the ground and turned away muttering sadly.
Tom bent down and picked it up. The blue diamond winked at him in the afternoon sun. He placed it round his neck. "Right, if this does what he said it does, i’d better test it out, but on who? And when?" he mused to himself.
He caught sight of a woman pushing a pram. He imagined her and the baby in the pram swapping places. Instantly, the woman doubled over. She stood up again, then promptly fell over onto her behind and started sucking her thumb. Meanwhile, a shout of horror came from the pram as a baby boy immediately jumped from shock out of the pram. The woman, who was now on her back, was marveling at her size and her sudden breast growth. The idea that an infant boy’s mind was inhabiting an adult woman, and vice-versa, made Tom want to laugh. Yet he restrained it and headed back home.
Emma was at home when he got back. She looked surprised to see him home earlier than usual. Noticing her enquiring look, he answered the unanswered question. "Boss was having a violent bout of diaharrea and had to leave." he lied. Emma gave a silent nod, then sat down again.
"I wonder...." Tom thought, looking at Emma, then at the pendulum and back again. "Nah, better not." He turned around, looking out at the peaceful street. "I love her too much."
That night, Emma noticed the pendant hanging round her boyfriend’s neck. "What’s this?" "Oh, it’s something I found." Tom lied, thinking all the while of Bill, now thirty-four years older than he was. "Right, well, night-night!" "Night!" Both people retreated to their different sides of the bed, TOm leaving the pendulum on his bedside cabinet.
Tom woke up, got dressed ate his cereal and prepared to go to work. He went to take the pendulum, with the hope of finding somebody with help on how to control it. When he got to the bedroom, he found the pendulum was missing! "Shit! Where’s it gone!" Tom frantically searched the bedroom, when he had a thought. Emma! She could have taken it. After all, she always got up before him.
He called Emma;s name down the stairs. No response. "She can’t have gone to work... the car’s still in the driveway." He reached the bottom of the stairs, then noticed something. One of Emma’s socks was in the hallway. A little way along, there was another, then her jeans, her panties and a trail of some liquid. Noticing her panties and jeans were wet, he picked them up. A large wet patch dominated the left leg of her jeans.
He carried on a bit further, finding no further trails of clothing or that substance. Suddenly, he had another thought and, slowly, dreading the truth, he lifted her jeans up to his nose and sniffed. There was a smell. The smell of pee. Tom dropped the jeans in disgust, his fears correct. All he needed now was Emma to prove it.
He entered the lounge. A sound reached his ears. The sound of sucking. He pulled back the sofa and found a toddler sitting on the floor, her chest dwarfed by Emma’s red top and her legs were covered by Emma’s bra. The pendulum lay on the floor beside her.
The toddler, who until now had been sucking her thumb, caught sight of Tom and waved up at him, and, taking the thumb out of her mouth, started babbling incomprehensibly.
Tom leant against the wall in disbelief. His girlfriend was a babbling baby and there was nothing he could do about it. He saw the pendulum lying on the floor. He picked it up and thought a terrible thought. "i am going to be the same age as
her, my new sister."
Instantly, he started to shrink. He felt his skin and bones contracting. The hair under his armpits and i his crotch started to retract painfully. His beard started to disappear. His clothes started to fall off him one by one. As he entered toddlerhood, he started to lose balance. He fell over onto his backside, and as he did, all but one of his teeth disappeared.
A bit later, two security guards from the local police force burst into his house. In between the two of them was Bill. He had just realized the mistake he’d made by dropping the pendulum. When they entered the lounge, they saw the two infants, one, a boy, was sleeping peacefully on the floor, the other, a girl, was sucking on her big toe and laughing happily.
Bill bent down and gently eased the pendulum off the boy’s neck. He looked sadly down at them. But the pendulum had claimed it’s last victims, Bill told himself. He would look after it, making sure never to give it away to anyone.