Being Carrie’s little brother was different. The first few days were lots of fun, the most he’d had in a while. Sitting on Carrie’s lap while she tickled him, getting to be carried lots of places, playing with his favorite stuffed animal without shame.
But it soon got frustrating. Preschool was surprisingly un-fun; the other kids and the teachers seemed to be there only to pass the time, minimally entertaining him but doing little else. And Carrie delighted in treating him like a toy, dressing him up in ridiculous clothes that his mother kept buying. His mother even let his hair grow out, despite Danny’s insistence that it was too long, and Carrie took to practicing braiding hair on him. When thunderstorms happened---and they seemed to be happening a lot more often---Danny still found them terrifying, and he found himself fleeing to Carrie’s room to hide under the covers where she could protect him.
Finally, one day, the frustration overwhelmed him, and Danny threw a tantrum. A huge, wall shaking tantrum, screaming out all his frustrations. His mother sent him to his room promptly, and when he finally stopped, she came in with a scary look on her face.
"Danny, you told me, a while ago, that you wanted to help make Carrie happy, remember? But since then you’ve been sulky and naughty!"
"I don’t care! I want Carrie to go away! I wanna be big again" As a little brother, Carrie’s presence didn’t even seem that important, especially when he was angry, and he could still vaguely remember things being better before she’d come, when he’d been a big boy.
"Now, Danny. I love you dearly, and I spent a whole great big year taking care of you. But now it’s your turn to help me make Carrie decide to stay here, just like Max helped me make you decide to stay here." And then she whipped out her magic marker and drew a big smile on his face.
And, despite still being angry, Danny found himself smiling. He wanted to continue arguing, but no matter how he tried, his mouth just wouldn’t move to let the words out.
Over the next few days, he found that, no matter how he felt, he couldn’t stop smiling, and that the only things he could say were nice ones. Even the slightest hint of criticism or complaint, and his mouth would just sit in that contented smile, letting everyone think he was happy. His mother took to commenting on what a "good natured little boy" he was, which only made him angrier, though there was nothing he could do about it.
Carrie continued treating him like a large doll, and seemed to think he enjoyed it---understandable, since all he could do in response was sit there quietly and smile.
And one day, when Danny came down to breakfast, he noticed that Carrie was much smaller (though still much bigger than he was), and wearing a new nightgown with "CARRIE" embroidered across the front in his mother’s neat stitches.
"It’s Carrie’s birthday today, Danny. Aren’t you happy?"
Danny just smiled.
Stories of Age/Time Transformation