Chapter Description: Trying to repair the damage.
Halloween morning arrived and Damon groggily came to life. He wondered if everything had been some sort of bad dream. He heard water running in the bathroom. Maybe everything was back to normal? He got up and moved into the hall. As he did the door opened and teenaged Maggie stood there in her robe. Even though she had obviously showered she didn’t look very ’fresh’.
"Geezzzzzzzzz..... my head.... " she complained.
"Yeah, you drank too much!" Damon told her.
"Yeah... well.... party til ya puke.... no pain no gain!" she said half heartedly.
"Whatever you say.... I gotta get ready for school. PROMISE me you’ll stay here and not get in any trouble today! I’ll take the car to school and I’ll leave early to come back and get you and we’ll go looking for the witch." he explained.
"Wellll... like, I was thinking.... maybe I could stay this way?" Maggie said as she nervously twisted a few strands of wet hair together "Would it be so bad?"
"You’re not thinking right" he replied "Just stay here and we can talk about it when I get home this afternoon." Damon didn’t want to discuss it right now although he knew the answer! NO WAY! His nerves couldn’t handle much more.
Damon quickly showered and got ready for school.
"Ummmmm maybe I could, like, go with you?" Maggie offered as Damon was about ready to leave.
"Huh????" he asked with surprise.
"Maybe we could say I was your cousin... or your sister and I could go to?" she suggested.
"Uhhh... no... uhhh... that’s a bad idea... plus new kids just can’t show up for school these days. There’s security and stuff!" he answered after some thought for a believable excuse.
"Oh...OK...." she answered with obvious disappointment.
He left on his way to school and Maggie turned on the TV. Maggie hugged her pillow and flipped thru the channels on the remote.
Damon couldn’t concentrate on his studies for worrying about what Maggie might be up to. She gave up on the TV as too boring. MTV was fun for a while but she grew tired of that channel also. Her hangover subsided and she had all kinds of energy and nothing to do with it! She got out her jogging outfit, which didn’t fit too well anymore, and decided to take her regular morning jog. It was a breeze and she finished faster than ever. She did her nails and tried different hair styles...up and down.... anything to kill some time. She couldn’t believe how boring this place was in the mornings. She remembered how she used to like the morning quiet time but she didn’t know why now... it was B O R I N G! She tried on her old wardrobe and made fun of almost everything. Shoes were too big and ugly.... dresses were ’boring’ and baggy.... everything was ’blah’. She couldn’t believe she actually owned any of that stuff. She grabbed a large box and quickly filled it with all that ’ugly stuff’ and dragged it to the garage to be thrown out. She cut a pair of Damon’s old jeans into floppy cut-offs and grabbed one of the new tops that she had bought in her shopping spree at the mall and went out back to lounge around and kill more time. A neighbor saw her and struck up a conversation. She made up a story about being Margaret’s daughter that she had put up for adoption. The woman was surprised to hear that Margaret had such a past and Maggie continued the ruse. Maggie kept up the story until she got bored with it and excused herself and went back inside.
After what seemed like an eternity to both of them Damon finally arrived home to get her. She was pretty excited to see him and have someone ’her own age’ to talk to.
"Do we hafta?" she said as Damon asked her to get in the car.
"YES... C’mon... We don’t want to miss her... if she’s even there... " he implored.
"Maybe she won’t, like, be there?" Maggie replied sounding hopeful.
"We gotta try!" Damon answered and Maggie reluctantly followed. She was quiet on the trip and looked lost in thought. They arrived and she didn’t want to go in. Damon had to coax her out of the car. Only a day before and it was she that had to coax HIM out of the car and into the drugstore!
Damon was pretty anxious and confident that they’d find the older lady back in the store. His eyes darted around the store hoping for a glimpse of her. She just HAD to be there he thought!
"Excuse me... can I help you find something?" A young female employee asked.
Maggie quickly sized her up. She was dark complected and trim. A few years older than Maggie but not so much older that she might not be competition... at least in Maggie’s mind! Maggie stayed silent.
"Ummm wellll.. There was an older woman working yesterday... or maybe she was just here but she had her uniform thing on like you do" Damon said.
"Oh... you mean my smock?" the salesgirl asked as she tugged on the smock.
"Yeah.... that’s it..." Damon replied hoping the cute girl had more info.
"I don’t know..." the girl said and then grinned unable to contain something "Soooooooo Maggie... how does it feel to be a teen again?"
Maggie’s expresssion changed, as did Damons. How did this salesgirl know that?
"You don’t think a witch like me would want to be all old like that all the time do ya?" she asked. "Why not use some of my powers on myself?"
"I never thought about that! That’s cool I guess. Well, anyway, mom wants to be herself again. You said she could" Damon told the young witch.
"Oh? Darn... she seems so happy being a teenager again" the witch stated as she observed young Maggie’s and her choice of clothing, nail polish, hair, body language, and even her attitude.
"Yeah... like, that’s what I was telling Damon.... But he keeps, like, all insisting and stuff..." Maggie finally said.
"She didn’t want to be a teenager yesterday at first but then her personality kept changing" Damon explained "and she’s just not thinking straight"
"I see... well... it’s up to her..." the witch replied sounding disappointed "but she’s seems fine to me"
"Maybe I could be, like, your cousin or your sister even?" Maggie offered.
"No...you’re my mom. I liked you the way you were." Damon replied.
Maggie looked down in disappointment. "But we could hang togther and stuff" she said still hopeful to change Damon’s mind.
"Nuh huh... You can’t be a kid and be my mom!" Damon told her sternly.
Even with the total loss of her adult maturity she knew that what Damon was saying was true. She couldn’t be a kid AND be his mom.
"~OK~" she replied hesitantly.
The young witch retrieved the the magical jewel from her pocket. "Ok.... just touch the stone and tell it what you want" she directed with some of her own disappointment. She’d hoped for more than a temporary change in their normality.
Maggie tried to think of something to convince herself that she could still be a kid and yet be a proper mother but she couldn’t convince herself. The memory of being a mother was too much to ignore. She reached out to touch the stone.
"I’m glad this is about all over" Damon said.
"Me too..." Maggie said and then put her finger on the jewel that the witch was offering. Just as she touched it she smiled "I wanna forget all about being a mother so I can just be a kid!" she said confidently.
The jewel stung her finger and she dropped to the floor.
"NO!" Damon yelled.
The young witch laughed a laugh that turned into a cackle. "Perfect! That’s even better!"
"No it’s not!" Damon complained.
"This is TOO good! So funny!" the witch said between laughs "You know she’ll probably have a ’thing’ for you now?"
"What????" Damon asked as his eyes looked as if they’d pop out of their sockets.
"I’m sure she felt all jealous and protetive of you before.... and now she doesn’t know she’s your mother... this is too good!" the witch explained as her excitement grew.
"You’re getting into this? You WANTED this to happen?" Damon asked the witch.
"Oh, I didn’t much care exactly WHAT happened past messing up some lives on Halloween!" She replied. "It’s what I live for... ’Trick AND treat’ I guess you could say".
Damon was shocked.
"Damon... what happened?" Maggie asked softly as she stood up and took his hand and squeezed it tightly.
He pulled his hand away.
"Whatsa matter?" a confused Maggie asked Damon as she again tried to get close to him and put her arm around his waist.
The witch laughed hard at Damon’s uncomfortableness.
"Mo.... errrrr Maggie.... she tricked you" Damon said.
"Trick?" the witch balked "I didn’t trick her!"
"How?" Maggie asked Damon siding with him.
"She took away your maturity with that spell!" he told her
"I am to mature!" Maggie argued.
"Not like you were..... besides don’t you want to be mature?" he asked her.
"Yeah... I guess so.... but I AM mature!" she maintained.
"Not like you should be!" Damon told her. He knew telling her that she is really his mother would cause her to think he’s crazy. After all, here she was looking like a 16 year old girl, dressing like a 16 year old girl, acting like a 16 year girl, and with the maturity of a 16 year old girl and so there was now way she’d believe she was really his mother. On the other hand if he could get her to at least think she’d lost maturity then maybe she’d want that back!
"Is that what happened just now? I lost maturity? Ewwwwwwwwww...." Maggie exclaimed.
"Hey... "complained the witch "I only said she could change back... I don’t have to let her do other things!"
"It’s all in the wording, right? If she asks to change back you said she could!" Damon argued.
"I guess..... I said I would and a witch keeps her word.... BUT she doesn’t want to change back" the witch said worrying that her Halloween fun might be coming to an end. Maggie was naive enough to do Damon’s bidding now.
"Maggie... you want your maturity back dontcha?" Damon asked.
"Yeah" she replied with wide eyes. "Of course"
"Well... ummm just use the jewel thing and ask to be like you were before." Damon explained "That’ll get your maturity back"
The witch’s expression didn’t change.
"Is this, like, what ~you~ want?" Maggie sweetly asked Damon as she squeezed on his waist.
He shook his head ’yes’ and Maggie slowly reached out and touched the jewel.
"I wanna, like, go back to how I was" she said. Again the jewel stung her as its power went to work. She caught heself against the shelf behind her.
"Whoa.... " was all she could say for a while. The witch’s expression didn’t change. Damon waited for a sign. Maggie still looked like a teen.
"I’m..... I’m still a teenager?" Maggie finally said as she examined herself.
"The physical changes take longer" the witch told her "But I see you’re mind is back"
"Yeah... most of it anyway... it’s all kind of fuzzy" Maggie explained "What the hell did you think you were doing to me you fu...."
"MOM!" Damon yelled "Leave well enough alone! Let’s go before she tricks you again!"
"Tricks? I don’t trick anyone!" The witch replied and turned around hiding a grin.
"This is crazy" Maggie said and realized Damon was right "I just want to grow up again REALLY fast!"
They both made a beeline for the car. Once again Maggie deferred driving to Damon.
The events of the past few hours came rushing back. "Damon.... Ummmm I know I told you to call me Maggie but I think ’mom’ is more appropriate."
Standing on the street corner up ahead was Joleen. More embarrassment washed over Maggie as she thought about their earlier run in. She turned her eyes and slid down in the seat hoping to avoid any eye contact.
Joleen yelled as she saw her ’rival’ in the car "CUNT!" . Maggie ignored it. Joleen was just a kid she didn’t know any better she figured.
"Mom? Are you getting older yet?" Damon asked.
"I feel a little funny and things are coming back to me. I think I am. Ummmm....Damon... Ummm I’m sorry... I guess I was really a handful... I guess being a teen isn’t so easy... I knew that... but it’s easy to just want to try and give you that knowledge without explaining how I ~do~ understand. I guess I wasn’t as perfect or all together as I tried to make you think..." Margaret explained as she felt more adult. She also felt VERY embarrassed as each scene of her actions crossed her mind.
"Don’t worry about it, mom. It was all pretty freaky and not your fault." Damon said "Just forget it... I know I am!"
"I’m gonna try, too. Thanks for understanding." she said with a relieved sigh.
------ "What do you want for dinner?" Margaret asked as they returned home.
"Maybe we should have a pizza delivered?" Damon offered.
"Noooo I want adult food and I want to cook it like an adult!" Margaret said.
"But you like Pizza....???" Damon said.
"I know.... but right now, contrary to looks, I want to separate myself from anything even remotely ’teenage’!" she answered with a laugh. "We might have to have broccoli!"
They both laughed and Margaret headed for the kitchen. "I’ll think of something!" she said.
She began grabbing ingredients and bowls to make a macaroni caserole. She put some chicken in the microwave to thaw. She could feel her skin tingling and was glad to be getting older and leaving teendom behind for the second time in her life. As she stood on her tip-toes to reach the upper shelves she noticed her tennis shoes beginning to slip. She ended up kicking them off figuring that they must’ve stretched. She continued on with her cooking. She caught herself tugging on the shorts that she had made from Damon’s old jeans. That’s when she realized that she didn’t want to end up 39 years old dressed like a teenage girl. The shorts were already getting to be ill-fitting and she didn’t want to see her waist drooping over the waist band of the shorts or see her 39 year old belly exposed by the short little top she was wearing.
She quickly headed to her room for a change of clothing. That’s when she remembered she’d thrown most everything out. The closet was bare! She remembered that she had a T-shirt and sweat pants in the hamper so she grabbed those. It was surprising how droopy the cut-offs were. She figured they’d be getting tight fairly soon. Shrugging, she kicked them into the hamper and slid on her sweats and T-shirt and went back to the kitchen.
She pulled the chicken out of the microwave and washed the bowl that they had been in. She then went to put the bowl back on the upper shelf. She stood on her tip-toes but couldn’t reach the shelf this time. She got worried for a second but then remembered that she’d had on her tennis shoes earlier but now she was barefoot.... That’s the difference, she thought, I could barely reach it before with shoes! She pulled the drawstring on her sweats and padded back to the stove to tend to her cooking.
"MOM?!" Damon shouted as he entered the kitchen.
"What?" she replied and then grabbed her throat "My voice!???"
"You’re not getting older... you’re getting YOUNGER!!" he replied. "How?"
Magaret looked down at the floor. The bottom of her sweat pants were bunching up around her toes. She pulled them up and also again tightened the drawstring. "Noooooooooooooo" she cried "I’m younger!"
Margaret was now maybe 14! The tingling hadn’t been her getting older but rather her getting younger! "We have to do something... I still feel it working!"
"But how... you asked to get older?" Damon said as he tried to remember.
"Yeah... exactly" she said in her higher more girlish sounding voice.
"Is ummmm everything else OK? You’re not turning into a kid in your head and stuff are you?" Damon asked worriedly.
"No... I don’t think so... I was just doing what I intended... cooking... I feel like an adult! We have to do something! We have to go back!" she said frantically.
"Wait... Slow down... we don’t want to be tricked... How come this is happening? What did you do wrong?" Damon said as he thought aloud.
"I just said I want to be older again or something like that!" she said with her voice sounding even higher as she tugged on the loosening sweat pants.
"No... you said.... hmmmmm ’I want to... I want to go back how I was’. That’s it! That’s what you said... but what’s wrong with that?" Damon said dejectedly.
"I don’t know but I’m getting younger still!" Margaret told him.
"I want to go back how I was...???" Damon repeated aloud trying to figure out how the witch had tricked them. Finally his eyes took on a worried look!
"What? What is it?" Margart asked as she let her oversized sweatpants finally fall to the floor allowing her now large T-Shirt to cover her just fine. "Tell me?"
"Mom" he asked nervously "if you went back to like you ~were~ how would you be?"
"An adult!?" she quickly replied.
"Think..... think it through slowly "If you went back to how you ~were~ what if that spell took it a little more literally?" he asked.
"I don’t follow.....?" she said as she frustratingly kicked the sweatpants away "We’ve got to do something! Spit it out!"
"Ummmm At one time... You uhhhh ~were~ a baby. A newborn!" he told her.
"Oh... oh..... nooooooo No NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" she screamed.
She pulled on the collar of her T-shirt and looked down inside. "I’m 13..." she said as she looked back up "We have to find her again!"
"Yeah... but we have to be careful with what you say.... You probably need to say -I want to be my adult self again- That seems pretty safe doesn’t it?" he asked.
"Yeah... Ummmm yeah... I guess.... I don’t want to be a little girl... OR a baby! Grab the keys and let’s go!" 13 year old Margaret ordered.
Damon looked on the counter. The keys weren’t there! He looked on the floor and didn’t see them.
"Damon... you haven’t lost the KEYS!? Tell me you haven’t lost the keys!" she pleaded.
"Uhhh Didn’t I give them to you?" he asked.
"Shit... no.... maybe you left them in the car? Damon... Noooooooooooooooo" she whined.
The two ran to the car where the keys were still in the ignition. "Thank God!" Margaret said as she saw them there. "Drive!"
She ran to the passenger side and sat down. The first thing she noticed was that the dash looked taller. As a matter of fact the whole car looked bigger. Damon pulled out into the street and aimed the car in the direction of the drugstore