A witch grants a teenager a special power on Halloween.
Sarah sat in her room totally frustrated with her parents. It was Halloween and she had planned on going out with Mark, a senior at her school. Her mother quickly changed her plans telling her that Mark was too old for her and she should find a boy in her sophomore class to go out with. Sarah’s mother knew Mark from the grocery store where he worked as a bag-boy and Sarah hadn’t dreamed her mother would object. She had thought her mother liked Mark and would be happy that Sarah was going to go out with him. If she had known it would have caused such a fight she would have told her mother that she was going to go ’trick or treating’ with some ’friends’ and then slipped off to meet Mark. Unfortunately, it was too late for that now!
The argument had been pretty heated and her dad had joined in, siding with her mother. Sarah knew that her parents were a bit over-protective, with her being an only child. She had hoped that they would start to loosen things up a bit now that she was in her second year of high school. It wasn’t to be. They were as protective as ever. She wanted her parents to understand her better. She had always wished that she would’ve had a brother or sister so that they wouldn’t be so over-bearing and protective. Her parents had wanted a larger family but, although they tried, weren’t blessed with Sarah until they were in their 30’s. It had been their wish to start a family when they were much younger but it had never happened and it was too late now. Sarah’s mother, Elizabeth, was now 46. Her dad, Steve, 47.
In the course of the argument Sarah had ended up grounded and was sent to her room ’to think about things’. As she sat on her bed she began to cry thinking about her friends all out having fun....and someone else ending up with Mark! She knew she should call Mark and tell him that she couldn’t go out but she couldn’t bring herself to pick up the phone. ’How could her parents do this to her?’ she wondered.
The weather outside was typical October weather. Gray dreary skies.... Cold, damp, and windy. As darkness fell, Sarah could hear the wind outside rustling through the freshly raked leaves. She rested her head on her pillow and listened to the sounds of children in the distance. They obviously were out in search of Halloween treats. She tried to sleep but couldn’t as the doorbell would continually ring signaling more ’trick or treaters’.
Suddenly, the wind began to pick up. The wind began howling as it passed through the trees. The remaining leaves were ripped off and the limbs scratched against her beedroom window. Lightning began flickering in the distance. Distant thunder roared. Each ’clap’ seemed to get closer. Finally, a loud clap of thunder bellowed and the lights in her room went out. Before Sarah could do anything she saw what looked like the outline of a figure in the flickering glow of the lightning! She started to run for the door when a voice spoke:
"Don’t be frightened, deary, I’m here to help you!"
Sarah screamed. With all the power in her lungs, she screamed!
"Now settle down. I’m here to help you with your ’problem’! Besides, no one can hear you scream. It’s just you and me right now. No one else can hear or see me. And no one can hear you talking to me. Don’t be frightened. I want to ’help’ you!" said the figure.
Sarah took a deep breath and slowly backed toward the door "Who, who.....How? What are you going to do to me?" she nervously asks as she inches closer to the door.
"I’m a witch. But I’m not going to ’hurt’ you. I’m here to help you! Now just calm down, deary, and we can discuss what you want to do." The figure started walking toward Sarah and Sarah grabbed at the doorknob. The doorknob felt like it was on fire! Sarah ’yelped’ as she let go of it.
"Now, don’t make me mad! You wanted help, and I came. This is my favorite night of the year and I decided to spend it with ’you’! I can help, but you have to work with me. ....Now, about your ’problem’.... Your parents won’t let you go out with a boy you like.... tsk- tsk....and on Halloween.....sooooo cold!" the figure sneered.
"But how could you know?" Sarah asked. "I told you! I’m a witch. And on this night my powers are at their greatest. I sensed your problem and so I came to help!" the witch answered.
"You can really help? I mean so my parents will let me go out with Mark?" asked Sarah, slowly warming to the idea "How?"
"Lots of ways for a witch on Halloween to weave her magic. I could turn your folks into toads....but that is so cliche’d! Maybe turn them to stone. That way you could keep them around but never have to ’hear’ them again!" the witch cackled.
"NO! I don’t want to hurt them.... They just don’t know what it’s like. I feel like I’m in jail! They’re so smothering! It’s like they don’t know what it’s like to be young!..." Sarah said
"Awwwwww, there you go. A solution! I can make them young. Teenagers?, grade-school?, toddlers?... I know! Two little innocent babes!....." Sarah listened to the witch but upon hearing ’that’ cut her off "I, I, think that might be too much! Babies? .....Ummmm, Could you have really done that? Babies?"
"My dear, A witch on Halloween is all powerful. I can do anything. Whatever you wish can be had on this evening. I rather like your idea of them seeing things from the perspective of youth! Perhaps YOU would want to control the spell? That can be worked out." Sarah liked the thought of her being in control of the spell "So, ’I’ can do that?.... How? ....They’ll be whatever age I want them to be and I’ll control it? What about their memories? I don’t want them to know what is happening to them."
"Sure deary, I can put a spell on a piece of jewelry and you can use that to do your will. They will be as young, or old, as you want them to be. And they really will be young.... in mind and body! Just remember that at midnight the spell will end and the piece will no longer have any powers. However you leave things at midnight is how they will stay!" the witch warned.
Sarah found a necklace and handed it to the witch "Will this necklace work?" The witch seemed pleased that Sarah had agreed to the plan. "Oh yes, deary, that will be grand!" The witch said as she took the necklace and began to rub her hands over the pendant. All the while, she slowly chanted. All of a sudden, a glow appeared and then seemed to be drawn into the pendant. The witch smiled a crooked smile and handed the necklace back to Sarah "Hold the pendant in your hand and look at the person you wish to cast the spell upon. All you have to do is imagine the age you wish them to be and the spell will do the rest. Careful though! The ’pendant’ is now all powerful, atleast until midnight. It can be used on others as well as your parents, and it can be used by oth ers. Use it as you see fit, but remember.... midnight! It will have no power after midnight."
Sarah cautiously took the necklace from the witch and decided to try it out. ’What did she have to lose?’ She looked to the witch for some more advice but the witch was GONE! Sarah shrugged, turned the doorknob, which was now cool, and walked down the stairs and into the Kitchen. Her mother was finishing up doing the evening’s dishes and was startled to see Sarah so soon after such a huge argument. "Mom, I’m sorry for the fight...." she said while taking the pendant in her hand. Her mother turned to face her and started to speak but stopped as she saw a glow coming from the pendant in Sarah’s hand. Sarah thought about her mother and wondered what she had looked like when she was in her twenties. As she concentrated she could see her mother start to change. Not much happened at first but then more drastic changes occurred. Sarah could see her mother getting younger right before her eyes! As she slipped over form her 40’s into her 30’s Sarah could see that her mother seemed to look a little more vibrant. She kept thinking about what her mother would look like in her 20’s and her mother kept getting younger. It was obvious that she could only be in her early 30’s now, and still getting younger! Her clothes started getting a little loose. Especially noticable in the places that middle-age had deposited a little extra weight. Sarah couldn’t believe what she was seeing! She began to picture the number 25. She continued rubbing the pendant thinking about her mother at age 25. Soon her mother crossed the bridge from her 30’s into her 20’s. Although Sarah had never thought of her mother as looking ’old’, her mother now looked VERY YOUNG. The lines on her face were almost all gone. Just a few lines around the corners of her eyes.... And they were fading fast. Her hair was looking fuller and much more healthy. It was long and shiny like a models! Then, as suddenly as the glow had appeared from the pendant, it faded. Sarah realized that she had turned her mother into a 25 year old. Barely more than a kid! She would be lucky to be served in a bar without getting carded now! ’Incredible’ she thought ’It worked!’. She could only stare at her mother.... too stunned to speak!
Her mother looked around the room and at her ’conservative’ baggy clothing. "What happened? Who are you?" her mother asked. "Uh, I’m ..... Sarah, I live here...." Sarah answered still searching for an answer that would make sense to her newly rejuvenated mother without giving herself away. She hadn’t considered all the ramnifications of making her parents younger until that moment! She decided to buy some time and began to rub the pendant some more, thinking about her mother becoming even younger. She thought about her mother as a teenager. The pendant started to glow as it had before. Soon, her mother looked like a college student. All traces of any extra weight were long gone. Her face was smooth and unlined. Her eyes were bright and focused onto the glowing pendant in Sarah’s hands. Quickly she crossed over from her 20’s into her teens. Sarah couldn’t believe her mother was ever this young! She looked like just any other teenager from the high school. She started to get slightly shorter and even appeared to be a shrinking a bit, her clothes now very loose on her lean body. Just as it appeared her body was about to start loosing its ’curves’, Sarah’s father entered the room!
"I thought you were grounded?" He demanded. Sarah spun around, letting go of the pendant and leaving her mother looking like a 16 year old. She stammered "Ummm, I thought it over.... and you were right....". Her father shook his head in agreement and said "I knew you would come around. You’re a good girl. I’m proud of you. Your mother knows what’s best for you. That’s all she wants for you.... Just what’s best. I knew you would understand after you had some time to think about it. I was once young too, you know! Who’s your friend?" he quizzed pointing at the other young girl in the kitchen. ’Oh my Gosh’ He doesn’t even recognize her! What am I going to say?’ she wondered. Before Sarah could speak, the other girl answered for her "I’m Liz....Maybe you can tell me what is going on here....". ’OH NO! More trouble!’ Sarah began rubbing the pendant again this time thinking about BOTH of her parents getting younger. Much younger! She needed time to think. She needed to figure out what to do! Since she had never called Mark to tell him she couldn’t go out, he would be arriving at any minute!
Her father simply froze, his eyes transfixed on the glow of the pendant. As Sarah watched she could also see him getting younger. He didn’t look much different at first. Then, slowly she could see his hairline creeping farther forward. It was no longer in retreat! His ’spare tire’ also began to disappear slowly. Sarah hadn’t noticed just how much it had ’grown’ in the last few years until she saw how quickly it seemed to melt away. Quickly, he turned from 47 into 37. The same metamorphosis was now occurring as she had seen in her mother. Her father now had almost a full head of hair. His shoulders seemed to become broader, his posture looking better with each fading year. It was clear he was now in his 20’s. His hairline was totally restored. ’This is better than Rogaine!’ Sarah thought. Soon his newly found muscles began to fade into the gangly look of a teenager. His height began to decline. Years drifted away. Sarah concentrated on the number 6. He kept getting smaller. Suddenly, the pendant stopped glowing and she could see her father was now a mere child! She turned to see her mother and saw that the same thing had happened to her. She was sitting in a pile of clothing and was no more than a 6 year old herself.
"OK, you two, I don’t wanna leave you like this but there’s no time! You’re my new little brother and sister and we’re going to go trick or treating with my boyfriend....at least I hope he turns out to be my boyfriend!" Sarah says as she takes the two children’s hands and heads them toward the bedroom in search of a costume of some sort! The two ’children’ didn’t know exactly what she was talking about, but ’trick or treating’ means CANDY, and they were all for THAT! Both of the children walked right out of their shoes, and then their pants as they tried to keep up with Sarah as she tugged on them urging them along.. Soon they are wearing only their formerly proper fitting adult shirts. "Pretty soon you’ll have all kinds of candy....won’t that be fun?" She asks the ’children’ as she grabs some of their adult clothes and begins to pin them up so that the two ’children’ will look like they are dressing up like ’grown-ups!’. She rolls up their pant-legs and neatly pins them so that they’ll be able to walk without tripping. She then pins up their sleeves so that their hands can stick through and they’ll be able to hold their trick or treat bags. She now starts taking off her things and starts putting on her Cinderella costume. Sarah tells the kids to put on anything else they want and motions them toward the jewelry box.
Sarah knows Mark is due at any time. As she hurriedly gets ready the doorbell rings. She grabs her ’glass’, actually ’plastic’, slippers and heads for the door hoping it’s Mark. She opens the door and is happy to see that it IS Mark. He looks at his ’Cinderella’ standing in the door with one shoe on and one shoe off, and offers to help her try on her ’glass slipper’. They both laugh as he helps her with her shoe. "Why, Thank You, Prince!" she says and offers him a seat while she finishes getting ready. "Mark, I hope you don’t mind but I uhhhh promised we’d take my little brother and sister with us. I hope it’s OK?" She asks before heading back to the bedroom. "No, I don’t mind. Sounds like fun." he answered rather half heartedly.
When she got back to the bedroom the ’kids’ were all ready to go and were very excited to be getting some ’candy’. Sarah finished with her costume and they all headed out to the family room to get Mark. "Now don’t either of you run off! Stay together" Sarah reminded them. The ’children’ promised to stay close and they all headed out to start the evening.
They began walking to the various houses in all the surrounding neighborhoods. The two children would always walk out in front, skipping as they walked. After a while, Mark took Sarah’s hand as they walked. Sarah was ecstatic! ’Everything was working out perfect!’ At one of the houses Mark stopped Sarah as she started walking towards the door. He held Sarah’s hand a little tighter and whispered "Why don’t we let your brother and sister take this house?" Sarah stared at him and shook her head ’yes’. "Kids, you take this house by yourself! ....And take your time!" Mark told them. Sarah knew it was getting late, but this might be the moment she had been waiting on. The two kids ran up the long walk, while Sarah continued staring into Mark’s eyes. She hoped he was going to kiss her! ’She’ wanted to kiss ’him’ but was just too scared. As soon as the kids were out of view, Mark took Sarah and kissed her with a deep passionate kiss. Sarah felt the electricity. It was what she had been dreaming of! As soon as their lips parted they looked in each other’s eyes for a short moment, giggled, and then kissed again. This time the kiss was cut short as they heard the two ’children’ discussing "The Lovebirds". They looked to see that little Stevey and Liz had returned from their latest candy conquest.
Little Liz was talking about how sweet the kiss was, while little Stevey thought it was "_icky!_". The children started arguing about it, and they totally ruined the moment. "Uh... Mark, maybe we can get together later? We should probably get these kids home. What time is it anyway?" Sarah asked. "It’s just after 11:30" he answered. "ELEVEN THIRTY!??? Oh, we gotta get these kids back! Let’s go kids!" She ordered.
"You mean you two _Love-birds_ are finished?" Little Stevey asked sarcastically as he chewed on some of his candy. "Yes, I mean NO!....I mean we need to get you back home!" Sarah demanded. Stevey shook his head ’no’ saying "I ain’t ready yet! I want some more candy!". Stevey ran away every time Sarah tried to grab him. The harder she tried to catch him, the faster he would run! As Sarah was chasing little Stevey around the sidewalk, desperately wanting to get them home to restore them to their real ages, she heard little Liz telling Mark "I wish I was your age and Sarah was mine so you and me could be boyfriend and girlfriend!"
Sarah felt a tingle and turned to see that little Liz had the PENDANT! Little Liz must have grabbed it when she had left the bedroom to let Mark into the house. It was glowing! Sarah tried to speak but she couldn’t! She couldn’t keep her eyes off the pendant. She kept trying to fight what she knew was happening, but the pendant had too much power. No longer was Sarah 15, but maybe only 13. Her formerly developing figure was now rapidly disappearing. Her mind was losing the battle to resist. 13-12-11.... Meanwhile, little Liz was quickly growing. Sarah and Liz became the same age for a fleeting moment. As one was regressing, the other was continuing to age. Liz’s body began to bloom as she became a teenager while Sarah’s body shrank into that of a small child. Her Cinderella costume was much too big for her now. Her glass slippers no longer fit.
Liz continued growing, slowly blossoming into the body of a high school girl. The pins in Liz’s ’costume’ were breaking loose as her body filled out her clothes. 15, 16, 17.... Liz’s body is now every schoolboy’s dream! She is trim and youthful. She looks like she should be a home-coming queen. Her shapely legs are highlighted as they have ’grown’ past the cuffs that Sarah had earlier neatly pinned in the pants. Sarah, meanwhile, stands amongst a pile of clothes, slightly confused, smiling, and showing that she is now missing a front tooth.
Little Sarah, no longer fills out her Cinderella costume at all. Mark walks over to little Sarah and gathers up her now too big glass slippers and walks back to Liz. "Care to try these on, Miss?" he asks bending over to slide each of the slippers on her. The slippers fit perfectly!..... "I think I’ve found _my_ Cinderella!" he says. He takes Liz’s young hand and they all head back to the house to live happily ever after.
Meanwhile, the Witch smiled at the thought of everyone getting their wish.... Sarah is no longer an only child- now having a brother and sister, Liz and Steve had wanted a family when they were younger- and now they do have a family when they’re younger ’much younger!’..... And Mark had always ’wanted’ the lady that would come into the grocery store where he worked and flirt with him!
"I just LOVE Halloween!" the witch cackled......