Paul and Jen are two explorers who stumble across a mysterious lake in the jungle. After taking a swim, Paul soon learns that the legends of the Waters of Life might be true.
The thick and dense jungle was heavy with brush, although nature seemed kind of enough to leave a wide enough walking path to make travelers lives that much easier. And it was good that it did. It was a long hike between nearest city and the tribesmen village that was the source of so much interest in this isolated part of the world. And traveling by foot was the only way to travel between the two points, so the easier and more comfortable the hike, the better. Paul Ryder and his girlfriend Jen Frank were two such travelers. They were a pair of anthropologists who had long since wanted to come to the tribesmen village to research and study the people. It had taken them some time to pull up enough of a reputation and enough funding, but finally their research grant allowed them to travel here and research these native tribesmen. Nobody knew the original name of the tribe and they refused to tell outsiders (for reasons still unknown), so they were simply know in academic circles as “the Tribesmen.” They were most fascinating. They are very primitive, with no sign of modern society in their village. Their local customs and religious beliefs were the most fascinating. Based on their translation of the language and what the tribesmen told them, they believed that the spirits lived quietly amongst humans, hiding in the plants and other average objects. But most fascinating, was their myth of eternal life.
According to them, the spirits could indeed age, but they had master an ancient magic that allowed them to reverse their age at will. Some even believed that the spirits had imbued this magic into people they had blessed, and even certain objects and places within the living world. But as far as either of them was concerned, these were only myths. After extensive research, Paul and Jen set off home, satisfied with their work.
They were into their first day traveling back toward the city, where a small plane was waiting to take them back toward a bigger city, where they’d hop another flight back home, when Paul noticed something off to one side of the trail.
“Hey, what’s that?” he said, throwing out his arm to stop Jen from advancing. She followed his gaze, but the brush was too thick for her to see anything.
“What?” she asked, trying hard to peer through the plants to see, but to no avail. Using his machete, Paul swung to cut them a path.
“I think I see something,” he told her, moving further forward. But Jen had her reservations.
“I think we should just keep heading back toward the town,” she suggested to him. She didn’t like these jungles. They gave her the creeps. And she sensed something odd about the place. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she sensed this was not an ordinary jungle. The Tribesmen shared her belief and warned the two of them from straying on their way back, telling stories of spirits who had vast spiritual powers over the jungle and all in it. But Paul was too adventurous to be dismayed but such warnings.
“Come on,” he called back to her, no with a good head start on her, “Where’s your sense of adventure?” He moved further forward, swinging and cutting with his blade. Shrugging, Jen followed his carved path. After a minute or two, both Jen and Paul came to a small, but lush jungle lake. The water was a clear, clean blue that made the water appear instantly drinkable. There was a small open patch in the trees above the lake, allowing rays of the sun to shine down on the water, making it sparkle like it were made of liquid diamonds. And around the edges of the lake, containing the water, was a small stonewall with the hands of plants growing up the sides.
“Wow,” Paul and Jen said together. For a while, the two of them stared on in awe, listening to the sounds of the jungle. It was a most serene sight, and Jen thought she could watch it forever. It wasn’t until the sudden sound of clothes being torn off did she come out of her admiration. She turned to find Paul, his shirt already discarded to the side, undoing his belt.
“What are you doing?” she asked him.
“That water looks too good to pass up,” he told her excitedly, finally getting his belt loose. He let his pants fall to his feet, leaving him in just his shoes and boxers.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” she said. It was one thing to look at this beautiful lake, it was another to go swimming in it.
“Why not?” he asked her, removing his shoes and socks as he did.
“For one thing, you don’t know what’s in there. Maybe it’s full of snakes, or eels, or leeches or something.” She named off all the different reasons on her hand, but Paul did not look any more convinced. Then she remembered something that the tribesmen elder told them back in the village. “And besides, the Tribesmen leader said something back in the village. He said something about how the waters of the spirit oasis are considered to be the origin of all life in the jungle. They call them the Waters of Life and the place the Spirit Oasis. Supposedly, the waters have immense healing powers, purifying any and all that touch its waters.”
“Oh that’s just a religious superstition of theirs,” he said with a dismissive wave, “There’s always a scientific explanation for stories like that. And besides, it’s muggy as hell out here.” With that, he slipped out of his underwear, leaving himself naked. He struck a few manly poses, making sure to extenuate his giant manhood before diving into the waters. Jen rolled her eyes. Not only did Paul rarely listen, but also the way he struck those poses was so typical of him. He’d always been a bit of a pig. Very perverted and very proud to have what he thought was an unusually big cock. He’d brag about it constantly, and she always caught him checking out other women. It made her regret the “look, but don’t touch” rule they implemented at the start of the relationship. It was, in her mind, his biggest flaw.
He did a few backstrokes and swam along the edge of the pool. The waters were so clear that she could easily follow his progress, even while he was underwater. And while the water did look tempting, she wasn’t about to go diving in.
“Come on in,” Paul shouted to her from the far end of the pool, waving for her to get in, “The water feels great!”
“No thank you,” she said with finality.
“Party pooper,” he said playfully in response, then went back to his laps. Jen smiled. While he was a pig at times, she did love him and his playful spirit. Not to mention his good looks and athletic body. They had met while on the job together during another research adventure. They were part of a bigger team then, and the two hit it off so perfectly they seemed to fit like puzzle pieces. One thing led to another, and three years later they were still together, despite a few characteristic differences. While Paul swam for a half hour, Jen took the time to consult their map and eat something to get her energy up. When Paul was done, he came out of the pool, the water dripping over his muscled body, making him looked like some Greek god. And he seemed different somehow. Like he radiated a quiet glow.
“You look refreshed,” she said, trying to hide her blush and smirk.
“And I feel refreshed too,” he said, taking the towel she was handing him. “I’ve never had a swim feel that great in my whole life.” Paul quickly dried himself off, got dressed, and together they headed back down the trail to the small town were their flight was awaiting them.
For the first few days, there were noticeable changes. They simple walked by day, rested and ate by afternoon, and slept by evening in a makeshift tent and sleeping bags. It wasn’t until the third day that something seemed wrong. When Paul awoke that morning, he stretched as he did every morning, while Jen made them a quick breakfast. But during his stretching, he noticed something odd about his clothes.
“Hey Jen,” he called back to her.
“What is it? I’m making breakfast,” she told him, hunched over the small fire from last night she only just managed to ignite again.
“Does my shirt look somehow…bigger on me today?”
Jen turned to face him, perplexed by the question. As she examined, she did notice a small change in his clothing. It was subtle, but his shirt did look a tad bit big. Not enough to make any real difference, but it was still there.
“A little bit,” she said passively, then returned to her cooking. Paul was confused by her apparent lack of interest.
“And that isn’t odd to you?”
“It’s probably just the weather,” she assured him, “It’s no big deal.” After eating breakfast they continued on their hike, although Paul seemed concerned about the change in his clothes despite Jen’s assurance. The next day however, everything changed.
It was earlier than usual, and the sharp call of her name jolted her upright. She looked frantically from side to side, trying to see what was wrong. There, standing in the tent next to her was Paul. At first, she didn’t notice anything wrong. That was until she saw that his hands were now completely covered by his sleeves.
“Paul…is that you?” Jen was beyond shocked. As she examined him in greater detail, she noticed more differences. His pants were also too big on him. If it weren’t for the belt pulled extra tight, they would have fallen off him. Even his features appeared somehow different. Then she finally came to the conclusion…he looked younger!
“See,” he said, “I told you something was wrong yesterday.”
“Paul,” Jen began, still hardly believing what she was about to say, “I think you’re getting younger.”
“Younger?!” Paul was clearly distressed. “How is that possible?” The answer came to Jen as soon as the question finished passing Paul’s lips.
“It must have been that lake you went swimming in. It must really have powers like the Tribesmen say.” Jen looked at Paul, his hands lost in his now too big sleeves. Based on his looks, Jen would’ve put his age around 19 or 18, a far cry from the 27-year-old man that had started this journey with her.
“What can I do to stop it?” he pleaded with her. Jen racked her brain, but found no solution to the problem.
“We’ll just have to make it back to the village. Somebody there might know something,” she said in surrender, unable to think of anything else. Paul look appalled.
“But that’s still days away. What if I regress further?”
“We’ll just have to take that chance. Now let’s get going.” They traveled all day that day, taking hardly any breaks for rest. Paul remained tense throughout the journey, and Jen could hardly blame him. Still, she hardly had much sympathy. If he had not gone swimming like she told him, this might not be happening. But she decided not to say so; at least not now. They went to bed early that night, but Jen was still woken early by Paul’s shrieking.
“Jen! It happened again.” Jen woke up to find Paul had regressed further in the night. Where yesterday he was 19 or 18, he now looked barely 15. His features were even younger, quickly losing that manly cadence they had before. And his clothes were even bigger than before. He looked like he was wearing a tent. Most shocking was that apparently Paul had been a rather scrawny teenager, making her wonder where all his muscles came from. Paul looked near tears as he tried to keep his clothes from falling off.
“Come on,” Jen told him, “We better move quickly.” But while they tried to get the camp cleaned up, Paul kept stumbling over his oversized clothes. After taking nearly twice as long, Jen made a decision.
“Paul…I think you’ll have to travel the rest of the way naked.”
“Naked?!” Paul exclaimed, “But why?”
“Look at you! You’re too small for your clothes, and with how long it took to clean up camp, I’m certain traveling in oversized clothes will take twice as long. We’ll get there faster if you just go naked,” she told him. Paul blushed furiously.
“Oh come on. It’s not like anyone will see you. And it’s warm enough out. It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before.”
“Not like this,” he said sadly. Jen moved toward him. They didn’t have time for his sheepishness. With overpowering strength, she ripped his shirt from over his head and pulled his pants and boxers off him in one pull, tripping him up as she did. He was completely naked, and has he made to stand quickly to cover up his penis. But Jen had gotten a good enough look to notice that it was much smaller than before, with thinner pubic hair.
“Give me back my clothes,” he yelled.
“Sorry, but we’ll cover more ground this way.” She watched as suddenly, his hands started to move about weirdly over his crotch. She wondered what he was doing, until she saw that Paul was trying to hide the fact that he was slowly getting an erection. Finally, he had to let himself be exposed. She watched as his penis grew and grew until it finally stopped. Then, repositioning his hands rather oddly, Paul hide himself. She smiled at him, and decided to tease him a bit.
“Oh! Looks like someone secretly likes being naked,” she said with a sly edge to her tone.
“Shut up,” he said, his face so red he might have been a tomato. They traveled in near silence most of the day. Jen often teased him making comments about his nudity and “smallness” in certain areas, but Paul maintained his upset silence, keeping his hands firmly over his privates, which also stayed erect most of the day. But if that day was bad, it was nothing compared to what Paul was about to face.
“NOOOOooooo,” was the high-pitched voice that once again woke Jen up the following morning. Only this time it was much higher than before. She turned to Paul, certain of what she’d find before she saw him. He was shorter than yesterday, his face even more youthful than before. The patch of pubic hair was now incredibly thin, with only a few strands here and there of a boy just starting to grow them. And his penis, much to Paul’s horror, was continuing to get smaller day-by-day. Jen would have put him at around 12 or maybe even 11.
“Awww, how cute,” Jen said. Paul didn’t seem to notice her, but looked up quickly as she stared at his body. Before he could react in anyway, his penis jumped up into an erection faster than Jen had ever seen it. But even erect, it was small, even for a boy. Most likely she attributed this to a boy who was going through puberty for a second time. “Someone looks happy to see me.”
Paul quickly cupped his hands over himself again. Jen smirked, finding it funny that the man who was so proud of his penis size was now hiding its smallness from the world so frequently these days.
“Please stop,” Paul said, and Jen had to stifle a snicker. He sounded like any other 12-year-old boy. Whiney and pouty. Still she cleaned up most of the camp while Paul did what little he could, though that wasn’t much as he was trying more to keep his penis out of Jen’s sight. The traveling however, was not as much fun. Paul was complaining more often about how tired he was and how hard the hike was. And he nearly cried at every teasing Jen did, which took some of the fun out of it.
“I wanna rest,” Paul demanded for what was the fifth time that day, stomping his feet on the ground, hands over his crotch. Jen rolled her eyes. Funny, he looked 12 but was acting younger. She wondered if he was asking for so many breaks because he was just weaker in this body, or just to spite her for teasing him.
“Fine! 20 minutes,” she said just to get him to be quiet. With that, he ran off into the jungle, probably for a potty break. He had insisted Jen leave him alone for these parts and she obliged him. But after nearly 18 minutes, Jen was getting worried. Normally he was back by now. So she went looking for him.
“Paul,” she called out. He couldn’t have gone far, as they both agreed not to. But then she heard a strange noise coming from behind a tree. Slowly she approached, not certain of what it was. But as she drew closer, her jaw dropped in silent realization.
“Oh you can’t be serious,” she said to herself. Her smile widening, she approached as cautiously and quietly as she could. Soon she was close enough to confirm the long, sharp intakes of breathing and rustling of leaves. At the tree, she turned the corner and saw her prediction confirmed. Sitting at the root of the tree was Paul, eyes closed, hand clasped firmly around his erect penis, pulling up and down in one quick, fluid motion.
He was masturbating.
So this was why he’d wanted to stop so badly. Jen had to swallow her laughter. Paul truly was a boy now going through puberty if he was going to such lengths to pleasure himself. And so often. Then he spoke.
“Oh Jen! Oh Jen! Oh Jen!”
He sounded oddly childish chanting her name in his high voice in sexual pleasure. She wondered what daydream he was having with her. At this, she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She burst out laughing, causing Paul to stop what he was doing and look directly at her. He looked more ashamed and embarrassed than she’d ever seen him.
“So this is what you’ve been sneaking off to do at every bathroom break,” Jen said to him triumphantly. She had wondered why his bathroom breaks today were always taking so long. She had thought it was for him to mourn his diminished penis. Now she knew better. “Does the little man like older women?”
“I…I was…but…I just…”
Paul stammered, this time not bothering to cover himself. It was the first time Jen had first seen his boyhood in great detail since this morning. Now she fully took in how small he was. She was amazed that, even caught in the act, he still maintained his erection, though that did little to improve the size. Then…Jen got an idea.
“If you needed help,” she said in her most seductive tone, “I could’ve helped you.” She undid a part of her shirt, revealing a tiny bit of cleavage. But even this tiny amount of exposure made his whole body go stiff with pleasure. It made her laugh internally that such a small gesture could excite him so much. Then, she made her fingertips walk along the ground, moving slowly toward him. “You’re such a naughty little boy.”
“Stop! Please!” But he made no motion to resist her. Finally, her hands reached his penis, and she grabbed onto it both firmly yet gently. It was so small in her hand she nearly covered it completely in her fist, but she had no time to think about that. She then began to slowly pull up and down on his boyhood, giving him a hand job. His moans of pleasure were so high pitched and his body twitching so violently she couldn’t keep herself from laughing. But the height of her laughter came when he ejaculated before she had been working on him for hardly 10 seconds. And even at that, he hardly produced any semen at all. Paul buried his face in his palms, clearly upset, crying slightly at his lack of physical maturity.
“Oh don’t worry,” Jen said consolingly, rubbing his boy juice off on a nearby leaf, “Nothing wrong with being that sensitive. After all, you’re just a boy.”
“I am not a boy,” Paul protested, which only made him sound even more like a child. He stood up, as if this might drive his point home, but all it did was further his childish look. “I’m a man!”
“Do men cum so easily when their girlfriend’s masturbate them?” Jen asked, enjoying Pauk’s humiliation. He’d been arrogant about himself for so long, maybe all this would teach him a lesson. “Maybe I should find a new boyfriend. One who knows how to last longer. But don’t worry…you’ll learn as you get older.”
They finished the days traveling with Paul unable to look at her from the point on. The next morning, Jen had woken up on her own, so she first thought that maybe Paul had gone one day without regressing. But she was wrong. Paul was already up, sitting in the corner of the tent quietly sobbing, tears falling freely down his cheek.
He looked up at her and stood up. He now looked to be only 7 years old. His pubic hair had disappeared within his skin, and any semblance of puberty with them. His baby fat had begun to come in, and as usual, his penis was ever smaller. He looked her full in the face, not even bothering to cover his exposure. Either he had lost any sense of modesty with puberty, or he was so distraught he no longer cared as he let it dangle innocently and freely between is legs. His eyes were puffy red with signs that he’d been crying for hours before Jen had waken up.
“I don’t wanna be a little boy,” Paul said through his tears, “I wanna be a big boy again.” At this, he flung himself at her, throwing his arms around her neck and crying madly into her shoulder. Under different circumstances, Jen would have taken this moment to tease him about his smaller penis and lack on an erection today. She might have acted offended that his body no longer seemed affected by her. But that somehow seemed cruel. All she did was put her arms around him and gently pat his head.
“Don’t worry dear,” she said pityingly, trying to stop his crying. “There there. It’s ok, we’ll get you back to normal as soon as possible. I promise.”
After cleaning the camp, Paul and Jen moved on, although Paul would only do so if Jen were holding his hand. So together they traveled hand in hand. Jen couldn’t help but from time to time throw a quick glance down at Paul. He wasn’t covering himself anymore, allowing his peepee to bounce and swish with every step he took. She didn’t know if this were lack of modesty due to the regression, or if maybe he was just more comfortable now that Jen had stopped teasing him. Perhaps the regression had taken his mentality back to before he even cared about the size of his member and he was no longer embarrassed by how small it had gotten. Jen didn’t know which it was. All she did know was that I was a much more pleasant hike that day without an overly ashamed boy trying hard to conceal his tiny dick than too walk.
They didn’t get very far that day, as Paul’s young body tired more easily now. As night approached, Paul allowed Jen to tuck him in bed and even give him a kiss on the forehead. As he drifted off to sleep, Jen watched him carefully. At one point he turned over in his sleep, rustled the sleeping bag briefly before going still. Jen smiled at him. He was so cute. Suddenly, she felt an unusual stirring inside her heart. It felt warm and somehow calming. But what was it? Unable to name it, she tucked herself into bed and went to sleep. For once, Jen slept thoroughly, not disturbed by Paul’s shrieks of horror. When she eventually woke up, Paul was still asleep. She turned to him and shocked him awake.
“Hey Paul, time to get up sweetie,” she said kindly. Paul gave a quiet moan of protest before opening his eyes. He rose out of the sleeping bag, stretching his arms and rubbing the grit from his eyes. Jen smiled. As expected, Paul had regressed further. Yesterday, his body showed signs of vanishing baby fat. Now his body was nothing but baby fat. His arms, legs, and tummy were so pudgy he almost looked fat. And his penis, while only slight smaller, had an even more noticeable change. The skin around his shaft and grown up to cover the tip of his penis, leaving him no longer circumcised. Jen was shocked that, apparently, he had gone through that surgery rather late. Now he must be 4 years old. Either Paul no longer noticed his regression, or if he did, he simply decided not to speak about it.
“Good morny,” he said sleepily.
“Good morning little goose,” she said, extending her hands to tickle him. She made them breakfast, and cleaned up camp while Paul played in the dirt. By the time she was done, he was filthy and she insisted on giving him a bath. She washed him at a nearby stream, making certain it was not the same water from before. As she poured water over him, and as he splashed playfully, she felt those same stirrings in her heart from last night. But she quickly dismissed them, still uncertain of what they were and unwilling to face them. Once he was cleaned, they began their hike.
The village was close now, so maybe they could get there before he regressed too much farther. But the distance the covered this day was worse than all the rest. It didn’t help that Paul was apparently wobbly on his feet, and asking about every plant and animal he saw. But Jen didn’t mind. In fact, she enjoyed explaining everything to the young boy. It was like being a teacher. By mid-afternoon, she decided they weren’t going to get much further and they stopped for the day. As she prepared camp, Paul approached her.
“Jen…are you my mommy?”
Jen was so stunned by the question it took her a long time to register it. She stared at him for a long moment in silence. His downcast eyes and confused look told her he was being completely serious. Apparently, his mental regression was catching up with him. She didn’t know what to say. In the end, she could only think of one reply.
“Yes. I am your mommy.” Paul smiled as if this were the best thing in the world.
“Mommy, why am I always nakie?”
At this next question, Jen felt a small pang of sadness. It was true then; all of what Paul was and had been had regressed along with him. The man she loved was now just a tiny boy. But his loved had not regressed with him. It had merely changed from the love of a boyfriend to the love of a son. At this, Jen perked up a bit and decided to tell him the truth.
“Well you see Paul,” she began, “you used to be a big boy. But you went swimming in this lake that had magical powers and turned you little. I told you not to, but you did anyway, and now you’re all small. But if we get back to town soon, we may be able to change you back.”
“I was a big boy?” Paul said in amazement, as if not daring to believe it. Then he looked suddenly upset. “Was I a bad boy for swimming when you said not to?”
“Yes you were. You were a very bad boy. But that’s ok. Soon you’ll be a big boy again.”
“I’ll be a big boy again?” Paul said, throwing his arms out to his sides, as though this were an indication of how big he used to be. Jen smiled and mimicked his gesture.
“Yup! You’ll be a big, big, BIG boy!”
Paul began jumping and waving his arms excitedly, yelling and cheering. Jen’s smile at his outward joy nearly broke her face, but she soon had to tell him to stop to eat his dinner. After eating, the two of them played together until it was dark. And then Jen put Paul to sleep, quickly followed by herself. It wasn’t until later that she was shaken awake by a small hand. She awoke with a start to find it was still dark outside. It took her eyes a moment to adjust before she saw Paul standing before her, twiddling his hands in front of him, looking very upset.
“I had a bad dweem,” Paul whined before Jen could ask what was wrong. He wept freely, rubbing the tears from his eyes.
“Oh poor thing. Come here.” Jen opened her arms for him and he leapt into them without a word. He cried into her shoulder as she patted his head. “Shhh. Don’t cry. It was just a dream.”
“Pwease mommy. Don’t let the water monster get me!” As he continued to cry, Jen thought briefly about what he’d just said. Apparently, he’d had a nightmare about water monsters, and if Jen had to put her money on it, he was dreaming about when he’d swam in the lake that triggered his regression.
“Tell you what, why don’t you sleep in mommy’s sleeping bag with her tonight. She’ll keep away all those bad water monsters.” Paul eagerly crawled into her bag with her without another word, and Jen was happy to see his crying was turning into small sniffles. He snuggled up close to her, and Jen wrapped her arms around him, drawing him close.
“Mommy, I hungry,” he said before either of them had shut their eyes.
“Ok, lets get you something.” Jen was about to jump out of the bag to get him something when he suddenly reached his hand up toward her breast. As he tugged gently on the shirt, Jen suddenly realized what he meant. “Oh honey, I’m afraid I can’t–”
“Pwease mommy,” Paul begged. Jen looked down into his eyes. He appeared so helpless and desperate. Although she couldn’t produce milk, perhaps it would calm him down. Sighing in surrender, Jen undid her shirt and unfasten her bra, exposing both breasts. She offered one to Paul, who quickly put her nipple in his mouth and began to suck contentedly. He closed his eyes and continued to suckle on her boob. Jen was so amazed at what was happening she didn’t know what to think. Her she was, breastfeeding her boyfriend, who had regressed into a 4 year old. And not only that, but wasn’t 4 years old a bit old to breastfeed? So why had he asked for it? But as she feed him (although no milk came it did seem to calm him) she felt the stirrings again. Only now she was able to put a name on it.
She had always wanted a family, but Paul had yet to propose to her and she didn’t want to have children until she was married. But even if Paul had proposed, he was so opposed to the idea of being a father and starting a family. He always said it would get in the way of their careers. Yet her she was now, playing the mother to the man who wanted no children. It was beyond odd. It was downright surreal. But she could not argue that, despite everything, she was enjoying the feeling.
Suddenly, Paul’s body grew hot and he began to shiver. AT first, Jen was worried Paul and come down with a fever, but then she notice his wasn’t a normal heat. It felt different in a way Jen couldn’t explain to herself. Paul kept his eyes closed, so he must have been asleep and didn’t notice anything. Jen watched as, within her own arms, Paul’s body began to decrease in size. She held tightly onto him for safety, although she didn’t know why. Smaller and smaller he got, his tuff of hair withdrawing into his skull. Finally, when his body stopped shivering and his body heat returned to normal, Jen found herself holding a small baby who couldn’t have been any older than 9 months, her nipple still in his young mouth.
And so it had happened, Paul had regressed fully into a baby. Jen was unable to sleep at all that night, instead watching Paul sleep. When morning came the next day, Jen wrapped Paul up in one of his shirts as a makeshift diaper and left without cleaning up or collecting half of her supplies. The village was only a day away, and if she hurried she could get there before Paul’s transformation became permanent, which she feared it soon would be. With Paul so small, she could carry him, thus returning to her normal pace. And thankfully, Paul was a very quiet baby, who stayed asleep most of the day. But even with the quickened pace, Jen was unable to make back toward the town before night fell. Deciding it was best to leave as early in the morning as possible, Jen did not make camp. All she did was make a fire and put her sleeping bag nearby. When she went to sleep, she drew Paul close to her, and they both fell asleep under the tongues of the fire’s heat.
The first rays of morning were penetrating Jen’s eyes when she finally awoke the next day. When she first stirred, she was hopeful. Today they would reach the town, and Paul would be return to his old self. She tried to sit up, but was struck by a sudden dizziness that made her have to lie back down for a long while. As she lay there, starting to feel nausea, she wondered by she felt so sick. Perhaps she had caught something off of Paul.
It was only when she thought of him that she noticed there was an emptiness in the sleeping bag. She quickly riffled through the bag, only to find Paul wasn’t there. Full of fear, she forced herself up despite her dizziness. She looked over the area she and made for them, but Paul was nowhere in sight. Could he have crawled off in the night? No, he was sleeping like a rock before she’d gone to bed. Did someone come and take him? No, there weren’t any signs of footprints other than her own. So where was Paul? She tried to stand up, but had a difficult time of it. She felt as if there were a new eight pulling her down. It was then, looking down at herself that she saw that Paul’s vanishing act wasn’t the only change this morning. Her normal perfectly fitting shirt was no slightly too small on her…but only in one area. She looked in awe at the small bulge that now emanated from her stomach.
But how was this possible? And where was Paul? She was so terrified and shocked she neither moved nor spoke. As she ran through the possibilities in her mind, she felt a sudden movement in her belly. She placed her palm against the skin of her stomach and felt a small pulsing motion. Then a light seemed to go off in her head.
“Paul?” she said quietly. As if to answer her, Paul gave a small kick from inside her that made her stumble a bit. Now she understood. Jen was not only pregnant…she was pregnant with Paul! Somehow, his regression had gone further than she expected. It had taken him to the form of an unborn child. By why was she pregnant with him? She hadn’t gone into the water. Desperate for an answer, she cleaned up the camp as best her new body would allow and hiked for the town, again, as fast as her body would let her. By mid-afternoon, she had finally arrived. As she walked through town, looking for the town wiseman who might be able to help her, she noticed she was drawing a lot of attention. The people her knew her and Paul, so she must have looked weird, setting out with Paul, only to return alone, and looking so clearly pregnant when she wasn’t before. She must’ve been an odd sight to behold. Finally, she came to the old man’s house, and there he was, looking as old as he always did, holding desperately onto his cane, his odd assortment of clothes somewhere between neat and shabby. He was standing outside by his door, as if expecting someone. Jen came to a stop in front of him, panting from exhaustion.
“You look like you have had an interesting journey my child,” he said mystically.
“Please,” Jen started, “You must help me! Paul is–”
But the hold man held up a hand to silence her, turned his arched back and gestured for her to follow him inside. Inside his house, the man led her to a small seating area where two fluffy pillows lay for sitting. The old man took his and offered the other to Jen, who had to carefully take her place, now that she had extra luggage. In the center between them was what was left of a small fire, with tiny embers still clinging to their reddish glow. At each side of the man were all manner of plants, bones, and other dust-like items Jen could not name. He took a hand full of the plants and put them in the fire. They soon caught fire, filling the air with a small white smoke.
“I have been visited by a dream these past few days,” he told her, “It is always the same. I see a young man, slowly being reversed backwards through time. And I see a woman, helpless to do anything to help him. All she can do is comfort him.”
Jen sat in silence, enthralled by the old man’s tale of his prophetic dream. He took a hand full of another substance and put that on the fire. The smoke turned a bright, beautiful shade of light green.
“The man soon loses all sense of who he was before, and only remembers who he is now. But his relationship with the woman still remains, if only altered. This is what saves him, and that is where my dreams have ended…until last night.”
“What happened last night?” Jen asked.
“I saw the man disappear, yet he has not disappeared.” He waited a moment, but after Jen did not interject, the man elaborated. “The man in my dream has merely changed forms. He has returned to the beginning, and latched himself onto the nearest life form he trust and loves.” The man took a few intakes of the smoke, and then gazed pensively at Jen. After his story, Jen looked pleading at the man for further explanation.
“What has happened?” she asked, not bothering with beating around the bush.
“It would appear your friend stumble onto the Water Of Life,” he said simply, as if this fact were obvious.
“But we thought the Waters were a legend…a myth. How come nobody else has found them?” Jen asked quickly, curious as to how if they could find the Waters so easily, nobody else had before them.
“The jungle is quite adept at concealing her secrets,” the man informed her with an almost scolding glance. Jen did not argue this. It was still hard to believe, yet with all that had happened, no other explanation made sense, scientific or otherwise.
“But how can we have been the only ones to have found it?”
“You are not.” This statement shocked Jen into silence.
“You are not the first to have found the Waters. Many other explorers, plunderers, and many others have found its resting place. Some for curiosity, others for greed, but the Waters affects are the same for all who touch it.” Jen considered this and let herself imagine others, making the same desperate hike to the town to reverse the Waters magic.
“So…has this happened to others?”
“Why hasn’t anyone mentioned its existence?”
“Either the Waters made sure they could not tell, or those who witnessed its powers agreed that silence was best.” Jen understood completely. Besides, if she were to tell anyone, she doubted they would believe her. Finally, she got to the heart of the matter, though now after hearing the story of the other’s discovering the Waters, she was no longer as hopeful.
“Can its powers be reversed?” she asked tentatively.
“It can.” Jen’s grim frown burst into a wide smile, but the man quickly raised his hand, and her hope was quickly put out. “It can be reversed, but only if the physical body remains, and only if proper counter magic is chanted before a certain amount of time has passed. And I’m afraid it is far too late for you and your companion.”
Jen’s heart dropped into her already oversized stomach.
“Is there…anything I can do?” The old man shook his head regrettably.
“I’m afraid all he can do now is grow up like any normal child. I sense that the magic has now left him. So from this time forth, you shall carry him and he shall be your child.”
Jen didn’t know what to feel. Her sensing that she had gone from Paul’s girlfriend to mother and turned from metaphorical to literal. She cupped both hands around her belly and felt the life that was now growing there. So little and fragile it felt in her hands.
“Does this upset you child?” the old man asked her.
Jen thought about this for a moment. At first she didn’t know what she felt. Then she remembered the days before when Paul was still with her, but in child form. The joys of holding his small hand as they walked in the jungle, the fun they had as they played together, and the comfort she felt as they slept together. She had felt all these same emotions with Paul when he was a man. And so in that regard, their feelings had only changed slightly. Sure it was weird to go from being someone’s girlfriend to mother, but she’d always wanted to be a mother. Now, it seemed, she had gotten her wish.
“No,” she said finally, and she meant it. With her hands still cupped over her belly, she leaned in and gave her stomach a tiny kiss. She felt Paul give a slight kick, and this tiny movement was as heartwarming to her as if he’d return the kiss. She closed her eyes and allowed a brief daydream about what it would be like raising Paul. It would be difficult by herself, but she knew at the very least, she wouldn’t be alone.
Paul would always be with her.