Two (Commission) – Ch 2 – lostandwhatever
Continued from Chapter 1.
“Greyson,” his mother’s voice called to him, waking him up. “Breakfast is gonna be ready soon. Don’t let it get cold.”
He groaned and, without opening his eyes, said, “Okay.” Though, as he formed the word, he noticed something was stuck to the roof of his mouth. He probed it with his tongue and then fished out a piece of plastic and wire with his fingers. His eyes cracked open to examine the saliva covered object in his hand. “What the…?” he said as he recognized it as an orthodontic retainer. He had not worn a retainer since he started high school, and he certainly had not put one in last night.
He looked to his bedside table and found a retainer case waiting there where he had normally kept one years ago. He put the retainer away, sat up, and looked around his room.
Things looked different. Some of his football stuff was still there—posters, trophies, pads. Interspersed with it was a lot of anime and video game memorabilia—figurines depicting characters he had never seen before, posters for shows he did not watch. There were even some toys lying around that he had put in storage years ago, including a set of Nerf guns.
He yawned and said, “Was this stuff here yesterday?” Then, he coughed. His voice sounded funny. It was too high and a bit croaky. He rubbed his throat and was surprised at how smooth his neck and chin felt. Normally, he would expect a bit of stubble. “I need a mirror,” he said although he already suspected what it would show him.
He stood up and was surprised at how much lower his perspective was than it had been yesterday. He looked down at his feet as if to confirm he was not standing in some kind of hole. Nope, they were on the ground, and he was standing up straight. “Oh, man,” he croaked. Fighting off panic, he hurried out of his room and headed down the hall to the bathroom.
When he got to the bathroom, he found the door shut. There was only one person who could be in there. Greyson knocked and said, “Ethan, I need to get in there.”
“I’m not done,” his brother replied.
Greyson sighed. His brother had the worst timing for using the bathroom, and he tended to spend forever in there. “Wipe your ass and get moving. I need to see something,” he said with a sudden fury that surprised even himself.
“Whoa, bro, go downstairs.”
The downstairs bathroom was right next to the kitchen. If he was about to confirm something shocking had happened to him, he wanted it to be somewhat more private than one door away from his mother.
Taking a deep breath, he tried to compose himself and be patient. “You almost done?” he asked Ethan.
Greyson groaned and headed downstairs. On the way down he had a bit of a fright. He had to grab the banister when tripped up once as his foot missed a step. Definitely, his legs felt shorter than he was used to them being. He slowed down even though the worry growing in him made him want to rush even faster to the nearest mirror.
“Oh, Greyson,” his mother said as he passed through the kitchen on his way to the bathroom. “You’re up.”
“‘Morning,” he said without even looking at her. “Just need to use the toilet.”
“Don’t take too long,” she said. “Food is almost ready.”
He entered the restroom, then shut and locked the door behind himself, finally getting some privacy for a self-examination. His reflection was what he feared it would be—a young teenage boy stared back at him with worry in his eyes. The rugged sharp edges of adulthood were all but gone, magically sanded down to the smooth lines of childhood. Where he had stubble before, he found only a shadow of a mustache and patchy thin hairs on his cheeks with acne dotted in between. It was a face he had not seen in the mirror for at least half a dozen years.
“Oh God,” he said under his breath.
He had to see more. He stripped off his T-shirt and boxers. The hard work outs he had endured to build his muscles had mostly been erased. Instead, he had the physique of a boy in the middle of a growth spurt, lanky and awkward. It seemed that his muscle growth had yet to catch up with his bone growth.
As for body hair, his chest was much like his face, showing only immature traces of hair in the place of the blanket he had previously possessed. The only places where the concentration was thick were his armpits and crotch, and what a disappointment he found down there, only half the size he was used to. His legs too were just as patchy as his chest. Overall, he felt like an incomplete painting of an adult, not yet fleshed out and only half-covered in the details that would mark him as a man.
As terrifying as it was to see his adulthood all but erased, he was even more frightened by what the new changes meant: he was still getting younger. He had expected the changes yesterday to be the worst of what would happen to him. How could he have known that he would keep getting younger every day?
“What if it keeps going like this?” he said out loud since he was too afraid to silently think it.
His mind did some quick calculations. “I lost about six or seven years in two days—three years a day. I’m about 14 or 15. That’s only another four or five days.” He swallowed. “Then what?”
“Greyson?” said his mother’s voice from just outside the door, causing him to jump and yelp. “Did you fall in?”
He recoiled from the door, naked and alone in the bathroom. He covered his crotch, even though no one else could possibly see it. “I-I’m fine,” he stammered, his fearful voice cracking up into boyish tones. “J-Just need a minute.”
“I’ll put some pancakes on a plate for you,” she said. “Don’t let them get cold.”
He heard her walk away and let out a sigh of relief. As he tried to calm down, he wondered why he had been so afraid of her. Maybe it was embarrassment, he thought as he put his clothes back on. The idea of someone he knew seeing him looking like this was so mortifying that he considered climbing out the window. Of course, he reminded himself, if today was like yesterday, then none of them would realize anything was different about him. They would think he had always been this age.
“Focus. There’s rules to this,” he told himself. “There’s a pattern. Someone made this happen.” He looked at his face in the mirror again before pretending to put down the toilet lid and flushing it. “If someone did this, then they can undo it.” He thought of the old woman in the shop back at school. “I have to find her again.” He washed his hands, dried them, and opened the door. After a deep breath, he stepped out into the kitchen.
“Come grab your plate,” his mother said.
He walked up to her, hoping that he was right and she would not notice anything strange about him. He paused when he stood next to her before grabbing his plate.
She glanced at him and said, “What’s the matter? You’ve got a funny look on your face.”
“N-Nothing,” he said. He had just noticed that they were the same height again, only about five and a half feet tall. How could he explain to her the horror of realizing he was gradually shrinking away more and more every day. She did not even realize that anything had changed. He momentarily considered telling her the truth again, as he had done yesterday, but then he remembered how badly that had worked out. Everyone had just treated him as if he were crazy. He knew that kind of attention would only cause him problems, so he decided to keep quiet and calmly grabbed his plate of pancakes. “Thanks,” he said. “They smell great.” Then, he headed off to the kitchen table to eat.
As he cut his pancakes and started eating, he began to plan his day, but before he got far, he heard a pair of rapid bare footsteps slapping on the floor towards him. Looking up, he saw his brother race into the room up to his mother to collect his own breakfast.
“Thanks, Mom!” Ethan said as he joined Greyson at the table.
She replied, “So, what’s the big hurry?”
“Stephen wants me to come over to hang out. That’s okay, right?”
“Sure,” she said. “But, be back by the afternoon. It’s supposed to rain later.”
“Okay,” he said. Then, he looked over at Greyson and his face brightened up. “Hey,” he said. “We might have some friends over to play football. Just tag, but… you know. It would be cool if you played with us.”
Greyson was amused by the suggestion that he might play with some kids. He swallowed a mouthful of pancakes and replied, “I’ve got some things I have to do today. Besides, I’m too old to be playing with you and your friends.”
“Nah, that’s no problem. Stephen’s older brother even plays with us sometimes, and he’s an adult.”
“Ethan, I still have things to do.”
“But, you’re such a great quarterback, and-”
“No!” Greyson said a little louder than he intended. “I won’t do it. So, drop it already.”
“Greyson,” his mother said, making his name a reprimand.
“What?” he said, annoyed at being scolded.
“Don’t ‘What’ me,” she said. “You be nice to your brother and show me some respect as well. Don’t think I won’t ground you just because it’s summer.”
“But…” he started to protest, but stopped before he dug himself into a hole with his mother. He sighed and said, “I’m sorry. I’m just not feeling like myself right now.”
“What are these ‘things’ you have to do today, by the way?”
“Uh…” he needed to think up an excuse to explain why he had to be out. “I need to… do some shopping.”
“Ooh!” Ethan cried, his face lighting up. “For my birthday present?”
“Y-Yeah,” Greyson said, feeling grateful for the excuse. “That’s it.”
“Do you have my list?”
“I do,” Greyson lied, letting out a sigh of relief.
“Awesome!” Ethan said.
His mother said, “Well, just make sure you’re home before the evening. I don’t want you riding your bike in the rain.”
“My bike?” he said, wondering why she thought he would not be driving. “Oh,” he said as he remembered how young he was now. “Right, my bike.” There was no way he was old enough to have a driver’s license. That was going to be a big problem for him. Without his car, how was he going to get back to campus?
He finished eating in silence and stood up. “Okay,” he said. “I’m done.”
“Me too,” Ethan said and stood up as well.
Again, Greyson was reminded of how much shorter he had become. Ethan had always been a baby compared to him. They had nine years separating them, meaning that Ethan had always been at least a foot shorter than Greyson. Now, Greyson saw that he was only half a foot taller than the kid. They had become only three years apart, and the separation was only getting smaller each day. No wonder Ethan had thought Greyson might play football with them. Greyson had become almost a kid himself.
“I’m going to take a shower,” Greyson said.
“Wait,” Ethan said. “Lemme brush my teeth first.”
Greyson let out a brief groan and noticed his mother’s disapproving eyes. “Fine,” he said. “Just be quick. Okay?”
Later, as Greyson rode a bike again for the first time in years, he thought about the old expression about riding bikes. He had not forgotten how to do it—that was true. However, it did feel a bit weird. Years of being behind the wheel of a car had conditioned him to think of traveling by vehicle as being effortless. Being back on a bike was work. He had to pay for every mile he traveled with sweat. Not to mention, he had to do it all with a much less athletic body.
It was just another indignity he had to deal with. He had gotten used to his independence since moving out to school. He no longer had to share a bathroom with a little kid. (Although, to be honest, some of his roommates at school could be just as annoying with their bathroom habits.) He no longer needed to get permission from his mom to go places. He was free to do what he wanted. Now, all of that freedom was slipping away. He felt the world closing in on him gradually, crushing him smaller and smaller as it shrank.
He pumped his legs faster as if he were trying to escape the feeling of being trapped. Soon enough, he saw his destination up ahead. The bus station was a low flat brick building. A person could ride a local bus from there to anywhere in town, and there were a few long-distance buses that would take a person to other towns in the region, including the one with his college.
He parked his bike at a stand next to some other larger bikes. His was embarrassingly more colorful than the adult bikes as well. He left it there without even bothering to lock it up. If he succeeded, then he would never need to ride it again.
But first, he needed a bus ticket.
He checked his pockets. In his back pocket of his jeans, he had his nylon kid wallet with the cool camo pattern on it. He had his phone in another pocket. In one of the front pockets of his grey zip-front hoodie, he had a granola bar. In the other pocket, was a printed out receipt for two bus tickets.
He walked up to the door and waited by it for a moment until a small group of people entered the building. He followed them in, trying to blend in with their crowd. He scanned the room until he found the ticket counter and then headed for it. As he approached the woman printing tickets behind a glass wall, he thought over his story and prayed that it would work. He was sweating and not just because of riding his bike.
“Hi,” he said cheerfully, trying to speak through the slotted metal opening in the glass. “I’m here to pick up some tickets.”
“Are you riding alone?” she asked him with a raised eyebrow.
“No. Of course not,” he said.
“Children are not allowed to ride alone.”
The words stung, but he kept his pleasant attitude up. “Which is why I’m here with my mother,” he said. “She had to use the restroom, but gave me this sheet so that I could pick up our tickets.”
He passed the printout to her through a small opening at the bottom of the glass. Then, he waited nervously as she looked over the receipt. After his shower, he had gone online and used his mother’s “borrowed” credit card to pay for his ride back to school. He hoped that the woman did not ask too many questions or demand to see his mother. After a moment’s hesitation, she scanned the barcode on the sheet and printed out a pair of tickets, which she passed to him through the slot.
“Thank you,” he said, pocketing the tickets. Then, he walked off towards the bathrooms to hide in the men’s room until she forgot about him.
It started raining as the bus rode out into the farmlands that separated his childhood home from his college life. He sat there staring out the window, watching trails of drops roll along the glass while trying to come to terms with how he had changed.
This morning, he had focused primarily on the obvious physical changes to himself. Only now, with nothing to do but wait and think, did he start to recognize how his behavior had changed as well. He still had all the memories and knowledge from when he had been an adult, but he seemed to be struggling to control his emotions. He thought about how his brother had almost sent him into a rage a couple of times and how his mother had terrified him just by knocking on the bathroom door. All of his emotions seemed to be amped up to the point of being overwhelming, leaving him a jittery bag of wild feelings.
As scary as that out-of-control feeling was, he also found it to be a bit exhilarating. His body was buzzing with energy, fresh and raw. He was starting to remember what 14 had felt like the first time around, how confusing and frustrating it had been. Now that he had the grounded perspective of an adult, that roller coaster of emotions was less dizzying and more thrilling. It helped that he knew that the ride would end some day.
In fact, it surprised him how quickly he had accustomed himself again to being a young teenager. It felt comfortable, familiar, like riding a bike again.
“No,” he told himself. “Don’t get used to it.”
He was growing complacent. To combat that feeling, he reminded himself of everything that he had lost, which was easy enough to do. After all, if he were older, he would be behind the wheel of his own car instead of being stuck in a bus seat.
“Focus,” he told himself. It was a word he often thought on the football field when he felt too many distractions creeping into his head. He put on his game face. He had a mission, and he would do whatever it took to win.
He stepped off the bus into the rain and flipped up his hood. After taking a few moments to orientate himself, he started walking towards the shop where the old woman had confronted him and his friends. The bad weather meant that the streets were nearly empty, but he still found himself nervously looking around for campus cops, fearing that they might stop him and start asking questions about what he was doing there. It did not take long for the rain to soak all the way through his hoodie and shirt down to his skin. His sneakers were filling up with water from puddles. By the time he reached the shop, he was a soggy mess
He paused for a whole minute before entering the shop. Worry was making him want to run away, but he stayed put, trying to summon up some courage. He told himself to just do it. Get in there and beg her to give him back his normal life. Finally, he pulled open the door and stepped in out of the storm.
He flipped back his hood and looked to the counter, half-hoping that she would not be there, but there she was. She stood there, eying him suspiciously. Although he had only seen her once when he was drunk, there was no way that he would forget her face. He approached the counter and stood in front of her for a moment, trying to read her emotions. She seemed mainly doubtful, as if she were not sure what to make of him.
“H-Hello,” he said when he could not think of anything else to say.
“Yes?” she said. “Can I help you?”
“Um,” he said, looking down nervously. “I suppose you know why I’m here.”
“I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he said. “I was dumb and being immature with my friends.” He glanced up at her and saw her looking back at him, intently. “I’m sorry. I really am.”
The tears came out of nowhere. At first he thought that some rain had dripped onto his face, then he realized he had started crying. His emotions had swung again.
“I mean it,” he said and sniffled. “I hurt you, and I should have been more careful. I should have listened to what you were saying. I was just trying to be in control, trying to fix everything.”
She said nothing, just started at him with her mouth half open.
“Please,” he said and wiped his nose on his already soaked sleeve. “I’ll do anything you want. I just… I just want to go back to normal. Please, forgive me. Please, turn me back.”
He waited a long time for her response as he calmed down. Finally, she said, “What are you talking about?”
“Um, the curse you put on me.”
“Curse?” she said, sounding both confused and slightly amused. “What curse?”
“Um, your hand,” he said. “You cut your hand on the broken glass I was holding. You cursed me for it.”
“What cut?” she said holding up her hands. There was no bandage on either of them and no sign at all of any wound.
“I hurt you. You cursed me. Don’t you remember?” he asked as dread grew in his mind.
“Boy,” she said. “You’ve made some kind of mistake here. I’ve never seen you before, and I don’t curse people. What do you take me for, some kind of gypsy witch?”
At first, he thought she might be trying to torture him, to scare him, but there was no malice in her voice. She sounded genuinely confused.
“It wasn’t you?” he said, but it was hardly a question. He already knew the answer. He was wrong. She was not the reason he was getting younger, after all. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I must have made a mistake.”
“Do you need help?” she asked, concerned.
He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and pulled it out. It was his mother calling. He turned away from the woman and answered the call.
“Greyson,” his mother said. “Where are you? Are you alright?”
“Hi, Mom,” he said. “I, uh… I think I need you to pick me up.”
“What wrong? Where are you?”
He sighed. “It’s a long story.”
Greyson was in trouble.
For one thing, his parents had given him an extended scolding, sounding more shocked than angry. They just could not fathom why he would have gone all the way to a college town for a reason that he refused to explain. Why bother explaining, though? It did not matter what he told them. By tomorrow, he would probably be younger again and everyone would have forgotten the events of the day.
And, that was the other bigger problem he had. Despite all he had done today, nothing had changed since he woke up. He was still in the same situation, still getting younger everyday, only now he had no ideas for how to stop it.
His parents had ordered him to his room for the night. He had told them he felt dirty in his soaked clothes, so they had let him take a shower, first. Besides cleaning up, he needed something pleasant to help brighten his darkened mood. A warm shower might be just the ticket. However, he felt increasingly worse as he peeled off his clothes, revealing more and more of his 14-year-old body. He knew that, as small and puny as it was now, it would be even worse tomorrow.
Nonetheless, he started the water, found a good temperature, and stepped into the warm shower. He let the warmth sink into his muscles, relaxing some of the tension. It felt good, but there was still an underlying level of stress that hot water could not cure. He started to soap himself up. As his fingers slid over every inch of his body, he could not help but compare it to his adult body. He closed his eyes. He remembered his muscles. He could almost pretend that he still had them.
He started to get hard.
First, he was just soaping up his crotch, cleaning himself. He did not stop cleaning that particular area, though. Sure it was smaller than it had been, but it still worked as it did before. If anything, it felt a bit more sensitive.
“What am I doing?” he asked himself as he rubbed his teenage crotch in his soapy fingers. The answer was simple: “Stress relief.”
The soap was not providing the right kind of lubrication, so he switched over to a palmful of hair conditioner—much better. It was a trick he had figured out back when he had been this age originally. So many memories of pleasant showers came back to him, then. This had been his secret sanctuary, both a means of getting off and cleaning off all at once. Plus, he was safe from being interrupted.
It did not take long for him to start grunting and moaning, feeling the stimulation growing with each pump. His knees got wobbly, leaving him feeling like a young fawn taking its first shaky steps. His half-adult body was literally shuddering from the intense power of adult pleasures, reaching for something that he was not quite ready to handle. It felt like cheating, as if he were sneaking into adulthood like a kid sneaking into a grown-up movie, as if he were trying to drive when he could barely see over the steering wheel. It was a forbidden joy, and that only made it more exciting.
In an erotic burst, he felt himself climax. Pumping again and again, he felt his cum mix with his conditioner, making an even more perfect lubricant. His knees gave out, and he had to lean against the tile wall for support as he spurted again and again. He slipped down to the tub below as he felt his orgasm subside. Then, he lay there a while as the warm shower stream rained down on him, slowly washing away the remaining traces of his masturbation.
As he lay in bed that night, he thought back on the shower and wondered why he had jerked off. He realized that he had done it because it might have been his last chance to do it. Some part of him had wanted one last go at adult pleasures before they were gone, before he was too young for them.
He yawned. It had been a long, exhausting day, and he felt sleep creeping in. As much as he welcomed some rest, he was terrified of what it would do to his body. Tomorrow was a frightening unknown to him. He wondered how young he would be. What would he do next? Everything had seemed so clear this morning. Now, he had no ideas, no plan. Nothing. He tried to keep awake to think of something to do next, but his eyes just drooped again and again until he fell asleep.