A Younger Man

Eric knew something was wrong as soon as he woke up. He didn’t recall having a high ceiling in the bedroom, but there it was above him. He sat up and noticed that the bed was noticeably bigger too, as was all the other furniture and even the room itself. There was only one explanation, which was impossible. Somehow he had shrunk overnight.

He leaned over and woke his wife Sandra. She was to scale with everything else in the room, which meant Eric had gone from being a full foot taller than her to about the same height. He shook her and she stirred groggily.

“Let me sleep dear, it’s Saturday.” She half-opened her eyes, then they popped wide. “OMG, Eric, what happened to you?”

“I don’t know, I’ve shrunk!”

“Not just shrunk, dear, you look younger. About fifteen, from the looks of you.”

He looked down; she was right. All that growing and filling out he’d done in his late teens was gone; he was a skinny kid again. What the heck was going on here?

“I can’t be fifteen! I have a meeting on Monday!” His voice had gone up in pitch and was showing a tendency to break.

“Calm down, dear. There’s a rational explanation for this, I’m sure. You find something to get dressed in and I’ll make us breakfast.” She threw a housecoat over her thin nightgown and left for the kitchen.

By the time Eric located something that wouldn’t fall off him (a tee shirt and drawstring shorts), Sandra had breakfast waiting. He devoured everything except the coffee, which to his taste buds had gone from warm and smooth to bitter and astringent. She suggested adding sugar, since he was going to need the caffeine to wake up and think clearly. Three heaping teaspoons did the job.

Finally he looked at Sandra. “Any ideas, love?”

She gave him a broad smile. “I think everything will take care of itself if we just wait.”

“I doubt I’ll get fifteen years older by Monday. Or do you think this is temporary?”

“Oh no, dear, it’s permanent. One drop cut your age in half, just like the gypsy who sold me the potion said it would. There were nine more in your coffee which, if I did the math right, should reduce you to a little less than two weeks old.”


“Don’t worry dear, I’ll put you in the Baby Rescue box at the hospital; they’ll find you a good home. Then I’ll sell the house and drop off the grid. I’ll take a drop of the potion now and then and I should be set for a couple of hundred years at least. And you get a whole new life to live; everybody wins!”

“No! I don’t want to be a baby. There has to be a … waaaah!”

Sandra looked at the infant lying amid her husband’s clothes and watched what he was doing. Damn, she thought, I forgot to get diapers.