TG Universes & Series:
A Birthday Present
“Thank you for calling the Little Kids’ Kamp, Lisa speaking. How may I help you?”
Lisa was in a small call center for the Little Kids’ Kamp that the owners could magically transform those who wished to live life as a child one more time. Some came for only a day or two, while others stayed a week or so, and some stayed for months. A few even arranged to stay that way and finally grow up all over again after they left.
The “Kamp” as they called it was Jenna’s brainchild. At the time she’d first thought of it, she and her sisters didn’t have the magic to do anything about it, but one day her sister Shelly met the SRU Wizard at the old Penn Station entrance to the tunnel to the Avenue of the Americas in New York City. When he offered to sell her the Mirror of Change, and she realized that it could make the dream come true, she snapped it up. The mirror has the power to change people into what they need to be in their heart.
She had been with Maggie and Baruchah that day, and she asked the Wiz to help make Jenna and her other virtual sisters into her real sisters. She also requested that the virtual family members that wished to be little girls be the real life children of their once just virtual mothers.
When the women and girls were at the Central Park Playground, Shelly suggested to her sisters that they could now do Jenna’s Little Girl Enterprise as a camp. Her idea could be accomplished using the magic they now possessed. Jenna and the others readily agreed. Over the next few days, the now large family of brothers, sisters, cousins and spouses discussed the possibilities. They decided to make the camp for both girls and boys.
Eventually, by using some of their other magic to help other people that had a need, they became the owners of the camp complex. Many of the people they helped paid a lot of money to have their needs fulfilled, but they also did some charity work as a matter of course.
The property consisted of more than ten thousand acres between the interstate and the old US route 1. The train tracks also ran along its borders. They paid to restore an old abandoned station along one of the busiest railroad corridors in the country and made it a common stop. About two thousand acres of the land was turned into a regional mall. Another three thousand became an amusement park that rivaled in size and quality, of the big ones.
On the old US highway were two, usually crowded family restaurants and another one catering to live music and dancing in the evenings. Across the highway in addition, there were Shelly’s soup factory called Bubamyacin, Prudence’s Hugglebugs Factory and Research Center, Jenna’s Woobee Blanket and Tent Mfg, and Pleiades Resources.
Sisters Medical Center was run by the sisters who were doctors, Gina, Kimmie and their cousin, Misty, while Judy and her husband operated the Kamp Veterinary Hospital and Dog Grooming School.
These and other businesses provided enough money for the women to operate the camps at a meager profit in the best of times. About another thousand acres each was set aside for the two camps, one for boys and one for girls. Between them was a thousand acre lake that provided swimming for the children, and water for the park water rides. The remainder was the breeding grounds and pasture for the unicorns and other formally imaginary animals. A stipend to a few zoos, helped pay for the care and breeding of these rare animals.
“I want to give my husband a birthday present,” came the response from the phone. “How much would it cost for a month?”
“Is that with you, or would he be coming alone?”
“With me,” was the answer.
“The basic package including your room and board is $100 per person plus tax. This includes the child’s clothes, dining in the cafeteria or your room, use of all the equipment, the unicorn rides and the medical facilities. The magic to change your husband will be another $100 for each direction. If you want a minor change, it will be $50 if permanent, and $100 if temporary. Uses of the amusement park or eating at one of our restaurants are extra. You may pay for some of the extras now or when you need to use them. We take all the major credit cards.”
“I can’t afford that much.”
“Let me put you on hold and get my supervisor,” Lisa told the woman. “Maybe she could do something for you.”
Lisa knew that for her, this was a “no lose” situation. If the woman received a break from the owners then she would still get her full commission, but if the woman was just trying to get a bargain without needing it then she would pay a premium surcharge for her chutzpah. Most of that premium would go to Lisa as a bonus.
Prudence was on charity duty that day. Although Prue hated the supervision of the call center, she loved giving charity. By talking to the woman on the other end of the line she would be able to determine what this woman needed, and charge accordingly. The charge might even be as low as zero. “Hello, I am Prudence, one of the owners. How can I help you?”
As the woman asked for a break and gave her the reason for it, Prue was able to establish a gentle mind probe through the phone, giving her the information she needed. She found out that this woman had saved every penny she could over a year for this vacation, yet she had less than half the money needed for it. She loved her husband so much that she needed to indulge him with his only fantasy. Prue was also in touch with their love for each other.
“My husband needs to be a little girl for a while. I was hoping to give him a month this way, but I can’t afford the prices you are asking. Is there anything you can do for us?”
“How about $900 for the full package for the month, and we will absorb the tax? That should leave you with enough money that you can do a few extras while you are here. We will accommodate you for the full month. Oh, there is one additional bonus. We allow no smoking or drug abuse on the property, so if either of you do use anything, you will have no need for that substance during and after your stay.”
“How can I thank you?” the woman asked.
“Believe it or not, your joy will be our reward,” Prue answered. “I’m going to give you back to Lisa and she’ll finish the arranging everything.”
“Will I see you there? I want to thank you in person.”
“I am one of the owners, among with my sisters, so I help run everything. We even share taking care of our children.”
When Lisa got back on the line she asked the woman, “When would you like to be here?”
“I would like us to be there July 1 through July 31.”
“How old would you and your husband wish to be?”
“He would like to be a five-year-old girl. I’ll remain the same. ”
“May I talk to him to confirm the transformation?”
“This is supposed to be a surprise,” the lady said. “All he knows is that we are going to spend a month in the country together, but I know he needs this. We’ve been married for six years and have no children and he has told me many times about his need to be a little girl so this is my special present to him.”
“You must love him a lot,” Lisa noted.
“I’d do anything for him.”
“I hope to love a man like that some day,” Lisa mused before getting down to business. “The reservations are conditional upon his agreeing to the terms when you get here. Any changes will be accommodated. If he refuses then we will refund your money.”
The final arrangements were made and Mrs. Gayle Hughes’s credit card was accepted. When Mike Hughes came home that night he told that their vacation had been arranged, but just what they would be doing, was still a mystery.
On July 1, still not knowing exactly where they were going, he drove the three hundred miles on the interstate to the mall exit, where they switched drivers. When they saw the “Little Kids’ Kamp” sign, Mike asked Gayle to pull over. When she did he kissed her on the cheek. They drove to the main building and parked.
“Just take out my suitcase, dear,” Gayle told him. “Your clothes will be a little different in a few minutes.”
When they walked into the building they saw a small crowd of men, and women. The Hughes were told that their wait would be less then ten minutes and just wait for their names to be called. As they waited they noticed that a lot more adults went into the rooms marked private than came out and most of the adults who came out were with children. Although often, one of those that went in was the same as one of those who came out, that was not always the case. A man would go in and a woman would come out, or a boy, or a girl or a slightly different man might reappear. The same happened with the women when they came out. One or two women were the same, although most were younger, and had slightly different looks. Most of the time there was an adult with a child in tow. Sometimes the child was a teen who followed the mage, or witch, for lack of a better term.
One of the young witches working there was humming, although Mike couldn’t make out the tune so he watched her as she took care of business. She had unbelievable breast length hair, whose color went from platinum to raven and red to orange, with every color in between. Somehow it was distributed in a way that had no streaks and seemed to create highlights. She was wearing a mint t-shirt with a flower design, and a Kelly green A line skirt that was about an inch above her knees. Her sneakers were also green.
Mike didn’t think that she could possibly be out of her teens. Around her neck was a small gold heart with a heart shaped hole in it. On her wrist was a charm bracelet with a pair of insects hugging each other. Hypnotized by her beauty, he watched her and listened to her song. Gradually he believed that she was humming a made up tune.
Other women and men took the people who were waiting to the changing rooms. Both the men and the women had the same necklace and the women also wore the bracelet. Most of the workers seemed to have a family resemblance.
Eventually the young woman who was humming called out their names, “Michael and Gayle Hughes?”
Mike raised his hand.
“Hi, my name is Shelly, and I am one of the owners of this camp, Mike, I see that you haven’t approved the change yet. That is necessary for us to change you, because everything here is voluntary. And I do mean voluntary. If you say no, we don’t do anything. According to Gayle you would like to be a five-year-old girl.”
“That will be Ok,” he replied.
“Just OK?” Shelly asked. “We can modify any of the changes.”
“I think I would prefer to be four.”
“No problem,” Shelly noted the change on the form. “Are there any other changes?”
“Everything else is fine.”
“Mike, please read the conditions, and make sure the changes are what you want. If everything is okay, sign here.”
“Gayle, do you want any changes for yourself? They will be included in the price.”
“No, I like the way I am.”
“Here is the legal disclaimer our lawyers insist upon. Gayle, you will be her mother, physically and legal guardian for the month,” Shelly explained while Mike finished reading the contract. She is therefore your responsibility. You may temporarily delegate that responsibility, but ultimately that responsibility is yours.”
When he signed, Shelly asked them, “Could you both follow me?”
Shelly was humming again as they walked into a room that was bare except for a few chairs, a chest of drawers and a mirror. Shelly asked them to sit in two of the chairs that faced her.
“Now Mike, I want you to gently close your eyes,” Shelly told him.
“No magic words?” asked Gayle.
“Open your eyes, Mike. Do you want magic words?” Shelly questioned with a gleam in her eye.
“If you don’t mind,” Mike answered.
“Would you prefer Abracadabra or Bibity Bobity Boop?”
“Bibity Bobity Boop.”
“Do you want me to use a wand?”
“OK,” Shelly giggled as she pulled out a wand out of thin air. “Are you ready now?”
“Very much,” he breathlessly replied.
“Then close your eyes again.”
When he did Shelly said, “Bibity Bobity Boop!”
Gayle gave a gasp as she saw her husband shrink. His hair grew longer and his clothes changed into those appropriate for a girl of four. His face became smooth and angelic. The color of his hair also changed. As Gayle was a natural dirty blonde, and Mike’s hair had been red, his hair became strawberry. Mike felt a little discomfort as he changed.
“You may open your eyes now, Helen.”
“Mommy?” the new girl asked as she looked at his former wife.
“I loves you,” she said as she climbed out of the chair and into her new mother’s arms.
“Shelly, why Helen?” asked Gayle as she cuddled Helen. “That is the name I wanted to use for our first daughter.”
“It is part of the magic,” Shelly replied. “That’s why I used it. Are you sure you don’t want any changes, Gayle?”
Gayle hesitated then replied, “Not really.”
“Are you sure?” Shelly asked, not convinced. “There will be no extra charge.”
“Maybe,” Gayle thought out loud. “Could I be closer to your age?”
“I don’t think so,” Shelly replied. “I’m nearly sixty.”
“You look like you’re still a teen.”
“I always looked young for my age,” Shelly replied. “It is a family trait. When I age regressed to what is now twenty, I needed to carry my ID with me at all times.”
“I see,” Gayle said, thinking. “Twenty-one would be nice. I’d be just legal in all areas.”
“Here, read and sign,” Shelly said as she gave Gayle a paper that hadn’t been in the room until she pulled it out of thin air. “When you finish give me the paper then close your eyes.”
When Gayle finished Shelly asked, “Do you want magic words also?”
“No,” Gayle responded. “It is not that important.”
“Then close your eyes.”
“OK,” Gayle said as she followed Shelly’s instructions.
In a few seconds, Helen exclaimed, “Mommy you look even prettier! I have da best mommy in da whole world.”
Shelly handed Gayle a glass slipper that looked like it would fit Helen.
“I have a weird sense of humor, Gayle, even my sisters say so,” Shelly explained. “Like Cinderella you have a time limit. Granted, it is longer, but still you cannot stay this way, unless you come to us. The slipper will remind you of that.”
They walked out of the room and headed for Gayle and Helen’s living quarters for the month. As the three walked to the four-bedroom suite that the Hughes would use, a mother and daughter were riding a unicorn towards them.
“Hi!” the other little girl said.
“Hi!” Helen replied.
“Are you a new girl?” asked the other girl.
“”Yeah,” Helen answered.
“It’s fun!” the other girl said. “Me an Mommy lives here.”
“Let me introduce each of you,” Shelly interrupted. “The young lady on the unicorn is my sister, Emma. With her is her daughter, Katlin, also known as Piper.” Turning her head to the others, “Walking with me are Gayle, and her daughter, Helen. They will be here a month. Piper and Helen are both four.”
“Dat’s a long time,” Piper said. “Yous be a real little girl by den. I likes ta play wid you, Helen.”
“I likes ta play wid you, Piper,” Helen replied.
“Wanta come ta a tea party?” Piper asked. “Mommy, cans she come ta da tea party?”
As Helen asked Gayle, “Mommy, cans I?” Emma told Piper, “It is up to her mother.”
“Let’s see if we have the time,” Gayle told Helen. Turning to Emma, she asked, “When is this tea party?”
“In about two hours,” Emma replied. “Shelly will show you where our place is, and we’ll see you then.”
When they got to their apartment for the month, Gayle wondered why there were two extra bedrooms. She figured that because they had been given a break, they would need to share for the month. Gayle decided she could accept that as a reasonable compromise. Gayle opened the closet doors in her bedroom and saw it already had clothes in it. She went to the room with kittens and angels on the walls and found clothes that looked like they would fit Helen.
An hour later Gayle started getting Helen ready for the tea party.
“Stand still while I brush your hair, Helen,” Gayle insisted.
”Got the wiggleies, now,” Helen explained.
“Then at least try to stay still,” Gayle requested.
“I am, mommy! I trys real hard!”
“I believe you, sweetie. Now that we’re finished, we’ll do your nails so you can look prettier at the party.”
“Wants dat bubble gum colored pink, mommy.”
After she finished her daughter’s nails, Gayle told Helen, “Keep your fingers apart and don’t touch anything while I get your dress for the party. I’ll tell you when they’re dry.”
“Yes, mommy,” Helen replied just before she put her forefinger in her mouth.
Gayle could only shake her head as she got Helen’s dress out of the closet. As she looked at the small garment, she wondered how anyone could fit into something that tiny, until she realized that Helen would need to grow into the dress, instead.
After checking Helen’s fingers to see if the polish had dried, Gayle put her into the dress, then tied its bow in the back. Then she asked Helen to turn, so she could admire her daughter’s looks. Satisfied, she asked Helen to sit at her vanity so she could put on a little makeup, including a bubble gum lipstick.
After Gayle fixed Helen’s hair again, Gayle took her new daughter to the apartment in the next building, where that Emma, her husband and child lived.
Emma opened the door and introduced the mother and daughter to Allie and Vicky and their mother, Kimmie, Cathy and her mother, Jenna, Sarah and her mother Prudence, and the twins, Maggie and Baruchah while explaining that the three mothers were also Emma’s sisters.
While Helen ran over and talked to Piper and her cousins, Gayle asked, “Where is the twin’s mother?”
”My sister, Shelly, is working in the Intake Room today,” Emma explained. “So I’m taking care of two of her littlest ones today.
“She was the girl that changed my husband to Helen,” Gayle noted. “And, Prudence, thank you for the financial break.”
“Please call me Prue.”
Suddenly, Helen came crying to her mother, “All da odder girls have their unik corn babies wid dem and I gots no unik corn.”
As Gayle tried to console her child, Jenna told them, “Don’t worry, I’ll get her one.”
“Don’t bother,” Gayle replied as Jenna went to the coat closet and put her hand in. Jenna did a little magic to create a unicorn doll, and then took it down from the top shelf of the closet.
As she handed the doll to Helen, Jenna explained to Gayle, “It is part of the magic.”
Two hours later the girls finished their tea party and decided to go outside to play on the swing set and jungle gym in the yard behind Emma’s home. During that time both Helen and Gayle felt like they had met some wonderful friends. When Helen finally started to get tired, Gayle picked up her charge, put her on her shoulder, and took the child home so the girl could take a nap.
Awaking in time for dinner, Gayle quickly dressed Helen and took her to the cafeteria where they both ate. Afterward, Gayle let Helen watch cartoons until it was time for Helen to go to sleep for the night. As she got Helen ready for bed, Gayle asked her, “Do you want to go to the amusement park tomorrow?”
“Cans we mommy?” Helen responded, waking up a bit when she heard those words. “Cans we?”
“Yes, but you need to sleep now,” Gayle said as she sat in a rocking chair next to her daughter. “So I’ll read you a Strawberry Shortcake story.”
“Otays, mommy,” Helen replied as she leaned into her mother.
Gayle started reading. She showed Helen the pictures as she read. By the end of book Helen had fallen asleep. Gently Gayle got up and put the sleeping child in her bed and pulled the cover over her daughter. Gayle picked up the toys that Helen forgot to clean up from her busy day at playing. While she cleaned she thought. She wished there was a way that Helen could stay this way. She saw how happy Helen was and she knew that Helen should be Helen and not Mike. She loved Mike, but Gayle’s need for Helen was greater. She wished that there were a way that she could have both Helen and Mike, yet she knew she would have to choose and so would Mike. She was already thinking she should persuade him to stay this way.
In the morning Helen was jumping on Gayle and telling her to get up.
“What time is it?” asked Gayle with here eyes still closed.”
“Don’t know,” replied Helen. “Can’t read numbers no mores. Just know am wakie.”
Gayle turned towards the clock. As Helen was sitting on the small of Gayle’s tummy she squealed and giggled when Gayle turned and dumped the little girl on the bed.
“It’s six o’clock in the morning,” Gayle said to her daughter as she looked at her in the face. “You’re getting me up at six o’clock in the morning on a vacation, yet? You’re not supposed to do that to your mommy.”
Helen continued to giggle.
“Am wakie now!” Helen replied. “Want ta go ta da Amusy mint park.”
“It is not open this early,” Gayle replied as she pulled Helen closer to her. “It opens at ten.”
“Dat’s dis many?” Helen asked as she held up all her fingers on both hands except one of her thumbs.
“My big girl can count.” Gayle smiled.
“But you said it is six.” Helen said. “How many is six?”
“Hold up all your fingers in one hand.”
“Otays!” Helen replied as she held up her right hand with all the fingers showing.
“And one finger from your other hand.”
“Otays!” the child replied as she followed her mother’s instructions.
“That’s six,” noted Gayle. “Now how many fingers do you have down?”
“One, two three!”
“And the thumb?”
“Oh yeah, fours,” admitted Helen. “Fours hours? Dat’s a long time.”
“So let’s make it go faster,” Gayle said. “Snuggle up to mommy.”
“Cans Molly come too?”
“Yes, your doll may snuggle with us.”
Mother and daughter smiled as Helen and her doll snuggled up against her mother.
After a while as Gayle was drifting off to sleep, Helen asked, “Will I get titties as big as yours?”
“Would you like them?”
“When I grows up. Cans I have them?”
I don’t know,” Gayle replied. “You’re supposed to go back to being Mike in a few weeks.”
“If I stays then?”
“If you stay you will get them.”
Gayle hoped that Helen was thinking seriously about staying as Helen, at least as much as a child of four can think seriously.
When Gayle woke up she found Helen playing with Molly quietly in Gayle’s bed. Helen was combing the doll’s hair and talking to it.
Helen looked up to Gayle and said, “I like dis. Dis is da things dat I did nots do as a boy. I’s so happy.”
Gayle smiled at Helen then gave her a big hug.
“Getting hungry, mommy,” Helen said after a few minutes in that hug.
Gayle went to the kitchen of the suite and found some cereal in the cupboard and milk in the refrigerator. She made the cereal for Helen then took a quick shower before having breakfast herself. After she got Helen dressed so that they could go to the amusement park. The walk to the gate took about five minutes. After paying for them for the day they entered the park and found the kiddy rides. They were walking and deciding what rides to go on when Helen spotted a boy from their neighborhood at the roller coaster ride.
“Hi Bobby,” Helen said shyly.
“Hi, Helen,” Bobby said. “What ya doin here?”
“Wes at the camp next door and mommy took me to da amusy mint park today.”
“Dat your mommy?” Bobby asked as he pointed to Gayle.
“Yeah, what ya doin here?”
“Daddy took me here today.”
“Dat your daddy?” asked Helen.
“Yea, want to go on da roller coaster?”
As the kids ran towards the little kids roller coaster line Bobby’s father said, “Hi, I’m Frank Romano, I’m Bobby’s dad.”
For some reason Gayle immediately felt comfortable talking to Frank.
“You look familiar,” Frank said. “And I don’t mean that to be a line. I seem to have met you before.”
“Helen knows Bobby, so I assume we have seen each other before when dropping off or picking up our children.”
It could be that,” Frank said. “But I have a feeling it is because of my work. I am a cop for the county.”
When Frank said, “cop” Gayle started to cry. Somehow she remembered the day Mike “died.” She had just finished using the last of the disposable diapers on Helen so Mike drove to a supermarket to get some more. Two hours later a policeman came to their door and told Gayle that a DUI had hit Mike’s car so hard that Mike probably died instantly. The policeman who came to the door to tell Gayle was Frank.
When Gayle told him why she was crying Frank held her hand and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”
“It’s ok. You actually helped me get through those first few hours. I hope your wife understood.”
“She did,” he replied as he looked away. She was a wonderful woman.”
“Was?” Gayle asked as the children ran back to their parents.
“She died of breast cancer late last year,” Frank explained. “I miss her so much and so does Bobby. This trip is as much for me as it is for Bobby. We needed to get away and have fun.”
“Can we go on the Teacup?” asked the two breathless children.
Gayle looked at Frank who smiled at her and said, “Sure,” to the children.
“The two of them seem to be having fun together,” Frank noted as they got up to follow the children.
As they walked towards the teacup ride their hands touched briefly allowing them to hold each other’s hand. Gayle had some guilt because of Mike, but in this reality she knew Mike was already dead.
The rest of the morning and afternoon Frank and Gayle continued to get closer. They were having as much fun with each other as with their children. The casual observer would have assumed that he or she was watching a couple and their two small children. On the rapid river ride they were able to go on the front of the raft together. The plunge put spray into the front of the boat.
“I gots wets, mommy!” Gayle exclaimed.
“Me too!” Bobby said.
“It is a hot day, so you’ll be dry soon.”
“I’s hungry!” Bobby said.
“Let’s get you guys lunch, then,” Frank suggested.
Fortunately, one of the park restaurants was only a few hundred feet from the end of the ride. Frank bought chicken fingers for the children, a small hamburger for Gayle and a large one for himself.
Finally it was time to end the outing. Frank took Gayle and the children back to her apartment.
“I’d like to take you out tonight,” Frank suggested.
“The four of us?” she asked.
“If we could get babysitters I’d appreciate it.”
“I’ll see if we could do that.” Gayle said as she dialed the main office of the camp and made arrangements for Bobby and Helen to have a babysitter.
She was able to arrange a babysitter, Angela, Shelly’s eighteen-year-old daughter, and have Bobby sleep for the night in a separate room in Gayle’s apartment. Frank got ready in the forth bedroom while Gayle got ready in hers.
Frank and Gayle walked to Judy’s, a restaurant having lively music that is owned by the sisters. They had a nice dinner, listened to the music and danced. The romantic evening ended when they walked along the camp’s lake that the restaurant fronted. Finally they walked back to Gayle’s temporary apartment, holding hands, hugging and kissing. When they entered the babysitter was still up.
“They’re both asleep,” Angie told the parents as she started to walk out of the apartment.
“I want to check on her,” Gayle explained to Frank.
“And I him,” Frank added as he tried to give Angela some money which she refused. “Can we check on them together?”
They first check in on the sleeping angel that Helen became. They had to give her the unicorn that fell out of the bed before they left. Frank gently guided Gayle to the next bedroom where they put Bobby’s blanket back on him. They then got to the door of Gayle’s and they kissed with his tongue going into her mouth.
“Your bedroom is that way,” Gayle told him as she kissed her neck and tried to go down lower.
“Can’t we share our bed tonight?” he asked.
“Not tonight,” Gayle explained. “It is impossible. Do you know about the magic in this place?”
“Yeah,” Frank acknowledged. “Some people get changed.”
“Despite what you remember, Mike was changed into Helen. Helen would know what we would do tonight, and as a result so would Mike. I can’t hurt him that way. I love him too much. I can’t make any promises, but if Helen stays as Helen then we might share that bed or more. Until then the answer is ‘no’ even though I want to.”
“I’ll accept that for now,” Frank replied reluctantly as he walked to his bedroom.
In the morning Gayle made breakfast for the four. Frank suggested that they ride the unicorns.
“Would you kids like to ride?” she asked.
“Can we get our own unicorn?” asked Bobby.
“If it is safe,” Frank told him. “I’ll ask down at the barn.
“I can make a picnic basket for the four of us,” Gayle noted.
“Now, you kids wash up and get ready. I’ll be back in a few minutes with the unicorns.”
“Yeah!” the kids shouted.
They rode the unicorns around the lake and followed a path along a stream. At a clearing Frank a Gayle got off their unicorns and walked while the children ran up and down the hill. Gayle took out the picnic basket and made lunch. After their meal the rode back to the camp following the part of the lake they didn’t see before. Gayle remarked how beautiful the scenery was. In the evening Frank took Gayle and the kids to the family restaurant across the street from the camp.
The next day was a medieval day at the camp. It began with the girls riding to the fairgrounds on unicorns. The camp boys march into the main area of the Renaissance Fair carrying their Nerff swords. The boys shoot arrows at a target. They then have mock fights with the swords. The adults knew that the children would fight too hard for even wooden or plastic swords. While the boys fought the loud speaker had Frank Sinatra’s version of “Witchcraft.” Eventually the men running the camp had a choreographed fight that ended with five men standing. They congratulated each other then helped the other men up. The “blood” on the losers’ uniforms was the only evidence they had lost.
Suddenly in the sky was a spot that grew bigger that became a fire-breathing dragon. It flew low as the men of the camp tried to defend themselves from its flames and claws.
“It is a fake,” Bobby said as he hid behind his father.
“Still scared,” Helen nervously replied as she hid behind her mother.
“Come let’s go before anything happens,” Gayle told Frank.
“I think Bobby’s right but it seems so real,” Frank explained.
When the dragon was high in the air one of the men shot an arrow into the dragon’s belly. The dragon burst into thousands of tiny flowers as it fell to the ground. The parents and children clapped and cheered as the flowers fell.
“I told you the dragon was a fake,” Bobby proudly said to Helen.
“Still scared,” Helen explained.
“Bobby, I know there are no dragons,” Gayle admonished the boy. “And I know that the camp would not put on a show that was not safe for everyone. But everything seemed so real. I felt that I must protect Helen and you and also be protected.”
“And I felt that I needed to protect all three of you,” Frank added as his eyes met Gayle’s.
They gave each other a kiss. Unfortunately, Bobby and Helen saw the kiss out of the corner of their eyes.
“Mushy stuff,” Bobby said.
“Yeah, mushy stuff,” Helen agreed.
When the day was over, Frank asked, “Could we stay another day? I would like to take you to a movie tomorrow night.”
Gayle went to Helen and asked, “Would it be alright if Bobby and his daddy stayed another day?”
“Mike said it will be OK,” Helen replied.
“Are you sure? I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Yes, mommy. Me Helen. Me like Bobby. Bobby’s fun for a boy. Me like Bobby’s daddy.”
“And if you become Mike again?”
“Mike not now. Me know Mike only from before.”
“Only from your memories?”
“Yeah, mommy. Want go movie wid Bobby.”
“Could we do that Frank? Go to the movies with the kids?”
“Yes, I’d like that. What about you, squirt? Want to go to the movies tomorrow?”
The movie was perfect for the children who were bad in a way because they threw the popcorn. It let them out in time to have some time together before having dinner.
“Tomorrow is the last day of my vacation, “ Frank said to Gayle after they put the kids to bed. “I want to see you again.”
“It really depends on Helen. If she stays as Helen then I’d love to, but if Helen becomes Mike again, then definitely not. I’ll give you my phone number at home, just in case. Only if you remember the accident, call.”
“If I understand things correctly, if I don’t remember the accident then I won’t remember you.”
Gayle put her arms around Frank’s neck, wiggled her bottom and said, “I still had a good time with you. If we see each other again the way we want I’ll be able to give you something you want.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
The rest of the vacation was filled with Helen playing especially with the other girls. Gayle realized how natural she seemed almost from the beginning. Considering how old Helen was she was more outgoing than Mike ever was. When she had the chance, Gayle tried to convince Helen to stay as a little girl. Only a small amount of her motivation was Frank. She saw Helen as happier and she realized that she was happier. Gayle saw only one conclusion, but it was still Helen and Mike’s decision. No way could she force Helen to stay as a little girl. The owners of the camp wouldn’t let that happen. So on July 30, Helen and Gayle were both nervous as they walked into the discharge center.
They were greeted by Betty who asked Helen, “Did you have fun?”
“The bestest,” the child said as they walked into the changing room. “But it is time to bes Mike again.”
“Don’t you want to stay as Helen?” asked Gayle.
“Yes, but I am Mike, and Mike has an obligation to you.”
“I’m asking that you remain this way.” Gayle told Helen.
“But you be single mother,” Helen replied. “I cans not let you be that. I hab ta take care of you.”
“I will always love you if you are Helen or Mike,” she explained. “If I had that choice I’d take both of you, but you are happier this way and I’m happy to be able to take care of you. And you gave me something this month I didn’t know I needed badly, a child to care for. Please stay this way.”
“I’ll help you make a child or two,” Helen insisted as she started to cry. “Money?”
“You don’t know it, but Mike had insurance when he died,” Gayle told her. “The house is paid for. I have enough left over for us to live on until you go to school then I can get a part time job. Trust me it could work out.”
Wondering why the change was taking so long, Holly popped her head in and asked, ”Is there a problem? Anything I can do to help?”
“The child wants to go back to being the adult and the parent wants them to stay the way they are now. I’m just waiting for them to make a final decision. Sis, be a dear and get me a time line for Helen Hughes and one for Mike Hughes,” Betty asked. “Here are their birth dates.”
“Helen,” Betty continued after Holly left. “If there were no other factors except you own needs how would you choose?”
“Stay,” Helen replied without hesitation.
“Then please stay,” asked Gayle. “I love you either way, Helen, but I think it would be better for you, for me, for Frank and for Bobby.”
Holly came in and gave Betty the print outs which Betty read.
“I think it is most important that you stay as Helen,” Betty said after she finished reading.
“I’m not allowed to give you details, but things are better this way.”
“Cans you give me hint?”
“The future is changed for the better,” Betty conceded. “That’s all I can say.”
“I could still change the future!”
“Not this way.”
“Is it that important?”
“Very important, but it is still your decision.”
“Will I be happy?”
“I think so,” Betty replied.
Helen thought for about two minutes. For Gayle it was the longest two minutes in her life.
“I’s stay,” Helen finally told them.
“So what was in the timeline report that was so important that you practically insisted Helen accept?” asked Holly as Gayle took her daughter home.
“In this new timeline Mike dies because of a DUI hitting him when he was getting Pampers for Helen about three and a half years ago.” Betty told her sister-in-law.
“But that’s bad,” Holly noted.
“There’s more,” Betty continued. “The DUI served his jail term and when he got out he started an organization to stop DUI’s before they did any damage. If the DUI didn’t hit Mike the DUI would have killed a family of five the next year. The DUI would eventually be killed in prison.”
“I don’t like trading a life for a life,” Holly said. “Even like this. It is not right.”
“Neither do I,” Betty agreed. “But Frank was also the police officer that told Gayle. He and his wife, Rosa, helped Gayle through her mourning period. Rosa and Gayle became fast friends. Then Rosa found out that she had breast cancer and Gayle helped with the caring for Rosa especially at the end just before Rosa died. Rosa told Frank and Gayle that she expected them to marry after he morns his loss of Rosa. She even put Gayle’s hand in Frank’s a few hours before she died to show her approval. That is why Gayle was here, to decide if she would accept being Frank’s wife. She now realizes that she could not replace Rosa, nor could he ever replace Mike, but she also knows that there is still a lot of room in each of their hearts for each other and when Gayle and Helen get back home Gayle will tell him that they will get married.
“That’s great!” Holly exclaimed as she hugged her sister-in-law.
“Hey I’m not finished,” Betty interrupted. “If Gayle and Frank hadn’t married Bobby would have acted out and gotten into trouble with the law because his father was often not home for him. It would have been major jail time. Instead, Gayle’s influence helped Bobby become an upstanding citizen and he eventually followed in his father’s footsteps. He even received a metal for bravery for stopping a hostage crisis that would have resulted in the death of two of the hostages if he weren’t there. He eventually becomes chief of police. Also he married Helen’s best friend. The friend was the youngest of the five that the DUI would have killed. Also in this timeline Bobby introduces Helen to her future husband. In addition, Gayle and Frank will have two other children, one of each. The girl becomes a science teacher who influenced one of her students to become a theoretical physicist and engineer. He invented the warp drive. In other words, we will be able to explore the stars because of this change.”
“And what would have happened to them if Helen changed back?” asked Holly.
“Gayle’s need to be a mother is so great and Mike’s remembrance of this time is so important that they eventually get a divorce. Neither would get what they want or need.”
“We done good, sis,” Holly noted. “Or is there more?”
“That’s the basics,” Betty replied. “Case closed.”
This is story two of the Little Kids Kamp universe.
I thank Holly Logan for her assistance in editing and Maggie O Malley for her encouragement with this universe.
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