"How do I look? Do I look like Riley?"
"Yeah. You look like him, alright! You look EXACTLY like him. This is...this is unbelievable. Are you sure you guys aren't playing a trick on me?"
"No, Craig! Geez it's me! It's ME! It's Toby!! I was nine yesterday and now Santa gave me my wish!"
"There is no Santa! Toby, something ELSE must have happened."
The phone rang.
"Maybe it's the loony bin come to haul me away." I picked up my phone. I'd been given the one simple task of babysitting my baby brother. I was 17 and my parents were gone with my cousin Riley at some winter lodge.
"It's me." The voice of my little brother.
"What the FUCK? What's going on? Am I going crazy? Is this the anti depressants? Shit, I knew it. I'm having a psychotic breakdown!"
"No you aren't," the nine year old on the other end said. "Look, your parents think they took me with them and I'm Toby now. Put me on the phone with me...with him...with my body that he is in."
I handed the phone to my now huge brother, who had changed from his Spongebob jammies into some of Riley's clothes, and he was even carrying one of Riley's pipes.
"Hello? Oh, hi Riley! Really? I get to be grown up? You mean it? What? What do you mean? Uh huh. Ok. Oh, okay. Okay. Cool. Wow. Neat! Okay! I love you too bye!"
"Hey, wait! What the hell. Just what the hell. Oh my god." I laid down on the couch. I wanted to cry. I was going crazy and hallucinating all this.
"Riley said he's me now cuz he has a machine that can make you into anyone. He said no one has to know cuz he gave me more knowledge and stuff? So I guess I can drive you to get some food downtown if you want, and we can go watch Star Wars!"
"Drive?? You're fucking nine years old! I'm 17 and I've been driving for a full year."
"Well I've been driving for way longer. Like, eight years to be exact. I mean I can drive that good. Look Craig, I have tattoos! This is for real the best present I could ever get! I'm so happy! Do you think my beard looks cool? And my muscles?"
"No. I mean sure. I wish I wasn't crazy."
"You're not crazy, silly!"
"Just leave me alone, I'm crazy and you're a hallucination." Toby frowned at this. Or Riley. Whoever he was frowned.
"I'm worried about you. You don't look okay. Are you getting sad again?" He went off and I vaguely heard him making a phone call. No one in my family really understood how severe my depression could get this time of year. I had a long history of depression due to congenital heart illness, extreme bullying at school that I suffered for years, due to being gay in a shitty small town full of idiots, and the death of my only boyfriend several years ago in a car crash. No one knew he was my boyfriend. I wish I had a magic machine to make me feel better but I don't.
"Craig? Hey, buddy. I need you to sit up. I talked with Riley. Well, I talked with Toby. He's going to be Toby now, ok? And I just got a level up on my maturity so I want you to look at me. Everything is going to be okay. Do you understand? I love you. You should be feeling the effects of the Chronivac soon.
And he was right. I felt my memories shifting. Soon the lifetime of being sick with all the heart problems I had in junior high and after faded. The doctor was telling my parents how fast I was growing and how unprecedented. I blinked. I remembered trying out for sports and getting on the football and baseball teams. I remembered my best friend. I remembered telling him my dad could give him a ride that night he was going to go home. He'd only had his license for a month but I knew he'd had a few beers and it wasn't the responsible thing. My dad drove him home. The memory of the funeral faded. I sat up. I stood up and...something was off.
"Geez, I feel great. That nap sure worked wonders for me. "I need to stretch. God, I feel...really good. I feel great!" I looked at my cousin and knew things were different now.
"Are you okay now?"
"Yeah, I'm better than okay. So what do you say to a Christmas whiskey?"
"Well I'd say I'm driving us to a movie so you should wait until we can both have one, buddy." The new Riley came over and hugged me and I immediately felt safe and I realized I had a beard for the first time. My huge muscles tightly held his. It was a fantastic feeling to be bigger and stronger and to have my baby bro in my arms...well, my cousin. This was confusing.
"I should just call you Riley from now on, shouldn't I?"
"It would make things a lot easier." He said, and kissed me on the cheek. I was immediately captivated by him. I reached out a hand and stroked his beard. He answered by showing me my Christmas present.
"Here. I unwrapped it for you."
"How dare you," I chided him. And I got down on my knees. "Time for me to give you your first blowjob, baby bro."
"OH MY GOD!"
Yeah. There's at least one thing my brother didn't remember. The look on his face and how much he moaned. I'm surprised we didn't wake someone up in the house next door to us, and they were pretty far away.
I came up with his cum fresh in my mouth.
"God bless us, everyone."
He kissed me and tasted his own cum in my mouth.
"You like my stuffing?"
"I'd love to see your stocking."
"How about you just shut up while I fuck you, bro?"
Getting fucked by my brother turned cousin and seeing the new Star Wars in the same day. My life is now complete.
"Hey, why do you think Riley wanted to trade places to begin with? Why do you think he wants to be Toby now?" I asked that night, as we drank whiskey and made out.
"He always felt like he got cheated out of having a good childhood. He knew he wanted to have an actually happy Christmas for the first time. You know his parents. They were horrible people."
"Well, we're all gonna be one happy family now."
"Yes, we are. You want another log on the fire?"
"I thought you'd never ask..."
"Come on, Justin. Hurry up, we don't want to be late for Auntie Jennifer. Come on, buddy."
"Daddy, look they have a tree!"
"We have a tree at home, sweetie."
"Daddy, look, it's Santa! Can we talk to him, Daddy? You said we could!"
Jack looked inside the store and quickly decided to fulfill his promise.
"Okay, yeah, but we have to be quick. Just think of what you want, okay? Try to think about it before you see Santa."
Jack was stressed, but his time with his son was precious and rare. He worked all the time. His wife had died several years before. He often didn't feel like going on sometimes if it weren't for his son. He tried not to show his feelings of sadness in front of Justin. Maybe a trip to see Santa was what they both needed.
By the time they got in line, Santa decided to go on break.
"Daddy, where is he going?" Justin asked, visibly distressed. "I need to give him my wish!"
"It looks like he might be getting lunch with the elves, I guess."
"You guess correctly, sir."
"Oh. Hi. Hi there. When will uh..Santa be back?"
"It will be a half hour I'm afraid."
"We can't wait that long. I have to be at my sister's house."
"Daddy, please?" Justin looked up at him with puppy dog eyes.
"Perhaps I can be of assistance," the old elf said, in what Jack recognized as a British accent. "I know Santa personally and can deliver any wishes to him that you want. Guaranteed."
"You hear that, buddy? He's a real elf. He can tell Santa whatever you want."
"REALLY?" Justin jumped up and down.
"Oh quite, young man. Just whisper it in my ear." He bent down and listened patiently. "I think that won't be a problem at all."
"So what did he ask for?" Jack asked.
"That would spoil the surprise!"
"Daddy, he can't tell you! Only Santa can know!"
"It will be something quite easily achieved. I think your son wants you to have a nice Christmas. And be happy." the old elf whispered.
"Oh. Uh. Thanks, okay buddy we gave your wish to Santa. Let's go now."
"Okay, daddy! Bye, Mr. Elf!" The elf waved goodbye and spoke into his watch.
"Mission accomplished. Agent 824 requesting dimensional vortex transport in mark 3 minutes."
At his sister's house, Jack was treated to a nice dinner but unfortunately he and Justin would have to leave the next morning.
"I can't believe your boss is making you work on Christmas Day!"
"It's overtime and double pay. I need the money. You sure it's okay if I leave Justin here all day?"
"Of course! Geez, Jack. You're always welcome here. I wish you'd come over more often."
"I know, it's the commute. I'll have to leave at 4AM."
"It just doesn't seem right."
"Daddy, look! I have a present from Santa!" Justin was there, holding up a silvery wrapped gift that Jack hadn't bought for him.
"Did you get him this?"
"I didn't. And Santa isn't due til midnight."
"Well uh, maybe he made a mistake. Maybe Franky got it?"
"Maybe, but he's still at work. I don't want to bother him."
Jack gave Justin permission to open one present and this was the one he wanted. Inside was an empty box.
"Wow, this is awesome!" Justin ran back to the guest room and shut the door.
"He's excited about an empty box."
"He's five. They get excited by all sorts of stuff."
"I wish I was five again."
"You just don't want to go to work tomorrow."
Jack spent the evening watching TV and waited til Justin went to bed. He made him turn in extra early so he didn't hear Jack going to the car with "Santa's" presents. What he didn't know was that Justin was wide awake with his brand new Chronivac...invisible to everyone but himself.
Jack's sister got out "Santa's" presents around 11:00 PM and he followed suit after she went to bed. He found himself channel surfing when he heard something a little after midnight. All the lights were turned off except the Christmas lights.
"Buddy? You're not supposed to be out of bed. Santa's coming any minute!"
"Santa already brought my present," Justin said confused. "He brought the age machine. It can make me a grown up and it can make you a kid again."
"What? Oh, you must have heard me earlier when I told Auntie Jennifer that I wanted to be five again."
"Daddy, you can be! And I can take care of you and then you'll be happy."
"Come here, buddy." Jack sat Justin on his lap. "Boy, you're getting heavy."
"I'm growing because I'm getting older. The machine said I could be the daddy."
"Honey, you shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing. Not until much later. You don't have to take care of anyone. That's the great thing about being a kid."
"But I want to be bigger!" Justin whined. "Please, daddy?"
"Oh, ok. Well, if you want to be an adult, I guess I can't stop you," Jack said, playing along with his son.
"Really? Ow. OW!" Justin got off Jack's lap. He bent over and as Jack stood up he notice the little guy moving...wait...he was standing...and moving up?
Jack walked across the room and turned around to find his little boy slightly taller. His little shirt was straining against his chest.
"What the hell?"
"You shouldn't say bad words, Daddy. Especially cuz little kids aren't allowed. Only grown ups." Was his son's voice a little deeper? A little raspier?
"Are you...getting a cold?" Jack walked up until he was right in front of Justin...watching him incrementally grow a full inch in just mere seconds and then stop.
"Unh. UNH. I'm getting taller! It's working, Daddy!"
"No, that's not possible."
His son stretched even further. He grew up and up and up. His jammies stretched and stretched until they fell off and he stepped out of them, a young teenager's body greeted his father. A pair of jeans replaced them, draping down from seemingly nowhere. His jammie top became a white gym shirt.
"Daddy, I..this feels really good!" Justin's voice had changed to that of an adolescent. He grew taller than Jack, which was clearly impossible. Jack found himself looking at his son's belt. His belt! His son was going to outgrow the entire house! But when he looked up he saw his son hadn't grown taller than the tree, and he stumbled over to the mirror to see himself shrunken down to a little kid's height. He looked like a midget with an adult head and stubby arms and legs.
"Daddy, it's happening! It's happening! This feels so good..soo good." With every word, his son's voice fell a little bit more. Justin ballooned muscles obscenely, like some kind of blow up dummy, only rock hard iron earned muscle that swelled until he was looking up at his son as a giant. His shirt bulged and raised up his shirt. His legs ballooned and filled out his jeans and a bulge suddenly formed at the crotch.
"Daddy, look! Look at me Daddy!" Justin's voice had dropped to that of an adult. Soon, his face contorted and grew lines. His eyes and mouth changed...grew more mature and sprouted facial hair, until he had turned into a totally adult version of himself, with shoes and a hat appearing last.
"That was awesome!"
"You're going to wake everyone up! Who...why do I sound like that? Do I have a cold? Did I breathe helium?"
"No, you're a kid! You have a kid's voice, silly."
Jack looked in the mirror...to his horror he saw a small boy staring back at him.
Huge arms descended like cannon balls and vaulted him up into the air like a Ferris wheel. He was dizzy with what had happened and he didn't understand it.
"Now we can have a really good Christmas."
"I have to go to work!" the small boy cried.
"No, I do. And not tomorrow. Because I'm the boss, and I told everyone that we weren't going to be open for Christmas. The office is closed. We can do welding any other day of the year."
"But I'm a welder."
"Maybe some day you can be, buddy. I'm the daddy now. Are you happy you got your wish?"
"How..how old am I?"
"I made you 8. I hope that's okay."
"Yeah. It's not like I'm a little kid anymore."
"Oh, Jack. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. You have plenty of time for that." Justin admired his absolutely enormous bicep. "Hey, look. Santa also left you a note. It came with the Chronivac."
Jack opened the note. It read:
I know you've been unhappy the last few years. Your memories of being an adult will fade. Justin will make an excellent new father for you. I look forward to the day when I can greet you one day in person. When you are a big man and have a son of your own one day. You'll be much happier this time around, though.
Have a wonderful second childhood!
"So...I'm the kid now. But how will we explain it to Jennifer?" He was suddenly panicked.
"Everyone else will always think of us the way we are now. Don't worry daddy..er...son. I should call you 'son' now."
"Okay...dad. This is gonna take some getting used to."
"Tell me about it. I'm in charge of a bookkeeping and accounting firm. I can do it but I've never done it. But it's all worth it for you. I can't wait to support you so you can have a happy childhood, little guy."
"It's very unselfish of you. You won't have a childhood now." Jack said.
"Santa thought of that. I can go back anytime. Maybe we'll swap back sometime for fun. But for now, just enjoy it. Merry Christmas, SON." Justin hugged his new son. Jack hugged back.
"Merry Christmas, Dad."
Outside, it began to snow and the father and son watched through the curtains and pointed to a light twinkling in the distance.
Of course, that light was me, going through my temporal vortex. I like to check in on my work. Elf agents are just so very busy this time of year at Chronivac. And to all of you, dear readers, I wish you a very special holiday season and er...be very careful what you wish for around us elves. You might just get it under YOUR tree...