Second Childhood

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story about a meeting of a secret society.... view prompt

18 comments

Science Fiction Funny


"Is Gail coming?" Louise asked. 

"How should I know?" Marjorie answered, shrugging. 

Louise checked her watch and sighed. She missed her old watch. This bright pink plastic and nylon thing looked like it came out of a gumball machine. 

"I'm here!" Gail said, climbing the rope to the tree house and panting dramatically. "Could we please meet in my neighborhood next time?" 

Gail sat cross legged on the floor of the tree house, across from the other two girls. 

"No," Louise and Marjorie answered in unison. 

"Jinx!" the girls said in unison again. They looked at each other for a moment, then fell apart giggling. 

Gail rolled her eyes and mumbled, "This is so unfair." 

"Aww… don't be so grumpy," Marjorie teased Gail. "It's not our fault we ended up in the same neighborhood." 


"Now that we're all here," Louise said, pointedly looking at Gail. "I hereby call this secret meeting of the Careful What You Wish For society to order." She banged an imaginary gavel on the tree house floor. 

"Wait... I thought we decided on The Little Nanas club?" Marjorie said. 

"Oh what does it matter?" Gail said, still grumpy. She crossed her arms and scowled.  

"I guess I'm taking notes again," Louise said, sounding very put out. She took a pink notebook and pen out of her backpack. 

Marjorie and Gail exchanged glances and smirking smiles as Louise thumbed through the notebook seriously.

"To recap," Louise said. "It's been forty-nine days since we, uhm… changed."

"Geez Louise," Gail said, rolling her eyes for about the tenth time in two minutes. 

It was Gail's favorite thing to say, probably because it annoyed Louise so much. She could almost see steam coming out of Louise's ears as her lips tightened into a thin line. 

"Don't say 'since we changed.' It makes it sound like we went through menopause. Why don't you just say - Since we went to bed one night as nearly eighty year olds and woke up the next morning as nearly ten year olds?" 

"Well, actually, I am ten now," Marjorie interrupted, enunciating each word slowly. "We said we were keeping our same birthdays and mine was last week, so I am actually ten now."

"We know, Marjorie," Gail responded dryly. 

"Yeah, Marjorie," Louise echoed. "We're going to your party tomorrow. We RSVP'd. So we actually already know that you are ten now."

Marjorie clapped her hands excitedly, "It's going to be so awesome! I think I heard my grandson say he's getting one of those bouncy house things!" 


"Speaking of grandsons," Louise said, expertly guiding the girls back to the agenda. "How is it going with family dynamics? Have each of you worked out the story with the uhm, adults in your household?" 

"Roger says he can forge us birth certificates," Gail said, "But that it'll only work if we say we were born at home into some 'off the grid cult' - his words, not mine. Then the adults, as you call them, can say we just got dropped off on their doorsteps. He thinks children's services will let them keep us once we're DNA tested and can prove we're related." 


"Lordy!" Marjorie exclaimed. "What a wild story! I don't know why we have to tell anyone anything. I mean, why can't we just keep it a family matter?"

"Seriously, Marjorie?" Gail said sarcastically. "You think nobody will bat an eye when your little 'visit' to your grandson lasts for eight more years?" 


"And what about school?" Louise asked. "The kids will be starting school in another month. We'll need to enroll and do all that." 

"But I don't want to go to school again," Marjorie said, pouting. 

This time, it was Gail and Louise exchanging glances. They kept having to have this conversation with Marjorie. Kids had to go to school. 

"Let's come back to that one later. Okay, Marjorie?" Louise asked gently. 


"You know what I miss?" Gail asked dreamily. "Alone time."

The three girls all nodded seriously. 

"Roger's got four kids, not counting me," Gail sighed. "I really wish one of yours would take me in sometimes. I know that's awful to say, and that we decided this happened so we could get more time with our families, but Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" 

Gail let out an exasperated huff, making Marjorie giggle. 

"I miss my stuff," Louise said quickly, like she was admitting some deep dark secret. "Do you see all this pink? And these light up tennis shoes?" Louise gestured to her watch, her bag and her jumper. Finally, she uncrossed her legs and stared at her blinking sneakers with embarrassed disgust. 

"I like the sneakers," Marjorie said matter of factly. "And pink suits you." 


"Do you miss anything, Marjorie?" Gail asked. 

Marjorie thought for a moment. She had her thinking face on - eyes looking up, head cocked at an angle, mouth screwed to one side. 

"I miss Janice," Marjorie finally answered. 

"Janice!?" Louise said, horrified. 

"From the home?" Gail asked, also horrified. 

"Yes, Janice," Marjorie said. "What?"

Marjorie glanced from Louise to Gail, confused by their outraged expressions. 

"Janice, of all people," Louise said, shaking her head in amazement. 

"You know she, like, enjoyed torturing us?" Gail asked. 

"You are so dramatic," Marjorie said, rolling her eyes. "She's a physical therapist. She was just doing her job."


"I'll tell you what I don't miss," Gail said, setting the girls up with a twinkle in her eye.

"Arthritis!" Louise and Gail said in unison, while Marjorie said, "Dentures!"


The girls dissolved into giggles again. 

"You said," Gail said between laughing fits, "Dentures!" She pointed at Marjorie, laughing and trying to catch her breath. 

"But you," Gail continued, "are missing... all your front teeth!"

When Gail finally got the words out, she surprised herself with a loud snort-laugh. The amused, yet shocked expression on Gail’s face really got the stoic, responsible Louise going. Louise laughed so hard that she went silent for a bit. Gail wiped the tears from her eyes and checked to make sure Louise was still breathing. 

The girls finally got their giggling under control, but then Marjorie gave them a big smile, displaying her missing teeth. They fell apart again, laughing like only kids can. 


Louise checked her watch, unintentionally. She was going to glare at the gaudy thing again but when she saw the time, she panicked. 

"Holy smokes! It's almost six!" Louise exclaimed. "Meeting adjourned, until next week!" 

She packed her notebook and pen into her backpack and started down the rope ladder. Gail and Marjorie followed. 

"Don't forget about my birthday party tomorrow!" Marjorie yelled as Gail and Louise set off towards their houses. 

"We won't!" the girls yelled back. 

“Geez Louise,” Gail said, getting the last word. 


August 20, 2020 15:10

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

18 comments

Barbara Burgess
09:47 Aug 28, 2020

A very interesting story and a good take on the prompt. As someone already mentioned a good title too. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue. Well done - keep on writing!

Reply

Katina Foster
13:44 Aug 30, 2020

Thanks Barbara!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Deborah Angevin
08:23 Aug 23, 2020

I love the dialogues, as well as the plotline, Katina. I really enjoyed reading this story! P.S: would you mind checking my recent story out, "Yellow Light"? Thank you :D

Reply

Katina Foster
22:36 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks Deborah! I read and commented :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Andrew Krey
02:20 Sep 07, 2020

Great idea for a story; I really liked the fact that they were kids again in everyway, and not just adults in kid bodies. Rather than marvel at how it happened, or be grateful for the chance of a second Life, their grumbling about school, and watches, and focused on birthday parties...just like kids too! Happy writing!

Reply

Katina Foster
04:11 Sep 07, 2020

Thanks Andrew!

Reply

Andrew Krey
02:02 Sep 08, 2020

You're welcome Katina :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Keerththan 😀
08:00 Sep 02, 2020

Wonderful title. Amazing story. Well written. You have used science fiction well. Great job. Would you mind reading my new story "The adventurous tragedy?"

Reply

Katina Foster
04:14 Sep 07, 2020

Thanks! Read & commented! :)

Reply

Keerththan 😀
04:28 Sep 07, 2020

I think you forgot to like it. Would you mind doing it?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mary Lydick
02:40 Aug 31, 2020

Geez Louise! Clever and funny.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Tia Markovich
20:52 Aug 22, 2020

I love this story! How clever! Louise is my favorite. That would really be something to adjust to. :)

Reply

Katina Foster
21:17 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks Tia! ♡♡♡

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Vadasz Sara
18:58 Oct 24, 2020

Hi Katina, I'm truly amazed. This story brought up memories when I was a carer and your characters are so realistic! It takes empathy and imagination to describe kids and elderly while you are somewhere between :)

Reply

Katina Foster
13:55 Oct 27, 2020

Thanks Sara! I'm glad you liked it 😊

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
D. Shikha
08:06 Aug 27, 2020

Wow, Nice take on the prompt. I loved it. The name fits the story very well. Good job👍 Would you mind checking out my first story?

Reply

Katina Foster
13:44 Aug 30, 2020

Thanks! I read and commented.

Reply

D. Shikha
13:47 Aug 30, 2020

:-)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.