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Dana’s Bathing Suit – Chapter 3 – by lostandwhatever

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Continued from Chapter 2.

Dana shook her head to clear the wooziness and considered what to do next. She decided to go for a swim just to wash the tears off of her face and clear her mind. She left the changing room and headed straight for the water. Again, she became aware of how big everyone seemed today, but, somehow, they seemed even bigger than before. All the grown ups seemed to be almost 7 feet tall, and there was one busty, Amazonian-looking woman that appeared to be about 7 and a half feet tall to her. She walked on, feeling particularly small all of a sudden. Once more, Dana encountered the red-headed girl and was amazed that she actually had to look up at the girl’s face now. The redhead seemed older too, but Dana couldn’t figure out what it was about her that had changed. She just had a general sense that the redhead was older than her.

Dana ran into the water and was surprised to hear a giggle escape her lips when it splashed around her. She found herself instantly having fun enjoying the refreshing coolness of the water. She swam around a bit and then floated on her back as little waves lapped around her. Finally, she felt as though she could let her worries slip away. She floated happily until one big wave splashed up over her face making her sputter and cough. She stood up and felt the wet underwater sand squish between her little toes. It all felt so comforting.

As she was enjoying the water and sand, a boy splashed up next to her with a red plastic pail and filled it with water. She recognized him as one of the boys building the sandcastle, the one who had asked her to help them out before. He seemed so much bigger now. In fact, he was taller than her by a couple of inches. As he left, she noticed that he had dropped a yellow plastic shovel from his pail when he was filling it. She waded over and picked up the shovel.

“Hey,” she said as he splashed back to shore. “You dropped this.” She held up the shovel.

He stopped and looked back at her, and then he squinted for a moment as if he wasn’t sure if he recognized her or not. “Oh, hey, thanks,” he said as he returned and took it from her. “I need that.”

“No problem,” she said. He gave her a nice smile and started wading away. She looked at their sandcastle and realized that it had been too long since she had built one. “Hey, can I help?”

He turned back again and thought about her question for a second. “I guess,” he said. “Yeah, sure, come on. You saved my shovel. I ought to let you build something.”

She followed him up to the castle, which had grown considerably since she had seen it last. The boys had been busy.

“I’m Tommy and that’s Billy,” said the boy. Dana noticed the second boy was busy at work on a wall.

“I’m Dana,” she said to them both.

“Aw, what’re you bringing along a little girl for? She’ll wreck it,” complained Billy when he looked up from his wall.

“I won’t,” she said defensively. “And, I’m not a little girl.”

“You sure look like one.”

“Billy, cut it out,” said Tommy. “She just wants to help.” Dana felt so happy that Tommy had defended her. He was pretty cute; she realized when she looked at him. His hair was so light blond that it looked almost white. It made him look like tan-skinned little angel. She realized that she wanted him to like her. “Dana, do you want to work on a tower?”

She smiled. “Sure.”

They got to work wetting down sand and layering it up higher and higher to build more walls and towers. Dana was very careful as she built her tower. She didn’t want to make any mistakes that Billy might make fun of. She even went to fill up the pail once, although she struggled with how heavy it was when it was filled of water. A little while later, her tower had grown to be as high as her head as she sat there. She had even started to add crenellations to it, carefully digging at the sand on top.

“Wow,” said Tommy as he looked over her work. “Nice tower!”

Tommy’s comment made her blush. “Thank you,” she said, but she couldn’t look him in the eyes. She wondered why she felt so shy around him.

“I want to help too!” said a girl’s voice nearby.

“Cindy,” said Billy addressing a 5-year-old girl with pigtails who had just walked up to them. “Go back to Mom. This is our castle.”

“But, she said I could play too,” Cindy argued.

“I don’t care. You’ll just wreck it,” said Billy

“But, you let her help,” Cindy said, outraged, as she pointed at Dana. She looked ready to start a tantrum. “I’m going to tell Mom,” she said as she turned to leave.

Billy just sighed and relented, “Fine, you can build, but just stay away from my side. Okay?”

“Thank you!” Cindy said and grabbed a little plastic shovel. Dana eyed her wearily as Cindy started piling up dry sand next to Dana’s magnificent tower.

“Hi, I’m Dana,” she said, introducing herself to Billy’s sister.

“Cindy,” she said as she kept piling up dry sand. Dana was starting to get frustrated with her. Didn’t she know how to build a sandcastle?

“Cindy, you know you need to wet the sand first to get it to stick, right?” said Dana.

“I’ma make a pyramid,” Cindy declared. She dug up more sand near the base of Dana’s tower.


Cindy wasn’t listening. She piled more sand up on her mound and then dug some more sand from near Dana’s tower.

“Wait, if you keep doing that it’s going to…” Dana started to say, but before she could finish, her tower started to tilt. Dana grabbed for her tower desperately, trying to put her body in its way to keep it from falling, but all she managed to do was get herself covered in damp sand as it crumbled on top of her. Her tower was ruined. She didn’t know if she wanted to scream or cry just then.

“See,” said Billy. “I told you they’d wreck it.”

Dana wiped the sand out of her eyes, and then stared at Billy angrily as she spat out more sand. “Wasn’t my fault,” she said.

“Girls don’t know how to build,” he said.

“Do too,” Dana shot back. She wanted to smack Billy hard in the face.

“Stop it,” said Tommy. “Dana built a good tower. Cindy just dug out the sand under it. It’s alright.” Then he addressed Dana. “I’ll help you rebuild it if you want.”

Dana gave Billy one last threatening look and then smiled at Tommy. “Sure,” she said.

“I’m sorry,” said Cindy. “I didn’t mean to break your castle.”

“It’s Okay,” said Dana. “We’ll just make a better one.”

Dana and Tommy started working together to rebuild her tower. A couple of times, their hands touched as they piled up sand, and Dana felt a momentary thrill as his sandy fingers brushed against her own. She realized that she wanted to just walk down the beach together holding hands with him. They kept building, and soon enough, the tower was back to its original height.

“Nice,” said Tommy. He raised his hand, and she gave him a sandy high five. “Master castle-building work right there.”

Dana smiled. Tommy was so nice. She wondered if she should ask him to walk with her now.

“That’s pretty,” said Cindy. “Hey, look at my pyramid.”

Dana turned to look at the pyramid. As she had suspected, it was only a dry pile of sand with the sides smoothed flat. When she looked at Cindy, though, she felt that woozy sensation again, followed by a sinking feeling for a few seconds.

“Whoa, Dana,” Tommy said. “You just shrank!”

“What?” she said as she turned towards him. He looked bigger again, much bigger. And, older too. At least, older than her. They both stood up, and the size difference was even more pronounced. Dana was a whole head shorter than Tommy now.

“Oh my God,” said Billy. “She turned into a little kid. Look at her! She’s like Cindy’s age now.”

Dana looked down at herself. Her swimsuit had turned into a one piece in a style similar to what Cindy wore. Feeling something pulling on the sides of her head, she touched her hair to find it tied up in pigtails. Cindy walked over to her, and Dana realized that the two of them were now the same height.

“Whoa,” said Cindy. “That’s cool! Can we be friends now?”

“Cut it out, Cindy. This is serious,” said Tommy. “Are you alright?” he asked Dana.

“I think so,” she said. Her head felt a bit fuzzy, but overall she felt fine. “I just feel really little.”

“What do we do?” asked Billy.

“What do you mean?” said Tommy.

“I mean, shouldn’t we tell someone or something? She might be sick.”

“What kind of cold makes you 3 years younger?”

“I don’t know,” said Billy. “I just thought that we should help her somehow.”

“It’s magic,” declared Cindy. “Like in a fairy tale.”

Billy reflexively started to argue with her but stopped when he realized that he didn’t have a better explanation. It did seem like magic.

“I’m scared,” said Dana. Everything seemed a lot bigger and a lot more complicated now that she was Cindy’s age.

“It’s okay,” said Tommy, who put an arm around her to comfort her. “We’ll take care of you until we figure out what happened.”

She smiled. Her feelings for him had shifted again. Now, he seemed like a protective older brother to her. She felt safe knowing he was there to help her.

“Let’s figure out how this started,” said Tommy as he sat down on the sand next to her. She sat by his side and was happy to see that the size difference between them was less obvious when sitting. “Did you do anything strange today? Like, did you pick up a, I don’t know, a necklace or a lamp?”

“Really, a magic lamp?” said Billy, teasing Tommy. “Seriously?”

“Shut up,” Tommy replied to him. “Dana, just tell us what happened to you since this morning.”

“Well,” Dana said feeling a bit shy now that the three of them were looking at her. “I just called up Kevin and told him we were going to the beach today.”

“Is Kevin your… step dad?” asked Tommy.

“No, Kevin’s my boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” said Billy, incredulously.

Tommy continued, “What do you mean? Did your mom drive you both to the beach? Is she around here somewhere?”

“Hey,” said Cindy. “Yeah, we should find her mommy.”

“My mommy didn’t drive us. Kevin drove us. He’s got a Jeep. Only…” she trailed off as she remembered running off from him crying.

“A Jeep?” said Billy. “How old is this guy?”

“…only, what?” said Tommy prompting her to continue.

“Only, I don’t think he wants to be my boyfriend anymore since I got littler.”

“Dana,” said Tommy. “This is important. Try to think back. How old were you this morning when Kevin drove you here?”

She had to think really hard about that question. She wanted to say, five, but she knew that couldn’t be right. She had been older than that only a few minutes ago. No, she knew she had been much older. “Seventeen,” she said. “I think.”

“Whoa,” said Billy and Cindy together.

“You were, like, almost a grown up,” said Cindy.

Tommy thought for a moment and asked, “Did you walk by earlier, back when you were a bit older?”

“Yeah,” she said as the memory came back to her. “Yeah, you asked me to help you build. I was bigger than you then, and I said I had to see my boyfriend.” She felt guilty as she remembered turning up her nose at him. “I was rude. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” said Tommy. “I knew that you looked familiar. So, you’ve been getting younger the whole day?”

“I guess,” she said. All of this thinking and remembering was getting to be exhausting. It all seemed so complicated. She would rather just play in the water and forget about the whole mess.

Billy and Tommy looked at each other. “What do we do?” said Billy.

“What can we do?” said Tommy. “If it’s magic, then how do we stop it? Do you know anything about magic?”


“I don’t either. Not real magic.”

“Just make a wish,” said Cindy. “That might work.”

That seemed reasonable. Dana closed her eyes and concentrated. “I wish I was older again.”

They all waited quietly, watching her. Nothing happened except a seagull cawed above them.

“Well,” said Billy. “That didn’t work.”

Tommy frowned, and Dana felt bad that she was being such a problem for him. “I’m sorry, Tommy. I wished real hard. I did.”

“It’s okay, Dana,” he said and hugged her again. “I promise you that we’ll take care of you until we figure out how to turn you back.”

“You will?” she asked, hopefully.


She hugged him back warmly. “Thank you, Tommy.”

“Hey,” he said, realizing that they were covered in sand. “How about we go for a swim to clean off the sand?”

“Okay!” she said.

They ran off to the water. Tommy and Billy got there first since their legs were longer. Dana and Cindy dove in together after them. Time flew by as they floated and swam and splashed around, enjoying the cool escape from the sun that the water provided. Soon, Cindy realized that her shoulders were starting to sting. She had never put on sunscreen before she ran off from Kevin, and now her shoulders were getting red.

“Tommy,” she said. “I need some sunscreen.”

“Oh,” said Tommy. “Let’s go to Billy’s mom. She’ll put some on you. We’ll just say that you’re Cindy’s friend.”

Continued in Chapter 4.



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