“Smith!” Adam thundered as he threw the door open, stepping into the foyer of Pamper Yourself! for the second (and hopefully last) time that day. “We need to talk.”
From behind his desk, Mr Smith quite literally jumped out of sheer surprise of being interrupted so rudely, tearing his gaze away from his computer screen and hurriedly jumping to his feet. On the opposite side of the desk, a woman Adam didn’t recognise had a similar reaction, with slightly less drama. After recovering, she instantly adopted a cold, clinical look and simply stared him down, remaining seated all the while. This must be the infamous Terry, he thought to himself.
Unfortunately, Adam’s bravado was mostly just for show – as it was, he was terrified. Absolutely, unequivocally petrified. Positively quaking in his metaphorical boots. Defecating his pantaloons. However you tried to spin it, Adam was nowhere near as confident as he was forcing himself to appear. The man in the immaculate, cream suit had reduced his girlfriend to a snivelling, pants-wetting toddler, and quite frankly, he didn’t have the slightest clue how it had been done. For all he knew, Mr Smith needed only to click his heels together, and he too would end up pissing his pants alongside Bethany. There was a hell of a lot to be afraid of in this tiny, badly lit room.
However, he refused to give the bastard the pleasure. He may be terrified, but he was also furious. Because of this man, Bethany was incapable of handling her own toileting. She was incapable of basic mathematics. Driving. Talking like an adult. Mr Smith had robbed Bethany of the fundamental aspects of being a grown up, and the fact that someone would do that to someone he loved so much pissed Adam off more than he could ever remember being pissed off.
He was furious, and was perfectly happy to let that be known.
Even if he was terrified.
Behind him, Bethany whimpered a little to herself past her thumb, spooked by her Daddy’s harsh voice. She wasn’t particularly thrilled with anything about the situation at the moment. Before they had left, Adam had taken the time to change her out of the skirt she had wet over lunch at last – however, he had decided against bathing her, after brief deliberation. Hopefully, she’d be returned to her senses before long and she could do it herself, avoid that particular indignity altogether. As such, she was walking a little bow-legged from the stickiness still present around her thighs. Her waddling gait could partly be attributed to Adam’s solution to her toilet issues, too. It had been impossible to avoid the fact that Bethany wasn’t entirely potty trained anymore, and he didn’t really want to have her wetting her pants and making another mess in public. As such, he had been forced to get creative – he had dressed her in not one, but three pairs of her normal underwear, each one lined with one of the pads that she would normally wear during her period. It was essentially a makeshift diaper, just in case of emergency. It was awkward as hell and he wasn’t entirely convinced that it would be effective in the slightest, but it was better than nothing.
With that said, he was a guy that avoided his girlfriend’s ‘hygienic needs’ and knew absolutely nothing about the absorbency of those things – maybe they really would make an awesome diaper.
Either way, it all resulted in his babified lover being quite uncomfortable and unhappy to be dragged out of the house. She squirmed restlessly behind the man she thought was her Daddy, waiting for an opening in the conversation to whine, yet again, that she wanted to go home. It was all he had heard on the way over.
“My dear boy,” Mr Smith exclaimed as he crossed the distance between them. He hadn’t changed at all since their last encounter – he was still dressed in his suit, and the little hair he had left was still immaculate. There was no sign he resented or even remembered the fact they had parted on such bitter terms earlier that day; right now, he simply appeared concerned about Bethany’s welfare. It was a fact that did little to lessen Adam’s anger. “Thank God you were with her, Adam. I scarcely wish to consider what may have happened if you weren’t.”
He paused for a second, then softly added, “I am so, so sorry.” He was watching Bethany’s face intently, as if searching for a sign that anything adult might remain. “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
Fat chance of that. “Save it,” Adam growled. The touchy-feely-I’m-so-sorry bullshit could wait. “Fix her. Now.”
Mr Smith hesitated, as if he were thinking, but he quickly waved his hands about and continued. “Leave Ms Green here with my assistant, Terry. I need you to come out back and – ”
“Excuse me? No,” Adam hissed. He took a step towards the shorter man, wanting to seem intimidating and in control of the situation. Inside, he was fearful – he wasn’t about to show that, though. There was no way he was going to let this asshole think he’d happily eat whatever line he was fed. “Why should I trust a word you say, Smith? Give me one reason why I should believe anything you say. How do I know you’re not going to take me back there and do the same to me?”
“Why would I?”
“You didn’t need much reason to do it to her, did you now?” Adam growled, violently jabbing his finger in Bethany’s direction. She whimpered, becoming more and more upset as the tension escalated.
“My dear boy, you shall have to trust me that it was an honest mistake,” Mr Smith said softly. He sighed, looking over to Terry briefly before returning his attention to Adam. “This was never meant to happen. I understand how you may find that difficult to understand – ”
“ – but, quite frankly, you don’t have much of a choice now, do you?” He stared at Adam over his spectacles, and in that moment both men knew that he had Adam by the balls.
Adam felt his heart sink. So much for having the upper hand.
“I assure you, no further harm will come to either you or Ms Green. We need to get you out back as soon as possible. You’ve spent the day in the company of your…ahem, girlfriend, correct?”
Adam nodded curtly.
“Then you are at risk of having been infected and we must treat you immediately as a precaution,” Mr Smith continued. “You may be fine, and it is entirely possible you have contracted precisely naught. However, I refuse to take that risk. Come out back with me, and we’ll administer the treatment; my assistant shall set Ms Green right in the mean time.”
Mentally, Adam swore explosively. He’d never even considered that possibility – it was hard enough believing an adult could mentally regress like Bethany had. He’d been so preoccupied with that he’d never considered the idea it could be contagious. Torn, he paused to consider his options.
What options? He thought bitterly. If you leave, you might never save Bethany and you might end up needing a Daddy of your own. If you follow him out back…well, you might end up needing a Daddy of your own. He’s got you in a corner.
Adam glared at the man in front of him, the embodiment of everything wrong in his life. To his credit, Mr Smith did appear entirely benign – a look of deep concern was etched into the furrows of his face as he waited for the answer.
He seemed innocent enough, but it was still difficult to believe didn’t have his own agenda. He searched his opponent’s face for answers. There were so many questions he needed answered.
“How do you accidentally turn someone into a toddler?” he began slowly. When Mr Smith opened his mouth to answer, he shook his head. “No, wait. I’m not done. If you have the capabilities to turn someone into a toddler, wouldn’t you treat that with so much caution that it’s impossible to fuck something up? Are you truly that incompetent?”
He escalated the pace now as he grew more confident. “You have something – technology, magic, whatever – that’s unheard of before in the history of mankind. It’d be worth millions. Why are you sharing this information so carelessly to a complete stranger? How can I trust you, Mr ‘Smith’?”
The wrinkled face held no answers.
“You can’t,” he answered dryly. “But as we have already established, what choice do you have, my dear boy? You know the stakes as well as I.”
He paused, then added, “I shall answer your questions in due time. Right now, it is of the utmost importance that we administer the antibody to yourself.”
He hated to admit it, but it was what it was.
“…well, fine,” Adam said reluctantly. “If you’re trying to trick me though, Smith, I’ll make you pay. Got it?”
His opponent didn’t answer, but his face brightened instantly. Adam’s distrust immediately deepened. “Terry!” Smith exclaimed.
The woman looked up from the booklet she was reading at last, and without comment finally got to her feet and joined the group. It hadn’t been noticeable while she was sitting down, but she was enormous, the closest thing to a literal giant that Adam had ever seen. He was immediately taken aback by her immense height – she was a full head taller than him, positively towering over Mr Smith. She watched him cool, emotionless eyes, sizing him up silently.
“Look after Ms Green while I tend to this gentleman,” he commanded. “We won’t be long.”
“Of course,” was Terry’s simple response. She stared down at Adam. “I’m sorry it came to this,” she added emotionlessly.
Sure you are.
“You were taking me out back?” Adam suggested, straining to keep his voice level. He was no longer angry. Just worried that he had agreed to something he really shouldn’t have agreed to.
“Indeed,” Mr Smith quickly said, looking back and forth between his assistant and her antagonist. “Hurry now, I don’t know how long we have!”
With that, he turned and began to make his way to the back of the room.
Adam didn’t move. Turning around, he surprised Bethany by pouncing on her and giving her a firm, reassuring hug. When he pulled away, she continued to watch him with round, worried eyes. She had been almost entirely silent during the conversation, but she was clearly paying attention. More to the point, it was very clearly concerning her. She was practically shaking out of childish fear.
“Is efwythin ok, daddy?” she lisped uncertainly.
Pity welled up inside him – she could feel the gravity of the situation, but she didn’t understand what was going on.
“Daddy will be right back, ok sweetie?” he forced out, avoiding the question entirely. He didn’t want to lie to her. He did want to say more, to set her fears to rest…but he didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t really a Daddy, after all. “Just stay here with Terry, ok?”
“Yes Daddy,” Bethany said quietly. She fidgeted on the spot, glancing at Terry briefly before looking down at the floor shyly. Apparently his girlfriend hadn’t been particularly sociable as a three year old.
Adam turned back to Terry. Forcing his fear aside, he gave her what he hoped was a hard, intimidating stare. “If you hurt her, I’ll kill you,” he threatened. “She’s been through enough. If I come back and find out you’ve so much as laid a hand on her, it’ll be the last thing you’ll ever do.”
It sounded absolutely ridiculous and he knew it. Like something out of a terrible, low budget movie.
Terry, however, didn’t comment. She simply nodded curtly. “Mr Smith is waiting for you,” she said dully.
Adam watched her for a moment longer, not daring to take his eyes off her, before turning around to see Bethany one last time. He gave her a weak smile, wanting her to smile back more than anything. “I love you baby, ok?” he said. “I’ll be right back.”
She didn’t smile. She didn’t even look up from the floor, apparently enchanted by the sight of her own shoelaces.
Get it over with.
With a sigh, Adam finally hurried away from the women in the room to Mr Smith, who was waiting at the entrance to the hallway. Looking down it tentatively, he felt his skin crawl. It seemed to stretch on indefinitely, its true length obscured by the fact that lighting was practically non-existent. The carpet sprawled welcomingly for a short length, then succumbed to a thick veil of darkness and any resemblance of ‘welcoming’ abruptly vanished.
No, something definitely wasn’t right.
Either way, he had no choice but to follow the shorter man, who boldly strode into the shadows without any further warning. Steeling himself, Adam quickly fell into step behind, hoping and praying that this wasn’t a trap and that he would make it back to see the girl that he loved once again.
It was a depressing, gloomy walk, but the lack of visibility seemed not to faze Mr Smith in the slightest. He hurried down the shadowed walkway with ease with long, confident strides. Adam, on the other hand, was much less relaxed. He felt like he was suffocating.
First sign of any funny business, get the fuck out of here, he anxiously whispered to himself. Now that the time had come to actually confront the issue, he was petrified. So much could go wrong; there was a reason children were taught not to associate with strangers, after all. Fight him off if it comes down to it, but get the fuck out. Run. Grab Beth, and run. There’ll be an alternative. There has to be.
Of course, he knew there wasn’t. But if worst came to worst…well, there had to be alternative. There had to be.
Smith stopped at that moment in front of the darkened outline of a doorway, not too far down along the hallway. The glow of the foyer was still warm on their back. Adam watched him closely; it appeared as if he was studying the inscription on the door (or attempting to, at least). A moment later, he tisked impatiently to himself and continued leading Adam down the hallway.
“Bear with me, my boy,” he threw over his shoulder. “Almost there.”
“Smith, how long is this going to take?” Adam demanded. “In case you’ve forgotten, my twenty-three year old girlfriend is waiting to be potty trained.”
The shorter man elected not to answer, and led them even further down the hallway. When they finally stopped, they were a long, long way down, and Adam had to wonder how this strange man could have possibly confused this room with the one before, they were so distant. Smith fumbled around in his pocket, and a moment later emerged with a key. Unlocking the door, he reached inside and flicked the light switch on. A dull, sickly green glow sprang to life from within, bathing the pair in its embrace. It seemed to pulse rhythmically on its own accord, an effect that made Adam’s head ache slightly. Just as he was coming to terms with that fact, he noticed that a faint mist had crept out of the room and curled around their ankles, drifting away to freedom down the hallway – a brief inspection inside revealed that the inside of the room was actually choked in a thick smog, tinted green by the overheads.
What the fuck is this. Holy crap.
Mr Smith turned back to Adam, a slight smile playing on his lips. With the eerie lighting and the setting, it was quite a frightful appearance. It accented the wrinkles and lines carved into the man’s face, and in that moment all Adam could think of was Jekyll and Hyde…and Smith most definitely wasn’t coming across as Jekyll.
“What am I looking at, exactly?” he questioned uncertainly, looking into the depths of the bizarre room. That wasn’t normal, not by any definition of the word. He couldn’t see anything inside – if there was anything waiting inside, it was masked by the green lighting and the fog.
“It’s all a part of the experience,” was the unconvincing answer. “Now, come along! I have given you my word that all will be quite right. There’s no time to lose!”
He gave Adam a small smile that did nothing to settle the nerves, then he disappeared into the greenness. For a second, his silhouette was visible on the smog, then it too vanished into nothingness.
This was it.
He had no idea what was lying through that door. Peering inside, he could quite literally see absolutely nothing but green. The fog eddied and swirled like a pregnant raincloud, shimmering with an ethereal quality bestowed upon it by the emerald lights. He couldn’t make out anything that was actually inside the room; those details were hidden by the ‘experience’, as Smith had so finely put it. It was incredibly unnatural and disturbing and it sent shivers up Adam’s spine. Was this what had turned his girlfriend into a toddler? And didn’t he specifically us the word antibody? This was as far removed from an antibody as possible.
All the while, the room ebbed and pulsed.
He really didn’t want to go in there. He had no idea what was waiting for him.
Do it for Bethany.
I’m no use to Bethany if I end up pissing myself too, he protested.
Smith already ducked in and he’s not going to babify himself. It’s a fucking light, and he’s got a smoke machine for...for dramatic effect. Grow a pair. Even if any of that could hurt you, Smith just proved it’s not going to. He’s in there, isn’t he?
That was true. He had to admit that much to himself. But still…
No, he thought with resignation. He could feel his heart racing like a runaway train, ready to come off the track and explode on impact. No but stills. In you go. For Bethany. Let’s do it.
“For Bethany,” he said softly to himself.
And with that, Adam stepped into the light.
Bethany was having a bad day.
The last thing she had been expecting this morning was to spend the afternoon being treated like a three year old, much less have that happen because she was helplessly acting like one. When she’d got out of bed this morning, her only concern had been the fact she was going to have to show off her fat and lumpy body to a total stranger in a few hours. Since then, she’d pissed herself once, had her boyfriend watch her peeing twice, and had generally proved to the world that she was nothing but an overgrown toddler. Any embarrassment she might have anticipated for the day when she first woke up had been well and truly surpassed. No, she’d experienced a lifetime’s worth of embarrassment in just a few short hours.
Adam had tried so hard to make everything right, and despite the fact that his crude attempts had ultimately failed…he hadn’t been entirely wrong with at least one of his assumptions. He had, at least initially, entertained the possibility that his adult girlfriend was still lurking in the recesses of the toddler’s brain somewhere.
He was correct.
As it was, Bethany the twenty-three year hadn’t ceased to exist at approximately lunch time...at least, she hadn’t for very long. The suddenness of the regression had initially taken her off guard, and she had been powerless to resist the sudden impulses to act like a drooling, pants-wetting moron. In fact, she had succumbed to it entirely, to the point where she hadn’t been able to even tell she was acting like a drooling, pants-wetting moron or that anything was out of the ordinary. By the time they had reached her house, though, she’d mentally returned to her senses, her wits as sharp as ever...however, her body still refused to co-operate. To her horror, she’d found herself unable to do anything but act like the toddler she’d thought she’d been all afternoon, only now she was actually aware of the horrifying indignities she was facing. Once it returned, it was as if her consciousness had simply decided to sit in the backseat while whatever had convinced her brain into thinking it was ok to wet her pants or suck her thumb steered her through the day.
She was there, and she could see and observe what was happening around her…she simply wasn’t in control of herself.
In other words, every time Adam had hoped she wouldn’t remember what was happening at any given time...well, she was living it as it happened.
She had died mentally when he had made her pee in front of him and when he had cleaned her up afterwards. Hands down, that had been the worst part of the entire experience. She didn’t blame him, of course; it was hardly his fault that she was acting like she was. It didn’t change the fact that it had been the single most humiliating moment of her life to date, even if she had been unable to verbalise anything or give any indication that anything was out of the ordinary.
It had been hard to watch everything while powerless to do anything about it; as such, when Terry revealed she was aware of this fact, it made Bethany happier than she could ever remember being.
“I know you’re in there, Ms Green – this room is fitted with specialised technology, and it’s been telling me since you first walked in that you’re mind is still intact. Don’t worry; I assure you, the end is in sight.”
Had she been capable of it, Bethany would have looked up in shock and then promptly broken down in tears out of sheer joy. As it was, the three year old in charge simply swung her legs shyly where she sat, unable to tear her gaze from the floor or her thumb from her mouth as Terry’s revelation washed over her. The waxer’s shadow suddenly fell over her, and then she was kneeling down in front of the babified woman.
In that instant, any animosity she may have still harboured for the giantess after the morning’s events dissipated.
She knows! Bethany wailed ecstatically to herself. Oh my God, at last. No more baby treatment. Thank you. Thank you. Dear God, if you’re out there, I’ll never sin again. I’ll go to Church on Sundays. I’ll say grace. No more religious masturbation. THANK. YOU.
Terry abruptly got back to her feet and walked away, apparently satisfied with her reassuring. The little girl that lorded over Bethany refused to look up to see where she disappeared to, though, and as such she was forced to rely on her ears. Terry had gone silent, and the only sound was a faint scraping noise. It took Bethany a moment to realise what was happening.
She’s closing the blinds.
That was probably a good thing. She didn’t need someone to accidentally look in and see her like this.
A faint click confirmed that she had also locked the door, and then suddenly Terry was in the seat next to her. The three year old in Bethany watched curiously – what did this strange lady want?
She quickly found out. “Come here,” Terry said flatly, and then before she could protest, she was being pulled into the enormous lady’s lap.
Three year old Bethany eeped! in surprise and squirmed uncomfortably at being so rudely manhandled; twenty-three year old Bethany’s elation turned to a mixture of frustration and confusion. Hadn’t they just established that she was done with this bullshit?
She’s mad, remember? You found that out this morning. She was talking down to you even when you WERE twenty three.
It quickly became clear she had read the move entirely wrong, though – Terry wasn’t belittling her. “I really must apologise for all of this,” the Amazonian lady began. “It’s my fault, after all. Entirely my fault. Mr Smith was very displeased.” Her voice remained uninterested and detached, as clinical as if she was discussing the weather. It was startling different to how it had been earlier that day.
She gently reached down around Bethany’s stomach, something which Bethany wasn’t entirely sure was going to be possible before it was done, and pried the smaller girl’s legs wide apart so her own thighs were accessible. With that, she grabbed Bethany’s wrist and gently pulled it down so she could press the shorter girl’s hand against Terry’s crotch. Instantly seeing where this was going, Bethany tried to pull away, but there was no use. The three year old was suddenly curious and more than happy to let it happen.
You’re going to do this to a three year old? What the actual fuck are you doing, you absolute –
Something crinkled beneath her hand as she pressed against the front of Terry’s jeans. There was something beneath her pants. Something like…like a…
Is she wearing a diaper?
This wasn’t sexual abuse – Terry was just showing off her bizarre choice of underwear.
That’s still sexual abuse. Hello incoming lawsuit!
Smith put her in diapers because she fucked up? Is that the implication? Am I understanding that right?
There were a million questions burning on the tip of Bethany’s frontal lobe, but alas, there was nothing she could do but hope three year old her shared the same thoughts.
“Diapee?” she asked curiously. “But you big girl.”
She cringed on the inside. That wasn’t quite how she wanted to go about asking.
Terry, on the other hand, showed emotion for the first time since the couple had entered the room, laughing uproariously. “Indeed, Ms Green,” she said softly. She pulled Bethany’s hand away, then looped her arms around the girl’s waist to hold her steady. “Diapee.”
Unfortunately, Terry didn’t answer, leaving the babified girl to wonder what was going on in silent frustration. “Are you wearing a diapee?” she instead asked. The tone of her voice was light and amused, but it was already sinking back into the neutral, mechanicalness it had possessed before. The detached nature of her voice was very disconcerting – this Terry was practically a different person to the one from this morning. Had that Terry been fake? An act?
The sudden thought made her uneasy. If that was the case, why would it have been necessary, seeing as this was all one big mistake?
She found herself giggling though. “No, silly!” she bubbled. “Big girl!”
She felt Terry snort behind her. “If you say so,” she answered. A moment later, she felt the waxer’s hand sliding down between the waist band of her jeans and the many layers of padding Adam had placed around her waist, determining just how big a girl Bethany was for herself. She would have flushed with embarrassment if she could, and even the toddler in charge squirmed uncomfortably.
“I guess that works too,” Terry said lightly. “Your boyfriend is very clever, I see.”
She stopped for a second, and then added, almost to herself, “It’s absolutely ridiculous, isn’t it? A grown adult like you has to go through an indignity like this?” She slid out from under Bethany, getting to her feet and standing over her companion. “Trust me; I like it as little as you do.”
I’m not sure that’s possible.
“Now, I’m sure you have a million questions you want answered.”
“’Bout what?” she heard herself ask.
What do you think? Shut up, idiot!
Terry clearly had the same thought, as she didn’t even grace the moronic question with an answer. She simply made her way over to the desk. Bethany watched her as she went, feeling more and more uneasy by the second. The truth was about to come out.
“As you may have guessed, we’re not actually a waxing salon.”
“I am a qualified waxer, with that said, but it’s just for show,” Terry was behind the desk now, digging through the drawers in search of something. “At least these days, that is. See, Smith is a scientist. He’s spent a lifetime researching the aging process, in regards to both how the body ages and the mind develops. I’m his assistant nowadays. It’s quite an interesting topic, as you may imagine. You see and learn all sorts of things.”
She looked up at Beth and smiled. Unsure of how to answer that, both Bethany and the excitable toddler in her just watched. “I made my living in a salon before I met him – I actually owned Pamper Yourself! till then, it was my private business.”
“We become lovers very quickly, although it took a very long time for him to reveal what he was researching to me. Initially, all I knew was that he was a scientist. He was very reluctant to share with anyone the nature of his experiments, as I’m sure you understand.” She hesitated for a moment, apparently lost in her own thoughts. “It was really just incredible stuff, though; I found the notion of being able to manipulate someone’s physical age as fascinating as he did. The possibilities that that power opened were amazing.”
“He was looking for a place to begin building his contraptions, and I wanted to be involved. One thing led to another, and the arrangement we decided on using is the one we’re still using today; we lure individuals out of the public eye under the guise of a waxing, and then they unwittingly become our test subjects.”
She paused, before adding, “Like yourself.”
For a moment, time seemed to stand still as the realisation of what Terry had just admitted to washed over Bethany – the next, the world seemed to shatter a little before her eyes. She wanted to scream, scream until her lungs collapsed on themselves and her throat was shredded and bloody. They had been tricked – Adam had been right all along not to trust this witch and her boss! The dam abruptly shattered and terror flooded through her system without inhibition. They kidnapped people and used them for scientific experiments? What was this freak going to do with her?!
At that moment, she remembered that Adam was with Smith right now.
What are they doing to my boyfriend?!
She tried to kick the toddler that had kidnapped her into action – they had to get out of there, this instant.
DO SOMETHING! She shrieked. MOVE. RUN.
The toddler in question promptly slipped her thumb into her mouth and began to suckle gently.
“As you may guess,” Terry went on, returning to looking through the drawer. “Something of this magnitude could never, ever dream of getting FDA approval. The higher ups would never approve of human testing, let alone come to the realisation that the – admittedly unfortunate – loss of a few individuals is a cost more than worth the benefit it can bring society. As such, we have to be careful. We conduct our tests, dispose of the results and then move away before anyone grows suspicious. Sadly, it’s the only way.”
“Can you imagine?” she said, and her eyes grew dreamy as Bethany watched on, horrified. There was madness there in those eyes, clear as day…and did she just admit to murder? “We can literally defeat death. People don’t need to die anymore. They don’t need to suffer. You never need to worry about the people you know and love dropping off the face of the Earth, never to be seen again. Or, say you’re unfortunate enough to develop cancer. Well, we can just regress the body to a point before that happened, and then it has a second chance to develop normally! Do you understand the importance of this research, Ms Green? We cured cancer.”
She finally found whatever she was looking for and made her way back over to Bethany, once again taking a seat beside her. Both three year old and twenty-three year old Bethany tried to examine whatever she had just grabbed, but before she could make it out, it had disappeared into the giantess’s pocket. Whatever it was, it was small enough to fit into the palm of her hand.
“Regressing the physical body is actually the easy part,” she said. “You see, within the nucleus of every cell in your body reside strands of DNA the scientific community know as telomeres. Smith has spent many years researching these; they were always the main focus of his research.”
“You see, when a cell divides in half (as it does naturally), these telomeres end up shorter as a result, and because of that shortening, your body ages. So what if you could lengthen those telomeres again? Would your body grow younger? Smith spent many, many years researching and testing that very question, and that’s how he discovered that they really were the key to physical age regression. It took him a very, very long time, but we’ve finally got that under control within the last two or three years. We’re in the process of looking at ways to get it out in the world right now, without…you know…making it obvious quite a few people got hurt along the way. That’s the hold up.”
She laughed to herself, apparently embarrassed by the fact she was a psychotic nutjob. She eventually returned her attention to Bethany fully, and that very clearly killed any enthusiasm she had. “But that’s irrelevant to you, isn’t it? It’s your brain we’re talking about. Not your body”
She tapped Bethany’s head, and as much as Bethany wanted to get up and run screaming from the room, all she did was sit there and giggle at the touch. She had been right this morning – Terry may only be the assistant, but she was unquestionably, stark raving mad. How could someone laugh at the fact that their job was to destroy someone’s life forever? The words ‘dispose of the results’ still flitted around her head; that surely couldn’t mean murder, could it? Could it?
You have to get up and leave, right now. If you stay here, she’s going to kill you. Get off your ass girl, move. MOVE.
But nothing happened. She sat there quietly, listening to Terry ramble on as she mindlessly slurped on her thumb.
“We’ve been capable of mental regression for a little while now, to an extent,” Terry was saying, and Bethany snapped out of her terrified ramblings and back to attention. She couldn’t afford to miss any of this – if she ever got out of here, she needed all the information she could get to take to the cops. “Honestly, it’s not something I approve of; I do it because Smith says so, and I can’t really say no, can I? I’m sure there would be an ‘unfortunate accident’ in my not-so-distant future if I did. We’re always looking for new subjects, after all.”
She laughed yet again with the semi-embarrassed quality, before continuing. “He can reshape the physical body in any way he sees fit, but the mind is an elusive specimen. It’s a much more complex thing to achieve. It’s mostly that fact that drives him; he sees it as a challenge to overcome, in the name of science.” She paused, and a look of distaste crossed her face. “It’s a cruel and pointless affair, really. Being able to regress the body is an amazing gift to medicine, but to forcibly handicap an adult’s mental capabilities…what does that achieve? It’s pointless, it’s cruel, it’s wrong.” She snorted. “For science, indeed. He has too much power for his own good.”
“It’s not a perfect process. It works, but our patients often go through extreme pain before they end up sucking on their toes and shitting their diapers. Think of the worst migraine you’ve ever had, and multiply that pain by a thousand. It’s truly not fun for anyone involved. Smith wants that as little as I do. They sacrificed their lives for the ‘cause;’ at the very least, they deserve a quick, painless affair.”
“And that, Ms Green, is where you come in,” Terry sighed. She patted Bethany’s thigh in a gesture that was clearly meant to be affectionate, but all it did was make the chubby girl’s skin crawl. “Smith has recently devised a new process that avoids the pain but achieves the same result – that’s what we tried on you this morning. It didn’t go entirely to plan. You were never meant to leave that room this morning. You were meant to end up in a diaper, drooling all over yourself. Obviously, that didn’t…quite…happen...”
She wiped Bethany’s chin dry with the back of her hand, causing Bethany to blush on the inside. She hadn’t even noticed the wetness there that had slipped out around her thumb. Terry absently wiped the dirtied hand clean on the leg of her jeans. “And you got up and walked right out as if nothing had happened!” she exclaimed. “The absolute worst thing that could possibly happen to our little operation. We’ve never had that happen before, you see. At first, we figured we’d just let you go. What could it hurt, after all? The treatment hadn’t worked. You hadn’t seen anything incriminating. What harm could it do? You’d just be the lucky one who managed to dodge the bullet.”
“Smith eventually decided we couldn’t take the risk, though, and had to check up on you…and it’s lucky he did, isn’t it! You’re not only still in there somewhere, it also only half worked...with a delayed reaction at that.” She stopped and watched Bethany oddly. The girl looked right back, a vacant, confused face on the outside and a petrified one that was in the midst of a screaming fit on the inside.
“It won’t happen again,” Terry said softly. “Smith’s taking care of the witness as we speak. We’ll hit you with it again. And then all is well and everything can go back to how it should be.”
She patted Bethany’s knee softly. “I’m truly sorry you had to go through this, Ms Green,” and Bethany could hear the honest regret in her voice. “And to be honest with you, that is why I’m taking the time to explain this to you. I loathe the way Smith toys with the brain; it’s so incredibly cruel, and even if he feels no remorse for it, I certainly do. An apology and an explanation is the least I can offer before the most you’re capable of appreciating is being changed into a clean diaper. I gave it to the others as their brains dissolved to mush; I’ll give it to you.”
A look of genuine satisfaction crossed her face, as if she genuinely felt that she had just done the right thing by her patient. As if apologising was going to make everything ok.
“I’m sure this must be as traumatic for you as it was for our initial test subjects, the ones that went through the agony of our first mental regression methods. I can only imagine the embarrassments you’ve been forced to endure today. I can assure you, you will be the last one to suffer like this. We know what went wrong. It won’t happen again; the next subjects will have a very quick and painless process.”
At last she stopped talking, and a tense silence fell over the two of them. Bethany the three year old was bored out of her mind – why was this total stranger ranting like this? She sat there sucking her thumb dumbly, admiring the floor beneath her seat as if it was the most fucking fascinating thing ever.
Naturally, twenty-three year old Bethany was far less content.
Girl, you’ve gotta move, Bethany cried. Please. You can suck your thumb later.
But again. Nothing happened.
“Well, I guess there’s no further point delaying the inevitable,” Terry said with a sigh. “Again, I must offer you my condolences Ms Green. You seemed like such a nice lady when we met this morning, even when I was talking down to you and trying to trigger the regression – in different circumstances, perhaps we may have even been friends.”
Fat. Fucking. Chance.
At last, she withdrew from her pocket the item that she had retrieved from her desk earlier. It was a small, steel cylinder only slightly longer than her middle finger. It tapered to a blunt point at one end; that particular surface appeared to be made of glass…a laser, perhaps? There was a tiny green button set halfway down the device. Bethany eyed it, her terror rising rapidly, realising that this was most likely going to be the tool that put her back in diapers forever.
“We implanted all the new coding into your brain earlier; you see, our system of mental regression operates by switching off certain regions of your brain. It’s a very simple process, technically. We turn off Wernicke’s Area to handicap your vocabulary, Broca’s Area to handicap the motor control of the muscles you use to speak...”
She ranted off a short list of sections of the brain that Bethany recognised from her Psychology course. God. Who would have thought the first practical use she’d have for this information would be recognising the exact specifics of how she was going to be turned into a baby?
Three year old Bethany was bored. There were far too many big words in Terry’s rant, and none of them meant a thing to her.
“Anyway, you get the idea,” Terry continued. “Point being, all the triggers were put there this morning...however, not all of them activated the way they were meant to, most notably the ones that deal with the frontal lobe. This device will reset them and, in theory, shoot them off the right way this time.”
She pressed the button on the cylinder, and a green laser instantly sprang into existence from its tip. Bethany’s first thought was that it resembled a miniature light sabre, straight out of Star Wars. Her next thought contained many, many expletives as the laser began to move towards her face.
“I’m sure you’re panicking on the inside,” Terry said with that same self-conscious laugh she had used earlier. She was holding the laser vertically in front of Bethany’s face now, watching it intently. Bethany wanted to scream. “I assure you, it’s painless and instant. You won’t be aware that anything is amiss in a moment.”
“Again, I am truly sorry, Ms Green. If it’s any consolation, we’ll be sure to take good care of you here at Pamper Yourself!”
And with that, she turned the laser on its side and pressed it against Bethany’s left eye.
NO! Bethany shrieked, desperately trying to pull away as half her vision went green. Her heart practically burst in that moment and she frantically tried to will her body into action with zero success. I WILL NOT. BE. A. BABY. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.
She was terrified. Absolutely petrified. She had family. She had friends. She had a job and she had a future, god damn it. All of that, everything she had spent her ENTIRE LIFE working towards, was about to be erased in a split second by a flash of light. She thought of all that and more; it was so unfair. Twenty-three years working towards where she stood now...and it was all for nothing, because two psychotic scientists said so?
She thought of Adam.
I love you, Adam, she thought desperately. And I’m going to see you again to tell you that. It can’t end like this!
But it could and it was. She could already feel it happening; her horrified, racing thoughts were becoming more and more difficult to hold onto for longer than a fleeting second, turning vague and blurred even as she thought them. Terrified, she tried to recount her street address to herself in an attempt to hold onto her mental adulthood, but to her horror she found that the words didn’t come when she called them. Her attempts were met with the biological equivalent of a 404 Error page – for a moment, they danced on the tip of her tongue, and then even that sensation vanished altogether.
She felt her entire body go slack as her muscles lost any rigidity they may have once had, and she suddenly found herself slumped against her chair, too weak to set herself the right way up. Her jaw slowly dropped open and drool began to leak out the corners, dribbling down her chin and puddling on her chest just above her breasts.
“That’s a good girl,” Terry cooed. She abruptly got to her feet and stood over Bethany, looking down into her eyes and watching the last vestiges of maturity drain from her face. “Come on. Be a good girl for mummy and get rid of all those nasty adult thoughts.”
No you can’t make me I’m A BIG GIRL.
She tried to resist. She tried so, so hard...but in the end, it was all for nothing. She didn’t really need any prompting to ditch her adult thoughts; she had only a handful left as it was, and those few were vanishing rapidly. She looked up at the woman above her, wanting to lash out and break every one of those perfect, sparkling teeth...but she was suddenly unsure as to whom she was looking at. She felt like this lady was a bad, bad person...but if she was mummy, then that couldn’t be true...right?
A moment later, the word ‘mummy’ faded from her vocabulary altogether, and was replaced by a confusing, primal surge of affection for the lady above her.
Her terror was the next to go, ebbing away faster and faster with every passing second – really, intelligent thought was ebbing away. Her sense of self was dropping in and out of focus like a TV channel that hadn’t quite found the right connection, gradually dissolving into the white static that was a state of existence ruled by impulse rather than coherent thought.
I love you, Adam.
A surge of affection for her boyfriend was the very last thing to cross her mind before the notion of ‘thought’ dissipated like it never existed. She was gone.
In a matter of no more than fifteen seconds, Bethany Green ceased to be a functioning member of society.
Epilogue: Sympathy for the Devil
Terry looked down at the squirming figure beneath her, all that was left of what had once been a young adult with a promising future. “That’s a good girl,” she said dully, not meaning a word of it. Once again, she wiped Bethany’s chin clean of drool with the back of her hand. It elicited a wet gurgle. Looking down, Terry felt her stomach churn with revulsion at the sight of the dumb, vacant grin on the poor girl’s face.
Yep. She was gone alright.
She hated this. Absolutely hated it. How was this fair? What was the point?
She tore her gaze away from the mentally desolate girl before her. Smith had returned; he was standing just beyond the entrance to the hallway, watching the pair with a look of uncertainty on his face.
As she watched, her employer silently jabbed a finger in the direction of Bethany before throwing his hands in the air with a dramatic flourish, not wanting to draw attention to himself in case she was still aware of her surroundings. The message was clear – is she done with?
“She’s as dumb as a rock,” Terry answered curtly. “Your type of girl.”
Bethany giggled, her eyes unfocused and looking at nothing in particular as clapped her hands together as if in cheerful agreement. Drool ran freely down her chin.
Smith laughed gaily to himself, the rich, vibrant sound penetrating the tension of the room with ease. “All is well then, my dear!” he exclaimed. “All is well!” He began to make his way over to the pair, and as he did so, Terry noticed that he appeared a little dishevelled. His normally flawless hair, short as it may be, was an unruly mess, and his face was red from apparent exertion. He looked like he had just run a marathon, complete with an immaculate suit.
Or wrestled an adult back into babyhood, Terry thought bitterly to herself.
“All is well,” Smith repeated happily. He stopped next to his assistant and looked down at his newest test subject. He beamed down at her, playfully grabbing her nose and pulling it gently before returning his attention to Terry. “Positively. Grand.”
“It’s disgusting,” Terry said dully. Just looking at the brain dead woman in front of her made her feel sick. It was such a waste of life.
Smith laughed merrily at that, clearly not fazed by the tone of his assistant’s voice. He had heard it all before, of course; many times. He knew as well as she did that as much as Terry may protest, she was ultimately powerless to do anything more than disagree. “Science is beautiful in its wretchedness,” he chuckled. “It is exactly that which makes life so fascinatingly...fascinating, is it not? Now, come! We must get her changed before she makes a mess. Get the lights, and then we’ll reunite her with her partner. He’s dying to meet her, as you may imagine.”
“I’m sure he is,” Terry said dryly. “They’ll make the most marvellous finger paintings together.”
She glared at him, but gave no further comment as she hurried to do as she was told. She couldn’t protest or change a thing; if she did, she’d end up just like the newest additions to their family. She made her way over to the desk, flicking the light switch that waited just beneath it. Without further adieu, the hallway to her left lit up like a jukebox, finally illuminated properly for the first time that day. What I’d give to never go down there again, Terry thought to herself bitterly.
Smith was struggling to get Bethany’s arm over his shoulder to lift her out of her seat; Terry watched him for a second, wanting nothing more to be anywhere else. He was distracted – surely she could be gone before he noticed. She could be out the door, invisible in the crowds before he even turned around. She’d wash her hands of this business...
...of course, that wasn’t a possibility. He’d find her.
It was nice to dream about, though.
She sighed yet again, before hurrying over to grab the girl’s other arm and help manoeuvre her to her new home.
The couple awkwardly began to stagger across the room and down the hallway. Bethany was by no means a small girl, and her sheer weight made the operation a difficult affair. Combined with the fact that she was kicking and gurgling and twisting and generally having an absolute ball, Terry found herself struggling to keep the girl upright.
“How far down is it?” Terry grunted as they entered the hallway. She eyed the first door; the plaque on it simply read ‘Nathan’s Nursery.’ Not that one. “I assume they’re together?”
“Indeed they are,” Smith huffed. Looking across, Terry could clearly see that he was having as much trouble as she was. It lit a fire somewhere deep down within the cold recesses of her frozen heart. “They’re four or five rooms down.”
The struggle continued, and the duo passed ‘Tiffany’s Nursery’ and then ‘Liam & Kelly’s Nursery’ without comment. A moment later, Smith signalled to stop, and they paused at the next door in the sequence. Terry eyed the plaque with distaste – already, it read ‘Adam & Bethany’s Nursery.’ He must have done that before he came back to the lobby. It hadn’t been there earlier in the day.
“Get the door.”
She did so, boldly striding inside and leaving Smith to drag the overweight vegetable known as Bethany Green inside.
She hated the nurseries – they were a necessary aspect of the mental regressions, of course, but then she didn’t agree with that either. She spent hours and hours in these every day, and all they did was serve to remind her of the lives she had helped to unnecessarily destroy. Adding yet another one to their list wasn’t really something that filled her with joy....and yet, here she was.
For what they were, the nurseries really were pleasant rooms. They held all the amenities a baby could require, and were set up to ensure that their (permanent) stay was as comfortable as possible. In this instance, the far right wall was home to an enormous, oversized crib that looked more like a prison cell; the bars on the side stretched from floor to roof, with the inside padded luxuriously. It was raised around a meter off the ground, and was littered with an innumerable amount of stuffed toys, blankets and pillows to keep its inhabitant warm and occupied. On the back wall was an equally oversized changing table, made from a dark, strong wood and topped with a thin padding. The sides were hollow and overflowing with diapers and baby wipes and powder bottles and onesies and all manner of babyish equipment. The floor was lightly carpeted and covered in toys, and the roof had been done up with a fancy decor to resemble the sky. Terry eyed that darkly; the fact that it was the only sky these people would ever see again didn’t sit right with her. It infuriated her every time she saw it.
Overall, it was a beautifully constructed the room. It was just a shame that it was essentially a prison for the most unfortunate people to ever live.
Of course, Terry had seen all of this before; it was her job to maintain these, after all. What caught her attention this time was the sight of her newest charge. He was a well-built man in his mid twenties, and she recognised him instantly as the man that had threatened to kill her only twenty minutes before. Sadly, he was in no state to do that now, even if he had wanted to; he was sitting on the floor of his very own nursery naked but for his diaper. From the doorway, Terry could see every inch of his body except his privates, and she was sure she’d be seeing plenty of those in the near future anyway. She duly noted the fact that Smith hadn’t shaved his body hair yet. That wouldn’t last long and would probably be her job for the afternoon.
He looked up as they entered, and she could see the drool that covered his chin and the vacant glaze over his eyes; it was instantly clear that the lights were on, but no one was home. He held an alphabet block in each hand, watching them warily as they entered.
“Hi buddy,” Terry said softly. This was always the dangerous bit – he still had the body of a full grown man, and he didn’t see her as his mother yet. She was a total stranger. If he reacted violently to her presence, even in the manner a baby would, she could still get hurt. “Mummy’s here. Do you need a diapee change?”
There was a moment of silence...then he squealed happily to himself and went about banging his blocks together. The noise echoed dryly around the room. Terry sighed in relief. He wasn’t going to be a problem.
“Get him in the crib so we can focus on his playmate,” Smith huffed from the door. She turned around to see him watching her expectantly from beneath Bethany’s shoulder. The girl had finally quietened, and was looking around the room with stupid, sightless eyes. “Quickly now!”
“Yes boss,” she muttered sarcastically, and strode across the room to what was left of the man once known as Adam. She knelt down in front of him and slipped a finger in the leg hole of his diaper, a movement done more out of habit than out of a conscious desire to – yep, he was wet. It would have to wait, though. His girlfriend was the more pressing issue.
“You know, my dear,” Smith said as she struggled to lift the babified man to his feet. He weighed less than his girlfriend, but at the end of the day, he still had the body of an adult. “You’ve been quite...backchatty lately. You know I don’t appreciate it.”
She felt her heart skip a beat. This could get ugly. “You know I don’t approve of this...this,” she responded stiffly. She dragged Adam across the room, setting him down at the foot of the crib so she could lower the side. “This is inhumane.”
“You may be my wife, but you are also my employee and you will do as I say,” Smith retorted as sharp as she had been blunt. “Your fuck up this morning could have put us in prison. You do know that, yes?”
“Mmhmm,” Terry said non-committedly. She had the side of the crib down, and with a grunt of exertion she lifted Adam onto it. Time to bite her tongue; she’d pushed Smith as far as he was willing to go.
“Need I remind you that you are already as diapered as that man you’re carrying,” Smith continued, and she winced. No, she didn’t need to be reminded of that. “But I assure you, it can be so much worse. Do I need to set up ‘Terry’s Nursery’ down the hall?”
“No sir,” she muttered to herself, blushing at the thought. She didn’t even want to think about that; associating with the vegetables was bad enough, but being one? No. Fuck no.
“What was that? I can’t hear you, and you know how I - ”
“No Daddy,” she whimpered, louder enough to draw Bethany’s attention. God, what had she got herself into all those years ago? She’d married a psychopath. Was finding the cure for cancer really worth this? She pulled the bars of the crib back up, being careful to hide the shame that burned on her face. “I’ll be good.”
“Good girl,” she could hear the smile in his voice. She felt like crying. “Now, help me get Ms Green here prepared.”
Keeping her face down so her estranged lover couldn’t see her mortification, she hurried back over to help drag Bethany over to the changing table. After a brief struggle, they managed to heave her onto the tabletop, and the moment that was done she strode away and left Smith to finish up. She was done for the day. Absolutely done. He could ‘prepare’ her himself, as he so finely put it. She wanted nothing more to do with -
“Where are you going? You know you’re not allowed to change your own diapers.”
“Daddy no,” she whined, spinning back around. Her husband already had Bethany’s pants and underwear off, leaving her naked from the waist down for all the world to see. She was squirming a little and sucking her thumb, entertaining herself while Smith fumbled around beneath the table in search of the necessary equipment. “I’m not even touching my...this thing.”
“You will wait right there until the babies are settled, and then I’ll check you myself. Got it?”
She sighed. “Yes Daddy.”
What had she got herself into? What the hell had she got herself into? Was this what she had imagined for herself as a teenager? Would her parents be proud of her? She watched the events of the room unfold as if she was detached from the experience; everything felt surreal, like she was watching it from underwater. She watched her husband sprinkle powder over another woman’s junk. She watched him rub it into her skin far past the point in time she considered to be necessary, and she watched him pull a gigantic diaper up between her legs and tape it over her waist. She watched him remove another woman of her shirt and her bra. She watched him slip a gigantic pacifier into her mouth and help her off the table. She watched him unlock the side of the crib and lift her inside before locking her back inside.
She watched as the diapered woman crawled around the inside of the crib, clearly wary of her new companion, before mindlessly pausing to slap at her breasts as her ex boyfriend, also in a diaper and as brain-dead as her, watched and drooled.
Not because either of them were turned on and wanted to fuck – no, they drooled and played with their parts because that’s what babies did.
Really...was this what she wanted? To create these abominations?
“Come on,” Smith said softly. Broken from her trance, she realised he was standing next to her with a small smile on his face. Before she knew it, his hand was snaking down the front of her pants and into the front of her own diaper.
Her husband had just checked her diaper like she was incapable of keeping it clean.
“You’re a little wet, but you can wait. Let’s leave these two lovebirds to get acquainted.”
In her defence, she was only incapable of keeping it clean because he made her that way.
No. She didn’t want this. She didn’t want this at all.
“Come on. Let’s go.”
With that, Terry let herself be gently pushed out of the room, her husband a step behind. Looking over her shoulder, she watched the babified couple as the door swung shut and cut off the view. The boyfriend was on his knees, squeezing his girlfriend’s breast and gurgling merrily. She was giggling and slapping his head softly, giggling incoherently around her pacifier.
At least they’re happy, she thought bitterly to herself as her husband guided her down the hallway to their private quarters. In that moment, she realised that two adults forcibly mentally handicapped to behave like infants could claim that...yet she couldn’t claim that, and that was ridiculous.
At least they’re happy.