Written by: Personalias
Dante was alone in the darkness after the Saint walked out. His legs lost their balance and strength and he collapsed to the floor, back on all fours. Saint Jude had said that as long as they were speaking, Dante could stand as a man. Clearly, the conversation was over. Dante sat there, alone in the darkness, waiting for something to happen.
The darkness receded, and Dante’s senses were slowly barraged by a bevy of familiar of sights and sounds. Bluish gray indoor/outdoor carpeting, the smell of baby powder and crying. Lots and lots of crying.
Dante was in a playpen, he concluded as the world came into view around him. He was all too familiar now with the mesh walls and padded floors. He turned his head to the sound of the crying. It was a girl, about his age, blonde, with her hair done up in a pink bow.
She wore a pink t-shirt that was puffed up and frilled around the sleeves. Useless buttons ran down the front that made it resemble a blouse. Stitched onto the left breast of the shirt was a cursive “L” Her short cotton poodle skirt barely concealed the puffy disposable she was wearing.
“Lysa?” Dante called out. “Is that you?” Lysa looked up. Her face had been red and puffy from crying. Her eyes were pink as if she had been stubbornly.
“Dante?” Lysa asked. “Is that you? Is it really you!” She lunged forward to hug him and fell on her face. She started sobbing. “I….thought…I…had…lost…you…forever!” she managed to choke out between gasps for air and sobs. Forever? Dante couldn’t have been in the Newborn Room that long.
“Lysa, get a grip, girl.” Dante said as he helped her up to her knees. “It was scary for me too. But I’m back now, so it’s going to be okay.”
“You were in there for nearly two weeks!” she blurted out. “I visited Caroline twice and saw you on my way out the first time, and got an early visit back where I tried to wake you up. You didn’t even notice me!”
“I’m so sorry, Lysa.” Dante said. He rubbed her arm for comfort. “What’s going on, Lysa? Why are you dressed like that?”
“Oh Dante,” Lysa cried, “things have changed here. Badly. When you stood up, you scared all of the Judy’s. They’ve been cracking down, trying to break all of us into babies. ’No more survivors, no more anchors,’ I heard one of them say. This,” she sniffed, and gestured to her clothes, “is what I was wearing the night I got pregnant with Caroline.” She hiccupped a little. “Kinda. They’re trying to humiliate me and shame me so I don’t wanna be who I was when I was alive. And it’s wooooorkiiing!” The poor girl broke down again into another round of sobs.
No survivors? No anchors? And what they were doing to Lysa was nothing short of a mind fuck. Had Dante really caused all of this? Had the Judy’s come to the conclusion that every person holding onto their identity was a potential Orpheus? A rebel in the making? Dante had to know more.
“What about the others?” Dante asked.
“Jamal’s already baby talking,” Lysa rambled, “Kevin is throwing tantrums all the time, and that BITCH Vivian is always sucking on a goddamn paci!” She beat her fists against the padded floor.
“Easy Lysa,” Dante tried to calm her, “that’s not the real you talking.”
“Yes it is!” Lysa snapped back at him. Dante jerked back a moment. “That bitch has a paci….and I want one tooooooo!” She whined like a two-year old. “I want it worse than a cigarette, and I haven’t smoked in fifty-eight years!”
Instinctively, Dante moved in to hold her. She rested her chin on his shoulder, and he began to rub her back. Time for him to be the adult right now. “Shhhhhhh,” he soothed her, “it’s okay, it’s okay. We’re gonna make it through this. We’re together again. Nothing can stop us when we’re together.” He closed his eyes and held her, and rocked back and forth to calm her. Her bawling lessened.
A rubber nipple entered his mouth and he began robotically sucking down milk. His eyes popped open in surprise. He looked up and saw the Judy in the green dress smiling wickedly down at him. A thousand curses popped into Dante’s mind and vanished just as quickly as the milk took hold of his brain.
His muscles relaxed as he saw the Judy in the green dress take a hold of Lysa’s shoulders and ease her down to her back. Her legs lifted up and she bent her knees so that they were close to her stomach. He felt another set of hands grab him and ease him away. Dante looked up as he held his ba-ba-(Bottle…bottle…ba-ba) and saw his Judy in the nursery scrubs easing him away. She still had earplugs in.
The two angels had snuck up on either side of them and simultaneously forced the bottles of angel milk into their mouths. “Gotta keep our babies hydrated,” the Judy in the green dress snickered. Dante tried to lean back but his Judy held him so he was still sitting up.
Lysa‘s tears were drying, her eyes glazing over. She started grunting and lifted her legs a little higher to make room for what was about to happen. He tried to turn his head, but found it being held in place by the Judy. He felt the Judy’s fingers above his eyelids, ready to pry them open if he shut them. He was being forced to watch Lysa poop herself. “It’s okay, Dante,” green dress said, “Lysa doesn’t mind if you watch. Do you sweetie?” she tickled under Lysa’s chin as the girl finished her ba-ba. Lysa giggled a little and blew a raspberry. But something in her eyes reeked of desperation.
“Babies don’t care who’s watching them when they poopy in their diapers, cuz they don’t know any better. Good thing you’re not a big girl, though, because this would be so embarrassing if you were.” The Judy’s speech swayed in a sing-song manner, like a cobra about to strike. Lysa stopped babbling and gasped. She hadn’t actually realized she was shitting herself.
Lysa’s diaper puffed out and rude noises came from her backside as the mess pushed itself out. “It’s a shame she finished her ba-ba so fast,” the other Judy said. “It’s so cute when they’re pooping and drinking from their ba-ba’s at the same time.” Lysa’s legs came down and she started bawling again. The girl who had preached remaining calm had no control over her emotions as present.
The Judy in the scrubs released Dante and picked the crying girl up. One hand supporting Lysa‘s messy bottom, the other patting her back. Lysa burped loudly. “Good baby!”, the Judy praised. “Just a couple more burps, and we’ll go change you.”
“I bet this brings back memories,“ the Judy said as she hiked up Lysa’s poodle skirt. Dante didn’t have to guess what that meant. These things weren’t angels. They were monsters! All along these things had known they weren’t dealing with children, and yet stubbornly refused to act otherwise. Now that Dante had accidentally pushed the envelope, they were doing nothing short of conditioning and brainwashing everyone.
Dante needed to act, to do something instead of just sit there. He opened his mouth so he could sing and start thinking straight, but a glance from the Judy in the green dress made him stop. Instead he popped a thumb in his mouth and began sucking on it. Admittedly, it felt pretty good, but it wasn’t want he had intended to do. Green Dress smirked when Dante started sucking; Dante felt like he had been caught reaching into the cookie jar. Cookies were yummy, he hoped Mama Judy would give him one la-stop it!
Dante kept shaking his head, trying to snap himself out of it and failing miserably. He felt the green dress Judy’s hands grab him and lift him up by the arm pits. He giggled unintentionally as she shifted him onto her hip. “Baby swap!” she announced. “I’ll take the boys, and you take the girls.”
“That’ll work,” the Judy in the nursery scrubs called back, still changing Lysa. “You want some ear plugs?”
“That won’t be necessary,” the other angel replied. “The Saint made it clear ahead of time that lil’ Dante here wouldn’t be allowed back in the nursery unless he promised not to do sing like a naughty boy again. Isn’t that right, baby?” she turned her head. Dante gave a frightened nod, slightly sobered by fear.
“How long?” the first Judy asked as she finished taping up Lysa’s disposable.
“Oooooh, I dunno. I think a week will be about enough.” the other angel answered, bouncing Dante slightly on her hip.
“Suit yourself,” the familiar Judy said, pulling down Lysa’s poodle skirt, her chore now finished. She picked Lysa up and grabbed her by the wrist. “Buh bye, Dante!” she made Lysa wave. “Buh bye!”
“Okie dokie!” Dante’s present tormentor beamed. “Be right back, Judy,” she called out as she turned around, re-entering the rats maze that was the nursery when all the cubicle walls were set up and sectioned off. “We are gonna have so much fun Dante!” the Judy said. “I’m going to teach you how to be a good baby, just like how I taught my kids.”
Half a minute later, Dante was in another play area, very similar to the one he just left. There was a playpen, a changing table, a trashcan, and a rocking chair. The walls had an alphabet border running along the top.
Instead of Lysa or even Midori though, were three fairly familiar faces in the pen. The Judy in the green dress’s three wards, the one that Dante had witnessed breaking down day by day at mealtimes. The boys were dressed in matching red rompers. The girl in a yellow sun dress. They smiled up at their captor, eyes blank and curious. Babbling greeted Dante’s ears.
Having appeared out of thin air in just a diaper, Dante expected to be toted over to a changing table at some point and dressed. Instead, he was taken into the playpen and sat down. Without another word, the Judy went and picked up the girl in the yellow sundress.
“Adam, Andy,” the angel nanny said to the boys, “you play nice with Dante while I go drop Amy off.” Dante whined from his position in the playpen, his thumb still in his mouth. The Judy looked down at him, and Dante used his free hand to gesture to himself indicating his naked state.
“Oh, don’t be a silly baby.” she wagged her finger at Dante. “You’ve got your diaper on. That’s enough for now.” Before Dante had a chance to pull his thumb out of his mouth and reply, the Judy walked out of the playpen, shut the gate, and left with the girl in tow. “Baby swap.” Now he got it.
They were sequestering him away from Lysa, his last anchor. They were trying to break him, break Lysa, break them all. No more survivors, no more residents with their mental faculties intact. This nursery in Limbo would be a complete and total mental wasteland once the Judy’s got their way.
Dante concentrated. It was hard to talk right now, with the milk flowing through him. He had to concentrate. He looked at Adam and Andy, he wasn’t sure which one was which. “Cam…yew…underthand…me?” He said, focusing on each word. Then he took his thumb out of his mouth and tried again. “Can…you…understand…me?”
Their heads turned to the sound of Dante’s voice, but they didn’t react otherwise. “Hi…” he waved to them. Neither of them waved back. One smiled and babbled a little, then fell over on his stomach. The other’s attention drifted and he crawled to the other end of the pen as if Dante hadn’t said anything. Even Midori was more intelligent than these two. They were placing him with the bottom of the barrel babies, no doubt. Infancy would seem a blessing, a sweet release when compared to the loneliness of being with these two.
Dante crawled over to a corner of the playpen. There he found a large teddy bear sitting in the corner. It was a big one, like the kind you’d win for 10,000 tickets at a carnival. It’s right ear was stained darker than it’s left, more chewed up too. Dante gave in to the urge to compare and contrast.
Yup, right ear was definitely better. His saliva glands kicked into high gear, and Dante began working up a fine drool. He held the body of the bear close to him for comfort. It was good. It was soooo good. If only everything in life (after-life…whatever) could be this simple. A little voice in the back of Dante’s mind told him it could be. Dante jerked up a little at that thought.
Dante wanted to start humming Infant Sorrow’s “Furry Wall”, but decided against it. Humming might be taking it too far for the Judy’s tastes, even if it was a song from a movie about a fictional rock-star. He didn’t want to give the Judy’s any excuse to send him back to the Newborn Room. Almost anything would be better than that.
Dante instead adapted by taking a more meditative mind-set. His body was comfortable so he could allow his mind to fixate on other things. The fact that it was comfortable doing something completely ridiculous was a moot point. He breathed in slowly, and out quickly, focusing on each breath till he had control. He began to be able to think clearly.
The Saint had lied to him. Dante had been certain that he would at least be with Lysa, and not mind fucked. Then again, the Saint never made any such guarantees, only that he would be returned to the main nursery. The old prick also never guaranteed that the Judy’s would forgive and forget; only that he would be treated as he was from the beginning (like a crawler instead of a newborn) and that the Judy’s would pick up where they left off (but not forgive and forget.) Dante had assumed- or been led to assume- that he still had a fighting chance in this place.
Dante felt angry. That bastard Jude had played him for a fool. It would have been worth going back to the Newborn Room if it meant swinging on the bony butthead and breaking his nose. It felt good to be angry. Righteous even. Dante might not have a fighting chance in this place anymore, but Jude wasn’t the only one who’d fight a losing battle to the bitter end.
His reverie was interrupted all too soon by a Judy’s obnoxious chirps and coos. He opened his eyes. It was green dress again. “Looks like Dante’s found Teddy!” Her again. Whatever variation on a theme this Judy was, it was definitely annoying. She came to the side. “Come over here little guy, Mama Judy’s got something for you.”
Dante had to bide his time, to figure a way out of this. Best not to rattle cages right now. Grudgingly, he crawled towards her. It took him longer than it should have because he was dragging the bear with him in his mouth. The big clunky thing slowed him down. “Awww how cute! Some-one-thinks-he’s-a-puppy“, Judy sang. This gave Dante an excuse to growl, and he took it.
He was being practical though. He remembered the comment about “keeping hydrated”. If he bit down on the bear, the bitch wouldn’t be able to shove a ba-ba in his mouth. The bear was his insurance policy against surprise attacks. That and it felt sooooo good to be chewing on its ear.
Green dress dropped something at Dante’s knees. Dante took a closer look at it. It was a toddler book, foam padded, thick with only a few distinguishable pages. The kind that parents read to their kids and expected the kids to teeth on when they were done. “It’s my favorite book,” the Judy said as Dante picked it up. “I wrote it myself. I give it to all my babies when I first get them, and you’re no different.”
Dante wearily turned it around in his hands, examining the front cover. The front cover had a picture of a baby reading a book. The book in the picture had the letters “A B C” written on it. The title of the book was “YOU CAN’T READ.”
Dante opened the first page as he chewed on his teddy‘s ear. The first page was blank. So was the second one. So was the third, and fourth. Dante closed the book and looked up at Judy, still smiling at him. “Good baby!” she said. He looked back down at the cover and realized that the text had changed.
Instead of the words “YOU CAN’T READ” on the cover, Dante could only make out scribbled lines. Even the ABC’s on the book had changed to nonsense scribble. He looked up to the alphabet wall, only to find that the entire alphabet was replaced by meaningless symbols. The letters hadn’t changed, Dante realized, he had lost the ability to read!
The Judy dangled another baby book in his face. Dante got a full view of the book before he snapped his head around the other direction. He couldn’t read the title, but the book had a picture of a large red circle next to a little blue circle. Oh God! What had he just lost? Shapes? Colors? Opposites? WHAT?!
Dante yelped and closed his eyes as he scooted back across the pen- leaving the teddy in the process. He bumped into a tower of wooden blocks- presumably alphabet blocks, not that Dante could tell anymore- and burst out crying.
“Awww” the Judy taunted as he curled up in the fetal position, “wussamatta baby? Did da big bad book scahe you?” At one point in time, Dante had thought that the three wards of this Judy were all weaker willed than him, that they were suicides who had given up on life before coming here to Limbo. Maybe they weren’t. This Judy was vicious. She wasn’t any run of the mill, either. It was like she was a specialist in breaking people down to their. And now she was on consult and apparently giving tips to the others.
He was aware of her presence when he felt her footsteps in the pen. He heard her declaring both of the regressed boys wet and felt her checking his own diaper. “Wet”, she said. “but you all can wait till after lunch for me to change you.” Neither of the regressed seemed to mind the decree, or even notice their privacy being violated.
Had he really wet himself already without noticing? That was phase one of reaching the threshold. Then again, maybe she was lying. He felt dry. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t being changed. Maybe the bitch was lying to him to shake his confidence and make it harder for him to tell the difference between wet and dry. Make him fail before he actually had.
The Judy in the green dress loomed over him now, with a milky ba-ba in her hand. He already had milk going into his system, why was she holding another one. Was she trying to make him overdose? Was it her intent to keep him constantly milked up so he couldn’t rebel? Dante closed his lips tight and drew them in. He found himself flipped over and his behind swatted, forcing him to go limp. He was force fed the ba-ba as Mama Judy rubbed his tummy and tickled him and blew raspberries.
She was enjoying this. So was he, (against his will, part of him screamed.) He had never tried acid mixed with ecstasy, but Dante was pretty sure this is what it must feel like. Before he knew it, the Judy had declared that it was lunchtime.
Dante soon found himself in a highchair on the far right of the kitchen feeding setup. Clad only in his diaper, he waited as more babies were brought in for the meal to begin. Finally, the blonde Judy in the nursery scrubs, his longtime captor came in with the three girls. Amy; who he barely knew, Midori; a giant rugrat yes- but one he had grown to like, and Lysa; looking physically drained and exhausted.
She was placed in a highchair at the other end of the room, so that she and Dante were as separate as possible. She too was wearing nothing but a diaper and her naked breasts were barely concealed by the bib that was tied around her neck.
“Sorry we’re late, guys,” scrubs Judy said. The other Judy’s just nodded. She was usually late for lunch, anyways.
“What happened to baby Lysa’s pretty clothes?” green dress Judy asked, sounding way too scripted for it to be coincidence.
“Oh, I gave her a choice,” her cohort answered, also too scripted, “she could either wear the pretty outfit we had her in, or she could wear nothing but a diaper. She likes this better, I think. What about Dante?”
“Oh I haven’t even dressed him up yet- good baby” she said as she spooned mush into Dante’s mouth. Dante swallowed uncomplainingly. The milk was still affecting him and he was intent on listening to what they were saying for some kind of clue, a weakness, any valuable peace of information. “Anyway,” she said “-good baby- I figured I’d just leave him like this for the rest of the day. I’m feeling a little lazy, and he wasn’t complaining.”
Liar. Dante had asked in his limited capacity for more clothes. Then again he hadn‘t rebutted…don‘t defend them!. All of this was just a show of power, anyways. Dante puffed out his cheeks in frustration, holding his breath and counted to ten so he didn’t erupt. (Thank whoever he could still count to ten.)
“Good baby!” the Judy feeding him praised. “You made poopies for Mama Judy!” He had?! Dante shifted around. Sure enough, he could feel himself sitting in his own mess. He had pooped himself and not even realized. Maybe it was all of the angel milk, or maybe it was some kind of infant muscle memory, but Dante felt himself sliding unusually fast. The first step towards the breaking point was using your diaper without noticing. He had been free from the Newborn room for half-a-day, and he was already back at that point.
After a few more spoonfuls of baby-food, Dante was fed a milky ba-ba refreshing the infantile feelings coursing through him. Dante was taken back to the play area. Mercifully, the Judy laid him down on a changing table and stuck a paci in his mouth. He sucked contentedly while the Judy went to work.
“You know Dante,” she mused for a moment, “if you were a big boy, you would have eaten all by yourself. Instead, instead Mama Judy had to feed you in your highchair.” Dante started to suck harder in exasperation. He could see where this was going.
“If you were a big boy, you would have asked to go potty, instead of using your diaper,” she continued, untaping the diaper. “In fact, even if you were a big boy stuck in diapers, you would have been very upset at making such a mess. Instead you sat in a wet diaper most of the morning, and sat in a messy one halfway through lunch without even a sniffle.”
She lifted up Dante’s legs. “If you were a big boy, after using the potty, you’d wipe yourself, and pull up your big boy pants. But Mama Judy has to take your diaper off, clean you up with BABY wipes. And sprinkle your cute little tushie with BABY powder so you don’t get all rashy.” Dante grit his teeth onto the pacifier. Talk about blaming the victim. Dante couldn’t help any of this and she knew it. “If you were a big boy,” she kept going, “you’d still be wearing the big boy pants you woke up in. But Mama Judy has to put a new diaper on you cuz you made a big accident in the last one. But that’s okay, you’re just a baby.”
She picked Dante up and toted him over to the crib, laid him down and tucked him in. “You’re not a very good big boy, Dante,” she concluded. “but you’re a wonderful baby.” She kissed him on the forehead. “Oh, and one more thing, baby.” she whispered in his ear. “The last two milky ba-bas that I gave you, didn’t have any special milk in them. Everything you did as soon as you got over to my little play area, was all you. Good baby.”
Dante got no rest during naptime.
He was taken to a different play area with unfamiliar babies around him. Still the layout was similar enough, and he could point out which ones were the survivors. They were the ones who seemed to be the most distressed; the ones getting the most attention from Judy’s. People who Dante didn’t even know were being cracked down on. He made one mistake, not even on purpose, and now the entire nursery was suffering for it. Praise the justice of the Divine.
Dante crawled up to a survivor, a young boy, younger than even Kevin who was swearing up a storm as a Judy patted him on the head and walked away.
“Hey, dude,” Dante said as he approached. “What’s going on here.”
“The fascists have stepped it up another notch! That’s what!” the boy spat.
“I’d kill for something to suck on right now, but they won’t let me have it. Says I have to be a big boy! They want me to say it! They want me to tell them that I want to be a baby! Goddamnit I can’t do it, but I’m losing my mind here.”
“I think that’s the point,” Dante said dryly. Dante had long gotten over children speaking like middle aged sailors here.
“Heh, good one, buddy,” the kid said, “Name’s Victor, what’s yours?”
“Dante”, he answered.
Victor’s eyes widened. He scooted back. “You?!” he pointed, “You’re the one’s all the Judy’s are talking about! This your fault! This is your fawt! Stay away fwum mee! Go ‘way!” he screamed till a Judy came and picked the boy up, depositing a pacifier in the kid’s mouth. She smiled down at Dante and mouthed “Thank you” to him before walking away.
Dante had already been blacklisted. No one would talk to him. The Judy’s were making it clear that they were doing all of this because one boy had literally stood up to them. Dante would only be able to find company with those who were too far gone to care. This company he refused on principle. Being surrounded by strangers didn’t help. The isolation only made it worse.
Over the next few days, Dante knew he was slipping. His emotions were getting harder to rein in, everything was either ecstasy or misery. He chewed on the bear more often. He might be spouting baby talk, but not even the Judy in the green dress could coax him to speak now. Instead he hardened on the inside, building up a wall of anger to replace his previous desperation.
He did his best to zone out or sulk. He’d only see Lysa at mealtimes, and each time she looked worse for wear; like she hadn’t been sleeping or had been crying a lot. She never spoke either. His sleep wasn‘t very restful either. He kept having a reoccurring nightmare that he had been taken to the Newborn Room only to see Lysa and her daughter, Caroline breast feeding side by side. Each mealtime was a blessed reminder that that had only been a nightmare.
It must have been a week when Dante was returned to see Lysa. It was right after breakfast, when he was traded back and put in a playpen with her. She looked better rested than he remembered, but her eyes were more sad. She sucked her thumb, wearing nothing but a purple baby t-shirt and her diaper. He was matching in a blue ensemble.
She stared at him, and then opened her mouth. “Me so sowwy Dante,” she said. “I wuv you.” Lysa was already at the baby-talk stage. Soon enough it would be echoing, then babbling, then gone. A week without him and intense, purposeful, savage humiliation by the Judy’s had undone close to 60 years of willpower and resistance. He loathed those THINGS more than he thought humanly possible.
“No be sowwy,” he said. Damn. It was happening to him too. Figures. “My fawt. Not you.”
Lysa shook her head. “No. Not Dante fawt. Mama Judy.…Judy fawt.” Dante shook his head slowly. It was his fault. The Judy’s were doing all of this because of him. If he hadn’t been a threat to them, they wouldn’t have taken things this far. Now they’d obliterate his mind, and everyone else’s just to be sure.
Future generations of Limbo prisoners could expect the same fate if they were successful. These tactics would be justified as a pre-emptive strike on future Orpheus’s. All the better to enforce the will of the Lord and serve their Regent. In a world without ethics, without humanity, this was the end result. Limbo was becoming a place without humanity; because of his actions it was turning into a second kind of Hell. Dante couldn’t think of a worse fate.
Then a thought entered his head. What if he was gone? What if he wasn’t around to justify the Judy‘s tyranny? What if he escaped? No, that wouldn’t work. The Judy’s could easily chalk that up to as another win if he just ran away or miraculously snuck out the back.
He’d need to give the Judys’ a reason to be afraid. Not just afraid of him, but afraid of the anger they invoked in him, of the anger that could come from anyone that was treated this way. He’d need to send a message. He couldn’t win, he had no illusions about that. One kid, even one who could temporarily undo a spell that made him an infant, wouldn’t win against the Hosts of Heaven. If he fought, he‘d lose and he‘d lose hard. They’d spank him and send him to the Newborn Room; giving each other a pat on the back and a “told you we shouldn’t have given him a second chance”. That would accomplish nothing
But, if he combined the two ideas….fought his way past the guard and leave Limbo of his own accord. Bloody their nose and rob them of any kind of retaliation. That MIGHT just be crazy enough to work. The only problem was, Dante had a goal. Not a plan. Not even something resembling a plan.
Then he saw the Judy packing two diaper bags and readying a stroller. It had been roughly a month since he had seen his grandparents. Now he and Lysa were wearing matching outfits again, baby t-shirts and diapers. It Communion day. The wheels in Dante’s head began turning.
“Wysa,” he said, “I’m weeving.”
“Whu?” Lysa said, panic in her voice. “Dante no weeve! No go to udda Judy!”
“No,” Dante furrowed his brow. “Me weeving Wimbo.”
“How?” Lysa, doe eyed, asked.
“You see.” Dante told her.
“Why?” she sniffled?
“Mebbe I go. Mebbe they stop pickin’ on you.” he said as solemnly as he could.
“Wheh you go?” she whimpered.
“Wheh you think?” he looked down.
“NO!” she screamed. “Not theh! Any wheh else!.”
“Don’t wuh-we. Not goin t’day.” He lied. It had to be today. He wouldn’t make it another month at this rate. That calmed her down.
“I tawk you owt. You see!” She said as she hugged him. They both quieted down as the Judy approached. Lysa was picked up and strapped in the stroller. She struggled and squirmed, so the Judy took a little longer than usual.
Midori crawled up, crying softly. She knew. Somehow she knew too. She knew and she saw things too simply to believe the lie. She sat on her heels and crying, opened her arms. She signed, “D no go. I love you.”
Dante hugged her and focused. “Good-bye Dori,” he whispered clearly. “I love you too. I’ll miss you.” He released her, and the Judy in the scrubs picked Dante up and buckled him in the stroller next to Lysa. Dante was glad it was her. He hated Green Dress now, but this bitch had it coming too.
He smiled as he was strapped into the stroller and it started moving into the twisting paths of Limbo. His adrenaline surged as the doors opened out onto the Narrow Path to Heaven. The music in his head turned up to full blast, stronger than ever. If he did this right, the Judy’s would be talking about this for eons. Dante Willis was bringing war to Limbo.
“Wait till they get a load of me.”