Southern England ageplay preschool – Toddlerism

This event is in planing stats so far but it going to happen in summer in London. This can be a wonderful time for you and your caregiver to spend some nice ageplay time together. Diapers / Nappies is allow.

In the event is going to be follow activities for your little boys or girls: drawing and painting, story time, playing with toys, milk time and simple reading is some of the activities that can be.

You can read more about this on Toddlerism blog where you find information if you wont to join or maybe help out as: teacher, classroom assistant or general caregiver.

So i hope that you are going to have a nice and wonderful time if you decide to attend.

I hope the crater of this event is going to have a big success. :)

Dont forget to check out for more news and info about this event.



Pikachu show of his big poffy diaper butt and be blushing about it >w<

Draw by:  ruugiaruu

This drawing is so super cute. ruugiaruu make a awesome work.


Story writen by: pieforberries1
Today was the day, Finally Pikachu was to be shed of of being an innocent little “kid”. That’s right, His 13th birthday. Ah Birthdays, the day YOU were introduced to this fine world, It reminds you of your 10th birthday.. Experiencing your first evolution. It’s always lovely.

Well, this birthday was different. Pikachu was use to the special treatment, It was his day after all.. But something was, Odd. He mother called him “Baby” instead of the usual “Goober or Kiddo”. And his usual clothes weren’t there. Just some Footie Pajamas and… Pacifiers? His Mom must be just teasing him, Like they always do. That’s what gave them such a close relationship, Always joking. So, naturally Pikachu overlooked the funny appearl his Mother had pud in his Dresser. So, he just re-wore the same shirt and pants and Boxers from yesterday. As the Pikachu giggling to himself at the “joke” his Mother had planned he walked down the stairs. The smell of Pancakes were waving through the air, so delicious.. So… Chocolatey.. Wait, Chocolate?! His Mom made his favorites! Without questioning the strange crib in the living room he ran to the Kitchen. (He thought they must have been babysitting the neighbor’s Charmander again.) And when he entered the kitchen, Plates alligned with the most delicious Meals you had seen. Sausage, Chocolate Pancakes, French Toast topped with some delicious compound butter… And to top it all off, Apple Juice! But, it was in what seemed to be a clear-see-through Sports bottle. Except the top wasn’t plastic, But Rubber as if a Baby was meant to drink it. As he Mother came up from the Basement dusting off some suspicious clothes with patterns being sewn in. She said; “Good morning, My little baby” As Pikachu rolled his eyes and laughed with his Mom “Oh yea Mom, I’m your baby” both sharing another chuckle she asked why he wasn’t wearing his new clothes. He responded, “What new clothes?” in which his mom Responded, “Your footies baby. You can’t be wearing those old things today. They’re meant for big-boys.” Pikachu looked at his Raichu mother, She wasn’t playing. She LITERALLY wanted a 13-year old Pikachu to wear.. Footy Pajamas. He then told his mother that he was 13, And not her little baby anymore. Then she chuckled, at corrected him saying; “Yes, My little 1 year old Baby. That’s you. And wow, you’re not using a Pacifier today? What a big boy choice!” Pikachu then stared at his Mother, With the Raichu giving back a stern look saying “Do I have to dress the baby?” Pikachu then blushed. Shaking his head running up the stairs with his mother shouting “Use the paci too! We don’t want a cranky Baby on his Birthday!” As Pikachu closed his door thinking in his head; “This is a nightmare, Or is Mom just going crazy!?!” As he took off his clothes looking in the Dresser. Something was added, Now he was Presented with Footies, Pacifiers and some White Diaper with a blue trim. It was Summer, so it’d be hot so he just just to wear the diaper. When he walked down, Crinkling every step he looked at his mother with a giant blush begging her to become Sane again. She just laughed, “What a silly Baby” she said. And as he turned around to enjoy breakfest, His mother snapped a picture of his adorable diaper butt.

As the Raichu mother took the picture of the diaperbutt Pikachu, Verigan immediatly asked for the picture to be deleted AT ONCE. His mother then chuckled a bit awwing as she said; “Aww, poor little guy sleepy?” Pikachu blushed once again as he shook his head no. Which the mother just ignored, and started walking towards the Pikachu. “Shh, shh shh..” as the Pikachu backed up when his mother tried cooing him. He was picked up and some string was tied around his neck.. It looked like some, Necklace? Why would a baby need a necklace he thought.. “Now, you wait here.” His mother said as the poor Pikachu crinkled as he was placed in a crib, About to cry the Pikachu was kept quiet as his mother placed a pacifier in his mouth attaching it to the “Necklace”. Merely Five minutes in the day, And he already vows it’s the worst day of his LIFE. He spit out the Pacifier enraged, and began yelling at his mother. He’ll of course, Regret it. “Baby is yelling at mommy? Are you hungry?” Which Pikachu, did agree. He’s quite famished from seeing all that food in the Kitchen and he did just wake up. So, he silently nodded as he blushed looking down at his Diaper.. His bladder slowly shortening. He’s got to go to the bathroom soon or.. No, he can’t. Just CAN’T. So, he once again Nodded agreeing he was hungry. With that, his mother smiled. “Well you stay there, I’ll get your bottle.” “A bottle?” Verigan thought, Then it came to him “Of course! That Sports bottle thing.. No wonder it was see-through. Let alone had a nipple thing on top of it to drink from.” As he saw his Mother with a bottle of Apple Juice, and a jaw that was.. Baby Food? He stood up, Crinkling of course in the thick diaper and asked to be given the Bottle. Which his mother implied, “Babbies can’t feed themselves silly. Now, come ‘ere.” as she picked him up his Father came through the door. With Verigan crying for help, He begged Dad to help him get out of these diapers and go back to normal. in responce, his Electrive Father only snickered. Did he already know about this? He might as well think it over while he stomachs down the Babyfood and be fed his Juice.

With the Feeding out of the way, Verigan felt his stomach grumble again.. Nearly instantly he felt his diaper heavier.. And, why does he feels so- “Oh god.. Oh god oh god oh GOD.” Verigan blushed as red as a tomatoe as he looked down. He USED his diaper. With his mother and Father looking happily both saying that he’s a ‘good baby’ He begun to cry, Which was silenced by his Pacifier.. He cried behind the pacifier, as they begun changing his diaper. So exposed, So humiliated. But, it’s only Sunday right, It’s Summer.. No one has to know. No one, Right? He thought to himself as his Mother powerdered him and his Father looked on. Smiling at his Diaper boy. But then it hit him, Verigan’s brother is coming home! What will he think of him, Will he post pictures to PokeBook? Does he already know about this ‘joke’ too?! This all of course only made Verigan cry more. Also, he felt different.. Looking back on the feeding his Mother did something to the food. Cause now all of a sudden.. Verigan felt sleepy, His mother finished up the changing and shh’ed as Verigan slowly fell asleep.. With him hoping it’s all a dream he tried playing along.. Only to wake up till 5:06 PM no longer in a Diaper. Could it have been a dream? Nope. He looked down at himself and turns out he was in a Onesie.. One of those Snap on things, When he became furious he started to unsnap his onesie. Only to realize he was also in a crib now. His mother then came in, Seeing him try to get out of the onesie he spanked him. And then took him up stairs to his room and placed him in his crib. “I think it’s time for you to go to bed, Little guy. You’re obviously still cranky.” Said his Raichu mother as she closed the door. Verigan, still crying over the day ruined he heard the door opened. He tried hiding his shameful onesie and pacifier with his Blanket he was provided, But; It was his Electabuzz brother, Alexander. As Alexander laughed Verigan began to cry. “I thought it wasn’t true, Big ‘ole Verigan is now a little baby.” He brother continued to tease him as his Father appeared behind him, Telling him to NOT teaste the poor guy, “He’s only a baby!” The father scolded sending him to his bedroom for an early bedtime as well. As he walked in he turned on the lights, in which Verigan was revealed his original Bedroom was turned into a nursery. He was picked up by his Father, and they both say on a Rocking chair with a window open as his Father sung him to sleep. “Could this actually be a good thing?” Verigan thought, But only time could tell.. And maybe another diaper change.
Verigan then heard his Mother and Father talking about getting some Fresh air and to get the old buggy out of the garage. As Verigan’s face grew cherry rose red. His own crinkle gave him away, His mother giggling at the sight of him, She picked him off, Gave a raspberry on his belly (Which only made him blush harder) And was taken to the front yard with Adam and his friends waiting. “The big kids want to play with you,” she had begun “But if Adam does anything mean to you, Tell Mommy and he’ll be in BIG trouble. As he was set down, in nothing but a diaper on a hot summer sunny day. Adam and his friends, all laughed at the big baby calling him names, Checking his diaper, asking if he wants his mommy ect. Which, in return Verigan shouted for Mom and in a mere second everyone ran, Except for Adam. He, as Mom insisted was going to be in BIG TROUBLE. So, he was grounded. But, really Verigan got the bad end of the rope, seeing as Dad had found the buggy. So, as he was strapped in he begged his Mother to at least, Hide his face. Which she denied, Telliing him he needs sunlight. With every child on every street staring at the grown Diapered Pikachu in a buggy and sucking on a pacifier. Now only to be dubbed the laughing stock of Tunstra town.
As Verigan’s mother walked into the park, She shusshed Verigan’s Crying by giving him what seemed to be a.. Rattle? The sound it makes.. It drawed Verigan’s attention to the point of wetting himself with some girls on a bench giggling at him. As Verigan’s father smilied at him Verigan’s mother started to change him, Telling him that he’s a good baby and that does he want anything, But Verigan ignored.. Nearly hypnotised by the rattle. It was a lovely day, For Verigan’s parents and everyone in the town got a laugh for at least.. But, Verigan had offficaily been embarassed, Ridiculed, changed, And now brought to his crib he was set down with a crinkle, One day he’ll grow to love this padded feeling. But for now, Suck on that pacifier Verigan, you’ll get use to it.. THE. END. :3

Thanks to pieforberries1 for the story.

Wet pants at the hospital

Wet pants at the hospital
Its hard to control thing like your bladder when your paws hurts. So that leads to some wet pants and bed. The nurse try to calm me down whit a pacifier before she going to diaper me. Thats going to help me to keep my pants and bed dry.

Draw by:  tato

As the morning light creaked through the young kit’s bedroom. He heard the usual knock on his door by Mother, signalling it’s time to get up. It may have been a Saturday, But the kit didn’t want to make any fuss. Don’t want Bedhead anyways. As he got dressed he hummed his usual tune, Slipping on his socks he walked out, Wiping the eye boogies from his face and heading to the bathroom. Brushing his teeth, For two minutes like his mom said to do or else the Dentist. Ever since he heard the “An Apple a Day” saying, The red fur kit rolled his eyes as he tried this theory for about a month. Every day, biting into an apple. Didn’t really help keep the Dentist away, If anything it brought him closer since biting into those things loosened so many baby teeth. But he didn’t mind. He didn’t really want to shower today, He didn’t smell.. At least, to him. He walked downstairs telling his Mom a good morning and after they’re lovely breakfeast he waved goodbye, went through the backdoor to the Garage and picked up his brand new bike. So shiny, So lovely and it’s got the smell of a new day. As he rode he gave his usual neighbors the wave. The typical snickers of the neighborhood boys, Always spreading rumors that the poor Kit is actually just a big baby and should be in diapers. But he didn’t care. Course, isn’t it lovely that the ONE TIME he decided to close his eyes and ride to really enjoy the wind blowing through his fur. He falls off. But.. Instead of a scrape, something felt wrong. For a mere second he had to think, Before a sharp pain was introduced into his arm. He cried for his Mom, Which almost in an instant she was there. As the kit explained to her, She rushed him to the hospital. The Nurse understanding her worry, Merely the second he was laid on the bed, To add the worse feel he had an accident. A. 10. Year. Old. Kit. Has an accident. Not just in his house where’s it is private, but a Hospital. He tried covering it but moving his arm only made him cry in pain, As the Nurse tried calming him down with a Pacifier for infants it only made him feel worse..

Story by:   pieforberries1

Dante’S Infanzia Chapter 16: Better a man in Hell…

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.”


Dante’S Infanzia Chapter15: The Orpheus and the Saint

Written by: Personalias

Dante dreamt of bright, brilliant colors.  They shimmered in his mind’s eye with the twinkling of a thousand diamond stars.  Hendrix couldn’t top this.  His dreams were a kaleidoscope ; mesmerizing, soothing.  There were no troubles here, no worries, no nightmares.  All was as it should be.  Perfect comfort, perfect warmth, perfect everything.

Dante opened his eyes and gave a yawn.  His tongue absent mindedly probed his toothless gums, the saliva running over onto his chin.  He couldn’t move, that was normal.  He couldn’t see very much. The walls of his cot rose up around him and kept him safe, blocking his view, and he couldn’t pick up his head.  His vision wasn’t focused anyways.  All of that was normal, too.  What was wrong then?  He had felt like there was something bugging him at the back of his mind.

Then it hit him:  He was hungry.  He was very hungry.  He was very, very, very, hungry.  There were no other words.  If he didn’t get fed, something bad would happen, he just knew it.  He hated being hungry.  He wanted Milk, and he wanted his Mommy, and he wanted them right now!

Dante began to whimper and mewl, calling for Mommy.  Somewhere deep in the back of his mind he thought he was doing something wrong.   There had to be a better way to communicate. Then he remembered.  LOUDER!  He cried out louder.  He cried out louder and louder until he couldn’t even remember why he started crying!  HUNGRY!  That was it!  MILK!

After forever, he saw Mommy.  She smiled at him, and made shushing noises.  Dante suddenly felt cold as Mommy unwrapped him.  He couldn’t pick up his head, but he felt his diaper become more slack as Mommy.  Then he felt the cold baby wipes washing him all over.

No Mommy!  He didn’t want a diaper change.  Even if he needed one, that wasn’t what had been bothering him.  Dante redoubled his crying, though no tears came forth!  He wanted Milk!  Milk, Mommy, Milk!  Dante was only vaguely aware as the new diaper was put on him.  He wanted Milk!

Mommy wrapped him back up and picked him up.  At least now she was holding him.  That was a step in the right direction.  Then Dante felt the nipple brush against his cheek.  He latched on and began greedily sucking down Mommy’s Milk!  Joy!  Rapture!  The Highest of Highs!  This is what it meant to be alive.

Danted started to calm down as he suckled and Milk slid down his throat.  Dante began to make soft little animal sounds as he nursed, and was rewarded with Mommy stroking the back of his head.  He couldn’t love Mommy more than he did right then at her breast.  He couldn’t love anyone more right then.  This was Heaven.

He mewled in protest again as Mommy switched him over to her other breast, but the absence of Milk was mercifully short lived.  This was all he needed.  Just this.  This perfect little moment reverberating throughout all eternity.

Finally, he was full and he stopped suckling.  Mommy was making happy noises; she liked it too.  “Guh deeter!” she told him.  “Susha guh deeter!”.  Dante didn’t know what those noises meant, but he liked the way they made him feel.

Mommy started gently patting Dante’s back, and a funny sound came out of his mouth.  He didn’t mean to make the sound, but it seemed to make Mommy happy.  He made them again and again, and when he finally ran out of funny sounds, Mommy rocked him in her arms and Dante drifted off to sleep.

Dante dreamed.

Dante dreamt of bright, brilliant colors.  They shimmered in his mind’s eye with the twinkling of a thousand diamond stars.  Hendrix couldn’t top this.  His dreams were a kaleidoscope ; mesmerizing, soothing.  There were no troubles here, no worries, no nightmares.  All was as it should be.  Perfect comfort, perfect warmth, perfect everything.

Dante opened his eyes and gave a yawn.  His tongue absent mindedly probed his toothless gums, the saliva running over onto his chin.  He couldn’t move, that was normal.  He couldn’t see very much. The walls of his cot rose up around him and kept him safe, blocking his view, and he couldn’t pick up his head.  His vision wasn’t focused anyways.  All of that was normal, too.  What was wrong then?  He had felt like there was something bugging him at the back of his mind.

Then it hit him:  He was hungry.  He was very hungry.  He was very, very, very, hungry.  There were no other words.  If he didn’t get fed, something bad would happen, he just knew it.  He hated being hungry.  He wanted Milk, and he wanted his Mommy, and he wanted them right now!

Dante began to whimper and mewl, calling for Mommy.  Somewhere deep in the back of his mind he thought he was doing something wrong.   There had to be a better way to communicate. Then he remembered.  LOUDER!  He cried out louder.  He cried out louder and louder until he couldn’t even remember why he started crying!  HUNGRY!  That was it!  MILK!

After forever, he saw Mommy.  She smiled at him, and made shushing noises.  Dante suddenly felt cold as Mommy unwrapped him.  He couldn’t pick up his head, but he felt his diaper become more slack as Mommy.  Then he felt the cold baby wipes washing him all over.

No Mommy!  He didn’t want a diaper change.  Even if he needed one, that wasn’t what had been bothering him.  Dante redoubled his crying, though no tears came forth!  He wanted Milk!  Milk, Mommy, Milk!  Dante was only vaguely aware as the new diaper was put on him.  He wanted Milk!

Mommy wrapped him back up and picked him up.  At least now she was holding him.  That was a step in the right direction.  Then Dante felt the nipple brush against his cheek.  He latched on and began greedily sucking down Mommy’s Milk!  Joy!  Rapture!  The Highest of Highs!  This is what it meant to be alive.

Danted started to calm down as he suckled and Milk slid down his throat.  Dante began to make soft little animal sounds as he nursed, and was rewarded with Mommy stroking the back of his head.  He couldn’t love Mommy more than he did right then at her breast.  He couldn’t love anyone more right then.  This was Heaven.

He mewled in protest again as Mommy switched him over to her other breast, but the absence of Milk was mercifully short lived.  This was all he needed.  Just this.  This perfect little moment reverberating throughout all eternity.

Finally, he was full and he stopped suckling.  Mommy was making happy noises; she liked it too.  “Guh deeter!” she told him.  “Susha guh deeter!”.  Dante didn’t know what those noises meant, but he liked the way they made him feel.

Mommy started gently patting Dante’s back, and a funny sound came out of his mouth.  He didn’t mean to make the sound, but it seemed to make Mommy happy.  He made them again and again, and when he finally ran out of funny sounds, Mommy rocked him in her arms and Dante started to drift off to sleep.   Dante heard a voice.  Screaming.



Then another voice.  It sounded a lot like Mommy’s voice.  But that was impossible.  Mommy was holding him.

“Bad Bay Bee!  Bad Bay Bee!  Maw Maw Joo Dee Spank!”

Then the loud noise stopped.  Good.  Dante drifted off to sleep.

Dante dreamed

Dante dreamt of bright, brilliant colors.  They shimmered in his mind’s eye with the twinkling of a thousand diamond stars.  Hendrix couldn’t top this.  His dreams were a kaleidoscope ; mesmerizing, soothing.  There were no troubles here, no worries, no nightmares.  All was as it should be.  Perfect comfort, perfect warmth, perfect everything.

Dante opened his eyes and gave a yawn.  His tongue absent mindedly probed his toothless gums, the saliva running over onto his chin.  He couldn’t move, that was normal.  He couldn’t see very much.  It was dark all around him, and he couldn’t pick up his head.  There were no lights anywhere.  His vision wasn’t focused anyways.  All of that was normal, too.  What was wrong then?  He had felt like there was something bugging him at the back of his mind.

Then it hit him:  He was hungry.  He was very hungry.  He was very, very, very, hungry.  There were no other words.  If he didn’t get fed, something bad would happen, he just knew it.  He hated being hungry.  He wanted Milk, and he wanted his Mommy, and he wanted them right now!

Dante began to whimper and mewl, calling for Mommy.  Somewhere deep in the back of his mind he thought he was doing something wrong.   There had to be a better way to communicate. Then he remembered.  LOUDER!  He cried out louder.  He cried out louder and louder until he couldn’t even remember why he started crying!  HUNGRY!  That was it!  MILK!

After forever, Dante felt something enter his mouth.  Mommy!  Milk!  Dante bit down, ready for Milk to squirt down his throat.  It wasn’t Mommy.  It wasn’t her nipple, either.  Dante bit down on something hard and cold.  Too hard.  It didn’t taste anything like milk either.  It didn’t have a taste.  It tasted like…Dante searched for the word…plastic.

Teeth ripped out of Dante’s gums, and Dante screamed.  He reflexively bit into the thing in his mouth.  It helped him feel better, but not much.  Finally the hurting in his mouth stopped and he spit it out.  It was still dark all around Dante.  No lights.  No nothing.  Dante was scared.  He wanted Mommy.

Something else forced it’s way into Dante’s gaping mouth.  The spoon withdrew and Dante swallowed the stuff.  Eugh!  Nasty!  It tasted like bitter applesauce mixed with overripe pomegranates.  Dante thrashed on the ground, unwrapping himself as his arms and legs regained strength and something resembling coordination.  His head itched as hair grew back in.   Soon he was free of his fleecy confines, but not finished yet.

Memories flooded back.  His mom and dad, the party, his death, Limbo, the Judy’s, the survivors, Jamal, anchors, and Lysa.  Lysa!   Dante looked around, and his eyes adjusted to the dark.  He was sitting on a baby blanket in a very large diaper- even for this place.  By his left leg, sat the teething ring that he had just bitten down on moments ago.   Where was he?  Where was Lysa?

“LYSA!”, Dante called out.

“The girl is not here.” A voice quietly answered back from the darkness.  “Do not worry.  She is well.  A bit fussy, perhaps, but well; and very much her worldly self.”  The voice was calm, almost friendly but very formal.  Old.  Definitely old.  There was a strength to it, though.  More like a quiet confidence.

A light shined down out of the darkness.  It wasn’t blinding, or even “Heavenly”, more like someone just turned a low hanging ceiling light on in a warehouse.  Even so, Dante winced and squinted as his eyes adjusted to the new  stimulus.

Standing in the middle of the light, was an old man wearing white robes.  His hair was white, with most of his face covered by a thick beard.  Not quite a Santa Claus look, but close.  His skin was tan and rough, like he had spent years in the sun.  It might have been leather.  A golden rope held his robe together, and his feet were adorned in leather sandals.

With a snap of his fingers, his clothes began to move.  They twisted and turned around his body, while he remained still.  They stretched in places and titled and others.  Their texture reshaped and their color darkened and shifted.  Before Dante knew it, the robes had reshaped themselves completely.   Now the geezer was dressed in a red turtleneck sweater, a pair of slacks, and a black leather belt with a gold buckle.  The sandals, for whatever reason, still remained.
The old man reached into the darkness and pulled a wicker chair from it, setting it down.   He groaned slightly as he sat down.  “I hope you don’t mind if I sit.” the old man said.  “I won’t object if you stand.”

Dante sat there, flabbergasted.  “Uh, I don’t think I can.”  he told the old man.

“Nonsense,” the old man waved his hand, and made a cross,  “in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, you may stand for as long as we are having this conversation.  Even Midori could stand if I allowed it, now.”

“No, I mean…eh,  I don’t think I CAN walk.”  Dante pointed down to the scaled up newborn diaper that hugged his hips.  His legs were spread so far apart by the bulk that crawling would be a challenge at this point.

“Ah, yes.”  The old man observed.  “I see what you mean.”  The old man stood up, reached into the darkness and had a relatively thinner diaper and tub of baby wipes in his hand when it next came into the light.  Not feeling at all in control of the situation, Dante just laid down as the old man went to work.

He wasn’t as skilled as the Judy’s; clearly he hadn’t had the millennia of practice they had, but he knew what he was doing.  Dante didn’t take the time to feel embarrassed.  For once he was genuinely grateful to be changed.  He never thought he’d be happy to be in the regular scale diapers, but he was.

He waited till the old man had retaken his seat, the baby wipes and used diaper being reclaimed by the darkness, and stood up on his two feet.  It was still awkward standing and talking to a fully clothed man while wearing nothing but a diaper.

“Can I have some clothes too?” Dante asked.

“It is not yet decided if you’ll need clothes anymore,” the geezer spoke.  It didn’t sound like a threat, merely a statement of fact.  That unnerved Dante more.  Dante waited till it became clear that the old man would not speak.

“Who are you?”  Dante asked after a brief silence.  The old man looked confused, then offended.  Then he leaned forward in his wicker chair; his chin resting in his hand.  It was as if he were sizing Dante up.  Finally, he exhaled slowly and spoke.

“Forgive my arrogance and impoliteness,” the elderly gentlemen spoke up, his voice raspy with age.  “I am Saint Jude, Regent of Limbo until the end of days.

That was a new one.  “Do you run this place?”  Dante asked.

“Of course, lad.” the priestly man replied.  “Why do you think the angels here are all named Judy?”  He laughed dryly.  “They took the names themselves, without any urging on my part, I assure you.”  A guy named Jude running a place just outside of Heaven; every angel named Judy.  Worse yet, wasn’t St. Jude the name of that children’s cancer hospital that always advertised in the movie theatres?  Dante wouldn’t have believed it if not for all that he had already been through.

“What are you the Saint of?”, Dante asked.  It came off as more of a “Oh yeah?!  Prove it!” than initially intended.  The Milk of Human Kindness must still be in his system, messing with his emotions.  The Saint didn’t seem to notice though.

“Lost causes, among other things,” Jude answered.  He folded his hands in his laps, waiting for further questions.  Dante didn’t not keep him waiting.

“Lost causes?”  Dante questioned.  “Like…?”  Dante let the question hand in the air.

“Fighting the good fight, even though you know you’ll lose.” Saint Jude lectured like an old professor who had given this lecture too many times to count.  “Crusades, martyrdom-”

“Treating dead kids like babies so they don’t go to Hell?”  Dante interrupted.  It was rude to interrupt, especially when this guy clearly held all the cards, but something about him got under Dante’s skin.  It figured that a Saint would have a “Holier than Thou” attitude about him.

There was a long pause.  Saint Jude didn’t even blink, didn’t even shift his weight.  Finally, he said  “Precisely.”

“Why?”  Dante wanted to know.

Jude nodded his head, as if Dante had asked the correct question.  “Because,” he said, “even though everyone deserves to go to Hell for their sins, no one should go there if it can at all be avoided.”

“So you built this place, instead.” Dante concluded.  Saint Jude looked genuinely tickled by this.

“Built it?”  the Saint laughed more hardily this time.  He slapped his knee and tapped his foot as though Dante had said the most amusingly ridiculous statement ever. “No, my dear boy.  No.  I am Limbo’s Regent, not its architect.”  The old man slumped his shoulders slightly.  He looked tired.  “I don’t even rule this place as much as I”, he let out a weary sigh, “manage it.  But yes, I am the one responsible for your current plight.”

Dante said nothing in response to this.  He just listened.  It was this stranger’s turn to talk for the moment.

“This place was originally nothingness.” Jude went on, his wizened arms spread wide to indicate the vastness of it all.  “A between spot that was a barrier between creation and the hereafter.  Then it became a haven for infant souls- innocent souls that had not had the original sin of Adam and Eve washed away.”  He leaned forward a little bit,  “It was intended to stay that way, for the poor innocent babes that fell through the cracks.”

“Sadly,” the old man said as he leaned back in his chair, “mankind has been plagued with a dearth of good judgment ever since the Garden.  Slowly, over the millennia, Mankind has sought to increase their childhood, and delay their responsibilities.  The descendants of Seth that spread to what you call America are particularly guilty of this.  It’s ironic that they still make up a decent majority of the faithful.”

Dante took this all in, but Saint Jude paid no mind.  The old man just went on, more talking to himself than to Dante at present.

“There was a time,” the old man continued, “when you were a boy as soon as you could coherently confess your sins, and a man as soon as your second set of hair started growing in.”  The old man’s face shriveled up in what might have been disgust.  It was hard to read his features.  “Now, you’re all practically infants till you’re eighteen- hardly accountability or responsibility at all!  Even after that, you’re still children!”  He let out something between an exasperated sigh and a growl.

“And that’s why you treat us like babies?” Dante asked, more curious than anything; though that element of resentment still lingered.

The Saint‘s features softened. “You are treated like infants,” he said, “because it was the one concession the Creator demanded of me when I proposed providing this service,”  he gestured around indicating Limbo itself.  “Besides that, it’s appropriate, don’t you think?”  Dante tiled his head in question.

“So many of you were ruled by your baser impulses before,”  Saint Jude started to list off on his fingers. “Food, drink, sexual pleasure, leisure, sloth, a sense of entitlement, and the personal fable running through your mind that told you your elders didn’t understand you despite your obvious brilliance.”  The old man bobbled his head in mock inspiration.  “It’s only fair that these things all become the elements of your cage.”

Dante felt his face getting hot.  How dare this old fucker lecture him!  Yeah he wasn’t perfect, and had made a lot of mistakes.  Hell, from an objective level Dante even agreed a little, but that didn’t mean the high and mighty snob could rub it in his face.

The Saint must have seen Dante‘s expression.  “It’s not as if you’re treated poorly, here,” he said.  “Limbo is no Heaven, mind you, but what would be the point of Heaven if it was?”

“No Heaven?” Dante spat, “I shit myself when I got here.”

The old man chuckled.  That caught Dante off guard.  “Everyone soils themselves after they die,” Saint Jude told Dante.  “The saved are bathed in heavenly oils, wrapped in silken robes, and a crown placed upon their heads.  You were cleaned and diapered, with the knowledge that you would continue to make a mess of things time and time again.” (A poop joke, ha-ha, very funny.)  “The damned, I imagine are just left to stew in it.”

Dante rolled his eyes.  What was the point of all this?  “Why are we even talking?”

“There’s the question I was waiting for!”  Saint Jude pointed at Dante, his eyes lighting up.  He rubbed his hands together.  “The true heart of the matter.  Why did the Judy’s attack you?  Why were you even able to stand when it is fact that no denizen of Limbo may do so?”

Uh oh.  The codger had suddenly gotten a little too excited for Dante’s liking. “Yeah…why?” Dante asked hesitantly.

“You child,” the geezer smiled, “are an Orpheus.”   He said this as if it were obvious and well known.  He might as well have said “You have brown hair,” or “You’re a male.”  Dante just stood there, trying to comprehend the words that had passed the old man‘s lips.  There was a long silence before the Saint deigned to explain.

“God made man in his own image,” Jude finally said.  “Do you think that means God has two arms, two legs, and a head?”  Dante shook his head.  Frankly, he had never really thought much about what God looked like,  but he knew what answer Jude was looking for.  Dante knew a straw man question when he heard it.

“No,” Saint Jude stated firmly, “but he did gift us each with a bit of the Divine Spark, free will.  Every human has the ability to make their will manifest, to create or destroy for no other reason than it is their desire to do so, much like God.

“Sadly,” he went on like a professor who had just turned the page in a dusty textbook, “they lack perspective.  Too often, man will favor their own will over anyone else’s-even the Creator’s.  They try to become gods unto themselves.”  He looked up at Dante.  “If you know even the basics of the Word, you know what happened to the first being that tried to be equal to God.”  He shook his head sadly and clicked his tongue,  “Poor self-righteous Devil.”  Wow, this guy must be a Saint.  He was actually showing sympathy for the Devil.

“What does that have to do with me?” Dante asked, missing the point.

“You’re an Orpheus,”  Jude restated. “You’re a human with enough will and passion to defy even God’s edicts, if only temporarily.”

Dante gasped.  He the chosen one?  He was Keanu Reeves? He was the Matr-

“Don’t look so cocky, boy.” the old man scowled, interrupting Dante’s train of thought. “Anyone can do it.  Most just don’t.  They never figure it out.”  He shrugged, more to himself than to Dante.  “It typically starts with an emotional conduit or form of expression.”

“Like singing.”  Dante stated this just as Jude had stated the Orpheus comment.  It wasn’t a question.  It was fact.

“Yes,” Jude conceded, “like the original Orpheus.  Man went into Hell and coerced the Infernal Triumvirate into giving him his wife back with the condition of proving his love and trust by not looking back before he left Hell.”

“He looked back”, Dante finished, remembering the old Greek Myth.

Jude nodded, his hands folded in his lap. “It’s what happens when man becomes a god unto himself.  He trusts only himself, and loves himself above all others.”  He cleared his throat as if he were uncomfortable about what he was to say next.  “What the story fails to mention anymore is that afterwards, the Orpheus decided women were too much trouble, and spent the rest of his life laying with boys.  Ruins the romanticism of the account, I know, but it’s the truth.  Humans are capable of great and petty things.”

“I bet you’ve had this talk with a lot of singers.”  Dante changed the subject and allowed himself a nervous chuckle.

“Not as many as you might think.”  the old Saint answered,  “It doesn’t have to be singing either.  Any creative form of expression will do”, the geezer started looping in a circle, showing an imaginary list that went on and on and on.

“Preaching, writing, painting, sculpting- even particularly barbed insults or clever lies will do.  You were not marked as an Orpheus because of your talent.  You were marked because you managed to defy God’s decree that the inhabitants of Limbo will be as infants in that they may not stand or walk.”

“I didn’t do it on purpose,” Dante said defensively.

“I’m aware.”  Jude replied.  “That is why we are having this talk and you’re not sleeping in a cradle till the end times…yet.”

“Yet?”  Dante did not like where this was going.

“You only have this second chance as a courtesy,”  Saint Jude summarized.  “Around here, ignorance is still just barely an excuse.  So I have seen fit to remove you from the Newborn Room.  From now until you prove otherwise,” he continued, “your treatment in Limbo shall be as it has always been.”

“BUT,” he added with emphasis, “if you are to be returned to the crèche, where your Lysa waits for you, then you must never sing again.”  the old man paused to let it sink in.  “If you break this arrangement, you shall be subdued and returned to the Newborn Room for all time.

Dante didn’t know how to feel.  He’d get to see Lysa again, but he was forbidden his music.  “But singing is one of the ways that I stay…well….me!” he pleaded.  “It’s how I came back to myself the first time.”

“I am aware.” the old man grunted.  “I am also certain that the Judy’s would prefer to pick up where they left off and make sure there’s not a second time that you come back to yourself.”  He drummed his fingers on the armrest of his chair.   “Some, I’ve heard, would even prefer that you not be given this second chance and be returned to the cots and swaddling clothes immediately.”  Dante opened his mouth to speak, but the old man waved him off with a gnarled hand.

“Don’t worry, that will not happen until you provoke it.”

“But what if,”  Dante paused, “without my singing, I regress again?

“Then you shall be innocent, loved, and cared for.” Saint Jude replied, starting to lose patience but remaining neutral in tone.  “All will be well.”

“But I don’t want that!”  Dante raised his voice and took a half-step forward, only now remembering that he was still diaper-clad.

Saint Jude did not react.  “Then I will pray that your connection with the girl is strong enough to sustain you; or that you develop a new connection that does not defy the Creator.”  He stood up from the wicker chair and pushed it back into the darkness.  He turned as if to leave.  Oh fuck this!  They weren’t done talking yet!

“This isn’t fair!” Dante yelled,  “You might as well sentence me to Hell!”  The old man stopped and turned around.  His sweater and slacks reshaped themselves into flowing white robes.  He marched up to Dante and stared the boy right in the eye.

“If you had even glimpsed the torments of the pit, you would not dare say that!” the Saint whispered.  “And as for fair?” his voice gained a little volume.  “You know what’s not fair?  Postponing your eternal reward earned from a lifetime of devotion and martyrdom so that spoiled children may evade the flames of the inferno!”  His voice was booming now.  “So long as I am Regent of this realm, I may not enter Paradise!”  The echo of this voice thundered in Dante’s ear.

“MEANWHILE!” he boomed,  “I MUST ENDURE LISTENING TO WHINING BRATS A FRACTION OF MY AGE AND THEIR PROTESTS- BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL CARED FOR BUT HAVE LOST THE PRIVELEGE TO WIPE THEMSELVES!”  Dante swore he saw a literal flash of lightning in the man’s eyes.  “THAT’S what’s not fair!”  Dante shrunk down, put in his place.

The wizened elder exhaled and stepped back.  His voiced lowered to a whisper again.  “But I am the Saint of Lost Causes.  It is my duty, so I will endure.”   That was all there was to it then.  Dante could either go back to the nursery and try to get along without his ace in the hole, or be sent back to the endless loop of consciousness that he had already experienced.

“I like you, boy.  I do.” Saint Jude said, nodding slightly.  “If you last long enough and manage to grow up a little more, perhaps we’ll talk again.  Until then.” he turned to leave once more.

“Wait!”  Dante called out, more a request this time than a demand.

“Yes?”  Jude turned his head back around.

One last thing was still nagging at Dante.  He knew he had seen the lightning in the man’s eye, heard the power in his voice. “You told me of divine sparks.  Of using my will and emotions to defy God.” Dante began.  “That’s why the Judy’s called me Orpheus.”

“And?”  the old man in the robes let the question hang in the air.

“What do they call people with all of that inside them who don’t defy God and look out for other people?”

“Saints,”   Jude winked.  “They call us Saints.”


Dante’S Infanzia Chapter 13: Threshold

Written by: Personalias
It had been Valentine’s Day when she had become a woman.  She was 15 and the wait had been well worth while.  Robbie had taken her out to dinner, and a movie.  He had been a gentleman the whole night.  After the movie, he took her out to lovers’ lane.  He lowered the roof of his convertible so that they could see the stars.

It hadn’t snowed that night, so the sky was clear.  It was so still cold though, so they cuddled up close together.  One thing led to another (doesn’t it always), and he started kissing her neck.  Everything tingled.  Everything.  She felt his hands, his gentle touch as he nibbled on her ear.  She melted for him.  He could have asked for the world, and she would have given it to him.  All he had asked was for her to get into the back seat with him and turn him into a man.

She was saving herself for marriage.  That’s what she told her parents, and all of her friends at school.  But right then, she didn’t care.  She was going to marry Robbie Simmons anyway, so it didn’t matter when they consummated their love.  She was invincible.

She didn’t know then that months later Robbie would bail on her as soon as she told him what he had done to her.  Deny the whole thing.  Call her a whore and a slut.  So she said the only word she could thing of.  “Yes.”

Robbie scooped her up in his arms, and carried her out of the front seat, like a groom carrying his bride across the threshold.  Then with a playful growl, he plopped her down in the backseat, hiked up her poodle skirt, and ripped her wet panties off of her so he could go to work.

Nearly 60 years later, it was still not lost on Lysa Strata that it was that one moment that changed the direction of her life, and after life.  She had taken her first steps to claim her womanhood by letting someone hike up her skirt and remove her soiled undergarments so he could go to work.  Now the same thing happened to her every day.  Now though, her skirts were shorter and her panties were thicker; and nine out of ten times it was a different type of wetness between her legs.

Lysa had had many things in life and death.  Beauty, energy, guts, determination, intuition, even brains.  Judgment had never been her strong suit though.  Her judgment was how she had ended up getting pregnant, running away from home, and dying on the street failing to birth her baby.  Her inability to make good decisions was about to cost her again, dearly.  This time, it would hurt someone else, too.

When Dante had first come in, she put on the tough girl act, the Rosie the Riveter.  If this guy was going to turn out to be another Jamal then she was going to make sure he was afraid of her and listened to what she had to say.

Goddamn Jamal!  This was his fault as much as hers.  If anyone in Limbo deserved to be relocated to Hell, it was him.  If one of the conditions of Limbo wasn’t forgetting how to dress and undress, Jamal would have raped her.  Lysa had never been so glad to be diapered as she had on that day.

So she wove her little stories, leaving just enough truth in them, emotionally speaking, to resonate as fact.  She resented her parents, perhaps unjustly so, so she made them the incompetents and villains.  The Judy’s had insisted that Caroline was her sister for so long, that that lie was pie.  And if she had had the courage to kill herself that day, she would have.  Instead God did it for her.  Lysa was tough, a survivor, and this new fish was going to know it.

But then, in the course of a day, something happened.  He got with the program, and actually treated her like a person.  Certainly not like Midori back in her prime.  And the way he looked at her in the tub that first night:  It was like how Robbie looked at her when they first started going steady and he offered her his ring.  After she put out, Robbie never looked at her that way again.

She was going to tell him the truth the next morning, but then Dante came and told her about that dream of his.  The same way she had run to Jorge after her first night in Limbo.  He didn’t want a girl.  He wanted a big sister.  But he kept looking at her like that.  The only reason he respected her was because of the shock and awe she gave him that first day.  So she continued to Rosie it up for him.  More bad judgment.

Then that snake in the grass got in Dante’s ears and told him just enough to unravel everything.  Now she was just Lysa again.  Lysa the failure.  Lysa the screw-up.  Lysa the Liar.  She had almost gotten used to that title.  It was appropriate to how she survived.

Dante avoided her the next day, even when they were put in the playpen together.  He wouldn’t talk to her, wouldn’t look at her.  Wouldn’t even acknowledge her presence.  Lysa had slapped him once, to get his attention.  He just glared at her and started crying his head off.  That had earned her a five minute time out.  Not worth it.

The other survivors weren’t treating Dante well, though.  They had witnessed the break down where he beat himself in the face.  They had heard his wailing carry on through the night.  They knew.  Word was out: Dante was damaged goods.  They gave him the same treatment that he had given her.  Idiots.  Like they didn’t have issues of their own.  It’s not like they’d catch it.

Worse yet, they gave her the cold shoulder, too.  Jamal had acted fast and pointed out how Lysa the Liar‘s plans were backfiring on her again as she laid crying in the fetal position.  Monster. Of course he was glossing over why she reacted by retreating back into herself.  Son of a bitch was trying to go for a double play and get both of them to crack.   Good luck fucker.  She wasn’t much of a teacher, but she had been a great student.

The next day, Lysa had managed to sharpen a crayon to a decent point with her teeth and then jam it into Jamal’s eye before he could react.  That got her another spanking and an all day time out.  That wasn’t good for Dante.  Isolation only sped the process up.

Dante was slipping:  She had seen the signs.  First he started wetting and messing himself without realizing it.  Then his emotions got harder to control and he became subject to mood swings.  The cry fest was only the beginning of that.  If something wasn’t just right for Dante, his lip would start quivering.  Left unattended, he’d whimper and eventually all out cry till a Judy came to check on him.  Then they’d feed him, or change him, or tickle him, or give him a new toy- he started playing with the toys a few days ago-, and Dante would be back to himself again.  Lysa had gotten a front row seat to one of those incidents while she was perched on the naughty stool the next day.

Vivian was seeing it too, but she didn’t interfere; she just went back to her paints.  Selfish bitch.  Why was Lysa the only one in this place that looked out for someone by herself.  Then again Vivian might not realize that it hadn’t always been this way, poor girl.  What was Kevin’s excuse though?  AIDS as far as she knew didn’t make you forgetful or stupid.  Every survivor, had at least one big baby in their care group anyways.  It’s not like they didn’t know what was happening, either.  Did they really think they’d catch whatever was making Dante regress?

Next came the oral fixation.  Dante put everything in his mouth that he could get his hands on.  The Judy’s safety-pinned a pacifier and a ribbon to his shirt so that he’d always have something to suck on.  Most of the time, that kept Dante calm.  Most of the time.

Then came the baby talk.  Not quite gibberish, but people seemed to develop cute little speech impediment as their personalities slid backwards .  Dante was no exception.  “Pwease tawk to me, guys!  Pwease! He had begged as he crawled after a group of survivors like a lost puppy, looking for a home.  Complete and utter assholes.

After that, starting yesterday, came the echolalia.  As the prisoners approached the threshold of no return, they started losing words, and so just mimicked other people and used their words instead.  “Uh-oooh!  Wooks wike someone had a’ accident.” Dante said as a Judy checked his diaper.  “Time foh a change.”   It was bad enough he was turning into a parrot; but the intonation was all wrong too.  He didn’t understand everything he was saying, but got the gist and delivered it as best he could, kind of like a bad Shakespearean actor.

Then came the loss of speech completely; and soon after, came the big sleep.  They’d go to sleep, and when they woke up, they were a baby.  Midori had actually made it till her bedtime, staying awake through naps before she disappeared forever and was replaced by big, stupid, goofy, loveable Dori.

Even with all of this, Dante stubbornly refused to talk to Lysa.  It was like his pride wouldn’t let him.  He’d rather sink into oblivion than accept her help, her meddling.  Had Lysa hurt him that bad?  Was what she was doing really all that wrong?  What were a few white lies between friends?  So what if she lied about who she was and how she got into this little corner of the after-life?  It’s not like she had lied or sugar coated the other stuff.

Then again, she realized, how did he know that?  Maybe she had a little growing up to do.

It had taken a total of two weeks after the massive public breakdown for Dante to get this far. That made it about a month, since Dante had arrived, the cutoff point for most new fish.  The three other big babies that shared mealtimes with Lysa, Midori, and Dante had already crossed the threshold.  They were ahead of schedule.  They must’ve been suicides.  Now they were some of Midori’s best friends, giggling and rolling around on the floor with her.  They fit right in.

But it wasn’t playtime right now.  It was just after breakfast, and the milk was wearing off.  Dante, Lysa, and Midori were all in their giant playpen together.  Ironically, or rather, appropriately, they were all dressed the same as the day they had met.  Midori in her pink shirt with bows in her hair, sucking on her paci and playing with some blocks that their Judy had tossed into the pen.  Lysa was in her too short baby dress, her hair up in stupid pigtails.  Dante was in his baby blue onesie.

Instead of asking questions though, Dante was just staring out through the mesh of the playpen.  What was he doing?  What was he thinking?  Was he even fighting it?  Had he just given up.  Lysa had to meddle.  She had to set things right.  Somehow.

She crawled up to Dante.  As if sensing her presence he tensed slightly.  If he had hairs on the back of his neck, they would be standing at attention, his body language read.  Good.  He hated her.  That meant he was still inside there; she had something to work with.

“Dante?” she said.  Trying to get his attention.  “Dante?”

“Dante?” he echoed back.  He didn’t turn around.
Lysa looked up to the ceiling.  “Please, Lord,” she whispered, not daring to finish the thought.  She shouldn’t pray, here, right now.   If everything was to be believed, what she wanted was going against the divine plan.  No point in asking the Big Guy upstairs to sabotage his own workshop.

“Dante, please turn around.” she said.  It was more of a request.  The kid needed kid gloves right now.  Rosie the Riveter would just drive him away.  Dante, looked over her shoulder, and slowly.

“Tuhn awound.”  Dante growled back at her.  As far as Lysa could tell, Dante was only echoing now.  He was close to the threshold; too close.  She’d never forgive herself if she didn’t try, though.

“Dante, I’m sorry.” she plead.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.  I didn’t want you to end up like this.  I didn’t want US to end up like this.  I’m so sorry.”

“I huwt you,”  was all he said back.  Lysa didn’t know if she should take that as a threat or an angry agreement.  Even now on the brink, he wouldn’t actually listen to her.  How infuriating could you get?  Here she was still trying to help him, and even in his own limited way, he defied her.  This must have been how Frankenstein’s Monster felt towards his creator:  Angry and bitter, and driven to spite Victor Frankenstein for the lot in life it had inherited.  But why did Lysa feel like she was the monster, right now?

“Damn it Dante!  Stop copying me and talk to me!  TALK. TO. ME.  You’re not some dumb baby, now prove it!”  Lysa ripped out her ribbons and undid her pigtails.  She always did that when she was stressed.  This was the top of the list.

“Damn it blabble abble abble abble ubble mama goo!”  Dante shot back.  His eyes widened with surprise and he clapped his hand over his own mouth .  Baby babble.  The last stage before the end.  That had woken him up.

“No!”  Dante yelled, “nabba gabba gabba!”  His face turning red from frustration, his hair getting mussed as he pulled on it in frustration.   “Frug ug ug ug ug, moogoo!”  He slapped the mat for emphasis.  In a fit he threw himself on the floor.  The Judy did not come though.  She just stayed in her rocking chair, peering into the playpen and watched intently.


Dante screamed, and cried, and bawled.  But all that came out was baby babble.  A look of certainty and horror crossed Dante‘s face.  The end was coming.  He knew it too.  He rolled on the ground and kicked his feet to try and fight it off, but there was no stopping it.  The death of his adulthood was imminent.

It reminded Lysa of the scene from Pinocchio where the bad little boy was turning into a donkey.  Nothing short of the blue fairy would be able to stop it or reverse it at that point.  She hung her head in shame.  She had lost again.  Another playmate of hers would regress all the way and leave her alone.  She had failed Dante.  All she could do now was comfort him till the end.

She held open her arms wide for a hug.  “I’m so sorry, Dante.” she whispered.  Dante crawled over and accepted her hug.  He whimpered in her ear, scared.  Terrified really.  And who could blame him?  Not Lysa.  “I know.  I know.  Midori went through the same thing.  I was there for her,” she lied.  “Now, I’m here for you.”

His whimpering quieted as she stroked his hair and rubbed his back.  Dante’s adult mind was dying; going to sleep forever.  Time for her to accept it and brace herself.  The world blacked out around them. Time lost meaning. Lysa was vaguely aware of the Judy coming into the pen and then carrying Midori out.  Maybe the angels did have a little mercy in them.  She was being allowed to be alone with Dante in his final sentient moments.

Dante pulled back.  His eyes looked tired, and scared.  He was exhausted.  The sleep was coming.  Not bothering to babble, Dante pleaded to her with his eyes.  All Lysa could do was shake her head.  “I’m sorry Dante.  There’s nothing I can do now.”  She breathed in sharply and held her breath to keep from sobbing.

She adjusted herself, so that she was sitting on her heels.  She guided Dante’s head onto her lap and laid it there.  Lysa caressed his brow as he looked up at her.  Time to give Dante a proper sendoff, to sing him a lullaby for the big sleep.  But not a child’s lullaby.  He didn’t deserve that indignity.

Lysa had never heard of his favorite song before he had told her.  And “You Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated” didn‘t really sound appropriate.  But she didn’t really know any appropriate songs.  Then like a boulder, it hit her.   She’d sing him her favorite song.  Not just her favorite song…but a song about her.  She might not have written it, but it fit.  The last thing Dante, the real Dante would hear, would be Lysa’s song.

“Do you like songs, Dante?”  Dante meekly nodded up at her.  Somehow, he knew what was coming too.  Or maybe Lysa the Liar was lying to herself to make herself feel better.  She sang for him.

“Say it’s only a paper moon,

Hanging under a cardboard sea.

But it wouldn’t be make-believe

If you believed in me.”
She sniffled a little.  His eyelids were starting to droop.  She went on.
“Yes, it’s only a canvas sky,

Hangin’ under a muslin tree.

But it wouldn’t be make-believe

If you believed in me.”
Getting there.  She could see him smile faintly as his eyes closed and her vision blurred.
“Without your love,

It’s a honky-tonk parade.

Without your love,

It’s a melody played in a penny arcade.”
His breathing was slowing.
“It’s a Barnum and Bailey world,

Just as phony as it can be.

But it wouldn’t be make-believe-
Her voice caught in her throat.  Dante lay in her lap, sleeping peacefully.  Good-bye Dante.  Lysa looked up to the sky, hoping no one saw her right now.  She started to blink away her tears.  She’d have another baby on her hands soon.  It wouldn’t do any good to have lil’ Dante see her crying.

Then she heard it.
“If you believed in me.”

Lysa looked down. It was only five words.  Five little words and six little notes.  But they were the most beautiful six notes Lysa had ever heard.  Dante’s eyes were opened.  He smiled meekly back at her, but his eyes had a spark to them.

“Hey Lysa,” he whispered.  “I think I found two of my anchors.”

“DANTE!” she screamed. Tears rained down from her face, and she bent over and showered him with kisses.  They rolled around the pen, giggling like idiots.  Like lovers.  Then they did something more.  If one of the conditions of Limbo wasn’t forgetting how to dress and undress, they would have done a LOT more.  The spanking and ten minute time out they both got for “wrestling” was totally worth it.  Totally.

All through the rest of the day,  Dante’s songs rang out through the nursery.  Some say even the magic that filtered outside sounds from the cubicle walls couldn’t keep it out.  Some songs, Lysa sang along with in harmony, others she sat in awe of him and just listened.  But Dante never stopped singing.  Some say, on that day, even the Judy’s paused and heard something more than just baby babble.