Chapter Description: The family adjusts to the changed statue of Emily in the evening
The two newly informed parents arrived back at their house, still largely surrounded by increasingly tired media and spectators. Their visit to the police station let them know even more about who their daughter used to be, and what made her into her new self, but didn’t help them much in terms of understanding who she is now.
The high school filled with crying infants completely draped in clothes tents that composed of clothing that had fit them seconds earlier was a striking image to Sarah. The clothing that these teenagers and adults had picked to show off some aspect of themselves, their body, personality, interests, and profession, the clothings usefulness to these people was now reduced to a material to soak up their bodily fluids, and to be swaddled in.
Her reality came back to her as she walked through the front door, and heard more crying. They walked into the living room to see Mason confused trying to care for his sister. Her pacifier was on the ground, and Mason flustered trying to figure out what Emily wanted. It didn’t seem like Mason had even noticed them come in.
“You two having fun?” Robert said while the two of them chuckled.
“Uh, I don’t know what to do!” Mason stammered in response. “I kept trying to give her the pacifier but she just kept on crying! I didn’t want to try to change her diaper for the first time alone, I didn’t even know if she used it…”
“Well you just gotta look, and if you don’t see anything then feel, then you would know if that was the problem.” Sarah advised her son, who had never had to look after such a young child before.
She continued “The worst ones are when you don’t have to look for it, because there’s no way you could miss it.” Mason stared back wide eyed and spooked. Sarah felt like one of the prisoners in those tv shows where they scare delinquents. She definitely wasn’t getting grandkids anytime soon she thought, considering her best chance at getting grandkids is now a bawling baby on a changing mat thanks to David, and it seems like she is going to scar their son from ever having kids himself!
As Sarah was educating Mason on baby care, Robert walked around and picked his little girl up. She calmed down quite a bit, but still clearly wasn’t satisfied.
“I think she might just be tired” Robert posited. “We should fold out the playpen and see if she want’s to sleep.”
So they retrieved the foldable pen that they decided would be a makeshift crib and set it up in the living room, and she was laid down in it. She fussed for a bit and seemed to want to do something else, but then it seemed like she gave in to what she wanted to do all along, and fell asleep.
After she finally fell asleep in their living room, and the sun started to go down, Mason seemed like he was about to get up.
“Shhhhh” Sarah motioned at Mason to get up slowly. “Appreciate the silence. Don’t make a single noise.” More sagely advice to her novice son. He very gently snuck away and began to ascend the wooden stairs of their home, to return to his bedroom.
As he was halfway up there was a sudden noise. Creak. Not loud enough to wake up any adult sleeping but Emily was no adult, not anymore.
There was a pause of still silence as Mason waited, and the parents looked, through the mesh.
“Waaaaahhhhh.” Unfortunately for them, Sarah thought, this seemed to be the only word that Emily remembered. She hadn’t gotten as much use out of it as a teenager, so this was almost a throwback re-addition to her vocabulary.
As Mason retreated to his room, the two parents took turns comforting the crying baby on their shoulder. They gave her some more formula and she drank it, not quite as ravenously this time as the first time.
Emily had fallen asleep again, this time she was leaning on Sarah’s shoulder, being held up by Sarah placing her relatively ginormous hand under Emily’s thickly padded rear end.
As they both relaxed, Sarah could feel the texture of the diaper begin to change, and become firmer. Sarah knew that Emily couldn’t contain herself again, but wasn’t sure which one it was. She caught the attention of her husband watching the TV on mute, where they were still the lead story.
“I think she went again.” Sarah quietly mouthed to her husband. “I’m going to wait a few minutes.” She added, not wanting to disturb her daughter’s much needed sleep, as the diaper didn’t seem to bother her too much yet.
She let a little longer pass, and beckoned her husband over. They didn’t even talk about it and he was going to change her this time. They seemed to fall right back into their alternating roles of diaper duty through pure muscle memory.
The bright light from the TV was the only thing left illuminating the pitch darkness of the living room.
“I ordered a crib from IKEA” Robert said as he laid her down. “We’ll have to get to work cleaning out her room, and building the nursery.”
She made a tired noise in agreement.
Sarah watched the silhouettes in front of her. She saw the frame of her husband remove the tabs from Emily’s diaper. Sarah looked at the TV again and saw the pictures go by. Of the other victims prior to the attack, and the updated pictures that have been taken since they have left the hospital, like the reverse of the missing children pictures, where they have had to show an aged up version of a missing child.
Robert slid the diaper out from under his daughter with a lot of care.
They then reached pictures of Emily. Since the official press conference they have been calling her some kind of a ‘hero baby’. Always with her new age as a caveat. It seemed like none of the press or public cared to think of her as a person who had their life stripped away from them, but instead of some demeaned infantile curiosity. They’ve been speculating about the future of a technology that took her daughter, and reduced her to zero like the bankrupt space in Wheel of Fortune.
As he lifted his daughter up to put a new Sesame Street themed diaper under her, her prom picture came across the TV, as he pulled the front of it between her tiny legs, a video of her at-bat in a softball game, as he pulled the tabs, a video of her leaving the hospital this morning in her diaper, sucking on a pacifier, ring dangling from the front. You could tell it actually was the same person.
Sarah couldn’t look anymore, knowing this is what was on all day, and probably will be all week, all month, all year, and maybe forever.
She decided to go make dinner.
Baby Sofia · Mar 23, 2023What did they actually learn there? Curious to get a fuller picture there. Thanks for the update, curious where you take the story from here.
vended · Mar 24, 2023Neat story, although it feel like it lack a purpose by now.
TheFurEffect · Apr 1, 2023This was a fun read and probably the best story I've read over the past couple months here. The story being grounded in what might actually occur if such a thing as age regression actually became a thing was - in my opinion - something that made this interesting, since not many stories here (if any) actually think about what would happen in a real life situation like this. Only problem might be the ending (assuming this is the end) but, then again, I don't think I could end it any better.