by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Apr 23, 2023

Sequel to "The Virus"

Chapter 1
Whole Story

Chapter Description: Whole Story

“Okay folks,” the meeting leader said. “Let’s start with the affirmation.”

“I am an adult.
I am not helpless.
I am not stupid.
I am independent.
I did nothing to deserve what was done to me.
What happened was not my fault.
I am worthy of respect.

I am worthy of being equal.
I am worthy of autonomy
I will build back up, one brick at a time.”

It came out as the same tired, droning cadence as lapsed Catholics at Mass.  Which was fitting considering they were in a church.  Fellowship halls and side buildings of religious institutions had long been common meeting places for meetings such as these. 

People often needed quiet places together and share their struggles with one another free from judgment- or at least with such a pretense in place. Alcoholics, drug abusers, trauma and the families of all of the above: Everybody needed a space sometimes to make that connection and fight the isolation lest they despair. 

Rhyse never much wondered why these types of meetings always happened at churches. He never thought he’d need to go to one of these things.  He figured he knew why the churches were willing to host them- free advertising for the J-Man and all that- but he never bothered to wrap his brain around why those sites seemed to be the only option available.

Close to two years into recovery and Rhyse knew with all the stale bitterness in his heart why: No other place could or would make room for them.  Few other spaces could or would let them.  Regardless of the trauma or the healing involved.  Floorspace was money and money wasn’t a luxury most of these folks had anymore.  Almost all were living on some form of dwindling government assistance.

Facebook and other online forums were a poor choice of meeting, since so many of their traumas originate from the internet; that and the jackasses and the sickos seemed attracted to those message boards like their ordeals had been a fun ordeal.

They’d met at the public library a few times, but then Stu had had a breakdown and was found in the baby storytime nook with a load in his pants and crying for his Mommy.  Abuser, Rhyse reminded himself, Stu was calling out for his Abuser.

Presently, they all sat in what served as the old Methodist Church’s primary building outside of the primary chapel itself.  It was a large multi-purpose dining and meeting area. Wheel the folding tables away from the wall and you’d have the layout for a potluck.  Take the steel chairs and put them in rows in front of the stage, and it’s time for the Christmas Pageant. Clear everything out, and you had a decent dance floor for a very uneventful cotillion or sock hop.  Take those chairs and put them in a circle right by the stage far away from the front door, and you had a recovery meeting.

Rhyse grit his teeth and looked around tonight’s circle of chairs. Lotta these faces had become awfully familiar to him, but he’d be able to recognize them for who and what they were even if he’d just seen him for the first time out on a public sidewalk.  All of them wore plain, baggy, form concealing clothing.  Chubby, rain thin, curvy, thick; it didn’t make a difference, everyone strived for the same quasi-amorphous blob shape to conceal the adult pull on style briefs they wore. Women who opted for dresses and skirts kept them long and flowing down to their ankles.  People who felt particularly bold opted for cargo shorts that still went down well past their knee caps. That was a tactical choice.

The color schemes, the plain and boring printless swathes of beige, tan, white, gray, black, and dark green had been a psychological one.  Dark reds and blues were bold and confident choices.  Sky blues and ballet slipper pinks were all but formally forbidden.  Someone in sunshine yellow was playing with fire.

Shoes were simple: Sensible loafers and flats, lazy flip flops and ugly ass crocs.  Nothing with with laces due to a communal struggle with them.  Nothing with velcro for fear of triggering a relapse.  No one wore ties or earrings save for clip-on. A successfully buttoned up shirt was considered a flex.   All waistbands had a bit of elastic in them and belts were a no go out of necessity. Zippers were but a formality.

Anything with a cartoon character on it, childish or otherwise, was right out. That actually was a group rule.  If you wanted to recover, you had to show discipline and commitment to yourself.

“So who wants to begin? Tell us about your week.” Mike, the group leader said.  Mike was something of a role model.  He had fully Recovered before Rhyse had found the group, but had stayed on to act as a coach to others trying to regain their adulthood.  He looked like the stereotypical principal in an old highschool movie, with his tied on tie, and tweed jacket with patches on the elbows. 

Rhyse opened his mouth to speak, but then silenced himself when he felt the urge to sit in Mike’s lap and ask for bouncies.

“Yes? Sheryll?”

Sheryll stood up and smoothed out her dark denim skirt. “I cooked for myself yesterday.  All day.  I didn’t ask help from nobody…anybody…anyone.”  Her nostrils flared.

“Take a deep breath,” Mike instructed.

“I was independent,’ Sheryll said. “And I cared and cooked for myself all day.  No takeout or delivery and I cooked everything for myself and cleaned up afterwards.”

Rhyse felt his eyebrows arch.  He’d ask Sheryll for tips later.

“What was it?”

“Microwave pasta.”
“For all three meals?” Mike took on a somewhat disapproving tone.


“Was it Chef Boyardee…?”

“Store brand,” Sheryll said proudly.  “It was store brand.  And I threw it away. Didn’t leave the can out and forget about it.”

Mike softened and nodded. “Cool,” he said. “Cool. I’m very happy for you.”  He offered no further praise and Sheryll sat down. Emerging data was showing that praise for ordinary things tended to have the opposite effect on someone’s recovery making celebration at small victories moot.

“Who else?”

“I’ve woken up and gone to the bathroom instead of wetting the bed the last two.out of three nights,” Todd volunteered.

Mike seemed genuinely impressed. “Interesting. What have you been doing?  Any tips?”

Todd set his jaw. “Right before I went to sleep, I would remember how my Mommy used to tell me how I was too little to get out of my crib and use the toilet like an adult, but then I imagined that I was telling her the affirmation and all the things I wanted to say to her.” Todd took a breath.  “And then that would kind of become a dream and I’d wake up from it needing to pee.”

“Your…Mommy?” Mike asked. “Was your Abuser your mother?”

“Wife,” Todd blushed. “Ex-wife.  Actually, we’re separated. The divorce hasn’t finalized yet.”

“Got it.”

Another awkward silence. “Who else?”

Rhyse shot his hand up.  “Excuse me…”

“Rhyse, you’re an adult you don’t have to raise your hand.”

“I gotta go potty,” Rhyse said without thinking.

“Excuse me?”  Mike sounded almost offended.

Rhyse felt the weight of the group’s stare at him, taking him apart.  Words were live grenades in this setting. Shouldn’t have said the P-word.  At least half of everyone’s Abusers did something to damage or weaken their bladder and rubbed their inability to go…to go P-word in their face.   

“I mean….may I go to the restroom?”

“You don’t need permission,’ Sheryll spat. “Just go.”

Rhyse stood up and verbally retreated.  “I was just showing that I had control and was considering others feelings.”  He started exited the circle.  “Didn’t want people to think I’d been triggered.”  He glared at Sheryll.  “Or think that I was about to have an accident.”

Sheryll blushed beet red.  She fluffed her skirt and broke off eye contact. From her body language, Rhyse would have expected the woman to cross her legs in discomfort. She probably couldn’t, though. Even if her pull-up…protective undergarment…even if her protective undergarment couldn’t get so big and puffy as to prevent her from doing so, it would likely still squish; might even leak. 

That was assuming Sheryll had had an accident. That was assuming Sheryll knew one way or the other.  She might not be potty trai…incontinent..she still might be incontinent.

Hands in his pockets, and still not running, Rhyse rushed into a back hallway towards the restrooms. Mike would give them a stern talking to about that, he was sure. They were all here to keep each other in check and to help one another; not to bicker like preschoolers. 

Mike was a hypocrite.  Thought he was so big and bad because the program had worked for him.  He was a toddler that got into big boy undies early and thought that made him smarter than everybody else.

This stupid program didn’t work for anyone else that Rhyse knew, either online, or in real life.  Most of the crew there were just lonely and pathetic and didn’t have anyone to talk to.  People who missed two many meetings were assumed to have graduated or not needed the help anymore, but Rhyse had other thoughts on that…

He opened the men’s room door, turned on the light and locked the door behind him. The bathrooms in this building were just single person restrooms.  The only difference between the men’s and women’s restroom was that one was tiled blue and the other tiled pink.  That and how with how small they were- just a toilet and a sink-there really wasn’t much point in differentiating them by gender.
“Might as well try,” Rhyse said to himself.  He hadn’t actually felt the need to pee. He just wanted out of that hazing ritual disguised as therapy.

He pulled down his baggy slacks and grimaced as he felt the weight of his pull-on style protective brief separate from him. He sat down on the seat and stared at the light yellow stained padding between his legs.  He poked the insides with his finger and felt the squish as if for the first time.  It wasn’t even warm. He’d been sitting in it and not even noticed…


He hadn’t brought any extra protection because the recovery group had decided that that was too much like a carrying around diaper bag.  For a while, it had become routine for people to go to the bathroom as soon as they arrived at the meeting, but that resulted in a line for the bathroom and people doing the p-word dance and then everyone was just overgrown three year olds waiting for teacher to tell them when to go.

For half a second, Rhyse fantasized about tossing the flimsy granny panties out and just going back commando, but what would happen if he had another accident?

It was enough to make him want to cry and call for Daddy…Sky…his Abuser…ex-Roommate…friend…Da-....damnit!  Rhyse sucked his thumb and rocked himself gently until the threat of a panic attack subsided. He did his best to remind himself that it was him doing the rocking, not sky.

After much too long, Rhyse stood up, pulled his pants up, wet padding and all, and left without flushing. He should have turned right, but his feet took him left.  Right would have taken him back to the meeting.

Left took him to where he really wanted to go.

With amazing stealth, Rhyse opened the door at the very end of the hall and slipped into the empty room. He flipped on the lights and took a second to take the wonderful sight all in.

The church’s nursery wasn’t very big.  All told, it was probably as big as the common area of his old apartment. Two, maybe three adults could inhabit the space comfortably without getting in each other’s way.  It had a couple of rocking chairs, a couple of simple cribs, a low table with tiny chairs to sit around and color in, and shelves of not-so-neatly stacked toys.

The metal changing table was flimsy and only stocked with baby wipes and lysol, which made Rhyse a little sad, but it made sense. This wasn’t an all day babysitting place. This is where old grannies sat and watched little ones for just an hour or two while their parents went over to the next building to hear about the sky man.  Diapers, bottles, and such would all be dropped off with the babies each week. 

Even with the bare bones bum bench, Rhyse still liked this place.  It was full of gentle feelings, and soft textures and bright happy colors.  He could have done without the pictures of Adam and Eve, but he still liked it. 

Daddy had been in the process of repainting Rhyse’s nursery before…before…not Daddy…Sky….Rhyse didn’t have a nursery…he wasn’t a…

Anyway, the nursery made Rhyse feel calmer. The only things sized for him were the rocking chairs and even a big dumb baby like him knew that he’d probably break any of the toys if he tried to play with them.  The crib and changing table were right out, and he wouldn’t have taken a leftover diaper even if he found one, but just being in this place helped to center the traumatized young man. 

The place felt right. Like it was meant for him. Like he was supposed to be here.  This was Rhyse’s church.  Against his better judgment, Rhyse sat down on the carpet, closed his eyes, inhaled deeply.  He was sure he was dreaming it, but he swore he caught a faint trace of leftover baby powder lingering somewhere.

“Get up, Rhyse,” Mike’s flat, stern voice broke into Rhyse’s trance.  “You shouldn’t be in here.”

Rhyse sat up off the floor with a jolt!  He’d fallen asleep!  The cold damp feeling screaming against his thighs indicated he’d done more than that.  Pull-Ups just couldn’t hold as much pee-pee as his old diapers could .

“Huh?” Rhyse feigned confusion.  “What? How did I get here?  Ga-ga?”

Mike stood in the doorway and didn’t move.  “Stop,” he said. “No institution would have let you out if you were still prone to any kind of fugue state.” 

“I didn’t mean to...” It sounded so pathetic coming out of Rhyse’s mouth.

“Yes. You did.” Mike said.  “You made a choice to  come in here.  You’re an adult. You have that capability again.”

Rhyse walked up and hung his head. “I know…” he nervously rubbed his thumb and forefinger together and felt how pruney his thumb had become.  “I’ll go back to the group.” 

“Group’s gone,” Mike said. “Everybody’s left.  Go home, Rhyse.”

“Okay…” Rhyse sulked.  “See you next time?”


Rhyse snapped his head up.  “Actually?  Actually what?!”
“Maybe it’s best if you take a break from the recovery group,’ Mike said. “I’m having some concerns about your progress.  I think that being around the others is bringing out the worst in you. Them too.”

Rhyse wanted to scream. So he did.  “What?!” he shrieked. “Have you been listening to yourself, lately?!  I still need Pull-Ups because I don’t know when I’m pissing myself, but I can’t bring extras to change into because that would be like a diaper bag, but I can’t wear real diapers that don’t need changing as much because that would be somehow more babyish! I can barely take care of myself, but I’m not supposed to ask for help! I can’t encourage people when they’re doing better than me because that would somehow be condescending to them and reinforce bad feelings!  And to top it all off, when you catch me sleeping in a nursery, you send me away!  I NEED HELP!”

Mike listened to the entire rant and didn’t blink, even as Rhyse increased the volume with every syllable.  “They’re called briefs.”

“How many people have you actually helped grow back up?” Rhyse accused. “What’s the success rate of this bullshit program? How many of us are back to being adults?“

In full clinical deadpan, Mike replied, “I can’t help you. That’s the point. You’re already an adult. You have to help yourself.”

Rhyse screamed like an animal.  Mike didn’t flinch.  “You asshole! I’m not even fucking allowed to talk about my fucking ex-roommate who did this to me!”

“Your ex is a victim too. The virus altered certain people’s brain chemistry so that they engaged in some extremely questionable behaviors.”

“He hypnotized me and put me in diapers! Made me think I was going crazy!”

“Yes,” Mike lectured. “Many different conditioning techniques were used.  Sleep deprivation. Gaslighting. Emotional abuse. Addiction and chemical conditioning. Subliminal messaging and hypnosis. The methods varied but the results were all the same.”

“You’re missing the point!” Rhyse howled. “Why am I here in some bootleg AA shit, living on food stamps, and Sky is free to walk about and not in jail…or in a psych ward? Why is he still getting help and I was cut loose as soon as I could walk and talk again? He! Regressed! Me!”

“In your case,’ Mike said, “It’s probably because we still don’t know why he regressed you. Doctors need to figure out exactly how the virus affected his brain and what lasting damage there’s been to him so that subsequent variants don’t affect other unsuspecting victims.”

“And what about me?” Rhyse cried. “What about my lasting damage? What about my life?”

Mike stepped aside and showed Rhyse the door. “You know what they say about hypnotism: It can’t make you do anything you don’t already want.”


Rhyse sat in Daddy’s lap, bouncing and squishing happily while Daddy made silly noises at him.  “Babababababa? Babababababba?! Ba-ba-baaaaaaa!  Ba-ba-baaaaaaaaa!”

“Bababababababababa!” Rhyse babbled happily back!  In truth, Daddy was saying something much more different, but Rhyse was so little that he didn’t understand even the concept of words.  Not so deep down all the baby knew was the concepts of sights, smells, sounds, touch, and taste.

Daddy looked happy and sounded happy, so that made Rhyse happy.  So Rhyse looked and sounded happy right back.

Daddy felt nice and warm to him, so Rhyse leaned into him and snuggled into Daddy’s chest and neck face. This made Daddy get alllll huggy, and Daddy gave the best hugs that made the baby boy feel so tiny and safe. He loved it. He also loved the feeling of squishiness in his diaper and how warm his onesie kept him while still letting him look at his own wiggly toes.

The smell of Daddy’s deodorant, shampoo, and cologne clung to him like a special flower that made the baby want to smell and smell and smell.  Sometimes he knew Daddy was looking over his crib before he even opened up his eyes.  As for the other smells, the ones come from Rhyse, the baby didn’t notice them very much, though being the clever boy that he was, did notice that Daddy’s nose wrinkled up whenever he was about to change Rhyse’s diaper.

Daddy’s nose wasn’t wrinkling right now, however.  Daddy was reaching over to the other side of the couch to grab something.  Baby Rhyse’s eyes got big and wide he saw what it was.


Daddy smiled and gave the yummy bottle of milk to Rhyse.  Rhyse started drooling right away, hungry for the num-nums inside.  A wave of pleasure washed over him while the wave after wave after wave of Milk splashed into Rhyse’s mouth and down his throat.

Rhyse leaned back in Daddy’s lap, almost going limp as every last bit of energy was dedicated to drinking the sweet creamy liquid.  Daddy petted his head and made quiet happy sounds for Rhyse to suckle too.

Rhyse made his own happy sounds,mewling and grunting with the bottle while his eyelids started feeling heavy.  Daddy shifted him over so that he was lying down, on the couch, his head still resting comfortably in Daddy’s lap.

The baby’s grunting got a little louder and his lifted his knees up to his tummy, not even realizing that he was pushing because of how focused he was on literally everything else.  The only thing that distracted him from his bottle was the warm sticky feeling in the back of his diaper after his knees went back down.

Daddy’s nose wrinkled up.

This was the last day that Rhyse could remember feeling happy.

Sky sat in a stiff backed office chair across from a man in a white coat.  Diplomas adorned the walls. Combined with the large bookshelf filled with impressive tomes on virology and psychology and the sturdy oak desk made for a stoic, professional, and highly professional looking environment.

That was all just for show, Sky knew.  He was smarter than this hack doctor. He’d get more use out of this desk with some vinyl padding to lay on and use the drawers to store wipes and spare onesies and rompers.  Get those useless books (which he totally had never read) out of the way and stack them with fresh dia-

No! Stop it! Not right now!

Much like the doctor, Sky was also dressed for show. His clean pressed raincloud gray suit and slicked back hair gave the impression that Sky was at a job interview.  This was no interview. All conclusions had already been reached. 

The only factors that were truthful were the ankle monitor underneath Sky’s left pant leg, and the police officer standing passively in the corner.  If the pig wasn’t here, Sky would have been able to regress this quack back down to size. If the quack wasn’t here, he could have hat that pig well on his way to padding.

“How have you been, Sky?”

“Well.  Thank you, Doctor.”

“Still holding down a job?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“What was it again?”

“I’m in accounting,” Sky said. Smartly he barged ahead and added, “Taxes mostly. Closed system. No internet. Minimal interaction with the customers.”

“Good!” The doctor nodded. “Very good.”  He opened a folder and pretended to peruse Sky’s folder.  “Still taking your medication?”

It wasn’t working. “Yes.”

“And how do you feel?”

Like he wanted to slip the most powerful yet subtle laxatives into the man’s coffee, lock him out the bathroom, then spank him when the inevitable accident occurred, pamper him up just in time for some sedative laced milk once his will had been broken and then put him down for a nap and some special lullabies.  “Fine.” 

Oh god why was he like this?! 

“Just fine?”

Nothing was fine. This virus had turned him into some kind of monster.  Or maybe it was something that had been inside him the whole time.

Sky shrugged all of it off nonchalantly. “I won’t lie, I feel pretty ‘meh’ most of the time, but considering the circumstances I’d say ‘meh’ is pretty fine..”  It was a believable fib.

The doctor jotted down something. “Making any new friends?”.

“No, sir.”  Kind of hard to do these days with the ankle bracelet monitoring his travel and no internet access allowed at his apartment.  He couldn’t even have a smartphone.

“And the um…paraphernalia.” 

Poor little guy was too scared to say “diapers” and “crib” and such. Ew…! Was Sky that desperate? 

“Gone.”  A word here that means “mostly hidden where possible.”

“What about your um…your acquaintance?” The doctor flipped back a few pages. “Friend? Your roommate?”  Both the doctor and the police officer scrutinized every aspect of Sky’s posture, body language, and facial expression.

Sky just let their stares wash over him like a cool breeze.

“My…”  His roommate. His friend whom he had betrayed. His precious sweet baby boy that needed him so and had always needed him before either of them even knew it… “I don’t think it’s appropriate to give titles to a relationship that doesn’t exist. Rhyse, yes.  What of him?”

“Have you been in contact with Rhyse?”

Hearing Rhyse’s name made Sky ache all over. “No. Not since police intervention…” destroyed the best, most fulfilling thing that Sky had ever had in his life.  “...rescued him.”

“Are you curious about how he’s doing?”

“Whether I’m curious or not doesn’t matter, Doctor,” Sky said evenly. “I hurt him and have no right and no business being around him.  It wouldn’t be healthy.  For either of us.”  That was the most truthful thing Sky had said so far, even if it hurt him so.

The doctor closed the file.  “That’s remarkable.  Yes. You’re quite right.” He motioned to the officer who relaxed and opened the door.  “We’ve got a long way to go, I think. But according to your bloodwork, urine and mucus samples, your viral load has significantly decreased. How about we take some more and then you can go home?”

A question that wasn’t really a question.

Sky gave one slow blink to contain his rage. Talk to him as if he were a child, would he?!  Sky immediately knew more than ever that he was going to find a way to knock this man down a peg, even though he was still working on the ‘how’.

“Of course, Doctor.  Let’s get to it.”

“I’m also prescribing you a mood elevator.”


“Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop!” Sky cooed down at his baby, narrating each unsnapping of the onesie with a “Pop!” until the full diaper was in plain sight.  He lifted Rhyse up by the back of the knees and lifted up the onesie off the back of the diaper and all the way up the belly button, “Upsie-daisy!”

Rhyse’s giggles were muffled by his sucking on the baby bottle.  Cute little guy couldn’t be stopped for anything.  Before Sky had fixed him, his roommate couldn’t be bothered to clean up after himself or do much of anything.  Now Rhyse could giggle, drink, cuddle, pee and poop all at once.  He still was a terrible mess, but now it was all contained in a neat little package.

A vast and much more adorable improvement.

Rhyse took the changing pad and slid it under Rhyse. His sweet boy was so special that boosted his hips to help.  “We really should use that new changing table of yours, kiddo.” Sky said.  He grabbed a fresh diaper off the coffee table and started unfolding and fluffing it up.  “But Daddy doesn’t feel like walking allllll the way into your nursery with you to change you so that you can come all the way back out here.”  A funny thought beamed into Sky’s nogging.  “Now who’s lazy?” he cooed.  “Daddy is!  Daddy’s a lazy butt!”

Little bubbles of gas made their way into Rhyse’s baba as he giggled.  He probably didn’t appreciate the irony, but at least he liked the way his Daddy said it.

Daddy. Just thinking of himself gave him such a thrill!

With the baby wipes just out of Rhyse’s grasp, and the fresh diaper ready, Sky peeled back the tapes and went to work.   “Peeee-yew!” Sky crooned. “Such a stinky boy! Yes you are! Yes you are!” 

Just like the videos had suggested, Sky dragged the front of the diaper all the way down between Rhyse’s but to wipe the maximum amount of solid waste in one go.  Then like lightning he went to work on his boy’s front, and worked his way to the back.

His boy.  His baby boy.

This should have disgusted him.  Half a year ago, the very idea of this would have sent Sky vomiting to the toilet.  There was something special about this.

It was like in the gangster movies when the mafia boss had someone who hated them shave them with a straight razor.  There was power and intimidation in making yourself so vulnerable and fearlessly pushing the blade up to your throat.

But this was better.  Sky wasn’t the vulnerable one.  His precious Rhyse lay there nursing and powerless, his balls literally in the palm of Sky’s hand at some points.  And there was no hate or intimidation or fear. 

Only love. 

Power and love.  Damn, this had been an inspired plan!  Sky had, of course, read the reports suggesting that the mind altering virus that had been spreading- in a certain percentage of the population- caused delusional megalomaniacal beliefs and the strange desire to dominate people by regressing them and treating them like infants.

That was all propaganda from the mainstream media though.  Sky wasn’t infected with anything other than love and a glorious sense of purpose and power. 

He gave Rhyse’s hairless groin one last inspection to make sure he hadn’t missed any spots.  “Good,” he said. “All clean.”  It had become so much easier to keep the baby clean after he got that special cream to remove all of his big boy hair.  “Good.”

Half a minute later, the old diaper was balled up tighter than Fort Knox, and the new one was tugged up snugly between the little boy’s legs.  He used to keep baby powder by the coffee table too, but Rhyse had gotten into it one afternoon and sprinkled it all over the floor.  Lesson learned.  “Let’s count the tapes,” Sky babbled at his boy.  “One bottom….two bottom…one top…two top.”  Four was probably a bit advanced for Rhyse these days.

Then with a final “Snap-Snap-Snap-Snap!”  Rhyse was all sorted out and almost done with his baba.  Sky could already see his baby boy starting to drift off, and felt his heart melt.  The Daddy just knew that his baby would be passed out asleep on the couch by the time he got back from tossing the dirty diaper.

And that was fine.  Some days, Sky was perfectly content to watch Rhyse just dozing on the couch, standing over him and marveling at his own good work and good fortune.

This was the last day that Sky could remember feeling happy.
“We now return to our post virus anniversary coverage. A world heals after traumatic and strange events. Listen to the stories of the afflicted, their strange uncontrollable urges, and the people whose lives were changed forever.”

Rhyse took a gulp of beer. “Can you please turn that crap off?”  He called out. 

The bartender grabbed his remote and pointed it at the T.V.. “Sure my man.  What do you want?”

“Cartoon Network.’

The bartender frowned.  “Seriously?”

Rhyse hid his blush behind his mug.  Damn it was a good afternoon to go day drinking. He didn’t need to make that job interview anyway.  “I meant ESPN.”

The bartender barked out a laugh. “Ha! Got me, dude. Got me!”  He switched the station to footage of two teams Rhyse didn’t care about playing football the night before and men in suits talking about what they could have done better in hindsight.


“Not a problem, Boblem.”

No meeting for Rhyse tonight. He wasn’t allowed. He’d bombed out of the last three job interviews.  The only reason he’d managed to get to the in person interviews, was because employers weren’t technically allowed to ask if he’d been regressed. 

Once they met him in person, they knew.

They just did.  Something would happen, or there’d be some slip of the tongue, or he’d move the wrong way, or they’d ask about his employment history.  And he never got a call back.

Rhyse couldn’t afford a lawyer, and the only free legal advice he’d gotten was that technically being regressed and struggling to get back up to full adult performance was not a recognized disability or protected class of people.

So yeah.  Getting drunk good and early seemed like a plan.

“I don’t blame you for not wanting to watch that crap,” the bartender intruded on Rhyse’s melancholy. The joint was empty save for the two of them, and Rhyse speaking up had given him some kind of tacit permission to engage with him.


“Yeah,’ Rhyse said noncommittally.

“Bunch of nut jobs,” the bartender shook his head.  “Kinda says something about the world, huh?  About what isolation can do to a guy.”

Rhyse finished his beer. “Yup.”

The bartender refilled the beer without Rhyse having to ask.  He hoped it meant it was free. “You ask me? Those sickos with the diapers and the baby shit? There was something wrong with them to begin with.  The virus just brought it out.’

Rhyse thought of Sky.  Daddy was a little anal retentive, but he hadn’t been that controlling before.  “Mmmhmmm..”

“There oughta be some kind of list,” the bartender said. “Fuck it. They should all be locked up. Keep ‘em the hell away from other human beings.  Let ‘em do that fucked up shit to each other, not me.”

A sad, soft, but genuine smile came to Rhyse’s lips. “Amen, brother.”

“That or the little freaks they found.”  The regression victim’s blood ran cold, but he didn’t respond.  “You ask me, they were asking for it.  Somebody tried to put a diaper on me? I’d fuckin’ knock their teeth out. That’s if they were lucky.”

“Didn’t they get hypnotized and drugged and shit?” Rhyse said. He was genuinely afraid of confrontation but was trying to pass off defending himself as playing Devil’s Advocate.  “And a lot of them at first didn’t even know it was a thing. Nobody did.” If Rhyse had any body hair left, it’d all have been on edge just then.
“I mean…maybe,” the bartender said. “Just seems kinda sus to me.  Like you’d have to really like shitting your pants to let it get that far, I’d think.  Pretty sure most of them wanted it if you ask me.  It’s just common sense.”

There was nothing ‘Common Sense’ about what had happened to Rhyse.  “Maybe…”

“And even if it wasn’t, they’re a bunch of whiners,” the bartender went on.  “Wah, I had an accident! Wah I had to learn how to walk again!  Wah, I want free shit and handouts.  Wah, wah wah!  Buncha losers.”

Rhyse leaned forward on the bar stool.  “You victim blaming?”

“It ain’t victim if it’s the result of natural consequences. I say cut off all their funding. Make them buy their own diapers and they’ll re-toilet train themselves and buy and cook their real fucking quick. No more of this group home shit.”

Rhyse instantly took a great disliking to this man.  “Most of ‘em are living in nursing homes,” Rhyse said.  He was. 

“That’s a step up more dignified than fucking daycare,” the bartender said. “Better than what they deserve.”

“Yeah,” Rhyse grunted, pretending to agree. “They’d probably be happier in a big fucking daycare or something than an old folks home.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” the bartender agreed. “Buncha losers.”  Rhyse saw the guy’s nose wrinkle.  “What’s that smell?”

Rhyse sat back down on the bar stool and felt the warm mush spread out beneath his bottom.  “What smell?’

“You don’t smell that? It smells like…it smells like…like…” His eyes widened in recognition.  This was his last job interview all over again. You!”

“I’m sorry!” Rhyse yelped! “I didn’t mean to! I hadda accident”

The guy looked like he was ready to deck Rhyse, but he pointed towards the door instead.  “Get the fuck outta here!”

“Yes Daddy!”

That’s how Rhyse got a black eye.
Sky sat home with the television turned off and unplugged.  It was another one of those specials on the virus, how it affected people and what the affected actually DID to people.  Rhyse didn’t want to watch any more of it.  It hurt too much.  Not because it reminded him of what he did, but because of what he’d lost.

He looked out at Rhyse’s old nursery and felt another terrible pang of loss.  It was just an empty room now.  An empty tomb to the baby he’d lost.

“I’m not crazy,” he muttered to himself. “I’m not. I just…I just…I need to…”  He got up off the floor and walked over to the nursery “Close…this-” he didn’t fall, but his feet tripped over themselves because of the baby doll on the floor..  “Fuck!”

It wasn’t just one baby doll.  Sky had bought a dozen.  They lay scattered around, the living room floor, with diapers taped on them bought from the grocery store.  They were poor replicas of the real thing and only wet at semi-random intervals. 

Sky had tried buying these as a kind of nicotine patch.  It’d only made things worse.  They were nowhere close to the real things.  Their skin was too hard. THeir bodies too cold.  Their diapers too small.

Everything was too small.

“It’s just not the same,” Sky heard himself say.  Then he whispered, “Damn, there really is something wrong with me.”

He stood there looking at the pathetic shambles his apartment was turning into.  Then in the quiet he said.  “I need a new roommate.” It tasted like a lie. He didn’t need a new roommate. He needed a new baby boy. But that was a lie too.

He didn’t want a new one…just the one he’d lost.

“Paints almost dry kiddo,” Sky chirped to his baby boy crawling on the floor.  “Pretty soon, you’ll have a pretty blue sky and pretty red birds flying around it!  Won’t that be nice? Won’t it?”

Rhyse rolled towards the sound of Sky’s voice and looked up at him adoringly.  “Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba!’

“Yes it is!” Sky lowered down to all fours and kissed the baby on the forehead. “It sure is!”  That got more delighted babble and Sky kissed Rhyse from the top of his head all the way down to his belly button.


Daddy’s lips buzzing of tummy made baby Rhyses’s entire body light up with happy feelings.  That and made both his face and the front of his diaper feel warm and squishy at the same time!  It was so wonderful to just lay back and let Daddy push his buttons and flail helplessly around.

Life couldn’t get better than this, and as far as Rhyse had remembered, this was all life had been or could be.

And he was ha-


“Open up!” A voice called in.. “CDC and Police!”

Sky popped up to his feet, adrenaline going on overdrive.  Logically he knew this would happen eventually.  He’d been too sloppy in the beginning. Eventually someone would trace the orders he’d made and his I.P. address.  Eventually someone would rat him out.  He just figured he had a couple more months to prepare for it. Eventually always came too soon.

“Do you have a warrant?”   he was already looking for some kind of escape route.  But how to get away with Rhyse? Rhyse couldn’t take care of himself on the best of days. What would he do without Sky?

“WAAAAAAAAAAAH!” ’Rhyse cried out, confused and scared.  The loud noises and mean voices bothered him worse than a thousand loud barking dogs.

“Shhhhh,” Sky shushed his boy.  “It’s okay.  Don’t worry. Daddy’s here…Daddy’s here.”

Next came the police breaking down the door.

And the shouting.

And the panic.

And the men in hazmat suits.

And the screaming.

And the crying as they were forced apart.

And many, many months of programming and deprogramming disguised as “Therapy”, and heretofore empty promises that either of the young men would ever be the same again.


Panic and adrenaline shot into Sky’s heart.  The dolls!  He had to hide the dolls!  They weren’t illegal for him per se, but any bastard cop could look at them and see that as probable cause for a wider search.  Then they might find his real stash!


“Uh….just a second,” Sky called. “Coming!  I’m coming!”

He scooped up the plastic headed infants and tossed them into Rhyse’s empty old nursery.  The painted clouds and birds that he couldn’t bother to smear over  more proof of his guilt. 

Please don’t come in please don’t come in.


“Just a minute!” More tear gas would come soon. And men in hazmat suits…drag him to a rubber room.  His blood work was coming back showing he was dangerous or his psych profile showing what he was really thinking! “Just a minute!


Sky tossed the dolls and quietly shut the door.  Pleasanton’tcomeinpleasedon’tcomein!”  He put the mask on that he’d grown so adept at wearing.  Maybe it would just be his parole officer.  The ankle monitor shouldn’t have seen anything wrong with his grocery store trip where he’d bought the baby diapers in cash.  And he’d stolen a co-worker’s phone to get on Amazon and ship the dolls to his apartment. 

No way anyone was suspecting anything. This was just a routine visit.  Just a routine…

Steeling himself, Sky threw open the door with a happy face. “Hello…baby?”

Pale faced, black eyed, and wearing ill fitting clothing, Rhyse stood in the doorway of their apartment smelling like shit. “Hi Daddy…”

“Rhyse?” Sky asked. “What are you doing here?”  He noticed the black eye.  “And who did that to you?” Someone was going to pay for that….Sky was already reaching in the back of his brain for one of those recipes he’d found guaranteed to destroy bladder control..

“Can I come in?”

He shouldn’t…both of them knew that.  “Yes. Please, come in.”  Sky backed up two steps for every waddling, sagging step that his ex-roommate took.


“What are you doing here?” Sky asked.

Rhyse looked down at the ground.  “I…hadda accident,” he admitted.  The smell followed the man-child into the apartment.

“I can tell,” Sky said.  He didn’t sound disgusted.  In fact, he was doing his best to hide a smile. 

“I hadda accident…and too much to drink…and an owie…” Rhyse sniffed. “And I didn’t bring any protective briefs to change into…”

“Diapers,” Sky said, reflexively. “They’re called diapers.”

Rhyse’s lips quivered.  “Sky?  Daddy? Can you change my diaper?”

There was going to be a bartender with wet pants in his future, Sky decided. But that was a future plan.  He had to get Rhyse out of here.  “No, baby boy,” he said though it broke his heart. “I can’t.  I’m not allowed to.  Daddy did a bad bad thing to you.  And if he does it again, he’ll get in trouble.’

“Oh….” Tears started dripping down Rhyse’s cheeks.  “Sorry to bother you, then.  I just thought…I hoped…I…I…”  A single loud sob exploded out of him. “I missed you!”

He didn’t mean to, but Sky ran up and gave his roommate the biggest hug he’d ever given.  “I missed you too, baby! I’m so sorry!  I didn’t mean to ruin your life! I didn’t mean to hurt you! I didn’t mean to break you!”

The smelly, stinky, overgrown baby in the baggy pants hugged back.  “I’m sorry, too, Daddy! I didn’t want you to get in trouble!”

Sky broke off the hug.  “I know.  It wasn’t your fault.”

“It wasn’t yours either.’

“Well, kidnapping and regressing people against their will is kind of against the law,” Sky said.

Rhyse pouted out his lip.  “What if it’s not?”

“Not against the law?”

“No,” Rhyse shook his head.  “What if it’s not against my will?”  Like a two year old he wiped his snotty nose all over the forearm of his sleeve.  “Can’t…can’t hypnotize someone to do something they don’t really wanna do.”

“What are you saying?” Sky asked.  He wanted to hear it.  Need to. 

“Daddy,” Rhyse repeated himself.  “Will you change my diaper?”

Sky pressed his forehead up against his baby boy’s, and started crying tears of joy.
“Lay down on the couch,” he instructed.  “And pull down your pants if you can. Daddy’s gonna get your wipes and a changing pad.”

“And a fresh diaper?”

“And a fresh diaper.”



End Chapter 1


by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Apr 23, 2023


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