The Spa 2

by: Ponce | Story In Progress | Last updated Jun 11, 2005

A woman is invited to visit a special spa.

Chapter 1
Complete Story

Chapter Description: A woman is invited to visit a special spa.


Kathy Devlin was a 41-year-old accounts clerk working for a small furniture distributor in Baltimore, Maryland. Twice divorced, with no family living, she had given up on finding love. For Kathy, life had degenerated into a routine that rarely changed. Work to home to work. She had no interests and very few close friends. Still reasonably attractive, she fell into the gap between not wanting younger men and feeling she was too young for older men.

When offered the chance for a blind date or a fixer-upper, Kathy inevitably brushed the offers off, saying "The only man I need is Mr. Eveready."

So imagine her surprise when she received a certified letter offering her an unbelievable proposition. According to the letter, she had been selected from a statewide computer search to participate in a new cosmetic treatment designed to slow the aging process and reverse previously aged or damaged skin.

"Why me?" she wondered.

The letter stated that she and others from across the country had been selected on the basis of age, family background, location, race, and gender. The test group would involve a 90-day commitment. In return, the company offered an expense paid stay at an exclusive resort. She would also receive $20,000 per month after taxes for her three month participation. If forced to leave her current position, the letter promised the use of a placement agency to get Kathy another job equal or improved from the one she now held. The only condition was total secrecy about her involvement in the project. The letter gave a number for Kathy to call for further information. It sounded too good to be true, but Kathy couldn’t pass it up. She made the call and was soon talking to a woman named Ariel Santianna.

"I assure you Ms. Devlin, that our offer is both sincere and legitimate. You were chosen, in part, because of your background and your current marital status. We need both men and women in your age bracket to make the test group work. Married couples have commitments -- children, houses, jobs. We’re looking for people who, if paid adequately, might be willing to drop out of the rat race for a few months in return for an improved, more youthful physical appearance. If you’re interested, I’ll provide you with a short videotape showing the results of early tests of our treatment. I’m sure you’ll be impressed. But as we stated in our letter, you will be required to sign a notarized oath of silence for participating. We don’t want any other companies trying to steal our research. Any breach of security will be condition to terminate you from the program and will require a refund of any salary you’ve earned through our company. We’re an exclusive and financially secure organization. We’re that way because those who use our services pay very handsomely for them."

Kathy Signs On

The next afternoon, Kathy received another Fed. Ex. Package from "the company" containing a videotape. She could hardly suppress her curiosity until she got home. After slipping the tape into her VCR, a stern message warned her that viewing this tape legally obligated her to silence on its contents, and that any divulgence of what she was about to see would subject her to prosecution by the company."

Twenty seconds of blue background faded into a middle-aged man in a swimsuIt’standing in front of a white background. In the lower left-hand corner was the date and time. A voice could be heard describing the age (51), weight (186), height (5’11"), and physical condition of the man. As the scene ended, it was replaced with the same man in the same location, only the date was two months after the first scene. Kathy’stared unbelievingly, clearly it was the same individual, but he looked 20 years younger. His hair had darken, he’d lost weight and he looked in peak condition.

"Makeup?" she puzzled. "Naw."

Again the scene change, but this time it was a 60ish woman in a one piece swimsuit. Kathy could hardly wait to listen to the vital statistics before the scene dissolved. This time Kathy gasped, the grandmother now looked about thirty. It was unbelievable. But she had seen enough. She rewound the tape and called the number Ariel Santianna had left her.

"I’m in if you’ll have me," she announced.

"Fine, Ms. Devlin. We’ve found that the tape is our most convincing argument. Now you’ll have to start making arrangements to cover your personal life. We don’t want you dropping off the earth, and having people wonder what happened to you. So we leave it up to you to come up with a story which will seem reasonable and plausible to coworkers, family, and friends. We would like to enroll you in our next test group, which starts in November. Can you make that?"

Kathy answered yes and indicated that she would tie up all the loose ends of her life. After she hung up the phone, she went to review the tape again, but to her surprise, the tape was blank.

"I guess they do that to keep people from trying to copy the tape," she thought.

The following day, a lawyer came to Kathy’s apartment with the contract and a check for $5,000 to cover her initial expenses, store her furniture, buy clothes, and the rest to spend as she wished. After cautioning her once again about the conditions of the contract, Kathy took pen in hand and signed, saying, "I don’t have much of a life as it is, I’ll take my chances with you guys. No regrets -- that’s my motto."

The following week Kathy announced her resignation from the company. Calling it her own personal ’mid-life crisis’, she told everyone that she was chucking it in and moving lock, stock and barrel to try her luck and life somewhere else.

"Where are you going? Where will you live?" she was asked.

"don’t know -- I’ll decide when I get there. And if it doesn’t work out, I can always move back to Maryland."

And so, on Halloween, Kathy boarded a flight from Baltimore-Washington International bound for Nassau. After debarking, she paid cash for a one-way ticket to Florida, where she was picked up at the airport and taken to her new home for the next three months.

After a 45 minute drive, she entered the grounds of a sprawling, and opulent estate. Nervous, Kathy knew that she was closing the chapter on her earlier life. Becoming more excited as she took in the sights of her temporary home, she asked her driver if the place had a name.

"Sure," he said. "We call it the Spa."

"No regrets," she whispered.

KATHY -- TEST SUBJECT: 4:02/11-1/C2

Kathy’s first two days at the Spa involved a complete physical. By day’s end, It seemed there was no part of her body that hadn’t been poked or prodded by the doctors and technicians. They took blood samples, urine samples, fecal samples, skin samples -- samples of her saliva, sweat, even mucus. An gynecologist gave her the most thorough examination she had ever experienced.

Days three and four she was subjected to a battery of what, for wont of a better word, could only be called psychological. She was asked pointed, personal and, at times, embarrassing questions. Did she have a normal childhood? Did her parents love her? Did she love her parents? What were her husbands like? Did she have a good sex life? Was she heterosexual? How often did she engage in sexual intercourse? Did she masturbate? If so, at what frequency?

The evening of her fourth day, there was a knock on the door of her cottage. It was Ariel Santianna.

"Let s go to town and get a bite," Ariel suggested.

Forty minutes later found the two women in a nearby town ordering dinner at a small bistro. After chatting about the facilities at the Spa, Ariel changed the subject.

"So, how is it going?" she asked.

"Fine, I guess. It’s not what I expected. I thought I’d be taking facials and drinking mineral water. I feel more like a medical experiment."

"Don’t worry, Kathy, the worst is over, and your treatments begin the day after tomorrow. The data and information we’ve collected is supposed to give us a baseline to judge how well your treatment progresses. It’s also entered in our data base for statistical interpretation. In a month when you look and feel 10 or 15 years younger, this will all seem worthwhile ... at least I felt that way after I finished."

"What! YOU’VE been through this?" Kathy gasped.

"Sure have, guess how old I am."

"I don’t know," Kathy’said. "Twenty-eight -- twenty-nine?"

"I’ll be 47 in March."

On Thursday morning Kathy was asked to report to the main gate of the clinic compound, which was set off from the rest of the Spa and its guests by a hedge fence. She was taken to a room, given a plain hospital gown and asked to completely disrobe. She then was led by a technician into a room with a white background. She recognized this room from the video tape.

Sure enough, a man in a doctor’s coat and a videographer entered.

"Ms. Devlin, if you would please remove your gown, we need to make a complete video record of your treatment. Please don’t feel embarrassed I and my colleagues have been photographing subjects like yourself for several years, and, believe me, we do our utmost to maintain a complete sense of professional decorum with all our clients. In a moment Kathy stood naked in front of the camera. Various lights were adjusted to give maximum exposure to the camera.

"It is Thursday morning, November 7, I am Dr. Hal Muncy, this is the initial video record for Katherine Anne Devlin, hereto now referred to as Test Subject: 4/02/11-1/C2. Ms. Devlin, your test number 4/11-8/C2. Please memorize it: 4/02 means you are the second of two subjects in the fourth test group, 11-7 is the month and date of your first treatment -- which means today -- C represents the estimated level of your treatment, of which there are three levels and 2 represents your gender. Please look straight ahead and turn or move as I indicate."

"T.S. 4/02/11-1/C2 is a premenopausal, Caucasian female age 41. Height is 67", weight 141, complexion: fair, hair color originally reddish brown now with significant graying. Medical and psychological data has been recorded and noted. Skin has begun to lose elasticity."

Taking her left breast in his hand, the doctor noted, "T.S. 4/02/11-1/C2 mammaries are consistent with a female in her age bracket." Turning Kathy around, he added, "All primary and secondary sexual and physical characteristics are consistent with a female of the subject’s age group. According to records, T.S. 4/02/11-1/C2 has also begun a period of intermittent menstrual cycles indicating the onset of menopause."

Kathy had never heard herself described in such terms, and she felt old and withered. Dr. Muncy must have noticed, because he said, "Don’t worry Ms. Devlin, I just described the ’before’, give us a little time to show you the ’after’ before you get depressed."

After completing the taping, Kathy put on her gown and was taken to another room, this one with a massage table. Disrobing again, she was joined by a muscular young woman who told her that for the next two days Kathy’s skin would be subjected to a series of preparatory oils and lotions, interspersed with mineral baths and hydrotherapy. Kathy’s skin had never received the level of treatment she received at the Spa. Every nook and cranny was worked over with creams and lotions. Her hair was plastered. She jumped the first time her pubic areas and buttocks were probed, but was reassured when her therapist said, "Look honey, this is no big thrill for me either, but it’s my job. Believe me, I’d rather be doing this to my husband, Bill, than you."

After about two hours of lotions and massage. Kathy was left, naked and sleepy on the table. After awhile, the therapist returned and took her to another room with a large foaming hot tub. The tub was unlike any she had seen before. Instead of sitting on a ledge, or just lying in the water, this tub had a frame built into it like a chaise lounge including a padded head rest.

Kathy climbed into the chair and situated herself. Above her head was a console television. Her therapist came in and said, "you’re going to be in the tub for the next few hours, I can put a movie on, or music, or you can take a nap. What’s your choice?"

Choosing a movie, Kathy was invited to choose from a list of movies still playing in movie houses. She chose one with about aliens blowing up the White House. After a couple of hours, Kathy was taken out of the tub, allowed to clean up and was told she was done for the day. It was just after noon. She was told to report tomorrow for the second treatment, but once it was over, she was free to use any of the Spa’s facilities and mingle with the other guests.

She opted for an afternoon on the beach (with lots of sunscreen) and Anne Rice’s latest.

Kathy repeated the process for the next week. A day of different rubs, gels, oils, and lotions, followed by a session in the tub. The next day was steam therapy and cold water bathing. In each case, she was done by lunch and given the rest of the day to herself. On Wednesday and Sunday, she had the complete day to herself, although she was required to drink, a minimum of 8 12-ounce glasses of the Spa’s mineral water each day.

That first Sunday evening, after her first week of treatment, she spent a good half hour staring at herself in the bathroom mirror before going to bed. "Too early for any changes yet," she thought. "But, oh please, let me be young again."


She wasn’t quite sure when she first noticed, but in the middle of her third week, Kathy looked in the mirror and saw someone she hadn’t seen in a while. She stepped out of the shower that morning and noticed her boobs weren’t drooping. She got closer to the mirror and noticed her hair was not even the slightest gray any longer She let it fall free to her shoulders instead of tying it back like usual. She turned and looked at her ass. It was like seeing an old friend she hadn’t seen in a long time. Hopping on the scale, she was pleased to note that her weight had dropped by ten pounds. Sitting on the seat of the toilet, she burst into tears and laughter at the same time.

"It’s working!" she cried. "Oh, God, It’s really working."

She literally danced around the room. Stopping at every mirror and reflection to gaze at herself. Gone were her crows feet, gone were the beginnings of bags under her eyes. The middle-aged "pooch" of her stomach was firmer. Her chin was back. Hips, thighs and stomach were all toned and firm.

She looked .... "How old do I look?" Kathy thought. "When did I look like this? Mid thirties? No, younger than that ... thirty? Yeah, I look thirty again. My God, I’m thirty!"

She threw her clothes on and ran to her next therapy session. Each day had begun with the inevitable videotaping, but today, Kathy preened and smiled through the entire taping, especially when she heard Dr. Muncy describe her as a mature female, approximate physical age of 33.

Suddenly all of Kathy’s clothes felt too old for her. For the first time in years, since before her second marriage, Kathy felt young and she felt sexy. And she wanted the world to notice her. She called Ariel who suggested that they go to town again and pick out some new clothes for Kathy. She spent over $1,000 dollars in three hours of shopping buying a new wardrobe to go with her new body. Over the next six weeks, Kathy watched with glee and anticipation as year after year seemed to fall from her. She continued to work out and watch her diet, and was rewarded with her weight dropping to 127. The face and body that looked back from her mirror was a woman no older than 25. Each week, Ariel and Kathy developed the routine of having dinner and shopping in town to help Kathy get newer and younger woman’s clothes and accessories.

It was about this time that she met a man at the Spa named Jack Gottlieb. He wasn’t a bad looking man, she thought, but a little older than me.

"Older than me," she thought, "He’s probably younger than I was before I got here."

Jack came to the Spa about once -- and sometimes twice a month. But the end of December, they had an unspoken arrangement where she shared his cottage when he was there. Kathy found herself liking Jack a lot, but not loving him. She didn’t realize how much that part of her life had been ruined by her previous relationships and marriages. Ariel encouraged her to take it easy and not get too involved. Kathy was so afraid about commitments and entanglements, she wouldn’t even let him talk during lovemaking, lest he say something about love. "No regrets," she would say to herself. Jack, a wounded love bird himself, acquiesced almost gratefully; their lovemaking a series of grunts, groans and moans, but no words.


The third week in February, Jack and Kathy took a day-long cruise on the Spa’s 60 foot sailboat. As Jack was crossing the deck, the mast swung over and struck him across the back and threw him overboard. Kathy, who saw the accident, could have sworn the crew member at the wheel saw Jack, but dismissed the notion when she saw how upset the man was. Reaching the dock, they headed back to their cottage. Jack, in obvious pain, headed for the bed.

Kathy noticed an envelope on the floor. It was a note from Ariel:

Kathy: Come to the private compound as soon as you are free. Please tell no one. Ariel

She told Jack she had to report for her therapy and that she’d see him tonight. Arriving at the compound, Kathy was taken to Ariel, who after a few pleasantries, settled into a serious conversation.

"Kathy, are you happy with the progress of your treatments and the refinements to your physical condition?"

"Are you kidding! I look and feel great! I know inside that I’m still 41, but I look in the mirror and see the woman I was before ... well, before I made a few wrong choices with my life."

"Kathy, the reason I’m asking is that you’ve been one of our particular success stories. you’ve progressed far beyond our original expectations. Would you consider staying on board permanently with the Spa? Become part of our family? Be a living advertisement for the success of our treatments. We offer you continued free room and board, an annual salary of $120,000 a year, and, of course, continued ongoing treatments at the Spa. What do you think?"

Kathy accepted on the spot. "I was dreading what was going to happen to me when my six months were up," she said. "I have no life, no friends, no family, and no job to go back to in Baltimore. And even if I did, how could I explain my appearance, or the fact that I’m not willing to settle for the life I had before. Of course I accept."

"You’ll have to move into the main compound," Ariel said. "You’ll still have full use of the facilities, but you understand that you’ll be working in here with us from now on. I want you to take a flight back to Baltimore tonight and settle any unfinished business. If you have any furniture or possession you want to store, call this number and they will take care of storage. Remember while you’re out that you are still under an oath of silence concerning anything about the Spa. Okay?"

"Sure," Kathy’said. "Just let me call Jack and I’ll be on my way."

"No. That won’t work, We’re holding a helicopter to take you to the airport for a flight leaving in an hour. You’ll have to return the usual route through Nassau. But I promise to call Mr. Gottlieb personally and tell him that you’ll be gone for a few days."

Kathy shrugged, grabbed her purse, and left. Four days later, she was back at the Spa, living now in one of the condo units within the main compound. She met a number of people, but as if it were an unwritten rule, there was very little contact between herself or her neighbors. She frankly didn’t know and didn’t care if the others were patients or Spa employees. She did try to call Jack when she got back, but was told he had gone left early, leaving no messages.

"Just as well," Kathy thought. "No entanglements. No regrets."

After a few days had passed with nothing to do, Kathy wondered if they’d forgotten her. Finally she received a call from Dr. Muncy and was asked to come to the treatment center.

"I guess that you’ve noticed that only a very few people are chosen for the type of treatments that you’ve received, he said. "There s a number of reasons, one, It’s extremely expensive and two, it’s experimental. We’ve had remarkable success in delaying, and somewhat reversing the aging process in a number of people, but the process is unstable. Were you to stop being treated eventually the effects would begin to wear off."

"What we’re looking for now is a stabilizer for the process. To arrest the aging process, reverse it to a certain point, then freeze it. For instance, a person would be born, age to, say, 40 or 50, undergo treatment, be returned to a physical age of, say 25, and be allowed to age again and repeat the process indefinitely. Do you understand?"

Kathy nodded.

"Fine, we would like to use you in our first test group for this project. What I propose to do is give you an injection of our newest formula and then observe the results of the stabilization. You may even experience a further slight regression, but it shouldn’t be too much. The shot also contains a mild sedative since we want to observe your reaction, which could take up to 20 hours."

Kathy was led to a cubicle with a gurney, once again she stripped, put on a gown and laid on the table. Dr. Muncy joined her and with no further conversation administered the injection. Kathy felt her eyes grow heavy as she slipped into a dreamless sleep.


When she awoke, she was disoriented for a few moments until she realized she was back at her condo. She was aware of the urgent call of nature and she padded to the bathroom and relived herself. Turning on the tap, she ran cold water and splashed her face, rubbing it vigorously. Then she noticed her face. The person looking at her couldn’t be more than 20 years old. She yelped with delight. Running to the phone, she called Ariel.

"Ariel, Ariel, you gotta come see me, you won’t believe it ... you just won’t believe what I look like!" she yelped.

"Calm down, Kathy, calm down, are you okay?"

"Sure. I’m great! But please come over and see me, please."

Twenty minutes later, she let Ariel into her room.

"Look at me, don’t I look super, I look like a college kid again."

"Well, the process does seem to have worked pretty well," Ariel said. "But how do you feel?"

"Awesome. I feel like I could take on the world and whoop it," Kathy giggled. "Oh, Ariel, let’s go to town like we did before, I want to show myself off and get some clothes to fit the new me."

"Slow down, girl," Ariel chided. "You’ve just gotten up after a 24 hour sleep and I’ve found you looking like an undergraduate. You’ve got to take it easy. There’ll be plenty of time tomorrow, okay?"

Disappointed, Kathy reluctantly agreed. Sometime later, after Ariel had left, she decided that she’d take a ride to town and celebrate alone. She checked out one of the Spa cars and drove off. This time she skipped all the women’s fashion stores and concentrated young people’s clothing stores like the Gap. She settled on a pair of jeans that felt like they had been sprayed on her, a bustier, and a light jacket. A pair of heels later, she looked with satisfaction at her slim tight stomach in the mirror, her shoulder length hair, now back to It’s full color, her tight bosom and awesome ass.

Deciding to celebrate, she went to dinner. When she tried to order a vodka martini, the waiter asked for her driver’s license. Laughing out loud she told him to never mind and settled for unsweetened iced tea.

"They think I’m a kid, well I might as well act like one," she thought, ordering a burger and fries, and topping that off with a hot fudge sundae. Forty minutes later, she finished, stuffed but satisfied. Her waiter, came up looked at her curiously at her for a moment and asked her if she wanted anything else. When she said no, he asked Kathy if she went to school in town. She told him, "No, I’m not in college."

"I didn’t mean college, I meant what high school do you go to?" he said.

"High school," she thought, "What’s he talking about? But as she ran her hand across her face she felt a sore spot ... like a pimple. Grabbing her jacket and slipping it on, she noticed that it was big on her -- in fact, so were her jeans. Hurrying to the bathroom, she stood by the mirror over the sink and, the truth sunk in.

"No wonder They’ve been treating me so funny, I’m still getting younger. I look like a damn teenager, a high school student ... I’ve got acne for heaven’s sake!"


Finding a pay phone, she called Ariel’s private line. When she heard her friend pick up she blurted, "Ariel, I need help! It’s still happening! I’m shrinking! That is, I’m still getting younger! You’ve got to come and help me!"

"Kathy, is that you? Where are you? What’s going on?"

"I’m in town ... at Charlie’s Restaurant. I’m a teenager ... Ariel -- I look sixteen. Nothing fits. I’ve got zits. Ariel, please come and get me!"

"Whoa, girl! Where are you again? Tell me, I’ll be there in an hour."

After hanging up, Kathy went into one of the stalls and sat. About an hour later, the door to the ladies room opened and Kathy heard Ariel, softly calling her name. Kathy open the door and waddled out. Her clothes hung on her. She formerly tight jeans had to be held up. Her left hand, which hung free was lost inside the cuff of her jacket. Her bustier was held in place by her crooked arm. Kathy was crying -- she looked no more than thirteen or fourteen.

"Look at me! Look what’s happened to me!" she wailed.

"Shhh, don’t call attention to us," Ariel said. "We’ll get you back to the Spa and get this sorted out, I promise."

Wrapping Kathy in her coat, they headed to the car. In the darkness, Kathy sobbed like the child she looked like. "What’s going on? I don’t understand? Why do I look so young?"

Back at the Spa, Ariel took Kathy to her room.

"Maybe you should get out of those things, Kathy. I’ll call out and see if I can get you something to wear that fits. Stripping, Kathy’stared at herself in the mirror. When she left six hours ago, she had been a 5’7", 125 pound woman. Now, she d be lucky to top five foot, and her weight was well under 100. Her boobs had been reduced from a 39 inch C cup to a couple of small bumps. Her face was losing all angularity, becoming more childlike. Ariel returned with some clothes under her arm, "Lucky for you, one of the staff has a daughter about your size, so I borrowed these."

Ariel handed Kathy a pair of plain white cotton panties and a training bra, a blue skirt and blouse and jellies for her feet. Despondently, Kathy sat after dressing, staring at the floor while Ariel made phone calls. She knew Ariel was talking to Muncy, but she didn’t care.

"Kathy, honey, Dr. Muncy is on his way back, but won’t be here for a few hours, so we’ll just wait and hold tight until he gets here, okay?"

As the time passed, it became obvious to both women that Kathy’s internal clock was still operating in reverse. She could almost feel the room getting larger, and her clothes getting bigger and bulkier. She felt a constant need to eliminate body wastes, but now, instead of sitting on the toilet, she had to hop up to it. Giving up on her clothing, she went to her room and put on an oversized tee shirt, which hung on her like a dress.

For the 100th time, Kathy looked in the mirror, but now it was a child’s face that stared back at her. Round and baby-like, she looked like a three-year old. "When is Muncy coming," she cried, sounding more and more like the child she was. Ariel started to speak, then stopped and looked at Kathy, an odd expression on her face. Finally, in a quiet voice, she said, "He’s not coming. He never was."

"What do you mean he’s not coming. We’ve got to find him to stop this. He’s got to have an antidote to the formula he gave me. There won’t be anything left of me if he doesn t find a way to stop this."

"It doesn t matter, the process will stop on its own when you’regress to a physical age of about six months."

"Six months! What have you done to me?"

"I told you a long time ago Kathy that we were an exclusive and expensive service. But I didn’t tell you what kind of service we provide. My family has been on this land for a long time, centuries in fact. One of the earliest settlers in Spanish Florida were the Santianna family, although you won’t find that in any history book. We’ve been very careful to conceal ourselves and keep a pretty low profile. One of my ancestors received this land as a grant from the King of Spain himself."

"In the early 18th century, quite by accident, another ancestor of mine discovered some peculiar side effects when he accidently combined water from two separate natural springs on this land. You see, Kathy, Ponce de Leon didn’t find the Fountain of Youth because it didn’t exist. But my grandfather, Ernesto De Santianna, found the springs of youth, and he and my family have kept its secret ever since. All those potions and oils and rubs we’ve been giving you and others is a nothing but a smoke screen. Customers who are willing to pay big money receive a much diluted form of spring water. In its diluted form, it imparts a limited and reversible rejuvenation. If people are willing to pay for it -- and you wouldn’t believe how many will -- we’ll give them back a few measly years. But never too much, nothing that would arouse suspicion. "

Kathy was finding it harder to talk, and even harder to move around. Her coordination was way off. "Why me? Make id staop," she lisped.

"Oh you’re very important to our program, Kathy dear. You see we provide another service to people rich enough to afford us. All those people in the condos like you, they’re all being prepped for the same one-way journey you’re taking now. I told you that we search all over the country and around the world for single, unattached people who could drop out of life without even raising a ripple. We bring them here, and over the course of a few months, slowly regress them. When we have them at a suitable age -- say in their 20s. They are available for auction. When our customers are satisfied as to what the final product will like, we hold an auction. Then, instead of slowly regressing our stock, we sedate them and expose them to an undiluted form of the spring waters. The results are remarkable, as you could attest. In a little more that thirty-six hours, we can reduce a 25 year old into an infant. The process seems to stop naturally at or about six months of age. When they stop getting younger, we dry them off, clean them up and ship them off."

"One of our most lucrative sideline businesses in recent years had been in black market babies. The decline in births among certain racial and ethnic groups makes demand much higher than available supply. When factor in things like aids and birth defects, and people get a little skittish about adopting. Maybe you remember a few years ago when a number of cities reported homeless people disappearing without a trace? That was us. That was before we realized that alcoholism, psychosis, dementia, and other mental problems were hereditary -- or that a herpes or aids infected adult only becomes an aids or herpes infected infant. No, this way is best. We provide a little money up front -- and the unbeatable offer of something for nothing -- and people like you literally beg us to take you. So by this time tomorrow you’ll be in your new home -- Dutch as I recall ... what do you think of that, little Kathy?"

But Kathy could no longer answer, she was sitting on the floor, lost in the oversized folds of the tee-shirt. Ariel bent over and picked her up. She carried her across the compound to a building she had never entered before. It was a rather large nursery. Kathy was handed to a nurse who cleaned, weighed, tagged and diapered her. Dressing her in a pink sleeper suit, the nurse carried her back to Ariel. Taking a baby bottle from a rack, Ariel attempted to place the nipple in Kathy’s mouth.

"Shhh, shhh, little one. There’s no use fussing. You’ll grow up again, I promise. And maybe this time it will be better. I told you that I’ve been through this before. Until we discovered how to regulate rejuvenation, I wound up back in diapers twice. In fact, I even raised my father and grandfather a couple of times. After a couple of days, the mind and memories catch up with the body and you will just fade away until you’re nothing but a sweet and innocent baby again. You’ll see."

"I checked up on your new family, they are quite well off. They want a little girl so badly and they can’t wait for you to arrive. They’ve even picked out your name -- Katrina. So drink up, Katrina, you need your strength, you’ve had a big day for such a little girl."

Kathy fought, but soon realized she would never win this fight. The taste of the infant formula in her mouth reminded her that she was hungry. As she nursed, she pondered, "I didn’t have much of a life, maybe this is for the best." Before she realized it, she had not only finished the bottle, but had fallen asleep. She awoke a while later to find herself in a crib. There was an infant on either side -- one in blue and one in pink. A boy and a girl she assumed. "People like me," she wondered? "Yesterday these two went to offices, held jobs, made love, drove cars -- now their world is only as big as a playpen. How strange."

She noticed that the boy would stare at the crib bars and every few moments shake them. The girl, other hand, did nothing but scream incessantly. "It’s all right," she tried to say, but it only came out as "Naaahhahahh."

The next morning the nurse came in, undressed and bathed her, put fresh clothes on and strapped her into a baby’s carryall. She was carried outside and placed in a car. When Kathy could get her infant eyes to focus, she noticed it was the same car and same driver who brought her here when she first arrived. But she was also finding it harder and harder to think like an adult. She found her consciousness drifting in and out. Sometimes she could understand the driver and nurse conversing, but mostly her cognitive powers were starting to fade away fast. The next time she drifted back to reality, she realized she was in an airport -- Nassau, again. A huge face appeared over her -- it was Ariel.

"Hello, Katrina. I’m on my way to Montreal to see if I can talk a lonely old bachelor into a trip to Florida. Do you think I’ll succeed?" she laughed, poking Kathy’s round tummy the way all adults poke babies.

Kathy’s small hands reached out and grabbed Ariel’s finger. Ariel could tell by her eyes and expression that Kathy was trying to say something to her, but nothing but the meaningless verbalizations of an infant emerged from her. The nurse motioned that her flight was boarding and Ariel returned the babe to her. Ariel watched the plane take off, and wondered for a moment what Kathy had been trying so hard to tell her. With a shrug, she boarded her own flight.

On the plane, little Kathy felt her memories and thoughts fading from her mind. Warm and secure, wrapped tight in her little blanket, the infant kept repeating the same phrase over and over again, "Na gehts .... na gehts ... nageths." The nurse, who was trying to sleep, impatiently reached in her bag and put a pacifier in the baby s mouth, effectively and finally cutting off Kathy’s last conscious utterance of her past life -- "No regrets .... no regrets .... no regre......"



End Chapter 1

The Spa 2

by: Ponce | Story In Progress | Last updated Jun 11, 2005


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