Chapter Description: With their escape plan foiled, and the hope of determining their own fates fading, the three testers have one trump left to play out. Now’s the time to succeed, or return to infancy.
Losing Weight(Chapter 6)
With their escape plan foiled, and the hope of determining their own fates fading, the three testers have one trump left to play out. Now’s the time to succeed, or return to infancy.
Anton awoke slowly. His mind felt clouded and he felt trapped in memories of strange dreams. Dreams of mad scientists who made him younger, of creeping through dark corridors and the terrible secrets some of the rooms held, of losing his file … Time to get up to work. His boss wouldn't like it if he overslept.
Groggy he opened his eyes and looked around. He wasn't in his home, nor in his usual room in the hospital. To his right and at the end of his legs were bars. He was in a crib. With a startled sound he darted upwards. It was a really a crib, one of the large ones since he fitted in, but it was open at his left. Weary he pulled away the light blanket resting on his legs. He wore no diaper and as far as he could tell still had his adult mind. Yet, something seemed strange.
Anton looked at his hands.
They seemed thicker than before, softer. For a moment Anton thought they had somehow made him thick again, then he got the right word: Pudgy. He starred around and realized the whole room looked larger than it had any right to be. Terrified he turned around and let his legs hang over the edge of the crib. It was a hospital crib and therefore rather high, at last for his new size. For the first time Anton noticed his shirt. It was blue and had a happy Pluto on it. His underpants were red and had Fireman Sam on it. Anton wanted to tear them off himself, but what good would it do to him to run around naked?
He let himself fall from the crib and then noticed the clothes on the chair ahead of him. On the chair next to it was a polished silver mirror and a sheet of paper.
we had to regress you to 5. Tell the man outside you want to speak to me when you feel ready.
Anton had no intention to do so, instead he tore the paper to small pieces which he threw on the floor. Then he looked at himself in the mirror. A wide-eyed tyke looked back at him. A small child having just woken up and waiting for his mother to tell him it is time for breakfast and then Kindergarten.
Anton threw the mirror on the ground, too, though it didn't break, but clang loudly. It was a security mirror of course, so he couldn't use its shards to open his veins. Anton would rather have used them on his captors, but knew of the futility of that. Angry he looked around in his room, feeling intimidated by its size and coldness. He checked the closet, but it was empty. He checked the bathroom, but it wasn't different from the one in his room. He even checked the window, having to use a chair to climb on the sill to try out the handle. Locked. The world outside three levels below him seemed even farther away now.
Frustrated Anton realised his only way out of this was through the door to the floor, but it would be guarded as Dr. Robinson had written. He was trapped and started to feel cold. Reluctantly he dressed with the clothes laid out on the chair. The socks had a Fireman Sam motive, like his underpants, but the trousers were not decorated, neither were the colourful shoes, so he didn't have to see it. He was just done when the door opened and Dr. Robinson entered.
“Hello Anton,” she greeted him in a warm tone. “I hope you feel well.”
“Uh hello Miss!” Anton replied. “Are you bringing me to Kindergarten?
Dr. Robinson hesitated a moment then she sighed.
“I see no reason for this Anton,” she noticed. “I just came to talk.”
“Did I have nap time? Do you bring me back to Mrs. Stamps?” Anton said, using the name of his old Kindergarten-Teacher. “Or my mommy? Where is my mommy?”
“This is a great show, Anton. You would fool any adult not knowing of the regression, which is most. You fooled us, though this was mostly our fault for not really paying attention. So, you read the note I left you, like a big boy,” the doctor noticed, kneeling down to pick up a piece of paper. “Then you shredded it and threw the mirror away after you saw yourself in it. Do you want to further play pretend, or do you want to talk?”
Spying bitch!, Anton thought furiously, as he realized that there had to be a secret surveillance in this room like in any other.
Anton clenched his little fists. Both options would bring him nothing, but talking like an adult at least would make him help to feel like one.
“Where are Michelle and Christine,” he asked. “And what age are they?”
“They are the age you last saw them. You would be, too, had you not resisted.”
“This would justify making me ten,” Anton noticed. “Making me five was so you could see if I still held my memory at this age.”
“Smart,” Dr. Robinson replied. “Look Anton ...”
“Mr. Lubowsky,” Anton stopped her. “You will not use my first name.”
The doctor looked hurt for a heartbeat, then she nodded. Anton felt better. This gave him a bit of power, a bit of respect which was hard to come by with a body this young.
“My real name is Dr. Andrea Barrow,” she explained. “Mr. Lubowsky. What we did to you, Mrs. Gomez and Mrs. Carter, and others is horrible. I won't deny it. But see our perspective. This drug will change humanity forever. We are on the brink of being able to provide everyone with eternal life and eternal youth. More than this. You saw the effects it had on injuries. How many lives will be saved?”
“How many lives have you taken?” Anton replied. “Ours. That of Carl, Hillary and Stuart who shit themselves while still looking like adults. How much more?”
Dr. Robinson winced and Anton nearly smiled on that, realizing she hadn't known they had seen that.
Dr. Barrow, he reminded himself.
“Carl Brunt was in coma for five years, without relatives or hope of waking up. Stuart Clover was suffering from Alzheimer, living in a nursing home. He, too without relatives or friends. Hillary ...” Dr. Barrow hesitated. “Hillary Dranfurt lived in the street of Pittsburgh since she was a teenager. No family, no friends. She was a prostitute with a heroin addiction. We gave her a new chance.”
“A new chance? Maybe it would have killed her, but you know that others recovered from that. You robbed her of every memory, even the good ones. Is that in the crib even her?” Anton asked. “As for Carl and Stuart. Don't you dare feeling good about them. You could have simply given them enough of the drug to cure them and let people claim it was a wonder.”
“We try to do more than one or two wonders here,” the doctor replied. “We try to create a world full of them.”
“So, what are three more lives?”
“Christine would have suffered with her leg for the rest of her life. Michelle had depression and trauma from her childhood.”
“They ...” Anton stopped a second. “Maybe they would even have agreed to this. But it was their choice. What about me? Was my life so horrible you thought it was better to relieve me of it?”
Dr. Barrow looked even more uncomfortable than before.
“You were the control group.”
Anton felt like screaming, like crying, like stamping with his food on the ground, but he knew a tantrum wouldn't help him, so he managed to suppress it, needing more effort than he was comfortable with.
“Let us cut this short,” he suggested. “I will not give you absolution, but I will help you in any way I can to find out why I still remember. Just let Michelle and Christine go.”
“Ant... Mr. Lubowsky I can't do that.”
“They hardly remember anything past their current age, as you know. Even if, who would believe them?”
“Right now? Most likely no one, but once the drug comes out ...” Dr. Barrow hesitated. “Even if I would agree, to it, the company would never allow it.”
“Then there is nothing we have to discuss here,” Anton explained. “Can you bring me to them? Or do I have to wait for infancy in solitary? I mean the two days the company has given you before you have to shut down the operation.”
Dr. Barrow winced; another unexpected sting Anton was happy to have landed.
“I will bring you to them,” the doctor promised. “But please consider this: This will end in infancy for the three of you. There is nothing I can do to chance this. But you could help millions, billions even and maybe I can make this more pleasant for the three of you.”
Anton didn't reply to this.
As eager as Anton had been to see Michelle and Christine again, as nervous he was when he stepped into the room, they were held in. This nervousness only increased, when the door closed behind him and he spotted the two girls sitting on two of the three beds. They looked so huge. Just a few hours ago they had been the same biological age, but Anton's memory of himself had made him see them as younger than him. His new perspective shattered this illusion and made him realise how much larger the difference between 5 and 15 was even compared to 15 and 40. For a moment he considered walking back out again, but Michelle looked to the door and spotted him.
“Anton?” she asked.
The surprise was obvious, not just in her voice, but in her eyes, which couldn't hide the shock, the same shock Christine showed once she looked up.
“Yeah. It is … It is me. I remember being 41, being thick, making advertisements and having played football once. I remember coming here to lose weight and how we were tricked into testing this … this youth drug. I am … I am sorry.”
“Sorry?” Christine's asked surprised, having stood up to look at him closer. “For what?”
“For trying to call the police. Had we tried to make it over the fence and had just one of us made it ...”
Tears dwelled up in Anton's eyes. He looked away, ashamed and embarrassed. Christine was with him a second later, embracing him on her knees. Anton felt her breasts in his face, something which would have him made want her once, but let him feel nothing now but a strange comfort.
“Hey,” Christine tried. “We all agreed to it. We all thought it was the best. No one is at fault but the ones who did this to us.”
This helped to slowly calm him. After a time, he swiped the tears away with the back of his hands and looked directly into her eyes.
“We won't get out of this,” he noticed.
For a long moment there was an awkward silence.
“Wanna watch TV?” Michelle asked, earning her surprised looks. “Better than gloom for two days.”
They watched some sitcoms, spoke about things they remembered from high-school, music they liked and good drinks. It was clear that Michelle's memory was still very fluid, remembering bands which hadn't existed when she had been young and remembering friends, she most likely never had, but neither Anton nor Christine commented on this. Then their captors brought them lunch. They hungrily ate fries and bratwurst at the only table. It was there that Anton bowed forward and whispered to them.
“We should talk about our options,” he suggested.
A bit later, Anton and Dr. Barrow walked through the fenced meadow where just a day ago he and the others had done exercises. Things had changed drastically and Anton had to suppress an annoying little voice telling him how big, how adult the doctor looked and how much more sensible it would be to just listen to her and obey like a good boy. In contrast, a guard was positioned outside earshot, watching them intensely, something Anton thought quite funny, considering the doctor could probably just place him in her knees and spank him if he tried anything.
Beware the Kindergarten-Assassin, he thought, suppressing a chuckle.
“I have talked with the others,” Anton finally began. “I will help you if you agree to three points. The last is only one between you and me. No one else knows about it.”
She gave him an encouraging nod, showing a poker-face.
“One: We want to keep at last our first names when adopted. Not even the second ones, but the first. I struggled in college and if I never make it this time and become a shoe-salesman after high-school, only remembering past football-glory, marrying a redhead, I don't want to be named Al.”
“This should be possible.”
No sign that she had understood the joke, though maybe it wasn't funny. Anton had to admit it bore similarities to the comment about cashiers he had made inadvertently insulting Michelle with. He was still sorry about it, though she no longer remembered.
Maybe I will grow up to be a nicer person this time, he thought darkly.
“Second: You don't turn us into adult babies. If we have the mind of toddler, let us have the matching bodies.”
“I can agree to this Mr. Lubowsky,” Dr. Barrow explained. “But if we find a way to protect the memory there will be a need for further tests. You three would have to cooperate.”
Anton didn't like it, but it was the lesser evil.
Anton stopped, looking from the doctor to the fence, behind which lay a freedom he would never have again. At least not as quite himself.
“This one is not for the company, not for you colleagues, but for you,” Anton said earnestly. “I want you to release our files, our lives, so we can have part of it back.”
Dr. Barrow opened her mouth, but Anton stopped her with a gesture.
“Not now, not in a year or two”, he specified. “But neither in eighteen. Maybe ten? Choose a time when your drug is established, when you have changed the world the way you hope. You can even do it without revealing yourself, but let us, let all of us know who we were.”
They stood a moment in silence.
“You know you … the child you will be … might not want to hear it,” she noticed. “It is hard for most to learn they are adopted. The relationship to the parents ... This might be downright traumatic.”
“Life isn't easy,” Anton noticed, right now feeling more sympathy for his present- than for his future-self. “We all learn it sooner or later. I owe it to my real parents and to myself. Everyone has a right to know even if we will never get our memories back.”
Dr. Barrow waited a long time to answer.
“I have to trust you, trust you in all three,” Anton admitted. “I know that as I know that even if you mean it now, you might not find the answers you search for, or the company stops you, or you change your mind.”
For a moment the was silence.
“I was sick before I came here. It isn't in your file about me – I checked it – but I even thought about not coming here. A doctor – not my regular one – gave me medicine.”
Anton could nearly see the doctor's pulse accelerating.
“Can you tell me the name of the sickness and the medicine?”, she asked.
Sally the rat looked around, sensing the tension in the air. A young rat of barely two months had to be careful. Not even eight hours ago, she had been a very old rat of 3 ½, with grey, shaggy fur, something few but the two humans in the room would have believed. Now the female human put two bowls in the cage. Both were filled with tasty looking stuff, but one had the colour humans would recognise as red and a normally nice smell, which remembered her of something. Sally hissed at this and turned to the other bowl.
“This looks good!” Dr. Barrow commented, seeing Sally make her choice clear.
“Let us try the labyrinth next,” Dr. Wilson commented.
They sat Sally, who would clearly have preferred some more snack-time in a large, elaborate labyrinth. For a moment the rat looked angry, then she went straight through twists and turns to the end of the maze where her food waited for her, stopping only once to check the direction.
The humans looked at each other.
“Bingo!” Dr. Wilson commented.
Anton, Christine and Michelle felt left in the dark. On the second day they nearly expected the doctors to come and tell them it was time for the crib. No one came. Neither on the third, nor on the fourth day. On the latter Anton asked for his book and in an afterthought for the football out of his old room and Michelle a radio to listen to music. Both wishes were granted without hesitation.
They were offered separate rooms, but declined, the presence of each other gave them at last the feeling of security. Anton found it strange how little being around girls affected him, but he guessed his body was still around the age putting both genders into one room didn't annoy it too much. Once Michelle walked naked out of the bathroom and looking at her had meant nothing to him.
This should have upset him, as the feeling that Michelle and Christine sometimes acted more like big sisters to him, but he decided to let it go. No reason to ruin the comfort they had and if they fell into roles hard wired somewhere into their brains, it was still better than the alternatives. Truth be told he liked hanging out with them. Michelle often sang to song on MTV and both Christine and Anton joined in. They couldn't complain about the meal and for one minute or two even forgot their situation.
On the sixth day – Anton was no longer sure if the doctors were even still in the hospital – their wishes for being allowed a short trip outside were granted. It was cloudy. Anton brought the football with him and they threw it between themselves on the meadow a few times, ignoring the two guards standing some metres away. Michelle and Christine took care to throw it within Anton's reach, which he could have thought patronising, but didn't. Games between kindergarteners and high-school-kids could only be this way. The memory of the last time they had played here and hatched their ill-fated escape plan … his ill-fated escape plan, felt sourer.
It was the ninth or tenth day – they had stopped counting – when the doctors came to them during one of their times outside.
“We are sorry for not speaking to you so long,” Dr. Barrow said. “We had a lot to do and to discuss with our superiors.”
“So, you now can regress people without them losing their memories?” Anton asked, though being pretty sure about the answer.
“The drug you got was the key,” Dr. Barrow explained. “This and your antibodies form an effective protection we can easily replicate. Now we need ...”
The doctor stopped a moment, looking embarrassed.
“We are sure the core memories remain intact,” Dr. Wilson jumped in for his colleague, looking less compassionate and more up to business. “Now we need more tests to measure the extend.”
For a moment there was silence.
“This was the deal,” Christine said reluctantly. “We promised and we are no liars. Just no ...”
“We won't let your mind get younger than your body,” Dr. Barrow said. “Promised.”
“I'll help,” Michelle gave in, only to add in a softer tone: “But I know my memories aren't that good anyway.”
“Just try your best and it will be enough,” Dr. Wilson assured her.
They turned to Anton. He knew, their words might not even be worth the breath they had used to form them and he knew he was drastically less worth now that the doctors had managed to discover the secrets of his memory.
The doctors lost no time. As in their first days, there were questions this very evening. Lots and lots of questions about their pasts, their knowledge of the world and their skills. Without having to pretend it was just an ordinary drug-trial, there was no reason for the doctors not to screen their subjects mind as thoroughly as possible. By the end of the evening even Anton felt they doctors knew him better than he himself.
The next morning, they were led to the rooms they had gotten their first shot in. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Barrow were waiting for them, three syringes lying on the table.
“Which age?” Christine asked.
“10 for all of you,” Dr. Barrow explained.
“How safe is it?” Michelle asked.
“That is what we want to see,” Dr. Wilson noticed. “But the tests we had so far were positive.”
“Test with whom?” Anton asked, suddenly alerted.
“Sally the rat.” Dr. Barrow revealed. “She serves us well. There were more animal tests in other facilities, but animals can't tell us about their past.”
A moment there was silence, then Christine extended her arm.
“Brave,” Dr. Wilson commented, giving her the shot.
Michelle was next and finally Anton.
“This won't just make you older,” Dr. Barrow warned. “It suppresses the original protection of your antibodies.”
“So, I will forget?”
“No, progression has no such drastic effect on the memories,” the doctor explained. “But we want to test the effect of the drug all the way up and down.”
Anton hesitated a moment, then he extended his arm.
“For science,” he declared sarcastically.
The time they spent in their room, waiting to grow or shrink was a bit surreal. They had MTV on, but the sound was dimmed to a whisper. Watching themselves and each other was all the diversion they needed. Christine had pulled of her trousers and thrown them in a corner the first time it slipped down her feet and now sat on her bed, starring at the ceiling.
Anton grabbed a sandwich from the sideboard, halting a moment to watch his own hand. Already it was less pudgy and leaner, more ready to holding a pen, using a cell phone or … He grabbed the football and found he had a good hold on it. Looking to Christine, he was startled to see her face. The lean, attractive curves of a teenager had turned into the mellowed ones of a child. Anton had no idea how it could have happened such fast, but maybe it was like with the witch and the young woman hiding in one and the same drawing. The child and the teenager always being there at the same time, just you not noticing. His own trousers got too short, so he also threw them on the ground – exposing his red underwear –, before biting in his sandwich. Growing up made him hungry as hell.
“How are your memories?” Anton asked, after taking a large swallow from the Coca-Cola-bottle.
“I remember being 15, both here and back when I really was 15. I remember flashes of my 16th birthday, I think, and my 17th quite clearly, but these could be fake memories as the doctors called them,” Christine explained and touched her breast which had quite little to touch now. “I feel much secure about them, though. They seem sharper. I remember some of the training here, but not being 20, except us spending time in your room and nothing of being older here.”
“I remember everything.” Michelle's voice seemed distant and made the others look at her. “Not being my real age, but being this age … 15 I mean.”
The close-to-be-ten-year-old, had her knees close to her upper body and rested her chin on these as if to make herself even smaller. There was something eerie about her face Anton couldn't immediately identify. Then it hit him. The way she held herself, her lips, the expression of her eyes, made her look so much more like the woman he had first met. Wounded and vulnerable.
“I have no friends. Everyone is making fun of me. I have bad grades. Mom is always sick and Dad never has time,” Michelle remembered. “God how fat I am ... was. I will go through all of this again.”
She starred at her lean hands and began to shudder slightly. Christine was already there, knowing too well what the girl was going through and embracing her, as she cried. Anton placed himself besides them, feeling a bit awkward, which was only enhanced by the fact that his underpants were already sizes too small.
“No one says that it will be the same this time,” Christine assured her. “We like you. Others will, too.”
“You have to, since we are trapped here,” Michelle replied. “What would anyone like about me.”
“You are kind. Friendly. Think of others,” Anton noticed. “You are brave, even when you are terrified. Remember when we crept through the floors? We would never have made it such far without you.”
“You are the life of a party,” Christine agreed, beginning to sing: “Today is gonna be the day, That they're gonna throw it back to you...”
“By now you should've somehow,” Anton continued. “Realized what you gotta do”
“I don't believe that anybody,” Michelle joined in, reluctantly at first, but then with a stronger voice. “Feels the way I do, about you now.”
In the end they sang together, then they made the TV really loud, until the whole hospital had to hear them. They didn't care. They laughed together, when Anton's underpants tore and then when Christine's just fell down as they danced. They enjoyed the sandwiches, when the girls' appetite returned and shared the coke. They talked about nonsense. They had a good time and grown-up watching them would have thought them different from other ten-year-old having a party in their underwear.
The daily tests they went through separately were quickly getting part of their daily routine. Questions about their past, either written down or asked by one of the doctors, tests of their skills with the computer or even a simulated car, created out of a seat and bottles as gear change. It wasn't boring and Anton noticed that some questions were never asked, some skills never tested.
“We keep them for later,” Dr. Wilson explained. “After all, we want to test the effect of longer youth.”
“Who would want to be this young?”
“There are skills best taught at a young age. Imagine an athlete wanting to train from year one. Maybe there are even medical necessities to regress someone your age or younger,” the doctor noticed. “Imagine a teenager with third degree burnings on his body.”
“Wouldn't he soon be returned to normal?”
“Maybe there is something preventing that. We do no wonders here, but science and there are always traps. Our test pool has been rather small.”
“I see,” Anton replied, wishing he hadn't asked.
When the doctors led Michelle into the patio, she froze upon seeing what stood beside the swing.
“No way I climb on this,” she told them.
“It has no fuel,” Dr. Barrow assured her. “You won't get hurt.”
“I'm sure I thought so once, too,” Christine said, starring at the motorcycle.
“We just want to test your skills a bit,” Dr. Wilson explained. “Climb on it, show us how you would start it and all is fine.”
“I don't know how ...” Christine stopped. “I pestered my parents about this for ages and got promised lessons after I turned 16.”
“You got them,” the man replied. “Even if you don't remember now. Just give it a shot.”
Reluctantly, remembering the promise they made the doctors to keep at last their first names and the rest of their dignity, Christine walked to the motorcycle and climbed on it, by using the boxes placed there.
I look ridiculous, Christine thought, seeing how her short legs didn't even reach the pedals.
“Just try it,” Dr. Barrow encouraged her.
Reluctantly Christine placed both hands on the handlebars and just like this she knew what to do. She pulled the motorcycle into neutral, pulled the clutch in toward the handlebar, pressed and held the start-button, though it of course had no gas and tried using the throttle, though she nearly fell down, when she tried to press it with her foot.
There, just for a moment, the ghost of a memory brushed over her. The wind in her face, the power of a motor under her, freedom and sovereignty in her grasp. Just for this moment she imagined starting the motor for real and driving away from these doctors who wanted to take all this away from her.
The daydream ended, when she noticed three staff-members leading a group of toddlers into the patio, even driving two in strollers. With sudden adult clarity, she realized that was the future awaiting her.
“Shall I try to reenact my accident?” Christine asked the doctors. “I sometimes have nightmares of it, though I can't say it really happened this way.”
“Later,” Dr. Barrow told her. “Come down.”
Christine led herself slide down on one side and landed on all fours, coming face to face with a curious looking toddler.
“Hi,” Christine greeted him.
“Big bike!” the boy noticed, obviously awed.
“Yes,” she agreed. “But I will never sit on it ever again.”
“I have tricycle,” the toddler proclaimed proudly.
“Nice?” Christine tried, causing the boy to smile.
“Stuart don't pester the big kid,” one of the staff said, throwing a small ball in direction of the sand pit. “Catch the ball!”
Laughing the toddler raced after it, together with four others.
“I'm sorry,” the big black-haired man told the doctors. “Didn't think you needed the place today. Shall I bring them back up again?”
“Leave them here,” Christine told him, before one of the doctors could answer. “They don't bother me and seem happy here.”
“You heard her,” Dr. Wilson proclaimed. “Let them have some fun.”
“Did you give them the new drug, too, to regress them?” Christine asked.
“We did,” Dr. Barrow confirmed. “We gave them the medicine even before we regressed the body. It did not have a large effect, maybe because their memories of being big had been gone so long. Still, Stuart is largely dry during the day now and Jill toddles much better than before.”
Christine remembered the packages of diapers she had seen in the storage room. In front of her the toddlers played happily, some chasing each other, some using the swing or slide. The two babies, seemingly unable to stand, were placed in the sand pit by members of the staff and given toys to play with. An innocent scene to a random observer, but Christine felt herself grow cold at the realization, that she would soon join them. The motorcycle didn't look such terrifying any more.
“Let's go on,” she told the doctors.
The quicker she finished the tests, the more time she could enjoy being old enough to not shit her pants.
A while later Michelle looked at a photo Dr. Barrow showed her.
“Mrs. Daubner from math class,” Michelle noticed after a moment. “But she looks old.”
“We only got a more recent photo.”
“Oh,” the teen bit her lip.
“You do great, though,” the doctor praised. “Try this.”
Michelle starred on it a long while, but in the end shook her head.
“Who is it?” she asked curious.
“This is Mr. Marten,“ the doctor explained. “Your boss at work.”
“Oh,” Michelle looked again, she felt a hint of frustration at this face, but there wasn't the slightest recognition. “I work as cashier. Anton and Michelle told me.”
Dr. Barrow nodded.
“I often hoped to work with animals,” the child explained lowering her head so her pretty blonde hair fell down over her face. “Or something with numbers. I was better in maths than anything else. Still my grades didn't do.”
“They might next time,” the doctor said.
Dr. Barrow wondered if it would help her if she told her, she looked beautiful, would do so in school if she kept her weight.
“Yes,” Michelle hesitated, still not looking up. “I am not sure if I am mad about what you will do to us. I partly hope it will be better this time. I have not much to look back to, I know as much, but … but I do mind losing the memories of my parents. They were not great, far from it, but they were mine. And I mind what you did to all those people, Christine and Anton most of all.”
Michelle looked up, her eyes showing a seriousness beyond her years. For a moment they were silent, then the child sighed.
“Let's go on.”
To be continued…