Chapter Description: Desperate to undo some of their sins, a doctor and a guard try to save the unwilling testers of the tg/ar drug their company decided to scrap. Will they manage to give them their life back or will they lose their own while trying to do so?
Final Tester(Part 3)
Julie watched in total surprise as Andrea injected the unsuspecting Dr. Bedlam with what she guessed was the drug they had used to regress them and told her she would sleep like a baby, before the latter collapsed. She did not understand what was happening, but James did, or he was at least quicker to recognize a chance. He rushed forward and grabbed the taser out of the other guard’s hand, pointing it at him.
His fellow guard lifted his hands. “You make the mistake of your life man.”
“I think not,” James replied.
“Place her on the bed,” Andrea ordered, pointing to the now unconscious form of Dr. Bedlam.
The other guard obeyed and picked her up, more wary of another syringe appearing in the woman’s hand than of the taser in James’s. As he laid her on the bed, James led Julie out of the room and Andrea locked it behind them.
“What is happening?” Julie demanded to know.
“We free you.” James explained.
She starred at Andrea. “Why should I trust her?”
“You have no reason to, I know. If the circumstances were different, I would have not done anything,” the doctor admitted. “But they stamped the project. Us stealing your lives would just … be a crime.”
For a moment their eyes met unblinking. Then, reluctantly, Julie nodded. It was far from good, but she recognized a chance.
“Where are the others?” Julie asked.
“In their cells,” Andrea revealed. “We will free them and change you and Ken back.”
“And Cassie? Or whoever he is?”
“Brad Korvic.” The doctor’s face became icy. “The variant of the serum Dr. Bedlam used was faulty. She … he will never become older, get his gender or even much of his memories back, but … we have to help him … her … Steven got infected by a variant of this. He won’t get older either, but he is still male and has his memory …”
Julie looked from her to James and back.
What is going on here?, she wondered. Am I still mad and imagining it?
Opting for now that this was the reality, Julie shook her head. “Let us go. The farther and sooner the better.”
The other two agreed and Andrea led them down the floor.
“About Dr. Bedlam …” James began.
“I only gave her a sedative,” Andrea explained. “Couldn’t resist though.”
Julie remembered the look in the doctor’s eyes, when the other woman had told her she would sleep like a baby and couldn’t help but smile.
“This is Ken’s room,” Andrea said after a moment.
She unlocked the door and Julie stormed in.
“Hi,” a voice greeted her.
A much too young voice.
Julie looked down to discover a boy of maybe 8 years of age, looking up at her. He sat broad legged on the floor, wearing only an oversized blue Nike shirt. Hazelnut eyes under blonde hair looked at her curiously, before turning back to play with some toy-cars. For a moment she could only stare.
“Ken …” She turned to Andrea. “What happened to him.”
“Kathie must have given him the serum before she came to you,” the doctor explained.
“I’m sorry,” James said. “I thought they would tell me, so we had time to intervene.”
Julie knelt down before Ken. He was male again, at least this.
“Ken?” The boy looked up. “Do you know who I am?”
His forehead furrowed in concentration.
“Julie!” He finally exclaimed and smiling offered her a toy car. “Wanna play?”
Julie didn’t. She felt frozen in fear, especially since he seemed even younger suddenly. 6?
She turned around to Andrea. “Help him!”
“The laboratory will have a serum to stop this.” The other woman turned around. “Come!”
With this she was running down the floor.
Julie extended the hand to Ken. “Come with me.”
He looked at the hand curiously. “We are having an adventure?”
She gave him a stressed smile. “Yeah.”
Ken’s face lit up in excitement and he jumped up, taking her hand and following her, while still holding a toy car with the other. They had followed Andrea a few meters, when James stopped.
“Follow the doctor,” he told Julie, “I have to grab something.”
The woman turned boy wanted to ask what could possibly be that important, but he had already gone back in the room. For a moment she wanted to wait, but the hand in her own felt so small and seemed to grow smaller, so she hurried after Andrea. She found her in a large room, full of vials, computers and other scientific stuff.
“Goddamn you,” the doctor cursed, rapidly going through some files.
“What is it?” Julie dreaded the answer.
“Kathie has already begun disposing her material,” the other woman replied without looking up.
Julie didn’t ask more, seeing the doctor was already searching for what they needed. She looked at Ken, but the boy had slipped from her hand and climbed on a stool standing by a table with vials. He extended his hand to one.
“Oh no!” Julie said.
She picked up the boy despite his protests and carried him on her hip … he couldn’t be more than 4.
“Wanna play,” Ken complained.
“Later,” Julie promised, and turned to Andrea. “We don’t have much time.”
The other woman didn’t respond. After a moment, James entered. He took a look at the boy Julie carried – he had put a thumb in his mouth and started sucking – and swallowed. Then he looked at her and just for a moment Julie felt an attraction there. If she was a boy right now or not, she knew there was something about him she would hate to lose.
It could have been minutes, but the felt like hours. Finally, Andrea seemed to have found what she had searched for. She approached them with a syringe.
“Hold his arm,” she said.
Julie tried, but Ken, who could not be older than two anymore, recognized the object and squirmed in her arms.
“No ouchi!” He protested.
James came to her help, just as Julie feared she would drop him. He held the toddler’s arm, while Julie held him and Andrea put the needle in him. Ken began to cry and kick his little leg, as the doctor pushed, tears running down his face. Julie briefly wondered if part of this reaction came from his life as drug addict.
“How long until he is back?” She asked terrified of his behavior.
“There is always a risk, but at this stage his mind should largely recover over time,” Andrea explained, throwing the syringe in a trash bin. “It will only halt his physical regression though. I could not find anything better in the hurry.” She waved her hand at some empty vials and a bunch of files. “Give me time, best check if Steven and Cassie have been regressed, too.”
“I looked at the monitors,” James noticed. “They are both fine.”
“Good,” Andrea noticed with relief. “Free them and wait in the conference room. Steven … best don’t tell him it is permanent, yet … I will do it myself, once we are out of here.”
James turned to Julie and held up a notebook. “Ken wrote down what he remembered about his life. To clear his thoughts … I figured this would help.”
Julie was going to say how brilliant he was, when she felt something warm at her stomach. She looked down between her and Ken who had begun to suck his thumb again and noticed a black spot spreading through is oversized shirt and both the top and trousers of her jogging suit.
“I will need fresh clothes,” she noticed dryly.
It turned out the facility had a lot of them, as Julie learned when James led her into the storage room. Piles of clothes in all sizes for both genders down to those clearly made for infants. She walked past a staple of onesies, noticing the one at the top was blue with a smiling sun on the front. As she looked to Ken, she still held on her side, seeing him still sucking his thumb, not caring about the smelling wetness of both their clothes, she realized how close he had come to wear one of these … as had she.
Looking further around did little to put her at ease, as she saw lots of toys for older children, like game consoles, footballs and board games, but also for younger in the form of plush toys, push cars, rocking horses, stacking toys and rattles. Also diapers … lots of them.
James seemingly knew what he was searching for, as he grabbed a box and after looking at her, picked up a shirt, underwear, some jeans and shoes. Next, he grabbed a pair of shorts, a green shirt with an elephant on the front and red sandals, also a diaper from a pack of Pampers Cruisers size 5 and baby powder along with a changing mat.
“Best you both take a shower,” James noticed, having finished. “You can take my room.”
“Thirsty!” Ken exclaimed and pointed to the baby bottle next to James.
“We will get you something after you showered,” James promised, producing a smile.
True enough, Julie soon found herself in his room. To her surprise it was not larger than hers.
“Better you two take a shower together.” James noticed. “Or do you want me to do it later?”
Julie looked at Ken, he was looking around in the room, not caring much for their grown-up talk.
“No, it is okay.”
She grabbed the toddler’s hand and led him into the bathroom she locked behind them. For a moment she felt lightheaded as her body relaxed a bit. Was she still hallucinating? This couldn’t happen, could it? She looked down at the wet spot on her clothes, smelling of urine. Chances were, she was lying somewhere in the gutter, having pissed herself. Still, there were also chances that this was real and if so … she looked at Ken who looked up at her, wondering … if so, someone needed her help.
“We undress now,” she said, automatically using the friendly tone reserved to little children. “Can you do this?”
She prayed he could at last do this and as if to answer her prayers, the toddler nodded wildly and began pulling at the oversized shirt which was more a tend to him, beginning to pull it over his head. Smiling at his rather uncoordinated effort, Julie began undressing herself, finishing only to find a naked toddler sitting on the rug and starring up on her.
“Wee Wee!” He exclaimed, pointing at Julie’s part.
She gave him a big smiled, she didn’t even remotely feel.
“Right,” she said, putting their clothes in the trash bin. “I have a wee wee, but not for much longer, I hope. You have a wee wee, too, do you remember when you hadn’t one?”
Ken scowled, looking down at himself, then back up at her.
“No giwl!” He protested loudly. “Giwls ikky and … and bowing.”
He crossed the arms in front of his chest and smiled, seemingly proud he knew this.
Julie sighed and picked him up, carrying him into the shower before starting the water. Was a boy such young supposed to think this or was this a sign his mind crawled back up? She wished she knew.
Knowing at least how important it was keeping a toddler’s skin clean, she first covered Ken in warm water, before rubbing some bodywash on his body and showering this off, too. She knew it was a grown man in there and briefly wondered how he would react if he regained his adult mind in this moment, but the toddler he was at the moment just giggled as the water cleaned his sensitive skin. Julie then showered herself. She didn’t want to touch her wee wee, just as she had tried to ignore it before, but realized it was maybe better to have it clean for the transformation. She had her experience with infections in this area and didn’t look out for another.
The woman touched the boy’s part of her body, closing her eyes, as she rubbed the bodywash in. To distract herself of the feeling, she thought of James, waiting for them on the other side of the door. Could she trust him? Was this maybe another twisted experiment? No, she didn’t want to believe this about him. Andrea though … the doctor would have abandoned her to her fate had things been different, she had little doubt, but here and now she had defended her from Dr. Bedlam, pretty much ending her career and risking her life.
Julie thought of the two women. Andrea had a softness in her face. Dr. Bedlam looked so edgy and controlled. What if these two had struggled? Had fought on her bed and …
Julie stopped, feeling the hardness in her hand. In terror and disgust she looked down to an erected wee wee. As fast as she could she showered off the bodywash and breathed hard. Was it part of being a teenager or were men always such easy to arouse? She briefly looked at Ken, but the toddler had sat down, playing with some bubbles between his spread legs, oblivious to what had just happened. She prayed he hadn’t noticed it or that this part would vanish once he regained his adult mind.
Finally done, she lifted the giggling toddler up and made him stand on the rug besides her. Drying them with a towel, before beginning to blow-drying their hair, Julie had to admit she felt better. She then bound the towel around her waist and opened the door. Ken, still stark naked, raced past her legs and around the room.
Julie looked at James sitting on the bed and instinctively covered her breasts … only to realize the futility of this and dropping her hand. Her former guard smiled slightly, as if to tell her it was okay. Next to him Ken managed to climb on the bed and began to jump up and down.
“Whoa careful,” James said, picking him up and handing him a sippy cup to a quarter filled with what looked like apple juice he had to have fetched while they had been showering. “Time to get you in your diaper.”
Julie watched Ken first stare at the cup in confusion and then put it into his mouth.
“Does he need to?” She questioned. “It is extreme and once his minds returns, he will be horrified.”
“Until this he has no control over his bladder,” James explained, as he carried Ken to them middle of the room, where he had unfolded the diaper changing pad. “We have training pants, but we might need to move before his mind comes back and they don’t hold so much, also … even persons who retained their mind at this age often lacked bladder control.”
Julie didn’t want to ask, but she had to. “You have a lot of experience, do you?”
James looked at her, the shame clear in his eyes and nodded. “Too much.”
With this he laid Ken on the changing mat. He grabbed the toddler’s ankles, lifted his butt slightly in the air and put an already unfolded diaper under it. Then he grabbed the dose of a baby powder and sprinkled the rosy cheeks. Far from horrified, Ken let go of his sippy cup and cooed, happy about the smell and the attention.
Julie also smelled the faint, but unmistakable smell of the powder she remembered from her time as a babysitter and was met with a sudden realization.
This could be me, she thought, had Dr. Bedlam chosen my room first this would be me!
No longer able to watch, Julie turned around, grabbed her boxer shorts out of the box and dropped her towel before quickly putting it on. She was momentarily blinded as she put on a black shirt, when she could hear the sound of tapes being pulled and fixed.
“All done,” James declared.
Julie turned around to see him kneeling and Ken standing next to him, grinning proudly at the two adults, as the diaper with the Cookie Monster in front was now firmly fixed around his waist.
“Cooky Mosntew!!” The toddler exclaimed.
James looked to Julie, making her turn around, all too aware he could see the bulge in her boxer shorts.
“Just a moment.” She told him.
“It is okay,” he assured her, as she grabbed her jeans. “I know you are a woman in there.”
Yes, she tought, but I don’t want you to remember my wee wee.
James sighed and turned to Ken, holding up three fingers.
“How much fingers are these?” He asked.
The toddler looked at them with wide eyes, finally beginning to suck at his own. It was clear his mind wasn’t able to make the connections between things in the real world and the very concept of numbers.
James rubbed the toddler’s blond hair to ease any worries. “It is okay. Do you want to wear something cool?”
The boy nodded enthusiastically and soon he found himself dressed into a green shirt with an elephant on the front, shorts and red sandals with Fireman Sam on them. Seeing himself in the mirror, he smiled at them as if he could explode through sheer pride. Julie meanwhile wore a black shirt, jeans and jogging shoes. She didn’t feel proud, but had to admit they were much better than what she had worn over the years.
“What now?” She asked.
“Now we release the other two,” James answered, handing Ken his sippy cup with the rest of its liquid
As they approached Cassie’s room, Julie felt ashamed of having practically forgotten her. When James opened it though, they found the girl too occupied in playing with some plastic horses to even notice them entering. This gave Julie an opportunity to get a look at her fellow tester and despite James’s warning that she had gotten even younger, Julie felt shocked. The girl sitting cross legged in a flower dress in front of her could be no older than 5!
As she still stood stunned before her, Ken dropped his now empty sippy cup, broke free of her hand and ran to the girl. There he let himself fall on his knees in front of her, eager to play with her, despite his former objections over girls. This made Cassie look up and smile.
“Little baby!” She giggled, noticing the part of the diaper appearing at the top of his shorts.
Ken didn’t seem to mind and smiled back, grabbing a few blocks she had placed nearby and began to staple them.
“Hello Cassie,” Julie said, approaching her.
The girl looked up, her brown hair falling slightly into her face. “Hi!”
“This is Ken,” she said, pointing to the toddler. “I’m Julie, do you remember me?”
The girl scowled, looking at her in concentration, but finally shook her head.
“Even recent memories become blurred, when the changes are too much,” James explained to Julie.
The woman turned boy nodded, watching Cassie return to play with her horses. For the world she couldn’t imagine this girl having been a man.
“Hi Cassie,” James said, kneeling in front of the little girl. “Wanna come with us?”
Cassie looked up and then shook her head before looking back to her toys.
James laid his hand on his chin and Julie was impressed at how he kept his smile and soft tone. “But we are going on an adventure later.”
This finally made the girl look up at him with a smile. “Yeah!”
Having decided it would be for the best if James freed his former colleague alone, Julie now waited with Ken and Cassie in the conference room. She had tried to start a talk with them, but had had little success of having them concentrate on her for long. Ken sounded like a toddler now and when she had tried to read him from his notebook, he had been easily distracted with little sign of his adult mind returning. Cassie did manage to concentrate a bit longer, but when Julie had begun to question her about her past and to even suggest she had been anything else than a little girl, she had shut down and returned to her toys.
At least they company, Julie thought bitterly.
She watched Ken play with a red and blue toy car he had insisted they get from his room along with the girl who played with small plastic-ponies. She wondered if it was wise to let them play this way. Cassie was too far gone to remember her past as a man according to the doctor and Ken interacting with her might push his mind deeper into toddlerhood, preventing him from coming back again. Yet, seeing the two now playing so peacefully, she didn’t find it in her to separate them.
As she still pondered how to proceed, James walked in through the open door, followed by a boy wearing a blue Paw-Patrol-shirt and sweatpants. Julie at first couldn’t believe it was Steven, the big guard who just some days ago had found it appropriate to bully her. He looked thinner now than in adulthood, making Julie vaguely remember Andrea telling her something about weight loss as a side effect of the serum. More important, he looked maybe around 4 and such even younger than Cassie’s 5, but older than Ken’s 2. Yet, looking closer she noticed it was his brown hair and the same angry grey eyes, which grew even angrier the more he looked around in the room.
“It is just for a while Steven,” James tried to calm him down, as he had most likely tried before. “Dr. Barrow will fix it.”
He looked at Julie, who nodded slightly. As Andrea had told them they wouldn’t tell him about the permanent nature of his new age before they were out of danger.
Pity, Julie thought, I would have loved to see his face when learning this.
Not having noticed the silent exchange, Steven stomped in the direction of the most distant part of the room. Julie couldn’t help but smile at his behavior, so much more befitting a grumpy Kindergartener than a grown man. Maybe freeing him hadn’t been such a bad idea after all.
The former guard just passed Cassie, when the girl noticed the little boy around her age.
“Wanna play?” She asked innocently, presenting him her plastic horse.
He slapped it away furiously. “Stay away from me you little …”
“Careful Buck,” Julie warned him playfully. “We don’t want to have to clean your mouth with soap.”
This made the former man star at her, maybe more due to her using his nickname than to the silly threat. Cassie giggled, which was enough for him. He raced past her and climbed with some difficulty on the most distant chair. There he crossed his arms in front of his Paw-Patrol-shirt, his small legs in the air and starred at them with contempt like a little boy having a time-out.
Julie smiled at this irony of having him of all persons being one of the two permanently regressed. When she looked back at James, her former guard had grabbed Ken’s notebook from the table and now sat down besides the children, flipping its pages.
“Ken,” James addressed the regressed man, holding the notebook in front of him.
The toddler looked up from his toy car.
“Do you remember where you went to school?”
The boy’s forehead wrinkled.
“Wit a car?”
“No, you had no car, but …”
On this Ken turned his attention back to his toy car, letting it go after Cassie’s horse, which made his playmate giggle. James and Lucie exchanged a worried look.
“Just skip it,” Steven told them from afar. “His brain is mush anyway.”
Julie glared at him.
Suddenly the door opened and Andrea stepped in.
“I have good news and bad,” she revealed to the group. “The bad: The good versions of the serum have almost all been destroyed.” She held up a vial and looked to Julie. “The good: This one will turn you into woman again, but only four years older.”
“Nineteen,” Julie whispered to herself.
“What is with me?” Steven asked, jumping from his chair.
Andrea looked down at him, realizing that as she had suggested, no one had told the former guard, yet, that he better got used to this age.
“If you don’t want to be turned into a girl, you have to wait until we figure things out,” she told him.
“Can’t you just brow something?”
“No, I can’t brow anything,” the doctor stated, slightly irritated over this choice of words. Steven angrily looked away and she turned to Julie. “Okay?”
You had me and countless other abandoned and stripped of their lives and memories, the woman turned boy thought. You would not have helped me if everything would have gone according to plan and they would have released your precious drug.
Julie looked over to James who nodded slightly and then went over her chin with her hand and felt the stubbles.
“Okay,” she told her.
Andrea sat down in front of her and prepared the syringe. Julie placed her arm on the table and watched the syringe approaching. A cell-phone rang and she realized it was the doctor’s. The latter ignored it and gave her the drug, before removing the needle and pressing a piece of cotton wool on the wound.
“Press it a bit. It will heal quickly once the change start.” Andrea advised her, as she took the call.
“Hello, who …” Silence and Julie could see the woman’s face turn grey. “I understand. Where … Yes … thank you.”
Andrea stood up. “We have to leave. Now!”
“What is it?” Julie asked, standing up.
“Someone in the central got wind of it. They are sending people to get us …” She turned to James. “Get them out of the side door and into your car. I will come immediately.”
“Wait, what are you …” Julie began.
Andrea was already out of the door. Julie and James looked at each other with fear clear in their eyes, then they sprang into action. Julie grabbed Ken, while James grabbed Cassie – both children had been too occupied with their toys to pay the adults any notion – and headed to the door. Julie stopped, as she saw Steven standing in the middle of the room.
“Come,” she hissed at him.
The hesitation in the boy’s eyes was clear. He didn’t trust them and didn’t look forward of going anywhere with them. Julie felt Ken’s the diaper crinkling, as she held him close.
“Fine stay!” she said. “By tomorrow you will drink milk from your baba!”
“Wanna milk!” Ken exclaimed.
“Later,” Julie promised as she turned and followed James through the corridors.
They left the building for the relative darkness of the evening by a small door James unlocked with his keys. Julie would have loved to have time to enjoy breathing free air again, but knew she had none. To her surprise, Steven came after them, as they walked down the stairs. They were going in the direction of the parking lot, just across the illuminated entrance, when James stopped.
“In the bushes,” he ordered.
They rushed into the bushes at the side of the building. No sooner they were crouching in them, that two black SUVs were coming through the gate. They stopped at the entrance, a bit away from the parking lot. Doors were opened and a group of five men stepped out. James didn’t know them, but from the look on their faces and the guns he saw on the belts of two, they were not to be taken lightly.
This was when Julie’s changes set in.
“Aww …” She barely suppressed the scream, as she felt something in her inside shifting.
She let go of Ken and went to her knees.
“What has he?” Cassie asked terrified.
“He is …” James said as silent as possible, anxious to calm the little girl. “Turning into a princess!”
Cassie’s eyes widened. “Wanna, too!”
James winced, as the girl’s voice was much too high for his taste. He turned around, but the men were still discussing.
“If you are silent, I will buy you a crown later,” he promised whispering.
“With diamonds?” Cassie whispered.
James nodded and pressed his finger to his lips.
The girl giggled but held her hands in front of her mouth.
Julie meanwhile felt nothing like a princess. Instead, her whole lower body felt like it was kneaded by uncaring hands. She believed she felt her male sex organs being pulled in. Something stretched in her. Stretched, stretched … Suddenly her jeans tore clearly audible, no longer able to maintain her widened hips. She held her arms to her sides and felt breasts growing. Her face hurt.
Finally, it was over. Breathing hard, Julie propped herself with one hand on the earth. Such she found herself face to face with Ken, who looked at her wide eyed.
“Ju … lie?”
“Yeah,” she replied exhausted.
“I remember,” he said. “They taking us and the experiment and …”
Gently she placed a finger on the toddler’s lips and pointed to the entrance, where the strange men were done talking. They walked into the building and Julie was ready to give a sigh of relieve, when one of them looked over to them. She could have sworn he looked directly at her, but either it was too dark or the front too bright and he just turned around and walked back in. Only now she felt the tension leave her and allowed herself to touch her face – soft skin without even a hint of stubbles –, her breast – filled out – and groin – lean and without anything fixed on it –.
This felt so good!
A rustle behind them made the group look around in shock. It turned out to be Andrea, carrying a well filled backpack.
“Have they gone in?” She asked.
“A second ago,” James explained.
“Let us go then,” Andera told them. “You take your car. I take mine and you follow me.”
“Where to?” Julie asked, noticing how much better her voice sounded.
“The meeting point,” the doctor explained. “No time. Come!”
With this she crept forward and the rest followed her in the same manner. They used the parked vehicles of the men as cover as they passed the illuminated entrance. Everyone but Cassie looked at the entrance, fearful of the men coming back out. The girl just giggled, as she playfully tiptoed forward.
Finally, they reached their cars. Julie and James’s put the children on the backseat of his car, before taking place on the front seat, careful not to slam any doors, before starting the engine. They followed Andrea’s car – an old Peugeot – out and down the road leading away from the former sanatorium. Julie half expected the men to come out and follow them, but finally the building was out of sight without a car speeding after them.
They had escaped.
After following the other car through the night for a while, they arrived at a remote, but good filled parking lot. There they changed cars. The Berlingo already parked there for the group and the Chrysler for Andrea, before quickly continuing. Andrea and James had made a plan, as the latter had explained her when they had escaped from the facility. The short plan was escaping with cars purchased under the hand and trying to live with the money in cash they had been able to get hand on. The long term was trying to make a deal with the company, basically them being allowed to be free against their silence.
Julie didn’t like this. She wanted the one responsible to be brought to justice. She wanted to make everything public. She wanted the other victims to become vindicated. Still, the more they drove, the less and less convinced she became they could do anything. Who were they? One traitor to the company, a former guard, her and three adults turned children? Even their escape would have failed, had not someone Andrea wouldn’t name warned them that the guard locked with Dr. Bedlam had called for help with her cell-phone. Now they were on their way to meet him.
Julie looked in the side mirror, at the 19-year-old girl who seemed so very tired. 19. She had lost her grip on reality completely at this age. Maybe she had never regained it and imagined all this. What would be better? She didn’t know. The blue eyes under the middle long black hair seemed as tired as she felt.
I always wanted my hair long, like mom, Julie thought. Is her hair grey already? Maybe due to what I put her through?
Julie looked over her shoulder. The children were fast asleep on the backseat. Cassie and Ken were snuggled together, the latter holding his notebook tightly, even now. Steven slept with his head on the side. Seeing them now, no one would believe that they were more than they appeared. She looked to James, still driving and noticed he gave her a quick glance.
“Sleep a bit,” he told her. “It has been a long day.”
“If she only told us where we go … Or whom we meet.”
James shrugged. “She doesn’t want to bring her source in danger in case we are captured.”
“But …” She yawned.
“Sleep,” James told her with a smile. “I will wake you, when we are there.”
The warmth in his voice made her feel save, protected. She nodded and leaned back, slowly drifting off to sleep. Maybe this all was a dream or a delusion caused by her schizophrenia. Indeed, this seemed more plausible than the truth. How much she wished to be home again!
She drifted into peaceful sleep.
To be continued …