@mind-wiper
Mind Wipe Time
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2021-04-23 06:04:49

    Potty Training

    Based on a story idea by Justbabyme.

    Matt shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  It was such an awkward topic for him to discuss, but it was the whole reason he was in Dr Jansen’s office, so there was no avoiding it.  

    “Have you always had these feelings about using the toilet?” the therapist asked.  

    Matt didn’t make eye-contact with her.  He couldn’t bring himself to face her as he answered such embarrassing questions.  

    “I guess so.  I mean, I wasn’t always quite this shy.  But I couldn’t… use a urinal, even when I was a kid.  I got stage fright, y’know?” 

    The therapist nodded kindly, taking down more notes. He hated when she wrote notes that he couldn’t see.  

    “You couldn’t pee in front of others,” she said, watching for his reaction.  

    Matt frowned at the word ‘pee’ just as she had expected.  

    “No, I never could,” he confirmed.  

    “But now it’s worse,” she went on. 

    “Yeah, well I have flatmates now and I… I can’t even… use the toilet, when they’re home and awake.  I have to wait until they’re out, or asleep.  If they hear me using it… I… I just can’t have that.”  

    “And in public?”  

    Matt quickly shook his head.  “I have to go home to… do number two.  I can do the other thing in a public restroom.  But, it’s not easy.  There can’t be anyone in the touching stalls.  Sometimes I can’t go unless the whole toilet is empty.  My bladder just won’t let go, no matter how hard I try.”  

    The therapist gave that unreadable neutral smile once again, jotting more notes.  

    “Don’t you find that outfit a bit hot in this weather?” she suddenly asked. 

    Matt was confused. Why the change of topic? He wasn’t here for fashion advice.  

    “It’s fine,” he said with a shrug. 

    But she didn’t take the hint to move back to the topic at hand.  

    “Long sleeves, jeans, surely you get hot and sweaty in this mid-summer weather?” she asked. 

    “People wear suits in the middle of summer, why should I be hot in this?” he retorted.  

    “True. Do you wear shorts and t-shirts sometimes then. At the beach at least?”  

    Matt saw where she was going with this now.  

    “No, I don’t like the beach.  And I don’t like shorts either.”  

    “You like being covered up.  You don’t like to be exposed in any way, do you Matt?” she posited. 

    He could only nod.  It was true.  

    “You’re a very closed in person in general Matt. You’re closed off from relationships, from developing new friendships.  And I think all these behaviours, especially your difficulty with the toilet points to a traumatic potty training experience.” 

    Matt rolled his eyes.  He didn’t need any of this freudian crap. He came to a therapist, not a psychoanalyst for just that reason.  

    “I can see you’re sceptical.”  

    “You could say that.”  

    “Tell me that I’m wrong then.  I know you likely don’t actually recall your own potty training, but you know your parents.  Would they have been kind, patient, supportive?”  

    Matt hesitated.  Of course he wanted to prove her wrong, but his parents were cold, demanding, very strict.  His mum in particular had been a neat freak.  No, she would not have been forgiving about the messes a potty training boy would likely make.  

    After a long moment of silence the therapist simply nodded knowingly.  

    “So what do we do about it then?” Matt asked.  

    “Well, I do actually have a therapy that is extremely effective for potty training issues. It’s a radical one though, and I know it may not appeal to you.  So first I want you to think about why you came to me, think about how these troubles are impacting your life right now,” she directed. 

    Matt thought about it and knew she was right. His current situation couldn’t continue.  It was impacting every part of his life on a daily basis.  

    “Okay, what’s the therapy? How radical is it?” he asked. 

    “I want to re-do your potty training,” she answered.  

    Matt snorted.  She had to be joking.  Except she looked dead serious.  

    “I don’t think that’s possible,” he told her.  

    “I assure you it is.  I’ve used this therapy successfully in the past for a few patients.  All were perfectly happy at the end of the treatment, no complaints at all.”  

    “I know how to use a toilet though.”  

    “You clearly don’t know the right way to use one.  We need to retrain your body and mind. And to do that, we have to start from scratch.”  

    “From scratch?”  

    “You know I’m a licenced hypnotist.  I can give you a session to take away your current toilet training.  Then we potty train you again, the right way.”  

    “So you’d have me wearing diapers?!”  

    “Pull-ups really.  The idea is you quickly learn to use the toilet the right way.”  

    “I’m not letting my flatmates see me walking around in fucking diapers, or pull-ups, or whatever you want to call them!” Matt snapped, getting frustrated now.  

    “No, no, of course not,” she assured him.  “You would spend the therapy session with two of my colleagues.  They’d be your surrogate parents, giving you the kind of loving, patient, kind potty training you should have had the first time, helping you lose all these phobias and hang-ups.”  

    Matt calmed down a little bit.  But he still had a lot of uncertainty.  

    “How long are we talking?”  

    “Well there isn’t a set timetable for potty training, but probably a week or two.  You’ve told me you’re on summer holiday anyway, so this would be a great time to get it done.”  

    Weeks of potty training, like a little toddler.  It sounded awful, but the alternative seemed equally terrible.  The chance to be normal, forever, was alluring as well.  

    “Who are these colleagues of yours?” 

    Dr Jansen smiled.  “They specialise in therapies of this kind.  They’re a couple and you would basically go and live with them while you have the therapy.  They have a lot of experience and I have complete faith in them.”  

    “How much does this all cost though?”  

    “It’s all covered by public funding.  They have a special fund for alternative therapies now,” she explained.  

    Damn, that really didn’t leave him with any practical reasons to refuse the therapy.  It was only his own disgust at the very idea of it.  Letting her take away his toilet training was terrifying. What if he couldn’t be re-taught?  What if he was stuck in diapers?  And then there was the idea of being so vulnerable like that in front of these strangers. It all freaked him out.  But he’d waited 3 months for this appointment, and if he refused her therapy, he’d be waiting even longer for another doctor to treat him.  Shit, he had to do it.  

    **

    “Push those hands together, nice and tight.  Push them tighter and tighter.  Feel them sticking together like super-glue, so tight you couldn’t possibly pull them apart.”  

    Matt listened as the therapist guided him into trance.  He wasn’t really certain he even believed that hypnosis was real.  But he was willing to try his best.  If he committed to something, he gave it his all.  So he imagined his hands becoming stuck together, pushed them so hard it almost hurt.  

    “Go ahead now, try to pull them apart. But the harder you try, the more stuck together they’re going to become,” she told him. 

    To his utter amazement, when he tried to pull them apart, his hands actually stayed stuck together. He pulled harder, but felt the stickiness only grow.  He focused all his effort on those hands. How could they really be stuck? He felt helpless, trapped.  

    Dr Jansen’s hand appeared out of nowhere, pressing his forehead.  “Deep sleep,” she ordered firmly.  

    There was a second of surprise and confusion. And then the world simply faded away, his muscles relaxing, his hands finally releasing.  Only the doctor’s soft hand on his forehead kept his head from flopping forward.  

    “That’s it, good job.  Deeper and deeper and deeper,” he heard her voice echoing through the blackness as consciousness ebbed away to nothing.  

    **

    Matt didn’t like the wet, clammy feeling around his loins when he woke up.  He quickly felt around his bed, seeing if any of it had leaked.  Thankfully the bed seemed dry, the sheets not ruined by his soaked diaper.  

    Damn that was embarrassing, needing to go to bed in a diaper.  Dr Jansen had supplied him with a whole pack because she’d totally removed his toilet training the day before.  Apparently he was an excellent hypnotic subject and went very deep into trance for her.  It was a good thing he’d woken up in soaking wet jeans she had assured him.  That meant the therapy could proceed quickly.  He wasn’t sure he agreed at all.  

    At least it would be short-lived, this embarrassment.  Jansen’s colleagues had been notified and they would be ready for his arrival this morning.  Of course he first had to change out of the wet diaper, put on a new one and get dressed.  

    He snuck quietly to the bathroom, on edge as ever.  What if they heard the crinkle? He’d surely die of the shame.  

    After using the wipes provided he sat down on the floor and haphazardly taped himself into a fresh diaper.  It was no easy feat.  He had it backwards at first, then couldn’t work out the tapes.  He felt like an idiot. And then he had to wear his baggiest pants to fit over the diaper, to conceal it completely.  

    **

    The house looked normal enough.  It didn’t appear like any medical facility.  There was no sign announcing this was a home office, a therapy centre.  Matt hoped he had the right place.  Thankfully the man who answered the door didn’t seem surprised to see him.  

    “Hello there, you must be Matty,” the man greeted him brightly.  

    “Um, yeah. It’s just Matt though,” he corrected.  

    “Come right in,” the man directed, failing to apologise.  

    Matt entered the house, feeling even more nervous about what he was getting into.  The man who answered the door looked to be in his thirties, solidly built with thinning brown hair.  He quickly placed his hand firmly on Matt’s shoulder, guiding him in.  Matt bristled.  He didn’t really like being touched.  But his host didn’t seem to notice, keeping his hand firmly on the shoulder.  

    “Is he here?” a new voice called out.  

    “Yep!” his host answered.  

    A second man appeared a moment later, also smiling, looking very pleased to see him.  This fellow was taller, probably a bit over six foot, with short blonde hair and green eyes.  He looked a bit younger than the first man, maybe thirty years old.  

    “Hi there, I’m Matt,” he quickly greeted the new man, extending a hand.  

    Both of his hosts just shared a laugh and his hand-shake offer was left unaccepted.  

    “Oh Matty, there’s no need for hand-shakes.  In this house we do hugs,” he was informed.  

    “Oh… um…” he stammered.  But before he could refuse he found himself enveloped in a tight hug from the blonde man.  He cringed, not returning the gesture, going stiff as a board instead.  

    “My goodness, he is tightly wound,” the first man commented.  

    “He really needs our help,” the hugger agreed.  

    “Well, let’s give him the grand tour,” his partner suggested as Matt was finally released from the hug.  

    “Okay Matty, first of all you can call me Daddy Greg,” the tall blonde man informed him.  “And this is Daddy Jim,” he added, gesturing to the dark-haired fellow.  

    Matt cringed, both at the continued use of the diminutive form of his name and at their insistence he call them ‘Daddy.’ 

    “Is that really necessary?” he asked.  

    Both daddies quickly nodded.  

    Jim placed his hand on Matt’s shoulder.  “You’re going to be our little boy now.  We know you had a tough time with potty training the first time. We’re not here to just teach you how to use the big boy toilet. We’re here to make it a fun, loving experience.”

    “While you're here, we’re going to be completely in charge,” Greg added.  “You don’t need to worry about anything more than playing, having fun, and using the potty when you’re ready.”  

    Playing? Matt was confused until the daddies led him into the lounge and he saw the toys all over the carpeted floor.  There was a Play Doh set, thick Duplo Blocks, Tonka trucks, all sorts of things to entertain a toddler.  

    “You can’t expect me to play with those,” he complained.  

    “I think you’ll find them a lot more fun than you expect.  But the most important thing in this room isn’t the toys, it’s right over there,” Greg explained, gesturing to a small red potty seat.  

    Matt frowned even more deeply. They couldn’t expect him to use an actual potty seat could they?  Jesus, it looked like they were dead serious.  

    “I can’t use that!” he exclaimed.  

    Jim’s hand was on his back, patting it gently, like that would keep him calm.  “Of course you can sweetie. You’re going to use it just like a big boy.”  

    Matt cringed.  “You know that isn’t what I meant!  I can use a normal toilet.”  

    “You’ve already proved that you can’t honey.  You aren’t ready for it.  So you need to start with the potty.  We’ll have it with us wherever you are, so you can pop onto it right away, as soon as an urge strikes you” Jim went on.  

    “But… there’s no privacy,” Matt whispered, almost shivering with shame now.  

    “No, there isn’t,” Greg agreed.  “Toddlers don’t have privacy.”  

    “And speaking of that, we need to get you out of those big boy clothes,” Jim told him. 

    Matt’s eyes went wide.  “What?!”  

    “Honey it will take you much too long to get out of those pants when the need to make tinkles or poopies hits you.  That’s why we have the potty so close to where you’ll be playing.  So let’s get you down to your pull ups, so that’s all you need to take off to do your business.”  

    Matt stepped back, shaking his head.  “You… you want me to be wearing nothing but my pull-ups?”  

    Both daddied nodded.  

    “You’ll be much more comfy anyway,” Greg assured him.  

    “Frankly it makes me a bit jealous,” claimed Jim.  

    But Matt wasn’t convinced at all.  “I’m sorry… I just… I can’t. I’m not ready for that.”  

    “We know it’s hard for you honey. That’s exactly why you’re here.  You have all these hang-ups and we’re going to help you let go of them.  And to do that, we need to slow down that busy little brain of yours.  We need to empty out those icky big boy worries,” Greg explained, taking Matt’s hands into his own.  

    “What do you mean?” Matt asked.  

    “Dr Jansen helped you the other day, she gave you some lovely suggestions to make this all go smoothly for you.”  

    “She took away my toilet training,” Matt agreed, blushing again.  

    “Yes, and she buried a few more very special, very important suggestions in your head,” Greg went on.  Seeing the look of horror on Matt’s face he quickly went on.  “But there’s nothing to fear.  It’s going to feel just lovely.  It’s going to be the most wonderful relief for you.”  

    Matt thought about yanking his hands away right now, running out the door and speeding away in his car.  But he hesitated.  His toilet training was already gone, he was in pull-ups already.  How could he explain that to anyone?  

    “Matty,” Greg prompted him, making him look back up at the man holding his hands.  “It’s time to get fuzzy for me.”  

    Matt felt it instantly, a strange fuzzy feeling inside his own head.  He felt light-headed, felt oddly disconnected.  

    “What? What’s going on?” he managed to ask.  

    Greg gently bounced his hands, smiling at him.  Jim was at his side, a hand on his shoulder.  He leaned closer, whispering in Matt’s ear.  

    “You’re getting fuzzy for us now.  You can’t help it.  You can’t stop it.  You’re just getting all fuzzy.”  

    The feelings grew more intense.  Matt felt instantly foggy and confused.  He couldn’t hold onto his train of thought, couldn’t understand what was happening.  The harder he tried to focus, the less he was able to.  

    Greg bounced his hands again, grabbing back his attention.  

    “Matty’s all fuzzy in his head.  A fuzzy silly little toddler for his daddies,” he cooed.  

    Matty felt the smile tugging his lips upwards.  He felt all bubbly and happy.  What a delightful, silly feeling to have.  

    But most of all, he felt little.  Daddy Greg and Daddy Jim hadn’t grown any bigger, but if felt like they were huge, like they were absolute giants.  

    Daddy Greg opened his arms wide, inviting Matty into another embrace.  And now it felt so natural to lean forward into daddy’s arms.  When those arms closed around him, held him tight, it didn’t feel awkward at all.  It felt so warm, so soft and more than anything else, safe.  He felt like nothing could ever hurt him now. He was safe in daddy’s arms.  Daddy would take care of everything. He could trust his daddies completely.  

    Matty let out an audible sigh of relief, squeezing his own arms tight around Daddy Greg, nestling his cheek against the older man’s shoulder.  It was so perfect, and then it got better. Daddy Greg planted a gentle kiss on his cheek.  

    “That’s daddy’s good little boy,” he cooed, before giving him another kiss.  

    Then new arms closed around Matty from behind him, as Daddy Jim joined the embrace, planting a little kiss of his own on the back of Matty’s neck.  “Yes, that’s so much better,” he whispered to him.  

    Matty was held in a loving sandwich between the two daddies.  He couldn’t recall ever feeling so loved and secure.  

    “Okay honey, I think you’re ready to get out of those big boy clothes now,” Daddy Greg declared as they finally ended the shared cuddle.  

    Matty remembered not wanting his clothes off before.  But he just felt so small and his head was all fuzzy now.  Why hadn’t he wanted them off?  He was sure there was a reason, but try as he might, he couldn’t come up with anything.  

    Daddy Greg was so smart, so big and caring.  He must know best.  Matty decided he should do what he was told.  

    “Okay Daddy Gweg,” he agreed.  

    Gweg? That wasn’t the right way to say it.  

    “Daddy Gweg, me… Matty sound funny,” he complained, feeling confused as his tongue didn’t work right and he found it so tricky to even get his words together. 

    “You sound perfectly adorable to me Matty,” Daddy Greg told him while lifting his arms up and slipping his shirt up and over his head.  

    He sounded adorable.  What did that mean?  It was a very big word.  Should he know big words like that?  No, he was little now.  His daddies and the nice doctor lady had made him all little, to help him, to fix his boo-boos.  Little boys didn’t know lots of things.  But that was okay, because he had his daddies here and they knew all the big stuff.  That’s why they were in charge.

    Matty stepped up high out of his pants as Daddy Greg directed them off his feet.  Then he sat down on the floor, sat on his bum like a good boy so his socks could be taken off too.  

    “There we go, isn’t that much more comfy?” Daddy Greg asked brightly, grabbing all his old clothes up in a pile.  

    Matty looked down at his pull-ups, the only thing he still wore.  It was nice and warm in the house and the carpet was soft against his skin.  Yes, it did feel nice being free of all those clothes.  He tried to recall why he hadn’t wanted this.  But again, drew a blank.  

    “Uh-huh. Dis comfy,” he agreed, nodding.  

    Daddy Greg chuckled and left with his clothes.  Daddy Jim knelt down next to him, putting a hand on the middle of his bare back.  Oh, it felt nicer to have skin on skin contact.  

    “Now Matty, as soon as you feel the urge to make a pee-pee, or do a poopy, you need to use the potty, okay?  Do you know how to do that?” he asked.  

    Matty frowned. He wasn’t a dumb baby.  He knew how a potty worked!  

    “I sit on it, ‘nd do piddles or poopies,” he announced.  

    Daddy Jim nodded proudly.  “That’s right Matty, you’re going to be so good at using the potty, I can tell!”  

    So much support, such clear love, it made Matty feel wonderful.  

    Then it was play time.  Matty got to explore all the cool toys his new daddies had for him.  They just did their chores, did boring big person work.  Matty played with his blocks, drove his Tonka trucks around the soft carpet.  It was so relaxing, so much fun.  He became utterly engrossed in his imagination as he played.  

    Until he felt the pressure below his tummy.  Uh-oh!  He needed to tinkle.  Matty felt so proud for knowing that.  He felt so smart.  His daddies weren’t there, but he couldn’t wait.  The urge was so sudden, so strong. He couldn’t hold it in long.  But luckily the potty was right there.  Yes, that’s where little boys did tinkles.  

    Matty squatted down on the small plastic potty seat, knees bent sharply.  But he wanted the daddies to see!  They needed to know how good he was at using the potty. He wasn’t a dumb baby.  

    “Daddy Gweg! Daddy Jim!” he called out. “Matty goin’ potty!”  

    And he felt the warmth already. Ah, it was such a relief, getting all that pee-pee out.  It had been impossible to hold back any longer, to wait for the daddies. But that’s okay, he was on the potty seat already.  He’d done good.  

    Greg and Jim arrived to see the twenty-something man squatting there on the little potty seat, a proud grin on his face as the two older men watched him tinkle.  

    “Oh honey,” Jim sighed, shaking his head.  

    Matty was confused.  They didn’t look as happy as he expected.  They shared a look, then Daddy Greg knelt down next to him and said, “You almost did it right Matty.”  

    Now Matty frowned deeply.  What had he done wrong?  He sat on the potty, he called for the grown-ups. 

    “Done my tinkles in da potty,” he insisted.  

    “Matty, you need to take your pull-ups off before you sit down on the potty.  All your tinkles went in the pull-ups sweetie,” Daddy Greg explained.  

    Matty shook his head, but he felt the warmth of his pee all around his crotch.  Yes, it was in the pull-up.  He stood up, looking in the potty.  It was dry.  

    “Bu… bu… Matty know how da potty work!” he insisted, blubbering now.  

    Daddy Greg pulled him swiftly into a cuddle.  It was more soothing now he was mostly undressed, all that skin to skin contact.  

    “It’s okay Matty, it’s perfectly okay.  It’s not your fault.  We took away your big boy smarts.  You’re all simple and sweet for us now.  So it’s perfectly fine to make a few silly mistakes. We expect it.  No one is upset with you,” Daddy Greg comforted him.  

    He was all simple now.  Matty knew he’d been big and smart before.  And now he didn’t even know how to potty.  It was humiliating.  Except Daddy Greg was being so comforting.  It was okay, it wasn’t his fault. They took the smarts away, it was all on them, not Matty.  

    Daddy Jim joined them on the floor.  “I think we should make it a bit easier on him, go right to nakey potty training,” he suggested.  

    Daddy Greg nodded, still patting the young man’s bare back.  “I agree, that will help a lot.”  

    Nakey potty training.  Matty was confused again.  There were just so many things he didn’t know, things he should have understood, but now his fuzzy head just went even blanker when he tried to think, tried to remember stuff.  

    “Was nakey potty twaining?” he asked.  

    Daddy Jim explained, “It just means we take these well pull-ups off and you just spend all your time nakey bummed.  That way when you need to go, there’s nothing else to remember. You just go straight to the potty.”  

    Matty shook his head. He couldn’t be all naked!  That was for dumb babies.  If he was naked everyone would see his wee-wee.  That would be so embarrassing.  

    “It’s okay Matty,” Daddy Jim insisted.  “If you have an accident you’ll just tinkle on the carpet a bit.  And that’s okay, it’s happened many times before. And when you feel your wees rolling down your legs or dribbling on your tootsies, it will remind you to get to the potty. Daddy Greg and I will clean up any messes.”  

    Daddy didn’t understand.  Matty wasn’t worried about the messes.  He just didn’t want to be walking around all naked in front of them.  

    “No Daddy.  Dun wanna hab my wee-wee showin’,” he explained.  

    The daddies shared a look which Matty couldn’t begin to understand.  

    “His shame is buried so deeply,” Daddy Greg remarked.  

    “It clearly goes all the way back to his toddler years,” Daddy Jim assessed.  “We need to take care of that too.”  

    With a nod, Daddy Greg looked back at the frightened young man seated before him.  “Matty, there’s no reason for you to be hiding your wee-wee.  You’re just a little tot, you only have a doodle and you should be comfortable with your body.  So we’re going to help you honey, we’re going to help you be comfy in your own skin.”  

    Matty wished he could understand what daddy meant, but it was so hard to follow his words now, to put them together in his head.  

    Daddy Jim put his hand on Matty’s shoulder.  “Matty it’s time to be our jaybird boy,” he told him.  

    Matty felt funny again, felt all fuzzy and light-headed. 

    “Wha?” he slurred.  

    Daddy Greg nodded in encouragement.  “That’s right Matty. Be our little jaybird now.  Time to be the neighbourhood’s cutest little jaybird.”  

    The warm pull-up felt so tight, so scratchy against his skin.  Matty wanted it off.  Suddenly he wanted his doodle out.  The urge, the need for it to be bouncing free just overwhelmed him.  

    “Wan’ my puw-ups off Daddy!” Matty pleaded.  

    The daddies chuckled.  “Of course honey, it’s all wet and icky now.  Let’s get that dirty old pull-up off you.”  

    Matty dutifully stood up, waiting to be helped, because daddies were in charge of pull-ups, not him, not the silly toddler.  

    Daddy Greg slipped the pull-ups down to his ankles, waited as he stepped out of them.  His wee-wee hung there, free now, soft and dangling between his legs.  Matty couldn’t believe how good it felt, the air on his doodle, the knowledge that his daddies both saw it.  It felt so good to be nude.  

    “Matty all nakey Daddy!” he announced, hopping lightly on his feet, even more delighted when that caused his wee-wee to jiggle and bounce as well.  

    “You sure are Matty, and you’ll be staying nakey until you're done with potty training, okay?” 

    Matty nodded instantly. “Uh-huh. Gonna stay nakey!”  

    Both daddies were smiling, so he knew this was a good thing.  He drew all his cues from them, from his protectors’ expressions, their emotions.  So Matty was soon back on the floor, playing with his toys, but now with his doodle swinging free.  

    A couple hours later Matty felt a new sensation in his tummy.  He was confused by it for a moment, upset at it interrupting his game of matching the animal noise to the right animal.  It took all his concentration for the tricky game.  But now he had this funny feeling.  

    “You okay Matty?” Daddy Jim asked, looking down at him from the couch.  

    Matty scrunched up his face, trying to figure out what the feeling was.  And then it hit him, making his eyes go wide.  

    “Poopy!” Matty announced.  

    “You need to make a poo-poo?” Daddy Jim asked.  

    Matty nodded right away. The feeling was getting stronger, very quickly.  

    “Okay then, what do you need to do?” Daddy Jim prompted.  

    “Potty!” Matty answered.  He felt so smart, knowing where his poopies went.  

    “Good job!” Daddy Jim praised him. “Okay, go sit on your potty then.”  

    Matty felt so confident, so big.  He was going to do it right this time. No icky pull-ups to get in the way since he was all nakey.  Yes, it was so much easier to potty when you’re already a nakey boy.  

    Daddy Greg came into the room just as he sat on the potty.  Matty was glad, he wanted both daddies to see him being such a big boy.  

    “Oh my, is Matty making a poopy on the potty like a big boy?” Daddy Greg asked.  

    “Uh-huh! Imma big boy!” Matty announced, almost hopping on the potty seat.  

    “Good boy! But keep your bum-bum on the seat honey,” Daddy Greg reminded him.  

    Matty nodded. Yes, he was a good boy.  That felt so, so good to hear from his daddies.  

    The urge got so strong, and he pushed in response.  

    Plop.  Plop.  Plop.  

    Matty felt a wonderful sensation of release as he made his poos into the little plastic seat.  Both his daddies were so smiley, so pleased with him.  And when he was all done he got to stand up and look at the mess he’d left there.  

    “Poos in da potty!” he pointed out gleefully, feeling so successful, so big.  

    “What a good job you did!” Daddy Jim praised. 

    “Let’s get your bum-bum clean before you sit anywhere,” Daddy Greg reminded him, pointing to the wall.  

    That’s right, bums needed cleaning after poopies.  Matty hurried to the wall, leaned against it, spread his legs wide apart. It all felt so natural, so instinctual.  And then he felt Daddy Greg running the wet wipes through his butt crack, cleaning it.  He giggled because it tickled.  There was absolutely no sense of shame at letting Daddy clean him though, at doing a naked poo in the potty in front of these two men and then presenting his dirty bottom to them for cleaning.  No, that was their job, that was what daddies did for their little boy.  

    “All clean!” Daddy Greg pronounced. “Now would you like a sticker for your potty chart?”  

    Matty couldn’t have been any more excited.  Stickers were great!  

    “I do it!” he insisted though. 

    “Well of course. You made the poopy in the potty after all,” Daddy Greg agreed, getting the sticker book, letting Matty choose the right one, a basketball, and then helping him to place it on the potty chart on the wall of the playroom.  

    Both daddies gave Matty big cuddles after he finished placing his sticker.  He had no memory of ever feeling so safe, loved and fulfilled all at once.  

    **

    Matty was getting very good at using the potty.  He only had a single accident where he made a puddle on the kitchen floor because he was too excited about having an ice block to notice the urge.  But Daddy Jim had been very understanding because Matty was still learning and accidents happened to all little boys.  

    Things were going so well his daddies announced they were going to the beach and there would be another family there with a boy only a little older than him.  The daddies assured him it would be lots of fun.  

    Matty vaguely recalled not liking the beach, but the memories of why were simply missing, inaccessible in his head. And the feelings were so fuzzy, so distant, that he wasn’t sure if that was even real or something he’d imagined.  He did have such a good imagination.  His daddies told him all the time what a good imaginer he was.  

    When they went to get in the car Matty noticed that his daddies were wearing special t-shirts and shorts for the beach.  But they didn’t put any special shorts on Matty. He was sitting bare bottomed in the backseat as Daddy Jim put his seat belt on him.  

    “I don’t got beach sorts,” Matty pointed out.  He wasn’t upset, just curious.  

    “No sweetie, we’re going to a beach where it’s okay not to have beach shorts.  It’s called a nudist beach.”  

    “Nuditht beach?”  

    “A beach where it’s okay to be nakey.”  

    Matty liked that kind of beach.  But he was still confused.

    “Why you got sorts?” he asked.  

    Daddy Jim chuckled. “You don’t have to be nakey at this beach Matty, it’s just allowed.  Daddy Greg and I feel more comfortable in shorts.  Did you want shorts too?” he asked.  

    Matty didn’t even have to think about it. He instantly shook his head. He didn’t want to wear any clothes if he didn’t have to.  Nakey felt so, so good.  

    “No, I didn’t think so,” Daddy Jim agreed. 

    **

    It was a nudist beach, but most of the people Matty saw when they arrived were wearing some clothes.  A couple old men and a lady were lying in the sand, sunning themselves all nakey, but that was it, except for him.  People looked up as the daddies led him into the sand, leading him by the hand.  For a second that made Matty feel icky, feel all funny, these strangers seeing him nakey, seeing his wee-wee bouncing around as they walked over the beach.  

    But the funny feeling faded away just as quickly as it came on.  He was a jaybird, of course people would see his wee-wee.  It was okay, the daddies were happy with him being nakey like this, so it had to be okay.  And it was so comfy.  

    They headed down the beach, heading straight towards a group of three men sitting on a towel near the water’s edge.  

    “Well hello there!” one of the men called out to them.  

    “This is a nice beach,” Daddy Jim called back.  

    “Told you it was perfect,” the man replied.  

    “Matty, this is Uncle Dan.  And that’s Uncle Pete,” Daddy Jim told Matty, introducing him to the two men.  

    Matty was quiet, he felt so shy with strangers.  Dan and Pete seemed nice though. They were smiling, they looked like daddies.  They both wore beach shorts, same as his daddies, though they didn’t have t-shirts on. Pete had a singlet, Dan was shirtless.  

    “Hi there Matty, welcome to our favourite beach,” Uncle Dan greeted him.  

    “Can you say hi Matty?” Daddy Greg prompted him.  

    Matty shook his head and pulled himself close to Daddy Greg, trying to half hide behind the man. 

    “Matty, it’s okay, they don’t bite.  C’mon honey, be a good boy and say hello.”  

    Matty stepped out and nibbled on his fingers nervously.  

    “Hewwo,” he said. 

    “Well hello to you too.  I see you’re looking very comfy,” Uncle Dan replied.  

    Matty liked the playful tone of his voice.  And he was comfy.  So he nodded, letting himself begin to smile.  

    “Told you a nudist beach would be perfect for him,” Uncle Dan told the daddies.  

    “He certainly seems comfortable with it,” Daddy Jim agreed.  

    “Matty, why don’t you play with Billy here. I’m sure you two will have lots of fun,” Uncle Dan suggested.  

    Matty looked over at the other man.  He wasn’t sitting on the towel with the two uncles.  He was on his hands and knees in the sand in front of them, pushing a plastic toy truck around.  He was the same size as the uncles, but he wasn’t wearing beach shorts like them.  He was naked, like Matty.  

    And Matty understood now, nakey meant little.  This wasn’t a third man, this was a little boy, playing with his toys while his daddies watched.  

    “Billy, why don’t you take Matty to splash in the water for a bit.  But he’s littler than you, so I want you to be in charge and keep an eye on him okay?” Uncle Pete directed the naked man with the toy car.  

    Billy nodded seriously, getting up and walking over the Matty, then reaching out to take his hand.  

    “We’re gonna pway in the water, okay?  C’mon it’s fun!” he urged, pulling Matty’s hand insistently.  

    “Go on Matty, have fun with your new playmate,” Daddy Jim also urged him.  

    So he let Billy lead him away, towards the water.  

    “Look, you gotta jump the waves, like this!” Billy directed, showing him how to sort of hop whenever a little wave was coming.  It made his doodle flop up and down, smacking his tummy.  It was silly and that made Matty smile and giggle as he joined in, trying to copy the other naked man.  

    “Yeah like that!” Billy praised as Matty hopped over a wave.  

    “I jumped it!” Matty announced.  

    Billy giggled.  “Your doodle’s all floppy when you jump.  You a nudist too?”  

    There was that word again.  “Imma jaybiwd,” Matty told the boy.  “Cuz I got all widdle.”  

    Billy nodded. “Uh-huh. Daddy says I’m a little nudist now.  But he said you’re even littler than me.  Do you go to school?”  

    Matty shook his head.  

    Billy smiled proudly.  “I go to school now.  It’s a special school, for big little boys.  The teacher, Miss Susan, is real nice and we play lotsa games.  But we can’t be nudie at school, gotta wear my shirt and shorts and big boy undies.”  

    Matty listened to the big boy in awe.  He felt much too little for school now.  The idea of going to a place without his daddies, with lots of other boys and girls seemed scary.  

    “But my daddies let me get nakey soon as I get home again.  I bet you’re always nakey cuz you’re too little for school.”  

    Matty nodded.  “Matty always nakey,” he agreed.  

    “Yeah you’re real little.  Can you use the potty?”  

    Matty nodded much more vigorously this time. “Uh-huh! Imma big boy. Use potty for poopies ‘n piddles.”  

    Billy just giggled.  “You’re silly,” he declared, hopping a bigger wave.  

    “Why you got widdle?” Matty asked him.  

    Billy looked at him with a distant expression for a moment, no longer hopping waves.  “I dunno,” he admitted after a moment.  “My daddies say I was sad when I was big. Some boys ain’t meant to be big.  We’re better off being little.”  

    “You ‘member gettin’ widdle?”  

    Billy nodded now.  “I had a special sleepy time with the nice lady.  I don’t ‘member her name no more.  Then my daddies said special words and I forgot all my big boy things.  It felt really good.”  

    “When you be big ‘gain?” 

    Billy shook his head. “I dunno,” he shrugged.  Then he looked thoughtful and asked, “You wanna have a cuddle.  My daddies say I’m a real good cuddler.”  

    Matty wanted to know why this other boy was little too and when he’d be getting big again.  But Billy didn’t seem to know and a cuddle sounded wonderful.  

    “Okay,” Matty agreed.  

    Billy stepped closer. They were just at the edge of the water now, the warm little waves only just splashing across their feet, sinking them deep into the soft, mucky sand.  Matty let the other boy close his arms around him and he followed suit.  

    Oh, Billy’s daddies were right.  He was a very good cuddler.  Matty had never felt anything like this before.  Daddies cuddled him and it was wonderful too, but Billy was nakey like him. There was so much more skin to skin contact as a result.  He even felt Billy’s pee-pee brushing against his own.  Wow, that felt so nice, made him so tingly down there.  

    “I like cuddlin’ you,” Matty told his new best buddy.  

    Billy gave him a real squeeze and then even planted a kiss on his cheek, which Matty quickly reciprocated, smooching Billy’s cheek as well.  Of course cuddles needed a kiss too.  

    “Oh, your doodle’s all happy,” Billy suddenly declared.  

    Matty looked down, confused.  His pee-pee was sticking straight out, poking Billy’s. He reached down and poked at it. It was big and hard.  That felt familiar, but also confusing.  

    “You gonna give it tickles?” Billy asked.  

    “Huh?” Matty replied, confused.  

    Billy’s hand reached down and his finger very gently stroked Matty’s penis from bottom to top. He shivered with pleasure and the penis jerked sharply upwards, going fully erect.  

    “You gonna tickle your doodle?” Billy asked again.  

    “Was dat?” Matty questioned.  

    Billy looked shocked.  “You don’t know how?”  

    Matty shook his head.  

    “You gotta tickle it until you get the stickies out.  C’mon!”  

    Billy took his hand again, leading him right back to where all the daddies were sitting together, chatting.  

    “Daddy! Daddy!” Billy shouted.  “Matty’s gotta happy doodle but he don’t know how to tickle it.  C’n I hewp him?” he asked.  

    All four of the daddies began to laugh.  

    “Well it certainly seems like they’ve hit it off,” Uncle Pete declared.  

    “I think it was inevitable,” Daddy Jim told him.  

    The two nudist man-boys stood there waiting, both looking confused by the grown-up talk.  

    Finally Daddy Greg got up and went to Matty.  “Honey have you been enjoying playing with Billy?”  

    Matty nodded instantly.  “We hadda big cuddle.”  

    “Aww, that’s so sweet.  Billy’s a very nice boy, isn’t he?”  

    “I wike Biwwy. He’s snuggly,” Matty agreed. “Daddy, he goes nakey wike me.”

    “I know honey, he’s a jaybird too. But now Billy wants to help make your pee-pee feel really good. He wants to tickle it.  Would you like that Matty? It’s up to you if you want Billy to touch your pee-pee or not.”  

    Matty thought about the wave of pleasure when Billy touched him there before. Of course he wanted Billy to do that again!  

    “Yeth Daddy!” Matty chirped.  

    All the daddies laughed together again.  

    “Okay sweetie, you two can play then,” Daddy Greg told him.  

    But Uncle Dan said, “Billy, remember the rule about your doodle.”  

    “No touching in public,” Billy recited.  

    “That’s right, and it’s the same for other boys’ doodles.  And remember, you only touch if they say it’s okay.”    

    Billy nodded again.  

    “Okay, so why don’t you take Matty into the bush walk. It’s private in there.”  

    Billy didn’t need telling twice. He grabbed Matty’s hand again and led him away from the water, back across the beach towards the trees.  They passed by other groups on their beach blankets. People couldn’t help but stare at the two nudist men holding hands, one being led by the other. Or perhaps it was the pulsing erection Matty now sported that drew the looks.  It waggled about like a metronome after all.  But either way Matty was now oblivious.  He was only thinking about the tickles he was about to get from his newest and best buddy.  

    Soon they were off the beach and Matty felt the cool, hard soil, the pebbles and dirt under the soles of his bare feet as they made their way into the bush.  What an amazing combination of sensations.  

    Billy stopped suddenly, looking around.  

    “Okay, we can do it now,” he announced.  

    “Wad we do?” Matty asked.  

    “Give your doodle tickles, so it gets the stickies out!” Billy reminded him.  

    Billy’s fingers were on his pee-pee right away.  Matty grunted involuntarily.  It felt so incredible. Billy knew just how to make him feel good, make him feel blissful.  He breathed faster and faster as Billy’s expert fingers worked his stiffy.  It felt so good to be able to share this pleasure with his friend, to have no concerns at all about who might see them, to worry about being naked on a bush path with another nudist man.  He just thought about how good it all felt, about what was still to come.  

    Matty’s toes curled into the soft dirt, his body leaned closer to Billy’s as his muscles spasmed, his back arched and he moaned out loud.  Cum erupted from his pee-pee, splashing across his skin and Billy’s too.  It was gooey, it was warm, it felt amazing.  

    “There you go, get it all out,” Billy cooed to him, clearly enjoying being the big boy, being the helper for this helpless toddler man.  

    When it was all over, when the ground and Billy’s skin and Matty’s tummy and thighs and toes were all smeared with his release, Billy took his hand once again.  

    “Now we gotta go clean it off, go splash in the water,” he instructed.  

    And so they were soon trooping back across the beach.  There was no missing Matty’s erection now flagging to half-mast, the shining streaks of liquid visible on his body.  Anyone who glanced at them knew what had happened.  But Matty wasn’t paying any attention to the eyes on him.  He just felt sated, felt totally secure with his new friend.  

    They splashed about in the water for ten minutes after that, emerging nice and clean, no more evidence of what happened in the bush.  Matty had a small jiggly pee-pee again and was happy to play in the sand with Billy while the adults watched.  

    **

    One.  Two.  Three.  Wide awake, refreshed and alert.

    Matt could feel his chin resting on his chest as his eyes fluttered open.  He could feel the alertness, the clarity in his head right away.  He was back in Dr Jansen’s office.  She was sitting across from him, smiling pleasantly, but also looking closely at him, watching his reactions.  

    Matt wasn’t alone in her office this time though.  His daddies, the men who had been caring for him, were sat on the couch with him, one on either side.  Matt became aware of the feeling of the couch against his back.  He wasn’t wearing a shirt.  He was sitting there, cross-legged on the couch, wearing these black and grey board shorts, but nothing else.  

    He noticed his bare feet, crossed in front of him.  He could see the grime in his toe-nails.  He turned his right foot up, looking at the sole.  It was so dirty, coated in a layer of brown dust, but deeper black below that.  He poked at his heel, feeling the thick, callused skin.  

    “It’s natural for your feet to get tougher, when you go barefoot all the time,” Greg volunteered.  

    Yes, he had been barefoot all the time, for the last two weeks.  The memories were all there, fresh in his mind, and now with new meaning.  He understood so much more of what had happened.  All the times they went to the supermarket, he was dressed in nothing but shorts, just like now.  Sometimes he had run around making a scene, demanding some stupid treat, getting stared at by everyone else in the store.  Other times he had actually sat in the trolley, pressing those filthy bare soles against the wire mesh, letting everyone see what a messy dumbed down little kid he was.  

    But there was so many worse memories than that.  The trip to the nudist beach stood out of course.  But also when Billy had come over for a playdate a week later.  His best buddy had arrived in his birthday suit.  They’d shared a bath together.  They’d played and cuddled and even taken a nap in the same bed, snuggled together, a tangle of bare flesh.  

    Dr Jansen put her hand on his knee.  “Welcome back Matt.  How are you feeling?”  

    He was shivering with shame, feeling more exposed and awkward by the second.  “I feel freaking awful!” he snapped.  “I… I was naked, in front of people, in front of strangers!”  

    “And you were happy,” Jansen pointed out. “It wasn’t the end of the world after all.  You’ve been naked in front of dozens of strangers this past week.  You’ve done all your toilet trips with spectators.  And yet no one got angry at you, no one hurt you.  You have been kept loved and happy.”  

    He saw her point, but that didn’t really matter to him.  He didn’t feel any more comfortable with what had happened now.  He didn’t feel any less ashamed of his body than before.  And now he had all these horrible memories too!  

    Matt’s breathing sped up to the point of hyperventilation.  He was visibly shaking.  

    “It didn’t work at all!” he shouted.  

    “It’s okay buddy,” Greg tried to sooth him, patting his back.  

    “You just need to calm yourself down,” Jim said, stroking his arm.  

    “No!” he snapped, wanting to pull away from them, but also wanting to cover up at the same time.  “You don’t understand how I feel.  This was my last chance and it just made everything worse!”  

    “Matt, you’ve only just woken up, you can’t say it’s a failure that quickly,” Jansen cautioned.  

    “I feel so exposed right now.  Why didn’t you dress me normally before waking me up?!” he demanded.  

    “With past patients I have found they often fully embrace the modesty reduction, they become something of the opposite of how they were.  So even after the therapy they prefer being barefoot and even shirtless in their daily life,” she explained.  

    “Well I sure as hell don’t feel that way!” Matt snapped, feeling even more horrified that that could have happened to him.  

    It was clear Matt was on the verge of a massive panic attack.  He was hugging his legs, curling his body forward, trying to hide his exposed skin.  Jansen shook her head sadly, reaching out to Matt’s shoulder.  He jerked away, but she kept a hold of it.  

    “I’m sorry that the treatment hasn’t been effective for you Matt.  But I can’t let you leave in this state.  So let me help you one more time.  Drop deep for me.  Nice and deep now Matt.”

    It was actually a relief to have all the panic, all the tension and anger and fear just drain so quickly away.  His muscles relaxed, his eyes got so heavy and Matt couldn’t resist the urge to drift off into a deep sleep.  

    **

    Opening your eyes now, alert but calm. Awake but feeling peaceful and clear.

    Matt opened his eyes to find he was still sitting in the office on the couch between his former daddies.  Jansen was still seated before him, looking more serious than before though.  What had changed was that he could feel the couch not just on his back, but under his bottom.  Matt’s shorts and undies were piled by the door.  He was now completely naked.  

    He felt a little flicker of panic, but then remembered he was calm now, he was peaceful.  But still, he didn’t like this, being even more naked than before.  

    “Why am I naked again?” he asked, though not in a panicked gasp as before.  

    “You need to make a choice for us Matt,” the doctor explained.  “Go ahead and look at your penis,” she told him.  

    It stung even to have her mention his private parts.  But he did look down, feeling even more humiliated when he saw the pulsing erection he was sporting.  His rock hard cock was standing straight up, the head all red and engorged.  

    “Why is it like that?” he asked. 

    “I’m offering you the chance for a final treatment.  I’ve only given it to a couple patients before, but I believe it is warranted in your case.”  

    “What treatment?” Matt asked, both curious and nervous.  

    “A final, permanent release from all your worries and hang-ups.  There would be no more modesty issues, no more trouble peeing, I can guarantee it.  But that would happen by cleaning out all your complex thoughts, all the grown-up ideas in your head.  It’s the treatment I gave to Billy.”  

    “Billy’s a little boy in a big body,” Matt noted. 

    “Exactly,” the doctor agreed.  

    “And he’s… he’s a nudist,” Matt whispered. 

    Another nod.  “He is.  As I said, all the modesty would be gone, for good.”  

    “For good?”  

    “You’re very lucky Matt, because your daddies here are happy for me to give you this treatment.  They’d like to take you back home with them, but as their boy, not their guest.  I have an attorney I work with, you would be declared legally incompetent, with your daddies as your new legal guardians.”

    The idea of being utterly dependent on them, of it being forever, it was terrifying.  But he remained calm, he felt peaceful.  

    “But it’s your choice Matt,” she told him.  “You can go get your shorts and undies and walk out the door and never look back.  But that will be the end of your treatment. You’ll just need to accept your life as it is.”  

    As much as Matt wanted to run away, the thought of going back to his old life was just as unpleasant.  The panic attacks, the paranoia, the inability to even pee without a massive struggle was paralysing.  It was a miserable existence.  

    “Or you can use your magic finger, to make all the worries go away.”  

    His magic finger.  Yes, that’s right, he recalled her telling him how his finger was magic, how it could do incredible things simply with a touch.  

    Now she held his hand, palm up, again.  “Just tap your finger to your head and you’ll have the most wonderful, instant, hands-free orgasm.  And all those grown-up thoughts and fears will shoot out of your stiffy and be gone forever.”

    Greg gave his shoulders a squeeze.  “It’s your choice buddy, but Daddy Jim and I would love to bring you back home today.”  

    “I know it’s a tough choice, so take your time.  Once you use your magic finger all your anxiety will be gone, but there will be no taking it back,” Jansen counselled.

    Jim leaned close in, whispering, “We’ll take such good care of you Matty.  Don’t be afraid to let go.”  

    It seemed ridiculous on its face.  How could he ever choose that life.  And yet… going back to his shell of a life seemed just as impossible.  And the daddies were so nice to him.  His memories were embarrassing, but also filled with so much fun and love.  He hadn’t been embarrassed then either, because he was just a dumbed down toddler.  

    Matt shook his head.  “I… I just can’t choose either,” he sulked.  

    Then he felt Jim taking his right hand, folding over his fingers, except for the index finger.  Jim held that one out, began lifting his hand.  

    “What are you doing?” 

    Jim smiled kindly.  “It’s okay Matty, let Daddy help,” he cooed.  

    Matt watched as the man lifted his hand higher, gently guiding it towards his head.  Greg and Dr Jansen simply watched.  Matt leaned his head back until it bumped into Greg’s shoulder.  But he didn’t push back, he couldn’t bring himself to yank his hand away.  

    His finger touched his right temple.  He felt the digit make contact.  Jesus, it had actually happened!  He’d let Jim do it, which was really the same as doing it himself.  

    Matt felt the pleasure jolt through his body from his temple through his skull and down to his penis.  

    “Ohh!” he gasped, shivering with pleasure.  

    Jansen and Greg were nodding now.  

    “That’s it Matt, let that lovely orgasm roll through you now, feel those balls emptying out all the big boy things in your head,” the doctor urged.  

    Matt didn’t feel calm anymore.  It seemed like that command had been turned off at last.  Instead he felt horrified.  He’d just sat there and let them touch his finger to his head.  He should have fought with everything he had.  

    He shook his head, he tried to hold it in, but the orgasm was too strong.  No, he didn’t want them all to see it!  This was the most private act of all!  And Jansen and the daddies were staring right at him!  

    “Ugh!” he grunted as the first big spurt of creamies shot out of his penis and splashed across his chest.  

    “There we go, good boy!” Greg cheered.  

    More spurts followed in quick succession. Matt could feel their eyes on him. It was so shameful, but he couldn’t stop it.  And with each spasm, with each spurt, he felt less and less able to focus his mind.  

    He was just along for the ride, leaning forward on the couch, face contorted with pleasure, eyes half-closed as his stiff penis sent rope after rope of cum onto the floor, onto his knees and feet.  Jim and Greg were both patting his back, urging him on.  

    Finally the squirts slowed down and came to a stop.  Matty sat back on the couch, catching his breath.  He looked down at his softening penis, then up at all the eyes staring so intently at him, at the show he’d just given them.  But there was no feeling of shame, no embarrassment.  It just felt so good, having these eyes on him, being the centre of attention.  They were all so happy with what he’d just done.  That made him feel good too.  

    It was an incredible relief.  All the worries really were gone!  Matty didn’t care that he was still naked on the couch now.  How delightful!  

    He looked down at his feet again. They were dirty, they were icky feet.  He grabbed one and brought the wiggling toes to his mouth, wondering what the black stuff tasted like.  Oh, they were salty.  It felt good nibbling on them.  

    Dr Jansen shared a pleased look with Jim and Greg as they watched Matty recover from his orgasm.  They couldn’t help but smile as the dazed looking man began to examine his toes and then quickly slipped them into his lips, leaning back on the couch and sucking on them, cross-eyed with curiosity.  

    “Sorry, I just wasn’t sure he would be able to make the choice himself,” Greg apologised.  “I hope he’s happy with it.  I just thought it would be for the best.”  

    Jansen waved her hand dismissively. “Oh Greg, his finger wasn’t actually magic of course. Nothing would have happened when you touched it to his temple unless he wanted it to work.  You just helped him give permission to himself to let go.  

    “And it only could have worked as much as he wanted it to.  But look at that boy munching his tootsies. He wanted this so much.  He wanted to be very, very little indeed.”  

    She leaned close to the toe-sucking young man and said in the brightest, most condescending voice, “Did you make creamies for us Matty? Did you do big stickies for your daddies?”  

    Matty let his toes pop clear of his mouth.  

    “Uh-huh. Done cweamies,” he agreed.  

    “And I think you liked doing them for us all to see, didn’t you baby?”  

    Matty considered this and then realised the nice lady was right.  It felt so good showing his daddies what he could do.  He wanted them to see everything he did after all.  

    “Yeth!” he agreed.  

    “I think you’re just like your buddy Billy now.  You’re going to be a nudist, a little show off.”  

    Billy was his friend.  Yes, Matty really liked Billy.  And Billy was bigger than him. He looked up to Billy, so of course he wanted to be just like him.  That made perfect sense in his simplified little head.  

    “Be wike Biwwy,” Matty agreed.  

    Dr Jansen nodded and looked back at the daddies now.  “Well, he’s all yours.  I’ll make arrangements with the lawyer to get things squared away, but take him home for now, help get him settled in.”  

    “Could you put us in touch with that adult daycare centre as well?” Jim asked her. 

    “Of course.”  

    Matty wasn’t listening to the grown-ups anymore.  He’d been one of them until a few moments ago, he still knew that.  But he was equally certain that he was all little now.  He felt tiny, he felt smaller than anyone else here.  His head was a fuzzy mess.  He’d felt all the big boy smarts squirting out of him. It was a real physical sensation, his brain being scrubbed clean.  He was certain what had just happened was physical and real and permanent.  His smarts were all over his tummy now.  He could touch them, could feel them.  But they had gone bye-byes and weren’t coming back.  Thank goodness he had Daddy Jim and Daddy Greg to keep him safe.  

    **

    It had been over two months since Jack and Erica had last seen their flatmate, Matt.  It wasn’t like they saw all that much of him before that either though.  He had kept to himself, stayed in his room most of the time.  He was an odd guy, they understood that.  

    But then he told them he was going to be away on a trip for two weeks, and that had seemed quite unusual.  Matt wasn’t a social guy at all.  What kind of trip would he be taking?  

    So it had been less surprising when Dr Jansen had contacted them, explaining that Matt had actually been at an in-patient treatment centre.  She couldn’t go into what he’d been treated for of course, confidentiality and all that.  But she did explain sadly that Matt had suffered a complete breakdown at the treatment centre and that for the foreseeable future he would be unable to live independently.  The therapist sent over some men to collect Matt’s belongings and they had to advertise for a new flatmate.  And for a few weeks that seemed like it would the last they heard of Matt.  

    Except Dr Jansen contacted them again a couple days ago.  She explained that she wanted to re-introduce Matt to all the important people in his life.  Jack was less than eager to take part, especially after the therapist explained the extent of Matt’s breakdown.  The poor guy had totally lost his intellectual faculties.  He had the behaviour, intelligence and maturity of a toddler and needed round the clock care and supervision.  Jack had no interest in seeing their old flatmate like that.  But Erica had assured the doctor they would love to help out.  

    “Why would you tell her that?!  I don’t want to see Matt toddling around, drooling all over himself, maybe even wearing a fucking diaper,” he had snapped after she got off the phone.  

    “Stop being so selfish,” she had chided him.  “He was our flatmate for over a year. You know I always tried my best to get him out of that shell of his, make him a part of the flat.  I’m not going to turn my back on him now, when he needs support more than ever.”  

    So they found themselves heading to Matt’s new house for a barbeque.  There were a few cars parked on the street out front and a balloon tied to the mailbox announced that the party was here.  The man who answered the door introduced himself as Jim.  

    “So how did you know Matty?” he asked them as they stepped inside.  

    “We were his flatmates,” Erica answered.  Both she and Jack noted the use of the childish form of Matt’s name.  

    “Ah lovely.  Well I’m so glad you could be here to support Matty in this new phase of his life.  We didn’t want to see him cut off from his family and friends, hidden away as some kind of embarrassment,” Jim explained.  

    “No, of course not,” Erica agreed. “Mental illness shouldn’t be a stigma anymore.”  

    “Exactly.  But I do want to prepare you.  I believe Dr Jansen has explained to you that Matty had a mental collapse.”  

    “She didn’t quite put it that way, but yeah, we heard,” Jack answered.  

    “Well Matty essentially rejected everything about his old identity.  His keen intellect, his reserved nature, his extreme modesty, all of that went out the window.  Now Matty’s a wild, messy, playful toddler in a grown-up body.  So you need to be prepared for that, when you see him,” Jim explained.  

    Jack didn’t like the sound of that at all, but Erica squeezed his hand and smiled for both of them.  “We’ll be very kind to him, no matter how he looks.”  

    “Lovely.  Well, let’s head out back then.”  

    They followed Jim through the house.  

    “Erica, look,” Jack whispered to her as they entered the kitchen.  

    All the cabinets had child-proof locks on them.  Indecipherable crayon drawings adorned the fridge.  

    The rest of the guests were in the yard.  A dozen men and women, chatting cheerfully while another one of the hosts stood at the grill, wearing an apron and holding a beer.  

    But Jack and Erica weren’t looking at them.  Their eyes immediately fell on Matty as he rushed across the grassy backyard straight towards them.  He was completely naked, his hairless penis and balls bouncing around in plain view.  

    “Oh my God!” Jack whispered to Erica.  

    Even she was too shocked to speak.  

    Matty went straight up to Jim, grabbing his arm and yanking at it.  

    “Daddy, I wanna swing!” he urged, totally ignoring his old flatmates seeing him like this.  

    “Okay honey, you can swing,” Jim told him kindly.  

    “No! You gotta push daddy! I’m too widdle,” Matty insisted, pouting and yanking at Jim’s arm.  

    His diction was utterly juvenile, but it was still his appearance that most stunned Jack.  Matt had always been so pale and sickly looking. Now, his face was fuller looking, healthier.  The normal tension and worry were totally absent, he appeared utterly relaxed.  His skin wasn’t pale either.  He was tanned now, and it wasn’t a farmer’s tan.  There were no lines.  His feet, his tummy, even his bottom all looked equally tanned.  

    “I’ll give you a push in a second buddy. But first, can you say hello to Erica and Jack?  You remember them, don’t you Matty?”  

    Jack felt even more uncomfortable as Matty looked right at them.  His face was so slack, his features utterly transformed.  But then he did something even stranger.  He smiled.  In a year of living with him, Jack could never recall Matt smiling.  But now he grew this big, innocent grin.  

    “Uh-huh!” he agreed brightly.  “I knowed ‘em when I big!”  

    Jim was encouraging.  “That’s right Matty, they were your flatmates.  That’s what it’s called when grown-ups live together,” he explained.  

    Matty nodded.  “Notta gwown-up now,” he told them seriously.  “Matty widdle. Dis my daddy.”  

    Erica at least managed to smile back now, nodding.  “Oh… yes, Matty, we’ve met your… um… daddy.  Are you… um… comfy like this?” she asked, looking his body up and down.  

    Matty looked down at his feet, then back up, clearly confused.  

    Jim chuckled.  “Matty, she means are you comfy being all nakey?” he explained to the vacant-eyed man.  

    Matty understood now.  “Yeff! Nakey feews nice,” he assured, grinning again.  

    “Okay, I better take him over for a swing before he makes a scene.  Toddlers aren’t known for their patience.  You go grab a sausage okay,” Jim told them, letting Matty lead him off to the swingset.  

    The former flatmates got their sausages, eating them in shock, still unable to stop glancing at the naked man now sitting on a child’s swing, being pushed by Jim.  He squealed and screeched in glee, showing off that the bare soles of his feet were black with dirt as he swung them out.  

    “Poor Matty,” Erica said.  

    “It’s pretty shocking, but I dunno, maybe he is better off now,” Jack mused.  

    Erica looked horrified and gave his arm a slap.  “How can you say that?”  

    “Sorry, but he’s a lot healthier looking now and I’ve never seen him so relaxed and happy have you?”  

    Erica looked ready to retort, but she couldn’t deny those facts.  So she ate her sausage instead.  

    Matty soon tired of the swings.  Jim re-joined the adults while the sole nudist crept around in the grass on his hands and knees, pushing a bright orange toy dump truck, guiding it between the guests’ feet.  He appeared utterly oblivious as he weaved between his former friends, colleagues and flatmates, showing everyone his big, tanned, bare bottom.  

    The other guests seemed to have similar conflicting feelings.  Jack and Erica heard people commenting on Matty’s happy expression, his seeming release from all his past anxieties.  But also voicing their pity at his reduced mental abilities, their discomfort with his apparent embrace of nudity.  

    Jim had just come back over to them, to check on their drinks when Matty stood up, abandoning his toy and rushing over to them.  

    “Well here comes the guest of honour again.  And what can we get you buddy?” Jim asked.  

    “Gotta do tinkles! Gonna do ‘em in da potty.  Wike Biwwy!”  Matty announced at full volume.  

    “Billy’s a special boy, like Matty, but a bit older, if you understand what I mean.  He follows him around like a lost puppy when he comes to play, wants to be just like his big boy friend,” Jim explained to them.  

    Matty grabbed his penis with his right hand, starting to hop from foot to foot.  “Daddy! Need da potty!” he urged.  

    “Okay honey, let’s go to your potty,” Jim told him, taking his hand.  

    But now Matty held back.  

    “Wan’ Ewica ‘nd Jack to come too Daddy! I wanna show ‘em,” he urged.  

    Jim nodded.  “I’m sorry, but he loves showing grown-ups how he can use the potty, like a big boy.  Would you mind coming with us?” he asked, clearly aware of how awkward it would be for them, but pleading nonetheless.  

    “Um.. yeah, okay,” Erica answered for the both of them.  

    Jack wasn’t happy at all, but felt unable to refuse now.  So they all headed inside.  Matty’s potty seat turned out to be a small blue and yellow plastic potty that was right in the middle of the living room.  

    As Erica and Jack stood there watching, Matty dropping onto the potty, carefully tucking his penis under the plastic rim and waiting, his knees bent sharply upwards, glassy eyes scanning the wall until the sound of liquid splashing against plastic filled the room.  

    Matty smiled and looked right at Jack and Erica.  

    “Doin’ my tinkles,” he announced to them.  

    Erica tried her best to be encouraging.  “You sure are Matty.  What a big boy you are,” she praised.  

    Jack said nothing, just gave the man a jerking nod.  

    When he was done, Matty stood back up, but that was when things got even more embarrassing.  Jack hadn’t thought such a thing even possible, but there it was.  When Matty stood it revealed his penis was growing erect, jerking upward as he stood there, the final drops of urine still dribbling down the shaft as he nibbled on two fingers, waiting for his daddy to clean him up.  

    “Oh… oh my…” Erica muttered.  

    “Jesus,” Jack gasped under his breath.  

    But Matty didn’t make any attempt to hide his newest shame.  Instead he saw his erect penis and reached down for it, taking it in his hand and beginning to pump up and down while looking right at them.  

    “Oh dear!” Erica gasped, covering her mouth as they watch Matty begin to masturbate.  

    “Hold on there Matty,” Jim quickly intervened.  “What’s the rule when we have guests in the house?” he asked.  

    Matty’s hand stopped pumping. 

    “No touchin’ pee-pee,” the grown toddler answered, letting his penis go.  

    “Good boy.  I know it was very exciting, showing your grown-up friends how you can use the potty.  You were very good for them.  Now, let’s go back outside to play, okay?”  

    Matty nodded, toddling back out of the living room, back to his toys outside.  

    Erica and Jack just shared a stunned look with each other, then headed back to join the rest of the guests.  

    **

    Matty’s doodle was still all big and happy as he played with his cars.  He’d made tinkles on the potty while his former flatmates watched.  It felt so good, being able to have that release in front of them.  No need for privacy, not an inkling of shame.  Matty had the fuzziest, vaguest memory of having trouble doing his tinkles when he was big.  Now it was so easy, and it felt so wonderful to have an audience for it.  That’s why his doodle got big afterwards.  

    He wanted to make stickies, but touching his doodle was a no-no when they had guests over.  That was a very important rule.  Daddy Jim and Daddy Greg both said so.  There were a lot of guests today, for a barbeque.  Daddy Jim said that’s when people cook outside and eat sausages and burgers.  It’s a funny word, barbeque.  Matty tries his best, but he can’t say it.  Big words like that are tricky for little boys.  

    Matty knows all the guests.  They were people he knew when he was big, before his special release when he squirted out all his smarts.  They’re all still big though.  Only Matty lost the big boy thoughts.  All the guests are wearing clothes, talking about big grown-up things, stuff Matty can’t understand anymore.  He’s happier playing with his toys. 

    That’s okay, it feels just as good to play with his toys while they watch.  He sees them looking at him while he plays and that makes him happy.  It’s so nice to get grown-ups’ attention.  A lot of them asked him about being nakey too.  They don’t know how good it feels.  Is there anything better than feeling the grass and dirt on his skin when he plays? Or the way his doodle bounces around all free when he walks and runs?  Grown-ups aren’t allowed to be nakey.  They don’t know how much fun it is.  

    “Hey, what you playing with?” asks a familiar voice.  

    Matty grins ear to ear.  It’s Billy!  His best buddy is at the barbeque too.  

    “Got caws.  Wanna pway?” he asks eagerly.  

    “Uh-huh!” Bill answers instantly.  

    Of course he wants to play cars. Billy’s bigger, but he’s still little.  He’s not a grown-up, so he won’t be standing around talking and eating with them.  Billy has a grown-up body, just like Matty.  But everyone knows he’s little, cuz he’s naked too.  

    For a minute they play side by side, making car noises, smashing them together, giggling at their silliness.  Then Billy notices something.  

    “Matty, your doodle’s all big!”  

    He nods.  “I did tinkles in da potty ‘nd the grown-ups watched.”  

    Billy giggles.  “Aren’t you gonna make stickies then?”  

    Matty shakes his head. “No touchin’ my pee-pee. Got guests.”  

    “Oh,” Billy says with a frown.  “Well, can I touch it?” he asked.

    Matty didn’t understand the rule his daddies gave him.  He couldn’t begin to comprehend the logic behind it.  He followed the rule because he was a good boy and did what his daddies said.  But they never said Billy couldn’t touch his pee-pee.  So that had to be okay.  

    “Uh-huh,” Matty agreed.  

    Billy reached right over and his fingers felt delightful on Matty’s stiff penis.  Billy was so big and smart.  He was an expert on this.  He knew just how to make Matty feel perfect, feel utter bliss.  And Matty was already so excited, seeing all his old friends, showing them how he pottied.  It didn’t take much to get him right to the edge.  

    But then the funny thing happened.  It happened every time he was on the edge of an orgasm.  His grown-up thoughts seemed to wake up a bit, float to the front of his mind.  Sometimes he would edge for several minutes, able to think and reason, aware of his situation as long as he stayed right at the edge.  But it was impossible to maintain that for longer than a few minutes.  

    It was happening now though.  As he approached the edge he felt a mental clarity and awareness spread through his head.  He realised he was standing there naked in the backyard, facing the whole barbeque.  All of his former friends, colleagues and his flatmates were all there.  And they had all stopped eating and chatting.  They were transfixed, watching this other nudist intellectually impaired man jerking Matty off.  

    Some of their faces showed shock and horror.  His former colleague Brian appeared to be laughing. Others were trying to look away.  

    Daddy Jim started to move out of the crowd, to intervene.  But Daddy Greg stopped him, grabbing his wrist and shaking his head.  “The damage is done, let them finish,” he said.  “You know how exciting this all must be for him. He needs the release. And I think he needs them to see this too, even more than the tinkles in the potty.”  

    Matt felt fully clear again.  He understood all the expressions, he understood every word Greg had just said.  He could have tried to explain how this had happened, he could have called out and told them all to look away.  Or he at least could have told Billy to stop jerking him off in front of everyone.  

    But any of that would have made it even more embarrassing, because then they’d know he was aware, that he was at this moment a grown man, naked in front of them all.  There was no coming back from this, they’d all seen his utter reduction.  He was beyond ashamed.  And the only tiny comfort was that they didn’t blame him at all, because they all saw him as a giant toddler. They thought he simply didn’t know any better.  He was blameless, he was innocent.  

    They couldn’t know he was aware.  So he didn’t stop Billy.  He let those wonderful fingers continue to caress, continue to stroke.  It only took seconds before the process was involuntary.  His back tightened and arched and he knew what everyone was about to see him do.  The most private of acts possible, in front of them all.  

    Matty closed his eyes tight, groaned and shot his load all over the grass and Billy’s hand.  Everyone watched, some covering their eyes, others drinking the shocking sight in.  It was like a car accident, they couldn’t look away.  

    When it was done Jim went over to clean the boys up.  Matty sat down, bare-bummed on the soft grass, watching Daddy clean his sticky tummy up.  Everyone was still looking at him.  They’d seen him do the stickies and that made Matty feel so good!  Stickies were such a big boy thing to make.  And they saw Matty could still do them, even though he was all little now.  Yes, they must all be so impressed by him.  

    Feeling utterly sated and very proud, Matty was content to sit in the grass with his best buddy Billy, playing with his toes while the grown-ups got on with their conversations again.  Sometimes the grown-ups still looked at him, watched him exploring his toesies with his mouth, watched him rolling in the grass wrestling with his best buddy.  He liked when they looked at him.  It was nice having grown-up’s attention.  Little Matty was free to play without a worry in the world. 

    The End

    The Look

    Based on a story idea from musclelover4826

    It was unexpected when Adam messaged me.  I hadn’t heard from him in a few months.  We had been good friends for years, but then he moved a few suburbs over, got a new job that ate up all his time and gradually we had hung out less and less.  So it was welcome to see that he had messaged me.  

    When I read the message though, it wasn’t had also probably been his best friend for the longest time. He must not have anyone else to turn to.  

    That’s amazing mate!  I’m not sure I’m very good with kids, but if you really need the support, of course I’ll do what I can

    It was the best I could do.  I mean, I didn’t want to say no, but I also didn’t want to be too enthusiastic.  

    The bubble appeared showing he was typing a reply right away.  

    Thanks dude!  I know kids have never been your thing, so this really would mean the world to me.  How about we meet at Harold’s tomorrow around noon, talk things over?  

    Damn, he must really be that desperate.  Well I couldn’t refuse, what kind of friend would do that?  

    Cool, see you then!  

    **

    Harold’s was a cafe Adam and I used to have lunch at pretty often.  But it had been nearly a year since I’d last been there.  I hoped it would be like old times, but I knew that was impossible now.  I had so many questions.  How did he end up adopting, how old was the kid, how did he manage the expenses?  

    Adam looked pretty much the same as always when I spotted him sitting at a table toward the far side of the cafe.  He was thirty-two, thin with a receding hairline.  He used to wear glasses, but he’d had that laser surgery a few years back.  He wasn’t as well groomed or dressed as he could have been.  I took a lot of pride in my appearance, spent time getting my hair and outfit right each morning.  Adam often looked like he just threw on whatever was cleanest.  

    Today he was in a t-shirt and track pants, his standard attire when he wasn’t at work.  I never said anything about it anymore. 

    “Sam! Great to see you!” he greeted me, rising from the table to shake hands and then give a quick man-hug.  

    “I’ve missed hanging out,” I told him.  “I thought you were just busy with work, so I didn’t try to push you.  I had no idea your life had got so complicated.  Sorry I didn’t stay in touch.”  

    “No worries mate, I’m the one who should have been keeping you in the loop,” he told me.  “Anyway, the adoption was very sudden.”

    “I guess it must have been.  You never talked about wanting a kid,” I said.  

    “Well it was an unusual circumstance.  My little boy, he isn’t actually little, physically I mean.”  

    I was confused and it showed on my face.  

    “I mean he’s a little boy on the inside, up here,” he explained, tapping his temple.  “But on the outside, he’s big.”  

    “So you adopted an intellectually impaired adult?” I asked.  

    “Essentially yeah.”  

    Now I really didn’t know what to think.  

    “I didn’t even know that was possible.”  

    “Well technically I’m his legal guardian, his power of attorney.  It’s an alternative to putting him into an institution, some heartless bureaucracy,” he explained.  

    “How did this happen?” I asked, utterly baffled.  

    “Mikey was a co-worker of mine.  He was a really smart guy, really friendly, but kind of kept to himself.  He didn’t have a partner, he was estranged from his family.  And then there was an incident, and he was left profoundly impaired.  With no family, he’d have been stuck in some institution and I couldn’t let that happen… so, I adopted him,” Adam explained.  

    Oh Adam, poor bleeding heart Adam.  Of course he’d done it.  He’d never talked about kids, but he was the caring type.  

    “That’s incredible Adam, I really have to take my hat off to you.”  

    “It’s been wonderful, really.  He’s still big on the outside, but he’s really just a sweet, silly little boy now and I’ve found it so rewarding being his daddy.  That’s what he calls me you see.  It’s easier that way. We don’t ever mention his old family, who just abandoned him.

    “But it is very draining to be daddy all the time, twenty-four seven.  And I was hoping to have a night a week off.  The problem is that no babysitter will watch a boy like mine.  So I was wondering if you’d do it for twenty dollars an hour, once a week?”  

    Every week was way more than I had expected.  But I also hadn’t expected to be offered money to help my friend.  I was saving up to buy a house and every bit helped.  But watching a grown-up man who behaved like a child?  I wasn’t sure I could handle it either.  But again, I felt obligated to at least try.  

    “I’d love to help, Adam,” I told him.  “When were you thinking?”  

    Adam looked overjoyed.  

    “Thanks so much Sam!” he gushed.  “Well, I was thinking Tuesday nights, so I could do pub quiz.”   

    “Tuesdays would work for me,” I agreed.  

    “Perfect! Now, you should probably meet Mikey,” Adam went on.  

    “Sounds good.  You want me to meet him before Tuesday then?”  

    Adam laughed. “No silly, I meant right now.”  

    He gestured over my right shoulder and I looked over where he was gazing.  Harold’s had a small area for little kids to play while their parents ate.  It was just some basic toys, but it kept the little tots entertained.  

    But right now it wasn’t a tiny tot playing there, it was a grown man.  Mikey appeared to be mid-twenties, average build, with messy light brown hair.  He was down on the floor on his hands and knees, playing with a toy tractor.  His t-shirt featured a cartoon raccoon and the words Daddy’s Little Rascal.  He had a pair of bright blue board shorts on as well, but he was barefoot and looking around I didn’t see any discarded pairs of shoes or sandals either in the play area or under our table.  

    “Mikey! Come over here honey!” Adam called to him.  

    I blushed at the attention being drawn to this grown man playing with little kid toys.  Other cafe customers looked of course.  Eyes widened as others noticed the oversized tyke.  Some looked disgusted, others filled with pity.  

    Mikey shoved his toy tractor along the floor, running towards us hunched over as he pushed it along until it rammed into the empty chair next to mine.  

    The barefooted man giggled and then looked up at us.  I could see the innocence in his eyes now, the slackness of his face.  Yes, it was obvious he wasn’t mentally all there.  

    “Tac-taw go boom!” he announced.  

    Adam wasn’t blushing at all.  He seemed impervious to the staring of other customers. 

    “It sure did Mikey.  But right now I want you to say hello to Sam.”  

    Mikey gaped at me slack-jawed for a moment, but said nothing.  

    “Mikey, use your manners, say hello to Sam,” Adam directed him again.  

    “Hi,” he chirped, before slipping two fingers in his mouth and nibbling at them.  

    Adam shrugged. “I’m afraid that’s about the most you’re going to get now. He’s a bit shy.”  

    “No problem,” I assured.  

    Adam leant closer to Mikey, putting a hand on his arm.  “Honey, we’re going to go soon, so do you need to make tinkles now?” he asked.  

    My eyes widened at the intrusive question.  But the grown man before me didn’t look scandalised.  He didn’t blush, didn’t tell Adam not to ask personal questions in public.  No he just shook his head, his expression neutral.  

    “Are you sure?” Adam followed up.  

    “No tinkle,” Mikey confirmed.  

    “Is that because you tinkled already?” Adam asked next.  “Did you make a wee-wee in your pants?” 

    I had to fight hard not to let my jaw drop.  But Mikey still wasn’t embarrassed by the question.  

    “Nuh-uh,” he answered.  “Bih-boy!”  

    “Okay, let’s just have a look then.”  

    Have a look?  I couldn’t believe it, but Adam grabbed the front of Mikey’s shorts, pulled up his t-shirt and then yanked the elastic waist back, peering down into the man’s crotch.  After a long moment he pronounced, “Yep, all dry!”  

    Mikey was oblivious to this public exposure.  He just grinned all the more as he was confirmed to be dry.  “Uh-huh! Mikey use da potty.  Mikey bih-boy!”  

    “Yes, you’re a very big boy,” Adam agreed.  “Now, finish your milk before we go.”  

    Adam held up what was unmistakably a sippy cup with two handles.  

    But now Mikey balked, pouting and shaking his head.  

    “Dun wanna.”  

    “Mikey, you need to finish your milk.”  

    “No!” he snapped, deeply pouting now, crossing his arms, looking ready to have a tantrum.  

    “Mikey, no treat later if you don’t finish your milk.  Be a good boy for Daddy.” 

    Mikey’s resolve instantly disappeared.  He clearly wanted his treat, or maybe just to be a good boy.  In any case he let Adam guide the sippy cup to his hands, holding it in both of them, drinking his milk.  He was messy, with milk dribbling down his chin the whole time. But he was doing his best.  

    “There’s my thirsty boy.  Make it all gone for Daddy,” Adam cooed to him, rubbing his back. 

    “And he used to be your colleague?” I asked, still amazed the man slurping down milk from a sippy cup could have once been a functional adult.  

    Adam nodded.  “He was a very smart man actually, before he had an incident with D-R-U-G-S,” he explained, spelling the word out.  

    Mikey’s face remained slack, his glassy eyes zoned out as he drank his milk.  He clearly couldn’t spell at all, probably didn’t even know the alphabet.    

    “Oh, so that’s what happened,” I said, feeling so sad for Mikey.  

    “Yeah, poor guy just burnt out his little brain.  But it’s okay now, he has daddy.  I do all the thinking, all the decision making for him and I keep him safe and happy.”  

    Mikey smacked his lips, smacking the sippy cup down on the table and announcing, “All gone!”  

    Adam lifted the cup to confirm this, then gave Mikey a big smile.  “You sure did. What a good boy you are for Daddy!  And I’m sure Sam is very proud of you too,” he added, looking to me.  

    Mikey looked over at me too, his vacant eyes falling on my face.  

    “Yes Mikey, you’re such a… um, big boy, finishing all your milk,” I praised him.  

    It felt so strange to talk to this grown man like that.  It would have felt strange saying it even to a little kid, but it was ten times stranger to speak to a twenty-something man like that.  

    Mikey ate it up though.  He smiled proudly and agreed, “Imma bih boy.”  

    Then I did something that felt even more awkward for me.  I reached out and put my hand on Mikey’s back.  I normally loathed physical contact with strangers but it was different with kids.  Kids expected physical comfort from adults who cared for them. And I was going to be caring for Mikey.  I needed to get used to that idea now, and get him ready for it.  

    “That’s right Mikey. And you’re a very lucky boy, you have such a nice daddy to look after you.”  

    The grown toddler nodded seriously.  “Wub my daddy,” he affirmed, then turned to Adam and gave him a cuddle.  

    “Aww, thanks buddy. Daddy loves you too,” Adam cooed to him, rubbing his back and giving him a little squeeze.  

    After their cuddle Adam started gathering up their stuff.  “Okay, we have to be going. This little guy will be much less smiley if we miss story time at the library.”  

    “Story-time? Isn’t that for… y’know, little kids?” I asked. 

    “Yeah, but they are perfectly happy with special boys and girls like Mikey coming too.  There are a couple others who come now and then too.”  

    As he got up I had to ask, “Did Mikey leave his shoes somewhere?”  

    Adam chuckled.  “Oh no, he doesn’t have any to lose.  It’s bare feeties all the time for my little guy.”  

    “Really? How come?”  

    “Well it’s the healthiest thing for little boys.  Strengthens all the muscles there, toughens the soles.  Little boys are so clumsy and they’re always running and climbing.  It really helps having them barefoot, keeps them aware of their surroundings, makes them watch where they’re walking more, gives better grip when they climb.”  

    It was a fair argument, but it overlooked the social aspect of it.  Mikey had such dirty feet now and he was being made to walk around barefoot in public. 

    “All the time though?”  

    “It started out as a quick way to toughen his feet up at the start.  But he got used to it so quickly, found it so enjoyable, and I realised that no one complained about his lack of shoes. When they saw he was special, that he was really just a little boy, no one expected any more of him than an actual toddler.  So why make him wear shoes when they clearly weren’t necessary and he didn’t want them?” Adam explained.  

    “Yeah, I get that,” I told him.  No point forcing my views, that it looked slovenly and dirty, on them.  

    “So I’ll see you Tuesday.  Say five o’clock?”  

    “Perfect,” I agreed.  

    And off they went, poor Mikey being led along by his hand, dirty soles of his bare feet smacking along the floor and then the pavement of the footpath.  Adam was definitely a caring father, but he had no taste at all.  

    **

    “Thanks so much for helping out,” Adam greeted me.  

    “No worries,” I assured him, heading into the house.  

    It had been a while since I’d last been in the place, but it had utterly transformed now.  There were toddler and preschooler toys just everywhere.  A toy box in the corner of the living room just overflowed with them.  There was Play Doh, Thomas the Tank Engine trains scattered about, Duplo Blocks and a bunch of toy dinosaurs among other toys.  

    “Wow,” was all I could say.  

    Adam laughed.  “Yeah, it’s pretty nuts. Little guy is basically in charge of this room.”  

    Mikey came out of the kitchen then, a ratty looking stuffed raccoon cuddled against his face while he sort of chewed on the ear.  He was wearing a white t-shirt that showed all the food stains it had been subjected to, maybe just today.  He wasn’t wearing any pants either, just these rather thick looking undies with navy blue piping and designs of cars and trucks decorating them.  They were sized to fit Mikey, but clearly looked like they belonged on an actual little boy.  

    Adam smiled and waved him over.  “C’mon Mikey, say hello to your babysitter.  You remember Sam.”  

    Mikey nodded, but the raccoon ear didn’t leave his mouth.  

    “Use your words, silly,” Adam prompted him.  

    “Hi Sam,” Mikey greeted quietly, still looking me over warily.  

    “He’s still a little bit shy with you, but that won’t last much longer and then you won’t be able to stop him chatting to you and demanding cuddles,” Adam warned.  

    That still made me feel a little uneasy.  I wasn’t a big fan of physical contact and Adam knew that.  But I smiled nonetheless.  

    “I’m sure you’ve noticed his lack of pants.  I’m afraid just getting him into his big boy undies and his shirt took all my efforts.  Mikey’s generally my big little nudist.  He almost never has clothes on when we’re home.”

    I felt even more uncomfortable hearing that.  What if the man-boy tried to strip off again?  Would I be expected to stop him? 

    “Is that… is it hard to stop him?” I asked awkwardly.  

    “Oh… no, I don’t discourage it,” Adam clarified.  “I mean, if anything I’ve been very encouraging of his nudist streak.  It helps him get to the potty and he’s such a messy boy, it saves me a lot of laundry.  You can see what happens when he wears a shirt for lunch.”  

    Get to the potty.  Did he mean the toilet, or did he mean… ah, yes, now I saw it, a plastic potty seat was right next to the toy box.  

    “Does he use… um, that?” I asked, pointing to the potty seat.  

    Adam nodded.  “Yes, he’s really only used to using his own potty.  The grown-up toilet scares him.  I find it’s best to simply get him seated on the potty while I read to him, let him be on it for ten minutes or so and then see if he’s used it.”  

    “So the undies will have to come off for that,” I noted. 

    “Oh, I doubt they’re going to stay on for long.  I got him dressed as best I could because I know how you are Sam.  And that’s okay, but if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to get used to seeing Mikey in his birthday suit.  So don’t worry about keeping him in his clothes, it isn’t worth the fight.”  

    He was right that it made me uncomfortable, but I wasn’t neurotic about it.  The man was basically a big toddler.  Toddlers were messy, they did all sorts of embarrassing and disgusting things and you just had to deal with it.  

    “I’ll be fine,” I assured him.  

    “Okay then.  His dinner's in the fridge, marked with his name. You just need to warm it up in the microwave.  He needs a bath before bed.  His normal bed-time book is next to the bed. He likes to be cuddled while you read it and he’ll want to help by turning the pages.  And don’t worry about jammies after his bath, the bed has a waterproof liner and he always sleeps in the buff.”  

    He may like being cuddled while hearing his story, but that part wasn’t likely to happen tonight, at least not while he was also naked.  There was a limit to what I would accommodate.  

    “Got it Adam,” I assured him.  “You go on out and I’ll take care of everything.”  

    “Oh, bedtime is eight o’clock,” Adam added. “If he stays up any later he gets cranky.”  

    Wow, that was an early bedtime.  Surely his body didn’t need as much sleep as a real little boy.  But it wasn’t my place to question Adam’s rules, so I just nodded.  

    Adam gave Mikey a big cuddle before heading off, finally leaving me alone in charge of the man-toddler.  

    “So, you want to show me some of your toys?” I asked him.  

    While still looking a little shy, Mikey nodded and went over to his toy box.  

    “Dis choo-choo twain,” he told me seriously, taking a toy I recognised as Henry and holding it up for me to look at.  

    “Oh yes, that’s Henry, isn’t it?” I said, showing off my knowledge of children’s shows.  

    Mikey grinned.  “Henwy,” he agreed.  “Henwy geen,” he chirped, looking positively proud at his ability to name the colour.  

    “He sure is!” I praised the twenty-something for correctly identifying a colour.  “What a clever little boy you are.”  

    His shyness was quickly disappearing in response to my praise.  Mikey crept over to me and handed me the toy.  

    “You hab,” he said, then turned to play with one I recognised as Edward, making little chugging noises for it as he pushed it along the carpet.  

    I kept the toy with me as I went to the kitchen to see what was left for dinner.  Mikey was engrossed in play now so it was fine.  Turned out to be simple chicken fingers and baby carrots with hummus to dip them in.  A note explained that everything should be kept separate, Mikey didn’t like his foods touching.  

    I was about to warm them up when heavy footsteps approached.  Mikey was standing there with a serious expression, his knees twisted together, hand gripping the front of his undies.  

    “Potty!” he announced.  

    “It’s back in the playroom honey, you should hurry back to it,” I told him.  

    He nodded and held out his free hand urgently.  Oh, he needed an adult to watch.  He actually couldn’t even use the toilet on his own.  

    I took his hand, letting him lead us quickly back to the play area.  He turned around, facing me as we reached the potty, waiting for something.  Oh, he wanted my help.  Great, this was the last thing I wanted.  But it was better than cleaning up a mess.  I grabbed his undies and yanked them down, letting them drop to his ankles.  

    With a smile he sat on his potty seat, looking ridiculous on the little plastic thing.  It was only seconds before the sound of urine on plastic could be heard and Mikey’s smile grew bigger.  

    “Good job Mikey,” I praised him, giving his knee a little pat.  

    “Tinkles in potty,” Mikey told me proudly.  

    “They sure are.”  

    When he was done he stood back up and I saw that his penis was still wet with the last few drops.  It was so strange to be seeing another man’s dick like this.  Not only that, he was all smooth down there.  Apparently Adam had shaved him, maybe to make cleaning up accidents easier.  I got a wet-wipe and awkwardly dabbed the end of his penis with it.  It was so weird, being so close to him, having him just stand there with that blank expression, no shame at all as another man cleaned his penis.  

    “Okay, all clean,” I pronounced.  

    “Aw cwean,” Mikey parrotted.  

    I looked down at his undies, still piled at his feet.  Well there was nothing worse to see now anyway, so maybe I should let him be more comfortable, if he really did prefer that.  

    “Mikey, did you want to leave your undies off?” I asked him.  

    He nodded instantly.  

    “You like being naked, huh?”  

    He giggled. “Uh-huh! Imma nakey boy,” he agreed.  

    “Okay, let’s get those undies off your feet then,” I agreed, helping him to step out of them.  

    Mikey was clearly happy with this change, hopping up and down, his limp penis sort of jiggling up and down, visible beneath the bottom of his t-shirt.  

    “Better?” I asked. 

    “Yeff!” he agreed.  Then he said, “I wike Sam,” and opened his arms to me, asking for a cuddle.  

    How could I refuse?  I let Mikey cuddle into my arms.  Oh, he was actually really nice to cuddle with.  He was warm and solid in my arms, he squeezed me, but not too tightly and he rested his head on my shoulder.  It was such a truly loving hug, no hesitation, no awkwardness from him at all.  

    “You my fwiend?” he asked as we hugged.  

    “Yeah, sure Mikey.  I’m your friend,” I agreed.  

    He giggled lightly, then I felt something really unexpected. He pecked two kisses on my cheek.  

    “Sam’s my fwiend,” he declared brightly.  

    “Aww, thanks buddy,” I cooed to him.  I normally loath physical touch, but this, it was actually enjoyable, it felt good to be given such unguarded affection.  I mean I could feel this man’s penis, his bare penis, actually brushing against me, but instead of revulsion I just felt awe at how open he was.  

    After our cuddle, which must have lasted a full minute, Mikey said, “Lez watch toons!”  

    That was a perfect idea.  That would keep him engrossed for a long time, maybe all night.  

    “Sure buddy!  What you want to watch?” I asked.  

    Apparently he already knew, because he hurried to the shelf with all the DVDs and quickly picked one out.  

    “Watch dis!” he urged.  

    “What is it?” I asked, taking the DVD.  

    “Kenny ‘n Owwie!” he announced so eagerly, like I would know what that was.  

    The front cover showed two cartoon men that I certainly didn’t recognise from any show I’d heard of.  But they were always coming out with new kids’ shows these days, and I obviously didn’t keep up with them.  I knew the classics, like Thomas and friends, but this new stuff was a mystery.  

    What was odd was that the men were the same size, both depicted as grown-ups as far as I could tell, but the one on the left was wearing a Tommy Pickles outfit of t-shirt and diaper and nothing else.  What kind of show was this?  Oh well, it would keep this giant rugrat entertained and that’s what mattered.  So I popped it in the DVD player.  

    Mikey was bouncing on the couch now, legs folded under him.  

    “Which episode?” I asked.  

    “Watch ‘em all!” he demanded.  

    “Ah, you’re a binge watcher.  I get that.  Okay then,” I agreed, sitting next to him on the couch and hitting play.  

    The show seemed to be about two young men who were moving in together because their parents had got married.  Kenny, it explained, was a little boy, even though he looked big. Ah, no wonder Mikey loved this show so much, it was practically about him. 

    The Ollie character on the other hand wasn’t so sure how he fit into his new family and Kenny wanted him to be little like him, to become his true brother.  The first episode established the general arc of the show.  Ollie wanting to fit into his new family, but struggling with how to be a little boy like Kenny.  He was resistant to the idea of course, insistent that he was a big boy, that he didn’t like little kid stuff.  But by the end of the episode Kenny had shown him how much fun it was to be little and Ollie agreed to let Kenny show him how to be a happy little boy.  

    “Owwie bein’ siwwy!” Mikey pronounced as we waited for the next episode to load.  

    I nodded.  “Yeah, he was insisting he was a big boy.  So silly,” I said sarcastically, but knowing it would go right over his head.  

    The second episode loaded with it’s cheesy theme song playing, then the title card announcing this episode was called “Free Feet!”  

    The episode opened with Kenny excited for a trip to the library.  

    “Why are you so excited about going to a library? You can’t even read!” Ollie chided the overgrown toddler.  

    “Don’t have to read silly! It’s story time, so the grown-up lady reads to us.  And she does all the voices and it’s so much fun.  But even better is after the library. That’s when we go to the playground next door!” Kenny explained.  

    The conflict in this episode became clear as they were about to leave for the library, both characters still dressed as in the first episode.  That was standard for all cartoons, right?  But Kenny pointed to Ollie’s feet and shook his head.  

    “Ollie, you gotta leave your shoes here,” Kenny insisted.  

    “What! Why?  

    “You still look all big and grown-up.  You’ll look silly at story-time sitting with the other little boys and girls.  And you can’t have shoes on the playground neither!”  

    Ollie pouted, looking very much like a little boy.  “But then everyone will think I’m little, and my feet will get all dirty too!”  

    But Kenny just nodded.  “Exactly!”  

    “Huh?  

    “Everyone will know you’re little.  And it’s going to feel so good Ollie.  And your feeties will get all dirty.  Little boys need to be messy.  It feels so good getting messy.  And it feels so, so good having free feeties.  You know you want to have free feeties. Nothing feels as good as that!” 

    It was such a strange plot.  But the longer I watched, the funnier I felt.  When Ollie gave in and took off his shoes I felt good for him.  Lucky Ollie, now his free feet would feel so nice.  Yes, having free feet would be so comfy.  And that’s exactly what the character learnt in the episode.  By the end of it he was squishing his toes in the mud on the walk home after the playground.  Yes, he was a very lucky little boy.  

    Mikey clapping and hopping up and down next to me shook me out of my thoughts.  Wow, I’d really got absorbed into the episode. I’d totally forgotten where I was, that I had this boy to be babysitting.  

    “Lookit!” Mikey told me.  

    I looked over to see him holding his foot, showing it to me.  

    “I got fwee feeties!” he announced.  

    I nodded.  Yes, Mikey was such a lucky boy, with his free bare feet.  God, that looked so comfy.  And his soles were all dirty too. Yes, that’s just how they were meant to look.  It must feel so nice.  

    “They’re all dirty on the bottom,” I pointed out.  

    Mikey nodded, still smiling.  “Feets get icky.  Daddy call ‘em widdle boy feets,” he told me.  

    “Yeah, little boy feet sounds right,” I agreed.  

    Normally I would find such an idea repulsive.  I mean dirt was bad.  It was bad to be all dirty, all covered in grime and germs.  Except for little boys.  Little boys needed to be all filthy.  That’s just how they were meant to be.  Right?  

    I couldn’t ponder it longer as the next episode began and I just felt so drawn in the second the theme music began to play.  

    **

    I knelt on a towel at the side of the bathtub, sleeves rolled all the way up, though my shirt was a bit wet and sudsy anyway.  Mikey kept splashing the water.  A couple times he did it intentionally to wet me, smiling cheekily.  But mostly he was just oblivious to the mess he was making. He was utterly engrossed with his bath toys.  He had a scuba man, a couple bright plastic boats, and for some reason a Spiderman action figure too.  

    He at least mostly cooperated as I scrubbed him clean.  He really was quite grimy.  It wasn’t just the soles of his feet, though they were by far the worst.  His hands were messy too, his knees grimy from crawling around the grass and dirt of the yard earlier in the day.  His hair had a couple twigs stuck in it from when he must have done somersaults outside as well.  

    The bathroom was humid, steamy even, with that familiar smell of warm bathwater.  I had to admit this was actually quite enjoyable, caring for this big little boy.  He was so smiley, so happy and innocent.  

    “Sam, you geddin!” Mikey urged at one point, patting his hands on the water’s surface again.  

    “No silly, only little boys have baths,” I reminded him.  

    He shrugged and returned to talking to his scuba man.  But a strange part of me did kind of want to climb into the water with him.  It was so nice and warm.  The tub was so big too. It would be quite a squeeze to be sure, but we’d probably both fit.  But that would be totally inappropriate of course.  

    After his bath Mikey climbed out and let me scrub him dry as best I could with a nice soft, thirsty towel.  

    “Okay, now it beddy-byes time,” I told him.  

    How odd that it was beginning to feel natural speaking to this fully grown man in such a childish way.  

    Mikey pouted.  

    “Wanna stay up wid you!” he sulked.  

    “I know, but Daddy says this is your normal bedtime and I want to be able to tell him you were a very good boy.”  

    Mikey frowned stubbornly while I ran the towel over his arms and then his legs.  

    “Are you going to be a good boy for me, Mikey?” 

    The twenty-something man nodded at last.  

    “Uh-huh.  But you gotta wead me a stowy,” he insisted. 

    I chuckled lightly.  “Of course I will honey.”  

    All dry, Mikey took my hand, eager to have his story at least.  So strange, watching him pad along the carpeted hallway with his body so bare, so utterly exposed.  I didn’t even suggest pyjamas, or putting his stained t-shirt back on.  Adam said this was his normal sleep attire, his birthday suit.  

    Mikey climbed quickly into his bed, getting under his dinosaur themed sheets and grabbing the big picture book off his bed stand.  

    “C’mon, we gotta cuddle,” he urged, patting the space on the bed next to him.  

    And something strange happened then.  All my hang-ups about physical contact, my awkwardness around nudity, seemed to have simply melted away.  On the contrary, I felt a powerful urge to climb into the bed, snuggle Mikey up, have close, affectionate, physical contact with him.  

    “Okay buddy!” I said, climbing into the warm bed, feeling that soft waterproof sheet under me.  

    Mikey quickly rolled his body right into mine.  I snaked my arms under his shoulders, squeezed him in tighter, feeling his leg even intertwine with my own.  So much skin to skin contact.  He was warm and smelled so fresh from his bath.  His head, with its still damp hair, rested solidly on my shoulder and shoved the book into my hands.  

    It was a silly little book about a bear hunt, complete with animations of course.  Simple short words, but even then they were too complex for little Mikey now.  

    “Do you know what that says?” I asked him, running my finger across the first line.  We’re going on a bear hunt!

    Mikey gazed at the words, his eyes so unfocused, his face slack and sleepy and uncomprehending.  He touched the line with his own finger, but said nothing.  After a moment he simply shook his head.  

    “That’s okay, you’re much too little to read, aren’t you honey?”  

    Mikey nodded seriously.  “Too widdle,” he agreed.  

    So I read the story to him instead.  He helped by turning the pages of course.  

    “I do it. Mikey hewp!” he chirped each time.  

    “Good boy,” I replied each time as well.  

    Mostly though, he snuggled tightly against me, sucking on his thumb, eyes half-closed as he prepared to drift off to sleep at eight in the evening.  

    But the very strangest thing of all was the thoughts that kept popping unheeded into my head.  Wondering what it felt like for Mikey, not knowing how to read even the simplest of words.  What was it like to go from such an intelligent, independent adult to this?  

    But most of all, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Mikey felt being all naked.  And what it would be like if I was naked too.  We’d watched three episodes of Ollie and Kenny and at the end of the third they’d been cuddling each other to sleep.  What would that be like? If I was like Mikey, if I was simple-minded too and we were sharing this bed, having the story read to the two of us, as brothers.  How would this cuddle feel if I was just as naked as Mikey, if our bare penises brushed against each other.  

    It was a relief when Mikey’s eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep with the story not even finished.  I managed to extricate myself from the bed without waking him, going back to the living room to recover my composure.  I had to shut out these strange thoughts.  How could I be feeling almost… jealous, of Mikey?  He was trapped here with a toddler’s mind.  He was messy and totally lacking any privacy, or even a concept of privacy.  And yet, even as I thought about that, my penis got hard.  

    **

    For the rest of the week I kept having these thoughts about Mikey, about what he might be doing at the moment, about what it would be like to be him.  

    When I got home from work on Wednesday I immediately kicked off my shoes, peeled off my socks.  God, that felt so much better, just an utter relief.  I needed to go to the supermarket though, buy my dinner.  But when I got to the front door I hesitated before grabbing my shoes.  It felt so good having free feeties.  I scrunched my toes on the carpet.  God, it was nice to have them out in the air, feeling the floor under my soles.  

    I didn’t even own a pair of sandals or jandals though.  I’d never liked guys who wore them. But now… I didn’t want to put those shoes back on.  What if I just went to the store barefoot?  

    Ugh, my penis stiffened instantly.  

    But my feet would be all dirty if I did that.  

    Oh God, my erection stiffened more.  

    Everyone would see me though.  They’d see I was a barefoot guy, walking around the supermarket with no shoes like… like a little boy.  

    I almost creamed my pants right there at the thought.  I was sweating heavily, I was so aroused.  This wasn’t normal of course.  But I didn’t want it to stop.  

    I walked out the door, feeling that warm pavement under my soles.  I got in my car.  Jesus, I’d never driven barefoot in my life.  And then I was at the supermarket, the moment of truth.  I got out of the car, felt the hot pavement of the car park under my bare soles, then the smooth, cool linoleum floor of the store.  I had done it.  And god did it feel amazing!  

    **

    Tuesday afternoon meant it was time to babysit Mikey again.  I changed out of my work clothes, put on something more comfy.  I’d been dressing down after work all week.  Why bother being all formal when you didn’t have to be?  And besides, tonight I’d be dealing with a messy little boy.  It had been silly to dress in good clothes last week.  

    I was feeling thrilled to see Mikey again.  I couldn’t stop picturing him after his bath last week, all pink and smooth and nakey, his doodle bouncing between his thighs as he walked to the bedroom.  

    Then Adam messaged me: 

    Hey mate, sorry I got stuck at work.  Could you pick Mikey up from his daycare and bring him home? 

    Mikey went to a daycare during the day.  Huh, well that made sense.  He couldn’t very well stay home alone could he?  

    I quickly replied that I’d be happy to pick him up and Adam sent me the details.  

    The daycare turned out to be an adult care centre.  It was a place filled with special people, intellectually impaired adults.  The front door was tightly secured, like a jail or a psych ward.  But once the receptionist had buzzed me through I was led to a room that looked very much like a child’s daycare.  

    The walls were brightly coloured, painted with trees and flowers and cartoon animals.  The special men and women played with toys, coloured with crudely held crayons, watched a children’s cartoon show.  

    Mikey was sitting there on his bottom on the floor watching the show with four others.  I noticed right away that he seemed to be wearing nothing but his shorts.  He was shirtless as well as barefoot.  And actually both the other men on the floor with him were the same.  Actually no, one of them was wearing just these thick undies, perhaps pull-ups actually.  And even the thirty-something woman next to him was topless and even braless.  She was just wearing the frilliest pink skirt, her bare breasts on full display.  

    None of them seemed to notice my arrival.  They were all totally absorbed with their show.  Mikey was gazing at it with wide, glassy eyes and the slackest jaw, his chin shiny with drool.  What on Earth was so captivating?  

    Oh, it was Kenny and Ollie!  For a moment I felt almost compelled to sit right down next to Mikey on my butt, to watch the entrancing show with him.  

    But the desire to get him home, be his babysitter, was stronger.  

    “Mikey honey, it’s time to go home buddy,” I told him, kneeling down and patting his shoulder.  

    Mikey looked over at me, blinking as though he were just waking from a nap.  After a long moment his eyes focused and he smiled at me.  

    “Sam!” he chirped.  

    “That’s right buddy.  You ready to go home?”  

    “Uh-huh!”  

    I got him stood up and said, “Let’s get your things. Do you have a cubby here?”  

    “Yeth!” he assured, taking my hand to lead me this time.  

    We found his bag in his cubby.  The cubby was labeled with his name, but also his photo.  No doubt so that he could recognise it.  His t-shirt was there as well.  There were shirts and bras in a number of the cubbies in fact.  

    “Okay, we better get your shirt back on,” I prompted.  

    Mikey nodded obediently and raised his hands in the air, waiting for me to dress him.  

    “How come everyone has their shirts off?” I asked as I threaded his arms through the holes.  

    “Cuz more comfy,” he answered.  

    I was surprised the carers let them just run around half naked because it was more comfortable, but it probably also meant less mess for them.  No need for a change of clothes if you just take their clothes off on arrival.  

    “There we go, all dressed!” I pronounced.  

    Mikey grinned and patted his tummy, looking down.  His eyes widened and he grinned ear to ear, pointing at our feet.  

    “Sam goz fwee feeties!” he declared.  

    I felt embarrassed and excited at once, having him notice, having him point it out to everyone.  

    “Yeah, I like being barefoot too.  It feels so nice,” I told him.  

    “Dem icky feets?” he asked.  

    I felt a little thrill as I stood on one foot and held up the other to show him the bare sole, to show him how black it was. I hadn’t worn shoes outside of work for a week now.  

    Mikey beamed.  “Widdle boy feets!” he confirmed.  

    “Yep, just like yours,” I told him, opening my arms as he instantly thrust his body into mine, demanding the biggest of cuddles.  Oh, it felt so good hugging him.  Our toes overlapped and I felt his wiggling atop mine.  

    **

    Back at Adam’s house again I got Mikey unbuckled from the back-seat, let him hurry inside.  He showed me more of his toys after that.  We played with his blocks, crashed his cars together.  Then I warmed up the dinner Adam had left for him.  But as I laid it out, I couldn’t help but say, “Mikey, I don’t want you to get your clothes messy while you’re eating.  Why don’t we take them off.  Would you like that buddy?”  

    He nodded right away, creeping over on his hands and knees and sitting back on his bottom, arms raised straight in the air.  I slipped the t-shirt back off.  My heart pounded as I said, “Okay Mikey, go ahead and stand up for me, so we can… um, get everything off you.”  

    Without a flicker of hesitation or blush, Mikey stood up, waiting innocently as I undid the button of his shorts, unzipped them and then slipped my thumbs into the waist of not just the shorts, but his cartoon-print undies as well.  I slipped them down at once, watching his penis flop clear.  As I knelt down at his feet to guide them out of the leg holes, I was at the perfect height to look right at his doodle, all smooth and soft, dangling between his hairless thighs.  

    “There we go, all nakey!” I said, gathering up his piled clothes.  

    “Nakey boy!” Mikey agreed brightly, reaching down without a hint of shame, grabbing his penis and absently poking and playing with it right in front of me.  “Lookit my doodle! All bounthy!” he declared, hopping up and down so his penis did indeed jiggle and flop about.  

    And I just smiled and nodded and even reached out and softly patted his bare bottom.  I wanted to encourage this nudism. I wanted him to know it was a good thing to be a nakey boy.  

    But most of all, I wanted to know what it felt like.  I mean, I knew what it felt like to be nude.  But what did it feel like to have no modesty about it, to be so utterly innocent about being naked in front of another man.  

    Mikey ate his dinner with his fingers and I cleaned him up afterwards.  But then he wanted to watch more cartoons.  

    “You were just watching Kenny and Ollie at daycare.  You really want to watch more?” I asked.  

    But he nodded vigorously.  “Wanna watch wid Sam!” he insisted, pulling me to the living room, to snuggle up on the couch again.  

    I didn’t want to argue with that.  Soon I had his bare body cuddled so warmly against me.  He was sprawled right across my lap, arm around my neck, head resting on my shoulder.  I rested my own hands on his legs, feeling that smooth skin.  

    We picked up with the fourth episode of Kenny and Ollie, right where we left off.  And as comfy and excited as I felt with Mikey on my lap, as soon as the theme song started, I was aware of nothing but the TV screen.  It just made me feel so peaceful, so utterly safe and secure.  There was no need to worry about anything else.  Just watch the toons, watch Kenny and Ollie and learn from them.  Kenny had such important lessons for us.  And we were all such good boys, such fast learners.  

    **

    We watched four episodes, but then it was bath time.  I drew it, got the toys in the water, then waited as Mikey climbed in.  I knelt there at the side, wishing I got to be so splashy and have cool toys.  Mikey splashed me really big at one point and I couldn’t help but giggle.  

    “Gotchew all wet!” he shouted, grinning ear to ear.  

    “You sure did,” I agreed.  I decided to take off my shirt, since it was all wet.  Oh, it felt nice having my shirt off.  No wonder Mikey went around like this all day at daycare.  He was so lucky.  I had to wear a shirt all day.  I even had to wear shoes for work. Mikey didn’t even own any shoes.  

    After the bath I towelled Mikey dry again.  

    “Lez pway,” he urged me.  

    “Beddy-bye time,” I reminded him.  

    He shook his head.  “Pway together,” he urged.  

    It reminded me of the episode of Kenny and Ollie where the boys were left home alone, so they stayed up way past their bed-times and played lots of fun games.  It was naughty, but little boys were meant to be naughty.  Little boys broke the rules sometimes, because it was fun.  

    I really did want to play with Mikey.  And I wanted to be naughty.  I wanted to break the rules.  That was silly.  That felt good.  

    “Okay, let’s play a little bit,” I agreed.  

    “Yay! Pway time!” Mikey shouted, hurrying back to the living room, to the toys.  

    I joined him there, on the floor, on our hands and knees.  It was fun playing with him and he had such good toys too.  

    As we played with the cars, driving him on this special rug laid out like city streets, Mikey put his hand on my back, getting my attention.  

    “You my beft fwiend,” he told me, looking utterly serious.  

    And the level of affection I felt for him just absolutely surged.  I was being completely honest when I nodded and assured him, “You’re my best friend too!”  

    He smiled and we shared another cuddle, right there on the floor.  It felt nice with so much skin to skin contact.  

    Then Mikey poked at my shorts and said, “You be nakey.”  

    I shook my head.  “No Mikey, I can’t get naked.”  

    “Feews good,” he insisted.  “Bounthy pee-pee,” he urged, bouncing on his knees to make his penis jiggle again.  

    “I know. I’m glad you like being nakey.  But only little boys can run around being naked jaybirds.  I’m a big boy.  I mean… I’m all grown up,” I corrected.  

    Mikey pouted and poked my foot.  “Widdle boy feets,” he said.  

    I chuckled.  “Yeah, I do have little boy feet, like you.  But the rest of me is big.”  

    “Be widdle. Wike Owwie!” he urged.  

    I understood now.  The last episode we watched, Ollie learned how fun it was to be naked after a bath.  Mikey clearly thought I was like Ollie, that I was trying to become his brother.  And inside, in my own head, I couldn’t help but feel the same thing.  It was so strange, but yeah, I felt like a big part of me did want to be his brother.  I did want to be like Ollie.  And it would be amazing to be naked now, like Mikey.  

    But this wasn’t a cartoon.  I was a grown-up, I was the babysitter, not the brother.  

    “Sorry Mikey, but I have to stay big so I can take care of you,” I explained.  

    Mikey pouted, but he seemed to understand that.  We played a bit longer, but then he started to yawn and I knew he needed to actually get to sleep.  

    Soon we were back in his bed.  It felt so nice under those covers, with Mikey cuddled next to me.  I started reading the book to him.  He didn’t care that it was the same story as last time.  It must be the same one a lot.  He liked the repetition.  Little kids are like that.  

    What changed this time is how sleepy I felt.  But then something happened to make me regain some alertness.  Mikey began to hump his penis against my thigh as I read the story.  At first I thought I was imagining it. Then I thought it was incidental.  But Mikey continued, and he began to hump harder.  

    I stopped reading, looking down at Mikey.  He was staring right up at me, his eyes wide, arms tight around me as he pushed his penis up and down against my shorts.  

    “Mikey, what are you doing buddy?” I asked.  

    “My doodle happy.  Gez happy when Daddy weads me.  Sam make it happy too.”  

    I knew this should be revolting to me.  I should be stopping this, getting out of bed, telling Mikey this was inappropriate.  

    But Mikey didn’t know any better.  He just felt happy, he felt good, because of me.  I peaked under the covers.  Oh yes, he had a pulsing erection.  He was stiff as a board, grinding against me.  I’d made him that excited.  My gentleness with him, my cuddles.  And that just made me feel so, so good.  I wanted to make Mikey happy like that.  And it was so exciting to see his total lack of inhibitions again.  

    “Do you… um, rub your doodle against Daddy like this?” I asked.  

    Mikey breathed faster, pushing with more effort.  “Uh-huh.  Daddy tickle my doodle when it happy.”  

    “And you like that?”  

    He nodded right away.  “Doodle make stickies for Daddy. Stickies is nithe.”  

    God, I so wanted to share some “stickies” with him.  But I couldn’t.  That would be wrong.  Was it wrong that Adam touched him down there? Was it wrong for Adam to help him get that release?  I didn’t know, but it would definitely be wrong for me.  I wasn’t even his Daddy.  

    But I didn’t want to stop him either.  I couldn’t ruin his fun.  And it didn’t take much longer anyway.  I just let the book go, put my arms around his body and held him close, patting his back as he thrust and thrust and then grunted loudly, releasing streaks of sticky goo across my body and his own.  

    I had streaks of Mikey’s warm cum across my tummy and chest.  It should have disgusted me.  But all I felt was happy for him, and jealous.  What an incredible release.  What freedom to have that pleasure without any concern for what it meant, for who was watching.  

    Mikey kissed me on the cheek again, a big wet smooch.  This time, I kissed him back, planting one right on his lips.  

    He giggled and then yawned again, going limp in my arms, drifting rapidly off to sleep.  And this time I just stayed where I was.  I was so sleepy now too.  And this was so comfy.  In no time at all, I was sleeping too.  

    **

    “Good morning buddy.”  

    It was Adam’s gentle voice that woke me up.  The light in the window told me that it was indeed morning already.  I’d slept the whole night in Mikey’s bed.  Shit.  

    I blushed deep red.  This looked awful, me in bed with this intellectually impaired man, who was naked, who’s cum was now surely dried all over my stomach.  

    “Adam… I, oh, I must’ve drifted off while I was reading…” I stammered.  

    Adam didn’t look upset though, he just looked concerned.  

    “Don’t worry about it Sam,” he assured me.  “Are you decent under there?” he asked.  

    “Decent?” I repeated, confused.  

    He nodded. “You have some undies on? Or, are you nakey?”  

    I quickly shook my head. “No, no, I’ve got my shorts on.  I just… I took off my shirt cuz we was taking a bath.  I mean… I was giving Mikey his bath.”  

    Adam nodded, but then he pointed at the end of the bed, where my feet were poking out from the end of the covers.  

    “I just noticed that you have little boy feeties down there.  Icky feets like those only come from being barefooted a lot.”  

    I blushed again and shrugged.  “Oh, yeah… I have been recently.”  

    “I didn’t see any shoes by the door when I got home.  Did you come barefoot today?”  

    “Yeah, I didn’t think I’d need shoes for tonight and we would be playing ‘nd stuff so…”

    “It’s fine, it’s fine buddy.  You don’t have to explain it to me.  I know how comfy bare feet are for boys.  And that’s what you are, right Sam?”  

    I hesitated.  The way he asked that was confusing.  “Um… yeah,” I agreed.  

    Adam nodded.  “That’s what I thought.”  

    “Huh?”  

    “I checked the DVD player when I saw you were in this bed last night.  I saw you’ve been watching Kenny and Ollie.  You watched it with Mikey, didn’t you?”  

    “Oh… yeah, why?” I asked, really confused now.  It sounded like that was naughty.  My penis stiffened a bit at the thought of being naughty.  Little boys were naughty.  

    “How many episodes did you watch? Can you remember?” he asked.  

    “Um.  Maybe eight?  I dunno.  Mikey really likes it.”  

    “It makes all little boys happy.  Very happy.  Mikey probably had a nice release last night, didn’t he?”  

    Oh God, he knew.  I squirmed uncomfortably.  “Oh… he did… um, yeah, he sort of touched himself and I didn’t know if I should stop him…” 

    Adam chuckled.  Thank goodness he didn’t seem upset.  Instead he sort of rubbed my shoulder to relax me.  

    “It’s fine Sam, Mikey likes to make his stickies on a daily basis.  He’s still got a man’s sex drive and needs after all.  I help him most nights. It’s very bonding.  I love making him happy.”  

    “Oh… okay,” I said, relieved that I wasn’t in trouble, even though it was good to be a little naughty.  

    “I had just thought you might have had a release of your own,” Adam began.  

    I violently shook my head.  “No! I would never do that Adam,” I assured him.  

    Again he patted my arm in a calming way.  “Shh, shh, it’s okay Sam.  I wouldn’t be upset with you for getting some release.  It’s quite natural after watching so much Kenny and Ollie.  But I knew you hadn’t made your stickies yet.”  

    “Yet?” I asked, feeling so utterly befuddled now.  

    Adam nodded, frowning slightly now.  

    “I’m sorry buddy.  I didn’t know that Mikey had any idea where those DVDs were kept.  You really weren’t supposed to see those shows.”  

    “It’s just some cartoon,” I said.  

    “No honey, it really isn’t.  You see Mikey didn’t really have a drug overdose at all.  What made his head all empty was watching Kenny and Ollie.  The show is hypnotic, inducing a deep trance and then planting suggestions.  

    “It’s made to be a very pleasurable experience, so you’d want to keep watching, over and over.  Needing to masturbate afterwards is very normal.  The first time Mikey watched them, he couldn’t keep his hands off himself.  You’ve shown incredible control not to touch yourself, impressive really.”  

    My heart was pounding in my chest.  I’d been exposed to hypnosis.  Jesus, that explained so much.  All these strange thoughts and desires had been put into my head.  God, it was a relief to know I wasn’t just a pervert.  

    “Wow, Adam, that makes me feel a lot better actually.  I’ve been having all these strange urges.  And oh wow, that’s gotta be why I’ve been going around barefoot so much!”  

    “Oh definitely.  I wanted Mikey to be my perpetually barefooted boy, so that’s a major part of the suggestions,” Adam confirmed.  

    As messed up as all that was, all I cared about now was I was off the hook.  

    “Well, guess I won’t be watching any more of that show,” I joked.  

    Adam didn’t laugh though.  He was frowning again.  

    “What’s wrong?” I asked.  

    “The programming doesn’t work all at once.  It can change some behaviours, make you feel funny, but most of what’s placed inside your head doesn’t come out until it’s triggered.”  

    I had the sudden feeling of a ticking time bomb inside me.  My anxiety was back in a flash.  

    “What trigger?!” I demanded.  

    My gasp was loud enough that it woke Mikey up.  He stirred in the bed beside me, stretching out, smiling sleepily up at his Daddy.  

    “Wakie-wakie buddy,” Adam cooed.  

    “Daddy!” Mikey chirped, throwing off his covers and bounding over to cuddle his Daddy.  

    Knowing that Mikey had actually been made like this by Adam made me see this in a whole new light.  Had Mikey wanted this?  Had he had any say at all?  What was I a part of?  

    Adam cuddled and kissed Mikey, even reaching right down and gently flicking his soft penis.  

    “Did you make some nice big gooey squirts for Sam last night?”  

    Mikey chortled innocently.  “Yeth Daddy! Made ‘em on Sam.  He dun do ‘em Daddy.  Sam no stickies.”  

    “I know baby.  Next time you’ll just have to help him, won’t you?” Adam cooed to him.  

    Mikey nodded. “Mikey gonna hewp,” he agreed.  

    “Such a good boy. Okay, you go play while I talk with Sam, okay honey.”  

    Mikey didn’t need telling twice.  He raced out of the room, already full of energy.  

    “What was that about?  He can’t be… y’know, touching me down there,” I gasped.  

    Adam sat back on the side of the bed.  

    “Sam, the trigger is different for each person.  I got to decide how I wanted Mikey’s programming triggered.” He paused a moment, then with a shrug said, “I chose ejaculation.”

    My jaw dropped open.  “What?”  

    Adam blushed a little.  

    “Yeah, I know it sounds messed up.  But here’s the thing.  I wanted it to feel wonderful.  I wanted it to be a pleasurable experience.  Having an orgasm at the same time as all his smarts were wiped from his head, every last mature and intelligent thought blanked from his mind, at the same time as he achieved a glorious, orgasmic release.  So that’s what I chose for him.”  

    “What you chose for him?  Did he know what was going to happen?” I asked, unable to keep the accusatory tone out anymore.  

    “Mikey was deeply unhappy.  He wanted out of the life he had one way or another.  I just helped him achieve the least violent exit from all his worries.  Did he know that he’d be like he is now? No.  But I promised him a permanent release from his problems and I delivered that.”  

    “Permanent?” I echoed, more nervous again.  

    Adam nodded.  “The programming is a one way trip.  Mikey won’t be growing back up, going back to his job.  He’s got the mind of a three year old and always will.”  

    “But… you said… I mean, I watched those shows…”  

    Adam nodded seriously.  

    “When I came home last night and saw you in bed with him, I was a little confused.  But then I saw the soles of your feet.  I saw how black they are.  And I know how you are, so neat, so well dressed and never liking physical contact.  So seeing you cuddled in bed with him, dirty feet, I pretty much already knew.  

    “Still, I checked the DVD player to confirm it.  And then I knew there was no question that you’d seen the programming.  I decided to let you sleep, give you some time to let it all be done.  I thought by the time I came this morning it would be finished.  

    “Frankly I fully expected to be greeted with a big drooly smile when I woke you up.  I expected to pull back those sheets and find two bare bodies under them, two big messy streaks of drying cum on the sheets over both your bare doodles.”

    The very suggestion chilled me to the bone.  

    “But I didn’t have my release,” I told him.  “Like you said, I held back.”  

    He nodded.  “Yes, you did.”  

    “So now what?” I asked.  

    “Now?  Well, I’ll get you breakfast shortly.  And then we’ll get the both of you dressed for daycare.  I’ve already called them.  I’ve explained what happened.  They’re part of this of course, they produce DVDs.  They’ve already got a cubby for you, right next to Mikey’s.”  

    What the fuck?!  I shook my head vigorously.  

    “What are you talking about Adam?  Like you said, I didn’t give in, I’ve still got my mind.  I’m going to work, not to daycare!”  

    Adam just gave me that sad, pitying look again.  

    “Oh Sam, you just haven’t had it triggered yet.  It’s just sitting there, waiting.  The next time you ejaculate, that’ll be it.  You’ll instantly experience an irreversible loss of your intelligence and maturity.  Even if you held out for a week or more, eventually it would happen in your sleep.  

    “Then you’d just wake up that way, a toddler in a grown-up body, all alone and probably terrified.  You wouldn’t want that.  Not to mention that you’d miss out on the best part.  Honey I saw Mikey’s trigger ejaculation.  It was better than a normal orgasm.  It was pure euphoria, I saw it in his eyes.  

    “And now… well, I have to admit I’m glad you hadn’t already had your release when I woke you just now.  I’m glad that I’m going to get to see it, see that blissed out look of euphoria.  It’s just, the look on Mikey’s face, the way his eyes went all peaceful and innocent when it happened, I just loved seeing that look, seeing that change.  And now I’m going to get to see it again on your face.”  

    I shook my head.  “Mikey didn’t know what was going to happen though, did he?”  

    “No,” Adam agreed. 

    “Well I do now.  And I’m not just going to let that happen!”  

    “There’s no reason to put it off Sam.  It’s irreversible now and inevitable.  It’s best to just let it be done with.  Just reach down under those sheets, make that second stain right now.  Then we can get those shorts and undies off, let you enjoy some nakey time before daycare.  That’s part of the programming too, making you my lovely little nudist.”  

    I didn’t want Adam or anyone else seeing me naked.  But at the same time, the very thought of it did make me horny.  I couldn’t help it and the little tent in the sheets didn’t escape Adam’s attention.  

    “That’s right Sam, you’re going to be my jaybird.  Isn’t that silly, after how modest and well dressed you’ve been.  I made the programme for Mikey and he was never really that uptight.  But there’s no question it will work for you too.  You’ll be just as big an exhibitionist as Mikey.  

    “I love answering the door for deliveries with him right there behind me, let them all get a little show, tell them I’m sorry, that my boy is special, that he’s disabled.  Tell them how I just can’t keep clothes on him.  

    “And soon you’ll be right there next to him, waving to the courier driver, your pee-pee bouncing around for him to see.”  

    He knew what he was doing.  He wasn’t mocking me, torturing me for pleasure.  No, he knew those thoughts were arousing me now, driven by his programming.  He was trying to push me over the edge, make me cream my undies right now.  And damn it, those horrifying thoughts did make me so horny.  

    “Why are you doing this?!” I demanded.  

    Adam patted my shoulder again. “The daycare is all set to do your intake in just a couple hours.  I need today to get everything ready to transition you to your new life.  I’ve already scheduled a doctor’s appointment, to have you diagnosed as profoundly intellectually impaired, start the ball rolling to be appointed your guardian.  

    “It’s a lot of work for me.  But you won’t need to worry about any of that if you just make your creamies for me now.  You’ll just have a nice fun day playing with Mikey, making new friends at daycare.  No more responsibilities for you at all.”

    “They all saw me yesterday, they know I’m normal,” I pointed out.  

    Adam shrugged.  “Yes, and they’re all quite happy to help you adjust to your new life.  I don’t think you’ll be getting too much special treatment though.  They have a whole facility of special boys and girls and by the time you arrive, you’ll be just another disabled boy.  They’ll help you put your clothes in your cubby so you’re comfy for play.  They’ll keep you busy while us grown-ups work.”  

    No more work.  No more apartment, never mind saving for a home of my own.  Adam was telling me my life was going to be just like Mikey’s now.  Jesus, playing on my hands and knees in the kiddy play area at Harold’s.  Crawling around between the tables with my bare feet up for everyone to see.  Everyone I knew would see me reduced to this empty-eyed moron with dirty bare feet, messy hair and stained clothes.  

    “What are my friends, my co-workers going to think happened?” I gasped.  

    “Carbon monoxide poisoning, causing serious brain damage.  They’ll all be very sympathetic.  Maybe some will help babysit you and Mikey from time to time.  You won’t just disappear, some of them, the real friends, will still be in your life.  

    “Here look at this,” he said, taking out his phone, scrolling to something.  

    “What?” 

    “It’s a private Facebook group we have, for us caregivers.  Look at this album.”  

    He showed me a photo of an unhappy looking man of about forty in a suit, posing with a number of other people in an office. He was a bit overweight, badly balding with hair going grey at the temples.  He looked pretty boring and ordinary really.  

    “My friend Mary’s husband.  He was an insurance agent.  This was his office.  After he had his programming, she still brought him back for visits.”  

    The next photo showed the same man in the same office.  All the same co-workers were gathered around him.  But now Mary’s husband was sitting on the floor on his bottom.  His suit was gone.  He wore a t-shirt and pair of grey sweatpants.  But he was also barefoot, and the blackened soles of his feet were on full display to the camera.  His head had been shaved and a drool bib was around his neck, protecting his t-shirt.  But he also now had a huge, gaping grin on his face.  He looked utterly delighted to be sitting there with his former co-workers literally looking down on him.  

    He flicked the screen and the next photo was so much worse.  The same man was there, but now he was squatting buck naked next to a bright red plastic potty seat.  It was impossible to miss his shaved, smooth penis hanging between his legs as he gaped slack-jawed into the potty seat, apparently trying to see what was inside.  And above him, smiling down at him, was a woman from the office photo, some co-worker now seeing him nude and apparently being potty-trained.  

    “Jesus!” I grunted.  

    “That’s his former personal assistant, Lisa.  She babysits him whenever she can, takes excellent care of him.  So you see your life will change, but it isn’t over completely.”  

    There were other photos.  A handsome young doctor in his scrubs.  Flick the screen and he’s sitting in a doctor’s office on a bench, but now he’s completely nude and has his foot tightly in his hands, pulled awkwardly up to his face, his big toe firmly between his lips, sucking away at it with crossed eyes.  The caption read:

    Billy waiting for the doctor to arrive for his incompetence exam.  Needless to say it was a quick session lol! Little guy showed the doctor how much he loves his toes these days. 

    Then I noticed something interesting.  It was an album with hundreds of photos, and recently updated.  And it was called “The Look.”  

    It was just what I feared.  Photos of men and women at the moment of their triggering, or just after.  The captions told the story.  For many the chosen trigger was a word or phrase.  For others a physical action.  

    Ejaculation wasn’t something unique Adam had come up with though.  On the first page I saw four examples of it.  Four men who were sitting completely nude with glistening gooey streaks down their front sides.  Their penises were all still erect.  Two of them were squatting on a floor.  The other two sat on their butts, legs splayed wide apart.    One had a splash of cum dangling from his chin.  They were obviously all huge releases.  

    And all four had what they called “the look.”  They were totally slack-jawed, their eyes wide and empty, pupil dilated, drool running down their chins.  

    And each was followed by the “after” photo, apparently all taken a minute or two after the trigger.  Their penises were all soft in the after photos, but the cum was still visible, still shiny.  Two of the men were in mid hop, jumping up and down, arms flailing out, penises visibly flopping.  Both had utterly ecstatic expressions.  Gaping, open-mouthed grins, relaxed facial features, innocent eyes.  The third man was still on the floor, but now his toes were in his mouth and he seemed utterly entranced by them. 

    The fourth was suddenly outside, in a driveway, still naked though, in full view of a street.  He was flapping his hand at a cherry red sports car, an ear to ear grin on his face.  

    Saying bye-byes to his old car. What a happy boy!  

    “Your photos will be on there soon sweetie,” Adam told me.  “Everyone will see your happy face.”  

    I shoved the phone under the blankets, into my shorts pocket.  This was all the proof I needed.  

    “No way!” I snapped, throwing off the covers and getting up.  “You’re nuts if you think I’m just going to let that happen.  I’m horny, yeah, but I’m not a teenager, I can hold it in.  And I’m going to a doctor, a professional hypnotist, whoever I can find and get this programming undone.”

    Adam stepped back towards the door, but he didn’t look as nervous as I would have liked.  

    “You don’t want to do this,” he told me.  

    “Get out of my way Adam, or I’ll have to make you move” I threatened. 

    He stepped aside, but said, “I wanted it to be your decision and I was hoping to have it done here, in your room.  This will be your bed too, shared with your brother.” 

    “He’s not going to be my brother.”  

    Adam frowned.  “I’m sorry Sam, but he is.  It’s squirt-squirt time Mikey.”  

    I blinked, feeling odd, feeling floaty.  

    “Sorry, it was designed for Mikey specifically.  I never intended this to happen to you.  I really didn’t.  But I also can’t leave you on your own with the programming waiting to be triggered, and I can’t let you leave and go blabbing about it now that you know.”  

    My penis grew larger and stiffer than I thought possible.  The arousal that washed over me was beyond anything I could recall.  Holy shit, my shorts were tented right out.  I couldn’t help but grunt.  I actually moaned out loud.  

    “Ohhh, fuck me.”  

    Adam patted my shoulder again.  

    “I promise I wasn’t lying.  It’s going to feel so good Sam.  Frankly I’m a bit jealous of you.  Seeing all those photos on Facebook, I can’t deny long being curious about how it actually feels.  I know it must be wonderful, but you’re going to actually experience it.  

    “And afterwards, I promise, I’ll take great care of you.  And Mikey will be a great brother, I’m sure.”  

    The pressure was building so fast in my balls.  It was like instant blue-balls and only getting worse.  Fuck, I felt like they might just explode if I didn’t empty them.  I could feel the pain spreading up into my pelvis, into my lower abdomen.  It was like I’d been edging for 12 straight hours and hadn’t jacked off in two weeks before that.  

    If the programme could cause these physical sensations, I could no longer have any doubt it had worked on me, that it was real, that it could affect my mind.  

    “Shit, shit, shit!” I gasped, pushing Adam hard, getting to the door and leaving the room.  

    I had to get out of here, I had to tell someone.  I could barely think, the need was so strong, the need for that release.  Pain and pleasure still building with every single step.  My penis was tingling too.  I needed to let the cum out.  But I had to tell someone, let them know it wasn’t some accident.  Make sure they knew it was done to me, that I’m not just some intellectually disabled man.  

    I reached the living room and froze.  Mikey was there, sitting bare bottomed on the carpet, legs splayed apart.  But there was a woman, who must have been Mary, Adam’s friend, sitting on the couch, smiling at me.  It had to be Mary, even though I’d never seen her.  Because her husband was squatting on the floor across from Mikey, plucking at his toes.  He was just as naked too, mooning his wife.  

    “Ah, you must be Sam,” she greeted me.  “Adam called us over for a little playdate, help you with the transition.  But he did warn me you might not be quite ready to play.  But that’s okay, I can see you’re almost there.  Almost ready to join the others.  There’s just one thing that I think you need to see.”

    I shook my head, but I couldn’t move another step.  My balls hurt too much.  And she was walking towards me, phone in her hand.  

    “My Danny was like you.  Very formal, very uptight.  But then he saw that lovely show.  And look how happy it made him,” she cooed.  

    She held up the phone, showing me the photo of Danny sitting on a bed, nude with his legs splayed, cum all over his big round tummy, toes curled, head thrown back and yes, he had the look, the slack-jawed, glazed eyed expression.  

    And seeing it made me even hornier.  It was just too much.  I had to make the pain and urge go away.  I jammed my hand down my shorts, closed my fingers around the warm, hard rod that was my penis.  And I stroked vigorously.  

    “There we go, that’s a good boy,” she cooed, running her fingers over my cheek.  

    It took all of five seconds.  I let loose with a spurt so hard it felt like it would splatter the ceiling.  

    “Ugh! Ohhhh! Mmmmm!”  

    Jerk after jerk, spasm after spasm, it was incredible, it was the greatest feeling ever.  It was a hundred times more intense than a normal orgasm.  I was emptying my balls, I was emptying my head, emptying my very being.  

    “Let’s get these out of the way,” Mary said, and I felt her yank my shorts and undies down, felt them drop to my ankles.  

    Danny and Mikey were both looking, watching me keep stroking, watching the ropes of cum lash through the air, splatter across the carpet, across my feet, my tummy, my chest.  

    “Good job Sammy, let it all out for Daddy.”  

    Adam was there too now, patting my back, looking down at my erupting penis.  

    Mary was getting her phone ready.  Oh God, she was going to take the photo for Facebook.  I was going to be seen like this by the whole group!  It was so shameful.  I began to blush, began to shiver.  

    And then came a sensation I’d never experienced.  It wasn’t sexual, but it was a release.  It was sudden, it was intense.  And it took away the shame, the blush, the worry. What a relief.  And then, it took away the understanding.  So merciful, such a blessing.  In that instant, I lost my comprehension of what was happening, of what I was losing.  And that felt so, so good.  That was true, total peace.  

    The lady took a photo of me then.  She smiled and the light on the phone flashed.  

    “It really is beautiful,” Daddy told her, looking at me.  

    “It truly is,” she agreed.  

    More nice tingles from my doodle, more squirts.  And then it’s over.  I’m all messy, all gooey.  My doodle is tired.  It goes nighty-nights.  

    “There we go, let’s get you cleaned up so you can play.  Doesn’t that sound nice?” Daddy says.  

    Play does sound nice.  I like to play.  

    “Yeff Daddy,” I agree.  

    Daddy does clean me up.  He uses the nice wet cloths and then all the gooeys are gone.  

    “Let’s get rid of these too,” he says, helping me lift my feet out of the shorts and undies on the floor.  “My little jaybird boy is much more comfy nakey, aren’t you Sammy?”  

    I’ve never been so certain of something.  I love being nakey.  Yes, it feels so wonderful being all free, having the air on my skin. And the best thing of all is how my doodle bounces around when I move.  

    Mikey points to me and smiles.  “Sammy gotta bounthy doodle!” he announced.  

    “Bounthy doodle!” I repeated in agreement.  Yes, everyone thought it was funny.  

    I wish I got to have a bouncy doodle all the time, but I had to put on clothes for going to daycare.  I have to go to daycare because little boys can’t be home all alone and Daddy and the other lady need to work.  Grown-ups go to work.  Little boys go to play at daycare.  I’m sure work is boring and bad.  I don’t know how I know that, but I just do.  

    **

    I used to be big.  I forgot that for a little while.  But then I remembered.  I was big like Daddy.  I was a big boy.  No, I was bigger than that.  I was grown-up.  I can remember some things, like I can picture my home.  And I know I had a car and I sat in the front seat, not the back, and I even drove it.  And I had big clothes and shoes and I even worked.  

    But I don’t remember what work I did or where.  I can picture the office, but that’s it.  I remember I had shoes, but I don’t know what they felt like to wear.  I don’t got shoes now. I’m little and Daddy says little boys need to have little boy feeties.  I don’t miss shoes cuz I don’t remember them anyway and I know bare feet feels so, so nice.  I get to feel the dirt and the mud tween my toes and the soft grass and warm pavement and Daddy don’t feel none of that.  I’m sure bare feeties is better.  

    People I used to know when I was big come and see me sometimes.  Sometimes I know their names.  But usually that’s all I remember, except what they look like.  They’re always really nice to me though.  I must have had a lot of friends.  I like it when they visit me at home.  Daddy thinks it’s so funny when I show them my bouncy doodle.  I’m always nakey at home cuz it’s so comfy and my doodle bounces and I like showing my old friends because they look so silly when I do that!  I like their funny faces.  Sometimes they go all red.   

    I don’t know why I got little, but I remember when it happened.  I remember it felt really, really good.  It was the best feeling I’ve ever felt.  So I’m sure it was a good thing and Daddy tells me so and Daddy loves me and takes care of me.  I love Daddy and I love my brother Mikey.  We cuddle all the time.  We get all splashy in the bathy together, then Daddy tucks us in and we snuggle up under the covers while he reads to us.  I try to be good, take turns with Mikey at turning pages, at being Daddy’s special helper.  

    If we don’t fall asleep while Daddy’s reading, we usually snuggle up even tighter, and our doodles touch.  That feels really nice.  I think it’s the very best feeling in the world.  Mikey likes it too.  It’s okay for us to enjoy our bodies.  Daddy says so.  Me and Mikey rub and rub and his doodle brushing across mine makes me tingle all over, right up into my noggin.  Until I have to make sticky pees.  Mikey squirts his creamies too and we’re such messy boys.  But Daddy doesn’t mind.  He cleans us up every morning.  Daddy knows how to fix everything. 

     I want to stay with Daddy and Mikey forever and ever.  

    **

    Adam flicked through his favourite album on his phone once again.  There it was, his favourite photo, the one Mary snapped for him.  Sammy standing in the living room, shorts around his ankles, penis so erect it was almost touching his belly button, streaks of cum all over his front-side.  And the look on his face… just like the others.  She’d caught the moment he lost all his smarts, all his big grown-up thoughts and abilities.  He had that expression of slack-jawed wonder, eyes totally glazed over, head lolling to his right side.  Hard to believe it had been three months since that night.  

    The doorbell interrupted Adam’s reminiscing.  He headed to the door and greeted Brian.  The twenty-nine year old man had been Sam’s poker buddy.  He was one of the better friends, agreeing to come by and babysit his former mate for the night.  He looked more than a little nervous about it though. 

    “Thanks so much for this,” Adam told him.  “I know it’s strange for you.  But Sammy will really appreciate being watched by someone familiar.”  

    “No worries,” Brain replied.  “It’s the very least I can do. I can’t imagine having him full time like you do.  It’s really incredible.”  

    “Well to be fair he’s at daycare during the days, so it isn’t twenty-four seven,” Adam assured him.  

    “Still, it’s a lot and I’m just happy to help out as much as I can.  Sam was always a good mate.”  

    “He really was.  And he’s still eager to be your buddy, though in a different way of course,” Adam told him.  

    Brian followed him into the living room, pausing and going wide eyed as he saw the two men already there.  Mikey and Sammy were down on their hands and knees, side by side.  Two big bare bottoms presented themselves to the room.  He could see both Mikey and Sammy’s balls and penises clearly dangling between their thighs, unencumbered, smooth and hairless.  The soles of their feet were dirty brown, thick and toughened, like leather.  

    Brian had seen his old friend twice since his accident.  Once by chance at the supermarket and once for a meet-up at a cafe.  Both times Sammy had been dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and bare feet.  So the state of his soles wasn’t too surprising.  But his nudity hadn’t been expected.  

    “Oh… he’s… um…” Brian muttered.  

    Adam couldn’t help but grin.  He loved showing his boys off like this, showing old friends how silly and simple they were.  Brian was already blushing and that made Adam’s cock swell in his pants.  

    “Yes they’re little nudists I’m afraid.  It’s just impossible to keep clothes on either of them.”  

    “Oh yeah… it’s just, Sam was always so… y’know, well dressed…” 

    Adam chuckled.  “Yes, he was a very formal man.  But you have to understand that Sam is long gone.  He’s just simple little Sammy now.  He’s a toddler in a big body.  And toddlers don’t have any concept of modesty.”  

    Brian nodded and continued into the room.  

    “Mikey, Sammy, come say hello to your babysitter,” Adam prompted.  

    The two naked men spun around.  Sammy looked up at his old poker friend, settling in a squatting position, chewing on the Batman action figure he’d been playing with, wedging the legs deep into his mouth.  

    Adam always wondered at moments like this if something would click in Sammy’s head.  Would seeing an old friend trigger something, some echo of his adult thoughts?  

    “Hi there Sam… er, Sammy.  Do you remember me? It’s Brian,” the babysitter greeted his old friend.  

    Sammy let the Batman toy drop to the floor. He gaped open-mouthed at Adam and announced, “Daz Bwian.”  

    Adam nodded.  “It sure is.  Do you remember him?”  

    Sammy nodded.  “Bwian fwiend!” he chirped happily, then stood up and hurried across the room to his old buddy, his dangling penis bouncing back and forth, until he threw his arms around the awkward looking man and gave him a big cuddle.  

    Brian gently patted his old friend’s bare back, waiting for the squeeze to end. Adam just shook his head.  Nope, not a flicker of awareness from poor little Sammy.  

    “Well, you all have a good evening and you boys be good for Brian, okay?” 

    Mikey and Sammy nodded seriously, with the latter finally releasing poor Brian from the cuddle. Both boys gave their Daddy a big good-bye cuddle and then it was all left to Brian.  

    “So what do you boys want to do?” Brian asked, still looking quite uncertain about the whole situation, still trying to avoid looking at the two naked men’s penises, especially his old friend’s.  

    Sammy smiled broadly.  Somehow, instinctively, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. 

    “Lez watch toons!”  

    The End

    mind-wiper

    Story idea by Galloway2017

    Witness Protection

    They called him Vinnie the Mouth because he talked a lot, but in the end his mouth was their downfall because he squealed.  It wasn’t like he wanted to be a rat, he had been given no other choice.  Jimmy Marconi, his long-time boss, had put a hit out on him, all over his running a tiny little protection racket on the side.  He was taking initiative, they should have been impressed.  

    In any case his career in organised crime seemed to have come to a screeching and permanent end.  Two months stuck in a flea-bag motel off the interstate had been followed up by a stellar court performance.  He made sure they knew they’d fucked with the wrong guy.  He knew where all the bodies were buried… literally.  After all he’d put a few of them there himself.  

    The kind of shit he admitted to in court would normally get a guy a lifetime sentence.  But he’d gone to the feds himself.  They had nothing on him, so they had to pay a high price for his full cooperation.  Full immunity, and a guarantee of witness protection somewhere far away, and somewhere with a warmer climate than Chicago.  

    But to be honest when he asked for somewhere warmer, he’d been imagining California, or even Florida.  Which is why he was more than a little disappointed when Special Agent Garcia pulled off the highway and headed deep down some winding, country roads into the most backwoods part of Appalachian Tennessee.  This was major redneck territory.  He’d have to set up a moonshine operation to make money here.  

    Things were looking down already, but then the car turned down a dirt driveway, winding up through a thick stand of trees that hid the property from the small country road it sat upon.  

    “Here we are!” Agent Garcia announced happily.  Too happily in Vinnie’s opinion.  

    Garcia didn’t like Vinnie, that was no secret.  It would have been weird if the fed had liked the gangster.  So if Garcia was happy, Vinnie knew it couldn’t be good for him.  

    “Where the fuck are we, Garcia?” he demanded.  

    “The ass end of nowhere, Tennessee,” Garcia replied cheerily.  “This is going to be your new home for the foreseeable future.”  

    “This is bullshit Garcia, and you know it.  I’m going to talk with Landau,” Vinnie threatened.  

    “Go ahead, he approved the assignment.”  

    Shit, Garcia seemed pretty certain.  This was going to suck.  

    They cleared the trees, revealing an old farmhouse, a small barn next to it, surrounded by an expansive yard.  Vinnie saw a couple chickens pecking around the dirt in front of the house.  Wow, this really was the worst.  

    And then it got even worse.  

    A man came running out of the woods just to their right.  He was a tall, strongly built man, probably in his thirties, with a shaved head.  He was wearing a pair of blue-jean bib overalls, shirtless, with the legs cuffed up over bare feet.  He was grinning like a fool, racing to keep alongside the car, waving frantically to them.  He looked mentally challenged.  Or perhaps seriously inbred.  Vinnie wondered if the man had many teeth.  

    “This is some Deliverance bullshit Garcia!” Vinnie roared.  

    Garcia just laughed and laughed, pulling the car to a stop in front of the house.  

    The bald man in overalls planted himself alongside Vinnie’s window, patting it with his palms and hopping up and down on those bare feet, giggling and saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!”  

    Vinnie was a bit nervous to get out.  The man was even bigger up close.  Sure Vinnie was a tough guy, but he usually let his gun do the talking or sent in one of his enforcers.  This guy probably had the strength of the stupid.  

    The door to the farmhouse opened and another man emerged.  This man was older, likely in his forties, well built but only average height, with a full head of dark hair but graying temples.  He was also wearing overalls, but he had on a long-sleeved plaid shirt and workboots as well.  

    “Well hello there!” he greeted them.  “Bobby, get yer butt back and let the poor boy out of the car!” he called to the bald man.  

    Bobby pouted like a small child, but stepped back as instructed.  “Yes Pa,” he said.  

    “Good boy,” the older man praised him, like he really was a small child.  

    Vinnie got out of the car, feeling the oppressive heat and humidity wash over him at once.  God, the AC really had hidden their descent into the South.  

    “Welcome home Vinnie,” the older man greeted him.  

    Vinnie awkwardly extended his hand, feeling the touch calluses on the other man’s dirty hands as they shook.  He reflexively wiped off some of the transferred grime on his thigh.  

    The man chuckled.  “Oh boy, you best get used to gettin’ dirty.  You ain’t gonna be all clean like this again for a long, long time.”  

    Bobby giggled at that as well.  

    “He’s awll cwean Pa!” he chimed in.  “He gonna look diff’rent when he awll dirty!”  

    Vinnie looked the man-child over more closely, seeing that he was in fact much dirtier than the father.  His body odor smelled even from a foot away.  His hands looked like he’d been making mud pies.  His bare feet were absolutely filthy, grime caked under each toe.  God he was a mess.  

    “I take pride in my appearance,” Vinnie cooly replied, running a hand through his well styled black hair.  

    “Well, we’ll just see how long that lasts,” Pa declared.  

    “Okay Vinnie, you’re all set,” Garcia jumped in, dropping the one bag he’d been allowed at his feet.  “You keep safe now, and if you have any problems at all, feel free to call us.”  

    It was an odd thing to say, but obviously totally insincere.  What did that mean then? That they wouldn’t take his calls?  If they wouldn’t, he’d have no choice but to walk away from witness protection and take his chances.  He couldn’t stay here long term.  

    Garcia got back into the car, wasting no time in pulling back down the driveway, smiling the whole time.  

    “Okay then, let’s get you inside and get you changed out of those city clothes,” Pa declared.  

    Vinnie shook his head.  “Look Pops…”

    “It’s Pa,” the man corrected.  

    “Whatever.  You’re only what, ten years older than me though, so it’s a little weird to have me calling you Pa, don’t you think?”  

    “All my boys call me Pa.  Bobby’s about the same age as you.  He calls me Pa,” the man explained.  

    All his boys?  

    “Are there more of you here?” Vinnie asked.  

    “Oh yes. Jason and Chris are around here somewhere.  Jason! Chris! C’mon out ‘nd meet the new boy!” he called.  

    Two more men quickly emerged from the barn and Vinnie’s jaw actually dropped.  He’d seen a lot of fucked up stuff in his time in the maffia.  But this… this took the fucking cake and then some.  

    The first man was a bit younger, maybe twenty-five, skinny with buzz-cut blonde hair.  He was wearing a pair of undies that seemed to be covered in dinosaur designs, like a little boy’s.  That was all he wore though.  The rest of his body was bare and he was every bit as dirty as Bobby.  

    Right behind him though was a tubby man, somewhere between the skinny man’s age and Bobby’s.  Like Bobby his head had been totally shaved.  He was also completely naked. He’d been shaved all over in fact.  His balls had been shaved too, he was all smooth down there, his penis just bouncing free.  All tubby and smooth and naked, he really looked like a massive toddler.  

    “Daz da new boy Pa?” the man in the undies asked, pointing rudely right at Vinnie.  

    But Vinnie could see the man was oblivious to manners of any kind.  His eyes also lacked any flicker of intelligence.  They were dull and glassy, and yes he was missing several teeth, visible as he stood there slack-jawed.  

    “Yes Chris, this is Vinnie, he’s our newest little family member,” Pa answered. 

    The naked man, who had to be Jason, suddenly and inexplicably blew a big, wet raspberry at Vinnie, before grinning at his joke, spittle dribbling down his chin.  

    “Don’t be silly to the new boy, Jason,” Pa chided him.  

    “Sowwy Pa,” Jason said, twisting his dirty toes in the soil and nibbling on one of his fingers.  

    “So, all your boys are…” he almost said retards, but reminded himself he needed to stay here at least a little while.  Don’t piss them off right away if possible.  

    “They’re all disabled?” he asked.  

    “Oh we don’t think of it like that,” Pa told him.  “They’re special boys, that’s all.  And they’re all very happy, very good boys for their Pa.”  

    All three of the men grinned and squirmed like hyperactive little boys, drinking in what they evidently took as praise.  

    “And you let them… um… wear whatever clothes they feel like?” 

    For a moment Vinnie was sure the redneck bastard would be offended.  But Pa just chuckled again.  

    “Well not exactly.  They have outfits for if we got to go to town and a special outfit for church.  But at home, well I’ll explain the rules to you shortly.  We got to get you inside, show you your room and get you changed into your home clothes.”  

    “I’m quite happy dressed as I am, thanks,” Vinnie told him.  

    Pa looked him up and down, clearly finding that very funny.  Okay, so the expensive Italian shoes and suit he was wearing weren’t for a farm.  And he didn’t really want to mess them all up walking around here.  But he wasn’t putting on any clothes this guy thought was more appropriate either.  

    “Just c’mon in and we’ll get you settled,” Pa said, leading him up the steps onto the porch.  

    Vinnie followed him inside.  The house was pretty clean actually, better than he’d expected given the outside.  

    “So you expect me to help you with taking care of the… special men?” Vinnie asked, not really prepared to deal with retarded inbred rednecks like that.  

    “No, no, not at all,” Pa assured him right away.  “That’s my job and mine alone.”  

    Vinnie breathed a sigh of relief.  

    They entered a bedroom and Vinnie saw there were two beds in the room.  One had clearly been occupied for some time by one of the boys, as Pa called them.  There were small children’s toys cluttering the floor between the beds and the sheets were car and truck themed.  

    The other bed was clean and made up.  And lying across it was a single item, a simple white tank-top, a wife-beater some would call it.  

    “There you go Vinnie,” Pa said.  “That’s your bed, and you can leave your bag downstairs.  I’ll deal with it later.  Everything you need is right here in this room, in the closet and dresser.  I got some clothes in there for church and town.  But I don’t want you going in there, gettin’ them on, gettin’ them dirty.”

    “I’m sorry?” 

    “It’s natural for farm boys to be messy, to get themselves dirty. They’re always playin’ in the barn, wrestlin’ with each other, and with the pigs too.  They get messy doin’ their chores, the get messy eatin’ their dinner.  And four boys means a lot of laundry if they’re gettin’ their clothes messy.  

    “So, y’all got one outfit for home, but y’all got to share it,” Pa told him.  

    Vinnie was totally confused now.  “Share it? Share an outfit?”  

    Pa nodded. “Today Bobby’s got them overalls.  Chris got the undies and I saved the shirt for you.  Jason don’t mind though, he liked bein’ nekkid more ‘n anything else.  With four boys there always gonna be one a you nekkid.  Well at least one.  No rule that you gotta wear your part of the outfit,” Pa explained with another chuckle.  

    “You can’t mean… you, don’t expect me to take off all my clothes and put on that wife-beater and what, that’s it?” 

    To his utter shock, Pa nodded instantly.  “You get changed out of those city clothes before they get ruined.  I’ll take them down to goodwill when we go to town in a couple days.  Get changed quick, then come on down to the kitchen and we’ll give you a haircut.”  

    Vinnie jerked backwards reflexively, as thought the scissors were coming for his hair right then.  

    “Look man, I got my hair just how I like it.  No one touches my hair, you got that,” he warned, using his most menacing tone.  This guy didn’t know who he was fucking with.  

    But Pa wasn’t deterred at all.  

    “Hair on little boys just gets filthy, gets matted, gets infested with lice.  It gets in your eyes, gets all sweaty when you’re playin’, when you’re explorin’ and doin’ yer chores.  Easier to get rid of it.

    “Now hurry up, we got to go on our walk too.  The boys are all excited for it.”  

    “Walk? Where are you planning to walk to?”  

    “Oh we have a nice trail that goes up onto the mountain behind the house.  It’s real quiet, no tourists or anything around here.  It’s a rough one, but that’s just the point.  We need to start getting your feet toughened up.  It’ll be sore at first, sorry to tell you, but it won’t take no time at all ‘nd you’ll be able to run over gravel like the others.  

    “But we gotta get your feet used to it, so a nice long walk up the mountain will get you started.  It’s gonna feel so nice Vinnie, especially since you’ll be nice and cool in your new outfit, no hair to get in your eyes.”  

    “Get my feet used to it? What does that even mean?”  

    “Well none of my boys have shoes, not even for church.  Around here it’s pretty much expected for little boys to be barefoot.  Keeps ‘em surer on their feet, makes climbin’ the trees easier and saves buyin’ boots for the barn.”  

    Vinnie had heard enough.  The old bastard wanted him to be like these morons he cared for.  He actually thought he’d enjoy a half-naked, barefooted walk in the woods.  

    “Just stop right there man.  None of that is going to happen.  I’m not stripping naked and walking around with my cock flapping in the breeze for you to see.  I’m not letting you touch my hair. I’m not going for a stupid walk, and definitely not barefoot.  

    “You don’t seem to get that I’m not a retard like those other guys.  I’m not an inbred hick with an undeveloped brain.  I’m actually a pretty smart guy.  I ran a lot of rackets back in Chicago.  People knew not to fuck with me.  I don’t need you to take care of me.  I can take care of myself just fine!”  

    “Okay, okay, okay, just calm down now,” Pa urged.  “Look, I know you aren’t like my boys.  I get that Vinnie, I do.  And I seen your file. I know what you done, what you can do.”  

    Vinnie nodded, finally glad to have a little respect.  

    “I’m not a rich guy like you.  The only valuable thing I even have is this pocket watch, passed down from my grandpa to my pa to me.”  

    He fished the tarnished, old pocket watch out of the pocket of his overalls.  Pa held it up for Vinnie to see more closely and Vinnie wondered what the piece of junk would bring at a pawn shop.  Probably not nearly as much as this idiot thought it was worth.  

    “I cherish this pocket watch, mostly for the sentimental value,” Pa admitted.  “But also because it has helped me to build a loving family.”  

    Pa pressed a button and the lid of the pocket watch flicked open.  But inside it wasn’t a clock face.  It was a digital screen, something much newer than the outside of the watch.  And it was filled with these strange swirling colors.  So bright, so eye-catching.  Vinnie didn’t even hear Pa still talking, he was just looking at the swirl of colors.  

    “It’s so pretty ain’t it?” Pa whispered.  

    He was standing next to Vinnie now, patting his arm gently.  Vinnie found himself nodding.  Yes, it was very pretty.  

    “Each of my boys saw my pretty pocket watch on their first day here,” he went on.  “They weren’t so different from you before that.  They were smart, they were all so independent, so confident.  And then they saw this pretty watch.  Don’t worry Vinnie, it feels good, doesn’t it?”  

    Vinnie did feel good.  It felt so peaceful now. All his other thoughts and worries were just gone.  There was just the pretty watch and Pa’s voice, echoing around his head.  His muscles were all getting nicely relaxed too.  His whole body was just losing its tension.  

    “Yeah,” Vinnie mumbled, so relaxed now, it was hard to even speak.  

    “Yes, it feels lovely. They all saw the pocket watch just like you.  And then they changed out of their city clothes into farm boy clothes.  They got their haircuts, they went for their walks and they became a part of the family.

    “Jason was the last one to join us.  He was a banker before.  He didn’t want his farm clothes either when he saw them.  But after he saw the pocket watch he still didn’t want them, but for a totally different reason.  After our lovely, sleepy talk, he didn’t want clothes at all, silly boy.”  

    Somewhere in his head Vinnie felt alarm bells going off.  He needed to stop looking at the watch.  He needed to get out of here.  But his body wasn’t responding.  His muscles were all relaxed, all asleep, his arms and feet heavy as stones.  

    “Don’t… don’t wanna forget…” he managed to slur.  

    “Oh you won’t forget everything, I promise you that.  No, you’ll still know who you used to be.  I won’t take that away from you Vinnie.  But you are going to need to forget a lot about how to be that person.  You’ll need to forget things a simple farm boy doesn’t need to know, like how to drive, or how to read, or how to tie a pair of shoes.  Course you won’t have any shoes to tie anyway.

    “We need to make sure that you need your Pa.  Make sure you mind your Pa, appreciate your Pa.  Make sure you only got the simplest of thoughts, ‘bout playin’ with your brothers, doin’ your chores, gettin’ nice and messy.”  

    Vinnie managed to shake his head.  It took a lot of effort.  His eyelids were drifting half closed, but he still couldn’t look away from the swirl of colors, even as his chin came closer and closer to resting on his chest.  

    “That’s it Vinnie, you’re almost there buddy.  Just let go buddy, let your eyes drift shut and let it all go.  You’ll have the most lovely nap, it won’t feel like long at all to you.  And when you wake up, you’ll be special just like the other boys.  Your head will be nice and empty, nice and clean, the opposite of how your outside will be from now on,” he added with a laugh.  

    “I know you think you can fight it honey, but you just can’t.  All the other boys let their chins touch their chests, let their eyes close and when they woke up, they were silly and simple and ready to be my good farm boys.  

    “It’s much better this way.  They don’t even remember the naughty things they did before.  Now they’re innocent.  It’s a relief for them, and it will be for you too darling.  Soon you’ll have the most innocent of eyes.”  

    Vinnie felt horror flashing through his mind.  He didn’t want to be innocent and utterly helpless.  Jesus, others would see him too, when they went to town, or church.  And Agent Garcia had made a point of telling him he’d visit from time to time, see how he was enjoying his new life.  He understood what he meant now.  He was looking forward to seeing Vinnie reduced to idiocy.  

    That couldn’t be his new life!  It just couldn’t.  He wasn’t going to go to sleep.  He wasn’t going to let this fucker do this to him.  

    “Deep sleep Vinnie.  Deep peaceful sleep,” Pa whispered, gently pressing his head downward until his chin touched his chest and his eyes got so heavy and they drifted closed.  It felt so good to finally drift off to sleep.  

    **

    Vinnie’s eyes fluttered open.  He was still standing up, but no longer in the bedroom.  They were in another room, facing a mirror, so he could see what he looked like now.  

    He gazed into the mirror, looking first at his smooth head, his hair all shaved away.  His fancy suit and Italian shoes were gone too.  He was wearing the tank-top now, but that was all.  It was a bit small for him, only just reaching his belly-button, leaving his penis fully visible, soft between his legs. It was smooth too. Pa had shaved him all over apparently.  

    Vinnie looked down at his feet, wriggled his toes experimentally against the wood floor of the farmhouse, feeling it under his soles, getting used to it.  

    Pa’s hand pressed the middle of his back.  

    “What you looking at there Vinnie?” he asked.  

    “Toes,” Vinnie answered.  

    “Oh yes, toes are interesting.  You should have a closer look, honey.  It’s okay, go ahead and sit on your bum.”   

    Vinnie sat on his bottom, feeling the floor under it as well.  He took one foot into his hands, looking at it, wiggling the toes again.  His eyes widened.  Toes were so interesting.  He wanted to do something else with them, but he stopped.  That was silly.  That was dumb.  

    Pa got down on his level, put a supportive hand on his shoulder.  He looked over at Pa, confused by his urges, by how fascinating he found his toes.  

    “It’s okay Vinnie, go ahead,” Pa assured him.  

    It’s a huge relief to know it’s okay.  He pulls the foot to his mouth, puts the big toe between his lips and tastes it, explores it with his tongue, jams two more toes in there, slurps at them as Pa watches and nods encouragingly.  

    Finally they come out with a pop, a line of drool slips out too, he feels it running down his chin, dripping on his chest.  

    “Why I wike toes Pa?” he asked the man.  

    Pa ran a hand gently over his smooth head.  It felt lovely to Vinnie, felt so soothing.  

    “You were such a good boy for me Vinnie.  You looked at my special pocket watch and had a wonderful, long nap.  And we took away all the smarts in your silly little head.  So now you’re just a little boy honey.  

    “You’re a very little boy inside a big boy’s body.  But it’s okay because I know you’re all little inside.  And it’s okay to do little boy things, to enjoy little boy stuff, like playing with your toesies,” Pa explained. 

    Vinnie nodded his head.  He remembered going to sleep now.  He’d had a nice nap and Pa had helped him forget all his naughty things.  He was certain he’d been a naughty boy before.  But he couldn’t begin to recall what it was he’d done that was so bad.  Pa had taken the burden away.  And now he was little inside.  Yes, he felt little. Pa was telling the truth.  

    “Okay honey, let’s go for our walk now. After that your feet will be awfully dirty and those toes will taste different when you eat ‘em next time,” Pa said, helping Vinnie to stand up.  

    That did sound good! What would his toes taste like next time?  Vinnie wanted to know.  And walking sounded fun too.  He was going to be such a good boy for his Pa.  

    **

    Special Agent Garcia pulled the car around the final bend, exiting the woods and sighting the farmhouse he’d last seen two months ago.  He hadn’t even parked it when Chris emerged from the barn, rushing over in a pair of shirtless overalls.  

    “Garcia hewe!” he announced brightly.  

    Bobby appeared right behind him, beaming ear to ear, wearing a tank top and dirty looking holey undies.  The two giggling idiots were eager to say hello to their visitor, but it wasn’t them he’d come to check up on.  

    “Where’s your Pa?” he asked them.  

    “Pa’s feedin’ the hogs.  Bwudders is hewpin’,” Chris answered.  

    “Right, well maybe you should go tell them I’m here.”  

    The man in overalls nodded like a bobble head and rushed off.  

    Moments later he returned, hopping along, hand now being held by Pa.  A moment later two more men emerged from around the side of the house.  Tubby looking Jason, nude as always, and right behind him Vinnie.  

    Vinnie was just as naked as Jason now, his whole body deeply tanned, his hands and feet brown with dirt, head shaved, body smooth like the others.  Garcia couldn’t help but smile.  The former gangster had been such a smooth operator, such a good liar and manipulator.  They called him the Mouth, but it was really his brains that made him so good and so dangerous.  

    Garcia had worried that those brains would have found a way out of this end.  That he’d have slipped past Pa somehow.  

    But as the naked man came closer he could see in his eyes the same vacancy, the same blankness as in the other boys.  His face had a slackness to it that utterly transformed his facial features.  He had worn a near permanent sneer before.  Now his jaw was slack, his chin shiny with drool.  

    “Vinnie, do you know who this man is?” Pa asked him. 

    Vinnie gaped at Agent Garcia, his eyes looking at him, but still not focusing.  

    “Pow-ees-man!” Vinnie declared after a moment, his lips then tugging upward into a pleased smile.  

    “That’s right Vinnie,” Pa praised him.  “He’s the policeman who brought you here to Pa.”  

    Vinnie looked stunned for a moment, then hurried over to Garcia, grabbing his arm.  

    “Pa made me hab a nap,” he told Garcia, clearly excited to deliver this news.  

    For a second Garcia was worried.  Was Vinnie trying to break through, trying to get out of this after all?  

    “He did?” 

    Vinnie nodded.  “Made me all spethal ‘nd widdle,” Vinnie told him seriously.  “Widdle inthide.”  

    Garcia swallowed hard and nodded.  

    Then Vinnie’s lips tugged up again, that silly smile reappearing on his face.  

    “Now I go nekkid!” he announced, grabbing his soft penis and yanking it upward to show to Garcia.  

    Garcia laughed out loud.  

    “I see that.  It’s nice being all nekkid then?”  

    An emphatic nod from Vinnie.  Then he turned to Pa and urged him, “Show da pow-ees-man Pa! Show ‘em da spethal watch!”  He turned back to Garcia and assured him, “Feews so good!”  

    Garcia ran his hand over the man’s smooth head, looking into his eager, peaceful eyes.  

    “I’m glad it felt so good for you.  But I have grown-up things to do.  I can’t let Pa empty out my head and turn me into a dumb little nudist redneck like you, okay?”  

    Vinnie blinked, his mouth still hanging open. 

     “Otay,” he said, not a flicker of insult taken at the response.  

    Then he sat down with his bare bottom in the dirt, grabbed his foot and slipped his toes into his mouth, sucking on the filthy digits even as he gazed vacant eyed up at the two grown-ups. 

    Volunteers: Chapter 6

    The trip to the supermarket was a nerve-wracking experience. To start with I was worried my mind might slip back into toddler mode when Ken drove the car out of the driveway and past the invisible barrier that stopped me leaving the yard earlier. But when he turned out onto the street I still felt fine. Apparently the suggestions just prevented me from leaving on my own.

    Once we were past that barrier it was only a short ride to the store. I was thankful for that since it was quite uncomfortable with all three of us crammed into the backseat. Liam was wedged in next to me, messily eating a cracker with his mouth wide open, crumbs going everywhere.

    The closer the moment got the more hyped up I felt. I had to be sweating now. Hopefully Ken didn’t notice. He got out of the car first when we arrived, went and got a trolley, bringing it to the car before opening the back door. The child locks were on, so there was no point trying to go anywhere while he was away.

    “Okay, now who wants to ride in the trolley today?” he asked brightly.

    “Me! Me! Me!” Benny shouted, climbing awkwardly into the trolley. He looked utterly ridiculous sitting in the bin, his bare feet pressed tight against the wire mesh, his back hunched against the rear.

    “Good boy. Okay, Liam, Eric, you keep a hand on the trolley at all times. No running around.”

    I did as I was told for now. It wasn’t going to be much longer. I wanted to be somewhere very public, somewhere he couldn’t stop me with a trigger song. I didn’t like waiting though. I felt so self-conscious about how I looked, still shirtless, barefoot, holding onto the side of the trolley. My brothers were no better. Neither had shirts or shoes of course. Only Ken was dressed normally, so everyone would know he was in charge, he wasn’t one of these special boys. I just reminded myself it could have been worse. He didn’t use the leash for this trip.

    It felt like every pair of eyes in the store was on us as soon as we walked in. I had to be red as a tomato. It’s strange because I’d actually been naked most of the day and now I was wearing shorts. But I actually felt more naked now than ever. I wasn’t even dressed for the beach. I didn’t have on board shorts, my feet weren’t sandy. I just looked trashy, worse than bogan.

    “Look boys, they have free fruit. You two go grab a piece and bring one for your brother too,” Ken directed us.

    Countdown always had free fruit for kids. But we weren’t kids, not really. Wouldn’t we get in trouble for taking from the free bucket?

    Liam had no qualms about it of course. He scurried over and chose an apple for himself, biting into it right there, chewing it messily, the juices running down his chin. I copied him, picking a pear and biting into it, intentionally chewing open-mouthed, letting bits fall on my bare chest.

    “Yummy!” I declared, mouth still half full.

    Ken didn’t look suspicious at all. Soon the tables would be turned and he’d be the one getting stared at. He’d feel like a fool. It was petty, thinking of such revenge, but it felt more than justified to me.

    I just needed to pick the right moment now, pick the right person to tell the truth to. I didn’t want Ken explaining it all away. He couldn’t be allowed to leave the store with Liam and Benny. And then luck smiled on me, because as we turned into the first aisle there was a police officer in full uniform walking towards us.

    She was exactly what I needed now. As she approached I got ready, prepared what I was going to say down to the word. I needed to get it all out fast, in case Ken did something.

    I looked right at her, our eyes met for a second and then she took in my appearance. No matter, she’d understand in a moment. I let go of the trolley, rushing ahead, my bare feet smacking on the linoleum floor.

    “Hi!” I shouted, standing right before her.

    The police officer stopped, looking surprised, looking concerned.

    “Can I help you sir?” she asked.

    I opened my mouth… but nothing came out. It was like an error message suddenly flashed across my brain. All the words I’d readied were gone. I needed to tell her something, it was so important, the most important message ever. I was sure of that. But… what was it?

    I had to say something. She was staring at me, I needed to say anything.

    “I gotta pear,” I finally announced, holding up the half-eaten fruit for her to see.

    She looked at it, then gave me this pitying smile.

    “Oh… yes, that’s very nice,” she said, her tone different now. She was addressing me as a child, not an adult needing her help.

    “Eric, I told you to keep your hand on the trolley,” Ken admonished, arriving at my side. “Now, you’re getting in the nice police officer’s way.”

    “It’s no problem sir,” she told him, clearly recognising him as the person in charge of me.

    “Sorry about that, he’s special as you can see. I think he likes your uniform,” he told the cop.

    That didn’t sound right at all. But I wasn’t sure it was wrong either. I wasn’t sure of anything really. I just felt so utterly lost, so confused. So I just stood there, gaping at the cop in the cool uniform. Yes, Ken was right about that. I did like her uniform.

    “Don’t worry about it sir. You all heading to the beach?” she asked, the implication of her question clear.

    Ken chuckled nervously. “Oh no, it’s just that they have sensory issues, like little kids. They find shirts and shoes so constricting, so irritating on their skin they throw a fit every time I have to dress them up. So I’m afraid it’s just easier to let them be comfy. I hope it isn’t a problem?”

    The officer’s expression softened and she nodded. “I can understand that. Are you taking care of them all yourself?”

    “Oh no, that would be impossible. I have a partner and we care for them together. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.”

    “We need more people like you and your partner,” the cop praised Ken. “You have good day now.”

    With that, the police officer headed off on her way. I watched her go, only partly aware of Ken taking my hand, placing it back on the cool metal wire of the trolley.

    “No more running off Eric, or you’ll have to stay home next time we go shopping and then miss out on the fruit,” he warned me.

    For a brief moment that felt like a scary threat. I tightened my grip on the trolley. I felt the deep need to be good for Ken, be a good boy. But then the cop turned the corner, disappearing from view, and the fog rolled back, my head suddenly clearing.

    Damn it! I’d totally missed my opportunity. There was no use trying to phone the police when I got home either. Obviously some of the suggestions were still influencing me, stopping me reporting what was being done to us. And that meant there was only one option left. I needed to get into that office again, get into that computer and find the reversal programming.

    In the meantime I had to endure the rest of the shopping trip, holding the side of the trolley, making an intentional mess of my face with my pear, pretending to be oblivious to the stares.

    The worst part had to be when an actual little boy, probably four or five years old and dressed basically the same as us, actually pointed right at us and loudly declared, “Those little boys is big mummy!”

    I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear. I had to find a way to end this.

    **

    Another game of hide and seek is the ruse for my next attempt to get into the computer. For a moment I worried that would be suspicious, but of course little kids love repetition, so it was fine. This time Liam and Benny were involved. Not in the plot of course. No, they really thought we were playing a game. They were hiding and this time I was the seeker. Chris was still busy working in the kitchen and Ken was preparing to make dinner. It was the best chance I was going to get.

    I headed back up the stairs, knowing Benny and Liam had actually gone out to the backyard to hide. The office was dark aside from the blue light of the computer screen illuminating that corner of the room. I closed the door and didn’t turn on the light this time. Tip-toeing over, I tapped the mouse and the desktop home screen appeared. Yes! Ken hadn’t logged out when he led me from the room last time.

    It didn’t take much browsing to find what I was looking for. The computer seemed to be set up for one purpose only, running hypnotic programming to turn grown men into empty-headed morons dependent on their new caregivers.

    There was a whole set-up screen with choices about what kind of programming to give the subject. There was mental age, a sliding bar for intelligence relative to perceived age. There was a separate section for maturity level. And then sliding scales for behaviour (ranging from ‘perfect angel’ on the right to ‘very naughty’ on the left), modesty (very shy to complete nudist) and several other personality traits.

    At the bottom a number of text boxes let the user enter specialised, tailored suggestions.

    I guessed it was still set for whoever they used it on last. Apparently that poor man was now an immature, poorly behaved total nudist with the intellect of a slow-witted three year old.

    But I was getting distracted. I didn’t have much time, I needed to find the reversal section. They had to have it here somewhere. I clicked into different sections of the programme, looking for the reversal area, but nothing appeared. Back to the main screen, maybe you just had to set the age higher. But the highest age you could choose was five. I had a sinking feeling, there was nothing about reversal, nothing about increasing mental age or maturity level.

    The lights flicked on so suddenly it dazzled me. I jumped back from the computer, my heart pounding so hard I could feel it in my head, felt the pulsing in my fingers.

    Ken was standing in the open doorway, frowning at me. The programme was open now, he could no doubt see what I was looking at. He had to know I wasn’t dumb anymore. The jig was up.

    “I should have suspected earlier,” he said, strangely calm given what he’d just caught me doing.

    I didn’t answer, didn’t say a word. But it didn’t seem like he was expecting an answer anyway.

    “When I found you in here earlier I wasn’t that surprised. You’ve snuck into the office before. You like breaking rules and that’s my own fault. I wanted you wild, I wanted you a bit naughty and cheeky. But still, I felt something was wrong with it this time. And then we got home and you kept your shorts on. In the year since you heard your special song I’ve never seen you fail to strip down the moment we get home.”

    It was a mistake and I knew it at the time. But it just felt so wrong, stripping nude while Ken watched, knowing that’s exactly what he wanted.

    “What you’re doing here is beyond fucked up.”

    There, I’d said it. Screw acting innocent, if I was going down, I was going to be honest while I had the chance.

    “What do you even know about what I’m doing?”

    “I know enough. I remember enough and I can put it all together now. You’re getting paid to turn other men into adult toddlers.”

    Ken shook his head. “The men who come to me are deeply unhappy in their lives. They want support, they want to be cared for. They want a release from their anxiety, the stress of adult life. I give that to them. When we finish in here, after their therapy, they all have the happiest of smiles, the very biggest of erections.”

    “You sell them to ‘daddies’ for who knows what.”

    “After their therapy, after they’re released from all those grown-up worries, they need someone to look after them, to love and cherish them. So I find other men who want to care for them. Everyone is happy in the end, so where exactly is the crime?” Ken insisted.

    His certainty chilled me to the bone. “You mean that don’t you? You really think you’re helping people.”

    “When I first started the experiment it was just a means to an end. I’ve told you how it was all inspired by you.”

    I shuddered at the very thought.

    “But afterwards, when we had our perfect family, I began chatting with others on the internet and I realised how many people out there felt the same way I did. And I realised I had the means to give them their own happy families, just like ours. And it was a way to support our family too. I mean, how perfect was that?”

    “Perfectly horrible,” I answered dryly.

    “I haven’t harmed anyone. Their lives have only been improved…”

    “So they all volunteered? They signed consent forms? You told them, when you come into this room, I’m going to empty your head of every intelligent thought and then leave you that way?” I demanded.

    Ken hesitated. Was that a flicker of doubt in his eyes? Maybe he did have an inkling of awareness of the monstrosity he had committed.

    “Of course I couldn’t always tell them the full truth. People often don’t know what’s good for them. They make choices that do themselves harm.”

    Oh, the irony of him making that statement.

    “Well I’ve got bad news mate. Sometimes your programming wears off. So you might have some very angry customers coming back for refunds, or coming back with the cops.”

    But Ken shook his head. “They aren’t getting the same programming as you. You were in the trial, the experimental section. Afterwards we worked out a lot of the kinks, combined different elements that worked best, came up with this,” he said, gesturing to the room.

    “The perfect mind-wiping machine? You’re proud of that?”

    Ken gave me a knowing smile. “You know how nice it is to have a big toddler boy dependent on you, cuddling with you. When Benny and Liam came to you for more than cuddles you didn’t turn them away, you made them feel good and you enjoyed it too. Do you deny it?”

    I couldn’t deny it. He was right, I had helped him with the others. I had fucked up in the worst way. And even worse, I still felt aroused by it. All day I’d thought about what would happen if I didn’t escape. That I’d be tucked into my normal bed alongside Liam. And we would be naked and cuddled together, our penises brushing past each other. God that was hot to think about. And God was it ever wrong.

    “I can’t deny it, but I know I made a mistake now,” I told him defiantly.

    He nodded, actually looking sympathetic. “I get it. You may not believe me, but I get how you feel. You want to be with Liam and Benny again, but you also don’t want to be taking advantage of them in their innocent, mentally reduced state.”

    “I… well, yeah actually.”

    “That’s perfectly understandable, and luckily I have the solution to that conundrum.”

    I didn’t like where this was going.

    “Let me run the programme for you, right now. Then you’ll be right back on the same level as Liam and Benny. You can run right back to them, snuggle up with them in bed, tickle their doodles, let them play with yours and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. You’re all equals, all silly boys exploring each other’s bodies, meeting the grown-up needs those bodies still have.”

    My jaw had to be hanging open, I was so taken aback by his proposal.

    “You think I’m going to agree to let you hypnotise me again?”

    “I think, deep down, you know it’s what you really want. You’ve been so happy this past year. You’ve loved being my special little guy. You can’t bring yourself to consciously admit it, it’s too embarrassing, but inside, in your heart of hearts, you know I’m right. It’s why you’re here, looking through my computer, reading about the programme.”

    I shook my head violently. “I’m here looking for the reversal programme!” I snapped.

    Ken looked surprised for a second, then he snickered.

    “What’s so funny?” I demanded.

    “Eric, there isn’t a reversal programme. I told you, I’ve never had an unhappy customer. There’s never been any use creating a reversal system. It’s a one way trip.”

    “But that’s not true. Look at me! I got my smarts back.”

    “True, and I can’t deny being curious about what triggered that. But to be honest I’d been looking for signs of awareness in you for months, though I got slack after a while. The programming we used in the experiment still had flaws, as I told you. This new system has fixed those. There’s no coming back from our special little show.”

    So there was no solution to be found here. I’d snuck in here, blown my cover, for nothing.

    Ken gestured to the seat. “Why don’t you just sit down, have a nice rest, let me take all these worries away. Then you can go back to your game, go find Liam and Benny, and show them how happy you’ve become, let them help you have a nice sticky release.”

    “There’s no way in hell I’m sitting in that seat,” I spat.

    He shrugged. “I saw what happened today with the police officer. I thought it was strange at the time, but now I know what it was. Some of the suggestions are still there, aren’t they? You can’t tell anyone, can’t run away.”

    I clenched my fists, wanting to do something, anything, but feeling so utterly impotent.

    “So what’s the plan then Eric? Hmm?”

    There was no more plan. I was fresh out of ideas.

    “Honey, there’s nowhere for you to go. Why not let yourself be happy? Let yourself enjoy it.”

    He turned his head, and called out “Chris! Come up here please!”

    Things were going from bad to worse.

    “I don’t want to use physical force on you Eric,” Ken told me, nevertheless stepping closer. “But we both know things can’t stay the way they are.”

    Chris appeared in the doorway, looking confused.

    “What’s going on?” he asked.

    “Eric’s got his big boy thoughts back,” Ken explained quickly. “So why don’t you just close the door.”

    Chris did as he was told, shutting the door behind him so that there were now two sizeable men blocking my only escape route. Of course there really wasn’t anywhere to escape to, so what difference did it make.

    “Please don’t make this hard Eric,” Ken urged me, stepping closer again.

    Chris looked concerned now too. “Careful Ken, don’t hurt him or anything,” he pleaded.

    Chris actually looked really worried for my sake. Amazingly he seemed like he actually cared about me, saw me as his little boy, needing protecting.

    “I’m not going to hurt anyone,” Ken assured him. “But we can’t let him leave the room until he’s seen the show. If he leaves, we lose everything, you understand that Chris, don’t you? You understand what’s at stake here?”

    Chris clearly looked conflicted, but he nodded, keeping his muscular body between me and the door.

    I looked down at the computer again, at the settings all retained from its last use. And right at the bottom was the button marked Execute. Then I looked down at the bin on the floor, just between Ken and I. There were wrap-around sunglasses and a whole pile of ear-plugs. Of course, Ken and Chris needed a way to protect themselves from the hypnotic treatment they subjected their victims to.

    If I’d noticed earlier I could have prepared, could have grabbed the sunglasses, stuffed the ear plugs in. But there was no time now.

    I took a deep breath. I wasn’t getting out of here with my mind intact. But maybe I could stop them doing this to anyone else. Would that be worth it? Would that make up for the mistakes I made?

    I grabbed the mouse, moving it quickly to the button, and hitting Execute.

    A dialogue box appeared.

    Are you sure you want to run this programme?

    Ken’s eyes widened. “Hey!” he gasped, realising what I was doing.

    I made eye contact with him for a moment and finally the smug certainly was gone. Instead, I saw terror in his eyes.

    There was only one thing to say to him.

    “You just volunteered.”

    Ken lunged at me, and I hit the enter key.

    The lights flicked off instantly. Ken stopped, looking down at the box of sunglasses and earplugs on the floor. He dove for the box. But I was faster. I kicked the box with all my strength, sending it tumbling across the room, its contents thrown this way and that, lost in the darkness.

    Chris had turned around, going to open the door. But I threw myself into it with all my weight, slamming it closed again.

    “Eric no!” Chris shouted.

    The far wall erupted in a kaleidoscope of colours. They were swirling and bright, illuminating the whole room in their glow. At the same moment strange audio sounds were pumped out of hidden speakers, drowning out any possible speech. I shut my eyes tight, but I couldn’t cover my ears. I was still struggling against Chris, who was trying with all his might to pry me away from the door.

    I couldn’t let him get out. I put all my strength into staying put. And after about thirty seconds his shoving got weaker. A few more seconds and it stopped altogether. It might have been a ruse, so I kept myself tight against the door, waiting for another assault. But it didn’t come.

    I chanced opening my eyes a crack. In the strobing glow of the room I saw Chris standing there, facing the far wall, arms slack at his sides, shoulders slumped, gazing slack-jawed and droopy eyed into the swirling colours.

    I shut my eyes again, held them tight, but I felt okay and I needed to know where Ken was. I stepped over to Chris, feeling his relaxed but upright body, using it to guide myself back to the middle of the room. I couldn’t leave unless I knew Ken was under too.

    My foot hit something solid. I cracked my eyes open again, looking down at the floor, not at the wall. Ken was down on the floor on his knees, legs folded under him. His hands were flat on the floor, where they’d been feeling for the sunglasses, for some ear plugs. But they weren’t moving now, they weren’t searching anymore. Ken’s head was slumped to his right side, his mouth hanging open, a line of drool hanging from his chin. His eyes were wide open though, gazing blankly at the wall, utterly entranced.

    And there, just in front of him, within reach, a pair of sunglasses. He had been so close.

    I closed my eyes again, squeezed them shut, getting down on my own knees, feeling for the sunglasses. I found them! I held them in my hands. But I didn’t put them on yet. If I put them on, they’d stop me from seeing the special show. I’d miss out on it. I’d miss the one and only chance to let all my fears and worries go, forever and ever.

    I should put on the sunglasses. Then I could open my eyes, find the door, go back to my old life. But how could I leave? How could I miss the most wonderful, most euphoric experience a person could have? That’s what the voice in my head was telling me. The voice that seemed like my own, even though it said such strange, but such compelling things.

    I lifted up my head and opened my eyes. The sunglasses were there in my hands. I didn’t put them on. The wall was beautiful. Oh God, it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. The feeling of release, of calmness that settled over me, it was exquisite. Every single muscle in my body seemed to relax. And my brain relaxed too. It was like having a deep tissue massage, but for my brain. I moaned out loud as I let go of every worry, every concern. There were only these amazing swirls. They were my whole world. And then even they seemed to fade away as I simply stopped thinking.

    **

    I’m still on the floor when awareness returns. I can feel the carpet under my knees. It’s soft, but my knees are still sore. I’ve been kneeling on them for some time. Everything feels slow, like I’m underwater. The lights are back on in the room, the beautiful swirling colours have gone and Ken is no longer next to me. I’m the only one on the floor.

    I’m aware of all these things, but there is one sensation which takes precedence over everything else. I can’t ever recall feeling so aroused as I am right now. My cock is fully erect, straining to escape my shorts and I can feel that all my smarts are down there, in my balls, waiting for me to expel them, waiting for me to shoot them out on my tummy, obliterate them forever.

    I don’t touch myself down there. It takes all my will-power not to. I have to get up, I have to get out of here. I force myself to stand and feel the carpet under my feet, looking down at the bulge in my shorts. I want them off. I need to be free of clothes.

    Eric is a jaybird. Eric’s a silly little nudist. Eric doesn’t care who sees his bouncy doodle.

    They aren’t my thoughts. And yet they are.

    I grab my shorts and undies and yank them down, letting my straining cock spring free. It’s standing nearly straight up, precum drooling down the shaft. I’ve gotten naked and the very action, giving into the suggestions, makes my penis twitch with even more arousal.

    But I don’t touch it. I can’t do that because there’s other stuff to do. What other stuff? I don’t feel little, but I don’t feel big and smart now either. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. My head feels like it’s all stuffed with cotton candy, fluffy and light, but fuzzy at the same time.

    I turn around and see that I’m not alone in the room after all. Chris is standing by the computer. He’s wearing just his undies though, his normal clothes are lying in a pile on the floor. And he’s just as erect, just as aroused as me. The head of his penis is poking out of the elastic waist of his briefs.

    Chris doesn’t look at me, he’s focused on the screen, but it’s obvious he’s not sure what to do. His eyes are glassy looking, his normal intelligence missing, like someone leant in and blew out the light behind his eyes. He’s slack-jawed, a big string of drool hanging from his shiny chin, connecting to the keyboard. While he punches at keys with one hand, he nibbles on several fingers of the other.

    As I step over to his side, Chris finally looks over at me. He looks sticken, utterly lost.

    “I can’t wead it,” he complains. “I forgot da ledders.”

    “You saw the show. Now you’re all dumb,” I told him.

    He pouted, like a little boy. “Gotta fix it!” he said, stamping his foot, then batting his hand angrily at the keyboard.

    I shake my head. “You dunno how.”

    Chris looks back at the screen, gazing at it with a vacant expression for a long moment, patting at the keys once again. I looked at the screen too, saw that he was typing in one of the boxes. But I wasn’t sure what he had typed. I couldn’t read anymore either.

    “You took off your clothes,” I point out.

    Chris looks back at me and nods. “Wanna be nakey. But that’s for babies,” he says, making a disgusted look, like he smelled something bad.

    I step closer to him, take his wrist in my hand, slipping his fingers out of his mouth. He doesn’t resist at all. He just looks curious as I guide his hand downward, grab the waist of his undies, slide them down a bit, guide his drool-soaked fingers to his cock.

    “That’s right, go ahead, it’s gonna feel so good,” I tell him.

    I wonder if he’ll refuse. He has to know what’s going to happen, he’s put so many other men through this programme. But then he seems so far gone. It’s obvious he’s taken in much more of the suggestions than I have.

    Sure enough he begins to pump his fist up and down, immediately letting out this little mewl of pleasure. His eyes roll upwards and his body visibly shivers. I wonder if he always secretly wanted this, if he wanted to join us little boys all along. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just the suggestions, so powerful they’ve warped his sexual desires.

    It doesn’t take long at all. Maybe half a minute and then his eyes roll all the way up, his body goes rigid and a rope of cum arcs through the air, splashing right across the computer screen and keyboard.

    “Ohhhh. Ughhhh,” he cries out as a second jet up cum shoots out so hard it hits his own chin.

    I can only watch in amazement as his body spasms and more cum coats his tummy and chest. It’s an incredible ejaculation. It’s obvious he is experiencing total euphoria.

    And then it’s over. Chris’s eyes roll back down and he takes in the mess he’s made, of himself, of the computer. And then he smiles. Yes, he gets a big cheerful grin and he starts smacking at the keyboard not in anger, but in delight. It’s obvious he’s just playing now, just pretending to type like a big boy. He’s not trying to fix anything, he’s just playing pretend.

    But I have a really important idea then. Chris’ clothes are still there on the floor. I go through his shorts and find the phone. I feel even fuzzier as soon as I touch it. I have to do it fast. I hit the phone button and hit one, one, one. I still know that number and I know that’s the emergency number. The ambulance people come when you call that number. They come and help. And I need help.

    The phone rings once and then I hear a voice.

    “Hello. What’s your emergency?”

    I want to tell the woman all our problems, but I feel so fuzzy again, feel so blank.

    “Need hewp!” I finally manage to call out.

    The woman says more things, but I can’t understand her. I need to leave, I need to go out of the room, away from the phone. I need to find Ken.

    **

    I felt a little bit clearer after I left the office and headed down the stairs. But with every step my penis brushed against my tummy and made the urge to touch it grow even stronger. But I couldn’t do that. I didn’t know if Ken had gotten away after all. And the ambulance people were coming, I was sure of it.

    I heard beeping, coming from the kitchen. Maybe Liam and Benny were there, maybe they’d come back inside. But when I got into the kitchen, it wasn’t them I found.

    The beeping was coming from the fridge, which had been left wide open, its engine cranking at full power as all the cold was let out. All the kitchen cabinets were open too. Half a box of cereal was dumped on the bench. It was obvious a toddler had been let loose in here with no supervision.

    Ken was standing in the middle of the kitchen with his back to me, eating something. He was naked, no sign of his clothes anywhere.

    “Ken, what you eatin’?” I asked.

    Ken spun around and I saw that it was chocolate brownies he had. The evidence was smeared all over his chin and cheeks. His doodle was still erect too, jutting out at a sharp angle. But there was also fresh, glistening cum all over his tummy. He’d already had his special stickies and it was obvious that he’d stayed and listened to the whole special programme. He hadn’t managed to get the sunglasses on, hadn’t inserted the earplugs. It was very clear he’d got the whole treatment.

    “I goz choc-wate!” he announced, holding out the brownie in his messy fingers.

    I could only nod, taking in the glazed over eyes and the slack expression on his face.

    “You got nakey. You’re all little now,” I pointed out.

    Kenny wasn’t insulted though. He just nodded and smiled.

    “Uh-huh! I did da stickies! Kenny widdle. We be bwudders!” he shouted, getting all worked up, hopping from foot to foot in excitement, his erection growing again.

    I looked at his innocent expression, his excitement at losing all his smarts and I expected to feel vindication. Ken was dumb as a rock now. His smarts were gone forever and he’d never be able to manipulate or hurt another person again. Now he was going to be the one dependent on grown-ups for care. He’d never use his university degree, would probably never hold a job again. I’d avenged Benny and Liam. But I didn’t feel superior, I didn’t feel a sense of justice. I just felt so jealous.

    All the awful things he’d done and now it was all forgotten. Any guilt, any worries about being punished washed away. He was free from that, free from any self-awareness at all. He was standing here buck naked in front of me, his face an utter mess, so totally reduced, and he had an ear to ear grin. He didn’t care what he looked like, he was perfectly content, a silly dumb boy, and that looked so appealing. But I couldn’t give in, even as my penis ached for release. The police were coming, the ambulance people would be here soon and then they would make everything okay and I’d get my smarts back.

    Kenny dropped the brownie, stepping closer to me.

    “Lez cuddle,” he urged.

    He opened his arms wide, inviting me in.

    Little boys love cuddles.

    I wanted a cuddle with every fibre of my being. I needed that close physical contact, that sensation of closeness and safety. I’d hated Ken so much, but he was gone now. He’d disappeared when he squirted his stickies out all over his tummy. This was Kenny, and he was an affectionate little guy. He wanted to be brothers. And with each passing second, I felt the same need grow within me.

    I opened my arms and let Kenny cuddle into my embrace. The skin on skin contact was wonderful. But as we pulled tight together my doodle brushed against his, still slick with his own release. Two bare doodles, caressing each other. I shuddered from head to toe. Pleasure lit up my brain like fireworks.

    And that’s when I knew that I didn’t want to wait for the police. I didn’t want them to help me be big again. I wanted this. I wanted more nakey cuddles with my brother. I wanted to be happy and innocent and not have any worries, not have to take care of a thing. I wanted to play all day and snuggle to sleep with my cuddle buddy.

    I thrust my penis forward, letting it grind against Kenny’s, creating delightful friction. I gripped his back more tightly and whispered to him.

    “I saw the show too. Ugh! I’m gonna do stickies, gonna get all little.”

    Kenny just giggled lightly, then planted a big wet kiss on my cheek.

    I thrust harder and faster breathing so fast I was panting, my heart racing with excitement and anticipation. He held me so tightly, so securely, it felt so good. I could feel the edge coming, and then…

    Oohhhhh. My muscles tighten and my back arches. I feel the release, feel that first splash of warm, gooey liquid on my tummy. It’s more than an orgasm though. Because for one glorious second I feel fully, completely aware. I can see my future as a grad student, as a professional fading away. Dreams of owning a home, driving a new car, travelling the world won’t be happening. I’ll never live independently again. I’ll need someone to help me with even the most basic, the simplest of tasks. The realisation fills me with horror, but mercifully it is brief, it’s but a flash.

    More spasms wrack my body and I feel blast after blast of stickies coating my tummy. The clarity fades as suddenly as it arrived. The big things are leaving me now. Pleasure overwhelms any worries I had. And it’s so, so much better than last time. This time I know it’s a one-way trip, what’s happening in my head is so utterly complete and permanent. I rest my head on Kenny’s shoulder, letting out a long, quiet moan as everything I ever worried about, every last fear and hang-up, melts from my mind, leaks out my ears, gets expelled onto my tummy. The sensation of release is total. It’s the single greatest experience of my life.

    It takes a few seconds to catch my breath after the last of the squirts. I rest in Kenny’s arms, my chest heaving against his as my breathing slows back down. I feel his hands rubbing my back, patting my bottom. Then he pulls back and our tummies come unstuck.

    My doodle is stuck to my tummy, covered in creamies. They’re all over Kenny too. He gapes down at the mess, a line of drool hangs from his chin.

    “Lez pway doggies!” he suggests.

    Doggies. I know something about them. I need to tell Kenny, need to tell my brother, the very important thing.

    “Doggies go woof!”

    I smile broadly, feeling so big, so proud to know that. So much stuff went bye-byes. But I’m not a dumb-dumb. I know all about doggies. And dinosaurs. And choo-choos. I still know heaps of big boy stuff.

    “Woof-woof,” Kenny agrees.

    Then Kenny drops to his hands and knees like a doggy. I copy him. I get on my hands and knees. My pee-pee comes unstuck from my tummy. It hangs between my legs and waggles as I scurry after Kenny making woof noises, being a silly doggy. It’s very fun to pretend. It’s fun to play with brother.

    Kenny stops in the living room. He spins to face me and barks. I bark back, I even lick his face! Then Kenny lifts his right leg and starts to pee. He’s making tinkles! Silly doggy. I gotta do a tinkle too. I try to lift my leg and copy him, but it’s tricky. So I just make my tinkles as I am, making the carpet all wet. It’s naughty, but I’m being a doggy now, so it’s okay!

    The police people come while we’re still playing. We can’t be doggies anymore. We have to be little boys again. They bring Liam and Benny in from the yard and then Chris is led into the living room by the hand, picking his nose with the other one. We’re all together then, all five little boys, when the ambulance people arrive too. We all used to be big, just like these grown-ups. We were all so big and smart, and now we’re all little, all nakey-bummed and silly. But the ambulance people will know what to do. I know everything is going to be okay. The help people. They’ll fix everything.

    Epilogue

    The new flat was only blocks from the university campus. As Liam parked the car in the driveway he wondered as always about when he might go back there. He was getting better all the time. Dr Owens sessions were helping him so much and she thought he might be ready next semester. He could hardly wait to get back in the lab.

    Liam got out of the car, feeling the warm pavement under his feet. He couldn’t help but smile, feeling that little tingle of pleasure pass through his body. Being barefoot still felt too good to give up. Dr Owens had done her best, but that suggestion had stuck like cement. So he looked like a surfer dude, in his boardies and singlet, things could be worse.

    He opened the back door of the car, smiling at the young man in the backseat. Eric had board shorts and bare feet just like him. But Eric didn’t have a singlet, he didn’t wear a shirt at all. He went to daycare in one every morning, but the carers said it never stayed on long. They’d given up that fight long ago. It took enough effort to keep him from streaking around in his birthday suit.

    Now Eric had his right foot firmly in his hands, big toe wedged between his lips, suckling peacefully away at it, glassy eyes crossed in concentration.

    “C’mon toe muncher, time to head inside,” Liam told his old friend, using the sing-song tone one always addressed little children with.

    Eric let his toe pop free, a line of spittle still connecting it to his lips.

    “Dem all icky!” he announced, squirming in his seat and holding out his foot for Liam to see.

    It was a small mercy that Eric was so happy. The tent in his board shorts was unmissable. He was still regularly aroused by his own silliness. Liam was thankful for that, because Eric wasn’t going to be returning to university with him, not next semester, not ever.

    The bigwigs at the university had run every test. Dr Owens had given it her best shot. But the progamming Eric got was so different to the original, so much more powerful. The only people who really understood it were Chris and Ken. So Eric was left unable to learn, with the maturity and intellect of a toddler. He spent his days with other intellectually damaged boys and girls, playing in the sensory room, making finger paintings, being led to the potty by his hand if he managed to make it at all. He wore pull-ups, just in case.

    Next year, when Liam hoped to be graduating, Eric would still be riding in the backseat home from daycare, playing with his toesies.

    The top shrinks didn’t offer them much hope. They urged him to move on, to leave Eric to his family. But that wasn’t an option, because they just wanted to put him in an institution. He was an embarrassment and a burden to his well-bred, well-educated family. Liam couldn’t let that happen after Eric sacrificed his own mind, his whole future, to save them. That was how he ended up as Eric’s legal guardian.

    “My goodness, those are suck icky feets! You must have had a very busy day,” Liam declared.

    Eric nodded, pulling his foot back and forth. “We did a walk to da park. Sawed lotsa biwdies and da buggies went up my feets, and I squished ‘em and dere was a doggy ‘nd he was nithe!” he explained, talking so fast, with such poor diction than only a parent could follow the tale.

    Liam understood every babbled word.

    “My goodness, what an adventure my little guy had,” he exclaimed, taking a tissue and wiping Eric’s perpetually wet chin.

    “Uh-huh! Ab-den… Ad-dent… Ewic spwored da park!”

    Liam leant across his friend, undid his seat-belt. Eric knew never to unbuckle himself.

    “Okay explorer, let’s head in and see what brother’s been up to all day.”

    They headed into the house with Liam calling out, “Anybody home?”

    Heavy footsteps announced that someone was of course at home. The room to the left of the front door had been converted into the playroom. It was basically a giant playpen filled with toys to occupy and excite a toddler mind. Rather than a gate it was closed in with a soft mesh door so the grown-ups could see inside and the fully grown tots couldn’t get out and get themselves in trouble.

    Kenny came racing up to the mesh door, eager to greet them. He’d seen the same programming as Eric and despite being it’s designer and knowing exactly what was in the suggestions, it had been just as effective on him as Eric. It was likely he had actually known the method needed to reverse the programme. But that knowledge had been wiped from his brain along with the ABCs.

    “Ewic ‘nd Wiam home!” Kenny announced loudly, batting his hands at the make-shift mesh door. He wanted to get out, but his hands never went to the release mechanism. It was a mystery to him, far beyond his current level of comprehension.

    Instead the fully naked young man hopped up and down, his erect penis flapping against the doorway. Kenny never wore clothes at home. He had an epic tantrum if forced.

    “Well hello there, all go well with the pick-up?”

    Ben had emerged from the kitchen, wiping a bowl dry.

    “No drama. Kenny give you any trouble today?”

    Ben shook his head. “No more than usual. He’s been in his playroom and quiet for the last couple hours. Had a nice long nap before that. So I got a lot of my essay done.”

    Ben was already back at uni, which gave Liam more certainty that he’d be back too very soon. He did his courses online for the most part though, so he could stay home and watch Kenny. The settlement with the university covered all of Eric’s expenses, but for obvious reasons Kenny wasn’t entitled to any of that funding.

    Taking Kenny in was one of the toughest decisions Liam and Ben had ever made. They agreed to look after Eric without a hesitation. They understood how he’d been manipulated into helping Ken. He was as much a victim as them. They couldn’t abandon him. But Kenny had done this to them. Why not leave him to the same fate as Chris, who’s parents had dumped him in a state facility for such hopeless cases?

    They hadn’t done that because of Eric. Whatever else had changed in Kenny when he lost his smarts, his maturity, it had not touched his infatuation with Eric. If anything the removal of all his inhibitions, his self-awareness, had only magnified his love. He followed Eric everywhere, clung to him like a lost puppy. And having such an affectionate, doting brother made Eric happy.

    In the end they reminded themselves that the Ken who had done this to them was gone now. The dumbed down man behind the mesh gate couldn’t hurt a fly. He was incapable of scheming, of manipulating anyone. He had no secrets at all. He did his poopies and tinkles in the plastic potty seat while everyone watched for goodness sake.

    “Ewic gonna pway!” Kenny urged, shaking the mesh door again.

    “You want to play with Kenny, Eric? Want to get all snuggly and cosy with brother?” Liam cooed to him.

    Eric nodded, a cheeky smile on his face. He plucked at the waist of his shorts. “Wan’ ‘em off now. Be nakey wike my bwudder.”

    Liam obliged, helping Eric slip his shorts and pull-ups down to his ankles, holding his hand for balance as the uncoordinated boy stepped clear of them.

    “Nakey time! Nakey time!” Kenny cheered.

    Liam opened the gate. It was easy for him of course. The lock was the simplest of mechanisms that even a five year old could open.

    Kenny threw his arms around Liam right away, cuddling him so tightly, planting big messy smooches on his cheek. Then they raced off to play, hand in hand, giggling merrily.

    Ben secured the door, keeping the toddlers safe while he and Liam headed to the kitchen.

    “So it was a long day?” he asked Liam.

    “So long. You have no idea how pedantic people can be about their cappuccinos.”

    “I know it sucks, but it pays the bills right.”

    Liam had to agree. His settlement hadn’t gone as far as he’d expected and he needed to save money for tuition if he planned to return to university soon. Sometimes he wished he lived in the US, the home of the lawsuit. If he was there he’d probably be a millionaire now. But it didn’t help to dwell on what might be. He had to get on with his life, even if adulting wasn’t easy.

    “You look like you need a night off,” Ben suggested, putting his hand on Liam’s arm.

    Liam looked up, wide-eyed. “Really? You mean that?”

    Ben nodded, “I have work to do now anyway. But I probably would like a night off sometime next week, so you can pay me back then.”

    Liam loved Ben. The experience they’d shared had bonded them like nothing else. But it was more than what they’d been through in the past. Ben understood something Liam could never tell anyone else, not the doctors, not his family. Ben understood how he could look at Eric and Kenny, filthy, playing naked on the floor with the silliest of toys and feel not pity, but jealousy.

    He put his arms around Ben, who quickly reciprocated. Pecking a kiss on his partner’s cheek, he whispered, “Thank you, I really need this.”

    “No problem at all. You relax now, let me take away all those big boy thoughts.”

    Liam didn’t even see him taking his phone out. He just heard Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star playing softly but clearly. Ben’s hand slipped under his singlet, rubbing his back as he felt his head go all fuzzy again.

    For his part, Ben felt Liam’s body stiffen, felt the bulge rapidly growing in his pants and then heard his soft moan of pleasure. “That’s it, let it all go Liam. You’re perfectly safe, you’re all mine. Daddy’s in charge now,” he cooed.

    Now that they knew the reversion trigger, now that the university had tested it all, they knew it was possible to safely induce the mental regression and then just as quickly end it. But they didn’t tell anyone that they were using it of course. This was their little secret. Next week Ben would get to be Benny again, but for now it was little Liam’s turn to play.

    **

    Kenny and Eric sat side by side in the playroom, the soft carpet under their bare bums, surrounded by Playskool toys, Duplo Blocks and a variety of well-used stuffed animals. Each had an arm around the other’s shoulders as they manipulated their favourite toys of all, their doodles. They helped each other, arms crossed, hands pumping up and down. It happened most days, experimental poking led to pleasant tingles, which led to more touching and finally they would snuggle up and make their stickies together.

    But this time their fun was interrupted as the mesh doorway opened again. They slowed down their play, not out of any sense of shame or modesty, but simply out of curiosity for who was arriving in their playroom.

    Ben stepped into the room, leading Liam along by the hand.

    “Look who’s come to play,” he announced.

    Kenny and Eric giggled. Liam’s singlet and shorts were gone. He was just as nude as them now, with a happy pee-pee to boot!

    “Wiam got nakey!” Eric pointed out.

    “Yep, Liam decided he wanted to be little for the rest of the day. So you all play nice, okay. I have to do some work, so I don’t want to hear any fighting. Okay?” Ben directed.

    Kenny and Eric nodded seriously. But right beside Ben Liam was nodding too, his eyes just as wide and innocent now.

    “Wiam pway nithe,” he agreed, nibbling on his fingers.

    And so Ben left all three of them to play, locking them securely into the playroom. For a moment Liam followed after him, standing at the doorway, gazing blankly at the latch, poking at it with confusion.

    Eric tip-toed up and poked his shoulder. “You it!” he declared before toddling off in a fit of screeches and giggles.

    Liam giggled too, giving chase, the adult world beyond the door totally forgotten. The innocent pleasure of a naked game of tag with his best buddies was something he’d never want to give up. In the morning Ben would wake him back up, so he could go to work, earn his money for uni. But for the moment, tomorrow didn’t even exist in Liam’s mind. For now there were no responsibilities, no deadlies, no bills. There was only fun and cuddles and toys. Even now in his simplified mind he knew that he was a very lucky little boy because he had a Daddy who loved him and two lovely little brothers who would always be there for a playdate.

    They were a family now.

    The End

    Volunteers: Chapter 5

    I really like bugs. I like looking at them. I like watching them crawl in the dirt. I like how they feel crawling on my skin. So I don’t mind it when the ants crawl over my feet. I squat down to look at them closer, wiggle my toes in the soft dirt.

    I’m exploring the front yard again. It’s one of my favourite things to do. Even though I’ve done it more times than even a grown-up could possibly count. I can’t count at all though, that’s for big boys. I know I have ten toes, but I can’t count them without help. I got distracted again, that happens a lot now, cuz my head is so silly, so fuzzy.

    I’m exploring the yard because I can pretend I’m an adventurer. I’m hunting for lions and tigers and monsters! But the buggies are cool too. I poke at one. Squish. Ha-ha! I like squishing stuff too. It’s all so interesting, and the sensations are nice too. But then a new sensation pushes aside all the others. I need to tinkle.

    No need to stop playing though, no need to abandon my exploration of the bushes along the fence. I just stand back up and let go, pee-pees arcing out from my doodle, splashing across the fence, watering the bushes and also my own feeties. No need for the potty since I’m nakey. That’s one of the best things about being little, even better than getting to play, getting to explore every day. As soon as we got home from daycare I stripped my clothes off, left them for the adults to clean up. I want to be all free, I want to feel the sun on my skin.

    When the tinkles are done, I run back to the driveway because I want to play another game. I’m going to drive the ambulance. I know what an ambulance is. They help people who got boo-boos, really bad ones. Boo-boos that can’t get fixed with a kiss and a cuddle and maybe a plaster. I like the ambulance people, cuz they help people. I want to help people too. When I’m big, maybe I’ll drive the ambulance for real.

    I’m sitting down, playing with my ambulance, imagining it racing to help a boy who fell out of a really big tree, when I get this funny feeling. I don’t know what it is, I have no words to describe it. I just… I feel so strange….

    It’s kind of like waking up from a really good, really deep sleep. Except that I’m not in bed. And it isn’t morning, it’s mid-afternoon. But that’s the only sensation that I can compare it to. Suddenly I feel so alert, so awake, so aware of my situation.

    The plastic toy ambulance in my hands had been so absolutely captivating only moments ago. It had been my entire world. Now it’s just a dumb toy, sitting on the pavement between my legs.

    I can feel the pavement under my bottom. It’s warm and gritty. Yes, I’m sitting naked in the driveway. At least the fence and the gate give me some privacy. But it’s not perfect. Anyone could peek over the fence or between the wooden slats. What a sight I would be. A fully grown man, naked and playing with children’s toys.

    My skin was dirty, a plaster on my arm from a cut I got climbing a tree, my knees scabbed from a tumble at the playground where Chris and Ken took us late in the evening, after the families had gone. I reached up and felt my hair. Ugh, it was cut so short. I used to spend half an hour getting it just right in the morning, using gel, styling it. Now I had a buzz cut. My feet were bowed out in front of me. I pulled one closer, looking at the blackened bare sole. Even scrubbing in the bath wouldn’t remove all that dirt, it was like my skin was permanently stained. I poked at it, feeling the skin. It was tough as shoe leather, callused all over from constantly running around barefoot.

    How long had I been dumbed down for? I remembered my time as a grown toddler, but not perfectly. Would my memories fade with time, like with a dream; so clear when you first awoke, but forgotten by mid-day? There was no sense of time, except that it had been lengthy. I recalled too many events, too many separate days for it to have been just a couple weeks or even months.

    We weren’t at our old flat anymore. Chris and Ken had moved us long ago. I remembered the journey, seeming like a huge adventure at the time, exciting and fun. But really they’d stolen us away, to a place where no one we’d known before could find us. Here everyone simply knew us as three intellectually impaired men and their two doting caregivers. No one would begin to imagine we were once independent, intelligent university students.

    But now I was back, I was me again. My thoughts felt both strangely foreign and comfortable and familiar at the same time. It was like visiting your childhood home as an adult.

    A shadow fell across me and I looked over at a new pair of bare feet standing on the pavement to my right. Benny gaped down at me, a finger jammed deep up his nose, picking away, his other hand idly toying with his soft penis.

    “I wan’ da twuck,” he stated, pointing at my toy.

    “It’s an ambulance,” I told him, though I felt silly even trying to correct him.

    “My twuck,” Benny insisted, oblivious to his error. “Mine!”

    He squatted down, grabbing the toy ambulance away from me, smiling at his successful theft and then pushing it along the driveway, mooning me with his big bare bottom as he went.

    No sign of any recovery from Benny, so why was I suddenly thinking so clearly? Did it really matter though? I had my mental capacity back, at least for now. A part of me was terrified it would be short-lived though. I needed to act, needed to get a move on. But for the moment I was overcome by the torrent of memories washing over me.

    I had these clear memories of my time as Chris and Ken’s dumb little tot, but suddenly all those memories had new meaning for me. There was so much that I’d seen but not understood. So much that had seemed normal, seemed perfectly acceptable, now horrified me. So many people had seen me in that diminished state. So many pitying looks from strangers.

    I touched my wrist, feeling where the harness attached when we went somewhere public, the leash that kept me from running off, from getting into trouble because I didn’t know any better. How had I accepted that without a word of complaint? Now I recalled the shaking heads, the sad looks from people we passed in the mall, seeing me being led along barefoot and leashed, sucking on a binkie or picking my nose as we went, obviously incompetent.

    I couldn’t go back to that. I wondered if I should simply run right out of the yard, try to flag down a passing car. No one would likely stop for a naked man, they’d think I was crazy or dangerous. But they probably would call the police and that would be just as good.

    There was no time to waste. In seconds I was on my feet, making my move. The pavement was hot, scorching really, but it didn’t bother my thick soles. I guess I should be thankful, I didn’t need to go back for shoes to make my escape. As I hurried past Benny I felt a little guilty to be leaving him behind. But it’s just for a little while, I reminded myself. The cops would come, they’d save Benny and Liam. Then we’d find some way to fix them, give them their minds back too.

    “Where goin’?” Benny called after me.

    There was no time to explain. Chris and Ken couldn’t be too far away. They wouldn’t leave us unsupervised for long.

    “I’ll be back soon,” I told him, reaching the gate.

    But when I looked down at the latch, something strange happened. It was a simple latch, it wasn’t locked or anything. But when I looked at it, when I reached for it, I couldn’t recall how to work it at all. There was this growing blank space in my head. And this voice telling me good boys stay in the yard.

    Fuck it, I’d just have to climb over. That wasn’t so bad. I’d been climbing trees and playground structures often, after all. Little boys love to climb and explore the voice reminded me, bringing a pleasant smile to my face.

    I shook my head, knocking the voice away. Time to climb. I grabbed the top of the gate, starting to pull myself up. A wave of tingles and giddy confusion swept over me. Why am I climbing the gate? I know it’s super important, that it can’t wait, but why? I’m supposed to stay in the yard. I let go and dropped back onto the pavement. Mmm, it’s so warm under my feeties. Little boys love being barefoot. I stand there and wiggle my toes, enjoying the rough, solid sensations under my soles. My doodle begins to slowly jerk upwards, filling with nice tingles as well.

    Then I remember, I was climbing the gate to escape, to get away from Chris and especially Ken, who have stolen my entire adult life, my identity from me. It’s crystal clear in my mind again. I need to go, right this second.

    I grab the top of the gate once again, but instantly I feel the fuzziness returning so I let go. I release the fence like it was electric, like it had burnt my hands. Mercifully the rush of fuzzy tingling recedes as quickly as it came on. But it’s replaced by a growing sense of fear and horror. I’m trapped. Whatever they did to my mind, only part of it has come undone.

    I almost screamed out loud when a hand grabbed my own. But it was just Benny, the toy ambulance abandoned now.

    “Lez pway hide ‘n seek,” he declared.

    Poor Benny, so utterly reduced, and I’d helped him accept that, I’d encouraged his regressed mentality, his toddler behaviour. No more of that.

    “Ben, you aren’t a toddler,” I told him, taking his hands in my own, looking him in the eye. “You’re a grown man Ben. You’re smart. You go to university. You just need to remember.”

    Benny pouted.

    “Dun wanna pway pwetend,” he whined. “Wanna pway hide ‘n seek Ewic!”

    “It isn’t pretend Ben. I want you to try and remember the time before you got all little. You remember that you used to be big, don’t you?”

    I could see the cogs turning in his simple little head. It took some effort, but it looked like he still had those memories.

    “I was big boy,” he agreed at last.

    “That’s right Ben, you were big and smart and you did stuff all by yourself. You can do that all again. You can drive a car, go to big school, wear the clothes you choose for yourself…”

    Benny frowned. “I wike nakey!”

    I shook my head. “No Benny, you just think you do because Ken told you that.”

    Benny was clearly confused. This was all much too complicated for him. He shook his head, yanking his hands away from me.

    “Dun wike dis game. Gonna pway wid Wiam.”

    “It’s not a game,” I pleaded. But Benny was done listening. He had turned around and raced off into the house to find Liam, leaving me defeated and alone.

    I couldn’t bring him back on my own, the hypnotic programming was much too strong. The only solution was to get help, and if I couldn’t leave, I’d have to bring them here. And that meant going into the house and finding a phone. My pulse quickened at the very thought. Chris and Ken probably had plans ready in case the hypnosis wore off. They could probably just play my trigger again on their phones.

    The idea of losing this all again terrified me. Now I knew what was truly at stake. The vacant expression on Benny’s face, the utter confusion in his empty eyes when I tried to explain things to him reminded me how crippled my own brain had been, how I must have looked to everyone else. No wonder they pitied me. I couldn’t let that happen again, and I couldn’t leave Benny and Liam in that state. I owed that to them, especially to Liam.

    The inside of the house looked like a place where small children lived. Toys were abandoned helter-skelter on the floors, on the stairs. I could hear Thomas the Tank Engine playing on the living room TV. I peeked into the room, spotting Liam there, climbing along the top of the couch. He leapt down onto the cushions, bouncing and somersaulting down onto the floor, giggling his head off, then quickly jumping back up and climbing to the top of the couch to repeat his game.

    It looked a bit dangerous to me, and again Liam was apparently unsupervised. I wasn’t going to bother trying to snap him out of it though. It was too risky and likely futile. Focus on finding a phone instead. I just had to hope Chris or Ken had left their phone lying around somewhere. At least I wouldn’t need their pin code since emergency numbers worked without one.

    I snuck along the hallway to the kitchen, edging my nose around the corner. No one was in the kitchen. It was a mess, with dishes piled up in the sink, a bunch of toy cars on the floor, scribbled crayon drawings displayed on the fridge door. But most importantly, there was a phone just sitting on the table. My heart leapt and my eyes went wide the second I spotted it.

    “What are you looking for Silly Billy?”

    I hadn’t heard Chris come up behind me, but there he was. Shit, I had to decide what to do fast. Did I punch him in the face, try to incapacitate him? Did I make a beeline for the phone, grab it and run? No, it was too risky when Ken could be in the next room over. I couldn’t face them both and if one of them managed to play my trigger it was all over, maybe forever.

    “Pay hide ‘n theek,” I replied, putting on my best little boy voice and diction.

    It felt strange to speak like that, even though it had been my norm for so long. Now it was an act and I wasn’t sure I could get it just right.

    “Are you the hider or the seeker?” Chris asked in the bright, lilting tone people used with small children.

    “I hide,” I answered quickly.

    “Well then, you better find a good spot. I don’t think there’s anywhere good in the kitchen though,” Chris said.

    Damn, I was so close, the phone was just lying there. I pointed at the table.

    “Under dere,” I chirped as brightly as I could, forcing an idiotic grin onto my face.

    Chris chuckled. “Oh sweetie, they’ll spot you right away under the table.”

    Shit. I had to pull out the toddler stubbornness.

    “Under dere!” I almost shouted, stamping my foot and pouting.

    Was it too much? Would he know something was off?

    Chris put his hand on my back, rubbing it soothingly. “Hey now, let’s take a breath and use our inside voice. Okay Eric?”

    I kept pouting, but I at least gave him a nod.

    “Imma good hider,” I told him more quietly.

    “I know, you’re a very good hider. But I need to do some work here in the kitchen, so why don’t we find you a better hiding place somewhere else, okay?”

    God this was infuriating. He was being too reasonable, and then even worse, he walked right into the kitchen past me and picked up the phone. Now I would actually have to hide somewhere. I was so close!

    “Just remember to stay out of the office. I don’t want you hiding in there again,” Chris warned.

    The office. As soon as he said it I knew there was another way. It wasn’t actually an office. It was the room where Ken and Chris brought strangers, usually young men, and subjected them to their special treatments. I only got glimpses of a couple of them before they went into the office. They kept us boys out of sight before that. But when they emerged from the office we were all there to see it.

    The men invariably walked out naked, either sporting impressive erections or shiny tummies that showed they’d already had their ejaculation. And then they would play with us for the rest of the day. I loved it of course. We would suddenly have a brand new playmate. They had big bodies but little minds, just like us. Sometimes they’d stay the night, and we’d share a bed, which usually resulted in curious fingers probing my penis until we ended up doing stickies together. But in the end, usually late in the evening, some man would come and take them away. They never stayed more than a day.

    It had all seemed like lovely innocent fun at the time. A regular procession of new playmates for us. But now I understood what was really happening. Ken and Chris had perfected the hypnotic methods they had experimented with for months at the university. They had taken what they learned and gone freelance. Now they were trafficking helplessly dumbed down men. Were they regressing them to order? Were they selling them to the highest bidder?

    I felt physically sick. I was sure I was going to vomit. But I managed to hold it in, to keep from drawing Chris’ attention again. I had to get out of his sight, so I hurried down the hallway and up the stairs. I rested at the top of them, breathing hard, sweating as I came to grips with what was happening. This was how they were paying the bills. This was how they could afford to clothe and feed… no, just feed, three grown men who were incapable of earning an income.

    Nevertheless this did present me a new opportunity to escape. If they had a programming room, it must be able to do the reverse as well. I felt a sudden swelling up of hope for the first time since I’d regained my awareness. Liam and Benny might not be lost after all. Maybe I could bring them back and reverse whatever was left of my own programming.

    I crept along the carpeted hallway to the forbidden room. The door was closed, but was it locked? No, the door opened easily, thankfully without any creaking. I stepped inside and closed the door behind me, being as quiet as I could.

    There was a projector hanging from the ceiling, pointed at the far wall, which was bare and white. The other walls were covered in soundproofing material. A comfortable looking chair sat in the middle of the room. At the back was a desk with a computer on it, connected to the projector. Other than that the room was bare. I looked more closely at the chair. There weren’t any restraints on it at least. Maybe they drugged the men first, so they wouldn’t look away, wouldn’t squirm.

    I stepped over to the computer. It needed a password of course. Ken had once told me his, a year or so ago, when he needed me to find a file on his computer. I just hoped he hadn’t changed passwords, and that it was his computer and not Chris’. I typed it in and hit enter.

    Incorrect Password

    Damn it. I tried it again with the first letter capitalised. Same result. I couldn’t keep going much longer or it would lock me out for too many failed attempts and then they’d know I was aware again.

    But I didn’t get another chance anyway. As I stood there with my hands on the keyboard, the door swung open without warning and I found myself face to face with Ken.

    He looked surprised for a moment, then asked, “Eric, what are you doing in here?”

    I bashed at random keys, putting on my biggest, dumbest smile once again.

    “Ewic work in da office. Imma big boy!”

    I cringed at the idiocy of my statement, certain I’d overdone it again.

    Ken frowned. “Eric, you know very well you are not allowed in this room. You get your butt away from the computer this instant,” he ordered firmly.

    Pouting, I stepped back from the computer, waiting as Ken came over to check it.

    “I hope you haven’t locked me out of my own account,” he said with a sigh, typing his password and hitting enter.

    This time the password was accepted and a home screen loaded.

    “Well at least that’s not messed up. Now come on Mr Office Worker, we have things to do,” he declared, taking my hand and leading me out of the room.

    “Where we goin’?” I asked.

    “We need to get something for dinner at the supermarket. Chris needs quiet while he works, so you and your brothers are coming with me,” he explained as we headed down the stairs.

    We were heading out in public. This was perfect, now I just had to bide my time and then I could alert people to our situation. I had to fight the urge to smile as I thought about how Ken would react when I suddenly spoke in full adult sentences and blew his cover.

    The other good thing about going out was that Ken had to give me some clothes to wear. It still felt weird to me when my penis just swished back and forth all free and dangly with every step. So it was a relief to step into the undies Ken provided, even if they were covered in dinosaur prints. I got shorts too, baggy cut-off jorts. They were certainly not what I would have chosen, but they were better than nothing, quite literally.

    To be concluded...

    Volunteers: Chapter 4

    “So how long are they going to be like this, for real?” I asked Ken.  

    We were back at home now, Liam’s first day at daycare with Benny finished.  The two young men were both on the kitchen floor now as Ken and I cleaned up after dinner.  Liam was no longer able to help out. Now his face was just as messy as Benny’s, tomato sauce across his cheeks and his chin.  They were both naked, their clothes stripped away as soon as they got home.  And now Liam was wearing a colander on his head, giggling and squirming on the floor with his legs splayed wide apart, his penis softly jiggling between his legs.  

    “You not so keen on taking care of two grown toddlers?” Ken asked, smiling as he dried the dishes and placed them in the drainer.  

    “Well no, that’s not really something I was hoping for,” I agreed. “But I was more thinking about them.  You told Liam this would be long-term. I assumed that was a lie, to make him really fight it.”  

    Ken stopped drying dishes and looked at me.  “Of course it was a lie.  You think I want to give up my whole academic career to what, stay home looking after two toddlers with full-sized bodies?”  

    I stopped washing dishes too.  “So how long are they going to be like this?” 

    “Well the project is all around making long-term behavioural changes, so I can’t promise you things will be back to normal that quickly.  We need to know if they snap out of it after a few days, or a week or two weeks… or longer.”  

    I shook my head.  “So, we’re supposed to take care of them like this for what, a month? More?”  

    “Not exactly.  There will be help coming, other researchers on the team will be helping out more, starting tomorrow. There are more people in the study too of course. It isn’t just us.  There’s a whole team working on caring for them,” he explained.  

    “But what about Liam and Benny? I mean, they’re missing out on a lot of study time.  And how do we know being like this for that long won’t leave permanent damage?” I asked. 

    “There’s no physical damage done to the brain. They should be fine once it’s reversed. But of course, that is one of the things we’re studying.  If there is damage, we need to know.”  

    “What about informed consent? This can’t be ethical.”  

    “Actually it was all in the fine print of the consents they signed,” Ken assured me.  

    I gave him a questioning look.  “You know people don’t read those things. You’re supposed to make sure they really understand what they’re agreeing to. Otherwise it isn’t really informed consent at all”  

    “I was pretty honest about what the treatment’s goal was. They didn’t believe it would really work, but that’s not my fault,” Ken argued.  

    He had me there.  “I just think they wouldn’t be happy with how they’re behaving now, how people might actually see them.”  

    “Well I need to bring them to campus in a couple days, for the testing. So yeah, people are going to see them.  But they don’t mind at all right now, they’re both very happy just as they are.”  

    The colander on Liam’s head clattered to the floor, interrupting us.  I looked down to make sure he wasn’t doing any damage.  No, he was just leaning back, right foot held tightly in his hands, filthy big toe in his mouth, sucking away at it.  His eyes were so empty, looking cross-eyed at the toes he was nibbling.  How could he let the programming do this to him? No physical changes made after all, he’d simply allowed his mind to shut away all his reasoning abilities, all his self-awareness.  

    “I know they think they’re happy, it’s just, they don’t really want this. They couldn’t.”  

    “The programme made it incredibly arousing for them, you saw that.  Guys just can’t fight that kind of thing, that’s what we’re proving here.  You missed Benny’s change, but you saw it happen to Liam. Losing his smarts, it was better than an orgasm for him,” Ken insisted. “Frankly I’m a little jealous, aren’t you?”  

    “No,” I answered instantly.  How could he even ask that while Liam was sitting there at our feet, nibbling on his own toes?  

    Ken simply shrugged.  “I mean of course I’m not jealous of all of it. I’m not saying I want to be doing that,” he agreed, gesturing to Liam.  “But the freedom from all societal constraints, the ability to just be comfortable in your own skin, the total release from any sense of shame or self-awareness or self-doubt, of course I find that enviable.”

    “So why didn’t you volunteer then? If it’s all so wonderful?” 

    “I actually did consider it.  We needed to know if it made a difference if you knew the whole programming sequence, or if it only worked on the unaware.  But becoming part of the experiment would mean missing out on the chance to see the results.  So I decided against it.”  

    I snorted. “Of course you did. No one who knows the results would actually volunteer.”  

    “Actually Mike did volunteer.  He acted all reluctant, but I could tell that he was curious.  He wanted to know how it actually felt.  I mean, aren’t you curious, what it’s actually like for them? What’s in their little heads now?” he asked.  

    On that point he had me.  It was a thought I’d had many times, though certainly not enough to volunteer to join Benny and Liam.  Sure you’d find out what it was like for them, but then what. You couldn’t tell anyone. You’d be just as helpless and at the mercy of the researchers to decide when you got your mind back.  If they decided it was going to be a month… two, there’d be absolutely nothing you could do about it. 

    “Not that curious,” I answered dryly.  “Have I met Mike?”    

    “Yeah, he came for that game night we had in August.  He’s tall, has dark black hair, kind of skinny.”  

    “Oh yeah, I remember him, a bit quiet right?”  

    Ken chuckled. “Yeah he was quite the little nerd, nose buried in books all the time.  Not anymore of course.”  

    “So it worked on him? Even knowing the whole system?”  

    Ken snapped his fingers. “Worked like a charm.”  

    “So did he tell you what it was like? Afterwards I mean.”  

    Ken shook his head.  “No, no, he joined the experiment as a subject. Once you’re in, that is, you’re in for the duration.” 

    My jaw literally dropped.  But Ken had the proof.  He scrolled through his phone a moment, then held it up to show me a photo.  I recognised the man I’d met at game night, but only just.  In the photo he was sitting in what could only be described as a massive high chair, wearing only two clothing items: a pull-up and a pointy party hat.  He was an absolute mess, his hands digging through a cake on the tray before him.  The frosting and cake was all over his face, his bare chest, his fingers.  And he looked absolutely ecstatic, an ear to ear open-mouthed grin on his dumbed down face.  It could have been a second birthday, except that next to the 2 candle, there was a 5 as well.  He was twenty-five, not two.  

    “It was his birthday last week, so we all got together and threw him a party,” Ken explained.  “He loved it though, not like before. He’s not a quiet little toddler at all. He’s the loudest, messiest big little tyke around.”  

    How could a scene look so innocent and happy and be so horrifying at the same time?

    I just really didn’t feel comfortable with it.  Later that evening Ken went to draw them a bath, leaving me alone with Benny and Liam.  They were playing with their Duplo Blocks on the floor, mostly throwing them, knocking them together and chewing on them.  I knelt down next to Liam, patting his bare bottom, feeling that smooth skin.  

    Liam looked back at me, twisting around and sitting heavily on his bottom.  He offered me a red block, dripping with his spittle.  

    “No thanks Liam,” I told him.  

    “Hab bwock!” he insisted, shoving it at me.  

    Finally I took it to prevent a tantrum.  Liam grinned as I said, “Thank you Liam.” 

    “Tank-oo!” he echoed. 

    “No Liam, you say, ‘you’re welcome’,” I corrected. 

    “Tank-oo!” he repeated.  “Tank-oo! Tank-oo!” he shouted over and over, grinning all the more at his cheekiness.  

    “Okay then, okay. Inside voice buddy.”  

    Liam stopped shouting but then reached out with his open hand.  

    “Gib bwock?” he asked, wanting me to give it back to him now apparently.  

    “You want the block?” I asked. 

    “Mine!” he declared.  

    “I’ll give it back, but you have to answer my questions. Okay?”  

    Liam nodded eagerly.  

    “Do you remember being big, being all smart?” 

    “Wiam was big boy,” he agreed, nodding again.  

    “And you’re not a big boy now, are you?” 

    “Nuh-uh. Widdle.”  

    “Do you like being little?”  

    Liam smiled now.  “Yeth!”  

    “Why? Don’t you miss getting to do all sorts of big boy things?” I asked. 

    Liam looked confused. “Was dat?” he asked. 

    “Like going to school.”

    “Wiam go school. Wiam pway. Made pitchur!”  

    He meant the paper scribbled in indecipherable crayon marks that now adorned the fridge door.

    “Yes, you went to daycare, but that’s not the same as school.  I mean, don’t you miss watching grown-up TV?”  

    Liam pointed at the TV.  “Watch Peppa!” he announced very brightly.  

    “We watch Peppa!” Benny now joined in, creeping over to me on hands and knees, penis and balls dangling between his bare thighs. “Peppa piggy!”  

    “But what about South Park? You used to love South Park,” I reminded them.  

    Both young men had looks of blank incomprehension. A line of drool began to hang from Benny’s chin while Liam grew distracted by his blocks again, bringing one to his mouth to gnaw on.  

    I needed more time, but Ken walked back in before I could ask any more questions.  

    “Okay boys, it’s bathy time!” he announced, and just like that Liam forgot all about his block. He rushed right after Benny and soon both men were splashing about in the bath together before being tucked into the same bed, cuddling together.  There was no fuzzy onesie for Liam tonight though.  There was no more need for such half-measures.  Instead they snuggled together skin on skin. No doubt it would only be a matter of time before their pee-pees met and began to hump against each other.  The sheets would need washing in the morning.    

    **

    “So this is their normal level of functioning?”  

    It was actually kind of embarrassing even for me, having an outsider come in and see how Benny and Liam now behaved.  Chris was a grad student too, and he was here to help out with caring for the boys.  Apparently he would be a regular part of our little household from now on.  

    Even though he was in on the experiment and had to know what to expect, it still made me feel awkward for Liam and Benny, being exposed like this in front of a complete stranger.  Both mentally reduced men were watching Sesame Street, naked on the floor of the living room.  Liam was cuddling a stuffy, chewing on the fuzzy ear of the stuffed elephant.  Benny was clapping his hands, shouting nonsense at Big Bird.  

    “Yeah, this is pretty much normal,” I answered Chris.  

    There was no daycare today, since it was Saturday. So we just had them at home all day.  I was a little relieved to have the extra hands, but still found it uncomfortable.  I felt ashamed on behalf of Liam and Benny, even though they were oblivious to the stranger watching them play naked on the floor.  

    “They’re always nude like this?” Chris followed up.  

    “Well, yeah, they basically insist on having their clothes off,” I said, feeling quite defensive.  

    “Of course, it’s part of the programming, stripping away all modesty, giving them a strong urge to show it all off, be exhibitionists basically. I’m just checking it’s all been effective,” Chris explained, clearly noting my defensive tone.  

    “Right, I understand.”  

    Liam stood up suddenly, turning around to face us, stuffed elephant still cuddled against his chest.  His penis was standing straight up. Oh God, he was excited again. And he came right up to Chris and I, his erection pointing forward.  

    “Goz big doodle,” he announced, not an ounce of shame about telling this to a stranger.  

    “Yeah, we can see that honey,” I told him as calmly as I could.  

    “Is he often erect?” Chris asked, sounding so clinical.  

    “Um… yeah, it’s pretty normal for him,” I admitted.  

    “That’s good, it shows the programming is working well, he’s aroused by his littleness.  And when he’s erect, do you offer him manual stimulation?” he asked me. 

    “I’m sorry?” I gasped, blushing deeply.  

    “Do you let him masturbate, or do you help?”

    “Well… I mean, sometimes, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable now…” I stammered. 

    Jesus, what must he think of me?  Deep down I knew all of this was just so wrong.  But for some reason every time I felt that concern, my arousal at what was happening to Benny and Liam seemed to double and I couldn’t bring myself to stop it.  But having to explain my actions to this man made me even more uncomfortable.  

    I was relieved that Chris didn’t immediately call me a pervert.  No he seemed totally unconcerned with my semi-admission.  Instead he simply turned to face Liam and his whole demeanour changed.  Suddenly Chris had this big smile on his face and he reached over and rubbed Liam’s arm gently.  

    “My goodness that’s a happy doodle you have there Liam,” he said to the man.  

    Liam gaped at this stranger and nodded, still no hint of awareness of how he must look.  

    “Ids all big,” he agreed.  

    “You must really like being all silly and little.  You’re such a very happy little boy, aren’t you sweetie-pie?” Chris cooed to him.  

    And far from being offended, Liam began to grin too, nodding agreeably.  

    “I think you’d love some tickles on that happy doodle, wouldn’t you honey?”  

    And now Liam nodded even harder, almost shoving his erection forward at Chris.  Oh God, it was so embarrassing. He hadn’t even wanted me to see him like this, and now he was showing off to a total stranger.  Fuck, why did that have me harder than ever in my own pants?  

    Chris moved his hand down, lightly running his fingers across Liam’s doodle, watching the man moan in ecstasy.  

    “That’s right Liam, you’re my happy little dumb-dumb now,” Chris mocked him.  

    But Liam just nodded all the more, giggling lightly.  

    “Let’s give you a nice reward for letting us empty your head out,” he said, then closing his fingers around Liam’s penis and beginning to stroke it up and down in earnest.  

    I could barely watch it, but I also couldn’t look away.  Chris expertly worked on Liam’s penis, cuddling the man into his arms, urging him on. He wouldn’t stop until he blew his load right there in the middle of the room.  And I just stood there, watching it myself.  I mean what could I do? It’s not like I could take the moral high ground and tell him to stop it when I’d done the exact same thing.  

    And Liam looked so happy. His eyes had rolled back in his head, he was resting his chin on Chris’ shoulder and he was making these little moans.  He had adult needs and Chris was helping him with them. How could I object to that?  

    Liam’s body tensed up and I could see he was close.  His head jerked back and he let out a louder grunt, his body jerked as he let out a torrent of cum all over his tummy as Chris pointed his cock there.  

    “Good job Liam,” he praised him. “What a lovely mess you’ve made.”  

    Liam lapped up the praise, happy to let Chris clean his tummy of the sticky mess and then drop back to the carpet, watching Sesame Street again like this was nothing at all.  

    I was being torn apart inside.  How could I feel such revulsion and such arousal at the same time? And how could I feel so awful for Liam, but also have these pangs of powerful jealousy, of envy?  

    How awful to be so oblivious, to be manipulated by this stranger.  But how nice would it be to have Chris, who was quite handsome, just walk up to me and stroke my cock.  

    Ken arrived back a minute later, unaware of what had just happened of course.  

    “So, everything under control in here?” he asked.   

    “Well Chris just gave Liam a handy,” I commented right away, wondering what Ken would think of that.  

    Ken chuckled. “I bet he loves you already then,” he told Chris.  

    Apparently he saw nothing at all wrong with this.  

    “You’ll have to help Benny,” Ken went on.  “That way you’ll have both of them following you around like a puppy.  Don’t worry, Benny will need a squirt by afternoon at the latest.”  

    I was really not happy with the way they were talking about our friends, like they weren’t full people. Of course that’s how they saw them now. Without their adult minds, reduced to toddler intellect, they weren’t truly seen as equals. They were just small tots in big bodies.  Their status as adults had been completely stripped away. They weren’t deserving of dignity, of being treated with any respect.  They were simple minded creatures to be kept entertained and controlled.  

    “Right, well you guys seem to have control here, so I’m going to have a break, head out for the day,” I announced.  

    I was resigned to the fact Liam and Benny would be left in this reduced state for some time, but I needed a break from it.  I needed to get out of this house and clear my head.  But when I told them I was leaving, Chris and Ken looked unhappy.  

    “Actually Eric, we need you to stay,” Ken told me.  

    “What, why?”  

    They shared another look with each other. I didn’t like that, it was like I was being left out.  

    “Well, actually now that Chris is here, I need to tell you about another part of the experiment,” Ken went on.  

    “So there’s actually a third method we have been testing in addition to hypnotic trance session and night-time subliminal training.  We have also been testing a computer programme which inserts subliminal messaging and hypnotic suggestions into web browsing or other phone apps.”  

    I didn’t like where this was going at all.  But I had never signed a release, I couldn’t be in this experiment.  

    “So what’s that got to do with me?” I asked. “I’m not going to volunteer for anything like that. I have zero interest in running around naked with a moron’s grin, getting jacked off by Chris,” I told them, even though that was at least in part a lie. Getting jacked off by Chris was something I couldn’t get out of my head now.  

    Ken shrugged. “You don’t have to volunteer now Eric. You already did, right back at the start. I just made you forget about it.”  

    My stomach rolled over and knotted up.  “What?!”  

    “I put the programming on your phone weeks ago. You’ve been seeing the suggestions every single time you’ve used it since,” he explained matter of factly, as though these revelations were barely news.  

    I felt sick to my stomach. 

    “So you’ve been making me treat Liam and Benny this way?” I snapped. “You’ve hypnotised me into going along with this? That’s why I feel so torn up inside about it!”   

    But Ken shook his head this time. “No, no, not like that.  Sorry mate, but you don’t get off that easy.  The suggestions have been making you find it arousing, but that’s all.  I haven’t taken away your free will.  Let me ask, did you ever study the Milgram Experiment?”  

    “No, was that about brainwashing your friends too?”  

    “No, it was about the willingness of normal people to do terrible things when directed by an authority figure.  Milgram wanted to know if the Nazi henchmen’s defence of just following orders was actually credible.  He got subjects to deliver lethal doses of electric shocks to completely innocent test subjects, even as they demanded to be released.  

    “Now none of the people apparently being tortured were real, they were just acting, but the true subjects didn’t know that. And yet two-thirds of them were willing to deliver lethal electric shocks just because a man in a white lab coat told them to.”  

    I felt like an idiot.  I’d gone along with the experiment, even though I knew it was wrong, because I had accepted Ken’s authority as a researcher and because he’d made me aroused by it.  I’d simply been letting my cock do the thinking for me.  

    “Of course those aren’t the only suggestions you’ve been getting,” Ken went on. 

    My heart skipped at least a couple beats.   

    “You’ve also been getting the same suggestions as Liam and Benny.  Suggestions telling you how lovely it will feel to lose all your smarts, how incredibly arousing it is to be dumb and little and dependent on a grown-up to keep you safe and happy.  Telling you how wonderful it is to be a nudist. All that and more,” he explained.  

    I was dumbfounded. What could I say? At least that explained the very strange jealousy I’d been experiencing.  So much of my internal struggles made sense to me now.  

    “Has there been any leakage?” Chris asked him.  

    “No, none at all,” Ken answered. 

    “Leakage?” I asked.  

    “Suggestions taking effect without being triggered. We saw Liam had a lot of it. He was already constantly barefoot, even started being shirtless long before being actually triggered.”  

    “That’s right!” I agreed. “Nothing like that has happened to me.”  

    Chris nodded. “That tracks with the others.”  

    “Huh?”  

    Ken explained, “The night time suggestions have caused a lot of leakage in the other cases too. But the phone programming has been pretty consistent in having no leakage.”  

    “Others?” I asked, my heart sinking again.  

    “There have already been a few other phone subjects triggered. So far the phone programming is proving far superior. No leakage at all and in each case so far, a very quick and very complete regression of intellect and behaviour as soon as it’s triggered,” Chris answered.  

    I shook my head, my heart-rate picking up even more now.  “I don’t want to be part of the experiment,” I told them, feeling desperate, feeling trapped. 

    Ken nodded. “I know that Eric, of course. And by all means fight against it. We want you to fight it.  But the thing is, no one has been able to so far.  So I’m afraid you’re going to be joining Benny and Liam on the floor in a moment.  Your clothes will be packed away like theirs and you’ll be watching Elmo with the happiest of smiles and the very biggest of erections.  And we’ll all be able to see it too.  

    “Maybe you’ll even present it to Chris. You know how good he is with making doodles feel good.  I bet you’ll want to show it to him, let him touch it, make it feel extra good.  There won’t be any modesty left in you after all. You’ve seen Liam and Benny, so you have the advantage of knowing how good it’s going to feel.”   

    I knew exactly what he meant.  I’d seen this happen to Liam.  If anybody could have fought against it, Liam would have.  After all, he was the smartest among us, the strongest willed.  I looked back down at him on the floor, chewing on the ratty ear of his stuffy, wide eyes glued to Sesame Street. No, he had been the smartest among us, but he sure wasn’t anymore.  And if he’d ended up like that, what hope did I have?  

    So I needed to get out of here, I needed to leave while I still could.  No one had their phone out so there was still time.  Forget reasoning with them, I could see both Ken and Chris were committed to regressing me the same as the others.  So I turned around, headed straight for the front door.  Get out of the house, then worry about what next.   

    “Check your phone Eric!” Ken called after me.  

    Check my phone? Why on Earth would I do that?  

    But my hand went to my pocket and I pulled out my phone.  I didn’t seem to be in control of my own hand.  I was at the front door, but I couldn’t bring myself to open it yet. I needed to unlock my phone first.  Unlock it and see there’s a notification, I’ve got a new audio file.  No.  Stop.  Put the phone away.  But my thumb moves to the icon, it betrays me.  And I watch myself tap play.  

    And then I heard the music. The silliest and yet most beautiful of melodies.   

    You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out and you shake it all about

    You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around

    That’s what it’s all about!  

    I had to fight it!  But as soon as I heard the words I knew with utter and complete certainty that I couldn’t fight it.  There was no way to fight it. I was going to get little, I was going to be as dumb and naked and messy and silly as Benny and Liam. I was going to be helpless and dependent and not seen as a real person who mattered anymore. No one would ask my opinion, no one would care what I thought. I would just be a dumb toddler man down on the floor at the grown-ups’ feet, left out of conversations, ignored unless I made a mess that demanded immediate attention.  

    I was going to be little and it was going to feel so absolutely wonderful.  A rush of arousal coursed through my body from head to toe.  I was getting dumb and little and it was the greatest sensation I’d ever known.  And there was no way to fight that. I’d never felt more certain of anything in my life.  And I knew that once it happened, as soon as all my smarts were gone, I would have no ability to get them back, no way to remember the things I was about to forget.  

    Oh God, I was going to forget so, so much.  How to drive a car. How to add numbers. How to count. How to read. How to recognise letters.  How to speak in full sentences. How to use a fork and knife.  I was going to forget it all. I knew it right now, but in just a few minutes. No, in seconds, I wouldn’t know any of that.  Years of education gone in seconds. 

    But at the same time, deep inside me, I knew I wanted to forget it, because it just felt so, so good and I couldn’t stop it anyway. So why fight it at all? Why fight when it was inevitable and it felt so amazing.  God my penis was so big, so hard, pulsing with arousal, ready to explode with the greatest orgasm ever.  And all I had to do was to forget. 

    It’s so easy to forget things. It’s not like learning stuff. That’s hard. Forgetting is simple. We do that without needing to think about it at all.  So I didn’t even have to decide to forget. Suddenly I just realised I was forgetting stuff. It was happening fast too. And all I really knew about it was that it kind of tickled and tingled, really deep inside my head. And then that lovely pleasure would wash over me in waves as I forgot more and more. No need to fight it, no point. Just enjoy the waves of bliss.  Let it go, let everything go.  

    **

    Chris rubs my arm. He’s very close to me. He’s looking me in the eye, looking so intensely at me.  And he’s smiley, he’s looking so kind, so friendly.  He was someone special wasn’t he?  I knew his name. But everything else, it was gone. I forgot it. I forgot a lot just now. So many tingles.  

    “That was a pretty song, wasn’t it Eric?” he asks.  

    Song? Oh yes, the silly song that made me all tingly.  I nod my head. I need to answer him. I need to use my words.  

    “Pwetty,” I agreed. 

    That was only one word. 

     It was so hard to think of any. I should be talking to Chris, but I just couldn’t remember any words, or how to put them together. It wasn’t just that they were missing. The whole process of thinking of words, putting them together and using them seemed incredibly complex now.  I just felt so slow, so dumb.  

    But Chris didn’t seem to mind my simple word.  He nodded, he smiled even bigger. I’d done good. The grown-up was happy with me.  That felt very important now.  It made me smile too. 

    “The song made you very happy didn’t it honey? I can tell because your doodle got all big and happy,” he told me.  

    He pointed down, and I looked and saw my shorts were all lumpy.  I poked at the bulge. Ooh, that tingled! I poke it again.  There’s a vague sense I should know what this lump is, that it’s important. But I draw a blank.  

    “Look how big and pokey your doodle is!  I think it wants to come and play, Eric.  Should we get that pee-pee out? Should we let it be free, like Benny and Liam?” Chris asks me.  

    I look over at Benny and Liam, playing on the carpet.  They’re all nakey. They have their pee-pees out. I can see them bobbing around.  They’re dumb babies.  And suddenly it clicks. 

    I’m a baby now too.  It’s so obvious and so certain in my mind. I’m a little boy. The pretty song made me all little and it worked.  And that’s so good. I know it’s very good.  And little boys can be nakey.  Grown-ups can’t do that, it’s naughty.  But for little ones it’s perfectly okay, in fact it’s a good thing!  Yes, I need my pee-pee out too.  

    “Uh-huh!” I quickly agreed. “Ewic widdle! Be nakey!” I announced.  

    I felt so good for telling the grown-ups this important news.  And they were all nodding and smiling. Yes, I’d done very well.  I was a very good boy.  

    “Okay Eric, let’s get you all comfy then,” Chris agreed.  

    He helped me take off my big person clothes. It was so silly that I had on big grown-up clothes like them, like I was all big.  Little boys shouldn’t wear big people clothes.  That was naughty.  Chris helped me get the naughty clothes off. When he finally slipped the big boy undies down, my pee-pee just waggled out and stood straight up.  A little bit of goo was dribbling down it and it was all red and pointy and big.  I poked at it while he got my undies off my feeties.  Each poke made it waggle back and forth and I felt even more pleasant tingles. 

    “There we go, isn’t it so comfy being nakey? I bet you want to be like this all the time!” Chris told me.  

    He was right! He was a very smart grown-up. Chris and Ken knew everything. It was very comfy being nakey, much nicer than naughty big person clothes.  I hopped up and down and my pee-pee was all flappy and it was so nice to have it all free.  I’d gotten all little and it made me feel so good, so tingly, especially in my doodle.  

    “Doodle happy!” I told them.  

    They both chuckled. So I laugh too, I want to be just like them.  

    “Let’s help you with that then.  You deserve a lovely treat for being such a good boy and listening to your pretty song,” Ken told me.  He’d been watching Chris help me, smiling, pleased.  But now he took over.   

    A treat? Goodie!  I wonder what it is. Maybe a toy to play with.  Or something yummy to eat!  

    But then he runs his fingers over my doodle. Oh! It feels amazing, like feathers of pleasure. The tingles instantly increase and spread.  I push my doodle towards him. I want more tingles. He strokes my pee-pee, he makes it feel perfect.  I love my treat. I’ve been a good boy. I deserve my happy tingles.  I’m so happy I listened to the pretty song so I could get to be all nakey, get to have pee-pee rubs from Ken.

    “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this,” Ken tells me as he pulls me in closer, wraps his other arm around my back, pats it gently.  

    “Ever since you moved in, I’ve had my eye on you,” Ken went on.  “It’s just too bad you were such a modest guy, never even giving me a peek, always with your socks on around the house even.”

    I’m not really sure what Ken is talking about, but it doesn’t sound happy.  

    “I had you in mind when I designed this experiment in fact. It all began with me fantasising about how to get you walking around the house shirtless, get you running around barefoot in public.  I wanted to come home and find you lying on the couch with dirty soles propped up on the arm for us all to see.”  

    Ken’s fingers kept on working my doodle.  They were so warm, so soft. My toes curled into the carpet as the tingles shot through me and I could feel I was getting close, close to something even better.  

    “That’s how it began.  But you know how fantasies can grow once they’re seeded.  And mine sure did. It took on a life of its own.  That’s where the idea for the experiment came from. You should really feel honoured, that I went through all of this trouble for you,” he whispered in my ear.  

    But I didn’t really understand.  My head was all slow and muddled now.  All I understood was that Ken had done something really big for me, because he liked me.  And now he was making me feel so good.  Ken’s so good to me. I like him too.     

    The tingles got better and better until, oh, ugh, I’m filled with ecstasy, the best feeling ever.  And I’m peeing too. It’s not normal tinkles though. It’s gooey, it’s all over my tummy.  

    “That’s it Eric, make your stickies!” Ken encouraged me.  “You’ve done such a good job, I think I’ll help you make them everyday from now on.”  

    That sounded perfect.  The special pee-pees I did felt so much better than normal tinkles.  And they’re all warm and gooey on my tummy.  I want to play with the mess. I like how it feels in my fingers, all sticky and warm.  I want to show Chris and Ken, show them what I made. But Ken just cleans it away with a warm cloth. It’s icky stuff, not for playing with.  

    That’s okay. The grown-ups are busy doing adult stuff anyway now.  They’re working in the kitchen making food. They’re talking about grown-up things. I stand there and watch them. I don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t know what the things they’re using are. It’s all incredibly familiar. I know I’ve seen these things many times. I know I’ve used them before. But now, I just can’t remember how to do any of it.  

    I don’t understand what they’re talking about either. So many words I don’t understand, don’t even recognise. And they talk fast and they don’t look at me.  It’s just noise to me.  My attention wanders and I want to play with the other little boys instead.  They’re on the floor. Little boys belong on the floor.  I get down on my hands and knees with them. 

    Benny and Liam and I play with the toy cars. We push them around and crash them together and make noises for them.  We pretend we’re driving them, like big people. The idea of actually driving a real car seems ridiculous though. But little boys can pretend, even if it’s very silly.  

    We play and play while the grown-ups do their things. When we get tired of the cars Benny and Liam get out the pots and pans and bang them and make noise.  I smack the pot too. It makes a rewarding thwack sound.  I made a sound! It’s fun to make sounds!  I do it again and again.  

    I get bored of that too though.  I sit back on my bum and feel the sticky floor under my bottom.  It reminds me that I’m nakey. I hadn’t even thought about that since I done my stickies.  Now I look down at my body. I poke my pee-pee. It’s all soft now, it’s gone nighty-nights between my legs.  I pick at my belly button for a minute.  Then I notice my feet. I can wiggle my toes.  I examine them closer, wiggle them, smell them.  I pull my toes to my mouth, suck on them, slip my tongue between them to feel them, taste them.  

    Ken points at me and says something to the others. The grown-ups are all smiling and laughing as they watch me.  I smile around my toes. I like making the grown-ups happy.  

    Ken kneels down and says, “Are you our little toe-muncher now Eric?”  

    Toe muncher? Haha, that’s right. I’m eating my toes.  Ken is smiling though, so he must be happy with me.  

    “Yeff!” I tell him, letting the toes go, so I can talk.  

    “Are they yummy?” he asks.  

    I’m not sure if they are. But I want to make Ken happy.  “Uh-huh. Yummy toes,” I agreed.  

    He laughed again. Yes, I was a very good boy.  I grabbed my foot again, sucked on my toes more, so Ken would see how silly and good I am.  

    “So when do we move?” Chris asks Ken.  

    “You have to be patient, I’m not sacrificing my degree, I’ve worked too long and hard for that.  A few more weeks, make sure it’s clear the experiment is a failure, but we don’t take the blame.” Ken answered him.  

    “I know, Mike designed the programming, but what if they question him, what if they bring him back…” 

    “He’s as empty-headed as the rest of them, they aren’t going to get any sensible answers out of him,” Ken interrupted.  

    Chris nodded, putting his arms around Ken, hugging him tightly.  Ken responded by squeezing Chris right back, pecking a kiss on his cheek.  

    “It’s just a long time to wait,” Chris whispered.  

    “Starting a family usually takes nine months. We’re getting ours in much less than that,” Ken reminded him.  

    Chris nodded his head against Ken’s shoulder.  “I can wait. It’s worth it to be with you, to have our little boys.”  

    I listen to their conversation and I can see they love each other. I understand that much.  And they want to be a family.  That’s a good thing too.  But the rest of it… it’s just much too complicated for me now. I don’t even try to follow all the big words.  I focus on my nummy toes, feeling them wiggle as I suck on them.  I don’t need to worry about big things anymore, Ken and Chris will take care of everything.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers: Chapter 3

    Liam was waiting for me when I got home.  As soon as I saw him I knew things had changed again.  He was on the floor again, cartoons on but this time he wasn’t alone. He wasn’t hiding his love of the simple cartoons.  Benny was on the floor right next to him, sitting cross-legged and nursing his thumb.  Ken was on the couch, watching the pair, smiling.  He gave me a look as soon as I walked in, a look that let me know he was pleased with what he saw.  

    Liam wasn’t wearing a shirt.  He was sitting there in just his shorts apparently.  I could see every bump on his spine, just like Benny.  Well Benny was nude as usual, but side by side they no longer looked so different.  

    But Liam didn’t seem to care. Yesterday he had been ashamed I’d caught him watching cartoons. Today he seemed totally at ease sitting on the floor at Ken’s feet, on the same level as Benny, both figuratively and literally.  

    As soon as he saw me he had other things on his mind. He quickly climbed to his feet and rushed right over to me.  It was so weird to see him like this, like a hyperactive little kid.  

    “Eric you’re home! You have to come with me,” he urged, grabbing my hand.  

    Ken just shrugged, smiling again as Liam quickly led me away, back to his room.  

    “What is it?” I asked once he’d closed the door.  

    His breathing was faster and when he turned around I could see the bulge in his shorts.  

    “I gotta show you,” he said, not really bothering to keep his voice low.

    He dropped onto his bed and lifted both his feet up, watching me so eagerly.  The soles of his feet were black again and he looked so proud to show them off.  It was amazing, they really were even dirtier than yesterday and he wasn’t nervous about it anymore. 

    “My goodness, those are the ickiest little boy feet I’ve ever seen,” I told him.  

    The look of elation on his face was incredible.  The bulge in his shorts grew even bigger.  I sat down on the bed next to him, putting my hand on his back, feeling that nice warm skin.  

    “How’d you even manage to get those feeties so filthy?” I asked him.  

    “I ran around the whole campus before I came home,” he explained.  

    “You ran around barefoot, and everyone saw you,” I said. 

    “Uh-huh,” he agreed, quivering with arousal.  

    “That must have been so much fun.”

    “Felt so good,” he agreed.  

    “And what happened to your shirt?”  

    “Well Benny got home and took his clothes off again and I just… It looked so good. And then Ken noticed me staring and suggested I take off my shirt, get more comfy.”

    “So you did?” 

    Liam bit his lip uncomfortably.  

    “I know it’s silly, it’s exactly what Ken wants.  But I just couldn’t wear it anymore. I… I want even more off. I keep thinking about being like Benny, about how that must feel. He just runs around with his penis bouncing around all free. And he’s so comfy like that and I know it must feel great. And he just… he looks so, so little, all nakey-bummed.  And it makes me so horny thinking about it and I want to feel it too,” he explained.  

    I rubbed his back comfortingly.  “I totally understand.  But if that’s how you feel, why are you still wearing those shorts?”  

    Suddenly Liam was shaking his head, looking scandalised.  “I can’t be naked like that!” he insisted.  “I’d be so embarrassed if I actually ever did it, even if just you and Ken saw me like that.  I’d never live down the shame.”  

    He went silent a moment, biting his lip, then admitted, “But I just can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about what it would feel like and how it would feel not to care, to be totally oblivious, to not even have a concept of modesty or privacy, like Benny.”  

    “But you don’t feel self-conscious about being shirtless, being barefoot?”  

    He shook his head. “Not really.  It’s kind of  like being at the beach, but all the time. I’ve been barefoot in public before. I get that people think I look dumb, like a hippy or a kid and that… that just makes me feel so horny. 

    “But naked… no, that’s for babies. I still have my intellect, I haven’t forgotten who I am.”  

    “I can see that,” I assured him.  

    “So… can we cuddle? I’m so hard down there,” he begged, squirming, looking like a kid who needed to pee.  .  

    “Well, how about we have a cuddle back in the living room,” I suggested. 

    But Liam quickly shook his head. “Ken can’t know,” he insisted. 

    “Oh honey, Ken’s seen those dirty soles. He has to know you’ve been running around barefoot all day. And he’s seen you watching the cartoons and playing on the floor with no shirt on. He knows the programming is working on you.  Let’s go show him how cuddly you are. You know how nicely he cuddles Benny. Wouldn’t you like a cuddle from him too?”  

    Liam squirmed uncomfortably.  “I don’t want to cuddle with him. I want cuddles with you Eric. And I don’t want him to watch. I’m… I’m shy okay.”  

    “That’s fine buddy,” I assured him. “Let’s cuddle right here.”  

    I barely had the words out and he was cuddling me tight, thrusting into my stomach, needing the release.  Wow, that programming was incredible. It had him so horny he was masturbating twice a day now.  

    **

    “It’s his last night,” Ken said as we cleaned up the toys.  

    Benny had gone to sleep at eight as usual, tucked in by Ken.  Liam had headed off to bed at ten, a bit earlier than his normal as well.  Aside from being shirtless and barefoot he hadn’t behaved too childishly once Benny was in bed. He’d just watched TV with us, played on his phone, then headed off once he began yawning.  

    “Yeah, and it seems like it’s been working pretty well on him. But nothing like Benny,” I noted. 

    Ken chuckled. “No, not like Benny, but there have certainly been some changes. I know he’s been coming to you for cuddles and stickies.”

    I blushed deep red.  There was no point denying it, Ken clearly knew all too well how Liam felt about me.  But there was no judgement in his voice, he seemed pleased that I’d been helping Liam with his needs.  

    “Yeah, I think he’s had a crush on me for a long time.  And now… well he’s able to show his affection.”  

    “Yeah, the programming makes him horny pretty much all the time, so it’s not surprising.  He’s aroused by his own regression, though you’ve no doubt already realised that by now. I know you’re a smart guy, you know how this works.”

    I nodded.  “He’s been getting aroused by being barefoot in public, getting his feet dirty.  I didn’t think that would be a part of the experiment,” I noted, implying but not directly saying what I thought.  

    Ken smirked.  “Yeah I added that to the programming myself.  It’s not so much that I like feet, it’s just I always loved being barefoot as a kid and my friends were the same.  We were kind of wild, playful kids, always messy, always in trouble.  But I know that you guys weren’t like that. You were the neat kids, the ones who didn’t climb too high in the trees, didn’t jump in the mud puddles, didn’t go to school barefoot rain or shine.  

    “So I added in a few personality changes to the programming too and I might have gone a bit over the top on the bare feet and dirtiness.  But so far, I think it’s pretty adorable, don’t you?”  

    “Yeah, I guess they are pretty cute that way.  But I’m a little worried they’ll be pissed off afterwards. Aren’t you?”  

    Ken shrugged. “You let me worry about that.”  

    “Okay then.  But how far is this going to go? I mean Liam’s starting to want to be naked now too.  He’s fighting for now anyway.”   

    Ken shook his head. “There’s no way to fight that level of arousal, and it will only get better tomorrow.”  

    “Really?” 

    Ken nodded. “The final programming phase is the strongest and most important.  He won’t be going to university tomorrow, he’ll be joining Benny at daycare. I’ve already told them to expect a second boy with the same level of intellectual impairment.”  

    “It hasn’t touched his intellect though. His behaviours have changed a bit, but he seems as sharp as ever.”  

    “Oh he is right now. I just checked his latest IQ test and there’s been no change.  His self-image, his emotions, his personality, they’ve all had some changes.  But the IQ hasn’t been touched. I know that’s what scares him the most, so I’ve left it to the very end.”

    I felt a little troubled about that. I knew Liam specifically didn’t want his intelligence touched.  “Are you sure he really wants to go through with that? I mean yeah, he volunteered, but I don’t know that he expected it to really work.”  

    “I know he was sceptical, but don’t worry, when it actually happens he’s going to enjoy it, he’s going to find it the most exciting part yet.  He won’t even miss all those smarts.”

      **

    Before I went to bed I ducked my head into Liam’s room, looking down at him fast asleep in his powder blue onesie once again, headphones over his ears, already getting his last dose of programming.  I considered pulling them off, waking him up and warning him.  But he was already listening. He’s taken the pill and been in bed over an hour now. It was probably too late already.  Better to let it be complete then, rather than interrupt.  So I went to bed myself.  

    I wondered if I’d be woken by a morning visitor again, coming for cuddles, for release.  To be honest I went to sleep expecting it.  But what actually woke me was my alarm.  I turned it off and looked around my still mostly dark room. Nobody was there but me.  Huh, that was actually surprising now.  

    I got up and padded softly over to Liam’s room, to see if he was up yet.  And there I discovered why I’d been left unbothered today.  Liam and Benny were in bed together, all tangled up. Benny’s naked form was intertwined with Liam, still in his fuzzy onesie.  They were both asleep, but the still drying sticky mess across the tummy of Liam’s onesie told me they’d had some fun together.  No doubt the inside was just as sticky from Liam’s own release.  

    Carefully I ran my hair through Liam’s hair until his eyes fluttered open.  

    “Wakey-wakey,” I cooed.  

    “Oh, hi Eric,” he greeted me.  “I cuddled with Benny this morning.”  

    “Yeah, I see that. Looks like you both enjoyed your cuddles.”  

    He blushed and nodded.  “Benny’s a really good cuddler.”  

    Strange, he didn’t seem mentally gone at all.  And sure enough he had soon got up, grabbed some shorts and new undies and went to the bathroom to change.  He returned soon after, wearing his shorts now, still acting mentally adult.  Looked like it wasn’t so successful after all. I wondered if Ken would be disappointed.  

    By breakfast time Benny was standing nude in the kitchen, pushing the fridge magnets around the fridge door, making raspberry noises and singing nonsense to himself.  Liam just shook his head at the mentally challenged boy’s play and ate his froot loops, clearly still feeling vastly superior to his dumbed down buddy.  

    “Are you going to go to class shirtless today?” I asked him.  

    “I really want to, but I know I can’t,” he admitted.  

    “It’s the last day, are you sure you don’t want to join Benny, go to daycare?” I asked him.  

    He looked at me like I was crazy.  “Look, I know it worked on me a bit, made me need to do some silly stuff. But I’m not like Benny. It didn’t work all the way.”  

    “And you don’t want to be like Benny? You told me yesterday it looked fun, being all naked like that. You change your mind?”  

    “No, I mean, yeah it looks so comfy and I can’t stop thinking about it, even now.  But I still have my self-control. I know I’m a grown-up. Sure I can get away with being barefoot. People just think I’m a hippy.  But I can’t be half-naked.”  

    Ken walked into the kitchen just then, looking bright and chipper.  

    “Last morning of the programming,” he announced. “So looks like Benny is all ready for another lovely day at daycare, aren’t you buddy?” he cooed to the nudist twenty-something.  

    Benny giggled lightly and knocked several magnets on the floor.  

    “Go boom!” he announced, hopping on his feet so his penis flopped wildly up and down.  

    “What a silly boy he is,” Ken commented.  “And now we just need to get you ready for daycare too,” he said to Liam.  

    Liam looked confused. “No, I’m still going to uni today Ken. Sorry but the programme didn’t work on me.”  

    “Didn’t work? That’s not what I’ve been seeing. You show me those feeties and tell me they aren’t icky little boy feet.”  

    The phrase seemed to make Liam shiver with a wave of arousal, but he held on.  

    “I know some stuff worked, but not the important things. I still have my intellect, my awareness. So no, I’m not going to daycare like this.”  

    “Well no, not like that. The daycare is for intellectually impaired people. Icky little kid feet aren’t enough. We need you down on the floor, sucking on those icky toes.”  

    “Well yeah. And you don’t see me doing that, do you? I mean, yuck!”  

    “You aren’t yet, but in a second, after I trigger the programming, you will be.”  

    Trigger? I froze, wondering what Ken was talking about.  Liam also looked shocked and worried now.  

    “What do you mean?” he asked.  

    “Well you’ve had five nights of programming and as you’ve noted some of it is so powerful that it’s leaked through, changed your behaviour without even being fully triggered.  I guess some of it appealed to your natural inclinations. I know you were a very clean, smart little kid but I bet you were jealous of the sillier boys, the wild little tykes.  You felt a bit jealous of that part of it when you saw Benny embrace barefootedness. 

    “You probably always liked Froot Loops, secretly enjoyed cartoons and the programming has let you embrace those parts of yourself.  And I guess that means you probably have had a little crush on Eric, maybe on Benny too.  And the suggestions let you embrace that, let you reveal your urges to them.  And it’s all been so exciting, so arousing, you’ve really enjoyed it.  

    “But the other aspects, the changes to your intellect, you fought that. And the total loss of inhibitions, that’s scared you too.  But don’t worry, when I trigger it, it’s going to be euphoric, I promise.”  

    Liam shook his head. God, he looked terrified now. He believed it, he had to.  He’d seen how his behaviour had changed and he’d seen Benny.  Of course he was scared.  

    “I don’t want that Ken.  Let’s just end the experiment now,” he begged.  

    “I know, the last thing you want is people seeing you all dumbed down, all dependent and helpless.  You hate pity. But they won’t pity you buddy, they’re going to think you’re just adorable.”  

    Liam didn’t look convinced in the slightest.  “I’m not going to just let you do this.”  

    “That’s fine Liam, because I don’t want you to. I want you to go ahead and fight it as hard as you can.  Because that’s the whole point. It has to work even when the subject doesn’t want it, when they fight it with all they have.  If you can maintain your maturity and smarts then we know the programming is a fail and we will alter it.  And you’ll be free to tell me how superior you are and go right back to uni.  

    “But if it works, if you’re a happy little nakey boy dancing around the yard for anyone to see this afternoon, then we know it’s totally effective.” 

    “And then what?” 

    “Sorry?” 

    “If it works. Then what happens to me tomorrow, the next day?”  

    “Well you’ll wake up in bed with Benny. Your penis will be all big and hard. And you’ll be able to see it, since you’ll be nakey, same as him.  And you’ll roll over and cuddle your brother close and hump and grind your doodles together until you’ve had a lovely release.  And then you’ll come through to my room, to get cleaned up, to get dressed for daycare, just a pair of shorts of course.  

    “And you’ll have a wonderful day of play with the other special boys.  No one will ever, ever guess that the silly shirtless boy bashing a square peg into a round hole was once a genius.  The carers will watch you nibble your icky little boy bare feeties and they’ll be certain you’re just as utterly impaired as any of them.

    “And that’s pretty much how your day will be next week too, and the week after that.”  

    Liam’s face was drained of colour.  “When do you give me the reversal programme then?”  

    “We’re still working out a few of the bugs on it.  In the meantime I’ll be in charge and I’ll be keeping you safe and happy.  But yes, if you don’t like the sound of that, by all means resist.  Do your best to fight it. Because if you can’t fight it, if you give in, you’re going to be playing naked in the yard for quite some time to come.”  

    “I’m not doing that,” Liam insisted. 

    Ken shrugged. “Don’t feel too angry. When you’re out there in that yard, when the postie passes by and sees you squatting in the grass. You’re going to have the biggest erection, because you’re going to be aroused by your loss of intellect and inhibitions. It’s going to be the most exciting thing you’ve ever imagined.”  

    Liam looked so determined, so certain he would fight it.  And frankly I couldn’t see him just letting that happen.  

    Ken shrugged, then took out his phone and hit a button.  And suddenly this silly, inane, nursery rhyme began to play from it.  

    *The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout 

    Down came the rain and washed the spider out…*

    I was confused of course. But Liam got a strange look as the music played. His eyes went wide and all the anger and determination very quickly faded from his face.  His muscles were relaxing and his eyes were glazing over.  

    *Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

    And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again*

    I could see the bulge in Liam’s shorts growing again, tenting right out as he sprouted an impressive erection.  But the rest of his body was still relaxing, his shoulders sagging, arms limp like wet noodles, a little line of drool spilling over the lips of his gaping mouth.  

    The song stopped playing. It was only a short rhyme after all.  But the change it had made in Liam seemed profound.  He stood there, looking totally out of it, staring ahead with empty eyes, no expression on his face at all.  He was obviously in some kind of trance.  

    “There we go, you see Liam, it wasn’t so bad, losing all those big smart thoughts,” Ken told him brightly.  “Now we need to get you ready for daycare, and that means changing your clothes.”  

    Ken reached down, grabbing Liam’s shorts and his undies in his hands all at once.  Then he yanked them down, letting them fall to a heap around his ankles.  Wow, Liam’s erect penis was just standing there now, for all of us to see.  Even Benny was gaping slack-jawed up at it as he played on the floor.  Suddenly he wasn’t the only boy with his pee-pee out.  

    Liam’s eyes flicked down to his exposed erection for a second. He blinked, some awareness returning to his face now.  

    “Okay, one foot at a time, out of those silly big boy shorts and undies,” Ken directed him, slipping the clothes off him.  

    Liam looked at the shorts being taken away. He seemed aware now, but he still hadn’t said a word.  

    “Okay, I’ll go get you some new clothes for daycare.  Won’t that be fun, playing with the other little boys?” Ken cooed to him, then headed off to get the new clothes, leaving Liam with me.  

    Liam looked back down at his bare body, then up at me.  He seemed to at last recognise me and he turned and quickly toddled right over to me, holding out his arms, grabbing onto my arms.  

    “What is it Liam?” I asked him.  “Are you still fighting it buddy? Are you still trying to hold it together?” I asked. 

    Liam gaped a moment then said, “Wookit! Wookit!”  

    And he hopped up and down. His erect penis bobbed about as well and Liam smiled.  

    “Doodle big!” Liam announced happily.  “Feew good!” 

    And I saw the look of utter elation on his face. Yes, he’d enjoyed what had just happened.  He’d given up all his genius, all his self-control and it was obvious that it must have felt amazing. 

    “Did it feel good losing all your smarts?” I asked him.  

    Liam smiled and giggled all the more. 

    “Yes, I think they’re all completely gone, aren’t they Liam. You aren’t a genius anymore are you honey?”  

    “I nakey,” Liam replied, poking at his own penis, watching it waggle again.  

    I had to chuckle.  “Yes, you sure are nakey. You’re a silly little nakey boy.  And now I think you need to make some stickies, don’t you? Cuz getting all dumb felt really good, didn’t it?”  

    “Stickies,” Liam agreed, understanding at least that much.  

    I reached down, letting my fingers run across his doodle.  Oh yes, he was very close to exploding already. That must have felt really good indeed.  

    “You want me to help honey? You want me to give you squirts?” I asked him.  

    A vigorous nod was my answer.  

    I closed my fingers around his shaft and stroked up and down.  I could already tell this wouldn’t take much at all.  He was so close to the edge already.  

    “You got all little, all that genius gone bye-byes so quickly,” I cooed to him.  

    Liam nodded, drool coating his chin now.  “Wiam goz widdle,” he agreed.  

    It took less than a minute. Ken wasn’t even back yet, when Liam exploded, shooting his cum all over the floor, my hand and arm.  His body bucked and he made these cute little grunts.  One rope of cum even ended up right across poor Benny’s face.  I’d have to clean them both up with a washcloth.  

    When Ken came back with the clothes Liam was down on the floor next to Benny. The two naked young men were pushing the magnets around side by side.  Liam blew a raspberry up at us, banging a P magnet against an H.  

    “Hey Liam, look you got pH.  You remember what that means?” I asked him.  

    He looked at the magnets again, then dropped the P and jammed the corner of the H in his mouth, chewing on the hard plastic for a moment while gazing up at me with the blankest of eyes.  

    “I guess that’s a no,” I commented to Ken.  

    Daycare meant that Liam’s nudity was short-lived for now. Ken quickly had him dressed in a new pair of cartoon-print undies and baggy board shorts.  No shirt though, since he was so insistent he didn’t want one.  

    “No sirt!” he kept demanding, crossing his arms defiantly when shown the Elmo one Ken had picked out.  

    “Okay, no shirt for Liam,” Ken agreed.  

    So ten minutes later that’s how Liam went out to the car, climbing right into the back seat along with Benny, waiting for Ken and I to strap them both in now. 

    “Have fun at daycare buddy,” I told him, pecking a kiss on his forehead.  

    “Goin day-cawe,” he echoed.  

    “Yep, and you’ll have lots of fun, I know it,” I assured him.  

    He was barely listening. He had his right foot in his hands and was playing with his toes.  Yep, he was going to fit right in there.  No one would ever guess this man gazing at his own toes with absolute wonder, was a genius an hour ago.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers: Chapter 2

    Ken took charge of Benny for the rest of the night. It wasn’t long.  A bath before bed and then a bed time of 8PM meant that Benny was asleep about four hours earlier than normal.  But he didn’t complain, he happily gave each of us another cuddle before heading off to bed.  

    It was a bit different the second time, as he toddled over with his pee-pee soft and jiggling between his legs, looking only for a night-night hug from Liam and I.  But it was still very enjoyable, feeling his warm bare skin under my arms.  It filled me with so many conflicting feelings. 

    Soon enough it was time for the rest of us to sleep.  I watched Liam take the pill he’d been instructed to take half an hour before bed.  Then he got his noise cancelling headphones ready and I couldn’t stay silent any longer.  Once Ken was off to his own room I snuck over to Liam’s.  

    “Are you really going to listen to that programme?” I whispered to him.  

    Liam didn’t look happy anymore, but he still nodded.  “I promised to help out. I don’t like going back on my promises,” he told me.  

    “I can understand that, but surely there are exceptions. You saw what happened to Ben. That’s no act. He’s running around naked, he masturbated in front of us all, on top of me.  He tasted his own cum dude!  I mean, do you want to end up like that?”  

    “Fuck no!” Liam whispered back.  “Look of course I don’t want to be running around naked. You know I don’t even like using a urinal in the toilets.  But I still don’t think it’s likely to work on me like that. Subliminal messages don’t have the same power as a proper trance session, I googled it.”

    “You didn’t think it would work so well on Ben either,” I pointed out.  

    He sighed, knowing I was right on that.  

    “Look, it’s meant to take several days. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow dumb as a post. If I start feeling anything weird I’ll stop the experiment.  And if you notice anything weird about my behaviour that I’m not aware of, you let me know too, okay?”  

    I nodded. “Of course.”  

    “Hopefully I can just help show that subliminals don’t work well,” Liam said.  “Now, let’s get to sleep and just get this over with.”  

    **

    It was the shifting of weight on my bed that woke me the next morning.  It was light out, but it was still earlier than my alarms were set for.  I had been dreaming about taking a road trip with the cast of Big Bang Theory.  And then suddenly I was being pulled back to reality.  But my reality was somehow even stranger than my dream.  

    Benny was kneeling on my bed, chewing on his fingers, blinking innocently at me.  He was still naked, Ken had put him to bed that way.  And he was erect again.  Was it normal morning wood? Or was it something else?  

    I blinked the sleep from my eyes and said, “Hi there, you’re up early.”  

    “I wike you,” he told me.  

    “Oh… thanks.  I like you too buddy,” I told him.  

    “Pee-pee tingwy,” he told me, like this was a perfectly normal thing to tell another guy.  

    “Oh… you mean right now?”  

    He nodded. But then said, “You make tingwy.”  

    I thought about this for a moment then asked, “Benny, do you remember being bigger?”  

    He nodded.  

    “And did I make your pee-pee tingly then too?”  

    He nodded right away.  

    Wow, he did have a crush on me.  I’d honestly never known.  I mean given how our society is, that’s not hugely surprising.  But now his inhibitions were gone, he was free to tell me how he really felt.  It was adorable really.  

    I pulled back the covers a bit and said, “You wanna cuddle more?”  

    Benny nodded right away, then climbed under the covers with me, snuggling right in. Oh he was so warm and solid in my arms.  

    “You make my pee-pee tingly too,” I whispered to him.  

    Benny looked at me in awe. “Gotta do stickies?” he asked me.  

    Stickies. Oh, that’s what Ken had called the mess on Benny’s tummy last night, when he cleaned him up.  

    “Yeah, I do need stickies,” I admitted.  

    “Gonna do ‘em?” he asked me, apparently waiting for me to grind my penis against him.  

    “Nah, that’s okay buddy. You can make yours if you need to though,” I told him.  

    He looked at me with confusion.  “No stickies?” he asked again.  

    I reached my hand down and let my fingers run ever so gently across his penis. Benny inhaled sharply, then sighed, his eyes rolling back a bit.  

    “I think you need more stickies, don’t you buddy?”  

    Instantly he shoved his erection against my thigh, pulling his body tight against mine and beginning to hump.  I held him close, feeling his warm, sticky skin under my hands, waiting as he thrust against me for a full minute, until he spasmed and enjoyed another lovely sticky release.  

    Of course I wanted to cum too, but it wouldn’t have been right. Let him enjoy it, let him have his fun.  I was the grown-up here, I had to show restraint. I already wasn’t sure if this counted as taking advantage of Benny as it was.  But I told myself it was okay, because he needed the release, he was enjoying this.  And if I enjoyed it too, what was wrong with that?   

    **

    “It’s an adult daycare,” Ken explained.  “A lot of the people have genetic conditions. Some suffered brain injuries though.  All have intellectual impairment of some kind or another and can’t be left alone while their carers go to work. But they aren’t so impaired they need to be in an institution.”  

    “And do they know Benny is part of an experiment? That he’s not intellectually impaired?” I asked.  

    Ken gestured over at Benny.  He was sitting on the kitchen floor again, an assortment of pots and a wooden spoon as a drumstick around him.  But he wasn’t drumming now. He had been examining his toes instead. And examination had progressed to exploring them with his mouth. He was just sitting there, still naked, with several toes jammed between his lips.  

    “Eric, he is intellectually impaired.  He can’t name his colours, he can’t tell you how many toes he has, only how good they taste apparently.  It doesn’t really matter how he ended up with a profound intellectual disability, only that he has one.”  

    “But what do they think happened to him? I mean, what if he tells them the truth?” 

    “They think he had a brain injury from hypoxia.  And he doesn’t have the capacity to tell them the truth because he can’t even comprehend it now.  But even if he did, they’d just take it as fantasy. No one really listens to the ramblings of someone like that,” Ken assured me.  

    “I still don’t like the idea of people seeing him like this.  If he knew, I mean if Ben understood how he looks now, he’d be horrified.”  

    “We all have classes. Did you think we would be able to leave him home alone? Or were you going to bring him to your lab, hope he doesn’t touch anything while you aren’t looking?” 

    It was a fair point. There was no way we could leave him alone for even a minute. He was so mentally reduced he needed constant supervision or he was liable to choke on some toy, or shove a coin up his nose.  

    “Morning,” Liam greeted us as he walked into the kitchen.  

    “Well good morning buddy,” Ken replied, using a sickly sweet tone that repulsed me.  

    Liam gave him a disdainful look, going straight to the cabinet to get cereal, his daily breakfast.  

    “You want some froot loops today? I got some special at the supermarket,” Ken told him.  

    “Nah, I’ll stick to Weetbix thanks.”  

    “You sure? It’s super sweet and yummy,” Ken enticed. 

    Pouring himself the Weetbix and milk, Liam shook his head. “I’m not a moron Ken, I still feel totally normal.”  

    “Are you sure about that? No funny feelings at all?” Ken checked. 

    “Not a thing,” Liam assured him. “And no, I’m not going to that stupid adult daycare you’re packing Benny off to. I’ve got research to work on at the lab.”  

    Ken shrugged. “Fair enough, no change so far. But we will still need to do a formal interview this afternoon, okay?” 

    “Yep, I’ll be free after four.”  

    “Great, we can do it then.  But now we need to get Benny dressed for his day. We can’t be sending him to daycare in his birthday suit.”  

    Benny’s outfit included a simple red t-shirt, a pair of undies decorated with basketballs and some baggy athletic shorts that just brushed his knees.  

    He was very compliant as Ken and I got him dressed.  He just stood there, nibbling on his fingers again, totally unconcerned with how he was to be dressed. We could have actually taken him there nude and he wouldn’t have said a word of complaint, I was sure.  I wondered if we could have put him in a bright pink dress. I suspected we could have.  

    “Aw dwethed!” he announced when we had finished.  

    “You sure are! And now it’s off to daycare,” Ken told him enthusiastically.  

    Benny liked the tone of voice, hopping up and down and clapping his hands.  

    “Help me get him strapped into the car, could you?” Ken asked me.  

    “Yep.”  

    Ken took his hand now, leading Benny out the door to his car, to the back seat.  I noticed they didn’t stop to get Benny’s shoes though. 

    “No shoes?” I asked, though Benny seemed oblivious as usual.  

    “Nah, he looks cuter this way, don’t you think? More like a real little kid.”  

    He was actually right.  “Yeah, he is cute in bare feet.  But will the daycare mind?”  

    Ken shrugged. “Normal daycares have their kids barefoot all the time.  Why should this be any different?”  

    Benny didn’t complain, he let us strap him into the car, ready to go barefoot to adult daycare without a care in the world.  

    “Bye-bye Benny. Have fun at daycare buddy,” I told him after I got his seatbelt on.  

    “Bye-bye!” he chirped back, offering me a flappy toddler wave, pressing his feet against the front seat. .  

    God he really was cute like this.  

    **

    It was the morning after Liam’s third night listening to the programming that I walked into the kitchen to find an unexpected sight.  Liam was eating a bowl of cereal as usual, he was wearing his normal t-shirt and board shorts.  But the bowl was full of froot loops, brightly coloured, sugar-coated cereal, not his normal bland weetbix.  I’d never seen Liam have sweet cereal and especially not since Ken had been suggesting it.  

    “What you eating there?” I asked him.  

    Liam loudly slurped a spoonful of milk before answering.  

    “I decided to have froot loops today. Y’know, just so Ken will quit pestering me about it,” he said.  

    “Oh, right,” I said.  

    “They’re actually really good. But don’t tell him I said that!”  

    “It’ll be our secret,” I assured him.  

    I was conflicted now. I had promised Liam that I would tell him if anything he did seemed strange.  But I had also been told by Ken that I needed to strongly encourage any childish behaviour I saw in Liam, that it was key to the experiment.  But it seemed like Liam was aware that eating the froot loops was strange, so there was no need to alert him.  

    I kept quiet for the time being, helped Ken get Benny ready for another day at daycare, then started to get dressed myself.  It was only as I was about to go that I came across something much more troubling for my conscience.  

    Liam was standing at the front door. He had his school bag on his back and was still wearing his normal t-shirt and board shorts.  He often went to the lab or to classes dressed casually so this wasn’t odd.  But he was sort of staring at the pile of shoes with uncertainty. That was a bit weird.  

    “You okay Liam?” I asked him.  

    He looked up at me.  “I have a lecture to go to this morning. Then I need to go to the library after.”  

    “Uh-huh.”  

    “But… do you think I have to wear shoes?”

    I blinked in confusion.  “What?”  

    “You think I’d be in trouble if I went barefoot? Y’know, to class, and the library.”  

    In all the time I’d known Liam, I had never seen him leave the flat without shoes on. Sometimes he did just wear jandals, but most times he wore sneakers.  But never bare feet.  This was definitely strange behaviour for him.  

    Ken on the other hand liked having bare feet.  I’d never seen him go to class that way but he often didn’t bother with shoes for running to the shops or even the mall.  He’d mentioned that he’d pretty much never worn shoes until they were required for high school uniform.  That hadn’t struck me as too strange at the time, lots of primary school kids were like that.  But now I wondered about it.  Was Ken trying to make Ben and Liam like him? Did he like feet?  

    Thinking back to his decision to pack away all of Benny’s shoes, even the jandals, the answer seemed obvious now.  But should I point that out to Liam? Or should I encourage it?  I thought about Benny again, skipping barefoot to the car every morning, thinking about how cute it was. The truth was, I kind of liked seeing him that way too.    

    “Nah, I don’t think you’d get in any trouble,” I told Liam.  “I mean there’s always a couple guys barefoot on campus. Why do you ask though?”  

    “I just really don’t want to wear shoes today.  I just… it feels so much better with your feet all free, y’know?”  

    “Yeah… totally get it,” I told him.  

    “Thanks,” he chirped, turning away from the shoes and heading out the door barefoot without a second glance.  

    Wow, was this a sign it was working? It had to be.  But I wondered how much things could really change.  Would he grow aware of how weird it was for him to be barefoot like some hippy kid, no, like a little boy, at some point in the day?  I guess I’d know soon enough.  

    **

    Liam was already back when I got home that afternoon.  He was watching TV in the living room, which wouldn’t have been that odd, except it was a cartoon and not the adult kind.  When I walked in Liam seemed to only then realise I was there, the trance of the cartoons broken.  He had been sitting cross-legged on the floor instead of the couch and he was sort of peacefully smiling.  

    But as soon as he realised I was there he blushed deep red and scrambled with the remote, exiting back to the main Disney Plus catalogue screen.  

    “Oh hey, I didn’t hear you come in,” he said sheepishly.  

    “Yeah, you were pretty engrossed in your show I guess.”  

    “Oh, yeah, I was just, um, seeing what some of the other titles were like,” he claimed.  

    “Sure,” I said, letting it drop.  “So, Ken and Benny not home yet?”  

    “Nah, Ken too him to the park after picking him up from daycare.”  

    “Right, that’s cool.”  

    Liam nodded, then asked, “Hey, could you not tell Ken about the toons. I don’t want him to think I’m getting little.”  

    “Yeah, sure,” I agreed.  “But you haven’t been doing anything else little?” I asked. 

    Liam squirmed on the floor.  After a moment he twisted around and then held up his feet for me to see.  The soles of his feet were just as black as tar.  They were filthy.  

    “What is it?” I asked, not sure why he was showing me.  

    “I went barefoot all day and now my feet are… icky,” he said.  But he didn’t sound upset, didn’t sound sad that his feet were so dirty. No, the way he said it, he sounded like he was in awe.  

    “Yeah, I can see that. They’re filthy. But that’s what happens when you walk around barefoot in the city all day. It’ll wash off.”  

    He shook his head. “No, Eric, it’s not that. It’s… my feet are icky and it makes me all hard… down there.”  

    I blinked, trying to process that admission.  

    “You mean, you’re aroused?” 

    He nodded right away.  “I’ve been walking around the campus barefoot and it makes me so horny. And then I got home and I saw my soles and they’re so icky and I just got so hard right away.  They’re… they’re little kid feet.”  

    “They’re what?” I asked, confused.  

    “Little kids have icky feet because they never wear shoes.  Little kids are all mucky and dirty. And now I am too. And… I really, really like it.”  

    I nodded, not entirely sure what to say to that.  

    “Just… don’t tell Ken okay. Don’t tell him I’ve been barefoot at school.”  

    “I won’t.  If he asks why your feet are so… icky, you just tell him you were in the yard playing some football with me,” I told him.  

    Liam smiled. “Thanks.”  

    “No worries.”  

    We then switched to Netflix and watched something more adult. Liam climbed back onto the couch and did his best to act like nothing odd had happened.  When Ken got home with Benny, Liam seemed perfectly normal.  But I knew better of course. I knew the programming was actually working.  Or at least some of it was.  Liam wasn’t getting dumber as far as I could tell. And he still seemed able to act adult if needed.  

    He certainly wasn’t anything like Benny, who stripped nude within ten minutes of arriving home, made a mess of his dinner with spaghetti in his hair and everything and then cuddled up with Ken while they watched cartoons until his bath time.  

    “Would you like a bathy too?” Ken asked Liam in that saccharine sweet tone.  “I have bubbles and toys to play with. I’m sure you’d love it.”  

    Liam scowled at him and sarcastically said, “I’ll give that a pass this time.”  

    Ken shrugged and took Benny off to be bathed.  

    Once he was gone and the sounds of running water and then happy squeals and splashing reached us, Liam turned to me and said, “Hey Eric, can we go to my room for a minute?”  

    “Um, sure, you have something I need to look at?”  

    “Yeah, sort of,” he answered vaguely, getting up and heading to his room.  

    I wondered what this was about.  Maybe he was getting nervous about continuing and needed to talk to me about it without the risk of Ken interrupting.  

    Once we were in his room Liam closed the door and looked at me with real shyness.  

    “What is it?” I asked again.  

    Liam was looking at the floor, poking at the carpet with one toe.  “I just… it’s just that Ken was giving Benny all those cuddles.” 

    I nodded. “Yeah, Benny really likes cuddles.”  

    “Yeah, he does.  It’s just… um… I kinda want cuddles too,” he said, very quietly.  

    “You want cuddles too? Like Benny?”  

    Liam still wouldn’t look at me, but he nodded.  

    “I don’t want Ken to know. But I just… I want cuddles so bad. I know it’s the programme and it’s… it’s actually working on me. And that’s kinda scary.”  

    “I know, you asked me to tell you if you were acting funny and didn’t know it. But… you know this is not normal. You never go around barefoot, and you don’t ask for cuddles.”  

    He nodded vigorously. “Oh yeah, I know it isn’t normal for me at all. It just, it felt so good today. And now I really just feel like I need to cuddle.”  

    “So you want to stop the programme?” I asked.  “Should I talk to Ken?”  

    Liam bit his lip. “No… I was mostly worried about losing my smarts, or losing who I am. But, I was fine at school today. I was barefoot, but I still did all my work, no problems.  I haven’t lost who I am, I know this is weird. But… it just feels so good Eric. I’m so horny, y’know.  And I don’t want to stop it yet, as long as it doesn’t mess with my intelligence.”  

    “Yeah, I can understand that,” I agreed.  

    I didn’t understand that. Anyone thinking rationally would take one look at Benny sucking his filthy toes, naked on the floor, and immediately abandon any programme that promised to have you joining him in that level of helpless idiocy.  But seeing this happen to Liam was making me feel more aroused by the minute and I didn’t want it to stop.    

    “But the moment you see me getting dumber, you tell me, okay. If I don’t notice it or something. Or if I start thinking this is all normal. You promise?” Liam pleaded.  

    “Absolutely.”  

    He seemed relieved.  

    “So, I just… would you mind…” he stammered, looking at the floor again.  

    “Oh, you want to cuddle with me?” I asked, feeling touched he felt comfortable asking me for this.

    Liam nodded. “Do you mind?”  

    I opened my arms wide. “Oh buddy, I’d love to give you cuddles,” I assured him.  

    Liam smiled so broadly, quickly moving in and closing his arms around me, resting his head on my shoulder.  He was nice and warm, just like Benny.  I rubbed my hands around his back, enjoying the feeling of closeness.  I felt his chest moving in and out with his breath, let my cheek rub against his.  Then I gently cupped the back of his neck and cooed, “You’re such a cuddly little guy.”  

    Liam let out this little sound that was halfway between a mewl and a moan.  Then he twisted his head and I felt his lips on my cheek. Oh wow, he was pecking one, two, three kisses on my face.  

    “Thank you so much,” he whispered as I continued to hold him.  

    “No worries. You’re a joy to snuggle,” I told him.  

    We cuddled for a full three minutes.  But then we could hear Benny being taken out of the bath, so it was time to quietly return to the living room and act as if nothing had happened.  

    **

    It was a familiar feeling, the next morning, to be woken by weight on my bed. Someone was climbing in, waiting for me to wake up. No doubt Benny was back for more special cuddles.  

    Slowly I climbed out of the depths of sleep, blinking my eyes open and focusing on the new occupant of my bed. But it wasn’t Benny after all.  It was Liam, kneeling on my bed, wearing a powder blue onesie.  It was tented out in the middle, his jutting erection impossible to miss.  

    “Oh, hi there,” I said.  

    “Hey, sorry I woke you up,” he apologised.  

    “Is something wrong?” I asked him.  

    “No.  Well, not exactly.  I just… I woke up and I listened to my programme again last night and I feel different today.”  

    I nodded.  “You think it’s changing your intelligence?”  

    I was surprised when he shook his head. “No, it’s not that.  I… I just need cuddles again. And I feel… I’m all…” 

    “You’re really aroused, huh?”  

    He nodded vigorously.  “I just keep thinking about that first day with Benny, when he cuddled you and…” 

    “He made stickies,” I finished for him. 

    “Uh-huh.” 

    I reached out and patted his knee.  “You need to make some stickies in your onesie, don’t you Liam.”  

    He bit his lip hard, but nodded.  

    I reached out again and gently tweaked his stiffy through the soft onesie.  “I know buddy, I can see how hard you are.”  

    Liam gasped and nodded.  

    “Okay, c’mon under the covers, let’s snuggle up.”  

    Liam was under the covers with me in a flash.  Oh yes, it was just like Benny except that Liam was so soft and cuddly in his onesie.  He didn’t waste any time, grinding his erection against my hip, gripping my back tightly, thrusting frantically.  

    “My goodness, you are a happy boy,” I told him, patting his bum.  

    “Yeah, I’m so happy,” he agreed.  “The music is making me extra happy.”  

    “You know what I want you to do for me today?”  

    “What?” he asked.  

    “I want you to go barefoot again, all day. Get those footsies just as icky as they can be.”  

    Liam grunted.  

    “And when I get home you’re going to show them to me, show me the very ickiest of little boy feet.”  

    Liam gasped and I could tell this excited him beyond belief. 

    “That’s right, you’re just my little boy now Liam, just a mucky little boy.”  

    “Ugh. Ohhh. Mmmm,” he grunted, then exploded in his onesie.  

    “Good boy Liam, good boy,” I cooed as he shuddered and sent squirt after squirt of cum into his onesie.  

    I waited until he was totally spent, then just held him close, felt the damp onesie material against my skin. This was perfect, this was more than I could have hoped for.  

    There was no question now about the brilliance of Ken’s system.  He was making Liam aroused by his own regression.  Liam couldn’t bring himself to stop listening to the tapes even as his behaviour was altered more and more.  

    It was frightening and arousing at the same time.  I felt guilty getting off on my friend’s increasingly embarrassing behaviour, but for some reason it had me aroused too.  I’d never even considered such fetishes before. But the more I looked at Liam cuddled up in his cum-stained fuzzy onesie, the more I wanted to keep him this way too.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers

    Chapter 1

    “So you’re really gonna do it?” I asked Liam as we stood in the living room of our flat, waiting to be told when we could come back to the kitchen.  

    Liam shrugged.  “If I was actually worried about it working, I wouldn’t be doing it.  You know how these kinds of experiments go, 90% of the time they fail.”  

    “So why volunteer at all?” 

    “Ken needs to finish the experiment.  It doesn’t really matter whether he proves his hypothesis or not, only that he tests it.”  

    I was impressed that Liam was so willing to take such a big risk for our flatmate.  Well, Ken was more than just a flatmate now.  We hung out pretty regularly too.  We were all studying at the same uni. Liam and I were both doing doctorates in chemistry, Ken was doing a Master’s in psychology and Ben was the baby of the flat, still an undergrad doing an Arts degree.  He got a lot of shit for being an Arts student and for being only twenty years old.  But he took it well.  

    “Well you’re braver than me,” I told him.  There’s no way I would have volunteered to let Ken mess with my brain.  I mean, intelligence is basically my most important asset.  

    Liam didn’t seem concerned, but I really wasn’t sure how he had that kind of confidence. He was probably the smartest guy in the flat.  He had a lot to lose if this went wrong.  Ben had volunteered too, but that was less shocking since he was still young and easy to peer pressure into shit like this. 

    Ken’s experiment was to test two different kinds of hypnotic programming.  To test those systems he was going to try to alter both Ben and Liam’s behaviours, their mental abilities, their personalities to the same end goal, but using two different methods.  The goal was to have them thinking and behaving like two wild, rambunctious toddler boys with the intellectual abilities of a three year old.  

    Before the experiment they had each finished a questionnaire about their current habits as well as their actual childhood behaviour. Were they wild little kids or well behaved?  Were they precocious or late bloomers?  

    Of course Liam had been a well-behaved and gifted child.  

    There had also been personality tests and IQ tests to establish their baseline.  It seemed that Ben and Liam were both introverts, though they were mostly open to new experiences and emotionally stable.  It was no surprise that Liam had the higher IQ at 142, while Ben was a 120, still very smart, but not genius.  

    With the tests done Ken had started the experiment by choosing Ben for method number one, a rapid hypnotic induction and intense session of programming designed to completely transform him just hours.  Liam on the other hand would get subliminal messaging combined with a low dose of a medication designed to make him more receptive to suggestions each night as he slept.  The programme called for his transformation to take five days to be as complete as Ben’s.  

    It had been over an hour since Ben and Ken had gone into Ken’s room and I was wondering how it was going.  How was Liam so calm about this, I just kept thinking.  

    The wait ended as Ken finally reappeared in the living room, a clear smile on his face. 

    “It’s all done guys.  C’mon into the kitchen to meet Benny,” he announced.  

    For the first time I saw a flash of surprise and concern on Liam’s face.  Could it really have worked?  I felt my own heart do a little flutter.  

    We followed Ken back to the kitchen and I literally gasped when I saw Benny.  

    Our flatmate was sitting on the floor of the kitchen with his legs splayed wide apart.  There was an upside down pot on the floor between his legs and he was using it as a drum, smacking it with his open palms.  He had a bright red mixing bowl on his head, like some sort of hat.  But that was his only item of clothing. Benny was completely nude.  

    Sure, we lived together, but that didn’t mean we went around the flat naked.  I’d never seen Ben in less than a pair of shorts.  And now, there he was in all his glory.  And what’s more, his penis was standing straight up, just as hard and erect as it could be.  

    Benny gaped up at us, pausing his drumming, his bare toes wiggling back and forth as he took in the new arrivals.  His face just looked so slack. His eyes were wide and empty.  He honestly looked retarded, like an actually severely intellectually impaired man. Why was he so aroused right now? What had prompted that pulsing erection?  

    “What you doing there Benny?” Ken asked him brightly, using the tone adults spoke to small children in.  

    It should have been deeply condescending.  But Benny grinned and yelled, “Benny dwum!” 

    “Oh my!” Ken replied.  “Are you a musician?”  

    Benny nodded eagerly, so energetically the mixing bowl spilled off his head and clattered loudly across the floor.  

    “Oopthie!” Benny chirped, drumming his heels on the floor and grinning all the more at the sounds he’d made.   

    It was obvious that he was enjoying this. The stiffy was no coincidence.  That gaping grin said it all. Having his intelligence, his maturity and vocabulary stripped away was intensely pleasurable.  Either he had no idea what he’d lost, or he simply couldn’t comprehend that loss anymore.  Whichever it was, he clearly didn’t miss being a smart uni student.  He looked like the very happiest toddler.  

    “Go on then Benny, show us how you can drum,” Ken urged him.  

    “Makin’ moothic!” Benny agreed, smacking wildly at the pot to create a cacophony of sound.  

    “Where are his clothes?” Liam asked, not sounding so calm or dismissive anymore. 

    “He wanted them all off, pretty much as soon as we were done.  It’s part of the programming, stripping away every last vestige of modesty, of bodily awareness. It’s no surprise the result is Benny’s a little nudist now.  Lots of toddlers are like that,” Ken explained.  

    “How come he’s… um, y’know… hard?” I asked, feeling so ashamed to even ask it.  

    “All his inhibitions are gone.  It’s got to feel amazing, to be so freed from constraints. He got aroused pretty much as soon as I took away his smarts.  I suggested to him that it would feel euphoric, losing all his big boy smarts, and sure enough he got bigger and bigger down there as I counted them away.”  

    I kept expecting that at any moment Ben would snap out of it. It really kept me on edge because I kept thinking how horrified he’d be when he realised how he’d been behaving and how he was still all naked in front of us.  

    But Benny wasn’t snapping out of it, not at all.  After finishing his drum solo, he let Ken feed him dinner, cutting up his food into small bits and eating with his fingers.  He made an utter mess of his face and didn’t complain at all when Ken cleaned that with a washcloth.  

    After he was fed he was happy to go to the living room and play on the floor at our feet while we watched TV.  I mean it was Brooklyn-99, one of his favourite shows and he didn’t even glance at the TV.  He was just absorbed, playing with these simple toy cars Ken had left on the floor. He just rolled around on the carpet, lying on his back with his stiff penis standing straight up in front of us all.    

    After watching him play for a bit, Ken got down on the floor next to him, putting his hand on Benny’s back and asking, “What you playing with there buddy?”  

    Benny held up the toy race car.  “Caw,” he said.  

    “That’s right.  And what colour is that car?” Ken followed up.  

    Benny looked more closely at the obviously neon green toy.  I could see that he was really trying to remember the name of the colour. It wasn’t instant for him, he had to really think about it.  But after a moment he still hadn’t given an answer. Instead he looked back at Ken, with slack incomprehension on his face.  

    “Is it red?” Ken now asked him.  

    Benny smiled and nodded right away. “Wed!” he agreed.  

    Ken couldn’t help but laugh at how simple Benny had become, how easy he was to fool now.  

    “No, that’s not red, silly boy!” he corrected.  

    Benny pouted and looked back at his toy.  “No wed,” he repeated.  

    “Nope. But maybe it’s blue?” 

    Benny should have suspected a trick. But he instantly accepted whatever the smart grown-up said now. So he quickly nodded and declared, “Boo!” 

    Ken chuckled and rubbed Benny’s hair, mussing it all up even more.  He knew Benny wouldn’t mind. All the careful styling, all the gel he usually used in it, was absent now.  

    “Sorry Benny, but that’s green.  The car is green, okay?”  

    “Geen,” Benny agreed once again.  

    “That’s right buddy!  C’mere, give us a cuddle,” Ken praised him, opening his arms.  

    Smiling once again, oblivious to how dumb he looked, to how Ken had been mocking him all this time, Benny instantly accepted the offer of a cuddle.  He threw his arms around Ken and snuggled in tight.  Then turned his head and, totally unprompted, delivered a couple big wet smooches to Ken’s cheek.  

    “Aww, you are such a good cuddler,” Ken proclaimed.  “Why don’t you go give Liam and Eric cuddles too.  Can you do that for me?”  

    Benny nodded against Ken’s shoulder, then pulled back and began to crawl right over to Liam.  Poor Liam didn’t look pleased about this at all, but he didn’t pull away or anything. He didn’t want to hurt Benny’s feelings after all. It wasn’t his fault he’d been rendered so simple and innocent he didn’t understand how uncomfortable a naked cuddle would make Liam.  

    Benny climbed right up into Liam’s lap, sitting with his bare bottom on it, his feet brushing against my leg. He wrapped his arms around Liam and pulled right in tight.  I watched as Liam awkwardly let his arms fall across Benny’s bare back, patting it lightly.  

    When Benny’s face turned to Liam he pulled back a bit, but Benny was oblivious to his reluctance. He leaned forward and pecked his kisses on Liam’s cheek as well.  Two big, wet smooches.  

    “Aww, what a sweet little boy you are Benny,” Ken declared, smiling at Liam’s awkwardness and his disgusted expression.  

    “Gib Wiam kiffes,” Benny announced brightly, still snuggling with his flatmate.  

    “Yeah, um… thanks buddy,” Liam managed to say, though he very clearly didn’t mean it.  

    But then Benny sat up and turned to me.  Shit, it was my turn.  And Ken was just eating this all up, standing there with a huge grin on his face.  I wanted to tell him to cut this out, but I didn’t want to hurt Benny’s feelings either. He was so clearly a little kid right now. He was a toddler in a big body.  So I just braced myself for the humiliation.  

    The worst part of it was I actually liked Benny. Getting a naked cuddle from him could have been awesome in a different context.  But having it happen like this, with the other two watching, was so awkward.  

    Benny climbed onto my lap, his legs astride mine. I felt his full weight settle on my legs and it wasn’t as uncomfortable as I had feared.  Thank goodness he was skinny.  His penis was so close now, so red and engorged and pointing right up at me.  So weird to see it like that.  

    As he opened his arms wide I looked right into his eyes. They were utterly innocent, you could just see the lack of awareness in them.  He wasn’t acting, he was a simple little boy who truly wanted to give his buddies cuddles to make them feel nice.  And I wanted him to feel nice too.  He deserved more than a halting, awkward hug like he got from Liam.  

    I opened my arms and pulled him in, snuggling him close. Feeling his warm bare skin was so strange, but also nice.  I ran my hands across his back, soothing him.  I felt his head move, felt his wet lips against my cheek as he delivered a kiss, and then another.  

    But I didn’t pull away. Instead I cooed to him, “You’re such a good boy Benny. Thank you so much for the cuddles.”  

    And then I delivered two kisses of my own to his cheek.  

    Benny cooed pleasantly and squirmed a bit.  

    “That’s right, you’re my best little buddy,” I told him.  

    Benny mewled and squirmed more.  And then his squirming became something else. He was humping, pushing that stiff penis up and down against my stomach.  

    “Awll tingwy,” he announced.  

    “Oh my God,” Liam muttered, eyes wide with shock and horror at what Benny was doing.  

    Ken looked delighted by it.  He knelt next to us, putting his hand on Benny’s shoulder and asking, “Are you making your pee-pee feel all tingly and good?”  

    “Uh-huh. Pee-pee happy,” Benny answered.  

    His face was just inches from mine now, his eyes wide, mouth agape, a line of drool working its way down his chin as he gripped my shoulders and humped faster against me.  I looked down, watching the just visible head of his penis punching up and down against the fabric of my shirt.  Should I stop this? If I did, would it hurt Benny’s feelings? And did I want to stop it?  

    Ken didn’t seem to want to intervene.  

    “It was inevitable it would happen eventually,” he told Liam, seeming to ignore me.  “He’s got a toddler’s mind and lack of inhibitions and a grown-up sex drive.  I just thought he’d probably jack off in front of us. I didn’t know this would happen. I think he’s probably had a crush on Eric for a while now. And now he’s free to act on it.”  

    He had a crush on me? Was that really possible? Wow, thinking back there were signs there.  And now he was getting to fulfil his fantasy of being with me, no hesitations, no concern that others were watching. In some ways that kind of freedom was enviable.  

    I reached downward, letting my hand drift to his bare bottom, cupping it, rubbing, encouraging him.  “That’s right Benny, make your pee-pee feel good sweetie,” I whispered to him.  

    He rubbed harder now, and faster. I felt his breath against my face, so warm, so close.  I leant forward, pecked another kiss on his cheek.  He grunted, a line of drool hanging from his chin, connecting to my chest.  

    Moments later he grunted more loudly, his eyes rolled back and his body jerked and spasmed.  A jet of white gooey cum was launched across my chest, mingling with the spittle already staining my shirt.  More followed as he let out squirt after squirt of cum, moaning with release.  

    Liam looked away, Ken was watching it with glee.  I kept rubbing his back, urging him on, urging him to enjoy it.  He’d given up his mind, been reduced to being our silly little plaything, he at least deserved some pleasure in exchange.  

    “That’s it Benny, get it all out. Good boy, such a good boy,” I cooed to him.  

    When it was over and the last goo was drooling down his softening shaft, Benny looked down at the mess he had made all over my shirt.  He gaped at it, clearly uncomprehending of what had just happened.  

    “Uh-oh!” he finally declared. “Made a meth.”  

    “That’s okay buddy, I can clean it up,” I assured him.  

    But Benny wanted to help, he wanted to clean the mess he had made. He patted his palms against my chest, smearing his release around, making it even worse as he tried to help.  

    “No, no Benny, that’s okay, I can do it,” I told him.  

    “Oopthie,” Benny said, taking his hands back, looking at the goo now coating them.  Then he slipped two fingers into his mouth, tasted his own release.  

    “Ugh!” Liam spat, looking away again.  

    “Is it yummy?” Ken asked him brightly.  

    Benny’s fingers left his mouth with a pop.  

    “Icky,” he pronounced, shaking his head.  

    Ken laughed and then said, “Okay let’s clean those icky fingers then.”  

    With a nod, Benny climbed back off my lap, letting Ken take him to the kitchen to wash his hands and presumably also his very sticky bare tummy.  I went to change shirts as well and to have a little alone time to process what just happened.

    To be continued...

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 6

    Melissa Jane walked into the daycare just after noon.  Karen had rung her to ask for a little help covering her to get lunch.  It cut into her day a bit, but she was actually happy to do it.  She wanted to check up on Thomas.  Maybe he would want to strike up a new deal, bargain his way out of the spell.  But she wondered if he’d be willing to pay the price for such salvation. 

    Thomas was the first man to actually ask her for this treatment, but he wasn’t the first she had cast this particular spell over.  The last few times they all came begging to her to save their minds. And then she dangled the impotence spell as the only cure.  With the warning that it would last for a whole year.  Haha, the poor men had to choose between their minds and their sex drive.  

    It actually proved to be a tough choice for them.  Four times she had done it. Two had chosen impotence, spent the rest of their week as men stuck being treated as kids, then back to normal with a healthy respect for magic.  The other two refused her offer.  Neither had made it to the end of the week with their minds intact.  

    Karen greeted her at the door as usual, already with her bag in hand, thanking her effusively as she rushed off. The woman clearly didn’t like her job, but had no other way to make a living.  Good thing for her Melissa Jane was so willing to pitch in regularly.  

    The kids were even happier to see her, especially all her special kids.  They remembered her, not as an evil witch who stole their minds, but as the nice lady who helped them be so silly and happy all the time.  

    Danny, Mikey and Susie all came straight up to her, needing their cuddles, demanding her attention, prattling on about their dull toddler lives.  

    But Melissa Jane wasn’t really listening to them.  She was looking over the playroom. Where was Thomas?  

    He appeared through the door a moment later, coming back in from the outside play area.  The first thing she noticed was his nudity.  Tommy was completely naked, his penis brushing between his thighs as he walked wide-legged into the play room.  

    The expression on his face was slack, his features peaceful and relaxed.  But when he saw her an eagerness instantly appeared in his dull, glassy eyes.  He smiled innocently and made a bee-line for Melissa Jane.  

    “Oof!” she exclaimed, as he threw his arms around her, cuddling in tight.  

    “My goodness. I thought you’d want to see me today. But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting this,” she told him, closing her arms around his body and rubbing his bare back gently.  

    “I hadda big squirt,” Tommy told her.  

    “Yes, I can see that honey.”  

    “Danny gib me squirts. I got widdle, got siwwy.”  

    “You certainly did.  I bet that felt really, really good, didn’t it Tommy?”  

    “Uh-huh!” he agreed instantly.

    “It’s much more fun being little isn’t it?”  

    Tommy nodded.  

    “And look at you in your birthday suit,” she said with a chuckle. “I knew you’d be a little show off. Mr. Modesty is long, long gone, ain’t he?”  

    “I nakey now,” agreed with a smile.  

    “You like being nakey, hmm?”  

    “Yeth.”  

    “See, I told you how nice it would be once you had your squirts.”  

    He nodded his head against her shoulder.  

    “Okay, you go play honey. That’s your only job now.”  

    Tommy giggled and let go of Melissa Jane, then trotted back out to the yard, where she watched him climbing up the swing-set, jumping off it, rolling in the grass and making an utter mess of himself.  

    **

    I’m making pictures on the sidewalk today.  Momma gave me these chunky chalks.  They’re in many colours. I like the colors too, but sometimes I’m confused about their names.  I’m pretty sure the one I have right now is red.  I used to know the names when I was big.  But that feels like a long, long time ago.  

    Back and forth on the pavement, I scribble the red chalk, filling in the flower I’ve drawn.  I wonder if Momma will recognise what I’ve drawn.  Maybe when I get big again, I’ll be an artist.  

    I pause.  

    What’s an artist? The word is there, in my head, but I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know what it is.  I try really hard to remember, but there’s nothing there.  

    I go back to scribbling.  It doesn’t bother me, not knowing the word in my head. I just let it go, let it float away.  I don’t need words I don’t know anymore.  That happens now and then. I’ll have a thought out of nowhere, about something I just don’t really understand anymore. I guess they’re big person things, stuff I mostly forgot.  I don’t need them now.  So it’s okay to let them go.  

    The sidewalk is warm.  I can feel the sun-warmed pavement under the soles of my bare feet.  It’s kind of gritty too.  But it’s not so hot it hurts.  It would probably hurt soft girl feet. Grown-ups would find it too hot too. Grown-ups got soft feet cuz they wear shoes.  It makes me feel good, thinking about how I have bare feet. They’re thick and tough. I can feel the pavement, the grass, the dirt and it’s all so pleasant.

    I stop scribbling. My flower is all filled in.  The inside is red, I think. The rest of it is… blue? Or yellow?  I get mixed up between those two.  I’m four. I should know my colors. But I’m slow, I’m special.  Momma says so. It’s not a bad thing, I don’t think.  Momma says it just means I’m extra loveable.  

    I don’t think I was slow when I was big.  I was fast. I was smart and I was big.  But now I’m four. I’m all little again. And the big and smart things went away.  

    I look up at the sky.  It’s a pretty color. Like the one my flower is made of.  Yellow?  The clouds are fluffy.  Jake sat with me once and he taught me that clouds can look like stuff. We spent a long time looking at the clouds, saying what we thought they looked like.  I do that again now. 

    One cloud looks like a truck.  Yes, it’s like the truck that picks up the trash.  I love that truck! It makes lots of noise and it’s all big.  When it came earlier this week, Momma let me run out to the sidewalk and say hello to the garbage men.  That’s what I want to do when I’m bigger. I’ll ride in the big truck and beep the loud horn and collect all the garbage!  

    I’m leaning back, looking at the clouds, so I sit on my bottom.  The sidewalk feels rougher and hotter on my bum than it does on my feet.  I’ve got a bare bum.  Momma tells me to wear my undies for playing out front.  But I like nakey so much better.  I was naughty. I went out front with no undies today.  

    Sitting on my bum, I look down at my legs, then my feet.  Curious, I lean forward, looking at my feet closer, grabbing one.  The sole of my foot is so dark, all dirty.  It makes me feel all tingly inside.  I like having icky feet.  It’s important to have little boy feet. That’s what Melissa Jane told me.  She’s so smart, so nice. She knows everything.  

    I’m examining my feet, watching my toes wiggle, all nice and free, when a man walks up the sidewalk to me.  He’s a big grown-up man and he’s wearing a special uniform and he has a big bag.  I know what this is. He’s the mailman.  He goes from house to house bringing everyone their letters.  I know that from Sesame Street.  Elmo sang a song with the mailman on Sesame Street.  I wonder if our mailman knows Elmo too.  And does he sing songs?  

    The mailman looks down at me and smiles.  

    “Well hello there buddy. What you doing out here in your birthday suit?” 

    I don’t know what a birthday suit is.  But I want to show the mailman my drawings. Maybe he’ll be impressed. Maybe he’ll want to sing a song with me.  

    “I dwawed a fwowah!” I tell him eagerly, bashing my chalk against the sidewalk.  

    He looks at my drawing and chuckles.  “Oh yes, I suppose I can see that,” he agrees.  

    He’s smiling, he likes it.  What else can I show him? What else do I have to show off?  I know!  

    I hold up my foot and announce. “Goz icky feets!”  

    He smiled and nods again.  “Haha, you certainly do.  Those feeties are just filthy. Guess that’s what you’d expect of a little jaybird like you,” he told me.  

    Jaybird.  Oh, he meant that I was all nakey.  Am I in trouble? Will he tell Momma I gone nakey out front?  

    The mailman is still smiling. He leans down and ruffled his hand through my hair.  

    “Okay, y’all get back to your artwork now. I got mail to deliver to your Momma,” he tells me.  

    I’m not in trouble.  He’s a nice man.  Maybe I’ll be a mailman when I’m big. I can deliver the mail first, then I’ll get the big truck and come back to take away the trash.  

    “Tommy! You gotta put undies on!”  

    Oopsie. It’s Danny.  Did Momma send him out to play? Or did he just come to find me?  I hope he don’t tell Momma I was naughty.  He’s wearing undies because he’s a good boy for Momma. Danny’s almost always good.  He listens to Momma.  I wanna be good too. But I don’t listen so good. And I don’t wanna follow all the rules because sometimes it’s more fun to be naughty.  

    “C’mon Tommy, let’s go inside,” Danny urges me, reaching down and taking my hand.  

    “Dun wan’ undies!” I tell him.  “You be nakey!” I urge instead.  

    Danny knows how nice it feels being nakey.  It’s the best feeling in the world. My doodle is all free and bouncy and it just feels so perfect when it swishes between my legs as I walk and run around.  It just feels so free.  Danny goes nakey too, whenever we’re inside or in the yard. He knows it’s better.  

    But Danny shakes his head. “Not out front. Daz da rules Tommy! Momma said so!”  

    I pout cuz I know he’s right, but I don’t wanna.  

    “Pwease! I don’t wanna!” I tell him.  

    He’s the little brother. He’s only three. I’m four and that’s bigger. I should be in charge.  But I’m slow, I’m silly and special and Momma says that makes Danny in charge.  

    Danny doesn’t pull me inside, doesn’t make me do anything. He’s not mean and bossy like Jake can be.  He don’t hurt me or make fun of me like Jake neither.  Danny loves me.  We share a bed now. We cuddle up at night.  He’s nakey then, like me, and we cuddle up nice and tight and our doodles touch and if feels so tingly, so exciting and good.  We rub them together, faster and harder until we both do big sticky squirts.  I love Danny so much.  

    “Momma’s gonna get mad. You gonna get in twouble,” he warns me.  

    I shake my head and say, “Nuh-uh!”  

    I don’t have an argument for why. I can’t reason with Danny. He’s so much smarter than me.  

    Then I get distracted by something more important, something sudden and urgent.  I grab my pee-pee and tell Danny, “Uh-oh. Gotta tinkle!”  

    Danny nods. He’ll know what to do. Now I’m glad he’s here, able to do the thinking.  

    He points to the fence and says, “Just do ‘em here.”  

    It’s what I really wanted to do.  I just wanted permission.  I’m so relieved Danny agreed. I didn’t want to have to try to hold it in until we got all the way inside and found the potty seat.  And now I’m even happier I don’t got undies on. No need to wait.  I just turn to face the fence and let go.  

    Danny stands next to me. His hand is warm and comforting on my bare back as I pee all over the side of the fence.  Such a wonderful sensation of release.  

    As the tinkles splashed against the wooden fence, a familiar voice said, “My goodness Tommy, what are you doing out here on the sidewalk all naked?”  

    I turned to see Melissa Jane standing on the sidewalk.  In the process my tinkles splashed all over the sidewalk too, wetting my chalk art.  I wanted to give her a cuddle. She was the one who made me all silly, made me all little.  But I was still doing tinkles. I’d get her all icky if I cuddled her now.  That would be very naughty.  And I hoped I wasn’t in trouble for being nakey.  

    “I was makin’ dem,” I told her, pointing to my now wet, smudged drawings.  

    “You always make art without any clothes on?” she asked.  

    I could see the smile on her face now. She wasn’t upset. I wasn’t in trouble. She was just being silly.  So I nodded. .  

    “I told him Momma don’t like us naked outside,” Danny announced.  

    “Your Momma doesn’t want you boys giving the whole neighborhood a show.  But don’t worry, nobody here’s gonna mind your brother running around in his birthday suit. They all know he’s special, he’s extra sweet.”  

    Danny nodded. “Momma won’t be mad at Tommy?”  

    “No, I’ll make sure of it,” Melissa Jane assured.  “Now you go on into the yard. I need to talk to Tommy for a moment. I’ll bring him in shortly.”  

    “Kay!” Danny chirped, racing back into the yard, leaving me on the sidewalk with Melissa Jane.  

    “I tinkled on da fence,” I told her.  

    The red-headed woman chuckled. “Yes honey, I saw that.  Looks like you’ve been having a lot of fun since your special sticky.”  

    “I do stickies wid Danny.  We cuddle in bed ‘n do ‘em together,” I told her.  

    “Aww, that’s real sweet hon’.  Danny’s a good brother.”  

    I nodded. Danny was the best brother. He’s so much nicer than stupid Jake.  

    “Now the reason I’m here Tommy is that it’s been a week.  The spell can be lifted now.  I’m a witch, but I keep my word.  So if you want me to end the spell right now I will.  You can go right back to being a grown-up.”

    The week was up?  Oh, now I remembered, I only asked to be little for a week.  I don’t remember what a week is, but I guess that’s how long it’s been since I got little.  Now I can be big and smart again!  

    I think about all the stuff I’ll do when I’m big.  

    “Be big again?” I ask, amazed.  

    Melissa Jane nods. 

    “I wanna be a mailman,” I tell her. “And I gonna dwive the garbage twuck.  Danny c’n help me, but I da dwiver.”  

    I could see it now, Danny and I wearing the mailman uniform and the bright yellow truck driver vest right over it.  I’d beep the horn and Danny would wave to all the little kids.  They’d all be so impressed with our truck, with what big boys we are.  

    Melissa Jane frowned. “Oh honey, I’m sorry but Danny can’t get big with you.  His spell is already complete. He’s got to grow up the normal way.  He won’t be big for many years.”  

    Danny had to stay little? But that’s not what I wanted. Danny was the best brother. He gave me stickies.  He cuddled me and helped me all the time.  I don’t want to leave Danny.  

    “You gotta make him big too!” I insist.  

    But Melissa Jane shakes her head.  “I wish I could honey, but that isn’t how spells work.”

    “No fair,” I whined.  

    “It isn’t fair.  But I need to know if you want to get big again, or stay little for good,” Melissa Jane explained.  

    “Stay little?” 

    She nodded. “I can make the spell complete, but that will be it. No getting big. You’d stay here with Danny and Jake and Momma.  Your mind will always be slow and sweet and special.”

    I tried to remember what it was like being big.  But it felt like the fuzziest of dreams.  Only parts of it got through my foggy head and I couldn’t really understand those memories.  But my life here with Momma and brothers was crystal clear.  And I liked it, didn’t I?  I didn’t want to leave Momma and Danny.  They loved me. I loved them.  

    “Wanna stay,” I told her. “Wanna be with Danny and Momma.”  

    Melissa Jane nodded.  

    Then she reached out and touched my arm and said something so ancient, so incredible.  I didn’t really register the words, but instantly two things happened.  

    First I felt clear for the first time in days. I felt awake, present in my own head.  Suddenly all this knowledge that had been buried away deep inside my mind was accessible.  I felt like a grown man again.  

    And I was suddenly fully aware that I was standing on the sidewalk fully nude.  Jesus, my body was filthy, my toenails caked with dirt, my hands covered in coloured chalk.  I looked at the urine dripping down the side of the fence, the puddle on the sidewalk where I’d relieved myself.  I was a White trash kid if there ever was one. A dumb little toddler who’s mother let him play naked on the sidewalk in front of the house.  

    A car passed by us, the driver and passenger looking over at us, looking at the nudist boy on the street.  Good God, I felt so exposed, so ashamed.  I turned away, at least shielding my penis from the view of every passing car.  

    But even worse, my exposed member was quickly growing hard, jerking upwards as waves of arousal coursed through my body.  

    “What’s happening?” I gasped.  

    “You decided to make it permanent honey. Now all you need to do is go and empty out those big boy thoughts one more time. This time they’ll be going bye-byes for good though,” Melissa Jane told me.  

    “That’s not fair though. You said I’d have the choice. You were meant to bring my adult side back, let me choose.”  

    She shook her head. “That was never something you specified. I told you I’d let you experience it for a couple weeks and let you decide whether to make it permanent.  You clearly enjoyed yourself as a simple little boy.  You should be happy it gets to be permanent now.  No more working, no more responsibilities. You’ll be taken care of completely forever and ever.”  

    Forever and ever.  Shit, I had made a huge mistake.  I wasn’t some redneck kid. I shouldn’t have even been dreaming of being some stupid garbage truck driver. I had a degree for goodness sake!  I… I, was so, so horny. 

    I rushed back down the sidewalk into the yard, covering my penis as I went. It was so long, so sensitive. Every step sent shivers of pleasure down the shaft.  

    Danny was in the yard, playing with a Spiderman action figure.  He smiled when he saw me though, climbed to his feet.  

    “Danny, something’s wrong,” I told him.  

    “Nuh-uh,” he chirped. “You just need a sticky!” he told me, pointing to my unmissable erection.  

    I just needed a sticky. He was right of course. I needed it so badly. And after I did it, I’d be his dumb brother again.  And it had felt good, being his special brother, hadn’t it?  But to be like that for good, that wasn’t what I wanted, was it?  

    No, of course it wasn’t!  How could I even be entertaining such thoughts.  I had a life to get back to. I’d let my fantasy run away with me, let my dick do the thinking.  I’d had the chance to live out my deepest desires, but that couldn’t be the rest of my life.  And Melissa Jane had said I’d be special forever, a moron the rest of this shitty little town would actually take pity upon.  The idea of these rednecks actually looking down on me, seeing me as a poor simple little boy with a crippled mind, an overgrown toddler from the very trashiest of families, it was sickening.  

    I needed to go inside, get some damn clothes on, and leave.  Maybe, just maybe if I got out of Maynard the spell would break.  No one was going to help me here. That stupid glamor, or whatever it was the witch called it, meant they saw only the dumbest of little toddlers when they looked at me.  I would have to leave on foot, probably on bare feet since there weren’t even any shoes to fit me in the house.  

    I realised with even more disgust that running away on bare feet wouldn’t even be an issue. I could feel how thick the soles of my feet had become after two solid weeks without a pair of shoes to protect them.  I had the callused soles of a redneck boy now.  Ugh.  

    But Danny was still standing between me and the door, looking at me with those innocent eyes, wanting to help his brother, but totally oblivious to what was really happening.  

    “Let me hewp,” Danny urged, stepping closer.  

    I could feel his breath on my face, he was so close.  He was so eager to help me. Maybe he could help, maybe he could distract Momma, I mean Becky, long enough for me to get away without her raising the alarm, having the whole town out looking for me.  

    Yeah, that might work. He just needed to understand what was happening.  I could explain it so he could comprehend it, just use simple words…

    I felt Danny’s fingers brush lightly across my penis, drifting down, tickling my balls.  I grunted involuntarily, shaking my head. The motion had taken me completely by surprise. The fingers danced upward again, stroking my shaft now.  I couldn’t help but moan.  

    “C’mon Tommy, do your stickies,” Danny urged me.  “Gonna feel so good.”  

    I wanted to tell him to stop, I had to!  But I couldn’t even get the words out. It just felt too good.  His fingers were caressing my penis.  I couldn’t even pull away.  All my plans, all my fears were pushed to the back of my mind.  In that moment there was only myself and Danny and his fingers on my doodle.  

    And the pleasure just built and built so quickly!  It only took a few seconds this time.  There wasn’t a chance to regain my composure. I felt this physical need become unstoppable and then… oh! Ugh! No! Too late! Mmmmmm!  

    I feel myself explode. I feel the contractions, the spasms as rope after rope of goo squirts out of my doodle. I feel the warm liquid on my tummy. It must be wetting Danny’s tummy too.  

    And as I squirt, as I gasp and moan out loud, I feel Danny’s fingers still working my pee-pee, urging me to get it all out.  And I feel his arm on my back, patting me, comforting me.  Each squirt makes my head feel fuzzier, feel lighter.  I try to remember what was happening, what I wanted. But it’s all just slipping away. I can’t hold onto any of it.  

    It only takes seconds for everything I got back to be lost again.  

    I’m cuddling in Danny’s arms. I’m warm. I’m sticky. I feel wonderful and silly.  I want to show Momma what I’ve done too.  And soon I’m hurrying across the grass, my pee-pee bouncing free again. I don’t care that everyone can see it, can see the gooey mess I’ve made. I’m proud to show it off. I’m such a happy boy, such a silly boy.  Momma will be so happy to see that.  

    “Wook I do Momma!” I announce when I find her in the kitchen, scooping up a glob of goo from my tummy.  

    Momma just shakes her head, gets a washcloth and cleans me up.  That’s Momma’s job. She cleans up little boys’ messes.  

    **

    Five years later

    Danny has finished another day of third grade.  It was a busy day, learning to play the recorder again, doing their times tables.  Sometimes he wishes he had it easier, like his brother.  

    He heads down to Miss Lowell’s room.  She’s the special education teacher.  The special kids don’t go to normal classes. Tommy’s been in Miss Lowell’s room for five years now.  The room looks more like a daycare to Danny. But Tommy is happy there, so it’s not so bad.  

    He finds the nine year old sitting at one of their small tables, coloring.  Tommy’s scribbles are not decipherable and he makes no attempts to stay in the lines.  But he seems pleased with his creation, so that’s all that really matters.  

    “You making more art for the fridge?” Danny asks his big brother.  

    Tommy gapes up at him. The glassiness of his eyes is instantly apparent.  His facial features are just sort of relaxed looking, slack.  

    “Momma gonna wike!” he announces.  

    Danny nods and takes his brother’s hand, leading him to the cubbies to get his bag, then helping him to put it on his back.  Then they’re off, heading out through the hallway to start their ten minute walk home.  

    As they walk along the linoleum floor Danny’s sneakers squeak slightly.  Tommy’s bare feet make quieter sounds.  Tommy doesn’t wear shoes to school.  He hates wearing shoes at all and Miss Lowell’s class has different rules.  Special kids often have sensory issues around clothes and especially with socks and shoes.  The special kids are allowed to be barefoot if they want.  Tommy is every single day.  

    At least in his blue t-shirt and baggy black sweatpants Tommy is otherwise clothed.  If he had his way he’d be nude after all.  

    They walk along the sidewalk and Tommy points at the ground.  “Danny no soos,” he urges.  “Take ‘em off!”  

    Danny stops and toes off his sneakers, yanks away his socks, stuffing them into the bag.  Tommy wants Danny to do everything with him, including being barefoot together.  Danny doesn’t mind though, he has a special bond with his brother. It’s beyond normal brotherhood in an indescribable way.   

    As they make their barefooted way along the sidewalk a garbage truck lumbered past and Tommy got ecstatic, hopping up and down and pointing.  

    “Garbage twuck!” he shouted over and over.  

    “I see that Tommy,” Danny agreed.  

    “I gonna dwive dem when I big!” Tommy told him.  

    Danny just nodded, knowing it wasn’t true.  He understood now that he was older. He knew Tommy would never grow up and be a mailman or a policeman or a truck driver or any of the things he dreamed of.  Tommy would always be special and Danny would always look after him and keep him happy and safe. 

    The End 

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 5

    It wasn’t easy holding on the rest of the evening.  

    When we got home all three of us boys were sent to the backyard to play.  I had fun chasing Danny around and Jake even joined in with us little boys, throwing balls to us, wrestling a bit less aggressively.  For a couple hours it was pretty fun and I was actually able to enjoy myself.  

    Dinner came next.  It was meatloaf and roasted veggies, eaten in the living room in front of the TV.  Momma at least put on the Simpsons, which I enjoyed.  Jake liked the show too, but it was obviously over Danny’s head. He mostly ignored the show, playing with his toy army guys instead.  

    But then it got harder because after dinner Momma announced it was bath time.  Jake went first and emerged not long after wearing just his undies, settling back on the carpet for more cartoons, flipping the channel to SpongBob.  But then Momma had called in Danny and myself at once.  It turned out we got bathed together.  

    That was tough, sitting there in that warm, sudsy water, naked and facing this other equally nude man while Momma scrubbed us clean.  I mean I was just as hard as could be.  This was such a fantasy of mine, but I had to keep myself clear-headed until tomorrow.  

    I watched Danny enjoying himself fully, pushing a toy dolphin around the water, totally engrossed in his play, smiling and giggling to himself.  How lucky he was, to not have any worries.  It made me a bit jealous. But I wondered how long he had been like this, what his life was like before all this.  What had he given up to be in this White trash family?  Would his adult self be pleased at the way he ran around the mall in bare feet and no shirt all afternoon?  

    I also wondered if he’d had the spell hit him all at once. Had he simply woken up like this, no awareness of what he’d lost? Or had he failed to hold out, stroked that penis until he squirted out all his intelligence and awareness.  It was right there in front of me now.  I tried to picture him smart and mature like me, then stroking that cock until it squirted, ending up like he was now.  

    But actually it wasn’t quite as bad for Danny, even if it had been against his will.  He was still trusted to walk on his own around the mall. He wasn’t leashed. He wasn’t expected to strip nude at daycare in front of everyone.  He was still a mature kid, a smart kid.  Maybe I wouldn’t fight it quite so hard if that was what would happen to me.  

    Could that be it, a compromise? I could ask Melissa Jane to make me like Danny. I’d let her take my awareness if I could be more like him.  But then I’d still lose my control of the situation. It was far from ideal. But it could be my back-up, my final offer.  

    After bath Danny didn’t get his undies back on. Momma never even offered them. She just towelled him dry and then gave him a gentle, playful swat to his bare bum, sending him giggling back to the living room with his penis flopping about.  

    She towelled me dry too. God it felt so good to be scrubbed and then dried off like this.  She was gentle too.  I was full mast by the end of it. So hard not to just reach down and give my soldier a tug.  When she rubbed the towel against my stiffy to dry it and I felt her fingers against my rod, Jesus, I nearly lost it. My heart must have been at 180 beats a minute as I curled my toes and forced myself to hold it in.  

    “All dry, Tommy, and you have been such a good boy today. Honey, are you feeling okay? You aren’t feeling sick are you sweetie?” she asked, looking really concerned.  

    “No Momma, I’m fine,” I told her.  

    She nodded, then put her arms around me and cuddled me in close.  Oh, she smelled really nice too.  It was so good to be cuddled like this. I snuggled her right back.  

    “I’m glad you’re trying to be so big and mature honey. But I don’t mind you being my special, silly little guy.  Momma has to holler sometimes, cuz you could get yourself hurt if you climb too high or run off or touch what you shouldn’t.  But I know you’re a busy little guy, much busier than your brothers.  And that’s okay hon. I don’t want you bein’ scared of Momma and losing all your energy.”  

    “I’m not scared of Momma,” I assured her. “I… I love you Momma,” I told her. 

    She squeezed me tighter.  “Oh baby, Momma loves you too.”  

    When she let me go she slipped the towel away and said, “Now go join your brothers. It’s bed time soon though.”  

    I nodded, grabbing my undies and shorts off the floor and slipping them back up.  

    “Oh Tommy, I don’t know if I like this new modest streak,” Momma said.  

    I thought about just taking them back off. After all, I’d just spent fifteen minutes nude in the cramped bathtub with Momma and Danny seeing everything.  But the more I knew about what people expected of dumb little Tommy, the more I wanted to show them I was different. I was little sure, but I was a good kid, a mature kid.  

    So I just shrugged and headed back to the living room in my shorts.  I did at least leave my shirt off though, I gave Momma that one.  

    I nearly lost it one more time though.  When Momma tucked us in, when she came over and cuddled me again and kissed me goodnight.  I’d always wanted that.  My blankets were tented up, I was so excited.  It was very hard to get to sleep.  But I just reminded myself I would see Melissa Jane tomorrow. She was going to come to daycare. She just had to.  

    **

    I woke up with an uncomfortable sensation of soreness in my balls.  My cock was hard of course, with good old morning wood.  It didn’t help that my little boy undies, training pants Momma had insisted I wear to bed, were so extra soft against it.  They were thicker than normal undies, holding my penis snugly, cradling it in cottony softness. 

    If Melissa Jane didn’t make some change today I realized I likely wouldn’t make it another night. Even if I could hold on all day, I’d probably do what I did when I was a young teen. I’d have a wet dream, squirt in my sleep.  Then I wouldn’t even know it had happened.  Jesus, I could go to sleep myself tonight and tomorrow morning just wake up as dumb little Tommy.  

    Even as it was my balls felt so heavy and full.  Every movement felt uncomfortable, made me feel the soreness up into my stomach.  

    The door to the room swung suddenly open and Danny came racing in.  He was naked again, his penis standing right up at attention, the head bouncing against his tummy as he hurried to the side of my bed.  

    “Is mownin’ sweepy head!” he announced.  

    “I know Danny,” I told him. “I’ll be up in a second.”  

    But he wasn’t interested in waiting.  After just a moment he said, “Lez cuddle,” and he climbed into my bed, throwing back the covers and snuggling under them, right up next to me.  

    Oh God, I was already so horny and my balls ached so much and now he was in my bed.  It’s just, above all else, what I fantasised about was sharing cuddles with a brother or a playmate.  

    His arms wrapped around me and I couldn’t help but roll on my side to face him.  He looked so happy, so totally free of modesty and awareness. He just wanted cuddles with his brother. He didn’t care that he was naked. I felt my heart-rate ticking up again as I closed my arms around him too.  His skin was sticky and warm. It was like yesterday, but even better now.  

    He was enjoying it too.  He squeezed me even tighter and announced, “I’m all tingwy. In my doodle!”  

    I gulped.  

    “You doodle tingwy?” he asked.  

    And I don’t know why, but I just automatically said, “Uh-huh.”  

    Danny giggled lightly and then I felt his stiffy rub against the front of my training pants, pushing against my own throbbing hard-on.  

    “Lez do squirts,” he said.  

    Squirts?!   

    And he pushed his crotch up and down against my own, his arms holding me tighter than ever in this perfect intimate embrace.  

    Oh my God, he wanted to masturbate. No, he already was.  And… and he wanted to share it with me.  He wanted to give me pleasure too.  He wanted us both to have stickies.  

    I’d never felt such a sensation before. I yearned to share this with him.  His love was so pure and innocent.  And I felt something down there, I felt such a surging need.  If I held back it was going to be so painful.  I just… I knew I couldn’t do that.  I needed to do this with Danny.  

    And once I did, oh God, I needed to see Melissa Jane. We would be at daycare soon, just a couple more hours. I just needed to hold out until then. If I didn’t hold out, I’d have no control at all.  I just needed to stop right now, push Danny off me, tell him I didn’t want to do squirts with him right now.  

    But how do you stop when your ultimate fantasy is coming true?  Even when the consequences are so dire.  

    “You’re real cuddwy. I wove you,” Danny told me.  

    I shivered with desire. My balls were just so full. They needed to be emptied.  

    I thrust my penis forward, forcing it to grind against Danny’s.  And I felt the contact, felt that hardness, the rubbing, the wonderful friction even through the thick training pants.  I was so close already that was all it took. Just a few quick, hard thrusts.  

    Ugh.  Ohhhhh.  I felt the most incredible sensation of release.  A torrent of stickies erupting into my cozy training pants, being absorbed by the thirsty material.  My body jerked and moaned out loud.  Danny just giggled in my ear, still busy grinding against me, trying to have his own release.  

    I wasn’t aware of that anymore. All I felt was the most euphoric experience of my life. Melissa Jane hadn’t lied about that. She was a liar, I was sure. But at least one thing she said was the truth.  It was the most intense and complete feeling of release imaginable.  With every grunt and jerk I was pushing my intelligence, my maturity, my self-awareness out onto my tummy, filling up the training pants with everything that made me who I was.  

    It was like when you get a massage.  It feels so amazing. All the tension, all the stress getting worked out of your muscles. People moan out loud, they grunt with relief.  This was like having a massage for my brain, a wonderful deep tissue massage but in my head. All the stress, all the worry and tension was being worked out of my brain.  

    But it was more than that, because I was having an orgasm at the same time.  The feelings were combined. They built on each other. It was more pleasure than I could have ever imagined.  The feeling of just letting go, just letting everything go. Total release. Total relief.

    Finally it was all out.  Danny was done too, his gooey, warm squirts all over my tummy.  And I knew that it was done.  A moment ago there had been one boy and one man in the bed. Two big bodies, but only one with a working grown-up mind.  Now there were just two little boys in grown-up bodies.  

    I smiled at Danny, still basking in the amazing afterglow.  “You gib me stickies,” I told him.  

    Danny giggled. “Uh-huh.  Now we c’n get up. Lez watch toons,” he suggested.  

    That sounded perfect. Danny was so smart. I felt in awe of him.  I just felt so little now. With all those stickies out, with all the big stuff in my undies, I just felt so light and empty in my head. I felt tiny, absolutely teeny-weeny.  Danny looked so big and in charge.  

    We climbed out of bed.  Danny’s pee-pee was all sleepy now, it wasn’t standing up anymore.  

    “Lez be jaybiwds,” he urged, pointing at my big boy pants.  

    I didn’t want to be a jaybird with Danny yesterday morning. I still remembered that, recalled pulling my undies back up after doing tinkles.  But I hadn’t a clue why I had felt that way.  It’s fun to be a jaybird. Nakey feels good!  These things are certain, they are written in stone in my mind.   

    I nod and yank my sticky undies down and kick them away.  My doodle is still all slimy and it stands straight out from my tummy, half-way hard but getting softer.  I wiggle my hips back and forth, make my doodle swing back and forth, make it waggle so Danny can see.  Danny will think that’s funny.  

    “My doodle siwwy!” I tell him.  

    I don’t mind Danny seeing my doodle of course. Why would I mind? What a strange idea.  It floats away as quickly as it came.

    Danny smiles and reaches down. He runs his fingers along the length of my doodle. Oh God, a wave of pure pleasure tingles through my body. With a little jerk my doodle expels a final squirt, the goo splattering on the carpet.  Danny giggles at that, continuing to gently tickle my pee-pee until it gets all soft and sleepy.  

    “C’mon!” Danny insists after that, taking my hand and leading me to the living room. 

    Jake is there, watching toons. He looks at me, then back to toons.  I sit on my bum. The carpet is soft. I like it under my bum-bum.  The toons are funny to look at, but I don’t know what’s going on. It’s all too fast. They use words I don’t know.  My head is too empty now.  I’m all silly cuz I had that squirt.  That’s okay, it doesn’t make me sad. I like being silly.  I’m sure that silly is very good.  

    I need to make tinkles. The feeling hits me suddenly.  For a second I don’t even know the feeling. But then I remember what it is.  And that means I need to do something. I need to do a big boy thing.  But I can’t remember what.  I need to go somewhere. So I stand up.  

    “Tommy move out of the way you dummy,” Jake yells at me.  

    I pout and move.  Mean Jake.  I didn’t mean to be in the way.  I gotta tinkle. Where do tinkles go? Babies do ‘em in their diapies.  I don’t gotta diaper. Not a baby.  Big boys do ‘em… 

    I don’t know.  I try to remember yesterday. I knew then. I was so smart. I was very big.  I look down at my pee-pee. It’s hanging there, all soft and smooth now.  I’m nakey.  Big boys don’t go nakey, so I’m not a big boy.  I’m little now. I had a lovely squirt and now I can’t be big anymore.  So I won’t do a big boy tinkle. I’m gonna do a silly boy one.  

    I smile as I let go.  The golden stream splashed on the carpet between my feet.  I feel drops splash on my toes.  How silly of me.  I’m a carpet tinkler.  

    “Oh Tommy! You need the potty!” Danny reminds me.  

    The potty. Oh yeah, that was the big boy thing. Oh well. I’m not sad, I’m not upset at all. That’s for the big boys. I’m a silly little boy.  

    Momma comes out a little later and Danny shows her the puddle I made.  The carpet is still all squishy. I poke at it with my toe. I like how it squishes. That makes me smile and giggle.  

    “Tommy, why didn’t you use your potty like yesterday?” Momma asks me.  

    “Notta big boy,” I tell her. “Imma jaybiwd,” I explain, poking at my doodle, so she can see I’m all nakey.  

    Momma shakes her head and then she cleans up the mess I made. That’s Momma’s job. I make the messes cuz I’m little, and she cleans them up.  I like being little.  It’s funner to make messes than fix them.  

    When she’s done Momma calls me over.  

    “Tommy, I know it’s tough to remember to use the potty for you.  But I really want you to try for Momma. Okay honey?”  

    Momma’s sad.  I feel bad now.  

    “Yeth Momma. I twy,” I assure her.  

    “Don’t feel sad honey, I know you’re doing your best.  You’re just a bit slower than the other boys.  That’s okay honey, Momma loves her special boy and I’ll always take care of you,” she promised, pulling me into this big, warm cuddle.  

    I love Momma so much. I’m a special boy. It’s okay to be slow. Momma always gonna be here for me.  Momma’s cuddles feel so, so good.

    To be concluded...

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 4

    We dropped off Jake first.  He went running into a busy school yard, no kiss goodbye or anything.  Then Momma drove us to daycare.  

    As soon as we pulled up I realised that it wasn’t going to be what I had expected.  I had been getting ready for one of those commercial daycare centres with names like Happy Smiles or Here We Grow.  But when the car stopped we were in front of someone’s house.  It was one of those mostly informal daycares, some probably untrained woman who ran it out of her house.  It was bound to be overcrowded and no doubt much cheaper than real daycare.  

    No wonder she had planned to bring me here in a t-shirt and undies. That probably would have been embarrassing at a bright commercial daycare, but at this kind of place it wouldn’t draw a second glance.  

    Momma opened the door and we climbed out.  Instantly I was aware of the sidewalk pavement under my feet, a constant reminder of my toddler status.  A part of me wanted to ask Becky here if I did actually own a pair of shoes, maybe for special occasions.  But I knew that would really send off alarm bells if my asking for shorts was a shocker.  

    After she rang the bell a fat woman in her forties opened the door.  She reeked of cigarette smoke and I could only hope she was at least smoking outside and not exposing all the little kids here.  The woman wore no make-up, her face deeply wrinkled from the chain smoking.  Dressed in a pink sweater and leggings, she was barefoot herself.  Fair enough, it was her home after all. It wasn’t like she was going out for the day sans shoes the way I was.  

    “Hi Karen, here they are,” Momma greeted her.  

    Karen smiled back.  “Mornin’ Becky.  How they doin’ today?”  

    “Just fine, no sniffles or anything.  And Tommy even used the potty and then asked to wear shorts,” Momma told her. 

    Karen looked over at me, taking in my outfit.  “Huh, it’s awful funny to see him all dressed up like that.  And using the potty on his own? Guess our silly little guy is starting to get bigger.”  

    “I hewped ‘im!” Danny quickly interrupted.  

    Karen gave him a smile, reaching way up to be able to pat Danny’s head.  “You’re a good brother.”  

    The six foot tall man squirmed and grinned like an idiot, lapping up the praise.  

    “I’ll be back to get them at the normal time,” Momma said. 

    “Okay, have a good shift.”  

    Momma shrugged. “At least it’s not a double today.”  

    Then she gave each of us a quick hug and kiss on the cheek and she was off. 

    Karen led us into the house and it was just as messy and busy as I had predicted.  There was a playroom crowded with simple, cheap toys and a TV playing cartoons.  The kitchen could barely fit the five high-chairs and two tables surrounded by chairs with booster seats.  The backyard had a basic swing set with a slide, a dirty looking and tiny sand-pit and a bunch of different sized balls. 

    I counted six little kids who were already at the daycare. Four boys and two little girls.  One of the little boys wore no shirt, just his shorts.  A second was down to nothing but his undies.  All six of them were barefoot.  

    But more interesting to me were the five adult children who were playing together.  Three grown men and two women, ranging from about twenty years old to late thirties.  One of the women, a pretty twenty-something with short blonde hair, was topless too, sitting on the floor in her bright pink panties, cuddling a doll against her bare breasts.  Two of the three men lacked shorts or pants, playing around with their undies on display.  

    Karen wasn’t much interested in actually caring for us.  No sooner had we arrived than she grabbed her ciggies and a lighter and headed out the back door.  We were left to our own devices, playing in the living room with the others.  

    Danny quickly settled into what must have been a routine for him.  He dropped to the floor, yanked his shirt off and let it drop on the floor where it fell.  Then he grabbed a toy truck and began creeping around, engrossed in play.  After a moment though, he turned back to me and said, “C’mon Tommy, getta twuck so we c’n pway.”  

    There was nothing else to do. I joined him on the dirty carpet, grabbing a toy truck and crawling along with it.  

    “You gonna take your shirt off?” Danny asked me as I pulled up next to him.  

    “Naw.”  

    “Home come?” he asked. 

    “Why did you?” I replied. 

    “Is comfy.  Ain’t you itchy? You always get itchy whens you gotta wear shirts.” 

    I shook my head, then crashed my truck into the side of his, making smashing sounds for effect.  Danny forgot the conversation, quickly getting back to play.  

    We played until we were interrupted by the topless woman.  She crept up and poked me in the arm.  

    “Hi!” she chirped.  

    “Oh, um, hi there,” I answered.  

    She was very pretty, especially with those beautiful innocent eyes.  Her skin was so soft and flawless and it was so hard not to just stare at her boobs when they were right in front of me. 

    It was obvious no one else could see what I did though.  The other adult children didn’t even seem to realise they were much bigger than the other kids. The real kids didn’t seem aware that their playmates were grown-ups either.  Once again it seemed I was the only person here capable of seeing the truth.  

    “Don’cha wanna cuddle?” she asked, looking confused.  

    “Oh. Um, yeah, sure,” I mumbled, trying to recover from my shock at the question.  

    Jesus, she really meant it. Her arms opened wide and just like that we were snuggling up together.  She was so warm in my arms. I felt her bare back, ran my fingers lightly across it.  I looked down at the soles of her feet, turned up as she sat on her knees. They were brown as dirt, thickened too.  She looked like she didn’t own a pair of shoes either.  

    “Why you got clothes?” she asked me.  

    “Clothes?” 

    I felt her chin nod against my shoulder. “Not nakey,” she said.  

    She expected me to be naked? Here at the daycare?  

    “I’m notta baby,” I told her.  

    She giggled lightly.  “You being silly. Okay, bye-bye.”  

    And just like that she yanked free, twisted to her right and crawled away, boobs swinging under her body.  

    I was about to head after her but a new finger poked me in the back.  

    “You it!” a new man’s voice announced.  

    I turned to see it was the man who had been wearing just his undies. Except now those undies were on his head.  It was the second man’s penis I’d seen today, just dangling there.  And its owner seemed intent on playing tag with me. Except he wasn’t running away. He was just standing there, smiling like a moron.  

    “I’m it?” I clarified. 

    He poked me a second time, harder, so it actually made me wince and pull away.  He just giggled. “Uh-huh. You it!” he agreed.  

    The man was younger than me, only just out of his teens with a skinny, smooth body.  And it seemed like perhaps he was one of my friends here at the daycare.  

    “Well, um, shouldn’t you run?” I asked him.  

    “Yeah!” he said, as though just realising that was the game.  And then off he raced, penis swinging wildly about.  

    I gave chase, but I didn’t try too hard. He wasn’t a good runner either. He was uncoordinated, his gait too wide, too halting.  He giggled and kept looking back at me.  The game ended quite abruptly as the naked man ran straight into Karen as he turned into the kitchen.  

    Given he was full height and weight I worried it might have hurt the carer. But no, it was the man who bounced off her, landed right on his bare bum on the tiled floor.  Once again the physics seemed all off. It was like us fitting into the car seats on the way here.  And no doubt some of these full-sized adults would later fit into the high-chairs next to the kitchen table.  Whatever spell that witch had cast, it was a strong one.  

    “Whoops!” Karen said, leaning over and seeming to easily pull the man right back up to standing with just one arm.  It was like he weighed next to nothing.  

    “Oopthie!” the nude fellow agreed.  

    “Careful where you’re running Mikie,” she reminded him.  “And we don’t want these undies getting lost again. So let’s put them away somewhere safe until home time,” she went on, lifting the undies off his head and folding them up.  No chiding him for taking them off, no attempt to reclothe the nudist.  No commercial daycare would allow such a thing. But this woman didn’t seem to mind it in the slightest.  

    Then she turned to me and said, “C’mon Tommy let’s put your clothes away too, as long as we’re at it.”  

    “Huh?” I said.  

    “We know you’ll be out of those clothes before lunch time honey, and we don’t want them scattered all over.  You know the rules, jaybirds need to put their clothes in the closet so they’re safe and ready for home time.”

    “Jay-biwds!” Mikey agreed, hopping up and down and looking expectantly at me.  

    I looked back around at the other charges. No one else was naked, none of the little kids, none of the other grown-up kids.  Mikey was the lone nudist right now, though that girl was topless.  She wasn’t asking the others to take their clothes off, it wasn’t a rule for everyone. She was singling us out, Mikey and I. We were jaybirds, we were little nudists who couldn’t be trusted to keep our clothes on. 

    On one hand this was incredibly arousing.  It made me shiver from head to toe to be spoken to this way, to be expected to run around buck naked.  Only the silliest of tots would be expected to do that.  And it seemed clear that the other nudist, Mikey, was younger than me.  When I squinted my eyes I could see what the others saw, a chubby little tyke of about two years old.  

    There was a big difference between two and four.  And yet Karen was treating me the same as the much younger toddler.  So obviously that was amazing, that was very exciting.  But at the same time I didn’t want to actually be naked.  Being dressed up like a little boy was exciting enough for me.  I was still the guy who struggled to pee in a urinal, who kept his shirt on at the beach.  

    “No, I wanna keep ‘em on,” I told her. “I’m big boy now.”  

    Karen gave me a confused look and for a second I wondered, would she force me? Jesus, what if she stripped me right here in front of everyone. It made me so excited, made me so hard in my pants. But it also terrified me.  

    But she wasn’t a dominatrix. She was a middle-aged woman running a daycare.  So she shrugged and then said, “Okay then. But I don’t want to find your shorts or your shirt just lying on the carpet.  You understand Tommy? You take all your clothes off right now, or you keep them all on the whole rest of the day. Those are your choices.”  

    “Keep on,” I told her firmly.  

    And with another shrug she moved on, leaving me with Mikey, who looked confused by my insistence on clothing while he stood there stark naked.  I felt bad about that now, like I had abandoned my friend.  Was he going to be embarrassed now, being the only nudist?  

    Mikey poked my arm and grinned. “You it!” he chirped, then ran off giggling again.  

    No, he was much too little in his head to feel such shame.  

    **

    There were a number of embarrassing moments still to come.  Mostly I just felt a bit embarrassed for the other adults though, watching them behave so stupidly.  There were three little plastic potty chairs right there in the living room and all morning I watched these men and women using them, dropping their shorts and undies and sitting there making their pees and poos right in front of everyone.  

    I mean no one was really watching them though. It was just considered normal, something totally unremarkable.  One fellow even finished his business, stood up with his shorts still around his ankles, kicked them away and rushed off to find Karen, to show her his poopy bum so she could clean it.  I could only gape in horror as he leaned against the wall, legs spread wide, while she took a wet-wipe and cleaned his ass in front of the whole room.  She even praised him for being a good boy, for getting her and staying still.  

    He never even got his shorts back on after that, just left them for Karen to collect, to store them away as he went running back to play with his penis swinging free like Mikey’s.  He wasn’t nude though, he still had on his t-shirt.  

    And I couldn’t help but get hard again, watching him join Mikey, watching these two bare bottoms playing side by side.  

    A knock at the door caught my attention.  Karen went to see who it was and I wondered if we were getting another new playmate, and whether it would be a real little kid or another adult tot.  

    But it wasn’t another kid, it was a very familiar woman.  I recognised Melissa Jane instantly and her eyes very quickly caught my own, though just for a second.  

    “To what do we owe this visit?” Karen was asking her.  She didn’t seem annoyed though, but genuinely happy to see the red-head.  

    “Well I was in the area and I thought I’d come check up on some of my little ones,” Melissa Jane told her.  

    “They’ll love a visit from you darling.  And you’ve got good timing since I just realised I’m out of milk.  Could you watch ‘em while I make a quick run to the store?”  Karen asked. 

    “Of course!” she assured her.  “You know I’m always happy to watch these cuties.”  

    “You’re a life saver hon,” Karen said, heading out to get the milk.  

    Sure enough it seemed I wasn’t the only one who knew Melissa Jane here.  Mikey, the topless girl and her friend were all rushing straight over, demanding cuddles, babbling about their simple little lives to her, asking for her to watch them do some stupid trick like hopping up and down or rolling a somersault.  

    Melissa Jane kept on smiling, watching them do their tricks, praising their simple antics, but I could tell she was here for me, not them. She kept glancing at me, and sure enough she made a bee-line for me as soon as she got free of the other simpletons.  

    “Well hello there,” she greeted. “You enjoying daycare?”  

    “It’s not exactly how I pictured it,” I told her.  

    “Nothing ever lives up to expectations,” she agreed.  

    “Isn’t that the point of magic?” 

    She chuckled.  “That was exactly my point, even magic doesn’t quite meet expectations,” she pointed out. 

    “So the other grown-up kids here, you do this to all of them?”  

    “Well they aren’t all my work, but a good portion of them, yeah.”  

    “They’re not like me though.” 

    “No, they have simple little minds too. Little minds inside bigger bodies.”  

    I shook my head. “No, I mean that’s obvious.  What I mean is, they can’t see the truth can they?  They don’t think they’re bigger than the real kids.”  

    “No, they only see the glamor, same as everyone else.  They see it when they look in the mirror too.  But you’re special honey. I don’t really know why, but you can see the reality.  To be honest I thought being under the spell might change that, but it seems like you’re immune.”  

    On the one hand it was kind of nice to be special.  But it also made me a little worried. Did that make me a problem for Melissa Jane?  Maybe that’s why she had stashed me with this trashy little family, out of the way.   

    “You put me into a total redneck family,” I told her.  

    She didn’t bother denying it, just gave me this sad little smile and shrugged.  “Honey, you’re in Maynard.  I just put you where I could.”  

    “I don’t even seem to own a pair of shoes.  And Momma, I mean Becky, she works at CVS.  I mean, that’s really all you had?”  

    “Shoes aren’t really considered necessary for most kids your age around here, even the more middle class ones.  But yeah, I admit Becky’s a little bit more working class than you might have hoped for.  But I had limited choices on such short notice.”  

    I couldn’t really argue with that. But still, there were other issues she had to have control over.  

    “It’s not just that.  How come people think I’m slow.  I mean, not just a little. They think I’m a moron, a four-year old with the mental abilities of a two year old.  My little brother talks down to me. And everyone seems to expect me to be stripping off all my clothes, running around naked, barely able to use a potty, totally wild and poorly behaved.  Why did you give me an identity like that?”  

    Melissa Jane didn’t deny any of it, at least she granted me that.  But she didn’t seem concerned or repentant about it either. 

    “I thought you should have the full treatment, really know what you’re getting into.  The spell doesn’t just make you a younger version of yourself. It makes you basically the opposite, in age, in intelligence, in personality.  

    “So I guess you’re a very smart guy, pretty neat, probably were a well-behaved kid, a real teacher’s pet smarty pants, right?”  

    She had me down to the tee. I could only nod.  

    She smirked. “Yep, so the new you, the little you, is the total opposite. Little Tommy is dumb as a post, wild and rambunctious and messy as any toddler could be.  But you know what else? You’re a pretty cold, emotionally distant guy. So Tommy will be a very affectionate, cuddly, kind child.  

    “It’s not all that bad. Tommy’s a loving brother, a simple but caring child with no nastiness in him at all.”  

    I frowned. “Yeah, so how am I meant to really enjoy that?” I asked.  

    “Well that’s because you didn’t get the full spell. You have Tommy’s identity, but you don’t have his mind.  Tommy wouldn’t mind that he doesn’t own a single pair of shoes because he’d love being barefoot, getting his toes messy in squishy mud and such. Tommy wouldn’t even be aware of his family’s relative poverty.  

    “But you insisted I leave your personality, your mind totally intact, and so that’s what I did.  It’s no surprise you’re going to be feeling embarrassed, feeling bored living Tommy’s life.”  

    She was right about it getting boring as well. How much longer could I push toys around the carpet?  

    “So, what, you think I should just end it, let you reverse the spell?” I asked her.  

    She shook her head. “That’s not really how it works.  The spell lasts two weeks. What’s done is done.”  

    My stomach dropped.  So I was stuck in this white trash family for two weeks for sure. Ugh.  

    “I can’t give you back your own identity,” she explained. “But there is a simple way to make it more enjoyable for you.”  

    “What’s that?” I asked, a little more hopeful now.  

    “You can always let the spell become complete, let yourself truly become Tommy.”  

    “What?!”  

    Melissa Jane wasn’t deterred by my tone.  

    “If you have Tommy’s mind, and not just his identity, you’ll be so much happier.  I promise you that Tommy is a very happy little boy.  You’ll fit in with the others here, you’ll actually enjoy playing the silly games, you’ll feel no more shame at all.”  

    There was no way I wanted that.  She was crazy if she thought I wanted to be a total idiot, that I would choose to be a mentally challenged four year-old.  

    “I’d be a retard,” I told her. “I’d be running around this daycare buck naked, tinkling on the carpet.”  

    To my shock she actually nodded.  

    “You’re completely right about that honey.  I’m not gonna sugar-coat it for you.  But I will tell you that none of that stuff would bother you in the slightest.”  

    “Well it isn’t going to happen,” I told her.  

    She shrugged. “Fair enough. It’s up to you.  But you best be careful with that stiffy then.”

    Jesus, it was that obvious?  She could see that I was erect in these dumb board shorts.  I moved my hand to hide the bulge, blushing red.  

    She just giggled at my modesty.  “Look at you trying to hide it,” she mocked.  “If you let it happen you’d be showing it off. You’d want me to see how happy your doodle is.”  

    “It’s not funny,” I snapped at her.  

    “I know it isn’t for you darling. And that’s why I’m warning you now.  You best control your urges.  Because if you make a sticky, that will trigger the rest of the spell.”  

    My eyes went wide as saucers.  “What?! Trigger the spell? What does that mean?”  

    “It means if you blow your load, your big boy smarts will be sprayed all over your tummy and you’ll have nothing but silly toddler thoughts left in your emptied out head.”  

    The thought of turning into the little boy people saw me as was terrifying. The way they expected me to act, it would be horrifying for people to see me actually behaving that way.  I really valued being a good, well-behaved kid when I was little.  I was always very mature, very careful.  I never got along with the wild little kids, the risk-takers, the messy boys who ran around barefoot climbing trees and wrestling in the dirt. 

    “So I have to hold out the whole two weeks? No release until the spell is over, or that happens?” I asked. 

    “Bingo,” Melissa Jane confirmed.  “You squirt, your brains go night-nights.”  

    “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I demanded.  

    “Did I forget to mention that? Well, that’s my mistake. But at least I’m telling you now. So no harm has been done.” 

    No harm?  Technically right, but could I really hold out that long, living out my fantasy, surrounded by adult toddlers all day and night?  Jesus, my brothers would be cuddling with me, my mother would be talking down to me all week and even though that was humiliating it also massively turned me on.  I was going to have the absolute worst blue balls, I was going to be in agony, or I was going to lose control at some point, blow my load, lose my awareness, my maturity, my intelligence.  

    “I… I can’t hold out that long.  It will actually hurt…” I muttered.  

    Melissa Jane rubbed my shoulder, giving me a sympathetic look.  

    “You’re right honey, it would be so uncomfortable to hold out so long.  That’s why you should just get it over with, let yourself enjoy this, let yourself have the full experience.

    “Would you like some help with it? We could go upstairs, to the bedroom. I’ll make it feel so good, so cozy.  And then you’ll feel so lovely, so much more playful and when Karen gets back with the milk you’ll be running around nakey just like Mikey, all silly and giggly.”  

    She reached towards my crotch and I yanked sharply back.  

    “No!” I snapped.  

    She didn’t force me though, just pulled her hand back with a shrug.  

    “Like I said honey, it’s all up to you.  But I think it’s silly to delay the inevitable.  A day, maybe two and I’ll come back for a visit here and you’ll be running up for a big cuddle with your bare little doodle bouncing free and a big dumb grin on your face.”  

    I shook my head defiantly.  But inside I was nowhere near as certain.  How long could I really hold out?  I didn’t want her to see me that way, not ever.  And I felt so stupid for letting myself end up in this position.  But I also feared there was no way out. 

    **

    Who still goes to the mall these days?  I mean Amazon basically killed them off.  Except this one still seemed relatively busy.  I guess it’s been awhile since I was last in a mall.  But this time was quite a different experience.  For one thing there’s the feeling of the cool floor, solid and a little bit sticky under my feet.  But the bigger difference, the even more embarrassing one, is the strap around my wrist, tethering me to Momma.  I’m on a leash, like a puppy.  

    I couldn’t really fight my leashing without making a scene.  And that would have been even more humiliating, because there’s no doubt I would have lost that fight. I would only have succeeded in looking more like a willful toddler throwing a tantrum. So instead I acquiesced, let Momma tighten the band there.  

    I’d just wanted to get into the mall. It was mid-afternoon, summertime in Kentucky.  The pavement of that parking lot had to be scorching hot.  And Momma wasn’t supplying any shoes.  It was going to be agonizing.  Except that it wasn’t.  It was hot, that’s for sure. It wasn’t what I’d call comfortable in the slightest.  But it wasn’t really painful either.  When we got inside I stopped, picked up my foot to look at the sole.  It was black like the pavement, but it was thick too, it was used to being exposed to tough, hot surfaces, callused like shoe leather.  

    It made sense. The spell had made some slight physical changes. I was smooth, I was basically hairless after all.  But this wasn’t one I’d noticed until now.  

    Nevertheless it was embarrassing to be in bare feet in the mall.  I kept expecting a guard or a mall employee to come over and tell us off, tell Momma to get some shoes for her white trash little kids.  But no one said a thing, no one gave us a second glance except to smile at the cute little boys we appeared to be.  No shirt, no shoes, no service didn’t apply to young kids apparently.  No one expected us to be civilized.  

    And Danny was even worse. Momma had simply packed his long discarded shirt into her bag when she picked us up at daycare.  Now Danny was wandering around the mall shirtless as well as barefoot.  But he wasn’t on a leash.  No, my shirtless, nose-picking little brother was trusted to walk along on his own, simply with the warning not to wander.  I apparently hadn’t earned such trust.  

    Each time Momma yanked on my leash, pulled me along with her, it reminded me that I’d asked for this.  And whilst it was undeniably arousing to be leashed in public, it was also a little scary. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be so wild, so careless that I would actually need this leash.  What would be going through my head if I blew my load, if I let the spell reduce my mind to such a limited capacity and also strip away my maturity and self-awareness.  It was just impossible to actually picture it.  

    “Lookit Momma!” Danny suddenly announced.  “Fathe paintin’!”  

    Momma smiled let Danny grab her hand, leading us along to a face painting station where a handful of the youngest of children were waiting to have their turn in the chair.  

    “I wanna be a monkey!” Danny insisted, hopping up and down on his bare feet.  

    “Of course you do,” Momma chuckled.  

    Then she turned to me and asked, “What would you like to be Tommy? Are you a monkey too?”  

    I just shook my head. I didn’t want to be the same thing as Danny.  But I did want my face painted. Oh my God, was there anything more juvenile? It made me rock hard in my shorts.  I had to take a deep breath.  But scrunching my toes against the floor just reminded me I was barefoot in the mall. It was just so humiliating, and that made it so hot, so exciting.  I had to think about other things. Don’t blow my load, don’t end up dumb as a post. Then how could I appreciate all of this?  

    I watched Danny eagerly take the seat, looking utterly ridiculous squirming in the chair as he got a silly monkey face painted on him.  When it was done he hopped up and down, scratching his armpits and making monkey noises.  And then I took the seat.  

    The artist was a middle-aged Black woman.  She gave me an indulgent smile as I sat.  “Well hello there honey.  What’s your name sugar?”  

    “Tommy,” I told her quietly.  I could feel all the people in line watching me, looking at this grown man about to have his face painted. If only they could see the truth.  

    The artist was still asking me questions though, not content to simply paint my face.  

    “How old are you Tommy?”  

    “Four,” I answered, though it felt really weird to say it.  Just for cuteness I raised my hand and showed her four fingers.  “Imma big boy!” I added, feeling delightfully silly.  

    She nodded.  “You sure are. Why you’ll be starting school soon.”

    “Uh-huh! Big boy school!” I chirped, feeling my penis swell in my shorts again as I behaved so childishly for her.  

    “So what’s a big boy like you want to be today?” she asked. “Is you a lion? Or a monkey like brother?”  

    I shook my head. “Spidaman!” I told her, holding out my hands like I was shooting webs.  

    Another big smile from the nice artist.  “Of course darling, I should’ve known.  Okay, let’s make you a superhero!”  

    She made pretty quick work of it after that. In no time at all she was holding up a mirror to show me my face.  Oh wow, it was more juvenile that I could have even hoped. 

    “Perfect!” I announced.  

    “Lovely, y’all have a blessed day,” she said to Momma and I as I got out of the chair.  

    “Should’ve known it’d be Spiderman,” Momma commented upon seeing my face.  

    Passersby gave me smiles, gave Momma knowing looks.  I was a cute little boy with a Spiderman painted face.  I was on a leash. God it was all so hot.  But it was bittersweet, because I couldn’t let myself really enjoy it, couldn’t let myself get too excited.  I wanted to enjoy all this, but that meant being aware of it. I wanted people looking at me and thinking I was cute, not that I was a wild little brat.  I couldn’t let the spell become complete.  

    On the ride home, picking up Jake from school, I had time to think more.  If the spell became complete, how could I be sure it would even end in a couple weeks? I had a whole life to get back to, but if I lost all my awareness I wouldn’t even know that.  I’d be utterly at Melissa Jane’s mercy.  I mean, she was a witch, so I guess I already was. But at least I could have a conversation with her now, make a deal.  

    Jesus, my balls were already aching from walking around looking like a sweet little boy in the mall.  No way could I make it to the end.  I needed to make a new deal. Maybe she couldn’t end this spell early, but there could be another spell that could protect my mind.  I needed to talk to Melissa Jane tomorrow.  She’d have to come to the daycare again, she said she wanted to check in on me.  I just had to think of a way to convince her to help me keep my mind, my personality intact.  Last time she came it was a surprise and then she sprang that news on me. I had no time to prepare.  Tomorrow I had to be ready. 

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 3

    As soon as I woke up, I knew something wasn’t right.  Something had changed.  It was the feeling of my covers.  They felt different, felt softer than usual.  And I felt them across my chest, even though I always slept in my t-shirt.  

    They weren’t my covers.  They were nothing like my covers. They were flannelette, white with trucks and tractors designs, clearly meant for a child’s bed.  And that wasn’t all.  I wasn’t in my bed.  I wasn’t in my room.  I was somewhere totally new to me.  Lying there on my back I was staring right up at the bottom of another mattress.  I was in a bunk bed.  

    I sat bolt upright in the bed, my heart already galloping off to a racing start as I tried to make sense of my surroundings.  I pushed my covers off, looking down at my mostly bare body.  My only item of clothing seemed to be these thick white undies with red piping and what I now recognised as Paw Patrol designs.  My body looked unusually smooth too. All my chest hair was gone, my arms and legs as smooth as a little boy’s. 

    I looked around the room.  It was cramped and messy.  Little kid toys littered the floor along with an assortment of discarded clothes.  There was another bed just across from me and the man sleeping in it appeared to be about my age, somewhere in his twenties, but he was also shirtless and sucking on his thumb, fast asleep.   

    As I sat there trying to get my bearings, the bunk bed squeaked and shook.  Suddenly a pair of legs appeared off the side and another young man jumped down onto the floor.  He was wearing a t-shirt and similar cartoon themed undies to me.  I guessed him to be a bit younger than myself, probably early twenties.  He was of average build, with short black hair and dark eyes. 

    Seeing that I was awake the new man announced, “Mornin’ wrestle!” and threw himself onto me without warning.  

    “Ow! Hold on!” I yelled back, but he ignored me, crushing me against my mattress and giggling as he pinned my arms back.  

    “I gotcha Tommy!” he announced. “Jake wins again!” 

    Tommy.  I had never in my life gone by that name. I’d been Thomas for as long as I could recall.  

    “Get off me Jake!” I roared.  

    He laughed and let my arms go, finally allowing me to roll out from under him.  

    “Don’t do that, it hurts,” I told him firmly.  

    The twenty-something man just stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry at me. “You’s just a dumb baby, that’s why it hurts,” he mocked.  

    Then he hopped up out of the bed and said, “I’m gonna watch toons till Momma’s up,” and raced out of the room.  

    Still recovering from the assault, I got myself slowly up out of the bed.  The other man was up now too.  He was sitting on the floor now, wearing the same kind of undies as me, shirtless and pantsless as well and still sucking his thumb.  

    “Jake bein’ mean,” he mumbled around his thumb.  

    I nodded.  “Yeah, that wasn’t nice at all.”  

    The thumb-sucker smiled and stood up. “Danny’s nithe. Gonna cuddle,” he told me, climbing onto my bed and opening his arms wide, finally letting his wet thumb leave his mouth.  

    Oh wow, he actually wanted to cuddle with me.  Now this was more what I had in mind when I imagined having brothers.  

    Danny wrapped his arms around me and I closed mine over him.  Oh, his bare skin against mine was really nice.  He was warm and firm in my arms and it felt so good when his arms and hands brushed across my bare back.  I really liked having cuddles.  

    Finally after a solid minute snuggling with Danny I had to break it off.  

    “Hold on Danny. I need to go pee,” I told him, finally escaping the tight embrace.  

    Danny seemed delighted by that news though.  He grabbed my hand and said, “C’mon!”  

    And suddenly he was yanking me up from the bed and leading me out of the bedroom and down a short hall.  But we went right past the open door of the toilet.  I tried to pull back on his arm, but he was strong and insistent.  So suddenly we were out in the living room, where Jake was lying on his stomach on the floor, chin resting in his hands while he watched some silly little kids cartoons.  

    “Tommy gotta tinkle!” Danny announced to Jake.  

    The other boy didn’t seem interested at all, focused on his cartoons.  

    Danny led me across the room, to what I now recognised was a little blue plastic potty seat. Jesus, he didn’t expect me to just use that did he?  

    “C’mon Tommy, use da potty now,” he urged.  

    I shook my head. “No, Danny, I can use the toilet,” I told him.  

    But he shook his head firmly, still holding my hand so tightly.  “No, that’s not for little boys.  Use your potty,” he insisted. Then he grabbed the waist of my undies and said, “Need ‘em off first.”  

    I tried to pull away, but he was too strong.  Damn it, he was trying to help me, I understood he meant no harm, and that made it even harder to fight him.  So suddenly my undies were yanked down and I was standing there with my doodle out.  Jesus, it was as smooth as the rest of my body.  

    “Now you gotta sit Tommy,” my brother urged me, pointing to the potty seat.  

    Damn it, I was really going to have to do this in front of him.  At least Jake was busy with TV and no one else was here.  Just be done with it, I thought.  So I sat on the potty, feeling the smooth plastic under my bottom, tucking my penis under the lid, and waiting while Danny stood there, staring expectantly at me.  

    It was hard to do this with an audience.  But after a minute the urge outweighed by shame and I managed to pee, horrified again as the sound of my tinkles on the plastic bowl could be clearly heard.  

    Danny clapped his hands. “You doin’ it! Tommy’s tinklin’!” he announced in glee.  

    It was so embarrassing.  As I sat there feeling beyond exposed, I had to ask Danny something important.  

    “Danny, how old are you?”  

    “Twee!” he shouted, holding up the correct number of fingers.  

    “And how old am I?”  

    He giggled. “You’s four!”  

    I blinked.  He was my little brother.  And he was leading me to the potty.  What on Earth?  

    “And Jake?”  

    “He’s big,” Danny said, evidently unable to count high enough to tell me Jake’s age.  

    “Do I… do I usually use the potty?”  

    “Momma says you gettin’ better at it.  Momma says you c’n wear big boy panth like me!”  

    So that confirmed it. I was apparently slower than my three year old brother.  I wasn’t just four. I was a very slow four year old.  

    I started to stand up, grabbing my undies to pull them back up.  But Danny’s hand grabbed my arm, stopping me.  

    “Watcha’ doin’?” he asked, looking confused.  

    “I’m putting my big boy pants back on,” I told him. 

    “Don’ need ‘em now.  We ain’t goin’ nowhere,” he told me.  “Lez be jaybirds.”  

    And with that he yanked his own soft cartoon undies down, letting them fall to the floor and then kicking them away.  His penis was erect.  It was pointing right at me as he smiled innocently at his freedom.  Was it morning wood, or was he really aroused right now?  

    “See! Dis better,” he told me, pulling me back into a cuddle right there.  

    I dropped my own undies in surprise, letting them fall back around my ankles.  Suddenly I was back in this warm, sticky, skin on skin embrace.  But this time it was different, because as Danny pulled me in tighter I suddenly felt it.  Danny’s penis brushed against mine, two bare doodles caressing each other.  

    “Ohhh,” I couldn’t help but moan.  My body shuddered as pleasure rippled through my mind.  I felt Danny’s hand cupping my bottom, my bare bum.  Oh, it was so pleasant, so blissful.  

    “We’re cuddle buddies,” he whispered in my ear, so close I could feel his warm breath.  

    “Uh-huh, we sure are,” I agreed, letting my hands caress his bare back, then dropping them lower and feeling his bottom as well.  Why not? He was already feeling mine. 

    I wondered if he would start to grind against me more. He had to be feeling the same tingles of pleasure from his penis, rubbing against mine.  Would he start to hump me?  

    As quickly as he began, Danny ended the cuddle, pulling back with a silly dumb grin on his face.  

    “Lez watch toons!” he announced, hurrying over to join Jake on the floor, his undies forgotten on the carpet.  

    Jake didn’t even give his suddenly fully nude brother a glance as he settled next to him, sitting cross-legged on the carpet.  This was totally normal to him.  Part of me wanted to kick my undies away too, just be another silly nudist.  But something held me back.  I was already blushing.  I just couldn’t do it.  Adults would be waking up soon enough, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else seeing me naked.  

    I pulled the undies back up, then joined them on the floor.  

    We were watching some stupid cartoon, the kind only a small child could actually enjoy.  I hadn’t a clue what it was even called.  But both the other men, my brothers, were absolutely glued to it, mesmerized by the bright colors.  I didn’t really even try to watch it. I spent my time looking around the house, noticing the little things like the cheerios littering the carpet, the well-worn stuffed doggy on the floor next to the couch.  I looked over my brothers as well, taking in Danny’s smooth bare skin, the sticky residue of last night’s dessert which still clung to his cheek. 

    “C’mon boys, let’s get your breakfast, we gotta get goin’!”  

    The new voice took me by surprise.  She was a thirty-something woman, thin with black hair.  She was wearing a CVS Pharmacy uniform, with a name-tag which read “Becky.”  

    Danny hopped up to his feet instantly, hurrying right over to the woman.  He was about six inches taller than her and a lot heavier, but it was absolutely obvious that she was in charge here.  His erect penis was bouncing against his tummy as he hurried to her, but she didn’t even give it the slightest glance.  

    “C’mon Jake, Tommy, no dawdling,” she directed as Danny disappeared into the kitchen.  

    “Toons ‘re almost done,” Jake complained, not getting up.  

    Becky gave him a serious look.  “Jacob you get your butt up and into the kitchen this instant. Y’hear me?” she ordered.  

    Jake scowled but he got up.  I did the same, not wanting to start things off on the wrong foot.  

    “Don’t you give that look,” Becky warned him. “And no more back-talk.  You understand?”  

    “Yes Momma,” Jake answered, heading into the kitchen.  

    It turned out breakfast was Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Not exactly the healthiest start to the day to say the least.  Jake was still sulking as he sat down and poured himself a bowl.  Danny on the other hand was happily digging into his.  Momma had already poured him a bowl, filled it with just enough milk.  I saw that mine was ready for me too. She didn’t trust us to pour our own evidently.  

    “Tommy done tinkles in the potty Momma,” Danny announced between slurping spoonfuls.  

    Becky seemed legitimately impressed by this news, giving me a very happy look.  “Oh my! That’s very good Tommy, what a big boy you’re getting to be,” she praised me.  

    Oh wow, it was such condescending praise, and it made me so hard in my silly undies. Thank goodness I was already sitting. No one could see the stiffy I’d grown under the table.  But then again, would anyone even notice? No one seemed to bat an eye at Danny’s bouncing erection and it was on full display.  

    “I hewped!” Danny added.  

    Becky nodded.  “I’m sure you did.  You’re real sweet to your brother. You’re Momma’s special helper,” she told him.  

    Danny lapped up this praise, absolutely beaming as milk drooled down his chin from his messy eating.  

    “And look at you, even keeping your undies on this morning,” Momma said to me.  “Just like a big boy.”  

    Danny dropped his spoon with a clatter.  He looked wounded as he said, “I big too Momma.”

    Momma gave him a sweet smile and said, “Well of course you are honey.  But you’re still my baby too and I still can’t resist that cute little tushie of yours.  I don’t want you all growin’ up too fast.  Momma still loves her little jaybirds,” she assured him.  

    Danny basked in this praise, hopping up onto his seat, squatting to actually show off his big bare bottom.  

    Momma chuckled and actually reached over and patted his bum, then gave him a big cuddle.  

    “Okay, finish your breakfast jaybird. Momma has work to get to.”  

    We went back to eating, quite noisily in Danny’s case.  But then Momma came over to me and put her hand on my back. It was so warm.  And it felt really comforting the way she rubbed it over my bare skin.  

    “I’m so proud of you using the potty today hon,” she told me.  “You’ve earned this.”  

    I looked down at her hand to see what prize I’d earned.  It was a glittery golden sticker.  She waited for me to see it, then carefully applied it to the middle of my forehead.  

    “There we go!” she declared. “Now you can tell everyone how you earned your special star.  You can tell all your daycare buddies how you used the potty for tinkles this morning, just like a big boy.”  

    I just nodded.  If felt so nice to be praised like this, to be talked down to.  But at the same time it was embarrassing of course.  And on impulse I pushed it further.  

    “You still think my tushie is cute?” I asked her.  

    Momma chuckled at my question.  “Well of course honey.  You’re acting very big today aren’t you?”

    I blushed, nodding.  I must be acting very different to what she expects.  What did she think I was meant to be like? Was I expected to be wild? To be a little naked monkey climbing all over the furniture and making a mess?  

    She ran her hand through my hair. Oh, that was heaven.  

    “You have a very cute bum-bum and it’s okay if you want to be my jaybird again later.  Momma doesn’t want you getting too big.  You only get to be all sweet and little once.”  

    I held back a chuckle.  If only she knew.  Instead I just smiled, nodding again.  I looked up into her smiling, caring face and just basked in the glow of her maternal love. Yes, this was exactly what I’d always dreamed about. 

    After breakfast we had to get dressed.  Jake was going to school, but what about Danny and I?  I assumed we were going to preschool, or more likely a daycare.  It seemed like Becky was a single mother, so she had to do something with us while she worked.  

    Jake picked out his own clothes, pulling on a Captain America t-shirt and some athletic shorts.  Momma got clothes out for Danny first, leaving them on his bed and watching as he dressed himself.  Then she got out a t-shirt for me.  I waited for her to drop it on my bed, but instead she directed, “Arms up!”  

    I did as I was told, letting her slip the red t-shirt over my head.  I wasn’t trusted to dress myself? At four years old? 

    “You’re being such a good boy today Tommy,” Momma praised me. “Staying so still and letting Momma get you dressed.  You’re earning an extra treat for dessert tonight.”  

    “Imma good boy Momma,” I told her, feeling so awkward, but also so nice, using my little boy voice and diction.  

    Danny was dressed in his Sesame Street t-shirt and a pair of bright green board shorts now and was hopping from foot to foot. “I all dressed too Momma,” he urged her to notice.  

    “You sure are baby.  Okay, let’s get going,” she said.  

    And suddenly I realised she hadn’t got any shorts or pants out for me.  My silly cartoon print undies were still on full display!  

    “Shorts Momma?” I piped up, hoping not to sound too desperate.  

    Becky looked shocked though.  Jake and Danny even looked surprised by my question.  

    “You want shorts today?” Momma asked. 

    I nodded.  “Wike bwudders,” I told her in my best toddler voice.  

    “My goodness Tommy, what’s come over you this morning?” she asked.  

    “Gettin’ big,” I told her with a shrug.  

    I wasn’t sure if the look she gave me was one of respect or just disbelief.  But she then went back to the dresser and got another pair of board shorts out, these ones bright blue.  She held them at my feet, waited for me to step into the legs, then yanked them up and tightened them.  

    She stood back and looked me over, smiling. “Look at you, all dressed up like we was going to church,” she remarked.  

    Wow, did she only ever expect me to wear shorts to church?  

    We headed to the door. Momma stopped to put on her sneakers and Jake slipped on a pair of sandals, doing up the velcro straps.  Danny just stood there waiting.  Then Momma opened the door and out they went, Danny still in bare feet.  And it was obvious I was expected to do the same.  There were no other shoes at the front door, just Momma’s and Jake’s.  Did Danny and I even own a pair of shoes or sandals? It didn’t seem like it.  

    It was so strange to walk down the front steps that way, to know I was just leaving the house, going to be out all day long, and I didn’t have any shoes to bring with me.  I felt the cement turn to dewy grass under my soles, then the cracked rough pavement of the driveway.  

    All three of us were expected to sit in the backseat of Momma’s 90s era Toyota Corolla.   There were three booster seats wedged together back there. It seemed outrageous to suggest fitting all three grown men into the back seat, never mind into tiny booster seats.  But somehow it worked, somehow we fit perfectly.  I was put in the middle, which felt wrong since I wasn’t the youngest.  But I could see more and more that I was expected to act like the youngest. 

    Change of Perspective

    This is an old classic of mine from several years ago. I’m republishing it here as it’s one of my favourites and many probably haven’t seen it before.  

    “So you really want to do this?” I asked my flat-mate, Jake. He nodded. “She said it would really help me if I’m going to volunteer at the place. Getting to see it the way kids see it. It will be a real once in a lifetime experience.” “It just seems like overkill to me.” Jake gave me a serious look. “Jeff, if you don’t want to do this I won’t go through with it. I’m sure there are other places I can volunteer.” I shook my head. “No, no, this is the place with the top programme and I already told you I’m fine with having to keep an eye on you a little bit more. That doesn’t bother me. I just wondered if you were cool with it, really. I mean, seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes sounds a little creepy to me.” “Well it’s not like I’m going to turn into a snot-nosed little tyke. She said the contacts will just help me relax a bit, feel more like I belong there so I’m not so self-conscious.” Jake had received the courier bag with his outfit the night before and was now preparing to don the contents. He’d wanted to volunteer at the local daycare centre for some time now. He was studying the psychology of early childhood as part of his Master’s degree studies. The Top Ten Kids care centre just down the road had an excellent reputation apparently. Jake had talked to them about an internship and they told him there was just one requirement. He had to spend a few days seeing the place as one of the kids. When Jake first told me about their request I laughed out loud, thinking it had to be some sort of joke. “How on earth can they expect you to play around like some kind of little toddler?” I asked. That was when he explained about the contacts. I’d heard of such things before, but only in academic journals about research being done on them. I wasn’t really clear on how they worked, only that they allowed the wearer to enter a sort of waking trance state which could make them very suggestible in general or also deliver special suggestions to make them not want to smoke or drink or be less angry, that sort of thing. They were being tested as a cure for all sorts of addictions. But this time the contacts were said to help shift Jake into a more toddler-like mindset. That was why my cooperation was necessary. They warned Jake that he might have reduced thinking abilities and toddler emotions and mood-swings even while not at daycare. He needed someone to watch out for him at home, basically keep him safe and cared for.

    “So you won’t be throwing any tantrums then?” I asked, half-joking. He shook his head. “No, of course not. I just might feel a little bit moodier than normal she said. Fewer inhibitions, less forethought before doing something that might be dangerous.” “Fewer inhibitions? Do I need to warn the neighbours that you might be streaking around the neighbourhood? I’ve seen the neighbour’s little boy run around nakie-bum a couple time, right down their driveway and along the footpath. You sure you won’t be joining him?” Jake laughed and shook his head. “I don’t think that’s quite what she meant,” he said. I nodded, knowing that Jake was a very modest guy, always wearing long jeans and good collared shirts. He had quite a few pairs of good shoes too, but not one set of jandals. Of course that was about to change. The courier bag contained his outfit for the day. It was designed to make him fit in with the other boys. He’d got a big frown as he pulled out the jean shortalls with an applique yellow ducky on the bib and a bright red shirt with Big Bird across the front. At first he seemed relieved there were no light-up sneakers or Disney cartoon sandals but then he read the note which explained there was no footwear included because he would be expected to attend barefoot as most of the boys preferred to play in their bare feet and they asked parents leave the little ones’ shoes at home. I had to admit that he actually looked kind of cute wearing the whole outfit this morning. It really made him look like an oversized toddler. It was past eight o’clock and it was time to get him going now. He held the little container the contacts came in, looking a little bit nervous himself. “Well I guess you might as well get it over with,” I said. “Here goes nothing,” he said with a little nod, unscrewing the lids and placing the contacts on the tip of his finger one by one and slipping them onto his eyes. I watched closely as he finished and blinked, letting them adjust. “You feel any different?” I asked. He shrugged. “I… I don’t think so. Oh…” he said, trailing off, his eyes widening a bit, like he saw something in the distance. “What?” “There’s these colours floating around the edge of my vision. It feels…relaxing. Yeah, like I was kind of nervous before. But now I’m not.” He giggled lightly. “I’m not nervous at all in fact. I feel kind of giddy. The colours are soothing.” “You ready to get going then?” Jake was staring off in the distance for a moment. “Going?” he repeated. “To daycare silly,” I reminded him. Jake smiled now, and it looked like a real one, like he was actually excited at the idea of going to the daycare. “Yeah, let’s get going!” he urged. We headed out the door and I was amazed to see Jake skip right out to the car, heading straight from the back door and standing boldly in full view of any neighbours or traffic in his shortalls. I headed out and took my time finding the keys, waiting to see if he showed any signs of bashfulness, or grew aware of his outfit. But there was nothing. He just gazed about, as if truly seeing the world through new eyes. As we got in the car and he settled right into the back seat I said, “You like your special outfit Jake?” He looked down at his clothes again, the ones he’d been aghast at just half an hour ago. “They’re not bad actually,” he said. “They’re pretty comfy.” “You like Big Bird?” He gave me an accusing look. “I’m not really a baby Jeff! Don’ be silly!” I chuckled and started the car. ** When we arrived at the daycare centre Jake seemed even more pleased to be going there. “You looking forward to playing with the other boys?” I asked, jokingly. But now Jake seemed to nod earnestly. “Playing will be fun,” he agreed. “What kind of stuff will you get to do?” He put a finger to his lip, thinking about it. “Umm, finger painting, story time, circle time… umm, colouring and free play.” “Sounds like it will be a busy day.” “Uh-huh!” I giggled. “Okay, let’s get going.” I walked Jake into the brightly coloured play area. A woman in a purple blouse and jeans welcomed us inside. “Hello there, I’m Emily Brown. I run this place,” she said to me, shaking my hand. “Hi there, I’m Jeff, his flat-mate and I guess his guardian now.” She nodded. “Yes, thank you so much for agreeing to help him out.” “It’s okay, I just wanted to give him the chance to have a little fun this week,” I said, watching as Jake gazed around the playroom before us, not listening to our conversation. “Did he take well to the contacts this morning?” she asked, noting his glassy-eyed look. I nodded. “I guess so. Well, he went straight to the back seat and he didn’t seem to mind people seeing him in his outfit, or his bare feet. Jake’s never liked going barefoot before, have you buddy?” I asked, prompting him. Jake looked up, his eyes unusually blank. They flicked down to his feet, then back to us. “I’m barefoot now,” he stated neutrally, just giving us the facts. Emily Brown chuckled. “You sure are Jakey,” she cooed in a sickeningly sweet, cloying tone. “I bet it’s much more comfy being at barefooted isn’t it?” It was such an awfully condescending way to talk to a man, with that silly sing-song. I was sure Jake would give her one of his cross looks. But instead he smiled, and it was this silly, childish grin like I’d never imagined a grown man could have. “Bare feet are comfy,” he agreed, wiggling his toes in the carpet. My mouth hung open. I’d never thought I’d hear Jake say something so silly. But Brown just nodded and then reached out for his hand. He gave it to her easily, happily. He seemed comfortable with having someone else in charge of him. “We’ll take you over to join the older pre-schoolers today Jakey,” she said cheerily. “They’re making pictures of their homes. Does that sound nice?” Jake nodded honestly. “I like to colour,” he told her. “Then you’ll have lots of fun today sweetie-pie,” she cooed to the smiling twenty-something man in the Big Bird shirt. Turning to me she said, “You can pick him up at three. But you need to know that the effects of the contacts only grow with time. He may be a bit more dependent this afternoon than he was this morning.” “Really? Hmm, it’s just, we were planning to have dinner with a friend of ours tonight.” “Oh I’m sure you can still do dinner, but you may need to keep a closer eye on Jakey by then. And you’ll probably need to warn your friend about the contacts and Jakey’s behaviour.” I nodded, saying goodbye to my flat-mate and wondering what she meant by more dependent. As I walked out I did take a glance at the play area Jake was being led by the hand over to. There were half a dozen kids already there and sure enough each of them was barefoot, two other boys wearing bright overalls just like his. A woman was bringing her children in as I left. A little boy of three or four was tottering alongside her, hand held tightly by hers, wearing a cartoon t-shirt, baggy shorts and bare feet. In her arms was a smaller girl, probably about two, wearing a red t-shirt and a pink pull-up but nothing over it. At least Jake wasn’t trying to be one of her friends I thought. ** It was a warm sunny day and when I returned to pick Jake up I could see parents carrying out other little ones who were now stripped down to just their diapers or pull-ups. The older children at least seemed to still be dressed, so that was a relief. Emily Brown was right there at the front to greet me again. “Welcome back Jeff, good to see you’re right on time.” I nodded. “So did he have a good time?” “Oh my yes! He’s been just a delight today. He’s getting on very well with the other children. I think he’s very promising.” I was glad to hear this might all be worth it. She sounded impressed, so maybe he would have the internship. “Now I have to warn you that he has taken quite well to the contacts and you’ll find him a bit less mature than this morning when you dropped him off. Also, he’s doing so well that I’ve asked him to move to the little ones’ room tomorrow. So he’ll be in with the two year olds.” This really took me aback. He’d never mentioned anything like that being a possibility. “And he’s okay with that?” I asked. “Definitely. He seemed quite excited about the idea. But it means he’ll need to leave the contacts in until he goes to sleep tonight. They need to keep working on him longer to prepare him for that. Also I have something for you,” she said, reaching behind the counter and producing a small bag. “This is his outfit for tomorrow. He might not be quite ready for it now, so don’t take it out until tomorrow.” I took the bag from her, kind of wanting a peek myself, but holding back. “Okay then,” I agreed. “Wonderful, let’s get your little buddy.” Jake was down on his hands and knees in the middle of the carpeted play area, pushing a toy fire-truck around in circles with a look of intense concentration on his face. He was even making siren noises for it! “Jakey honey, time to go!” the woman called. Jake looked up and saw me, grinning broadly and hopping to his feet. He made a bee-line for us, for me actually and it was almost like he was going to… “Hi Jeff, I had the bestest time! I made pictures ‘nd coloured, ‘nd we got all messy wid the paints!” he babbled at a mile a minute, throwing his arms right around me and cuddling me in the tightest of hugs. I wasn’t sure how to react. I definitely had not expected him to give me a hug, especially not one that seemed filled with such love and closeness. It wasn’t a hug between friends, it was the hug a little boy gave to his daddy, to his protector and carer. I managed to close my arms loosely around him, feeling myself blush as other children and daycare workers looked at us. I patted his back gently, hesitantly. “Well that’s umm, good Jake. I’m glad you had so much fun buddy.” Jake smiled and finally released me. “Why don’t you show Jeff what you made for him,” Brown suggested. Now Jake’s smile faltered. He blushed a little, looking ashamed for the first time. “No Miss Bwown, that’s okay,” he whispered in a tiny little voice. “Don’t be silly Jake, you were very proud of it earlier,” she reminded him, taking something from a pile of papers and handing it to him. “Here you are sweetie, show it to him.” Jake held up a crumpled piece of A3 paper with a childishly drawn house on it. There was many colours, crude lines and lots of glitter but I recognised it as a house at least. “I drew this for you,” he whispered. I held back my laughter because I could see how embarrassed he was. “Oh, that’s great buddy. We’ll have to put it on the fridge,” I said, unable to resist the jibe. Poor Jake blushed beet red, letting me take the drawing from him. “Well you have a lovely dinner tonight,” Brown declared, heading back to the play area. Jake walked quietly with me to the front door. I started into the car park and was about to ask him something when I realised he wasn’t there anymore. I turned around and saw him still standing just beyond the doors, looking nervously at the small car park and extending his hand towards me. I turned around and went back. “You okay Jake?” I asked. “Don’ cross roads by myself,” he said seriously. “Oh, okay,” I said, taking his hand. He smiled now and skipped along beside me. “How come you can’t do it yourself?” I asked. “Need a gwown-up,” he replied with a noticeable lisp. “But aren’t you really a grown-up too?” I asked, wondering how major these changes were. Jake looked confused a moment, but then nodded. “Yeah, but not right now. The contacts make me feel too little. I don’ feel like a gwown-up no more.” “Okay then, I can understand that. I guess it will be nice when we can take them out and you can feel all big again.” He nodded vigorously. “Den I can do stuff on my own again.” “Yeah, you won’t make me anymore silly pictures for the fridge.” He pouted, it was almost adorable. “I know that’s stupid. I just didn’ think about it when we did it.” “It’s okay buddy, I understand. Hey, your feet okay, the pavement looks hot.” He glanced down at his bare feet on the pavement. “No, they fine,” he said. I got him in the back seat, glad he could at least do up his own seat-belt. I was beginning to really worry. “So you want to get those contacts out now, put ‘em back in next morning?” He shook his head. “Miss Bwown says I gotta wear ‘em all day, so I’m ready to be real little tomorrow.” “Okay then,” I agreed, not wanting to argue with him in this state. When we got home I let Jake relax and watch some cartoons. I was pretty amazed to see him actually choosing to put on Nickelodeon and watching silly little kid cartoons lying on his stomach, swinging his legs behind him. I got him an ice block for a treat and he made a pretty good mess of his face with it. “So are you gonna get changed?” I finally asked him. “Huh?” he asked, confused. “You’re still wearing your silly little kid outfit Jake.” “It’s comfy,” he answered. “Okay, but we’re going out to dinner with Liz remember? You can’t wear that.” Jake frowned. “Oh… oh yeah. Okay, I’ll change,” he agreed. I was glad that was settled but ten minutes later I found Jake still in his shortalls, sitting cross-legged on the floor kind of picking at his toes. “Jake, what are you doing? I asked. He looked up innocently. “Lookin’ at my toes,” he replied simply. “Why?” He shrugged. “They kinda funny.” “Well, I thought you were gonna change.” He nodded. “What am I wearing?” he asked me. “You want me to choose your outfit?” He nodded, totally serious. “Well, okay. I’ll lay it out on your bed.” He nodded and returned to playing with his toes, like this was perfectly normal. I laid out a good polo shirt and khakis cargo shorts for Jake to wear, then called him in to change. He padded into the room, didn’t even really look at the outfit and started to strip down right in front of me. He was down to his tighty-whities in no time, then started pulling on the shorts. “So that’s okay to wear?” I aked him. He shrugged, not caring what I put him in apparently. It occurred to me that I’d missed the chance to really pull a joke on him. I could have taken him to dinner in his shortalls. That would have been a laugh. Finally Jake was in his much more adult clothes, looking close to normal again, except for the ice cream still stained all around his lips. Finally I realised that I’d have to clean it off him, wetting a paper towel and wiping my flat-mate’s face clean while he stood there obediently, like this was normal. “Okay, let’s get going before we’re too late,” I said, heading for the door. Jake nodded and trotted right after me. I pulled on my shoes and socks and headed out the door, unlocking the car with the key fob. Jake hurried past me, like it was a race, giggling as he reached the back door. That was when I noticed he hadn’t put any shoes on. I sighed, shaking my head. “Jake, you forgot your shoes mate.” He looked down at his bare feet, then back at me and shook his head. “Nope, didn’ forget.” “Well then where are they?” “In the house. I don’ wan’ ‘em.” I furrow my brow. “You don’t want them? Well what are you planning to wear to dinner?” “I’m goin’ barefooted,” he replied cheerily. “Jake, you can’t go to a restaurant barefoot.” He pouted again. “Why not?! I wanna!” he sulked. “People don’t do that Jake. They wear shoes to go place like restaurants.” He shook his head defiantly. “Nuh-uh! Miss Bwown said little boys c’n go barefoot lots of places. She says it’s good for little boys to go barefoot, cuz it makes ‘em comfy and cute.” I had to admit that it was true little kids went barefoot in public a lot, even to the restaurant we were headed to tonight. “Are you sure you really want this? I’ve never seen you even leave the house without your shoes Jake?” He nodded. “I like the feelin’ of barefoot. Is just better. I don’ know why grown-ups wear shoes so much.” “Okay then,” I agreed, giving him a huge grin. “Thanks Jeff!” he chirped, throwing his arms around me without warning and giving me another tight hug right there in the driveway. “That’s okay buddy. As long as you’re okay with being a barefoot little boy, I’m fine with it too.” “Kay!” he chirped, letting me go and climbing back into the car. ** Lone Star was one of those American-themed family restaurants. It had a kid’s play area in one corner with a ball pit and some simple slides, while the other side of the restaurant was dominated by an old-fashioned bar. Thus it catered to a diverse crowd. Jake and I came here from time to time and generally sat at the bar, or at least close to it. But as we walked into the restaurant today I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. There were a few families and couples waiting to be seated when we walked in. I noticed the eyes flicking down to Jake’s bare feet, then looking away, trying not to stare but clearly disapproving. Jake didn’t seem to notice the stares at all. He wasn’t paying any attention to the grown-ups. Instead he was looking at a little boy of about seven or eight who was sitting on the waiting bench between his parents. He was wearing a green Ben Ten t-shirt and baggy colourful board shorts and was just as barefoot as Jake, no sign of discarded shoes or jandals anywhere. Jake pointed right at the boy and announced to me, “See boys c’n go barefoot here!” at a volume that assured everyone in the room heard him. The disapproving looks were gone. Everyone now thought that Jake was a retard. Now there were some looks of pity, but mostly of understanding. Little boys could go barefoot, and so could unfortunate young men with little boys’ minds. The barefoot little boy on the bench even smiled and told his parents, “Look, that boy’s barefoot too.” None of the staff said anything about Jake’s lack of shoes. A perky young woman told me that Liz was already here and seated. I felt bad about getting there so late, but she’d have to understand when she saw Jake. The woman led us across the restaurant, a few people glancing at Jake’s feet as we walked. I wondered what kind of looks we’d have gotten if he’d been in his full pre-schooler glory in Big Bird shirt and shortalls. Liz looked up from her iPhone as we approached, giving us a little wave, then noticing Jake’s lack of shoes and becoming confused. We slid into the booth facing her. Liz was a good friend of ours going pretty far back. She’d been away for a few months doing contract work overseas though. This was supposed to be her welcome back dinner. “Going a bit casual Jake? Did you lose a bet?” she asked, knowing how completely out of character this was. Jake shook his head, seeming confused. “I didn’ lose no bet,” he insisted. Liz instantly noticed the poor grammar and pronunciation he had. He seemed to have completely missed her joke as well, oblivious to the sarcasm. “Why aren’t you wearing shoes?” she asked more directly. “I don’ like shoes no more. They’re all tight and hot on my feets and Miss Bwown says I don’ gotta wear ‘em cuz I’m a boy now,” he explained. Liz looked at him like he’d sprouted a second head. Then she turned to me, seeing from his happy expression that he was not going to give her any better answer. “Okay, what’s the joke here?” she demanded from me. “It isn’t a joke. Jake is trying out for an internship at a daycare centre near where we live and they wanted him to try being one of the kids for a few days, see things from their perspective.” Liz looked unconvinced. “Well he’s taking it a bit far isn’t he? I mean walking around barefoot in public like this? There’s no one from the daycare watching you here Jake,” she assured him. I was about to explain further when the arrival of our waitress interrupted me. She was a pretty young blonde with a name tag reading “Ginger.” “Hello there!” she chirped. “Can I get you started with any drinks?” Liz put up her hand. “Definitely,” she declared. “I’ll have a gin and tonic. The way this night is going I’ll need it and more.” Ginger chuckled politely and wrote the order down. “I’ll just have a Coke,” I told her. She nodded and then looked at Jake, who was sitting there gazing about the restaurant, oblivious once again. “Jake,” I prompted, nudging him. He looked over at me, not seeming to understand. “What do you want to drink?” He looked up at the waitress, who was trying to appear infinitely patient. “Milk,” he said simply. The waitress blinked. “Just a glass of milk?” she asked. Jake nodded, then seemed to think it over better. “Chocolate milk?” he asked, looking hopeful. The waitress giggled and nodded. “Okay then, one chocolate milk.” Jake beamed. I’d never imagined he could be so delighted about chocolate milk. “Okay, I’ll be right back with that,” Ginger told us, heading off. Liz was not looking impressed. “Chocolate milk? What are you five?” Jake pouted, his eyes looking at the table. “No,” he said in a sukly whisper. “I’m really a big boy.” Liz seemed to realise that Jake was legitimately wounded by her comment. Her anger turned to concern in an instant. She looked at me. “You better explain to me what’s going on here, fast.” “I was trying to before Ginger arrived. Jake’s trying out some of those new computer contacts, the ones that induce a trance state and alter perception or behaviour.” “Oh yeah, I have heard about those. But I though they were only going through testing in research labs.” “Well maybe this daycare place is part of a research scheme. I don’t know how but they have the things and they gave them to Jake and he has to wear them to put himself in the shoes of the kids. Or in this case the lack of shoes of the kids.” Liz looked back at Jake. “Is that true?” He nodded solemnly. “How long has he had them on?” “Just since this morning. I think he mostly feels like a four year old right now,” I explained. “No wonder he doesn’t want shoes on. My nephew Paul is that age and he’s just the same way. Only time he ever had shoes on his feet is for church and they don’t stay on long there.” “Little boy like goin’ barefoot,” Jake agreed, seeming pleased to have something to contribute to the conversation. I realised he hadn’t been saying much at all in fact. I turned and asked, “Jake, is all this confusing to you?” He nodded. “Grown-ups use lots of big words.” “He’s actually pretty adorable,” Liz noted. “He can make quite a mess too,” I replied. “I bet he can!” Ginger appeared back with the drinks, even having dropped a curly blue straw in Jake’s milk. He lit up at the sight of it and was quickly slurping away at it. “Now, what can I get you all to eat?” Liz ordered fillet mignon and I just wanted a normal old burger with fries. Ginger wrote them down then looked at Jake. He was gazing at the menu, looking uncomfortable. He looked at me and pointed at a word. “What’s that say?” he asked. I looked where he was pointing. “It says hamburger. Is that what you want?” He shook his head. “Don’ like ‘em.” “Well what do you want?” He looked back at the menu, frowning. “What’s that one?” he asked, pointing again. “Ravioli,” I told him. “What’s that?” “You don’t remember what ravioli is?” I asked, stunned. He shook his head. “I feel kinda fuzzy ‘bout lots of things,” he admitted. “It’s pasta with cheese and spinach inside it,” I told him. He made a disgusted face. “Ugh! Spinach is yucky!” he declared. Liz and Ginger shared a chuckle. He started pointing somewhere else and I had a sinking feeling. “Jake, how much of the menu can you read?” “I know the little words,” he said. “That one is ‘and’ and that’s ‘egg’,” he told us proudly. “But the big ones is tricky.” “Okay then, let me see it,” I said, taking the menu. “How about chicken fingers,” I suggested, recalling I loved those as a kid. Now he nodded. “Yeah, those are yummy in my tummy!” We all shared a laugh at the fully grown man rubbing his stomach for us to see. “Okay, I’ll have those right out,” Ginger assured. Liz and I had a bit of a catch up about her travels and work overseas. Jake couldn’t really take part in the conversation. He started getting fidgety pretty quickly. I could feel him swinging his legs back and forth at first. Then he began changing his seating position and pushing salt and pepper shakers around like toys. He knocked one over, spilling salt across the table. “Sorry,” he squeaked while I had to get a napkin and clean his mess up. “I don’t think those are toys Jake,” I admonished. He shrugged and looked down again. He was still for a moment but then the squirming commenced. Next thing I knew he climbed up into the booth seat and stood right up. Everyone was staring at this as I grabbed his hand and yanked him back down. “Jake, don’t stand on that!” I snapped. “Sit down right now, you’re making a scene.” Jake sat down quickly, looking like I’d hit him. “Sorry,” he squeaked again. Liz reached across and patted his hand. He looked on the verge of tears. “Hey, hey, it’s okay buddy. It’s okay Jake.” He looked up, his eyes watering. “I know you can’t help it Jake. It’s the contacts. You can’t help being fidgety. You can’t follow our words so being here isn’t any fun is it?” Jake nodded, looking relieved to be understood. “That’s okay Jake. I know what we need to do.” Liz looked around and spotted Ginger, waving her over. “I’m sorry, but could we have a kids’ play-mat and some crayons for him. He’s getting a bit bored with all the grown-up talk,” she explained. Ginger nodded immediately, having worked out that Jake was ‘special’ some time ago. Moments later Jake was happily scribbling away at the play-mat with an orange crayon gripped awkwardly in his fist. Both Liz and I noted that he’d lost the natural crayon or pencil grip taught to children their first year in school. “He seems a lot happier now,” Liz noted. “Yeah, those crayons were a good idea, you’re really good with kids,” I told her. “Well, don’t be so shocked. I take care of my nieces and nephews plenty and I’m a hit with them. But actually I meant he seems a lot happier with those contacts in.” I furrowed my brow. “Happier? He was just having a near tantrum because he couldn’t follow our conversation because the contacts have made him so, d-u-m-b.” I spelled instead of saying it because Jake seemed to be taking note of our conversation. When I spelled out the word instead of saying it he just gazed at me blankly. Finally he said, “What’s that spell?” “Nothing important,” I told him. He shrugged and returned to his colouring. Liz shook her head. “He was upset because you yelled at him. He was quite happy up until then. I think he seems much more relaxed. You know how anxious he is, how high strung.” I had to admit she was right. Jake had been fighting all sorts of stress disorders for years. Looking at him now, he did seem more relaxed than I’d ever seen him before. I thought back to the afternoon spent watching cartoons. He never stopped to enjoy himself these days. It was always work, or worrying about work. Even the way he was happy to parade around barefoot in public was actually an improvement in some ways. He spent so much energy worrying about how people perceived him and now that was gone. Dinner itself went quite well. Jake only made a little mess and I had to wipe his lips off but luckily his clothes seemed unscathed. We decided to stay for dessert though and that’s when things got tricky again. Jake was done with the puzzles and had coloured the whole back of his mat. He was bored again and he’d spotted the play area in the corner. A couple little children were in it right now. One was the little boy from the waiting area, the other was a little girl of about five wearing a red jumper and skirt, but who I noticed also seemed to be charging back and forth to her parents’ table in bare feet. Jake kept craning his neck to look at the play place and the other children. I could see the look of longing on his face. Finally he shouted, “I wanna play too!” pointing at it. I frowned. “I’m sorry Jake, but you’re too big to play in that.” He shook his head. “Nuh-uh! Miss Bwown says I’m little now. I can play with them. Please!” “They let you play at daycare but this isn’t daycare Jake. The restaurant won’t allow it.” He pouted. “Pleeease, pretty pleeease!” he begged. “Maybe they won’t mind,” Liz suggested. “He really seems to want to.” “I don’t want a scene.” “I think if you don’t let him go there’ll be an even bigger scene,” she noted, gesturing to how worked up he was becoming. I saw that she was right, he was on the verge of a tantrum. “Jake, you need to calm yourself down. Remember, you’re actually a big grown-up. You only feel like this because of the contacts you’re wearing.” Jake huffed and began to tear up. “I don’ wanna be grown-up right now!” he shouted. “I wanna play!” “Okay, okay,” I shushed him, patting his back, hoping everyone wasn’t staring. “If you can calm yourself down I’ll buy you a treat for dessert and then you can play in the play area afterwards.” Jake sniffled and wiped tears from his face. He nodded. “Kay.” “Deal?” “Uh-huh.” Jake calmed down and I bought him an ice cream sundae. By the time he was done the other children had left the play area to eat their desserts. I hoped that we wouldn’t be told off anyway. I let him go have his fun and thankfully no one said a thing as the twenty-something man giggled his way down the slides and romped in the ball pit. Liz watched him and nodded. “Yep, I think he is definitely better off this way. Honestly I think it’s a shame it’s just for a week.” I watched the look of glee on his face as he came down the slide and I could only nod in agreement. ** At bed time Jake got in his normal pyjamas but insisted I leave the hallway light on and his door open. He also wanted me to tuck him into bed. I ended up reading him a story from this kids’ book he brought home from daycare. I had to admit there was something very comfortable about sitting there with him cuddled beside me, looking so awed at my ability to read. I was actually starting to feel really protective off him, like he was actually my child to care for. When it was done, he opened his arms wide and asked, “Cuddle?” I couldn’t resist. His eyes were so wide and hopeful, filled with trust. I leant in and gave him a big long snuggle, stroking his hair and patting his back. At the end I pecked a kiss on his forehead and let him rest back on his pillow. “Okay, we need to take the contacts out so your eyes aren’t too sore in the morning.” He nodded sleepily. “Kay.” One at a time I removed them and placed them in their solution filled cases. I looked down for any change. Would he instantly regret our cuddle? Would he blush at all the stupid things he did today, the tantrums? “Night-night,” he mumbled, rolling over and closing his eyes. ** I woke the next morning with something sharp poking me in the ribs. “Ugh,” I said, opening my eyes. “Sorry.” Jake was standing beside my bed, poking at me. “Jake, you’re up already?” He nodded. “Just wanted to say sorry for yesterday.” “Oh, that’s okay. It’s nothing.” “It isn’t nothing!” he insisted. “I was just awful to you. And yet you were wonderful with me, so loving, so caring. You tucked me in, kissed me goodnight. You don’t know how much I appreciated that. I couldn’t explain it to you at the time, I didn’t have the words, the ability to tell you. I felt so safe and cared for. It was amazing.” I was pretty amazed by this revelation. I’d thought I wasn’t doing a great job actually. “It’s really fine. I just treated you like a real kid,” I assured. “And I was so bratty,” he admitted, looking ashamed. “I don’t believe I made you take me to Lone Star barefoot. All those people were looking at us, I remember that now. I didn’t notice then, but now I recall it.” “It wasn’t as big a deal as I thought actually. Once they got that you were ‘special’ they didn’t mind at all.” “Still, thanks mate.” “No worries. So, do you actually want to continue today?” He shook his head. “I don’t want to put you through that again.” “Hey, hey, hey. You don’t do that mate. This isn’t about me. I told you that before. I will deal with whatever comes. I just want to know if you still want to go through with it. You know that she wants you back even further today.” He nodded. “I know. She wants me in the trained toddler group.” “Trained toddler? Like doing tricks?” He shook his head. “No, the toddlers are divided into two groups, the toilet trained ones and those still being trained. You can’t be in daycare there unless you’re at least in the process of training.” “And they do different stuff?” He nodded. “The trained ones are a bit older on average, but more intellectually advanced of course. They tend to be closer to three than two. They use the normal toilets at specific intervals and have more planned activities.” “And the untrained?” “They’re anywhere from about 20 months to three and a half if they’re a little slow. Their parents don’t put any pants or skirts on them, just pull-ups and once they get to daycare those generally stay off. There are a bunch of potty seats in their room and they’re supposed to use them.” “You mean they run around naked all day?” I asked, stunned. “No, not totally naked. Well, some of them are. But most are just bare bottomed. They still have shirts on.” “Wow, and that works?” “Apparently very well.” “But they want you in the trained toddler room?” He nodded. “Yeah, Miss Brown said the contacts will have downloaded some new programming overnight, to make me fit in there better.” “And you’re okay with that?” Jake frowned. “It really worries me, after what happened yesterday. But… I don’t want to back out now, halfway there. I figure, maybe just get it over with.” I nodded. “That’s fine, let’s do it then.” “Really?” “Go get changed into the new outfit she left you,” I directed. Jake nodded and headed back into his bedroom while I got his contacts out. I came to his room, knocking on the door. “You ready?” “Um, yeah. I just feel a bit funny in this.” “Well let me see it then.” The door opened and I had to stifle a laugh. Jake was wearing a green t-shirt with Sylvester and Tweety from Looney Tunes on the front. That and a pair of race car print white underoos with red piping. He wore no pants, no shoes. “Is that it?” I asked. He nodded. “It specifically says I’m not to wear any pants or shorts over the undies.” “Is that normal?” He nodded. “About half the boys turn up dressed basically like this. The rest lose their shorts or pants within minutes of arrival.” “And are you comfortable like that?” “Of course not! I don’t want to walk outside dressed like this.” “So what you want to do?” “I don’t know,” he sulked. “Well, let’s put the contacts in then. Let’s see how they make you feel with their new programming.” He looked warily at them a moment, then shrugged. “Okay, let’s try it.” I unscrewed the lids and let him insert them one by one. “Okay, they’re in.” “Feel anything?” I asked. He stared ahead and I saw his eyes glazing over almost immediately. “There are more colours now,” he noted. “They aren’t just at the edges. They flick across kind-of. They make me feel… peaceful… kinda, sorta… fuzzy ‘nd warm,” he said, his voice slurring and trailing off as his head began to gently wobble. “You okay?” I asked. He continued staring into nothing a few more seconds. “Is bettah this time,” he finally announced, beginning to smile in earnest. As I watched the smile became an ear to ear grin, his whole body relaxing visibly. I put a hand on his shoulder. “Ready to go to daycare and have some fun?” I asked brightly. He nodded. “Gonna pway wid da widdle boys,” he told me happily. “That’s right,” I agreed. A minute later he was letting me lead him to the car, hand in hand, his underoos on full display. On the ride over he just smiled away. “Dis time so much bettah Jeff!” he chirped. “Eberything prettier now. I feel sooo silly.” “Well I’m glad you’re enjoying the ride,” I replied. As we went along he began drumming his feet against the back of the passenger seat. When I looked back again he had his thumb firmly between his lips, sucking away at it. He didn’t move from the car at the daycare centre until I’d taken his hand, the free one that is, he still had his left thumb jammed in his mouth. He seemed totally at peace with his underoos showing, his thumb-sucking and hand-holding ways as we entered the centre. Miss Brown was awaiting our arrival. “Hello there Jeff,” she said, “How is little Jakey this morning?” “He’s acting a lot littler than last night.” “I can see that. He’s made a friend of his thumby now,” she observed. Jake smiled around the digit. “Is nummy,” he mumbled. “I’m sure it is. Lots of little ones here love their thumbies. Some even like their toesies!” she said with a laugh. Jake smiled wider and giggled round the thumb. “Dats silly!” Miss Brown gave him a big nod and then looked back at me. “We’ll be putting him with the bigger toddlers today, at least to start with. Then we’ll see how things progress. We’ll see you back at three.” I nodded and said to Jake, “Okay, have fun today buddy.” But to my surprise his smile disappeared and he looked distraught. “Don’ go Deff!” he squeaked around the thumb, pulling himself closer to my side. I was taken aback by his sudden attachment to me. He was looking at me with absolute adoration. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I rubbed his back and assured him, “I’ll be back very soon. You want to play with all the other little ones don’t you?” Jake nodded, seeming to think that over. “Mmmhmm,” he agreed, but then added, “You stay.” “No Jake, I’m sorry but I need to go. Miss Brown will take good care of you. I promise.” Jake pouted and took his thumb from his mouth. He opened his arms wide and said, “I sowwy. Is da contacts. Sowwy I so siwwy.” “Oh, that’s okay buddy,” I assured, letting him give me another big hug and squeezing him tight this time. “I totally understand. You can’t help it. You’re only little right now.” He nodded, his chin pressing on my shoulder. “Uh-huh, onwy widdle boy.” “Okay, you’ll be fine now won’t you?” I asked, letting him go. He nodded hesitantly. “I’m otay,” he agreed, letting Miss Brown take his hand now. I left him being walked off to his new room, with the poor young man repeatedly stealing looks back at me. I waved until he turned the corner. ** I arrived back right at three to pick him up, figuring the way he felt that morning I’d best not be late. There was no sign of him in the reception area though. I told one of the carers I was there for Jake and they called back to the toddler room to let them know I’d arrived. A minute later Miss Brown emerged from the hallway, looking bright and cheerful. “Hello there Jeff,” she greeted. “Where’s Jake?” I asked, confused. “He’s still playing at the moment and I didn’t want to interrupt it. Also I need to talk to you about a few things.” “Oh, okay. Is he okay then?” “Oh yes, better than okay. He’s taken very well to the contacts. I don’t know if it’s related to them being the newest generation, or he’s just a good match, but it’s been a very quick adjustment for him. It usually takes them three or four days to get to his point.” “Really? Well that’s good I guess.” I said that even though it gave me a weird little pang of sadness. If he’d progressed so quickly that meant it was nearly over and he’d be back to normal soon. As strange as it may sound I’d actually begun to enjoy having Jake all dependent on me, trusting me, needing me, loving me. “Oh yes, very good. We moved him down from the trained toddlers to the untrained room at lunch time.” Now that was a bit of a surprise. “Really, he was okay with that? He didn’t sound so eager this morning before we put his contacts back in.” “Oh he was more than ready. He’d made wees in his underoos without even realising it. Of course he got very embarrassed about it, so we turned up the power of his contacts a bit. He really was ready for the next step though.” “And that solved his embarrassment at wetting himself?” “Very much so. Come have a look,” she said, leading me into the daycare. We walked across the pre-schooler room, then down a long corridor painted in comforting pinks and purples with murals of children playing. We turned the corner into another playroom. There were toys here and there, mats for nap time piled in one corner next to a big comfy seat for an adult to read a story from. Along one wall was a series of bright red and yellow potty chairs, ten in all. They sat atop plastic matting. I noticed that the floor here wasn’t carpeted, it was soft rubber instead. And I could see why. A little red-headed toddler girl was creeping bent over, pushing a little scooter across the floor without a stitch of clothes to cover her dignity. A little sandy-blonde boy about the same age as her, probably two or three, was squatting flat-footed on the floor, bashing two random toys together. He was just as nude as she was. Two other boys and one little girl were playing with various toys, all wearing brightly coloured t-shirts but no pants, no undies, just their bare little bottoms on display. Nobody but the carer seemed to have anything on below the waist. And to my astonishment, I saw that applied to Jake as well. My flat-mate was creeping alongside another little boy, down in a squatting position, leaning forward to see the boy do something with a set of blocks. He still wore his green Looney Tunes t-shirt but below that was his big bare bottom mooning this whole side of the room. He looked like a bigger version of the bare-bummed little tot beside him. “He’s not wearing any underoos,” I gasped. Miss Brown tittered with laughter. “Nope, the ones he came in were quite soaked. We got him another pair but after we turned up his contacts a bit he decided he wanted to be nakie-bum like the other boys and he took his undies back off.” Whatever the boy was doing with the blocks was apparently funny because just then I heard Jake begin to giggle loudly. He laughed his head off, then dropped forward so his head was on the floor and straightened his legs. This had two effects. One was that it allowed us all to see his adult penis swinging back and forth, the other was it made him able to look at the room upside down through his legs. The little boy beside him giggled and then copied him as best he could. “He seems quite happy, doesn’t he?” Miss Brown noted. I nodded. “It’s pretty amazing, but yeah.” “It’s not really that amazing. All the stress from his life is gone. He has nothing to worry about himself and he knows other people will take care if his every need and keep him safe. He finds the world confusing and a bit scary, yes, but also interesting and new.” “Well it certainly looks like now understands the children’s mind-set alright. So I suppose we can reverse this so he can get back to all that wonderful stress.” She shook her head. “Well not really. In fact, that’s kind of up to you.” “What do you mean? It’s his life, his decision.” “No, legally, right now, he’s incompetent to make such decisions and you are legally his guardian.” “What kind of decision do you mean?” “Whether to return to all that pressure, that stressful life, or to stay just like this,” she said, gesturing to Jake as he had a sort of hopping contest with the boy, smiling ear to ear and clapping his hands in glee as he simply jumped in place, his flaccid penis smacking his tummy as he leapt. “Well he can’t stay quite like that,” I said, confused. “Why not?” she replied. “He’s much happier and unless I’ve totally misread you, I believe you’ve been enjoying caring for him like this.” “Well, I haven’t really cared for him in this condition yet. I mean, he looks far less mentally capable now than this morning. But, well yeah, it has been sort of fun.” “So why not let him stay just like this?” she asked. “As long as he’s happy with it.” I shook my head. “Well it doesn’t work that way. The contacts come out, he comes back. Besides what would be the point of it?” “The point would be to test a scientific theory. We could show that the contacts can make long-term changes to behaviour and intellect in a way never before tested. It would be a major breakthrough. And I know that Jake has always wanted to part of something like that.” “I don’t think that’s exactly how he thought of it,” I said. “Well that’s why I’m leaving it up to you. And you’re not exactly right about the contacts by the way. They don’t need to stay in for good.” I’d never heard that in any of the journals. I shook my head in disbelief. “It’s true,” she insisted, taking out a little remote. “The contacts have two special programmes loaded in them. The green button returns Jake’s full faculties. Press this and he’s right back to normal. He can have his internship here, get back to his old life tomorrow. “Or press the red button and Jake gets a delightful kaleidoscope of colours that permanently alter his mind. He’ll be right back at untrained toddler level, perhaps 6 months to a year lower than he was this morning. Except when you take them out it won’t wear off. A week later, a month later, he’ll still be coming here, squatting nakie-bummed with his buddies and giggling his sweet little head off at all their fun.” “Just a press of that button and this becomes permanent?” I asked. “Not just this. This will become his normal. You’ll be daddy in his mind, any previous relationship just a fuzzy, dreamy memory from long ago.” “I… I really don’t know about this,” I admitted. “You don’t have to decide now. He has a few days left on the trial, he won’t know anything has changed. You have a few days to decide then.” “Thanks, I think I need time to think on this one.” She nodded. “Of course. Now, you do need to know a couple things. One is that Jake still has his adult body and thus a man’s sexual drive, but he now had been totally stripped of his inhibitions, his modesty, his memories of privacy. “What I mean is, he’s going to get erections, he won’t know to hide them, he won’t be embarrassed by them. In fact he’ll likely play with himself whenever the urge strikes. His concepts of sex, his memories of it are basically gone. He no longer understands what masturbation even is. He just knows his big pee-pee feels good to touch.” “Oh… oh wow, that is a bit, um, tricky.” “Just don’t make a big deal of it. If he’s doing it in public you’ll have to put a stop to it, but at home, just let him have his fun. He needs the release.” I nodded, wondering how I would react the first time he did it in front of me. “Also the programming he got has been designed to help him fit in here at the daycare, to be comfortable running around as you see him now, bare bummed. That means he’s basically become a little nudist. You’ll have to watch him to be sure he doesn’t strip down in public.” I nodded, taking this all in. “This is a lot of info,” I admitted. She nodded. “I completely understand. That’s why I want you to go to this meeting,” she said, handing me a card advertising a support group meeting. “What is this?” “It’s a support group for people taking care of children like Jake,” she explained. “You mean people with retarded children, or ones with head injuries that made them idiots?” She shook her head. “No, no, I mean people who have worn contacts like Jake and returned to toddlerhood.” “Wait a second! You mean there are others like him?!” She nodded. “Of course.” “But you said he was part of chance to make a breakthrough!” “As a part of the study. Research based on a single person isn’t going to cut it. Self-selection also ruins the objectivity so thus the need to keep you in the dark about the real goal. We need dozens of patients being studied to publish.” “How many of them are coming tonight?” I asked. “I don’t know, there should be a few at least.” “And their kids… they’ve all already hit the red button?” “Yes, none of them are still wearing the contacts.” “Will their kids be there, with them?” “Yes, they usually bring the kids to give them a chance to play with others their size.” “So if you did this to them, why aren’t they here? Why haven’t I seen any other adults with bare bums tottering about here?” “That would attract too much attention. We have a special nursery for our bigger patients. If you press the red button Jakey will be going there from now on.” It was both frightening and intriguing. I took the special remote from her, pocketing it and making my way over to where Jake was playing. He was sitting on his bottom with his legs splayed apart now, chewing on a xylophone stick and running a plastic block back and forth across the xylophone itself. He looked up as I arrived, letting the block fall to the floor. “Deff! Deff!” he crowed around the plastic stick still in his mouth, drumming his heels on the rubber floor. “Hi there Jakey. I see you’ve turned into a little jaybird today,” I joked in a bright voice. Jake giggled and nodded, letting the stick drop too now and holding out his arms for a cuddle. I knelt down and let him have his treat. “Got widdler,” he told me as we cuddled. “I can see that. You got very little indeed.” “Jakey dum-dum. Jakey awll siwwy!” he chirped. I helped him to stand up, noting his wide-legged stance, the slackness to his face, the line of saliva dribbling down his chin. “You certainly are a silly-billy now,” I agreed. “And you’re a nudist. Do you like having your pee-pee all dangly like that with no undies on?” Jake gave me a gaping grin and nodded. “Tooked ‘em off by mysewlf,” he told me. “And you don’t want them back on?” He shook his head vigorously. “I think we’ll have to start calling you Nakey-Jakey,” I told him. He liked that, squealing with approval and clapping his hands. “Nakey-Jakey!” he shouted. “My, you are feeling happier like this aren’t you?” I cooed, rubbing his head. Jakey just gaped back, drooling more. “You glad we put your contacts in this morning? Made you turn into a silly little nudist boy?” Another decisive nod. “Con-acts make feew good!” he told me, gripping his flaccid penis and gently fondling it as though there was nothing unusual about a young man doing this. I gently batted his hand away from his penis. “Okay Nakey-Jakey, are you ready to go?” “Uh-huh. Go home now,” he stated. “Okay, but first we need to cover your pee-pee up.” Jake pouted. “Don’ wanna!” he insisted. “I know nakie boy, but you can’t go nakie-bum on the street. It’s not allowed. I promise you can be nudie when we get home if you still want to.” Jake seemed to think about this compromise a moment before finally pouting and saying, “Otay.” Miss Brown have me a set of bright red corduroy overalls for Jake to wear out. Those and some big blue pull-ups to protect them from his suddenly weak bladder. He didn’t want to stand still while we dressed him, but eventually he was clothed and ready to go. We walked him out to the car and got him strapped in. He sat quietly on the ride back and I noticed he was pulling his feet back and forth, touching them to his ears one at a time. “You’re a flexible guy Jakey,” I told him. He grinned. “Know what I dids today?” he asked. “What?” I asked, playing along. “I munched my toes!” he announced happily. “Really?!” “Uh-huh! Munched bot’ my feets.” “Why did you do that silly boy?” “Cuz da con-acts maked me awll widdle ‘nd siwwy!” “I know that Jakey, you were just running around all naked! I mean why did you want to munch your toes. Aren’t they all dirty and icky from going around barefoot?” “Da udda boy munched hims toes, so I dids too.” “And was it nice?” A big grin. “Uh-huh, bettah den my thumby.” “Well I guess that’s one of the treats of being little.” He nodded and then pulled his right foot to his face, jamming his big toe right into his mouth and slurping at it loudly. I laughed at the sight in the mirror. “Are those toes yummy?” They popped clear a second. “Ummy toes!” he screeched, then returned to suckling on them. Jake only let his toes go when he saw the golden arches approaching. “Mac-mac! Maccas!” he shouted, pointing. “That would ruin your dinner,” I warned. He pounded his feet on the front seat. “Macca-macca! I wan’ some!” “Okay, okay, but no more yelling or there will be no dinner at all,” I threatened, amazed at how unruly and lacking in patience or manners my once prim flat-mate had become. Jake nodded seriously as we pulled into the McDonald’s. He didn’t seem to be concerned at all as he padded barefoot across the car park into the store. But I felt very self-conscious leading this man along wearing a set of very childish overalls. The elastic ankles were slipping up to his calves as he entered too. All eyes were on him as he toddled over to the counter, right past the small line. Some people looked away, others stared openly. “Jakey, we have to wait in line,” I told him, holding out my hand. He gazed back with wide eyes and toddled quickly over, taking my hand. He wasn’t totally quelled though. He spun around and tried to hand from my arm, played with his lips and made lots of funny noises that kept attracting looks from the other patrons. I was blushing myself, but thankfully Jake was once again totally oblivious. I felt jealous of him for once. “He’s a special little boy, isn’t he?” I turned to see an older woman smiling kindly at Jake. “Oh, yes, he’s ‘special’,” I confirmed. “He’s very cute in his outfit. It’s lovely that you take him out and give him treats like this.” “Oh, thank you,” I said, glad that someone was acknowledging my role. “My grandson likes his feet free too. It’s the kind of thing most boys have to grow out of, but not the special ones,” she noted, looking at Jake’s bare feet and ankles. I nodded. “Yeah, that’s one of the nice things I guess, being able to stay barefoot. Jakey just loves being barefoot, don’t you buddy?” Jakey hadn’t really been following our conversation, but had looked up at the mention of his name. I could see it was all a bit over his head, but he got the gist of my last statement. He nodded and said, “Don’ gotta wea’ shoes cuz I widdle.” She looked directly at him now. “You like having free tootsies don’t you?” she cooed. Jakey smiled and nodded. “I munch ‘em,” he told her with a naughty little giggle. “You munch your tootsies?” she repeated with a laugh of her own. “My you are a silly boy. So adorable.” The nice old woman gave Jakey’s hair a ruffle and headed off. The rest of our meal was uneventful. Jakey went to play in the play area and I didn’t try to stop him this time. He was a special boy now, he deserved to have the fun that came with it. He couldn’t drive, he couldn’t work, he couldn’t even read the menu at McDonald’s, instead having to wait for Jeff to order for him while he just shyly sucked his thumb and stared at their server. There were so many things he couldn’t do now, but what he could do was climb backwards up the plastic slide and hang from the monkey bars. ** The meeting was held at an address on the north side of town. Jakey seemed happy to have had his McDonald’s and best of all he’d gotten a toy with his meal. It was just some cheap plastic piece of crap but he was just enthralled with it. We’d gone home first and he spent ten minutes sitting on the kitchen floor playing with it. I couldn’t believe it every time I came back in and he was still there batting it about, giggling to himself. Finally I’d come back and the toy was lying on the floor abandoned and he was climbing on the countertop, opening the last of the cabinet doors, having already opened all the others. “What are you looking for?” I asked him. “Nothin’, jus’ lookin’,” he said innocently. Now we had arrived at the house and I was excited to see other people like Jakey. Well actually not like him. Jakey only needed to take out his contacts to be normal again. These people really had toddler minds now. I did wonder what that would look like. Jakey toddled along, holding my hand as we went up to the door. I could hear chatter inside. I rang the bell. A moment passed and the door opened. It was a pretty woman of about thirty. She wore her long blonde hair in a single pony-tail and was dressed in a comfortable blouse and skirt with sandals. She looked from me to Jakey, watching him suck away at his thumb again, blinking wide eyed at her. Then she smiled. “You must be Jeff,” she said. I nodded. “So then this must be Jakey. Miss Brown told me all about this precious little guy.” “Has she?” “Oh yes, we’re always interested in who might be joining our little group.” Another female voice called “Who dat mumma!?” and a second later another young woman about the same age as her appeared at her side. She also had blonde hair, but it was done up in pig-tails. She had a sweet, innocent look on her face, her eyes were blank and curious looking. She was also completely naked. Her bare breasts, and they were sizable things, were right there in front of me. She made no movement to cover her nudity, even standing in the open doorway. She cuddled herself closer against the woman’s side. “Who dat?” she repeated quietly. “These are some new friends,” the woman told her softly. “This nice man is Jeff and that little boy is Jakey. He might like to play with you.” The girl looked at me with big eyes, then at Jakey. “Boys is icky mumma,” she whispered. The woman just chuckled. “Well I don’t think we need to worry about any hanky-panky between them,” she joked. “Yeah, guess not…” I muttered. “Oh, how silly of me. I’m Pat and this little angel is Debbie,” she said, stroking the naked woman’s cheek. “Nice to meet you both,” I said, trying not to stare at the bared breasts before me. Finally Pat seemed to realise my discomfort. “Oh, I’m sorry, this is a bit new for you of course. Debbie is a bit of a nudist these days, a lot of our special children are, thanks to the contacts. We like to let them be comfy when just playing at home.” “Oh of course. I understand that completely,” I assured her. “Jakey’s started developing a nudist streak of his own today.” “Nakey-Jakey!” he announced with a grin. Pat gave him a big nod. “Is that so? Are you a nakey boy Jakey? You can see that my little Debbie girl is.” “Didje have con-acts? Dat why she nakey?” he asked. Pat nodded. “Yep, Debbie had contacts just like yours.” Debbie just kept sucking her thumb, clinging to the other woman. “Well let’s come on in guys.” She waved us in and we followed her into the living room. There were several women and a couple men sitting there dressed casually but smartly, chatting over cups of tea and coffee. On the floor at their feet a young man in his twenties was creeping around on his hands and knees pushing a plush stuffed rabbit across the carpet. He wore a short yellow t-shirt and nothing else, his penis dangling there. Another young woman sat between one of the men’s legs. She had short red hair and slightly tanned very freckled skin. Her perky little breasts were also on show as she two sat their naked on her bare bottom. She was gaping up at her daddy, craning her neck back into his lap, shaking a red circular toy that appeared to be some sort of rattle. “Hi there Jeff,” the men and women all said in greeting. I felt a little weird being the centre of attention. “Oh, um, hi everyone,” I said, noticing that the two naked or semi-naked young people on the floor only glanced up at me for a moment before returning to their own activities. “Come right in,” one of the men beckoned. “Jakey can play right here or he can join the others in the back yard.” Jakey followed me in, holding my hand tightly. He seemed to be a bit uncertain with all these people looking at us. Instead his eyes fell to the naked man and woman. “Dem nakie,” he pointed out. There was a collective chuckle. “Yeah, I guess Jakey came a bit overdressed,” I joked. “That’s no problem. But if he’d be more comfy we can put his clothes in Debbie’s bedroom with the others’,” Pat told me. “Well, that might be okay. What do you say Jakey? You wanna get nakey or keep your clothes on?” Jakey lit up at the question. “Wan’ be nakie!” he quickly announced. “That’s what I thought,” Pat said. “Take my hand sweetie and we’ll take you to get changed.” “Kay,” he said simply, letting the woman lead him away. “Have a seat Jeff,” one of the men said, gesturing to an open chair. I took the seat and looked around. “So, you all decided to, um, push the red button?” Some looked a bit surprised at my bluntness, but I didn’t come here to beat around the bush. “Yes, we all made what we believe was the right choice for our little ones,” the man next to me replied, stroking his hand through the naked woman’s red hair. “You think it was right? You haven’t regretted it?” He shook his head. “No, not for a moment. I’m Bill by the way and this sweet thing is Molly. She used to be my girlfriend, but she’s so much happier now as my baby girl.” Molly chewed on the plastic rattle, staring blankly up at the ceiling as we discussed her. “She’s pretty little isn’t she?” He nodded. “She’s eighteen months now, a bit younger than most. I took a while to make the decision and she’d been wearing the contacts for a week. They say that’s why she went a bit littler than the others.” “She’s still a little nudist though.” “Ha, yep, she sure is. She has a cute little body though. I make sure she gets plenty of outside play in the sun too, in our backyard. No tan lines for my little beauty.” “Who’s little boy is he?” I asked, gesturing to the young man creeping around at our feet. “His name is Bobby. He’s my baby boy,” answered a tall dark-haired woman. “How long has he been like this?” I asked. “Nearly nine months now. He was a good friend of mine before. He didn’t have a very happy life, battled alcohol abuse and depression. Now he smiles from dawn to dusk.” They all had similar stories about their new kids. None of them had any regrets and they all described the actual transition as a pleasant experience for all involved. Ten minutes in Jakey reappeared from the back room now completely naked, not even a t-shirt on. Most embarrassingly though he was also just as erect as could be, sucking his thumb and toddling across the little circle to me. I blushed even as he seemed unconcerned by these people seeing his pee-pee all stiff like that. “Hey there buddy,” I greeted, letting him come and sit on my lap. “My pee-pee got big,” he told me at full volume, seeming pleased by this development. “Yeah, we can see that Jakey.” “See pee-pee cuz Jakey nakey,” he explained with a smile. “That’s right. We can see you have a happy pee-pee,” I told him. The I looked at the others and said, “I’m so sorry about this. It… it hasn’t happened before.” “Really? Is this his first happy pee-pee as a little one?” a woman named Claire asked. I nodded, feeling so ashamed to even be discussing this. “Well that’s nothing to be concerned about guys. Just let Jakey go play outside with the other boys. They’ll help him take care of his stiffy in no time.” ** It was dark when we left the party. They said not to bother getting Jakey dressed again, so I didn’t. He wasn’t the only one leaving the party still nakey-bum. I drove him home that way and he seemed very happy to stay in his birthday suit once we arrived. It was getting late as I watched Jakey lie on his tummy on the floor watching his cartoons, kicking his legs back and forth. He really was happier this way, more at peace. It was time to make the change, I knew it. But first I needed to talk to him about it, to really talk to him. I took out the remote and keyed the green button. Jake sat up quickly, his jaw dropping and eyes glazing over. He was clearly seeing something pretty different. It took only a few seconds and then he blinked, his eyes focused and he looked up at me with shock. “Jeff, what the hell have I been…” he began. Then he seemed to realise his state of undress. He threw his hands over his penis, blushing bright red. “Really? There’s no need for that. I watched you creep around the floor naked in front of everyone, showing them your erection. We watched that other little boy, Matty, jerk you off in the back yard. You enjoyed it, you smiled, you showed everyone your creamies.” He shook his head. “I… I can’t believe it went that far. I didn’t expect to be such a burden mate, I’m so sorry this all happened. I’ll go take these contacts out and get dressed. We can forget the rest of the week.” “Well hold on. I have to say Jake, you’ve seemed really happy these last couple of days. I’ve never seen you so happy and carefree in fact.” “Yeah, but it hasn’t been real. I mean, my brain’s been fried by these contacts.” “So you haven’t been feeling good? Have you felt trapped in a child’s body?” “Well no, I mean, I have been feeling happy, really happy actually, but I haven’t been in my right mind. My head’s been so… empty. I couldn’t even recognise letters. It was so weird.” “I know Jake. The thing is, you’ve enjoyed being nakey-Jakey and I’ve enjoyed taking care of you too. And that’s why I think it’s best we keep things that way. Just like Debbie and Matty, you’ll be much happier waking up tomorrow still Nakey-Jakey and every day after that.” Jake shook his head. I could see the fear in his expression, the tension in his shoulders. He was gripping his penis even tighter, looking worried. I wanted to take that look of worry away. “I don’t want to be some stupid toddler Jeff. I’m your flat-mate, not your responsibility. I like going to school, thinking about complex ideas. I don’t want to have an empty head incapable of counting to three.” I shook my head. “You say that now, but I know what really makes you happy.” He started backing away. “It’s nothing to fear. All the other parents assured me it feels amazing, just amazing.” “I don’t want to feel amazing Jeff! I want to be me!” “You will be. You’re nakey-Jakey,” I told him, then pressed the red button. His eyes widened in shock for an instant, then glazed over again. His muscles relaxed and his eyes widened, his mouth dropping open. His hands fell away from his penis and I could see it lengthening already, jerking upward, becoming red and engorged. “Ugh!” he grunted, his eyes rolling upward. I knelt at his side and rubbed his arm. “That’s a good boy Jakey. Let it all go.” There were more soft grunts, then his penis exploded with gooey cum, covering his tummy in the release. “Wow, it feels that good huh?” “Ohhh,” he sighed. His eyes rolled back down after another few seconds. He blinked and the smiled at me. “I done sticky pee daddy,” he announced. ** Two Weeks Later: Liz and I both enjoyed our ice cream at Little Burley Petting Zoo. It was a warm, sunny day and and it was nice sitting at the picnic table enjoying the cool, creamy treats while Jakey had his fun. The twenty-something young man hadn’t worn his special contacts in two weeks, but only because he no longer needed them. Right now the young man was walking barefoot through the goat pen, feeding them oats and giggling as they licked his hand and legs. He wore no pants right now, only his Big Bird t-shirt and blue and white pull-ups. He had been wearing overalls when we arrived, but he’d gotten out of those quickly after arriving. I’d found them abandoned on the ground by the rabbit enclosure. There was no point re-dressing him. We had his pull-ups literally taped on tight to keep him from getting out of those. “Look at him with that goat,” Liz chuckled, pointing. He was squatting in front of it, letting the animal lick all over his face, giggling his head off. I expected he was likely leaving us a present in his pull-ups at the same time. That was a familiar squat he was in. “He’s having fun,” I agreed. She nodded. “I’m glad he chose this path. He really seems much happier.” I nodded, not correcting her. A minute later he came toddling over, wide-legged, smiling, face wet with goat drool, hair sticking straight up from it. “Da fuwwies wick me!” he announced brightly. “Those are goats buddy,” I informed him. He gaped blankly. “Dem boats?” he asked. “No sweetie. Goats,” I repeated. He blinked. “Dem wick awll wet. I sticky.” “Do you want me to clean your face?” A vigorous shake. “Nuh-uh.” “Okay then, why don’t you look at that chicken then,” I said, pointing to the hen scratching around. There was glee on his simple face as he toddled off trying to catch the hen in his hands. “He really is delightful,” Liz remarked. “And I was thinking, it might be nice for you to have a little bonding time with him,” she said, pulling out a case of contacts. “What are those?” I asked. “These are his old contacts. I saw them on your bureau. I thought you might like to give them a brief try. I’m here to be in charge, keep you safe.” I waved my hand. “I don’t think so. I mean, they were just for him. Probably wouldn’t do anything to me.” “Oh I think they’ll work on you.” I shook my head. “Pointless.” “Well how about this. I’ll bet you I can have you running around here barefoot and pants-less yourself in ten minutes. If I do you spend the rest of the day with the contacts in.” “And if I don’t get half naked?” “Then you win and I don’t mention this again.” “So you’re going to keep harping at this forever aren’t you?” She nodded with a naughty grin. I looked at the case. I had been wondering what it felt like since the first time I saw Jake try them out. And now she was offering to let me try it. Maybe for just a taste it would be okay. I could trust Liz. And it wasn’t like they worked that fast. I knew how long it took to get Jake down to undies. It was quick, but not ten minutes. “You got a deal,” I said, swallowing the rest of my ice cream. “Great,” she said, unscrewing the caps. “I’ll help you get them in.” I leant back and let her place them in my eyes one at a time. It did kind of sting at first. I had to blink to get them right. Finally I was able to open my eyes. “That okay?” she asked. I nodded. I wondered if they still worked now. Maybe they’d turned off atfter all this time. Then I noticed the colours dancing on the edge of my vision. So this is what he saw. It was a weird thing, the dancing colours. I couldn’t really focus on them, they were always on the edge no matter where I looked, and yet they did seem to draw my attention. And I felt a sense of elation, of relaxation. It was actually quite amazing. My head really was growing fuzzy, my attention wandering. What an exquisite feeling! I did feel kind of drunk or high, kind of giddy. “Jeff honey, you feeling okay?” Liz asked, her hand on my arm. I was more than okay, I felt lovely, like I was floating on a cloud. I nodded and world seemed to bob along with me. “I feel weal good,” I told her, noticing my lisp but finding myself unable to be concerned by it. It just felt natural, normal. She brushed my arm. That was wonderful. “Good, I’m glad you feel nice. I think we should let you enjoy the furry animals while you’re a little boy.” I blinked. I wasn’t a little boy, not for real. But I knew what she meant. I felt little right now. I did feel little. I felt so small and helpless and she looked so big and smart and in control. I needed her to watch out for me. “Kay,” I agreed, finding shorter answers easier suddenly. My tongue felt clumsy. We got up and walked to the goats enclosure. They kind of scared me now. I felt my heart-rate kick upward. I was nervous. “It’s okay Jeff, let’s see the goats, they won’t bite you, I promise.” I held back, eyeing them carefully. Liz reached out and took my hand. I felt instantly better. She would keep me safe. I let her take me to the goats. She put some oats in my palm and told me to hold it out for them. Their tongues were sticky and tickled my hand! It was a lot of fun. We headed out of the goat enclosure and I couldn’t stop rambling on about how much I liked them. I don’t know why I needed to tell Liz this, cause she was there, but I just needed to say it. She chuckled and said, “Yes they were really cute Jeff. But there’s more to see. But you know what, I think you’d be more comfy if we took those sandals off you. I don’t know why we made you wear them in the first place.” I looked down at my sandals. Were they uncomfortable? No, not really. I wore them all the time didn’t I? And yet, it did sound nice, taking them off, going barefoot. But wasn’t there a reason I didn’t want to do that? I tried to remember but it was tricky. The lights at the edge of my vision got a bit brighter and I couldn’t focus at all. “Look at Jakey honey. He’s barefoot and he looks much more comfy.” I looked over at Jakey toddling around. Yeah, his feet did look comfy. And yet… “He’s onwy widdle,” I told her, the lisp feeling totally natural now. She nodded. “And right now you’re little too. Remember it’s okay for little boys to go barefoot. Don’t you always say that?” I nodded, I recalled saying just that before. “It’s okay then honey. Go ahead and take them off if you want to.” I did want to. I sat down and undid the straps and pulled them off. It felt much better to have them off. My toes felt all free and airy now. I wiggled them and watched. It was nice watching my toes. Liz took my hand and I stood again. We went and fed the bunnies next, following Jakey around. I liked the bunnies. They seemed to make the colours get brighter. I saw Jakey sit on his bum and pull at his feet and something popped into my head. It was very important too. Liz needed to know. “Liz, I just membered. Dese contacts were for a widdle toddler, notta widdle boy.” I’d forgotten about the changes that had happened on the second day. And as soon as I said it the colours seemed to dance even brighter on the edge of my sight. I was feeling a little worried but Liz didn’t seem too concerned. She smiled and looked me in the eye. “That’s okay Jeff, that’s nothing to be afraid of,” she assured. I blinked hard, trying not to see the colours. “But I’m feelin’ funny,” I told her. “Jeff, just calm down honey. I want you to do something for me, something I promise will make you feel better.” I nodded. “Kay.” “Open your eyes and look right at the colours honey, and just relax.” It didn’t sound right, but Liz was here to keep me safe. I needed to do as she said. My head was already to fuzzy to think for myself. I opened my eyes and watched the colours expand and dance. And she was right, I didn’t feel scared anymore. I felt so warm and safe and little. Being little was definitely not a bad thing, it was fun. “Better?” she asked. I smiled, feeling delightfully silly. “Awll bettah!” I told her. “See, it isn’t so bad being a toddler,” she told me. She was right, I felt wonderful. I looked around and couldn’t remember exactly where we were, what day it was, what any of these animals were or what their names were. Yet I felt wonderful, free. “I think we should take these shorts off you too now honey,” Liz suggested. I looked down at my jean shorts. They looked okay. “Why?” I asked. “We need people to know you’re a toddler honey, but we don’t have any nice outfits for you. But everyone knows toddler show their undies off.” I didn’t know if that made sense. But I was just a toddler now. I had to trust her. So I nodded. “Kay Wiz.” She smiled and undid the button and unzipped the fly, slipping them down for me to step out of. It did feel better. And once I’d stepped free of them, I felt so much littler and better. The next half hour seemed to fly by. Everything was more interesting now. All the animals amazed me. At one point I looked up to see a young woman in a uniform of some type talking to Liz. “I hope both your boys are enjoying their visit,” she said. Both boys? She meant Jakey and me, I realised. I was one of the boys. It made me feel warm and happy inside as the colours danced again. “You two cuties having fun?” she asked, now looking at Jake and I. It was only then I realised we were both squatting down to feed the duckies. Jakey nodded right away. I felt like I needed to say something, show her I had words. “Duckies go quack-quack!” I announced, screaming the first thing that popped into my fuzzy head. She giggled, which made me feel better. I guess that was a good answer to her question after all. “They sure do buddy. Do you know what sound a birdy makes?” I wasn’t sure. I thought I should know that though. “They go tweet-tweet-tweet!” she told me. That was so funny! I wanna say it too! “Tweet-tweet-tweet!” I shout. Jakey gets up and does the same. We’re both tweeting boys. He hops up and down and I copy him and hop too. The nice lady says bye-bye and we can feed the duckies again. Liz kneels and rubs my arm. “You’re taking to those contacts very well Jeffy. See, I told you I’d have you barefoot and pants-less and here you are. But you’ve gone a lot deeper than I expected honey. I didn’t think you’d be making animal noise for the staff.” I realise Liz is right. The contacts are making me very little. But for some reason that doesn’t make me upset, it makes me feel happy, really happy. “I goed tweet-tweet to da wady,” I told her. Liz smiled and kissed my forehead. “You are just precious.” I giggle and chase after a ducky. ** We’re back in the car, going home from the petting zoo. But I’m not driving now. Liz said I hadda leave the contacts in cuz I lost the bet. I didn’t want to stay little anymore though. It felt real nice, but I kept getting afraid I’d forget I was really big. And I can’t drive my car, Liz has to do it. She even made me get in the back next to Jakey. He don’t mind because his brain is all mushy now. As soon as we were strapped in he said, “Wizz, I wan’ nakie!” She smiled and nodded and slipped his pull-ups off him. “That better Nakey-Jakey?” “Uh-huh!” he chirped, drumming his feet on the seat. Liz looked over at me. “Would you like to be a nakie jaybird too Jeffy?” I shook my head. “No, I big!” I reminded her. “Well you aren’t big today silly-billy. You can go nakie if it makes you comfy.” I shook my head defiantly. She shrugged and went to the driver seat. I didn’t like being stuck in the back with little Jakey. He was really dumb. He started playing with his feet as Liz drove. When she stopped at an intersection she saw Jakey was munching his toes again. “Oh, that is sooo cute,” she cooed. “Can you eat your feet Jeffy?” I shook my head. “Nuh-uh, I not dat widdle.” “I dunno about that. You’ve really taken to the contacts. I bet you’ll like it if you try it.” “Not gonna,” I huffed, crossing my arms. I was getting tired of this. I wanted to be big again. “Well I guess I might as well tell you now that you’d best just get used to this honey because you aren’t going back to your old life. I’ve talked with the daycare and the group and we’ve all decided this is what’s best for you. Just the way you’ve taken to the suggestions and your willingness to try the contacts proves we were right.” Wait, this didn’t sound right at all! I trusted her! Liz couldn’t make me little, I was the daddy. “Nuh-uh! I wike bein’ da daddy!” I yelled, banging my feet on the chair in frustration. She reached over and tickled the sole of my foot. “I know honey, but you’ll like being the little one even more.” She couldn’t do it, she didn’t have… Liz held up a very familiar remote. I shook my head. It wasn’t possible. I’d hidden it away. “You know this is going to feel lovely honey. And afterwards we’re all going to Pam’s house for a meeting. Well, a meeting for me, a play-date for you.” I shook my head. This couldn’t happen. I needed to get the contacts out before… She pushed the red button. A kaleidoscope of colours erupted across my field of vision. There was instant pleasure roaring through my head. It was a delightful, dizzying high. I could feel my penis stiffening, growing with pleasure. “Jeffy wook funny,” Jakey told Liz. “Yes honey, he’s getting all little now, just like you. It feels very nice to get all little.” “He go nakie?” Jakey asked. Liz nodded. “Yep, you’ll be jaybird brothers.” “Goody!” I couldn’t follow their words. My head was buzzing. I felt so lost, the colours were just so intense and they were sweeping me away. I was falling into a tunnel of swirling light and it lit up every nerve with euphoria. The colours stop as suddenly as they began. I’m sitting in the car, in my seat. Mummy is smiling back at me, tickling my foot. “Ready for a play-date?” she asks. Playing… playing sounds fun. I like to play. I’m good at play. “Gonna pway?” I ask her. She smiled and gives my big toe a wiggle. “Yep, you’re gonna have a lovely time playing now I think.” Mummy wiggling my toe. I wonder what it tastes like. Jakey got hims toes in his mouth. I grab my footsie and pull it to my mouth and put the toe in. It’s nice. I like munchin’ it. Mummy gives big smiles and I know I done something good. “Yes, you loved your little light show didn’t you?” she says. I dunno what light show she means. Mummy is silly sometimes. ** Liz laughed heartily at Sandra’s joke. It was great having a group of friends with similar circumstances. The sounds of their special children playing in the yard wafted through the window. They sounded happy, that was the important thing. Bill bounced his little ginger girl on his knee while she chewed at her knuckles. She was the only little one there at the moment. It was actually nice to get some peace now and then she figured. Well she’d be finding out soon enough. Debbie appeared, toddling naked into the circle of real adults, boobies and pig-tails jiggling away. She was leading another young man by the hand, and he too was completely naked. It was Jeffy, letting the nude woman pull him along, sucking away at his thumb, his eyes totally empty. “Jeffy done poopies!” Debbie announced to them, interrupting the conversation. Jeffy gazed innocently about, his free hand toyed with his dangling penis. Then he caught Liz’s eye and the thumb popped free. “Dome boom-boom mummy,” he confirmed. Everyone had a chuckle at the accident the young man who’d once sat amongst them had had. “Do you think he remembers us?” Bill pondered aloud. Pat shrugged. “It’s hard to know what goes on in their little minds after the change. I don’t think he remember very much about us though, or he wouldn’t be so happy about telling us he’s done poos.” Liz got up and took Jeffy’s hand from Debbie. “Okay you little jaybird, show me where the boom-booms are so mummy can clean up.” Jeffy grinned, oblivious to the grown-ups talking about him. “Mummy cwean!” he chirped, pulling her along to show her the present he’d left. Oh well, she thought, it was just the price she had to pay for getting the family she’d always wanted. Obviously little Jeffy had had to pay a high price as well.

    Adjusting

    Here’s another tale from the Mental AR Virus universe. This one isn’t as dark as some of the others. 

    Ella frowned as she carefully undid the tangle of knots the laces of Eric’s sneaker had become.  Her husband stood there, waiting anxiously, fidgeting with his fingers, impatient.  He was always impatient now. That was another thing she just had to get used to.  

    “Huwwy up!” came his plaintive voice, so high-pitched and whiny.  

    “Hold your horses Eric, I’ll have it done in just a second,” she told him in the calmest voice she could muster.  It took a lot to maintain that tone, to be the grown-up when he was being so incredibly frustrating.  It wasn’t his fault, she had to remind herself, he couldn’t control himself anymore.  

    Finally she straightened the laces, then tied a proper knot.  

    “All done!” she happily announced. 

    Eric took his foot off her knee, admiring her work.  Both his sneakers were tied now and he finally seemed satisfied.  He couldn’t tie them himself of course. His fingers were far too clumsy, too uncoordinated. His fine motor skills were nothing but a distant memory.  

    “Got my soos on,” the thirty-four year old said with a hint of smile now.  

    Ella was just glad he wasn’t crying anymore. His cheeks were still red, his eyes bloodshot from all the tears.  He’d thrown a full-blown tantrum, yelling his head off, risking damaging her hearing; he’d been down on the floor, pounding his fists and heels into the carpet, all because Ella had told him he didn’t need to wear shoes for Story Time at the bookstore in the mall.  You’d have thought it was the end of the world, the way he reacted.  

    But Ella at least partly understood. It had to be frustrating, to be so helpless, to be at someone else’s mercy.  Ella had only suggested he simply go barefoot because his shoe-laces were such a mess and it would take so long to fix them.  She knew he wouldn’t like it. Eric was determined not to look like a little boy.  He wanted everyone to think he was still big.  Big boys didn’t go to the mall barefoot of course.  And it had to be awful not to be able to put on his own shoes, to simply ignore his wife’s suggestion. He couldn’t even put them on the right feet if left to his own devices, never mind tackling the laces.  

    “Okay then, let’s get going,” Ella said, taking Eric’s hand, leading him out the door to the car, waiting for him to climb in the back seat before taking his seat belt and buckling him in. Just one more laughably simple thing he was incapable of doing for himself.  

    “Ewic do dat,” he would complain, all the time, before making a mess of himself, or ending up in frustrated tears as he failed to buckle himself in, or to colour inside the lines, or to tell what time it was.  He’d insisted on wearing a watch for days in the beginning, even though he had no hope of reading it anymore.  

    It was finally peaceful as she drove them to the mall.  Eric sucked on his thumb and gazed curiously out the window, probably trying to remember the names and uses of all the grown-up things he’d forgotten.  

    Sometimes he gave a steady stream of questions.  “Was dat?” 

    “A bicycle sweetie,” Ella would answer. 

    “Why da man wide it?”  

    “It’s good for exercise and it’s fun.” 

    “Was ex-ser-size?”  

    And on it went.  

    But other days were like this one, a brief break from the chatter, from the simple questions.  That was a big part of why Ella brought him to Story Time and other similar shared activities for bigger little ones.  It was a chance for her to converse with fellow adults, to share stories and advice with caregivers like herself.  And of course Eric enjoyed it too, or at least he was willing to tolerate it.  

    Eric wasn’t a happy boy.  How could he be?  He’d been a successful man in his prime, a salesman with a promising career and a new house.  And then it was all taken away in a matter of days.  He had MEV Type 3a, and that meant the full regression had taken just four days after the onset of symptoms. Some people called that a blessing, but Ella disagreed. It meant she was thrown into a new life with little time to prepare. She had to rapidly toddler-proof their beautiful new home.  She had to take time off work until she’d been able to enroll him in a proper daycare.  But toughest of all was the transition from wife to mummy.  She hadn’t signed up for that of course.  They’d never had kids, though it was something she’d always wanted.  And now, essentially, that’s what she had.  Except she didn’t, because Eric wasn’t really a little boy, not like some of the others anyway.  

    The differences were obvious as soon as they walked into the bookstore.  Eric wore a simple blue striped t-shirt and khakis shorts.  He refused to have anything with cartoons on it, or even with words. He couldn’t read of course, couldn’t even sing his alphabet, but he understood the slogans on many kids clothes were jokes, were childish or cute.  He didn’t want that.  He let Ella hold his hand, he was very afraid of losing her, but he didn’t want anyone thinking he was being led by her, that he was little.  

    The other boys and girls there for Story Time weren’t nearly so concerned with appearances. A majority were barefoot, the dirt on the soles of their feet noticeable as they crouched on the carpeted floor or crept around it whilst playing with their toys.  Several boys and girls, in their twenties and thirties and even older, wore bib overalls or shortalls in a variety of colours.  One young man was in a Spiderman costume, a thirtyish woman in a Snow White outfit. One man about Eric’s age was shirtless as well, wearing just his baggy red board shorts.  

    And it wasn’t just their clothing, it was also their behaviour which was different.  They were mostly giggling, smiling, creeping around happily in their own little worlds, playing their simple games, enjoying their toys.  They didn’t seem at all aware of their regressions.  They seemed like real little kids, just in bigger bodies.  

    But there were always a few others like Eric. Some clung to their caregivers, soothing themselves by sucking their thumbs, biting their fingernails. They dressed like adults or at least older kids, cried often, buried their heads in mummies’ laps, whined about not wanting to be there, or just threw full tantrums and needed to be led away to the toilets, blubbering.  

    “Here we are sweetie, why don’t you sit right there, in the middle,” Ella suggested to her husband.  

    Eric shook his head. “Wanna sit wid you,” he insisted. 

    “Honey, the boys and girls all need to sit on the floor,” she told him. 

    “Notta boy,” Eric whispered back angrily. 

    “Honey we’ve been over this. You need to sit with the boys, even if you are bigger than them. That’s just the rules.”  

    Eric frowned but accepted this.  He was always a big rule follower and that impulse had stuck with him.  He sat down cross-legged in the middle of the crowd of grown-downs, sulking and hugging his knees while he waited for the story to begin, for the storyteller to come sit in the big easy chair at the centre of the clearing and read a children’s story to them all.  He ignored the other children around him and they paid the quiet boy no attention either.  

    Ella wished he would join in, would ask to play with another boy. It would be so good for him to have a playmate. She got the regular reports home from the playcentre he went to while she worked. They were concerned too. Eric didn’t mix with the other kids. He wouldn’t take part in any activity which would get him dirty or would require him to take off his shirt or shoes. He wouldn’t do anything he considered “silly” or “for babies.”  That meant no fingerpainting, no painting at all, no sandpit, no trampoline or paddle pool for him.  

    He’d been utterly scandalised by what happened when paddle pool time had come.  

    “Deys all nakey!” he told Ella in horror when she came to collect him that afternoon.  

    “What?” she’d asked him in confusion. 

    “Da boys ‘nd giwls got all nakey fow da pool.  Some nakey after too!”  

    Ella had found it funny, especially they way he was so horrified that a bunch of toddlers were stripped naked to play in a paddle pool, and even worse that some had apparently stayed naked afterwards, perhaps for the rest of the afternoon even.  Sure they had grown-up bodies, the playcentre was of course specifically for grown-downs, but they were really just toddlers.  And Ella saw nothing wrong with what happened.  

    When it came right down to it, she just wanted Eric to be happy, to have fun with the others. But he just couldn’t do it.  He was wound up so tight, she was afraid he might become truly depressed if this continued.  

    Story Time was about to begin when Natalie arrived with her hubby, Jerry.  Ella had begun to worry they wouldn’t make it. She especially liked chatting with Natalie because their husbands were so similar. They’d had the same strain of virus for one thing, but much more importantly, Jerry insisted on being a grown-up, being mature too.  He would point to himself and declare, “I match-ew-er! I gwown-up!” in the most serious tone.  It was all she could do not to laugh at the poor man.  He would have made a perfect playmate for Eric, except that neither of them had any interest in “playing” with other boys.  

    Except that today Jerry wasn’t looking too mature at all.  He was wearing a Batman costume, minus the mask and cape.  It was nothing like what he normally wore, bland polo shirts and khakis being his standard outfit.  Not only that, but the thirty-year old former physio was also barefoot.  Ella had never once seen him out in public that way.  Natalie had at least convinced him to wear sandals or crocs most days, to save the need to tie laces. But this was a first.  

    Natalie smiled broadly at her as they approached. “Can you say hello to Ella, Jerry?” she prompted her husband.  

    The six foot tall man in the Batman costume grinned like the very silliest of little boys and chirped, “Hi! Wookit, I Batman!”  

    The ear to ear grin on his face as he pointed at the symbol on the chest of his costume really took Ella by surprise. For a moment she just sat there with her mouth hanging open.  

    “Um, Ella…” Natalie prompted. 

    “Oh! Ummm, yes, that’s so cool Jerry,” she finally spat out.  

    “Not Jewwy. Batman!” he insisted, throwing his hands out and swooping around, like a bat apparently.  

    “Right, of course. Well, good to see you Batman,” Ella agreed. 

    “Okay honey, go swoop over to the other boys and girls and sit on your bum like a good Batman,” Natalie told him. 

    Jerry did as he was told, scurrying over to the assembled crowd of grown-downs and dropping to his knees, revealing bare soles as black as the pavement outside.  It didn’t look like they’d just forgotten his crocs in the car or something.  

    “He seems happy,” Ella commented as Natalie took a seat beside her. 

    “He’s more than happy, he’s finally at peace with who he is now,” she told her. 

    Ella nodded, shocked to hear this but also knowing it matched what she’d just witnessed.  “Yeah, he’s acting more like the other boys now,” she agreed.  

    Natalie nodded.  “He’s been in that Batman costume for the last two days solid. He’s totally obsessed with it, just like a little boy.”

    “It’s awfully cute.”

    Natalie shrugged. “Well I never really wanted by husband to look cute, y’know.”

    “Yeah, of course not.” 

    “But it’s a real relief. He’s got playmates now, kids his own mental age to play with.”

    Ella felt happy for Natalie.  She understood how important that was. But she also felt a bit sad, a bit jealous. She wanted those things for Eric too. He didn’t really feel like her husband anymore, as much as he insisted he was. No, he felt like her little boy, like a small child who needed her protection. 

    “That’s so great!” she told Natalie. “He looks like he’s really comfortable being little now. I see he’s even running around barefoot today.”  

    Natalie chuckled. “That’s not just today. The sandals, the crocs, they’re all in a box, packed away the basement. Look at those filthy little tootsies. He hasn’t had anything on them in a week.”

    Now Ella was really blown away.  “But he made such a big deal out of that! I mean, you know Eric’s the same way. He threw a massive tantrum just before we came over because I wanted him to try going barefoot, just for this little trip.  It was quite the meltdown. I wasn’t sure we’d be coming at all and as you can see I had to give in.  How on Earth could you convince Jerry to actually pack the shoes away for good?”

    “Oh Ella that’s awful about the tantrum. But don’t get too jealous, we still have plenty of those in our house too. Believe me, that’s just part of having a toddler.  Now we just get to have meltdowns for different reasons. Instead of fighting over not wearing shoes, Jerry flips out at having to wear anything other than his costume. And you can see that I have been giving in as well.”  

    Ella did feel a little better.  “Still, it’s an amazing change. What do you think prompted it? Was it sudden?”  

    Natalie gave her a knowing smile. “Oh honey, I know exactly what prompted it.  Jerry’s attitude change was no mistake. I took him to one of those therapists, the ones who help with adjustment.”  

    Ella’s eyes widened right away. She knew exactly what Natalie meant. She’d seen the ads, promising happier grown-down children, promising to help them behave like real kids.  They always started with some sad, depressed looking grown-down.  The man or woman would be throwing a tantrum, fighting with their carer, or just sitting in a corner and refusing to play with others.  Then, wave of the magic wand, and they were happy, giggling, playful kids.  It always seemed too good to be true.  And besides, it seemed wrong to try to cause such a drastic change. Weren’t they just taking away the last bits of adulthood the poor man or woman was trying to hold onto?  

    “So the therapist did this?” 

    Natalie nodded. “It was amazing, like night and day and all in a single session.”  

    “One session?!”  

    Her friend laughed again. “Yep, I know, I was just as amazed.”

    “So, did you talk about what you wanted done before it started?”

    “Yes, I had a long interview with the therapist first, explained all the issues we were having; the modesty, the insistence on adult clothing, the obsession with appearing mature.  We made a list of what needed to change, then he designed a programme and voila, Jerry was a new boy after just one session.  

    “I mean the other day I went to pick him up at playcentre and the carer told me they’d had an issue with him taking off his shorts AND his undies earlier on and refusing to put them back on.  He was running around with his doodle out for all to see!  Can you imagine my Jerry like that?”  

    Ella could only shake her head, struck dumb by the revelation.  

    “Exactly! But it was true. He’d turned into a total little exhibitionist.  He was still wearing just a t-shirt and undies when we found him in the sand pit and we had to have a talk with him about keeping his undies on.  They actually made a deal with him that he could go shirtless as much as he wanted as long as his undies stayed on, except for pool days.  And he jumped at that deal! My Jerry, the little nudist.” 

    Ella tried to imagine that happening with Eric, but it was just too outrageous to be possible.  He was far too modest for that. Wasn’t he?  She wondered.  But of course that didn’t matter. She couldn’t take him to a therapist. He would never agree. And how could she do that to him?  

    “I can give you his card,” Natalie told her, looking in her handbag.  

    “Oh, no, that’s okay…” 

    “He’s really good Ella, you have to see him,” she urged, finding the business card and pressing it into Ella’s hand. 

    “I just don’t think I could do that to Eric. He’d hate to be like that. I mean, he’d hate to be acting like a real little boy, everyone seeing him that way.”  

    “Ella, he’s not happy the way he is either.  I’m not telling you to hurt him, or even to be selfish. I told you, the tantrums still happen. It’s no easier on me. Do it for him, so he can relax, so he can be happy and have fun the way a little boy should.  He needs to feel comfortable running around barefoot in public, getting messy, dressing up like his favourite superhero, blowing bubbles in his milk, all that stuff,” Natalie told her.  

    Ella put the card into her own handbag and she thought long and hard about what Natalie said.  She looked down at the floor before them. Thirty men and women sat on their bottoms on the carpet, listening to the woman in the easy chair reading from Beatrix Potter.  Some weren’t paying attention, girls playing with their pigtails, boys picking their noses and studying their fingers.  But most were totally enthralled, bouncing on their bottoms, giggling with their hands clasped tight over their mouths.  There was Jerry, up on his knees, clapping his hands and beaming.  And in the middle of it all was Eric, nibbling on his fingernails, looking totally disinterested.  It made her really wonder if Natalie was right.  

    **

    Two days later Ella went to see the therapist Natalie recommended, a Dr Mitchell Davis.  Sitting in his office she felt very uncomfortable but he seemed to understand that.  

    “It’s not an easy choice to come here,” Dr Davis told her.  His voice was warm and calming. She could see how it would be easy to open up to him.  

    “I don’t want to change my husband. I mean, I love him, you understand,” she told him. 

    “Of course you do. But that love, it’s different now, isn’t it?” 

    It was like he could read her mind. He probably could have gotten away with being a fake fortune teller.  

    “He’s still my husband, but he isn’t.  I don’t want to go against his wishes.  I don’t want to trick him.” 

    “No one wants to trick the people they love. I’m certainly not going to ask you to do anything you feel uncomfortable with.” 

    Ella felt more at ease now.  He wasn’t what she had expected at all.  

    “You have to understand, the last thing he’d want is to be seen as an incompetent little boy, a toddler, by people he knows, by basically anyone in public.  It’s very important to him that he maintain that dignity.”  

    “But he isn’t an adult anymore. You understand that?”  

    “Well of course,” she assured. “I mean, I clean his sheets after he has accidents at night, I do his shoe-laces up for him, cut up his food so he can manage the rest with just his fork or spoon. I’m well aware of that.”  

    He nodded. “But does he understand that?” 

    Ella hesitated. “I… I think he does. Deep down.  But he can’t admit it to himself.”  

    “And trying to act like he’s an adult, pretending to be something he’s not, it’s hurting him, isn’t it? It’s making him deeply unhappy,” Dr Davis suggested. 

    A tear dripped down her cheek as she nodded.  It was true, it was hurting him.  

    “It’s okay, none of this is your fault,” Davis assured her, handing her a box of tissues.  

    Sniffling, she nodded and dabbed at her eyes. “I know, I know, it’s just hard.”  

    “Yes, it is.  And your husband’s had it especially hard.  It isn’t that rare you know, for virus sufferers to be like him, regressed intellectually, emotionally but retaining their old sense of self, holding on to many adult behaviours and beliefs.”  

    “Really?”  

    “Oh yes, it happens more than people think.  But you don’t see it that often, because we have very effective treatments now.  Obviously we can’t return your husband’s intellectual and emotional maturity, so I’m afraid the best treatment is to go the other way, regress the behaviours, the sense of self, back to a level to match their intellectual age”  

    “So you’ve done this many times then? And it’s painless?”  

    Davis nodded confidently.  “It’s totally effective and I’ve done it many, many times. You probably have no idea how many of the happy, giggly grown-downs you see running around have actually been to see me, or someone like me.  There isn’t proper research on it yet, but from my own experience I’d say 5% to 10% of virus sufferers are like your husband.”  

    Ella was happy to feel less alone.  But she still had reservations.  “I just… I don’t want him to be angry at me.  He goes berserk at even the suggestion of behaving or dressing in a toddler fashion like the others.”  

    Davis chuckled. “I’m sure he does. But after my treatment I assure you there will be no more of that. You just tell me his hang-ups and we’ll deal with each and every one of them.”  

    Ella explained the main issues they had, the fear of being alone, the lack of interest in normal toddler games and TV shows, the refusal to play with other grown toddlers and insistence on dressing like an adult.  Dr Davis listened carefully and took many notes.  

    Ella paused as she considered whether to tell him the next thing.  She was thinking about the tantrums he threw if she wanted him to try going barefoot, just on the rare occasion.  But then she remembered Jerry’s bare feet, how the soles were totally black.  If she told Dr Davis, would he make Eric like that? Was that even possible? Could Eric really end up wanting his shoes packed away, demanding to be barefoot all the time? She tried to picture her husband, her super formal, mature husband walking around with feet looking like Jerry’s.  It seemed absurd. But then a new thought struck her.  Is that what she wanted?  It would instantly mark him out as a grown-down, as a little boy. Other mums would spot her and her little one right away.  Maybe it would help get playmates for Eric and friends for her.  

    “He’s absolutely obsessed with keeping his shoes on.  He knows being barefoot in public is an instant sign of being little.  My friend Natalie, she told me she packed her husband… her boy’s shoes away after his treatment. But… I mean, I can’t imagine Eric being like that…”  

    Davis just smiled and said, “Well you might be surprised then.”  

    “Oh and…” she trailed off. She’d thought of one other thing, but there was no real need to say it. She didn’t want to push too far.

    “Yes?” Davis pushed. 

    “Oh, it’s probably not worth mentioning. I mean, I don’t know if this is something that needs specific treatment…”

    “There’s no harm in mentioning it,” he assured.  

    “Well, it’s just that the playcentre he goes to, they have this paddling pool. Sometimes they remind us to send them in togs, but other times they just fill it up and don’t bother.  Of course Eric doesn’t go in, he’s much, much too modest for that.  But of course, I can just make sure he always has togs…”

    Davis waved a dismissive hand.  “That shouldn’t be a necessity.  I imagine even when they are told, some of the carers don’t bother sending their little ones with swim togs, do they?” 

    “Well, no, I guess not. Umm,” she chuckled, “Eric actually commented on that fact. He was quite horrified by all the nudity and that, well, some little ones don’t even always get dressed afterwards.”  

    Davis nodded and asked, “So, would you like him comfortable without the togs.”  

    Ella blinked, uncertain whether to agree.  “I mean, Natalie said Jerry has actually turned into a little jaybird since his treatment.”  She imagined Eric, her handsome husband, strutting around the house in the buff.  Aside from cleaning up his accidents, wiping him clean while he cried, she’d not really seen him that way for months.  

    Davis was still waiting.  

    “I think it would be nice if he was comfortable without togs, so he could play in the paddle pool,” she agreed. 

    “Just for the pool?”

    “I mean, I don’t know,” she admitted, feeling very conflicting feelings for her husband and her little boy at the same time.  

    “I just mean, there are many times when modesty can make it tricky dealing with a big toddler.  It could simply be easier for him to remove it altogether.  Of course that would make it a bit tougher for you because your new struggle would be to keep him clothed.”  

    “Do you do that part of the treatment often?”  

    He nodded. “Quite a few feel it’s for the best. Not all, but plenty.”  

    “Okay, do it,” she agreed, feeling a little guilty even as she said it.  

    When they were done Davis emailed her a file.  “This is a special musical piece, suggestions masked by sea sounds. Play it all night for your husband but make sure you can’t hear it.  He should listen to it every night for the next week, leading up to his appointment.”  

    **

    For a week Ella played the special music for Eric every night.  It seemed to even help him to get to sleep faster.  They slept in different rooms now, since he had accidents so often and would rip up the thick pull-ups protection she got him, insisting on wearing his “big boy pants” to bed.  That made playing the file easier and Eric never questioned what it was or why it needed to play all night. 

    For a week she watched him navigate life as a sad, confused man with an intellectually impaired mind.  The more she watched him, the more sure she became that she was doing the right thing in helping him to be happier.  The only thing was she grew more and more worried that the treatment wouldn’t work.  It seemed to unlikely, that Eric could really become like the other grown-downs and start acting like an actual toddler.  

    Finally the day came for their appointment.  Ella drove him there, careful to pretend it was a normal doctor’s check-up.  She was extra careful with him, getting him dressed up especially nice in his best polo shirt and khakis shorts and of course his sneakers and socks.  

    “Da doctor gonna see how big I is,” Eric told her brightly as she buckled him in.  “Notta dumb baby.”  

    “Of course not honey,” she told him, kissing his forehead.  

    But he squirmed and shoved her roughly away.   “Dun do dat! Kiffes fow dumb widdle babies!”  

    “Sorry Eric,” she said, getting in the driver seat.  

    At the office Dr Davis did a good show of greeting Eric like an adult, walking right out of his office straight to Eric and extending his hand to shake.  Eric actually grinned for once as he shook the man’s hand like an equal.  

    “Well hello there Eric, so nice to meet you,” Davis said to him. 

    “Hi,” Eric replied simply, clearly trying to hide his juvenile diction from the doctor.  

    “Why don’t you come into my office and Ella will wait right out here for you.”  

    Eric’s smile vanished instantly.  “Dun wanna go awone,” he said.  

    “Ella will be right here and besides, she told me that you’re a really brave big grown-up man. So you must be able to do things all by yourself, right?”  

    Eric still didn’t look happy, but how could he refuse such praise?  He nodded jerkily and let the doctor lead him away, stealing nervous looks back at Ella until the door shut.  

    And that left her to an uncomfortably long wait.  What was going on back there? She had no idea.  She hoped it would help things, but could it possibly make things worse? What if it didn’t work, but Eric knew what they’d tried to do with him? He’d be so furious.  The last thing she wanted was to upset him more.  But the walls were thin. If he was angry she’d have heard the tantrum, the crying and screaming if not kicking and punching the floor.  There were no such sounds.  It was silent.  

    Two hours passed before the door opened.  Davis appeared in the doorframe and gave her a smile.  “Someone needs a cuddle from mummy,” he announced. 

    Ella’s heart fluttered as Davis stepped fully into the waiting room, leading Eric by the hand.  Her jaw dropped open at the sight.  Eric was completely naked, not even undies on to give him a shred of privacy. And he was making no attempt to cover up either.  He let the doctor lead him into the waiting room buck naked, no concern about who might be there to see him.  

    “Oh sweetie,” Ella cooed in awe.  

    Eric looked different, and not just in the way he was dressed, or rather not dressed.  His face just looked totally relaxed and he had this big dumb grin.  

    “Wanna cuddle wid mummy!” he announced brightly.  

    “Come on then Eric, give mummy a big snuggle!” she urged him.  

    And he let go of Davis’ hand, rushing over to her and enveloping her in a huge, tight cuddle.  Ella was so happy to see her baby boy happy.  She’d never felt more maternal, more protective of her boy. He’d been the one getting treatment, but she felt changed too. This wasn’t her husband anymore, this was her little baby.  

    “Who’s my snuggle bug? Who’s my little cuddle buggy?” she cooed to him, the way she’d always imagines cuddling her first baby.  He was much bigger, and yet, all naked like this he looked just as vulnerable, just as innocent and cute.  

    Eric just giggled and snuggled tighter.  

    After what felt like a full minute of cuddling Ella let go and looked into Eric’s eyes, looking for any remaining reluctance, any flicker of modesty or sadness.  He just gazed back with wide, glassy eyes, totally innocent.  

    “What happened to all your clothes, silly boy?” she asked him. 

    Eric looked down at his nude body, his soft hairless penis resting between his legs.  There was no hesitation, no blush in his cheeks as he said, “Ewic got nakey!”  

    “Haha, I can see that,” she agreed, and he smiled and laughed happily too, totally unconcerned with his exposure. 

    Dr Davis stepped closer, placing a hand on the middle of Eric’s bare back.  “We decided he’d be more comfy in some more appropriate clothes and I started to get him changed. But once he was all nakey-bummed he decided he didn’t want any clothes on at all and became quite insistent about that. So I thought maybe he’d be better if mummy helped get him dressed.”  

    Ella couldn’t help but smile.  “Is that so?  Are you turning into a little jaybird nudist? Is that what you are now Eric?”  

    The thirty-something man giggled brightly and gave her a big, emphatic nod. 

    “Well, we’ll see what we can do about that.  But right now, we need to get you dressed to go home. You can’t walk out into the car park with a bare bum-bum, silly boy.”  

    Eric nodded. “Can’t go bawe-bum,” he agreed.  

    “That’s right, so let’s get you dressed, okay?” 

    Another nod.  “Kay.”  

    Eric was perfectly compliant as Ella dressed him in the clothes Dr Davis had asked her to bring.  There was a pair of aqua board shorts with black pockets and Sesame Street themed blue t-shirt.  But first came a pair of thick, white underoos with royal blue piping and choo-choo train prints.  Eric was nice and still while Ella slipped those and his shorts up his legs. But he pouted and fussed when she asked him to put his arms up for the t-shirt.  

    “Eric, be a good boy for Mummy now,” she urged him.  

    “Dun wan’ it,” he complained.  

    “Why not honey? Don’t you like Elmo?” she asked, pointing to the smiling red character.  

    Eric gazed at it with the innocent eyes of a toddler, nodding.  

    “Don’t you want Elmo on your tummy?”  

    Another slow nod.  

    “Okay then,” she cooed, getting him to raise his hands and putting on the cartoon print shirt.  

    “All done!” she announced and Eric clapped his hands. “You got all dressed for Mummy! Aren’t you a good boy!”  Yes, Eric was clearly happy to hear that.  

    There weren’t any shoes as part of the outfit, but Eric didn’t say a word about that, not a peep as Ella took his hand and led him out of the office, thanking Dr Davis, heading out into the car park.  Eric just sucked on his thumb and let Mummy lead him across the pavement that way.  

    “Your feeties aren’t too hot on that pavement, are they Eric?” she asked.  

    He wiggled his toes gently against the ground, then shook his head.  No, he didn’t seem to mind one little bit.  

    **

    Two weeks later Ella pulled up to the playcentre to pick Eric up.  The head teacher, Greta, met her when she walked in, needing to buzz her through the door as always. With such big toddlers it was necessary to have a system to keep them getting out and wandering out into the street of course.  

    “Good to see you Ella,” she greeted.  

    “Hi Greta, how’s he been today?” 

    “Oh just lovely as usual. It’s been wonderful having him so much more social and playful.  He and Brady have been really becoming fast friends.  They build quite the block fort together this morning.”  

    “Yes, I talked to his carer the other day and we’re going to have him over for an actual playdate this weekend,” Ella couldn’t help but gush.  “It’s just, such a relief to have him playing with boys his own age.”  

    “I know, it’s a real blessing.  Well, let’s go get the big little guy.”  

    The playroom was a hive of activity as usual. She was early today so most of the kids were still there, playing with lots of balls and blocks and Duplo blocks.  She spotted Eric easily. There were only two young men walking around naked.  One had ginger hair, the other dark haired fellow was Eric of course.  He was playing with a blonde man, Brady, holding hands and sort of half dancing, half play-fighting.  There was a lot of giggling involved, so it was clearly fun.  

    “Oh, we had the paddle pool out after lunch. As you can see Eric didn’t want to get his clothes back on afterwards, as usual,” Greta noted without any real concern.  

    Ella wasn’t surprised or worried either. She understood this was the result of what she’d asked for and if it didn’t bother the teachers, it didn’t bother her either.  

    “Okay Eric, time to get dressed and head home baby,” she said, putting her hand on his bare bottom to gently get his attention.  

    Eric gave her a gaping smile. “C’n Bwady come home wid us?” he asked. “We pwayin’ mummy. Bwady my betht fwiend!”  

    Ella’s heart absolutely melted.  “Oh honey, that’s so nice. Brady needs to eat at his house tonight, but I promise he can come over to play Saturday. Do you know how many days that is sweetie?”  

    Eric shook his head, totally mystified.  

    “Well today is Thursday, so that’s…” 

    Eric blinked his eyes, but couldn’t answer the question.  

    “Two days baby.”  

    He grinned, untroubled by his lack of knowledge now. Two weeks ago not knowing the answer would have had him in tears. Now he totally accepted his lack of comprehension.  It was normal. Grown-ups were smart, grown-ups did the thinking. Toddlers just had to play and have fun. It was so much better to be a toddler.  

    Back wearing his thick undies and his shorts, Eric left the playcentre with Mummy. There was no need for a shirt or shoes. Ella carried his shirt with his little bag, and there weren’t any shoes for him to wear.  His feet were just as dirty and tough as Jerry’s now.  And while Ella had been uncertain at first, now she was sure that was the right choice.  Eric didn’t know there had been a choice to make. He just enjoyed the freedom of the sun on his back, the warm interesting textures of the ground changing under his soles as he skipped and walked along the footpath to their car.  He was just overjoyed to have Mummy taking care of him.  It was obvious that Mummy knew best and that made both Eric and Ella as happy as they’d ever been.  

    mind-wiper

    It was always very important to Joe that his lawn be kept natural.  After buying his own house at the impressive age of twenty-four he really wanted to make it reflect who he was.  He did all the fixes around the house himself and he paid particular attention to the lawn. He only used organic fertilisers, no chemicals, nothing artificial.  He wanted it to look good, but also be ethical.  

    Nowadays Joe still has a beautiful lawn and its more important than ever really, since he spends so much time with that soft grass brushing between the toes of his bare feet, cushioning his hands and knees as he crawls, occasionally tickling his penis as it dangles freely between his legs.  

    Of course Joe doesn’t know words like ‘organic’ or ‘chemical’ or even ‘grass’ anymore.  They’re just sounds, just noises humans make.  They have no meaning for his simplified mind anymore.  But he can still appreciate the lovely lawn.  It’s his.  He still knows that, understands it with certainty.  

    The door to door salesman who he invited into his house that one time, the man who had showed him a special pattern on his phone, a pattern that had made him so sleepy, made him just drift off while he listened to that man’s soothing voice; the salesman had taken so much away from him.  He no longer remembered that it was his house that he had invited the man into.  The idea of owning a house at all, of having a job, driving a car, wearing clothing of any kind, were all totally foreign and impossible concepts far beyond his comprehension now. The salesman had emptied those ideas from his head, made his brain so small and simple while he rested in the man’s arms, so sleepy and calm.  

    But while Joe no longer remembered owning his house, or even his own human name, he at least knew the lawn was his.  He knew that because he marked it regularly. He lifted his leg and let the pee from his bobbing penis spurt onto the grass or bushes and marked it as his own.  And when he felt the urge he nudged the salesman’s leg, he barked and whimpered and licked his hand until the man who now owned the house, who owned him, his master, opened the back door and let him out to squat in the grass and fertilise it himself.  It was just as he had always wanted, all natural, organic.    

    mind-wiper

    Jack and I had been best buddies since we met in intermediate school.  We hung out all the time, in school and out.  When we were younger there were sleep overs and wrestling matches. As we got older there were parties and clubs to hit.  I don’t know if Jack ever suspected I preferred spending time with him to the girls at the parties. I didn’t want to ruin things so I never said a word.

    The only real problem was that Jack was a better student than me. It wasn’t a problem in school really. He was in higher classes than I was, but we still hung out at lunch, after school. But now school was over and Jack was leaving for university, moving to the other side of the damned country. And I was having a gap year, except that it was a gap between school and who knows what. And I could see that Jack and I would drift further and further apart.  I could see that this was the end of our friendship, after seven years.

    I couldn’t let that happen.

    I twist around and look at Jack sitting in the back seat of the car.  He’s playing the new game I showed him. He has it on his phone now.  He plays it all the time.  It’s mesmerising, literally.  His face is peaceful and slack, his eyes glazed over, his fingers working the game on auto-pilot. He’s wearing a simple t-shirt and shorts. Usually Jack dressed pretty sharp, but today he’d come bounding out of his house like this, not even bothering with shoes, not even a pair of jandals.

    I glance down at his bare feet resting on the floor. They’re a bit grimy already. He hasn’t been wearing shoes in a while. That’s Level 4 in the game. He must have hit it some time ago.  Of course I know that, I know he’s on level 10 right now, the last stage.  I got a notification on my phone telling me that, telling me it was time to pick Jack up. He couldn’t be alone for Level 10.

    He smiled dreamily and lowered the phone, just for an instant, just long enough to yank his shirt off.  Level 9 made him want to be naked all the time.  But it was Level 10 that took away the inhibitions, made the modesty vanish so he could finally give in to that aching desire.  It must feel nice, must feel amazing to be able to let go like that.  Jack yanked his shorts and undies down to his ankles and kicked them away without any hesitation, then back to the game, oblivious to me staring right at him.

    He was beautiful.  I had never seen him fully nude before. It wasn’t like boys showered together before PE at school these days. But now there he was, buck naked before me.  And it brought a smile to my face to see how much he was enjoying this. His erection was huge.  He looked ready to squirt any moment.  But he wasn’t quite done. He needed to complete Level 10, to trigger the final changes, the biggest ones.

    It took a couple more minutes.  Then the phone dinged and applause sounded from the speakers.  Jack had beat level 10, or more appropriately, it had beat him.  He dropped the phone on the floor, letting it land with a thud as his eyes blinked and emerged from his deep trance state.  He looked up at me, his mouth agape.

    “You like that game Jack?” I asked him, reaching over and patting his bare knee, rubbing my hand gently up his thigh.

    Jack grinned and cooed at my touch.  He wasn’t bashful about me seeing him nude now. He didn’t question why he was sitting naked in the backseat of the car.  He just grinned like an idiot and announced, “We goin’ fow wide!”

    I couldn’t help but laugh at his childish diction.  My once brilliant friend wouldn’t be going to university after all. He grabbed his feet and pulled them back and forth, playing with his toes a bit before slapping at the window and announcing with wide eyes, “Dazza fi-ah-twuck!” as we passed a fire station.

    “It sure is buddy,” I agreed. “Do you think they have a fire doggy there?”

    The former scholarship student looked absolutely ecstatic at this idea, hopping on his bare bottom and swinging his long smooth legs up to either side of his head, shouting, “Wanna see da doggy!”

    “Well I think there will be a doggy where we’re going buddy, so just hold on.”

    He nodded seriously and went back to playing with his toesies.

    “It really worked,” I said, turning back around in my seat.

    “Of course it did,” the thirty-something man driving the car replied. He reached into the console and drew out another phone.  “Your turn,” he said simply, handing it to me.

    I nodded, looking down at the phone in my hand.  Of course an eighteen year old fresh out of school didn’t have the resources to buy or create such a powerful programme, nor to care for a toddler with a fully grown body.  Jack had the intellect of a two and half year old now.  He had the maturity, the emotional control of a little toddler.  He would need constant supervision. I couldn’t ever provide that.  But Matthew could.

    I met him on the internet, of course.  He understood my desires and why I couldn’t share them with the boy I secretly loved.  He gave me the programme, the means to achieve my goal.  Jack wouldn’t go to university, he would stay with me. We could be together, could be intimate with each other.  But of course nothing was free and this was the price.  Matthew wanted two boys to care for. He promised love and comfort, but we had to be dependent on him, both of us.

    I looked down at my shorts, the only thing I was wearing. Level 6 worked better on me than on Jack.  I hadn’t been able to bear putting a shirt for the last couple days. The soles of my bare feet were black as tar too.  And it made me hard in my shorts just thinking about it.  The changes the programme had made to me had already been drastic, but nothing like what Level 10 would do. In the back seat Jack had managed to get his toes into his mouth and was drooling over them.  Matthew wanted me like that too.  And after coming this far I didn’t really have a choice.

    I unlocked my phone and tapped the game app.  It was a simple game, a variation on Angry Birds. But within seconds of starting it became totally engrossing. The world around me floated away and my focus was entirely on the game.  It became instinctive.  All time disappeared, all sensations, but my fingers moved in the screen, as if by themselves and I proceeded through Level 10.

    The sound of applause took me by surprise. The screen was filled with fireworks and the world “YOU WIN!” across the centre. But I don’t know what the words mean, or even the letters. They’re just meaningless symbols to me. I let go of the phone, letting it drop to the ground.

    The phone hits the dirt heavily as I realise we aren’t in the car anymore. We’re standing in a back yard, trees forming a boundary, no other houses nearby.  I can feel the dirt and grass under the soles of my feet. It’s very nice, very comfy.  Jack is there too, facing me, smiling around the fingers he’s sucking. He’s all nakey.  I’m nakey too. It feels wonderful, it feels perfect. My doodle is really big and poking my tummy. Jack’s is too.

    “Good job buddy, you won!” Daddy announces, patting my bare back.

    I like Daddy’s touch. I love it when Daddy touches me.  I turn around and open my arms for a cuddle right away.  “I winned Daddy!” I tell him, so happy I’ve done something good, something amazing, even if I don’t really know what I won.

    “You sure did! What a good boy you are!” Daddy assured me, cuddling me so tight.  “You should tell your brother,” he then cooed.

    Of course! Jack needed a cuddle too.  I turned to my brother and opened my arms.  Jack smiled and toddled over and we cuddled so tight. His feet slipped over mine and his hand squeezed on my bum-bum as our big pointy pee-pees brushed together. I grunted as a surge of pleasure ran through my body. Jack shivered with arousal too and in seconds we were both grinding our pee-pees together.  Daddy stepped closer and nuzzled against us as we humped, cooing encouragement until we both exploded sticky squirts all over our tummies.

    It was okay that we got all messy because that’s what boys are meant to do.  We were Daddy’s silly nakey boys now and he got us all cleaned up when we finished playing.  We’re both so lucky to have Daddy to take care of us.  

    “Okay boys, why don’t you cool off in the pool,” Daddy suggested after that.  

    The pool! It was so exciting, I wanted to make the most biggest splash ever.  There was no need to get changed for us, no need to stop at all since we were both nakey already. Jack giggled his head off, running to the pool with the silliest grin on his face. And I was right behind him, jumping in while Daddy watched. Daddy loved to watch us and I wanted to show him how good I could jump and splash.  I want Daddy to see I’m a good boy.  

    mind-wiper

    Sam and Kevin had been building up to this day for some time. They began their relationship after meeting on a dating app for people with unusual romantic interests.  Both of them were into age play, basically pretending to be a toddler while the other took the role of daddy.  Sometimes they liked to act naughty and be punished, other times it was loving cuddles they most desired.  They had experimented a lot with role-playing over the last year but after all those months it began to lose its excitement, its level of intrigue.  So Kevin had come up with a new idea to restore that spark.  

    The time had come to make their role-play a lot more realistic.  They saw a professional hypnotist, someone who actually held a degree in psychology and had formal training. This wasn’t parlour trick stuff, or some tape bought off a dodgy website. This was a man they had to see in person at his office and actually explain in detail what they wanted.  That was followed not by some instant, magical session, but by several weeks of regular sessions, sometimes together and at other times individually.  Their visits were augmented by tapes they had to listen to every night and different files to listen to an hour each day, with repeats urged if possible.  

    The first few sessions focused on just getting them relaxed enough to drift off into truly deep trances, on getting them really comfortable going under and then dropping them over and over so it became instinctive, automatic, normal for them to drop into a trance with a simple trigger.  Then they worked on deepening the trances, going into a really suggestible state where major changes could actually happen.  

    After that the hypnotist began to implant the actual suggestions. Kevin quickly noticed that once this phase began, he was unable to recall the actual sessions anymore.  His memory stopped working when he entered the office.  Sam agreed he had the same issue. The hypnotist explained this was intentional, that their conscious minds couldn’t know the actual suggestions, so there was no chance of fighting against them when triggered.  

    That was okay, Kevin knew what the suggestions would do, they had gone over their needs in detail.  When triggered it would reduce their intellectual abilities, their emotional maturity, their physical and social abilities to those of a two year old boy.  They would be totally dependent on their daddy for basically everything. They wouldn’t be able to tie their own shoes or cut up their own food.  Every ability above the level of a small two year old toddler would be a mystery to them.  Reciting the alphabet would be an impossibly complex task.  

    The ability to return their abilities would rest solely with the daddy.  As soon as the trigger was given they would totally forget the trigger itself and more importantly the counter-trigger.  They would have no control over their own fate.  

    They would still remember who they were, or more accurately, who they had once been.  They’d know the hypnosis had taken that all away, but they wouldn’t know how to reverse it. Only daddy would have that incredible power.  

    And so, weeks later, they found themselves here, ready for their first session.  Excuses had been given as to why they’d be absent all weekend, the house was ready for a big toddler who really couldn’t be trusted not to play with a knife or lighter, or drink bleach from under the sink.  Child locks, gates, a massive playpen, it was all in place.  

    Sam walked into the living room, looking both very nervous and incredibly excited.  Kevin had told him he wanted his partner, his baby boy, to go first.  That was natural as Sam was always the more eager of the two to play the baby. That’s not to say Kevin didn’t enjoy it of course. Kevin definitely loved being cared for as a toddler, but he was also more comfortable in the daddy role than Sam ever could be.  

    Sam was already dressed in his favourite role-play outfit of jean shortalls over a striped blue and white t-shirt.  He also wore Thomas the Tank engine themed socks. He’d put a pair of velcro sneakers by the back door in case they were to play outside.  

    “I’m all dressed Daddy,” Sam announced, spinning around, holding his favourite teddy bear, Benny, under his arm.  

    “I see that buddy, you’re going to make an adorable toddler,” Kevin replied.  

    In truth Kevin was never as keen on the outfits Sam adored. Kevin preferred seeing his partner in much less clothing, but this was what Sam liked most.  

    “So… um, are we going to do it?” Sam asked, looking more nervous now.

    Kevin smiled warmly at him, though his own heart was pounding in his chest as well.  This was going to be a very important day, a massive change in their lives, forever.  

    “Yep, but only if you’re ready Sammy,” Kevin assured him.

    Sam looked uncertain for a moment. Kevin worried he might back out after all.  It was a massive step to take, giving up all control, giving up everything that made him adult, made him capable of living independently.  

    Sam chewed on his lip a moment, seeming to really mull it over.  

    “You’re gonna take good care of me…” he half asked, half stated.  

    Kevin quickly nodded, putting a hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Of course I will buddy. I promise we’ll make you very happy. You’re going to be my sweet little baby boy. Daddy will take very good care of you.”  

    Sam nodded, looking truly grateful.  “Okay then. Go ahead,” he said.

    Kevin felt like doing a little dance at hearing the permission being given.  He didn’t wait, he’d done more than enough of that.  He kept his hand on Sam’s shoulder as instructed. He looked his partner right in the eye and said, “Empty head time Sammy.”  

    They had practised going under using triggers, performing programmed tasks using unknown triggers so many times. It had become natural, it had become totally unconscious. As soon as he heard the trigger, Sammy had to respond to it.  

    Kevin watched his partner carefully, so intrigued by the process, so amazed that it could really work.  The hypnotist had told them it would feel like their adult mind was simply going to sleep, drifting off in the comfiest of beds, leaving only their tiny, simple, very limited toddler brain in its place.  He said that it would feel intensely pleasant. That it would actually be very freeing as they would also lose all their self-control, all their worries and fears and inhibitions all at once.  He actually warned them that it was quite likely that despite their mental regression they might well become highly sexually aroused by the process.  

    Sammy responded to Kevin’s words instantly. His mouth dropped open and his shoulders sagged.  All the tension in his body seemed to be released.  His eyes went glassy too. Kevin was really interested by that, by how distant and vacant they went, so quickly.  Sammy really did look like he was experiencing something very, very pleasurable. Kevin glanced down and sure enough he could actually see the bulge in the front of Sammy’s shortalls tenting out. The rest of his body was relaxing but his penis was growing fully erect.  

    “Does it feel good Sammy? Is it nice getting all little for Daddy?” Kevin cooed to him.  

    Sammy let out a little giggle, then he nodded. A smile spread across his face, a very dumb looking grin.  Kevin watched as Sammy began to sort of squirm, like an excited toddler, like he really was just two years old.  

    “Did it work buddy?” Kevin asked him.  

    Sammy chewed on his lip again, his eyes just so glazed over, so wide and empty.  He brought his right hand to his lips, slipping two fingers into his mouth and sucking at them.  In all their role-plays Kevin had never seen Sammy do such a thing.  He blinked his eyes, sucking at his fingers, a little trickly of drool now beginning to run down his chin.  

    “Thammy widdle,” he answered at last, mumbled around the fingers.  

    Kevin beamed at his partner.  “That’s lovely!” he gushed.  “C’mere sweetie, give Daddy a big cuddle,” he urged, pulling the man in for a big hug.  

    Sammy reciprocated, removing his fingers to hug Kevin back with both arms.  It was different from before. Sammy just felt heavier, looser in Kevin’s arms. He squeezed back tighter too, like he really needed this hug, absolutely craved the physical affection.

    After a long cuddle he broke the connection. But he could see Sammy wanted more.  The poor boy held out his arms towards Kevin and made an odd grunting noise, like he was so excited he’d simply forgotten to use words.  

    “Use your words sweetie,” Kevin reminded him.

    “Cudd-le!” he urged, pronouncing each syllable separately.  

    Kevin understood, but he needed to test something. He needed to know for sure that Sammy was truly at toddler level.  

    “Okay Sammy. I’ll give you a really big cuddle if you can do one really simple thing for me buddy. All you have to do is tell daddy one thing and you’ll get lots of cuddles and tickles too!” Kevin told him in a bright, happy voice.

    Sammy beamed and suddenly clapped his hands together.

    “Okay, you ready buddy?” he asked the grown man in shortalls, wearing a huge dumb grin and clapping his hands.  

    Sammy nodded his head. “Weady Daddy!” he urged.  

    “Okay. What is two plus two?”  

    Sammy blinked. Obviously this was a simple question. He clearly knew that, and yet Kevin could see he was seriously struggling to give him an answer. He gaped with a slack jaw, eyes still unfocused, unable to use his smarts.  After a moment he looked down at his hands, like the answer might lie there. Somewhere deep in his head he must know the rudimentary method of using fingers to count. He stared hard at them, he wiggled them, but the mouth remained agape, the eyes stayed glassy, no answer was coming.  

    “You don’t know Sammy?” Kevin prompted kindly.  

    Sammy looked back up at him, sadness now etched on his face.  “Dun memba Dad-dee,” he admitted.  

    “You’ve forgotten how to add numbers Sammy?” he asked.

    Sammy nodded again. “Da hympo… da… da man tooked,” he tried to explain.

    Kevin felt so hard in his pants watching Sammy stumble over the word, watching him try so hard to pronounce it, but utterly failing and then giving up, unable to access 95% of his vocabulary now, reduced to a few hundred words at most and unable to form those into a proper sentence.  

    “Well let me give you an easier question then. That sound okay? A simpler question because you’re such a little boy now.”  

    Sammy nodded eagerly, not concerned with the insult, not aware of it.  

    “Just tell Daddy how many toes you have and I’ll give you the biggest cuddle of all.”  

    Sammy looked eager and excited for a moment. He looked sure he knew this one, that it was laughably simple.  And then the smile faded, the look of utter confusion returned. Sammy didn’t know the answer to this question either. Again he looked at his hands for a moment. Had he worked out that he had the same number of fingers as he had toes? No, his fingers went to his mouth again and he stared down at his socked feet, wide eyed and confused.  

    “Maybe it would be easier in bare feeties,” Kevin suggested. “Should we take your sockies off?”

    Sammy liked that idea.  He smiled around his fingers and agreed, “Off!”  

    “Okay buddy, sit down on the floor for me and Daddy will help.”  

    Sammy sat down right away, plopping heavily onto his bottom.  Kevin slipped the man’s socks off one at a time, throwing them away. Sammy wouldn’t be needing those anymore, he wouldn’t be wearing socks again for quite some time.  

    Sammy stared at his bare feet. He wiggled his toes, he grabbed one of his feet and pulled it close and examined it.  He could see them now, he could actually count them.  

    “So Sammy, how many toes are there on your feeties?” Kevin asked again.

    Sammy frowned, still holding his right foot in his hands.  

    “Dun memba,” he answered again.  

    He couldn’t even count to ten.  The hypnotist had been worth every cent. He’d been worth a rather exorbitant fee actually.  Sammy had the mentality of a two year old, the intellect and abilities of a small toddler trapped in a grown man’s body.  Now there was just one more thing to check.  

    “That’s okay buddy. You just forgot because Daddy gave you your special hypnotic trigger, to make you a little toddler. If you just remembered your adult things, you could tell me how many toes you have, couldn’t you?”  

    Now Sammy smiled again, nodding. “Uh-huh! Gwown-upth memba!” he announced.  

    “So, why don’t you just grow up for me then, just remember your adult smarts and then we can have lots and lots of cuddles!” Kevin urged him.

    For a moment Sammy shared that excitement. Kevin could see the anticipation. Sammy knew he was going to remember his adult smarts and then have cuddles. But the excitement lasted little more than a moment. Then came the confusion again and finally a return of the frown.  

    “What’s the matter Sammy?” Kevin asked innocently.

    “Can’ memba gwown-up stuff,” the man told him, crossing his arms in anger.  

    “You can’t remember how to be a grown-up?”

    He shook his head.  

    “Wasn’t there a special phrase, a magic word to remember?” he prompted.   

    Again Sammy lit up, like a eureka moment.  And again it faded.  He couldn’t remember the trigger phrase. He knew it existed, that he had known it. But it was gone now.  And now Kevin was certain that it had worked as advertised. Sammy was totally dependent on him, totally at his mercy.  And now it was time to show his hand, so to speak.  

    “Oh dear, Sammy, I don’t know your special phrase either.  So I’m afraid you’re going to be stuck like this now, just a little toddler boy,” he exclaimed.

    Sammy looked shocked and confused more than ever. But Kevin quickly swept forward and pulled the sitting young man into a cuddle, giving him the promised snuggle he so desired.  

    “But that’s okay Sammy because you’ve always wanted to be my little toddler haven’t you buddy?” he asked.

    And Sammy nodded his head against Kevin’s shoulder. “Uh-huh. Wanna be widdle,” he agreed.

    “And now you get to be my little boy forever and ever, isn’t that just wonderful? All free to be a silly, giggly, playful little tyke!” he said in a happy tone.  

    Sammy was so easy to manipulate now. Kevin was telling him he was being forever reduced to mental toddlerhood, to total dependance and he actually smiled at this news. He smiled and nodded and giggled.  “Thammy be widdle,” he echoed in a cheerful tone himself.  

    Kevin nodded, letting Sammy out of the cuddle and saying, “That’s right sweetie and I’m going to take really good care of you.”  

    Sammy nodded, pulling at his right foot again.  

    “Dad-dee hewp Thammy,” he said, before pulling his foot sharply upward and slipping three toes into his mouth, sucking at them.  

    Kevin’s mouth actually fell open in shock. Any doubts he’d had about this process were erased.  Sammy was a man who always wore shoes and refused to take part in any of the foot play Kevin was interested in.  But after one of his individual sessions the hypnotist had asked him about his interest in feet, about whether he wanted any special suggestions for Sammy for when they played.  And he had been honest of course. The hypnotist never said what suggestions he would give Sammy, but this, this confirmed for Kevin that whatever he did was working.  

    Kevin patted his little boy’s back.  “Are you a silly toe muncher Sammy?” he cooed in the brightest of tones, giving him lots of positive reinforcement for this new behaviour.  

    Sammy smiled around his toes, still sucking on them, drooling down the sole of his foot.  “Yeth!” he answered happily.  

    Kevin thought about the other questions the hypnotist had asked him. And he had a new thought.  

    “Sammy now that you’re little, you understand Daddy is in charge, don’t you honey?”

    The man nodded, the sounds of his suckling on his tootsies continuing.  

    “Okay, well honey I don’t want you getting your nice outfit all dirty while you play, so I want you to stand up so Daddy can get you undressed,” he directed.

    Sammy let his toes go at last, standing up and lifting his arms right into the air in anticipation.  Kevin stood up to, amazed as Sammy just stood there, no sign of concern, no questions as he undid the buttons on his shortalls and let them drop to his ankles to reveal his Cars themed underoos.  Not a peep as he helped him step out of them one leg at a time, then lifted the t-shirt up and off his head.  All that was left was the underoos now and Sammy’s erection was more evident than ever. They were so stretched, so tented out it would be obvious from a football field away that this man was highly aroused.  

    Kevin patted Sammy’s now bare shoulder. “And I think we should take those undies off too so you can be extra comfy, okay sweetie?” he cooed, his heart pounding as he waited for Sammy to object, to tell him there was no way he was going to just walk around buck naked.  After all he was always a modest guy, hated being seen naked by anyone, even his partner.  

    But Sammy just nodded and said, “Otay Dad-dee.”  

    Kevin’s hands were shaking as he slipped his fingers into the elastic waist and pulled the underoos down. As soon as Sammy’s erect penis slipped clear they fell easily to the man’s feet and he instantly kicked them away.  Kevin looked at his buddy’s penis, just standing there, achingly erect, pre-cum just dribbling down the shaft.  He was all smooth too, shaved nice and clean as part of his preparations.  He looked so innocent and little and yet so big all at once.  

    But what an erection he had.  It twitched, jerked with obvious arousal.  Kevin looked back up at Sammy, sucking his two fingers again with such innocence, now totally naked. He made no attempt to cover his arousal, no sign he found this exposure in the slightest way embarrassing or unusual.  He looked so free and happy. It really made Kevin feel a bit jealous. Sammy was getting what he’d always fantasised about and was quite a sight to behold.  

    He put his hand on Sammy’s back, but then let it drift downwards, let it rest on his boy’s bared bottom, caressing it softly.  

    “Look at you Sammy, you’re my little nakey jaybird boy,” he said.  

    Sammy giggled. “Me awll nakey,” he agreed, no hint of concern in his voice.

    “And your pee-pee is all happy. Look at the big doodle you silly boy,” Kevin went on.

    Sammy looked down at his erect penis. He took his free hand and poked at it. The stiffy swung back and forth, bouncing off his tummy, leaving a little smear of the pre-cum there.  He giggled at this play, at the nice sensations he must be feeling.  

    “Do you like being this way Sammy? Being all nakey? Is it more comfy that your clothes?” Kevin asked.

    Sammy seemed to consider this, wiggling his toes in the carpet, poking at his doodle twice more. Then he let his fingers pop free. “Yeth!” he answered clearly. “Thammy wike nakey.”  

    Kevin chuckled.  “Okay then. From now on Sammy, whenever you’re at home we’re going to take off all your clothes, even your underoos and you can just be all nakey for Daddy. Is that okay with you? Do you want to be my little nudist?”  

    Sammy grinned and nodded instantly. “Thammy nakey!” he repeated, hopping up and down.  

    Kevin watched, transfixed, as the man’s penis just bobbed about with each little jump.  

    “Okay, that’s perfect honey. But when we go outside you have to wear clothes, okay?”

    Sammy nodded dutifully.  

    “Good. But one thing I don’t think you need, even for outside, is shoes. Now that you’re all little it would be best if you just stay barefoot. It’s better for playing,” he explained.

    Sammy nodded, not a single complaint from the man who once wore his socks to bed on a regular basis.  

    Kevin wondered if he should help Sammy with his stiffy right there and then, or should he wait.

    The doorbell ringing gave him his answer.  He smiled and cooed, “Who could that be? Should we go find out Sammy?”  

    Sammy nodded eagerly and reached his hand right out, simply expecting to be led by his Daddy.  They headed to the door and Kevin just looked at Sammy standing there completely nude and perfectly happy for Daddy to open the front door and expose him to whoever it might be on the other side. He really was oblivious to modesty or privacy now.  

    Kevin opened the door and smiled at Jack, his other special friend.  

    “Hey there, I hope I’m not too early…” Jack began, but then trailed off as soon as he registered what he was seeing.  He looked at Sammy standing there naked, his eyes glancing down and lingering on the man’s erection, before he continued.  “Well, I guess it worked then.”  

    Kevin laughed. “Yeah, as you can see Sammy here has turned out to be quite the little nudist. We decided it was best for him to be nakey at home, to be comfy.”  

    “Just at home?” Jack asked.  

    Kevin was a little surprised by that question.

    “Well, it would probably be an issue anywhere else,” he pointed out.

    Jack shook his head. “People are less concerned about a clearly special boy going around naked. Not in the middle of town of course, but at the beach, out for a nature walk. It’s possible…”

    “Wow, you really want to have him showing off his bouncy pee-pee for strangers, don’t you?” Kevin chuckled.

    Jack shrugged. “Guilty as charged. It’s what I like.”  

    Kevin laughed too. “Well, we’ll see what we can do. I mean obviously Sammy won’t be the one making any complaints. We could walk him through the mall in his birthday suit and he’d just giggle and skip his way around it.”  

    As if to prove the point Sammy gripped his own penis at that point and told Jack, “Gotta big doodle!”  

    Both adults burst out laughing and Sammy just giggled along with them, oblivious to what was so funny.  

    “Did he go easily?” Jack asked, stepping inside and closing the door.  

    “Very much so.  The hypnotist said it would be fast and it really was. And he really enjoyed it too, I could tell. He got so relaxed and his grew that huge stiffy right away.”

    “And it’s complete?”

    “What do you think?” Kevin pointed out, gesturing to Sammy as he now had dropped to his hands and knees on the kitchen floor, mooning them with his big bare bottom as he pushed a toy train around the floor, his penis swiveling about under his tummy.  

    “He looks pretty gone,” Jack agreed.

    “It’s more than complete. He was sucking his own toes not a minute after I gave him the trigger!”  

    Jack’s eyebrows arched. “Wow, that’s pretty far gone.”  

    Kevin nodded.  “Yeah, it’s not going to be any issue enrolling him at the special school. They’ll take one look at him and know he belongs with the other profoundly intellectually impaired men and women there.  One thing though, do you think they’ll be okay with him attending barefoot? I kind of told him we were throwing his shoes out for good.”  

    Jack shook his head and chuckled. “I had a feeling you’d do that. But yeah, that will definitely be fine. I’ve already been over to do the pre-enrolment interview, gave them basic info and they showed me around a bit. There was at least three or four students who were walking around barefoot and I didn’t see any shoes abandoned under desks or anything so they must have arrived that way.”  

    “Well they’re all basically big toddlers so it’s got to be normal.”  

    Kevin was so happy Jack was really on top of these things. They’d been having a secret relationship for the last three months. Jack was a daddy, not a switch like him. And now they’d get to be a couple, a pair of daddies raising a poor mentally challenged boy.  He’d go to the special school while they worked. They’d be able to baby him all the rest of the time.  

    Kevin watched as Jack knelt down on the kitchen floor next to Sammy. Of course they’d never met before  but Sammy didn’t seem to mind Jack being here now. His mind was too far gone to understand the implications.  

    “Hey there buddy,” Jack said to the naked man, rubbing his bare bottom.  “I’m Daddy Jack and I’m here to help take care of you sweetie. I heard you forgot all your big boy thoughts, all your smarts so you need a big grown-up man to look after you.”  

    Sammy paused his playing, looking at Jack with wonder in his glassy eyes.  

    “Da man tooked da big things. Dey goes bye-byes,” Sammy explained, pointing to his head.  

    Jack nodded. “I see that. It looks like all those smarts went right down to your pee-pee, made your head all empty but your doodle all big.”

    Sammy giggled and wiggled his hips to make his penis swing back and forth again.  

    “I think we better empty that big doodle out, make it softer and easier for you to play.  It feels extra special and nice to empty your doodle you know. Would you like me to help?”  

    Sammy nodded, still gazing at Jack with awe.  

    Jack reached under Sammy’s tummy and gripped his stiffy.  

    “There, does that feel nice already?” he asked.

    Sammy nodded.

    “Of course it does. Now be a good boy and let Daddy make you feel so good,” he cooed.

    And Sammy moaned and grunted, staying still on his hands and knees as directed, letting Jack stroke him to climax bit by bit.  

    Kevin watched this and felt a little upset that he wasn’t the one getting to jack off Sammy. But this was only his first erection of course. There would be many more for him to help with.  They’d probably need to milk the boy once a day.  

    Jack glanced back at him and smiled. “Feeling jealous huh?” he asked.

    “No, it’s okay, you help him.”  

    “No, I meant you’re feeling awful jealous of Sammy, aren’t you?” Jack clarified.

    Kevin got a confused look.

    “What? No, I mean…. Of course not.”  

    “Don’t lie Kevin, you have to be feeling jealous. I know how much you want to be the little one too. And now Sammy’s living your fantasy. He’s a total nudist now, making his stickies on the kitchen floor with Daddy’s help. He’ll be going to the special school tomorrow, just another special boy, a dumb-dumb.  

    “You want to join him, don’t you Kev? You want to be right down here on the floor next to him, your bare bottom in the air, not a coherent, intelligent thought left in your dumbed down little brain. You want everyone to see just how far you’ve fallen too, don’t you?” Jack went on.

    Kevin knew a lot of what he said was technically true of course. But it was also all fantasy, things he knew couldn’t be done in real life.  

    “Nah man, that’s not what I want,” he insisted.  “I’m a daddy, like you…”

    Jack shook his head. “You may think that, but it ain’t true man.  I know just what you want, and I’m going to help you buddy, I’m going to give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of.  I already have a story ready, about your head injury, about the severe permanent brain damage that’s left you so totally, so profoundly intellectually impaired.  

    “I’ll walk you around to see your friends, to go to your workplace, on a leash, for your own safety. You’ll be barefoot of course, your soles permanently stained black and thickly callused so not even a piece of glass would give you pause.  You’ll stand there picking your nose, sucking your fingers, playing with your junk while I talk to your mates, your colleagues about how totally dependent you are now, about how hard it is to keep any clothes on you at all, what a total exhibitionist you’ve become.

    “And don’t worry because that won’t just be for talk. You’ll get to regularly “escape” your clothes at the park or the beach or while going for a hike. You’ll run around buck naked for a good long bit, showing everyone your bouncy weenie and then Daddy will catch you and apologise for my very special boy. And they’ll all understand and know just how empty your head must be to run around like that.”  

    He kept stroking Sammy off the whole time as he explained all this to Kevin.  Sammy was oblivious, throwing his head back and moaning.  

    “I’m sorry buddy,” Jack suddenly said, slowing the strokes. “This isn’t fair at all, having to watch Sammy have your dream while you’re left out. You should be doing your stickies on the floor together, side by side like good toddler brothers. Let’s make your dream come true, right now.”

    Kevin stepped back and shook his head. As much as the described images aroused him, they also terrified him. He had a life after all, poker once a week, long drives in the countryside.  He had a car, a job, a home. He couldn’t just give that all up to have a life that would be the same every single day.  

    “Jack, stop this right now. This won’t work on me.” he urged.

    “Honey, you went through the same exact therapy as Sammy did. Are you saying you faked it? Or did you really go under for the nice hypnotist, learned to obey his suggestions without conscious thought, let him implant all the necessary suggestions?”

    Kevin stammered, “Well I… um…” But he knew it was true. He’d really gone under, he’d gone under so many times. He had to, to convince Sam.  

    “And you told him just what you wanted didn’t you? You said Sammy was sucking his toes within minutes. You think you’ll be the same? You going to munch those little tootsies?”  

    Kevin considered simply running for the door. But then what? How could he explain the situation without incriminating himself as well. He was the one who dealt with the hypnotist after all. And if he gave Sammy the counter-trigger would he remember all of this and then be very angry? Of course he would. But right now he wasn’t angry, he was happily back to playing with his toy train, spinning its wheels and giggling.  

    Jack stepped closer, reached out and placed his hand on Kevin’s arm. “That’s right, you want this so much, I can tell.”  

    Kevin shook his head. “Jack, don’t do this. We can…”

    “Empty head time for Kevin,” Jack said, cutting him off.

    There was no conscious decision to be made. Kevin followed the instructions drilled into his brain instantly and completely. He did it without thought, without pause. He let the suggestions take over. It was time for his big boy brain to turn off, not for a little bit but forever. And it was just as pleasant and comforting a sensation as he’d hoped when he gave Sammy his trigger.  He’d never expected to feel it himself though. But now he was, he was actually experiencing the full sensation of complete mental regression, total loss of adult independence.

    His head just went fuzzy, his thoughts simply slipped away. He felt his words, his numbers, his abilities just drift off, just lifting from his head like weight being taken away. It felt like an amazing release, so total, so complete.  Jack’s name slipped away too. He became Daddy, nothing but Daddy.

    And then there was only the simplest of thoughts in his head, so small and incomplete. He couldn’t put thoughts together, couldn’t think of the words. And he needed Daddy, he needed him so much. The hypnotist did this, he understood that, but not how. And there was a way to undo it, special words. But all the words were gone. Only he had known them and now he didn’t anymore.  

    “There we go, isn’t that nice, isn’t that lovely?” Daddy asked.

    Kevin smiled. He did feel nice. He felt really, really nice. Daddy took the big thoughts away. He was all little. He was little Kev. He was Daddy’s good, silly, giggly boy. He knew these things with absolute clarity.  

    “Yes, let’s get you down to play with your brother. But first we better get you nakey too. Little boys should always run around nakey, shouldn’t they?”  

    Nakey. Yes, Kev wanted to be nakey very badly. Kev was a nakey jaybird. That was written in stone in his mind too.  Daddy helped him get the big boy clothes off. Icky clothes. His pee-pee bounced when it came free of the undies. Happy pee-pee! Big bouncy doodle!  He got down on his hands and knees to play with brother, play with the tee-tee-train.  It was bright and shiny and fun.  Then Daddy helped him with his big doodle, helped to empty it out. That felt so, soooo good. Daddy rubbed, Daddy stroked his pee-pee until he made squirts, all over the floor. Big white stickies.  Brother made them too. Daddy cleaned up. That’s Daddy’s job. Boys make messes and Daddy cleans them. It’s much better to be a little boy than a Daddy.

    **

    Jack kept a tight grip on the reins as they walked through the mall.  The two young men ambling along in front of him couldn’t be trusted to stay close. If something caught their eye they were both libel to dash off to get a closer look.  At first glance they might just have been two strapping young men fresh from the beach.  They were both shirtless, walking along in bare feet as well.  But they weren’t wet or sandy, they didn’t have board shorts on and in any case there weren’t really any beaches that close to this mall.  

    Both young men wore just a pair of shorts.  Sammy’s bright orange shorts were cuffed at his knees while Kevin had cut-off jean shorts.  As they walked ahead of him Jack couldn’t help but smile at the soles of their feet.  They were dark brown, bordering on black. They had grown callused over the last couple months and now those soles were as tough as the soles of Jack’s shoes. They could walk on shards of glass and not get cut, which was good because they paid zero attention to where they were walking.  Not only that but he’d recently noticed both men’s toes had become wider, more spread out. Their bodies were slowly adapting to their new lifestyle.  

    Though in other ways he had helped it along.  Their bodies were smooth, tanned and totally hairless except for their heads. Neither man needed to shave at all, having complete baby faces thanks to treatments he’d had done on them.  He particularly loved looking at their smooth, hairless balls and penises bouncing around when they were nude, which was very often.  

    Between their clothing, or lack thereof, the dirty feet, the smooth bodies and baby faces and of course the blue harnesses strapped around their waists, the leashes attaching them to Jack’s hand, they looked like an oversized pair of toddlers in pretty much every way.  Other shoppers would glance in their direction, eyes widen, then quickly look away. They either felt pity or revulsion at the sight of these toddler men.  But it wasn’t just their clothing, their bodies which made their status clear, it was their behaviour as well.  

    That was what Jack felt most proud of, what he enjoyed above all else. Months had passed since the two men let the hypnotic suggestions programmed into them overwhelm their adult minds and cripple them, leaving them as helpless and dependent on him as any two year old.  And in all that time there had been no flicker of re-emerging adulthood, independence, critical thought. He had missed Sammy’s regression, but he’d got to watch it happen to Kevin. He’d watched the smart, independent man’s eyes glaze over, his body relax as his mannerisms and vocabulary regressed to toddler level.  

    Since then Kevin and Sammy had been his baby boys. He dressed them or undressed them as he pleased without a single complaint. He jerked them off on a daily basis.  They cuddled close with him, moaning and cooing as he stroked their stiff cocks, as he milked their happy doodles and then cleaned off the resulting mess.  There was no flicker of anger, of modesty or shame in either of them.

    As they passed a small toy store it was Kevin who sharply deviated course, strong arms outstretched as if he could grab the toys at will.  Jack stopped him with a sharp tug on the leash.  The six foot tall man twisted around to look at Jack. His mouth was agape as always, his whole face just sort of slack looking, his eyes totally glazed over, vacant of comprehension.  It was instantly obvious to anyone who looked at him that Kevin was profoundly retarded. It was amazing to Jack that this man had once been educated and thoughtful. It was sometimes hard to remember what his expression has looked like before he heard his trigger phrase and let all those smarts just drift away out of his ears.  

    “Dem toyth da-dee!” the special boy announced.  

    Jack smiled and nodded. “Yes Kevvy, but we need to keep moving now. If you’re a good boy we might come back later.”

    The man pouted and begged, “Bu’ Kebby wanna see! Dazza tee-tee-tain!”

    “You already have lots of trains buddy. Now, behave yourself or there won’t be any Thomas the Tank Engine tonight for you,” Jack warned him.

    Kevin looked devastated. Such a simple threat had him terrified and angry at once. But he didn’t use his adult strength, he didn’t reason or argue like even a primary school boy could. He had the ability to do that, somewhere deep in his head. But he couldn’t access it, couldn’t use it at all. The hypnotist had locked it all away and he’d allowed the man to do it. He’d never expected it to be triggered on him of course. But when it was triggered, the amazing thing was it worked just as fully, just as quickly and completely as it had for Sammy, who had wanted it.  

    “Kebby good boy Da-dee!” he insisted, stamping his bare foot on the floor and crossing his arms over his bare chest as tears welled up in his eyes.  

    Jack stepped over to him and pulled him into a hug, right there in the middle of the mall.  “Shh, shh, it’s okay Kevvy, Daddy knows you’re a good boy.” he assured, feeling the man’s smooth bare skin under his arms.  

    Kevin nodded into Jack’s shoulder. “Uh-huh! Kebby good,” he agreed.  

    “That’s right, and you’re going to be a good boy and walk with your brother and show everyone how well behaved you are, make Daddy very proud,” Jack whispered.

    Kevin nodded again.

    “And if you are good we can go for a nakey walk later, okay?”

    He released the man from the cuddle and saw the tears were drying up and Kevin was now smiling, excited by that idea.  

    “Imma go nakey,” he told Jack, clearly delighted.  

    Jack just nodded and said, “Now walk with your brother.”  

    **

    An hour later, their shopping done, Jack and his man-boys were at the park.  A few couples were enjoying a picnic. Some kids played on the playground at one end but Jack wasn’t worried about them as he undid the boys’ harnesses, letting them off their leash, literally.  Kevin and Sammy grinned ear to ear as he undid the buttons, unzipped them and then yanked their shorts and underoos down at once.  Both men had soft, smooth penises today. They wouldn’t need stickies until later in the evening.  

    It was Kevin’s idea to make Sammy into a total barefoot boy, to throw out his shoes and get him tough, dirty soles.  Jack agreed because he liked the idea too after having Kevin explain it to him.  But it was Jack’s insistence Sammy also be given suggestions to make him a complete nudist, to have no modesty of course, but also to enjoy stripping down. The combination would of course lead to public nudity.  But that was Jack’s kink, not Kevin’s. But he’d got the same suggestions as Sammy of course, he’d got the barefoot ones he liked, but he’d also got the nudist treatment.  And it had worked on him just as perfectly as the others.  

    Jack patted Kevin’s bare bottom, then gave his penis a gentle tickle.  Kevin giggled and announced, “Daz tickwy!”  

    “Haha, I know sweetie. Okay, ready to go play?”

    Kevin nodded right away.  “Kebby jaybiwd!” he confirmed.  

    “You sure are. Now, off you go!”  

    And just like that Sammy and Kevin went sprinting off, free of their harnesses, free of their clothes and free of any awareness.  The two completely naked young men giggled and shouted nonsense as they raced all over the sunny park, wrestling in the grass when one caught the other, a tangle of bare flesh, soft penises knocking against each other at times.  Other park patrons frowned and looked away. They didn’t like what they were seeing one bit, but they could also clearly tell this wasn’t some gay couple. It was instantly clear these men were mentally challenged and so no one said a word to them.  Jack just sat back and watched the show.  

    The Therapist

    A particularly dark tale of revenge and difficult choices. (mainly male but some female mental AR in this one)

    The room was brightly coloured, the furniture soft and inviting.  Toys overflowed from a chest in the corner, a doll and Mr Potato Head left out from earlier.  It was an office designed to put my clients at ease.  There was no desk between us and no stereotypical couch for them to lie down on. I wasn’t that kind of therapist, some psychoanalyst in the mould of Freud.  I sat on a chair facing my clients, or right next to them.  I wanted them to feel safe here, to feel comfortable with me.  But the woman sitting in front of me didn’t look comforted by the room at all.  

    She was probably mid-twenties, it was in the file somewhere, but I was focused on her, not some paperwork.  Sat cross-legged on the wide pale yellow seat she clearly showed the mannerisms of a small girl rather than a grown woman. She fidgeted, played with strands of her long blonde hair, currently in quite childish looking pig-tails.  She didn’t want to make eye-contact with me, clearly didn’t want to engage at all.  While her haircut was appropriate for a little girl, the rest of her attire was not. Her short-sleeved shirt was just plain red and her short jean shorts didn’t suggest any age. She also wore sandals that could have belonged to her before she had the virus.  

    “Mary, can you tell me why you have such a frowny face?” I asked her gently.  

    She scowled deeper. Possibly she hated the condescending tone I used, the way I always spoke to patients with such young mental ages.  Mary had the mentality of a three year old now. But, like many virus victims, the reduction in mental abilities had not fully reduced her behaviour and expectations as well.  That was why therapy was very common for the regressed patients, to help them adjust to their new lives, to be happy as small children again.  

    Mary pulled her knees up to her chest and buried her face in them, hiding from me.  

    “Are you angry with me? Or with your Daddy for bringing you here?” I pressed on.

    She looked up, finally giving me eye-contact. But she looked very upset.  

    “Not my daddy!” she snapped.

    “You mean Robert?”

    A sharp nod. “Wobert my boy-fwiend. He’s not Daddy!”

    “Well, he’s not your birth father, no. But, he takes care of you doesn’t he? Makes sure you’re well fed and warm and safe?”  

    She shrugged.  “Kinda…”

    “I think you look pretty healthy. Do you think you can still take care of yourself? Can you cook yourself dinner, use the stove, drive the car to the store for food?”

    Mary frowned again, but she shook her head in agreement.  “Too widdle,” she admitted.  

    “So Robert takes care of you, like a Daddy.”

    “Not Daddy,” she muttered more quietly.  

    I looked back at the notes I’d made from my interview with Robert.  He was very worried about Mary. He loved her, but she still wanted to be treated like a grown-up. That was very common among the newly regressed.  She insisted on wearing adult clothes. She had major issues with being left at the daycare centre he enrolled her at because she had modesty issues.  She wouldn’t use a potty seat with anyone else around, threw a massive tantrum when they tried to take her shirt off so she wouldn’t make it a mess during finger painting.  She also couldn’t make friends, wouldn’t accept other little girls on her mental level.  She wouldn’t accept Robert as her Daddy.  

    “Do you like daycare?” I asked her, changing tack.

    “No!” she snapped.  

    “Why not?” I asked, feigning innocence.

    “Dey tweat me wike a dumb widdle baby!”  

    “Well that doesn’t sound good,” I agreed, much to her surprise.  “How do they do that?”  

    “Wan’ me to do tinkles ‘nd poos in a baby potty!”  

    “Wow, and they don’t make the other kids do that?” I asked.

    She hesitated, then said, “Yeah. But they dumb babies! Dey wike bein’ nakey and doin’ tinkles in the potty!”  

    “They like that?”

    She nodded emphatically.

    “Boy, sounds like they’re pretty lucky then,” I commented.

    Now Mary looked shocked. “Lucky?” she asked.

    “Yeah, sounds like they’re happy being little. Too bad you’re so unhappy. It must be hard, not having any friends to play with,” I suggested.

    I could tell I’d hit a nerve.  

    “Dun wan dumb-dumb fwiends,” she huffed.  

    “But Daddy wants you to have friends. He wants you to be happy, like the others,” I urged her.

    “Daddy… Wobert, wants a stupid pwincess.  He wants me to dwess all widdle,” Mary explained.

    “I think he just wants you to fit in, so you can play with the other girls.  Do you really think Daddy wants to hurt you?” I asked earnestly.  

    Mary bit her lip for a moment, then shook her head.

    “So why don’t you try it his way for a bit?”

    “Dun wanna look dumb. Lookit me. I big. I gwown-up,” she insisted, lifting her arms high in the air as if to show off her physical size.  

    “Well I don’t see a grown-up honey. I’m sorry, but I see a little girl playing dress-up. Daddy doesn’t want you to have to pretend, that’s all.”  

    Mary didn’t like this at all of course. She didn’t like me calling Robert her Daddy, didn’t like being told she looked like a little girl.  

    “Why don’t you let me try something that I think will really help you be happy.  Would you be willing to try to be happy?” I asked her.  

    “How?” she asked, looking unsure.

    “It’s just a little relaxation exercise,” I told her. She blinked and I could see the confusion on her face. I’d used words that were too big for her, words she’d lost along with so much of her vocabulary with her intellectual regression.  She wanted desperately to be treated like a grown-up, but her mind just wasn’t up to it anymore.  

    “Just a little game to help you feel happier,” I explained more simply. “Will you play for me?”

    Mary was obviously excited by the idea of a game. While she desperately wanted to act like an adult, her mind really was that of a small child and she couldn’t hide her excitement at playing a game.  

    “Okay,” she finally said.  

    “Good girl!” I praised.  “Now I need to sit up straight, put your feet flat on the floor,” I directed.  

    She did as she was told, already following my directions to the letter.

    “Okay, now hold your arms out in front of you, palms of your hands facing in.  And I want you to imagine there are magnets in your hands and they’re being pulled closer and closer together. Really feel them pulling together, very slowly, but so powerfully.  The harder you try to keep your hands apart, the stronger the magnets become, the more they are pulled together. Go ahead and try to keep them apart, but feel that they’re just being pulled more and more.”

    I watched her begin to really focus on her hands, really watching them as the indeed moved slowly closer together.  

    “Good girl. Feel those hands pulling closer. And now I’m going to tell you something very important. Your imagination is so good, so strong, it’s done something magical. The magnets aren’t just imaginary anymore. They’re real. You can’t stop your hands. And when they touch, when they come together, something even more magical will happen. You’ll drop into the most relaxing, most peaceful state of rest.  You won’t be able to help it at all.  It will just be instant, unstoppable.”  

    Mary’s eyes widened, but she said nothing and she didn’t put her hands down. They kept moving together, even faster now, as she probably tried to resist but gave into the suggestion that this would only increase the power of the magnets.  Her hands were very close to touching when I grabbed them and forced them sharply together. For an instant there was total shock on her face, in her eyes. Then I commanded, “Deep sleep!” and her whole face went slack, her eyelids dropping shut, her shoulders sagging and chin falling limply to her chest.  

    “Good girl, Mary,” I cooed to her. “You’re doing such a good job playing the game, getting so nice and relaxed, so peaceful and open for me.”  

    She murmured softly.  

    “And now we’re going to take you even deeper into this peaceful place, just the most happy and relaxing place you can imagine. Just picture it in your mind now, see yourself there, in that perfect place where you are totally safe and happy.  Can you feel it? Are you there now?”  

    “Yeth,” she whispered after a few seconds.  

    “Good girl.  Doing so well, being such a good girl for me.  Now, I’m going to start counting down from ten, and with each number, we’re going to go deeper into this relaxing, peaceful state…”

    Ten minutes later I had Mary deep in trance, ready to accept my suggestions.  This was the real reason people brought their new little ones to me.  I was a master of hypnosis. The caregivers gave me a list of the behaviours causing problems and I removed them. They also often gave me a list of behaviours they wanted to add in. Sometimes it was cute things like thumb sucking or needing a security blanket or teddy bear to cuddle. More often it was making them accept their carer as a true Mummy or Daddy, wanting cuddles and love from them.  

    “Mary, can you tell me, is there someplace you put things to keep them safe?”  

    The woman whispered, “Yeth.”  Her chin was still resting on her chest, her whole body limp as a wet noodle.  

    “I want you to picture that place for me. See it like you’re there. Describe it to me.”  

    She paused a moment, then said, “Is in my woom.  Is a box. Wobert give it to me, when I was bigger.  I hide it under da bed.”  

    “And you put things in the box so no one can find them, so they’re safe?”

    “Uh-huh.”  

    “Good. Now picture that box sitting open before you, sitting on the floor of your room, nice and safe. It’s totally empty though. It’s empty and we need to fill it up.  We need to put some things in there to help you be happier, help you be a good girl. You want to be happy, don’t you?”  

    “Yeth,” she agreed.  

    “That’s right. But there are things in your mind that are stopping you being a happy girl, they’re things that don’t belong in a little girl’s mind, things that get in the way now.  They’re big girl things.  Even though you like them, they just cause problems, and we need to put them away for now.  But you don’t have to be scared, because they aren’t going to get lost, they’ll be safe, in your special box, in your safe place, to be used later.  You know everything you put in the box will be safe.  Isn’t that right?”  

    “Yeth,” she agreed quietly again.  

    “So, let’s start by putting your Daddy’s grown-up name in the box. Little girls shouldn’t be calling Daddy by their first name after all.  I want you to picture that bit of knowledge, that memory slipping out of your head, tickling its way through your ear. You feel that?”  

    Mary let out a little giggle, like she was really being tickled. Her body twitched, her head bobbing up for a second, then going limp again.  

    “That’s right, so tickly.  And when it comes out of your ear, it looks like a floating, shiny, golden ball of light. And you can see that orb of light float down through the air and into the box in front of you, where it is nice and safe, but it’s no longer in your mind. It can’t get in the way anymore. And now the only name in your head for Daddy, is Daddy. It’s the only name you have for him. And more than that it feels totally natural, because there is no other name for him. Once the pretty ball of light went in the box, you forgot what it was. It’s big girl stuff, but that’s all you know about it. Once it’s in the box, it’s totally forgotten,” I told her.  

    “Now, tell me what’s your Daddy’s name again?” I prompted.

    “Daddy,” she murmured right away.

    “Good girl.  Now, I think another big girl thing that’s getting in the way is feeling like little girl games are silly.  But being silly is lots of fun! Big girls don’t like being silly, that’s the problem.  So now we’re going to take that need to be big, to avoid silly little girl things and we’re going to put it in the box too.  Just feel that need to act grown-up, that feeling of shame at acting silly, just tickle through your ears, see that shining golden orb float into the box, safe but forgotten.

    “Isn’t that a huge relief!  It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You feel so much happier now, so free,” I went on.  

    I saw that Mary did have a slight smile as I told her that.  It was clearly working and she wasn’t resisting the suggestions at all.  

    “So next time you’re at daycare or at the park and you see other little girls playing silly games, what will you do?” I followed up.

    Her smile grew broader.  “Pway da siwwy games,” she answered.  

    “That’s right, because it’s so much fun to be silly, isn’t it?”  

    “Siwwy fun,” she echoed.  

    “Yes, you’re feeling so good now. It’s lovely putting the big girl things in the box, nice and safe and out of the way.  And now we need to put something else in there.  We need to let your modesty, your need for privacy, go into the box.  It’s that awareness of your body being exposed, that feeling you need to cover up.  We need you to feel comfy using the potty seat. After all it’s a silly thing to do, and we know that silly things are so much fun for little girls like you.

    “So now feel all that awareness of how you’re dressed, that sense of modesty, just slip away.  Daddy will decide how you’re dressed, Daddy is smart, Daddy loves you and will dress you all pretty.  And when it’s time to use the potty at daycare, when it’s time to be nakey, there won’t be any shame, any worry at all, it will just feel nice and free and comfy.  

    “Feel that modesty leaving your ears, see the orb floating down, filling the box right up, so it shines like a bright light is inside of it.  And we need to close it up, put the lid on top of it. Can you see that? Is the lid on top of the box now?”  

    “Uh-huh.”

    “Good, now we need to do one more thing. We need to lock it up nice and tight, all safe and sound. So picture a lock on the box, a nice big metal lock.  And who can keep the key to that lock, keep it all nice and safe?” I asked her.

    “Daddy,” came her instant reply.  

    “Of course! Daddy will keep it all nice and safe.  So picture Daddy holding the key now, putting it into his pocket.  And all the big girl things are safe with Daddy, but only he has the key. You can’t have those things back until Daddy gives you the key, when you’re bigger, when you need them again and they aren’t just getting in the way.”  

    I watched her nod softly once again, then I began counting her up out of the trance.  It took a minute to wake her up.  I always enjoyed this part, seeing the fruition of my work.  

    Mary’s eyes opened and she blinked away some tears that had formed from her state of total relaxation.  She looked at me with better eye-contact than before and the look of anger was gone. She looked neutral now, just wondering what was going to happen next.  

    “Well you did a great job for me Mary,” I told her brightly.  “You’re such a good girl, I’m sure Daddy is very proud of you.”  

    Mary grinned, no objection to Robert being called her Daddy this time.  She grinned and nodded, her pigtails bouncing.  “Daddy’s pwoud,” she agreed.  

    “Now, I can go and see if Daddy is ready to take you home, but while you’re waiting would you like to play with some of the toys?” I said, gesturing to the toddler toys in the corner.  “I know they’re a bit silly, but I thought you might enjoy them,” I added.

    Mary gazed over at the toys and her eyes lit up.  “I wike bein’ siwwy!” she announced.  “C’n I pway with the dowwies?”  

    “Of course you can honey, but actually before you play I think it would be nice to change you into a prettier outfit for Daddy.  I don’t think those big girl clothes look too comfy on you.”  

    Mary looked down at her clothes, seeming to consider this.  “Umm, I ‘unno,” she said.  

    “Well how about this skirt?” I asked her, pulling out the very frilliest, bright pink skirt.  It was something only a toddler would wear, but sized for a grown woman, for virus victims with the youngest of mentalities.  

    Mary’s eyes lit up and she nodded and reached for the skirt instantly.  “Daz so pweety!” she exclaimed.  

    I chuckled. Her old mentality saw the dress and no doubt instantly thought it was the most childish, silliest thing she could wear. But the suggestions now hard-wired into her brain made anything silly just delightful and irresistable.  So when she saw the silly skirt, she wanted badly to have it on, to be silly, be a good little girl.  

    “Okay, would you like me to get you changed into it for Daddy then?” I asked, pulling the skirt back away from her reaching hands.  

    She nodded, accepting the need for adult help.  

    “Okay, let’s get these sandals off first, and then the shorts,” I said, watching her stand there nibbling the tips of her fingers and gazing expectantly as I undid the button on her jean shorts and slipped them down, revealing her panties.

    “Okay, and now that big girl top too. That won’t match the pretty skirt at all,” I said, directing her arms into the air.  

    She made no complaint as I slipped her shirt over her head, leaving her in bra and panties.  Finally I said, “Well we can’t really have that on you, bras are for big girls.”  

    Mary looked down at her bra felt it experimentally.  She didn’t complain about being stripped, instead, as soon as I identified the bra as being something for big girls, she declared, “Wan’ it off!”  

    “Of course,” I agreed, unclasping the bra and letting it drop to the floor.  

    Mary stood there with her bare breasts hanging out right in front of me. She didn’t move to cover them up, didn’t give a hint of concern at her exposure.  She just waited while I slipped the skirt onto her.  

    “There we go!” I announced once it was on. “All dressed up for Daddy. You like your new outfit?” I asked.

    Mary stood there still bare chested and barefoot in the silliest, the most juvenile of skirts.  She spun around and grinned ear to ear.  

    “Mawy awll pweety!” she announced.  

    “You sure are!  Now, why don’t you play with those silly toys while I get Daddy.”  

    She nodded and went straight to the toy corner.  That’s where Robert found her when I led him into the room.  He actually gasped at seeing her creeping around on her hands and knees, bare boobs hanging free, chattering to a Barbie doll like it was real.  

    “Oh Mary, you’re adorable,” he gushed.  

    Mary beamed up at him, then rushed over, pulling him into a cuddle and telling him, “Daddy I gotta dowwy ‘nd a pweety skiwt!”  

    Robert just about cried with joy when she called him Daddy, and so eagerly.  He closed his arms around her bare body and rubbed the back of her head.  “Yes sweetie, I see that.  It’s a very pretty skirt.  Would you… would you like to go home wearing it?”  

    Robert had hesitated in asking the question, afraid to push her too far.  But Mary’s answer was instant.  

    “Uh-huh!”  

    “She’ll wear what you want her to from now on. So if you’d like it, here’s her shirt,” I said, handing him the discarded clothes.  

    Robert looked at it a moment, then at the young woman now holding his hand, ready to go, totally unconcerned with what she was wearing.  Robert slipped the shirt into his bag. “I don’t think you need this for a trip home,” he said to Mary, leading her towards the door.  

    An hour ago Mary would have thrown an absolute fit, being led by the hand, being talked down to so obviously and worst of all, being taken outside in full public view half naked with her boobs bouncing free for all to see.  She would have screamed bloody murder.  But down she sucked on her thumb and let Daddy lead her right out the front door that way without a single complaint, without a flicker of concern on her face.  

    I watched them go, watched Mary padding barefoot down the front stairs and along the footpath.  She smiled and pointed at various things that caught her interest, oblivious as her Daddy led her across the street to their car, then buckled her into the back.  Another happy customer.  

    **

    Chesterfield Mall was nowhere near my office, but that suited me.  It was better to do this work, my second job, away from the area where I worked and lived.  It just felt safer to me, though perhaps that was false comfort.  My second job was not what you’d call legitimate.  But boy, did it pay well.  

    The mall was busy this afternoon, filled with teens hanging out after school, at home mums taking their kids to shop after picking them up from school, office workers on flexible hours or taking a late lunch break.  I sat on one of the many benches placed throughout the mall to cater for the people, usually men, who had to wait while their spouse did some shopping.  I scrolled through my phone, looking bored, looking like I was waiting for someone.  I had a bag from the supermarket in front of me. I always did a little shopping, to look legitimate, to look like a fit in.  

    My mark walked past about ten minutes after I arrived.  This was normal, this was his routine.  That’s why I positioned myself where I did. Once I learned his routine, it was all about finding the right place to execute the plan.  Obviously a mall wouldn’t work as it was way too public and covered by cameras.  But it was a good place to pick up the mark, a place he was unlikely to make me, to notice just one of hundreds of busy shoppers.  

    His name was Dan and he managed a small electronics store just down the street from the mall.  The thirty-something man came to the mall most afternoons to grab a healthy smoothie from one of those juice shops.  After that his routine varied, so this was the best place to catch him.  I didn’t move when he passed me the first time, I knew where he was headed, knew he’d come back by me in a few minutes.  

    In the old days if you wanted to get rid of someone you had to contract a hit-man.  That was a pretty serious and final step with obvious consequences if you got caught.  But with the virus things had changed. Need a witness to be unable to testify? Want your abusive spouse neutralised? Want to inherit their fortune right now?  No longer was murder the only way to solve those problems. Now the person could suffer a sudden attack of the most virulent and fast-acting form of the virus, leaving them intellectually incapable of testifying, or reducing their legal status to a dependent, handing over their wealth to the erstwhile partner.  

    One way to accomplish that was with a booster of course.  But that was the most expensive option. That involved risks because the government kept close control over boosters of course. It also required physical force be used to apply the booster since the mark clearly would know exactly what was happening.  

    That left the other method, my specialty, hypnosis.  There were rumours the state authorities had their own special programme, able to be administered by anyone with no expertise.  But these rumours weren’t widely known and I certainly wasn’t going to advertise my competition.  So instead people turned to me to help them with their little problems.  They were always so keen to assure me they’d never have considered murder of course, but this was different, this wasn’t so bad, just a nice fresh start.  

    I always nodded a lot, helped them assuage their guilt, but really I didn’t care what their self-justifications were.  Whatever they had to tell themselves, that was fine with me.  I was in it for the cash, though I always did my best to at least make sure the mark was happy at the end of it.  I really owed them at least that much.  

    The woman who contacted me this time, through an intermediary of course, I survive on referrals in this business; wanted to cut short what could have been a messy divorce.  It was probably the most common reason people came to me.  Erin claimed she just wanted to avoid a custody battle over their eight-year old son, Matt.  But I suspected control of the family house and their other assets were factored into her thinking as well.  

    “I don’t want him to be hurt,” she told me when we met at a cheap little pub forty minutes drive from my house.  “I want him to be happy, really truly happy,” she had insisted.  

    “Of course,” I assured.  “You care for him.”  

    She looked really anguished and I was worried she might back out at any moment, but thankfully she proceeded.  

    “I really do. I would love for us to stay together, but he’s not interested in me anymore. We haven’t had… relations, in I don’t know how long. A couple weeks ago I happened to find his e-mails left open on his phone…”

    Yeah right. All women snooped.

    “And he had a bunch from this woman he knows from his Toastmasters group.  I… I have a pretty good idea of what’s been going on.”  

    “I’m truly sorry,” I lied to her.  

    “Thank you.  Anyway, I can’t really see any other way around it.  So, I talked it over with a friend and she said she knew someone, who knew someone who might be able to help, and… well, here we are.”  

    Referrals, they really work in this business.  That’s why it’s important to get it right, every time.

    “Did you want him to still be part of the family, or will he be going to foster care?”

    “Oh I couldn’t do that to him!  No, Matty needs his father, well, he needs him to stay part of the family.”  

    “Understood.  What age were you thinking?”  

    “Well I suppose eight would be best, like Matty, so they can be buddies.  I think Dan would like that,” she mused.  

    I had to frown at that. Eight wasn’t feasible, it was much too old.  

    “I’m afraid that’s not a workable age for me.  There’s too much risk of them retaining memories and understanding of what’s happened to them at that age.  The oldest I can safely do is three. So you need to really consider if you can handle that.”  

    Of course she hadn’t been happy with that news.  I could see she was considering her options, wondering if it was the right choice. If they were going to back out, that’s usually when it happened.  But I couldn’t take the risk of leaving them too old. This wasn’t like the virus, it wasn’t guaranteed to be permanent.  There was a small risk of them recovering memories or intellect.  The younger they went, the less the risk.  

    “I… I suppose three would be okay then,” she had finally agreed, just when I thought she might walk out.  

    “Okay that’s good, I can work with that.  Now, what kind of boy do you want him to be?” I asked her next.  

    “I’m sorry?”

    “It’s not just mental age I can change.  The whole personality if malleable.  Do you want him loving and docile? A quiet, well-behaved little boy? Or a wild, energetic, getting into everything toddler?”  

    “Oh, well, I mean of course I want him to be loving. I just… I mean I don’t want to change who he is too much…”

    That always made me need to suppress a laugh. They didn’t mind wiping their partners’ brains of every intelligent, complex thought, but god forbid we change their personality a bit.  Of course some people leapt at the chance to alter their target, but they were the minority.  

    “Loving is fine. But, quiet and reserved, shy? Or playful and outgoing?”  

    “Outgoing I guess, so he’s like Matty.”  

    She really wanted him to be a good little brother for his kid, it was kind of touching.  She paid me on time too, so I decided I liked her.  I’d do my best to deliver her the outgoing, loving little boy she wanted.  

    **

    When Dan walked back past me, slurping his smoothie, I counted to five then stood and started to follow him, still pretending to focus on my phone, keeping my distance as we left the mall.  After the mall Dan walked to the gym he worked out at on the odd morning.  I followed him there, keeping about fifty metres between us.  He went inside and I leaned against a fence down the road, waiting.  

    He emerged leading his mountain bike out onto the footpath. He’d changed into appropriate gear, a sports t-shirt and some of those tight shorts they wore.  Dan was really into his biking and cycled to work a couple days a week.  He didn’t take the direct route either. He went up over the hills instead, along a tough trail.  I wasn’t fit enough to follow him even if I’d had a bike.  But I did have a car and I knew this might be the perfect opportunity.  It was worth a try.  

    While Dan stretched out and checked his bike over I walked quickly the other direction, back to the mall’s car park.  Then I drove straight for the other side of the hills, right to where the trail I knew Dan used, emerged.  I parked, grabbed my hiking backpack, which was actually empty, and quickly headed up the trail, getting as far from the street as I could.  It was late afternoon by this point and the park was largely empty.  It was the perfect place to make my move.  But it was also tricky as once I had revealed myself it would become impossible to attempt a second time.  

    I positioned myself by a blind corner on the trail, only just down from the peak of a small hill.  There I waited, hoping that the next person to come round the corner would be Dan.  Ten minutes passed before I heard the sounds of a bike approaching.  God I hoped he wasn’t going too fast or this would really hurt.  

    I planted myself right in the middle of the path, taking up most of the space, and started to walk upwards towards the bend, just as Dan came round the corner on his bike, heading straight for me. He gasped and slammed on his brakes, began dodging left, so I stepped that way too, making certain he couldn’t just pass me.  He turned full left then, hitting the small trees on the path’s edge and falling off the bike.  

    “Shit!” he swore, though he didn’t seem to be injured.  

    “Oh I’m so sorry!” I lied.  “I didn’t hear you coming.”  

    Dan frowned up at me as I offered him a hand.  “No, that’s okay, I was going a bit fast,” he admitted, letting me help him up, then dusting himself off.  

    “You look a bit shaken up, I hope you didn’t hit your head, did you?” I asked.

    He shook his head, but undid his helmet as well, checking to be sure.  

    “Nah, think I’m fine,” he said, looking at his bike to check for damage now.  

    “Glad you’re okay. I’m Jake by the way,” I told him, extending my hand.  

    Dan reached out to take my hand, it was instinct.  

    But I didn’t shake his hand, I grabbed it with both of mine, lifting it back so his palm was facing his face.  “Oh, my, what’s that?” I gasped, looking at his hand.  

    Dan look confused, both by what I was doing to his hand and by my exclamation.  I’d broken a normal sequence and distracted his conscious mind at once. He was doubly out of step and open for my next move.  

    I forced his hand right towards his face, palm first, and ordered, “Go to sleep!” at the same time.  

    Dan’s eyes blinked and he looked even more out of it.  When I released his hand it dropped limp to his side.  His eyes were still open, but they fluttered.  I looked him in the eye and said, “Deep sleep now Dan, deep sleep,” and tapped his forehead.  

    His head jerked forward and then bobbed up, his shoulders slumping but his mind trying to fight it.  

    “Deep sleep, you can’t help it, soooo sleepy and tired, right off to sleep now,” I told him, tapping his forehead once, then twice.  

    With each tap his head fell forward more until I tapped the very top of his head and his whole body went limp. He collapsed right into my arms and I held his weight until I could slowly lower him to the ground.  

    There, now if anyone came upon us it would look like I was helping a bike crash victim.  But we were completely alone for now at least.  I sat next to him and whispered, “Very good Dan, you’re going such a good job for me.  Now what’s happened is confusing, I know, but it’s something really, really good, something very enjoyable.  

    “You see your wife sent me to help you because you’re way too stressed. She wants you to relax more and that’s my specialty. I bet you already feel super relaxed and peaceful right now, don’t you?”  

    “Uh-huh,” Dan mumbled, still limp and tranced on the ground.  

    “Good, and now we’re going to make you feel even better.  All you  have to do is visualise the number ten for me. Just imagine that you’re sitting in a big old movie theatre, one of those grand old ones with the huge screens. Can you see yourself there?”  

    “Yeah.”  

    “Great, and just feel yourself sinking into the most comfortable, overstuffed, warm old seat, right in the middle of the cinema, best seat in the house.  Feeling that?”  

    “Mmmhmm.”  

    “And on the screen, you can now see the number ten.  But it’s just out of focus, just a bit blurry around the edges.  And so you have to squint. And just as it comes into focus the number changes,” I snapped my fingers, “And it’s a nine.  And it’s blurry too, worse than the ten, but you can still see it, can see it coming into focus more and more unti,” snap, “it’s now an eight. And with each number you feel yourself sinking more into that comfy seat, feeling even more relaxed, even more peaceful,” snap, “seven. And dropping even deeper now, so comfy, so peaceful…”  

    By the time I hit one you could barely tell Dan was breathing.  He was like putty in my hands, but I was only just getting started.  

    “And now Dan what you’re going to find is that the seat is so nice, so comfy, that every time you try to lift yourself out of it, to wake up at all, it only pulls you even deeper. You can’t help it, the relaxation is too overwhelming and you can’t fight against it. Fighting only makes it even deeper.”  

    Dan murmured his understanding and I knew it was time to proceed.  

    “Okay Dan, now I want you to notice the screen has come back to life. But it isn’t just numbers now, it’s a full scene. It’s you and Erin and Matty at the park.  What’s the park you like to take Matty to?”  

    “Newton Domain,” he answered in a low mumble.  

    “Very good. Picture Newton Domain, that’s what you see on the screen, focus on the details, the grass, the trees, the perfect blue sky above.  And now pay attention to Erin and Matty.  I want you to notice what they’re wearing, what they’re doing.  Now, tell me, what’s Erin wearing?”  

    Dan sighed, then said, “Her yellow dress. And her sandals.”  

    “What’s she doing?”  

    “Watching Matty playing, waving to him, taking a photo on her phone,” he explained.  

    “Very good.  You’re really good at this.  And what about Matty, what’s he wearing?”  

    “His Spiderman t-shirt, that’s his favourite. And his yellow boardies. He calls them banana shorts.  And bare feet. He’s always got bare feet.”  

    “And what’s he doing?”  

    “He’s climbing up the outside of the twisty slide. He’s a good climber. He’s waving, he wants Erin to see him.”  

    “That’s excellent Dan. And now you’re going to notice yourself on that screen too. But there’s something different about you. And that’s because this screen is showing you a vision of the future, of your future.  

    “So you see yourself, but you aren’t with Erin, watching Matty.  You’re playing too, on the playground, with the other children. Because you’ve had the virus Dan. You’ve had the virus and you’re just another one of the little kids playing while the adults supervise.”  

    Dan moaned and I saw his head start to rise. He didn’t like that, he was trying to wake up. But then his shoulder slumped again and he let out a sigh as his head flopped forward again. He’d dropped even deeper into trance after trying to fight it.  

    “That’s it Dan, even deeper into trance,” I re-enforced.  “Just focus on the screen, on seeing your future. Look at yourself on the screen.  You’re playing with the kids. There are many children around, not just Matty of course. And you’re in the middle of them, and you’re playing.  And notice that you’re actually naked, completely, totally nude in the middle of the park.”

    Dan groaned, clearly unhappy, but made no other moves.  

    “You aren’t the only nudist of course.  There’s a wading pond nearby and a couple toddlers, little two and three year olds, are nude as well.  Nobody minds them though, because they’re just innocent little kids.  They don’t know any better.  And nobody is looking at you either, nobody is complaining or angry. Because you’re just a simple little toddler too. It’s obvious you’re no brighter, no more mature than those other two jaybirds.  

    “Even Matty is wearing clothes of course. He’s little enough to run around barefoot all day, but much, much too old to be running around in his birthday suit. He’s a big boy, going to big boy school and everything after all.  But you’re just a silly little baby boy and everyone, all the adults watching, even the bigger boys and girls playing around you, can tell that you’re just a silly dumb toddler who doesn’t know any better and no one minds that your doodle is bobbing about freely.  After all, it’s quite small and hairless and soft anyway.”  

    I watched carefully as Dan reacted to this, as he struggled to wake and only dropped deeper yet again.  He couldn’t fight the suggestions.  

    “And you’re quite a messy little boy too. You’ve got mud flecked all over your bare body, probably from playing in the grass and dirt after being in the wading pool.  And the soles of your feet are so dark. You must go barefoot all the time, just like Matty, like your big brother. You probably idolise him, want to be just like him, a big, smart eight-year old.  

    “It’s clear that you’re not very bright.  You’re not playing with Matty, with the big boys. You’re in the area for the littlest of boys, the toddlers, grouped with the girl who’s play dress shows off her thick diaper, the boy eating his boogers and the two other nudists.  Look at your future self, spinning in circles until you fall down dizzy, giggling as you land bare bottomed in the dirt.  Chasing another man who clearly has a toddler’s mind, giggling your head off while your penis just swings about like crazy.  Running over to Erin, to Mummy, and demanding a cuddle and a juice box.  Trying to climb up the slide after your big brother, but finding it far too difficult and then deciding to just sit on the see-saw with the other toddler man instead.”  

    I watched as the images etched themselves into his mind, painted him an irrefutable picture of his future.  He was internalising all of it now, accepting this was his fate, that it was going to happen. That would prepare him for the next step.  

    “You’re playing there because you’ve had the virus, the fastest type of the virus.  In fact you’re just about to have it now.  You see I have the magical power to activate the virus with a simple touch on the forehead. I can reach right into your mind and turn it on. And just like that you’ll feel the virus wipe your brain of every last bit of adult intelligence and leave you with the mental abilities of a three year old, a slow three year old.  And more than that, it will completely remove your inhibitions, your maturity, your concept of privacy.  You’ve seen exactly what you’ll become once the virus has been activated.  And you know that it’s irreversible, that it’s unstoppable. It only takes seconds and every mature thought will be gone.”  

    I let the suggestions sink it, let him accept them.  I knew he was still watching his future self play naked in the park.  It was all up to his own imagination now, I’d just set the stage.  I wondered what he was seeing himself do now.  Was he sucking his toes? Maybe chewing dandelions or smashed ants?  No doubt it was degrading, it was humiliating, whatever he was seeing.  I always made them see themselves naked in public, that really was the ultimate humiliation for most people.  And it did actually happen now and then. Some caregivers treated their grown toddlers like real ones that way and while it made some people uncomfortable it wasn’t illegal.  Dan probably had seen an adult toddler naked at a beach or park one, maybe twice, so it felt real, it felt possible.  

    “And now the screen is starting to go blurry, starting to fade away.  You’re beginning to rise up out of the comfy seat, coming out of the trance at last.  But you can feel the virus inside your head, waiting to be activated, waiting to wipe your brain, turn it to gooey mush, leave you utterly helpless and dependent, but also, so totally, incredibly happy.  Because as the scene fades away the last thing you need to notice is the look on your future self’s face. It’s a look of complete bliss.  Look at the peace, the happiness in those glassy eyes, the contented smile as you play.  And as the screen blurs to nothingness you just know it’s going to feel wonderful when you become a happy, silly, dumb little toddler.  You’ll never want to grow back up, it’s going to feel so incredibly good.”  

    The moment of truth was when I counted them up out of the trance.  For a few seconds they were fully back, awake, in control, their full intellect at their command. Then I took it all away, for good.  I did this for the money, but I can’t deny I also greatly enjoyed the power-trip.  

    “Three, two, one, and wide awake, refreshed and alert.”  

    Dan’s head jerked upward, his eyes blinking. He looked around with confusion. I could see him wondering if he’d dreamed all of that, if this was all for real.  It had to be very disorienting, I got that.  

    “What the fuck is going on?!” he demanded.  

    “Your wife knows about the cheating,” I told him calmly.  “Your marriage is over.”  

    He looked like he’d been hit by a ton of bricks. “I never… I… Who the fuck are you?!”

    “Your wife hired me, to keep your family together.  You should consider yourself lucky, she was quite insistent you be happy with this in the end.  She still cares for you after all you’ve done,” I told him.  

    “Happy? What’s that even mean?”

    I smirked. “You know what it means, you saw it yourself. You’re going to be a toddler, a big dumb baby man. If you go to the mall you’ll be led around on a kiddie leash.  Smoothies will be in a sippy cup, but probably it will be simple juice or milk for you anyway.  Any biking will be done with training wheels on. But you’ll be happy as a clam with all of that, you’ll accept it, you’ll enjoy it, you’ll be head over heels in love with your Mummy, you’ll be in awe of your big brother.  It’s not really such a bad fate.”  

    “Fuck off.  I’ll talk to Erin, we can work this out between us.”  

    I shrugged. “It’s much too late for that. Next time you see Erin you won’t be up to making conversations. You’ll need all your mental powers just to put a coherent sentence together.  You won’t even remember your affair anyway.”  

    And now the panic began to creep into his expression.  I always liked seeing that, the dawning seriousness of what they were facing.  

    “Look whatever she’s paying you, I can pay more,” he offered.  

    They always tried that. It had become a cliche.  “Sorry, but I survive on referrals. Flipping on clients doesn’t bring me more business,” I told him.  

    “This… this is total bullshit!” he burst out.  

    That was always their last gasp.  

    “You’re thinking it isn’t real, that it won’t work.  Well it’s never failed yet and I’ve been doing this for some time now.  So, unless you had any final message for your wife we might as well be done with this. It’s a terrible stress for you and you deserve a nice long rest.”  

    He really began to panic at that.  “My son, I have a little boy…”

    “You’re going to be a wonderful little brother to him.”  

    Dan started to try to back away. He scrambled to his feet and I tapped him with my index finger, right in the middle of his forehead.  

    Dan’s eyes crossed as he looked up at my finger, his mouth dropping open in shock.  

    “Zap,” I said, snapping my fingers at the same time.  

    “Ohhh,” Dan moaned, blinking over and over. He was feeling it, feeling what he believed to be happening, feeling the virus turning his brain to mush.  Of course that wasn’t what was happening at all. His brain was physically perfectly fine. Everything that was going on in his head was because he believed it, because I had suggested it to him.  

    I looked down and saw the bulge growing in his shorts, tenting the tight bike shorts out. Yes, he was experiencing pleasure as well, he was enjoying the sensation of his brain turning to goo, his intelligence and maturity leaking from his ears.  

    I put my hand on his arm. “I know, it feels so good, doesn’t it?”  

    Dan’s mouth was still agape. He nodded slowly though, blinking those wide, shocked looking eyes again and again.  Each person experienced it a bit differently, depending on what they thought having the virus so suddenly would feel like I guess.  The length of time it took seemed to vary based on the same principal.  But this seemed to be going pretty quickly.  

    Slowly he raised his arms to his head and placed his fingers on his temples, rubbing them, moaning again.  

    “Dan, we need to get you out of these grown-up clothes, okay?” I asked him.  “You’re going to be so much more comfy without them in a second, once the big boy thoughts have all gone bye-byes, okay?”  

    He pouted, looking anguished but then nodded.  “Okay,” he agreed.

    I knelt down and unlaced his shoes one at a time, then slipped them and his socks off.  I directed his arms up, slipping his t-shirt off too.  As I reached for the shorts though he snapped, “No!” and pouted again.  

    I stopped, looking again at the tented bulge where he was clearly very aroused by this.  I patted his now bare back and said, “It’s okay Danny. You won’t mind being nakey. Remember what you saw? You’re going to be a silly little nudist anyway. Can you feel the modesty leaving your head yet? It must be very close now.”  

    “Uhhh. Ummmm,” he murmurred, nibbling at his thumb looking so conflicted, so confused.  

    “Shhh,” I cooed, then slipped the shorts and his undies down, letting his fully erect penis waggle free, precum dribbling down the shaft.  

    “There we go, isn’t that much better?” I said.  

    Danny looked down at his exposed penis. It wasn’t on the screen now, it wasn’t in his trance dream, this was real.  He was actually nude.  He took in his bare body and that seemed to be the final straw, confirming in his mind that it was all real.  And just like that the modesty, the remaining intellect and maturity, all vanished at once.  His blushing cheeks faded, his body visibly relaxed.  Danny grew a lazy smile and told me, “I got nakey.”  

    I chuckled. “You sure are.”

    Danny grinned even more, looking totally relaxed and at peace now.  “Mummy wets me go nakey at da park,” he told me.  

    “Does she?”

    He nodded. “Cuz I awll widdle.”  

    “Are you a little boy?”

    “Yeff! Widdle boy!”  

    “Well I don’t think a little boy should be up here all alone. Why don’t you come with me and we will walk you home to Mummy and brother.”  

    Danny let me take his hand. “Otay,” he agreed.  “Home to Mummy.”  

    And so he walked along next to me, bare feet untroubled by the rough terrain as he was convinced he had tough little kid feet.  His stiff penis bounced along and he wasn’t worried about who might see him unclothed.  Heck, he was happy to run around the park in his birthday suit, he was looking forward to it.  Even though his brain was physically okay it was obvious he truly had the intellect and maturity of a three year old.  

    I did dress Danny in a t-shirt, underoos and shorts before turning him over to Erin. I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea.  Who knew what her actual views on such public nudity might actually be.  She was overjoyed at seeing the success of my treatment of course. I knew she’d pass on my number to anyone else she knew who might need my services.  

    A week later I did a spot check to see how they were going. I always did a follow-up to be sure everything had stuck. After all the changes were just in their minds. But when I cruised past their house I saw Matty walking along the footpath out front. The eight-year old boy was looking positively mature in his school polo shirt and shorts, leading his thirty-something dad along the footpath. Danny, despite his massive age and size advantage, was clearly not the one in charge here. He was on his bike again, but now with training wheels attached, wearing nothing but a pair of cartoon print underoos, bare feet gripping the pedals, smiling ear to ear as he went on some big adventure down the street with his big brother.  

    **

    An important part of my line of work was avoiding any unnecessary scrutiny. That meant keeping prying eyes out of my legitimate business as well.  I laundered my fees through the legitimate business, as consulting fees. It would be a problem if anyone took too close a look at my books. Which is why I had to quickly deal with any complaints from my clients. All it took was one of them filing an official complaint with my professional body and I could be in trouble.

    That was why I was in my office on a Saturday, dealing with a situation before it got out of hand.  

    “So what’s the main issue?” I asked Alison.  

    The woman sitting across from me was clearly upset.  She had brought her former boyfriend turned child to me a few weeks ago for pretty standard treatment.  He was mentally six years old but was shy, had no friends at his new primary school, was being bullied for being a teacher’s pet and still trying to act like a grown-up.  I’d given him what I considered to be a very successful treatment for all of those issues. But here they were, back in my office.  

    “Really?!” Alison replied angrily. “You don’t know what’s wrong? Look at him!”

    Alison was a thirtyish woman, a professional of some kind, always well dressed, her hair and makeup immaculate.  When she’d brought Shaun to me for treatment he’d been dressed up like he was going to church; button-down shirt, dressy pants, black leather shoes and all.  It was no surprise he was getting bullied. What kind of six year old walked around like that on a daily basis?  

    Shaun was in the seat next to Alison and he didn’t look ready for church anymore.  The thirty-one year old was sitting cross-legged on the chair, squirming around, looking eagerly over at the toys in the corner.  He wore a pair of black athletic shorts but basically nothing else. He was barefoot and shirtless.  It wasn’t a bad look for him. He was actually pretty muscular and his body was smooth and nicely tanned. I noted the lack of lines. He had been running around shirtless a lot apparently.  In addition to that his hair was messy and I could see the soles of his feet were as black as the shorts he wore.

    “He looks pretty happy to me,” I told her.  

    “C’n I play with the toys?” Shaun interrupted.  

    “Shaun, you need to sit still and listen. This is important,” Alison told him.

    He pouted and whined, “I don’t wanna listen! That’s boring! You’re boring! I wanna play!”  

    “This conversation is well beyond his understanding Alison, he might as well play while we talk,” I suggested.

    Alison frowned deeply but waved her arm at Shaun and said, “Fine, play while we talk.”  

    The squirming man lit up and he jumped out of the seat and dropped to his hands and knees on the floor, quickly grabbing a police car and ambulance and racing them around the carpet, making sound effects as he went, totally oblivious to us.  

    “Do you see how he’s dressed?” Alison demanded of me, snapping my attention back to her.

    “Yes, I see that. But I assume you dressed him, so…”

    “Oh I dress him alright, but he won’t keep any proper clothes on. He threw all his shoes away in the bushes on his way to school, so it’s pointless to replace them.  He throws a tantrum if I try to make him keep his shirt on, so I’ve just given up on it for now at least. I don’t even bother.  When we have to go out I tell him to get his shorts on. That’s what I say. ‘Shaun, shorts on please,’ and off we go, him walking around the neighbourhood, the supermarket in nothing but his shorts, like we’re complete bogans.  I can’t even scrub all the dirt of his feet, so I gave up on that too.”  

    I nodded attentively, trying to make her feel heard.  That was very important, people needed to feel like you were listening to them without judging.  

    “I understand your concern,” I told Alison.  “But the way he’s dressed isn’t that unusual for boys his age. And he seems very comfortable that way.”  

    “Yes, he’s perfectly comfortable, his understanding of dress expectations, his sense of modesty is totally gone. You took it away.”

    I didn’t deny it.  “He needed to fit in with the other boys and this was the best way to do it.”  

    “But it’s not just the clothes!” Alison went on. “He’s become a hyperactive, immature little boy. He’s gone from the top reading group in his class to the bottom one. I’m being called in to teacher interviews because he’s misbehaving. He’s was a perfect angel before, now he’s the class clown.”  

    I had to keep from smiling as I thought back to my session with Shaun. He’d grown a huge stiffy when I told him how good it felt to be a silly dumb boy, how wonderful the ground felt under his bare feet, how he deeply wanted to have filthy feet that everyone would see and know he was very little.  He’d clearly taken my suggestions perfectly.  

    “Alison, I understand that you aren’t happy with the situation.  But I think I have a solution,” I assured her.

    She looked skeptical, but asked, “You can fix him then?”  

    Of course I could. But that’s not what I wanted at all.  I looked over at the barefoot man lying on his tummy and smashing toy cars together. No, I wanted him just like he was.

    “I absolutely can.  But for optimal results I’d really like to work with you both this time.”

    “Both of us?” she asked, looking unsure.

    “Absolutely. I do it all the time. There’s nothing to worry about. All you need to do is take three nice, deep breathes for me…”

    **

    Twenty minutes later Shaun was still playing but Alison was limp as a ragdoll in her chair, her head resting back against it, eyes closed.  

    “You absolutely love Shaun, don’t you Alison?”  

    “Yeah,” she answered quietly.

    “You love him just the way he is, a sweet, playful little boy.”

    “Uh-huh.”  

    “You don’t mind that he’s a bit slow, a bit immature and hyper. He’s just a busy little guy, he’s just a fun-loving, playful boy.”

    A smile played at her lips.  “Yeah,” she slurred.

    “It’s okay that he’s in trouble at school sometimes. He’s trying his best, he’s just a bit behind the other boys and that’s okay. You don’t want a smart Alec.  You want a happy boy.”

    “Happy boy,” she echoed.

    “And it’s wonderful that he’s lost all his silly old grown-up modesty. After all, Shaun needs to enjoy being a boy, getting dirty, playing rough, exploring. And that’s best done in as little clothing as possible, since no one minds little boys being informal. It saves you doing more laundry. In fact that’s why you encourage it, why you don’t even bother buying him shoes to replace the ones he lost. He’s just a silly little boy, he’d lose them too. Besides, you think he’s just adorable running around barefoot. It’s so cute when he looks like an oversized little boy.”  

    Alison was nodding again, eating up my suggestions.  Yes, this was my favourite way to avoid complaints.

    But something caught my eye then, something that distracted me from Alison.  My phone, sitting on my desk, had lit up and I could just see who the text I had received was from.  It was Maddie, a woman I’d done some work for a couple months back.  But she shouldn’t have been making contact with me. I’d told her not to unless it was an emergency. That’s what I told all of my side business clients.  

    I wrapped up Alison’s session, made sure she was smiling just as broadly as Shaun was, then checked my text messages.  Maddie’s was right there waiting for me.  

    Serious issue with Billy. Need to talk ASAP.

    What the hell was this about?  I text back:

    What’s the issue?

    It was only seconds before my phone vibrated and lit up again. She must have been actively awaiting my reply.  

    Billy having adult memories. Please meet me. You free today?  

    Adult memories?  That just wasn’t possible, was it?  I’d never had an issue before and of all the people to come out of it, Billy seemed very unlikely.  

    Bill Stevenson had messed with the wrong woman. He cheated on his wife and she turned out to be the vengeful type.  She paid me not just to regress him, but to give him my worst treatment. He was to be reduced to a two year old and left unable to progress normally. He wouldn’t be mentally three the next year, he might never progress beyond the level of a five year old.  In addition to that I was to have him placed in a low-class foster family.

    She wanted him stripped of everything, not just his intellect. She wanted his maturity wiped and his middle class refinement.  She was one very angry woman. I was really impressed by her level of vindictiveness actually.  

    The permanence of the change, the completeness of it made Bill a special case for me, one which I remembered well.  I’d tricked him into a meet-up at a family restaurant, pretending to be one of his flings. He got a nice private booth at the corner of the restaurant.  Of course he wasn’t very happy when I showed up, and especially when I sat down next to him in the booth instead of across from him.  But it wasn’t long before I had him resting his head on my shoulder, listening to my suggestions.  When it was done I’d left him to play in the ballpit in his undies. I actually felt guilty about that one, it was far nastier than what I usually did, dooming him to permanent toddlerhood, not just a fresh start.  But I was merciful as I could be, I made sure he was incredibly happy with his new life. The last time I saw him he was sitting in the middle of that kiddie play area ball-pit with his toes jammed in his mouth and an ear to ear grin on his face.  

    It seemed very strange that Billy of all people would have fought my suggestions and regained his adult awareness.  If he went to the authorities that would be my worst case scenario. I replied:

    I’m free. Meet me at Hollywood Bakery. Thirty minutes.   

    **

    Maddie was already sitting at a table when I arrived.  She looked like this was indeed serious.  Her hair was messy, like she’d not had the time to properly get ready before leaving the house.  The worry was clear on her face and she wasted no time on pleasantries when I took my seat.  

    “You promised me it was a one-way trip, that there was no way he could recover,” she whispered in a harsh tone.

    I held up a hand to stop her.  “Calm down Maddie. Before we discuss anything else I need to check something.”  

    I pulled the radiofrequency detector out of my pocket, flicked it on and said, “You know the drill.”  

    I always had potential clients run the detector over their bodies to make certain they weren’t wearing a wire. Of course it wasn’t fool-proof, some really high tech equipment could trick such detectors, but it was at least a bit of extra protection.  

    “Really? Still? After what I paid you to…”

    I shook my head and put my finger to my lips. “Sweep first, then we talk.”  

    I watched her reluctantly but carefully pass the detector over her body. The steady sound never peaked, never crackled in a way that indicated she was wearing a wire.  It seemed she was clean.

    She shoved the device roughly across the table and said, “Satisfied now?”  

    Pocketing it, I nodded. “Can’t be too careful. Now, what exactly makes you think Billy is aware again?”  

    “You think I’m making this up? That I’m imagining things?” she asked, clearly not liking my tone. “He’s been making threats, texting them to me.”

    “Billy has the mind of a slow two-year old,” I told her.  “He doesn’t know the alphabet, can’t speak in full sentences. There’s no way he could be sending a text.  He wouldn’t even have the fine motor skills to type it out on a phone.”  

    “Well you look at this and tell me what you think it means then,” she demanded, sliding her phone across the table to me.  

    I looked down at the chat log.  

    You fucked with the wrong man Maddie. I know what you did to me now and I am not going to put up with it.

    Maddie had replied by playing innocent, asking who this was.

    Who do you think? How many people have you fucked over? How many lives have you ruined? You tried to break my mind, leave me a retard, but I’m back.  

    Maddie seemed to accept it was genuine now, asking what her former husband wanted from her.

    I want an apology. I want my life back. And I want you to pay. Meet me tonight at the A&P Show, 6PM, or I go straight to the cops.  

    “What makes you think this is real. There’s no message history before this morning. Is it from his phone?” I asked.

    “Of course not. I have his old phone. He must have used someone else’s.  But who else would be sending me a text like this? How could it be anyone else?”

    That did seem equally unlikely, but I just hated to consider the real possibility my programming had failed. If that was really possible it put everything in jeopardy even if I could neutralise this threat.  

    “Why hasn’t he already gone to the authorities?” I asked her.

    She shrugged. “How would I know? Maybe he wants revenge he doesn’t think they can deliver. He could be planning to kill me!”

    “Keep your voice down,” I warned her, checking to see if anyone else in the cafe was staring at us. No, people were absorbed in their own conversations.  “Look I think that’s very unlikely.  But, you probably shouldn’t go to the A&P Show tonight.”  

    Maddie seemed pleased to hear that, but still worried.  “Okay, and then what?” she asked. “What if he does go to the authorities?”  

    “That’s not going to happen.  I’m going to meet him at the show tonight. I’ll finish the programming, make sure it’s permanent this time. Assuming you’re still okay with that.”  

    Maddie nodded instantly. “Of course I am. Now more than ever. He could ruin our lives. Do whatever you have to.”  

    “Okay, you go home then, I’ll give you a ring when it’s done. Don’t do anything else until I’ve contacted you, okay?”

    “Okay, just make sure it sticks this time,” she warned.  

    **

    The A&P Show was being held in Moore’s Park all week.  It was a Kiwi tradition to have Agricultural and Pastoral shows to show off all the products of the farmers, but like a country fair in the States, they were mainly about the games, rides and carnival style attractions for the kids.  It was a busy place on a Saturday afternoon of course.  The place was packed with families enjoying a summer evening out.  It was a smart place to meet since it was very public. It would be incredibly hard to hypnotise Billy here.  But it would also be hard for him to get his revenge here, which meant he wasn’t likely planning any violent attack, he probably legitimately wanted to talk. A meeting like this meant he was more concerned with his own safety than getting even.  I hoped.  

    I positioned myself near the entry to the show.  People were parking on the grass fields across the street then walking in.  A long line had formed at the sausage and candy floss stand to my right while others queued up for the ferris wheel to my left.  The path behind me was bounded by various game stands on both sides.  I hoped that Billy wouldn’t spot me too easily.  It depended on how good his memory of that day at the restaurant was.  He’d never met me before then, and he’d surely be looking for Maddie.  Once I spotted him though, I’d basically be improvising. I hated improvising.  

    The place was alive with the sounds of giggling, screaming kids of all sizes.  Plenty of adult children were bounding about, going on the same kiddie rides as the little ones, making uncoordinated throws at the tossing games stands, hopping up and down demanding candy floss from their caregivers.  

    Then, into the middle of this, came a sight I wasn’t fully prepared for.  I recognised a middle-aged couple walking into the entry.  The man, in a tank-top, short rugby shorts and jandals; his partner in a halter-top much too small for her sizable belly and these cut-off jean shorts that were so short they practically had the pockets hanging out.  She looked trashy as could be with her flabby skin on display, her middle aged physique not matching the clothes a teen girl would be better suited to.  

    I knew them instantly.  Pete and Lucy Daniels, a bogan couple who fostered adult kids for Oranga Tamariki.  I knew them because I had made sure Billy ended up with them.  And now here they were, in all their redneck, bogan glory.  And they weren’t alone.  

    Billy had turned up to the meeting, he’d made his appearance a little early in fact.  But it was nothing like what I’d been prepared for.  Billy was walking along with his foster parents.  The fully grown man was wearing what was unmistakably a pair of pull-ups.  They appeared to have cars and trucks prints which likely faded when they got wet.  He was wearing his pull-ups and nothing else.  Billy was the consummate bogan toddler, walking along with no shirt, no pants of any kind, barefoot of course, and showing off his pull-ups to everyone.  Well that wasn’t entirely true. He had one other thing on, but it wasn’t really clothing.  What could only be described as a child leash was clipped around his arms and chest.  He was being led along like a dog, his foster dad, Pete, holding his lead.  

    Billy wasn’t the only adult toddler present. I had seen a few others. Many were barefoot and I’d seen one who was shirtless, but Billy was unusual in having nothing on but his pull-ups.  And there was no sign they’d brought other clothes for him. It seemed they considered this normal, perfectly acceptable. And while there were some looks, some stares from other show patrons, no one said anything. Instead they rolled their eyes at the trashy family, they sniggered and pointed the sight out to their families and friends, then they moved on.  

    But it wasn’t just Billy’s state of dress that surprised me, it was his behaviour as well.  He wasn’t acting like a man who had recovered his mental abilities and wanted revenge. Billy was toddling ahead of the parents, walking with a wide gait, smacking his bare feet down on the dirt and gravel without any sign of discomfort, rushing ahead until Pete yanked on the leash and stopped him, the strap across his still muscular and tanned bare chest going tight and holding him back.  Billy hopped up and down, pointing frantically at the ferris wheel, his face just filled with awe, like he was beyond amazed at all the sights and sounds, like this was all fresh and new to him.  

    “Dey go uppies!” he shouted, gazing with amazement at the ferris wheel.  He spun around and faced his foster parents, then hopped up and down, waving his arms in the air over his head.  “Up! Up! Uppies!” he announced.  

    “Calm down Billy, we can see it too,” Pete told him.  

    “Let’s get somethin’ to eat,” Lucy suggested.

    Billy wasn’t listening though. He was still pointing at the ferris wheel, then spinning around and getting tangled in his leash. “Up! Go up!” he insisted.  

    “Hold your horses. Don’t you want some candy floss?” Lucy cooed to him.  

    Billy’s jaw dropped open and he gazed at where Lucy was pointing, seeing the bright pink confectionary treats awaiting them.  Billy nodded like a bobble-head.  “Ummy!” he chirped.  

    They got into the line for the candy floss and Billy squatted down on his haunches, drawing in the soft dirt with his fingers, then pulling at his toes while they waited.  If he was acting right now, it was the best performance I’d ever seen.  He looked utterly oblivious to the looks he was getting, totally unconcerned by his state of dress.  There was a slackness to his face, a certain glaze to the eyes that just couldn’t be faked.  There was no way he could have sent those messages.  

    That would have made me wonder what was going on here, except that there was actually something far more concerning about this little family than the way Billy was dressed and behaving. After all this was how Billy was meant to be.  He was clearly not fighting my suggestions at all, and he even appeared quite happy to be a silly big toddler.  No, what was concerning was the Daniels family now had a second adult toddler.  

    This second boy was in many ways a mirror image of Billy.  He was twenty-something, so a bit younger, but had a similar thin, muscular build, short dark hair, smooth, tanned skin.  He was also wearing nothing but a pull-up and his matching leash was held by Lucy.  They were for all intents and purposes, twins.  Of course it could have been possible that Oranga Tamariki had simply placed a second boy in their care and decided to give them one of the same mental age since they were set up for that.  It could have been that, but it wasn’t. And I knew that because I knew this second boy and he wasn’t one of my clients.  

    The second young man was Rick Baylor.  He was a hypnotherapist, same as me.  He didn’t have a legitimate business though, he just worked on contracts.  He was my competition and it always paid to know who that was.  I’d met him a few times but weren’t friends or anything.  He was kind of a jerk, a real cocky guy who thought he was the best in our business.  Clearly he was wrong.  

    When I recognised him there was a moment where I wondered if he was undercover for some reason.  He was being quieter than Billy.  He was sucking his fingers, gazing around with wide eyes, but not making a total fool of himself.  But when they got in line he sat down on his bottom and pulled at his feet.  While Billy drew in the dirt, Rick pulled his right foot to his mouth and began to suck on his dirty toes.  His eyes were wide and I could see that glassiness in them, the slackness of his face as he nibbled his tootsies.  This was no act.  Of course it was possible it was a coincidence, that Rick had actually had the virus, had been reduced to toddlerhood and placed in the same family as Billy.  But I don’t believe in coincidences, especially not ones that convenient.  This was intentional.  

    I considered my options.  I could leave right then. Things didn’t add up and the safest move would be a strategic withdrawal to consider my options.  But that left so many questions unanswered and I needed to be able to tell Maddie something.  I could keep following the Daniels, see where they led me. But to what end?  I needed answers and they were probably my only shot at getting them quickly.  

    I made my way over to the family.  Pete looked surprised to see me. That didn’t seem to be an act, but I couldn’t be certain.  

    “Well hey there Pete, Lucy.  It’s good to see you,” I said to them.

    “Jake, what are you doing here?” Pete asked as he shook my hand.  

    “Just enjoying the show, what about you?”  

    “Well we weren’t going to come but then Lucy found this flier on the car about it and… I dunno, we just couldn’t miss it,” he explained, as if slightly mistified himself.  

    “Well I hope you’re having a good time,” I told him.

    “Well it’s really for the little guys I guess.  Billy loves this kind of stuff of course and I’m sure Ricky will too.”  

    “Yeah, I see you have another boy now.”  

    Pete nodded. “Yeah, Ricky joined us a couple weeks ago.  They said we’d be perfect for him since he’s just like Billy, two years old and permanently impaired.  Neither of ‘em will be growing up so we’re guaranteed the top subsidy payment, long-term.”  

    I nodded.  “So Ricky’s like Billy then? In every way?” I asked, looking down at my former competitor.  

    Ricky was still sat on his bottom in the dirt, he was gazing right up at me now, his eyes locked on mine.  He still had his big toe jammed between his lips too, sucking away at it, a line of drool running down the dirty bare sole of his foot.  There was no enmity in his expression, no recognition of who I was, of how far he’d fallen.  He just looked totally innocent.  Billy was gaping up at me too, and it was obvious he had no idea who I was either.  He was nibbling the tips of his fingers, eating the dirt off them, wide-eyed and dumb as a post.  

    Pete chuckled. “Well yeah, pretty much.  They’re the best of buddies, playing and wrestling with each other all the time.  I think Ricky is a tiny bit behind Billy in the brains department though.”  

    “I see they wear pull-ups.”  

    “Yeah, diapers for bed, pull-ups for going out, bare bottoms the rest of the time,” Pete agreed.

    “So Ricky’s a jaybird too?” I questioned.  I’d given Billy strong suggestions to turn him into a little nudist of course.  That was part of the deal with Maddie, giving him the full package.  But had someone else done the same to Ricky?  

    It was Lucy who answered this time.  “Haha, oh my goodness yes. I call them my two little bares.  They don’t really get the joke of course, but they giggle their heads off all the same.  Have to watch ‘em real close or they’ll have them pull-ups off ‘fore you know it.”  

    I felt a tug on my shorts and looked down.  Ricky had let his toe go and was now reaching up at me with both arms.  

    “Aww, he wants a cuddle,” Lucy cooed.  “Ricky is a very affectionate little guy too.”  

    Maybe he had a message to give me after all.  I opened my arms and let Ricky stand up and cuddle me.  His skin was smooth and warm from the sun.  I rubbed his back under his leash’s buckle and waited for him to whisper something to me, something important.  

    When he said nothing I whispered to him, “Are you a dumb little boy now Ricky? Did someone empty out your head?”  

    Ricky giggled softly, no sign he was upset by my taunt, that he understood it at all. He seemed only to react to the happy tone I had said it in.  

    “Wicky good boy,” he answered softly.  

    No, he didn’t remember a thing.  

    I let Ricky go and wished them a good time.  Billy stood up then, opening his arms, demanding his own farewell cuddle from the man who took away all his intelligence.  I obliged of course.  There were no secret messages from him either.  All I got from him was a big wet smooch on my cheek.  Then I left them to enjoy their candy floss.  

    No sooner had I left them than my phone buzzed in my pocket.  It was a message from Maddie.  I opened it.  

    Hope you enjoyed catching up with your old friends. I’ve been catching up with one too.  Drop by when you have a chance.  

    My heart flip-flopped.  The message came from Maddie’s number, I double-checked that, but it didn’t look like she composed it.  Something was very wrong.  I left the show immediately, heading back to my car and driving straight to Maddie’s house.  Obviously Billy wasn’t the one sending either of us the messages.  So who was it? And what did they want?  

    I was pretty nervous when I got to Maddie’s house. Of course it had been paid for mainly by Bill, but it passed fully to her when he was declared an incompetent minor.  I had never actually been inside of it, I’d just staked it out when I was watching Bill, planning when to take him.  It was strange to actually approach the house now, to walk up to the front door and ring the bell.  It felt reckless to be sure, but what choice did I have?  

    There was no answer to the doorbell. I tried knocking. “Maddie! You in there?” I called out, again to no response.  Could she be out? Could she be asleep?  Both were unlikely.  

    I tried the doorknob.  It was unlocked.  “Shit,” I muttered, stepping into the house.

    “Hello, hello!” I called out.  “Maddie, it’s me, Jake!”  

    The TV was on in the living room, but the volume was turned right down.  A beeping noise was coming from somewhere.  I headed through to the kitchen and knew this was a bad sign.  The fridge was wide open, that was the origin of the sound.  Drawers were pulled out, cabinets wide open, a bottle of milk lay on its side on the floor, a pool of its contents spilled around it.  I closed the fridge, silencing the annoying beeping.  

    Another sound caught my attention and I headed down the hallway to the one open door.  It appeared to be the master bedroom.  The bed was a total mess, sheets and duvet on the floor. Clothes had been yanked out of the wardrobe and piled here and there as well.  But still no sign of Maddie, or anyone else.  I backed out of the room, checking other bedrooms but finding nothing. Back out to the kitchen, but then I noticed the ranch slider is ajar.

    I found her in the backyard.  As I stepped through the sliding door onto the deck I could see her in the middle of the grassy yard, squatting down, resting on her haunches.  She was completely naked.  I could see every bump on her spine, her smooth bare skin visible right down to her butt.  Damn, this was what I was afraid of.  

    I walked out into the yard until I was next to her. She heard me and looked up. It was quite a sight to see.  Her lips and chin were stained with chocolate and perhaps milk.  She’d drawn lipstick across her cheeks and forehead in aimless zig-zags.  She was chewing on dandelions, with green spittle dripping down her chin.  She gazed up at me with wide, empty eyes. I could instantly see the light had gone out from behind them.  

    “Maddie, do you know what happened to you? Who did this?” I asked her, kneeling down to her level.  

    The naked woman didn’t answer my question. Instead she declared, “Awll pweety!” as she touched the lipstick stains on her cheek.  

    “Yes Maddie, you’re very pretty. Such a pretty baby girl,” I cooed to her.  

    She smiled broadly, letting dandelion bits drop from her mouth.  She didn’t even mind being called a baby. All she heard was that she was pretty.  Or perhaps even that was over her head now, perhaps it was just my tone she was responding to.  

    “Who was here before me honey? Do you know their name?” I followed up.

    She blinked, totally uncomprehending.  

    “Who got you all pretty?” I tried. “Who got you all nakey?”  

    “Nakey!” she echoed brightly, reaching down and sort of patting her breasts.  

    It was no use, she’d had her brain turned to mush. It was time for some new tactics.  I brought Maddie back into the house.  She let me lead her by the hand, let me sit her down on the kitchen floor and clean her face up.  She was fine with being cared for now, perfectly happy to let an adult look after her every need. That was good because she’d be leaving this house now. She’d be taken into the care of Oranga Tamariki and eventually placed into a foster home.  

    My phone buzzed again.  

    She’s a pretty girl isn’t she? She really wanted her clothes off when I finished with her, so I obliged. I’m sure you don’t mind.  

    Son of a bitch.  This guy was still out there, and he was messing with me.  

    What is this about? What do you want from me motherfucker?

    His reply was quick, as expected.  

    I know who you are and what you’ve done.  That all ends now.  I showed you what happened to Ricky so you understood how capable I am.  Maddie was a warning.  

    A warning?  What the hell did that mean?  I still didn’t know what this guy wanted from me. But I wasn’t scared that easily.  

    Look asshole, I’m an expert at this stuff. You think I’ll fall for any of your tricks?  

    His reply was chilling.  

    I know how good you are and you’re right, I wouldn’t even try to put you under. That’s why you’re going to do it to yourself.  

    I blinked. What the fuck?  

    A moment later a video file appeared. It was a big file, took a minute to fully load.  

    Here’s your file, made especially just for you, a custom job. You just need to open it and watch. I suggest using headphones too, so no one nearby gets affected by accident.  Watch the file and you’ll be a sweet little one just like Ricky.  

    Obviously I didn’t click on the file.  

    No way am I watching that! Are you trying to tell me Rick voluntarily watched something like that? That’s bullshit and you know it.  

    Seconds passed, then:

    Ricky watched it all on his own, and knowing full well what it was.  The file will permanently cripple your mind, leave you a sweet little two year old who will never grow back up past the level of a four or five year old.  It will let you remember who you used to be though, let you keep your memories of being a big grown-up man. But that’s all they’ll be, memories.  I’m not cruel though, it will also make sure you’re very happy with your new life.

    What did this guy think he had on me?  No amount of money would get me to watch a file that would permanently regress me to toddlerhood, leave me to wander around in public in pull-ups or worse.  

    Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.

    What could he possibly expect me to say?  

    It’s your choice. But if you don’t listen to the file I will begin to regress everyone who is close to you, all your loved ones, your friends.  Maddie was your warning. From now on, they’re going to really hurt.  

    My blood pressure had to have spiked when I read that one.  I typed furiously:

    You’re full of shit!  If you’re such a do-gooder there’s no way you’ll do this to innocent people just because I know them.  

    One last reply came through.  

    I’ve given you a warning, which is more than your victims got.  It’s up to you now. Let me know your decision within one hour.  

    After placing an anonymous call to police so they would find Maddie I left the house and headed back to my own place.  Once there I ran through my old files, trying to figure out who this could be.  They had to be related to one of my earlier clients, had to have the technical knowledge to pull this off.  That couldn’t be a very long list.  But frankly I didn’t even know where to begin.  

    That got me thinking about another list, people who were potential targets for this psycho.  My parents lived far away, so they weren’t likely.  I wasn’t in a relationship at the moment, so no partner to worry about.  But I had friends and I had my brother, Ted.  He lived twenty minutes away, well within range of this guy. Should I call and warn him? It was possible, but there was no way I could explain the situation without endangering myself.  

    I decided to focus on my friends first.  I started a group chat with Tony, Erica and Keith.  They were my closest friends.  We played poker fairly regularly and tried to catch a movie once a month at least.  I decided to be vague, but serious.  

    Hey guys, sorry to come across all serious and scary but I’ve got a problem with a former client’s relative.  The dude is stalking me hardcore and actually just attacked a friend of mine. He might have my contacts list, which means he’ll know you guys and that means you could be in danger.  Try not to get close to anyone who acts like they know you, or tries to pull you aside.  It sounds like a joke, I know, but it’s for real.  

    With my mates warned I set about going back through my files again, looking for anything that stood out.  It was a long night and not that fruitful.  In the morning I awoke to find a text, delivered at 5AM.  

    I’m sorry to see from your silence that you rejected my offer.  I’m not that surprised though. You’re a very self-centred guy. All you psychopaths are.  But you’ll understand just how much I can take from you soon.  Ricky refused at first too. But as you saw he gave in eventually. He really shouldn’t have bothered.  It will feel lovely and peaceful I promise. My files are very powerful and very good. Ricky had an absolutely huge orgasm when his mind turned to mush.  He had stickies on his chin!  Do you think Tony will make a big sticky when I take his big boy thoughts away forever and ever? I think he will!  

    I opened my group chat. My message had been viewed by Keith and Erica, but not my Tony.  Fuck.  I barely had time to throw on my clothes as I raced out the door, heading for Tony’s place. It was just past 7AM. Would this bastard have been able to act in two hours?  There was no way of knowing for sure.  

    I banged on Tony’s door for a minute before I heard footsteps.  That was a good sign, someone was coming, someone was aware enough to answer the door at least.  But when it opened it wasn’t Tony, it was a sleepy looking Claire, his flatmate, standing there in her bathrobe.  

    “Jesus Jake, you know what time it is?” she asked.

    “Sorry, but I have to see Tony now. It’s an emergency.”  

    “Well sorry but he’s not here. He always goes for a morning run, remember?”  

    Shit, that was right. “Thanks!” I called out, rushing back down to my car and tracing the route Tony had shown me once many months ago when he was trying to convince me to join him for runs.  

    As I cruised past a park about a kilometre from his house I spotted him.  He was at the playground, sitting on a swing.  But he wasn’t playing on it, wasn’t acting like a little kid. No, he looked to be out of it, his head resting on his chest, perhaps deep in a trance still.  Maybe it wasn’t too late.  I didn’t even bother parking the car. I stopped double-parked and ran into the park, across the soft sand of the playground.  It wasn’t a good sign that his shirt, shoes and socks were sitting in a pile at the edge of the playground, but he still had his red running shorts on, so that was something.  Surely he wouldn’t have still been wearing those if this stalker was done with him.  

    I stopped in front of him, waiting to see if he was aware.  No, his eyes were closed, he was totally out of it.  I looked around, trying to spot the bastard. He had to be nearby. I must have interrupted him. Maybe he had a GPS tracker on my car! He must have known I was nearby somehow.  But there was no sign of him. No one was in the park at all.  

    I turned back to Tony and quietly said, “Tony, can you hear me buddy?”  

    His head jerked upward and his eyes opened.  He looked like he was just waking from a deep sleep, really needing to blink the drowsiness away.  But when he saw me his eyes focused, they really focussed and I could see the intelligence in them, the recognition.  

    “Jake? What’s going on? Why are you here?” he asked.  

    “Dude, do you even know where you are?” I asked him.

    He looked around and furrowed his brow.  “It’s that playground I run past. I’ve never been on it though.”  

    “Do you remember how you got here?” I asked him.  

    “Umm, I was running.  Yeah and then… there was this guy who fell over. I… I went to help him and then… I just remember being so sleepy and it felt really good, just going to sleep…”  

    I nodded. “Yeah, that guy was no ordinary jogger. He was a hypnotist. He put you into a trance. But it looks like I got here in time.”  

    Now Tony really looked confused. “What the fuck mate? And where are the rest of my clothes?” he added, suddenly noticing his lack of shirt and shoes.  

    “Oh, they’re over there, by the slide. I can get them for you.”  

    “Nah, I’m fine dude, I can get them.  I just want to know why the hell I took them off.”  

    I shrugged, not wanting to tell him any more than he needed to know. He’d be so freaked out if he knew the fucker who did this to him was probably preparing him to be a jaybird nudist.  

    “Well, if you’re good to go then…”

    “Definitely. Let’s just head back to my place. I’m not so keen to finish my run now,” he joked.

    Tony stood up out of the swing. Instantly the wry smile was wiped from his face. Tony’s eyes went wide and he looked confused.  

    “What’s wrong?” I asked right away.

    Tony’s mouth fell open, he blinked sharply, twice.  “I… it’s… my head’s all fuzzy ‘nd… umm….” he stammered.  

    My heart sank. Whether it was standing up out of the swing, or perhaps feeling the sand on his bare feet, something had triggered the suggestions he must have already fully absorbed after all.  

    I grabbed Tony’s arm and gave him a sharp shake.  “Tony, you need to fight this. Remember you have a girlfriend, Lisa, and she needs you.  You just got that promotion at work too. They’re really impressed with you, remember? Your boss told you they want you to move into management soon.”  

    Tony looked me in the eye and nodded.  “Yeah… I remember. I like Lisa, she’s so nice, so pretty.”  He blinked again and I saw his eyes going glassier.  

    “Stay with me Tony.  This isn’t real buddy, it’s just in your head, just suggestions. You don’t have to listen to any of them,” I told him.  

    He nodded, but I could see it wasn’t as easy as that for him. He moaned and looked down.  His shorts were tented out, his stiffy so big it was almost peeking out the elastic waist.  

    “My head’s going fuzzy, ‘nd it feels, ugh, so good,” he whispered.  

    I nodded. “I know it feels nice, but it’s forever Tony. If you don’t fight it you’ll be a dumb little toddler forever.”  

    Tony’s face showed his panic now. He shook his head, gripping both my arms in his hands. “Don’t want that,” he told me. “Don’t wanna be dumb.”  

    “Of course not,” I agreed. “Just remember who you are. You’re a grown man, you’re smart, you’re capable, you have a loving girlfriend.”  

    He nodded, but his grip on my arms lightened, his eyes glazed a bit more.  Every second standing there in that sand, feeling it on his bare soles, it had to be triggering him over and over.  He couldn’t fight it.  The suggestions must have been so powerful, so irresistible.  

    “I… I… it’s so big…” he gasped, looking down at the bulge in his crotch again.  

    I knew what was coming, but I couldn’t stop it.  Tony looked me in the eye once again, his lips were trembling. He shook his head, but he couldn’t hold on any longer.  His right hand slipped off my arm and plunged into his shorts.  I watched him jerk it up and down rapidly, frantically, desperate for the release.  

    “I gotta!” he blurted out.  

    “I know, I understand,” I told him, not trying to stop him anymore.  “Go ahead and get those stickies out.”  

    I watched his arm jerk up and down for another five or ten seconds, then his body spasmed and he let out an incredible moan.  Sure enough a few spurts of white goo escaped the shorts, flying through the air as he came with incredible force.  

    “Ohhh.  Ughhh. Mmmmm,” he moaned, shuddering from head to toe, eyes rolled back in his head.  

    I patted his shoulder and back, waiting until he was finished.  Then I gave him my best smile, wanting to give him as much comfort as I could, even though I was feeling deeply angry and saddened at once.  

    “I bet that felt really, really good, huh?” I cooed to him.  

    Tony’s eyes opened again and now they were vacant, glassy in the way I had expected earlier.  

    “Uh-huh,” he agreed, holding up his hand, covered in his own release now, showing it to me like it was something to be proud of.  

    I looked down at his shorts, where the bulge was slowly receding.  Might as well go all the way, get him comfy.  

    “Why don’t we get these silly messy shorts off, hmm?” I asked him, touching the elastic waist gently, waiting for permission.  

    Tony gaped down at his shorts. A minute ago he was desperate to get his shirt and shoes back on, felt totally exposed with his body on display like it was.  Now he smiled and agreed, “Off!”

    I slipped my thumbs in the elastic and yanked them down, revealing his softening penis, covered in sticky goo.  Holding my hands for balance Tony stepped clear of the shorts and kicked them away with a light giggle.  I patted his now bare bottom and said, “Okay Tony, let’s go to my car so I can take you somewhere they’ll be able to care for you.”  

    Tony had no clue what he’d just lost. He nodded and took my hand, toddling along with his now soft penis swishing freely between his legs while cum dribbled down his thighs and formed a shiny stain across his bare tummy, glistening in the morning sun.  

    “Goin’ fow wide,” Tony announced as I opened the door for him.  

    “That’s right. Aren’t you clever,” I praised him.  

    “Cweber,” he echoed back, letting me do up his seatbelt for him, strapping him into the backseat of the car naked like that was normal.  

    I dropped him off at an Oranga Tamariki office, explaining that I’d found him wandering the park naked.  

    “Do you know where you live honey? Your address?” they asked him.  

    “Lib in a houthe,” he answered.  

    “Do you know Mummy or Daddy’s name?” the tried next.  

    Tony just shook his head.  

    “How did you get to the park?”  

    “Wunned!” he answered, correctly for once.  

    “You ran to the park all nakey?” the case worked followed up.  

    “Nakey fun,” he answered, beginning to play with his soft penis, though not in a sexual way this time.  

    The case worker didn’t stop him, just rolled her eyes and typed up her report.  “Well thanks for bringing him in. We’ll handle it from here,” she told me.  

    “Okay, well, um, bye-bye for now Tony,” I told him.  

    My old friend gave me a toddler wave and chirped, “Bye-bye!” then to the care worker he added, “Him fwiend.”  

    She didn’t understand how true that was though and just nodded and said, “Yes, he’s a good friend for finding you and keeping you safe.”  

    If only she knew the truth.  I was not a good friend at all. I’d let this happen to him. And sure enough, as soon as I left the building my phone vibrated.  

    How many more will pay the price for your crimes?  

    I was pissed now.  

    Fuck you! This is all on you!

    But he wasn’t feeling guilty evidently.

    When I have finished with all your friends, all your family, I will reveal everything you’ve done to the media. Everyone will know what you are, and they’ll know you let your friends and family suffer instead of you.  People will hate me. But they’ll hate you even more.  

    He was right of course. I had no doubt he had the evidence to go to the media and that would destroy me.  Before I could reply, another message came through.

    Or you listen to your special programme, everyone thinks you just had a bad case of the virus. No one would hate you and, thanks to my mercy, you’d even be happy.

    I thought about the last two texts all the way home.  What good was my money if I was convicted of a crime.  They’d probably give me a booster of the virus anyway then.  That’s what they were doing with many criminals these days.  And if I waited longer more of my friends would suffer for me.  As much as I cared about myself, I didn’t really want that. And I especially didn’t want people knowing I allowed that.  Now I understood why Ricky listened to the programme.  He’d had no choice either.  I also thought about how Ricky ended up, his life now as a dumb as a post toddler.  Was that what this guy had planned for me too? Definitely.  

    Sitting in my living room I looked at the file on my phone.  It was actually called Happy Toddler.  I plugged in my ear buds, slipping them into my ears.  A file especially for me.  Should I listen to it? Or should I investigate more, try to narrow down the suspects, catch the bastard before it was too late?  No, there was no time.  He was too far ahead of me. He’d planned this out the way I planned out my hits, probably better.  I had to admit, it was actually pretty impressive.  

    I tapped the file icon, waiting as it loaded.  Fear and anticipation had my whole body shivering with an adrenaline rush, my fight or flight response going haywire.  A new window opened on my phone and the whole screen was filled with swirling colours.  

    If you are listening to this file it’s because you have decided to become a good little boy.  When you finish this file you will be a very happy, playful and affectionate two year old boy.  Your brain will struggle to retain any new information once all your intelligence has been removed.  You will learn only the most basic of tasks and very, very slowly.  But you will remember everything from before listening to this file. You will understand what you have given up by listening.  If you continue to listen now, you accept there is no turning back, no possible reversal.  

    I sat still, my heart fluttering, my stomach doing flip-flops.  

    Very good. You’ve made a wonderful choice. The process is going to feel wonderful and when it is done you will know you’ve made the right choice.  Now look deep into your screen, look right into the colours and take a nice deep breathe for me…

    **

    I woke up with a profound sense of disorientation.  I wasn’t in my house anymore, I wasn’t holding my phone or listening to the voice. I was sitting in the back seat of a car. Not my car though. No, someone else’s.  I could feel the seat belt across my chest and stomach. I wasn’t wearing a shirt.  I wiggled my toes on the floor, yep no shoes either.  But at least I still had shorts on.  

    “Welcome back.”  

    The voice jolted me into full awareness.  The man in the front seat was familiar.  He smiled back at me and then I knew who he was.  

    “You work for Oranga Tamariki,” I declared.  

    He nodded. “Good job. Aren’t you a clever little one!”  

    I didn’t know his name, but I’d met him several times through my work. That explained a lot. He wasn’t some expert hypnotist who I somehow didn’t know about. He just had access to the hypnotic programmes Oranga Tamariki was rumoured to have.  Apparently they were very real, and I’d just watched one that had been modified, corrupted by this bastard.  

    “But, why are you… what the hell is this about?”  

    He jerked his head at my companion.  I wasn’t alone in the backseat after all.  Another young man was sitting next to me, wearing just a pair of pull-ups, nibbling the tips of his fingers and cuddling a well worn looking stuffed bunny under his arm.  He looked to be in his thirties, a bit tubby with short blonde hair.  And then I recognised him. He was one of my marks, from maybe two years ago.  

    “You remember Kenny?” he asked me.  

    “Yeah… I mean, sort of. I… I worked with him…”

    “You turned him into a dumb little toddler!” the man cut me off.

    Blushing, I nodded.

    “Do you even remember why?” he asked, calming down a bit.  

    I wanted to say yes, but there was no point lying. I’d done this too many times to remember each individual case.  I could only shake my head.  

    “He wasn’t a cheater, he wasn’t a criminal. My brother, Ken, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnessed a hit and run where a young woman was killed, he did the right thing and gave his statement to the police. He was supposed to testify in the trial, but a week before his court date he suddenly had a severe case of the virus.  They said it was of a rare type that permanently crippled the mind.  

    “Everyone else believed it of course. With so many adult toddlers roaming around, who notices one more?  But I knew it was too convenient. I worked so hard trying to get him to remember, trying to get a name from him, anything.  But you did your work too well. He couldn’t string a sentence together, never mind describe to me what happened to him.  

    “So I’ve cared for him ever since.  It’s not been easy. You made him a wild boy, a rambunctious, hyper little tot. He climbs on everything, gets into everything, makes a filthy mess out of himself every single day.  He’s wearing pull-ups because he still isn’t fully potty trained.  He’s not wearing anything else because you turned him into a nudist. Was it for your own jollies? Was that because whoever ordered the hit asked for it?  I think it was the former.  Regardless that’s what you did.  And now my once well dressed, modest, quiet brother, the ultimate introvert, runs screaming around the house buck naked, jerking off whenever the feeling strikes him, pissing in the backyard like a puppy more often than actually using the toilet like a proper man.  He goes to daycare in a t-shirt and pull-up and gets those off the moment a back is turned. I don’t bother fighting it anymore.

    “But eventually I caught on. I looked for similar behaviours in virus victims found wandering in public.  Eventually I was able to prove these weren’t virus victims at all, and that meant hypnosis. There’s a small pool of people who are accomplished enough at hypnosis to do that and so I started examining all of them. And that’s how I found you, living well above your means, clearly getting income you didn’t earn through your normal work.  I followed you, just the way you hunt your victims.  And well, here we are.”  

    He had me dead to rights. And yet I was still sitting here, still mentally intact. Was there a way out perhaps? Did he want an apology, to his brother?  

    “So if you know all of that, why are we here?” I asked.  

    “Well we’re here because this is your new home,” he explained, gesturing to the house to our left.  

    It was a run-down looking state house with toys littering the front yard.  

    “They have six other foster children,” he explained.  “I’ve investigated them three times for various complaints. My favourite one being that they let their charges run around naked in the front yard, even on the street, in full public view.  They promised to change their ways, but I know they haven’t.  Welcome home buddy.”  

    I swallowed hard. This was the worst kind of place. I knew of foster homes like this and I had only once intentionally placed a mark in one of them and I actually felt guilty about doing it despite being paid extra for the service.  

    “Please, don’t…” I began.

    “Don’t waste your breath Jake. It’s already done.  You should just be happy I’ve kept my word about it being painless, being pleasurable actually.  I will give you that one thing. As hard as you made my life with my brother, Kenny himself has been happy as a clam since the day you did this to him.  He is perpetually smiling, giggling, blowing kisses and giving cuddles.  So I’m going to allow you that as well.”  

    There was no way out. Why hadn’t he just done it? To torture me longer obviously.  Well I was done with that.

    “Look if you’re going to do it, just be done with it,” I told him.

    “Oh I’m not going to do anything to you,” he replied.

    “What?”

    He shook his head. “No, I think it’s only fair that he’s the one who takes you down,” he explained, gesturing to Kenny.

    I looked over at the tubby man beside me, drooling down his chin as he played with his toes, pulling his foot back and forth.  He was going to regress me?  How was that even possible?  

    “Kenny,” my assailant prompted him, making the drooling man baby look up, forgetting his fun toes for a moment at least.  “You want Jake to be a happy boy just like you, don’t you?”  

    Kenny smiled and nodded.  

    “Okay then, go ahead, just like I showed you. Whenever you’re ready, make Jake’s big boy thoughts go bye-byes,” he instructed.  

    The toddler man let his foot go and leant across the car.  I retreated into door, pressing my body against him, but it was child locked and I couldn’t get out.  Kenny looked so happy to be doing this, like he was actually helping me.  He leant right over and planted his lips on my forehead, giving me a big, wet, kiss.  

    And I felt it, a wave of static and fuzz blasting into my brain through my forehead, as though transferred by the kiss.  I was being dumbed down too now.  All the times I’d done it, I’d always wondered a bit, what it felt like for them. So many times now I’d watched their eyes glaze over, their faces slacken as the adult intellect and maturity faded away.  It was incredible to realise I was experiencing it now myself.  

    “Good job Kenny,” the man praised him.  “Look at that, he’s already forgetting those big boy worries and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.”  

    Of course a part of me wanted to fight it.  But another part of me knew that wouldn’t work. There was no fighting this.  My brain was going night-nights and it was going to feel so good.  The pleasure was real too.  It coursed through my whole body, felt absolutely wonderful.  I was getting aroused.  I was finally going to know what it felt like to be a big toddler. It was the greatest secret and I was going to know the answer!  I needed it to happen, I wanted it to happen. I knew deep in my core that I wanted this.  What would it feel like?  What went through a toddler’s mind?  

    My penis got hard in my shorts, stretched them out. I could feel the end coming, the big shift.  I didn’t want to stop it though. I moaned out loud, that’s how great the sexual pleasure coursing through me was.  I reached into my shorts and gripped my warm, hard penis. And I stroked it. Up and down, faster and faster.  The man in the front watched me hungrily, with great anticipation. Kenny was hopping up and down on his seat, held back only by the belt.  They wanted it as much as I did now.  

    I came with huge force. And for a shining second I understood that I hadn’t actually wanted this.  That was the suggestions, twisting my mind, making me help in my own demise.  Of course I didn’t want this, didn’t want to be a drooling dumb baby man.  I wanted respect, money, power. And looking at that house, I knew all those things would be taken away from me. A toddler had no power at all, he was totally dependent on his caregivers. That house meant there would be no money either. I would be downright poor. And nobody would respect a boy too dumb to even dress himself properly, a man who ran around naked.  I was losing everything.  

    Warm cum splashed across my tummy and chest. A glob struck the bottom of my chin. I grunted and my whole body convulsed.  It was the greatest orgasm of my life.  

    **

    I like the way the grass feels between my toes.  I wiggle them and it kind of tickles. It’s a nice sensation.  I lean forward to grab some of the grass, to taste it. I like tasting things.  My pee-pee brushes through the grass when I lean forward. I giggle, that’s better than the tickles ‘tween my toesies.

    “Jakey, come on now!” Mummy calls.

    I stand up. My pee-pee jiggles around. I love how that feels. I hop up and down in the grass. My pee-pee is all bouncy!  There’s a man walking by the front fence. He looks at me, at my bouncy doodle. I wave at him.  I want him to know too.  “Bounthy pee-pee!” I shout.  He smiles and waves but then he keeps walking.  I want to walk on the street too, with the big people. That’s a no-no, cuz I’m too little.  But I used to be big. I should be able to walk there too.  

    “Jakey, get your butt in here this instant!” Mummy uses her angry voice.

    Mummy is cross. I don’t like when Mummy is cross with me. She smacks my bottom. She says it helps that I always have a bare bum-bum cuz it’s easier to smack when I’m a naughty boy.

    I hurry inside. I’m a good walker. I’m not a little baby. I go inside and Mummy is looking at me with her angry face.

    “About time. You know we have an important appointment with the therapist. Now, let’s go,” she said.  

    I’m ready to go, but Mummy holds up my pull-ups.  I get frowny.  

    “Dun’ wanna!” I tell her.  

    “Jakey you know you can’t go bare bummed to the therapist. Now get over here and let Mummy dress you.”

    It wasn’t fair! I felt so angry. Mummy didn’t understand, she was a grown-up, she didn’t know how good it felt for little boys like me to be nakey.  It just felt so, so good when my pee-pee was free. It was the best feeling in the world.  I stamped my foot and shouted, “Nakey Jakey!”  

    Mummy came over and grabbed my arm real tight. It was all ouchy. But worse was what came next. She smacked my bum. Ouch! She did it twice!  

    “So is it going to be a bare bum getting smacked, or will we wear pull-ups?” she asked.  

    I pointed to the pull-ups, feeling tears drip down my cheeks.  I don’t like ouchies on my bottom.  Mummy helped me step into my pull-ups, then she took my hand really tight and we walked out to the street. I liked that part of it, being on the big person street, going for a walk.  The big people weren’t like me though, they weren’t holding someone’s hand and they had clothes on and shoes.  But I didn’t want those. I loved how the warm, gritty pavement felt under my feet. Those grown-ups didn’t know how good that felt. Silly grown-ups.  

    We got to take the bus today. I love taking the bus.  There are lots of grown-ups and big kids on the bus.  And I look out the window and see so many things. Things I can’t begin to understand or describe.  I point to some of them and tell Mummy, “Look!”  

    After a long adventure on the bus and a walk on the really big city street, we got to the building Mummy was taking us to.  Grown-ups looked at me a lot in the big city. They pointed and said things, but I couldn’t follow their words.  

    Finally we went into the therapist’s office.  I sat on a soft chair and Mummy was next to me.  The therapist man wore a shirt and tie. He had kind eyes and I liked him right away.  I remember that I was a therapist man when I was big and smart. But I don’t really know what that means.  I think I worse big grown-up clothes and sat at a desk just like him. That doesn’t seem real though, that feels like make believe, like imagination. But I can’t even imagine what it would be like to wear a shirt and tie like the therapist man, or to sit at a desk.  

    “So, what’s the main problem?” the man asks Mummy.  

    “He’s not keeping up with the other kids in his daycare and the Oranga Tamariki people are worried. I’m afraid they’ll blame me, do another damn investigation.  I’m telling you it ain’t nothing I’m doing to him.”

    The man nods. He understands Mummy. I don’t. I can’t follow that many words.

    The man looks at me, he smiles and says, “Hello Jakey. I’m Ben and I’m here to help you, okay?”  

    He has a kind voice too. I like him. I nod.  

    “Good. Now, I’m just going to ask you some questions and I want you to answer for me as best you can. Okay?”

    I nod again.  

    “Okay. Can you point to your head for me.”

    I know my head. I point to it and the man nods. I was right. I feel very smart!  

    “Now how about your toes.”  

    I love my toes! I definitely know them.  I grab my foot and wiggle them for him to see.  

    “Toesies!” I tell him.  

    He chuckled and nods.  

    “Good, and can you tell me how many toes you have on that foot?”  

    I blink. I don’t understand the question.  How many?  What’s that mean?  I look at my toes again. They’re so wiggly.  I wonder if they still taste like grass from earlier.  I pull them into my mouth and suck on them. No, not really like grass.  

    “Eww, Jakey don’t eat your feet! You’ve just been walking all over the city, they’re filthy boy!” Mummy warns and pulls my foot out of my mouth.  

    “Don’t worry about it, I see that more than you might think,” the therapist assures her.  “Now, let me run a few more tests.”  

    **

    The therapist man told Mummy I wasn’t getting bigger.  He thinks something is wrong with my head.  Mummy called it a boo-boo in my head, one she can’t kiss better.  I giggle because I already knew that. I knew something Mummy didn’t! I not gonna get bigger and every time I think about that, it makes me feel so tingly and good, especially in my pee-pee.  I ripped my pull-ups off when I got home, so when my pee-pee tingles everyone can see it getting bigger.  That’s okay, that’s normal.  My brothers Jamie and Ollie are little like me, so they love running around nakey sometimes too.  I don’t think they like it as much as me though.  Mummy calls me Nakey-Jakey, the family nudist.  But brothers’ pee-pees get big when they’re happy too.  When doodles get big, we tug on ‘em, we make ‘em do sticky squirts.  Mummy don’t like it, but it’s worth an ouchy bum.  And now my pee-pee is extra happy, because the therapist man said I won’t get big again.  I’m such a lucky boy!  I grab my pee-pee and tug. Brothers giggle because they know what I’m doing, they know how good it feels.  It’s naughty, but it’s so nice.  

    I tug and tug until, ugh, ohh, I start to make squirts....

    And in that moment I become fully, completely aware of what has happened.  It happens every single time I orgasm, every time I masturbate myself or, worse, one of my brothers gives me a handy.  For a moment it all comes back and I know how fall I’ve fallen.  It’s another curse that bastard left me with.  For a few seconds as my back arches and I moan out loud I’m not feeling pleasure, I’m taking in my new life.  I’m aware that it’s been over a year since I listened to the file, since Kenny kissed my forehead and triggered my regression.  I’m aware that I’m currently standing buck naked in the front yard, facing the street, where a passing postman can see me unabashedly stroking my cock.  I’m aware of how dirty my body is, how embarrassing it was that everyone was staring at me walking around the city centre in nothing but the most juvenile of pull-ups, that I sucked on my own toes in front of the therapist.  It all comes crashing over me in that moment.

    And I actually welcome it when the fuzzy tingles shoot through my head and all the awareness slips away as quickly as it came on. It’s actually, honestly, the best part of the orgasm, the moment when that peaceful simplicity washes over my mind.  

    It’s a huge relief to be utterly oblivious again.  I can drop to my bare bottom in the grass, completely unaware of what just happened. I notice two big blobs of my stickies have landed on my toes and without a moment’s hesitation they’re right back in my mouth.  But I don’t know what I look like now, I don’t notice the postie looking over the fence at this sight. I’m just enjoying the feeling of my salty, sticky toes wiggling in my mouth and the grass brushing my bottom.  Instead of shame and anger, I smile around the toes, grin up at the man shaking his head at me.  In the end, that ignorance really is bliss.

    The Faker

    Years ago scandal after scandal hit around the foster care system.  It became public that CYFs (Children, Youth and Families) had been allowing mass abuse to take place.  The system was overburdened, underfunded and constrained by stupid rules.  They placed kids saved from one abusive family into another one that was often even worse.  The discovery of this abuse led to a government inquiry and the replacement of CYFs with Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Children.  Finally they had the funding, the oversight, to get things right.  But then the virus hit and everything changed.  

    After the virus appeared it was clear the legal status of those affected had to change too. Clearly they were not adults anymore, not capable of looking after themselves.  Those affected became minors once again and so legally they were children.  Those who had no one to care for them, no partner or willing friends or parents couldn’t just be left on the street of course. So a new system of state care, of foster care, was set up.  But of course funding couldn’t keep pace with the exponential growth of the demand.  And so case workers found themselves drowning in clients, emergency facilities filled up and oversight dropped noticeably.  

    It was inevitable that abuse would take place again. Anyone could see that.  But the government would turn a blind eye as long as possible. Orphans don’t have families to complain on their behalf. Minors can’t vote.  So it’s only natural politicians tend to forget about them.  Unless someone makes their plight so public the government can’t ignore it.  That’s where we come in.  

    My name is David Wells and I’ve been an investigative journalist for nearly a decade now.  I’m thirty-three years old and I have a girlfriend named Sarah, an ICU nurse.  She’s a great woman, willing to put up with my long hours and occasional weeks long disappearances.  And she understands the importance of the problem with the foster system.  She understands why I need to do this.  

    “So you’re ready?” Mark asks me.  

    I take a breath, considering if I really am ready to do this.  It’s a simple plan really, go undercover into the foster system, witness the failings, report on them.  But it’s not really that simple of course. To go undercover I have to convincingly play the role of a virus victim.  I need to stay in character at all times.  There is a high risk that I’ll be abused myself and will have to endure it in order to save others who can’t fight back.  

    “As ready as I’m going to be mate,” I tell Mark.  

    He nods, knowing it’s time to begin.  He and my editor, Lauren, are the only two people who know that I’m doing this.  They’ve implanted a chip in my shoulder that will allow them to track where I am, but otherwise there will be no contact until I decide I’ve learned all I need.  

    But to start it all off we need to get me into the system. That’s why we’re at the Bellhaven Mall, sitting in Mark’s car.  He’s carefully parked it where there are no security cameras, just in case they check.  Once I give the go ahead, Mark gets out of the car and walks toward the mall entry.  I wait two minutes, then I get out and head the same way.  

    The purpose is so that Mark can “find” me, a lost virus victim, wandering the mall without his caregiver.  It’s not unusual for a reluctant carer to dump a kid at the mall. It shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows.  

    I find Mark near the mall entrance.  I’ve already done my best to think about the saddest events of my life, to work up some fake tears. It’s tough but I think my eyes are red enough to be convincing.  

    Mark gives me a little nod, putting his hand on my shoulder and asking loudly for those around us to hear, “Are you lost buddy?”  

    And now it’s time to really get into character.  We decided that the younger I pretended to be, the more likely people would commit abuse around me.  But there was a limit to how young I felt I could convincingly act.  And I needed to be old enough that they wouldn’t just leave me in a crib in an institution. I needed to see the whole system, including foster families.  So we decided I would pretend to be about three years old, mentally.  

    I gave Mark an exaggerated nod.  “Uh-huh!” I answered, with a little sniffle.  

    “It’s okay buddy, let’s take you to security so they can find your Mummy,” Mark said, taking my hand and now leading me through the mall.  

    I’d been dressed to look like the right age of course.  A red and white striped t-shirt, baggy blue board shorts with no pockets, so no wallet or ID of course.  My shoes were velcro sneakers with Minions yellow and blue socks.  On my back was a minions backpack, a child leash dangling from it. Inside all they would find is empty juice boxes, cracker crumbs, a pack of crayons and a ratty old teddy bear.  

    Mark delivered me to mall security.  A ruddy faced middle aged man in a brown rent-a-cop uniform looked me over with disdain.  

    “I found him wandering around all by himself.  He clearly looked lost and pretty upset,” Mark told him.  

    The man nodded.  “Did you see anyone leave him?” he asked Mark.

    “No, sorry.”  

    “Not your fault,” the mall cop said.  Then he turned to me, looking at me like a moron, like I was clearly too thick to understand him as he asked, “Did your Mummy or Daddy bring you here?”  

    I did my best to look simply scared and confused, just as he would have expected. I nibbled on my thumb and twisted my body about, saying nothing.  

    The mall cop frowned but didn’t seem surprised by my silence.  

    “What’s your name?” he asked next.

    I decided to give him an answer this time, but a brief one.  

    “Dabey,” I told him.  We decided it would be safe to use my own name, since it was very common anyway.  

    “Davey, that’s good,” the mall cop told me. “What’s your last name Davey?”  

    I blinked like it was the toughest question he could have asked.  Then I said, “Me Dabey,” and gave him a little smile.

    He sighed.  “Okay buddy, that’s okay. Do you know what your Mummy’s name is?  Or your Daddy?”  

    “Mummy!” I replied quickly now, smiling innocently, like this was clearly the right answer.  

    The mall cop rolled his eyes and I had to fight the urge to chuckle at his suffering.  He turned to Mark and said, “Thanks for bringing him in. Looks like we’ll have to get the cops in on this one so if you wouldn’t mind sticking around…”

    Now it was Mark’s turn to look upset. “Hey sorry man but I actually have a date that I’m already going to be late for and I did my duty bringing the boy here. He’s safe now and I’m not gonna be able to tell the cops anything useful. So sorry mate, but he’s your responsibility now.”  

    And just like that Mark turned and left the security office without looking back at me.  I was on my own now.  

    The cops arrived half an hour later.  I was less than impressed by their response time, especially as I’d been given nothing but a piece of paper and the crayons they found in my bag to play with.  It was tough having no phone, no kindle, nothing to actually entertain myself with.  I drew my best scribbles nonetheless, focusing on making them believable.  

    The police officers were a male and female patrolmen, wearing full blue uniform and high-vis vests.  They took the mall cop’s statement, then the female officer, a pretty young blonde, knelt down to the table I was scribbling at and gave me a big smile.  

    “Well hello there Davey,” she said.  “My name is Shawna.”  

    I looked up at her and stopped scribbling for a second.  

    “What you drawing there honey?”  

    I looked back at the messy scribbles. They didn’t look like a single recognisable thing.  

    “Is a bunny,” I said, pointing to one red scribble. “Daz a monkey,” I explained, pointing to a green one.  

    Shawna responded very positively, telling me how good an artist I was. It was painfully condescending, but at least she seemed genuinely nice.  

    “Davey, that’s your name isn’t it?” she asked next.

    I nodded, acting shy still.  

    “Good boy.  Now, do you know what I am?” she asked.

    I shook my head.

    “Well I’m a police officer. It’s my job to keep little boys nice and safe and get them home with Mummy and Daddy,” she explained.

    “Po-eese offercer,” I repeated, like I was sounding it out, badly.  

    She nodded, ignoring my terrible diction.  “Exactly.  Now, Davey, if you can answer a few questions for me, it would really help. That sound okay to you?”

    I nodded, but of course I didn’t actually answer any of her questions. No, I don’t know Mummy and Daddy’s names, no I don’t know my street or phone number. No, I don’t remember what Mummy’s car looks like or what colour it is.  Finally Shawna gave up and told me we were going to take a little ride.  She acted like it should be very fun and exciting, riding in a police car, so I smiled and tried to look excited too.  

    Shawna sat in the back seat of the car with me, doing up my belt and everything. It was so weird being led by the hand, having someone do everything for me.  But I kept up the act.  We were almost there.  

    Sure enough the police didn’t drive me to a station. They drove to the nearest emergency juvenile facility, basically a modern orphanage.  These were places they put kids until they could place them in foster care. Sometimes that was overnight. Other times it was weeks or even months.  That wasn’t what they were meant to be for, but it happened far too often.  

    I had seen these places before, but never as a client of course.  The facility they took me too was standard design.  It was cold and sterile looking on the outside.  Inside there was a big front desk where they processed new arrivals.  The cops explained my situation to the woman on duty.  She was about forty years old, overweight with brown hair cut short.  

    “What’s his mental age?” the woman asked the cops.

    “We don’t know for sure. But he seems about two to me, maybe a young three,” Shawna answered.  

    The woman frowned. “Two and three are quite different,” she told the cop.  

    I felt like frowning too as I’d apparently been acting a bit too young damn it.

    “Is he in nappies, pull-ups or undies?” the woman followed up.

    Shawna shrugged. “Well, we haven’t really checked that.”

    The woman nodded in my direction. “Well, have a look then,” she said.

    Shawna and the male cop didn’t look comfortable, but she did as asked.  I did my best to look totally unconcerned as the woman pulled up my t-shirt, snaked a finger into my shorts’ elastic waist and pulled it out.  I shouldn’t care who saw my undies of course. Little boys had no sense of privacy. That was a big part of the problem of course.  

    I was wearing little boy underoos.  They were white with navy blue piping and dinosaur prints.  Shawna looked them over. It was so strange to have this woman gazing at my underwear while I just stood there. It wasn’t foreplay after all.  She wasn’t interested in what was inside of them, she was just checking to see if I was toilet trained.  

    “He’s in undies,” she called out, no need to be discrete for a little boy.  

    The woman nodded. “Right, probably three then, or at least close to it,” she declared.  “I’ll take him from here.”  

    Shawna let my shorts and shirt go, but before she went she did give me a little hug. It was nice, being held in her warm arms and I automatically let my arms close around her, returning the gesture.  

    “You’ll be safe now Davey. You’re going to stay here for now and we’ll look for your Mummy so you can go home really soon,” she told me as she hugged me.  

    I didn’t say anything back. It was kind of nice not to be expected to.  

    Just like that the police officers left me with the woman, Shawna giving me a little wave as she left.  I waved back, wiggling my fingers little kid style.  

    “So, Mummy left you then. Couldn’t have a little tyke cramping her lifestyle anymore?”

    The woman had come out from behind the desk and was addressing me coldly, not expecting any response of course.  

    “Well it’s not your fault of course, nothing you could have done. Some women just can’t deal with the responsibility.”  

    For a moment I had assumed she was angry at me, but now it was clear she was angry for me.  She’d seen too many boys abandoned this way.  

    “Okay Davey, my name is Miss Devine and I’m in charge here, do you understand?”  

    I nodded right away.  

    “Good. Now as long as you be a good boy, follow all the rules and do as you’re told, we’ll get along just fine. Can you do that? Are you a good boy Davey?”

    Another nod.  “I good boy.”  

    She smiled. “Excellent, now let’s get you up to your dormitory,” she said, taking my hand.

    Now the real test began for me. From now on I’d be around people who were used to dealing with virus victims all day long. They knew how a mental three year old behaved. They would be tougher to fool than a mall cop or even the actual police.  

    Miss Devine tugged me along by the hand with no real regard for my comfort.  I nearly tripped over twice and she just pulled me along harder.  We hurried upstairs and along a carpeted hallway.  I could hear people in the rooms to our left and right.  My guide took us to the third door on the right and I saw the sign on the door said Dormitory 5.  

    It was bigger than I had expected.  What I had thought was a bedroom turned out to be a sort of playroom and bedroom.  There were several beds along each of the walls, left and right, but the middle was a large carpeted area designed for play.  A table sat just to the left of the centre, a place for snacks and meals to be eaten.  And along the wall, five small red plastic potty chairs.  Well, small but not as small as they could have been. They were clearly meant to fit adults.  

    Miss Devine immediately made eye-contact with the only other independent adult in the room.  She was blonde like Shawna, her hair in braids.  She looked to be in her twenties, thin and pretty in fact.  It was obvious that she was in charge here as she was wearing normal looking clothing, a blue jumper and jeans with sneakers.  

    “Anne, this is Davey. The police have just dropped him off. He was abandoned at the mall this afternoon.  He appears to be toilet trained, at least during the day,” Miss Devine told the woman as she walked over to us.  

    Anne didn’t look pleased at all.  “Another one? Jesus, we don’t have any more space,” she argued.

    “You think I want this? What choice is there. Some b-i-t-c-h is out there living the dream again and we’re here to clean up the mess. That’s all there is to it,” Miss Devine replied.

    “I know that, I do.  It’s just… it’s too much for me to keep an eye on them all as it is.  And what about those new clothes?”  

    “I told you, we had to make cuts to the laundry budget.  They’re not going anywhere so it doesn’t really matter anyway does it?  Of course not. Now, I have to get back to the front. I have faith you’ll be able to handle things here Anne. Don’t underestimate yourself.”  

    Then she looked over and me and said, “Davey, this is Anne. She’s going to look after you. Remember what I said about being a good boy for her. I don’t want to hear anything bad about you from her. Is that clear?”  

    I nodded silently.  

    Miss Devine let my hand go, spun on her heels and was gone without another word.

    Anne gave me a sad smile and put her hand on my shoulder.  “Welcome to our little family Davey.  I’m sure we’ll get along really well,” she told me.  

    I did my best to look assured, nodding.  

    “Great! Now, let me show you where you’ll be sleeping,” she said.  

    As Anne led me to an empty bed I took in the other occupants of the room.  I counted nine other men and women, all looked after by this single young woman.  I made ten of course.  There appeared to be five other men and four women in this room.  What gave me pause was that most of the men were just wearing shorts, a couple in ratty, stained looking t-shirts, but the rest topless.  The women were no better, in simple skirts or shorts, two of them topless, their boobs jiggling free as they crept on the floor on their hands and knees.

    As we walked I pointed to them and asked, “Why they nakey?”

    Anne shrugged and said, “Well, we just want you boys and girls to be nice and comfy.”  It was clearly a lie. They were suffering a shortage of appropriate clothing, and the ability to keep them clean. It was like a third world orphanage here.

    We reached the bed and Anne gave it a pat, telling me to sit on the light blue duvet.  I did as directed and she looked down at me and said, “Well Davey the thing is right now we can’t actually clean your nice clothes if they get all dirty.  And we don’t want them getting all ruined do we?”  

    I had to shake my head.  

    “No, that would be very bad,” Anne agreed.  “We want those clothes nice and clean for when Mummy comes to get you. Won’t that be nice?”  

    “Uh-huh!” I agreed with a bright smile, though I was afraid I knew where this was going.

    “Yes, exactly.  So we better take them off now before you join the others playing. You know how messy we get when we play.”  

    Now I frowned and crossed my arms like an angry toddler.  “Wike my cwodes. Big boy cwodes,” I tell her.  

    Now Anne nodded seriously.  “Yes I can see that. You’re a very big boy aren’t you?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “So you’ll be a good big boy and help me keep your clothes clean then, help me pack them away nice and safe.”  

    “What I gonna wear?” I asked, really nervous now.  

    “Well I have some nice shorts for you, just like the other boys.”

    I wondered what would really happen to my clothes. Probably they’d be passed on to some mentally older boy, or perhaps they would be saved for me, to be worn only when a social worker visited or I needed to be taken outside somewhere.

    Anne made quick work of ripping the velcro of my sneakers open and peeling them and my cartoon socks off.  I obediently raised my arms while she slipped my t-shirt over my head, then held my breath as she yanked my shorts, again exposing my silly little boy undies.  

    Just like that, in mere seconds really, I was rendered practically nude.  As part of the prep work for this I’d had the treatment that rendered virus victims childishly hairless for months at a time.  So my body was now just as smooth as the others.  I watched Anne pack my clothes and shoes into a plastic bag, then she smiled at me and said, “See, isn’t that better?”  

    I shrugged, feeling so, so embarrassed to be standing there in my underoos.  Here was this pretty young woman and she was seeing me nearly naked and I couldn’t even attempt to cover up. Even my blushing, and I had to be blushing, could be giving me away.  It was actually a relief when she helped me step into the new baggy board shorts that were to be my only uniform from now on.  

    Anne could see that I was uncomfortable and she put her hand back on my shoulder and said, “Oh Davey, it’s okay honey.  Tell me, how old are you sweetie? Do you know?”  

    I shook my head. “I ‘unno.”  

    “Well I think you’re probably three. Does that sound right to you honey?”  

    I nodded, glad she guessed right. Well, happy that I seemed to be acting three right.  

    “Well there’s no reason for a boy your age to be feeling so modest.  I think you’re as cute as a button,” she said with a warm smile.  “Now, why don’t we go say hello to your new playmates. Does that sound okay to you?”  

    I nodded. “Kay.”  

    She took my hand and led me over to where the other kids were playing.  “Everyone, I want you to look at me now please. Jenny, eyes on me please. Good girl.  Okay, I want you all to say hello to Davey.  He’s going to be staying here too.”  

    “Hi Dabey!” the whole group of mentally regressed men and women chorused.  

    “Jamie, can you show Davey your toy trucks,” Anne prompted a ginger haired boy in his twenties.  

    The young man nodded and began excitedly showing off his Tonka trucks to me.  I did my best to seem interested, dropping down onto the carpet next to him.  Anne left us to play and the others returned to their games. I was just another one of the kids now, just another little boy playing on the floor.  I’d pulled it off, they all thought I belonged here.  

    **

    So was there abuse in the orphanage? Well, that was actually harder to say than I might have expected. On the one hand any outside observer surely would have been horrified by the conditions we were living in. If I had burst in here with a camera crew we’d have got exactly what we were looking for, scenes that would shock our viewers, drive the ratings up and embarrass the employees.  

    Here nearly a dozen young men and women were being kept nearly naked on a perpetual basis.  We were expected to toilet together all at the same time, sat on the five potty seats in two groups, forced to pee or poop while the other five watched, waiting their turns.  What little dignity we had disappeared during these episodes, as our shorts and undies were stripped away en masse and we were left to play completely nude while awaiting the potty seat and then afterwards until everyone was done.  With only a single proper adult in the room it was the most efficient thing to do, and of course toddlers didn’t have the awareness to be embarrassed by such treatment.  I’d heard of things like this about orphanages in third world countries before, but not here.  

    But Anne was doing her best to keep us clean and entertained.  We got walked through a shower once a day for a cursory scrubbing.  It didn’t do much for the hair though and so I, like the other boys, was given a very short hair cut that first day.  The girls hair just got matted and dirty though.  Anne did her best to keep the peace, fix the boo-boos and make us feel cared for.  She had a guitar and she would sit there playing it and singing to us while we all gathered around her on the floor.  I could see she really cared about us.  

    The food wasn’t great, but it was sufficient, though only just. No one would be getting fat here, that was for sure.  Milk and juice were served in small boxes with straws, provided by charities mostly.  The food itself was probably not that great for nutrition and there was nowhere near enough in my opinion. But no one was going to starve here either.

    I had been there for three days and I was beginning to think we should just abort this mission and try again in a different location. The story here wasn’t really scandalous enough to stand by itself.  But then our dormitory got a new addition.  

    Another young man had been abandoned by his carer, but he was different from the others and that obvious as soon as he arrived, led by Miss Devine.  For starters he was dressed, well, like any normal adult man.  He was wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants with sneakers. But nothing about the clothing was very childish. The t-shirt was plain light blue, the sweats were navy and his sneakers had laces.  

    I guessed him to be around thirty, a bit overweight, short black hair.  He wasn’t happy to be here at all.  

    “You’ve got to be kidding!” he snapped upon seeing the rest of us.  

    It was potty time and it hadn’t even occurred to me that we were all naked of course, myself included.  I suddenly felt a wave of shame. After the first twenty-four hours I’d largely adjusted to the lack of clothing, to the shameful potty times. We were inside after all, the others were all morons with the exception of Anne, and she was used to it. But having a stranger, a competent one, see me like this, woke up my modesty.  

    “Anne, this is Tommy…”

    “It’s Thomas,” he corrected.

    Miss Devine ignored him.  “And he’s three years old.”  

    “No, I’m clearly not!” he argued. “I have the virus, but I’m not three yet. They say it could be six months before I get back to that level.”

    “Legally he is three years old,” Miss Devine continued, ignoring his protests.  

    “Only because my bitch girlfriend insisted on getting my legal status changed right after I was diagnosed. And then she went and backed out on the whole thing and ran off.  But I’m still perfectly capable of looking after myself. I don’t need to be here with… them,” he spat with utter disgust.  

    “Honey you’re here because you are legally a minor and can’t be living on your own. If you petition the court they’ll tell you the same thing. The virus is unstable, it may be six months, it may be much less. It’s too dangerous for you to be out there all on your own while you lose your mental faculties.  Let us take care of you,” Anne explained to him in her kind, even tone.  

    Thomas calmed down a bit, but he didn’t look happy.  “I get that, I do. But why can’t I be put with older kids? What on Earth am I going to do with them? I’ll go nuts with boredom.”

    “Sounds like someone needs a booster,” Miss Devine said.

    Thomas’ face utterly blanched. “Don’t you fucking dare!”

    “Language Tommy,” she snapped back.

    “Hey, hey, hey, don’t worry mate,” Anne intervened. “We don’t have the funding for that kind of thing anyway.”

    Thomas calmed down again but said, “So, why not an older room then?”

    “The other rooms are already too full,” Miss Devine answered.  “You’ll just have to make do here for now.”

    “If something opens up I’m sure we will try to move you,” Anne added.  “And this will only be temporary anyway, until a foster home becomes available or a guardian volunteers to take you.”

    “One of my friends will agree. You just need to let me contact them,” Thomas urged.

    “Of course. I’m sure we can help you with that,” Anne agreed.

    Miss Devine rolled her eyes but Thomas couldn’t see that.  And with that she left the room.  

    “Well, let’s get you a bed,” Anne told him.

    Thomas nodded, then asked, “Why are they all bare bottomed like that?”  

    “It’s potty time. It helps a lot of them to avoid accidents and saves on messy clothes.”  

    “I’m not taking my clothes off, understand?” Thomas insisted.

    “Of course not,” Anne said with a chuckle. “I trust you’ll be able to keep yourself clean.”  

    Thomas nodded gratefully.  

    “So what can I do then? I don’t see anything but baby toys.”

    “Well I have some games on my phone. You’re welcome to play them until dinner time.”  

    Thomas shrugged. “I guess that’s a start.  But that’s probably going to get boring pretty fast.”  

    “Well, we’ll deal with that when we come to it,” Anne said, taking out her phone and unlocking it.  “Here, try this one,” she said, handing it to him.  

    Thomas sat down on his bed and started playing the game.  Anne returned to potty duty, checking to see if the current set had done their business yet, cleaning them up if they had, encouraging them to make pee-pees or poopies if they hadn’t yet.   Meanwhile I kept glancing over at Thomas.  He really was engrossed in that game, whatever it was.  For a solid half an hour he didn’t move from that spot. His fingers just kept working the screen, his eyes locked on it.  

    As time wore on though I noticed that Thomas was looking sleepier and sleepier. His eyelids were drifting slowly shut, even as he played the game.  Finally Anne seemed to notice this as well. She walked over and sat down next to him. But Thomas didn’t seem to even notice her arrival. He just kept playing the game while she brushed a finger through his hair. Still no reaction from him at all.  

    Anne put her hand on his shoulder and leaned right up against him, whispering something into his ear.  And just like that his whole body seemed to go limp.  The phone dropped to the carpeted floor as his arms fell into his lap like wet rags.  His eyes closed and his chin dropped to his chest, his shoulders slumping, mouth hanging wide open.  

    None of the other kids seemed to notice anything. I had to pretend to be oblivious as well, playing with a toy school bus, driving it around in circles. But really I was watching what was happening to Thomas with awe.  

    Anne put her arm right around his shoulders and was speaking to him too softly to hear anything she said.  Thomas remained totally limp, eyes closed, drool hanging from his gaping mouth now.  Ten minutes passed, maybe fifteen then Thomas opened his eyes again, his head jerking upwards, righting itself.  He blinked the sleep away as Anne rubbed his arm.  

    “Feeling better honey?” she asked him.

    To my surprise Thomas nodded.  

    “Okay, let’s get you more comfy then,” she directed, standing him up.  

    And then the really stunning part came. Anne began to strip him of his adult clothing, same as she’d done to me.  But with all his complaints earlier I was sure Thomas would resist.  He didn’t though. He just stood them, totally compliant as she slipped off his shoes and socks, his t-shirt and even as she pulled down not just his pants but his boxer shorts as well.  And just like that he was as nude as the rest of us, and when he turned around to face us there was another surprise. Thomas was fully erect.  His penis wasn’t shaved bare like the rest of us either.  But I wondered how much longer that would last.  

    “Okay Tommy, are you ready to potty like a big boy?” she asked him a condescending sing-song voice.  

    And the newly naked man grinned like an idiot, nodding and declaring, “Tommy big boy!”   

    Anne took his hand and led the newly naked man right over to an empty potty, helping him sit on it.  He sat there, gaping at us, drool still running down his chin, hanging from it in a single shining bead.  But he couldn’t tinkle in the potty of course, not with that stiffy.  Instead he poked at it, toyed with it innocently, his erection bobbing about, smacking against his lower stomach, leaving a little precum there.  

    “My doodle big!” Tommy suddenly announced.  “Doodle bounthy!”  

    I blinked in shock. The other boys laughed and clapped their hands.  The girls just giggled and poked out their tongues at our silly new playmate.  

    Anne chuckled and had to cover her mouth.  “Well, maybe you should play with the others for a bit. You can use the potty when your doodle gets soft.”   

    And now Tommy actually smiled. He grinned and nodded.  Then he joined us one the floor and just like that he was one of the boys. Anne packed his clothes into the same kind of bag mine were in, leaving him with the rest of us.  He was just another naked toddler man now, left to play with the simplest of toys.  

    Astonished by this sudden transformation I crept over to Tommy, watching as he pushed a toy police car around the carpet, down on his hands and knees, his penis still hard, still swinging free between his thighs, the head bobbing against his tummy.  

    “Tommy, what happened? I thought you were a big grown-up?” I whispered to him once I was right alongside.  

    The man looked at me with a slack expression, then he turned and dropped onto his bare bottom, sitting with his feet pressed together.  He still held the toy car in one hand, and pulled curiously at his own bare toes with the other while he answered me.  

    “I wad big. But I gotta boo-boo. I wad gettin widdle,” he explained.  

    “Yeah, I know, you have the virus…”

    “Da baby viwus. Makes widdle,” he agreed, wiggling his toes against each other.

    “Right, but you said that was six months away, remember?”  

    Tommy looked at me with utter confusion on his slack face.  “Waz six monts?”  

    I couldn’t believe how complete his dumbing down seemed to be.  He’d lost his numbers, he’d lost his understanding of time.  

    “It means a really long time,” I explained.

    Now Tommy understood me.  He nodded and said, “Uh-huh! But Anne hewped it be faster. Got awll widdle. Big boy stuff gone bye-bye.”  

    “But I thought you didn’t want it to be faster. Didn’t you want to stay big, wear your big boy clothes?”  

    Tommy shook his head. “Nuh-uh. Widdle’s funner. Imma nakey boy now!” he said with clear pleasure, pulling his whole foot back and forth.  

    And that was all there was to it.  Tommy wouldn’t be contacting any friends to be his guardian after all.  He wouldn’t have known how to use the phone to call them.  He was no different to the other kids now.  Soon he’d be sent off to a foster family and he’d be just as helpless as the others.  They’d never know he hadn’t even had a booster.  

    There was a story here, that was clear.  But was it enough? No, probably not. After all Tommy did have the virus, he was regressing to toddlerhood anyway. All they did was speed it up without his consent.  And since he was a minor and in their care perhaps they didn’t even need his consent.  Legally they probably could have compelled him to have a booster if they had the funding. Was the hypnotic treatment any different?  

    No, I couldn’t call it off yet. I needed to see where this led.  

    **

    I had been in the dormitory for a week when Miss Devine came back for me.  I was being moved to a foster home.  Well actually three of us were, including Tommy.  He was taken first in fact.  They brought him a new outfit to wear. Of course he couldn’t be dressed in his old adult clothes. No, he was given a faded old Wonder Pets t-shirt and some jean shorts.  No shoes though, not even a pair of sandals or jandals.  

    I waited to see if they would give him a reversal trigger, wake him up from the toddler mentality they’d put him in.  After all that had probably been a mercy, stuck in this place for days on end, nothing but toddler toys for entertainment.  But now he was leaving, heading out into the world. There’d be no more chances to wake up from this. And he might still have half a year, maybe more, with a functioning mind.  

    Anne gave him a cuddle and a kiss on his forehead.  

    “Okay Tommy, say bye-bye to your friends,” Miss Devine cooed to him.

    “Bye-bye!” Tommy chirped with a silly smile, waving his arm up and down in an exaggerated wave.  

    They didn’t give him any reversal trigger. He padded out of the room on his bare feet, happily babbling to himself as Miss Devine led him along by the hand.  

    Two hours later it was my turn to have a cuddle and kiss from Anne, to give my best fake bye-bye wave to the others and be led away.  At least I was given new clothes to wear.  The dormitory was like a cacoon, a safe place. It would have felt very wrong to be shirtless outside of it.  But the clothes they gave me weren’t the ones I came in with.  In my case it was a red t-shirt with an anthropomorphic puppy playing basketball on the front.  That and a pair of cut-off jean shorts that clearly had several previous owners.  

    At least the puppy on my shirt had basketball sneakers.  I wasn’t given any shoes to wear this time.  

    “Weh my sneaks?” I asked, when Miss Devine pronounced me ready to go, once my t-shirt was on.  

    “Oh you won’t be needing those honey. You look plenty comfy in your bare feeties,” Miss Devine brushed off my question.  

    And just like that we were off.  Miss Devine handed me off to a woman in business attire, a name badge on her lapel identifying her as an Oranga Tamariki case worker named Melanie Esdale.  She looked me over and seemed satisfied with my attire. No comment was made about my lack of footwear.  I had the feeling no child left this centre with a pair of shoes.  She simply took my hand and led me out of the building, buckling me into the back seat of her car.

    Melanie was pleasant to me, but not really warm.  This was her job, she was professional, but probably far too overworked to really take an interest in her clients anymore.  

    “You’re going to like your new home Davey,” she told me.  “You’ll have brothers and sisters now and a Mummy and Daddy to look after you.”  

    “Weh my Mummy?” I asked her.  

    I could see her frowning in the rear view mirror.  “Oh, we’re still looking for her baby. But your new family will look after you until we find her.”  

    “Who my new famiwy?”  

    “Well you’re getting a nice, big new family honey. You’ll have a big brother and there’s two boys about your age.  And a little sister as well.  I’m sure you’ll all be best friends in no time,” she assured.  

    It was a good hour drive from the orphanage to my new home. And as we went I noted that we were headed to the south of the city. That was to be expected. Most of the foster families were relatively poor and the south was the lower class area of the city.  Sure enough she took an exit that led us into one of the poorest suburbs in the city.  We passed through the rusting industrial areas and then into the sprawling rows of state houses built in the 50s and 60s to house the workers.  They had mostly been sold off to private owners now, but they didn’t live in these dumps. No they rented them out to people who got government accommodation supplements.  They were home to minimum wage slaves, unskilled labourers, single mums on the benefit and gangsters.  

    It was on one of these streets that Melanie pulled over and parked the car.  It was exactly as I feared.  The houses here had peeling paint, rusted metal roofs, front yards overgrown with weeds, fences broken and falling over.  A gaggle of three small children, probably four or five years old, were running wild along the footpath. Two of them were shirtless, wearing only shorts while the third wore a t-shirt and undies.  They ran right out into the road a moment later, not even thinking to look for traffic.  

    But the most ominous sign about what I was in for was the man on the footpath right in front of us.  He was squatting in the middle of the pavement, wearing a blue t-shirt that appeared to be two sizes too small for him.  He was wearing that and a pair of childish underoos, dirty ones with a hole visible on the bottom.  The fellow was thin and young, probably not over twenty-five.  His hair had been cut so short it was practically shaved.  His body was hairless too of course, smooth all over.  He was staring at us, at the parking car, with a slack, vacant expression. Was that drool shining on his chin?

    Melanie got out of the car and looked right at the half-naked young man.  Was she upset? Was she going to write up a report about this clear neglect?  There was no sign of any supervision, the man-boy was alone out here, on the street.  

    She smiled and walked right over to him.  “Well hello there Evan, what are you doing out here sweetie?” she asked him in a bright tone.  

    Evan giggled and smiled.  It was a big, dumb grin.  “Eban makin’ pit-chures,” he answered, showing her the red chalk in his hand.  

    Melanie nodded and made a show of looking over the scribbled chalk drawings he had made on the pavement.  “Oh, yes I see, that’s very good,” she enthused.  

    Evan continued drawing for her, and it was clear that Melanie wasn’t concerned by his lack of pants, his lack of supervision at all.  She didn’t comment on it, didn’t look worried and made no attempt to take him back into the yard.  And of course she wasn’t.  Those three kids were on their own playing in the street.  It wasn’t like a lack of supervision was unusual here.  And Evan’s lack of pants was no different to that of any toddler.  No one was giving him a second glance.  

    Melanie came around to my side and opened my door.  “Here we are sweetie. Let’s say hello to your new brother Evan,” she said, undoing my belt and taking my hand.  

    I stepped onto the warm pavement, feeling it gritty and rough under the bare soles of my feet.  Yes I’d been barefoot a solid week now, but that was inside, on a soft carpet.  This was very different. This was not something I was used to at all.  I didn’t like it, not one bit.  It felt dirty and uncomfortable and was an instant sign to anyone looking that I was a child and not worth paying attention to.  

    Evan meanwhile had dropped onto his knees, scribbling hard with his red chalk. His t-shirt only came halfway down his back, it was so small for him.  I could see the bumps of his spine halfway up.  And the soles of his feet were on display now and it was impossible to miss how black they were, how callused the heels and the toes looked. That didn’t bode well at all.  This boy was filthy.

    “Evan, say hello to your new brother, Davey,” Melanie told him.  

    Evan spun around, sitting on his bottom on the pavement, legs crossed in front of him, gaping up at me.  He blinked and began to chew on the chalk, right on the side he’d been rubbing all over the dirty footpath.  

    “Don’t be shy honey, say hello,” Melanie prompted again.

    “Hi,” he said from around the chalk.  

    “Good boy,” she praised.  “Well, Davey, can you say hello too?”  

    “Hewwo,” I said.  

    “Lovely. Now, let’s see where Mummy and Daddy are.”  

    Melanie led me inside, leaving Evan to continue his drawing on the footpath.  The yard was overgrown, a rusting trampoline taking up half of it, a swing-set with not a single intact swing sat opposite. The front door was blue with mostly glazed glass.  There was no bell, so Melanie knocked.  

    “Hello, hello!” she called out.

    “Just a sec,” came a reply from within.  And soon enough we were greeted by a middle aged woman in a hoodie, some track pants and fluffy slippers.  

    “Hello Mrs Williams.  This is Davey, your new foster child,” Melanie announced.  

    The woman gave a small smile, but I didn’t think it looked genuine.  She smelled of cigarette smoke and wasn’t wearing any make-up. Her hair was dark blonde but I suspected it was coloured and the roots appeared to be darker.  

    “Thank you for bringing him,” my new mum told Melanie.  “I’m sure I can handle things from here.”  

    “You don’t have any other questions?”

    “I read all the info Matthew e-mailed through to me. I should be fine. If I have any issues, I’ll be in touch.”  

    Melanie nodded.  “Well then, Davey, you behave for your Mummy okay. I’ll be checking up on you really soon.”  

    I was honestly shocked by how quickly this whole transaction went down. It was like she was dropping off a washing machine, not a child.  And she didn’t even mention the half-naked man-boy playing unwatched on the footpath!  Just like that she spun on her heels and walked back to her car, giving me one last wave before she disappeared.  

    “Okay Davey, come with me and we’ll see where you’ll be sleeping from now on,” Mummy directed, taking my hand.  

    “Lady go away,” I said, pointing to the departing social worker’s car.  

    “That’s right honey, you won’t be seeing her again for awhile. She only comes by to drop off more kids.  Not that I mind, more kids is a bigger cheque for me and Daddy.  Not that you understand that anymore.  Money don’t mean a thing to you, does it silly boy?” she mocked.  

    I stayed silent, not wanting to retort and give anything away.  

    “I wonder what you were before the virus. Hmm? You remember what you used to do for a living when you were all grown up? Something smart?”  

    “Worked at da bank,” I lied.  

    She snorted. “Ha! Well, isn’t this quite a long fall for you.  Don’t imagine you ever would have expected to end up living out here in Clendon Park.  Well, you’re in good company. Evan out there, he was a lawyer before. Can you imagine that silly little boy all dressed up in suits and everything?”  

    I already hated this woman, lording it over these poor children, laughing at their plight.  But I could see why she was bitter. The house was worse on the inside than it appeared from the outside. There was mould on the walls making the paint peel.  The carpet was dirty and toys were abandoned all over.  Piles of laundry sat unwashed and the rubbish bin was overflowing.  An ashtray on the table next to the couch in the living room was utterly filled with cigarette butts.  

    And there in the living room I met two more of my new siblings. There was a man and a woman playing on the floor.  The woman was sat on her bottom, cradling a baby doll in her arms and pretending to feed it a bottle.  She was wearing nothing but a big crinkly white diaper herself, so it was funny that the baby doll was actually better dressed than her.  She was a pretty woman, probably late twenties, her light brown hair tied into pigtails.  She was thin, her breasts not exactly small, but not what I’d call too big either.  

    The man was older than her, probably a bit older than me actually.  He was wearing a yellow t-shirt and a thick pull-up.  His hair had been cut very short, though a bit longer than Evan’s at least.  

    “Say hello to your brother Paul and sister Hannah,” Mummy told me.  

    I didn’t actually say hello, and it didn’t seem like she really expected me to.  The pair did look up at me though and I saw the curiosity in their eyes.

    “Who dat?” Paul asked, pointing at me.  

    “This is Davey. He’s your newest brother,” Mummy told them.

    Paul smiled. “Him pway?”

    “I’m sure he’ll be happy to join you once I have him settled,” she answered.  

    The girl said nothing, choosing to chew at her dolly’s hair instead, blinking up at me with wide, empty eyes.

    “Hannah don’t speak much yet,” Mummy explained as she led me out of the living room.  “But I see you still have some words, don’t cha?”

    “I gots words,” I answered.

    She chuckled. “Well that’s something then. Can’t stand it when we get the non-verbal ones. They tend to cry all the time.”  

    The bedroom turned out to be even worse than I thought.  They put all five of us in one room with just three beds. That meant I would likely have to share with a kid who wasn’t toilet trained, on a bed likely not properly washed after each accident.  

    “It ain’t much, but you’ll get used to it,” Mummy told me when I frowned.  “Like I said, Evan used to be a lawyer. He was used to real fancy stuff.  Now he shares a bed with his brother, runs around naked or half-naked most of the day and y’know what? He’s happy as a clam. Paul used to be some sort of engineer. He still loves building towers with his blocks, but that’s about it. And he’s a smiley little guy too.  And Hannah was studying to be a teacher. Now she just seems to want to be a mummy to her dollies.  Simple minds, simple needs.”  

    “Weh Daddy?” I asked.

    “He’s workin’ buddy. Rent don’t pay itself. You’ll meet him later tonight.”  Mummy seemed to think a moment.  “And now that you’re here we need to go buy some food so Mummy can have dinner ready when Daddy gets home.”  

    I watched as she got the other kids ready for a trip to the supermarket.  Evan was finally called inside.  He continued sucking on his chalk while she slipped a pair athletic shorts up his legs.  She put Hannah in a simple short-sleeved purple dress, no bra or anything.  Paul got a pair of cut-off jean shorts quite similar to mine, though longer, falling to his calves.  Neither his t-shirt nor Evan’s were long enough to cover their tummies though.  

    “Okay, now you all stay close to Mummy, remember. No running ahead or you’ll get a smack,” she warned.  

    We headed out of the house, I assumed to get in her car.  But instead we turned down the footpath and started walking right past the cars parked nearest on the street.  

    “Weh da car?” I asked.  

    “Daddy’s got the car honey,” Mummy answered. “We get to walk. It’s good for you.”  

    I hadn’t expected that. I looked at the others, who despite her warning were already starting to skip ahead of her, giggling and playing.  As they surged ahead I was able to see that Paul and Hannah had black, tough soles on their bare feet, same as Evan. They probably made this walk to the supermarket every day, making their feet tough as shoe leather. No wonder they were so dirty.  But my feet were tender and after only twenty feet or so I already could feel that the hot pavement, the loose pebbles, the even sharper and hotter roads we’d need to cross, would be a nightmare for me.  

    “Mummy, my feets is soft,” I complained. “Gwound too hot ‘nd ouchy. I need sneaks.”  

    Mummy frowned and for once she actually seemed sympathetic. She stopped walking and put her hand on my arm.  “Let me have a look,” she said, nodding to my feet.

    I lifted my right foot up, so she could see.  She looked closely at my sole, then ran a finger along it, making me giggle involuntarily.  

    “My goodness, those are soft. You must have just had the virus I guess.  I’m sorry sweetie, but this is something you’ll need to get used to. Shoes just aren’t in our budget. Sure we could get real cheap ones but they’d fall apart in no time and need replacing. And good ones are just too expensive when you kids just don’t really need them,” she explained.

    “But I need ‘em,” I told her, pleading.

    She rubbed my shoulder kindly.  “No sweetie, you don’t.  I know it’s hard giving up all that grown-up stuff. But that’s the way things are. You’re little now and you need to get used to that. Little boys have no more use for shoes than they do a phone or a wallet.  Your feet will toughen up soon enough and then you’ll be able to run ahead just like your brothers and sister and you won’t even notice the ground anymore.”  

    And with that she took my hand and started walking again.  I had no choice but to go along with it. I did my best to stick to the grass alongside the footpath, but when we crossed the streets it was terrible. They paved the roads here with the cheapest tarseal and it was gritty and sharp to walk on, not to mention pitch black and thus scorching hot in the sun.  

    It was a real relief to be in the actual supermarket on their cool, smooth floors after a twenty minute walk.  Evan sat in the trolley Mummy got, his feet pressed tightly against the wire mesh.  The rest of us just kept a hand on the trolley and walked along with it.  Touching things we weren’t meant to earned a quick smack on the back of the hand or the top of the head.  Obviously I avoided that, but Hannah and Paul each got a few whacks.  

    We all had to help carry the shopping home.  But we took a different route, much to my chagrin as my soles had only just begun to fully recover when we had to go all the way back.  Our new route took us an extra ten minutes out of the way.  

    “Why we goin’ dis way?” I finally asked.

    “We need to pick up your big brother Harry at school,” Mummy answered.

    **

    The school was a hive of activity.  We arrived just at 3PM, as the hundreds of primary schoolers were being dismissed for the day.  All along the gates mums were waiting to collect their kids and many had also brought along little siblings.  Some were sitting in prams, others ran around playing games while they waited for big brothers and sisters.  

    The children leaving the school were all wearing the same uniforms. It was a sea of teal polo shirts or navy jumpers and black shorts or skorts.  A little under half the kids also wore black sneakers or Roman sandals, but the majority were barefoot. Some carried the shoes they’d been sent to school with, others either had them in their bags or hadn’t bothered with them at all.  

    Despite the uniform clothing there were big differences between the children. It wasn’t just the mix of ethnicities, of short and tall, thin and fat either. No, it was a huge mix of ages as probably a quarter of the kids were physically adults.  These bigger kids were mixed in with all the others though. Groups of friends walking and playing together would have three or four little kids and two six foot tall adults all acting like equals.  

    Indeed that was the case as two kids made their way straight towards us. One was a small ginger boy with a freckled face.  His jumper stuck out the top of his oversized school bag and the six year old was riding a little razor scooter in bare feet.  Riding right along next to him was a much bigger boy. He looked to be thirty or so with short brown hair.  He was tanned with broad shoulders and a solid build.  But in a matching teal polo shirt and baggy black school shorts he looked utterly boyish.  He was also riding a beaten-up looking razor scooter in bare feet.  

    “Who’s that?” the older boy asked Mummy, stopping his scooter right before us.  

    “This is your new brother, Davey,” Mummy told him.  

    “Wow, you get another new brother?” his little friend asked.  

    Harry nodded. “Yeah I get heaps of ‘em,” he answered, sounding oddly happy about that situation.  

    “Cool,” his buddy agreed.

    “How old is he?” Harry asked.  

    “About the same age as Evan honey. He’s a little brother,” Mummy told him.

    I expected he’d be disappointed with that.  He was probably hoping for a new playmate, a partner in crime.  The last thing he would be wanting is another toddler around the house.

    But to my surprise he actually seemed pleased with this. There was no sigh, no frowning.  He looked utterly delighted to be honest.  

    “I gotta go,” his friend told him.  

    “Okay Brad, see you tomorrow,” Harry replied.  

    “So, you ready to go too?” Mummy asked him.

    “Uh-huh! I’ll lead the way!” he answered, pushing off and racing ahead on his scooter.  

    He spent much of the walk home doing tricks on his scooter, zipping well ahead, then turning back.  It was on the final block that he looked at me funny, riding all the way back to where I was dawdling along after the others.  I wasn’t hurrying ahead the way the other boys and Hannah were as they tried to keep up with their big brother.  

    “You okay?” he asked me.  

    I understood what he meant. I was walking strangely now, my soles raw and feeling burnt.  I shook my head. “Feets hurt. They ouchy,” I told him.  

    Harry stepped off his scooter and walked along next to me.  “You musta just got little huh?”

    I nodded silently.

    “It’s okay, you’ll get used to it. My feets got all ouchy like that when I first got little too.  But now look how tough they are!” he said, breaking into a sprint, glancing back at me to be sure I was watching.  

    I appreciated that he was at least trying to comfort to me. I was worried he would be nothing but a bully, obsessed with being bigger than the little kids.  So far he seemed kind.  

    I was so relieved when we got back home.  It was a dump but it was a relief to be standing on grass, even if it was overgrown.  Mummy went inside but told us to stay out there.  

    “Why?” I asked, tired of being in the hot sun.

    “Cuz kids need to be outside as much as possible, get that good air and everything,” she answered, before going in and closing the door behind her.  

    It seemed obvious to me that she just wanted us out of her hair. She was leaving four helpless kids basically unsupervised in the front yard.  Meanwhile she would be watching TV or on her phone, or perhaps just taking a nap.  

    With the only adult gone the kids set to playing with the toys abandoned in the yard.  Hannah crawled around the grass on her hands and knees, babbling nonsense to herself, her nappy visible to everyone.  Paul and Evan kicked a little red soccer ball around.  Then Harry walked over to them and said, “C’mon boys, don’t you want to be more comfy now we’re home?”  

    The two young men stopped kicking the ball around and nodded.  Evan didn’t need any further instructions.  He grabbed the waist of his shorts and yanked them and his underoos down in one motion, stepping out of them and leaving them in a pile in the grass.  Paul watched this, nibbling on his thumb.  

    “Want brother’s help?” Harry asked the other boy.  

    Paul blinked innocently, then nodded.  Harry slipped his thumbs into the boy’s waist and yanked his shorts and his pull-up down too.  

    And just like that both of the young men were naked from the belly-button down.  That didn’t last long though. Harry wasn’t satisfied with taking their shorts. He guided Paul’s arms into the air and slipped his t-shirt off as well. Then he turned to Evan and said, “C’mon buddy, jaybirds don’t have t-shirts do they?”  

    Evan stopped poking at the ball with his toe and looked back up at Harry.

    “No-oh, jaybiwds all nakey,” he answered.  

    “That’s right,” Harry cooed, stepping over and basically directing Evan’s arms into the air before yanking his light-blue t-shirt off as well.  

    “There, doesn’t that feel so much better?” he asked.  

    Evan smiled and nodded right away. And I was even more surprised to see that Harry then put his arms around the now nude man-boy and cuddled him very tight, rubbing his back and even pecking a little kiss on his cheek.  

    With that the two nudists went back to playing with their ball, kicking it and running around the yard oblivious to their nudity now, even as their flaccid penises swung and jiggled about as they played.  

    Harry watched them with real intensity, smiling to himself, looking very satisfied.  What was going on here?  

    Then Harry turned to me and asked, “Would you like to play ball with the others Davey?”  

    His voice was very kind, like an adult would talk to a small child.  

    “I dunno,” I answered, acting shy.  

    Harry stood right in front of me and put his hand on my arm.  “It’s a lot of fun. I promise you’ll like it. I know Evan and Paul would like it if you played too.”  

    The two boys stopped long enough for Evan to call, “Uh-huh! Dabey come pway wid us!”  

    I shrugged and said, “I guess.”  

    Harry nodded, pleased I was looking less reluctant.  

    “Good. But before you play we should get you out of these clothes, so you don’t get them all dirty,” Harry told me.  

    He wanted me naked too, I could see the eagerness in his eyes, the anticipation. Something was wrong with this. Why would a six year old be so keen to have his toddler brothers running around nude? And why didn’t his mannerisms fit his age now? Six-year old boys didn’t talk that way.  

    I shook my head and scowled. “Dun wanna,” I told him, acting shy.

    Harry wasn’t giving up though.  

    “Oh come on now, you can’t be crawling around in the grass with your nice clothes on. And you’ll be so much more comfy without them.  Look at Paul and Evan.  Don’t they look happy with their doodles all nice and free?” he urged.  

    I made a show of looking at them, but there was no way I was stripping down out here, in full view of the street. And especially not with this creepy man urging me to. I decided to compromise instead.  

    “I take off my shirt,” I offered.

    Harry frowned a moment but then seemed to accept this as a first step.  “Yeah, okay, let me help you,” he said, pulling my t-shirt up over my head and throwing it in the grass.  

    “There now, doesn’t that feel much better?” he asked.

    I shrugged. “Is okay.”  

    “You’ll see soon buddy. It’s much better to have no clothes on at all,” he told me.

    “You takin’ your clothes off too?” I asked him.

    But Harry shook his head. “Nah, I’m too big buddy. I go to big boy school now. I can’t be running around nakey-bummed like a little boy.  But you’re little now, so you can do it and no one will mind.  You’re the lucky one,” he assured me.  

    I decided not to argue the point. Instead I joined Evan and Paul in kicking their ball around.  Harry just sat down on the front steps and watched us. He watched our every move.  As the two nudists’ penises knocked back and forth between their thighs Harry was clearly enjoying the show. I wondered if he knew why he was excited by this. Little boys were often confused by such sexual desires, but Harry seemed to know exactly what he liked. It just didn’t feel right.

    **

    Mummy didn’t make dinner that night, she got takeaways instead. I got the feeling that was the normal situation for this family.  We all ended up sitting around a table covered in fish and chips laid out over the now unwrapped brown paper they came in.  It was finger food, so perfect for the poorly coordinated young men now filling up on the greasy, salty food.  They ate as much as they could, chewing with mouths wide open, lips and fingers dirty from the cheap tomato sauce provided.  

    Paul and Evan were still naked of course, their doodles brushing against the table as they leaned over it to grab more food.  It was so unhygenic, so disgusting, but I couldn’t say a thing of course.  Mummy didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned when they came back in from the yard that way. Instead she had simply stripped Hannah out of her dress before dinner, leaving the young woman in just a nappy once again.  And Daddy, when he arrived home from work just before dinner, didn’t give their state of undress a second glance.  

    No Daddy didn’t seem interested in kids at all, not even me, not even the new addition to the family.  He just asked Mummy, “How old’s this one?” upon seeing me playing with the toys on the living room floor in just my shorts.  

    “He’s three, like the other two,” Mummy told him simply.  “Name’s Davey.”

    He just nodded and then went to the fridge for a beer, plopping down on the couch and casting Netflix from his phone onto the TV.  It never ceases to amaze me that people living in such trashy accomodation still made sure to afford beer, a smartphone and a big TV.  

    “Mummy, Davey’s gonna get his shorts all messy with sauce. Shouldn’t he take ‘em off like the other little kids,” Harry suddenly pointed out.  

    What was going on here? He really seemed to want to get me out of my clothes like the other boys.  Was it because it made him feel like a big boy to be all dressed while the rest were naked? Maybe this was about asserting his dominance as the oldest boy.  

    Mummy looked over at me and just shrugged. “He’s keeping himself clean so far,” she said, not even bothering to actually ask my opinion on the matter.  

    Harry didn’t look happy but he kept eating.  I was glad that Mummy reacted that way but I needed to be careful not to stain my clothes with the tomato sauce. It was clear that getting messy would lead to Mummy stripping me to my undies before any meal, as with Hannah.  And sure enough there was a big splash of the red sauce running down her left breast now.  But the bare-boobed young woman didn’t seem to notice or care.  

    After dinner we were ordered into the back-yard, a small area with some grass but a lot of bare dirt, surrounded by rotten, falling down fencing.  There was the frame of what was once a swing set, but all that remained of the swings were rusted chains.  Now the kids simply used it for climbing around on.  Hannah was quite a sight as she wrapped her legs around one of the poles, pressing up against the metal with her bare chest and her nappy.  

    For a bit Paul and Evan played another impromptu and poorly organised game of tag.  But they stopped when Harry called out, “Uh-oh, looks like Evan’s feeling a bit happy!”  

    I looked up from where I was sitting in the small patch of grass.  At first I was just glancing out of curiosity, but then I saw what Harry meant.  Evan was fully erect, his bare penis standing straight up, bouncing against his tummy as he ran around.  He wasn’t embarrassed at having his arousal pointed out though. No, he was still smiling as he stopped running and looked down at his stiffy.  He gazed at it thoughtfully for a moment, then actually poked it, letting out a little giggle.

    Harry went over to his side and, to my utter shock, he wrapped his fingers right around the shaft of Evan’s erection.  The toddler-brained man just grinned at this massive invasion of his privacy, totally oblivious to how wrong this was.  All he seemed to know was it felt good and that must mean it was a good thing.  

    Harry actually looked right up at me then and said, “Look how big Evan’s pee-pee is, Davey. Does your doodle get all big sometimes, just like his?”  

    I nodded silently, too shocked to speak even if I wanted to.  

    “That’s right,” Harry told me with a smile. “Doodles get all big when you’re feeling good, when you’re extra happy.  And when that happens you know what you should do?”  

    I shook my head.

    Harry giggled. “You come show it to me silly!  I know just how to make it feel extra nice, make it feel so, so good.  If you’re a good boy I’ll help you make squirt-squirts like this,” he explained, beginning to stroke Evan’s penis up and down.  

    I was frozen in place, too awestruck to do anything.  And I didn’t even know what I should or could do anyway. Was I meant to intervene? Was this abuse or just a big brother helping his toddler brother feel good? Was this just what naturally happened between loving brothers when they had little boys’ minds but fully adult, sexually mature bodies?

    Certainly Evan didn’t seem to mind his brother’s manipulations. His eyes were glassy, his breathing heavy, a smile playing at his lips.  He nibbled on his fingers with one hand and rested the other on Harry’s shoulder, letting out little grunts as he neared climax.  

    Paul didn’t look disturbed either. He’d stopped playing and sat bare bottomed in the dirt, watching the show.  Even Hannah seemed entranced by it, playing with her feet idly while watching.  

    But it was the  way Harry helped his brother that made me more concerned.  This wasn’t juvenile exploration of each other’s bodies. He didn’t look clumsy or curious at all. He was expert, he was gentle and comforting as he manipulated the man’s stiffy.  And that was when I became certain Harry was a malingerer, a faker.  

    Of course I’d heard of such things before. They’d caught a handful of fakers, but it was rare. Some experts believed it was much more common than we’d like to think.  Of course I was a malingerer too, but I was doing this for good reasons, in order to protect the vulnerable mentally regressed boys and girls.  This young man was obviously malingering for his own purposes.  

    On the one hand this was terrible, but on the other it finally justified my investigation. Here I finally had a real story. No, it wasn’t exactly the one I had come for, but it was juicy and it was important. This would get good coverage and it might well lead to more safeguards, more systems to stop such exploitation.  

    Evan grunted louder than before, his eyes rolling upwards as spurts of white goo shot from his doodle, landing in the dirt and on his own toes.

    “That’s it Evan! Good boy, get it all out for me!” Harry urged him, still stroking away as the naked man’s body spasmed and he came.  

    Paul giggled at the show and Hannah actually clapped her hands.  I had no doubt they’d seen this before, probably many times.  

    Harry cleaned his hands crudely in the grass afterwards, smiling at me and saying, “You see how good squirt-squirts feel Davey.  So you let me know when that doodle gets all big, all happy, okay?”  

    I didn’t answer, not even a nod. But he didn’t seem to care, he went back to playing with his toys, pretending to have the mind of a six year old.  I crept over to where Evan was now playing with some colourful rings, sliding them up his arms and legs.  

    “Does Harry give you squirts a lot Evan?” I asked him quietly.  

    The man gave me a dumb smile and said, “Uh-huh! Hawwy makes my doodle skiwt.  I’m a siwwy boy ‘nd I make lotsa messes.”  

    I just nodded and gently patted his back.  Poor boy was too far gone to understand any of this.  It was up to me to do something about it.  But should I act now, or wait to see how far it goes? Was Harry doing other things? What about his friend? What if his playmates were like him and there was a whole network of malingerers? I needed to stay quiet and wait to see how deep this went.

    **

    There were no stories to be read to us at bed time, no tucking in and kisses on the foreheads.  Mummy and Daddy simply announced it was time to get our butts in bed.  No one changed into pyjamas or anything, no one brushed their teeth.  Evan and Paul climbed into bed together, still nude, cuddling up under the covers. Hannah got her own bed and that just left one bed, which of course meant I was sharing with Harry.  Ugh, this was the last thing I wanted.  

    But it got worse.  Harry smiled at me as I walked into the room.  He was already stripped down to his underoos.  They were Spiderman themed, made for grown men with little boy interests.  But then, to my surprise, he yanked them down and kicked them away.  Frankly I was even more surprised to see he was completely smooth down there too, all his hair removed just like the toddlers.  I wondered if he had done that to fit in, or if it had been done to him and he’d simply had to keep his mouth shut to keep his cover.  

    It was also impossible to miss how aroused he was. Obviously getting to sleep in the same bed with me had him very excited.  

    “Ready for beddy-byes?” he asked me.  

    I frowned. “You said big boys dun go nakey,” I reminded him. “You all nakey,” I pointed out, the way little kids often feel the need to state the obvious.  

    “Haha, yeah I sure am.  Big boys can’t run around outside nakey.  That’s a no-no. But in the house, especially for beddy-byes, it’s fine.  I’m not that big yet, I’m only six,” he explained. “C’mon, it’s okay to get nakey for sleeping, you’ll feel much more comfy,” he urged me.  

    But I shook my head. I took off my shorts but left my underwear on, climbing into the bed.

    Harry shrugged and climbed into the bed next to me, pulling the sheets over us.  

    “Let’s be cuddle-buddies,” he urged, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close to his naked body so that our skin was pressed together.  

    I felt so awkward, so uncomfortable, but what could I say? I felt his penis brush against my bare thigh.  He pecked a kiss on my cheek too.  

    “Aren’t you my cuddle-buddy?” he whispered to me.

    I said nothing, just laid there uncomfortably stiff, sweating with worry.  

    But Harry wasn’t deterred.  A second later I felt it, his hand slipping into my undies, this fingers brushing my soft penis, tickling it.  

    “Come on Davey, let big brother help you feel good,” he cooed.

    I shoved him roughly. “No! Dazza bad touch. I tell Mummy!” I snapped.  

    The hand withdrew instantly, like he was burnt.  Harry looked scared now, for the first time since I’d met him.  “No, no Davey, you can’t say things like that,” he warned me.  

    I just frowned at him. “No touchin,” I repeated.

    He nodded now, showing me his hands. “Okay, no touching. I’ll share with the other boys okay? You get your own bed, but we keep this our secret, okay?” he bargained.

    I nodded. “Kay.”  

    Satisfied, he climbed out of the bed, padded across the carpet and climbed in with the other boys. They were happy to be cuddle buddies, they weren’t going to complain. They just didn’t know any better.  

    Harry didn’t say anything to me the next morning. He just got dressed in his school uniform, got handed his bag with a basic packed lunch from Mummy and headed out the door. It seemed like he was doing his best not to look at me even.  He was clearly worried about what I would say to Mummy. Would I just let it slip out, what he’d done the night before? Would he be found out as a malingerer? He must be terrified.  

    Once he was gone the rest of us “kids” were basically left to our own devices, left to play with the simple toys available or to wander around the house, yard and even out onto the street with barely any supervision. Mummy at least put t-shirt and undies on the other three and provided me with shorts as well as a t-shirt when I asked.  

    “You’re a shy boy,” she chuckled as I put on the clothes. “We’ll see how long that lasts.”  

    Of course she thought it was only natural I’d soon be stripping down. That’s what her other boys were like.  Evan’s undies only stayed on for about an hour, then he yanked them off and tossed them into the grass as we played in the front yard. Mummy saw that when she came out to smoke another cigarette but she just gathered up the discarded underwear and took it back inside with her.  It was like she figured she’d tried to clothe the man-boy, she’d done her part and if he didn’t want the clothes, so be it.

    It was a very, very boring day. How many times can you play the same insipid games and still keep your sanity? I was in desperate need of a bit of actual mental stimulation when I noticed Mummy had left her phone on the couch when she went to get something in the kitchen.  There was no lock, so I just swiped the screen and found myself looking through her apps, for something that might have news.  Amazingly she did have a news app. Probably came pre-installed.  I tapped it and scanned through the day’s top stories.  

    There wasn’t really much happening, but I was just so happy to be reading anything.  It was a lot tougher being surrounded by toddler-brain idiots all day than I had expected.  I could hear them screeching and giggling as they played in the other room right now.  So there was no real peace and quiet but that was fine. I usually read the news on my phone while sitting in cafes or crowded buses.   

    “What you doing there?”  

    The voice jolted me out of my reverie and I looked up to see Harry standing right over me, back from school.  

    My heart leapt into my throat. I was in the middle of scrolling through a piece of dense text. What on Earth would a toddler care about the latest Brexit news?  Why would a toddler be trying to read anything, at all?  I had to think fast.

    “Wan’ pway games!” I sulked, poking at the screen without coordination now.  

    Harry smiled and I couldn’t tell if it was because I sounded so dumb or because he’d caught me.  

    “Well that’s not the right app, silly!” he told me, leaning down and taking the phone. He tapped at it a few times, then handed it back to me, a bright child’s game now lighting the screen. “There you go Davey, much better,” he said before leaving me alone again.  

    I let out a big sigh of relief once he was gone. That was much too close. Perhaps I should call Mark right now, bring him in to end this charade.  Did I really need more dirt? I probably had most of what I needed for a story and I wasn’t sure I could take this life for much longer. My feet were now totally raw and sore from running around barefoot, I was bored silly and being talked down to like a moron was really starting to get to me.  

    Yeah, I had what I needed. Tomorrow I would get a message out to Mark, give him my address and tell him when to make the pick-up. I thought about sending him a message right now on this phone, but that would have been risky. If Mummy found the message before the pick-up I’d be in hot water.  

    **

    It was still a warm and sunny evening when Daddy got home from work.  Mummy sent the other kids, except for Harry, out to play. I started to get up to follow them but Mummy said, “No, you wait here Davey.”  

    I wondered what was going on. Mummy was looking at me oddly, like I was dangerous, like I might bite.  

    “Wanna go pway,” I told her, pointing at the others who were now happily skipping outside, Paul and Evan’s bare bottoms disappearing out the door.  

    She shook her head. “You can play soon Davey, but first we need to talk about something.”  

    Daddy came into the room and he had another man with him.  This fellow looked more professional than the people normally seen in this area. He was thirty-something, skinny and dressed in a smart casual shirt and chinos.  Daddy didn’t look happy either.  The man nodded at me and said, “This is him then?”

    Daddy nodded. “Yeah, he just arrived yesterday.”

    The man nodded. “Anything unusual?” he asked.

    It was Mummy who answered now.  “He’s real shy.”

    “He’s quiet? That’s often the case with new children,” the man noted.

    But she shook her head. “No, I mean shy about his body. The other boys all run round bare bottomed most of the time, but he keeps his undies on. I mean, I didn’t really think much of it before. It just, it seems… different.”  

    Now I was getting worried again. What was this about? Who was this dude? And why were they talking about me like I wasn’t even there?

    “Anything else?” he asked.

    Mummy seemed to think a moment.  “Well he has really soft feet. He kept asking for shoes for a little walk to the supermarket and Harry’s school. But I just figured that’s because he got little very recently.  Now though… I don’t know.”

    The man nodded and then gave me this odd smile.  “Hi there Davey,” he greeted, finally actually speaking to me.  “Can you tell me how old you are?”  

    I chewed on my lip, trying to look innocent and confused.  

    “I don’ memba,” I mumbled.  

    He nodded, walking closer to me now.  “Can I have a look at the bottoms of your feet buddy?” he asked.

    I shrugged, and sat down on the floor, feet in front of me, nibbling on my fingers.  The stranger knelt down and took my right foot in his hands. He ran his finger along the sole and I couldn’t help but giggle at how that tickled.  

    “Very soft,” he noted to Mummy and Daddy.  

    “Who you?” I asked him.

    “I’m Kevin. I’m just here to make sure you and your new family are all happy,” he assured me.  Then he stood up and said, “Well the best thing in these situations is simply to make certain the process is complete. Sometimes, it’s quite rare, but they can have these flashes of adult thoughts, usually only in the days after the virus but this will stop those.”  

    The man pulled a syringe out of his pocket and said, “This is MEV Type 3A, so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.  It will probably pull him down a little bit though. I find it generally leaves the patients just under average three year old level, more like two and a half.  But it should completely remove those body shyness issues, so that will help him feel more comfortable with his brothers.”  

    I couldn’t stop my eyes from going wide at the sight of the booster. It didn’t matter that I had never shown virus symptoms, that thing would have the same effect on me regardless.  Instantly I shook my head and said, “No! Dun wan’ it!”  

    Kevin frowned and said, “It’s okay buddy, it isn’t a jab, it just goes in your nose and you sniff. No ouchies, no boo-boos at all.”  

    Fuck, this was not good. If I had that booster my career as a journalist would be over. There would be no reporting my story, I wouldn’t be able to write it, to even explain it to anyone.  I’d be stuck here with this foster family for real.  I had no choice but to blow my cover.

    “Stop! I don’t need a booster, I don’t have the virus at all,” I told them.  “I’m a reporter, covering abuses in the state care system, I’ve been undercover.”  

    For a second there was a look of surprise on the gathered adults’ faces. But it was nowhere near as shocked a look as I expected.  

    “He was telling the truth,” Daddy said.

    “What?” I asked.

    “Harry told us you were faking. I didn’t want to believe it, that someone would fake this to get close to vulnerable children but he was right,” Daddy said angrily.

    “Get close to… what?!  I’m a reporter!” I insisted.

    It was Mummy who snapped, “A reporter who likes touching boys pee-pees?”  

    “What?! No!”

    “Harry told us about what you did to him, what he saw you do to the others,” she spat at me.

    “He’s lying! He’s the one who’s been touching the other boys, masturbating them right in the yard! I watched him do it to Evan yesterday. He tried to touch me in bed last night!” I yelled.

    But Mummy was shaking her head. “Harry’s just a little boy himself, but with adult urges and needs. We can’t blame him for experimenting with his brothers, they don’t know any better. But you… you are sick!”  

    “He’s not a little boy! He’s the faker, that’s my story! Harry has been faking from the start. Give him the booster, see how he reacts!” I insisted.

    Mummy looked even more furious.  “Just get it over with,” she urged.  

    Kevin nodded at her and said to Daddy, “Hold him please.”

    Before I could do anything Daddy had me in his arms, my own arms pinned behind me.  I struggled mightily against him, but he was much bigger and stronger than I was.  As I struggled I could see Harry standing there, looking fascinated rather than horrified.  

    “Fuck you!” I yelled at him.  “Fuck all of you! This isn’t right, just make a phone call and check who I am! I can fucking prove it all!”  

    Kevin took the protective tip off the syringe, ignoring my pleas.  

    “Stop thrashing so much, you’re going to get your wish,” Mummy said.

    “What!”

    “When it’s done you’ll be able to play with your brothers pee-pees to your hearts delight. No more sneaking around, no more lying. You won’t even know how to lie anyway.  No one will mind your explorations because you’ll just be another one of my bare-bottomed baby boys.”

    I kicked my bare heels against Daddy’s legs, but he wasn’t letting go.  I moved my head left and right but then Daddy and Kevin put their hands on it, holding it still.  

    “No! No!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

    But he forced the syringe up my nostril and I felt the spray blast into my sinus.  He held it there a moment, preventing me trying to blow it out, then he slipped it into the other nostril and repeated the process, depressing the plunger all the way. I felt the second, final spray shoot into my sinuses and then it was over.  

    “All done,” Kevin told Daddy.  

    “How much longer do I have to hold him?” Daddy asked, and I could hear the strain in his voice.

    “You can let him go now, he can run but he won’t get very far now,” Kevin answered.

    And with that Daddy’s arms released me.  

    I sprung free, gasping for air.  “You stupid bastards!” I shouted. “It was him! It was always him!” I told them, pointing to Harry.

    “Enough of your stories Davey,” Mummy said.  “Harry has been with us for months.  He’s a good boy and soon he’ll be a good big brother to you.”  

    They were idiots. I couldn’t look at any of them a moment longer. I turned and stormed out of the house, into the front yard where Hannah was pretending to breastfeed a dolly.  It was easy as she was topless now, sitting in the grass in just a pair of pink pull-ups.  Evan and Paul were in the driveway rolling Matchbox cars along the pavement. Both were completely naked now, their bare bottoms wagging about as the crept along.  

    I didn’t want to be here with them. I didn’t want that to be me. Two joggers passed by, glancing over the fence and getting a clear view of the two naked men, but not showing anything more than a bit of pity or perhaps amusement at their silliness, at how dumb and innocent they were now.  I didn’t want people looking at me like that.  But where could I even go? How long did I have before my mind dimmed to the same very simple level as theirs.  I’d been given such a strong strain of the virus. I was going to be just as dumb as those two.  It was impossible to actually imagine. How could I really be reduced to that?

    I felt a sort of fuzzy tickle in my head. It was a real physical sensation, like a headache beginning, but not painful.  It was starting.  God that was fast.  And it was spreading so quickly, this fuzzy sensation, this buzzing, tingling feeling.  It seemed to begin at the front of my head, just behind my forehead, and to spread backwards and then up and down.  It didn’t hurt at all, but it was scary of course.  

    Evan and Paul stood up, with Evan grinning ear to ear and blowing a raspberry as he began to run barefoot along the driveway with Paul quickly giving chase.  Their soft penises jiggled wildly about, bobbing against their smooth legs as they giggled and ran about.  They were oblivious to their reduction.  How could they be so happy this way? And worst of all they were at Harry’s mercy. And now I would be too.

    The fuzzy sensation that had filled my head suddenly exploded into shooting tingles of pleasure. My eyes went wide and I actually moaned out loud. It was like having an orgasm, only just in the head. I felt so, so good even as I could feel my thoughts getting scattered, my knowledge and intelligence being so completely reduced.  It was actually happening, I could feel it. And it was going so quickly, being taken away forever and ever. I’d never be smart and independent again. I’d never write another article.  I’d never even be able to live independently, to make my own meals.  I would need someone to look after me.  It was so humiliating.  And worst of all I would be stuck here, with this white trash family, total bogans. Stuck with people who thought it was okay for their kids to run around naked, who thought they didn’t even need to own a pair of shoes. How long until my feet were hard and permanently dirty like theirs?

    A warm hand closed on my shoulder as I stood at the front fence.  

    “There we go, no more need to pretend,” came Harry’s voice, speaking softly, comforting me.  

    I shook my head. I hated him. I was angry at him. The emotions were raw, but the words were leaving me. Every second it got harder to put thoughts together, to remember how to speak clearly.  

    “I so angry,” I managed to say to him.

    He shushed me.  “No more of that now.  Just a few more moments and it will all be done. I’m going to take such good care of you. I love all my little boys. I’m not upset you tried to ruin everything. Well, I am, but that was the old you, grown-up David. He’s going to sleep now. I won’t be upset at little Davey at all.  

    “So no more pretending to be little. You really weren’t that good at it anyway. Acting all shy, all nervous. You won’t be shy in a moment. You’ll be just like the others, a lovely little nudist.”

    I shook my head. I wanted to explain to him why I needed to keep my clothes on. But the words weren’t there, the ideas weren’t there. It was important for some reason, but I couldn’t recall why.  And the pleasurable tingles made it so hard to focus.  

    Harry looked in my eyes and smiled.  “Yes, I can see you’re almost there now. It’s all in the eyes you see. That’s why you failed before. The eyes of a little boy, they’re just different. They’re sort of empty. You can just see the simple little mind behind them.”  

    I was very confused. The words were too big, too fast.  

    “I think you’d like to play now, wouldn’t you?” Harry asked me brightly.  

    When he said play my head lit up even more. There was so much pleasure. I definitely wanted to play.  I found myself nodding.

    He smiled again. I liked seeing his smile. For a second I felt a weird, confusing feeling of anger, but it passed just as quickly as it came on.  Smiles were nice.  

    “But we can’t have you getting your clothes all messy when you play,” Harry told me.  

    It made sense. Harry seemed so smart, so certain. It made me feel safe.  I shook my head because he was shaking his.

    He giggled. “That’s right, so we should take this shirt off,” he directed, guiding my arms up and then slipping the shirt off over my head.  

    “That’s much better!” he said.

    “Beddah!” I echoed, hopping on my toes. His happiness made me feel happy.  

    “And we should take these shorts and undies off too,” he added, touching the waist gently.  

    Another wave of anger hit me and I frowned. It was so strong. But where was the feeling from? I didn’t know. I squirmed, feeling funny, feeling confused.

    “Look at Evan and Paul. They’re all nakey. Shouldn’t you be nakey for playing too?” Harry pointed out.  

    I looked over at my brothers. They were naked.  A strong, warm wave of pleasure swept through my head. The anger vanished.  

    “Uh-huh. Dabey nakey,” I agreed.  Brothers were naked. Harry was smart and nice and he said I should be naked too.  

    He slipped my shorts and undies down.  

    “Feet,” he said, and I stepped out of them one at a time.  

    “There, isn’t that so much comfier?” he asked me, patting my bare bottom.  

    It did feel good. I felt so free.  

    “Yeth,” I answered.  My tongue was so heavy and slow now.

    “Good boy!” he praised. I felt all nice and warm inside. I was a good boy.  

    “I think you’d like to be a jaybird, wouldn’t you?” he asked.

    “Wazza jay-bud?” I asked.

    “It means you’re nakey whenever you’re home. Just take everything off as soon as you can!” he told me brightly.

    I liked how he said it, the happy tone. And I liked how I felt right now, all free with the warm sun on my skin.  Yes, this was definitely how I wanted to be from now on. I didn’t need clothes at all.  

    “Dabey jay-bud!” I agreed, nodding, clapping my hands.  

    “Okay, go play with your brothers then jaybird,” Harry told me, giving me a gentle push towards the driveway.  

    Play! Yes, I was going to play. I felt the warm, gritty pavement under my soles. I liked the sensations. I joined Evan and Paul. They let me have a toy car too.  We played with the cars. Then Evan poked me in the bum and ran away. I chased after him. I like chasing!  I’m a silly boy.  

    **

    At bed time Harry climbs into my bed. I’m tired from playing and ready for night-nights.  It was a busy day. I got little today.  I remember that I was big, but not what that was like. All the big boy things went away. But playing was fun, so I’m sure it’s okay to be little too. I think little is better than big.  

    “Are you my cuddle buddy?” Harry asks me.

    Of course I am! I love getting cuddles. I put my arms around him and pull in real tight. He’s nakey now too, just for beddy-byes though. He’s too big to be nakey outside. That’s for little boys. That’s one of the nice things about being little. It feels so nice when our skin touches, so warm and close.  

    I feel Harry’s hand touch my pee-pee.  

    “Is that a big happy pee-pee I feel?” Harry asks me.

    It feel wonderful when he touches it.  

    “Uh-huh. Happy pee-pee,” I agree.

    “Can big brother help that pee-pee feel extra good?” he asks sweetly.  

    “Yef!” I urge. I want to feel gooder.  

    Harry’s fingers close around my pee-pee and he rubs it, up and down. Ohhh, it feels so, sooo good.  I cuddle even tighter next to him, breath into his shoulder, moan as he makes me feel so good. I love big brother so much. It gets better and better, my toes clench and then, ooooh, I making sticky squirts, all over our tummies, all over the bed. And Harry holds me close, cuddles me so perfectly and rubs the back of my head.  

    “That’s a good boy, getting all those stickies out. I promise I’ll take care of you just like that every single night.”  

    I have the bestest big brother in the world.