by Jennifer Loraine
The planets were aligned, the hour had arrived, the circle was drawn. Everything was in readiness for the spell of evocation. On the altar lay the consecrated tools of a magician inscribed with strange runes; a wooden wand, a dagger, a chalice of wine, an aspergillus filled with an infusion of herbs for banishing spirits, a small dish of salt, and a thurible issuing forth clouds of smoke from the burning incense within. All these things had been carefully prepared according to the tradition of the Lemegeton and waited for the rite to commence. Beginning in the East, Dick circled around the room lighting the candles on the tall candlestands.
An unseasonably cold north wind beat on the windows panes as he began to chant his notes, "I invoke and conjure thee, O spirit Foras, and, fortified with the power of the Supreme Majesty, I strongly command thee by BARALAMENSIS, BALDACHIENSIS, PAUMACHIE, APOLORESEDES and the most potent princes GENIO, LIACHIDE, Ministers of the Tartarean Seal, chief princes of the seat of APOLOGIA in the ninth region; I exorcise and command thee, O Spirit Foras, by Him Who spake and it was done, by the Most Holy and glorious Names ADONAI, EL, ELOHIM, ELOHE, ZEBAOTH, ELION, ESCHERCE, JAH, TETRAGRAMMATON, SADAI: do thou forthwith appear and shew thyself unto me, her before this circle, in a fair and human shape, without any deformity or horror; do thou come forthwith, from whatever part of the world, and make rational answers to my questions; come presently, come visibly, come affably, manifest that which I desire, being conjures by the Name of the Eternal, Living and True God, HELIOREM; I conjure thee also by the particular and true Name of thy God to whom thou owest thine obedience; by the name of the King whom thou owest thine obedience; by the name of the King who rules over thee, do thou come without tarrying; come, fulfill my desires; persist unto the end, according to mine intentions. I conjure thee by Him to whom all creatures are obedient, by this ineffable Name, TETRAGRAMMATON JEHOVAH, by which the elements are overthrown, the air is shaken, the sea turns back, the fire is generated, the earth moves and all the hosts of things celestial, of things terrestrial, of things infernal, do tremble and are confounded together; speak unto me visibly and affably in a clear, intelligible voice, free from ambiguity. Come therefore in the Name of ADONAI ZEBAOTH; come, why dost thou tarry? ADONAI SADAY, King of kings, commands thee."
Dick concluded the chant, picked up the thurible in his right hand and censed a large triangle chalked on the floor and inscribed with Hebrew words. This "triangle of Art" was where the spirit he had called was expected to materialize. Behind the triangle sat a cruse or chafing dish filled with a freshly kindled charcoal fire. He replaced the censor on the altar, took a handful of mixed herbs from a bowl on the altar and threw it into the cruse. A mushroom cloud of smoke immediately arose from the blazing fire and permeated the atmosphere with itís noxious fumes. When the spirit did not appear, he repeated the chant from the beginning and threw another handful of the aromatic on the fire. When the spirit failed to appear for a second time, he threw a handful of aromatic on the fire first before rechanting the conjuration.
The effect was immediate; the room became freezing cold as smoke from the cruse was sucked into the center of the triangle and began coalescing into the shape of a man. A few moments later, the naked form of a well-muscled man with a thoughtful expression was standing in the Triangle of Art.
Dick stepped forward and hailed the spirit warmly with the traditional greetings; "Welcome, most estimable President, welcome art thou unto me; I have called thee through Him Who created Heaven, Earth and Hell, with all contained therein, and thou hast obeyed, also by the like power. I bind thee to remain affably and visibly before this circle, within this triangle, so long as I need thee, to depart not without license, till thou hast truly and faithfully fulfilled all that I shall require."
The spirit regarded him with baleful eye and said tiredly, "What whilt thou have of me?"
Dick could barely contain himself, he had actually conjured one of the seventy-two Goetic Spirits! He asked the Spirit boldly, "I would have of thee a boon, great Foras. It is written you are master of things lost and of longevity. This is the boon I would ask of thee; I wish you to restore to me the carefree days of my youth, rejuvenating my body and strengthening it against the travails of time, that I may remain youthful in body to the end of my life."
The spirit answered gravely, "If that is all that thou wilt, then I shall grant it gladly. But think, man, every man suffers the trials of life at each age of his body. If I restore to you the body of your youth, you shall suffer again those pains which that age compels. As to longevity, I may not lengthen the days of thy life, for that power resides solely with the ineffable One whose name I may not speak. However, if it is thy wish, I may strengthen the flames of thy spirit to resist the changes of time so that thy body shall be preserved against the ravages of age until the doom that has been ordained by the master of the universe overtakes thee. Is this what thou wilt?"
Dick nodded and said, "It is."
The spirit eyes bored into Dickís as he asked, "If I grant you this boon, wilt thou release me to depart freely?"
Dick averred, "If thou grant me this boon, then I shall grant thee thy freedom to depart."
Foras looked deeply into Dickís eyes before answering, then spoke, "The eyes of a man bear witness to the truth his soul holds. There is no deception in thy eyes mortal, I shall grant thee thy wish. The carefree days of thy youth shall be restored." Foras made a small gesture with his hands and said, "The process has begun. Think not to curse me for the suffering thou shalt endure, for it is out of thy own mouth that this fate was decreed. Release me, mortal. I tire of thy presence."
Dick raised his hands and spoke in a loud voice, "O spirit Foras, because thou has diligently answered my demands, I do hereby license thee to depart, without injury to man or beast. Depart, I say and be thou willing and ready to come, whensoever duly exorcised and conjured by the Sacred Rites of Magic. I conjure thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly, and may the peace of God continue for ever between me and thee. Amen."
The Spirit shrieked with a horrible tearing laugh as it vanished. A whirlwind filled the room, tearing pictures from the walls and scattering his notes across the room. He covered his ears to shield them from the noise as the windstorm surrounded him. The whirlwind tightened and sped up, enveloping him like a second skin. He was blinded and deafened by the assault on his face and ears. His mouth and nose were filled with the taste and smell of ancient musty dust as the whirlwind entered him and compassed his being in the storm. He tried to scream but the noise was forced back down his throat. He ran to the door in terror trying to escape the onslaught. He could hear the Spirit's laugh in the roar of the whirlwind. He opened the front door and leaped out onto the porch. The door slammed and latched behind him. The noise abated instantly.
He was standing stark naked on his porch in the dead of winter. A brisk northern wind chilled him to the bone and he decided that it was probably safer to re-enter the house than to remain out in the wind and risk death by exposure. He stepped up to the door and noticed something strange; the doorknob had moved up on the door, it was above eye level. He grasped the knob with his hand a found that he could no longer put his hand around the knob; it had grown! He seized the knob with both hands and tried to turn it, but it wouldn't budge. He was growing colder with each passing moment, he had to get into the house! He went over to the porch chairs, thinking he would throw a chair through the window and gain access, but the chairs had gotten bigger! He ran to his car and found that it had enlarged too. He tried to open the car door, but the height of door lock defeated him. He looked at the car and house and the down at his hands. The house and chairs hadn't grown, he had shrunk! He pulled the side mirror down and gazed into it , hoping to see what had happened to him. A child's face gazed back out of the mirror and filled him with dread. The Spirit had overdone it! He had been rejuvenated into a tot!
A new feeling of terror came over him; he had become a small child and he would die from exposure unless he got into some warm clothing or was able to find shelter from the wind and cold. He decided he would try to get into the next door neighbor's house down the hill. He didn't want to be seen in this condition, so he clambered down a back path hidden from the road. The path was an easy downhill slope, but he found that it was becoming more difficult to keep from falling with each step. He approached the neighbor's house from the rear to observe it before attempting entry.
His neighbor, Dorothy, was taking down the wash from the clothes line. He sat motionless in the bushes with his teeth chattering, waiting for her to take the full basket and go inside. The phone rang in the kitchen and she left the clothes basket on the ground while she went to answer the phone. He made a mad dash for the basket the minute the she was out of sight. He rummaged through the clothes trying to find something that would fit him. He was dismayed to find that he had seemed to have grown even smaller. The basket came up to his waist and nothing seem to fit him. He draped himself with a cold beach towel when someone grabbed him under the armpits from behind. A soft feminine voice asked angrily, "And just what do you think you're doing in my clean laundry?"
He huddled under the towel and shivered mutely in cold and fright. "Why you're freezing! Where's your mommy?"
He looked up at her, struck dumb by fear. She knelt in front of him and asked, "How old are you baby? You don't look like you're more than three years old. Do you know where your mommy is? Well, you can't stay out in this cold with no clothes on. We'll find your mommy later. I'm going to take you inside and warm you up. You're turning positively blue!"
His nose and cheeks were turning a pale grey with the cold and she was worried he might have been frostbitten. She wrapped him in the beach towel and took him inside. She carried him into the bathroom and began filling the tub. While the tub was filling she examined him for signs of frostbite or abuse. When the tub was one-third full, she put him in the water. The lukewarm water began warming him immediately and she poured water over his head to speed the process. She rubbed his arms and legs briskly with her hands producing an intensely embarrassing erection. "Does baby like Dorothyís massage?", she said playfully.
After his skin had warmed to the touch, she lifted him from the bath and dried and wrapped him in a towel. She picked him up and held him in her arms against her chest facing backwards, and carried him down the hall. They entered a room and she sat him down facing her, still swaddled in the bath towel. "You looked older when I brought you in from the yard.", she said thoughtfully, removing the towel and laying him down naked on his back.
He felt a warm sheet underneath his body. He was evidently on a mattress of some kind. "I guess the cold made you look different, but you look smaller than you did a few minutes ago. You can't be more than a year and a half old.", she said.
Dick gazed back at her smiling face and realized she had been looking at his pubes as she had made the last statement. Dick, already feeling vulnerable from his helplessness and nudity, was humiliated by her observation. He looked nervously from side-to-side to see where he was, and was horrified to see that he was lying on a crib in a nursery. He squirmed in embarrassment as she proceeded to put him in a disposable diaper. "Now be still baby, I'll be done in a moment.", she chided.
When she was finished she picked him up and carried him into the kitchen. She put him in a high chair and strapped him in securely. She went to the stove and put a pot full of water on to heat, then went to the cupboard and removed a can and jar. She emptied the jar into another pot and put it on the range to warm, while she prepared the can. She opened a drawer and withdrew something and returned to stand behind the high chair. She put a cloth around his neck and tied it. He looked down and was mortified to see that it was a feeding bib. She intended to feed him!
She went to the stove and filled a bowl and brought a chair to sit in front of him. She took a spoonful and put in his mouth. It was warm, sweet and perfectly smooth. He ate his third spoonful before he realized that he was eating ground oatmeal. She was feeding him baby food! She spooned food into his mouth until his mouth was so full, cereal dripped from his lips and ran off his chin. The thought of eating baby food repelled him, but under the circumstances he had no choice. As he tried to swallow the oatmeal, he felt the front of his mouth with his tongue and discovered that he only had a couple of teeth. He couldn't have eaten regular food if she had given it to him! He decided it didn't taste bad, it was just that eating baby food was , ... unseemly. The entire episode was getting out of hand. He needed to get back to his house and review his notes to see if he could make the Demon reverse the spell. She was convinced he was a baby and who knew what would happen if he stayed here much longer with her. He decided he would behave himself until she grew careless and he was able to slip away. The bath and the hot food restored his lost body heat; he was feeling comfortable in spite of his surroundings. She continued spooning food into him until the bowl was empty, then took the bowl and spoon and went to the stove. She took an object from the pot and dried it, then returned and stood in front of him. She put the nipple of a baby bottle filled with warm formula into his mouth. He gulped involuntarily, filling his mouth with formula. This was horrible, sitting strapped in a high chair, wearing nothing but a diaper and drinking formula out of a baby bottle! "I have to get out of here!", he thought.
She watched him drink the formula for a few minutes, then when to the kitchen phone. "Don't worry baby, I'm going to call the Sheriff, he'll find your parents.", she said pleasantly.
Dick panicked, if the Sheriff took him, they would put him in a foster home. He dreaded the thought of what would happen when the spell wore off. He had to stop her even if he had to reveal his identify! "Please don't call the Sheriff.", he plainted.
She turned in shock and said, "You can talk! What are you,... some kind of midget?"
"No, I'm your next door neighbor.", he said.
She looked at him in disbelief and said, "That's impossible! I don't know him very well, but I've seen him and he's full grown, almost six feet tall."
He explained that he had conjured a demon and what had happened to him. When he had finished she said, "That's the wildest thing I ever heard. Do you really expect me to believe that cock and bull story? You're some kind of crook! I'm calling the Sheriff!"
"Ple..Please....Please believe me. We can go over to my house and you can see for yourself. I can tell you where everything is in the house, in every closet and drawer before we go over there. I'll prove it to you! My name is Dick Chalmers, my social security number is 575-16-1424 and my telephone number is.....is..."
"Oh, no!", he moaned and started to cry. She stood in shock for a moment and then a quizzical expression came over her features. She took the bottle from his hand and removed the tray from the high chair. She looked down at him while he sobbed. She hesitated, then put three of her fingers down into the front of his diaper. "Did you wet your diaper?", she demanded.
"I...I..I can't help myself.", he sobbed. "I'm losing control of my body."
Her expression softened and she said, "I'm not going to call the Sheriff, at least not for the moment. It's obvious a least part of your story is true. I doubt that a midget would wet himself and then cry like a baby just to try and fool me. Now, calm down while I get something from the closet. I'll be right back."
His crying had quieted to sniffles when she returned and began setting up a video camera on a tripod. "Now I want you to tell your story again in front of the camera, if you don't, I'll call the Sheriff immediately. Do you understand me?"
He nodded and retold his story. She prompted him for personal details about his house whenever he started wandering. He was losing the ability to concentrate and kept looking down at his diaper and weeping. "Are you finished? Is that all? ", she asked.
"Yeeth", he lisped. She stared at him, realizing that he was losing his ability to talk. He frowned looking down with an expression of intense concentration on his face. He looked up at her, then his expression changed to surprise and he started to cry again.
"Well, ......Whatís wrong now?", she demanded.
"I....", he stumbled, his face blushing crimson in embarrassment. The smell of a dirty diaper assailed her nostrils. She smiled broadly and said, "Did you poop in your diaper?"
He nodded miserably.
"Well, I need to change clothes before we go over and check out your house. Finish your bottle while I go change and I'll change your diddy when I get back.", she said confidently, putting the bottle in his hands."
"Pleees, change me now!", he begged.
She looked down at him sternly and commanded, "Finish your bottle!"
"Pleees!", he wailed pitifully.
"If you don't put that nipple in your mouth right now, I'm going to call the Sheriff! You'll go with him, dirty diaper and all!"
He quailed at the thought of being taken into custody in this condition. She would tell them what had happened and they would laugh and joke about his predicament. He put it in his mouth like a prisoner being forced to drink poison, mouthing the nipple, but not nursing.
"Suck it baby!", she commanded.
Tears rolled copiously down his face as he sucked on the nipple. This was the most humiliating thing that had ever happened to him. He felt his diaper growing wetter as he nursed and he knew he would be sopping by time she got around to changing him. "That's a gooood baby!", she cooed maliciously at him.
She walked out of the room, leaving him alone in the chair with the bottle. He tried to unfasten the strap and found that it was buckled behind him, out of his reach. He was trapped in the chair until she released him. When she returned twenty minutes later, he had finished the bottle and his diaper was a cold, dripping mess. Dorothy took the empty bottle from his hand and sat down in front of him. "Soooo, you've trafficked with demons and unclean spirits, have you? Now look at you! This is God's punishment for your pride! You thought you could control a demon and look what it's done to you! You can't even control when you pee and poop! You acted like a child and now you're stuck in a baby's body! You can't take care of yourself now, you'll have to find a nanny to take care of you. If you're lucky she'll be a Christian and raise you properly, so you won't be tempted by the Devil again. For two cents I'd take down your diaper and spank you! You've been very, very naughty!", she said shaking her finger in his face.
He looked shamefaced and moaned quietly, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do anything w..wrong, I ju..just wa..wanted to be y..young again. I'm sor..sorry I d..did it."
She glared down at him with a self-righteously. "If I had raised you, you wouldn't have gotten into this mess. Is your mother still alive?"
He shook his head no.
"Your sister? Is there anyone in your family who can take care of you?"
He shook his head no again.
"Then I guess I will have to call the Sheriff after all. I can't let you wander around outside in your condition with no one to take care of you. It won't be so bad, you'll see. They'll make you a ward of the court and appoint a guardian for you, then put you with a foster family. My husband and I are foster parents ourselves, so I know what I'm talking about."
He couldn't look at her, he knew he had to ask her the next question, but it galled him to ask this woman in particular. If only she weren't so Christian, so GOD DAMN self-righteous. Still, better the devil you know.....He didn't think she would actually hurt him.
"Would y..you be my na..nanny?", he asked meekly.
She sat silently, stunned by his request. "I'm not scheduled to take any babies," she thought to herself. "I could take care of him, all I'd have to do is ask Jim if it would be okay with him. He's never minded before. Jim is always happy to play daddy when he's not working. And I could provide him with a strong Christian home to live in. He did ask me, maybe it's God's Will. I'll see what Jim says."
She smiled and said gently, "Well,... we'll have to see what my husband Jim has to say. If he says it's okay, then I'll be your nanny. Is that okay with you?"
He nodded glumly, thinking that living here was better than being taken by the Sheriff,...barely! "I think it's time to get you out of those wet diapers, don't you?", she said, unstrapping him and picking him up out of the high chair.
She carried him back to the nursery and changed him, then dressed him in a sleeper to keep him warm. She put him in the crib and said, "Do you think you'll be okay in the nursery a few minutes while I go next store and check your story?"
He nodded in agreement and she made him lie down and then tucked a comforter around him. She turned on the baby monitor on the wall and picked up a small receiver from the dresser and said, "I'm taking this baby monitor with me. I'll be able to hear everything that goes on in here. If you need me, just call, and I'll come right back. Do you understand me?"
He squeaked out a small "Ye...Yes."
"I'm going to lock this door behind me, the window's already locked, so there's no point in trying to escape."
She shut the door firmly behind her and he could hear the latch engaging. "She's right.", he thought, "There's no point in trying to escape. Besides, if I got free she'd just call the Sheriff and I'd be right back where I was."
He closed his eyes and tried to rest. The warm milk and food had made him sleepy and it had been a long morning. Within minutes he was fast asleep. She woke him later after she had called Jim and asked him if it would be okay if she came and visited at work. He told her it had been a slow morning and they expected the afternoon to be the same, so she was welcome to come. Dorothy gathered up Dick and the video tape she had made and took him out to her car. She put him in a baby seat in the back of the car, then got in the driver's seat and they drove off. Dorothy explained to him that they were going to see her husband and not to worry, everything would be alright. The car's motion made him sleepy again and he dozed the rest of the trip.
When he awoke, he was being carried into the Emergency Room of the local hospital. Dorothy marched right through the staff entrance doors and went to the nurseís station. She asked the nurse on duty if her husband was busy and was told no, he's in the ER doc's lounge. She went to the lounge; a small room that housed a bed, a telephone and a TV with an integral VCR, and knocked on the door. Jim answered and told her to come in. She exchanged pleasantries with him before telling him what she wanted. When she started explaining who the baby was and how she had come to have him, Jim stared at her as if he thought she had lost her mind. She handed him the video tape and told him to look at the tape before making any judgments. He accepted the tape reluctantly and put it in the VCR. He said, "Before I look at this tape, I want to do a full examination of this baby, right now!"
He escorted them to an examination room in ER, then left them for a moment while he went outside to give orders to the nurses. He returned with a pediatric nurse in tow and told her to undress the baby. He asked his Dorothy to leave but she refused and he was forced to let her stand off to the side while he made his examination. He checked Dick carefully for frostbite and then began a very thorough neurological exam. The pediatric nurse took notes as he called off the presence or absence of each reflex. He had the nurse put Dick on the floor and try to get him to walk. Dick swayed unsteadily for a moment and then fell backwards on his bottom. The nurse took him by the hand to help him walk and the most Dick could accomplish was to take a few steps before he had to sit. Both the pediatric nurse and Dorothy coaxed him to cross the floor and he managed only by crawling the distance. When Jim was finished he asked the nurse to step outside while he spoke to his wife, "Neurologically this is a one-year-old baby, do you still insist that this is not a baby, but a full grown man under a spell?"
"Ask him his name", she replied simply.
"Okay, I'll ask him, but not because I believe he is anything but a baby."
"What's your name, baby?", Dick glanced around the room seemingly uncomprehending of Jim's question. Dick's attention had been wandering and he hadn't heard Jim.
"See, what did I tell you, just a baby. Now, Dorothy, I'd like you to see Dr. Miller, the staff psychiatrist here, while I take care of this mess. I've had the nurses call the Sheriff and he should be arriving any minute.
"Ask him again.", she said with an undercurrent of anger in her voice.
Jim sighed resignedly. "What is your name?", Jim demanded, looking straight into Dick's face.
"D..D..Dick.....Ch..Ch...Cham", he stuttered, unable to sound the last syllable of his name.
Jim, surprised said, "What???"
"D..Dick", he said glaring at Jim.
Jim called the Pedi nurse in to take care of Dick while they returned to the doctor's lounge to view the tape. When it had finished Jim turned to Dorothy and said contritely, "You're right. I just couldn't believe it. It's too fantastic."
Dorothy smiled grimly and nodded. There was a knock on the door and a nurse asked if the Sheriff could come in and talk to Doctor Mason. They invited the Sheriff into the lounge and told him what they had seen. The Sheriff asked for and was shown, then given the tape that Dorothy had made. Then they returned to the examination room where the Sheriff asked Dick his name. Dick had regressed to the point that he could barely say his first name and wouldn't even attempt his last name. Jim and the Sheriff had a hurried private conference in the hall and the Sheriff left the hospital muttering to himself, "This is the damnedest thing I ever heard of !"
Jim returned to the exam room spoke to the nurse for a few moments and came out and talked to Dorothy. "It's all settled,", he said, "at least for now. The Sheriff's going to get a search warrant and go through Dick's house with a currycomb. He'll find out if Dick was telling the truth. In the meantime, Dick's obviously incompetent and in need of a full medical evaluation, so he'll stay here in the pediatric ward as a guest of the county. I'm sorry, but he won't be able to go home with you. We'll take good care of him here."
The nurse came out carrying Dick in her arms against her shoulder and started up the hall to pediatrics. Dick saw that he was being taken away from Dorothy and began to scream in terror. Dorothy moved to follow, but Jim laid a hand on her arm and shook his head no. Dorothy turned away from Dick's wails reluctantly and was lovingly but firmly escorted to her car by Jim. Dorothy went home to wait for Jim to call when they finished their evaluation.
Dorothy received a call about eleven pm that night from Jim. "Hello Dorothy?', he said. "We finished the preliminary evaluation on Dick. We've had Dr. Peterson the pediatrician, Dr. Payne, the radiologist and Dr. Miller here all afternoon. It seems that Dick is a baby in every respect but one, no fontanels. He has no growth plates, no fontanels, nothing that would indicate that he in a growth stage. He won't be getting any bigger. Dr. Miller says the regression appears to be complete, but without communication he can't be sure. Dr. Payne and Dr. Peterson agree that his physical age is approximately twelve months with three months error either way. Most of his teeth have disappeared and Dr. Peterson has put him on a pre-weaning diet with formula. Dr. Miller wants to keep him under observation to determine his social development, but tentatively agrees with a twelve month assessment. The nurses up here love him and told me to tell you not to worry, they'll take good care of him. I'll be home in about an hour. I love you dear, bye."
Dorothy put the phone down and went to bed. The nurses were right, I shouldn't worry about him. They'll take care of him, it's just that I feel responsible for him somehow. She decided she would call her friend, Marge, down at the courthouse tomorrow and see what she thought about the possibility of being chosen as his foster parent. If this was God' s Will, then it would happen, but it couldn't hurt to make a discrete inquiry.
Several weeks passed and she had heard nothing. Jim told her that the Sheriff had finished his investigation and had concluded that it appeared that Dick had been telling the truth. He still didn't want to believe it, but the combination of the physical evidence the Sheriff had found at Dickís house, Dorothyís video tape and the medical evidence provided by Jim were conclusive. A hearing had been set to determine Dick's status and Dorothy and Jim had been asked by the Sheriff to testify. Dorothy talked to Jim about foster-parenting Dick and he readily agreed, aside from Dorothyís desire to become Dick's foster-mother, Jim wanted to continue to monitor this case on a daily basis. They went to their attorney and asked him to represent them at the hearing. Dorothy was not allowed to see Dick again until the day of the hearing.
She and Jim sat in the rear of the courtroom with their lawyer and waited for the everyone else to arrive. A nurse from the pediatrics came in with Dick, followed closely be the public defender, his assistant and the county attorney. Dick seemed happy and healthy and showed no indication at all of being nervous. He looked like he had no idea of where he was or what was going to happen. Jim had told Dorothy that there had been a minor furor over who would take Dick to court. The hospital felt he should be in custody of the Sheriff or Child Protective Services. The Sheriff had refused saying that he had no authority to take custody of a baby without a court order and Child Protective Services refused to take custody on the grounds that he was legally an adult. The lawyer assigned to protect Dick's rights in the case refused saying that he was unqualified to act as a custodian. No one would accept responsibility for him, and in the end the hospital sent him with a nurse.
The bailiff entered the courtroom and called it to order. The judge entered and they all rose and then were seated. The judge looked at his notes and called the attorneys to the bench for a conference. The Judge then began, "The case of the People v. Dick Chalmers is before this court today. The purpose of this hearing is to determine the competence of Mr. Chamlers. Is the defendant's attorney ready? Is the defendant present? Is the county attorney ready? Good, then we'll begin. I wish to point out to all present that this is not a criminal court and that the rules of evidence are more informal in a hearing of this kind. Nethertheless, witnesses will be sworn and the laws regarding perjury and contempt remain in full force. I hope it will not be necessary to point this out again in this hearing. I see from the county attorney's exhibits that medical testimony will be given, are the physicians concerned present in the courtroom?"
The county attorney spoke up, "If it please the court, the attending physician from the Emergency Room is present to give testimony, the other physicians have provided depositions."
"Has the defendantís council had access to the depositions?", asked the Judge.
Dick's lawyer answered, "Yes your Honor."
The Judge continued, "I see that the Sheriff is here to give testimony. I also have a number of amicus curia briefs; one from the defendantís bank, which claims to have a full power-of-attorney in financial matters and wishes to continue in that capacity, one from Child Protective Services, which argues that they have no jurisdiction in this case, and a third from the Dr. and Mrs. Mason requesting appointment as foster parents for the defendant. I fail to see how I can appoint a foster parent for an adult, but the court will consider that issue after competency issue has been disposed of. Mr. County Attorney?"
"If it please the court, your Honor, it is the stateís contention that the defendant is both physically and mentally incompetent to handle his affairs and the defendant, having no known relatives, should be protected from the consequences of his incompedancy," said the county attorney.
"Your Honor, under the circumstances the defense wishes to stipulate incompedancy and only wishes to represent the defendant's interest in guardianship and custodial issues," said the defending attorney.
The Judge removed his glasses and looked down at the defense in disapproval. "Did I misunderstand or did I hear the defense say that he wishes to stipulate the entire competency issue?", said the Judge. The Judge put his glasses back on and said, "I have recently returned from vacation and there may be aspects of the case that are known to everyone in this court but myself. However, as the Judge-of-Record in this case I cannot allow the defendant's rights to be surrendered without a proper hearing. Mr. County Attorney, I direct you to proceed with your case as if defense council opposed it. I expect the Defense, if it is not going the oppose the issue, to at least assist with the exploration of the facts, in order that your client's interests be represented fairly. Mr. County Attorney, I believe that you wished to call the Sheriff first?"
The Sheriff was called and sworn and testified about what he had seen in the hospital and what the search of the defendant's house had revealed. At the end of his testimony the Judge stopped the Sheriff and asked, "Sheriff, do mean to say that you believe that a Demon caused the defendant's incompetence?"
"Your Honor, I don't know what caused it, all I know is what I saw and found in the house."
Dr. Mason was called next, and he testified that the defendant appeared to have the mental and physical competence of a one year old. He also testified that in his professional opinion, (barring a miracle) Mr. Chamers' condition would not improve. When Dr. Mason alluded his wife's tape, the Judge's interest was piqued.
"Mr. County Attorney, there is no mention of this tape in your exhibits. Is this tape available and why haven't you included it in the evidence?"
"Your Honor, I have the tape with me. The tape has many personal financial details of the defendant's life. Since the Defense had informed me of his intention to stipulate the issue of competency, I had thought it would not be necessary to reveal these details in open court. My intention, your Honor, was to preserve the defendant's privacy in so far as possible."
"The court recognizes the efforts of the County Attorney to preserve the defendant's privacy, but finds that the need for the facts outweighs other considerations. The court would like to see this tape. In the interests of the defendant's privacy, the court will view this tape in chambers. I would like to have the defendant and his attorney present as well as the County Attorney. I would also like to have Mrs. Mason present, since she was present at the time the tape was made. Court will recess for fifteen minutes while the bailiff prepares the tape for viewing. Mr. County Attorney, if you would give the tape to the bailiff? This hearing will reconvene in my chambers. Court is recessed," he said, banging the gavel.
The Dorothy found her way to the Judge's chambers which was guarded by the bailiff. When the nurse attempted to enter with Dick, the Judge turned to the public defender's assistant and said, "Mr. Chamers, your girlfriend and her child will have to remain outside."
The assistant protested that he was not Mr. Chamers and was ignored by the Judge. The Judge then turned to the defense attorney and said, "Sir, would you direct your client to remove his girlfriend?"
"Your Honor, that's my assistant - not my client. That's my client!", pointing to Dick.
The Judge looked at him in disbelief and then saw the faces of everyone in the room. He saw that there was general agreement about the identity of defendant and motioned the nurse and Dick into his chambers. "You may come in, I'll sort this out after I've seen the tape.", he said tiredly.
The Judge invited everyone present to be seated, the lights were dimmed and the tape was shown. When the tape was finished he turned to Dorothy, pointed to Dick and said, "Mrs. Mason is that the defendant sitting on that woman's lap?"
"Yes, your Honor", she said demurely.
"Bring Mr. Chamers over to me, I'd like to question him myself," he ordered the nurse.
The nurse brought him to the Judge who sat him on his knee and proceeded to question him. "Mr. Chamers do you know why you are here?", he asked kindly.
Dick gazed absently around the room. He took Dick's chin in his hand and asked, "Do you know your name?"
Dick saw Dorothy and his eyes lit up. He smiled and stretched out his arms for Dorothy to take him. "Do you know her?", he asked.
The Judge waited patiently for Dick's excitement to die down. Suddenly the Judge frowned and looked down at his leg. In his excitement, Dick had flooded his diaper and the pants leg of the Judge's three piece suit was soaked. The Judge motioned for the nurse to take Dick, then took his handkerchief and blotted the wet spot on his trousers. "Mrs. Mason, " ,he said, "I understand you and your husband want custody of Mr. Chamers. Can you tell me why?"
Dorothy explained that she and her husband were childless and that they had been employed by the state as foster parents for many different babies. She told the Judge about Dick's request that she take care of him and about her husband's continuing professional interest in Dick. "He certainly seems to like you.", the Judge observed.
The Judge look at the attorneys and said, "I trust there will be no objection if I place Mr. Chamers in Mrs. Mason's care?"
They shook their heads no. "Would the public defender have any objection if I left the bank in charge of Mr. Chalmerís financial affairs?"
"If that arrangement is subject to periodic review by his guardian, I have no particular objection, your Honor.", said Dick's attorney.
"Would either of you have any objections if I made Mr. Chamers a ward of the court and named myself as guardian?" , he asked looking at both attorneys again. They sat stunned by the sudden turn of events, then shook their heads vigorously. "Then let's reconvene in the court room and finish this.", he said briskly.
The hearing was reconvened in the courtroom and the Judge quickly ruled that; Mr. Richard Chamers was incompetent both mentally and physically to handle his affairs and was unlikely to become competent in the near future, Mr. Chamers was made a ward of the court and since Child Protective Services felt they could not act as guardian, the Judge appointed himself as guardian. The Judge ruled that Mr. Chamers' interests continued to be served by the relationship of the bank and Mr. Chamers and let the power-of-attorney stand (subject to later review), and finally, he directed that Mr. Chamers be placed in the care of Mrs. Mason, that the payments for Mr. Chamers care by paid out of his estate, including the monthly payment to the foster parents at the scale provided by law for foster parents employed by the state. Dick was riding home with Dorothy within the hour.
He gurgled and bubbled happily at the world around him. Dorothy marveled at how happy he seemed to be, perhaps this wasn't God's curse after all. If happiness was God's blessing, then he was blessed. Dorothy called him Dickie and, within a few days, they were behaving like a mother and her first born baby. He crawled, made messes in his diaper, played peek-a-boo and cried when he needed her. Dorothy enjoyed every minute of it. Dorothy decided she would take him to church on Sunday, both as an object lesson to the teenagers in the church and to see whether the minister's faith healing could help Dickie.
She dressed him up and took him to church. She carried him in, stopping to talk to the minister and introduce him to Dickie. She asked him if he thought faith healing would help Dickie. The minister was excited to have him there and relished the chance to undo Satan's Work. He told her to sit in the front row so they could be first when the healings were done. The service started with a hymn from the choir followed by the doxology. The minister began preaching about sin and forgiveness and the power of God's Healing. He asked for all those in need of healing to come forward and motioned to Dorothy. Dorothy carried Dick up to the stage and was helped up the steps by the minister. He explained Dickie's manifold sins to the congregation and the Demon's Curse while he waited for the afflicted parishioners to line up to be healed. When they were ready he slapped Dickie on the top on his head saying "In the Name of Jesus, You are Healed!"
The minister grew excited, his face became frenzied and he shouted, "I feel the Power, I feel Jesusí Power. The Curse is lifted, You are forgiven!" and slapped him on the forehead. The slap brought a blinding burst of light to Dickie eyes and he felt stunned. The minister went down the line repeating the formula for everyone in the line. Dickie's consciousness seemed to telescope in and out of focus and the rest of the service was a blur that faded in and out of his mind.
He awoke in his crib later that afternoon with a wet diaper and started to cry. A few moments later Dorothy came in and asked, "Is Dickie's diaper wet? Does Dickie need changing?" and she started to change him. "Dickie? Dickie?.......My name is Dick!", he thought furiously.
Then the memories of the past months filled him. He had regressed until he had the mind of an infant. The minister had lifted the curse! He had an adult mind again! He tried to tell Dorothy the good news but all that came out was a baby's babble. She smiled condescendingly at his infantile attempts at communication. Dorothy carried him to the family room and put him on the floor to play while she took a break from typing the church bulletin on her computer. She had left the computer on and the word processor loaded while she was sat down to watch part of the Sunday afternoon movie. Dick sat disgustedly and wondered how he could tell Dorothy he could think again. He clambered unto the computer chair and sat in front of the keyboard. He clumsily pecked out a message for Dorothy; "dorothy i can think againÖ..the minister cured meÖ..i dont need a guardian now".
He waved his arms and pointed to the screen. She looked at him smiled tolerantly, then went back to watching the movie before realizing that he was destroying her work on the computer. She rushed over to the computer, slapped his hands and picked him up saying, "Naughty baby! Mustnít touch Dorothyís computer!"
He became angry and started screaming at the top of his lungs. She held him on her hip while she inspected the damage to her work. Dorothy read the message incredulously and said to him, "That's only a crazy accident, you can't type, you're only a baby!"
Dick made typing motions with his hands and indicated that he wanted to use the keyboard. She used the computer trackball to highlight, then erase his additions to her files and then created a new document. She sat him down on the chair again and said, "Okay Dickie, I donít believe for a minute that you can type. Hereís your chance to prove it to me."
He put his hands over the keyboard and slowly typed out a new message with one finger, "im cured".
Dorothy stood staring at the screen in shock as he rapidly spelled "i dont need you to take care of me ". He waited a short time then typed, "now".
A curious expression of disbelief mixed with dismay crossed her face, the vanished as a look of understanding came into her eyes. She reached down and picked him up then carried him to the couch. "You can think again, can't you?", she demanded furiously.
He nodded his agreement.
"You are not a man! You're a baby! Do you understand?", she raged at him. She shook him and said, "You're never going to type again! Do you understand me? You're a baby and you're going to stay a baby, My Baby!"
He shook his head no without thinking. "What do you mean, No?!!! You're mine now, my baby, ..and you're going to stay that way!" She turned him over her knee and began spanking him. He cried in helpless frustration as she spanked him until he could feel his pulse throb painfully in his bottom with every heartbeat. The pain grew until it was agonizing. He struggled in a futile attempt to escape. Finally she stopped, picked him up and held him with his face three inches from hers and asked, "Are you going to type on the computer again?"
He shook his head "no" as tears of pain rolled down his face.
"Are you going to be a good baby?"
He nodded yes.
"You're going to be mommy's sweet baby forever and ever, aren't you?"
He nodded yes and she cuddled him to her breast. "I know what mommy's baby needs to take his mind off spelling.", she said, carrying him in to the kitchen. She went to the refrigerator, reached in and pulled out a bottle. She guided the nipple into his mouth, saying, "Take it, baby. Suck on your ba-ba. Take it or mommy will spank!"
He put his mouth around the nipple and was surprised to find that his mouth automatically began to suck. He glanced up at her and saw she was beaming maternally down at him as he nosily suckled the bottle. She took him back into the living room and sat down with him on her lap while he continued to nurse his formula. As his stomach became full, he realized that he that his crotch felt warm. He was peeing as fast as he swallowed the formula! He wanted to cry, but his body was too busy nursing to do anything but suckle. When he was finished, she burped him and rested his head against her breast. She kept him cuddled in her arms for a long time afterwards. "From now on, the computerís off limits to you, baby! Do you understand? Off limits! Youíre never going to spell anything again! Mommy's going to throw away your blocks too, baby. You won't need them. Will you?"
He shook his head no, causing a tear of submission to roll off his cheek and down into his ear. It was clear now that the Demon hadn't cursed him, it had merely regressed him as he had demanded. It was the minister who had really cursed him, leaving an adult mind in an infant's body. God had cursed him for the sin of necromancy, causing him to be found and fostered by someone who would never let him grow up. He had been granted the boon of everlasting youth and been given into the care of someone who would cherish and nurture him for the rest of his life. He realized now that wishes fulfilled too well are curses. Worse of all, he realized that this is what he had always wanted; a good woman to love and take care of him. He loved her too. He couldn't help himself. He wanted to be with her forever. He loved his mommy.
Time would soon become meaningless to him as the days merged into months and the months became years. He would drift on an ocean of baby formula amid isles of soggy diapers. Scenes from his future flashed through his consciousness. Dick witnessed the slow destruction of his mind as he saw himself adapting to his environment. He saw himself chortling and cooing in Dorothyís arms happily as she tickled his chin. He observed himself crawling in a playpen and playing contentedly with the other infants in the church nursery on Sundays. He felt his distress as the diaper rash he would soon have made him cry and hold out his arms to be picked up and comforted by her. His psyche would be bounded by the simple needs of a babe. He would be changed, as all men are, by the events which shaped his life. His soul would be transformed by a lifetime of infancy into a guiltless, innocent spirit that was incapable of sin. He sensed with mounting horror the gray blankness that marked the end of his life. The judgment that lay after his life frightened him. Somehow he knew he wasnít going to Hell. God would allow him into Heaven he realized, but there would be a price beyond what he had already paid. He had the distinct feeling that he would spend an eternity in diapers!
Finis coronat infans
Copyright © 1995 by Jennifer Loraine