Chapter V: The Gathering of the Storm
January 8th 1999
Three weeks later, Amanda’s luck ran out. Considering how lucky she had been just to survive the assault on her life which had awoken her powers, she was overdue for an extremely bad run of bad luck. The Universe gives and then takes away. No one, not even a God-class magician can have good luck all the time. The leveling effect of statistics requires that the highs must be balanced by the lows to maintain a statistical average run of positive and negative luck.
The Monday had started badly when electrical heating element in her Mr. Coffee drip coffee shorted out in a shower of sparks and smoke. In the ensuing emergency, Amanda spilled water from the pot onto the opened pack of her last pack of Salems as she unplugged the hissing device. Soon after, both Markie and Kimmie woke up with simultaneous cases of diaper rash and began to scream their displeasure with the pain from their loins and bottoms. As she went to the nursery, the doorbell rang, which caused her to reverse course and answer the front door. When she answered the front door, a worker from the City Water Works stood on her porch and told her apologetically that a main had broken during the night and they would have to turn off her water until noon while they dug up and repaired the old water main. Amanda nodded glumly and closed the door to return to the nursery. Just as she reached the nursery, the emergency weather radio went off with it’s alarm. She turned away from the painful wails of the babies in the nursery, deciding to disarm the weather radio to reduce the cacophony of irritating noises that filled her house. When she flipped the switch to normal mode, the weather bulletin advised that an extremely bad thunderstorm with heavy rain and large hail was moving into her area. The United States Weather Bureau had placed her area under a Tornado Watch as well as a Storm Warning until noon that day.
Amanda turned off the radio and returned to the nursery with a sigh. "It’s going to be a long day," she thought to herself as she entered the room with wailing infants.
Amanda changed the fussy infant’s diapers, discovering that she was out of diaper rash cream. "Oh, well," she thought to herself as she finished diapering Markie, "I need to go to the store anyway to get a pack of cigarettes. I might as well dress them for the trip!"
Amanda dressed the two irritable infants and carried them one-by-one to the car and strapped them in the baby seats in the rear. When Amanda got behind the wheel of her car and turned the key, nothing happened. The battery was dead. She extended her powers to recharge it, but her irritation at having woken up and missed her morning coffee and cigarette caused her to powers to go askew and overcharge the battery. The result was a steaming, molten mass of lead and plastic that had formally constituted the lead-acid battery for her car. She calmed herself down and mentally twisted the steaming, corrosive meld of plastic and heavy metal remains of the battery ninety degrees from each of the three scalar dimensions, thus causing the battery to shift into imaginary time, then brought it back into the manifold with its former structure with another surge of psionic power.
Just as she drove out of her driveway, the latest storm hit. Driving conditions were terrible! Even though she extended her powers to protect the car, several golf-ball-sized hailstones got through and smashed the front and rear windows. Amanda bit her lip and repaired the damage to the windows with a golden flash of her aura, while continuing to drive. The storm was dumping water at a rate of eight inches an hour making visibility almost impossible. When she hit a rain-filled pothole at twenty miles per hour, the edge of the asphalt neatly cut her right front tire clean across and ripped the tread from her tire, deflating it catastrophically. The car slewed to the right and came to a tearing, grinding halt against the curb. Amanda got out of the car to inspect the damage and became instantly soaked in the deluge. She repaired the damage to her car with another spell and drove to the grocery store for a carton of Salems and diaper rash cream. Much to her dismay, the store was out of Salems. When she got both babies back to the car, they began screaming from the pain and burning from their irritated bottoms. Amanda exploded and screamed back at them, "That’s it! The two of you are spending the rest of the day in Daycare! You can scream as much as you like there!"
When Amanda went to the Daycare Center, it was closed. A lightning bolt from the storm had destroyed the nearby step-down transformer the power pole outside the Daycare which had removed power from the entire block. The workers in the Daycare were frantically calling the parents of the children and babies that were already there to ask them to come and pick up their children. Amanda stalked out in disgust and drove home with the two squalling babies in the rear seat.
Once she got them in the house, she realized her blunder! She could have conjured up a carton of cigarettes anytime she chose. Only the dimwittedness of a sleep clouded mind had made her follow the time-worn paths that she had used before she had acquired power!
Amanda used the diaper rash cream that she had created to treat Markie’s and Kimmie’s sore bottoms, then settled down to have a cigarette while she waited for her newly created Mr. Coffee pot to finish brewing her morning cup of Java. She had just taken her first sip, when the kids began to scream again. "Christ on a crutch!", she silently cursed to herself as she got up to see what was the matter with them. Then she remembered; they hadn’t had their morning bottle, much less breakfast! No wonder they were crying!
Amanda made their bottles for them and just returned to her coffee in the kitchen when the phone rang. When she answered it and heard who was on the other end of the line, her blood ran cold; it was the Internal Revenue Service. Although she had given the "Devil His Due" when she won the lottery, somehow she had forgotten to sign one of the forms and it had been overlooked for three weeks. They asked her if she had a fax machine and she absent-mindedly said "no", without considering that she could create one on the spot if necessary. They told her that she had exactly one hour to supply them with a working fax number so they could fax the document to her and have it returned before the end of the day or they would charge her with a willful violation of the IRS tax code.
Amanda tiredly got up from her chair to get the babies ready for another trip to the grocery store when she realized that she could fix the problem with a little magick. A few minutes later, she was the proud owner of a top-notch fax machine which she had magickally filched from the local Office supply store. She couldn’t simply create one because she had no pre-existing pattern from which to work, so theft by magickal means was her only real choice aside from purchasing one. Amanda decided that she would wait an hour and give the agent a story about venturing out into a horrible hail storm to buy a fax machine to answer the IRS’s demands for immediate response. She was quite sure that the IRS agent’s innate sense of sadism would be satisfied by her instant and seemingly dangerous accession to his cruel and ridiculous demands.
After connecting the fax line with the on-board sensing switch which allowed her to use her phone line for both phone calls and faxes, the babies began crying again. Suddenly, the harried Amanda realized that both Markie and Kimmie must be wet and need another diaper change, in addition, neither of them had been fed their breakfast, so she knew that they were hungry as well. Just as she got up to go to the nursery, the doorbell rang. When she answered it, the same City Water Works worker was there, saying that the storm had delayed repairs and that they couldn’t repair the main until the hole was pumped free of water. He told her that his supervisor estimated that the water wouldn’t be on again until two PM. Amanda thanked him for informing her and shut the door while grinding her teeth in frustration. The morning had been horrible and she completely was out of patience.
After she got both babies changed and fed, she put them in the playpen while she settled down to relax with another cup of coffee and watch the noon news. To her dismay, the storm had knocked out cable television, so she was stuck with nothing to do but watch the babies. "At least," she thought, "Wanda will come over tonight and babysit them so I can go over to Aaron’s house."
A few minutes later, Wanda called her to tell Amanda that she couldn’t babysit Markie and Kimmie that night, Wanda had the flu. Amanda immediately started going through her phone list to find an available sitter for that night and making phone calls. By two o’clock, she had managed to find one sitter who said that she "might be available" and who promised to call her back.
At two-fifteen, the doorbell rang again and the City Public Works worker who stood on her doorstep for the third time that day told her that the water had been turned on again, but that she should run it for a few minutes to clear the line of muddy water before she bathed or drunk the water. As she was thanking the worker for informing her, the phone rang again. She rushed to the phone only to pick it up and hear the IRS agent threatening her with seizure of her assets. "Oh my God!," she thought to herself, "I’d completely forgotten about him!"
Amanda gave him her number as well as a long, fictitious story about how she had braved the flooding and hailstorm to bring home the new fax machine. Somewhat mollified by his intended victim’s difficulties, the agent agreed to fax her the document at her home phone. As she hung up the phone, the babies began wailing again. To her chagrin, she realized that both of them had been in their diapers for hours without a change. Surely both of them had messed in their diapers after breakfast and lying in their spoiled pee as well as the poop that they had made immediately after their delayed breakfast had almost certainly aggravated their diaper rash.
As Amanda hurried to the nursery to change the babies, the phone rang again. This time, the caller was Aaron. He had apparently contracted the flu as well and was calling off the gaming session for that evening. Amanda commiserated with him over his illness over the sound of screaming infants and told him to take care of himself, then bid a hasty adieu before rushing off to the nursery again.
While Amanda was changing the babies, the IRS agent called again to see whether she had received his fax. She left Markie strapped naked to the changing table while she answered the agent’s call. Both Markie and Kimmie had heard the cursing under her breath and knew by their delayed breakfast that Amanda’s day wasn’t going well. Seeing Amanda’s irritable state and the poor luck she was having that day, Markie signaled Kimmie with his hand that they should execute their plans to drive Amanda crazy immediately.
Amanda took the fax from the machine, signed it, and scanned it back into the machine for retransmission. While the paper was feeding through the machine, the replacement babysitter called Amanda and told her she had canceled an appointment with another mother and that she was free that night. When Amanda told her that her services wouldn’t be required that evening, the babysitter blew up and demanded payment for the lost job that she had given up to please Amanda. After listening to the teenaged businesswoman rake her over the coals for a minute or two, Amanda agreed to pay the girl for her lost wages. The girl indicated that she would be over to collect her lost wages, "In cash only please!", she specified before she allowed the conversation to end. "I’ve had three bad checks this month!", the girl said in an immature tone of utter disgust.
When the babysitter came over, she was kind enough to get the mail out of Amanda’s mailbox at the curb and bring it to her. Amanda paid the girl off and saw her out the door. When she went through the mail, she discovered that her mortgage company had not received her last check and said that they would institute proceedings to seize the house in default of loan unless she replied within ten business days. Unfortunately, from the postmark on the letter, for unknown reasons the notice itself had been held up at least eleven days in the mail. She called the company immediately and agreed to pay off the balance of the mortgage by wiring the company with the owed monies by the close of the business day.
When Amanda came into the nursery to dress and pack the babies for their second outing of the day, Amanda looked absolutely frazzled. Her hair was a mess and she was still wearing the crumpled clothes which had gotten soaked in the rain earlier that day. She bundled the two of them into the back seat of the car while she drove to the bank. Once there, she was stymied by an odd banking or computing entry error which had made her fifteen million dollar deposit a week before from the lottery look a the fifteen million dollar deficit in her account. Because of her ill-kempt appearance, the employee refused to assist her any further, stating that she believed that Amanda might be making an attempt to defraud the bank.
Amanda was livid! She took the matter to the bank manager personally, while pushing Markie and Kimmie in the stroller ahead of her. After Amanda had an angry fifteen minute discussion with the bank President and the Head Bookkeeper, (which nearly everyone overheard in the bank) the bank President personally approved the withdrawal of funds from her account to be transferred by wire to her mortgage company.
By the time that she left the bank, Amanda was in an unstable state of incredible frustration. She couldn’t believe how badly her day had gone. All she wanted to do was go home and lie down, in the forlorn hope that everything would go away. Because of her need to return to her womb of safety as quickly as possible, she never noticed the unmarked Police car that paced her to find that she was exactly seven miles per hour over the speed limit. Within minutes, Amanda found herself apologizing to the uniformed Police officer for having violated the law. Instead of letting her off with a warning, she was cited on the spot with a traffic citation for speeding.
The city was short of cash and had demanded that all the available police officers go out and bring in revenue by whatever means possible, otherwise, the city manager threatened, the city would not be able to make its monthly contribution to the police retirement fund. The black uniformed gang with silver piping on their uniforms went to work immediately to gather funds with an alacrity that would have made the Nazi SA bullyboys proud. They shook down old ladies crossing the street, arrested Boy Scouts for carrying Boy Scout pocket knifes and ticketed every motorist who made the smallest infraction. Since the City Prosecutor had no respect for the local law as well the State or Federal Constitution, they knew that every citation would be upheld in the City’s Kangaroo Court, i.e., the revenue producing machine that passed for a court of justice in their city.
If the citizen was upheld by the Court, then they would be unconstitutionally charged with revised charges until the citation was perfect and the city couldn’t lose. The fix was in and the police knew their duty to themselves and their city; they would strip every "John" in the streets of their "excess" money to enlarge the coffers of the city and to line their own pockets with legally stolen money.
As a side event, the Police Chief decided that possession of over one hundred dollars was prima facae evidence of drug dealing and ordered his officers to search everyone for such evidence. No one was ever arrested, but the money was prejudged to be guilty of the crime of having been produced by criminal means. Such monies were forfeit to the Police Department immediately. The unfortunate citizen who found his money stolen from him had to go to court and prove that "his money" was innocent. In most cases, the actual value of the money was less than the cost of hiring a lawyer, so the police retained their ill-gotten lucre by default. It was a nice, perfectly legal racket that attracted the most organized and well-equipped criminal element in the world, i.e., the police, everywhere.
The Police Chief considered having his men blockade the Interstate Highway and search every person for currency in excess of one hundred dollars, but he decided that the exercise would probably bring unwanted media attention on his policies. Even though the seizure policies were perfectly legal under Federal law, the untoward attention that a highway blockade and seizure would bring the media down on him like a million, irritating biting flies. He had heard of what the Head of the State Troopers in Florida had gone through when he allowed the Florida State Troopers to shake down every tourist on the highway. The media had made mincemeat of him and he was lucky to keep his job in the aftermath of the media’s national blackening of the Head of the Florida State Trooper’s reputation.
The local Chief was too savvy to allow himself to come under the intense scrutiny of the national media. His men would only shake down the inhabitants of the town. If someone protested too loudly, then they would be arrested for becoming a public nuisance and then be "shot to death" while "attempting escape from the custody of legitimate authority" in accordance with the law. Thus, public order and the coffers of the City would be maintained.
Amanda drove home in a teeth-grinding mood. Not only had the officer cited her for a small infraction, but he had the temerity to cop a feel of her milk-swollen, left breast as he gave her back her license. She considered turning the black uniformed, male chauvinist pig into an insignificant toad to be run over by the next car on the highway, but because her driver’s license and tag numbers had been reported to the Police Department when she had been pulled over, she decided that discretion and forbearance would be the better part of valor. The cops in her city were notorious for wreaking vengeance on those who irritated them and she decided that whatever she did to the heavily-armed, thieving bureaucratic hitman and thug was best done from the safety of her home using her magic powers to exact her vengeance.
By the time that Amanda had gotten home with the babies, she was at the end of her emotional rope. True to her promise to herself, Amanda cast a spell/repatterning effect on the officer the minute she got home. She was still boiling in rage over his treatment of her and wanted him disposed of immediately. Within seconds of Amanda’s spell, the officer’s empty car slowed to a stop alongside the highway and shut itself down as he vanished from his uniform, leaving his night-black uniform with its silver piping intact. A moment later, his uniform and weapons disappeared along with his citations book. There would be no record of Amanda’s alleged traffic violation.
Amanda caused the bundle of his weapons and uniform to appear a full fathom over sea level far out over the Gulf of Mexico. Once the spell was complete, the officer’s possessions fell into the waves and sank to rest forever on the bottom of the seabed, while his regressed naked body was simultaneously teleported into the inner hall just beyond the outer door of the State Orphanage. To further insure her security, she regressed his mind to a newborn’s, while leaving his body at a nine-month-old level. She knew that after a medical examination, he’d be diagnosed as severely mentally retarded and wouldn’t be considered as suitable for adoption. After a few years of being left alone in a sheet-less, pee-soaked crib mattress without toys or mental stimulation in the State Orphanage, his mental growth would be forever stunted. When he emerged from the State Institution, if ever, he’d be diaper-dependant and would never be able to communicate like an adult, much less absorb any education beyond the Kindergarten level.
Almost as an afterthought, she decided to include the City Traffic Judge, City Prosecutor, the Police Chief and the Mayor in her revenge. It was very a small spell that gave them all a series of tiny, localized, cerebral hemorrhages which forever removed their powers to harm the public. Unlike the police officer who had been transmogrified into an infant, but who would grow up again, the town officials would remain in their adult bodies. But that would prove to be slim solace in the days ahead for the four doomed men. As she dropped her hand sharply in a motion to launch the spell and deliver her coup, Amanda chuckled; all of the miscreants would suffer until the end of their days. The city fathers, in one stroke, would become physically and mentally incompetent and thus suffer the ignominious fate becoming wards of the State as they became in a "legal" as well as medical sense, infants again. Their wives would become their guardians and mommies. Amanda trusted that their collective relationship with their wives was such that none of them would be cared for at home. In a fashion, they had been given a life sentence to the worst prison possible, i.e., a poorly staffed and run nursing home.
The Daycare that Amanda planned for her own charges would be infinitely better; at least they would have their diapers changed on time and be fed regularly. The unmitigated bastards who brutalized and bullied money from the public would have no such care.
Because they had abandoned all semblance of humanity of their own will, the collective unconsciousness of mankind had decided on their just fate and had "pushed" Amanda towards her particular vengeance; they would be abandoned and damned to a life of the eternal boredom, pain and loneliness of being unloved, adult-sized infants until the day that they died. Afterwards, they would be in the hands of their maker, who might decide to punish them further in more unworldly ways.
In a strange twist of "fate", both the City Prosecutor and the City Traffic Judge suffered similar strokes simultaneously with the Chief of Police. In the midst of fleecing a worthy citizen of his honest and hard-earned money, both the evil Prosecutor and Judge fell to the carpet of the courtroom at the same time and began to jabber in the incoherent prattle of an infant. Alarmed, the bailiff called an ambulance and the two legal miscreants were strapped to stretchers before they were hauled away to the local hospital.
After examination with an MRI, it was determined that both the Prosecutor and Judge had suffered massive brain damage. In many ways, their peculiar affliction resembled Alzheimer’s disease save that their mental condition was not in a process of ongoing deterioration so that their lives weren‘t imperiled. The emergency room physicians who examined them were astonished that their Babinski signs and plantar grasp reflexes had returned. Both of them had lost the ability to reason or communicate and had become completely incontinent of bladder and bowel. The neurological damage from their strokes was so severe, that they both evidenced infantile behaviors like thumb-sucking as their diapers were changed by the amazed critical care nurses at the hospital. Apparently, they enjoyed their diaper changes; both of them chuckled in glee when their "private" parts were dusted and rubbed with baby powder by their nurses.
Simultaneously, both the Mayor and Police Chief were struck with the same strange affliction. The Police Chief and Mayor, who were jointly performing "personal services" for a pair of physically well-endowed and highly sexual twins who were honest in their mildly illegal profession, but poor in a fiscal sense since the motel the officials secretly owned as partners took the majority of their profit. Since the twin’s profession was illegal, it took the combined efforts of both worthies to keep them out of jail as the twins plied the oldest profession in the world. Of course, the girls had to pay a special "professional" tax directly to the two men for every man that they "serviced". In addition, the two worthies had declared that the twins would have to render their professional services to them freely during a "City Inspection" by the two men every week to insure that the public was getting quality services.
When the two men fell over on the bed and began babbling, the twin prostitutes decamped quickly, leaving the two helpless men naked on the bed. It wasn’t until some hours later, when the maid came in to clean up, that the officials were found on the bed, nakedly wallowing in their own pee and filth while babbling incoherently. The maid, who had once been raped by the Police Chief when she was younger and prettier, was tempted to leave them where she found them, but fear of the physical retribution by the members of Police Department led her to call the hotel manager. For the second time that day, the ambulance service was called to bring to apparent "stroke" victims to the emergency room.
As their observation at the hospital continued, all four of the men’s testes and penises shriveled until they were the size of a newborn baby’s. Their hair began diminishing on a daily basis, until their groins, buttocks, chests, arms and legs were as devoid of hair as the day that they were born. During the period when their sexual organs regressed, all of the men’s teeth spontaneously fell out. Within a week, all four had the appearance (aside from their adult size) and behavior of ten-month-old babies.
January 9th 1999
Because the odd phenomena happened to four members of the town’s authorities, the FBI was called in to investigate. The premise for the investigation was a potential charge of criminal conspiracy against three public officials as well as criminal assault on a police officer. Agents Mulder and Scully were assigned to the case. After a few days of fruitless investigation Fox and Dana gave the investigation up as a wash. Aside from the four victims, no one else in the community had been affected and the lab tests had returned with strikingly normal results. Even the toxicology scan had returned a negative except for a trace of alcohol that could be assumed to be caused by legitimate ingestion of legal libations after work. The number of potential enemies that the men had was legion; virtually everyone in the city had been hurt by the corruption of the four men. Fox theorized that a single person, who had suddenly gained Godlike powers was responsible, but he had no idea of who it could be.
January 15th 1999
After due consideration, Scully decided that the men’s condition was a consequence of ingesting some "unknown" recreational drug which had caused massive damage to the frontal cortex of the men’s brains and subsequently had acted like a massive dose of progesterone. Dana insisted that the physical effects were extremely similar to the medications employed by some State governments to chemically castrate sexual offenders. She agreed with Fox that personal revenge was the motive, but disagreed with his wild-eyed theory of a Godlike psychic. Dana theorized that an underground chemist must have concocted a supposedly "recreational" drug at the behest of one of the men’s victims and then had it either given or sold to them. Dana was not in the least bothered by Fox’s arguments that there would be some trace of the drug in the toxicology scan that had been made on the men’s blood. She resolutely maintained that it was possible to create a drug with a serum half-life of two hours, which would escape scanning. Fox disagreed with her analysis of the situation, questioning why the men’s sexual organs had diminished into an infantile state long after the supposed dose of "recreational" drug had vanished from the victims’ bodies. Dana ignored his objection and focused on the prostitution service which the Police Chief and the Mayor ran in their jointly-owned motel as supporting evidence of their "walks on the wild side". Agents Mulder and Scully wrote their respective reports and returned to Washington D.C. to pursue more pressing and dangerous assignments in the investigation of the X-Files.
January 29th 1999
The men’s wives came daily to check on the progress of their erstwhile "men", but after it became obvious to the clinicians that their patient’s cases were hopeless, their wives had them taken to the local nursing home and initiated legal proceedings to have them declared legally incompetent.
Future Lives and Prognostications: January 31th 1999 through July 4th 2010
The two sordid ex-solicitors and soul-mates in legal theft spent the remainder of their days on the smelly, soaking sheets of their adult-sized cribs at the nursing home alongside the ex-Police Chief and ex-Mayor, soiling their diapers and drooling incontinently as they babbled their lives away in infantile idiocy. They existed without love, human company, toys or entertainment other than sucking on quart-sized bottles of baby formula and making messes in their diapers.
The nursing home was owned by a corporation owned by the two infantilized lawyers and had never been up to State standards. Both the Judge and the Prosecutor had used their collective powers and legal wiles to ensure that their investment was secure from the prying eyes of the State and Federal government. When the corporation fell into the hands of their legally-appointed guardians, nothing was changed. The nursing home remained understaffed and the patients continued to be "warehoused" rather than treated for their ills. The four men would be subjected to the same lack of care that the penurious, penny-pinching policies inflicted on so many patients before them.
The men were not happy in their new lives; they whimpered and cried most of the time when they were awake. The chronic cases of diaper rash that all four of the incontinent men acquired soon after admission to the nursing home made them irritable and uncomfortable.
Amanda’s coup had visited true Cosmic justice on all four purveyors of injustice. None of them would never recover from the "stoke" which she had delivered in a single magickal coup of irritation.
Unbeknownst to her, the magickal spells that had transformed the five men had stretched the boundaries of reality to its breaking point. If she issued forth one more spell of consequence during that month upon them, then the whole magickal structure which she had created would collapse catastrophically around her. She never did.
After visiting the spell on the five men, she calmed down as she put her charges in the playpen. She was more than a little pleased to see her former boyfriend as well as her demanding teenaged daughter creeping on their hands and knees on the plastic pad of the playpen before her while uttering meaningless infantile noises.
End of Chapter V
Copyright 1999 by Fever and Jennifer Loraine, All rights reserved.
No commercial use allowed without the express permission of the authors.