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Personalias

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  1. Chapter 7 You're the kind of person you meet at certain dismal, dull affairs Center of a crowd, talking much too loud, running up and down the stairs Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years And though you've tried you just can't hide your eyes are edged with tears The Rolling Stones; “19th Nervous Breakdown” The Frozen Dessert Isle. Van Halen’s Panama was playing on the store’s speakers. Mrs. Darling was deciding which type of novelty ice cream pop to get for her “Athena”. Lily was strapped into the little chair add-on to the grocery cart; the kind that people put their kids in who were too big to fit into the cart’s little seat but too lazy to walk on their own. The absurd level of engineering that this gated community had applied to size up all manner of baby equipment had yet to extend to shopping carts. She’d been there over a year, and had seen giant strollers, adult changing tables, humongous car seats, and as of her one year anniversary (it was NOT her birthday), an overgrown baby walker. There were no Reborns riding IN the shopping carts, yet. Probably because the giant rugrats would have been able to reach for things on the top shelf. The big blue plastic chair attached to the front of the shopping cart had more restraints than was typical, however. Not just a lap belt, but a full harness that clicked just above Lily’s breasts. Wouldn’t want “the baby” falling out, would they? Her diaper was squishing beneath her but she’d forgotten when she’d gone. Was it before, during, or after the car ride over. What was the point? If Lily had had a gun just then she would have shot herself in the head. No suicide note would have been needed. Diapered. Restrained. Frozen desserts. Van Halen’s Panama. Any police officer worth their badge could have connected the dots. There was a thought that disturbed her, one that hadn’t occurred until a day or two after the party: She was having suicidal ideations. There were so many ways she could conceivably do it, too. For an instant, she imagined herself strangled by her own bed sheets, her body hanging from her crib. Something like that might actually break Mrs. Darling, and there was comfort in that. But Lily banished the dark thought from her mind. Mrs. Darling wouldn’t be mourning Lily anyways, just a dumb girl that never actually existed. Best not to think about it. Best to just stew in her own contempt for the moment and take what strength she could from it. Wait for the feeling to pass and grow stronger in its absence so the spectre wouldn’t rear its ugly head. Lily hated these shopping trips. Hated. Hated. Hated. She didn’t even know why Mrs. Darling brought her along on these little expeditions. The Publics (No, not Publix. Like so many other things the Community had a reasonable facsimile to cleverly mask just how twisted it was.) had its own “childcare” area. It was closer to a pediatrician’s waiting room: old worn out toys, outdated and already completed coloring books and a bucket full of broken crayons. But it did the job for the thirty to forty minutes that the “parents” spent shopping. Lily had spent a few shopping trips there, but most of the time, she ended up attached to the cart. Several packages of adult baby diapers- PeekABUs, Rearz Princess, and Crinklz Aquanauts-already lay in the cart in front of her. The grocery store’s baby isle was particularly big and kept fetish products stocked right next to the real diapers. Lily had overheard Mrs. Darling’s friends comment that such things could be delivered right to her doorstep if she wanted, but the big bougie drunk never took up the offer. Lily had been lying to herself. She knew why Mrs. Darling brought her along on these weekly shopping trips. It was the same reason why the diapers that fit her were right next to the Size 6 Luvs. It’s. It made it seem more normal. In Mrs. Darling’s delusional mind, Lily wasn’t a girl who had been surgically, chemical, and psychologically altered. She was just a baby named Athena. A bigger baby, sure, but still just a baby. You didn’t put baby products, no matter how big, with the adult stuff. That would be insulting. You kept the Gerbers’ separate from the Ensure. The Huggies didn’t go with the Depends. They went with the other baby things; the Pampers and the Bambinos. It’s just what happened. The same logic applied to everything. Most parents still went supermarket shopping for their kids’ diapers. Most parents kept them close instead of getting a babysitter for the errands. It was practical. It was normal. That’s what this neighborhood did: It took something so outlandish that it could only be found online in some kind of bizarre sex fantasy story, and made it normal. It was indoctrination. Brainwashing. Confirmation bias. Gaslighting. And since people like Mrs. Darling were all convinced to a one that every one of their victims, Lily included, didn’t have two brain cells to rub together, they weren’t gaslighting the big babies. They were gaslighting themselves. A bullet to the head sounded pretty damn good right now. Behind her, Lily could still hear the hum of an open freezer. Mrs. Darling was still shuffling around pints of ice cream. Probably debating whether or not rum raisin would really taste better with extra rum added in. Eventually, she knew, the door would close and Lily would get a pint of vanilla ice cream added to the cart. “Athena” loved vanilla ice cream. Lily was sick of it. She wanted her underpants to be vanilla, not her ice cream. For over a year her tasting palate had been limited to something a five year old might enjoy. Bland vegetables and common fruits. Fried food and the starchiest of starches. And carbs and carbs and carbs. Lily had speculated a few months into her capture that her food was spiked with laxatives and fat burners, or that her digestive track or metabolism had been altered in some subtle but significant way. It was the only way she could imagine eating so much shitty food with so little exercise and still keep the weight off. Or maybe she’d just miscalculated how much of what food she was being fed. It wasn’t her job to count calories or consider serving sizes. She wasn’t in charge of her own nutrition any more. She wasn’t in charge of anything… When “Athena” was given a sweet treat, the flavors were kept exceedingly simple. Chocolate. Vanilla. Strawberry. That’s it. Lily would have loved a rum raisin herself, or a mint chocolate chip, or a salted caramel, but no. Not for babies. Not in Mrs. Darling’s world. If the flavor had more than one adjective to it, it wasn’t for Mrs. Darling’s baby girl. Lily turned her head to the right, staring at the gelato. Oh gelato. Butter Pecan too. Her mouth watered for it. As an adult, Lily hadn’t even particularly liked Butter Pecan. It was okay. Maybe in her top thirty-one, but never in her top ten. It’d been so long. One of Lily’s first post re-birth drinks had been apple juice. It was the first thing fed to her that was neither milk nor formula. Lily had hated apple juice. But after three months stuck inside Mrs. Darling, completely deprived of her sense of taste and texture, the sickening sweet flavor had been Heaven to her. Just Heaven. Right there in the frozen dessert section, Butter Pecan was now her new apple juice. She had to have it. Keeping an ear open for the dreaded sound of a fridge door sealing shut, Lily fiddled with her harness. To undo the restraint, one had to squeeze the sides with one hand and press the center button with the other. Impossible for a true Reborn who’d had their eggs scrambled six ways. But it was butter pecan for Lily. It was nothing for Lily to slide the shoulder straps off of herself and lean over to open the glass door blocking the gelato. The only thing that wasn’t on her side was time. In all likelihood she’d get caught. Mrs. Darling would turn around, see her, and then she’d be restrained again and a sharper eye kept on her. Probably get a spanking, too. Mrs. Darling wasn’t above that. It was more degrading than painful, but Lily still managed to “learn” from her mistakes so that her jailor was never tempted to up the punishment ante. That was the worst case scenario. Correction: That was the worst case experience. The worst possible outcome would be that Mrs. Darling or some other Community “adult” would connect the dots and give her a booster shot straight back into eternal infancy where they wanted her. But something inside Lily caused her to doubt that would happen. Call it cockiness. Call it intuition. Call it a self-destructive impulse disguised as rebellion. Lily called it being sick of vanilla ice cream. In the little power fantasies she still clung to, Lily promised herself that if the needle ever came for her, the last words on her lips would be her own name. She wasn’t Athena Darling. She was Lily Chen, damnit! As Lily reached in the freezer door, her hand darting for the yellowish nut filled half-pint of gelato, a nasty voice whispered inside her head. “You want to get caught don’t you?” The voice was her own, mixed with someone else’s. Someone vaguely familiar from a half-remembered hallucination. “Sorry kid. Not now. Not here. Maybe later.” Maybe it was that dream she’d had while trapped in the synthetic womb. She’d made a deal with some dark force. That’s how she’d managed to avoid the needle this long. That’s why luck was on her side. Because a deal was a deal. Nah. That was just a dream. A nightmare delirium near the end of her sensory deprivation period. (Fuck calling it gestation). Deal or no deal, luck WAS on Lily’s side this time. The gelato was carefully slid down the front of the cart and landed next to the diapers and Lily had buckled herself back in -just like a big girl- just as Mrs. Darling had settled on a pint of New Orleans Bananas Foster and of course a bit of vanilla for her baby girl. “Sorry about that, Athena.” Mrs. Darling gave Lily a condescending pat on the head. “Mommy just couldn’t decide for herself.” She pinched Lily’s cheek. “But you were so good and patient waiting, that Mommy made sure to get you your favorite. Lily held her breath as she placed the ice cream in the cart, praying that the older woman wouldn’t notice one more jar amongst the Gerbers and Peter Pan Peanut Butter. Lily probably wouldn’t even get to eat any. Mrs. Darling would likely down it herself, and Lily still wasn’t stealthy enough to sneak into the kitchen to eat it in the middle of the night. The poor girl couldn’t even reach the freezer from her knees, and with all the nuts in it and with so few teeth left to her she might not be able to chew it. But just getting away with this one little act of subversion would be a victory in itself. “What’s this?” Mrs. Darling was looking right at the jar of butter pecan. Damnit. A pain welled up inside of Lily’s guts. No no. Not here. Not now. Not in the grocery store! Lily must have groaned. “Is your tum tum hurting, Athena?” The gelato forgotten, Mrs. Darling had turned to Lily and was gently stroking her face. “It’s okay, sweetie,” she said. “That’s just your body telling you you need to get something out.” No shit. Actually lots of shit. Too much. “Just get it alllll out and Mommy will change you. Okay? “ Lily could only allow herself a groan. The poor girl was too afraid to shake her head or show any other sign that she recognized what Mrs. Darling was saying. “Ma-ma-mamaaaaa….” she whimpered. “Mamaaaa…” She wanted out. She wanted to get home. She was going to poop herself, that was nothing new or exciting, but she didn’t want to do it here. She’d been used to being wet in public. Wetting was still subtle and private, all things being equal. Crapping her pants still took effort and still embarrassed her greatly. She could do it at home...Mrs. Darling’s house...and she could do it at the daycare where she was surrounded by so many other unfortunates that it felt normal. Out in public; out in the Community proper where there were JUST ENOUGH people not carting around giant infants, it felt weird. For all her psycho-faults, Mrs. Darling was still a bit of a prude when it came to Lily’s diaper. Most of the time she changed Lily on the padded table in her nursery, excusing the both of them when they had company over. She was never big on public changes. A trend that did not carry over into any kind of Rebirther policy. Not twenty minutes ago, Lily had seen a not-so-little girl getting wiped down in the back of a minivan. But Mrs. Darling in her self-perceived Momminess also wouldn’t knowingly let “Athena” sit in a messy diaper, even for the fifteen minutes time it would take to check out and ride home. A childless couple were walking by right this moment, giving the big little baby “awwws” at her obvious pain and confusion. They were watching her! The pervs! The only thing worse than the Mommies and Daddies in this madhouse were the people who didn’t have Reborns (yet) and were perfectly content to go along with the act. And that middle aged bitch wouldn’t stop shushing her and telling her that it was okay. IT WASN’T OKAY! NONE OF THIS WAS OKAY! Lily screamed. (How dare you call yourself) “MAMAAAAAAAA!” “I know, baby. I know. Just get it out and you’ll be fine. It’s natural.” She was cramping. Her weak muscles wouldn’t be able to hold it for another thirty seconds. Her entire body had been conditioned and primed to be a revolving door. Out of options, Lily did the only thing she could. She leaned a bit to the side. She held her breath. She pushed. She cried. They were quiet tears, now. At least there was that. Over a year. Over a year of doing this. She’d run out of ways to describe the act of helplessly shitting herself. The embarrassment. The warmth on her face as well as below her waist. The disgust. The ugh...the textures. There were no more words. The young woman had grown tired of being disgusted with herself. Her mind stopped cataloging all the indignities and just filed it under “normal”. She hated it all. It was...it was normal. It was obscene. But it was normal. Just like this Publics pretended to be. Not quite right. But normal. “Let’s get you sorted out, Athena,” Mrs. Darling said when Lily had finally finished her business. The cart was moving again, and Lily was doing her best to not brush away her tears. Babies like Athena weren’t supposed to be smart enough to wipe their own faces. She’d seen it countless times at the daycare. Mrs. Darling wheeled up to the empty express checkout lane. There were more than ten items in the cart, but even among the privileged maniacs in this upside down world, Mrs. Darling had a special kind of clout. “Hello Mrs. Darling,” a checkout clerk younger than Lily greeted. “What’s wrong with Athena?” “Actually, Brad,” Mrs. Darling said. “Would you be a dear and ring me up for these while I take her to the bathroom?” “Not at all, Ma’am.” There was no flinching. No sense of disgust. The boy should have been young enough to realize just how fucked this whole place was; to show at least a modicum of disgust at a twenty something in a purple onesie and shit clinging to her rear end. Nope. Nothing. ” Lily wanted oblivion right then. Gun. Temple. Blam. Nothingness. At least there was a bit of butter pecan gelato waiting for her in a grocery bag. “Do you want any help getting her there? Mrs. Darling perked up. Brad hadn’t seen her latest party trick. Diaper bag slung over her shoulder, she unbuckled Lily and hoisted her easily onto her hip. “No thank you, young man. I’ve got this.” “Whoah! Nice!” “I know.” Lily was being carried to the women’s room. At least there’d be a closed door. Hopefully the bathroom would be empty. Evidently Lily had spent all her good luck in sneaking the butter pecan gelato. Mrs. Darling pushed on the door, walked the two of them to the ladies room and there on the changing table was another little girl in an absolutely adorable Minnie Mouse onesie getting changed. One crucial difference: The little girl was actually a little girl. Kid couldn’t have been more than a year. The kid’s mother, someone closer to Lily’s age than Darling’s, spared a look. “Hello!” she said. “Hello…” Mrs. Darling sounded a little off put. Not offended, just awkward and confused. Back when she was in college, Lily had done a research paper on Don Quixote, the book about the crazy old Spaniard that thought he was a knight. He thought windmills were giants, whorehouses were castles, and a barber’s bowl was a sacred helmet. Lily always wondered what would have happened if Don Quixote had seen a real castle or a real suit of armor in pristine condition. Would it have been so easy for the madman to play pretend when confronted with the real thing? The other woman just kept changing her baby. “Sorry,” she said. “We’ll be done in a minute.” Then she tickled her baby. “Won’t we Mandy?” “No problem.” There might have been a problem. “Take your time.” “They’ve really got to put more changing tables in this place,” the stranger commented as she finished changing her daughter. Deftly, she scooped the child off of the giant pull down changing station so that Lily could be laid down. Darling groaned a bit from the effort, but then joined in the conversation as she started digging through the diaper bag. “Tell me about it. You think with so many babies they’d make a family restroom or something.” “Totally. You’re daughter’s a cutie, by the way. What’s her name?” “Athena.” Mrs. Darling started unbuttoning Lily’s crotch snaps. The woman and her baby were staying. Why were they staying? Why was Mrs. Darling starting to sound less and less worried? “How old is she?” “Her first birthday was just yesterday!” Both women giggled. “And she’s not getting any older. Yours?” “Eleven months and still growing like a weed. Almost ready for the next size up, aren’t you Mandy?” Mandy made no reply. “Sizing isn’t an issue around here, is it Athena?” Lily made no reply. She just tried to count the ceiling tiles while Mrs. Darling finished wiping and slid a new diaper underneath her. “You work at the Institute don’t you?” “Yes Ma’am.” The woman bounced her baby on her hip. “Four months on and four months off. Her father works from home. You?” “Single mother. Retired. And happy with it.” “With a little cutie like Athena, I can see why.” “I’ve never been happier,” Mrs. Darling said. “Ever consider getting one of your own?” “Not yet,” the Institute flunky said. “One baby is enough for now. Later though, for sure.” And if you’re not happy with how she turns out, Lily thought bitterly as the baby powder settled, you can just pop Mandy back in the oven and rebake her. The two women kept talking over Lily as she was taped up and snapped back together, left lying on the the thick sturdy plastic of the changing station, somehow engineered to hold her weight with ease. They compared different brands of diapers and the “professional” gave her opinion on which was best. Mandy looked just as disinterested. Two adults with two dependents, talking shop about the boring and private minutiae of their children’s diets and incontinence products. The same hand that snuck the gelato snuck into Lily’s mouth and she started self soothing by sucking on her fingers. This all felt so routine. So average. So normal. She felt just like a baby. Which was also becoming normal. This was not a good thing. “Maybe we can arrange a play date,” Mrs. Darling said. “Athena is very gentle.” “I’d like that. Mandy could use a little friend close to her own age.” They exchanged numbers and then both mothers departed the restroom, their diapered daughters in tow. Lily had her answer now. If Don Quixote ever found a real castle with real knights and suits of armor. He’d just pretend even harder until the knights just went with it.
  2. Part 2- The Case. Chapter 6 Don't give me that look, that let me down easy smile Don't act like I couldn't see you coming for a hundred miles Don't try to find the perfect words Can't take the pain out of the hurt Hit me hard, baby I can take it It's your move, go on and make it Brothers Osborne; “Shoot me Straight” “Your daughter is dead.” The Asian couple sitting on their couch looked absolutely horrified. Stunned. Damnit. Shouldn’t have opened with that one, Charlie, he thought to himself. “I mean not literally dead,” he said. “just figuratively...and legally.” The tears hadn’t fallen down the mother’s cheeks, but Charlie could see them pooling and shimmering in her eyes. “What do you mean, sir?” she said. “I don’t understand.” The dad was shaking his head too, his eyes questioning even as his mouth was still. Charlie took a big breath. His belly inflated well over the rim of his jeans when he breathed in deep enough. He hated this part of the job, breaking the news. He felt like a reverse Santa Claus; never jolly, and his gifts were never welcome. “Your daughter’s joined up with a cult, it seems.” The husband’s jaw clenched and he nodded. The lady’s lips frowned. They were devastated, both of them. Devastated, but not surprised. “Go on, Mr. Plagent,” the father said. Charlie reached into his satchel and pulled out his tablet. “On the deep web, they’re referred to as Re-birthers.” Charlie gave a little huff. “Officially, they don’t exist.” “Then how do you know about them?”, the kid’s mother asked. Charlie ignored the question and kept going. “Technically, they’re not a cult. As far as I can tell they have no centralized leadership.” He flipped through several pictures: A twenty-ish white man with cornrows; a middle aged balding man with coke bottle glasses; a black guy with a milky white eye; an old woman in an old fashioned wooden wheelchair breathing with an oxygen mask. “Also, their beliefs aren’t particularly religious as far as I can tell.” “Then what-?” “They check almost every other box in the cult playbook.“ Charlie interrupted. “They separate people from their families and fill the void with themselves and oppose critical thinking and dissent. They promise special answers and do everything they can to make their members feel exclusive and special while outside. They even perform mind altering practices.” The private eye found himself shaking his head in disgust. He only hoped everything he’d heard and read up on them wasn’t true. The girl’s father leaned forward and squinted his eyes at the pictures. “If they’re a cult, why haven’t they been shut down?” A half-groan half-sigh rumbled out the back of Charlie’s throat. “Because they’re a smart cult. I’m not sure where they’re getting all their money, it can’t be entirely from its members, but they choose their locations carefully.” He swiped on his tablet to a map of the U.S. “They’ve got property in Florida, Nevada and Alaska. Little gated communities and medical centers. They don’t shit where they eat, they don’t bother the locals, and they grease the right palms to look the other way in certain eccentricities.” “What kind of eccentri-?” “They recruit more like an MLM, a multi-level marketing company.“ Charlie kept talking. “A pyramid scheme. A friend recruits a friend who recruits a friend. At least one caste does.” “Caste?” “They’ve got two distinct castes in this group. The higher caste are usually financially well off or have the connections to reach someone who is. Typically older, too. The lower caste ones are less fortunate types. Young. Desperate.” Pops seemed offended. “We’re not poor by any definition.” The detective shrugged. “Your daughter was a performing arts major with a ton of student debt.” “Is a performing arts major-” “With a ton of student debt.” Charlie waited. He hated being interrupted. Especially when it was for something so petty as pride. “I’m not here to judge your parenting choices. I’m just explaining why your daughter was targeted.” “My husband apologizes,” the wife said. “Please, Mr. Plaget, continue.” “Once members are wined and dined, they’re pressured into signing their lives away. The higher caste with the big bucks sign non-disclosure agreements as well as leasing deals for their properties, tying them in with the cult in a legally binding sense. The lower caste gets a real razzle dazzle, usually involving signing away their power of attorney and being tricked into unnecessary surgery.” “Surgery?” Swipe to the picture of the guy with the coke bottle glasses. “Dr. Gideon Anguis,” Charlie said. “Brought an experimental surgery over from China. Supposed to be a way to cure or treat a couple of genetic conditions. Alters their blood type even.” “That’s why our daughter is technically dead.” Now Pops was getting it. “They make her legally a new person.” Charlie held out a finger to shush the man, then touched his own nose. Bingo. “It’s not likely something that’d hold up to any real legal or medical scrutiny, but these folks have gone to a lot of trouble to avoid scrutiny.” Charlie switched. “Fortunately, your little girl,” he stopped himself. Not the best phrasing on his part. “Your daughter was altered in Florida. Florida in particular has particularly broad public records laws. Makes them easier to trace.” “That’s why you always hear about crazy people living in Florida,” Mom said. She smiled, clearly proud to have contributed something, if only levity. “They’re not allowed to cover up their embarrassments.” Charlie nodded. “That and Florida has generally more batshit crazy per capita than the rest of the country. This cult being just one example.” Nobody laughed. So much for that joke. “Why…” the girls’ mother sucked on her lips. “Why is she still with them?” “The surgery creates a kind of synthetic womb and regular blood transfusions. It takes a while. About three months,” Charlie told them. “In the case studies in China, all the test subjects were put under. Medical comas. Blink of an eye gone in three months.” “And here?” “Officially? Also put under. But…” He swiped to a new picture. “I suspect they’re not.” Charlie couldn’t tell who was more offended. The mother or the father. “Hard to keep somebody in a coma when they’re inside another somebody.” “Are they...they…?” Pops couldn’t bring himself to say ‘pregnant’, it seemed. “That’s what they’re pretending at.” “Our daughter,” the mother said, “let herself get...stuffed inside THAT woman?” Now came the tears. Charlie pointed to the picture. “That woman? No. It’s just the only photo I’ve got. Very secretive shit going on here. I was lucky to find that one.” The old man hugged his lady tighter. “That’s why they call themselves Rebirthers, isn’t it? They’re literally trying to give birth to people who’ve already been born…” Another finger. Another nose touch. Bingo. “It’s why I think your daughter is still with them.” “She’s still INSIDE-?” “No. No. It’s been a little over a year, I gotta figure.” Charlie licked his lips. How much to tell them. “Imagine being stuck in a sensory deprivation tank for three months. No human contact. No food on your tongue or water down your throat. Still perfectly conscious.” “They go crazy…” Now Mom was catching on. “They probably promised your daughter the moon and by the time she knew something was wrong, it was already too late. The surgery did most of the brainwashing itself. When they took her out she was probably so starved mentally and physically that she’d believe anything they told her.” They still didn’t know the half of it. Watching their hearts break in front of his eyes was too much. He didn’t mention what he’d heard: About the big baby clothes; the infantilizing; the forced breast feeding; the diapers. Definitely not the diapers. Time to drive the point home. “This is some cruel and unusual shit here, folks,” Charlie said. “But I’m willing to go undercover. Bring your daughter back. If I can get her out of there, we can yank the rug out from under this operation. No way will people be able to look the other way when they know what’s really going on. I just need your help.” “We’ll pay anything Detective Plagent.” The husband said. That’s how Charlie knew he was doing this. Everytime someone called him “Detective”, it meant he was getting the job. “Anything. Just bring our daughter home.”
  3. Nobody was asked. All of the speakers are friends, Kimmy being the common link for most of us and the idea was pitched to CAPCon Staff when they were doing an all-call for presenters.
  4. I'm not saying I used my real name. I just didn't use Personalias. Heck. Alex is a common enough name in of itself.
  5. I did the opposite of what WB just said. I went to a con, didn't use Personalias as my nametag, and just got lost in the crowd, comforting myself that my nearest relatives or employers were far far away, and if they weren't...mutually assured destruction. Liked it so much that I started going to smaller events to get more of the feeling of companionship.
  6. Diapers W.B. Contrariwise, your stories are often more personal and about a character's emotional journey with a focus on inner reflection and interpersonal relationships. How do you manage to so successfully make the protagonists in your stories relatable without being cookie cutter mary sues?
  7. Diapers. So W.B. What emotions or feelings do you hope that your writing evokes in your readers?
  8. Let's try it! So W.B. What motifs do you often revisit within the larger body of your work?
  9. I have a feeling your little is just going to be reading from cue cards in the audience while switching out between an elaborate set of disguises. Also, all of my answers will be scripted as well. "Diapers"
  10. Sorry about this. I didn't see that anyone had replied to this. My bad. Commission info is on my deviant art page and I've added that as a link in the patreon's general description.
  11. Great ice-breaker. No context. No explanation. Just walk up front and tell a bunch of people that they're naked.
  12. I can't find the clip, but now I'm thinking of The Muppets when Scooter has stage fright. Just walks out on stage and yells, "YOU'RE ALL NAKED!"
  13. This will be my first panel so I wouldn't know. Over 40 are RSVP'd to show at this panel in particular and close to (if not more than) 1000 will be at the con in general. There'd be no way for you to go without showing your face. It's a closed door event and you have to show ID and prove you're on the guest list (as in people who bought tickets already) just to get in. They don't even give the hotel location to people who haven't been vetted and you have to agree and sign that you're gonna follow con rules and that you're not there to dox or stalk anyone. Speaking from personal experience, the isolation that such social anxiety brings really hurt and limited me. I still suffer from it myself, but I'm at a place where I. It's a bit like working out and stretching my legs and joints for me: I dread doing it, but once it's done or I'm in the middle of it, I feel great.