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First and foremost, thank you @Selpharia - author of the amazing "Of Capes, Cowls, and Cuddles" sci-fi epic - for sponsoring this story.  Her interest in our work enabled and inspired Pudding and I to create this wonderful tale.  The fact that Pudding's main character in Nightmare Asylum and Selphie's main character in C3 have the same name is purely coincidence!  Or is it? *evil laugh*

Pudding and I called this story 'Spoopy Nightmare Asylum' for like three months, so it's only fitting that Nightmare Asylum is the official name.  I might be a little slow to update this one through because we literally just finished it and it has a ton of editing that needs doing.  Anyway, I hope you like it!

Disclaimers: diapers, wetting, messing, hypnosis, little, regression

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Nightmare Asylum

by: Sophie & Pudding

1.)

”A haunted house?" "No, dummy, a haunted children’s asylum from like old movies. You know, back before kids were drugged up all the time.” On the one hand, it was hard not to be interested, because we were both studying children’s psychology at the university, Ria and me, but on the other hand it was hard not to be disgusted because we were studying children’s psychology at the university. "You're not chicken are you? I mean I guess I can go and ask Cat Stone if she wants to go with me instead? You know that lil' closeted rug muncher's wanted to spend time alone with me for, like, ever..." I didn't like girls. Ria did. I didn't have a crush on her, but boy did she have one on me. And okay, I was a little manipulative. So?

"Don't even say her name!" It wasn't that I had anything against Cat, it was just... well, she was prettier than I was.  I hadn't quite let go of my high school self-consciousness issues. "Fine.  You want to go into the stupid asylum?  Then let's do it.  I'm not afraid." Though I was notoriously afraid of everything.  Bridget, on the other hand, wasn't afraid of anything.  It was so annoying sometimes!  And so sexy other times...

Wahaha. Bridget strikes again! Calhoun Gardens wasn't even that far away, either, so the biggest issue was just waiting for it to be dark enough to be scary. Ria wanted to leave early, so we stopped at a Wendy's on the way to waste some time. Sometimes I felt like our movements with one another were a game of tug-o-war, or the world’s most childish game of chess; always trying to outplay one another. But we'd known each other since Freshman year, and had been untouchably close ever since. We just had... a dynamic. "Are you gonna eat your potato?” I waved a fry at my best friend, eating the way I usually ate: like somebody who'd never been an ounce over 130lbs despite a horrendous diet of fries and Mountain Dew. Genetics, am I right?

"No, you can have it." I'd barely ate anything on the ride up.  We were parked outside the gates of the building - tall and looming - and the sun had gone down twenty minutes ago.  I was so nervous that I could feel it in my fingertips.  There was a sign on the gate - readable even from here - that said "Keep Out". "What if we get caught?  We'll get arrested.  This is breaking and entering.  We'll get expelled."

"We're not athletes, you dummy, and we go to a state college; our behavior outside of school hours isn't some media spectacle." I rolled my eyes.  I wiped my hands on a moist towelette a little too obsessively - because eating food with my fingers was somewhat of a breakthrough that Ria had manage to make with me in the time we'd known each other, but I still didn't like messy hands - and balled up the Wendy's bag to toss in the back of the car. "Okay it seems acceptably dark and spoopy outside now. You got charge on your phone?" I regretted that this wasn't the 1980's where we'd have flashlights and cool stuff like that, because everything we needed was on our phones.

"Or, or, or!  We could say we went in.  And you know.  Not go in.  I like that plan." "You really are scared, huh?" Bridget sighed. "And here I thought it was sort of sexy, how you were willing to go into the scary dark asylum..." I pouted and crossed my arms over my chest, feeling warm inside.  Damnit... "Let's go," I mumbled.

Hahah! Bridget: 1. Ria's sense of realistic fear: 0. "Alright, let's go." When we got out of the car, Ria fumbled to lock it and I watched her, frowning. "Who's going to break into our car, you ditz? A ghost? Besides we might need easy access to the car if we're being chased by deranged spirits! She frowned. And quick like a bunny, I scampered up over the heavy iron gate that blocked our path. "There's a hole in the fence..." she quipped at me, as I landed, and I stuck my tongue out. "That's less dramatic. Come on!"

I opted for the hole in the fence.  I was never a very good athlete and that gate was awfully high.  Once we made our way quietly across the parking lot, we came up against the side-entrance to the building.  The asylum was huge - at least five stories.  It took up half the block. "There is no way we are getting in.  Everything is boarded up." I turned on my heel and started back toward the car. "Oh well, we tried!"

"Yeah, I mean, I guess there's no way in." With a grunt of effort I pulled up the doors to the basement, angled against the side of the building, and waved my hands at the ensuing staircase down into the bowels of the sublevel. "This is so cool, can you imagine what went on here? I'm really curious. I bet it was horrible, though, and that makes for angry ghosts.

I hesitated at the entrance. "Stop being a baby.  Get down here." So I followed Bridget into the small, dark sublevel of the facility.  I didn't even know how old this asylum was.  But hysteria must have been a pretty big thing, right?  Oh, I should have paid more attention in my psychology class... I fumbled for my flashlight on my phone.

"Really? Selfie Light 2017? Don't you have any apps on your phone that aren't for taking your own picture?" I shouldn't tease, honestly, because Ria had the kind of confidence-issues in her appearance that few girls would ever muster, even at our age, and it did nothing to offset how much of a nervous nellie she was in every other area of her life.  But hey, taking pictures helped her, right? "Hey the stairs are wet, be careful." That clumsy girl could trip over a strong breeze, so I was amazed we made it down to the bottom in one piece. The only problem was... "Ew..." We were standing in like two inches of stagnant, smelly water.

"I am not going any further." "Stop being a baby," Bridget reiterated, but I shook my head. "These are new shoes.  I am not going in there.  No way, no how." "Then leave your shoes behind." "And step on a rusty syringe and die of poison?" I refused to go down the bottom step, even though the water didn't look that deep.

"It's just water, and the sooner we get to the stairs to go up, the sooner we'll be out of it. And look it's not very deep so that means there won’t be any water upstairs, right?" I was pretty good at seeing the positives in things, almost annoyingly so, but she puffed her alabaster cheeks out in defiance anyway. "I'll piggy back you." Which I'm sure would go just fine given the fact she had four inches and twenty-five pounds on me, but hey, I was trying at least.

"I don't need you to piggy back me!" I sighed and looked down at the water.  Ugh.  What else could I do?  I'd have to wash my shoes the second I got home.  I slowly put my foot down in the mucky water and followed Bridget through the dark corridors.  Where were the damn stairs?

It was hard to see, even with the flashlights on our phones, and to make it worse the ground beneath the water wasn't exactly smooth either. "Hey, look!" Stairs, at last! But as we got closer there was something just past the stairs... Troubled Patient Wing. We both stared at the doors with the faded paint and brass plaque, and shared glances. "Well we can't not go in there..."

"Yes we absolutely can't!!" I went right to the stairs and got my feet out of the mucky water.  Already I was regretting this trip.  All it needed now was a spider or a ghost or a zombie child.  I brushed the cobwebs off my jeans.  But when I looked back behind me, Bridget wasn't there.  Uh... "Bridget...?  Bridget?  This isn't funny... where are you?"

"You have got to see this." Ria just about jumped out of her skin when I put my hand on her arm, and she shook her head quick as could be. "I promise if you don't want to stay when you see it, you can go, but you have to see it." She frowned. I grinned. I made sure I won. And just like the first time when I'd pushed through the double doors into the Troubled Patient Wing, things changed. There was plush red carpet beneath our soggy feet. Lighting. Soft music. A warm and inviting atmosphere. Like we'd stepped into a totally different place.
 

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The first five chapters are up on our Patreon!  Please consider supporting us!! ^_^ 

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2.)

Oh.  I had expected a million different things on the other side of those double doors, but this was not one of them.  There was electricity?  There was music!  Everything had a slightly warm glow to it and the floor wasn't covered in water, but a sea of carpet.  Red carpet?  Or was that just the lights?  Did someone... live here...? "We should go," I mumbled and stepped backwards softly, scanning the room as I reached for Bridget's wrist.

"No way! We should take pictures and lots of them." Of course, I had no bars down here it seemed, but we were in the basement and that made perfect sense. A shame not to be able to Instagram this place live, but what could you do? "Look, there's no water on the carpet from when we opened the door, and we opened them three times now." The only water, in-fact, were the footprints we left in the plush ruby carpet. "Look at the furniture..." This actually felt less like a room and more like the lobby to a theater.

"I really don't like the look of this," I mumbled, pacing nervously around the room.  I went back to the double doors and pushed them, maybe to see if the water would follow us in, but the door was stuck.  It wouldn't budge.  I tried pulling it instead but I couldn't get my fingers into the cracks.  What the hell? "Help me with this."

"Don't be a baby, we'll figure it out, it's probably the water pressure or something. There'll be other ways out, lets look around!" I was wandering away from her anyway, walking towards a door against one of the walls in the grand space, with a brass plaque that read Treatment etched into the pristine looking surface. "How is everything in here in such good condition? This is surreal, do you-" I looked over my shoulder, and Ria was still tugging at the door we came in. "Ria, come on, keep up!"

I looked back at the door nervously and followed my best friend through the lobby and toward one of the other doors.  My heart was racing.  No such thing as ghosts, no such thing as ghosts... "There's lights on though, Bridget... were lights even a thing when this place opened?” Curse my lack of historical knowledge. "Someone obviously still comes here... we can't stay here."

"Maybe the lights are just gas burning, we can't tell." They did have a warm, flickery glow to them, after all, and it was hard to tell from this angle. "If someone still comes here, then it's gotta be a secret that they do, and maybe we can become YouTube famous for revealing it." She looked less convinced than I sounded. "Here I'll film, you're cuter. Lets check out the Treatment room, okay? Sounds interesting.”

She shoved me through the doors with her phone camera in my face. "And here we are, Ria and me, in the basement of Calhoun Gardens children's asylum!  But look!  Lanterns are on.  Could someone be living here still?  We're gonna get to the bottom of it!." "Narrate quieter," I urged.

"We gotta be able to hear it for the fans, dummy!" This was weird, because the warm soft music from the foyer area was replaced with what sounded like a faraway music box and there were four large windows with four doors next to them, two on each side of the room we'd entered; like exhibits in a zoo of some sort. "So these look like cells, right? Man people used to be so messed up, right? And..." I was quiet. We were both quiet, because sitting on the floor in the first window we looked in was a girl. A girl our age. A girl we knew. Soren Jones. She'd moved out of town to a different college, suddenly, six months ago. And she was dressed up like an antique doll, and playing with blocks, completely oblivious. "Is that..." Now I was quiet. Now I whispered.

I knew her.  We both knew her.  Soren Jones was a girl in our Childhood Development class last semester.  In the middle of the term she dropped out.  I never really thought twice about it, but seeing her here, now... I shook my head and went ahead of Bridget to glass window.  That was her.  That was definitely her!  We she living here now?  Without thinking, I opened up the door to her cell and went inside. "Soren?"

There was no recollection on her face when she looked up, and she giggled and knocked over her block building, putting thumb straight to mouth. "Soren, hey," I'd put my phone down on a desk by the entrance to the room because this seemed far less like a fun trip now and more like something serious, and I knelt down beside her, doing a quick crisis evaluation.  Hand on cheek, eyes looking into eyes. She looked at me dumbly. "Soren, it's me, Bridget, do you know where you are? What are you doing here?" She was dressed so ornately, in clothes I couldn't imagine outside of a LARP get-together, and she seemed entirely comfortable. "Are you hurt? Soren, listen to me." It was like she didn't even know who I was... or she didn’t even care.

All the thoughts I had about Soren running away and hiding in this building started to fade away.  She wasn't acting like herself.  Dressed like that?  In a place like this?  I was starting to worry that this wasn't a very safe place after all. "Come on, Bridget.  Let's get her up.  We need to get out of here right now!"

"Alright, uh, let me get my phone, and then I'll..." I knew I left my phone on that desk, and it was gone, just... gone. What? I felt my chest begin to swell with anxiety and marched out of the windowed cell back into the room outside, huffing. "This isn't funny! I'll use Find My iPhone to find where you are, so you should just give it back!" Nobody answered, though, nobody else was here... except, it seemed, as my heart sunk... there was another girl in another of the windowed cells. "Ria, there's someone else locked up here, too."

I had managed to get Soren to her feet, but just barely.  Luckily, she was very cooperative.  She walked alongside me as long as I propped her up.  We had just gotten out of the cell when Bridget called out about the other girl.  Another girl, in another cell?  This one, though... I didn't know who she was.  I let Soren go and she immediately slid to the floor.  My heart was pounding in my chest.  I was going to have a panic attack if we didn't get out of here. "Just get her and let's go!"

"Alright, okay." I pushed the door open to go inside, and the other girl - she was Japanese, or Korean maybe, I couldn't tell, but she was dressed just as stupidly as Soren was. And worse, there was an overwhelming smell of something in the room when I went inside, and I had no idea what it was until I'd picked her up and helped her to her feet; spying the very obvious diaper under her dress. "Gross..." The problem was, when I got her to the door... it wouldn't open. "Hey, it won't open! Can you open it from that side?" I tugged at the door, and Ria did the same thing, but in neither direction did it move. "Okay stay calm, um... take Soren, alright? Take her to the car and call 911 alright? I'll be right here. It'll be okay." But the nagging fact that the double doors to this wing of the asylum wouldn't open earlier wouldn't leave me.
 

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This is great! It's a lot like Little Luzy with how interesting and unique the characters are. You & Pudding have a real knack for character creation, you know that? Like, more so than any other author I've ever read ever! Truly a God-given talent (if you believe in that sort of thing.) Plus we're only 2 chapters in & already you're throwing dirty diapers into the mix! :) I can't wait to see how Bridget handles that in the next chapter.

You & Pudding never cease to please. Had I the authority I would officially declare you the 2 Queens of DailyDiapers. :)

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:blush: You are so unbelievably sweet!  But I think Pudding would be the Queen and I'd be the Princess :angel_not:

Characters are our strong point.  Sometimes our stories and plots can be very contrived or simplistic (which totally isn't the case with this story, holy crap it's so cool just you wait!) but our characters are always above and beyond.  I think that's why people like reading our works. ^_^ 

~Sophie

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Love where this is going. Awesome story! 

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3.)

I looked at Bridget through the glass and shook my head.  Panic was rising up in my chest.  I wasn't going to leave her.  I couldn't just-- she slammed hard on the glass and pointed to the door.  Bridget was always calm under stress.  I wound up and exploded like a spring.  If she says I needed to call the police, I needed to call the police... so I went back to Soren and helped her through the doors and into the lobby.  All the while, she didn't say a word.  Stay calm, stay calm... you just have to get those doors open, Ria... somehow...

"Riiiuhhh" Soren giggled around the thumb in her mouth, as she obediently followed the girl she so faintly and vaguely recognized.  She watched her intently as she tried to open the door. "Doesy open, nuhuh, doesy open, nuh for us, jus' for Trudie.” She nodded her head, apparently proud, and plopped down on the red carpet like a stumbling toddler, watching both intently and disinterestedly, as Ria tried to open the door, then tried to call with her phone, then tried to open the door again.

This wasn't working.  This wasn't getting me anywhere!  I had no signal.  The doors wouldn't budge.  I slammed into them with my shoulder and used my nails to pick apart the cracks, but I just couldn't get a hold on the huge wooden doors.  I was stuck in here.  I couldn't get out.  I couldn't leave, and... and I felt my chest rising and falling.  I couldn't do this right now, if I had an anxiety attack... why couldn't Bridget be the one out here?  Why wasn't I the one trapped in that room?

“Tha' way,” Soren vaguely motioned behind her, to a set of doors on the other end of the foyer, although she didn't really give any indication as to what to expect in that direction, just that it was of interest to her and her dumbly muted mind right now. She didn't have any scars on her head, though, nothing to indicate physical damage, so it seemed like this state of being was purely psychological, however it might have happened. And she seemed entirely and strangely calm to be here.

I looked at Soren blankly.  At the girl who - six months ago - I was partners with in Child Development.  And now... now she was acting like one of the kids were had to do a paper on.  It was just... too much.  But if she really had been here for six months... "That way?" I asked between uneven, labored breathing. "An exit?  We can get out?" Soren pointed again.  I didn't have a choice, did I?  I helped her back to her feet and walked her through the other set of double doors.  A way out.  Don't panic, Ria.  Soren knew a way out.

Where they wound up wasn't exactly a way out, though; it was what looked like a library, with a ceiling now far too high to still be a part of any basement level, and a woman dressed like a maid, or more likely, a librarian.  She was standing at a desk in the center, going through a pile of books that looked high enough to be dangerous. “’Trudie!" Soren announced, but only loud enough for her friend to hear and not loud enough to get the woman's attention. A name, perhaps.

I slapped my hand over Soren's mouth and held her tight against my chest.  I was seeing stars.  This wasn't an exit.  Or was this an exit and it was through one of the library doors?  I didn't know.  And I couldn't trust Soren.  I didn't know what was wrong with her, but... I leaned against the wall and tried to catch my breath.  Anxiety was filling me up.  What if I never got out of here?  What if some crazy man had kidnapped Soren?  What if I stumbled into his hideout?  He'd never let me go...

"Are you here to check out a book, child, or are you content to stand agape and stare until supper time?" The woman didn't look up as she spoke, but she was very attractive in a 19th's century victorian maid-cum-librarian kind of way: hair up in a bun, uniform pressed, skin unblemished by so much as a kiss of the sun. Well, what could be seen of her face, anyway, because she was still looking down. “Tha’s Trudie, she berry nice yuhhuh,” Soren affirmed, quietly, apparently knowing enough to whisper hushedly to her friend.

I wasn't handling this well.  I was scared and I was lost and I just needed to get out of here and call the police!  I had to get Bridget out of that cell!  Soren wiggled out of my arms and ran across the library and up to the woman.  Very nice.  That's what Soren said.  So I gave it my best shot, stepping out of the shadows and into view of the librarian. "I'm just... looking for a way out.  I'm sorry, I... I thought there might be a way through here, since the doors won't open, and..." I was having trouble breathing.  My anxiety was too much to handle.  I just had to get out of here.  I just had to get out...

"Do you have somewhere to be, child? The Mistress and Master of the Hospital are predisposed at the moment.” The more she spoke, the more her accent became apparent, minor as it was, and she pulled Soren into her arms, looking down. "Come now, there's some peach pie and lemonade you're more than welcome to, and we can discuss your intentions." True to form, there was pie on her desk, opposite to the side where the books were, and it smelled oddly and potently enticing, even from across the room.

Mistress and Master of the Hospital?  What did that mean?  I didn't understand.  This place was shut down!  This place had been shut down a century ago!  But now Soren was here, and... and... "I... my friend is in the other room.  She got locked in.  Can you get her out?  Bridget.  Her name is Bridget.  We really have to go.  We really..." I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes.  I couldn't breathe...

"Come and have some pie, child, if your friend has locked herself in a room then she can't come to any harm, can she now? She'll be safe until the Master and Mistress are available, and I do say it seems as though you have some fretting of your own to handle. Now no more fun, come over here." She made some pretty good points, for a time displaced maid-librarian-of-undetermined-origin, and the pie did smell pretty wonderful.

I shook my head but the librarian had taken my hand and shuffled me along to the check-out desk.  The pie was sitting on a plate, waiting, almost expectantly.  But I couldn't breathe.  I was having a panic attack.  How could I be expected to eat?  But it smelled so good... and... well if I could eat, maybe I could calm down.  I'd never tried to eat during a panic attack before, but I certainly had never wanted to try so badly.  The woman put a bite on a fork and I took it into my mouth.  Oh... wow...

The pie, peach with cinnamon, tasted like nothing else that Ria would ever have tasted. So good, in-fact, that when the woman did look up, and her perfect face was mired by eyes as black as the pitch of night, she didn't even seem all that bothered by it. "You're making too much of a fuss over things too petty, child. Tell me your name.  You said your friend was called Bridget, so what should we call you?" It was Soren who piqued up, with a mouthful of peaches and a toothy grin. "Riiiiuhh! tha's Riuhh!"

"Uh..." The woman smiled down at me with her impossibly dark eyes.  I felt like I was falling into them just with the way she was looking at me. "Ria," the librarian said, mirroring Soren. It wasn't lost on her that Soren and I knew each other. "It's Ria, then?" I wasn't sure why, but I nodded.  I felt the panic in my chest ebbing away.  I took another bite of pie.  Wow...

"And where is your friend, Ria? Has she come here for treatment, too? You must have come here for treatment, like Soren did." Soren looked like she didn't have any input on that matter. "You'll be well taken care of here, don't you fret. My name is Gertrude, but the children tend to call me Trudie. How is your pie? I'll cut you another slice. Lemonade, too, correct? Soren is so fond of her lemonade."

"I... I can't.  I have to be going... I need to... where's Bridget...?" I looked around the room like I'd forgotten where I was, then took another bite of pie.  Whatever was left of my panic attack was well and truly gone.  The pie was just so amazing, and I wasn't even a huge fan of pie.  Bridget would love this pie...

"Yes, that is the question I asked you, Ria. Is she already receiving treatment? I suppose she is, if she's not here. Do you know her illness? Is it hysteria? Precocious nature? A stern wit? No matter, she'll receive all the treatment she requires here. We've always taken very good care of our patients. Why it seems like only yesterday that Soren arrived, and look how far she's come." The woman, Trudie, managed to look beautiful despite her dark swirling eyes, and she put one hand on Ria's cheek. "You're quite a beauty, Ria. I suppose for your family to afford to send you here you must be of fine wealth.”

I looked up into her swirling dark eyes and shook my head.  Something was wrong here, I just knew it.  But I couldn't figure out what.  I got up from my place at the check-out desk and pushed past the librarian.  The plate in front of me was empty - I'd eaten the whole slice without even realizing it. "I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm... I don't need treatment.  I just... we accidentally..." I shook my head.  This was too hard to explain, even with the strange, unexpected calm. "I have to go," I told her, pushing my way to the double doors.

"Please, you're suffering from hysteria, from confusion, Ria. Your parents must be dreadfully worried for you, and we're going to help you. Please at least have a drink and consider what I'm telling you, and if you think I have any reason to split from the honest truth of things." Her voice was calm. Her eyes were dark, and terrible, but also... soothing. And Soren seemed oh so happy.

"It is not hysteria!  You're absolutely insane.  Now let me--" But trying to push past the librarian got me nowhere.  She grabbed me by my hair and pulled me into her .  Her eyes looked down at mine, warm and cold at the same time.  And she was so close to me... I felt a blush on my cheeks.

"You're safe here, safe and sound, and getting the help you need." She pushed something between the girls lips, something cold and strange in texture; and lemonade began to flow from the tip; a glass bottle with a teat that was clearly meant for children of a very young age. "Drink your lemonade, you're safe here, safe as can be. You have nowhere else you would rather be but here, getting well, getting better."

I swatted at the woman's hand but she caught my wrist in midair.  I felt my back hit one of the bookshelves.  The bottle dripped sweet, bitter liquid onto my tongue.  She pushed up against me, her eyes locked on mine.  After a few soft sucks on the nipple - entirely unintentionally - I had to avert my gaze.  I felt heavy all of a sudden.

"Your friend is already being tended to, and you'll see her very soon. You'll be happy to see her, proud of her progress. She was afflicted with violent outburst, and perhaps further intervention will be needed to remove those feelings. For now, she's doing well. You're doing well, too, Ria." Trudie stroked her hair, and sat down on an easy-chair while she spoke, pulling the college-age girl into her lap with nothing but the whim of the baby bottle. Her smile was sweet and her eyes were dark and Soren was giggling in the background happily. It was going to be a very very long night.
 

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Interesting. But also... confusing

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in your previous works (Little Luzy & Untrained are the only ones I've read) the color of the text was used to determine not only a character's dialogue, but also their thoughts. But in this chapter no matter what color the text was we were always hearing Ria's thoughts. Am I going crazy here? Somebody please validate my sanity.

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Very interesting so far. I look forward to the long night 

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19 hours ago, Wannatripbaby said:

Interesting. But also... confusing

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in your previous works (Little Luzy & Untrained are the only ones I've read) the color of the text was used to determine not only a character's dialogue, but also their thoughts. But in this chapter no matter what color the text was we were always hearing Ria's thoughts. Am I going crazy here? Somebody please validate my sanity.

Okay!  So.  The text color is usually to denote perspective.  It was like this in Luzy and Untrained too!  Pudding and I always pick one character to write in first person - in this case, Ria for me and Bridget for her - and the rest of the characters are third person.  So the colors are necessary to differentiate her main character from mine, since they both use "I" and "me".  But the colors also let us come at a scene from different directions!  And to lead each other into the scenes.  Believe it or not, 9 times out of 10 our scenes are completely unplanned and we just roll with whatever happens.  It's.. complicated.  Let's see if I can come up with an example.

23 hours ago, Sophie ♥ said:

The more she spoke, the more her accent became apparent, minor as it was, and she pulled Soren into her arms, looking down.

This is spoken by Trudie, though it sounds like an observation by Ria.  This is because everything in the sentence is observable.  But as a writer, it's rude for me to say Trudie has an accent because she's not my character.  That limits Pudding's creative freedom.  But Pudding also says Trudie is looking down.  This is because later it's revealed that Trudie has completely black eyes.  I didn't know that before Pudding wrote it!  So even though this could technically be Ria's observation, it's also just narration.  The key thing to remember here is that, because it's not in Ria's color, Ria didn't consider it.  Though the accent was more apparent, she may not have noticed.  Though Trudie was looking down, she may not have thought it was worth mentioning.  But the narrator thought both of those things were important enough to say.

Then there's the chapter closing:

23 hours ago, Sophie ♥ said:

It was going to be a very very long night.

Obviously this isn't observable by Ria.  It might not even be fully known by Trudie!  So again, that's narration.  It's complicated because Pudding and I try not to step on each others' toes when we're writing.  I don't like forcing her characters to perform actions or say dialogue if I don't have to (though I do it a lot more than she does!).  So when I'm coloring the text (because yes, it's colored in editing) I try to keep anything she writes in her characters' colors.

The best way to think about it is... like a game of Dungeons & Dragons.  There are always two players who get first person and first color choice.  Mine is almost always blue.  Pudding's is almost always purple (pink?).  Each of our characters are given an action, but most of the game is narrated by the DM (GM?) and all the other characters are NPCs controlled by the DM.  The weird part is that Pudding and I both play the DM as well as our character. ^_^ 

Gosh that was a complicated explanation... 

Honestly, Pudding and I could probably do away with colors completely if we both wrote in third-person.  But we don't like to write like that.  And we're both bad at remembering to use third-person.  And (selfishly) editing is horrible when we try!  Plus... well... by this point in our writing career?  We feel like our style is extremely personal.  There's no one who writes quite like us.  And even though that can be alienating, it's also special and unique!  

I hope that answered your question.  I'm going to post another chapter (maybe two!) in a minute here.  I am still editing this story really really slowly so we might stall out for a few days at a time.  Sorry!

Love you guys!!

~Sophie

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4.)

"Ria? Ria what's wrong with you? What are you wearing?" The voice came, as though it were in the same room: Bridget's voice. But there was no Bridget, no company in the room with the plush carpet but for Soren, and she didn't talk an awful lot, not with her thumb firmly wedged in her mouth. Ria had been in a daze, dully following Trudie the empty-eyed librarian, arguing less and less, questioning more and more.  Finally, by the time she'd wound up in that room, she was silent. Silent until the echo of that voice, of her best friend, although only Ria seemed to hear it; if Soren did, she didn't show it or didn't care. Ria was in an operating theater, suited to the old hospital. Not medieval, but still pretty scary. She'd been changed, too; changed out of wet socks and shoes, and inappropriate clothes, into a black dress with white details and far too much body to be worn by an adult. Fluffy and restrictive. And she was sitting on the edge of a gurney, as though she were expecting something, when the voice from nowhere, the voice of her best friend, snapped the blankness from her eyes.

Only a minute ago, it felt like I was in the library, where I'd met that woman.  The woman with the pitch black eyes.  I felt a shudder run up my spine.  How did I get here?  How had she gotten me in this dress?  I got up off the gurney and stood with my bare feet on the very soft carpet.  I felt wiggly like Jell-O.  I held my hand to my head. "Bridget...?"

"She nuh here, Riiuhh, siwwy giwl~" The cadence in Soren's voice was far removed from any way of speaking an adult would have exhibited, but so then was everything else about her, apart from her physical body itself, and even that wasn't exactly unchanged. "Toodie says Mommy an' Dada will be backs soons otay? Jus' wai' heres." Babbling babytalk, from the fully grown girl on the floor, playing with crayons and paper. There was something in her eye when she'd looked up, though; a tortured look, buried deep in the back.

Mommy and Dada?  I shook my head and fumbled toward the girl on the floor.  My head was swirling in a weird way, like I'd been drinking or something.  But I had to get out of here.  Whatever was going on, I had to find Bridget and get us out!  I finally got up to Soren and pulled at her shoulder until she looked at me. "Hey.  We gotta go.  We have to get out of here.  Do you know a way out?  Can you help me?"

"Um..." A conflicted moment, caught somewhere between trying to find an answer to the question, and having too many answers and only being able to pick one. "We's not a'posed go anywhere... if we bad we gets punished..." Disconcertingly, she motioned to her head when she said that, which for two girls sitting in an operating theater was a pretty scary little gesture to have performed. Soren had, after all, been here quite a while.

I stared at Soren.  We used to have a class together, and now... now she hardly resembled herself.  I looked around the room, with the high glass walls and the bleachers towering around us.  It was hard to see under the bright fluorescent lighting.  This place was more terrifying every moment I stayed here... "Soren, I... I can't help you if you won't help me." But my once-classmate went right back to playing with crayons on the soft carpet floor.  Damnit.  I couldn't worry about her now.  I had to find a way out of here...

"Um... miss Toodie maybe knows.. cause she has keys wif her in her dwess.” That came out of Soren's mouth very very softly, quiet in the way a person talks when they're not sure they want to be heard. She didn't look up while saying it, either, which only further indicated just how uncomfortable she was. "Is nice here Riuh, is nice an' they make us betters... " Said the girl, clearly trying to convince herself.

"I'm sorry," I told her, and left through the door at the other end of the room.  The warm carpet quickly turned to hard metal flooring.  My bare feet actually hurt against the unfamiliar cold.  The lights were much dimmer in the hallway, like walking from a daydream into a scary movie.  I had to find Bridget... I had to find Bridget...

"Please be careful" It was Bridget's voice again, both far away like it was coming from the end of a long tunnel, and all around her, like she was at a rock concert. Strangely, or not, it didn't echo, or seem to be directional at all. Just a few words in a very familiar voice. "They're going to do things to her, and make her do things..." That voice was Soren's, who'd followed after a few moments, and her tone was now completely adult; night and day, like a switch had been flicked. "You should leave while you can, and save yourself.

I stared at Soren blankly.  Had she snuck up on me?  No, I had gotten distracted by that voice... it sounded like Bridget, but I had no idea where it was coming from. "I can't just leave her," I said quietly, still searching the hallways for any sign of my best friend.  But Bridget was the one who told me to leave.  To get help.  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I needed to get help.  I couldn't handle this on my own. "Where's the exit?

"The same way you came in..." Her voice was still soft, and she had words catch in her throat at the end, which was clearly explained by her crying. "They'll put me back in the room soon, because it didn't work again... they'll try harder... take away more." Defiantly, she looked up and shook her head, holding hands on either of her temples. "If you get out you won't be able to ever come back, the door won't open twice...but I can show you where it is..."

"What do you mean it won't open twice?" "This place isn't normal, Ria... it's... it's strange and..." She shook her head and I struggled to keep up with her erratic words.  She was clearly confused.  But I had no hope but to trust her.  There weren't other options. "If I leave, I can't come back?  What about the police?  We'll break down the door."

"It's not like that... " Soren rubbed her eyes, trying to think of a way to explain, but she really couldn't manage it. "I can't explain it... but if you're not gone when the Mistress and Master get back, then you'll be taken right back into that operating room. Honestly... honestly they're probably with your friend now... cutting her mind up." Not in a literal sense, but it may well have been from what a mess and wreck Soren was.

Cutting her... mind up?  I didn't know what that meant, but seeing what had happened to Soren in the six months since she disappeared... well.  I had a guess.  I couldn't let that happen.  Not to Bridget. "If I can't get back, then I have to save her now.  Where is she?" Bravery wasn't my thing.  Ghosts were scary, and this place was worse than any ghost story I'd ever heard.  I had anxiety problems and I cried way too much.  But it was Bridget.  I couldn't leave her behind...

"If you go after her, you won't be able to escape... it's probably too late, and..." Before she could finish talking, though, Ria had taken off down the hall, and was calling out Bridget's name over and over, louder and louder, which only seemed to make Soren panic. The doors didn't connect right, though; one door would lead to a tiled kitchen, another to an impossibly large meeting room, another to a cell and the door on the other side of that, back into the same kitchen, despite not turning at all. This place defied logic, and reason, and reality, and the last door she pushed through, Soren in tow lead them into... the room when she'd first found the missing girl. With the large window across from them, looking out into the hall, with a locked door adjacent. The door they'd come through? Gone. And the window across from them, the cell where Bridget had last been seen with the other missing student? The glass looked opaque from here, guarding its secrets.

There was a door, inlaid into the wall, but no handle.  I could see the outline where the wall would open into the hallway.  This was where I'd found Soren.  And across the hall, through the other sheet of glass, was the room where I'd left Bridget.  I pounded on the glass.  I could see into the hall, but not into the room across from it?  I didn't understand . When I was in the hall last time, I could see into that room just fine. "BRIDGET!!  BRIDGET CAN YOU HEAR ME?!"

"Ria! Ria why aren't you answering me?" This time, Bridget's voice was more frantic, but Soren showed no more sign of hearing it than she had when she was zonked out in babyland.  "What did they do to you..." and then, most alarmingly, "What did you do to her?!" Like Bridget was talking to somebody else in her disembodied state. "These are our bedrooms... I don't think she'll still be in Kori’s room... she might have been moved to her own room?" Yeah, Soren definitely couldn't hear the voice.

I looked around the room, but there was no exit.  There was no escape.  We'd come through a door in the far wall and that door was gone now.  And Bridget sounded like she was right here, but she wasn't. "Bridget?  BRIDGET!  HEY CAN YOU HEAR ME?!" I could hear her just fine.  Who was she talking to? "BRIDGET ANSWER ME!"

"She can't hear you, even if she is just across there... the only way you're going to get to see her is if you impress the Master and Mistress when they come for you." What that meant, though, was an abstract concept, although the fact she was dressed in a child’s dress before may have been an indicator of what was expected of her. "Are you going to be good for them? Are you going to impress them? They'll let you see her if you are. Just put your thumb in your mouth, like this.” She'd taken a step toward Ria, taken her by the hand, and guided her thumb to lips. "Accept.”

Impress them?  These... these people that ran this horror show?  These people Soren called Mommy and Dada?  If I impressed them, I could see Bridget again?  Soren took my hand in hers and folded it so my thumb pointed out and put it against my lips.  If I sucked on my thumb... I could see her?  Maybe we could escape.  It was just one thing, after all.  Who even cared?  I already bit my nails when I was nervous - it was no different.  So I stuck my thumb in my mouth.  Soon, Bridget and I would be safe and sound.
 

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This is one trippy story! I love it! :)

Also regarding your answer to my previous question: Your explanation makes perfect sense to me. The only reason it threw me through a loop was because I was comparing this story to your previous ones and assuming it should work the same way. Now that I know it doesn't it won't be a problem from here on out. I love you & Pudding's unique style of writing. In fact, I even incorporated colored text into my first ever story "Angel Hunter." Which I would be honored if you would check out. :)

P.S. I hope we get to see Bridget's perspective on all these events. I'm super curious to see how she handled Kori's diaper. ;)

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I'm so glad you got a story going!  I know you were struggling with it. ^_^ I'd absolutely love to read it.  If you're writing is even half as insightful and curious as your comments, it'll be amazing.

~Sophie

P.S. The narrator style is pretty much how Luzy and Untrained worked too, but it was a lot less obvious.  Especially because this is a mystery story so we have to keep the mystique going for a while!

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I love this story and agree the narration is great.  Very Tripp’s but has me constantly hoping you will update. Interesting how Soren snapped back to almost normal but who knows. Also it could be a recording of Bridget’s voice but who knows. Very interesting with what is going on. Looking forward to more! 

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5.)

"No, stop, stop..." I tried to pull the thumb out of her mouth, tried to reach her, but like everything else I said and did it was like she didn't even know I was there. Dressed in the hospital gown, a bandage around her head.  It was like she was in her own world. They taunted me - the man especially.  They told me my friend was gone now, and only his patient remained, and I didn't believe him... I couldn't believe him... but her eyes were glassy and her smile when she sucked her thumb was genuine. And then, like a light switch, she locked eyes with me. Flashed with recognition. She drooled a little. "Ria?!" My knees hurt, even though the carpet in here was plush, from kneeling next to her in the tiny cell since she'd been brought back in with me.

I sat up quickly, so quickly that it made my head spin.  Drool dribbled off my chin and onto the hospital gown.  When had I changed?  I was wearing a black dress only a moment ago, wasn't I?  I remembered, the frills and lace, finding it hard to walk upright on the cold tile.  But the tile was gone.  The carpet was so soft.  We were in the cell.  We?  I looked up at what I thought was Soren, but it wasn't.  It was Bridget.  My Bridget.  I lunged at her and pushed my face into her neck.  Tears dripped down my cheeks. "I was so scared, I didn't know where you were... I was so scared..."

"I've been here the whole time... I got locked in, remember?" I held her tight, but confusion felt fresh in my mind; what had happened? How did she... "You left, with uh, with Soren, remember? Then you came back dressed like that, with the bandage around your head, and this man in a suit said he'd finished operating on you... but there was no blood on the bandage, and I didn't see any cuts..." I decided to leave out all the taunting and gloating, because it seemed like that man was all just lies and talk - Ria was here and she was fine and... sucking on her thumb while I talked? "Ria...?" I put my hand to my mouth to motion her to take hers out. Or at least to notice.

"Huh...?  No, I went to the library, and this woman, she had black eyes, like a demon on TV, and--" Bridget took my wrist and pulled my thumb out of my mouth.  I just stared at it, glistening with saliva.  I'd had it in my mouth?  I didn't understand... had I been...? "We gotta get out of here," I mumbled, thinking quietly about Soren.

"Yeah, the man said that we could leave whenever he thought we were cured of our hysteria, so I figured we'd just play along but then he talked about cutting up your mind and carving out the bad parts and I was so scared, Ria, I was so fu... so freaking scared." I'd sworn once. The burn on my the back of my hand from where the cane had hit it still hurt, so I didn't swear again. "So you met a demon? But it was a woman, not a man? So there's at least two of them. They gotta be ghosts, right?" Did this count as hysteria?

I shook my head and I felt panic rising up in my chest.  Ghosts.  Literally, this was the thing I was afraid of.  And I felt myself starting to get angry.  Angry at her. "I told you!  I told you not to come in here!  I told you I didn't want to do this!  And now... now..." I shook my head and put my thumb back in my mouth on instinct.  Bridget slapped it away, which only annoyed me more.

I think I was upset that she was sucking her thumb because that was literally the thing the man had told me would be the start of her treatment working, when he was taunting me about my best friend. But she was yelling at me and I was the one who had to be worried about her! "Hey!" She recoiled, visibly, when I raised my voice. "Don't be upset with me, okay? There were dozens of videos about this place and there was nothing like this. I'm... sorry, okay?"

...it wouldn't do either of us any good if we got mad at each other.  I looked around the room.  Plush room.  But something about it was different.  The door was on the wrong side.  Was this not the same room as before?  I looked out the glass window: the hallway was clear and visible but the room across the hall was greyed out and dark. "How do we get out of here?  Where's Soren?  Wasn't she just here?"

"Soren? No... uh, she never came back, I haven't seen her." And then, almost like on cue, the man in the suit - now covered in scrubs over top - wheeled a gurney up to the room across from us, with a very unconscious Soren laid out on it; naked entirely but for a transparent nightgown, a bandage on her head, and... a diaper. "Hey!" I banged on the window aggressively, shouting, but it was like he didn't even care we existed, and then he'd disappeared into Soren's room, door closing behind him.

...a man?  I hadn't seen a man before. "Is that the same guy?" She nodded her head.  I leaned against the glass and tried to look into the other bedroom, but there was nothing.  I looked around this room instead.  Soren said they were bedrooms.  But there was no bed.  Just a blanket on the floor.  I was so confused... "We gotta find a way out, Bridget..."

"Do you remember anything? Did Soren say anything to you? Or... the demon lady? With the black eyes? You've at least been out of the room, I've been stuck here the whole time, listening to that stupid doctor tell me all the awful things he'd done to you. Nothing that would help us escape from here. Someone will come looking for us, right?" Because that had gone so well for Soren, and the other girl - where was she? She smelled awful, and the diaper on Soren made sense by contrast now, but she'd been taken out of the room we were in almost immediately.

"...Trudie.  That was the librarian's name.  The demon one." And then I remembered something else.  Something Soren said in that room... "She said she has the keys.  Trudie does, in her dress pocket." The key to what?  Did she tell me?  No, she just said she had the keys... what good was a key if we didn't know what it went to?

"Well then we need to get out of here, right?" I looked at her apologetically and forced a smile. "Sorry about this..." The man across the hall had just emerged from the other room, and when he did, I slapped my best friend across the cheek as hard as I could, so he could see it, and he came rushing to the door. I pushed past him, ducking out into the hall, and I thought that Ria was behind me... only she wasn't. She was struggling to escape from the grasp he had on her arm. "Let her go!"

I hadn't seen it coming.  I didn't expect her to hit me like that.  Sure, Bridget had hit me before.  I said some stupid stuff sometimes, especially when I was drunk.  But by the time it made sense that it was all a distraction, after Bridget had gotten out the door, the man had grabbed me by the wrist.  I looked up at him for the first time.  I could feel the panic washing over me.

"Sleep, poppet." His voice had an accent, Eastern European, maybe, and he didn't seem panicked or concerned at all; especially not because the moment he said those words, my best friend fell limp like a broken doll at his feet. And when she woke up, however long that would take... she'd be somewhere new. Somewhere different, on a sofa, with a woman she wouldn't recognize who wore a pencil skirt and horn-rimmed glasses. Once again, Ria would be alone, and once again, she'd awaken with a bandage around her head.

-----------

Too curious to wait?  Chapters 6-11 are now available on our Patreon!  Please consider supporting us!! ^_^ 

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Better and better.  I almost wish you notated it like a script with the name first for each person along with personless directions.

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Good stuff. Although I must say, the confusion of it all is quickly slipping past intriguing and bordering on frustrated for me at this point. Like, how many chapters is it gonna take before we get some answers? Like we're already 5 chapters in and still have NO idea what's going on. Not even a clue. I've read books before that kept all the answers till the very end & I guess what I'm trying to say is I hope that's not the route you're going to take with this story.

All that being said, I have faith in You & Pudding. I'm sure you won't let me down. :)

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Hm.  I guess it depends what questions you want answers for!  I guarantee things will not get MORE confusing than this.  Starting with the next chapter, you'll be officially introduced to all the characters.  You'll start to understand the motives of the facility - Trudie, the doctors, etc.  Whether or not you believe their motives, well... that's up to you. ^_^  It starts out with a lot of information, a lot of jumping around, a lot of contradicting stuff.  Our goal is to put you in the shoes of Ria and Bridget throughout the story, so for as long as they are confused you should be confused too.  But that confusion doesn't last much longer.

Right now, it looks like the story will be about 30 chapters?  Something like that.  And there is one big question that should keep you guessing until the end!  But honestly, you probably aren't even thinking about that question yet. :lol:  

On 11/18/2017 at 2:35 PM, fyunch said:

Better and better.  I almost wish you notated it like a script with the name first for each person along with personless directions.

I've never done a script story before!  I think that would be really exciting to try.  Maybe for a story where internal monologue isn't super important for the plot?

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I'm glad to hear we'll be getting some answers soon, even if those answers might be lies. I have no problem with being confused for the duration of the story. What I do have a problem with is when it feels like the author is just throwing around a bunch of nonsense for the purpose of confusing the reader. Not that I'm suggesting that's what you're doing! I'm sure you have a well crafted story that will all make sense in the end. But if you keep your readers in suspense for too long without revealing anything the confusion will become normalized. And that's not what you want.

Of course who am I to advise you on how to write? I've only written a partial story so far and you 2 have written like 7 books!

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Admittedly this story was written to be a mystery, but we do have a tier in our Patreon for those who want to impact the direction of our stories. 

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32 minutes ago, Pudding said:

Admittedly this story was written to be a mystery, but we do have a tier in our Patreon for those who want to impact the direction of our stories. 

Well then I would recommend disregarding my advice. It wouldn't be fair to your patrons who pay good money to impact the story if you let me direct it for free. :P

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I'll be putting another chapter up in a little bit. ^_^ But don't worry, Wanna!  All the confusing parts have a purpose!

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6.)

It wasn't like waking up.  It was like when a bus stopped at a light and everything jerked you back to reality.  I opened my eyes.  Though the room was vast and large, it had no furniture but for a sofa and a chair, only five feet apart.  In the chair was a woman.  I sat upright almost too quickly and the overhead lights blurred my vision.  It was warm in here. "W-where's... where's Bridget?"

"Easy now, my little doll, you've had quite the day." The woman had rimmed glasses, and a stern hairstyle with a contrarily and contrasting pleasant and tender smile. She had a notebook in a pocket on her skirt, and spoke with a slightly unfamiliar accent that seemed to warble on the vowels like her lips were uncomfortable with them. "Are you in any pain?" Her hand touched Ria's cheek, and fingers ran up to the bandage wrapped around her head, caressing the coarse material.

I immediately swatted her hand away, tripping off the edge of the sofa and falling flat on my face.  A door was at the end of the room.  I scrambled to my feet and raced across the large expanse, plush with carpeting, until I reached the door.  But the handle wouldn't turn.  Where was I?  What was this place?  Was I still in the hospital?

"Please try to be more careful, after an injury so drastic, balance and disorientation are to be expected." Which might have seemed like an empty threat, but a big part of what had been done to her this time - the ghost surgery that was both very real and very ephemeral - had centered around susceptibility and suggestibility. In short, it was difficult to do anything but accept what was told as truth; at least in the short term. "You're dizzy, child. In recovery for sickness, sickness we are helping you with. You want help, I'm sure. Help to be a good girl?"

I stared up at her with worry painted all over my face.  I thought I'd start crying, but I didn't.  I was sick?  I wasn't sick!  I was... I came here with Bridget.  We accidentally stumbled into this horrible place.  She had it wrong! "I'm not whoever you're thinking of.  I'm not sick.  I'm fine!  I'm just lost!  I just need to find Bridget!" Where was she, where was she...

"You are lost, lost in fantasies and falsehoods. Ria, you're very sick and your family are very worried about you. Your Momma, your Papa, and especially your sister, Bridget. They all want you to get better, to be cured of your sickness.” Approaching, the woman knelt by the girl who'd ended up on her knees by the carpet. "Poor girl... you can barely walk, or hold your bathroom; so nervous and confused, unsure of what is real, and trapped in daydreams of other places and worlds. The doctor is taking out the sick parts of your brain, and you'll be able to get better. This is your home for now, and if you behave, you may be allowed to return to your estate before your sixth birthday"

"...sixth... birthday?" I shook my head.  Take out the sick parts?  No.  I wasn't sick!  They didn't take… I reached up to my head and felt the bandage wrapped around my hair.  What did they do?!  I finally felt tears filling up my eyes.  But when the woman's hand ran through my hair, she shushed me and I started to quiet down.  I didn't understand... "I'm not six... I'm... I'm..."

"No, you're five, dolly, this many." The woman held up her hand, five fingers held out. "Do you remember who I am? Sometimes the treatment can make it hard for you to remember, like it had the other times. Think carefully, for me, I'm sure you can remember." Everything for her would be thick and foggy; thick and soft like the bandages on her head, thick and soft like the underwear around her waist under a soft cotton dress, and a clouded, foggy memory. However temporary the ghostly surgery may have been, it was still very effective and very real.

I shook my head. "I'm not five!" I shouted at her, pushing her hand away again, but this time it didn't budge.  She kept playing with my hair as I sat on the carpet with my back to the door.  It was hard to think.  All I could remember was Bridget... and... and I swear we broke into a hospital, I swear we did... why was it so hard to remember?

Her fingers felt real, the tenderness of her touch; cold though it may have been, being caressed tenderly was difficult to resist. "Ria, my doll, you are loved. Your mind grew precocious, and haunted you with hysteria. Voices telling you, in here," she tapped the side of her head softly, "that you were somebody else, meant to be somewhere else... but listen for me, listen closely little one... do you hear any voices now? Shh, just listen... the doctor took them all away."

Voices?  I didn't hear any voices.  Had I ever heard voices?  No, I swear I hadn't... but... she played with my hair until my tears had stopped, then helped me up onto my feet.  I looked back at the door, but I knew I couldn't open it.  Bridget... I had to get to her.  Somehow.  But for now, I was led back to the sofa in the middle of the room.

“Please don't worry about the bathroom, dolly, you're simply having some side effects from the treatment.” Wrapped up in the thick cloth diaper as she was, she would be able to tell very immediately if she made use of it; an idea abhorrent to the girl who'd invaded this ghostly realm, but somewhat less remarkable to a five year old recovering from brain surgery. The woman produced a soft, pliable looking nipple on an ivory guard, and pressed it directly between her lips. "Your binkie always helps you to be calm.  That sounds right and true, doesn't it now?"

I felt my bottom hit the sofa.  It was soft.  And when the pacifier was pushed between my lips, well... I felt a small hint of a blush fill my cheeks, but more than that, I felt calm.  It was unbelievable!  I didn't need a pacifier!  I... I was an adult.  Wasn't I?  How old was I again?  The woman kept playing with my hair.
 

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Finally we're getting some answers! Sure, we don't know anything more than we did before, but we have a lot more information than we got in previous chapters. Especially with lines like:

7 hours ago, Sophie ♥ said:

the tenderness of her touch; cold though it may have been

Which allude to the fact that these people might not be human... or maybe she just had cold hands for some completely logical reason. Could go either way. ;)

I know I've been a little critical with my last few comments, but I hope you two know it's only because I love your stories so much that I can't stop myself from picking them apart. :)

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