All characters played by: Miki Yamuri and liljennie
Debbie Wadkins 21yo - Young Witch
Mark Adams, 37 years old - investor looking for his family roots
Scene: On the front porch of a very old 16th century farm house
In a time beyond time ... In a place before places. The gateway to forever more that seals the nexus to the Omniverse opens and seeds the newly formed cosmos with the seed of life. Each bearing its own upon whatever whim chance throws the cosmic dice.
All that is ... is formless and void until this one happening. Huge, cosmically large, universally bright .... the seed spreads across the nothingness of the void. In time that didn't exist until all was complete, the void is filled with wonders and glories beyond mortal description.
Upon one particular planet fell a special seed ... it was endowed with the power of the nexus. Upon a special people it was bequeathed to posses and nurture for all time.
Many centuries ago, in a far off land ... There lived a group of very powerful witches. Although they lived for many hundreds of years, and their arcane powers allowed them to tack many more on to that ... eventually ... even a Witch meets her old friend ... the Reaper.
Due to the stigma attached to being a witch, in all the land ... there was not a single man who would even entertain the notion of marrying ... much less dating a witch, it became necessary to find a way to procreate the female witch stock to carry on the magical traditions.
The most Powerful of all Witches ... Minerva Fallonclaw ... created a magical cradle. They built a special place all ringed in giant megaliths , to place the cradle in honor above all others.
Mark Adams pulled up to the most modern of the buildings on the farm in his fancy sports car. This farmhouse was only a few decades old but had been abandoned about 10 years ago when his great-aunt and -uncle had passed on. And since all their children had died before them, the family had been wondering what to do with the old New England farm ... until eventually Mark decided to go have a look at it. It wasn't like he didn't have time. He'd been laid off from his Wall Street job -- tough times. He wouldn't be able to afford to buy a car like his now.
He stood on the porch and looked around. He'd gotten the keys from the law firm that had handled his relatives' will, but it had left ownership of the property unclear. Still, as a relative, they were willing to let him at least have a look around. He noticed several older buildings on the farm, which was of course overgrown with weeds and brambles. There was an older, run-down farmhouse that looked like it might be centuries old, and there was an old barn with a roof that was mostly made of holes. There was a newer barn, though, that looked like it might be usable. There was a newer chicken coop too -- no chickens inside, he was sure, but it might work out if somebody wanted to make this farm a farm again.
He tried the door and went inside. It was clean other than the dust -- there was no clutter and in fact no furniture. The lawyers said the furniture had all been sold to help pay for funeral costs. So it wasn't really livable, and he didn't have the money to buy appliances and furnish the place. Didn't mean he couldn't look at the other buildings though.
Mark wandered all through the House. He began wishing he had the funds to furnish it. Mark walked out onto the porch and saw a young woman near the oldest farm house ... she appeared to be kneeling down doing something, what, he couldn't tell. He wandered over.
When he got close enough to hear without yelling, Mark said, "Hello, my name's Mark and ... my family sort of owns this place. Who are you and ... what are you doing?"
The very pretty young blond looks up with a startled gasp. She smiles when she sees Mark and stands up.
She extends her hand and replies, "My name's Debbie ... Debbie Wadkins. I'm .. picking strawberries. I didn't realize anyone was here ... I've been picking these for a long time."
Mark saw the many large red berries on the broad leafed plants as Debbie stood.
He nods as he says, "I was told no one would be here ... it's sort of good to find I'm not alone in this deserted and lonely place."
Mark walks a few paces further on and sees the old, almost broken down door into the old farmhouse. He checks the light on his small, but bright flashlight before walking onto the dilapidated and creaking porch.
He says to Debbie, "If I don't come back in say .... half hour ... send the troops."
Debbie giggles, "How about if I go with you? I've always wanted to see inside this old place."
The 2 of them enter the door as it more or less disintegrates at their touch. Oddly, unlike the newer farmhouse, this one seemed to have a lot of furniture in it. It was all old and dilapidated, covered with cobwebs and mostly rotten, so that was probably why it wasn't sold off -- it had no value. Or so Mark surmised as he took a few tentative steps into the old place.
"Doesn't look like there are holes in the roof," he said, "but some of the windows don't have any glass in them anymore."
They could see because of the bright sunlight coming in the glassless windows. The few remaining panes of glass were choked with dust and admitted little light.
"Old rocking chair ... I'll bet this was beautiful once," Mark said, carefully touching it. The old chair shuddered as if it were about to collapse into fragments.
Mark looks around the large room at the many things still there. In ages past, this room was absolutely gorgeous.
"Not sure I want to try the stairs," he said, looking at the w o o den stairs leading to the upper floor. "Actually I'm not so comfortable walking on the floor." It creaked noisily with every step each of them took.
Debbie brushed against one of the walls as she looked closely at an old book case. Many years of dust and crud came loose in a small poof cloud and on her blouse. Debbie gasps as her eyes get large.
She says in a surprised voice after the coughing fit had passed, "Mark ... take a look at this."
Mark came over and shined his small, but bright light onto the place Debbie pointed. On a small plaque was written:
In the middle time on a certain night
When the heavens align just right
The cradle placed in the aligned light
Transforms before their site
A man to a girl child without a fight
When the heavens align just right
The cradle placed in the aligned light
Transforms before their site
A man to a girl child without a fight
Beneath the writing, was a raised place with the words written in fancy ornate script: Press Here.
Debbie asks, "What do you think will happen if I press on that thingy?"
She reaches out before Mark could stop her and presses the bar. There is a loud clunking noise that causes dust to fall in a light cloud all around them. They can feel more than hear as something begins to move within the wall. Suddenly, 2 panels open to reveal a stair leading down into darkness. Mark shines his light down the stairs and sees the floor about 50 feet below.
"What the ...?" said Mark, confused. "That's pretty sophisticated, and what's more, in a house that's falling apart, that mechanism still worked." He looked at the stair. "I'm not sure I trust the w o o d it's made of to support my weight." Shining his light down the stairs, he saw that it went surprisingly far down. "That's a long way. What is this? Some kind of secret cellar? Underground Railroad? Maybe a 1920s speakeasy?" He tested the first step with a foot. It was surprisingly solid. "Huh. It feels like the w o o den steps have some kind of support beneath them, like stone or just earth. What's down here?" He was curious. He tried taking more steps.
The stairs were very solid under foot as he descended. Debbie stayed very close behind. Mark reached the bottom of the stairs and shown his bright light all around. There were stacks of w o o den crates every where. The room was surprisingly dust and cobweb free to have been seemingly sealed for so long. Everywhere the 2 of them looked, they found another stack of junk, large crates, and huge trunks piled in neat heaps.
Debbie opened one of the trunks that the metal closure had sprung. Within it were many books. Debbie picks one of them up. It was very heavy for its size and it didn't feel like other books.
Debbie says softly, "Mark ... come look at this. This ... book is so strange. It seems to made of metal or something." She turns and holds he book in Marks light as he approaches.
"Metal books?" said Mark, having a closer look.
Sure enough, the pages looked as if they were made of some halfway-shiny metal, with writing engraved rather than printed with ink upon its pages.
"What kind of writing is that?" he wondered. "What alphabet, even?" He paused a moment and said, "This could be important -- I should call a museum or something. I had no idea anything like this was here."
Debbie runs her hand across the page slowly as she stares at the strange wiggles and squirms that made up the writing.
Debbie says, "I think my Grammy has a book like this. Only ... it's not made of metal .... it's made of some kind of weird leather with large metal bindings and a huge lock."
She turns several of the pages. She stops suddenly on a page that had a very finely engraved picture of a cradle. There are many notations around it and what appears to be astrological symbols and charts. Debbie has a strong feeling of dejavu come over her as she sees the astrological wheels.
Debbie looks at Mark as she says, "I think these boxes bear a good looking through. You're right about calling a museum or at least have an appraiser come and check this stuff out." Debbie points to an old hand carved commode with the porcelain basin and pitcher still intact on top of it in a corner. “I know those haven't been used in at least 100 years."
Mark looked at it, and looked at some other old pieces of furniture including some large trunks that appeared to be locked.
"Yeah," he said, "maybe we should have some experts look at this stuff. It's obviously really old, and this room is really strange too. But for now ... it's giving me a weird feeling. Maybe there's not enough oxygen down here. Let's go back up."
Debbie agreed. She felt a strange sensation creeping slowly through her spirit the longer they stayed. They went back up the stairs, which did seem to be resting on earth or clay, so they supported their weight.
"So Debbie," Mark asked, "did you want to take that book and compare it to your grandmother's? Maybe it's something historical about the area. We might have common ancestors from way back. Maybe from whatever country that language is from."
Debbie nods as she takes the heavy book from Mark. She says, "You know? It's kind of weird ... but I felt like I had been ... in that room at one time. But I swear ... I've never been in that old house in my life." The book strangely opened to the page with the cradle in it one more time. Debbie couldn't help the feeling she knew something ... but wasn't real sure what it could be. Debbie continued, "I know Grammy will know how to read this stuff ... she reads from that huge old book of hers lots."
Debbie closes the book. Both of them feel a strange wave pass through then. they shiver slightly as a chill passes.
Debbie says, "I'm going to run home and see what Grammy says about this. If you give me a phone number where I can call ... ummm ... you??"
She blushes softly pink as her statement tapers off. Debbie was slightly shy when she realized she had asked this very handsome man for his phone number.
"Oh -- sure. Here." He pulled a business card out of his wallet. "Oh, wait, that's no good anymore. I don't work there anymore." He crossed out the phone number on it and wrote in a new one. "That's my cell phone. I'm staying at a boarding house in town." He gave her the card.
Debbie takes the card and says shyly, "Ok ... ummm ... I gotta be going anyway. I have to get these strawberries to mom while they are still fresh. I hope you don't mind me picking them?"
Mark smiles and shakes his head, "No ... I don't mind at all. I'm glad someone is around to enjoy them."
Debbie waves good bye then runs off across the large field. Mark watches as she passes through the old gate and vanishes over the hill. Debbie runs straight home. As she runs in the door of her house, she runs right into her mother.
Debbie's mother says, "Land sakes child! Where are you off to in such a rush?"
Debbie quickly holds out the basket of strawberries. Her mother takes them and slowly shakes her head.
Debbie says excitedly, "Mom! You have to take a look at this book. The grandson of the man that owned the old farm where I pick strawberries opened the old farmhouse!"
Her mother turns quickly around, her expression had changed to serious. She says softly, with an edge in her voice, "You say he opened the old house ... and gave you a book?"
Debbie nods and hands it to her mother. Her mothers eyes get big as her mouth falls open.
Debbie asks with a slight bit of fear, "What is it mom? What's the matter?"
Her mother says nothing as she places the basket on the table and rushes out of the kitchen. Debbie follows. She sees her mother climbing the stairs to her Grandmother's room with a very quick and determined pace. Debbie tags closely behind, wondering just what that book was all about.
When Debbie's mother opened the door to Grandmother's room, the very aromatic aroma of several types of sweet grasses and incense filled the hall. A slight haze rolled out the door. Within could be seen a very old woman hunched over a small table. On either side were oil sconces, burning their oils brightly. Debbie could see her grandmother had The Book out and opened to one of the pages. The cryptic scribbles and twists were clearly visible in the dim light. They appeared to glow upon the page.
Debbie's mother says, "Mother? The family has returned to the old house. From within the hidden crypt came this."
The old woman slowly turns and sees the book Debbie's mom held out. Her eyes get big as a huge smile crosses her face. She says nothing, but snatches the book away and seems to kiss it, before opening it to the very last page. Upon that page was a name ... Adams.
As Debbie watched with amazement from the bottom of the stairs, her mother's and grandmother's voices quieted to hushed whispers. Debbie took a step upward, and then another, trying to hear. She knew Grandmother liked her privacy and didn't want to be intruded upon, but still, there had been that time when Debbie, as a little girl, had glimpsed Grandmother chanting strange words over a complex diagram on the floor of her room, and just for an instant she thought she had seen something beginning to appear over it, something shadowy with glowing red eyes, but then Grandmother had gestured and the door had suddenly slammed shut. Debbie had run screaming downstairs, and after that time she had never gone up to Grandmother's room alone, even after she'd forgotten about it. It all came flooding back now, as she took a third step upward. What would she see this time? Would it freeze her blood in her veins as it had so long ago? Would it --
"Oh, just come up, child," came Grandmother's voice. "We know you're there. It's time for you to learn a little family history."
Debbie almost wet her panties when she heard Grandmother invite her in. Debbie climbed the rest of the way up and entered the smoky room. Debbie felt a weird sensation as she passed the threshold of the door. She looked around and saw many arcane runes engraved all around the frame. They seemed to be inlaid with precious stones. Debbie could see the diagram drawn on the floor … the table sitting in the very center.
Grandmother turns and says brightly, "Come in child and learn of your family and its history."
Debbie walked over to her mother and grandmother. Debbie's grandmother opened the metallic bound book to the very first page. Debbie recognized the etching .... it looked exactly like the giant megalith Stone Hinge in Europe. Within the circle ..... Debbie could see a Cradle in the very center.
Grandmother says softly, "We have finally retained our book of the cradle. From the dawn of reality, our family has been endowed with the power. We have been graced with the knowledge. It is now time for you ... the youngest of our tribe to come of age. Tonight, We will teach you the truth of reality."
Debbie's Grandmother turns the page. She waves her hand over the page ... all the scribbles and squirms seemed to glow and come to life. Debbie could hear a voice within her mind ... that told of the dawn of time. Of the Gateway and the seeds of life spreading the diaspora of life ... and of a single family ... down to a single person ... her.
Debbie sees the many millennium pass in short order. She sees the creation of the cradle and the meaning behind it ... that each century brings a new birth, from an old birth ... and a changing of spirit. The passage of the power must happen ... and very soon ...
Debbie gasps and puts her hand to her mouth. She almost screams, "Mom!! That ... that book ... talks. It says ..."
Debbie's Grandmother places her old gnarled hand on top of hers very gently. It is so soft and warm.
She says in a strange ephemeral voice, "Calm yourself child, for it is you who bears the mark, and it will be you who brings the progeny into the fold."
Debbie's grandmother pushes Debbie's sleeve back and revealed the cherry and pink colored scale birthmark on her arm.
Debbie's mother says softly, "For she shall right the wrong and bring justice to our family once again."
~~ Much later as time passes as it has a habit of doing ~~
"Well, Mr. Adams," said the appraiser, walking back to his car, "I've taken pictures and made a list of your inventory, and I'll get back to you in a few days with what I find out. But there's some really rare antiques in that basement. Things I've only seen once or twice in my life. And that's not counting what might be in those trunks and chests that you can't open."
"Well I've had every locksmith in town come out for a look," Mark said, "and whoever made the locks on those things, they were good. Nobody knows how to open them. I might have to dismantle them or something."
"Good luck with that," said the appraiser, whose name was Aelred Hardaway. "Those things are well made. It's going to take some serious work to take them apart. But good luck, and I'll call you in a couple of days. Afternoon, Mr. Adams."
"Good afternoon, and thanks for coming out," Mark said, as Hardaway got in his car and drove off.
What a find! Who would have expected that his great-aunt and -uncle would have had such treasures in their cellar? Or perhaps ... they hadn't known?
Debbie stood beneath the several hundred year old oak near the Adams farm. She trembled. She couldn't believe what she had learned ... and how her life and that man ... Mark's ... were intertwined. She looked at the wand her Grandmother had given her ... or ... did the wand simply choose her? She wasn't real sure. It had white and chocolate swirls all around it until it came to the finely wound black leather handle. There was an ornate gold setting with a large ruby within it.
Debbie's mother had told her that ruby was known as a soul stone, and endowed the wand with great power. Debbie could feel it throbbing in her hand ... could feel its desire to serve ... her. Debbie hears someone's footfalls and looks up ... it's Mark coming rapidly towards her. Apparently, he has some news about the rest of the things in the crypt.
Debbie feels it as …. something enters her body and takes total control. She can see, hear, and feel …. but is now just a passenger within her own body.
Heading for his car, Mark passed around the oak tree and suddenly saw ... "Oh! Debbie! You startled me. I didn't know you were coming over today. Hey, Mr. Hardaway said that the antiques in the basement could be worth a lot, and that's not counting what might be inside the chests I can't open."
Debbie looks at Mark. She can feel something stirring deep with her. The wand feels so warm and eager in her hand.
She says as cheerily as she could, "Did Mr. Hardaway happen to say where the ... ummm ... antiques came from? To whom they perhaps actually belong? Lets us go back to those ... chests. I might be able to open them. My grandmother was able to read that book we found and it told ... ummm ... how to open them." Debbie pushes the wand a bit further up her long sleeve.
"Oh, really?" Mark said. "Sure, let's go have a look at them. If you have any idea how to open them, I'm very curious to see what's inside."
They started walking toward the old farmhouse. "It's become really interesting. A real family mystery. I've told my parents about it, and they never knew about this."
Debbie says under her breath, "Oh ... did they? I'm sure their parents parents had no knowledge either."
"Did you say something?"
"Just talking to myself." Debbie cuts her eyes at Mark. She says softly, "No, I didn't say anything."
"Oh. Well, down we go," said Mark.
He turned on a string of white Christmas lights that he'd hung up to light the stairway down to the basement. The passageway was just cut into the clay, supported by ****en beams, almost like a mine shaft. At the bottom, Mark lit a large kerosene lantern and hung it from a ring in the ceiling.
"There, that's much brighter now."
Debbie says softly, "I think ... I have something we need to discuss, Mark ... about your family .. and mine." She turns her head and looks at him.
Mark could see some kind of aura surrounding Debbie in the dim light of the lamp. He couldn't believe his eyes.
He says with a stammer, "Wh ... what do ... do you need to talk about?"
Mark's mouth falls open as a rod, a little over 12 inches long with a very large gemstone attached seems to appear in Debbie's hand. She turns and points it at one of the large trunks that had the intricate locking mechanism. He can't believe what his eyes see. A beam of blue white light springs from the wand and strikes the centurie of the lock. Several things slide back. the ring surrounding the key hole rotates 360 degrees around, then the heavy clasp pops open with a loud snap. Debbie turns and looks at Mark.
She says in a conspiratorial voice, "Take a look at what's in the trunk .... Mark."
"Wha -- what is --" Mark stammered, having difficulty processing what he had just seen. "That -- no." It looked like a magic wand, but there was no such thing, not really. But what it had done -- "Some kind of -- of electrical arc? The lock's ... electrical? But it's so old. Who had that kind of technology back then?"
Mark crept ever so warily towards the chest.
"No, no, wait," Mark said, while Debbie watched, looking a little worried. "No … even as early as the 17th century there were experiments with electricity in Europe and the European colonies. That must be it," Mark went on, completing his rationalization of what he had just seen. "Maybe one of my ancestors was some kind of genius inventor? You must have found out something about them, Debbie -- good for you! Well, maybe there are more of their inventions inside." He opened the now-unlocked trunk.
Debbie laughs a strange echoing sort of laugh that sent chills down Mark's spine.
She says in a voice he had never heard before, "Behold the folly of your family sweet heart, and know what has been done."
The contents of the trunk weren't electrical devices of any kind. What met Mark's eyes was made of cloth, and well-preserved cloth at that. He looked from the cloth to Debbie, who had just spoken in a strange voice, one that didn't sound entirely hers. What was going on? Thoughts about magic wands came again to his mind unbidden, but again he dismissed them as irrational.
"Debbie? What's wrong?"
Debbie waves her wand once again. From under the well preserved outfits came several large ledgers, bound in some strange material Mark and never seen before.
Debbie says in the same mysterious voice, "Take these ledgers of history and read mortal .... and know the truth of the world."
The large books floated seemingly of their own accord until they came to rest in Marks hands. By this time, Mark was totally flabbergasted. He looks up at Debbie who still was surrounded by the strange aura, The wand in her hand was also glowing. Mark noticed the large red gemstone of some kind set in a gold setting in the handle glowed as if it were fire. Debbie just smiled as the top book opens of it's own.
It told of a hoax ... and a theft .... and many deaths all for the sake of money and power ... an action that was destined to be avenged.
"But ... but it's moving by itself ... how ...?"
Mark stammered, afraid. But when the book was laid open before him, he just had to read -- he had to know the truth. It was in English, though it was 17th-century English, and it was handwritten, though it was written by someone with superb penmanship.
"The witch trials," he said. "I know there were witch trials in this area ... the ones in Salem are the most infamous of course ..." He read on. "This land belonged to a Hannah Wadkins, a widow ... who was accused of witchcraft, put on trial, found guilty, and executed by hanging ... so barbaric! ..." He reached to turn the page, but it turned by itself, so he gulped and kept reading. "The land was put up for public auction and was purchased for a very low price by ... the accuser, Hiram Adams. One of my ancestors stole your ancestor's land by accusing her of witchcraft?"
He looked at Debbie, who had a very strange look in her eyes, and said, "That's terrible! But it was so long ago, and none of those people would be alive today anyway, even if it hadn't happened ..." He immediately got the impression that that had been the wrong thing to say.
Debbie's demeanor changed suddenly. He features showed great wrath as a dark scowl came across her pretty face.
Debbie spoke with a resonance that seemed to shake the ground beneath Mark's feet, "Hanna Wadkina was the chosen one ... as so am I," The top book floats aside and the bottom one opens of itself. Mark is beyond himself at this point. Debbie continues in the same voice, "For the seed was bestowed upon but one in a generation .... and that one was taken from the earth before her time. Now ... it is time to bring justice. For now, there shall be 2."
Debbie points her wand at the largest of the chests. The one with the most ornate of locks. The blue / white spark jumps from the wand to the lock once again. Mark turns his head in time to see the clasp pop open. From within the large trunk came the most beautifully carved cradle he had ever seen in his life. The first thought in his mind ... was that this artifact must be totally priceless.
The cradle settles to the floor, the side rail slowly falls. The bedding seemingly comes alive as the comforter rolls back. From out of the other trunk came a very thick cloth, and the cutest 17th century outfit for what looked like a very large babydoll.
Debbie continues in the same resonating voice, "For now, the family that took the chosen ... shall now donate life for life ... eye for eye ... Destiny ... for a destiny."
"Destiny for ... what?" Mark said. "What is this? Yes, I know it's an ornate cradle ... but what's it got to do with me? There's no baby here. And ... an eye for an eye? I didn't do anything. I think what happened centuries ago was crazy, and I didn't even know my ancestors had anything to do with it. I can't reverse what they did, but I would if I could, because it was evil and wrong."
Debbie turns slowly to face Mark. Her eyes narrow to slits as she says softly, "Upon the Land, the house, all the gold, and possessions ... your family name ... fell a curse. From time and times shall abide until comes the chosen. Upon their brow shall destiny lay ... and to them that which was taken shall be restored by they who's debt to repay."
Mark looks at Debbie as if she were totally insane.
Debbie waves her wand in a very graceful way. From her lips falls the word, "Infantalis!" Mark sees a huge bright flash of light. His body tingles all over as he seems to be crushed at the same time. So many strange sensations assail his body at once, he's not sure if he's dreaming .... or has totally lost his mind. When things quit spinning, he is looking at the room from within the cradle. He is dressed in a very cute 17th century babydoll outfit ... and ... **GASP!!** he's in a diaper! Not only that, but Debbie seems to have ... gotten to be huge ... as well as everything else in the room.
"Ah ... beh bee?" Mark said. What he had tried to say was "I'm a baby?" -- but it came out all wrong. "I don't understand," was what he tried to say next, but "Ahh no uh sah" was all that came out.
He noticed that his very thick diaper was getting gradually warmer underneath him and realized that he must be wetting it, although he couldn't really feel it or do anything to stop it. Mark was very confused by all this and was finding himself becoming more and more upset with time. He didn't even notice himself increasing the pace at which he was sucking on his thumb, because he hadn't yet noticed that he was doing so. However, this helped to calm him down, so he didn't burst into tears yet.
Debbie shakes her head and blinks her eyes as if she was coming out of a deep trance. She looks around the underground chamber for a second.
She calls out, "Mark?" before her eyes fall on the cradle and the cute little baby girl within.
Debbie goes to the cradle and looks the baby over as a large smile crosses her lips.
With a giggle she says in a cooing voice, "Aww, is Markies aww wet m misrebles?" Debbie reaches into the cradle and lifts Mark into her arms. She pats his damp hinny softly as she continues, "Let Auntie Debbie take you home and change this soaked diaper."
Mark begins to struggle in her arms and protest. His words made no sense ... it all came out as adorable baby garble. Debbie was slightly confused. She wondered where Mark had gone and why this baby was in the cradle ... she also wondered why she had called her Markie. Debbie walked quickly over the hill towards her house with the squirming squealing bundle in her arms.
"Ma kee? Ah Ma! Wah ah beh bee? Wah happa? Dess um kah na wee behnd fing?" Mark gave up trying to talk.
His mouth just wouldn't do what he wanted it to do. Debbie was carrying him and taking him somewhere. He couldn't see very well. His contact lenses must not have come with him in whatever transition had just happened. Finally Debbie carried him to the wide porch of a vintage New England house, or so it looked to his blurry vision. She went right up the stairs and in the front door. Maybe this was her house. Suddenly she turned a corner into the living room and there were two people there ... an older woman and an even older one, from what he could tell.
"Ahhhh, child," said the oldest one, "the circle is complete, and here is its completion, in your very arms."
Debbie stops and blinks at her mother and grandmother. She says with confusion in her voice, "What do you mean ... completion? You know this baby? Who is she?"
The 2 older women laugh loudly for a few seconds before Debbie's grandmother speaks, "That, my child, is the man you met at the old farmhouse a few minutes ago."
The women look at each other and laugh again. Debbie's eyes get huge as the memories of the last hour begin to return. It was like she were just a passenger within her own body .... looking out through her eyes ... but someone else was in control.
Debbie looks down at the adorable little girl in her arms and says softly, "Mark? Is that ... you?" She giggles as she realizes what had happened. Debbie says to her grandmother, "You mean ... that story
Her Grandmother nods and replies, "Not just any Witch sweet heart, You and the little miss in your arms are the chosen ones. You have fulfilled the circle and brought into the earth the next cycle of power promised to us since the dawn of all creation."
As Debbie looked down at the baby in horror and then back up at her mother and grandmother, Debbie's mother picked up the conversation. "Now now, no need to be all cosmic about it," she said. "A bit over three hundred years ago his ancestor did something horrible to our family, and this is our revenge on his family. That's all."
"Oh. Yes. That too," said her grandmother. "He's the last of his line; none of the rest of his family is going to have any children, and now, neither is he -- at least, not children of his family. He's one of us now."
Debbie feels the wetness seeping through Marks rapidly soaking diaper. Debbie says, "I ... need to change him .. I mean her. She's already starting to leak."
Debbie's mother reaches beside her left leg and grabs a large bag. She tosses it to Debbie.
Her mother says, "Everything a baby girl needs for a change is in there."
Debbie says nothing, but hurries off to the upstairs potty with Mark. She lays him on the counter in the bathroom and lifts the hem of the cute lacy babydoll dress. She unpins the diaper and takes the wet thing off. She gently begins to clean Marks new squeaky place ... and allowed him to take a good look so he would know.
Debbie says in a soft cooing voice, "Ok ... Mark .... I'm going to dress you in a very cute little romper and plastic panties this time. I don't want you to be leaking all over."
Mark was totally flabbergasted over what he saw. He was totally helpless as Debbie cleaned, Powdered, then diapered him. She threaded Mark's feet into a cute pair of pink plastic panties and pulled them to his knees. She held him by his ankles as she pulled them the rest of the way up.
Mark was almost totally insane by this time. Debbie threaded his arms through the Romper and pulled it over his head. She tied the bib around his neck, then began to snap the snaps between Mark's legs.
Debbie coos softly, "I promise to take good care of you from now on sweet heart. I do need to name you though ... a really cute name for a girl as cute as you."
Mark was so beyond upset that he could barely begin to process what was happening. But he was taking the first few steps toward understanding what he had heard, and each realization was more upsetting than the last. He was a baby. A baby girl, at that. It was because of a curse laid on his family in retribution for a dastardly deed perpetrated by one of his ancestors on what appeared to be a family of actual witches. And despite the fact that he himself had done nothing wrong, the onus was still on him. He began to whimper. From what they had said, it sounded like he was going to be a baby girl for good, or at least until he grew bigger. And he would be female for the rest of his new life. He began to cry. His old life was effectively over. He began to wail.
His parents would look for him but wouldn't find him. He wasn't dead, so they wouldn't find a body. They'd never know what had happened to their son. Unless he left them a message. But what would it say? And how would he write it, anyway? He tried to reach and pick up a nearby object -- it turned out to be a box of baby wipes -- and he could barely direct his hand to the box, let alone pick it up.
Continuing to cry, he felt angry about every minute of his remaining life that had been stolen from him. He hated the witches who had done this to him. But he couldn't bring himself to hate Debbie -- it seemed as if she'd been manipulated by her family into taking part in this. His upsetness gradually cooled with time into slow-burning anger.
Debbie picks Mark up to her shoulder and pats his hinny lovingly. She coos softly, "I'm ... I ... I'm soo sorry this happened Mark. I didn't know anything about any of this. Grammy did ... shesa one that reads alla the family lore and those ... books of hers."
Debbie carries the cute little Mark out of the potty into the bedroom and lays on the bed with him. She says softly, "You are a very cute little girl now sweetie ... here, let me show you."
Debbie reaches over and picks up a mirror from her night stand and puts it in front of Mark. The reflection looking back was one of the most adorable little girls Mark had ever seen.
Debbie giggles, "We will be great friends. I promise to show you lots of neat tricks n stuff ... plus ... how to be the best Witch you can possibly be."
Mark looked at his reflection and saw ... his face? There was a baby girl there. She had strawberry-blonde hair, which was very short, and cute freckles on her cheeks. Mark reached out and saw the girl in the mirror's hand move toward him at the same time. But wait ... he was going to be a witch? Or ... she was. Was there any point in continuing to think of himself as male now? What would his, or her, future be like? Mark found his eyes fluttering closed. He was suddenly very sleepy.
"Oh dear, I think someone needs a nap," said Debbie. "I'll find someplace to tuck you in, so you can ... oh!"
Picking Mark up, Debbie turned into the guest bedroom and found it decorated like a nursery. It hadn't looked like that this morning, she was sure. And sitting right in the center was ... the cradle. Mark saw the cradle and felt immediately frightened. That was the thing that had taken his life from him. Debbie was walking toward it, as if she were going to put him into it ... he struggled but was too small and weak to stop her. She drew back the blankets, lay Mark down, and snugly tucked him in.
Mark suddenly fell into a dream, or that was what it felt like. He was floating, drifting, in the middle of a stone circle, great stone pillars topped with crossbeams all the way around. The sky was somehow divided, half sunlit day, half dark and cloudy night. And there were two robed figures, one standing under each half of the sky, both facing toward him.
"Who ... who are you?" he asked. His voice was un-garbled again, though it still didn't sound like him. It sounded strangely disembodied.
"We are the spirits bound to the cradle of life," the two figures said in unison.
"OK, that was creepy," said Mark, "but what does that mean?"
"One of us looks ahead," the light figure said.
"The other looks behind," said the dark figure.
"One of us gives new life," said the light figure.
"And one of us takes away," the dark figure concluded.
"We were bound to this eternal task to ensure the survival of the family line," they said together.
"I think I see," Mark said. "You make the cradle work -- to turn people into kids so the family can keep going?"
"Only when it cannot happen naturally," said the light figure.
"Only when others fear and shun the family," the dark figure added.
"But what about the curse?" Mark asked. "I didn't fear or shun or hurt anybody. I was just a descendant of somebody who did, and I didn't even know about that."
"That was a misuse of the cradle," both figures said.
The light figure said, "We are an instrument of life for the family."
"Not a weapon of retribution," said the dark figure.
"Those who laid this curse made a terrible mistake," said the light figure.
"They took a terrible risk that might still doom the family," the dark figure said.
"What risk?" Mark asked. "What did they do?"
"Magic has a price," both figures answered.
"Use it for good and receive good in return," said the light figure.
The dark figure echoed, "Use it for evil and receive evil in return."
"And cursing someone is evil," said Mark. "I don't want to be cursed!"
"And yet you are bound by it," both figures said.
"You did not truly deserve your fate," the light figure said.
"But the curse applies to you nevertheless, because it was laid on your family line," continued the dark figure.
"But now, by the magical law of 3 X 3, you have a choice," said both figures.
"I do?" Mark asked, feeling sudden hope. "Is one of those choices to go back to normal?"
"No," both figures said.
"Oh," Mark answered sadly. "What is it, then?"
"You have the right of retribution," the dark figure said. "You may return the curse threefold."
"Your other choice is to forgive," the light figure said. "You will be protected and grow in the family's heritage, one day knowing great power and wisdom."
"How can I forgive them for this?" Mark asked.
"The choice is yours," both figures said.
Mark paused. "Either way, I'm stuck with the life of a baby girl," he said.
"Yes," said the dark figure. "That cannot be changed."
"But you will grow in wisdom, beauty and power," said the light figure. "And you will live a long life."
The figure of light says softly, "To forgive is divine ... for every evil brought there is a debt that has to be paid .... even if you have the right. Just because you can do a thing ... it does not follow that you necessarily should."
The figure of dark nods slowly and picks up as soon as the figure of light finished, "However, the consequences are different under these circumstances. The relief of a spiritual burden imposed on your soul unwillingly received will obviously outweigh the consequences."
Mark sits and thinks about what had been said. He was so confused as he looked around at the place he was. There was something very familiar about the giant megaliths all arranged around him. He just couldn't quite put his finger on what, or where this was.
He finally says, "What will become of my family?"
The figure of light replies softly, "To forgive relieves them of any hardship in remembrance of you. They will believe you have never existed."
The figure of Darkness says, "On the other hand, to being the retribution will bring with it the burden of familial remembrance. Many long years of tears and searching fruitlessly for someone who no longer exists in the form for which they search."
Together, both says softly in their ethereal voice, "The choice is totally yours."
"But .. if I grow up to have magical powers, could I make myself look like my old self and tell my family I'm OK?" Mark asked.
"That is an ability that would be within your power to learn, if you choose," said the light figure. "Thinking of this marks you as someone with compassion."
"But you will not learn this ability for several years," said the dark figure, "so your family would still go through years of grief."
"But ... if I choose to forgive," Mark said, "they won't remember me at all? How compassionate is that?"
"There would be no grief," said the dark figure. "No fruitless searching, no worry, no trauma."
"And, once you have learned enough of the arts," said the light figure, "you could show yourself to them and cause their memory to return."
"Either way, it will be many years, and I'll still really be ... a new person," Mark said.
"Yes," said both figures. "The path of your destiny has taken a turn. You are Mark no longer. Your name is now Marcia. And this audience must now end, until next we meet."
Mark waves his arms and shouts quickly as a fog seemed to rise between him and the giant megalith Circle, "If I forgive the debt ... can I at least make a wish .. and have it fulfilled?"
The 2 Figures said in unison, "As long as it isn't in the form of revenge or a curse, it will be as you ask."
Mark opens his eyes. He is lying in the cradle in the nursery. His diaper is wet. Mark -- or should that be Marcia? -- was hit by a sudden urge to cry. Probably that was the realization that his, or maybe her, diaper was wet and that it had happened during that strange dream. Well, when in Rome, etc. -- baby Marcia started crying. It was surprisingly easy.
Hearing an infant wail from the nursery, Debbie's mother said, "Oh, it sounds like the baby's awake. Debbie, do you want me to go check on her?"
"No, Mother, I should," said Debbie. "She's pretty much my responsibility now. I'm the one who ... did this to her."
"Well now, not exactly," said her mother. "It was the curse in operation. It was the spirit of our ancestor working through you. Please don't worry about it, dear -- it was foreordained."
"Well, still, I feel like I led him into a trap," Debbie said morosely. "I don't know why I went strawberry-picking that day either. I just felt like it. I suppose that was the curse too." She started up the stairs.
"Most likely," said her mother, "but I wouldn't worry about it. It's all over now."
Debbie reaches the nursery door and can hear the wails of baby. She sort of has a temptation to be a baby right along with her to ... sort of keep her company. A tingle of fear runs down Debbie's spine as she shakes off the thought and enters the nursery. She goes to the cradle and lifts Marcia out and cradles him in her arms.
She rubs noses with Marcia and coos softly, "It's ok baby, Nana's here now and will make it all right."
Debbie checks Marcia's diaper and find it wet. She pats Marcia on her hinny softly as she carries him into the potty for a change.
Debbie coos softly, "Such a silly baby ... wet her diaper ... huh. *giggle* Well Nana Debbie will have you changed and all clean in a second."
Debbie lays Marcia on the counter and lifts him by his ankles. She pulls his cute lined rumba pantie to his knees before setting him back on the counter. She undoes the diaper pins and blows a huge raspberry in Marcia's tummy. Marcia immediately quits whimpering as her eyes get huge and squeals loudly with delight and many giggles. Marcia squirms and wiggles as Debbie tickles her gently and blows another large and wet raspberry.
Debbie tosses the wet diaper into a near by pail and grabs another thick one from a large folded pile sitting on the counter next to the baby powder and diaper creams and baby oils. Debbie takes Marcia by her ankles again and lifts, places the super thick diaper beneath her hinny and set her in its soft embrace.
Debbie then powders Marcia well, the sweet smell of baby powder fills the air. Debbie pulls the diaper between Marcia's legs and fastens it on with the diaper pins. Debbie again lifts Marcia by her ankles and pulls her rumba panties back on and makes sure they are on properly so baby doesn't leak, before setting her back on the counter.
Debbie takes one ankle in her left hand, the big toe between her index finger and thumb of the other. She kisses it softly as she coos in a sing song voice, "This little piggy went to market ..."
Marcia was soon in gales of giggles as Debbie played this tickling game with her toes. She was completely lost in the moment and wasn't thinking of anything but the present. The sensations were just too overwhelming. There was nothing but pure joy right now.
Of course that didn't last. When the game stopped and Debbie went back to dressing her, all the previous feelings she'd been having came back -- anger at having her life stolen from her, anxiety about how worried her parents would be, and just the unfairness of being punished for the mistake of an ancestor she'd never known or even heard of.
Debbie takes Marcia to her bedroom and crawls in the bed with her. She takes the magic wand from off the nightstand and looks at it for a second.
Debbie says softly, "I'm going to make it where you and me can talk and understand each other." She waves the wand gracefully and speaks the words, "Superium Communicatus."
There was an arc of blue light from the wand that strikes Marcia. For a few seconds, Marcia was completely enveloped in the bright glow.
When it had passed, Debbie asks, "Now, can you understand me better? I know you will talk with baby slang at times ... but at least we can talk. Others won't be able to understand you any better for a few years however."
Debbie pats Marcia on her leg softly before continuing, "I want you to know .... it was my body ... but ... I ... I promise Mark ... I didn't have anything .... consciously to do with this. I was ... possessed by an ancestor from centuries past. You are innocent of anything ... but the spell was cast almost 300 years ago." Debbie looks at Marcia forlornly as she smiles a weak smile.
"That why you was actin all weird," Marcia said. "You not your selfs."
Marcia was wondering whether to tell Debbie about her dream, or vision, whatever it had been. But it was probably best not to say anything about it. If she chose to forgive, she had a wish, but didn't know what to wish for.
Debbie blushes a very pretty pinkish red as she looks at Marcia. She drops her eyes as she asks very softly, "What it like? I mean ... what's it feel like ... being a baby again? Did it hurt? Does it ... feel good? You seem to like being changed." Debbie's eyes drop again, "Although I could be mistaken."
"It's ... well ... every fing is more ... intense," said Marcia. "It is like feelin' everyfing lots stronger. Tickles is like a hundred tickles. An' feelin' upset is like feelin' the mostest upset I has ever feeled ever. Uncomfy wet diapers is super uncomfy ... an' ... dry diapers is the comfiest fing ever after that."
Debbie wiggles close as she lays in front of Marcia. Her eyes sparkle softly as she says, "It would be a real adventure to be a baby again, I think." Debbie kicks her feet as she smiles, "Just think of it ... all of your needs and wants taken care of. You get to play all the time and have no responsibility. And tickles ... "
She tickles Marcia gently in her ribs. Marcia's eyes gets big as she bursts out in many giggles and begins squirming and kicking trying to get away form this wonderful onslaught. Marcia falls over onto her back as Debbie tickles her. Marcia giggled and giggled and totally lost control of her body as she squirmed joyfully with all the tickling.
Finally, when Debbie relented and let Marcia catch her breath, she said, "I fink ... the cradle can make you a baby toos. Is you wanna. An' ... if I decides it is what I wants."
Debbie sighs softly as she looks lovingly at Marcia.
She says wistfully, "Ahhh .... to have a child's imagination." she shakes her head slowly, "It would be so wonderful though ... wouldn't it? Then you an me could be bestus girlfriends and play together."
Debbie rolls over onto her back as she sighs loudly. Marcia watches Debbie as she wallows on the bed amid the large and soft pillows.
Marcia struggled to sit up. It was pretty difficult, especially on this soft bed with its shifting surface. She finally managed to prop herself halfway up with a pillow.
"Would you want to? We could be play ... play mates. For real."
Marcia wasn't sure whether Debbie believed that it could happen. That was odd, because the cradle had changed Marcia into a baby before Debbie's eyes.
Debbie rolls over and grins. She says in a cooing musical voice, "All right silly baby. You think you have so much magic at your age ..." Debbie sits up and pokes her chest out, "Hit me with your best shot. I want to be .... 2 years old. Too young to be out of diapers, but old enough to be a lot of fun."
She waits as she narrows her eyes at Marcia expectantly.
"Is not me," said Marcia. "Is tha cwadle. It telled me. Can choose."
Debbie blinked momentarily in astonishment, but before she could ask any questions, Marcia closed her eyes and said, "I has chosen. I choose ... forgiveness. An' my wish is for Debbie to be my two year old playmate like she says."
There is a huge blue / white light. Debbie's body begins to glow brightly. Debbie gasps as she feels like she's being crushed. It's almost painful, but not quite. There are other intense sensations rushing all through her body that make it a wonderfully pleasant thing. Debbie feels her chest tingle strangely as her clothes seem to become way too big for her. Before she knows what's happening, she's in the middle of the bed, surrounded by the pile of oversized clothes she had been wearing.
She gasps out in an adorable baby voice, "Wh ... wha happens ta me?"
"Issa cwadle," said Marcia, who hadn't opened her eyes yet. When she did open her eyes, she saw herself in the cradle and saw a beautiful baby girl in front of her, dressed in 17th-century baby clothes. "Debbie bewy pwetty baby!" Marcia said.
Debbie looks down at herself and gets big eyes. She says in her gurgling baby voice, "You ... dood it? Amma baby too?"
Debbie tries to stand up. Her legs feel so strange as her knees wobble. She takes hold of the crib rails for support. About the time Debbie had managed to stand up and get totally balanced, the door to the nursery opened and in walked her mother. She sees the 2 infants in the cradle.
Her face gets a hugely surprised expression as she gasps out, "Mother? Hurry ... I think ... we have a .... snag in our plans for the future."
The sound of the ambling foot falls of the older woman can be heard approaching the nursery. As she enters, her eyes get large as she grunts in surprise.
Debbie's mother says, Somehow .... Debbie has become a baby too ... how can she take her place as the Mistress Sorcerer?"
The old woman puts one of her wrinkled hands to her moth and stares. She says softly, "This is .... rather unexpected I would think."
Debbie's mother turns to the old woman and shout in exasperation, "You think? Really? And ... how would you suggest we fix this ... little problem?"
The old woman says softly, "I think .... there is a repercussion for the curse on the Cradle. It's intended for life ... not revenge."
Debbie's mother says in a soft gasp, "The law of 3 X 3 ... the scales had to balance." She looks at the old woman, "Do you think ... there's going to be retribution 3 times greater?"
The old woman shakes her head and says softly, "I really don't know daughter. I would hope ... not."
The both of them look at the 2 happy infants in the crib. Marcia looked at the toddler Debbie and giggled. It wasn't an evil or mean giggle; it was a giggle of glee. She couldn't help herself. She had a playmate now. It was difficult not to see Debbie as exactly that. And Debbie giggled too; she was seemingly having trouble not thinking the same way.
"We play!" Marcia giggled, putting her hands up as for a game of pat-a-cake.
Debbie happily did likewise, and they were soon patting hands together.
"Spirits of the Cradle, did you do this?" asked Grandmother.
"We did," said a quiet voice from the cradle.
"And well it is that Marcia chose forgiveness," said the other voice, "for had she chosen revenge, all three of you would now be as Debbie is."
"Well, there you have it, dearie," said Grandmother. "It's not that big a snag -- just a baby-sized one. We'll just have to wait a few years until she grows up again. And this time she'll have a sister."
Marcia had always been an only child ... the first time. But her first childhood was already seeming as if it had happened to someone else, or as if it had been a story someone had told her once. It didn't seem real anymore. She was starting to feel as if she had always been a baby girl her whole life and that playing like this was the most normal thing in the world.
Debbie realizes suddenly she is wetting her diaper. She lifts the hem of her cute babydoll dress and looks down. Marcia giggles as she points. Debbie tries hard to stop wetting .... but is totally helpless to control it.
Debbie blushes a light pink as she says in her baby voice, "I ... I ... jus wet myselfs."
Marcia snickers as she says in a giggle, "Yups ... is what babies do cuz we no potty trained."
Debbie hadn't thought about this before hand. The warm wetness was cooling slightly and felt sticky and messy. She felt an emotion rush through her all he way to her deepest mind. She couldn't help it .... she suddenly began to cry loudly. "Wwwwaaaaaahhhhhhh!"
Debbie's mother rushes to the cradle and picks her up. She holds Debbie out from her suddenly as Debbie's diaper begins to drip slightly.
Grandmother laughs as she says, "Well, one thing is for sure ... Debbie is all baby and you are her mother."
Debbie is carried from the room. Grandmother bends over the cradle and says softly, "I would thank you for choosing forgiveness Marcia." She pats her on the head, "I will tell you though ... you should start anytime manifesting your powers. Debbie too. You will be restricted to simple spells and glamoures until you are a bit older."
Somehow Marcia didn't really understand what she had said, though. Debbie was slightly older, but she also had difficulty both paying attention to what her grandmother was saying and understanding the words as her mother carried her from the room.
Debbie enjoyed having her diaper changed a lot more than she thought she would. As her mother threaded her legs through the ruffled plastic panties so Debbie wouldn't leak again, Debbie could smell the wonderfully clean smell of baby powder. Her mother sits her up. Debbie can see her reflection in the mirror beside her. She sees a very adorable little 2 year old with ponytails looking back. This gives her the urge to suck her thumb. She is helpless to stop herself ... besides ... it made her feel tons better and happy.
Her mother carries her back into the nursery and puts her in the cradle beside Marcia. Debbie hugs Marcia and gurgles. "Tanx sweetie ... I woves beina baby agin ... diaper is so sof n safes."
The 2 girls nod to each other, before they begin to play with the dolls in the cradle. The 2 older women leave the room, deep in discussion about this new .... circumstance.
The two baby girls played with the dolls happily, making up stories about what the dolls were doing and where they were going, until they both fell asleep in the cradle and slept the blissful sleep of the innocent.
Over them, visible only to those with eyes to see, stood the two spirits of the cradle, standing guard. For the first time in all of time …. there were now 2 Mistress Sorceresses.
~~~ The End ~~
~~~ The End ~~