Commission – Strange Dreams by Blankage and The Regressed

The following story was written as a commission. If you would like a commission of your own, please email me at blankage1 [at] gmail [dot] com or message me at Deviantart or Furaffinity

The car thudded onto the gravel road, and Mike’s mom inhaled sharply.

“Easy!” she said. “You’re not driving your ATV.”

Mike was quite aware that he wasn’t driving his ATV, thanks, but he said nothing. Since he’d gotten his learner’s permit, his mom had been pretty hesitant to let him drive, and pissing her off didn’t seem likely to help his plight. So he just sighed and squinted at the light of the setting sun as it filtered through the thick greenery that enveloped the road.

“How much farther?” Mike’s little sister Kinsey asked from the back seat. She’d slept for a good portion of the six hour drive, but now she was awake and restless.

“Almost there!” Mike’s mom said. “Doesn’t this look beautiful?”

The only answer to her question was the sound of the car bumping along the road, raising a giant cloud of dust behind it. Mike regarded the lush plants that blurred by them, and he thought they looked green. He wasn’t sure why that automatically made them beautiful or whatever. Heading out to a ranch in Nowhere, Tennessee hadn’t been his idea of a great spring vacation, but his sister and mother had both disagreed. That was two votes against one as his little sister had annoyingly informed him. Now, easily swinging the car into a gravel parking lot, he wished he was anywhere else.

“Good job parking!” his mom said, and Mike grunted in response. He climbed stiffly out of the car and stretched. In front of them loomed an enormous farm building that looked to be ranch headquarters.

“Can we go see the horses?” Kinsey asked.

“Not tonight, okay? It’s getting dark.”

Mike grabbed his backpack out of the trunk and started to walk across the parking lot, but his mom stopped him.

“I need to check your backpack,” she said.

“Really?” Mike groaned. “You already checked it before we left! How could I possibly have…”

“Hand it here,” his mom said firmly. She’d been in paranoid drug-sniffing mode ever since he’d been caught smoking pot at school last week. She’d flushed every last ounce he had down the toilet. Tragic day that had been. He’d almost been expelled, but he didn’t see what the big deal was. Marijuana was legal in multiple states for fuck’s sake.

After his mom was satisfied that he hadn’t picked up a pound of weed at a drive-through or something, the three of them walked across the parking lot together in the gathering dusk. The air was cold, so they were glad to reach the warmth of the lodge. Upon entering, they found themselves in a dingy front office that smelled like old carpet. An aged man with thinning white hair and brilliant blue eyes sat behind a desk stacked high with papers. He rose to greet them with an earnest smile as they entered.

“Hi there, how may I help you?” the man asked. He spoke with a thick, southern drawl, and Mike liked him immediately.

“We have a reservation. Carson,” Mike’s mom said.

“Oh, Mrs. Carson! We’ve been expecting you. I’m Al.”

“You can call me Angela. And this is Mike and Kinsey.”

“Nice to meet y’all! You folks hungry?”

“Sure,” Mike shrugged, and Kinsey nodded shyly.

“Well, y’all are in luck then. The cafeteria’s still open for another fifteen minutes.” Al reached up to a row of hooks on the wall, grabbed a key, and handed it to Mike’s mom. “If you hustle, you should still be able to get some grub.”

“Okay, we’ll hurry,” Mike’s mom said. “Thanks for your help!” She grabbed her rolling suitcase with one hand, and Kinsey with the other, and together they rushed through what appeared to be an expansive multipurpose area, up to their room, and back down the stairs to the cafeteria to get some food.

The rest of the evening was spent eating together at a table in the nearly empty cafeteria (awkward), and playing a marathon table tennis tournament in the huge multipurpose room (even more awkward). Mike was quite relieved when he finally settled onto his soft bed, put on his headphones, and disappeared into the space between them. His mom and sister were watching some fashion reality show, and he stared at the television screen through half-closed eyelids, relaxing into the surprisingly comfortable mattress. The last thing he thought before drifting off to sleep was that he really wished he had a joint.

“So you want a joint, do you?”

Mike looked up and saw that he was in his home classroom in his usual spot in the back row next to the window. There was the familiar stale smell of too many people in a poorly ventilated space, and the familiar sight of his friend Chris texting in the desk next to him, but something was different. Some unfathomable detail was out of place.

“I asked you if you wanted a joint, buddy.”

It was at that moment that Mike realized that the woman at the front of the classroom with her feet up on her desk was not his teacher. It was his mother. She was wearing thick, horn-rimmed glasses instead of her contact lenses, and her accent was inexplicably Tennessean.

“Suit yourself,” she said, pulling open a desk drawer and casually pulling out an enormous marijuana doobie. “I wasn’t too keen on sharing anyways.”

Mike looked around the room at his classmates obliviously doing their reading assignment.

“Are you seeing this?” Mike hissed at Chris, but his friend just kept right on texting.

Mike’s mom lit her joint and let it dangle loosely between her fingers before taking a hit.

“I know the divorce has been hard on you,” Mike’s mom said. “But weed makes everything better. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Weed is awesome!” She was walking towards him now, exhaling smoke from her nostrils. He could smell it, a mild sweetness tinting the air.

“Are you sure you don’t want a hit?” his mom asked. The spliff was in her outstretched palm, and the lit end glowed against her skin without burning her. This had to be a test.

“No,” Mike said resolutely. His mom took another long draw from the joint and slowly exhaled the smoke into his face.

“When you were a baby, we used to smoke weed together all the time,” she said. “What happened, man?”

“Is this a dream? I want it to stop now.”

Mike’s mom jerked her head back and terrifying laughter rang out of her gaping mouth. Mike felt something deep in his gut seize up and go numb at the sound of that laugh. Or maybe it was just the smoke filling his lungs. A deep phlegmy cough wracked his frame, and he could feel the marijuana fumes soaking into his brain.

“You think this is a dream? Oh, but it’s so much more than that!” Again Mike’s mom blew a thick cloud of smoke into his face, and again his body shook with violent coughs. Something clattered onto the desk in front of him, and he peered down at it glassily. It was white and about the size of a pebble, and when he tasted blood, he realized it was his front tooth.

“Whath happening to me, Mom? Thtop!” Three more teeth hit the desk and rolled onto the floor.

“Stop what, Mikey? I’m just smoking and chilling.”

Mike tried to squirm out of his desk, but his entire body felt locked into place. His spine compressed with a tremendous crunch, and his shoulders began to hunch forward.

“Chris, anybody! Help me!” Mike yelled, but no one even turned to look at him. Smoke was filling the classroom, obscuring his unconcerned classmates. With every breath, he drew it deep into his lungs until there was as much of it inside him as outside, and he couldn’t tell where it ended and he began. He’d never felt so high in his entire life.

“It’s too much,” Mike mumbled. “Too much smoke.” He could barely make out the dim outline of his mom through the thick wall of fog that surrounded him, but he could still hear her laugher, muffled and distant.

“I thought you liked to get high,” she said.

Tooth after tooth cascaded out of his mouth, and a sick cracking began to emanate from his arms and legs. It sounded like bone crumbling into tiny shards, but instead of pain, he felt only a numb weakening as if his limbs were slowly going to sleep. His legs felt lighter beneath him, and he bent his knees to keep his heels firmly planted on the ground.

Mom, stop!” Mike said through toothless gums. He stretched forward and gripped the edge of the desk with clammy hands, but his feet slowly lifted off the ground just the same. The smoke was circulating through every square inch of his body now. He could feel it in his bones and his slackening muscles. Even his brain was choked with it, his thoughts slow and muted. The vapors ate away at the edge of his brain, and suddenly, he’d never learned his times tables. It eroded his coordination, and his fingers began to lose their grip on the edge of the desk. It dissolved his emotional control, and he felt his face redden and crinkle with hysterical terror.

“Mommy! Stop!” he cried.

Mommy emerged from the haze holding not a joint, but a pacifier. Pacifier. A big word. Smoke swirled around it, blurring the letters and flipping them until they were upside down and scrambled, undecipherable symbols for nonsensical blurts of sound.

Mommy popped the yellow nipple into Mikey’s mouth, and it wasn’t a pacifier but a binky. When he sucked on it, a tremendous feeling of calm overwhelmed him, and when Mommy picked him up, the feeling multiplied until he was absolutely certain that nothing could hurt him as long as her soft, warm body was pressed against his. He didn’t even mind when small, sharp baby teeth began to push out of his gums and into the soft rubber of the binky.

“Will you ever smoke weed again? No you won’t,” Mommy cooed.

Mikey wrapped his bare legs around Mommy’s waist and leaned against her boobies as his spine compressed down again. She gently kissed the top of his head.

***

Angela awoke in a fit of coughing, smoke stinging her eyes. The first thought that exploded into her disoriented mind was for the safety of her children.

“Mike! Kinsey!” she screamed, choking and gasping for air. Small arms wrapped around her neck, grasping, and she felt Kinsey’s fragile frame push into hers. There was no sound from Mike’s bed. She stumbled over to it, Kinsey’s arms still locked around her. The bedspread where Mike had been sleeping lay neatly, and when she ripped it back, Mike wasn’t there.

“What’s wrong, Mom,” Kinsey whimpered.

“Mike!” Angela screamed again, but she heard nothing but Kinsey’s cries and her own rasping coughs. She knew that if they stayed in the room much longer, they would suffocate. Already a dizzying wave of lethargy was sweeping over her. Perhaps Mike had already made it out of the room.

Angela blindly felt her way to the door and groped for the handle. A cool current of fresh, clean air blasted her in the face as she forced open the door and fell outside, panting.

“Help!” she yelled frantically. “Fire!”

The air outside was humid, the sun already high in the sky. All was still and silent but for the songs of a few startled birds, and the shuffling steps of a cleaning lady pushing a cart a few rooms down. She turned to look at the pair with surprised disbelief scrawled across her youthful face. She stood frozen for an instant, then whipped a cell phone from her worn jeans and began to dial.

“Where’s the fire, Mom? Kinsey asked. Her face was equal parts confusion and fear.

“In the room. With the smoke.” Angela was still rapidly scanning the area for Mike.

“What smoke?” Kinsey said, and in that moment, Angela felt a strange chill creep into the air.

“Wait,” Angela said to the cleaning lady who already had the phone to her ear. She stepped to the door of their room and hesitantly pressed the back of her hand against it. It was cool. She turned the doorknob and cracked the door open an inch. No smoke billowed out at her. Slowly and carefully, she pushed the door the rest of the way open and looked inside the dark room. Trickles of light seeped through the doorway onto the bedspread. There was no smoke.

“This must be the wrong room,” Angela heard herself say. “There’s a crib in here.”

A tiny head poked out of the crib, and it was unmistakable.

“Mommy?” Mikey said.

Everything came rushing back to Angela then. The dream, the joint, the smoke, Mike shrinking. She swallowed a sudden wave of bile and staggered over the crib.

“What’s the matter, Mommy?”

Angela was certain she was still dreaming, and her hands shook as she picked Mikey up and held his delicate, little body.

“Mikey, Mikey, what happened to you?” Angela said, her voice cracking.

“I got littler.”

Angela was struck by the simple calmness of the statement, but as she felt Mikey’s lightness in her arms and heard the crinkling of his training pants, she understood. How could a toddler fathom the years he’d lost that he’d now have to live again?

The cleaning lady’s bewildered face appeared at the door. “Is everything alright?” she asked. She hovered at the threshold to the room as if entering might cause something terrible to happen to her.

If there had ever been a moment in Angela’s life that everything had not been alright, it was then, but she nodded and let herself drop onto the bed. She felt as if telling this woman that the child in her arms had been a teen yesterday would make this whole incomprehensive nightmare real. It couldn’t be real.

“Are you sure?” the cleaning lady asked. “There’s nothing I can do for you?”

Angela slowly shook her head, not trusting her voice. What could anybody do? She felt utterly alone and helpless.

“Mommy, I need to go potty,” Mikey said.

Angela looked around the room blankly. Her mouth was parched, and every time she swallowed, a strange dusty sensation choked her.

“I need to poop!” Mikey shouted.

“Just a second,” she said, and set Mikey on the floor. Mechanically, she walked to the sink and fumbled with the translucent, plastic cup wrapper, her fingers numb and tingly. By the time she got the wrapper off, Mikey was crying. The cup filled slowly with cool water, and when it was full, she tilted her head back and gulped it down thirstily. Water had never tasted so good, but as she took one, huge, final swallow, the liquid suddenly seemed warm and thick in her throat. She coughed and gagged, but the sensation had passed, and she almost wondered if she had imagined it.

Mikey wouldn’t stop crying, and Angela wanted to scream at him until she was hoarse. Instead, she forced her wildly racing thoughts to bend into some sort of logical order. Mikey had become a toddler. While he was sleeping. For all she knew, he might wake up the next morning as a teen again. She snatched the binky from the crib and put it into Mikey’s mouth.

“You’re going to take a nap,” she said with a yawn. Sleeping had gotten them into this mess, so maybe it would get them out. She picked up Mikey and set him in the crib, feeling a warm blanket of drowsiness encircle her. Her eyelids began to stick together, and she careened sleepily onto her bed.

“I want to go see the horses!” Kinsey said.

“Later,” Angela murmured. “I need to…” and she fell into a deep, worried sleep.

A huge fly kept trying to land on Angela’s muzzle, but she kept snorting it off, inhaling the stale barnyard air. Putrid dung covered the floor of her stall, but she didn’t notice the smell. A ray of light shown through a window somewhere above her, landing on her rough hide. The heat warmed her, and she didn’t mind that she was completely naked. Her body felt bulky and comfortably bloated, and she was only mildly embarrassed that her sphincter was relaxing. Goopy, brown shit began to push out of her anus and plop onto the dusty ground. The hay in her mouth was slowly becoming a thick paste as her jaw ground side to side, her glassy eyes staring lazily into the darkness.

A small, delicate moo came from somewhere behind Angela, and she turned slowly towards the sound, feeling her distended udder swing heavily beneath her. Mikey was wobbling towards her on skinny, unstable legs, and she recognized the hunger in his pathetic cries. A low moo rumbled through her chest to let him know she understood and her plump udder was ready for him, stretched tight with warm milk. He stumbled underneath her and began to suckle her teats. As the rich milk drained into his mouth, the pressure in her udder eased, and she mooed with satisfaction.

Angela had gone back to grazing when without warning, her udder ballooned, as full and achy as before Mikey had begun feeding. It was as if all the nutrients in her hulking body had suddenly surged into her milk sac. Her ears perked forward, and she stomped the ground restlessly in an attempt to urge Mikey to gulp down her milk faster. He was already sputtering, but her udder was still filling, sagging pendulously until it was mere inches above the dirt. Fiery, hot pangs flashed from her distended teats, and she let out a long, tremulous call for help.

***

Mikey awoke to the sound of a woman screaming. Fear gripped his chest, and he didn’t immediately notice the fuzzy onesie that was zipped over his tiny body or the way his infantile limbs were flailing without his consent. Mommy’s scream died away into a heavy silence, but he’d been startled awake, and this made him angry. He began to wail uncontrollably.

“Oh my god, Mikey. Mikey!” Mommy gave him a tearful, piteous look, but that wasn’t what he wanted. He actually wasn’t quite sure what he wanted, other than to let the entire world know how upset he was.

“Oh my god, oh my god,” Mommy kept saying but Mikey had no sense of what those sounds meant. He might have gathered that all was not well from the tone of her voice and the tears in her eyes, but he was too preoccupied with his own howling to pay much attention.

“Where’s Kinsey?” Mommy gasped suddenly. She grabbed Mikey and easily hoisted him over her shoulder. She was a giant, a single one of her hands the size of his head. Being in the arms of someone so strong and powerful made him feel instantly better. His squalls faded to whimpers as Mommy bounded into the brightness of day, down the stairs, and into the front office. Al was staring down his glasses at a piece of paper, a pencil behind his ear.

“Where’s my daughter?” Mommy demanded, panting.

“She’s down at the barn with the horses. I’m sorry, I reckoned you knew. Say, you look like you just saw a ghost. What’s the matter?”

“My son is an infant,” Mommy said.

Al nodded, waiting for her to continue.

“He was a teen last night!” Mommy exploded, and Mikey started to wail again.

“Gee, I’m not sure what to say to that. Are you sure you’re feeling alright? Maybe you’d better have a seat.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Mommy said, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand and inadvertently smearing her makeup. “I’d just like to find my daughter and go.”

“Suit yourself. I’ll take you to the barn then,” Al said. He stood up from his desk and led Mommy and her screaming baby back into the bright light of day.

“Y’know, Ma’am,” Al said as they walked. “Strange things tend to happen on this ranch, but I ain’t never heard of no one becoming a baby overnight. Why, I very clearly remember you walking into my office with a baby carrier just yesterday.”

“I remember that too…” Mommy murmured distantly. She stared into the dark forest.

“Well, this is the barn,” Al said, pointing to a big, corrugated steel building. The scent of manure wafted out of it, pungent in the stagnant morning air.

“Take my key,” Mommy said. “We’re leaving.”

“But what about your things?” Al said.

“Doesn’t matter,” Mommy said, and walked into the barn, leaving Al standing outside with the key ring dangling from his finger and an expression of utter incomprehension on his face.

The barn was bright, the stench of manure only vaguely present. Mikey’s crying echoed hollowly through the vast room, but Kinsey didn’t look up as they approached. She was stroking a horse’s muzzle with the tips of her fingers, her eyes wide and her whole body taut with wonder. A stablehand with tattoos scrawled over his muscular arms smiled encouragingly next to her.

“Kinsey, we’re leaving!” Mommy said.

Kinsey’s shoulders drooped. “Mooom,” she pouted, “We just got here!”

“Just come!” Mommy hissed, grabbing Kinsey’s arm roughly and nearly dragging her towards the barn exit. Mikey sensed the tension in Mommy’s body and it made him cry even louder. He felt very uncomfortable, but he wasn’t sure why. A low groan rippled through his little tummy.

“Everything alright?” the stablehand called after Mommy.

“Fine,” Mommy said without looking back. She was rushing so quickly that she almost bumped into the massively round pregnant lady who was trying to squeeze herself into the barn.

“My goodness!” the lady said, her hands on her rotund belly. “Forgive my clumsiness.”

“Oh, that’s fine,” Mommy said with a weak smile. “I remember when…” Mommy looked at her tummy, then at Mikey, then at the discolored wet spots that clung to her breasts. Snug up against Mommy’s chest, Mikey could feel her heart begin to thud faster. Without another word, Mommy took off towards the parking lot at a slow jog, Kinsey scrambling to keep up.

“Did I say something?” the pregnant lady yelled, but Mommy didn’t respond.

“It’s going to be okay,” Mommy said. “Where’d we park the car?”

“I don’t know. Mom, I’m scared!” Kinsey said.

“It’s going to be okay,” Mommy repeated. Though Mikey couldn’t understand what she was saying, he didn’t agree with her sentiment. He was hungry, tired, gassy, and he did not feel that this was okay.

Once Mommy reached their car, she buckled her very unhappy baby into a car seat that hadn’t existed the day before and then dropped her limp body into the front seat. She sat for a moment in silence.

“Shit!” Mommy screamed suddenly, slamming her palm against the steering wheel. “The car keys are still in the room.” She started to sob, and Kinsey whimpered in fright.

Mikey wasn’t crying for once because a very strange opening sensation was coming from his tummy. He listened to Mommy and Sissy cry as something warm and wet squished out of his butt. He gave a little grunt and pushed it into the diaper with a feeling of accomplishment. The smell of poopy filled the car, and Sissy plugged her nose.

“Mom, he pooped his diaper!”

Mommy clawed at the door handle and clambered outside, leaning heavily against the car as she dried her eyes.

“Ew, gross!” Kinsey gagged and climbed out of the car too.

Mikey stared at them through the window glass. The poop was cooling and sticking to his skin and the more he tried to wriggle away from it, the more he smeared it against his butt. He wanted to go outside where Mommy and Sissy were and get away from this icky, cold feeling, but he didn’t know how to.

“Waaah!” he cried helplessly.

“Alright, Mikey,” Mommy sighed, looking ruefully at the wet spots darkening over her nipples. “I’ll change your diaper.” She pulled a blanket out of the trunk and laid it over the hood of their sedan.

“Oh yesh, yesh,” Mommy cooed as she delicately picked Mikey up and laid him on the hood of the car. “We’re going to get everything back to normal, aren’t we? You’re going to be a big boy, and Mommy’s boobies aren’t going to be all sore and milky. Won’t that be nice?”

Mikey flailed his tiny arms and legs happily because the uncomfortable poopy wasn’t mashed against his butt anymore. The breeze tickled his wispy hair, and he giggled up at Mommy’s face suspended above him like a huge blimp.

A drop of warm milk fell onto Mikey’s bare tummy and he suddenly felt famished. Mommy dabbed at her wet shirt and sniffled.

“I hope you’re hungry, baby,” she said, lifting Mikey and climbing into the passenger’s side of the car. The parking lot was almost completely deserted, but she still paused to look around before lifting up her shirt and pulling down her nursing bra.

“Kinsey, get back in the car, please,” Mommy said as she rubbed one of her huge, brown nipples against the roof of Mikey’s mouth. Milk was dripping out of both of her taut breasts, and it flowed down Mikey’s throat without him even sucking. It was warm and rich, and it made his whole body relax.

“But Mom, it smells in there,” Kinsey complained.

“I don’t want you to run off again, okay? We can open the windows.”

Kinsey sighed and flopped into the car.

“I’m sorry this happened, sweetie,” Mommy said with a yawn. She grabbed a tissue and cupped it underneath her other breast to catch the milk.

“Sorry what happened?”

“Your brother turning into a baby, us having to leave so soon, all of it. I’ll find a way to make it better, I promise.” Mommy laid her head back and yawned again. Mikey sucked reflexively, and the sweet milk slowly filled his little body. Before long, he was fast asleep, the last drops of Mommy’s milk rolling onto his soft cheek.

Mikey dreamed he was in the kitchen laying with his naked back pressed against the hard, cold tile floor. He was naked and uncomfortable, so he started crying for Mommy. The room bubbled up around him, enormous and terrifying. He could hear Mommy humming a cheery little tune, but she didn’t come running to pick him up, so he started crying louder.

Gargantuan footsteps reverberated through the floor, and though Mikey couldn’t turn his body to see Mommy, he could sense her warmth coming nearer. Then, without even pausing, she stepped over him, her imposing foot almost crushing his defenseless body.

Mommy bent over to open the oven, and a blast of harsh heat enveloped Mikey’s body. Through teary eyes, he saw that she wasn’t wearing any panties beneath her skirt, and her exposed rear end was pale and colossal, a fleshy, white planet that he felt inexplicably drawn towards. He tried to crawl closer, but his muscles refused to tighten or do anything but wriggle pathetically in the air. Hysterical cries poured from his mouth, unbidden and almost mechanical as his body begin to shrink smaller.

“Now that’s a view I can get behind,” came Daddy’s voice from the next room. His humongous shoes clomped over to Mommy, and he grabbed a handful of her big bottom.

“You like this fat ass, do you?” Mommy said.

“Come with me and I’ll show you how much I like it.”

“Or,” Mommy said, pressing her palms to the counter and hiking up her skirt, “You could show me right here.”

Daddy’s penis was already long and hard when he pulled it from his pajama pants, and Mommy’s lady parts were leaking liquid onto floor. Daddy thrust deep into Mommy, but Mikey had no idea what was happening. His chubby, dimpled arms and legs were curling towards each other, tight to his chest. He couldn’t see Mommy and Daddy, but above his own howling he could hear them panting heavily as they thwacked together.

A warm wetness dampened Mikey’s hair. Mommy’s juices were flowing across the tile towards him, and he began to calm down as they pooled beneath his body. Like a bathtub filling up, the pleasant fluid rose over his ankles until it covered his knees, his pudgy tummy, and soon even his head. The wetness enveloped him, flowing into his ears, mouth and nose until he couldn’t breathe. He didn’t choke because his lungs were no longer suitable for breathing anyway. He simply closed his eyes and let the amniotic fluid dissolve his brain while his surroundings faded into shades of light and distant vibrations.

A slick cord attached itself to Mikey’s tummy and began dragging his amniotic sac across the floor, leaving a shiny, wet trail on the tile. He was lifting off the ground, but he was barely aware. Daddy kept plunging his hard, glistening penis into Mommy, and her vagina began to yawn invitingly. She spread her thighs and bent her knees slightly as Mikey’s umbilical cord found her tunnel and slithered in.

Mommy screamed at the pain of her hips cracking and splitting wider, unaware of the tiny, wiggling toes brushing the walls of her dilating vagina. Daddy’s penis began to contract forcefully, and Mikey followed the come splashing and spurting into Mommy’s womb. His amniotic sac slid easily through her cervix and settled deep between her hips. He floated there peacefully, his body limp and his mind empty.

***

Angela awoke with a smile on her face and the sunlight painting a golden rectangle on her massive pregnant belly. She yawned and stretched the sleep from her achy bones.

“Good morning! I thought you were going to sleep all the way home,” her husband said.

She jumped as if she hadn’t expected him to be sitting next to her, driving the car.

“Oh shi-,“ Angela looked back at Kinsey, still asleep in the back seat, and lowered her voice. “I had this crazy dream where our baby was all grown up and on drugs and you left…”

“I left?”

“Well, you weren’t around anyway.” Angela paused and took a deep breath. “It wasn’t an awesome dream.”

“It’s all good now. Hey, mind if I stop and grab a Mountain Dew here? I’m a bit thirsty.”

“Sure, I need to use the bathroom anyway. Or, maybe I do. The baby might just be head-butting my bladder.” Angela rested her hand on the shelf of her belly and leaned her head back on the headrest as her husband parked. He killed the engine, sprang out of the car, and ran around to open the door for her.

“Let me help you out, hun,” he said, offering her his hand. She took it and, grunting with the effort, she tried unsuccessfully to roll her bulk out of the car.

“You want that I should carry you to the bathroom?” her husband said.

“Not funny,” Angela said, finally managing to bring herself to a semi-vertical position. She stood with her heavy belly pushed out and her hands on the small of her back until the fetus inside her finished shifting positions. Then, she gave her husband a peck on the lips.

“This has been good,” she said simply. “I think we needed this.”

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