Chapter 38: Jacob's Consternation

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"Holy shit," he gasped, sitting straight up.

Eyes wide open, he scanned the room, quickly checking for any exits. There had to be an escape from this nightmare. He'd woken up to his plight, but it wouldn't do him any good if he was still stuck. No, it was time to mobilize; freedom had to be fought for.

"We need to get out of here," he whispered to Trish and Thomas. His eyes were wide, and the urgency was evident in his voice.

"Don't you think I've tried getting out of here dumbass," Trish said, putting down her book and rolling her eyes. "That locked door is the only way in and out, and besides they're watching us right now."

"We can't just sit here!" Jacob exclaimed, trying his best to convey the anguish eating away at his insides. "We can't, not after what they did to me."

"Yeah, you were pretty messed up," Trish laughed, casually taunting and disparaging the 22-year-old. "Those spankings got into your head, huh?"

Jacob blushed and covered his face with his hands. He remembered all of the embarrassing stuff that he'd done while under the influence of Restalsis. The memory of looking up at Angelique as she fed him a bottle and rocked him sprang into his mind, and if he could have blushed any harder, he would have.

"Oh my god," he groaned, absolutely mortified.

"It's not your fault," Thomas empathized. "I have moments where I regress a little. From what we've been able to eavesdrop, we know it's a gradual and unavoidable experience."

Silence filled the room as Jacob processed the overwhelming humiliation that had been imposed on him by his time in Simon and Angelique's care. He had started to forget everything, the circumstances of his regression, his adult life and the ability to complete basic tasks, even how to read. He had become more reliant on his caregivers, giving up his autonomy for the unreserved nurture and warmth provided to him. Sure, he might have been happier, but it was all fraudulent, superficial, artificial and deranged. He wanted no part in it.

Dr. Kelly's meddling had given him a second chance to fight back, a do-over he desperately needed. The rational side of his brain was working again, and it compelled him to devise a grand scheme, a surefire escape plan, but given his current situation, he knew just how hard-pressed he'd have to be to create an opportunity to flee. They'd locked down the childcare center so well that the likelihood of liberation remained far-fetched, the possibility of a breakout inauspicious.

Looking down at his lap, defeat heavy in his heart, Jacob stared at the plush toy that he'd become attached to while he was regressed. The revulsion that he presently felt looking at the toy was overwhelming, and just when he was seconds away from launching the toy towards the wall in front of him where it would remain out of his sight, an idea popped into his head.

He had once played a Batman video game, and one of the ways that he was able to escape a room where the character had been held prisoner was by opening a vent and maneuvering his way through the crawlspace. All three of them were the perfect size to comfortably and quickly travel through even the smallest crawlspace. It was a flawless escape plan, he just needed help finding the vent and opening it before the attendants could intervene.

"I got it!" Jacob shouted, startling Trish who had gone back to reading. "We need to find a vent on one of these walls. It could probably be pried open with any one of the toys in this room."

"We are small enough to crawl through a vent," Thomas agreed. "That's genius."

"It won't work," Trish commented. "But I'll help you look. It's not like we have much else to do."

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