None really knows when it started. It was a mystery tucked deeply in the tethers of a labyrinth. A convoluted and eerie thing, to be sure.
In innumerable years, all that anyone could say was that it happened.
This was one of the biggest misfortunes to graze the face of the earth. Something so tragic that it could only be covered in one word—Reversal.
It is said that in the beginning—when the first old babies were born—humans cried, for it was against the natural order that children pass before the elderly. Even more ludicrous was the fact that newly birthed infants were ailed with old age, yet the elderly grew young and strong.
How could that be? But, it was so. Inexplicable, yes, but the world’s current reality.
Evolution, some speculated.
Curse, others proposed.
Chemical warfare was another supposition.
But, no one knew for sure.
Slowly but surely, age reversed. The older got sturdier: the younger became frail and diseased. And so it was that age had fully and completely overturned.
“My mother once told me that a long time ago,” Nurse Celestine narrated to the dying infant in her arms, which she swayed in the nursery’s rocking chair, “you would have been a plump little thing with a soft and crinkly face, but precious and full of life.” Nurse Celestine, now seventy years of age, was the perfect specimen of a woman. Brilliant red hair, supple, milky skin, plump red lips and large brown eyes. Even more impressive was her figure which left nothing to be desired.
Patting the whimpering infant on the back, Nurse Celestine continued, “No worries little one, if you make it past the antibody and antibiotic treatment, you should be okay. If.” She reiterated.
As if the babe understood her declaration, the frail and age-weathered child opened his mouth to cry as hard as he could. Unfortunately, it was not all that hard. “There you go, little one, you just need a little gumption. Dig deep and you’ll be going home in no time.”
Inhaling sharply, the newborn screamed once more.
“That’s it, little one, that’s it.” Slipping into deep thought for a split second, Nurse Celestine’s eyes darkened. “I hope your parents don’t turn you away too. They had three boys before you. Your mom wants a girl,” She said softly and thoughtfully then she sucked her teeth. “Pff, ehh, if they don’t want you, and you happen to make it, I’ll take you home with me. How about that, little one, would you like that?”
The baby whimpered.
“I thought you’d like that.”
Now that evolution had taken over and the world knew that children were no guarantee—no matter what your situation—people had taken to rejecting their spawn like a merchant rejected faulty merchandise. Babies, the world theorized, were disposable. If you didn’t like what fate had imparted then you tossed it and tried again.
Nurse Celestine, on the other hand, was a bit different.