Assistant Professor John Bresnahan was in his first year teaching at Wellesley College. It was a good position, and he felt lucky to have landed it. He had had qualms about teaching at an all-girls school, but the Wellesley students were very sharp, even more interesting than he had expected. It made teaching so much more rewarding. It was fifteen minutes into the class of his first-year seminar on introductory psychology.
"So what other examples do we have of the self-serving bias?" he asked.
"People think other people think about them a lot more than they actually do."
"Good, what else?"
"Everyone thinks they're above average."
"Right. What else?"
No one jumped in.
There were no hands up. A couple of the girls had troubled expressions on their faces; one rubbed her forehead.
"Jenny? ... Rachel?"
Later John remembered that he had heard some shrieks and shouts outside his classroom, but at the moment his attention was on his own class.
"Hello! Is anyone here?"
There was no answer.
"We need an ambulance!" came a shout from the corridor. It was Frank Rozin, a fellow instructor.
"What's wrong?" asked John, walking briskly out into the hallway.
"Two of my students collapsed in class."
"None of mine collapsed, but they don't answer questions any more."
"Um, yeah, the other girls are all silent."
The 911 dispatcher did not answer. They ran into one other male professor in the corridors, and among them they discovered an extremely disturbing situation: The women faculty members and a few of the older students had all collapsed and were unconscious. The younger students were not exactly catatonic, but they were unnaturally calm and unresponsive. None of them spoke or answered questions.
As the tweets and news headlines came in, the horrifying picture became clearer.
What became known as the Calamity occurred at 1:41 on a beautiful October afternoon. 'Calamity' was not really a strong enough word to capture the full horror of what happened. All the grown women in the world died. The cutoff was around age 20. Only a handful over the age of 22 survived, and only a handful under the age of 18 died. The women experienced a monstrous pain in their heads and within a minute they were dead.
The girls who survived became severely retarded, losing among other things the ability to speak or understand and losing their initiative. It took time for the exact nature of their deficits to become apparent.
Men and older boys had to deal with the carnage. They had to think of every place where women had been the only adults present and rescue the children or elderly or sick men in their care. They had millions of dead women's bodies to deal with.
Later, many men reflected that what surprised them most was that they had to cook dinner. In the midst of the chaos food was not on the top of anyone's mind, but the men and children got hungry soon enough. And there were no women to prepare the food. So the men had to. After a day, they discovered that the sink was fully of dirty dishes. Clothes hampers filled rapidly. Never before had they realized just how much work women did.
Nursing mothers above the age of 20 died along with all the other women, and emergency formula was needed for infants. Men discovered the joys of changing diapers -- not just once, to give their wives a break, but over and over again, several times a day.
Everyone mourned the loss of the beloved women in their lives, but young boys were naturally devastated by the deaths of their mothers. The young girls were upset at being hungry, but became content once they had enough to eat. As long as someone was meeting their needs, they didn't seem to miss their mothers. In fact, studies soon revealed that they didn't have any memory to speak of, and couldn't really tell people apart.
John's wife Rhonda had died in front of her third grade class. His 16-year-old daughter Amy was eventually brought home from high school, dull but content.
That the Wellesley students were no longer capable of college-level work was an understatement. Wellesley had dorms full of girls who were incapable of taking care of themselves. The vast majority of people who had seen to their needs were women, now dead of course. So in the first few days, John spent his days at Wellesley, managing to help prepare simple meals from the food reserves in the dining hall storerooms. Male professors and staff without children stayed over in the dorms to take care of the girls around the clock. But within a couple days the girls had mostly been shipped home to their fathers. John was out of a job.
The fathers of the girls in Amy's class at her school were soon in touch with each other. There was no point in taking their girls to school, but the girls needed someone to look after them. They acted pretty much like docile lumps, and in the chaos of the first few days, that was a godsend. They managed to go to the bathroom themselves, and when food and drink were put in front of them, they ate and drank their fill. Otherwise they mostly just sat.
After a couple days of dropping Amy at other fathers' houses, they were due at John's the next day. It was his turn to care for them. Because he no longer had any other job, he had suggested he look after all the girls for the indefinite future. Getting the right men matched to the right jobs would take time, but in the chaos of the early days, any solution was better than none. John was out of a job and there was a bunch of girls who needed caring for, so he took care of them.
That evening he ran around getting his house in some semblance of order.
John realized he hadn't even gotten Amy out of her clothes at night since the Calamity, as there was so much other vital work that needed doing.
Now he couldn't escape the fact that Amy stank. He might have noticed a little odor from her that morning, but that wasn't on the top of anyone's priority list. But now it was unmistakable and needed attention.
He had had nothing to do with her clothing or personal care for years, but now there was no one else to do it. "Let's get your clothes off," he said to her in her room. She didn't respond to his verbal request. When he tugged her tan dress up in preparation for pulling it up over her head she didn't understand his plan well enough to lift her arms -- which she could have easily done at age two if not earlier. But when he held her arms up in the air she kept them there long enough for him to get the dress up and over. Was that the way it was supposed to come off, or was she supposed to step out of it? He realized he didn't know. At least his way worked.
There was his daughter in bra and panties. "Take your underwear off?" he asked.
But she just looked at him pleasantly. He unfastened her bra. Unfastening a bra was something he had never done except in a sexual context, and he felt a little shame that his penis started swelling in his pants. He found himself taking surreptitious peeks at her lovely young breasts, which he had never seen before, of course. At some level he knew he might just as well stare -- she wouldn't know the difference -- but he tried not to. He then tugged down her panties, and the source of the worst smell became apparent. She hadn't been wiping herself, or else not doing a good job of it. Why hadn't the other fathers checked? Well, on a second's thought it was understandable. He was glad they hadn't been pawing around his daughter's private parts, at least not without asking. And there hadn't been time to ask.
His sexual arousal was dampened momentarily by her dirty panties. But dirty or not, his naked, sexually mature daughter was standing looking at him pleasantly.
"Um, you need a shower, Amy."
He didn't expect a reply, but somehow still felt the need to talk to her.
He sighed. Leading her to the bathroom, he turned on the shower and adjusted the temperature, then pulled back the shower curtain and helped her in.
"Mmmmm," she said as the warm water hit her.
"OK, can you wash yourself?"
He took off his own shirt and tossed it aside so he wouldn't get too wet as he reached in, then took the washcloth and soaped it up, handing it to her.
"Here," he said.
She looked at it and looked at him with a blank expression, but didn't do anything.
His heart sank as the severity of his daughter's limitations hit home in another way.
"Here," he said, and taking her hand with the washcloth he rubbed up and down her belly. "Now you do it."
When he let go, she rubbed up and down on the same spot idly for a few seconds, then stopped.
What to do? He could strip and join her in the shower, but his cock was already hard and he had the feeling it would get harder if he did that. No, it was time for his daughter to regress to "bath time."
He flipped the lever to send the water down into the tub and closed the bath drain.
"Sit down, honey," he said. "No, wait..." He ought to get her crotch cleaned a little before he drew the bath.
So as she stood, he nudged her legs apart a little, and reached up between her legs with the washcloth. This kind of intimate care is what nurses and nurses' aides must do all the time, he reflected, but he had never had such a job. He thought better of the washcloth and just used his bare hand to rinse the worst of the dried crud from around her anus and outer vulva. He then rinsed his hand and opened the drain long enough to let that water go. Then he shut the drain again and drew her bath.
.... There is more of this story ...