An October Story [New chapter Oct 19]

Alright, it’s time for a nice, big story. It’s been a long time in the making, and I’m still working on it, but here we go. Get your reading pants on, the release schedule for this will be pretty fast paced.

But first, a little heads-up about content. Non-spoilers still spoilered because I’m like that. Skip entirely if you don’t care.

Normally, I don’t give content warnings, because I feel that a story is better with surprises. If any of you regularly read my works, I hope I’ve well established that they can be almost anything, with or without a method to the madness.

With this one being easily my longest work to date, I’d merely like to offer potential readers the option to skip this, rather than get invested and then drop it due to content you don’t agree with, or which may offend.

In short, if this were a film, it would easily be rated R.

As for the actual content, I will only say that there may be a little bit of everything. No spoilers. And yes, I spoilered my non-spoiler.

With all that out of the way, on to the story itself.

Foreword.

This story is many things.

It is a story with people, and places, and things, and ideas; it is a story with boys and girls, and men and women; it is a story with fear and hope, and hate and love; it is a story with dark and light, and good and bad; it is a story with things magical and things real, and things imagined and things known; it is a story with big things and little things, and things that really don’t matter; this is a story with fact and fiction, and change and constant; this is a story with many things, maybe about them; maybe about nothing.

It begins on the first of October, 2017.

Letita Serrano

The sun shone into the room, warming it to perfection. Gravity was extra strong that morning, and the room’s temperature had magically reached an unknown degree; one immeasurable by anything scientific, but known to all as the absolute perfect condition for sleeping in. The sheets weighed down heavily, and the bed felt engulfingly large. Letty groaned pleasantly, mumbling to herself, not wishing to open her eyes, and at the same time, knowing she didn’t have to.

But something was different; something didn’t feel right.

Slowly, her senses drifted back, and she quickly found herself becoming very uncomfortable. She felt sweaty, but at the same time, she did not. The warmth of the room was too much, and it made her feel hot; but at the same time, she felt cold and clammy. This contradiction roused her, and she blinked in the light until her eyes moistened. Instinctively, she rolled over to look at her alarm clock.

It was eight-fifteen in the morning.

It was eight-seventeen by the time she realized she wasn’t even trying to read the numbers anymore. Her body was stunned, but her mind was racing with the realization of what she felt. The blankets felt heavy, but only around her middle. Her pajamas were clinging to her with a cold moisture. As if she hadn’t already figured out what had happened, a pungent odor filled her nostrils. She had wet the bed.

She still didn’t want to get up; she didn’t want to face the facts. Somehow she felt that if she didn’t look, it wouldn’t be real. It had been more than twenty years since she had wet the bed, and probably another two years since she had done it regularly. But there she was; laying under wet sheets, wearing soaked pajamas, and stewing in a puddle of her own pee.

“Oh, come on,” she groaned aloud. For a second, she felt like jumping up and racing to clean up her bed in order to save it from damage, but as she sat up, she noted how cold it was, the wetness around her. If it was cold, she figured she had probably been laying in it for several hours, and that meant the mattress was ruined anyway. She wracked her brain, trying to think of a reason why this might have happened. She didn’t feel sick, and she knew she hadn’t been drinking last night. But the ‘why’ of it wasn’t important to her. She knew that the best course of action was to simply address the problem step by step, until it was solved. The first step being that she needed to get out of bed.

She tossed back the covers.

All thoughts of solving her problem were forgotten when—upon uncovering herself—she came across a new surprise. There, in front of her, were two stubby little legs. With a shriek, she scrambled backward in an attempt to somehow get away from those short legs and fat feet. In her panic, she pushed herself back until she banged into the headboard. Looking down, she found herself sitting on top of her pillow, but even that was wrong; it was nearly as big as she.

Shaking, she held up her hands, fearing the worst and only finding confirmation. Her hands were tiny and pudgy, just like her legs. She looked down again to examine herself. Her whole body was tiny; shrunk down to the size of a baby. The wet pajamas that clung to her were the same green flower print as always, but they too had shrunk to match her size. Gasping for breath, she threw herself forward and clambered to the edge of the bed. She didn’t know where she was going—it wasn’t like she could physically run away from this—but she had to move; she had to do something. With no hesitation, she intended to climb down from her bed, but soon realized just how small she really was. Another squeak was forced from her lungs as she tumbled to the floor.

The carpet softened her fall, but it didn’t stop her from bursting into tears. She just wanted to sit there, sob, and hold her head. But that wouldn’t solve her problems. Sure, rubbing her forehead was soothing the spot where she’d bumped it, but she knew it wasn’t her main concern. Her main concern was to somehow deal with the inexplicable fact that she was now tiny.

She dragged herself back to reality and then to her feet; she stumbled a little. It wasn’t reassuring to find that on top of everything else, she now had difficulty merely standing on her own. To her joy, each step became just a little easier than the last; apparently she hadn’t completely lost her ability to walk. Halfway across her bedroom, she spotted her full-length mirror and toddled up to it.

Looking at her reflection told her nothing she hadn’t already figured out, but it was slightly comforting that she still retained her long and beautiful black hair. She wasn’t a miniature version of her twenty-five year old self, she was just much younger; no more than two years old by the looks of it. Behind her in the reflection, she could see that the mattress was higher than her head. Turning, she sighed as she knew it would be quite a chore to pull the sheets off.

But before dealing with her bed, she needed to deal with herself; she figured a quick shower would do it. Of course, she knew she would need something clean to wear, but she didn’t have any baby clothes laying around—why would she? For the purpose of getting clean as soon as possible, she decided to just grab an old t-shirt. This, however, proved to be rather difficult as the drawer in which she kept her shirts was now chest height and probably weighed more than she did now. Pulling on the handles with all her might, she managed to move the drawer a few inches. At that point, she was able to work her fingers under the edge of the drawer itself, lifting as she pulled. This allowed her to move the behemoth that contained her shirts enough that she could reach over the top. Fishing around, she found a simple, white t-shirt. Panties were in the top drawer, and currently impossible to reach. Not forgetting the fact that none of them would fit her, she ignored them. She was alone in the apartment, undies could wait.

With her wet things stripped off and tossed in the hamper, she stepped into the shower. It was hard enough to reach the faucets; impossible to do so from the safety of distance, standing outside the shower’s reach. This meant dousing herself with freezing cold water. She was definitely awake now; there was no chance anymore that this was a dream. She’d been hoping it was, but every minute made her more certain that it was not.

When the warm water finally reached her, she relaxed. A quick rinse-off would be sufficient, but she really wanted a full shower. The last twenty minutes or so, were such an ordeal that she felt as tired as being halfway through a day at work. Worse, she wasn’t even halfway through this day, and she had no clue what to do after her shower. Even the shower itself gave her no allowance for leisure, as simple things like reaching the damn soap became a frustrating exercise in knocking over and then collecting several slippery bottles from their new positions scattered around the base of the shower.

It took several attempts to jump up and grab the edge of her towel, but it eventually pulled free and came sailing down on top of her, knocking her to the floor in a heap. Grumbling and swearing as she emerged from the bundle, she set about drying herself, which given the relative size of the towel, felt like she was using a thick winter blanket for the task. She was soon dry, but she couldn’t reach the towel rack, so she just left it on the floor. Lastly, she covered herself with the t-shirt, which was now every bit of a full-length dress. It was fortunately not so long that she would trip over it, but she made a mental note to find a smaller one at the earliest opportunity.

In an attempt to cling to her normal routine, she stopped to brush her teeth—just as she did every morning. With the toilet beneath her as a platform, she reached out to the counter top and grabbed her cup, brush, and toothpaste. No more than a few seconds after the toothbrush entered her mouth did she realize something else was wrong. Her purple-handled toothbrush was proportionally enormous, almost too big to fit comfortably in her mouth; the handle alone was now cumbersome. But the worst part was the sensitivity toward the back of her mouth. The bristles scraped her gums in a most unpleasant manner… and they did so in locations where they shouldn’t. She stopped, and counted with her tongue. Her wisdom teeth were gone, as well as a second row of molars. In fact, all her teeth felt weird, off; their alignment was entirely different. She hadn’t just shrunk, it was as if she’d truly gone back in time.

Again she had to physically shake her head to drag her mind back into the present. Another clumsy round of climbing atop the toilet as she replaced her cup and brush to their original positions; fortunately no tumbles as she climbed. Next, she needed to find some way to strip her bed. Her little feet padded along the hardwood flooring toward her bedroom, but she suddenly stopped in her tracks.

A puddle was collecting around her feet. She clutched for her crotch, but that did nothing except stuff her shirt between her legs and make it even more wet. There was nothing she could do but wait until the warm trickle subsided. When the pee finally stopped flowing, her tears began to fall in its place. The urge had come upon her; she had felt it, but it came quickly and didn’t stop. Her natural resistance—built up from decades of habit—was gone. Instead, she had begun peeing at the very moment the feeling hit her, and try as she might, there had been no way to stop it.

As if waking up in a wet bed wasn’t enough, she also appeared to be an incontinent child of two years. She was scared. These sorts of things didn’t just happen; this couldn’t be real. She didn’t know how she could explain this to anyone. No one would believe her, probably not even if they saw her. Who or what on earth could have happened to make twenty-five year old Letita Serrano turn into a baby? She couldn’t imagine a cause, a motive, or any possible solution.

And so she cried like the baby she now appeared to be.

~

Since using the bathroom sink was such a chore, she used the shower instead. First, she stripped herself for the second time and wiped herself down with a facecloth. Once she knew she wouldn’t drip everywhere, she then used the cloth to mop up the new puddle. Finally, she rinsed herself off and dried.

There was a new urgency to her movements. The fear of having another accident quickened her pace, but now she had a plan. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t even consider a pad. She much preferred tampons, and despised pads for their resemblance to a diaper. But if she was a baby, she reasoned—with reluctance—that a diaper was exactly what she needed. Of course, she knew better than to think that a pad would ever hold an accident like she just had in the hallway… or on the bed. Fortunately, she had something a little better.

She had once set an ex-boyfriend with the sacred task of picking up some necessities. Naturally, that turned out to be a mistake on her part, as he clearly had no clue what he was doing and came back with the wrong item: incontinence pads. He had eventually procured the right item, but that level of intellect was what eventually led to his current status as her ex. She didn’t remember why exactly they hadn’t simply returned the item—maybe as some sort of joke—but it didn’t matter now. She was thankful that the package had made its way into her closet. After a few moments of digging, she pulled out the once-despised-now-turned-necessary product. Pulling out one of the pads, she set the package in a convenient place, sadly certain that she would be doing this again.

Returning to the closet, she also pulled out a box that seemed sturdy enough to stand on. She pushed it across the room until it was in front of her dresser, then, balancing carefully on top, she opened her underwear drawer—fortunately much smaller that most of the other drawers, easier to open—and fished out a pair that she decided she wouldn’t mind giving up in sacrifice.

Next, she dug out another shirt and tossed it onto the floor beside the pad and pair of panties. She wanted to put the shirt on right away, but without any form of protection, it was at risk of being soaked. But she was almost done; she just needed one more thing to complete her task. Over in her bedside table, she opened what she fondly referred to as her “junk drawer.” After digging around for a minute or so, she managed to find two safety pins.

Sitting on the floor, she slid her legs into the panties; they were way too big for her and she only did it to make applying the pad easier. These were as close to granny-panties as she had, and she wasn’t concerned if they ended up getting wet; they were overdue for being tossed anyway. With each passing second, she felt more and more vulnerable, as if she might spring another leak. This didn’t help her maintain any steadiness as she opened the pad and removed the backing. She wasn’t entirely unaccustomed to such a procedure, and soon had the pad secured to the inside of the over-sized panties. Getting the panties in place was as much wiggling into them as it was pulling them up, but as soon as they were, she felt much more ‘safe.’ Her main concern was keeping the pad in place, and in order to do this, she found that she had to fold down the panties’ waistband a couple times so that it didn’t come up to her chest. Lastly, she made two large tucks around the waistband, cinching the fabric on each side, and used the safety pins to secure them. This proved quite difficult with her tiny hands; she simply wasn’t as dexterous with her new hands as she was with her adult hands and this lead to several accidental stabs into her fingertips and thighs.

When she was satisfied that this strange creation was tight enough to stay put, she stood up and took some practice steps around the room. She couldn’t decide if this technically counted as wearing a diaper, but It certainly felt like she was wearing one. The package said ‘maximum absorbency’ and given the current bulk between her legs, she didn’t doubt it.

Donning the shirt, she finally felt clothed. She was at least hopeful that she wouldn’t leak on the floor. There was an even more faint hope that she wouldn’t have another accident, but considering she hadn’t magically grown to full size in the last several minutes, she figured nothing else had changed either.

Her next goal was to strip the bed, but the relief of being diapered—protected, whatever—calmed her enough that another wave of realization seemed to hit her with renewed force. The thought of just trying to remove her bedding was daunting at her new height, and that was just one step of several. She hadn’t even thought about getting breakfast or performing any other simple task, but those loomed in the future as seemingly impossible challenges. The morning, which would normally be a menial routine, now seemed an epic quest. Her mouth voiced her concerns even before she knew it. “Fuck. I’m a baby. What am I going to do?”

She had to do something; this couldn’t go on forever. She also knew that she couldn’t hide this forever. One way or another; sooner or later, someone would find out, they would simply have to, there was no doubt about it. She didn’t know who to trust. Long-standing opinions of her friends and family wavered as murky shadows in light of her present condition. Dozens of names were instantly scratched from her mental list. People she might call for a ride, or ask to borrow money; even people she might call to bail her out of jail or in case of an emergency; none of them were close enough for this. Her mind kept wandering to someone she hadn’t talked to in a long time, someone she wasn’t planning to talk to for a long time to come, someone she should be close to but wasn’t; her sister. Despite all of their differences, she decided that her sister was probably the person she still trusted the most. Even after everything, Tia would listen, Tia would come over, Tia would see and believe. At least, she hoped she would.

With difficulty, she managed to reach her phone in its usual place atop her bedside table. It was on the do-not-disturb setting, as she always set it before going to bed. It hadn’t rung or buzzed, so as soon as she unlocked it, she was shocked to see nearly a dozen new text messages and just as many missed calls, all of them were from Tia.

“What the hell?” she mouthed. But just then, the screen changed to show an incoming call: it was Tia.

Clumsily she handled the phone, needing both hands to hold it properly. Despite her tiny hands and the limitations they posed, habit took over and she answered the call, putting the over-sized phone against her ear. “Hello?”

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@Vearynope, when you want to hide a big block of text, it’s better to use the Hide Details function instead of spoiler tags. :slight_smile:

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Interesting premise with many different directions this can go and a few mysteries already presented- like how she became a baby and her relationship with her estranged sister. I’m guessing her sudden shrinkage and sister’s sudden communication may be connected. This starts off with a nice hook and knowing you plenty of twists along the way. I look forward to more.

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Tia Serrano

Tia and her boyfriend Dave were sitting together in a theater, watching a late showing of a rather unremarkable romantic comedy. The season for summer blockbusters had passed and the holiday releases were still to come, so they were unfortunately stuck right in the middle, where the lower budget movies hoped to gain popularity in the absence of stronger competition. However, it could be reasoned that very few couples ever went to see rom-coms with any intention of actually watching the movie, and it could be said that this couple was not among those few.

For Tia, Dave wasn’t the dreamy type, but he was practical and loyal. He wasn’t clumsy or stupid, but just goofy enough to let her know that he could relax when they were together. They had been going steady for well more than a year, and if things kept up, it might just turn into something more permanent. But she wasn’t hasty, and would far rather he decide. For the time being, she was content that they were together. She liked the comfort of being with him, relying on him to absorb any stress.

This movie, for example. Had she been deciding, they never would have gone. Even though she knew the choice of movie really didn’t matter, she felt useless when trying to pick something out for the both of them. She didn’t want to drag him off to see some mushy movie, but he’d pick it out anyway, just for her. So she let him, and it was great. He picked the movie, the theater, and the snacks they would get, and it was all perfectly fine simply because he picked it and she didn’t have to. Even her worries about the timing were quickly put to rest. As he said, “it doesn’t matter if it’s late; tomorrow is Sunday.”

So there they were, watching a movie that would end at around one in the morning. The movie was about halfway done, and she was three-quarters of the way through her bucket of popcorn when she abruptly began to feel very strange.

The screen began to seem much farther away, and the walls of the theater seemed to move away in both directions. The back of her seat began to crawl upward, rubbing against her back as it pulled her top away from her waist. Likewise, the seat beneath her stretched forward, bumping into her calves and pushing them up as it slid out until even her feet were resting on the cushion. Everything around her seemed to be growing. Her breath came in short gasps as she panicked with the realization that it wasn’t growing: instead, she was shrinking.

But even her breath was forced from her lungs in a quiet wheeze. Her gut churned and she did her best not to burp aloud as the smelly stomach gases were also forced from within. At the same time, her bladder twinged momentarily before alerting her with outright pain. She had no time to react to pressure, and it quickly overcame her defense in a flood of warmth that washed over her lap. The bucket of popcorn fell to the floor as she grabbed between her legs, only to retract her hands with a gasp. There was something down there; something that shouldn’t be down there.

Between her legs was a lump. It was a small one, but one that she recognized, that shouldn’t be there. As the flow of pee subsided, she tenderly reached down again. Not only could she feel the lump, but she could feel from the lump. The touch of her hand on her jeans: she could feel it; as if this lump was attached to her, as if it was connected; as if it was hers. But she knew that couldn’t be possible; none of this could. She put her hand down there once more, firmly this time. She forced herself to say the thing she didn’t want to, even if she only said it in her mind. “That’s a penis.”

She turned toward her boyfriend. He somehow hadn’t noticed, and it also appeared that he remained a size relative to everything else; he towered above her. “Babe…” She could barely hear her own voice.

Her turned with an absent “yes?” and nearly jumped completely out of his chair when he saw her. “Holy shit!” he exclaimed, still managing to keep his voice to a loud whisper.

She really didn’t know where to begin, but she had to start somewhere. “Babe, I—”

“Who the hell are you, kid?” He recoiled the the far side of his seat, then began to look around. “Where’s Tia?”

“Dave—”

“How do you know my name?”

“Dave—”

“When did you get here?”

“David!” Tears filled her eyes. “It’s me, David; it’s me, Tia!”

He leaned toward her, his eyes were narrowed. “You are not Tia.”

She was sobbing at that point. She was scared and she didn’t know what to do. More than anything else, she needed Dave to understand; she needed him to believe her, even if she hardly believed it herself. Everything felt wrong and she didn’t know what was happening. “I am, David, you have to believe me. Please.”

“Well I don’t! And I don’t know who you are, or how you know both of our names— how long have you been watching us?”

“I haven’t been watching.” The desperation in her voice found no one to hear, but still it remained. “It’s me, Dave, but something happened and I don’t…”

She broke off her attempted explanation because he was no longer listening. Instead, he was looking around the theater, squinting in the dark. He was trying to find Tia, but the Hispanic girl with short black hair—the one he was looking for—was nowhere to be seen. Instead, next to him sat a small boy, caucasian, with messy brown hair.

“Dave, babe—”

“Enough!” his voice rose as he spun back to face her. “The joke’s over, alright? It’s not funny; no one’s laughing.”

His tone bore a hostility that she recognized, but had never felt its sting. He had used it on others countless times, but never on her. No matter what she did, not even in their biggest fight, when tempers were hot, had he ever spoken to her like this. He would never speak to her with such a tone, it was as if she was sacred to him. She loved him for that, and it was a part about him that she never took for granted. But now that he had unleashed this manner against her—not by any word, but with his deadpan grunt, which showed both his contempt, and lack of concern for the person to whom he spoke—she knew he truly did not recognize her. She reached out slowly to grab his hand, but he yanked his back.

“Get off me, kid! I don’t know—”

He was cut off by a large, dark hand being placed on his shoulder. Behind him, Tia could see a very stern looking man leaning toward them. He was standing, and wore a somewhat tacky uniform, but it was clear that he worked at the theater. “Both of you,” he spoke harshly, but quietly, “I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”

“But he’s not with me—”

“Outside.” The man stepped back and gestured toward the door.

Dave was getting up, but Tia felt numb.

“Come on, kid.”

Instinctively, she clutched her purse, which had apparently shrunk along with her. It was only as she rose and began to walk that she came to realize just how wet her pants were. If she had just waded through a waist-deep river, she couldn’t imagine being any more wet than she was. The liquid was cooling, and her pants clung to her, rubbing uncomfortably against the newfound senses between her legs. She didn’t like the new bulge, and soggy undergarments only made her more conscious of it.

“It’s like I said, he’s not with me, I have no clue who he is.” Dave was shrugging with one shoulder, and scratching the back of his head with his other hand. “He just appeared out of nowhere and started bothering me.”

The other man stood with folded arms, a tower of a man with a stern face; balding, with the remaining hair on the right side of his head parting only to reveal a long scar above his ear… Tia didn’t pay attention to what he was saying, nor did she look at either of them for more than a second after they entered the hallway. She simply stopped and stood somewhere near them, staring at the ground, asking herself a thousand questions but producing not one answer.

“No, I was with my girlfriend. She’s Latino, about five-four, short hair. You didn’t happen to see her out here, did you?”

“…And her name is Tia Serrano.” Tia found herself shifting her pleading eyes between the two giants. “My name is Tia Serrano!”

The stern man’s face softened as he passed a glance toward Dave, then back to her. He squatted down, still looming over her by more than a foot. “Don’t be scared, kid. Just tell us your name and we’ll find out where your folks are. I’m sure they’ll come soon.” His smile was genuine, and under any other circumstances, would be reassuring. “Don’t worry about that,” he nodded toward her pants, “accident’s happen to everyone.”

“I’m not scared,” she spat back. “And I didn’t have an accident.” She didn’t know why she was arguing that point, but maybe if they took her seriously, she might be able to convince them of what actually happened.

“Look kid,” the man’s face was stern again, apparently his patience did not come from a deep well. “Just help us out, don’t make this difficult. Tell us your real name.”

She was about to respond, she even considered kicking him in the shins—whatever good that might do—but she found herself subjected to another unpleasant surprise. Another stream of warmth was trickling down her legs, now even her shoes were getting soaked. All she could manage was to stare down at her new puddle, dumbfounded.

The man rose with a scoff and a look of disgust. “Rude little kid, pissing on hisself. I swear, parents don’t train their kids these days.” He began dialing his phone while continuing his muttered complaints and accusations. “Learned enough to give me lip, but not how to keep his pants dry. Ought’a shut his mouth, ought’a be in pampers.”

Tia looked at him but couldn’t read anything other than disgust; Dave shared the expression. Whomever the man was calling would probably be even less helpful. They might take her away to who-knows where. She didn’t want to leave Dave’s side, but Dave wasn’t helping; he didn’t even know her. In her darkest hour, just when she needed him the most, Dave was just standing there with arms crossed, looking down at her with a scornful look that was only deserved by a traitor. Except he was the traitor, and she was betrayed.

“Hey! Catch that kid!” She heard them yell, but she had a lead on them. As luck would have it, the door to the lobby was open when she reached it, and the person who was exiting had stepped aside. By the time her two pursuers had cleared the front doors, she was in the sparsely lit parking lot, weaving through the cars, crashing through the hedges, and not slowing until she was confident of no longer being followed.

~

There were cuts on her face and leaves in her hair from heedlessly dashing into a dense bush. The palms of her hands suffered the brunt of tripping over a curb and sprawling onto the asphalt. It wasn’t until she was leaning against a dumpster that she felt any of it. She had passed at least six buildings before ducking behind this one, that felt like enough distance to keep her safe for the time being.

Her hands stung from the scrapes, as did her knees; and as the adrenaline wore off, she began to feel them both. Along with the chilly air around her, which quickly made her wet pants into cold and wet pants, she found herself feeling worse and worse. But it wasn’t any of her physical discomforts that truly weighed on her spirits. It was the knife wound in her gut, or rather the likewise feeling she felt from losing the person she trusted most. Whether Dave was to be blamed, or whether the same evil that put her in this position had also corrupted his mind, she didn’t know. What she did know was that he couldn’t be trusted; in fact, she didn’t know who she could possibly trust at this time.

What she had just experienced was enough evidence in her mind to call the impossible into the realm of imagination. Her mind began to fill with the fear of countless threatening possibilities. She was alone, and felt that any number of things could be after her, all with evil intent. Helpless, she sat down on the cold concrete steps of some rear entrance door. The alley was poorly lit, with only a few lights to cast their orange glow on the walls and ground.

Dave’s biting words still rung in her ears, and the comedown from her sprint was only leaving her more attentive to their pain. She wanted to go home, she wanted to be held and comforted. She couldn’t deal with this on her own. But she had to.

With a sudden idea, she began rummaging through her purse until she found her phone. It wasn’t until she had unlocked the screen that she realized how wrong it felt in her hand, or more accurately, how wrong it didn’t feel. It was just the right size in her hand, rather than large and clumsy. Hopeful for a moment that she might have grown to regular size, she looked around for something to compare herself against. Her spirits fell once again when she found the handle on the nearby door stood at eye level. Apparently, her purse along with all of its contents had shrunk along with her. Her cash, credit cards, driver’s license, and keys were all rendered useless by the change, but her phone still worked as normal.

Tia wasn’t currently on the best of terms with her sister, but she didn’t care. She needed help and Letty was her closest family; the only one she felt she could trust. She was also the closest physically as she still lived in the same city as Tia.

~

After spending the last half-hour calling her sister over and over, Tia had become disheartened. She called some of her other friends, and even her father, if only to see whether her phone was working. No one picked up. With each voicemail she reached, and each minute that her texts went unanswered, she felt more and more helpless.

She wanted to be home in her bed, but home was probably more than ten miles away. If she just started walking, she might eventually get there, but she unhappily realized that there was no point. With useless keys, and being totally unrecognizable, they would never let her in. However, if there was any hope that Letty could help, she would have to commit entirely to reaching her sister’s apartment which was probably more than twice the distance in the opposite direction.

She was tired, and cold as the combination of wet pants and chilly air were far from helpful. She couldn’t sleep outside that night due to the temperature, and anywhere that adults might be was off limits; if anyone saw her, they might call the cops. The cops would ask questions, and wouldn’t believe her answers. Avoidance was top priority.

Exiting the alley, she looked around and shivered, trying to think of where she might hide safely. With a full moon overhead, she began a cautious trek down the street. Two blocks away, she spotted a McDonald’s. This one was open twenty-four hours, and had an indoor play area. She would have to make do with that.

From the bushes outside the restaurant, she could see there was a customer inside. While she waited for him to leave, she inspected the play area. It had numerous tunnels and rooms, most of which were impossible to see from the counter. If she could just make it inside the spaceship-looking thing at the top, no one would know she was in there and she would probably be safe until morning.

When the man finally finished and left, she carefully snuck toward the door. The cashier wasn’t at the counter, and no one else was visible inside. First, she carefully opened the outer door, and entered the vestibule. The warmth inside was so pleasant that she almost forgot to hold the door so that it shut quietly. Then she slowly opened the inner door. This door had several bells dangling on a ribbon from the top corner, she had to take an agonizingly long time to open and shut the door without making noise. Turning to the counter, she confirmed that it was still vacant before she crept quietly toward the door to the play area.

Once she reached the top room of the plastic jungle gym, she quietly set down her purse. She removed her socks and shoes and set them aside, hoping they would dry more quickly. She even removed her pants, as it was warm enough inside to permit such little clothing. These she hung up on a plastic steering wheel that was mounted to one of the walls—apparently spaceships could be flown with just a steering wheel, whatever. After waiting for a minute to test the temperature, she concluded that it was even warm enough to remove her hoodie, which left in only a t-shirt and underwear.

The entire room now smelled heavily of pee, but she couldn’t think of anything she might actually do about that without getting caught. Tired from her adventure so far, she slumped against one of the walls to wait until morning. In the morning, it would be warmer outside, and maybe someone would call her back. Suddenly remembering her phone, she turned the ringer volume down, almost to silent. The battery didn’t have much charge, but it could last several more hours if she didn’t play with it.

“Letty, it’s me: Tia. Something happened and I don’t know what to do. Please, you have to help; I don’t even look like myself anymore and Dave doesn’t recognize me. Please, if you get this, I’m in Lakewood; I’m by the theater. Please, pick me up or something. Call me as soon as you get this! I’m not joking; I’m serious, this is weird and I’m scared…”

Tia hung up before she broke into more sobbing. It was two-thirty in the morning and she couldn’t do anything but sit and wait for morning. It was Sunday, so no one would want to get up early. She knew she had somewhere in the range of six to eight agonizingly slow hours before anything would happen. With a sigh of despair, she leaned back against the hard plastic wall. Maybe she would wake up and this would all be gone.

Mabel Stevens

It was just after seven in the morning when Mabel Stevens’ alarm roused her from a pleasant sleep. Dawn was breaking, but the light outside was still very limited. As she reached over to slap down the snooze button, she immediately knew that she had wet the bed.

Once she had silenced the ringing alarm, she paused to contemplate her situation. At fifty-eight, she was getting up in years, and while she had anticipated that incontinence might eventually come to plague her, she hadn’t thought that she would see its effects for a while yet—and held out hoping she never would. She hoped as well, that this was just a fluke, but it worried her nonetheless. Thankfully, it was Sunday and she had more leisure to deal with this problem. Picking up the alarm, she switched it off entirely, no longer in need of the snooze function that morning; she was up. Pulling the covers back, she swung her legs off the bed and went to stand.

It was right about the time that she was in the air, mid-fall, that she discovered her bed was much higher than she expected. As she stood, she began to notice the other differences; and there were many. Right off the bat she knew she must have fallen about her entire body length, but it didn’t hurt, or rather it didn’t hurt like it should. Instead, she found herself springing back up as if it was nothing. There was a lightness to her body that she couldn’t ignore. Looking down she saw her pale purple nightgown, darkened with the wide patch of saturation, but it was what she didn’t see that caused her to gasp. She wasn’t leaning over, but the line from her eyes to her toes was unbroken.

Those feet were not her feet. Simply put, she didn’t recognize them. Her feet had wrinkles, even if they weren’t too pronounced, and a few gnarled toenails, previously ingrown—not something she’d been happy with; nothing like what she was staring at. These feet were pretty and smooth, with clean and dainty toenails. There were no blemishes or callouses to be seen. More importantly, they shouldn’t be visible from this position. The mounds in her nightgown should block all view of her feet, but they didn’t; they weren’t even there. Her chest was flat, and even the several extra pounds that had previously adorned her midsection were now gone without a trace.

This discovery sparked further interest, and she hiked up her gown in order to get a better look, soon finding that her legs matched her feet with equally soft features. Her hands, as well—which clutched the hem of her gown—were rid of blemishes and signs of aging. She removed the gown entirely, letting it drop to the floor. Her body was that of a child, with none of the defining features that would befit a matured woman.

With hasty, padding steps she raced to her antique cheval mirror which stood in the corner of the room. Tilting it down to her level, she found a pretty little girl staring back at her, but it was one she did not recognize. This girl had blue eyes to her brown, and shoulder-length blonde hair in place of her graying, previously brown hair. The girl in the mirror was smiling, and right she was to do so, for she was a child. She, Mabel, was a child who barely looked even three years old. Her hands explored her new body from top to bottom, and especially her bottom. Hers had long since been a little larger than she felt it should be, and gravity had been of no assistance to its cause. But now it was nicely rounded under smooth, tight skin.

“Heavens above, I’ve become a little child.” And she thought that perhaps the heavens above may actually be responsible for this miraculous event. It was truly a miracle to her as she had come to find more than fifty years of wear and tear had vanished overnight, replaced in turn with a youthful body and a new energy that welled up from her core.

Ow!” The pinch she inflicted on her forearm hurt a lot more than she expected. As it turned out, she wasn’t dreaming.

She wanted to run and jump and turn cartwheels. Excitement washed over her like a flood, widening her smile until her whole face was beaming with happiness. Her bed in the mirror caught her eye, reminding her that there were chores to do. Even still, there was a spring in her step as she quickly made her way to the kitchen. The floorboards of the little bungalow creaked occasionally underfoot, but she noted that it was just the house, and no longer her bones, that made noises as she walked.

In the kitchen, she collected the little blue step-stool and returned to her bedroom. It took a little bit of doing, but she managed to pull all the wet things off her bed and bundle them up with her wet nightgown and panties. In all the years since she got the thing, she never actually thought the waterproof matters cover would come in handy, it was more of a precaution than anything else. Even with all of the kids; grandchildren, nieces and nephews, that had visited and spent the night, not once had anything unfortunate happened to any of the beds in her house. She did feel a slight hint of satisfaction in knowing that her preparedness had paid off, even if it meant some personal embarrassment and extra laundry.

After cleaning herself throughly with a cloth, she went to the guest bedroom where she kept several changes of clothes for boys and girls of varying ages. Being a mother and grandmother had taught her to always have spares of everything. Utility, however, was the last thing on her mind after opening a little wardrobe with several pretty outfits. It struck her like a pleasant aroma that all the cute things she had bought as gifts for her young visitors, and kept until their return; all the things that brought so many smiles to those who wore them, she could now wear for herself as she had so often wished. She could look as cute and pretty as they had. Her eyes quickly fell upon an adorable dress that had long since been unworn. It had a sleeveless, denim bodice, and a light, floral-print skirt.

As she held the dress, she remembered the child who last wore it, and felt the warmth of the smiling face that had looked up at her. How many years had it been since she’d seen that child? Mabel was struck with a slight pang of guilt, she hadn’t bought this dress for herself; it felt a little wrong to wear it, as if she was taking back a gift. But she had to wear something.

After donning the dress and slipping into a pair of cotton panties—which actually fit a little loose—she was compelled to do nothing more than twirl and pose in front of her mirror. However, she felt that doing so would be a shameful waste of her new gift, as merely dressing up as a little girl held no comparison to being one. With that in mind she began by tackling some chores, reveling in the challenge of her stature, and tasting its nostalgia like sweet wine. It took her two trips back and forth to the mud room where the washer and dryer resided, but again with the help of her little wooden stool, she managed to get the laundry running. She had owned the stool since as far back as her memory would allow. It had originally gifted her the loftiness of barely reaching the counter-top to see what her mother was cooking, and now, in the strangest turn of events, it served a strikingly similar purpose.

In the spirit of being in a child’s body, she decided to treat herself to a simple snack which she often made for her grandchildren. Well, the simplicity of the snack was also desirable due to the difficulty of making anything even remotely complex. Cinnamon toast was easy enough to make, and all the ingredients were already within arms reach—with the help of the stool, of course. Buttering the bread was a little clumsy as the knife now felt like a small sword in her hands, but she persevered and proceeded to the next step. A mix of cinnamon and sugar was kept beside the spices just for the occasion when a young visitor might want it, and despite a decent portion of it ending up on the counter instead of the bread, this too she eventually bent to her designs. She carefully placed the bread in her toaster oven, set the timer, and climbed down from her stool to wait.

Slate, her cat, appeared around the corner. He was a slightly overweight Russian Blue with a sleek gray coat. Instead of approaching in his usual manner, he kept his distance. She called to him, but he held his position. He wasn’t the type to readily approach strangers, and Mabel wondered if there was truly nothing about her that he recognized. Eventually, hunger got the better of him, and he brushed past her on the way to the cat feeder. She got close enough to pet him while he ate, but as much as she wanted to give him a giant hug, she also knew he wouldn’t like it, at least not until he got to know her again.

The struggle she encountered just from trying to maneuver the half-gallon carton of milk out of the refrigerator reminded her of the frequency with which children caused spills. In order to avoid making a spill of her own, and perhaps with a small portion of nostalgic encouragement, she retrieved a brightly colored sippy-cup from the lower cupboard and filled it with milk. It felt truly strange to drink from one of these, as she hadn’t used anything like it in more than half a century. That was ancient history by now. The feeling of drinking from one was not entirely lost to her, but the memory was buried so deep that she found herself still absently sucking away by the time the toaster dinged; not quite able to recall the particular moment she seemed to be forgetting.

With careful movements to avoid burning herself, she retrieved the toast on a plate and climbed up to a seat at the kitchen table—each task a strange challenge in its own right. With her food and drink before her, and Slate eating happily nearby, she bowed her head and said grace before she ate. She wanted to add a line of thanks for her curious gift, but couldn’t find the words to say.

After finishing her breakfast, and rubbing her finger around on the plate to ensure she collected every single grain of sugar, she carefully set the dish in the sink and refilled her cup. Again, her mind wandered into a lull as she meandered about the house, sucking away at her drink. Plain milk wasn’t something she could even remember wanting to drink, but now, it just seemed appropriate. That, and it was easier to acquire than to clean out her cup in the loft kitchen sink.

As she wandered through the rooms and halls, her eyes passed over the dozens of pictures of children that adorned the walls of the small house. Sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, nieces and nephews; she had a picture of every one, a memento to remember them and ease the passing time between their visits. Not only did she keep something of them, but she kept something for each of them. There was always a favorite toy or book that they would always return to whenever they came to see her. As they grew, they would often find something new of interest, but their old favorites were safe with her; she never encouraged the children to give them up or give them away, as parents often did when their child grew out of something. For that reason, she had several boxes stuffed with toys, and many shelves loaded with children’s books.

With each book she pulled and each word she read, she recalled the last time she had read it aloud. As if it were yesterday, she remembered each child, their face, their mood, even the interruptions they made while she tried to read. It all came back to her fondly, but the feeling began to turn bittersweet. For each beaming face she recalled, there were also the months—even years since she had seen them. For all of the fun she was now having, there was also the worry that this sudden change, her return to youth, would put a halt to all of it.

She couldn’t see how exactly how she was going to get out of this, whatever it may be. The truth was that she was a child again, barely three years old, if that, younger than most of the children from whom she enjoyed a visit. Somehow she would need to take care of herself. Somehow she felt that her enjoyment of her newfound youth could only be temporary. With a sigh, she began to put away whatever book she had been browsing through, but she stopped with a sudden realization; she wasn’t wearing her glasses.

Blinking, she looked around the room again. That was it, that’s what was making everything look so pristine and clear. The simple fact that she was no longer looking at her house through a pair of worn and weathered lenses was enough to make it look like a new house, or at least like her own house with a fresh coat of paint over everything. Colors sparkled with vivid tones, light saturated the air, glistening upon every surface it touched. Slate’s fur now lay across him like a most intricate design, every hair and fleck inviting her to examine closely; to witness a beauty in details she had never known. A glance to another book confirmed: she could read even the smallest print with ease.

A wave of new giddiness washed over her as she imagined reading her favorite novels without having to stop frequently to avoid headaches. She toddled into the sitting room with excitement and anticipation, eager to start reading something—anything. Slate was now curled up on the sofa, and raised his head as she approached. But she stopped, this time by a buzzing sound toward the back of the house; the laundry was done washing.

She simply couldn’t imagine that the events of the morning had only amounted to a mere ninety minutes. There had already been enough excitement for a whole day, and yet it hadn’t been two hours. If someone had asked her a minute ago, she would have answered that she must have spent a few hours looking through the children’s books, but it had apparently been only a few minutes.

Her smile involuntarily spread across her face and she wondered if her concept of time’s passage had also changed along with the rest of her body. The day before her now seemed a vast and wondrous expanse of infinite potential. It was Sunday, and tomorrow seemed so far away now. A slight pang of guilt prodded her mind for not attending church that day, but she reasoned that it would only happen this once. She could certainly allow herself to simply enjoy being a child again, at least for one day. To help ease her conscience, and to help make up for missing church, she said a short prayer.

“Lord, thank You for this gift of youth. Please help me know how to use it; please help me not misuse it. I don’t fully understand, but surely You have a plan. Please show it to me, and forgive me for not going to church. Amen.”

Nothing happened; nothing came readily to her mind, but her conscience still pricked her. She decided to spend some time reading her Bible before she indulged in her personal choice of literature.

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Tyler Lachlan

No alarm disturbed Tyler Lachlan’s pleasant sleep; he hadn’t set one. Not even the light of dawn breaking through the window roused him. It wasn’t until the light had slowly drifted across the walls, floor, and blankets, until it finally shone directly upon his face that he finally blinked and squinted in response. As much as he wanted to cherish his only day off, he also just wanted to stay in bed—that was some part of cherishing, right? Rolling over, he felt the bulk shift between his legs. The crinkle beneath the sheets was barely audible, but served as an additional reminder that he was comfortably diapered and therefore had no excuse to get up.

However, as he moved, he began to notice that his diaper felt different, very different. In a way, if was a familiar kind of different, but in another way, it was something very foreign and presently impossible to pinpoint. He began to probe with his thoughts, reaching out to nerve ends, taking report of what had changed. Unlike when he fell asleep, his diaper was no longer a fluffy cushion, light and crinkly. Now it was swollen and firm, an evident symptom of being wet. Without opening his eyes, he slid a hand beneath the covers and walked his fingers down until they were between his legs. Under the light material of his pajamas, the firm bulk of his diaper felt as swollen to his hand as it did to the skin beneath its absorbent confines. His diaper was most definitely wet.

A rush of excitement filled him. The realization that he had wet the bed was both thrilling and a little scary. He had never tried to wet the bed, though he had fantasized at the possibility many times. But now that it happened, he found himself worried; worried that it might keep happening, worried that what had caused it might be some serious health issue, worried that the allure of the fantasy might be lost when it became a routine. But he didn’t too long dwell on these thoughts, as there were other things about his present condition that struck him as confusing.

The wetness of his diaper could easily be felt through the thin fabric of his pajama bottoms, but even that wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Normally, his diaper would be swollen in the front, and wetting while lying down would almost certainly produce leaks at the waistband. This time, the wetness was directly between his legs, with the majority having collected under his behind. The front of his diaper was entirely dry. A quick check around his waist confirmed that diaper had contained all of his accident; no trace of wetness had escaped. He could have lain there all morning, and under normal circumstances, would have only gotten up to wet his diaper before returning to the comfort of his warm, welcoming, bed. Given that he had wet the bed, that wasn’t necessary as he didn’t have to pee. All the more reason to stay in bed.

But, as time passed and the cobwebs cleared from his mind, he was gradually becoming more aware of the other differences. The feeling of a wet diaper was familiar to him, but the swollen bulk should be pressing firmly against his privates. It wasn’t. To be more accurate, it was, but it didn’t feel like it normally did. There was usually an element of discomfort that came from having his privates squeezed that was noticeably absent this morning. He could feel the slimy texture of the wet diaper against his skin, and while it didn’t confine him as before, it also felt much closer and more defined as if it was actually pressing harder against his skin, not less. There was a conflict between extra sensation where it shouldn’t be, and none where it should.

He began to move, intending to inspect himself, but another strange sensation caught his attention. A light brushing against his ears tickled him. It didn’t feel like the sheets or his pillow, and he immediately reached up to find out what it was. Hair; it was his hair, but that couldn’t be right. His hair was short, short enough that he didn’t often need a comb. But the hair that he felt was long and curly. Sure enough, as his fingers probed the tangled mass, he confirmed that this oddity was most definitely attached to his scalp. No freaking way! His hair couldn’t grow that much overnight, not by any stretch of the imagination. He threw back the covers and sat up.

The hair fell around him, cascading over his shoulders until it nearly reached his belly. In front of him stretched his legs; clad in baby blue, teddy-bear print, pajama bottoms; and spread apart by the bulge of the diaper between them. Jumping off the bed, he suddenly found that the room around him seemed much taller. Even the bed came up to his middle when it should only be a little higher than his knees. But the sudden change in elevation was not his main focus. Cupping his hand between his legs, he simply couldn’t feel anything that should be there. Dropping his bottoms, he looked down to see the same diaper he had put on the night before, albeit swollen. The white plastic exterior was highlighted by pink legs cuffs and waistband, and a decorative pink print in the landing zone for the four tapes. What immediately looked different were his legs which should be quite hairy, but were instead completely bare. His heart began to race as he undid the tapes with shaky fingers, let the diaper fall to the ground—thud—and stared in wonderment at what he saw.

Or, more importantly, what he didn’t.

Like his legs, his crotch was now devoid of hair, but it was also missing something else. Where there used to be an oblong fleshy protrusion, there was nothing. No penis, no testicles; just smooth skin disappearing into the curve between his legs. Gingerly he reached down with his hand, feeling beyond where his eyes could see. Sure enough, there was only smooth skin divided by a crevasse that ran down the middle. He yanked his hand away in shock. Not only was the skin smooth against his fingers, but his fingers were smooth against it.

Fuck!” The breathy exclamation was his best attempt to give voice to all the thoughts spiraling out of control in his head. He ran to the bathroom. The vanity was barely within reach, and the mirror above it was far above his eye level. Closing the toilet lid, he climbed first upon it, then over to the sink where he knelt in view of the mirror. The girl in the mirror was staring back in disbelief from behind a tangle of curly brown hair.

He couldn’t believe it; he really couldn’t. This was a dream come true, but he felt like it was just a dream. Over and over, he slapped himself in the face until he could see red hand prints on the reflection of his face. He pinched himself until he nearly drew blood and tears filled his eyes. It all felt so real, but he knew that dreams always felt real until he woke. Climbing down, he ran back to the bedroom and pulled his box of diapers from beneath the bed. Ignoring the collection of ABDL diapers—which now looked enormous—he dug around until he found his package of Pampers Cruisers. Due to his slim frame, the size seven diapers had actually fit him before, even if they were rather tight. But now they seemed to be the right size—big even—and he simply had to find out for sure.

Unfolding the diaper, he spread it out and lay down on top of it. When he pulled the tabs and stuck down the tapes, they weren’t stretched to the limit, nor were they stuck to the very edges of the front wings. Instead, they nearly overlapped, and the entire diaper felt as big as the largest premium ABDL diaper between his legs. He wanted to roll back and forth, to crawl around and drink in every sensation of his new body; but a thought crept into his mind like a poison, darkening his mood and twisting his gut. He knew this was impossible; that he could not be changed into the little girl he always felt he should be, as if by magic. He knew he must be dreaming, and that his discovery of this fact would waken him and shove him back into the world; back into his male body.

A feeling of numbness fell over him, and he stumbled blindly across the room to his desk. His hand dug around in the drawer until it grasped that familiar metal rod, the one with knurling along its length, and a sharp triangle at one end. Autonomously, he withdrew his hand and moved the tool toward his other arm. It wasn’t until the blade was merely a fraction of an inch away from his wrist that he opened his eyes to look down. Its point was casting a similar, daggered shadow on the smooth skin below it.

Smooth skin, without blemish; it bore none of the scars he’d once created.

The skin on his arm was innocent and pure, like the rest of the body in which he found himself. All of his self-inflicted wounds had vanished. All of his reminders were gone, the reminders that never let him forget just how little he cared for his body, for himself. Each cut had once been his solitary focus. The pain they brought had once been the only thing he could feel, and he had clung to that feeling and used it to make it through another day. But now that he was rid of that confinement, and, gifted with a new and precious existence, he couldn’t believe he was about to mark its beautiful skin with the same defacement. He shuddered again, and shut his eyes.

If he was so readily willing to ruin his new form just to prove against his disbelief, how could he be worthy to receive such gift? It was no wonder to him that he never got what he wanted. No fortune of any description would bless someone who could not accept its gifts. But on the other hand, he had seen this dream before, in some form or another. He could hardly fault himself for suspicion, for cynicism at the chaos of reality; this was simply too good to be true. Even still, if it was real or merely fantasy, he knew he would gain nothing by harming himself.

At his bedroom window, he looked out at the city he hated, and which hated him in return. Nothing else seemed to have changed, only him. No vibrant rainbow clouds, swarms of dragons, looming airships, nor anything of fantastic description; nothing befitting a dream or hallucination. Everything else was so distinctly normal and unaltered that the view began to soothe his mind. Sliding the old pane open with the grind of old wood and chipping paint, he poked his head out. The chill air and light breeze touched upon enough senses as to most certainly be real; nothing could fabricate such a simple feeling. He gazed down. Directly below him with ten stories in between, sat a dumpster with the lid open. He watched as the knife plummeted into the garbage, but he couldn’t see or hear its landing. If this was to be his new life, if this was real, he had no more need of such an implement.

A great burden left him when he dropped the knife, but he worried that if he awoke to find it sitting in his desk once more, then he would be compelled to take its place plummeting to the dumpster. He shut the window and walked away.

~

Once more clad in his teddy-print pajama bottoms—which were now the only bottoms that fit him—and having cleaned up his wet diaper from the night before, as well as wiping himself before re-diapering himself, he made his way to the tiny kitchen area and started up a quick cup of coffee. It wasn’t until he was nearly finished with the hot drink that a thought crossed his mind: maybe he shouldn’t have so much caffeine since he was now a little girl.

“A little too late for that.” He set the mug in the sink.

Pouring himself a big bowl of cereal, he made his way to the worn couch and plopped down to watch some cartoons. Every time he moved into a better position, he heard the slight crinkled of his diaper, and the sound gave giving him a shiver of excitement. When the cereal was gone, he found his hand wandering between his legs to scrunch the diaper against his soft skin. He stopped as soon as he realized he was doing it, as the action felt a little dirty in a mature way—something that a child of his size should never be doing. He drank in the sensations regardless, as each new nerve fired off in ways he could never have imagined. The senses were so simple: the diaper’s texture against the new parts between his legs, and yet they felt so profound, highlighted, like the sensitive skin left under a band-aid once removed. They were completely strange and new, but they felt so right, as if he’d been missing these feelings his whole life.

By the time the second episode of whatever cartoon had ended he had also finished another bowl of cereal and could no longer pay attention to the TV. He knew it was probably the coffee kicking in, but whatever it was, he knew he couldn’t sit still any longer.

Running back to his window, he looked down at the streets below. Not far away from his apartment building, there was a nice little park with a playground. Everything in him wanted to go out there and play with the other kids. He knew he would have to find a way to get there, but the only clothing that fit him were his pajamas. There was a fairly easy fix for that, but first he would need more information before he could act.

A quick hop on the scale told him he was thirty-two pounds, and after some fiddling with a ruler and many markings on the door jamb, he concluded that he was around forty-two inches tall. With that, he excitedly began browsing through the online selections for girl’s clothing on Amazon. Anything girly was fine; the cuter, the better; and after adding a selection of diapers from Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs, he found that the total was more than two hundred and fifty dollars, and that didn’t even include rush shipping. But it didn’t stop there. A sudden spark of thought had him quickly adding several more items to the virtual cart. Socks and shoes were something he definitely needed, and decent shoes weren’t cheap. Lastly, he added a child toilet seat that he could set over his regular toilet. He wasn’t interested in messes, and was thankful that nearly all modern diapers had tapes that could be moved and removed.

If this was a dream, then it didn’t matter how much money he spent on being a girl. Even if this was real, he still had a good amount of money saved up; for as much as he didn’t like his current job, it certainly paid well enough for his troubles. One way or another, he would need some actual clothes to wear, and buying them from a store would likely prove difficult at his new age.

He hesitated at the checkout menu, wondering if this was the right thing to do. With all his heart he had wanted to be a girl, and every moment that he pretended not to be one had been a lie. But now he had the body that matched what he had always felt.

No, that wasn’t right; he hadn’t always felt that way.

She tapped a button on her phone and a ding sounded to confirm her order had been placed.

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These vignettes are extremely well-written and—well, I’d use the word “realistic” except for the fact that obviously they are not. :slight_smile: I’m hoping that further down the line we will find out why this is happening and what these characters do with their newfound youth. :slight_smile:

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Thanks. I am, in fact, attempting to go for a “what if it were real?” approach. If it’s coming across like that, then I guess it’s a success so far.

Don’t worry, this will unfold in time.
In case I haven’t made it clear, I will be updating this every day.

Ronnie Goddard

Sunlight shone on the drooping Confederate flag that dominated most of one wall, around it were posters of bands and movies. Below it was a bed with two occupants buried under a tangled mess of sheets; neither of them moved. Empty beer cans were scattered across most of the available flat surfaces in the room, including the floor. Accumulated from the night before, they gave off a distinct odor which filled the small bedroom. From somewhere nearby—possibly the other end of the double-wide, or maybe the truck parked out front—drifted the sounds of southern rock.

It was difficult to tell which band was playing, but as Ronnie groggily came to, he had narrowed it down to either Molly Hatchet or Blackfoot. If he had to guess on the spot, he’d say it was Molly Hatchet, and that Kendal’s dad was still passed out on the couch beside the stereo. Kendal was Ronnie’s girlfriend of six months and it was also worth noting that he got along well with her father, sharing similar tastes in music, trucks, and beer.

He had barely opened his eyes when the night before caught up to him. His head was pounding, and the sunlight through the open window was painful to his crusted eyes. His mouth was parched and sour, making his first and only priority to get a glass of water. However, the smooth, warm skin of the girl next to him was like a magnet. He didn’t want to let go, even though he knew he would, and even though he knew she’d be right there when he got back. He ran a hand along her back and down; each inch it traveled told of just how little clothing she was wearing. She stirred slightly at his movement, but neither of them said anything. With his focus entirely on her, it took him a minute or so to realize that something wasn’t right.

The air in the room was a little chilly from the open window, but beneath the bundle of sheets and blankets, they should be quite warm. A large portion of him was cold. Not only that, but he felt wetness around his middle. The bedding was clammy, and even though the room was tinged with the scent of light beer, he also smelled piss. Feeling around beneath the sheets, he confirmed: the bed was wet. Had she pissed the bed? Had he? No, definitely not. In the muddled aching of his brain he recalled one instance when Kendal had laughed so hard she’d pissed herself a little. At the time, he’d thought nothing of it, but maybe it was a sign of a weak bladder. Disgusted, he pulled himself away from the puddle, waking her as he did so.

Ugh!” His voice cracked and his throat felt constricted, making it impossible to reach a low note.

“Babe?” She rolled over, stopping suddenly when they met eyes. Her face went from confusion, to shock, to anger; all in less than a second. A quick heel to his face sent him tumbling backward off the bed. “What the fuck?”

The tumble had sent him rolling over backward and left him sprawled on the stained carpet, face down. “Kendal, what the hell?” He pushed himself up and attempted to stand.

“Who the fuck are you?” She leaped forward in hot anger. Her aggression made Ronnie stumble backward in surprise. She wore only a dingy t-shirt and a pair of soaked panties, but she seemed to tower over him.

“Babe, what the fuck are you talking about?” He massaged his face where he imagined a footprint might be reddening.

“Who the fuck are you, and what the fuck are you doing in my room?”

“Are you retarded? Who do you think I am?”

“I don’t know!” She threw her hands up, taking another threatening step toward him.

“Well what does it fucking look like?” He was starting to lose his cool, sexy or not, she wasn’t making any sense to him. “It’s me: Ronnie! You know, the guy you slept with last night. We’re in your own fucking bedroom! Now how about you go ahead an explain why you kicked me in the damn nose, or why you pissed in the bed.”

“What are you talking about? You’re not Ronnie. How stupid do you think I am?”

“Not Ronnie? Well who do I look like?” He held out his hands to make his point, but they weren’t his hands.

“You look like some little nigger to me.” Her reply was lost to his ears as he began to inspect himself.

“I…” He was black; all over, not just his hands; and really short.

“Yeah,” she continued where he stopped. “News flash, bitch: you’re black as coal. Now how about you tell me what you’re doing in my room before I call my dad.”

“Now hang on a fucking second—”

“Dad!”

There was a distant and sudden clattering and banging, then the music stopped. “What’cha want?”

“C’mere!”

Moments later, the bedroom door was flung open, and Ronnie felt like a deer in the headlights. Kendal’s father, Mark Lewis, was not a patient man to begin with, and his look as he entered the room indicated that he was currently at the lower end of the spectrum for morning tolerance. “What— who in the hell is that?

“I don’t know; she was here when I woke up. Have you seen Ronnie?”

“I ain’t seen him. But what the fuck is going on here?”

“Mark, I—” Ronnie couldn’t even finish a sentence.

“I think this little bitch came in the window and pissed on me. Look!” Kendal gestured to her soaked attire.

“No I didn’t!” Ronnie found his voice squeaking, but that was the least of his concerns. “She peed in the bed! Mark… er… Mr. Lewis, it’s me: Ronnie. Something happened last night but I don’t—”

“Geez, she’s fucking pissing on herself!”

Ronnie looked down in horror as the feeling between his legs finally reached him. Warmth was trickling down his legs, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

“Son of a bitch!” Mark took a step toward Ronnie. “You need to go back in pampers if you’re just gonna piss on everything. Come here!”

Ronnie tripped backward, but quickly scrambled to his feet. Whatever Mark was gonna do, it probably didn’t involve listening to an explanation. Making straight for the open window, he very nearly dove right through it, but his knee caught the sill, sending him crashing to the ground, face in the dirt.

“Hey, where the fuck are you going?” Mark’s unshaven face appeared in the window.

Hearing the sound of a dog barking, Ronnie remembered Ginger, the Lewis’s rottweiler; he didn’t want to wait around for her to reach him either. Tripping several times as he ran, he leaped with all his might toward the previously waist-high fence around the back yard. Now, it was taller than him, and he thrashed in a panicked struggle to climb over it.

“Get back here you little shit!”

He could hear Mark’s voice approaching fast, but worse, he could hear Ginger’s barking sounding just as close. Scraping himself over the top of the fence, he fell to the ground on the other side. His left hand felt the hardest of the landing, and there were several cuts across his belly, but he didn’t stop for a second. Quick as he could, he was on his feet again, and he ran as fast as his little legs would take him. The voices of Mark, Kendal; and Ginger’s angry barking slowly began to recede. It wasn’t until he no longer recognized any of the trailers around him that he slowed down and looked for a place to hide.

~

Barefoot and nearly naked, he sped through the park. Given that it was Sunday morning, it was relatively quiet, save for his own panic. This new body was obviously not as accustomed to running as his eighteen year-old self had been, and it wasn’t long before he had to stop for breath. Leaning against a propane tank in some random back yard, he took huge gulps of air into his lungs.

As much as he wished he’d grabbed his truck keys, he knew they’d be useless. At his size, there was no way he could even attempt to drive, and for all anyone else knew, it’d just look like theft. What he really wanted to do was scream in rage, but he knew that would only draw unwanted attention to himself. It didn’t make sense to him how neither Kendal, nor her father seemed to pick up on the fact that he was actually Ronnie. Even if he didn’t look or sound like himself, he knew their names and still spoke in the same manner; they even admitted that they didn’t know where he, Ronnie, was; surely they must have found all of that slightly odd. But no, of course they didn’t. He knew they weren’t the smartest folk—hell, no one in this neighborhood was, but he’d never taken them for complete morons; apparently he’d been wrong about that.

Finally having recovered somewhat, he kept moving, but the fact that they had turned on him so quickly still weighed on his mind. If they could do that, he had no doubts that his mom or deadbeat brother would do the same, or worse. The ‘worse’ part could be anything, but he was pretty sure it would be heavily influenced by his deceased father’s vow to never let a black into his house—a sentiment his family wouldn’t soon abandon.

His pace was unfortunately slow enough that he could no longer ignore his pounding headache or the sick feeling in his stomach. Apparently the shift into a child’s body hadn’t rid him of all the drinks from last night or their unpleasant side effects. It had, however, left him wearing a smaller but otherwise identical version of the only clothing he’d been wearing. He looked down at the soggy pair of boxers; he’d need to find some new clothes to wear, at least until this nightmare ended.

Clothes would have to wait—actually, everything would have to wait. His stomach had finally given up trying to hold its contents, and he quickly ducked between two closely situated double-wides to regurgitate all of the food and beer from the night before. The sloppy puddle of vomit he produced was disgusting enough that just seeing it would’ve made him feel a little sick, even on a good day. He felt no better even after several great heaves, and wished he could puke again if it would grant any relief at all. But it didn’t, and he felt just as sick as before, only now his mouth tasted awful. He had nowhere to go, no money, no clothes, and no friends at all. He was on his own.

After working his way to the other end of the narrow gap, he was just about to run across the street when he had to stop and jump back. Two police cars came racing around the corner, their lights were on, but the sirens were off. He peeked out after they passed, wondering if they were looking for him, but confident that they hadn’t seen him. When he was sure the street was clear, he made a mad dash to the other side, and ducked into a dirt path that ran behind several trailers. Being careful to look for anyone nearby, he knew he had to remain unseen.

All around him, scattered through the backyards stood dozens of sets of clotheslines, and that sparked an idea which gave him some hope. Picking up his pace to a quick jog, he passed several yards until he came to one with a small collection of flower beds. Postponing his search for clothes, he scanned the ground until he spotted a garden hose and traced it to the spigot. Despite using all his strength, he was unable to loosen the hose itself, but he managed to lift the handle that turned on the water flow. Running back to the end of the hose, he drank deeply, not even waiting for the hose to clear out the water that remained from its last use. The cool water was like a gift from heaven, and he drank until he couldn’t hold another drop. His head was still throbbing, and his stomach still ached, but he was no longer thirsty. When he was finished, he turned the hose against his boxers. They were still wet, but at least now they were mostly just wet from water instead of piss. He could live with that trade.

Eventually he found a yard full of kids toys, and just like he was hoping, the clothes on the line were relevant to his interests. Several articles of children’s clothing hung above him. Unfortunately they were girl’s clothes, but he wasn’t feeling particularly picky, not to mention the fact that he did look like a girl now. Still, he skipped over the few dresses, and went for a pair of shorts and some shirts. Quickly throwing a pink pony shirt over his head, he found it hanging loosely from his shoulders, clearly several sizes too big. Sadly, the shorts were also too big, and he had to clutch them tightly to keep them from falling around his ankles. There were a pair of pink coveralls, which promised to stay up with the help of the shoulder straps. He grabbed them and a long-sleeve shirt, but suddenly had to duck toward the little playhouse.

The sound of a very familiar engine, an old Ford, caught his attention; it was Mark. Crouching behind the plastic structure, he peeked through its windows toward the street. Sure enough, he could see Mark’s truck cruising past slowly. Ginger was in the truck with him, but Mark himself happened to be looking the other direction. Ronnie’s heart began to throb in his chest; was Mark still looking for him?

It seemed to him at that point that the universe or karma or whatever it was, hated his guts. Just then, the ache in his stomach began pressuring him with stabbing pain. It shifted downward within him, and seconds later he felt the awful sensation of hot, nasty, mush, pouring out of him. His newly-stolen shorts filled and leaked at the leg holes as his bowels continued to void.

“Hey! What the fuck are you doing in my daughter’s clothes?”

He spun and rose to his feet, trying to step back away from his mess, but at this point it was pouring down his legs. A reddish-haired woman stood just outside of the back screen door to the nearest trailer. She was wearing a plaid bathrobe and hair-curlers, but she looked mad as a hornet and just as threatening. He couldn’t answer, still completely occupied by the uncontrollable mess happening in his pants.

“I’m talkin’ to you!” The woman started down the stairs. “You stealin’ clothes from my damn house and—”

Ronnie saw the woman glance down quickly, when she looked up again, her face twisted into a scowling rage.

“You just shit in my daughter’s shorts?” She picked up speed as Ronnie backed away, still hugging the other items he’d taken from the line. “What in the fuck is your damn problem?”

When she produced a large ladle she’d been concealing, Ronnie turned and fled.

“Get back here you thievin’ little nigger!”

Ronnie kept running, tears in his eyes and panic in his mind. He thought he heard the sound of Mark’s truck turning around, engine revving. Had he seen the commotion? Ronnie hoped to everything holy that he wouldn’t set the rottweiler chasing after him; he knew full well he wouldn’t be able to escape her. But as he ran; yard after yard, street after street, it was the woman’s words that stung in his mind.

~

Sometime later—he didn’t know how long—he was out of the neighborhood, out of the entire trailer park. He didn’t know how far he’d gone, but it was far enough for now. He was in the woods across the street from a small gas station. Far down in a ravine, he was hidden from the view of passing traffic.

In the small streambed which ran through the forest floor, he did his best to clean all the mess off of himself and his clothes. The other clothes he’d stolen were thankfully still clean, but considering he’d pissed himself at least once while running from the trailer park, he doubted they would stay clean if he wore them. Tears fell from his face as he scrubbed the clothes in the only-slightly-less-dirty water of the still stream. With as much willpower as he had left, he forced himself to stop crying. Crying would get him nowhere; only his wits would help him survive. The air was chilly, and the water only made it worse, but being cold was more desirable than being covered in his own shit. He shivered as he bathed.

With each pass he made over his body, trying to get all of the mess off of himself, he felt like he was touching a stranger. Each glance downward drove in the the realization that he wasn’t himself anymore. He may have just stolen some clothing, but he felt that he was the one who had been robbed. He’d been robbed of his age, his adulthood—barely a month after attaining it; he’d been robbed of his body, his strength, his sex, his race, his friends and family, his whole life. The only thing he hadn’t been robbed of was a hangover, which just seemed like an extra fuck you. If there was a way out of this, he couldn’t see it. Everything seemed to hate him right then. He rung out the shorts and shirt, slipping them back on and cursing how they clung to him even worse than before.

“I’d kill for a fucking cigarette right now.” He turned to look up, out of the ravine, toward the street and the little convenience store on the other side. Maybe he didn’t have to kill to get one.

~

Exhausted, again. Somehow more than he had been. Another panic, another chase, another full sprint. Escaping the mini Mart was easier than fleeing his neighborhood. One block, maybe two, was all it took for him to feel safe, relatively so anyway. In an alley away from prying eyes he finally stopped to catch his breath and inspect his prizes.

Several candy bars and a bag of pretzels dumped out of his bundle of clothes, but those weren’t his main goal. His main score, the reason he’d even braved a public appearance and dared to steal in the first place was also the most shameful thing he’d end up doing that day. He didn’t want to do it, but he knew he had to; he didn’t have any other choice. The moment he saw that colorful packaging laying on the ground was the moment he knew just how bad his life had become. It was hardly an hour ago that he had been lying comfortably in bed with his girlfriend. But now, there he was, standing in a dingy alley, about to slip into a pair of pull-ups for the first time in… he honestly didn’t care to remember.

Training pants, pull-ups, whatever; as long as he convinced himself that they weren’t actually a diaper, that was somehow more comforting. Nonetheless, once he slipped them on, he knew damn well that for all intents and purposes, he was wearing a diaper. And none of those intents or purposes were very enticing.

1 Like

Letty

Letty waited for several seconds, the phone against her head. She had answered out of habit, but hesitation and second-guessing crept into her mind while she waited for the caller to speak.

An unfamiliar voice spoke. “Letty— wait, who’s this?”

Pulling the phone away from her ear, she double checked the caller. It was Tia’s number, but it didn’t sound like her on the phone. She wondered if this was a prank call or some scam. She certainly didn’t need any more nonsense this morning.

“Letty, is that you?” The voice sounded very young and rather panicked, but it didn’t sound like Tia. The only thing familiar was the very mild Spanish accent.

“Who is this?” She tried not to sound scared or worried, or uncertain; but she was rather unsuccessful.

“Is that you, Letty? I need to speak to Letty, it’s urgent.”

Something seemed off. The morning, all the messages, the sudden call from her sister. Her previous hesitation quickly gave way to skepticism. “No, you called me, you need to state who you are or I’m gonna hang up.” She contemplated hanging up anyway, but she wanted to talk to Tia. If Tia was just gonna screw with her, then she’d be better off alone.

“This is Tia Serrano, I’m trying to reach my sister Letty about something urgent. Please let me speak with her.” The voice was wavering, as if they were trying to keep their composure.

Letty realized that whomever was talking must actually know her, or they wouldn’t have noticed the change in her voice. Still, it seemed as though they were under the impression that she wasn’t actually Letty. “What’s this about?”

“Please! Will you just let me speak with her? I need to talk with her in person, I don’t have much time.”

“I can relay a message for you.” Letty kept her voice a monotone, which seemed to be agitating the caller. After her response, she could hear mumbled swearing in the background. There was a pause before they spoke again. Letty wasn’t sure why she didn’t simply reveal who she was. Though, if the caller thought she was someone else, they might say something they otherwise might keep secret. If there were secrets to be known, now was the time.

“Tell her I’m sorry; tell her I’m begging for forgiveness. But please, you have to tell her this: something weird’s happened, but I can’t explain it. David left me and I’m stranded in Lakewood; I’m at the Mcdonald’s on Pine Avenue… I think. Listen, please tell her to come pick me up. I can’t explain why, but I need her to come over here; I need her to see. This is an emergency.”

It all sounded too conveniently vague to be legitimate, and at the same time, the locations and names were too specific for the rest of it to be as it was. One thing the caller said caught her attention. The last line was almost exactly what she’d thought when she was going to call Tia. Could the unimaginable happen more than once? “If this is really Tia, then why don’t you sound like her?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” It almost sounded like there were a few sniffles afterward.

“Try me.”

“If I tell you over the phone, you won’t believe me; you’ll hang up, and I’ll be stuck. Please, I have to see Letty in person. Is Letty there? Please let me talk to her!”

If she gave them any information as to what was happening, they might run with it just to lead her on. “Letty can’t pick you up, I’m sorry. You’ll have to come up with a better story than that. Just tell me the truth.”

There was an extended silence, then a sigh. “It’s like I’m in a bad dream or someone spiked my drink. I shrank down, like magic or something, and now—”

“Tia,” she stopped the person talking.

Tia stopped abruptly at Letty’s flat, serious tone.

Some part of her mind was screaming to hang up. Red flags everywhere. It couldn’t actually be her sister on the phone. It didn’t sound like her; not the voice, not the manner of speaking. At any other time she would never believe it was Tia; even now she was fairly certain that this was some prank. But she was having a weird morning—calling it merely weird was the hyperbole of understatement—she might as well see what happened next. “It’s me, Letty.”

“Letty? Is that really you?”

“Yes, it’s me. Believe it or not.”

“I’d believe almost anything right now. Please, you have to come pick me up as soon as you can. I’ll do anything, just come get me.” Tia was sounding more and more frantic by the minute.

“Tia, I can’t come pick you up. Just tell me what happened.”

“What—”

“You said you shrank.” Letty knew she still had to confirm this as real, otherwise it might be some elaborate prank. Tia was certainly known for lying. “How small are we talking about?”

“What— I don’t know. I’m like, a baby or something. But Letty, I—”

“What are you saying exactly?” Letty had to remain careful to balance her desire to prompt Tia into telling the whole truth, while still speaking from the perspective of someone who didn’t already know what was going on. She couldn’t imagine that Tia had anything to do with this, but if she did, Letty didn’t want to let on that she suspected such a thing.

“I’m saying I’m a freaking baby! I’m like half my height. Even my purse and everything in it is tiny. I’ve got no money, and my phone is about to die; but who fucking cares, right? You don’t believe me, do you?”

“I believe you.”

“You do?”

“Yes, I really believe you.” Letty looked over at her bed; her wet bed, the one she wasn’t even sure of being capable to remove the sheets. She looked down at her middle, knowing that the baggy t-shirt covered a makeshift diaper which she wasn’t sure would contain even the smallest of accidents. If it happened to her, if it could happen at all, it could happen to anyone.

“Then please, please, please come pick me up!” There was both hope and desperation in Tia’s voice.

“I can’t.”

“Please!”

“I can’t. I can’t pick you up for the same reason that I know you’re telling the truth, even though it seems totally crazy.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

Letty continued flatly. “Tia, the same thing happened to me.”

No reply.

Letty could hear something faintly through the phone, like someone was crying softly. “Sis?”

“Please,” Tia whimpered. “You gotta help me.”

But uncertainty like thunder rumbled just when the sun was about to break through; Letty felt doubt. It was all just too conveniently timed, something was off. “I can’t, Tia, and stop crying.” When the sobs no longer crackled through the phone, she continued. “If that’s really you—”

“It’s me! I thought you said you believed me.”

Letty ignored the interruption. “If it’s really you, then you know where I live. Where are you now?”

“I told you already.”

“Where?”

“The Mcdonald’s by the theater in Lakewood, I’ve been hiding in the play area.”

Letty knew the one, it was a short trip by car. “Tia, I need you do something.”

“What?”

“I need you to come to my place.”

“But—”

“No.” Letty commanded. “You gotta do this by yourself, I can only help if you come here. Things are too weird for me to go anywhere. I wanna trust you, I wanna believe it’s you, but I can’t; I don’t even know what’s real right now. Now listen, it’s not too far to walk from where you are.”

“It’s like twenty miles!”

“So start walking, or get a cab or something.” Letty violently shoved her guilt to the back of her mind.

Tia’s protests devolved into whimpers and sobs.

“Tia, this isn’t the time to cry like a baby.”

“But that’s the fucking problem! I am a baby. Letty, you don’t—”

The line went dead. She dialed back several times to no avail. Minutes passed, several of them, no calls; Letty didn’t count, she just stood there in silence. Eventually, she found herself crying but she didn’t know why. Perhaps it was because she didn’t know that she was crying in the first place.

~

When the sheets were finally clear of the bed, gathered together with her other wet things, and deposited in the hamper, she paused. The chore had occupied her mind for a time, but the moment she was finished, all her emotions came rushing back. Even now, her decision felt horrible, but even now it was her only choice. She did truly want to help her sister, but she couldn’t be sure that was her sister. She was currently at her most vulnerable, any risk would be multiplied; she had to play it as safe as she could.

If the both of them were in the same situation, she didn’t see why it was her sister that needed help. She needed help too, lots of it. As a baby, many things would be all but impossible. She didn’t know what would become of her friends or her job, or anything. The future was now a dark and hazy fog, thick, impossible to see more than a short distance; it loomed just out of reach, and out of understanding. No clear goals to work toward, no endgame. Her whirling thoughts finally stopped, resting once more on her sister.

She didn’t know why her sister had called. Unlike herself, Tia had plenty more connections, many more people to call upon for help. Letty had burned many of those bridges long ago, but only because they served her no purpose save to constantly remind her of how much her sister was given for doing so little. Even now, she resented the guilt which played on her emotions. That was her sister’s signature tool. Somehow, Tia had always managed to gain favor through the sympathy of others. Guilt-tripping everyone so that she always got her way, that was what had driven Letty away. She worked hard for her keep, while the same and more was simply gifted to Tia at every occasion.

She sighed.

Whatever it was that had changed them into babies was clearly not something fair or just. Tia had earned her place as the baby, Letty had just tried to earn a living. She found herself tightly gripping the towel in her hands. Tossing it on top of the stack in disgust, wishing she could do the same with her feelings, she stalked out of the bathroom.

Well, she would have stalked proudly if she could, but the presence of the makeshift diaper produced more of a waddle in her gait. It was foreign and invasive, like a thickly-mittened hand grabbing her crotch. Her legs instinctively tried to escape the papery thing between them. Each step swung her legs as far away from the garment as possible, as if she could somehow step around it and avoid feeling it against her. She barely made it a few waddling steps before the sensation stopped her in her tracks.

Her diaper.

It was distracting, the soft cushion which brushed against her sensitive skin tore her mind away from her destination with each step, reminding her of its presence, not allowing her to focus. More than the physical distraction was the implication, the significance of wearing a diaper. From the morning’s short adventures—the wet bed, the accident in the hall—it wasn’t hard to worry that she might need diapers. Babies needed diapers and well, she certainly looked the part. Apparently, so did her sister.

Her sister.

The phone call had been surreal. She kept wavering on whether she truly believed it was her sister. If there was more to this, this sudden regression to near infancy, surely that phone call had something to do with it. Whether it was some sort of trap or whether the phenomenon spread farther than just her, she couldn’t tell. If her sister was in the same predicament, she wouldn’t fare as well. Letty knew that as a spoiled little brat, Tia wouldn’t have the drive or the ability to overcome such an obstacle. But then, Letty began to wonder about the true nature of the obstacle. She herself didn’t even know what could be done about it.

No. She had to do something. Even if there was no way to help her sister, she could at least take care of herself. She may have a small body, but she still had her mind. She needed to set goals; she needed to assess the situation and work out solutions; she needed to keep herself occupied with something or she would end up wallowing in self-pity just like she imagined her little sister might be doing at that very moment. If she was as small as she was, just how small was Tia?

But she was the big sister, and she could take care of herself. At least, that’s how it usually was. No, it still was that way, she wasn’t going to be defeated by a disadvantage of height. She had just stripped her bed, hadn’t she? Yes, despite the fact that it was taller than she. If she was honest, it wasn’t that much of a feat, but it did at least prove that she wasn’t completely helpless.

She needed to ponder the situation and devise a plan. Pacing the length of the living room, time began to pass without her knowledge.

It wasn’t until she once again felt the distinct feeling of warm liquid between her legs that she roused from her pondering. She was having another accident, but this time it wasn’t dribbling all over the floor—good thing too; she was standing over carpet. Her makeshift diaper had done its job and saved her from potentially losing her security deposit or needing to hire a steam cleaner. But the damage was done, and her incontinence pad was swollen, greatly in need of replacement.

Back to the bedroom she went, now with a somehow more pronounced waddle. The weight of her “diaper” was unmistakable. She had hoped that her pacing might help her grow more accustomed to the feeling, but the new wetness made itself known with each step. After retrieving a new pad from the bedroom, she made her way to the bathroom where she removed the wet item, cleaned herself with a damp cloth, and replaced her protection with a fresh pad.

When she was finished, she idly wandered back out to the living room. The previous scene asked many questions of her, but now she had answers. It wasn’t that she hadn’t felt the need to pee, but rather that she had no ability to stop it. If that was the case—and was to remain so—she needed to acquire some more appropriate protection. The incontinence pad had done its job, but just barely. On top of that, she would probably want wipes as well. Her next step would be to gather supplies; simple, basic, but necessary.

She didn’t imagine being able to make a trip out to the store—not at her size—but fortunately she had other options. Carefully, and with some difficulty, she dug her laptop out from its bag and placed it on the coffee table in the living room. The keyboard now felt like a grand piano as she had to hunt and peck, clumsy, with her tiny fingers. Scrolling through several sites, she stopped only to size herself up before returning. The clothing selection was almost insufferably cute and babyish so she skipped over it. Diapers and wipes were a must; that much she knew. Due to living in a sizable city, next-day delivery was an option for such items. She added a kids step stool and clicked the confirm button.

It felt like a prison sentence, fifty-six size three diapers; she didn’t enjoy the thought of wearing and using all of them. She hoped that somehow, someway, this would all be resolved before the diapers even arrived, but she doubted it.

~

She had gone back to her laptop several times, placing at least two more orders. She searched news sites for any mention of supernatural events; nothing. She searched and searched until her stomach growled audibly, angrily reminding her to eat. Her laptop was probably the one thing least affected by her size. It wasn’t too hard to navigate, even with her tiny hands; clumsy, yes, but manageable. Food was not, so it was with some reluctance that she left the familiar comfort of her laptop.

The fridge door fought her, claiming its contents as its own, but she planted her feet and finally got it open. Nothing on the top shelf was reachable, and she could barely even move the gallon of juice. The counter-top and the microwave were lofty mountains, and the freezer might as well be the moon. Nothing frozen today; nothing microwaved either. She found a yogurt cup, but then realized she’d need a spoon. Well that was just great, those were up in a drawer.

When the chair was finally in place, and a shoebox placed below it, she took a few moments to catch her breath. Carefully stepping up from the box, then wriggling onto the seat of the chair, she slowly rose to her feet. A new appreciation for her previously-thought-to-be modest height came over her as she found herself feeling uncomfortable atop the chair. She didn’t remember having any real fear of heights, but the narrow path through her small kitchen was a deep gorge below her, threatening to break her apart if she should fall. She quickly opened the drawer, clutching the back of the chair for stability, and clambered down with her prize. Her legs felt a bit shaky, but she finally had a spoon.

While enjoying her hard-won meal, it began to dawn on her that she would eventually have climb on top of the counter to reach much else. The chair put her arms above the counter, but she still couldn’t reach very far. Something as simple as a glass of water would mean climbing up to retrieve the glass and reach the sink. She was thankful for the fact that—as a product of her procrastination—there were several cups, plates, and utensils still drying on the rack beside the sink. If she had put them away in the cabinets above, they would be all but unreachable.

Once finished with her yogurt, she went back to the kitchen. As expected, she didn’t have an easy time getting a glass of water. She barely filled it, wary that she might drop it on the way down, and while she was correct about that not being an easy task, she had, in fact, overlooked how clumsy she was at actually tipping the liquid into her mouth. In short, a good amount of water ended up on her shirt and on the floor. In order to alleviate her feeling of inadequacy, she forced herself to successfully get at least one more item. With a box of crackers under her arm, she returned to her laptop to snack away while asking the internet for help.

Once again, there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary beyond the reaches of her apartment; ‘ordinary’ referring to the usual robberies, abductions, protests, and silly cat videos. No results pointed to any sudden regressions. She even searched for more direct terms, but most results for turning into a baby just led her to sites with stories about weird fantasies and other strange fiction—apparently some people would actually enjoy being a baby again. She, however, did not.

Restless, she began to pace again. A weariness came over her, but she resisted its grip. The silent apartment called for action, but she didn’t know what to do; her possibly-stranded sister called for help, but she was helpless herself. Remembering her phone, she quickly collected it from her room; no new calls or messages. She tried calling her sister again, but again it went straight to voicemail.

She knew who she had to call next, but she wasn’t looking forward to it. Clearing her throat a few times, she did her best to make her voice lower, somewhat close to her normal tone. When that didn’t work, she settled on faking a hoarse whisper. She dialed her boss.

“Hello?” came the familiar deep gravel.

“Hi, Mr. Hendrick,” she coughed, “sorry to do this to you, but I’m horribly—”

“Who is this?” he cut in, speaking bluntly. This left Letty silent for a second so he repeated “who is this?”

“It’s me, Letty Serrano, sorry, I’ve got a cough an—”

“I know a Letita Serrano, but you don’t sound like her.”

Letty could’ve sworn Mr. Hendrick had her number saved, he should’ve known it was her right away. “Yes, that’s me. Like I said, I have a cough.”

“That’s not possible.”

“What?”

“You are not Letita Serrano.” He stated it as if it was plain as day.

Letty was getting a little annoyed. “I know my voice sounds different, but—”

“No, it’s not that. I’m certain you are not who you say you are.”

“Mr. Hendrick! It’s me, look at my number, you know my number.”

There was a pause before he replied. “I don’t know who you are, how you got my number, or how you know my name, but don’t call me again. Goodbye.”

“Wha—”

Click.

She dialed him again, he answered right away.

“I told you not to call me; I’m done talking to you; I’m blocking your number.”

Click.

This didn’t make sense; Letty stared at her phone in confusion, barely able to comprehend the conversation. She tossed the phone away as if it was haunted. So much for trying to be proactive and calling in sick the day before. Mr. Hendrick was usually a reasonable man, easy to get along with. It wasn’t like him to be gruff.

Tossing herself back onto the couch, she found the cushions more inviting than she remembered. She didn’t want to sleep, it was too early for that, but she closed her eyes. Maybe when she opened them again, things would be back to normal.

OMG. Did adult Letty actually show up for work while little Letty was struggling? Did she awaken in a world in which she was a baby but her adult self was dead? Curiouser and curiouser.

Tia

Tia looked at the now-useless object in her hand. Previously, it had been a phone; previous to that, it had even been a normal phone. Now it was tiny and dead. The screen reflected a face, a young boy’s face, short brown hair, a little on the chubby side, tear-streaked; it was her face. She stared into a confused pair of eyes; they looked out from the dark mirror, searching her face, finding no recognition. She threw the phone across the little plastic room.

If she hadn’t spent so long last night calling people, the phone would still have charge, would still be useful. But she had run the battery down before anyone was awake. Stupid. They couldn’t even call her back if they got her messages. Her phone was useless now, dead weight. With its new size, no charger in the world would fit. It could never be turned on again.

Letty was the only one who answered her phone, but she wouldn’t help. Of course she wouldn’t help. Letty probably didn’t even believe her story at all. If Tia knew her sister—and she did—she’d guess her sister would assume she was drunk or on drugs or something. Letty always looked down on her, always bossed her around, always laughed at her whenever things went wrong. She played the conversation over in her mind, it all lined up. Letty was still Letty. But Letty was still her sister.

She imagined herself arriving at her sister’s apartment, would she believe her then? Would she slam the door in her face? Why wouldn’t she? Tia looked like a little boy now, no resemblance at all to her former self. The only thing she had as evidence was the oddity that was her miniaturized purse and phone. But even if Letty believed her, what then? That would be just perfect; she’d show up as a baby—probably in wet pants—which would give her sister the most perfectly horrific excuse to treat her like a baby; Letty always had anyway, but this time it would be in a literal sense. A nightmare of cribs, high-chairs, bottles, and pacifiers flashed through her mind; she shook her head to free herself from the gripping thought.

But what choice did she have? Even if all that were true, Letty was closer to her location than anyone else she knew, and honestly, Letty was the one most likely to believe her.

Tia rose and moved to collect her clothes. Careful to avoid the puddle she made maybe an hour ago, she slipped into her socks. Her pants were halfway up her legs when she noticed she had stopped. Her underwear did nothing to hide the bulge between her legs. A shiver went down her spine and she roughly yanked the pants up to her waist; she didn’t want to think about that right now. Like her socks, her pants were mostly dry, but still felt nasty against her skin—maybe it was her skin that felt nasty. Everything smelled horrible at this point, all her clothes, her whole lower half, the yellow puddle in the corner; there was nothing she could do about that except cough quietly at the odor. It wasn’t fair to the workers, or whatever poor kid that came in there next, but she would just have to leave the place like it was unless she wanted to attract attention.

The McDonald’s had a few people in line to order as she stealthily let herself out. The chilly air nipped at her, but it was refreshing after a long night in a what seemed like a cloud of ammonia. Her damp panties rubbed against her new nerves, highlighting with each step the fact that she was no longer in a girl’s body. Her skin was sensitive and she couldn’t ignore any of the sensations that pricked her mind. How long would it be before she peed in her pants? If she thought her pants felt nasty right now, she didn’t look forward to the seemingly inevitable soaking that was to come. That little thing between her legs was like a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off. She wasn’t looking forward to that for multiple reasons. In the short time she’d spent in this body, she’d wet herself several times. Worse, each time it happened reminded her what part of her was having an accident.

It felt different to pee as a boy than as a girl; she didn’t like being a boy.

~

Hours passed and she felt like she hadn’t made any progress. Every city block seemed like several miles, every curb was a hurdle to climb over, every street was like crossing a parking lot; cars towered overhead as did the other pedestrians; she was tiny compared to them. And they were watching her, all of them. Every eye glanced her way with concern. How long before one of them decided to try and help? But their help would be counter-productive. Somehow she knew it would all go wrong and things would get worse. Would she suddenly wet her pants again and be caught? What did the police do with a lone child wandering the street in wet pants? Her license would be called a fake, no one would believe she was really Tia Serrano. Who would they think she was, some undocumented child?

She didn’t know where she was, not fully. She had a general idea of her location and where she was going, but was far from certain. Should she keep following this road or turn left here? It felt like she was getting somewhat closer to where she wanted to be, but there was still the possibility that she was actually moving away from her sister’s place. She knew she needed to find somewhere that she recognized, but didn’t know how.

Well, she actually did know how, but didn’t want to accept it, didn’t want to try, didn’t want to risk it. A bus stop sat in front of her, just on the other side of the street. If she could get on the bus, it would take her closer to her sister—well, one of them would, at least. But how could she get on? She had no money and she didn’t dare asking a stranger. Was there any other choice? She couldn’t just stand there all day; she had to either try and get on a bus or just keep walking.

Her body was tense as she approached the bus stop, so nervous that she feared she might have an accident—maybe enough that she might be at risk even in her normal body. Legs like jelly wavered under her, threatening to send her sprawling on the ground; was that from fear or hunger? She couldn’t tell.

Of the few people quietly waiting at the stop, Tia singled out a somewhat heavy-set woman sitting at the far end of the bench. She had rather dark skin and light blonde hair pulled back in a braid. She was the only woman there, and Tia felt more comfortable talking to her than to the men.

“Excuse me, I’m trying to get over to Warrensville but I don’t have any money. Could—”

“Good Lord, ain’t’chu a bit young to be all alone?” The lady recoiled visibly when she saw who was addressing her.

“Please, I just need to get to Warrensville.” Tia came up with a lie on the spot, hastily adding it to her plead. “I’m actually older than I look.” It occurred to her only a moment later that it wasn’t even a lie.

“Well you could’a fooled me. Let me think.” The lady looked off into space for a few moments. “If you’d been here half an hour ago, you could’a caught the one that goes right into Warrensville.” She paused again, thinking. “The next one goes to Denison, which is pretty close. I think you can transfer once you get there.”

“Oh, okay.” Tia knew the center of Denison was only a few miles from Letty’s place. “But I don’t have any money…”

“Honey, don’t you worry about that. Just get on with me, they’ll let you ride for free.” The lady put a hand on Tia’s shoulder, Tia wanted to jump back, but forced herself to stand nervously in place. “Your stop will be a few stops before mine.”

“Oh, thank you so much.” Tia didn’t have to pretend to be grateful, with all that had happened since last night, she wasn’t expecting anything to go even remotely well.

~

She was still nervous when she got on the bus. The lady who had helped her—who had introduced herself as Candice—tried to encourage Tia to sit with her, but Tia wanted to sit as far away from other people as possible.

But the seat was hard and uncomfortable, she couldn’t relax at all. The heating made the whole bus overly humid and stifling. It smelled bad on the bus, somehow worse than Tia herself. The smell felt like a hospital, where they try to cover up the smell of sickness with disinfectant. It smelled nasty, it was nasty, it made her feel nasty. All the other people looked weird in some way or another. There was a man with a scar, a man with a lazy eye, a man who wheezed with each breath, two men in hoodies who looked like they were about to rob a gas station. The other women on the bus looked intentionally disinterested, like they were trying to ignore everything else, like they might look the other way if something bad happened just so they could keep out of it.

Tia was vulnerable. What if the lady lied? The woman, Candice, seemed so far away at the front of the bus, but it wasn’t like Tia could even trust her. Why did she ever get on the bus? They were rumbling through unknown neighborhoods, each one looking worse than the last. Each bus stop added another person to the mix, and each person that got on looked more like a criminal than the last. Tia was sure the wheezing man was looking at her. Every time she glanced at him, he seemed to be looking somewhere else, but she was sure he was staring at her whenever she looked away.

No. She was just imagining things.

How long had she been riding? Had she missed her stop? She looked up to the front, Candice was still there; her stop was after Tia’s, right? Tia felt her crotch with her hand, it was still dry. Now would be a terrible time to have an accident. What if one of the men on the bus was a real pervert? Oh no, the old man that just got on was coming toward her. Was he the guy that was looking at her through the window as they pulled up? Was he just waiting for a bus with a lone child so he could kidnap them and do horrible things to them?

The man looked in her direction, then turned and sat down. What if he came and sat down next to her; what if he grabbed her when she tried to get off? None of the other passengers knew her, for all they knew she could be that man’s grandson or nephew. He was white, like her; if he claimed that she was an unruly child, no amount of screaming would convince the other passengers that he wasn’t. They’d all just assume she was making a scene and politely ignore her. He could drag her off the bus and pretend she was his own child. No one would do anything except watch as a disobedient little boy was taken home by her father or uncle or whatever. They’d probably be happy to not have a little kid screaming next to them.

Why did she ever get on this bus?

Despite how hard she was clenching the hard plastic seat, she couldn’t recall how she got on the bus—because somehow, it seemed like gripping plastic would refresh her memory. Her mind so full of fear that the details of how she came to it, were elusive. How did she not seize up in terror when the doors opened? What madness drove her to even consider getting on a bus? She had forgotten the fatigue of her now-tiny limbs; she had forgotten the seemingly endless distance between her and—hopefully—her sister. Now she was sure that one of the other passengers had sized her up, seen her as an easy target, and was waiting for their chance to abduct her. But her mind blanked; her imagination stumbled at the visions of whatever rape, torture, and subsequent murder she thought would soon befall her. Spared, fortunately, of the horrors her mind could create, she knew one thing clearly; she had to get off the bus.

“Hey, hey, I get it!” The driver shouted angrily back as she pounded the stop button.

She hadn’t even noticed it before, but it was there by the rear door. She slapped it over and over with increasing force even as the bus rolled to a stop. Ignoring the shady-looking people grouped around a covered bench, she tripped in her haste as she exited the bus. Sprawling on the ground and freshening the scrapes on her hands and knees, she hesitated for a moment. Would it be now that she would pee her pants again? Would the jolt cause her bladder to just say “hell with it” and drain itself in a most embarrassing way? No, a few moments passed and nothing happened; she jumped to her feet and took off in a full sprint. Where? Who knows; anywhere but on that bus full of pedophiles and murderers.

What about now? Wouldn’t her bladder like to just empty itself right now? She was in the middle of running down sidewalks along streets she didn’t know the name of in a part of the city she’d never seen, terrified of people who were threatening just to look at; why not just pee herself right then? Why not just make things that much worse? It seemed like her body only intended to defy her at every turn; she remained dry.

When her energy waned, she slowed; she didn’t want to, but she did. She just couldn’t run any more. She didn’t even feel like walking, but she had to keep moving, so that’s what she did. She walked; she walked and walked and kept on walking. At that point, she wasn’t even sure she was going the right direction, but she kept walking; she wouldn’t get on another bus in her life.

She stared mostly at the ground while she walked, only glancing up whenever another human entered her peripheral. Wary of adults, she caught the attention of several, but none that cared enough to stop her. As it turned out, there weren’t a lot of good Samaritans out there, something for which she was thankful. Cars passed by on the street; each one sending a small shiver down her spine, if only because they now felt like a freight train compared to her. Cars were enormous, seemed to travel at breakneck speeds, and dragged heavy gusts of wind along with them. Tia wondered if the cars were actually louder than before; every approaching engine rumbled a menacing growl, causing her to step a little farther away from the road; and the exhaust snorted its contempt, chuckling as it drove away.

After some time, it happened; she wet her pants again. Confirming her fears once again, it was entirely out of her control. The last time it happened, she thought she had accepted such a fact, but as the time since the last incident grew, her mind tried more and more to imagine that she wasn’t yet sure. Well now she was; she was certain that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t control her bladder or any of the new muscles in her body. Her only comfort was that this accident wasn’t too severe. There was a small darkened patch on the front of her jeans. Would people notice, and would they do anything if they did?

While inspecting the damage to her pants, Tia suddenly had the feeling that she was being watched; she looked around. There, several feet away, sitting inside the point of a dark triangle—a shadow cast from a nearby building—was a cat. With fur as black as night, it seemed hardly more than a silhouette with green eyes; it faded right into the shadow in which it sat.

Not moving, it stared at her while she returned its steely gaze with worried glances. It didn’t look like a particularly happy cat. Its stare was somehow condescending, as if the cat knew the significance of her wet pants. A pitiful human she was, couldn’t even keep from pissing herself. The cat rose and crossed the sidewalk in front of her, keeping to the shadow as it made its way to the alley beside her. As it walked, the cat kept its gaze upon her, threatening, as if it wouldn’t hesitate to attack her if she came to close.

When it was gone, she still didn’t move. Was she really afraid of a cat? The truth of the answer worried her more than the presence of the cat. With a shudder, she sprung past the shadow and the alley, hoping the cat was long gone.

~

It was chilly. Since she was no longer running at a full sprint, her body temperature dropped. But it wasn’t just her body temperature that was dropping, it was getting colder all around her. The sun was getting lower in the sky, it seemed only a short few hours before nightfall. Not something she was in any way looking forward to. Her feet hurt from walking; her hands, knees, and elbows hurt from falling on them; the palms of her hands were scraped raw, and she was pretty sure her knees had been bleeding inside her jeans.

After a few minutes of absent-minded self-pity and worry, she discovered that she’d stopped in front of a laundromat.

Of all things, a laundromat. What could she possibly hope to gain from going in there? Maybe she could slip toward the back and sleep somewhere people weren’t looking. But there were, in fact, people in there. Hopefully they wouldn’t notice her. As she stepped toward the door, she stopped. Would this end up like trying to ride a bus? Would she almost instantly regret crossing the threshold?

Gah!” Tia shrieked and jumped forward, spinning round to see what it was that had just touched her. Was it that cat?

“Oh my goodness, I didn’t mean to startle you.” A woman was standing right where Tia had previously stood, her hand outstretched. She must have grabbed Tia’s shoulder.

Tia made no response, but eyed the woman carefully while massaging her own shoulder; the jolt of surprise still seemed to tingle at the spot where the woman touched. She looked at the woman’s outstretched hand. It looked pretty normal, but it hadn’t felt normal when it touched her. Was she really that much on edge? Her heart was racing.

The woman smiled at her, parting overly colored lips. The woman had deep, ruby-red lipstick on; way too much, and entirely the wrong color for her face. Tia also noted the woman’s raven-black hair—obviously dyed so—given the woman’s face, it would look more natural if it were almost white. From her face, Tia could tell she was quite old, or had aged rather poorly; there were lines in her skin that no amount of makeup could ever hide. The hair and makeup were an obvious—and failed—attempt to hide her age, it was a little off-putting. Behind her, Tia just then noticed the three young girls trailing, clinging to the woman’s other hand.

“Are you okay?” The woman spoke again, her forcedly-sweet voice sang in place of the aged rasp Tia imagined should be scraping from the woman’s throat. The girls behind the woman didn’t move. “You were just standing there, I really didn’t mean to scare you like that.”

Tia tried to speak, but her voice caught in her throat, making her suddenly aware of just how thirsty she was. “Fine,” she managed to croak.

“Is your mother around?” The woman’s eyes darted around, then she turned her head back and forth as she scanned the surrounding area. Finding no one, the woman returned her gaze to Tia. The woman scrunched up her face as if she were thinking, her eyes wandered up to the building behind Tia and strained as if she were trying to see something far away. After a few moments, her eyes danced between Tia and whatever else it was she was looking at; finally, she settled and forced a smile. “Why don’t we go inside and wait for your Mommy to come back?”

Tia stepped back at the offer. Unsure what to do, she found herself staring at the woman, with mouth open.

“You’re scratched all over, why don’t we go inside and clean you up,” the woman searched her again, momentarily having an expression as if she recognized Tia. “Come on, you’ve had an accident, I can help with that.”

Tia stepped back again as the woman approached. She couldn’t make sense of her expressions or intents. Was she overreacting? Tia forced herself to try and be calm, quietly allowing the group to follow her inside.

The inside of the laundromat had a warm hum of several machines running. There were only a few other people visible inside, as the aisles of washers and dryers blocked Tia’s view from reaching deeper into the building. In front of them was a young woman with two kids who all looked up as they entered. The old woman behind Tia ushered them to one of the far corners, away from other people. The three girls, which seemed to still be wearing their Sunday dresses, quietly sat on one of the benches. Tia was simply thankful that they weren’t giggling at her wet pants. The young woman and her two kids didn’t seem to be paying them any more mind.

“Are you hungry; thirsty? You’re looking rather pale.” The woman pulled a small water bottle from a large purse.

Tia looked at the bottle but didn’t move, she just clutched her own purse.

“Oh, silly me.” The woman emitted a fake laugh. “You aren’t supposed to take things from strangers, are you? Well you can call me Ms. Kinsella. See, I’m not a stranger anymore.” The woman’s smile faded for a second when Tia still didn’t move. She rose and went over to a vending machine, soon returning with a freshly purchased bottle of water. She popped the cap lose and held it down toward Tia. “See, now you know it’s fresh.”

That wasn’t really why Tia had hesitated; truly she didn’t know why, but she knew that wasn’t it. Carefully, she took the bottle in both hands and began to drink. The cool water poured down her throat, soothing her like ointment, reminding her just how thirsty she was. Now that she thought about it, she was probably dehydrated; that was probably why her latest accident had only been a small one. Tia stopped drinking.

“What’s the matter?” The woman asked after a minute.

“It’s just gonna end up in my pants, isn’t it?” She didn’t mean to speak out loud, but there was no taking it back now.

“So you can talk, and quite well I must say.” Hands on her hips, she now stood tall over Tia, looking down at her as if she’d just coerced her into admitting a crime.

“Thank you for the water Ma’am.”

“You’re very welcome. Now what’s this nonsense about wet pants?”

Tia had to wrestle with her mind. Shame told her to shut up, to say nothing; but reason told her that this woman—and probably everyone who came within ten feet of her—knew she’d had an accident. There was no point trying to hide it. “I keep having accidents.”

“I can help with that, but first we need to clean you up. Come, let’s find a restroom.” The old woman quickly led her along the back wall.

The young woman with the children began to watch them, but her attention turned back to one of her own when they spilled something that scattered far across the floor. “My sunflower seeds!” the child exclaimed.

Tia turned away, back to following the older woman—Ms. Kinsella—who was muttering something harshly under her breath. Tia knew there wouldn’t be any public restrooms in a place like this, but the woman didn’t seem concerned. Instead, she pushed through a door to a service corridor; a single restroom was tucked off to one side about halfway down the hall.

At the door to the restroom, Tia’s fear returned with renew fervor. She stopped and quickly stepped aside, just in case the woman might try to push her inside.

“What’s gotten into you?” The woman did her best to keep her painted smile in place. If she was trying to use it to reassure Tia, it wasn’t working.

“What are you gonna do?” Tia took another tiny step back.

The woman knelt. “We’re going to clean you up, just like I said.” She studied Tia for a moment. “Okay, listen,” her voice took a more natural tone; perhaps she just then realized that Tia wasn’t buying her fake-sweet voice. “I didn’t want to embarrass you out there.” She began fishing items from her large and seemingly bottomless purse. “I always come prepared. I have wipes here to get you all cleaned up, and I can give you a change of pants… but if you keep having accidents like you say, you’re gonna need to wear these.”

Setting the package of wipes aside along with the pants, the woman proceeded to pull out something Tia recognized right away: a diaper. A thousand thoughts, questions, and fears whorled through her mind in a moment. She forced them away and managed to speak a few words. “Can I do it?”

The woman looked taken aback. Her lip twitched like she wanted to say something different, but she forced another smile. “Okay, just make sure to do a good job cleaning.”

Tia took the bundle of items and locked herself in the bathroom, feeling somewhat safe for the first time since the night before. Stripping off her jeans, she laid them on the floor and stood on top of them. With a deep breath and a “hmph” of resignation, she lowered her panties and kicked them aside. Not wanting to stare too long at the thing between her legs, she hurried as she wiped. Even still, she wanted to be clean and made sure to be as thorough as possible; although her hand did involuntarily draw back when she brushed over her… the penis; but even that must be cleaned, so she clenched her teeth and finished the task.

Forcing herself not to think about it or any of the other its in the room, she reached for the diaper and unfolded it. To her surprise, it turned out to be of the pull-up style. The sides and cuffs were blue, while the crotch was colorfully decorated with pictures of Mickey Mouse. Again needing to force herself to not think about* it,* she quickly stepped into the pull-up and slid it into place. At least her next accident wouldn’t end up dribbling down her legs. The pants she’d been given were boys’ sweatpants, identified by the opening at the crotch and the Disney Cars designs.

After slipping back into her shoes, she tossed the panties in the garbage, but collected the damp jeans. The pull-ups gave her the comfort that her pants, socks, and shoes, were no longer in danger of being soaked without warning. She didn’t want to be ungrateful, but the woman—even the idea of going outside the safety of the bathroom—made her feel distinctly uneasy. She needed a way to get out of there without attracting more attention.

Mabel

It was just after seven in the morning when Mabel’s alarm went off. Reaching over, she slapped the snooze button; it hadn’t awoken her, but only made her jump. The light from outside her window was faint, just enough to see the shapes of furniture around the room, all of which was bathed in a dull blue. Her bedding was dry this time, but a brief search beneath the covers confirmed that her diaper was indeed wet; very much so.

She had woken naturally, feeling light and energetic. She would have described herself as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but her tail end was more soft-and-crinkly than bushy; a smirk twitched at the corner of her mouth, though it was more from the clumsy joke than anything else. Yesterday, she had learned quickly that there was at least one major downside to her new body. Though, with as many little grandchildren as came to visit, she had, much to her own convenience, been prepared. Along with several changes of clothes, she also had a modest collection of diapers; leftovers from previous instances of necessity. In her time, she had changed untold numbers of diapers, but never once put one on herself. However, given her extensive practice, she had quickly adapted the procedure for her own needs.

Now, as she sat up in bed, she began to ponder the feeling. The swollen bulk pushed her legs apart somewhat, and the whole thing felt somewhat confining. The padding—especially in its current state—wrapped her tightly, constricted, squeezed against her; between her legs, around her waist, under her bottom. It felt weird, but it felt better than the wet bed she had woken to the day before.

And it seemed that, since nothing had changed in the night, other than her diaper changing from dry to wet, she would also be spending today wearing a diaper. An unfortunate accident had befallen her sofa and spurred her toward taking certain precautions. Namely, she dug out—from one of the guest closets—a package of diapers, half of them already missing. Throughout the rest of the day, her precaution turned out to be a wise choice. With each subsequent accident, she became more and more certain that she had no ability to stop herself from using her diaper; she seemed to have no control whatsoever.

In all honesty, she was half-expecting to wake and find herself an old woman again. It wouldn’t have surprised her to wake again on Sunday morning, and find that it all had been a pleasant dream. But the bittersweet feeling she expected to find did not greet her as she woke, instead, she found herself in the same small body, wearing the same pajamas, and even the same diaper as when she went to sleep—though of course her diaper was wet now. Unsure what this could mean, she hopped out of bed and changed into some regular clothes and a fresh diaper. Another thing she had discovered was that only a couple of the outfits fit her properly. In fact, the only other one that wasn’t enormous was instead too small, almost. It was a little blue sun dress which she’d purchased for a granddaughter at one point. On her, it did technically fit, but the hem barely fell far enough to cover her diaper underneath. It wasn’t too bad since she was alone in her house, but it was a little drafty; it would remain her secondary choice.

~

It didn’t dawn on her until well after breakfast that it wasn’t Sunday anymore. She double-checked her alarm clock to see that the date had indeed changed to October 2nd. Her day of rest was over, she was supposed to work at the daycare today; she should have thought of this earlier. But what could she really do? She was just a child now, and surely no one would actually believe her if she told them what happened.

Poor Ruth was probably worrying right now, she always worried more than she should. If she hadn’t seen Mabel at church and then she didn’t show up to work, Ruth might think something horrible had happened. Mabel owed it to her friend, and co-worker, to at least put her mind at ease. But this was a tricky situation. Would Ruth believe her if she just called in sick? Mabel doubted she could pull-off her own voice even if she was sick, but what if it wasn’t she that did the talking?

She dragged her trusty step stool from the cupboard over to the wall-mounted phone and climbed up. Beep-boop-beep; she dialed the number for the daycare. Even if she didn’t have it memorized by heart, it was written conveniently on a scrap of paper which was then stuck crookedly to the wall near the phone. Her phone was surrounded by similar scraps; something she really should get around to organizing one of these days.

“Hello, Little Angels Daycare: Ruth speaking.” A familiar voice sounded through the receiver.

“Hi, uh… this is, err… I’m Mary, Mary Furrow.” Mabel hadn’t thought about it until right then, but no child at her new age would be so well spoken. She made a quick note to try and use simpler terms.

“Well hello, Mary.” Ruth’s already cheerful tone came back even sweeter than before. Mabel noted that this was the voice she used when speaking to children.

“I’m uh… I’m staying with my Auntie Mabel, but she’s sick and can’t go to work. She says she’s sorry.”

“Oh, so that’s what happened, I was getting a little worried for her. Well Mary, if you could do something for me,” it was clear that Ruth had picked up on the fact that Mabel’s voice sounded very young. “You just tell your auntie that Miss Ruth wants her to get well soon, and that she can take as long as she needs to get better.”

Mabel mumbled something away from the phone, hoping it would sound like she was talking to someone else. “Okay,” she said after what felt like an appropriate amount of time, “thank you Miss Ruth.”

“You’re a very polite child, Mary. You tell your auntie that if she needs some help, she can call me any time. And if you ever want to come meet all the other little angels over here at Little Angels Daycare, I’d be happy to have you over here any time.”

“Okay, thank you Miss. Ruth.” Mabel couldn’t think of how to end the call without being rude or too well-spoken. Fortunately, Ruth figured it out for her.

“Well, bye-bye then Mary, thank you for calling.”

“Okay, bye-bye.” Mabel hung up the phone and hopped down from the step stool. As she landed, she felt herself having another accident. When it felt like she had finished, she reached down and felt her diaper. It was sagging a bit, and felt firm in her hand, but she could tell it didn’t need to be changed just yet. Much as she didn’t really like the idea, she would just have to toddle around in her wet diaper for a while longer. Her supply of diapers was finite, and until she found a way to get more—or until she became an adult once again—she would have to try and make it last.

Every item in her house had a memory to accompany it; everything she owned had once taken part in a memory she wished to keep. And now, her new body brought back other memories, snippets of a time she couldn’t consciously recall; staring up at the counter, not down upon it; sitting at the table with her feet swinging above the floor; trying on cute dresses—ones too immature for an adult; climbing on her old wooden stool just to reach even the simplest of lofty items; all of these things caused her to feel—though perhaps not fully remember—past sensations of youth and childhood.

But unlike all of those things, diapers didn’t bring with them any nostalgia or memory. She was well acquainted with their smell and how they felt in her hand; her work at the daycare and her status as a grandmother made sure of that. Try as she might, she couldn’t recall a single moment when she was in diapers. Was it because she simply wasn’t aware of her diaper at that age? Was it because she was currently wearing a disposable, and Pampers weren’t even a thing when she was born? She was almost a teenager before disposables even had tapes. Wearing a diaper gave her a funny feeling; it wasn’t nostalgia, but she didn’t know what it could be.

What other things might bring back pleasant memories?

~

Everything, or so it seemed.

With no truly pressing issues at hand, she could devote as much time as she liked to any activity she chose. So first, she swept the floor.

For a few minutes, she drifted in and out of the memory of working her way through the kitchen from her childhood home, trying to sweep as well as her mother. There was a time when she simply couldn’t do it right. Now matter how hard she tried, she had always seemed to miss bunches of small specks. It was at that time that they discovered her poor eyesight. Once she finally had glasses, she could sweep just as thoroughly as her mother; and even better than her sister. She’d worn glasses ever since then.

But now her vision was perfect; even better than with her glasses. She was somewhat disheartened to find numerous missed spots in her own kitchen, but now she had the ability to see them and all the time in the world to sweep them up. Little dust bunnies in the corner, under the edge of the fridge; crumbs scattered here and there; she gathered them all into the dustpan.

The fact that the broom itself dwarfed her tiny stature did, in fact, remind her of a time long past, but she found herself constantly distracted by what she could see. It wasn’t just the change in perspective, it was the eyes through which she saw the world; everything looked new and fresh and crisp. A friend of hers who had found himself in need of glasses due to his age had once commented that she wouldn’t understand what it was like for him; that she was used to glasses, and unlike him, was accustomed to them. He apparently thought that it was harder to lose perfect vision than to never have it. Oh how wrong he was.

She had actually cried later that day, after he had said that to her—even if she didn’t hold it against him. Her eyesight had been a curse, and glasses had been a constant reminder of that. Constant: uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing. Never once did she truly forget that she wore them. They were a blemish she could never cover; she was never as pretty as the other girls who didn’t need them. They were a point of ridicule, an easy target for bullies. Glasses back then weren’t like the ones today. Kids these days probably never heard the term “four-eyes,” or had someone sarcastically say “nice coke bottles.” Times had changed, glasses were stylish now, some people even wore them purely for fashion, with no lenses in them whatsoever, that was something Mabel couldn’t bring herself to understand.

Mabel had lived her life with poor eyesight that only became worse through the years; she had always needed glasses. But now that she could see clearly—perfectly so—she knew more than ever that it was something she’d been missing. Her friend was wrong, it was far, far worse to never have it than to lose it. But even now her vision was blurry again, all of a sudden. Not from deficiency, but from tears; both happy and sad, she cried for the past day she’d been able to enjoy perfect vision; and she cried as well for all the years she’d missed it.

She needed to take a break, just to calm down. Slate was sitting in his favorite spot in the other room; she wanted to go over and cuddle with him, but he wasn’t quite ready for that. Typical of his breed, he didn’t like strangers much, but was very affectionate to people he knew. It was clear from his actions that he recognized nothing about Mabel’s new body. She would have to earn his affection again.

Of course, the best way to earn a cat’s affection was with treats—though she supposed that the same rule applied to any creature. It took a bit of doing, but she eventually retrieved the bag of cat treats. She paused for a moment on her way out of the kitchen as the wall phone caught her eye. Remembering the phone call to Ruth, she felt bad for lying, but wasn’t sure what other option she had. No one, not Ruth or anyone else, would believe her if she told the truth. She wasn’t just convincing herself of that to ease her conscience; she just plain knew it. For now, she would have play along as this Mary Furrow, the lie she had created.

Slate rose upon seeing her enter the sitting room; he looked like he was about to leave, but stopped when he spotted the treat in her hand. She approached slowly, not wanting him to wander off to another part of the house. He eyed her carefully as she drew close, wearing a slight mask of curiosity over the ever-present expression of judgment that cats seem to be born with.

While Slate was distracted with the treat, Mabel quietly climbed up beside him on the loveseat and tenderly stroked his fur. He paused at her touch, but promptly continued munching. Of all the people he was shy around, children were the least of these; he’d met more than his share of children, ranging from infants to teens. Mabel counted herself lucky, as he was likely to be more permitting of her strange presence than that of an adult stranger. When he was finished with his snack, Mabel stopped petting him, and sat quietly with her hands folded across her lap. Again he eyed her, before returning to his preferred end of the loveseat. Mabel wanted so badly to stroke him and hug him, but she knew he wasn’t ready for that. Instead, she inched a bit closer to him and waited.

~

Some time later, warmed by the afternoon sun, Mabel awoke for the second time that day. Her wispy blonde hair cascaded over her face, pooling in a tangle across the cushion she rested on. She had slumped over and fallen asleep partially sideways, partially curled up on the loveseat. As she raised herself, she found that the top of her head was pressing lightly against Slate’s back. Also awakened by her movement, he looked over at her as she sat up.

“Hi Slate, enjoy your nap?” She stroked his fur, watching his face closely for signs of upset. But he only blinked slowly and turned away to return to his nap.

Mabel found that her diaper was now definitely in need of changing but thankfully hadn’t leaked. There were no pops or cracks from her joints as she slowly made her way toward the bedroom, nor did she feel any aches or pains. Instead, her fog of drowsiness lifted and left her feeling energetic once again. Falling asleep even in the slightest of awkward positions would normally leave her feeling achy for hours, maybe days; but in this new body, it seemed like she was flexible enough to sleep any way she pleased. She had often marveled and laughed at the goofy positions in which her children and grandchildren would occasionally sleep; but now that she could do just the same, she appreciated the ability even more.

After a change and a snack, she once again set herself to the task of cleaning; this time with the feather duster. It didn’t surprise her that she had missed many of the lower spots, but she was disappointed nonetheless. Now she had no excuse not to clean everything thoroughly—except maybe for stuff too high to reach. She could crouch and bend, she had great eyesight, and she could even crawl without hurting her knees.

It wasn’t until she had spent most of the afternoon cheerfully dusting and cleaning the house that she began to wonder why. As a baby, she couldn’t possibly have any guests. Anyone who came by expecting to see Mabel couldn’t be let inside. And this Mary Furrow, a name which she had created for cover in the spur of the moment, knew no one, and quite frankly didn’t exist… or did she?

Mabel had brown eyes and brown hair—well, it was brown at one point— this body had blue eyes and light blonde hair; even her facial structure was different. Her eyebrows were higher than before, and much less defined; her ears were flatter, where they had previously stuck out noticeably from the side of her head—or at least they had when she was a little girl. No, this body wasn’t simply a younger version of herself, it was an entirely new body. With a happy relief to her conscience, she decided that perhaps it wasn’t actually lying to call herself Mary Furrow.

Deep down, she was still Mabel Stevens and she knew it, but if she had to interact with other people, she would have to play the part. Contemplating her phone call with Ruth, she wondered if it wasn’t such a bad idea to take her up on the offer.

1 Like

Tyler

Tyler hadn’t wanted to go to sleep for fear that he would awake to find himself back in his male body. But sleep took him regardless—earlier than usual—and he woke only when the sound of his alarm blared from the bedroom. Groggily, he slipped down from the dingy couch and stumbled into his bedroom. Slapping his hand down on the alarm, he stopped the incessant noise and took a moment to mentally collect himself.

A blurry dream—like a drunken haze—filled the space of the day before. But today was a new day, and he was back to his old self…

Oh wait, no he wasn’t! He checked himself up and down; still the same little girl he was on Sunday; he checked his phone, an order for diapers and clothes had been placed; he checked his drawer, the knife was gone. He was still a she, and what was she thinking, imagining herself as a boy again?

Could it be… real? Could she really be…?

She stood there in her room for a few minutes. Still wearing the pajamas she had worn all of yesterday—the only item which had inexplicably shrunk along with her to her new size as a baby. Her diaper was wet again, clearly the result of her wetting the bed again; though considering the multiple changes she had yesterday, that was hardly a surprise.

But she was still herself, a little girl with long curly brown hair, as opposed to being a tall boy with blonde hair. That was all that mattered to her; that was all she ever wanted. All the years she’d spent achieving adulthood were lost on the fact that she missed childhood the moment it was gone. It wasn’t fair that she only knew that when it was too late. She had always wanted to go back, but never could; and now she had.

Waking as a little girl was even better the second time, because now it truly seemed real. Yesterday had felt like a pleasant dream, but today felt like a dream come true. But she wasn’t one to simply lay back and quietly enjoy the moment. Not that she didn’t enjoy it, or that she wouldn’t very much like to drink in the wonderful happiness that filled her; instead, she wished to live this day to the fullest. To do that, she had confirm if and where that limit lay.

Today she would learn just how far this strange occurrence would take her. She was living in impossible circumstances; unreal, in the realm of fantasy. But was it simply that: fantasy? Were all her wishes to be granted now? Was this awesome blessing perfect in every way? Tyler reasoned that if she were magically changed into a little girl who needed diapers, perhaps more things would magically bend to her wishes. If that were so, then it was likely that she could do nearly anything she wanted; that everything was feasible, no matter how improbable it might seem. Further still, perhaps nothing could go wrong.

Opening her phone again, she checked her email; there was a response. Last night, she had put her toe in the water, and today she would dive in. She had searched through local listings for babysitters, fabricated some flimsy story for herself, and made an inquiry to a random woman buried deep in the list of offers. Her story explained that her mother was unable to meet the sitter in person due to an illness, and that they had lost many items—including all of Tyler’s clothes—during a recent move. Basically, it was a hasty attempt to get a babysitter to pick her up from the apartment, take her out to buy clothes and supplies, take her to lunch, and take her to the park. Simply put, Tyler didn’t expect it to work at all; and that if that were the case, it would at least prove that she wasn’t living in some perfect fantasy.

But it had worked, and now the sitter was asking what Tyler’s address was, and what time her “mother” wanted her to come by. Tyler typed a hasty reply; she now had roughly an hour before the next phase of this magical adventure.

Other than change her diaper, there wasn’t much else Tyler needed to do to be ready to go. She ate a quick breakfast and had a small cup of coffee. The habit of drinking coffee was likely no longer necessary, but she figured the aroma of a freshly-brewed French roast might help sell her story; the one where her made-up mother actually existed and was asleep in the other room.

Long before the caffeine kicked in, she was pacing back and forth with excitement. Each step crinkled and crunched as the light material of her pajamas proved ineffective at muffling the sound of her diaper; they didn’t hide the shape either, so it would no-doubt be obvious to anyone around that she was wearing a diaper. She was okay with that; it excited her even more, but she was a little concerned about trusting her safety to a total stranger. She quickly hatched a plan. Digging out a stuffed teddy bear—specifically one that played a tune when she squeezed its paw—she also dug out her pepper-spray bottle and hid it inside the bear’s back, next to the battery pack. If things went horribly wrong, she could blast someone and run away.

~

“Hello, my name is Cynthia.” The young woman crouched and extended a hand. “You must be Taylor.”

Tyler was clutching her teddy bear in one hand, but took Cynthia’s with the other. “Hi, Miss Cynthia.” Today she would be Taylor.

And just like that, a stranger had entered her house. Tyler was unsure how this would play out. Her heart was pounding, her mind racing; her day just got a whole lot more interesting. This young woman fit a pretty standard description, almost a stereotype of women her age. Phone in hand, screen on, a slight air of disinterest in everything else around her, jeans that looked new but were torn to shreds, and a single blonde highlight in otherwise reddish-brown hair—Tyler wasn’t even sure if that was her natural hair color, it seemed a little off.

“Oh, just call me Cynthia; I’m going to be your babysitter for the day.” She strode over to the tiny and crowded counter-top where an envelope was laying. Inside was a note from ‘Taylor’s Mom’ and a small bundle of cash. Her eyes darted back and forth as she scanned the page; she quickly pocketed the money when she was finished. “Well it looks like you lost all your clothes, are those pajamas really the only thing you have?”

Tyler nodded.

“I guess we’ll have to get you some clothes first. Come on, let’s get going.” She opened the door and motioned for Tyler to follow.

Tyler didn’t move, but pointed down at her feet. “No shoes.”

Cynthia came back and reached down to pick her up. “How about we leave your teddy behind?”

Tyler hugged her teddy bear close. “I want him to come with us.”

“Fine,” Cynthia seemed less than happy as she picked Tyler up and positioned her at her side.

Tyler only broke hugging her teddy bear to wrap an arm around Cynthia.

“How old are you anyway?” Cynthia asked absently as they exited the elevator and proceeded out through the aging front lobby.

Tyler thought about it for a moment, having not prepared an answer in advance. “I’m three,” she said at last.

“You’re pretty big for a three-year-old. And do you always wear diapers, or is it just at night?”

Tyler realized she hadn’t been very detailed in her emails or in the note; the note said little more than “buy clothes for Taylor, take Taylor out to eat, take Taylor to the park to play.” She hadn’t even thought to put diapers on the list as she wasn’t expecting to run out before the delivery arrived. In her excitement, she had also forgotten to pack a diaper bag.

“Well, Taylor?” Cynthia prompted. “Are you potty-trained, or do you only need diapers at night?”

“Mommy says I’m not ready yet.” Tyler found herself blushing fiercely with the admittance.

“So it seems.” Cynthia patted Tyler’s bottom, evidently aware of her diaper being slightly wet.

Tyler soon found herself being placed in the backseat of a well-worn small sedan. Automatically, she reached for the seatbelt.

“Well you know how to use a seatbelt at least.” Cynthia looked surprised. “Wait a minute, does your Mommy have a car seat for you?”

Once again caught off guard, Tyler had to scramble for a suitable answer. “Mommy doesn’t have a car.”

“I guess we’ll just put you here in the middle.” Cynthia shifted Tyler to the center seat and buckled her in.

Tyler found her heart beating fast again as she watched the outside world rumble past through the windows. Cynthia wasn’t a particularly smooth driver, with heavy and frequent braking, sudden lane changes, and jerky steering; Tyler did her best to hold herself still. Eventually they reached a Kohl’s; Tyler didn’t recognize the location.

Again, due to lacking shoes, Tyler had to be carried on Cynthia’s hip. She bounced along and the babysitter huffed with every other step. Once inside, Tyler felt all eyes upon her. The store wasn’t bustling, but there was a moderate population of shoppers. A light draft at the small of her back told Tyler her pajama top was riding up. Each time Cynthia shifted positions, it rode a little higher. As if the thin material of her pajamas wasn’t revealing enough, there was almost a guarantee that the back of her diaper was easily visible.

The girl’s section, naturally, was all the way at the back, which meant that Tyler’s exposed diaper had to be paraded through the entire store. She wanted to tell Cynthia to try and cover it up, but that would be out of character; almost no child her age would be conscious of such a thing. Instead, she kept silent as they passed seemingly dozens of onlookers. The handful of men in the store seemed to pay them no mind, and if they did, they were probably just checking out Cynthia. The women, however, all seemed to cast judgmental and shaming glances.

Tyler knew she looked to be around age four, and that was apparently too old for diapers, at least in the piercing eyes of the people in this store. It felt like this was no different than if she’d worn the same outfit in public when she was back in her old, adult body. The promise of blissful anonymity she imagined she’d have in a new body was strikingly absent. The only difference was that the public judged her for wearing diapers because she was lazy or stupid or retarded, instead of scorning her for liking diapers because she was perverted. The fundamentals didn’t matter, if felt just as bad either way.

Refuge came in the form of clothes racks with now towered over her; Cynthia set Tyler down among the colorful assortment of girl’s attire. No one could see her down there; no one could judge her down there. For a moment, she didn’t know where to begin, everything looked great. Remembering that her note hadn’t given clear instructions to Cynthia in terms of time-frames, she figured she had plenty of time to pick out clothes.

“Your Mommy gave a-hundred and twenty dollars to buy you clothes, go ahead and pick out whatever you like; we’ll see what fits, and put back the rest.”

Tyler looked up at her babysitter; the note had specified one-hundred and fifty dollars for clothes; apparently Cynthia wasn’t trustworthy. But by the time she looked up at her guardian-for-the-day, Cynthia was absorbed in her phone, and was barely paying any attention to Tyler. Tyler chose not to confront Cynthia about the money, and instead chose to stay in character; she doubted it would do any good to protest.

“Here, hold this.” Tyler pulled a flower-print romper down from the rack and handed it to Cynthia. The item was followed by another, similar one; then another, and another, and so on. Tyler grabbed all manner of items and loaded up Cynthia’s arms. Eventually she turned around to hand yet another choice to Cynthia, but Cynthia was gone. Tyler looked around for a minute, poking her head into the main aisle to see where her babysitter had disappeared to; but she saw nothing, even the armful of clothes was missing.

Cynthia reappeared just as Tyler began to walk toward the front of the store. She had collected a cart and loaded all of the clothes into it, saying, “I ain’t gonna hold this stuff all day.”

With her latest choice, Tyler figured that the sizable heap was enough. “Let’s go try them on!”

At the changing room, Tyler wasn’t too annoyed that Cynthia only seemed interested in her phone; it gave her plenty of time to herself. She knew full well that the huge amount of clothes would cost too much, but that didn’t matter; she just wanted to try them on. And that’s what she did. She didn’t know how much time she spent trying on clothes, but she guessed it was probably a while.

Twirling and posing in each dress or skirt, alternating combinations of tops and bottoms; she tried some outfits twice, even three times. Eventually she had worked her way through the entire stack and chosen a nicely varied selection to keep. A rough estimate of price suggested she should be able to pick out socks and shoes and still be within the budget.

When Tyler emerged from the changing room, Cynthia was sitting on a bench, still playing on her phone. She hadn’t once checked on Tyler or even knocked on the changing room door. Tyler suspected it had been well more than an hour, shouldn’t a babysitter be a little more active in her duty? Cynthia didn’t look up when Tyler came out; she didn’t move as Tyler put all the extra items on the rack to return; she didn’t even seem to notice when Tyler put an armful of clothes in the cart.

“I want these ones.”

“Mmm-hmm.” Cynthia rose slowly, still absorbed in her phone.

“Let’s go find shoes.” Tyler looked up at Cynthia, waiting for her to acknowledge being spoken to. When she didn’t, Tyler added “come on.”

“I got a better idea, kiddo.” She hoisted Tyler up and set her in the child seat in the cart. “Here you go, now let’s find you some shoes.” Cynthia began pushing the cart, mumbling to herself about how she should’ve done this from the start.

Tyler liked riding in the cart; she even enjoyed just being picked up with any warning. She liked being carried too, but riding in the cart wasn’t putting her in an awkward and revealing position. Either way, they made it over to the shoe section and began roaming the aisles until Tyler saw something she liked. She really wanted to get some super-cute Mary-Janes but decided that a pair of sneakers would probably go better with the outfits she’d picked out.

At the register, Tyler noted that the total came to one-hundred and thirty-five dollars; she also noted that Cynthia didn’t say anything about going ‘over budget’—or at least the one she had personally imposed.

“Well, you spent the whole budget here, so I guess there’s no point going to any other stores.” Cynthia slid Tyler into the middle of the back seat, setting the bags of clothes next to her.

Tyler hadn’t thought about that. She was a little upset that she blew the chance to check out other places, maybe even the mall. However, she was definitely satisfied with her selection, and immediately dove into the bags to find something to wear.

Cynthia heard her rummaging through the bags and turned around to see what was going on. “Oh, I guess you want to wear that stuff right now. Just tell me when you done.” She once again took the opportunity to play with her phone.

Tyler selected a pair of pink leggings, with a denim jumper over top of a white, long-sleeve shirt. As if she wasn’t already aware of it, she noted—once her pajama bottoms were off—that her diaper was quite swollen and in need of changing. She wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to ask for a change, so she kept quiet, hoping Cynthia would change her when they reached the next destination. After slipping into socks and shoes, she bundled her pajamas into one of the bags. “I’m ready to go.”

“Okay then Taylor, where do you wanna eat?” Cynthia started the car.

“I don’t know.” Tyler hesitated, not sure whether she—or rather, someone the age she appeared to be—would know the names of restaurants.

“Alright.” Cynthia sounded a little annoyed. “What do you want to eat? What kind of food?”

“Chicken.” Tyler figured that would narrow it down, or possibly get Cynthia to prompt with a suggestion that she could agree to. “I wanna get a milkshake too.”

“Chicken and a milkshake? I think I know a place.”

Again, Tyler did her best to hold herself still in the back seat. The drive to wherever Cynthia was taking them gave Tyler a chance to reflect. She didn’t like Cynthia very much. Maybe it was due to her age—the fact that she wasn’t a complete infant—but she felt like a babysitter should do more than Cynthia was doing. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but apart from actually being excited about it and liking the way she looked, picking out clothes hadn’t felt all that much different than when she was an adult; it all felt somewhat mechanical.

Tyler’s thoughts were interrupted as she wet her diaper again. It felt very soggy now, way more than it should. Reaching a hand under her thigh, she found dampness. A leak; her diaper had leaked, and it wasn’t a small leak. Well, so much for the leggings, they had lasted all of ten minutes before needing to be washed. Now she was really unsure what to do. If ever there was a time to tell Cynthia she needed changing, this was it. No, this was Cynthia’s fault in the first place, she would find out on her own, even if it meant Tyler had to sit in a wet diaper for a little while. The feeling of a wet diaper wasn’t too bad; not as good as a clean, dry one, but certainly tolerable—Tyler actually liked the feeling of a wet diaper, but soaked to the point of leaking was another thing entirely. Spotting a water bottle on the seat beside her, she quietly opened it and drank as much as she could. If Cynthia wasn’t going to go to the trouble of checking her, then she’d pay for it when she found out that the back seat of her car was soaked.

~

“Oh no; Taylor, you’re soaked.” Cynthia’s hand recoiled quickly when it touched Tyler’s wet backside. “And—oh dammit, the seat is wet too.”

Tyler didn’t say anything, she was content to just watch Cynthia get upset about her accident. Maybe now she’d do her job and check Tyler’s diaper every now and then.

“Well, come on then, let’s get your diaper changed.” Cynthia took Tyler’s hand and led her into the Chick-fil-a. This one had a play area for kids. Tyler had every intention of making use of it.

“I wanna go play!” Tyler announced her desire loudly as they entered; she began tugging on Cynthia’s arm. She hoped this would further annoy her apathetic babysitter.

“No.” Cynthia pulled her along roughly. “I gotta change your diaper first.”

In the restroom, Cynthia picked Tyler up and laid her on the changing table. Tyler wasn’t sure if she was ready for this, but she had signed up for it and it was too late to back out. Her shoes were removed and set aside, then her leggings were peeled off.

“I guess you don’t need these anymore, you’ll be fine without them.” Cynthia bundled up the wet clothing and stuffed it in a plastic bag in her large purse. She didn’t strap Tyler down, but simply folded back her jumper and began untaping her overly-soggy diaper.

Tyler did her best to not squirm, but she still jolted when the cool wipe touched her privates. She imagined that if she had a mirror, she’d see that her face was as red as a stop sign—not something a real baby would do. Her privates—something that even she wasn’t fully acquainted with—were on full display to Cynthia, but Cynthia was mindlessly wiping her clean. Being essentially naked in front of a stranger made it feel like they’d see through her disguise, the one where she hadn’t always been in a girl’s body. She shook the feeling from her mind; she refused to think that way again.

“Lucky you, this is the only diaper I have with me, but it looks like it’ll fit you.” Cynthia pulled out a clean diaper from her purse. It didn’t appear to be a Pampers, Huggies, or any other name-brand; it was plain white with some knock-off designs on the front. Tyler watched as her legs were lifted and the new diaper was slid under her bottom. The cushioned, faux-fabric exterior, absorbent garment was pulled quickly between her legs and taped in place. Again, hands beneath her arms hoisted her up and set her on the floor; her jumper covered her enough that apparently Cynthia didn’t think any legwear was necessary. As a previous male, she was unfamiliar with skirts or dresses, but now she liked the idea.

She felt drafty between her legs as they exited the restroom and placed their order. This was apparently the common thing for girls, so she had to force herself to adapt. Fortunately, no one else was in the restaurant, so she had plenty of opportunity to acquaint herself with wearing a dress. The food wouldn’t be ready for a few minutes, and Cynthia gave her the go-ahead to play in the play area while they waited.

Tyler climbed into the plastic tubes of the play area with a fresh energy. No one was looking; she might as well play by herself. The sheer comparative height of the play area was daunting. Each platform was a large fraction of her own height, and required her to put full effort into climbing up to the top. Once there, she hesitated, staring down the steep incline of the slide as it spiraled out of sight. Was this really what she remembered from being a kid? Was this even proportionally accurate to her current size?

After a minute of hesitation, she convinced herself to go down the slide. Immediately her stomach came up into her throat, and static electricity shocked her several times on the way town, but by the time she reached the bottom, she couldn’t hide the massive smiled across her face. This was something scaled to her size; appropriate, engaging, fun. Yes, she was actually having fun. She raced back up the jungle-gym to do it again.

With each lap, each trip down the slide, she stopped to see if the food had been delivered to the table; it had not. Each round of the playground filled her with an excitement she had long-since forgotten, and she continued indulging until she noticed something different. Upon reaching the bottom of the slide, she noticed the presence of another person in the restaurant. There was a man; hair flattened down and bunched up all at the same time, he looked tired. This new man sat by the window, sipping at his drink, apparently he was also waiting for his food to be delivered. Tyler climbed trough the jungle-gym again.

But on the next trip down the slide, she noticed something; she recognized the man. Using her new character as a disguise, she planted herself against the window that divided the play area from the eating area. Sure enough, the tired man was someone she knew. He was a man named Paul, whom she had previously worked with. Foul-mouthed and uncaring, the man was a workaholic who only valued other people by what they could accomplish on the job. But as he turned to look at her, there was none of the fervor or determination in his eyes. Instead, there was only a forlorn gaze, as if he was sighing deeply; this was a side of him that Tyler had never seen. It was apparent that he didn’t recognize her, but that didn’t keep him from watching.

Cynthia on the other hand, had gone missing. Their drinks remained at the table; perhaps she had gone to the restroom. Tyler went back to climbing up the colorful platforms and crawling through the tubes. Her diaper was wet again. Tyler noted that this was becoming easier, not unlike the time she had taken vacation and spent the whole week in diapers. Not the act of peeing, no, that was instant and unstoppable, but it was easier in that it wasn’t as noticeable, it didn’t demand her full attention. She was looking forward to that; she was looking forward to gradually losing awareness of when she used her diaper. Sadly, it was hard not to notice how wet her diaper was right now. Whatever brand this was didn’t even come close to the Pampers she’d been wearing previously. This diaper sagged greatly, and flopped about as she moved. In the privacy of the play area’s interior, she performed a quick readjustment of the tapes. This helped alleviate the sagging, but it didn’t make the diaper feel any less wet; and this diaper felt significantly worse when wet than her Pampers.

Another lap through the platforms and tubes; she was really beginning to enjoy this. Her heart was beating rapidly and she began to forget her troubles. With each time she went down the slide, she noticed the restaurant a bit less. Cynthia, Paul, their heavily-delayed food; all of it faded from her mind. Instead, her only thought when reaching the bottom of the slide was to climb through again; to feel the rush of the descent just once more.

But just once more through was all she could enjoy, for an uneasiness took her; one that she couldn’t explain. She felt it in her gut, but it didn’t seem to be a physical feeling—at least not yet. The feeling, however, slowed her enough to pause at the bottom of the slide. Cynthia was still missing, and still no food yet. Paul—or at least, the man she was nearly certain was Paul—still alternated between staring at his drink, glancing toward Cynthia’s drink, and watching Tyler. This time, Tyler caught him watching her closely; his eyes didn’t drift, but now that she was staring back, their eyes met each other. He looked sad, or at least depressed; definitely lonely, tired.

Was there envy in his expression? Could it really be that the man she had previously seen as harsh and sturdy was now looking at her—ironically, specifically, her—in her new form as a little girl; was he envious of her? Did he see her playing and wish he could enjoy her bliss? Tyler knew that she had done so many times before, but she had never imagined others, least of all Paul, feeling the same way.

Tyler was half-way up the jungle-gym when she suddenly knew the true nature of her uneasy feeling. A sharp pain hit her in the gut, and her insides began to churn rapidly. She had to poop, and she knew there wasn’t much time before it happened. She climbed farther up, but another stab caused her to double-over in pain; she had to get to the restroom, she had to do anything to avoid pooping in her diaper. All she had to do was climb up a few more ledges, crawl through a big, see-through tube, and slide down the slide. Urgency spurred her on, and she clambered quickly to the top and out into the big tube.

But she stopped, it was too late; far too late, if she moved another muscle she would poop, but it would happen anyway if she waited. She clenched her stomach with one hand. Below her, Cynthia was returning, but was already absorbed with her phone. Was twenty minutes too short a time since a diaper change to expect Cynthia to check if she needed to be changed again? Why hadn’t this happened when she was in the car, or better yet, when they were in the restroom where she could use the toilet?

With all her might, Tyler clenched, trying to keep herself from having a nasty accident. She wanted Cynthia to look up and see her; if she looked up she’d see that Tyler was upset, scared. No… that wouldn’t matter anyway, Cynthia wouldn’t do anything even if she knew what was happening; she would just go back to playing on her phone. Tyler tried to clench harder as her body twitched. It was close Tears fell when Tyler remembered an important detail: Cynthia didn’t have any more diapers, they would have to get some more.

But there was more to it than that; first, she would have to get down from the jungle-gym, and that meant either going down the slide or climbing down the other side, neither of which sounded fun while wearing a messy diaper; then she would have to tell Cynthia about her accident, another thing she wasn’t looking forward to; additionally, there was very little chance that Cynthia would just up and leave, so she would likely have to sit and eat before they could go; then there was walking to the car, sitting in the car, bumping up and down as they drove, walking into a store; then she would either have to sit in a cart or walk even more; get the diapers, pay for the diapers, go to a restroom and then finally, finally get changed. That seemed like a lifetime away. And would Cynthia move quickly; would she have any sympathy for Tyler? No, of course not, she’d probably even go out of her way to make things take more time—likely as payback for Tyler peeing on her back seat. She was a terrible babysitter to begin with.

She didn’t give a shit about her charge, or anything at all that wasn’t her phone. How could there even be a babysitter like that?

Why didn’t she care? Why didn’t she even have any spare diapers? Why hadn’t Tyler thought to pack her own?

Why?

It wasn’t fair.

Another churning in her stomach, another sharp pain as something moved inside her. It wasn’t only then that she realized she wasn’t clenching, wasn’t trying to hold it in; she never had been. She’d been pretending, trying to believe it in her head; but it wasn’t true. The only reason she hadn’t gone already was that her body hadn’t been quite there yet. But now that it was, her body acted involuntarily, just liked all the times she’d wet her diaper over the course of the last day and a half. Her muscles tensed, but not the ones she wanted. She tried to clench and hold it with all her might, as if she could will it into even being possible. Her body ignored her and simply released. It felt like she was doing it herself, but she wasn’t, and it didn’t matter either way; she was relaxing, she didn’t even need to push.

The mess came quickly, hot, runny, disgusting; it gurgled as it slushed and spread over her backside. Guided by her diaper, it slithered and slopped against her; on her hands and knees, the mess slid toward the front—a feeling which made her feel even more sick. She was crying the whole time, even if it took only a few moments, but tears didn’t stop her body from relieving itself. Tyler remained motionless; was there more, would her diaper leak, had it leaked already? Just how long would it be until she could have her diaper changed? Questions rolled around her head, which only made the already-unpleasant situation even worse.

But there were a few certainties now, a few questions that had been answered. Her new body was totally incontinent; whether she liked it or not, there was no hope of making it to the toilet for anything. She had also learned that she was definitely not living in some perfect wish-fulfillment fantasy. If she was, this wouldn’t have happened.

Did that explain why her ill-conceived plot to get a babysitter had worked in the first place? Was the only reason for Cynthia even going along with any of this simply because she didn’t care, and had no business even calling herself a babysitter? It kinda made sense. It wasn’t a pleasant idea, but that only made it seem more real. Cynthia was corrupt and frequently unpleasant; but then, so was the real world; the real world was very often unpleasant.

Tyler sniffled and dried her eyes on her sleeve; slowly, she started crawling. Messy diapers were very unpleasant.

2 Likes

You’ve got a wide cast and after catching up on everything I have no idea which direction it’s headed in, but I’m here for the ride. :grin: I’m wondering if at some point all the characters’ paths will cross/ will they find out what/how the regression happened. Maybe something nefarious is going on. Or jsut some random magic. Or they fell into the Twilight Zone.

Speculations aside, this has a very strong feel of reality, and you’ve balanced the good luck/ badluck very well, which also adds to the realistic feel. :diaper: :star_struck:

1 Like

Ronnie

Ronnie shifted his stance as he pissed himself again, but even this slight movement resulted in him being poked by dozens of sharp twigs. Crouched in a row of bushes, he was thankful that he was wearing a pull-up—if only because it kept his clothes dry. He was more thankful that wasn’t shitting himself again. Diapers or not, cleaning up shit was neither easy nor enjoyable in any way. It seemed like all of yesterday had been spent cleaning himself up over and over. At least the accidents had slowed down through the night, but they were still completely unavoidable. A belly full of booze and bad fast-food seemed to be one and only thing that stayed with him when he transformed into a baby. Wonderful. That had only made his worst day even worse.

But today was a new day, or at least the sun was up now; Ronnie hadn’t slept during the night, and now everything seemed to blend together. But still, the sun was up, some stores were opening, it was getting warmer—even if that didn’t mean it would actually be warm. He was still a little baby black girl, and his hangover was more or less gone. That only took a whole damn day. If he was going to remain as a baby, he would have to do something to survive—at least until he could figure out how to fix this. He didn’t have even the first idea of how to transform himself back into his real body, and just thinking about it reminded him just how impossible that was. No, for now, he had to focus on survival. Come up with a plan, gather essentials, find a place to stay; these were the things he needed to work on.

First thing was shoes. He had been barefoot since yesterday, and had spent the last night with his feet wrapped in pull-ups just to try and keep them warm. While they did help, they certainly lent nothing to mobility. So there he was, hiding in the bushes in front of a Goodwill, waiting for the store to open. For his best chance of success, he would have to wait until at least a few people had gone into the store—and preferably at least one of them would be black. If he was the only one there, he was bound to attract attention, but if there were other people there, he might go unnoticed; and if he was discovered, there was a good chance that someone would assume he belonged to one of the other shoppers, more so if he actually looked like at least one of them.

Goodwill didn’t have any security devices on their items, so if he was careful, he could just grab as much as he could carry and sneak out. The highest priority was shoes, or boots, or anything that fit him. Socks would be good too, but not a necessity. After that, he would certainly need some warmer clothes; hopefully ones that actually fit. If he could get those items, then maybe he should find a bag of some sort so he could carry everything more easily. This would all be easier if the clothes he was wearing didn’t look like they were stolen, but considering how poorly they fit, he imagined they did.

~

Eventually, after another agonizing couple hours of hiding in the bushes, the store was open and people were going in. His pull-up was more wet than before; he worried that a sudden leak could compromise his mission, but then again, so could a lot of things. He decided to risk it and wait until later to change.

He waited until he saw someone entering the store; a black woman, she was talking to someone on her phone; perfect. Carefully, he crept up behind her and followed her inside, not too close that she noticed him, but also not too far back that the door swung shut before he could enter. Once inside, he quickly moved away from the woman and her choking cloud of perfume. Down a narrow aisle he ran, barefoot across the vinyl-tile floor, which, while far more pleasant than the asphalt parking lot, still felt gritty and dirty to his soft feet. At the end of the aisle he turned and made his way to the clothes section at the back of the store.

Now no longer gagging on perfume, he was able to breathe again and smell the odd mixture of Febreze, someone-else’s-detergent, and a hint of mothballs. He didn’t plan to spend very long in this store. Finally reaching a rack of shoes, he was disappointed to find that a lot of the smaller shoes were too high for him to reach; his selection was limited to the bottom two shelves. Everything seemed far too big to fit him, but at this point, even flip-flops would be better than nothing. Just before he started searching through the sandals, he spotted something that might just fit. A pair of winter boots; girl’s, naturally. They looked like snow boots, big and bulky, the insides were super fuzzy, and there were no laces to be seen. They were black with purple stitching, purple fur, and even a couple purple pom-poms—basically the last thing he’d ever think of wearing. But they fit well when he slipped them on; a bit loose, but again, better than nothing. After peeling off the colored price tag sticker, they may as well have belonged to him the whole time.

His feet were more than thankful to be clad in shoes once again, but he couldn’t waste any time enjoying himself; he went off in search of a bag. It was harder to be silent now that his new boots were scuffing the floor—and to think he’d been worried about his pull-up crinkling too much, these were much louder. There were a few other people in the store, but they seemed to be keeping to their own corners. Still, he stopped frequently to listen for their footsteps and to peer under the clothes racks to see if they were nearby.

At another set of shelves, he was rummaging through an assortment of bags and pouches. In one hand, he had a plain tote bag, and in the other was a brightly-colored kids backpack. Despite the fact that both were empty, it surprised and worried him just how heavy they felt in his hands. Looping the backpack over his shoulder, he took the tote bag with him, back to the baby clothes section. Everything seemed to be arranged by color instead of size, making the racks look like dull rainbows but ultimately frustrating to navigate. He didn’t have time for this. Hastily, he started grabbing baby clothes off the rack, stuffing whatever looked even remotely close to his size into the tote bag.

“Hello young lady,” a look-what-we-have-here voice spoke from behind him.

An icy chill went down his spine; how close was this lady? Could he run?

“I do hope you’re planning to pay for all of those.”

Ronnie slowly turned to see an older woman peering down at him with a distrusting face. He didn’t know how to respond. He hadn’t technically stolen anything yet, but he was in the process of it, and he knew that it looked exactly like it was.

“Ma’am!” the woman spoke loudly, apparently addressing someone nearby. She didn’t take her eyes off of Ronnie. “Ma’am, could you come over here and collect your child?”

“What?” a surprised tone spoke from at least a couple aisles away. “Hold on, I can’t hear you.”

If Ronnie had to guess, it was the black lady he had followed into the store. Had he been spotted when they entered or was this other woman assuming he was with the only other black person in the store? When the woman arrived, Ronnie saw that it was indeed the woman he had followed.

“Ma’am,” the attendant spoke again. “Is this your child?”

“Huh? Nah, I came here alone.”

“Please, Ma’am—”

“She put me up to it!” Ronnie cut the attendant off, mid-sentence, and pointed at the other woman.

“She’ lyin’, I told you I came here alone.”

Ronnie took off running, darting under one of the racks of clothes. The attendant had turned to look at the other woman, and that was his chance to escape. Scrambling and tripping through the store, he found himself bogged down with the weight of his bag. He didn’t want to leave it behind, otherwise there was little point even coming here. He slammed into the door but it barely moved. With all his strength, he planet his feet and pushed. A clattering of feet was approaching behind him when the door was open just enough to fit through, but the tote bag got caught in the door. He yanked on the handle once, twice; nothing. He gave it up and took off running without looking back again. No one seemed to pursue him into the parking lot; he had escaped.

~

Once again out of breath from running, Ronnie took a few moments to let his heart stop racing. He was back in the relative privacy of the small thicket where he had previously left some of his things. Specifically the package of off-brand pull-ups that he’d stolen the day before. Shedding his overalls, he stepped out of his currently soggy garment and stepped into a fresh replacement.

“Well that’s just fuckin’… great.” Two dark crescents near the crotch of the already-detested pink overalls prompted his outburst, but hearing his voice again just made it worse; he couldn’t even swear with any level of satisfaction. His plan would have been fine if this body wasn’t so weak that he couldn’t even open a door properly. Most of his loot had to be left behind just so he could get away. It just piled on and on and on; he couldn’t get what he needed, he had to change another pull-up, and it turned out the thing had leaked. What was next?

The damp spots weren’t too big, but as soon as he put the overalls back on, he could feel the cool moisture against his skin. It wasn’t like he had any other clothes to wear so these would have to do. He rolled up the pant legs again, as they had rolled down during his change and were too long to wear at their intended length. At least his boots were comfy. But still, everything hated him and there was nothing he could do about it. He kicked out in anger, sending that pink—fucking—package of pull-ups flying across the ground; an action he would instantly regret.

Anger boiling like a pot of water, he muttered curses while picking up the scattered pull-ups. If only he could just kick them angrily and not need them any more; but he did. He did need them; Ronnie needed pull-ups because he couldn’t help but piss and shit himself without warning. If that wasn’t enough to make someone mad, nothing was. And while he was most definitely mad about it, he knew that being angry wouldn’t make it any better. If anything—that very knowledge only made it even more infuriating. He wanted to scream and break stuff, but that would only make things worse.

For the time being, he needed these pull-ups; he couldn’t throw them away no matter how much he hated them. Shaking the dirt off of them, he stuffed the pull-ups into the backpack—the only thing other than shoes that he’d managed to escape with—and zipped it shut. Time to go try again somewhere else.

No, his attempt at the Goodwill hadn’t been a complete failure; he at least got shoes and a backpack, Ronnie had to admit gaining something for his efforts. Still, thievery wasn’t his forte; he’d never stolen anything in his life—up until yesterday, and again today. Seeing no other options for the time being, he decided that he would just have to learn to do better. The nearby Goodwill was too hot now, so unless he found another second-hand store, getting more clothes would have to wait. He wanted something that fit better, and something warmer, in case the weather got colder, which knowing his luck, it would. Oh well, that would have to wait. Sticking to alleys and side paths, staying away from more populated areas where a little girl in pink would be noticed, he began to put distance between himself and the Goodwill.

A plan began forming in his head for the next place to go. He needed food, but certainly wasn’t going to get it by asking. Back to stealing it seemed, only now he had something he could use to hide his goods. He stopped to check his backpack. If he left it partially unzipped—just along the top—he could probably drop stuff into it, over his shoulder, while it was still on his back. After trying it a few times with several pull-ups, he was fairly confident he could do the same with other items. Now he just needed to find a grocery store or something.

~

It had taken all day to find a grocery store, but as evening set in, he was done, finished; task complete. This time without a frantic escape, he had gotten away with all that he intended to get. Unlike his last venture, the only attention he’d attracted where few stares from shoppers who hadn’t known what to make of the scowling little girl in pink.

Even more painstaking than the search to find the place was the wait until his preferred aisle was empty. He had waited and waited, eventually resorting to browsing other aisles and making passes by his target. But eventually, he was rewarded for is patience as it seemed that the drone-like shoppers either stopped noticing him, or stopped caring. His wager had paid off, proving that they would be more interested in filling their carts and getting home than looking into the odd case of a lone toddler walking the aisles. Surely some of them just told themselves that he—or in their eyes, she—was just an unruly child whose mother didn’t care what she did.

But he wasn’t there to judge people’s habits and lack of concern for anyone other than themselves. How could he when his only purpose there was to steal? No, he would use their habits and apathy against them, or rather, for his own gain. It felt wrong, but it was necessary. And for his efforts, he had been rewarded with spoils. Soup, mostly; since it wouldn’t spoil, and a couple bottles of water; he’d even managed to get a can opener, without which his cans of soup would be useless.

But now he was away from the store; off somewhere down the street, between some crumby apartments, past a chain link fence that inexplicably secured a crumbling parking lot full of weeds, and finally to rest on the steps of an abandoned brick building. With the sun getting lower, he knew he needed to find a decent place to sleep. He was tired, and his backpack—now with several cans of hearty soup and two water bottles—was heavy, far more so than he had planned to make it. The burden was not making his travels any easier.

Traffic was picking up as they day wound to a close; he could hear the noise of a nearby highway even as he walked through a neighborhood—it sure must be “nice” living here. Over the course of the day, he had learned more and more than almost no one even bothered to look his direction for more than a second. Likely, it was his bright pink clothes that attracted their attention in the first place—something he would have to correct at a later occasion. For now, the neighborhood he walked through was noisy, dirty, run down; and the people seemed to be perfectly content with their own activities, which ranged from standing in groups on street corners to yelling loud enough that their voices were loud and clear from within brick walls. He didn’t want to be here; he wasn’t even sure how he’d ended up in this part of town. But he’d been wandering direction-less for the better part of two days, he could be pretty far from home by now.

No one noticed him, which was good, because most people didn’t look like pleasant folks. Most of the area was row housing, with each yard either overrun with weeds or worn down to dirt, but nonetheless someone had felt that dividing them with waist-high chain-link fencing was necessary. It didn’t seem to do much good, as two yards in particular were littered with garbage despite being devoid of residents, meanwhile, the yard between them currently hosted a rather loud party. In his real body, Ronnie wouldn’t be caught dead in a neighborhood like this; though ironically, dead would probably be how he’d be found if he did get caught in such a neighborhood. He hurried along, eager to get away from other people.

Eventually, he found his way into a more commercial section of town. Ignoring the dilapidated storefronts, he went around the end of a long building and began wandering down the alley in back. Somewhere about halfway down the alley was a small shed with an old, rusty box-truck parked next to it. Tired, and hungry, and definitely in need of a change, he headed toward it. While he was looking for somewhere private to change, the condition of his pull-up was enough to warrant just changing in any dark corner.

Much to his dismay, though not to any great surprise, the shed was locked with a padlock; and while everything else in the area was pretty run down, the shed appeared to remain sturdy enough that he couldn’t break in—certainly not with this body at least. Grumbling curses, he looked up and down the alley in both directions; no one in sight. Between the truck and the shed was about as private as he would get, so he set down his backpack and began stripping. The pull-up was sagging heavily, only held in place by his overalls which he had cinched up as much as the shoulder straps would allow.

After using the pull-up itself to clean as much shit as possible, he knew he needed to clean more. Reluctantly, he pulled out another pull up, tore the sides, and used it to wipe himself some more, but even that left him still feeling dirty. With a third pull-up, and this time after pouring some water on it, he wiped and wiped and wiped, finally using the other end to wipe and confirm that no more mess was coming off. Well, it would have to do for now; he rolled up the pull-ups and tossed them in a nearby dumpster before returning to his stuff. Another sprinkle of water on his hands and he wiped them off on his shirt. His hands were brown, but apparently they hadn’t gotten any mess on them. He stared at them for a moment—that was something that would take some getting used to. They weren’t his hands, the ones he was used to, grew up with, recognized; but at the same time, they were his hands. They just didn’t look like it,

Once dressed again, he started exploring his surroundings. Given how tired he was, he didn’t plan on going anywhere else, so somewhere right nearby would be where he would sleep. The box-truck wouldn’t be going anywhere, not with all the tires being flat like they were. He could sleep behind the shed, or between it and the truck; maybe there was a corner somewhere nearby that wasn’t entirely covered in garbage. He looked up at the cab of the truck; it was definitely locked.

None of the windows were broken, and considering that it was quite likely for someone in this area to come back here, looking for anything worth stealing, they would most likely have just broken the windows. So why weren’t they broken? Carefully climbing up on the side step, he reached up as far as he could. Barely touching the door handle, he climbed further out, sacrificing his footing for a chance to reach the handle with enough leverage to pull it open. But he couldn’t do it, it was just too far.

He didn’t give up though, retrieving the can opener from his pack, he tore away the packaging and used it to extend his reach. It worked, but no matter how much he tried to lift the handle, nothing happened. Feeling defeated once again, he decided to give the passenger side door a try. Again, climbing up and leaning out, he used the can opener to push up on the handle. This time it worked, and the door swung open, knocking him to the ground in a heap. Ignoring any scrapes, he jumped back up. The truck was open. Quickly gathering his backpack, he tossed it into the cab of the truck and climbed inside, pulling the door shut behind him.

The inside of the cab smelled like several decades of old, sweaty, ass; likely the exact thing that had been driving the truck for those very decades. Ass and cigarettes. Considering that this was the only option he had for sleeping ‘inside,’ he wasn’t about to dismiss it for being dirty. After taking a brief moment of respite, he opened his pack and fished out one of the soup cans.

“Dammit! Shit!”

He had forgotten to get a spoon.

It didn’t matter, he was going to eat that soup even if he had to use his hands. But he didn’t have to; drinking it worked well enough, though with all the chunks of meat and veggies, a lot of it ended up getting spilled down his front. That didn’t matter either. Not wanting to waste anything, he finished the can, following it with several gulps of water.

The seat was a bench seat, so he could easily lie down across part of it. There was also a blanket which had been thrown over a giant tear on the driver’s side. This he pulled free, and was about to cover himself up with, when he had another idea. Rummaging through the cab of the truck, he found a pencil and a scrap of paper. He needed to make a ‘shopping’ list to help him remember things he would need.

He wasn’t used to needing to replenish a slowly dwindling supply of pull-ups, nor were things like wipes even on his mind until he was changing, so when he went to the store, he had totally forgotten them. Maybe he could even get a smaller size pull-up, something that actually fit properly. He would need utensils if was going to be eating like this all the time, and if he ever found another second-hand clothing store, he would have to find some clothes that fit and weren’t such a bright color.

After scribbling down several items, he pushed the note into a pocket on the backpack. Laying down on the seat, he pulled the ratty old blanket over himself, staring up at the headliner as his eyes began to droop. It wasn’t dark yet, but he was worn out. Tomorrow would be another day of the same shit. He wasn’t looking forward to it at all, mostly because there wasn’t much to actually do. Other than needing to eat, sleep, steal, and change diapers, he had no obligations.

If anyone missed him, they would never find him; he didn’t exist any more. He rolled over, causing his tangle of nappy hair to fall over his face—another thing he didn’t like. This body was just about useless, but maybe—he thought about it for a minute—there was something he could do about that. With nothing better to do, he could spend a great deal of time working out. Push ups, sit ups, squats; it would be easy enough to find something relatively heavy that he could lift. He knew about workouts, and this body certainly needed it.

This body tired too easily, and he didn’t like pushing it; but he needed to. He didn’t want to sleep in this dirty old truck, but he needed to; he didn’t like wearing pull-ups, but he needed them; he didn’t want to steal, but he had to. What other distasteful thing would he need to do before the end of this—if there was an end? For now, he would sleep in this truck, maybe until morning, maybe until the following afternoon. None of his plans, not his list, not any of his supplies would help solve his real problem, the same problem that caused him to need all these things that he didn’t want. He wished things could go back to the way they were, but he wasn’t sure if that was even possible.

He hadn’t cried in a very long time, but he felt like crying now. Shutting his eyes, he hoped to fall asleep before that happened. But even such a small thing refused to go his way; sleep didn’t come, but tears did. Each droplet down his cheek was another blow against his wounded pride and crumbling defenses; each wet trail through the dirt on his face was another mark, another brand; showing openly how far he’d fallen. Each tear made the next one easier, until he was crying openly and helplessly. Whatever he’d done to deserve such a fate, it couldn’t possibly equal the shame and fear he now felt.

But even after the tears dried and his throat was left to ache, sleep still eluded him. Tired though he was, his mind continued to race, imagining all the horrors which awaited him. Though he stared at the rotting headliner above him, he didn’t see it; instead, he only saw the works of his frantic imagination. Sleep refused to come, as if withholding his hard-earned reward for surviving a single day.

Time passed, but he didn’t know how long. It was dark now, but he wasn’t sure when the sun had fully set. His mind had eventually tired of trying to tear itself apart, leaving him to lay alone as his eyes began to droop, sung to sleep by the distant sound of sirens and pounding music. But just as they closed, just as he began to drift away, he heard a sound that chilled his bones.

The throbbing of heavy bass rattled the rusted frame of his little hideaway; someone was close, very close. A light source pierced the dark and filled the truck’s cabin. Moments later, the rhythm he heard was joined by another like it.

Carefully, he sat up and peeked through the dirty windows. Outside, three sets of headlights had gathered; two of them beside each other, facing the third. Doors opened and cabin lights came on as several dark figures exited from each vehicle. The music was turned down, soon drowned by the muffled sound of agitated voices. Ronnie, as quickly and quietly as he could, slipped down to the floorboards of the truck, dragging the filthy blanket over top.

Hoping and praying that no one had seen him, he curled up and lay as still as a corpse. There was something hard underneath him that felt like a screwdriver; he dared not move it. Outside, the voices engaged in a heated exchange. Ronnie wondered how long they planned to argue before guns were drawn.

He knew he had to be alert, ready to try and make a run for it in case anyone happened to look inside the truck. But now, now, of all unwanted times, he felt himself nodding off. Shaking himself awake a couple times, he still didn’t dare to move much or do anything that might expose himself. Sleep closed in, spitefully assuring him that when he woke, there could be a knife or gun in his face, a hand on his neck, or worse; inside him. He didn’t even want to imagine what the hardcore residents of this neighborhood might do if they found a little girl alone in an alley. He didn’t dare to even dream of what it would be like spend his last moments being raped.

But dream he did.

1 Like

Letty

Leaning back against the door to the laundry closet, Letty sighed heavily as she slid to the ground. Never in her life would she have thought that moving her bedding from the washer to the dryer would be so exhausting. But as the dryer hummed its rhythmic drone, she took a well-earned moment to relax. Would she have to go through a huge ordeal for every simple task from now on? For the second morning in a row she had awoken to find that she had wet in her sleep, only this time the bed itself didn’t get wet. For this she was thankful, as the bedding from Sunday morning was only just now being dried; she definitely wanted to avoid any more unnecessary loads of laundry.

She would have enjoyed a quick nap as the moderate rumbling of the dryer was actually somewhat soothing, but faintly through the walls, she heard another noise; a knocking sound. At first, she tried to ignore it; probably the downstairs neighbors anyway, one of those idiots was always locking the other outside and forgetting to let them back in. The knocking continued, but it didn’t sound like it was from downstairs. She listened closer, giving up on trying to ignore it. The sound was too quiet to be someone knocking on her own door. She leaned her head out into the short hallway; the sound was almost certainly coming from her door.

As she walked toward her apartment door, the sound grew louder; as she neared, she began to realize something: it was probably her order from the day before, she hadn’t thought it would arrive so quickly. Okay. She didn’t need to sign for the package, but of course the delivery guy would be surprised to see a baby answer the door. Would he still give her the package? What if she made up an excuse? What if she told him her mommy was in the bathroom? He was still knocking; man, he was persistent.

She had to hurry. If he left, he’d take the package to the apartment office; she’d never be able to get it them. Trying her best to make her voice sound deeper, she shouted “just a minute!” Nope, she just sounded like a baby. Maybe he’d stick around anyway. Rushing to the kitchen, she grabbed a chair and dragged it to the door, only pausing for a moment to contemplated whether her t-shirt was enough clothing. It covered her makeshift diaper, so that was good enough. Plus, it wasn’t like babies weren’t regularly seen in just diapers. She knew that’s all someone would see, even if she knew she’d want to die of embarrassment.

She stopped at the door, the knocking continued. The door handle was above her head, the chain lock even higher; which was why she brought the chair. Excitement and haste almost made her forget the the most basic of rules and open the chain lock without checking who was outside. Taking a breath, she reached up and pulled the door open until it stopped against the chain lock.

“Hello?”

Letty looked up initially, but saw no one. As her eyes fell down, she saw a boy with messy brown hair standing a few feet away. He was a little bit taller than she, but looked quite young; he didn’t say anything, but only met her gaze. A clenched fist hung at his right side, but it didn’t look like he intended to punch anyone; a small purse hung over his left shoulder. Had he been the one knocking? His eyes and face were very red; it looked to Letty like he’d been crying recently. She didn’t recognize him as one of the neighbors.

“Hello?” she repeated hesitantly. There didn’t appear to be anyone else outside, just the boy.

The boy took a step closer. “Does Letty live here?” He glanced up and down, as if he was checking the apartment number.

Letty did not recognize the boy. Why would he know her or where she lived?

“I know Letty lives here!” He spoke abruptly, almost demanding.

“Who’s Letty?” Letty decided to test him.

“She’s my older sister.”

Impossible. If Letty was this boy’s older sister, that would mean that this boy was… Tia! She remembered the phone call from yesterday, Tia said she shrank, that she was a baby, but she didn’t say anything about anything else changing. How could this be Tia?

The boy was looking down, suddenly his head shot up. “You’re Letty, aren’t you?”

How had he known? “And what makes you say that?” Letty took a step backward.

The boy pointed. “Your foot, that’s Letty’s— that’s your birthmark.”

Letty looked down at her foot. Sure enough, there was an oddly-shaped blotch of brown on the side of her left foot. That was her birthmark, just like it had always been.

“Please tell me if you’re really Letty, I mean—Letty, it’s me, Tia!” The boy looked and spoke earnestly.

“Wh— I’m not— you don’t look like Tia.” Letty finally settled on a suitable response.

“I know.” The boy hung his head. “But it’s me, I promise.” He reached into the purse he was carrying. “Look, this is Tia’s license, except it’s tiny. Now explain that.”

Letty looked at the object he held out, sure enough, it looked like Tia’s driver’s license, except it was really small in size.

“Not enough?” The boy continued pulling things from the purse, this time flinging them on the ground in front of the door. “I got tiny make up, tiny pens, tiny money, tiny credit cards, a tiny mirror, even a tiny iPhone. I shrank, Letty, isn’t that what I told you? I don’t know why, but I suddenly turned into this. Please, you gotta believe me. You told me to come here. Isn’t that what you said on the phone?”

Letty didn’t know what to say, how could she? A lot of unexplainable things had happened, and several more were laying at her feet. It was more than enough evidence to prove that this boy—or child that looked boyish—was, in fact, her sister. But it still didn’t feel right. Something told her to close the door and walk away.

“Just so you know,” the boy butted into her contemplation. “I’m having a hard time believing you’re actually my sister. I mean, I walked here; all the way across town too. A lot of things happened on the way, and I really don’t want to go back out there.” The boy crossed his arms as if he’d made a point—something Tia had often done in the past.

“What exactly are you saying?” Letty—like she used to do when her sister was vague about something—was forced to ask blatant questions.

“I’m saying I’ll trust you if you trust me. I want to believe you’re my sister, but you won’t let me; and I want you to believe me too, but I don’t know how else to do it. I’ve shown you everything I have; it’s the best proof I can come up with.” The boy’s lip quivered a bit. “Please.”

This child was right, no matter what, Letty had to make a choice. A thousand reasons and a thousand arguments all swirled in her head, confusing her, making her thoughts into a flickering jumble, impossible to discern. “Hold on.” She shut the door.

“Letty plea—”

Forcing herself to act, commanding her body to perform the required movements, she climbed up on the chair and pulled the chain lock out of its slide. Climbing down again, she opened the door, this time fully open. “Come on.”

The boy—Tia, slowly entered, inching forward until she was close; then she lunged and embraced Letty. “Thank you so much. Please, I really hope you’re actually my sister, but if you’re not; thank you anyway.”

Letty was conflicted. Somewhere in her mind, she felt like this kid couldn’t possibly be her sister; but at the same time, there were many little things—like reflections of the past—that reminded her of Tia. It was her manner, not the sound of her voice, not her accent—even if her accent was Tia’s usual accent—not the words she said; it was just the way she said things that reminded Letty of the clingy, bratty little sister she knew long ago. She had to go with that; she had to put faith in hope, just for this; just for her sister.

Letty put her arms around Tia’s back. Yes, she decided internally, this was Tia, her sister. “Tia, I…”

Tia was crying on her shoulder; Letty tried to be strong, but she herself felt like crying on someone’s shoulder. Tia was under there, under that foreign body that she was hugging. It felt like hugging a stranger, but she forced the thought from her mind as best she could. The best thing was to simply not think about it, and to do that, it was best to apply herself to something else.

“Are you alright?” Letty began. “I mean… I don’t really know where to start. Are you hurt? Do you wanna talk? Are you hungry? Is there anything that you need?”

Tia kept hugging her, but pulled away after a time. “Honestly, I’m fucking starving. All I’ve had to eat since Saturday was a granola bar.”

“Come on then, let’s get you something to eat.” Letty had dozens of questions to ask, but now was not the time. Instead, she needed to take care of her sister—maybe even wait until tomorrow—before she should press her with hard questions. Perhaps, in the meantime, she could just talk and listen; which may also help to put her sister at ease.

“So Tia, what happened to you?” They walked to the kitchen, and Letty began digging around in the cabinets for something she could offer to her sister. “Short story for me is that I woke up like this yesterday. All I’ve done the whole time is struggle with the simplest things; I searched the web, but there’s nothing about any of this. So is it just us? How did this happen to you? Also, sorry, but I can’t reach much stuff; you want some crackers?”

“I’d eat an old shoe if you put hot sauce on it.” Tia dug into the crackers for a minute. “I was with David, we were watching a movie. Then I just shrank; that’s it. I just felt everything getting bigger, but I was… was…”

Letty looked over; Tia had stopped talking. She was starting straight ahead, knees bent, fists clenched. “Tia?”

Tia didn’t budge from her position for several seconds, but when she did, shock was on her face, and tears began streaming down her cheeks.

“Tia, are you alright?”

Tia glanced at Letty. “I… I just shit myself,” she sobbed.

Letty had a moment of realization followed by resignation, as it appeared that urinary accidents were not the entirety of her problems. If she was right, it probably wouldn’t be too long before she faced the same embarrassment as Tia. “It’s okay Tia, I’ve been having accidents all day, look,” she lifted her shirt. “I’ve pretty much been wearing diapers because of it.”

“It’s okay!?” Tia glared. “I just shit in my pants, how the fuck is that okay?”

“Tia, stop. Worry about that later. Let’s just get you cleaned up, okay?”

Tia hesitated, then recoiled. “What do you mean ‘let’s?’ You think I can’t do it myself?”

“What? No. I’m just offering help if you need it.”

Tia’s lip quivered; she was struggling to keep her composure. A mix of defeat and defiance flashed in turn across her face. Skepticism, as if she suspected Letty of ill intent, burned dully in her eyes.

“I thought you said you’d trust me.” Letty spoke softly, backing off a bit to give her sister some space. “I wanna help, but if you don’t want help, that’s okay. Just tell me what you need.”

“What?” Tia glared, speaking with an accusatory tone, “do you want to change my diaper or something?”

“Huh? No, I mean—I don’t know; is that what you want help with?” Letty wasn’t thrilled by the idea, but she had just promised to help.

Tia said nothing.

Letty was tiring of the back-and-forth; this was getting nowhere. “Hey, why don’t you just take a shower? I’ll dig out something for you to wear. I’ll get you something to eat, and we can try and talk this through later, but I think you should just worry about cleaning yourself up first.”

But still Tia hesitated. Letty had a hard time reading her face due the fact that it wasn’t the face she knew, but instead looked more like a small boy’s face.

She tried to smile reassuringly. “Go on, I’ll be right outside if you need anything; just yell.”

~

It was close to an hour before Tia emerged from the bathroom. In that time, the laundry had finished drying and Letty had done her best to make her bed. Her pajamas, which had shrunk with her, were now dry and she was thankful to wear something more than just a shirt. She had also put together another makeshift diaper for Tia, who reluctantly accepted it through a cracked-open door.

But finally, Tia came out of the bathroom, fully dressed except for her socks and shoes. Muttering under her breath, she was tugging at and fiddling with her waistband. “This thing keeps falling down.” Judging by her voice, it was apparent that the shower had done little to improve her mood.

“Here, let me—” Letty stopped when Tia jumped back. “Look,” she said more softly, “just let me snug it up a bit.”

“Fine.”

Tia lowered her guard, and Letty stepped in close. Carefully, she undid the safety-pin, cinched-up the fabric, and refastened. It would’ve been easier than working on herself, but Tia didn’t want to lower the waistband of her pants very much. Letty tried to pull them down, but Tia only pulled away and hiked them back up. Trying not to avoid conflict, Letty sighed and continued working with the limited room. After a bit more struggling, she was satisfied. “Well, if you’d pull your pants down farther, I could see better to work; I can’t tell if anything is crooked or not, so you’ll have to be the judge of that. Anyway, they should stay in place now.”

Tia only shifted her pants a little.

“Well, does it feel too tight or crooked?”

“It feels like a diaper; it’s too bulky between my legs; I don’t like it.”

Letty rolled her eyes. “I didn’t ask if you liked it, I don’t like it either, but we have to wear this, at least until we get something better. Now how about your dirty clothes? Let’s get them washed.”

Tia looked like she was about to say something, but stopped. Returning from the interior of the bathroom, she produced a pair of socks and shoes. “I have a pair of jeans in my purse, they need to be washed too.”

“What about underwear?”

“I threw them out.”

“What? Just rinse them out and we’ll put them in the wash.” Letty tried to push past her sister, but was stopped.

“No, I threw them out yesterday.” Tia looked a little scared.

Letty had to think about that for a minute before responding. “I thought you said you had an accident. How are your pants still clean?”

Tia hesitated. “I was wearing something else; I threw it out.”

Letty took a long, serious look at her sister. “What are you talking about?” Tia blocked her again as she tried to enter the bathroom. “Tia, what are you hiding?”

“Nothing!”

“Listen, if you’re embarrassed: don’t be.” She looked her sister in the eye. “I’m in the same boat as you; I shrank to a baby’s size, I wet the bed, I’ve been having accidents all day; much as I don’t want to admit it, I need diapers… and so do you. Now I’m trying to wash up your clothes because—for some unknown reason—our clothes shrank with us. You can’t just throw something away because it’s dirty. A pair of panties in your exact size would be really useful right about—”

“It wasn’t panties!” Tia blurted through a few tears.

Letty waited, giving Tia time and space to continue at her own pace. Clearly she had more to say.

“I was wearing a diaper; I mean, I was wearing pull-ups.” Tia stopped, but Letty’s expression indicated that she needed more explanation. “It’s a long story,” she said at length.

“How about you tell it to me while we get you something to eat?”

It was a simple meal of various fruits—which were easy to reach—and deli meat cracker sandwiches—which were also easy to reach, but Tia tore into it like it was a meal fit for a king. In between bouts of chewing and swallowing, she managed to retell the tale of how she made it across town; how she hid in a McDonald’s playplace because it was the only warm place no one would find her in the middle of the night, how she was nearly abducted on a bus—that’s how she put it—and how she met the old woman who gave her pants and a pair of pull-ups.

“Wow.”

“Yeah, wow, like fucking holy shit! I had, like, the worst day ever; all I did was walk forever and piss my pants.” Tia shot a bitter look at her sister. “Thanks for the help, by the way.” Her words dripped with sarcasm.

That comment eroded Letty’s sympathy in a hurry; was Tia blaming her for this? Her temper flared. “What do you mean ‘Thanks for the help?’ You make it sound like there’s actually something I could’ve done! Hello? Did you notice something about me? I’ll give you a hint: I’m smaller than you are!”

Tia backed down right away, almost literally crumpling under Letty’s backlash. “I’m sorry,” her eyes watered. “I didn’t mean it, I just—”

“I know what you meant.” Letty said, turning and walking toward the bathroom.

“What does that mean?” Tia followed. “Sis?”

Letty ignored the question, but stopped at the bathroom door. “So if you were already wearing a diaper, where did you put it?”

“I put it in the trash can.” Tia looked confused.

“Ugh!” Letty coughed as she opened the door. “Why the heck would you put it in the trash can?”

Regaining some of her previous fire, Tia spat back. “Where the hell should I have put it then?”

“Wrap it up in a bag or something.” Letty pointed roughly toward the kitchen. “Go get one from underneath the sink.”

“What?”

“Go. Get. A. Bag. Or do you need a map?” Letty glared.

But Tia didn’t back down this time. “What’s your problem? What did I do wrong, huh? I said I was sorry, so what gives?”

“The problem, Tia, is that there’s a diaper full of crap just sitting out in the open. You can’t just leave it there, you gotta seal it up or the whole apartment is gonna stink.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Tia rolled her eyes, sarcasm echoed in every word. “I’m sorry I didn’t shit my pants just the way you’d like; I’m sorry I don’t automatically know where to put a shitty diaper; I’m sorry I’m not a genius like you are.”

“I’m not a genius, Tia.” Letty deadpanned. “It doesn’t take a genius to know that you can’t leave poop lying around in the open. Just… just go get a bag.”

“Oh great, so you’re just gonna start with ordering me around?” Tia rolled her eyes. “You know, I figured this would happen if I came to you.”

“Excuse me?”

“You always do this, you always treat me like I don’t know shit; you always try and act like you’re my mother. You always treated me like I was a fucking baby. Well guess what, now I am one, and I guess you’re just gonna use that as excuse to boss me around even more.”

“I’m not trying to order you around, I just asked you to get a bag from the kitchen.” Letty struggled to keep calm, while Tia was flying off the handle. “And I’m not treating you like a baby, or like you don’t know anything, but come on.” She gestured to the reeking trash can. “This is just common sense.”

“Yep, there’s that word: common sense.” Tia waved waved her hand dismissively. “What’s next? Logical? Rational? Reasonable? Sorry if I’m not Mr. Spock, but suddenly becoming a baby is stressing me out. I’m not used to pissing and shitting myself; I’m not used to being this size; I’m not used to changing my own damn diapers; I’m not used to having a—I’m just not used to this, so maybe you could be a little nicer and think about the fact that some of us have a hard time adapting to it.”

Letty sighed; she’d been through this sort of thing hundreds of times in the past. Even if it was perfectly logical not to leave dirty diapers in the open air, she was still vilified for pointing it out. No matter how right she was, it was still somehow wrong to correct Tia about anything. If they were going to be together for the foreseeable future, they would need to get past this. “So you still resent me for actually thinking things through? Fine, there’s the door; you’re free to leave any time.” She pointed angrily toward the door. Tia backed down again; Letty waited for a response, but none came. “Oh, so you do want to stay here?”

Tia nodded.

“Then don’t forget that this is my place, so yeah, we’re gonna do things my way.” Letty softened her voice ever-so-slightly. “So could you please clean up after yourself. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

Tia didn’t answer, but moved to obey. She walked awkwardly, stopping to pull at the front of her pants.

Letty read the situation. “You need me to adjust those again? I’d say sorry about how uncomfortable they are, but we need it, and that’s all I’ve got until we get something better.”

Tia rose after tying the bag tightly around the dirty pull-up. “What do you mean, ‘something better?’”

“I mean like real diapers; ones with tapes.”

What!?”

“What did you think I meant?”

“I don’t know, pull-ups or something. Maybe something less bulky than this. I am not wearing a diaper; I’m not a baby.” Tia crossed her arms. “You’re smart, think of something else.”

“Think of something else? Like what?”

“Isn’t there anything we can do? I don’t wanna spend all day having accidents. Wearing diapers can’t possibly be the only option.” Tia’s voice whined with reluctance.

“Oh, so you want me to just magically fix this like you wanted me to magically pick you up from across town? Should I just snap my fingers and turn us both back to the way we were?” Letty snapped her fingers in Tia’s face. “Poof! You’re an adult again.”

“Letty, stop, that’s not what–”

“Not what you meant? Again? Don’t even start, just shut up and listen.” Letty paused, allowing herself to calm down and soften her tone. “Tia, you’re not a baby, but your body is; so is mine. Since it’s readily apparent that neither of us can control our bodies—at least not in terms of needing the toilet—then the only logical, yes, logical thing to do is to wear diapers.”

“But—”

“I know… Tia, believe me, I know. I don’t want to wear diapers either, but for now, that’s all I can think of.”

“What about pull-ups, can’t we at least—”

“Nope, Pull-ups are for potty training, they’re meant for accidents, not constant use. Trust me Tia, I’ve put plenty of thought into it. This is the best I can come up with.”

Tia slouched in defeat. “How are we gonna change back? I don’t wanna live like this forever.”

Letty moved closer to her sister, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t know how to change us back, so for now, we just have to take things—”

They both jumped at the sound of sometime knocking loudly on the door.

“…one step at a time.”

It turned out a delivery was at the door. One large box with fifty-six diapers.

~

“I told you, you should’ve changed earlier.” Letty pointed at the two crescent stains on the front of Tia’s pants. “That thing clearly doesn’t hold up well.”

The pads had worked well enough for her, but it seemed that with Tia’s increased size, she also had later accidents. The tape-on diapers which she had just received were bulkier and more snug, but the fit felt more natural, as opposed to the awkward feel of her makeshift protection. She had wanted Tia to wear one as soon as they got them, but Tia had refused; it was now evident that had been the wrong choice.

“Come on sis, nothing to do now except clean you up and get you changed.” Letty grabbed Tia’s hand, but Tia resisted. “Tia, this isn’t up for debate, now come on.”

Tia still resisted, but Letty planted her feet and pushed. Tia caved, moving toward the bedroom with an obvious reluctance. Whimpering the whole time, Tia seemed to break down more and more with each step she took. Each time Tia stopped, Letty gave a slight nudge or push, which was all she needed; eventually, Tia was lying down on a towel in the bedroom.

“No, Letty, don’t.” She was crying now. “Let me do it.”

“Stop.” A quiet voice and a hand on her chest seemed to quell Tia’s resistance, though her tears continued. “You need help with this, just admit it. And besides, I’ve changed your diaper before.” By now, Tia was staring into her eyes and pleading with her; Letty didn’t know why. She pulled down Tia’s darkly-stained pants; Tia reached for them, but she was far too clumsy in her current state to effectively grab them.

Tia mumbled between sobs; broken protests were barely discernible. “No, please. I’ll do it. Just don’t. Don’t look.”

Even Letty was a bit unsure of herself, but she knew she had to do this. Beside her, she had wipes and a new diaper ready; she’d done this before, she could do it again. Tia was trying to cover herself with her hands, but her resistance was weak; Letty applied force, Tia gave in.

“Don’t be embarrassed, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.” Letty soothed, unfastening the safety pins and pulling down the makeshift diaper. That’s when she saw it. She could stop herself before exclaiming “what the hell?”

Tia’s resistance was gone, but her sobs had reached a peak. She was trying to speak; trying to protest, but the words were interrupted. “—me, it’s really—no—please.” She shook her head back and forth, repeating “it’s me, it’s me, it’s me…”

Letty was shocked. This kid didn’t just look like a boy, they were a boy. The undeniable proof was right in front of her. This kid, Tia, was a boy. That would certainly explain the present reluctance, the hiding, even the location of the stain on the front of their pants. But was this really Tia?

The boy was sobbing in defeat; their fate was in Letty’s hands.

If this was really Tia, it made perfect sense that she would try to hide it; clearly she didn’t think Letty would believe it was her. She was right to think that way. But the same applied if this was a stranger posing as Tia. They would do their best to hide this as well. Had Tia somehow been turned into a boy, along with being regressed to the age of a baby, or was this some other part of the nightmare? Was Letty still alone in this?

There was, sadly, no definitive answer; again, Letty had to chose. Did she accept this boy as Tia’s new body, in hopes of helping her sister; or did she play it safe and kick this kid out the door?

Letty closed her eyes to think, to weigh the options, to chose; when she opened them, she had decided. Taking a deep breath, she pulled away the panties and pad from the still-sobbing child. Mechanically, she grabbed a wipe and began cleaning. “It’s okay Tia, let’s get you cleaned up and in a new diaper. Once we’re done, how about we take a nap?” Letty slid the diaper underneath, pulled it up into place, and taped it securely. It fit, but just barely.

“Come on, I think we both need a nap.”

1 Like

Tia

Tia just lay there on the bedroom floor, bare from the waist down, legs spread, privates shamefully on full display. Another diaper change; the latest in a long series of humiliations, none of which seemed to bring her any closer to the end; to that glorious final diaper change. The end was over the horizon, if there even was one, and she couldn’t be sure whether they were moving closer or farther away. Would she ever get out of this? Several days hadn’t seen anything changed except many of her diapers. Every morning she woke up still in this nightmare, she cried a little. It wasn’t morning now, it was evening. Tia barely had the energy to deal with it. She tried to remain quiet—as she’d taken to—while being changed. The occasional lingering sob would break through her defenses, but she was otherwise silent.

Her older, wiser, stronger, more practical, more logical, generally superior sister, Letty, worked over her. That same blank expression on her face as she wiped her baby sister’s butt and privates, the one which despite showing no emotion, showed nearly all the things it intended to hide. Letty didn’t appear to be bothered by Tia’s penis, but Tia knew that it disgusted her sister just as much as it horrified her own self. She almost wished her sister would say something about it, or recoil upon seeing it, but instead she hid her reaction beneath that stoic face she wore so well. She didn’t cough or gag at the smell, which only meant that she was actively trying not to.

Letty’s face also hid her condescension; the disapproval Tia knew she held for her. Letty had always looked down on her, though in the past, it had only been natural. With Letty six years her senior, Tia had been the baby. As they grew, it seemed that Letty grew faster, widening the gap between their ages, even if that were physically impossible. Now it seemed that even though Letty was also a baby, she was more of a lofty adult than she’d ever been. She was more of a mother now, than a sister. Tia was the baby again, and somehow she was more of one than when she truly was a baby.

Tia had finally calmed down and stopped crying. The sheer embarrassment of having a stinky diaper was bad enough, but having it changed by her sister, at her age, well; that was almost too much to bear—nineteen years old was too old to be wearing diapers, too old to have someone else changing them. She was nineteen, that fact remained true no matter what body she was stuck in; the conflict of the two made her break down every time she thought about it, and that was quite often. In the last several days, she hadn’t gotten any better about not bawling like an actual baby each time it happened. But now she had another level of humiliation, another thing completely out of her control, inflicted upon her like some cruel punishment. It was sticking up.

She looked down in horror as her body once again did something one its own and against her will. Yesterday, she’d started peeing in the middle of a diaper change, and now this? Was there any new humiliation left for her to suffer? She tried to reach down and cover herself, but Letty pushed her hands away; she didn’t make a second attempt but let her arms fall limp. Still saying nothing, her sister took a cloth and laid it over her privates, then she continued wiping as if nothing was wrong.

“You don’t have to keep doing this…” Tia tried to keep her voice steady, hoping that her sister would take her seriously this time. She knew Letty didn’t like changing her diaper.

“No, it’s fine.” Letty spoke a blunt dismissal and kept working, pulling the cloth away only when she was ready to tape on the clean diaper. Her movements were quick and mechanical, as if she’d been doing this for years.

“Don’t lie, you hate this.” Letty wasn’t being truthful and she knew it, so Tia pressed further.

“I said it’s fine.” This time, she looked up and stared Tia in the face.

Tia wavered under her gaze. She knew she wasn’t good at changing her diaper, her one attempt to do so had ended in failure and a reprimand from her sister; but it wasn’t fair to have Letty change her all the time, it only made her more resent Tia more.

“Listen, Tia,” Letty worked Tia’s bottoms back on; her tone softened as she began into the anticipated attempt to soothe her sister—mostly likely just to get her to shut up. “I used to change you before, when you were a baby. I’ve even—”

“You used to like me when I was a baby, too.” Tia was surprised at the words even as she spoke them. But they were true; Letty and Tia had gotten along with each other back then, at least for the first several years. Letty had taken great care of her baby sister, and had loved every minute of it. Had.

“What exactly are you getting at?” Letty was focused on the topic now; she was asking details now, like she always did before shooting down whatever Tia tried to say. She was so good at that.

“Did you actually like taking care of me then? Did you actually like changing my diapers?” Tia could be blunt and direct too, and she could work her sister into admitting something she didn’t want to. She could do it this time; she could make her point. “Answer me.”

“Yes.” Letty’s answer didn’t matter here.

“And do you still actually like changing my diaper?” Tia was able to meet her sister’s eyes, now that she knew she was winning. There was only one answer to her question, and as soon as it was spoken, Tia would have won. Once Letty admitted that she didn’t like changing—

“Yes.”

“What?” Tia blurted her surprise before she could fully accept what she’d just heard. “You’re—” But she looked at her sister and only saw that perfect poker face. She knew Letty was lying, but—

“Yes, Tia, yes I do.” Letty’s mouth said yes, but her eyes said she was frustrated. “You’re my sister and I love you. No matter what comes between us…”

Tia lay silent. Letty might have talked for ten seconds or ten minutes, Tia didn’t know. She was stuck on Letty’s answer. Naturally, she had expected a “no,” and planned her response accordingly. She wanted to refuse, and to call her sister out on the lie, but Letty had once again knocked all the wind out of her sails.

She was in a daze, lost in thought. Letty was sitting her up, leading her to bed, saying something about how late it was; but Tia was pondering a new worry. She’d lost the argument, and her sister only saw her as a baby, just like all those years ago; she was stuck being obliged to have her older sister change her diaper, but there was something else. What if Letty wasn’t just blatantly lying to get her to shut up and drop the subject? What if she really did enjoy taking care of Tia as if she was still a baby?

Tia was too tired to try anymore tonight. She knew the Letty knew this, and that Letty was capitalizing on it. Letty had won again, just like always.

~

Why was it that Tia was an incapable baby as long as that was convenient, but as soon as Letty needed physical help, she was suddenly all grown up again, and needed to do her part of the chores? Sweep the floor, grab things higher than Letty could reach, pick up heavy stuff; it seemed Letty only enjoyed playing mother until actual chores were involved. Funny that. Of course, like always, Letty had some brilliantly concocted logic for why things needed to be this way.

Why should this be any different? This ridiculous new idea that Letty had dreamed up.

“Because there’s still plenty of food.” Tia gestured toward the kitchen, which, last she checked, had enough food for quite some time.

“Yeah, if you just wanna eat dry cereal and Ramen forever. And what, do you plan on just staying in here for the rest of your life? At some point, we’re going to have to go outside again; you need to accept that.” Letty crossed her arms as she spoke, taking a relaxed stance; one that was clearly settling in for a long argument.

“Fine we’ll go to the store.” Tia didn’t want to fight again, not after last night, or the last several days. She didn’t want to go to the store, she didn’t want to go outside at all; yes, she’d rather stay inside forever, and yes, dry cereal and Ramen were perfectly acceptable. But she knew that the topic wouldn’t go away. Letty wouldn’t drop it until she got her way. She never did.

“You… uh, okay, good.” Letty took a few moments to respond, whether from Tia’s mumbled words or disbelief, Tia didn’t know.

Tia just hoped this would be over soon; she wished it was over now.

“I figure that if you can make it across town by yourself, we should be able to make a run to the store.” Why was Letty still talking? She already got the answer that she wanted. Oh, right, she couldn’t be satisfied with just convincing Tia to go to the store, she must have full acceptance of all her opinions. “Oh, and I need your help carrying out the trash, all these diapers are starting to get heavy…”

Tia paid little attention as Letty continued to drone on. At this point, there wasn’t anything more for her to say. She’d agreed, hadn’t she? Shouldn’t that be enough? Now, if she said another word, it would only sound like complaining and reluctance to Letty, who would no-doubt launch into another excessively-detailed, lengthy, and ultimately mind-numbing explanation for why she was a-hundred percent right and any deviation from her idea was stupidity.

Whatever boring TV show she had been watching was now the most interesting thing she could imagine. The lame acting and poor writing fell away as her concern rested heavily with the characters, and not with anything she was currently doing. Each scene replayed in her head, and she imagined herself taking the place of each character in turn, seeing their perspective, feeling their emotions. But as the content was no longer being fed to her between commercial breaks, she found her grasp of the plot slipping.

What was it she was thinking a minute ago?

“Tia!” Letty’s voice cut through the fog.

“Huh?” Tia snapped to attention, suddenly aware of a drastic change in her surroundings.

“Throw your bag in the dumpster and let’s get going.”

Tia looked down; a trash bag hung from her clenched fingers. She slung the bag and took Letty’s hand as they walked away. They were outside in the parking lot, now walking along the sidewalk toward the edge of the neighborhood.

“Now remember, you’re pretending to be…” Again, Letty’s voice faded away; something about getting their stories straight and how to avoid attention.

Left right left right left right… no, right foot first; right left right left… dammit, lost count. Tia watched the sidewalk pass beneath her, the occasional bit of trash being the only highlights for some time. Her hand in Letty’s, she was being led. Sidewalk dragged on and on, eventually giving way to asphalt, striped with white paint, then back to concrete sidewalk, several corners, more crosswalks, more concrete, a metal threshold, some rough carpeting, and then finally a vinyl-tile floor. Floors weren’t too bad, eventually, this floor would go away, and she’d be staring at the carpet in Letty’s apartment again; all she had to do was look down until then.

“Hey, look where you’re going.” Letty jerked her arm in time with the spoken order, pulling her aside from an oncoming cart. The two of them looked up as the woman hurried past, fortunately not taking any notice. “Tia, you’re supposed to be leading me.” Letty’s whispers were harsh, but quiet, as she didn’t want to attract any attention. “Remember, stick with the plan and we’ll be out of here soon.”

The plan, right, the thing Tia had been tuning out for the last—oh, who even knows?—however long it’d taken them to walk from the apartment. Of course Letty wouldn’t let her just keep her head down for the entire trip, it wasn’t like Letty was the only one who knew what they went there to get in the first place. The only thing Tia wanted to get was the-hell-out of this place. But she couldn’t have that, nor could she have the luxury of not having to know exactly how many people could see her.

It was almost like Letty knew how Tia felt about this, and wanted her to be as humiliated as possible. At home—well, not ‘home’ but Letty’s apartment—and sitting perfectly still on the sofa, Tia could almost forget that she was wearing a diaper. The soft cushions let her small body sink down as they enveloped her, pressing her and overpowering the bulk of her diaper. For that short time, she was just sitting on the couch, just like normal.

But not here. Here, she couldn’t for a moment escape that she was wearing a diaper. It was wet and had been for some time, somewhere around the first street they crossed. It bulked between her legs and plumed from her butt, forcing her pants to do the same, which then caused them to pull tightly along the side seams. With every step there were countless little alterations to the way her clothes fit and brushed against her. Nothing was the same, it all felt different; all because she was wearing a diaper.

Dammit. She hated diapers.

Back to the floor; studying the tiles, counting the stains, stepping between the cracks, stepping on the cracks. Tia focused on each step, visualizing where her foot would land before each movement. Steering her eyes away from anyone else’s feet, she wouldn’t let herself confirm that other people were watching her.

“Here, hold this for me, you’re stronger.” Letty pushed a shopping basket into her hands. “And stop staring at the ground, you’re gonna crash into someone.”

Someone.

Someone else, another human being, someone with eyes; someone who could clearly see the bulging outline of the diaper under her pants. They could see, they could all see how small she was, how much of a baby she was, and how much of a baby she wasn’t supposed to be. They could see, they knew that she was almost twenty, had a job, a boyfriend, an adult life. And despite that, she was tiny; she was a baby—and a baby boy at that—who couldn’t help but pee and poop in her diapers whenever the need arose.

Need. She needed diapers.

Tears fell down onto the basket—which slowly grew heavier with groceries—trickled through the holes and onto the floor. Letty didn’t notice, she was too busy picking out groceries. Why was she even crying? Wasn’t she used to this by now? It had been five full days since she shrank, but here she was, crying and scared out like those first moments of terror.

“Tia, you’re crying, are you okay?” Letty finally noticed; they seemed to be done with the groceries and were heading toward the baby department. As if everyone around them didn’t already know everything about them, why not grab something embarrassing like more diapers or maybe some rash ointment?

Tia felt movement behind her, a tightening in the front of her waistband as the back of her diaper was pulled out.

“You didn’t poop.” Letty stated the fact as if it surprised her. “You can’t be that wet; what’s the matter?”

Everything.

“Well, listen,” Letty continued, not waiting for a response. “You gotta keep it together. We’re gonna ring up soon, and you can’t be crying. C’mon, just hang on until we get home.”

Tia felt a pat on the back. That was all that accompanied the flat tone of Letty’s reassurance. A tube of rash cream landed atop the groceries in her basket. She knew better than to cry. She knew better than to screw up this whole thing just because she was crying; that’d only make her cry even more. It was probably this tiny body making her more prone to crying.

A tug at her sleeve roused her, yet again, from her musings. “Tia, are you good? It’s time to check out.” Letty whispered softly in her ear; the expression she wore almost looked genuine.

She nodded and took a deep breath as they approached the counter. Fortunately, this store had a self-checkout, so they were able to avoid direct contact with a cashier. However, it was all Tia could do to reach any of the buttons on the touch screen. Letty had to help boost her up for each and every button press. Naturally, this one seemed to be designed in the most confusing way possible.

Did she have an ‘SC’ card? What the hell was that? No.

Phone number? What, why?

Cash back? No, she was paying in cash.

Bring your own bag? Why was that even an option?

Donate to— NO!

She’d never been shopping at this place before, none of the options made sense. She couldn’t ask Letty, not out loud; that would be too suspicious. Every moment of hesitation was an exponentially increased chance that someone would take notice of them. She was getting frustrated; why did this machine hate her so much? Tears started to form in her eyes. No. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve; not now.

“Can I help you, young man?” A voice from behind her spoke suddenly.

She nearly jumped out of her skin, and Letty nearly dropped her; neither of them had seen the attendant approaching. For that one moment, Tia was glad to be wearing a diaper, because she felt a sudden warmth between her legs. Turning around, she stared up at a middle-aged woman who wore a wide smile. She was caught, stunned, like a deer in headlights. She could almost feel Letty trying to tell her what to do, what to say, but she knew Letty couldn’t say anything remotely helpful, lest her level of vocabulary seem far too advanced for her appearance.

“Here, you just need to hit this button.” The attendant spoke soothingly, without missing a beat; as if this happened before. The screen changed to another selection. “And this button.” The screen changed again and the lady turned toward her. “Is that the money you’re paying with?”

Tia looked down as the lady nodded to the two folded bills in her hand; she held them out, but the lady gestured to a slot in the front of the machine. Surprised again, Tia felt herself being lifted and set so that she was kneeling atop the scanning counter itself.

“You put those in here.”

Still terrified, but unsure what else to do, she unfolded the bills and slid them both into the machine. A few moments later, she was set back on the floor beside Letty.

“Here you go, there’s your change and your receipt.”

Tia looked down to where the lady was now pointing. One little tray had collected a few coins, another slot was spitting out bills, and another had produced a receipt. Tia took them a slid them into her pocket.

“You did really well.” The lady smiled as she handed Tia the bags. Her voice dipped a little, switched from encouraging a child, to a genuine observation. “You’ve figured these new machines out better than a lot of people. And you’re how old?” She looked around. “Is that your mother over there? She must be proud.”

Tia and Letty both looked to see a young woman sitting in a little coffee shop nestled near the entrance of the store; she was looking their direction. Tia hesitated, not sure what to do. It seemed like a good enough excuse.

A sharp jab in her back forced her forward. “Go, hurry, let’s get out of here. She’s not looking.” Letty whispered harshly in Tia’s ear as she nearly, dragged her and the bags toward the exit. Tia looked back; the attendant had been called away to help another customer.

~

Tia sat on the couch; Letty was in the other room. The cushions beneath Tia made good on their promise to drown out the feeling of her diaper. So there she sat, tired, doing her best to ignore what she was. The TV flickered with some bland and uninteresting show, possibly the same one she’d been watching earlier—she didn’t know, couldn’t remember. She grabbed the remote and started skipping through channels. There was some cartoon or another playing when she tossed the remote aside; she was tired, too tired to keep looking for something to watch, too tired to weigh her interest in one thing against another, too tired to decide.

They were both tired; even Letty said that the trip to the store was almost a disaster. Neither of them knew what would happen if people took enough notice and discovered that there were two babies wandering around alone; it couldn’t be good, whatever it was. Letty had even congratulated her on keeping her composure, not that it meant anything to Tia. Even now she felt like crying again. She glanced across the room. Letty was in the kitchen now, probably trying to fix some food. What did Letty even think of her at this point? Was Tia just another chore, or was she a doll to be dressed up and paraded around? Was Letty just playing mommy in all of this? Was Tia just her baby sister again?

She watched Letty working in the other room. Like always, Letty was doing something. The closest to idle she ever got was when she got on her laptop browsing the web, but even that looked like she was actually searching for something and not just poking around. Otherwise, Letty only stopped when she was asleep.

If the dishes needed washing, Letty washed them; if there was food to be made, Letty was cooking; if something was even a little untidy, she’d reorganize the whole thing. Letty was sweeping the floor or cleaning old items out of the pantry or fridge, or she was making the bed, or wiping the window sills or polishing the faucets or sorting through old paperwork or moving furniture. Every once in a while she’d have to stop to change herself or change Tia when she asked. Once or twice, Letty had even come to ask Tia if she needed a change. Then there was that diaper-check in the store. Tia cringed at the mere memory.

Letty passed through the room, not breaking concentration from her task but to glance at Tia as she toddled by. Tia put another cracker in her mouth.

Most of the time, Tia could just ignore her, but sometimes Letty wanted help. Tia hated that. It seemed that Letty only remembered her existence when one of two things happened: either Letty needed a little more muscle, or Tia was crying because she had a poopy diaper.

Tia didn’t like doing things anymore. Every time she did something, anything, it only reminded her of how small she was, how useless she was, and how much she hated being this way. Poopy diapers did the same. It wasn’t like she didn’t notice wet diapers, and she certainly didn’t like them, but they were easy to ignore and forget about—something that was becoming more and more easy as time went on. But when she pooped, it was noticeable, and every time it happened, it always felt like she was doing it on her own. Her body wanted the poop out, and even though her mind did too, she would love once more to have even a single minute to make it to the toilet before her body took over. She never wanted to hold her poop in, but she preferred that to having it filling up her pants.

No matter what she was doing, she would stop; she couldn’t help it. The feeling of urgency would grip her and she’d be unable to ignore it or stop what was about to happen. Worse, she always ended up crying; she couldn’t help it. As if the feeling of shitting herself wasn’t already the worst thing so far that day—that horrible sticky mush slithering into her diaper and squishing against her skin—the subsequent feeling of helplessness was always there to make it just that much worse. Of course, when she’d cry, Letty would hear, and when she heard, she’d come and change her diaper. Right on cue, Letty would come walking over with that look on her face, the look that said she already knew, but she was going to ask anyway.

Why are you crying? Like Letty didn’t know.

Did you have an accident? Like Letty didn’t know.

Do you need me to change your diaper? Like Letty didn’t fucking know.

Letty was like a robot following its programming, but somehow she still made Tia feel like she was another of her many chores. Letty was like a bitter, resentful robot. Letty and Tia had never really gotten along in the past, and while she seemed to still be her normal, disagreeable self, something was different and Tia couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

Letty was always there when Tia woke up, and it was oppressive. Every time she awoke, Letty was right there, staring at her, as if she never went to bed herself; like she really was a robot and just went into standby mode or something, waiting patiently, motionless, until Tia awoke. And when she did, Letty was right back at it. Only instead of the bitter older sister she used to be in the years before they parted ways, Letty now came with all the charm of a nagging little child—a trait likely due to her appearance, at least in part. Like an eager little brat who waited until the split second after Tia woke up before she resumed pestering. Sometimes she wouldn’t even wait, she’d wake Tia up on purpose, just to pester her.

Did she need her diaper changed? Of course she did, she was a baby, all babies wet the bed; there wasn’t a need for a reminder at every occasion. Tia didn’t even remember what day that had been, or whether it had been more than once; probably the latter.

Letty passed by again, but this time she stopped. “You keep eating like that and you’re gonna get fat… again.”

Tia narrowed her eyes. “Fuck you.”

“Excuse me?” Letty wore a look of surprise, like she didn’t know what she just said.

“You heard me. And I wasn’t fat before; just cause I wasn’t a model like you doesn’t mean I was fat.”

Letty put her hands on her hips, yeah, just like their mother would do. “What I looked like doesn’t matter, but you were definitely overweight. And I can see why.”

Tia felt moisture in her eyes. “You always gotta fucking say something, don’t you? You can’t just walk past me and mind your own fucking business.”

Letty put on a look like she gave a shit now. “I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry.”

Tia didn’t buy it, didn’t want to talk anymore. “Fuck you.”

“Tia—”

“I said get the fuck away from me!” Tia hope she would.

She did.

As if on cue, Tia felt the telltale rumble in her gut. In a minute she would poop, filling her diaper with the most disgusting mush imaginable, then she would cry, then Letty would come right over and change her; she would cry the whole time, just like every time; just like a baby.

No, no she wouldn’t; not this time.

That’s all Letty expected of her; she’d made that clear in the store. If Tia was crying, that was because she’d pooped and needed to be changed. She needed to be tended to like an infant, never even having the ‘dignity’ of asking for a change in plain English. Well, she couldn’t stop herself from using her diaper, but she could stop herself from crying about it at least. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes nonetheless.

She needed a distraction, and it seemed like the TV was the only one around. The same cartoon was on, typical kids-show nonsense where every conflict is resolved in twenty minutes. She could make it work; she had to. Her gut rumbled again.

It was coming.

There was a character trying to balance along an edge; someone else was yelling at them to get down. Tia focused. That other person was really worried. What if they fell? Surely they’d die, the other person would be sad, the bad guys would get away, everything would be ruined. Tia lifted slightly as she felt herself start pushing.

The hero was past the narrow ledge; they were running now, fighting their way through the bad guy’s minions. But they were outnumbered, how could they possibly win? Tia felt the poop start coming out, she didn’t struggle, didn’t pay it any mind; she was watching this show. She had to know what happened to the hero. They were fighting as hard as they could, but there were too many enemies; there was no way for them to win. The enemies had surrounded them, there was no escape.

Now, one of the minions had the hero pinned down. They were just about to finish them off when suddenly a blast of light covered the screen. The hero’s old mentor had arrived just in the nick of time. He threw the bad guy aside and pulled the hero to his feet as Tia finished pooping and slowly lowered herself onto it and the couch. Together, the heroes were more than a match for the big bad guy’s minions and Tia’s poop squished under her weight, but the heroes were almost finished with the group of minions.

But could they catch up with the big bad guy before he made his escape? Tia watched intently to find out.

And she wasn’t crying.

1 Like

Mabel

Mabel stood alone on the steps in front of her house. All around her the neighborhood lay quiet, but was saturated by the yellow light of the early sun. Most folks were still in bed, but Mabel wasn’t; she was dressed and ready to go. As she stood there, she could feel the air moving against her eyes. Instinctively, she flinched, accustomed to how sensitive her eyes used to be, and knowing how easily they would become irritated. But they weren’t her old eyes; they weren’t the same eyes that grew overly sensitive after years of hiding behind a thick pair of glasses. These were new eyes, and they were used to feeling the open air. She could stare straight ahead, not bothered by the wind in her face, nor by the bright, morning sun. Before, her eyes were permanently behind a magnifying glass, which made sunlight all but unbearable. But now she was free. Free to gaze instead of squint.

It was a beautiful day.

Mabel retraced her thoughts to the nearly-empty package of diapers. There had been thirty-four on Sunday, now there were seven. It had taken her all week to work out a reasonable excuse—one that would convince Ruth—but even now it felt like it was doomed to fail. She would know soon enough. Something was going to happen today, that much was certain. She had called Ruth yesterday and scheduled to be picked up and taken to the daycare today. She needed supplies and groceries, but as a child, was unable to go out and get them herself. Ruth had agreed to make a trip to the store before returning her to ‘Auntie Mabel’s house.’

Everything was in order—well as much as it could be—but still she worried. Her letter to Ruth was written, signed, and a check enclosed. It was written in Mabel’s hand, which she was thankful to still possess, and detailed how sick Mabel was, and how Mary’s mother-in-law was a nurse, and how she would be taking care of Mabel . The letter also went on to suggest that Mary’s mother-in-law would be too busy to look after both her and Mabel , and that it would be very helpful if Mary could spend some days at the daycare. The letter itself was rather plain, but Mabel was sure to make strong suggestions that she might need to visit the doctor, and possibly stay away for some time. She hadn’t outright lied in the letter, but the twisted and deceitful wording pricked her conscience nonetheless.

Now she waited outside her door, at the edge of the front step, hoping that when Ruth arrived, she would collect her and they would be off. Mabel wanted to pray that this would work, that Ruth wouldn’t be suspicious, and that she wouldn’t want to meet Mary’s nonexistent mother-in-law, or visit the no-longer-existent Mabel; she wanted to, but she couldn’t pray for success in a lie. She was alone in this. If it ever had felt like God had been with her, it didn’t now. The weather wasn’t terribly chilly, but she felt on the verge of shivering. Part of her wanted to run back inside and slam the door shut, but she knew that wasn’t an option. Ruth would be here any minute… any minute.

Any minute now, she would learn whether this lie would work, or whether everything would come crashing down in failure.

~

After what seemed like way too long and way too short, all at the same time, Ruth arrived. At first, Mabel was happy just to see her friend, but as Ruth drew closer, she began to tower over Mabel as their difference in height became more and more apparent. By the time Ruth stopped on the front step—a step below where Mabel stood—she appeared to be nearly twice as tall as Mabel—Mabel’s head barely came to Ruth’s waist.

Ruth was a middle aged woman best described in looks as bright eyes on a heavy frame. There were only a few gray streaks in her otherwise brown hair which cascaded over her shoulders. Despite matching the color of her hair almost perfectly, her eyes always seemed to shine more vividly than one might think possible. She was very cheerful, often smiling, rarely flustered by challenges, but occasionally given to undue concern for others’ wellbeing. Most of the time, just her face alone would brighten Mabel’s day; but today, even her familiar and pleasant features weren’t enough to break through Mabel’s worry.

“Hello there, you must be Mary.” Ruth seemed to beam happiness as she crouched to greet Mabel.

Mabel could only nod an force a fake smile. She’d only ever stood beside Ruth as she spoke to children; she’d never been one of them. Was this what they felt? Worry, uncertainty, confusion? Not that it was Ruth that caused these feelings, but still Mabel wondered if children had felt the same about her as she now did about Ruth. Mabel felt intimidation, even if only from Ruth’s size by comparison; she felt a hesitation and the uncertainty as to whether she could trust Ruth. She would never suspect Ruth of ill intention, but still she feared a potentially catastrophic misunderstanding. Pulling herself from the sudden internal struggle, she held out the envelope.

“Well it’s nice to meet you, Mary.” Ruth scanned through the letter and stood up. “Pardon me for a minute while I have a word with your Auntie Mabel.” Ruth barely hesitated a moment before letting herself into Mabel’s house.

Mabel had forgotten to lock the door, being too worried about her meeting with Ruth. Her heart rose into her throat as Ruth opened the door and entered the vacant house. She wanted to say something to distract Ruth, to lead her astray; but she could think of nothing. The letter was supposed to encourage Ruth to just collect Mabel and take her off to daycare; apparently it wasn’t enough.

Upon entering, Ruth quickly looked around.

“But my auntie is sick.” Mabel chased her inside.

“Isn’t there someone else with her?” Ruth spoke absently, as she often did with children, intending to keep them engaged while she focused on something else.

“Janet’s with her.” Mabel felt the sting as she blatantly lied.

“Is Janet your mommy?”

“Kinda.” Mabel hesitated, trying to say something interesting enough that Ruth would stop looking through the house; but also something that wasn’t another complete lie. It felt wrong just to tell lies in the first place, but she also knew that each subsequent lie would only cause more problems for her later on.

Ruth paused to eye the little girl at her side.

Mabel froze, staring up at Ruth, scared of what might happen next. Ruth seemed to be studying her, as if the new information of ‘kinda’ had changed the entire situation.

After coming to some internal decision, Ruth resumed her journey. With no one visible in the kitchen or living room, she seemed to be making her way toward the bedroom. Mabel knew the entire house was empty, and within a few moments, Ruth would too.

Mabel did her best to keep up with Ruth, her feet padding rapidly on the wood flooring. “Are you gonna take me with you?”

“Yes, I just need to speak with your auntie.” Ruth turned the corner, down the hall toward the bedroom.

Ruth would be inside in a matter of seconds. She was out of ideas; no words came to mind, no distractions, nothing. She was tense, almost shaking in fear; something she was also struggling to hide. She felt naked. Naked, and as soon as the door was open, Ruth would see; Ruth would see right through her. Worse, Mabel didn’t know how much worse Ruth’s inevitably incorrect assumption would make things; she just knew that no matter how much she wanted to tell it, the truth was unbelievable. Even now, she could barely process the very situation she had found herself in, how much less would an outsider credit such a wild story?

It took a few moments for Mabel to realize that Ruth hadn’t yet entered her bedroom. Somewhere in the whorl of thoughts, she’d felt that Ruth was out of line for barging in, but given the circumstances, Mabel felt she might have done the same in her place. She’d been looking at the floor, trying to prepare some type of explanation, knowing she’d soon be on trial. But as she looked up, she noticed something odd: the door was shut. She knew she’d left it open, as she always did, to let Slate come and go as he pleased. It didn’t matter.

Goosebumps rose up on her skin, and tiny hairs stood on end as she watched Ruth reach for the knob. She hadn’t wanted to watch. She wanted to look away, as if by looking away, she could postpone the inevitable. But mostly she didn’t want to meet that condemning gaze when Ruth discovered her lies. Her stomach churned when she thought about what Ruth would do when she learned it was actually her, Mabel, that was lying to her. But as Ruth turned the knob, it stuck tight. She tried again. Nothing.

Pressing her ear to the door, Ruth said nothing. From a few steps back, Mabel thought she could hear some sound coming from beyond the door, but she couldn’t make it out. Ruth knocked lightly, waited, then knocked again. Surprising both Ruth and Mabel, but the latter all the more, there came two matching thumps in response, as someone was mimicking Ruth’s knocking.

“Hello?” Ruth spoke quietly.

Shh. ” A voice spoke from within the room. Or at least, it very much sounded like someone shushing, but there was certainly something off about it.

Ruth lowered her voice to a whisper. “I’m Ruth; I’m picking Mary up for the day.” Even now, a perplexed look wrinkled her brow and her statement was delivered almost as a question, a prompt expecting a reply.

Again, there came a single knock from within, then two knocks, followed by a “ shh.

In a spark of sudden inspiration, she grabbed Ruth’s hand in both of her own. Pulling lightly, she made her best effort to whine sincerely. “I wanna go play.”

Ruth turned to her, pausing momentarily in her attempt to gain access to the bedroom.

With Ruth’s attention now on her, Mabel pulled a little harder, jumping up and down as she whined. At this point, she had cast aside any attempt to do what she felt was right. She needed Ruth to stay out of the room, no matter what it took; no matter what it was that was making those noises. And with that, she found herself doing what any real child might do when trying to keep an adult from discovering a nasty secret.

Slowly, Ruth let Mabel drag her away from the door.

Mabel shifted her tone from whining, to excitement. Having never done any form of acting, this was all new to her. But in this case, the circumstances demanded it. It embarrassed her to act in such a manner, even over the fact that she was a baby, and was wearing a diaper. As Ruth seemed to have made up her mind, Mabel had to force herself to keep engaging, keep pestering, keep pretending like she didn’t understand anything other than going out to play. Mabel danced around Ruth in circles while Ruth wrote a note and left it on the counter. Once she was sure Ruth was following, Mabel ran ahead out of the front door.

Ruth caught up to her quickly, forcibly taking her hand while muttering to herself about intending to meet with Janet later on. It was obvious that Ruth was very uncomfortable with just collecting Mabel and leaving, but once they were out of the door, her hesitation gradually lifted. Mabel kept pretending to be excited, she had to keep up the facade, she couldn’t let Ruth see the exhaustion on her face. Even those few minutes of tension had left her feeling like she’d been working all day, but in truth, the day had just begun.

For now, the crisis seemed to be averted.

~

By the time they had left the house, the sun had risen, changing its hue from shining gold to a pale, soothing tone. Clouds hung overhead, preventing the sun’s warmth from breaking through in full. As it was, the temperature remained decidedly brisk. Mabel could feel the cold on her cheeks and legs, but otherwise, she was plenty warm from all the extra effort it took just to keep to with Ruth. Even still, it was clear that Ruth was walking slower than normal to allow Mabel to keep up.

“How about I just carry you the rest of the the way?”

Before Mabel could answer, she felt herself being hoisted into the air, coming to rest with Ruth’s arm under her behind.

She was no higher than she’d ever been before, but the same height she once stood now felt like miles above the earth. She hadn’t felt this nervous, this uncertain, this… small, in several decades. And yet, it wasn’t terror that gripped her now, it was excitement. The same walk to work that she’d taken hundreds of times before now felt like an adventure from when she was little; when she was actually little, that is.

As they walked, she forgot about the sheer confusion and oddity of her situation, and instead passed the time gazing at the scenery. How long had it been; how many times had she walked this path? Hundreds? Thousands? Yet now it all seemed new; fresh and different. The leaves were starting to change color—something she had always enjoyed—but now she stared, marveled at their beauty, and all the while Ruth’s pace kept them moving along.

“What’s on your mind, sweetheart?”

“Oh…” Mabel paused to remind herself not to use too many big words. “The leaves are pretty.” Perfect. That’s exactly what she wanted to say, and all the bubbling sincerity of a child came almost naturally; she barely had to try.

“You’re pretty.”

Mabel wasn’t expecting that, and immediately found herself blushing profusely. It had been a while since she’d received such a compliment, and longer still since she’d been able to say it was genuine. She didn’t know how to react, so she just hugged Ruth a little more tightly.

~

Normally, Mabel herself would be the one to get things started in the morning. She would prepare the snacks, get coffee brewing, check quantities of supplies. But as a baby, she found herself placed alone in the play area nearest the kitchen. The half-wall which divided the two was now over her head. Like her own house, the once-familiar environment now felt foreign and daunting. Mabel could only stare and marvel at how different it felt seeing everything from her new perspective. Ruth busied herself doing all the things Mabel often did. Mabel felt guilty.

“Don’t worry, sweetie, you won’t be alone long. There’ll be other kids here soon enough.” Ruth put a hand on Mabel’s shoulder and began guiding her around the room. “Look, we have toys and games. We also have puzzles and books. You can play with anything you like. You can even color; I’ll get some crayons and paper. Would you like that?”

Mabel was caught off guard. It was only when Ruth spoke that she realized how long she’d been standing there doing nothing. All at once, it became clear how unusual this was. No child her age would be standing still for as long. No, they’d be digging through everything, jumping from one interesting toy to the next. They’d be running excitedly, giggling, smiling, doing what toddlers do. That was now expected of her. Or at least, something similar. To everyone else’s eyes, she was a baby—a toddler at best—and they would expect her to do baby things. This would be challenging. She’d spent years, decades even, watching kids from infants up to teenagers. But never once had she thought about doing what they were doing. Sure, she’d gotten down and played with children many times, but this was far different.

She forced her mind to settle on something. “I wanna color, please.”

“My, you’re so polite.” Ruth looked down with admiration as she rose to collect the crayons and paper. She returned momentarily and had Mabel sit at a small table. “Here you go, sweetie.”

“Thank you.” Mabel started digging through the crayons, now acutely aware that Ruth was watching. It seemed all but certain that Ruth would catch on; that she would see through the lies.

Ruth turned to make for the kitchen. “ Hmm , I thought you’d be older,” she mumbled, smiling. It was more to herself than to Mabel, but Mabel heard it all the same.

Something wasn’t right and Ruth knew it. Mabel retreated into thought, her hand resting an idle crayon at the edge of her paper. It was how she spoke. Mabel looked down at herself, then recalled how she looked. Throughout the week, she’d taken many a long look at herself in the mirror. Her new body was three years old at best, though probably more like two-and-a-half. Even if Mabel had limited the words she used, had it been enough? Furthermore, she knew she was pronouncing words far too clearly. She was still speaking like it was natural, like she’d been doing it for years. Ruth had probably pictured her at least a couple years older after the phone conversation. But now she found it was a toddler who was speaking so well, so clearly. And it was this same toddler who was completely incapable of using the toilet. Not even the hope of potty training.

Mabel sighed. She had noticed not long ago that her diaper was wet. She wasn’t looking forward to having someone else change her. So, to put it out of her mind, she began doodling with her crayons. Even that was hard. She had to force herself to grip the crayon in a fist instead of between her fingers and thumb. It ended up taking more effort to make her drawing look age-appropriate than it would to draw something decent in crayon in the first place. When she was finished, she wasn’t sure what to do. Again, several minutes passed before she figured it out. She felt silly when it came to her.

She should just do whatever she wanted. Get up, don’t ask to be excused, don’t clean up, go pick out a toy, or toys, or a whole shelf of toys, games, puzzles, whatever; get up, do anything she wanted, but definitely don’t ask for a diaper change. Mabel began frantically trying to generate rules for herself. She had to play this part, there was no telling what would happen if she didn’t.

Eventually, the other ladies began to arrive. They each greeted her kindly. It was nice, but it meant she had to really do her best to answer simply and age-appropriately. It wasn’t until at least a few of the other kids arrived that she didn’t feel like she was a specimen under a microscope. It helped that she knew these kids already, even if they didn’t know her—well, they didn’t know Mary , the girl she now appeared to be. Two boys noticed her crayons and immediately wanted to color. This promptly led to them taking all of Mabel’s crayons, then each other’s; then there was squabbling. Knowing that the ladies would soon come to break it up, Mabel decided to take advantage of her prior knowledge of these two to help out before things escalated.

Getting up, she went and got out a bright blue ride-on push-car. No sooner had she begun pushing it around the room then it attracted the attention of the first boy, a three-year-old named Eddie. Short, black hair and a sturdy build, Mabel knew him for always wanting to be part of whatever everyone else was doing. He left the crayons and the other boy and came over to Mabel.

“I ride on the car?” He pointed to the push-car, but was already moving to climb on.

“Yes,” Mabel smiled at him. “I’ll push you.”

He was heavier than she expected, but she was able to push him around the room. Occasionally, he would let his feet down or kick to turn the car, causing it to crash into things. But he was smiling the whole time. Mabel was too, thoroughly enjoying herself as they continued to travel the length of the play area.

That was until something unfortunate happened.

She was just turning the car around, planting her feet firmly to get it moving again in the other direction, when she suddenly felt a pressure in her bowels. Not but a few seconds later, she had stopped pushing the car, and was instead pushing a soft lump into her diaper. Eddie noticed her stopping, and whined, wanting her to keep pushing him around. Not sure what else to do, she began again, moving a lot slower this time. The contents of her diaper were decidedly less than enjoyable.

An adult voice called from nearby. “Eddie, why don’t you let Mary have a turn?”

Mabel stopped pushing, both she and Eddie turned to look. One of the other daycare workers, a younger woman named Tara, was leaning on the half-wall, sipping her coffee and watching them play.

She spoke again. “Remember to share, Eddie. I’m sure Mary would like it if you pushed her around for a while.”

Eddie turned to look at Mabel, then got up off the push-car. “Mary ride, I push.”

Mabel hesitated, Eddie grabbed her hand, pulling her toward the seat. The last thing she wanted to do right now was sit down. She took a step back. “I push,” she said emphatically, grabbing the handle of the car once again.

Eddie was more than happy to ride around some more with her pushing. Around and around the room they continued to travel. Mabel was more and more disliking her choice to keep pushing. Even if it meant not having to sit down, it still meant walking, and that meant a lot of movement around her posterior. She scolded herself internally for not coming up with a better solution, telling herself that every yucky step was reminder telling her to do something different. But as much as it demanded she stop what she was doing, it distracted her so much that she couldn’t think of an alternative.

At some point, she heard one of the ladies calling out to one of the children. It wasn’t until the call had been repeated several times that she realized who it was they were calling for.

“Mary.” Tara’s voice came once again, gently trying to get her attention.

Mabel stopped.

“Hold on a minute,” Tara called, chuckling, setting down her coffee and coming toward them. “Let me just see something first.”

In a flash Mabel was spun around and felt her dress being flipped up for a diaper-check. She could practically feel her cheeks glowing red. Eddie was watching the whole thing.

“Just as I expected,” Tara announced, letting Mabel’s dress fall, and then scooping her up. “I thought you were walking kinda funny. Let’s get you changed and then you can play some more.”

Tara’s arm underneath her only made the mess worse. Mabel cringed, wanted to complain. She could walk to the changing table herself, she didn’t need to be carried. But again, she had to hold her tongue, she couldn’t say all the things she felt like saying; she couldn’t tell Tara that she’d already changed her own diapers more than two dozen times over the last week.

Instead “yucky,” was all that came out.

“Yucky is right,” Tara hummed back softly. “Don’t worry, we’ll get that yucky diaper off you in just a sec.”

At that point, Mabel was just along for the ride. Real babies have little say over what happens to them—just like her. This whole week, things just happened to her, or she was left alone to entertain herself. She had no real control. She couldn’t force anything significant to happen. All she could do was keep playing her part as best she could manage, all the while hoping that everything would turn out well. Right now—and it seemed for the foreseeable future—her role was to be a baby, to be carried all the way to daycare, to play safely under watchful eyes, to use her diaper whenever the need arose, and to have it changed by whomever was nearby. In this case, it was Tara.

Mabel found herself upon the changing table. Having always been an adult before, it had never occurred to her just how exposed this was. In the center of the room, separated from the rest only by a half-wall, the changing/toilet area was designed to allow easy access, as well as letting the adults keep an eye on the children even while they changed diapers or had them use the potty. The design also meant that any child having their diaper changed was placed upon a shelf in full view of the rest of the room. Everyone, literally everyone present, could see Mabel getting her diaper changed.

Oddly, it wasn’t everyone else over which she was most worried. It was Tara. The nakedness Mabel felt was more than just the fact that her dress was bunched under her arms. As the cool air touched her skin, Mabel wasn’t worried what Tara would see inside her diaper—the emanating smell warned everyone what was in there—Mabel was worried that Tara would somehow see inside her. She half-expected Tara to suddenly recognize her as Mabel , not Mary —even if that wouldn’t make any sense*.* Tara worked under Mabel, what would she say if she found that she was now changing her supervisor’s diaper?

But Tara didn’t find any of that, she only found a little girl and a diaper full of poop. Mabel braced herself for the wiping, but it turned out to be a lot less uncomfortable than she expected; invading, yes, but certainly preferable to a mess against her skin. A couple minutes later, she found herself enjoying the refreshing crinkle of a clean diaper. Tara set her by the child’s sink and had Mabel was her hands. When she was done, Mabel was sent back out to rejoin the other children while Tara cleaned up the changing area. None of the other kids had even noticed Mabel having her diaper changed.

So this is how things would be? Mabel sighed, trying to resign herself to this strange fate. The early morning, the waiting anxiously for Ruth, the tension as Ruth looked for the real Mabel, the walk to the daycare, the lack of other kids then the presence of other kids, and now a diaper change. She was tired already, but there was so much more left to go. There would be snacks and meals, more interactions with the other children, more diaper changes, and all that didn’t even take into account the fact that Ruth would be taking her grocery shopping after daycare, then she would have to somehow convince Ruth not to search her house again. She had a very full day ahead of her. At least there would be nap time; she would definitely need it.

Mabel looked up at the big wall clock. It wasn’t even 10:00am.

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