By CyberDiapered ( CyberDiapered@Sci.fi )
Erena Lighton, twenty-five years old, currently driving from one part of the state to another, swore as she heard the sound the engine in her car was making.
Pulling to the car to the side of the road, she stepped out and took a look at the engine. No good. The thing wouldn’t last for much longer. Swearing quietly, she went back to the car, taking a roadmap from the glove locker and studying it.
Great. Her car was acting up and she was stuck in the middle of nowhere. She knew how to fix the engine, but she didn’t have the tools she needed. She’d have to find the neareast town - with some luck, they’d have a car repair shop. If not, at least she could borrow the tools from some of the townspeople.
Stuck in the middle of nowhere and taking a detour even closer to the center of nothingness. The closest town on the map was a small mountain town, a good 20 kilometers off the direction she was heading out. Erena wasn’t even sure that her car would last that long, but she didn’t have any other choice. Frowning, she started the car and headed to the direction of the town. Chersville, it was called.
Halfway up the mountain road, there was a large cloud of smoke coming from under the hood, and the car stopped right there. Quickly turning on the hand brake, Erena sighed and went to check on the engine again. She’d been surprised that it had lasted this long, but having it break down so close to this Chersville place was frustating.
Nope. No chance of getting it to work again. She’d have to walk to the town and get somebody to help tow it in there.
As she went to lock the car, she stopped. For a moment, she thought she’d heard the faint sound of a baby crying. She didn’t hear it again, however, so she shrugged it off, locked the car, and began to walk up the mountain road.
It took Erena fifteen minutes of walking before she saw the actual town. It looked rather small: a typical rural town in the middle of nowhere. She took a moment to admire the scenery - sitting in the middle of a mountain valley, Chersville was built in a beautiful place, and the view down the mountain road was breathtaking, if a little scary if you were afraid of heights. It looked like it’d take her about ten minutes of walking to reach the neareast houses, so she glanced briefly at the view again and continued towards the houses.
It was getting dark.
Convenient, Erena thought. The nearest house she reached had a sign saying ‘The Bear’s Head - Inn and restaurant’. She had gotten tired, and the innkeeper would surely know if there were any car repair shops nearby. The town seemed a little on the quiet side, but Erena could still hear the sound of children playing, probably a block or two away. At least I didn’t come this far only to find a ghost town, she thought wryly.
She opened the door and stepped inside. The place looked cozy - the few tables inside were all made of wood, and the same went for the chairs. Most of the tables had a few flowers on them, and the walls were decorated with photos and paintings of animals. Overall, the place radiated the atmosphere of a nice and small, perhaps family-run business.
An impression which was further strenghtened when Erena spotted a little girl wearing just a shirt and a diaper playing with dolls on the floor (which was also wooden, she noted). The girl looked up when Erena stepped inside, and then jumped on her feet and ran towards an open door behind the counter. “Daddy! A stranger!”
Isn’t she a little old to be wearing diapers? Erena thought absent-mindedly, estimating the girl to be around six years. She shrugged it off, however - it was already late, and most likely the girl was a bedwetter who was about to go to bed.
The girl’s father stepped into view a moment later, a slightly overweight but friendly-looking man with a thick moustache in his early fourties. His daughter followed at his side, holding her father’s hand and staring at Erena intently like she’d never seen a human before.
“Mine, we don’t get visitors here often,” the father said. “We’re usually too far from anything for anybody to bother stopping here. How may I help you?”
“My car broke down,” Erena explained. “I’m looking to get it fixed. There wouldn’t be a repair shop around here, would there?”
“Hrrrm,” the man slowly considered. “We don’t have any actual repair shops around here, but young Lucen has always been interested in cars. He might be able to help you. Wouldn’t you want to stay for the night, though? It’s late.”
“Sure,” Erena nodded, relieved. At least she wouldn’t need to fix the car by herself. Not that she wouldn’t have known how to repair it, but it wasn’t something she loved doing.
“And speaking of late,” the father said, looking at his daughter. “Eni, you should be in bed by now.”
“But DAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” Eni whined.
“No buts,” was the firm response. “It’s already way past your bedtime.”
“But I wanna talk with her,” Eni protested, running over to Erena before her father could stop her. “What’s your name? How old are you? What’s your favorite food? Where do you come from?”
“As I said, we don’t get visitors often,” the father grinned. “Eni’s a little curious about strangers.”
“I can see that,” Erena couldn’t help but smiling. Addressing the girl, she said, “I’m Erena. And I think you should be a nice girl and go to bed now.”
“But…” Eni began to protest, disappointed. Erena picked her up and carried her to her father’s arms.
“Thanks,” the man smiled, taking his daughter and gently rocking her in his arms. “My name’s Varen, by the way. I’ll put Eni to bed and then I’ll show you your room. We can talk about the payment in the morning.”
“Okay,” Erena smiled.
The room was even comfier than the restaurant section had been - Erena couldn’t help but let out a moan of delight as she climbed under the thick cotton blanket in the bed. Burying her head in the similiarly thick pillow, she began quickly drift to sleep.
Just as she was about to fall asleep, however, she suddenly heard the same sound of a baby’s crying she’d heard earlier. It was louder this time, and made her jump.
Blinking, she remained listening, but when she couldn’t hear it again, she turned her side and went back to sleep.
Another small girl, this one no older than three, was standing alone in a small room crying. Most small children were cute, but this one had a prettiness to her that Erena had never seen before. From the way the girl avoided sitting down and the way she moved herself, Erena guessed that she’d just gotten a hard spanking.
The door to the room opened, and the girl looked up, fear written on her face. There was light coming from the other room, and it hit the girl’s eyes so she lifted a hand to cover them…
There was light coming from the window, and it hit Erena’s eyes so that she woke up. Blinking, she glanced out of the window and saw that the sun was just coming up.
It would’ve been the easiest to just remain buried the blanket and continue sleeping, but Erena didn’t feel like it. An unpleasant feeling from a partially remembered dream tugged on the edge of her consciousness, and whatever the dream had been about, she didn’t want to see it again. She couldn’t remember anything else from it but the feeling, and she was pretty sure she didn’t want to.
Shrugging, she got up from the bed and began to get dressed.
“I was just beginning to wonder when you’d get up,” Varen said as Erena climbed down the stairs. He, Eni, and a woman Erena assumed to be his wife were sitting at one of the tables, eating. “Joining us for breakfast?”
“Sure,” Erena nodded. Pulling up a chair, she sat down where there seemed to be a free place set at the table. She glanced at Eni, but the girl was wearing a dress so Erena couldn’t tell if she was diapered or not.
“She wanted to look pretty for our guest,” the woman smiled, noticing Erena’s glance at the dress. “I’m Juni. Eni’s pretty curious about you, so if you don’t mind, I thought she could show you the way to Lucen’s place once we’re done eating?”
“Sounds good,” Erena smiled. She glanced at Varen. “What about…”
“The payment?” Varen guessed. “Don’t worry about that. We get visitors so rarely, anyway, that you might as well consider this on the house.”
“Ah,” Erena said. She felt a little embarassed over the thought of using this family’s hospitality without even paying, but didn’t press it for now. There’d be a better time.
After they’d eaten, Eni began to lead Erena to the house where Lucen lived. Eni kept asking endless questions about Erena and where she was from as they walked, but Erena didn’t mind. Answering the girl’s questions was a small price for the hospitality she’d gotten so far.
“What’s that house over there?” Erena asked, spotting a large-sized house on the edge of the town that seemed like it hadn’t been used in a while. “Looks deserted.”
“That’s the old house,” Eni shrugged. “Nobody goes there.”
“Not even you? Or the boys?” Erena would have thought that an empty house would’ve been a favorite spot for the town’s children to play in.
“Nobody,” Eni repeated. “That’s Lucen’s,” she then said and pointed to a nearby house before Erena could reply. Eni ran over to the house and rang the doorbell.
“Hey,” a boy in a blue bathrobe, looking like he was seventeen, said as he opened the door. “Who’s your friend, Eni?”
“Erena,” Eni said proudly, as if she owned her. “Her car’s broken.”
“It broke on the mountain road,” Erena said, nodding to the boy in greeting. “I heard you could help me fix it.”
“On the road, huh,” Lucen said, for some reason hesitating. “Alright, well. I’ll lend you my car, so you can tow yours here and I can take a look at it. Gimme a moment and I’ll give you the keys.”
“Uhh, sure,” Erena blinked. This wasn’t what she’d expected. “Don’t you want to come with me? To make sure I won’t break or steal your car or something?”
“Nah,” Lucen replied, appearing a little nervous. “I’ll wait here. Thanks.”
“Okay…” Erena shrugged. “Fine with me, I guess.”
Lucen nodded, and vanished to go find the keys. Erena looked at Eni. “Wanna come help me tow the car?”
“Nuh-uh,” Eni shook her head. “Don’t wanna.”
“No?” Erena felt a little confused. Just a moment ago Eni had behaved like she’d stick with Erena until the end of the world or until she’d run out of questions, whichever came first. Eni just shook her head response.
“Not if you don’t want to,” Erena shrugged again. Just then, Lucen returned with the keys.
“Here you go,” he said. “My car’s right there, in front of the house. I’ll get dressed for when you get back.”
“Thanks,” Erena nodded, taking the keys.
“No problem,” Lucen said, reaching out to close the door. As he did so, the bathrobe he was wearing happened to fall so that it momentarily revealed him to be wearing a diaper.
Did I see right? Erena blinked as the door closed. Eni she could understand being in diapers, but this boy was seriously too old for them. Not only that, babysitting had taught her to recognize diaper brands, and she could almost swear that the diaper the boy had been wearing had been a Pampers. But they don’t make diapers that big, that much I know for sure…
Erena realized that she was staring blankly at the door, which in turn made Eni stare at her. Flashing Eni an embarassed grin, she quickly hurried to the car Lucen had pointed him to. Sure enough, the keys fit.
“You sure you don’t want to come?” Erena asked, looking at Eni as she sat down in the car.
“Uh-huh”, Eni nodded. “Need a change, anyway”, she added, lifting her dress to reveal a yellow-stained diaper.
So she isn’t just a bedwetter, Erena thought. “Okay, see you in a bit then. Thanks for your help.” This place is kinda weird, she thought to herself as she started the car.
For a moment, she thought she could hear somebody crying in the distance, but the sound vanished as quickly as it had before.
It took a while, but Erena managed to get her car towed back to town without trouble. As she drove the two cars back to Lucen’s house, she spotted a few teenagers loitering on the streets.
It’s not a weekend yet, she found herself thinking. How come nobody here seems to be at school? Lucen wasn’t, and neither are these folks.
“Looks bad,” Lucen stated, studying the engine of the car. He was wearing a mechanic’s overalls now, so Erena couldn’t tell if she had just imagined the diaper earlier. “It might take me a few days to fix it.”
“Alright,” Erena replied. “You want payment for it?”
“Nah,” Lucen declined. “I don’t get to fix these things often. Just getting to do it is enough of a payment for me.”
And nobody here seems to care about money in the slightest, Erena thought as she walked back to the inn. There’s definitely something odd about this place.
As soon as she’d finished the thought, she heard a boy’s voice. “Mom! I’m hungry!”
Turning to look, he saw the boy - who looked around fourteen - on the front yard of one of the houses. Noticing Erena, the boy nodded to her, then turned back to the woman in her mid-thirties who was sitting in a chair with just shorts and a bra on, apparently sunbathing.
“You always are”, the woman replied. “Okay, come here, then.”
Erena thought that the woman would have a snack or something near her, but instead she felt her jaw drop when the woman took off her bra and the boy climbed on her lap to suckle on it. A teen still getting breastfed, and who doesn’t even mind strangers seeing it?
“Are you dry?” the woman asked, pulling down the boy’s pants and revealing that he, too, was wearing a diaper. Erena realized that she was staring, and hurried away from the scene as fast as was politely possible. This place is freaking me out, she thought.
There were people dining by the tables when Erena got back to the inn. This was apparently a popular place to meet your friends. Eni was nowhere in sight, and neither was anybody else from Eni’s family, for that matter.
The people looked at Erena curiously when she entered, but nobody approached her. Apparently they had heard about her already.
Still a little shaken, Erena forgot to ask permission as she sat down at the nearest table, which already had a woman in her early thirties sitting at it. “What’s with the kids around here?”
“Ah… the kids.” Erena jumped when the woman spoke - she’d been thinking aloud without realizing it.
“I wish I could have children of my own,” the woman continued, sadly. Erena got the impression the woman had already been thinking about this subject when she’d arrived. “But I didn’t, back then, and now it’s too late.”
“Too late?” Erena asked cautiously. The woman sure didn’t seem to be too old to have children - maybe it was the result of some disease? Or maybe her husband had left her?
“Too late,” the woman repeated sadly. “There’d be nothing I’d like more than to have a child of my own. But there’s no hope of that, now.” She seemed to be on the verge of tears, so Erena didn’t press the issue.
“Oh, but where are my manners? I just start rambling to the first stranger who sits down. My name’s Mirai.”
“Nice to meet you,” Erena slowly replied. Mirai just nodded and looked down at the food she was having.
“Talking about the kids…” Erena started, knowing that she might very well be making a mistake, but she had to ask somebody. Mirai didn’t look too bothered by it, so Erena continued.
“Are all of them… well… they’re a little unusual, aren’t they?”
Mirai looked at her. “What do you mean?”
“Well… I’ve seen a bunch of them wearing diapers… even the older kids, that is…” Almost unconsciously, Erena lowered her voice a bit.
There was a blank look from Mirai. “And?”
“Kids that usually wouldn’t be wearing diapers anymore…” Seeing that Mirai still didn’t seem to be following, Erena continued. “And… I saw a bunch of kids out there a while ago… don’t the teens go to school around here?”
“They’re already done with their school,” Mirai said slowly, apparently not sure if she had understood Erena’s intention correctly.
“The teens too? I saw a kid who must’ve been fourteen, was he done with school, too?”
“Yes,” Mirai replied, looking surprised as if made to explain something obvious. “Anybody his age would be.”
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence, then Mirai finished her meal and left without a further word. Erena looked around in the inn and decided to go up to her room for a while. She didn’t feel like like talking with even more townspeople.
Erena’d been in her room for a while, thinking about what had happened, when it hit her. Eni was the youngest child she had seen in the whole town. Half the kids seemed to act like babies, but if there were any real babies around, they were nowhere to be seen.
Aside from that crying. She thought she’d just imagined it, but she had a feeling that there was more to it than that. She shifted uncomfortably on the edge of the bed, and suddenly felt that she had to get out of this town. The weirdness was just too much for her.
Then, when she was walking towards the stairs, she heard crying again. Not a baby’s crying, but that of a grown-up. And this one didn’t vanish.
Coming down to the restaurant part of the inn again, Erena saw a girl a little younger than she was - twenty years old, maybe? - sitting by herself next to the counter. Aside for her and the girl, the room seemed to be empty, so Erena felt she had to do something.
Walking to the girl, Erena sat down on a stool next to her. The girl looked up, and sensing Erena’s wantingness to comfort, buried her head in Erena’s breast and continued to cry. Wrapping her arms comfortingly around the girl, Erena waited for her to calm down enough so she could be talked with.
“Luke,” the girl finally managed to mutter. She sounded bitter.
“Boy trouble?” Erena asked softly. The girl nodded.
Finally something I think I can handle, Erena thought. I’ve seen enough romance trouble to last half a lifetime.
“I got into a fight with him today,” the girl explained. “I didn’t mean to, but he started it! And he pissed me off so much that finally I hit him…” She paused for a moment, then continued. “I know it’s bad to hit people, but he was being mean to me… now I know I’m going to get spanked for getting in a fight once I get home.”
Erena froze, just staring at the girl. This wasn’t going as she had thought after all.
The girl, teary-eyed, looked up at her for a moment, and then Erena felt a strong smell in her nose.
“I made a mess in my didee,” the girl admitted. “Change me? Please?”
That was too much. Before she even realized it, Erena was up on her feet, running away from the inn in panic, as fast as her feet would take her.
When she came to her senses, Erena realized she was standing in the front yard of the deserted house. Panting, she leaned against the wall, when she jumped to hear a baby’s crying again.
But this time it didn’t vanish after a few seconds. It was real, and it was coming from inside the house.
Erena turned slowly to face the door to the house, and felt an unexplainable feeling of dread coming over her as she looked at it. Pull yourself together, she thought, just walk in and look what’s going on. Okay?
Taking a deep breath and gathering all her courage, she walked to the door, opened it, and stepped inside.
The house was large and empty, and everything inside was covered with dust, proving that nobody had been around for a while. It also guaranteed that Erena’d cough plenty of times as the dust got into her breath. Following the sound of crying, she eventually came to a door that looked like it’d lead to a nursery.
Slowly and hesitantly, she pulled the door open. The crying seemed to disappear as she did so, and looking inside, she saw that it was indeed a nursery inside. There was a huge teddy bear, almost tall enough to reach the ceiling, resting against one wall. In the middle of the floor, a baby girl, around two years max, was contently playing with a few toys. Somehow, this room didn’t seem to have any dust.
“What are you doing here?”, Erena asked, stepping closer to the baby. As she did so, she realized that not only was this the cutest baby she had ever seen, she had also seen the girl before, somewhere. The dream she had seen suddenly came back to her.
Just what the hell is going on here? The baby didn’t seem to have heard or noticed her in any way, and as she stepped closer to the girl, Erena suddenly froze in her tracks, terrified.
The teddy bear had opened its eyes.
“She can’t hear you,” the teddy bear calmly said. Seeing that Erena was standing frozen in her place, it slowly continued.
“Once, there was a family of faeries who had a young daughter. Unfortunately, they had to leave this world for a while, and leave their daughter behind. So they found a human couple who had been unable to have children of their own, and left their daughter in their care, trusting them to treat her well until they’d return.”
Erena still didn’t dare to move, but she looked at the girl playing on the floor. There was something inhuman in the girl’s cuteness…
The teddy bear nodded, then continued. “Unfortunately, faeries aren’t always good at judging human nature, and so they made a mistake. The couple they trusted their daughter with had an obsession with maturity. That couple wanted the girl - who they now considered theirs - to appear as mature as possible, so they set out to instill forced maturity. Anything even remotely childlike would lead to an abuse-like punishment, no matter how normal it was for the daughter’s age.”
“The other townsfolk were aware, and strongly disapproving, of this, but didn’t have the courage to interfere. They wouldn’t want anybody else to interfere with the way they raised their own children, they reasoned, so they shouldn’t interfere with how this couple raised its daughter, either.”
“It took eight years before the faeries could return. When they did, six years ago, they found their trust to have been betrayed, their precious daughter having had her childhood stolen from her, and a town that had been too cowardly to do anything about it.”
“In their anger, the faeries cursed the townspeople. The people could never leave their town, but they and their children were given effective immortality. In exchange for the immortality, however, nobody in the town could bear or sire more children, and anybody who was still a child would remain as a baby.”
“The faeries also turned their daughter back to a baby. Since she had lost her childhood, it had to be given back to her. However, faeries experience time and pain differently, and to take away the pain their daughter had suffered, she would need to spend a long time as a baby. In human count, it would take three million years. When that time has passed, and the daughter will have fully recovered from the abuse she took, the townspeople will be freed from their curse.”
“As for the couple the faeries made the mistake of trusting…”
Suddenly Erena heard the crying again, and she turned to look in the direction where it came from. In front of her eyes, a door opened, revealing two babies who were caught in high chairs and crying like she’d never heard any baby cry like before.
“As punishment for what the couple did, the faeries took all the pain their daughter had suffered, condensed it into one single moment of unbearable agony, and infused the couple with it. Now they are forced to spend the three million years still left in that state, every second going through the pain they inflicted. Once that time is over, they, too, will be released.”
The teddy bear closed its eyes. Everything felt so unreal, but eventually Erena gathered her thoughts and slowly began to feel a sense of fury burning in her. The child she saw in front of her must have suffered a lot, but how was making these two undergo three million times the same pain fair?
She couldn’t allow it. She’d take those two away from here, and come up with a way to free them from their curse somehow. She glanced at the teddy bear, but it looked as lifeless as it had when she’d first entered.
In a quick move, Erena rushed towards the room where she saw the two babies. The teddy bear opened its eyes and rose to stop her, but Erena knew she’d get at least inside the room before it could stop her.
“Wait! If you touch-” Erena didn’t listen what the teddy bear was saying. She reached the nearest baby of the two, and quickly grabbed it as gently as she could.
As Erena’s skin made contact with the baby’s, all the pain the faeries had infused in the baby’s body was suddenly released and filled hers. In painstaking detail, she suddenly experienced all the abuse, all the cutting remarks, all the beatings and humiliation the faerie’s daughter had been made to endure. All of it in one, blinding second, nearly too fast to absorb, but still not fast enough. And then, she experienced it again. And again.
Erena yawned and stretched. She felt hungry.
Looking up, she realized that somebody else had sensed her need. As she cooed happily at being picked up, the woman - Erena had once known her name to be Mirai, but that had been long ago forgotten - smiled and laughed of delight. An adult might have realized that the woman’s delight was almost like that of a mother who’d just had her first child.
Being placed on the woman’s lap, Erena eagerly began to suckle on the offered breast. As Erena did so, she almost unconsciously pushed a mess in her diaper.
She had felt scared a while ago, but she knew that that was over now.
She knew that she was safe now.