Splash Zone: The Disneyland of Water Parks. Also coincidentally one of the major water parks that was open year round and NOT owned and operated by Disney or one of its fellow megacorporation competitors. And like all good theme parks Splash Zone was part nostalgia, part right of passage, part tourist attraction, and part tourist trap.
Just past the entrance, in a sign painted in bright yellow letters and glossed over to look like they were dripping were the words “Caution: You WILL get wet.” That’s where the security guard got to them.
“Here’s your wristband miss,” the thirty-something bald guy said, quickly wrapping some fabric around Kimberly’s wrist. He came up so quickly and decisively that Kimberly genuinely thought she’d done something wrong. Not yet five steps past the ticket booth turnstyle and she was already being accosted.
Kimberly drew in breath, ready to scream or call for help or demand to know what the guard was doing. Except he did the same thing to Sarah less than ten seconds later. Kim’s best friend held out her wrist, however, as if she were expecting it. “Been a while, huh?” she asked Kim.
The college sophomore blushed. “Yeah.” She took a closer look at the man who’d just put a wristband around her. All around her people in official looking uniforms were tagging park visitors. This wasn’t a security guard as much as it was a park greeter. Kim hadn’t even been in kindergarten the last time she was here. Evidently the park had made some major updates.
Taking the lead, Sarah grabbed her ticket and held it out to the greeter. “I come here a couple times a year.” So that’s why Kim’s dorm mate seemed so in control.
The burly greeter took out a scan gun and scanned the ticket. “Sarah Mathers? Age twenty?” he asked.
“That’s me,” Sarah said. The greeter quickly scanned her wristband. “One more year till I can get pina coladas in the lazy river.” The greeter laughed. It was the dry laugh of someone who’d heard that joke a thousand times.
“You’re good to go,” the greeter said. Sarah stepped to the side and Kimberly dug her ticket back out of her pocket. He scanned Kim’s ticket. “Kimberly Marshall? Age nineteen?”
Big and intimidating he may have been compared to Kimberly’s relatively petite frame, but the man with the scanning gun seemed to be able to read Kim’s confusion. “We use a barcode system,” he quickly explained. “A lot of people hate lugging around wallets in their swimsuits. So we do this barcode thing.” He gave the wrist band a little tug as he scanned it. It was very sturdy, possibly waterproof, and had a barcode on it. “So if you buy anything we just run up a tab and you pay on your way out of the park when we snip the band off.” Kim had a feeling that she wouldn’t be able to get this off even if she used her teeth.
“Huh” So that’s why Kim had to show her ID at the ticket booth. “Neat.”
Sarah, who was a head taller than Kimberly, butted in like a know-it-all sister. “They also use it to access different parts of the park. Super high tech security stuff.”
“That’s mostly for the kiddie parts,” the greeter answered. “Parents can leave their toddlers in Tadpole Town and pick them up later.” He shot a warning look at Sarah. “It also helps with the cabana bar and keeping problem patrons off of certain slides.” Maybe he was a security guard of sorts.
The taller of the two girls shrugged. “We won’t be those kind of guests,” Sarah promised.
“Yeah,” the greeter guard smirked. “You’re not dumbass boys. Have a good day, ladies.”
Ten minutes later, the girls had changed and were meeting outside the locker and changing rooms. Kim had to admit the barcode scanning system was awfully convenient. No bags or keys to lug around between slides. She just had to strip down to her swimsuit, put her loose fitting shorts, t-shirt and purse in a locker, scan her wristband and walk out. Speaking of swimsuits:
“Wow!” Sarah gushed. Kim had chosen to wear her favorite sunset orange bikini. It perfectly complimented her short auburn hair. “You know this isn’t the beach, right? Like, you’re not gonna pick up any boys or work on your tan here.”
Petite though she was, Kim was showing a lot of soft smooth skin. Like her mother, Kim had not been particularly well endowed physically, but in a bathing suit like that, anything looked big. Besides, Kim’s very existence - not to mention her social calendar - was evidence that plenty of guys liked cute little things such as herself. “Flaunt what you got!”
Sarah was clearly taking a different approach. Six months older and taller than Kim, puberty had been much kinder to Sarah. She had a busty chest that bounced when she so much as shifted her weight and full hips that wiggled when she walked like a cat strutting down the alleyway. Yet here she was wearing a plain navy blue one piece, that while it nearly matched her raven hair, gave her an unmistakably more mature and more serious vibe.
“What’s the point of being twenty and wearing a bathing suit if you’re gonna dress like your mom?” Kimberly joked. They’d had this conversation before regarding clothing. Sarah was something of an old soul, aesthetically, favoring practical and functional over cute and flirty. Some days, Kim swore her buddy was a crazy old cat lady who just hadn’t grown into the role yet.
“I’m here to ride the Sharknado, not to get phone numbers.” She eyed Kimberly’s bikini. “And this mom-suit only cost me half as much as yours. You’re paying for what; two pairs of triangles sewn together and tied up with string? How does that make sense?”
Like a runway model, Kimberly strode further. “I’m paying for the societal permission to show all THIS off!” She struck a pose and held it for a second before both of them broke down laughing. “Come on. Let’s check out this slide you’ve been gabbing about.”
Before they got very far, Sarah stopped them. “Oh, before we get in line for anything,” she said, “do you have to go potty?”
Kimberly let out another little laugh. “Do I have to pee? That mom-suit must really be going to your brain.” She hadn’t been asked if she needed to ‘go potty’ since the first grade.
“Do you?” Sarah arched an eyebrow and gestured to a nearby sign, pointing toward ‘Boys’ Potties’, ‘Girls’ Potties’ and ‘Tadpole Town’. “I don’t want to get on a roll and have to wait on you because that tiny little bladder of yours can’t handle a full bottle of Diet Coke.”
Kim rolled her eyes. “That was that one time!” she said. “It’s not like it’s a law that girls have to go to the bathroom together.”
They resumed walking. “Yeah, but I don’t want to get so far ahead in line that I have to wait ten minutes for you to follow after me,” Sarah complained.
Dang! Kim had no idea her friend was this hardcore about a water park. She looked up at the towering structures of steel and PVC, painted up and decorated to rival roller coasters. All of them had lines winding from the top of the towers to the base. “If I really have to pee,” Kim promised, “I’ll just go to the bathroom, sit out a trip and wait for you at the bottom.”
Sarah seemed happy with this promise. “It would give me an excuse to go twice,” she thought out loud.
A naughty joke jumped out of Kim’s mouth. “That or I could just pee in the wave pool or something. Isn’t that what people do at these places?”
Sarah stopped so fast and stuck out her arm so that her roommate had to duck to avoid being clotheslined. “Don’t do that here,” she said, her tone deadly serious.
“I was only joking,” Kim chuckled. “I’m not gonna pee in the pool.”
Yikes! This was not a side of Sarah that Kimberly had expected to see today. And for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why; Kim wanted to poke the bear a little bit. “Even if I did. So what?” she smiled. “That’s what chlorine is for! This place already smells like an outdoor toilet.”
Raven hair tied back in a tight ponytail shook itself like a crow ruffling its feathers. “Don’t. They take that kind of thing really seriously here.”
The shorter of the two kept walking. “Okay. Sheesh. It was just a joke, anyways.”
Sarah caught up with a few longer legged strides. “I know,” she promised, her tone softening, “I just needed to let you know. A lot has changed in the last couple years.” They were friends again.
“Like the armband barcode things?”
“Yeah,” Sarah said. “And other things. My ex used to come here. Now he doesn’t. He peed in the pool.”
“He got banned?” Kimberly asked.
“Not exactly,” Sarah answered. “They called his parents and had them pick him up.”
“That’s embarrassing.” the younger gal giggled.
“You don’t know the half of it. His mom picked him up and they did something on his file to make him never want to come back.”
Kim didn’t get an answer to her question. “Ooh!” Sarah shrieked. “The line for Sharknado is short! Let’s go!” She grabbed Kim’s wrist and took off running for the entrance to the ride that Sarah had been blathering about the entire drive over.
The way inside, unsurprisingly, looked like a giant shark’s mouth with the maw opening into a concrete tunnel. To get the turnstyle to admit them they had to scan their bands, but once past they were free to power walk up the inclined passageway.
“It’s gonna be like this for almost every ride,” Sarah explained. “They don’t want little kids going on a lot of these.”
Kim admired bits of decorative metal sticking out of the walls, as if it were debris lodged into the concrete by a tornado. “Okay. This is kind of cool,” she admitted. She was starting to get excited. This was gonna be fun!
The jubilation was short-lived. A fast paced walk towards high sliding adventure slowed to a crawl as they caught up to the back of the line rather quickly. Not half a minute later, the girls were no longer the back of the line and were penned in.
Waterslides, by their very design, have a relatively fast turnover, Kimberly knew. One person got on a slide, was given the signal to go by the lifeguard on top and that person went flying down the chute propelled by jets of water. They’d pass a certain checkpoint and a second lifeguard would radio up so that a third or fourth could be ready by the splashpool and the first lifeguard could give another rider the go ahead. Overall it was very fast, very efficient, and very safe. Water slides were basically a big conveyor belt.
But even conveyor belts seem to move slowly when it’s one at a time and you’re moving step by step up an incline waiting for the person at the top to hit the stream. More to the point, a slide that took maybe forty five seconds total was still racking up a wait time of close to fifteen minutes.
A lot can happen in fifteen minutes. As they got closer to the front of the line, the sound of the rushing water got louder, echoing in the concrete tunnel. Kimberly couldn’t help but think about Sarah’s earlier comments and just a hint of her bladder getting full. Sarah didn’t notice because Kimberly didn’t draw any attention to it. She wasn’t three, anymore. She could experience some minor bodily discomfort without dancing from foot to foot. Her bladder was filling up; didn’t mean she was close to bursting. She just made a mental note that she’d have to take that bathroom break (and endure Sarah’s razzing more than likely) soon after this.
“Next!” The lifeguard called.
Sarah stepped forward. “This is gonna be so cool!”
They were almost there! The sound of the water was thundering now. Anticipation for something other than the bathroom helped Kimberly ignore her bladder.
Sarah stepped forward and sat down on the slide.
“Go!” Sarah was gone! “Next!”
For the first time, Kimberly felt a tiny tinge of fear. She sat down in the little pool next to the slide and grabbed the top bar just overhead so she could fling herself down. She winced, feeling the water splashing up her backside and getting her bathing suit bottoms wet. It felt like sitting on a park bench just after the rain.
She looked up to the lady lifeguard sitting above her. No eye contact, just reflective glasses and a serious set jaw. “Go!”
Just like that, Kimberly was going, going gone! Chin tucked; ankles crossed, leaned back, arms over her chest. Her entire word became the dark twisting tube she’d placed herself in. She hadn’t even thought of it. Pavlov couldn’t have conditioned a better response.
“EEEEEEP!” She shrieked with the first dip! “OOOOOH!” with the twist. “AAAAAH!” with the second. Flashing lights and lasers! Briefly, very briefly she put the adrenaline fueled kick she was getting out of the way, marveled at the technical aspect as cgi fish projected on a spirling tube, so that it looked like water was swirling all around her plummeting form.
Gingerly, Kimberly reached out to touch it, expecting it to sting like putting her hand in a fan; bracing for the feel of PVC scraping her fingertips. What she got instead was pure water jetting across her digits. Holy crap! This was like if Disney put all of its budget into waterslides!
She let out a surprised squeak of wonder before the-
The slide dropped out beneath her into a steep ninety degree angle. Automatically, arms splayed out and ankles uncrossed like a cat trying to land on her feet. Right beneath her, so fast that she only barely registered it, a gigantic shark waited for her to fall into its mouth. Her awe filled giggle of a scream turned into a terror filled shriek.
The free fall wasn’t long. Less than a second passed before her back touched the ramp again and she skidded the rest of the way into the darkness. It wasn’t five seconds before she saw the light at the end of the tunnel and came skidding out across the surface of the splash pool before slowing and then sinking like a stone.
Her head submerged under the water and for the briefest instant, her tiny frame was weightless before the balls of her feet pushed up off of concrete, and she pushed her way up back above the surface.
“Hey kid! Are you okay?”
Kimberly blinked and started swim-walking towards the stairs and railing of the landing pool. “Yeah,” she said, holding back nervous giggling now that she knew she could live through the ride. The adrenaline was really kicking in. She looked at the lifeguard at the bottom, a big dare-she-think ‘hunk’ with a six pack and tight cropped hair and baggy red swim trunks. She noticed everything about him but the concerned look on his face.
He swam out to her even though she was just a step or two from grabbing the railing and scooped her up, carrying her out onto terra firma like a groom carrying a bride across the honeymoon suite threshold. “Come on, little lady. Up you go.” She didn’t mind that he’d called her little lady. She definitely didn’t mind the way he picked her up. Gleeful giggles erupted from her. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” she said, doing her best to bat her eyelashes. “I’m fine. Never better, actually.”
“Good.” He put her down next to the poolside and waved over someone near the exit gate. Another semi-security guard with a barcode scanner on their hip trotted up. “We’ve got a code violet over here.” The lifeguard pointed to the splash pool.
“Already called it in. Filtration team should be here any second.”
Sarah was suddenly next to Kim. “Oh no,” she gasped. “Kimberly. What did you do?”
With an effort, Kimberly dragged her eyes away from the lifeguard she’d been just about to try flirting with. “What do you-?” Kimberly froze mid sentence and looked at the water she’d just been lifted out of. The water had turned a deep, dark purple, like grape kool-aid, and was spreading rapidly. “What is that?” She looked up to her friend. “Was that there for you?”
Gravely, Sarah shook her head. “I didn’t pee.”
“What do you-?” Kimberly looked down and realized that purple water droplets were clinging to her inner thighs. They were darker. More concentrated. Her sunset bikini bottom was looking more like twilight between her legs as the orange shaded into a dense purple. That, and Kimberly was realizing that she no longer had to go to the bathroom.
“The swimming water is treated with a chemical.” Sarah explained.”It’s how people got caught.” A team in white jumpsuits was running to the splash pool. They stuck a vacuum hose into the pool and started sucking up the purple stain. Another jumpsuited team member threw in a few fizzing tablets the size of hockey pucks. “Told you to go potty before we started.”
“Excuse me.” Kimberly flinched while one of the guys with a barcode gun took her by the wrist and scanned her barcode. “Thank you.”
“What the-?!” She yanked her hand away like it had just been bitten. “The fuck?!”
“Don’t worry, ma’am.” The man with the scanner said. “Accidents happen.” He reached behind his back and offered her a white hand towel. “For your legs.”
She took the towel, but did not break eye contact with the man. “Thank you.” She patted herself down and wiped the little purple beads off her. Thank goodness they didn’t stain her legs or anything, like that anti-shoplifter dye. The purple crotch in her bikini bottom… well, it sort of blended in like it was part of the natural color of the swimsuit, unless you knew about the purple dye in the pool water. Thinking about how she’d just peed herself and everyone knew about it sent shivers up her spine. So much for getting the lifeguard’s number. “Thanks,” she mumbled. “I guess.”
The attendant took the towel back. “No problem. There’s a gift shop right around the bend,” he said. “You can go get a swim diaper over there and continue on enjoying the rest of your day.
“Ha-ha. Very funny.” She pretended to scratch her forehead with her middle finger, making it very clear what she thought of the barb.
“He’s not joking.” Sarah said. Kimberly’s jaw dropped at Sarah’s facial expression.
“Yeah, no. That’s not happening.” Kimberly threw her hands up and stormed off.
Sarah called after her, “Kimmy! Wait! You’re going the wrong way!”
Kim moved as fast as her little legs would take her, rounding the corner away from Sarah and the lifeguard and the site of her humiliation. It was an accident! Plain and simple! The line had been long and the ride had been scary! The entire slide had been self contained! There had been no way for her to even anticipate that drop! She wasn’t going to be made a joke of because she’d…she’d…she’d accidentally done what everybody does at water parks!
It wasn’t a joke. It certainly wasn’t funny.
Weaving in and out through the crowd, Kim picked the nearest slide. “Amazon River Rapids.” Jungle Theme. Whatever. And stepped up to the turnstyle.
The scanner wouldn’t let her through. The turnstyle wouldn’t budge. She got a very loud buzzing sound like she’d just gotten the wrong answer on a quiz show, and a screen flashing “Please See Attendant.”
There was a snickering behind her. “Couldn’t hold it in, huh?” A forty-something schlub with a beer gut and a speedo said. “That’s what that buzzer means.” He pointed the opposite direction, the way she’d come from. “Gift Shop is that way, diaper girl.”
Kimberly was about to take this fuck who was old enough to be her dad on a scatalogical tour of the Old Testament when Sarah suddenly yanked her out of the quickly forming queue, having finally caught up. “What are you doing?” She hissed. “Rules are rules, you need to go to the Gift Shop, weren’t you listening?”
Another of the guard types came up. “Is there a problem here?” she asked. She might have been a woman, but she looked like she could be a bouncer at a bar. The reflective sunglasses, same as the lifeguards, also lent her an air of quiet intimidation. Definitely leaning farther into the “security guard” and less “greeter” than the ones at the front entrance. It was appropriate in a way that she was so close to the Amazon River Rapids, Kimberly thought despite herself.
Sarah stepped in between Kimmy and the guard. “She’s new here. We were just going to the gift shop.” Sarah sounded rushed, apologetic, and even a little embarrassed.
The lady who could have been in WWE unholstered her scanner and held out her hand. “Bands please.”
Sarah held out her arm and got it scanned. “You’re fine. Thank you. Next.” Kim felt like she had no choice. She submitted. The same little buzz that she’d gotten at the turnstyle rang off.
“That explains it,” The attendant said, looking at the gun’s readout. “You’re not cleared.” Surprisingly sweet looking blue eyes peered out over the top of the sunglasses. “And you’re obviously not dressed appropriately. Go get fixed up at the Gift Shop.”
Kim knew what that meant. The attendant walked away. “Yeah,” she folded her arms over her chest and gave Sarah her best death stare. “No. I want to go home.”
Sarah was having none of it. “Oh come on Kimmy! We just got here!” She was indignant. “You’re being silly.”
“I’m not going to wear a…” She couldn’t even say it.
“It’s normal in the park for people who forget to…who go in the…” Sarah lost some of her verbal footing. “It’s normal here. No one will look twice at you. It’s just a precaution.”
“No.” Real mature, Kimberly thought to herself, but there was no way she was going to walk around looking like an overgrown baby just because she had a semi-common accident.
A shadow fell over Sarah, the morning sun going behind a cloud or her mood made manifest? “We’re staying,” she said flatly. “I drove us all the way here. I’ve been planning this for weeks. I’m not the one that messed up. You can stay and not go on any rides, or you can swallow your pride and we can hang out the rest of the day. It’s up to you, Kimmy.”
Kimberly shrank back, feeling ashamed and a little guilty, like she was being reprimanded by her big sister instead of being out with her best friend. Was it really that big of a deal? It’s not like anyone who saw her would recognize her. She relented and bowed her head. “Okay. I’ll do it.”
The sun came out from behind the clouds. “Great. Come on. Let’s go.”
At the very least, Sarah didn’t hold her hand on the way to the gift shop, though Kimmy plodded along forlornly alongside her, barely noticing her surroundings. As they got to the gift shop, Kimmy barely noticed a man coming out of the store who was very obviously padded. His baggy swim trunks weren’t nearly baggy enough to hide the roundness of the bulky undergarment or the slight waddle in his walk. Kim was still shellshocked enough to be unable to connect the dots for what that might mean for her.
“Just go up to the counter and show him your wristband,” Sarah pointed to a scrawny man behind the gift shop counter and gave Kimmy a slight push in that direction.
Legs trembling and feeling numb, Kim walked barefoot up. The man was about the same size as her, but she did everything she could to not look him in the eye. At least the scanner didn’t buzz like before.
“Hmmm,” the man said, staring at a computer screen. “Okay. One washable swim diaper coming right up.”
That cut through Kimmy’s mental fog; she tensed up again. The sales clerk had spoken at a normal volume but to her ear it felt like he’d shouted it into a megaphone. The man bent over and took out a plastic wrapped package. She looked at it. Yup. That was a diaper, alright. Puffy, soft pink, and decorated with an angel fish pattern, it looked like a bigger version of something a toddler might wear at the beach. The outer fabric was weird, too, like a silicone, waterproof outer shell instead of normal fabric, with the pattern underneath.
“Does it have to be pink?” Kimberly grimaced.
“Sorry,” the man behind the counter apologized. “I took some liberties. I just thought it would go well with your new swimsuit.”
Kimberly hadn’t finished the thought when Sarah draped a swimsuit over the counter. “You’ll need this, too” Like Sarah’s suit, this was a one piece. Unlike Sarah’s simple blue unitard, it was bright pink, almost neon. The straps had decorative bows sewn into them and the butt had ruffles on it. It was one of the tackiest, girliest, and above all most babyish things Kim had ever seen in her size. “I think there’s a really cute bucket hat over on the rack if you wanna complete the look.”
“Sarah?” Kim looked up at what she thought was her best friend. “The fuck?”
The clerk held up a finger. “It’s park policy. Sorry.”
Kim turned on him. “What? That I have to dress like a fuckin’ moron because I got scared on the Sharknado?”
“Ah,” The clerk said to himself. “Sharknado; that explains it.”
“Language,” Sarah warned.
“You’re not my-!”
“Sorry,” the clerk interrupted. “It’s park policy for guests who have accidents to wear diapers.” Again it felt like he was shouting, even if he wasn’t. He even had the nerve to sound bored, like he had given this speech a dozen times already. “It’s also policy that those diapers remain covered outside of dressing rooms and bathrooms.”
“I can remai-…!” Kim froze and looked down at her bikini. “Okay. No. But-…”
Sarah looked her in the eye. “Kimmy? Do you really want to go back out there in nothing but a diaper and a bikini top?”
In answer, Kimberly grabbed the items from the counter and bundled them up in her arms. “Fine. Where’s the dressing room? Or do I have to get changed in front this perv?” She grumbled through gritted teeth as she gestured rudely to the clerk.
The little man’s stare became icy. “Our dressing rooms are to your right,” he said. “But I’ll need to scan your wristband one more time.” His nostrils flared. “In case there’s a puddle when you walk out so we’ll know who made it.”
“Oh fuck off.” Kimmy stuck out her wrist anyways and huffed as the clerk made a subtle adjustment to his scanning gun. She was scanned, and flipped the clerk the bird.
Embarrassing garments in her grasp, the petite college sophomore skittered into the dressing room. The bare space, slightly bigger than a closet, had a full length mirror, a rack and a massage table. She set the swimsuit and the you-know-what on the table and went back to close the curtain. “Sarah? What are you—?”
Sarah was closing the curtain behind her. “Let me help.” From the sound of it, Sarah wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer. “You really pissed off that clerk back there and I don’t want you getting in any more trouble than you’ve already gotten yourself in.”
Kimmy wasn’t given time to object. In a blink, she was on the back of the massage table and Sarah was yanking her bottoms off. “EEEEEEP!”
“Oh hush,” Sarah chided her. “It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before.”
That was true, but normally when she was on her back and someone was going for her skimpy underwear it wasn’t her roommate and it definitely wasn’t for the sole purpose of putting something even thicker back on. “I can get your diaper to fit better this way.”
That much seemed true. Kimmy bit down on the urge to scream and kick and allowed her bigger, stronger roommate to cross her ankles and lift her legs up. The slick silicone shell of the pink cloth diaper slid easily underneath her bottom, and the bulk of the diaper felt almost like a cushion beneath her as Sarah lowered her legs. “I hate you so much, right now.” Kimmy grumbled, even if she wasn’t sure if she really meant it.
“You look cute.” Sarah replied. She pulled the front of the diaper up tightly between Kimmy’s legs, tucking in the elastic leg cuffs like a seasoned babysitter might to ensure a snug fit. Two broad velcro tabs stretched across the front of Kimmy’s pelvis were pulled tight to finish the change. “Maybe we should take these to the beach next time.”
“Thanks,” Kimmy growled. “But no thanks.” She took off her bikini top and handed it and her bottoms (still faintly purple in the crotch) off to Sarah. “You can see yourself out. I know how to put on a bathing suit by myself.”
Sarah shrugged. “Suit yourself.” She ducked past the curtain. “Heh. I accidentally made a joke.”
Kimmy glanced down at herself and the swim diaper encasing her lower half. It rose halfway up her tummy, like a bad piece of shapewear, almost to her belly button. There was no mistaking this for a cute bikini bottom, that was for sure. She stepped into the replacement swimsuit and pulled the gaudy thing over herself, hoping against hope that it might conceal the even more embarrassing thing beneath it. It did not. For the first time in her life, Kimmy wished she’d been fat. Some extra flab here and there might actually make it look like the bulge around her crotch was just how her body was shaped.
As it stood, her skinny frame was obviously padded between the legs, and she somehow looked even more babyish than if she’d gone with just the diaper and bikini top. She turned to the side. It didn’t look any better from that angle. The suit clung to her body in all the wrong places, following the unnatural curve of the diaper instead of her legs and making the most disconcerting noise as the diaper and the suit slid over each other with every move she made. The butt ruffles fluffed out like neon arrows, instead of laying flat, and the decorative bows on the shoulder straps made their presence felt whenever she moved her arms.
Growling she grabbed the pink bucket hat that Sarah had snuck in and plopped it on her head. At least she could use it to hide her face.
Still rustling and already starting to blush up a storm, Kimmy peeled back the curtain and stepped out into the Gift Shop. Something had changed in the room again. For once Sarah looked just as embarrassed as her roommate, and from the look on her face, the embarrassment was directed completely at Kimmy.
Two big, brawny attendants stood by the check out counter. “Is this her?”
The scrawny man behind. “Yup. That’s her. Kimberly Marshall. Check her wristband, she’s only ticketed to have privileges for age 19…months!”
“The fuck did you say?”
The attendants ignored her and closed in on either side. Kimmy thought about making a dash for it, but two sets of very strong arms gave her pause. One of the attendants drew his scan gun and scanned her wristband. “Yup. Checks out. Her barcode shows that she’s had an accident already, so at least she’s appropriately dressed.”
“She was throwing quite a tantrum,“ the clerk snarled. “No parent or guardian either. She must have gotten separated from them.” He gave Kimmy a nasty, thin smile.
“Oh well,” one of the steroid monsters said. “Happens. We’ll drop her off at Tadpole Town. Have her parents come pick her up. Come on baby girl.”
A terrible lightbulb flashed in Kimmy’s brain. They’d scanned her driver’s license when she came in. It had her home address, not her college dorm. They could actually find her parents! Would they drive all the way over here? And see her? Like this?!
The two bruisers hooked Kimmy under each arm. They could literally carry her, tote her all the way to the kiddy pool, where every other resident was also in swim diapers more than likely. This. This is how Sarah’s ex got banned. It had to be. Who in their right mind would go to a park where they made you dress and act like a giant toddler?
“Wait!” Sarah yelped out. A flash of hope. Salvation perhaps? “I’m her uh…babysitter!”
“You are?” One of the attendants asked. Kimmy’s feet were still dangling.
“Yeah! No need to call her parents. I’ll tell them how naughty she’s been! And about her accident.”
The attendant on Kimmy’s right looked to the clerk. The clerk shrugged noncommittally.
“Alright.” They set the girl back down. “We’ll release her to your custody.”
“Thank you,” Sarah said. “I apologize that my uh…charge is acting up. I’ll keep a better eye on her and we’re going to have a long talk. A very. Long. Talk.” Kimmy had the good grace to be ashamed and look down at her feet; probably the most mature looking thing about her if only because they were uncovered.
“You do realize,” the clerk interjected, “that you won’t be able to leave the baby unattended.”
“No problem,” Sarah replied.
“And that she’s not going to be allowed on rides that are meant for older park guests.”
Sarah’s face fell. “So I wouldn’t be either.” The clerk nodded, that same tight-lipped smirk on his face. Sarah bit into her lip. She looked back up at the attendants still flanking Kimmy. “Would it be okay if she went to Tadpole Town and I picked her up later?”
“WHAT?!” Kimmy started struggling. The attendants effortlessly hefted her back into the air, where her efforts to get away were reduced to useless kicking of her feet like a tantruming toddler.
The one on Kimmy’s left smiled. “We’ll take good care of her, ma’am.”
Sarah grinned with relief at her babified buddy. “Bye-bye Kimmy! Have fun playing in Tadpole Town! I’ll make sure to pick you up after I’m done going down all the big girl slides!” Her smile faded just a bit. “And not having accidents…and not making a fuss over every little thing. I tried to warn you, you know.”
This is probably why Sarah’s ex was her ex, now, too, come to think of it…
That’s how Kimmy found herself in Tadpole Town, behind a white picket fence surrounding her available world and a gate and attendant controlling access in and out, where the deepest pool of water ran six inches deep and the tallest slide was a whopping three feet tall. Pudgy infants sat in bucket swings that orbited around a central flower stem and were gently misted from the flower petals above. Children laughed and played around her running from water spouts and stomping in puddles. Kimmy just sat moping, feeling the puddle underneath her butt seeping ever so slowly through the elastic leg cuffs into the swim diaper. Her swim diaper.
In the distance, she could still see the towering structures of hydro coasters, and hear the thrilled screams as people her real age plummeted into fun.
A shadow fell over her. “Need a juice box?” one of the kiddie lifeguards asked. They were practically just daycare workers who knew CPR.
Kimmy whipped her head up. “GOD NO!”
“Okay! Okay!” the lifeguard laughed. “Just asking. You big babies. All the same. So pouty. Go play and have some fun!” She didn’t wait for Kimmy to reply.
Kimmy grumbled to herself. “I’m not a big…” Babies? As in plural? Multiple big babies?
The sophomore looked around the concrete splash pad. There, in the corner, sat a young man about her age, with an almost identical pouting pose.
They made eye contact. Slowly. Carefully as if approaching a tiger. Kimmy got up and waddled over to him. He was bigger and had a mop of messy hair, very surfer bum chique. He was also wearing a swim shirt with a smiling sunshine on it and a diaper that was covered by what was technically a ‘Speedo’ that matched the swim shirt; really it was just another layer over the silicone of the diaper cover.
“Made you wear a diaper too?” she asked.
“Yup,” he said. “Wave pool. You?”
“Sharknado.” Kimmy admitted. “Did you piss off the guy at the Gift Shop?”
“Yup. My big brother is laughing his ass off.”
“Roommate.” Kimmy added. She took a seat next to him in the shade. “Wanna…I dunno. Hang?”
“I don’t like this bullshit,” the boy said.
“Me neither.” Kimmy scoffed. “But security won’t let me out.”
“Same. He offered his hand. Connor.”
(The End. But also a beginning…)