Everly looked into the room nervously. It had a lot of women in it, most of them in the same drab grey dress she wore, their only colour the Crocs on their feet. In amongst them were guards, white shirts and black trousers.
“I can’t go in there,” she said, “they’ll all…”
She was cut short by the woman at the door. “Do you want a change or not? Wait as long as you like, you’ll go in eventually. Next chance is in six hours.”
With a gulp Everly stepped into the room. She’d been in this diaper almost that long already, needed to get out of it, knew it would leak long before another six hours passed. It was bad enough being forced to wear one, humiliating to need to use it, but that just made it more important to her that she get out of it immediately.
“It’s just for transit,” they’d said, “We can’t stop on the way and some people can’t hold it that long.”
They were right, she hadn’t held it that long. On arrival her request for the bathroom had been met with contempt and a wry, “You’re wearing it.”
Finally she’d finished processing, had been shown her cell, had spotted it lacked a toilet, didn’t know where to find one. “An hour in here to settle, relax a little after the journey,” she’d been told, and the door clanged shut, the ominous sound confirming she was trapped here at their mercy.
She’d sat a while, the bare walls staring back at her, then made her bed. The mattress had a plastic cover which the thick rough sheet couldn’t disguise, scratchy blankets on top, the pillow too small and smelling of soap. She sat on it, couldn’t tell if the comfortable padding beneath her was the mattress or her sodden diaper.
It had been a relief when the door was unlocked, opened. The guard stood there beckoned to Everly. “Time for a change, then it’s dinner,” she’d promised.
Everly had stood and followed the guard, found the room full of others.
As she entered it another guard instructed her, “Take one clean diaper and a handful of wipes.”
Clutching the clean diaper she didn’t want she walked into the room and realised several of the other prisoners were moving uncomfortably, some even clearly waddling. A nasty smell permeating the room made her wrinkle her nose, made her wonder if she should be thankful her diaper was only wet.
“Form a circle,” called one of the guards, and Everly saw her fellow inmates start to stand in a wide circle around the guard. “Come on, shoulder to shoulder,” called the guard, “you’ve done this before.”
Another guard walked up to her, spoke too quietly for Everly to hear. The first guard addressed the room, “Ah, I hear we have some new girls here today. Just get into the circle, I’ll give full instructions today.”
Everly stood between two women, both around her age, but didn’t speak. The one to her left did, asking her, “New fish?”
“Yes,” replied Everly, “Got here an hour ago. I’m Everly.”
“You’re new fish tonight,” said the woman, “behave, be nice to us and we’ll see about tomorrow.”
Instinctively Everly shivered, but didn’t respond. She was glad she had her own cell but her train of thought was interrupted by the guard giving new instructions.
“Everybody, turn to the right.”
Turning Everly found herself looking at the back of the other woman she’d been stood beside. Glancing to her left she saw the whole circle of women had turned, were looking at the back of another woman.
“Lift her skirt,” commanded the guard.
Everly hesitated, saw what everybody else was doing and copied, reaching forward and lifting the back of the woman’s skirt, pulling it up to her shoulders, revealing her bare legs and… a diaper. Everly wasn’t entirely surprised, she’d already guessed that, but it was still something of a shock. She saw that the woman in front of her had lowered her arms again and peeked over her shoulder to see what she’d done with the skirt she’d been holding, saw that it had been fastened to a button on the back of each shoulder.
Even as she found the buttons and button holes on the dress in front of her she felt her own skirt lifted from the rear, and attached to her own shoulders. Everly felt vulnerable, knew her diaper was on display, knew that someone else now knew she’d used it.
The one she was looking at was wet too but that wasn’t what drew her attention. The curious harness holding it in place had a lock in the small of the back, preventing removal. Now she knew why she’d been unable to unbuckle her own; it was locked onto her, stopping her removing the diaper.
Three guards moved around the circle, reaching behind each woman they passed and doing something to the lock. She sensed one of them coming up behind her, felt the pressure on her back, heard a click as the buckle was unlocked. The guard moved to the woman in front of her, unlocked that buckle too, kept going.
“Ok, two minutes to release the harness, remove the soiled diaper, wipe her clean and fit the new diaper,” called the guard in the middle, “Raise your hand if you need more wipes - smells like a couple of you will need a few today.” She laughed nastily.
Everly reached behind herself to undo the buckle on her harness but before she could even reach it the woman behind slapped her arms away.
“Don’t be stupid,” a loud whisper reproached, “Take off your own diaper and they’ll put you in punishment ones. You won’t even be able to walk, and that’s before they give you a laxative. Trust me, you do not want that laxative. Change Trudy’s diaper.”
Everly guessed Trudy was the woman in front of her, reached forward and undid the buckle. She looked across the ring of prisoners and saw them all in various stages of changing the woman in front, some reaching around to undo tabs, others wiping clean the area below. A couple must have worked fast, they were fastening the clean diaper in place or fitting the harness back on.
She quickly undid Trudy’s buckle, pulled the harness away and reached forward to release the diaper. Letting it fall between Trudy’s legs she used the wipes she still held to rub down Trudy’s skin, front and back.
“Sorry,” she whispered, “I’m trying to be gentle.”
Trudy turned her head, gave a quick laugh. “Good, but make sure you get me clean. I don’t want no rash y’hear?” She turned back, finished changing the woman in front of her.
Everly finished wiping Trudy clean and tried to figure out how to fit a diaper to the standing woman.
She heard a voice from behind, offering guidance, “One leg tab first, get it snug around the leg. Then the other side, get that one snug too. Then it’ll hold in place long enough to pull up to the waist, front and back, and get those two tabs sorted. Fit it well or it’ll leak and you do not want to make Trudy leak.”
Everly agreed without saying anything, fed the clean diaper between Trudy’s legs and fastened it in place as instructed.
“Not bad,” she heard from behind, “Now fit the harness.”
As she pulled the harness into place and closed the buckle Everly heard it click as it locked. She turned her head to look behind and spoke to the woman stood there watching her, “Thank you for the tips.” She hesitated then asked, “Aren’t you going to change me?”
A cruel laugh was her response. “No change for new fish. No honey, you’re going to find out why these changes matter. Nothing personal, you started good, Trudy will be happy with you for that, but nobody gets a change on their first night.”
Everly felt the buckle on her harness being released then immediately closed again, the click confirming she was stuck for at least the next six hours; she didn’t expect relief then either.
As the guard passed, checking her harness was locked in place, Everly decided not to complain. The guards wouldn’t care, and it would make her some enemies on her very first day. Instead she followed the lead of the other girls, released Trudy’s skirt to fall back into place and hide the diaper, and felt her own dress also returning her dignity.
“Ok, dinner time,” called the guard in the middle.
As they left the room Everly felt a tap on her padded bottom.
“Good girl,” said Trudy, “You’re doing well for a new fish. Stand by me in the morning, you’ll be messy by then, will need a friend to clean you proper. You don’t want no rash neither.”
“Thank you,” said Everly, then fell silent. She stayed that way through dinner, was returned to her cell and lay on the bed, not wanting to flood her diaper. Knowing she’d have no choice. Knowing that wouldn’t be the worse thing to happen by morning.
The other women called out from their own cells, wagers on who would mess first. It was always a long first night for the new fish.