Skye's the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

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12 - And I Feel Fine

“‘Did it tell you I was coming to get it back?’ Skye hissed, her hand curling into a fist at her side. She had been too much of a wimp to take her aggression out on the person who really was to blame for her troubles, but when it came to someone smaller than her, it was much easier to find her courage.”

I sat on the curb, staring down at that passage in the fading daylight, waiting for the street light in front of the little general store across the road to come on. On the next page, I could see a description of my exodus from Lela’s house, my aimless wandering until I had finally decided to crack the book open again.

Everything was in there, from my visit to Lydia’s house, to my “early” exit, complete with the split second sight of the girl crawling from out of Lydia’s skin. Everything. Lela had been right - it -was- like magic.

But did that mean Lydia had been telling the truth? Could she have been? I could’ve sworn I’d heard real surprise in her voice when I left. Was she just that good an actress? Or was she wrong? Maybe there was another author, one writing a story about -her- story, somehow, that was really the one calling the shots.

My head was starting to hurt, just thinking of that. It was just easier to think of the book as magic, and carry on believing I was a real person, not just a character in a story, suffering because of the whims of some sadistic person with a pen, or a keyboard.

I almost looked back, wanting to see just how accurate it really was, wanting there to be something it had gotten wrong, to prove Lydia wrong, to show myself that it was all just a huge coincidence, but I couldn’t bear reliving the past couple days, and my slipping back into childhood, even if it had all just been mental. In fact, I think that thought just made it worse.

So, instead, I flipped forward. If everything kept happening like it did in the book, what was going to happen to me next? Would things get better for me? What did I have to look forward to? It was rather unfortunate that the first passage that caught my eye and made me stop, aghast, was:

"Skye’s face, still bright red, turned to the floor, unable to bear the sight of her mother’s pitying gaze, though the puddle under her feet was not much of an improvement. How could her body have betrayed her like that? Of course, it should hardly have been a surprise to her. It was as if she had never truly gotten her real body back, like the hypnosis was still there, just hidden more deeply.

"Nothing worked the way she wanted anymore. She found herself constantly knocking things over, bumping into walls and doorways, tripping over everything and nothing. Even if she’d still had her job, she was hardly coordinated enough to be qualified to -take- her class, much less teach it. And as for her bathroom habits, she needed only to keep staring at the floor to see how much of a hit those had taken. Tears clouding her eyes, she looked a little further up, focusing instead on the black circle on her thumb.

‘Skye, sweetie, it’s all right,’ her mother assured her, giving her a big hug. ‘I wish you hadn’t lied to us, but I understand. This must be humiliating, having accidents at your age.’

Skye rolled her eyes. ‘Of course it’s humiliating,’ she thought. It was especially embarrassing after having just told her parents that all of the diapers and things they’d found in her drawers while looking for drugs or whatever were there because she just liked the wear them. Her body had chosen the worst possible time to contradict her, though she wasn’t sure if she was grateful for that or not… Would she rather her parents think she -liked- wearing diapers, or that she -needed- to be wearing them?"

I had to stop reading, flipping a few dozen pages forward. It had to get better - didn’t it? Though I had resolved not to think of it in that way, I still found myself thinking that this mystical “audience” Lydia had spoken about would surely get tired of reading about accident after accident, would want something new. Some of them had to care about me enough not to want to see me reduced to that, bumbling about, trapped in my own body.

"Her hand froze on the bathroom’s doorknob, then tightened as she felt her body suddenly giving up on her. She felt the seat of her Pull-Ups expanding out, quickly filling with the contents of her bowels. It was over in seconds, but it felt like hours as she stood there, hardly able to believe what was happening to her.

"She knew that she should go and clean herself up, that if she was quick, her parents might never find out about this. She knew that, and yet, she still found herself collapsing to the floor, her hand still clasped around the doorknob so that she found herself pulling the door open as she descended, then slamming it closed again as she lost her balance, falling straight onto her squishy bottom.

“Her lip quivered for a moment, long enough for her to desperately try to stop herself, and then she threw her head back and began to wail. It was all…”

“No!” I gasped, trying to ignore my currently quivering lip. “No, this isn’t going to happen, it can’t…”

“She’d seen them in her underwear drawer for so long, taunting her, but she had never dreamed that she would ever actually wear one. It had seemed too ludicrous, too far-fetched, even for a life that had turned as crazy as hers,” the next page said.

“Stop it!” I yelled, not realizing just how stupid that would have sounded, seeing as it wasn’t like anyone was forcing me to keep reading. And yet, I still did.

“She whimpered softly as, overhead, her mother unfolded the diaper, the plastic coating crinkling softly in her hands. This wasn’t a Goodnite, or even a Pull-Up, something she hated but could at least reason was meant for someone a bit older than an infant. This was a diaper, a real diaper,” it taunted.

I threw the book down, barely able to make out the words through my tear-blurred eyes. It stayed open to the same page, the dying light still bright enough for me to make out the last few sentences.

“The padding pushed her legs apart, as the cool plastic rested against her tummy. She looked up at her mother with pleading eyes, begging her silently to stop, to give her another chance, but all she heard in reply was a light ripping sound from the first tape, before the side of the diaper was pulled up and over. The other side came in even more tightly, trapping her within….”

Luckily for me, that was the end of the page, sparing me from any more of the grisly details. My eyes started to drift back to the opposite page, but before I could read any more about sitting in a messy Pull-Up and crying, I reached down and, finally, flipped the book closed.

“It’s not true,” I said to myself. “It’s not going to happen, not like that. It can’t…” I got up, tried to kick the book, but missed completely, very nearly losing my balance. “I’m not going to let it happen!” I screamed at it. “Do you hear me?!”

It, of course, did nothing, just sat there. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, really. It isn’t like it could talk or anything - much as I hated it at that moment, it was just a book.

My eyes widened ever so slightly. Just a book…. I swooped down and grabbed it, then took off across the street. A bored looking girl, not much older than me, glanced up when the door chimed, announcing my arrival.

“Can I help you find anything?” she mumbled, barely understandable.

“Do have have bens?” I asked, then blushingly corrected myself with, “I mean, pems?” I flushed a darker shade of red, took a second to calm my tongue. “Pens.”

If the girl had found any humor in my inability to speak correctly, she hid it quite well as she blandly pointed towards the other end of the store. “Over there.”

“Thanks,” I called over my shoulder as I scrambled across the store. Sure enough, there next to the charcoal and lighter fluid, was a tiny section devoted to school supplies, full of scotch tape and Elmer’s glue, and, at one end, pens. I glanced over my shoulder, making sure the girl hadn’t suddenly gotten interested in her job, then grabbed a package. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my wallet with me, so I couldn’t exactly pay for them, so I was afraid the store would just have to live with a bit of theft.

Even she would likely notice me trying to pull open the plastic surrounding the pens, so, instead, I carefully clicked one of them open, then slowly pressed it against the packaging.

Once I had the pen free, I set the rest of them down, moving to a different part of the aisle, so the girl might think I was actually shopping. Then I opened the book.

"‘You’re sure this is what you want?’ the woman asked as she handed the CD over to Lela.

"‘Oh, I’m sure,’ Lela grinned as she stared down at it, watching her hard-earned babysitting money slip into the woman’s pocket. ‘You can’t imagine how sure I am.’

"‘If you say so,’ the woman shrugged. ‘Just as a warning, though - this Skye person might ask about me. It’s just a little side effect of the subliminals. If it gets too bad, feel free to bring her by.’

"Lela nodded, trying to act as if that made any sense to her. ‘All right. Thanks, Lydia! Really, you can’t imagine how great this is.’

“Lydia watched the girl run off, taking a sip of her tea. ‘Oh, I think I can, Lela,’ she said with a wink.”

My pen hung over the words, waiting to strike through them all, to mark them out, but something held me back. It felt too much like a time traveler in a science fiction story changing the past, something they were always warned not to do. I wasn’t sure what else could possibly change if I just kept Lela from buying that stupid hypnosis CD, but I didn’t think it was something I wanted to risk.

I scanned forward, looking for something more recent, pausing for a moment on my day with Olive.

"Olive glanced up at Skye as she tried to cower behind Lela. It was almost comical, considering how much taller Skye was, but the obvious fear on her face kept Olive from laughing.

"‘What happened to her?’ Olive asked, trying to sneak a better look. Skye was wearing a pair of pink shortalls, more like something a toddler would wear than what Olive had ever seen someone as grown up as her in. Could she be playing dress-up? Olive liked to put on her mommy’s clothes and pretend she was grown-up… Maybe this was the same thing, but in the other direction.

"That made even more sense with Lela’s answer. ‘It’s hard to explain, but she’s a kid now, so I want you to be nice to her, okay?’

“Olive considered just saying no, remembering how mean Skye had always been to her, but she didn’t want Lela to think that -she- was a bad girl. ‘Do I have to play with her?’”

I flipped forward more, coming across my confrontation with Lela again, and then, finally, found the part with me standing in the general store. I started to turn the page, look for the part I hadn’t seen yet, where my parents confronted me about the Pull-Ups and such in my dresser, only to stop right where it told me to.

“Skye’s eyes stopped halfway down the page,” it read. "Her palms were starting to sweat as she stared down at the book, remembering everything she had seen that came later on, everything she wanted to avoid. She had hardly read all of it, but she was more than convinced that there was nothing good coming her way. So why not just get rid of it all at once, give herself a fresh start?

"She pressed the pen against the page, hand shaking. If she hadn’t just done so such a short while ago, she probably would have wet her pants again as the tension coursed through her body. Then, suddenly, she slashed across the page, taking out the whole line.

“Or so she expected. Instead, when she looked back at the page, there was no mark, nothing to suggest she had done anything. She tried again, more frantically, then dove back for the package of pens, getting out another, but it proved just as ineffective.”

“No,” I whimpered. It had to be lying, to try and stop me before I had a chance to do it. I drew a shaky line through the words, but no ink came out. “Come on!” I rubbed the pen back and forth on the page, trying to get anything from it, just the slightest dot of ink. Nothing.

I dashed back to the other end of the aisle, clumsily pulling out another pen. “Write, damn it!” I growled. It didn’t listen.

Desperately, I grabbed a Sharpie, fumbled it free from it’s plastic and cardboard prison. I drew a circle on my thumb, just to make sure it was working, then tried the same thing on the book. Nothing.

“What do you think you’re doing?” the girl at the counter asked. “Are you gonna pay for that?”

“No,” I replied numbly, not even bothering to lie. “No, I’m not. I’m sorry.”

I grabbed a grill lighter as I left, the sight of the girl starting to come around the counter putting a bit of spring back into my step.

The sun had gone the rest of the way down, and the moon hadn’t yet come out from behind the clouds. It was turning into a chilly night, though the shiver running up my spine wasn’t from that, seeing as I’d had it since before leaving the store.

I let the lighter’s packaging fall to my feet as I pulled it free. It was too dark to read the print on the page I opened the book to, luckily, though the glow of the flame at the tip of the lighter let me make out a couple words, “diaper” and “helpless”.

I shoved the lighter right between them. For a few moments, I thought it would be just as ineffective as the pen, and then, by some miracle, the paper began to glow.

I started to smile as the first flame popped into being, then began to spread across the page, blackening it ever so slightly. “There,” I said softly to myself. “It’s done.”

I was able to smile for a few seconds at least, even started to chuckle.

Then I heard the screaming. I turned quickly, bewildered, finding a little family, a mom and dad in their early twenties and a little girl, maybe four or five, out walking their dog. Or they were, I assume, but at the moment, they were frozen still, pointing up at the sky. I followed their fingers, gazing up.

A gasp escaped my lips, unbidden. The sky was on fire. I could see the corners of it starting to curl up already, revealing only blackness above, as the flames spread quickly, engulfing clouds and stars.

The little girl started crying.

I glanced back at her. She was so small, I realized. So tiny, and so scared. Was she just a character, too? When she was off the page, did she exist? Did anybody?

Or were they like me, convinced that they were real, that their lives were their own? Did she have dreams? Did she want to grow up to be the President? Did she want a pony with wings, and a unicorn? Did she love her parents as much as I loved mine?

Did she deserve to be erased? To be burned from existence with the rest of this world?

I listened to her cry, every wail pulling at my heart. There were so many people like her, I realized. I ran into so many people, saw so many on TV, on the Internet. Did they all deserve to die, just because I didn’t like the way my story was headed? Was my happiness really worth so many lives?

I threw the book to the ground, stomping out the flames. I watched the page slowly uncurl, turn white again, at least around the words, as the sky overhead healed itself as well.

Behind me, the parents were calming their little girl down. I picked up the book with a sigh, headed back towards them. “Here,” I said, kneeling down in front of the girl. “This is for you.”

All three looked at me, confused, but after a few moments, the girl took the book from me. I stood back up, wiping my eyes, though the tears there were quickly replaced with new ones.

“Who are you?”

I turned, barely able to answer. “I’m your savior,” I sniffled. “Enjoy your world.”

I dropped the lighter to the sidewalk, where it immediately broke, spilling lighter fluid all over. And then I slowly headed back towards my house, where my parents were already waiting for me, looking for an explanation for the diapers they’d found in my underwear drawer.

The End.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Good ending to a good story. Nice story, elizabeth.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Woah… just… woah.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Very nice, very nice indeed Libby!! You did a great job with the ending, I wish it had just one more chapter, but it is fine the way it is!!

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Very nice. Wonderful story, and great ending.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Cool story, kinda like Sophie’s world

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Thanks everyone ^-^ Glad you liked it.

I’d actually never heard of Sophie’s World before someone mentioned it last chapter. Probably my main influence for this story was reading something about the Coyote Gospel issue of Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man. I haven’t read any of that yet, but I thought the story of that issue sounded interesting.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

Good story. Will there be a sequel? While it’s good to see stories that don’t go on forever and run a premise into the ground. I don’t think the events of the last couple paragraphs would go unnoticed, and her fallout with her friend could probably cause a lot of interesting conflicts. I really think a sequel might actually be a good idea.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

I agree with DarkAngel :slight_smile:

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 12 - And I Feel Fine

yah give it anouther chapter