The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

The Odyssey of Nausica - Prologue
She couldn’t save them. Not that a three year old could do anything, but her helplessness seemed a fault. Something she should have been able to change. In the end, all she could do was hide . . . and watch.
Nausica Roberts was the youngest daughter in a nuclear family of five. She had an older sister who was thirteen and an older brother who was eight. She remembered that they were good people who would play with her when she was an infant and change her diapers when they were wet or messy. They had been so proud of her when she finally learned to use the potty, and that in and of itself brought her an inner peace and joy. Her Mommy and Daddy were even better. To her recollection they never fought or raised their voices. With her they always exhibited a special kindness and love that while unconditional also seemed boundless. Nausica was happy. Happy until a horrible, horrible night. A night she wished she could forget but would never be able to fully. She could never escape from the night her family died.
It started so quietly that Nausica hadn’t been aware of what was happening until the lights flickered on in her room. She had been sleeping in her crib. Mommy had mentioned that she would be getting a big girl bed when she turned four next week. She had been excited at that idea. She looked up to her older sister and wanted to be just like her. Her first words had been a rendition of her sister’s name, Hermione, which she pronounced Hermy. How she wished that night never happened. She looked to see who had turned on the light with bleary eyes. Nausica never awoke quickly, and tonight was no exception.
The first thing she noticed was her training panties were dry and that pleased her enough to smile weakly as her eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, “Mommy?” she asked curiously.
Instead of an answer she felt herself lifted without a word into her Mommy’s bosom and clutched tightly as her Mommy began to run out of the nursery, breathing hard. Nausica could feel sweat through her Mommy’s nightgown and could tell on a gut level that something was horribly wrong. That same feeling told her to be quiet.
As they entered the hallway she saw Daddy carrying something long and metallic with a wooden handle. She had never seen anything like it before; She had also never seen that look in her Daddy’s face. He was angry and his gray eyes, gray like her own, were narrowed to twin slits like the icicles hanging from outside her window.
“I called the police before they cut the phone line,” he said with a grim tone. “If they trace the call then they should get here, but until then we are on our own.”
Nausica, always a curious child wanted to ask what he was talking about, but that strange feeling told her not to talk. Her brother came out of his room holding a metal baseball bat and he looked scared. She had never seen him scared. He was the one that chased away that dog that tried to attack her three months ago, and even though he needed to get stitches in his arm where the dog bit him, he hadn’t looked afraid. Next to him came her sister clutching her slowly developing chest as she tiptoed behind their brother. She also had the strange look of fear on their face, which confused Nausica, as she was the baby of the house and the only person she ever knew to be afraid of everything. What were they scared of? They were invincible in her eyes.
Then she heard it. Something downstairs smashed against the wall and she could tell it was glass. She also began to hear voices, lots of them, and unlike the kind voices of her family, these sounded rough, mean, and evil. She could almost feel a small hand gripping her heart as she heard them. She wanted to feel safe, and usually being wrapped in her mother’s arms gave her that security, but right now that didn’t seem to be enough and she began to tremble.
Hermione looked to their father and asked, “Daddy? What’s going on?”
He didn’t answer except to say, “Get behind me. We’re going to hide in your room. Let them take what they want and leave. I don’t want you guys getting hurt.”
Very slowly, the five of them piled into Hermione’s room and shut the door. Hermione sat on the bed with Mommy and Nausica while her brother and Daddy stood with their weapons bared at the closed door. The waiting became horrible as they listened to the smashes and crashes of furniture and glass being destroyed all around them.
“Don’t worry,” Mommy whispered into Nausica’s ear. “Everything will be alright. My little angel. Hide under the bed, ok? I know it will make you feel safer.” Nausica did as she was told and crawled under her sister’s bed with one of the blankets, wrapping herself up like a cocoon so that she could see what was going on in the room, as if from looking out of a cave. “There, everything will be ok, I promise!”
As if to prove her wrong, the door burst open suddenly, startling them all. Her brother ran forward and clubbed the first thing to enter the room with his baseball bat. Whatever it was didn’t seem affected and Nausica heard a crash like thunder, followed by a scream from all of the members of her family. She wanted to join in that scream as her terror reached its apex and she could actually feel her heart pounding in her chest like a little hammer trying to get out.
“WILL!” her Mommy screamed as she saw her brother fall over as though knocked down. She didn’t know what had happened but it couldn’t be good. A lot of red liquid started to come towards her from Will as though he knocked over a pitcher of red Kool-Aid as he fell, but she didn’t remember any pitcher of juice being in the room. What happened?
She didn’t have time to ponder as she heard an even louder explosion from the metal thing Daddy was carrying and a scream from the other side of the door. That scream was followed by a lot more of those explosions from the other side of the door, which caused her family to scream. These scream sticks, Nausica didn’t know what a gun was at the time, terrified herm but she still could not speak or scream. Before the screaming had ended, the screams from Daddy sounding painful, she saw Daddy fall down and look at her under the bed. His eyes looked . . . different, as though he saw her, and yet didn’t. His mouth was contorted in pain, but the eyes didn’t seem to agree with that expression. She noticed Daddy’s white pajama tops were red now. How had he changed so quickly? And why were they wet?
Nausica wanted to look closer, but didn’t dare move. Suddenly a lot of people wearing black came into the room, at least their shoes and pants were black from where she could see. She heard her Mommy and Hermione crying as these men came into the room.
“Shut the fuck up, Bitch!” one of them yelled, but that didn’t quiet either of them down. From under the bed Nausica could see through her Mommy’s ankles. She saw the muscles in those legs tighten as Mommy stood up, but then they went loose again as another explosion, this one very near crashed though the room. Nausica heard Mommy gasp and sputter as if she drank something and it went down the wrong pipe. The ankles kicked around a little and then went still as rivulets of the red liquid pooled down Mommy’s legs and created a puddle around her feet. The whole of the floor seemed awash in the liquid and as the liquid reached Nausica, she could smell that it wasn’t juice. She stuck her finger into the glob and tasted it. It tasted like metal. Like . . . blood. BLOOD? She remembered blood from when she cut her finger and when Will’s stitches bled, but she didn’t think the human body HAD this much blood.
Nausica perked her ears, but the only sound she heard was Hermione crying, “Mommy?” as though asking a question. Mommy didn’t answer. Why? Neither did Daddy, or Will for that matter.
One of the men laughed and stepped forward. He must have knocked Mommy over because Mommy fell on top of Daddy. Odd. She had the same expression in her eyes as Daddy, as though she were looking right at Nausica but didn’t see her.
“NO!” Hermione screamed on the bed as the laughing man applied pressure to the bed. Nausica could hear the springs coil as his weight hit the mattress. Soon all of the men were laughing. Nausica didn’t know why. All she could see were their feet and the blood on the floor. But she heard what happened above her. She heard cloth tearing as she had when she tore her dress on the fence last week and she heard her sister’s screams, now more feverish and plaintive. Something was very wrong. A lot of movement was going on up there and she could feel the springs moving as if two people were wrestling like her sister and brother sometimes did when they got into arguments.
Then suddenly Nausica heard her sister produce a long a painful wail as the movements suddenly stopped. Before Hermione had finished her scream of pain, the movement started again as though some one were jumping on the bed. Nausica thought that one of the bad men must have been jumping on top of Hermione because she was screaming with every jump. Nausica was scared that these bad men would jump on her next. She wanted them to leave hers sister alone!
She shook, as the jumping continued for what seemed forever. Then when the first bad man stopped, another came and started jumping as the first had done, then two people started to jump on her. Hermione didn’t scream anymore. Nausica wanted to cry out, but she was too scared to do it.
After what must have been half an hour Nausica heard one more explosion that shook the bed, and then the bad men left the room. She watched their feet as they left and heard them laughing. That was all she could hear. She couldn’t hear Mommy or Daddy, Hermione or Will. She was completely alone. Hours later she extracted herself from under the bed and looked around. The lake of blood had dried into a dark glaze like paint. A smell began to emanate from her family and as she shook her parents she couldn’t help but feel afraid. She hugged Mommy, but instead of the usual warmth she felt, she perceived only a cold stiffness. She didn’t know hoe she knew this, but Mommy, and everyone else was dead.
Nausica was utterly alone, and now that she was alone she screamed and cried. She couldn’t stop. The police found her standing in the middle of the room, her white nighty bathed in blood, screaming in terror.
The first policeman to enter vomited as the next called out, “Sweet merciful Christ!” She was barely aware of their presence as she screamed and cried. She felt her bladder cut loose, but she didn’t care. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered anymore. All that she was sure of was now gone. Her loving family was dead. The only thing she could be sure of was that there was no God. No God could have let this happen. “Someone get her out of here!”
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Nausica woke up screaming, clutching her sheets to her chest as a cold swear enveloped her body and her heart raced as though she were running a marathon. She felt cold and could feel her eyes dilated. Across the hall she heard a door open and the hall light flicker on. Nausica cowered in fear
A woman with long blond hair rushed into the room and sat on the bed, only to stand up again and examine her rear, which was very damp. Nausica only now became aware of the incredible degree of wetness around her waste and back that she had originally taken for sweat. She stopped screaming, but she breathed heavily.
“Nausica, honey!” the woman asked, seemingly very afraid. “What happened? Are you ok?”
Ashamed that she had wet the bed, she pulled the sheet over her blushing face so that only her eyes peered over the edge. “I had a nightmare . . .,” she whispered.
“It must have been some nightmare,” the woman said. “You wet the bed.”
Nausica shook with fear as well as shame. This was probably it. She was going to be tossed out like all the other foster parents had tossed her out. She had tried to be careful in everything she did so she wouldn’t screw this up. She started to cry, and to her renewed surprise the woman sat down again, despite the wet bed and hugged Nausica to her. “It’s ok, Nausica!” she said, rubbing her back. “It was just an accident. I am sure it wasn’t your fault and it won’t happen again. Do you want to tell me what you dreamed about?”
Nausica at first shook her head, but noticing the look of hurt in the woman’s eyes she sighed and replied, “It was about the night my family died. I saw it all over again. ALL OF IT!”
The woman clutched Nausica tighter, “Well no wonder you wet the bed. That must have been awful!”
The seven-year-old Nausica nodded. It had been awful. And it was only the beginning….

Chapter 1
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The day after the murder found Nausica alone in a strange room. She wasn’t aware of how she got there or what exactly happened after the police carried her away from her home. All of those details seemed a blur like the rare snow swirling outside with the flashing lights if the police cars and ambulances. The assault on her senses caused her to pass out into blessed oblivion where she didn’t have to think.
Everyone had been very nice to her, but she didn’t want nice. She wanted Mommy. They brought her to the hospital that very night, though she didn’t know it, or what a hospital was except that that was where Mommy took Will when the dog bit him. Mommy?
But Mommy was dead. And so were Daddy, Will and Hermione.
She started to cry again and not having her stuffed cat as she had in her home she could only hug her chest as she shook with her quiet sobs. Though the lights in the room were dim she could tell the room around her was white, completely so. White ceiling tiles, white walls, and a white linoleum floor. The bed she lay curled up in also appeared white, with a white mattress, sheet, pillow, and blanket. She felt a bulge between her legs and sniffled. Yes. That was white too.
The people who put her here probably didn’t know she was potty trained. It felt strange to be in such a big, fluffy diaper. It reminded her of her loving Mommy, and that reminded her of the hollow look her Mommy gave her when she was dead. She continued crying and eventually the white door in the room opened inward, spilling bright lights from the unknown hallway into the room. She could hear voices out there and hear wheels rolling like her stroller did over the sidewalk, back when Mommy pushed her in it.
A large black woman with huge breasts walked in wearing a white lab coat over blue smocks. She had a flat nose and burgundy lips that were set in a smile under her large glasses as she wobbled into the room because of her girth, making the already small room appear smaller still. She closed the door and those sounds left, leaving only the squeak of the black woman’s shoes on the linoleum. All of this seemed so foreign to Nausica and it certainly didn’t make her feel better, even if she wasn’t alone in the room anymore.
“Child,” she said in an exasperated but funny voice obviously meant to calm Nausica down, “What’s wrong with you, huh? You wet?”
She placed her large, hammy hand down the back of Nausica’s diaper and pulled it out with a confused look in her face. “You dry as a bone, sugah,” she announced. “What got you so upset?”
Nausica was frightened of the large woman, even if she was trying to be nice. Her dark skin in the dark room reminded her of the black trousers of the evil men. She shied away from the touch of the woman. Everyone was up for suspicion now, but she answered meekly, “I want MOMMY!” before curling tighter into a ball and sobbing.
The woman patted her back and said she was sorry. Apparently she didn’t know how to deal with this. People didn’t know what went on in the mind of a three year old that could not understand or know what death meant.
Nausica would find out the hard way that not very many people did. Neither of her parents left a will, and neither of them had any relatives to speak of. This became very difficult for the state of Louisiana to find a place for the toddler. Considering the tragic circumstances in which she became orphaned the state didn’t feel it right to place her in an orphanage like abandoned children and wait for someone eventually notice them. Not that their tales were any less tragic in that abandonment would probably hurt more, but because of the grisly murder of the Roberts family, and the news coverage it received Nausica suddenly became the center of attention for the public of Bossier City.
The entire population took pity on the toddler who was the soul survivor of the tragedy. The police never caught the killers and this was only the third family hit in what appeared to be a string of serial murders targeting small families. They questioned the three year old but her limited vocabulary and experience didn’t provide anything they could use except that there were a lot of men. The poor thing couldn’t even count to say how many there were. With all the publicity that the murder gave Nausica, the state felt it best to get her away from the murderers and away from the place that held such memories for the little tyke.
In escaping tragedy, Nausica only caused more.
The first family to adopt her, she later found out, only wanted the publicity for helping the tragic toddler as the news tended to call her. They seemed nice at first, an older couple with no children of their own, but that changed. They couldn’t deal with her loneliness or abandonment issues. It was as if she were a little puppy that couldn’t stand the thought of either of them leaving the house. The only relief, they said when they gave her back to child services, was that at least she had been house broken. Little Nausica was deathly afraid that her new family would leave her as her original one did. She couldn’t stand being alone or in the dark.
But that hadn’t been why the first family gave up on her. They might have been willing to deal with her had she not caused the death of one of their nephews. One day, as she was experiencing one of her bouts of loneliness and depression, the brother-in-law of her foster mother and his wife came with their own toddler who still wore diapers.
Somehow, Nausica couldn’t connect with the baby that seemed so blissfully unaware of how tragic life could be. As he played with his parents he didn’t pay any heed to Nausica, which only added to her depression. That night, the baby had a very messy bowel movement and instead of waiting to give him a bath when they got home his mother took him to take it now while her husband talked with her foster parents downstairs. They didn’t seem to care that Nausica didn’t feel loved or that she had gone to her room and sulked. Nausica was told later that this was their way of dealing with her, by avoiding the issue. The mother of the baby must have heard Nausica crying in her room because she rushed in to see what was the matter.
“What’s the matter with you, honey?” she gushed in a syrupy voice meant to console.
“I want MOMMY!” she cried. It had been two months since they died but her desire to see her Mommy again had not faded at all.
“I’ll get my sister.”
“NO!” she wailed. “I mean REAL Mommy!” This caused a look of pain to cross the woman’s features. But that pain could never compare to the pain in Nausica’s chest.
“Baby,” the mother said carefully. “Your mommy is dead. She isn’t coming back.”
Nausica hung her head in sorrow. No one cared about her. No one cared that Mommy and Daddy, Will and Hermione were gone. If it wasn’t their problem then they didn’t have to deal with it. Nausica did, though. This woman proved no different as she got up and walked out of the room.
A moment later Nausica heard an earsplitting screech coming from the bathroom. Everyone in the house converged on the room where the mother sat cradling her baby in her arm, sobbing uncontrollably and creaming in disbelief. Nausica recognized the look in the toddler’s eyes. He was dead. Just like Mommy and the others.
“Oh my GOD! Oh my God, oh my God!” the husband screamed. “What the hell happened!?”
Between sobs and moans she said, “I was giving him a bath when I heard her crying! I went to see what was wrong. It couldn’t have been more than a minute! When I got back he was facedown in the tub! THERE WASN’T EVEN THAT MUCH WATER!”
Nausica peered into the tub and saw that that was certainly true; the toddler had only been sitting in about six inches of water. She heard the screams and wails of her foster family and relatives as if through someone else’s ears. She heard her own family screaming and she saw her family’s bodies. She broke down crying just as much as they did, but no one in that room comforted her. Rather, the husband looked as though he wanted to hurt her.
His words proved it as he screamed through tears, “You little bitch! Why couldn’t you get over it!? YOU killed my SON, my SON!” He fell to his knees weeping into his hands as her foster parents huddled over them. His words cut Nausica to the marrow of her bones. She killed him?
After the funeral the foster parents, she hadn’t been with them long enough to even remember their names, sent her away. She didn’t know the state that she had been living in, but the next place she went was Connecticut.
This next family seemed to really want her. She even remembered their names, the Fong family. They were from Thailand and seemed really nice. They had weird thing in their house like burning sticks that gave off strange smelling smoke and little huts with oranges set in front of statues.
She lived with them for a year and a half and during that time she found a little peace, nothing like she wanted but enough to help her forget the tragedy in as much detail as she remembered. In that time she began to come out of her shell more and more so that she didn’t feel the need to cry herself to sleep. She even began to call the Fongs Mom and Dad, which seemed to please them.
The most notable change in her came about in that she began to play with friends, most notably the twins that lived next door in the cul-de-sac where their houses were located. Probably because of what happened Nausica didn’t remember their names other than they were really nice and probably her best friends in preschool.
Because of the influence of the Fongs on her studies, Nausica did very well in preschool and the beginning of kindergarten. They taught her how to tie her shoes months before the other kids learned how. They taught her simple math and even began to have her read simple story books on her own before she would go to bed. It was hard work for a five year old, but she managed to do very well under their guidance. It was almost suggested that she skip kindergarten and go straight into first grade, but they didn’t want her to miss out on making friends.
After what happened that horrible September afternoon, Nausica wished they had pushed her into first grade so she wouldn’t have made friends.
This day didn’t seem any different than any other in the summer break before kindergarten began. She remembered that it was hot and very humid; enough that she wore a tank top and wore her hair in braid to cool off. She, the twins next door, and some other neighborhood children went to the local park to play. Nausica brought along her beech ball for them to toss around if the sandbox grew boring. The twins’ mom walked them all to the park and sat down to read a book while the kids played.
Eventually they began to bounce the beech ball and try to not let it hit the ground as they hit it like volleyball between them. They all giggled at the odd motions they would make to get to the ball and bounce it back. Several times the ball would hit the ground and roll down the steep grassy slope towards the edge of the park and the street. It almost always lost momentum at the edge and whoever hit it last had to go get the ball and bring it back.
Nausica pelted the ball higher than she had as of yet and laughed with the others as it soured over them all to hit the hill with a large bounce and began to roll down. She didn’t wait for it to stop before she called out. “I’ll get it!” and ran down, chasing it as if to catch it before it reached the edge. No such luck. It bounced off the curb and across the street to the sidewalk on the other side.
Looking both ways she ran across the street to grab the ball and wondered why she bothered. At ten in the morning they had not seen a single car drive by at all. No one drove on a weekday near this park. So she grabbed the ball without a care in the world except to see if any of the others could beat her bounce as she walked across the road.
“NAUSICA!” she heard screamed at her, causing her to stop and look around. All her friends were screaming and point at something she couldn’t see, but they could from the vantage of the hill. Then she saw it. Coming around the bend at least fifty miles per hour was a sleek black car, barreling towards her, as she stood rooted in fear like a deer caught in headlight. She couldn’t move or think as she stared in horror at the machine coming at her like a stampeding bull.
Expecting her death she closed her eyes, but instead of an impact from in front she felt herself pushed roughly from the side, which catapulted her several feet away. She fell to her knees and felt them tear on the pavements, the cold grit burning the wounds as assuredly as lemons or salt. But that paled to what she heard behind her.
It sounded like a piece of meat falling from the counter to hit the ground, a sickening squelch in addition to glass shattering. She turned just in time to wish she hadn’t. One of the twins lay on the ground, her body not resembling a human’s anymore. She looked as though she were a garment bag folded in half, but the wrong way, as though she were trying to grab her ankles by bending backwards. Not that those mutilated arms could grab anything anymore. Through the blood and the gore that leaked out of the girl’s chest and side like raw hamburger meat, Nausica could see the tubing of her intestines falling out, she noticed only the eyes, which held that same DAMNED expression as the baby and her family; expressionless like a fish. Dead. The girl must have died on impact
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Whether by choice or subconscious necessity little Nausica couldn’t remember any of what happened next, except that the twin and her family moved away soon after the tragedy, blaming Nausica for all of it. She didn’t remember the funeral or any of the next few weeks. Her only really cognizant recollection came when the Fongs decided to move back to Thailand. Of course Nausica wasn’t coming with them. They called her a bad omen, a destructive forced wherever she went.
Only a five year old, young Nausica didn’t know what they meant except that she would hurt whoever she loved by being with them. The title of tragic toddler followed her like a sick companion. For the next year she stayed in an orphanage in Manchester Connecticut. No one wanted to adopt her when they looked at the reasons the other foster parents abandoned her. Even those that scoffed at ill fortune and fate didn’t want to take a chance with her.
After the incident with the twin Nausica refused to make any friends while she was at the orphanage. Not that it mattered. Everyone she began to like ended up getting adopted soon after. It seemed she couldn’t win regardless of circumstances.
Until one day, all of that changed. A man adopted her. But unlike either the Fongs or the strange family this man seemed genuinely different, but not in a good way.
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Callie Roberts stepped out of the shower and finished toweling off her long golden strands that fell to the small of her back. Her one pride and her favorite possession was her silken hair, which she treated with olive oil to keep it soft and full. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror of the bathroom and giggled. Her sapphire eyes blinked merrily back at her and her high cheeks dimpled with the smile. A small nose wrinkled as she thought, ‘Damn I am cute!’ before laughing.
Yeah. For someone so cute, why did she live in a ratty apartment underneath tenants that must be related to elephants they way they stomped about? Or why did she work at a restaurant as a waitress instead of cashing in on those good looks and landing a husband?
Pride mainly.
She had been foolish enough to get into an argument with her mother and one thing she should have remembered growing up in that house was that Mother always wins. Well, not this time. Mother CLAIMED that Callie would never get anywhere in life unless she married into it. Now Callie’s grades in high school hadn’t been the greatest, certainly not good enough to get her into college, but she graduated. To be so belittled by her mother went against her ethos. She was determined to prove that she could make it on her own in the big bad world, and while her mother and father sat on a veritable fortune Callie refused to make use of it. If she accepted any help than it was as much as giving in. They didn’t think she would last a year.
She had shown them! Twenty-two years old and she still managed. Well, not very well. Without a college degree she couldn’t get a very good job, at least her pretty face and charitable character ensured she got good tips at the restaurant. In a way, she had moved up. She remembered starting in Perkins making below minimum wage even with tips while staying in her cousin’s apartment. She gradually made her way up to one of the nicer restraints in town and could even move into her own place. Staying at her cousin’s felt like cheating. If she was to do this she needed to do it all on her own.
She couldn’t party or send money on anything nonessential. This seemed a far cry from the way she had behaved in high school. Every night had been a party then and she never lacked a boy to spend money on her. In the first year as she lived with her cousin Chloe she learned how to live responsibly. Going to work sixty hours a week helped ensure she stayed that way. From the moment she got up to the moment she went to bed she worked, except on Saturday and Sunday, which she took as her personal time. Ordinarily waitress had to work weekends in addition to their weekday shifts but because of the time she put into the restaurant, her seniority, and her schedule she managed to pull it off. She grew up in the Church and even if she didn’t consider herself very religious, Callie made it a point to go every Sunday, making Saturday the only day she had completely to herself.
Therefore it was no surprise that Callie slept till ten this morning. She gargled her mouthwash and spit it into the sink cracked with age and no longer as white as it started half a century ago. After her toiletries were finished she walked into her bedroom and got dressed. A pair of loose fitting jeans and a large purple sweater with blue snowflakes over a white turtleneck made her ensemble. Though thin from fasting, she couldn’t afford to eat a lot; she had always preferred bulky clothing, loose and comfortable.
After she was dressed Callie walked into the kitchenette/dining room to make herself a bowl of cereal. She only used the off brands as the Kellogg’s were often out of her budget. On her circular kitchen table, which she got at a garage sale for twenty bucks, complete with four rickety wooden chairs she saw an envelope and some pieces of paper, her to do list, and paycheck. Every Friday she got paid and she deposited it Saturday before the bank closed at one.
Her Dodge Neon, a 95 with 120,000 miles on it was her pride next to her hair. The darling little thing, despite its rusted exterior, dents, and depleting paint got almost thirty miles to the gallon in the city and that saved her so much money she couldn’t believe it, especially with the spike in gas prices. She jumped in and adjusted the mirror before pulling out of her parking spot. Though it wasn’t built for it, or perform like one, Callie treated her little Neon like a rally car. She took turns tight and would pretend that the red light was the start of a race. She didn’t speed too much, a few tickets taught her the danger of that, but enough to make her feel a slight sense of excitement and adventure.
The trip to the bank didn’t take more than ten minutes and when she got there she sighed in anger. Why was is it that during the week when it was open until six no one ever came to the bank, but when it only opened for three hours on Saturday everyone and his brother felt the urge to go and cash in their jars of pennies? Nothing for it but to go in and get in the line that looped six times until hitting the doors.
Great. Like she didn’t have other things to do on her one day off than stand in line at the bank for an hour. She was just glad she was wearing comfortable clothes and not the heels she had to wear at work. In front of her she surveyed the crowd. No one really interested her. The men were almost all wearing trench coat because of the cold and the women hats and scarves. No one seemed to be her age, all in their mid thirties on up.
Well, that wasn’t completely true. The man in front of him brought his daughter with him. Hmm. She looks to be about six or seven years old. Callie didn’t like kids too much, but she didn’t dislike them either. She hated walking into supermarkets only to listen to children throw a tantrum over a toy or cereal they wanted. She figured she could do without that for several years, though she did want to have kids eventually. It seemed the natural course of things, the right thing to do.
Callie didn’t know where her obsession over doing the right thing had come from. She certainly didn’t do right in high school. She had tried weed, she drank often, and she certainly didn’t care about morals. It had been a miracle she never got pregnant. But wherever it came from, Callie wanted to always do what she believed was right.
This girl seemed different from a normal six year old. It wasn’t that the child wasn’t dressed appropriately for the cold; the poor thing’s nose was sniffling terribly. Callie looked the child over without trying to be obvious about it while going through her purse for gum. Breaking smoking had been a chore, and in the end she found she had to have gum often. The child couldn’t have been more than three feet high with a well-chiseled face, heart shaped and demure. She had gray eyes, not just light blue, but honest to goodness gray eyes that almost seemed to glisten like metal. These eyes seemed sad, and that elicited a measure of pity from Callie. Kids that age didn’t have much to be sad about. Even their tantrums in the stores never lasted more than a moment, but this girl’s eyes looked different than that. Not that sadness of being scolded but a true sadness. The child’s raven black hair came down in waves just past her shoulders while her bangs dusted her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. The little thing should have been wearing a hat and earmuffs; those cherry red ears looked cold, despite the heater in the bank that began to warm her up.
She wore a green dress that looked tattered and stained, obviously old. ‘I couldn’t do much better, but I would at least make sure her dress was clean. What’s with this guy? He looks dressed like a banker and his daughter looks like a waif!’ she seethed as she looked at him in his London Fog Coat and bawler hat. He reminded her of her mother, so rich and oblivious to other people.
Suddenly, someone bumped into her and as she turned to tell whomever it was off, she gasped. He wore a blue ski mask and had a double barrel shot gun in his arms. To make matters worse, he wasn’t alone. Three others, armed with pistols and rifles shuffled into the bank, locking the door behind them. One had the security guard at gunpoint and called out for everyone to get down. Callie ducked immediately as her heart kicked into overdrive.
A bank robbery? People still did that? Well, obviously, but she certainly never thought she would be in the bank when it happened.
“Alright!” the leader of the robbers called out. “You three tellers get your asses out here now and keep those hands up and open where I can see them. Green!” he yelled at the man with a green ski mask. “Go behind the booth and make sure they didn’t push anything.”
“All clear, Yellow!” he reported, “The buttons haven’t been pressed!”
“Good! Red, Blue clear out the drawers!” Yellow barked. “Ok, we can do this the hard way or the easy way. None of you have to get hurt, empty out all your belonging onto the floor. Wallets, watches, cash, credit cards. I mean everything.”
Callie, who never had much money on her anyway pulled out the twenty bucks she had brought for food and put it in front of her. Yellow looked down at her meager contribution. “That’s it? Twenty bucks? No credit cards or anything?”
Callie kept her eyes down as she replied that that was all she had. This must not have been the right answer as he lifted her up by the front of her sweater and placed his gun in front of her face. “I really don’t like it when I am lied to, bitch. You better produce something else real quick or this will get bloody!”
Callie whimpered, “But that’s all I have, I swear!”
“Wrong answe-”
“LEAVE HER ALONE!” she heard a small voice cry out. Both she and Yellow turned to look at the little girl standing up, pulling on Yellow’s pants. “Put her down, you bog bully!”
“Well,” Yellow laughed, “What have we got here? A runt with balls!”
The man who was with the child grabbed her by the collar and forced her back down to the floor, “Damnit Nausica,” he hissed. “Do you want to get us all killed?!”
“But-”
“SHUT UP! This isn’t our business!” he said softly, but angrily.
Callie felt both relief and disgust at the man’s words. On the one hand she didn’t want the little girl to get hurt, but she didn’t like his attitude about it either. She didn’t have a chance to ponder it much as Yellow tossed her to the floor.
“I am in a bad mood now,” Yellow growled. “First this bitch lies and says twenty bucks is all she can produce, and then this little clown comes up. Ok, fatty,” he addressed the girl’s father. “Choice is up to you. Who do I shoot? You or the kid for this offence?”
“Fucking shoot her!” he screamed. “She’s not my daughter anyway. She just brings trouble. Kill her, not me!”
The area under the ski mask where Yellow’s mouth lay revealed a twisted smile as he said, “Alright,” and pointed his pistol at the sitting child, whose eyes were glued to the barrel.
Callie didn’t know why she did it, some budding maternal instinct perhaps, but she did it despite the stupidity of it. As the gun was pointed at the child, she jumped on top of Nausica, exposing her back to the gun crying out, “Please don’t! She’s just a child. Take me, not her!”
Yellow laughed at this, “Solomon has spoken,” he said cryptically before shooting the man three times in the chest. “Fucker,” he spat. Blood pooled around him as he bled from the large holes in his chest creating a large pool that seeped into Nausica’s green dress and Callie could feel it as it covered her fingers, but she didn’t dare move. People were crying screaming at this.
“Shut the fuck up or I will kill another hostage!” Yellow bellowed. “Red, how’s the safe coming?”
“We’re in!” he called back. “The code worked like a charm.”
“Fuck, Yeah!” Yellow hooted, “I am glad I hired a hacker. Ok, fill the bags and then let’s get the hell out of here.”
It didn’t take them long, but for someone kneeling in someone else’s blood, even a minute lasted an eternity. Callie looked down at Nausica’s face, which neither seemed sad or troubled. “It’s the same,” the girl whispered in her lilting voice that seemed so tragic and older than it should have.
“What?” Callie whispered back. As close as their faces were to each other no one could hear them. “What’s the same?”
“The eyes,” she breathed, pointing to her dead father’s face. His orbs had already clouded over in death. “They are the same.”
“You’ve seen eyes like that before?” Callie whispered in horror. Nausica nodded. How could I six year old have seen a dead person’s eyes? Callie herself had never seen anyone dead, and but for the fact that she had to be strong for Nausica she was certain she would vomit.
On their way out, Yellow paused over the two of them. He grinned and then ran out with the others to their waiting car. As they left, Callie stood up quickly and grabbed Nausica with her. Cradling the small girl in her arms. She ran to the security guard who was rubbing his neck that had been so tense for the last twenty minutes with the barrel of a gun next to it. “Bathroom?” she asked in a rushed and panicky voice.
He pointed to one of the doors and she nodded her thanks as she dashed inside. She shut the door after setting Nausica on the toilet. Turning on the faucet in the sink she looked at Nausica’s blood soaked dress and said, “Give me your clothes.” The little girl dutifully removed her green dress, revealing yellow panties, soaked with urine and white thighs, now blotched with the beginnings of a rash. “Um, give me those too.” She bent down and helped remove the soaking undergarment from the blushing girl.
“I was scared,” Nausica explained, her face so red that she seemed about to burst.
Callie nodded, “You didn’t look it,” she said ruefully, some of her composure returning to her as she addressed this little girl, who without her clothes looked very little indeed, hardly more than a toddler/ “Don’t worry. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I think I wet myself too,” she lied, splashing her crotch with water. The little girl smiled weakly, but that was better than nothing.
Before washing the blood out of the clothes Callie picked up Nausica and washed her with her hands, cupping the hot water and soap to rinse the blood off her back and the drying urine from her thighs and crotch. That done, Callie removed her large, soft sweater and gave it to Nausica to wear. The sleeves came twice as far as Nausica’s short arms, so Callie folded them numerous times so Nausica could use her hands. The actual sweater went past the little girl’s knees, almost to her ankles. Despite the fear in her veins, Callie had to admit that the girl looked very cute. On impulse she bent down and kissed the child’s forehead, before washing the blood from the clothes. Nausica smiled sweetly at her, confused but pleased at the affection.
The two stepped out just as the police were arriving to question everyone. Callie was ashamed to admit it, but she used Nausica as a shield during the questioning, which took place in the bank office. She set Nausica in her lap and folded her arms around the child’s waste while resting her chin on Nausica’s soft hair.
“Are you and your daughter alright?” the inspector started, seeing the blood on Callie jeans.
“Oh she’s not mine,” Callie laughed, ‘But I wish she was!’ “I am just taking care of her at the moment.” And so Callie explained all that happened.
“Little girl-” the inspector asked,
“Nausica,” Callie interjected.
“Cute name,” he said under his breath before stating, “You don’t seem terribly upset that your father died.”
“He was NOT my Daddy!” Nausica said definitively. Everyone in the room could tell that Nausica didn’t exactly think fondly of the man, and Callie hardly blamed her considering what he said to her.
“Ok,” the inspector conceded scratching his bearded jaw. “Then where are your parents?”
Callie felt Nausica tighten up in her arms, “They are dead,” she whispered.
“So you are an orphan,” he said, jotting down notes on his pad. “Ok then. Ms. Roberts, you are free to go. Nausica you will need to come with us.”
As Callie stood up she hugged Nausica to her and then set the girl down on her feet. “You want your sweater back?” she asked sweetly.
“No honey,” Callie smiled, actually feeling tears in her eyes. Why was that? “You go ahead and keep it. Inspector Brown?”
“Yes?” he said, looking up from his report.
“What will happen to Nausica?”
“Well, this man was her foster parent and after the back ground check he was a single man. She will go back to an orphanage until someone decides to adopt her again. As cute as she is, I doubt that will be a problem.”
Nausica shook her head sadly and looked pleadingly at Callie, “No one wants me!” she pouted. “I am the tragic toddler. I bring only death.”
Callie looked at the kid again and cocked her head to the side. Six years old was a bit young to be behaving like some self absorbed, depressing Goth. This child must truly think she causes death. “It wasn’t your fault he died!” she cried to the child. “Don’t blame yourself!”
Instead of answering Nausica hung her head and walked to Inspector brown.
In her heart, Callie had already made the decision. ‘I am going to adopt that child! I am going to save her from the orphanage. I don’t know how I’ll do it. I don’t know how I’ll afford it, but I WILL find a way!’
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Callie sat at her desk with a calculator and a list of bills as she did every month. Living was just so darn expensive. Utilities, Insurance, food, clothes, phone, Internet, taxes all took a hefty chunk out of her salary. She hadn’t been very good at math in high school, always complaining about when she would ever need it. She did now. If she were to try and adopt Nausica then she would need to seriously reevaluate her financial situation. Taking care of Nausica would require more food, more clothes, and more furniture. She could take the second bedroom that she had been intending to rent out and make it up for Nausica, but where would she get the furniture, sheet, and necessities? That brought up another expense she didn’t like to think about. Laundry. Already expensive she hated those machines with a passion. They rarely worked and the driers always required two times regardless of how light a load she put in.
It was time to go garage sale surfing, which she liked to do after going to the bank on Saturday anyway. At least that way she could get Nausica some clothes and maybe even a bed if she were lucky. That was how she got the table in the kitchen anyway.
Regardless, she needed to gather a statement of accounts to show child services if she were to get their approval. The thought of asking for help from her mother occurred to her briefly but she immediately dismissed it. She refused to go to her for help, even in this. She would adopt Nausica on her own and raise her herself. That would show her mother responsibility.
Callie sighed as she looked at her meager check. She knew she could do it, but that would mean forever giving up on college, all of the money she had been saving for it would need to be used for this. She only hoped it would be enough.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“Happy birthday, Nausica,” Mr. Sanders said to her as she walked down from the dormitory. She yawned and stretched as her feet felt their way down the rickety stairs. Wearing bedraggled pajamas and her hair in pigtails she certainly didn’t feel any better on this day. Seven didn’t feel any older than six.
“Thank you, Mr. Sanders,” she politely answered when she reached the bottom of the steps. It was now her third day back in the orphanage and nothing had changed except the kids who were staying. Some of the old ones were there as well and they greeted Nausica as someone who had committed a felony. She had escaped and somehow screwed it up. But that was nothing new for Nausica. After all, hadn’t she already screwed up two other families? She might be seven years old but she would always be the tragic toddler.
Quietly she entered the dining hall where about fifteen other kids were already eating. None of them greeted her as Mr. Sanders had. But that didn’t bother her. She didn’t like Mr. Sanders. Something about him didn’t feel right, at least according to her gut instinct, which she knew had saved her life the night her family was killed. He seemed like he had a second agenda to everything he said and she KNEW he had arranged Mr. Adams as her foster father out of some sort of spite. Why Mr. Adams wanted a kid at all was still a mystery to Nausica, but he took that secret with him to the grave.
The meal of the day appeared to be oatmeal. Wonderful. No matter how much sugar she poured over the goop on her plate it always tasted like cardboard. She sniffed the glass of Milk she was given and nodded in approval. It was fresh this time. She didn’t understand why Mr. Sanders cut corners but regardless of whether or not something in the kitchen was past the sell by date he would serve it till they ran out. Often she would sniff the milk and find it sour. When she complained she was told if she didn’t like it then she didn’t have to drink it.
Of course, on the days that people came to inspect the orphanage the milk was fresh, making her wonder if today were such a day. She sighed and gulped down her glass, and then a second, and a third. Fresh milk was not something to be wasted, plus she needed something to wash down the oatmeal.
After breakfast they gathered the dishes and washed them in the big sinks in the kitchen before going upstairs to get ready for school. She loved this time because it was a time to get out of the orphanage and mingle with real people and not act like she were some prize poodle on display.
She pulled on her overalls with frayed knees and a pink shirt before pulling on her sneakers and grabbing her book bag. If her time with the Fongs taught her anything it was how to study and get ahead in school. This, she thought, could only be a good thing as she transferred out of first grade to go to the school where Mr. Adams lived for about seven months and now she was transferred back into this school. Because she did as the Fongs taught her she still managed to stay ahead of everyone else. Nausica read to herself every night and while she might not pronounce everything exactly right, it did help loosen her tongue and help increase her vocabulary. This caused no small amount of resentment in the other kids in the orphanage.
As she was leaving the dorms one of the other girls tripped her so that she fell flat on her face. Nausica wanted to cry, but she sucked it in. Tears streamed down her face as she slowly stood up. The girl who tripped her, Nikki laughed and said, “Well if it isn’t little miss smarty-pants! Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”
Though she wanted to punch her, Nausica bobbed her head and said, “I am sorry, Nikki. It won’t happen again.”
“It had better not!” she stated with a grimace. “Say! Isn’t today your birthday?”
“Yes,” Nausica nodded. “I am seven now.”
“Well aren’t you the big girl?” Nikki laughed, with a chorus of her friends laughing with her. “I turned nine last month. You know we have a tradition where I come from. Girls? Who wants to help Nausica with her birthday spanking?” Nausica squealed and tried to dash away, but two of Nikki’s friends, also nine and ten years old grabbed her arms and bent her over one of the cots in the room. “Let’s see. It’s a spank for each year!” Without further warning she smacked Nausica hard across her bottom with the flat of her hand. Despite the padding of her overalls and panties it still stung as though she had been spanked ob her bare bottom. By the fifth spank Nausica was weeping for Nikki to stop, but that only seemed to make Nikki hit her harder. “And SEVEN! Now, everyone gives a good luck spank for many, many years!” She finished, walloping a huge spank to Nausica. All twelve girls gave her a spanking after that. Some lighter, some just as hard while she sobbed into the mattress of the cot. When they all finished, Nikki bent over and whispered to Nausica. “Can’t wait for next year. You’ll never be adopted. Get used to this!”
Very awkwardly, as he bottom smarted something awful, she walked to school, only to be late and get yelled at by Mr. Sullivan for tardiness. Nausica hated being the only first grader from the orphanage. She also hated not having any friends, but she feared what would happen if she made one. She didn’t want anyone else to die.
Bored to tears, Nausica stared out the window during most of Mr. Sullivan’s lectures. He just didn’t seem to care. The school she went to when she lived with Mr. Adams had been much better. Ms. Middlesex had been very energetic and even baked cookies for the class on occasion. She passed out some worksheets, but nothing like Mr. Sullivan.
When recess came she quickly ran to the swings and happily swung back and forth, enjoying the rush of the wind and the way her pigtails flopped against her cheeks. She giggled happily for the first time that day, her birthday.
“Can we swing now?” one of the girls from her class asked. Nausica glanced at her and noticed a queue forming for the swings. Blushing with embarrassment, Nausica slowed the swing with the tip of her toe and leapt off once it she could, and then ran to the monkey bars. She hadn’t meant to monopolize the swings, but it HAD been fun. She really wished she could share that fun with a friend . . .or better still, a family.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“What do you mean ‘No,’” Callie asked Mr. Sanders. “I have enough money to provide for her.”
The balding man in his late forties adjusted his glasses before answering, “Ms. Roberts we simply cannot give children away to anyone who wants one. We require a background check and we need to make sure the housing antiquate for a child. You have not demonstrated that you can provide all those things. You are single, working a job that isn’t steady and you are very young. Why do you want to adopt, and why Nausica of all children?”
Callie scratched the back of her head and sighed. She had already been over this on the phone when she called several days ago to find out what she would need to do to adopt Nausica. Wearing a smart suit and enough makeup to appear a few years older than twenty-two she had hoped to look professional enough to win him over. “I was with her,” she repeated, “at the bank when Mr. Adams died and the two of us bonded I think.”
“She made no mention of you to me.”
“I was the one who gave her that purple sweater,” Callie stated in a petulant tone. “Please, let me see her. I know she would agree.”
“Do you know anything about her file, Ms. Roberts?” he asked opening a folder on his desk labeled, Roberts, Nausica. When Callie shook her head he went on, handing her photographs, “Her original family was murdered in front of her when she was three down in Louisiana. Remember those serial killers back three years ago? The Roberts house was the third they hit. I don’t think the murderers were ever apprehended.”
“My God,” Callie gasped, placing her hand over her mouth as her eyes widened. No wonder Nausica looked so sad.
“It gets worse. That same year a family by the name of Olsen adopted her and their nephew drowned in a bathtub. They blamed it all on Nausica. This file,” he said handing her a document, “gives their testimony of what happened.”
Callie briefly read it and gasped. Poor Nausica. It wasn’t her fault she was lonely.
“The next family to adopt the tragic toddler was the Fong family here in Connecticut. She lived with them for about eighteen months and ended up being rescued from getting hit by a drunk driver by a friend of hers from the house next door. The kid died saving Nausica and her family blamed Nausica for all of it. They moved away and the Fongs left Nausica here when they returned Nausica. Six months ago, Mr. Adams adopted her and he of all people looked like he might be able to take care of her, but we saw where that got him.”
Callie refrained from stating that the fat man got what was coming to him for what he said about Nausica. So no one had given that child what she needed. No one gave her any love, just blame. Callie felt overwhelmed by pity.
“Everyone who comes in contact with that child meets with tragedy. She’s called the tragic toddler for a reason.”
Clearing her throat, Callie looked straight into the dark eyes of Mr. Sanders with her clear Sapphire. “I don’t care about that. I want to be that child’s mother. She didn’t deserve what life gave her, or the blame of all those people. She hates herself for it. I want to change that. Please, Mr. Sanders. Give me a chance. I know I can be a good mother, and I will do ANYTHING for her.”
“Anything?” Mr. Sanders quipped back, licking his lips. “I must be frank with you, Ms. Roberts, err, May I call you Callie?”
Biting back bile and wishing she hadn’t said what she did, she nodded. “Sure, call me what ever you like.”
“Well I must be frank, Callie,” he said leaning forward over his desk. “Child services will never give you that chance. Once they see where you live and your yearly income they will shut your file without even bothering to see you. Of course . . . a signature from me . . . could change a whole lot of things. A signature from me could make all that red tape go away and then you could have your daughter.”
Gulping back tears, Callie knew she would have to play this game if she wanted to have Nausica as her daughter. It sickened her. A small voice, maybe reason, told her it wasn’t too late to back out and keep her dignity. But then where would that leave Nausica? Here? With this sleazy man? No. She would play this game. Even if the cost were her soul she would save Nausica. “Really?” she said in a grateful voice. “You would do that for me?”
“Oh sure!” he smiled, his eyes taking in every curve of her body without even trying to hide it. He hadn’t even touched her yet and she already felt defiled. A little girl inside her, about the same age as Nausica, began to cry. “You just need to do something for me. I think you can guess what that is,” he said, undoing his tie and walking to the door to lock them inside. He pulled the blinds down and began to undress. Soon he stood before her, a gangly, hairy man waiting for her. She closed her eyes and began to shake. “Well, come ON, Callie,” he whispered, gripping her shoulder. “This is for Nausica after all.”
Callie wanted to throw up. “Once!” she gasped through tears. “Only once! Then you give me your word that Nausica comes home with me!”
“You got it, Callie,” he said anxiously, obviously eager for this to start. She nodded, and began to strip. This would be the hardest moment in her entire life she had no doubt.
++++
Callie ran from the office clutching her chest and sobbing like a little girl. She hadn’t even cried this much when she lost her virginity with her boy friend back in high school. She felt like a whore. She wanted a shower and knew that it wouldn’t be enough.
Several people glanced at her and asked if she were all right, to which she would nod and then go right back to sobbing. ‘God!’ she called out in her mind, ‘This better be worth it!’ Somehow, in the root of her being, she knew that despite all the hardships to come it would be. Having Nausica as her daughter would be worth this shame
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica ran to the orphanage once the last bell rang. She had to go potty, and she absolutely refused to use those dirty stalls in the restrooms of this school. Squeezing her cheeks for all she was worth she made it to the orphanage just in time and sighed with relief. Maybe it would be better to simply put a layer of toilet paper over the seat of the toilet. One of these days she wasn’t going to make it.
After she washed her hands, Nausica walked up stairs and saw that blond haired woman talking with Nikki. Now that wasn’t fair! Nausica liked her, and now she betrayed Nausica by looking into adopting Nikki of all people. ‘I was a fool to think she could be different!’ she thought as tears trailed down her cheeks like two little streams. She was about to turn to leave when she heard Nikki call her over.
Slowly as though being pulled by a chain she walked over. Nikki grinned wickedly at her, obviously reading Nausica’s pained expression. “Nausica,” she gloated. “Meet Ms. Calliope Roberts. She came here to adopt a little girl! Maybe she’ll even look into you!”
“Oh I doubt that,” Ms. Roberts laughed behind her hand. “I am looking for a happy little girl to take home with me. You look like you have been crying.”
“Oh she does that, Ms. Roberts,” Nikki gushed. “She’s never happy.”
“Why are you sad, little girl?” Callie asked.
“No one wants me,” Nausica wailed, too upset for words at the teasing of someone she thought she could trust.
As she ran a hand clapped her shoulder and spun her around, making her look directly into the brightest blue eyes Nausica had ever seen. " I want you," Ms. Roberts whispered to Nausica’s face. “which is why I adopted you. Come on, Nausica. You’re going home”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica sat in the warm water of the bathtub and looked around her. Ms. Roberts was looking under the sink for soaps and towels. That same sink looked gross and the toilet more so. How could Ms. Roberts stand to live like this? The sink looked to be so ed from age that Nausica wondered if it held water or if it were just for show. The tub she sat in was brown and yellow when it should have been white, but so old were the stains that no amount of cleaning would ever leave the bathtub white again. She didn’t like looking at the toilet. Everything around her was tattered and ragged.
She loved it all just the same. When she lived with the Fongs she had lived in an upper middleclass household. The same with Mr. Adams though he lived in an apartment. Either one of them were so obviously better than this squalor Ms. Nausica called a home that making any kind of comparison seemed laughable. And yet she felt better in this, more at home. In short . . . more loved. The Fongs taught independence. Once they showed Nausica how to do something a few times they expected her to do it on her own. That included bathing and brushing her teeth in addition to homework and chores. Mr. Adams took advantage of not having to really care for Nausica by ignoring her. Neither family had ever given her a bath as Ms. Roberts was doing.
It felt odd to say that. Ms. Roberts. That was her name too. Nausica Roberts. Maybe they were related in some way. No Roberts was a very common name she was told so she couldn’t be related to Ms. Roberts, although that would be nice.
“Found it!” Ms. Roberts cried in a singsong voice. “When I babysat my cousin’s daughter, Rebecca, she brought her own soaps and she forgot to bring them home with her.” She stood up revealing Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and a sponge. Ms. Roberts giggled. “I have never done this before. Let me know if I do it wrong.”
Nausica blushed and nodded. No one had seen her like this since the Fongs took care of her, so she felt a little embarrassed that this woman, still a stranger was taking such an interest in bathing her. “Bow your head, sweetie,” Ms. Roberts commanded as she cupped water over Nausica’s head to dampen her hair. “You have the most beautiful hair, Nausica,” she commented, running her finger through the length of it.
No one had ever said that to her before. She just took her hair as something that simply was. Pink in the cheeks, Nausica replied, “Yours is very pretty, ma’am.”
Ms. Roberts stopped and looked quizzically at her. “Ma’am?” she asked Nausica with a hurt expression in her voice. ‘OH NO!’ Nausica thought. ‘I screwed up. What was I supposed to call you! Please don’t me and send me away!’ “Ma’am,” Ms. Roberts repeated incredulously as though the word tasted bad in her mouth. “What did you call your other foster parents?”
Nausica thought back to the Fongs because she couldn’t remember the family before that and remembered that they asked her to always be respectful and say, “Sir,” or “Ma’am” to s. Mr. Adams liked it too. “I called them that way,” Nausica said slowly, fear obviously clutching her voice.
Ms. Roberts stood up so that she loomed terribly over Nausica. “Hmm,” she harrumphed. “Well I don’t care what their rules were; you will call me ‘Mom’ from now on. Not ‘Ms. Roberts,’ or ‘Ma’am’” She declared as though making a proclamation before a court like in Nausica’s story books. “Oh,” she said, suddenly normal again, “Don’t call me ‘Mother’ either. It just sounds OLD.”
“But you ARE old!” Nausica giggled, liking this woman more and more all the time. Mom glared down at her and without a word dunked Nausica’s head in the water. She came up spluttering and gasping, but still giggling, which surprised her more than a little. Nausica couldn’t remember very well but she could remember somewhat that she d having her head go under when she was younger.
Mom smiled at her and Nausica felt safe for the first time. It was hard to believe this was still the same day, her birthday that had started out so lonely and painfully. She recalled the scene at the orphanage well.
Sputtering and spitting, Nikki asked, “You adopted her!?”
Ms. Roberts nodded and said, “Yeah, I wanted her the moment I saw her, I just thought I should see what she has to put up with while she’s here. You know, Nikki, if you didn’t have such an attitude I am sure someone would pick you up in no time. You are a very pretty .”
Nausica, who knew Nikki for almost a year could see that what Ms. Roberts said hurt the child. Tears welled in her eyes and her face grew very red. “What do you know about it?” Nikki shouted. “You have no idea what we go through! You don’t know what it’s like to be abandoned!”
Ms. Roberts got down on her knee and placed a hand on Nikki’s shoulder, who was now sitting on her cot, crying. “Nikki,” she said gently. “You are right. I do not know what it is like to be abandoned, but I do know how it feels to be picked on. It doesn’t feel good. Now, from what I have seen, you pick on the other kids a lot. There is no excuse for what happened to you, but to take it out on the other kids doesn’t make anything better or right. If I had the power I’d take you all with me, but I –”
“Then take me!” Nikki cried. “Leave her. She’s had so many chances and she ALWAYS ends up back here. No one has ever taken me! The Tragic Toddler will only hurt you. I won’t!”
“Look at me Nikki,” Ms. Roberts ordered, kindly if a little cold, as Nikki was looking at the ground between her feet. “Look at me! Now I came here for Nausica because I KNOW about her past. None of those things were her fault. She didn’t DO anything to be sent back here. I think I was led here for her. I am certain beyond doubt that someone will be led JUST for you. Someone who will love you unconditionally will come for you.”
“How can you know that?”
“Nikki,” Ms. Roberts said sweetly. “I want to believe that the world is good that there is a higher power who loves us. I believe that somehow you will be taken care of. There is now HOW to how I know that. It’s just a gut feeling.”
Nausica perked up at that. A gut feeling saved her life a long time ago. Maybe Ms. Roberts was right. Nikki nodded and hugged Nausica good-bye. For all her teasing, Nikki wasn’t a bad . She even helped Nausica pack her belongings and walk her to Ms. Roberts white car. The rest of the orphans couldn’t believe that so soon after coming back to the orphanage that Nausica was already adopted. Many were jealous, but a lot wished her well and envied her good fortune.
Nausica, still in a state of shock, took it all in as though she were someone else. She guessed this was like how someone who won the lottery felt. Still, it felt awkward. She didn’t KNOW Ms. Roberts and she always felt very shy around people she didn’t know. The ride to the apartment was very quiet. Ms. Roberts turned the radio on to a pop station and that filled in the physical silence but it did nothing to break the barrier between them.
“Christmas is in a week,” Ms. Roberts stated, breaking their personal silence. Nausica didn’t stop her silent vigil out the car window. “Hey, aren’t you going to talk to me? I mean, I DID bust you out of prison.” She laughed and Nausica turned to see those beautiful blue eyes sparkling at her in the afternoon sun.
“Why did you adopt me?” Nausica whispered. “You don’t know me.”
Ms. Roberts pursed her lips as though in thought but her eyes never lost that happy expression. That expression helped Nausica calm down about the suddenness of her life changing afternoon. “Why?” she asked herself. “You’re going to think this weird, but when I met you I knew I wanted to be with you. You looked so sad. I wanted to change that.”
Nausica said, “Oh,” noncommittally
They passed a Baskin Robins on the left side of the road and Ms. Roberts got a panicked look in her face. “Oh no! Not now! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!”
“What’s wrong?” Nausica asked, instantly terrified that the “oh no” was a signifier that they were going back to the orphanage
“WE,” Ms. Roberts declared vehemently, "My neophyte daughter are-
“What’s neophyte mean?”
“It means new. As in my new daughter,” she answered. “Now as I was saying before I was so RUDELY interrupted–” Nausica said sorry, earning a glare from Ms. Roberts, which panicked her further. “WE, my neophyte daughter, are experiencing an ice cream emergency.”
“A what?”
“Oh it’s very serious,” Ms. Roberts said nodding her head as though what she was saying were the most important thing in the whole wide world. “We could potentially die if it’s not treated. Yes. I am afraid, against our collective will; we are going to have to go to Baskin Robins for an ice cream injection.”
Nausica found herself smiling at this, “How tragic.”
“THERE!” Ms. Roberts said while laughing. “You finally smiled. So what’s your favorite ice cream flavor? And keep in mind that my love for you completely depends on this answer.”
Nausica paused and reflected. The Fongs never really had ice cream because Mrs. Fong was lactose intolerant, whatever that meant. Mr. Adams never seemed to have time for ice cream either meaning Nausica’s only experience with ice cream lay in the kind at the cafeteria in school which was sandwiched between chocolate cookies. “I don’t know. There’s more than one?” she asked with a nervous chuckle.
Ms. Roberts gave Nausica a look as though she were some sort of freak. “I am sorry to announce that this emergency as increased exponentially. WE need ice cream STAT!” she shouted with a smile to Nausica before making a u-turn at the next light. In less than a minute they were standing inside the store with Nausica’s face glued to the glass overshadowing the many cartons of ice cream. She finally decided on orange sherbet while Ms. Roberts picked mint Oreo. They ate their ice cream in silence and Nausica had to admit that it tasted amazing. She hoped they would have many more emergencies like this so she could try out other flavors, including the mint Oreo that Ms. Roberts was having. “You want to try some?” she asked, noticing Nausica’s stare.
“You don’t mind?” Nausica asked before Ms. Roberts scooped some out and ordered Nausica to say “ahh.” It tasted wonderful. She never had mint before. Nausica happily finished her ice cream and the two continued their journey to the apartment which lay another twenty minutes away.
Nausica noticed that the housing seemed to get worse and worse the closer they got to this apartment and she found herself once again getting scared. The complex Ms. Roberts lived in appeared run down and beaten. None of her previous homes had ever been so shoddy.
Welcome to Buckingham Palace was written on a sign posted near a gate that surrounded the complex. Nausica didn’t know about Buckingham, but this certainly didn’t look like any of the palaces in her storybooks. Ms. Roberts chuckled nervously as she noticed the disappointed expression on Nausica’s face. “It’s not great, but it’s home. One day I’ll earn enough to get a better place for us, but right now this is the best we can do. But hey, as long as we have three square meals and a roof over us, right?”
Nausica ed to her head to the side and mumbled, “I guess.” She wasn’t sure what she had expected. She didn’t think she would exactly be living as a princess but then again she hadn’t expected this. It almost seemed a step down from the orphanage.
+++++++
Sitting in a bathtub with Mom washing her hair certainly proved her wrong in that regard. After she was toweled off from her bath Mom led Nausica to her new room. She couldn’t believe her eyes. While the rest of the house looked only semi-clean, this room was immaculate, practically shining when the lights were flicked on. An old looking bed with a lumpy mattress greeted her when the door opened, but it was a bed, which was definitely better than the cots as the orphanage. Mom explained that she picked it up at a garage sale and promised to try and find a better one. Nausica didn’t mind. It looked soft and inviting with a safety bar on the side in case she were to roll over to the edge. A down comforter and a pink blanket were draped over the bed with baby blue sheets underneath. Mom tucked Nausica into bed and kissed her on the forehead. She never felt safer.
Until she closed her eyes . . . and dreamt.
Every detail played over in her head, clearer than she had ever seen before. She could practically taste the and she shook with fear and all over again. It ended with her screaming and the police dragging her away from her parents’ corpses.
As she awoke, quickly for once in her life, she realized she was still screaming.
+++++++
The next morning, Nausica sat pensively at the breakfast table. Mom was still running around. After she was washed from her stale , Nausica slept the rest of the night in Mom’s bed. Mom on the other hand had to run down the hall to the laundry room with Nausica’s sheets and soiled pajamas. She didn’t get any sleep that morning as she had to wait for the washer and then dryer to finish, and by the time they had it was already time to get up. Needless to say, Mom looked tired.
She was dressed in a black outfit that looked like a female version of a tuxedo, complete with red bowtie and cummerbund. “Nausica,” she said as she finally sat down to eat a bowel of cereal. “Do you wet the bed often?”
“Never!” Nausica answered truthfully. Last night had been the first she ever remembered having. “I don’t know what happened.”
“It’s ok, sweetie,” Mom said sweetly. “It was an , but just the same, when I get back from work I am going to put a plastic sheet on the bed, ok?”
Embarrassed, but more ashamed, Nausica nodded.
“Ok, here’s the deal,” Mom said as she ate, “I have to work till about eight o’clock so I won’t be able to pick you up from school. Since you will be going to the same school as my niece you can stay with my cousin till I pick you up. Rebecca is about your age, maybe a little older. She’s in second grade. I put you in first because that’s where you were before. Now in your book bag I put six notebooks and a lot of paper. Give me a list of anything else I need to get you. Ready for your first day . . . and your last day now that I think about it. Winter break starts tomorrow.”
Kirkland Elementary School was much bigger than her previous school with almost six hundred students in first grade alone. Because she wouldn’t be seeing any of them potentially till after the new year, Nausica didn’t go out of her way to make any new friends. She quietly drifted through the day which wasn’t all that busy anyway because for half the day they made ornaments for a Christmas tree, which she was sad to notice was absent from the apartment, and then spent the other half in a party.
While quietly eating a cupcake with red and green icing Nausica sat at her desk while most of the other kids talked about what they wanted for Christmas, what they wanted Santa to bring. Nausica laughed darkly on the inside. She knew there was no such thing as Santa Clause. The Fongs told her to her face and killed whatever childlike innocence she might have had for the holiday, but even if there was a Santa she wouldn’t have asked for anything this year. She already got what she wanted.
One little looked at Nausica from across the room. She was still talking with her friends but her eye kept returning to Nausica. Nausica peered at her for a moment. She was certainly one of the strangest looking s Nausica had ever seen. Wearing a green party dress of green felt with red ribbons in her hair, this child obviously came from a better family than most. She had a pretty face and hair so light that it almost looked white that was long to her waste. She thought the hair pretty and envied the length as hers only came past her shoulders. All in all, the , despite the originality of her appearance, looked familiar.
Neither of them went to the other so their eye contact was as close as they came to actually meeting one another. Nausica felt a little alone by the time the day ended and she desperately wanted a friend. She would have to settle for her adopted cousin, Rebecca. In the large school, Nausica had no idea how she would find a single person, who she didn’t even know looked like. Fate was on Nausica’s side as she spotted a who looked like a seven year old version of Mom. Taking a chance she called out, “Rebecca?”
The turned at the sound of her voice and looked around to see who called. She had been walking to the front of the school where line after line of cars were parked, waiting to pick up their kids. Nausica ran to catch up and while breathing heavily from the sprint panted and asked, “Are you Rebecca?”
“Yes,” came the confused reply. “Who are you?”
“I am Nausica,” she introduced herself. “I am supposed to get a ride home with you and your mom?”
Rebecca looked puzzled at this, and then understanding seemed to hit her and she blushed, “I forgot.”
Nausica smiled and said that was ok, though in truth it did feel bad to be forgotten. She wondered what would have happened if she hadn’t spotted Rebecca. Together they walked to a waiting minivan. A woman who looked to be in her mid thirties greeted them. She had short brown hair and wore glasses. “HI!” she called back to them, looking at them through the rearview mirror.
“Hi, MOM!” Rebecca chirped back merrily.
“Hi,” Nausica said shyly.
The ride to their apartment took a relatively short time. In fact, they spent more time waiting to get out of the school parking lot than the actual time it took to drive to the Wuthering Heights Apartment Complex. These seemed a lot nicer than the ones Mom and Nausica lived in. “Your mom used to live with us,” Rebecca said during the ride.
“Really?” It was hard to imagine the independent personality of Mom ever living with other people, especially with cousins,
“Yes,” Aunt Chloe called back. “She got in a tiff with her mom and stayed with me for two years before she moved into that apartment she lives in now. I wish she still did. I loved having her there to watch the kids.”
“Kids?” Nausica asked.
“Yes, I have two daughters. My eldest, Samantha, goes to Alexander Middle School up the road from us so she rides the bus. She just started sixth grade this year. She’s eleven,” Aunt Chloe said with some pride.
“Samantha skipped third grade,” Rebecca explained, noticing that Nausica wasn’t really impressed with Aunt Chloe’s revelation. “She’s the smartest person I know next to mom. But you want to hear something funny? She likes to wear diapers. Can you believe that?”
“Rebecca Joyce Maxwell,” Aunt Chloe barked. “Number one, it is NOT nice to talk about someone behind their back. That’s gossip. Number two, Samantha doesn’t know that we know. And number three, well . . . I guess I’ll leave it at that.”
“But MOM,” Rebecca wined, “Nausica’s gonna find out anyway!”
Nausica didn’t know what to think of that. An eleven year old wearing diapers? Only babies wear diapers, right. “Why does she like to wear diapers?” Nausica asked her curiosity piqued.
Aunt Chloe sighed as they pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex. “I don’t really know, but it’s harmless really, so unless it interferes with her school or social life I am not going to interfere. Rebecca knows to pretend she doesn’t know, RIGHT, Rebecca?”
“Sure, mom,” came the quick, overtly reply.
They all climbed out of the minivan and walked inside the main building. They rode an elevator to the third floor and, using a card in lieu of a key, Aunt Chloe unlocked the door of the apartment and they all walked in. This apartment, not only cleaner, seemed much larger too. They had dining room apart from the kitchen, a living room with a decent sized TV, and three bedrooms. Mom had mentioned Aunt Chloe was divorced. On the kitchen table was a note from Samantha saying she was at her friend’s apartment down the hall. She left a phone number, which Aunt Chloe promptly called.
“Ok s,” she addressed Rebecca and Nausica, “Sam’s going to be spending the night at Rachel’s tonight so I guess you’ll meet her a little later.”
That was fine with Nausica. She wanted to slowly meet people and three people were a lot. Rebecca took her to her room and the two played on the PS2 playing Dynasty Warriors. It was basically a button mashing game so both s had a ball with it, but eventually got bored. This prompted Rebecca to turn to Nausica and ask, “Wanna go exploring?”
“Sure,” Nausica agreed.
The definition of exploring according to Rebecca was going into her older sister’s room and digging through drawers. “You can find lots of buried treasure in here, ARRR,” she said, squinting her left eye and limping across the room. Her nose scrunched up when she did this, causing Nausica to laugh and that set Rebecca to giggling.
They opened the sliding closet door and Rebecca winked. “She thinks she’s so clever,” she said with sarcasm in her voice. Underneath a pile of clothes was a small chest with a combination lock. With the practiced grace of someone who had done this many times before, Rebecca opened the lock and lifted the lid. Along with several magazine clippings of cute guys, and a sticker collection sat a bag of Attends youth size diapers. Nausica’s eyes bulged. So there WERE diapers for an eleven year old. “How did she get them?”
“That’s really none of your business you two,” they heard Aunt Chloe say from behind them. “There’s a store just up the street and if she saved her allowance money she could certainly afford them, but that’s neither here nor there. What have I told you about going through your sister’s things?”
“BUSTED!” Rebecca cried out in a tragic voice, obviously not taking her mother seriously. “I am sorry.”
“You better be,” she threatened. “Or I might just put you in some of those diapers for punishment, since you seem to be so interested in them.”
Rebecca sonorously decried that idea and swore to be good. Around nine o’clock, Mom came and picked Nausica up. As promised, she put the plastic sheet over the bed before putting clean sheets on top. It crinkled loudly, and Nausica had a hard time getting to sleep. Mom came to the rescue by reading Nausica a story until she eventually blacked out.
In the morning the sheets were wet.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Chapter 2
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

After the fourth night in a row of Nausica waking up wet Callie didn’t know what to do. As usual when Callie didn’t know what to do she called Chloe. Chloe suggested that Callie take Nausica to see a doctor, but not to worry unduly because it probably wasn’t anything serious.
Not anything serious? Tell that to her purse. Every Nausica had cost Callie three dollars and while that seemed a paltry sum the first time, after the fourth night and she sank twelve dollars worth of quarters into those infernal machines she began to realize she had a serious financial problem at hand. The thought occurred to her that buying night time protection would probably be cheaper in the long run, but she didn’t want to scare Nausica, who was still adjusting.
It saddened Callie that she couldn’t spend more time with her new daughter. During the week Nausica would have to stay at Chloe’s apartment while Callie went to work. Chloe even offered to take Nausica in to see her pediatrician on Monday as Rebecca and Samantha were due for their check-ups. Callie immediately agreed.
Having Rebecca take so well to Nausica had been a great step. Awkwardness would have abounded if they didn’t become friends, but from the moment Nausica left with Callie Friday night she had been asking her mom when Nausica would be over again. Callie halfway suspected that the more domineering child liked having a follower, which Nausica seemed willing to be at the moment. One day that child’s adventurous spirit would get her into trouble.
At the end of the day Callie wanted to die. Ten hour shifts were bad enough without certain personalities. Some old woman had seemed to take a personal disliking to Callie and went out of her way to be a bitch, without even leaving a tip. It ruined her mood for the next three hours, which also affected her usual tips. To make matters worse, she dropped a plate for the first time in a year, causing one table’s order to become so late that the manager had to give the meal to them for free, which made him yell at Callie for almost fifteen minutes. The cooks flirted with her as usual but for some reason she wasn’t in the mood for it today. She wasn’t in the mood for any of it. So when, at eight thirty she got off work she wanted only good news.
One good thing she knew she could expect was the doctor’s visit was taken care of by her own insurance. Though hot headed and prideful, Callie was no fool. She convinced her mother to keep her on the same family insurance, which because of her mother and father’s bank meant that she was well covered and therefore any of her dependents would be as well. What she wanted to hear was what Chloe told her. Nothing was physically wrong with Nausica. She was in very good shape and healthy as a horse. The bed wetting probably came from stress.
“What stress?” Callie wined. “Her other families were more stressful. Why, when she finally has someone who wants her would she be under stress?” She could hear Nausica, Rebecca, and Samantha playing and giggling down the hall in Rebecca’s room. She sounded so happy, where was the stress.
“I asked the doctor the same thing and while he claimed he was no child psychologist his idea made sense to me. This is probably stress related as we are all sure Nausica isn’t doing it on purpose. I mentioned the nightmare, which he said could have triggered it, but Nausica didn’t have any nightmares for the past two nights. He suggested that maybe because there wasn’t any real stress that that in itself stressed her out. Get this, while you might not be the queen of England, you are a dream come true to a lonely like Nausica. She’s afraid of somehow screwing it up and losing your love. She’s putting herself under a lot of pressure to be the perfect daughter.”
Callie put her head in her hands and cried, “But she doesn’t HAVE to do that! I would never have, never have.” She wanted to throw up as the feelings of defilement encroached in on her. “I would have never let that son of a bitch do what he did if I didn’t want Nausica.”
Chloe reached out and hugged her younger cousin’s head. “Shh, Shh,” she cooed. “I know you did what you did for her, but she doesn’t know that, and if she did she would probably feel she was under even more pressure.”
“I’ll never tell her, NEVER!” Callie vowed. “But what do I do, Chloe? I can’t go on like this. I’ll never even see her if things continue like this.”
“Oh,” Chloe said heartily, while thumping Callie’s back with her open palm, “I don’t mind watching her. She keeps Rebecca out of trouble. Well, out of more trouble than she would usually be in. She’s a sweet, very polite and honest.”
Callie nodded, “I need a steady job, Chloe, one where I can spend more time with my daughter than waking her up and putting her to bed. Except for this weekend the only meals we had together was breakfast.”
“I don’t suppose you could talk to your mom?”
“Never, Chloe!” Callie said resolutely. “I will never go to her for help. That would prove her right!”
“This isn’t about just you anymore, Callie,” Chloe said sternly. “When you were on your own it was one thing, but now you have Nausica to consider. Don’t cause that to suffer because of your own damn pride!”
“Don’t you see?” Callie cried. “She doesn’t even know about Nausica yet, I was going to introduce her at Christmas. She’ll try to take my daughter away from me. She’ll say I am not fit to be a mother!”
“AND YOU’RE NOT!” Chloe shouted. Suddenly the giggles in the other room stopped and silence reigned in the apartment. “Sam! You’re in charge. Aunt Callie and I need to discuss something!”
She didn’t wait for a response from her daughter before storming to the door, a weeping Callie in tow. Once they were outside Chloe lit into Callie. “How could you have been so stupid?” She bellowed. “Nausica is a human being, not some stray dog that will be fun to take care of. WHY did you ever think you could adopt a child?”
“I had to!” Callie wailed. “You weren’t there. I felt called to rescue her.”
“Rescue her?!” Chloe scoffed. “By bring her to the ghetto where she could be shot. You KNOW I never approved of you moving there, of moving away in the first place.”
"I didn’t leave one mother to find another! Callie shot back angrily.
Chloe slapped her hard across the face, “You ungrateful bitch! I took you in when you ran away. I helped you manage your finances and even helped sign to get you into that God forsaken building you like to call home! I never stopped you like a mother would have, should have done! I have always allowed you to make your own decisions.”
“I am sorry Chloe!” Callie wept, on her knees clutching her smarting cheek. “But I have never seen Nausica as a dog. She is my daughter and I have given up everything I dreamed of for her. The money I have been saving by living in Buckingham that I was putting away for college. GONE for her. She ended my future as I saw it. I need a new job, and I need a new home so I can provide for her.”
“Your mom is going to kill me,” Chloe mumbled. “I’ll talk to my boss and see if I can get you a job working for the firm. I may be able to do it. After all, I am an accountant, right? I am paid to make miracles. But if I land you that job you move into Wuthering Heights. I don’t mean move back in with me because I don’t have the room, but into the same building. I will help you get started and then I am sure with the job you can make rent fairly easily.”
“Why did you not offer me a job before?”
“Oh yeah!” Chloe gasped as if forgetting, “Give a teenager, fresh out of high school a job at an accounting firm. You didn’t even know how to balance a check book, let alone do your taxes. That, and you were so impassioned about doing everything yourself that I didn’t know how you would react after the second year.”
“Thanks, Chloe,” Callie mumbled, feeling defeated, even though she was getting what she wanted.
Chloe helped her up and hugged her before saying, “I love you, kid. I won’t let you fall.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When they heard the yelling begin, Samantha told the other s to hush so they could listen. Nausica felt a weight growing in her stomach. She wondered what on earth could be happening out there. Then Aunt Chloe told Samantha she was in charge and slammed the door behind her and Mom’s exit.
“What was that about?” Rebecca asked Samantha after a minute had passed. Samantha hushed her and bent her head out the doorway to see if the parents were gone. As she did so the top of her shirt rode up her back exposing her underwear above the lip of her jeans. Rebecca elbowed Nausica and pointed. The plastic wrinkles appeared obvious and Nausica scanned her cousin’s rear to notice the bulge. As if realizing what might be happening, Samantha pulled the back of the shirt over her pants and turned around. She didn’t know the damage had already happened.
“I don’t know,” Samantha admitted. “They’re probably having an argument. Your mom and our mom got into a lot of those when she lived here. They’ll yell and scream and then end up hugging and being best friends again. But enough about them. What about you, Nausica. What are you going to do?”
“DO?” Nausica asked quietly, unsure where she was going.
“About your bed wetting?” Samantha asked hopefully. “I mean what do you think you’ll do? Will you wear protective underwear to bed from now on?”
“You mean diapers?” Rebecca asked with a laugh that caused Samantha to go pale and Rebecca to giggle. “Why are you so interested?”
“Well, um,” Samantha stammered. “I mean, if Nausica spends the night here we don’t want her wetting the bed, right? It only makes sense that she wear some protection until she gets over it. She might even begin to like it.”
Nausica could tell that Rebecca wanted to retort, “You mean like you do?” but her cousin held it in and instead said, “Ok, that makes sense. So Nausica, what are you going to do?”
“I don’t want to be a burden to Mom,” she responded dutifully. “I think she would freak out if I had to wear . . . um . . . protection.”
“I doubt that,” Rebecca said matter-of-factly. “She’s one of the most open people I know. What did the doctor say?”
Nausica recalled the visit and was very nervous the whole time. It seemed so unnatural to wet the bed at seven years old. But when she told the pediatrician she told Nausica that it was normal and she shouldn’t freak out. It was probably stress induced, which led to a slue of questions about Mom and the foster care. She was asked if Mom abused her, beat her, starved her, and a lot of other things Mom had never done. The doctor seemed certain that it was just new home jitters and that Nausica would get over them in time, but till then it was suggested that she wear some protection to bed, or use an alarm to wake her up in the middle of the night. Nausica knew that one wouldn’t work. She always had a hard time getting up and if an alarm went off she knew she would go right back to sleep after turning it off.
She confessed that fear to the doctor and she wrote a prescription on a sheet of paper that she was instructed to give her Mom when she got home. She put her hand in her pocket and felt that note. She had been afraid to read it.
“He said I should wear protection.”
“Well that settles it then,” Samantha said with a smile. “If the doctor says so then it must be the best route.” Nausica smiled. One would have to be blind to miss the happiness in Samantha’s voice and face at the prospect of Nausica wearing protection to bed.
Just then, the front door opened and the two s walked into the room, “WHO WANTS PIZZA?” Aunt Chloe bellowed.
Like elephants the three of them stampeded for the door and screamed almost as one, “WE DO!”
Mom smiled at Nausica and she noticed red in her eyes from crying, but she did look happy. “Are you having a good time playing with your cousins, Nausica?” she asked sweetly, bending down to ruffle her hair.
“Yes, Mom!” Nausica readily replied. “They’re awesome!”
Rebecca hugged Nausica from behind, “Yeah, we love her too!” Samantha nodded behind her and Aunt Chloe laughed.
All five of them climbed into the minivan, Mom and Aunt Chloe in front and Samantha in the very back. As Samantha climbed in, Nausica heard a rustle as though a plastic bag were in her pocket and once again saw the bulge of the diaper under her coat.
The trip was a quick one and no one was at the pizzeria when they got there so they didn’t have long to wait to get their food. They got two pepperoni pizzas and five medium drinks. While they waited for their food Nausica handed her mother the note the doctor had given her.
“What’s it say?” Rebecca asked, only to be hushed by her mother with the popular protest of “That’s rude.”
Mom looked a little troubled by it and told Nausica they would discuss it when they got home. It turned out they had a lot to discuss over dinner. Mom was getting a new job apparently, one that would let her spend more time with Nausica. They would also be moving into Wuthering Heights after Christmas. All this sounded wonderful to her, but there was still the matter of the doctor’s note and making friends.
The food tasted wonderful and the conversation of the table after business had been taken care of turned immediately to Christmas, which was only three days away. Mom looked a little uncomfortable about this subject because, she explained, she couldn’t afford much this year, but NEXT year would be different. Nausica decided not to press the point that they didn’t have a tree.
“Well that’s not entirely true,” Aunt Chloe interjected, taking the depressing topic of Mom’s financial problems away. “You get a brand new home and it will have brand new furniture!”
“No, it won’t,” Mom said confused.
“YES!” Aunt Chloe said through grit teeth with her eyes closed, “It will. Nausica will not be sleeping in some flea bitten bed you picked up at a garage sale. You two will move into a fully furnished home and I promise that will be the extent of my meddling. Consider it a gift for Nausica if it eases your conscience.”
Nausica smiled at the pouting face Mom made at that, and said thank you to Aunt Chloe. Mom smiled at this and hugged her daughter. “It hardly seems fair does it Chloe?”
“What?”
“I didn’t raise her but she is already perfect!” Mom said proudly. “She’s polite and kind. I never thought I would see a child like that after Sam.”
“HEY!” Rebecca cried. “I am nice! Aren’t I Nausica?”
Nausica nodded as she chewed a slice of pizza and giggled at her cousin.
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The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

The drive home required a stop at an all night store. Callie and Nausica walked in and immediately walked to the diaper aisle. Nausica knew now what was on the note. The doctor must have prescribed it.
“MOM!” Nausica cried. “Please don’t do this! I promise I won’t wet the bed anymore!”
Callie turned and smiled at her daughter. “Nausica, sweetie,” she said with a patient sigh. “It’s not your fault you’ve been wetting the bed. These are just for your protection.”
“But I am not a baby!” Nausica wailed in the aisle, stomping her feet with tears in her eyes.
“I know you’re not, honey,” Callie said soothingly, hoping to mollify the irate child. After bragging so much in the pizzeria she should have known something would happen to prove to her that Nausica was just like all seven year olds. She had a preconceived notion that diapers were associated with babies. “Look at it this way. Do babies get to choose what they wear? You do. Go ahead and choose what you want and no, none of them is not an acceptable answer. We’ll get through this together.”
Callie gave her a push on the small of her back and let Nausica walk up and down the rows of diapers to choose the one she wanted. While Nausica did that, which looked very cute, Callie put oil, rash cream, and powder into the basket she was holding along with some plastic pants. She looked to see Nausica’s progress and saw her staring at a package of goodnights that had a picture of a boy about Nausica’s age. It read LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE REAL UNDERWEAR. Gingerly, Nausica picked it up and walked to Callie.
“See, those don’t look like diapers at all.”
They paid for the supplies and then drove the rest of the way home, Nausica in a pensive mood the whole way that Callie didn’t bother to try and change. She imagined if she were being put back into pull-ups she would be upset too. It seemed like a step back to her.
Callie never wet the bed growing up, and being an only child she hadn’t had the opportunity to see if anyone else in her family did. The doctor’s note said it was perfectly normal, even at seven years of age to have repeated night time s, but to give him a call if it ever happened in the day.
When they got home Callie gave Nausica a bath and played with her. After the bath she toweled Nausica off and combed her wavy black hair. Nausica, still happy from the bath, didn’t seem to be paying any heed to the fact that she would soon be wearing a pull-up to bed.
“Ok, sweetie,” Callie announced once Nausica’s hair was braided for bed. “Let’s get you ready for bed.” The look of depression almost killed Callie on the spot, but Nausica went without a fight into the bedroom and sat on her bed as Callie ripped open the package of pull-ups. “Go ahead and lie down, Nausica. I need to powder you first.”
“MOM!” Nausica protested. “It’s not a diaper. Why do you have to powder me like a baby?”
“For the last time, Nausica, you aren’t a baby. The powder helps prevent rash and it makes you smell nice. Now stop making such a fuss. Would you rather wake up in wet, cold sheets and pjs?” Nausica slowly shook her head, and lay down for her. “Good ,” she commented as she powdered the diaper area and thighs of the seven year old, “Lift your hiney, please.” She powdered that and then took the pull-up and slipped it through Nausica’s legs. “Now stand up and there we go,” she said with a smile as she pulled it snugly over Nausica’s hips. She patted her bottom and kissed her on the head. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Nausica shook her head and sighed in resignation as she lay back in her bed after getting into her pajamas. Callie grinned. Nausica might the pull-up but she’ll love waking up dry. She smells just like a baby.
When Nausica woke up, her pull-up was drenched, but her skin felt dry.
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When Nausica woke up Tuesday to her wet pull up she cried quietly to herself. ‘Why is this happening to me?’ her mind cried out in protest. Upon inspecting the sheets she noticed that the pull-up leaked a little. ‘She’ll get rid of me if she finds out I wet the bed!’
Without making any noise, Nausica walked to the bag of goodnights and pulled out a new pull-up. She pulled down the sopping wet one about her waste and silently cursed as it splashed a few drops on the carpet. With utmost speed, as Mom would wake up soon, Nausica deposited the used on in the garbage can and pulled up the new pull-up snugly before rushing back to her bed and pretending to be asleep.
Just in time too it seemed as the door quietly opened, spilling light into the room like a miniature sunrise. “Nausica?” came a groggy voice. Apparently Mom didn’t like getting up early either. “Are you up? I thought I heard noise in here.”
Nausica sat up quickly and pretended to wipe grit from her eyes before replying in a chipper tone, “I am up!”
Mom gave Nausica a rather intrigued look. “You seem awfully awake for just being woken up. Usually I have to prod you with a stick. Is your pull-up wet? Let me check.”
Nausica blushed a uniform pink. Why was Mom checking? Did she not think Nausica could tell if she were wet like a baby? She placed her hand in the back of the pull-up and smiled. “You are indeed dry,” she said happily, leaning in to hug her daughter, but after the embrace she sniffed the air. Nausica smiled weakly as a look of confusion crossed Mom’s features. “You smell like pee, honey.”
“It must be the mattress, Mom,” Nausica lied.
“UP!” Mom commanded, brusquely. Nausica complied and stood up as Mom leaned over the bed and smelled the covers. “It’s fainter now. Why is that Nausica?”
Nausica shrugged her shoulders, still grinning like a fool, knowing she was caught and in BIG trouble. “I- I don’t know?” she said hopefully.
“You don’t know?” Mom said, tapping her jaw line with her index finger. “Well that IS strange. Nausica?”
“Yes, Mom?” Nausica cringed, which seemed to lighten the dark look in Mom’s eyes.
“Do you want to tell me the truth now?” She asked with a patient and kind tone like she usually used.
“I WET MY PULL-UP!” Nausica sobbed, suddenly loosing all forms of control.
“I knew that when I heard you earlier and saw the wet one in the trash when I came in. Why did you lie to me, Nausica? Did you think I would be angry?” After Nausica quietly nodded, her lower lip quivering as tears poured from her eyes. “Oh Baby,” Mom cried, hugging Nausica to her again. “I am not angry at you for wetting the bed. It’s not your fault, but I am angry that you lied to me. Nausica, if we are to have a relationship as mother and daughter then we are going to have to trust each other, ok?”
Nausica nodded, still crying. She felt she was still in trouble and that a punishment was soon to be had.
“I know it’s hard for you, Nausica,” Mom continued. “It’s hard for me too. I have never been a Mommy before. I have never had to take care of anyone other than me. I gave up a lot to be your Mom, a lot of my dreams had to be put away so I could have you.”
“Does that mean you hate me?” Nausica whimpered, having heard speeches like this before as she was taken back to the orphanage.
“No!” Mom stated emphatically, “I would never have given those dreams up if there wasn’t something better, something more worthwhile having. You are worth all that, trust me. So, having paid so much to have you I would never send you away. Even if I get angry at you, and I will, it doesn’t mean I do not love you or want what’s best for you. You are my daughter. I never get tired of hearing that. No matter what you will be my baby girl just as surely as if you came from my womb. So please, PLEASE, if you are ever bothered or ashamed of something, come to me about it. I am your mom, I won’t judge you or think you’re a freak. Not after my childhood anyway.”
Nausica smiled at that far away look on Mom’s face. Mommy then. That would be who Callie is to Nausica. Not just Mom, but Mommy. She thought back to all the memories of her real Mommy. She saw a woman with short, black curly hair who was tall to Nausica but much shorter than Daddy. She was the most beautiful woman Nausica had ever seen or believed she would see and that beautiful woman loved her, had special smile just for her. She saw that same smile in her new Mommy. Mommy would always be Mommy to Nausica. She knew no one could replace her, or her love but this woman seemed willing to try. No one had ever done that before. No one. Everyone else demanded compliance. They wanted Nausica to conform to their lives and that was hard. This woman actually started her life over FOR Nausica.
Nausica smiled and felt happy.
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Callie noticed the improvement of Nausica’s happiness, but the accidents didn’t get better despite Nausica’s stresses about abandonment leaving. No, it actually seemed to get worse. In the two days before Christmas they worked on packing the entire apartment for the move. Chloe came through as usual and after an interview Tuesday afternoon, Callie landed a job in the firm as an intern with possible growth opportunities considering who trained her, their best accountant. When she found out how much money she would be making Callie almost wet herself. She would make more, working nine to five here then she had working nine to nine at the restaurant. She would also get vacation time and some benefits like the possibility of going to college for more training if she proved herself worth the investment.
The bottom line of this was that while still not rich, she could at least afford to take care of her child, who was having a big problem making it to the bathroom. Tuesday, while at Chloe’s during the time Callie went to the interview, she wet while watching cartoons with Rebecca and Samantha. When Callie came to pick her up she sobbed inconsolably.
Chloe hadn’t minded much, but she was concerned and had called the doctor after Nausica convinced her that she had tried to get to the bathroom, but she didn’t make it. The doctor told her not to worry unless it happened a few more times. This didn’t help to calm Nausica down, especially when it happened again on the car ride back to the apartment.
Callie was stuck at a red light when Nausica blurted that she had to go to the bathroom real bad. Less than a minute later, just as the light turned green, she was crying out apologies. Luckily, they arrived home a few minutes later and Callie was able to wash out the seat before the urine saturated through. Nausica followed her about, clutching Callie’s pant leg like a toddler, crying the whole while.
The next morning, Nausica didn’t hide her wet pull-up, but she didn’t look happy about it. Tomorrow they would go to Callie’s mom’s house and Callie didn’t know what to do. Her perfectionist mother would no doubt look for any fault and if Nausica had an accident then her mother would doubtless use it against her. The only way to avoid that would be to put Nausica in a pull-up while they were there, but she couldn’t very well ask Nausica to do that. The poor kid felt bad enough wearing them at night let alone wearing in the day.
When Nausica wet her pants while they were moving a box in the living room Callie decided to push the envelope and ask. “Nausica honey, are sure you don’t feel it coming before you wet?”
Bashfully, Nausica nodded her head, “S-should we call the doctor, Mom?”
“That’s actually not a bad idea, but he won’t be in his office until Friday,” Callie answered, as she escorted her seven year old into the bathroom to wash up and change into fresh clothing. “Until then, would you mind wearing protection during the day? You are almost out of clean clothes. Can you do that for me?”
To Callie’s surprise Nausica agreed with no fuss. However, when Callie returned to the bathroom with a pull-up and a clean pair of pants Nausica began to squirm and have second thoughts. “What if you just remind me to go a lot?” she asked with hope.
“We could try that today, I suppose, but I still want you to wear the pull-up, just in case.” Callie commented as she helped Nausica step into the pull-up and then slid it up her legs while Nausica balanced herself by holding onto Callie’s shoulders.
It didn’t help as Nausica still wet herself while at the dinner table cementing the unhappy Nausica into her fate of wearing Pull-ups to Christmas tomorrow. But while tomorrow would certainly have its own problems for Nausica her real problem would start tonight.
While not heavily religious, Callie went to church regularly with the one exception of last Sunday helping Nausica get adjusted to her new home. When reading Nausica’s file Callie discovered a rather disturbing fact that rocked her to her marrow and made her wonder how she would tackle this issue. Nausica was an atheist. How could a seven year old not believe in God? Then she thought of all the horrors Nausica had seen and began to see how a child could doubt any good in the universe when all she received was pain.
True, she knew she could force Nausica to go to the midnight service, but she wanted Nausica to want to be there and not feel like Callie were trying to stuff religious propoganda down her throat. The answer she came up with was her parish priest coming over to talk to Nausica and meet with her. She had called him Tuesday night and asked for him to come over around five on Wednesday.
Fr. Luke arrived right on time, wearing a black cassok under his overcoat. As usual, he had a large grin on his face and his wispy white hair, mostly gone now, in disarray. As luck would have it, Nausica answered the door and let him in, not aware that Callie had invited him.
From the kitchen alcove she watched as her daughter regarded the priest. “Why are you wearing a dress, sir?” Nausica asked, which caused Callie to almost fall over laughing.
Fr. Luke squatted down and grinned, “It keeps me humble. Are you Nausica?”
“Yes, sir,” Nausica answered, skeptically. Callie remained silent and let the priest talk.
“It is VERY nice to meet you Nausica, your name is only slightly more beautiful than you,” she giggled, enjoying the compliment. “I am Father Luke, and I came here to talk with you. May I talk with you?”
“What about?” she asked dubiously. “Is it about my accidents?”
“Not exactly,” he chuckled. “But we can talk about that if you like.”
Callie took that as a cue to walk in with a tray of milk and Christmas cookies. She sat them down on the coffee table in front of the couch. Father sat down next to Nausica and immediately reached for one of the gingerbread cookies.
“These are my favorite,” he confessed. “Wasn’t that nice of your mom to bring us cookies and milk, Nausica?”
“I guess,” she answered glumly, obviously uncomfortable with this stranger.
“So you are having accidents? What seems to be the problem?”
" I can’t get to the potty," she replied after a moment of silence, blushing as she spoke.
“Why not?” he laughed. “Is someone being mean and not letting you in. Certainly not my Calliope?”
Callie laughed and so did Nausica at the look he gave Callie. “No!” she said after a laugh. “I just can’t tell I need to go until it’s too late.”
“And this bothers you?”
“Wouldn’t it bother you!?”
“Not at all,” he laughed. “I know what you are going through because I wet the bed until I was thirteen.”
“THIRTEEN!?” Callie and Nausica exclaimed together, causing Father to chuckle and them to laugh as well.
“I don’t know why, but it wasn’t a big deal,” he said after taking a sip of the milk. “Both of my sisters wet the bed as well so for a time all three of us had to wear diapers to bed every night. I must say it was embarrassing if anyone spent the night, but we certainly weren’t ashamed of it, and neither should you.”
“But I am wetting during the day too!” Nausica whined, unconvinced.
This didn’t seem to phase him at all as he replied, “So did my younger sister, right after our mom died. Again, I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“OK!” Nausica said cheerily obviously feeling better because she wasn’t alone anymore in her problem, which Callie suspected was the root of her main discomfort. “Can I ask you a question?”
“You can ask me anything, Nausica,” he said warmly, while nibbling on another cookie. He looked adorable, like a child sitting with another to Callie’s eyes. His own gray orbs glistened merrily.
“Why are you called Father?”
“Oh I thought it would be a tough one,” he said feigning displeasure. “I am called Father because I am a priest. That means I work for God on your behalf.”
Nausica jaw set suddenly and she lost all sense of mirth,“But there is no God.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked jovialy, unabashed by her doubt as Callie had assumed he might be.
“If there was a God then my Mommy, Daddy, Will, and Hermione wouldn’t have been killed!” She cried, very upset. She looked down, probably ashamed to have yelled at this older man.
“You blame God for their deaths?” She nodded her head. “I am sure you have been told countless times that they are in heaven and very happy. I won’t lie to you. They aren’t happy and they wish they hadn’t died.”
“WHAT?” Callie gasped, unable to believe a priest would say such a thing.
“They miss you terribly, especially your Mommy and Daddy.”
“How do you know that?” Nausica scoffed.
“Because you loved them enough to blame God for their deaths. They must have loved you tremendously.”
“Yeah,” she cried. “So why did they have to die.”
“I can’t answer that, but I can assure you they are no safe and watching over you.”
“How can you know that?” Nausica shouted, unwilling to be comforted.
“Because they loved you. They loved and cared for a child and kept you innocent. God loves children more than anyone else, so when He sees people loving children as He would He is very happy. Let me ask you something, what was the last thing your Mommy and Daddy said to you?”
Callie couldn’t believe it when Nausica said without hesitation, “Mommy told me to hide under the bed and Daddy said he would protect us.”
Father smiled, tears running down his cheeks. “Oh, to die so beautifully. They gave their lives so that you might live. There is no greater sacrifice, Nausica. There is no gift bigger than giving your life for some one else. Even if you don’t believe in God, He still loves you and has taken care of your family, who are in heaven now, I have little reason to believe other wise, but as I said before they aren’t happy.”
“Why not?” Nausica asked, “I thought heaven was the bestest place to be.”
“Oh it is,” he nodded enthusiastically, “But your Mommy and Daddy still want to hold their baby girl, but you won’t let them hold you. You see only their deaths and feel hatred. Remember their love and how you loved them when they were alive. You can hug them back by living your life to its fullest, by not making their sacrifice in vain. Give back that love that they gave you and are still giving you.”
Callie felt mesmerized by his conviction in his words. Yet she still expected Nausica to not buy into it.
As if reading her thoughts, Father continued, “You don’t have to believe me, Nausica. I am not asking you to embrace God yet, just to open your eyes and see all the good things in life. Nothing I say can convince you to agree with my belief, but I can give suggestions. Look to the good, and return kindness with kindness. And even if people are mean, still return kindness.”
Nausica nodded, obviously not understanding much. “Should I be kind to the people who murdered my family?” she asked at length. Callie was shocked that such a young child could be so perceptive.
Father sighed and then smiled at Nausica, “It would be impossible for me as a human being ask you to forgive their brutality or treat them with kindness if you found them, but as a priest I would ask you to find it in your heart to not seek vengeance at the very least and let justice take care of them. Even if they escape justice here, they will find justice in the next life. What they did was evil. The majority of people you meet are not. So as a friend I say give everyone you meet a fair try before giving up on them, ok? They might have a reason for being mean at the time”
Nausica nodded, seemingly intrigued. Callie smiled at her and then Father Luke. "So I guess we’ll see you at the service tonight, Father?: she asked, joining in the conversation for the first time. “Do you want to go, Nausica?”
Father nodded, standing up and stretching, “I hope you never have to grow old, kids. The journey is wonderful, but the mileage stinks!” Nausica giggled at the pops and cracks Father’s body made as he moved. “Yes, I hope I will see you both there, but I suggest a nap for Nausica so she doesn’t get too tired for it. Do you want to come?” he asked Nausica.
“Only if you’ll be there, Father,” she replied honestly.
He laughed heartily before thanking Callie for having him over and promising to call a little later
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That night, after being changed out of a wet pull-up, having wet it while talking to father but not wanting to stop, Nausica was read a story from a children’s bible that Mom had from her own childhood. As the soft sound of Mom’s voice lulled her to sleep Nausica thought briefly about the things Father Luke had to say. She wasn’t alone anymore. If someone as cool as Father Luke wet the bed until he was thirteen, which seemed VERY old to her, then she didn’t have much to worry about. And if his sister wet during the day then she wasn’t the only one with this problem. That was almost as comforting as the soothing tone of Mom’s voice, which slowly. . . slowly. . . slowly became softer and then was gone.
For the first time in her entire memory Nausica actually dreamed instead of experiencing another nightmare about her family dying or her friend, the twin, getting hit by the car. No, instead she dreamed of being held by her real Mommy in a rocking chair. She could feel crinkly, soft plastic brush her upper thighs and she could tell she was in a thick diaper, already slightly wet. She sucked from a warm bottle as her Mommy hugged her to her bosom and commented on how much she loved her Baby girl.
Daddy stood in the door way with a camera and took a picture of the scene. His gray eyes sparkled as Father Luke’s had and he smiled broadly, and proudly at Nausica. Will and Hermione ran into the room, both were dirty and muddy, but were smiling when they saw Nausica. Hermione rushed over to Nausica and tweaked her nose, giggling as Nausica smiled around the nipple of her body. Will ruffled her hair and said he loved her.
Somehow, in the dream, Nausica knew she was dreaming which normally wasn’t the case. As that realization sunk in she took the nipple out of her mouth and cried, feeling the tears burn her cheeks, “I Miss you SO MUCH, Mommy!”
“I miss you too, sweetie,” Mommy said, but her voice seemed as though two people were speaking at the same time. She heard Mommy, but she also heard Mom. “I love you very much.”
Nausica sat on her lap and wailed, “Why did you all leave me!?”
Hermione picked her up easily and cradled Nausica in her arms, “We never left you, silly,” she said, poking Nausica’s nose as she had when she was still alive.
“But I have been so ALONE!” Nausica wailed. “No one wants me. I don’t want to be alone.”
Daddy took her from Hermione and bounced her in his arms, “Alone?” he chuckled, “You have never been alone. You just weren’t looking for us. But now you are with someone who loves you as much as we do.”
“Yeah, sis!” Will said, smiling, “Callie is a great person. She won’t leave you.”
While still in her Daddy’s arms Nausica felt a rumbling in her belly and knew what was coming. He hugged her tightly as she squirmed. “Just let it out, honey. We want to spend as much time with you as possible.” Nausica nodded and felt her body take over as though it really were that of a toddler. She could feel the mess spread quickly across the seat of her diapers and the warmth felt good as it squished against her bottom. Daddy smiled at her and rubbed his nose against her own, “Did my baby make a stinkies?”
Nausica blushed and nodded before holding her hands out to Mommy, who accepted her back into her arms and stroked her hair as she nuzzled into her chest, and fell asleep in her own dream.
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Callie walked into Nausica’s room to wake her up and immediately smelt something foul. She rushed to the bed and pulled away the sheets to find Nausica still very asleep with her thumb in her mouth. Something seemed to be in the child’s hand as she sucked the thumb. Very gently so as not to disturb her, Callie opened Nausica’s hand and pulled away a silver locket, which she opened to reveal a picture of Nausica as a toddler, maybe three years old, in her mother’s arms, wearing a diaper and sucking from a bottle. Both the pretty woman and Nausica looked happy and content.
“Now where did you get this?” Callie asked as she closed the locket and put it in her pocket. “Looks like someone did a bit more than pee pee this time. I guess I better give you a bath.”
Once Nausica was fully awake, which didn’t happen till about halfway through the bath, Callie showed her the locket. Nausica stared at it and commented about a dream she had. “I have never seen it before,” Nausica admitted. After drying Nausica off, Callie put the locket around Nausica’s throat and put a new pull-up on her. Then she dressed her in a pretty dress that Callie borrowed from Chloe that used to belong to Rebecca. It was crushed velvet and dark red with a matching ribbon for Nausica’s hair. When finished Callie couldn’t detect the pull-up and that pleased Nausica immensely. Callie couldn’t believe how pretty Nausica looked in that dress with her hair pulled back into a loose ponytail by that red ribbon. Her gray eyes and black hair offset her pale skin giving her an otherworldly affect.
With much pride, Callie escorted Nausica to the Neon and departed to introduce Nausica to Church and the more difficult by far, Callie’s mother.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nausica fell asleep again on the way to church, which looked adorable to Callie who would glance to side to side catching a glimpse of Nausica drooling on her shoulder. Maybe she should have hired a sitter. On Christmas Eve? Yeah right. ‘I’ll probably have to change her when we get there.’
Her guess proved true as when she unbuckled Nausica’s safety belt she placed her hand in the back of the pull-up and felt the dampness. Looking around and seeing no one, she quickly changed Nausica in the back seat of the car without waking her. How could anyone sleep so soundly all the time? It wasn’t until the new pull-up was sliding up her legs that Nausica finally stirred and asked sleepily, “What time is it?”
“It’s eleven thirty, sweetie,” Callie answered as she pulled the dress down again. “We’re at church now.”
“Aww,” Nausica pouted, cranky from waking up in a foreign place. “I want to go to bed.”
“Honey,” Callie said, hugging Nausica up from the seat of the car into her arms as she began to walk to the building, “You can sleep in the pew if you like. Mommy’s still very proud you decided to come.”
Nausica nodded drowsily and rested her head against Callie’s shoulder. Callie enjoyed this. To be able to carry her child like this felt wonderful. She wondered for how much longer she would be able to do it. Nausica would soon grow too big to be carried. Do all mother subconsciously not want their babies to grow up? For now she would enjoy it.
As she entered the narthex a man in his early eighties dressed in a fine suit greeted her. Shakily he walked up to Callie and smiled up at her before saying, “We missed you last Sunday, Callie.”
Callie giggled. Only Frank could tell whoever was not in Church out of five hundred families. But, of course, he had been greeting people at the Narthex, making them feel welcome, for almost sixty years. He had been at her baptism twenty-one years ago. She suspected he had been at her parent’s wedding as well. “Sorry, Frank,” she apologized, hefting Nausica to better her grip. “I had someone to take care of.”
“Babysitting are you?” he laughed.
“Nope, she’s mine,” Callie enjoyed the perplexed look across his face as he tried to make sense of that. “I adopted her a week ago tomorrow. She may not be awake, but Frank; I want you to be the first to meet my daughter, Nausica.”
He smiled up at the child in Callie’s arms and said, "She’s beautiful, Callie. I am so proud for you. Your parents are in the usual pew.
Callie nodded her head. They would be. They liked order and therefore, when they came to church they always sat in the exact same place. After placing five dollars in a wicker basket, Callie picked up seven candles and walked to one of the two pits of sand filled with candles already lit. She set Nausica down, waking her again. “Nausica,” she whispered. “Here are five candles, one for you and one for each member of your family. Light them, put them in the sand and say a prayer, ok?”
“What prayer?” Nausica asked skeptically, not comfortable in this strange place.
Callie thought for a moment and then said, “Just thank your parents for watching over you. I certainly intend to thank them for guiding me to you.”
Nausica nodded and lit the candles one at time, placing them carefully in the sand pit that seemed almost too tall for her to reach. After helping Nausica place her candles, Callie lit her two and thought, ‘Thank you for my child. Mom I am growing up now. Watch me grow. I’ll make you proud.’
Together they walked into the nave of the church and the smells of incense assaulted their noses as they looked at all the beautiful flowers decorating the gates in front of the altar. The third pew from the front on the right side held her parents, Mary and Michael Roberts. Callie gulped as she shuffled forward. Nausica needed to be carried, so in culture shock that she couldn’t walk. If she had been sleepy before it didn’t show now. Once they made it to their pew, Callie set Nausica down and bade her enter and sit next to the older woman.
Nausica obeyed, but looked curiously at the woman she was to sit next to. Very plump, but pretty, Mary Roberts appeared the model of pomp. She wore a bright red coat and dress with a stole over her shoulders. On her head rested a large, foppish hat with a green plume. ‘Mom,’ Callie thought. ‘Can’t you go anywhere without having to be dressed in spades?’
As Nausica scooted down the pew, Mary turned and looked at the child with disdain. “I am sorry, dear,” she said in a snooty tone. “This pew is for my family. Why don’t you go sit with your friends?”
“She is family, Mom,” Callie said as she slid to sit next to Nausica. Her mother stared at her and at first she wondered why, but then she saw the admiration in those eyes. Callie was dressed up as well, wearing a dark burgundy dress with a lace color. She curled her hair for several hours while Nausica slept so that her mass of golden locks would trail behind her in waves of curls. She supposed then that maybe she had been a pot calling the kettle black. She liked the look of respect she was given, but she knew that look would fall when she said, “She’s my daughter.”
“Your DAUGHTER?” Mary hissed so loud that people around them turned and gave her dirty looks. “You have some explaining to do, Calliope Faith Roberts.”
Callie nodded her head. She had expected this so the words didn’t sting as much as they might have. She looked down to Nausica and smiled reassurance as the child looked scared of the big woman on her left. “It’s ok, sweetie. Grandma just takes some work. Just enjoy the service, ok?”
Callie wished she could follow her own advice, but the glares her mother passed her made that almost impossible. She was thankful when the sermon began after the liturgy because Mary would watch that to see if Fr. Luke messed up. He didn’t, not that he ever did, but Mary was one of those people who tried to find fault with anyone. After his sermon he gave a few announcements for upcoming services and charities.
“But if you all want an example of charity and service, then I ask you to look no further than our own Calliope Roberts,” he said suddenly, looking pointedly at their pew. “Last week she did something that took a lot of courage. She adopted a little girl named Nausica. I want all of you to welcome Nausica into our family. Welcome to St. George’s, Nausica.” He finished, which caused every eye to turn and regard the cute seven year old. Several older women gave affectionate awws her way and many of the others nodded their approval.
Mary also nodded, now that she saw her daughter was respected for this judgment. After the service, Nausica was bombarded by almost one hundred different people welcoming her and wishing her a Merry Christmas. She didn’t seem to pleased with all the attention and begged Callie to take her home. That chance to leave soon came as Chloe and her daughters came up to them.
“Ok,” Chloe said in her typical business manner, “I need to put my girls to bed. Why don’t the two of you sleep over at my place and then tomorrow we can-”
“Actually,” A sharp voice cut in, causing everyone to turn and regard Mary Roberts. “I was rather hoping you would all come to my house and spend the night there. We have plenty of room for everyone. That way we could wake up Christmas morning as a family.”
Fr. Luke, who was walking by, greeting people, nodded and said, “How very nice of you Mary,” before bending down to see Nausica, “So what did you think?”
Nausica bashfully played with her feet as she said, “It was pretty. I liked it.” He ruffled her hair saying he knew she would before walking away to talk to another family. Callie couldn’t understand how that man did it.
Chloe looked a bit distracted, but not nearly as much as Samantha. Callie vaguely wondered why Sam would feel awkward staying at Mary’s house. Chloe scratched her head and then said, “Ok. Let us run home to get our things and we’ll meet you over there.”
Mary nodded warmly saying, “We’ll have real cocoa waiting for you.”
Callie didn’t wait too much longer before leaving herself, avoiding direct conversation with her parents as usual. As she opened the door to leave she felt a hand on her shoulder. When she turned around she saw her mother’s face streaked with worry. “You’ll come won’t you? You and Nausica?”
Smiling sadly to herself and cursing her pride, Callie hugged her mother. “Of course we’ll be there, Mom. I just need to get some things from my apartment.”
Nodding sadly, Mary backed away and watched as Nausica and Callie disappeared into the dark night.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica was in sensory overload. First all those sights and smells in the church, and then so many strangers coming to wish her well, she didn’t know what to think or feel except that she was tired and needed to be changed out of a soggy pull-up.
On the drive home she asked Mom, “Does Granny hate me?”
Mom sighed patiently, “She doesn’t hate you, sweetie. Mom just . . . well, she doesn’t deal well with change, and I haven’t told her about you so that came as quite a shock to her. Remember when Father said to give everyone more than one chance? Give Granny a few more chances. The only person she has a problem with is me.”
“Does she hate you, Mommy?”
“I love it when you call me that,” Mom giggled. “No she loves me very much. But she and I don’t see eye to eye.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means she and I disagree a lot and I left to live on my own because she didn’t think I could make it on my own.”
“Oh,” was all Nausica said and the rest of the ride was quiet.
When they got home, Mom packed a bag full of clothes, pull-ups and other things for Nausica after changing her into a new one. Then, they got back in the car and drove to a large house, three floors, and were greeted by Granny and Grandpa. They had arrived before Aunt Chloe and her cousins. Wearing a thick nightgown, Granny sat on the porch with a pitcher of steaming cocoa, the tendrils of the steam resembling the incense Nausica had seen earlier that night.
Without saying anything, Granny poured a tall mug of cocoa for Nausica and handed it to her. Very thirsty, Nausica gulped down a swig, pleasantly surprised it wasn’t too hot for her. It was just right.
“How is it?” Granny asked.
“It’s yummy!” Nausica announced, which caused mom to smile.
There were seven deck chairs on the patio where they sat, with an electric heater near the middle. Mom sat next to granny and accepted a mug of cocoa. For a while they quietly drank and watched the stars. Nausica was still looking at the stars when she heard Granny ask, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Mom answered, “I don’t know. I guess I thought you wouldn’t approve and either stop me or take my baby from me.”
“How can you think that?” Granny asked, scandalized.
“Mom,” Mommy replied. “You have tried to rule my life ever since I was a little girl. When I didn’t marry Ted like you wanted, you were very upset. I guess I thought you were holding a grudge.”
“Honey, you just don’t have what it takes to live on your own. You should have married and settled down. What are you proving, living like a waif?”
“I am not poor!” Mom snapped. “I wouldn’t have adopted Nausica if I didn’t think I could take care of her properly. I have done fine for four years. I will make my own money and my own decisions.”
“What about when Nausica is ready to go to college or has needs that require more than a minimum wage salary? Think about it, sweetie. Now I can call up several nice men I know and-”
“STOP IT MOM!” she shouted. “I didn’t come to get my life critiqued by you. I came to spend Christmas with my family. Nausica will be happy, even if I have to work myself to the bone, but it will be by my own work, not simply given on a silver platter like you would give it.”
“Where did my daughter learn values like this?” Grandpa said quietly. “I remember it wasn’t so long ago that we were getting calls from the police that you were in trouble again after a late night of partying with your friends. I remember signing countless report cards that read you needed try harder or you would fail. You have hardly proven a responsible person, certainly not where a child’s welfare is concerned.”
“People change, Dad.” Mom whispered. “In the past four years I have remodeled my life into one you could be proud of, but if all you will ever see me as is the girl who shamed you both then maybe we had better leave.” Mom was crying, and Nausica wanted to join in. “Come on, honey, let’s go home.”
“WAIT!” Granny interjected.
Mom looked at her with cold eyes, her lower lip trembling as she said. “I have worked so hard to be worthy of you, but you don’t see me. You see someone else.”
“I see who you have let me see!” Granny shouted. “You have closed yourself off from us these past four years so that I haven’t seen you or heard from you except on holidays. And then, you are quiet and ignore us. How are we to know you are different if you don’t tell us?”
At that point, Aunt Chloe drove up and everyone piled out of her car. Rebecca dashed like a fawn to get at Granny’s hot chocolate. Sam looked very uncomfortable. She must not have had a chance to change out of her diaper. Maybe tonight would be an ideal time to find out more about that.
She got that chance as the three of them, Nausica, Rebecca, and Samantha would be sharing a single bed while Mom and Aunt Chloe got their own rooms. Mom and Aunt Chloe had to help Granny wrap presents so they hugged the girls and asked Sam to help them get ready for bed.
“Ok girls, anyone need to use the bathroom?” she asked hopefully, obviously looking for a chance to get out of her diaper.
“Nope,” they both replied.
“Say, Sam?” Nausica asked, giving Rebecca a look to back her up. “Can you change me? I wet my pull-up earlier and if I go to bed with it wet it’ll leak on the bed.”
Sam happily complied, getting the supplies from Nausica’s bag. “Sure thing, kiddo.”
As she wiped, Nausica asked, “Do you think diapers would be better than pull-ups?”
Sam blushed scarlet and her hand shook as she reached for the powder. “I don’t know, Nausica. Why do you ask?”
She shrugged, “Just curious, really.”
Rebecca giggled at that and after she was dressed in her pajamas asked, “Why aren’t you getting undressed, Sam?” Sam blushed and said she needed to go to the bathroom. Rebecca looked miffed that her sister was able to escape. “Almost had her!” she giggled to Nausica who was pulling the top of her pajamas over her head.
“I was so tempted to ask,” Nausica giggled. “But then I chickened out.”
“Why were you going to ask?” Rebecca asked, slipping into the large bed. “I call middle.”
“I have been having so many accidents I don’t know what to do,” she confessed.
At that moment, Sam returned, wearing her pajamas, but Nausica noticed a bulge in the crotch and looked curiously at Rebecca. Sam’s face was pale, and she shook as she walked, crinkling as she did so. “I, I call middle,” she said dejectedly.
“No fair!” Rebecca cried. “I already called it.”
“Aww, let her have it,” Nausica said, too tired to deal with arguing. Sam got into the bed, and as she got in the lip of her diaper showed over pajama bottoms. She blushed as she got under the covers. Nausica climbed in behind her and switched off the lamp on the night stand next to the bed.
Within moments Nausica could hear Rebecca’s rhythmic breathing. She was asleep. Nausica wished she was, but she couldn’t seem to get there. Gingerly, Nausica rolled over to maybe get into a more comfortable position and her hand brushed against Sam’s bottom, feeling the bulk of the diaper.
“Nausica?” Sam whispered so softly that Nausica barely heard it.
“Yeah,” Nausica whispered back. “Can’t sleep?”
“Sort of,” Sam admitted. “Can I ask you a serious question?”
“Sure”
“Why don’t you say anything? I know you know.”
“Know what?” Nausica asked, oblivious as to what Sam might be getting at.
Samantha sighed and turned around so that her face was in front of Nausica’s. “About my diapers.”
“Oh, your Mom told us not to bother you about it.”
“She knows!?” Sam gasped, almost hyperventilating. “OH I AM SO DEAD!”
“I don’t think so,” Nausica said, confused. “She said it was harmless. Why do you like them so much anyway?”
Sam didn’t answer for a moment. “I guess it’s the way they make me feel, so safe and protected.”
“Your mom doesn’t make you feel safe?” Nausica asked. “My Mommy makes me feel very safe.”
“She would,” Sam conceded. “Your mom is very cool. I feel safe, but I just feel so much better in the diapers. They are convenient. Like say you are watching a show or talking with someone and then you need to use the bathroom? Problem solved.”
“I guess, so then why hide it?”
“Not many people would understand. I think they would lock me up if they knew I liked to wear and use diapers.”
“I am scared I might need to use them soon,” Nausica said dejectedly.
“Why is that?”
“I have been having so many accidents. For every time I make it too the potty there are five times that I don’t. I am scared, Sam.”
Samantha held Nausica in her arms. “I would give a lot to be in your shoes, Nausica. Don’t worry about it. I am sure the doctor will know what to do on Friday. Till then, relax. Your Mommy loves you and you have us.”
Nausica nodded. “So why did you wear a diaper to bed?” she asked at length. “We both thought you were going to the bathroom to change out of it.”
“I was. But Mom was in the toilet so I couldn’t go in. I had to just come back.”
Nausica nodded understanding. “Do you think maybe some time I could try one of your diapers?”
“Sure, Nausica,” Sam agreed. “If you want.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Callie woke the girls up the next morning. Well, woke Nausica up. Sam and Rebecca were already up, just waiting to go open gifts. Callie felt terrible that she couldn’t get anything for her child, but that would change next year, she was sure.
Mom and Dad were in the living room in font of the tree. Callie had to admit they looked cute, dad wearing a Santa hat and Mom wearing a green dress with candy cane buttons. They both looked excited to be having children in their house for Christmas. Callie wasn’t sure when she lost the enamor of it all, when she grew up and stopped caring about Christmas. It must have hurt to see their baby girl not want to deal with a tree anymore. There they were, sitting with stockings over the fireplace. Mom even worked into the night to stitch Nausica’s name into one of the stockings. It was sweet and touching, but then that’s what Christmas was about, giving.
As usual, Nausica needed changing when she woke up, so Callie took care of that before bring her down with the other girls to open their stockings and gifts. Amidst all the candy and toys were playing cards. Callie knew that she would have fun teaching Nausica all the various games she knew. By the time lunch rolled around, she and the three children were into their third game of spades. Sam was almost as good as Callie and that made them good opponents while teaching the two younger girls how to play and work as a team. They had a blast, and began to smell Christmas lunch from the kitchen where Dad was busy preparing the meal. Mom watched the kids play while she and Chloe talked about business and other adult things.
In many ways, Callie knew she was still a kid in their eyes. She would rather spend time with the kids making sure they were happy then discuss bills and other mundane, boring things. That was stuff for work, not the holidays. They relented and stopped working when “A Christmas Story” came on TV. Callie and the girls continued playing spades on the floor while the movie went on. They weren’t interested in a young boy’s dream to own a bb-gun anyway.
When they sat down to eat, Mom commented, "If playing cards was all it took to keep you all happy I wouldn’t have worried all those years about toys.
Callie giggled, and patted Nausica on the shoulder, who was eating some mashed potatoes. “Toys come and go, Mom, but a good partner in Spades can last a life time.” All the players giggled at that. Nausica caught onto the game very quickly and made very few mistakes for a player of her young age. Rebecca loved the game because everyone else liked it, but she had not yet mastered it, which caused Callie and Nausica to win all three times. “After lunch, I’ll play with you Becky,” Callie said, calling her niece by her pet name.
By the time everyone needed to return home, they were all stuffed, content and happy. Callie loved Christmas, and hoped that many more could be just like this one. On the ride home, Nausica pooped in her pull-up.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Nausica’s wetting the bed had become a nightly occurrence and she was not happy. She had not been happy waking up Christmas morning to a wet pull-up and she had not enjoyed wetting a pull-up during dinner. But actually pooping in the pull-up on the way home was both unexpected and shocking to her. It was the last straw and she had taken all she could. Bawling in her seat, she looked to Mommy and cried.
Mom almost veered off the road as she turned quickly to see what was the matte, “Nausica!” she cried out. “What’s wrong!”
Trying to sink into the seat and disappear she whispered in a soft whine, “I had an accident.”
“Well that’s nothing to be so upset about honey, you have been having them all the time.”
“NO!” she wailed. “I mean a REAL accident. I went poopy.”
Mom swallowed hard and looked ahead saying only, “Oh,” in a faraway voice.
“What’s wrong with me, Mommy?” Nausica cried. “Why is this happening to me!?”
Mommy didn’t have an answer.
The very next day they went to the pediatrician. Mom would start work after New Year, so for the time being she had free time to take Nausica. Over the next few days they would begin to move into the new apartment. Aunt Chloe would help them when she finished her work and Samantha offered to help as well while Rebecca spent the next few days with her father across town.
The drive they took in the morning was very quiet and Nausica fidgeted in her seat the whole journey. Mom tried to offer support but because she didn’t know what was happening to Nausica, he kind words fell on deaf ears. So far she had not had another messy accident. Mom asked her nearly every hour if she needed to go potty, which was embarrassing for a seven year old who formerly hadn’t given the potty much thought. It had simply been a part of her life.
The doctor, Ms. Sullivan, didn’t seem too concerned when they entered her office. She had nothing but smiles for Nausica, and reassuring sound bytes for Mom. She said she would test everything possible to see what where the problem lay. Ordinarily Mom would have been asked to come back to the examination room with Nausica, but because they would be moving about so much it would probably be better if she didn’t get in the way and waited in the receptionist lobby. After hugging Mom, Nausica followed the doctor through a swinging door.
The doctor took her into a white room with a lot of machines and told her she was going to take some x-rays, whatever those were, of Nausica’s insides. She was asked to lay on a table that looked like an examination table from an alien movie she remembered seeing at the orphanage. The doctor and a nurse moved a black, plastic thing that resembled a dog’s head and positioned it to hover over her abdomen, then crotch, and a variety of other places. The doctor said it took pictures, but Nausica didn’t notice any flash. All she heard was a buzzing as if several bumblebees were trapped in the black, plastic dog head.
Their next mission was a blood work. The doctor led her back to the examination room and drew several vials of blood. Nausica’s eyes widened in terror at the size of the needle and almost fainted. She hated shots. The doctor was real nice though. She said to clench her fist real tight and crush that fear while the needle was in, and to close her eyes. She felt a slight sting as the needle went in and then a building of pressure along her arm where the needle lay as though it were being squeezed. It felt so weird. She could feel the length of the needle penetrate deep into her arm, just under the bicep. This needle looked different from the normal ones she usually got her shots with. It had a valve where the nurse placed vial after vial, which filled up like glass from a soda fountain. Once the vials were full the doctor slowly removed the needle and Nausica stared as a bead of blood came out of the hole the needle had vacated. Very quickly, the nurse took an alcohol swab and cleaned her arm before putting a Band-Aid on her. The experience hadn’t been as bad as she thought it would be but it certainly wasn’t something she wanted to repeat. That, and her arm felt numb.
About that time Nausica needed to be changed into a new pull-up having wet it when the needle went in. About this time she was also cranky and tired after spending most of the morning being led from room to room being scared and then wet. She wanted to go home, and more than anything she wanted to regain control of her potty skills.
A nurse changed her while Mom waited in the lobby. It wasn’t as gentle or as nice, which sent Nausica’s patience out the window. She began to throw a tantrum as the nurse pulled up the garment.
“NO!” she screamed. “I don’t want to wear these things!”
“Dear,” the woman said in a hollow voice devoid of passion, “I am afraid you don’t have a choice. Now please hold still.” Nausica didn’t like her. She had ratty brown hair and big lips that some people might have found pretty, but Nausica found repulsive. This woman obviously didn’t care about her and that just made Nausica feel worse.
“NO!” Nausica wailed and began kicking her legs in the nurse’s face, one blow actually landing on the woman’s cheek. She hadn’t meant to actually hurt the woman, but in truth she felt little remorse for having done it.
“OWW!” she cried out. “You little bitch! It’s not my fault you’re a freak!”
Nausica became instantly silent as what the woman said sank in. It wasn’t that she had cursed or called her a bitch, which in itself would have shocked the seven year old. A freak. No one loves a freak. No one. She began to cry and sob for her Mommy.
“Oh for God’s sake!” the nurse said exasperatedly. “Do it yourself. I am getting your mother.”
Nausica sniffled and slowly, fatalistically pulled up the source of her discomfort.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Callie had been reading a magazine when a young woman stormed out of the inner sanctum of the office and called for a Ms. Roberts. Sighing, she put the magazine down and walked up to her. The woman kept pursing her lips from side to side as though a annoyed and rolling her eyes. Callie instantly found herself relating to this woman because of her past and hating her at the same time. That had been Callie at one time, so arrogant and sure of herself, while disregarding the opinions of other people. The woman hadn’t even opened her mouth yet, but Callie felt she knew her very well, too well.
As soon as Callie came within a few feet the woman launched into her tirade. “Your child is impossible!” she ranted. Nausica impossible? Not likely. Callie had yet to see a mean bone or a disobedient streak in her daughter. If anything, this woman probably instigated it.
“What seems to be the problem?” Callie asked politely, deciding, God knows why, to humor her.
“THIS!” she screamed showing a slightly bruise on her cheek that looked to be swelling.
“I think you’ll live,” Callie said seriously before chuckling.
The nurse didn’t appear to be quite as amused. Rather, she seemed put off like a child would be that her story didn’t matter and that Callie didn’t really care that Nausica had kicked her. She left in a huff, which caused Callie to laugh uproarisly . If this woman couldn’t handle a sweet child like Nausica then what would she do when a real problem child came in? Callie concluded the nurse must have only recently started because Chloe hadn’t mentioned anything about a bitchy nurse. And she would have. With Rebecca’s sassy attitude that woman probably would have snapped and tried to throttle her. Callie laughed at the thought. Rebecca was a sweet child, but she needed a reality check from time to time.
About an hour later Nausica came bolting through the double swinging doors like a bat out of hell and rushed into Callie’s open arms. She looked so happy to be out of there. The first thing out of her mouth was to complain about the mean nurse and all the weird things she had to do. Callie was instantly glad the doctor was a woman as being examined so thoroughly by a man would have been indecent regardless if he was a doctor doing his job.
The doctor came out only a moment later with a frown on her face. Instantly Callie felt her stomach tighten, and allowed the trepidation to settle in her chest as the doctor called them both into her office. Inside there were two chairs in front of a large wooden desk, and on the floor sat a small table with a toy that Callie couldn’t remember the name of. It compromised of four different colored wires crisscrossing over a wooden base with wooden rollers attached to the wires. Nausica ran to it and immediately began pushing block by block on its journey over the wire to its rest on the other side of the board. Callie had once considered it an infant’s toy that she saw in both pediatricians’ and child dentists’ offices, but Nausica seemed to be enjoying herself with it immensely. After a quick sigh she sat down and faced the doctor, who was already sitting down with her fingers crossed over one another so that her forearms and the face of the desk formed a triangle.
“I have good news, and I have bad news,” she started abruptly. “Which do you prefer?”
Callie felt sweat pool down her brow despite the moderate clime. “The good?” she asked hesitantly.
The doctor smiled and reported, “Nausica is a very healthy little girl. She has no allergies, no diseases, or physical damage at all. She even has perfect eyesight, and hearing. Her reflexes are good, and her heart rate normal. She isn’t fat or too skinny, and she seems to be getting a good amount of exercise. She is one of the healthiest children I have ever examined.”
Callie sighed in relief. “So what’s the bad news?”
“I don’t have a clue what is wrong with her,” Dr. Sullivan said sadly.
“Excuse me?” Callie asked, not sure she had heard correctly.
“She is perfectly fit and healthy, her muscles in her bladder are strong and healthy as they should be. Were it not for the fact that I have been with Nausica all day and seen for myself how much she hates the pull-ups she is in I would say she is doing it on purpose for some reason. No, Nausica isn’t doing this on purpose, but her body is fine. That means it must be a mental thing.”
“Are you saying my child is mentally handicapped!?” Callie hissed, angry that anyone would so be smudge Nausica’s intelligence."
“Not at all,” Dr. Sullivan stated, holding her hands up in a mollifying gesture. “She is a very bright and sociable child. I think it is psychological. Unfortunately, I am not licensed in that field, nor do I know anything in it that relates to what is happening to Nausica. I am going to call up a colleague of mine who is a great child psychologist. He is great with kids and I am sure he will be able to shed some light on this mystery. I’ll call right now, ok?”
Callie nodded, glancing back to Nausica who didn’t seem to be taking in what they were saying as she pushed blocks along the wires. Her bright gray eyes seemed totally enamored with the process and the colors.
“Hi,” Dr. Sullivan spoke into the phone after dialing a number from her roll-a-dex, “Can I speak with Dr. Minas, please? This is Dr. Sullivan from Children’s Medical. Yes, I’ll hold. Yes? Hi Luke. Yes I am fine. Listen, I have a patient I would like you to see. Backed up? How far? MARCH!? Come on, Luke. Can’t you do me a favor and squeeze this one in? PLEASE. No, she isn’t family, but she has a serious problem. I am not saying your other patients’ problems aren’t serious, Luke, and you know it. Come on, I gave you such a high report and they really need help. Yeah? Yeah. Ok, I’ll fax over what I have right away. Call me back as soon as you can, ok? The patient and her mother are in my office with me and we would like to know when you could see them before I send them home. Thanks, Luke. You’re the best. Ok, Ok. Yeah, I love you too. Bye.”
Callie laughed at the blush on Dr. Sullivan’s face as she hung up the phone. “Close with Dr. Minas?” she could resist asking.
“He’s my fiancé, actually,” she admitted as she fed the files into the fax machine on her desk. “He’s very good, as I said before, so he is never lacking patients. Each one is special to him so to ask him to allow your daughter to cut in is probably going to earn me a long lecture, BUT I really can’t think of anyone better to send your daughter to. He is also covered by your insurance.”
“Are you supposed to be telling me this much about your personal life, doctor?” Callie asked, as she thought patient doctor relationships usually weren’t this candid.
“Oh what’s the harm?” Dr. Sullivan laughed. “I like Nausica and I want to see her get better.”
“Your nurse didn’t seem that enthused with my child.”
“Tanya?” Dr. Sullivan laughed. “She’s brand new and I am debating whether I should keep her. She –”
“She called me a freak,” Nausica interrupted quietly, but not quietly enough to not be heard.
Dr. Sullivan glowered and pushed a button on her desk’s phone calling Tanya into the office where she was asked point blank if she called Nausica a freak. Tanya threw a small tantrum in the office decrying Nausica as a brat all the while showing off her bruise as if it were some medal of honor earned in combat. Then she called Callie a bad mother with no control over her child.
“Thank you, Tanya,” Dr. Sullivan cut her off. “You may go now.” As Tanya shut the door behind her they could hear the sniffles of Nausica. “Don’t worry about her, sweetie. I am not going to keep her.
“No!” Nausica cried. “I need to go potty! BAD!”
Callie and Dr. Sullivan rushed her to the restroom with due speed, pulling down the already wet pull-up just in time for Nausica to do her business on the pot. As Callie was washing her hands, after changing Nausica into a fresh pull-up, the phone rang. The three of them walked into the office again and at that moment it dawned on Callie that no other patients were around. There hadn’t been any in the waiting room either.
She got her answer as to why when she listened to Dr. Sullivan answer the phone, “No, I am sorry but my office isn’t open today. It will be open tomorrow at regular hours. No, no I haven’t forgotten Bobby, Ms. Carpenter. His shots are on file, yes. Ok, Bye.”
Callie and Nausica looked at Dr. Sullivan with open mouths and confusion in their eyes. “Why did you agree to see us today if you are closed?” Callie asked.
“Chloe saved me a LOT of money last year so this is more of a personal favor to her. Anyway, I better call Luke again to see what’s up.” The phone ran again and she picked it up quickly. “Hello, Dr Sull- Oh hi, Luke. I was just about to call you. Tomorrow? Really? Oh honey that is better than I expected. Yes, I know I owe you. See you tonight. Love you. Bye-bye.” She hung up the phone and looked up at Callie. “Saturday at three o’clock. He said if he isn’t there then just wait a little bit. He usually has his office closed on Saturdays but he said based on your problem he would be willing to see Nausica just this once. Here is the address and his phone number for you to call if necessary.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
After the doctor’s visit the clock only read about one o’clock. Mom decided to spend the day doing something to make Nausica feel better about what was happening and take her to the zoo. The stopped by home to pick up more pull-ups, wipes, powder, and a backpack to put them in, along with sandwiches and sodas because Mom said the zoo charged outlandish prices.
The whole ride there Mom praised and complemented Nausica for getting to the potty at the doctor’s office. Nausica felt happy as well about that. Albeit she didn’t have much time, she had managed to realize she needed to go before it happened. Having the doctor say she was healthy also felt pretty good.
Once inside the zoo, which didn’t have many people because it was December. In fact, it didn’t have any people. The zoo was closed for the season, which depressed Mom more than Nausica who hadn’t been to the zoo before. They decided to try the aquarium and found it open to Mom’s relief, but not for very long, as it closed at five and the hour was already two fifteen, the two of them getting lost numerous times on the roads and therefore wasting an hour in traffic.
Together, the walked from tank to tank and gazed at the colorful fish, most of which Nausica had never seen before. They spent a while at the shark tanks where Nausica stood rooted, watching the hammerheads and dogfish. “The look funny,” she commented to Mom, who was reading the plaque above the tank, which gave interesting facts about the fish contained within. Nausica didn’t pay much attention to the facts as she was more interested in watching them swim and looking at their passionless eyes. Then she heard a few weird facts that caused her to look up and regard her mother, while asking, “What about their teeth?
“Besides being very sharp like razors there are several rows of teeth so when one tooth gets knocked out another replaces it. They also have teeth on their skin called dermadenticles.”
“You’re making that up!” Nausica giggled. “I don’t see any teeth on their skin.”
Mom bent down and smiled, “Have you ever felt sand paper?” Nausica nodded. “Like sand paper their skin is rough and cuts into things they rub against. If I rub my hand over your arm I feel smooth skin, but if I rub my hand over the shark’s skin the wrong way it will cut my hand. Understand?”
Nausica didn’t but she nodded anyway and they went on to the next tanks. Of the whole aquarium Nausica liked the eels and morays the best because they looked so pretty cutting s shapes in the water. Some of them even had bright colors.
When they got home they ordered a pizza and continued packing for the big move which would start tomorrow. Mom called Aunt Chloe and told her about the day and then told Nausica that they would be sleeping in the new apartment tomorrow night as the furniture Chloe ordered had been installed and was ready for them. Mom seemed both happy and sad at the same time when she announced this. Nausica couldn’t tell why. Didn’t Mom want to live in a nicer place with nicer things?
The next day they loaded all of the boxes they could into the neon and drove to Wuthering Heights. Once there they deposited the boxes in the new apartments entrance before walking down the hall to knock on Aunt Chloe’s door. A very sleepy Samantha answered the door. Nausica scanned her for any traces of wearing a diaper but didn’t find any. She must not have talked with her mom yet. They ate breakfast together once Aunt Chloe got out of the shower, and then they drove both the minivan and the neon back to the old apartment to get the rest of their things. Aunt Chloe had taken the back out of the van to make room for boxes. In one trip they gathered everything into the two vehicles and drove off, leaving the old furniture there.
Mom laughed that in two years she didn’t have much stuff. Nausica could relate to that, as she never had much of anything growing up.
Once they unloaded everything into the new apartment, Nausica and Samantha walked around. In shape it was the same as Aunt Chloe’s apartment. It had three bedrooms, one of which would act as an office for Mom. The room that would be her own was painted dark blue with a wooden panel over the light switch and had a burgundy strip across the top of the wall with golden diamond shapes. He bed was the same color as the light switch with a burgundy blanket and dark green sheets. She had a small desk and a chair in addition to a red carpet. Her closet was the same size as Sam’s. Together, she and Sam sat on the bed and giggled. This was her room and it looked amazing. Not very feminine, but distinguished and elegant, it lacked the typical pink and Easter colors one associates with a seven year old girl. Sitting on the bed she saw a rather large stuffed dog, which she hugged to her chest as Sam and her talked.
Apparently Sam and Rebecca couldn’t wait to have Nausica living so close as it would guarantee someone to play with. Nausica liked it too. The apartment felt like a large hotel with its carpeted hallway and key cards. Out of her window on the second floor she could see a fenced in playground an a covered pool that looked quite large. Apparently living here came with a lot of benefits.
At around two thirty, Mom and Nausica began their drive to the office of Dr. Luke Minas. Nausica had been changed into a fresh pull-up for the visit, and she wore overalls with a red shirt. This car ride held just as much nervous tension as the one yesterday, and Nausica shook. Psychologists were for crazy people. Was she crazy? Mom assured her her sanity was sound, but Nausica had her reservations.
The office, when they finally got there, looked like a small house right in the middle of a suburban environment. On the windows Nausica could see smiley face stickers and other happy propaganda that she was used to seeing in school. She suddenly felt very awkward and didn’t want to go through with it.
“Mommy,” she whined, “Let’s go back. I am scared.”
Mom hugged Nausica and smiled for her, “Honey, don’t worry. You will be with a very nice man in a room full toys and he won’t do anything to make you feel uncomfortable, I promise. He just wants to help you. That’s why he took his Saturday to be with you.”
That seemed to calm Nausica down somewhat as they walked up to the door and rang the bell. Nausica didn’t see a car in the driveway so maybe Dr. Minas wouldn’t be there. Despite her hopes she heard the creaking of floorboards as he approached the door, which he opened briskly. Nausica looked up, expecting to see a doctor-like person with glasses and balding hair, but instead she saw a man with long black hair pulled into a ponytail and a ready smile that complimented his green eyes. He wore a baggy sweater with snowflakes stitched into it and blue jeans.
“HI!” he called out exuberantly in a warm voice. “You must be Callie and Nausica. Come right in.” They complied and entered a waiting room like the one at the hospital, which was strewn with toys and magazines.
“Thank you so much for agreeing to see her, Dr. Minas,” Mom said.
“Call me, Luke,” he said with a wink. “Everyone does. I thought at first my ears were deceiving me when I heard Callie and Nausica Roberts needed to see me. I remember seeing you both on Christmas eve when Fr, introduced you.”
“You go to St. George’s?” Mom asked, shocked.
“Not as often as I should, I’ll admit,” he chuckled. “Now, Nausica, before you go and rescue Odysseus why don’t we go into my office?”
“Who?” Nausica asked, confused. She had never heard the name Odysseus before.
“Never mind,” he laughed. “Come on in. Now you can play with any toys you like, draw anything, sing anything, make anything and just tell me what you want ok?”
“Ok,” Nausica agreed, instantly developing a liking to him. He seemed to put her at ease instantly. In the room she saw what her mother had spoken of. Toy, dolls, and anything else she could imagine. Never having more than a doll to call her own, Nausica looked around in sensory overload. “You have so many toys!” she whispered.
“I get bored sometimes,” he grinned, and she giggled, picking up a doll with a frilly, lace bonnet. “Be careful with Queen Elizabeth,” he chided, eliciting more laughter from Nausica.
“I don’t have many toys or dolls,” she admitted ruefully. “I am jealous.” She spotted an easel with colored markers next to it and asked, “Can I draw?”
He nodded his head and said to go right ahead. After she had drawn for a little, he stepped behind her and commented, “That’s a pretty good hammerhead shark, Nausica. Have you seen one before?”
Nausica went into depth about the aquarium visit yesterday, including how hurt she felt before it at the hospital. “Why did she call you a freak Nausica?”
“Because I wet myself,” she answered listlessly.
“But you aren’t a freak, are you Nausica?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted in a soft whine. “I don’t think so.”
“I don’t think you are either,” he assured. “When did these accidents start, Nausica?”
“Right after I moved in with Mommy,” she said after some thought.
“Can you remember the first time it happened?”
“I had a nightmare.”
“Can you tell me about that nightmare, Nausica?”
“My family died,” she whimpered. The soothing sound of Luke’s voice was making her sleepy, and somehow it made her thoughts more lucid.” They were killed.”
“How did that make you feel? Were you scared?”
“Yes.”
“How old were you?”
“Three.”
“Were you potty trained then?”
“I can’t remember. I think I was almost potty trained. I don’t remember a lot.”
“What is the next thing you can remember clearly after your parents died?”
“The girl next door was killed by a car when she pushed me out of the way. I remember looking at her body, and I was very scared.”
“How old were you?”
“I don’t remember.”
“What do you remember next?”
“Mr. Adams was shot at the bank and I met Mommy.”
“How did meeting Mommy make you feel?”
“Loved,” Nausica admitted. “Like I wasn’t alone anymore. That someone cared for me.”
“Like a baby?”
“I guess,” Nausica replied.
“How do you see babies?”
“They are cute and everyone loves them. Their Mommy and Daddy take care of them and they don’t have to worry about anything. My Mommy loved me so very much! I miss her!” she cried.
“Nausica?” He asked calmly. “Did you just wet your pull-up?”
Nausica thought about it and nodded. She did feel the warmth in her crotch, but how did he know she did it? She knew it hadn’t leaked. “How did you know?”
“Nausica, sweetie,” he said after a moment. “I am going to talk with both you and your Mommy together now. I think I know what is wrong, and don’t worry. It isn’t your fault.”
Together they walked back to the waiting room and sat down on the sofas. Luke fetched three sodas and offered Mom and Nausica one each before opening his and sitting down while sipping. “Ok, based on what Nausica told me I think I know what is happening. Nausica’s life before the tragedy of her family’s murder was normal and happy. She was potty trained, or if not, she almost was. After that, her life changed terribly and one tragedy after another left her a husk of a person who didn’t feel loved or wanted. You, Callie, I can call you Callie, can’t I? You, Callie, brought love into her life and gave her hope again. In order to cope with this, I think Nausica is subconsciously reverting back to a three year old to experience the development that was denied her. In short. I think this is a phase that can be cured by retraining Nausica to use the potty like you would a normal three year old. I think as Nausica becomes more acclimated to you and her new life the accidents will dwindle. I would like to check up on her progress though and if it gets worse don’t panic. Bring her in to see me in three months, ok?”
Mom nodded and thanked Luke profusely again. Nausica smiled from ear to ear. She wasn’t a freak. She wasn’t a freak and she had a Mommy to love her. Together they drove home to her new life.

Chapter 3

Hatred and more sorrow . . .

Nausica could not release the memory, nor shake it from her as a dog might water after a rainy walk. It troubled her slumber like a briar in her sock in its irritating manner. School started in a few days, but that didn’t seem as consequential as the memory. The memory of a single person haunted her and she could not for the life of her figure out why. The child she spied across the room on her first and last day of school for the fall semester stood rooted in her vision. The dark hazel eyes, so dark as to almost seem purple, pinioned Nausica with their malevolent hatred. Though Nausica did not know the girl’s name or reason for the hatred, she felt oddly responsible and guilty under that stare. The little girl spoke not a word to Nausica in these dreams, but her eyes conveyed volumes of meaning in their single emotion.
The girl had reason to hate Nausica who she was sure she had never met. Nausica felt certain of this fact, but the reason behind it eluded her despite all efforts to recollect. This came as an odd fact to say the least for the young girl possessed a head of hair so light a blonde as to almost appear silver and she possessed a beautiful face that would only continue to grow more beautiful. Odd how such beauty that in and of itself conveyed warmth but when turned to the emotion of revenge and hatred could feel no colder than having one’s head dunked in freezing water.
These dreams continued every night after Christmas and yet she told nothing to her mother, Calliope Roberts. After the accident that occurred after Christmas on the way home, other things seemed to take precedence. She had to get ready for school which would start tomorrow and while she didn’t make any friends the first day she went she felt bound and determined to make them now, especially now that she knew she would get better.
But she didn’t get better, not in that way anyway, but living down the hall from her cousins didn’t seem bad at all. In the three days since she and mom moved in there had been a constant flow of traffic between the two apartments and the sounds of giggling girls could be heard all up and down the hallway. Aunt Chloe came out once or twice to yell at them to calm down and modulate their voices, whatever that meant.
Even though the accidents had escalated to the daytime too, Rebecca didn’t treat Nausica and differently. Indeed, though she seemed to have more than her fair share of friends she spent most of her time with Nausica. So much time, in fact, that Nausica felt obliged to ask if Aunt Chloe were forcing her to. Rebecca laughed at this and like a conspirator said that , no, her mother wasn’t coercing her to spend time with her cousin, but maybe she should get her mother to do so and then the two of them could make a tiny profit on the side. Samantha laughed at that and said that Rebecca didn’t give their mom enough credit and while their father might fall for Rebecca’s schemes, Aunt Chloe would not only discover it, but lecture them on how it should have been successfully.
Nausica always found that funny. While Aunt Chloe knew how to be a disciplinarian when the need arose, on the whole she behaved like a great teacher to her daughters and Nausica, teaching them games and tactics. She seemed very competitive and that seemed funny to Nausica because at times it was hard to tell where Aunt Chloe the mom, and Aunt Chloe the friend began and ended. Mom told her that this was the reason she originally moved in with Aunt Chloe after she graduated high school. The two seemed kindred spirits.
The girls found themselves more often than not in Nausica’s new room, if only for the novelty of its atmosphere. The moody blues, browns, and reds did little to affect the sheer exuberance of Rebecca and the optimism of Samantha. They played many games together in those few days, more when Rebecca returned from visiting with her father the day after Christmas. The three of the waited with baited breath for Mom to get home because then they would have a fourth player for spades, a game all of them had quickly grown to love in a short period of time.
The time passed quickly and slowly at the same time, if such a thing is possible, for Nausica as she enjoyed free time with her cousins and mom. In fact, all would have been perfect but for the accidents that showed no sign of lessening and the reoccurring dream of a girl Nausica knew she knew but could not remember.
The evening of the twenty ninth found Nausica, for once, alone in her apartment with Mom. She could hear her mom in the next room typing on her computer, a dilapidated thing that mom said she kept only for filing purposes and to type letters and bills. The slow, sometimes quick rhythm of the clacking keys formed a lullaby for Nausica as she dozed in her bed, the hour already quite late, having been allowed to play with her cousins for a few extra hours past bed time. This had been, in part, made possible by the extremely long phone call mom received from grandma Mary. The two seemed to speak forever, and as the girls didn’t want to stop their fun so they let the conversation continue even though Mom asked them to let her know when it was bedtime.
The clickety clack of the keys continued well into the night, but Nausica had long since fallen asleep, not even conscious that she was leaking all over her new bed.
-+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Callie looked at the screen in front of her and sighed. While her insurance did take the brunt of the cost, she still found herself wondering where she would come up with the money to pay for the two visits. She had taken her daughter to the doctor’s office and met Nancy Sullivan and later to the psychiatrist’s office to meet Luke Minas. Both doctors declared her healthy in the physical sense and on the surface in the mental state. Dr. Minas told Callie that Nausica subconsciously reverted back to the time just before her family was murdered in order to catch up on the life she missed developmentally.
All well and good as far as Callie was concerned, but she still had to consider the costs. The new job she was to start January second wouldn’t pay for at least two weeks. In the mean time, she needed to pay the leasing fee for the new apartment in addition to the first two months rent, the school supplies for Nausica that Rebecca had made a list of, having visited the teacher the day Nausica first met her as per her mom’s request. Callie also needed to consider clothes for the child, Living in a place like this would mean that Nausica couldn’t be dressed like a waif, nor could Callie for that matter. Both of them needed some new clothes for their wardrobes. Nausica also needed toiletries. Some many expenses and all of them seemed to be due at the exact same time.
She knew being stubborn like this didn’t help, but she refused to ask for a loan from her mother or Chloe. Both offered, her mother more than once and she had spent the greater part of two hours talking with her to assure her that she could do it on her own. In the short run it might seem ok to get money easily from people so willing to give, but Callie’s ethos demanded she not sink into that slow spiral. She didn’t ever want to become too easy at asking for favors.
Shaking her head she stared at the large total on the screen and how far in the red she would be after paying for it. Looking across the hall she saw that Nausica was in bed and glancing at the clock she now noticed how late the hour had become. ‘One step at a time,’ she reminded herself as she stood and walked over to tuck Nausica in. As she entered she noticed a musky odor and knew without checking that Nausica had wet the bed again. From the pungency of the odor she also realized that asparagus might not be able to be on the menu again until after this phase in Nausica’s life ended, whatever Nausica said about loving them.
Walking over to Nausica’s brand new armoire, one of the many donations from Chloe, she opened it and pulled out the bottom drawer where she had put all of Nausica’s underwear and protective needs supplies. She never wanted to call it diaper supplies because of the effect that it might have on Nausica’s feelings, but as she rifled through the drawer to retrieve powder, oil, and wipes, she couldn’t help but think that she was taking care of a baby and not a seven year old girl.
Certainly she had never expected this on that day in the bank a short two weeks ago. She knew there would be unexpected hardships in taking care of a daughter, but she had hoped to be passed the messier side of raising a child in adopting the seven-year-old Nausica. Still, it really didn’t matter to Callie. The decision to adopt Nausica was the single turning point of her life, and though two weeks seemed far too short a time, Callie found herself unable to bear the thought of life without her little girl. Still with her hands in the drawer, the supplies of powder, oil, and box of wipes on the floor beside her, Callie realized that she couldn’t find a pull-up. Granted, in the dark of the room it was hard to tell the difference between one of the pull-ups and Nausica’s white underwear, but as she felt around Callie did not feel the strange fabric or the thick material of the protective undergarment.
Sighing, Callie stood up and walked out of the room to sit by her computer. Nausica was a sound sleeper and would not awake until the morning so she didn’t have to be changed immediately, but she would need to be in the morning so that meant Callie would have to leave and buy some more. Staring again at the screen she lamented that she forgot to add the ever-growing cost of Nausica’s protection. Wishing she had Internet here to gauge prices, Callie rubbed her temples in thought. The goodnights that Nausica had picked out were gone. And while Callie had the foresight to buy two more bags later, they were also gone. The price of the three bags in so short a time was astounding for someone who had lived so frugally as Calliope Roberts. It was like going out to eat once a week to an expensive restraint. Well, maybe not an expensive restraint. Even working at one, Callie had never been able to afford to eat there, even with the employee’s discount. With this new job she might be able to slowly afford to go out to one, maybe once every few months, but not now. Not now. She needed to scrimp and save and that would mean eating no name brand foods and conserving everything.
Even if it meant hurting Nausica’s feelings, Callie could not afford, at least right now, to buy her the type of protection she wanted. This was just something her daughter would need to get used to. Maybe in a few months they could change, but for now Callie needed to pay her bills and then survive on what she had left. Chloe’s signature got her into the apartment and also saved Chloe money as bringing in new tenants was very well rewarded in Wuthering Heights. Chloe, in turn, as she didn’t do this to save money, gave that savings to Callie to put forth on her first payment. That helped a little. It also helped that Callie had just enough money squirreled away, the adoption had not cleaned her out and it wasn’t supposed to as she intended to use her saved up money to take care of her daughter in her former apartment. It would be just enough to pay for the apartment, but nothing else. The medical fees wouldn’t come in for a month yet so she could worry about them when they came, but for Nausica’s school supplies, food, clothes, and emergencies she had precious little, if anything at all to last all month. Clothes could wait, she supposed. She had a few sets of clothes that she hoped still fit her back at her parent’s house and those, again she hoped, would be respectable enough for her new job. Nausica didn’t have very much of anything in the way of nice clothes, but they would suffice for right now. Besides, elementary school kids weren’t like middle schoolers or high schoolers in the fashion game. She might be ok for a while, as her peers wouldn’t care yet what everyone else wore to school. The supplies were a little difficult to take care of as Nausica needed quite a bit in the way of arts and crafts, which always cost more than it should. Number two pencils and red pens wouldn’t be a problem, neither would the paper, but the trapper keeper to keep them all in would be a bit. She couldn’t see the total coming to less than fifty dollars, and when she had only two hundred in the bank after payments, Callie knew that it would be a hefty chunk. That left one hundred and fifty dollars for food, emergencies, and Nausica’s protection.
Making up her mind to find the best deals, Callie left her apartment to drive to the store down the street and pick up a few things in addition to Nausica’s needs. At two o’clock in the morning, not too many people were out on the streets so Callie felt as though she were driving in a ghost town. The store proved little better. Like most twenty-four hour supermarkets, only one teller appeared on duty and the store seemed empty otherwise. Huge crates lined the walkways as stockers moved about slowly replenishing the wares.
Deciding to get the hardest part over with first, Callie went straight to the diaper aisle which was the same area as the feminine needs, and there she saw the only other customer in the store, Samantha.
Samantha spun as though a gun had gone off, her long mousy brown hair, twirling as she turned to face the person calling her name. This sort of reaction seemed odd to Callie, but then the thought of what an eleven-year-old girl was doing alone in the feminine needs aisle of a grocery store at almost three in the morning. “Sam?” Callie asked again. “Where’s your mom?”
Sam fidgeted as though iron spikes had been hammered into her feet. She looked over her shoulder and back at Callie, mumbling lamely, “I didn’t think you would be here . . .”
“Didn’t think I would be here?” Callie repeated, confused. So Chloe hadn’t come. Why on earth was Samantha here? “What are you hiding, Sam?”
“I, I, I am not, I am not,” she stuttered, her face as red as the label of one of the adult incontinence briefs marked “Depends.” Callie stepped forward and looked behind Sam, who still hadn’t moved, and saw several rows of maxi pads on the shelf.
“Samantha, honey,” Callie said warmly. “You don’t have to be embarrassed!”
Samantha stopped sucking on her lower a lip a moment to look up in shock. “I don’t?” she gasped.
“No, of course not!” Callie laughed. “Everyone goes through with it sooner or later.”
“They do?” Sam asked, obviously confused. Callie made a mental note to talk to Chloe about instructing her daughters on the mechanics of the female body. “I am the only one I know.”
“Oh, don’t be silly,” Callie chided. “I have been here myself when I was your age, and I was embarrassed too, but there really is no reason to be. No need to have such wide eyes at that, Sam. You are just starting earlier than most, but that’s ok! We will all get through this together.”
“What?”
Callie moved past her and surveyed the rows of different types. “Now, if this is your first time then we need to get the right one for you. Are you heavy or light?”
Sam thought about it a moment and then replied, “He, heavy I suppose. I leak sometimes.”
“Oh!” Callie chortled. “So someone has helped you before. Ok, did it have wings?”
“I’ve never worn one with wings before. It’s usually the standard shape. Yes, I am sure it’s a normal, traditional style.”
“Oh, you can get those out of a vending machine, honey. You need something better for you.”
“Out of vending machines?!” Sam gasped.
“You have been living in the dark,” Callie laughed. “Here, try this brand and see if you like it.” She handed Sam a box of pads, who looked at it curiously, understanding slowly spreading across her features. “I know its hard to buy your first pads, but trust me when I say the bleeding is natural. You didn’t need to hide this from your mom, Sam.”
Sam smiled and shook her head. “No,” she admitted. “I guess not. Why are you here, Aunt Callie?”
Callie told Sam about the financial problems and the need to buy cheaper protection for Nausica. For some reason, perhaps more than seemed appropriately normal, Sam was very interested in this subject. When asked if she could help Callie pick out the right and cheap diapers for Nausica the girl almost jumped out of her skin in her alacrity to help. She had a surprising knowledge of the subject of diapers and all the necessities of each. When asked if she babysat a lot, Sam blushed and said that she wanted to. A lot of her friends did.
Sam picked out a cheaper type of pull-up for Nausica to wear at school, a brand that Callie had never heard of but Sam insisted was just as good as the brand Nausica currently used. Next she helped Callie pick out diapers about Nausica’s size. The chart on most of the bags dealt in age and weight, so again Callie relied on Sam to pick out the appropriate bag for both at home and for bed. If Nausica couldn’t control herself then she would need to be protected for both their sakes. Sam really enjoyed helping and offered numerous times to help change Nausica if Callie would let her.
Once the important purchase had been made Callie and Sam picked up school supplies for Nausica and some groceries. The hour fast approached four when they returned to the apartments. Callie ordered Sam to sleep over with Nausica so she wouldn’t wake up the other two people in her own apartment. In the morning Callie would tell Chloe about the little adventure.
Sam was skittish about getting undressed to go to bed with Callie in the room so Callie left her alone to change for bed. She supposed The reason for the sudden need to go to the store was blood on her underwear and that would be embarrassing to have someone see. However, instead of hearing clothes she heard the rustle of plastic. Feeling more than tempted to listen in Callie forced herself to walk away from the door. Sam wanted privacy. If she wanted to apply her first pad then that was her choice to make.
She hadn’t gone far when she heard, “Aunt Callie?”
Returning quickly, Callie saw that Sam was dressed in her nightie, which Chloe had suggested she leave in case she ever needed to spend the night here, pointing to Nausica’s bed. The green sheets almost looked black with the amount of wetness spread from Nausica. Without a word, she slowly picked up Nausica, holding her carefully in front of her, and walked to the kitchen with its linoleum floor. She didn’t want Nausica dripping on the couch or carpeted floor. Very slowly, so to not wake the cherubic girl, Callie tore the side of the pull-up and pulled it out from under her while holding Nausica’s bottom in her hand so as to not let the girl’s skin touch the floor.
Sam followed her with the changing supplies that were already on the floor of the room and handed Callie some wipes to clean Nausica’s skin, which she did slowly but thoroughly. Sam then tore open the bag of diapers they purchased for daytime use, explaining it wasn’t likely Nausica would wet so much in the remaining hours of the night. Callie agreed, but asked for a nighttime one anyway, because Nausica might sleep in as her days of winter break were drawing to a close. While Callie held up Nausica’s frame, Sam unfurled the diaper and placed it under Nausica’s bottom so that Callie could set her down. That done, Callie powdered Nausica’s skin carefully, so as to not allow too much baby powder rise. After rubbing that in, she closed the diaper and unfastened the tabs, one at a time, and secured them to the front panel of the diaper, so cheap that it didn’t’ brandish cartoons or even the cloth like exterior of the more expensive brands.
Looking down at her, Nausica appeared every bit the toddler with her demure body and large diaper bulging at her crotch. Lifting her again, Callie placed the little girl on their couch and placed one of their spare blankets over her. It was nice to have a spare now that she needed it. Once Nausica was tucked in and the lights in the living room had been turned off, Callie turned to Sam and sobbed, “It’s not right that she should have to suffer like this, Sam! She looks like a toddler, like a freaking three year old. She just turned seven. What am I going to do? What is she going to do when school starts?”
Sam blushed and looked away, as though hurt, though Callie couldn’t figure out why. “I don’t know,” she said slowly. “Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe no one will have to know.”
“Her teacher will have to know,” Callie sighed, getting ingredients to make hot chocolate for the two of them. “What will she think of that? Will they think she’s mentally handicapped? Sam, I just don’t know anymore. I don’t want anything to hurt my little girl.”
Sam hung her head and nodded, not offering anything further to the conversation in that regard. Later, once the hot chocolate was ready she opened other topics and the two talked merrily for quite a while before Callie put Sam to bed in her own bed while she took care of Nausica’s soiled sheets. She mentally kicked herself for not starting it sooner. Sighing, she went about getting breakfast ready for Nausica when she woke up. She poured half a bowl of cereal and put the milk in a small glass on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator. Then, resigned to staying up another two hours, she fetched a small book and began to read, quietly humming to herself. Once she put the sheets and blankets in the drier however, she lost resolve and went to bed, telling herself she would put them on the bed when she woke up and though Nausica wouldn’t probably let her, Callie hoped that that would be in eight hours.
-++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In the early hours of the morning Nausica dreamed again. The same dream she always had, except this time she felt different herself. She wasn’t wearing clothes this time and the girl stared down her perfect nose at Nausica in disdain. Shaking her head in the dream Nausica shouted at her what she thought was a brave yet brazen remark to mind her own business. Instead of gatting angry, however, the girl giggled behind her right hand, held daintily in front of her face, while pointing with her left at Nausica’s crotch. Looking down, Nausica gasped and realized she was wearing something afterall, and she didn’t like it one bit. The girl raised her eyebrows in condensation as though asking Nausica why she was dressed this way.
Nausica, for her part, wished she could have answered that gaze with either a good retort, a cool matching gaze, or better still a good reason why she stood in the dream mist wearing nothing but a large diaper about her middle. Worse, she suddenly felt a pressure in her belly, the only warning she ever got lately that something dirty was in its way. Not having anywhere to go in this dream world she was forced to let it all out, but it wouldn’t all just slide out. She had to force and squeeze the rest out, grunting as she did so, until she had to get on her knees and push hard. All the while the girl laughed behind her hand, her purple eyes ablaze with hatred and contempt. Nausica was crying long before she stopped messing herself, and she continued to weep after, while the silver haired girl laughed and laughed. Nausica didn’t get up from her knees as she hammered her fists on the ground screaming, “WHY!?”
“WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!?”
Though she didn’t hear the girl say anything, she never did, she could almost hear in her mind the wisp of a whisper, “Because I want you to suffer for all you have made me suffer, Nausica, the tragic toddler.”
“What did I do to you?” Nausica cried out, but the girl had vanished. The last thing Nausica remembered before she woke up was her lonely, sad, little voice screaming into the void, “WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU!”
As Nausica slowly roused herself she could still hear the eerie whisper in her ear, “Suffer!” Shuddering, Nausica stretched her legs and in so doing heard a crinkle from under her blanket. However, this wasn’t what struck her as most odd. She had awoken on the couch in their living room. Glancing to the clock on the wall Nausica saw that it was eight in the morning. Mom usually woke her up at about this time, but Nausica could hear Mom snoring in her own room.
Somehow, Nausica knew they weren’t alone in the house and fear tightened its icey grip on her joints and muscles, forcing her to clutch her chest and shrink into herself. Not sure what to do she decided to pretend she wasn’t up, and covered her head with the blanked. From the area of her mom’s room, though she could still hear her loud snores, Nausica’s tiny ears could discern the creaking of floorboards slowly moving towards her. Gasping for breath, Nausica closed her eyes tight and buried her face into the pillow.
All at once, the blanked was torn away and she heard a rapid intake of breath and a decry as though smelling dead fish. “You really stink, Nausica,” the voice of her cousin Sam sounded over her.
Opening her eyes slowly, as though to be sure it wasn’t a trick, Nausica did see her cousin and so great was her joy at being wrong she leapt up to try and hug her cousin. “Whoa, girl,” Sam laughed, keeping Nausica at arm’s length. “Not till you have a shower. Come with me, you stink gal!”
Stinky gal? Looking down, Nausica could see that the dream had been real in that aspect. But how? And Why? She remembered going to bed in the last pull-up in her own bed, so why was she in diapers on the couch? Why would Mom put me in diapers? Does she think I am a baby because I can’t help myself?
Nausica began to whimper as she followed Sam to the bathroom, like a prisoner on her way to the hangman’s noose. That was it then. Mom didn’t think she was a seven year old anymore. Sam brought her out of her sad reverie by asking, “Why are you crying?” in a concerned voice, turning to face Nausica on bended knee.
“Mommy thinks I am a baby!” Nausica cried.
Sam hushed her with an index finger over her mouth before saying, “You need to be quite, Nausica. Your mom’s been up all night, and she doesn’t think you are a baby. She didn’t want to put you in diapers.”
Trembling a little and with a quavering voice Nausica asked, “Then it’s my fault?”
After clutching Nausica into a full embrace Sam whispered into her ear, “No. It’s not your fault or her fault. It’s just something that will take getting used to till you get better. You aren’t a freak. Besides, maybe you will end up liking it. . . . like, um me?”
Nausica looked up at her with red, tear brimmed eyes, and offered a small smile. “Why DO you like them, Sam? I hate 'em.”
“You haven’t worn any before now, you know,” Sam said, in a convincing voice.
“I hate this, Sam,” Nausica whined. I don’t like feeling all itchy like this and having this sag at my bottom. I don’t like leaking all over my bed and causing my mom to have to stay up all night cleaning up after me. I just want to use the potty like a normal seven year old girl!"
Sam nodded slowly, as though unable to understand, though Nausica found it hard for her not to. “Well, Nausica,” she began quietly. “I love them. They make me feel like a three-year-old little girl, who gets to be taken care of and loved without any responsibility. Mom loves that I skipped third grade, but I hate it. I hate all the pressure of having to be the best. I am the top in my class right now, Nausica. Do you know how much stress that is? Mom is proud of me, but she makes it impossible for me to back down. I just want to have some time where I am not responsible for myself or anything else. Diapers mean that to me. When I wet one I feel so free, and the warmth is so comfortable.” She was speaking quite fast now, gripping Nausica by the shoulders, almost shaking her in her exuberance.
For her part, Nausica’s mind reeled with the possibilities of this revelation. Maybe this was what her body was trying to tell her. Maybe it wanted a time when there wasn’t as much stress. Sam seemed very impassioned about this and Nausica wondered if she had been placed in a similar situation if she might behave similarly. Somehow she doubted it. There were other avenues to deal with stress. Though if suicide was the only alternative then Nausica supposed she might do as Sam.
“Do you still hide it from your mother?” she asked at length.
Sam paled in the face, "NO. She wouldn’t understand. I can’t bring this up even if she knows. But this isn’t about me. You are stuck in those until you can be retrained so you better get used to the idea. Now, let’s get you cleaned up.
Sam really was thorough in cleaning Nausica up, dumping the mess in the toilet and then wiping Nausica down before throwing away the used brief. After this came a long shower, which the two of them shared, giggling and laughing as they washed and played. Nausica could smell eggs being cooked about midway through the shower and knew that mom must now be up.

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The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Callie yawned loudly as she diced tomatoes on her new cutting board for the omelets she was making. She didn’t feel well. She had wanted to sleep the rest of the night away, but certain thoughts forced her to awake. Responsibilities kept nagging her. She questioned a lot of what she did the previous night and asked a lot of what if questions. Had there been a fire, Nausica might have been burned alive while she was taking her time at the grocery store. The store might have only been down the block, but that did not make her actions any less irresponsible or foolish. She should have woken Nausica up and taken her with her. In trying to do a kindness by letting the child sleep she had almost done something irrevocably horrible. And that was not the only error she thought of.
What about Samantha? Why did she wait till almost three in the morning to go to the grocery store. Obviously, so her mother wouldn’t find out she chose that time, but still. Even if Sam was a lot more mature than almost any girl her age that was stupid. Wuthering Heights stood in a very quaint suburb with neighborhood watches and a relatively non-existent crime rate, but that did not mean that something bad couldn’t have happened. It seemed a marvel that a policeman or a neighborhood watch hadn’t spotted her. It was just so dangerous. Callie had a sudden mind to tell off the night clerk at the grocery store for not trying to find out why a little girl was alone in the store well past curfew.
Such feelings of guilt made it impossible for Callie to not call Chloe in the early hours of the morning, waking her, and telling her that Sam was at her apartment. After a rushed waking, Chloe started asking all the normal questions a panicked mother can make. Callie wanted to talk further on the matter once Chloe calmed down, but she knew if she didn’t get some sleep she would fall over so she asked Chloe and Rebecca to come over for breakfast around nine the next morning where she and Chloe could have a nice long conversation with Samantha about how foolish her actions were.
She felt more than a little guilty over this as she had acted far more irresponsibly. She sighed and wondered how much worse the day could get. Social services were scheduled to come by today and check up on Nausica. It sickened her, if only because in the brief three and a half weeks of having Nausica she had been called almost every other day with questions and statements regarding her background checks. The people on their end were very interested in how Callie procured Nausica so quickly when the process of adopting a child usually took between six months and three years.
Callie knew that well enough. Her own parents spent three years trying to conceive her, but in the mean time spent two years trying to find someone to adopt. Callie herself knew that her rapid adoption of Nausica was strange and though her “rescuing” spirit forced her to demand that Mr. Anders release Nausica the sooner the better. When she threatened a lawsuit for what he had done he more than readily acquiesced and sent Nausica with her in a few days. Social services had field day with him over this and more than once the director of social services calling Callie said that in all likelihood Nausica would need to be brought back to a state run orphanage until she could be properly adopted.
It took all of her know how to convince the director to run the necessary back ground checks now, while Nausica was still in her custody, and the only reason they probably even considered this was because of Callie’s parents running the most successful bank in the city. She suggested they send over some people to check up on Nausica if they were so concerned, but more than that she begged them not to take her new daughter away. By now they had all heard the story of the bank incident so the director sent one of his employees to talk to Callie. The conversation had been long and grueling digging up every conceivable skeleton from her closet that she thought long buried. However, as uncomfortable as that made her feel she realized how necessary it was for Nausica’s safety. She did question what they thought of Nausica’s previous adoptive parent, who not only neglected her but wanted her to die in his place. In the end, the employee of social services left saying that she should expect many more visits like this for the next year or so.
Callie sighed at that. Though necessary, she didn’t have all that much time to dedicate to these meetings. She wondered briefly what they would say to Nausica’s temporary incontinence, but she had the written reports of the two doctors to back her up in that.
Sprinkling the vegetables she had just cut up into a large bowl filled with the creamy yellow liquid of whipped eggs, she heard a knock on the door just barely over the giggles and the sound of the shower. Wiping her eyes she moved to the door and opened it to have a quick moving Rebecca dart inside calling for Nausica.
“She’s in the shower with Sam,” Callie called over her shoulder before opening the door wider to admit Chloe. Callie felt she couldn’t look her in the eyes. Here was a dutiful parent. She almost hurt her daughter and this woman’s daughter too in her foolishness. “Come on in, Chloe,” she welcomed lamely.
Chloe brushed past her, her whole demeanor sparkling with anger, worry, and consternation. She didn’t seem to acknowledge Callie’s presence as she walked single mindedly to the bathroom door and ordered Sam to open up by the count of three or she would be sorry. When the door flew open on the count of two Chloe smiled coldly at her daughter and said. “I lied. You are going to be sorry anyway. Now, get dried and dressed. You, me, and Aunt Calliope are going to have a nice little chat.”
Nausica poked her head around the corner and gasped when she saw how angry Chloe was. She rushed out, naked as a jaybird to Callie’s legs and grasped them as though for support. Callie idly ruffled the little girl’s wet hair and said, “Why don’t you get dressed, honey, and then I want you to sit at the table with Rebecca. I made omelets for everybody.” Callie could tell Nausica had a lot of questions for her. Not the least would be why she had woken up in a diaper when she had gone to bed in a pull-up. Somehow, maybe by divine providence, the girl knew not to ask questions now. Callie walked to the shopping bags of last night and pulled out a pull-up for her to change into, mentally noting that somewhere in between her slue of meetings today she needed to talk with Nausica about this.
After Nausica and Sam had rushed off to get dressed, she sat a very confused Rebecca at the table and served her an omelet. The child didn’t understand why everyone seemed to be in such a bad mood. Callie could see that by Rebecca’s fidgeting she was uncomfortable around her mother at the moment. Callie could emphasize with that. While it took a lot to get Chloe upset, she was a holy terror when riled up, and she looked ready to spit fire from her eyes.
Nausica came back a moment later wearing some ratty sweatpants and a t-shirt. She dove right into her omelet. Callie smiled as she turned off the stove, moved the handle of the skillet out of reach of the two little girls, and told them to be good before walking behind a very stiff Chloe to Nausica’s room where Sam was still getting dressed.
“Sit!” Chloe barked as she might to a disobedient dog. Callie was feeling decidedly uncomfortable and she knew Sam probably felt worse. “Now, daughter. You will tell me exactly why you snuck out of our home in the middle of the night, walked to a grocery store alone, and then didn’t call me when you could. You have no idea how angry I am right now, Samantha, so no lies!”
Sam remained silent for a good long while under the gaze of her mother, who was breathing very hard. As angry as she sounded, her face was a wreck. Tears streamed down her face and she shook. Sam looked little better, full of shame and though she tried to start and say something many times she found her voice caught and unable to speak.
At last, Chloe spoke. “I promised myself that I would let you continue with this strange hobby of yours so long as it didn’t hurt you, Samantha. But it almost did last night and that is too much for me. I am wreck of nerves right now because of you. So, no more. I forbid you to do it anymore.”
“MOM!” Sam at last got out. “Please! Please don’t take this away from me. I need it!”
Chloe widened her eyes incredulously. “Need it?” she asked. “You are as healthy as a horse. I have the check up bills to pay for it. You don’t need anything, and think I let this ridiculous matter continue longer than I should have. You are not a baby, Samantha! You are the top ranked student in the sixth grade at Kirkland Middle School. Act your age!”
Callie didn’t know what this was about and ventured to ask, “Isn’t this about her period?”
Chloe laughed at this and answered, “No, it’s not. My little girl has a problem and I think I need to take her to a shrink to get this sorted out.”
Sam was crying inconsolably on the bed. “How can you be so mean, mother!?” she wept.
“Don’t call me ‘Mother’” Chloe bit back. Callie knew that Chloe hated that title as much as she did and wanted her daughters to call her “Mom.”
“You don’t understand anything!” Sam sobbed, not apologizing for her earlier barb.
“And I suppose an eleven year old girl who goes out in the middle of the night understands so much better than me, hmm?”
“I can’t do this anymore,” Sam whispered. “Do you know how hard it is for me?”
“HARD?!” Chloe yelled. “You and Rebecca have always gotten everything handed to you on a silver plate. I have spoiled the two of you much more than I should have. What on earth could be so hard for you!?” This only caused Sam to cry harder.
Callie stepped in between them and whispered to Chloe, “Why don’t you calm down and let her explain instead of interrupting her. You are scaring her, Chloe. I know you are upset, but do you really want that?”
“What would you know?” Chloe sneered. “You can’t take care of your child, and then you have the temerity to leave her alone in the apartment for two hours without thinking of getting me to watch her. I ought to report you to child services for abuse!”
Callie looked up at her cousin with tear filled eyes. She was determined not to let it show that those words hurt as much as they did. “I am going to let that go because you are upset Chloe, and as right as you might be about me, I still think you should listen to your daughter before flying of the handle. I am going to go make some tea. Maybe that will calm you both down.
As she walked away she felt a hand gently grasp her shoulder and squeeze, lovingly. That was all the apology Callie needed from her friend. The two girls had almost finished eating their omelets but both wanted more orange juice. She quickly refilled their glasses halfway, reminding them that sometimes their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. Neither of them asked what all the screaming was about in the other room, both probably certain they would get a full account later.
Callie had to rifle through three cabinets before she found the box of tea bags. Sighing, she filled two cups with water and the tea bags and nuked them both in the microwave till warm. She then put honey and lemon juice in each, stirring them briskly before walking back into the room.
The scene that greeted her was quite different from when she left. Chloe was sitting on the bed next to Sam with her arms around her daughters shoulder, allowing Sam to lean on her chest. Both were still crying, but seemed to gather composure when Callie returned. She handed them each a cup, explaining how exhausted she was and that the chamomile was likely to make her pass out.
The two, Sam and Chloe seemed to have worked out an accord between them, as though they had been crying they were now smiling and Chloe intermittently rubbed Sam’s back. After sipping her tea for a bit Chloe addressed Callie. “Callie, you need to think harder next time. These last three weeks you have made a lot of rash decisions, some good, but mostly bad. If you don’t take the time to think through your actions in the future you are going to get yourself hurt. When it was just you living on your own you could make mistakes because you were the only one to get hurt, but now Nausica is here and you need to consider all the possibilities. If ever you need to leave, even if it is the middle of the night you need to get someone to watch over Nausica. I may be mad at you for waking me up but it is the right thing to do.”
Callie nodded glumly, not eager to visit the social worker today with this heady guilt still in her system. Together they walked to the kitchen and enjoyed breakfast. Nausica and Rebecca had already finished and were playing some game of sorts in the living room involving the couch pillows and the blanket.
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Playing fort with Rebecca was a welcome change from the yelling that came from the her room earlier. She had no idea what the argument had been about but it must have been something awful because Nausica had never seen Aunt Chloe so angry. She wondered vaguely what might have happened and how it might affect poor Sam.
Nausica swallowed hard, listening attentively to the sound her gulp made, as she stared ahead, rooted in fear, terror, and apprehension that can only come from insecurity. Looking past Rebecca who was peeking out of their makeshift pillow fortress, she saw another girl in the room. The silver haired girl smiled cruelly at Nausica and looked at Rebecca a moment before flashing a wicked grin.
All at once, a vision of her family’s death hit her like a ton of bricks. She stood in the room and could see the younger version of her hiding. On the floor she saw the bodies of her parents and older brother Will. The sea of red that covered the entire floor like a fresh coat of paint glistened in the bright light overhead. On the bed lay her naked older sister bleeding copiously still from her privates and also from a large hole in her face where only bone chips and hamburger seemed to remain.
Nausica screamed in this vision, only to see the silver haired girl open the door and silently laugh at the scene, walking over to the corpse of Nausica’s sister, Hermione, bending the ruined face to peer emptily at Nausica, and then placing her face next to it, laughing wildly without sound.
“Nausica?” Rebecca asked from the pillow fort. “Are you ok?”
The vision had ended and she stood again in her living room, looking down at her cousin, but the silver haired girl remained with her malicious purple eyes. She pointed at Rebecca while raising her other hand as though she were lifting a string at the same time, bending her neck, sticking out her tongue as though gagging and rolling her eyes. She laughed at the expression Nausica’s face.
“N-No,” Nausica whispered, covering her mouth with both her hands as tears threatened to launch from her moisten ducts.
Rebecca stood up, toppling the fort, and walked straight through the silver haired girl, who seemed to shimmer like heat waves over a hot sidewalk. She smiled weakly at Nausica and commented that she seemed to be behaving strangely, lifting her hand to feel Nausica’s forehead. “You’re shaking, Nausica,” Rebecca said with her head tilted in confusion. “Want me to get Mom?”
Nausica shook her head to that and said that she was all right, albeit breathing deeply as she said it before smiling at Rebecca and continuing their game. When Rebecca turned her back Nausica glared at the silver haired girl who laughed silently, slowly pulling her index finger across her jugular as though it were a knife to slit her throat. For her part, Nausica ignored the presence of the malicious child while concentrating on her game with Rebecca.
‘What does this mean?’ Nausica asked herself while laughing at a joke Rebecca made. 'Why can I see her in the daytime too. Am I insane? Will they lock me up? Why did she show me my family like that?” She tried to recall the dream she had Christmas Eve where her parents visited her and left her with a silver medallion that she wore all the time and clutched presently through her t-shirt, trying to lean on it for support, which she received in a small way.
The morning wore on and the vision did not leave her. If anything, it became stronger in its attacks on Nausica. When her mom entered the living room after talking with Sam and Aunt Chloe the silver hair ran at her as though to attack. Wrinkling her nose in rage she snapped her head to face Nausica and the purple eyes gleamed balefully, and without looking at Mom, pointed at her.
Immediately Nausica found herself in the middle of a small neighborhood street. The heat and humidity slammed against her skin and she began to sweat profusely, but not from the weather. On the ground in front of her were the remains of a little girl ripped nearly in half, her intestines looped about her on the pavement like some ghastly ornament. The silver haired girl glared at the corpse and then at Nausica. Bending down, the girl picked up the head of the corpse and lifted it so Nausica could see who it was who died. Nausica didn’t want to see who died. She remembered the dead fish eyes well enough from when she saw this the first time. This time, however, the dead fish eyes belonged to Calliope Roberts. The silver haired girl released the golden hair matted with grime and gored, allowing it to hit the ground with a sick squelch.
Nausica fell to her knees and vomited while screaming.
Mom rushed over and lifted Nausica, who was still sicking up and put her over the toilet. The horrible smell and the bile in her throat only added to her discomfort at seeing the person she cared about more than anything else in the world mutilated like that. But as she cried and threw up she wondered if she had a right to be so shocked, as though such a thing were not possible. Her real family had been murdered, her friend killed in a car accident, and almost anyone else she had a lasting relationship had met with some tragedy. She WAS the tragic toddler, and she DID bring only death. How much longer before she brought tragedy to these people?
She recalled the silver haired girl inferring that Rebecca would die with her crude hand jesters indicating hanging herself and slitting her throat. She didn’t want that! She didn’t want ANYONE to die. Never again. Never because of her!
The silver haired girl stood next to her as she threw up, her face inches from Nausica and her eyes dead locked into her own. Silently and slowly she mouthed, “S u f f e r!” Abruptly she turned her head to face something and instinctively Nausica turned as well to see what the silver haired girl was looking at. Sam and Aunt Chloe were in the doorway. The silver haired girl smiled, lifting her right arm and closing her fingers so that it looked like she were holding a pistol. Soundlessly she said, “BANG BANG!” while cocking her wrist as though from the recoil of two shots fired from an actual gun.
Immediately Nausica found herself in the bank and the two shots made the sound of a heavy stone being thrown in mud as they thudded into the chest of the man who had been her parent before Calliope Roberts. The silver haired girl held the smoking weapon in her hand and as she turned to point the barrel at the kneeling Nausica, Nausica heard a foreign voice scream, “NO!” The voice belonged to a young girl, of that Nausica was certain, but the owner of the voice eluded her. In fact, she would swear she had never heard the voice before.
The silver haired girl glared at the ceiling and before vanishing gave Nausica a final glower. Nausica didn’t understand any of what just happened. Who stopped the silver haired girl? Who was the silver haired girl? Before passing out, she saw the white outlined silhouettes of Mom and Aunt Chloe rush to catch her.
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Callie didn’t know what to think when Nausica started screaming out of nowhere and then began to throw up. It reminded her vaguely of the movie, “The Exorcist.” Regardless, she knew she needed to get Nausica to the toilet before she vomited all over the floor. Lifting her up, Callie could feel the sodden pull-up squish between her fingers and made a mental note to change Nausica once she got this all sorted out. Dark stains were forming at the legs of the gray sweatpants.
Upon hearing the running, Chloe and Samantha rushed to see what was the matter and when they saw Nausica puking her guts out they asked what was wrong. Callie at first thought it must be the eggs that upset her stomach but she couldn’t be positive of that because Rebecca was fine.
It had been so odd. She left Nausica’s room where Chloe and Sam were talking as mother and daughter and obviously didn’t need an interloper when Nausica looked at her from across the living room. The stare was bank, devoid of passion or even recognition and but for the fact that her eyes didn’t move Callie would have thought the child were looking somewhere else. And then, all at once, Nausica screamed, holding her hands over her ears, falling to her knees and then began to throw up.
Once over the toilet, Nausica calmed down for only a moment, but it was clear something was very wrong. She was not responding to Callie’s voice and was crying against something only she could see. Then, again the child did something unexpected. She looked over her shoulder at Chloe and Samantha with a glazed look as she had when looking at Callie. She and Chloe had just enough time to dash and grab Nausica as her eyes began to blink vacantly and her body started to sway unsteadily.
Chloe handed the child to Callie and went to the phone to call Dr. Nancy Sullivan. “Hello, is Dr. Sullivan there? Well, Why the hell not? It’s an emergency, Duh! Why else do you think I would call? YES! It has to be HER. She’s our pediatrician. Don’t get an attitude with me, you. I am in a pissed mood so you better give me her number before I come over there and beat it out of you. Who the hell am I? I am the one who makes sure Dr. Sullivan can pay your worthless salary, that’s who! I don’t care. Don’t you dare hang up on me. I have an emergency and I need her NOW! Her cell? Oh darling, you are a sweetheart.” She hung up and dialed the new number.
Callie nuzzled Nausica’s shaking, unconscious form into her bosom, wondering if maybe they should have called 911. Child fevers could often be this bad. Rebecca suffered from one like this when Callie had stayed with Chloe before. The vomiting and lack of stamina were not uncommon, but then, Rebecca had been very young. Callie hated not knowing what to do in these situations. Becoming a mother like this left her hopelessly inadequate to take care of such a special little girl like Nausica. While whispering prayers for Nausica, she thanked heaven for Chloe’s presence and strength of will.
“Hello? Hello! Yes, is this Dr. Sullivan? Dr. Minas? I don’t know who you are but I need to speak with Dr. Sullivan. It’s an emergency. My name? Oh, hers. Yes, it’s Nausica Roberts. No, no. I don’t know. Anyway, you can come too, if you want but please bring Dr. Sullivan. Yes, yes. She has my address. It’s 345 Terrace Way, Wuthering Heights Apartments and we are on the third floor. Yes, yes. No, thank you. See you when? Ten minutes? Oh? You are that close? Excellent. See you soon.”
Chloe hung up the phone and gave Callie a thumb up. Then they laid Nausica on the floor and changed her out of her almost exploding pull-up and into one of the nighttime diapers Sam had picked out for her. That done, Chloe went to make the bed while ordering Sam to start cleaning up the vomit trail from the carpet using a wet towel. Meanwhile, Callie cradled Nausica, who still shook if a little less so now, in her arms, cooing softly both for Nausica’s benefit and her own.
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After the white outlines winked out Nausica felt herself falling, almost perpetually so, as though she would never stop. To make matters worse, she felt much trepidation about what lay at the bottom of this fall. Out of the darkness she saw a shadow falling with her and in that shadow she perceived the gaze of eyes. Looking closer she saw that they were purple eyes. Shivering, Nausica began to softly cry. She had had enough. For crying out loud, she was only seven years old and no one had to deal with this craziness or this pain. She saw the eyes contort at her mewling, as eyes do when the jawbones lift in a smile. The silver haired girl enjoyed her suffering. Why? What had she ever done to her? Why had she singled out Nausica, a girl she had never met, to torture?
Then, she heard a small whisper above her and this calmed her substantially. The whispering made her feel warm all over and secure despite the fall. Reaching to her chest, Nausica grasped the medallion and smiled at the farewells her family gave her. She would survive this. She would come out on top. After all, they were watching out for her, right? The whispering belonged to her mom, whose voice now, as before, seemed a hybrid of her own and Callie’s intertwined like a melody. Slowly, the fall ceased and she felt herself cradled in warm arms. Opening her eyes, she saw the worried faces of Aunt Chloe and Mom. Seeing them alive and well soothed her completely, allowing her to fall back into sleep, but this time, a peaceful one.
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Drs. Sullivan and Minas arrived in short order; both knocking loudly at the door, and once admittance was granted they followed Callie into Nausica’s room where they had laid her only a moment before. Dr. Sullivan took the child’s pulse and then inspected her sleeping form with searching fingers quickly but thoroughly, remarking how amazing it was that Nausica could sleep through that. Dr. Minas paced around the room once he learned from Dr. Sullivan that nothing seemed to be wrong with Nausica except maybe a mild indigestion of the stomach. She commented that the eggs might have led to it, but she said she would hold any definite answers for now. Dr. Minas asked to speak with Nausica once she woke up, satisfied that her sleep was natural.
Together, they all walked into the living room where Sam was still trying to clean up the vomit, with Rebecca beside her, a veritable machine gun of questions and wailing. Once she saw Dr. Sullivan come out she ran to her and begged her to take care of Nausica. She didn’t want to lose her best friend. Dr. Sullivan chuckled, while ruffling Rebecca’s hair, assuring her that Nausica would be fine.
Chloe seemed a little out of sorts at this point, asking them to all sit down while she made some tea. She apologized for calling them out for what turned out to be nothing, offering to treat them to lunch if they would stay, which, before Dr. Sullivan could answer to, Dr. Minas happily accepted, repeating that he wished to speak with Nausica. He asked Callie numerous questions of what transpired after they left his office. Chloe had returned with the tea and they all had time to finish before he finished drilling Callie for information. He seemed troubled fiercely when she told him about the blank stares that ended with screaming, vomiting and then passing out.
Once he acquired all that he could the group entered into idle chitchat that led them from one topic to another. The afternoon began to approach its zenith by the time they realized the hour and halted a rather lengthy discussion on political science. Callie felt out of her league with these professionals discussing politics and other heavy matters that she had never given much thought to previously. More than once she wanted to find an excuse to run off with Sam and Rebecca, who were playing together in the hallway, trying to be unobtrusive. Years of having their mother work from home had taught them to be silent and invisible when the need arose. However, worry for Nausica kept her from both that and any in depth comments she might have attempted to make to the conversation. Dr. Minas noticed this and more than once pulled her back into the conversation when she would become silent for extended periods of time. He would flash his whimsical grin and not in an obvious manner postured a question to her that would make Callie feel a part of the group.
Smiling and laughing with the others she now saw Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Minas as Nancy and Luke, two adults like her if a little older and far more educated. Luke was handsome by any standards and Nancy pretty to most eyes. The two made a smart match and she felt privileged to be sitting here, talking to them as friends when, in any other situation she would never meet them like this. It was like sitting with adults for the first time at large family dinners, an awesome and honored feeling.
After a while, Rebecca couldn’t hold out any more and announced loudly that she was starving and inquired to know when they might be eating lunch. Chloe blushed from embarrassment and the two doctors lowered their heads, a little ashamed that they got so caught up in talking that they forgot the kids. The doctors rose and said that now would be an opportune time to wake Nausica and then they could all go get something to eat together, pending Nausica was able. Chloe took her girls back to her apartment to give them some snack to tide them over because Dr. Minas wanted to have his talk with Nausica now, as opposed to later.
+
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica felt well rested when she felt a hand nudge her shoulder. Awaking slowly she scanned the room first, looking for any sign of the silver haired girl before looking to see who woke her. Mom, Dr. Sullivan, and Luke stared down at her with smiles. She for her part suddenly became self-conscious and realized she was naked except for a rather thick diaper. She blushed and pulled the blankets over her frail form.
Luke smiled at her and walked out of the room so she could get dressed. Quietly she asked why the doctors were there, though she already knew the answer to that, seven years old or no. Dr. Sullivan told her she was healthy and that Dr. Minas wanted to talk to her. She, together with mom, changed Nausica out of a slightly moist diaper. Upon inspecting it, Dr. Sullivan told Mom to give Nausica lots of water because she was dehydrated after throwing up and the small amount of urine with such a strong odor was proof that the little girl didn’t have enough liquid in her.
This embarrassed Nausica more than a little, hearing her discussed as though she were an infant and these diapers were nothing out of the ordinary. Mom still had to explain why she was in a diaper instead of a pull-up now, but she felt embarrassed to ask. Dr. Sullivan saved her there and asked for her.
“I didn’t ask earlier, but I am curious. Why is she in diapers? Did it get worse?” Mom nodded sullenly, and Dr. Sullivan shrugged her shoulders. “Luke thinks that this won’t be a problem too much longer but after today I have my doubts. Has she been able to have bowel movements in the toilet? Most of the time? Well, that’s not good. Have you talked to her school yet?”
Mom answered, “I have and the principal seemed a little confused but Nausica is hardly the only second grader to have accidents so he told me to supply the school with her protective needs and they would see to her problems.”
“They aren’t putting her in a remedial class for it are they?”
“I don’t know. He did not mention changing her class and I doubt the school would do that without my consent.”
Nausica was confused at this conversation. Did that mean she would need to wear diapers to school? A though told her that was a silly and superfluous question. If she couldn’t control herself then she would need protection. But why a diaper and not a pull-up? Mom had agreed to the pull-up because Nausica picked it out. A change of class was almost a welcome idea, whatever remedial meant because then she wouldn’t be in the same class as that silver haired girl.
They changed Nausica into another diaper and dressed her into a pair of jean overalls that did little to hide the bulk of the diaper in Nausica’s estimation. She shook her rear a little to see, but in the end Mom assured her that no one could tell.
Dressed and freshly diapered, Nausica went to meet Luke, who was sitting on the couch. As she walked over to him she could smell faintly the bitter odor of her bile on the carpet as she stepped over the area where she threw up. She swallowed hard at this. In a previous setting that might have made her question whether or not her parent would keep her, but she knew to trust Mom at this point. After all, what other parent would put up with an incontinent seven year old?
Luke rose and let her sit before he sat opposite her. “How are you doing, Nausica? Have you rescued Odysseus yet?”
Again, Nausica had no idea who this Odysseus was and didn’t have a clue as to how or why she should rescue him. She retuned a shrug of her shoulders to his question and he laughed saying, “Well, how are you, anyway?”
“Terrible,” she said in a clipped bite, looking down.
“I can see that,” he said, appraising her while scratching his clean-shaven jaw. “Your mom told me some very troubling things, Nausica. I want you to explain them to me if you can. Will you?”
“If, if, If I can,” she said hesitantly, not used to this manner of speaking from Luke, who previously spoke so kindly.
“What did you see today, Nausica?”
She felt all the blood drain from her face as she gasped in shock. How did he know what she saw? She glanced at Mom and wondered if she knew too. Either way, she didn’t really want to say. They would think she was crazy and then take her away from Mom. “Noth-” she began.
“Nausica!” Luke snapped. “I am here for you because I care about you. Please answer me truthfully or I can’t help you. Maybe together we can understand what you saw.
‘Not likely,’ she thought to herself, recalling the grisly scenes. ‘I understand well enough already. The people I love will be hurt by me.’ She answered in a half-truth, partly because she wanted to answer him who she respected and partly because she didn’t want to reveal everything. “I saw all the people I care about dead.”
He breathed in slowly at this and asked, “Why did you see them dead, Nausica. Why did they die?”
She wanted to answer 'Because of me,” but she said, “I don’t know. I don’t want them to die!”
“None of us do, Nausica,” he started. Just then, as if out of thin air, the silver haired girl stepped up behind Luke and held her hand over the area where his heart was. She then placed her seemingly immaterial hand through his chest and Nausica could tell she held his heart.
At once she leapt up screaming, “NO! Leave him alone!”
The silver haired girl pinioned Nausica with her purple eyes before stepping back from Luke with the look of a predator who has just lost her prey. Grinning inwardly the silver haired girl reached out her right hand as though holding a large sphere, which she was slowly squeezing. She turned her gaze to Luke, who, of course, didn’t see her but rather looked at Nausica with shock and concern. Raising her eyebrows, as though in thought, she lifted the invisible sphere in front of her face and flexed her fingers as though daring Nausica to move.
Nausica could feel sweat trickle down her brow as she saw this. The girl gave a snort of disgust and relaxed her hand, laughing silently at the look of relief on Nausica’s face. Nausica realized now that she no longer just feared this girl. She hated her. She hated her more than she hated the people who murdered her family because she brought those memories back with a vengeance. In short, Nausica hated because she was hated. This brought the words of Father Lukas back to her about reserving judgment, but certainly he couldn’t expect a seven-year-old girl, or anyone else for that matter, to forgive or allow this.
‘Go away!’ she lashed out with her thought.
‘No,’ the girl projected back to her. ‘Not till I make you suffer!’
“Nausica wants you to go away,” Luke said in a gravely voice that brooked no trouble. "I think you better leave before I get involved.
The girl laughed at this, partly because Luke wasn’t even facing her when he said this, and partly because of the reaction that Mom and Dr. Sullivan gave. Nausica was convinced that he must have been bluffing. The girl must have thought so as well because she bade Nausica say, “She says you can’t do anything.”
“Oh can’t I?” Luke laughed. “I can see that you are bothering Nausica and I can give her some tricks to get rid of you.”
“You can’t even see me. I will kill you.”
“If the imagination of a child could kill me then I would be dead many times before now. You are a part of Nausica’s mind, and you’re torturing ends now. You will leave her alone and let her deal with her own problems.”
The silver haired girl smiled and vanished, but the smile was not that of one quietly admitting defeat, nor was it of one angry at being found out. It was an amused smile. A smile one gives when one sees a joke that no one else can.
“She’s gone,” Nausica announced.
“And who is she?” Luke asked in a calm voice, seeming the polar opposite of the tone he used a moment ago when addressing the silver haired girl.
“I have no idea. After Christmas I have been dreaming about her. She hates me. I don’t know why. I never met her before.” She left out the part that she looked exactly like a girl in her class, but if she were a projection of Nausica’s own mind then that would make sense, wouldn’t it?
“You never saw her before that? No? And this is the first time you have seen her awake? What did she do?” Nausica went into great detail of the scenes she was forced to watch and then ended by showing where the silver haired girl’s hand had been over his heart. “Very mean, isn’t she, Nausica?”
She nodded, feeling quite helpless, and not because of her incontinence. “I don’t want anyone to die anymore,” she said softly.
“You never wanted anyone to die in the first place,” Luke corrected. “But that is not your fault no matter what blame you attribute to it. What happened in the past was NOT your fault. Whoever you think this girl is, a judge, a person who hates you, you have to understand that you are innocent and that you have nothing to feel guilty over. The tragic events of your path were coincidental, that is to say that they happened by chance as far as your involvement is concerned. Do you understand?”
On the intellectual level Nausica did in fact understand but she still felt responsible on the inside and no amount of logic would change that. She nodded to Luke and he offered her a hug, telling her that everything would be ok. Together they would work it out. He then asked her to go to her cousins and discuss where they should go for lunch.
Nausica smiled and ran off dutifully.
+
++++++++++++__+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“This is a very serious problem, Callie,” Dr. Minas said once Nausica had gone. “It has been a long time since I have seen something like this. At first, I thought she suffered from manic depression, but I think perhaps this might be schizophrenia. She is definitely seeing things and this “schizoaffective” disorder could isolate her from reality.”
“I am sorry,” Callie said, her heart thumping wildly in her chest, “but what is schizophrenia . . . and that other stuff?”
“There is no clear definition of schizophrenia, Callie. It is usually accompanied with varied symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, abnormal thought processing. On occasion it also is coupled with apathy, depression, an altered sense of self. Nausica is suffering from a few of these maladies. To help her deal with them I am going to assign her some neuroleptics or anti-psychotic drugs. This will help control her flow of dopamine to the neurotransmitters in her brain. I think this would be an excellent start to dealing with this problem.”
Callie wasn’t listening to that. She contemplated what she had heard Nausica say she saw, and to the little girl it seemed so real, real enough to make her sick, but she didn’t want to think Nausica had schizophrenia. She still wasn’t sure what that meant exactly but she remembered calling people “schizoid” in high school, and it seemed like a mean term. “Are you positive, Dr. Minas?”
He scratched his jaw and shook his head, "It’s kind of a mystery as to what it is and what causes it so I am not sure exactly. I am a psychologist so the realm of medical science isn’t my strong point and this disease is usually relegated to them. I am not a psychiatrist, but I would hazard to guess, if guess I must, that this is a case of either schizophrenia or something similar. Nausica really thought that vision was going to kill me. These symptoms are not the result of an overactive imagination.
“It may be necessary to do a cat scan on her brain. However, I still, in my own opinion of the matter, think that the problem lies in her guilt over the various tragedies that she has witnessed in her short life. She thinks they were caused by her, or on account of her. Do you remember how I said the accidents were a result of her trying to regain what she lost? Well, this may be something similar. She sees this angel of death girl as a demon who will take away the ones she loves like they were before. She feels guilty so this vision is making her feel justified in her guilt by commanding her to suffer. I think she will do better when in school with many children her own age to talk to and get her mind off of her life at home.”
“That will be a little hard when she has to go get changed,” Callie muttered sourly.
Dr. Minas nodded, and Dr. Sullivan patted Callie’s shoulder. “She just needs assurance that she is normal, Ms. Roberts,” she said with a smile. “Still, the drugs seem to simple an answer right now. For just this one incident I wouldn’t immediately put your daughter on pills. I like to use medicine as a last resort in treatment. If the person can heal on their own it is much better.” Again, Dr. Minas nodded. “Now, I know a great Italian eatery downtown. Let’s gather up Chloe and her daughters and then go.”
Callie smiled and nodded. She wasn’t sure what was going on with Nausica but if it required her giving her attention and assuring her she was loved then she would do that. What was a Mom for after all? This brought thoughts of her own mother and she smiled.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica sat next to Rebecca on the bench seat in the restraint and smiled after sipping from her cup of water. She didn’t know how the real food would taste but this bread dipped in yellow water with green veggies tasted amazing. Of the ten rolls that came out she had eaten three and was about to reach for a fourth when Mom told her to share with everyone else. She fake pouted and smiled.
Luke told her that the way to get rid of the silver haired girl was to acknowledge that she was not at fault for the tragedies in her life. As long as she thought that then the silver haired girl couldn’t bother her. That made sense in a way because the silver haired girl was always saying that Nausica should suffer because she suffered.
The meal proved amazing, even to a seven-year-old’s palate. Rebecca didn’t like the mushrooms on her chicken, but everyone else found their meals heavenly. During the meal Rebecca asked Nausica a slue of questions but she felt only disposed to answer a few of them directly. She took advantage of Rebecca’s flighty personality to move the topics away from her outburst at the apartment and lead them to topics innocuous in nature as far as she was concerned, innocuous for her anyway. She escaped by asking Sam what all the yelling was about from her room.
Sam blushed and looked down. “Mom was upset with me.”
“Where DID you go last night, Sam?” Rebecca asked, her attention fully taken from Nausica and now on her older sister, whose secret life Rebecca knew well but couldn’t resist teasing her about. “Mom was so scary when she found out you were gone. I thought she was going to brake something.”
Sam squirmed, looking to make sure Mom and Aunt Chloe were talking with the other adults before leaning to whisper to the other girls. “Mom talked to me about being irresponsible and getting into dangerous situations. I went to the grocery store.”
“And why is that?” Rebecca asked with a seemingly innocent smile that didn’t match the mischievous glint in her eyes one bit. Nausica wanted to giggle at the dichotomy in front of her but held off, as Sam obviously looked uncomfortable. “Go on, tell us. Mom’s not looking if that’s what’s bothering you.”
“Why would that bother me?” Sam snapped back irritably.
“Because you keep looking over there before talking to us,” Rebecca snickered with a facial expression that at last matched her eyes. “So what did you go to the grocery store for? Run out of flash cards?”
Sam had skipped a grade and was currently in sixth grade though she was only a young eleven. Studying was something that Rebecca said came naturally to Sam and Nausica knew that the studying came with a terrible price to Sam’s feelings. She stressed constantly over whether or not she were doing her best in her mother’s eyes
“No,” Sam said with an over dramatic enlargement of her mouth as she formed the “o” sound. “I went for something else. And to save myself more embarrassment I will just say you already know what for.”
Rebecca smiled knowingly but in a special little girl voice she asked, “But I REALLY don’t, Sam. Won’t you please tell me?” Nausica had the good grace to smack Rebecca behind the head, which elicited an apology of sorts.
“So you finally came clean?” Rebecca asked. “Darn, I loved having this over you. Now what will I talk about behind your back?”
“How about nothing?” Sam quipped back. “It’s more than a little rude to talk about someone behind their back, especially with such a delicate issue.”
“Blah, Blah, Blah,” Rebecca droned while her eyes were rolled back and while she clapped her thumb of her right hand to the fingers as though making a visual of a mouth speaking. “You sound like, Mom.”
Nausica giggled at this and asked, since the tense atmosphere seemed to have lifted, “So what did your mom say?”
Sam adopted a faraway look in her eyes and sat silently for a moment before shaking her head ruefully and offering a weak smile. “We came to an agreement. She said she would tone down the pressure at home. Well, she said she would try, but it really isn’t in her to be otherwise, so to make the offer was really nice. I, I am not allowed to leave the apartment complex by myself anymore because I can’t be trusted alone. I am also not allowed to buy you know what anymore or wear them for that matter. I am officially grounded.”
“That stinks!” Rebecca said in a harsh whisper. “That’s not even fair! She let you wear them before. She even made me and Nausica swear not to let you know we knew so you wouldn’t feel bad.”
Nausica nodded emphatically, unsure how to deal with this for while she hated this plastic prison Sam seemed to desire it. Sam seemed to echo these thoughts exactly as she looked into Nausica’s gray eyes with her soft brown and commented, “I said it before. I’ll day it again. I am jealous of you. I can’t think of anything more terrible than to be around someone living my dream and that person hating.”
“Err,” Nausica stuttered. “I guess it’s not that bad. I mean they help me wake up dry, right?” She neglected to mention that even wearing the pull-up at the start of the previous evening she had still wet the bed, and had Aunt Chloe not put a plastic sheet on it she would have completely ruined the mattress as she had in their previous apartment, which forever smelt like pee after the first time Nausica wet it.
Sam reached over and tussled Nausica’s shaggy main of raven black hair and grinned. “I love you, you know that, Nausica? You are a great cousin.”
Nausica wanted to smile, but found the vision that the silver haired girl supplied to fresh. She didn’t want to lose Sam, or anyone else for that matter. At last she forced herself to whisper around a sniffle. “I love you too, Sam.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The eve of December 31st couldn’t have been more beautiful. With a full moon in the cloudless sky Callie could see all around with little difficulty. It had been an effort to get ready for the party. Rebecca and Nausica both refused to take a nap in the afternoon so they were a little tired when nine o’clock rolled around and it became time to put on their party dresses and get ready to go to church for the new years party. She made Nausica sit on the toilet for half an hour till she finally managed to have a bowel movement, before getting her dressed in two diapers.
Once they were taped on, the one underneath slashed on the plastic back sheet to allow for urine to pass through both diapers, Nausica began to complain. They were too bulky around her legs, she whined, and she felt positive that everyone would be able to tell she was wearing a diaper. She pouted, sitting on her bed with her lips tightly pressed together with an oath that she would NOT go to the party like this.
Callie sighed and laughed at the predicament. Nausica had a point in that the diapers did make her look like an oversized infant, but she felt that the party dress would hide the bulk. It was a single piece garment that zipped up in the back. Bright blue, a lavender jacket went over it and matched perfectly with the pleated skirt, and her black shoes. This was the first time Nausica got to wear hose so she had fun making fun of the fake skin socks. Callie laughed at that, and inwardly groaned, looking at the time. She only hoped Chloe were having half the trouble with Rebecca. The two were alright on their own but even the angelic Nausica became a miscreant when Rebecca came by.
“Mommy?” Nausica asked, after the second hose was dragged up to her calf. “Why do I have to wear two this time?”
“Well,” Callie explained. “Aunt Chloe suggested it because you and the other girls will be drinking liquids the whole night. We are staying up to midnight to ring in the New Year. She didn’t think you would want to be changed as frequently tonight because you will be doing other things. Anyway, it’s-”
“It’s for my own protection, I know,” Nausica finished with a sad look in her eyes. Callie’s heart went out for her. The poor kid had so much on her plate already. She didn’t need this added injustice.
“Nausica, honey,” Callie said sitting down next to her, “We can get through this. You won’t have to wear these things forever, I promise.”
Once in the Church, lit their candles and greeted by Frank, Callie and Nausica made their way to the same pew they sat in for Christmas. Mom and Dad were already there, and smiled appealingly when they saw their adoptive granddaughter.
Callie sighed. Everyone was standing. They had come late to the service, which irked her more than a little. She would need to learn how to get ready in a timely fashion with a little child to take care of. Standing next to her mother, Callie bent down and told Nausica she could sit in the pew if she wanted. Nausica complied, and due to staying up most of the day, soon drowsed against Callie’s father’s side, who sat with Nausica so she wouldn’t feel awkward being the only one sitting.
Callie, once in church, began to enjoy the service. The hymns and the lights reminded her again how lucky she was and she sent many prayers of thanks. Fr. Lukas chanted beautifully for a man his age and his new year’s homily touched many people. It spoke of new beginnings and not just New Year’s resolutions, but efforts to be truer to who they were. He then went into a mini lecture about the life of Saint Basil, whose feast they were celebrating liturgy for. The man put gold into bread so that when passing out bread to the poor they would not feel embarrassed to be getting handouts. He started the first real orphanages and old folk homes as well as organized several of the local doctors in his area of the world into one of the first hospitals. Callie wondered how many of these supposed good deeds were actually real and suspected a lot of it was embellished in the hagiography of the saint. However, real or not, it gave an example to follow, which is what Callie suspect the lives of all the saints really were in actuality.
Oddly enough Nausica had asked to be woken up when Father gave his sermon, and once awake she listened attentively, giving silently oohs and ahhs at the story presented at the end. She was about to clap when he had finished but Callie grabbed her hands and told her it was inappropriate to clap in church. Nausica clearly didn’t understand that, but she would explain it later.
When the time for the Eucharist came, Callie and her mother went to the growing queue while Nausica sat with Callie’s father. Her mother asked behind Callie’s ear as they waited, “Why isn’t Nausica receiving?”
“Mom, she hasn’t been baptized,” she whispered back.
“Well, why hasn’t she?”
“Mom,” Callie sighed, unsure how to broach this, “Nausica is an atheist. I won’t pressure her to do this if it isn’t what she wants.”
Her mother remained silent after this. They both received communion and when they returned, her father went to receive. Nausica looked full of questions again, but for some reason, held off on asking them. Callie felt bad. In order to fit in, Nausica probably wanted to get into that line like everyone else, even if she had no idea what it meant. But, in a way, didn’t she? To be Christian is to take up one’s cross, hardships, and follow Christ. So many people thought that to be Christian was to swear to Christ and that was it, but Callie firmly believed that in order to appreciate anything one had to suffer for it. Nausica had suffered, if not for the Church, but she had suffered. She silently hoped Fr. Lukas could convince Nausica there was something at the other end of that suffering, and that she didn’t suffer alone. There is so much love in this world, and it bursts out at the most unexpected times and places. The single good moments of ones life far outweigh the bad. Callie knew horror existed in the world, she would be naïve to think otherwise, but a part of her struck a harmonious chord with the little Jewish girl, Anne Frank in that she wanted to believe that there was good in everyone, no matter how depraved.
The party in the church hall was amazing. They actually hired a band of Greek musicians and a DJ. The food was oven roasted lamb, potatoes, green beans, grape leaves wrapped around meat and rice, egg lemon soup, and so much more. The pastries seemed without end in their variety of flavor, make, and shape. The children of the church loved those perhaps best of all.
The whole family sat around a large table as they ate, and Dr. Minas with Dr. Sullivan came to sit with them. Dr. Sullivan clearly felt out of place among all these swarthy Greeks, and felt better sitting with people who looked very American. Callie laughed at this. She was only a quarter Greek through her mother who was half Greek through her father. Callie’s father was a convert, much like her grandmother had been. Still, even with just a smidge of the blood in her, Callie enjoyed herself as any Greek might even if she couldn’t speak the language.
When the band began to play folk songs for line dances, she quickly leapt to the front of the line and danced as few women could without limber limbs and endless stamina when in the mania of the song. She was having so much fun that she hadn’t noticed that the man holding the napkin she held to keep balance as she performed tricks in the front of the line while everyone in the hall clapped in rhythm with the music, was Dr. Luke Minas. In his other hand he held the hand of Dr. Sullivan, who stumbled along, not sure how to do the steps. He offered his fiancé a smile of encouragement before bellowing out in Greek his support of the song, hissing through his teeth like a snake. In another dance, he led and performed multiple flips, while the man next to him held him up with the napkin for support.
Callie looked to the table and didn’t see Nausica. A moment of fear and anger at her father passed before she scanned the hall and saw the three girls in a corner, teaching Nausica how to dance Greek. Before long, they joined the back of one of the many lines that formed and danced, getting caught up in the excitement.
The excitement abruptly stopped a half hour before midnight as Fr. Lukas hushed the band, taking the lead singer’s microphone. Behind him, a man brought in three huge trays of circular bread, lightly dusted with honey and sugar on a cart. “My friends,” he called out jovially. “My friends of all backgrounds. Whether you worship Christ or Allah, or the Hebrew God. Whether you chose not to worship at all, all are welcome on this blessed feast and I invite you all to join us in the cutting of the Basilopita!” A loud cheering erupted from the Greeks and their guests of various and sundry ethnicities and creeds felt a little more welcome. “We have a tradition of placing a single gold coin into the bread of the Basilopita as St. Basil used to do himself, and it is our tradition that the person who gets the piece with the coin in it will have exceedingly good luck for the year, of course, we don’t believe in luck do we?” Several older people chuckled at this, “So let us say the one will be exceedingly blessed. Now, let’s cut.” He cut first a piece for Christ, then the Church, the bishop, and all the committees of the church, handing out the pieces to their various representatives.
Callie felt a bit of excitement in this. She remembered many years ago, the year she chose to live on her own, she had received the coin in the Basilopita. The hall had an electrified sense of urgency as each piece was cut and passed on, each time, expecting to see the flash of yellow. “This next piece,” Fr. Lukas stated as he cut into the bread, “Goes to the children, the ones Christ loves most. Now, who should get the piece?” Immediately all the children in the hall began to scream that they should get the piece, Sam and Rebecca among them, but oddly enough Nausica didn’t cry out for it, which seemed odd because Nausica would usually follow the other two girls in whatever they did.
Father must have noticed this too because he hushed the multitude again and said, “Nausica Roberts? Why don’t you want the piece? You are the only child not crying for it.”
Nausica spoke but several old men cried out, “We can’t hear you!”
Fr. Lukas motioned her to come forward and speak into the microphone. She shied away from at first saying she didn’t want to, that she was embarrassed, but Father coerced her to speak at last. “I don’t care if I get this piece because there is all this bread so I will eventually get a piece, right? You said all of us who aren’t Christians were welcome too, so I figured we would get our pieces later. I am not a member here so I didn’t want to take away what belongs to a real member. I am sorry.”
“No,” Father Lukas said with a warm smile and a tear in his cheek. Callie had many more tears on her cheek. "I think all of you will recall the story of the woman who wanted her daughter to be healed. The disciples chased her away because she was not of the flock of Israel. The lord said the dogs should not take the bread from the little children. But the woman replied that even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the children’s table. Her faith made her daughter well.
“Nausica is no dog, begging at the master’s table. No. She is a guest, and I hope one day she will sup at the Master’s table with all of us. Here, Nausica. This piece is for you, for all children, but especially for you.”
“Hey!” Nausica cried out, as she immediately took a nibble from the flaky bread. “It had the coin!”
Fr. Lukas smiled and said, “I hope you have many blessings, little Nausica. And remember,” he said, reaching down and lifting her medallion to hold in front of her eyes, “you are always being looked after, and not just by them.” He gave her a big hug and then began cutting more pieces for everyone else.
Nausica came running to Callie, holding the golden coin aloft like a trophy. “Mommy, Mommy,” she cried. “I got the coin! That means I am going to be blessed!” She stopped for a moment and then looked up quizzically. “What does that mean, Mommy?”
Callie smiled with difficulty as tears made it hard for her to lift her cheekbones. “You will see one day, Nausica. You will see.”

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Chapter 4

Silver Hair, Silver Eyes

Nausica gingerly pulled on her socks while sitting on her bed. Though no one knew it besides her, she had been dreading this day for a long time, ever since the start of her nightmares. The voice told her to fear nothing, but Nausica couldn’t make herself feel brave when all she wanted to do was run away. She could hear Mom in the shower down the hall and wondered vaguely why she never told her mother about the fact that the creepy girl looked exactly like a girl in her class.
Hermione.
Yes, that was the girl’s name. Nausica liked that name, which seemed odd to her because she hated the silver haired girl. Hermione had been her sister’s name. The first words Nausica spoke, as a baby, had been “Hermy.” The name found a special place in Nausica’s heart to reverberate memories of her beloved older sister who died so tragically. And yet, this nightmare child possessed the same name.
Grabbing her sneakers Nausica began to do up the laces when she heard a knock on the door. Already expecting them, Nausica jumped up, tripping a little on her dangling laces, to get the door. When she opened it Rebecca looked Nausica up and down and asked why she wasn’t ready yet. Nausica didn’t want to say that she had been thinking about the silver haired girl so she remained silent and apologized, bending down immediately to finish tying her shoes.
She ran to her room and grabbed her backpack and then peeked her head in the bathroom to say goodbye to mom, who wished her luck on her first day, before joining her cousin in the hall. Sam smiled down at Nausica, apparently eager to be on their way.
“Honestly,” Rebecca admonished. “Even Sam was ready before you and she takes FOREVER!” she said while rolling her eyes.
Sam turned with her hands on her hip akimbo. She wore a jean skirt and a white button-down blouse with a purple suede vest. All in all, she looked rather pretty to Nausica’s eyes. Her bright blue eyes were flashing as she leaned down to give Rebecca a piece of her mind. “I do NOT take forever!”
“Hey,” Rebecca said nonchalantly, looking to the side and holding up a hand to make a point, “If I need to use the bathroom then anything over ten seconds is FOREVER!”
Nausica laughed at this and yet felt a twinge of sadness. She remembered that not too long ago she had been able to know when she needed to go. Not now. Now she needed protection.
Aunt Chloe walked up at this point, yawning still, with a cup of coffee in her left hand and her keys in her right. Yet despite the yawn she walked briskly and called for the three of them to follow her to the minivan.
The trip to the school took almost time whatsoever, and for someone like Nausica who didn’t want to be there in the first place the time passed in the veritable blink of an eye. Shrugging her shoulders in her green coat she wondered what today would be like.
She wore blue jeans and a sweater under her green coat and this kept her warm despite the cool gusts of wind that cut through the air like sharp knives. Her shoulder length black hair streamed out behind her in the direction of the wind. Looking over she saw that Rebecca’s beautiful blond hair also danced in the wind like the mane of some wild stallion in the plains. She smiled at Nausica before dashing off to join some of her classmates who had recently been dropped off as well, leaving Nausica to fend for herself.
Nausica didn’t mind too much. After all, Rebecca had not seen these friends in three weeks and spent almost all of that time with Nausica. Still, she wished someone would walk with her to the office. Chloe couldn’t because she had to drop off Samantha at the middle school. Mom told Nausica the night before that the people at the school knew all about her problems and would be very friendly about it, but having dealt with false smiles are her young life Nausica felt that they would be like that horrible assistant at Dr. Sullivan’s office. They would think her a freak, a freak that couldn’t go to the bathroom like a normal seven year old.
It seemed to Nausica that they must have arrived early indeed because hardly anyone seemed to be in the office of the school. She had to wait in one of the chairs of the outer office before someone even noticed she had come in.
“Good morning, honey,” came a fast greeting of a middle-aged woman carrying a stack of papers to a copy machine. “No one seen to you yet? No? Well, lemme go find someone.” She walked into the inner office, after setting her stack of papers down on top of the machine, and returned a few minutes later saying only the school nurse could see her right now, to which Nausica smiled and replied that that was the very person she came to see.
Walking calmly Nausica followed the woman, and, as she entered the door, she saw another student leaving, a boy with black hair and gray eyes like hers. He paused and regarded her for a moment and Nausica almost felt as though an adult were peering through his eyes. He looked about her age with a black turtleneck tucked into black pants, which highlighted his trim but firm physique. One might have thought this looked gothic, but, for some reason, Nausica felt it appropriate for him, as he appeared regal in black. Perhaps that came from his bearing. He stood with confidence and his bright eyes gazed into her with complete understanding as though he had always known her.
Standing a little taller than Nausica she felt certain she had not seen him before in her class though he certainly looked her age. His whole otherworldly demeanor stemmed from his pale gray eyes and his smooth jet black hair that came over his eyes in the front and down to his jaw next to his ears. Instead of greeting her he gave a soft chuckle and continued on his way, not turning back once as he left.
This brief interlude startled Nausica out of her normal thoughts because, as the silver girl often did, this boy looked on her with recognition of sorts except without malice in his eyes. He understood, as improbable as that seemed, her every thought. Curious, she asked the teacher if she knew his name or class but apparently she knew neither. The teacher didn’t even recall seeing the boy a moment ago when she checked the office.
Shrugging, while feeling a little confused and yet not afraid anymore, Nausica entered the nurse’s office and saw to her shock one of the handsomest men she had ever seen, even more so than Dr. Luke Minas whom she considered the best looking man she had ever seen previously. This man made Luke seem rustic. He wore his hair long to his shoulders and while lank, it possessed such a perfect iridescent golden shine that he almost looked feminine except that his shallow face held hard eyes that could never belong to a woman. Nausica looked up at him and he peered down at her with a face devoid of emotion. He looked like a chiseled statue, which Nausica found strange in an elementary school nurse. Yet, despite his rough looks, he exuded a feeling of kindness that engulfed Nausica like a warm blanket.
“Nausica,” he greeted her with a hallow voice that seemed weak and strong at the same time, like a soft breeze over leaves in autumn that threatens to take the leaves from the tree and yet allows them a while to remain still on the branch. “You must be Nausica Roberts.”
“How did you know that?” Nausica asked. The teacher that brought her quickly left, leaving Nausica alone with this strange yet beautiful man wearing a white lab coat over brown slacks and a sky-blue shirt.
“I saw your file,” he answered smoothly, shaking his head toward his file cabinet in the corner, which looked remarkably small for such a large school’s nurse’s office. “I also have a perfect photographic memory. Once I see something I never forget it. I know every student in this school by name and face. I know when you were born and I know all about you. Does that bother you? Do you find that strange?” His voice adopted a questioning tone but it still gave no sign emotion or even the slightest inflection when he pronounced words. It was as though he could care less whatever she answered and that flustered her a little.
“Yes!” she replied quickly. “Er, no . . . um, I don’t think it bothers me, I mean. I just can’t believe you knew me before you met me.”
He laughed at this, and even his laughter seemed passionless in that while his cheekbones rose as a smile of sorts came to his mouth, his eyes did not change, nor did his head move. “Knew you before I met you?” he asked in a quiet voice that seemed amused at her lack of knowledge. “No. I can know every facet of your life, every detail,” he said, walking around Nausica, placing his finger on her head as he did so, so that she turned as he moved. “Every physical description and every action you have ever done and I will still not know you until I meet you, and even then, child, I may not ever KNOW you. But, to say I knew OF you would be correct.”
“You’re strange,” Nausica found herself saying before clapping her hands over her mouth to apologize. He confused her in every aspect. Why did he talk this way, act this way. What was he getting at with this conversation and why did he seem to not care.
“No need,” he chuckled. “I take no offence.” And indeed, one would never be able to tell if he had or not because his sharp eyes never changed. “I am strange, and yet, I rather think we are all strange to one degree or another.” Nausica immediately thought of Father Lukas when that man spoke. Father Lukas said everyone was different and that that was a good thing. “I am called Caspian, Dr. Caspian if you will, and strange I may be, but I believe I can heal whatever ails you.”
“Ails?” Nausica asked.
“Harms,” he explained, looking directly into her eyes, but instead of feeling uncomfortable looking into his green eyes she felt a shiver of liking, as though he transmitted in the gaze volumes, which seemed odd because the nature of the word “harm” meant pain. She felt further confused by her own emotions and wondered what was going on with her thinking. “If harmed physically I can help. It is what I am here for.”
“No one has ever talked to me like this before,” Nausica admitted to him, suddenly making up her mind to speak candidly with him in the hopes that he might explain himself and in this way make her feel less confused. “Why do you talk like this?”
“A valid question,” he answered with a smile, revealing perfect teeth. “You will find I talk this way with everyone. I speak the way I wish. Does that bother you, Nausica Roberts?”
She shook her head, unsure what to feel about this foreign atmosphere. Clearly he would not explain himself further and if that proved the case then she desired to leave before she got a headache from too much reflection. Dr. Caspian seemed very knowledgeable but he felt so completely other that Nausica didn’t think she could ever relate to him as she had with Father Lukas and Luke. “I, um, needed to drop these off-”
“Yes,” he finished, saving her the embarrassment of saying it. He reached down to take her backpack and retrieved the package of pull-ups before placing them in a cabinet and placing it in a cabinet with several other packages of protective garments, some pull-ups like hers and others actual diapers. Nausica didn’t ask about them but in her heart she felt a little better as she had when Fr. Lukas convinced her she was not alone in her problem. Other kids suffered similarly. “Now,” he said as he closed the cabinet and turned to face her. “You can come here to get more as you need. I didn’t read that you need help in that regard but if you do then you know where I am. I will write you pass.”
Nausica thanked him and made her way to her classroom. He had not given a farewell greeting, nor did he look at her as she left. Why didn’t he care about anything? And yet, that didn’t seem the case at all. He saw something else. He knew something Nausica didn’t and he walked by that truth of his. She wondered if she would ever find something like that to believe in. Father Luke had his God. Luke had his psychology and Dr. Nancy had her medicine. ‘What truth does Mom have?’ she thought as she exited the office. ‘What about me? What is my truth?’
In her head she heard an answer without a voice, ‘You make people suffer and you bring only death. You are the tragic toddler. You bring only death!’ The force of this mental projection came so hard that she fell to her knees, grasping her head and squeezing her eyes as though in pain.
A teacher bent down and asked if she were all right and Nausica responded favorably, saying she tripped. The teacher seemed to accept this and went on her way, but Nausica stayed where she was. Once she stood up she leaned against the wall and breathed heavily. A vision came to her suddenly of a woman and her husband screaming as they looked into a bathtub at their dead child. ‘You bring ONLY death! When will you understand this?’
Nausica shook her head as if to shake off the silver haired girl’s thoughts and thought back viciously. ‘I am not the Tragic Toddler.’
‘Says the person wearing diapers. You will see, Nausica. Or, should I say those you hurt will see!’ Nausica ignored this and continued to her classroom, feeling a little sick in the stomach. Did she really want to make friends then? Was she dooming them to this? What about her loved ones? Rebecca, Sam, Aunt Chloe and Mom? Were they in danger? Could the tragic toddler afford to put them in that danger?
The rest of the school began to fill with students, some her age and many older, all filing through the hallways like some large ant farm. Nausica found herself ducking and weaving around some of the taller children who stood in little groups talking. The walk to her class didn’t take long, bur seeing all of these children talking reminded her how alone she felt. However, she still weighed in her mind whether friends were worth having. She remembered that horrible September afternoon and the friends she lost that day. Maybe she shouldn’t make friends.
The first to arrive, Nausica slowly walked around the classroom, trying to recall what everyone had looked like when she came in December. As she pondered particularly hard on the image of the silver haired girl, she felt a pair of hands give her a sharp push to her back from behind quickly. She gave a short shriek of surprise, feeling a bit of warmth in her crotch, and turned quickly, eager to yell at whoever surprised her like this.
What she saw surprised her as she expected to see someone hurrying in and needing to get around her. Instead, she stood face to face with dark brown eyes over a mischievous grin. Dark brown hair, parted down the middle so that it framed his face as though he were growing a ponytail, shook as his face contorted with laughter. He wore rather bright clothing and seemed more than relaxed, not hurried in the slightest as Nausica originally supposed.
“HA HA HA!” he guffawed, holding his ribs, “I just wanted to say, ‘Hello, how are you?’ but the sound you made!” He rendered a pretty good impersonation of her scream, holding his hands over his heart in imitation of a little girl. “Whoo! I am Alex!”
“Na-Nausica,” she replied, holding out her hand rigidly, still in shock at his prank.
“Pleasure!” he smirked as he pumped her hand. “You’re new? Heh, we have a couple of new people this year.”
“What do you mean?” Nausica asked, snatching back her hand when he showed no sign of finishing his rigorous shaking of it.
“Well,” he drawled, putting his arms behind his head and leaning back. “Most of us have been together since preschool. But this year three new people came to out class.”
“Oh,” was all that Nausica could say to that, feeling even more an outsider than before. Maybe this would help her not make friends. She had decided to avoid that possibility and this made things a little easier.
“Aw!” he laughed, patting her on the back. “I like new people! The old ones are so boring!”
“Well,” Nausica asked after a moment, considering how to keep the conversation from making them anymore than acquaintances. She couldn’t do that to someone like this. She couldn’t put him in danger by associating with her. “Who is new?” she asked after a moment
“Hermione,” he said with a regal lilt to his voice as though making fun of aristocrats. “She’s a great girl once you get past her ‘I am too good for you to be friends with’ attitude. Took me a while to warm up to her. Not too many people like her but a couple of us are her friends.”
“Oh,” Nausica said quietly. He seemed like such a nice person, even going so far as to become friends with the silver haired girl. Maybe he would make a good friend. However, though she feared Hermione, she also hated her for those visions she gave. Nausica did not look forward to meeting the real life version of the vision and wondered if perhaps befriending one of Hermione’s friends might prove a bad idea.
“Oh,” he laughed. “She’s not that bad. I’ll introduce you to her later. The other new person, besides you is-”
“Me,” came a calm voice, completely even and unhurried yet not slow in the least. Turning to face the new person to enter the room Nausica found herself looking into the eyes of silver so alike to her own and yet different in their tranquility. The moment he looked at her she felt all of her fears that had been building from the moment she left the nurse’s office melt away. He walked slowly up to Alex and smiled, but his eyes stayed on Nausica, still seeming to calm her.
She couldn’t be the tragic toddler. The voice in her dream told her she wasn’t. The silver eyes of the boy shown with agreement as she thought this and she vaguely wondered if he did know what she thought as he seemed to. She began to feel she had been wrong. Friends were important and he would be a fool to pass them up, especially for thinking SHE would be the one putting them in danger. At no time in her life had she been responsible for any of the deaths, at least not directly. She laughed quietly to herself. There she was, a seven year old having an inner monologue about death and suffering. She doubted Alex gave half a thought about death. This silver-eyed boy might though. He seemed to understand a great many things, which seemed odd for Nausica to think, as the only word he had yet spoken was “me.”
“Juste!” Alex laughed, looping his arm around the taller boy’s shoulder, grinning wildly like a monkey as he did so while the placid face of Juste smiled slightly. “I didn’t see you come in! Course, I never do. He’s like a ninja, Nausica, this one! He is so quiet. Took me forever to get him to talk to me.”
“I always talk to you, Alex,” Juste said, raising an eyebrow. “You just never listen.” When he said the word “listen” he looked at Nausica as though he had spoken that to her. She wondered what he wanted her to listen to, but she perked her ears regardless. A useless venture as the loud voice of Alex broke any form of silence.
Alex chuckled and looked at Nausica, his brown eyes glinting with merriment and mischief. “What I mean is I couldn’t just, you know, TALK, with him. He gets all wordy on me and then he loses me.”
Juste smiled at this, but he didn’t look arrogant or boastful, and even though he smiled at Alex’s comment he looked at Nausica, and said, “Perhaps we should take out seats?”
Nausica blushed, aware that she had been the one staring and not he when he said this. She apologized quickly and sat at the desk she used in December. In moments the rest of the class filed in in small groups. Juste and Alex sat side-by-side on the other side of the classroom and chatted, Juste occasionally stealing glances her way.
The teacher who entered gave Nausica a welcome smile and openly welcomed the class back giving the obligatory joke that the kids should be glad to be back in school which met with several boo’s and hisses as well as laughter. Mr. Deaderick stood very tall over the children and his Adams’s apple protruded from his throat like a dancing ball when he spoke. He wore a red sweater vest over a white shirt and brown slacks. He seemed very relaxed and not at all like Rebecca said he would be, which seemed odd because Rebecca seemed so sure of her gossip
The class in the morning passed quietly and uneventfully for Nausica. The new material that the teacher went over did not prove too difficult for Nausica so she often found herself daydreaming. This proved a poor point for her because he wouldn’t constantly stop class and ask her if she were paying attention. She would always behave as though she had been poked in the ribs while sleeping when he said this, giving a little start before answering that she had. After the third time he made her write a few problems on the board, but when she performed them correctly he looked at her and asked if she were in the right grade.
Nausica wondered why he would say that but answered hesitantly that she thought she belonged in the first grade. Alex called from his seat that he didn’t want her to leave if that was what the teacher was getting at. Nausica blushed and wished to sit down again but the teacher didn’t let her. Instead he called Juste, “Come up here, oh geez, how to say this, Just –eh?’
“Juste,” Juste said calmly without offence taken in the lightest. “It is pronounced Yoost Mr. Deaderick.” He walked slowly to the front of the classroom and though half the size of Mr. Deaderick he seemed to command as much respect and he carried himself as such.
Mr. Deaderick didn’t seem to like this much and his forehead scrunched up in annoyance. “I want you to do these problems from page 312 on the board.”
“As you wish, Mr. Deaderick,” he replied without a care. Taking a piece of chalk he began to write on the board in a scrawling text. While Nausica’s letters appeared neat and clipped, his flowed and appeared perfect. He also wrote in this manner very quickly, not pausing to think at all as he wrote lengthy answer after answer that Nausica knew that no seven year old could have thought of. Even she, who possessed a mind that seemed to grasp so much more because of the help of the Fong family could not follow Juste’s logic in answering a simple question from the textbook. They were still learning how to spell Giraffe and he used a word like rhetoric. Nausica had no idea what that meant.
“What is with you new students?” Mr. Deaderick shouted, throwing up his hands to the laughter of the class. “Both of you sit down. I am guessing both of you parents WANT you in my class?”
Nausica didn’t know for sure so she didn’t answer, but Juste spoke up. “I cannot speak for Nausica, Mr. Deaderick, but for myself. If I didn’t want to be here, I wouldn’t be. My parents allow me to come here to humor my eccentricity.”
“Eccentricity?” Nausica asked him, looking at him with confusion.
“It means I am strange,” Juste said with a smile while closing his eyes. “Mr. Deaderick, I won’t undermine your authority if that is what you fear. I will do all of your assignments and treat you with the respect your position deserves.”
Mr. Deaderick scratched his balding head and regarded the youth with a strange haircut and perceptive eyes. “Ok,” he said at length. “But why do you want to be in a place you won’t learn. By what you wrote on the board you should be in high school at the very least. This is FIRST grade, Juste. I can’t agree with you wasting your talent here.”
“Ah?” Juste chuckled. “But am I wasted here? I will not find friends my own age in college Mr. Deaderick. Several have offered but I have turned them down. I don’t want that. I want to live my life, and if that means feeling bored in a 1st grade class then I will accept it if it means I can make friends with children my own age. I cannot live in two worlds, Mr. Deaderick, or I will go mad. So, by your leave I will sit down and remain in your class”
Mr. Deaderick glared at Juste’s back as he walked away before turning to Nausica, “And you, Ms. Roberts. Do you want to stay here?”
She looked over the classroom and saw Alex silently mouthing, “Say yes.” Most of the other students didn’t look like they cared, but Nausica couldn’t blame them. They didn’t know her so they couldn’t make an opinion. In her passing gaze her eyes alighted on Hermione and they stopped there.
The purple eyes stared at her with hatred, and in a choked up voice she said, “I want her to leave.” Nausica almost seconded that motion right there but a thought caught her. Where did the silver haired girl’s confidence go? Why did Hermione sound so timid? Hermione never lacked confidence in the visions when she made Nausica suffer, so why lose confidence here?
“I, I want to stay,” she answered after a moment of hesitation that changed when se met the eyes of Juste once again. She had at first thought it coincidental but wondered if perhaps the incidents were not. Every time she looked at Juste all of her fears and worries vanished as though his confidence extended to her as well. “Please, Mr. Deaderick. Let me stay.”
Nausica smiled when she saw the looker of consternation darken Hermione’s features. So the silver haired girl did not want Nausica in the class with her. All the better. For all the torment she put Nausica through she could expect Nausica to fight back, but then a thought crossed Nausica’s mind. ‘Why did the silver haired girl, Hermione, want me to leave?’ she asked herself. ‘She would be able to hurt me easier if I am here so why get rid of me?’ Still, it felt good to anger Hermione.
She glanced to Juste, but instead of making her feel better as his gaze usually did she felt extreme guilt and a gut wrenching sorrow at thinking such selfish thoughts of hurting Hermione. His eyes were sad, like gray pools frosted over in winter, the very windows of depression. That depression latched onto Nausica like a leech and sapped her of any and all feelings of pride or hatred. She suddenly felt sorry for the silver haired girl and she didn’t know why. All she knew was that the girl looked saddened by Nausica’s desire to stay.
Nausica took her seat next to a short girl with dark brown hair pulled up with a rather large sky-blue ribbon with a sizable zipper on one of the bows. She seemed to fidget in her seat as Nausica sat next to her and offered a weak smile of greeting, but no words. To say this young child appeared shy would fall short of the mark. As she fidgeted she reached up to her ribbon, unzipped the pocket in the bow and retrieved a small red pill that wafted the smell of sweet cherries to Nausica. She offered one to Nausica after placing it in her mouth and began sucking on it. When Nausica accepted the gift the girl blushed scarlet and looked away, as though ashamed of what she had done.
Nausica shrugged and placed the candy in her mouth and suddenly breathed deeply. She had never eaten something so sweet and tasty. The smooth resin of the candy glided across her tongue and the subtle cherry flavored seemed mixed with something else, giving the candy an otherworldly affect of the sort one has when eating mint for the very first time.
For the rest of the morning period the teacher did not bother Nausica when she wasn’t paying attention, and he studiously avoided looking at Juste who appeared to be doodling at his desk. Nausica silently sucked on her candy as she watched the lesson expound out of English and into basic math. Having already received a third grade level education in the subject from Mrs. Fong who taught elementary math in Thailand Nausica found herself even more bored now that she had been when they were reading the simple storybook and then answering questions about it. Having been taught to read by the Fong family Nausica had already begun to be able to read some short stories. That she had been able to write a sentence on the board at all won her the respect of the majority of the class. Well, except Hermione. She glared at Nausica the entire hour and sulked, barely paying attention herself to the lesson.
Before recess Mr. Deaderick passed out a list of 20 spelling words with definitions next to them for their first quiz of the semester, which would be on Thursday. Nausica looked at the list and while she knew about half she realized she would need to actually study this because spelling had never been her strongest. Placing the sheet in her folder, Nausica got up from her desk and noticed she had leaked a little.
Walking quickly to the teacher she said she needed to go to the restroom and he gave her permission to use the class restroom because he couldn’t let her go alone. She nodded and grabbed her bag, dashing into the room and stripping out of her pants. Holding them up she examined how bad the pull-up leaked and decided it was not very noticeable, especially on the dark fabric. That had been a suggestion from Samantha. She told Nausica that dark clothes would hide leaks so as long as she had her problems she should stick to dark blues and blacks. She pulled down the drenched pull-up and stepped out of it, noticing that it made a small puddle of urine on the linoleum floor. She had become dependent on the diapers over the last few days and noticed they held a lot more. But, of course, diapers were not practical for school use. Reaching into her bag Nausica pulled out one of her pull-ups and stepped into it, wiping off her thighs with toilet paper before putting her pants back on. After she put the used pull-up in the wastebasket, she went about trying to clean up the mess. As she finished wiping she heard a knock on the door and Mr. Deaderick’s voice asking if everything were all right.
After gaining Nausica’s permission to enter he asked why she was taking so long and this forced Nausica, blushing furiously the whole time, to explain that she leaked and needed to clean up.
“Oh,” he said, scratching his head. “That was very nice of you, Nausica. Listen, you may think you are the only one in my class that has this problem, but you aren’t. It isn’t that uncommon for children your ages to still have accidents, so I understand if you need to go get changed more frequently. Just ask me and I’ll let you go. Now, go on out and have some fun. I had Ms. Schwartz looking after the class.”
Nausica smiled, her heart beating what seemed a thousand beats per minute as she bobbed her head and left to join her class outside. She felt so embarrassed. Never had she needed this sort of attention in school. She hated it. Why? Why couldn’t she be normal? Sniffling a little, she looked out and saw that no one was using the swings and decided to go try them out.
Sitting down she could feel the padding of the pull-up push up into her bottom. After a brief sigh she began to pump her lower legs to get the momentum started and then swung in truth. For a moment she forgot everything: the silver haired girl, her diapers, her awkwardness, and simply swung, enjoying the breeze jostle her hair as she moved. She giggled, as her hair would swing back like a pendulum and brush against her cheeks, only to fly back again like a free thing in the wind. For a moment, Nausica felt free. Laughing as she gained a good height, Nausica looked down and noticed a queue of children waiting to use the swing.
Nausica blushed and slowly brought her swing to a halt and leapt off, apologizing the whole while. One of the boys waiting tapped his foot and looked at his wrist as though to get her to hurry more. Nausica apologized again.
“Hey!” Came a brass cry. “Lay off, Scribner! She said she was sorry. Cut her some slack.” She looked to where the voice came from and saw Alex trotting up. Behind him trailed the girl with the ribbon, holding both her hands clasped under her mouth, and sucking on her knuckles. Despite her rush to get off Nausica took a moment to admire the adorable scene of this girl who clearly didn’t look seven, walking behind a confident boy. “Hey, Nausica!” Alex cried, when she finally joined him. “Where were you? I looked for you at the start of recess but I couldn’t find you.”
“I, um, had to do something,” she said, blushing and looking anywhere but his face. “Why were you looking for me?”
“Silly!” he laughed, poking her forehead with his index finger. “I said I would introduce you to my friends. This is Kelly. She is my best friend in the whole world.” Kelly waved hello with one hand but put the sleeve of her other arm in her mouth. “She’s a little quiet when she’s shy, but she’s really a great kid, like a little sister. Go on, Kel. Say something.”
“He-he-hello, Nausica,” she stuttered, looking at the ground.
Out of nowhere a hand appeared under Kelly’s chin and lifted it up to peer into the eyes of the one connected to the hand. “Kelly,” Juste said slowly, smiling at the way Kelly shook with terror at his touch, “When you greet someone you must look into their eyes. See.”
“Geez, Juste,” Alex gasped. “Could you NOT do that?”
“Not do what?”
“Just appearing like that. You scared me so bad I almost wet my pants!”
“Like you did in October?” Juste asked with a rye chuckle.
Alex blushed and turned around. “I had forgotten, thanks! Anyway, Nausica, this is Kelly.”
Nausica smiled at the short girl and held out her hand in greeting. “Hi, Kelly, I am Nausica. Where did you get that candy you gave me earlier? It was awesome!”
Alex nodded and grinned, giving Kelly a push on the back to answer. “My daddy manages a sweet shop,” she said after a moment. “He’s the best there is! Ever!”
Nausica thought about this and figured it had to be true. That cherry candy had to have been the best thing she ever tried. She nodded and smiled at the child only to gasp in shock. Behind Kelly, stood a girl a little taller with silver hair and purple eyes, glaring down at Nausica. An incorporeal hand thrust through Kelly’s chest and its fingers waggled in front of Nausica’s face while the eyes glinted malevolently.
Kelly coughed suddenly and this didn’t seem a cough brought on by the flu or something tickling her throat. She couldn’t stop coughing as long as the arm stayed in her, and as this continued Kelly grew very pale. Alex asked if she were all right and Kelly nodded, but didn’t stop her coughing.
Oddly enough, Juste looked at Nausica and out his hand on Kelly’s shoulder, steadying her. The hand immediately left as though it had been burned and Nausica noticed a strange smile and Juste’s face. He closed his eyes and cocked his head to the side before offering Kelly his scarf, saying that the cold air was not good for her. Kelly nodded and bobbed her head in thanks before wrapping it around her neck.
The silver haired girl vanished in moments, almost immediately after Juste touched Kelly, the girl ran off. From the direction she left Nausica could hear heavy breathing as if someone had run a great distance and capping the hill where the playground lay, Hermione dashed up, calling, “Alex!” in a voice of familiarity and happiness. Nausica did not expect to hear that at all. From all the dark thoughts the girl projected to Nausica she expected to hear only misery. Her voice seemed sweet, as though full of honey and cool cider. “Alex!” she called out again, before tripping and falling to her knee on the grass. She arose quickly ad stuck out her tongue, making a silly sound to try and defringe her embarrassment of tripping.
“Hermione!” Alex yelled. “You are such a klutz. Anyway, I wanted you to meet the new girl, Nausica.”
Hermione rose to her full height and stared down at Nausica, “I don’t need to be introduced, Alex. I know Nausica, the tragic toddler very well”
Everyone except Kelly did a double take at this. Alex clearly had no idea what this meant, and Juste looked at Nausica closely as though seeing her for the first time. Odd that Kelly would show no surprise, but Nausica assumed Kelly heard it from Hermione.
“I am not the tragic toddler!” Nausica shouted, suddenly very angry. She refused to be treated like this. “Who ARE you!?”
“Who am I?” Hermione asked, taking a step back. Her bright purple eyes flashed in anger. “Who am I?”
“YEAH!” Nausica said, “Who are you! What did I ever do to you?”
The purple eyes radiated hatred mingled with confusion. “What . . . did . . . you do to me?” she asked, unsure how to ask what seemed so obvious. “You really don’t remember? How could you forget?”
“Forget what?” Alex asked, obviously upset at being left out of the conversation. “When did you two meet before now?”
“I don’t ever remember seeing you before, Hermione,” Nausica admitted. “Now what did I do to you? Why do you hate me?”
The purple eyes brimmed over with tears for a moment before Hermione suddenly launched herself at Nausica, punching her hard across the jaw. Nausica fell backwards clutching her face as she cried out in pain. The others reacted quickly, trying to hold Hermione back, but she fought like a caged animal and still managed to kick and claw at Nausica for all she was worth. Both Ms. Schwartz and Mr. Deaderick saw what had happened and rushed over, grabbing Hermione and carting her away. “Stay away from her!” she screamed. “She will only get you killed, Alex! She’s the tragic toddler, Kelly! The one I told you about! Stay away! Juste! SHE KILLED MY SISTER!” she bellowed, stretching the word sister into a long, sonorous wail that echoed over the playground, causing everyone to look at Nausica.
‘Kill her sister?’ Nausica thought quickly. 'I have never met her before in my life. How could I have killed her sister? The silver haired girl wept into the arms of Ms. Schwartz who no longer seemed intent on punishing Hermione as much as discovering what was the problem. The child shook with her weeping and wailing, bemoaning the loss of the only person she ever really cared about.”
“But, Hermione,” Ms Schwartz asked. “How can you say Nausica killed your sister? That happened years ago and Nausica only just now came here.”
“She, She She,” Hermione tried to get out between gasps. Her face appeared a wreck, red and sticky from tears and snot trailing from her nose. “She was there when my sister died! Christine died! I saw her body, and I” she immediately emptied her stomach as the memory made her sick. Mr. Deaderick routed al the other children and took them inside while Ms. Schwartz carried Hermione to the nurse’s office. She asked Nausica to come as well, and unnoticed Juste followed them.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Callie sighed as she poured yet another cup of coffee. Between other temps chores and answering phones she found herself extremely busy on her first day in the office. Silently, as she loaded the four cups onto a tray, she thanked Chloe for prepping her. She didn’t know how she would have handled it otherwise. On the bright side, all of her bosses seemed to like her. She wondered if that came from her good looks or if she actually was performing well. She hoped the latter proved the case as she carefully balanced the tray of coffees in one hand and grabbed a file she had just copied with the other. With due speed she dropped off the coffees in at a meeting where two associates were meeting with a family for consultation.
She had just dropped the file off at her manager’s office when she heard the phone at her desk ring. Answering the phone she heard an older woman say, “Hello.”
“Hello, and good morning,” Callie replied cheerily as Chloe instructed her to do. “This is the Accounting office of Johnson, Reynolds, and Cohing. How may I direct your call?”
“I am looking for a Ms. Calliope Roberts? That’s you, oh good. I don’t want to alarm you, but your daughter was in a fight today at school. I am Jennifer Kerr, the principal. No, she’s fine. She’s going to have a black eye, but other than some scrapes that’s about it. No, she isn’t in trouble. She didn’t start the fight or fight back. She got hit and, no. No, this is not about her incontinence Ms. Roberts. No, I think this may be a little bit more serious than that . . .”
__+
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica held the bag of ice to her cheek and winced at the sting. Dr. Caspian smiled at her, but his eyes didn’t seem to care, even as he put band-aids on her scrapes. His cold eyes didn’t seem to feel anything.
Hermione still vomited into the trash can, and she continued to dry heave even after she emptied her entire stomach every time she would look at Nausica as though looking at Nausica made her think of something completely horrible. However, after almost a half hour she stopped and contented herself with breathing heavily into a brown paper bag while Dr. Caspian rubbed concentric circles in her back.
“Are you ready to speak your mind, Hermione Thistle? You have spent the greater part of your time speaking to my waste paper bin and I doubt he likes very much what you have had to say. Would you like to speak with us, hmm?”
Juste, who Nausica noticed earlier, sat quietly in a chair in the corner. He had his eyes closed and Nausica could almost think he were sleeping but for the rigidity of his posture. Nausica wished she were anywhere but there at the moment and yet she couldn’t pull herself away. Finally, she would learn why this girl hated her. To say Nausica killed her sister didn’t set off any bells or whistles in Nausica’s head, especially because Nausica hadn’t met Hermione officially until today. She also wanted an explanation on the strange visions. While Hermione hated Nausica it didn’t seem quite the same as the visions. This Hermione wanted to be left alone and have nothing to do with her but the vision Hermione wanted Nausica to suffer for a crime Nausica didn’t know. Maybe now that crime would come into the light and she could be free of the terrible dreams.
“Don’t feel like talking?” Dr. Caspian remarked as he passed in front of Hermione. “No matter, I can fill the silence well enough on my own. Your hatred of Nausica must be quite strong for you to vomit at the site of her. I wonder why that is, hmm? Nausica here seems to not have a clue. I’ll bet that makes you angry.” Hermione tightened her little fists until they shook, but she still said nothing. “Ho, I touched a sore spot. Hmm, Nausica doesn’t remember, but you do, don’t you, Hermione Thistle. You remember Christine. Now, you want to cry again? Be my guest. Many tears are shed in this office. Why don’t you add yours too, Nausica?”
Nausica looked up at this and noticed Dr. Caspian looking directly at her with his blank eyes, but his lips appeared tight when he said, “You should offer yourself Nausica Roberts because you are responsible.” Juste lifted his head at this and looked into Nausica’s eyes. He wore a sad frown and yet his eyes conveyed warmth. "I have never forgotten anything so maybe I am not one to judge, but how can you forget seeing someone die like that, Nausica Roberts. Don’t mind me, either of you, but since neither of you wish to talk I will continue to make conjectures.
“September 14, two years ago, unless my memory serves me wrong and I know it does not. You were playing and happened to be in the street.” Nausica didn’t need for him to finish and she would have asked him to stop but she had gone numb with shock. “A car, a black car, funny that it should be black now that I ponder, but regardless, a black car came down the street and would have killed . . . you, Nausica unless I am mistaken, but fate dealt a wild card and you didn’t die. The one to die was Christine Thistle, twin sister of Hermione Thistle. She pushed you out of the way to safety and in saving you she sacrificed herself. How noble, in a pathetic sort of way. She died a pointless death and you don’t even have the good grace to remember her. Ah, now you cry? Perhaps they are right to call you tragic, Nausica Roberts.”
“I don’t know about that,” Juste said from his corner, not looking up. “Nausica didn’t kill Christine, the driver did. Nausica was saved, not by choice, but by fate.”
“She is fated to hurt people,” Hermione whispered. "I am not the only one she hurt. I know all about the baby in Louisiana and the other reports of people getting hurt when they know you. I just wish my sister and I had known soo-
“Would that have made a difference?” Juste interrupted smoothly, not heated in his tongue, or cold. “Your sister gave her life willingly. Who is to say she would not have acted the same even if she hadn’t known Nausica?”
“She didn’t know what she was doing!” Hermione shouted. “She didn’t know she was going to die! She didn’t want to leave me! I – I didn’t want her to go. I didn’t want her to die,” she finished in a whisper.
Nausica could not even find the breath to cry as she felt her throat close when she tried to cry out, so instead she took many breaths and allowed her tears to stream down her cheeks unchecked in flowing torrents like two rivers. She wanted to say she was sorry, but she couldn’t get anything out. Finally, she understood why she had to suffer. When she was only five she didn’t think how the death of Christine would affect Hermione or her family. She silently sobbed into her hands and looked at Hermione, who was looking straight ahead, not seeing anything, whispering over and over again that she didn’t want her sister to die.
Juste rose from his chair and Dr. Caspian rose as well. “It would seem you pulled what I could not, young Carter. The two of them need to confront these demons, but they are too young. What do you say, Carter?”
“I say you have a strange way of speaking, Doctor, and I wonder why you use their full names but with me you only use my surname.”
“Interesting question, Carter, but I will not tell you why, of all people. However, I can see you do not wish to make an opinion on what should be done about these two. How odd fate can seem at times. They parted two years ago in tragedy, neither dealing with the problem, letting it fester like a wound. And now, here they sit together in the same room.”
“There is more too it than that,” Juste whispered before looking at Nausica and smiling. “Still, if you want to believe in fate, I would believe in one that is controlled by goodness, and not hatred.” Standing between Nausica and Hermione he placed his hands on both their shoulders. Nausica immediately felt the pain and guilt subsiding to be replaced by a warm feeling in her stomach. “However, I do not believe in fate.”
Of course she had forgotten. The events were too horrible to remember. However, she knew the truth now. She looked into her memories and in the wreckage of human entrails and gore she saw the ruined face of Hermione in her sister Christine’s. Suddenly the silver haired girl’s reaction to this body made sense. With all the others she had been gleeful and maniacal, but when looking on the dead sister she appeared angry and sad. Maybe Nausica could bring herself to forgive the visions. Hermione had suffered so much. With these thoughts Nausica passed out on the bed next to Hermione.
“Suit yourself,” Dr. Caspian said with a wry grin that did not match his eyes. “No matter how smart you may be, Carter, you cannot escape fate. Fate is inescapable and fate is ensorcelled around that child. She is called the tragic toddler for a reason. Your time may be next. Do you think it merely coincidence terror and death follow her?”
Juste smiled, “I think only when it suits me, Doctor, and only when it is profitable to me. Nausica is not the pawn of some diabolical trick played by fate as you suppose.”
“And how do you know this, child?”
Juste smiled at Dr. Caspian and walked out of the office.
“And they say I am strange,” Dr. Caspian said as he scratched his head and set about placing the two girls into two beds. “What has fate got in store for you child? Why can’t I see?”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++_
Callie retrieved Nausica and checked her out of school for the rest of the day. The meeting had taken quite a while and Callie felt more than a little drained. Both she and the mother of the child that attacked Nausica were brought to the principal’s office to discuss conflict resolution and while Mrs. Thistle apologized on behalf of her daughter’s actions she saw no wrong to be redressed in those actions. Had she been in her daughter’s place she said she would have in all likelihood behaved similarly.
Nausica sighed and looked over at Nausica, sleeping in her seat as they drove home. Neither child had been awake when they came to collect them, and while concerned they were assured by the queerest doctor Callie had ever met that the two of them were fine, just tired from all that happened.
Callie arrived at the school in a rush, barely remembering to lock her Neon’s door before dashing into the main office, out of breath. The receptionist must have thought a bomb had gone off the way Callie pumped her for questions. Ultimately, it was Mrs. Kerr, the principal, who came to attend to the flighty Callie. She led Callie into her own office and offered her a drink of coffee as she asked her to sit down.
The setting reminded her of her high school days not more than five years ago where she had been brought into just such an office on many occasion for a plethora of infractions. She blushed at the memory and wondered how she could have behaved that way and hoped against hope that Nausica would not make the same mistakes she had.
Mrs. Kerr smiled and said they would need to wait for Mrs. Thistle to arrive before they could begin conflict resolution.
“Conflict resolution?” Callie asked. “I thought you said Nausica didn’t fight back? Where’s the conflict? My daughter was attacked.”
Mrs. Kerr sighed at this and gingerly took a sip from her own Styrofoam cup of coffee before saying hesitantly, “Yes . . . and no, Ms. Roberts. You see, I think you need to hear this from Mrs. Thistle, the mother of Hermione, before you make any rash judgments on what happened. Nausica is fine, I assure you.”
“Can I see her then?” Callie asked in an irritable tone. She had not wanted to leave work on her first day, and her boss didn’t look pleased at all, even if she had told him it was a family emergency. He reluctantly gave her leave to go take care of her daughter but warned her that any more of these emergencies, especially during this busy period at the office, and Callie would need to start consider looking elsewhere for work. “I want to make sure.”
Mrs. Kerr appeared about to acquiesce when the secretary opened the door and admitted one of the most beautiful women Callie had ever seen. Long hair, so light a blond as to appear silver, was pleated in a long braid down her back. She wore a smart black suit and her charcoal gray eyes peered lividly into the office. “Ah, Mrs. Thistle, so good of you to come.”
“I am aware that my daughter attacked your daughter, Ma’am,” she said to Callie before taking her seat. “I am sorry. I don’t know what got into her. Hermione is usually a very sweet girl.” Callie could see that while trying to be polite the mother of her daughters attacker could not believe her child would attack someone so the other child, Nausica, had to carry the blame. “I am Rosemary Thistle.” Callie detected the faintest trace of an accent and supposed that Rosemary Thistle probably didn’t grow up in the states. Her vernacular matched this region but the inflection seemed slightly foreign, as though British.
“I am Calliope Roberts, Nausica’s mother,” Callie responded, mechanically, extending her hand.
“Did you say Nausica?” Mrs. Thistle asked as she shook Callie’s hand. “I haven’t heard of a girl like that in quite a while. Odd. It was the name of a girl about our daughters’ age. It’s an unusual, but pretty name. What made you pick it?”
“Oh I didn’t,” Callie smiled. “I adopted Nausica.”
“What?” Mrs. Thistle asked, suddenly cold in both voice and stare. “Nausica, as in Nausica Fong?”
“Nausica Roberts, actually,” Callie replied coldly in her best imitation of one of Chloe’s glares. “The Fong’s didn’t change her name.”
“Why?” Mrs. Thistle asked quietly, rage clearly threatening to boil over. “Why would you ever adopt that child? She’s the tragic toddler.”
“My daughter is not the tragic toddler, Mrs. Thistle.”
“Well,” Mrs. Thistle stated in a shrill voice, standing to look down at Callie. “It was certainly tragic to me when they scraped my daughter’s remains from the pavement two years ago!”
“Oh my God!” Callie gasped. She felt awash in emotions and didn’t know how to address any of them. This was the mother of the girl who died saving Nausica. She had every right to be upset, more so than anyone. “I am so sorry.”
“My family and I left that neighborhood to get away from that tragic little girl. She brings only death, Ms. Roberts. I know you don’t want to believe that. Neither did Cindy Fong or I, but the truth is very simple in the end. Death follows her. It may happen after a year. It may happen in a few months, or even a few weeks, but bad things happen around her.”
“Mrs. Thistle,” Mrs. Kerr harrumphed. "That is quite enough. I will not stand for that kind of talk in my office. "Now, we are here to work out a resolution before we bring the girls into this. I knew that you two would need to meet to understand where Hermione is coming from To her mind, I doubt she sees anything wrong with lashing out against Nausica.
“Were I her, I would have done the same,” Mrs. Thistle whispered, clasping her hands, as though not sure what to think. Truthfully, Callie didn’t blame her. To lose a beautiful child like Nausica would break her heart. She couldn’t imagine how this woman felt, who in likelihood blamed Nausica because her mind needed a scapegoat for this tragedy.
“Regardless,” Mrs. Kerr continued, ignoring her. “That kind of action will not be tolerated in this school. Now. I could move them to different classrooms, but that wouldn’t solve anything. They would still meet in the hallways and this sort of thing could happen again. I think it best they remain in the same class and sort this out. They are only children, for heaven’s sake.”
Callie didn’t voice that neither of these children were normal seven year olds. No ordinary child would have seen the things those two had. Callie, an adult hadn’t seen those things like death and loss in a gruesome, grisly matter. “I have been taking Nausica to a child psychologist,” Callie voiced after a moment. “Maybe he can talk to the two of them and help them.”
“I am not sending my child to a shrink!” Mrs. Thistle exclaimed. “There is nothing wrong with her!”
“I hate to be the one to tell you this,” Mrs. Kerr stated, looking over her folded arms on her desks that resembled a triangle under her nose. “But if your child attacked Nausica without provocation as all the children who witnessed it said, then there is a serious problem. What’s next? She could bring a weapon to school and try to hurt Nausica in a premeditated fashion and think nothing wrong with it.”
“My baby is not like that!” Mrs. Thistle cried. “You don’t know her or what she’s had to go through. She loved her sister very much.”
Callie put her hand on Mrs. Thistle’s shoulder and squeezed. “And your daughter must have loved Nausica very much to sacrifice her life to save her. Please, for the sake of your departed daughter, let’s bring them to some resolution.”
Mrs. Thistle began to cry and Mrs. Kerr brought her some tissues while she and Callie patted her on the back and offered comfort. Callie had come to the office full of anger and indignation, but when she left with Mrs. Thistle she left very saddened and somehow full of guilt. That poor child needed help.
The nurse greeted Callie with a sweeping bow that seemed strange, as he took his lab coat in one hand and parted it like a cloak as he bowed, saying, “Dr. Caspian, my ladies. I return to you your charges, none the worse than when you sent them to school.”
Callie looked into the office and saw the two girls tucked, side-by-side, in two trundle beds sound asleep. Nausica sported a large bruise on her left cheek but it did not appear nearly as bad as she had expected. Next to Nausica lay the silver haired girl named Hermione. She looked like an exact duplicate of her mother in much the same way that Rebecca looked like a younger version of Callie.
After a brief conversation with the doctor that left Callie thinking him either insane or a genius she picked up Nausica and began to walk away. Hermione awoke immediately to the touch of her mother’s hand and gasped. She apparently had been suffering a nightmare because she continued to breath in ragged breathes for a few moments with her purple eyes dilated to small points inside the white of her eyes like small dots on paper. Callie stared at those eyes for a moment and marveled. She had never seen eyes that color before and she found herself lost in the brightness. Hermione clutched her mother’s waist and buried her face in her stomach.
“She’s been having nightmares a lot,” Mrs. Thistle explained, petting her daughter’s long hair. “I don’t know why, but they terrify her even when she is awake sometimes, as though the dream didn’t end when she wakes up. She won’t tell me what she dreams about, but I am guessing it must have something to do with Christine. She still misses her after all this time just as acutely as when the accident first happened.”
Callie nodded and looked at the child. She couldn’t picture hatred in that sweet face. The moment she saw her she had forgiven Hermione what she did, but wondered what could ever come of so painful a past. Fate, if such a thing were real, could not have been crueler in reuniting these two children.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++_

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Nausica felt the greatest peace as she passed out, feeling her body become weightless and free in a void that held no color, no light, no depth, only warmth. She almost felt as though she could see Juste’s eyes staring down at her invisibly from above as she hovered in this shapeless nothingness. Yet, somehow she knew she was not alone in this void. Looking over she saw the shape of Hermione, giving off a light of its own so that even though darkness encroached on all sides Nausica could see every detail as though the direct light of the sun shone on her. Looking at her own form she saw that she likewise shone in such a way that the two of them seemed the only tangible items in this void in scope of light or shape.
Nausica wanted to say something to Hermione, to tell her how sorry she felt, but no words seemed sufficient or appropriate. She understood the hatred of Hermione now as she contemplated losing half of herself completely and utterly. How would she cope? Could she cope? She wasn’t sure.
Hermione appeared tranquil in this void, not happy, but tranquil, as though her sadness were blocked from her like medicine blocked the pain of a physical injury. She looked at Nausica and though her dark purple eyes held hatred and mistrust they no longer held blatant malice as they usually did.
This Hermione seemed so different from the other in so many ways. But for their identical features Nausica would swear the two were different people. They both hated her but this Hermione seemed almost hesitant in her hatred as though she more wanted to forget her pain than enact revenge. This seemed more in keeping with a seven-year-old girl to Nausica because she didn’t think they could think that deeply about revenge. At least to Nausica, the more preferable option to confronting this kind of pain would be to run away from it. Not very mature, she knew, but that seemed the only logical course to her.
“Why do you blame me?” Nausica asked out into the void. She suddenly felt as she said this, the warmth of the void shatter into biting cold and the omnipresent pressure of Juste’s invisible eyes leave. Darkness ensconced her and she could no longer see Hermione, who looked up in sudden shock as the temperature changed.
A different presence filled the void, one cold and somehow darker than the surrounding darkness, but for two small points of purple shining out like two small torches in their fiery intensity. Nausica wanted to shy away, to run and hide but she had nowhere to run or hide. Even waking up seemed impossible to her as the deadly, piercing drew nearer and nearer to the point where Nausica could actually feel the cold breath on her throat that seemed to freeze her to her marrow. Closing her eyes she found she could not escape the intensity or the power of this stare. Tears leaked down her cheeks and she hopelessly lost control of her bladder. Even had she still possessed normal control she supposed she would still have wet herself helplessly in her terror.
“Why do I blame you?” the projection asked as it curled around her mind like kneading fingers over dough. “You let her die! You are the catalyst of destruction, Tragic Toddler.”
“I didn’t kill her!” Nausica thought back feebly as one might fight when crushed beneath the weight of boulders. “I didn’t kill her!”
“You let her DIE!” the thought came back so harshly that Nausica felt as though she had been punched again, but instead of being able to fall she felt herself held in place like a fly in a spider’s web.
“How could I have saved her? She was already dead when I knew what happened!”
Instead of answering with thought, the form did something unexpected. Nausica felt a biting cold as though an icicle were being rubbed against her chest and then slowly pushed through. She screamed out in the agony of the sensation as it worked its way further and further into her. “Hel, Help me!” Nausica wined plaintively. The medallion on her chest began to feel warm but the encroaching hand still tunneled deeper.
Somehow, Nausica knew that if that hand reached her heart she would die. Death terrified her suddenly. She didn’t want to die. No one wanted to die, but Nausica felt a burning desire to live. She didn’t want to live for herself. No. She wanted to live for Mom. She imagined the pain Hermione felt when losing her sister and realized Mom would feel that pain just as acutely if she lost her daughter. Nausica might deserve to die for all the harm she caused in life, but she was not ready to pay that price.
This desire availed her nothing because try as she might she couldn’t move to get the hand out of her, nor did any outside force, even her medallion, seem to be coming to her rescue. She began to resign herself when she felt a gust of wind as on a gusty march afternoon before a storm slam into her and knock her free of her immovability.
“You cannot do this,” the voice stated to the void. “I will not allow it.” Nausica felt the warmth of life slowly creep back into her limbs and listened to the voice that of a little girl, which felt like warm cider and honey. “You cannot have her.”
“Who, Who are you?” Nausica asked the voice, as she perceived the shadow of Hermione drift away. “Why does Hermione have two people in her?”
Before the voice could answer, Nausica felt herself jostled awake by the Neon lurching to a sudden halt and her Mom yelling out of her window at a “crazy driver.” She slowly rubbed sleep from her eyes and looked around. The sudden influx of colors after the void seemed an overload to her senses.
“Honey, I am sorry,” Mom said, blushing in embarrassment. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“S’ok,” Nausica yawned. “I am sorry too. I leaked.”
“That’s ok,” Mom said with resignation. Nausica could tell she wasn’t pleased but also knew Mom didn’t blame her for it. “I’ll just need to figure something out. Maybe we should get you plastic pants for when you leak?”
Nausica thought about it but didn’t commit herself to the idea. She still had other things taking precedence in her mind. Who was the owner of that sweet voice that seemed to keep saving her at the last moment from Hermione in her dreams? Why did Hermione seem to have two personalities? One wanted to run away from Nausica and the other wanted to kill her. Why were they able to get into her head at all? She guessed she would need to talk to Luke about this all more honestly. He seemed to be the only one who believed in this. She wondered if Fr. Lukas would understand. Probably not. He didn’t look like one who knew a lot about suffering, being always happy and cheerful. Luke would understand. He dealt with kids all the time.
When they got home, after being changed into a fresh diaper, Nausica and Mom shared an ice-cream emergency with Aunt Chloe who suggested that the next time an emergency like this occurred, maybe she should be the one to go get Nausica so Mom wouldn’t get in trouble at work. Mom seemed hesitant about this and Nausica felt the same. As much as she liked Aunt Chloe she would always want her mom. However, after some convincing Aunt Chloe won. Nausica began to wonder if Aunt Chloe ever lost an argument with Mom.
Around three o’clock their doorbell rang and when Mom answered it she called Nausica over. “Honey,” she said happily. “It looks like some friends of yours want to see how you are doing. Do you want to see them?”
“Sure!” Nausica shouted, jubilantly, feeling completely foreign in this because for the last two years she had no real friends. She ran to the door and could hear feet running up the step of the apartment complex to get to her floor.
The first head to cap the steps was that of Alex, his long hair bouncing as he ran. His bright brown eyes gleamed with merriment as he ran up to Nausica and bent over, clutching his knees, breathing hard. “I won!” he gasped.
Nausica looked over his shoulder and saw Kelly bound up the stares, also breathing hard. Her large ribbon flopped as she bounded up the last few steps and then she leaned against the wall, smiling. Clearly she didn’t intend to win their foot race but still had fun.
“Won what?” she heard the calm voice of Juste asked from behind her. She gasped and turned, wondering how he managed to get around her without her seeing him. Maybe he really was a ninja as Alex joked.
“Oh COME ON!” Alex fumed, still gasping for breath. He must have run very hard. “How did you beat me? And why aren’t you out of breathe, you freaking monster?!”
Instead of answering him, Juste closed his eyes and smiled as he usually did when he didn’t want to answer a question. He then turned to look at Nausica and said. “We wanted to see how you were doing.”
“Yeah,” Alex said, pounding his right fist into his left palm with a look of pure epiphany on his face as though he had forgotten what they came for. Nausica found that slightly cute. “I can’t believe Hermione hit you like! She normally wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oof, nice shiner, Nausica.”
“Shiner?” she asked confused.
“He means your bruise,” Juste explained. “Please, may we come in?”
Nausica almost immediately said yes, but then thought of all the bags of diapers and changing supplies in the apartment and thought better of inviting them in. Mom apparently didn’t, as she asked why they weren’t inside already? After leading them all to the couch in the living room, which looked much cleaner than Nausica remembered it being a few minutes ago, Mom offered to get them drinks and snacks. Juste and Kelly seemed a bit hesitant in accepting but Alex immediately said “thank you” to Mom and then turned to face Nausica on the couch.
“So Hermione told us all about you,” he started. “She decided to stay the rest of the day because you left and, man, was she embarrassed. Everyone kept staring at her like she was someone different the rest of the day. Then, at afternoon recess, she told us about how she knew you.”
“I, I, I already knew,” Kelly ventured, the first thing she said the whole time. “Hermy told me about her sister a while ago. I just couldn’t believe it was you, Nausica.”
Juste sighed, but said nothing. Nausica remembered the strange look he gave her when Hermione called her the Tragic Toddler. This seemed strange because in every other instance he seemed aware of something before she even spoke.
“I am sorry about your past, Nausica,” Alex said, giving Juste a glare for his sigh. “But we don’t think you did anything wrong. We still wanna be your friends, at least I do.”
“I, I, I do too,” Kelly said immediately after, blushing as she spoke and looking down, afraid to meet Nausica’s eye.
“And you Juste?” Alex asked.
“Yes Caesar?” Juste asked with a raised eyebrow.
“What?” Alex asked with a look as though he swallowed something foul. “Caesar?”
“Never mind,” Juste chuckled with his eyes closed. “You just reminded me of Shakespeare. But, as for me, my friendship never hinged on matters of the past. My friendship is about the present.”
“Juste,” Nausica asked at length. “Why do you talk like that? Why are you here?”
“To visit you, of course,” he smiled, revealing his large gray eyes that seemed to be able to pierce through anything like a pointed rapier. “I thought that was abundantly obvious and clear.”
Nausica sighed in annoyance. Why wouldn’t anyone with answers ever give them freely? “I KNOW that,” she said exasperatedly. “I mean why are you in the first grade? Is it really just to make friends?”
“Something like that,” he answered, closing his eyes.
“Ooooh,” Nausica growled. “Speak clearly!”
“He won’t,” Alex laughed. “Juste doesn’t bring people to his house, doesn’t tell where he came from before coming to Kirkland, or tell what he thinks.”
“My thoughts are my own and it is not necessary for me to share them,” Juste said in his defense.
Mom returned with cookies and milk on a tray that she set on the coffee table in front of the couch. Juste reached for his glass and for some reason, to Nausica’s eyes, held it like fine china and sipped it delicately as she saw adults sip wine in movies. He sipped with his eyes closed.
“All I am saying is it is hard to be your friend if I know nothing about you,” Alex said around a mouthful of cookie. Nausica laughed at the way the chocolate chips smeared around his lips, at which he laughed and wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt.
Kelly quickly admonished him by running to the kitchen to get a paper towel, soaked a little and then dap at the stain he made on his shirt saying, “Don’t do that, Alex. Chocolate doesn’t come out easily.”
“And yet,” Juste said, nibbling a cookie like a nobleman might a scone, “I am your friend. Is that not enough?”
“Just doesn’t seem fair,” Alex sighed. “You seem to know everything about us, but we know nothing about you. I am your friend so I want to know you better.”
“Life is seldom fair, Alex,” Juste clarified quietly. “Just ask Nausica for the truth of that. However, as my friend I know you will respect my privacy. Friendships are more a matter of trust than knowledge. I could tell you all about myself but until I prove myself a friend they are empty details.” Nausica noticed an inflection on the word empty and for some reason he looked at Nausica when he said it. This reminded her of when he told her to “listen” on their meeting earlier in the day. He must have meant for her to listen to something earlier and now he wanted her to think of something empty. Looking into his confident gray eyes she began to understand a little. The confidence was empty. Juste must be empty.
The riddle began to make sense. He came to the first grade to find himself. Juste was an empty shell trying to forge a new identity, but why share that detail with Nausica? Even the solving of one riddle left her at the beginnings of many more. Children could not offer insights his adult mind couldn’t already see, so why go to children? Nausica didn’t understand what Just wanted. She also didn’t understand why Juste made her feel better just by looking at him, or why his touch sent the silver haired girl retreating. Was he her opposite, silver eyes to combat the silver hair? Had he known the silver girl was attacking Kelly?
“I know all that, Juste, but I want to know-” The moment Alex said “know” he began to cough violently. Juste stood up, as did Kelly who began pounding Alex’s back, asking if he were all right. When Nausica stood she saw the transparent arm protruding from Alex’s back and the vicious eyes of her hated enemy, Hermione. Averting her eyes, Nausica looked to Juste and saw that he stared at those purple eyes clearly, but at this time his normally calm and placid eyes shone with a bright light and his jaw appeared set. Juste saw the silver haired girl and began to move towards her.
Nausica gasped at the fire in those eyes. Alex continued to cough, perhaps more violently then before as Kelly pounded on his back. Mom asked if everything were all right from the kitchen and then began to walk into the living room. Hermione’s eyes captured the fire of Juste’s eyes and returned ice that seemed to swallow his flames in her freezing gaze. The calm silver eyes now seemed alive in their intensity and virility. No one in the room saw Juste begin to move except Nausica. He did not look at her as he moved.
He stopped, just in front of Alex’s frame and glared at the arm through Alex’s back. Though Juste didn’t speak outright, Nausica heard him, just as she heard Hermione when she talked in this form. “Let him go! Now!” The two of them, Hermione and Juste, seemed to give off sparks as they radiated opposite seeming energies. Her silver hair glittered and his silver eyes flashed as though lightning illuminated them both.
Nausica could see a tremendous battle of wills taking place in the two of them and wondered why Juste didn’t touch Alex as he had for Kelly earlier that day. He seemed hesitant to move for some reason and Alex began to become pale, his bright brown eyes wide in both pain and shock as he labored to breath, gasping in ragged spurts.
Suddenly, the breathing stopped and Nausica thought that Hermione had killed him, but she noticed also that Alex didn’t move, nor did Kelly, or Mom. Only Juste still moved. Waving her arm, Nausica realized that somehow time, as she knew it, paused.
“Let her go,” Juste whispered, and Nausica wondered why he said that. Didn’t he mean for her to let “him” go? “Release the him, girl, and leave this place.”
“No,” she whispered in response. Nausica’s heart almost stopped at the sound of the voice that she had hitherto never heard. Ice scraped against ice with the smoothness of velvet. The cider and honey of Hermione’s voice seemed frozen as in northern tundra. She recognized it as hers but the difference in inflection and tone made her skin crawl. “This one dies.”
“Had you wanted to kill him,” Juste began, calmly, but still with a smoldering fire in his voice that both scared and mesmerized Nausica. She never heard him get angry before and he seemed seething now, like fresh coals turning blue in an open flame. “Or been able to kill him, he would be dead. But that isn’t how you work, is it?”
“Who are you?” she asked, her cold anger replaced by curiosity.
“You know me,” he replied in his calm, controlling voice. “Your way is to terrify. Now, you are hurting Alex. Release him and leave.”
“No,” she giggled in a sonorous cackle. “I won’t.”
“Release him now, and leave,” he whispered before stating in a commanding voice that did not seem appropriate for his age or voice, “or I will make you leave.”
She moved her arm and held it up before Juste’s face before gingerly touching his cheek. Red speckles followed the trail of her fingers and once she lifted her hand Nausica could see a line as though a sharp nice had sliced into his cheek. “How can you see me, boy?”
He smiled with his eyes closed and said, “How can you see me, girl?” He opened his eyes again and they flashed like swords. “Leave this place. So long as I am with them you cannot harm them. She won’t let you do as you want to Nausica so this leaves you with your little scare tactics. How that must annoy you. Leave.”
The girl vanished like smoke vanishes, dissipating into nothingness. Almost immediately Alex breathed again and smiled saying he must have swallowed down the wrong pipe. Kelly laughed but admonished him for scaring her like that, and Mom smiled, returning to the kitchen.
Nausica looked at Juste with wide eyes, wondering what she had just seen and how she had been able to see all that in what must have been the blink of an eye. Juste closed his eyes and smiled before taking a handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his cheek. The white blossomed crimson as he swept it over the cut, but when he removed the cloth no mark remained on his face. Only Nausica appeared to have noticed this, and she wondered if Juste had noticed that she saw all that happened.
Whether he did or not he gave no indication to her and instead of looking at her with his penetrating gray eyes he turned to Alex and helped him up, smiling the whole while in his self assured manner. Nausica stared at his face but she still noticed no imperfection or line that would hint at the wound Hermione inflicted.
“So,” Juste said as he plopped on the couch next to Alex and Kelly, “You were saying, Alex?”
Nausica thought a moment and realized the coughing fit really hadn’t lasted more than thirty seconds. Though she perceived so much in the space of time, the others didn’t think anything at all of it, rather they thought Alex chocked on his milk. Had she imagined it all? Did she see imaginary Juste’s now? She couldn’t be sure. Maybe she was going insane. A look into Juste’s eyes revealed nothing.
“I just wanted to know you more, Juste,” Alex said with a wide smile. Nausica mirrored that thought. She suddenly desired to know that more than anything else. She never met him before today at the school, but ever since that time he seemed more and more of an enigma to her, which he seemed content to continue.
“When I chose to become your friend, Alex,” Juste replied smoothly. “I knew nothing of you. To a great degree I still do not know you.”
Kelly spoke to this, “You don’t wanna know us, Juste.”
He didn’t answer her but smiled his warm smile that conveyed warmth, understanding, and comfort. Immediately Kelly smiled back and whatever insecurities she might have had over Juste’s friendship seemed to have vanished. Nausica wished she could be sure. She wondered if her original assessment of Juste had been skewed. Maybe he wasn’t trying to find himself. He exuded such confidence all the time and in that vision, if vision it was, he stood confidently against the scariest thing Nausica knew.
Alex harrumphed, but grinned knowingly before reaching for another cookie. “Juste is a mystery, Nausica. But her is our friend. Who else would leave adults to stay with us?”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Callie had been frightened when she saw the little brown haired boy begin to start coughing. He looked to be turning blue, but then he stopped and seemed all right. The odd thing about the whole affair to Callie’s eyes was that, unless children can move very fast, when she blinked her eyes, both Nausica and the dark haired boy with gray eyes that seemed eerie had moved across the living room and were right next to the formerly coughing boy. She had not seen them move and when she looked at the dark haired boy he looked to have a red line on his cheek, which he wiped away with a handkerchief.
Callie didn’t know what to think of the child. When he had entered her apartment he looked into her eyes and she could almost feel as though he knew everything about her, her entire sultry past, her rough beginnings, her adoption of Nausica, everything. All seemed laid bare before his eyes and yet she didn’t feel that a bad thing. Rather, she felt warmth in her being as she did after talking with Father Lukas.
The boy appeared strange to her fashionable eyes. He wore his hair shaggily and possessed long locks over his ears that brushed his shoulders like straight versions of the ear locks she remembered seeing on the men in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood. He wore black slacks and a black shirt, but instead of darkening him they seemed to fit his overall demeanor. In all, he looked like a miniature version of a man in attitude and the way he carried himself despite his comely, youthful face that looked like that of an eight year old. She didn’t know what to think. Why did she feel so at ease with him there? He was just a child, not an adult.
Looking into the living room a moment she saw the children laughing and eating. The strange boy had a propensity to laugh and smile with his eyes closed. The little girl with the ribbon in her hair repeatedly retrieved what looked like candy from it and the brown haired boy continued to make jokes and laugh almost continuously. Nausica, while smiling, appeared lost in thought. Her gray eyes stayed rooted to the floor and when she didn’t join the conversation she would tap the floor with her toes. Only the strange boy seemed to notice this as he stole glances Nausica’s way often.
Callie could not discern his intention by these glances or the manner of the glances because his gray eyes revealed nothing in the way of thought. He seemed to know more than any of the other kids about life and also seemed far more mature than even Nausica who Callie considered the most mature seven year old ever. Even if she were a little biased.
It had been a rush to straighten up the apartment while Nausica had been standing outside the apartment. She needed to hide the bags of pull-ups and diapers in the hall closet and then clean the living room as best she could. While the children remained there, Callie decided it would be best to straighten up Nausica’s room. She quickly closed all the dressers and wondered if there were any ways to rid the room of the smell of baby powder.
As she tied the bag that held all of Nausica’s dirty diapers she heard the phone ring in the kitchen. She ran to answer, still carrying the bag, thanking heaven that the bag’s black plastic did not allow for the contents to be recognized. Picking up the receiver she answered, “Hello?” in a voice that sounded more preoccupied than she intended.
“Hi,” she heard a feminine voice respond. “Is this Callie?”
“Yeah, it’s me,” she replied, cinching the knot in the bag and setting it by the counter. “Can I –”
“It’s me, Nancy,” Dr. Nancy Sullivan bubbled into the phone. “How are you? You sound busy.”
Callie took a moment realize that Dr. Sullivan, the woman she had come to respect very much in the last few days had actually called her, Callie, a nobody, someone who could never hope to keep up with her intellectually or socially. Heck, Dr. Sullivan also possessed a charm and beauty that Callie, while considered cute by many, envied and desired.
“Nancy? I can’t believe you called!” she cried before mentally asking, ‘Why did I just say that? I am such an idiot.’ “No, I am not busy.” And she really was not anymore, having finished cleaning Nausica’s room. “What’s up?”
“Oh nothing,” Dr. Sullivan laughed. “I am just bored. One of my appointments had to cancel at the last minute so I have an hour to kill. Luke’s with his patients so I can’t call him. All my other colleagues are also tied up.”
“Nice to see I am so high on your list, doctor,” Callie said a little more sarcastically than she wanted. Still, that comment hurt.
“Oh, Callie,” Dr. Sullivan quickly said in an apologetic voice. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I really did want to call you.”
“About Nausica?” Callie asked, beginning to understand where this was going.
“No,” she answered with a lilt to her laugh. “I just wanted to talk with you. Is that ok? I don’t want to freak you out. So what’s got you so frazzled?”
“Oh, I am not frazzled, Doctor –”
“Call me Nancy,” Nancy ordered friendlily. “All my friends do.”
Callie took a moment to breath in, and blink away tears. A friend? She had had many, many friends in high school but the moment she stopped spreading her legs she realized that that had been all she meant to the majority of her boy friends. It had opened her eyes to how shallow her personality had been and that made her realize that she didn’t want those sorts of friends. That ultimately meant that while she would have many acquaintances at work she never really had a friend outside of Chloe. She knew it would sound stupid, but she had to ask anyway. “Did you really mean that?”
“Huh?” Nancy asked confused. “Did I mean you are my friend? Yeah, I meant that. You aren’t like most women I know, even most professionals. There’s something about you I like. Can I be your friend?”
“Oh,” Callie sniffed. “Nancy, I thought I wasn’t good enough to be your friend. Anyway,” she said, wiping her tears embarrassed and feeling very awkward that she behaved like a twelve year old in front of someone like Nancy. “I am not frazzled. Nausica has a bunch of her friends from school over and I had to hide her protection. Can I ask you a medical question? Ok, is it possible for a facial cut to heal in seconds?”
“No,” Nancy answered with a confused tone. “The face bleeds more than any other part of the body. That’s why pro wrestlers cut their foreheads with razors to get the bloody look.” After a brief pause she added, “Please don’t ask why I know that.”
Callie laughed and then sighed; “I must have imagined it then. I thought one of the kids cut his face, but after he wiped a cloth over it the cut vanished. So what’s going on over there?”
The two talked for the rest of the hour and while Callie kept her eyes on Nausica she paid more attention to her growing conversation with Nancy. The two laughed and joked and spoke as though they had known one another for years. By the end of the hour Nancy asked to come over and dance with her and Nausica. Callie quickly agreed.
+
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica watched as Alex and Kelly walked down the stairs, but as Juste began to leave she grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back. He gave her quizzical look and waited for her to speak. She took a moment to form the thoughts in her head before she finally settled on asking, “What did I see?”
“You saw what you saw, Nausica,” Juste smiled answering as though he didn’t understand. “How can I, who am not you, know what you saw?”
“You know what I mean!” she growled, annoyed that he wouldn’t give her a straight answer. “Did you see what I saw?”
“That really depends,” he answered, swiping imaginary dust from his shoulder. “Do you think that everything we see is relative to the individual or that it is indeed possible for us to see the same thing and agree on its one true meaning?”
“WHAT?” she cried, not sure what on earth he had just said and now even angrier that he was taking advantage of her ignorance to further distance himself from what she wanted to know. “What does that mean?”
“Exactly!” he said, pointing with enthusiasm as though she had made a great point. “What does any of it really mean? Can I attach meaning to something you don’t understand? Can I say a truth is truth when you cannot see the truth or comprehend it?”
“What truth?” she asked, wondering when truth ever entered into what she had seen and why he would not answer her questions plainly instead of taking great pleasure in leading her in circles.
“You have it right again, Nausica,” he smiled, closing his eyes. “What truth? Is there truth? Can I honestly say my truth is the same as your truth? Is there an absolute truth, or is everything really relative to the individual?”
“STOP IT!” she shouted, almost to the point of tears.
“Can I, Nausica?” he asked grasping his chin. “Can I stop truth if there is such a thing?” She contemplated seriously hitting him until he said, “I am glad I have met you Nausica Roberts. I look forward to seeing you again.”
She didn’t know how to respond to that and therefore stood in shock as he pecked her on the cheek with his lips, which seemed to warm her whole body, and then watched as he walked down the stairs. She stared after him for a moment, her eyes wide with shock. What was with Juste?
She thought about the whole of the day and didn’t know what to think. It had to have been one of the strangest days of her life and the hour had only struck four in the afternoon. She wondered how Hermione felt, not the evil one, but the frightened one. A part of Nausica wanted to call and find out. As she thought about that she felt the place on her cheek where Just kissed her grow warm and decided she would do it. She would call Hermione and talk with her. She simply could not continue this hatred.
“Someone has a boyfriend,” she heard jeered over her shoulder in a sweet teasing voice. Looking behind she saw the long golden hair and green eyes of Rebecca. Samantha giggled behind her hand and smiled at Nausica.
“I do not!” Nausica pouted, folding her arms across her chest. “He’s just weird! I bet I have cooties.”
“Too late now!” Rebecca laughed. “You’ve been infected.” She began to chase Nausica about the apartment hallway around Sam. “Boy germs, Boy Germs, Boy germs! Not even a shot will save you from a kiss by a boy!”
“Sam,” Nausica cried. “Help! I don’t wanna die of cooties!” Though she laughed with this little game she wondered why. After all, a part of her knew it was silly to segregate boys, but another wanted to latch onto the little girl mentality that all boys were carriers of disease. However, as one who didn’t make friends easily, Nausica still valued Alex and Juste. She wanted friends so badly that she began to wonder if maybe she were growing up too quickly. Should a seven year old care so much about anything? She wondered what Hermione felt like.
At the moment, Nausica knew she felt like a change. All the milk had gone right through her, and she could feel the weight of her diaper sagging between her legs as she jogged around Sam, who laughed at the two of them. Sam, who had been forced to give up on diapers a few days prior, would probably not want to hear that Nausica needed a new diaper. She wondered if Sam still needed diapers for her emotional problems. Could that one talk with Chloe have changed everything and driven the stress from Sam’s life? She doubted that. Having lived in fear her whole life of abandonment, even the seeming unconditional love of mom could not drive that fear completely away. The fear that somehow she would screw everything up and then Mom would get rid of her.
Aunt Chloe opened her apartment door and called her daughters in to start their homework. She invited Nausica, of course, but Nausica politely declined. She needed to get changed and she wanted to call the silver haired girl, Hermione. Somehow, she thought if she could just talk to her she might be able to her she could perhaps smooth things over. But then again, maybe not. Christine Thistle was dead and Nausica could not bring her back. However, she wondered if maybe Christine could contact Hermione the way her family contacted her. Idly, she flipped open her silver medallion and looked at the picture of them, her family when she had been around three years old. Had that really been only four years ago? It seemed a lifetime away now, but the pain of it still hammered into her heart like an ice pick every time she looked at the medallion and realized they were gone. She wondered if she had thought Hermione responsible even indirectly for her parent’s deaths if she could bring herself to forgive her. She hoped so; else she was walking into the impossible.
Did most other seven year olds think this way, she wondered. Surely not. She had seen them all in class and at school. None of them gave much thought to anything outside of themselves at this juncture of life, but that seemed appropriate. Most seven year olds did not deal with loss. Most seven year olds did not spend the majority of their time alone. Some she knew must probably play with dolls and toys, but the Fong Family had discouraged that in her upbringing, which meant that while alone she could do little else other than think, reflect, and contemplate. Did that make her strange?
Walking into the apartment she saw Mom still on the phone, laughing and happy. This happiness made Nausica smile. She liked it when Mom was happy, and wondered why that should be. Chalking it up to love Nausica walked over and hugged Mom’s waist. She really did love this woman.
Could the silver haired girl hurt Mom? She hoped not. Juste said so long as he was around Nausica’s friends would not find themselves in danger. She still wondered if she had really seen that vision of opposites, a vision of silver hair and silver eyes. If it were true then Juste couldn’t protect anyone else. Mom would always be in danger so long as Nausica stayed with her. She truly believed she should run away, but the moment she thought that she realized she could not do it alone. She could not bare the pain of hurting mom or the pain of losing her, one way or another.
Once Nausica hugged her, Mom positioned the handset of the phone on her shoulder and bent down to embrace Nausica fully, whispering, “I love you, baby,” before standing again and saying, “Ok, we’ll see you at seven. See you then Nancy.”
“Who’s Nancy?” Nausica asked, hugging her mother’s leg.
“Dr. Sullivan, sweetheart,” Mom said with a grin. “She’s coming over later to have fun with us.”
Nausica smiled at this and the two went to get Nausica changed, Mom having smelt Nausica when she hugged her. As much as she hated the diapers in that they took away her freedom, control, and dignity, Nausica had to admit she enjoyed the attention Mom lavished on her during a diaper change. When asked why she did that Mom replied happily that it felt almost like she were getting a chance to raise her daughter from scratch. It hadn’t felt right, according to Mom, to get such a perfect angel without having to work for her. Nausica smiled at this. She wanted to be loved so very much.
Once her diaper had been changed Nausica opted not to change back into pants since bedtime would be so soon. Mom acquiesced, commenting only that Nausica looked cute in just a diaper and t-shirt. Blushing, Nausica walked out of her room and into the kitchen.
“Mom?” she called to her who was washing her hands in the bathroom. “Do you have Hermione’s number? I want to call her.”
Mom came out of the bathroom, drying her hands on a dishrag with a puzzled look. Nausica could tell she didn’t understand what Nausica wanted, but she still retrieved the number from her purse and handed Nausica the phone.
After Nausica dialed the first number she stopped and took a heavy breath. She had to keep going.
“Nausica,” Mom said, rubbing her shoulders. “You don’t have to go through with this if you don’t want to.”
Nausica bit her lip and then finished typing in the digits. In moments she heard the drone of the other phone ringing. She could feel her own heartbeat and a shiver go down her back. She felt such fear and awkwardness. Grasping her medallion with her free hand she felt a little warmth from the metal casing as well as from her cheek where Juste kissed her.
Of a sudden, the phone clicked and she heard an older voice say, “Thistle residence, how can I help you?”
“Mrs. Thistle?” Nausica ventured, hesitantly. “May I speak with Hermione?”
“And who, may I ask, is calling?” she asked in a polite voice that reminded Nausica of Hermione’s except deeper. “Hello?” she asked when Nausica didn’t answer for a moment.
“Nausica Roberts.”
“I really think you have caused my daughter enough pain today, Ms. Roberts. Now if you will excuse me-”
Nausica rushed in, “Please don’t hang up on me, Mrs. Thistle. I want to talk to her. Please. Please let me talk.”
“I’ll ask if she’ll speak with you, Nausica, but if she says no then I will hang up,” Mrs. Thistle replied in a cold voice.
A few moments later Nausica heard a tentative, “Hello?”
“Hermione?” Nausica began. “I wanted to talk to you about today.”
“I am not saying sorry!” Hermione bit into the line. “Mommy says I don’t have to.”
Nausica sighed. “No, I want to say sorry to you, Hermione. I didn’t mean to forget you or Christine. It, it just hurt so much that I couldn’t think about it. Please. Please forgive me, Hermione.”
“No,” Hermione whispered, and by the tone of her voice Nausica could tell she was crying. “I can’t forgive you, Nausica. I just can’t. You have no idea what I am going through!”
“Yes I do!” Nausica quipped back. “I lost both of my parents, my brother, and my sister. I am not saying that’s more painful than Christine, but I hurt whenever I think of them too. Please. I never meant to hurt you two. You were my best friends.”
“You just don’t get it, Nausica,” Hermione replied savagely. “I can’t do anything but hate you. That’s all I have been able to do from the time I saw my dead sister on the street. Even if I wanted I couldn’t like you.”
“Even if you wanted?” Nausica asked. “Do you? I want to like you, Hermione. I want to be your friend.”
“I hate you,” she heard sobbed into the phone. “You have no idea how much I hate you! Why can’t you just leave me alone!?”
“Because you won’t leave me alone!” Nausica shouted back. “I see you in my dreams. You torture me when I am awake! I want YOU to leave ME alone.”
“Oh my God,” Hermione gasped. “It’s happening. God help me!”
Before Nausica could ask what was going on she heard the click and the dial tone. Hermione sounded truly panicked and afraid. Was it what Nausica had said or something that happened over there? No closer to her answers Nausica collapsed in tears. Mom hugged her to her bosom, and Nausica buried her face. It wasn’t fair. Why did all these things have to happen, the deaths, the strange visions, and the hatred of a girl her own age?
Her first day of school had ended. She had met several interesting people, Kelly, Alex, Juste, and been reunited with Hermione. She found another, possibly, who saw what she saw in those visions. Yet, despite these advancements Nausica still felt helpless and without much hope for the future.
As she thought that, however, she felt the warmth return to her cheek and chest. She had done the right thing. Now she simply needed to live her life. She could not continue to think of herself as the Tragic Toddler.
To be continued . . .
Chapter Five
FATE

Three weeks passed . . .
Nausica’s condition improved somewhat in that she no longer had messy accidents and this gave her hope as the first several days of messy pull-ups at school afforded her no small amount of shame. During this time she made little or no progress socially, playing exclusively with Alex and his friends. After the outburst on the first day of school both Nausica and Hermione had become social pariahs that no one voluntarily went out of their way to talk to except out of necessity.
On the whole, Nausica did not mind that problem all that much if only because having three friends in her class was three more than she had had in years, indeed since the accident with Christine. Juste, Alex and Kelly gave her room to breath while at school and, on occasion, came over to her home to play. None of them seemed to guess her incontinence problem, and for that Nausica gave thanks.
Kelly, a very sweet girl as Nausica came to discover, found herself torn. She had been Hermione’s best friend till Nausica came and she had also developed a lasting friendship with Nausica. As Nausica and Hermione still hated each other this put her in a difficult situation of where to stake her loyalties. Thankfully, neither Nausica nor Hermione seemed to want to pull the shy girl against the other so she could maintain her friendship openly with both.
Alex did not seem to share Kelly’s shyness so he found no trouble in interacting with both girls with the same exuberance as before. Nausica supposed that the young boy, in his quest to make friends with everyone, whether they wanted to be his friend or no, had come to the real conclusion that not all of his friends would get along with one another. To a degree he tried to make them get along, but not even his warm, inviting smiles could melt the animosity between Nausica and Hermione. After a while he gave up but continued to remain a good friend to both.
Hermione needed him. Nausica could see that. The rest of the class seemed to think her rather crazy from her attack on Nausica which all called unprovoked and strange. Alex provided her with a crutch to stand on when the other kids wanted nothing to do with her. This pleased Nausica to some degree, but she could not figure out why.
Juste became more annoying by the day to Nausica and were it not for his ability to somehow make her feel better by a glance she felt certain that she would have punched him in the face. He always spoke in half-truths or riddles with no clear answer. Everything about the boy seemed amorphous and changing. Ever since he revealed his knowledge in the classroom Mr. Deaderick had developed a special distaste for Juste. It seemed odd to Nausica that after three weeks of hanging around Juste she had come no closer to understanding him or his motivations than when she met him for the very first time, coming out of the school office.
She almost wished to see the silver haired girl again if only to see if Juste would react as he had before. He never told her if she had really seen time stop or him chase away Hermione. However, from that time onward, so long as Juste were around at all the silver haired girl, the darker version of Hermione as Nausica had taken to calling her, stayed away.
This did not, of course, stop the darker version of Nausica from troubling Nausica when she was alone. The visions still came and the threats continued to come, but for some reason, Nausica did not pay as much heed to them anymore. This came largely from her sessions with Dr. Luke Minas. He took her as a special patient and though he could not make time for her at his office because he was booked until June with patients he came to see her twice a week at her apartment.
Nausica told him everything and he seemed intrigued by most of it but he would never offer his own opinion. He insisted she simply talk and he would offer her questions. By the end of each session she felt so much better for having released all of her pent up stress. Dr. Luke impressed her more and more every time she saw him. She couldn’t tell if it was his suave manners and handsome face or the fact that he exhibited such humor that she grinned almost the instant he entered a room.
Once, during their third session, the silver hair girl approached because of a challenge issued by Dr. Luke Minas. He dared her to confront him as she had threatened when he first “met” her. Nausica had been more than a little shocked when Hermione appeared in the apartment living room, staring coldly at Luke with her ice-cold purple eyes. Though the apartment felt toasty from the heaters Nausica could see the silver haired girl’s breath appear and dissipate in front of her mouth as though the room were freezing. Luke couldn’t see her, of course, so his expression didn’t change when she appeared though Nausica felt the hackles on the back of her neck rise at the look of malevolent hated she gave him.
“She here,” Nausica whispered, terrified of those eyes that seemed to pulsate as though to a sporadic heartbeat. Hermione spun to stare at Nausica when she spoke and Nausica felt as a lamb might in the sights of a ravenous wolf. She whimpered a little and tried to hide her face behind a pillow on the couch. For some reason, the silver haired girl’s presence frightened her more now than it had previously. This probably came from having met Hermione in real life. She had hoped that meeting Hermione might clear the air and allow her some relief. She hadn’t expected the two to behave differently.
“Where?” he asked without the slightest trace of fear in his voice. He adjusted his thin glasses on his nose and his green eyes shone brightly, expectantly. After Nausica pointed out where the silver haired girl stood he adjusted to face where he supposed she must be. “What is your name, child?”
The silver haired girl snickered and Nausica heard it now. She wondered which had been scarier, seeing the girl laugh and hearing nothing or this chilling cackle that didn’t feel human at all. “Why do you want to know?” Nausica translated. “You can’t even see me.”
“Everything has a name,” he responded quietly.
“Yes,” the silver haired girl smiled. “And once you have that name you have power over it. I will not give you power over me.”
Nausica felt the need to ask, “What does that mean?” to Luke immediately after translating.
“It means,” he said, scratching his smooth jaw line, “that if I knew her name I would have some control over her. The power to name is very great. That is why many slaves have their names forcibly changed to show that they are not their own masters. While we take the knowledge of someone’s name as an endearment it can also represent a certain amount of control over someone.
“For instance, if I saw you doing something I didn’t like I could call out ‘Girl, stop that!’ but if I call out ‘Nausica, stop that!’ I have a better chance of getting you to listen. The silver haired girl, your dark Hermione, doesn’t want me to be able to call her by her name.”
The silver haired girl nodded and smirked before saying, “Astute, aren’t you?” which prompted Nausica to ask what “astute” meant.
“It means very quick on the uptake, that I understand very quickly. So tell me, Hermione, why do you make Nausica suffer for a crime she had since repented? What more do you want from her?”
Nausica took several moments to repeat what the silver haired girl said. She felt her pulse quicken and her skin go cold. She didn’t want to say it aloud, but the silver haired girl glared at her and mentally projected Tell him . . .“I want her to die!”
“But you can’t kill her, can you?” Luke asked, apparently not frightened in the least by this remark. The silver haired girl did not answer him. “You can’t then. You can’t kill Nausica and you can’t kill her friends. Why is that? What is this Juste boy to you?”
Hermione snapped back, “An annoyance! Nothing more. Soon I will get rid of him.”
“How?” Luke chuckled. “He seems very adept at stopping you.”
The silver haired girl turned and smiled coldly at Luke saying in a frigid, confident voice that seemed to scrape ice under Nausica’s skin. “You know nothing of me or what I am capable of, little fool. I know what you think. You think I am a figment of this child’s over active imagination. You think I am something that can be talked down in these little ‘sessions.’ At the worst I am some sort of second personality or the result of schizophrenia. You are so LIMITED. Maybe once I crush you, you will understand. Yes. I think it is time you fully understood.” She vanished, laughing.
Luke sat rigid in his chair, staring ahead blankly. Nausica walked over and hugged him, asking, “What is schizophra, shizo, schizo-?”
“Schizophrenia,” he answered quietly.” A word you should not have been able to know, even with your strange intelligence. Your Hermione saw what I wanted to do. There is no way you could have guessed that. Maybe I need to attack this from a different angle."
“What do you mean?” Nausica asked, relaxing in his arms as he stroked her hair soothingly. She still felt fear acutely from the threats that Hermione made at Luke and she didn’t know what to think. True, she couldn’t harm Nausica’s friends, but what about Luke?
“You are a special case for me, Nausica,” Luke stated slowly. "I am not getting paid so technically I am not your psychologist, just your friend. I have patients backed up until early June so there was no way I could see you on a professional level. This is why Dr. Sullivan and I come every Tuesday and Thursday night to see you and your family. We are friends so I wanted to help you as such.
“Unfortunately, I don’t know if I can provide help or answers as I originally supposed. This Hermione seems to see through my intentions and she laughed at them. You are far too young to come up with what Hermione said. FAR FAR too young. I think that the only one with any answers in this will be the boy named Juste. He seems to know a lot of what you don’t.”
“What about Dr. Caspian?” Nausica ventured. Dr. Caspian exuded every bit as much confidence and knowledge as Juste appeared to.
“He may have answers but I doubt you would be able to fully understand them. I talked with your mom about him and she confirmed that he is either quite mad, or a genius. You wouldn’t understand anything he might say to you. I, on the other, hand, might have a better chance of it. I will seek him out and have a chat with him. Maybe he will be able to shed some light on this for me.”
“Why would Dr. Caspian be any help in this for you, Luke?” Nausica asked, curious as to what would prompt Luke to seek out her school doctor, who while very knowledgeable might not be able to answer anything for Luke except in regard to her health.
"Because Dr. Seth Caspian is the leading authority on fatalistic philosophy. I knew him when he was a student. We were classmates in undergraduate studies and for a time we were friends. He minored in philosophy and pre-med. Both of us graduated around the same time and have only been practicing for about three years. He and I were fairly close so I know what he studied.
“That we both ended up in the same town still amazes me. Anyway, he would have learned your history of the Tragic Toddler and, if I know him, will have researched it to death. He believes very strongly in the inescapability of fate, Nausica. That means that he feels we cannot affect any great change in our lives. Everything we will do has already been preordained and our purpose in life is to fulfill our role in that plan. If he thinks you are fated as a bringer he will fully understand the implications of that.”
“And do you believe that?” Nausica asked quietly, woodenly.
“Believe what?” he asked, cocking his head to the side, and smiling at her.
“That I bring death?” she whispered, barely audible.
Luke smiled and rubbed her head, but he didn’t answer her. That had been the last time he involved himself directly with the darker version of Hermione. After that, all of his sessions involved asking questions and affording Nausica an outlet to vent out her insecurities. Nausica heard that Luke visited Hermione as well, but he said he couldn’t tell her what the two of them talked about, except to say that she wasn’t as cooperative as Nausica.
Dr. Sullivan accompanied Luke whenever he came and she would almost always play with Nausica, Rebecca, and Sam. She brought her dancing pad and they would play with that for hours. Nausica had actually moved past the basic level and had moved to intermediate before Rebecca, which seemed a major accomplishment and further spurred the two’s rivalry. Sam, who got into the game much later than the two younger girls, did not leave the basic level. On occasion, if Mom had to work late, Dr. Sullivan would baby-sit Nausica.
Mom seemed to get along famously at her new job, finding respect and pride in herself. This reflected in her home life as she began to be able to spend more and more time with Nausica. Unfortunately, this time comprised a lot of changing dirty diapers, which embarrassed and yet pleased Nausica because of the intimacy of the experience. This joy still made her feel guilty when she thought of Sam.
Sam, for her part, did not seem to go cold turkey from her little hobby. She could not go to the grocery store to buy diapers so she took to creating make shift ones when aunt Chloe left the house. Feeling a trust with Nausica she shared all of her plans and ideas. These ranged from the ridiculous to the elaborate. She started by using a towel and safety pins but this method didn’t please her because she said it didn’t feel right. The next plan involved cutting two holes into a white garbage sack and pulling it up like underwear. While interesting, Sam admitted she would rather not try that experiment again. She took several rolls of soft toilet paper, hoping for the soft closeness of an actual diaper, and mummified her crotch with about two inches worth of toilet paper. She told Nausica that she loved this method, but the problem lay in the fact she couldn’t wet this, nor could she take it off for late use because all of the paper would unravel, meaning that it felt comfortable only when first applied. She really liked combining this method with the garbage bag technique, and even tried wetting once, but peeling off the toilet paper was not a fun memory so she didn’t wet again.
Nausica offered her some of her own diapers which Sam welcomed gladly, but she hesitated for reasons that she was growing quickly and soon the size six diapers would be too small for her, and she didn’t like the idea of stealing diapers from her aunt who had to work so hard to pay for them. Still, because Nausica couldn’t stand to see her upset, she would force a few into her cousin’s possession every once in a while.
Nausica discussed this growing dilemma with Rebecca, but Rebecca didn’t have any answers short of talking it over with Aunt Chloe, and none of them wanted to do that, remembering her anger several weeks ago. Rebecca continued to remain Nausica’s best friend, even when she began to bring her own school friends over. She met and liked all of Nausica’s friends, especially Kelly who always brought sweets from her father’s store.
Rebecca really liked Juste and found his antics at annoying Nausica very amusing because it reminded her of her forays in annoying her older sister. Nausica couldn’t help but smile at that. She was happier than she had a right to be, she knew, and wondered how she might have been were she not still waking up every night wet and frightened from the latest nightmare.
Nausica, because of the traumatizing experiences, spent all of her time possible with these new friends, especially Juste to shake off the silver haired girl. However, recently Juste began to appear less and less often outside of school. Alex explained that Alex had become involved in an afternoon activity and, of course, he didn’t tell anyone what it was.
For the last three weeks Nausica attended church with Mom and listened to Fr. Lukas’ sermons, which always seemed pertinent to her life somehow, as though he had written them just for her. Nausica still felt strange attending church when she felt in her heart that no god could exist in a world where such evil could run rampant, which seemed clearer every morning when she awoke form her nightmares, but, nevertheless, she enjoyed going, if only to hear Fr. Lukas who she had grown to respect in a way she reserved only for him.
Again she considered going to him with her problems, as he seemed to have an understanding of everything that bothered but she continued to hold back, holding onto her reservations that he could ever understand her pain and suffering. She had been so sure Luke could and if Luke couldn’t then what chance did this old man have?
Three weeks had passed, and while life had changed for Nausica, it felt as though not a day had passed. Hermione and her still hated one another. Juste still remained aloof, and Nausica still felt ultimately alone.
On the fourth Monday that Nausica started school, after changing her pull-up, Nausica walked alone out into recess. Alex had divided his time with her and Hermione to every other recess, and wherever Alex went, so did Kelly and Juste, leaving Nausica alone half of the time. She didn’t want them to feel pity for her, but she did miss them.
Not seeing anyone occupying the swing set, her favorite place to go at recess, Nausica slowly made her way over. It had snowed recently, creating a ruff that Nausica had to trudge through to get there. Most of the other kids huddled together on the black top, where, because of the sun and the asphalt in the top no snow existed and therefore gave them a place to play and stay warm. Nausica didn’t mind. The cool air rushing through her lungs as she swung gave her a natural high and she simply stopped thinking. Closing her eyes, Nausica listened to the rush of the wind that carried a distorted version of the happy yelling of the first graders to her ears.
Over the rush of this she heard a single voice calling to her, “Nausica.” For some reason, this voice danced above the other on the wind like a surfer over water. It sounded sweet and soft, like honey and warm cider, which immediately made Nausica think of Hermione when she spoke with anyone but her. The call sounded happy and kind, as though to get her attention. Opening her eyes, Nausica saw an individual in the snow in front of her wearing a bright blue parka.
“Kelly?” Nausica asked, slowly bringing the swing to a halt. “Why are you here? Where are the others?”
“They’re with Hermy,” she answered, rubbing her cherry red hands together and blowing on them, obviously chilled to the bone. “I wanted to talk with you.”
“What about?” Nausica asked, confused why Hermione’s best friend would come to talk to her without the pressure of Alex to bring her. Kelly showed herself truly Nausica’s friend, but that had a large amount to do with Alex. “What’s going on?”
Kelly smiled slightly with a faraway look in her sky blue eyes. In the three weeks that Nausica grew to know the young girl she had never seen her with such a serious demeanor. Kelly always seemed flightily as though not wholly grounded and walking to the same step as the rest of her classmates. At first glance, Nausica assumed it was due to her shyness, but that only compromised a part of it. Kelly behaved as though she were perpetually hiding something, even between Alex and Juste. Alex didn’t seem to notice, and Juste didn’t seem to care, but Nausica always wondered what went on in the head of Kelly Andrews.
“You are the first person I have ever met that didn’t treat me differently Nausica,” she said without a stutter as she usually did when speaking with Nausica. “You don’t recognize me at all, but you still treat me nicely.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Nausica blinked. What was Kelly talking about?
"I met Hermy the day she moved here from Manchester. That was two years ago and I guess we were both about five. She was crying, Nausica. That’s all she did for five weeks. She cried and cried and cried. She cried outside, inside, anywhere I saw her. Alex didn’t know her because she didn’t go to Kirkland at the time. She didn’t start going until this year because I told her to come.
"No matter how much she cried, I never left Hermy alone. We talked all the time and she told me all about you. She told me how you moved in with a Thai family next door to her and Christine’s house. You were always sad and afraid of everything, but Christine pulled you out of your shell. Christine became your closest friend and Hermione joined in after a while. The three of you were inseparable for almost a whole year. You did everything in preschool and kindergarten together. Then everything changed. Christine died and Hermy blamed you. She was always jealous of you and Christine spending so much time together. I think what she really hates is that Christine gave her life for you and not for her. It’s like she chose you over her, her twin.
“She hates you more than anything, and I don’t understand. I always pictured you as this horrible murderer from what Hermy told me about you so when I found out you were the Tragic Toddler I couldn’t believe it. You are so nice, just like Hermy. I don’t know why you two hate each other. Why? Why do you guys not like each other?”
Nausica wanted to answer and tell Kelly about the terrible nightmares and the visions Hermione sent her. She wanted to say that three weeks ago she had tried to make peace with Hermione but Hermione would not hear of it. Instead, she said only, “It’s complicated. Still, why should I treat you badly? I never met you. Should I know you?”
Kelly gave a half smile and looked down, saying, "Yes . . . yes and no. I guess there is no way you could know who I am. I, I, I just wanted to say sorry, Nausica. "
Nausica shook her head, her long hair whipping from side to side, dusting her shoulders, “Sorry for what, Kelly?”
Kelly didn’t answer but sniffled and wiped her moisten eyes with the sleeve of her parka. “I don’t want you two to hate each other!” she cried before running back th

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Callie walked out of the office building and breathed in the crisp, winter air. She loved this season. For some reason she had always preferred the winter months to the warmer summer months. Perhaps this lay in her fashion sense. Loving to wear baggy clothes, Callie could accessorize much more in the winter because of the ability to wear more.
Today this aided her more than others as the heater at the office had been on the fritz for the last three days and everyone came in wearing heavy coats and hats. Wearing sweat pants under her slacks, Callie wore a very nice matching set of purple scarf, cap, and mittens that went very well with her green coat.
Some patches of snow still remained on her little white Dodge Neon, but Callie did not bother to brush it off. Instead she hopped in, cranked the engine and switched on the radio, recognizing one of her favorite pop tunes and singing along as she slowly pulled out of the parking lot.
‘I wonder what I should fix for Luke and Nancy tomorrow,’ she wondered. I still cannot believe Luke would volunteer like that for Nausica. I don’t care if he doesn’t want money. I am going to fix him the best damn food he’s ever eaten . . . or try anyway. I wish Mom had taught me better. Chloe is all right, but not the best. Guess beggars can’t be choosers and she did teach me a lot.
She looked though the windshield at the fast setting sun and wished someone were in the car to share the vista with her. The bright pinks, oranges, and reds created a purple skyline with the clouds in layers. Sighing she continued her train of thought, Still, I wonder why I am not allowed to listen to his little sessions with Nausica? He said he isn’t a psychologist in this case, but I wonder sometimes. Meh, I get to spend time with Nancy, at least. I hope she brings over that magazine she was talking about. The winter fashions this year are so sheik.
When she arrived at Wuthering Heights Callie noticed a note on her door, which read.
I would find great pleasure in meeting you with the illustrious Dr. Minas in a conference at my abode this evening. I feel confident Luke Minas has told you the nature of this visit, Ms. Calliope Roberts. I look forward to a brief chat with you about the Tragic Toddler, your daughter, Nausica Roberts.
Callie stormed into the apartment, after tearing the note off the door, which she slammed behind her. She would have some choice words for Dr. Minas.
Callie threw her coat on the sofa and walked to the refrigerator in the kitchen to pour herself a glass of apple juice. After gulping it down, listening to the pulsating rhythm her throat made as she sipped, she wiped her brow and wondered what Luke had been thinking. She remembered talking with Luke about the strange doctor at Kirkland Elementary School, even remembering the name of Caspian though Callie found herself terrible at remembering names usually. At that conversation she learned the two had gone to school together and somehow thought that appropriate, though she couldn’t put her finger on why.
Perhaps it had something to do with the two of them possessing the most beautiful faces and features Callie had ever seen. The long black ponytail that Luke always wore loosely over his left shoulder, or the shaggy long, golden shanks of Dr. Caspian seemed to belong on the covers of fashion magazines. Both faces held a rigid air of dignity while possessing a frailty that made Callie jealous as a woman. However, their outer beauty encompassed all that seemed congruous between the two. Luke possessed a sweet, warm feel that never went away despite his rigid features. Dr. Caspian seemed completely aloof, as though he cared for nothing.
He obviously didn’t care for either Nausica or Callie’s feelings. How dare he call Nausica by the title that so bothered the little girl? Why had Luke consulted with this madman? When Callie left the office after the day of Nausica and Hermione’s little fight she had been unable to ascertain whether Dr. Caspian were mad or a genius.
She called Luke after finishing her drink and discovered he held the same opinion of the strange doctor Caspian. Even the two had been what could be considered friends in college; Caspian never committed himself fully to the relationship. Whether because of studies, responsibilities or something else Caspian kept to himself and for many that seemed just fine. He never lacked female company because of his outer beauty, but once anyone met with his emptiness that consumed the man within they abandoned him. Luke admitted he felt like abandoning the strange man as well, but something made him remain friends.
When Luke arrived at the apartment later that evening with Nancy he confessed why he thought they should talk to Dr. Seth Caspian about Nausica. He wanted to learn what a fatalist would have to say about the whole Tragic Toddler persona that enveloped Nausica like a black cloak. Nancy immediately volunteered to come along too, but she found herself obligated to watch the children while Chloe worked late that night at the office repairing a damaged file that a new accountant had turned in a week ago. Firing the rookie wouldn’t solve the firm’s problem so they sent the file to Chloe to rework and present in one day what had taken the rookie two months to screw up.
Nancy settled into that role verb happily when she saw the smiles of the girls who squealed with delight when they saw her as Chloe dropped them all off. Nausica ran up to Nancy and gave her a big hug about the waist, which Nancy reciprocated by tickling Nausica. The two of them began to wrestle and the other girls joined in so that soon the apartment rang like bells with peals of laughter.
Luke and Callie used that as a prime moment to exit and walk to Luke’s truck. Nancy had driven herself in her blue mustang, which Callie had only seen beforehand. Luke’s truck, a silver Dodge Dakota, rumbled out of the parking lot and Callie had to admit she felt a little small in the large cabin, wondering if all men wanted to drive big trucks like this. Luke hummed to himself as he drove, rolling down the window to let the wind play with his ponytail.
The actual drive took almost half an hour as Dr. Seth Caspian lived far away. His home, a modest duplex in a slightly seedier neighborhood of the next town over appeared rub down and dilapidated in both pain and general upkeep. Apparently, surviving as the school nurse of an elementary school did not pay very well. Luke whispered to Callie that this made no sense because Caspian’s books on fatalism sold very well in the circles that like to read that sort of thing, mainly Goths and depressed poets, or teens with a bleak outlook on life. Caspian should have been very comfortable, both working and writing, unless, of course, he still needed to pay debts for college.
Luke knocked on the chipped brown paint of the front down because he could not find a doorbell. The opening appeared suddenly, brightly as the door flew opened showering them with light as the last of the sun’s rays sank behind them. Callie wondered why it felt like she was walking into an old vampire movie with Bella Lagousi.
Caspian stood in the door, wearing light brown slacks and a loose blue sweater of a very thin material so that his sculpted features shown through the fabric like a wetsuit. He gave a small smile in greeting but his bored green eyes never changed from their placidity. He ushered them into his small home and Callie immediately noticed, that while Spartan in décor Caspian had great tastes. His Elizabethan lounge chair looked inviting and his wet bar in the corner of his living room made her feel as though she were walking into a palace of some bygone era. A fireplace blossomed with flames hidden behind purple stained glass with a marble lintel above with a clock that looked to be over one hundred years old. Every detail of the house bespoke dignity and charm.
Caspian walked into his living room, seeming to float above the burgundy carpet as he stepped towards the wet bar and poured three glasses of mulled red wine. He set them on top of a circular marble table that sat in front of lounge chair and sofa and then sat without showing the slightest change in his eyes or movements to say how he felt. Callie could not tell how he felt to have guests in his house or what he intended to discuss with them.
He sat down in his chair and bid them do likewise before he took a sip of his wine and gestured for them to partake. Callie gingerly took the glass and felt a little giddy. It felt nice to be treated like an adult and have wine with social gatherings. Granted, as a teen she had had more than her fair share of beer and hard liquor, but after she turned her life around she tended to stay away from it and she only rarely drank after she turned twenty one the previous year, and then only with Chloe who gave it to her. Sipping gingerly Callie could tell this came from an expensive bottle, and wondered how much it would go to her head, not really having eaten that much before coming. She knew she shouldn’t have accepted the drink, but the part of her that wanted to appear grown up would not allow her to decline.
“Tell me, Seth,” Luke began, not touching his drink. “What do you know of Nausica?”
“I will tell you that I know everything about her medical history and personal history as it has been given to me. However, you knew that well before you decided to call, Luke Minas. I hardly think the nature of your visit was to discuss Nausica Roberts’ medical history. Had you wanted that you might have gone to Nancy Sullivan, her pediatrician.”
“And my fiancé,” Luke added with a smile.
Caspian’s right eyebrow raised a notch but his eyes did not change, nor did any other muscle in his cheeks move. Luke cleared his throat and Caspian spoke, still without passion. "You did not come here for that, so what did you come here for, Luke Minas and Calliope Roberts? Do I guess rightly in that this has to do with my other realm of study? By your expectant eyes I guess correct. Yes. Yes, I can tell you what you want to know, but you will not want to hear it. No one ever does. The realm of fate seems cold to your minds, does it not? You cannot conceive a world that is not ruled by YOUR choices. Some would say we are all animals ruled by behavior and reactions. Some would say chemicals rule us within our brains. Some others say a loving God rules us. I do not espouse any of these. I see us ruled by fate. I see our destinies falling ever closer to their fulfillment. You are here to hear what I have to say regarding the fate of Nausica Roberts.
“What do you want me to say, Calliope Roberts?” Caspian asked in a smooth voice that seemed smoother still in the way he arched his neck like hunting cat, and like a cat, with no visible expression in his eyes. “What do you want me to tell you? I cannot tell you what you do not already know, and you, whose fate ties so closely with that child, must have already seen what I say. Is this not true, Calliope Roberts?”
“How can you not care?” Callie asked in a sob, “How can you so callously lump my daughter away as a statistic? Don’t you care?”
The hard green eyes looked up and pinioned her with an intensity that held Callie as though she had been impaled through the eyes. She had never seen eyes like that before, and while they still did not feed her information about his feelings she could feel that some sort of emotion took place behind them, even though she could not understand. “I care, more than you can every understand,” he whispered savagely, tears in his own eyes that still betrayed nothing so that they resembled twin frozen green fields slowly melting. "Do you not think I would have it otherwise? Do you think I would not spare a little child the pain of living with this fate? But I cannot!
“Nausica is so named the Tragic Toddler because she brings only death to all that she associates with. She is like an ill wind, like one carrying a deadly virus. Do you not think, Calliope Roberts, that I would change her fate if I could? But that is the nature of fate! You cannot run away from it! You cannot hide from it. At the very best you can put it off a little longer, but believe me, Calliope Roberts, it will find you.”
Callie gulped at the look he gave her, the certainty in his calm voice that while intense, did not seem impassioned by what he were saying, almost like a man who had long ago given up trying. She wondered why she suddenly felt such profound pity for Caspian. She did not answer him, and instead, took another sip from her glass.
“I studied her before I met her, you know?” he continued. “The tragic toddler. After the Owens child drowned and Nausica made the news again I was convinced something was amiss.” Callie did not mention her curiosity that this man knew of Nausica from when she had been first named tragic in Louisiana. Why did he know that? Why did he research her way back then? "Do you not think it odd she erased from her cognizant memory the death of Christine Thistle? Christine was not the only death caused by the presence of Nausica. There were others. Hermione Thistle knows of these deaths because hers and her mother’s research mirrored my own. Terrible things happened, or rather two terrible things. One, her kindergarten teacher happened to be walking under a tall building when a window came loose and fell, cutting her in two to the amusement of hundred of bystanders when she visited New York City a few months after Nausica Roberts left her class.
"This death I might be willing to cede as having nothing to do with Nausica Roberts. She wasn’t there after all and could not interact. The other death you know about. Mr. Reginald Adams if you recall. Shot three times in the chest because Nausica said the right thing at the wrong time, or rather, the wrong thing at the right time. This death, the death of the Owen child, the death of Christine Thistle and the tragic death of her family all came under the witness of Nausica Roberts before she truly met you Calliope Roberts.
"Shall I go on, Calliope Roberts? Coincidences you would say? Four separate incidents. Four separate tragedies. Separate, but for one common thread. Nausica Roberts. No one suffers like that because of simple coincidences. Coincidences you would say?
“THAT simply isn’t the case with this child. She knows it, doesn’t she Luke Minas? She knows the threat she represents to all the people she loves and even those she does not hold dear. Every family that has accepted her has had a tragedy occur. Her own family died. The Owens lost their nephew. The Fongs lost the child of their next-door neighbors. She knows the part she plays. But, she cannot stay away,” his voice softened from the fevered pitch of before that had been scaring Callie. "She can’t. She’s just a little girl, so alone in this cold world. She would spare you any and all pain. I can see that in her gray eyes.
“You both feel the same I imagine. Those gray eyes radiate something, something else. She makes me feel calmer when I look into those eyes. She makes me forget my own fate, my own worries and cares. Just like that boy.”
Luke perked up at this and leaned forward in his seat. “What boy?” he asked quickly, probably as glad as Callie to get something out of this crazy, beautiful man, who previously seemed chiseled from ice and now spoke animatedly and with passion. “What boy is this?”
“Carter,” Caspian said slowly, his eyes narrowing at the name. Callie wondered why he called the name with only the surname when he usually addressed people by both their names. “Carter possesses those same eyes, only more so. You, at least, Calliope Roberts, have seen those eyes, as I know that he watches over Nausica in some way. She must have mentioned him to you, Luke Minas. Tell me what she said.”
Luke shifted his weight uncomfortably and looked down, “You know I cannot tell you a patient’s information like that, Seth. All I can say is that, as usual, your guesses are very close to their mark. I know of Juste Carter and his affects on Nausica. I haven’t met him and the affects of Nausica’s eyes do not occur when I look into them. Perhaps I am immune to such things as a passionate glance. Go on, though. Tell us what you think.”
Caspian sighed and looked at the wall, not at either Callie or Luke. “I think this boy is tied into it, and so is Hermione Thistle. I have seen the fates of both the little girls but I cannot see the fate of that boy, which troubles me.”
“You can see the fate of a person?” Callie interrupted. “How is that possible? I cannot believe in fate to begin with but you say it can be read. How? Through tealeaves? Palm readings? How?”
Dr. Caspian stared at her blankly for a moment, as though he didn’t understand the words, like a fish might stare at a fisherman. “How?” he asked. "How do I see the fates of those girls? One might say I guess, Calliope Roberts. I see the aura from most people, you see? I know that you don’t so please do not nod. I will explain. Everyone in this life gives off energy of what they are at heart. Both of you have the fate to help people because that is yours to do. You may think that this was your choice, but I cannot believe that. You were born to help, just as some others are born to destroy. Looking at Nausica Roberts, I saw unwilling destruction. She is like a demon who wants to change, an ill wind that blows in every direction but forward because the wind does not want to knock over the straw hut, only to crush it anyway with its tail. Do you not begin to see? The same fate is wrapped up in Hermione Thistle. She wants to become that which she cannot be. She is full of hatred and sorrow. She wants to change that, doesn’t she, Luke Minas? I know that her eyes show me the picture of hatred mixed with an acute sadness that goes deeper than the loss of her sister.
“The Carter child, I cannot understand. His gray eyes convey peace and good will, but his actions convey something else entirely. He behaves as one who has not a care in the world and as one, who genuinely knows his place in the cogs of fate. Many peoples say that same thing of me, that I do not care, but the truth could not be farther from the truth. I do care, even if I have been beaten down by my fate. This boy, Carter, I have watched ever since he came to the school last November and I have noticed he does not need to be here. That is hardly secret knowledge, of course. The boy tested to attend Harvard Law at the age of six, and all of the major schools in the world would give him much to study there, but he turned them all down and moved here. No child turns down something like that because his parents would have made him go in the interests of his future.”
He leaned forward and held both Callie and Luke in his gaze. “But you know something? I have never met either of his parents, nor have I spoken with any of the representatives from these schools that sponsored him. He speaks as one with my education and yet I look at him and see a seven-year-old boy. I see an old man’s eyes in the pupils of child whose manhood hasn’t even dropped yet. Why? I cannot explain it, though I know things of this sort have happened before. He claims that he came to this school to make friends his own age but I do not see him making any friends, and those he does have appear to find him very queer and aloof. This has been the norm for all the time I watched him. Only one person did he look to more than the others and that was Hermione Thistle who came in September
“That all changed when Nausica Roberts came. Now he attends to her like a faithful puppy, annoying her like a boy his age should a girl her own. It is like a game to him. I do not understand his motivations. I do not understand his fate because what I see slips through my mind like sand through my fingers.
“I thought I had something when he looked to Hermione Thistle because her entrance to this school raised my eyebrows more than a little. She had only just moved from Manchester last year but she had moved before that. Some incident at her previous school forced her to move. The reports said something about dreams among the students and nightmares. Hermione Thistle always appeared pained, and it wasn’t until one little girl was found half mad in her room, spouting all sorts of strange things, the like of which I cannot imagine that people began to take action. The child had to be carted to an institution and the rest of the class blamed Hermione Thistle who didn’t understand any of it. They say they saw her in their dreams. Sound familiar, Luke Minas?”
Luke licked his lips and shook his head before saying, “That cannot be possible. It defies logic. What is it then? What are these dreams? This goes against my psychology because until the other day I assumed Nausica had created all of this from her imagination. Then, she told me what this vision of Hermione told her and what was said to me could not have come from Nausica. Seth, this is not normal. What can you do?”
“Do?” Caspian chuckled mirthlessly. “If you think I can do anything then you are mistaken. I was fated to help in medical problems of the physical, not the metaphysical sense. If I could have helped I would have intervened before now. But now I see two fated children about to mix and the results of that mixture will be truly catastrophic. I do not want to be there when the two of them finally do as they are fated to do.”
“Which is?” Callie whispered, shocked and frightened by the ravings of this madman.
“Who can guess?” he responded, sipping his drink. “I know only that it will hurt many people. When the embodiment of malicious fate and the embodiment of doomed fate meet then we have a doomed malicious fate. The existence of these two children furthers my research. Neither of them wants to bring about the fate they have been given but they will continue regardless. Hermione Thistle created hatred in her wake at her previous school and Nausica Roberts spread death. It is what the two of them do, Calliope Roberts. You are fated to help people Calliope Roberts, but I cannot see if you will or will not die before that can take place. You are closer than anyone else to the Tragic Toddler. You, in all likelihood, will be the next to suffer as the tail of this ill wind crushes you while trying to avoid you.”
Luke stood up and glared down at Caspian. “You have no hope for them because you have no hope for yourself, Seth. The two of them have hope and they can overcome as long as there is God in heaven who sees their efforts.”
Caspian smiled ironically. “Ah,” he sighed. “Stupid man. Don’t you see that if there is a god in heaven then he is a part of this as the author of fate? That is why I do not see how you can worship such a capricious being, Luke Minas. It is vanity or weakness, I cannot decide which, that leads you to think this way. I believe in a pervasive will that maintains balance. But that balance is neither kind or loving as your supposed “God” is.”
“Keep your beliefs, Seth,” Luke sighed in exhaustion. “I will continue to hope in mercy and love.”
“Then why do you attend to that God so rarely, Luke Minas?” Caspian asked coldly, but with a cold that did not touch his unfeeling eyes. “You go to him only when you are in distress. Tell me, does he answer you? Does he ever make things better or the bad things go away? If he does then why only visit his church twice a year? You are a hypocrite if you expect me to believe that this ‘faith’ is anything real or substantial. Where has it gotten you? What has it ever achieved?”
Luke grit his teeth and clenched his fists. Callie truly believed that one more insult would send the usually calm doctor into a fit of rage. He shook his head as a dog might to throw off water and once again glared with his green eyes. “I have little faith, true, Seth. But what little I have has helped me survive till now. Call it weakness, whatever you want. I don’t care. I will always rather believe in a kind, loving ultimate will than your unfeeling balance. You may have resigned these girls to their ‘fate’ but I cannot. I am a psychologist. I can help them understand one another.”
“And what, Luke Minas,” Caspian asked with a cold smirk, “will that accomplish? I know you want to use your craft but you have already admitted that the vision of Hermione Thistle cannot be the ravings of a crazy mind. It is something else.”
“Then I will discover that something else and crush it!” Luke shouted, holding his clenched fist before his face, which shook with his determination. “These are children, Seth. I cannot stand idly by and let them suffer. I have never been able to!”
“Such is your fate, Luke Minas,” Caspian said with a rye grin.
“No,” Luke corrected. “Such is my choice. Where does this boy, Juste Carter live? I will talk to him and discover what he knows.”
“You won’t find him,” Caspian remarked idly, as one might while dusting a table. “Carter is not accessible to phone calls or visits. I tried meeting with his parents out of curiosity but I could not find them.”
“Are you saying he lives alone?” Callie asked, amazed to hear her own voice ring out the question after so much banter between the two doctors. She felt a little overwhelmed by the topic of conversation, and didn’t know where she stood. Both of them seemed to think Nausica cursed to one degree or another. Luke did not try to deny Nausica’s potential dangers. He only said that he wanted to fight them.
But how did she feel? Callie wanted to believe in the God who had pulled her from the brink of destruction with her life and the God who placed Nausica in her arms, even if the price had been high. There had to be hope. But hope against what? Callie had not understood all this talk of visions. She knew her daughter suffered nightmares but the extent had never been made known to her before now. Was she possessed? Haunted? She recalled that Mrs. Thistle said Hermione also suffered nightmares.
None of this seemed real. None of it seemed plausible, and rather than listen to more mad banter between these two men, she had a mind to stand and walk away. The surreal environment confused her and her sensibilities, which had hitherto now never explored the possibility of supernatural phenomena or special powers with humans. The only magic she was willing to accept came from God and God alone, if such things could be called magic.
“I do not know,” Caspian answered truthfully. “His mother came to register him to the school and I saw her from a distance very briefly when he first came, but after that I have never been able to get a hold of them. I get answering machines and e-mail responses, which to the common eye might indicate that they do, in fact, still cohabitate with the boy. This has been sufficient for the sake of the school, in any case. For parent teacher conferences, some form of parental unit appears so no reason for alarm has ever surfaced. However, for me, these clues mean something else. They leads me to believe he lives alone, and were he any other child I would worry, but Carter feels different, if you understand me. I see that you do. Good. He is different in every way possible. He is not a seven year old boy, of that I am certain, but neither is he a man, as I can plainly see. I almost think he is dangerous to the flow of balance, as though he were an agent of change. Look for him if you want Luke Minas, but even should you locate Carter he will provide you with even less than I have. He is . . .most elusive with his answers.”
Callie looked towards Luke, who nodded and grabbed his coat, thanking Caspian for his hospitality. Callie rose to follow but stumbled back into the couch. Perhaps the wine had a been a bit much because the moment she had tried to stand the world as she knew it tilted awkwardly to the side and all sense of equilibrium left her. She giggled a little in embarrassment, feeling her cheeks grow hot.
“Ah,” Caspian sighed, rising,” Stupid girl. You didn’t eat anything did you? No, don’t bother answering. I already know. Stay there. I will fetch you some food.”
Callie looked over to Luke and giggled a little before apologizing. The night was far from over it seemed.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nausica, once Dr. Nancy Sullivan entered the door, dropped all thoughts of missing her Mommy who said she had a meeting with the very strange Dr. Caspian. Tonight promised to be somewhat fun because Aunt Chloe was gone and that meant Sam and Rebecca would be with her all night.
“ALRIGHT GIRLS!” Dr. Sullivan bellowed once Mom shut the door behind her to leave. “We have the entire night to do whatever we want. I am your genie for the evening. I will grant you one wish each. WHAT do we want?” She sounded exuberant and happy, completely unlike the professional Nausica expected when she thought of a doctor. Dr. Sullivan almost seemed to be behaving like one of them, like a little girl.
“I want dinner!” Rebecca called, rubbing her belly.
“I want to watch a movie!” Sam chirped, happily clapping her hands. It amazed Nausica how a girl who seemed infinitely older than her could behave like someone younger at times. She even jumped up and down as she clapped.
“And you, Nausica?” Dr. Sullivan asked, turning to Nausica. "What do you want?
The bouncing and exuberance of Sam gave Nausica an idea. She crooked her finger, indicating she wanted Dr. Sullivan to bend down and then whispered in her ear. “Are you sure?” she asked, giving Nausica a quizzical stare. Nausica nodded emphatically. “Ok, but we’ll need to go out to do that.”
Nausica smiled and squeezed Dr. Sullivan’s hand. “It’s what I want.”
“OK!” Dr. Sullivan shouted, standing up tall, holding her hands on her hips akimbo as if addressing small soldiers going off to war. “WE! And when I say we I mean ME have come to a conclusion. We will go to the grocery store to get fixin’s for dinner, rent a movie and then come back here! Any questions?”
“No MA’AM!” they all shouted back together. Nausica contemplated asking for a change before they left but she figured the diaper could take a few more wettings.
The four of them grabbed their coats and hats before following Dr. Sullivan outside to her car. They drove to the store singing along with the radio at the top of their lungs. When they got there, Nausica realized that waiting might have been a mistake as she felt a cool sensation on her inner thigh. She mentioned to Dr. Sullivan that her diaper had leaked a little and, after inspecting the seat to make sure the upholstery was unsaturated, changed her in the parking lot.
Nausica shivered as the cold air swept against her crotch and hoped that none of her classmates saw this. Keeping everything secret from them took its toll on Nausica normally, but being changed in the open like this seemed a very bad way to have them find out. Thankfully, no one passed by them as Dr. Sullivan quickly wiped and changed Nausica into a new diaper, one of two that Dr. Sullivan had placed in her purse before they left. Once the tabs had been snugly pulled into place, she pulled Nausica’s pants back over the diaper and the four walked to the store.
They discussed briefly in the foyer of the store what they wanted for dinner, finally settling on Pizza, which turned into a lengthy debate on what toppings to get. All four of them wanted something different so Dr. Sullivan decided to get two cheese pizzas and then add the toppings as the girls wanted. They went to the produce department and picked up several fresh vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, and other ingredients for a salad that Dr. Sullivan insisted they eat though none of the girls wanted to hear that. After that they made their way to the frozen pizza aisle and through the urging of Dr. Sullivan settled on stuffed crust Dijorno cheese pizza.
“Ok, now we’re almost set, girls, but I think we need to stock up on diapers, don’t you think Rebecca?” Dr. Sullivan asked the blond girl who turned around with a big smile towards Nausica and a wink to her older sister.
“Yep,” she agreed. “We need to get us some more diapers.”
They walked to the diaper aisle and picked up another two packages of Pampers size six diapers, which got tossed into the basket along with baby powder and some rash cream. Nausica looked at Sam and saw that she looked very uncomfortable. On the one hand, she could tell Sam liked being in the area of her desires, but she had to pretend to feel indifferent in front of all the baby needs items. She looked torn and while she kept her head up to look inconspicuous, her eyes freely roved about the aisle with the reckless abandon a starving man might at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Nausica saw that hunger and smiled.
“Ok,” Dr. Sullivan stated, after reading over a bottle of oil. “Now seems like a good enough time to come clean with you all. Earlier tonight you each named something you wanted done tonight. Rebecca, you wanted dinner so we are going to make a scrumptious pizza and salad for you just how you want. Sam, you wanted to watch a movie together, so we will go to Blockbusters and pick up whatever you want us to watch. Nausica asked for something a little different. She wants everyone to wear nothing but shirts and diapers for the entire evening. The toilet is to be off limits. So, one of those packages was for you, Rebecca. Now, we need to go get some diapers for Samantha.”
Rebecca looked like she was about to have a seizure as she glared at both Nausica and the doctor. Nausica could tell she would have choice words for Nausica later, but Nausica didn’t care. She deserved it a little for always teasing Sam. Sam, on the other hand, looked drawn between heaven and hell.
“I, I can’t,” she whispered sadly. “I am not allowed.”
“Not allowed?” Dr. Sullivan asked, confused. “Not allowed to do what?”
Sam blushed scarlet, knowing she had to come clean in front of her pediatrician. “I, I, I like to wear and use diapers,” she whispered so low that Nausica was sure the doctor barely heard it. “I got in trouble and Mom said I can’t buy diapers anymore.”
Nausica interjected, “But she didn’t say you couldn’t wear them. She said you couldn’t buy them. Well, Dr. Sullivan is getting them. It’s ok, see?”
Sam nodded hesitantly.
“Alright,” Dr. Sullivan said, scratching her head. “Chloe told me about your little obsession a while ago, Sam. I didn’t know she wouldn’t let you get any. Ok, I will get two bags just for you!”
Sam turned an even darker shade of red, tears welling up in her eyes. For over a month she had been without her diapers and none of the makeshift ones she and Nausica made made her feel as she wanted. After all his time, which felt like an eternity to a young child, she was getting her desire back. She embraced the doctor and cried a little sob into her chest. Nausica smiled, but Rebecca pouted, still not sure she like the idea of being put into diapers.
Rebecca asked Dr. Sullivan is she was also going to be in diapers for the evening and she replied, “Nope, I get executive privileges.”
“What does executive mean?” Nausica asked from the other side of the shopping cart.
“It means I am the one in charge,” Dr. Sullivan giggled, sticking her tongue out at Rebecca and winking good-naturedly. “Ok, then. Let’s buy all this and then head over to Blockbusters. Samantha? Have you given thought to what you want to watch?”
Sam suggested Beauty and the Beast, which met with great approval from the others, including Nausica who had never seen it. The wait in the checkout line made the three girls blush from embarrassment, as they hoped no one would recognize them. Unfortunately, one of Sam’s classmates saw her and rushed over to say hello, but when she saw what was in the basket she opened her mouth wide and stared.
“Why do you have all those diapers?” she asked Sam incredulously.
Sam stuttered to come up with an excuse. Nausica could tell Sam was tempted to tell the truth and lay the guilt on Nausica, but her loyalty wouldn’t let her. Finally, Dr. Sullivan rescued them.
She bent down to the girl and smiled. “You know, Sam Maxwell? She certainly is a great help, volunteering to help the hospital. I am Dr. Sullivan from Methodists and these girls volunteered to help me buy supplies for the winter drive. Is your family contributing this year?”
The girl, obviously not sure, replied that she didn’t know and smiled at Sam as if seeing a new girl. “You just never quit, do you Sam?” she laughed. “Best grades AND community service. You aren’t even in Junior Beta Club yet.” She walked off after Sam smiled back and bowed her head in a demure fashion.
Rebecca turned, open mouthed to Dr. Sullivan. “How did you think of that!?” she gasped. “And what will we do when she discovers the lie? Mom said we should never lie.”
“It wasn’t a lie,” Dr. Sullivan grinned, digging through her purse for her savings card for this particular grocery store. “There is a drive at the hospital. There’s one every year. We donate every year, in this way, to homeless elderly and orphanages that are never out of need for such things. If she tells her mother then I will be very happy. Everyone doing their part to make this world a better place is a good thing, don’t you girls agree?”
Nausica, Sam and Rebecca nodded their heads solemnly. Suddenly, all of the mirth seemed to have been pulled away from them as they considered the less fortunate. Nausica wished she had money to give to the poor, and wished Mom did as well, but she knew quite well that they didn’t. Dr. Sullivan must have noticed the change in mood because she immediately brightened up and suggested anchovies for the pizzas in a very serious voice, a voice too serious to be taken seriously. The girls made noises of disgust that eventually led them to giggling, all of them, Dr. Sullivan included.
Once they got to the checkout Dr. Sullivan started placing all the bags of diapers and baby paraphernalia on the moving belt, chuckling and asking the bespeckled boy at the register why anchovies were so funny? He started laughing too, and replied that he had no idea why they seemed funny. Nausica laughed and wondered if they were laughing because anchovies were actually funny or because the laughter Dr. Sullivan started was contagious.
Nausica was shocked that the checker didn’t bat an eye as he rang up the size small adult diapers and then the size-six baby diapers. He simply rang everything up and presented a total. Nausica breathed much easier once they were outside in the cold air once more, with less of a chance of being discovered.
“Boo,” she heard whispered into her ear.
She screamed, involuntarily filling her diaper that had only been changed a short half hour ago. Turning she looked into the eyes that everyone said, matched hers exactly in their steel gray intensity. His black locks blew over his forehead like a broom, sweeping over his eyebrows. Wearing a long black coat and a black cap, Nausica almost would have pictured him as a miniature version of Fr. Lukas. Behind him stood a woman with blank eyes.
While Juste Carter’s steel gray eyes held intensity, her milky white eyes reminded Nausica of a dead fish, placid and utterly cowed. The woman appeared pretty enough with a high forehead and her long black hair pulled into a tight braid, but the complete lack of emotion in her eyes robbed her of that beauty. She wore a long blue coat and carried two small bags of groceries.
“Is that your mother, Juste?” Nausica asked.
Dr. Sullivan paused to regard the boy. From Luke she must have heard some about Juste Carter and his strange aloofness and enigmatic personality.
“She is,” Juste replied hesitantly, still with his bursting self-confidence, but in a quiet manner, as if for his mother’s sake. “Mother,” he called to her like one might to a small child. “Come here and meet my friends. This is Nausica Roberts of whom I told you much, and her adoptive cousins Samantha and Rebecca Maxwell. I am afraid I haven’t met you, ma’am.”
“Dr. Nancy Sullivan,” Dr. Sullivan replied in a faraway voice, as if looking into Juste’s eyes had taken her away. Nausica wondered what it must be like for his mother who had to look into his eyes the most. In truth, she always wondered what sort of parents Juste possessed to have such intelligence. He never expected to see this bovine like woman, bowing to her seven-year-old son like some sort of servant might before a king. This was not spoiling him by placing him on a pedestal, she completely deferred to him. “I have heard a little about you, young man.”
“Juste,” he calmly supplied. “Juste Carter. This is my mother, Pandora. Say hello, mother.”
Her voice possessed a hollow quality, as though all life had been robbed from her. To Nausica she resembled a corpse given life, especially in her milky white eyes, which possessed pupils so light a gray as to almost be completely indistinguishable from the rest of the eye. “Hello,” she said. “I have heard a great deal about all of you. Juste likes you all very much. What have we here? Adult diapers? Must be for the hospital donation drive. You look far too young to be incontinent, Doctor.”
Dr. Sullivan smiled weakly and Nausica didn’t blame her. This woman seemed awfully nosy. Juste admonished her gently and guided her to their car, almost as though she were blind, but while her milky eyes resembled a blind person’s Nausica saw understanding and comprehension in her eyes. “Do you want to come over later? Juste?” she invited, trying to be polite, not even thinking of her evening anymore.
“I would, Nausica,” he smiled. “But I need to accompany mother home. I will see you tomorrow at school. Take care.”
At that, he and his mother walked away leaving the three girls and Dr. Sullivan wondering what had actually transpired. Rebecca recovered first and elbowed Nausica, “Inviting a boy over!” she clucked like an annoyed mother. “I thought this was going to be a girl’s night. Plus, did you forget your little wish to the genie? I’ll bet Juste would have loved to see that. Three girls in diapers, eating pizza, and watching Beauty and the Beast.”
“So-sorry,” Nausica quickly apologized. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“Eh,” Rebecca said, shrugging her shoulder. “No harm, no foul. I was only kidding anyway. Let’s get going, guys. I need to pee.”
Nausica remembered her own situation and then and admitted that she needed another change from the fright Juste gave her. Being incontinent meant she peed a little all the time, but his fright made her void all at once, and now she threatened to leak. Again, in the car, Nausica was changed into a clean diaper, and then they headed down the road to the nearest Blockbuster.
Once inside, Rebecca asked at the counter if they had restrooms, but they said they didn’t, not for customers anyway, at which point Rebecca gave Sam the gaze of death and ordered her sister to find the DVD fast. In the meanwhile, she started the potty dance as she walked beside Nausica and Dr. Sullivan. Sam had dashed off running to find her movie. In moments she had returned, but still not fast enough for her sister who glared at her as though Sam had been idly walking. They still had to wait behind three people, which annoyed Rebecca.
Once back in the car, Dr. Sullivan asked her point blank if she thought she could hold it until they got back. “Answer truthfully, Rebecca. I don’t want to clean pee out of my car.” Rebecca silently shook her head. “Ok, let’s change you into a diaper real quick and then you won’t have to worry anymore. It’s pretty dark already so I don’t think you have to worry about people seeing you.”
With that, Dr. Sullivan ripped open one of the packages of pampers and quickly taped one onto Rebecca who gave Nausica a withering glance, wincing as she heard each tape go “shnick” as Dr. Sullivan untapped the tab from the landing bay and applied it to the front of the diaper. “Ok,” Dr. Sullivan ordered. “I think you might have a lot of pee so hold still.” She, applying her nails to the back sheet, tore the diaper in various places, all up and down the crotch before taping a second diaper on top. “Ok, now I think you are good to go. Let’s get home before you catch a cold.” Rebecca tried pulling her pants back up, but, being the tighter variety, would not close around the bulk of her night time pampers diapers. Sighing, she sat down in the car and pouted the whole way home to Nausica, who constantly reminded her it was all for Sam.
Once home their moods all rose. They brought in all the diapers, supplies and groceries. Sam rushed to the bathroom to change into one of her new diapers and returned moments later, wearing only her t-shirt and her diaper and a large grin. Rebecca divested of her pants that she had to hold up with one hand anyway, as they wouldn’t shut. Nausica stripped as well and soon they were all in front of the television. Dr. Sullivan took their orders for their pizzas and went to the kitchen to start preparing them after brining three tall bottles of water to the girls, complete with nipples. She then hooked up her play station and dance pad for the girls to dance while she cooked, insisting that they not start the movie until they started eating, explaining that she hated stopping a movie in the middle.
Nausica had to admit they all looked rather cute. Rebecca still hadn’t wet herself, finding it difficult, Nausica supposed, to relax and pee into her diaper. Nausica wished she had that problem. Sam looked completely at ease, and as the oldest, declared first dibs on the pad. The pizzas took a little over half an hour, all told, to cook, so that meant each of the girls got to play three songs. Dr. Sullivan played the last song after she placed the pizzas on the stove to cool. She played Max 300 on HEAVY mode, which caused the three girls to cheer because they couldn’t even register the notes as they flew across the screen. Dr. Sullivan didn’t pass the song, but she got a good way in before she failed and the girls still declared her awesome for even attempting such a difficult stage when the three of them could only barely beat less than half of the MEDIUM difficulty songs.
They all drank lots of water as they danced and by the time Dr. Sullivan finished her song, all three girls needed a change. Rebecca had not even been aware she started peeing when her bladder finally cut loose, unable to hold out any longer. She realized only because the diaper became warm and much heavier. Sam didn’t seem to share her sister’s difficulty and peed into her diaper with a blank expression as she relaxed. Nausica didn’t feel anything. She simply looked down and saw that her diaper was saturated once more.
“Ok, girls,” Dr. Sullivan shouted, clapping her hands. “Everyone to Nausica’s room. I’ll change you oldest to youngest so Sam, get the changing pad and lie down while I get the other supplies.” Starting with Sam, Dr. Sullivan wipes, oiled, powdered, and diapered each of the girls into two diapers each so that they had to waddle out of the room. Nausica giggled at how babyish she felt and felt half inclined to stick her thumb in her mouth. They all washed their hands very thoroughly and then Dr. Sullivan cut them each three slices of their personalized pizza to be put on trays along with their salad. She refilled all their bottles with milk and they retired to the living room for dinner.
The next few minutes were spent by Dr. Sullivan trying to fix the TV to respond to the DVD player. She finally got it to appear on the screen but then she couldn’t find the remote control. Everyone felt the need to despair until Dr. Sullivan remembered that the play station also acted as a DVD player. She hooked the gaming console back into the TV and then, using the dance pad because she did not bring her conventional controller, set up the movie to the hysterical laughter of the three girls on the couch.
Once the movie started they all hunkered down to their meals and the movie. Nausica felt very relaxed. She laughed at the funny scenes of the movie and cried at the more poignant moments. She could tell that Rebecca didn’t mind her diapered condition and she saw also that the three of them all wet their diapers a great deal as they watched. It felt so convenient to not have to get up and leave. In her heart, she hoped this evening would never end. Thoughts of the silver haired girl and Juste seemed so distant. Snug, warm, and squishy in her diaper, crutched between Sam and the warm breast of Dr. Sullivan, Nausica felt safe, and above all else, happy.
+
+++++++++__+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Luke gently laid Calliope onto the couch and watched as she slept, unmoved by his jostling. Her lips parted slightly as she breathed and he could almost say that she resembled a child in that moment, innocent and untroubled, the opposite of when she was awake. He sighed and looked to Seth who sat in his lounge chair, sipping more wine and staring off into space as though lost in deep thought.
Luke smiled inwardly. Seth had always been a little queer around the edges but whatever he had to say about people usually came to pass. He remembered times in college, when the two had drunk a little too much that Seth would laugh, though still without emotion in his eyes and then make radical proclamations about people he had seen and what he saw their fates as. Almost every prophecy he spoke came to pass for good or ill. Then, when Seth’s mother passed away in New York, he went to the funeral and returned haggard, beaten. He had never appeared beaten before then and rarely after that did Seth Caspian appear bogged down.
His mother’s death had not been the reason for his reaction. Something had happened when he went to New York. He had seen something or learned something that shook him. Seth saw his mother’s death as her fate and felt no remorse for her loss. His grieving had been minimal, a solitary tear falling from his emerald eye.
Seth looked beaten now. He appeared to have taken the weight of the whole world on his shoulders.
“Tell me my fate, Seth,” Luke whispered. “You told me once before, but I didn’t listen. Tell me my fate.”
“Your fate has always interested me, Luke Minas,” Seth answered listlessly, as though while saying he cared he really did not. "Rare is it for me to gaze upon individual so laced with the fates of so many people. Maybe it is because you are a psychologist but these auras that surround you are very bright, strong, and terrible. I have seen lights like this around doctors and psychologists and teachers, but never this strongly. You radiate little in the way of light, Luke Minas. You have very little to play in the role of your life to affect these massive auras, and yet you are connected to them somehow, like fish that clings to the shark as it swims through the ocean.
"I see my own fate with yours, Luke Minas. It is simply another of the auras around you. Your fate is to welcome tragedy as it comes to you. You will be hurt. You will be beaten. You will fall, but your spirit will never waver. You don’t know when to give up, and you never will.
“Nausica’s aura surrounds you. She is special, you realize, Luke Minas. She will take something dear from you very soon. Will you abandon her when she does?”
Luke stared into the embers of the fire that had now died down to smoldering red logs with veins of bright orange like an intravenous system of a living organism. He did not know what Seth meant in regard to these tragedies coming. Seth probably drank too much which was why he revealed so openly these tidings.
If Nausica was to take something precious from him he knew she would give it back were she able. “I would forgive her, Seth. I want to help her. Like you said, I am not very talented at giving up. So tell me, why are your and Nausica’s auras around me?”
“Not just ours, my dear doctor Luke Minas, but also the auras of Hermione Thistle, Calliope Roberts, and others. The answer to your question lies in the fact that my fate and Nausica Robert’s are interrelated.”
"And what IS your fate, Seth, "Luke pressed, determined to take advantage of the situation now that Seth seemed glib in tongue. “You have never spoken of it except vaguely in riddles.”
“You would not believe me if I told you, Luke Minas,” he chuckled without mirth, his green eyes remaining somber and placid, staring directly into Luke’s dark eyes. “But what if I told you my destiny is to try to stop a great evil, and then fail with my failure resulting in not just my death but also deaths of many innocent people?”
“What do you mean?” Luke asked. “Like trying and stopping a gunman?”
“A simple killer would not be a problem, Luke Minas,” Seth explained patiently as though for a student. “A killer of that sort can eventually be stopped, brought down and halted. I speak of a much greater evil and this evil controls great evil. This evil is related to the tragic toddler and this evil will be all of our dooms.”
“Hermione is the evil?” Luke asked, wondering if he understood this at last.
“No,” Caspian stated slowly. “It is not Hermione.”
+
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++_+

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Hermione stepped out of the shower and grabbed her terrycloth towel from the rung on the tile wall before vigorously rubbing her long hair and the rest of her body. Once suitably dry Hermione began to get dressed for bed. She pulled over her pajama tops before grabbing a pull-up from the waiting package on the sink and then climbed into her pajama bottoms.
She didn’t wet the bed every night, but she did most nights, especially nights that she dreamed. The dreams began right after Christine died, and they were always terrible. At first, she dreamt every night about her sister’s death. Because of this that one day had been marked indelibly in her mind as though it were a movie playing in the background of everything she saw.
Nausica Roberts bounced the ball too high and scampered down the hill to get it back, but the ball rolled across the street. Without asking permission, Nausica ran across the street, and while Hermione had thought that a bad thing she could sort of understand why Nausica would think it safe. No cars ever came down that way at this time in the day.
Without warning Christine ran passed Hermione and down the hill.
This part of the dream haunted her always. That had been the lost moment in history, the moment when Hermione could have stopped her sister.
She watched dumbly as her sister raced down with all the speed she could muster. Confused, she looked around and there, rounding the bend of the street so fast that the car almost spun three hundred and sixty degrees, sped the black chariot of death. At once she screamed for Nausica to move, not even thinking of what her sister would next do. At last Nausica saw it, but instead of moving she stared at the approaching doom. Hermione remembered thinking that Nausica would soon be killed and it was her fault for not telling her mom.
Then it happened.
The whole scene, even when it actually happened seemed to fly in slow motion. Christine, still in full-blown trot shoved Nausica roughly out of the way, just as the car came upon them. The car ripped her nearly in half. She didn’t even have the time to scream. The driver did not stop. Whoever it had been would never be known because it flashed around another bend and vanished from her sight forever.
Hermione and the others ran down along with her Mom. Somehow, in her young mind she kept telling herself that Christine would be ok. Somehow, she HAD to be. They found Nausica shaking, trembling with wide blank eyes, tears cascading as though a dam had burst behind her tear ducts. “She’s dead,” Nausica whispered dully, before collapsing.
For a long while, Hermione stood looking at the ruined remains of her sister. In real life she collapsed beside Nausica and did not wake up until she was in a hospital bed. In her dreams she stared at her dead sister seemingly forever, often screaming outraged on her knees to the skies.
Then, one night, as she watched it happening, the car abruptly halted, but not as though brakes had been pressed. There was no squeal of burning rubber, no grinding halt. The car simply stopped moving just before it hit Christine. Hermione’s sister turned around and looked at her with the piercing purple eyes the two had been born with.
“Why did you not stop this, sister?” she mentally projected to Hermione with such force that she felt as though she had been slapped. “Why did you let her kill me?”
Hermione did not have an answer. She continued to see this new rendition of the dream every night until she stopped seeing the accident and simply met with her sister, who would castigate her and scream soundlessly that her murder should be avenged. Hermione didn’t know about that. Christine blamed Nausica.
Hermione blamed herself and only started to blame Nausica after her mother began to do so. In Hermione’s mind the blame lay on her own shoulders. She hadn’t stopped Nausica. She hadn’t stopped her sister. She failed them both and because of her the tragedy occurred. They soon switched districts to get away from all memories of Christine and moved to Manchester. The dreams continued, and soon Hermione found herself agreeing with Christine that it was Nausica who butchered her.
When Hermione got picked on in Manchester she complained about it to Christine who promised she would take care of it. From what Hermione learned. Christine took care of it by visiting the dreams of the other girls, giving them terrible nightmares.
The girls blamed Hermione because her twin sister looked exactly like her. Because of this, Hermione begged her sister to leave them alone, but her sister reacted violently and even hurt one girl so bad that her brain broke. They had to leave Manchester after that, but before that she and her sister fought in one of her dreams.
“WHY!?” Hermione shouted. “Why did you do that to Elizabeth?”
“Because I can,” Christine answered smugly, albeit without sound. “I can do whatever I please, Hermione.”
“STOP!” Hermione cried. “Please, this is wrong. I- I don’t like it. I’ll stop you.”
Christine laughed into the void. “Stop me? How can you stop me? And anyway, why should you? What has anyone else ever done for you? Huh? Can you tell me that? Without me you would still be crying. You let me die. Maybe it’s time YOU died. Maybe then you will understand.”
At once, Christine launched herself at Hermione and when her fingers closed around Hermione’s throat they felt cold and she could feel every ounce of strength drain and be replaced with an inky morass of despair. This inky blackness began to cloud her vision as Christine throttled her.
STOP! Hermione heard above them and this voice echoed about the whole void like a large bell rung on a cold morning. Let her go!
The voice sounded familiar, like her own but somehow different. It reminded her of warm honey and cider. It reminded her of the Christine she used to know.
Christine immediately released her, though not of her own volition it seemed. Her purple eyes revealed murderous intent, but she still let go and then vanished.
“Thank you!” Hermione cried out to the void. “Who are you?”
The voice did not answer at that time, nor at any of the other times that it saved Hermione from the vicious spirit of Christine. After a while Christine stopped trying to kill her and simply haunted her.
The next school she went to, Kirkland Elementary School, brought her into contact with new friends. Christine had not attacked anyone and though she constantly tormented her, Hermione found a strange comfort that no one else was hurt. Throughout this entire period her hatred for Nausica grew as though Christine was feeding the hatred to her through a straw.
She met Kelly, who eventually became her best friend. The Andrews family lived next door on the street the Thistles inhabited. It had been Kelly who suggested Hermione attend Kirkland in the first place and this had been a happy move because she met Alex, who always made her smile although it had taken him a while to convince her that he should be her friend. In November Juste came to the school and he brought her some measure of peace whenever he looked at her.
She needed that comfort because around that time Christine began appearing when Hermione was awake. Whenever she least expected, Christine would appear behind someone and smile coldly at her before vanishing. Somehow, the killing gaze conveyed to Hermione that Christine wanted to kill them all.
Then, in December, Nausica walked into Kirkland Elementary School. At first, Christine had not been able to tell for sure, and she certainly did not desire to speak with her. She hated Nausica with her whole being. It was Nausica’s fault Christine tormented her. It was Nausica’s fault Christine changed into this strange beast. It was Nausica’s fault Christine died, and the Olsen baby, and Reginald Adams. It was Nausica’s fault her own family died. The little murderous had come back into her life.
Hermione wanted to run, to somehow get away. She didn’t want to look at Nausica but Christine appeared and forced her to, screaming that Nausica must die. Hermione expressed her fear and Christine called her a coward. Then, the two confronted one another and because Nausica seemed to have forgotten all the pain she put Hermione through, Hermione attacked. After that, she left Nausica alone.
After meeting with her she did not seem the murdering little tart she remembered though Christine tried to convince her otherwise. Hermione knew that somehow Nausica must have suffered the dreams too because she looked at Hermione with the same fear that the girls back in Manchester seemed to suffer. In a way that pleased Hermione, but she didn’t want to be feared. She wanted her sister back. In a way she had her sister, but the constant flow of nightmares tortured her mind.
Tonight proved little different. As she drifted off to sleep, the void enveloped her and she stood again before her twin. Two sets of purple eyes radiated contempt for the other. Nausica she hated, but she hated Christine just as much right now. Christine was evil.
“They are moving against me at last.”
“Who are moving against you?” Hermione asked. She hated it when Christine spoke like this. She hardly ever understood what her sister meant and often wondered how her sister could be so much smarter than her, almost as smart as Juste it sometimes seemed. “What are you talking about Christine?”
“The psychologist you saw, Luke Minas,” Christine answered tersely, barely acknowledging Hermione’s presence. “He can’t see me or feel me, but he KNOWS I am here now. I need to make him realize his mistake in poking his nose into my affairs. The other, Caspian, at least, has the good sense to stay away.”
“What are you talking about, Christine?”
“The boy, the boy,” Christine whispered. “Soon I will be able to take care of him directly and then he won’t be able to stand in my way.”
“Who?” Hermione asked. “Juste?”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“Then who?” Luke asked at length. “Surely you don’t mean Juste?”
Calliope still did not stir as the two talked into the late hours of the night. Luke was tempted to place a blanket on her, but the conversation held him rapt that he could not stop or turn away.
“Carter is related to this,” Caspian sighed. “We all know that. But I do not think he is the evil, although his aura is dark at times. No, the evil hates Carter, but I do not know why.”
“You don’t know a lot of things, Seth?” Luke commented. “How do you know you will fail?”
“Because it is my fate. Just like you will soon know yours. I am sorry, Luke. That’s all I can say right now.”
“You called me Luke,” Luke whispered. “You have never once called me that without adding my surname. Why?”
Seth did not answer. He started to collect the wine glasses, including Luke’s mostly untouched one before ushering Luke who had to wake up Calliope to the door and walking them to Luke’s truck. As Luke drove home he wondered what on earth Seth meant by the terrible fate awaiting him. This bad feeling did not leave, even when he dropped Calliope off at her apartment. He went home that night very troubled.
__++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
When Mom returned Nausica had already gone to bed, but she was still awake enough to hear the door open and to listen to Mom and Dr. Sullivan talk. It had been a wonderful evening, and Rebecca did forgive her in the end for having to wear a diaper. Nausica enjoyed the movie very much, and for some reason, instead of relating to Belle, she found herself relating to the misunderstood Beast.
While drifting off to sleep she heard Mom and Dr. Sullivan talk about going to the park tomorrow afternoon after work. Nausica smiled, and slipped into her dreams, or nightmares as the case usually seemed to be.
In this dream the silver haired girl laughed at her the entire time as though she knew something that was soon to occur that she found immensely funny. Nausica felt great fear and wondered what would happen.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++_+
Dr. Sullivan pushed Nausica on the swing as she talked with Mom. The two discussed many things, most of which interested Nausica little, but she did perk up when they talked about the wedding in May. They talked about flower arrangements, what to serve and what songs should be played. Dr. Sullivan suggested using Nausica as a junior bridesmaid if that were all right with Mom.
Nausica enjoyed this time very much. The wonderful feeling of the crisp January wind licking through her hair and biting her ears like little teeth made her giggle and the way it flew up her dress like cold caressing fingers caused her giggle and notice all the more the warmth in the seat of her pants. She wanted to keep going but Dr. Sullivan had said to let them know if she wet because a cold diaper could make her sick.
Dr. Sullivan seemed hesitant to stop and once she halted the swing she embraced Nausica and looked at Mom giggling. “Can I keep her?” she asked as she picked up Nausica and brought her to the restrooms that had a changing station. With all the love Nausica had come to expect from Mom, Dr. Sullivan changed her diaper quickly, even blowing a raspberry into Nausica’s stomach.
Mom smiled as she watched this. Nausica knew that Mom looked up to Dr. Sullivan and wanted to be like her so she figured having Dr. Sullivan dote on her like this probably made Mom feel good.
Suddenly their pleasant thoughts were ruptured in the same way that the window of the bathroom ruptured and a strange projectile landed on the floor, hissing and giving off acrid smoke. Nausica breathed a little and felt sick, her eyes tearing. Dr. Sullivan picked her up and then they with Mom ran outside. The sunset early and the three of them lost track of time while in the park. In the orange glare of the setting sun they saw a large assortment of men surrounding the woman’s restroom in a semicircle. Most of them looked to be about Mom’s age, but they were not well-dressed or kind in face like her at all. All of them wore black leather coats and most of them kept their greasy hair unruly.
One of them stepped forward and sauntered over to them. “Lovely evening ladies,” he rasped, licking his lips, “Oh, and little lady too. Sorry, didn’t see you there. I don’t suppose you would like to join us for some fun? Maybe a drink?”
Mom fidgeted and didn’t appear to know what to do so she said, “Um, sure. I don’t see why not. Just let me go home to find a babysitter for my daughter.” To this the majority of the men laughed and made catcalls.
“I think you misunderstand me, bitch,” the man smiled. “I think we should ALL take a walk. Your pretty daughter too. After all, a wise man said if there is no grass in the field play in the mud. Of course I don’t think that will be a problem for this lot.”
Dr. Sullivan reached into her purse and pulled out a small air pressured canister. “Stay back!” she shouted. “We’ll scream!”
“Ain’t you ever watched TV, bitch?” he laughed at her shaking hands. “No one ever answers screams for help. No cops here either so what can ya do? I think you are fucked. No, wait. That’s about to start.”
“Like hell!” Dr. Sullivan screamed, reaching into her coat pocket and producing a small lighter, which she flicked on and then sprayed her canister at it to produce a large flame that made the man jump back. “Nausica, Callie, RUN!” she screamed as she led the way, fire first through the arc that parted for them, but soon gave chase.
The hunt was on and Nausica felt like a small fox being chased by large dogs. She didn’t understand anything that awful man had said, but he used bad language and he seemed pretty intent on hurting them all. Night had quickly fallen around them so that the details of the park seemed to fade almost entirely as they ran. Nausica could tell when they ran past the swing set, but past that she had no idea. She felt panic rise in her heart because she knew they were in the center of the park and would have to run quite a ways to get to any populated area.
They made excellent distance but the bad men seemed to gain on them by the step. They had reached a copse of trees when Dr. Sullivan tripped. “My ankle!” she cried out, probably stumbling over a tree root.
“Keep running, Nausica!” Mom screamed as she bent to help Dr. Sullivan up. Nausica ran a ways but then turned around to make sure Mom and Dr. Sullivan we’re coming. What she saw caused her to scream. One of the men chasing them lobbed something at Mom and Dr. Sullivan and whatever it was made a squelching sound as it hit Dr. Sullivan’s back.
Blood trailed out of her mouth as she coughed in shock. Mom stumbled back, afraid of what just happened. “Go on! Get out of here!” she cried out despite the obvious pain it gave her which was evident in the wincing her cheeks made with each word. “Take Nausica and go!” Callie backed into Nausica and tried to move but she couldn’t’ just leave her friend. One of the men grabbed Dr. Sullivan from behind and put a knife to her throat. He licked her cheek and laughed.
“I ain’t gonna lie to you bitches,” he said. “You are all going to die after we’re done fucking, but this could be done a lot less painfully then this. Give up and come along quietly and I pwomise you won’t feel a thing when you go. You won’t have to suffer like this whore!”
“Callie!” Dr. Sullivan cried, terror in her voice, which possessed temerity despite her situation. “Get out of here! And . . . tell Luke I love him!” With that she elbowed the man in the gut and punched him in the balls with the back of her fist.
“Fucking cunt!” He bellowed as he drew his blade across her throat quickly and then fell to his knees. The spray of crimson splashed down her throat like a broken damn and she collapsed, face down on the ground. The moon had arisen enough for Nausica to see the pooling of blood around her and she felt her knees go weak.
“NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANCY!” Mom screamed, clutching at the air and mewling like an abandoned kitten, her face contorted as though fingers were pressing down her cheeks while she screamed in agony. Nausica heard that scream echoed throughout the trees and somehow, in the distance she heard
As the rest of the men caught up with the man who cut Dr. Sullivan’s throat they started punching him, yelling about wasting a perfectly good body. Nausica used this moment to tug on Mom’s sleeve and get her to run with her. As they ran through the trees Nausica heard a man’s voice shout, “Climb!”
Not thinking, she wasted no time in climbing the tree she was nearest too. Mom, numb with shock followed her, and once up there, Nausica could see the men all surrounding the tree, laughing and making jokes.
The leader called up, “Where you gonna go now? You gonna jump from tree to tree like fucking squirrels?”
Nausica shivered and Mom clutched her tightly. They sat on a limb about three quarters of the way up the tree and from this vantage she could see all of the men laughing and pointing at them. She could also see into the tree next to hers where she heard the voice telling her to climb originate. A man crouched on one of the branches and looked at her. From the shadows Nausica could tell nothing about him except his size which was smaller than most of the men below.

Nausica watched in horror as the man leapt from the tree and landed in a crouch. At first she thought he must be the silver haired girl because of his long hair pulled into a loose ponytail, but his size placed him in the realm of adults and not a seven-year-old girl. In his hands he held a long black stick with a handle in his right hand.
The twenty or so men stopped as he landed in their midst and no one moved for a moment until he rose and stood. From her position in the tree with Mom, she could see his purple eyes narrowed to dark slits in the pale moonlight. He looked angrier than Nausica had ever seen anyone appear and his cheekbone seemed to twitch as he looked to the fallen form of Dr. Sullivan. He wore black clothes that fir tightly about his wiry frame underneath a large black trench coat that trailed nearly to his feet and billowed like a cape as he had landed. A mask covered his lower face and the tip of his nose so that he looked like one of those ninjas she remembered seeing in a cartoon at the orphanage. He muttered something in a language Nausica didn’t understand and his hand shook that held the handle of his black stick.
“Why?” he asked in a silken voice that made it impossible for Nausica to gauge how old he was. “Why did you do this?”
The seeming leader of the twenty stepped forward with a pistol pointed at the shorter man carrying a stick. “Fuck you!” he jeered, firing three shots at the man. Both Nausica and Callie screamed, but though the distance couldn’t have been more than fifteen feet, the man in black still stood seemingly where he had, but no bullet seemed to have touched him. “The fu-?” the thug started but never finished as the purple eyes narrowed further, and the man began to walk forward.
The rest of the gang pulled their own firearms out and proceeded to shoot at the slowly moving man, but before a single shot fired he stiffened his body and then moved faster than most eyes could follow. Nausica gasped as he advanced towards the ringleader of the thugs, contorting his body in sharp angles quickly, with minimum effort to dodge the hail of bullets. When he came within three feet of the man he approached, who still fired his weapon despite the clicking it made to tell him it was empty, he crouched suddenly and his right hand, still on the handle of his stick, moved with such speed that even Nausica, who stared in silent awe, could not register the movement. Something blacker than the stick zoomed through the night, reflecting no light in and of itself, and yet that something gleamed like metal. It gleamed a fiery red in the moonlight as a vat liquid splashed into the air.
For the briefest of moments the rest of the gang stopped firing as they stood in mute testimony to the body of their comrade falling almost in two from a neat cut from his scrotum to his chin by a slice that came from whatever the man in black held in his right hand. For a second only everyone saw what he held as he reversed his grip and held the weapon upside down. A black metal sword, curved and wickedly sharp.
Mom hugged Nausica to her and Nausica could feel her shaking. Mom had never seen anyone die like that before, and in truth, neither had Nausica, but this wasn’t her first witness to gore, though she did feel a little sick when the insides of the man cascaded out of his open chest cavity like a small waterfall as he fell. A part of her wanted to look away but she couldn’t.
Despite disemboweling the man, this silver haired swordsman didn’t have a drop on him. He reached with his left hand up his right sleeve and gripped something on his forearm. Spinning he pulled something out that flashed white in the black night. Before he again dashed Nausica could see that in his left hand he held a long bladed knife similar to the sword he gripped in his right, both angled downward as though the blades were extensions of his forearms. And then, he disappeared.
The remaining men opened fire once more, probably realizing that attempted escape would prove futile. They knew, as Nausica herself knew, that they were all going to die by this silver haired nightmare. The men dropped, screaming as often in agony as falling silently still unaware that they were dead. Nausica never saw the silver haired man when he killed them. She would see the flash of the knife or the spray of crimson from the sword, but she could never really say she saw either weapon itself. Blood arced into the sky on numerous occasions and several forms of viscera splashed against the trees. In moments it seemed to rain blood.
Mom’s death grip on Nausica began to hurt, and she tried to wiggle free, only to have the grip intensified. Mom was clearly terrified. And make no mistake; Nausica felt that fear just as acutely, but she held it in. Having witnessed gruesome death before, and those were the deaths of innocents, she felt little squeamishness in watching these men gutted like fish. In fact, to her horror, she enjoyed it somewhat. These were the men that attacked them. These were the men that stabbed Dr. Sullivan in the back. One of those bastards was the one that slit that poor woman’s throat so she took a certain satisfaction watching the spinning death slice through them as though they were manikins in a store. They deserved this, and she wished someone had been there to do this to the evil people who killed her family.
In moments the final scream rang out sonorously into the night and then stopped abruptly. Every single one of the attackers lay dead in various degrees of mutilation. Mom and Nausica were about to climb down from their tree when suddenly the silver haired man appeared before them as from thin air as the silver haired girl sometimes did, but while she seemed intangible he certainly had flesh, bone, and form. How else could he have killed all those people if he were a vision?
“One still lives,” he whispered. “I will find out why this transpired. Forgive me. I was not fast enough to save your friend.”
“The-the- then, Na, Nancy is?” Mom rattled out with difficulty.
“Yes,” he said with his head bowed, “She is dead.” Mom screamed at this and cried inconsolably. Nausica cried a little too. Dr. Sullivan had always been very nice. She was also the fiancée of Luke, which made her cool almost by default. She was dead now. Dead. Dead, like everyone else who ever came in contact with Nausica, and while Nausica wanted to truly mourn Dr. Sullivan’s passing, she really cried out of self-pity and self-loathing. Now Mom, no, Ms. Roberts, would send her back as everyone always did when something like this happened. Oh sure, it seemed so easy to take care of the tragic toddler when the danger and sadness were not a part of her life. What now? Now Callie lost someone dear to her. She would be abandoned. The pain of losing someone was hard, but the pain of abandonment hurt so much more.
Callie clutched Nausica’s shaking form to her and wept, “I am sorry, Nausica, honey. I am so sorry!”
‘Yeah,’ Nausica replied in her mind, ‘Sorry, but you are going to get rid of me.’ Looking past the silver haired man, whose face looked Asian, she peered at the carnage below. It should have come as no surprise, even though it did, that the silver haired girl traipsed through it all, humming maniacally. When she came to the ruined form of Dr. Nancy Sullivan she smiled at the sea of blood that spread out from under her. She pointed at the corpse and then at Nausica before shrugging her shoulders as though saying, “I don’t know what to say, but this your fault.”
Well, Tragic Toddler Hermione projected. It seems I was right about you. You are death. She laughed manically before piercing Nausica with absolute hatred. I warned that man to stay out of this. I wonder what he will say?
Nausica shot back. SHUT UP!
The silver haired girl vanished with a grin that spread from ear to ear. She clearly felt happy to see this carnage and the death of Dr. Sullivan seemed to have special significance for her. Why? These thoughts left her as she began to pity herself again and thought how she would be sent away after this for sure. Ms. Roberts would definitely want to get rid of her.
“Let me help you and her down,” the silver haired man offered, extending his hand.
“My daughter and I thank you, sir,” Callie replied, lifting Nausica into the man’s arms. This gave Nausica pause. Why had Ms. Roberts called her “daughter?” Maybe, just maybe, Ms. Roberts still wanted her. “Nausica,” she said as she released her into the man’s solid arms. “This isn’t your fault, so don’t go thinking about this tragic toddler nonsense. Oh, God! What am I going to tell Luke?” She began to bawl again, hiding her face behind her shaking hands.
The two of them, Dr. Sullivan and Mom had developed quite the repartee over the last few days and Nancy even invited Mom to be in the wedding. It had been quite the honor and Nausica began to become used to having Dr. Sullivan around the apartment. She would be missed. Nausica wondered how Mom would deal with this loss, and more so, Nausica wondered, as Mom wondered, how Luke would deal with this. Poor Luke, who didn’t even know yet. She recalled the afternoon, when he had kissed Dr. Sullivan good-bye and said he loved her. At least he had that. Nausica hadn’t been able to tell any of her loved ones how she felt about them before they died.
Before Mom could stop her, Nausica walked over and knelt beside the still form of Dr. Sullivan, her jeans quickly soaking up the blood that pooled from the gaping wounds. The stab in her lower back still oozed like some swamp sludge, air bubbles causing the blood to bubble out. Her throat, which had been brutally sliced open, seemed a never-ending font of crimson, never having a chance to form dried blood as more and more washed over the old. But that wasn’t what Nausica went to see. In the dead, milky white eyes Nausica could see fear in the last moments. Fear and pain were etched into her face and eyes like some final testament.
Nausica wanted to cry at that moment as she contemplated the fear in those eyes. She remembered the happy eyes of the night before with the Maxwell girls and she remembered the loving eyes when those eyes looked at Luke. She didn’t want to see these eyes. Worse, she didn’t want to feel responsible for them. Whatever mom said, Nausica knew the truth. She was the cause of this and she somehow brought death to those she actively cared about.
Of a sudden, Nausica heard a gasp and a rustling in the darkness to her right. The gasp sounded male and rushed as though the man had run two miles without pause as fast as he possibly could. Slowly, with renewed fear, she turned to face that gasp and saw one of the youths from before crawling towards her. He crawled with one hand because the other was held in place over a blood patch on his belly. “Help me,” he managed to get out in a belabored tone that sounded close to a scream if a scream could lack all virility.
“Your blood is black,” a silken voice informed above Nausica. “That means I punctured your liver. If you don’t get medical help immediately you will definitely die in close to forty minutes, fifteen if you don’t keep that pressure there. I bet that hurts.”
At the same time she heard that Nausica heard also in her mind the same silken voice ask, What should I do with him? Should I spare him?
The greasy hair of the thug seemed plastered to his forehead and beads of sweat poured out of him. “Help me, man!” he wined.
Nausica didn’t know what to think of this situation. She knew she should question why this man could communicate like the silver haired girl, but after so many of these strange occurrences she decided to accept that it had happened and think about his question. A part of her wanted him to die for what he did to Dr. Sullivan, especially because of what happened to Dr. Sullivan, but another part of her screamed against it. Somehow she could not bring herself to want to have this man killed. If she could have her way, no one would ever have to die again, except maybe the people that killed her family.
“Help?” The man asked sardonically to the victim as he asked Help? .to Nausica softly and seriously. “You murdered that sweep woman, that Dr. Sullivan. Why did you do this? Tell me!”
“Fuck you!” the thug spat as if spitting something disgusting from his mouth. “What do you think? We just wanted some pussy!”
The silver haired man kicked the dying man in the ribs who emitted such an ear splitting shriek of pain that Nausica had to clap her hands to cover her ears. I don’t want to save this man. “I can make you suffer for a lot longer than forty minutes if I have a mind to. Do you really want to test my patience?”
“She’ll kill me if I tell you, man!” he mewled, tears falling from his eyes as blood began to trail down his chin. “You don’t understand!”
“I don’t think YOU understand,” the silver haired man whispered. “I don’t know if this woman will kill you, but I WILL unless you cooperate. Now, who is she and WHY did you all do this?”
“It was like this man, and lemme tell you, this is some freaky shit. Last night we all had the same dream. This little girl with hair just like yours and these purple eyes that made me think I was gonna die, yeah, this girl came into all of our dreams and told us we had to kill those three. I don’t know why, but she was insistent that we kill the one we did get. She said she would reward us if we did it and kill us if we didn’t.”
“Why didn’t she do it herself then, this little girl?” the silver haired man asked. “You and your gang are a little loud and not very talented at this, the game of killing.”
“The boss asked that too,” he said as he smiled ironically. “Said she couldn’t. Said something kept her back, but we could do it, and she said she could definitely kill us.”
“How?”
The man shivered and Nausica could not tell if it were from the cold or from what he was remembering. “She showed us in our dreams how she would do it. Like I said, freaky shit.”
“Hermione?” Nausica asked the man suddenly, to the combined shock of Mom who was still sobbing by the tree and the silver haired man who had completely dismissed her presence once he began his interrogation. “Was her name Hermione? Was she about my height with hair like his down to her back? Were her eyes really purple and scary? Tell me! Did she say why she did this? TELL ME!”
The dying man closed his eyes. “No,” he answered. “She just said she wanted us to kill all of you. She didn’t really have a reason or shit. Don’t care either, sorry. She promised me cash and I jumped. Fuck, it hurts!”
“Don’t use language like that in front of a child!” the silver haired man growled. You know who did this then, Nausica. That is interesting. Who is this Hermione?
“I am fucking dying, fucktard!” the thug screamed. “What kind of fucking language do you want me to use!?”
Without answering, the silver haired man kicked the wounded man savagely in the ribs, “Oh fuck!” he screamed before passing out. Nausica knew he wasn’t dead yet because his chest still rose and fell with his labored breathe.
Hermione is a girl who visits me in my dreams and tries to hurt me. She has eyes like you and silver hair too. Are you related?
No, I do not know this girl but maybe I do in a way. I came here on business related to this anyway. Nausica, I am sorry you had to see this. I heard you wanted this to happen to the people who murdered your parents. I am so sorry to hear they died, but please don’t think that you caused it. This incident today wasn’t your fault. Hermione sent these men and even if it was to kill you, it isn’t your fault.
. . . thank you Nausica thought back before walking back to Mom, who was so busy crying she had missed what transpired. She hugged Mommy tight and she could feel some of her tension melt away in the warm embrace. Looking over her shoulder she witnessed, even if she had not been meant to, the silver haired man cutting the head off the dying man in a quick slice from his black blade before sheathing it again in one fluid motion.
The man then began to walk towards Mommy and Nausica and Nausica felt a little afraid that they would still die. After all, this man looked very much like Hermione, especially in the light of the moon. He appeared noble in his own way, completely unafraid as the real life Hermione often looked. His hard purple eyes shone with confidence and grace like a cat’s. His silver hair, he pulled into a ponytail and his sleek frame frightened Nausica because the blackness of his garments faded so perfectly into the regular blackness of the night. His mouth still remained hidden behind his black mask so she couldn’t gauge his face accurately; just that the smoothness of his skin and the shape of his eyes reminded her of an Asian, his accent did as well. Something about him seemed similar to Hermione in more than looks, however, but she could not place her hand on it.
“My name is Satoshi Saotome,” he greeted them with a bow, which once again revealed to Nausica that he had not a single blemish to skin or clothing, not a drop of blood. “I am so sorry for your friend, ma’am. I finished the last one because his story, should he have given it would get you two involved in something you don’t want to be involved in. Do not ask me, though you have a right to know having just lost your friend. I can only day, do not blame the girl just yet, and do not blame yourselves. When the police arrive they will asked what happened and you will tell them the truth. You can even include my name if you wish but I would not advise that.”
“Excuse me?” Mom asked in a raspy voice. “Thank you for your help, but how did you do all this and how did you know we were here?”
"Your daughter screamed for help and I heard her. I tried to get here as fast as possible but I was not fast enough. I would say it is coincidence that it was I who heard and came, but that is not true. I was following these men for a while before because they seemed strange and in a way they were related to my business here, which I will not disclose to you. For a while I lost them as I got sidetracked elsewhere, but I knew they were in the park. I wish I had known their murderous intentions or I would have ended them sooner. You are a merciful soul, Nausica. You wanted me to spare him, didn’t you? You remind me of a student of mine. He isn’t much of a killer either. You and he both have the same gifts. I can’t tell you what they are but I will say that you developed this skill a lot quicker than he. Remember this e-mail address and contact him. He will be able to help you somewhat.
Mr. Saotome! Don’t go Nausica mentally screamed. Why can we talk like this? Why do you look like Hermione? Please tell me!
Mr. Saotome smiled cruelly. Because people like we are special, Nausica. I will let my student explain further since it was he who got me to come here in the first place. His name is William. William Galanos
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++_
Satoshi Saotome disappeared and the police came. Callie explained everything as best she could, still crying when she had to mention the death of her best friend. Chloe came with Luke, who looked pale and yet resolute, as though he had been expecting this.
As the doctors were carting the corpse to the ambulance Luke asked them to allow him to say his goodbyes to her. Whatever he said, he returned with tears in his eyes and a look of entrenched anger. He told Callie that he was glad someone killed the men for what they did to Nancy because he would have tried to get revenge. Callie thanked God silently that he hadn’t because then she would have lost him as well, she felt certain.
The anger in those dark eyes turned on Nausica once or twice, and Callie felt the maternal urge to step in front of Luke and her daughter lest he attack her. Callie could not understand why this had happened. It seemed both improbable and laughable, like a b-rate movie. Nausica explained a little of what had happened but Callie still thought it impossible, that these people would come just to kill Dr. Sullivan and them. Why? What had they ever done to anyone? The cool words of Dr. Caspian came back to her in a rush. “She is a catalyst of destruction and death, Calliope Roberts, like an ill wind that does not want to knock over a house in its way but ends up destroying it anyway with its tail.”
She shook her head and started to cry again. As she cried she closed her eyes and suddenly felt pressure on her arms as she was enveloped into a tight embrace. She felt hot tears fall onto her cheek from above and could hear Luke Minas’ rough intake of breath as he tried not to cry. She gripped him tightly and continued to bawl like a little girl.
Nausica had cried but now she sat on the ground looking forlorn and lost, as though the weight of the whole world lay on her shoulders. Callie wanted to comfort her daughter somehow but she didn’t know what to say. If Dr. Nancy Sullivan had not met Nausica she would still be alive. In an indirect way, as it always seemed to be, Nausica had caused this, and for that reason alone could she forgive Luke his glances of intended violence. Nausica had taken Nancy away.
“Seth was right,” Luke whispered in Callie’s ear. “He said I would have to choose how I would view the world after Nausica took the most precious thing away from me. God help me, I didn’t think he meant Nancy. No wonder he was so nice to me. He pitied me.”
“Oh Luke,” Callie cried. “Please don’t blame Nausica. She didn’t do this.”
“No,” Luke growled. “SHE did.” He articulated the word “she” with such vehemence and rage that Callie half expected to see the object of his anger in plane site. “The girl in Nausica’s visions. She threatened me before and now it seems she exacted what she wants. I am going to hunt that little bitch down, Callie. I’ll fucking KILL her!”
“Hermione?” Callie asked suddenly afraid that Luke would hunt down and butcher that scared little girl.
“No,” Luke whispered. “Her dead sister, Christine. I don’t know how but I am going to kill her for this. Hermione and Nausica have suffered enough. I don’t care what she tries to do to me, but I will see this done. Fuck Seth if he thinks my part in this will be small. I am going to stop this, I swear to you Calliope!”

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

This story was by Bishonen Diaper Lover and was never finished, sadly, as it was really very good.

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

Duly noted. Cheers.

It was reposted by someone else at the old forum and I couldn’t find any accreditation. This story was also posted anonymously under the title Bishonen Diaper Lover which seems slightly odd. Was it by the same person?

The Odyssey of Nausica - Bishonen Diaper Lover [unfinished]

I point you here

I wish I knew what happened to this guy.