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Real Age

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  1. Jerry sat in his high chair, watching his Mommy make him breakfast. She walked back and forth accross the kitchen, taking a pile of food out of the fridge and setting multiple pans on the stove. He leaned with his elbow on the table of his high chair, bored. Normally he wasn't waiting that long. "Mommy, what's taking so long?" he whined. She looked at him, smiled and waved a finger. "Tsk tsk! Don't be a bratty little baby!" He rolled his eyes. "Sorry Mommy, I just mean, its taking longer then ususal. What are you making?" She looked at him again. "Eggs, bacon, beans, toast, and a fruit and berry smoothie with bran powder." He shook his head, suprised. "Oh, Mommy, I don't want all of that. Since when do you make that much for breakfast?" "Maybe I just want to make sure my baby is well fed." "Yeah but..." he tried to think of what she might be doing. It was far more then he normally ate, and more then he could normally stomach. "I don't think I want that much. I can't finish it all, its ok." "Oh, you will finish the breakfast Mommy makes for you. You're a growing baby and need your strength!" "Technically I stopped growing years ago and I'm just going to be lounging around in diapers all day." She laughed. "Nah, you're a growing baby who needs his strength, and we'll see about that." "Wait what?" he sat up straight in his high chair. "What do you mean? You said I could just play baby all weekend. I even got my cutest diapers on! See?" He lifted up his baby-blue shirt to show the colorful prints on his diaper, then wiggled his bottom to make it crinkle. "I mean we'll see about that. And you will DEFINITLY be playing baby all weekend," she smiled. He stared at her. "Yeah... thats... thats what I said. You know... cutest diaper." He pointed down at it. "See Mommy? Cutest diaper? And in high chair? Playing baby? What?" She smiled at him. "Yes sweetie, you look very cute in your Crinklz and high chair. Keep being a good baby ALLLL weekend." "Uh huh." Jerry had learned not to ask too many questions. Very often, seemingly innocent questions would lead to much larger questions like "How many spanks can Jerry take and still sit comfortably at the work the next day" and "do you REALLY need a diaper change right now, or is that more a personal problem?" This might lead to arguments, and he hadn't found a solid counter to the pure logic of "You're a baby and I'm the Mommy," and "I have the paddle." Instead, he watched her take out a plastic plate and pile a mountain of food onto it. Given how he was dressed, he was nervous about the use of a mountain of beans. Those didn't tend to play well with his gut, and since he'd be playing baby, the person feeding him would be in charge of changing his diapers. This lead him to the question: What possible benefit could Mommy have with ensuring his diapers ended up as dirty as possible? He gave a look of suspicion to the mountain of beans, eggs, and meat that was plopped in front of him, followed by a giant baby bottle full of blended fruit and berries. She tied a plastic bib around his neck. "Are we planning on just not eating again this week, or...?" Mommy smiled at him. "Just open wide for the airplane. You aren't getting out of that high chair until this is all down the hatch and on its way to your diapers." "What did my poor diapers do to deserve that?!" He pointed at the cartoon animals dnacing accross the front panel. "See? These poor guys!" She shrugged. "They are in diapers too, they'll understand. Now! Open for the airplan!" No sooner had he obeyed then the first spoonfull was shoved into his mouth, quickly followed by another. He kept eating, and as he did, he let his eyes wander around the kitchen. It was then that he noticed, to his suprise, that there two luggage bags set in the far corner of the kitchen. "Wait, Mom... Mpph," he said as another was shoved in. "What ARE we doing this weekend?" "I told you! You are going to play a little baby!" "Yes but what will YOU MMPH.." he swallowed another spoonfull "YOU be doing?" "What do you mean?" He pointed at the bags. "I mean that!" She looked over her shoulder. "Oh, that's nothing. Just a bag for me to go on a work conference this weekend while you are being punished in the Delinquent Daycare." "WHAT?!" he shouted, followed by another "Mmph" as more beans were shoved into his mouth. "The Delinquent Daycare?! You can't send me there!" She put a hand to her chin as if thinking. "MMM actually yes I can. Seems a perfect place to leave you, where you can play baby ALLL weekend." "But its not for me! It's for..." "Misbehaved abdls, littles, subs and sissies, to learn the benefits of proper obedience," she said, as if quoting. "And you, my little diaper boy, fit that perfectly as an ABDL and my sub." "Yes but... mmph... I'm not a brat!" "What are you doing now if its not bratting? Arguing with your Mommy isn't "Good boy behaviour." "MMPH," he rolled his eyes. "Ok yes but GENERALLY! I'm not misbehaved! I'm even eating all this insane amount of food for you! I'm the best behaved diaper boy in town! Ask anyone!" He folded his arms in a show of stubborn refusal. "You mean ask the huge number of people who definitly know you wear diapers and can judge your behaviour? Should we tell more to get a relevant number?" "ASK. ANYONE. Who knows already." He added the last part quietly. "Annnd who won't just lie to see me punished." "Sooo... no one." "Ummm..." She shrugged. "Eh. You can be a bratty baby sometimes. Anyway, every sub needs a reminder punishment once in a while. Yours will just happen to last all weekend." "All. Weekend!?" He gawked at her. "You hear what they do to subs there? Its so mean!" "Don't worry sweetie, Mommy will make sure you don't get anything which won't help you. Anyway, I'm not hearing a safety word, so I guess its what you want and where you know you belong." "Uh huh," he said. He looked at the food and swallowed another bite, then clamped his mouth shut. She pushed the spoon toward him. "Hey now! Don't be naughty! Open for the airplane!" She said in a sweet voice. He didn't budge.
  2. Michael, don't you know I was born to turn you on? You must, you've told me it enough times. You've whispered it in my ear in public, making me blush and squirm as you laughed. You've growled it at me as you held me down at hit me with all your strength. You've teased me with it as I lay tied to your bed, unable to move. And I loved it each time. I love that I am that object for you, that toy, that serves that one singular purpose. I love that I do it so well, and that we both know I'll do it in anyway you want. I love how far you've taken me, you've pushed in that direction. My question is, can you see beyond that? (And do I care if you do?) ... "No... no I can't!," I say, shaking my head. There were tears in my eyes already, just seeing what they intended. Michael loomed over me, as he always does. I always felt smell next to him. "No? Are you arguing? Should I get the paddle, and we can have a nice long discussion about it?" He grabbed my wrist and pulled me in. My heard jumped. Even the threat made me more excited. I looked over at what the clothes they had laid out for me. I had played so many roles for them. I had been their pet, their slave, their baby, their maid. I had come out with them wearing leather vests and diapers under my clothes. However, there were still lines. "I don't know that I want that. Not yet." I whimpered. Michael walked to me. He put a hand on my shoulders, and the other reached down and cupped me below the belt. I gasped. "Are you sure you don't want it, diaper boy? Your cock seems to disagree." "I... I don't, Daddy." It sounded as fake as it felt. The truth was I longed for what they showed me, and had dreamed of it for months. The outfit itself wasn't that far off from dozens I had worn for them before. It was a onesie, bright pink and with a heart on its chest. It came with leggings and platform shows, and bows for my hair, which had grown longer and would undoubtably be put in pigtails. My leash was beside it, the collar was on my neck, and I already wore a diaper to go with it. With it, I knew they would probably tie me, and give me a gag to keep me quiet. I had worn the same before. What was different was what it meant today. I felt a hand smack the back of my diaper. Sarah came around my other side with an arm on my back. "Is that true diaper girl? I think its perfect for you. I think its perfect for you to wear every day from now on." "Uhhh..." I moaned. "Daddy, is she allowed to do that?" I asked as the other submissive teased me. To tell the truth, hearing someone who was herself being dominated talk down to me only made me crave more. If there was to be an pecking order, a huge part of me I was terrified of craved more then anything to be on the bottom of it. "Yes sweetie. Remember our ranking?" I thought back. We were both subs under him, but what we wore went beyond that. Regular clothes beat anyone cross-dressed, which beat anyone dressed as an animal, which beat, lowest of the low... "She's also in a diaper Daddy," I said. "We're the same." He shook his head. "Not anymore. Not when she's in her black diapers and her leather clothes, and you have your cute little printed diapies and onesie. You are the lowest here, and will still be from now on." My mind swirled. By far the most humiliating game they had played with me was this one. It was the one thing that pushed me right to the limit, the only that still made me begin to think of saying no. Now, they wanted to take me into public, in our club with all our friends, dressed like that. More, they wanted me to live like that, to come into their home and stay like that permanently. My heart jumped, and I wasn't sure if it was from disgust, fear, or joy. Michael turned me to face him directly. He put a hand on my diaper and pulled me in right next to him, and put the other on the back of my head. I looked away for a moment, but he turned me back, and for a second I thought he would kiss me. Instead, he just stared at me with his clear eyes. My breath caught, as it always did when I looked into them. "Are you sure sweetie? If you don't want it, you know your safety word. This can all be over now. Just say it, or let us dress you again." I was still, but was sure I was falling deep into his eyes again. Every time they hit me it was like all the will to argue left me. I felt myself melt and fall deeply into them, like a man possessed, and he did possess me. The image of me going into the club, crawling in his humiliating costume, all the nervousness it brought, fell along with my willpower into his eyes. Those eyes. It was always those goddamn eyes. ... Oh Michael don't you know you were born to turn me on? That is the part I'm not sure you understand. Or, if you understand it, you understand it all to well. It is everywhere and always to me. That feeling. That incredible, awful feeling. That arousal that is on my mind. That distracts me from work. That distracts me from relationships. That distracts me from all of life outside your impossible, clear eyes. The deep, painful knowledge that that you could get me to do anything you wanted no matter how bad I DON'T want it and the more I don't want it the more I want it because I know you want it because I don't want it and that makes me WANT it and I don't understand that. But you do, and that scares me. I am not in love with you. I am ADDICTED to you. I am OBSESSED with you, and with your impossible clear eyes. When I see them I feel like I am possessed, and I know I am possessed by you. I can stare at them for hours and not be sure what happened. I am addicted to your body. The tight, lean muscles. The strong arms, able to carry me, to pull me, to hold me down, even as I struggle (ESPECIALLY as I struggle) The size that has you always looking down on my ever so slightly, ever so noticeably, with your clear, impossible eyes. I am addicted to all you do to me. All our little games, all the strange clothes, all the things I never would have done if I never had met you. And I cant stop them. I can't stop wanting them. I don't know why I want them, I SHOULDN'T want them, but by god I do. By YOU I do. You are my god now. And that is what I am worried you understand all to well. There are lines I cannot cross, but I don't know what they are when I see those clear, impossible eyes. Not ever since I first saw them, those months ago.
  3. Did not expect huggies to release a 5t-6t version of their night time pull ups. But to my suprise they did and I couldn't be more happier. These seem to be a bit more stretchier then the regular 5T-6T pull ups and definitely a lot more absorbant. They feature two cute sleepy mickey mouse designs. I've already went potty 3 times in mine and no leaks! I highly recommend giving these a try if you're a pull ups fan 😊
  4. Aimes & Pawson See What's In Store Written by Sophie & Pudding Art & Characters by JuiceBox Aimes & Pawson is an ageplay children’s picture book intended for adult audiences. You can buy the full version with pictures on Amazon or by joining our SubscribeStar. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXN7J86C https://www.subscribestar.adult/sophieandpudding Our goal was to create a book for story time or bedtime, with no sexual themes and maximum Little feels! Some of the words can be quite big - upwards of 10 letters long! - so you may need an adult to read it for you. This story takes place in the winter, when Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson go shopping. ------------------------------ Chapter One Snow fell in flakes over the ocean. Most of them fell into the water and disappeared in an instant. Some of them fell on the harbor docks and made a thin, white blanket over the ground. A very lucky few of them landed on the shoulders and hats of two adventurers - a young woman named Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson - as they stared out at at the huge ships and the empty horizon. "Gosh, it's cold," Aimes shivered, wearing nothing but a short sleeve cargo shirt, a safari hat, a pair of well-worn boots, and a thick diaper. She wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm. "Maybe it's finally time you got some pants," Pawson chided, rubbing his own magenta fur with his paws. "I refuse," Aimes said sharply. Pants were always in the way whenever she had to climb something or get changed. Why anyone wore them at all was beyond her. And besides, Pawson didn't wear any pants either! "This wouldn't be a problem if we left for Bermuda last week, like we were supposed to," Pawson sighed. "I thought I had the map the right side up," Aimes pouted. It had been quite an ordeal even finding the harbor in the first place. "This is why I do the directions," Pawson added. Aimes rolled her eyes. The sun was setting behind the buildings and every minute felt colder than the last. That was when Aimes caught sight of a sign: "Wonderland Department Store". "Let's warm up in there," Aimes suggested, pointing at the large storefront. There was a big window with a display, and the lights inside were yellow and inviting. It seemed warm. "Our ship," Pawson warned. "We have a few hours before we leave port," Aimes added, knowing the time from her experience with sunsets and not at all from knowing how to read a clock. Pawson hesitated, but he didn't want Aimes to catch a cold either, so he nodded. Aimes and Pawson hurried through the front doors of the department store, and it was very much like tumbling into a storybook. It was like stepping into another world, and one far removed from the cold, bleak, and grey sky that hung above the horizon outside. The sky inside was denoted by warm chandeliers that hung in rows above the rich, plush, and red carpet aisles. Long streamers of green garlands wrapped in baubles and tinsel draped down from the ceiling, drawing their eyes to lines of glass and steel countertops adorned with trinkets and fancy décor. Above the din and chitter of the murmuring shoppers, Aimes could hear the faint sound of a small brass band playing warm and lovely music on a distant side of the store. She could also hear a crinkling and rustling that came for once not from her own midsection, but from decorative paper wrapping stations nearby. More importantly than any of that, it was warm. Warm, but not too warm. And more importantly than even that, with a store this size, Aimes knew there had to be a toy department! "Excuse me, Miss," a man said, approaching Aimes and Pawson. He was wearing a nicely pressed suit and had a pocket square on his jacket with a monogrammed W. The other notable thing about him was that there was color on his cheeks, and he never quite met Aimes' stare. "I regret to inform you," he continued, "but you seem to be missing your..." His hand politely gestured to Aimes, at her lower half, and Aimes wondered for a moment if she had put on the wrong diaper that afternoon. But because of Pawson's earlier comment, she quickly understood. "Oh, no," Aimes said with a smile. "I don't wear pants." "Right..." The man looked once more at Aimes, then down at Pawson, who shrugged his shoulders. "That's not a problem, right?" Aimes asked, tilting her head. The man stood there quietly, running through the store rules in his head. Shirt? Yes, she had one of those. Shoes? Yes, she had two of those. And thus, service. "No, Miss," the man said with a bit more embarrassment, mostly for making a mistake of his own. "No, that isn't a problem at all. Is there anything I can help you find?" "Toys?" Aimes asked, looking at Pawson with an amused smile. "Ah, yes. Those are upstairs. Just go straight down this way and you will find the staircase on your right." "Thank you!" Aimes said cheerily, then bounded off past the man with Pawson in tow. Chapter Two "There sure are a lot of people here," Aimes said, waiting for an old woman to come down the stairs before taking her turn. The staircase was wide, but she wanted to allow the woman some space to get through. "It's that time of year," Pawson said, watching dozens of people hurry by in the aisles. "What time?" Aimes asked. "Holidays, you know. Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice." "Huh..." Aimes and Pawson had been off on adventures around this time for the past few years. She had forgotten about the holidays. "Kwanza, New Year, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Las Posadas—" "I remember that one," Aimes said, reflecting back on the year before. They sung carols. "They really should spread these holidays out more, I think." "Probably true," Pawson chuckled. "But many of them are religious celebrations, so having them all at about the same time means everyone can celebrate together." "Oh, that's nice." Aimes felt like it would be awful not celebrating anything when everyone else was celebrating something. When she was growing up, Aimes had celebrated Christmas. Aimes put her finger to her chin and thought about something for a moment. Then she nodded to herself and made a decision. All the while, Pawson was still watching shoppers go by with increasing nostalgia. When the old woman had rounded the corner, Aimes and Pawson started up the stairs. "This time of year feels kind of magical," Pawson said to his best friend. "I thought you didn't believe in magic," Aimes teased. "It's a different kind of magic," Pawson said simply. Without a better way to explain it, he said: "The lights glow a little differently, and it makes you think of home." "Hmm... I see what you mean," Aimes said, staring up at the lights. They weren't any brighter than any other lights in any other department store, but they glowed a little bit more. She thought of the Christmas tree in her living room when she was younger. The green and red bows and wrapping paper. The feeling of Pawson in her arms. He was a lot bigger then. But before the two could fall into any deeper nostalgia, Aimes caught sight of the toy aisle and raced toward it, crinkling with every hurried step. "You know you move much faster than I can, Aimes!" "That's to help you learn to move faster," Aimes called back with a self-assured smile. Even though Pawson couldn't see it, he could hear it in her voice. He followed the girl into the toy department, and it took him looking down three separate aisles before he found her: on her hands and knees, diaper up in the air, looking deep into the back shadow of the bottom shelf and mumbling to herself. "What are you looking for, Aimes?" Pawson leaned down, looking at the adjacent toys - dolls and dollhouse accessories it seemed like - and tried to puzzle out the answer. "Toys, obviously," Aimes dismissed, then got up to her feet. The shelves were massive, almost twice as tall as Aimes herself. They were also stocked with cardboard boxes and plastics in such an array of colors that the rods and cones in her eyes had trouble keeping up. The nostalgia from earlier, staring at the lights, flooded her again as she remembered all the toy stores she went to as a little girl. She would climb on the shelves, two or three feet off the ground, just to grab at something she thought looked cool. Pawson always hated that. Nowadays, Aimes climbed so many things that he didn't mind so much. Unfortunately, every other space on the shelf was empty. Or, the item that should have been there was pushed so far back that Aimes had trouble seeing it. She moved away from the dolls and into the next aisle, scanning over colorful wooden blocks, cut and shaped like animals. After that was puzzle after puzzle after puzzle, many made from pictures of places Aimes had been before. Some of them were imaginary, but Aimes still felt like she had probably visited once or twice. The next aisle was full of board games and tiny musical instruments. After that was a row of hard plastic animals and figurines. With a huff, Aimes doubled back to some earlier aisles and put her hands on her hips, the wings of her diaper crinkling. "You can't buy anything big," Pawson warned. "We have to carry everything with us. Nothing heavy either." "I know, I know!" Aimes huffed. Then she noticed something on the shelf and ran over to it. She was in the doll aisle again, shuffling through a few different boxes, when she finally found what she was looking for. Unfortunately, she only found a small paper tag. "Shoot..." Aimes turned the tag over and held it tight in her hand. Pawson tilted his head to see it, but he couldn't read the writing all the way from the ground. Just then, a woman walked by the aisle wearing pressed slacks and a button-up shirt. She was talking to someone else. "Just this way, and down this aisle! Thank you!" Aimes raced to catch up to her, almost running headlong into the woman when she turned around. The woman took one look at Aimes, in her diaper and her adventuring attire very much not suited for winter, and didn't skip a beat. "Hello, how can I help you?" "I was wondering if you had any more of these?" Aimes handed the girl the little paper tag just as Pawson caught up to the group. "Oh, hm..." The woman read the tag and looked at the ceiling, thinking to herself. "I swear there are some in the back..." "Could I have one please?" Aimes asked, her eyes lighting up. "I'll check for you," the woman smiled, just as someone down the aisle called: "Excuse me, this is last year's model. Do you have this year's?" "Oh, um..." The woman handed the tag back to Aimes and gave her an apologetic smile. "Just give me a few minutes." The woman hurried to the customer she was helping and Aimes puffed out her cheeks. Waiting was never a hobby of hers. "She said there were some in the back," Aimes said more to herself than Pawson. "Oh come on," Pawson groaned. "She said she'd be right back." "But it's a very busy store today," Aimes added. "It would be rude to continue bothering her, especially when we are quite capable of finding it ourselves." "What if she goes to look in back and we're not here?" Pawson pleaded, hoping that reason might sway her, but Aimes shook her head with certainty. She answered: "She probably won't even remember, Pawson. It's berry busy. And if she does, then we can meet her in the back and tell her we found it ourselves." "But we're not supposed to be there..." "That's just a recommendation! Like eating apples. It'll be fine, you worry too much." "You don't worry enough," Pawson mumbled, deciding to ignore the apple comment for the time being. He had to pick his battles. "That's why I have you~" Aimes said sweetly. Then she headed towards the wall of the toy department, looking for a door that might lead to the mythical area of every store: The Back. Sure enough, The Back was marked with two large double doors and a sign that said "Employees Only." "We are not employees," Pawson reminded Aimes in a last ditch effort to dissuade her. "Well, we're employing... a... strategy to..." Aimes looked sheepishly at Pawson, who was not impressed by her feeble attempt at rationalizing. "Fine, so we shouldn't go in!" Aimes admitted. "But I want to. And this is important. So... please?" "Why is it important?" Pawson asked. "I can't explain it," Aimes defended. "But you'll see. I promise." Pawson looked at the sign on the door and then up at Aimes, who was pouting and giving him those cute sad eyes. He knew they should just wait for someone to be available to help, but he also knew they had a boat to catch in an hour. "Fine," Pawson said reluctantly. "But you're sleeping with your pacifier all week, so I don't have to listen to you snoring!" Aimes blushed a little and nodded her head. "Deal." Chapter Three Aimes and Pawson pushed through the door to The Back. The warm inviting lights of the department store gave way to cooler clinical colors. The room was impossibly tall and expansive, lined with racks that went up further than the eye could see. The middle of the room was organized into aisles, with tall shelves - taller than both of them, even on the second floor - dividing the space. In front of the two adventurers was a railing and a set of stairs leading down into the room proper. "The building didn't look this tall from outside..." Pawson said quietly to himself, but Aimes was already heading down the stairs. She held the rail for balance and Pawson toddled along after her. "It looks like the shelves are labeled," Aimes said, reading each sign taped to the sides of the shelves. Housewares. Bedding. Clothing. The two of them hadn't seen a single label that said Toys before Aimes was distracted by a different one. "Diapers! Oh, do you think they have something festive? Like a Christmas one, or Las Posadas?" "You don't even like printed diapers," Pawson argued, following his friend off course. "No, but there are exceptions. Special occasions, holidays. And you know, if the fancy ones were anywhere near the quality and capacity as my white ones, I'd be more open-minded! The last thing I wanna worry about when being chased by pixies is if my diaper is going to leak." "We're supposed to be looking for the toys," Pawson reminded her. "But they're right here!" Aimes argued. "Let me just check them out." The rack for diapers was a tall one, and Pawson's stuffy little mind's eye was filled to the brim with visions of Aimes climbing the edges of the racking like a monkey climbing a tree, or a baby climbing a jungle gym, and the thought made his stomach ache with worry. "Only if we can find a ladder first…" It was a concession that Aimes didn't want to make, but she had to pick her battles too. There was a ladder just one aisle over, and it took both of them working together to lug it all the way to the shelves of diapers. Pawson held the bottom, which was good ladder safety, and Aimes went halfway up to pick a pack of diapers off the shelf. "A lot of these are too small," Aimes lamented, which was the same lament she would often have any time she was shopping for diapers. But then she found a box on the third shelf that was her size. She pulled it forward and rummaged around inside until she picked up a plastic pack. "Look, Pawson! These ones have string lights on them! And the color in the lights goes away when they get wet." "That would be convenient," Pawson said aloud. Her usual diapers didn't have wetness indicators, and Pawson had to constantly remind her to change if she needed to. "I bet they didn't even have these on the shelf in the store," Aimes said more to herself than to her companion. "That's why we had to come to The Back. I don't know why they don't just make The Back a part of The Front." Just then, the loud bang of a door closing echoed through the impossibly large room. Aimes caught sight of someone coming down the stairs, but it wasn't the woman who had offered to help. She quickly put the diapers back on the shelf and slid down the ladder. Her and Pawson ducked behind a large box of packing peanuts. Both of them were quiet for a while, until Aimes peeked her head above the box and saw the person heading deeper into The Back. When they were finally out of earshot, Aimes let out a sigh of relief. "Wait," Pawson said after a moment of realization. "Why didn't we just ask them to help us find the thing you're looking for?" It's not like they would really get in much trouble for walking into the back of a department store. "Well, this seemed like more fun," Aimes said happily. "It's a stealth mission!" "You turn everything into a game, don't you?" Pawson asked rhetorically, but he got an answer anyway. "Anything I can, sure." Aimes checked a few of the signs nearby and found one that said Toys. It had an arrow pointing pointing to the right, where the mysterious worker had gone. "Maybe they are trying to get the toy I want, and it's the last one," Aimes said, talking about the worker they were following. "Or maybe they are looking for something totally unrelated," Pawson offered. "Nuhuh Pawson, it's like what that Clocko guy says: the simplest answer is always the best one!" "...are you talking about Occam's razor?" Pawson asked uncertainly. There were so many flaws with what Aimes had said that he didn't know where to start. But before he could try, Aimes shushed him for being too loud. Aimes and Pawson hurried down the aisle toward the back of The Back. Or rather, Aimes hurried, ducking behind one box after another as the floor worker came into view. Pawson followed at a brisk pace for a teddy bear and hid behind nothing. Eventually the aisle ended. In front of Aimes and Pawson was an archway, lit up with string lights. Written in colorful cursive lights, along the top of the arch, said "Toys". On the other side was a massive room, just like the entryway, but this one was filled to the top with colorful boxes and packages. There were no overhead lights, but instead warm bulbs on strings draped over the racks, filling the space with bright yellow light. Racks were stacked haphazardly, diagonally, and seemingly randomly, and in one of the corners was a mountain of toys. They were not in boxes or packages: just loose toys stacked on top of one another twenty feet high. For someone who liked toys - like Aimes - it was a paradise. "Woah..." Aimes and Pawson both said at the same time. "This doesn't make a lick of sense," Pawson said skeptically. "Everything else was racked and palletized and ordered and this is... this is..." "Amazing!" Aimes finished. "...chaos." Pawson corrected. "Let's just find what you're looking for and get out of here before we get in trouble." So that was what they did. Aimes & Pawson made it past three rows of shelves - which were very distracting for Aimes - before Aimes took a half step backward and put her arm out to keep Pawson from walking forward any further. Just as Pawson was about to ask what was going on, Aimes turned toward him and put her finger to her lips: the universal sign to be quiet. Aimes slowly peered around the edge of the shelf and Pawson did the same, albeit a few feet lower. And what they both saw was that worker from before, dressed in black pressed clothes that seemed a little too big for them. The cuffs at the bottom were brushing the floor and they had to keep pushing up the sleeves of their jacket. The worker was picking up one toy after another, muttering to themself, and then choosing a new one. "No, it's supposed to be a pink and blue, not pink and yellow... oh, and look at this one? A knick on the side! We have to do better than this..." Pawson looked up at Aimes with confusion, and Aimes looked back down at him with wide eyes. She reached up to her own face and tapped her ear. She couldn't hear what the worker was saying, perhaps? That was Pawson's first thought. Then Aimes pointed at the person and tapped her ear again. Pawson looked at the worker, then at their ear. It was pointy? Like... Aimes made the mistake of taking a step forward just as the worker paused for breath. The slight rustling of her diaper echoed awkwardly in the room, bouncing off the walls and bending over shelves. The worker with their unusual ears turned to face Aimes and Pawson, who quickly ducked behind the shelf. "Is someone there?" the worker called. They were quiet as they listened for an answer. Then Aimes and Pawson heard footsteps. Aimes looked around in a panic. On the shelf beside her, she found a bag of individually wrapped hard candies, which weren't toys, but Aimes didn't have time to wonder about that. She silently motioned Pawson away and then tore the bag. A cascade of crinkling candies tumbled onto the hard concrete and Aimes dashed after Pawson and hid behind the corner. A few more footsteps. "Oh, I guess some of these fell out... shoddy packaging job, Merry. I'll get Noel to fix it up." For a good few minutes, even as footsteps paced around the room, Aimes was too nervous to move again. Usually her diaper didn't crinkle all that loudly, but there was something about the acoustics of the room. She exchanged glances with Pawson every so often, who was halfway between bewildered and anxious. And then finally, after what felt like an eternity, the echoing of the footsteps faded deeper and deeper into nothing. "That was close," Aimes mumbled, letting out a huge sigh of relief. "You acted like it was a life or death situation," Pawson said, hiding his own relief. "We would probably have just been kicked out." "Kicked out and put on the naughty list," Aimes said, shivering. "You saw those ears, right?" "There's no way it's one of Santa's elves," Pawson said skeptically, preempting his best friend's theory. But after a moment of looking around the massive toy room, he added: "Probably." "It's the simplest solution," Aimes argued. "That is not true in the slightest," Pawson said. "Either way, we should get out of here before someone comes to clean up the mess you made. Good thinking though." "Thank you," Aimes said cheerfully. "Of course, I have to find that toy first." Pawson was afraid of that. Chapter Four Aimes began looking for her toy, alternating between bending down to see things below her line of vision and standing on her tippy-toes to see things up higher. "It's gotta be here," Aimes muttered to herself. "The lady said it was." "She said she thinks she saw it," Pawson said. "If you tell me what we're looking for, I can help." "No, no," Aimes said dismissively. "You'll see when I find it." Pawson sat down on a large box that was home to a dollhouse, watching his companion search high and low, sticking her diapered butt out any time she bent down low and raising her top past her belly button any time she stood up high. It seemed impossible to him, finding anything in a disorganized place like this. It was a needle in a haystack scenario. What they needed was a magnet. But in a way, Aimes' determination was its own magnet. She looked over every box she could find, on every shelf, and inside any alcove. She went to the pile of toys and looked through it as well. And just as Pawson began to worry less about being caught in The Back and more about missing their boat's departure, Aimes saw something that excited her. "More diapers?" Pawson asked. "Nope!" Aimes said brightly. "I found it!" "Well then let's get it and go," Pawson urged. "Okay. But it's way up there." Aimes pointed up at one of the higher shelves, past the strings of light bulbs. The direction of her finger wasn't enough to tell Pawson exactly what it is she had found, but that it was a dangerous place to find anything. "I'll go find a ladder?" Pawson offered. "The ladder isn't tall enough," Aimes said. "It wouldn't even get us halfway up. I can just climb up there and get it." "You can't," Pawson said plainly. "Oh, don't worry, I'll be fine!" "No, I mean you literally can't." Pawson pointed at the ground level, where the boxes on the racks were so full and pressed together that there was no way to get good footing. Logistics aside, the toy was at least twenty feet in the air. If she fell, she could seriously hurt herself. "Oh..." Aimes sulked and looked around the room. Maybe there was another way up? If she climbed around from the other side, then... But then Aimes remembered where she was. This was a toy department! "Okay, I have an idea," Aimes said excitedly, "but I'm going to need your help." Pawson knew that whatever Aimes planned to do would be dangerous, but he also knew that she thought this one through. She was quick to jump into a situation, but when she was forced to think about things, she usually had some good ideas. So Pawson said: "What can I do?" That was how Aimes and Pawson began searching The Back of a department store for some very specific toys. Once Aimes and Pawson gathered everything they needed, Aimes tied a blanket around the shelves' metal struts and pulled it taut. She fixed it in place with a series of heavy boxes at the other two corners. Then she took the toy grappling hook and shot it up the hill of toys. It took a few tries for it to catch on anything. Pawson pulled sticky slime out of a plastic container and smothered it over the ends of three arrows from a bow and arrow kit. He spent the rest of the time trying to get it out of his fur. Finally, when everything was set up, Aimes handed Pawson the bow. Pawson didn't understand why, and it showed on his face. "You gotta do the climb," Aimes said. "What? No way! You do it!" "I wish I could," Aimes said with a pout. "But I'm heavier and the grappling hook might not hold me. Even if it did, I'd break all those toys if I tried climbing them." "So?" Pawson said, trying anything to get out of having to do this. "So, those toys are probably going to be important to someone, like how you're important to me. I don't want to break them." Pawson looked up at Aimes, and he could see the sincerity in her eyes. With a groan, he took the bow. He pulled it over his body like a sash and grabbed the rope leading up the mountain of toys. Pawson grumbled as he began to climb the rope, toddling left and right to keep is balance. For someone who had hands that could be be described as mittens crossed with paws, Pawson did do a pretty good job of rope climbing. After all, he wouldn't have made it through half the adventures he went on with Aimes if he didn't at least have some survival acumen. "You're doing great!" Aimes called up from the floor. Already Pawson had climbed higher than the top of Aimes' head, almost halfway up the pile of toys. She didn't look away from her friend, even as he got further away, just in case she needed to catch him. He had her undivided attention. Pawson stepped over the toys with his bare feet, but the toys didn't really hurt. The perks of having a stuffed animal body, he supposed. And under his weight, not a single toy cracked or chipped or crunched. The mountain of toys wasn't unsettled at all, even as he reached the part where the grappling hook was wedged between two boxes of wooden blocks. He had another five feet to go, but he would have to free-climb. Thankfully the pile was less steep near the top. "You know I still don't know what to aim at, right?" he said down to Aimes, then grumbled to himself: "Just a few more feet, a few more paws-lengths and..." Pawson grunted as he made it to the top of the toy mountain and collapsed on the mound. After a moment to catch his breath, he sat up and looked down at Aimes. "Okay! What am I shooting at?" "See the two yellow boxes? The one on the right." Aimes pointed at a yellow box on the wall, high high high above her. It wasn't that far from the top of the toy pile. It wasn't the best angle for Pawson, but the box wasn't far away either. It looked like a doll or something, and Pawson felt a twinge of annoyance at the fact that all this was for some doll. But if it was important to Aimes, it was important to him too. Pawson took the bow off his body and untied the bundle of arrows he had fashioned to the bow. He took the rope off the grappling hook and tied it to the end of one of the arrows, with the sticky green goo on the other side. He nocked one of the toy arrows, pulled it back, aimed, and fired. It went a little wide and stuck to the shelf. "That's okay," Aimes called from the ground. "Just reel the arrow back in and try again." Pawson pulled the rope until the arrow came back to him, but the end was covered in dirt and dust. It wasn't very sticky anymore. So he took the rope off that arrow and tied it to the next one. He loosed the second arrow and it struck the target. With satisfaction, Pawson tugged the rope and the box tumbled off the shelf, landing right in the middle of the big blanket net Aimes had built at the bottom. "Pawson, you're incredible!" Aimes said excitedly from the ground, but as she picked up the yellow box, her expression soured. Pawson almost couldn't see it from so high up. "It's the other one," Aimes hollered. "The other yellow one." "You said on the right," Pawson argued. "Uhh... yeah, I meant left." Aimes blushed and scratched at her cheek in embarrassment. She should have checked using her hands to see which one made an L. Pawson sighed and pulled the arrow back up the mountain of toys. Sure enough, the sticky goo was not so sticky anymore. He untied the rope again and knotted it to the tail of the final arrow. Thankfully the left box was closer than the right one. The little teddy took a deep breath and shut one eye as he lined up his shot with the toy bow, and then held his breath as he zeroed it in. His tongue stuck out the side of his mouth in concentration and he loosed the arrow. Fwoom! Time seemed to slow down for just a second as his eyes followed the arrow until, with a wet SPLOTCH!, the sticky end impacted the box and held tight. With one gentle tug on the rope, Pawson dislodged it and caused it to tumble down perfectly into the net below. Aimes picked up the box with wide eyes, bright with excitement. It was exactly what she wanted! She hugged it tight to her chest and told Pawson to come down. The way down was not much easier than the way up, but it felt safer. Pawson scooted along his bottom, like a child going down stairs for the first time. When he finally made it to the concrete floor, he felt exhausted. "Let's get out of here," he said. "Yes, let's!" Chapter Five Aimes and Pawson made their way back to the stairs on the other side of The Back. Pawson didn't even think to ask about the doll until both of them were pushing their way past the Employees Only door and into the department store. As they rounded the corner, Aimes nearly bumped into the same woman a second time. "Oh, I was just looking for you," the same woman said. "Sorry it took so long. I can look for your toy now if you'd like." "Actually, I found one," Aimes said with a smile, holding up the doll in her hands. The woman looked at Aimes, at the Employee's Only door just a few feet away, and slowly nodded her head. "Well... if that's all for you, I can ring you up?" the woman asked. "That would be wonderful." Aimes rummaged through her backpack to find her wallet and paid for the doll. Pawson sat by the front door on the bench, still rubbing gooey green slime off his paws. When Aimes finished checking out, she met up with Pawson - a box in her arms - and the two headed outside. It was then, under the light snowfall, that she handed him a box. This box was about the same size as the doll box, but it was wrapped in beautiful magenta paper and a large silver bow. Pawson took it, but his face was full of confusion. "What's this?" "It's a gift," Aimes said simply. "For you." "For me?" Realization dawned on Pawson and the whole picture came together. The trip into The Back. The effort Aimes went through to get this particular toy. Even the fact that she wouldn't tell him what they were looking for. "This was all for me?" "Of course, you silly bear!" Pawson looked at the gorgeously wrapped gift and then up at Aimes, and then down at the gift again. "Well, come on!" Aimes said impatiently. "Open it!" The sun had gone down quite a while ago and the lights from the harbor lanterns reflected off the snow, covering the harbor in a warm glow. It was like a postcard, or a picture on a puzzle. Even though Aimes was in just her short-sleeved shirt and her diaper, she wasn't even the least bit cold in that moment. Pawson started pulling the beautifully wrapped paper off his gift. Sure enough, what he found wrapped up was indeed a small doll, but this doll was dressed in a short-sleeved cargo shirt and a safari hat. It looked a lot like Aimes, if Aimes had brown hair and it wasn't so frizzy. And if Aimes ever wore pants. Pawson stared at the package for a while, at the doll inside, and felt warm. He held the box close to his chest and smiled up at his best friend. "I love it, Aimes," he said. "Thank you so much." "It wasn't any trouble," Aimes lied cheerfully. "Oh, I should have gotten you something though," Pawson realized. But Aimes said: "No need. Remember our first Christmas together? I wasn't even a year old. I actually don't remember anything else from when I was that young, but I remember opening up my favorite gift. You. Every year, as long as you're with me, then I get that gift all over again." "Aimes..." Pawson didn't know what to say. "I know I can't give you a gift as good as me," Aimes laughed, "so I hope this one comes close." "It does," Pawson stuttered, trying not to get too choked up. "It's perfect." The two of them were quiet for a moment, together in the warm light and the cold snow. Then Aimes got goosebumps on her thighs and felt the urge to move onward, as she always did. "Ready for our next adventure?" Aimes asked, taking Pawson by the hand. "With you, Aimes? Always." [End.]
  5. Aimes & Pawson Take Fright Written by Sophie & Pudding Art & Characters by JuiceBox Aimes & Pawson is an ageplay children’s picture book intended for adult audiences. You can buy the full version with pictures on Amazon or by joining our SubscribeStar. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXN7J86C https://www.subscribestar.adult/sophieandpudding Our goal was to create a book for story time or bedtime, with no sexual themes and maximum Little feels! Some of the words can be quite big - upwards of 10 letters long! - so you may need an adult to read it for you. This story takes place in the fall, when Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson find a haunted house. ------------------------------ Chapter One It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled like coyotes at an invisible moon, trapped behind heavy rumbling clouds. Barren tree branches bent sharply toward the ground and bounced back into place. The cobblestone path was littered with dead and shriveled leaves. It was this path that guided the way for two adventurers: a young woman named Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson. "What's that rustling sound?" Pawson asked, a quiver in his voice. He had been so careful to avoid stepping on the fallen leaves, but the subtle echo of crinkling continued to follow him through the woods. "It's just my diaper," Aimes scoffed, shaking her padded butt to make a point. Since Aimes wasn't wearing any pants, the rustling was loud enough for the little bear to hear. After all, he barely came up to her waist. "Oh..." Pawson would have blushed if his stuffing would allow it. "I swear, it's like you're scared of everything," Aimes said, stepping from one cobblestone to another like it was a game. She would sometimes criss-cross her steps just to make it interesting. "Fear is a survival instinct," Pawson said. "It protects us from danger." "Well I survive just fine," Aimes replied, "and I'm not afraid of anything." Pawson elected not to add that the only reason she survived half the time was because he had enough survival instinct for the both of them. Instead, he said: "Everyone is afraid of something." "Not me," Aimes said confidently. Pawson looked at her with skepticism, but a raindrop fell from an empty branch and onto his nose. "Oh great..." Pawson sighed. "Why are dark nights always stormy ones?" "C'mon," Aimes said, pulling Pawson by the paw. "I think I see a house up ahead." Sure enough, there was a house up ahead. A flash of lightning illuminated the leaning building, askew on its foundation, resembling a tower of blocks more than a suitable home. It was huge, with missing shingles, broken windows, and fallen shutters. Ivy grew across it like time itself was threatening to reclaim the wood and glass. Thunder sounded a moment later, rolling loudly across the overgrown lawn like pins at a bowling alley. There was a fence of warped and rusted metal surrounding the property with only one entrance: a creaking gate, swinging in the wind like a ball of yarn between a cat's paws. "Absolutely not," Pawson said sharply, turning on his heel, but Aimes was still holding him by the paw. "It's just a house, Pawson. You don't want to get wet, do you?" "I'll risk it." "Well I won't," Aimes said flatly. "I just changed, and I'm not wasting a good diaper." Aimes let go of Pawson and walked past the creaking gate toward the spooky house in the distance. With a groan, Pawson resigned and followed behind her. "I don't want to go into a haunted house," Pawson argued on the way to the house. "Do you know what a misnomer is, Pawson?" Aimes asked her best friend as she dragged him up the uneven cobblestone pathway and onto the front porch. He opened his fuzzy mouth to answer, but Aimes had already started to provide one. For a girl her age, time moved at a different rate to the rest of the world. "It's when someone thinks something is true because something else is true. Like, for example, this house is old and scary looking, and that's true. But it's a misnomer to think it's haunted just because of that." Confidently, Aimes raised her free hand to knock on the door, but as she did... the door opened on its own, with a loud crrrreeeeaaaak. "You were saying?" Pawson said sourly, still standing on the far side of the porch. "I say," Aimes said, "that the house is very inviting. Now stop being a scaredy bear." Aimes stepped into the dark house, and - with no better option - Pawson hurried after her. For Aimes, nothing was worth believing until she could see it with her own eyes. "That's what science is," she always said. The entryway opened up into a grand foyer, with a large staircase in front of them and doors on either side. The tile was dingy and dusty, like no one had cleaned it in years, and the nearby coatracks and sideboards were covered in cobwebs. "Hello?" Aimes called up the stairs. "Hello?" her voice echoed back, but quieter and further away. But before Aimes could ask the echo another question, the door behind Pawson slammed shut with a bang. "AH!" Pawson yelped. "It was just the wind, Pawson." Aimes rolled her eyes, taking her adventuring pack off her back. "Aren't you supposed to be the one that offers up all the rational explanations?" "I draw the line at creepy old houses," Pawson stammered, trembling as he shuffled toward Aimes. "There are some things I'm happier not knowing." "Like what? Ghosts?" Aimes was rummaging through her backpack for something. "For starters." Just then, in a flash of light, the shape of a ghost appeared on the far wall. "AGH!" Pawson nearly jumped out of his fur, stumbling clumsily over himself and landing flat on the dirty tile at Aimes' feet. "Oops," Aimes stifled a laugh, fumbling with the flashlight in her hands. She took off the little cap and the bright ghost shape on the wall turned into a plain circle. She had bought the spooky flashlight caps from a Halloween store in the last town; she forgot the ghost one was still fitted on the end. "You're doing this on purpose," Pawson said, still trying to catch his breath. "I swear, I'm not!" Aimes argued, still trying not to laugh. "Would you feel better if you held the light?" Pawson didn't answer right away. He stood back up and dusted himself off, then took the flashlight from Aimes. "Scaredy bear," Aimes teased. "We'll see," Pawson said sourly. There had to be something Aimes was afraid of. Chapter Two "Do you really think there's ghosts in here?" Aimes asked curiously, walking over to a nearby door and opening it up. It was a broom closet, and there were no ghosts inside. So she tried the next one. "Oh absolutely," Pawson encouraged, knowing full well that there was no such thing as ghosts. Lying to Aimes wasn’t a habit of his, but she had been teasing him all day. And besides, Aimes had to be afraid of something. Everyone was afraid of something! The sooner Aimes learned to set aside her pride, the safer she would be. As Aimes struggled with a locked cabinet, Pawson fiddled with the flashlight and leaned back against the wall, but he leaned too far and fell flat on his back with a yelp. That’s when he realized that he hadn't missed the wall: the wall moved. "Oh cool, Pawson!" Aimes said excitedly. "You found a secret passage! How'd you do that?" "Just lucky I guess." Or unlucky, Pawson thought, because he knew that Aimes would want to follow it. Sure enough... "Let's see what's in there," Aimes said, pushing past her friend and into the little hole that opened up in the wall. Pawson shined the flashlight ahead of Aimes. The passageway was a dark and empty corridor. It was low to the ground, like a crawlspace. Aimes quickly fell to her knees and made her way in. Pawson walked behind her diapered butt and his hat only barely grazed the beams above him. "Did you ever stop to think that we are breaking and entering?" Pawson asked. "This isn't our house." "Well, we didn't break anything," Aimes challenged. "The door opened all on its own. And we did announce ourselves." "I don't think shouting up the stairs is the same as announcing yourself," Pawson said, more to himself than to Aimes, who had reached the end of the corridor. "Shine the light over here," Aimes said. Her teddy bear did as he was told. The wall in front of Aimes looked different. Most of the tunnel was made of plaster and old wooden beams, but this wood was polished and pretty. Aimes took a moment to think about it, then pushed on the wall. With a soft scraping sound, it slid out of the way. When Aimes climbed out into the new room, she found that the thing she had pushed was the back of a bookshelf. Actually, the room was full of bookshelves! "It's a hidden library, Pawson! Look at all the books. There's soooo many, but I don’t see any doors out... oh! Oh! Maybe one of these leads to a secret passage." Aimes was giddy with excitement as she walked to one of the bookshelves and pulled down on one of the books. Nothing happened. At least, nothing happened that Aimes could see. High above her, on the upper shelves, books started to wiggle out of their places. Pawson flashed the light around the room just in time to see one of the books wiggling on the shelf above his companion. "Aimes, look out!" Pawson shoved Aimes out of the way just as a book fell off the shelf above her. "Woah, hey! What's that about?" Aimes asked, because the book didn't hit the floor. It spilled open, pages fluttering in the air, and swooped back toward the ceiling. Pawson pointed up at the high ceiling as another book - no, two... no, three... no, four! - fell off the shelves and started flying around the room. Every so often the books would dive down at Aimes or Pawson and they would duck out of the way. "Run!" Pawson said in a panic. "Where?" Aimes looked around the room, but there wasn't a way out. "Then hide!" Pawson said, dodging another book and ducking under the table in the middle of the room. A big book swooped down from the top shelf like a bird and Aimes stepped out of the way. She pressed her back against the bookshelves and watched the books flap their covers. "Aimes, get under here!" Pawson urged. "You're gonna get hurt!" "Hold on a sec," Aimes said to her friend, eyeing the books as they circled around the ceiling. "I've seen that before..." "Seen what?" Pawson asked, just as a book crashed to the ground in front of him. He shined the flashlight on it. "I dunno. That pattern." Aimes watched as the book on the floor took flight again, catching a glimpse of the cover in the otherwise dark library. A coloring book? "Aimes!" "One second!" Aimes was tapping her chin with her finger, working something out. She watched the books flying around, darting from one side of the library to the other. Then, like a little huntress, she waited for a book to get low enough to pounce on top of it. The book landed hard on the floor with an oof! sound and Aimes pinned it in place. "I got you!" Pawson looked on in awe, but he was shaken from his stupor when Aimes called: "C'mere, Pawson!" "Ugh!" Pawson crawled out from under the table and hurried over to her side. "Get the crayons out of my backpack, okay?" "Crayons?" Pawson asked. But before Aimes could explain, he was already climbing onto his friend's back and rummaging through her pack. The book thrashed, almost knocking Aimes off a handful of times, but she kept it pinned to the ground until Pawson handed her the box of crayons. "I need a black one," Aimes said. "The color is important?" Pawson asked. "Of course!" Another book swooped down and Pawson ducked out of the way. He opened up the box of crayons and found the black one in the light of the flashlight. Once he gave it to Aimes, she pulled open the pages of the coloring book and started to fill in the outline of a bat with black crayon. Within seconds, the book settled down. Actually, all the books flying overhead slowly lowered themselves into a pile on the nearby table. Aimes stuck out her tongue in thought, focusing hard to make the bat on the page look as bat-like as possible. "Wow..." Pawson was impressed. "How'd you figure that out?" "They were flapping around differently," Aimes told him. "I think some are birds and some are butterflies, but this one was definitely a bat. It was all over the place." Pawson couldn't argue with that logic, as much as he longed to. And boy did he long to. Instead Pawson said: "These coloring books must have been here for ages." "I bet they just wanted to be colored in," Aimes said. "I don't think coloring books have wants," Pawson said. Aimes rolled her eyes, gestured to the stack of coloring books, and said with sarcasm: "Clearly." Chapter Three "Well, while you do that, I'm gonna look for a way out of here." Pawson left Aimes' side to look at the books on the shelves. Every so often, he would have to return with the flashlight so Aimes could pick a new colored crayon. After a while, Pawson found one book in particular that was an unusual shade of red. It was also much thicker than the other books on the shelf. The title read: A Guide To Secret Passageways. "I might have found something," Pawson said. "I only have one book to go," Aimes called back. Pawson dragged the table from the center of the room over to the bookshelf with the red book. Standing on top of it, he could just barely tug on the spine. Sure enough, as he did so, the wall opened into a dark hallway. This one was person-sized. "I like when things make sense." Pawson let out a sigh of relief. “Aaaaand, done,” Aimes said, adding the final coloring book to the stack. She got up off the floor and slipped her box of crayons back into her pack. Then she made her way over to her teddy bear, standing in front of an impossibly dark hallway. Even the flashlight could hardly pierce the blackness. Pawson didn't want to go down that dark and spooky corridor, but there weren't many other options. Other than crawling back through the tunnel to the foyer, this was the only exit he could find. Aimes could have walked behind him, since Pawson had the flashlight, but she walked alongside him anyway. She didn't seem the least bit scared. "None of this gives you goosebumps?" Pawson asked, not knowing entirely what goosebumps felt like. "Not really," Aimes shrugged. "Everything in the dark is also there in the light, so what is there to be scared of?" "That's... a fair point." Actually, it put Pawson's mind at ease. At least, it did until he remembered neither of them had seen the haunted house in the daytime either. "I wonder where the owners are? It's such a big house, someone has to live here, right?" Aimes posited as the two of them walked down the corridor. Pawson thought about that question and offered: "Well, someone opened the front door." "Or it was a ghost," Aimes said flippantly, and it took every bit of willpower for Pawson not to correct her. For now, Pawson let her believe that was the case. The hallway eventually came to an end, and there was nowhere else to go. "Looks like we're going into one of these rooms," Aimes said with a chipper voice. It sounded like she had been waiting to say that since the moment they entered the hallway. She looked to Pawson for approval, who reluctantly nodded. Aimes picked the closest door and opened it. Inside was a long table and a dozen or so chairs. Pawson flashed the light over the room; the table was dressed in a white cloth, stained red in some spots. Plates were placed in front of each chair, and some of the empty goblets were tipped over. A large set of windows spanned one wall. Outside, the pattering of rain splashed against the unbroken panes, and the howling wind found its way in through the broken ones. Tree branches tapped and scratched against the windowsills. "Looks like they left before dinner was served," Aimes observed, running her finger along the fine silver spoons. They were caked in dust. "At least they’re not still here," Pawson said, adding a bit of spooky ambiance to the whole situation. "Could you imagine the smell? It might be worse than your morning di—" "Oh look!" Aimes cut Pawson off, pointing at a spot on the ceiling beside the chandelier. A drop of liquid fell down onto the tablecloth. Crimson spread over the white linen as the drop was soaked up. It seemed to be leaking. "It’s red?" Aimes asked inquisitively. "That's odd." If the color could have drained from the magenta teddy bear's face, it would have in that moment. Pawson watched another drop splat down onto the tablecloth, soaking into the fabric and leaving behind a slick gooey residue. Aimes climbed up onto the table to get a better look. Then the drops came down faster. Drip. Drip. Drip. Then in more than one spot, peppering the tablecloth in red puddles. Drip. Drip. Drip. Aimes was still standing on the table, looking up at the cracks in the ceiling where the heavy chandelier was pulling down on the woodwork. "Aimes!" Pawson clamored onto the table as best as his little bear arms would let him: first onto a chair, then onto the table. "Roofs don’t usually leak red stuff, Pawson." Aimes didn't seem fazed by this at all, but the fuzzy little bear was almost in hysterics. It was raining blood! Lightning struck something outside. The roar of thunder was paired with a loud crunching sound, and then the groan of something heavy. With a loud crash, the table shook and knocked Aimes, Pawson, and two place settings to the ground. Then the ceiling gave way and the chandelier crashed down just where Aimes was standing a moment ago. With it came a flood of red and glass. Once the dust began to settle, Pawson tried to catch his breath. Aimes rubbed her hip, crinkling the wing of her diaper. Everything was so still all of a sudden, and the whole room smelled of... Was it fruit? "Jeeze, that hurt..." Aimes said, climbing to her feet. She helped Pawson up next, then went to inspect the damage. There was a huge hole in the ceiling. Then her boot crunched down on a big heap of glass. She picked up the flashlight from the ground where Pawson had dropped it and shined the light on it. Amongst the shards was a label. Aimes had to tilt her head to read it. "Raspberry jelly?" Aimes read aloud. "I guess the pantry is above this room. That explains a lot." "...what do you mean raspberry jelly?" Pawson asked. There was no way that the bleeding ceiling could have been raspberry jelly! That was absurd! That was silly! That was... Pawson dipped his paw into the red and took a tentative sniff. That was absolutely correct. Pawson was shivering, coming down from a darn near panic attack, and Aimes wasn't even perturbed in the slightest! "Well, we should get going," Aimes said. She dusted off her bare thighs and headed to the other side of the dining room, where a door was waiting for them. Chapter Four Aimes led the way through the door in the dining room and into the next room. Pawson toddled after her as fast as his little legs would allow. They wandered through two sitting rooms before Aimes noticed a staircase along the far wall. "If there are any ghosts, they have to be upstairs, right?" Aimes asked. "I suppose..." Pawson was losing faith in his practical joke. The more they wandered through the haunted house, the less likely it seemed that Aimes could be scared of anything. But until the storm passed, it wasn't safe to go outside. "Then upstairs we go!" "Just be careful," Pawson said. "After all that raspberry jelly fell into the dining room, I don’t think the floors are very safe. This place should honestly be condemned." "Condemned?" Aimes asked. "I think everything deserves a second chance." "Not that kind of condemned," Pawson sighed. Regardless, Aimes went up the staircase two steps at a time. They creaked under her weight. Pawson shined the way with the flashlight and Aimes had to brush some cobwebs away on the upper landing. In front of them was another hallway, lit only by the flashlight and the occasional flash of lightning from the windows on the far end of the hall. "Eenie meenie miney mo..." Aimes sung to herself as she passed by the doors. Finally, she settled on one near the end of the halls and knocked politely before entering. "I don't think you need to knock, Aimes. I'm pretty sure there's nobody else here but us." Or at least Pawson hoped that was the case. "It’s only polite," Aimes said. "I would hate to walk in on someone changing." Though to Aimes, ‘walking in on someone changing’ had a different meaning. She waited a moment after the knock and opened the door. Inside was a nursery. The wallpaper was striped with little stencils of boats and planes, but it was already peeling off the walls in huge sheets. There was a painted-white wooden crib on the far wall by one of the only windows in the house that wasn't broken. Little bookshelves were decorated with toys. But most interestingly, shelves lined every single wall - about a foot from the ceiling - and they were filled with porcelain dolls. Pawson hesitated in the doorway, shining the flashlight everywhere Aimes went. She went to the changing table first and fished around under the tabletop. She turned back to Pawson and the smile had faded from her face. Just when Pawson began to worry something was truly wrong, she said: "Cloth diapers. Ew." Pawson put his paw to his face and groaned. Nothing was going to scare Aimes at this rate. Pawson slouched back, and for a moment he could have sworn one of the dolls’ heads moved to look at him. He rubbed his eyes and looked again, all his fur standing on end. "Aimes, I don't know about this place..." He stepped into the room to be closer to his companion, and when he did the door slammed shut behind him. He dropped his flashlight in surprise and turned to tug at the door. "It's probably just jammed," Aimes said calmly, walking back over to the light on the other end of the room to give Pawson the flashlight. As she took her own shot at opening the door, Pawson looked around the room nervously. The flashlight lit up the crib. The unbroken window. The changing table. The shelves and shelves of dolls. Except... two spots were empty. Weren't there dolls there before? "Aimes," Pawson hissed quietly. "Two of the dolls are missing." He pointed a paw, and Aimes looked up at the shelf and gasped. "Oh no... no no no, oh Pawson, don't you know what this means?" Finally! Pawson thought. She understands how much danger we're in! But then Aimes said: "It means the little kid who lived here never got to complete their collection!" Pawson groaned and turned to his friend: "No, they were there a moment ago!" When Pawson turned back, two dolls - no taller than Pawson himself - were standing side by side in the center of the room, both facing Aimes and Pawson. "AH!" Pawson stepped backwards into Aimes, trembling from head to toe. He held the flashlight tight with both hands, pointed right at the dolls, and refused to blink. If he looked away for even one moment, they might... "I bet they wanna play," Aimes said, stepping forward. She reached down and scooped up one of the dolls the same way she would scoop up Pawson. "Oh gosh, look at you. I bet you haven't had someone play with you in so very long! My name's Aimes, and I'm going to call you... Audrey." Aimes nodded her head happily and looked down at the other doll. "Your name can be… Staycee." "Aimes, I really don't think this is a good idea..." Pawson tried the handle again, fumbling to do so without looking away from his best friend. "Nonsense," Aimes dismissed, dusting off the dolls with her hands. "Imagine if you were stuck in a room all alone. You'd wanna play too." Pawson couldn't argue with that, but he kept the flashlight on the dolls all the same. Aimes went to a nearby shelf, grabbed an old tea set, and put it on the floor in the middle of the room. Then she situated the dolls so they were sitting, one on each side of her. "Come on, Pawson" Aimes urged, motioning to the empty spot across from her. "We saved you a seat." "You know, I just don't know if I'm in the mood for t-t-tea..." The bear stammered out, one bright paw held in front of his mouth nervously. Lightning flashed outside and it filled the room with white light for a moment; when it faded, both the dolls had their heads now turned to look directly at Pawson. "You're being very rude to our hosts," Aimes hissed across the tea set, pouring a cup of imaginary tea for each of the dolls. Pawson knew when he wasn't going to get anywhere with Aimes; sometimes she was just too headstrong. So with his eyes on the dolls, Pawson sat down on the floor across from Aimes. "Well let's hurry this up then." "More tea, Miss Staycee?" Aimes asked, then poured the empty teapot over one of the dolls' cups. "And for you, Sir Pawson?" "I'd be delighted," Pawson said, putting on a haughty voice and doing his best not to allow his trembling to impact the tone. Aimes tilted the teapot over his cup as well and he picked it up, sipping from the rim. After a few more cups of tea and a discussion about the difference between cookies and biscuits, a quiet creak interrupted the party. "Look Pawson, the door is open." Aimes pointed behind Pawson, and sure enough she was right. "That was spooky," Pawson muttered, letting out a sigh of relief. “I told you it was jammed," Aimes said, standing on her feet and picking the dolls up in her arms. She put each one back on the shelves in the empty spots. "Now that the house has settled, it opened up." "That doesn't make any sense at all..." The bear grumbled, with his arms crossed over his chest. "And yet the door is open," Aimes countered. "Let's just get out of here." Pawson picked up the flashlight and hurried to hold open the door, just in case it decided to close again. Aimes put the tea set away and followed Pawson back into the hall. Chapter Five The hallway had a few other doors, but Pawson wouldn't go into any of them. "I don't want to get stuck again," he said. "Fine," Aimes groaned. "But I think you're just being a scaredy bear." "I'm being practical." "Practically a scaredy bear," Aimes teased. At the end of the hall, there was a corner turn. It led to the foyer, at the top of the main set of stairs. "Oh, thank goodness," Pawson sighed. Even the thunder outside was becoming nothing more than a low rumble. He could hear the pattering of rain on the shingles above beginning to slow. "Look at this," Aimes said, walking down a short hallway to a pair of double doors. "This must be the master bedroom." "Or we could just sit by the front door and wait for the rain to stop," Pawson said. Aimes looked at him like he'd just spoken a foreign language that she didn't know, and then after a moment a big grin spread across her face. "Oh Pawson! You almost had me, there!" And with that, Aimes shoved open the double doors. Aimes was right: it was indeed a master bedroom. The decor was fancy and old, with beautiful wooden furniture covered in dust. The fabric on the bed was ridden with holes where bugs had nibbled away at the threads. On the far side was a huge window, looking out into the backyard. Aimes pranced over to it excitedly, floorboards creaking beneath her, but outside was so dark that it was hard to see. There wasn't even that much lightning anymore. Aimes turned around and met Pawson in the center of the bedroom, looking a little disappointed. "I guess I expected something more unusual," she said, tilting her head. "Um... Aimes..." Pawson said. "Coloring and playing tea party was really fun," Aimes went on. "Aimes?" Pawson's voice became a little more urgent. "But I thought there would be a ghost or something, at the very least." "AIMES!" Pawson was shaking head to toe. "Oh my goodness, what?" Pawson pointed at Aimes with his paw. No, he was pointing over Aimes' shoulder. She turned slowly, until she was face to face with a translucent person with sunken eyes and long wild hair. It leaned in close to her, floating above the ground, and Aimes felt a shiver run up her spine. "OOoooOOoo!" the ghost wailed. For a moment - a very brief moment - Aimes was speechless. Then she took a breath and shouted: "Cool! A real life ghost!" "Seriously?" Pawson asked in disbelief. He stomped forward until he was standing between Aimes and the ghost. "This isn't scary to you? Seriously?" "Not really," Aimes shrugged. "It's. A. GHOST!" Pawson shouted, his frustration boiling over. "It's terrifying!" "I am kind of terrifying," the ghost said, quiet and ethereal. "Sorry," Aimes shrugged, a little bashfully. "I just think ghosts are cool." "I give up," Pawson sighed. "I'm done. You're not scared of anything, okay? Are you happy?" "Hey now," Aimes softened her tone. "It's okay that you're scared and I'm not." "No it isn't!" Pawson shouted. He walked through the ghost toward the far window. "Being scared keeps you safe! If you can't be scared, how can I be sure you're safe?" "Pawson," Aimes sighed, following Pawson through the ghost. "Uh... boo?" the ghost tried again, having just had two people walk through them like they weren't even there. "We're trying to have a conversation," Pawson shouted at the ghost. "Go haunt someone else." "Wow. Okay, rude." The ghost drifted through the floor and vanished. "I don't need to be scared of stuff to be safe," Aimes said to her best friend, ignoring the ghost's departure. "I have you. You'll be scared for me." "You make fun of me for it," Pawson shot back. "I was teasing," Aimes argued, but... "But if it upsets you, I won't do it anymore. I never want to make you feel bad for who you are." They were both quiet for a moment. The silence was only broken when a loud crack rang throughout the house. Suddenly, the floor tilted and Aimes fell flat on her diapered butt. Pawson tumbled backwards and fell into the big glass window. The floorboards between them cracked and split and the panes of glass shattered around Pawson. "PAWSON!" Aimes dashed to her feet and sprinted across the length of the room, jumping over the broken floorboards. She reached out and grabbed Pawson's paw just as the window gave way and crashed down into the backyard. The floor collapsed under Aimes' feet and she fell onto her stomach, holding Pawson out the two-story window. "Don't let go!" Aimes shouted, but Pawson could hardly hear her over the cracking and snapping of wood as the back of the house began to crumble down around them. She inched herself forward until she could see Pawson's face, looking up at her in fear. "The whole house is coming down!" Pawson shouted. Just then, another crack lilted the house to the left and both of them slid to the corner of the window frame. Pawson was almost touching the ground at that point, so he kicked his feet against the house and pulled on Aimes' wrist. She tumbled out after him, and they both crashed into the soft, wet grass. "Ow..." Aimes rubbed her shoulder and looked down at Pawson, who was wet and ragged. Another cracking sound brought Aimes back to the urgency of the situation. She scooped her companion up in her arms and ran down the hill just as the debris of the house came crumbling down around her. She tripped over something invisible, dropped her friend, and fell forward until she reached the bottom of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, everything was still. The rain had stopped, but everything was dark and wet. A few feet away, Aimes could see the light of the flashlight, having tumbled down the hill after them. She reached for it and flashed the light around. "Pawson?" Aimes said, fear in her voice. She shined the flashlight up the hill, at the mound of old wood, but no sign of her purple teddy bear. She shouted louder: "Hey, Pawson? Where are you?" Aimes waved the flashlight, pointing the light at everything around her. Her eyes were wide and her movements twitchy and erratic. "Pawson! Pawson! Where are you? Pawson...? Oh oh oh!" The light glazed over something that caught her attention in the mud; the top curves of a very familiar looking hat. Pawson's hat! She dropped to her hands and knees in the mud and grasped at the hat, but when she lifted it up... there was nothing beneath it. No Pawson. Not even a sign of Pawson. The rain might have stopped, but nothing could have kept Aimes’ cheeks dry in that very moment. "No no no, pretty please no..." The storm had passed, and the house was gone, and the only noise was that of Aimes sobbing quietly to herself. Quietly, but perhaps loud enough that she didn't hear the soft plush footsteps approach. "That was a disaster," Pawson muttered, stumbling into view. He fell back on his butt and rubbed the side of his head. His fur was covered in mud. Then he looked up at Aimes with tears in her eyes. "What?" he asked. "Pawson, you're okay!" Aimes sprang forward and hugged her muddy teddy bear tight against her chest. "I was so scared you were hurt or something!" "You were scared?" Pawson asked incredulously, trying to get out of her embrace. When she finally let him go, she looked at him a little dumbfounded. "I guess I was," she admitted. "I was scared I'd lost you." Pawson was quiet for a moment, then he took his hat back from his companion and put it back on his head. "Scaredy bear," he teased. "I sure am," Aimes laughed, wiping tears from her eyes. "I told you that house was dangerous," Pawson said, using his stern voice. "I should have listened," Aimes agreed. "I guess I was so sure nothing bad could happen to me that I didn't think about what bad things might happen to you." "Well, I guess I'm so worried about what bad things might happen to you," Pawson said, "that I don't think about what good things might happen to me." Aimes got to her feet and handed Pawson his flashlight. He got to his feet and took it. "I'll be more thoughtful from now on," Aimes promised. "No, that's alright," Pawson smiled. "I never want to make you feel bad for who you are." "Well, I think we make a pretty good team." "Yeah, me too," Pawson agreed. Then he looked around the empty wood. It was the middle of the night and they had nowhere to go. "So what now?" "We should find somewhere to set up camp," Aimes insisted. "I could really use a diaper change." "I bet," Pawson laughed. With the the haunted remains of the haunted house on the haunted hill behind them, Aimes and Pawson ventured into the woods hand in hand. [End.]
  6. Aimes & Pawson Dive In Written by Sophie & Pudding Art & Characters by JuiceBox Aimes & Pawson is an ageplay children’s picture book intended for adult audiences. You can buy the full version with pictures on Amazon or by joining our SubscribeStar. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXN7J86C https://www.subscribestar.adult/sophieandpudding Our goal was to create a book for story time or bedtime, with no sexual themes and maximum Little feels! Some of the words can be quite big - upwards of 10 letters long! - so you may need an adult to read it for you. This story takes place in the summer, when Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson go to the pool. ------------------------------ Chapter One Of all the quiet, charming towns in the world, none were quite as quiet and charming as Kingston. It was the kind of town where one would walk through and decide to live there forever. But Kingston was not a town of adventure. That was why the young woman named Aimes and her teddy bear named Pawson only planned to stay there for a few days. The summer heat in Kingston made everyone lazy. The only place in the whole town with any excitement was the public pool. Aimes thought a public pool couldn't possibly be very exciting, but for once Pawson's insistence had paid off. "There's nothing else to do until your shirt is fixed," the magenta teddy bear reminded his friend. "Or you could buy a new one." "I don't want a new one," Aimes pouted. "That one is durable and easy to wash. And it's so short that it doesn't get in the way during diaper changes." "Then we're going to the pool," Pawson concluded. Though his companion was always eager for the next adventure, Pawson appreciated slow moments like this, where he could relax poolside. How much trouble could Aimes get into at a public pool? Pawson thought. Aimes had some bad experiences with public pools. She once wore an ordinary diaper into the water and it ballooned up like a beach ball. She’d had to waddle all the way home to get changed. Another time, she thought she didn’t need a diaper. The water around her had turned purple and the pool staff had to drain the pool. This time, however, Aimes was wearing a swim diaper and a one-piece bathing suit, with frills on the shoulders. Her arms were dressed in big inflatable water wings, though she knew how to swim just fine. It was Pawson's idea, something to keep her out of trouble. Aimes also had with her a little bag of pool toys: a toy boat, a squirt gun, and a set of underwater crayons. As Aimes told Pawson: "You never know when you'll need to write something underwater." Pawson wore his usual hat to keep the sun out of his eyes and that was it. Teddy bears didn't need to worry about modesty the way young women did. The public pool was quite large, but it wasn't very crowded. A handful of people were swimming about in the water, but most of them were sitting in lounge chairs. Umbrellas shaded them from the sun and many side-tables had glasses of lemonade placed upon them. There was a diorama of underwater life along the far wall, complete with hand-painted manta rays, jellyfish, kelp, and even a little goldfish bowl. It looked like a community project. Before Pawson could find a place to sit, Aimes leapt into the air over the pool and curled herself into a ball. She crashed into the water, splashing Pawson. When Aimes surfaced, Pawson stared down at her from the side of the pool, dripping wet. "You could have warned me," Pawson huffed. "The sign says no yelling," Aimes grinned, pointing at the sign on the wall by the pool. No Running No Yelling No Diving "It also says No Diving," Pawson reminded her, wringing out one of his paws with the other. Aimes flashed him a cheeky smile. "Jumping isn’t diving," she said. "Diving is when you explore the bottom of the ocean. It’s when you look for shipwrecks and lost treasure. I don’t think there’s any of that here, and that’s why they say No Diving: because it lets you know that there’s nothing down there." Then Aimes put her finger to her chin in thought. "Although… that is what someone would say if they were trying to hide something…" "I'm going to find a place to sit down," Pawson muttered, heading over to the lounge chairs. Aimes shrugged her shoulders and reached up onto the side of the pool to get a toy from her bag: the little toy boat. For a while, Aimes was content to swim and splash and play. The water wings kept her afloat, so she didn't have to focus on anything but her toys. She made up a story where the boat was full of criminals, trying to escape from the law. But the criminals were actually the good guys, and they were trying to steal an ancient treasure to give it back to the original owners. She sped around the water, dodging obstacles and other swimmers. Then, just as the criminals were about to get away, the boat slipped out of Aimes' hand and headed straight for the wall of the pool. "Oh no," Aimes said out loud, trying to swim fast enough to catch up to it, but the water wings slowed her down. Then, just before the criminals crashed into the wall, a flicker of light appeared beneath the boat and a small wave steered it away. Another wave made the boat turn again, right into the filter: the escape route. Aimes watched in awe as the criminals escaped with the treasure, knowing that they would soon return it to its rightful owners. She swam over to the filter to collect the toy boat. It was like the boat had been steering itself! "How peculiar," Aimes whispered under her breath, then she looked over her shoulder where Pawson was sunbathing in one of those banana lounge chairs. She yelled, which she wasn’t supposed to do. "Pawson!" The pool wasn’t all that busy and crowded, but Pawson didn’t respond. Aimes puffed out her cheeks and splashed the water in frustration. Then Aimes noticed that sign again: No Diving. She looked down through the bluish water. Aimes was a great adventurer: she knew how to climb trees and scale rocks. She could swim and jump and run really fast. Something as easy as seeing underwater was natural to her. She took a deep breath and pushed her face into the pool, looking down at the bottom. There was a shallow end with tiled floor on one end of the pool, but as the slant of the floor went deeper down, the water began to get murky. Soon, she wasn't able to see the bottom of the pool at all. Then, in the foggy water, she saw another glimmer, like a glare off of something shiny. Aimes tried to swim down toward it, but the water wings kept her afloat. With a huff, she pulled her head out of the water and brushed her hair from her face. There was something down there alright! Aimes made her way over to the ladder and climbed out of the pool. Her swim diaper, full of water, sagged heavily between her legs. It forced her to waddle over to where Pawson was sitting. "There's something in the pool. A fish or something." "Fish don't live in pools, Aimes," Pawson said dismissively. "This one does. I saw it. It steered my boat and everything." Aimes had an active imagination, but Pawson knew better than to call her a liar. He sat up on the lounge chair and looked at the pool. "Help me take these water wings off," Aimes said, tugging at the inflatable plastic triangles. "We're going after it." "Well," Pawson said to himself, "at least I had an hour of relaxation. That was more than I expected." Chapter Two "Are you sure about this, Aimes?" The two of them were standing by the water’s edge, and Aimes had her water wings removed. Pawson had pulled down a set of swimming goggles with a loosely fitting snorkel over his face. "A hundred percent," Aimes said. "Think about what we might find! A sea monster? Or a sunken pirate ship?" "It’s probably lost change," Pawson said under his breath. Pawson's goggles and snorkel were merely decorative. Since he was a teddy bear, he didn't need to breathe. Aimes, on the other hand, still had to worry about getting oxygen. After getting into the water and trying to swim down as far as she could, she still couldn't see the bottom of the pool. She had to resurface for air. "That's a lot deeper than any pool I've ever seen," Pawson said, pulling the snorkel out of his mouth. Aimes was too lost in thought to congratulate herself. She was tapping on her chin, trying to think of a way to breathe underwater. In books, they had suits that were full of air, but Aimes didn't know where she could get one of those on short notice. Then again, why did she need a whole suit of air? She just needed one of those big helmets. "One sec," she told Pawson, climbing out of the pool once again. She waddled her way over to the ocean life diorama. There was a large glass fishbowl with a little paper fish inside, standing on a stick. Aimes took the bowl and tipped it upside down, spilling the colorful rocks and the paper fish all over the deck of the pool. A few people in lounge chairs looked at her from behind their sunglasses. "I'll return it when I'm done," Aimes assured them. Pawson, still in the pool, sunk down shyly so that the only thing anyone could see was his hat. Aimes grabbed an elastic string off one of the jellyfish. It was sticky at the ends, so she stuck both sides across the top of the fish bowl. She took her new contraption with her back to the pool and slid into the water next to Pawson. "What are you doing?" Pawson muttered, somewhere between embarrassed and annoyed. "Making a diving helmet," Aimes said. "You see, air always goes up. So if I put the bowl in the water upside-down, it will stay in the bowl. As long as the bowl stays upside down, the air won't go anywhere." Aimes demonstrated by pulling the bowl over her head and tucking the elastic string beneath her chin. "You look ridiculous," Pawson said. "It'll work," Aimes assured him. And sure enough, when Aimes went underwater, the fishbowl was still full of air. It floated upward, but the elastic string held it in place over Aimes' head. As a final thought, Aimes grabbed her underwater crayons, which she tucked into the side of her one-piece bathing suit. Aimes & Pawson began swimming down into the deepest depths of the public pool. The sun flickered through the surface of the water, shining down in long, bright rays. But the deeper the two of them dove, the fewer sunrays came along with them. Soon, the surface seemed miles away, so far above them that it was almost like nighttime: muted and blue. The tiled walls of the public pool started to look a lot more like rocks, decorated in colorful algae. As the light of the sun faded away, the algae glowed softly and lit up the path beneath them. Aimes grabbed a crayon out of her swimsuit and drew a big arrow on one of the rocks in a brightly-lit spot. Pawson muttered something behind his snorkel. When he realized Aimes couldn't understand him, he motioned at the arrow on the wall. "In case we get lost," Aimes said. She could speak inside the fish bowl, but her voice was muffled by the water. Pawson had to listen closely to hear her. Aimes drew a few more arrows as they went further down — little signposts in case she needed to find her way back to the surface — until Pawson caught sight of a glint in the distance. It seemed to be going sideways rather than down. He tugged on Aimes' swimsuit and pointed. "I think that's it," Aimes confirmed. She and Pawson swam toward it, into a little cave. Aimes stopped to draw another arrow and the pair continued onward. Inside the cave, things were a lot brighter. The bioluminescent algae was more abundant and the water was full of little sparkling bits that reflected the light. A fish swam into view, and then another. Each one passed by Aimes and Pawson in sequence, but something looked odd about them. They didn't shimmer, and they didn't have scales. When another fish swam by, Aimes reached out and cupped it in her hand. It looked like it was made of plastic or rubber, and when she tickled its belly little bubbles spilled out of a hole where its mouth would be. The fish quickly swam away. "They're like bath toys," Aimes said excitedly. She always wondered where her fish toys came from!" Pawson tugged again on Aimes' swimsuit and pointed forward. There was a bright light at the end of the cave. Aimes drew another arrow in crayon and followed Pawson toward it. When Aimes and Pawson got to the end of the cave, it was a sight to behold. High above, sunbeams bent through large holes in the cave, casting a glittering magical light over the sandy ocean floor. There were a few plastic boats - not unlike Aimes' own toy boat - but these ones were much bigger and broken into pieces. But the most impressive sight of all was the massive underwater city made of glittering coral and shells. It seemed to go on for miles! Then, just as Aimes and Pawson thought they couldn't be more in awe, a glint from a scale caught the light. Swimming out of the underwater city was a woman with long blue hair and a long shimmering tail. Aimes and Pawson had found a mermaid. Chapter Three Although Aimes was no stranger to adventure, and although she’d seen many fantastical things exploring the world, she had never seen a mermaid before. She had so many questions, so many things she needed to know. Taking Pawson by the paw, as though he might not swim fast enough, Aimes began to swim toward the underwater city. "I can’t believe it," Aimes said, her voice muffled through the weight of the water. She was taking advantage of the fact that Pawson couldn’t interrupt her flights of fancy. "A real live mermaid! I can’t wait to ask her name and her favorite food and… do you think I can touch her tail? Is that taboo? Oh Pawson, this is amazing! And that city, it could be a lost city! Like Atlantis!" Pawson cocked an eyebrow and looked at Aimes with deep skepticism. Atlantis was a legendary city that was lost in the ocean a long time ago. It didn't make any sense for it to be under a public pool in Kingston, one of the most quiet and charming places in the world. Then again, Pawson knew that even if he could argue such a thing, Aimes would say: "But isn't that the best place to lose it? No one would ever look there." Aimes and Pawson swam until the two had made their way to the front of the city. It was then that Pawson was glad he couldn't speak his mind only a moment before, because Aimes would never let him live it down. The archway in front of the city gate read: "Welcome to Atlantis!" Before Aimes could get out a smarmy comment, the mermaid - the one with blue hair - noticed the pair and swam over to them with incredible speed. "Hello!" the mermaid said cheerfully. She sounded crystal clear in the water, like she had been speaking in water her entire life. "Hi," Aimes said with a wave. Her voice was muffled but the mermaid seemed to understand well enough. "My name is Aimes, and this is my best friend Pawson." She motioned to the little bear, who predictably kept his distance. Pawson was always overly cautious; someone had to be. "It’s nice to meet you both," the mermaid said. "I’m Verdana." "It’s very nice to meet you, Verdana!" Aimes replied. "Your city looks gorgeous, and your hair and your tail… everything, actually." "Why, thank you!" Verdana said with a gleeful smile. "Would you like me to show you around the city?" Pawson shook his head, but Aimes nodded hers. They both knew who was going to get their way. Verdana swam much faster than Aimes and much much faster than Pawson. After doubling back a few times, she took Aimes by the hand. "This will be a lot faster," she said. "Hold on." Aimes took Pawson's paw and Verdana sped through the city. The buildings went by in a blur, streaks of beautiful glimmering color. Other mermaids watched in awe, but they were going too fast for Aimes or Pawson to get a good look at them. Pawson had only one paw free, so when the snorkel and goggles flew off his face, he chose to hold onto his hat instead. Finally, Verdana stopped in the heart of the city, where coral buildings towered all around them. In the center of the plaza was a huge fountain, spilling bubbles out of the top. Dozens of mermaids had stopped to see the newcomers. "Look Pawson!" Aimes said. "There are boy mermaids! Or, uh... mermen!" Pawson was still trying to get his bearings. Now that his goggles were gone, it took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the shimmering water. But when they did, sure enough, some of the mermaids looked a lot more masculine than Verdana. "Mermen?" Verdana asked, tilting her head. "Like, mermaids," Aimes explained, "but not maids, because that's usually a girl word." "Mermaid isn't a girl word here," Verdana explained. "It's just who we are." "That makes sense," Aimes agreed. "Sorry, humans can be very..." "Assumptive," Pawson finished, who had a lot of experience being misgendered. Most strangers saw a magenta teddy bear and assumed he was a girl. Aimes was always quick to correct them. "Oh hey, you can talk!" Aimes cheered. Their words were still muffled by the water, but it felt like the water in Atlantis let more sound through. "Well, I didn't exactly need my snorkel," Pawson explained, fixing his hat. "It just makes me more comfortable thinking I have air, and you aren’t the only one who can play pretend." Verdana perked up at the mention of air. "If you want air, then you should go to the pool," she said. "But we just got here," Aimes whined. "I don't want to leave!" "No no," Verdana said. "The pool is in the city. It's very nice, and you'll be more comfortable there." Aimes and Pawson exchanged looks. Another pool? What good would more water do them? But if Verdana thought they would be more comfortable, then maybe it was worth a try. "This is the quickest way to get to the pool," Verdana said, leading the way down an alley way. "I used to go this way when I was a little tadpole. Come on!" Aimes made mental note that baby mermaids were called tadpoles, then her and Pawson followed Verdana. The paths between buildings weren’t very straight, but the layout was fluid and kinetic. The walls of the buildings were curved and bendy, usually made from large shells or reefs of coral, which let water flow quickly between them and made for fast turns in the currents. At the end of the alleyway, which led out onto another street, Verdana waited with a smile. "The pool is just across the street," she said. "We’re almost there!" Sure enough, in the center of an underwater coral park, there was a massive seashell low to the ground. It was the kind of seashell you imagine when you think of seashells, but this one was much bigger. It was lying horizontally so that you could swim up into it. Verdana did just that, with Aimes and Pawson close behind, until all three of them broke through the surface of the water. Inside the shell was a huge pocket of air. It looked like a beach, but the sky was pink like a summer sunset. Aimes gawked at the mermaids sunbathing on rocks and curled up on the coastline. Pawson gawked at the mermaids resting on floaties, the kind that humans would normally use in a pool. "Oh wowzers…" Aimes said in awe. When Verdana had talked about a pool in the center of town, she certainly hadn’t expected to find this. To humans, a pool meant a big area of water for recreation. To mermaids, it meant a big area of air for the same thing. Aimes and Pawson swam to the shore and climbed out of the water. Pawson glumly shook out his very soggy fur as Aimes squeezed her thighs together, causing a torrent of water to gush from her swim diaper. She took off her diving helmet and looked around in a whole bunch of awe. "Verdana this is so cool! I didn’t know mermaids liked stuff like this." To be fair, until a few minutes ago Aimes didn’t know anything about mermaids at all. "We see a lot of humans relaxing by the water, so we started to do the same thing," Verdana explained. "It's very pleasant." "It's pleasant for humans too," Aimes said. And then, almost as an afterthought: "You don't have any diapers, do you? I would love to change..." "Of course," Verdana said brightly, still only half-out of the water. The fabric of her top - a slimming halter - was soaked through. All the mermaids seemed to wear clothes on the top half, by Pawson's observation, though the ones sunbathing had their shirts wadded up beside them on the rocks. "You should find a changing station behind that ridge." "Thank you!" Aimes and Pawson waddled down the beach, each trying to dry themselves off in their own ways. Pawson kept trying to wring the water out of his hands and Aimes kept tugging at the leg band of her swim diaper. Eventually, the two of them found a part of the seashell that acted like a privacy screen. There were thick cloth diapers stocking a nearby table. The whole changing room was full of water up to Aimes' knees, but she had changed a diaper standing up before. "I'll wait outside," Pawson said, going to stand guard at the front of the changing room. After five or so minutes of waiting, Aimes stuck her head around the corner. "You know... I might not have thought this through." "What do you mean?" Pawson asked. Aimes stepped out from behind the privacy screen to show Pawson what she meant. Her one-piece swimsuit was unsnapped at the crotch, pulled up to her stomach, and around her hips was... well, it wasn't really a diaper. It looked like a thick towel that was stuck together in the front with two large baby pins. There was no protection between her legs because... "Mermaids don't have legs," Aimes sulked. Pawson burst out laughing. His companion looked more like she was wearing a cloth mini skirt than a diaper. Aimes blushed and crossed her arms. "Hey, you didn't think about it either!" Aimes challenged, and she was right. With everything else going on, Pawson didn’t even think about how a mermaid wore a diaper. But he still couldn't stop laughing, and eventually Aimes couldn't help but laugh along with him. Chapter Four The cloth diaper the mermaids used was stretchy enough to pull up between her legs. Pawson helped pin it in place with an extra set of baby pins. It wasn’t a very secure diaper, but Aimes knew she didn’t have much of a choice. When Pawson was done, Aimes snapped up her swimsuit and shuffled side to side. "It is comfortable," Aimes said. "It’s unlike anything I’ve ever worn, that’s for sure." "I wonder where they get their clothes," Pawson thought out loud. "But we should be getting back. We’ve been gone a while." The two adventurers hurried back to the edge of the beach, where Verdana was waiting for them. "You have such a beautiful home," Aimes said, sitting in the wet sand and dipping her feet in the still water. Verdana was still halfway up the shore splashing her tail lightly in the shallows. "Thank you," Verdana said. "It's a shame we don't have more visitors." "You want more visitors?" Pawson asked. "Why would you want that?" "It gets boring after a while," Verdana answered. "Sometimes I go up to the pool and move a toy around in the water. Sometimes I bring things back here for others to play with." She motioned at the half-dozen inflatables on the water’s surface. "Why don't you talk to the people at the pool?" Aimes asked. "They would love to see a real mermaid." "I'm... quite shy," Verdana admitted, blushing a little. "Many mermaids are. Haven't you noticed not many mermaids have spoken to you since you got here?" Aimes and Pawson both looked at each other. They hadn't noticed, but it was true. Some would wave and smile, but none other than Verdana had approached. "So we'll tell people where to find you," Aimes said confidently. "No one would believe us," Pawson said. "Atlantis is kind of a myth to humans." "Well it's hard to find an underwater city in the public pool of a quiet, charming town," Aimes argued. "It's quite literally the last place anyone would look." "Well you found it," Verdana said. "On accident," Pawson corrected. "Well, no." Aimes tapped her finger to her chin. "I found it because of that sign. It said No Diving, and I thought maybe it was trying to hide something from me." "Only you would think that," Pawson laughed. "Hey, I was right! And maybe if the sign said Atlantis..." Aimes paused for a moment and grinned. “You know, if we made a big sign for Atlantis, I bet people would check it out! Other people always listen to signs!" "We have some big lengths of cloth at the Tailers?" Verdana offered helpfully. "That's a good start," Aimes said. "What about markers?" "Ummm..." Verdana seemed stumped by the word. "I have water crayons," Aimes thought aloud, but quickly shook her head. "I couldn’t make a very big sign with them though." "On land, we usually use paint to make signs," Pawson said. "Oh! Yes!" Aimes excitedly kicked her feet in the shallows. "Watercolors!" "I think you mean colors," Verdana said with a smile. "We have those." Pawson had only just finished drying off when Aimes pulled on her fishbowl helmet and took him by the paw. She pulled him into the water and followed Verdana out of the pool and toward the Tailers. Amies and Pawson were both curious about the clothes worn by the mermaids. It looked like a light cotton with a satin-like shine. When they arrived at the Tailers, they realized why. Dozens of mermaids were having their tails cleaned by other mermaids, who were taking thin strings out of their scales and setting them aside. "When we swim around," Verdana explained, "we catch these little fibers on our tails from some of the local plants. We come here to get our tails cleaned and they use the fibers to make cloth. If you go too long without getting your tail cleaned, swimming feels a lot harder." Aimes was positively beaming. She wished she had a tail in that moment, not only so her diaper would fit properly, but also so she could get her tail cleaned. "Once we get the fibers," Verdana went on, "the cleaners put them in those funnels there. They go through a little vortex and create strings. Then we use those strings to weave cloth. "That is the coolest thing I've ever heard," Aimes said in awe. "Do they make banners? We need the biggest one so it can’t get lost, since a lot of stuff gets lost around here." "Well, let's see if we can get a sheet of cloth," Verdana said. She swam down toward the bottom of the building where a few other mermaids were weaving strings together into cloth. Some of them were doing it upside down, and some were doing it sideways. No matter how Aimes tried to orient herself, her helmet made sure she stayed right-side-up. "Excuse me," Aimes asked, waving to one of the mermaids. "Oh... hi..." The mermaid looked more masculine than Verdana and he spoke timidly. "No need to be shy," Aimes said brightly, which probably didn't make the mermaid feel any better. "We were wondering, what is the biggest cloth you have?" "Um..." The mermaid thought about it for a moment. "We have a full sheet no one has claimed, if you want it." "We do!" Aimes didn't know how big a full sheet was, but nor did she care. She would make it work. The mermaid swam a ways away and came back a moment later with a folded cloth. Aimes took it from the mermaid with a bright smile. "Thank you!" "You're welcome..." The mermaid went back to work and Aimes went back to her project. "Good job," Pawson congratulated, when Aimes returned with the cloth in her hands. It felt like it was soaking wet, even underwater. "Now for the colors," Verdana said, leading her charges to the edge of the city, toward the botanical garden. "Swimming is a lot more work than walking," Pawson lamented, but Aimes waved her hand dismissively. "That can't be true," Aimes said, "because we weigh less underwater." The bear sighed and muttered to himself: "That’s easy for you to say; you’re not waterlogged." The water muffled Pawson’s complaint and Aimes never heard it. But even if she had, she would have been too distracted by the sight of the botanical gardens to say anything. A whole city block was full of colorful plants and flowers. Chapter Five Underwater vegetation sure was different than land vegetation. Everything was very floaty and twisty, unbound by something as silly as gravity. On top of that, the gardens always aimed to get the most unique and colorful flora from the area. One of the flowers was taller than Aimes and it seemed to sway in the currents. Aimes watched the plant dance to unheard music, lulling her ever closer, until Verdana pulled Aimes away. "You don't want to touch that one," Verdana urged. "Or you might need another diaper change." "Oh..." Aimes blushed a little, feeling a little silly. When she noticed Pawson smiling, she stuck out her tongue at him. "Come on, this way." Verdana led the way toward a series of heavy looking boxes. She opened one up like it was a treasure chest and pulled out a handful of colored pearls. "Are those the colors?" Pawson asked. "How do you use them?" Aimes asked, a much more pressing question. "They are concentrated from some of the local flora," Verdana explained. "The surface of these pearls is permeable, so you can put your finger in and take it out again without breaking the seal. Then you draw with the color." "That's incredible!" Aimes said, grabbing for the pearls. "Ah, ah," Verdana laughed. "We should do this outside the city. Colors get everywhere." "Especially with Aimes painting," Pawson added. "I'm an excellent painter," Aimes said, "especially with my fingers!" With the cloth and the colors, Verdana led Aimes and Pawson back to the front of the city. She couldn't pull them along this time, and by the time Aimes saw the city gate, she was starting to understand what Pawson meant about swimming taking a lot of energy. It was exhausting! "Is swimming easier with a tail?" Pawson asked Verdana. "I don’t know," the mermaid said, laughing a little, "I’ve never swam without a tail." "That does make me feel foolish for asking." "Don’t feel silly! It’s a good question!" "Is here good enough?" Aimes asked impatiently. "A little further," Verdana insisted. The three of them went past the entrance to Atlantis and stopped near the ocean floor. Aimes put her bare feet in the sand, but it was hard to keep from floating upward. Verdana unfolded the cloth. It was maybe six or seven feet long and two or three feet tall. It was a good size for a banner. Verdana taught Aimes and Pawson how to paint with the colors. The banner would float in the water no matter what they did, so it was important to float along with it. If they dipped their finger in a color, they could paint with that color. The colors liked to run, because the whole banner was wet, but they could draw lines by rubbing the pearl on the fabric like a crayon. It took Aimes and Pawson a long time to learn the tricks, and they still weren't very good at them. But each time they dipped a finger - or paw - into a pearl, it left a little splash of color in the water. Eventually those colors started to grow into wispy clouds, coloring the whole fabric in whirls of faded pastels. When the banner was complete, it was shimmery and magnificent, like no other banner in the world. Aimes loved to learn things: she loved learning how to climb rocks, she loved learning how to count to a million, she loved learning how to travel through time, and she loved learning how to finger paint with Atlantian watercolors with her new mermaid friend. But like all good things, this adventure - just as all of Aimes and Pawson’s other adventures - had to come to an end. "I’m going to hang this up," Aimes said to Verdana, "and you’ll get lots more visitors! I know you’re all very shy but do your best, okay?" Verdana nodded nervously, and Aimes swallowed her sadness. Goodbyes were always the worst part of making new friends. "I’m gonna miss you," Aimes said. "But we’ll come back to visit." "We will," Pawson said in agreement. "Thank you for showing us around your home." "Thank you for visiting," the blue-haired mermaid said with a smile. "I will miss you both." Then, as an afterthought, Verdana asked: "Are you sure you don't want a ride to the pool? It's a confusing path." "We can do it," Aimes said confidently. "I left arrows to mark the way back." "Alright then." Verdana waved. "Goodbye Aimes and Pawson." "Goodbye Verdana," they both said in unison, and started swimming up toward the surface. Aimes' arrows proved to be a good idea, but halfway through the cave she started to regret not asking for a lift. She didn't have the same mobility with the banner under her arm, and Pawson was struggling with a lot of upward swimming. "Almost there," Pawson encouraged, noticing the exhaustion in his companion. "It feels like forever," Aimes whined. The two of them were using the rocks to help them move, jumping from one end of the cave to the other. The strap under Aimes' chin was starting to chafe and Pawson's paws kept slipping off the rocks. "Almost there," Pawson said again, a few minutes later. "I don't even see the light yet," Aimes complained. The glowing algae that had been so pretty on the way up was dim and sleepy now. Both of them felt like the could lull off to sleep at any moment, but falling asleep underwater was never a good idea. That’s Adventuring 101. "Almost there," Pawson said once more, and just as he did, both of them broke the surface of the pool. There was no light to follow because there was no light out: the sun had gone down and the sky was growing crowded with stars. Aimes crawled to the ladder and managed to pull herself up onto the deck. She collapsed on her back, soaking the cold concrete. Under the full effect of gravity, she struggled to move her arms and legs. Pawson sat at her side and patted Aimes on the arm for support. He tried to wring out his hands, but he was as waterlogged as Aimes' diaper. "Do you think the mermaids come here at night to look at the stars?" Aimes asked. They were pretty tonight. "I would if I were them," Pawson said. "I can't believe we met a mermaid," Aimes laughed. "I can't believe we found Atlantis," Pawson laughed. "I'm glad we did though," Aimes said. "I'm glad too," Pawson said. "I can always count on you to lead me to another adventure." It was a long while before either of them felt capable of doing anything, but all that ended when Aimes spoke. "One more thing to do," she said. She didn't want to move, but she made a promise. Aimes returned the fish bowl to the diorama and strung up the banner over the top of it. No matter how much time seemed to go by, the fabric of the banner always felt a little bit wet. Before leaving the public pool, Aimes and Pawson stood in the entryway and looked up at the banner, shimmering in the moonlight above the ocean life diorama. On the magnificent fabric was a rather juvenile painting of a mermaid with blue hair, a messy cityscape, and some splotchy colorful words: "Atlantis!!! Yes Diving". The three exclamation points were Aimes' idea. [End.]
  7. Aimes & Pawson Pass the Time Written by Sophie & Pudding Art & Characters by JuiceBox Aimes & Pawson is an ageplay children’s picture book intended for adult audiences. You can buy the full version with pictures on Amazon or by joining our SubscribeStar. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXN7J86C https://www.subscribestar.adult/sophieandpudding Our goal was to create a book for story time or bedtime, with no sexual themes and maximum Little feels! Some of the words can be quite big - upwards of 10 letters long! - so you may need an adult to read it for you. This story takes place in the spring, when Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson are stymied by the rain. ------------------------------ Chapter One Deep in a faraway jungle, there was a cave. That cave was once home to a family of bears, and long before that it was home to a colony of prehistoric bats, but today it was home to two explorers: a young woman named Aimes and her teddy bear Pawson. An unexpected storm had chased them inside, and though Aimes was fast enough to avoid the worst of the rain, Pawson's tiny legs struggled to keep up. "Do you have a towel in there?" Pawson asked, trying to shake the rain water out of his fur like a dog. Unfortunately, teddy bears didn't have that ability. "I have a rag," Aimes offered, sitting down on the cave floor so Pawson could reach into her backpack. "It might have some food on it though." Pawson took his chances, taking out the little rag Aimes would use to wipe her face after a meal. It looked clean enough, so he started drying off his fur. "I hate spring," Aimes pouted, looking out at rain. It poured down with no end in sight. "Rain comes out of nowhere." "It helps the flowers wake up," Pawson explained. "They sleep an awful long time during the winter." "Yeah, well it's getting in the way of our expedition," Aimes sulked. Aimes wasn't a very patient woman, and she didn't like that something as silly as the weather was stopping her from having a good time. She briefly considered pressing on, despite the rain, but the downpour would soak her diaper in no time at all. She would hardly be able to walk, let alone continue her adventure. "We don't have a choice," Pawson said, wringing out the rag. "The rain will stop eventually. Just give it time.” "But I don't wanna give it..." Aimes perked up as she finished the final word of her sentence: "Time..." Aimes tilted her head and rubbed her chin thoughtfully. It was a posture Pawson knew well, and if he hadn’t been so busy trying to dry his fur, he may have raised a protest before Aimes did anything silly… not that it usually mattered. Once Aimes had an idea in her head, it was hard to change her mind. Aimes pulled off her backpack and set it in her lap. She rooted around inside until she found a little toy clock with plastic hands and colorful numbers. It didn't work anymore, not since Pawson lost the winding key, but all the gears and stuff were still inside. Then Aimes grabbed her toolset of plastic screwdrivers from the bag's side compartment, along with a bubble-blowing gun. Using her screwdrivers, Aimes started taking apart the clock. She haphazardly took out all the gears. Then she unscrewed the frame of her bubble-blower and started replacing the internal mechanisms with the gears from the clock. Aimes couldn't remember exactly how they went, but she managed to fit them all inside just the same. Finally, she screwed the cover back in place and held up the bubble-blower. "Now I just need some water," Aimes said, more to herself than to Pawson. But Pawson was dry - or as dry as he could be - and was once again paying attention. "Water for what?" he asked. "For my time machine," Aimes said. She got up off the ground, opened the liquid chamber on the bubble-blower, and held it under the pouring rain. "I don't think I've ever seen a time machine that looks like that," Pawson said. "And how many time machines have you seen, Pawson?" Aimes countered as she tapped her foot in place, waiting for the rain to fill the time machine’s water chamber. "Well, I don't think that's important…" "It toe-toe-lee is important! If you've never seen a time machine, how can you say what one looks like?" Pawson sighed and watched in resignation as Aimes pushed the little stopper back into the handle of the would-be-time-machine and gave it a good shake. "Anyway," Aimes continued, "if this works, then we can travel through time a few hours and get away from this stinkin' rain!" "Speaking of stinkin’-" "Quiet, Pawson! I'm doing science!" Aimes shook the bubble blowing gun a few times and pointed it at the cave entrance. The rain outside was still pouring down. Aimes pulled the trigger on her bubble-blower and a huge bubble started to form on the end of it. It kept growing and growing until it touched the walls of the cave. Then, with a snap, it pulled itself apart and coated the cave entrance in a thin film of soapy water. But on the other side of the transparent wall, the rain had stopped. Actually, it looked sunny and bright, with tall trees and massive bushes. The dirt in front of them tan and dry. "Toldja," Aimes said smugly, looking down at her childhood friend with a bright smile. Pawson's skepticism was replaced with wonder for just a moment before it shifted back to skepticism. "I don't know about this," he said. "Come on," Aimes whined. "I want to keep exploring." With a sigh of reluctance, Pawson walked alongside Aimes out of the cave entrance, through the soapy wall, and into the bright light of day without disturbing the water tension of the bubble. Then, after both of them had crossed through, the wall collapsed in on itself with a quiet pop. "It's hot," Aimes said, fanning herself with her hand. The sun was beating down on both of them, and it looked like it hadn’t rained in days. She reached for the baby bottle on the side of her backpack, but found - after putting it to her lips and sucking a few times - that it was empty. Maybe she should have prioritized her drinking water over the time machine. "Where to, Miss Time Traveler?" Pawson said without a hint of teasing. Truthfully, he was a little impressed with his friend's ingenuity. "Well," Aimes said, "we need water. But as you pointed out earlier, I need a change first. Stand guard, okay?" Aimes hurried into the cave and Pawson stood watch at the entrance. When it came to protecting Aimes, he took the role very seriously. He crossed his plush arms and stood as tall as he could: a towering two feet and three inches. He took in the sight of every bush, every tree, every pattern in the dirt, looking for any sign of danger. Unfortunately, Pawson was looking the wrong way. "Run!" Aimes shouted, dashing past Pawson. The teddy bear blinked a moment, then turned around to see a swarm of giant bats swooping out of the cave toward him. Chapter Two Running was much easier for Aimes than it was for Pawson, but the stubby little bear did his best to catch up as a wave of leathery wings flapped above their heads. The downdraft knocked Pawson onto his tummy. When Aimes noticed, she doubled back, grabbed him by the paw, and kept running with him at her side. The bats were much larger than any bats Aimes had ever seen before, although her experience with different breeds of bats was more limited than breeds of cats. She could name at least four types of big cats without any trouble at all, but she only knew two types of bats. Soon, the screeching and flapping subsided as the bats dispersed into the bright blue sky and Aimes and Pawson stopped running to catch their breath. "I wonder what spooked them so much?" Aimes wondered out loud. Pawson shrugged his fuzzy little shoulders. "Maybe bats have good noses?" he answered, not entirely serious. "I think they have good ears." "It could be both, like with dogs?" Pawson liked to talk to Aimes about hypotheticals. She was a very bright girl, but sometimes it reminded Pawson how much she still needed him. "Does that mean bats are colorblind?" Aimes asked. "I think they are actually blind." Pawson said. "Or close to it." "Got it." Aimes nodded. "So that's why there are no seeing-eye-bats." "Yup. That's the reason." Pawson sighed, taking stock of the jungle around them, but Aimes had already started looking at something else on the ground. Egg shells. Big ones. Aimes squatted down, leaning forward to get a closer look. "Maybe we shouldn't touch those," Pawson cautioned. "They must be from an ostrich," Aimes said, poking the shell with a single finger to turn it over. "They lay the biggest eggs in the world, you know. And these are much bigger than any egg I've seen." Aimes sat herself down on the ground once again, pulling off her backpack to fetch one of her picture books. Fish. Berries. Birds. Eggs! She grabbed it by the spine and opened the cover. "Should we really be doing this right now?" Pawson asked, looking back toward the cave. It was just out of sight. "Bats don't attack people, Pawson," Aimes said. "We just startled them, and they startled us." "Startled isn't the word I would use," Pawson muttered, taking a few steps around the bend to get a better look at the surroundings. Meanwhile, Aimes skimmed through her picture book, looking for an egg that matched the pattern of the shell she found. It wasn't an ostrich egg, that much was clear. "Uh... Aimes..." Pawson's called, but Aimes was still searching for a match. Her picture books were very thorough, going so far as to include things that couldn't actually be found. That very reason was how Aimes identified the egg. "Aimes?" Pawson said again, a little more urgently. A tyrannosaurus rex? Aimes thought. But that was a kind of dinosaur, and those had been extinct for millions of years. Aimes continued comparing the egg to the picture in the book when Pawson finally got her attention. "Amelia!" "Oh my gosh, what?" Aimes turned around to see Pawson looking up at something. Curiously, she got to her feet and walked around the bend to see what was so important. In front of them, the jungle opened up into a vast plain of tall grass and bushes. In the distance, Aimes and Pawson saw a herd of dinosaurs - the kind with the long necks - eating from the tallest trees. For a moment, both Aimes and Pawson were awash with wonder, until their natures caught up with them. Both of them spoke the exact same words at the exact same time: "We have to go!" The two of them looked at one another. When Pawson said ‘go’, he meant go away, away from a dinosaurs, away from wherever they were. But when Aimes said ‘go’, she meant go closer, toward the dinosaurs, toward adventure. And Pawson knew, when the two of them were at odds, who would usually get their way. His attempt to stand his ground was feeble, because Aimes had already slung her pack over her shoulder and started toward the dinosaurs. "What if they eat us?" Pawson asked as they walked through the brush, checking behind him every so often. "They're veggie-sauruses, Pawson. They’re like big cows, and cows never hurt anybody." "That's not true," Pawson said nervously. "Bulls have big horns!" "Yuhhuh, to protect the cows." There was really no convincing Aimes otherwise, and no amount of Pawson’s concerns or thick shrubbery they had to push through could make a dent in her adventurous spirit. As the two of them got closer, the ground trembled and shook, but not from earthquakes. The creatures were the size of houses and ships, and they would walk from one place to the next without much grace. Even when they moved softly and slowly, the ground would rumble. "See, Pawson? They're calm and happy! If there were any meat-asauruses around, these ones would all be in a tizzy. You worry too much!" "You don't worry enough," Pawson countered. This was a bigger deal than just getting trampled on or eaten by dinosaurs; the whole space-time continuum could be at stake. "If we really travelled back to prehistoric times, then any action we take could affect the future." Then, in a moment of clarity, Pawson asked: "We can get back to the present, right?" "Of course," Aimes said with confidence. "If we walk backwards through the bubble, it should take us back to where we started. But we need water, remember?" Pawson sighed. Aimes was so much easier to manage when she and Pawson were the same size, but humans grew quite large and teddy bears didn't. The only way to get his way these days was to compromise. "We can go see the dinosaurs," Pawson conceded, "then we find some water and return to our time. In the meantime, don't touch anything.” "Sooo... when you say not to touch anything," Aimes pondered, trekking onward toward the dinosaurs, "what does that mean exactly?" "It means don't touch anything, Aimes." "So like... we're walking. Isn’t that touching the ground? And the plants?" "And I don't like it," Pawson said. "But if it's the only way we can get back to the present then that's all we can do." "So walking is okay. What about disturbing all those bats?” "I’d rather not think about it," Pawson sighed. That was quite the interference, and it could mess with an entire ecosystem. "What if I had a part of that T-rex egg in my shirt pocket?" Aimes asked, "That’s okay, right? They're all about the same, in terms of time travel problems?" "Aimes." "Pawson." "Why do you have part of a dinosaur egg in your pocket?" Pawson knew that his friend wouldn’t have asked if she hadn’t already done it. "You distracted me!" Aimes said. "I had to put it somewhere." Before Pawson could say anything else, Aimes pushed her way out of the brush and onto the flattened grass. A huge long-necked dinosaur stood towering above her, dozens of feet high. As it took a gentle step, a tremor shook the ground and Aimes vibrated along with it. "This is so cool," Aimes said excitedly, hurrying toward the huge dinosaur. When she got up close, she put her hand on its foot, ignoring all of Pawson's advice. "Aimes!" Pawson called after her. "No touching! We don't want to change the future!" "Oh, right." Aimes took her hand off the dinosaur just as it lifted its foot to step away. She looked up at the giant creature before tilting her head in thought. Pawson finally caught up to Aimes, just in time to notice that thoughtful look on her face. He would recognize that look anywhere: Aimes had an idea. Chapter Three "We are looking for water, right?" Aimes asked her companion. "Yes?" Pawson said cautiously. "I bet our dinosaur friend can see all kinds of rivers and lakes," Aimes said, "since he can see over the tops of the trees." “Yes, I'm sure that he can," Pawson agreed. He tucked himself behind Aimes for fear of getting stepped on. "But we can’t ask him. I don’t speak dinosaur, and I don’t think you do either." "That's a good point, Pawson. But…" Aimes knelt down, nearly knocking her best friend over as she slung her bag around in front of her and began to look through her belongings. She hummed a triumphant tune when she found what she was looking for and held it above her head: a bright red baby rattle. "Wait here, Pawson," Aimes said. She left Pawson’s side and hurried into the dinosaur’s line of sight. She waited until the long-necked dinosaur lowered his head, then she started jumping up and down. She shook the baby rattle with big sweeping motions to make extra noise and movement. "Excuse me Mister Dinosaur, or Missus… or…" Aimes realized that she didn’t know the dinosaur’s gender. Then she shook the thought from her head and shook the rattle twice as hard. "Excuse me! Down here, please!" Pawson groaned; he was sure Aimes’s plan wouldn't work. But sure enough, with a curious expression - if dinosaurs could have such things - the dinosaur began to lower its long, long, long neck towards the small human woman making all the racket. Aimes shook her baby rattle a little to the right, then a little to the left. The dinosaurs eyes didn't move, but its head imperceptibly tilted one way or the other, as if following the sound. Soon, its head was so low and so close that Aimes could reach out and touch it. Aimes put out her hand, then hesitated. She looked over at Pawson, who stared with wide eyes and shrugged his shoulders. With Pawson's blessing, Aimes took a step forward and put her hand on the dinosaur's nose, which was as tall as she was. The scale was unbelievable, like she was just a small rabbit touching the nose of fully grown elephant. In all her adventures, she had never experienced such a size disparity. "Excuse me," Aimes said, still resting her hand on its nose. "Would you mind if I climbed on your neck? I'm looking for water, and I'm too small to find it." The dinosaur didn't answer, but after Aimes removed her hand it didn't stand itself back up. Slowly, Aimes moved around the dinosaur's head until she came to the neck. She reached up to climb on it, but was just a little too short. "Pawson, gimme a boost!" Aimes hissed, trying not to scare off the dinosaur. After a moment of disbelief passed, Pawson hurried to help his friend onto the neck of the dinosaur. It would have been a lot smarter if Pawson went up instead - he was much smaller and much lighter - but truthfully he didn't want to. Anyway, Aimes would never pass up an opportunity like this. Pawson wasn't very strong - as one might expect from a teddy bear - but he could be used as leverage when Aimes needed it. She put her foot on his paws, so the seat of her diaper was right in his face, as she climbed onto the dinosaur's neck. It wasn't a very modest position for Aimes, but she wasn't a very modest woman. She found pants too restrictive, and they just made it harder to change her diapers. "Just...a little more....ah-huh!" Aimes got onto the back of the dinosaur’s neck, near the top where it met with its head. She almost stood up in celebration, but the dinosaur shifted its neck and Aimes had to grab tightly to the back of its head to keep from falling off. She squeezed her thighs together tightly to hold herself steady. "Be careful!" Pawson called from the grass. "I’m fine," Aimes assured him, then addressed the dinosaur. "I don’t know your pronouns, and I think it might be rude to keep calling you Mister Dinosaur, so I’m going to call you Alex because anybody can be named Alex. I promise, if I ever learn dinosaur, I’ll ask you for your proper name." Maybe Aimes was waiting for the dinosaur to acknowledge her, but this time the outcome was more in line with Pawson’s expectations: Alex didn’t seem to be listening. "Now Alex," Aimes continued as the neck moved again and the dinosaur’s snout moved over to Pawson, "could you pretty please take me up high so I can look for water?” At first, the dinosaur didn’t seem very interested in anything but the magenta teddy bear on the ground. Then Aimes said: "Oh, don’t worry about Pawson. He wants to stay on the ground, don’t you Pawson?" "Uh, yes…" Pawson agreed, taking a few small steps away from Alex as its face got closer and closer. "I’m going to wait here." That seemed to do the trick, because the dinosaur left the teddy bear alone and stood back up at its full height. The speed at which Aimes rose from the ground was frightening, but it maybe frightened Pawson more than Aimes herself. Soon, she was high above the treetops and looking out at a vast landscape of trees and cliffs. She clung tightly to the back of the dinosaur's head, squeezing her thighs together and pressing the front of her diaper against the dinosaur's rough skin. After a moment of awe, she noticed a glittering river in the distance. "Pawson! That way, a few miles!" Pawson looked up at the direction she was pointing and drew a little arrow in the ground with his foot. "Thank you so much Alex, but I need to get down now," Aimes said, but the dinosaur didn't respond. It reached its head upward, toward a tall tree, and took a leaf from one of the branches with its mouth. The tilt of the dinosaur's head knocked Aimes backward and she slid a few feet down Alex's neck. "Okay, um..." Aimes looked down at Pawson thirty or so feet below her. Carefully, she clamped her arms around Alex's neck and lowered her thighs, then shimmied down the dinosaur until she wound up on its back. "Are you okay?" Pawson shouted from the ground, full of worry. "Doin' great," Aimes smiled. She looked around for a way down and noticed the curve of the tail. It wasn't all that different to a slide, if she thought about it. "I'll be right down Pawson!" "How?" Pawson said, fretting and tugging at his ears, but Aimes had it all under control. She crawled along the back of the dinosaur - because Alex’s skin was too uneven to walk on - until she reached the dinosaur’s tail. She sat down at the top of the tail and pulled the slightly damp rag from her backpack. She shimmed her diapered butt onto the rag, so it was between her and the rough dinosaur skin, and swung her weight forward. Aimes zoomed down the tail just like a slide! It was a little rougher than the slides she was used to, but the padding on her butt helped ease the discomfort. When she got to the bottom, she tumbled off Alex’s tail and into the flattened field of grass. "Aimes!" Pawson hurried to where Aimes was lying in the grass, but she sat up and waved at the dinosaur. "Thank you, Alex!" Aimes said. "Goodness," Pawson sighed. "You might have gotten yourself hurt!" "I was perfectly safe," Aimes assured her friend. "And what if you'd fallen off?" Pawson challenged. "You'd catch me." Aimes winked at Pawson and dusted herself off. Then she took Pawson by the paw, and together they set off toward the river. Chapter Four "Are you sure this is the right direction?" Pawson asked. "I'm sure," answered Aimes. "Either way, the river was pretty long. If we keep going in this direction, we’re bound to run into it." "We haven't seen any other dinosaurs in a while," Pawson said. To him, that was a good sign, but Aimes had a different perspective. "I know, isn't that a shame? I was hoping to meet some other kinds. You remember when we were at the bookstore and you said..." Aimes put on her best Pawson voice, which sounded a lot more like a slightly deeper Aimes voice. "You don't need a dinosaur book. We aren't going to run into any dinosaurs." "I could not have seen this coming," Pawson admitted. If it was up to Aimes, she would bring an entire library, and packing light was essential when everything you owned had to fit in a backpack. "I would like to see like one of those ones... you know, with the..." Aimes spread her hands out like fans and put them behind her ears, like a lizard’s frill. "You know, this one? But I think they're meat-asauruses, and I’d rather be a friend than a food." Aimes waved a bug out of her face and pushed through another shrub. "I would say we're having rather good luck, considering..." Pawson struggled to keep up with Aimes even in the best of times, but the tall shrubbery of a prehistoric jungle was particularly frustrating. Finally, the both of them emerged into a small clearing of flowers and Aimes stopped to stretch. "Wait here, okay?" Aimes said to her teddy bear. "I'm going to get changed." "Don't go far," Pawson warned. Aimes didn't go far. She walked around a tree and found a plush place in the grass. She wondered idly what the ramifications of leaving a dirty diaper in the past would have on the present, but the slide down Alex's tail certainly made Aimes more eager than ever to change. Plus, if Pawson wasn't concerned about it, what reason did Aimes have to worry? Aimes had just unfolded the fresh diaper and set out her supplies when she heard Pawson shout: "AIMES! HELP!" Aimes and Pawson had been best friends since Aimes was an actual baby; she knew the difference between a cry for help and a literal cry for help. She quickly got to her feet, grabbing the baby powder and wipes as she went, and sprinted into the clearing of flowers. Sure enough, standing only a dozen or so feet away from Pawson, was a tyrannosaurus rex! Or, well... a small one, maybe a child. It looked a lot more like a lizard on two legs than it did a dinosaur, but it was only a foot shorter than Aimes. It took a step toward Pawson, then turned to look at Aimes. "Just stay still," Aimes told Pawson. If her childhood books about dinosaurs were right, then T-rexes had trouble seeing things that weren’t moving. Pawson did what he was told, and Aimes stood quietly in place as the little T-rex got closer. Then she saw the little thing sniff its nose. She tilted her head. Aimes got an idea. If it was using smell to track her... Aimes twisted open the lid on the baby powder and threw it at the T-rex. It hit the dinosaur in the side, and a huge white cloud of baby powder filled the air. "Run!" Aimes shouted at Pawson. He turned around and ran into the woods with Aimes close behind. When she caught up to him, Aimes grabbed Pawson’s paw to help him keep up. The sounds of cracking branches echoed behind them as they were chased through the woods. Suddenly the trees fell away and Aimes and Pawson found themselves looking up at a large, rocky wall. They had nowhere else to run. "We have to turn back," Pawson urged, but when they did, the little T-rex was waiting for them. A large splotch on its skin was white with powder and it growled softly. "Stay still," Aimes said again, but Pawson didn't. He put himself between Aimes and the T-rex, spreading his arms out in her defense and trying not to tremble. If anyone was getting eaten by a meat-asaurus, it was going to be him, though Pawson didn’t consider that stuffing and fabric probably wasn't the T-rex's diet. The T-rex took a step closer and looked around. It tried to sniff and then let out a sound that could only be described as a whimper. Aimes tilted her head again, touching her chin. "If it wanted to attack us," Aimes whispered, "why didn't it?" "Maybe the baby powder confused it?" Pawson suggested quietly, whispering to the woman standing behind him. "But it didn't attack us even before the baby powder," Aimes argued. "And if it's from that clutch of eggs I found earlier, why was it all the way out here?" They both came to the same conclusion at the same time: it was tracking them. "It must be that eggshell I took!" Aimes said. "It must have a kind of smell!" "I'm sure there are easier smells to track you with," Pawson sighed. "Hey!" Aimes pouted. "I've tried to change twice since we got here!" "Can we focus on the T-rex wanting to eat us, please?" Aimes did just that. She looked at the little T-rex, who, until that moment, hadn't roared. But when it did - when it opened its huge jaw to whine - Aimes noticed something curious. "Its teeth hasn't come in yet. See? How can it eat us with no teeth?" "With powerful jaws?" Pawson countered. "With claws on its... finger things." "Hm, I know what it needs," Aimes said, swinging her backpack off her shoulder. The motion drew the T-rex's attention and it took a step closer. "Aimes, you said not to move!" "Just one sec," Aimes said, rooting through her bag again. "Ah, here we go." Aimes had her back to the wall - figuratively and literally - and Pawson was doing everything he could to get in the way of the little T-rex. The meat-eating dinosaur opened its mouth, only a foot from Pawson's head, and Aimes tossed something inside. "Was that… a chicken nugget?" Pawson asked, bewildered. The T-rex chomped down on it with its toothless gums and swallowed the mashed nugget whole. "A dinosaur chicken nugget," Aimes corrected, holding up the little plastic bag of dinosaur-shaped nuggets. "Because T-rexes eat other dinosaurs." She took another nugget out of the bag and tossed it into the dinosaur’s mouth. "Where did you get those?" Pawson asked. "From my backpack." "You have to keep them cold, Aimes!" "But they taste so much better when they’re warm," Aimes shrugged, taking a bite of one of the chicken nuggets before tossing the other half at the T-rex. "No wonder you always have a tummy ache," Pawson muttered to himself. At just the thought of it, he felt a little queasy. Then again, since Pawson was a teddy bear, he didn’t eat all that much to begin with. Despite Pawson’s disapproval, Aimes was very pleased with herself. She gave her last nugget to the dinosaur, but she knew it wouldn’t be enough to sate a growing T-rex. As the dinosaur finished the final chicken nugget, Aimes started to sift through her pack once again, umming and ahhing until she found what she was looking for. This time, she pulled out a pink and yellow teething ring, the biggest one she had. Honestly, it was probably too big for Aimes anyway. The next time the T-rex opened its mouth - expecting another chicken nugget no doubt - Aimes tossed in the teething ring instead. The dinosaur bit into the teething ring few times, pushing it around the insides of its mouth, and started chewing where its back teeth should have been. Then, after a minute of awkward chewing, the T-rex turned around and wandered back into the woods. "Wow..." Pawson shook his head in disbelief. "How did you know that would work?" "I get cranky when I don't have things to chew on," Aimes shrugged. "I was going to give it a binky, but I don't think it would have been able to keep it in its mouth." Pawson wanted to correct Aimes that a binky was for sucking, not chewing, but he was too impressed with Aimes in that moment to ruin her fun. Once again, her quick thinking had saved the day. "Come on," Aimes said, waving Pawson forward. "If we follow this cliff we should find the river." Chapter Five As they walked, they talked about the dinosaurs and their adventure so far. This was so much better than a rainy day! Mid-sentence, Pawson interrupted her. "Be quiet, Aimes." Her eyes went wide and the teddy shook his head, cupping one paw over one ear. "I think I hear water." Aimes heard it too. They both hurried toward the sound and, before long, Aimes and Pawson found themselves looking at the crystal clear river. A ways downstream, there were dinosaurs drinking from the water, and high in the sky where they hadn't even looked before, there were silhouettes of massive flying creatures against the evening sun. They both stared in awe for a moment, taking in a sight that no human - or teddy bear - had ever seen before. Then Aimes remembered why they had come to the river in the first place. She approached the shore and knelt down next to the water. "It's so clean and clear, Pawson, look!" "Probably because the dinosaurs didn’t put a bunch of junk in it like people do," Pawson said, but Aimes was already pulling off her backpack. She took her baby bottle out of the side pocket, unscrewed the cap, and held it in the stream to fill it up. Once it was full, Aimes twisted the teat back into place, sat down on the grass by the riverbank, and suckled on the bottle with a happy smile. After a long minute, Pawson finally asked: "What about the time machine?" Aimes popped the nipple out of her mouth. "What about it?" "Don't you need to refill the time machine bubble blower?" he asked. "No, we still have a ton of water in there." "But... but then... why did we need to get water?" Pawson asked. "I can't drink the water in the bubble machine, Pawson," Aimes said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "There's soap in there. I would get sick." Aimes put her bottle back between her lips and sucked down more of the clean river water. Pawson stood there for a long while, thinking about the day they had, about the time machine that could have been used at any time, and finally took a seat beside his best friend in the grass. After Aimes had finally quenched her thirst, she refilled the bottle in the river just to be safe. Then she wrapped her arm around Pawson and looked up at the dozens of different dinosaurs peppering the landscape. "What a fun day," Aimes said cheerfully. "Don't you think?" Pawson sighed and leaned into Aimes. The sun was setting on the horizon, and so too was their adventure through time. "Better than a rainy one," Pawson admitted. Aimes and Pawson had to look for a new spot to use the time machine bubble blower, because the cave was much too far away. Eventually, they found a cluster of trees that were close enough together. The large bubble clung to branches and tree trunks and dirt on the ground, making a transparent wall filled with soapy swirls. On the other side, it was pouring rain. Aimes pouted. "It will stop eventually," Pawson reminded her. "I know," Aimes sighed. Aimes and Pawson put their backs to the bubble and walked through it in reverse. Once they were on the other side, the time bubble popped and rain splashed off the rims of their hats. "I suppose we should find a cave," Aimes suggested. The rain was already soaking through her shirt. "Or we could keep exploring," Pawson shrugged. "For just a little bit." "Yeah?" Aimes smiled brightly. "Thanks Pawson!" It wasn't long before exhaustion caught up with Aimes, and waddling around in a rain-soaked diaper certainly didn't help. Within the hour, Aimes and Pawson found a canopy to hide under, and Aimes finally got the change she had wanted for a hundred million years. As she curled up in her spare shirt and a fresh diaper, the rain became a drizzle and the sun shined through the canopy. "Look at that," Pawson said, nodding toward the sky. "It just took a little bit of time." But Aimes was already fast asleep. Sometime Later Aimes and Pawson were browsing around a local bookstore when Aimes came up to her best friend with a book of dinosaurs in her hands. It wasn’t small, and the papers were thick and glossy as most picture books were. Pawson knew what she was going to say before she could even say the words. "What are the chances we're going to run into dinosaurs again," Pawson asked, crossing his arms. "Come on," Aimes whined. "It's just one more book, and who knows when we’ll come across another bookstore. We’re setting out tomorrow morning on another adventure." "And you have to travel light," Pawson reminded her. "No more books." With a sigh, Aimes stepped away and flipped through the pages of the book she wouldn’t get to keep. It had realistic depictions of a lot of dinosaurs, with their names and a few traits about each one. But one page was more interesting than the rest. She turned back to her teddy bear. "Hey, Pawson. Look at this." Aimes turned the book around so Pawson could see the rendering of a young T-rex chewing on a rather familiar teething ring. "It's a shame we didn't have this book," Aimes said wistfully. "It would have saved us a lot of trouble." After a long pause, after a lot of thought, Pawson nodded his head. "One more book couldn’t hurt," he conceded. What were the chances they were going to run into dinosaurs again? Higher than one might expect. [End.]
  8. This story is one of the sequels of the Happy Family. It is Johnny’s story after closing the Happy Family. Part 1: Johnny was sitting in his stroller and his adoptive mother Alice was driving the stroller. They were approaching their house. There was a letter in the post box and Alice read the sender: ‘The district court‘, She was a bit surprised; Alice didn’t pay too much attention to the local news and she enjoyed taking care of Johnny. He was a very good baby due to the fact he often was in his adult mode. Anyway at that moment he was not. Alice entered her house, put the letter onto the table and focused on the small boy. He was smiling at her as usually. Alice checked his diaper and put him onto the changing table. His diaper was soaked and Alice still was a little confused about the changes in his behavior. Nobody told her about the adult mode and Johnny himself couldn’t speak yet. When he was in adult mode he always notified Alice of his urge and she could put him onto the potty in time. He sometimes wished he could be without diapers in these periods. However the adult periods were not regular and Alice didn’t understand why he sometimes notified her and sometimes not: “Johnny, you are all wet,” she pretended being strict, but the small boy laughed at her. Of course, she wasn’t angry, cleaned him and carried him into his room. She put a lot of effort to building a home for her desired child and his nursery was beautiful with a comfortable crib, a small cabinet and many toys. The walls were painted in pastel colors and there were pictures hanging on them. Alice put Johnny on the floor and went back to the kitchen to open the letter. She opened it and a cold chill ran down her spine. Her idyll was over suddenly. The investigators had found her and her husband and they had to give Johnny back to his biological parents. Alice had to read the letter several times until she broke into tears and called Henry, her husband. He was still at work, but he promised her to come home immediately. Johnny didn’t understand what had happened, but he felt that it was something bad. He started crying as well and Alice ran to him and lifted him onto her arms: “My little boy, your mom has to give you away. It shouldn’t have happened.” Henry came half an hour later, read the letter and fear appeared in his eyes: “Oh my God! Hopefully we won’t be charged of kidnapping.” Alice startled; she didn’t think of this possibility. Later in the evening when Johnny was asleep already, Henry hugged his wife: “My dear Alice, what have we done? I don’t regret the money, but imagine the poor mother. We have to try to make up for our deed.” Alice nodded: “I hope his mother will understand us. Henry, I love Johnny and I don’t know what I do if he is away.” --- Johnny was scared when his mom was crying and he didn’t understand why. He was sad and couldn’t fall asleep for a long time. His sleep was restless as well. The next morning he awakened and realized he was in the adult mode. He tried to remember what had happened yesterday. However Alice didn’t read the letter aloud and he didn’t know about it exactly. Johnny could read, but the letter was far from his reach on the kitchen table. His bladder was quite full, but he didn’t want to disturb his mom after yesterday. There was no watch in his room, but it was early in the morning and she was probably asleep. Johnny reached down to his crotch and checked his diaper. It was thick and not very wet. He probably wet only once in the night. Although he often was in adult mode, he wet his diaper every time he was asleep and didn’t like it. Now he was wet and had to pee. The adult in baby body had to decide what to do. He checked his footed sleeper and found out he would be able to unbutton it, but the diaper was taped shut and it was a problem for his tiny fingers. Moreover he couldn’t get out of the crib without risk of an accident. Johnny had to choose between calling his mom and wetting the diaper for the second time.He stood up to call when the pressure in his bladder grew too much and a hot stream of pee soaked into the diaper. Johnny sighed and lied down. Alice woke up about half an hour later and came to check on Johnny. Tears were running down her cheeks when she was lifting him from the crib: “My little Johnny, your true mom has found you and we have to give you back.” This time Johnny realized what had happened yesterday; he smiled at Alice and stroked her cheek. He wished he could tell her some soothing words. Alice stared at him in an utter surprise: “Johnny, do you understand me?” He nodded and Alice almost dropped him. While she was cleaning him on the changing table, Alice asked Johnny: “You sometimes notified me of your urge to pee or poop. Will you do it now?” He nodded again and Alice didn’t put a diaper on him. However she was curious about how long his state lasted: “Johnny, how long can you notify me?” Johnny closed his eyes and pretended a sleep. Alice nodded. At the breakfast Johnny took a small spoon and fed himself easily; his bib was almost clean. He notified his mom of his urge to poop and Alice put him onto the potty in time. The small boy surprised her again when he took a children book and started reading. Suddenly the bell rang and a police officer along with a couple was standing on the porch: “Good morning. Mrs. Dotson; you probably know why we are here,” the officer started the talk: “Let me introduce Sean’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Swanson. Their son has been captured by the Happy Family and you bought him. His true name is Sean Swanson.” Alice almost collapsed and tears were running down her cheeks. Johnny/Sean crawled to her and hugged her legs. Mrs. Swanson caught Alice and turned to the officer: “Would you be so kind and wait outside until we get our Sean. I think your assistance isn’t necessary just now.” He nodded and went back to his car. Mrs. Swanson turned to Alice: “Can we go in and do everything in a friendly way?” Alice nodded and invited them to the living room. Sean was following them. Mrs. Swanson lifted him on her arms: “Sean, do you remember me? I’m your mom Helen and you have a sister Susan.” At that moment Sean recalled everything. The names of his mom and sister were enough to give him his memories back. He nodded and hugged his mom. All of sudden he realized he considered Alice his mom seconds before. Alice was a good and loving mom during the few days. He tried to speak: “M-m”, he pointed at Helen: “M-m” he pointed at Alice. Helen smiled at him: “Sean, can you have two moms?” and he nodded. His adult mind wanted to find an optimal solution. If his mom did an agreement with Alice, they wouldn’t hurt Alice that much. “Sean, do you really want we both be your moms?” The small boy nodded and smiled happily. Alice cried: “I … I … love him truly. I’m barren and we considered the Happy Family a legal institution. They promised us to perform everything necessary and provided us all documents. Sorry for being that naïve. I really didn’t want to steal a child from his parents. I’ll do everything and I give you all you need for the small Jo … Sean. Can I see him once a month at least?” They sat down at the table and Helen turned to her husband: “Adam, what do you think?” He nodded: “Helen, this lady seems to be sincere and Sean probably loves her too,” Sean smiled and nodded immediately. Helen realized Alice was really a desperate woman who couldn’t have her own children and did a mistake instead of a regular adoption. She loved Sean and Sean loved her: “Mrs. Dotson, I don’t mind if you come to see Sean whenever you want to. However I don’t know if I can ask you for a favor. Do you know anybody who can babysit Sean while we are at work?” Alice’s heart jumped: “Mrs. Swanson, I’m willing to do it personally and for free; it would be a pleasure for me to be with him every day. I gave up my job when we adopted Jo … Sean and my husband is a manager in a big company; so he is able to earn our living without problems.” Helen smiled: “It is a good idea for you as well. Let’s take Sean home now. Would you be so kind and give him some clothing?” “Of course, you can have everything,” Alice stood up and left for packing Sean’s clothing and toys. Sean poked Helen: “E -e,” he pointed at his crotch. Helen realized he wasn’t wearing any diaper and turned to Alice: “Is Sean potty-trained already?” “Not exactly. He seems to have periods when he understands me and he is just in this state.” Helen remembered the news articles about Happy Family experiment and the adult mode. Alice showed her the bathroom and Helen sat Sean on a potty. Half an hour later they were ready to leave and Alice gave them the car seat for Sean. Before leaving Helen turned to Sean: “Sweetheart, we have a longer way ahead. I should put a diaper on you.” Sean sighed, but he nodded; his bladder was small and he wasn’t able to hold his pee long; he also could fall asleep and get back to the toddler mode. Helen lifted him onto a couch and put a diaper on him again. Alice was standing in the doorframe and waving at Sean while Helen put him into the car seat and Adam sent the police officer away. He didn’t want to do any accusation against the poor woman.
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