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  1. I've been a lurker here forever, but there are so many great stories lately that I just had to try my hand. Making The Best of It I awoke to the becoming-familiar view of the carrier frame. The sunshade was pulled forward, its multicolored flowers staring at me from the padding, with store shelves gliding by beyond them. Apparently we were stopping at the store, not that I had any say in it. Just to check, I tried to push the pacifier out of my mouth, but the Amazon who took me remembered to inflate the nipple and it was going nowhere. I blinked the sleep from my eyes and let my aching bladder go, there was no sense in trying to hold it any longer. I hadn't seen a toilet in weeks anyway. The shopping cart stopped moving and I found myself staring at an impossibly happy Little on a package of diapers who was exclaiming, "Mommy, I'm wet! Aren't you proud of me?". Given that there were stacks of diapers in the nursery that were taller than I was, I wasn't sure why we were here... but the second I heard Lisa's voice, I knew it wasn't good. "I'm just saying, she's a bit of a brat, that's all," Lisa's voice grated on me, she was the kind of person who thought everyone should do things her way, it would just be easier... we didn't get along at all. My "Mommy" April was kinder than many Amazons I'd seen, but that didn't change the fact that I was being held against my will and forced to wear diapers and everything that went along with it. She continued, "You should just swaddle her for a month or two and see if that makes her more appreciative." "Lisa, she's a good girl. You're overreacting," April objected, calming the sudden lurch in my tummy just a bit, "She didn't bite you on purpose, you stuck your finger in her mouth while she was eating." I blushed a bit.. it was true, she was checking to see if I was eating something I wasn't supposed to... which I was. And I did bite her on purpose, but I "freaked out" and apologized right away, so it looked like an accident. It was twisted, but I knew April loved me and that she wouldn't let anything truly bad happen to me, unlike her "good friend" Lisa. There was just something about the way Amazons were wired... they needed to "take care" of something. Most of them had extra love to give, like April. Some just needed to have extra control, like Lisa. "I saw her grab that candy without asking, I just know it," Lisa grumbled, "Look - they put out a new diaper for swaddled Littles." The cart rolled forward and I found myself looking at another happy Little. This one was laying down, wearing a short pink t-shirt and an unbelievable diaper... the padding extended from above her navel to just above her knees and each of her legs were splayed out at almost a 45 degree angle from her body. There was absolutely no way that Little was moving anywhere on her own... but the smile looked real, her eyes were smiling too. Her word bubble read, "Now I won't leak for sure!" I had heard that there were people from my dimension that came here voluntarily to be Littles. It was true that back home we all worked too hard, and after a lifetime of that... I could see why the idea of trading away all their freedoms in exchange for the love and care of an Amazon could be enticing. I wondered if they were real as I shifted a bit in the carrier, the harness holding me down fast to the padding. I could reach the release button, but I didn't have the strength to push it. I had tried many times. "Hm, no.. I don't think I want to swaddle my little Kimmy," I heard April say with a touch of distance in her voice... she was considering it, "But look at these!" she finished with a giggle. "Oh.. oh my, those are adorable.. they're new too. You should get a pack, it will be so cute to watch Kimmy waddle in those," Lisa chuckled as well, the malice disappearing from her voice, "She won't see it coming. C'mon, April - do it for me." "Oh, all right," April let out a tiny, mock sigh, "But only because I love you so much." I heard a package being placed in the cart and closed my eyes quickly and pretended to sleep. My mind reeled at what new devices the Amazons could have thought up to torment their Littles. I must have pursed my lips in thought, because the next thing I knew, my pacifier was being removed and replaced by the nipple of a bottle. I started draining it immediately while April looked down into the carrier, fawning over me. The love in her giant green eyes was real... I liked her too, she was a very nice lady, but this wasn't exactly my ideal relationship. She brushed a strand of her reddish-brown hair from her face while she watched me, her smile as big as her heart. "There we go, sweetie. I thought I felt you stir. You're a bit dehydrated. You're such a good girl for drinking without any fuss," she cooed at me. Lisa rolled her eyes and we leisurely strolled through the store until the bottle was finished. "Please," I said the second the nipple was out of my mouth, the sweet taste of the apple juice still lingering.. but I was cut off before I could say another word, the pacifier back in my mouth and three pumps to the shield had it inflated and I was silenced again. "Shh, baby, you've said enough today. You're going to be quiet for the rest of the day, we already talked about this. I'm proud of you for drinking all of your juice," she said as she stroked my cheek, "We'll get you another bottle when we get home." "You really do love her, huh?" I heard Lisa's voice from the world-beyond-the-carrier. It wasn't derisive, it was admiring. "She's the best decision I ever made, Lisa. I hope get to know how it feels some day," she said wistfully. I sighed and sucked loudly on the pacifier. It made April happy to hear me using the pacifier, and it was hard not to want to make her happy.. especially since I didn't have much else to do anyway. It was hard to imagine that this time two weeks ago, I was stressed out over programming deadlines and chainsmoking my way to an early grave. I didn't take very good care of my body, I didn't really care what went in it, I ate awful foods and drank too much, never worked out. Who had time? If you couldn't meet the deadlines for the job, there were 100 people just waiting to take your spot, so you did your best no matter what and always gave 110%. I looked down at the pink striped snap-crotch onesie I was wearing now with its tiny ruffle "skirt" that did nothing to cover any part of my legs, it was a pretty far cry from my preferred style. I was never a clothes horse, I liked cute clothes but didn't obsess over it... I was a boho girl, the style just felt right, the heavy jewlery and hippy clothes. It was low-ish effort and attractive. I was beginning to doubt I'd ever get to dress myself again. I hadn't worn shoes in over a week now, I barely walked anywhere now and never outside the house, but my body was in better shape than ever. The technology of this dimension was astounding. They repaired my lungs and fixed all the issues from my alcohol abuse and malnutrition.. they even whitened my teeth. Physically, I felt better than I ever had before. Not that it was worth the cost though. I missed the conversation between April and the cashier while I was lost in thought, but I had no doubt there was some comment passed about "how lucky" April was or some such nonsense, we couldn't go anywhere without someone cooing. I knew I missed it because I felt the warm sunlight land on my legs and heard April sing, "My little Kimmy, cute as a bug. My little Kimmy, needs a big hug." She was always coming up with little tunes and silly songs. She was a professional studio musician, she had musical instruments all over her house. I continued to suck the pacifer loudly for her benefit, and I couldn't help but smile. I tried to get a look at what she had bought as she whisked the carrier into the car and snapped it into the holder, but she was too fast for me. I tried to give her a pleading look so I could at least ask what was in store for me, but in moments I was giggling around the pacifier in response to the bevy of kisses landing on my face and her tickling fingers. I was on the smaller side for Littles, so the carseat was rear-facing. All I had was a view of the back seat of April's car.. and her big green eyes looking at me from time to time in the mirror she had mounted so we could see each other. I heard the car start and felt us beginning the drive to her house and started to let my mind drift again... I did that a lot lately, it was actually kind of relaxing. But my relaxation didn't last long. "So you're actually going to go out with that bassist tomorrow? Am I still babysitting? I'm still half-expecting you to back out," I heard Lisa ask and I suddenly felt a flash of fear and... something else I couldn't put my finger on, but suddenly biting her seemed like a really, really poor choice on my part. "Yeah, seems nice and I haven't dated anyone at all in months. I thought about calling it off, but I'm really glad you talked me out of it. I think this one has potential." "Oh good, you've barely left your house in a week, I don't think it's good for you." "Well, I can't exactly take my little bundle of joy into the bars with me, darling." I felt my cheeks burn at April's gentle laugh. "Oh believe me, I know," Lisa sounded like she was pouting a bit and that fear intensified. If Lisa decided to take out her frustrations on me, there wasn't exactly a lot I could do about it.. and the idea of being alone with her tomorrow did not sound fun. "We used to go out three nights a week, I just miss you." "Oh sweetie, I'm sorry. I don't really want to be separated from Kimmy right now, it's very important that we make a strong bond. I want her to know how much I love her. Besides, you've seen me plenty - you've been over almost every night this week." I heard Lisa squeak the way she does when April pokes her in the tummy. "Yeah, it's just not the same - we need to go OUT." "We can go out, we'll just have to go to more family friendly places for a bit," I could see April's eyes smile in the mirror, "Maybe we should start looking for a Little of your very own." "I don't know, April - it seems like a lot of work, and you don't get to go out any more, why would I want to do that?" "Hopefully Kimmy can help you find the answer to that tomorrow night."
  2. Chapter One I sat at the bar, quietly surveying the crowd. It was a good crowd for a Saturday, I just had to find the right girl. This was the perfect part of town to find my type. Smart, willful, playful, with a high pressure job. Those were the ones who needed to let go the most. The past couple of weeks of hunting had been frustrating. Things with Lauren hadn't gone the way I planned. I really thought she was going to be the one, she ticked all the right boxes and she was a joy to be around. She had balked at the last minute, though.. and she dumped me. I don't know which was worse, that or how things had gone with Kailee. Kailee had gone too willingly, it was too easy to move her along... there was no challenge, no thrill. Kailee had been disappointing. I had gotten what I thought I wanted, but I had to cut her out of my life after I had it. It hadn't been easy to admit, but she hadn't been right for me. I needed more from my partner. I scanned the girls.. too loose, too messy, too cold. I would know her when I found her, I knew my type. She would look oh-so-serious with some very adult and mature fashion, but there would be a tell. Lauren's had been a peek of Hello Kitty panties. The ones under the most pressure to succeed were always the ones who wanted someone else to take over. Life was too hard for them, they needed to be "on" all the time at work, had to do a better job than the boys, had to be perfect. That was just part of life in Silicon Valley. By the time I came along, they were so happy to hand over control. Finally, she caught my eye. A boho girl, that style was getting popular. Multiple bracelets, dangly earrings, earth tone makeup, chunky sandals.. she had a good figure, you could tell she worked out. She had a smile that lit up her eyes, someone had just told her a funny joke. Ah, but the tell. The tell was her purse. She couldn't help it, she needed something cute.. her purse was shaped like a squirrel - she had what was essentially a stuffed animal on her at all times. This is how I knew she wanted the loss of control I needed to give. I had to have her. The latest K.Flay blared overhead, conversation was impossible.. so I'd have to do this with a look. I leaned back, my hair brushing the bartop and I watched her. Humans could feel when someone was watching them with intent, this wouldn't take long. Her eyes found mine, and I smiled. I had a million smiles, every one practiced carefully. This smile said, "I like your style, and I'm pretty sure you like mine." She looked down into her drink and blushed. That was all the invitation I needed. If I had read her wrong, she would have reacted with fear or hostility, not with embarrassment. She wanted to be noticed. I waited for her to glance up again and I tilted my head. This smile said, "I'm nice and I'd like to talk to you." You could say so much with just a look if you knew how. I turned slowly as she moved closer, drawn by my wordless communication. I signaled the barkeep. I order a Guinness for myself and an Apple Bomb for her. We'd see if my read was spot on or not. When she slides up next to me, I don't make eye contact. I just turn slightly so she can see the smile on the corner of my mouth. "You looked thirsty," I measured my voice.. it was hard to do under the dirty bass of K.Flay, but I was practiced. My voice was low, resonant, but playful. I turned slowly to face her as the barkeep set down our drinks. With a fluid motion, I picked up the Guinness and took a draw, but didn't touch hers. "Ever tried an Apple Bomb?" My guess was that she hadn't, it wasn't a very popular drink even though it was from this area. But big girls who were hiding little girls inside... they liked it. "No, I haven't... thanks. I'm Dani," she slid up next to me and took the untouched drink and sipped it. "Wow, this is really good. Thanks again." "Vanessa," I smiled, turning toward her fully and sweeping a strand of hair back from my face, tucking it behind my ear. I tapped my own dangling earring on the way down, causing it to glint at Dani. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Dani." I had to play this part carefully. Too strong and she'd bolt, too weak and she'd ignore the hook. "It's so good to just relax with some music, away from the pressures of the office." Nailed it. Her right hand tensed as I said it, she had some stress getting to her. "Ugh, it really is," she said, letting her weight rest more fully on the barstool. "What do you do?" "I'm a consultant. Systems analysis," I smiled warmly - this smile said, 'I have a tough job, too'. My job was to find the weak points in an organization, and destroy them. And I was very good at what I did, reading people is what made me so good. "What about you?" "Herding cats," Dani grimaced. "Project management then," my smile projecting 'I feel your pain', "I've been there." "How did you know?" she laughed lightly, musically, the blue light of the bar dancing across her green eyes. Oh, how I wanted her. "Lucky guess," I finished the Guinness and paid the tab. The hook was set, I couldn't linger. "I've got to go, it was really nice meeting you, Dani. I thought I was up to this, but I'm still busted up about my girlfriend dumping me. Maybe I'll see you around?" Her eyes flashed a twinge of disappointment. Perfect. "Yeah.. it was nice to meet you, Vanessa. Thanks for introducing me to this drink, I like it." "I'm glad - have a great night." I stepped through the front door of the bar, pausing to look back at her. She was watching me go. I gave her a smile that said, "I really wish I didn't have to go now." She gave the smallest wave in return. I exited into the crowd of Castro Street, the heart of downtown Mountain View.. but I didn't go far. No, I had just ruined Dani's night. She wouldn't be staying much longer. She would suddenly want to go home... if I was right. It took her about ninety seconds longer than I expected. She slipped out the front door alone and started walking north. I flowed through the crowd, following her. It was a warm night, but not too hot. The bars were full and the people were happy, it was a good night. Dani went straight for her car. Silver Prius, so typical. I leaned on the corner, obscured by a tree. "Naughty girl," I said quietly to no one, "You shouldn't drive after having that drink. I'll punish you for that later." I committed her license plate to memory and watched as she drove off. North, then west. I adjusted my purse on my shoulder and started walking home myself. I had some research to do. * * * I spent two days studying Danielle Peters, learning her habits, her path, her preferences. Every tidbit I learned only solidified the feeling that I had to have her. Her credit card statements laid everything bare to me. Dani was a reader, a painter, a jogger. She went to the same coffee shop in Sunnyvale every day and ordered the same thing - iced chai, the only thing on the menu at her coffee shop that came to the amount that went on her card daily. She had no pets, and according to her social media profile, her last relationship ended roughly. Her name was Elaine, another high-powered type.. they probably drove each other crazy. Too similar. I knew where Dani worked, what gym she went to, what gas station she filled her car at, what grocery store she frequented.. credit cards were beautiful things for an interested party like me. I just happened to be at her favorite coffee shop at exactly the same time she visited normally the next day, laying in wait.. sipping a mocha. Dani didn't want someone too similar. Normally on a bright day like this, I'd wear a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses.. but I needed Dani to notice me and recognize me, so I suffered through. I thumbed through a magazine, Us Weekly, something Dani wouldn't be interested in. She had no time for gossip. I had positioned myself so she'd see me just as she came out with her chai. "Vanessa?" her voice was light, unsure. I looked up and smiled at her 'Oh, I'm so surprised but so very happy to see you here!' "Dani! Wow, um hey - I'm sorry I disappeared on you the other night. You seemed really nice... I just... " I trailed off, an invitation for her to step in. "It's okay," she said as she stepped closer. I gestured to the chair across from me, inviting her to join me. "I'm really glad I ran into you... that drink was amazing." She covered. She was interested, she took the bait. Now I just needed to coax her in. "I had a feeling you'd like it, you just seemed like an apple sort of girl.. sweet," she blushed.. I was coming on a little too strong, I had to play it just a bit shier. "I.. I was kicking myself all night that I didn't ask for your number. You seemed so nice.. just this energy about you.. " I looked down, feigning embarrassment, "It's stupid." I pushed my chair back and started to stand. She reached across the table and placed her hand on mine. She was trembling ever so slightly.. the hair on her arm was raised. "No, Vanessa.. I was wishing the same thing," the last word rang flat. A lie. She hadn't been thinking the same thing, but she wanted me to think she had been that interested.. she was ready to take a risk. Blushing on command wasn't easy, but I did it nonetheless. "I uh, here.. " I fished a business card out of my purse and scribbled one of my cell numbers on it. I slid it across the table to her, I had to appear reluctant to touch her back. The weakness would draw her in. "Would you.. like to get dinner sometime? I know this Chinese dumpling place that I haven't been to in a while.. " I knew she liked the place, she'd left a positive Yelp review for it, she hadn't been there in eight months. "That sounds really nice.. how about Friday?" "I.. that sounds great," I looked her in the eyes now and my smile read 'I really, really like you but I'm afraid you don't like me the same way'. "I'll text you the place and we can meet there?" "How about I pick you up?" Shit. I misread that one, I couldn't be the passenger in her car, it would tip the power dynamic too far in her favor. I was playing too timid. My mind spun for a moment on how to salvage this. "Actually, I get carsick if I'm not driving. How about I pick you up instead?" "I would like that a lot," her smile read 'I think I'm falling for you already, I need to know more about you'. I needed to feed her a tidbit. "I'm really glad you didn't think I was coming on too strong at the club. I really like that song and you looked so beautiful under the lights. Your eyes light up when you laugh.. I knew I had to learn more about you." "I'm an open book," she was actually completely open. She was making herself vulnerable, faster than I expected. I hoped this wouldn't turn out to be another Kailee. "What would you like to know?" "What's your favorite movie?" I asked - it was a test. If she was a Kailee, she'd tell me something cutesy. I'd break it off right there and resume the hunt anew this weekend, I'd done it often enough. No amount of wanting her was worth making the wrong pick again. If she had a shell for me to crack through... she'd say something serious. "It's stupid because nobody likes it, but Stranger Than Fiction - you know, that Will Ferrel movie that wasn't really a comedy?" A drama about a writer. Funny, but not silly. A good answer. "Oh, I like that one. His antics usually bother me, but he was really good in that one." "Exactly! What about you?" I went similar to her with the last response, I had to give her something mysterious, something to draw her in here. "You'll laugh," I said sourly. "I won't laugh, I promise." "Amadeus." "The one about Mozart? Okay, I didn't expect that one. Why?" "Tortured artists," I smiled. Just then my phone alarm went off. Two minutes earlier in the conversation than I planned. I had set it up to use a ringtone as the alarm, so it would look like I was getting a call. I slipped my phone out of my purse and held it under the table. "I'm sorry, Dani.. I've got to go. It's work, you know how it is. Text me your number and address.. I'll pick you up on Friday." "Sounds great. I'm glad I ran into you, Vanessa." "I'm glad you did too," I agreed, "Hello?" I greeted my telephone alarm, silencing it, grabbed my mocha with a little wave to Dani, and walked off.
  3. BAD MOON RISING by CK Cute Kitten “This shit hole hasn’t changed much in a century.” The noise of the crowd swallowed Prudence’s mutter. Fair booths lined both sides of the street. The Fall Harvest Festival was like a Halloween themed farmers’ market. Some booths had games, but most sold homemade goods and sweets. Hand-knitted sweaters and blankets, apple and pumpkin butters, summer jams, hand pressed ciders, homemade fudge and candied apples. Warring scents assaulted her sensitive nostrils. Fried fair food -burgers, corn dogs- mixed with freshly popped kettle corn and pumpkin flavored cookies, cakes, pies and mingled with scents of homemade candles. This bouquet of smells was underscored by the sting of homemade alcohol. Shrieks of excited children pierced her ears and the pungent aroma of dirty diapers filled her nose, drowning out the other scents. Little sugar-crusted snot goblins ran everywhere, too fast for tired parents to keep up. Prudence nimbly side stepped the kids as she slid between the gaps of people milling about. Her slim hand slipped into pockets as she passed, occasionally coming out with money. Mostly chump change from the locals, but she got quite a few crisp twenty dollar bills from the visiting yuppies. And a few wedding rings she could pawn, though the gold was low quality and not worth much. Her haul was better than the last time she strolled down these streets, pick-pocketing at the turn of the century. Newton was a small town surrounded by farmland and woods. Cornfields and wilderness as far as the eye could see. That hadn’t changed much; now there was more farmed land, less woods. The town had expanded as the population grew. Dirt roads paved over. More automobiles. No more horses and buggies. Telephone polls. Street lights. Cell phones. Girls in pants. Main Street was still the largest street, running right through the center of town. A couple of fast food joints. A few diners. One grocery store. Some gas stations. Feed store. The three bars in town still stood in their same spots. The names changed and buildings were modernized. Her hometown was still just a backwoods scratch on a map. Just a newer version of the same old shit she’d left behind. Even the Halloween Carnival was mostly the same. The name had changed; somewhere along the line, it morphed into the Harvest Festival. Main Street still got closed off and shut down so booths, a spook house, bounce castles and a few carnival rides popped up. A maze of hay bales and tables for pumpkin painting. Prudence noted one big difference as she walked around; a big increase in the number of attendees. Farm families were too far apart, so they used to bring their children to town for trick or treating. Adults took advantage of the time to trade goods, thus spawning the Halloween Carnival. Now, city-dwelling yuppies, enamored with romantic idealizations of the quaint, wholesome, rustic country life flocked with their broods to the small town. They drove for an hour or more for the honest, simple country folk to fleece them with over priced, hand-made goods. Prudence couldn’t fault the locals for their business savvy. The yuppies were ripe for the plucking; big pockets, small brains. No common sense. City living bred it right out of them. Not that she was complaining. She smirked and patted the pilfered money in her own pockets. “This Halloween sucks.” Picking the pockets of idiots with their guard down was the only entertainment this town had. She’d never wanted nor planned to return. Only once had she come back, in the 1940’s to burn a few records of her past and erase some evidence. Local police had labeled those fires as Halloween pranks by deviant youth. One of those fires occurred a few streets away from where she stood now. She recalled a full harvest moon in a starless black sky and the orange flames turning day to night. That night had been a ill moon for the town. Tonight was a full moon on Halloween, too. She stuffed her hands in her pockets, feeling all her ill-gotten gains. “Looks like it’s another bad moon for you, baby.” She grinned to herself then laughed. Hicksville was boring as hell, but all that she hated about this place made it the perfect place to lay low. She had pissed off quite a few dangerous, powerful wolves when her latest, not-quite-legal, get-rich-quick scheme went bust. The law got involved. The law breakers were not happy. Now Prudence was laying low until the heat- both from the cops and the wolves- blew over. The crisp autumn breeze shifted. Red, orange, and yellow leaves fluttered about. Costumed kids shrieked, tiny hands grasping for the dancing leaves. The change in direction of the wind brought in scents of earth, of rotting vegetation, pine needles, and animal musk. The forest. Fresh cut hay and pumpkins from the fields. Pumpkins everywhere. Just like when she was a child. A human. Pru struggled to recall happy childhood memories. Fought for nostalgia as her feet once more trod the soil of her birth, both as a human then as a wolf. All she felt was nausea. She’d discarded her childhood as easily as she’d tossed her humanity. All she had left were vague memories. A screaming mother. Fighting siblings. So many siblings- faces and names all blurs. A father who always reeked of soured whiskey and who was heavy handed with his belt. Constant hunger in her belly. She shook her head, brushing the cobwebs from her mind. They weren’t worth remembering. She crossed the street to another row of booths, looking around aimlessly. Three little ball jointed dolls in a glass display case caught her attention. These were collectors’ items, not toys for children to play with and ruin. The dolls were little children dressed up for Halloween in exquisitely detailed costumes. The faces and hair were realistic looking; little replicas of real life. She almost expected them to blink, to giggle, to move on their own. She drifted closer to the booth, standing right in front of it. She never took her eyes off those hauntingly beautiful dolls. Childhood memories frozen in porcelain. “Like the dolls, dearie? Win them in a raffle. Only five bucks a ticket. Helps out the firemen.” A middle aged lady with gray streaks in her ponytail shook a roll of tickets in Pru’s face. Pru took an involuntary step back, blinking and shifting her focus onto the lady. A sense of deja-vu hit her and she was swept back to her childhood. The woman was a dead ringer for her old teacher in the local one-room school house. Mrs. Fisk had been a strict but fair schoolmarm. Most of the kids liked her. Prudence often was on the receiving end of Mrs. Fisk’s switch; neither teacher nor student had liked each other very much. This raffle lady had to be one of her descendents; a great great granddaughter or something like that. “I’ve never seen dolls that detailed. They’re almost life-like. They should be in some high-end store, not a prize at a fair. “ “I thought the same when I first saw them. Lucas is such a talented boy. He refurbished these from a thrift shop. He should’ve just sold them on ebay. His cousin Rosie said he insisted on donating them to the raffle when she dropped them off.” The lady shook her head. “The dolls have been a big help. These tickets sell like hot cakes. We just might be able to get that new equipment after all.” Prudence tuned her out as she prattled on. A boy created such a treasure from junk? She wondered what kind of person this artist who created such beauty was. Trash turned into art. She wanted to meet him. She was tempted to swipe the dolls, but they were at the back of the booth, under glass. And the lady watched them like a hawk. Too much trouble... But if an opportunity presented itself, she’d be ready to pounce. “You look really familiar. Are you related to a Mrs. Fisk?” The lady blinked, taken aback. “Fisk is my maiden name. I’m a King.” She looked up from her tickets, giving Prudence a long, hard look. “You look familiar, too.” She squinted. “I swear, I’ve seen you before. But I know you’re not from around here. I know all the locals.” Her voice took on a touch of pride. “Oh, I was born here, but I haven’t been back in ages. Left plenty of family, though. The Pipers still around?” “There’s a few. You’ve got the look of a Piper.” “They still causing trouble?” “Never stopped.” Prudence laughed. She liked the lady. Maybe she’d let the old bat keep her dolls, as a favor to the very late Mrs. Fisk. “What did you say your name was?” “I didn’t. It’s Prudence.” “Prudence Piper?!” The lady’s grey brows rose nearly up to her hairline in shock. Pru smiled, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Something wrong with that name?” “You don’t know who Prudence Piper was?” Pru shook her head. The lady rambled on. “Whoever in your family named you has a sense of humor. Prudence Piper is something of a local legend.” She leaned forward to stage whisper. “She was a notorious girl. A bootlegger during Prohibition. Rumor has it she had ties to the mafia. Al Capone’s sweetheart.” Prudence laughed at that. “I’m not so sure about that last part. But I bet the rest is true. Well behaved women rarely make history, after all. She sounds like a fun gal.” She gave the dolls once last look then drifted away.
  4. A Fox in the Snow I almost missed her. There was a rustle on the path, off to my right, a flash of orange. A whimper. The crisp white crumpled beneath my feet, a cacophony with each step as I wandered away from the path. It couldn't have been. They were too rare. But that orange, that color, that sound... you couldn't track them, they left no prints. No one understood exactly what they were, but they were beautiful and sweet and gentle - and had been creatures of myth until just a couple of years ago. The first one captured had made worldwide headlines - real, live fox girl. The kitsune, they called her. A few more had turned up after that, once the owner of the first girl shared some details about what they eat, where they live, what they like. But they were so rare - they left no trace, they left no track, they left no scent... I sighed, my breath a steaming cloud as I looked around - the path was no longer in sight, I had wandered well into the woods and the trees were so much thicker here. I shivered, bringing my fingers to my mouth as I breathed into my cupped hands. I didn't live too far from here, this was my "summer home"... I did it kind of backwards from most people though. I fled the warm weather of the summer to go someplace cold. I had built my own place not far from the Canadian border in northern Alaska and I liked it here. My nearest neighbor was three miles away and it was just me and nature. The perfect place to write. And that's all this chase was, most likely. Just a silly fantasy, wishing for a kitsune of my very own - as if I'd find one in the wilds of Alaska. Rubbing my hands together, I turned and began the trek back to the trail, to my cabin that I had designed and commissioned myself. I got the land for a song, no oil, no resources - just a chunk of tundra to hide from the blazing heat of south Texas where I wintered. My mind turned back toward my story, wondering where my characters would take me next... When I spotted her. Just the tip of her tail, a touch of orange and a tuft of white poking out from the brush. I'm not even sure HOW I spotted it, I had almost missed it... but there she was. I parted the branches of the shrub, my heart racing as I hoped against hope that it was real, that this was real life... And I saw her green eyes close as my own brown ones fell upon her. Her breathing was shallow. Her face was pained. My heart clenched as I leaned closer... and saw the blood, and the bone poking out from her shin. A compound fracture. Kitsune supposedly healed very quickly but without treatment, she would never run again - if she could even heal that break on her own. I pulled out my satphone and dialed the emergency line even as I crawled into the brush to crouch next to her. "Northway Dispatch, what's the emergency?" the voice asked on the other end. "Compound fracture of the tibia," I said matter-of-factly. "I need medical assistance." I rattled off what passed for the address of my cabin as the dispatcher promised that assistance would arrive soon. I bundled her up in my arms, wishing I could feel that soft down right now as I did - she was breathtakingly beautiful. Pale, creamy skin and long, red hair.. I averted my eyes from her mound, glimpsing the fiery patch there unintentionally. Other than being bare ass naked in the tundra, there was little that would reveal her as non-human... except for those ears and that tail. A perfect match in color for with her hair, her tail was bushy and looked incredibly soft, and fox ears poked up from the top of her head, white tipped and twitching. She cried out, the softest, smallest cry as I lifted her from the brush. "Shh," I soothed. "You're hurt. I just want to help you." They couldn't talk, of course - not at first. The oh-so-cleverly-named Vixen, the first kitsune, had learned some words eventually but initially they were little more than wild animals. She would likely bite me if she could, but the heat radiated from her body - she was feverish, not even for her kind. I could feel her warmth through my own layers as I carried her, my feet breaking through the rough packed snow as I trudged back to the cabin. We didn't have to wait long for the Doc. I put a kettle on and fetched as many towels as I could muster. I laid the kitsune on my bed, managing to lose only a bare few moments to staring at her breathtaking, haunting beauty. Those green eyes had caught me - they were impossibly deep. Emeralds in the snow of her flesh. Her lips were an equally deep red, parted with her ragged breaths. They were sentient, kitsune, but animalistic. Feral. Untamed. But there was no intelligence in her eyes now. Only pain. The fever, the aches, must have been agony, and I found myself stroking her hair, running my fingers along the impossibly soft tufts of her ears, even as I laid the cool, damp cloth across her forehead. I wanted nothing more in the entire world than to kiss this girl - not girl... kitsune. It hit me like a truck when I realized that there was a real, actual kitsune in my bed. My hand trembled, my own lips quivering as my heart hurt for the beautiful creature. I was saved by a knock at the door. Doc Murphy was young, dashing - living the life of the frontier medic, dreaming of a wilder time when the world itself wasn't so tame. Days long, long before cellphone towers sprouted across the landscape and supplies could be ordered from Amazon in Anchorage. The wilds out here might have been secluded, but they weren't the frontier days gone by. "Liv," he called as he opened my door. I was unreasonably shocked at the intrusion and it took a moment for me to realize he probably thought I was laid up with a broken leg. "Doc," I responded, stepping out of the bedroom and into the living area where he was knocking the snow off his boots, a heavy black medical bag in one hand. "She's in here." "She?" Doc echoed - I knew his name, Justin Murphy, but he was always Doc to me. "Who's visitin.. " His voice trailed off as he rounded the corner of my room, witnessing my kitsune in all her glory, crumpled on my bed and panting softly. I didn't miss the sudden point in the front of his trousers, either. Kitsune had that effect on many - I certainly wasn't immune, my thoughts still turned toward kissing the creature. "I found her near Moose Creek," I offered, pulling back the cooling towel I had soaked with hot water and laid over her wound. Doc, to his credit, didn't even draw a sharp breath through his teeth the way I had expected - but the protruding bone broke the kitsune's lure on him, and he set to work. It was a tough evening - the cries of the kitsune were horrible as he worked the bone back inside her, as he manipulated her flesh until the inside parts were back inside. She screamed and cried and I had to lash her to the bedposts with belts and blankets so he could work. I sat by her, stroking her cheek, petting her soft ears and promising that it would be over soon, that we didn't want to hurt her even as Doc did just that. I hoped she was intelligent enough to see that we had her best interests at heart. Even with the morphine he had given her, the pain must have been incredible to draw out those animal wails - her metabolism burned through the medicine too quickly, he had pondered aloud. He told me he was afraid of giving her too much - he was no expert on kitsune. But who was? She survived. By the end, my bed was covered in blood and piss and my poor kitsune was passed out - from the pain or the drugs, I'd never know, but she slept while he wrapped her leg in the cast. I'd have to take her to the city at some point, but that was a ways off. I needed to get her stable - fed, cleaned, healed some - before we made that seven hour drive. And I had to figure out what I needed to do to legally claim her before I did that. Taking a real, live kitsune into town without some proof that she was mine was asking for her to be snatched right from under me and there was no guarantee the local lawmen would have her best interests at heart at all. They'd probably sell her off to some rich oil asshole before I could blink. I had some research to do. * * * It had been two days since Doc Murphy had left. He had sworn himself to secrecy while I figured everything out - he was a good guy, a good friend. I was lucky to know him. I did my best to get water and medicine - antibiotics and painkillers - into her but Kit... and yes, I realized what an impossibly stupid name I had given her but it was how I thought of her already, so it stuck... didn't make it easy. She wasn't awake for long and when she was it was whimpers, whines, and cries. The supplies I needed had come in and while it wasn't easy to thread an unconscious fox-girl's tail through a small hole in the back of a diaper, I managed. There was something sexy about the puffy plastic-covered underwear on the girl... I couldn't quite put my finger on it, though. Maybe it was just because that was what they always wore on TV. The only other thing she wore was a solid steel collar - seamless - with a single, round, dangling tag. Kit Olivia Lewis Northway 726-555-8762 The tag wouldn't come off easily, and neither would the collar. It wasn't enough to make a legal claim, but it would certainly help. I was still working on that part. In fact, I was still working on that very conundrum when I heard her rustling around in the bedroom. I rose from my seat and tried my best not to rush to her, walking calmly through my cabin to my bedroom. I had made her a bedroll on the floor after I had cleaned up my bedding - but the pillows and blankets were everywhere when I entered the room. It was impossible that she had made such a mess without making a noise... but quiet came naturally to them. She was sitting on the floor, her red tail whipping back and forth wildly as she tugged fiercely on the leash that kept her tied to the leg of the bed. She whimpered with effort, a wince coming to her face as she shifted wrong and her leg hurt her. She was trying with everything she had to pull free, but I had chosen the reinforced leash I had for a reason. "Hey there, Kit," I called softly from the doorway. Her head whipped around, leveling those breathtaking eyes upon me as her brows arched together. She scooted away, her back pressed against the nightstand as she whimpered. She looked so human, but at the same time... not. There was a fire in her eyes, an inner light that shone around that slit pupil - no human had eyes like that, not naturally. She looked like she had eyeliner on, but I knew that was just part of her natural coloring. I stepped cautiously toward her, moving slowly and holding my hands up, palms up, in what I hoped would be a nonthreatening gesture. After three steps, she tried to dart away, dropping low until her breasts were almost touching the floor and attempting to crawl away with what I was sure would have been incredible speed... but the leash held fast. She turned and tugged again, grunting in frustration as she looked at me and whined. "I can't let you go," I explained, as though she could understand me. "Your leg is hurt... " And you're mine now. I couldn't seem to voice that last thought even though I knew in my heart that I would never release her. She would never be wild again, she would be mine forever... "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. I want to help you." Reaching the foot of the bed, I pulled a small container of jerky from the bag of supplies, drawing out a piece and holding it up so she could see it. "Here you go, Kit," I said soothingly, holding out the fragrant meat. Her back was against the nightstand again, the leash pulled taut as she still tried to escape. I set the jerky down between us and backed away, kneeling and waiting. "Go on," I nodded at the food. "You must be hungry. You haven't eaten in two days." The plastic of her diaper rustled as she leaned forward gracefully, snatching the jerky from the floor with shocking swiftness and holding it to her mouth, sniffing it before biting into it with her sharp teeth. So human... and yet so very not. I took another piece from the bag, setting it a little closer to me before I sat down on the ground and waited. She stared it it, and me, for many long moments, motionless. I wouldn't believe she was real if I hadn't carried her here myself. She was surprisingly light - I wondered how tall she stood at her full height. I wasn't exactly big and I had carried her back to the cabin - quite a hike - easily. She stared but didn't move for the longest, but from everything I had read, patience was the key with kitsune. I watched passively, not pushing the jerky closer, not calling her, not enticing her... just waiting. I had time, she wasn't going anywhere. And eventually, she scooted forward slightly and snatched the small piece and stuffed it into her mouth, drawing a soft laugh from me which sent her scrambling backward and cowering. I cursed myself silently as I set out another small piece, just very slightly closer to me, and waited. It took no fewer than twenty-six small tidbits of jerky, but eventually... I got her to take one from my hand. "Liv," I said softly as I pointed to myself. She wasn't retreating all the way back to the nightstand now, she hadn't for the past several pieces. I offered a much larger piece, one that would take her a while to gnaw, as I pointed to her and said, "Kit." She reached for the larger piece tentatively, carefully, and I ran my fingers along hers as she took the jerky - she was soft. Very soft. Impossibly soft. My fingertips tingled ever so slightly where I had caressed her hands. The energy between us was electric... and she was crawling toward me. Her eyes looked different now, hungry in a new way, those deep green jewels staring deep into my own eyes... I jolted at her touch, finding myself rearing back as her face came so close to mine. And she sniffed me! Her nostrils flaring as she apparently took in my scent. Just before she snapped at me, those sharp teeth snapping closed uncomfortably close to my face, her neck and shoulders straining at the end of the leash. Without even thinking, before the shock of how bad that almost was kicked in, I reached up and smacked my hand in a downward motion, right across her nose. The kitsune yelped and collapsed to the floor, covering her nose with her very human hands - but those quite inhuman teeth had almost taken a chunk of my face. "Bad girl," I scolded, my hand shaking with adrenaline as I reached forward, threatening. I had worked with dogs enough to know not to cower in front of one - I had let myself forget that she was a wild animal. No matter how much like a beautiful girl she appeared to be, she was a feral creature, wounded and trapped in a place that was not her habitat. She whined and scooted away from me, her diapered rear in the air, her tail drooping between her legs as she tried to make herself seem smaller. It was only then that the gravity of the near miss caught up with me. I stood quickly and left the room without a backwards glance - that would be showing weakness. Once I got to the kitchen, I unsteadily moved through the motions of making myself a coffee. She almost bit me, my mind reeled. She could have taken off my nose with one bite! That wasn't a thing they ever showed on the shows - kitsune were always shown as docile, obedient, loving... but the creatures paraded on the talk shows were owned, broken in. Would Kit ever reach that point? Should I keep her? I wanted to. She was gorgeous - and kitsune supposedly made amazing companions. I was beyond lucky at having found her - and she was lucky I had been the one to do so. I wanted to keep her out of a desire to help her heal, to love her, for her to be my companion. Another person might have wanted her to sell her, to study her, to dissect her. I barely knew her but I knew that I wanted to love her, and earn her love. I was startled from my reverie by a ripping sound, the sound of tapes... "Oh hell," I grumbled, heading back into the bedroom. Sure enough, Kit had torn off the diaper and thrown it across the room. "Kit!" I cried, grabbing a fresh one from the pack. "Bad girl!" My heart broke as she withered, shrinking away from me and whimpering. She curled up on the floor, her ears flat back against her hair, that bushy tail wrapped around her knees as she shook. I leaned down cautiously - ready to jerk my hand back and away from those teeth - and stroked her nose gently, sliding my fingertips smoothly along her skin. She winced and tensed at first, but relaxed quickly. I set the diaper on the bed and reached for another piece of jerky, a big one, and guided her up onto the bed, grazing my fingers along her taut stomach. I held up the treat for her, which was quickly taken - and I praised her while I began the task of rediapering her. "Good girl Kit," I cooed as I slid the unfolded diaper underneath her, lifting her hips and guiding them. "Good girl," I soothed as she whimpered, gnawing on the large piece of dried meat. I carefully guided her tail through the hole and powdered her once again as I drew it closed and taped it shut. And not a moment too soon. Not more than a few seconds later, a soft hiss came from the diaper, which grew swollen and yellowed as she went. She had taken off the diaper to avoid this... I was really glad I had caught it in time. Grabbing another piece of jerky, I handed it to her, stroking her stomach for a moment before sliding my hand to the front of her diaper. Positive reinforcement was important at this stage, and associating a wet diaper with pleasant feelings, food, and soothing sounds would keep her from wanting to take it off next time. It was surprising that she had reacted to a verbal scolding so quickly, so thoroughly - but I wasn't going to complain either. Hitting her, even a gentle strike on the nose the way I had, was not something I enjoyed. The jerky gone, she sat up slowly, looking sadly down at her leg in the cast. She scratched at it, her nails scraping along the hardened shell, a soft whimper coming from her throat. It probably hurt. "I know," I agreed with her unspoken complaint, carefully and tenderly stroking her fiery hair. It was softer than I had expected. She flinched at first, but relaxed as I continued. "I know it hurts, and I'm sorry. It's healing. Hopefully Doc got it in time and the bone will set right. You're not exactly well understood, you know? But I don't think you were going to make it out there in the snow with that leg the way it was. I am sorry." I was - Doc had implied that if it wasn't perfect, she might walk with a limp forever, and that was generally a bad thing for a wild animal. I was keeping her, but a lame leg would soothe my conscience. It was a terrible thing to hope for, I felt bad thinking it. The purr she let out caught me by surprise. The meat was gone and her eyes were closed, her hands resting on her stomach, her chin tilted up in the air, her throat bared, her chest heaving... and her hips grinding into my hand. I blushed fiercely as I realized what she was doing - but I didn't pull away, I didn't scold her. She was bonding with me... not quite the way I had intended, but she was being vulnerable in a way I hadn't expected. Her tail thrashed back and forth as she rocked, a low moan coming from her throat. The tip of that fluffy tail brushed against my arm over and over as she bucked, panting against me. I pressed my hand in harder, dragging my nails gently across her side, across her stomach as she moaned a very human-like moan. She shuddered, her tongue lolling as she arched, her moans a crescendo that matched her body. "Good girl," I told her, rubbing the diaper between her legs, encouraging her to savor that afterglow... if a kitsune had such a thing. "Good girl. Kit is a good girl." I wouldn't want her humping my hand all the time, but this was vastly preferable to her trying to bite me, for sure. As she slipped off to sleep, I slipped from the room, blinking with disbelief at the events that had just occurred. There was a kitsune in my bed. And she was mine. In ways I hadn't expected.
  5. AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a historical fiction set in 1940's Germany. That means Nazi Germany. This is the story of two girls who were best friends when they were little. Now that they're 18, they're reunited. One of them grew up with Nazi propoganda pounded into her head. She wrestles with her morality- that which she senses, knows deep down, is right- and an internal battle with all the brainwashing she's undergone. Let me be crystal clear- the Nazis were bad. They were scum. The main character in this story has to dig through propoganda and lies to learn that truth we know today. FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN by CK- Cute Kitten The soft layers of the cloth diaper rubbed over the sensitive mound of her womanhood with each step. The press of the padding tingled along her nerves, radiating waves of comfort in the quiet dark of night. The hem of her red nightgown swished around her ankles while the lace collar, cuffs, and hem shone like fresh snow in the dim yellow glow of the kerosene lamp. Her thick woolen socks made no sound on the wooden floors of the old farmhouse. Gertrude carefully opened the doors between various rooms, trying to keep squeaky hinges silent. She tiptoed over the squeaky floorboards as she slunk through the house on Christmas Eve. Snitching a few Christmas cookies was an old childhood tradition between her and her twin sister. The only thing that slowed her annual Christmas Eve sojourn was the diaper. Even a single cloth diaper forced her thighs apart, making her waddle. The thickness slowed her gait down. Just one layer, just one diaper, yet it felt like she wore several pairs of thick woolen underwear. How had her sister Heidi tolerated such a bulky undergarment? In bed on a cold night, a diaper was comforting. But up and ambulating around, the warm bulk just got in her way. Heidi never had a choice about wearing and using diapers; she’d been incontinent all eighteen years of her short life. Heidi had been born with deformed, twisted limbs. She was never able to talk or know when she had to go to the bathroom. Incontinent cripple. The doctors at the hospital had called her condition cerebral palsy. The family had called it a curse, an embarrassment. Back when Gertrude was was a little girl, she only brought one friend inside to meet her sister. Her best friend, Magda the little Jewish girl. Heidi was kept hidden away, a shameful family secret. Heidi never went to school. The doctors and family both knew she was incapable of learning. Gertrude tried to teach her what she learned in school, anyway. Heidi was never able to talk, but she learned to read. Heidi and Gertrude even proved it to their parents. The doctors refused to believe it, chalking it up to wishful thinking. Gertrude slipped into the spacious living room. The diaper pressed against her privates. It was dry; she had no intention of actually using it. She only wore them to feel closer to her dead twin. Heidi had been gone for a year, but the would of her passing was still fresh in Gertrude’s heart. Heidi had been her best friend and confidant, even if she could only grunt and drool. Gertrude learned to interpret those grunts until they became a language all their own. The cold living room seemed larger since it was empty. Her grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles were all upstairs, asleep. Her father had cleaned out the fireplace earlier and filled it with fresh logs for Christmas morning. Hand knitted stockings hung from the mantle, lumpy with little gifts. The war had tightened purse strings all across the Reich, but out here in the country they didn’t feel the bite as hard as the city folk. The gifts weren’t much; just small luxuries to sweeten hard times. Some candy, apples, oranges. Scented bar soaps and body powder for the ladies. A new hairbrush to replace an old, broken one. Her grandparents were full of old stories mourning the lost glory of the German Empire and life under the kaiser. Her father and uncles had all fought during the Great World War. They had suffered under the economic hardships steered by the inept Weimar Republic government and raped by the even harder penalties of the Versailles Treaty. Gertrude didn’t pay much attention to politics or what was going on in the wider world. There was too much work to do on the farm, more important things in her immediate life to worry about. What little she knew, she gleaned from the grumblings of the menfolk, particularly when they were soused with drink. The cold emptiness of the room pressed in on her. The magic of Christmas, that most wonderful time of the year, was as chill and dark as the unlit fireplace. Gertrude was the only girl in her family. All ten of her cousins were boys. Nine of them were away from home on the front lines fighting the enemy. Josef was the only one home on special leave. He wasn’t a regular Waffen SS soldier like the others. He was a member of the SS Totenkopfverbande. She wasn’t sure exactly what they did. Josef refused to talk about it, but their domineering grandmother pestered him into dolling out a few crumbs. At dinner, he’d mumbled something about guarding a camp. After a few glasses of grandma’s homemade gluhwein, he’d let slip some slurred gibberish about a place called Buchenwald. The absence of her cousins, the absence of her twin, left Gertrude feeling alone. Up in her little cramped closet of a room she’d once shared with her twin, the lonely isolation had pressed in on her. She hadn’t been able to sleep, even with the comfort of Heidi’s diapers. Memories and shadows of her dead sister filled every nook and cranny of the room and pinched her heart. So she’d fled downstairs, hoping that keeping their old tradition alive would help her feel less alone. That it would bring back some small part of her sister. The diaper shifted and rubbed against her with every step across the living room. It was a constant reminder of her twin. Usually the warm softness of the thick padding reassured her. Now it only heightened the ache of Heidi’s absence. This wasn’t the first time Gertrude wore Heidi’s diapers. She’d been wearing them to bed every night since her sister’s funeral. The first time she donned a diaper was the night they scattered Heidi’s ashes in their grandmother’s rose garden. Heidi used to love staring out the window for hours at the summer roses, watching the bees and butterflies. The night of the funeral, Gertrude had wallowed in the dregs of grief, out of her mind with mourning. So she pulled out one of Heidi’s clean cloth diapers and put it on. Immediately, the press of the thick bulk between her legs had calmed her, reassured her. Heidi was gone from the earth, but she was still with Gertrude in her heart. From that night on, Gertrude wore her dead sister’s diapers to bed. Tonight was Gertrude’s first time getting out of bed and walking through the house in diapers. The padding that usually comforted her now unnerved her. What if she got caught in a diaper? They’d say she’d gone crazy with grief. They’d lock her up in the loony bin. She should’ve taken the diaper off before leaving the bedroom. She’d tried, but her fingers refused to open the diaper pins. She couldn’t bring herself to do it- it made her feel like she was leaving Heidi behind. Casting her sister aside by taking off the diaper. Gertrude shuddered at those thoughts, cold from the inside out. The lantern swayed on the thin wire loop handle in her hand. The soft, swaying light danced on the tin ornaments with their shiny, metallic paint. The candles on the Christmas tree were snuffed out for the night; they’d be relit Christmas morning, along with the yule logs in the fireplace. Most of the ornaments were wood, hand carved by her grandfather, father and uncles when they were boys. Some were knitted from yarn, made by her grandmother and aunts. The ones that drew the most attention were shiny, metallic tin disks proudly displaying thick black swastikas. Her uncle had bought them a few years ago on a trip into the city. He’d wanted to put a big swastika on top of the tree, but grandma refused. She wanted her beloved, tacky, stained glass and lead star instead. Lumpy presents in cheap brown paper lay under the tree. Everybody knew what they were- new hand knitted sweaters or cardigans. Smaller packages were mittens, scarves, gloves. Everyone was grateful, too- the ones from last year were falling apart after months of hard living and working. A hard life made harder with the extra burden of caring for her disabled sister. She’d left Heidi behind once before, when the family moved her into a sanatorium several years ago. Taking care of her disabled sister had become too much of a burden on top of all the farm work, especially as the boys grew up and left the village for adventure and glory in the Wehrmacht. She had missed her sister, but the work-exhausted part of her had been relieved to be free of the extra duties. That relief pricked her conscience now with a sharp slivers of guilt. She rarely had the free time and funds to visit her sister. The home for the physically disabled was in a town several days’ travel from their tiny village. The family received a letter from the sanatorium doctors saying Heidi’s condition had grown more severe, so they’d transferred her to Hadamar psychiatric hospital, which was even further away, for more intense treatment. A few months later, the family received a letter from Hadamar doctors informing them of Heidi’s demise. Gertrude’s insides had twisted in doubt and disbelief when she’d read the death certificate. The cause of death listed acute appendicitis. Heidi had had her appendix removed as a small child. How could she die from an organ that was long gone from her body? The rest of her family insisted it must be a mistake, a mix up. Gertrude had travelled with her father to claim Heidi’s remains and get the death certificate fixed. In the Hadamar waiting room, Gertrude had talked to other grieving families there to claim their loved ones’ remains. So many dead patients. They dropped like flies. Was that normal? Doctors assured her it was. The mentally and physically disabled were of weak, inferior blood. They didn’t live very long. It was tragic. Gertrude had the doctors’ sympathies. But, really, they had assured her, it was for the best. One irate man was there to demand an explanation for the burnt ladies’ hairpins in his dead brother’s ashes. The man’s brother had died of appendicitis, too. Quite a few patients had died from that. There were a lot of death certificate mix-ups, and ladies’ hairpins in male ashes. Way too many mixups. It roused Gertrude’s suspicions. Gertrude’s family swallowed the doctors’ lines. Gertrude didn’t, but every time she voiced her doubts, she was shushed or ignored. The doctors’ told the family it was just her grief talking and not to take her seriously. So she held her tongue, bend her head, and kept working. Put in more hours doing charity work with the Bund Deutscher Madel, or League of German Girls. She could never shake the notion that she’d abandoned her sister to cold blooded killers who couldn’t even keep the remains of their victims straight. Life unworthy of life. She remembered learning about that in school. She’d read magazine and newspaper articles by prominent doctors promoting the idea. Useless eaters. The disabled couldn’t contribute to society. They only took. Times were hard. Sometimes, to save a healthy body, diseased limbs had to be cut off. There was no room for diseased, useless leeches full of nothing but bad blood. They were nothing but a burden on society, weighing it down. Wasn’t Gertrude’s own sense of relief to be free of her caretaker duties proof of that? Staring at the cold fireplace, Gertrude blinked back tears. The guilt ridden ache for her sister burned stronger. She forced her mind back to happier times. Normally, she’d have been to the kitchen and back upstairs by now with iced ginger cookies or sweet, sugar dusted fruit bread for her and Heidi. Gertrude focused on the soft padding rubbing against her crotch and backside as she walked. The sensations distracted her from dark memories. Moving in the diaper was both weird and soothing at the same time, like a beloved Christmas carol sung in a foreign language. The diaper added an extra layer of warmth in the drafty old house. The heavy cotton of her nightgown and thick wool of her hand knitted socks kept her warm enough, but the diaper added the last layer that made her cozy. Sometimes, she wondered what the diaper would feel like wet. She blushed at the thought. Once in a blue moon, when the pain of her sister’s absence was particularly sharp, she felt the urge to add on more diapers and rubber panties then let her bladder loose. Fear and disgust always held her back. How could she even think such a thing? Maybe she really was going crazy. Trying to flee from her thoughts, shut down her overactive brain, Gertrude hurried into the kitchen.
  6. Here is another try at posting this story. It was posted during the lost period in the forums this week. The story is complete, so enjoy. All feedback is appreciated. Roommates by Write and Left At long last I was starting college. No more of the oppressive rules I had to grow up with. No more being punished for something I could not help. I started to unpack before my new roommate got here. My mother had just left and I had to be good, as I did not want her to expose my secrets to the dorm. I pulled all my clothes out of my trunk and started hanging them in my closet. Then I took my supply of Depends out of the bags and put them in the trunk. You see, I wet the bed. This has been the source of many problems over the years and I want to keep it hidden. I then took a combination lock and locked the trunk. Now that my secret was hidden, at least until that night I arranged the rest of my room and got every thing organized. I did not want to argue with my new roommate, so I took the smaller desk and I set up my laptop. I checked that I could connect to the network and thus satisfied, I arranged my textbooks on the shelf above my bed. It was a small room, but I had only brought some clothes and my computer, so I was in good shape. I then made my bed. There was a plastic sheet on my bed and I bit my lip, embarrassed. "Did my mother tell them about my problem?" I thought. I glanced over to my roommate's bed. She had just stopped in, threw her stuff on the bed and went to the bookstore. "No, her bed has a plastic sheet too. They must have put them on all the dorm beds." I lay on top of my bed and stared at the stuff on hers. She had 4 boxes, 2 suitcases, and what looked like some computer equipment. She was still getting raped by the bookstore. I had some time. Maybe I should just peek in her suitcases. No, I would not do that. What if she looked through my stuff? I would not like that. During the brief period of time I saw her, (when we were assigned our room and she brought her stuff from her car) she asked me if I would go to Wal-Mart with her. I lay on my bed waiting for her. Her parents had taken her to breakfast before she went to get her textbooks. My mother took me straight to the bookstore after I unloaded my stuff. I did not argue with her as I had time to unpack. I was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. It was rather hot and I would rather be wearing less. However, I was embarrassed to not be covered more because of some things that happened back home. Since I started wetting the bed my mother made me wear diapers at night. I did not mind too much because it was more comfortable then sleeping in wet sheets. However as I got older, the punishments got worse. When I got to the age that the other girls were starting to shave their legs, my mother said I couldn't until I stopped wetting the bed. I got teased from that time until I graduated. I had some nicknames like Butch Beth and Harry-legged Liz. I also was never allowed to have makeup. When I started high school, on days that I wet the bed, I had to wear diapers starting when I got home from school. I did get a reprieve during times when we were out of the house, but when we got home again it was back in diapers for me. So today, I am not wearing diapers. I will tonight, but I need them tonight. I want to go to Wal-Mart today, so I can get some razors and stuff and finally be able to compete with other girls for boyfriends. The bedwetting thing will hurt my chances, but I do not think I can handle being called Betsy Wetsy and Butch Beth. I grabbed my computer and started playing Solitaire. I was on my 4th game when the door opened suddenly. My new roommate walked in with an armload of books and dumped them on her desk. She waved goodbye to her parents and closed the door. "Hi," I managed to stutter. "Sorry, I had no time to get introduced earlier," she said smiling. "I'm Vikki." "And I'm Elisabeth," I said. "You can call me Beth, if you do not prefix it with anything." "Oops, bad high school nickname, huh? Well I got to get unpacked, then we can catch the bus to Wal-Mart," she said. "How do you know where everything is?" I asked. "My older brother just graduated from here last year," she answered, "He told me where everything is." I lay down and started thumbing through one of my textbooks while she unpacked. She hung up all her clothes and pulled a TV out of one of the boxes and set it on here desk. She also set up her computer. The other boxes she just stacked on the floor of her closet. I did not get to see their contents. She booted up her computer, and with some minor swearing, got it onto the network and then checked the bus schedule. "Okay, its 15 minutes until the next bus." She glanced at my long sleeved shirt and jeans. "You have time to put on something a little more suited to the weather." "No, I am fine," I said. "Aren't you hot in that?" she asked me. "Yes, but I will change into something cooler, when we get back from Wal-Mart." "Okay, suit yourself," she said, "It gets hot here." We caught the bus and headed down to the Wal-Mart. I stocked up on chips and pretzels and then went to the beauty supplies. I headed over to the razors and grabbed some shaving cream and disposable razors and threw them in my cart. I then went to the make up area and selected some various items. "Girl, that is the wrong color for you!" Vikki said. "What do you mean?" I asked. "Isn't lipstick supposed to be red?" "Well it depends on the person, but I guarantee that bright red lipstick does not go well with bright red hair. The eye shadow you picked clashes with your green eyes. Here get these instead." She selected similar items of more suitable colors. Here I was exposed as a make up buying rookie. The next thing I know she will find out about how hairy I am. I had to get prettied up. If I continued to be ugly and a bed wetter both, no one would ever like me. Vikki was nice so far. I hoped she would continue to be nice if she found out my secret. We got what we needed and headed back to the bus stop. We took the bus back to the dorm and went to our room. As I was unlocking the door, Vikki whispered desperately in my ear, "Hurry up! I really got to pee." I opened the door and she fled past me into the bathroom. I gathered my bathroom stuff together to take a shower and added in my new shaving cream and razors. Then I put the other stuff I bought away. I carefully stocked the refrigerator with the computer scientist's secret weapon: Mountain Dew. I knew I shouldn't drink it with the bedwetting, but not being allowed to drink sodas all these years did not make a difference one way or another in the number of night time accidents. She came out and said, "Hey, lets get a pizza!" "I am okay with a pizza, but can't we do it later, I need a shower now," I said. "Sure, go ahead," she said. "You look all sweaty. I told you to put on shorts." "I will be awhile," I said. "Are you sure you don't need anything in there?" "No, it is all yours," she said. "Go for it." I grabbed my stuff and headed for the bathroom. I peeled of the sweaty layers of clothes and got naked. "Goodbye, Butch Beth," I said and stepped in the shower. After washing, I smeared shaving cream all over my legs and pulled out one of my razors. I then started shaving. I never realized how hard it was. I never had a father to watch how he shaves his face, and women always shave their legs in the shower, so there is never an audience. I shaved off a big chunk of skin the first time. Then after a few nicks, I got the hang of it. I made it through with no fewer than five nicks and the big cut. Then I had to shave the other leg. This time it was easier. I got it done with only one knick. I was then done. I then looked down at my under arms. How was I supposed to shave those? After twisting myself like a pretzel I got into the right position and finally finished. I rinsed off and inspected myself for missed spots. Satisfied, I said, "Goodbye Butch Beth, Hello Pretty Beth." I smiled and then blushed. I hoped Vikki didn't hear me say that. I slid on the non-granny panties and matching bra I got at Wal-Mart and then put a little sleeveless number and khaki shorts on. I had them both and wore them a few times before, but I was always teased when I did so, so I stopped. Now with a few passes with a razor, I looked pretty, not ridicules. I cleaned up the bottom of the shower, which was now a hairy mess, and got every thing gathered up. My self-esteem was rising. I then tried to dab the bloody spot with some toilet paper. It was still bleeding a bit, but it was mostly stopped. It was worth it I thought. I came out and put my stuff away. "Did you just cut yourself in there?" Vikki asked. Does she notice everything? She problem guessed I am a leg-shaving rookie too. And she problem will find out about the bedwetting. This is too close of quarters to hide. What am I going to do? "I cut it a little bit," I answered, "Its stopped now." "Just be careful," she said, "Now I am ready for that pizza." We ate pizza and watched TV all afternoon. We also ran around the dorms meeting people and having fun until bedtime. I got separated from Vikki, and it was late anyway, so I went back to my room. I would have to figure out how to keep my secret a secret. How could I open my trunk and grab a diaper out and put it on without Vikki noticing. If I could get a five minute head start at getting to the room... I open the door and went in. I then notice Vikki had a diaper in her hands. Quickly I closed the door and went to confront her. She snooped through my stuff. My plans of keeping my bedwetting a secret were dashed to the ground. I was in shock. I went up to her and snatched the diaper away from her. "How did you get in my trunk?" I yelled. "You looked through my stuff. I hate you." I turned and ran into the bathroom where I fell to the floor and started balling. What is she going to think? I need diapers and still ball like a baby. My brand new make up was running down my face and now the whole campus would know in a matter of minutes that I wet the bed and wear diapers. Classes hadn't even started yet. Just now she was probably going down the hall waving my diapers around saying, "My roommate wears Depends! Look!" "Let me in!" I heard outside the bathroom door. I was still sobbing. If Vikki thinks I will forgive her... "Give it back!" I heard her yell. "Give what back?" I choked out through sobs. "My thing you took," she said in a lower tone of voice. I slowly opened the door. Her face was bright red. She seemed to be embarrassed. "Give it back," she said pointing at the diaper. "So you can show everyone in the dorm what you found in your roommate's trunk," I said, "I thought we were friends." "I don't know what you are talking about. I am certainly not going to show anyone," she said. "Fine. How did you get in my trunk?" I asked. "It was locked." "Are you saying you have diapers in your stuff too?" she asked. She seemed to feel a little better. "Yeah," I mumbled. I looked down at the floor. "See these are mine." she said. She showed me one of the boxes in her closet. It had two bags of Depends in it. One was open. I opened my trunk. My diapers seemed to be intact. "I guess I owe you an apology. I was trying so hard to hide my night time problem, that when I saw you with one, I only assumed it was mine and the whole campus would find out. I thought you would be mean to me too." "Well I guess there is no harm," she said. "At least we don't have to hide it from each other. I might have reacted the same way if I caught you with a diaper in your hand." I grabbed one of my own diapers. "Well we should get these on for bed then," I suggested. We our are diapers on the comfortable way. We put them on while lying in bed, instead of standing in the bathroom trying to get the tapes right. "Do you think the put the plastic sheet on our beds because we are both bedwetters?" I asked. "No," Vikki answered, "All the beds in the dorm have plastic on them. It's not just for wetters. People drink and puke on them and spill stuff. No one will think that." "Oh, I didn't think about that." "So tell me, was today the first time you shaved your legs or wore makeup?" "Um, yes." "I thought so," she said smiling as she reached to turn off the light. "No one could pick such horrendous colors or cut themselves that many times without being a newbie." "I would have, but my mother wouldn't let me until I stopped wetting the bed. I got called horrible names, like Butch Beth." "I don't think you look butch at all," she said, "I got called Icky Vikki all the time because I had an accident or two a year." "I've been there. I once wet on stage at state choir competition. Even even the choir director called me Betsy Wetsy. My name was Betsy Wetsy in the program for the next concert." "Ouch," said Vikki. "My mother would have put me in diapers for a week during the day as punishment for that." "Yours too?" I asked. "At least you could do things to be pretty. I had to wear shorts or dresses with hairy legs. I got teased left and right." "I am glad you are my room mate," Vikki said. "I am glad you are my room mate too," I repeated. "By the way, when we have exams, we should wear protection. There are no bathroom breaks during exams," Vikki said. "Well lets get some sleep," I said. "Okay, good night."