Chapter Description: Tommy sneaks off to an abandoned playground and has a strange encounter.
Chapter 21: Afternoon Delight
That face, that face
That dangerous face
I mustn't be unwise
Those lips, that nose, those eyes
Could lead to my demise
That face, that face
That marvelous face
I never should begin
Those cheeks, that neck, that chin
The rest of the school day was a blur of too simple classes, too simple worksheets, and too simple curriculum. Yet Tommy felt a kind of radiance beneath his skin the rest of his day. He couldn’t stop thinking about his lunchtime accident and how Amanda held his hand all the way to the nurse’s office. It was easy to multitask when the work was so easy. Even knowing that a gallon ziplock filled with his piss soaked underwear was now crammed into his backpack couldn’t diminish.
Tommy felt he was in a kind of waking dream, his mind never quite where his body was. How precious that bit of kindness had been to him, that bit of sympathy from someone who had so recently been indifferent to him at best. To Tommy it was more intoxicating than a thousand days as the conquering hero god king of Malacus. Being a few inches shorter, a few hairs smoother, and a pair of training pants wetter was well worth the price.
The boy still felt drunk on that feeling during the bus ride home. “Tommy,” his sister called. “Tommy, it’s time to go. We’re home.” Tommy blinked back to the present and stared at Katlynn as if she were a newly respawning hydragon.
Katlynn took his hand and guided him to his feet. “We’re home. This is our stop.” Tommy looked out the window and saw the bus stop, just a short walk away from Forrest Luxury Apartments.
Tommy had to tilt his head upward slightly to look his twin in the eye. That was going to take some getting used to. “Oh yeah. My bad.” He started down the center aisle while the bus driver patiently waited for them. Everyone had been more patient with him today. Friendlier too.
The kids who’d greeted him when he’d gotten on the bus were still there, now waving goodbye to him.
“See ya, Tommy.”
It was a little more bittersweet than it was this morning for young master Dean. He now realized that their friendliness came from a place of sympathy. It was easy to be nice to the dumb kid, and that’s what Tommy was to so many of these people. The dumb kid.
Was it really so bad? Better being ‘the dumb kid’ than the smelly kid, the poor kid, or the pervy kid. Lowered expectations were reachable expectations.
As though he were a child who might wander off, Katlynn took his hand and started leading him home. It was done with the same relaxed informal familiarity as every other strange thing that had happened to him this morning. As far as his family remembered, he was easily confused, behind for his grade, short for his age, a bed wetter, and an occasional pants wetter. Looks like he got lost on the regular too.
Fate had other plans for Tommy than going home, he felt. On just the periphery of his vision, a golden light shone, and the sound of hooves clip clopped in his ears. Just as the bus pulled off, Tommy looked back over his shoulder.
Across the street a golden structure caught his eyes, glistening and shining like a lost city, just waiting to be discovered. “What’s that?” Tommy pointed.
“What’s what?” Katlynn asked. She followed Tommy’s gaze. “Oh? That? That’s the old playground, remember?” Tommy did not, in fact, remember. The rickety old playground that was normally located across the street had been a relic from decades before the ‘Luxury’ in Forrest Luxury Apartments was ironic.
From Tommy’s memory, that playground was just a pile of rotting timber, and rusted metal. The main play structure smelled of moldy wood and insects crawled over dozens of scraped-in initials where young punks had thought to carve their initials alongside curse words in a poorly thought out attempt to make their mark on an uncaring world. Plastic slides held had developed a unique kind of fungus on them cultivated from dog and catshit smeared over them.
Any grass surrounding it was overgrown and home to snakes, raccoons, and who knew how many parasites. The old sandbox was what could generously be described as a mud pit.
The seats on the swingset had long been broken and were home to little more than dangling chains that snowed brown iron dandruff when shaken. Corroded and rusty monkey bars had a greater chance of giving a child tetanus than a good time. Both the spinning merry go round and the seesaw had rusted at their joints where they were closer to modern art than play equipment. The old playground was more of a graveyard of fun; a poorly preserved fossil from better times when money had been invested into the community.
This? This wasn’t the old playground. This looked shining and brand new. Everything looked brand new and in mint condition: Clean slides, fresh wood, short grass, crisp sand, and smooth and clean metal play equipment, all with a golden sheen. (Not unlike a certain Titan’s armor.)
There was something different about the playground, though. More than just the cleanup and new materials inhabiting the old space, Tommy swore that he could see a strange silhouette just behind the main play structure: Hints of hooves on the ground, with a humanoid upper body.
“Nox,” Tommy whispered to himself. Tommy let go of his sister’s hand. “I’m gonna go check it out.”
Katlynn took his hand back. “No you’re not.” There was an air of command about her tone. Tommy wasn’t sure if he liked it. “We gotta get home, not play on some dirty old playground.”
“No buts-” Katlynn interrupted. “You’ve got homework to do, mister.”
“You’re not my mom, Kat.”
“No, but I’m your big sister.”
“By two minutes!”
“That’s not why I’m your big sister…” Katlynn let the words hang for a moment, and Tommy caught a glimpse of regret in her eyes. Just a flash, though.
Tommy grimaced. She might not have thought he knew, but he realized what she was implying. He stood up as straight as he could, took his hand back and said, “Katlynn. I’m eighteen. I’m an adult. I’m allowed to make my own choices, for better or worse.”
Katlynn took a half step backwards. Her jaw wasn’t exactly hanging, but her lips were open. Her lips were open and no sound was coming out from between them. Speechless. She was speechless. She was trying to think of a rebuttal, and couldn’t. Her cheeks puffed as she exhaled. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately, but…”
Tommy waited. He wanted to attack, to barrel her over and rebut any counter arguments and have the argument be won before she could utter a comeback. Instead, he held back. “But?” he asked.
“But you’re right,” she admitted. “You’re technically an adult and there’s nothing I can do to stop you.”
Tommy nodded. “Good.”
“I’m gonna tell Mom, though.”
Young master Dean wrinkled his nose. “That’s fair. I’ll accept those consequences.”
His sister’s head sort of vibrated, not as if she were disagreeing, but as if she couldn’t quite believe the words coming out of his mouth. Wisdom from the mouth of babes, as it were. “Okay then...okay.” She walked away.
Tommy wasted no time sprinting across the street. He dumped his backpack, wet trainers still inside, into the mulch as soon as he crossed the neatly cropped grass into his area. The metal frames of the swingset and monkey bars, he noticed, were etched and covered in familiar and unfathomable runes.
That wasn’t his main priority, however. “Nox!” he called out, ducking under the nearest slide. “Equestrinox!” He ran to the back. “Nox, what are you doing…?” He stopped. “Here?”
Just behind the play area, with it’s steps, and slides, and even a little fireman’s pole was a new piece of equipment. A tall spring pony was planted in the mulch and woodchips, a big one with legs sculpted on with just enough length to give the vague sense that someone was looking at the real thing from a distance. That explained the horse hooves.
Its rider explained the humanoid outline. Sitting side saddle on the playground equipment was a woman, a stranger. She was a woman grown, older than any of the girls in his class, but younger than his mother. Mid to late twenties, maybe thirty. A white t-shirt and plain blue jeans did nothing to hide her curves: She was shapely, with full hips and fuller breasts, and brunette hair that cascaded down her shoulders. Her eyes were mismatched, one green and one blue, a strange not quite imperfection that only made her seem all the more alluring to Tommy.
“Hello Tommy,” the woman said. “Come to play?”
Tommy froze. “How do you know my name?”
The woman didn’t answer. She just smiled and slid off of the big spring pony and walked past him. Tommy let her pass, but when he looked over his shoulder, she was looking back over hers “Coming?” she asked.
The stranger kept walking as Tommy followed. “Seriously. How do you know my name? What are you doing here? Were you waiting for me or something?” He peppered her with questions, each one went unanswered, her not even responding as she meandered to the front edge of the renewed playground. He took another look at the runes engraved on the golden monkey bars. “Are you from Malacus?” he asked.
She stopped and looked down at him. “Sort of,” she said. “But that’s not important right now.”
The woman smiled, warmly; knowingly. “For you? Right now? Playtime?”
A bit of Tom the Titan came to the forefront of Tommy’s. “What kind of playtime?” He clenched his fist and stepped back into a defensive position.
Her laughter resounded out loud and filled with mirth. The very metal of the playground vibrated with her laughter. “The kind best kind,” she said. “The kind where you play! Slides. Monkey bars! Seesaws! This is a playground, silly! I just want you to play!”
Tommy unstiffened. “Okay…” This could be a good thing. After such a strange and exhausting, he could use a good ol’ fashioned fantasy adventure. The strangest thing followed: Nothing. They stood there, just looking at each other. He looking at her, and she at him. Him, wobbly and uncertain looking from her and back to the playground, waiting for something to happen. Her, staring passively at him; only the gentle heaving of her breasts and the occasional blink indicating that she was alive. What was going on? If she was from Malacus, wasn’t she supposed to say something? Do something? “So...uh…”
Tommy shrugged. “What am I supposed to do now? Just start going down the slide? Ride the horse into the sunset?”
The stranger’s lips made a thin line. “Aw,” she cooed. “Poor baby. You don’t know how to play?”
He shrugged. It had been a long while since he’d played on an actual playground. This playground had been on its last legs when he was five and had only gone downhill since. And Scrumpton wasn’t exactly a place where playgrounds flourished. Like so many other cities in America, Scrumpton suffered from an epidemic of organized play.
Increasingly since Tommy was a little boy, play was a contest. It wasn’t proper play unless there were things like rules and boundaries and points and winners and losers. Tommy had almost always been among the losers. Places of simple whimsy and unstructured playtime were few and far between...as were people who enjoyed playing for playing’s sake. “Um...I guess not?”
“Don’t worry,” the stranger reached out and patted Tommy’s head. “Nanny will teach you.”
Tommy arched an eyebrow. “Nanny?” he said. “Is that your name?”
She shook her head. “Not really. But you can call me that if you’d like to.”
“What if I don’t want to?” Tommy asked. Something just didn’t quite feel right about all this. In Malacus everything had been spelled out for him, piece by piece, like the tutorial level in a video game. But this wasn’t Malacus, was it?
Instead of answering, Nanny picked a bag up off the ground. It looked like a satchel purse. There was something vaguely familiar about it, though; mainly in the color scheme. “Is this yours?” she asked.
Tommy shook his head. “No. Not mine.” An instant later he realized why it looked so familiar.
Before Tommy could finish the thought, the lady flipped open the top satchel, and pulled out a gallon plastic bag. “Are you sure?” Coyly, she dangled out the ziplock containing Tommy’s wet training pants. “Are these big boy pants yours?” She smiled, a prosecuting attorney presenting damning issues.
Tommy gulped. “Yeah.” He said. His heart rate sped up a few ticks.
“And were they in this bag?” Nanny asked him. She dropped the wet trainers onto the grass.
“Then this bag must also be yours.”
His not-quite secret shame there on the ground in front of him, Tommy felt his face flush. “It didn’t used to be a bag,” he said. “A second ago it was my backpack.”
“Sure it was.” The stranger agreed, but the sound of her voice sounded like she was humoring him. He followed her gaze back down to the wet trainers. “Had a big accident at pre-K, huh?”
Tommy grimaced like he’d swallowed salt water. “I go to the high school,” he said.
Nanny smirked. “You had a big accident at high school?”
“No!” That did not come out the right way. A set of mismatched eyes looked down at the trainers on the ground and then back up to Tommy. “I mean, it was only a little accident…” He patted the front of his crotch, feeling the dry warmth of the extra padding. His blue Thomas Trainers might need a wash, but his plain backups were still good to go. “It didn’t even leave a spot on my shorts.” He crossed his arms. “I’m a big boy.” The juvenile phrasing came to him so easily that he barely noticed how queer it sounded coming out of an eighteen year old’s mouth. He barely noticed, but he still did.
The woman, this so called nanny, reached out and tickled Tommy under his chin. To his surprise, he let her. “Who said you were a big boy?” she purred. “Miss Thompson the pre-K teacher? You’re not ready for daycare, yet.”
Tommy snapped out of the momentary stupor he was in. “For your information, it was the nurse who said I was a big boy.”
The stranger seemed to consider that. “Well if it was from a nurse…” she said. “Fair enough. Who am I to argue with a medical professional?” Like a switch, the woman’s demeanor changed from taunting and passive agressive to playful. “Since that’s settled, why don’t we get ready for play?”
“Get ready for play?” Tommy echoed. “How do you get ready for play?” He had the sinking feeling that this offer of play, this mini adventure outside of school would require special equipment; baseball gloves, or football helmets. It just wasn’t a game in Scrumpton unless accessories were involved.
Alas, Tommy was right, but not quite in the way he’d supposed. “You’ve been in those clothes all day,” Nanny said. “Best to get into a change of play clothes, don’t you think.”
“I don’t have a change of…” Tommy cut himself off as he watched Nanny reach into the satchel and take some clothes out. A Spider-Man T-shirt...and matching shorts, red and balck webbing pattern and all. If Spider-Man had been turned into a toddler, he’d wear shorts like those. Tommy looked down at the big red S on his chest. He liked Superman well enough, but Spider-Man was by far the best; that’s why Tommy knew he’d defend Turn Off The Dark as being robbed at the Tony’s with his dying breath.
“Would you like to get changed into these?”
Tommy almost felt like he was drooling. “Yeah.” He would. He really would. “I’ll take those home,” he said. “And I’ll change and come back here.” He reached out for the clothes; his clothes. They were in his satchel purse, so they were his; even if he didn’t remember packing them.
Playfully, the woman calling herself Nanny yanked them away. “Or…” she said, “...or you could put them on here.”
Tommy looked around. “There’s no bathroom.” Lots of things had been restored, and the spring pony was a new addition, but there were no public restrooms around, either now or in Tommy’s memory.
Sometimes things need to be repeated, not because the listener misheard, but because what was said was so completely unexpected that it didn’t fully register with the conscious mind. The idea was foreign, if not the language. Tommy stood there in the grass, gawking. “Excuse me?”
“I’ll help you get into your play clothes out here,” this strange woman said. Tom’s conscious mind was telling him to run. Stranger danger to the extreme. Tommy’s unconscious mind, however…
“There’s no bathroom,” Tommy repeated himself. Maybe the same thing was happening to the Nanny. She said she was from Malacus, (sort of). Flush toilets weren’t really a thing on that side of the clock.
The Nanny was already digging around in the satchell that used to be Tommy’s backpack. In a feat that wasn’t quite on par with pulling a large potted plant out of a carpet bag, the beautiful lady with mismatched eyes removed a folded picnic blanket, flapped it open, and laid it out with just the flick of her wrist. “I know. You can get changed here.”
Tommy looked around “Uh...we’re in public.”
“Don’t worry. No one’s looking.” She pointed to the playground. It seemed to be glowing. “The sun is in the perfect position. If anyone does look, they’ll be blinded by the pretty golden glow.”
Tommy was close to tears; tears of frustration he realized. He was running out of excuses to give himself. “What about you?”
“You were almost completely naked in front of a bunch of hairy, sweaty dwarves,” the woman said “Are you scared of me little old me?” Tommy didn’t say anything. Like a child who’d run out of good arguments, he felt his tongue tied and his voice go quiet. “Step onto the blanket. Let’s get these nice clean play clothes on you.” Her voice was downright hypnotic. “You know you want to.”
He did. He really did. And for once, even when she was teasing him, she was talking to him like he was intelligent. None of the others at school today dared call him stupid. They just talked over his head in well meaning but condescending voices. Especially Katlynn. Even Amanda a little bit.
“Alright,” Tommy said stepping onto the blanket. “Let’s play.”
“If anyone sees us,” the Nanny whispered, “it’ll be all my fault.” She started pulling his shorts down for him. Tommy didn’t resist. “I’m older, wiser, smarter. I’m taking advantage of you. You can pretend you didn’t know any better.”
“Yeah,” Tommy whispered. “Yeah.” He didn’t know any better. That’s why he was standing out here as this beautiful stranger that surely no one in town knew. That’s why he was letting his pants get pulled down and showing off his padded tighty whities. That was just...just...just a little...
“But no one’s going to see us. You’re here. You’re safe. You’re just going to play.” Her hand was on his chest, and Tommy suddenly felt weak in the knees. He wasn’t overcome or fatigued, he just had the sudden urge to sit down on the blanket, being guided down mentally as well as physically.
Strong, feminine hands tickled themselves up Tommy’s ribs and guided his arms to the sky. “Easy part first. Let’s change that shirt.” The world went blue for a second as the T-shirt was yanked up over Tommy’s head. “Good boy. Keep those arms up.”
Tommy sucked in his breath as the brand new Spider-Man shirt was pulled over his head and his arms guided through the sleeves. In a strange well it felt good to be dressed like this. Comforting, really.
The woman put her hand back on his chest and gently guided Tommy to lay down. He picked his legs up, and the woman with the mismatched eyes shimmed his shorts off his ankles, them only getting caught on the heels of his sneakers for an instant.
“Shoes can stay on,” the woman said. The Spider-Man shorts did not go on next, however. Nimble, almost elven fingers dug into the waistband of his underwear. “These? I don’t think so.”
Tom reached down and grabbed the wrists. “I do.” His special training pants were staying on. He yanked up at her wrists, but they stayed where they were. He had godlike strength inside the clock. Not so, here.
The Nanny removed her fingers, not because she was forced to, but because she could. She reached over and grabbed what used to be Tommy’s backpack. “I think you were very big for school,” she said, “but I’m worried about your trainers. You’ve already had one accident today…”
“I’m not giving up my special undies!” Tommy was almost bleating. Have his shirt and pants ripped off of him? No problem. But the anxiety that was flooding his gray matter was starting to border on manic. He’d lost a lot to get Thomas the Tank Engine and friends on his underwear. He wasn’t giving it up to freeball.
The Nanny brushed aside a bit of her brunette hair. She grabbed the thing that used to be Tommy’s backpack. Still on guard, Tommy dug his fingers into the waistband of his trainers and clenched his fists tight while she rooted around.
“You don’t have to give up your special undies,” she said. “Just give them a rest. A break.” Tommy held firm. From out of the bag, the woman pulled out a new item. It was rectangular, and mostly white, with little teal scribblings stenciled in. Tommy could tell from the crease on the bottom that it was folded up. It wobbled a bit in her hand, and made a dry crinkling sound as she turned it over in his hand. The back had cute little squiggles on it. Grover, from Sesame Street, was chasing a pastel butterfly with a net. Along what had to be the front waistline, a smiling Elmo and Abby Cadaby waved at Tommy. The word ‘Pampers’ off to the side made it absolutely clear what she was holding, just in case.
It wasn’t a purse or a satchel that she was digging around in. It was a diaper bag. And in her hand, was of course, a diaper; just a little bit bigger than what babies wore. “Take a break from being a big boy,” the lady said. “Give you potty pants a break.”
The hairs on the back of Tommy’s neck (what few remained) were standing on edge. “I can hold it,” he said.
“I know you can.” The Nanny reached forward and tweaked his nose. “This would be just in case.”
Tommy’s breathing was becoming shallow and he wasn’t sure why. “Just in case?”
“Just in case.”
“What if I keep these dry?” Tommy asked. The fact that he was spread eagle in his underwear outdoors had vanished from his mind. He had more pressing matters on his mind.
“Then when you’re done playing and ready to go home, I’ll help you put your big boy undies back on.”
“And if I do…” Tommy chose his next words carefully. “If I need that just in case?” He didn’t dare say anything along the lines of accidents.
The woman who’d lured him this for just shrugged. “Then I’ll change you.” She paused. “Hold on.” She looked in the diaper bag, briefly. “Yes, I’ll change you,” she said, sounding more sure of herself. “Your Mommy packed plenty.”
“And I’ll be stuck inside them?” Tommy clenched his trainers. He was genuinely unsure of what he wanted the answer to be.
The Nanny pressed her lips together, again, letting out a low humming noise as she considered. “No. I don’t think so. I’ll change you. But when we’re done and it's time for you to go home, your big boy trainers will go back on.”
Tommy bit his bottom lip so hard it almost bled. Why was this so important to him? “And you won’t tell anyone?”
“This will be our little secret.”
Tommy stared down at his chest. A certain arachnid silhouette stared at him over black webbing on a field of red and blue. “And the...play clothes?”
“You can keep those,” the woman promised.
Tommy released his death grip on the plain white trainers and propped himself up on his elbows. He leaned on his left so he could stick out his right hand, little finger first. “Pinky swear?”
Mismatched eyes lit up with joy, and the Nanny slapped her hand over her mouth in order to stifle her own laughter. “You’re too cute!” She reached out her own pinky and wrapped it around his. “Pinky swear.” Tommy said no more. He laid back and put his hands behind his head, leaving his trainers unguarded so that this strange apparition of the land behind the clock could go to work.
Those delicate, almost elven fingers dug into the waist band of his underwear and pulled it down. Without thinking, as if it were almost second nature, Tommy planted the flats of his shoes on the picnic blanket and lifted his hips so she could slide them all the way off his hips. “Good boy.”
A slight breeze picked up and blew across Tommy’s hairless privates as she finished guiding the underwear off his legs. Like the shorts, the trainers got caught on his sneakers. “That’s the hardest part,” she said. The smaller leg holes of the trainers took more jostling. “Can’t even rip open the sides like Pull-Ups. It’s why I hate potty training.” Like a spell being cast, the trainers came free.
Tommy swallowed as she unfolded the diaper, not much bigger than what a two-year-old might wear. He gasped as the Nanny pushed his legs back and lifted his bum up for him with ease before sliding the diaper under him. It seemed she was being polite when she allowed him to help get his underwear off.
Immediately as his weight settled, he could feel the extra cushioning of the diaper. The padded underwear he’d low-key exalted in wearing all day seemed thin by comparison. An impulse rocketed through him to suck his thumb. Out of pride more than revulsion, he resisted the urge and sucked on his teeth instead as the diaper was brought up between his legs. Tommy was a little disappointed that a bottle of baby powder hadn’t come out of his new diaper bag.
“Diapers go on easy,” the strange woman said. Tommy shivered in delight a bit as the Pampers were taped up, one side at a time; first the left, then the right. It was strange how something that was shaped and sized like something between a washcloth and a towel took form around his waist. There was a feeling of completion and security that he hadn’t gotten when changing his wet trainers at lunch. The Nanny gave a last press on each of the tapes, for emphasis. “Much easier, don’t you think?”
Still sucking on his teeth in anticipation (for what he couldn’t remember), Tommy nodded. “Mmm-hmmm.” He sat up to move, but found the Nanny’s hand back on his chest, guiding him back down.
“Silly boy,” she clucked. “You’re only half dressed.” She popped open the matching baggy shorts and worked them over his sneakered feet. When they were just past his ankles, she reached for his hands.
Taking the cue, he reached up and allowed himself to be helped to his feet, with the pants and his new diaper on display for any passerby. “You’re being such a good helper,” the woman complimented him, as she pulled the shorts all the way up his waist and let the elastic band snap into place.
His ‘play-outfit’ complete, Tommy took a few tentative steps off the blanket, whilst the brunette haired woman packed away the clothes he’d worn to school in what used to be his backpack. It felt...different. He was more bow-legged and the padding had less give than he was used to. He could put his feet together if he angled his knees in the right direction, but found that if he tried to touch his knees together, they would just barely graze. The insides of his thighs would not be touching for as long as he was wearing this. Tommy had never worn a pelvic cast before, but he imagined it was a lot like that.
A few more quiet steps, and Tommy realized that his steps weren’t so quiet at all. There was a dry rustling when he moved, a crinkling that sounded like a kind of cross between grocery bag plastic and crumpling notebook paper. It happened with every step. The diaper didn’t move with him as much as it moved around him.
“This,” Tommy hesitated. “This is new.”
The Nanny came up beside him. “Do you mean you’ve never worn diapers before?” she teased. Tommy had nothing to say to that. “Think of it as a refresher of sorts.”
“Why would I need a refresher?” Tommy asked.
He didn’t get an answer; just a playful swat on his behind. He barely felt it through the poofy undergarment, but the surprise caused him to go up on his tippy toes and stumble forward. A stranger he’d met not ten minutes ago had just stripped him and dressed him like he was a toddler too young for even preschool. Things were already going so fast. If he hadn’t already lost his virginity to an elf last night and peed in front of his crush (with both women having identical faces), this might have been considered weird. “Think of it as armor,” the Nanny, now behind him said. “Play armor.”
Tommy looked back over his shoulder and noticed that not everything had been put away. “Are you going to pack up the blanket?” he asked.
The beautiful stranger regarded the blanket for a moment. “I’ll leave it out. Just in case…” She motioned for him to go play. “Go on. I’ll watch.”
With slow and unsteady steps, Tommy walked bow-legged onto the playground. He took the pristine wooden steps onto the main play structure, doing his best to ignore the rustling sound that buzzed up from his waist with every step. It was a relatively plain play place as far as those sort of things went. A set of steps up to a main platform with multiple ways out.
Straight ahead were connecting monkey bars he could swing on, to his right was a second set of steps that fed into a twisting slide. To his left and farther out was a second slide, this one wider and straighter with a fireman’s pole to the slide’s right just before. Beneath him, through the wooden boards he could make out a kind of pit, with golden metal play wheels.
“This is dumb,” Tommy mumbled to himself. “It’s just a playground.” But then a little voice inside of him- the same voice that got his attention and caused him to stare longingly at a package of Paw Patrol Pull-Ups- gave him another idea. What if it wasn’t just a playground?
Tommy looked to the monkey bars. “Battlements,” he said. He lightly stomped on the floor and looked in the shaded area beneath the playspace. “A dungeon.” He squinted at the slide that went straight out like a ramp. “Drawbridge over the moat.” He looked at the twisting slide and the fireman’s pole. “Secret passages.” This wasn’t a playground, that voice deep within Tommy told him. “It’s a fortress.”
“What was that, Tommy?”
Tommy looked down to the grown-up lady at the playground’s perimeter. “I said it’s a fortress!”
“Oh is it?” The Nanny giggled. Arms flourishing, she bowed. “Well then, at your service, m’lord. Prithee, what is the king of this castle’s name?”
He was about to proclaim he was Tom the Titan of Earth Realm, but something didn’t taste right about that. He was all those things in Malacus, but this wasn’t Malacus. It was like calling Trevor ‘Leadshoulder’; a case of similar but mistaken identity.
An idea came to him. He pulled the front of his shirt out and looked down at it. “I’m Spider-Tom!”
The Nanny’s response was immediate. “Hurray! Spider-Tom! King of the Castle!” Darn tootin’ he was! With what felt like unexpected grace, Tommy took to the monkey bars and started swinging from them, moving down bar by bar, one hand at a time.
“Spider-Tom is on patrol to protect the fortress.” Tommy declared. The ground was only an inch or two away from his toes, but to Tommy he might as well have been soaring through the skies through a bizarre kind of medieval Manhattan. For an ordinary child, pretending a playground was a castle was an easy enough task, requiring little imagination. For Tommy, who had let go of such immature pastimes AND had been in the inside of actual castles and fortress, such an act of internal chicanery required a level of skill and Herculean imagination.
“Such good swinging!” The Nanny cheered from the side of the monkey bars. “Well done m’lord Spider-Tom.”
Tommy’s feet came to the ladder at the end of the monkey bars and he twisted and pivoted around so he was facing back towards the fortress/play place. “I’m not swinging by my hands,” he told her. “I’m web slinging.” He let go with one hand long enough to do the signature Spider-Man pose: Pointer and pinky stretched out, middle finger and ring finger to his palm, and thumb sticking out to the side. He didn’t know why, but it was very important to him that she knew that Spider-Tom wasn’t just swinging from the monkey bars like a kid.
“And what wonderful web slinging it is, Spider-Tom,” the Nanny gushed. She came up and fiddled with his shorts, breaking character. “Just a moment.” Tommy looked down and saw the waistband of his Spider-Man play shorts pulled up over the paper-thin top of his diaper which had just been starting to poke out. “Carry on, m’lord.” Another pat on the butt sent Tom swinging back across to the playground.
Tommy sored along the battlements, satisfied with his patrol. “Things seem to be fine.”
“But look out Spider-Tom!” He heard the Nanny call from the ground. “Goblins are trying to crawl up the drawbridge!”
Tommy whipped his head to the straight and wide slide. He couldn’t see the goblins, of course, but knew they were there all the same. With a few bounding leaps Tommy was gliding down the slide, bowling goblins over in his wake with speed and agility that Tom the Titan could never match.
Legs spread wide to trip them on his way down. Tommy threw punches in every direction, felling goblins left and right. These adversaries felt weaker than even the dwarves. Tommy couldn’t even feel their bones breaking beneath his fists, but he knew ever punch he threw, the minions of evil were being slain.
No treaties. No playing nice. No complicated geopolitical-racial tensions. Just beatin’ up baddies and being the hero. Just the way Tommy liked it. “Oh no!” Tommy yelled, sounding completely insincere. “There’s too many of them!”
“Run away!” The Nanny called from the sidelines. “Retreat back to the castle!”
Tommy ran back up the slide the way he came, whirling around with a positively maniacal grin when he’d reached the top. “FOOLED YOU GOBBIES!” He shouted, sliding back down and slaughtering the goblins who were foolhardy enough to follow him up his own drawbridge. Goblins always fell for that trick.
“Yay for Spider-Tom! So smart!” After a day in remedial everything, that little pretend compliment meant more to Tom than it should have. Tommy continued beating up invisible legions and punching at shadows.
“Oh no!” The Nanny cried out in mock horror. “They’ve got ogres! Whatever are you going to do?”
Tommy didn’t stop punching the air. “It’s okay,” Tommy called back. “I can handle ogres!” He kept punching and doing his best (bad) kung fu impressions, throwing in some web slinging for good measure. “Yah!” He shouted. “Bam! Pow!”
It was harder to do kicks in these clothes, though for reasons he wasn’t quite paying attention to, Tommy was definitely doing a kind of fancy footwork. He hadn’t been to a toilet since lunch. Technically he hadn’t successfully used a potty...a toilet... outside of a few dribbles and aftershocks after the damage had already done to his clothes.
No time to think about that, though. “But Spider-Tom,” the Nanny said. “The ogres are making their way inside the castle!”
Like the cartoon characters he’d seen so often in his youth, Tommy stood straight up, with his pointer towards the sky. “Spider-Tom is on the way!” Once again, Tommy ran straight up the slide. This time he lost his balance, slipping. His stomach and chest hit the slide first, before he skid back down. It didn’t hurt. Not really, but something was off.
He felt a hot warmth for a second and then he realized the source. He was wetting his pants again, and not just a little bit this time. He’d started peeing the moment he fell and by the time he was upright he was almost done. No point in cutting the stream off, or so his body had decided. Tommy looked down at his ruined playshorts, ready for the tell tale wet spot to form on the outside of his pants, or for urine to start trickling down his leg.
“Tommy?” the only other person there called. “Tommy, are you alright?”
He felt his underwear- his diaper- swelling and sagging a bit, like he’d just peed into a sponge, but there was no obvious sign at what he’d done to himself. He didn’t dare touch his crotch, for fear of giving himself away. “I’m fine,” he lied. He pulled his pants back up over the very top of the diaper. “Pants fell down a little.” An idea came to him. Instead of gently padding his front and feeling for wet spots, he brazenly grabbed his diaper through his pants and jostled it. “Gotta...adjust…” he said. “Guy stuff.”
“Oh,” the Nanny said. “That’s fine.”
The squish in the front of his diaper was wet and warm; not unlike the inside of a certain queen of the elves. That memory rushed to the forefront of Tommy’s and his Pampers started to feel a little tighter at the mental image. He chased the idea out of his head. He had more important things to do, like kicking ogres out of his castle.
Tommy redoubled his efforts and rushed up the inclined plane of a drawbridge back up to the castle proper. With titanic spider strength, Spider-Tom tossed ogres out of the castle. Nanny provided their voices (or rather, their cries of anguish) as they fell from such lofty heights.
“Oh no! Too strong! We never should have come here!” Her voice was high pitched and sniveling, yet growly; a properly humbled ogre voice. “Quick, Spider-Tom, some of them are getting away!”
“NOT ON MY WATCH!” Tommy yelled at the top of his lungs. Instead of sliding back down the drawbridge, Tommy went the other direction to the twisting slide. Secret passages were always faster. Always.
Nanny grabbed him by the hand and pointed to the spring pony they’d met on. “To your horse m’lord! That’ll catch them!” Hand in hand, they ran over to Spider-Tom’s noble steed. Tommy climbed on and began rocking back and forth as his Spider-Tom-Horse ran as fast as it could, mowing down ogres by the score. “Good job!” she praised him.
Tommy dismounted as he caught up to the last invisible ogre. “I’m taking this one prisoner.” By the time he’d finished riding, Tommy had stopped noticing how different his wet diaper felt compared to when it was dry. He’d stopped noticing the squish with every rocking motion, or how the swollen Pampers made his legs bow out even more when he was walking.
It wasn’t the same as with the trainers. When he’d had an accident at lunch, it had felt like a kind of mental trainwreck. The trainers were padded in case he got wet, not because they were supposed to get wet. The thing wrapped around his hips now was meant to contain any accidents he had and let him keep adventuring. There was no ‘just in case’ about it. It really was like play armor. Internally, Tommy just accepted that this was how his underwear was supposed to feel.
He made a show of going over and pantomimed picking up the imaginary monster, and stowing it back on his noble steed. “Back to the castle!”
Before he could hop back on the spring pony, Nanny tapped him on the shoulder. “But before we go back to the castle, I think it’s time we go back to the picnic blanket.”
“Why?” Tommy was genuinely unsure.
She reached down between his legs and squeezed his crotch. His new underwear was still pleasantly wet and squishy, but it had lost all warmth by now. Nor was it by the strictest definition ‘new’ anymore. “I think I need to ‘adjust’ your diaper.” Without further comment she took Tommy by the hand and led him back over to the blanket; Tommy blushing all the way.
She’d known all along, Tommy realized. From the moment that he’d pretended to adjust as a way of checking himself, she’d known. Yet she had brought it up until well after. Nanny had let him play. Nanny had played along and cheered with him, as if a little accident inside his pants was less important than him having fun. If he hadn’t captured that last ogre, and created a break in the play, he might have been allowed to continue. She didn’t have that disgusted, freaked out, look that Cameron had had at lunch. Even Amanda had bailed on him as soon as he crossed the threshold into the nurse’s office. Nanny was staying with him.
That idea- the notion of not being rejected for things he couldn’t control- was a measure of comfort to Tommy as his pants were pulled down for him and he was guided back down to the ground. Tommy lifted his legs and started to try and get his shorts past his sneakers, while Nanny dug around in the diaper bag. “Can I help?”
Nanny looked back at him and steaded his legs. “Pants stay on.”
“But you said you were…I mean I thought…-” Tommy’s words were cut off as Nanny reached down and started to rub him through the wet diaper. Tommy let out a gasp as his penis grew erect.
“Little baby boy thought he wanted to stay in his trainers, didn’t he?” There was no irony or mocking in her voice. She kept rubbing him through the extra large Pampers. The wet pulp surrounded his manhood, cushioning him and caressing him as she squeezed and stroked. “Didn’t he?”
“Uh-huh,” Tommy moaned. He wasn’t a baby boy. He knew he wasn’t. But this just felt so good. Her voice was so hypnotizing. It was useless to resist. So why resist? The front of his diaper felt especially snug, his erection growing with every stroke, becoming harder with each honeyed word she whispered into his brain.
“But if baby boy had had his trainers on, he would have had an accident and Spider-Tom would have wet his pants.” This was fact. It was known. All Tom could do was suck on his teeth and moan as Nanny kept rubbing. Still rubbing him through the diaper, she counted off the many deeds on the playground. “Instead, he got to fight goblins, and ogres, and ride on the horsey, and not worry about anything other than being the best baby Spider-Tom he could be.” It was soothing in a way.
For an instant, his synapses flared to self-awareness and with that came a moment of self-consciousness. He was out in the open, pants around his ankles, being jerked off in a diaper while one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen cooed at him like he was an adorable little tyke. What would the neighbors think?
Like a second round of booze hitting his bloodstream, Tommy suddenly didn’t feel embarrassed. Instead he felt giggly, and silly...and naughty. Tommy felt naughty in the best possible way. He started thrusting his hips, ever so slightly to grind against his Nanny’s palm.
“Oh-ho!” Nanny cooed. “Does baby like his special diaper change?”
Tommy only giggled as he wriggled his hips some more. He’d stopped sucking on his teeth; too hard to keep his mouth closed. But he wanted to suck on something. He almost wanted to ask Nanny to reposition herself so he could suckle on her tit, but couldn’t find the courage.
Lulling his head to the side as he neared climax, he stared at his thumb. Flashes of himself days ago on his couch, sucking on his thumb. Should he?
Nanny paused long enough to take out a fresh Pampers, a packet of wipes and a bottle of baby oil. She wasn’t kidding when she called this a ‘diaper change’. She reached over and undid the tapes on Tommy’s diaper with two quick motions; one hand against the base of the diaper, and the other to peel the tapes off.
She pulled open the diaper and revealed that it didn’t come close to Tommy’s ankles. “Like I said,” Nanny smiled coyly, “diapers are easy.” The cold baby wipe dragged over his throbbing cock did little, if anything, to douse his physical excitement. “Gotta get that baby clean,” she cooed.
The baby oil came next. Tommy watched and felt everything as it was rubbed over him. So warm. So fragrant. So...familiar. Nanny grabbed him again and picked up the pace. Tommy was bucking as she started stroking him directly. “Ug...ug...uh..ug..uh…” he groaned. Words were lost to him, and for the moment only baby babble was coming out of his mouth.
He looked at his thumb, his bottom lip trembling. He’d already gone so far over the line.
“Go on baby,” Nanny coaxed. “It’s okay.”
Tommy jammed his thumb into his mouth, giggling and feeling so incredibly naughty and silly, his mind peaking, just as his body rocked him into an almost violent climax. Another baby wipe caught his erupting sperm, cleaning it up neatly as he quivered. “That’s right,” she whispered. “Get it alllllll out.”
The wipe containing his jizz went into the dirty diaper. Same as all the other ones. A few more made sure that his taint and backside were clean. Then it was out with the old diaper and in with the new one. Tommy lay there panting and grinning around his thumb as the new diaper was pulled up and taped on.
“Good boy.” Nanny cooed as she slid his Spider-Man shorts back up. Like a good helper, he lifted his hips so she could slide them back over the new diaper. “Nanny’s gonna go throw this yucky thing away.”
Just like that, it was over. The evidence of the last half hour thrown away in the garbage. New diaper. Clean bum. Pants pulled back up. Tommy was renewed again. He took his thumb out of his mouth, closed his eyes, and let out a relaxed sigh.
“Tommy?” That wasn’t Nanny’s voice. Tommy jolted awake. His eyes opened to near darkness. The sun was setting. “Tommy, what are you doing?”
“Mom!” Tommy scrambled up off the old overgrown grass that he’d matted down.
His mother drew him into a tight, panicky hug. “Tommy, is this where you’ve been?” She sounded worried.
“I’m sorry, Mommy,” Tommy said, trying to keep his confusing wave of guilt, confusion, and fear together. “I didn’t mean to.”
Mom pulled back from her hug. “Didn’t mean to? Katlynn told me you wouldn’t let her take you home..” Tommy saw that Mom already had his backpack. Backpack, not diaper bag.
“Didn’t mean to fall asleep.” Tommy corrected himself.
Mom shook her head. It was a pitying gesture. He wasn’t the precious baby boy anymore, he was the dumb twin who didn’t know any better. “I don’t know how you could manage to fall asleep out here.” Tommy looked back over his shoulder. The playground wasn’t golden anymore. His play fortress had reverted to a rotting rusted heap. Had it all been a dream?
“I don’t know either.”
Tommy took his mother’s hand as she walked away. “And you better not have trouble getting to sleep tonight because you took an impromptu nap, young man.” Young man. Not baby boy. Not even little boy. Just ‘young man’.
“Yes ma’am.” Tommy looked down at the ground, staring only at his sneakers and blue Spider-Man shorts. Tommy held his breath and moved his gaze upward. Spider-Man shirt, too! But that meant…
Tommy listened for the crinkling sound of fresh Pampers. Nothing. He tried to squeeze his thighes together, but couldn’t. Mom wouldn’t let him stop walking. Sneakily, he pulled open the front of his pants just to check. He still had the plain white training pants from this afternoon on.
I’ll change you,” Nanny had said, “But when we’re done and it's time for you to go home, your big boy trainers will go back on.”
Tommy mouthed the words to himself: “This will be our little secret.”