Chapter Description: Stuck in Janet's home, Clark watches T.V. and comes to some unspoken truths.
I sat there on the plush carpet of Janet’s living room, wearing nothing but a diaper. A bottle filled with apple juice sloshing in my hands. At least she told me it was apple juice. My paranoid brain nagged at me that there might be something more swirling around beneath the rubber nipple.
It was the first day since my official “adoption”, and I was quietly dreading what torments Janet had prepared for me. Yesterday had been enough; almost too much. The fact that my prison cell was now decorated as a boy’s nursery gave me little comfort. The closet now had empty hangers; with dozens of pink and frilly dresses boxed and hauled away. No new clothes yet; hence just the diaper.
I hoped that meant that I was being kept inside today. A day of quiet, private indignation might be nice for a change. Either that or she might trot me out in public one bad tape away from being starkers. Show the whole town what a “baby” I was now. For all I knew, she’d get off on that kind of thing. For all I knew, I barely knew the woman at all.
Every Amazon seems to have a bucket list of “Mommy” stuff that they can’t wait to jump into as soon as they manage snatch up some unfortunate Little: Forced breastfeeding; enemas and suppositories; hypnotism, and at least half a dozen different unnecessary surgeries. Amazons love that kind of stuff.
I’d been saved from a new batch of freckles yesterday only because my skin was too raw to tattoo. My luck wouldn’t hold out that long. Same thing went for my clothing situation. Sooner or later, I’d have to get more clothes than just the solitary white onesie I’d been trapped in yesterday.
My first day back...as a student...was Monday.
Ugh...school. That was going to be hard. It was like death. You know it’s going to happen someday, you know it’s coming, but you do your best not to think about it.. A LOT of my thought processes have reverted to that lately. Don’t think about the next thing. Or the next. Or the next. It wasn’t going to be good. Just try to be in the now; even if the now wasn’t very good, either. Because it was only going to get worse. It was the only way I could keep myself from going into a total raging panic breakdown.
Color me surprised when after my morning change and surprisingly tolerable high-chair cereal breakfast, I was unbuckled, plopped on the carpet, and given a bottle of juice. “Here ya go, Clarky.” Great...she was trying out nicknames. “I don’t want you getting dehydrated.”
From my spot on the carpet, I swished the bottle and I eyed her wearily. “What are we doing now?”
“Yesterday was a really hectic day,” she said. “For both of us.” She reached over my head and grabbed a remote. “I figure we could just spend the morning together and watch a little T.V.”
An electric shock wormed its way into my nervous system. Had I any body hair left, the little bits on the back of my neck would have been standing on end. Was this how my mind died? Eyelids pried open and my adulthood seeping out into hypnotic animation. “Cartoons...?” I asked.
Janet chuckled, as if there had been hope in my voice (there hadn’t been). “Maybe later, hon, but I was thinking something a little less frantic.” She turned on the television, and I reflexively slammed my eyes closed.
“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?”
I opened my eyes, more confused than anything. I knew this show. I’d watched it for years when I was an actual child. It was one of the few bits of local children’s programming that Little parents allowed their kids to watch. There was no animation for high grade hypnotics, the sound quality was serviceable, but there wasn’t a trace of subliminal messaging, and most importantly the message was unbiased towards race, creed, sexuality, gender, or size.
From my spot on the carpet, I looked up at Janet. “Mr. Frederick?” This time my voice did have something similar to hope. “You watch this show?”
Again, Janet smiled as if what I’d said was adorable. “Not for a long while,” she said, “but I’d love it if we watched it together.”
My head on a swivel, I scanned the living room- couch, coffee table, T.V. set; everything. Amazons were just as susceptible to their brainwashing methods as a Little, but they often used devices to filter the unwanted stimulus out. I squinted looking for any signs of ear plugs or glasses laying around. I stood up, tried to look in her eyes. Hypnosis resistant contacts weren’t a thing? Were they? Not that I’d read about....
She nodded. “Yeah. Do you wanna sit on Mommy’s lap?”
I bristled at Janet calling herself “Mommy”, but held my temper. I’d only encouraged it yesterday when I called out in the courthouse. Now I was kicking myself for it. If you’d asked me even a week prior whether I’d call an Amazon “Mommy” or “Daddy” or any other stupid cutesie thing, I would have steadfastly denied it.
I would say that I would have gone catatonic first. Keep my mouth shut and endure it to the bitter end. Give your enemy nothing; not love or hate or fear or pain; and especially not satisfaction. Such was my pride. Pride’s a funny thing. Not only does it come before the fall, but it’s also one of the first things to up and leave when it’s not convenient.
“No thank you,” I told her. “I’ll stay here.”
Her nostrils flared as she exhaled, but she kept her smile. “Okie dokie. I’ll be on the couch if you change your mind.” I’d settled on a middle ground for the time being. Resolved that I would avoid pushing that particular button unless I felt I really needed to; and instead stopped verbally referring to her as anything at all. She’d get “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am”, and I’d be polite enough. Avoid calling her by her first name to her face….
But she wouldn’t get “Mommy” either. I doubted I could keep that promise for long. Janet wasn’t stupid, and noticed the absence of the big M word from my vocabulary. She’d likely try and turn up the heat in some way. Yet it felt empowering all the same that I could make it to myself.
I needed to do that.
“Won’t you please, won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?”
And so I sat there, on the carpet, my guard fully up, ready to slam my eyes shut, cover my ears and scream out whatever programming that was going to be beamed into my brain. But the moment didn’t come. All that came was an old Amazon man talking about feeding his fish and a puppet show.
Instead of turning into a drooling dolt, I breathed a sigh of relief and watched the show, stealing occasional glances at Janet. Sometimes she didn’t see me, instead glancing down at her phone or texting something. Other times she did, and she gave me a friendly little wave. “Hi!” she’d say. “Mommy’s right here!”
Poor deluded Janet. She told herself I was a lost cub looking for its Mama bear. Emotionally though, I was a mouse in a cobra cage, checking to make sure that it was still coiled up on the other side.
The show ended uneventfully, and then, right on its heels, came another old favorite from long ago.
“It’s time to sing all the songs, it’s time to laugh and play, it’s time to get things started on the Muffet Show Today.” Kremit, Miss Puggy, and Fuzzy all danced across the stage as Gongzo wound up his giant mallet- which would inevitably backfire when he tried to hit the giant gong at the end of the theme song.
Astonished, I whirled my head around and gawked at Janet. “This channel has the Muffets?!”
For the first time since snatching me, Janet smiled with something besides mothering condescension, or madness. Once again, I saw flashes of my old friend. “Of course this channel has the Muffets! It’s how I found out about this channel in the first place! It has re-runs of all these great old shows from when we were kids!” She slipped! She slipped and I couldn’t help but feel a glimmer of victory. A Little victory. “Do you wanna watch it?”
I knew that I was giving her what she wanted, that I was feeding her madness. Still, this felt like a nice gesture, all things being equal.
I completely let my guard down and watched one of my favorite shows; a comfort from another lifetime. Once again, thank goodness for small mercies. The entire broadcast, I’d forget myself, up until I’d slouch or shift my weight and I’d hear the tiny crinkle of my diaper. The awareness of my diaper at least let me tell myself that I wasn’t being brainwashed just then. There were Littles in the world who started tinkling their trousers the second the hypnotic theme song of their “favorite” show came on.
The thing is, objectively speaking, Dr. Milton had been right. Wearing a diaper wasn’t that bad. It was comfortable enough, and as long as I didn’t consciously try to squeeze my legs together, or think about what I’d inevitably use it for, it wasn’t bothersome. It was clothing. Underwear...kind of. It was bizarre just how much it didn’t bother me, too.
The Muffet show went to commercial and I closed my eyes and went back inside my own head. Even going so far as to pull my knees up to my chest. This was wrong. This was so wrong.
Sitting in a diaper, with a bottle, watching the Muffet Show on T.V., with a mother figure watching me watch T.V. In a weird way it all seemed so plain...so ordinary...so normal. Long ago, I mused, I very well may have been in this exact scenario. Only I would have needed the diapers, then. I would have actually been a baby, not a prisoner and in my thirties.
The pleasant memory erased by the bizarre present, I felt a twinge in my bladder and shifted uncomfortably, crinkling more. My bladder wasn’t particularly full, but knowing that my toilet was wrapped around my waist had made me more self-conscious about it. Diapers were actually making me pay more attention to how much I needed to pee. Ironic considering the flimsy justifications used to keep me in them. “You okay, hon?”
I was still looking straight ahead, avoiding eye contact. “Uh-huh.”
The waistband of my diaper was pulled back. Damn, Janet was fast! Her hand snuck around and squeezed my crotch, eliciting a dry rustle. “Still clean,” she said, (as if I didn’t know). “Don’t forget your juice.” Inwardly, I groaned. Typical Amazon.
I looked at the bottle I’d been holding suspiciously. Get them incontinent: That’s the first thing Amazons did to Littles that they’d captured. Made it harder for them to escape; harder to go back to a normal life. Easiest way to do that was to pump them so full of liquids that their bladders were revolving doors instead of waiting rooms. I’d already gotten a taste of that treatment.
Then of course, were any number of unnaturally strong laxatives and diuretics, to help things along. I’d already been poisoned once. That’s how I ended up in this mess- had to be. And even though Janet hadn’t been the one that had slipped something into my coffee, (she never had the opportunity), would my “Mommy” really have any qualms about “helping” me get over my potty training now that I was all padded up for her?
Bottle still in hand, I shimmed around on the carpet to face her, again texting on her phone. “So...” My voice came out as just above a whisper, drowned out by the Muffets rerun. “I was wondering...” Still nothing. I shook the bottle. “Hello?”
The only thing I managed to do was catch a glimpse of my ring finger. Not even a tan line; zapped right off with every other major marker of my life past age two.
Cassie forgive me, I thought. I’m not giving up. Just lying.
So much for promises to myself.
Janet’s ears twitched, and she looked up; hopeful and maybe even a little bit surprised. “Yes, sweetie?”
I picked myself up and waddled over to the couch. “Would you like some apple juice?” I offered the bottle. Easiest check for poison. If Janet wouldn’t drink it, then the amber liquid was spiked. I did my best to make my eyes seem wide and innocent; a stupid silly Little doll who just wanted to share.
“No thank you. Grown-ups don’t like sweet stuff very much. That’s very nice of you to want to share, though.” I suppressed a growl. Grown-ups didn’t have a predisposition to bitter and spicy foods. Amazons did. I must have let some sign of my anger show; let my facade slip, because I immediately found myself cradled in her lap. “No need to be cranky about it. Some things are just for Mommies.” A giant finger booped me on the nose. “And some things are just for babies. Here, let me help.”
The bottle was out of my grip in an instant, my jailer too strong and too quick for me to resist. My gasp of surprise became all the opening needed for the rubber nipple to find its way between my lips. I wriggled frantically; instinctually; somewhere in between clawing at my naked thighs and wanting to thrash until I drew blood.
Here we were again; and I was no closer to getting used to any of it.
I bit down on the nipple, stemming the flow of poison so that only a few sweet drops landed on my tongue. I made eye contact with Janet. The smile was still there, but it was put in place and didn’t reach her eyes.
Her eyes. Those big blue beautiful eyes. The warning was all there. “Be good,” they said. “Be good or else.” Either she’d get what she wanted in this moment, or she’d give me something to be afraid of. Typical Amazon.
I thought about my teeth clamping down on the rubber nipple. I’d seen captured Littles with only gums lining their mouths. They hadn’t looked old enough to merit it, but their “Parents” had thought it looked “cuter”. Things could be a lot worse. The warning of her eyes was all I needed, just then.
So much for pride.
I unclamped. I let the sweet liquid dribble into my mouth, neither nursing in earnest, nor resisting the flow of the bottle. The juice didn’t taste like it’d been tampered with, at least. Pop Science would have us believe that Little taste buds are more sensitive than Amazons’; that we can more keenly taste the hints of diuretics, laxatives, alcohol, and other drugs put in our beverages. That’s why so many Littles’ close call stories end with switching drinks only for an embarrassed giant to run shrieking to the toilet.
A lot of good that precise palate did me.
Cradled in her lap, and unable to more than glance at the television, I looked past my nose and through the amber colored concoction, to the only piece of clothing that had been made available to me.
It wasn’t the diaper I woke up in, and it wasn’t the diaper I’d go to bed in, either. Drugged or not, this bottle would end up making its way through my stomach and end up splashing against my privates before too long. The only choice left to me was how much dignity and control could I wrest out of the situation. A life of compromise. It wasn’t fair.
With a sigh of resignation, I started draining the bottle, actively tugging on the nipple with my lips and pulling the apple juice into my mouth. I felt, more than heard, the tension exhale from out of Janet. Looking back up at her, her eyes had softened, I noticed; changed in some indefinable way.
Looking at us right then, you’d never have guessed that a few months ago she’d been crying her eyes out, telling me about her nasty divorce; that she was wanting to cry on my shoulder instead of burping me over hers. You wouldn’t have thought that she’d help me get a diaper off, and not just so that a clean one would go on. You might have thought we were friends, if not equals.
That friendship was dead now, and from its corpse had sprung this scenario.
I had no desire to watch the Muffets, just then, but closing my eyes only made me more aware of every other sensation: The juice on my tongue and rubber on my lips. The body heat radiating out from Janet. The slow but steady ache of my bladder. The canned laughter from the T.V. My own terrified and anxiety riddled thoughts.
Instead I stared up at the only other things left to me. Janet’s eyes had shifted again, staring down intently at me. I reached up to try and grab the bottle, only to have my hands lightly brushed away. “No, no, sweetie. Mommy’s got it. Let Mommy do it. Please?” That last word got my attention. There was a hint of desperation in that word.
In her own way, she was asking for my consent.
We just looked at each other while the television droned on in the background. Trying to guess what the other might be thinking. Where had I seen that look before? I had seen Amazons stare at Littles in a million intricate ways, but this wasn’t one of them. Not quite.
I’d seen a kind of greed when one saw a Little they thought was particularly cute; been witness to a kind of hunger, waiting for an opportunity to present itself to snatch one up. The giants had a kind of petulant snottiness about them when the rare circumstance allowed a Little or an In-Betweener to upstage them, and a psychotic rage when they thought they were being defied. Naturally there were also the flashes of manic, gleeful condescension- smug superiority- whenever they spoke to a dolled-up diapered Little; flashes I knew would become constant spotlights on me for the foreseeable future.
This wasn’t it, though. What it was, I didn’t know. It didn’t match the tired weariness or jaded bitterness of Little eyes; eyes like I’d seen more than my fair share of yesterday, (nevermind the eyes in the mirror). Janet’s were nothing like Cassie’s intense “fuck me or fight me” stares. I’d never seen anything like it. Whatever it was, it was madness. All Amazons were at least a little crazy.
The quiet slurping sounds were replaced with quiet as I sucked air, and Janet readjusted me to an upright position on her lap, gently patting my bare back. “It’s just apple juice,” I said. “I don’t need to be-” a loud belch rumbled out of me before I could finish my sentence. Damnit.
Before I could protest any further, the Muffet Show had rolled its credits, and a new show had replaced it.
“Muffet Littles, we make our dreams come true.
Muffet Littles, we’ll do the same for you.”
Still keeping me in her lap, Janet rotated me around to see the cartoon. A cartoon...fuck. “If you like the Muffets, you’ll love this. It’s like the Muffets, but they’re cartoons.”
I looked back up at Janet, purposefully avoiding the screen’s gaze. “I know what this is.”
Only I didn’t, exactly. The only cartoons we were allowed to watch at my house growing up were from imported shows from Little majority countries. We hadn’t gotten quite as careless as Michelle and her children. No Pennycade. No SeaBenedict Cucumberbatch
For my fifth birthday, my Grandmother had gotten me one of the few safe cartoons. It was called “Muffet Babies”. Such a rare cartoon; a treasure from a foreign land! I’d watched and re-watched that tape and it’s handful of episodes until I could lip sync along from start to finish.
“Muffet, Muffet, Muffet, Muffet!
Littles, Littles, Littles-
The Muffet Littles!”
Still looking at Janet, I heard the show behind me. If I hadn’t heard the title of the show moments before, I might’ve sworn I was listening to my old DVD. “Muffet Littles?”
My bladder ached with even more urgency as Janet lightly bobbed me on her lap. “Yeah. It’s like the Muffets, but they’re Littles.” I closed my eyes, turned my head to the screen, and listened. Nope. That was the Muffet Babies, alright. Word for word and beat for beat.
“You mean babies,” I corrected her. “It’s the Muffets but they’re babies.”
“Sure.” It was the placating assurance of someone agreeing because they didn’t care enough to argue. “Just watch.” She might as well have said ‘Just hold still while I bite you’. I couldn’t help it, though. I just couldn’t. Curiosity finally overcame me.
I opened my eyes.
I immediately wished I hadn’t. If it wasn’t hypnotism, it was something worse. Much worse.
Cartoon Fuzzy was in his red romper and beanie. Cartoon Puggy was in her puffy blue party dress. Cartoon Gongzo wore green shortalls with the little smiley face on the bib; just like the Muffet Babies. But there was something off.
Their legs were too long. They weren’t as round. They were still cartoony, and still definitely Muffets, but they didn’t read as “babies” to me. And unlike the Muffet Babies, you could definitely notice a certain padded bulge between their legs. (Ralph the piano playing rat was still in nothing but a bib and diaper, but that had always been part of the character design.) I let out a small, startled gasp. “They’re Littles.”
“Yeah. It’s like you said.”
I glared up angrily at Janet. Not that she noticed, her eyes now fully watching the T.V. “I said Muffet Babies.”
“Exactly. They’re Muffets, but Littles.”
Janet stared back down at me. She blinked. She opened her mouth. Then shut it. Then opened it again. “Clark….” the warning faded before she’d spoken it. “Clark…” She nudged me off her lap and turned me around so that we could properly stare at each other. She seemed to work something out in her head before speaking again. ”Most non-Little babies can’t talk that well. Can they?”
I opened my mouth.
Then shut it.
Then opened it again.
They were supposed to be the Muffet Babies, weren’t they? I went through every line of dialogue that I had unconsciously memorized decades ago. The recording from my childhood had said they were “The Muffet Babies”, but nowhere in the script had they ever referred to themselves as babies. They’d never even said their ages.
I stood there, staring at Janet; still listening to Muffet Littles break out into song about how words could hurt. Was it possible that the only difference between the two cartoons was the animation? Was it really so purposefully vague? Why?
Janet stood up from the couch, instantly forgetting our micro-confrontation. “Company!”
TinyBearsWriting · Sep 18, 2021This story is great. The build up, while slow in some chapters really intensified the reward when Clark finally get regressed. The characters really feel like they're all their own person and the writing is superb. You have to be my favourite active writer on the site.
magicformula · Sep 21, 2021You’re crafting with talent, skill, and vision, one of the most dazzling stories the archive has ever known. Thank you for what you’re creating. I’m powerless against immersing myself, right alongside Clark for this well structured, atmospheric, relatable adventure. Thank you!