Chapter Description: Clark hears Janet's point of view.
And I went quiet. I said nothing for the rest of the day. When Janet came in later to tell me that everyone else had gone home, I said nothing. When she fed me lunch in a highchair, I said nothing. When she tried to play with me, I said nothing. When she talked to me, I said nothing.
I did not resist. I did not defy. I just said nothing. If she called my name I would look at her; stare even, as an acknowledgement, but I would not speak to her. When she fed me, I opened my mouth and swallowed. Nothing more. When she offered me toys, I accepted them briefly, then put them down quietly to the side. I would hold my bladder long enough to know that I was still in control of such things, but I would not let her see me squirm. When she called me “baby” or herself “Mommy”, I didn’t object or blush or comment. When she changed me I did not huff or squirm. That night I obeyed and gave her my limbs in the bathtub to cleanse and scrub as she pleased.
I would give her nothing. Not my anger, nor my pain, nor my embarrassment, or exasperation. If she didn’t want me, all of me, the real me, she’d get nothing. Not even rebellion.
At first, it didn’t work. Her own attempts were half-hearted. She’d lost that bright and shiny polish of Mommyness and enthusiasm. She’d lost the angry intensity too, but she wasn’t nearly as into it as that morning. She was pensive; weary; maybe even afraid to engage me at that level. To be crude, it was a little like trying to masturbate out of habit or boredom. You can go through the motions all you want, but if your mind is really on something else nothing is going to happen.
Janet’s mind was on something else. We’d hurt each other.
I could see the cracks starting to form right around my enforced bedtime. “This monitor,” she told me, “is a special two way monitor. It will let me check in on you and talk back to you if you need it. If you want my attention, all you have to do is call ‘Mommy’.” She wanted me to call out to her.
Good. The silence was starting to hurt more than my shouting. When she kissed me on the forehead, her “I love you”, had an edge of doubtful hope; practically begging me to reciprocate.
I stayed up late that night. Staring at the baby monitor, on its own special shelf right by the changing table. I was silent. I did not call out. But I did not go to sleep. Skinner, the SLP, had told Janet that the baby monitor was “educational”. I waited, just in case “educational” meant “subliminal”. If it was hypnotic, I couldn’t tell. Even hours later, when Janet would have most likely gone to bed, nothing came through. If it really was a two-way like Janet had claimed, she was saying anything either.
My silence dragged on into the morning. Hers didn’t. Breakfast was scrambled eggs. I still had to be spoon fed “via airplane”, but at least it wasn’t something out of a glass jar. She bobbed me on her knee, and tried to get me to comment on cartoons. I remained silent and didn’t react. Being dead ass tired from not sleeping didn’t help. I went through the crawling playground once, too.
In this instance, bare bones token compliance was doing more damage to her than willful disobedience. I was obeying her out of spite.
Before I knew it, it was after lunch. It had been just over 24 hours since I had muttered so much as a syllable other than a burp. I sat there on the wooden deck in Janet’s backyard. I stared at my green bootied feet dangling above the lawn. My legs were bare because I’d been dressed in a matching onesie that morning.
Janet was attending to her garden. Apparently, she grew some of her own vegetables in her backyard as a hobby; mostly peppers. I, being an untrustworthy Little, was made to wait on the safety of her deck while she checked to see how ripe this pepper, or that plant was before she picked the lot. Me? I just stared at my feet; not bored because I knew it was hurting her.
I heard crinkling and for once it wasn’t from me. Janet’s feet crunched on drying grass and the first wave of Autumn leaves. She’d stopped attending to her garden and took a knee so that she was almost at eye level with me.
I looked up at her, to acknowledge her presence. Still said nothing.
“Can we talk?” My silence was permission, apparently. “I stayed up late last night talking to Mrs. Beouf and Auntie Jessica. I listened to some podcasts and read some stuff on parent…” she stopped and tried to course correct, “on being a Mo…” she stopped again. Even though my face was a mask of neutral anger, she could tell. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”
If she wanted me to ask her what about, she was in for a disappointment. I just kept passively looking at her; looking through her.
“I’ve thought about it, and I think I know what you’re going through, now.”
She didn’t know. She didn’t know me at all. Let her suffer.
She rattled off a list anyway: “The world is new again, and everyone is treating you differently, and no one is asking you what you want, and they’re trying to anticipate your needs instead of asking for your needs, and that makes it feel like they’re not listening, and you’re meeting new people and about to go to school and even though it’s familiar it’s in a new context and that’s scary. You’re just really overwhelmed.” Okay...maybe she had an inkling. It was still only scratching the surface but it was close. “That’s what it’s like being a baby, though.”
Nevermind. Fuck her.
“Your emotions are too big for your body and you’re just doing the best you can even though things are happening way too fast.” Then she really lowered the hammer. “I forgive you for what you said yesterday. I still love you and I want to be your Mommy.”
I did not respond. I wanted to. I wanted to yell and scream and give a repeat performance of just how wrong she was and how wrong all of this was and send her back into tears. But in this instance, she would have won. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. I didn’t want her to hate me, I wanted her to feel guilty.
Then the giantess sucker punched me. “And I’m sorry too.”
Something must’ve shown on my face. My eyebrows must have raised, or maybe I blinked funny. Maybe some kind of other tell. But something changed in Janet just there.
“I know I’ve been kind of crazy lately,” she said, still looking me in the eye. “And that’s not your fault, it’s mine. I should have told you. I should have listened. But I was so excited to...to...be a Mommy to SOMEONE, that I...I went overboard.”
I sat up a little straighter. Crossed my arms. Still said nothing, though. Let her talk and make her own rope to hang herself with.
Still on one knee she began to confess. “I should have asked about taking you to most of those places. We could have put off the salon and the doctor.” I forced my face to go placid again. Put off but not avoid. Still having my old life and adulthood literally stripped away from me was a necessity that I got no say in the matter.
Seeing my displeasure, she pushed through. “I should have told you about the shower, and my friend Jessica.” That was a slight improvement. Her best bud wasn’t “Auntie”, now. So there was that…
Still not enough.
“I’ve just been so baby crazy lately because...because…” She stopped.
“Because you’ve been wanting to baby me before this.” I said, finally breaking my silence. It was an accusation, stated as fact. Silence is a tool. So are carefully chosen words spoken at the perfect time.
It worked better than I could have planned. Better than even I had wanted it to.
Janet stood up, sat down besides me on the deck, and leaned forward; her elbows resting on her knees. I looked at her. But she didn’t look at me. Her head was staring back at her garden, her jaw wiggling as she worked up the courage to say...
My voice didn’t utter the word “What?”, but my mouth surely went through the motions. Over and over again, not even whispering, my mouth went “What? What? What? What?” I felt a buzzing in my brain, a surge as my heart skipped a beat, and a kind of sad terror. I’d wanted to be right, but I felt awful hearing that I was. I felt betrayed.
I drew my arms in up to my chest in tiny balled fists. I leaned slightly away. My eyes squinted and my mouth twisted. I was afraid. Not afraid of being hit or spanked. I was afraid of listening to what I was about to hear. Even so, like a fish gasping for breath, my lips kept forming the word, “What”?” over and over and over again.
“It didn’t start that way at first,” Janet continued. “When I got pulled to watch your class, I was just doing my job.” Her voice was far away. She was in her own head as much as mine. “I admit I was kind of curious. Everybody knows about the Little teacher, even if we don’t say more than hello to you.”
I wasn’t hearing this. I wasn’t hearing this.
Neither was she. Janet was reliving it. “Then, I talked to Tracy and heard how she adored you, and saw how well behaved your class was, and I thought ‘hey, maybe I should give this guy a chance. Do him a favor. Let him teach some older kids for a change of pace. I kind of felt sorry for you.” My frown deepened. “Everyone knows that you’re there as a token, and given an easy classroom with no real significance, but those math scribbles showed you had some chops.”
My mouth stopped working. I was using it to breathe, my nose becoming clogged and threatening to drip from something besides hay fever.
“And then you came into my room, and there was that...thing with Jeremy. And you taught a good lesson. A really good one.” She sounded almost sad. “And then I found I was starting to like you more. As a friend.” She laughed to herself, even though it didn’t sound happy. “I had a mature, adult Little friend.”
I was still staring in disbelief at what I was hearing. She still hadn’t looked me in the eyes. In a weird way that’s how I knew she was telling me the truth, just then.
“And I really liked you. You’re funny, clever, polite, insightful. You can be tactful when you want to be. And when you trust someone you give them your all. I liked that about you.” She paused and looked at me for the first time. “You’re kind of a know it all, and you definitely like toeing the line, but that didn’t detract from what I liked. In a weird way I liked that confidence and stupid bravery.”
She looked away again. “But it wasn’t until we were all grading those essays. When I saw you cry and break down like that, right there in the middle of my room; that’s when I started feeling things. Even with your suit and your goatee, I just wanted to pull you into my lap and cuddle you and tell you that everything was going to be okay.” Her voice got tight for a second before regaining control. “That’s when I started to cosset. On you. So yeah, Clark. I was cosseting on you.”
There was that word again. I’d heard it twice yesterday, but still had no idea what it meant. “The hell does cosset mean?” Even though- or maybe because- I had barely talked, my voice came out dry and cracked like the leaves that had just barely started to fall.
I saw a blush rise up in Janet’s cheeks. “Cosset is the word we use for that feeling an Amazon gets when they see a Little and they want to take care of them. Mommy or Daddy them. It’s kind of like a crush, I guess.”
My captor looked back to me and saw the building storm behind my eyes. I knew it. I fucking knew it! “Did you poison me? Did you do this to me so that you could take me? Take me away from my job and wife? Ruin my life?”
This time, her eyes widened and she looked hurt. “What? No! Clark, don’t be ridiculous. I would never…!”
I let more silence bore into her.
She huffed and stared at me. “A cosset is like a crush. And just like a crush, we’re taught to recognize it for what it is and past a certain age it stops being cute to follow through. So yes, I felt things, but I promised myself I wouldn’t act on them.” She looked away again. “That’s why I started doing what I did.”
I didn’t need to ask for specifics at this point, they just started pouring out of her. Meanwhile, I sat there, listening, judging, somewhere between fuming and that same angry numbness.
“It’s wrong to adopt a Little who isn’t suffering from Maturosis. And research shows that most Littles who don’t express it by thirty aren’t going to. You were safe. So I just settled for trying to be the best friend I could be.” She started wiping at her eyes. “It’s why I got that confession out of Jeremy so quickly. I wanted to help you. It’s also why I started to look into adopting a Little girl. I was purposefully trying to avoid someone that looked like you.”
“It’s also why you saved me from that crazy mother.” I paused. “You didn’t want her to have me if you couldn’t.”
Janet slumped over a bit. “Yeah,” she confessed. “It’s why I helped make that silly sock costume for you to prank Brollish and Forrest, too. It let me pretend that I was helping you play dress-up.” I could hear the notes of regret and shame in her voice as she went on. “It’s why I invited you out for drinks. I wouldn’t have done anything, but I would have killed to see how you looked all buckled in and snug in my car seat.” Real tears now. She was wiping them away; steadying herself. Gaining a bizarre kind of strength from her confession. “And it might be why I was acting like a jerk before…you know.”
“You knew how you were sounding to me back then.” I felt so betrayed. My entire friendship, just gaslighting; just mind fucking. I wanted to pounce, I wanted to scream. I didn’t move. I waited and watched.
“I was trying to drive you away,” she whispered just loud enough for me to hear. “I was afraid that I was going to do something awful, and I didn’t want to...I didn’t want to. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t want to be one of THOSE people.”
She didn’t want to be a typical Amazon. Yet, here we were.
“You didn’t trust me, either,” I said matter of factly. My tone was steady. My pulse was not. “You could have just told me and we could have talked about it and remained friends.” I thought for a second. Maybe not. “Or at least we could have been amicable. We could have stopped seeing each other, but I wouldn’t have hated you.”
Janet almost gave herself whiplash. “You ha-?!” she stopped. “No. This isn’t about that right now.” She took a breath. “I’m sorry Clark, but I don’t believe that. There was no way we could have ended well,” then she added, “not with both of us as adults. What I did might not have been the best way, but it was the best I knew.”
I felt myself opening up more. Hating and resenting everything I was hearing, but this was the most adult I’d been treated in close to four days. Janet seemed a lot less like “Mommy” just then and more like...well...Janet. “Who did you tell?” I dared to ask. “About your cosset?”
The giantess, my friend who had wanted to be something else altogether, gave a half-hearted shrug. “I didn’t tell Renner and Springfield, but they weren’t surprised. We were kind of our own clique before I started hanging with you.”
“Who did you tell?” I repeated.
Janet took a deep breath. “Mrs. Beouf. It’s why she sent me that email, as soon as...you know.”
I KNEW IT! I punched my fist into my palm. “She poisoned me!”
Janet frowned. “No she didn’t!” More so than when I accused her, Janet seemed offended by the idea. “Clark, you have no idea how much Mrs. Beouf admired you. I didn’t need any convincing not to act on my cosset, but she really hammered it home that you didn’t need adoption. She advocated for you then, and she’s advocating for you now. Just in a different way.”
“I didn’t need adoption,” I said. I decided to throw her words back at her. “I didn’t then and I don’t now!”
A bit of my friend disappeared when I said that. A bit of Mommy-Janet creeped back into the giants’ brain. “She didn’t poison you. No one did. You’re just looking for an explanation where you get to be a grown-up.”
I dug my fingernails and scratched my thighs.. “Why don’t you believe me?” I heard my voice go up a bit. “Why doesn’t anyone?” I knew the reason, deep down.
Because I was a Little.
“Because we saw the signs,” Janet replied gently. “The stolen diapers, the-”
“I didn’t steal any diapers.” I meant to yell, but I just didn’t have the energy just then. I was tired. Drained. So instead it came out as a tired groan. “How would that even work? I can’t even take these things off. The tapes are too sticky for Little hands.”
“You could have slipped them into your pants,” Janet said. “Don’t tape them up, use them as a liner.” Her response was almost immediate. She’d thought about this. “What about your close call?”
I cocked my head. “What close call?”
“When you almost pooped your pants in Mrs. Beouf’s room just over a week ago?”
I gulped. I felt my face go pale. “She...told you about that?”
“You didn’t even close the door,” Janet said, though not unkindly. “And you lied about washing your hands.”
Now it was my turn to look away. “She knew that, too, huh?”
“You’re not as good at hiding your feelings as you think you are, Clark. You’re a terrible fibber.” She waited. “Can you explain that?”
As a matter of fact, I could. I looked back to her. “Whoever poisoned me just couldn’t get the dose right. That close call was someone practicing on me.”
Janet laughed. Actually laughed! Full on belly laugh. “I’m sorry,” she started to say when she caught herself. “But that’s so funny. It’s too...cu...funny.”
I drew my knees up to my chest. “Why is that funny?”
“Because why would Raine, or Brollish, or anyone need to get the dose right if they were going to poison you? If they wanted to fake you being immature, they could just pump you up with as much as they want.”
“Maybe they didn’t want me to taste it,” I offered. “Too much and I’d have enough warning.”
“To do what?” Janet asked. “Do you really think that a witch like Brollish who has been looking for an excuse to fire you would have let you go home in the middle of the day?”
Damnit. Janet was right. I could have eaten a whole box of training chocolates, and Brollish wouldn’t have let me leave so that my system could purge itself. Call out sick...maybe? Go home after I’d already set foot on campus? Not a chance.
I was about to say something. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have anything to say. I buried my face in my knees, tensed up and frustrated that my lead theory, the ones that I was sure the Amazons weren’t listening too, had been shot down so easily; with actual non-circular logic, no less.
I felt Janet’s hand lightly pat me on the back. “It’s okay,” she said. Her Mommy voice was starting to kick back in. “I’m not mad about that. You shouldn’t be either. This sort of thing just happens.” No it didn’t. I didn’t have proof, but no it didn’t. “Maybe it was meant to happen.” Lies. “I just want to be the best Mommy to you that I can be.”
I jerked away from her touch. I full on scowled at her. “You stole my identity. You stole my adulthood!” My throat was tightening up yet again. “You legally made my wife a widow! How is THAT being good?”
Janet blinked. “Clark. I. You don’t know?”
“Know what?” For all my calculated intent, I could only keep silent for so long. I had a yearning to know. A need to try and understand these crazy titans. And in doing so my anger and despair only began to boil more.
“I did it for you.”
Her finger shot to my lips. For some damn reason that I couldn’t understand, it actually silenced me. “I mean, I did it for your wife. For your peace of mind.” The only thing I gave her was more confused expressions. “Twenty-two thirty-five status makes you legally a new person,” Janet reminded me. “Legally, you’re not Clark Gibson anymore.”
“I know that.”
“It also means, as Clark Grange’s legal guardian, I am not entitled to anything Clark Gibson controlled. His bank accounts. His house. Any unemployment benefits or severance package he may receive because he just lost his job. If I hadn’t declared that, I’d be entitled to your money and your last few paychecks. Not to mention my name would have been put as a co-signer on your house.”
“It’s not fair…” Such a dumb thing I was saying, but was how I was feeling.
“You’re right. It’s not.” She let that sink in for a moment before continuing. “You were going to get fired and adopted by someone, no matter what after what happened. I just want to make it special for you. No one asks to be born, or reborn...I just thought I could make this easier for you if you knew that, you know...someone special was safe.”
“Cassie…” I whisper squeaked. I stared off at the garden. Then I said to myself. “I want my old life back.” I might have bawled but so much of the fight had already been drained from me the last twenty four hours. Even throwing a tantrum took up precious energy.
Janet clicked her tongue. “Rookie Mommy mistake, Janet. Know your baby. Clark doesn’t, and never has, liked surprises.” I ignored her, even though she was correct. “There was another reason I bought that outfit for you.”
I didn’t make eye contact. “Why?”
“Because you never got a chance to say goodbye. I wanted to give that to you. I thought you’d appreciate looking more grown-up when you did it.”
I felt my breath catch. “You’ll let me see Cassie?”
She nodded. “Tomorrow, after school. If you’re good.”
I unfurled my knees and stood up.. I was feeling excitement like I hadn’t felt. I’d get to see Cassie again. I’d get to apologize. It wouldn’t make things right, but at least she wouldn’t worry about what happened to me. At least I could say goodbye…
And on the brighter side, Janet was starting to talk to me again; actually talk to me. She was dangling the carrot of seeing Cassie again; but it was better than any number of sticks.
We were at negotiations.
“I’m not wearing that outfit at school tomorrow.”
“Fine,” Janet said. “I can change you into it when we visit your old house. But no complaining about what I dress you up in tomorrow. I’m not throwing it away either. There might come a time when you need to wear something more formal”
Honestly, a onesie or something might help save me some grief. A disguise was better than a mockery. “Fair enough. No diapers, either.”
“No,” she replied flatly. “Not unless a doctor or a teacher thinks you’re ready; that your Maturosis has plateaued or you’ve managed to redevelop back to potty training. We’ll talk about Pull-Ups then.”
I wasn’t going to gain any ground there, I knew. Part of negotiations though is highballing so your next demand doesn’t sound so unreasonable. “Then I’m not calling you Mommy.”
Her nostrils didn’t flare. Her lip didn’t curl. Instead she just darted her eyes to the side and replied, “You don’t have to call me Mommy...while we’re at home or in the car.”
“No deal.” Now it was my turn to play hardball.
“You remember yesterday? Calling me by my first name in public...causes embarrassment.” She had to word that carefully. She didn’t want to admit anymore that I’d embarrassed her; that I’d hurt more than just her feelings. “Other Amazons don’t react well to seeing that. They’d want me to punish you.”
“That sounds like a you problem.”
“Do you want to get taken away from me? Have me declared an unfit Mommy?”
I shuddered and looked away. She had a point. “Okay. Deal. But you’ve got to act in good faith. No keeping us out in public all the time so that I have to call you Mommy.”
“Ma’am is also acceptable.” I could tell she regretted saying it the moment it passed her lips. Big mood. “I guess…”
I smiled, genuinely smiled. HERE was the crazy giantess that I’d made a connection with! “Deal.” My voice was calm. My heart was not. “No spanking me either.”
Janet absolutely melted. “Oh, Clark! I am so sorry, sweetie. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have even threatened it. I promise I will never ever spank you.”
“No matter what?”
Still sitting, she pulled me in for a hug. “No matter what. I promise.”
The relief I felt in that moment was tangible. I’d managed to negotiate some miniscule amount of compromise from someone who could legally treat me like I was one year old despite all evidence and sense. Another Little victory.
I’d get to see Cassie again, too. She’d be furious with me, leading an Amazon to our home, but maybe I could use it as an opportunity to slip a real message to her. (I was still going to escape eventually).
“You seem really tired. Do you wanna take a nap?”
“Okie dokie.” Janet picked me up. Cradled me in both arms as she took me inside. It felt very comfortable. “How about I just hold you for a bit? I’ll walk around the house a bit. Or sit down. Play on my phone. Maybe watch some T.V. You can just relax and think to yourself. I won’t bother you.”
That? That sounded kind of nice, actually. “Okay...Janet.” She smiled softly, the pacing becoming rhythmic. Gently, I started to doze. Then snooze. Then sleep as she toted me around her own home, happy as a clam. I was imprisoned, but I’d made my warden my friend.
All I had to do now was make it through one lousy day of school...
incognitobrowser · Oct 12, 2021i don't know how you wrote a diaper fetish novel and ended up with an insightful and dissection of bigotry, but keep doing what you're doing. this is coming from someone who is doesn't have a diaper fetish and is reading this solely for the plot.