“Amy, can you get the door?” Amy’s mother called from upstairs. “It’ll be trick or treaters!”
“Can’t you do it?” Amy called back, scowling. She hated trick or treaters. What gave them the right to think they could go marching around banging on everybody’s doors demanding sweets?
“I’m busy! Do it quickly or you’ll miss them!”
“Ugh, fine!” Amy got up from her chair in the living room, and stomped out into the hallway and towards the front door, making sure to take her time. But by the time she reached it, she could clearly make out several large figures through the translucent glass window beside the door. Far too large to be children, in fact. Amy hesitated, but the people must have seen her outline through the glass. It would be far too awkward to turn around now. Besides, if her mum found out, she’d be furious – and Amy was relying on her for a free room since she’d finished college. She opened the door.
“Twick or tweat!”
Amy stared for a moment at the people standing before her. Two men and three women, all around her age – except for the woman dressed in the witch’s outfit, who looked a little older and stood a few steps back from the others. One of the men was dressed in a cheap-looking pirate costume complete with plastic sword and eyepatch, while the other wore a black one-piece with a skeleton design. Both of the women were dressed as matching yellow and white princesses, and all four of them had big, slightly vacant grins on their faces. Amy started to laugh.
“Aren’t you a little old to be trick of treating?” she cackled, taking in the sight of the five people dressed in costumes that looked more suited to five-year-olds. The four eager smiles slipped from the men and women’s faces, and Amy saw one of the girl’s lips tremble. But the woman dressed as a witch scowled at Amy and strode forwards.
Amy took a step back instinctively. This woman didn’t have the vacant look in her eyes that the others had. She looked more like a stern schoolteacher.
“Don’t be so cruel, young lady!” she hissed, coming right up to the doorway. “I’m taking the little ones out for some trick or treating, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t laugh at them!”
“Littles ones?” Amy laughed derisively. “They’ve all got to be in their twenties at least!”
The witch woman looked furious. “They’re just a bit special, that’s all!” she whispered waspishly.
Amy’s face reddened as she realised she must have been laughing at four mentally challenged people. But she quickly brushed her guilt and embarrassment aside. “And you just expected the rest of us to play along?” she demanded. “I was expecting to open the door to a group of children, not a load of special needs adults dressed like toddlers. This is a holiday for real ‘little ones’, not overgrown babies!”
The woman’s eyes flared, but Amy was already slamming the front door in her face. She didn’t notice as the shadow slipped in through the doorway as she turned her back. But as she stormed down the hallway, she suddenly became aware that something was pushing her legs apart, turning her walk into a waddle. She looked down and let out a squeal. Her jeans and top had gone. In their place was a sparkly pink dress, ruffled and plasticky like a cheap costume, just like the ones the two ‘special’ girls had been wearing. Sequins on her chest spelled out the words “Little Princess”.
At that moment, there was another knock on the door. Amy looked around in fear and confusion. A few seconds later, her mother came hurrying down the stairs, not even blinking at the sight of her adult daughter dressed up in an oversized little girl’s princess costume. “That’ll be Miss Hayward!” she said brightly, hurrying past Amy and opening the front door.
Amy could only stand there with a knot of anxiety in her stomach. What was happening?! Why was she dressed up like a little girl ready to head out trick or treating?!
“Happy Halloween!” her mother said as she saw the witch woman and her special needs entourage. “My, my! What pretty princesses you are! Just like my little Amy! And what a scary pirate! And a frightening skeleton too! I’d better give you all some sweeties or else I’ll be in trouble!”
Amy heard the giggles of the men and women, and saw the satisfied smile of the witch as her mother handed out candy.
“Is your little one ready to join us then?” the witch woman asked pleasantly.
Amy felt a shiver run down her spine. Join them? What did that mean? What was going on?
“Oh yes!” her mother replied, looking around. “What are you doing over there, sweetie?” she asked her daughter in a sickly-sweet voice. “You’re going trick or treating with your little classmates tonight, remember?”
“My… My…” Amy stammered. Her classmates? She realised she was trembling. Something unnatural was going on here, she was sure of it.
But her mother just chuckled, took her by the hand, and led her out the front door in her pink princess outfit for all to see. Amy tried to resist, to dig her heels into the floor, but it was as though her legs were acting on their own, following obediently after her Mummy.
“Well aren’t you a pretty little princess!” the woman called Miss Hayward cooed, but her eyes shone darkly in a way that made Amy quite sure she was fully aware of what had happened, and delighted in it. “We’re going to have so much fun tonight!”
Amy felt a trickle of pee escape her bladder and enter the bulky thing she was wearing around her waist. She could feel her warm urine soaking into it. A nappy, she thought. She was wearing a nappy. She stared in horror into the smiling face in front of her, and at that moment there was a sudden, powerful cramp in her belly. The last thing Amy saw before she screwed up her eyes was the witch woman’s smirking face staring into hers. Then she had squatted down, thrust her bottom out behind her, and started grunting loudly as an enormous, disgusting mess rushed into the back of her thickly padded pants, completely beyond her control.
“Nooo…” she sobbed as she loaded her diapers like an overgrown two-year-old, her mother and Miss Hayward smiling indulgently, and the other four adult toddlers looking down at her with dumb, vacant grins. This couldn’t be real! It couldn’t be!
“I’m sorry about this,” she heard her mother saying, and as the last of the yucky load dropped into the seat of her nappy, Amy looked up from her squatting position. “Do you mind if I go and change her before she heads out?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Miss Hayward tittered, her eyes glinting maliciously as they took in the sight of Amy still squatting down in the driveway, the seat of her nappy sagging below the hem of her frilly pink dress. “I expect all our special little ones will have loads in their pants by the end of the night. Besides, I bet Amy’s no stranger to dirty diapers, is she?”
“Oh no,” her mother laughed. “I swear Amy spends half her life stomping about in poopy Pampers! Sometimes it feels like she waits until she’s in a clean nappy just so she can make a stinky in it straight away!”
The two women laughed while Amy stared at them with her mouth slightly open, still in shock at what had happened, disgusted at the sensation of the pee and poop that she had just deposited in her own pants, and terrified at what she was hearing her mother say.
She tried to speak, but her words caught in her throat and all she managed was a faint gurgling. Her mother helped her to her feet and patted her on her diapered rump as she passed her daughter over to the witch – the woman who had suddenly become Amy’s new teacher at the local special needs school. It was only once the six of them were toddling (on in Miss Hayward’s case, walking) hand in hand down the street that Amy was able to find her voice.
“Are you a witch?” she asked fretfully, her voice now high-pitched and little-girlish.
The woman chuckled. “No, silly! This is just a costume. I’m not a real witch. But I do know a little bit about magic, about the spirits that roam the land on All Hallows’ Eve, and it was your misfortune to encounter one. It decided you needed to be taught a little lesson, and I have to say I agree. I think getting to spend your days as one of my special little girls is just what you deserve!”
Amy whimpered. “How… How long?” she asked.
The woman laughed, a sweet tinkling laugh that sent a thrill of horror through Amy’s body. She turned to the girl in the pink princess dress and said, a horrible grin spreading across her face, “Only the rest of your life!”
That was when Amy started to scream.
But a large pink pacifier quickly shut her up, and she spent the rest of the evening toddling from door to door with her new teacher and her new peers, her diaper drooping lower and lower between her legs as she continued to make potty in her pants, her bladder and bowel control wiped away forever. It was how she spent the next Halloween too, and the one after that, and the one after that. Poor little Amy was a never-grow-up case, one of Miss Hayward’s sweet, special little ones, and she’d have a lifetime to reflect on her rudeness.
If it had a mouth, the spirit of Halloween would have laughed as it darted away. There were more victims to find, more people to alter – those who would abuse the spirit of this day had to be punished, and there were so, so many to choose from.