Unfair- A Diaper Dimension Novel

by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Feb 20, 2024


Chapter 90
Chapter 90: Something Kept


Chapter Description: Clark pushes things too far. But an unexpected friend breaks his fall.


Part 8: Little Changes


Chapter 90: Something Kept


The Tuesday after I broke Beouf wasn’t that different from any other Tuesday.  Beouf gathered us up at the bus loop, paraded us to breakfast, corralled us back to her classroom, and so on and so forth.  Completely normal. But I didn’t want it to be.

Like Janet, I could sense that she was keeping up appearances and professionalism as a mask over the hurt.  It was all in the way she looked at me when she thought I wasn’t looking or didn’t look when she knew I was; how her smile didn’t go all the way to the top of her head.  I didn’t like it. 

Why?  Did I want her to be stronger so I had an excuse to pile on harder?  Would it have been better for me if she’d been more like a sobbing mess like I’d found her Monday afternoon so that I could more easily exalt in my victory?  Who could say?  Certainly not me.

Just like Tuesday, the rest of the class was dropping “Love Bombs” left and right.  I’d lit a particularly potent fuse in my classmates and they were taking it to its most logical extreme.  “I Love You” had become the new “Why?”.   I wanted to tell them to stop; that the joke was old; that we should move on to a new terrible game.  I didn’t, though.

The fuck was wrong with me?

I’d won.  I’d won and slain the dragon.  I’d made Beouf cry real desperate tears as the result of something I’d purposefully set in motion.  Janet’s mood was on an emotional swivel, practically wrapped around my finger in wanting my love and fearing my abuse.  I’d gotten away with my Picture Day Stunt.  I was the Playpen Kingpen to the point where even Ivy was wary of me.  I was probably still going to Little Voices, (very important).  I’d chased away Horsey McDoucheface Mark.

Yeah, ‘Auntie’ Jessica was somehow immune to me through her own warped Amazon privilege and lack of constant exposure to me, but I still had a very good grasp on what I could and could not expect from her.

I. Was. Winning.  There was still so much darkness around, but my thrusts, parries, and ripostes had punched so many twinkling little holes into my universe that starlight was beginning to twinkle through.

I should have been happy.

I wasn’t.

All that past evening, I was quiet, and it wasn’t even out of spite or a planned attack of some sort.  I was just too much in my own head trying to sort everything out.


The fuck was wrong with me?  Was the baby monitor in the nursery and its subliminal messages taking away more than just my ability to express certain thoughts? Was it slowly and subtly shaping those thoughts?

No idea. No way of knowing.  One can be honest regarding one’s own thoughts, actions, and motivations, but one cannot be completely objective and unbiased regarding them.

There weren’t even any repercussions.  No additional sit down talks. Bits of humiliation or passive aggression.  I wasn’t even the last to get changed after breakfast.  I’d found a way to punch my ex-best friend and she wasn’t punching back.  That was frustrating.

A queer kind of relief came over me just after snack time.  Sosa and Winters came in and took most of the class around with them to their therapy room.  Being away from Beouf was a much needed distraction; possibly for both of us.  Out of sight. Out of mind. The therapists didn’t bother with line leashes, so we had to do the hand holding method again.

We were doing a double session. Half of us would be with Sosa. The other half would be with Winters.  Half an hour later the groups would switch.  Me and my crew lost the coin flip and were starting with Sosa. The others were with Winters.  I suspect Jesse was left behind just to give Ivy somebody to play with.

Chaz, Annie, Billy, and I were in Sosa’s Group.  Tommy, Shauna, Mandy, and Sandra Lynn were in the other.  I wasn’t sure why they grouped me up with my disciples, but one should never interrupt the enemy when they’re making a mistake.  It was possible that they’d forgotten; more likely that they’d thought they could handle us all together with both of them in the room and others to act as ‘good influences’.  Amazon hubris: How I loved it when it worked in my favor.

Winters was taking off her group’s shoes and tying on booties with rounded soles on them. The booties instantly made my classmates’ gait off balance. Their stance went wide and their arms flailed out and flapped like birds who hadn’t figured out how to fly just yet. From the way Mandy moved in them the left one might have been heavier than the right. 

At least Winters was leaving their other clothes on.  I was starting to suspect that part of her hidden curriculum was getting Littles comfortable with having Amazons dress and undress them.

The physical therapy half of the room turned into an obstacle course: Not an overly difficult one, but one that would certainly be easier to complete if you crawled or grabbed onto handrails well above your head…like reaching for a Grown-Up’s hand. There were tiny staircases and sloping hills and wobbly bridges, but no tunnels. Nothing to necessitate crawling, but leave it as a good option.

The course zigged and zagged and looped back around on itself so that the finish line was a few steps to the left of the starting point.  The final stretch was a straightaway with nothing to hold onto.  The way it shined and glistened in the daylight was reminiscent of a bowling lane. Everybody was going to have to crawl across the finish.  At least that stupid bell wasn’t in sight.

I wondered if Chaz was going to have to wear those booties.

Over at Sosa’s table were neither beads, nor putty, nor scissors, nor bulky crayons or pencils.  That could mean only one thing.

“Okay, kids,” Sosa said. “Time for a diagnostic.”  Four of those literally impossible puzzle boxes had been toted out and placed in front of us. I’d been hoping she’d forgotten it.  She’d just taken her sweet time.  Twice in sixty days was still technically once a month, though it was certainly down to the wire.  “Do you all remember what you have to do? Or do you need help remembering?”

Chaz beat me to it.  He raised his hand and spouted, “I totally know what we’re supposed to do. But do you, Miss Sosa? Hmmm?”  Cheeky brat.  Good.

Sosa smiled calmly, and gently, just like Beouf had.  “All you have to do is put one hand into the whole on one side of the box, put your other hand in the other hole, and then press the switches inside at the same time. Do you need me to show you?”

“Ye-”

“NO!”  I ran in front and shouted Chaz down. If he’d been closer to my eye level I would have slapped my hand over his mouth.  “No we don’t!” I’d just gotten another brilliant idea.  I faced my minions.  “I hate that stupid robot and we’re not gonna be able to do it anyways so why bother?”

Billy, Annie, and Chaz all quietly signaled that they understood.  They’d seen the look I was giving them enough times to know that I was up to something.  My wild eyes were a dog whistle and my loyal hounds were scenting blood.

“That’s fine,” Sosa said. “Does that mean you want to give up Clark? It’s okay if you’re not ready.” Just like Beouf would have done. So predictable. So obvious. So typical. “I can mark you as unable to participate and let you play with something more appropriate as long as you don’t disturb Miss Winters’s group.”

I snuck in a wink and then put on a snarl.  “Appropriate?” I turned around to face my target. “How are those traps appropriate?”

“They’re appropriate for big kids.”  She shrugged like she wasn’t secretly enjoying putting me in my place.  “The diagnostic is the diagnostic.  Data is data.  It’s not bad or good. It just is.  And it’s okay if it’s too much for you.  There’s nothing wrong with finding your limits.  Very mature, actually.”

The war drum in my chest began to thump.  Yes. Yes!

I stomped dramatically forward and dragged the bulky contraptions one by one over to us.  I whispered to my crew,  “Wait for it.”  Then I turned around.  “Fine.  Can we do it?  Can we start? Can we get this farce over with?”

“Easy there, Clark.”  Winters called from across the room.  I’d gotten louder than I’d intended to and the OT/PT room was still smaller than Beouf’s.  I blanched and she went back to cheering for Shauna and Sandra Lynn who were neck and neck due to Shauna’s stubborn refusal to crawl.

Sosa had already gotten out two gelatin cups and was stirring one around so she could tempt us with spoon feeding.  “Yeah. Go ahead. Start any time.  Have fun.”

Alright then. Game on.  Billy helped me arrange the plastic crates in a rough circle.  I pointed to spots on the floor so that my knight, my rook, and my bishop stood between them.  I made sure to stand at the back of the circle so that Sosa could hear me more easily.

“What are you kids doing?” Sosa asked.  She sounded curious; almost amused.

“Chaz,” I instructed. “Put your left hand in the box nearest to me.”  Chaz followed my directions.  I leaned right and inserted my hand in the same puzzle box.  Just like the last time, the cuff shrunk down over my arm.  It would let me slide in almost as deep as my shoulder and out almost as deep as my wrist, but wouldn’t release me until someone activated the safety release. 

The trick of the so-called diagnostic was that the puzzle box was so bulky though that nobody smaller than a Tweener had long enough arms to reach around both sides and grab both releases at the same time.  And that was the whole point.  Littles were supposed to be cute and helpless and accept outside help constantly and without complaint.  This was literally an exercise in installing learned helplessness.

“Clark, that’s not how you’re supposed to…” Sosa cut herself off.  Amusement was becoming confusion and curiosity was turning into consternation.

I pressed on. Literally.  “Okay, Chaz. Lean in.” We both jumped in giddy surprise. Our hands brushed against each other.  I twisted my wrist and clasped the palm of his hand.

“Nice to meet you, sir.” Chaz said.

“You too, my good man.” We laughed and fumbled around until we found the releases. ”Ready?”

Sosa was putting the cup down. “You’re doing it wrong.”

No time. “Onetwothreego!”

We felt the click, and the box shivered and vibrated in recognition.  The triumphant “TADA!” chords played from hidden micro-speakers and our hands were released. One point five seconds later the cube was rolling forward into the center of our circle and transforming into a complex break dancing droid.

The glee on our faces was from more than whatever pleasure giving frequency the song gave out.

Winters looked over at our group, plainly bewildered. Sosa was a fish drowning in the air.  We all waited for the robot to do its jig and then transform back into a bulky cube.  “Awesome!” I crowed. “Halfway there! Now Chaz, you lean right into Billy’s and yours box. Billy, you work with Chaz.  Me and Annie will do ours. Then Annie and Billy can finish each other off.”  Dirty innuendo completely intended!

I was loving this. Feeling like myself again and loving the rush.  Malicious compliance at its best! Clark Gibson was back!

“Guys, guys, guys, guys!”  Sosa shuffled into our midst. “Stop! You’re confused! You’re doing it wrong!”

Right on time.  “Naw,” I said. “I don’t think so.  According to what you just told us a minute ago: We put one hand in one side. We put another hand in the other, and we have to press the releases in the middle at the same time.  You never said that we had to do it all by ourselves.”

A twitch in Sosa’s right eye.  Almost there. “Okay. I can see why that miscommunication might occur. But what about your other arm?”

“That’s why we’re taking turns. Me and Chaz did one. Me and Annie are next.”

A malicious twinkle glimmered in Annie’s eye. “It’s a team building game!”

Chaz was already wrist deep in his second puzzle. “Oooooh! That’s why she keeps offering help all the time! It’s a hint! We’re supposed to help each other!”

Billy hadn't locked himself in yet. He added in the final cherry. “Miss Sosa! You’re a genius!” He walked up to and hugged her around one leg.  I love you, Miss Sosa!”

Still keeping her professionality, Sosa gently peeled Billy off of her.  She kept her eyes on me, though.  “That’s very cute, guys, but that’s not what’s happening.  Let’s try it the right way.”

“Nothing we did was against the rules,” I said. I was going to lose this argument.  I knew that going in.  The skill of the arguments only matters if both sides have equal power. It was still fun.  A moral victory and a headache for a giantess was still enough to get my adrenaline going.
“Nothing says a dog can’t play basketball, but that doesn’t mean you let one play.” Sosa’s eyes widened for a second.  She’d laid a trap for herself and knew it.  “You’re right, Clark. I did not explain the rules as well as I could have. I’m sorry.  Let me try again.”

“What does your rubric say?”  I asked.

Sosa pretended she hadn’t heard me. “Hm?”

“Can I see the rubric? Or whatever form or checklist you use for us?” I leaned to my right and indicated the clipboard on her desk.  “You haven’t filled anything out yet, so it’s not like I’m looking at any data?  Right?  You haven’t predetermined anything? That would be highly unethical.”

She puckered her lips like she’d just sucked on a lemon.  “You know what? Sure. Just a second.”  She stepped out from the middle of us and snapped up her clipboard.  Her hands were where anybody could see them; so that she wasn’t erasing or altering anything.  I could see her eyes going left and right, scanning the form.  There was a very high likelihood that Jasmine Sosa hadn’t seriously read the qualifiers for a high score on her so-called test in a long time.  She almost certainly didn’t know the phrasing word for word.

I could relate.  As a preschool teacher, I’d used diagnostics for my students several times a year, but I would have been hard pressed to tell you what the last few questions of any given test were. Even now, I can only remember that it started with letter and number recognition.

Diagnostic assessments tend to have a rule for stopping when a student reaches a frustrational point.  There was no point in testing to see if a three or four year old could read a sentence fluently when they were struggling with decoding Consonant-Vowel-Consonant words. It’s amazing what relatively small but vital details people tend to take for granted until pressed.

In a way, I respected that Sosa was double checking her work. My former colleague was still willing to play rules lawyer with me instead of just using her authority like a hammer. “Hmm…” she smiled softly, kneeled down and beckoned me forward.  “Look here, sir.”

Damn.

I came over and followed her index finger.  Everything but the lowest levels of performance had the keyword ‘independently’ put in the phrasing. All the low scores had “with assistance” or “does not engage.”  I looked down at the rubric and did some quick estimation. No way would our development be rated any higher than a three year old based on the values assigned.

Whomever had designed this bullshit test didn’t have quite as much hubris and I hated it.  “I take it back,” Sosa said.  “You can do it with help.  Good job, kiddo.”  She’d regained her confidence and a trace of smugness  was added on for good measure.  “So I guess you and Chaz are done for now.”


Damn.

My head hung so low that my chin touched my chest. “I guess it does say a dog can’t play basketball,” I muttered.  Whelp, it was worth a shot.

Sosa stood up. “Billy? Annie? Do you want to try it all by yourselves or would you like to help each other?”

Dog? A new thought.  I picked my head up and looked at Winters, now playing the part of cheerleader for her own obstacle course.  Oh. Oh yeah.  I’d almost forgotten.  I’d planted some landmines some time ago.  With Winters, Sosa, and an audience, I could detonate.

“Sorry about that Jasmine.” My voice was loud but not shouting.  Teachers naturally tend to project. Sosa’s eye started twitching again.  “Oh,” I said. “My bad. Jazzie. I meant ‘Jazzie’.”

Winters was starting to cross the room and high step over her own setup.  “Chaz? Clark? Would you two like to come and play on my obstacle course?”

Sosa did not take her eyes off me. “Clark, I know you know not to call me that.”

“Miss Sosa,” Winters called, almost there. “Would you like it if I took some of your group early?”

My eyes were locked with Sosa. “Why can’t I call you that, Jasmine?”

“You shouldn’t call me that, Clark. It’s disrespectful.” Sosa was ignoring her partner in favor of me. Perfect.

“We shouldn’t have grouped them together like this.” Winters was pretty much talking to herself by this point.  “This was a mistake.” She started massaging her forehead with her thumb and middle finger. 

Gotta love that Amazon hubris.

“Why not?” I asked far louder than I needed to. “Maxine calls you Jazzie. Is she being disrespectful?”  Two sets of giant nostrils flared above me. A pair of knees and a different pair of elbows locked from surprise. I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t.  Oh…what the hell? “Or is that like a girlfriend thing?”

Everyone froze.  The volume lowered to pin drop levels.

“What are you talking about?” Winters said.  Her voice went up in complete shock, not from surprise, but fear.

I kept jawing like I hadn’t heard. “Hard to tell.  My wife was technically a Cassandra but she’ll always be Cassie to me.  You know how it is.”  I was bold enough to turn my back to the giants and address my peers. “What? Did I forget to tell you guys?  They’re dating.”

A couple of the girls let out an unirnoonic “Awww” and their hands started sliding up toward their hearts.

“Nice…!” Someone hissed.  If you guessed that someone was Billy, you guessed correctly.

I continued the verbal shelling. “They live together. Go grocery shopping. Have pets. Might be married, but I’m not sure. Are you guys married? Why or why not?”

“How did you…?” Winters stammered.

“What? You talk about her all the time! It didn’t take much to figure out who your ‘friend’ was.”  Giggles and whispers picked up in the air.

“Max…!” Sosa said, sounding betrayed.

“Whoah,” I said loudly. “You’re one to talk, Jazzie. One of you gossips about a ‘friend’ who wants a big drooly dog when you want a Rocaw. The other one complains about how their ‘friend’ wants a loud smelly bird when you want a Cerbernard.” I even made air quotes with my fingers for emphasis. “It’s not rocket science.”

Giggles grew into chuckles.

Both of them were the strangest shade of red I’d ever seen on a person’s face. It was a beautiful combination of embarrassed and angry that I didn’t know if I’d seen anywhere before that moment.  Did I just invent a new emotion? Should I call it ‘Angbarrassment’ or just “Emger?” These were the very serious questions that snuck their way into my mind while staring down the barrel of a metaphorical gun.

Sosa was the first to recover. “What we do in our personal lives is none of your business.”

“Oh shit!” I pretended to gasp. “Was that supposed to be a secret? Like how you faked dog allergies so that you could get your pet but Max couldn’t get hers?”  A complete fabrication on my part. Not that she could disprove it right now.

Chuckles became full blown laughter.

Sosa was blindsided. “What are you talking about?”

Winters said nothing but her glare was drifting off of me and up to her partner.

“For the record, dog thing aside, I think you two make a very cute couple.”  Truth be told, I was being honest there. I was a manipulative asshole who’d developed more than a few sociopathic tendencies; not a bigot. “Does acting as your couples’ counselor give me a boost in finding my developmental plateau or whatever?  I gotta be at least a middle schooler on that scale now. Right?”

Hysterical laughter ensued. From the looks of things, there was not a dry eye or dry pants to be found among my classmates.

“Max,” Sosa said. She was standing her ground but her body was leaning further and further away, recoiling in shock. “That’s not true. I don’t know where he got that-”

Winters cut her off. “We’ll talk about that later.”

“No no no,” I jumped in. “You guys should talk about it now. You obviously don’t talk to each other enough. Maxine, didn’t you want to prove that you were the more adult or something?”

That’s where that argument came from?!”

Winters took a step back. “Jasmine. He-...”

“Do you guys need the room?” I thumbed towards the door. “We can all go back to class and you can take a-”

“You’re on thin ice, Mr. Grange.”  Sosa, of course.

Now my eye began to twitch.  I spat,  “Why’s that, Jazzie? I’m just asking questions.”

“Jazzie…” Winters said to herself. “Jazzie...”  Her angbarrassment was turning into contemplation.  She dug into her pocket and looked at her phone. I thought nothing of it, enjoying myself too much.

“You’re doing more than that, and you know it,” Sosa said. She was still flustered and very much emgry. That’s why she was making the fatal classroom management mistake of arguing with a child.  “Maturosis or not, being Little is not the same thing as not knowing any better.”

Winters put her phone down. “Jazzie…Miss Sosa.”

“What?!”  Turned on her girlfriend. “What, Miss Winters?!”


“He stole my phone,” Winters said. “I only ever call you ‘Jazzie’ on my phone. It’s what’s in my contacts.”

A light bulb clicked on in Sosa’s head.  “Didn’t you say groceries? I didn’t tell you anything about groceries.”  She turned her head and addressed Winters.  “Did you mention groceries to him? At all?”

“No.”

The laughter was dying down.

Uh oh.

“You stole our phones. Didn’t you?”

The laughter stopped. In its place was a massive “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Pearls of sweat were forming on my forehead, even though I was in the shade of two very very large, angry women.  “No…?” My mouth was running dry.  “I gave them back, didn’t I? It’s not stealing if you give them back…?”

As one, they closed their eyes, breathed in, and then huffed out a sigh. “I’m taking him back to Beouf.” Winters said firmly.

“No,” Sosa objected. “Mrs. Beouf goes too easy on him. I say what was good for the goose is good for the gander. I’m taking him next door for a few minutes. To Ambrose.”

Eight Little mouths gasped so violently that it made a breeze. “You can’t!” I said. “Beouf doesn’t put anybody in timeout over there anymore. She changed the rules!”

The two Amazons exchanged looks. “I’m not buying it this time.”

“Me neither. Come on, Clark.”  Two massive hands scooped me up.

“No!” Annie yelled. “Clark isn’t lying! We don’t go there anymore! Not since a crying kid was brought into our class for timeout!”

I saw Billy from up on Sosa’s hip. He’d fallen down to his seat and had pulled his knees up to his chest.  He was muttering something to himself and had a far off glance. He wasn’t quite here with us.

“Billy?” I called. “Are you okay?  Billy?”

He snapped his head up and looked at Sosa. “Please don’t send Gibson into Ambrose, ma’am!  Please don’t do that! To any of us!”  Tears were streaming down his face by the end. I knew looking at him that those weren’t crocodile tears.  Billy wasn’t that good of a faker.

“Billy,” Sosa siad.  “Stop. We’re not buying it.”  He wasn’t faking it though.  Billy stopped himself from having a full on panic attack by sucking his thumb and burying his face in his knees.

Tommy pitched into my defense.  “It’s true! We don’t do that anymore! Even if we’re really, really bad! We just miss playtime or go on the naughty stool, or don’t get treats!”

“Or that one time when we had to do stupid exercises!” Mandy piped up.  Everyone else was nodding desperately, pleading my case.  ”We stopped going over to the preschool room as soon as Clark stopped being an adult!”

My judges exchanged another round of suspicious looks with one another. “You heard anything about this?” Sosa asked.

“Not a thing.” Winters answered. “Nothing from Ambrose or Tracy, either.” Of course they were consulting each other over us.  We were just babies and couldn’t be trusted. We were all unreliable narrators; even the good ones  Dumb babies don’t know what they’re talking about half the time.


“Call her!” I pleaded. “Check with Mrs. B!”  I was trembling. My kids had seen enough of me lately.  I didn’t want them to see me anymore than they already did at mealtimes and the bus loop. Especially not as some naughty toddler off in a corner.  Ambrose most certainly wouldn’t have the courtesy to give me a blanket to hide my shame underneath. 

Seeing Billy fighting his own breakdown sent a chill up my spine. That was near the beginning of the school year and we were close to report card time.  Ambrose had hurt him that badly.


The others parroted my pleas:  “Call her!”

“Yeah!”

“It’s the truth!”

“Please!”

The therapists only trusted each other. “What do you think?” Sosa asked.

I stayed deathly silent.  After a certain point, my pleas would only work against my favor.

Winters ground her teeth and wiggled her jaw.  “Nothing’s in any of their I.E.P.’s.  It’s technically at our discretion, as long as the teacher we’re leaving them with consents. Should we bother Mel?”

“I don’t think so,” Sosa said. “When was the last time either of us had to put a kid in timeout?”

“At this school?” Winters said. “Years. Kayden. No after that. Jordan!”

I somehow knew the answer before Sosa had spoken. “No. After that. Amy. It was Amy.” Of course it was.

“Right, “Winters said. “I think we’re good. Go. I’ll watch the others.”

Tremendously long legs sped me out of the classroom.  A cacophony of objections wailed after me. Above them all was a howling Billy breaking down into sobs.  The door opened wide and the sun blinded me. Two tremendous steps later and I was back inside before my pupils had finished contracting.

My brain processed everything rather quickly, somehow faster than my eyes.  We were in my classroom. Except there were no decorations or fun posters. Everything was in a dull black on white palette: alphabet; number line; multiplication tables; classroom rules; and so on. There were no homey touches. No more dolls or toys or games.  Cubbies and shelves were stuffed with books.  The kidney tables as well as the circular and rectangular tables that had been used for group work and centers were nowhere to be found.  The students’ desks were in neat orderly rows where they huddled over worksheets. On the corner of the big heavy teacher’s desk, my old desk, a stack of diapers and a packet of wipes lay in plain view like a headsman's ax in an old tree stump. 

This wasn’t my room at all.  It was what children of all sizes feared school would be like in their worst nightmares. I then fully understood the crying sounds that I had faintly heard over the passing weeks.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt your instruction, Ms. Ambrose,” Sosa said in clipped hurried tones. “But can I please leave this student with you for about ten minutes? He needs a time out and I need a break.”

All heads turned to regard me at the back of the room.  Children looked over their shoulders and up at me in quiet curiosity. There was no curiosity in Elmer’s face, however. Only fear.  None of them smiled. They only stared.  Elmer didn’t smile that I could see. His lips were behind a plastic shield guard.  Why was he sucking on a pacifier?

Ambrose did not smile, either, but she looked like an alligator that had just spotted a baby goat with a broken leg.  “Of course. Go ahead and put him down. I’ll take care of him.”  I need her kind of care like I needed to swallow a battery.

I gripped into Sosa’s shirt out of desperation.  She brushed my hands off like it was nothing.. “Thanks,” she said, already sounding relieved. “I’ll be back in a couple minutes. I just…I just need…”

“Go,” Ambrose waved her away.  “I know how naughty Littles can be. I’ve got this.” It was the closest I’d ever heard her to sounding friendly. The spider always gets chipper when someone drops off a fly into its web.

Sosa didn’t make any attempt to prolong her stay. “Thanks.” She was back out the door.  I was a deer in headlights.  What did I do? What did I say?  My kids were staring at me. And so many of their faces looked exactly like Ambrose’s to me.  No love.  Barely any recognition.  What had that monster done to them?

Where was Tracy?

The massive warthog of a woman somehow made it beside me without me seeing it. It was like she had teleported. “Class. We’re going to stop practicing our handwriting and skip ahead to Science.”  One flabby arm came to rest on my opposite shoulder so that I couldn’t lean away from the beast. It coiled around me like a python and drew me in closer while she took a knee.  She towered over me, massive for even an Amazon.  I felt her breath on my cheek. “What did you put in your mouth this time, you naughty Little thing?” she asked.

“I di-” My words were cut off when Ambrose used her other hand to shove a pacifier into my mouth, and not the one that tended to dangle from my shirt. Her meaty claw twisted a knob on the guard and the rubber bulb ballooned to fill my mouth up almost instantly. She held it up against me until the bulb had fully inflated and lodged itself between my tongue and the roof of my mouth.

I couldn’t spit it out. I couldn’t even open my jaw wide enough or move my tongue more than a few millimeters. Stupidly, I tried to yank it out by hand and got nothing for it. Tiny, high pitched, mean spirited giggles rang out. Not many.  Only one or two voices out of less than a dozen.  At this age, in my classroom, one or two was too many.  Elmer touched his own pacifier the way one does an old wound and looked away.

“That’ll stop that,” Ambrose said. “Littles just love their pacifiers. Don’t they class?”

“Yes, Miss Ambrose,” came a dull choral response.

“And what’s another word for a Little?”

One student raised her hand. “A baby.” The phrasing didn’t even sound like a question. Not a trace of doubt. Hearing that was like a slap across my face. 

“That’s right,” Ambrose nodded.  “How do we know that Littles are babies? What proof do we have?”  She drew me in closer, keeping me from shaking. I kept moving my jaw, futile hoping that I could muscle the gag out with just my tongue.  From the outside, it likely just looked like I was sucking on it.  My heart started to speed up.

“They’re small, like babies,” one said.

“And play with dumb baby toys,” said another.

“And he’s wearing a diaper!”  My hands couldn’t cover my front fast enough. I  tried to bend over and press my knees together, make the source of shame seem as small as possible from their angle. Ambrose’s hand remained collapsed around me so that my back was ramrod straight. 

More mocking titters came.  The volume and number of voices hadn’t changed at least. I averted my eyes and stared at the decorations along my waist.  I didn’t want to know which kids were laughing at me.  I didn’t want to have to hate them.

I had to pee too.  I’d been so worked up that I hadn’t noticed the faintly familiar sensation. I started to let out a little and stopped myself.  I fought against my own unpotty training and focused on the unpleasant burning sensation of a full bladder. Not here. I wouldn’t do that here.  All eyes were on me. 

Ambrose continued her lecture.  “Do all Littles wear diapers?”

“No, Miss Ambrose,” came the chorus.

“Should they?

“Yes, Miss Ambrose.”

“Why?”


No one said anything. Asking complex (and fabricated) philosophy questions was a bit too much for three and four year olds. 

A few seconds of silence passed. Ambrose picked me up and tossed me over her shoulder. Her standing up felt like I’d been strapped to a rocket at liftoff.  Her arms pinned mine to the side in a kind of bear hug, and my feet were positioned away from her at an awkward angle so that kicking would do me no good. I found out just how good those pacifier gags were at muting screams, shouts and curse words.

I was effectively blindfolded, too; left staring over the back of Ambrose’s shoulder with nothing but the floor, the ceiling, and the back of my old classroom wall.  It also meant that I couldn’t see my kids’ faces and they were being given a full view of my plastic backed underwear..

“Tracy?” Ambrose called out.  “Do you know why?”

Meek and pathetic, I heard Tracy speak up. “Yes, Miss Ambrose, but I think you could do a much better job of explaining it than me.”  I had no idea where Tracy had come from.  I hadn’t noticed her when I’d been brought in.  I could tell it was her, but it didn’t sound like the ‘Tracy’ I had known, more like the same actress playing a drastically different part.  She was doing what Tweener’s did best, apparently, and going unnoticed while telling others what they wanted to hear.  “I think you know best.”

“Good girl,” Ambrose chuckled.  It is fortunate that I didn’t get to see the smile that that grim laugh produced.  “You see, class. Littles never really grow up. They like to play pretend, but that’s all it is; pretend and luck. Babies don’t wear diapers because they like it.  Babies wear diapers because if they don’t they’ll have an accident all over everything.” 

My body shook violently when I felt her hand slide down and pat my bottom. I screamed too, but it would have been hard to tell how loud it would have been or whether the scream would have been fear or indignation.

“You can put them on the potty, or let them walk around without a diaper on, but that doesn’t mean they’re not babies. They just get lucky.  Eventually, they will always make a mess. Isn’t that right, class?”

“Yes, Miss Ambrose.”

“And some naughty babies hide their mess.  They have accidents, but they don’t want to stop playing pretend.  So they hide it. All the time. Sometimes, if they’re very lucky, Littles can hide their babyishness for months, even years.  I heard about a Little who hid their accidents from the real Grown-Ups for close to ten years.  But they always get caught, eventually.  Don’t they?”

“Yes, Miss Ambrose.”

My thrashes were nothing more than childish wiggles in her grasp but I had to do something to show that I wasn’t going to just take it.  How dare this monster, this charlatan of a teacher lie about me so fucking brazenly!  The gagged screams and the impotent kicks that didn’t connect to anything only received in her mammoth palm patting the back of my diaper; smacking it not so gently so that I could hear the hollow thumps and feel the impact just enough.  A threat of a spanking.

I slowed down and tried to control my breathing.  Breathing techniques are much harder to do when one of the two main airways is clogged.

“When they do get caught,” Ambrose asked my kids, “what do we do?”

“Spank him?” A tiny voice suggested.

“No,” Ambrose grunted. “Wish we could, but that’s against the rules at school. Only his Mommy or Daddy can spank him or give us permission to spank him.”  The sourness in her tone made me calm down slightly.  No way would Janet give that kind of permission.

I let myself try one more muffled scream, just to be difficult.

“What we do is we just put them back in diapers like they should be. Then we get them a Mommy or Daddy that’s a real Grown-Up and teach them how to be good babies instead of naughty ones.”  She gave my diaper yet another pat and I shook again, glad at least that I didn’t have to make eye contact with anyone.  “And we clean up their messes for them. Literally.”  Tracy,” she snapped. “This baby is wet.  Change him, please” 

The room whipped by and I was left dangling with my arms pinned to my side, staring hatefully at Ambrose’s toad-like face.  She glared right back at me. There was no love lost there because there was none to begin with.

I felt two smaller hands gingerly grab me by the waist. Ambrose released me and Tracy lowered me safely back down to the carpet. Her hands wafted down gently on my shoulders, resting but not weighing me down like the Amazon’s had. 

Accidentally, I leaned back into her and reoriented myself.  My back was still to the students turned around in their desks.  Ambrose was between me and the classroom’s back wall.  Tracy was between me and the rows of desks leading up to the front of the room. She was using her body to block me from the kids so that they couldn’t quite see what was going on. Caught between a psychotic monster and traitor.  Great.

“He doesn’t look that wet to me, ma’am,” Tracy said. From where I was standing I could only get a look at the bottom of her chin. Tracy wasn’t looking at me.  “Shouldn’t someone wait until he’s really soaked or poopy?  He’s not potty trained, and diapers are expensive. It’d be more responsible to wait, don’t you think?”  My bladder continued to ache, begging me to pee my pants as I had continuously been doing the last several weeks. Holding my bladder was becoming less and less second nature and more like carrying a coffee cup around all day without ever putting it down.  I could probably do it but it felt like having one hand always tied up and required constant concentration. It might happen, but unless I actively thought about it, I was going to slip and put it down somewhere.

Not here, though. Doing that would undermine Tracy’s argument. It worked in my favor so I supported it.

“Change him,” Ambrose growled. “Be mature and follow orders.” She crossed her arms and stepped closer, threateningly.  “Or do you need some help with that, too?” She very softly threatened, “Maybe you picked up some bad habits spending too much time playing pretend with the baby?”

“No ma’am,” Tracy squeaked. Her hands still on my shoulders, she started pivoting me towards the classroom bathroom, past the front row of student desks.  Ambrose stepped around and blocked our path.  “Where do you think you’re going?”

“To take him to the bathroom…?” Tracy said. Obviously we were going there. It was the only place with some semblance of modesty, just like in Beouf’s room.

Ambrose slowly shook her head.  “He’s a baby with a bad habit of playing pretend. You don’t want him getting confused again, do you?  Change him here.”

Tracy tried to speak my mind. “But I figured he’d want some priva-”

“He’s a baby. He doesn’t need privacy!  And there’s no rules against it.” There were no rules against it, because laws against public indecency were already a thing. Those laws made exceptions for babies, however.  “Change him here on the floor.”

“But-”

“Change. Him. Here.”  Every word was punctuated by Ambrose stabbing her finger down at her feet.

Tracy scooped my legs out from underneath me and laid me down on the floor, feet facing her. “Yes, ma’am.”  She lowered to her knees and looked down at me with pity and fear.

This is exactly what happened to Billy, I knew.  This is what had happened.  Laid down on the floor.  Changed in public. Surrounded by school children who were only a fraction of his age and a giantess overseeing the whole thing.

I remembered reading some bit of trivia that long long ago, before Amazons were completely batshit baby crazy and decided to make Littles their dolls, that things like public punishments were common.  People would be put in cages or left shackled in public or lashed and whipped while onlookers laughed and mocked and threw rotten vegetables at them.

This was the same thing, in principle.  Already the mean spirited childish tittering had started up again.  There were now more than just one or two voices in the mix.

“Come on. Come on. Gather round.”  Ambrose ordered.  My former students got up from their desks and started to circle up around me.  Three hundred and sixty degrees of chubby faces looking down at me with expressions that ranged from worry to curiosity to something Ambrose would very much approve of.  They were about to witness the man who had taught most of them their ABC’s and how to use the toilet get his diaper changed. 

“Don’t be shy,” Ambrose coached them.  “Everyone needs to learn how to change a diaper. Almost all of you will be Mommies and Daddies some day.  It’s perfectly natural.”  Elmer was shoved to the front so that he couldn’t look away. “Just watch out. Sometimes baby boys make a mess and pee everywhere.”

“EWWWWWWW!”

Behind Tracy, Ambrose hovered looking down on me. She’d gone back to her desk and returned with the wipes and the clean diaper that I’d soon be wearing.

I ignored her and stared up at Tracy, feeling nothing but pure white hot anger. No embarrassment whatsoever.  Like literally everyone else still in my life, Tracy had proven herself to be a fair weather friend at best.

She’d broken her promise to bail me out of Adoption.  She’d broken her promise to look for my wife. She’d barely made a token attempt to spare me a shred of dignity.

With the pacifier gag in my mouth, it was impossible to make any proper facial expression, but I could still glare at her.  I hoped she felt the absolute depths of this betrayal.  Not that it mattered. Within a minute this would be over. She’d survive. I’d still be trapped. Nothing else would change save the literal.

I knew what I was going to do, just then.  I was going to pee on her. Tracy would rip the tapes off, open the diaper, and then I’d grab myself and pee all over her. Ambrose too if I could manage it.  They wanted me to be a baby boy and pee everywhere. Fine. It’s not like anyone taller than me counted any evidence to the contrary.  I might as well confirm their bias in a way that suited me.  Maybe I could make this batch of kids scared of Littles instead of mocking them or cosset them.  Better feared than loved.

“Sorry, Boss…” Tracy whispered. Her eyes went south and her fingers gingerly brushed against the tapes of my Monkeez.  Her face scrunched up and she bared her teeth, concentrating like the diaper was a time bomb and she couldn’t quite find the right wire to snip.  She had no idea.

Fuck you, Tracy. I readied my hands and flexed my fingers, a gunslinger in the old west waiting for the count of three.

One…two…

“Oh no I almost forgot!” Tracy yelped.  She jumped to her feet and ran for the back door connecting Ambrose’s room to Beouf’s.  “I need one of his diapers I'll go get one from next door be back in a second!”  Her words spilled over each other like water.

Ambrose started lumbering after her. “Tracy! Where are you going?” One massive foot stepped over me.  I saw a new opportunity. “I’ve got a diaper ri-!”  I reached up for her other foot and pulled down with all of my weight. “ACK!”

I wasn’t anywhere as strong as an Amazon.  Were I to get in a fist fight with my students, and I were to fight remotely fair, the smart money would still be on them due to brute strength.  Just like booties that were strapped to Mandy’s feet, though, it was remarkable what a sudden difference in weight on one foot can do to one’s balance.

The mammoth of a woman flailed and stumbled forward, shrieking in surprise.  The children screamed and scattered. The ground beside me shook and Ambrose came tumbling down to the floor. The only reason I hadn’t been crushed beneath her was that I’d been smart and scared enough to let go the millisecond I felt my back leave the carpet.

The children laughed nervously.  Ambrose picked herself up and retrieved the changing supplies that she’d spilled. Nothing broken or bruised save her pride. A pity.  “Stupid girl,” she spat.  “I’ve got them right here.”  She turned to me and lowered down to where Tracy had been.  “If you want something done right…”  Meaty claws reached down for my waist.

I rolled out of the way.  One, two, three, four rotations.  That hadn’t been part of the plan.

“Hm?” Ambrose sniffed.  She reached down again, and I rolled the other direction. One, two rotations.

More giggles. Not as mean.  “He’s rolling!”

“Hold still,” Ambrose threatened. But what threat was there?  What would happen if I disobeyed? What was she gonna do? Change my diaper?

The ogre widened her grasp. Left wouldn’t work. Neither would right.  I kicked my legs up and rolled backwards over my shoulders, flopping clumsily onto my stomach with a muffled “Ufff”. I pushed myself up and stared up at fuming Ambrose, my eyes wide and smiling.

The kids laughed more. One started clapping.  I was a clown. This was a game. I was winning.
The game didn’t last long.  The monster of a woman leaned forward, grabbed the back of my non-pants and dragged me across the carpet back to her. I tried to move and scream and wriggle away, but all it took was for her to flip me over and slam down one flabby paw on my chest to pin me to the ground.

Back to Plan A. Or was it B?  Not important. My primary target had just gotten a whole lot bigger. I flapped my arms out, ready to snake them back in the moment the diaper came open. Vainly, I imagined that maybe I could grab my penis in such a way that the kids wouldn’t get a good look at me, and that they’d be scared to look once my golden stream started going skyward. 

The ogre flashed an excited sneer.  “Now I’ve gotcha you Little-!”


“Hello, Miss Ambrose!” An almost musical foreign accent rang out into the room.  “I’m so sorry to interrupt your instruction, but I understand you have a child of ours.”  Zoge seemed to glide into the classroom.  “Oh,” she chirped. “There he is. Allow me to help.” 

Ambrose took her hand off my chest, and released a confused grunt of acknowledgement. “Zoge?”

The Yamatoan took the opportunity to pluck me up off the ground and rest her on her hip. She turned the knob on the pacifier gag and I felt myself exhale as the bulb deflated and she quietly removed it with her free hand.  

“We’ve very sorry for the inconvenience and miscommunication,” she told Ambrose. “Thank you for sending your assistant to Mrs. Beouf’s class so that I could come and retrieve him.”

My heart went pitter patter. Tracy! She hadn’t just run away. She’d gone for help. For me!  She’d told Beouf and Beouf had sent Zoge to save me!

Ambrose wasn’t having any of it. “That Little sonofabitch tripped me,” she exclaimed.

From my perch on Zoge’s hip, I saw my old students wince. Some looked like they wanted to cry but were too afraid to. 

“Yes,” Zoge replied with practiced tranquility. “I’m sure he did. Babies often get underfoot and don’t realize how they might trip someone. We have a Little girl who used to pretend to be a kitty cat and she would rub up against my legs.”

“He did it on purpose!” Ambrose bellowed.

“Possibly,” Zoge said. “Who can know?  Babies sometimes don’t understand the consequences of their actions and hurt people close to them because they do not understand the pain they can cause.”

Ambrose finally found the sense to stand up.  “Little brat was rolling all over the place.”

“It was funny!” A child laughed.  “Mr. G. got all silly.”  Ambrose glowered down at her and the girl stopped.

“Babies are very silly,” Zoge agreed. Her head looked down at the diaper and wipes that had been laid aside.  “That is why we use a changing table in our classroom.  It’s safer. They cannot be silly and roll around.  No one can accidentally step over them and fall.  And we keep ours in the bathroom so we do not distract the other children.”

“He! Tripped! Me!  On purpose!”

Zoge nodded. “Most unfortunate. Once I’ve taken care of Clark, I would be happy to watch your class for you while you go to the nurse’s office.  Do you need a bandage?”

Ambrose had no way out.  She’d just given a lecture on me being a baby and Zoge was turning her own logic against her.  Ambrose held the philosophical belief that people my size were supposed to be treated as infants.  Zoge had come from a land where that belief was an undisputed fact of nature. Zoge’s crazy trumped Ambrose’s.

With me still on her hip, Zoge did something resembling a bow and walked me to the back of the classroom. “Let’s go,” she said.

“Thank you,” I whispered in her ear.

We slipped out the door and into the tiny passageway over to Beouf’s room. “When the others get back, you are going to apologize to Miss Sosa and Miss Winters.” There was no anger behind the words. Like my perpetual infancy, this was a fact to her.

“Why?” I asked.

She stopped us just outside Beouf’s back door. “Because when you hurt someone, you apologize and try to make it right, even if you do not like it.”  Flashbacks of the Yamatoan woman getting on her hands and knees and offering to diaper herself played in my mind’s eye. That had happened only half a year ago or so.

“What’d I do?”  My newly freed mouth was already feeling sore and I started massaging my jaw.

“I do not know,” Zoge said softly. “You going into Miss Ambrose’s room was a mistake, but not an accident.”  She was right, of course.

She opened the door and we were back at home base as it were. The moment we crossed the threshold I saw her toss the pacifier gag into the garbage can and make a face like she had been holding something absolutely vile.

Beouf’s voice was the first I’d heard. She was on the other side of the room talking into her classroom’s phone. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you guys.  It completely slipped my mind.  I forgot you even knew I used to do that with…yeah.  You have no idea how crazy it’s been this year, except yeah you do.” Her laugh was not at all jolly.  “Nuh-uh. Not your fault, hon.  That’s nice of you to say, but no. I don’t think the grouping would have mattered this time.  This one’s on me.  Yeah.  Would you mind telling Skinner if you see her first?  Yeah. Thanks.  No, I’ll keep him.  Okay. Goodbye.”

My mentor hung up the phone and shook her head sadly to herself.  I’d caused her to have to make a lot more phone calls lately.  When she saw me, Zoge put me down and Beouf instantly barreled for me, dropping down and giving me the softest, warmest, gentlest hugs.  “I’m so sorry, baby!”  Her voice cracked with emotion. “That’s my fault.”

I looked around with my eyes.  Jesse and Ivy weren’t there. I rested my chin on Beouf’s shoulder.  There, alone in the classroom, with her enveloping me like a warm blanket, I could almost forget what I looked like from the neck down.

Speaking of neck down, I considered releasing my bladder, but didn’t get the choice.  Somewhere between me getting scooped up onto Zoge’s hips and thinking about my body in Beouf’s embrace.  I’d put down the coffee cup and hadn’t at all noticed.

“He is fine,” Zoge reported. “I got there in time. He is safe.”

“I know,” Beouf said. “I know.”  She was talking to herself more than anything.  She started rubbing my back, holding me like she was afraid to let go. After what I’d almost brought upon myself it felt amazing.  “I’m sorry,” she breathed. “I’m so sorry.”

Point of fact: I related so hard to how Beouf was feeling just then.  Beouf had been my mentor and  I’d picked up her passion and sense of perfectionism.  No one’s perfect, however.  I’d made plenty of mistakes through the years. Everyone does.  In life there’s always so many moving parts. You can’t always remember who needs to know what or when you or if you told them something.  Something that doesn’t seem important to you goes unnoticed and a miscommunication happens.

A kid is going through a rough time at home or a pair of them are fighting, and you get it managed in your own private ecosystem so you forget the world outside it.  Then, out of nowhere, a kid bursts into tears because another adult said something they didn’t know they shouldn’t have or the normally best friends throw everything into chaos.  And it sucks and you feel like the worst teacher in the world because of it. 
It sucks, but it happens. 

Every time it happened to me, I’d tell Melody and she told me that I wouldn’t end up getting Adopted or fired over it and that more importantly I was still a good teacher.

Beouf had forgotten to tell the therapists that her under the table discipline plan that she’d been running for years was null and void and that she hated Ambrose’s guts.  That oversight had almost gotten the memory of her best friend violated directly in front of his own students.

It was a simple mistake.  She couldn’t have known.  With Brollish breathing down her neck and Ambrose next door, and Forrest likely listening in, and me to deal with, she was putting out fires on a weekly basis. Of course this one detail had slipped her mind.  She was a well meaning madwoman with the self-discipline of a fantastic teacher.  But she wasn’t perfect.

I wanted to tell her all of that, and give her that comfort like she used to give me. I kept that feeling to myself.

Finally, Beouf pulled back from the hug and looked me straight in the eyes.  “Are you okay, baby?”

I set my jaw, glad to have it closed. “Mmmhmm.”

“Good. Go to the naughty stool.” She seemed relieved, and not half as hurt or distant as she’d been that morning.

“Alright.” I needed rest. The naughty stool would be a nice break. On surprisingly wobbly legs, I walked over to it and sat down, feeling the wet sopping squish all the way underneath me.  How long had I been holding it? I couldn’t be that close to leaking, could I?

The sounds of childish laughter came out of the baby monitor. I looked back over and saw Tracy creeping out of the nap room.

“Ivy and Jesse are jumping on the bed, but the rail is up so they can’t fall out and they’re having fun.” Our eyes met from across the classroom and I beckoned her closer with my mind. It didn’t work.  “Okay. I gotta get back there. Wish me luck.” 

Zoge leaned over and gave Tracy a quick hug. “Good luck.” She went into the nap room and the monitor picked up her cooing something in Yamatoan.

Beouf gave her a quick hug, too, and whispered something I couldn’t hear.  My former assistant spared me one last look and put her hand on the back exit door knob.

“Tracy! Wait!”

The Tweener let go of the door and approached me cautiously.  “Yeah?” she asked softly.

“Thanks,” I said. “For…you know.”

A thin simper of a smile came to Tracy. “You’re welcome. And I’m sorry.  For you know.”


“Yeah. I’m sorry, too.”

“For what?”

For what? What couldn’t I apologize for? ‘Sorry that maybe I didn’t appreciate you or how hard your life was before and after this whole mess happened’; ‘Sorry that I took you for granted in a lot of different ways’; ‘Sorry that I gave you not one but two impossible tasks that you had no realistic hope at completing’; ‘Sorry that I wasn’t ready to hear you tell me that’;  ‘Sorry that I hated you when you did’?

I averted my eyes and stared at the floor, like the dumb kid I felt like in the moment.  “Please don’t make me say it.”

Tracy leaned forward and ruffled my knots of curly red hair. “Okay, Boss.” she chirped. “I won’t.”



 


 

End Chapter 90

Unfair- A Diaper Dimension Novel

by: Personalias | Story In Progress | Last updated Feb 20, 2024

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