Fifteen Steps Down: An AR Anthology

by: nico | Complete Story | Last updated May 19, 2018

Chapter 4

Chapter Description: Content Warnings: Unbirthing, Diapers, Strong Language

“Oh my God, look at the tiny booties! They’re so darling.”

“Almost as cute as those matching onesies.”

“Which do you think our little models will want to try on first?”

The attendees of the baby shower laughed at this latest joke at our expense – at the idea that we’d have any say over which of the horrifyingly infantile garments we’d be wearing or when we’d be forced into them. After all, neither of us had even the strength or coordination to wriggle free of the harnesses in which we’d been trapped. Bound against our wives’ bodies – our curly-haired heads nestled between breasts that I could swear had swollen – Wayne and I could do nothing but hang our heads and let our pacifiers bob placidly between our lips. Avoiding the eyes of the gleeful women that surrounded us, however, meant looking down at the toddler-sized formalwear we’d been dressed in for the occasion. It meant being reminded that we had been deemed too little even for the dignity of pants, that everyone in attendance would know immediately whether we’d made use of our thick, puffy, fully exposed diapers.

In retrospect, it had been a bad idea to mess with Carol’s birth control.

It’s all I’ve been able to think about over the past few days, the thought of what we might have done differently at least serving to distract me from the maddening, emasculating tedium of childhood and infancy. The plan had seemed foolproof at the time – just crush up one of Carol’s pills every morning and slip it into her breakfast coffee. Though I did feel a twinge of regret whenever she’d stare mournfully at yet another negative reading from a peed-on plastic stick, those feelings were nothing compared to the double bonus of getting to pretend like I wanted kids and getting to fuck my wife whenever I wanted.

The scheme was going so well, in fact, that I saw no harm in sharing my little secret with Wayne. My best friend and neighbor had been getting similarly hassled by his wife Eva about having a baby, and with this new trick in his back pocket he could – just as I had – reap the benefits of playing both sides. Our little deception even served to bring our respective couples closer together. Though mere acquaintances beforehand, Carol and Eva were bound by their shared struggles at bringing a new life into the world. They’d share frustrations and fervently researched fertility tips over dinner while Wayne and I sipped at our beers and grinned conspiratorially at one another.

We’d both been too stupid – too short-sighted and selfish – to know what this burgeoning alliance meant for us. It didn’t even occur to me when getting caught that I had essentially given Carol a partner in her quest for revenge. My wife, in fact, didn’t seem to be in mind of vengeance at all. She simply stared at me as I – the discovered empty pill disc sitting on the table between us – fessed up and apologized for the deception, relieved beyond measure when she smiled and said she forgave me.

I was, at that time, too concerned with saving my ass to really take note of her reaction – too self-centered to know what ran through her thoughts in that infinite moment between my apology and her smile.

Looking back on it now – looking into those hiding eyes of hers, even in my thoughts – makes my pudgy little body shiver.

Carol told Eva, of course, and Wayne was made to apologize for his part in the scheme. But after that, it was as though nothing had happened at all. When the four of us went out to dinner that weekend, our wives explained that they were upset at us for lying yet understood that they might have been a bit too forceful in badgering us for kids.

We toasted to new honesty and openness in our relationships. I gave no thought to how intently our wives watched us as we slugged our beers.

Any lingering thoughts we might have had on impending retribution were washed away by the days of fun and fucking that followed. I felt energized the morning after that dinner and was delighted to find my wife a more than willing recipient of that energy. We made love with the sort of frequency and passion that had eluded us in recent years. Carol even took her birth control pill in front of me when I half-jokingly declared that she was only riding me that hard in hopes of getting a baby out of it.

“There’s only room in here for one man,” she had grinned as she seductively traced circles over her bare tummy.

At the time I had thought it merely something cute – if kinda gross – for her to say before going down on me. In honesty, though, I didn’t care much about anything said before or after.

Wayne had likewise been enjoying a honeymoon period of his own, the juicy details of which he was more than happy to share. Though I thought our spontaneous and simultaneous revitalization somewhat strange, I was more than happy to chalk it up to how good we were all feeling now that we were being open and honest with one another.

Then I got carded.

I laughed it off at the time – even joked with the cashier that I had stolen my dad’s ID. But that tiny reality check brought into sharp relief the gradual, almost imperceptible changes that had occurred over the past few days. My muscles had tightened. My hair had grown fuller and darker. I moved through both my work and home life with the easy vigor of a man several years my junior.

Not that any of that had concerned me. Carol had always been an attentive and adept woman, and she used those skills to keep me as blissfully ignorant as possible. Any thoughts of these changes being strange or suspicious would vanish the instant she got me between those sheets, even when I came home from the liquor store freaked out over having been mistaken for a college kid. Though the incident had convinced me that I had to speak up about what I was experiencing, that resolve died the instant her lips met mine. My fears faded as they had in the days prior – slipping from my thoughts as I savored afterglow’s embrace, mind blank to everything but her fingers playing with my hair and her whispers tickling at my ear.

I woke up the next morning and everything had changed.

It wasn’t just that I was alone. In the past few days Carol had been on my person to an almost clingy degree, which I felt a more than fair tradeoff for the increased intimacy I got in exchange. There was also the fact that my wallet, keys and phone had disappeared from the nightstand. In their place sat a pile of neatly folded clothing that I was ostensibly meant to wear, which initially felt like a sweet if condescending gesture on the part of my wife. Though I wasn’t keen about having my outfit picked out for me, I preferred that over another day of slopping about in clothes that had grown baggy and bunchy on my slimmed-down frame.

Then I saw the faded jeans and the accompanying graphic tee. The illusion dropped away in an instant.

I had not, to that point, given thought nor word to the idea that I was growing younger. Though it explained everything I had been experiencing, the very concept was so insane that I dared not even consider it for fear of loosening what already felt like a tenuous grip on reality. As I stood there in those clothes, though – as I gaped at the trembling, pale-faced teen in the mirror – I knew that I could pretend no longer.

“Carol?” I called out as I entered the kitchen and winced when she turned my way, all cheer and light. My confidence was already shaken by the tremble in my cracking voice and was dashed almost entirely by her innocuous smile. “There’s something happening to me.”

“I’ll say.” Carol stepped right up to me and took my cheeks in her hands, their now stubble-free skin burning beneath her delicate touch. She held them like that as I gulped and reeled at the realization that our eyes were now level. Then, she chuckled and gave me a matronly pinch. “You’re getting more handsome by the day. Now eat up – Eva and Wayne are coming over soon.”

With that, my wife turned and swept herself back into the kitchen, humming a little tune to herself as though nothing were amiss. Though I wanted nothing more than to storm in there and scream accusations in her smug face, I managed to get a rein on my surprisingly volatile temper before it flared out of control. It was through gritted teeth that I survived breakfast, managing to hold my tongue even when Carol poured a cup of coffee for herself and a glass of orange juice for me. Scared and angry as I was, I still knew that lashing out would do little to help my situation – and getting physical, I realized with a shiver, was no longer an option. I didn’t know if I was still stronger than my wife.

Either way, I figured that I would need Wayne’s help if I were to think up an escape from this bizarre trap. It never occurred to me – at least until he and Eva arrived – that he might need some assistance of his own.

We could do nothing but stare agape at one another as our wives chattered over our heads. Not a word passed between us, but I could tell that we were both thinking the same thing – that neither of us had ever seen the other as young as we were then, a staggering thought given that we had met in our freshman year of university.

“Wayne, why don’t you and Rory go hang out inside for a bit?” Eva suggested. Wayne nodded numbly and headed down the hall without even waiting for me to follow. I scurried after him as our wives’ chatter and laughter chased us away.

“What the fuck.” I hissed as soon as we were behind closed doors. “What the fuck.”

“I don’t know…” Wayne whimpered, sounding as pitiful as he looked. “Maybe – maybe this is just some kind of prank they’re pulling on us. Maybe they’re just trying to teach us a lesson.”

“That I don’t doubt. But there’s no kind of prank that can do this.”

“…no, there probably isn’t. Still…we kinda have it coming, right? I mean, maybe it’d be for the best if we just let the girls have their fun – it might be the only way we get back in their good graces.”

“Good graces? My god, man, look at yourself! Look at me!

“I know…I know, okay? But Rory…” Wayne’s eyes shone with tears. “What can we even do?”

I had no answer to that. Wayne’s personal belongings had been similarly confiscated, leaving us without the necessary resources to execute an escape. We couldn’t drive, buy anything or even leave our homes without permission – just like the frustrated high school kids we resembled. Faced with this chilling reality, I reluctantly agreed to let things play out for a little while longer.

When I woke up the next morning, I knew I had made a mistake.

I blinked my eyes open to see that Carol’s side of the bed was empty again. She had retired at the same time I had, my clumsy and timid attempt at initiating intimacy playfully rebuffed as though I were being very silly. I responded to her counteroffer of cuddling by snorting and turning away, burying myself under the covers so she would not see my blush – the indignant, ashamed blush of a teenage boy rejected by his crush.

If my cheeks had been burning then, they were practically molten now. My shrunken fingers shook as I pulled back the covers to reveal my skinny preteen frame, whimpering at the way my boyish body swam in the t-shirt and boxers I had worn to bed. A reluctant peek into those boxers was all I needed to confirm my greatest fear – it was all I needed to realize that I wouldn’t be intimate with my wife again anytime soon. I was haunted by the sight as I numbly dressed myself in the bright t-shirt, baggy cargo shorts and – groan – plain white, y-front briefs that had been laid out for me.

My wife, as expected, acted as though nothing were amiss. The attempts I made over breakfast to convince her something was wrong were met with breezy dismissal, every bit of evidence I presented treated as a fantastic notion dreamed up by a boy – she gently reprimanded – a little too old to still be playing pretend. Eventually I gave up and grumpily committed to my breakfast, sure that Wayne would be of help when we – as Carol promised – met up with him and Eva later in the day.

That certainty disappeared when I saw the small boy that pouted at Eva’s side. Though Wayne had joked that he’d been a real runt as a kid, there was a world of difference between knowing that and seeing it – seeing the mortified, sniffling child that had taken the place of my full-grown friend. Stunned into silence, neither of us could do much more than obediently straggle a few steps behind our wives as they led us on our walk. It wasn’t until they became lost in their own conversation – treating us, as they now did with maddening consistency, as though we weren’t even there – that I found the nerve to speak up.

“This has gone way too far,” I whispered, eyes kept front all the while to look out for eavesdropping ears. “They’re acting like we’re actually kids, Wayne! This whole thing is insane, and it has to stop right now.”

“…Eva’s been telling her mother that she’s going to have a baby.”

“What? That’s impossible. Your wife’s been taking her birth control since we got found out, right?”

Wayne turned to me. His eyes were so empty that it makes me shiver even now to think of them.

“That’s not what she meant, Rory.”

I stared at him, uncomprehending – then groaned and staggered when the realization hit me all at once. My head spun as blackness blotted at the corners of my vision – it was only fear of how young I might be when I woke up that kept me from fainting.

“Sweetie? Are you okay?” Carol, having noticed my lollygagging, turned and frowned my way. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I’m fine.” I had barely gotten out my tiny, squeaked insistence when I squeaked once more at being so suddenly wrapped up in my wife’s embrace. Not knowing what to do – stunned by just how small I felt in her arms – I simply stood there and whimpered as she rubbed my back and kissed my hair.

“You poor thing,” she sighed. “I think it’s best we get you home before you get any sicker.”

And just like that, whisked away before Wayne or I could say a word. Though we’d be reunited the next day, that was also when the idea of escape finally became too laughable to consider.

“She says I’m gonna have a bath later.”

“What’s so bad about that?”


“…oh my God.”

“There it is.”

“She’s going to give you a – ”

Yes. And your wife probably will too. We’re lucky we’re not being bathed together.”

“No. That’s tomorrow.”

That was how our conversation at the swingset ended, with shivers slithering down our spine at how true that statement likely was. It was but one of the many emasculating and infantilizing horrors that we dreaded in the days to come, those babypowder-scented nightmares now all the more terrifying for how close they had become. As we forlornly swayed back and forth on our swings – tiny sneakered feet dangling above the ground, stubby fingers gripping the chains, round cheeks and smooth chins set in adorable pouts – it was impossible to ignore that we were now much, much closer to our infancies than to our adulthoods.

“C’mon sweetie, we gotta go home! Time to get that cute little tuckus of yours squeaky clean.”

Wayne sniffled as he stalked away from the swingset.

“It’s not cute.” He whispered to me indignantly as a last bit of pitiful resistance. Eva ruffled his curly mop of hair as he fell under her wing, leading him to their car as she gushed breathlessly over how adorable he’d look in his new jammies. My own evening, as Wayne predicted, ended with a brisk and efficient scrubbing at my wife’s hands. Mortified by the way I had reacted – entirely involuntarily, I assure you – when Carol had run her soapy rag over certain parts of mine, I could do nothing but stand stone-still in shame as she helped me into my undies, as she zipped up my fuzzy onesie jammies…as she patted my head, tweaked my nose and told me that that’s just what boys’ parts do sometimes.

She promised to explain it to me when I got older.

Yesterday was when we got our first real taste of the coddled hell that awaited us. The worst part of being reduced to preschoolers wasn’t that our cartoon briefs had been replaced by suspiciously thick undies, nor that our snap-crotch shortalls did nothing to hide how pudgy and stubby our limbs had become. It wasn’t that that Wayne and I were forced to hold onto our wives as we were marched through the zoo, the grip of their warm and soft palms like iron around our chubby hands and stumpy fingers. It wasn’t even that that we were – after Wayne had been caught at it – cheerily encouraged to suck our thumbs no matter how many looks us “big boys” got for participating in such an infantile act.

The worst part wasn’t even that our wives loudly, publicly, and repeatedly asked if we were wet.

The worst part was that the answer wasn’t always no.

If it seems as though we’ve been overly passive through this whole ordeal – if it seems like we were all too quick to accept our fate – that might be because of how hard it is to remember what it’s like to be a child. Even teenagers can feel as though their world is one in which judgmental eyes are always upon them, where adults seem all-knowing and omnipresent, where so much as thinking about being naughty can get you in trouble.

All that considered, it was almost a relief when I woke up this morning in a diaper.

It’s not as though there was anything inherently comforting about being wrapped up in the crinkly, cushy garment. No, the relief came from the realization that I – now a literal baby – had become comfortably numb to the idea of surrendering to my fate. What else was there to be done? I was relegated to a tiny playpen if Carol wasn’t carrying or cuddling me, ten square feet of colorful plastic prison in which I was forced to confront the uselessness of my pudgy toddler’s body. A task as simple as walking proved so depressingly challenging that I resigned myself to plopping on my padded bottom and picking at the thigh-spreading padding of my Pampers. There was no more point in worrying over something I could clearly no longer change. There was nothing to do but to suck robotically on my pacifier and be thankful that I was, at the very least, safe from a world that had become equal parts gigantic, intimidating and demeaning.

That safety, however, did not offer any protections against Carol’s friends. I watched from my nylon confines with growing dread as they streamed in through the front door in a relentless gush of effusive cheer, catching just enough of their chatter to determine that they’d come for some special event that my wife had been setting up all morning. Whatever she had planned, it was clear that Wayne and I would be involved, that we’d be served up to these baby-crazy women like slabs of meat thrown to hungry lions.

Suddenly, having my Pull-Up changed in a crowded zoo bathroom didn’t seem so bad.

When Wayne arrived, it was clear that he was just as anxious about our role in this little gathering as I was. Deposited in my playpen by Eva with a pat on the head and an instruction to “play nice,” the positively cherubic toddler was so stunned by my infantile appearance – as I was by his – that the pacifier he fervently sucked on fell from his lips. He plucked it back up off the padded playpen floor and jammed it right back in his mouth, though, blushing hotly as I gaped at how dependent he had grown on the babyish bit of molded plastic and rubber.

My attachment to my own pacifier was different. I could’ve stopped anytime I wanted.

Our dread grew and grew until our wives finally fetched us, carrying us into the living room and announcing our arrival as though we hadn’t been twenty feet away the whole time. The way their giggling brood of friends descended on us was bad enough – the stuff of nightmares, really. They gushed and pinched and fussed and cooed despite our obvious displeasure, our pouting and squirming serving only to heighten their adoration of the “sweetest little baby boys they’d ever seen.” But when I think back on it now, there’s one horror that stands stark and clear above all the others of that day. Three, actually – three words stretched across the room on a bright blue banner in a mockingly celebratory and playful font.


There was little I would’ve done to escape a baby shower as an adult. In this case – as one of the babies in question – I would’ve thrown myself screaming from the window if given the chance.

I wasn’t, of course. Carol and Eva allowed us to be adored for what felt like years before finally strapping us into our body harnesses, ensuring that we’d be right there for every cloying, insufferable moment. Somehow our wives had managed to make this shower even worse than the usual variety by running a sort of gift exchange with their guests. With every item Carol and Eva received, a guest got an item of mine or Wayne’s in return. Booties became my prized Rolex. Onesies, Wayne’s favorite tie. A strangely loose and flowy dress – they must’ve assumed that our wives would gain weight in motherhood – our golf clubs.

All of this tempted me to sink back into the numb surrender that had served me so well, and I likely would’ve done so if my attention were not continually caught by the funny little looks our wives’ friends kept sending our way. They’d always turn when I caught them, but never quickly enough to hide the amusement in their eyes or the smirk playing on their lips. More than once they’d declare – with an indulgent chuckle – how unfortunate it was that Wayne and I couldn’t join the festivities. It was almost like…


The shower ground to a sudden halt as every eye in the room turned my way. Truthfully, I had even surprised myself with the volume and eloquence I had managed. The horrible knowledge that our wives’ guests knew who we were – they knew and they weren’t helping, they knew and they were letting this happen – had hit me with such force that it could not be kept inside. The barest spark of hope tingled in my tummy as I looked at the now-uncertain faces that surrounded me, daring to dream that even one of these ghouls would be shamed into stopping this insanity.

Carol chuckled as she pulled me out of my harness and cuddled me close to her huge, warm, smothering body. She smiled at the way I wriggled and whimpered in her arms.

“I think someone’s a little fussy.”

It was a remarkably deft maneuver – two buttons quickly undone with her free hand, her breast spilling so suddenly from her opened blouse that I could only gape at its unexpected appearance.

Carol knew just what to do with that open mouth of mine.

I didn’t want to. I didn’t. But I had been betrayed my instincts. My lips had clamped down on Carol’s nipple the instant they were touched by the swollen nub, clamped down and started suckling entirely on their own. Shocked and revolted, my chubby hands pushed fruitlessly at her breast even as I sucked away at it.

Then the first drop of milk hit my tongue.

My eyelids fluttered and the whole of my pudgy little body went slack in Carol’s arms. My wife cooed and stroked my fine, soft hair as I drank like a greedy newborn. Suddenly I was no longer concerned with anything but getting as much of her rich, creamy essence within me as possible, the whole of my existence centered around filling my tummy with mother’s milk. The coos and giggles of the gawking guests had become distant and meaningless, as had the sensation of leaking rivulets dribbling down my cheek and chin. I rolled my gaze in Wayne’s direction and dimly registered that he was feeding with just as much vigor – and, if his dreamy expression was any indication, with just as much detached ecstasy. Energy ebbed from my tiny body until I no longer had the strength to keep my eyes open.

Night had fallen by the time I awoke. I blinked myself back into consciousness and focused on the only light I could see – that of the moon’s glow streaking in through the windows, a stark and pale illumination cast across the foot of my bed. I was still in Carol’s arms, and Wayne was still in Eva’s. Our wives were sitting side by side with their backs up against the headboard, silent as death as they cradled us like newborns.

In the darkness, it took a moment for me to realize that all four of us were naked.

My struggle to comprehend the reason for that was cut short when I saw that something was happening to Wayne. At first, it seemed as though he were simply shifting and squirming in his sleep. But my vision focused through the darkness and revealed the truth.

He was shrinking. My friend of many years – a man I’d known most my life – was losing what little maturity he still possessed, growing so impossibly small in Eva’s embrace that I feared he would disappear entirely into her.

I’m not sure what I would’ve done had I known that to be a possibility. Screamed, I suppose. Kicked and bit, maybe. Even if it wouldn’t have done any good, it seemed wrong to not try and prevent this most grotesque and insane of nightmares from coming true.

But I didn’t know. I couldn’t have known. I couldn’t have done anything but what I did, which is look on in dazed disbelief and horror as Eva started lowering her newborn husband. A whole person lowered past her breasts and stomach, lowered until there was nowhere else for him to go. A mysterious smile played on Eva’s lips as she craned back her head and took in a deep breath.

A push, a sigh, and Wayne was gone.

I had no idea what had happened. I had no idea where my friend was.

Then Eva’s stomach swelled. Then the woman glowed as the moon caught the crest of her curve, the entirety of her exalted form alight as she lovingly ran her hands over a now-occupied belly.

“Oh, sweetie…” I hadn’t moved. I hadn’t said a word. Still, Carol could somehow tell that I had awakened. Maybe it was because I had gone cold in her arms, or maybe she knew that internally I was screaming as the insane do. “I had hoped you’d be asleep for this.”

The words were hardly out of her mouth when she started pulling away from me, that funny little smile of hers growing more and more distant even as she remained completely still. Suddenly too young to talk, I could do nothing but wail and wriggle as my shrinking body refused to honor even the simplest of commands. Though my desperation and terror jumped by leaps and bounds as Carol started lowering me, it had become all too obvious that I could no longer be saved by will alone.

My vision blurred. My cries grew weak. There was a warmth and a pressure against my crown, and then it felt like…like…

Though it’s hard for many of us to remember what it was like to be a kid, there are a few memories retained and cherished even by those furthest from their childhoods. Memories of secret places where we protect ourselves from the judgment and rigidity of the adult world. Under stairs. Beneath furniture. Between trees. Nooks and cubbies and dens and crevices that we wedge ourselves into and curl up within. Seeking not only the naughty thrill of hiding but also a space where you can be happy being small. Where you’re whole. Where you’re safe.

That’s what it felt like.

I don’t know for how much longer this warm, living darkness will serve as my home. I don’t know what kind of creature I will be when I emerge. Legends of rebirth promise a clean slate and a return to innocence, and I would gladly welcome both if it means being relieved of my memories of this nightmare – of my memories of the failed adulthood that led me back to this center. That’s a matter for the months to come, though, for the new life and the infinite possibilities that lay stretched out before Wayne and me. For now, I only know one thing for certain.

This is where I belong.



End Chapter 4

Fifteen Steps Down: An AR Anthology

by: nico | Complete Story | Last updated May 19, 2018


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