http://patreon.com/personalias Set in the Diaper Dimension, where Littles live under the constant threat of being adopted by Amazons and forcibly babied and mentally regressed. Clark is a Little who is doing pretty well for himself. He has a wife, a job, and a good home in a small town. All the trappings of adulthood that a Little could want. But as a teacher, his job is always walking a razor's edge for when Faculty and Staff might see him and think he deserves to go from teacher to less than a pre-k student. Read on to learn about Clark, his world and worldview, and how everything gets turned on its head.
Chapter Description: Part 1: The Old Routine Meet Clark on what very well might be any "normal" morning for him as the alarm clock rings and he gets ready for work.
PART 1: The Old Routine
Chapter 1: The Facts of Life.
The world isn’t fair.
This was typically the first morbid thought that crept into my head every morning as the alarm buzzed me awake from whatever dreams I’d been having only moments before. The past six to eight hours had been rendered completely moot in a blur of unconsciousness, not counting a trip to the toilet around three A.M. or so. Today was no different.
“Snooze,” my wife, Cassie, said, her groggy tone somewhat a hybrid of a plea and a demand. Almost reflexively, I rolled over and slapped the snooze button, silencing the alarm. “Thankooo,” Cassie slurred before rolling over and resuming a light session of snoring. Damn, I loved the sound of her snoring.
The next nine minutes lasted a short eternity, with me likely drifting off just before the alarm sang out again. I’ve always wondered how an entire night can go by with a snap of my fingers and the shutting of my eyelids, but nine minutes feels like forever. The only conclusion I could ever come to was that the world wasn’t fair.
Eyes open, but vision still blurry (it looked like there were two overlapping sets of alarm clocks), I groped around and actually turned the darn thing off, not just hitting snooze. It was part of our morning ritual, me and Cassie. Our routine. I always hit the snooze button once, and only once; just enough to feel like we were getting away with something. In its own weird little way, it felt like winning. Little victories.
But today was work. So no sleeping in. Time to get up and get out of bed. If my head hit the pillow again, sleep would win. Sleep never won.
Not that I could go back to sleep, anyways. I had to pee like a racehorse. I’d already woken up once, about an hour ago, but my lethargy outweighed my discomfort, so I’d just rolled over and drifted off again. Now it was time to get up. Time to go to work and face the dangers of the world outside my house.
Time to exist.
Stretching out the first of my morning aches, I walked to the bathroom, whispering “The world isn’t fair,” as I crossed the threshold. It’s my own personal “memento mori,” but it served a different purpose than the generals of the ancient and mythical land of “Roam.” Conquering heroes needed to be reminded of their own mortality, lest they become arrogant.
My own personal motto reminded me of exactly how lopsided the world was so that I’d stay alert. Couldn’t get too cocky. Couldn’t get too comfortable. When the game’s not fair, you can’t afford to rest easy, and the game started every time I stepped out my front door.
That might have been the reason why I never had the master bathroom refurbished. Cassie would grab her phone and shamble to the other side of the house and use the guest bathroom. It made sense, honestly. The seat there fit her, and neither of us were foolhardy enough to go out and buy a potty adapter. Even Cassie, internet whiz that she’d become, wouldn’t buy something like that online. That’s how they getcha.
Me? There was a certain thrill about climbing up the stepladder every morning and pissing into a toilet sized for an Amazon. Another guilty pleasure. Getting away with something, again. Another Little victory.
Oh, yeah. I guess I should mention in case you haven’t figured it out: I’m a Little. Capital “L.” Noun. Not an adjective.
We lived in an Amazon-sized house. Got it relatively cheap with a good mortgage. The old Amazon couple that we’d gotten it from actually seemed pleasantly surprised on the day I showed up to sign the papers.
They’d lost their adopted Little girl to old age and cancer- some things even Amazon tech can’t cure a hundred percent- but had modified the spare bathroom to accommodate someone our size. They were the rare breed that believed in “potty training” Littles. And yes, please note the quotation marks to indicate eye rolling irony. You’ll most likely be seeing a lot of them.
Amazons were crazy; they were almost determined to see Littles as babies that never grew up, at best, and their own personal dolls, at worst. But if you didn’t trigger their eccentricities, they were otherwise very reasonable. I had made sure to remind Cassie of that when I came back from the in-person signing.
In turn, Cassie reminded me if she hadn’t done some careful obfuscation about our stature, (never outright lying, that would have come back to bite us), we wouldn’t have gotten our dream house with such a low mortgage payment.
Only “grown-ups” could handle such stressful responsibilities like a job and a mortgage. Littles who fell behind on their payments weren’t allowed to be grown-ups and pay them late.
We both knew Littles who’d tried to live the dream and had been pressured into signing more than half of their monthly paycheck away. Some of them were still struggling, working overtime and multiple jobs just to make payments and keep food on their table.
I’m getting off track, though. This isn’t the story of how my wife and I got our beautiful home. This is another story entirely.
Still gloriously naked and a little stiff in the legs, a low moan escaped my lips and mingled with the sound of liquid hitting liquid echoing through the master bathroom. Everything in my house was a high-loft, comparatively speaking. There was something luxurious about it.
Once my tank was on empty, I looked down at myself- pale flesh and tiny little red hairs all over- and smiled. I liked my body hair. It made me look and feel more manly (though Cassie preferred calling me “fuzzy”). My body hair wasn’t super bushy or massive, but no one was mistaking me for a toddler, either. Good. Good enough, anyway.
Leaning over so as not to fall in, I placed one hand on the tank for balance and then flushed. After climbing down from the toilet’s step stool, I did my other morning ritual of looking down and clapping my hands on my belly.
Damn. I was getting kind of chubby. Too much candy and late night snacking. That was no good. If a Little ever got too fat, one of those giants (sorry Amazon readers, that’s what you look like to us) might see a beer gut and think “baby fat,” and then their maternal instincts would get triggered.
That’s the curse of getting old. Your metabolism starts to slow down on its own, but your eating habits don’t. At thirty-one, I was ancient in Little terms. No, we live just as long as the Amazons and Tweeners, on average. But in Amazon country, most Littles were lucky to remain free and uncribbed past the age of twenty-eight.
Amazons were just as likely to “adopt” an eighty year old as an eighteen year old, but if you made it to thirty-five, chances are you’d gotten your shit together enough so that you could make it to eighty. So yeah, I was gettin’ up there. Better old than never being allowed to grow up.
Climbing yet another stepping stool so that I could reach the sink, I grabbed my razor and shaving cream and started to lather up. I promised myself that I’d pop in that yoga DVD again as soon as I got home from work.
I hated yoga, but having a pre-recorded Amazonian fitness instructor tell me to assume the child’s pose on the yoga mat was better than a real giant telling me to lay down on a changing mat. Jogging as exercise was out, lest some passerby think I was running from something and decide to “protect” me.
Weights were a no go, too. A Little with a developed physique was unfortunate, as far as Amazons were concerned. A Little with rippling musculature was a challenge, a dare, or so I reckoned.
Yoga was really my best option.
Shaving was another kind of balancing act for me. My bright red goatee definitely made me look more “distinguished” and less like a toddler, but with it came more responsibilities. Serious, serious responsibilities. If my chin hair ever got too long or scraggly, someone might think that I didn’t know how to take care of myself, and it’d be all downhill from there. Same principle if I got a five o’clock shadow anywhere before 5pm. It’s why I shaved twice a day, just in case. A big ol’ fuck-off grandpa beard was never going to be an option for me, sadly.
The top of my head was its own balancing act. My own hair had a tendency to grow curly- “adorably” curly, which made me a potential target. However, my paranoia never let me feel comfortable going full buzz cut, either. Bald could be just as dangerous. Barbers that cut Little hair (and didn’t offer a lollipop after) in this part of the country were rare.
I was lucky in some respects, though: a curly top was bad, but long, flowing hair was worse.
You know how I said that Amazons were equally likely to adopt an eighteen year old or an eighty year old? Admittedly, there’s truth to that. What I failed to mention, however, is they also tend to prefer our women over men. There are studies that suggest that as far as “adoptions” go, women outnumber men two to one, closer to three in some locales. And it’s no big secret that when an Amazon can’t find a Little girl to take...they have a tendency to just “make” their own. As a precaution, I learned to cut my own hair and make up for talent or style with a ton of hair gel.
I leaned forward and mugged a bit in the mirror. Flecks of gray were dotting my hair. Salt and ketchup. I smiled a little. A typical Amazon might adopt an eighty year old or an eighteen year old Little, but their special brand of crazy was more likely to be triggered by a cuter, younger, more babyish looking Little. Those flecks of gray and white were practically battle scars.
“I might just make it to being a silver fox, yet,” I’d think to myself.
Body hair. Goatee. Short and neat hair. A penis. Those were all things that played to my advantage out there in the Big Big Amazonian world. Even my name was supposed to be a shield.
Oh yikes. I almost forgot. Forgive my manners.
I’m Clark. My last name? It’s complicated.
My parents gave me the name “Clark” as its own kind of protection. “Clark” is one of those names that’s just awful for a kid. Like “Dane” or “Glenn” or “Harlan.” Hard to imagine a baby with that kind of name. If you’ve read this far, I think you see my point.
I grew up hearing the story about my poor uncle Thomas on my mother’s side, lost to us before I was born. He didn’t die. An Amazon just thought that he looked cute and that “Tommy” was more fitting for him. As far as anyone in the family knows, he’s still being forced to breastfeed and shit his pants.
A name wasn’t going to stop any of the giants from taking me, but just like everything else about me at that point, it was another layer to prevent any unhealthy interests in me ever taking root. Just like the carefully ironed dress shirt that I put on everyday, each little piece of my appearance was another button holding everything together.
It wasn’t fair. I knew this as I pulled up a neatly pressed pair of slacks and went for my belt. It wasn’t fair that every day I went to work, I was in my own weird way putting myself in a surreal kind of danger. It wasn’t fair that my custom loafers had lifts in them, in the hopes that I might be able to pass as a short Tweener instead of an average-to-tall Little. It wasn’t fair that I had to basically prove myself as an adult every single day while other, bigger, taller people got the benefit of the doubt and then some.
It wasn’t fair, but it was fact.
I finished tying my tie- a risky maneuver if it ever went askew, but it always paid off.
“Breakfast time,” Cassie said, bringing me my breakfast shake. It was high in protein and had a tendency to constipate me, but that was a bonus as far as I was concerned. Didn’t hurt that it tasted like chocolate, either.
An artist, Cassie worked from home, never letting anyone know her actual size. Most people wouldn’t believe a Little could do anything artistic beyond scribbling with crayons, but that’s just propaganda there. She had an eye for detail and the manual dexterity to make absolutely beautiful and intricate works of art. She could cook, but neither of us wanted to get up early enough to make or eat breakfast, so we’d developed this little ritual instead.
I took my shake, peeled off the seal on the bottle and chugged it down. “Thanks, hon,” I said. “You’re the best.”
“I know, hon,” she yawned. We never called each other “babe,” always opting for older-sounding terms of endearment. “Love ya.” A quick peck on the cheek, and then I was out the door and on my way to work.
So here’s the thing: looking back on it, I couldn’t tell you the exact date this happened. I’ve long forgotten it. Not because anything made me forget, but that’s because much of my life BEFORE was largely forgettable; blessedly, blessedly forgettable. If anything, the above sequence of events might not ever have happened exactly the way I described them above, but they all happened at some point. This was my morning, most Mondays through Fridays, barring summer vacation or the occasional three-day weekend.
Some, I know might criticize or try to discredit me as I write this- call me an unreliable narrator, only with smaller, more patronizing word choices. Typical Amazons. What I am is flawed, just like anyone without a computer for a brain.
The mind, especially mine, has a habit of blocking out or blurring the routine together in a jumbled haze, because why would we know every single detail of every single thing that has ever happened to us in our sentient existence? We’re not robots. It’s the rough stuff, the emotional stuff, that we remember. The stuff that even thinking about makes us happy cry, ugly cry, curl our fingers in rage, curl our toes in fright, makes us nauseous or aroused: that’s what sticks out in our mind with crystal clarity.
This? This morning could have been any morning. For all intents and purposes, it was my morning, every morning. In fact, do me a favor: Get a bookmark or a highlighter and between every chapter, remind yourself that for the longest time, this was my morning. If, up until a certain point, I talk about “the next day” or talk about any transition in time, a scene very much like what you just read probably unfolded first: a little bit of existential dread and anxiety, a lot of careful preparation, a terrible meal, and then out the door before dawn.
It wasn’t fair. But it was normal. Blessedly, blessedly normal. It was routine. It was the facts of life.