First story here… please be kind (or at least polite!)
The last thing Mum and Dad said to me before they left for the weekend was 'Remember, if you’re feet get wet it’s time to get out." which was sort of funny, as that was just what had happened to the old house. Our feet had got very wet, all the way up to my neck in fact, but then that’s what happens when a river comes through your bungalow’s front door, and out the back.
Okay, so that doesn’t sound particularly funny, but given the only temporary place we’d been offered by the insurance company, was twelve floors up a posh apartment block, you can see why I smiled, even as I told them I’d be okay on my own for about the twenty billionth time. I’m mean I was fourteen already, so not really a little kid who couldn’t be left alone for the weekend, despite some of the things I was planning to get up. Still, my parents didn’t know that, and given the entire block we were in was closed to outsiders, the river probably wouldn’t have been allowed in anyway, at least not with a handful of references from ‘respectable’ people just like we’d had to do.
Of course I still had to go through the usual routine, of reciting all their contact numbers, even throwing in numbers to phones that were never to be seen again. Only once all this was out of the way, along with reminders about which hotel they were spending the night in and to contact the janitor if anything went wrong in the apartment, did my parents finally leave me, their only child behind, little realising just how young I would be by the end of the weekend.
The hire car Dad was driving - ours had played water born bumper cars down the street before getting stuck half way up a tree - silently slipped away, reminding me that some things were certainly better now, even if we had barely escaped from the roof of our house with nothing but the clothes on our back, thanks to a pilot disobeying the TV crew he already had on board, who just wanted to film us, instead of actually helping out.
By the time our insurance company agreed to re-house us - which was only after the TV crew from the helicopter had got on the case, even if that was just to divert attention away from themselves - all of the decent rental places had already been taken, which is why we ended up in another town, in a place that wasn’t even furnished but for the basics. That’s where the basement storeroom came in very handy in fleshing out the apartment into something livable, even if none of it matched and none of it felt like ours. Which is why Mum and Dad were going to spend the weekend touring the various salvage centres to see if anything of ours had actually survived.
Turning I looked up at the building towering above me, which was another improvement. Okay so it didn’t look it on the outside, and it didn’t have the river-side appeal of our old house, but I’d found more than enough to make up for that down in the basement storage area, some of which was now hidden in my new bedroom right up near the top.
Twelve floors up, I punched the number into the door entry pad, waited for the click, and then pushed the door open, entered, then waited for it to close again behind me with a satisfying click, before disabling the external pad, safe in the knowledge that no one could now get in and catch me doing the very odd thing I was about to do.
The apartment was huge, even bigger than our old place, with more rooms that we would have ever wanted or indeed could have used with just the three of us, all of them having a great view over the town that was now our home, or at least the large university hospital that was next door. Still you could see the green hills in the distance so it was sort of like being in the country again. Only drier.
I still marvelled at the view whenever I walked through the living room with it’s floor to ceiling picture windows, that continued on through to the dinning area, and then the kitchen. Beyond that lay the five bedrooms and four bathrooms. My parents claimed the first bedroom, I had the second, with the other three unused. At least for now.
My new room had none of my things in it, all of which had been lost. No poster, no books, no CDs, no DVDs, and well, not much of anything really. My PC, TV, PVR etc had been replaced with a single slightly battered, under-powered laptop, that had none of the games on it that I’d have played for hours on end but at least it the Internet, just about, so all wasn’t lost.
Other than that, I had the usual things you’d expect to find in a bedroom, like a desk, an enormous wardrobe that could well have been the gateway to Narnia, and, some drawers which I could have filled with all the clothes I’d been donated, after the TV appeal, if ninety-nine percent of them hadn’t been either hideous, or totally the wrong size. I also had a bed, the likes of which my great granddad probably would have slept in with it great big metal rails at each end, and a mattress so high off the floor I almost needed a step to be able to get onto it.
Oh and there was the safe.
It was built into the floor, under where my bed, fitted so cleverly you couldn’t even see it was there just by looking. I’d only discovered it when I’d tried to move the bed, and the solid iron weight had made the floor creak in a way that reminded me a little too much of how the bungalow had sounded as the water had first hit the outside walls. Only this turned out to be a good thing. A very good thing.
Entering my bedroom I made like the football goalkeeper I was for the school team, and dove straight under the bed, sliding effortlessly across the no doubt expensive, yet cold first thing in the morning, flooring, until my head, and shoulders disappeared from sight beneath that great big metal beast.
A hand on the opposing wall, prevented my head cracking into the skirting like the first time I’d tried the slide, leaving me almost perfectly level with the secret hatch, that once pressed in all the correct places, caused a section of the floor to drop down slightly so it could then be slid underneath the rest to expose the metal face plate of the safe.
There was no keyhole or handle on the safe, just the same sort of keypad that was on the front door. Thankfully, in what had to be a major lapse in security, whoever had last used the safe, had it set for the exact same code as the door, so I’d only needed one attempt to open it. Naturally I’d since changed the code, following the instructions handily attached to the back of the safe door, to something only I knew, as if I could figure it out then so could my parents, and I didn’t want them seeing what I was keeping down here.
Once the safe was opened I pulled out the single thing it contained. The rucksack had been given to me when I checked out of the hospital and had contained what the charity who provided it called a ‘Survival Kit’ which was a somewhat grand name for a set of underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, and some soap. Now it contained something a lot less practical but a lot more fun, if slightly stolen.
The rucksack was sealed with zippers that were themselves closed with padlocks that had dials on the front. These could be used as both timers to release the locks so they could only be opened between certain times, or after a specified period of time, or like a standard combination lock, which is how I was using them.
Sitting on my bed, with my feet all but dangling even though I’m not really that much shorter than most fourteen year old boys, I removed the locks. Inside were two of the things I’d manage to gather for myself from the deluge of public donation that hadn’t always been the most practical for me or even my family. After all how many teenagers would want a set of thin terry towels, and extra large safety pins, with covers over the tops for that added protecting? Mind you not many teenagers would know what these were either. But I did as I’d seen them in use at the hospital but had yet to use them myself. Until now.
Jumping down from the bed, I did a quick tour of my bedroom. First opening up the large wardrobe door, folding it back to the full height mirror fixed to the inside was easily visible. Then I went to my desk, to open up my laptop, so it could start bringing itself out of ‘sleep’ mode - I dare not turn it completely off as it took forever to boot up - so it would be ready for when I would need it. In the meantime, I went to the drawers on the other side, and picked out the T-shirt I’d previous selected from my stash in the basement for the occasion.
On the way back to the laptop I pulled the shirt I was wearing over my head, rather than to waste time undoing the buttons, tossing it over to the corner where a laundry basket was waiting to catch it. Then I pulled on the new shirt on in it’s place, which was nothing but a plain white t-shirt with a large bright red dinosaur covering the front, with it’s head just beneath my chin and it’s feet were just above my belly button as that’s where the bottom hem ended.
The t-shirt was marked as being for ages 5-8 but they must have been pretty big eight year olds as it really wasn’t all that tight on me, just somewhat on the short side, but that, along with the childish print on the front, just added to the little kid look that I would be going for this weekend.
My laptop was ready by the time I settled in front of it, for some nifty moves that sent me to the on-line storage site that dad had set up for all our back ups, as there’s nothing like a total wipe out of your electronic life to let you know just how important back ups were! Only back ups wasn’t the only thing that I used that site for, as hidden away in a password directory was my private stuff, and it was here that I went, looking for the instructions on how to fold a terry towel into a diaper that would fit a teenager.
Turning the laptop towards the bed, and increasing the font size so I’d be able to read the instructions from there, I set about following them as closely as any homework assignment I’d ever had which turned out not to be good enough as my first couple of attempts were complete rubbish.
It was on the fifth attempt that I finally achieved something that looked about right, in a triangle shape that would be big enough for me to wear, as a quick demonstration over my jeans proved, although there would only be one way to be sure of that fact which is why I next went into the bathroom en suite to my room to get the first thing I’d forgotten in my haste to regress myself.
I never explained to my parents just why I wanted such a large tub of plain talcum powder and they never asked which was just as well as I don’t think I could have come up with something convincing, but those thoughts were a long way from my mind, as I returned to my bedroom, not just with the talc but without wearing anything other than the too short, too childish T-shirt.
My excitement waved around in front of me even I as I did such an every day thing as depositing my jeans, underwear and socks into the laundry basket, and it continued to do so even as I got up onto my bed, and sat my naked bum right down in the middle of the terry cloth triangle.
There was, I had to admit, nothing like sitting on a soft, fluffy towel, and certainly nothing like covering yourself in the sweat smelling white powder that soon turned the already pale parts of my otherwise tanned body, into the colour of your average ghostly vampire.
Now it was time for the ultimate nappy test. Reaching down between my legs, totally ignoring what was standing proud there, I grabbed the long pointed end of the towelling triangle and pulled it up so that it covered the very enjoyment that it was giving me.
At this point I had to pause for a minute as I’d forgotten to make sure the safety pins were within reach, but once that oversight was rectified, I was able to pull up each end of the top parts of the triangle around the sides of my hips so that they would meet up with front part. Here, on both sides, I pushed the safety pins through the cloth, giving the entire thing one last hefty tug to make it as tight as possible, before I finally fastened the pins, by locking off the tops.
There I’d done it. I was wearing a nappy for the first time in little more than ten years, only it didn’t seem any more than I just had a towel wrapped around my waist, as if I’d just come out of the shower. Okay so it between my legs, which made it a little more interesting, as I slid myself from the bed, as it sort of bunched up down there. That rectified itself as I took the few steps I needed in order to get over to the wardrobe mirror.
The image I saw in the mirror wasn’t exactly what I’d been hoping for, but it wasn’t far from it either. The towel was fairly tight, and made quite a good fit around my body, although at the same time it appeared to bulk out around the back, both expanding and accentuating the roundness of my bum, while providing a totally smooth front that completely hid the turbulence that was going on within the towelling. Still along with the childish, outgrown shirt, the overall appearance, was heading in the right direction, of making me look less like a teenager and more like a baby, or at least a cross between the two, just like those I’d seen at the hospital after the flood.
Thankfully, all my family escaped from the trauma of the flood with little more than a few cuts and bruises, but as we’d probably swallowed more river water than was good for us, and as we had nowhere else to go, we’d spent a few days in hospital. Naturally with an emergency going on, there was no way we’d been able to stay together, so I’d ended up in a ward more normally used for kids and teenagers who were in for more serious reasons than ‘observation’. It was there that I saw what I thought was a bunch of little kids in nappies, only to discover a lot of them were actually my age, or older. They’d just never grown up inside their heads.
I’d found it all much more fascinating that I probably should have, but the staff were friendly, and given how they had to constantly monitor me for signs of delayed shock, they were always around to answer my questions, about why and then the more detailed ones about why, there were teenagers in nappies.
No doubt the staff, just thought I was asking them about that so I wouldn’t have to face up to my own situation. At least that’s what the I overheard the patronising trauma therapist telling them before she ironically, started to treat me like I was five years old, instead of fourteen with her stupid questions, and comments about how I was a ‘big boy’, and other stuff that made it really hard not to laugh in her face.
The odd thing was, it was that same therapist, that inadvertently gave me the idea to dress up like a little kid, as she explained the behaviour of the other kids on the ward as, ‘regression’. That they reverted to a younger age in order to block out some trauma or other that they’d had to face. Of course, all her answers had something or other to do with ‘trauma’ but then she was a ‘trauma therapist’, but still it was worth a try, even if it didn’t stop me feeling guilty about the ‘souvenir’ I’d left the hospital with. The plastic pants.
At the time I was getting ready to leave hospital, standing beside the bed, dressed in clothes that weren’t mine, waiting for my parents to turn up, a pile of plastic pants had just been sitting on a trolley across the corridor and I still don’t know for sure why I was drawn to them, or just why I’d spend the night with alternating dreams of myself drowning in our living room, or being made to wear nappies and plastic pants. However what I did know that while the first thoughts made me feel sick, the later gave me excitement that was in danger of bursting through the thin track suit I’d been given from the hospital’s lost property.
It was almost like it wasn’t me who crept across the corridor and started looking through the plastic pants for a size that would fit me, and who then put those he found into the rucksack, tucking them right into the bottom, so they wouldn’t be obvious.
I pretty much forgot about the plastic pants in the whirlwind of events that covered the next couple of days, only to rediscover them once we were finally in our twelfth floor haven, at which point I had half a mind to throw them away, only to end up trying them on, at which point there was no going back as I knew, the first chance I got I would be wearing them all the time.
That time was now.
to be continued……