11 - This Is So Not Life At All
“Come on in,” Lydia called from inside the house, as the door swung open under the force of my knocking. “Let’s get started.” I hesitated, wondering who she was actually expecting, then did as she’d said.
She was still sitting in the same chair she’d been in when Lela and I had left, sipping slowly from a coffee mug. She glanced up from it, then over towards the clock hanging on her wall, in the shape of a cast iron sun. “Well, look who’s all grown up. Nice to see you again,” she said with a smile, setting her cup down on the coffee table. I couldn’t help but think that there was something familiar looking about her, with those brown eyes and brown hair, but I couldn’t quite place it. “And right on time.”
“Huh?” I blinked a couple of times, staring at her. “You were expecting me?”
“Of course,” she replied. “And I’d prefer if you didn’t sit on the couch, if you wouldn’t mind. If you must sit, there’s a nice seat for you over there.” She waved over towards the corner of the room. Both of the walls were covered in bookshelves, and on the floor sat an old, dusty, cardboard box. I took a step towards it, curious, before I could see the pink, bunny themed potty chair inside.
My head snapped back over towards her with a glare to meet her smile. “I’m sorry,” she shrugged, not sounding particularly apologetic. “Just a little joke.”
“Who the hell are you?” I demanded. “How did you know I thought I was a little girl this afternoon? Why did you play along?”
“So many questions,” she shook her head. “Patience, dear. We have a whole chapter, pretty much.”
“A chapter?” What was -that- supposed to mean?
“It means,” she answered, making me wonder if I’d spoken out loud, “that we have plenty of time for me to explain all this to you. Though, really, it’s all very simple. I knew what was happening because I made it happen; I played along because I needed you to believe for just a little longer.”
“I knew it!” I yelled triumphantly. “I knew you and your stupid book made me think I was a kid!”
“No,” she replied calmly, picking up her mug again, “that was your little friend, Lela.”
“But you just… How did…? Why would…?”
“I guess you -should- sit down,” she sighed, gesturing towards her sofa. After a moment, I took her invitation. “I guess I should start by telling you that you aren’t real.”
“Uh-huh,” I rolled my eyes. “Whatever you say.”
“You don’t have to believe me,” she said. “And you won’t, not yet. Gives me more of a chance to explain.”
“If I’m not real, then what am I?” I demanded. “You think I’m a character in one of your books?”
“Yes, you are,” she answered. “Skye’s the Limit. You’ve read some of it.”
“But that was just…” I started, shaking my head.
“Some teenagers do have similar experiences,” she said, “but how many do you know that have identical ones? You’ve been wondering how a book could mirror your life so closely ever since you started reading it, haven’t you? What did you think the answer was going to be?”
“I… I didn’t know,” I shook my head. “But I didn’t… No, that can’t be true! Why would you write about me?”
“You seemed like an interesting character,” she shrugged. “And it had to be someone.”
“But why would you write about this stuff happening to anyone?”
“There are people who like that sort of thing,” she said. “People not unlike your friend, Lela. Some of them would like to experience it themselves, too, but not her. No, she just wants to see it happen to other people, and you just happened to be the first on her list. You have no idea how annoyed she is that she hasn’t gotten you into diapers yet.”
“You’re crazy,” I declared, standing up. “Lela would never do that! She couldn’t! -Nobody- could…”
“She could, and would, and did. A little hypnosis and some drugs go a long way.”
“What? That doesn’t even make sense! Hypnosis doesn’t work that way! You have to want to do whatever you’re told to do… And what kind of drug…?”
“Maybe you did want to,” she suggested. “In the back of your mind. Maybe you’ll come to enjoy it. But really, it doesn’t matter; that’s just a minor detail.”
“You can’t just ignore that!” I protested.
“I did,” she replied. “It was easy. I can do whatever I want, you know.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh, yeah, because you’re the author, right? Well, if you can do anything, why not just make me -really- turn into a kid, instead of just thinking I did?”
She waved a hand dismissively. “That’s a whole other thing. It’s all right, but, really, that’s the sort of thing you need a slightly better explanation for, and who needs that? And, besides, Lela sees little kids having accidents all the time - what difference would one more make to her? No, they want to see someone your age in diapers.”
“You’re crazy,” I told her, heading for the front door. “I’ve had enough of this.”
“No, you can’t leave yet!” she protested.
“And why not?” I asked, turned around to face her again. “Are you going to make me stay with your ‘author powers’ or something?”
“No,” she said, looking straight at my crotch. “I was waiting for that to happen.”
I looked down, surprised, just a moment before I felt my bladder give way yet again, soaking through my shorts. A shiver ran up my spine, and I couldn’t find any words to fit the moment.
“A residual effect of the hypnosis,” Lydia noted. “Among other things. A bit cheap, I admit, but I couldn’t just let you break free of it completely. What fun would that be?”
“This can’t be real,” I shivered, staring down at myself. “This can’t be….”
“I already told you it wasn’t,” Lydia interrupted. “You just won’t listen to me.”
“I have to go,” I said slowly, tongue feeling thick and heavy, like my mouth was full of molasses.
“You already did,” she teased.
My limbs had a difficult time moving as well, but somehow, I managed to use them to turn back around, towards the door.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Lydia asked, sounding, for the first time, genuinely puzzled. “We still have another page or two left!”
Each step felt a little easier, as if I was somehow pulling free of some invisible bondage. I half expected Lydia to try to stop me, but she never moved from the chair, even as I struggled to pull the door open. Right before I pushed the door closed again, I saw her slump forward, body folding in half in a strange, impossible way.
“You get back here!” another voice yelled, slightly muffled, and then I saw someone crawling out from inside of the author. It took me a moment or two, but I finally recognized her as the girl who had been following me, carrying the book. Had that really only been a few days ago, now? It felt like months and months.
The fresh air outside seemed to wash away the heaviness in my body, allowing me to hurry away from the house, even though all I really wanted to do was sit down and try to figure out what was -really- going on. For all the ridiculousness of Lydia’s story, I had to admit that I didn’t have any better of an explanation for everything that had happened to me, nor for the book.
The book. If nothing had really changed with my room, then where had the book gone? And, for that matter, where had all of those new clothes come from? As far as I knew, the only people, other than my parents, who would have been in my room between the time that I had “regressed”, and the time Lela took me back home was Lela.
But why would she have had those clothes? And why would she take the book? It didn’t make any sense, not unless….
No, Lydia was just insane, and she probably had something hallucinogenic in the room that had made me see that girl. There was no way that I was just a character in some story. But, even so… Those clothes, and diapers -had- come from somewhere.
Luckily, Lela answered her door this time. “Skye, your parents are worried sick about you!” she said in greeting. “They just called me and asked if you’d come over here, and… Oh, -Skye-, not again!” I followed her gaze, realized she was looking at the wet patch on my shorts. “I told you to wear your Pull-Ups, didn’t I? Though if it’s getting this bad, maybe you should…”
“Don’t you dare suggest diapers to me,” I growled. “Just give me the damn book.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked, playing dumb, and badly.
“Don’t play with me, Lela. I know what you did.” I was hoping that she would stare at me blankly, ask what I meant, do -something- to make me doubt Lydia’s words.
She turned white as a sheet. “But how? It shouldn’t have worn off this soon!”
My hand clenched into a fist, but I managed to keep from using it, somehow. “Give me the book, Lela.”
“All right, all right.” She ducked into her house, then returned a few moments later, holding Skye’s the Limit. “Look, Skye, I’m….”
“Just tell me why,” I cut her off.
She shrugged. “I don’t know, Skye. I just… I always wanted to see you like that. And my dad works at a pharmaceuticals company, you know, and when I heard him talking about a drug that enhanced hypnosis, I… Skye, please, just let me keep the book! It’s incredible. I didn’t believe you at first, just thought you were making it up for some reason, but I took it, just in case, and… You wouldn’t believe how accurate it is, Skye. It’s like magic, or something.”
“Did it tell you I was coming to get it back?”
She shrugged sheepishly. “I hadn’t gotten that far yet.”
I started to turn around, to leave, then spun back around and hit her square on the jaw. She fell to her knees, stunned. “Then I guess it didn’t tell you about that, either,” I said coldly. I kicked her in the stomach. “Don’t you ever come near me again,” I threatened. “Never. You hear me?”
“Skye, come on!” she begged, gasping for air. “You’re my best friend!”
“No, I’m your experiment,” I spat back at her. “And I’m done pissing myself for you. Hope you got enough of a show, because it’s over now!”
I managed to keep myself from hitting her again, helped quite a bit by the sounds of her parents stirring in the house, wondering what in the world was going on now.
“You make me sick,” I told her, shaking my head.
And then I left, turning my back on her for what I hoped would be the last time, wishing I had done it a few moments earlier, before the tears started spilling from my eyes.
Author’s Note: Since I realize it may seem that way, I thought I’d just mention here that this is -not- the end of the story. There’s still one more chapter.