Tuesday, 4 November 2014

2 - The Happy Pill (Picture Story)

It was like emerging from the deepest sleep of her life.  Only seconds before, Alanna had been sitting on her play mat, giggling like an idiot as she suckled from her bottle and followed the adventures of Dora the Explorer (her favouritest show ever) on the TV. Her only concern had been whether or not she’d make it to the end of this episode before her Daddy came along to change her diaper and put her down for her mid-afternoon nap. 

Now, she was abruptly having to come to terms with the shocking realisation that she was a twenty two year old university student who was...well, suckling from a bottle and watching Dora the Explorer while worrying about the timing of her next diaper change.

Waitwhathuh?

How in the hell had she got here? Jesus, what was she doing?

The last thing she could remember was knocking on her therapist's door. Alanna had fought her war with depression for a long, long time, and that day she'd been going out of her way to gain the upper hand. She’d found a doctor online that was both local and seemingly reputable, and she’d made an appointment, and then...she’d...

She’d what?

She realised she didn’t know. She couldn’t remember. How could she not remember?

Either way, it didn't matter. Looking down at herself, she'd somehow ended up here dressed like an oversized baby. What did matter was what she was going to do about exactly that. She pressed against her crotch in dismay, hoping against hope that the bulge in her denim shortalls wasn't what it appeared to be, and felt her heart sink as it crinkled cheerfully in response...and seemed to squish a little, too. She froze. Not only did that not sound like the sort underwear a university student may wear, that wasn't the sound of...well, anything that was dry, either.

“Are you alright in here, babygirl?”

Startled, she tore her gaze away from the TV (had she actually been watching that rubbish?) and saw a strange man she didn’t immediately recognise standing in the doorway. They made eye contact, and he gave her a wide, winning smile before making his way over to her. From her vantage point on the floor, he towered over her, and she instinctively cowered a little, feeling all of two feet tall. It was the smile that really disturbed her, though. Alanna's skin crawled. She didn’t think she could trust that smile: it looked as plastic as the underwear she believed she was currently wearing.

Without asking for permission, he gently peeled the bottle out of her hand and set it on the floor. She watched dumbly as it was taken from her, not at all sure what to do or say. How could he possibly be acting so calmly, so naturally, to all of this? Did he see babified university students daily? Was he -

Suddenly his hands were at shoulders, fumbling with the buckles of her shortalls. It was all it took to break from her reverie, and she squealed in fright and tried to push them away. A horrified blush rose to her cheeks; she was not about to let a total stranger undress her!

Nonononononono, goawaygoawaygoawaygoawaygo -

“Now now, stop,” he commanded, and gave her thigh an irritated swat. She squeaked, startled, and instantly froze. “I thought we were over this. Stay still so we can you into a fresh diaper and into bed, ok? Can you do that for me?”

“What? Wait!” she went to protest. “There’s been some mistake. I’m not meant to be here! I’m an adult!”

What actually came out was a string of mindless, babyish nonsense. Her hands flew to her mouth and she blushed. What in the hell was that?!

He went on as if he’d never heard her, and really, it wasn’t like she’d said anything meaningful anyway. While she was trying to make sense of the loss of her tongue’s motor control, he returned his attention to the buckles. The second time he did this, he pulled her childish attire down her legs before she could so much as whimper, leaving her in just her spotted top and diaper

“You’re gonna be a good girl for me, aren’t you?” he said in a sickly sweet lilt as he gently pushed her backwards. She tried to stay upright, but found that her balance was practically non existent and helplessly tumbled onto her back. “Come on, how about you play with your toy while I do the heavy lifting?”

She tried to sit up, and as she did so he thrust a baby’s teething ring into her hand. 
He slid a finger inside the legband of her diaper (not MY diaper, she quickly cut herself off. THE diaper), and a knowing smile crossed his face as she squirmed indignantly beneath him. He didn't need to say anything - that expression confirmed her worst fears. Fuck. She had wet herself. She tried to voice her displeasure with a furious string of her most creative expletives, but yet again all she managed to do was babble and drool a little. For the first time, she felt the beginnings of real fear. How could she have wet herself? Why couldn’t she talk?

A memory rose, unbidden - the day she had seen her therapist. It was all starting to come back to her, frustratingly slowly. Dr. Smith, that was what his name had been. An eccentric elderly guy in a suit so fresh off the production line it still had factory creases. He’d let her into his office and they’d sat down at his desk; he’d offered her a drink, and then...

That part was still a blur.

The most cursory look around revealed that this wasn’t the office she remembered, and although the guy above her certainly was the same Dr Smith, he had forsaken his immaculate suit for jeans and a t-shirt. The realisation that it might possibly be weekend, judging by what he was wearing, spurred the subsequent realisation that she didn't even know what day it was.

“You’re so wet!” he exclaimed, still not seemingly bothered by the fact that he was standing above a university student in a wet diaper. “It’s lucky you haven’t – ”

His line of sight caught on something beside her, and he paused...then shook his head and amended himself. “Nevermind,” he said instead with a rueful grin. “I guess it’s just lucky you were on your mat.”

She hadn’t been lucky enough to avoid leaking – she was ‘lucky’ in the sense that her pee was only staining the play mat, though, rather than the carpet beneath. The fabric beneath her was dark with it, spreading around her butt in a tellingly dark circle. She was literally sitting in a puddle of her own pee, and she noticed that there were tiny, sticky snail-trails staining her upper thighs and the top of her garish knee socks too. She blushed furiously and shifted uncomfortably, trying to find a dry spot and just as quickly saw that there was no such thing. 

Something about the look on her face sat the wrong way with Smith, apparently, because suddenly his cheer faltered. Alanna could practically see his smile freezing in place. He didn’t say anything, though; he just took the teething ring from her mouth –

-          wait how did that get there? I was SUCKING it? –

and instead placed the bottle there again. She took it uncertainly, watching him carefully. She was liking this guy less and less with every passing second; the chances of him not being the reason she was like this were becoming slimmer and slimmer.

“Drink up,” he said, and his smile hesitantly reappeared. It looked forced and awkward from where she was, and he seemed to realise it himself too, because he quickly replaced the strained expression with something slightly more genuine.

It's like he doesn't want me to know he knows I know. What have I got myself into?

He got down on his knees and reached for the tabs on her diaper. “Come on, let’s get you changed. This thing must be driving you mad.”


He was going to change her. He was going to strip her naked from the waist down and he was...he was going to...

The crackle of the first tape coming undone jolted her into action. She squeaked with fear and tried to roll away, to get out from under him and away from his probing hands the only way she could. This was wrong, this was perverted, fuck, this was rape. What exactly was this guy doing? He was old, but not old enough to be senile. He knew exactly what he was doing, and she was instantly filled with the certainty that she’d been drugged and kidnapped. It was the only thing that made sense. She had to get away, and she had to get away now.

The suddenness of her movement took her assailant by surprise and allowed her to get as far as onto her tummy. She felt a fleeting moment of hope that she was going to be ok. She’d jump to her feet, run for the door, and then she would –

His hand closed around her ankle, and she screamed. It spooked him, and she managed to kick free, stumbling to her hands and knees...

...and immediately collapsed face-first into the floor. Just like her stomach muscles couldn't keep her upright, her legs apparently weren’t strong enough to support her weight.

NononononoNoNoNoNoNoNONONONONONONO -

“I thought we were over this,” Smith repeated with a sigh from behind her. “Babygirl, be still. You don’t want to stay there in your own pee, do you?”   

He rolled her around onto her back again, and before she could squirm away a second time, he yanked the rest of the tapes free and exposed her unspeakables to the world at large.

She froze, and then it was too late to do anything more; his hands were all over her. She closed her eyes and bit down on the nipple of the bottle to stop herself screaming. She’d lost. This freak was actually going to change her –

-          THE –

diaper.

To his credit, there was nothing sexual about the change at all. She felt the damp warmth of baby wipes being run over crotch and backside, and that was really it. He sprinkled powder over her ‘area,’ rubbed it into her skin in a manner that could only be described as professional, then held her legs up out of the way as he removed her soiled diaper and replaced it with a fresh one.

Then it was over.  

“Was that so bad?” he prompted her.

She didn’t say anything. Her eyes were still firmly shut, and she refused to look at him again. She didn’t think she’d be able to stop herself shrieking if she did, bottle or no bottle.

He sighed again. “Suit yourself,” he said. “Come on. Time for bed.”


He quickly stripped her of all her clothes beside her diaper (not seeing any alternative, she meekly let him do so, although she covered her bared breasts the moment she was able to, eliciting a laugh from her tormentor), then with a small grunt of exhaustion lifted her from the floor and set her on his hip just like one would with a real baby. She eeped in surprise and clutched onto him for dear life. The last thing she needed was to be dropped on her face again. She might not be lucky enough to escape without a concussion this time.

He was clearly thinking the same thing. "Stay still," he warned. He began to move, carrying her deeper into the bowels of his house. "I don't think you'll enjoy getting acquainted with the floor."

She stayed still.

Ok, so what do you know? She thought in an increasingly frantic manner as they wound through a cluttered warren of hallways. You can’t talk. You can’t walk. You can’t even stop yourself from peeing everywhere...and he thinks it's all normal. What does that tell you? 

She didn’t need to answer herself. The fact that he’d drugged and kidnapped her was pretty clear.

Good. Now what are you going to do about it?

She mentally hesitated, examining what looked to be a kitchen as they passed through without much interest. What exactly could she do? She had no way to communicate with this guy, and even if she was capable of doing that, chances were he wasn’t going to do anything about it. Smith was the reason she was like this. He was hardly going to reverse it just because she asked him nicely.

Wait till he thinks you’re asleep, she cautiously decided. Then sneak out and see if you can find a door that’s unlocked.

It sounded like a dodgy plan even as she thought it, but what else could she do?

Eventually, they emerged into a room that could only be a nursery...of sorts, anyway. For the second time that day, Alanna’s jaw physically dropped open. This couldn’t be real. Her eyes were lying to her. They had to be.

It was a nursery, but there was absolutely no question about the fact that it wasn’t tailored to a normal baby's needs. Everything was positively enormous, scaled up to a degree which would allow usage by someone her own size. There was a crib that could fit her easily twice over in one corner, and an equally gigantic changing table in the opposite one. Grotesquely oversized alphabet blocks littered the floor, and a teddy bear that dwarfed her sat against the far wall. Words could not do it justice; it was like something out of a story, conjured up by the imagination of one truly twisted individual.

It was a nursery for an adult.

A nursery for her.

He entered the room and sat his stunned charge down on the edge of the bed. "Wait here," he commanded, and bent down to the floor beside her. Her ears pricked up instantly.

Fat chance. The moment you're gone -

He pulled the side of the crib up, and it locked shut with a small 'snick.'

Or not.

He disappeared back out the door, and returned only a minute later with her bottle and play mat from the living room. He handed the bottle back to her through the bars of the crib and threw the mat carelessly over the top. She reluctantly took the pink monstrosity from him, but made no effort to actually drink from it. She stared at him, feeling horribly exposed in just her padded undergarments and horribly restricted in her crib.

He wasn’t impressed. “Drink up,” he said. “Let’s get this over with, shall we my dear?”

With what?

She wrapped her lips around the teat of the bottle in spite of herself, watching him all the while with narrow, untrusting eyes.

He lowered the side of the crib, then with a degree of care and scrutiny she found almost comical he grabbed the mat and spread it over the bed beside her before pushing her onto it. He must have sensed her muted amusement, because he casually added, “We wouldn’t want you to leak all over your pretty bedsheets, would we?”

Any humour she may have found in the situation evaporated. She glared.

He waved her frustration away with a dismissive hand flourish. “You’ll be back to not caring about how wet your pissrag is again in a minute," he said as he flapped his hands around. "It'll be quite alright, my dear. And don't forget we had an agreement, Little Miss I'm-So-Miserable. You don't have the right to be high and mighty." 

Huh?

His tone had abruptly turned into one decidedly not for an actual baby, and between that and what he'd actually said, the confusion must have shown on her face. He shook his head, exasperated. "Come on, think," he said. "I know you're still a little frazzled, but it's all in there somewhere. Think."

She was about to babble angrily at him that no, she remembered precisely nothing about anything, when she suddenly realised she did remember something about something. The second half of the memory of meeting this guy for the first time only needed that little prompting to make a dramatic return. Without so much as wave or a hello on the way in, it was there in her head once again, like unclicking the "hidden" property on a computer folder.

She'd been depressed. So very, very depressed, to the point of doing something she might regret. She'd been to not just one doctor about it, but six, and none of them had been able to help her. Oh yes, they all said their little pills would make her into a new girl, but none had worked and her list of doctors grew longer and longer. Alanna had turned to the latest in her long line of therapists -

- but that's not entirely true, is it? He never said he was a therapist. You answered that dodgy want ad in the paper for depressed test subjects. You were thinking of him as your therapist, though, because -

  - he'd promised his drug would do everything the others hadn't.

"You might feel a little drowsiness,"  he'd said as he'd passed her an innocuous green pill. It had seemed to glow from within somehow, turning the little cylinder into a creepy, possessed jukebox. "But the idea is that it will fix everything. My little miracle drug. I think I've got it just right this time..."

She'd been tricked. She'd been so desperate for a cure she'd taken everything at face value and done everything he'd asked.

“Once a year,” he said with a sigh, noticing the dawning horror on her face. He turned and made his way to the gargantuan changing table and began to dig through the drawers beneath it in search of God knows what. He continued to talk over his shoulder in the dismissive voice of a man talking to the mentally deficient. “You remember now, right? I told you the effects would probably be good for a year, and I was right. You do need to reapply the drug once a year, or it wears off. The test was a complete success! You woke up after exactly one year - well, close enough, at least - exactly as I predicted.”

She blinked. So...it was over?

Calm. Calm. This might not be as bad as it sounds.

That's a hell of a big might.

True. It was a hell of a big might...but the alleged year had apparently passed. She was an adult again, and more importantly, she realised she didn't feel like she was viewing the world from under a barbed, steel-mesh veil of pessimism and misery too heavy to remove. It was over. Everything was alright.

Right?

She looked at the back of his head as he rummaged through the table, hoping he'd somehow sense it but not trusting her tongue to convey it after her last attempt at speech. If ever she'd needed to be reassured about something, it was now.

Her silence inspired him to look over his shoulder, and he shook his head impatiently on seeing her look of hope. He turned back to the table. "You still don't remember?" he went on. "The deal wasn't that I'd take care of your depression for good if you tested the drug. The deal was that I'd take care of your depression for good if you tested it until I perfected it, and if you're waking up, it's not perfected, is it? You haven't upheld your end of the deal yet, and I can't uphold my end till you do yours. This first iteration of it lasted a year, because that was where the research was at at the time, but the end goal of the drug was for it to be permanent."

He shrugged. "The research is there now, though, and all it needs is the test subject - you - to prove it," he continued. "I never lied about the length of your lifetime as a guinea pig, and besides, you got what you wanted, didn't you? You were thrilled watching your little cartoons this morning. You didn't even know the word depression, let alone have it. If it makes you feel any better, think that I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart. Too late to change it now; make the most of it."

"Another few minutes and you'll be back to having your biggest concern be having your shitty diaper changed. If I were you, I wouldn't be wasting your last few minutes stressing."

She gaped.

I didn't let him do this to me. I couldn't have. No way I was that desperate. 

But she had been. Desperate enough to ask "so it'll make me happy?" and leave it at that rather than asking the much more important "how will it make me happy?"

He's going to...he's actually going to...

No. She was NOT going to be a baby. To hell with his 'agreement.'

The side of the crib was still down, and she instantly began looking for an escape route. She could maybe make it to the door. Maybe. Crawling wasn’t a particularly fast method of transportation, but he still had his back to her. It might take him a minute to even realise she was gone. The question was what to do once she was out the door...

...but unfortunately, she'd never find out what she'd do if she got to door, because at that moment, two things happened.

The first thing was that she finished the bottle she didn't even realise she was drinking from. In fact, she didn't realise she was merrily sucking away at it until there was a grating, slurping sound signifying the fact she'd hit rock bottom.

The second thing was that his attention abruptly returned to her due to hearing the first thing. His face lit up.

Huh? When did -

"Excellent!" he exclaimed brightly, and at last turned back to her. There was something hidden in his hand, although it was too small for her see - he was holding it too tightly. "I've been watching you closely this last week, figured you'd be due to wake up around about now, so I crushed up your happy pill and powdered your drink in advance with it on the off chance you woke up when I wasn't around to take care of it. It'll all be over any second now."

He chortled merrily to himself.

No. Fucking. Way.

This wasn't happening. It couldn't be happening.

She began to scream at him, furious and terrified and wanting nothing more than to reach out and strangle this madman. She couldn't feel the drug at work, but she had no reason to doubt it was doing exactly what he had said. She'd just woken up after spending a year believing she was a two year old, hadn't she?

It can't end this way. IT WONT. 

There was a sharp, acute twinge of pain at the back of her head.

She didn't even notice as her shrieks of rage slowly dissolved into the dissatisfied bawling of a baby in need.

Dr Smith, who would enlist the aid of an unsuspecting wax salon owner in the very near future and then truly perfect his nightmare drug, smiled pleasantly as he returned to the crib and inserted the pacifier he'd retrieved from the changing table into the screaming girl's mouth. She quieted almost instantly, her enormous, puffy eyes watching him with suddenly mindless confusion. Her rage abated almost as soon as it began; it was replaced by the uncertain calm-after-the-storm expression of a child in the immediate aftermath of a tantrum.

"I never lied," he repeated cheerfully.

She babbled some nonsensical nonsense in a tone that sounded deep and thoughtful. The contrast made him smile, and him smiling made her smile. A wide, stupid grin crossed her face, and she began to giggle.

"It is a happy pill. Absolutely no false advertising whatsoever. Not my fault you didn't read the fine print."

He patted the girl on the top of head, satisfied that his work there was done, and left the room to dial a pizza.

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