"She wants to talk to you."
The flowers had been doing a fine job of distracting Cherry from the contents of Evelyn's conversation, but those six words were impossible to ignore. "She?" Cherry raised an eyebrow and looked up at her host. Didn't we give her Raymond's number? "What do you mean, she?"
"Your mummy, dear. Who else?" Evie sounded bemused as she passed the phone to her charge, and judging by the smile on her lips, Sylvia had taken the news of Cherry's demotion to diapers better than expected. It was with great reluctance that Cherry took the phone and weighed it in her hand. It was bad enough Raymond had to be told what had happened in the living room earlier. She'd been hoping to delay contending with Sylvia at least until she got back to the motel. "Go on, don't be shy. She's not mad at you, dear...or me, more importantly." Evie chuckled self-consciously. "If there's one thing I've found in all my years, it's that everyone can agree that littles are wont to be littles. You can trust that."
Cherry and Lucas had had as much luck finding their prize on their second pass of the house as they'd had on the first. They'd searched every nook and cranny, left no stone unturned - including the garage, with its curious array of gas canisters that Cherry simply couldn't begin to explain - but for all their efforts they might as well have watched Dora with Dawn. They'd been forced to return to Evie to beg permission to stay the night. The giantess had been surprisingly agreeable, for someone that seemed to loathe her son, but it had come with the condition that they pass it by Cherry's 'parents' first, and that they were informed that their stupid daughter had hypnotised herself. It had always been inevitable, but Cherry had been hoping to go through Raymond. It was bad enough that she had to wear a diaper. Sylvia was going to laugh her into an early grave.
Maybe we should have gone the death by shrubbery route, she reflected bitterly as she pressed the phone to her ear.
"Hello? Ch - Tyra?" Sylvia's voice was surprisingly anxious.
If that was on loud speaker... "What do you want?" Cherry felt a smouldering coal in her abdomen flare up and threaten to engulf her. Evie was seated beside her with her book in hand, and Lucas was resting his back against the fridge on the floor behind them, and both of them were poised to hear every ridiculous simper that came from her lips. The latter caught her eye and offered a sympathetic smile, and Cherry immediately looked back to the roses. She didn't need pity. She needed divine intervention. "Where's...daddy?"
The expected gales of laughter never came. Sylvia hesitated, her breath clipping audibly down the line like muffled thunder. "Can she hear me?" She asked at last.
"Okay, good. Ray's in the shower, he just got back from the gym. You're stuck with me till he gets out." The giantess paused yet again, and Cherry could almost hear the artist's better nature warring with her desire to gloat. "Cherry...what has she done to you?"
She wasn't recounting the worst day of her life to Sylvia. "You already know," she instead answered stiffly. "Ms Goldsworthy just told you. Can you please knock on the bathroom door and get - "
"Did it happen the way she said it did?"
It was Cherry's turn to hesitate. "Yes," she admitted with a blush. The more she thought about it, the more she hated herself for it. It hadn't been Evie's fault that she'd ended up in a diaper, she'd done it to herself, and that ate at her like nothing else could. How stupid did you have to be to literally hypnotise yourself into needing padding between your legs? "Why?"
"Because this horrible woman literally plucked your sister off the street, hacked off her chest, and I don't believe a single word that comes out her mouth." Sylvia sniffed indignantly, as if she couldn't comprehend how Cherry could think so lowly of her. "Get Raymond, she says. I'm not going to laugh at you, what do you take me for? Yeah, you've pushed your boundaries, but you don't deserve to have some psychopath go to town on you, especially when you're risking your hide to help your sister. You're a pain - God you're a pain - but..." Cherry could hear the giantess grinding her teeth. "You don't deserve this."
"Close your mouth, dear." Evelyn chuckled at the look on Cherry's face before returning to her book. "You're collecting flies."
Cherry did as she was bid. "Can you repeat that, please? I need to hear it again to believe it."
The giantess ignored her snark. "I meant it when I said I didn't want you to get hurt, and now look at you. You shouldn't have gone back. I told you that too." She could practically hear Sylvia shaking her head from the safety of the motel, and an irate note coloured the giantess' voice as she went on to undo all the good she'd just achieved. "Although with that said, Tyra, you do make it difficult for me to believe all your silly protests about being a big girl. You littles can't be trusted to look after yourselves. What were you thinking, looking at something like that? Do you want to end up like your sister?"
There was the Sylvia she knew and loved. "I thought it might bring out the brown in my eyes. Silly me." Cherry bit her tongue before it got her into trouble. "Let's move along, mummy. You're clear on what's happening?"
"Mummy?" The giantess snorted. "Yes, she was quite clear. You're staying the night - I'm assuming you didn't find these keys? - and we're picking you up tomorrow morning. That's not a problem. Just...be careful, okay? You've sacrificed enough for your sister. Don't risk any more if you don't have to. She's not worth it."
That's not for you to judge. "Okay mummy." Cherry's eyes flickered out the kitchen door, where the sounds of Dora still wafted from the living room. Dawn hadn't moved since she'd sat herself in front of the TV hours ago. "I need to go. If you - "
"I mean it," Sylvia insisted. "Cherry, you've gone above and beyond what anyone could have expected of you, and what have you got in return? Gratitude?"
It was a rhetorical question, but a plethora of answers rose to Cherry's lips all the same. She hung up before any of them could pass her lips. She hammered the big red button with enough force to make the plastic creak beneath her thumb.
"Everything okay, dear?" Evelyn gently plucked the phone from the little's hands and slipped it into her pocket. She returned to her novel without sparing Cherry another glance. "You look stressed."
"Fine, ma'am." It was the truth; everything was okay. Sylvia had taken the revelation that her arch nemesis was powerless to control her bladder surprisingly well...so why was she suddenly so irritated?
Except that wasn't true.
She needed to get moving, she decided. If she sat around, she was just going to brood on what she couldn't change. "Can we go play again?" Cherry asked in a small voice, hoping Lucas would chime in with a complimentary sentiment. "I had so much fun playing hide and seek before, Ms Goldsworthy."
"I'm sure you did." Evie watched her over the top of her book. "But I think you're done playing for the night, dear. I'm about to cook dinner, and then it's probably going to be bedtime. You can get up early tomorrow and play before your mummy picks you up."
What? "But...it's so early." It was only just six o'clock, if the clock by the door was to be trusted. If she was going to be put to bed already...well, that defeated the purpose of her staying over, didn't it? "It's too early to sleep," Cherry announced, aghast.
"When is bedtime for you back home, Tyra?"
"Um." What was an appropriate bedtime for a little girl such as herself? "Eight?"
Evie seemed to find that acceptable. "Well, by the time you've eaten and had a bath, it won't be far off eight. You'll live." The giantess found her bookmark and marked her page. "I'm making macaroni and cheese for dinner. It's Dawn's favourite. Do you like macaroni and cheese, Tyra?"
You changed, sis. "Love it. It's my favourite too."
She must have made a face, because Evie chuckled to herself. "You're a sweet one, dear, but you're a terrible liar. Your mummy and daddy have trained you well, and I can see that, but you have a ways to go still." She extracted herself from the table and crossed to the cupboard, pulling out an assortment of boxes that were presumably going to evolve into dinner. "That's okay, though. You're on the right track, and we can't expect all you littles to behave like angels overnight. Dawn took a very, very long time to realise that she was a good girl. You'll get there."
That was the first time Evie had acknowledged her daughter had ever been anything other than a sycophantic infant. Cherry leaned forward, immediately curious. "Ms Goldsworthy?"
The giantess didn't answer straight away. "Pumpkin!" she instead sang over her shoulder. "Come to Mama!"
Dora went quiet a moment later, and Cherry's big sister waddled agreeably into the room to fill the sudden quiet. "What is it Mama?" she asked politely. She pointedly avoided looking at both her siblings, and Cherry felt the irritation she'd suppressed since Sylvia's phone call attempt to wriggle out of its chains. What have you got in return? Gratitude? "Is dinner ready?"
"Not yet dear. I want you to go upstairs and get Mama's pills." Evie beamed down at her daughter. "Mama has a headache."
Something passed between the little and giant then, although what that something was, Cherry couldn't say. Dawn's cheek twitched, and her eyes darted to her little sister. Cherry stared back, puzzled, but the moment was over as soon as it had begun. "Yes Mama," was all the answer she got, and before any more could be said Dawn had left the room. The sound of her footsteps followed her all the way up the stairs. Cherry glanced to Lucas for answers, but he appeared as puzzled as she was. She got a shrug for her efforts, and in the end it was Evie who stepped in to fill the void.
"Yes. So. As I was saying, Dawn wasn't always a good girl." Evelyn laughed pleasantly to herself and returned to preparing dinner. "We were co-workers, once upon a time. Can you believe that? A silly little thing like her, thinking she's cut out to be a pharmacist." She cast a dour glance over her shoulder to highlight the apparent ridiculousness of that detail. "You littles are sweet things, but you're not cut out for the adult world. We humour you as much as is fair, but that can only go so far. You need supervision, and sooner or later you all prove it, one way or another. I'm sure you did, and Dawn certainly did." The giantess' laugh implied that that was the funniest thing she'd ever heard. "You can trust that."
Co-workers? "What did she do?" Cherry demanded. "How did she...prove that to you?"
Evie put down the box she was holding and turned to look at Cherry. "Well, you see - "
"I was a thief."
They all turned to discover that Dawn had quietly slipped back into the room while they were talking. She was standing just inside the doorway with a bottle of pills in her hand, and her eyes were as downcast as she trudged to Evie. "Mama caught me stealing things, and she...she decided that I needed to be raised again, the right way this time. To stop that."
"That's right, dear." The giantess ruffled her daughter's hair. "But...is that all?" Evelyn took the pills from the little's hands and pinned her in place with a loaded stare. "Nothing you want to add?"
Dawn visibly hesitated, and her eyes once again flickered to Cherry for a nanosecond. "No, Mama."
"And here I was telling Tyra you were a good girl. Good girls don't lie, pumpkin." Evie didn't sound particularly fazed by the little's alleged untruthfulness, however, and she seemed to drop the topic immediately after. She fished through the bottle, retrieved two tiny pills, and dry swallowed them without preamble. The kitchen was dead silent save for the ticking of the clock. "That's okay. I won't make you share that with a stranger." Evie's grin was wolfish as she looked from Dawn to Cherry and back again. "Just take a seat, pumpkin. Dinner will be ready shortly."
Dinner was very quiet and very tense. Evie babbled nonsense to her daughter as she spoon-fed the little her meal, but Cherry's sister only spoke when spoken to, and her responses were short and hushed. Cherry and Lucas failed to contribute even that much. They silently picked at their sickening dish with oversized plastic cutlery, her beside Evelyn and him alone in his high chair down the far end of the table. Cherry found it easier to excavate the smiling princesses beneath her dinner and sip her glass of juice than make small-talk. She had too much on her mind as it was.
Dawn had never been averse to taking liberties with the rules, but theft seemed entirely out of character for the girl Cherry had once known. She snuck glances at her sister from the corner of her eye throughout her meal, wondering what she'd had to have so badly that the law be damned. It wasn't like Dawn had been short a penny - the last time Cherry had seen her, they'd celebrated her older sister's promotion, from a pharmaceutical assistant to an actual, full time pharmacist. She'd been making a perfectly satisfactory living for herself...so why would she resort to theft?
There were no answers to be found on Dawn's face. There was plenty of macaroni, which Evie made an attempt to clean with a damp washcloth every few minutes...but no answers.
Evelyn eventually got the hint that no injection of happiness could cure the curdled atmosphere, and she rested her tongue before long. The meal ended in a silence broken only by the sound of plastic on plastic and the clock's infernal ticking. Cherry wasn't sure whether or not to be thankful for that. At least when Evie had been fussing over Dawn, the tension hadn't been so obvious. Now, all she could focus on was the blood in her ears and the look on her sister's face. Her big sister looked positively miserable following the re-raising conversation. I definitely should have gone with the death by shrubbery option, Cherry ruminated as she spooned mouthful after mouthful of macaroni into her mouth.
After much too long, dinner came to an end, and Evie pushed her chair back and clambered to her feet. "I think you could all use a bath before bedtime," she announced irritably, clearly frustrated by the mood of the room. "The three of you have been running around all day, you all could use a wash."
I'll pass, thank you. "That's okay Ms Goldsworthy," Cherry chirped with an enthusiasm she didn't feel. "I'll just wait till I'm home tomorrow morning."
Evie wasn't fooled. "You especially could use a bath, Tyra. We cleaned you up before, but there's only so much you can do with some wipes."
"But - "
"The only butt I want is yours in the tub." The giantess shook her head. "The last thing I need right now is for you to come down with a rash. Your parents will come down on me."
And that was how Cherry found herself standing in the bathroom, waiting with her partners in crime to be undressed and bathed.
The bathroom was a grandiose corner of Evelyn's house. The chandelier that hung from the roof was the younger sibling of the one in the entry hall, and the light it cast transformed the tiled floor into a slippery galaxy of stars and constellations. The bathtub itself was a marble basin balanced on four golden legs, and it stood on the far side of the room where it trapped the toilet between its foot and the wall. Cherry couldn't help but notice the child's training potty beside the grown-up toilet. It was a lump of pink plastic with a seat appropriately sized for a little's bottom, and she didn't doubt for a second that her big sister was well acquainted with it. The sight made her a little sad, for herself as much as for her sister. She wasn't even fit to sit on something as ridiculous as that anymore, if Evie was to be believed.
Considering everything she'd gone through over the last week, Cherry reflected that she probably ought to be beyond discomfort when it came to infringements on her privacy. After potty sessions and spankings and diaper changes, her private parts didn't really deserve to be called private anymore...and yet, she couldn't help but blush like a bonfire when Evie decided that her guest was first in line to be stripped.
"Hands up!" Evie ordered, and like the cowed little girl she was, Cherry reluctantly obeyed. There was nothing to be gained by resisting, not this late in the game, and she bore her shame quietly as her borrowed dress came over her head to bare her breasts. She made no move to cover herself, even when her host removed her diaper and what little remained of her dignity. Cherry simply raised her arms and allowed Evie to lift her into the bath, red-faced and mortified but quiet as the grave. The water was lukewarm about her toes, and she rushed to sit down, hoping to hide her lower extremities from prying eyes. She was granted that much clemency, but her luck ended there. The water didn't even rise above her thighs. There was nothing she could do about her top half.
It's not like you have much to boast of, anyway, Daisy had taunted her earlier that afternoon. You're just a little girl, and little girls don't have anything to hide.
Except that wasn't true. She was an adult, and she was well endowed, and she was naked in front of her sister and a teenaged boy she met that morning. The side of the tub offered some protection...but that was only while she was alone behind it.
Lucas seemed surprisingly uninterested in catching a glimpse of her goods, though. The inbetweener was the giantess' next victim, and he stalwartly examined the opposite wall as Evie undressed him. He ended up in the tub beside Cherry moments later, naked but for his birthday suit, and it was only then he glanced her way. His face was as pink as her own as he offered a grimace and a conciliatory shrug. "What can you do," his eyes said, and to his credit they never strayed below her neck. Cherry forced herself to look away all the same. She didn't need his apology, and she certainly didn't need to see him undressed.
Dawn, on the other hand...well, Dawn's naked body interested her very much.
Cherry wasn't sure what she had expected to find under her sister's dress. She'd known that Evie had altered her breasts somehow, but she had never seen the final result, and the truth was surprisingly less barbaric than the scars she'd thought were inevitable. Dawn's chest was boyish and flat, but it certainly didn't appear as it if she had undergone some horrific surgery. Her skin was healthy and unblemished, and if it wasn't for having known her sister all her life, Cherry might have simply thought the fat girl before her had never undergone puberty.
Similarly, the rest of her body did nothing to dispel the illusion of physical infancy. Dawn's limbs were pudgy and misshapen, and her tummy overhung her pubic area so dramatically that Cherry couldn't gave glimpsed the junction between her legs even if she'd wanted to. Her stomach rippled like water when she moved, and when she was set down beside Lucas her thighs quivered like jelly. A stranger might have been hard-pressed to say Dawn was not an Amazonian infant, at least at a glance.
"There we go," Evie announced happily. She smiled down at the littles in the bathtub, and Cherry supposed they must have made every Amazon's wettest dream. It had clearly dispelled any lingering vestiges of frustration from her host. "Do you want to play for a little while? I think we have enough time for that before bed."
In the tub?
With her sister?
Cherry opened her mouth to verbalise a slightly less crude variation of that sentiment, but Evie decided to answer her own question before the little could protest. "Of course you do. How about I give you five minutes? I'll come back and wash you all properly then."
And then she was gone out the bathroom door, and Cherry was indeed left naked in the tub with her companions. She slunk down in the water as best she could, but there just wasn't enough to hide anything, and it was all she could do to cover her breasts and turn away, mortified. I didn't sign up for this, she lamented to herself. Jesus, if Sylvia could see me now.
"This is the dream, huh?" Lucas chuckled nervously to himself and leaned back against the side of the tub. The water sloshed about and lapped at Cherry's hips. "In the tub with not one, but two naked girls. Who'd have thought the school nerd had it in him."
"Shut up Lucas," both Cherry and Dawn snapped simultaneously. They caught each other's eye over the smaller boy between them, and they both rushed to look away. Cherry didn't think she'd ever seen her big sister so red in the face, although it wasn't as if hers was any different. We always used to share baths when we were little, she reflected sadly. Their mother had insisted on it, right up until she was probably five or six. Dawn started getting too old for it then. When did this get so unbelievably fucked up?
When she stopped being five or six, of course.
"I'm sorry." There was a hint of laughter in Lucas' voice, but he at least had the grace to look apologetic. He smiled self consciously at Cherry, who watched him warily over her shoulder. "And...look, you don't need to stress anyway. I'm...uh, not interested."
Cherry wasn't sure how to take that. "And what is that meant to mean, exactly?"
Lucas glanced south for the very first time, but there was nothing lecherous in his glance. "It means I’m not interested."
She got there eventually. "Thanks for sharing, Lucas. That makes me feel so much better." She shook her head and twisted away that little bit more all the same. So he wasn't into her. That didn't make it okay. "Christ, you're sixteen."
"I wish I was sixteen. Two's more like it, don't you think?"
"We should be playing," Dawn muttered from the far end of the bath. She splashed the water beside her, and it splattered on Lucas' ribcage before trickling back into the tub. "Mama told us to play."
"Mama says lots of things," Lucas snorted. "Mama can suck my dick."
I thought you weren't interested. "We couldn't find your thing," Cherry talked over her shoulder and her smaller companion’s head before the bickering could begin. She could see the padlock in Dawn's tummy, almost lost amidst the rolls of skin. It was identical to Lucas' in every detail. "We tried, sis, but..."
For a second, she didn't think Dawn would answer. Her face was unreadable, and at last she simply said, "Okay."
What have you got in return? Gratitude? "Okay? That's all you have to say?"
"Yep. Okay." Dawn splashed Lucas again, harder this time. It drenched him shoulder to hip, and he yelped and cursed. "I wanna play."
And I want to scream. "Dawn," Cherry said coldly, wriggling around slightly to better glare at her sister. "We're trying to help you."
"You can help me by playing."
Cherry didn't scream, but she couldn't withhold a frustrated growl. "Lucas, get up."
An uncertain smile crossed the boy's face. "Only if you promise you're not interested."
"You're sixteen. Trust me, I'm not interested. Move." Cherry didn't wait for him to get the hint. She jumped to her feet and forced her way past the inbetweener, covering herself as best she could as she did so. Water cascaded from her thighs and bottom as they traded places in the bath, and then she was standing over her sister. Cherry was sure she made a positively ridiculous sight, but Dawn shrunk back and averted her eyes all the same. Good, the younger Anderson girl thought vindictively, fighting the urge to physically slap her big sister across her flabby jowls. It's about time you took me seriously.
"Look at me," Cherry growled.
Dawn made no move to do so. "Sit down, Cherry," she muttered to the side of the tub. "I don't need to see my little sister's - "
Ah, we're related again? "If I'm in a position where I have to show you this, then yes, you need to see this. Look at me, damn you."
Dawn looked. "What am I meant to be looking at?"
"Everything." Twenty-three years of ingrained modesty screamed in protest, but Cherry forced herself to unhand her assets. "Take a good, long look, sis. What do you see?"
The piggish eyes that greeted her own were suspicious and uncomfortable. "Is this a trick?"
I don't care what it is, as long as it gets the job done. "What you see," Cherry went on, fighting to keep her voice low whilst also maintaining its razor-sharp edge. "Is a grown woman. You can strip her naked and put her in a bathtub, but she's a grown woman with a grown woman's body."
Dawn's hands rose to cover her own non-existent chest. Cherry wasn’t sure if her big sister even realised she’d done so. "And?"
"What do you mean, and?" Cherry felt her fingers twitch, but she refused to indulge them. She had to make a point, and if this wasn't going to get through Dawn’s thick head, then nothing would. "This is you, a year ago. You've let her turn a grown woman into a little girl. Your chins have chins, your fat rolls have fat rolls, and Lucas has a more impressive rack than you. You're nothing but a mindless plaything for your Mama to coo at, and you want play in the bath?" Cherry shook her head. "Look at me. Who would you rather be, Dawn? The woman, or the plaything?"
All the fight had left Dawn in a matter of seconds. "Cherry," her big sister whispered. She seemed entranced by Cherry's chest. "Sit down."
She didn't have the nerve to expose herself like that for much longer anyway. Cherry sat down between Dawn and Lucas, fuming furiously and covering herself once more. She was surprised the water didn't start to steam around her. "You gave me my hard truths earlier," she said flatly. "And it's lucky you did, because Evie would have eaten me alive if I came here the way I went to daycare. Those are your hard truths. Think about it. "
To Dawn's credit, it seemed like she did think about it. Cherry's big sister stared at her wordlessly for a second...and then she promptly lowered her head and engrossed herself in the sight of the water between her legs.
Lucas chuckled from his corner of the tub. "You're the best thing to happen to me in months, Cherry. Why couldn't I have had you for a big sister?"
"Shut up Lucas," both Cherry and Dawn snapped together a second time.
They lapsed into an uncomfortable silence then, horribly aware of each other's nudity but powerless to do anything about it. The minutes ticked by with agonising slowness as they waited for Evie to return and put an end to the charade, and Cherry distracted herself by observing her big sister. There was something in Dawn's demeanour that suggested that her tirade had got through. Her face was red but pensive, and every now and then she was sneaking looks at Cherry when she thought her little sister wasn't watching. Should I be reading something into that? Cherry bit her lip and pondered that unlikely possibility. Did she actually listen to me?
The only way to find out was to keep her talking. "What did you do, anyway?"
She didn't think Dawn was going to indulge her, but she was pleasantly surprised. "What do you mean?" Her big sister's voice was as miserable as it was cautious, but she was talking.
"She was your co-worker?" Cherry struggled to comprehend the sheer absurdity of the situation she'd been presented with. "You were stealing?"
Her big sister sighed and looked down again. "I don't want to talk about it." Her eyes grew wide. "Cherry - "
"You survived surgery, earned yourself a promotion, visited me...and then you went home, turned into a thief, and got babied by your co-worker? Sis, what happened?"
Dawn was wriggling back on her hands and feet now, as if she was trying to put as much distance between the two of them as possible. With the bathtub at her back, it was an exercise in futility. "Cherry, stop!"
What’s she doing now? "Just answer me that and I'll drop it, okay? What did you - "
"Cherry!" Dawn's voice was shrill, and suddenly she was on her feet and scrambling out of the bath. "You're peeing!"
Cherry glanced down.
The water between her legs was turning a shade of yellow that left precisely nothing to the imagination, and it took the little only a moment to realise what was happening. Cherry shrieked and rushed to clench the relevant muscles, but nothing happened, and the haze continued to spread without the slightest concern for her wishes. She couldn't even feel herself peeing, let alone stop herself from doing so. Cherry forced her hands between her legs and into her crotch, but all she achieved was immersing her fingers in her own filth. She was powerless to do anything but watch, horrified, as the amber tendrils of her accident snaking across the bath like the arms of some Lovecraftian horror.
What...no, stop! Cherry strained to do so, but it was as if necessary muscles no longer existed. She watched her bladder void itself on its own volition, feeling her horror deepen by the second. Sure, she'd been hypnotised and accidents were to be expected (if the living room floor was anything to go by)...but she'd had no warning whatsoever. Surely the tape couldn't have messed her up that badly. Surely. Stop stop stop!
But it had, and she couldn't.
She heard Lucas sigh from behind her. "This is just my luck," he remarked glumly. He was pressed against the side of the bath, watching his companion's accident leisurely float towards him with a look of unadulterated disgust on his face. "Crippled and thrown in the bath with a girl that isn't potty trained. You can't make this stuff up."
"Mama!" Dawn squealed. She was gripping the edge of the tub hard enough to whiten her knuckles, watching her little sister do her business with wide, horrified eyes. "Tyra peed!" She made no effort to save Lucas from his plight.
"I'm sorry," Cherry whispered. Had it really come to this? One minute, she'd been making a show of how grownup her naked body was, and the next she was sitting in a tub of her own piss. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Cherry didn't remember much of what happened after that. Evie came running the moment she heard her daughter's cries, but the giantess' arrival was the last thing she could recall with much clarity. Her head began to swim, and she went through the rest of her bath with only a tenuous grasp on reality. She didn't remember Evie changing the bathwater, although she supposed it must have happened, because she did have a vague memory of being set on all fours and scrubbed down with a bar of soap. Her recollection of being dried off was questionable at best, and she certainly didn't remember being carried into Lucas' room. She was too shell-shocked to make heads and tails of the world outside her head, and it wasn't till Lucas physically slapped her that she began to take notice of her surroundings again.
"Asgadgdgs!" Cherry squealed. She fell back and hit her head on...what? Where was she?
"Right back at you." Lucas was on all fours, naked except for the diaper around his waist. It had become very dark at some point, but she could make out enough of his face to see he was frowning. "Cherry, you're scaring me. Snap out of it."
Out of what? "Dsgsdfjg," Cherry groaned, her head stinging where'd she knocked it...and it was only then she realised that the words coming out of her mouth sounded like something a very tired author would write if he were to roll his hand across his keyboard instead of writing actual dialogue. She frowned and tried again. "Bsajgsag?"
A seed of fear began to blossom in heart. What? No, she didn't take my voice too, she couldn't have –
She was just beginning to get truly frightened when Lucas came to the rescue. "I heard you the first time." He ripped the little's thumb from her mouth hard enough to make her arm ache. "Better?"
It took her a moment to comprehend what had just happened. Cherry stared at her thumb dumbly, wondering when it had made its way between her lips. It was wet with slobber and as wrinkled as a prune.
I...what? "But...when did I - "
"When Evie was getting you ready for bed. You don't remember?" Lucas grimaced and sat down. "Are you back?"
She'd been sucking her thumb. She'd actually been sucking her thumb. "I...I don't know," Cherry admitted, shaken. She looked around, and for the very first time she realised that she'd somehow made her way into Lucas' nursery. The room was dark around the circle of light thrown by his nightlight, but she could make out the shadows of his changing table and diaper pail well enough to orientate herself. She was in his crib, and she'd knocked her head on the bars that kept her inside it. "Did I go somewhere?"
"You were in some sort of trance." Lucas was audibly agitated. "You wouldn’t respond to anything, you just kind of stared into the distance and let Evie do her thing. When she was diapering you, that was when you started sucking your thumb, and I thought..."
You thought my brain went the way of the dodo. "It's okay. I'm back." Shaken but very much alive, Cherry righted herself in Lucas' crib and surveyed herself. There was a foreign girth between her legs that could only be another diaper, and she was wearing a little girl's nightie. It was a frilly monstrosity that left the majority of her diaper exposed, undoubtedly so her mother figure had easy access to it. When did I ransack Dawn's wardrobe?
I must have zoned out again, like I did before when I watched the DVD. She'd been somewhat aware this time, enough to consciously note that she'd gone into shock...but was that all it had been? Cherry looked at Lucas as she struggled to remember the details of the last...how long? She didn't know. For whatever reason, her brain had gone A.W.O.L, and when she'd come to again, she'd been sucking her thumb. But why...
The answer came to her a moment later.
Chapter Two. Fixations.
"Fuck," Cherry groaned. Had she tuned out because the suggestions of that second chapter had finally kicked in? It would explain the thumb, at least. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."
Lucas began to giggle. "Well, you're definitely back. That's good."
"This is a good thing?" Mortified, Cherry lifted the hem of her dress and squeezed the front of her diaper. She didn't feel wet, but with the sheer amount of padding between her legs, it was hard to tell. "Man, I peed in the bath. I peed...I peed on..."
"Everything, really." Lucas shrugged, and his mirth tapered off as soon as it began. "It's okay. You couldn't help it."
They stared at each other for a long moment as the gravity of the situation began to set in.
"So what now?" Cherry asked uncertainly.
"You either wait till morning, or you creep out after Evie's gone to sleep and keep looking for the keys. You shouldn't have an issue getting over the side, you're not a cripple." Lucas sat back against the side of the crib and scratched his cheek. "Nothing's changed, has it? We still can't do anything till we find them."
Nothing has changed?
"Asgasdga!" Cherry begged to differ.
Her companion smiled tentatively. "Bless you.”
This can't be happening. The little spat out her spittle-soaked digit with as much force as she could muster. "What's happening to me?" she breathed, horrified. "I only watched - "
"You got halfway through chapter two before, remember?" Lucas' voice was grim. "Fixations, wasn't it? I'm going to guess you got hit with an oral one. It's just had a delayed onset, seeing as you didn't finish it."
She'd already arrived at that conclusion, and she didn't need to hear it out loud. "Lucas," she whined, distressed. Every time she thought her situation couldn't get any worse, something else came along to make her feel like a fool. "What am I going to do? I can't be stuck like this."
"What do you want me to do?" The little boy shook his head. "If it was that easy, I'd be walking. At least you're not half the height you used to be. That's something, right?"
"Asfhjsadf!" Cherry protested.
"You have to find the keys," Lucas watched as Cherry wrenched her hand from her mouth yet again. "That's the only thing that matters right now. We can sort out everything else when we're free."
Cherry thought she might cry. This wasn't fair. She'd travelled halfway across the country out of the goodness of her heart, and for her efforts she was becoming more and more infantile by the hour. First her potty training, now her thumb...what was next? She was a good person. She was a good sister. What had she done to deserve this?
She's not worth it, Sylvia whispered in her ear. You've sacrificed enough for your sister.
But clearly, she hadn't.