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A Small Misunderstanding by Elizabeth

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    A Small Misunderstanding by Elizabeth

    I gave one big gasp for air, back arching before bending back down into the sink, alternating between panting and spitting. It was hardly the most dignified of feelings, but then, by now I wasn't sure I truly remembered just what this "dignity" thing was.

    "So." My head raised slightly, enough to see his figure growing slightly larger in the mirror. "Are you ready to tell me the truth? Or are you gonna lie to me again?"

    My lips began to tremble as I opened my mouth, while a tear crawled down my cheek. And the man just stood there, watching, waiting. Smiling.


    Soon as I'd stepped off the airplane, I wished I hadn't. It wasn't a premonition or anything like that - I'd had a couple of those -before- I'd gotten on the plane, cleverly disguised as bad dreams, but none of them had bothered to come true, seeing as, other than a little turbulence, the flight had gone perfectly. It was just too bloody hot.

    At first I thought it was just in the bridge, and it wasn't a big deal, just added an extra incentive to get out of there as soon as possible, but the closer I got to the terminal, the less I truly believed it was anything so simple. When I was greeted by an airline employee lazily fanning myself with the Sports section of a newspaper, all of my hope melted away, taking with it all of the energy I'd stored from my hibernation aboard the plane.

    It seemed a bit too rude of me to ask how they managed to lose air conditioning to an entire airport (at least the way the question was forming in my mind), especially since it wasn't as if I knew for sure they even had it in the first place. It was the smallest airport I'd ever been in, just as I'd expected, and only a little less primitive than I'd feared. At least it didn't have dirt floors.

    I allowed myself to follow the crowd through the airport, to the security gate, my eyes dully scanning the walls around me, the heat and leftover grogginess making me forget not only the name of the person that I was looking for, but also, for a moment or two, that I -was- looking for someone, and not just standing there for the hell of it. He was a friend of a friend, who just so happened to live somewhat close to the site of a job I'd been offered not too long ago, and whom I had been assured was definitely not some kind of psycho.

    As I turned my head, starting to reach for my carry-on to start sifting through it for the Post-It with all of his information on it, I heard a voice from in front of me, a bit soft, but with a definite touch of sweetness to it. "Kat?" it was asking.

    It took me a moment to glance up - nobody had called me that in ages - by which time the voice had repeated itself, and begun to apologize.

    "That's me," I said, holding out my hand with a smile. "Sorry about that. I think my brain is melting."

    He laughed, taking my hand. He looked a little older than I had been expecting, but also less creepy than I feared, no matter what my friend had told me about him. His laugh was very warm, if a little condescending, and I couldn't help but smile as I heard it.

    "I can certainly understand that, little lady. I think you picked the hottest day of the year for this." His hand tightened around mine, protectively, almost, and not enough to hurt. "It's great to finally see you." Our eyes met, his eyes lingering for perhaps a second too long. "C'mon, we'd better get down to baggage claim so we can get out of here."

    "Umm… All right." I allowed myself to be led by him, deciding not to get uppity about how I didn't need that. If he was from around here, perhaps he was under the illusion that the airport was a big place that a person could get easily lost in. Especially someone who looked a bit on the young side, as I knew I did. Surely my friend had told him how old I really was, but maybe he was enough older than me that he considered even that to be young. I never was good at guessing peoples' ages.

    It was just a short walk to the baggage claim, yet it was long enough to make the silence growing between the two begin to feel uncomfortable. I wanted to ask him what his name was, since I had forgotten it, but couldn't bring myself to after he'd already demonstrated that he knew mine, and I -should- have known his. "Oh!" I exclaimed suddenly instead, as we were just about there. "I forgot to turn my cell back on."

    I extracted my hand from his as tactfully as possible and dug my phone from my carry-on. my fingers brushed against what felt like the Post-It I'd been looking for before, and I contemplated finding a way to sneak a peak at it, so I could actually call the man by name. I got out my phone first, though, knowing my friend would probably have already called to make sure I'd landed, and to see if I'd met up with the man, whose name she had hopefully dropped during her voicemail.

    "Oh, come on!" I hissed, pressing the power button again. The screen stayed blank. "Son of a…"

    "What did you say?" he stopped altogether, voice sounding… Well, I wasn't quite sure what. It was almost shocked, scolding, except that there was something not entirely genuine about it, as if he were faking it, yet not enough so that it felt as if I were purposely being made privy to the joke, rather than just the subject of it.

    "Er… Nothing," I shrugged with a sigh, putting the phone away. "It's just dead. Could've sworn I charged it before I left…"

    "Hmm," he replied archly. "Do you need to make a call?"

    I hesitated. Had he already called our mutual friend and let her know the plane hadn't crashed or anything? It seemed a little odd, perhaps, that he hadn't waited until he'd actually found me, but who knew? Surely he knew our friend would want to know everything was all right, though. He must have already taken care of it, I reasoned. "Nah, it's okay."

    He nodded, seeming to cheer up, or at least come out of his shell a bit. It seemed a little odd that he would be nervous around me, but that seemed to be the case. "So, how was your flight?" he asked, walking over to one of the few empty benches left when he saw that we had beaten the luggage for my flight to baggage claim. "Was it scary?"

    I blushed a little, making a mental note to tell my friend that I should -not- feel free to share my fears with anyone she wanted to, as I slipped my carry-on off my shoulder and set it down on the floor before sinking into the bench above it. "It wasn't too bad," I shrugged with as much faux-bravado as I could muster. "We didn't crash or anything, so I suppose it counts as good." He chuckled politely, but I could tell now that he was barely even listening to my answer, just struggling to find something to fill the silence.

    "I hope the drive wasn't too far," I offered, in case he would be more interested in talking about himself.

    "No, of course not," he assured me quickly. "You know that."

    I hadn't, though his words, or rather his tone, certainly convinced me, to an almost uncomfortable degree. It was probably just that small town hospitality thing, I told myself. Nothing to worry about.

    Even so, when I saw him starting to move, apparently to get closer to me, I couldn't keep from hopping up off of the bench. Luckily, that happened to coincide with appearance of the first few pieces of luggage on the conveyer belt, and I was able to cover my, most likely silly, nervousness with a "There they are!"

    The baggage that had appeared was no, in fact, mine, but it didn't take long for it to show up. The man was nice enough to offer to carry it, and I decided to let him, as a gesture of faith and good feelings and just general not feeling like lugging anything around at that moment.

    There was a light breeze blowing when he led me through the final set of doors, towards the parking lot - I wasn't sure if it was that, or not being around so many other people that made it feel so much cooler outside. Whatever it was, I was very grateful for it as I smiled up into the sky.

    He was smiling, too, I saw, when I lowered my head to look at him after he told me, "It's not far."

    It was a nice car, far better than I could hope to afford if I did wind up moving out here and, therefore, actually needing one. It probably had lots of specs with all sorts of high numbers, but there was one thing they boiled down to that I understood: it went fast.

    And so, in a way, I sort of understood why he felt the need to buckle my seat belt himself, after opening the door for me - not that I could have done it myself, since he, understandably, had the door locked. Still, the light smack on my hand when I tried to do it was unnecessary, and left me feeling rather indignant while he loaded my suitcase into the trunk.

    "Listen," I started when he had finished, and was getting into the driver's seat. "I appreciate all this, but…"

    "Oh, it's my pleasure. It's been so long…" He shook his head, then started to chuckle. "You know, I used to charge extra for the ride from the airport."

    I laughed politely, even though I had apparently missed the joke, allowing my gaze to wander around the car. There was something on the floor of the backseat that I couldn't quite make out, but as far as I could tell was the leg of a doll.

    "You have nieces?" I asked, almost asking about daughters instead before reminding myself he wasn't married.

    "You could call them that." He turned to me with a grin. "But none of them are as cute as you."

    My reflection in the rear view mirror was blushing, which, upon my realization of that, only made it worse. "Look, I'm not a kid," I finally told him. "And I would…"

    "Oh, of course you're not," he interrupted me. "I know that, of course. You're all grown up. Don't worry, I won't forget."

    Seeing as it was the best I was likely to get, I decided to ignore the condescending tone and accept it for what it was. I'd only be staying a day or two, after all. I could live with being treated like an idiot for that long. And then I would be home, and me and my friend would have a nice, long chat…

    I didn't think to look back into the backseat again once the car had pulled into the driveway of a modest, if isolated, little house, and so I missed seeing the whole of the doll I'd glimpsed earlier, but as I was getting out, I caught it out of the corner of my eye. I couldn't be sure, of course, yet I'd have sworn it was wearing a miniature, disposable diaper.

    The lock on the double doors squeaked loudly as he turned the key, though not as loudly as the doors themselves when he pushed them open. They were quite pretty, really, and, I guessed, quite a bit older than the rest of the house.

    Surprisingly, once inside, the house did not seem to be quite so modest, but rather quite large. The living room looked a little smaller than it might have if it didn't have its massive, quite heavy looking, curtain all drawn, but there was plenty of room for the couch and a few armchairs, along with a big screen TV and a fireplace. The hallway he led me down to take me to my room had all kinds of doors, all of them closed. There was probably a broom closet or something, and a bathroom or two, but even so, there were still three, maybe four bedrooms.

    Mine was at the end of the hall. "Bathroom's right next door," he told me as he opened the door to my room. Again, I was surprised at how big it was, though it had the same curtains as in the living room. There were several bookshelves, although it looked liked they contained only children's books and dolls, and a desk covered with coloring books and crayons. There was also a white dresser, on top of which sat even more dolls, and a pair of sliding doors that could only lead to a closet. The room itself was done up in a soft blue, with clouds and birds painted all around.

    "I babysit a lot," he explained with a shrug, and a smile that had the slightest hint of slyness to it. "My nieces, you know. Hope you don't mind."

    "Er… No, it's fine," I said. It was rude to criticize something free, and it wasn't -that- bad. I was, however, a little surprised to hear a crinkling beneath me when I sat down on the edge of the bed.

    "One of them has a little… problem." He shrugged again.

    I nodded knowingly, or so I hoped he believed, as in reality, I knew very little about children. I was the youngest of three, and had never really been interested in babysitting.

    "Don't worry, those are new sheets," he chuckled, and I found myself smiling again. Somewhat odd, even creepy, and hard to read as he could be, his laugh was still infectious. "Do you want something to drink?"

    "Sure," I nodded. "What do you have?"

    "Not very much at the moment, I'm afraid. I don't keep soda around, because it makes the girls too hyper… I just made some lemonade before I went to the airport, though."

    "That sounds great," I said, and he quickly turned and walked back down the hall, stopping only when I called after him, "Did you get my carry-on out of the trunk?"

    "Hmm?" I could feel my stomach drop at the confused look on his face. "I thought you had that with you…"

    "I did, but then…" I flopped back in the bed with a moan, accompanied by a loud crinkling.

    "It's all right," he reassured me, reappearing a minute later with a tall glass of lemonade. "C'mon, sit up and drink this."

    I obeyed him, since I -was- thirsty, even let him pat my arm while following the latter of his instructions. The lemonade was nice and cold, though there was an odd aftertaste to it, though that might have just been my imagination. "Tell me what your carry-on looked like, and I'll call the airport and see if they've picked it up, okay?"

    So I did, and he vanished again. I sat on the bed for a few more minutes, drinking my lemonade, before deciding to wander back through the house. Curiously, I tried a couple of the other doors in the hallway, but all of the ones I chose were locked, and I quickly ended up back in the living room, where I sank down into the sofa to finish my drink.

    The next thing I knew, there was a voice behind me asking, "Are you sure you want to sit there?"

    I jumped a little, and, embarrassingly enough, even wet my panties a little. I guess I thought I was back home or something… I had spaced out a bit at that point, and was starting to feel kinda groggy. "Jeez, you scared me!"

    "Sorry," he apologized, reaching down to take my glass. "Do you want a refill?" I shook my head, which was still in the process of wrapping around his first question. Did he think I would prefer one of the armchairs? I glanced around at the sofa, but it seemed perfectly fine. "Well, they didn't pick it up, so I'm going to drive over there and see if I can find it. Will you be okay by yourself?"

    "Huh?" I blinked sleepily.

    "Do you want to come with me?"

    "Oh. No… I think I'm going to take a nap. Jet lag just hit me, I guess…"

    "Well, head on back to your room then," he told me. "Sweet dreams."

    "Night-Night," I mumbled, starting to get to my feet, only to feel them begin to crumble beneath me. I can remember him moving forward to catch me, and, somewhere in the back of my mind, thinking that he didn't look particularly surprised.

    The next thing I remember was waking up. It took a few moments for me to realize where I was, to remind myself that it wasn't my room I was looking at, that it hadn't somehow gone back in time without me. This was made somewhat more difficult when I began to move, and my still halfway sleeping brain began to recognize the feeling underneath them.

    I sat straight up with a gasp, throwing back the blankets that had been put over me, already wondering how I could explain this, or how I could avoid that. He had gone to the airport, after all. Maybe I could get everything washed and replaced before he got back…

    But even before I'd had time to even start to unravel that ball of thoughts into anything usable, I heard the door opening. I flipped the blankets back over top of me, hoping that by some strange chance, he wouldn't notice, or find that odd in any way - which seemed pretty likely to me at that moment.

    So when he asked, "What are you doing?", I was too shocked to really come up with anything, so I just sat there dumbly. And for the briefest of moments, I thought that would be all it took, because he shook his head and said, "I'm sorry… I'm used to dealing with little girls in here. I forgot you were all grown up. You don't need me checking in on you, now do you?" I shook my head; he nodded in reply. "So sorry to have disturbed you."

    "Oh, it's all right," I started to say, trying to sound suave and cool. "No problem."

    I may have gotten the first word out before he yanked the blankets away, revealing the wet spot beneath, centering around my bottom. I gave a yelp, grabbed at the blankets, but I couldn't budge them from his hands.

    "That's what I thought," he shook his head with an air of smug disappointment. "So much for you being a big girl, huh?"

    "But I am!" I insisted. "I'm sorry!"

    He chuckled, but this time, I didn't feel myself smiling in response. "Don't worry. I've dealt with this kind of thing before. It's no big deal. I'll take care of it."

    I should have told him that I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself, yet the words wouldn't come out, nor did I particularly feel like I really -was-. He was all too happy to take my silence as agreement.

    "Come on, get up," he urged, promptly shooing me out, and into the bathroom, with instructions to put my wet clothes outside the door for him to wash. I did so, hoping that, as it usually did, taking a shower would help clear my mind. Instead, all it did was remind me that there was nothing for me to change into once I was clean enough. There was a nice, big, fluffy towel, but even so, I wasn't entirely comfortable with walking out in nothing but that.

    "Umm… Hello?" I called, knocking on the door a couple times when there was no immediate answer.

    I was just getting ready to knock again when he replied, "What do you need, dear?"

    I blushed a little, glancing down at the little line of light under the door. "I kinda forgot to bring anything to change into," I admitted. "Can you…?"

    "No problem," he interrupted. "It'll just be a second."

    And it did, his knock coming before I could even start to dry off my hair. "Here you go!" he called.

    I gave him a few second to go back to whatever he was up to, then opened the door a crack, reached around, and dragged the clothes in. Even then, I knew something was wrong - I hadn't brought anything that felt like that - but it wasn't until I had them all the way in that I realized how much so.

    "Hey!" I yelled.

    "Yes?" came the answer, almost instantly.

    "Just get me something out of my suitcase," I told him. "I've got plenty of stuff… I don't think your nieces' clothes are gonna fit me."

    "I'm pretty sure they will. Just give it a shot."

    "Just give me my own clothes!" I insisted.

    "Don't argue with me, young lady!" he snapped, stern enough to make me squeak, even from the other side of the door. "I have no desire to be doing laundry all weekend!"

    "Yeah… But… Huh?" I glanced back down at the clothes in confusion, which quickly turned to shock, then embarrassment. "I am -not-..!"

    "Yes, you are," he ordered. "And you'll do it now, or I'll come in there and do it myself. One… Two…"

    "You have no right!" I yelled, heart beginning to thump a little faster. "This is…"

    "Three… Four…"

    "Who do you think you are?!"


    "Fine!" I groaned in exasperation. "I'm getting dressed!"

    He was waiting for me outside the door. "I told you it would fit."

    I wasn't entirely sure he was correct about that. The sailor dress had gone over my head, yes, but the skirt barely covered any of the Pull-Up underneath. It probably wasn't a real Pull-Up - I can't imagine they make them big enough for me - but it was a reasonable enough imitation that I ducked back behind the door as I saw him glancing down at them.

    "Oh, come on," he said gently, reaching out to take my hand and pull me back out into the hall. "You look adorable."

    I tugged at the skirt, in no way convinced. "Can I go put on my own clothes now?"

    His only answer was to lead me down the hallway, away from my room. The hall seemed so much longer now, and my legs were already feeling heavy and clumsy. Even if it wasn't what I'd been looking for, I was more than happy to flop down on the couch, only to feel myself being lifted back up with a smack on the bottom. It wasn't hard enough to hurt, but I was too shocked to do anything but stare up at him.

    "The furniture is for grown-ups and big kids," he told me. "Can't have some little girl leaking all over it. Why don't you lay on the floor and color me a nice picture?"

    "I am not a kid!" I shouted, stomping my foot.

    "You're sure acting like one. Maybe even more like a baby now. Is that it? Are you just a cranky little baby?"

    "Screw you," I growled finally, fully intending to storm back, grab my suitcase, and leave. It was fairly isolated, but there had to be another house somewhere that I could either call a cab from, or convince the owners of to give me a ride to a motel.

    Unfortunately, he hadn't let go of my arm from when he'd removed me from the couch, and his grip only tightened when I tried to move. "I guess you are," he shook his head. "And to think I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Guess we should have just gone straight to diapers."

    I froze instantly, except for my eyes, which were growing ever wider. "Wh…What?"

    He stayed silent as we walked once more down the hall, slowing only slightly when I tried to resist, to pull away, all in vain. One of the other doors was unlocked already, one I could have sworn I'd tried earlier with no luck. He pushed it open, revealing a huge nursery in all its glory, centered around a gigantic crib, more than big enough for me. That wasn't what worried me at the moment, however - no, I was more concerned about the changing table off to one side.

    "Stop it!" I cried, even before he bent over to pick me up. "Don't do this!"

    But he ignored me, laying me back against the cool plastic padding covering the table and strapping me down. I think I could have broken free, normally, but I was still feeling so weak, so tired… I couldn't do anything as he reached under the skirt of the dress and yanked down the Pull-Up.

    "Please," I tried then. "Please, I'll do whatever you want!"

    Next, he pulled out a diaper, slipping it under me as he dodged my slow, ineffective kicks. He moved as if it was something he'd done a million times before, and almost before I'd noticed him getting out the bottle, there was a quick puff of baby powder, and then I was taped into the diaper.

    "Why are you doing this?" I sniffled, while he pulled a pair of plastic panties up my legs. "What did I do?"

    For a moment - just a moment - his facade began to crumble, as he shook his head with an amazed grin. "You are just so good at that," he said. "I know your e-mail said you liked the whole 'forced into diapers' scenario, but I've never had anyone play the part so realistically. That really is quite impressive."

    "Huh?" I blinked, confused, trying to make sense of what he had said, and then his face was strict, disappointed again.

    "Sorry, I'll try not to break character again," he promised, reaching to the top of the plastic panties, doing something there to make a clicking noise.

    "What is going on?" I wailed. He picked me up and carried me across the room to plop me down in a playpen.

    "I'll be back in a little while. You better calm yourself down by the time I get back." And with that, he turned and left, leaving me alone to try and rip off the diaper. Unfortunately, the first thing I realized when I tried that was that the clicking sound I'd heard belonged to a lock along the top of them, trapping me in.

    I was by no means, however, trapped in the playpen. It was bigger than a normal one, certainly, but even feeling as weak as I did, I knew I'd be able to climb out without too much trouble. He must have just assumed I wouldn't because he thought this was what I wanted. Or rather… He thought it was what whatever freak who had e-mailed him and set up this whole ordeal wanted.

    He must have been looking for another Kat, I realized, the whole picture finally coming into focus. This was some weird sort of fetish that he and some chick from the Internet had decided to meet up and act out. Except I had been an idiot and went with the first person who called me by an admittedly common nickname I didn't even use anymore, and now I was stuck in someone else's twisted little fantasy. The real Kat must have been very disappointed.

    In a strange way, that made me feel… Not better, just strangely amused. I started to giggle, and I couldn't stop myself until I had tears running down my face, though I wasn't sure if they were from that, or my situation as a whole.

    "Okay," I whispered to myself, needing something audible, not just thoughts. "Just get up, explain everything to him, and have him take you out of here."

    But would that work? Or would he just assume it was part of the game? Maybe it would just be better to get out while I could - assuming that I could.

    My legs felt a little shaky as I stood up, and I was almost worried that I really -wouldn't- be able to get out. They steadied eventually, however, and then it was just a matter of climbing over the side, and not tripping and falling flat on my face on the other side, which would probably have brought him running back in.

    I paused at the door to listen, and to give my body time to prepare. When he wasn't lurking in the hallway, I snuck back to my first room, sticking my head inside and giving a quick scan. I really would have liked to change before leaving, even if I still would have been stuck in the diapers themselves, but I didn't see my suitcase anywhere. Not that I expected to, really; it just would have been a nice break.

    I tip-toed all the way back down the hallway, my sneaking being complicated by the rustling plastic panties around my diaper, and helped by the fact that my legs didn't want to move very fast anyway.

    I happened to catch a break once I reached the living room, and he was nowhere to be seen. The front door was only a few feet away, then, just a few more steps, if I could just keep quiet and calm and collected…

    I grabbed the doorknob, started to turn it slowly. It didn't move. I tried again, in the other direction, with the same result. My calm began to fray at the edges as I knelt down to look at the door, searching for something I could push or turn to unlock it, ultimately finding only a keyhole.

    There was a clanking behind me, like he had dropped a pan. I jumped, had to clamp my hands over my mouth to keep from making any sound that would give me away, and nearly wet myself again. I hadn't even noticed that I needed to go again until then - it just sort of snuck up on me - but once I noticed it, it was strong, and my bladder felt almost as weak as my legs. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold it long, and there wasn't much I could do about it, but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to try -something-.

    So back down the hall I went, to the bathroom door, figuring I could find a way out of the panties once I was there. Unfortunately, it was locked, too. I moaned, and started frantically trying other doors. The little girl room opened just fine, of course, and was absolutely no help, and the nursery was equally open and useless. The door across the hall from the nursery was locked, by which time I felt like I was ready to burst already.

    The door next to the nursery stuck a little, and I almost gave up on it before it gave in, swinging open to reveal… A bathroom! Perhaps my luck was changing after all, I thought, hurrying inside and shutting the door, and promptly realizing that it was just that. A bathroom. It had a nice, big bath, with a stool beside it, and a sink, but that was all. No toilet, no nothing.

    And I could hear him coming back down the hallway. Should I try to get back to the nursery? Or should I hide in the bathroom and hope he wouldn't think to look there?

    My decision making abilities were working about as swiftly as the rest of me at that point, so I was still trying to decide when he opened the door and stepped inside.

    I was expecting him to be angry at me for leaving the playpen. Instead, he began to nod. "Oh, I see… That's why you've been so cranky, isn't it? I'm sorry, honey, I didn't even think of that! Do you need some help?"

    "You've got the wrong person!" I blurted out. "I don't know who you wanted to pick up at the airport, but it was a different Kat! I swear, this is all just a big mistake!"

    "Oh, sure, sure," he continued nodding in the exact same way. "Of course. Come on, let's go get you taken care of."

    I didn't know what he meant, although I knew it wasn't going to be what I wanted. Still, all my resistance didn't slow him down much, nor did my insistent call after his retreating form that, "No, really, I'm not your Kat!"

    He closed the door on me, not bothering to lock it, since he was back in just a few seconds with something in his hand. Something small, and, from the look of it, orange.

    "Come here," he said redundantly, seeing as he had already led me over to the stool by then. He was the one who sat in it, however. Then he grabbed me, laid me out on my stomach over his knees after unlocking the panties, which he promptly pulled down, just a little.

    "Wait, what are you doing?" I began to squirm violently, not liking where this was going, but it took very little effort on his part to hold me still enough for his purposes. I saw a flash of orange falling to the floor when I turned my head to see what was happening, felt something being pushed into my butt. And then there was some sort of liquid rushing into me before the thing was taken back out, the diaper pulled up, the panties locked, and I was set on my feet, my stomach already feeling weird, churning.

    "Stop doing this!" I begged, too scared and stupid to do anything else, even while he turned his back on me to wash his hands before taking mine. "I don't want this!"

    He ignored me, took me into the kitchen, where I was hardly surprised to find a highchair. I let him put me into it and strap me in, too busy squirming as my stomach began feeling more and more uncomfortable and, as I realized with some dread, full. "Can't have this getting cold on us," he said, setting a plate on the tray in front of me, then taking a bib off of the tray and tying it around my neck. It was macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers, and I couldn't say I felt any desire to eat either, or anything at all for that matter.

    He didn't bother to ask, however, before loading up a fork and bringing it up to my lips. "Open up!"

    I was crying pretty hard by then, tears streaming down my face. "Please let me go!" I tried to say, until I found my mouth full of food. Part of me wanted to spit it out at him, but a larger part didn't want to find out what he'd do if I did, so I chewed obediently, and as slowly as I dared. My squirming was growing more frantic now, and I knew I wouldn't last much longer.

    "Just let me use the bathroom!" I cried. "Please! Don't make me…" And my mouth was full again, just as full as my tummy. For another moment, at least, and then it was as full as my diaper became in what was possibly the longest split second of my life.

    I could feel some of the macaroni fall from my mouth, but I was crying too hard to see it by then. "Shh, shh," he cooed, patting my head. "That's better now, isn't it? Come on, just finish your food, and we'll get you into a nice, clean diaper, okay?"

    It wasn't okay. Every fiber of my being wanted to scream that at him, every one other than the one that was in charge, which was capable only of nodding miserably as my bladder finally gave in as well, and I felt myself sinking into a pit of despair, blocking out everything while I just opened and closed my mouth mindlessly, wanting to get this over with as soon as I could.

    I think I may have gone a little crazy after that… It's hard to tell. The next thing I remember is finally giving in and screaming at him, using quite a few… choice words… and then having him wash out my mouth with soap. He asked me who I really was, if I wasn't his Kat, but he wouldn't believe anything I said, not without proof.

    And then, by some miracle, that was when you came.


    "And that's all?" the policeman asked, reaching for the tape recorder, flipping it off when she nodded. "That is quite a story. There are some real weirdos out there, huh?"

    The girl nodded, still shaking a bit, though she looked much more composed than she had been when they'd found her, now that she'd had time to get cleaned up and into her own clothes, once her suitcase had been found. It had been in the closet of the little girl room, not a brilliant hiding space, but somewhere she wouldn't have had time to look during her quick scan of the room during her attempted escape.

    "C-Can I go now?" she asked shakily. The officer glanced at his notes, nodded, but stopped her before she'd stood all the way up.

    "One more thing. I don't suppose you have any idea who called in the anonymous tip?"

    She shrugged. "A neighbor, I guess. There were a few houses on the way in, maybe they saw me. Or heard me… I don't know. I guess it might have been the real… What was her name again?"

    The policeman looked down to check the file. "Katherine Snow."

    "Yeah, her," she nodded. "She could have seen me leaving with him. Or just assumed he picked up the wrong person."

    "Could be. Are you sure you don't want a ride?"

    She shook her head. "No, I need to take a little walk, get some fresh air, clear my head some more. My ride's picking me up a couple blocks from here."

    "And the contact number you gave me is his house?" She nodded. "All right. You be careful now, you hear?"

    "Oh, I will," she assured him. "Definitely."

    And she stumbled out of the police station slowly, dragging her suitcase behind her. The fresh air did feel great against her face, but her pace improved only slightly until she turned a corner and saw a bench to sit on.

    She lifted her suitcase carefully up onto the bench beside her, opened it up. It only took a moment of digging - she hadn't had too long to stuff it back inside - to find the disposable cell phone.

    Katherine Snow stood up from the bench, scored a perfect basket into a nearby garbage can with the phone, and skipped off down the sidewalk, as much as she could while carrying the suitcase, whistling whenever she could, in between her fits of giddy giggles.
    Choronzon: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds… of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

    Morpheus: I am hope.

    -Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Vol. 2 Issue 4