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The Fourth Roommate

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    The Fourth Roommate

    Part 1


    Ever since starting college, Laurel hadn't had much time for herself. Surviving the initiation, she had gone to quite a few parties and events while making sure not to fall behind on her studies. A few weeks in, when the autumn leaves were falling from the trees, she was tired and wanted to do something other than reading textbooks or being surrounded by people all the time. This weekend, it seemed, was her chance.


    Laurel had moved into a house together with two other students where they each had their own rooms and shared the living spaces. One her roommates had given her a ride to school in the morning and had told her he was going to visit his parents over the weekend. He also mentioned that the other roommate was going away as well, to some festival or something like that. He wouldn't be home anyway, that's what mattered, because that meant Laurel would have the house for herself for a few days.


    Most likely anyway. When she had moved in, the landlord had told her that four rooms were rented out this year. It was a little bit of a mystery since neither Laurel nor her two other roommates had seen anyone else living there. She assumed it must have been a mistake. She had looked inside the supposedly rented-out room once when the door was open. It was decorated, but you could rent furniture from the landlord as well, so even if it was, it didn't necessarily mean that anyone lived there. The bed had also lacked bedding and it looked similar to the one in the guest room, so Laurel was pretty sure that that was the case. Whoever had wanted to rent the room might have decided not to study this year and therefore never moved in. And finally, their landlord hadn't bothered to tell them that.


    If Laurel's theory was right, she would have the house for herself this weekend. "Hello?" she called out when she came home, just to be sure, and wasn't surprised when no one answered.


    Skipping into the kitchen, she hurried to unpack her groceries. She had something special planned for tonight, something she had been looking forward to for a long time.


    But before she could begin with that, she had to be productive. After finishing up in the kitchen, she had to clean and reorganize her room, put her laundry in the washing machine and take care of a few other responsibilities.


    She frowned as entered her room. Staying so busy, it was in a bit of a mess and she hadn't decided about the best way to decorate it either, so some parts of her room looked rather improvised. There was even a cardboard box left since she had moved in at the start of the term that wasn't unpacked yet, standing all ugly in a corner.


    Laurel sighed. It wouldn't take too long to fix everything, maybe about an hour or so, but she was disappointed that she hadn't done this earlier. She liked to keep things tidy and didn't feel like cleaning all night when she had something so much more interesting to do.


    There was no time to lose. Laurel changed her bedding, took her laundry basket out and unloaded it into the washing machine, dusted her shelves and window sill, wiped her desk and vacuumed the floor. After that, she only had the moving box left.


    In the box, Laurel found a few of her books, a window lamp and a few other room decorations that she hadn't found a place for yet, but under those, she knew she had packed something else, something completely different, something she didn't want anyone to see.


    She had some space for those things elsewhere, a quite fitting place as well. Since she was a child, Laurel had owned this old, large, wooden, toy chest. It had been her mother's when she was little and Laurel's grandfather had supposedly built it himself. It meant a lot of her and she had brought it with her to her new room. The chest had a lock, which was a good thing if you had things to hide. Laurel had emptied most the chest before she moved, afraid her parents might wonder what she kept in there if it was too heavy. Now, after she had found a place for her books and other decorations, she could put the secret items back where they belonged.


    But what could an unassuming college student like Laurel be hiding? It wasn't weapons, drugs or anything dangerous at least. The stuff in her chest were mostly harmless, though it would be pretty bad if someone found them. And that's why she always kept her chest locked and had "forgotten" where the key was if anyone asked.


    "That's a shame," her mother had said once, wondering if she should move it down to the basement with her other childhood toys.


    "It must be here somewhere, I just haven't been looking," Laurel had replied innocently, pretending to look for the key under her bed. "There's nothing important in it anyway, but I still want it."


    That the chest was empty was a lie of course. Laurel had been so nervous when her mom had tried to open it, afraid it wasn't locked properly. And what if she had an extra key somewhere? After all, it had been hers once.


    Fortunately, Laurel got away and, as far as she knew, the content of her chest had remained a secret.


    So what did she have in there? To begin with, the chest most often contained a few stacks of diapers. Diapers meant to be worn by her. Not out of necessity, but because she enjoyed wearing them. They were adult diapers, though most of them didn't look plain and had cute little prints on them, just like baby diapers have.


    In addition to the diapers, Laurel had a few other secrets in her chest. More often than not she also dressed up while wearing her diapers and so she owned several articles of oversized baby clothes. She had three onesies, some childish t-shirts and a pair of overalls with embroidered butterflies on its chest. She also owned a pacifier, a sippy cup, a baby bottle, a play mat, coloring books and a few other baby toys. Her collection had grown over the years and she found it funny that she had invested a big part of her babysitting money in becoming a baby herself.


    Obviously she didn't share that joke with anyone and she rarely engaged with this stuff outside the privacy of her room. One of the exceptions being tonight when she had the house for herself.


    And for this special occasion, Laurel wanted to make the most of it. First of all, she decided to get herself extra, thickly diapered, so she took out two whole diapers from the box. She was going to wear both of them at the same time, so she cut a few holes in one and put it inside the other, creating a doubled diaper.


    With that done she took off her clothes, laid down on the playmat and sprinkled a large dose of baby powder over the place that her diaper was going to cover. She patted it out evenly before putting the diapers under her. At first she had found it a little difficult to put these big diapers on herself, but over time, she had gotten okay at it. She couldn't really call herself an expert since most of the time the diaper ended not sitting tight enough or the tapes weren't in symmetry on the sides, which made the diaper fit a bit awkwardly. She didn't believe it was only her fault though since most adult diapers she had found was little too big for her small body.


    After taping the diapers on carefully, actually managing to do a good job with that this time, she crawled over to her chest and looked inside. Her pacifier caught her attention first and she put it in her mouth while looking at the rest of the things.


    It was a bit too cold to wearing nothing but a snap crotch onesie, she thought, so instead she considered a footed pajamas. She had two actually. One was purple and warm, made in fleece, perfect for cold winter nights. The other one was blue with pink trims and was smaller and thinner than the purple one and made in cotton. She had found it in the kids section at a clothing store and it fit snugly around her body as well as her diapers, especially now when she was wearing two. She picked the latter one.


    All dressed up, Laurel was ready to play and so she spread out a few toys on the play mat. She had felt a bit silly the first few times she had done this, but the more she did it, the easier it had become to shut everything out and feel like a small child again.


    Laurel wasn't sure how longed she had played when her tummy called for food. Oh how she wished she could find a babysitter or anything to look after her. Making food by herself required her to switch back to adult mode for a few moments, which she wanted to avoid as much as possible as not to lose the illusion.


    She reopened her chest and took out a sippy cup along with a little plastic bowl and a spoon. She realized this was going to be the first time she going outside her room like this. Looking outside the kitchen windows, she wondered if anyone could see inside. It seemed unlikely with all the bushes and trees around, and what was the point in having the house for herself if she didn't dare to go outside her room anyway?


    Leaving a bowl full of oatmeal cooking in the microwave, she went back to her room and tied a large cloth bib with a kitten on around her neck. It was both cute and practical. Eating with such a small spoon was likely to get her messy no matter how careful she was.


    Laurel mixed in some raisins and poured some milk into the finished bowl before digging in. She wished she could sit in a high chair at the table, and how amazing wouldn't it be if someone was there to spoon feed her as well? There was many other things Laurel wanted, but she knew she couldn't realize all her fantasies alone.


    Thinking about that made her feel a little lonely. Not only because she didn't have someone to play baby with her, but in general as well. Having gotten so used to having people around all the time made her feel a bit anxious being all by herself. It was getting darker outside and she knew she would be alone the whole night. Laurel had never liked to be the only one in the house when she still lived with her parents and she didn't feel much better about it now.


    Finishing her meal, she washed her bowl and spoon and wiped her face with her bib before taking it off. She then filled her sippy cup with apple juice and to put her mind on something else she returned to her room to begin another little activity.


    She fished up a coloring book from her chest and found an unstarted page, then lay down on her tummy with some crayons and began to color, taking a sip of juice every now and then.


    It was hard to shake off the thought she had before. She had these thought that someone was going to break in or that a fire would break out in the kitchen. She didn't know how to handle those situations. At least she could be prepared, so at one point she stopped coloring to check if the front door was locked and if the fire alarm in the kitchen still worked.


    This wasn't sane, she told herself. She had to stop worrying about these things. Maybe she could try calling someone, just to talk. She picked up her phone, but then decided against it. She didn't want to bother anyone, though her mother would probably not mind to talk, but Laurel didn't want to get stuck on the phone forever either. Instead she put her pacifier back in her mouth, grabbed her largest teddy bear and laid down in her bed, hugging it tight.


    After cuddling with for a while, she heard a beeping sound, like an alarm going off somewhere in the house.


    Laurel sat up with a start, heart pounding, then realized it was only the washing machine.


    Before leaving her room to take care of it, she poked her head out the door and checked the hallway. With the lights off, it was almost completely dark now. She wasn't used to the sun setting so early and at first assumed it had gotten pretty late, that time had flown away somehow, until she went back to check her phone on her desk and saw it was only about quarter to eight.


    Back at the door she hesitated once again before going out. Even if her room was close to the hall and she would have known if anyone was back, she couldn't help her paranoia, dressed as she was. She could potentially get away with the footed pajamas in the dark, but her diapers made a rustling sound which could make her roommates wonder. If they were home that was. Since that wasn't the case tonight, Laurel slipped out of her room, not even bothering to take her pacifier out.


    Next to the laundry room was one of the bathrooms and she realized she needed to use it, badly, like really bad. Laurel wondered how long her diapers would stay dry if she waited. Their thickness kept her legs from closing together, so she couldn't really hold herself and she knew she bladder wasn't very strong either. Whatever happened, she simply needed to change before bed. She was doing that anyway. Sleeping in two diapers could be a little uncomfortable.


    Laurel took out her stuff from the washing machine and hung them up one by one. She yawned. It wasn't very late, but she really longed for a good night's sleep. She had so much to do lately. At least she didn't have too much to do tomorrow or the day after that and since she was alone in the house, she was practically free to do whatever she wanted. She had only planned to indulge in her secret interest for tonight, but maybe she could stay like this the whole time, she mused, sucking her pacifier, even if that also meant staying in diapers for the duration.


    She usually wet her diapers before taking them off. While there was another use for them as well, she had never really had the courage to go that far, afraid she would be disgusted with herself afterwards. Still, the idea was something she had thought about before. Pooping her diapers would be so babyish. Laurel bit down on her pacifier. She didn't decide on anything, but if the need arose, which it probably would at some point during the weekend, it was a possibility. Maybe she should give it a try to see what it's like now when she had the chance.


    Eating nothing but a small bowl of oatmeal hadn't left her quite full, so after she was done in the laundry room, she grabbed her baby bottle and went into the kitchen to warm up some chocolate milk. As she prepared her little meal, she bounced around impatiently, her body desperately trying to make her go to the bathroom, whether she wanted to or not. It started to hurt a bit and she wondered if doing this might be dangerous.


    The microwave oven finally beeped and Laurel reached for her bottle, but recoiled as it was boiling hot. In her hurry, she noticed had accidently set the microwave's power setting to max. Cooling her hand off on her thigh, she used her sleeve as a glove and grabbed her bottle before turning off the lights and entering the corridor.


    Out there she stopped dead.


    There was a sound, the rattling of keys, a door struggling to get unlocked.



    Laurel panicked. There was no way she'd make it back to her room. She had to hide, but where? She thought about the bathrooms or behind the couch, but it was too late, the door was already open.


    Laurel's pacifier fell to the floor as she gasped.


    The lights came on shortly, creating a spotlight over her. She could only stare. The baby bottle burnt her hand and it fell to the floor with a thud.


    "I didn't scare you, did I?" the intruder asked with a nervous laugh.


    There was a sound of a zipper being pulled. Laurel had only dared to look up briefly, but she assumed the woman in front of her, who didn't seem to be much older than herself, was taking off her jacket.


    "Are you alright there?"


    Laurel's eye's widened as her bladder had decided now was the time to give up her. "I'm fine," she said quickly, trying to stay still, desperately praying it wasn't obvious what was going on. "Who are you?"


    "I'm Josephine," the person in front of her said. "I don't know if anyone told you, but moved in here yesterday. Are you living her too?"


    "Yeah," Laurel said as her diaper swelled in size, getting warmer and heavier under her clothes.


    "I like your pajamas," Josephine said, "how cute. What's your name?"


    "Laurel, and I was going just to bed. I mean, I…" she fumbled with her words and blushed as she stammered. In most other circumstances, she would have liked to stay and chat for another minute or two to get to know her new roommate better, but right now she wanted to lock herself in her room and never come out again. At least she had finally stopped wetting her diaper.


    "Oh, that's okay." Josephine took her phone out of her jacket. "Are you going up early?"


    Not trusting her vocal skills at the moment, Laurel shook her head, then she realized it couldn't be much later than 8. It was a bit unusual to go to bed so early.


    "I'm pretty much a night owl myself, but I'll try to stay quiet," Josephine chuckled. "Where is your room?"


    Laurel pointed. The door to her room was closed fortunately. Her play mat and baby toys was still lying on the floor. For a moment, she wanted to say she was babysitting and that's why she had the bottle and all of those other stuff, but it would be hard to keep up such a lie, and it didn't explain why she wore such a babyish outfit herself either. Maybe she could tell Josephine it was a costume she was trying out for Halloween, but since she had already praised it as a pajamas and Laurel hadn't said anything back, she had probably missed out on that opportunity.


    "Cool. I guess I shouldn't keep you up if you need to sleep then," Josephine said. "Is that yours by the way?" She pointed at the baby bottle on the floor.


    A sinking feeling hit Laurel's chest. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't say it wasn't hers. Bending down to pick it up she swore she could see Josephine smiling down at her as if inwards going, "Aww…". At first, it made her angry. Why hadn't Josephine told anyone she was moving in? On the other hand, Laurel realized she was the one acting rude, being so antisocial. She wondered if she could ever make up for it or if Josephine would always see her as that awkward girl who went to bed at 8 and seemed more like a baby than a college student. Hopefully she wouldn't think of her like that, or even worse, have noticed how funny she waddled back to her room after they had wished each other goodnight.


    In there, Laurel collapsed on her bed and burrowed her head into a pillow. She had never been more embarrassed in her life. How could she have been caught like this? Sure she had experienced a few close calls when she lived with her parents, but she had always been extremely careful and made sure to hide her baby stuff really well. This time she had ending up using her diaper right in front of someone she had never met.


    Laurel sniffled and wiped off a few tears with her sleeve. How did everything go so wrong?


    Sobbing quietly in her bed, she realized things could have been worse. From the brief meeting she had with her, Josephine had seemed like a nice person, not someone who would tease her or tell anyone about this. Instead of crying for being caught, Laurel regretted she hadn't had the chance to be friendlier to her new roommate. After all, they were going to live with each other for a while.


    The imaginary formula she had made ten minutes ago didn't seem so tasty anymore, and Laurel didn't want to stay in her warm, soggy diapers for another second either. She got out of bed, gathered her changing supplies and picked fresh pair of panties from her dresser. Changing herself quickly she disposed the soaked diapers together with the used baby wipes in a plastic bag and put them in the trash can under her desk. She'd have to wash her bottles and throw the diapers out later when she was sure Josephine wasn't around. There was still a chance she didn't know she had been wearing them.


    Her regular pajamas weren't unlike the one she had on, except it was a top and bottom and not an onesie. What made it similar was that they were light pink with cute, little cartoon bunnies all over them, just like a kid's pajamas. She usually loved this set since, because even if it was pretty childish, she could get away with wearing it around others. In case she ran into Josephine again, when going to brush her teeth or whatever, she'd rather be in something less immature though. But what difference did it make? Josephine had already seen what a big baby she was.


    Sighing, Laurel changed into the other pajamas and cleaned up her room.


    Just as she had finished putting the play mat and the baby toys back in her chest, there was a knock on the door. Locking the chest quickly, she opened, finding Josephine outside.


    "Hi, I'm sorry if I woke you up, but I found this," she said.


    Laurel's heart stopped for a moment. It was her pacifier. Again she wished she could disappear into thin air. Her room probably smelled like baby powder too. How could this night get any worse?


    "I thought you wanted it back," Josephine added quickly. "It's yours right?"


    "Look, I…" Laurel began, not knowing what to say for herself.



    Josephine interrupted. "Don't worry about it. You're not a weirdo for having it if you think that. I still keep my teddy bear around if I need her, even if I could have left her behind when I moved out, but I just couldn't, you know?"


    Laurel shrugged. If Josephine only knew what other babyish things she kept in her room. Sleeping with a teddy bear for comfort was nothing compared to sleeping in diapers. "I don't know if this is the same."


    "It doesn't make you a baby or anything if you think that. It's no big different from sleeping with a teddy bear, at least that's what I think."


    "Thanks," Laurel said as she got the pacifier back.


    "Well, I shouldn't keep you up. Goodnight. Sleep well." Josephine turned to leave.


    "Wait." Laurel felt she needed to make it up to her more than ever now so she went on, "I don't think I'm going to bed yet, actually. Would you like to watch TV with me? Or I don't know…"


    Josephine lit up. "Sure. I'm just going to make something to eat. Why don't you go and see what's on?"


    They didn't find many interesting things to watch and whenever they did, either of them had already seen it or it was in the middle of something, (so much for traditional TV) but it didn't matter as they ended up getting to know each other instead. Laurel learned that, besides studying medicine, Josephine took night shifts at a nursing home and that's why they hadn't ran into each other earlier.


    At one point, a diaper commercial was shown on the TV. Laurel felt uncomfortable as she always did whenever she saw those, as if somehow her mind could suddenly be read during them. Even worse, once it was over, Josephine brought up the pacifier and if she really used that baby bottle too. Laurel answered shortly that she had. She was such an awful liar and couldn't come up with anything else to say. At least she managed to steer away from that subject quickly and Josephine didn't ask about it again.


    Saying goodnight to each other for the second time that night, Laurel felt much better. Relieved things didn't stay awkward between her new roommate, she was also glad that she wasn't the only girl in the house anymore. Sure, the guys she lived with were nice, but it was easier to talk with Josephine. They seemed to share a lot in common and Josephine had even invited her to go to a Halloween party with her and some of her friends.


    The only thing she missed now was a full weekend spent in diapers. With four people living in the house now, it would be so difficult to find another opportunity. At least she still had her room, but there was so much else she wanted to do, like watching cartoons in the couch with her favorite stuffed animals, crawl around all over the house and stay in diapers for three days straight. Oh well, one day when she could afford her own place, maybe she would have a whole room dedicated to all this with a crib, changing table and everything else, Laurel thought. She probably wouldn't go that far, but she could always dream.


    Part 2


    The week before Halloween was a busy week for Laurel. Not only did she have to worry about finding a clever costume for the party, she also had to make sure she was well prepared for an exam the following week and beyond that, she was also finishing up an essay that had to be turned in by Friday.


    It might not seem like a lot of work and Laurel had thought so herself at first, but on Wednesday when she came home she felt more tired than usual. Maybe because the sun hadn't bothered to show up for almost three weeks or maybe because she hadn't slept so well lately.


    Anyway, after coming home she laid down in her bed for a quick nap.


    It lasted way longer than she expected.


    She woke up by a knock on the door and if it wasn't for that she would have probably slept until the next day.


    She stirred and was confused for a moment, unsure what was going on. She lay motionless, thinking the knock had only been a dream, but then it came again and she forced herself to get up to answer it.


    "Hi!" Josephine greeted outside the door.


    Laurel smiled despite feeling like a zombie. She hadn't seen her new roommate since that awkward night a week ago and had been worried that Josephine had decided to move out because of it for some reason. It was a little weird that she they hadn't ran into each other for a week anyway. At least she was here now.


    "How are you, is everything okay?" she asked.


    "I don't know." Laurel's voice was hoarse and she realized how dry her mouth was. She swallowed and it hurt. "What time is it?"


    Josephine glanced around her back. "About 9 or so, I think. I'm sorry, did I wake you up? I forgot you usually go to bed early."


    Again that wasn't true, Josephine had only managed to run into her at the wrong time. And like last time, Laurel was afraid she would think she was a little kid if she thought she went to bed before 9, so she said, "I was just resting a bit."


    "I see." Josephine studied her closely which made Laurel a bit uncomfortable.


    She took a step back. "What is it?"


    Josephine laughed. "I'm sorry, I was just spacing out there. Actually I was thinking about something, but never mind that for now. How are you feeling? You look a bit pale."


    "I don't know," Laurel said, rubbing her eyes. "I might have a cold coming on or something. This time of the year sucks, doesn't it? Everybody is sick. I probably got infected."


    "Yeah, they're offering flu shots at the nursing home where I work. I should get one myself. I really don't want to get sick, but well, I hate shots, they're scary." Josephine giggled. "I guess you don't know if you're up for the Halloween party on Friday then, huh?"


    Laurel looked down at the floor. If was feeling like this, she wasn't sure she could come at all even if she had promised. "I don't even know what to wear. What are you going as?"


    "Nothing decided yet. My friend said she had one of those scary makeup kits and said we could just play around with that, it doesn't have to be so complicated, you know. She wanted to go out as twins too, but I'm not really sure about that. I had another idea actually, but I want to hear what you think first."


    "Okay?" Laurel sat down on her toy chest. Not because she was afraid Josephine would open it, for it was locked, but because her legs were tired and it was comfortable enough to use as a chair.


    "I was thinking I'm going out as a witch. I know it's not like super original, but I have an idea to make it a lot more interesting: How about we pretend you and my friend are my enslaved children? Creepy, huh? I thought about when I saw that adorable, footed sleeper you had."


    "Oh, that one." Laurel looked down. It was actually right under her.


    "And," Josephine went on, "you had a pacifier and a baby bottle as well, right?"


    Laurel had a feeling where this was going. While she had always had some fantasies about dressing up as a baby for Halloween, even wearing a diaper along with her costume, it was nothing she had ever thought she'd actually do for real. Maybe this was her chance. After all, someone else had suggested it and that was a pretty good excuse if someone asked why she was dressed up like that.


    "So what do you say? Will you be my baby for Halloween?" Josephine asked.


    Laurel didn't have to think for long, but she found it a bit strange about the way Josephine had worded the question. "Sure, I mean, I don't really have anything else to dress up as so…"


    "Perfect." Josephine clapped her hands together. "Well, if you're feeling better by then that is."


    Laurel nodded. "I hope so."


    "I need to get to work now and I'll probably not be home before Friday, so let's share numbers so I can tell you where we'll meet and you can tell me if can come or not, okay?" They exchanged their phone numbers quickly and Laurel had a feeling Josephine was as excited for the party as she was.


    "Bye!" Josephine left the room and hurried away.


    Laurel sat down on her bed. This was going to be so interesting. She almost couldn't believe it. She had always wanted to go as a baby for Halloween but never had the guts to do it. A chance wasn't likely to show up again. She couldn't wait until Friday.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Laurel dragged herself out of bed, shivering as she left the warmth under her blankets. It was the day of the renowned Halloween party, but since Wednesday, she wasn't feeling much better. It was quite the opposite unfortunately. Her cold had gotten so much wore that she had stayed at home the day before and today she had been lying in bed except for going up to refill a large pitcher of water she kept by her bed or use the bathroom, the latter being the reason she had stood up now.


    The wooden floor felt like an ice covered lake under her feet and Laurel glanced over at her wooden chest, thinking about her warm, footed pajamas she kept in there. Instead of changing into it right now she decided to deal with the more pressing matter first, namely getting her butt on the toilet.


    She had to dash the last few steps just to make it. The last things she needed was to have to take a shower as well. Her panties felt a little damp when she was done though, but at least her pajamas had made it.


    Laurel quivered. The bathroom mirror told her exactly how miserable she felt, showing her a pale, tired face and a pair of sleepy eyes. She washed her hands and walked hazily back to her room to change. As she did so, she had an idea. What if she just put on a diaper instead? It was such a chore going all the way to the bathroom.


    Grabbing her keys, she sat down and opened her toy chest. One of her thicker diapers would hopefully last her all night.


    The journey to the bathroom had been so exhausting, so instead of putting it on at once she laid on her bed for a while, breathing heavily. Time passed, but she couldn't find the strength to put it on and realized she had forgotten to bring some baby powder along with it and going all the way across her room to open her chest again didn't seem so tempting.


    Laurel turned in bed and closed her eyes. Why couldn't everything just be normal? It wasn't fun being sick. She had missed the Halloween party with Josephine and she had exams coming up as well, so she really had to study too.


    Despite the many stressful thought in her head, she managed to go back to sleep and woke up sometime later with an enormous thirst. She quenched it with the water in her pitcher. She held it high above her head, taking big, long gulps, almost spilling everything over herself. Muttering, she realized she had in fact made a little spot on the bed.


    Covering the wetness with a blanket, she laid down and reached for her phone.


    The lock screen told her it was about 9 o'clock, so she had only slept for about three hours. Not surprisingly, she didn't feel much better. It was still cold and as she was sweating at the same time, no matter how many blankets she took on or off, she couldn't get comfortable.


    Laurel sighed and unlocked her phone. There had to be something she could do about this. She went to search the internet, entered her symptoms in a search engine and checked out a few links, but instead of getting any more help, she stumbled into some discussions about what she could be suffering from. Soon she found out she might have caught a bad form of pneumonia, meningitis or even aids and cancer.


    Laurel closed her eyes and breathed, holding the screen down against her chest. Whatever she had wouldn't cure itself quicker if grew more anxious, so before she had the chance to read up on all those things and get even more worried, she locked her phone and pushed it away on her night stand, far enough so she couldn't reach for it again without stretching herself awkwardly. If she felt worse by tomorrow she decided she'd call someone. Her mom was always available, but maybe she could consult Josephine, she was a med student after all.


    To be home alone for one night shouldn't be a problem though. She only had to take one step at the time and fighting her cold by sleeping it off seemed like the best idea.


    At least until she woke up for a third time. She couldn't remember if she had a nightmare or not, but as soon as she woke up something wasn't quite right. Her room seemed to have grown in size and things zoomed in and out in her vision, changing in shape. It made her feel dizzy and she wanted to call for someone, but realized she was all alone.


    A surge of panic hit her and she reached for the lamp near her bed, but in the next second she somehow found herself on the floor instead. Disoriented in the dark, she sunk down on her stomach and panted.


    Her teeth clattered while the wind howled outside, hauntingly. Even with a quilt she found on the floor around her, it was freezing.


    Laurel finally gathered enough strength to push herself up. She leaned back against the wall and held the quilt tight against her body. Sitting like that, she rocked back and forth like she was going mad while she was actually just trying to stay warm.


    In a moment of clarity, she remembered her phone. It still lay on the nightstand. Her hands trembled as struggled to unlock it. The phone's clock told her it was three minutes past midnight. Knowing there was still so many hours left until morning didn't make her feel much better and then she notice that her phone's battery was at one percent as well. If she needed to call anyone she couldn't have her phone die on her, so she scrambled to her feet to find her charger.


    Almost certain she had put it near her desk, she went to search there first. It wasn't easy to see anything in the dark though. Fumbling around for a light switch, her hand touched a small cable and she tracked its trail down to the floor and up again. It was not the right one. Unfortunately, she had a quite a few things lying around down there. Hastily pulling a cable at random to see what it was, she heard a bang as the window lamp had swung and hit her head.


    She stumbled into her desk. A mug shattered behind her. Laurel rubbed her dizzy head and tried to hold onto something, then stumbled again, falling against a chair, pushing it over as she tried to use it for support.


    The fall didn't hurt, she just felt cold. She coughed, crossed her arms over her stomach and curled up into a ball. She felt so little. Everything around her grew taller and bigger again, her bed was also slowly moving away from her as well. It was like she was lost in an ocean, floating away in the waves.


    It's only the fever, she told herself, closing her eyes, trying to gather herself. Maybe if she held on for a minute the hallucinations would pass.


    But then light seeped into her room and a huge dark figure towered above her. Laurel gasped in shock and rolled away as a shadowed entered.


    She bumped into something and stopped. As she lay on the floor, all Laurel could see a pair of black, pointy boots. It was not exactly the kind of shoes she imagine the Reaper to be wearing, for it was probably him, here to get her now. Despite the terrifying situation she couldn't think much of it as her thoughts was stuck in a weird, twisted loop, starting from one point, then flying in different directions before starting over again. The sensation gave her a feeling of déjà vu, like she had experienced this before when she was a child. For a moment she was back at her parent's house and in a split of a second she flew through every event in her life leading up to this point where she was lying on the floor in her new room in front of this dark, evil creature.


    "Hello?" it said, but Laurel wasn't sure if she imagined it or not. She stirred and finally looked. A white face with black lips looked down at her, but she wasn't scared anymore. She felt nothing.


    "What's going on? Are you alright?" The figure bent down.


    Laurel trembled and sniffed, but dared to look up. The creepy, white faced person wasn't there anymore. Instead, in some way, Josephine had taken its place and Laurel felt a hand on her forehead.


    "Oh my, you're hot," her roommate took her hand away. "Laurel can you answer me? Hello?"


    "Cold," was all Laurel could offer.


    "Oh my. You weren't kidding when you said you were sick, huh?"


    "I'm cold," Laurel said again, "It's so cold. It's freezing."


    Josephine sat down on the floor. "There, there, it's alright. If you're cold, why are you sleeping on the floor?"

    Laurel tried, but in that moment she couldn't recall how she had ended up there. Everything had felt like a dream. Josephine had brought her back to reality. She was really thankful for having her back.


    Sitting up on her knees, she allowed herself to rest before taking the next step. Before she got up on her feet, she felt an odd, warm sensation growing under her. "I need to go to the bathroom," she said and stood up quickly, staggering a little.


    Josephine caught her arm to hold her steady. "Uh-oh, too late for that I'm afraid."


    Laurel looked at her feet. It took her a moment to process what was going on. Her pajama bottom was dripping and dark trails ran on the inside of her legs. A puddle was forming on the floor. "No!", she gasped, crossing her legs in desperation, but her body was feeling so weak, she couldn't stop it, everything streamed out of her.


    Josephine took another step back, letting go of her arm. "I'm so sorry. Oh my, you poor thing."


    Laurel sniffed, her lip quivered. Her pants were thoroughly soaked, sticking uncomfortably against her skin. If you didn't count what had happened last week, she hadn't wet her pants like this since she was in first grade, what was wrong with her? She had thought it was impossible to lose control like this when you were an adult.


    "Don't worry about it, accidents happens." Josephine said. She was trying to make her feel better, but Laurel was sure her preschool teacher had said something similar to her back when she was little. "It's no big deal, you're just sick. It could have happened to anyone."


    Laurel wiped her eyes with her pajama sleeve and nodded. It wasn't the end of the world, but she still couldn't believe it. It came with almost no warning too. She was sure you couldn't lose your continence like this unless you were really, really sick. She only had a little fever, was that all it took?


    "Come." Josephine was holding out her hand.


    Laurel took it and let herself be led out from her room. Her feet felt so light as they walked through the house, it felt as if she was dreaming again. She didn't wear her glasses or contacts either so everything looked fuzzy.


    "Do you need any help in there?" Josephine asked.


    Laurel realized they were outside the bathroom. Even if she wasn't feeling good, she wasn't that helpless at least. She could probably shower by her own. It would have been a little weird to have Josephine help her with that too.


    "Do you have anything else to wear?" she asked.


    "I… I think I have some sweatpants," Laurel stammered, having a thick lump in her throat made it hard to speak. "They're in my drawers. The bottom one."


    "Alright, I'll see what I can do." Josephine moved her hand up to Laurel's shoulder. "Hey, don't worry about it. You're just sick, shit happens alright? I swear I have seen one my friends do it after drinking too much, and that's so much worse, I mean drinking your brains out is a choice, you can't help being sick, right? Anyway, if you don't need anything else, I'll be right back. Just leave your pants out here and I'll take care of them, okay?"


    Laurel looked up and wiped her face with her palm. "Thank you." Once again, she was glad Josephine had decide to come home. She didn't know what she would have done otherwise.


    Entering the bathroom, she did as instructed and left her wet clothes outside before stepping into the shower. The warm water was a blessing to her cold body and she stayed in there for a while, almost too tired to ever get out again. When she did she found the gray sweatpants along with a towel neatly folded for her outside.


    Back in her room, Josephine was pulling off the sheets on her bed. "I thought I could as well change these too," she said, tossing it on the floor.


    "Sure." Laurel lifted her chair back up and sat down with her hair dryer and dried her hair while waiting for Josephine to finish with the bed.


    The puddle on the floor was gone and there was no broken glass on the floor either. Josephine must have worked fast. She was being way too kind. She really didn't have to do this. Now she was arranging Laurel's plush toy collection as well, making sure all of them was standing up straight.


    "There, all done." Josephine fluffed up one of her pillows.


    "Thank you." Laurel laid down. It had never felt so good to be back in her bed.


    Josephine covered her in the blankets, tucking her in snugly. "Do you need anything else?"


    "I think I'm fine, thank you." Laurel yawned.


    "Are you sure?" The follow up question made it seem like Josephine had something in mind, like she knew Laurel was missing something important. Laurel wondered what it could be. The pitcher was refilled and she had her aspirins on her nightstand as well, so everything was pretty much set.


    "You've helped me more than enough. I think I just need to sleep now."


    "Aww… You're too sweet. You're welcome, and please don't worry about it, it's really nothing. But are you sure you there isn't something else?"


    "Like what?" Laurel had to ask, honestly confused. Could it be this or could it be that? She really had no clue.


    Josephine went around her bed. "Well, I found something when changing your sheets…"


    Laurel froze. No, it can't be, please don't let it be, she thought, her body twisting up inside, but when Josephine bent down and picked something up, something white, thick and plastic, her fears turned into reality.


    Laurel's eyes widened at the sight of the diaper in Josephine's hands. How could she just have left it there? And why did Josephine have to find it? Why? No, this can't be for real, she thought, looking away, fidgeting under her blanket.


    "Is everything okay?"


    Not for the first time that, Laurel's body made a twitch and tears welled up in her eyes.


    "It's alright, it's totally cool," Josephine said quickly. "You don't have to feel ashamed. It's nothing to be embarrassed about."


    Laurel swallowed, tears running down her cheeks again. She wasn't sure what to say for herself. At least the diaper she had taken out was a normal adult diaper and not one with babyish prints, that would probably have been worse. If Josephine didn't know she liked diapers already. With all the clues she had already, it wouldn't be too hard to guess that.


    "I'm sorry, I just thought I should remind you," Josephine said.


    "It's fine," Laurel said and hiccupped. "I know what a big baby I am." She instantly regretted saying that. How old was she? Ten? It was so childish and Josephine wasn't even teasing her, she was only trying to help.


    "No, you're not. Don't be like that. You know it's not true," she said and sitting down at the edge of her bed.


    "I'm sorry, it's just… it's kind of embarrassing, you know." Laurel looked away.


    "I understand. I totally do." Josephine said. "I didn't mean to make things awkward for you, I just thought maybe you needed some help." Josephine unfolded the diaper and put it in her lap.


    Laurel tensed up. She barely knew Josephine and now she was suggesting that she would change her into a diaper? "I'm okay," she said quickly. "Just leave it here, that's fine."


    "Are you sure?" Josephine asked again, flattening it out. "Isn't these difficult to put on by your own?"


    "Not really," Laurel's voice trembled. "Actually, I don't really need it. I just have it because I kind of…" She was almost confessing her secret, telling Josephine that she wore them for comfort, but then changed her mind.


    "Look, there's nothing to be ashamed of," Josephine said. "Would you rather wake up in a wet bed tomorrow?"


    Laurel squirmed. "I think that's not going to happen." This was torture. Her biggest secret was about to be revealed. It felt as if she was a ticking bomb.


    Josephine laughed a little. "Hey, come on, relax. I know it's embarrassing, I totally understand, but it's really nothing to worry about. Wait, am I the first one to find out about this?"


    Laurel didn't know what to say. Josephine probably had the wrong idea.


    "Oh, now I see," her roommate sighed, smiling a little. "Oh, I'm sorry, I think I get it now. You've kept this a secret all your life and I'm the first person to find out?"


    Josephine couldn't be more wrong, but Laurel though that maybe it was better this way. It was less bad to let her believe she was only wetting the bed rather than being seen as a diaper loving freak. "They were just temporarily," Laurel tried, "they were prescribed to me when I had a UTI a few months back."


    "Really? What kind of doctor would prescribe diapers for that?" Josephine moved the white, disposable undergarment closer. "I'm pretty sure these will make it worse."


    Why did Josephine have to be a med student? Laurel bit her lip. Or maybe that was just common sense. "No wait," she said, desperate to cover up for herself. "They weren't for that. I had a surgery and they were for a medication I took afterwards. I must have mixed it up. Go ahead and throw it away if you like, I guess." Giving up a fresh diaper for the lie seemed like an okay deal even if it was a shame to waste a perfectly good diaper.


    Josephine didn't seem to buy into the lie and was just smirking back at her.


    "Like I said, they were only temporarily." Laurel cheeks flushed up. Couldn't Josephine let it go even if she knew it was a lie? She didn't want to wear a stupid diaper and get all sweaty in it anyway.


    "Then why did I find one in your bed?" Josephine asked.


    "I had some left overs. And are you sure you really found it my bed and not under it? Because I used to keep them there." Laurel just wanted Josephine to leave and couldn't help the question to sound like she was accusing her for snooping around.


    "I am positive, and look, I'm sorry if I'm being blunt, but like fifteen minutes ago something happened right there." Josephine pointed out the spot where Laurel had wet her pajamas. "And while cleaning up after you, I accidently tipped over your laundry basket, and trust me, I didn't mean to look, but when I put all your clothes back, I saw another pair of wet underwear. And don't tell me you don't know why I changed your sheets."


    Laurel felt her cheeks turn even more red. It wasn't fair to count the water she spilled on the bed in the same category though. "That was only water!" she burst out.


    Josephine put her hand on her arm. "Honey."


    "Just leave me alone." Laurel rolled away, turning her back against her. She rarely lashed out at someone like that, but Josephine was just being too much.


    Laurel knew she was only trying to help and maybe it was unfair to be angry, but it was just so humiliating. She wasn't a little kid who needed diapers. At the same time, maybe it was childish not to wear them as well. Maybe the worst thing about the whole situation wasn't that she had wet herself, but that she was acting up about it. Maybe she should just give in and wear the diaper tonight. After all, she had wanted to do it herself. Josephine was still being a little too much however. "Look, I really appreciate your help, I really do and I can't thank you enough, but I can look after myself too," she said after a while.


    "But you're not feeling well," Josephine said. "What if you wet the bed again and catch another UTI? Since you have a fever you could get a quite bad infection. Do you really want to go through that again?"


    Laurel tried to come up with something to say for that. Josephine was really putting herself out there just to help and here she was lying, acting like a stubborn kid. It wouldn't be too bad to have Josephine around to help her out either. If she refused to put on that diaper, Josephine would probably leave her alone for the rest of the weakened and not offer any more help instead. And what if she actually did wet the bed tonight? Worse things had happened. "Maybe you're right," Laurel mumbled at last.


    "Again, I totally understand how you must feel." Josephine held up the diaper. "This one is a bit on the thick side, isn't it?" She turned it around upside down. "There's other products that's not so 'diapery', if you get what I mean." She ran her hand on the smooth, plastic outer layer, pinching its side. "This one's so big and fluffy. Why don't you get these bedwetting pants that you can just pull on instead?"


    Laurel was sure she was about to explode.


    "Well, we don't have anything else and you said you wore them before, so I guess this one will have to do." Josephine sat down behind Laurel's feet, laying the diaper down, stretching it out. "Alright, can you roll over and take off your blankets for me?"


    Laurel had forgotten that Josephine intended to change her into it as well and was in a bit of a shock.


    Her roommate must have read her reaction because she held the diaper back and asked, "What's wrong?"


    "I…" Laurel heart beat faster. "I can put it on myself."


    "Are you sure? They have to be put on correctly or else they're useless." Josephine grabbed Laurel's blankets.


    Laurel held them tightly to stop her from pulling them off. "I have done it myself before…"


    Josephine didn't seem to listen to that and continued to pull. She was stronger and the blankets came off easily. "Honey, I promise it's no big deal. And I know how to put on diapers. Just let me do it."


    Laurel backed away. "Thanks, but I'm fine, really."


    "Alright." Josephine tossed the diaper at Laurel and it landed right on her face. "Sorry."


    Laurel frowned and laid it down at her side. "I'm going to back to bed then."


    "If something happens or you need anything just call for me. I'll leave the door open." Josephine stood up.


    "Thanks." Laurel rolled around and closed her eyes. "Goodnight."


    "Hey, aren't you forgetting something?"


    Laurel opened her eyes again and looked at the diaper next to her. If she was going to put it on she wanted some privacy. "Oh, I'll take care of that in a minute."


    "Alright. Sleep well and please get better soon. I really missed you tonight, at the party I mean. It was pretty good this year."


    "Uh-huh?" Laurel sat up and placed the diaper in her lap to show Josephine that she intended to put it on, so she would leave already.


    "We can talk about it more tomorrow. I'll be home all weekend by the way, so if you need me to pick up something from the store, like groceries or whatever, just tell me. So anyway, goodnight."


    Once Josephine was out of the room, Laurel reluctantly crawled out from her blankets. Maybe she didn't really have to do this, she thought quivering a little. Or would Josephine come in and check if she had the diaper on? Maybe it was better not to take that risk, she reasoned and tiredly, went to open her chest to get her baby powder.


    Back in her bed she sat down on her diaper, used a normal dose of powder then laid down and taped it on. This diaper in particular was a little too big for her, but she couldn't find any diapers with the same absorbency in her size. She was confident she had manage to get it on good enough at least. Besides, she wasn't sure if she going to use it since if Josephine found out that she had, she would think she actually did need it, so it didn't really matter if it sat a bit loose.


    Finally the whole ordeal was over with. She had to admit though, going to bed in a diaper was pretty amazing. Part of her thought she had been a chicken to not to let herself be changed into it. She had been so close too. Josephine had actually insisted on doing it.


    Having someone change her diaper would make her feel so little and babyish, but it was wrong to let Josephine do it since she wasn't aware of how she felt. Josephine had a very caretaking spirit about her too and Laurel wouldn't be mind being babied by her. Didn't she even ask if she wanted to be her baby for Halloween? For a second Laurel imagine herself sitting in Josephine's lap wearing an onesie and being bottle fed just like a baby. No, she thought and tried to forget about it. It was a little creepy thinking like that. At the same time, she couldn't help how it made her feel.


    Part 3


    Laurel giggled and hugged her teddy bear. For some reason it was easier to feel little after just waking up, at least on mornings where she could sleep in for as long as she wanted to. It was like the dream she had dreamt the same night was still there and usually the feeling it would pass once she got out of bed, so she wanted to stay in as long as possible.


    She sucked on her thumb and snuggled with her warm blankets. Her fever must have gone down as she wasn't freezing anymore. She was pretty sure everything wasn't well yet though. Outside of her blankets, the world seemed like a cold and scary place.


    After getting her pacifier from her night stand and putting it in her mouth, she rolled over to play with her plush toys. It was a long time since she had managed to make herself feel so little. Maybe being sick had something to do with it. Her body tingled and she couldn't stop but to make a happy squeal under her pacifier when she found her toy bunny. It had been missing for some time. She hadn't really bothered to look for it as she had been sure it was just under her bed, yet finding it now made her let out a little cry in joy.


    What usually made herself get up from bed in the morning wasn't a problem now. She hadn't planned on using her diaper, but why the waste? Still playing with the little animals, Laurel allowed the diaper to become wet under her sweatpants. Because of the mindset she was in, she almost couldn't help it. She was aware of what was happening, but it came with
    almost no effort at all.


    As long as Josephine didn't find out what she had done, it wasn't a problem.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "Huh?" Laurel blinked. She must have fallen asleep again. She was lying in a little sea of stuffed animals and quickly brushed them aside as someone had entered her room.


    It Josephine who had done so without as much as knocking, calling or asking if she could do so in any way. "Good morning," she said with a bright smile, "are you feeling any better?"


    Laurel rubbed her eyes. "A little bit."


    "That's great. Sorry if I woke you up, I was just wondering if you needed anything from the store as I'm about to drive there."


    Laurel reached for her pitcher and found out it was empty. "Maybe some juice." Again, maybe it wasn't too bad to have Josephine help her around.


    "Okay, so Juice…" Josephine typed on her phone. "Something else? Do you want anything to eat?"


    "I'm not really hungry." Laurel realized she hadn't eaten anything since Wednesday. It was weird that her body didn't crave some food by now.


    "You should try to eat something light at least. How about I make you some soup?" Josephine continued to type on her phone. "I haven't made a good tomato soup in a long time. It's cold outside today too. It'll be perfect. Did you sleep well by the way?"


    Laurel froze as she remembered her wet diaper. "Yeah."


    Josephine studied her carefully, sniffing the air. "And you managed to, you know, stay dry?"


    Laurel wanted to pull back, but was too afraid to move. "I told you, I didn't really need them."


    "So you didn't put it on then?"


    "I did." Laurel began sweating even more. Why did she care? It wasn't like she was
    responsible for her or anything, they were just roommates.


    "And you're sure your dry then? Honestly, your room kind of smells like pee." Josephine crossed her arms.


    At first Laurel wanted tell Josephine to leave and never come back again. Telling her calmly how she felt about being asked about her diapers was another, probably better option. She could also just give in. It was too late for Josephine to see her as nothing but an oversized child or a baby anyway, why not take advantage of it? Besides, Josephine really wasn't meaning anything bad by treating her the way she did. She only wanted to help. "I think I'm dry." Laurel said.


    "Can you check?" Josephine asked.


    "Sorry, but why do you need to know? It's actually creeping me out a little." Laurel sat up and hugged her knees.


    "Huh?" Josephine raised a brow. "I'm only trying to help."


    It wasn't like Laurel didn't appreciated or even needed the help, but this was too much.


    "So are you dry or not?" Josephine asked again.


    Laurel reached a hand under her blankets to make it seem that she was finding out something she didn't know. It felt very wet down there. The back of her sweat pants were damp too. Laurel had planned to pretend to look surprised, but instead she actually was in a bit of shock as it wasn't only her diaper that was wet, but her pants and the sheets under them as well.


    "Honey?"


    Laurel forced herself to start crying, or at least she thought she was faking it. The tears came so easily. In the next moment Josephine reached over and gave her a hug. It felt natural somehow and Laurel continued to sob into her shoulder. Again, she didn't know if her tears were real or not, but Josephine made her feel better.


    "Don't worry about. It was just an accident." Josephine pinched Laurel's arm after a while so that she would let her go.


    Laurel couldn't believe she had been so stuck in the embrace. She didn't actually need or even deserve the hug. And she had let Josephine come so close to her as well. She wiped her face with her arm, still sniffing, pretty shaken by the whole thing.


    "How lucky you had that diaper on then," Josephine said. "Now you only have to change that."


    Laurel looked down at her lap, shaking her head. She didn't know why, but she lifted up her blankets to show everything.


    "So you weren't wearing a diaper after all?" Josephine asked, sternly.


    Laurel whimpered and pulled up her pajama top so the rim of her diaper was showing.


    "Oh my, you poor thing," Josephine said. "Did it leak? I told you I should have helped you put it on."


    "I didn't think I needed it." Laurel mumbled into her sleeve.


    "You certainly did, and now I have to fix your bed again." Josephine sighed and pulled off the blankets.


    "But you don't. Why do you feel so responsible over me? We're just roommates and I am an adult. You're like, acting like you're my mom or something." Laurel had to say it. Was Josephine really seeing nothing weird about what she was doing?


    "You're not feeling well and someone has to make sure you're alright." Josephine said like that was just the way it was and that she was the one who had to do it. "And look, it's my pleasure. You don't have to worry about it."


    Maybe she had lived in a big family with a lot of younger siblings to look after and it was just her instinct to act this way, Laurel thought. There had to be something that explained this behavior anyway. Or, in a cynical view, perhaps she saw Laurel as a helpless child that needed to be taken care of.


    "Your old pajama pants is still drying, do you have any others?" Josephine asked.


    Laurel didn't really have anything else that was comfortable to sleep in except for her footed pajamas, hidden in her chest. Well, if Josephine wanted to treat her this way, she could just as well be a baby then, so she nodded.


    "Let me get them for you. Where are they?" Josephine looked around.


    Laurel hesitated, but then pointed at her wooden chest.


    Josephine tried to open it. "Hey, it's locked."


    While she normally would have been terrified if someone knew what was in her chest, Laurel felt nothing now and just tossed the key to her roommate. It didn't seem like she would make the connection between the diapers and all the baby items anyway. But maybe she wouldn't see them as they were lying under the stacks of diapers.



    "Oh, so you're keeping your diapers here as well, neat." Josephine didn't look around long before she had both the blue and the purple pajamas in her hands. "Cool you have two." She said and didn't seem to react to all the other stuff in there, for better and for worse. She also picked out a new diaper, a package of baby wipes and the baby oil.


    Laurel knew what this was going and she couldn't really argue against it if she didn't came out and admitted she had used the diaper on purpose, so instead she just pulled her sweatpants off.


    "So you're letting me help you change this time?" Josephine asked, sounding a bit surprised at her readiness.


    "I know I was wrong." Laurel sighed. "I couldn't do it and I know you won't leave me without one."


    "Well, you clearly needed it." Josephine sat down at her feet and reach to open the tapes of her wet diaper, just like that.


    Laurel looked up at the roof. It was her first real diaper change since she was a baby. In her fantasies she had dreamed of this moment for a long time. As her diaper was pulled up, she twitched a little as Josephine went on and cleaned her up with the baby wipes and after the old diaper was pulled off to and replaced with the new one, she felt the baby oil dripping down on her skin. She should have said she had the powder under her bed. She liked that better than the oil, especially now as the oil seemed a little intimate as it was being applied.


    Josephine seemed to work as if on routine and soon the fresh new diaper was taped on.


    "You're good at this," Laurel noted and she really meant it. She had never felt so properly diapered. It seemed to fit her perfectly now even if it was a size too big. Maybe it wasn't after all.


    Josephine simply shrugged. "You tend to get good at this when you have babysat as much as I have." She got off the bed, gathered the changing supplies and put them back in the chest. "There. Okay, so I'll be back in about an hour. Just call me if you think of something else you need while I'm in the store."


    As soon as Josephine left, Laurel changed into her footed pajamas and pulled a few blankets over her. She wasn't sure what to think of everything. Mostly she just wanted to feel healthy again. She turned over and stared at the wall. At least she was starting to feel a little bit better and sleeping a bit more wouldn't hurt.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    A lovely smell filled the house later the same day. Laurel woke up because of it. Her tummy growled and she could hear someone humming in the kitchen.


    Fifteen minutes later Josephine came in with a tray in her hands. "Trick or treat!?"


    Laurel sat up and reached for her glasses.


    "I'm just kidding. Would you like some soup?" Josephine placed the tray on her night stand. On it lay a steaming bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It made Laurel's
    mouth water even more and she couldn't help but stare at it.


    "Is that a yes?" Josephine giggled. "I'm glad your appetite is back. It must mean you're getting better." She sat down and stirred the bowl with a spoon. "Do you think you can eat in bed? Or do you want to try to get up?"


    "Thank you," Laurel said, "And I think can eat here." Again the gesture was nice, but Laurel was pretty sure she wouldn't have done all this if Josephine was sick so she felt a bit guilty. She couldn't turn it down either though, so she straightened herself and put the tray in her lap.


    "Hold on, I forgot to bring something to drink." Josephine left and returned with a little juice box with a straw. "I thought these were easier if you're staying in bed," she said and put it on the nightstand.


    Laurel blew on her first spoon of soup and tried it. It was really good. A bit spicy, but it would probably make her sore throat feel better.


    "I'm going to study in my room for a bit," Josephine said. "I hope you like it."


    "It's amazing, thank you." As Laurel was taking another spoonful, the bowl wobbled and she jumped. It tipped over and hot soup spilled out over her pajamas.


    "Oh my," Josephine ran out and returned with her hands full of paper towels and began cleaning her off the best she could. "Don't worry about it, there's soup left."


    Laurel looked down. How could she have been so clumsy?


    Josephine took the bowl and came back again. "Can you move a bit?" She gestured for Laurel to shift to the side.


    Laurel thought she had spilled on her bed as well so she did as she was told and was surprised when Josephine sat down next to her. "Is it okay if I help you?"


    "Uhm., I shouldn't keep you busy," Laurel said.


    "But you need to eat. Trust me, I'll survive if I take a break from reading for a few minutes." Josephine stirred the soup and held up the spoon.


    Because of the situation she was in, Laurel couldn't really say no, and so she let Josephine feed her.


    "It doesn't matter if we spill a little. We still have to wash that pajamas anyway," Josephine noted as a few drops of soup had landed on Laurel's chest.


    "Can't I just eat myself then?" Laurel wondered.


    "Well, what if you spill the whole bowl again?" Josephine laughed.


    Laurel couldn't really argue against that and continued to let herself be fed. The bowl was soon empty and Laurel felt full and happy. "Thank you," she said and leaned back against her pillows.


    Josephine smiled and collected the dishes. "I'm glad you liked it."


    "Do you know if anyone else is home?" Laurel asked. The door was open. Anyone who looked in could see her like this.


    "I don't think so." Josephine stood up with the tray. "Wait, don't go back to sleep just yet please."


    "Huh?" Laurel opened her eyes.


    "There's desert." Josephine smiled. "I think it'll be a wonder cure for your cold too." A few moments later Josephine was back with a big glass in her hand. It looked to be some kind of smoothie. "I put a lot of fruit in it," she said, "it should be full of C-vitamin."


    "Thanks." Laurel loved smoothies. Again, Josephine was being too kind.


    "By the way, I think your old pajamas is dry now. I could get it for you," she said.


    Laurel looked down at the stains on her purple pajamas. "No one will see me like this anyway. I'll change later." She said and took a sip from the drink. "What's in it?"


    "Oh let's see, an orange a few frozen fruits and a banana and some oats for fiber and texture. I put some honey and lemon in it as well. Since you have a cold I thought that might be good. Just tell me if you want some more. I'm going back to my room to study for a bit."


    Laurel took the straw from the juice box and put it in her smoothie and after drinking it up she felt tired again. It must have been all the food she had had at once and her body needed to process it. She hadn't eaten anything in the last few days so it probably wanted to make sure to absorbed every nutrient she had ingested.


    She woke up again by the sound of Josephine entering her room. "Hey, do you want some coffee?"


    Laurel blinked her eyes. "Huh?"


    "Oh, I'm sorry." Josephine picked up the empty glass and juice box.


    Laurel stretched and realized she had to pee. "What time is it?"


    "About 4 pm. Would you like some tea instead?"


    "Sure." Laurel sat up. For the first time since she had gotten sick, she didn't feel like crap after waking up, she actually felt refreshed and she wasn't that tired anymore. "I need to go to the bathroom."


    "Do you think you can get up now?" Josephine asked.


    "Yeah." Laurel put her feet on the floor.


    "You look better now actually. That's great!"


    Inside the bathroom, Laurel faced the toilet. If she used it she probably could change into a pair a panties and Josephine wouldn't make her wear a diaper anymore. For some reason, Laurel wasn't sure if she wanted that. She had wished for a weekend spent in diapers for the longest time and now she really had the opportunity to wear them without anyone judging her. Someone was even there to change her. While it was wrong to take advantage of Josephine like that, Laurel couldn't help but wish she could wear diapers for a little longer.


    She opened the lid, about to unzip her pajamas, take off her diaper and sit down. She was so close, but the part of her that wanted her to continue be little won and she closed the lid again.


    She found Josephine in the kitchen. "Your tea is almost ready," she said. "What's wrong?"


    "I didn't make it." Laurel sniffed.


    "Aww… that's okay. Wait for me in your room."


    Laurel did so and sat down on the bed in her wet diaper. Her whole body tingled. She couldn't believe she had done actually it and there was no going back now.


    If Josephine was changing her again, she knew she would have to take her pajamas off so she undid the zipper and crawled out of it. Josephine had already seen her naked so it probably would be too shocking to find her in nothing but a diaper. As she waited, Laurel covered herself in a blanket anyway.


    Josephine came and simply placed a cup of tea on her nightstand and opened the chest with the diapers. "By the way, do you want a new one?" She was giving her a choice this time.


    "Not really, but I guess it's for the best," Laurel said and laid down.


    "Me too. I'm glad you're seeing this from a practical view." A few minutes later, Josephine had changed the diaper and helped her put on the footed pajamas again. "There we go. Hopefully you won't need them for much longer."


    Laurel nodded. "I'm feeling better now."


    "That's great to hear. That smoothie really must have helped, huh? If you want I could make so more, I have the ingredients left. And don't tell me you're fine, I know you want some." Josephine laughed and tickled Laurel's side.


    "Okay," she said and rolled away, smiling back.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    After finishing the second smoothie, Laurel sat in her bed, sipping on her tea, feeling a bit bored. She wasn't tired anymore so she couldn't go back to sleep and didn't really know what to do instead. She picked up her phone to see how much her friends had missed, but no one seemed to have noticed that she had been missing on Halloween and everyone seemed busy as the weekend wasn't over yet. Her best friend from high school had a really cool costume, but instead of bothering her or anyone else, Laurel decided to go and watch some TV.


    As usual there wasn't anything interesting on. Laurel thought that since it was the Halloween weekend they would at least show some horror movies, but they weren't or they just hadn't started to show them yet. Laurel wasn't a fan of horror movies anyway. She couldn't say why, but she liked Halloween though and when she surfed through the channels she saw that they were running a Halloween special on one of the cartoons she had watched when she was little, so with nothing better on, she decided to watch that


    It was so interesting she couldn't change the channel when Josephine walked past the living room some time later. She sat down as well, but were mostly looking down at her phone. "Would you like to share a pizza for dinner?" she asked eventually.


    "Sure." Laurel was deeply engrossed in what was happening on the screen. She realized they were also running a marathon of the same show after the Halloween episode. This could be a fun night.


    "Do you want another super smoothie while we wait? There was some left after I made it the last time. They really seem to have made you feel better."


    "Uh-huh." The plot was just resolving in the current episode and Laurel couldn't take her attention away from the TV. Soon there was another glass of smoothie in front of her. "Thank you."


    The pizza arrived about an hour or so afterwards and Josephine began setting the living room table. She poured a glass of soda for Laurel and one for herself before sitting down with a slice. "Don't forget to eat."


    "Yeah," Laurel said reaching for her glass. The Halloween special ended and they were running the marathon. There was a bunch of episode she had missed from this show, she realized.


    As she watched she had two slices of pizza before she began to feel sleepy. She struggled to keep her eyes up and yawned.


    "Do you mind if I change the channel?" Josephine asked.


    "Go ahead," Laurel said. Josephine hadn't seemed so enjoy the childish show as much as Laurel and had mostly been on her phone the whole time and since Laurel felt like she was about to fall asleep any minute, it was fair to let her watch something else.


    Laurel nestled herself in the couch, took off her glasses and closed her eyes. Just as she was about to fall asleep, she realized she needed to pee. She could go up and go to the bathroom, but she was lying so comfortable. She opened her eyes slightly. Josephine was watching something that looked like a horror movie, but had lowered the volume so it wasn't too loud. She was really looking after her.


    Sometime later she felt a tap on her shoulder. "Hey, honey. Time for bed."


    The TV was turned off and Josephine was standing in front of her. Laurel got of from the couch and let herself be let back to her room, waddling a little. Not only because she was tired, but also since her diaper was wet. She had used it on purpose again.



    Her other pajamas was lying folded on her bed. Laurel looked around. Josephine had left the room already, but the door was open so she was probably coming back.


    Laurel hurried to change into the pajamas lying on her bed. The one she currently wore felt a little too hot to go to bed in and that was a good sign. Her fever had probably passed.


    Josephine came back in. "I just had to get my phone."


    "Okay. Who was it?" Laurel sat down on her bed and yawned.


    "My friend. She lost her keys, but she found them again. That's one of the reason I decided to come back here last night by the way. We couldn't sleep at her place."


    "So where did she go?" Laurel asked. What if she was here? She could have spent the day being hungover in the guest room without Laurel being aware of it.


    "They were having some kind of after party over at another place and I just wanted to sleep. Lucky, huh?"


    "What happened last night? What did I miss?" Laurel asked.


    "So you want a story before bed? How sweet." Josephine giggled. "Well, too bad. Nothing much happened, I mean, I didn't stay for too long. I don't really have anything to tell you except it was fun and I went as a witch and my friend went as a cat. Yeah, I know, you should have seen the looks she got. And I did warn her." Josephine rolled her eyes. "Anyway, are you ready for bed?"


    "I think so," Laurel said. She wasn't sure how she was going on about telling her about the state of her diaper.


    "So, goodnight then," Josephine said and began to leave.


    "Wait. Uhm…" Laurel bit her lip. "My diaper feels a bit funny."


    Josephine turned back. "What do you mean?"


    "I don't know. Maybe it's just sweaty." Laure almost regretted having put herself in this
    situation.


    "Can you pull your pants down?" Josephine asked.


    Laurel did so, blushing.


    "It looks wet to me. Let's get it changed, okay?" Josephine opened the chest and a few minutes later she had put Laurel in a fresh new diaper. "Your diaper was quite heavy. Are you sure you didn't know?"


    "I'm sorry," Laurel said as she got comfortable in bed.


    "Well, it's okay. Goodnight now."


    "Goodnight." Laurel's face felt warm long after Josephine left the room.


    Part 4


    "Look! What's that?" Josephine pointed, squinting her eyes. She was pointing through the windshield at a small sign by the road.


    Laurel was sitting in the passenger seat and leaned forward to see. "It says there's a Halloween fair in the park today," she said.


    "Really? Do you want to go there?" Josephine asked, sounding excited. It was probably her plan to take her there all along. In the morning she had convinced Laurel that they'd go for a little walk to get some fresh air.


    "Sure," Laurel said. She hadn't had the chance to really celebrate Halloween in any form, so it felt like the right thing to do.


    And so they were driving to the park were the Halloween fair was taking place. It was beautiful outside. The sun was as bright as it could be on this late October day and the sky was all blue, so Laurel couldn't really say no. She was feeling better as well and going out for an hour or so wouldn't make her worse.


    When Laurel saw all the people grew a little worried. Before they left, Josephine had changed her into a new diaper. She had wanted to go without one, but it was too hard to argue for that when it had seemed to Josephine that she had needed them the whole previous day.


    Laurel only had herself to blame.


    It was the first time she had worn a diaper in public too. At least she had a long coat that went down to her knees, so as long as she didn't need to take it off, any signs of her diaper would stay hidden under it. She noticed that as she walked a bit strange once they left the car as the diaper kept her legs apart a bit, but hopefully it didn't show.


    The fair was a pretty big event and it felt like the whole town was there. Some people, mostly kids were wearing their Halloween costumes too. "Aww… we should have dressed up," Josephine said as a little boy ran past them in a super hero costume.


    Laurel wasn't sure if that was a good idea. She didn't want the whole town to see her dressed up as a baby in broad daylight. At least it could explain why she wore a diaper if anyone saw it somehow, but it wasn't worth it for only that reason. No one would see her diaper because of her coat anyway.


    "I want coffee," Josephine said as they had stopped at a market stand that were serving some. "How about you?"


    Laurel didn't drink coffee normally, but it was either that or apple cider and Laurel wanted something to warm her hands with. Only the kids drank the cider too and it came in a little pumpkin thing.


    She waited near a small, leafless tree decorated with cobweb while Josephine got in the line to buy their coffee. Pumpkins surrounded the trunk and as Laurel looked she could see pumpkins everywhere around the fair. This place must look really cool in the dark when they were all lit up, she thought and wished she could be outside longer.


    "Here you go." Josephine handed her a coffee cup and a piece of banana bread.


    "Thanks. Where should we go next?"


    "I don't know. I thought we'd just look around a bit, or do you want to go to the petting zoo?" Josephine pointed.


    There was a little pen with goats and a cage of bunnies in front of them and Laurel had happened to rest her eyes on the animals when Josephine asked. "Not really, let's just walk."


    A big, black cat sat in a basket on one of the market stands, watching the crowd. It looked strangely intelligent. Laurel wondered how it could stay so calm with all the people around. They even got to pet its fur, which it seemed to enjoy as it was purring loudly.


    They said goodbye to the cat and continued to walk through the fair. More and more people seemed to have arrived and the place became pretty crowded.


    Josephine stopped at a fortune wheel where you could win a trick or a treat. "Want to play? Let's get a number each."


    Laurel choose thirteen despite the superstitions about the number. On a day like this maybe it would bring luck instead.


    The wheel spun and Josephine who had picked number seven was crossing her fingers next to her. Neither of them won anything. "Oh, well." Josephine shrugged and left the table.


    Laurel had finished her coffee and was searching for a place to throw the empty cup away. She found a trash bin and stopped. During the short time when she had tossed the cup away a lot of people had walked past her and she couldn't see Josephine when she turned back.


    Laurel looked around. Where had she gone?


    After waiting there for a while, she went back to the petting zoo where they started. Maybe Josephine would come back here too. Laurel remembered that she had her friend's number so she picked up her phone and called her, but she didn't answer. She sent a text instead, telling her where she was, and after that she waited. And waited.


    It was cold and Laurel almost felt like a small child who had lost her parents as she stood there. To make things worse, her stomach was starting to feel a little upset. She checked her phone again. Josephine had been missing for at least fifteen minutes now. Why didn't she call her back?


    After awhile she decided to walk all the way back to the car to wait over there instead, but as soon as she got to the there, her phone vibrated.


    Josephine had finally replied to her text. Apparently she was at one of the attractions. Laurel replied, telling her she was at the car and wasn't feeling well. When Josephine didn't reply or appear for what felt like a long time after that, Laurel groaned and called her again. She didn't pick it up this time either, so Laurel had to back and look for her.


    Everyone at the fair seemed to have gathered in front of a scene where a performance was about to start. To get to the attraction Laurel had to get through all the people. She squeezed herself through the crowd, excusing herself. She had to find Josephine fast.


    Finally she got through and checked her phone to see if Josephine had replied. Instead, she had received a missed call for her. Laurel hurried to return it. Maybe they had missed each other on the way to and from the car.


    But right then she saw Josephine standing at a market stand, not too far away. She had picked up the phone as Laurel had called, but as they saw each other, she put it down and waved for her to come over instead.


    "There you are," Josephine greeted her. "This is Emma. A friend of mine." She was referring to the person behind the stand.


    "Hi," Laurel said. She was sorry for not being able to be more polite to Josephine's friend and let them talk for a few more minutes, but she really wanted to leave. "I want to go home."


    "Aren't you having fun?" Josephine asked.


    On a better day, Laurel would probably have enjoyed herself better, but if she wanted to come home in a clean diaper, they'd better start moving towards the car.


    "You should stay for the show," Emma said. "My friends are performing soon."


    Laurel pulled Josephine aside quickly and whispered, "I need to go to the bathroom."


    Josephine looked down at the bottom of her coat. "Isn't it okay if you just, you know, go? We're not staying too long anyway. How about, like, thirty minutes?"


    Laurel shook her head. "I don't have to pee. It's bad," she said and hoped she got the message across. Her stomach was really hurting now.


    And it seemed like Josephine understood, fortunately enough. "Laurel is not feeling well," she told Emma. "She's been lying in bed with a fever for the last few days, so I promised we wouldn't stay out for too long."


    "That's a shame. I hope she's okay. Are you coming back tonight to see the fireworks at least?"


    "We'll see. Goodbye." Josephine took Laurel's hand and quickly guided her across the busy fair.


    Laurel must have underestimated how bad she needed to go and running made her feel sick. As they passed the petting zoo, she didn't know if she would make it anymore.


    They made it to the parking lot when she stopped and panted. She could see the car, they were so close. Her body protested as she tried to take another step.


    "Come on, let's go," Josephine said.


    Laurel closed her eyes and whimpered and managed to take another step, but that was it. Her legs bent slightly against her will and she began filling her diaper.


    Josephine ran back to her. "Are you okay?"


    Laurel couldn't meet her friend's eyes. Her diaper felt heavy and she realized she was wetting herself as well. She shivered. It felt like she was having a fever again.


    The car ride home wasn't exactly pleasant. Laurel winced at every little bump in the road. Neither of them spoke and maybe that was for the best. Laurel was doing her best to keep
    herself from sobbing and was sure her voice was going to shake if she tried to talk.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Later that day, Laurel sat in her bed. She had changed into her pajamas and had a fresh diaper on. Josephine was making dinner in the kitchen and her tummy growled hungrily.


    The weekend was almost over and Laurel was feeling better, but she planned to study at home tomorrow. She would have to stop wearing diapers before she dared to go back to her classes, so she could prove to Josephine that she didn't need them.


    Until then, she enjoyed the time that she had left. Looking back at the weekend, Laurel had truly been able to feel little. Even the accident at the fair didn't seem so bad when she thought of it now, sitting in the safety of her own bed with a pacifier in her mouth. In that moment at the parking lot, she had felt just like a baby, having no choice but to go in her diaper. No one had seen her do it except for Josephine and that didn't matter.


    After dinner Josephine was in the hall getting ready to go out.


    "Where are you going?" Laurel asked.


    "I have to work tonight," Josephine said. "Is that okay?"


    Laurel looked at her feet. She didn't want Josephine to leave. If no one else came home, she would spend the night alone in the house. But it was time going back to be an adult anyway, so she looked up again. "I'll be fine."


    Josephine looked at her for a long time. "As long as you take care of yourself," she said at last.


    "Don't worry. Thanks for looking after me." Laurel smiled.


    "It was nothing." Josephine looked at her phone. "I need to hurry."


    "Bye."


    Unprepared Laurel staggered back as Josephine gave her a quick hug.


    Soon she was out of the house. Laurel watched as the door closed behind her and listened to the sound of her car driving away. She didn't know it then, but they wouldn't see each other for a long time.



    Epilogue


    Weeks passed. It was soon nearing Christmas and Laurelhadn't seen Josephine since the day of the Halloween fair. At first she didn't really think anything about it, but after a few days, Laurel wanted to contact her to see what was up though. For some reason she wasn't answering her texts and when she called her phone number, the dialing took her to a service message.


    One day, the door to Josephine's room was open. Laurel looked inside. Nothing had changed in there since the first time she had seen it. Laurel realized she had never looked inside the room when Josephine had been there. So nothing was changed since before she moved in, did that mean she had even moved in at all?


    After a few week, she was almost going mad about not knowing where Josephine was and why she couldn't get in touch with her again.


    She asked the landlord if she could share any information about the one who had rented the fourth room. She wondered why she wanted to know and Laurel told her about this girl that had showed up two nights and claimed to have lived there, but had now been missing for a while now.


    The landlord thought it was strange as well. The contract for the room had been canceled and had been looking for a new tenant since the beginning of October. She looked up the person who had signed the canceled contract and told Laurel the name. It wasn't Josephine, but someone else's.


    Laurel searched the name on Facebook to see if Josephine had lied to her about her name, but it wasn't her on the profile picture. The girl she had found lived in the same town at least and Laurel planned to send her a message later. First she told the landlord that it wasn't the same person and the she wondered if she should contact the police, but Laurel said no. Nothing was missing from the house and Josephine hadn't really done anything bad. It was probably just some kind of mistake. But why did she leave? And where was she now?



    Laurel sent a message to the girl who had signed the contract and asked if she knew anything about Josephine. The girl had no idea.


    After that, Laurel stopped her investigation for a while. It seemed useless and wherever Josephine was, she probably didn't want to be found.


    Laurel spent many sleepless nights in bed, wondering about the whole thing. She just couldn't make sense of it. How could someone just disappear like that and what was Josephine doing in the house to begin with?


    Since she couldn't put her mind to rest, Laurel picked up the case again in December. She browsed the local newspapers to see if there had been an accident with someone Josephine's age involved, she asked a few med students at school if they know someone with her name, but it didn't lead anywhere. Maybe Josephine was under witness protection or something, but it didn't explain why there was another girl on the contract, which meant that Josephine had never legally moved into the house, but then, how did she get the keys?


    Laurel message the girl that had signed the contract again, but again she didn't claim to know anything.


    Laurel almost gave up and was about to leave it all behind when one day she was scrolling through the Facebook feed of the girl who she had just contacted to see if she could find any clues. She stopped at a post from the last week of October. It was a picture of a big, black cat. Above the picture it simply said: "Happy Halloween 2016!". The cat looked just as the one she had seen at the Halloween fair. Laurel was a little freaked out at first, but then most cats looked pretty similar, it could be anyone. For some reason she had an odd feeling about it though. The cat on the picture had those same intelligent eyes that had creeped her out during the fair. But what did it mean if it was the same? Maybe the girl had been to the fair as well.


    It was a notable coincidence though. Laurel typed another message to the girl, asking about what she did on Halloween. The girl told her again that she didn't know anything about her lost roommate and she was sorry that she couldn't be of more help. Laurel insisted that she'd tell her what she had dressed up as for Halloween if by chance she had dressed up as a cat like Josephine's said that her friend was. She got an unfriendly reply this time. The girl on Facebook told her to stop bothering her about her private life and then proceeded to stop answering her messages.


    Maybe it was a sign she was on the right track. Laurel decided to look up where the girl lived. It wasn't easy. She worked on it for days. She tried using the her last name when she search for Josephine. Maybe they were sisters? But no such luck. In the end she finally found something interesting when going through the girl's Facebook feed again. She recognized someone on a picture. It was Emma who Josephine had met and talked to at the fair. If they were friends, she had to know or at least be looking for her as well.


    Finding Emma wasn't easy either. She wasn't tagged in the picture and she wasn't on the girl's friends list. She continued to look around the internet. It took her many nights before she found something to work with. It was late in December and she was just getting ready to go back and stay at her parents over the holidays when she found an old ad for a yard sale that the girl on the contract was tagged in. It was a bit of a long shot, but it was where her investigation had led her to, so she had to give it a try.


    Since she didn't own a car she convinced one of her roommates to drive her to the address. It was an old house at the edge of town with a large yard. Laurel walked up to the door and ringed the bell, but no one answered. It didn't seem like anyone was home either. After looking through some of the windows, Laurel walked back to the car with a sign. She wanted to wait to see if anyone was coming home, but had promised her roommate that it wouldn't take long and she didn't want to take up too much of his time, so they drove back.


    A few days later she walked all the way to the house herself. It was quite a long way and her legs were really tired when she got there. She rang the bell, but no one answered this time either, so she sat down on the porch and waited for anyone to show up. Soon she began to feel cold as it was in the middle of December, so she decided to warm herself up by taking a walk around the house.


    When she got to the back a black cat jumped out from the bushes and hissed at her before taking off in the other direction.


    A moment later, Laurel heard a car pull up at the drive way. Afraid she'd be caught trespassing if she went straight to it she walked around the other way. She could see the driver leaving the car. Laurel couldn't believe what she saw. It was Josephine.


    Her lost friend flinched as their eyes met. She didn't look too happy to see her.


    The end

    #2
    Re: The Fourth Roommate

    I loved this one, very cute.

    It has a problem with wrong words, e.g. an "is" instead of an "are", that sort of thing. Could use more proofreading near the beginning.

    I don't understand the ending. It feels like you ended at least one sentence too early.

    It's one thing to leave an ending open but we have nothing to build theories off of. If she had never found Josephine we could assume she was a ghost but finding her complicates that. She could have been a squatter but how did she have a key? Why is she upset with Laurel after being found?

    I get the sense from their last scene before she left that she was there for a reason and left when Laurel didn't need her anymore but I don't know what brought her there in the first place. We're given no hint of anything summoning her in that case, not even wishing upon a star. There's really no reason to believe she has a supernatural origin now that Laurel found her.

    I have no idea what happened, you want your reader to have room to accept multiple ideas as equally possible. These all seem equally unlikely. Very unsatisfying, unnecessarily frustrating.
    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

    Comment


      #3
      Re: The Fourth Roommate

      Originally posted by TheOneWhoSees link=topic=7035.msg71217#msg71217 date=1479181025
      It has a problem with wrong words, e.g. an "is" instead of an "are", that sort of thing. Could use more proofreading near the beginning.
      Wow, that happens so much on here my brain just auto-substitutes the correct word so I never noticed that when reading it.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: The Fourth Roommate

        I typed up a reply at home, but passed out at the keyboard. Basically, it's too similar effect as above.

        I think the epilogue either needs to be heavily rewritten or just removed. I'm just really hoping that I didn't miss some subtlety that ends up being important.

        And I say this because other than done proofreading errors, (again, stated above) this is a nicely done story, very nice in fact.
        I'll put a line-break anywhere, and you can't

        stop me.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: The Fourth Roommate

          I like the setup, this builds up one of the most plausible explanations I've read for Laurel to end up in diapers and Josephine to help her out, no supernatural stuff needed. The pacing is good, and your descriptions are done well—the use of the flu delirium was a great storytelling element. It could use a good proofreading, but that's commonplace for the stories here.

          Where I find things go awry is in Chapter 4. Josephine has been totally responsive to Laurel, up until the fair, where she becomes less responsive and even seems to avoid Laurel—if there's an explanation, it's not obvious. Laurel going all stalker after Josephine disappears seems odd. Finding Josephine at the end seems to contradict supernatural explanations, so…

          What I'm left with (and I'm not confident about my conclusion) is that at some point, Josephine either stops finding Laurel's affinity for diapers cute, concludes she's being taken advantage of, and decides to get out of the situation and cut her ties. If this is where the story goes, some more cues to confirm this would be nice. If it went somewhere else, I totally missed it.

          Overall, though, I really did enjoy this story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: The Fourth Roommate

            I concur with everyone here. This is one of my favorite stories from this contest. I like the main part, and I like the idea of the obsessive search in the epilogue. But it could do with some more context. An open ending is fine, but it has to be open-ended rather than just not ended at all. That is, there has to be some room for the reader to make up their own mind about the continuation based on clues in the story. It's fine if multiple possible continuations are consistent with the story, but if every possibility is possible, it just feels unended instead of open-ended.


            Who is Josephine? Why did she have a key? Why did she leave? Why is she not happy to see Laurel? Unfortunately, if there is any clue whatsoever in the story, it's far too oblique. I'm leaning towards there not being any actual clues rather than extreme subtlety.


            Overall though, it's a very cute story.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: The Fourth Roommate

              Best I can gather (note, I'm way too sleep deprived to reread it now so my memory might be unreliable) the real roommate (Josephine's possible friend from the Halloween party) lent her the key because she needed a place to stay for a while.

              That doesn't explain why she left the way she did, though. Or why she lied about being the roommate and not just her friend. Or why the real roommate never moved in (or why she [still?] had the key when she seems to have canceled the contract before Josephine moved in).

              I get the impression that Josephine would've confronted Laurel if she felt taken advantage of, she seemed to be the open sort when it came to her emotions.

              I don't know. I can't wait until the author is free to speak on the issue.

              Still one of my favorites in the contest, although I'll admit that the ending cost it my third vote.
              Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

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                #8
                Re: The Fourth Roommate

                I enjoyed this story and it got my top vote. The only problem with the story was that it jumped the shark at the end when she caught up to Josephine. However, that could have been fixed by revealing backstory or keeping it open ended. This story had me wanting more. I am a DL rather than an AB, but I really enjoyed the AB elements of the story and almost wish I was Laurel and had someone to take care of me the way Josephine did. I hope to read other stories in the group. This story was the only one that left me wanting more.

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