Chapter 1: The Expositioning
Miss Francis banged her ruler on her desk. “Class, your attention please. We have a guest speaker today.” She banged her ruler a few more times until the majority of students were looking at her.
Olivia Cameron awoke on the second bang, and didn’t look up until the forth. She found Miss Francis’ lectures to be an excellent cure for insomnia, but a guest speaker might actually be interesting. The village was small enough to only need a school with four classrooms, and this one contained the oldest group of students, ranging from 15 to 18. Guest speakers were generally employers looking for potential employees, and with Mrs. Cameron nagging her 17 year old daughter to find a job, it couldn’t hurt to listen.
The classroom door opened and a tall man with a neatly trimmed beard and receding hairline stepped in. He nodded to the teacher. “Miss Francis.” He cleared his throat. “Good afternoon, students. I’m Professor Cornelius Underwood, Chief Ogrologist of--”
A student cut him off. “Ogres? C’mon!” Other students giggled.
Miss Francis pointed her ruler at the offending student. “Mr. Thomas! I’ll see you after class.” This elicited more giggles.
“Thank you.” Professor Underwood continued, “Don’t think I haven’t heard all this before. Ogres stay on their side of the Forbidden Woods. There hasn’t been an ogre sighting in over a hundred years. They don’t affect us, why should we care, right?” He nodded to himself. “I’ll tell you why. To make sure they stay on their side of the woods, and we don’t see them in our territory.”
Rolling her eyes, Olivia turned her attention back to the paper on her desk, which she had been using to draw unflattering pictures of her teacher.
“Vigilance is required, but I’m only one man. I need an apprentice to carry on my work. I have special permission to go into the Forbidden Woods to make contact with the ogres and make sure there are no... problems. This forms the basis of my research, and my apprentice would join me on these expeditions.” He glanced around the room to see if any students showed an interest.
The boy in front of Olivia raised his hand. “Wait. You want someone to go with you to meet the ogres? Isn’t that really dangerous?”
Underwood let out a little chuckle and shook his head. “Ogres are quite a bit bigger than humans, so they don’t view an individual as any threat. Larger numbers might set them off, which is why I go alone. I’ve picked up some Ogrish over the years, so I know they trust me enough to start bringing an assistant, which is why I’m here.”
Olivia yawned. Learning Ogrish didn’t sound like her idea of an exciting job.
The professor continued. “Applicants need to submit a writing sample. A five page report on the trees found in the Western Forest should give me an idea of your observational skills. Miss Francis has agreed to look at your submissions, so you’ll receive writing credit for them.”
“Indeed.” Miss Francis looked around the room, finally settling on Olivia. “There are many students who could benefit greatly from this opportunity, if only to improve a sagging grade. Wouldn’t you agree, Miss Cameron?”
Olivia fought the urge to comment on what else was sagging, but admitted that her grades needed the help. At the very least, a hike in the forest would get her away from her mother’s badgering for a while.
Underwood gave a brief bow. “My residence is on the outskirts of the Forbidden Woods on the south side of town, reports can be submitted there or with your teacher. Thank you for your time.” He shook hands with Miss Francis and made his exit.
“Well, I hope to see reports from all of you.” Once more Miss Francis locked eyes with Olivia. “That brings us to the end of the day, class dismissed... except you, Mr. Thomas.” With one groaning exception, the class gathered their supplies and filed out of the school.
Blinking in the sunlight and still somewhat tired from her impromptu nap, Olivia took a meandering path home hoping to be fully awake by the time she arrived. She first made her way past the south gate to catch a glimpse of Underwood’s house. Sure enough, a small residence that was little more than a shack was barely visible in the distance, right near the edge of the Forbidden Woods. “He must be crazy to live there.”
“Oh, I believe it helps, but it’s hardly a necessity.”
Olivia tried not to gasp as she turned and saw Professor Underwood towering before her. Suddenly she was quite interested in her shoes. “Uh, good afternoon. Sir.”
“No need to be embarrassed, you’re hardly to first to make that observation, Miss... Cameron, was it?” Waiting until after she nodded, Underwood continued. “It’s because of the wolves that inhabit those woods, correct?”
Olivia had managed to get her blushing under control by this point and met his gaze, which was no easy feat. And 6’-8”, he was nearly a foot and a half taller than her. “Well, the wolves and the ogres... but I guess you have an understanding with them. So mainly the wolves.” She nodded to herself after working out the logic.
Underwood chuckled. “It’s partly because of the ogres that I have nothing to fear from the wolves. You see, the wolves will instinctively run from the scent of an ogre, and after years of interacting with them...” He trailed off.
Olivia stared blankly for a moment until a look of disgust crossed her face. “Oh... I guess that’d do it.” She leaned forward a little and sniffed. “You don’t smell that bad... no offense.”
“None taken, the scent’s hardly noticeable unless you have a keen sense of smell.” Underwood stroked his beard. “I’ve taken up enough of your time, I’m sure you have a report to start. Good day, miss.” He winked and passed through the gate.
Olivia rolled her eyes once his back was turned. “Good day, professor.” She continued on her way, noting that the wood and brick houses she passed must be more sophisticated than whatever caves the ogres were using. Even at the edge of the kingdom, they could do better than that. After taking a few more detours, Olivia arrived at the small house she currently shared with only her mother, as her father was currently with a logging crew far to the west and wouldn’t return for nearly a month. After closing the door and setting down her school supplies, she shouted a greeting, “Mom, I’m home!”
“Olivia? You’re a little late, aren’t you?” Mrs. Cameron emerged from the kitchen, undoing the apron she had been wearing. She looked like an older version of her daughter, with her auburn hair starting to show streaks of grey. Come on now, dinner’s ready. They both sat down at the table, and the elder Cameron immediately set to work. “Wasting time after school again?”
Olivia shook her head as she shovelled a forkful of corn into her mouth. “We had a guest speaker today, and I stayed late to talk to him.” While not the whole truth, it was close enough. She did speak to him after class ended.
Her mother raised an eyebrow. “Guest speaker? With a job offer, perhaps?” Her eyes seemed to light up as she spoke.
“Uh-huh.” Olivia quickly nodded. “It was Professor Underwood, that ogre expert. We’re supposed to write a report on the Western Forest so he can see how well we write, and then he’ll pick someone to be his assistant.”
Mrs. Cameron paused a moment before leaning in close and saying, “Ogres, you say? Sounds dangerous. I heard a girl around your age from two towns over vanished in those woods to the south; they say the ogres got her.”
“Oh, people exaggerate.” Olivia said. “I heard she was running from the law, she’s probably in a new town with a new name by now.”
They made small talk for the rest of the meal, but Mrs. Cameron brought the subject up again as they cleared the table. “Well, you better get a move on, you’ve still got a few hours of daylight to go into the forest to start your research.”
Olivia whined, “But mo~om...”
“No buts, young lady.” Mrs. Cameron sternly waved her finger. “I’ve heard from Miss Francis enough times already this year.”
Olivia sighed. “Fine, just let me go change.”
Mrs. Cameron shook her head. “And make more laundry? I think not.”
Olivia glanced down at herself. She was wearing a long green dress with short sleeves. “You expect me to go hiking in a dress?”
“You’re not climbing a mountain, you’ll be fine.”
“Fine.” Olivia sighed. She grabbed a green ribbon that matched her dress and used it to tie her hair back so it would stay out of her eyes. After collecting a pen and paper, she said goodbye to her mother and set out for the west gate.
Chapter 2: The Thing Goes South
After about 90 minutes of walking, Olivia had to admit she was impressed with herself; she had covered quite a long distance. At the time, taking notes while walking seemed like a good use of time, but spending a little too much time paying attention to her paper and not where she was going had left her somewhat confused. As she passed another group of unfamiliar trees, she was worried about not getting home by night fall.
“Hello? Anyone out there?” Olivia asked again. She had hoped to find a fellow student also wandering the woods, but so far she seemed to be alone. After a few more minutes of wandering, she came upon a river. “Ah-ha! This river leads back into town.” She smiled to herself, until she realized she had no idea if the town was up river or down river. It was an important point, as the river not only passed through the town and the Western Woods, into continued south into ogre territory. “Follow the river flow, and into town you go? That doesn’t sound right...” She ceased her efforts to remember the old rhyme when she heard a rustling in the nearby bushes. “Hello?”
Taking a deep breath, Olivia took a tentative step forward. “Hey, are you out here for that report too?” She asked rather hopefully just as the wolf emerged from the bushes. Olivia might have been thinking that she must have wandered into ogre territory, since hunters keep the wolves in check near her town, but she wasn’t thinking about much as she ran in a blind panic. Not even aware of what direction she was going, Olivia pumped her legs harder than she ever had in her life. While not fat by any means, she carried a few extra pounds and running wasn’t one of her standard activities. “Help! Wolf!” After what seemed like hours but was more like minutes, she had the misfortune of getting the hem of her dress snagged on a stray tree branch. Her momentum jerked her around and sent her tumbling down a nearby hill, where she landed in a heap.
Blacking out for a few seconds, the first thing Olivia noticed was a sharp pain in both of her legs. Already pushed to the limit, the fall had done them no favors. While they didn’t feel broken, it would likely be some time before she could walk easily. The second thing she noticed was that she had apparently landed in a puddle. A warm puddle, which she soon realized had recently been the contents of her bladder. A sudden lapse of bladder control was the least of her problems, as she heard a growling at the top of the hill and getting closer. “Um, nice wolfie?” The wolf approached, and Olivia looked around to see if there was a rock or a stick she could use as a weapon, but found nothing. Preparing for the worst, Olivia was surprised when the wolf whimpered and turned around, ruining back the way it came. “Ha! That’s right, I showed you!” She glanced down at herself and sighed. There was a nasty gash up the side of her skirt where it snagged the tree, and now it clung to her legs because she wet herself. Olivia tried to stand, but fell right on her posterior. As she did so, she heard what sounded like a chuckle behind her. “That’s not a wolf.” Slowly turning her head, her jaw dropped at what she saw.
She could almost be mistaken for a well-built human, if not for the greenish-grey skin. Olivia had never seen an ogre before, and she took a moment just to look her over. She wore a simple black knee-length dress and a pair of leather shoes. Her hair was a very light red, almost pink, and was tied back using what looked like a bone. She was smiling as she leaned over towards Olivia and said something she didn’t understand.
Unsure of what to do, Olivia gave a quick wave. She guessed the ogre’s height at around 15 feet, so she felt it was a good idea to stay on her good side. “Um, thanks for scaring the wolf. You wouldn’t happen to know which way leads out of ogre territory, would you?” She didn’t know how the ogre would respond, but she didn’t expect to be scooped up. “Hey!” The ogre gave her bottom a pat and said something else. “Oh, I don’t usually do that... are you giving me a lift?” Ruffling her hair, the ogre set off, although Olivia wasn’t sure where.
They soon entered a clearing, and Olivia got her first look at the ogre village. Expecting caves, she was surprised to see row after row of stone huts, that while simple by human standards, were considerably more advanced then what she assumed they were capable of. “Hey, nice place you’ve got here. Now, if you turn around, I can show you mine, sound good?” Olivia sighed; she almost hoped that would work. It was starting to get colder out, and her torn, wet dress was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable. She gasped as they stopped in front of two axe-wielding ogres, thinking they were about to finish her off, until she realized they were chopping wood. The younger ogre stared at Olivia, while the other had a conversation with her rescuer. They both nodded and made motions with their arms as they spoke, but Olivia had no idea what was going on.
After finishing with the woodsmen, they continued into the village and stopped in front of a house, where the ogre knocked on the door. It was answered by another female ogre, this one a bit shorter and a bit heavier. Her brown hair was too short for a bone decoration, but Olivia was slightly amused by her earrings, which appeared to be made of turtle shells. They had a conversation just as unintelligible as the last, and Olivia squirmed a little, trying to get her damp skirt to stop clinging to her. The two ogres laughed, and ‘Shelly’ (which was how Olivia had decided to identify her) waved and closed her door.
Finally, after walking two more houses down the line, they stopped. Olivia asked, “Is this your house?” The ogre carried her around to the side of the house and set her down next to a wooden washtub, which looked like it might be used for laundry. She could hear the river nearby, which must be where it was filled. “Are you going to wash my dress? That’s okay, I can do it at home.” Olivia thought she was right, as the ogre easily pulled her dress off. “Hey! That’s not necessary!” She tried to cover herself, but the ogre quickly stripped her of her shoes, undergarments, and hair ribbon. Before Olivia could object, she found herself dunked in the washtub, sputtering and splashing. Whistling a happy tune to herself, the ogre went about cleaning her with a wash cloth, doing a thorough job, much to Olivia’s chagrin. After what seemed like entirely too long, Olivia was pulled out of the tub and wrapped in a towel, cradled in the ogre’s arms.
She was carried to the front door, where the woodsmen had arrived carrying some sort of table. They were allowed in, and they set it down in an empty corner. The hut itself was sparsely decorated; Olivia could only make out a bed, a table and chairs, and what appeared to be a fireplace. The windows lacked glass, and instead relied on wooden shutters to keep the elements out.
While Olivia observed all this, Shelly arrived with an armful of cloth. She placed the largest piece, which looked like a mattress, on top of the table. She then stocked the table’s lower shelf with the other pieces, most of which looked like white towels. Olivia was freed from her towel, having since been dried off, and placed naked on the table. She attempted to cover herself while her rescuer took one of the smaller white towels Shelly had brought and wrapped it around her waist and hips. Shelly handed her a metal object, and it was used to secure the towel in place. Olivia stopped resisting at this point, as she was busy trying to figure out what was going on. It all seemed strangely familiar. “That looks kind of like a safety pin... this is a diaper! Hey! I don’t usually wet myself, it just happened that one time!” She tried to tug down on the diaper, but the ogre grunted something and gave her a swat on the bottom before sternly waving her finger. “Okay, okay, I’ll leave it on.” She was finally dressed in a loose fitting grey dress, which she guessed might have been intended as a shirt.
Olivia was pretty distracted while getting dressed, as she now noticed a second piece of furniture had been brought into the hut, and a mattress and sheets had been placed within it. She stared blankly as she figured it out. She wasn’t put in diapers because they thought she was incontinent, they thought she was a baby! She was scooped up again and started to protest, but Shelly handed ‘Momma’ a bottle, which was promptly placed in Olivia’s mouth. She wanted to complain, but she really was thirsty. And the way Momma rocked her was pretty soothing, especially after such a rough day. She was being carried to the crib as she drifted off.
Chapter 3: Adventures in Ogre-sitting
Birds were a chirping, a pleasant breeze was blowing, and Olivia groggily awoke as the first rays of the sun shone through the open window. What a crazy dream she had that night. Instead of safely returning from her trip through the woods, she was attacked by a wolf and rescued by an ogre, who mistook her for a baby and took home. She shook her head at the silly notion as she stretched, but encountered an obstacle in rolling out of bed. Suddenly wide awake, she realized she was in a crib, and was indeed still in the home of the ogre.
She looked around, and found the ogre she had dubbed ‘Momma’ in her bed, snoring lightly. “Hello? Good morning! Can I get out now?” Momma continued to snore. Olivia suspected some maintained crying might get her attention, but really didn’t want to risk angering her. “It’s okay; I’ll just sit here for a while.” She sighed, and attempted to stand, using the crib bars for support. Her legs still felt quite sore, and she was barely upright for a few seconds before falling back down on her diapered rear. She lifted up her dress to examine the garment and sighed as she noticed the feeling in her bladder. “No chance for a bathroom break, huh?” Getting no response, Olivia pondered removing the diaper. The light swat on the bottom she received following her attempt last night had been just a warning, should she tempt fate? Looking around, it was clear that even if she got the diaper off, she didn’t have anywhere to go but the mattress she was sitting on.
Olivia sat fidgeting for several more minutes, until the pain grew too great and she decided to just do it. It took a moment of straining to get started, but once she did, she was unable to stop until her bladder was nearly empty. Blushing furiously, she shifted about and found the diaper barely felt wet, and certainly better than her damp dress had the night before. Noting that Momma was still snoring, she laid back in the crib once more to wait.
The next thing Olivia knew, Momma was leaning over the side of the crib and smiling at her, so she suspected she had drifted off again. “Uh, hey there.” She waved meekly. Momma smiled wider and waved back, then gave her bottom a pat and said something. Olivia squeaked and tried to scoot away from the pat, but Momma scooped her up into a hug before laying her down on the changing table. She was quickly stripped of her dress and left wearing just her wet diaper, crossing her arms in an attempt to cover herself. “Hey now, I keep telling...” She trailed off as Momma unpinned her diaper and placed it in a bucket by the table. Now attempting to cover up on top and down below, she glared at Momma, then giggled uncontrollably as her bottom was cleaned with a damp wash cloth. After applying some sort of powder, Olivia found herself pinned into another diaper.
Momma gave Olivia a poke in the stomach, eliciting another giggle, and pulled a shirt over her head. Olivia stared at it and realized it was in fact the top of her green dress, the torn skirt having been removed. Momma then put her in some simple booties and used the hair ribbon she had been using the night before to secure some sort of stick in her hair. Olivia reached back and realized it was a bone, much like the larger one in Momma’s hair. “Um... thanks?”
After looking her outfit over and nodding to herself, Momma carried Olivia to the table and sat down with the girl sitting on her lap. “Couldn’t find a highchair yet, huh?” Momma shifted Olivia so she was sitting facing the side, then took a spoon that was sitting in a bowl and held it in front of Olivia’s mouth. She eyed it suspiciously. “What’s that?” Opening her mouth was all the opportunity Momma needed, and she forced the spoon into her mouth. She tried to resist, but it actually tasted quite good; Olivia guessed it was some sort of fruit. “Ooh, more please.” She smiled, being pleasantly surprised by the taste, and having not eaten since dinner. After finishing the bowl of mashed fruit, Momma set Olivia down on the floor with a bottle and went about eating her own breakfast. Olivia drank the milk, which tasted slightly different from the cow’s milk she was familiar with, and made a note to try to see what kind of animals the ogres kept around. She couldn’t see everything Momma had to eat, but did notice a rather large citrus fruit. Once Momma had finished and cleared the table, she scooped up Olivia and took her empty bottle, then held her so she was facing over the ogre’s shoulder. “What’re you doing?” Her question was answered as Momma gave her several pats on the back until she burped. “Oh.”
Professor Underwood answered the furious knocking on his door expecting an overly eager student ready to hand in their report. What he saw was a distraught looking middle aged woman he didn’t recognize, although she seemed vaguely familiar.
“You’re Underwood, the ogre expert, right?” the woman asked.
Underwood nodded. “Indeed I am. How may I help you, Miss...?”
She answered, “Mrs. Cameron, Loretta Cameron. My daughter Olivia said she talked to you about a report yesterday.”
“Ah, yes.” Underwood motioned for her to come inside. “Does she need help? Oh, I was just making tea, would you like a cup?”
Mrs. Cameron declined the offer. “She never came back.”
Raising an eyebrow, the professor asked, “Never came back from where?”
“The woods!” Mrs. Cameron said, flustered. “She went in to research that report last night and never came back!”
Patting the back of Mrs. Cameron’s hand, Underwood tried to sound reassuring. “I’ll set off immediately, if the ogres know anything about what happened, I’ll find out.”
The color drained from Mrs. Cameron’s face. “You think the ogres did something to her?”
Realizing his mistake, he quickly shook his head. “Of course not, they never attack humans at random. It’s just possible that if your daughter is lost, they might have seen something.”
This calmed down Mrs. Cameron somewhat. “Thank you, professor.”
Underwood escorted her to the door and retrieved his walking stick. “I’m going to the ogre village with all haste, I’d advise you to wait at your home.”
About an hour after breakfast, there was a knock at Momma’s door. Olivia was sitting on the floor leaning against a leg of the crib, craning her neck. She recognized the caller as Shelly, one of the ogres she encountered the night before. Momma and Shelly had a discussion, and Olivia noticed a second, younger ogre hiding behind Shelly’s leg. After a few more moments of talking, Shelly bent down to give the younger ogre a hug and urged her into the hut. As Shelly waved and departed, Olivia got a better look at the new arrival she assumed Momma was now babysitting. She looked like a typical girl of around four or five years old, except for the way she was about 9 feet tall. She wore nothing but a short yellow dress, and had a sunflower tucked behind her left ear. Olivia guessed she was Shelly’s daughter, since her hair was the same shade of brown, done up in pigtails. She quickly settled on the name ‘Sunny’, for her flower.
Momma led Sunny over to where Olivia was sitting and they spoke to each other a moment until Momma nodded. Sunny smiled widely and picked up Olivia. “Hey!” This was becoming a far too common occurrence, and Olivia squirmed in Sunny’s arms. Randomly getting picked up wasn’t the only problem, however. “This has been interesting, but I think it’s time you let me take off this diaper.” A familiar sensation indicated it would soon get unpleasant, but Sunny just giggled at what she likely thought was baby talk. Olivia continued to squirm, and Sunny set her back down on the floor.
Momma smiled at the two children and said something, then sat down at the kitchen table and began working on something using what looked like knitting needles.
Still squirming, Olivia once again tried to pull her diaper off, but Sunny giggled and batted at her hands, shaking her head. “Hey! I just want to be potty trained like you.” Before she could argue her case any further, Sunny reached down and started to tickle her, possibly mistaking her fidgeting for boredom. “Ack! Cut that out!” She laughed and flailed about, trying to scoot away. The building pressure in her bowels was forgotten, and she soon found herself soiling her diaper, continuing to laugh at the tickling all the while.
Sunny finally stopped tickling, noticing that Olivia’s face had turned a deep shade of red. She lifted Olivia up by the shoulders and sniffed her diaper, making a disgusted face and giggling. Olivia couldn’t do much to respond but continue blushing while her legs dangled and her diaper sagged. Still holding Olivia like that, she carried her over to Momma, who wrinkled her nose and asked a question. Sunny smiled and nodded, and in short order Momma had placed Olivia on the changing table.
Olivia groaned as she was set down on her full diaper. “Can we get this over with please?” She looked puzzled as Momma returned to the table and took her chair, setting it up next to the changing table and helping Sunny stand on top of it. “Hey! I’m not a teaching aid!” Olivia could’ve died from embarrassment right there as Momma walked Sunny through the process of changing a diaper. Throughout the change, Sunny alternated between looking disgusted and giggling.
Momma pinned the new diaper in place herself, which Olivia appreciated. She helped Sunny down from the chair and handed Olivia to the younger ogre. Sunny grinned and hugged Olivia tightly, and Olivia sighed as she hugged back. “I’m still older than you.”
Professor Underwood was fast approaching the ogre village when he encountered a female ogre going the opposite direction down his usual path. He made a greeting in Ogrish and asked if she had seen or heard of any humans passing through ogre territory recently.
The ogre, who wore earrings made out of turtle shells, asked if the human he was asking about was an infant.
Underwood explained that he was looking for an adolescent female who went missing in the Western Woods, and might have gotten lost in the south. The ogre seemed puzzled, so he explained again.
The ogre appeared to think this over, and then shook her head, stating that she hadn’t heard of an adolescent human in the area. She assured him she would tell him if she learned anything about the missing human, and she turned back the way she came.
Stroking his chin, Underwood tried to place what felt so odd about what just happened. She was walking the path that led to his house, and turned back after talking to him, almost as if she was seeking him out. He shrugged and turned back as well, to see if there was any news about Olivia.
Chapter 4: Fancy Meeting You Here
Following the diaper change, Sunny continued to play with Olivia for a while longer, which mainly consisted of carrying Olivia from place to place, setting her down, and running circles around her until she repeated the process. Olivia’s legs were still sore, so there wasn’t much else she could do. Shelly returned and had a few words with Momma, who seemed quite pleased. After Sunny was pried away from giving Olivia one last hug, they waved and made their exit.
Olivia watched Momma curiously as she gathered up various sheets and articles of clothing from around the hut, piling them by the door. Once the pile was taller than Olivia, Momma carried it outside and returned a moment later to collect her charge. Olivia was carried around behind the hut, by the same washtub she was bathed in on her arrival. “Hey, I think you did a fine job getting me cleaned up during that last change.” Instead of being bathed, she was placed in a cloth harness that hung from nearby tree. There were holes for her legs, and she realized it was like a baby swing or carrier. Momma handed her another bottle, and went about washing several ogre-sized dresses. This was as exciting as it sounded, so Olivia observed what she could of the village as she drank. In many ways, it wasn’t all that different from her. Children played, the adults worked on various crafts, and when she squinted, she saw something in the distance that made her giggle. A very pregnant looking ogre was berating one of the woodsmen who brought the crib and changing table over, and suddenly Olivia knew how they finished them so quickly. Having a ‘baby’ on hand bumped Momma up on the waiting list.
By this point, Momma had finished washing her dresses and had hung them from one of the ropes hanging between the house and another tree. Olivia watched as she started on the sheets, and the splashing water reminded Olivia on the effect her recently finished bottle was having. Letting out a resigned sigh, she wet her diaper and hoped Momma would finish soon.
After hanging the last of the sheets, Momma approached the swing. Olivia gasped as Momma stuck a finger in one of the swing’s leg holes to check her diaper, and chuckled as she carried the girl back inside. Momma deposited the wet diaper in the bucket, and carried Olivia back to the swing with the bucket in her free hand. She couldn’t help but feel a little humiliated as Momma washed her used diapers and hung them from the line. The job done, Momma carried the washtub away and dumped it out, sensibly getting new water after cleaning the diapers.
Night was starting to fall, and Olivia expected to be taken inside. Instead she was carried into the village square, where several ogres were gathered for singing and dancing. Momma carried her around to greet a wide variety of ogres, most of whom wanted to pat her head or tickle her stomach. After being introduced in this fashion to what seemed like every ogre in the world, Olivia was dropped off in a small fenced in area with several infants and toddlers, all younger than Sunny. She had barely glanced around before she saw something that made her jaw drop.
Sitting just ten feet away was a girl with short blonde hair. She wore a pale blue dress with matching booties, and a bulky diaper was peeking out. She was also a human, not much older than Olivia, and her jaw was hanging open as well. After a moment of staring, she crawled over to Olivia. She was a little bit taller and a little bit lighter than Olivia. “Hey, how’d they get you?”
Olivia blinked several times. “I was in the woods... there was a wolf... she scared it away.”
“Yeah, wolves don’t like them much.” The girl nodded. “I’m Veronica.” She held out her hand.
Olivia tentatively reached out and shook it. “Ol... Olivia. What’re you doing here?”
Veronica shrugged her shoulders. “Would you believe I wanted a change of scenery?” She smirked.
Olivia raised an eyebrow, and something clicked in her mind. “Hey! You’re that girl who disappeared in the woods while being chased by the police!”
Smirking even wider, Veronica nodded.
“Wow... what’d you do, anyway?” Olivia asked.
“Stole a pig.” Veronica answered matter of factly.
Puzzled, Olivia said, “That doesn’t sound that bad.”
“Well, I didn’t finish.” She glanced around conspiratorially. “I stole it, and I set it loose in the mayor’s house.”
Olivia laughed. “For the love of... why?”
“Seemed like a good idea at the time.” Veronica answered with a shrug.
Olivia shook her head. “I can’t believe my mother was right. She said the ogres must’ve gotten you, but I thought you were in a new town with a new name.”
“Well... I am.” Veronica chuckled. “They call me Runey here. I think they mangled Veronica when I tried to tell it to them.”
“Have you tried to leave?” Olivia asked. “I hurt my legs before she found me, and they’re still too sore to walk on.”
“Well...” Veronica stalled. “At first, I stuck around since I figured I could lay low for a while. But it’s not so bad. Free room and board, someone waiting on you that loves you unconditionally. And...” She leaned forward towards Olivia a bit. “If I act fussy around bedtime, they’ll give me some of their ale to calm me down.”
Olivia blinked. “Why’d you lean in to whisper? It’s not like any of them can understand us.”
“Oh...” Veronica blushed. “I wasn’t leaning forward to whisper.” That’s when Olivia noticed the smell.
“Did... did you?” Olivia gaped.
Veronica just nodded. “Sorry. I’m pretty used to just going. Trust me, you don’t want to get backed up, their cure isn’t very fun.”
Olivia shuddered at the thought. “Oh.”
“Things aren’t too bad, aside from that.” Veronica said. “I’ve even picked up some of their language; I think I’ll be ready for my first words soon.” They made small talk for a while until the ogre Olivia assumed was Veronica’s ‘mother’ arrived to check her diaper and picked her up. “My ride’s here, I’ll see you later. Maybe we’ll have a playdate.”
Olivia waved. “Yeah, nice meeting you.”
Grinning, Veronica waved back. “Yeah, it’s great to finally have someone who understands how mature I am.” She adjusted her sagging diaper and was carried off.
Olivia smirked, and was left alone with the ogre babies. They weren’t all that different from human babies, aside from the smallest of them being around Olivia’s size, meaning she had to scoot away to avoid the more rambunctious crawlers from time to time.
Eventually, Momma arrived to pick her up, and carried her home for the nightly routine. She was fed another bowl of fruit mush, bathed, and diapered for bed. Instead of the poorly fitting shirt she wore the north before, Olivia was surprised to be dressed in what appeared to be a footed sleeper. The dark green garment covered her from the neck down and was tied securely at the back. It fit perfectly, and she realized it must be what Momma was working on with the knitting needles earlier in the day. “Um, thank you, I guess.” Olivia found herself smiling a little at the thoughtfulness as Momma tucked her into the crib and kissed her on the forehead.
Chapter 5: Rude Awakening
Somehow, Olivia found herself back in the woods, which seemed quite odd since she recalled being in her crib. She was still in her sleeper, so perhaps she had sleepwalked away during the night. “Have I sleepwalked before?” She asked no one in particular. She glanced down and found that she wasn’t in her sleeper, but was wearing her dress. It was intact, even though she remembered the skirt being torn and ruined. “Whoa, did I dream that whole thing?”
The trees around her were all gnarled and leafless, and in the distance she saw a pair of piercing yellow eyes. And then another, and another, until it seemed as if she were completely surrounded. Suddenly, the trees immediately around her receded, and she was alone in a clearing. Olivia frantically glanced about as one after another, wolves emerged from the woods and circled her, staring at her with their yellow eyes. She looked for an opening, but they were all around her. Just as she wondered why Momma wasn’t there to scare them away, one of the wolves lunged at her and she screamed.
When the screaming stopped, Olivia opened her eyes and looked up at a concerned looking Momma. The ogre was sitting down at the table, rocking Olivia and making soothing sounds. Olivia held onto her tightly and repeatedly told herself she had just been dreaming. She noticed that the hut was well lit, so it was probably morning. “Hey, I’m okay now.” Once her breathing was under control, she meekly smiled up at Momma to help get her point across. Momma smiled back and went about feeding the girl her breakfast of mashed fruit, since they were already at the table.
While Momma burped her, Olivia realized she’d get her diaper changed soon, but found she was unable to wet herself. She shifted around, and blushed brightly as she realized imaginary wolf attacks had the same effect on her bladder as real ones. Olivia was stripped of her sleeper and wet diaper, and was dressed in the same outfit as the day before. “Making the sleeper took up all your time, right?” Momma smiled and cooed in response to her assumed babbling.
An idea struck her then. Remembering what Veronica had said about being renamed Runey, Olivia waved to get Momma’s attention, and then clearly enunciated her name. She repeated it several times, pointing to herself each time. “Oh-liv-ee-ah.”
Momma responded with something that sounded very much like “Livi?”
Olivia nodded vigorously. “Olivia.”
“Livi?” It went back and forth a few times, but Livi was the closest she could get to her actual name. She’d take it; there were probably a few ogre names she just luckily avoided.
With the matter of names settled, Momma handed Olivia a bottle and scooped her up, leaving the hut. “Where’re we going today?” Momma walked down a few rows of hut, greeting several ogres along the way. She came to a stop in front of an ogre Olivia was sure she had seen before, finally realizing it was Veronica’s caretaker from the night before. While drinking from her bottle, Olivia observed her. She stood half a foot taller than Momma, and was dressed in a simple brown shirt with matching pants held up by a rope belt. Her black hair was in a bun with two bones sticking out of it. Olivia considered ‘Ropey’ and ‘Boney’ as potential nicknames, and realized she really needed to rethink her criteria.
Momma was led to a nearby hut with a playpen set up out front. The sides were made of criss-crossing wooden strips, and sitting within was Veronica, who was bouncing a ball off one of the sides. She caught the ball and waved to Olivia. “Hey neighbor!”
Olivia was placed alongside Veronica, and handed her finished bottle to Momma. “I’m actually a few huts down.”
Veronica looked Olivia over. “Weren’t you wearing that yesterday? It doesn’t look like it was made here.” She tossed her ball to Olivia.
After catching it, Olivia glanced down and shrugged. “I don’t have anything else that fits, other than some pajamas she made for me yesterday. It’s actually the top half of the dress I was wearing when I got here.” She took a look at Veronica’s dress. “Isn’t that what you were wearing last night?” She tossed to ball back.
The other girl shook her head and attempted to balance the ball on one finger, without success. “Most of my clothes are blue; they must’ve figured I liked it because I had a blue shirt when they found me.”
“Oh yeah, that must be why my sleeper’s green.” She stopped to listen to the ogres, recognizing the words Livi and Runey. “I told her my name and ended up with Livi.” She crossed her legs nervously.
“Closer than Runey.” She smiled at Olivia. “Need to do something?”
Olivia quickly shook her head, but her fidgeting gave her away. “What makes you think that?”
“Because that’s how I used to look.” Veronica smirked. “Remember what I said would happen if you get backed up? First, they take a big...”
Olivia covered her ears and shouted over her. “Shut up!”
Veronica didn’t even pause. “... and they stick it right up your...”
“Okay, okay!” Olivia got up on her knees, noticing that her legs felt a lot better. “Are you just going to watch?”
Veronica feigned disappointment and bounced her ball off the other wall. “I wont. But I let you watch me, y’know.”
Olivia stuck her tongue out despite the fact Veronica couldn’t see here, then closed her eyes and grunted. Although she found it easier to go while a hyperactive ogre was tickling her, she had soon filled the seat of her diaper with a warm mess, wetting it as well for good measure. When she opened her eyes, she saw Veronica looking straight at her, wearing the biggest grin she had seen in her life. “Hey! You said you wouldn’t watch!”
“Nuh-uh!” Veronica shook her head. “You asked if I would JUST watch, and I said no. But I also bounced my ball for a lot of it. Hey, you know how I said I was almost ready for my first word?”
Olivia nodded. “Yeah, what about it?”
Still grinning, Veronica pointed at Olivia and said the same Ogrish word a few times. Momma approached the pen and checked Olivia’s diaper, then nodded to her friend. Veronica’s mother smiled proudly and patted her daughter on the head.
Olivia raised an eyebrow at Veronica. “What’d you say?”
Veronica smiled to her mother and waved to Olivia. “Stinky.”
Olivia glared as Momma scooped her up. “You ratted me out!”
Giggling, Veronica said, “You say that like you wanted to stay in that dirty diaper.” Her mother scooped her up into a hug as well, and exchanged a few words with Momma.
The color drained from Olivia’s face, which was impressive with how red it was. “I do not!”
“Settle down, I was just joking.” She smiled warmly. “I think your mother’s saying she’s going to take you for a walk along the river, so I’ll see later.”
“But I still can’t walk.”
Veronica rolled her eyes. “I’m not a linguist, I guess she’ll do most of the walking.” Her mother adjusted her dress and gave her bottom a pat.
Olivia smirked. “Is someone else stinky?”
“No.” Veronica said defensively. “I’m just wet.”
“Oh? You said that like you’re proud of it.” Olivia winked. The two girls laughed and were carried to their respective homes for changing.
Chapter 6: The Great Escape (great meaning large or immense)
On the way back to the hut, Momma gently tossed Olivia into the air a few times, always safely catching her and chuckling at the girl’s squeals of delight. Upon arriving she quickly went about cleaning up Olivia’s stinky bottom, but used enough of that sweet smelling powder that Olivia sneezed a few times. Without the embarrassment of being changed by a child to focus on, Olivia was able to appreciate just how nice a clean diaper felt after sitting in a messy one. She smiled up at Momma as her snugly rediapered bottom received a pat and she heard ‘Livi’ among what she was saying. She held up her arms and was rewarded with a hug, and was then carried out of the hut.
Momma walked behind the hut and Olivia expected her to retrieve the previous day’s laundry, but the lines were clear. She recalled that both the bed and the crib had sheets, and since she hadn’t seen Momma for a while after being placed with Veronica and the babies she figured the laundry had been brought in then. Momma continued walking until she reached the river that ran through the village, and began taking a leisurely stroll alongside. She began speaking, and Olivia guessed it was some sort of story about the river.
The woodsmen were visible in the distance, drinking from large mugs while their axes rested against their hut. “They were right there when you first brought me here, so that means we’re going north, right?” Olivia tried to remember the geography again. The river ran north/south through the ogre village, and continued north through the Forbidden Woods until it reached the Western Forest. There it veered east, right into her town. If they started out heading north, that would mean...
Olivia was snapped out of her thinking when Momma came to a stop, after covering a fair amount of distance. Momma spread out a blanket on the nearby grass and lay down on her back. She positioned Olivia so she was also facing up, balanced on Momma’s stomach. She wasn’t sure what was going on until she heard the snoring, as well as feeling it. Wheels started turning in Olivia’s head, and she carefully climbed down from her perch. She landed on her feet, noticing only minor pain. She stretched her legs and took her first steps in two days. Her legs were still tender, and the diaper forced her legs apart, but she still felt confidant that she could walk back.
Until she heard Momma’s snoring again, and a wave of guilt washed over her. The ogre had saved her life, brought her into her home, and had taken care of her. She did all that without expecting anything in return, and now Olivia was planning to abandon her. Olivia watched her for a moment and let out an exasperated sigh. She snuck and gave Momma a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you.” Taking one last glance back, she started north down the river.
Olivia encountered no wolves on her journey. Whether this was due to her now smelling like an ogre, or if she was simply far enough north to be out of wolf territory when she started, she had no idea. The walk was longer than she had anticipated, and it was approaching nightfall when she the town’s west gate in the distance.
Still hidden in the fringes of the woods, Olivia examined her clothing and wondered what to do. She couldn’t arrive in town wearing a diaper, but going bottomless would be even worse. She arrived at a compromise and unpinned the diaper, then wrapped it around her waist as a makeshift skirt. She still needed the pin to hold it on, but she decided it was a step up. The booties were fine, and the shirt and hair ribbon were hers to begin with. All that was left was the bone, which she tossed away, feeling a little bit of guilt.
Taking one last glance around, Olivia hurried through the gate. Had she arrived any later, the gate would have been sealed and she would have had to explain herself to a guard. As it was, she hurried to her house and tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone, hearing at least one passer by comment on what an ugly skirt she was wearing. She reached her house and frantically searched the front garden for the hidden key, then let herself in. She had barely snuck into her room and wrapped a robe over her shabby clothes when she heard movement behind her.
“Olivia!” Mrs. Cameron had a look of shock on her face. “Where have you been?” She rushed over and gave her daughter a hug. “What happened to you?”
They sat down on Olivia’s bed and Olivia told a selectively edited version of what happened to her. She had fallen and hurt her legs. Her clothing was damaged, which is why she rushed to get the robe. While waiting for her legs to heal, she survived on fruit. As she told the story, her mother brought her a sandwich and a cup of tea, both of which rapidly ingested.
Mrs. Cameron nodded along, and at the end said, “I’m so relieved, I thought the ogres had done something terrible to you.”
Olivia paused. “Nope. No ogres doing terrible things to me.”
“Good.” Mrs. Cameron nodded once more. “Can I get you anything else?”
“Well... I’d like to just go to bed.” After quickly washing up and using the bathroom for the first time in two days, Olivia changed into her nightgown. Exhausted from all the walking, she stuffed her diaper, booties, and the remains of her dress in the back of her closet and was asleep almost as her head hit the pillow.
Professor Underwood awoke to the sounds of knocking on his door. He squinted out his window, and saw that it was barely dawn. “Mrs. Cameron, is that you?” The knocking continued, but it was quite a bit louder than during Mrs. Cameron's previous visit. He pulled on his robe and opened the door, finding an ogre hunched over to see him. They very rarely ventured this far north, and this was the first time one came all the way to his home.
He looked her over and noticed her turtle shell earrings, thinking back to their earlier meeting and the odd way she asked about a human infant. This time she admitted that a human infant had been found to the south, but now she had vanished, despite being too young to walk. Underwood had done a little research, and no people had gone missing recently, aside from Miss Cameron. He explained this to the ogre and she asked him in a pleading tone to keep an eye out.
The ogre left, and Underwood returned to bed. He awoke a few hours later when the postman arrived. They made small talk as he signed for a package, and the postman happened to mention that Olivia Cameron had returned home.
Veronica was lying on the floor, which struck her as odd since she usually slept in a crib. She opened her eyes and saw a very cheerful ogre with a sunflower tucked behind her ear, rambling on about what a good babysitter she was. Veronica then noticed the young ogre was in the process of unpinning her soggy night diaper, and she tried to hold still to avoid being poked. She glanced around and saw her mother, who was busy comforting Olivia’s, who appeared quite distraught. Olivia herself was nowhere in site, and there were know other adults, leading Veronica to believe her ‘babysitter’ was in fact the one being babysat. Her change completed without any stab wounds, Veronica was scooped up into a hug and she tried to listen in on the adults’ conversation. Her mother said something about a ‘tiny doctor’, but that didn’t make any sense.
After nearly falling onto the floor, Olivia realized there were no bars surrounding her. “Oh yeah.” She chuckled to herself and rubbed her eyes, then stepped out of bed and stretched. Her legs felt better than before, and she hoped they’d be fully healed in another day. She tossed her nightgown onto the bed and got dressed in the first outfit she came across, a grey tunic with black leggings. Looking at herself in the mirror, she lets out an annoyed sigh as she realized this was the outfit she would’ve worn into the woods had her mother not insisted she not change clothes.
Arriving in the kitchen, she was surprised to see her mother sitting with Professor Underwood, drinking tea. “Here she is now, good morning, Olivia.” Mrs. Cameron said.
The professor nodded. “I’m glad to see you’re all right after what happened.”
Olivia gave a little wave and sat down at the table. “Hello.”
Underwood steepled his fingers. “Now, as I was just explaining to your mother, I feel awful that this happened to you while working on an assignment for me. I plan on compensating you for your trouble.”
Mrs. Cameron was quite pleased by this. “That’s hardly neccessary. And it’s ‘Loretta’ with two ‘T’s.”
Ignoring the grinning woman, Underwood continued. “The report was due today, but it would be cruel to hold you to the deadline after your ordeal. Meet me at my house later today and I’ll interview for the job personally.”
This pleased Mrs. Cameron even more. “Did you hear, Olivia? A job interview.”
“Oh, thank you, sir.” Olivia said. “When should I arrive?”
Underwood thought it over. “In about an hour, I think. I’ll see you then. Good day, Mrs. Cameron, thank you for the tea.” He winked as he passed Olivia, and she wondered what it meant.
Chapter 7 (Finale): The Exposition Strikes Back
An hour passed, and Olivia nervously knocked on Underwood’s door. “Ah, thank you for coming, Miss Cameron. Please come in.”
Olivia was directed to sit down at the table. “So, you’re going to interview me for the job, professor?”
Underwood shook his head. “Oh, I believe you already have the job.”
Raising an eyebrow, Olivia asked, “But you don’t even know if I’m qualified for any of that stuff.”
The professor chuckled. “But I do know. You are uniquely qualified to study the ogres, and to act as a liaison between our two races.” He leaned forward. “You didn’t spend these past few days lost in the woods, did you?”
Glancing about, Olivia stammered, “What... whatever gave you that idea?”
He then explained his theory, noting the mysterious infant that he could find no record of, and how her discovery by the ogres and later disappearance matched up exactly to Olivia’s fateful trip to the woods. “Ogres have a reputation for not being able to judge human ages; to them, we all come in one size: smaller than ogres.”
Olivia slinked back in her chair as he told his story. “So, um, they wouldn’t think it was strange if I didn’t grow at all? Hypothetically?”
Hiding a smirk, Underwood nodded. “If you were to live among them, your growing understanding of Ogrish would simulate increasing maturity.”
Olivia blinked. “But... why do you want someone to live among them?”
“There’s still so little we understand about their culture,” Underwood began. “You’ve been accepted into their society, so you’d have an extraordinary opportunity for research.”
Clicking her tongue, Olivia thought it over for a few minutes. “Okay. For the sake of argument, let’s say I have been accepted. I’m supposed to just abandon my life here?”
“It would be leaving for a job.”
“How would I do that job?” Olivia asked. “A baby couldn’t really make reports to you. And my mother would wonder why she couldn’t see me; you work right on the outskirts of town.”
“As my assistant, your work would include travelling to the University to file my reports and conduct research at the library.” Underwood smirked. “Not that you’d actually go, but it’s a useful cover story. But mainly I’d tell her you’re working in the field, gaining their trust and whatnot.”
Olivia shook her head. “It still wouldn’t explain NEVER seeing her, she’d think they ate me and round up an angry mob or something.”
A thoughtful look crossed Underwood’s face. “I have an idea.”
Smiling proudly, Mrs. Cameron hugged Olivia. “My daughter the scientist.”
Olivia nodded. “Yep. Professor Underwood told me to pack; I’m supposed to set out later today.”
“Of course, of course. I’ll leave you to it. You must’ve impressed him during the interview, huh?” Her mother continued smiling. “Just wait until I tell Sally...”
“I guess he thought I was destined for... big things.” Olivia began to pack her bags, taking everything she would need to travel through the woods or to the big city. It was all for show; most of it would be left in the back of Underwood’s closet. All except the items he specifically told her to pack. After making sure her mother wasn’t nearby, she reached into the back of her closet and retrieved the remains of her dress, along with the booties, diaper, and pin.
Olivia hugged her mother goodbye, and wondered if the professor’s plan would work. She walked through the town, waving to everyone she could see, and passed through the south gate. As she did, Underwood quickly ushered her into his house. “So, how’d it go?” she inquired.
“As well as I hoped.” Underwood said. While Olivia packed and made her farewells, the professor had returned to the ogres and spun his story. He told them he had finally learned the identity of the baby girl. She was an orphan whose parents had been killed by wolves, a cover story which explained how an infant had gotten so deep into the woods for her initial discovery. Later, she crawled along the river and was found by humans a short distance from where Momma last saw her. As she had no other family and appeared well cared for, Underwood had been given permission to return her to the ogres, on the condition he is able to remove her from the village on occasion to allow human doctors to check up on her.
Olivia’s eyes glazed over. “That sounds really complicated.”
Underwood nodded. “Indeed. Did you bring the clothes they dressed you in?”
Olivia pulled them from the bag, blushing some as she got to the diaper. Underwood pulled it away from her and dunked it in a bucket of water. “Hey! I didn’t use it!”
“Ah, but they’ll think you did.” He hung it to dry after a quick rinsing. “Having been recently washed will be the best explanation for it to be clean.”
Olivia stared. “Why not just SAY you washed it? They believed all that other stuff.”
Once the diaper was dried, Olivia was given privacy to change into her ogre-wear, taking several minutes to get the diaper pinned reasonably well. She packed the clothes she had been wearing in her bags and left them in the corner. She poked her head out the door, which she was thankful faced towards the forest and away from the village. “I’m set.”
Underwood nodded. “Take a seat, you can’t walk, remember?”
Olivia emerged, knowing it was impossible to avoid being seen in her current outfit. She plopped down on the path leading into the forest to wait. As the sun started to set, Shelly stepped out of the woods, followed by Momma, who immediately ran to Olivia. The girl found herself scooped up into a tight hug, and smiled broadly as she returned it. “Hey.”
Just as quickly, Momma set Olivia down and gave her padded seat several swats, then sternly waved her index finger as the girl rubbed her bottom.
Underwood chuckled. “She said not to run off again, you gave her quite a fright.”
Olivia rolled her eyes. “Thank you, I think I got the gist.” She held up her arms and was pulled into another hug, and then had a bottle placed in her mouth. As she was fed, Olivia listened to Underwood and the ogres talk, but could only make out ‘Livi’.
The discussion ended, and Underwood said. “I’ll check in on you a week from now.”
Olivia nodded and waved, and the ogres entered the forest to return to their village. Cradled in Momma’s arms, Olivia fell asleep on the way.
The first rays of the sun hit Olivia’s eyes as she groggily awoke. She glanced around and found she was in her crib, dressed in her sleeper and clutching an odd looking pillow. Turning it over, it seemed to be some sort of toy animal, possibly a wolf. She smirked as she recalled the circumstances of Momma finding her, and gave it a hug.
Noticing the pressure in her bladder, she relaxed and wet her diaper, which was starting to get easier. “Who knew you needed to train to be a baby?” she wondered to herself. Momma must have heard her, as Olivia was quickly scooped up and given several kisses around her forehead and cheeks, despite her best efforts to squirm away. “Nice to see you again, too.”
Momma placed her on the table where Olivia was removed from her sleeper and had her wet diaper changed. Noticing some green cloth in Momma’s hand, Olivia raised her arms and expected the same tattered ‘shirt’ she had worn the past few days. Instead, she was dressed in a newly stitched sleeveless dress. It was trimmed with a darker green fabric, and the hem barely covered the top half of her diaper. “It fits pretty well, but it’s kind of short.” Olivia said as she smiled up at Momma. Momma smiled back and finished dressing her in booties and a hair bone.
Following her morning feeding, Olivia was carried around the village while Momma greeted the neighbors. She wasn’t sure if she herself or her new dress was being shown off, but she did her best to smile and wave. When they arrived at Shelly’s house, Olivia was handed over to Sunny, who hugged her tightly and patted her diaper. The young ogre said something, and it sounded as if she was disappointed Olivia didn’t need changing. “Maybe next time, kid.”
By now, Veronica had arrived, carried by her mother. “You got lucky, Soonen’s been really eager to change diapers lately. She could’ve stabbed me with a pin yesterday.”
Olivia raised an eyebrow. “Soonen?”
“The girl holding you.” Veronica replied.
“Really?” Olivia looked between the ogre and Veronica. “I’d been calling her Sunny.”
“That’s not too bad.” Veronica said. “It’s a lot closer to her name then, let’s say... Runey.”
Olivia shook her head as she was handed back to Momma. “I just made it up because she had a sunflower.”
Veronica rolled her eyes as she was passed down to Sunny. “Let me guess, you call my mom Ropey, right? Hey, I almost forgot, you caused quite an uproar yesterday. I’d heard they’d found you, what happened?”
“Well, I thought it over, weighed my options, and decided to come back.” Olivia answered.
While Sunny examined her diaper, Veronica asked, “How come?”
Olivia shrugged. “Would you believe I wanted a change of scenery?”
Sunny squealed happily and said something to ‘Ropey’, who nodded. Sighing, Veronica said, “Don’t stab me.”
Olivia smiled. It was good to be home.
Big Changes: Retraining Runey
Veronica wanted to kill the sun. It seemed the best course of action as the offending heavenly body insisted on shining through the window. Mornings usually weren’t that hard on her, but had been rather fussy the night before, and her parents gave her some ale to calm her down. Unfortunately, ogres have a much higher tolerance for alcohol than humans, and she was quite hung-over.
Veronica’s parents weren’t actually her parents, but a couple of ogres who had found her in the woods while she was running from the lawn. She was pretty tipsy then as well, which was why allowing them to take her in so she could lay low seemed like such a good idea. Ogres are poor judges of human age, so they mistook her for a baby. Veronica, or ‘Runey’ as her new parents had dubbed her, made no effort to shake them of this belief. That’s the reason she was sleeping in a crib, clad only in a shirt and a thick diaper, which she was happy to be wearing considering how much she had to drink the night before.
As Veronica blinked the sleep out her eyes, she saw her parents on the other side of the hut discussing something. She didn’t fully understand Ogrish, and the buzzing in the back of her head didn’t help matters, but she got the gist of it. The topic of conversation seemed to be their lack of understanding of human development, and how they weren’t sure if Veronica was ready to attempt some task. They finally agreed that it couldn’t hurt to try, and her father, who Veronica referred to as ‘Poppa’, placed some object Veronica couldn’t see by her changing table. As he passed the crib he noticed she was awake, and gave her a pat on the head. This didn’t please the hornets that had taken up residence there, but she managed to smile at him as he left for work.
Momma, whose black hair was elaborately decorated with a few animal bones, came to check on her and set her on the changing table, stripping her of the soaked diaper and cleaning her up. Instead of being rediapered, Veronica found herself placed on the mysterious object her father had left. It seemed to be a simple wooden chair, but there was a hole in the seat, and there was a clay pot set underneath. In her confused state, it took Veronica a few moments to realize what it was, and she stared in confusion as her mother began the standard speech of where big girls do their business, finally asking if she needed to go. Veronica shook her head, knowing that her bladder had recently been emptied into her pants, but her mother insisted that she try. She was too hung-over to deal with this, so after a few minutes of pointlessly sitting on the potty she shook her head more vigorously and shouted the Ogrish word for “No!”
A look of disappointment on her face, Momma placed Veronica back on the table and dressed her in an odd looking pair of shorts in place of her usual diaper. They were thickly padded, and Veronica realized they were to deal with accidents during her potty training. Her head started to clear as she was fed her breakfast, and it finally dawned on Veronica what a big deal this was. It was the first step to finally being able to do things for herself again. Following breakfast, Momma showed her how to pull the training pants down and placed her on the chair. After a few minutes she realized she had to go, and urinated outside her pants for the first time in quite a while. Momma was pleased, and gave her a big hug after pulling her training pants back into place. Veronica smiled at the attention, despite the knowledge she was being praised for doing something she learned to do before her third birthday.
After Momma took a quick trip outside to empty the potty the outhouse, she carried Veronica outside to play and deposited her in a grassy clearing along with a few young ogres and one not quite as young human. Veronica waved. “Hey Livi!”
Livi, short for Olivia, was the other human girl living in the village. A little younger than Veronica, she was wearing a sleeveless green dress that did nothing to conceal her diaper. Instead of running from the law, she allowed herself to be adopted to learn about ogre culture, with a little urging from an eccentric ogre researcher. She returned Veronica’s greeting and looked puzzled. “There’s something different about you.”
Veronica nodded. “Yep. My mom’s teaching me to use the potty, so she put me in training pants.” She stood up and turned around to show them off.
Olivia looked her over. “Ready to grow up, are you?”
Smirking, Veronica sat back down. “Oh yeah. I’m going to leave you babies behind. I’ll probably be mayor of this place in a year or two.”
“Better make sure you lock your door.” Olivia replied, referencing the incident that put Veronica on the run in the first place. She then noticed Sunny, an ogre child who enjoyed looking after the humans, and pointed to Veronica’s new garments. The ogre’s expression went from puzzled, to disappointed, to excited in short order. Sunny quickly babbled something, and Olivia asked for a translation. “What’d she say?” Having recently arrived in the village, her Ogrish wasn’t nearly as good as Veronica’s.
“She’ll miss taking care of me.” Veronica said. “But she says when I’m a big girl like her, I can help take care of you.” She grinned at Olivia. “Wont that be fun? You’ll have two babysitters to help feed you and change your diapers.”
Olivia glared, but said. “I don’t think I’m the one who needs to be changed.”
Veronica noticed that she was fidgeting quite a bit, and as she glanced down she noticed a stream of urine starting to escape into her training pants. “Gah!” She ran to find her mother, not noticing Olivia’s smug satisfaction being interrupted by a diaper check from Sunny. She tugged on her mother’s skirt and said the Ogrish word for “wet”, pointing to their hut. She was carried back and placed on the potty, but only went a little bit as she had already mostly gone in her training pants. Her mother still seemed pleased that she tried, and gave her a reassuring hug before changing her into a diaper for her afternoon nap. Veronica guessed that was because her diapers were thicker and she was sure to wet in her sleep.
Veronica was proven right as she awoke wearing a soggy diaper. Her time spent as a baby had affected her control, meaning that potty training really was necessary. She felt a familiar feeling from her bowels, and nearly acted on it out of force of habit before remembering her new situation. She stood up and held onto to the top of the crib railing and called out. “Momma!” She looked around the hut and couldn’t see any sign of her. “Momma?” She noticed the door was open slightly, and shapes were moving outside. Someone had probably come to the door, and Momma was talking to them outside to avoid waking her. The feeling to go was becoming increasingly urgent, so she called even louder. “Momma!” She took a deep breath to call once more when her knees suddenly bent and Veronica found herself filling her diaper. Taken by surprise, she let go of the crib railing and fell on her bottom, spreading the mess around. This was too much for her, and she started crying.
Having finished with her visitor, Momma finally returned to the hut and scooped Veronica out of the crib to console her. She said some soothing words, which made it clear she thought Veronica was crying simply because she had a dirty diaper, not for failing to make it to the potty. Momma held Veronica close and gently rocked her until she settled down, then cleaned her up and dressed her in a new pair of training pants.
The remainder of the day was uneventful. Veronica peed in the potty once, but also wet her training pants to the point of leaking during dinner, having been very hungry and believing she could hold it. Once again Momma showed no signs of being upset, and snugly diapered her for bed and tucked her in. As she drifted off, she heard her parents talking again, and this time they sounded more certain about her not being ready.
The following morning, Veronica awoke to her usual wet diaper. Once again she was placed on the potty, and once again she resisted, knowing she didn’t have to go. Momma hesitated for a few moments before dressing her in a pair of training pants, and Veronica realized the ogre must be having her doubts. Following breakfast she tried to act more eager to use the potty, but she still barely had to go and Momma didn’t seem convinced. Soon it was playtime, and Veronica found herself placed alongside Olivia.
Olivia looked up from the simple wooden blocks she had absent-mindedly been stacking. “How’s potty training going?”
Veronica looked down and sighed. “Not good.”
Olivia examined her tower before knocking it down to start again. “It’s not? I thought it was just a refresher course.”
Still looking down, Veronica mumbled, “Just not going so well is all. My parents think I’m not ready.”
“Well.” Olivia looked her over. “Maybe you don’t want to be potty trained.”
Veronica’s face turned a shade of red. “Hey!”
Olivia quickly shook her head. “I didn’t mean it that way. I just meant that maybe you like the attention, and so you aren’t ready to grow up again.”
Veronica looked up. “I... I guess that could be it.”
“Uh-huh.” Olivia rubbed her chin. “You’ve been here a year, right? You could’ve escaped plenty of times if you really wanted to. I really doubt the law would still be looking for you after such a minor crime.”
Veronica paused. She had never seriously considered escaping, even after Olivia’s brief departure from the village. After a while she nodded. “Yeah. I guess I do like it here.” She glanced around and blushed. “Man, now you’re going to tease me about this.”
Olivia snorted. “I’m not going to judge you; I was free and clear but came back for an exciting life of naps, baths, mashed up fruit, and diaper changes.”
Smiling, Veronica asked, “But how do I convince them I’m not ready for this?” She pointed down to her training pants.
Olivia rolled her eyes. “Duh. Have an accident.” She added enough emphasis to the word accident to indicate what she really meant.
“Oh. Right.” Veronica leaned forward and grunted. She found it harder when she didn’t feel an urge to go, but she soon messed her training pants, wetting them as well for good measure.
Olivia clicked her tongue. “So much for the big girl.”
Veronica glared. “This was your idea!”
Olivia broke out laughing, which garnered the attention of Sunny. As she approached, the ogre girl wrinkled her nose and looked down the back of Olivia’s diaper. Finding it clean, she turned her attention to Veronica, and shook her head in disappointment. That disappointment turned to a grin, and she ran to summon Veronica’s mother.
Veronica smiled weakly when she saw Olivia grinning and giving her a thumbs up. Momma arrived and examined her soiled training pants. She bent down and explained to her adopted daughter that she just wasn’t ready and she’d be back in diapers for a while. Veronica tried her best to look sad, but was suppressing a smile as she took Momma’s hand to be led waddling back to their hut.
Her mood was dampened when Olivia shouted after her. “Maybe I’ll get potty trained first, and then I can help you!”