So, that “little bit” I wanted to finish up wound up being the rest of the story, so I figured I’d just post it all at once. Happy Halloween!
Scavengers – A Halloween Story
Nina looked at Katherine for barely a second before giving her a definite, “No.”
“Oh, come on!” Katherine sighed, looking down at herself. “What’s wrong with it?”
“Nobody’s going to think you’re in costume,” Nina said, standing up from her bed and walking over to her roommate. “They’re going to see you, assume you really are a little schoolgirl out past her bedtime, and take you back to that Catholic school on the edge of town. You’ll probably get a spanking or something for sneaking out before they realize you don’t actually go there.”
Katherine pouted, crossing her arms over her white button-up shirt and the tie hanging down the center of it, giving her pleated plaid skirt one more glance. “This is what I’ve got,” she said. “I don’t wanna have to go buy a costume. There isn’t going to be anything good left by now, anyway.” She shrugged. “I don’t think it’s that bad.”
Nina reached over, tugging one of the pigtails Katherine had put her hair into, making the other girl break her pose by reaching up to free her hair. “You’ll never get into the party. They’ll laugh you out of the line at the club before you can even reach for your ID. The only place you’re going looking like that is trick or treating, and that is not what Halloween is all about.”
Katherine shifted a little in place, not wanting to admit that trick or treating did sound like fun. She didn’t have to. Nina, as always, could read her like a book. “Oh, grow up, Kat. I thought you wanted to hook up with Dylan tonight, not run around with a bunch of grade-schoolers and collect candy. Besides, like I said, nobody will think it’s a costume.”
“They’ll still give me some candy,” Katherine mumbled.
“You’re a big girl. If you want candy, go buy some. Now get serious! Surely you have something slutty you can say is a costume!”
“I’ve shown you pretty much everything I own that looks even a little costume-y, and you said no to all of it. I’m tired of this!” Katherine crossed her arms again, annoyed.
“Don’t throw a tantrum!” Nina teased. “Be a good little girl and do what you’re told, or you’ll get a spanking.” To Katherine’s surprise, when she didn’t move, Nina grabbed her and dragged her to her bed, sitting down on it and pulling Katherine over her lap.
Katherine refused to play along, staying limp as she waited for the other girl to finish with her little joke, though she was surprised to feel a sudden breeze on her thighs as Nina flipped her skirt up. “Oh, Hello Kitty panties,” Nina teased. “Interesting choice. You really committed to this costume, huh?”
Katherine started to squirm at that, pushing her way back off Nina’s lap as the girl giggled, glaring at her once she was back on her feet. “You know what? I don’t want to go to this party after all if this is how you’re gonna act!”
“Oh, please. You just want to go trick or treating, don’t you? I put the idea in your head, and now that’s all you want to do, huh? You’re so boring. Honestly, I don’t know why I let you move in here sometimes.”
“Because I actually pay my rent,” Katherine sulked.
Nina ignored her, even though she was right. “I guess I’ll go to the party by myself. Whatever. Have fun running around with the other kiddies.”
Katherine knew Nina wanted her to feel bad, to cave in, but, for once, she wasn’t going to. She wasn’t sure if she was really going to go trick or treating – the idea of it was fun, but also made her feel a little nervous – but if Nina didn’t like any of her costume ideas, she wasn’t going to bend over backwards trying to come up with something else. “If you’re going to be a bitch about it, I’m not going to share my candy.”
“You just don’t want Dylan to see you next to a whole club full of girls in slutty costumes,” Nina shrugged. “I guess I can’t blame you. It’d be awfully hard for your little Hello Kitty panties to compete with whatever they’d be wearing – or not wearing.”
Katherine started to tell Nina there was nothing wrong with her underwear, but she didn’t want to let the girl know it bothered her too much, or she’d never stop teasing her. “Have fun,” she said instead, heading out of Nina’s room. “Happy Halloween.”
Back in her own room, she walked over to her mirror and looked at herself. “I don’t look that young,” she said out loud, though even she could detect a hint of doubt in her voice as she said it. She stepped out of the heels she had been wearing, pulled off the thigh highs, then went digging through her clothes, finding a pair of lacy ankle socks and black Mary Janes, putting them on instead. She’d left a few buttons at the top of her shirt un-done, and as she walked over to her desk, which served as her make-shift vanity, she fastened them up. She grabbed some eyeliner and returned to the mirror to dot some freckles onto her cheeks before stepping back to admire her handiwork.
Now she certainly did look that young, and there was no denying it. She was a little taken aback as she saw her reflection, looking for all the world like a sweet, innocent little schoolgirl. It was disconcerting how easy that transformation was, and how right Nina’s earlier words now were. There was no way anyone would think it was a costume. Which meant it was a pretty good one, but at the same time, it meant she wasn’t going to look like she was trick or treating.
She stopped herself for a moment – was she really going to do this? She hadn’t even considered it before Nina’s little joke. Why? It sounded fun, sure, but what if she ran into someone she knew? And, really, what was the point? Was it just because she was annoyed at Nina? What was she going to prove by going through with it? But as she stood there, she thought back to years past, to the thrill of waiting for Halloween, picking out her costume, wearing it to school, getting to parade around the neighborhood in it and be told how adorable she looked. And get lots and lots of candy at the same time. No matter what Nina said, Halloween candy just didn’t taste as sweet if you simply bought it at the store. It had to be earned.
She turned to her bed, to the pile of random stuff she’d thrown there in an attempt to come up with a Nina-approved costume. The thing that caught her eye first this time was the thing that she’d grabbed first to begin with – a headband adorned with a pair of black cat ears. She hadn’t had anything to pair it with to make an adult cat costume, but for a kid version, she thought she could whip something up. She grabbed the ears and slipped them on, then took a black boa and slipped it into the back of her skirt, attaching it there for her tail. She drew on some whiskers with a darker shade of eyeliner, then colored the tip of her nose with it as well, and, sure enough, she was done.
Taken on its own, it probably would still look a little lazy to someone handing out candy, like she’d thrown it together at the last minute because she’d thought herself too old for trick or treating, only to change her mind on the day. To someone who knew the truth, that she was really an adult, it might seem a little more impressive, though she doubted Nina would like it. Even though she told herself she didn’t really care what her roommate thought, she was still quiet as she crept out of her room. The girls had used some old jack-o-lantern candy pails as Halloween decorations, and on her way out, Nina grabbed one, completing her outfit, and giving her a place to stash her cell phone.
Just before she reached the front door, she gave a jump as someone knocked on it. “I got it!” she called quickly, further betraying the fact that she was, indeed, embarrassed at the thought of Nina seeing her actually ready to go through with this. Nina didn’t say anything, but Katherine also didn’t hear her heading down the hall, so she assumed the girl wasn’t coming, though she simply might not have been able to hear her, as whoever was at the door hadn’t stopped knocking since they’d started. “I’m coming!” she yelled to them, taking the last couple steps to the door and pulling it open.
Outside stood a trip of boys. Katherine had never been great at judging kids’ ages, but one looked like he might have been 13, the other two were closer to ten. They looked different enough that she assumed they were friends, rather than brothers. None were in costume, giving Katherine a sense of what Nina had been talking about, how lazy that looked to someone answering the door to see kids asking for candy without putting any effort into it.
However, she was too busy to worry about the chill running down her spine to think about that. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she could feel a sense of something being wrong, her entire body tensing up. It was only when the oldest looked up at her with a wide smile that she noticed his eyes. They were jet black, looking even darker against his pale skin, and pearly white teeth. A look at the other two boys revealed their eyes were the same – no pupils, no irises, just orbs of jet black.
“Oh, that’s… that’s creepy,” she stammered, stepping back slightly, then feeling silly for it. “I bet those contact lenses cost a fortune, huh?”
“Ma’am?” the older boy said, seeming to ignore her words. “We have a problem. We were with a trick or treating group, but we lost track of them. Can you let us in so we can use your phone?”
Katherine was, in general, not used to being called ma’am by anyone, and certainly hadn’t expected it while in this costume. She couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t as good as she’d thought. Or maybe it was just the way they were staring at her, all three, that gave her away, some subtle thing that had given her away that only someone paying that close of attention would notice. It would have bothered her more if she didn’t feel so unsettled with those three faces looking at her, through her.
She started to step away, to let them in, but after a small shuffle, her feet froze in place. “I-I can lend you my cell phone if you want,” she offered. “I’m sure they couldn’t have gotten too far.”
“Just let us in. It’ll only take a minute.” The older boy spoke again, stepping slightly closer to her. He was a little taller than her, and she attributed part of her growing discomfort to that. She was sure part of it was due just to what day it was, and the spooky feeling that came with the autumn season. But she wasn’t sure those two things added up to how intensely freaked out she was starting to feel.
“It’s… it’s nice out,” she countered. “You can use it out here, okay? Actually, we have to. We don’t get very good reception in the house.” The last part was a lie, and one that she instantly got the feeling hadn’t been bought.
“Come on,” the lead boy said. “We’re just kids. What are we going to do?”
Katherine told herself he was right, that she was being silly, and even a little mean. If she could get so easily freaked out by a few kids, imagine how they felt, all alone, in a neighborhood they probably didn’t know anything about – at least, she’d never seen them around before. She found herself starting to step back again, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right, and, once again, she stopped.
The two younger boys looked at each other, wearing matching expressions of what might have been horror. Katherine would have felt bad about it if the older boy hadn’t, instead, become angry, his smile turning into a snarl. “Let us in!” he demanded. “We’re not going to hurt you. Just let us in!”
Katherine began to back away again, a shaking hand now reaching for the door to shut it. “I don’t think I can help you,” she told them lamely as she fumbled with the doorknob. Part of her told her it was quite cruel of her to shut the door on kids who needed her help, but another part was yelling at her much louder to do it, so, with one final look at their black eyes and a swallow, she did it, slamming the door closed.
Almost immediately, they began knocking again, louder, more insistently. Katherine kept backing up, starting to chew nervously on her bottom lip. What was she going to do? She wasn’t about to call the police and tell them they had to save her from a bunch of kids that weren’t even in high school that were probably just playing a joke on her, or, even worse, really needed her help.
She let out a strangled cry as she backed into someone, jumping and spinning around, only to see Nina standing there, a little shocked, but also amused. “I thought you were taking care of that,” she said curtly, pushing past her quivering roomate toward the front door.
“Don’t!” Katherine begged. “Don’t open it!”
Nina ignored her, looking out the peephole, then flinging the door open as she grabbed a handful of candy. “Here, now move on!” she said, thrusting the candy at the lead boy and shutting the door in his face. She turned back to Katherine, rolling her eyes. “Seriously? That’s what has you peeing your little Hello Kitty panties? A few kids?”
“No, you don’t understand!” Katherine said. “There’s something wrong with them, they aren’t…”
“Jeez, look at you,” Nina stepped closer to her, taking in the new additions to her costume. “Just because you’re dressed like a six year old doesn’t mean you have to act like one. They were just kids, Mad. They wanted candy. That’s what the whole night is about, isn’t it?” Her voice softened as she got closer to Katherine, reaching out to touch her shaking arm. “Hey, chill out. Maybe you should just stay home tonight. If those stupid costumes scared you this much, you probably would wet your pants if you ran into someone with a half-decent one.”
“You didn’t feel it?” Katherine asked quietly. “There was something wrong with them…”
“I didn’t feel anything, Katherine. You’re getting worked up over nothing. I bet you’ll run into them pulling the same trick at different houses when you’re out there trick or treating.”
“I don’t think I want to go now,” Katherine shook her head.
“Sure, you do. You wait a couple minutes and you’ll calm down and realize how silly you’re acting. Besides, I need you out there.” Katherine cocked her head. “Ashley texted me and told me there’s some scavenger hunt thing at the party. So, since you’re going to be out there anyway, I figured you could be my partner.”
“A scavenger hunt? Trick or treating is stupid and childish, and that isn’t?”
“No, it is. That’s why I thought of you,” Nina replied. “But the first prize is $500.”
“That’s pretty good,” Katherine agreed. “Why don’t you just do it yourself so you don’t have to split it with me?”
“Because I’d rather enjoy myself. And if you’re going to be out and about anyway… I’m just going to give them your name and cell phone number, then they’ll text you what you need to find, and you send a picture of whatever it is along with a note with your name on it.”
“Then, I’ll be doing all the work? Why should I split it with you?”
“I’ll have signed you up for it!” Nina exclaimed, sounding almost insulted. “Come on, we’ll both get to do what we want – I get to party, and you can run around and act like a kid. Only it’ll be even better, because you’ll be looking for something specific! That’s way funner than just begging for candy, right?” Katherine pursed her lips, trying to convince herself she wanted to do this, or even go outside at all after her encounter. “Good!” Nina answered for her. “I grabbed your driver’s license from your room so I can claim the prize if you win.” She took it out of her purse, examining it. “I’ll just tell them I dyed my hair and that’s what makes me look so much older.”
“Hey, what if I need that?!” Katherine grabbed for it, unhappy at the thought of Nina going in her room and taking her things without asking, especially something as important as that.
“For what?” Nina smirked. “If you drive yourself to go trick-or-treating, everyone will know you’re just some weird adult acting like a kid, and then you’re not going to get anything. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna lose it!” Before Katherine could say anything else, Nina looked over at the clock. “Whoa, I’d better get going! Just remember to check your phone for the instructions! You’re the best!”
With that, she was gone. Katherine stomped out onto the porch after her, starting to call after her that she wasn’t going to do it, and that Nina had better get back here and give her license back, but she stopped short as another group of trick or treaters approached. There were only two this time, girls. Katherine had thought the oldest boy seemed a bit old to trick or treat, but these girls looked even older than him, maybe even as old as sixteen, though they were both in costume, one as an angel, in a white dress and knee high boots, both trimmed in fur, with a white garland around her head and white wings, and the other as a demon, in a red and black bodice and tutu with black leggings underneath, red horns and red wings. Each carried a bag, one white, the other red.
Automatically, Katherine looked up at their eyes, but, while those seemed normal, the pair of them was still slightly unsettling – at least for a moment, with Katherine still jumpy from her last encounter – as their faces looked almost exactly alike. Both wore a look of pity at the moment as they watched Nina drive off.
“Trick or treat?” the angel said, as if she felt bad for asking Katherine for anything at the moment.
“Aww,” said the devil, “Did your big sister run off without taking you trick or treating?”
“What a bitch!” the angel shook her head. “And look at how cute you are!”
“No, I…” Katherine started to explain.
“You don’t have to defend her,” the devil stopped her. “That’s a pretty rotten thing to do!”
“I bet your mommy’s not home, either, huh?” the angel asked. “Or she wouldn’t have let her do it. So she’s sticking you with staying here and handing out the candy.”
“Well, no, she isn’t,” Katherine had to admit, “but… You see…”
“We’d never do that to our little sister,” the devil said. “Not that we have one.”
“Well, we did,” the angel interrupted. “For a couple months.”
“Yeah, that was fun,” the devil grinned. “But then she had to go home.”
“It was!” the angel agreed. “And you look like a lot of fun, too, sweetie. Do you want us to take you trick or treating?”
“Oh, no,” Katherine squirmed, starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the two. “You don’t have to…”
“No, we want to!” the angel jumped in. “I’m sure you don’t understand this yet, but we were actually a little embarrassed to go trick or treating ourselves. So you’ll give us a good excuse to be doing it. Besides, we like you. Don’t we?”
“Of course! We’d love to have you along!” The devil reach out, mussing up Katherine’s hair. She knocked the cat ear headband askew, but fixed it immediately.
“No, you don’t understand, I’m…” Katherine looked up at them, blushing. It would look ridiculous now, admitting her real age after letting them treat her like a kid for this long – though it was really her first chance to get a word in edgewise. Even more ridiculous was the fact that the idea of going with them made her feel much calmer about the whole thing. Even if those black eyed kids were still out there, and even if she wasn’t over-reacting about them, at least this way she’d be with someone else if she were to encounter them again. She’d feel like the biggest wimp of all time if she let these teenagers defend her from them, but maybe in a group, she wouldn’t even have to worry about them approaching her.
“You’re what, sweetie?” the devil asked.
“I’m… not supposed to go anywhere with strangers.” Inwardly, she rolled her eyes, hardly able to believe she was going through with this.
“Of course not!” the angel smiled. “How silly of us! Well, what’s your name, honey?”
“Katherine.” She lowered her head a little, shuffling her feet, finding herself almost unconsciously slipping into the role.
“I think we’ll call you Kat. Wait, no, Kitty!” the angel said after a moment of consideration. “That fits you better.”
“It’s perfect! Much cuter,” the devil agreed.
“Anyway,” the angel continued, “my name is Abby, and this is my twin, Addison. We’re going to take very good care of you.”
“First, we’d better set something up out here so your house doesn’t get egged or something,” Abby said, pushing past Katherine into the house. She found the candy bowl easily enough, as Katherine scurried in after her, not liking the idea of her rummaging around the house on her own, but didn’t seem satisfied with it. “We’ll put this out on the porch,” she said, passing it to Addison, who set it on the chair, “but why don’t you make a nice sign that tells kids to only take one piece?”
“I don’t know,” Katherine shrugged. “I doubt they’ll really pay attention to that.”
“Nonsense,” Abby shushed her. “Now, go get some crayons and bring them out here and we’ll help you. Or do you want to show us your room?”
Katherine blushed, very much not wanting the latter option. If they saw her room, they’d surely notice it didn’t seem to belong to someone whatever age they thought she was, and that would be quite awkward, considering how she’d started to play into that. She was starting to realize this might not be a great idea after all. “I’ll get them,” she said. “Just… wait here.”
She set down her candy bucket and hurried to her room. It was a bit embarrassing that she happened to have a box of crayons and some construction paper, things she’d just transferred from her desk at her parents’ house to this one out of habit more than thinking she’d need them, but it was convenient now. She quickly made her way back to the front door, where she was praised as a good girl by Addison.
“I bet you’re a good artist,” Abby told her. “Why don’t you draw a nice picture, then write out ‘Please take only one piece,’ and we’ll tape it to the chair, okay?”
“Umm… Why don’t I just write?” Katherine asked, cheeks flushing again. “It would be quicker, and…”
“It’ll make the sign look better,” Addison explained. “Besides, we want you to draw us a picture.”
“Yeah,” Abby agreed. “Come on, honey, for us.”
“I’m really not that good an artist,” Katherine said lamely, but she could tell the girls wouldn’t be dissuaded. She opened the book of construction paper and flipped through it until she found an orange page, then tried to balance the crayon box on top.
“What are you doing, silly?” Addison asked. “Don’t you have a table or something you can draw on?”
“Oh, um… Yeah.” Katherine started to head for the living room, then turned and said, with slight reluctance, “Why don’t you guys come in?”
“Okay!” Addison stepped inside, shutting the door, and the pair followed Katherine to the living room. She paused for a moment to consider the seating arrangement – the coffee table she had planned to use was right in front of their couch, which could hold all three of them, but she’d have to sit in the middle if she wanted to be able to reach it. Before she could decide if that was what she wanted to do, the twins went to the couch on their own, sitting down, leaving her no room, and little choice but to ask them to move, or just sit on the floor on the other side of the table.
She went with the latter. Standing, the girls were a fair bit taller than her, but now, they seemed even more so, as they stared down at her while she sat on the floor and looked through her box of crayons. “Your mommy keeps your living room nice and neat,” Abby observed. “I don’t see any of your toys anywhere.”
“Yeah… Well…” Katherine unconsciously began to bite her bottom lip, trying to pretend she was just having a hard time choosing a color.
“I’m sure she picks up after herself. She looks like a good girl, aren’t you, Kitty?” Addison smiled down at her. Katherine nodded, finally grabbing a plain, black crayon and starting to make an outline of a pumpkin on the piece of paper. In all honesty, she was a pretty good artist, but she didn’t want to make anything that looked too good, because that might seem suspicious. “So, how old are you, Kitty?”
Katherine froze. She’d hoped they wouldn’t ask her that, that they’d just assume she really was whatever age they thought she was. She wasn’t good at guessing children’s ages, but she really had no idea just how juvenile she looked. Nina seemed to think it was quite a bit, but at least some of that was just teasing. How far back should she go? If they’d just not asked, she could have acted how she wanted, and they could have just assumed she was a little older, or younger, than they’d thought. It would have been so much easier.
“I’m… uh…” She looked down at herself, unsure. “Thirteen?”
She winced as Addison chuckled. “You don’t have to lie to us, sweetie.”
“Oh… Okay…” Katherine fidgeted even more at that, not knowing if she should adjust up or down. Surely she couldn’t go much further up without hitting their ages, and they didn’t seem to be treating her like a peer. So, younger? She hated to do that, but she supposed it was necessary. “Eleven?”
“That seems closer,” Abby nodded, “but we promise, honey, we’re not going to make fun of you. Just tell us how old you really are.”
Katherine stomach lurched inside her. They couldn’t really think she was even younger than that! If she went down much further, she’d “be” less than half her real age! There was no way they could think she was that little, could they? Her costume couldn’t be that good! “But I am!” she tried to bluff.
Addison shook her head, looking disappointed. “Well, okay… But cool kids don’t have to lie about their age. And you’re cool, aren’t you?”
“She seems cool,” Abby agreed. “Or she did.”
Katherine knew she shouldn’t fall for it, that they were just trying to get her to feel bad for “lying”… But they were doing a good job. “Fine,” she sighed, “I’m nine. Almost ten!”
“That sounds better,” Abby grinned at her. “You’re still a big girl!”
“Yeah! You’re almost into the double-digits!” Katherine stared down intently at her paper, unable to look up at Addison, or her sister. She felt ridiculous, sitting there, claiming to be such a little kid, and it felt just as ridiculous that they were buying into it. She frowned at her pumpkin, as she saw that the conversation had distracted her, making her drawing look more like someone half her claimed age would be able to scribble out.
“Oh, that’s good, sweetie!” Addison said encouragingly, with a tone of voice that suggested she thought it was as bad as Katherine did. “Are you going to draw a spooky face on it?”
Katherine would rather have started all over, but she didn’t want to stretch this conversation out any longer than it needed to be. “Uh-huh.” She focused in harder on her drawing, hoping that would keep the girls from asking anything else. She drew a pair of triangles for the eyes, then began to color them in, but as she filled in more and more of the shapes, she couldn’t help thinking of another pair of black eyes she’d stared into not that long ago. Even the memory of it made her start shaking, sending her crayon outside the lines several times.
She was interrupted by the sound of a cell phone alert. She started to get up, but Abby did so more quickly, saying, “I left my phone on the table by the front door. I’ll go grab it!”
Katherine debated whether to say she thought it was hers, instead, unsure whether they’d believe a nine year old would have a cell phone. Maybe Abby had the same text tone as her, and it really was hers. If not, she hoped the girl wouldn’t find her phone. She began to worry more and more about that as Abby stayed away for longer and longer, though a second text tone made her feel a little better, as the girl might have just been writing a reply, and waiting for one back.
She had moved on to the mouth of the jack-o-lantern by the time Abby returned, holding Katherine’s plastic one in her hand. “Is this yours?” she asked, picking up Katherine’s cell phone from inside.
Katherine paused, trying to judge from the girl’s manner whether she’d figured out her secret from whatever she’d seen in that text. Should she just say it was her “big sister’s”? Or was it better to kill this whole thing now, before it got out of control? She was already sitting on the floor, coloring, pretending to be nine – she couldn’t imagine it getting much worse, but that didn’t mean it was impossible. “Yeah,” she said finally.
“Cool!” Abby responded before practically bouncing over to Addison. “Look at this! She’s doing a scavenger hunt!” Addison looked at Abby strangely for a moment, but her expression changed quickly as she looked at the message.
“Why didn’t you tell us? We can help! What is this for, school?” Katherine wasn’t about to tell the truth, and she couldn’t think of anything else that made sense, so she nodded. “Why don’t we get cool homework like this?” Addison wondered wistfully.
“What grade are you in, anyway?” Abby asked. “Fifth, isn’t it?”
That seemed sort of low to Katherine, who began frantically trying to think of what grade she had been in at that age, but Addison answered for her. “If she’s turning ten soon, she’d be in fourth. Right? Or did you mean ‘soon’ as in six months?”
Katherine quickly said, “No, my birthday’s in just a couple weeks!” She wanted to seem as old as possible, not to mention that she didn’t want to seem like one of those little kids who started claiming they were practically a year older the day after their birthday.
Unfortunately, that meant that she had to agree with Abby’s, “Oh, must be fourth, then.” They seemed more likely to know which ages were in which grade than her, and she didn’t want to betray her real age by messing up something as simple as that. Even so, fourth grade seemed awfully immature. That was just one year away from third, the year she’d wet her pants on the bus. She was sure she’d seen several of her classmates have accidents at school that year, too, though of course her own was the most vivid memory for her. There had likely been a few in fourth grade, too.
“Well, you aren’t going to believe our luck,” Abby said, “but the first thing to find is two jack-o-lanterns.”
“Where are we going to..?” Katherine started to ask, before looking up and seeing her candy pail, then back down at her mostly-done drawing. “I don’t know… What if they want two real jack-o-lanterns?” The picture was the worst thing she’d drawn in a very long time, and she didn’t really want anyone to see it, especially with her name attached.
“No, your teacher will love it!” Addison assured her. “Now, the instructions said you have to have your name in the picture somewhere.”
“Yeah, I know,” Katherine sighed. “I bet it wouldn’t be hard to find…”
“Trust us, Kitty,” Abby reached over the table and patted her head. “We’ve been in school a lot longer than you, and we know what teachers like.”
Katherine had a sudden bright idea, and flipped to another page of construction paper. She’d just put her name on that, then she could say someone else had drawn the picture. No big deal. But as she began to write, Addison reached over and snatched away the crayon.
“No, no,” she scolded. “You have to sign your drawing!”
“That’s right!” Abby agreed. “All artists sign their work. That way everyone knows who did it!”
“But I’ll need something with my name on it for the other pictures!” Katherine exclaimed, happy she’d happened to think of that.
“You will, but for this one, you’re going to sign your drawing.” Katherine looked up at Abby, but she was clearly finished arguing the point. Katherine sighed and wrote out her name at the bottom of the picture, letting Addison snap a photo of it sitting on the coffee table next to her candy bucket before writing “Please take only one piece” at the top. Abby tore the page out of the construction paper book and left, leaving Addison to observe as Katherine wrote her name across another piece of paper, sticking it into the bucket, just in time for her phone to chime with the receipt of another text.
“Great job!” said the message, from a number she assumed belonged to whoever was running the contest. “Now, show me ten different kinds of candy.”
“Well, that’s easy!” Abby exclaimed, once she was back in the room and Katherine had read her and her sister the message. “That’s what trick or treating is all about!” She and Addison looked through the candy they’d already gotten, but they’d just started when they ran into Katherine. “I guess we’d better get started then, huh?”
Katherine nodded, though she was starting to feel anxious about leaving the house now, flanked by a pair of girls who thought she was a fourth grader. That feeling only grew worse as Addison declared, “We’d ask you if you needed to go potty before we left, but you’re a big enough girl you’d have gone on your own, right? Especially in your own house.”
Katherine blushed, nodding again, though she agreed more with the first part than the second. She was certainly too embarrassed after that to decide to excuse herself, as if she hadn’t thought to go without them reminding her about it. “Let’s go!”
She couldn’t help wincing a little as they left, and she saw her picture on display, taped to the chair, her name scrawled across it, but she told herself it didn’t really matter. So some kids would see it and think she was a lousy artist. It might hurt her pride a little, but she’d live. It wasn’t as if her pride was having a good day anyway, as, walking in between the twins down the sidewalk, it was difficult not to realize that anyone passing them would think that she was the youngest of the group.
She began to feel more nervous as they walked up to their first house. She hadn’t moved in all that long ago, and hadn’t really met many of the neighbors yet, so she hadn’t worried too much about them seeing her as the plan began to form in her mind. But now she was realizing that, while she didn’t know them now, she might meet them again later, and what if they recognized her? Would they assume she really was a little kid?
“I-I don’t know about this…” she mumbled, but, almost as one, the twins grabbed an arm each before she could try to make her escape.
“You don’t have to be scared, sweetie,” Addison told her.
“They’ll just love you!” Abby seconded, pulling the squirming girl to her neighbor’s front door and ringing the doorbell. Katherine quickly ducked her head as the door opened and the twins chanted, “Trick or treat!”
“Don’t you girls look good!” the woman at the door cooed, handing candy to each of the girls, and dropping some in Katherine’s bucket. “A shy one?”
“Don’t be bashful, Kitty!” Abby told her. “Come on, thank the nice lady!”
When Katherine didn’t do as she’d been told, one of the girls gave her a sharp smack across the bottom. She gave a loud squeal and looked up in surprise, catching the eye of the woman at the door, where she was sure she saw a spark of recognition. She might not have formally met the woman, but she was bound to have noticed her going in and out. “Thank you,” she squeaked before looking back down at the sidewalk.
“Isn’t she just the cutest little thing?” Addison gushed. “She’s a little schoolgirl Kitty. I bet she thought of that all on her own, didn’t you? Why don’t you show the nice lady your make-up?”
Another smack on the backside brought her face back up, for longer this time, giving the woman enough time to study her while she stood there, shivering. She wanted to explain what was going on, why she was letting herself be bossed around by a couple teenagers, but, in all honesty, she wasn’t sure she understood it herself.
“She’s almost in fourth grade!” Abby bragged. “Isn’t that right? Just another year!”
“No, I’m already in it!” Katherine quickly corrected them, wanting to hang on to every scrap of maturity she could, though she quickly regretted doing so in front of her neighbor. “I mean, I…”
“Oh, silly me!” Abby giggled. “See? Such a big girl she is! Can you believe her big sister wouldn’t take her trick or treating? She was in tears when we found her, begging us to take her with us! Isn’t that sad?”
“I wasn’t crying!” Katherine protested, but she had the feeling nobody was listening.
“Well, we’d better get going,” Addison said. “We don’t want to keep her up past her bedtime! Say thank you again, Kitty!”
“Thank you!” Katherine blurted out quickly, before they could smack her again. Her neighbor gave her a strange look, then said goodbye, and the twins were pulling her away, further down the street. “Y-You know what?” Katherine said. “That was fun enough, I think I’ll just go home now, okay?”
“No, no, no!” Abby shook her head. “We’re no done until your bucket is full of candy! We’re going to make sure you have the best Halloween ever!”
“This is so much fun!” Abby exclaimed happily as Katherine snapped a picture of the fake cobwebs stretched out over the branches of a tree, the piece of paper with her name on it tucked into the center.
“This is just like what we did with our other little sister!” Addison added. “You two are so alike!”
Katherine nodded obediently as she sent the picture off, hoping that was the end of the scavenger hunt. So far, it had all been very simple stuff, hardly challenging enough to warrant a $500. She’d taken pictures of her candy, of a ghost decoration set up in someone’s yard, a kid dressed as a witch, and now cobwebs. It really felt more like something she’d have had to do in the fourth grade, rather than as a young adult, which really wasn’t helping her self-esteem much, as the twins’ constant reiteration of her supposed age to everyone they met was making her feel very childish already.
As did her fear of every group of kids that passed them by. Much as she hated to admit it, she was sure that if she didn’t have the girls holding her in place, she’d have run back to her house long before, because every time they saw other kids, she would freeze up, sure they were another set of black eyed kids. Sometimes, she would feel a chill run down her spine and turn her head, sure she’d seen someone duck into the shadows.
They started to move on, only for Addison to say, “We almost forgot your name!” and rush away, back to the tree.
Abby kept going, pulling Katherine along. For her part, Katherine tried to tell them, “You know what, I don’t think we need it! I think the hunt is over!” She wished she’d had the presence of mind to turn the volume off while she’d been taking the last picture, something she regretted as, a moment later, she got another text.
“Looks like you’re wrong,” Abby said, snatching the phone from the top of the now almost half full bucket. “Let’s see what you have to find next…” She looked over it, giggling slightly, but she waited until Addison returned to read it out loud, leaving Katherine squirming in anticipation. “‘Next you need a collar with bell,'” she recited, “‘to put on scary monsters so they can’t sneak up on you.'”
“I don’t think we’ll find that,” Katherine shrugged with fake exasperation. “Too bad! But I’ve already done enough to get an A, so thanks you guys! I can just go home now, and…”
“We’re not giving up now!” Addison stopped her. “If you already have an A, we’ll make sure you get all the extra credit you can.”
“And don’t you worry, I’m sure we’ll find a collar somewhere.” And, sure enough, when they got to the next house, Abby asked, “By the way, you don’t happen to have an extra dog or cat collar laying around? I know it sounds weird, but she needs it for her costume? One with a bell would be perfect.”
Katherine was too mortified to tell the person at the door she didn’t really need that, but they didn’t have one anyway. As soon as they were away from the house, she hissed at the twins, “I don’t want to do this anymore! I’m tired of this scavenger hunt, and my feet are tired, and I just want to go home!” The girls ignored her, giving each other a smirk over her head instead, though when she tried to pull away from them, one of them gave her yet another firm whack on the butt. “Stop that!” Katherine demanded. “That isn’t funny!”
“It’s not supposed to be,” Abby lectured her. “It’s supposed to remind you to behave, or we’ll give you a real spanking.”
“No, you won’t,” Katherine responded, aghast. “I’m way too old for that!”
“Naughty girls are never too old to get their bottoms warmed,” Addison said. “Though I thought you were a good girl.”
“Look, this has gone far enough. I…” Katherine’s words froze in her mouth as she saw a trio of figures approaching them from down the street, three people that didn’t seem to be wearing costumes. She began to shake slightly, trying to shrink away from them.
As they got closer, however, she could see that they weren’t the boys from earlier. It was a different set of boys, older, and clearly not in costume because they saw Halloween as a night to cause mayhem, as they were carrying bags bulging with supplies and swiped beer. They were less scary, but only by a little.
They ignored her completely, eyes locked instead on Abby and Addison. “Hey, there,” one of them smiled at Addison. “You look like you wanna have some fun tonight. You gonna sit on my shoulder and tell me to do bad things?”
“I think you can do that all on your own,” Addison answered.
“We’re gonna hit Principal Blevins’s place,” another of the boys said. “We have rotten eggs, TP, all the classics. You know you want in on that.”
“That does sound fun,” Abby told them, “but we have our own fun tonight.”
“Besides, we’re babysitting.” Katherine let out a small yelp as she was pulled forward, put on display. Her cheeks flushed as she felt the teenage boys look at her, then immediately dismiss her.
“What about after you get her all tucked in?” one of them asked. “The night will still be young.” Katherine’s cheeks grew darker at the implication that she was bound to have an early bedtime, but she couldn’t find the courage to say anything about it.
The twins didn’t contradict it, either. “We’ll see,” Addison said instead.
The boys shrugged, obviously not have expected much. “We’ll be around,” they promised, heading back into the darkness.
“Why don’t you go with them?” Katherine suggested. “I’m not that far from home, I can get back on my own!”
“On Halloween?” Abby’s eyes opened wide in faux-shock. “A cute little thing like you? The ghosts and ghouls would gobble you right up!” She reached down tickling Katherine’s stomach suddenly, making the girl giggle and squirm.
The twins gave each other a look, and suddenly Katherine found herself on her back on the nearest lawn, candy bucket beside her, four hands attacking her mid-section relentlessly as she wriggled beneath their fingers. “Stop!” she demanded almost right away, knowing how ticklish she was, how full her bladder was getting from the long walk, but they didn’t listen. She couldn’t remember ever getting tickled by two people at once before, and they were so in tune with each other, it was almost like they were one person, with four arms. As soon as she squealed and tried to twist away from one, the other would be right there, attacking, giving her nowhere to go. Her laughter quickly escalated to tears, and from there she knew she was just a hair’s breadth from losing control, from…
“Oh, my God, look at that!” Abby exclaimed, and they both suddenly stopped. Katherine, still wiggling a little as she tried to catch her breath and stop the last few, residual, giggles, tried to figure out what had happened, sure that she hadn’t felt her bladder give way, though it had been close. Yet they were both now staring at her crotch.
“Those are just so cute!” Addison grinned. “They go with your costume so well!”
“Just adorable!” Abby nodded. “And they’re saying hi to you, too, Kitty! Isn’t that sweet of them?”
Katherine’s cheeks flushed again as she realized, at last, that in her thrashing, her skirt had blown upward, giving them a view of her panties. She pushed her skirt back down, but the damage was already done.
“Is your tail attached to your skirt?” Abby wondered, then, before Katherine could answer, she’d pulled the girl to her feet, spinning her around to look herself. “Oh, that’s too bad,” she pouted. “We could have taken your skirt off and let everyone see how good you are at coordinating your panties with your costume!”
“It was a coincidence!” Katherine vowed to throw those underwear away as soon as she got home.
“We could always pin her tail to her panties,” Addison suggested.
“No! I am not walking around in my underwear!” Katherine crossed her arms, putting her foot down at last.
“You’re right,” Abby agreed surprisingly quickly. “I mean, they’re cute, but…”
“Yeah,” Addison nodded. “But they could be something cuter.”
Katherine had no idea what they were talking about, but the looks on their faces as they talked about it made her a little scared. Before she could say anything more, however, they had grabbed her, giving her back her bucket, and were trundling her along to the next house. They had no luck with the collar there, but at the next house, the man who answered the door nodded, with a, “Oh, yes, I just got a new one for Gloria.” He vanished into the house for a minute, then returned with an old pink collar, bell attached to the front, leash at the back.
“We don’t need the leash,” Katherine said quickly, earning herself another smack from the grinning Abby.
“Don’t be rude! He’s giving you a present!” Abby scolded, taking the collar from the man and starting to adjust it. “Now thank him.”
“Thank you,” Katherine reluctantly complied, before Abby handed the collar to her.
“Now, put it on,” she ordered.
“What?!” Katherine looked up at her like she was crazy.
“He gave you this for your costume! The least you can do is let him see how you look in it!”
“Put it on right now, you rude little girl!” Addison took over, glaring down at Katherine. “Or we’ll tell your mommy how naughty you’re acting!”
Katherine stared down at the collar in her hands, then up at the twins. She could tell it was going to happen either way, but she had to try a desperate, last ditch, “We don’t even need it, we just have to take a picture, then he can have it back!”
“Don’t be silly! How are you going to wear a picture for the rest of the night?”
Katherine sighed, seeing that she was defeated. She slipped the collar around her neck, fastening it in the back, bell tinkling even before she had it secured. She felt quite silly indeed, even before Addison took the leash from her and started to lead her away by it with a cheerful, “Thanks again!” to the man.
They took her to the end of his driveway before having her take out the paper with her name and hold it up while Abby snapped a picture of her, Addison still holding the leash. “Can I take it off now?” Katherine whined. “It hurts my throat.”
“Nope, it’s part of your costume,” Addison told her, tugging her along toward the next house as Abby trailed behind, sending the picture. It seemed to take a little longer than it should have, though maybe she just wasn’t used to using Katherine’s phone yet.
“You have another message,” she announced when she handed it back. “Read it!”
Katherine switched to her text messages, wondering how much longer this scavenger hunt could go on. “‘It’s almost beddy-bye time,'” she read boredly, “‘so just one more thing. After such a big night, lots of kids have trouble with… bedwetting… so get yourself a… diaper… just in case…'”
“You got kind of quiet there, sweetie,” Addison said to the shocked girl at the other end of the leash. “What are we looking for?”
Katherine really wished she’d read the whole message before she started saying the words out loud, because it was too late to back out now. Especially since she had a good feeling Addison had heard her just fine the first time. “A diaper,” she sighed. “We’re looking for a diaper.”
It was perfect, really – just the capper she needed for this thoroughly childish evening. She had no doubt Nina would laugh herself hoarse if she found out about it. Even the twins seemed to be working hard not to laugh out loud.
“Do you have any at home?” Abby asked, voice full of sweetness and innocence.
“No!” Katherine answered quickly, though she knew that would only make it sound more like she did, and was embarrassed about it.
“Are you sure?” Addison teased. “Maybe we ought to go back to your house and look through your drawers, see if you have a plastic sheet on your bed!”
Again, Katherine couldn’t help responding to that right away, “I’m not a bedwetter!” She then felt like sinking into the sidewalk as, a moment later, a group of trick or treaters passed them by, giving her a strange look.
“You don’t have to be ashamed,” Abby said. “Lots of kids your age still have trouble with that.”
“Well, I don’t!” Katherine stomped her foot, getting red in the face.
“Aww, calm down, silly,” Addison patted her head. “We’re only teasing. It’s just for the scavenger hunt. Calm down, sweetie.”
Yet, when they got to the next house, Addison asked the man who answered, “Do you happen to have a diaper we could use for her?”
“It’s for a game!” Katherine clarified quickly, before realizing that didn’t sound much better.
Before she could think of a better way to phrase it, the man was saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any kids,” and the twins were thanking him and pulling Katherine away.
“Don’t say that!” Katherine demanded. “You know what that makes it sound like!”
“Oh, sorry, Kitty,” Addison apologized. “I guess I didn’t think of that!”
But at the next house, it was even worse. “I’m sorry to ask, but do you have a spare diaper?” Addison asked.
“Even though she’s in the second grade and keeps saying she’s a big girl,” Abby broke in before Katherine could mention the scavenger hunt.
“I’m in fourth grade!” It had become almost second nature, defending her supposed age, something she found herself doing automatically before even trying to make it clear she didn’t need a diaper, even though that only made it sound worse. “And it’s for…”
“No, sorry, guys,” the woman shook her head.
“This isn’t funny!” Katherine grumped at the twins once they were away from the house again, but they obviously disagreed.
At the next house, Abby took the initiative. “Do you happen to have any diapers? We didn’t think to bring any spares because our little Kitty here told us she didn’t need them.”
“And we believed her because we thought six was plenty old to keep her pants dry for one night, but I guess the excitement of trick or treating was too much for her, you know?”
“And it’s past her bedtime,” Abby confided. “We should have known better, but we’re still new at this whole babysitting thing.”
“I am not six!” Katherine fumed, stomping her foot. If they hadn’t been on the front step of one of her neighbors, she would have told them she wasn’t nine, either, fed up with their games. She almost did anyway, but Abby interrupted.
“But just a couple weeks now!” Abby chirped.
The woman at the door looked down at Katherine, who was too flabbergasted to speak for a moment, then announced, “I think I have something that will fit.” She was gone for a minute, then returned with a Pamper. Katherine almost died as she saw it. She was sure there was no way she could fit into it, but the idea that this woman thought she could, that this was appropriate for her, was almost as bad.
“Thank you so much!” Addison smiled as she took it. “Say thank you, Kitty! Now you don’t have to walk around wet for the rest of the night!”
“I am not wet!” Katherine insisted vehemently.
“Poor cranky thing,” Abby sighed.
“My parents are keeping my baby for the night so they could take him trick or treating,” the woman said. “You can change her in his nursery if you want.”
“No!” Katherine squealed. “I don’t need…”
“Thank you so much! You’re a lifesaver!” Addison pulled Katherine inside as Abby gave the woman a hug, and soon the three had been escorted to the toddler’s room and then given some privacy.
“We just need a picture!” Katherine begged them. “I’ll just hold it, and…”
“Oh, we’ll get a picture,” Addison promised. “We have to have it just perfect.”
With that, she picked up the squirming Katherine, depositing her on the changing table and pushing her down onto it, holding her down as Abby took the diaper from her. The changing table was a little too small, but it would serve its purpose well enough.
“No!” Katherine wailed. “You can’t!”
But Abby seemed to have some experience at avoiding a squirming young lady’s kicking legs, and had already pushed her skirt out of the way and tugged down her panties, leaving her bare bottom on the cool plastic cover of the changing table for a moment before she slipped the diaper beneath it. Katherine froze for a moment in terror as she felt the thick padding beneath her, giving Abby enough time to grab the baby lotion from the table and squirt some liberally into the seat of the diaper, then sprinkle baby powder over Katherine’s crotch.
At this point, it was clear that they could do anything they wanted, so Katherine changed her tactic to, “Please, don’t!”
“Don’t be sad,” Addison consoled her, kissing her forehead. “Lots of four year olds wet the bed. And it’s already past your bedtime.”
“I’m not four!” Katherine wailed.
“Are you trying to say you’re a big girl?” Abby asked.
“Yes!” Katherine nodded, trying to remember what age they’d agreed on. They’d been calling her different ones all night, and she was starting to get confused. She could remember her grade, but she was less certain about ages. “I’m…. eight?”
“Are you sure it wasn’t nine? Or how about eleven? Or thirteen? Or maybe we should go higher?” Abby grinned as Katherine looked up at her in surprise. “How old are you, Kitty?”
“I-I’m twenty-one,” Katherine admitted quietly. Had they really known all along? Why had they played along for so long?
“I don’t know…” Addison shook her head. “Would a twenty-one year old fit in a baby Pamper?”
With that, Abby pulled the diaper up, squishing the cool lotion against Katherine’s sensitive skin, making her squirm as the girl taped the diaper snugly in place. “Look at that! It fits perfectly!”
Katherine’s struggles had mostly ceased by then, but with that news, she stopped moving altogether, gaping down at the infantile garment on her waist. “But….”
“I don’t know if a nine year old would, either,” Addison mused. “So I think you must be four. At the most.”
“But…” Katherine sniffled. The girls pulled her down from the changing table and undid her skirt, letting it fall to the floor. They removed her panties, too, then helped her into the boy’s bed. He was out of a crib, luckily, but his bed still had side rails, and the sheet crinkled noisily below her as she fidgeted. Abby pulled the side rail up as Addison got Katherine’s name from her bucket, propping it up on the now crying girl’s stomach before snapping a picture of what, for all the world, was bound to look like a toddler girl being put to bed after a hard night of candy gathering.
“We told you we’d get a picture,” Addison smiled.
“Maybe we should leave her in there,” Abby suggested. “She is pretty cranky, and I’m sure she needs to get to bed. And I know we could find better ways to spend our Halloween.”
“I bet that lady misses her baby,” Addison added. “I doubt she’d mind looking after her.”
“No!” The idea had almost sounded good for a moment, getting away from these crazy twins, but then she remembered she had nothing to prove she was anything but what they’d said she was. Nina had her license, and she had no doubt the girls would be sure to take her phone with them to keep her from using it. She could tell the woman where her house was, but without any “adults” there, she doubted the woman would leave her there.
“I don’t know, it sounds pretty good to me,” Abby shrugged. “Unless you can do something for us.”
“Like what?” Katherine doubted it would be anything good.
She was right. “Wet your diaper,” Abby demanded. “Lay down in bed, pretend to be asleep, and soak your Pampers.”
“It’ll be adorable,” Addison assured her. “And don’t worry, we’ll both be recording it, so you can watch it later, too.”
“No! I can’t do that!” Katherine’s face was bright red, and tears were stinging her eyes. How dare they do this to her? She was a grown woman, and they knew it!
“Then I guess we’ll see you later,” Abby shrugged, walking over to the nursery window. “We can climb through here. Then she’ll come to check and see what’s taking so long, and she’ll find a nice present waiting for her!”
“We’ll wait outside until she does, though,” Addison told Katherine, “so you don’t think you can try the same thing.”
“But…” Katherine sniffled. What would be worse, spending the night with someone who truly thought she was a bedwetting little kid, or with a couple crazy teens who knew she wasn’t, but wanted to treat her like one? Neither was appealing, but at least one had a chance of her getting back home before Nina and being able to change before her roommate could find out about it. “Fine.”
She settled down into the bed. She started to pull the blanket over herself, but Addison threw it back off, rolling her over onto her back, legs spread wide. “Hold on for just a second,” the girl told her, as she and her sister positioned themselves, one holding Katherine’s phone, the other one of their own. “Now, ready, set…”
“Wait!” Abby suddenly began digging through her bag, rummaging through the candy. “I think it’s time.”
“It would be cute,” Addison nodded.
From the bottom of the bag, Abby pulled out a pacifier. The front of it looked like any normal baby’s pacifier, but the bulb was larger than any Katherine had ever seen. “We got this for our other little sister,” Abby explained. “We were hoping to find someone else that could use it.”
“And we sure did.” Addison took the pacifier and pressed it to Katherine’s lips. Katherine whimpered weakly, then resignedly opened her mouth. Addison shoved the pacifier inside, the rubber filling her mouth, almost making her feel like her cheeks should be bulging out from the size of it. “Now… Action!”
Katherine squeezed her eyes shut, trying to forget where she was, what was happening, how she was dressed. The smell of baby powder surrounding her, the bulk of the diaper between her legs, the pacifier in her mouth and the rustling of plastic made all those things difficult. Actually letting go, however, was far easier than she’d anticipated, her full bladder more than happy to finally find some relief. It took only the slightest coaxing for it to forget all its years of potty training and start.
She gave a muffled whimper from behind her pacifier as it began. Once it had started, she could tell there was no way to stop it, and all she could do was squirm in place and feel her diaper swell up around her waist, fighting to contain it all. Unconsciously, she found herself sucking on the pacifier, which made her feel slightly better until she realized what she was doing. As if peeing in a diaper wasn’t bad enough on its own!
Finally, she finished, but she didn’t dare open her eyes, not wanting to see the soaked, droopy diaper around her waist until she had to. She heard a click and a sliding sound, then, all of the sudden, Abby yelled, “Katherine, how could you?!”
Katherine furrowed her brow, confused, almost as much by one of the girls using her real name as by what was happening. She heard the sound of footsteps and the door open. She began to wriggle a bit, then froze as she felt a wet spot beneath her. Her eyes shot open and she sat up in horror, only to see that, sure enough, she had leaked.
“We are so sorry!” Addison was apologizing as she led the woman into the nursery. “We just got her changed, and she said she was tired and ran to your boy’s bed and sat down, and then she just wet herself, and she leaked all over! We feel so terrible!”
Katherine tried frantically to explain, but only a faint buzz escaped from the pacifier. She tried to take it out, but Abby pushed it back in, giving her a stern look.
“It’s all right,” the woman told them. “These things happen. I’m sure his sheets needed washing anyway.”
“We told her not to touch any of his things, but she just won’t listen!” Abby shook her head.
“She probably just needs to get into her own bed,” the woman suggested. “I’m sure she’d say she wants to trick or treat more, but you have to be firm with them at this age.”
“You’re right,” Addison nodded. “Again, we’re so sorry. But can we..?”
“Of course, change her into a fresh diaper,” the woman invited them. “And take a spare with you, just in case.”
“You’re so nice,” Abby smiled sweetly at the woman. Katherine was quickly treated to another diaper change, and another liberal dose of baby powder, then put on her feet, Addison taking her leash again and Abby grabbing a hand. “I guess we should get you home,” she said.
“No!” Katherine mumbled behind her pacifier, staring down at her fully exposed diaper with wide eyes, but they were already marching her through the house.
“Thank you again!” Abby told the woman. “And we’re sorry about the sheets! But if it makes you feel any better, we’ll have to do laundry when we get back, too, since her skirt got soaked as well.”
Katherine shook her head, trying to explain that it didn’t.
“Would you like to borrow some pants? She looks a little bigger than my son, but we might be able to find something.”
“We don’t want to be any more bother,” Addison said. “We parked not far from here anyway. She’ll be fine.”
Katherine whimpered, trying her hardest to keep from being yanked through the front door, out onto the street where anyone could see her Pampers, but a sharp tug at the leash while the woman wasn’t looking calmed her down quickly and moments later, she was outside, feeling the cool autumn air on her bare legs. Tears sprang to her eyes as she looked around – the streets were mostly bare now, but even so, anyone could be looking out their windows and see her!
She tried to squeeze a, “Please,” around her pacifier, then tried once again to take it out.
Abby smacked her hand. “No! That stays in until one of us big girls takes it out. If you want something, you’ll just have to show us.”
Miserably, Katherine pointed down at her diaper, trying to make them understand.
“Kitty! Did you wet yourself again already?!” Addison gave a dramatic sigh.
Katherine shook her head, blushing. She pointed down again, then at Abby’s bag, where she’d stashed Katherine’s clothes. “You want some candy? I don’t think you’ve been a good enough girl for that,” Abby said.
Katherine groaned in exasperation and reached for the pacifier. Abby stopped her again, then began looking in her bag. For a moment, Katherine thought it had worked, but then Abby produced a pink strap. She took the pacifier from Katherine’s mouth and attached it while the girl frantically begged for her clothes back, then replaced it mid-sentence, fastening it behind her head with a small click.
“Now try again,” Abby ordered.
Katherine slumped down slightly, frustrated that they were ignoring the fact that she’d already asked for it while her pacifier had been out. She pointed down at her diaper, then over at Abby’s bag.
“Oh, I think she wants her pretty little panties back!” Addison declared. Katherine shook her head, but the girls paid her no mind as Abby pulled the pink panties free, and the two of them pulled them up her legs. The Pamper stuck out of the legholes and the top quite obviously, bulging against the soft fabric, making it clear she was still diapered underneath them.
“You’re right!” Abby nodded, patting Katherine on the shoulder, “That’s much cuter!”
Katherine was terrified, sure they were about to march her up to more of her neighbors and show her off like that, but, luckily, they didn’t make any more stops. Most of the front lights were off by then, anyway, and while she still worried that someone could see her from the windows, or that the remaining kids out and about, mostly the older ones, would recognize her from the neighborhood, she still felt relieved knowing that the girls seemed to be getting bored with her.
She’d never felt more glad to see her house, to get the chance to run to her room, change into some real underwear and clothes, and try to forget about that night, but the girls stopped at the porch. Abby took Katherine’s candy bucket and set it at one side of the porch, taking her skirt and the spare diaper from her own bag and putting it in as well, along with a small key. “This is to your pacifier,” she told Katherine. “You can keep it for now. It suits you. And you’ll need it when we drop by to babysit you.”
Addison grabbed Katherine’s arms and pulled them behind her, weaving the leash around them, tying them in place before tying the end of the leash around one of the posts of the porch, well away from the bucket that held her freedom from the pacifier, and from having her diaper quite so visible. Katherine was so busy trying to stop it that she didn’t notice Abby doing something was the piece of paper that had her name on it she’d been using for the scavenger hunt.
The twins took pictures of the struggling girl, then set her phone in her bucket. “We said trick or treat,” Abby told her with an evil little smile. “You should have given us our candy.”
“We really had no choice but to give you a trick. Now, night-night, Kitty. Try not to leak all over your pretty big girl panties!” Addison waved, and then the twins were off, giggling to each other, leaving Katherine futilely thrashing against the leash.
She fought for a while before giving up, looking around herself at the dark street. A sense of foreboding washed over her as she recalled what had happened earlier that evening, what had scared her so much she’d let herself get talked into going out with the twins in the first place. The thought sent a shiver down her spine. Had they just been kids in costume, or had they been something more, like she’d been so sure of? And what if they came back? She was helpless now!
She gave another frantic twist against her bonds, but they refused to loosen. She doubted the twins knew about the black-eyed kids, but even so, they’d trussed her up for them to do what they wanted with her. She couldn’t even call for help. She whimpered as she thought back to those dark eyes, their voices, so confident, so un-childlike.
She gave a loud squeak as she heard what she thought was the sound of footsteps behind her, a trickle of urine squirting into the thirsty padding of her diaper, but when she turned around, nothing was there. She turned back around, then gave a jump as she saw a trio of figures across the street. She groaned a frantic, “No,” into her pacifier as they turned toward her, her diaper growing wetter as she began to lose herself in her fear. They turned back away, apparently not seeing her, kicking viciously at the jack-o-lantern on the front step of the house across the street before running off, laughing.
It was going to be a long night, she realized, especially if she kept jumping at every noise, but she had freaked herself out too much already to do anything but. She almost wished those black eyed kids would come back and take her as it got later, and her diaper began leaking, warm urine running down her bare legs, then quickly cooling down.
Nina, of course, was tickled pink to find her there when she finally made it back home and found the note Abby had left. “‘Kitty has been a bad little girl,'” she read out loud, once she’d untied her roommate and let her inside. “‘Please make sure she gets into a dry diaper, then goes straight to bed. Here’s our phone number if you need a babysitter for her, or we can recommend a nice daycare.'”
Katherine tried to explain, but Nina had paused before unlocking the pacifier. “You know, I asked the person in charge of the scavenger hunt how I’d done when the winner was announced, and they told me I hadn’t even finished the first one. You could have at least made an effort.” With that, she pocketed the key. “Let me guess, did some more big, bad kids do this to you?”
Katherine blushed, giving away the answer even without being able to talk.
“I always thought you acted like a big baby,” Nina shook her head. “Obviously, I was right. Tomorrow, I’m calling your ‘babysitters’, and I’m going to congratulate them on what a good job they did, and see when they can come over to watch you. But for now, I’m going to take their advice and get your diapered butt to bed. Got it?”
Katherine sighed and nodded. What choice did she have? She’d wanted to go trick or treating. Now she had a whole bucket full of treats, but she had a feeling it was the trick that was going to stick with her the longest.