The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 10

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 10

Lucy knew it wouldn’t do her much good, but she started to crawl away anyway, determined to do whatever she could to get away from the bouncer the robot had just made, since she doubted she’d be able to get out once she was in the thing. The crib had been hard enough to escape from… This looked even worse.

Of course, the robot was able to catch up with her in no time, given its size, and her weakened legs, though Lucy did get far enough. The robot reached down and grabbed her, turning her around to tell her, “It is all right, little one. I know babies such as you can get cranky. Mommy is not upset.”

It began to pull her in closer, giving Lucy a chance to swing the branch she’d grabbed, clubbing the robot in the side of the head as hard as she could, glad neither this machine, or its husband, had leeched power from her arms. Even then, she worried it wouldn’t do her any good, despite the branch itself splitting in half, that the robot was strong enough that it would barely feel the blow, but, thankfully, she felt its grip on her loosen, allowing her to squirm free and begin crawling again.

“That is very naughty,” the robot called from behind her, its voice sounding a little slower, more mechanical, at first. “You are lucky my husband is not here.”

Had she actually injured it? She tried glancing behind herself to see, though, in her hurry, it was hard to make out much. If she kept that up, and the robot didn’t wise up, maybe she could break it, get past it that way… She really didn’t want to do that, though. Sure, these robots had been pests, and were making her journey far harder than it needed to be, and yet…

If only the robot wasn’t between her and the depths of the woods, where the end of the rainbow was waiting. Maybe she’d bought herself enough time with the branch to crawl around the robot and deeper into the forest, but heading directly towards the thing seemed like a terrible idea, given how big the automatons were, and how quickly she’d seen them move when they needed to.

As if it wanted to prove that very thing, the machine lumbered towards her, closing the distance Lucy had created between them in only a few steps, towering over the girl on the ground and bending forward, hands open. Lucy managed to squirm out of the way, twisting to keep a better eye on where it was, scooting along on her padded bottom in the leaves and dirt. It slowed her down, but, with the robot already so close, she doubted it truly made much of a difference.

“Please,” she begged, scrambling backwards blindly. “I promise, I’ll be good, just don’t put me in the bouncer…”

“Children must be disciplined,” the robot informed her. “I do not want you to grow up to be a spoiled brat.”

“I’m already grown up!” Lucy protested. “Well, technically…”

“It is fun to play pretend,” the robot said, “but play time is over for now, because of your behavior.”

The robot grabbed for her again, and, again, Lucy managed to duck out of the way, barely. She couldn’t keep this up for long, and, even if she could, she was already getting close to the edge of the forest, which meant, eventually, she’d hit the banks of the river, and be trapped.

Should she just give up? After everything she’d been through, it seemed crazy to throw in the towel now, but what choice did she have? The number of fallen branches she was close to, especially those big enough to potentially hurt the robot, probably wasn’t high enough to actually get the job done, even if she had the heart to try and cave its metal head in, and there were fewer and fewer of them the nearer she got to the forest’s edge. There might be some rocks outside of it, though they’d need to be pretty big, yet also small enough for her to throw.

This could be it… She might be stuck here, with this humongous robot, left to her mercy, while it slowly drained more and more of her body of feeling until she was essentially the baby it already thought her to be. She gulped, shaking her head, weakly crawling backwards, her motivation waning the more she thought about how useless resisting was at this point.

Then, she felt it. Her hand jumped back at first, thinking she’d found a rock – and not one big enough to damage the robot with at that – before recognizing the texture of wood, and the shape. She glanced beside herself, brushing aside the leaves she’d piled over the lock. The robot noticed her distraction and took advantage of it, reaching down, clamping its hands around her and lifting her up. Before she left the ground, Lucy grabbed something, too, unsure if it would help her, or if she was only clinging to it because it was the biggest thing she could get her hands on.

“I should probably spank you for that,” the robot told Lucy, holding her up in front of her red eye. “The forest can be a dangerous place for a little one like you. You must stay with Mommy.”

What was left of Lucy’s dignity wanted her to point out, yet again, that she was no ‘little one’, that she’d been through these woods countless times, even if it had never looked anything like it did today. Instead, almost instinctively, she heard herself sigh and mumble, “Yes, Mommy.” It was her default response when her actual mother lectured her, especially about things Lucy already knew. She was used to being treated like a little kid… It was mostly just the fact that this ‘mom’ was actually far larger than her that was different now.

“I will forgive you this time,” the robot said, bending down, pressing its metallic face to her forehead in what Lucy assumed was an approximation of a kiss. “But do not do it again. And I still have to put you in time out.”

“I know,” Lucy pouted, fidgeting with the item in her hand. Now that she was here, being held by the robot, it seemed so small and useless… What had she thought it was going to accomplish?! There weren’t any loops on the robot’s body she could hook it to – not that doing so would really matter – and, once she was in the bouncer, she wouldn’t be able to reach anything to use it on. The ropes stretched up high into the air, smooth and straight, with nothing she could use to pull herself back out.

She nearly dropped it onto the ground again, but, before she could, the robot spotted it. “What did you find?” it asked, transferring Lucy to one hand so the other could pluck it away, holding it up to its eye to examine it. It was silent for a few moments, almost as if it was having a problem processing what it saw.

When it spoke again, its voice sounded… different, somehow. Lucy wasn’t sure how it was possible, since both robots seemed to have the same vocal processing unit, which gave them very little variety in their tone, but it still sounded quieter, a tad less mechanical, in a way. “Where did you get this, little one? I recognize this work.”

Lucy gulped, trying, in vain, to read the robot’s expression. Was it happy to see it? Was it angry Lucy had it? Did it know this meant Lucy had crossed the bridge, the very thing it had been constructed to stop from happening? If it didn’t like her answer, it could easily crush her right then and there.

She decided to take a chance. “Y-Your husband asked me to bring that to you,” she said. “He made it for you.”

The robot stared at the lock in its hand again, at the beautiful, hand-carved heart. “How did you meet my husband, little one?” the robot asked, in the same, quieter tone of voice. This time, Lucy was almost certain she sensed an air of danger to it, sending a shiver down her spine, but it was too late to turn back now.

“L-Like I said, he sent me,” she told the robot. “He gave me that to prove he’d given me permission to cross the bridge, and so I could give it to you.”

“We are not allowed to let anyone cross the bridge,” the robot informed her.

“I know,” Lucy nodded. “B-But he couldn’t bear to be without you any more, so he sent me over to give you this, since he couldn’t come over himself.”

She could practically see the gears turning in the robot’s head, trying to decide what to do. After a long, tense moment, its hand curled around the heart, holding it to its chest. “I have missed him, too,” it said, the red light on its head turning off for a second, as if it was closing its eye, before coming back, brighter than ever. When it opened its hand, the lock was nowhere to be seen.

“Thank you for the delivery, little one,” the robot spoke, the voice different again, but stronger this time, clearer, slightly less robotic. “I have not had this much power since my husband and I were together. It is almost like he is with me now.”

“I-I can watch the bridge for you,” Lucy offered. “If you want to see him…” There had to be a way for the robots to get to one another, she thought, even if she didn’t know what it was herself.

“Nonsense. Ha ha ha,” the robot chuckled, its ‘ha’s sounding a bit more like there was actual amusement behind them than she’d heard from either of them before. “You are too small for that. You can come with me. We will look after you together.”

“W-Wait,” Lucy shook her head. “Y-You can’t do that… I-I mean, looking after a baby is a lot of work, and you still have to watch the bridge… I-I can take over for a little while, but…” It had been hard enough escaping from one of the robots at a time… Both at once seemed a nearly impossible task, especially if it also required her to crawl across the bridge again.

“We can be a family now,” the robot said, carrying her out of the forest. “We will do what we should have done from the beginning. My husband will chop down the bridge. If it is not there, nobody can cross it, and our job is finished. We can concentrate on caring for our new child.”

“No!” Lucy protested. She’d done it again, found a way to make an awful situation even worse… And, before she could think of a way to undo it, she heard a roar, saw jets of flame explode from behind the robot. She gasped, clinging to the robot as its hand drew her in, closer to its chest, and it began to raise into the air, higher and higher.

Lucy’s stomach turned, looking at the ground retreating beneath her, feeling more disturbed by that than she had by the river raging beneath that rickety bridge. There, she’d been scrambling to get across, to survive… Now, she was quite confident the robot wouldn’t let her fall, or run away, or ever be a grown-up again… Even if she could convince the other robot that she’d run away to get the lock to its wife, she imagined she would still be in for a spanking that night, before a new lock got carved to secure her into her crib for the night.

A moment later, however, the ground began to approach again as the robot landed with a soft thump. The red light of its eye faded slightly as it said, “I am sorry, little one. That carving restored some of my power, but it is not enough to carry you across the river. I would run out of power partway there.”

Lucy had to suppress a sigh of relief, although, in no time at all, she realized it didn’t matter anyway. If they were staying here, she was still probably going to be taken to time-out, and the robot had more power than ever, making her more difficult to escape from. Nothing had been solved, just changed around a little.

“B-But…” she spoke up, a lightbulb going off in her brain, “What if you weren’t carrying me?”

“I would have enough to cross,” the robot told her. “I cannot leave you here, though.”

“Yes, you can,” Lucy nodded. “I’m part of the family, right? So, I can guard this side of the bridge while you fly over and reunite with Daddy, and power up enough so that you can come back and get me.”

“That would work,” the robot admitted slowly. “And being with him would allow the energy of both of us to be fully restored, so we could both protect you far better than we could now.”

“Exactly!” Lucy exclaimed. “It’s really the best thing you could do!”

The robot still didn’t seem completely convinced, however. “You are so small,” it told Lucy. “I do not know if you could protect the bridge on your own.”

“Is there even anything out there?” Lucy asked. “We were just in the forest, and…” She shrugged.

The robot didn’t reply, but it turned back towards the forest, red light shining from its eye, projecting through the trees. It swung its head back and forth, scanning the whole length twice. “I do not detect anything within sensor range,” it agreed, before facing the bridge again, scanning it. “I believe I have enough power now to cross, restore the rest of my battery, and return before anything beyond the reach my sensors could get to the bridge.”

“See?” Lucy couldn’t hide her smile. “It’s perfect! I’ll keep an eye on things here, and if I see anything coming, I’ll yell, okay? I’ll be okay, I promise!”

The robot stared at her for a long moment before pulling her into a hug. “You are very brave, little one,” it told her. “I will make sure you get a treat tonight. You will be a very good child to complete our family.”

Lucy actually felt her heart melt a little at that, and, if she didn’t already have a family to get back to, and a journey to finish before she did that, she might have felt guilty lying to the robot. Instead, she let a tear slip down her cheek as she said, “Yes, Mommy,” and hugged the robot back.

Finally, the robot set her down, bending over to promise, “I will be right back,” before stepping away, getting some distance before turning on its rockets and shooting into the sky.

Lucy watched it go, trying to decide on the best moment to head towards the forest. Thankfully, she hadn’t come to a decision before the robot landed on the other shore, turning to wave at her. She waved back, glad she wasn’t already breaking her promise, or the robot might fly right back and catch her.

As soon as the robot turned back, however, Lucy started to scramble away. The robot was on a mission, and wanted to make it back as soon as possible, so she needed to be gone before it returned. She had no idea how long it would take for the robots to power each other up, but she had a feeling it wasn’t nearly as long as she’d like.

She’d hoped that, once they did, her legs and bladder would start working right again, since they wouldn’t need to be borrowing energy from them anymore, but she was certain her diaper was feeling wetter than ever as she crawled along, and she never felt confident enough to waste the time to try to get to her feet. She wasn’t sure if she’d be able to feel the return or not… She certainly didn’t notice anything seeming any different as she began crunching through the dead leaves again.

The path was harder to find, through all those leaves, but it was still there. Part of her thought she should avoid it, that it would make it that much easier for the robots to find her, when they came back for her… The rest of her didn’t want to find what dark creatures lurked beyond it, however, so she stuck to it, trying to keep her ears open for the sound of her giant, mechanical pursuers. Surely, she’d be able to hear them coming… It was just a matter of whether, once she did, she could move quickly enough to keep ahead of them, while they were at full power.

She crawled for quite some time, hearing what she was pretty sure was only her own movements rustling the leaves, before she path began to dwindle down, growing narrower and narrower before vanishing completely. She looked around, brushing aside the leaves, hoping it took a sharp turn there somewhere, but no… It was gone.

She gulped, staring up at the rainbow above her. It was definitely fading now, although that may have been mostly because the sky was growing darker, throwing deeper, darker shadows around her, every tree feeling so tall she couldn’t see the top, or around the sides to tell if there was a monster lurking there.

She finally tried to stand then, since she’d already stopped to try and find the path. She grabbed the nearest tree, using it to slowly pull herself up, managing to stand for a moment; as soon as she attempted to take a step, however, she fell, landing back on her hands and knees.

“Perfect,” she grumbled, only to shiver as she heard her own voice echoing around her, bouncing off the trees, alerting whatever else was lurking there that she was coming in. She couldn’t even run away, not fast enough to do any good… All she could do was gather up her courage and press on, praying she caught up with the rainbow before it vanished completely, or before one of the creatures of the forest found her.

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 9

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 9

Lucy struggled uselessly in the robot’s grip, hardly able to believe that, after all she’d gone through to escape the first one, she’d run right into another. It had taken everything she had to escape the nursery being built around her, and now her legs were numb, her arms were tired from climbing out of the crib, and she was in, seemingly, just as bad of a position as before.

“Let me down! I’m not a baby!” she protested, for all the good it was likely to do her.

Sure enough, a metallic finger poked at the rear of her diaper, squishing the contents, giving the robot a chance to tease, “Are you not?”

“That’s mud!” Lucy whined, although, even to a giant robot hiding out in the woods behind her house, she wasn’t sure the explanation for how that happened would make sense. “I didn’t… It wasn’t me!”

“I am sure it was not,” the robot said, in what was likely the most calming tone its voice could produce. “You did not feel it, did you?”

“I didn’t do it!” Lucy blushed bright red.

“Do not worry,” the robot told her. “Mommy can make it all better. I will just have to borrow some power from you first. I am afraid I have been away from my husband for too long.”

Lucy shook her head frantically; it was the other robot powering itself that had left her stuck on her hands and knees, numbing and weakening her legs to the point where they refused to hold her weight on their own. She didn’t need to lose anything else… Especially since she didn’t need anything from this robot, other than getting past her and back into the woods.

“I’ll be fine,” she promised. “I don’t mind it, so if you can just let me down, I’ll be on my way… I promise, I’ll leave your bridge alone.”

“The bridge?” The robot looked at her, the light in its eye brightening in what certainly seemed like a threatening way. “How do you know about the bridge, little one? Nobody is allowed to cross the bridge. My husband and I make sure of that.”

If this was a person, Lucy might have tried to fib that this robot had told her that already, but she had no doubt there were records the machine could check, to see that wasn’t true. Instead, she fibbed, “I-I just heard about it. I didn’t know it was here, but I saw it over there, and I was trying to get away… I don’t want to get too close.”

“That is good,” the robot nodded. “You should stay away. But I still cannot allow you to leave with your diaper as it is. Even if it does not bother you, I do not want you to get a rash.”

“I won’t! I told you, I didn’t…” Lucy protested.

“Do not worry,” the robot cut her off. “I will make sure you do not miss what I take.” It squeezed Lucy a little harder, then declared. “There. It is done.”

Sure enough, Lucy didn’t feel any different, although that worried her more than being able to tell exactly what the robot had done to her. She couldn’t even ask without giving away that she knew how the robots powered themselves, and revealing that she had, indeed, met the robot’s husband, and crossed the forbidden bridge.

“That is better,” the robot said. “Now, we can get you changed.”

“I don’t need a change!” Lucy protested, only for the robot to ignore her words, running its single, red eye up and down the parts of her body not covered by its own hands.

“I will need more materials,” it announced. “Would you like to be carried?”

Despite how tired she was feeling, Lucy shook her head vehemently. If she was out of the robot’s grasp, there would be a chance that she could escape… Not much of one, on her hands and knees, but definitely more of one than she had now. The robot set her down on the ground, and, immediately, Lucy felt the heart-shaped lock she’d hooked onto her belt loop dangle, threatening to yank on her shorts, make them slide down the slick plastic of her diapers and onto the ground.

More importantly than that, however, Lucy didn’t want the robot to see it. She’d saved it, thinking it could come in handy again, but now it was proof she’d been on the other side of the bridge. As the robot was straightening up again, she slipped it out of its spot on her clothes, pushing it down into the grass around her, hiding it as best she could when the robot turned, looking down at her. “Come along, little one. We will not have to go far.”

Lucy did as she was told, crawling along behind the huge, mechanical monster as it led her into the forest, right where she wanted to go. For a moment, she wondered if she was going to luck out, if the robot would take her right where she was headed, or at least close enough that Lucy would get an escort through the scariest parts of the forest, then could take a detour on the last little bit herself, but she highly doubted her luck was that good; so far today, it certainly seemed to be leaning in the other direction entirely.

Crawling out onto the blanket of leaves was much less comfortable than creeping along in the grass by the river bank, even if the crunching sound beneath her was satisfying, in an odd way. She wasn’t sure it made sense, either, since it had just rained… But what in this world did? Perhaps the trees here were too dense to let the rain through…

The leaves also came in handy, allowing her to slip the lock underneath them, carefully brushing a few more over it to make sure it was covered all the way. In the midst of it, the robot turned, and Lucy was afraid she’d been caught, but the robot gave its approximation of a chuckle instead. “Ha ha ha. Are you having fun in the leaves, little one?”

“Y-Yeah,” Lucy nodded.

“Well, you can play more later,” the robot promised. “Let me get you changed first.”

“Okay,” Lucy hoped the lock was hidden enough as she crawled away from it, catching up with the robot. She’d assumed the robot would keep moving, leading her deeper into the woods, and closer to the girl’s true destination; instead, it stayed put, reaching up and pulling a limb from one of the trees, snapping it off like a toothpick.

“Do not try this yourself, little one,” the robot warned. “It may look like I am eating, but I do not require that kind of sustenance. I am merely processing.”

With that, it opened its mouth, pushing the branch inside, then pulling it back out. Every leaf was gone, leaving only the wood behind, which the robot carefully laid down on the forest floor. “If my husband were here, he could build you some wonderful toys with that.”

Even after everything the two robots had put her through, and despite the lack of emotion in the thing’s voice, Lucy couldn’t help feeling bad for them. They had been made to be together, and here they were, on opposite shores of the river, separated by the flimsy bridge they were both guarding, that would break if either one of them tried to cross, even this one, as the smaller of the two. She couldn’t help but wonder how they’d ever wound up like that, how one had gotten to the other side in the first place.

The robot repeated the process a few more times, keeping an eye on Lucy as it did so, then announced, “That will be sufficient. Let me get you changed.”

Lucy still wasn’t entirely sure what was happening, although she had to admit that the thought of finally getting a clean diaper again was appealing… She’d prefer regular underwear, of course, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. She nodded, knowing better than to try to argue with one of these things, doing her best not to flinch when it stomped over to her, reaching down with metal hands to – with surprising nimbleness – unbutton her shorts, sliding them down while Lucy helpfully kicked her shoes off, letting her step out of them, leaving Lucy in a diaper that certainly looked well-used… And popping them into its mouth.

“Hey!” Lucy slammed her hand on the forest floor, staring up at the robot. “Give those back!”

“I am afraid that is impossible,” it replied. “They are already being processed.”

“No, I need those!” Lucy insisted. “You can’t just… Whoa, stop it!” The robot grabbed her shirt, gently – but firmly – lifting it. Lucy fought with all her might to keep her arms down, and thus, her clothes on; unfortunately, as big and strong as she was, she was no match for a machine of that size, determined to undress her.

Lucy always got anxious enough when her Mommy made her wear her training pants out – which was starting to happen almost all the time now. An actual diaper was even worse, and standing here, in the forest, even if it looked very different than she remembered it, in only that and a diaper was absolutely mortifying. She really wished she’d bothered to put a bra on after her nap to give her an extra layer of coverage at least, but she hadn’t planned on going anywhere, since Kari was taking care of her, and making her stay in full-fledged diaper. “You can’t just take all my clothes!”

Except, the robot could do whatever it wanted, clearly. It snatched up the shoes Lucy had stepped out of, dropping them into its waiting mouth as well, then grabbed Lucy herself. “Wait!” Lucy squealed, briefly convinced she was about to end up inside the robot, too; instead, it held her in one hand, peeling her socks off with the other to join her other clothes.

The robot set her back down, immediately moving to the only thing left. “Please, no,” Lucy shook her head, even though this was the point of this whole thing… She hadn’t expected having her diaper change to mean losing all of her clothes, though. The robot ignored her, peeling off the tapes, pulling the diaper off the shaking, naked girl, and processing it as well. Lucy didn’t see that part, however, since she was busy gasping and squirming as one of the robot’s fingers split open, spraying a blast of cold water onto her crotch, cleaning her off.

A compartment opened in the robot’s stomach, and it pulled a fluffy, pink towel from it, drying Lucy off before popping it right back inside its mouth. A moment later, door opened again, and this time, the robot produced the largest, thickest, bulkiest diaper Lucy had ever seen. Her eyes widened at the sight of it, wondering if she could have walked in it, even if her legs were at full power.

Ignoring her nudity, and the assured futility of the action, Lucy desperately tried to crawl away, barely making it two feet away before the robot picked her up, turning her onto her back and laying her down on the diaper. “I don’t need diapers!” Lucy insisted. “Especially not this one! Please, don’t, I…” She stopped as the robot pulled the thing up between her legs, feeling like a pillow. It was incredibly soft, but firm, forcing her thighs well apart, barely giving in at all when she tried to squeeze them back together.

The robot expertly fastened it in place with a pair of large safety pins, topped with yellow, plastic duck heads that held the fabric against Lucy as snug as any tapes. She’d never worn a cloth diaper before – with the possible exception of when she’d been an actual baby – and the difference was huge. If it weren’t for the size, they might be more comfortable, certainly softer, without the feeling of artificiality that came with some disposable diapers. She could almost convince herself they felt like real panties, only what seemed like a million times bigger. The size also made them heavier, which she could tell just by rolling around on her back, and hotter.

As soon as the robot looked away to create something else for her, Lucy’s hands went to the pins. Like the diaper, they were larger and heavier-duty than any she’d seen before, and, unfortunately, no matter how hard she squeezed, they refused to open. She wasn’t sure if she was too weak to use them, or if they had some sort of locking mechanism, but the result was the same either way… This diaper was staying on.

Lucy knew enough about cloth diapers to know that, usually, plastic pants went over top of them, but that wasn’t what the robot brought out next. Maybe the diaper it had made didn’t need them, or perhaps it was thick enough that it could last long enough without risking a leak, even without that extra protection… The robot didn’t explain, and Lucy was too stunned, and mortified, to ask.

What the robot did hold up, long enough for Lucy to get a good look at before starting to put it on her, was a onesie, baby blue, with a set of white ruffles on the backside, and around the legs. It was absolutely adorable… And something Lucy would never dream of wearing. She had some footed sleepers, but those weren’t that unusual for teenagers, and even grown women… She didn’t have any herself, yet she knew some women wore bodysuits, which could look similar to this…

But this was no bodysuit. From the row of large snaps on the bottom – far more obvious than the buttons, or even the smaller, more understated, snaps some bodysuits had – to the extra wide crotch, and especially the ruffles, this was clearly meant for someone in diapers, to be worn not as part of an outfit, but a whole outfit in and of itself. Who would want to hide that pretty lace under some shorts? Who even had pants large enough to fit with this diaper under them, anyway?

Lucy almost thought the robot had made the thing too small as it tugged it over her, yanking the two bottom pieces down around the diaper and began to fasten it in place, pushing the snaps together with a series of ominous sounding pops. The diaper spilled out of the legholes, making it clear – if the size of her backside itself didn’t already – what she had on underneath. She could feel the padding being pulled tighter and tighter against her as the robot worked its way across the row of snaps, ensuring there was no escape from the bulky sensation…

Or the warm, damp one she began to notice. It took her a few seconds to reason out what it was, and a couple more to accept it. The feeling was more pronounced than she was used to in her disposables, the cloth not absorbing the wetness quite as well, although the real issue was the fact that she didn’t at all recall starting to pee… She got even more worried as her wriggling revealed the spot was still growing.

“I’m wet!” she gasped, hands flying to her crotch, bouncing uselessly off her diaper. Even if she wasn’t already too late, she doubted she could press hard enough to feel it under all those layers of padding, for it to do any good in helping her stop herself.

“Of course you are!” the robot responded. “Babies like you are always a little wet. Do not worry, you are in no danger of leaking.”

“B-But I’m not,” Lucy shook her head to all of that – other than her relative safety from worrying about leaks. She wasn’t a baby, and she was certainly not always wet… Only when she had an accident – which happened more often than she liked, but never like this, with no warning whatsoever that she’d noticed…

The robot began to slide a pair of red, crocheted booties, with flowers on the tops, onto Lucy’s feet. “You are a silly baby,” it said. “You have been dribbling into your diapers ever since I received power from you. You did not notice, so it seemed logical you were used to the sensation.”

“No, I’m not!” Lucy gasped. Could that be true?! Slowly, she began to put the pieces together. “Where did you take your power from?!” she demanded.

“Since you already had no control, I simply borrowed the feelings from your bladder and bowels,” the robot explained. “You were not using it.”

“Yes, I was!” Lucy screeched, trying to scramble to her feet. The other robot had forced her to crawl, now this one had renderred her incontinent, and dressed her like a baby! “Give it back!”

“I am afraid I cannot do that,” the robot replied. “I require that power to care for you.”

“I don’t need you to do that!” Lucy huffed. “I need to be able to stop peeing myself!”

“No, you do not,” the robot countered. “Since I am here to look after you, I can change you before you leak, or get a rash. Do not worry.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about!” Lucy fumed.

“You are in a bad mood,” the robot observed. It reached up, pulling another tree limb down, consuming the leaves, and making a doll. “Does this make you feel better?”

“No!” After what had happened in the cornfield, Lucy threw the doll as far away from her as possible. “The only thing that’s going to make me feel better is if you fix me, and give me my clothes back.”

“Tantrum acknowledged.” The robot’s eye blinked for a moment before it began to gather more leaves. This time, what came out of the compartment was a large baby bouncer, one that it began to fasten around one of the lower tree branches. Lucy began scooting backwards, gulping nervously, sure it was up high enough that her legs would be dangling far over the ground if she were put inside, making it all but – if not totally – impossible to escape until the robot decided to let her go, likely long after the rainbow had faded from the sky. “Time out required.”

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 8

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 8

There was no doubt that Lucy had to get away, just as there was no doubt that she had no idea how she was going to do that. Trapped in a giant crib, her legs numb, it seemed like there wasn’t much she could do to stop the huge robot, and its equally large, even more intimidating, axe.

If only she’d had the courage to try something earlier, maybe she would have had a better chance… Back before he already had so much of the crib assembled. What would he have done then? How would he have kept her from running away? He probably couldn’t have, and she would have been able to make at least a couple more attempts, before winding up stuck.

She watched as the robot turned away from her, walking back towards the treeline. It was hard to tell from her vantage point, but it looked like he was nearly done with the lid… He could probably finish it with one more tree, perhaps two, if she was lucky, and then it was truly over; once she was locked in, she wouldn’t be getting out easily anytime soon.

As quickly as she could, she pulled herself back up to her feet, leaning on the sturdy bars. They were all new, just installed by the master woodsman, so she doubted she’d find any loose ones, but that was her best plan for the time being, so she started stumbling around the crib, tugging on each one, hoping one would budge, just a little, give her some hope.

Despite the size of the crib, she was able to get around it pretty quickly, helped both by her panic, and the fact that it took very little time to determine that not a single bar was going anywhere, not unless somebody much stronger than her wanted it to. Even though she’d suspected as much from the start, it was still disheartening, making the full round and coming back with nothing to show for it.

Apparently the top was her only option, and, with her legs numb, it wasn’t much of one. There were a few inches in between the planks that made up the temporary lid, enough that she thought she could fit her hands there, if she could get high enough to reach them… Except, of course, climbing was going to be practically, if not literally, impossible. The bars were expertly carved, smooth as silk, which would have made them difficult to scale even with fully functioning legs.

She let go of the bars with one hand, stretching up as high as she could go. Her fingers didn’t brush against the top… But, they weren’t all that far away, either. It wouldn’t be that high of a jump to reach it, and if she could just wrap her hands around the top rail, perhaps she could pull herself up and out, even with her numbed legs.

Of course, jumping required those legs, which meant, most likely, it was off the table. A quick scan of the crib told her it was probably also her best bet, so she didn’t have much of a choice… She had to, at the very least, try it out. She took a deep breath and let go of the bars, stepping backwards, pouring all of her strength and concentration into staying upright. All she had to do was step forward, give one big jump, and then…

Instantly, she started to lose her balance. Muttering a curse under her breath, she fought to stay upright, only to stumble backwards, falling into the bars behind her before slamming onto the floor of the crib with a loud crinkle and thump, and a quieter clatter, the mud in her diaper squishing against her bottom.

“Are you all right, little one?” the robot called.

Lucy wasn’t; she wanted to cry, as it sank in just how screwed she was, how unlikely she was to get herself out of this mess. She should have just ignored the rainbow, stayed home with stupid little Kari… She hated that the girl had seen her in diapers, and was making her stay in them, but that was still better than this, than everything she’d gone through…

“Little one?” the robot yelled again.

“I’m fine!” she shouted back, not wanting to give him any reason to come back and check on her; she instantly regretted it at the sound of the axe thunking into a tree as he returned to work, bringing her closer and closer to her inevitable doom.

If she’d just waited another second or two, he wouldn’t have even heard her, she mused. Whether that would have been a good thing or not, she wasn’t sure… Did it really matter if he heard some thumping and bumping behind him, if she wasn’t able to use it to escape? What else could he do, take her with him, to keep a closer eye on her while he worked? He was so much bigger, he could easily catch up to her if she tried crawling away, even if he was distracted when she started. She’d distracted him for a moment, anyway, bought her an extra couple of seconds that she had done nothing with.

She sighed, shaking her head and lowering it, starting to resign herself to her new life, only to see a wooden heart on the crib floor in front of her. She recognized it instantly, of course, but that didn’t stop her from picking it up curiously, turning it over, then glancing up at the planks of wood over her head, where she’d seen the robot place it. She must have bumped into the crib hard enough to shake it loose, bump it into the gap between boards.

For a moment, she considered opening the lock, taking out the mechanism her captor had so painstakingly assembled, and hiding it, forcing him to carve another one. There were, obviously, some issues with that, since there was no mattress, no blankets, nothing in the crib for her to hide it in, and she doubted she’d be able to throw it far enough through the bars for it to be difficult to find.

Still, she thought, there had to be something she could do with this lock, some way she could use it to her advantage… He’d left it open, so she could fasten something shut with it… Though, the key was simply the robot’s finger, so he could undo it in no time. Like the crib, it felt very sturdy, and she didn’t think she would be able to break it, even if she used all of her strength.

She tossed the lock onto the crib floor, frustrated, tired, and ready to give up. There was nothing she could do, no way to get out of this… She was going to be this robot’s baby forever, stuck in this beautiful, intricately carved, but impenetrable, wooden fortress of a nursery.

Or… Was she? She glanced at the lock again, then back up towards the top of the crib, an idea beginning to sprout in her mind. She picked it back up, grabbing the shackle this time, testing it, knowing that would be the part most likely to break. It really did feel quite solid, and if she were going to trust any lock with this, this was definitely the one she would have chosen.

She turned the shackle around, moving the open end away from the hole it was designed to snap into, positioning it over the empty air behind the lock instead, forming a hook of sorts. It was a large, heavy lock… Surely big enough to do what she wanted…

Carefully, she pulled herself back up to her feet, staring out towards the trees, waiting to see the glint of sunlight on the robot’s axe as it drew back for another swing, just in case she fell again, then, just before his axe made contact, she reached up, trying to slip the curve of the shackle over the top railing of the crib… And missing.

She had been close, though… Very close. The hook had bumped against the top board, bounced off harmlessly, but if she could just get it a little higher, than surely she could do it. She adjusted her feet, wrapping the arm without the lock around the bar she was leaning on, waiting for the robot’s next swing…

As soon as she saw it begin, she lifted herself as high as she could get, then tried the lock again… And, once more, wasn’t able to get it over the railing. “Come on,” she hissed, gritting her teeth. She was in too deep now, too invested in this plan to try another one… And, even from here, she could tell the tree the robot was working on was nearly done. Once it had fallen, it wouldn’t take that long for the robot to drag it over to the nursery and begin carving, which would mean he was closer, and able to pay more attention, to her. He’d likely notice the missing lock as well, and take it back. Even if he didn’t finish the lid with this tree, he’d probably put the lock somewhere else, to make sure she wasn’t able to get it back.

She had to do this, and she had to do it now. As the robot prepared for what would likely be the final swing, Lucy inched higher up the bar, straining to lift her weight off the ground without the help of her legs before raising her other arm, trying to will it to grow, to gain an extra inch or two to get over the rail. She almost couldn’t bear to watch, but she wanted to make sure she didn’t somehow miss entirely, ruin this final shot for some stupid reason beyond simply not being tall enough.

So, she was able to see the exact moment when the hook scraped over the railing, just barely, the adrenaline coursing through her veins enough to allow her to pull herself just an inch or two higher on the bar, to allow the shackle to continue moving, to slide over the entire piece of wood, the hump just big enough to settle over top of it.

Quickly, she moved her other arm from the bar to the lock, hanging off of it, impressed that, as far as she could tell, it wasn’t even straining to hold her weight. Whether she was going to be able to do the same or not, however, remained to be seen… She could feel the sweat beginning to form on her forehead as she hung there, completely off the floor of the crib, her breathing growing heavier as she stared upwards at the railing. It wasn’t that far from where she was already… All she had to do was let go of the lock with one hand, and reach up, get ahold of that instead…

For a long second, the forest was silent, except for her increasingly labored breathing. If she slipped and fell now, she wasn’t sure she would have the time, or strength, to try again, so she had to make sure she didn’t screw up. Finally, with a groan, she put as much weight as she could on her right hand, loosening her death grip on the lock with her left so she could raise it into the air.

Lucy had never been an athlete, not really, despite the coaches at school wanting her to give basketball a try. She wasn’t awful at gym, either, though, not like Kari, who was constantly struggling to do the simplest thing, her tiny frame and lack of coordination making it difficult for her to successfully get through anything without falling or hurting herself.

Pull-ups were one thing Lucy had always been just as bad at as the smaller girl. She assumed it was because she had so much more body that she had to lift than Kari, but it was always a struggle, and, if the gym teacher wasn’t watching her closely, she’d always just have her partner lie for her, saying she’d done them, rather than going through all that trouble. She would, of course, lie for her partner, too; it was only fair.

It was kind of funny, she thought, that earlier in the day she’d been so upset with Kari for not letting her wear her Pull-Ups – the other kind – and making her stay in diapers, instead, because of one little accident, and now this kind of pull-up was the only thing standing between her and permanent babyhood.

She pulled herself upwards, as hard as she could, her other hand’s fingers wiggling nervously as the crept closer and closer to the top of the railing. She’d gotten the hook over it… Surely she could get her hand up there, too! “Little higher,” she urged herself, panting. “Little higher…”

She could feel her right hand starting to weaken, to lose its grip on the lock, urging her to try harder, while she still had the chance. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion… Her hands felt slick with sweat, making it even harder to keep ahold of the lock, as it also began to drip down her forehead, into her eyes. Without any free hands to wipe it away, she shook her head, straining, struggling, just needing a few more centimeters…

At last, her left hand clamped around the railing. Instantly, she let go of the lock with her right, reaching up to grab the rail with it as well. As her entire weight quickly shifted from hanging off the side of the crib, to clinging to it, she felt something else shift as well. Her stomach began to twist inside her as the world seemed to tilt, her mind needing a moment to process that she was falling.

She was able to squeak out a frantic, “Oh, crap!” before the crib fell onto its side, hard, smashing into the forest floor with a shuddering thud that seemed to shake the whole woods. Even after all that, she was still screwed, she thought with a wince… There was no way the robot hadn’t heard that.

When she glanced up to see if he was already on his way there, however, she saw that the tree he’d been working on was gone as well. Maybe it hadn’t been the crib making all that noise, she realized… The tree must have fallen at the same time; finally, luck seemed to be on her side, at least a little.

As fast as she could go, she crawled out of the crib, marvelling that it still seemed to be in one piece, pausing just long enough to grab the lock, which was also still intact, and hook it into the belt loop of her shorts. She wasn’t sure why, but, after it had gotten her out of that jam, it felt wrong to leave it behind… Besides, you never knew when it might come in handy again.

It wasn’t until she started crawling towards the bridge again that she realized just how worn out she was, how much that escape had taken out of her. Between her numb legs, and her sore arms, moving at all was a struggle; all she wanted to do was curl up and take a nap, but she knew that if she did that, she’d wake up back in the crib, probably locked inside, with no hope of getting out.

As much as she wanted to, as little as she liked the idea of getting on it, especially in her weakened state, Lucy didn’t pause when she reached the bridge, just forced herself to crawl onto it. She’d always heard, in the kind of movies that had this sort of awful, dangerous-looking rope bridge, that it was best not to look down; the protagonist always wound up doing that anyway, for some reason, and it made things all the harder for them.

She’d told herself, any time she saw a scene like that, she wouldn’t make the same mistake, yet that was almost the first thing she did. It didn’t help that she was on all fours, of course, making it much harder to avoid seeing the raging river beneath her, or the old, rotting wood she was inching across, but, sure enough, like everyone from the movies, she instantly froze once she’d done it, the queasy feeling in her stomach from minutes earlier, as the crib fell beneath her, returning with a vengeance.

“Where are you, little one?” the robot bellowed from behind her. “Do not be scared, Daddy is coming for you!”

That was enough to get her moving again, creeping along as fast as she could. The river was so much wider than the stream she was used to being here, and she knew that the robot would not only be angry at her for being on the bridge, since its job was to guard it, but also that she would be very easily visible on it if he came that way.

“Daddy will fix your crib so it will not do that again,” he called. “You do not have to be scared, little one!”

Lucy yelped as a board split beneath her hand, tumbling into the water below and making her stumble forward, almost falling onto her face. Her heart beat a bit faster, speeding up even more at the sound of the robot speaking again. “I hear you! This is not the time for games, little one, just come to Daddy!” Lucy reached past the empty space where the board had been to the next one, pulling herself carefully over the gap and forcing herself to keep moving.

“What are you doing?” the robot demanded. “You know the bridge is forbidden.”

She dared to turn her head, gasping as she saw the robot standing at the edge of the bridge, axe in hand. “Come back here right now,” he ordered, “and I will not be too cross with you. Perhaps only one spanking.”

Lucy didn’t want to know what even a single swat from his huge, metal hand would feel like, so she kept moving ahead – there wasn’t exactly room on the bridge for her to turn around, anyway, even if she had wanted to. “You are making Daddy upset, little one,” he threatened.

However, Lucy noted, he wasn’t coming any closer. It wasn’t a huge shock, honestly, considering how small and rickety the bridge was… There was no way something a large, and heavy, as him could step onto it without snapping it in two, and plunging into the water below. That must be why it was so adamant about keeping people off the bridge in the first place… Once they got onto it, there was nothing the robot could do to stop them.

He did, of course, still have the axe, and could easily chop the bridge down if he wanted. She doubted he would do it to her, but the possibility was there, and enough to keep her moving forward, nearly collapsing onto the ground on the other side, feeling, very briefly, safe. She still saw him there, on the other shore, and he was still yelling at her to come back, so she didn’t stay there for long.

There was a bit of a clearing on that side of the bridge, too, like the one the robot had been building her nursery in, and, ahead of it, she could see the forest, still just as dark and deep as it had been on the other side of the river. The rainbow was there, too, though, closer than ever. She might be moving slower now, stuck on her hands and knees, but she’d made it this far… There was no way she was going to give up now.

She crawled towards it, feeling exhausted, yet newly invigorated, knowing she as going to need a long nap once she made it home, but also that she couldn’t possibly have that much further to go. Maybe being on all fours would even help… Whatever creatures were in there, making odd sounds she was certain she’d never heard coming from the woods before, might not be able to see her as easily if she wasn’t standing upright… Possibly. She knew most predators used their sense of smell, and she had no doubt, after all that exercise, she had a definite scent to her, though there wasn’t much she could do about that without a bathtub.

Just as she was about to crawl into the trees, however, she felt herself being lifted into the air, her limbs flailing, even before she felt the cold metal against her skin, saw the large, robotic face she was being held in front of. At first, she thought the robot had somehow gotten across the bridge after all, until it spoke, its voice slightly higher and softer. It may have been slightly smaller, as well, although it was difficult to judge that while being held in its hands.

“Hello there,” it said. “Was that you making all that noise, little one? What are you doing out here all alone?” Before Lucy could come up with an answer, it gave the same, mechanical laugh as the other robot. “Ha ha ha, you do not have to look so scared, little one. Mommy is here to take care of you.”

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 7

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 7

The forest was usually a peaceful place… Then again, Lucy was rarely there while somebody was chopping trees down behind her with a very sharp looking axe; she normally wore her training panties, as well, and could use her feet if she really needed to run away from something.

Now, she wished she had never set off on this journey in the first place, had just stayed at home with Kari, no matter how embarrassing it was to get taken care of by that tiny, little girl. At least she knew that would end, and Mommy would come home, and things could go back to normal, even if she might get in trouble because Kari didn’t believe that she hadn’t wet her bed, and Mommy likely wouldn’t, either. Maybe they’d keep her in diapers for a couple days, but that was the worst of it.

It was strange, how much she missed her nursery. There, dolls didn’t come to life and chase her around, and she couldn’t get lost in a maze of corn, or in a forest that was somehow completely different than any of the hundreds of other times she’d been in it. If she could make it through all this, though, and reach the end of the rainbow, then maybe it would all be worthwhile.

She was starting to wonder if that was ever going to happen, however. She glanced back from the bridge she was ‘guarding’, frowning at the sight of the robot, turned away from the trees it was supposed to be carving a path through for her. It had taken down several trees, sure, and far quicker than Lucy could have hoped to on her own, even if she’d had an axe, but every time it did, it took the tree and start carving at it with its axe, slowly assembling… something…

It shouldn’t have mattered that much – although having a path back out of here once she made it, somehow, over the bridge and back, would be nice – but it meant the robot was spending much more time with its eyes in Lucy’s direction than looking away, which was the opposite of why Lucy had struck this bargain in the first place.

She had tried, when the robot’s back was to her, to make her way to the bridge. She’d gathered up her courage, crawling to the banks of the river, watching it rage beneath her, water crashing against giant rocks that – in the real world – should have been wider than the entire stream. The surface of the bridge was a single rope, and, while there were other ropes stretching up, forming the sides of the bridge, reaching up to a pair of rope railings at either side, she couldn’t actually reach those.

Or, rather, she wasn’t brave enough to see if she could pull herself up to grab the two ropes on the side and try using them to keep herself upright. That almost seemed more dangerous than crawling… And the rope seemed awfully narrow to try crossing on all fours. She thought the ropes along the side were spaced narrowly enough that they’d keep her from tumbling into the river if she fell, but she honestly wasn’t sure, and very much didn’t want to find out. She’d feel much better if she could actually walk, and even then, she knew she wouldn’t enjoy the trip.

“S-Sorry, but…” Lucy spoke up at last, having to clear her throat and try again to get it to look down at her. She was used to her height making people pay more attention to her, so volume generally wasn’t as big of an issue… Stuck on her hands and knees, it was a whole different story. “Y-You’re doing a good job,” she said, looking nervously at the giant axe, “I just wondered if maybe you could… speed things up a bit? I’m kind of on a deadline…” She had no idea how far away that deadline was – the rainbow was still quite bright – but she knew she had one. Rainbows didn’t last forever, after all…

“I am working as fast as I can,” the robot assured her. “I would hate to waste the wood.”

“Yeah,” Lucy nodded, “But can’t you do that later? You know, cut down the trees, and then you could finish working on all of them at once.” And, hopefully, give her back the feeling in her feet, allowing her to try to sneak past him while he was occupied.

“Ha ha ha,” the robot spoke, without any intonation; with no further explanation, it went back to his carving.

“Oh!” a sudden thought struck Lucy. “How about you use that wood to make a bigger bridge? You could keep it narrow, so you could still easily guard it, but I bet its pretty hard for you to get across if you need to, isn’t it?” And, more importantly, once it had done that, she would feel much safer crawling to the other side while the robot was busy chopping down more trees.

“I do not need to cross the bridge,” the robot told her. “My mission is to keep anyone else from crossing. It would be foolish to make that easier.”

“I guess,” Lucy agreed, even if it didn’t help her any.

“Ha ha,” the robot walked over to her in just a few, massive steps, patting her on the head with his giant, metal hand. It was surprisingly gentle, for as huge as the machine was. “You are a silly baby,” it told her.

“I’m not…” Lucy bristled automatically, before giving in, remembering her outfit, the obvious diaper beneath her shorts, and her current inability to stand.

“Do not worry,” the robot told her. “I will take care of everything. I only hope my wife returns soon.”

“What if she’s on the other side of the bridge?” Lucy suggested. “Maybe I should go check, and…”

Before she could finish, the robot had scooped her up, easily holding her in one hand, giving her padded bottom a sharp whap with its other hand before raising her to its eye level, Lucy squirming, yelping, and blushing the whole time. “Why are you so interested in the bridge, little one?” it asked.

Lucy gulped, feeling the robot’s mechanical eyes scanning into her, as if they were reading her thoughts. “I-I’m not!” she lied. “I-I just thought, maybe you haven’t seen her because she’s over there, so…”

The light in the robot’s eyes dimmed, just a touch. “She would not cross the bridge,” it said after a long moment. “And you would not either, would you?”

“N-No,” Lucy shook her head. “I want to get through the woods, remember?” she pointed towards the trees the robot was cutting down. “I don’t need to go over there, I…” She squirmed as the robot stared at her again.

“I think you are telling me a fib, little one,” the robot finally announced. “I had better keep an eye on you.”

“No, I’m not!” Lucy said. “Let me go, I… No!” The robot turned, Lucy still in hand, and walked back over to where it had been working. As the work site got closer, Lucy was finally able to get a good look at what it had been building, instantly wishing she hadn’t. In the center was what looked like a giant, wooden cage, although she assumed it was meant to be a crib, considering the changing table that was half-constructed next to it.

“I am sorry there is no mattress,” the robot told her, placing her into the crib. “When my wife arrives, she will make it more comfortable for you.”

“No!” Lucy shook her head. “I can’t watch the bridge in here! Come on, you have to let me out, I…”

She stared up in horror as the robot lifted a pair of giant, wooden planks, setting them across the top of the crib, leaving a space only a few inches across in between. “I do not have the top finished, either,” it explained. “I need to go cut more wood.”

“B-But the bridge!” Lucy protested, pointing towards it.

“Ha ha, silly baby,” the robot said. “Do you not think my sensors can reach that far? You are even sillier than I thought.” With that, it left, carrying its axe back towards the trees while Lucy sat helplessly in her crib, watching.

Lucy had a crib at home, sure, and it was big, compared to a regular, baby’s crib, but it was nothing compared to this. She could easily climb out of hers with no problem, and did often, at least when she thought she could get away with it, without Mommy getting too mad. Even in the best of times, if she had feeling in her feet so she had the option to stand, and even get on her tiptoes, she doubted she would even come close to reaching the top of the bars.

And the bars themselves were quite solid. She tried a couple, shaking them like a desperate prisoner, but they were sturdy, not budging an inch, or giving any indication that she was going to be able to break them, like she’d come close to doing with a couple at home, when she’d gotten really upset. Her first instinct had been more right than she’d known… This was, essentially, a big cage, and she was trapped in it.

The good thing about how solid the bars were was that she was able to grab ahold of them, pulling herself up onto her feet, leaning against them. If she stood still, she could keep standing, although any slight movement – or letting go on those bars for even a moment – left her struggling to maintain her balance, desperately clinging to the bars. Attempting to climb was definitely out of the question, but it felt good to get off her knees, at least, and even getting this far made it clear how unlikely it was that she would be escaping this thing through the top.

Given the size and strength of the robot, it was unsurprising how quickly it returned, dragging another tree trunk with it and sitting on a massive tree trunk as it started to carve. At the bridge, it had been difficult to get a clear view, though, close up, Lucy had to admit watching it work was quite fascinating, somehow using the giant blade to create a series of tiny, delicate looking parts, laying them out on the ground in front of himself.

Lucy had no idea what the robot was building with them, and knew that she probably didn’t want to know. “You don’t have to keep me in here,” she swore to it, staring up at the robot. “I’m not going anywhere! I promise, I don’t want to cross your bridge!”

And she didn’t, really, although that didn’t mean she wouldn’t if she had to. The raging river beneath it made her nervous, but if that’s what she had to brave to keep from being trapped her, the captive of this giant robot who seemed to want her to be its baby, she would do it. She just had to get the chance to do that, since she’d squandered her last one, thinking a better opportunity was going to come up; now, she saw that she just needed to bite the bullet, or she was going to wind up in much hotter water.

As if to demonstrate that, the robot set down the axe and began assembling the pieces it had made. Lucy was still confused as to what they were supposed to make, although something about them seemed familiar… They were definitely intricate, fitting together perfectly, the resulting piece of machinery beautiful in its own way, though, at the same time, terrifying, since Lucy didn’t know what they were going to do.

The robot wasn’t finished, however. Once everything had been assembled, he set it aside, grabbing the axe and beginning to carve once more. This time, the pieces it was creating were larger, more simple, but still very pretty in their own right, and Lucy was strangely proud of herself for noticing the hinge that was being made, even before the robot put the two parts together.

For a few moments, Lucy thought this was something sweet, and innocent, as the robot fit the two halves of the hinge, and the attached pieces of wood, together, and she saw that it had made a hollowed out heart, which the first thing it had created fit into perfectly. Once it was positioned inside, the robot used a series of small latches to keep it closed, moving on to yet another piece.

This one was the simplest of all, a U-shaped piece of wood that fit into the top of the heart, into a pair of holes Lucy had noticed, but not paid much attention to; there was a hole on the front, right in the center, too, after all. As the piece was slotted into the top, however, she suddenly began to recognize what this thing was, and she went from being impressed to, once again, scared.

It was a padlock. As the wooden loop clicked into place, she was sure, though, if she’d had any doubt, the robot stuck one finger into the hole in the center. She heard some quiet whirring, and, a moment later, the U-shaped pieced popped up, allowing Lucy to see that one end was shorter than the other, a small gap opening beneath it while the other side was still firmly planted inside the heart.

The robot pressed it shut again, then re-opened it, before, satisfied, it set the lock on top of the wood over Lucy’s head, indicating, at least in the girl’s mind, that he’d made it for the crib, to ensure that, once the top had been made, he could truly seal her in.

Briefly, she thought she was okay, that she could just undo those latches on the side, but, of course, those didn’t actually matter. If anything, the heart-shaped shell might drop off; that was only for show, however. The real mechanism was on the inside, and apparently the key was the robot himself.

“Do not fret,” the robot told her, apparently noticing her worry, the anxiety growing in her tummy, and completely misinterpreting it. “I will have your crib finished in no time, and then I will finish the rest of your nursery.”

“I don’t need a nursery!” she told him, trying to stomp her foot without thinking. She stumbled, losing her balance and tumbling into the opposite side of the crib. She felt it lurch, just slightly, and then she fell flat on her diapered bottom, blushing as she stared up, through the bars, at the robot. “Let me out of here!”

“Ha ha ha,” the robot ‘laughed’. “Daddy knows best, little one, and Daddy knows that you need to be kept out of trouble, and that is why you are staying here with me, safe in your crib and your diapers, forever.”

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 6

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 6

Like the field, and the sky, and everything else she’d seen so far, the forest didn’t look quite the way it should to Lucy, although that didn’t stop her from approaching. She didn’t have much of a choice, to be honest… The wall of corn seemed to stretch out forever on either side from where she’d escaped, and she suspected if she tried to go around, it would just keep growing. It didn’t make sense, but neither did anything else.

Like the cornstalks, the trees had grown larger, more plentiful, and closer together, though they hadn’t woven together into a maze… It was more like a fairytale forest, deep and dark, rather than the nice, peaceful, sunny place she was used to going to be alone every now and then.

As she cautiously stepped inside, she could hear the sound of animals calling and cooing further in, the rustling of feet. She froze for just a moment, listening, before pressing on; by the time she heard an ominous growl and turned back, the path she’d come in on had wooded over, leaving her facing a solid wall of trees with no obvious way out, just like the corn maze.

She might have suspected this whole thing was a long, crazy dream, except her knees, as well as being muddy, were also slightly sore from crawling through the field for so long, and she could definitely feel the mud that had filled her diaper, sloshing and squishing around in there. She hadn’t seen anyone other than the doll, so she almost considered taking the diaper off, at least emptying it out, but she had a feeling there had to be other things, or people, around, and, with as dirty as her hands were, she wasn’t sure she would be able to get the tapes to stick again if she removed them. She could have just worn her shorts without the diaper, or anything else, beneath it, though that didn’t really seem like a much better option.

She was glad to see that the geography of the forest hadn’t changed entirely as she came across the little bridge over the stream that ran through the forest, which she liked to sit on sometimes, staring down at the trickle of water running under her; if she was really daring, she might take off her shoes and dip them into it, although there was usually only enough liquid to do that after a really heavy rain.

But, even while the basics stayed the same, the rest was far different. Nobody would dare call the water running under the bridge a ‘stream’ anymore; this was a full-fledged river, deeper, wider, and faster than it had ever been, or could ever be, even after the longest and hardest of rainstorms. The bridge had gone the opposite direction, changing from a solid slab of wood to a rickety rope bridge, right out of an old adventure movie.

And there, at the start of the bridge, stood a giant robot, wielding a wicked looked axe, its one long, red eye scanning the forest for something, possibly intruders like her. She slipped behind a tree, heart pounding, trying to decide what she should do. The axe was probably about the same size as her, the robot holding it at least twice as big…. She wasn’t getting around them easily. Normally, the bridge was there mostly for kids, and convenience, since teenagers and most people older – other than, potentially, Kari, whose legs might not be long enough – could hop over the banks of the stream at some of its narrower spots, or just climb down into it and back up.

Lucy had a feeling the river was too wide to get across that way anywhere, and she didn’t want to risk falling in. Her legs were fairly long, but still almost definitely too short to stretch from shore to shore, and her jumping prowess would be heavily hindered by the bulky diaper. It was possible there was another bridge somewhere in this version of her woods… It didn’t seem like a good idea to venture into parts of the forest she wasn’t as familiar with, however. As long as she stayed on the trail, she felt slightly safe; even in the real world, she didn’t like going off it too far.

No, she was going to have to go through the robot. She peered around her tree momentarily, gulping at the sight of the monstrosity. It was huge, leaving deep footprints in the mud and shaking the ground as it paced, made of what looked like shiny silver. She tried to tell herself that the whole thing couldn’t be silver, that it was probably just plated in it, then reminded herself that wherever she was, however she’d gotten here, this world didn’t seem to follow normal rules.

It didn’t really matter, anyway… No matter what material it was made out of, the robot was intimidating. If she could just get past it to the bridge, she’d be fine, since there was no way the robot could step onto that without snapping it. Then again, the robot might not care about that… Maybe it would cut the bridge down with its axe, or allow itself to plunge into the water, or jump – or maybe fly, it could have a rocket pack or something – to the other side and beat her there.

She had to deal with the robot in one way or another. She had no form of weapon, certainly nothing that could stand against that axe, and even if she did, she doubted she could beat it in hand to hand combat. It was hard to judge how strong the robot was, since it didn’t have, or need muscles. The metal – whatever it was – that made up its arms was smooth and gleaming, but also looked sturdy, the gears that powered its joints moving easily. Maybe she could jam those somehow, keep it from being able to move, though she’d have extremely close to be able to pull that off, well within range of the axe.

Having a weapon of any kind would have made her feel just a little better. Not that she knew how to use any weapon proficiently, but having something to hold onto might have given her a touch more confidence, less of a fear that she was about to die here. Even with the rainbow blazing bright overhead, reminding her of her mission, she wasn’t so sure that it was worth all this, not anymore… She’d gotten through the maze, and the doll; that might be as far as she could make it, unfortunately.

The trees behind her were still a solid wall, however, without nearly enough space between any of them that she could see to slip past – even if she could get through the first layer, she had been walking a while, and she didn’t want to get partway back and realize she couldn’t squeeze any further than that, or, even worse, that the path behind her had closed up as well, trapping her there, among the trees.

She was trying her hardest not to panic, knowing that was only going to make things worse, but it was hard to do when the forest floor was shaking every few seconds with another heavy footstep, reminding her why she was so desperate to find another way through, or back out of, the woods.

As she stared back at the way she’d came, still trying to decide if it was worth heading back or not, she heard a loud thunk right behind her, making her jump nearly out of her skin, spinning just in time to see the tree she’d been hiding behind sway and fall to the side, revealing the massive robot standing behind it, axe in hand, eye glowing bright red. She felt her bladder let go at the sight, her eyes bulging as she scrambled backwards, not having far to go before hitting the wall of trees.

“What are you doing here?” the robot demanded in a flat, unsurprisingly robotic, voice.

“N-Nothing!” Lucy insisted, shaking her head. “I-I… got lost, and then I couldn’t get back through the forest!”

“I understand.” It sounded menacing, just because of the volume, and the thing saying it; Lucy couldn’t tell if it was meant to be taken that way or not.

“I-I don’t mean you any harm,” Lucy gave a tiny smile.

“Ha ha ha,” the robot replied, saying the words rather than making any approximation of laughter. “I was not afraid, little one, but thank you.”

Lucy stared up at the robot, still trying to suss out the correct way to interpret its words. It had lowered its axe, plunging its head into the ground, causing a small ditch to form underneath, seemingly not ready to attack, though she didn’t know how quickly the robot could move when it needed to.

“My home is back through there,” Lucy said, pointing in the direction that she hoped the house still was, even in whatever warped version of reality she was in now. “But I can’t get through these trees on my own. I-I don’t suppose… I mean, you have that big axe, and trees are obviously no match for you…” She glanced down at the one she’d been using as a hiding spot until moments before, gulping at the sight of the cut, one solid, smooth stroke. If the robot wanted, it could cut her in half even easier than that…

“I would love to help,” the robot told her, taking just enough of a pause to get her hopes up before continuing with, “however, I cannot.”

“B-But… Why not?” Lucy asked.

“There are two reasons. One: I must guard the bridge. That is my duty. Two: I do not have the energy to chop down all of those trees.”

“Oh,” Lucy frowned. “If you could just get me back to my house, I could bring you some… batteries or something,” she shrugged, not sure they have anything big enough to power something of the robot’s size, not even if she stole the battery from the car. Once she was home, though, hopefully she wouldn’t really have to worry about it.

“Ha ha ha,” the robot said blandly again. “You are adorable. My wife would love you.”

“Wife?” The idea of this machine being married had never even crossed Lucy’s mind.

“Yes, my wife. We were designed as a pair. When we are together, we provide power to each other. She has been gone for a long time, however.” The voice hadn’t changed, yet Lucy could have sworn the robot sounded sad there; its single, unblinking eye almost looked mournful, somehow.

“Maybe you should go look for her,” Lucy suggested. “I-I could help.” She didn’t really want this to take any longer than it had to – Mommy might already be home, for all she knew – but she hated for him to be all alone, when he clearly didn’t want to be.

“I must guard the bridge,” the robot reminded her.

“Oh, yeah,” Lucy nodded. “Well… How about I do that?”

“Ha ha ha,” the robot repeated. “That is kind, little one, but you are not intimidating.”

Looking down at herself, in her brightly colored, if muddy, clothes, her diaper quite obvious beneath her shorts, she had to agree. It really didn’t seem like there was anything for her to do to help him, though, as far as she could tell, he did seem willing to aid her, if he could. She was tempted to ask if she could cross him bridge, but guarding it was his main objective, and telling him that’s what she wanted to do seemed like a quick way to turn him against her.

“How about if I just watch it while you make me a path?” she suggested. “I’ll keep an eye on it, and yell if anything gets close, then you can come and defend the bridge… Then, I can go look for your wife and send her back here, then go home.”

“I do not have the energy,” the robot reminded her, the light of its eye seeming to dim slightly. “Unless…”

“Unless?” Lucy squirmed, feeling like she was getting scanned by the robot’s eye as it stared down at her. Could it see through her, discover her real plan? While she’d heard plenty of odd animal noises in the woods, she hadn’t actually seen anything, so she was sure the bridge would be just fine… She was going to let it get to work, then slip to the clearing, find the end of the rainbow, then hopefully get back before the robot was finished. After all, it had a long way to go, and, for all she knew, the trees would just grow back as the robot chopped them. She felt a little bad, possibly stranding it there like that, knowing it was running low on energy, but hopefully its wife would come looking eventually, and then they’d be fine… Besides, the robot belonged here; Lucy did not. She just wanted to get home, and moving forward seemed to be the best way to accomplish that.

“Our power supply was based on human.” The robot stopped speaking for a moment, to the confusion of Lucy – it sounded like it had completed the sentence, although that didn’t make sense. “I can not recall the word,” the robot finally continued, making the girl realize it had been struggling to think of that. “Perhaps you can help.”

“P-Perhaps…” Lucy said nervously. She wasn’t sure she liked this… The robot hadn’t had any trouble speaking until now, the fact that the one word it couldn’t remember was the thing it needed from her made her suspicious.

“You are a human, are you not?” the robot tilted its head, just slightly.

“I am,” Lucy admitted reluctantly. “But…”

“You do want a path, do you not?” Lucy nodded. “I only need to borrow some,” the robot told her. “As long as you bring back my wife, I can replace it.”

Lucy stared up at the thing, hoping it wasn’t equipped to decipher expressions, because hers surely revealed how little she wanted to do this. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to help the robot – she hoped it did find its wife – she just didn’t want to spend any more time here than she had to.

On the other hand, she still had no idea what the robot was going to take. Maybe it wasn’t even anything important… Maybe she’d be fine without it. “Are you sure you can’t remember what it’s called?”

“I cannot,” the robot said, almost instantly. “I only need a little. I can start with your feet.”

“What about my feet?” Before the robot could answer, or she could change her mind, the huge, cold, metal hand stretched out, pressing gently against her. Lucy braced herself, unsure what to expect; after a long moment, the robot stepped back, nodded.

“Please go guard the bridge,” the robot said, turning and lifting its axe, facing the wall of trees. Lucy hesitated, staring down at herself, trying to work out what had changed, what the robot had taken. She felt the same, totally normal… Finally, she shrugged and headed towards the bridge.

She made it a single step before landing on her face among the leaves. She gasped, catching her breath before trying to scramble back to her feet, but they refused to hold any weight. They were completely numb, unresponsive, all feeling apparently drained out of them. She stared at the robot, slicing through the trees with its axe, contemplating telling it that she’d changed her mind about their deal.

However, she was now even more powerless before the hulking mass of metal, and if it decided it didn’t want to return what it had taken, there was no way for her to make it. She sighed and made her way to the bridge, reduced once more to crawling on her hands and knees, staring across to the other side. It should have been so simple to run across, find the rainbow, get back… But there was no way she could make it like this, with no feeling in her feet so that she couldn’t stand, much less walk. She was just going to have to hope the robot, unlike the last ‘person’ she’d met here, really was trying to help her…

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 5

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 5

“I-I feel a lot better now!” Lucy insisted, squirming in the doll’s grasp. “W-We should keep going!”

The doll looked at her for a few moments, holding her up next to the wall, and the grasping leaves that brushed against her skin, making it crawl at the contact, then nodded. “All right,” she agreed, setting her back on the ground. “If you think you can keep going, I suppose we’d better.”

“I can!” Lucy nodded, unsure why she was feeling so anxious, why the sight of those leaves had made her so scared… As the doll had just reminded her, she had no reason not to trust it, yet, somehow, she felt like something was wrong, even beyond the massive mess squelching in between her legs with every step.

“Here we go!” the doll declared, taking another turn. “This is definitely it!”

Lucy knew she should trust it, and follow at around the corner… But, at the same time, her fear began to escalate, her thumb sliding into her mouth as she looked at the place the doll had gone. It was the big girl, the one who didn’t need diapers, who looked so tall and pretty and mature in a way that Lucy, in her little dress and huge diaper, never could… Lucy ought to be a good girl, and do as she was told…

“Are you coming, cutie?” the doll called. “Are you sure you don’t want to stop for a rest?”

Lucy whimpered, sucking harder on her thumb, caught between not wanting to let down the big girl looking after her, and her fear of what was on the other side of the corner. Tears began to sting her eyes as she stared down at her feet, then, blushing at the sight of the full, bulky diaper there, tilted her head upwards instead.

It was there that she saw the rainbow… She stared into the nearly glowing arc, the colors almost searing into her eyes, they looked so bright, compared to the dull world of cornstalks and mud she was surrounded by. She wasn’t sure why, but the idea of following the doll began to make her even more anxious.

“What are you doing?” the doll asked. “We’re supposed to go this way!”

“I-I did,” Lucy mumbled a lie from behind her thumb. “I went thewe, but I got scawed and came back out hewe.”

“Aww, poor thing,” the doll bent down, patting her on the head. Lucy froze, praying it would buy her story, that it wouldn’t make her go there anyway. “Well, I’m sure we can find a less spooky route.”

“Fank you,” Lucy sniffled.

“Sure thing,” the doll chuckled, patting the back of her diaper again. “I wouldn’t want you having another accident, after all… I’m not sure your diaper could handle it!”

Lucy’s cheeks reddened as she was reminded anew of what she’d done, how babyish that meant she really was… Any doubts she had about the doll began to fade again, looking up at her in her clearly non-infantile attire. She followed after the doll obediently, waddling and sucking her thumb like the little toddler she was, telling herself that this time, she wasn’t going to be too much of a chicken to follow wherever the doll led.

When they reached another fork in the path, however, Lucy still hesitated. Curiously, she glanced up at the sky, seeking out the rainbow… She wasn’t sure why, exactly, but she felt like she should try the other path, and, despite feeling naughty for not following the bigger girl’s example, she did just that.

Almost instantly, some of the fog that filled her mind blew away. She gulped as she looked down at herself again, finally recognizing the dress she was wearing now as the same thing the doll had been wearing when she first saw it… And, as the doll stepped back out from around the corner, she realized it was wearing the same thing she had when she’d come into this maze – or, rather, at one point it had been wearing the same thing… It had then gone beyond that, transforming those clothes into less childish versions.

In embarrassment, she started to yank her thumb out of her mouth, then stopped herself. Whether the doll had started doing it on purpose or not, there was no way it wouldn’t have noticed the same transformation… Most likely, she thought, it knew exactly what it was doing, and it was looking to replace her, leave her trapped here in the maze. It was bigger than her, and from how easily it had picked her up a few minutes ago, clearly stronger than her, so she couldn’t let it know that she had figured at least part of its scheme out.

“Where are you?!” the doll called out. Lucy looked down the long corridor of corn stretching out ahead of her, wondering if she could run fast enough to get out of sight in it before the doll figured out she’d gone down this path instead. Before she could decide, it was too late, the doll stepping into the entrance and glaring at her. Instantly, Lucy noticed that its shirt was a little longer, no longer showing off the thing’s midriff, and the shorts were a bit bigger as well. It no longer looked quite as cool and confident…

“What are you doing in here?” it asked.

“I-I forgot which way you went,” Lucy claimed with a shrug. “I-I thought it was this way… I’m sowwy…”

The doll walked closer, eyeing her suspiciously before grabbing her hand. “I suppose that’s what I get for letting a baby like you walk on her own… I guess I need to keep you right by my side, huh?”

Lucy nodded weakly. “Uh-huh.”

That wasn’t at all what Lucy had wanted, though, after the doll took her down the next corridor, she couldn’t quite recall why. She didn’t dare try to pull away from the doll’s hand, so, instead, she’d just gone along with it, staring up at the rainbow as she saw the dead end and felt the jolt that came with it.

After another couple of them, the doll asked, “How are you feeling?”

Lucy wasn’t really sure how to respond to that… The words barely registered in her mind, and when she opened her thumb-filled mouth to reply, the syllables that came out barely made sense one at a time, much less combined. “That’s what I thought,” the doll patted her on the head. Its clothes barely even counted as that anymore, the shirt having shortened enough to show off most of its well-toned stomach, the shorts almost looking more like panties, which she had to assume it wasn’t even bothering to wear underneath anymore.

When the doll turned around and started to head back the way they’d came, it almost didn’t register in Lucy’s mind, and while something about it felt wrong, she had no idea why. It was hard enough remembering how to walk, especially with her big, thick, full diaper between her legs… She really wanted to crawl instead, but then she couldn’t hold the doll’s hand.

“Do you remember this place?” the doll asked as they finally stepped out into a large, open room, with open doorways into many other parts of the maze. Lucy shook her head. “Of course not,” the doll chuckled, reaching down and wiping a little drool from the girl’s chin. “I should have expected as much from a brainless baby like you… Well, sweetie, that’s your home, right over there.” It pointed across the room, to a wall that Lucy had to admit did seem familiar. “That’s where you wanted to go, right? Home?”

Lucy nodded and babbled behind her thumb. Home did sound right… The doll smiled and nodded, starting to lead her across the room, only to stop partway through. “I’m sure you don’t remember how to get across here, either,” she said, and Lucy shook her head. “We have to be very careful here… You stay right here, sweetie, and I’ll show you how to do it, and then I’ll come back over and we’ll do it together… Then we’ll get you right where you belong, and I can go home, too. Won’t that be great?”

Lucy nodded, and the doll let go of her hand, taking a few steps forward. “We definitely don’t want to go any further than this,” it lectured. “It might look safe, but… Hey!”

Lucy bumbled forward, as quickly as she could manage, and shoved the doll with all of her might. It wobbled, glaring down at her. “And what do you think you’re doing, young lady?!” it demanded. “Do you need a spanking?!” Lucy frowned, pushing it again, hoping she had enough strength to make this work.

The doll had been right… For the most part. Most of her mind felt completely useless, making her at least feel brainless, and helpless… But, with the help of the rainbow, she’d been able to hold on to a few things. First, that she wasn’t meant to be dressed like this, in this frilly little pink dress, and that her companion wasn’t meant to be dressed as it was, either.

“You little brat!” the doll gasped as its foot slipped to the edge of the mud puddle, and, instantly, it began to be pulled under. Lucy stumbled, nearly falling in herself before she managed to stop herself, falling to the ground instead, diaper squishing beneath her.

Maybe that should have made her more scared, watching the doll struggling to pull itself back out of the mud that was sucking it in, that reminder that she was just a silly baby, stuck here on her own… Except, that was the second thing that she remembered. She hadn’t had an accident in her diaper after all, no matter how many times the doll tried to make her thing she had – successfully, for a while. That had been something else, and, while she couldn’t always remember what, she knew it wasn’t her fault, which made it all the more suspicious that the doll wanted her to think it was… Then, when they returned to this room, it helped her recall just enough to know how to get rid of the doll.

“You help me right now!” the doll demanded, reaching out, grabbing for Lucy. The girl scrambled backwards, away from the grasping hands… She didn’t have to go far, since, with every passing second, they seemed to grow shorter and shorter as the doll sank further and further into the puddle. “You stupid baby! You’ll never get out of here!” it screamed. “You’re going to be stuck here anyway… You could have at least let me go free!”

And, with that, it sank under the surface, and silence filled the maze. Lucy had a hard time fully comprehending everything the doll had said, though it did make her shiver, anyway, for some reason. She really wasn’t sure where she was supposed to go, or where she wanted to wind up; she did know she didn’t like the mud, however.

She turned back towards the corridor they’d just emerged from, trying to remember how to get back up on her feet. She was sure she knew how, but it seemed so complicated now… Eventually, she decided to crawl instead, making her way into the maze. The walls felt so much higher now, stretching up far above her head, and so long ahead of her… Had she made a mistake? Had the doll really been trying to help her after all?

She really began to fret over that once she hit a split in the path. Without the doll there to hold her hand, to tell her which way to go, she had no idea what to choose. She sat there for a few moments, tears streaming down her cheeks, wanting to suck her thumb, only to see how filthy her hands had gotten from crawling. Just as she was about to start bawling, she glanced upwards, finding the rainbow there.

She no longer remembered the difference between right and left, but she felt a slight tug, leading her towards one of the two halls. With nothing else to go on, she followed it, and then again at the next choice, and the next… Slowly, her mind began clearing itself, each path reminding her of something else she’d known for a long time, yet somehow completely forgotten in this place. After a couple, she awkwardly climbed to her feet, then, after that, her hair began to darken again, her clothes transforming, splitting back to a shirt and shorts from the dress they had become.

They never went beyond where they’d started, never evolved to something that didn’t look like they’d come from a five year old’s closet, but it was still a comfort to be back in them, to be able to remember picking them out herself. There was even a small comfort in feeling how tight the shorts were against her diaper, even with the load of mud in them, making her feel filthy – though, to be fair, she likely would have anyway, since her knees and hands were now also covered in mud from crawling.

Had it really been this simple from the start? She could remember coming into the cornfield now, thinking how she could use the rainbow overhead to guide her way, despite how unusually tall the corn seemed to be today… Somehow, she’d forgotten all about that, and gotten herself hopelessly lost. If she’d just trusted it from the start, it apparently would have been quite simple.

As if to prove that, she glanced up at the sky one last time, took one more turn, and, at last, she stepped out of the maze to the other side of the field. She turned around, but as soon as she’d stepped out, the corn had began to grow again, blocking out the entrance, turning into a solid wall of green. She couldn’t even see through it to her house on the other side…

Part of her was scared by that, but mostly, she was glad. Even though she should probably turn back – it had taken her far, far longer than it should have to get through the field – she didn’t really have a choice now. She couldn’t get back through, so she’d just have to go forward, into the forest… At least the hardest part was over now… Wasn’t it?

 

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The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 4

The Other End of the Rainbow – Chapter 4

Lucy stared at the doll, wishing there was somebody else there to talk to, to get their opinion… She looked behind herself, even though she knew there was nobody there – if she had seen anyone, it likely would have just made her more nervous – then turned back to the corn, and the doll stuck in it.

It didn’t look dangerous in the slightest, which made her feel even sillier for her reluctance. Clearly, as strange as this whole thing was, the doll was alive in some way, and in distress… Why wouldn’t she help it out? She was a good bit bigger than it, if something went wrong. Even if it didn’t help her, like it had promised, she doubted it could hinder her all that much.

“Okay,” she nodded, making her decision, stepping back towards the corn stalks. She grabbed for one of the leaves, wrapped around the doll’s leg. A small shock ran through her, making her yelp, but almost instantly the leaf uncurled itself, pulling back into the wall of corn. She pulled her hand back, too, surprised by the movement, then hesitantly touched the leaf around the other leg as well. This time, thankfully, there was no spark or sting, the leaf just shuddered and slid away.

In no time, the doll was free, the leaves that had held it captive putting up no resistance. Lucy easily caught the doll after the last leaf retreated, letting it hop down out of her arms and onto the ground, kneeling down to see it more easily.

“Fank yew so much!” the doll gave her a hug, its tiny arms barely wrapping around her leg. “I thought I’d be stuck thewe fowevew!”

“You’re welcome,” Lucy told it, deciding it was best to be polite. “Y-You can help me, can’t you? So that I’m not in this place forever? I’m not really supposed to be here, and I’m lost, and…”

“Oh, you poow baby,” the doll patted her knee condescendingly.

“I’m not a baby!” Lucy insisted, despite the damp diaper lurking, barely hidden, under her shorts.

“Sowwy, just an expwession,” the doll told her. “It’s a good thing you hewped me when you did… Neither of these paths lead out.”

“Really?” Lucy blushed, looking at the two openings she’d been running through over and over again. She wasn’t sure why she was surprised at this stage, considering she’d seen no evidence in her previous trips that either way was correct. “Then, what am I supposed to do?!”

“We hafta go thewe,” the doll pointed at the passages on the other side of the mud puddle.

Lucy squirmed, remembering watching the leaf get sucked down into the muck. “D-Do we have to?” she gulped.

“Don’t wowwy,” the doll smiled at her. “I know the way!”

It trotted off, Lucy trailing behind, heading towards the right side of the mud puddle, then hopping right in. Lucy gasped, half expecting it to sink instantly, despite how confident it had sounded; instead, it remained exactly where it had stepped, at least until it turned and beckoned to her. “Come on!”

Lucy bit down on her bottom lip, inching closer to the edge of the puddle, then stretching one foot out, gingerly lowering it right by the doll, half expecting the mud to come to life and rip it off her foot – maybe taking her whole leg with it. Instead, the ground felt solid, just as much as the rest of this maze. Holding her breath, she settled her weight down on that foot, following it with her other.

“Good job!” the doll complimented her. “Now, pay attention!” It hopped diagonally away, landing and staying on the surface in another spot. Lucy was still unsure, taking her time with that one, but when it didn’t dump her into the puddle, she began getting more and more confident, taking less time to step into the dirty abyss after the doll as it jumped to the side, forward, sometimes even backwards. Lucy felt sure they had to have crossed the whole thing at least once over, but the doll kept going… So, she followed. She had no clue what was happening, how this was working, so that seemed like the safest thing to do.

Finally, the doll hopped over to visibly solid ground on the other side, declaring, “Ta-da! That’s it!”

Lucy, glad to be done with this, did the same – too much so, it turned out. Instead of just stepping, she decided to jump as well, only for her foot to slip as it landed. With a gasp, she waved her arms, trying to regain her balance for a split second before falling backwards, right on her diapered backside.

It didn’t hurt – the diaper likely would have prevented most of that anyway – but that only made her worry more. There was very little impact when she hit the ground, as it seemed to ripple beneath her, and then try to suck her down, pulling her deeper into the puddle. Instantly, her slightly wet diaper flooded as she started to flail, her desperation growing all the worse when she felt warm mud flowing into her shorts, then past the legbands of her diaper, pouring inside, making her sink faster and faster.

“Help me!” she yelped, as if that little doll had any chance of doing anything for her.

It turned out, luckily enough, that she could. When Lucy’s panicked eyes turned to it, it was running back to her, a stalk of corn in its hands. Lucy grabbed at it, not even thinking that the most likely result of that would be her pulling the doll in with her, not until the exact opposite happened.

It wasn’t possible that something as small as the doll could be so brave – though, it wasn’t really any less possible than any of the other things that had occurred since she’d gone chasing after that rainbow. For a few moments, nothing happened, then she felt her body’s movement change direction. The mud resisted, trying to hold her tight, but, after a few tugs, Lucy nearly shot out of the puddle, tumbling forward, stumbling and falling onto her stomach with the sound of ripping.

She laid there, heart thumping, for a few minutes before daring to get back to her feet. She gasped when, while slowly standing, a couple scraps of pink slid down her legs, reaching for her shorts. She grabbed for what should have been the middle of them; however, that part of them was gone, no doubt sucked into the depths of the mud. Parts of the legs fluttered to the ground, streaked with mud, leaving her with nothing to cover a diaper that now had quite the sag to it, since it had also collected an awful lot of mud.

“Gross!” she squealed, wriggling in place. How was she supposed to deal with this?! Her diaper had already been pretty obvious, and – if she had any shred of good luck – she wouldn’t be running into anyone other than the doll in this maze, but she didn’t want to have to walk around like this! She didn’t trust the tapes on her diaper to hold up to a retaping, however, and the one thing she wanted less than to waddle around with her pants full of squishy mud was running around in just a t-shirt.

“Awe you okay?” the doll fretted, pacing in front of her.

“No,” Lucy pouted, grabbing at the remains of her shorts. There was no way to fashion anything useful out of them, so, instead, she tried to wipe the mud off the outside of her diaper as well as she could, then tossed the scraps to the puddle, watching them get almost instantly sucked under. “Where to?” she asked with a sigh.

The doll turned to the right, then the left, before pointing back in the first direction. “This way!” it declared. “Come on!” Lucy followed, wrinkling her nose as she waddled through the entryway.

“What… Who are you?” Lucy asked, finally. It didn’t make as much of a difference now, since she’d already trusted the doll, and it had saved her from the mud; the path seemed to stretch on for quite a ways, though, and it would be nice to have something to talk about.

“I’m not suwe,” the doll replied. “It’s hawd to think stwaight in hewe.”

Lucy nodded in agreement for a moment before the implications of that hit her. “But… You do know the way out, don’t you?”

“Of couwse!” the doll nodded. “That’s the onwy thing I was thinking about whiwe I was stuck, getting out of hewe!”

“So, you came from the other side of the field?” Lucy surmised. “Is the forest still there? I mean, it should be, but this field isn’t supposed to be this big, and…” They turned a corner, only to find a blank wall of corn. “A-And…” Lucy shook her head, trying to keep talking and pretend nothing was wrong, until the cloud of fog washed over her mind, making it go blank for a long moment.

“Awe you all wight?” the doll asked, snapping her out of it. “I’m sowwy, maybe my memowy isn’t as good as I thought…”

“I-I’m fine,” Lucy nodded, looking down at the thing – though, maybe, not quite as far down? Or was that her imagination? “We know it isn’t this way now, at least…” She felt a little better, having someone else with her, especially someone who didn’t seem to be affected by whatever was happening to Lucy. She didn’t have to worry about trying to remember which way she’d been anymore, so hopefully that would allow her to find her way out of here…

Lucy opened her mouth as they started walking again, wanting to continue her conversation before they’d been stopped, but she couldn’t recall what they’d been speaking about, and was too embarrassed to ask her companion. Instead, she chose a different question: “How long have you been here?”

“I weally don’t know,” the doll said. “Too long. Oh, wait, this is it!”

She turned, and Lucy trailed behind, waiting to see if she heard anything that would indicate the doll had made another mistake. She felt a bit bad, but the doll didn’t seem to be any worse for the wear after that last dead end, so hopefully, if there was another one, she’d just let Lucy know, then turn around.

After a couple seconds, Lucy followed, taking the corner, and finding another corridor of corn, with the doll already halfway down it. “Hold on!” Lucy called, trying to walk a little faster – it was hard, with her already thick diaper, now full of mud. “Sorry, I just… had to rest…”

“Don’t you want out of hewe?” the doll asked, sounding somewhat annoyed for the first time.

“Sorry,” Lucy repeated, blushing. “Do you not get tired? You have such little legs, I would think…”

They turned again, just as Lucy caught up with the doll. This time, almost immediately, Lucy saw the end of the path, trying to duck away, pretend she hadn’t intended to go that way. She squeezed her eyes shut, leaning against the wall of corn as her brain seemed to scramble inside her skull again.

“This place is confusing, isn’t it?” the doll stepped out from the short, pointless branch it had chosen, shaking its head. “I didn’t remember all of this… But don’t you worry, I’ll get us out!”

“O-Okay,” Lucy nodded, turning as the doll marched past her, then kept going. Lucy glanced back, in the direction she’d been facing which seemed to keep going… Wasn’t that the way they’d been headed? It was all starting to look the same to her… Probably, she’d just gotten mixed up when she backed out of that dead end…

She caught back up with the doll, thinking again that it seemed bigger. When she’d seen it hanging up, it had looked like a regular doll, hadn’t it? Her memory wasn’t so great anymore, yet surely she would have noticed if it was something that reached up to her waist… Maybe even a little higher. She also could have sworn that the diaper under the doll’s shorts had been pushing out against the pink fabric more, filling them with a lot more bulk…

She shook head head; that was silly. She’d just been projecting, seeing a doll that had a similar outfit to her, then assuming that it must also have been just as thickly diapered as she was… That was all there was to it.

“Here we go!” the doll announced. “This is definitely it!”

Lucy wasn’t sure how the doll knew that, since the opening looked just the same as every other one they passed, but she was willing to believe her guide… Only to find herself face to face with another dead end once they actually went in. She gasped, quivering as her knees threatened to give out.

“Silly girl,” the doll scolded her, taking her hand and guiding her back onto the main path. “Why did you go that way?”

“I… I-I just…” Lucy pouted, sniffling. Something about that accusation seemed wrong, but she couldn’t place what. “Sowwy…” she stared down at her feet, embarrassed.

“Just listen to me,” the doll urged. “I’ll get you where you need to be. Trust me.”

“Okay,” Lucy nodded, toddling after it. That had been what she was doing all along, hadn’t it? Why had she gone ahead and chosen a path herself? That was pretty dumb of her… She stared up at the doll, admiring it… It seemed so big and strong… It was really no taller than her, yet it seemed larger, somehow, more competent… Why would she ever want to go in front of it? This place was so huge and scary, and the doll was definitely big enough to protect her from anything she might run into inside…

Lucy shook her head, flipping a few strands of brown hair out of her face. For a moment, she thought nothing of it, then she reached up and grabbed it, pulling it back around where she could see it. Her hair hadn’t always been that color… Had it? Her mind was so mixed up at this point, she honestly couldn’t recall, but it didn’t seem right…

“This wooks famiwiaw,” Lucy looked around at the walls of corn, frowning, both at them and at the trouble she was having controlling her own tongue.

“Doesn’t it all, though?” the doll asked, and Lucy had to nod.

“B-But that weawwy does,” Lucy whined, watching the doll choose a path.

“Don’t be a scaredy-cat,” the doll urged. “You’ll never get out of here like that…”

“I’m not!” Lucy insisted, stomping forward. A moment later, she stumbled back, reaching a hand up to wipe her suddenly wet chin, only to feel it dampen again after another second. Was she… drooling? She shook head head, shivering as she watched the doll, staring up at it.

“No time for dawdling,” it told her. A wave of relief washed over Lucy – she’d been so sure she was going to get in trouble, somehow, that she was happy to just trot after the doll when it wasn’t mad. She reached up, taking the doll’s hand, though it was a struggle to keep up with its longer pace, especially when, after every few steps, she had to wipe her mouth with her free hand.

“This ought to do it,” the doll declared. “I think once we go through here, we’ll both be exactly where we need to be…”

Lucy gulped, her confidence in her companion not exactly waning, despite her bravery doing just that. She didn’t like those dead ends, the way they made her feel, and she didn’t want to have to do that again. She stared down at her feet and asked quietly, “C-Could you go ahead fiwst and check? I just… My feet awe huwting, so I thought I’d…” She shrugged sheepishly.

“Don’t you trust me?” the doll looked down at her with its shiny black eyes, which somehow looked hurt despite not having actually changed. “Sure, I made a couple wrong turns, but this place is huge, and I’m trying my best, and…”

“I do!” Lucy promised. “I just need to west.”

“Poor baby,” the doll shook its head.

“I’m not a baby!” Lucy let go of the doll’s hand to cross her arms.

“Oh, no?” the doll smirked. “You’re wearing a diaper, sweetie.”

“S-So are you!” Lucy blushed.

“Such an imagination…” the doll shook its head. It turned to Lucy, and, for the first time in a while, Lucy really looked at it. Its shirt was yellow, tied at the bottom right under the thing’s breasts, which seemed much bigger than any toy’s should be, exposing the doll’s belly button. The shorts were pink, though a darker shade than Lucy thought they should have been, and even smaller and tighter, to the point where, even before the doll unbuttoned them and pulled them down, exposing the lacy, black panties beneath, it was obvious there was no diaper there.

“Big girls don’t wear diapers,” the doll told her. “And they definitely don’t make poopies in them.” She reached behind Lucy, giving the diaper a pat. Lucy whimpered and wiggled, wanting to argue, positive that it wasn’t her fault, but unable to think of what else could have caused that huge mass in her pants.

“Don’t look so sad,” the doll said, reaching to Lucy’s shoulder, pulling a blonde pigtail from behind her back and setting it gently agaist her chest. “That’s just what babies do…”

“B-But…” Lucy sniffled. “I-I’m not…”

“You know what?” the doll said, reaching down and easily scooping Lucy up. Lucy squealed in surprise, looking down at herself, noticing only then that her shirt seemed to have grown, somehow, stretching out – though just barely – into a dress, albeit one that left her diaper quite visible underneath. Or had she been wearing this all along? It was so cute and frilly, it certainly seemed like something a baby like her would wear, and the sight of it, along with her blonde hair, were ringing a bell somewhere deep in her mind, making her sure she’d seen that combination somewhere… “Maybe you are ready…”

The doll stepped closer to the wall of corn, then extended her arms, with Lucy in them, towards the stalks. “Don’t you worry,” the doll cooed. “It’s time to rest…”

Lucy didn’t give it much thought, just let her eyes start drifting closed obediently, until she saw four large leaves extending outwards, reaching for her arms and her legs…

 

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