Finished The House at the End of the Road

dogboy

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  1. Adult Baby
  2. Diaper Lover
I finally finished writing my almost annual Halloween contribution to the story forum. I apologize for the length, but stories have a way of wanting to tell themselves, as if they truly exist in some other plain. This story involves diapers, forced regression and unwilling domination. If you, the dear reader can make it to chapter III, I think you'll enjoy where the story is headed. All stories should have tension and resolution, and I hope there's plenty of that. Enjoy, if you dare! A p. s. The story is too big to put under one title. To finish it, look for The House at the End of the Road, part II. Thanks.

The House at the End of the Road, part I

Chapter 1: Dare ‘ya

“Dare ‘ya to eat one. Come on, just one; just one berry.” Every kid in Gozeberry grew up with that taunt. Just eat one berry and watch what happens. It was a kid’s tale as old as the town, and the town was very old. Every kid has done it, taken some sort of perverted joy, scaring others with the worn out legends, like the tale of the hook, the Blair Witch or the old house that kids won’t visit on Halloween. The town of Gozeberry was named after its own legend, something a bit rarer than the man with the hook for a hand. And every child that grew up in Gozeberry could tell you that story, not leaving out a single detail, because they retold it with each generation, especially in the month of October when perhaps, the spirits were a bit more restless.

Matt, like all of his friends, had grown up with the legend because he was a Gozeberrian, a born and raised product of the town that never seemed to change. There were a few stores, but fewer jobs, so Gozeberrians commuted. They would arrive home from work, tired and worn out, but that was acceptable. If they thought of Gozeberry at all, it was with a certain sense of nostalgia. It's slow pace would make one smile because it was somewhat removed from the rest of the world. Since its conception, explorers had settled and become families, families had children and grandchildren, and the mystery of body and spirit passed in the night and into the unknown. Their legacy was their unique houses and those kept secrets.

Matt had met Suzan at the state university. It was Suzy who had stolen his heart and he would make her his wife. They both had found employment in the city and were able to make a down payment for not just a house, but their start as a married couple. Gozeberry was much more affordable than the city and besides, Matt wanted to return to his home. He still had friends there, the same friends he grew up with, the same friends that played together, laughed together and told tales because Gozeberry was an old town, and old towns had their peculiarities.

Chapter II: House Hunter

“Suzy, guess what I did today?” He was running, not walking into their apartment kitchen. “Damn!” he yelled as he scraped his shin on the corner of the kitchen cabinet. "Cheap shit," he yelled. Suzy covered her mouth, but her laugh was still audible.

“Guess what we’re going to be doing this Saturday?”

“Putting a bandage on your leg?” and again she laughed, this time not hiding it.

“No,” he said with some annoyance. “We’re going house hunting.” I ran into an old friend of mine, and he said there were some good deals in Gozeberry.”

“Of course he would. He sells real estate there.”

“I know, but he’s a friend and he wouldn’t screw us, and we could get out of this tiny apartment.”

“And you and I would live in Gozeberry?” She began to sing the children’s song. “Oh the juice of Gozeberry runs red, and those who drink it wind up dead.”

“Oh, don’t believe all that stuff I told you about growing up there. All of us kids talked that scary trash, even John.

“Who’s John?”

“John, my friend, the guy who’s going to show us some houses tomorrow, Suzy Q my lovie boo.”

She should have laughed but living in Gozeberry? She thoughtlessly continued, “And in the night all safe in bed, but come the morning, a baby’s dread!”

So, she had heard the stories, but she was a mature adult. What harm was there in looking and it would be fun.

“Okay,” she said, and she spilled her wine. “Damn it.” She watched it run red across the corner of the kitchen table and puddle on the floor.

John was a nice enough guy, Suzy thought, and they were having fun sightseeing. The downtown was quaint, old stores in a row lining Main Street. They wouldn’t have to go far to get groceries, or clothes: that sort of thing, and it had its own grade school should they have children. John headed the big SUV out of the shopping area, crossing a few streets until they were in the bedroom community that made up most of Gozeberry, large Victorian and Colonial style houses. The streets were tree lined, the houses fronted with sprawling porches and to Suzy at least, it looked pleasant on the surface, but from the more childlike part of her brain, it could be a setting for a Stephen King novel, or a Spielberg movie.

They toured through several homes, mostly enjoying the day and each other’s company rather than the actual houses. Those were old and needed a lot of work. Many of the bathrooms and kitchens would need remodeling, and the yards needed some care. They were all dated just like their owners, most of them old and falling apart.

“It would take a lot of money to make one of them how I would want it,” Suzy thought out loud.

“Yeah, maybe this isn’t the right time for us. Is there something better preserved and maybe grander, and I know it's not likely, but wouldn't break our budget?” As soon as Matt said it, he knew it was stupid. If there was a house like that, John would have shown it first, so he expected a “no” answer, but John was deep in thought.

“You remember Gozeberry Road, where we’d never go trick-or-treating?”

“You mean where there was always a for sale sign, the one with the arrow that pointed down the street? But that was when we were kids.”

“Yeah, well it’s still there, and the house is for sale.”

“And it’s been unoccupied for all those years?” Suzy asked.

“It's sold a couple times since we were kids. It’s got a lock box and I’ve got the key if you want to see it.”

“Oh yeah,” yelled Matt, and Suzy hit him in the arm.

“What would it hurt,” John sounding more like an eighth grader than a realtor.

“We always talked about that place when we were kids.”

“Yeah, but none of us would walk down the street or even go near it. That’s where everyone went insane,” and both he and John laughed and together they sang, “Don’t eat the berries that are blood red, but rather almost anything instead.”

“Who lives next to it?” Suzy interrupted.

“No one,” John answered. There are no other houses on Gozeberry Road, just the manor, so if you bought it, you’d be all alone,” He said it using a dark, sinister voice, which was hard to do as he was laughing.

“Oh yeah, we’ve got to see it,” and before Matt could finish, John was turning the black SUV onto Gozeberry Road, driving through a narrow, tree lined lane that was as much dirt as it was paved. It seemed to get darker inside the vehicle as the trees shaded the windows, blocking much of the sunlight. Their spirits dropped as the darkness intensified, and then there it was, Gozeberry manor, or so the metal sign proclaimed, the sign as rusted as the tall wrought iron gate that stretched across the front of the yard. It joined an aging, imposing stone wall that encompassed the entire parameter of the property, keeping the unwanted out, or so one would surmise.

“There seems to be a lot of trees and bushes,” was Suzy’s first response, in part because the house itself was set far from the road and the property seemed endless. But what grabbed one’s attention was the great stone edifice that was Gozeberry Manor. It looked down upon them, its tall windows reflecting the redness of the setting sun, like eyes that were on fire, as if it were ever watching, daring them to enter.

John had to get out of the SUV and put the key into the lockbox that was secured to the gate. There were two keys in the box, one for the gate, and one for the front door. The gate hadn’t been opened in ages, and it made its obligatory scary screeching sound as the rusted hinges groaned and complained from disuse.

“Well that’s a good beginning,” Suzy exclaimed, but she noticed that Matt seemed to be more excited than scared, and maybe she didn’t feel as frightened, because that would be silly, but she certainly felt anxious, as if there were terrible things inside. Leaking plumbing and the smells that go with old toilets she found disquieting, and the thought that other things had taken up residence like spiders and rodents, gave her the creeps. Still, here they now were, at the front door and John was turning the key, opening the door, and to who knows what? Standing on the wooden front porch only made the stone construction more apparent, as if each shaped rock had its own story to tell, quarried more than a hundred and fifty years ago, and where were those forgotten workmen now? The windows were huge and arched, and the door that was laboring to open was even bigger, stone blocks having been meticulously cut and shaped, framing an imposing doorway.

A rush of stale air seemed to assault them, as if it were trying to escape, but once the initial shock of entry was over, they all were in awe at the size and scope of Gozeberry Manor. The entrance parlor was almost overwhelming; the rug on the floor, an intricately woven affair probably from Persia, looked to be almost new, its colors still vivid. A large brass chandelier hung from the ceiling, the antique reliquary having been electrified who knows how many years ago. There were bookshelves for those who might have waited for the master to greet them, and those were still occupied, book after book. They wandered in awe from the parlor to a hallway that connected the parlor to a dark wooden paneled great room. A few old pieces of furniture remained along with some mounted, stuffed animals. The kitchen, dining room and bathroom were all in good condition considering their age. The kitchen cabinets were ornately carved, highly polished wood, the stove and oven old, but almost unique by today’s standards, iron and white porcelain. A massive copper hood hung over the oven and range top.

“Let’s get some air in here,” and John opened one of the tall kitchen windows.

Immediately Suzan complained, “What’s that smell,” as something decidedly unpleasant was drifting in from the back year.

“Oh, that’s your fabled Gozeberries. They fall from the bushes this time of year and ferment on the ground giving off an odor.”

“Maybe we could make wine,” and Suzy laughed uncomfortably.

Instinctively like any Gozeberry native, John said almost without thinking, “Oh, you wouldn’t want to do that. Remember the old song, and both he and Matt laughed. Actually, some of the locals still make and sell the stuff. Maybe we should just keep the back windows closed if the smell bothers you.”

“Shall we see where those stairs lead?” They followed John though they could have all walked three across because the formal stairway was that large. On the second floor were four spacious bedrooms along with another bathroom that in its own way was beautiful. There was the tub of course, old but in good condition, but also a leaded glass enclosed shower along with a marble sink. At the end of the hall was a door, and behind that was another set of stairs, this one smaller and leading up to the attic. They took a peek and didn’t quite feel comfortable enough to continue.

“I love it,” Matt shouting his excitement.

“Well get over it because we can’t afford it,” but John interrupted her and said, “ Actually you can. It’s been on the market for a long time and the bank wants to get rid of it.”

After some renovations and redecorating, they moved in, the happy couple, owners of the biggest house on the block, and the only house on the block or the street, if that mattered.

Chapter III: And Baby Makes Three

The first week was uneventful, both Matt and Susan rising early and arriving home in the evening, tired but happy.

“I think we did a good job getting this place up and running,” Matt said unconsciously while he finished his first beer.

“And wasn’t it fortunate that I found all this furniture at the consignment store in town, or we would never have been able to furnish a place this large.” Suzy had enjoyed exploring downtown Gozeberry. “Not only that, but the man said that most of the furniture had come from Gozeberry Manor. I guess the bank had tried a number of times to unload it, though he didn’t use the word, “unload”. He said no one would come to the auctions. How odd, really.”

Odd, again Suzy thought, that no one wanted it considering it was up for grabs at give-away prices. She guessed it was because the pieces were so large and heavy, and the wood having turned dark from the many years it had seen. Well, she thought, they could always replace it when they saved up some money but it looked, at least to her, that it belonged not so much in the manor, but to the manor. They had even commented when they moved the furniture in that the pieces seemed to fill in the still visible indentations in the rugs as if it knew where it belonged.

“You know,” she continued, “the man said the bank left the furniture that’s in the attic. Don’t you think we should take a look and see?” but her voice trailed off. There was something about the attic that was off putting. They had been there a week and still hadn’t opened the door that was at the end of the hall.

“We have lots of time to do that,” Matt responded, and both of them looked toward the big stairway that led up. Yes, there was no rush to open that door, she thought. And then there were the dreams.

The first two nights were exciting as they settled into the expansive room that was their bedroom. Now they could have the king sized mattress they always wanted. Besides the night tables, there was a large, comfortable chair, and still there was room for the oversized dresser and vanity that was original to the house. Matt even had a fire going in the fireplace as the evening temperatures dropped dramatically in late October. All of this should have been a dream come true, but it was the actual dreams they were having that were disturbing.

Susan attributed hers to the maternal instincts that are a part of most women. She and Matt had talked about starting their family now that they had the house. There was plenty of room and they both were making big city salaries. Dreaming about being a mother would be natural, if she was a new mommy to her child, but that wasn’t her dream. For the last several nights, Matt was her baby. He’d start out being the Matt she married, but she’d look at him, and he was 16. She’d become distracted, and when she looked again, he was 12. To her distress, he was 10 and then 8, 5 and 4 and before she could stop whatever horrible thing was happening, she had a toddler hanging on to her leg, looking scared and crying for his mommy. “Help” was all he could say, and then she felt the wetness on her leg. He was wearing an old fashioned cloth diaper and he was wet; very wet and crying “mommy,” pleading to be changed.

She would wake with a start from these dreams, gasping for breath, only to find her husband asleep alongside her, seemingly at peace until the fifth night, again wakened by the terrible dream, her leg feeling the wet diaper, only this time, the whole bed was wet. Matt had wet the bed!

“My God Matt! What did you do,” though she new perfectly well what he did. She looked at her husband, but he was still asleep, almost like a baby. She shook him, grabbed his arm and yelled, “Damn it Matt, wake up!”

He aroused, opened his eyes slowly, and for the moment, didn’t know where he was. He had been dreaming; that’s what he was slowly realizing, dreaming about being home, but it wasn’t this home, and he wasn’t Matt. He was Mathew and in fact, little Mattie, and he was maybe one or two years old at most, and he was lying in his crib. He remembered now, and he knew he had to be little because he was wearing a diaper and he was waiting for his mother to come in and change him. It was morning, and he would be wet. Mommy would change him, dress him and get him ready for breakfast, or “yum yums,” she would say.

“You wet the bed, you imbecile. Is there something I need to know?”

“Uh,” Matt answered. He felt his shorts and she was right. He was wet and there was no mistaking the smell for anything but pee. “I wet the bed,” he reiterated, as if still in a dream. The dream, he thought. “What’s going on,” he said aloud.

“Yes, that’s what I’d like to know,” but then Suzan thought, her dream. It came vividly into her mind like an unwanted guest, and that’s exactly what it was.

“I don’t know,” Matt continued. I was just having a dream and I was a b….” and then he paused. This was going to be embarrassing.

“Yes, you were a what?” and Suzan was still annoyed, annoyed more than she guessed she ought to be, and maybe she wouldn’t have been if it hadn’t been for her dream. Right now, that was disturbing her more than the wet bed, but that was about to change.

“I dreamed I was a, and again he paused, you know, a baby. There. He said it. That wasn’t so hard, and what the heck. He was sitting in a wet bed, so he might as well continue with the rest of the dream.

“I dreamed I was maybe one or two years old, and home again, with mom and dad, and I was a baby, or maybe a toddler and lying in my crib and I was,” and oh God, this was going to sound stupid.

“Go on,” said Suzan, annoyed at where she thought this was going.

“And I’m pretty sure,” and again he paused, “that I needed a diaper change.” Well, that was out, he thought with some relief.

“And how long has this been going on? Were you having these dreams before we were married?”

“No. I’ve never dreamed anything like that, not that I remember anyway. These started the first night we moved in.” He lied to his wife, knew he was lying, because he had those dreams when he was little, and later, growing up in Gozeberry. He often dreamed he was in diapers, and though disturbing, the dreams were also exciting, but he had put those ideas out of his head. It wasn’t normal, he told himself.

There was a long silence before Suzan replied. It was disturbing, that’s what it was, what she had to say, what she had been thinking. “That’s really odd because I’ve been having similar dreams.”

“You’re a baby?”

“No, idiot. I’m not the baby, I’m the mommy,” and as soon as she said it, blurted it out, she felt like such a fool. Being a mommy to her husband was ridiculous. Obscene, in some sense of the word, but now there were the dreams, and it didn’t feel that odd or unusual. Something was driving this idea, because this was the fifth night they both experienced these dreams and with the dreams came new feelings, and it all started when they moved into Gozeberry Manor.

“I’ve got to change the sheets. Geez, get up,” she said, but before she could finish, there came from the ceiling a sound that wouldn’t be unusual for apartment dwellers, something that they heard often when they lived in their city apartment, the sound of feet walking, but they weren’t in their apartment, and there was no one living above them.

“Creek.” There it was again, and the sound was distinct and plain enough to suggest that someone was in their attic, the very place they had not looked when they bought the house.

“Did you hear that?” but Matt had already hopped out of bed ignoring his wife and was looking upward, straight at the ceiling. She could see his eyes and head move as they followed the sound that now was traveling in a linear pattern, from the side of the room where the closet was, to directly over them, and there, for the moment, the sound stopped, as if something was standing on top of them.

“It’s not doing it now,” was all Suzy could think to say, and together, they stared upward; until it moved again, back in the direction from where it came, and it sounded as if it was walking downward on a rickety set of steps, the sound getting closer, and closer until it ended in their closet.

“Don’t open that,” but Suzy was cut short as Matt lunged toward the closet and ripped the door wide open. For a moment, the whole room seemed to be lost, both in time and the space it should occupy, the air having been sucked dry, as if no life could live in it. The closet held their clothes, most certainly, but not in this time or space. That belonged to the day before. Tonight was somewhere else, and it was inviting them to join it, for at the back of the closet was a door, and it was standing open.

Matt pushed his head in, just a little, and moved the clothes apart, both right and left so that he could see better, see this new space that seemed to be calling him, calling them both. “Come join us” is what he heard and without thinking, he walked into the closet, took several steps and was gone.

“My God Matt! Where did you go,” his wife screamed, but he poked back in, his head seemingly floating on its own as it popped out between the shirts on one side, and blouses and skirts on the other.

“It’s a stairway and it goes up.”

“To the attic?’ was all she could get out, her breath coming in short gasps.

“Of course to the attic. There’s a light on up there. How did that get on?”

“Do we have to do this now? Can’t we wait until the morning?

“But the footsteps and then there’s the light. Why would that be on?”

“Go to the hall door and turn it off,” was all she could muster, and to Matt at least, it seemed like good advice. Daytime would be much better because the sun would be shining, and it was Saturday, their first weekend to go exploring. There was no way he wanted to go up there anyway, and especially in the middle of the night. Besides, he was wet and he would need a change and as soon as the word “change” popped in his head, he thought, “diapers.”

Chapter 4: “The Nursery”

Suzy heard her husband walking to the far end of the hallway, and once he was gone, she raced to close the closet door. Whatever was behind the back of the closet seemed like some sort of outlier. Outlier, she thought; something that lies way outside all the normal data, or in this case normal spaces.

The morning came and with it were clean sheets and dry shorts. The night had been hard to explain, so the couple felt somewhat relieved when the morning sun shone through the windows, lighting and refreshing all the interior spaces of the great mansion, reaffirming them that dreams aren’t real. Stone and mortar are real, as are eggs, toast and coffee.

“I know this sounds stupid, but last night….” And Matt trailed off.

“Yeah, last night,”

But Matt interrupted her. “We probably should check out the attic.”

“We,” said Susan. She wasn’t sure if she was confirming what her husband had said, or if she was really asking, “and do I have to go?” But now, getting separated seemed like a worse idea, so she would be going with him, going into the attic. She knew she was going to take her time clearing the dishes and washing them, but sooner or later, they would be going into the attic and what was waiting there?

Quietly, they climbed the formal stairway. Their bedroom was the first door on the left. Suzan peered in, anxiously expecting something to be out of place, but it was just as they left it. They continued down the hall, checking into the other bedrooms. The house seemed quiet, and then there it was, the door leading up into the attic. They didn’t say it, but they were both glad it was still closed. The stillness changed suddenly as Matt opened the door quickly. There was a musty smell but nothing unexpected. Matt’s hand fumbled for the light switch, the glowing bulb at the top beckoning them to venture forward as each step lead them further into the unknown.

Once there, they were taken by all the junk and clutter. There were some old pieces of furniture, just like the man at the consignment store had said, though he seemed somewhat reluctant to say exactly what the furniture was. There was a beat up dresser and some chairs which needed reupholstered. As they walked back toward where their bedroom was, just one flight down, a steamer trunk dominated the floor, and then more curiously, an old crib, a chest of drawers for an infant and a changing table. They were a dingy white and carefully stenciled, were painted bunnies and ducks.

“Well, I guess we won’t have to buy baby furniture if I get pregnant,” Suzy said half laughing, but looking more carefully seemed to deflate any enthusiasm she might have had for baby furniture. The crib and dresser looked old and for some unexplained reason, felt menacing and it was then that she realized why. They were huge. No, not huge, she thought: adult sized. She opened one of the dresser drawers and was surprised to see several stacks of cloth diapers. Odder still was the fact that the diapers seemed new. There were no yellowing or other signs of age. Alongside those where unopened packages of plastic pants, also in good condition, and like the furniture, these also were large, way too big to fit a baby or even a toddler.
They stared in silence at this new discovery when suddenly Suzan broke the silence. “I wonder who the baby was?”

Matt didn’t say anything, but his face seemed to belie his silence. He walked away from his wife, walked all the way back to where they had entered. He walked over to one of the dormer attic windows and looked out onto the back yard. Again he paced up and down and then without saying anything to Suzan, walked to the far wall where the dresser was, stared at it for a moment and then pulled it forward and to the side.

“Just as I thought,” and hidden behind the dresser was a recessed door latch, and it became more apparent, that the molding ornamenting the wall was there to conceal a door.

“Hey! Where are you going? Don’t leave me up here alone,” but before Suzy could grab her husband, he disappeared into whatever was on the other side of the door. She peered in, and as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could make out an old stairway which led downward. The room itself was no bigger than their bedroom closet and then she realized; this was the upper half to what lie directly below, their bedroom closet along with its hidden door and the same stairway that led up.

“Matt, are you alright,” was all Suzy could muster, but her anxiety was put to rest when husband returned, arriving the same way he had left.

“This house seems out of proportion.

“What?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the hidden stairway has me spooked. Maybe it’s seeing that oversized baby furniture. Maybe it’s just being up here. Something just doesn’t feel right.” He walked toward the dresser and opened the drawer, the one that held the diapers. He put his hand on the stack, felt its softness, and some new feeling rippled through him. “Diaper,” he said softly and his mind suddenly revisited his recent, reoccurring dreams. For the last several days they had invaded his mind. He was a baby, and Suzan was his mommy. His dreams had been the same, a new awakening to his earliest days, only the last one was different. Suzan or his mommy had put a diaper on him, and he had wet it, remembering something ancient from his earliest years, only when his wife had woken him, he realized he had wet the bed. He should have been mortified, and he was, but now he felt something different, something more accepting.

“Matt?” Suzan put her arm on her husband and he jumped as if he was surprised, or frightened by something unexpected.

“That was weird,” was all he said and then, “Let’s get out of here.”

“Fine by me, but why should our attic give me the creeps?” but it did just that, because Suzan was having feelings too, that of being a mommy. The crib and dresser had jolted some deep seated feelings, but now, they were demanding some sort of real resolution. Maybe, she thought, it was time to have a baby.

Chapter 5: Getting to Know You

They had moved in hurriedly, just a week ago. It was all about the timing, the lease on their apartment coming up for renewal and the closing on the house. They didn’t want to pay an extra month’s rent, so they had left the city suddenly, and moved in one day. Now, their first weekend at the manor meant, at least for Susan, that she would have to put the kitchen in order.

They had been living out of boxes, taking the occasional dishes and silverware, a couple of pots, just to prepare dinner. But the kitchen, though old, was large, especially for a house this age, and she would finally have the time to arrange the kitchen as she wanted, making decisions as to which cupboards would contain dishes, other utensils and appliances, and it was while she was doing this that she got another surprise. In the back of a cabinet by the sink were baby bottles, old glass baby bottles and nipples. What surprised her was that the nipples, though they belonged to the bottles, seemed almost new. There were no signs of deterioration. Without thinking, she brought them to the front of the cabinet and put her water glasses on the other side.

Mike now had the time to examine his wife’s furniture bargains, and so decided to explore the other bedrooms and as he thought about it, their bedrooms. This was their house, and he could hardly believe it. The room across the hall from theirs was about the same size and looked out on the front lawn. The furniture was old and large. The chest of drawers seemed to dominate the room, the vanity a bit smaller. The bed had four posts that had large finials, intricately carved and if you stared at them, they seemed to look back at you. He shook that idea from his mind. He opened one of the vanity drawers and was shocked to find little square, white clothes. He recognized them immediately as diaper wipers, baby diapers that are often given out at showers because they make good cloths to wipe a baby’s messy face. He paused for a moment wondering why they were there, and then he touched one, its softness taking his mind somewhere else.

He thought about taking his pants off, dropping his underwear and just putting the soft diaper against him, how nice that would feel, and then suddenly, he was shocked at what he was contemplating. He quickly left the room.

The next bedroom looked like it had been a girl’s room, and the furniture seemed to confirm that, or at least that must have been what his wife thought as she matched furniture pieces to the rooms. There was yet another vanity, though smaller, and it had a little girl’s mirror on it as well as some feminine looking niceties: a small porcelain box, those sort of things. Curtains and draperies had come with the house, though most of them would soon have to be replaced including these, curtains that once must have been pink. Now they were faded and falling apart. The bed was in good shape, but the mattress that came with it looked old, a small indentation in the middle where someone must have slept, perhaps for years.

He crossed the hall and walked into the room that was opposite their bedroom and more precisely, their closet. The closet for this room was where their bedroom closet was, only a wall away, and he wondered, did it have a hidden door. He opened the door and looked in, and he wished there was a light, but these old houses didn’t have closet lights and he was in the dark. There were no clothes to obscure his vision, but the back looked plain. Still, he walked in and felt around, knocking on the back wall. He knocked several times, enough to invoke a response from downstairs, his wife yelling, “What are you doing?”

“Nothing,” is what he answered, but it wasn’t “nothing” because he knew there was a door here leading to the same set of steps, and more disturbing, he knew there was some reason for that door. Whatever was invading his thoughts felt sinister, that there was some perverted reason for all this, as if the house was haunted, perhaps by its past owners, but that was ridiculous, and he tried to put the thought out of his mind. Yet he continued, and just as he was about to give up, he hit a piece of molding that bordered the wainscoting, and it pushed in.

He almost gasped as the door opened and there it was, the same stairway which their bedroom shared, and without thinking he yelled, “Suzy come up here and look at this!”

His wife walked toward the stairway and then for some unknown reason, started running.

“Where are you,” she shouted, and ran to the end of the hall and into the fourth bedroom.

“It’s his bedroom,” she said. The energy was out of her; no more running, just a fixed stare at something distant and unseen.

“That’s why I had to buy the furniture. I had to return it to them. He wanted his room back, and then she passed out.

Matt grabbed his wife, held her in his arms and not really knowing what to do, carried her into their bedroom. He laid her down on their bed. “Suzy, talk to me! Suzy wake up!” He realized he was pleading, not just to her, but to something else, something that would listen, hear him and make everything alright.

“Oh God, Suzy, be alright,” and it was then that she opened her eyes.

“Where am I?” She would not remember what had just taken place, even when Matt recounted the events, but there was one thought that lingered with her. They were not alone.


Chapter 6: And Baby Makes Two

They talked about it for awhile, Matt retelling the story and his wife denying that it happened.

“Then how did you know about the furniture? How did you know where to put it,” he asked?

Together they walked into the now adjoining bedroom, connected by the closets and stairway.

“It’s an old house,” Suzy explained. “They probably built them that like that. That way, if they had a young child, they could check on him.”

“And the stairway,” Matt countered.

Absently, Suzie walked around the room, touching the furniture. The bank had saved the old mattresses, and the boy’s seemed to have several large dark stains in the center and a darker one closer to the headboard.

“Looks like you both share something in common,” she said to her husband.

Matt looked at the old mattress and didn’t like where this was going, so he changed the subject.

“Who knows who lived in this room,” Matt countered, but his wife wasn’t satisfied with his answer because something was nagging at her. She was beginning to remember the bits and pieces, and she was becoming aware why she put the furniture where she did. It seemed second nature, like she had lived in the house, had grown up in it, but that was impossible, she told herself. She never lived in Gozeberry. Matt did.

She walked over to the old dresser and remembered how unique it was. There were two sets of doors, one on the top and one on the bottom. She opened the top doors only to find it empty, a shelf to put things on and two drawers. Then she opened the bottom set of doors and again they were in for a surprise. There were two drawers and as she pulled one out, there were diapers, diapers that were too big for a baby.

“I bet these would fit an older child,” she said, almost unconsciously. She pulled out the other drawer and there were pullover shirts as well as some shorts. But there was a bottom shelf and on that sat several toys that a boy might play with, a boy from the first half of the 20th century.

It was getting late. Supper was a simple affair, and later, they watched a movie, something reflecting the fact that it was October, and Halloween approaching. They were both worn out and so they returned to their bedroom, though being upstairs wasn’t as comforting as it had been a few days ago.

“It’s almost like they haven’t left.”

“Who’s they,” but Matt knew. They. The family who lived right where they were now living: the family that lived here when no one would venture down Gozeberry Road, and especially not on Halloween night.

“But who were they,” was all Matt could say, leaving them with their thoughts and their dreams.

It was the first night that Suzy was afraid to fall asleep. She didn’t want to dream, because those dreams were always the same, always the same since they moved into the manor. She was the mommy and Matt was a baby. Sometimes he was big Matt and sometimes he was one or two years old. Both were disturbing because in both scenarios, he was dressed like a baby whether big or little. He would look like a baby, wearing a onsie or a sleeper, and she would be feeding him a bottle, his bottle she realized. And like a baby, he would be diapered. She would be holding him, feeding him and eventually she would feel that warmth. She knew what it was. He was wetting himself, just like a baby, and in a little while, she would be changing him, changing his diaper and saying, “That’s okay. Babies wet their diapers and then they need changed,” and not only would she change him, but she would rub him with baby oil and baby lotion, and sing to him, “there my little baby, go to sleep,” and he would smile.

“Hey! Do you want to see daddy’s baby room?”

She was suddenly wakened. She thought Matt had said something, had woken her from that horrible dream, but he was sound asleep. He looked so at peace and then she heard it again.

“Do you want to see daddy’s baby room,” and when she looked in the direction from where the voice was coming, she saw that the closet door was open.

“Come with me. Up the stairs,” and then she heard it, the footsteps that they had heard earlier, footsteps now going up the old wooden stairs, and what could she do but get out of bed and follow. She wished there was a light to turn on, but she knew there were no lights in the closet. The moon was shining through the great stone-arched windows and she was afforded that little bit of luminescence to show her the way, though it got darker by degree as she climbed the rickety steps, until finally, she was at the top, now in the small area no bigger than their downstairs closet. The door was open even though she had closed it earlier when they were in the attic. The moonlight coming in from the dormer attic windows helped her get her bearings and then the most startling thing happened. The closet wall seemed to open. There was another door, and it led to a room, a hidden bedroom.

“See daddy’s baby room? Put the crib in there.”

“What?” she heard herself say.

“Put the crib and dresser in there or daddy will be mad. Don’t make daddy mad,” and then she heard crying. It sounded like a young boy crying. She saw herself pushing the crib through the two doors. It was on rollers and though the rusted wheels complained, she had less trouble getting it in than the dresser. It was heavy and a metal piece on the back cut her as she pushed it across the old pine floors.

“The changing table. He wants his changing table so mommy can diaper him. Please don’t make him mad.” This time the voice was different; higher. A little girl, Suzy thought. Once the table was in she pushed the furniture around until everything felt right. She didn’t want to make Matt mad, and that was when she woke with a start. She wanted to scream and she would have screamed but she was wet. She was lying in wet sheets and she realized that Matt had wet the bed.

“Matt! Wake up. You wet the bed again.”

“I need my diaper changed, mommy,” was what he said, and now Suzy screamed.

Chapter 7: A New Song

“What’s wrong! What’s wrong,” was all Matt could think. He had been asleep and he was dreaming; that much he knew, but now his wife was yelling and then he felt the wetness. He had wet the bed and she must be mad, but it was more than that, a lot more. She was hysterical.

“I am not your mother. I am not your mommy,” she kept repeating and then she realized Matt must have said it while still asleep, and at least that comforted her a little. He must have been having a bad dream, and then he wet the bed, so that must be it, she thought as she calmed down.

“I had the worst dream,” Matt said, sensing his wife was going to be all right.

“You dreamed you were a baby and I was your mommy,” Suzy interrupted, convinced that their dreams were somehow connected.

“Yes, but how did you know,” and then he paused for a moment. They had talked about their dreams, shared their feelings which certainly were embarrassing, but now, something was different. This had felt much more real, so real that Matt felt like he was a baby or perhaps a toddler, old enough to have a sense of what was going on, and more disturbing, liking the feeling of being diapered, being nurtured and then just wetting himself like it was the most natural thing in the world. He felt the wetness of his shorts and he wondered how that might feel if he was diapered, and besides, he couldn’t keep going on like this, wetting the bed every night.

“Come on little one. Let’s get you out of those wet shorts and into something clean and dry.” As soon as Suzy said it, she had to stop for a moment. Where did these new feelings come from, she wondered? It just seemed so natural to take care of her Mattie, and she remembered her dream.

“Oh Matt! I had the strangest dream. This time she didn’t say, the most horrible dream, just strange, and then she remembered the boy and it hit her: the hidden room. She remembered the room and what’s more, what it was used for.

“Mattie. There’s a hidden room, I mean, I dreamed there was a hidden room,” and as she held her hands, reacting to the stress of the night she noticed that she was bleeding. She had cut her hand on something.

“Oh my God, Matt. There really is a hidden room, and it’s up in the attic at the end of those stairs,” and together they stared at their closet door, and that was when it opened all by itself. Through the dark of the closet they heard the adjoining closet door open, then the sounds of little feet running up the old wooden steps and finally, the sound of laughter coming somewhere above them, the sound of two children playing, a boy and a girl.

“Oh the juice of Gozeberry runs red, and those who drink it wind up dead.” “And in the night all safe in bed, but come the morning, a baby’s dread!” “Don’t eat the berries that are blood red, but rather almost anything instead.”

It was the sound of children, their sweet voices coming from somewhere in the attic, sounding distant, yet the words so clear. They were singing the old song that children sang to one another, to taunt or scare, and now it seemed, to warn.

“And in the night the sleepers rise, to something that will tantalize, Your daddy will no longer be, but looking at him you will see, not just a baby, bib and diapers, and mommy with the baby wipers, but something dark that shouldn’t be, as rots the gozeberries.”

The singing repeated over and over again until Suzy screamed, “Shut up! Shut up!”

“It’s okay,” her husband tried to comfort her, but he was anything but comforted, and in fact, he was angry. This house was his, no, was theirs, he thought, and no one or thing was going to take it away from them. They would settle this once and for all, and it seemed to him, that whatever was at the heart of this was in the imaginary room his wife had just dreamed of, and then it hit him. It wasn’t imaginary. That’s why the house or more precisely, the attic, seemed out of proportion, why one far wall of the attic was stone and the other a closet, because it wasn’t a closet in the attic, but an entry way to who knows what. He was going to find out, and the way to discovery was through their closet. Through the closet he thought, and up the stairs.

The singing faded into nothing, or perhaps not so much as faded, but disappeared into another part of the house. Suzy felt exhausted, both from the terrible night and from her screaming, but she knew what they must do, and as she looked down, she saw that the cut on her hand was bleeding again, and where did that come from, she thought.

“Suzy, I’m going up into the attic,” and before he could finish, Suzy said she was coming with him.

As they climbed the stairs, getting closer to the top, they could hear the children, ever so softly. A child was crying. “Don’t go in. It’s daddy’s secret and he’ll be mad. He’ll hurt us again if you go in,” but the tiny voice failed and then vanished.

“This can’t be happening,” Suzy said, but her husband was outpacing her, determined to see what was on the other side of the small room that seemed to be nothing more than a landing for the steps that had no purpose. He reached the top first. He was out of breath and had to pause. It was dark and he realized they should have brought a flashlight.

“Suzy, go down and get my flashlight,” but Susan was now in the tiny area with him and suddenly, it was like her dream. Their eyes had a chance to adjust to the darkness, and there was enough light coming up from their bedroom for Suzy to see the wainscoting and molding. The wood was dark as was the molding bordering it, except for one place that was lighter as it was worn from some sort of constant nightly contact with a foreign hand.

Instinctively, she pushed on the worn spot, and a door opened into a much larger room and more than just a room, the hidden missing space in the attic, one that held a big surprise for them. Matt found the light switch that was to the right of the door. The fixture was old and dirty, but there was enough light to reveal a nursery, complete with the framed pictures of animals as well as toys and several worn, stuffed animals, But the biggest shock was that it was furnished with the oversized baby furniture that they had discovered in the attic. Now, the crib was in its place as well as the dresser and changing table.

“How did this get in here,” her husband began to ask but then he saw the blood on the side of the heavy dresser. He looked at the blood and then his wife’s hand. “You moved this, into the room,” but his wife looked as perplexed as he.

“No, I couldn’t have, but….." and then the strangest thing came out of her mouth. “I was making the baby room for daddy. Daddy be baby,” she said, and trancelike, she walked over to the dresser and removed a diaper. “Daddy be baby,” she repeated, and she gently pushed him toward the changing table, a table that was at a perfect height, low enough to just fall over backwards onto an adult sized changing mat. Her husband said nothing, his eyes glazed and staring vacantly toward the ceiling. The children’s voices were returning.

“And in the night the sleepers rise, to something that will tantalize, Your daddy will no longer be, but looking at him you will see, not just a baby, bib and diapers, and mommy with the baby wipers,
but something dark that shouldn’t be, as rots the gozeberries.”

“Diaper me,” Matt moaned. “Baby need diaper.”

“It’s okay baby. Mommy’s here with your diaper.” She removed her husband’s wet shorts and let them drop to the floor. She opened a drawer from the changing table and found some baby powder. Placing the diaper under her husband, she preceded to sprinkle the baby powder on him.
“There, my little baby. We don’t want baby to get upset.”

“Baby want bottle,” her husband demanded.

She had to think about that and then she remembered the baby bottles in the kitchen cupboard. Without hesitation, she headed down the stairway and through the closet. Once in the kitchen she found some milk in the refrigerator and warmed it up in a sauce pan. She retrieved the baby bottle and nipple from the cupboard and made the bottle of warm milk.
In the distance she heard the children’s voices.

“Your daddy will no longer be, but looking at him you will see, not just a baby, bib and diapers, and mommy with the baby wipers.”

“Here comes mommy,” she thought as she climbed the steps. She found her husband, now her baby, upset.

“I want my ba-ba,” he yelled, his arms flailing.

She tried to comfort him, but he seemed distraught, demanding. She remembered the old rocker nearby and pushed that into the room, placing it in the corner opposite the crib. She grabbed her husband and sat him in her lap, giving him the bottle.

“Ba-ba,” he said again, and he grabbed it, put it up to his mouth while holding Suzan’s hands around the bottle, forcing her to feed him.

“That’s my baby,” she said as she rocked ever so gently. “That’s my little baby, and together they had found their new roles, each feeling comfortable. Later she would put her husband, now her baby, in his crib. In the morning, the sun would creep into the room, waking them both, only to have to confront this startling new development, the mommy and her baby. He would need his diaper changed, she thought. And they both screamed!

Chapter 8: The Best Wine Is Blood Red

It was Monday morning and they were late. They had to hurry and Matt definitely needed a shower, though they both would as the weather had been unusually warm the last few days. It had been hotter in the attic because those windows remained closed. The downstairs windows were open as were the bedroom's. At first, the stench of the rotting Gozeberries made them think about putting in central air, but after awhile, they didn’t smell the berries that named a town.

They had been taking the same car into the city as their office buildings were near one another. Suzy had trouble staying on task. All she could think about was what had happened in their house, or as she now thought of it: that house. They couldn’t afford to move, not until they had built up some equity and that meant they would have to tough it out, but she was troubled by all the unanswered questions that haunted her. The newspaper publishing building was down several blocks and she could ask if they kept records on houses sold in the adjoining communities such as Gozeberry. She used her lunch break to go on her fact finding mission, but she was disappointed to learn that they didn’t keep such information. They did direct her to a small weekly in Gozeberry, The Gozeberry Gazette. She would have to take a day off, but how was she going to explain that to her husband. He seemed committed to staying. The situation only intensified when she met her husband at the car, their normal routine for going home, only this time, something was different.

“That’s not the pants you were wearing this morning,” she asked? Her husband didn’t answer her. “And what’s in the shopping bag?”

“Okay, I wet my pants at work. Are you satisfied?” and he threw the bag on the back seat and slammed the door as he got in.

“I just wondered, is all.” The ride was quiet until Suzan asked, “So do you think this has anything to do with what happened last night?”

“Of course it does,” her husband snapped. “I suppose you think I should wear diapers to work!”

“That’s not at all what I was thinking,” Suzan interrupted, “but maybe you should,” and she wondered why she would say something as ridiculous as that, but her husband responded.

“Well maybe I should, I mean, what the hell, I seem to be pissing myself all the time. You think I’m a big baby. Maybe you’re making me into a baby,” and he trailed off, unable to finish what he was thinking.

“Well, maybe you are,” which was out of character for her to say such a thing, but her husband wasn’t acting like himself either. He was always kind to her, and now? It was the house. It had to be the house. She would find out tomorrow, but they still had to get through the night.

Things seemed more rational when they were in the car, but now that they were home, the house exerted some sort of dominance, like it was a living entity and they were inside, swallowed by it. It breathed its own air and it shared it with its occupants, air that was rich with the subtle smell of gozeberries. Suzy prepared dinner and as she did, it gave her mind a chance to wander. She wondered who had lived in the house before them. There would have been more than one family and in fact, there would have been several, or perhaps, many. It was an old house, built in the 1800s. There was such a mixture of smells. How many meals had been cooked in that kitchen and under what conditions? The first stove must have been heated with wood. What were their lives like? She had to find out.

She put a vegetable pouch in the microwave and turned it to high. Within the first minute, the lights in the kitchen went out.
“Damn! Mattie, could you go into the basement and flip the circuit breaker?”

The basement! There was a place neither one of them wanted to go. They had seen it briefly on the house inspection tour, but it was dark and musty. It also seemed to contain a lot of the history of the house because the old and broken seemed to have found a home there, scattered to the far corners.

“I’ll go,” and Matt opened the door in the hall that lead downward into the dark. The house responded to the light switch, so there was that at least, but the further he went, the more the basement seemed to suck the life out of him. He was glad that a past owner had upgraded to circuit breakers, and the switch complied, bringing light and power back to the kitchen. He took the opportunity to look around and much to his surprise, there was a wine rack and in the rack, wine bottles.

“I wonder if any of this is still good,” he said to himself, and taking a bottle, he looked at the label. The paper had turned yellow, the printing faded, and it appeared to be written by hand. He could barely make out the first letter, a capital G. “Well, let’s try it,” he muttered, and up he went with his new discovery.

“Look what I found. Seems like the basement is a wine cellar.”

“I could use a stiff drink,” his wife answered. “It can’t possibly be any good, can it?”

“Only one way to find out,” and he fished the corkscrew from a drawer. It came out with a screak which made Suzan jump. She found two wine glasses and her husband poured. The contents were blood red. Two floors above them was the sound of running feet, running from something terrible, but they never heard it. The dinner was average, but the wine was something else altogether. It gave them a buzz almost immediately, something as unexpected as the taste. That was bitter and unsettling, and they would have rejected it had it not been for the intoxicating affect it had on them.

They had been in the house for over a week and little by little, they were falling under its spell. Now, they had taken the last step, one that had been repeated from the last century and a half. Upstairs, the children were screaming, but those screams were unheard by the living. There was still a separation between the two, but that was blurring.

“God I’m buzzed. Do the dishes and hurry to bed.”

“Aren’t you going to help? You always help.”

“Do the dishes and don’t dally. You know what to do,” and her husband stormed upstairs to the bedroom.

“Yes daddy,” she heard herself say. “Yes baby. Mommy’s coming.”

The wine was pounding inside her head. “Don’t want to make daddy mad.”
Again she heard her say the foreign words. “Daddy will want to be baby.”

She entered the bedroom and there was her husband in just his underwear. “Baby want diaper,” he said. “I want my diaper!”
“Yes baby. Mommy’s getting you your diaper. Such a good baby. See, mommy has your diaper. Lay down like a good baby.

“No! In the baby room. Baby need nursery,” and together they walked through their closet and disappeared into the night.
 

Jeremiah

Est. Contributor
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  1. Diaper Lover
I enjoyed the story. The only comment I have is how disappointing the ending was. It seemed like there should have been another part. Now, there is another part. Would it be possible to provide a link to part II?
 
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