This is the continued story of Simon's Journal.
I would highly recommend you read the first volume of this story, Thirteen Days before you begin this novel.


The following narrative is nearly a complete work of fiction.
Any similarity to actual individuals living or dead is completely unintentional.

If reading a coming of age story about boys wearing diapers and exploring their awakening sexuality is offensive or illegal in your area, then might I suggest you go read War and Peace or something equally stimulating.



Simon's Journal

Volume II


Thirteen Nights – After the Crusade


Written by

Author of Thirteen Days




Chapter - 5

PART 1 – Thursday, March 04, 2004 – Hazards in a Winter Wonderland


I'm not sure how long I had been asleep. All I really know is that I was dreaming about that man with his rusted out and primer painted van. I kept seeing him with a big gunshot hole in his head, which I could see all the way through, but he wasn't dead. He was driving his van that seemed to have a mouth, with fangs on the front of it, and it kept trying to chomp down on my diapered butt whenever it would get close enough. I was screaming and running but no matter how fast I ran, I didn't seem to get anywhere.

What made it worst was that all of my friends including Peter and his gang as well as all the Panthers were all sitting in bleachers watching the whole time and laughing at me. They were chanting my name "SIMON! SIMON!" as if saying it enough times would cause me to stumble and fall into the waiting jaws of the monster van. Just when I thought I could not run anymore, when I was sure the man and his van were going to finally catch me, I woke up screaming.

"Simon!" mom said holding tightly to my shoulders. I opened my eyes to see her and dad both leaning over me looking as scared as I felt.

"You were having a nightmare!" mom said, and as if she had given me permission too, I started to wale like a new born baby.

They both sat next to me and held me as I screamed and cried for quite a while. I have no idea just how long, because my eyes were so filled with tears that I couldn't see much farther then mom's face, which was only a few inches from my own.

They both kept trying to hush me by saying such things as, "It's okay! It was just a nightmare, you are okay." However, I didn't feel okay; I had never felt so `not' okay in my life and all I could seem to do was scream and cry.

I really don't remember doing so, but I must have cried myself back to sleep because when I awoke again it was 4:17 AM. Having tossed and turned so much while dreaming, my covers had all been kicked off and were bunched up, partly at the foot of my bed, but mostly down on the floor. I managed to roll myself out of bed only to find that I no longer was wearing the double thick cloth diaper dad had pinned on me after my bath yesterday. I was now only sporting a single thick cloth diaper and clear-blue snap on plastic pants.

By the time I had my sheets and covers sorted out and back on my bed, I was too cold and awake to be able to fall asleep again so I decided I'd try to tire myself out by journaling. I was also hoping that if I forced myself to think about other things then I would not be able to think about my nightmare, which seemed to now want to replay in my mind, I mean now that I was awake again.

After getting my electronic journal, I climbed back into bed and sat Indian style while facing and resting my e-journal on my pillow. I was able to pull my blankets up over my head, like a makeshift tent, to keep me warm while I wrote. The glow of my e-journal's screen was light enough to see by.

After about a half-hour of writing, my hand started to get tired and I thought about going to my regular computer so that I could type out my thoughts but the idea of leaving my now warm cocoon seemed unthinkable. Then I remembered about the accessory kit, for my e-journal, dad had bought me at the computer show.

"Now what the heck did I do with that?" I thought aloud.

Relinquishing myself to the idea that I'd have to once again allow my body to be ravaged by the cold night air, quick as I could, I flew out from under my covers to my desk. I searched every drawer and didn't find it. I then went to my closet, still nothing; I even looked under Jamie's bed and still could not figure out what I did with it!

"Where is it?" I groaned clutching my arms around myself in a failed attempt to hold in some of my bed heat. I was standing on my tiptoes to keep the bottoms of my feet off the cold floor as I danced from one foot to the other.

"Hey?" I said aloud as the revelation hit me that I wasn't wearing pajama's anymore either! I did the cold floor dance over to the hamper and found it was empty. "I'd had the notion that maybe the other diaper had leaked all over my pajamas and I just wanted confirmation of that idea but the question was left unanswered. I could imagine how much pee I would have had to put out to soak a double thick diaper to the point that it leaked. Oddly, that notion only made me wish I had seen it for myself.

I turned back around and from across my darkened room I saw a glistening from under the corner of my bed near the leg of my headboard and recognized it at once as the plastic bag from the computer and electronics show.

With only a couple ballerina type leaps, I was by my bed, seized the bag and jumped back onto my bed with a ceremonial, "Burrrr!" as I once again thrust my blankets over my head.

Though not as warm as it had been before, my fabric cocoon did offer some warmth and did not take long to heat up again.

"I hate it when manufactures seal everything in plastic display cases!" I groaned and started to bite the plastic to get it opened.

It took some effort but I eventually had the plastic display case ripped into several pieces and had the contents sprawled across my lap. Lifting the edge of my blanket, I tossed the clear plastic pieces out into the cold as if banishing them to a frozen fate!

There was a folding keyboard that plugged into my e-journal and as soon as I did plug it in, a little message popped up in the middle of the screen that said:



P5437/104 Keyboard attached



I suppose I could have taken the time to examine the other items that came in the package, but all I cared about now was the keyboard. Therefore, with a little more care, I lifted the edge of my covers, reached out with my left arm and gently deposited the other things on my night table before retracting my arm back into the warmth.

With the new keyboard already attached, I started typing and wasn't just a little surprised at the fact that I'd not had to do anything other then plug it in to make it work.

"I got to remember to tell dad just how cool this is tomorrow!" I said as I went back to journaling, only this time typing out my thoughts rather then writing them longhand on the screen.

I'd been typing joyfully away when I felt more intense warmth and it took me a second to realize that it was inside my diaper.

"Hey!" I snapped at my diaper-engulfed boyhood. "Stop that! You have to stop doing that! I have to go back to school in a few days and you can't just let go of my pee anytime you darn well feel like it!"

Had anyone been around at that moment and heard me talking to my penis, I would probably have ended up in the loony-farm for sure!

Visualizing, I clamped off the flow of pee and said, "You know better then that! You know you are supposed to do that in the toilet!"

And then thinking about going back out in the cold again I surrendered, "Okay, but this is the last time! Do you hear me?" and I released my muscles and let the stream flow until I was once again empty and comfortable.

I went back to writing, my brain jumping between thinking about what I was writing and relishing in the extra warmth between my legs.

Around 6:30 a.m., when sleep started to take me again, I once more forced myself to venture out into the icy wastelands of my room, leaving behind the warmth of my covers. After putting away my e-journal and before returning to bed I decided to peek out my bedroom window to see if it had stopped snowing sometime in the night. What I saw astounded me and left me in a state of awe.

The world as I knew it no longer excited. It had been blanketed in what looked to be at least a couple feet of snow. Every tree and bush was filled with so much snow that branches seemed to be bowing low under the weight. All the houses across the street had snowdrifts that looked much deeper. "Everyone will have a hard time getting out of their front doors this morning." I said as I noticed that the wind must have been coming from behind our house, because the snow didn't seem to be as deep up close to the front of ours as it was with the houses across the street.

My warm breath against the cold glass caused it to fog and I had to wipe it away with my hand to still be able to see out. The glass was so cold that it felt like tiny fairies were biting at my fingers.

"That's it!" I said. "The end of the world has come and I'm the last remaining soul alive!"

I wiped the glass clear again, "The second ice age has come during the night and encased the planet in snow and ice!" I giggled softly, "The horror! THE HORROR!"

Leaving the glass fogged this time; I quickly found my robe and pulled it on before leaving my room and going to the sliding backdoor to look out. However, when I got there, I could not see. Our back porch was completely filled with snow that was higher then I was tall. Snow had blown all the way up under the back porch roof and was pilled against the back door until only about a foot or so was still able to be viewed out of at the very top. I'd pulled one of the kitchen table's chairs over to the door and was standing on my tiptoes looking out but at that height and angle I couldn't see anything other then the fact that our entire porch was filled with snow.

After getting down from the chair I went to the kitchen window and using a spatula from the drawer so that I could reach, I pulled open the curtain enough to see that, that window was complete blocked with snow too.

"Wow!" I said dropping the spatula on the counter and racing back to tell mom and dad that we were snowed-in.

I knocked softly at first on their bedroom door and when there was no answer I knocked a little harder. Given the time of morning and the fact that it was a weekday I was surprised that neither was up yet.

I lifted my hand to knock on the door once more when there was an explosive sound that came from outside. It sounded like a bomb went off and I jumped in the air and spun around when it occurred.

As the sound reverberated, in that instant the only two sources of light where I was standing, the hallway nightlight and the light coming from my bedroom, both went out. Abruptly in a flurry of fabric, flesh and carpet I found myself lying on the carpeted hallway floor with someone lying beside me growing and moaning.

"Simon is that you?" I heard dad's rough morning voice ask through the total darkness.

"Yeah!" I said and then cried out, "Dad you're crushing my arm!"

I felt the weight of his body lift off my right arm, instantly relieving me of the pain.

"Don't move!" he said and from inside the bedroom I heard mom cry out, "What happened? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, I just tripped over your son!" dad growled back at her.

"Is he okay?" she cried next.

"I'm fine mom! As long as dad doesn't fall on me again!" I said and then shouted, "Dad that's my hand!" when I felt dad nearly stepping on my fingers.

"Well move it then!" dad barked.

"But you said not to move!" I yelled back.

"Simon, stop arguing with me and tuck your arms and legs in before you make me fall and hurt myself again." Dad yelled.

From back in their room, mom must have heard him because she said, "You did hurt yourself then?"

Sounding angry dad shot back at her, "Honey! Would you please give me a few minutes to find out what is going on?"

There was complete silence after that, except for the sound of dad's muffled footsteps on the carpet. In another place and time, I would have thought it interesting that I could actually hear the sound of the carpet being crushed under dad's feet.

Within minutes, I saw the glow of a light coming from the direction of the kitchen and getting brighter as it got closer.

"You all right?" dad asked as I was getting to my feet and shielding my eyes from the retina burning flashlight.

"Yeah I'm okay, what do you think it was?" I asked and from right behind me mom asked, "Are you alright sweetheart?"

"He's fine." Dad said still sounding quite irritated with her.

I heard mom make a noise that sounded like she was trying to twist a chickens head off.

"Here!" dad said handing me a flashlight, "Go back to your room and stay there until I tell you, you can come out."

I did as he said without question, went to my bedroom window and looked out. Aside from the slight morning sun that was trying to get through the layer of cloud cover, there were no lights at all anywhere. Every house and streetlight looked completely dark, at least as far as I could see form my window.

From elsewhere in the house I heard mom exclaimed, "Oh my goodness!" and I figured she'd just tried to look out either the backdoor or the kitchen window.

Dad's reply to mom's exclamation was, "Just be glad we don't live on the other side of the street, else we'd not be able to get out of the front of our house."

I leaned to the edge of my window and saw the front storm door swing open and then closed again, but no one came out of it. I figured dad was making sure it opened.

"I can't believe it! Not at this time of year!" came mom's voice again.

"Must have kept this up all night!" I heard dad say softer and I figured mom must be closer to him now.

"Oh my goodness gracious!" I heard mom exclaiming again and not able to stand it anymore I went to my door and shouted out. "Can I come out now?"

Mom answered, "If you can find them, put on your slippers first!"

And then dad added, "You'd better get some clothes on too, it's going to get cold in here!"

I quickly found my slippers and raced out to the living room. Both mom and dad were standing by the front door looking up the hill of our street.

"That's what I thought it was. Look up there by the Murphy's house; see the transformer?" dad was saying to mom.

"Oh my, it's all black!" she said and then the two of them came back inside and closed the door.

"What is it?" I asked excitedly, "Did Russia attack? Is it a Martian invasion?"

Dad looked down at me and said, "Where do you come up with these ideas?"

"Television!" Mom answews for me.

"The power transformer blew, probably from all the ice." Dad said. "Looks like we're going to be without power for a while."

"Well we have plenty of candles for light and ..." mom's voice trailed off as she was thinking and then as if someone flicked a match inside her head, she said, "Oh, I could heat water using that fondue pot."

"Actually, I think it's out in the garage." Dad said, "but what do we need hot water for?" he asked.

"Coffee!" mom said, turning to go to the kitchen with a flashlight in her hand.

"Oh yeak! Must have my coffee!" dad said, finally smiling.

"Why didn't you get up for work today?" I asked seeing he was standing before me wearing nothing but a pair of plaid boxer shorts and his bathrobe, which was not tied shut.

"My boss called late last night and said he was closing the office for today since the snow was already nearly 8-inches deep around nine last night." He said while pulling his robe closed and tying the matching plaid belt to keep it closed.

"What's everyone think of Pop Tarts and coffee for breakfast?" mom asked from the kitchen. She then came back around the corner and for the first time I realized she was only wearing a nearly see-through nightgown.

I quickly covered my eyes and shouted, "MOM GO PUT ON SOME CLOTHES! GEEZE!"

I heard dad laugh and mom said, "Oh yeah!" and whooshed past me.

"She's gone!" dad laughed.

"Dang!" I said uncovering my eyes!

"That reminds me!" dad said.

"What?" I said.

"I meant to talk to you last night about the recent decline in your grammar." He said shining the light right in my face, causing me to have to shield my eyes.

"Sorry!" I said suddenly realizing what he was saying.

"Consider this your last warning about it!" he said.

I nodded my head obediently.

"Okay then!" dad said before adding, "Now go get dress ..." but he didn't finish his statement. He had shined his flashlight on the front of my plastic pants which seemed to almost glow like a blue neon light. "Actually, I think we should get you changed first!"

I covered the front of my diaper with my free hand and felt my face get hot with embarrassment.

"You'd think I'd get used to this by now." I thought to myself as he led me back to my room, shining his light ahead of us.

When we reached the point in the hallway where dad had fallen over me, I saw in the small section of wall between mom and dad's room door and the hallway bathroom door that there was a sizable whole in the drywall.

"Whoa, what happened there?" I said shining my light on it.

"That is where my elbow went through the wall." Dad pointed out.

I spun around to shine my light on him, "Are you okay?" I asked with genuine concern.

"I'll live, I `spect." He said, "Drywall board is not as hard as elbows, thankfully!" he said jokingly.

Shining my light on the hole again, "Gee-whiz dad, that would of hurt me!"

Before turning into my room dad called to mom throw their closed bedroom door, "Honey, I'm going to get Simon cleaned up and into a dry diaper!"

"God did he have to say it like that?" I continued thinking.

Back in my room, I used the flashlight dad had handed me to find my own smaller and lighter weight flashlight that I'd placed on my desk. I sat the other on my nightstand after clicking mine on. The beam of light was not only brighter, but sent out a wider beam of light. After I found the edge of my bed, sat down and awaited dad's return from my dresser. I shined my light over in his direction.

"Thank you!" he said trying to gather the things with one hand and hold his light with the other.

"This is kind of fun!" I said.

"I'm glad you think so." He sent back.

"How long you think the power will be out?" I asked as he deposited the diapering supplies on my night table.

"Given the amount of snow out there, it wouldn't surprise me if it was for the better part of the day." He said crossing to my window and opening my curtains wide.

"Is your room always this cold in the mornings?" he asked.

"Pretty much!" I said.

"Going to have to do something about that!" he said as soft light seemed to flow in like a warm spring wind blowing and as long as I didn't look out the window, I could hang on to the idea that it was a warm bright sunshiny day. Unfortunately, I did look out the window from where I sat and could see that it was once again snowing but not quite as hard as it had been when I'd gone to bed last night.

"More snow?" I complained.

"Funny how you pray for snow when you know you have to go to school." He said joking again.

I gave him a half smile as he came back over, clicking his flashlight off, "Don't think we'll need these until later today, better save the batteries.

From outside my window there was an odd sound that I couldn't seem to form into a mental picture.

"You hear that?" I asked.

"Yeah!" dad said going back to my window. "Someone's already out on a snow mobile!"

"Really?" I said getting up and joining him at the window.

"Whoa! That looks like fun!" I said watching as the driver who, from our vantage point, looked to be kind of short. The rider stopped several houses up the hill from ours. It appeared that the driver of the snow mobile was talking to someone in that house, then waved and went to the next house.

"I'll be right back, stay here!" dad said to me and quickly left my room.

A moment later I saw our storm door fly open and dad step out onto the front porch. With my window closed, I could not hear what was being said, but I did finally recognize the person on the snow mobile because he came right up to our house and pulled off his helmet. It was BJ!

I through my robe back around myself and raced to the front door.

"BJ!" I shouted past dad and interrupting whatever it was BJ had been saying.

It wasn't until later that I realized what it was I'd heard him saying as I'd made my way to the door.

"Since they caught the man they said I could come out." Is what I had heard him saying to dad.

"Simon, get back inside!" dad said, "You're going to freeze out here!"

"Hi Simon!" BJ said with a smile.

"I think we're all set here, but thanks for checking on us!" dad said giving BJ a wave, "You want to come in and warm up a bit?" dad asked him.

"No thanks! I've only been out here for a few minutes." BJ said pulling his helmet back on. "I'll stop back by later if that's okay though!" he asked.

"Absolutely and thanks again!" dad said and I added, "Yeah, see ya Beej." which was my nickname for him.

Back in the house again, "Alright, back to your room with you Frosty the Snow Child!" dad said playfully trying to kick me in my diapered backside.

"Dad, I want one of those!" I said and then asked, "What's he doing anyway?"

"He's going door-to-door to check and see if anyone needs anything." Dad said.

"Wow, that's pretty cool!" I said.

"I think so too!" he said as we reentered my room.

Mom came back out of her room fully dressed except she was also wearing her big pink fuzzy slippers.

"Did I hear you say BJ was here?" she asked.

"Yeah, he's going door-to-door on his snow mobile." I answered for dad.

"Oh that's so sweet!" mom said, "Why didn't you invite him in?"

"Dad did!" I answered again, "But he only just started!"

"Oh, alright then. I'm going to go see about making coffee by candle! She said with a funny sort of expression.

When I looked back over at dad he was looking at the spot mom had been standing and was shaking his head.

"What?" I said.

"Nothing, lay down!" he said and the way he said it I could tell he was only playing like he was being mad at me right then.

"Yeah, yeah! I know the procedure!" I joked back.

As I was climbing back on my bed, he gave my backside a swat that made more noise against my plastic pants then anything else.

"Hey!" I complained.

Dad once again pinned me into a double layer of cloth diapers before re-snapping the blue plastic pants over them. However, before he pinned them on he did an extra good job of washing me with the wipes and I figured the extra attention was because I couldn't take a bath. I don't know a lot, but I do know that our water heater runs off electric and if the electric is out, we don't have a lot of hot water except what is in the tank. I learned that last summer when a storm came through and knocked out the power and I had gone and taken a shower and used up all the hot water.

As dad helped me get dressed, I thought about the fact that dad seemed to not mind me being in diapers as much as mom seemed too. I came to that conclusion because dad always seemed to diaper me heavy where as mom seemed to want me diapered light. I on the other hand, wasn't sure how I liked it. Mostly I liked being diapered, what bothered me was the idea of going back to school on Monday.

"Guess what?" mom asked as dad was helping me put on my socks. I turned my head to see her standing in the doorway to my room.

"What's that?" dad asked.

"The phone's not working either." She said.

"Because there's no electric love!" dad said.

"The phone doesn't run on electric!" I said.

"Ours does!" dad said pinching my toe.

"Ouch!" I complained.

Dad looked back over to mom and all she said was, "Oh!" and left again, but dad called after her, "You can use your cell phone!"

There was no answer from her and without thinking; I asked dad, "You and mom fighting about me?"

"Who says we're fighting?" dad asked slipping my right foot into my shoe.

"You are, aren't you?" I asked again.

"Don't you go worrying yourself about it. We'll work things out!" he said sliding the other shoe onto my left foot.

I wanted to tell him that I am not just a little kid and that I am part of the family and when they fight; it hurts me just as much as it does them! Instead, I clammed up and said nothing.

Back in the kitchen, "How's the coffee coming?" dad asked of mom.

Mom turned around and I could see something silver sitting on the counter. It took us both a few seconds to realize that it was the fondue pot.

"Oh you found it!" dad said, almost making it sound like a question.

"It was in the pantry after all!" she said, adding, "I'd say in about a half-hour you'll have your coffee!"

"Wonderful!" dad said. "In the mean time, I think I'll go get dressed myself!"

With dad gone, I thought I'd try my luck at getting some information out of mom. I waddled over to the kitchen table, sat down and asked, "So, are you and dad fighting about something I done?"

Mom didn't answer but shot me a look that told me perfectly clearly that I'd better just shut up and mind my own business.

In due time, dad was back and the three of us ate our Pop Tarts and dad drank his coffee, which I could tell by the face he kept making every time he took a sip, that it wasn't very good coffee. He didn't complain; not even once.

I had a glass of orange juice with my Pop Tart and while I ate, I was doing some thinking, which eventually formed into an idea, which then formed into words.

"Dad, how do Eskimos walk on the snow?" I asked.

"With snowshoes!" he answered.

"Kind of like tennis rackets?" I asked.

"You're not using my tennis rackets to strap to your feet!" mom interrupted.

"No!" I said, "That's not what I meant. I mean, they are like that right?" I asked directing my question back to dad.

"Yeah, I guess they are something like that." He said popping the last bite of his Pop Tart into his mouth.

That was all I had to say to get dad thinking and I could tell he was thinking because he got that faraway look in his eyes and was rubbing his whiskered chin.

After a couple minutes he said, "I think we can fashion a couple pair of snow shoes and venture out to dig ourselves out to the garage and the snow blower."

Mom only rolled her eyes back in her head, got up from the table and took all of our cups to the sink.

Within maybe an hour's time, dad and I had managed to use things from around the house to throw together a couple pair of makeshift snow boots and tied them to our winter snow boots using belts.

Now there was no way mom would have let us open the back door. The snow was sure to just fall right into the house. So instead, we went out the front door and made our way around the house and to the garage.

It was so eerily quiet outside. About he only sound to be heard was the sound of kids out playing in the snow somewhere in the distance.

The way our house and garage sits; the snow had sort of blown between them up onto the back porch and had the walk door to the garage nearly covered. However, only about half of the garage door was blocked and since it went up and down, all dad had to do was click the button and the door opened right up.

Something I found both interesting and funny was, when the garage door opened I expected all the snow that was piled against it to fall into the garage, but it didn't. Instead, it sat there like a great glacier wall.

"That's really cool!" I said.

"Yeah that is kind of neat." Dad said back.

After taking off his makeshift snowshoes he went to the back of the garage and with a lot of shifting of other things, managed to get the snow blower up to the front of the garage. However, getting it started proved to be a bigger challenge. Dad and I worked at it for what seemed like an hour before it finally started. I jumped up and down cheering when it roared to life and dad started plowing into the snow at the lowest point.

He had only made it a few feet when BJ came tooling up on his snow mobile again. Instead of turning off the snow blower, dad only idled it back enough that we could hear BJ talking loudly.

"Hey!" he said extending out a cup of coffee to dad. I seen on the side of the cup that it said, `7-11' and I guessed BJ had gone all the way up to the corner store just to get the coffee!

"BJ you are about the most wonderful boy I know!" dad said with a smile as he gratefully took the coffee!

"Yeah, I remember you drink coffee too! My dad was a serious grump this morning until I got him some!" he had said with a big smile!

"Hey Simon! You want to go for a ride?" BJ asked.

"DAD, CAN I?" I said jumping up and down.

"Take off those snow shoes!" he said.

"Hey, that's a really cool idea!" BJ added as I unfastened them from my boots. I started to climb up the snow to get to BJ but dad stopped me.

"Hang on!" dad said.

He took my snowshoes and using one of the belts strapped it onto my back and buckled the belt over one of my shoulders and under my other arm.

He then lifted me up and helped me to get on the snowmobile behind BJ.

"Be careful and do not get hurt, either of you!" dad yelled over the idling blower.

BJ took it slow at first, until we were well out of site and then really opened it up. We were flying over the snow and jumping the snowdrifts. It was an absolute blast!

"We got to go up to my house for a minute!" BJ yelled back to me.

"Okay!" I yelled back.

A few minutes later we were at his house, his father was also clearing the snow from their driveway with a snow blower.

"Well hello there Simon!" BJ's dad said when he saw me climbing off the back of the snow mobile. "Wow you are looking a lot better then BJ had described!"

"Yeah, I'm doing tons better!" I said brushing the snow from the fronts of my pant legs and remembering that I was, quite amply, diapered. Thankfully, my coat seemed to hide any signs, but to stay safe I didn't do any undue bending or walking around.

BJ got off too, went up to his dad and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.

"They give you any trouble?" BJ's dad asked him.

"Nope, but she did say she was going to ask you about them the next time you stop in." He said before coming back to climb aboard the snow mobile again.

"We're going to go riding for a while if that's okay?" he asked.

"Got enough gas?" his dad asked popping a cigarette into his mouth.

"Yeah, I filled up while I was there!" BJ answered and then said to me, "Hope on!" so I did and held onto him as we took off like a rocket.

We road on up his road, down another and then over to the park where we had to stop and turn back; a tree had fallen right across the entrance to the park and had it blocked. However, that was not the bad part; the bad part was that it had also falling across someone's car.

"Oh that's not good!" BJ said.

"Yeah that's not good at all!" I agreed.

"Mind if we stop to see if they need anything?" he asked.

"Good idea!" answered.

He tooled up to within a couple feet of the front door, their house didn't have a porch and was positioned in basically the same direction as my house was so the snow was only a couple feet deep but was still up against their storm door.

"Go ahead and knock!" he said to me. I reached out and pounded my fist on the door.  A moment later, an old man opened the door and was holding a can of beer.

"Hi-ya mister!" BJ said. "We seen your car and well we are just out seeing if there is anything people need since they can't get out because of the snow."

"What about my car?" The man said and then saw the tree lying across it. "Oh holy ..." and a string of cures words came out of the man's mouth which made both BJ and I flinch.

The old man was shouting and threw his can of beer out into the snow while still cursing.

BJ leaned back, turning his head slightly and said, "Guess he didn't know about the car!"

I couldn't help but giggle at his comment, but I had the common sense enough to know to at least turn my head away so as not to offend the elderly man.

After listening to the man rant and rage for several minutes a younger lady came to the door looking very offended by the mans colorful language. BJ once again explained the reason we had knocked and she thanked us for stopping and letting them know about the car.

A second later we were once again flying across the snow and eventually ended up at the top of Tater's street. From our vantage point, it looked like no one had been out of any of the houses as we sat atop the hill looking down.

"Wanna see how fast we can go down this hill?" BJ asked and I gripped my arms around him tighter and shouted, "Go for it!"

That was all the incentive BJ needed and we were rocketing down the street. Even if someone had been looking out of Tater's house, they never would have known it was us; we would have looked like a blur shooting past.

Going down the hill so fast was a great thrill but it didn't scare me. What did scare the life out of me was the fact that when we got to the bottom of the hill we were going so fast that we shot right across the street. Of course the probability that someone was coming either way was doubtful given that none of our roads had been cleared yet in our plat, but still a snowplow or a 4-Wheel-Drive truck could get through easily enough.

We continued racing around the neighborhoods not really carrying where we went. About the only thing that seemed to effect our direction was when we'd see a particularly good mound of snow to jump.

It wasn't until we'd come to the end of a dead-end street that BJ slowed to a stop. He pulled off his helmet and turned off the engine before saying, "Wanna give it a try?" However, I hadn't heard him because something else had seized my full attention.

"Simon?" BJ called my name, but I still did not answer, "Hey man you alright?" he tried to turn on the seat, but I had a death-hold on him from behind.

He brought his elbow back into my chest, which thankfully my armor protected me from, but it was enough to snap me out of my trance.

"What's up with you?" he asked.

"Th-that house!" I said nodding my head toward what I recognized to be the very same house I had hid in only yesterday.

"What? You mean crazy, old-man Peterson's house?" he said, "Don't tell me you are scared of that old fart?"

"I met him yesterday." I said not knowing what I was saying.

"You what?" he shouted and stood up, dismounting the snow mobile.

I looked up at him. "You saying you talked with him?" he had lowered his voice to a near whisper. "Don't you know who that is?" he asked.

I shook my head.

"That's old man Johnson! They say he killed his whole family and ate their bodies!" BJ was ranting.

"WHAT?" I said realizing the ridiculousness of what he had just said, "That's not true!"

"Simon! I'm telling you! It's 110 percent true! Everyone around here knows it!" he said.

"No way!" I said looking back at the house, but even I wasn't so convinced by my rebuttle.

"What did he say to you?" BJ asked.

"N-nothing, I m-mean well, n-nothing really." I said not wanting to tell BJ about yesterday.

"Man Simon! You got some seriously good luck! I've heard that he's tried to trick people into coming into his house so that he can eat them!" BJ said.

"C-can w-we g-get ou-t-tt of h-here?" I said unable to hide my fear any longer.

Now BJ knows me well and knows that I stutter worse with I'm scared or excited. Normally he's really good about getting me calmed down so that I stop stuttering. But, this time he simply said, "You got it man!" and jumped back on the snow mobile.

We were gone in a flash and didn't stop until we were nearly at the bottom of my street. "This here's where they said on the news that, that guy that was kidnapping all those kids killed himself yesterday.

"D-did they find the kids yet?" I asked.

"Nah, my dad doesn't think they ever will. Least not alive!" BJ said.

"So you want to go home now or you want to go riding some more?" he asked.

"What do you say we go back to my house and warm up a bit?" I suggested.

"Alright, sounds good to me!" he said gunning the engine and aiming the front end up my street.



PART 2 – Thursday, March 05, 2004 – Treasures for the Taking

We made it to just across from Marshall Ave, which is my street, before we finally came to a stop. Putting distance between the old man's house and us made me feel more at ease again. I also found it peculiar that I would get so frightened this time when yesterday the same house seemed to be the only place to find refuge.

"Looks like the plow truck came down Marshall after we crossed it." I said to BJ as the two of us looked down at the now cleared and salted road that lay about three feet below us.

"Ah you're kidding?" BJ playfully ribbed me, "What was your first clue?"

Since I had my arms wrapped firmly around him, I used the opportunity to give him the Heimlich.

"Houwa!" BJ groaned and leaned forward against the handlebars.

After a moment to catch his breath he started laughing and said, "Simon you nearly made me puke!"

Playing the idiot I said, "What? I'm just holding on so that I don't fell off and get lost in the snow."

"Do that again and you can walk home!" BJ threatened but I knew he was only kidding.

"You know what?" I asked.

"What?" he answered still giggling.

"I don't want to go back home now." I said.

"Okay, where you want to go then?" he asked.

"Let's go see if we can find a way into the park." I said.

"Alright, hang on!" and after carefully maneuvering down one side, crossing the street and then back up the other bank of snow, BJ gunned the engine and we raced up my street. As we passed the house, dad was still working to get our driveway cleared. I saw he had Aunt Catharine's car cleared off and dug out, but was still working on the front part of the drive way and hadn't even come close to reaching the sidewalk yet. BJ slowed down a little and we both gave dad a one handed wave while still holding tight with our other, me to BJ, BJ to the snowmobile. Dad waived back as we passed him; whether he was smiling or not, I couldn't tell because he had a scarf wrapped around his face so that only his nose and eyes were exposed.

We were back at the fallen tree moments later and it was only when we stopped that we realized it had stopped snowing again.

"Hey, it stopped snowing!" I said and BJ started to say something but I gave his stomach another tight squeeze, only not as hard as I had with the Heimlich. It was enough to make him laugh; knowing that I already knew what he was going to say.

He slowly moved the snowmobile from one end of the tree to the other, "Well I'll never get this through." BJ said patting the snowmobile with his hand.

"Yeah, too bad you don't have a pair of snow shoes too. We could go play mountain men or something." I said and no sooner was the words out of my mouth then the thought hit me that dad might let us use his makeshift snowshoes.

After sharing my idea with BJ, the two of us sped back to my house where we found dad dumping more gas into the blower. Dad wasn't wearing his snowshoes and after some convincing that neither of us was cold, he let us have them.

We then road back to BJ's house, parked the snowmobile in the garage and were about to strap on the snow shoes when his mom made us come in for some hot cider to warm our insides. However, since we were all bundled up and didn't want to have to take off all our stuff and put it back on again, she surrendered and let us drink it, while standing inside the garage with his dad.

Standing there in the garage, I kind of felt awkward; I felt like the big pink elephant in the room that no one was willing to admit was there. I'm sure it was my imagination in overdrive, but I felt like they both knew I was wearing a diaper and were trying not to let on. In reality, aside from the way I walked, I doubted anyone could notice as long as I kept on my coat. Therefore, I made it a point not to move around, but stand in one spot the entire time. In addition, to try to easy my anxieties, I tried to start some small talk. I looked around the garage and spotted Mr. Otteranski's pool table that occupied one whole side of the garage.

"Mr. Otteranski, I thought you said no one was allowed to put stuff on the pool table?" I asked because there were boxes, an old computer monitor and a baby's car seat setting on it; not to mention the half dozen or so wooden studs that I knew were probably left over from when Mr. Otteranski had remodeled their upstairs bathroom this past summer.

Mr. Otteranski gave me a funny grimace and as he looked over at the table BJ gave me an elbow right in the chest. Not hard and had he been thinking I'm sure he wouldn't have done it but even so, since I was wearing my armor, coat and all them layers of clothes, I hardly felt it, but it was enough to get the message to me that I should drop the subject.

BJ downed his cider quickly and then said, "I'll be right back, got an idea!" and was gone before I could ask him what it was.

Consequently, I was left alone with Mr. Otteranski, which wasn't such a big deal. I mean, I've been alone with one or both of BJ's parents, many times before, but this time felt different. Not just because I was wearing a diaper, but because as I stood there, still sipping at my cider, I felt the warm sensation that told me I'd just flooded my diaper and if that had not been bad enough, I felt my face flush hot as well.

Mr. Otteranski noticed my face turning read and asked, "What's the matter?"

"Huh?" I shot back nervously.

"You all right?" he continued to probe.

"Uh, yeah fine!" I said too fast and again sipped at my mug.

I was so glad Mr. Otteranski didn't push the subject any farther and a few minutes later BJ returned with his school backpack strapped to his back.

"What's in the pack?" I asked curiously.

"You'll see!" he said picking up my dad's pair of homemade snowshoes and started to strap them on to his boots.

Mr. Otteranski was nice enough to help me with mine and though I was nervous about letting him get that close to my diaper, I was confident if I refused his help, he would for sure suspect something.

In no time, the two of us were ready for a winter adventure. I quickly finished the last of my cider as Mr. Otteranski stepped out into the open, pulled out another cigarette and lit it. He was careful, as he always was, not to let the smoke blow my way. He'd seen one of my bad asthma attacks before and knew that cigarette smoke could trigger an attack pretty darn fast.

After telling him where we were going he said, "You two keep out of trouble and if it starts snowing hard again, I want you both back here pronto!"

"Mr. Otteranski can you call my dad's cell phone and let him know where I'm at?" I asked.

"Sure!" he said pulling his own cell phone from his coat pocket. "What's the number again?"

"555-0690." BJ said before I could even open my mouth.

"No, that's my house number!" I said giving BJ a backhanded swat that made a satisfying thumping sound against his heavy winter coat.

BJ laughed, "Oh yeah!"

"It's 555-4993" I told Mr. Otteranski.

"All right, you boys be careful and remember what I said `cause you don't want me to have to come get you!" he warned as we started hiking toward the park.

We both knew, all too well, what Mr. Otteranski was implying. In the early part of last summer, BJ and I had been out playing and lost track of time. We were late getting home by over three hours. Mr. Otteranski had not only given BJ two very hard swats on the back of his pants right there on the front porch for the whole world to see, he'd done the same to me. Let me tell you, I didn't care for that none at all. Moreover, when I got home, Mr. Otteranski had already phoned my parents and they both threaten to whip me again. Both BJ and I ended up being put on restriction for a week. I'm sure BJ has long since forgotten about that spanking, but I will never forget it as long as I live.

"Sure thing!" BJ said giving his dad a wave.

"Yes sir!" I said too while leading the way and trying my best to walk as normal as possible and not let BJ know I was wearing a now, wet diaper.

As we continued to walk, I got lost in my thoughts and it took BJ hitting me with a snowball on the back on the head to snap me out of it.

"Did you hear anything I said?" he asked sounding more then a little annoyed.

"Sorry Beej, I was just thinking about something!" I said reaching the halfway point to the park.

"Yeah, well I have been talking to you since we left my house!" BJ said almost growling.

I stopped and turned around expecting to see him mad but instead he was smiling.

"What?" I asked.

"You were thinking about Maaarrrrryyyy!" he accused.

"I was not! Well, I am now, thank you very much!" I said and pushed him.

However, my slight push had more of an impact then either of us expected. BJ tried to take a step backward but his left snowshoe acted more like an anchor and he started toppling over. Knowing how deep the snow was I tried to grab him so that he wouldn't end up buried but didn't realize that by putting more of my weight toward the front of my snowshoe would cause it to dig into the snow. Before either of us could do anything else we were both laying so deep in the snow that we couldn't see each other though I could hear him suffering from a fit of laughter.

It was so quiet outside that BJ's giggles seemed that much funnier and it made me laugh all the harder. By the time the two of us managed to get some control over our giggles, a good five-minute or more had passed.

From within his snowy grave BJ asked through his giggles, "Oh man that was funny! So, how we supposed to get out of here?"

However, I'd been up to more mischief and had made a snowball that I lobbed up into the air and it came right down into BJ's whole almost as if I'd packed a guidance chip inside it.

"HEY! I'm covered with enough snow thank you very much!" BJ laughingly complained.

Somehow I managed to get myself turned over and my legs tucked under me so that I was able to at least get up to a short kneeling position and that allowed my head to only just come out of the hole my body had made in the snow.

"I'm nearly up!" I announced.

"Up? I can't even move!" BJ complained and then started giggling again.

"Stop laughing! I'm trying to get up and you are not helping!" I made another snowball and was able to send it down into BJ's whole with more force then the first one had.

"Ahhhh!" BJ groaned, "Right in the tenders!"

"Really?" I asked.

"Nah, missed by a mile!" he said and I could tell he was lying now. "You throw another snow ball and you're going to die!"

"I been mostly dead before; it's not all they make it out to be!" I joked stealing a line from some movie I couldn't remember the title of then or now.

"I'm going to have to take off my snowshoes to be able to get out of here." I said and after wiggling around a bit I added, "I think the snow's deeper here then I thought it was!"

"Brother you're three for three today Sherlock!" BJ laughed.

"Keep it up and I'll leave you in there!" I threatened.

"Just remember that I wouldn't be in here if it weren't for someone pushing me!" BJ shouted back, still laughing.

"I wonder who that could have been." I said while trying to get my snowshoes off.

I stopped and popped my head out of the hole again to look where he was and saw that he must have fallen to the left whereas I fell, sort of, to the right and forward. I also figured that I must have somehow turned myself as I fell, because I'd ended up on my back.

"You know what's funny?" I asked.

"Your face?" BJ quickly shot back.

"HEY!" I complained.

"What then?" BJ snorted sounding like someone was down in his hole with him and was tickling him.

"There is a perfect silhouette of our body in the snow, like happens to Wild E. Coyote when he falls off a cliff." I said which sent me into another fit of giggles.

"Okay, okay! Stop! I have a question!" BJ yelled out of his whole.

"NO! I'm not out of my whole yet!" I said.

Through his laughter he said, "No not that, I was going to ask why we were walking over the snow when we could have been walking down the cleared road?"

"Because mountain men don't have roads!" I said and threw another snowball down at him.

"Alright, enough of that and get me out of here!" BJ screamed which split through the cold late morning air.

"You need help there?" a man's voice asked and I had to twist my head around like an owl to be able to see who and where the voice was coming from.

There was a man standing in the street, clad in dirty and tattered overalls, a stocking cap, leather gloves and no coat. Behind him was a not old, but defiantly not new pickup truck. I'd not even heard the truck coming thanks to our laughter.

"Yes please!" I said and added, "I almost got my snow shoes off by my friend is still stuck." and I pointed downward toward the impression in the snow.

The man was trying not to laugh as he reached into the bed of his truck and pulled out a bundle of yellow and black rope.

"You alright in there kid?" he called.

"Oh yeah, just having a grand old time!" BJ sent back out of his snowy grave.

"Beej, be nice! The man is trying to help us!" I scolded him.

"Sorry mister!" BJ sent out next and the man had totally given up trying to hide his amusement at our predicament.

After taking several giant steps from the street and into the snow the man stopped and said, "I'm going to toss you the end of this rope so I can pull you out of there.

A minute or so later BJ was out and the man tossed me the rope next however, when I was nearly out of my whole I put my hand down on the snow and instead of being able to pull myself up I fell back into the snow head first. That was when I remembered that the houses on this side of this street all had driveways that went down to the garage and was about four feet lower then the yards.

From outside the snow I heard the unmistakable sound of BJ laughing his stupid head off!

"Hey kid, you alright?" the man called out.

"DO I LOOK ALRIGHT?" I shouted and tried to stop myself from laughing too.

"Simon! Be nice that man's just trying to help!" BJ said mocking me with my own words.

Finally, after rescuing the two of us we found out that the man lived here and was just coming home from work where he'd got snowed in there last night. His name was Rudolph Nader and he thanked us for the laughs before we thanked him for saving us. It wouldn't be until later that I'd realize that I already knew him, well more accurately, my dad knew him, I only knew of him.

BJ and I used our gloved hands to brush each other free of snow, mostly anyway and we kept busting into giggles every few seconds. When we were back on our hike, down on the road of course, the two of us got to laughing, hard-as-ever, as we talking about the entire ordeal.

"I didn't have any idea you was so deep in the snow!" I said.

"I thought you were in as deep as I was! I couldn't figure out how you were getting those snowballs to hit me every time!" BJ said, "And when you went in head first I thought I was going to pee my pants!"

BJ suddenly stopped and turned around, "Hey, you didn't get hurt did yah? I mean your ribs?"

I looked down at the front of my coat and said with no small amount of surprise, "No, not at all!"

"Well that's something then." BJ commented and started walking toward the park again.

We were making better time down on the street and had eventually made it to the fallen tree again. This time however, there was a police cruiser sitting in front of the house but no officer was in sight.

"Must be inside the house?" I said.

"Yeah." Was all BJ said in return.

"Hang on a second." BJ said as he brushed the snow away from a spot on the tree so that he could lean against it to readjust one of his makeshift snowshoes. We then walked around the fallen tree, having to be careful not to fall in the hole left when the huge root system was ripped from the ground. We then squeezed between the tree branches and the metal pole, which was once the gate into the park, but now looked more like an oversized bent drinking straw.

I wasn't surprised to see that the park looked completely frozen in time. There were no tracks—human, animal, or machine anywhere. It appeared that we were the first persons to enter the park today.

"So, are you going to tell me what's in your pack?" I asked and had to talk a little louder then normal because we were walking about ten feet apart just in case one of us were to go down again, the other could then assistant in his rescue. That had been BJ's idea and I went along with it because it made perfect sense to me.

"Lunch!" BJ called back over his shoulder.

"Lunch?" I asked in surprise.

"Yeah, mom made it for us real fast! Just sandwiches, cookies and stuff." BJ added.

"That was good thinking!" I said after a few steps.

"You getting hungry yet?" he asked.

I stopped walking so that I could concentrate on my stomach for a moment.

"Well maybe a little, but I can wait a while." I said and then added, "How about we go up to those trees, maybe the snow won't be so deep there and we can find a clearing."

"Yeah sounds good!" BJ agreed and redirected his steps to head for the west end of the park.

We'd played near there before, mostly because the running and jogging track went by there, but neither of us had ever gone exploring too deep into the trees. It wasn't because we were scared or anything like that, it just never occurred to us to do so. There is tons of stuff to do at the sports park during the spring and summer so looking for stuff to do isn't really needed.

Five minutes later, we reached the point in the park that we both stopped and BJ said, "I think the track is right under us now."

I looked around and saw the top of one of the exercise signs sticking out of the snow about six inches.

"Snow must be deeper here!" I said still standing at a distance from BJ.

"Yeah, so don't fall!" BJ joked.

Right at the tree line, the snow tapered down to a foot or less deep. We quickly found what must have been a path through the trees and bushes as it was fairly easy to maneuver through.

"Beej?" I said.

"Yeah?" he said stopping and turning.

"Let's go up that way." I said pointing up a hill within the small forest of trees.

"Okay." BJ agreed and then asked, "You want to lead the way for a while?"

"Nah, you're doing great!" I answered.

About half way up the hill I started to feel the pressure within me telling me that I was going to need to poop soon, but I felt I could hold it for a while, least until we got back home. For the briefest of moments, the thought crossed my mind of what happened yesterday, but I soon forgot about it as we continued our ascent. The hill turned out to be steeper and higher then either of us thought at first, but we eventually made it to the top and what we found there excited the adventurer in us both.

"Whoa, look at that!" I exclaimed.

"Yeah man!" BJ concurred.

We'd emerged from the woods into a clearing where the snow again was deep. In the center of the clearing was an old weathered barn that looked to have been there a hundred years or more.

We walked all the way around the barn several times as we explored the property in our snowshoes. I was curious, but there didn't seem to be a way to get in the barn, as well as there didn't seem to be any road or path that lead up to the barn. Deep snowdrifts blocked the doors on the lower level and also those on the end, facing west. On the south-side, facing a denser crop of trees that kept the barn hidden from the soccer fields down in the park below, icicles had formed a glittering curtain, adding a thick glaze to the drifts that blocked that doorway. On the end of the barn, closest to the area we'd emerged from, the huge double doors were snowed completely shut.

We both felt like we just had to get inside the barn and look around. Using my hands, I began to slowly dig the drift away from a smaller entrance to the right of the main doors. After a few more minutes exploring, BJ joined me in digging out the door. Once the snow was cleared, it was easy to enter because the little door swung inward.

The door opened into a room which was about ten-feet-wide and twelve-feet-long. Two small frost covered windows faced the north, each covered with spider webs and each loaded with last summer's harvest of flies, moths and other unfortunate insects. Below the windows, there was a narrow workbench that would have been about waist high on a grown man. Nails driven into the wall around the windows served as hangers for a pair of pliers, a bent screwdriver, a broken claw hammer with black tape on its handle, and some small coils of wire. Some nails and screws and a few old hinges were scattered across the bench. Everything was rusty and covered in spider webs.

On the wall, opposite the bench, was a row of twelve wooden pegs spaced about six inches apart, almost too high for either of us to reach. From one of them, hung some long strips of leather.

"Part of an old harness." I thought aloud noting the fact that they were dark and stiff from the sweat of horses.

While looking at the leather strips, I had remembered what a room like this was called.

"It's a tack room. I read about it in a really good book last summer called, `Cowboy's Don't Cry'." I said to BJ.

"Oh yeah, you told me about that book." He answered as we continued to explore.

Three rusty horseshoes were stacked on another peg. BJ stood on his tiptoes to lift one of them off. He examined it and then handed it to me before reaching up and taking one down for himself. It had a nice feel in my gloved hand, heavy and solid, and seeing BJ pocket his, I too slipped mine into my coat pocket.

However, the best thing we had found was in the corner of the room, next to the crude plank door that opened into the rest of the barn. At first we'd both thought it was a broom handle or a piece of pipe. I went over, picked it up and took it over to the widows for a better look.

"Hey! I have seen one of these before!" BJ said.

Someone had made a didgeridoo from a straight young tree. It was about an inch and a half wide at the top, and widened perfectly to about twice that width at the bottom. A bunch of painstakingly intricate lines and images had been painted on the outside. The top of it had been rounded over and carefully smoothed, and in the light I could see the whittled cuts left by a knife. Six inches below the top end, the end you're supposed to blow into, there was just enough space for a hand to grasp hold—and a series of little ridges had been cut, ringing the tube. I pulled the glove off my right hand to see how the grip felt. It was just right.

"That's about the coolest thing." BJ said.

"Yeah man!" I said flipping it around and putting it up to my eye. "Ah yuck! It's not so nice inside!"

"What? Let me see." BJ said pulling the didgeridoo out of my fingers.

"Hey, don't be so grabby!" I complained.

"Just need to push a long stick through it is all!" BJ said looking down into it and saw that it was packed with spider webs and dead bugs.

"Yeah, got a stick that long?" I said grabbing it back from him.

"Dunno, let's look around for something." BJ said.

Opening the inner door, we stepped out onto the main floor of the barn. A row of small square windowpanes above the wide doors on either end of the bar let in some light, and we could see fine.

Looking up, the first thing that caught my eye was a long rope. It hung from the highest beam in the center of the barn, and a loop had been tied in the end that dangled a foot or so above the floor. BJ and I trotted over, but since my hands were still holding the didgeridoo, BJ jumped up, grabbed hold of the rope and pulled; testing to make sure it would hold his weight.

"Don't get dead!" I said, which was something we jokingly said to one another whenever one of us was about to do something monumentally stupid, dangerous or both.

"What? Me die? Never going to happen!" BJ said tugging on the rope again and giggling. "I don't know about you, but I, for one, plan to live forever, maybe even longer!"

"Famous last words." I said softly and taking another step backward.

"What was that?" BJ said.

"Oh nothing." I said with a fake cough.

BJ tugged again and I for one didn't really doubt its strength, since the rope was almost as thick as the climbing rope in our gym back at school, but I did doubt BJ's ability to hang onto it. Running forward with the loop in one hand, BJ pulled the rope back as far as he could and let it go. It swung out, and when it came back, he was ready. He grabbed hold and ran with it shouting, "To infinity and beyond!" then at the very last second, leaped up and clamped his legs around the big knot above the loop. The momentum swept him forward in a long slow arc, and then back and forth like a pendulum. After a few more swings, he dismounted and we moved on.

"Man that was fun! You should have tired it!" BJ said.

"No way! I'd hurt myself for sure!" I said.

The haylofts were about fifteen feet off the floor on either side of the open central area. To me they looked like enormous shelves built out from the sidewalls. Craning my neck to see better, I thought aloud, "Wonder how you get up there?"

Immediately BJ said, "Right there!"

I looked to where his finger was pointing and saw that the floor of each loft was supported by a row of massive wooden posts that were spaced about every ten six feet, and on several of the posts, boards and crosspieces had been nailed to make simple box ladders.

Twenty seconds after this discovery we were up one of the ladders and walking cautiously in the north hayloft, tapping ahead of us with the didgeridoo to be sure the boards were safe. When I got to the wall at the west end of the barn, I turned around and looked back. The inside of the barn stretched out in front of me, almost like it was a diagram on a huge piece of paper. The angle support beams arched away from me, the roof sloped gracefully from the peak, the horizontal and vertical supports met at perfect intervals—it all looked so solid, so permanent.

In the corner, under the south hayloft, BJ found a small sleigh, and next to it, a stack of wooden carriage wheels. I found the trapdoors that the farmer had used for dropping hay down to the ground level for the cows and horses. We had also explored the maze of stalls and pens on the ground floor, noticing that the smell of the animals was definitely stronger down there.

Each place we explored we found new things and added them to our collection in the tack room. I found a rusty shovel with a carved wooden handle, which I used to jamb down inside the didgeridoo to clean it out. Apparently there was more then just spiders and bugs that used to call it home as what look to at one time been a mouse or rats nest came out of it too. BJ found a pitchfork with a missing tine, which he was pretending was a spear, but stopped when he came within about two feet of running me through with it. We also found a small hatchet, a wooden bucket, an assortment of bottles and jars, a short carved sickle, a coffee can full of square nails, an old-fashioned grinding wheel with a broken foot pedal, a length of iron chain, four long wrenches—one of which the end was broken off it. We continued searching and came up with a kerosene lantern, and the last thing was a foot-shaped anvil that BJ said was used to repair shoes or boots.

"Pretty nice little treasure?" BJ said.

"Yeah!" I answered back as I tried to get the didgeridoo to make its music.

"You sound like a dieing elephant!" BJ kidded.

"Well let's see you try?" I said trusting it at him.

"No way! I'm not putting that thing to my mouth! What if rats peed on it?" he said and just the thought made me want to puke.

BJ laughed, "You're so stupid sometimes you know that?"

"You could have warned me!" I complained wiping my mouth feverishly on my sleeve.

"Nah, then I couldn't laugh at you now!" He said picking up the hatchet and trying to chop one of the posts of the barn.

"Don't do that!" I complained.

"What?" BJ said.

"You'll bring this place down on top of us!" I said.

"Will not!" BJ said but he didn't chop any more.

"You ready to eat yet?" BJ asked.

"Past ready!" I said putting down the didgeridoo.

"Let's go eat up in the hay lofts." BJ said.

"Yeah good idea!" I said.

"Race you up!" he said.

I waited until he was nearly to the top of one of the box ladders before shouting; "First one to the top has to kiss Missy Harpo on the lips!"

BJ froze suddenly as if I'd just shot him with a freeze ray. "Ah man that's just disgusting! I wouldn't kiss that bow-wow with your lips!"

I'd climbed up one of the other ladders attached to one of the other polls and was about even with BJ when I said. "Alright then, last one to the top has to kiss her!" and I'd beat him only by a single second.

I was laughing as BJ stood there looking mean, "You're a dirty cheat!" he said.

"Yeah well least I don't have to kiss Missy Harpo!" I said in a singsong voice.

"Take it back!" BJ said pulling off his backpack.

"BJ loves Missy! BJ loves Missy!" I said dancing in a circle.

"Take it back!" BJ said again reaching down into his pack.

I made kissing sounds in the air.

"Last chance! Take it back or else!" BJ said and in retrospect, I think it would have been wise for me to stop then, but I didn't.

Acting like BJ now I said, "Oh Missy I love you so much! I want to marry you and have hundreds of puppies!"

Before I knew what happened I was hit right in the middle of my face with a snowball.

"Uhhh! Where'd you get a snow ball up here?" I complained trying to wipe the snow from my eyes.

"I had it in my backpack ever since we went down in the snow. I was saving it!" BJ said standing there with a second snowball in his hand and his arm cocked and ready to fire off a second round.

"Take it back!"

"Alright! I surrender! I take it back! I take it all back!" I said shielding my face just incase he decided to launch the icy missile just out of spite.

"That's better!" He said lowering his arm and dropping the snowball over the end of the loft.

"You don't have any more in there do you?" I said pointing to his pack.

He thrust his hand into his pack again, "You mean like this one!" He said standing up quickly and pretending to throw another one.

He'd achieved the reaction he'd hoped for by pretending to have another snowball. I'd ducked down and shielded as much of my head as I could.

When the impact never came I said, "You're a jerk!"

"Yeah but I'm a jerk with food!" BJ added, pulling    a plastic bag filled with two sandwiches from his pack.

"Foooood!" he said holding it up as if asking the barn god's to bless it.

I dropped to my knees and began to bow like a servant to a king. "Oh wonderful bringer of the food! Please show pity on this, your humble servant, for I have not had food nor water for many day... uh, hours... uh, minutes and have journeyed far in search of thee!"

"You watch too much TV!" BJ said handing me a sandwich.

"Want an apple?" he asked.

"Nah, what else you got in there?" I asked.

"Chips, uh, slightly crunched!" he said pulling out another clear plastic bag.

"Yeah, that's cool!" I said taking the chips and plopping myself down beside him.

BJ rested his sandwich on my left knee and reached back into his pack with both hands. As he was pulling them out again he said, "And two Yoo-Hoooooooooooooos!"

"Alright!" I cheered.

He picked back up his sandwich and handed me one of the can's of Yoo-hoo. I balanced my sandwich on my right knee, sat the can in front of me as I opened the bag of chips and sat them on the floor between us.

"This is about the coolest place I thing we've ever found!" BJ suggested with a mouth full of food.

I cracked open my Yoo-hoo and said, "Yeah, I got to admit it's the best!"

"Let's keep this place just our secret!" BJ said.

"Good idea!" I said and sticking my right pinky into the air, I said, "Pinky swear."

BJ rapped his pinky finger around mine and said, "Pinky swear!"

We continued eating and talking about the barn and the stuff we'd found. We both wanted to take all the stuff home, but knew that our mom's would never let us bring all that rusty stuff into our houses. Therefore, in the end we decided that after lunch we'd hide it all so that if anyone was to find the barn they wouldn't find our treasure.

While we sat there eating I was reminded that my backside was about full and wanted to be emptied. From the feel of it this time, I didn't have very long before I'd have to find someplace to go.

"You alright?" BJ asked.

"Yeah fine why?" I asked.

"Because you look like you got to poop or something." He said and I felt my face filling with blood.

Head tilted back, hands dropping into his lap, BJ gave a very heavy sigh before placing his hands on the floor beneath him and lifting enough that he was able to turn himself to face me. He looked long and hard at me and though it made me uncomfortable I felt as though I couldn't say anything; like someone had reached down into my throat and ripped out my voice box.

Leaning forward and whispering, which was dumb since we were very much alone, he began to speak, "I promised my mom and dad that I would never ever say anything to you about ... uh ... I mean I got to tell you ..." he trailed off at the end almost like he was regretting saying that much.

Though I honestly didn't want him to say another word because I already had a hunch what he was going to say, I heard myself ask in a slightly higher volume then I'd normally use, "What?"

It must have been my tone or possible my delivery because he recoiled, but only a little. Our eyes were locked together and my heart was beating in my throat making it hard to breath.

Finally, BJ couldn't hold my gaze any longer and dropped his eyes to the floor.

"'Member when I came to see you in the hospital?" he asked so softly that even sitting so closely to him I hardly heard him.

I didn't answer and he didn't look up from the floor.

I heard and saw his entire body sigh so softly and then he said it, "I seen the diapers that day on a cart and I figured the rest out."

If I found talking hard a moment before, now it was completely impossible. I also couldn't look at him anymore. I turned my head to my left and looked across to the other hayloft.

I was so embarrassed, all I could think of was jumping off that loft and if I survived the fall, then I'd run as fast as I could to anywhere; anywhere but here.

Now sounding as if he were trying to salvage our friendship he said, "My mom explained everything to me."

There were several seconds of complete silence as neither of us spoke or even breathed.

"I know!" he finally spoke very definitely, "But I swear I will never tell anyone, not ever-ever-ever!"

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his right hand extended out to me in a gesture of friendship and maybe an attempt to seal his vow, but I wasn't ready to look at him yet. Inside of myself, I was feeling like I was going to die if I didn't get out of the barn and away from BJ right away.

I placed my hands on my knees and lifted myself to my feet while trying my best not to mess myself yet again.

"I'm sorry Simon!" I heard BJ say in an almost pleading sort of way.

Though I wasn't looking at him I could tell that if he wasn't crying, he was nearly on the verge of doing so. I paused for less then a second before starting down the box ladder. I was just about to the floor when a contraction hit me so hard that I couldn't hold it any longer. It was going to come out whether I wanted it to or not. My feet hit the floor and I had just enough time to turn to run, but that's all the farther I made it before filling the back of my diaper once again.

Paralysis took hold of my body as the confused emotions of fear, embarrassment, horror and the warm sensation of my poop spreading across my backside and even forward to my boyhood parts all collided within my head at once. My hot tears stung as they rolled over my cold cheeks and dripped from my face. Above I could hear rustling and scraping followed by the sound of BJ climbing down the ladder. I heard his boots make a thumping sound when they hit the floor, but then there was silence again except for the sound of my soft sobbing.

The voice in my head was screaming down to my feet, "Why don't you run? You got to run NOW!" but they were firmly nailed to the floor.

Seconds seemed to turn into minutes before I finally felt BJ's hand softy touch my left shoulder. His touch caused me to shutter and soft as a mouse he said, "Come on, I'll walk you home!"

Those were the last words that we spoke to each other, until getting back to my house. As I lifted my right boot from the floor, I felt the mess within my diaper move, which further added to my shame. We were nearly back to the tack room, with BJ leading the way when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. BJ was just pulling open the door to the tack room when I noticed a small arched door over in a darken corner.

"Did we look in there?" I wanted to ask but was unable to speak.

I dismissed the discovery and followed him into the tack room where he helped me to put on my snowshoes and then strapped on his own. We left the barn along with our pile of treasure behind.

The walk through the woods and across the park was done in complete silence. We didn't pause or slow down, even when we passed kids playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, building snow forts, creating snowmen and just having fun.

When we reached the point where we'd entered the park, where the tree had fallen across the car and the park fence we found Rudolph Nader standing beside his truck again, his back to us and was trying to get something out of the bed of his truck.

As we were making our way around the tree he spotted us and said, "Hello again boys!"

We both said hello back.

"Had enough of this weather already?" he asked, "Heading back home?"

"Uh, yeah!" BJ answered.

He lifted a large yellow case out of the bed of his truck and I recognized the shape to be a chainsaw.

"Are you going to cut up the tree?" BJ asked.

"Yep! Got to try and get dad's car out from under it." He said.

BJ and I both looked at the car, which was still looking sad and now trapped even worse since the snow plow had piled a mess load of snow right behind the car that was a good five feet high.

"Oh, that was your dad's car?" BJ asked.

"'Was' is the right word to be sure!" Mr. Nader said.

Right about then the old man stuck his head out of his front door and shouted at the two of us, which nearly gave me a heart attack and I think BJ about messed himself too.

"Oh, sorry boys! I didn't mean to scare ya!" the old man said.

"Dad, you need to get inside, you don't even have on shoes!" Mr. Nader said sounding tired and annoyed.

"You hush up Ruddy or I'll hush you up!" the old man said shaking a feeble fist at Mr. Nader.

I turned back to see Mr. Nader shaking his head and looking dejected.

"You the boys that were here on that snow-cycle thingy?" the old man asked.

"Uh, yes sir!" BJ answered.

"That's what I thought! You boys want to earn a buck?" he asked.

BJ took a couple steps toward the man but given my predicament I chose not to move from where I was standing.

The old man fished in the pocket of his thin robe and pulled out a crumpled up wad of money, counted out several dollars and handed them to BJ, "I need half gallon of orange juice!"

"Oh yeah, I can get that for you! But you don't have to pay me for it, I don't mind!" BJ said.

"Well of course I'm going to pay you!" the old man said looking offended that BJ would suggest anything else.

"My dad says it's not right to take advantage of people when things like this happen!" BJ said pointing at the snow.

"That sounds very nice, but you'll take it or you'll get `for what'!" and he shook his fist in BJ's face.

"Dad, don't scare the boy!" Mr. Nader said.

"Ruddy, I thought I told you to hush up?" the old man said shaking his fist back at Mr. Nader again.

BJ smiled and said, "I'll go back home and get the snowmobile. I should be back in about fifteen minutes?"

"That's a good little boy!" the old man said patting BJ on top of his hat-covered head and then shaking his fist once more at Mr. Nader and then vanished back into the house.

I turned back to Mr. Nader, "Are you the Ruddy Nader that helped my dad, Mr. Leonard put the garage door opener up at my house?"

"I thought you looked familiar!" Mr. Nader said smiling wide, "You're Simon Leonard's boy!" he said.

"Yep that's me!" I said smiling back.

"I've not seen your folks for a couple months. How they doing?" he asked.

"Real good! Well `sept we don't have power at our house right now. Dad thinks the transformer blew up!" I said.

"Oh yes, I heard about that! I think I saw one of the Power Company's trucks a few minutes ago. They might be replacing it now." He said.

"Man I hope so!" I said.

"Tell your parents I said hello and not to be such strangers!" Mr. Nader said. "You two better head on out, I'm about to start making some racket!"

"Nice to see you again, I mean today!" I said.

"Yeah thanks again for saving us earlier!" BJ said and he smiled, obviously remembering the ridiculousness of the whole ordeal.

"Yeah thanks again!" I said and he smiled and started the chainsaw, which was very, very loud. He waved and we both waved back before continuing on to my house.

About halfway home the crap in my diaper had gone from feeling so warm and oddly welcoming to just down-right cold and uncomfortable; not to mention the fact that it itched something horrible.

When we finally reached my street it was completely cleared, the snowplow had come through while I'd been gone. There was not one, but two, Power Company trucks parked there. One truck had a big boom arm extended into the air with a bucket on the end of it and two men in it.

We stopped and watched them for a minute or two and then BJ turned and without looking at me asked, "You get home from here alright now?"

I nodded and he added, "Tell you're dad that I'll bring the snow shoes back later." To which I nodded again and started down the hill toward my house. I didn't bother looking back to see if he was watching me or if he'd continued on to his own house. I didn't much care at that point, I just wanted to get home, get cleaned up, changed and then crawl into the bottom of my closet and never come out again.

I was only a house away from my own when I noticed someone was standing on my front porch. I also noticed that dad had finished clearing away the snow from our driveway as well as the sidewalk though there was a light dusting on them again since it kept snowing off and on. I reached the bottom of our driveway and still couldn't figure out who was on our porch. Whoever it was had their back to me and was leaning against the porch railing with their head down like they were reading or playing a Gameboy or something like that.



PART 3 – Thursday, March 05, 2004 – A Friend Indeed


I was nearly to the steps before the person finally realized I was approaching. When he lifted his hood-covered head, I saw that it was only Lowell.

"Simon!" he bellowed.

"Hey Lowell, uh, why you standing out here?" I asked.

"Cause no one answered the door and I figured you'd be back sooner or later so I been waiting." He explained.

"How long have you been waiting?" I asked.

"Oh, maybe five minutes?" he answered, but not sounding to sure of himself. "Not really sure, I got lost in this." He held up a small mustard colored book with the picture of a red foil maple leaf on it.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Just a book." He said.

"I can see that! I mean what's it about?" I asked with what I'm sure was a silly sort of grin.

"Oh, yeah it's got all kind of weird facts about Canada. Just something kind of silly." He said thumbing the pages.

"Why you reading that?" I asked.

"Uh, my dad said he's taking us there this summer and since I was at the library..." He said with a shrug, not bothering to finish his sentance.

"LibRARY!" I corrected him.

"That's what I said." He was looking at me with a bit of confusion.

"Nuhh, you said li-bary. You left out one of the r's." I pointed out.

"I did?" he said grinning and then asked, "Uh, there are two r's in it?"

"You are so dumb!" I said giggling, him along with me. "Wanna come in out of the cold?"

"Not so cold really." Lowell said, "But yeah, I'll come in."

"I've been out here all day. I'm pretty chilled and I ..." but I didn't finish my sentence. I was going to say that I needed to change and bathe, but I was able to catch and stop myself in time.

I opened the storm door only to find the front door to be locked.

"That's odd." I commented before asking Lowell, "You say no one answered when you rang the bell?"

"I seen your dad's car was gone and when I called before coming over I only got the machine." Lowell said.

Lowell followed me off the porch and around the house, "Hey, both cars are gone!" I said looking into the garage.

Lowell started to say something but I cut him off, "I bet mom went to Aunt Catharine's again."

"They just leave you?" Lowell asked and I gave him a look that said, "Don't be dumb!"

I got up onto the back porch and tried to slide the door open but it didn't budge.

"Dang!" I grunted.

"Think maybe they're out looking for you?" Lowell asked.

"No, Mr. Otteranski, uh I mean my friend's dad called them for me before we went to the park." I said while staring at the door like I might be able to will it to open.

"Oh wait, there's a spare key in the garage." I said racing off the back porch.

I got to the walk door and tried the knob and sure enough, it opened. "Dad never locks this door because it can't be unlocked from the outside. It's broke." I told Lowell who was still following behind me.

I stepped into the garage when Lowell said, "Man, smells like someone stepped in dog poop!" and I froze instantly in place.

"What?" Lowell said crashing into the back of me because he'd been following so closely.

I didn't answer right away and that was enough time to allow him to figure out where the smell was actually coming from.

"Oh no you didn't!" He gasped with no small amount of joy in his voice.

My chin dripped to my chess as I let out a sign.

"Did you do it on purpose?" he asked.

I spun around and nearly biting his head off I said, "No I didn't do it on purpose!"

"Whoa, take it easy!" Lowell flinched at my harshness. "It's no big deal, I do it all the time!" he was smiling as he said this, which I found so odd, because I for one was not so happy about the fact that I had a load in my diaper and now someone other then BJ knew about it.

"I'm glad you find it so amusing!" I snapped at him again, but not quite as loud or vicious this time.

Turning away from him, I went to the back of the garage to dad's workbench, pulled open the middle drawer and found the house key taped to the inside of the drawer front.

When I turned back toward Lowell, I saw he was standing with his hands on his hips exactly how mom does when she's mad or trying to look intimidating.

"What?" I asked.

"What, what?" Lowell asked back.

"Why you looking at me like that?" I asked.

"Like what?" he said.

Waving him off I said, "Oh skip it!" I held up the key and added, "Got the key!"

"Good!" he said.

We went back up to the porch, unlocked the door and walked on into the closed up and still darkened house.

"Wish they'd get the power back on soon!" I said.

"You guys got no power?" Lowell said.

"Yeah, but they are fixing it up the street!" I said pointing through the walls to the utility trucks.

"Oh so that's what those trucks were doing up there." He added.

"Yeah!" I answered back. "Uh, go a head and close that." I said to him and he slid the door closed.

"Not much warmer in here." Lowell said after sliding the door shut.

I went over to the table, which was where mom and dad usually left notes for me. Sure enough, there was one.



Your mom is over at your Aunt Catharine's.

I had to go to work due to an emergency. I

shouldn't be long but if you get in before

I'm home, call me at work. I've left my cell

phone by the house phone.

Love, Dad


"What's it say?" Lowell asked.

"That my mom is at my Aunt Catharine's like I thought and dad had to go to work." I answered setting the note back down and going over to get dad's cell phone.

I dialed his work number and on the third ring, he picked it up.

"Hi dad!" I said.

"Hi Simon, you just getting home again?" He asked.

"Yeah." I answered and then asked, "How come you locked me out of the house?"

"I didn't lock you out! I left the backdoor unlocked for you." Was his answer.

"Nope! Was locked!" I said back, "I had to use the spare key from the garage again."

"I'm sorry son, I was sure I had left it unlocked." Dad said and then asked, "Is the power back on yet?"

"Not yet, but I seen them working on it. There are two trucks and some guys up in one of those buckets on a long arm." I said.

"Hopefully they'll have it on soon!" Dad said and then added, "I should be home in about an hour. I need you to get cleaned up and if you can, get dressed nice."

"I got to get dressed up?" I whined.

"Yes ..." his voice trailed off before he said, "Shoot, you need help with that don't you?" but before I could answer him he added, "Well, wait until I get there and I'll help you. Just be ready because we won't have much time!"

"Why? Where we going?" I asked, still whining.

Right then everything went wholly chaotic as the power came back on. The television in the living room came on, as it always does after a power-outage. The volume was maxed and blaring like a loud speaker. I had to cover my eyes when the lights all came on because I'd already started to adjust to the lower light levels inside. I tried to yell to Lowell to go turn off the TV, but he couldn't hear me. Dad was shouting into my ear, but I couldn't hear him either.

A few seconds later the TV and lights all when off again and dad, still shouting said, "UNPLUG THE TV IF YOU HAVE TOO!"

"Ah dang dad! You killed my ear!" I cried out, "Powers off again."

"Quick, before it comes back on. Go unplug the TV." Dad said.

"Lowell, go unplug the TV in the living room please!" and he took off like a shot.

"Lowell's there too?" dad asked.

"Yeah, he was on the front porch when I came home." I said and no sooner did I have the words out and the power came back on again. Lowell had not had time to get behind the TV to unplug it and it was somewhat funny to watch as the TV came on again. As if he had been shot, Lowell stumbled backwards, away from the TV and fell over holding his ears. Dad again was screaming into my ear, but just as before I couldn't hear him. Lowell was back up and rushed to get the TV unplugged. When he succeeded, everything was quiet again.

"Oh that's better! Thanks!" I said to Lowell who was looking rather assaulted, but smiling none the less.

Dad said, "Just leave it unplugged incase they have to kill the power again. Oh and don't turn on anything, no computers or the microwave; nothing except lights and then only if you need too."

"Yeah okay!" I said into the phone.

"I'll try to be home within an hour." Dad said. "I have to go now; I have someone here in my office."

"Alright, love ya dad!" I said to him but wasn't sure if he heard me before he hung up. I turned off his cell phone and laid it by the house phone again.

"That was intense!" Lowell said while holding his head.

"Yeah it does that sometimes! No idea why either!" I said motioning to the TV. "Dad said he'd be home in about an hour maybe and then we have to go somewhere, but he wouldn't say where."

"That stinks!" Lowell said and then with an evil grin he added, "Almost as much as you do!"

Of course, I turned about twenty shades of red and some of it was from embarrassment and some from anger.

Before I could react he asked, "Want me to help you get clean up?"

I was shocked to hear myself say, "Sure!"

In no time at all, I found myself standing in the shower stall of the hallway bathroom, stripped down to nothing but my armor and a very wet and very smelly diaper as Lowell was struggling to get the pins off.

"Dang things are slippery!" he said with a grunt.

When he finally got one to open, with the weight of the contents, it was enough that it allowed him the slide the diaper down my legs and then he had me step out of it.

He had his entire face all scrunched up and said, "Boy what you been eating?"

"It's not that bad!" I said though it was that bad and worse still when he had me close the door and turn on the water to wash off the mess from my backside while he stood outside the glass doors watching me. The water was hardly warm at all, actually had I not been so cold from being outside all day, I probably would not have been able to stand the cold water for very long.

When I was relatively sure I'd got the entire mess rinsed away, I turned off the water and opened the glass door back up.

"Turn round!" Lowell ordered and bashfully I did as he asked. He parted my butt cheeks and announced, "Yep that will do, but you need to take this off." He gave my armor a tap between my shoulder blades.

"Why?" I asked.

"Cause you got poop up under it too here in the back." He said and yet again, I felt my face flush hot.

I turned around so that he could help me remove my armor and then being extra careful; I closed the glass shower door again and turned back on the water while he washed my armor in the sink.

A couple minutes later, I was standing in the middle of the bath while Lowell dried me off. He was very careful not to do anything to hurt me while my injured ribs were exposed and vulnerable. When he was satisfied that I was adequately dried off he held up the back piece for me to put back on but I said, "Need to put powder in it first."

"Why?" he asked.

"It helps absorb any sweat." I answered.

So we went to my room with Lowell following me as I carefully streaked down the hall. He went for my supplies while I sat myself down on the side of my bed and just relaxed for a minute or two.

"How much you put in it?" He asked holding the back piece of my armor in one hand and the bottle of baby powder in his other.

"Here, let me show you." I said reaching out and taking them both from him.

Just the way dad had done, I sprinkled in the powder and then smoothed it around with my hand. Lowell did the same with the front piece though he used a little too much powder and instead of wasting it, he dumped it on my lap. Some of which went onto my bedspread, but I didn't much care, it would brush off after we were done.

He helped me put it on and as he was doing so he asked, "So how does it feel? I mean without this on."

"I can tell that I'm still tender but really, when I'm wearing it, I can do just about anything I want and it doesn't hurt at all less I do something really stupid." I said with a half grin. "I was even riding a snowmobile today and it didn't hurt none at all."

After he had both pieced strapped back on me, he had me lay down on the floor.

"I like the floor better." He had said and proceeded to put me into one of my disposable diapers.

As he worked I told him what mom had said when she'd seen me wearing on of his Pampers.

"Did she get mad?" he asked.

"Nah, she just said that I am only to allow dad and her to change me." I answered.

"You going to get in trouble for me helping now?" he asked.

"I don't think so. I mean, it was kind of an emergency right?" I said.

"Yeah, more then kind of." He said grinning as he put the last tape into place.

"Want plastic pants again?" he asked.

"Yeah, might as well." I answered.

"Okay, then stay there!" he said and returned a moment later with a pair of clear plastic pull-on pants.

I had to raise my bottom again so that he could get them up into place and then ran his fingers around the waist and leg elastics to be sure none of the diaper was sticking out.

After helping me to my feet, he then retrieved from the pocket of his coat another CD.

"Here, this is the next chapter of Hamanaptra for you. It's better then the first three because I had more time to do it; oh and it's also a little shorter then the others."

I took the CD and said, "I'll have to listen to it later. Dad said not to turn on anything incase the power doesn't stay on."

"Oh yeah, that makes sense." Lowell said and then added, "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but my mommy has a surprise for you for when you sleep over tomorrow night."

"A surprise? What for?" I asked.

"For helping me with my reading! She's so happy that I'm practicing and that you are the one that's been getting me to do it that she wants to give you something." Lowell said rocking proudly back and forth on the balls of his feet.

"She doesn't need to do that!" I said feeling humbled.

"Yeah, she's like that!" he said turning toward my closet and without taking a breath or pausing between sentances he asked, "What you want to wear?"

"So does she know what you are reading?" I asked just to be sure that she didn't know.

He gave me the funniest expression from over his right shoulder, "No way!"

I responded back with a simple, "Good!" before answering his question, "Dad said I got to dress up! So ..."

I didn't get to finish as Lowell cut me off, "Where you going?"

"I already told you I don't know! He just said dress up!" I answered.

"Oh, so ... a tie?" he asked.

"I got a blue suite in the other side." I said pointing to the left sliding door.

"Wowzers! Nice one too!" he said pulling it out from my closet.

He handed it to me by the hanger and I said, "Yeah."

"Um, while you get your pants on, I'm going to go take care of your messy diaper okay?" he said motioning toward my door.

"Yeah sure!" I said pulling the pants off the hanger.

I slipped them on, with a bit of difficulty, before going to my closet and finding a white shirt to wear. I was tucking it into my pant when he returned. He was holding the spent diaper out in front of him like it was a ticking time bomb about to go off at any second. "What should I do with it now?" he asked.

"Know where the washer is?" I asked.

"I think I can find it." He said as he sped down the hall.

A couple minutes later I had my tie tied around my neck and was lacing on my belt when Lowell returned looking triumphant.

"Wow Simon! You look good!" he complemented.

"Yeah, but the pants are kind of tight. Good thing you didn't put a cloth diaper on me, I never would have been able to pull my pants up then." I said.

"You still look good and really if I didn't know you had on a diaper, I never would be able to guess." He said.

I countered with, "Thanks."

He smiled and appearing hopeful asked, "Want me to help with your socks and shoes too?"

"Sure, if you want too." I said giving myself one last look in the mirror before setting myself down on the foot of Jamie's bed.

"Your brother coming over this weekend?" he asked.

"I don't think so. He was here last weekend." I said.

He then asked, "Oh, so he's coming next weekend?"

"Yeah I think so." I answered holding up my left foot as he slid on my sock and then shoe.

He was tying my other shoe when dad appeared in my doorway.

"There you are!" dad said.

Lowell and I both screamed and jumped, dad laughed.

"Gee-whiz dad! You scared us to death!" I said clutching at my armor plated heart while Lowell had fallen backwards on his butt and was laughing too.

"That was a good one!" Lowell cheered while holding his stomach.

"I didn't even here you come in." I said.

"And you didn't relock the back door." Dad pointed out.

Dad said that because, whenever I'm home alone, the rule is that all doors should be closed and locked at all times and I'm never to open them for anyone except mom and dad.

"Oops, sorry!" I replied, "I guess I forgot."

Dad smiled, "You didn't need to get `that' dressed up!"

"Huh?" I said looking down at my suite.

"But it's okay, you look nice!" he added.

Lowell was getting up when I sheepishly said, "I kind of had another accident today. Lowell helped me though."

"Well thank you very much Lowell!" Dad smiled at Lowell.

Lowell quickly inserted, "Simon had me put the dirty diaper in the washer."

Dad motioned toward the other end of the house and said, "I'll go start it. Uh, Lowell can we drop you off at your house on our way?"

"Yeah, that would be nice!" Lowell answered.

Dad looked at me and holding up the palm of his right hand he said, "Five minutes."

"Okay, where are we going?" I asked as he started to leave but he didn't answer.

"Bet you are going out to eat someplace fancy." Lowell said.

"Nah, not without my mom." I shot back.

Lowell picked up his coat and things and the two of us marched back out to find dad walking out of the laundry room.

"Ready?" dad asked as he combed my hair with his fingers.

"Yep!" Lowell and I said at the same time but neither of us bothered to try jinxing each other.

I put my coat back on and pulled my hat on over my head. Not really thinking about it I put my hand into my coat pocket and found the old horse shoe I'd put in there earlier.

"Wow, that looks old." Dad commented as he took it from me.

"We got one of those hanging on the fence out back." Lowell said, "Except ours don't look that nice cause it has been rusting for a long time."


Lowell gave dad the directions to his house and after dropping him off we started down the street and I asked yet again, "Where are we going?"

"You've got an appointment." Dad said.

"I do? At the doctors?" I asked trying to think of where I would have an appointment.

Being cryptic he responded with, "Not `the doctor' but `a doctor'."

"For my ribs?" I asked, not yet getting what he meant.

When dad didn't answer, I asked, "For my ankle? Because it's fine today, doesn't even hurt in the least!"

"That's probably because you've been out in the cold all day." Dad said turning the car left.

"So why am I seeing a doctor?" I asked.

"Remember our talk the other morning?" Dad asked.

Still totally clueless I asked back, "Which one?"

"About you talking to a Therapist." He said and no more had the words rolled off his tongue then I felt my heart drop into my stomach exactly like a ton of bricks might hit the ground after falling from a twenty-seven floors up.

Dad was looking at me in his rearview mirror.

"It's going to be fine, Simon! You were actually supposed to go this morning, but with all the snow they reschedule it for next week."

I quickly butted in, "If it's not until next week..." I didn't get to finish.

"Then they called and said that since it stopped snowing so hard and the roads had been cleared, you could come this afternoon as they had several openings." Dad finished saying.


A few minutes later, we arrived at a white and grey house that looked to have been converted into an office sometime in the recent past. The inside smelled of flowers and I didn't much care for that smell at all. The walls were all painted a kind of pinkish color that dad said was called mauve; I didn't like that either. Dad gave my name to this girl that didn't look old enough to be working at a burger joint, let alone in an office. She smiled and asked us to have a seat and that the doctor would be with us in a few minutes.

My heart, which was lodged somewhere around my navel, seemed to be beating so hard and so fast that I felt like I should be running or something to be making it work so very hard.

As dad sat down I managed to capture his gaze, "D-dad I d-don't w-want t-t-t-to be here!"

He took hold of my hand and pulled me down into the chair beside him.

"Simon, it's going to be alright, I promise! All she's going to want to do is to talk with you for a little while. You won't have to take your pants off or anything like that."

I knew that with that last line, he was trying to lighten my mood, but I wasn't into playing games right now. All I knew was that I had to get out of there or I was going to die!

"D-d-dad, I-I-I-I r-r-r-r-really d-d-don't w-want t-to b-be here!" I stuttered badly with obvious panic in my voice, as the walls appeared to start moving in toward me.

Now using his hushed yet authoritative dad voice, he said, "Simon, that's enough! Settle yourself down right now! You're doing this and no amount of theatrics is going to change that!"

"Theatrics?" I thought, "Is that what he thinks I'm doing? Well if you want theatrics, I'll give you theatrics!" the voice in my head was screaming.

Just as I was about to start a full out tantrum, I mean I'd taken in a lung full of air, when the door across for the childlike receptionist opened and an older, very smartly dressed and professional looking lady stepped out. She had kind of blondish-gold hair with hints of silver and had it pulled back into a loose bun on the back of her head. However, it was her lips that caught me off guard and managed to halt a near full-out temper tantrum at the very last second. I was thrown into a sort of confused, bewildered and entranced state by the fact that her lips were orange! I don't mean they were kind of orange-ish pink; no, they were as orange as an orange and they matched her dress perfectly. Nevertheless, despite the shock value of her lipstick, she still looked extremely nice and well groomed.

"Hello, you must be Simon Sr.," she extended a hand to dad who took it and shook softly. I'd never seen anyone shake hands the way she and dad did. It was somewhat pretty like, not strong, the way I've seen men do.

Dad stood up, "Yes, and this is my son Simon whom I was telling you about."

She extended the same hand to me and trying to mimic the same sort of handshake, I took her hand and gently shook it.

"I'm so glad to get to meet you Simon, my names Doctor Elisabeth Hound. But everyone calls me Lizy for short."

She let go of my hand and speaking to dad she asked, "Is it alright if you're son and I chitchat for a minute or two?"

I couldn't help thinking that she should have asked me if I even wanted to talk to her and I think I was about to say something along those lines when she added something else.

"I believe Aveina has some papers for you to fill out and sign."

She motioned over to the childlike girl behind the desk and with a hand on the back of my head, guided me past dad, past Aveina and into the office she'd emerged from only a moment before.

She closed the door behind herself and said, "Well Simon! I've heard an awful lot about you in the past couple days."

Nervous and sweating like I'd never done before, I sat down in the first chair I came too and tried to sound cute by saying, "Y-yeah w-well d-d-don't b-believe anyth-thing you heard!"

However, she didn't take it as funny or cute. Instead, she popped a squat right down on the floor in front of me and said, "What parts shouldn't I believe."

I looked at her for several seconds before I finally said, "I d-d-dunno, w-what have you heard?"

"Oh that's a good question! That's a very good question!"

She slapped her knee, stood back up, straightened her dress and went to her desk where she pulled out a bright pastel blue folder. The folder looked like the kind dad uses in his office all the time except his are usually all a sort of creamy-yellow color with the occasional school bus-yellow or red ones. I'd never seen one before that looked like it must be plugged into the wall to be so bright. It was about an inch think with papers which surprised me given that she said she had only heard about me in the past couple days.

She came back around the desk and plopped herself right back down on the floor in front of me again. She flipped open the cover of the folder and was thumbing past the first few pages.

"Th-th-that all ab-bout m-m-me?" I asked.

She looked up at me and I noticed she had really green eyes that sort of looked like they belonged on a doll.

"Oh my no, I have all sorts of things in here." She said and then pulled out some kind of picture and handed it too me.

"Like this for instance." She appeared to be admiring the picture, "It's an odd sort of picture, but I've always liked it." and she handed it to me.

Thinking that I was holding it upside down, I turned it over, but that didn't help. I turned it sideways and then the other way round, but still nothing seemed to form anything normal looking.

"W-w-what is it-t?" I asked, noticing that she was again looking through the papers.

"I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. What did you say?" she asked.

"I-I was w-wondering w-w-what it is s-s-supposed t-to b-be?" I asked again.

She put a hand to her chin and said, "You know, I'm not really sure! Everyone that looks at it seems to think it's something different."

I turned it every-which-way again before saying, "I-I-I th-think it's a m-m-melting w-w-wax s-s-stat-t-t-ch-chue."

"Kazuntite!" the lady said which both caught me off guard and made me chuckle when I realized why she had said it.

"N-no, I-I d-didn't s-sneeze!" I said through my giggles.

She smiled and playfully put a hand to her mouth while saying, "Oh my mistake then."

I handed the picture back to her and she pulled out another one that looked to be a photograph of a painting. "This is a picture of a famous painting I saw when I was in France on my honeymoon two years ago."

"Y-you j-just g-g-g-got m-m-married?" I asked knowing I sounded like an idiot for stuttering so badly, but I couldn't help myself.

"Oh, Bill's my second husband!" she said pointing to a photo of an elderly man that was sitting on her desk.

"L-looks l-like a n-n-n-nice m-man!" I said trying to be polite.

"Well thank you! He is very good to me! We met about a year after my first husband died." She said.

Despite my wanting to not like her, I found myself thinking about how nice she was and how unlike anything I had expected of her. She seemed to talk to me and treat me like she would any other adult and not like some snot-nosed twelve-year-old kid in diapers.

"S-sorry ab-bout y-your f-first husb-band though." I said.

"That's very sweet of you to say! He was a good mant oo, lived a good life and died doing what he loved doing which was running marathons." She said.

"R-r-really?" I said getting interested.

"Do you run? Oh wait ..." she started thumbing through the papers even faster, "I think I remember your dad saying something about you being on your school track team! Ah here it is!"

She pulled out a small pink post-it. "Yep, got it jotted down right here!" and she showed me the note.

"I-I m-m-made th-the v-v-varsit-t-ty s-squad b-b-before ..." I was saying.

"Varsity? That's impressive!" she said.

"Y-yeah b-b-but that was b-before P-Peter b-broke m-my ribs." I said.

She stopped leafing through the papers and rested her chin on the back of her hand. "Yeah, your dad was telling me about that. He said you hung questionable pictures of Peter up in the school?"

"N-N-NO!" I nearly yelled. "N-n-not m-me!"

"Oh?" she said sounding like she was asking a question, "OH!" she then said with quite a bit of interest and then finished up with, "Oh..." and now sounded concerned and confused at the same time.

"So it wasn't you?" she asked.

I shook my head hard from left to right.

"Oh, well that changes everything!" she said closing up her folder and making like she was going to stand up.

"Uh, do you know who did?" she asked.

I honestly wish I hadn't, but I nodded my head up at down to signify that I did know who it was that had plastered the school walls with pictured of Peter wearing diapers.

"I was hoping you might!" she said getting to her feet so that she could drop the blue folder on here desk.

"I don't suppose you'd tell me?" she asked with an alluring smile.

I shook my head gently from side to side again, but only enough for her to get the message.

"That's okay, you don't have too. Actually, I'm big on secrets! I think everyone should have secrets. I think of them as the stuff that fuels the mysteries within our lives." She said while sitting down on the corner of her desk and letting her feet dangle in the air.

That was the first time I noticed that her shoes too were as orange as her dress and lips.

"What?" she said looking down at her toes which stuck out from her open toed shoes, "Don't like my shoes?"

"I-I-I l-like th-them j-just fine!" I said trying not to offender her.

"I-I j-just n-never seen someo-one w-wear so m-much o-orange, and st-still l-look s-so n-nice." I said and I meant it even though I blushed at my own words.

"Oh my goodness, well thank you!" she said moving a strand of hair off the side of her face and hooking it behind her right ear.

"Do you think that if I guessed who did it, that it would be okay?" she asked still smiling.

I shrugged, though I meant to say no.

"Let's see?" she said kicking her feet back and forth and tapping on her desk with her fingernails. "Could it have been your friend Jasper?" she asked.

"Holy c-cow l-lady! How'd you kn-now that?" I blurted out so fast that I didn't even know I'd said it until it was way too late to take it back. Then I started to really panic, "Y-you c-c-can't t-t-t-tell anyone! N-n-no o-o-one c-c-can kn-now I t-told y-you!"

"But you didn't tell me! I guess it, right?" she said slyly. "And besides, I'm not allowed to tell anyone, but your mom and dad what you say in here. And I don't plan on telling them anything they don't need to know." She lifted her eyebrows and said, "And I don't think they need to know that!"

Adopting a serious tone she said, "Call me Lizy, please!"

I smiled at her and was about to say something else but she jumped down off her desk and said. "Whelp, I think we've given them long enough to fill out all that boring paper work. Just between you and me, I'd give Aveina ten times, what I pay her, just so I wouldn't have to do the paper work myself! I rather do the fun stuff!"

"You mean we're done?" I asked not moving from my chair yet, mostly because I didn't believe that, that was all there was too it.

"Yep, I mean unless you want to talk some more. I think I can find some more stuff for your dad to fill out of you like." She was smiling and I knew for sure then that we really were done. I got up from my chair and she said, "If you want to talk again, I'd be happy to have you come by."

I stopped about two feet from the door, looked up at her and extended my hand to her. She took it and we shook hands.

"Thanks Lizy!" I said with a smile.

"Thank you! Can I have my picture back?" she asked.

"Oh sorry, I forgot I had it!" I said raising my other hand that contained the photo.

I handed it to her and she looked at it again. "I always liked this painting, too bad it costs nearly three million dollars."

"W-wow! Th-that's a lot of m-money!" I said.

"Yes it is!" She said.

"W-who'd p-pay that k-kind of money just to see some man sleeping in a b-bed with his son while his wife was watching?" I asked.

With an odd smile this time, she said, "Well, I think I might, if I had three-million just lying around."

She then opened the door and let me walk out first. When dad saw us, he stood up, smiled and thanked her. Dad and I then left. When we got to the car I started to get into the backseat like always, but this time dad asked, "Wanna right up front with me?"

I didn't give him a chance to change his mind. I was in the front seat and buckled in before he had time to get around the car to the drivers door.

"So how'd it go?" dad asked the second he closed his door.

"It wasn't so bad, I guess." I said.

He stuck his finger in my ear, "Dad don't!" I complained and swatted his hand away.

"I think I remember someone telling you that it would be alright." He said still trying to get his finger into my ear again.

"Stop!" I complained and laughed at the same time.

"So now what?" dad asked.

"What do you mean?" I asked thinking he was still talking about the doctor.

"Should we go home?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah! Let's go home! Uh, that away!" I said pointing out the rear window.

"All-righty-then!" dad said putting the car in reverse.

We were only on the road a minute or two, headed back to the house when I started yawning.

"Getting tired?" Dad asked.

"Maybe just a little." I said.

"You've had a big day today." He said.

"Nah, not really." I said, "Just played outside and went there."

"Yes, but you have to remember you're still healing. Even if you might think you're done, your body knows better." Dad said.

"I guess!" I surrendered and went to staring out of my window.

"I spoke to your mom while you were in talking to the doctor." Dad said.

I don't know why I asked; because I didn't much care but I asked none-the-less, "How's Aunt Catharine?"

"I'm not sure; probably as good as one could expect." Dad said and then asked. "You're mom wants me to bring home dinner. What sounds good to you?"

"KFC?" I answered hoping he'd say yes.

"Hey, that does sound good!" dad said.

So, we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken and got the family meal deal to take home. Mom had only just beaten us home by about five minutes. When we walked into the back door, she still had on her coat and gloves.

"Wowzers dad!" I complained.

"Oh I am sorry! I forgot to turn the heat back on before we left!" he said to mom.

"I've turned it on just now!" Mom said and gave dad a kiss.

Mom then asked me about the doctor visit and I told her and dad about it and about my day and nearly told them about finding the barn with BJ, but I stopped myself in time. I also remembered to tell them that Ruddy Nader said hello.

"Wow, I'd not thought about him in a while!" dad said.

Mom got a funny look and said, "Yeah, me either! You should call him and invite him and his wife over for dinner sometime."

"I think I'll do that!" dad said.

Even though the power was back on mom still put several candles onto the dinning room table and lit them. She said it would help keep us warm but when she wasn't looking dad and I, both rolled our eyes at her and then giggled secretively.

I never did tell mom about my accident earlier today, or about the fact the Lowell had come over and ended up helping me to get cleaned up, changed and dressed before I left to go talk to the doctor.

After dinner mom told me that I could stack the dishes in the sink and she'd take care of then later when the house warmed up. So, after removing my suit jacket and tie, that's what I did before retreating to my room with my jacket and tie draped over one shoulder.

Now I was really feeling pretty tired and wanted to get myself ready for bed and seeing how the rest of the house was cold, I fully expected my room to be cold too but instead it was like walking into a deep freeze. Mom came in a minute or two after I had and asked if I needed changed. I honestly had no idea if I did or not, so with her standing right there I unzipped my pants. Mom then knelt down in front of me, pulled the front of my plastic pants and diaper out and stuck her fingers down inside.

She then declared, "I think we better get you into a dry diaper." And then asked, "Do you want to sit on the toilet before we get you changed?"

I shook my head, "I went earlier today!"

"Oh, okay then." She said before adding, "It's too cold in here! Why don't we get you ready in the living room? If feels at least a little better in there."

As mom and I were heading for the living room, with mom carrying my diapering things and me carrying my pajamas, we passed dad in the hallway. "I got the old camper heater out of the garage to warm up the back of the house a little faster." Dad said.

"Oh dad! That thing makes it smell like burning dogs!" I protested as the memories of camping two years ago came flooding back.

That had been one of the best camping trips we'd ever gone on despite the fact that it rained nearly every night and that Jamie ended up being stung by a Yellow Jacket about ten times.

I remember it happening like it was five minutes ago. Jamie and I were out exploring around the camp grounds and met this nice Native American woman who was cooking something in this big black pot, very much like the kind witches use in all the books and movies. Anyway, Jamie and I had gone a little too far into the woods and Jamie had picked up this hollow log, which if you didn't see the hollow ends you'd of thought it was a real solid log. Well, the log turned out to be more then a log, it was a home to a mess load of Yellow Jackets.

It only took hearing them for Jamie to drop the log and start running. I was right behind him when I saw him flinch from the first sting. We'd made it all the way back to the campgrounds before Jamie started crying from the pain. Mom was trying to get him to calm down but Jamie wouldn't stop wailing and crying. I think everyone at the campsite heard him and was looking to see why he was carrying on so wildly.

One of the Yellow-Jackets had somehow gone up the sleeve of his shirt and got trapped. In its attempts to get away, it stung Jamie in his armpit, which is the second worse place I can think of to get stung.

Back at the campsite mom and dad were trying to get Jamie's shirt off him when that same nice Native American lady came walking over carrying a little ceramic bowl. She smeared some of this grey looking goop under Jamie's nose and a few seconds later he stopped screaming and yelling his head off. She then smeared the goop over the stings. It was incredible really! I remember thinking that it was some sort of magic that only Native Americans knew.

Well we ended up getting invited to dinner and it turned out that what she was cooking in that big pot was kind of like chilly with long green leaves in it. I can't remember what it was called but after my first impressions of how gross it looked, it turned out to be really good and both Jamie and I had seconds!

I also remember her husband had told us several really good stories and for the rest of our camping trip Jamie and I played Indians. We wanted to play cowboys and Indians but since we both wanted to be the Indian, we ended up playing just Indians. Even though Jamie and I fought a lot, it really was one of the greatest camping trips we ever took as a family.

Anyway, after complaining about the heater to dad there in the hallway he gave me a pop on the top of my head in fun with his fist and then went to set the heater up at the end of the hallway so that it would blow down to both of our rooms.

In the living room, mom stretched out a towel on the floor and after helping me to get fully undressed except for my socks, diaper and armor she had me lay down on the towel.

As she was pulling off my plastic pants I asked her, "Do you remember those Indians we met when we was camping that one time?"

"Sure I do! We still get Christmas cards from them!" She said then stopped and looked up as dad came walking back into the room.

"Didn't we receive a letter from the Running Waters not too long ago?" She asked dad.

Dad had to think for a second before answering, "I think it's still on my desk!"

"Really?" I said kind of excited. "I didn't know you still knew them!"

"Yes, they are really nice people. We've even swapped a few recipes. Remember that stuff you liked so much with the tiny round onions?" she asked.

"Oh yeah! You've not made that in a long time!" I said as mom was removing the tapes from my diaper.

"That was one I got from her. I don't remember what it is called, but I still have it wrote down in my recipe box." She said.

Dad called from the dinning room. "I'm going to blow out the candles in here if it's alright."

"Thank you honey!" mom said.

Mom pulled my diaper open and said, "You are wetter then I thought!"

"Really?" I said.

Changing the subject I said, "Mom?"

"What?" She answered while using baby wipes to clean my diaper area thoroughly.

"Do you think I'm going to have to wear diapers to school if the doctor lets me go back on Monday?" I asked.

"Sweetheart, I've already been to your school and talked to the school nurse and your teachers. They know all about it." she said.

"MOM! YOU TOLD MY TEACHERS?" I said suddenly starting to cry.

"Hey!" mom swatted the side of my leg to let me know I was not to use that tone with her. I knew better but she'd just surprised me with the news is all.

Mom went on to explain that my teachers all knew that because of what had happened I might have some lingering health issues when I came back to school. She also explained that they all understood and would cooperate with the school nurse as she'd be the one helping while I was in school. I also wasn't so happy about the fact that mom said she'd talked to my principle, Mr. Freeman and the vice-principle, Mr. Graff. I wasn't really upset about Mr. Freeman, I mean I'm sure he already knows because his wife was my nurse while I was in the hospital, but why'd she have to go and tell Mr. Graff?

By the time mom had me re-diapered and had helped me to get into my pajamas, I was feeling better about it. Plus the fact that dad had helped to motivate me to get control of myself by telling me to stop my whining or else.

Mom had wanted me to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and watch TV since it was still cold in the back of the house, but I told her I wanted to go to my room. I don't always get my own way but this time I did.

It was still cold, so instead of getting on the computer to check my email I decided to drag my blankets, pillow and e-journal into the bottom of my closet, where my body heat soon had the small area heated up nicely.

I think I wrote for about an hour before I fell asleep. When I awoke again, I was in my bed and deduced that dad had put me in it. It was also nice and cozy warm in my room again and I figured that since I was awake, I might as well get up.

A quick glance at my clock told me that it was a few minutes after two in the morning. I went to my window first just to see what was happening out there. I wasn't surprised to see that it was snowing hard again, but not like it had been, the previous night.

I sat myself at my desk and when I did I felt my diaper squish under me and from the feel of it, I'd sprung a leak.

"Oh man!" I groaned.

I thought about just stripping myself down and putting on one of my GoodNites, but I was planning to listen to the next chapter of Hamanaptra from Lowell and I wanted to be diapered properly for it. That meant I was going to have to go wake up mom and or dad.

As it turned out, dad was the one to wake up and a minute or two later he came staggering into my room looking like he was still mostly asleep. I turned around and showed him the back of my pajamas.

"Okay." He said shuffling his slipper clad feet over to my dresser.

While he was getting the diapering stuff that mom must have brought back in while I was sleeping, I stripped off my pajamas and put them into my hamper.

Dad didn't say anything else until he had me re-diapered, this time in a double thick cloth diaper again, which was his preference. He helped me into fresh pajamas and then tucked me into bed before kissing my forehead and saying, "Go back to sleep now!"

Of course I had no intention of going back to sleep; so when I was sure he was back in his own bed, I got up again and went to my desk.

I decided to do a quick check of my email to see if there was anything important, there wasn't. Just the normal stuff from Tater, Bull, Jasper—who reported that he nearly was snowed into his secret fort the other evening. I also had emails from Mike, BJ, Lowell and about a dozen pieces of spam-mail that I went a head and deleted.

It took me about thirty minutes or so to read and reply to all the emails. When I was done I closed out of my mail and put in Lowell's CD he'd made for me. With my headphones on, I sat there at my desk and listened to the entire production and was feeling a little proud of how well Lowell was reading.



of the Dead

By B.L.

~ Chapter Four ~

Gateway to the Abyss


I stared back at both of them without speaking; I had no words just then. I was feeling frustrated, excited and even scared all at the same time. Turning back to the sandstone slab my hand brushed one of the steel cables that were attached to the slab and my eyes followed it as it rose up to the large hook that hung from the crane. I brought my focus back to the markings and read them repeatedly.

"It is right here!" I thought to myself, "I know the answer is here, but..." and there it was again, that smell; that unmistakable smell of cinnamon, myrrh and spikenard all mingled together like some ancient perfume, but there was something else now; something faint, but what?

I could hear Uncle Max and Miss Lillian Hassley talking but their voices seemed far away, distant. The smell was overpowering almost to the point of intoxication and then suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, which startled me back into reality.

"Jason, you alright?" Miss Lillian Hassley asked.

"I-I-I..." I was stammering, struggling to hold on to my thoughts.

"Can you smell that?" Uncle Max said nearly shouting in excitement.

"I have never smelled it so strong before!" said Miss Lillian Hassley.

"We have to open it up!" I shouted, spinning on my heel and grabbing one of the steel cables. My eyes met Uncle Max's.

"We have to open it now!" I pleaded.

Uncle Max looked at Miss Lillian Hassley who then looked at me, "I don't see why we are standing here waiting." she said with a smile.

Uncle Max shouted something to the locals that were working nearby. They all turned to listen, but the their faces told me everything I needed to know. They were scared; more then scared, they were deathly terrified. One of them said something to the others, then someone let out a yell and in a cloud of dust and sand every last one of the locals took off. They were running away from us as fast as their feet would carry them. It was as if we had the just sprouted horns and pointed tails.

Miss Lillian Hassley took a few steps toward them, stopped, removed her hat and wiped her face with her sleeve, "Now what in the world was that all about?"

"Silly superstitions," Uncle Max grunted, "merely more of their damned silly little superstitions."

He swung himself around a couple of the steel cables as he made his way over to the engine which powered the crane.

As he reached the engine, Miss Lillian Hassley asked, "What do you think it weighs?"

I was not looking at her so I did not know if she had directed her question to Uncle Max or me, but I interjected, "About seventeen tons is my guess!"

The engine sputtered as it started and then roared to life.

Uncle Max shouted over the engine, "We figured it to be right at eighteen and a half tons, give or take a few hundred pounds either way!"

I rejoiced to myself as the engine revved and the cables became taut. For a brief moment, I thought that the sandstone slab was not going to move. The engine revved louder and like magic, the slab shifted and began to move up, slowly; after all, it too is a very valuable piece of history. The sand and dust really started to pick up and blow around as the stale air from under the slab rushed out.

The smell of spikenard, cinnamon, and myrrh was stronger than ever before. It wafted out of the ground mixing with the dust and finally I realized what the other sent in the air was.

"Uncle Max? Do you smell that?" I shouted.

"Sulfur!" he shouted over to Miss Lillian Hassley who was pulling a pink frilly ladies handkerchief from her pocket and holding it to her mouth and nose.

Uncle Max shouted again, "That air you are breathing now was breathed by pharaohs long before Moses led God's people out of slavery!"

A look of triumph was beaming across his face now that the stone was more than three feet off the ground.

"OK!" Miss Lillian Hassley shouted, waving her free hand to Uncle Max, "Hold it there!"

My eyes were fixed on the darkness beneath the slab, which was now hovering about six-feet over the opening. My heart was racing as I took a step toward the opening to try and get a better look; the hole seemed to be void of... no it seemed to be sucking up any light that tried to penetrate the darkness.

Uncle Max made his way back over to us.

"Are we going down?" I asked excitedly.

"No WE are not going down, I am... tomorrow." Uncle Max said.

I was about to initiate my protest when Miss Lillian Hassley shouted, "TOMORROW!"

To her one word argument I added, "We are not going now? But why not Uncle Max?" The whine in my voice irritated even me.

"Like I said, WE are not going down, it's too late tonight, the sun will be going down soon and I have to see where my workers have run off to." Uncle Max readjusted his hat as he took a quick look into the hole, "Wow it is dark in there!"

He turned back to me and caught sight of the cold gaze I was giving him.

"It has been here thousands upon thousands of years, it will be here tomorrow!" Uncle Max tried to convince me, but I was not buying it.

"Let's at least shine a lantern down there." Miss Lillian Hassley strongly suggested.

I think she was as excited as I was and I could not understand how Uncle Max could be so calm, cool and easy going when we could be on the brink of a discovery unlike anything ever in all of archeological history.

Miss Lillian Hassley did not bother to wait for Uncle Max to say anything. She grabbed a lantern and crouched down at the edge of the opening. As I knelt beside her, I realized for the first time that my pants were soaked, again. I had been so enthralled with our discovery that I had not even noticed I had wet myself. However, I did not really care about the condition of my pants given that my embarrassment gave way to excitement as I took my place beside Miss Lillian Hassley. Uncle Max took a knee next to me as we each peered into the chasm.

The lantern broke through the darkness and I could make out brilliant wall paintings which appeared to be in as good a condition as the day they were painted.

Miss Lillian Hassley pointed, "Look over there!"

Uncle Max and I followed the line of her finger to several sarcophagi standing against one wall.

"I... I have never seen vertical sarcophagi before." Uncle Max said with a confused tone I had never heard him use before.

My heart was racing as the lantern exposed treasures beyond any archeologists' greatest dreams. Golden statues of what looked to be half-bird and half-goat. At least from here it looked like a goat's body. The floor looked to be about twelve to fourteen feet below us and was surprisingly dust free. I think the only dirt and dust that was down there had come from us removing the sandstone slab. I had to look hard, because my eyes did not seem to want to focus on the floor.

After a moment I said, "It looks to be tiled with brilliant round and shiny red stones ..."

I looked at Miss Lillian Hassley and then to Uncle Max.

"Are those red rubies?" I asked in amazement.

Uncle Max got to his feet and was about to say something when Miss Lillian Hassley said, "I have to have a closer look."

Before Uncle Max or I could stop her, she jumped down into the room below us.

She hit the floor with a hard crashing thud and let out a groan. "Oh, that was farther then I thought!"

"You ignorant woman!" Uncle Max shouted down at her at the same time I had shouted, "You idiot!"

"Now don't go running around down there!" Uncle Max shouted, "It might not be safe."

"What do you mean, not safe?" Miss Lillian Hassley sent back up to us.

"Booby-traps!" I shouted back at him.

"Great! Now you tell me," she said just barely loud enough for us to hear.

"Go over behind the crane engine. There is a rope ladder in a canvas bag. Bring it over would you?" Uncle Max said to me while still looking down in the hole.

"I have half a mind to close this hole and leave you down there for a few thousand years you foolish bit..." Uncle Max was not a man taken to swearing so I knew he was extremely annoyed at Miss Lillian Hassley right now, but I also knew he wouldn't close it up with her still in it.

I scrambled to my feet and again noticed my wet pants as the sand was caked onto my legs and the tops of my shoes where I had been kneeling down to look into the room. I did not waste time trying to wipe it off; I hurried over to get the ladder as fast as I could.

Miss Lillian Hassley shouted up again, "Hey Max!" she called up.

I heard the irritation in Uncle Max's voice as he called back down to her, "What do you want?"

"There's a picture on the wall," she said.

I had reached the ladder and looked up at Uncle Max as he gave me a look of disgust. I was not sure if it was meant for Miss Lillian Hassley or because he saw the condition of my pants. Without giving away for whom his disgust was aimed at, he yelled down into the hole, "What picture?"

"Over here on the wall..." there was a small crash of metal from inside the hole and then, "Oh darn-it, I dropped the lantern."

"Lillian, stand still. Jason will be right back with the ladder!" I do not think Uncle Max was going to be able to hold back his mounting anger for much longer.

"Uh? Max?" Miss Lillian Hassley's voice seemed shaky.

There was no mistaking Uncle Max's anger now, "WHAT NOW?" he snapped.

I was making my way back with the ladder as fast as I could but it was heavier then I thought it would be and it was taking all of my strength to carry it.

"Max? There is something in here!" Miss Lillian Hassley sounded nervous.

"Well be careful, it might be a viper!" Uncle Max yelled back.

"No it isn't a snake, it's... AAAAH!" Miss Lillian Hassley let out a blood-curdling scream that echoed out from the room below.

"LILLIAN! LILLIAN!" Uncle Max yelled down but there was no response.


Just then, I heard one of the steel cables that was holding the sandstone slab in the air snap, whip past my head and laying open my left cheek.

"UNCLE MAX! LOOK OUT – THE SLAB!" I screamed as I dropped the ladder and grabbed my face.


As soon as the recording ended I was so excited that I had to email Lowell right away. I also had to email him because in his emails earlier, he had been going on and on, asking if I had listened to this part of the story yet. I knew the first thing he'd do upon waking in a few hours would be to check his email to see if I had wrote back. I wanted him to see that I had finished the chapter so; I logged back into my email and fired off a quickie before shutting everything down.

I got my e-journal, which I found still in the bottom of my closet, and climbing into bed with it. I wasn't back in bed more then five minutes before a message popped up on the screen of my e-journal.



Power Cell Low

It is strongly advised that you save
your work, shut down and change the Power Cells.



However, I remembered seeing an AC adapter in the accessory kit that dad had bought me at the Electronics Show. I fetched it and had it plugged into the side of my e-journal and into a wall outlet in no time. The massage disappeared and I was able to continue working for about another hour, which allowed me to finish journaling about the day's event.

When I was done journaling, I saved my work, shut down and unplugged my e-journal. With a big yawn I reached over and sat it on my nightstand to remind me to tell dad in the morning that I needed fresh batteries for it.

I yawned again, rested my head against my pillow, curled up into a ball under my covers and allowed myself to be carried away to the land of dreams.