Hi, I admit I'm a very new member, and haven't even committed much (but I've been reading several weeks and will soon get back to my favs) But the first thing I'd like do is post a very long question. And then piggyback two short ones to the end.
The long first one is: What do you think of this as a beginning? It is just the prologue to a story I may write, but it is 25 hundred words long and nothing happens. I could give all the information here in ten or twenty lines, but this is what happened at my keyboard, and I'm scared it just doesn't start fast enough (even the second part, where there will be regression, it might not seem like very much. The regression will be a bit slow.)
I see this as a five to seven part story. So, please tell me, if you came across this, would you be looking for the next parts, or turned off?
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
"But, Mom!!!! Com' on!!!" Ben said, as calmly as he could under the circumstances.
His little sister had to pipe in. "Do you have a valentine, Ben? Awww."
"Shut up, Vicky!"
"He doesn't need one yet," his littler sister said, "Valentine's Day isn't till next Wednesday."
"Yeah, but the dance is tonight, and I don't get to go because of you, Kathy."
Their mother said, "Benjamin, you're too old to act like that, and you just keep out of it, Victoria."
His father was pouring coffee into his travel mug and said, "You don't have a date for this dance, do you? We thought you knew you were going to have to watch Kathy tonight, buddy. We need you to help us out here. When business people say they're going out to dinner, it sometimes means they're going to a meeting with food and spouses, son."
"I told some people I'd be there. They're expecting me."
Ben didn't really know if anyone was expecting him or not. He had transferred to a new school in January and hadn't had time to find any real friends yet, but he had said he would be at the dance in front of Amber, who is a sophomore like him, and Danielle, who is a junior and a year ahead of him but is in his physics class. At least those two girls hadn't said anything sarcastic about him going; he thought that was a good sign.
What made the whole mid-year transfer even worse was that his old school had all four high school grades, but his new one started only at grade ten; he was one of the youngest in the building for the second time and was getting the same heckling he had gotten last year.
His mother was brushing Kathy's hair and making pigtails while the little girl scooped HoneyNut Cheerios into her mouth, and she said, "Ben, we really need you tonight. Just tell your friends you can't make it. There are dances at least once a month at that school. You will have other chances."
"No, there's not! This is the first since I started there, Mom. And it's Valentine's Day. Why can't Vicky watch Kath for once? I mean you're always talking about how mature she is."
As she ate her breakfast, Vicky quietly smirked at that, even though she knew her brother was being facetious. Kathy was also eating in silence because she felt bad about making Ben miss his party; she hated being the littlest in the family.
His father said, "You know darn well why. And just stop whining, Ben."
His mom said, "Yes, Victoria is very mature for a twelve year old, but you are almost sixteen, and there is a law in this town that says twelve is too young to be a babysitter for an eight year old. Also, she asked to go to her slumber party a week ago, and you didn't tell us you had any plans."
"I didn't know about the dance then! So, next month I can go to a party and Vicky will have to watch the brat?"
"Yes," his mother said, "Maybe. In just four and a half weeks and she will be officially old enough to watch children. But, still Ben, it'd be nice if you could think ahead and let us know your plans the way Vicky does."
"And, sport, I'm going to pay you. A Jackson and a Franklin. But babysitting doesn't mean you hide in you're room on your computer. You need to be responsible. You need to play with her and make sure she eats and goes to bed on time. You understand?"
Ben sighed. He didn't need the instructions; this wasn't his first time babysitting, and he didn't mind spending time with his litter sister really, and the thirty dollars didn't really matter (though he had lots of ways to use it), rather it was the principle of the thing. But at least Victoria would be out of the house this time; he wouldn't have to deal with her sarcasm and teasing. He just felt everything always turned into his job!
He didn't make any answer to his father though, and that was a mistake.
"You're almost sixteen years old; stop pouting like a four year old, Ben. You want to take Drivers Ed this summer? Do you think I'm going to let you take the car out just because you have a license? You need to start showing some responsibility; to grow up. Seven weeks at a new school and, already, two detentions for fighting! Reports about late homework. Your mother and I have to miss work for a school conference about you Monday. I'd think you would want to get on our good side just now, but you gripe about everything we ask you to do. Do you wish you were four? Is that it?"
"Those fights weren't my fault! I make good grades on all my test! And you know it too. I didn't ask to change schools in the middle of the year."
"Yeah, well I took this new job for your mother and your sisters, and for you too. But all your problems are all my fault. -- I'm going to be late. Bye, honey. Good bye, Kitten and Princess. I won't see you tonight, so have fun. And Ben, I want you to help me get all those boxes out of the garage tomorrow. We've been here long enough I should be able to get my car in there."
"But I was going to go to the mall. I need to get a book."
"You can loiter there some other time, and just get your manga online or something." Ben's father gave Vicky a hug and Kathy a kiss and walked out the door.
Kathy decided it was OK to talk now and said, "Are you mad at me, Ben?"
"No, Kath, I'm not mad at you. We'll have lots of fun tonight, I guess, OK? I just wanted to go to the school dance, that's all."
"I'm sorry," Kathy said, though she didn't know how to make herself old enough not to need a babysitter before dinner time.
Ben's mother said, "We know that, Ben. Your father too. We're both trying to settle into new jobs and get the house set up and everything, and that's hard. We need your help. We need you to do your part."
She took the hair brush she had been using on Kathy's hair and made two strokes on Ben's head.
He said, "Stop it!!"
Soooorrry," his Mother said, but she was grinning, "Your hair could use a brush though, do that before you leave. Would you like some more orange juice?"
"I'll get some in a minute."
It's as hard to give you help as it is to get any from you, isn't it. And Ben, you need to use that razor we got you more often. You're getting very fuzzy again. -- - Girls, it's very cold, so I'll give a ride to school if you hurry and eat."
While his mother was in the front hall, Ben looked at his reflection on the toaster. He stroked his lip and thought it did feel fuzzy, and it hadn't even been two weeks since his last shave! He felt around for those three long hairs that sometimes showed up on his chin.
Vicky said, "She was just being nice to you, dorkus. I bet you don't got any hairs on your pubes even."
He only had time to glare at his bigger little sister before his mother came back into the kitchen with an arm load of coats.
Ben said, "Could I get ride too?"
"No. Your school is the opposite direction, and you're big enough to ride the bus. Run and get your backpacks, girls. But, Ben, I will be near a bookstore at lunch and could pick up that book want, if you want me to."
"Nah. I can wait."
"I was trying to be nice, mister macho? And it's still February, and cold, honey. Here is your heavy coat -- Can you rinse the breakfast dishes before you leave? You have twelve minutes to get to the bus stop."
"I know that, Mom! I'm not a little kid any more."
"Benji, I can remember when you let me do things for you, and when you really liked finding ways to help others too. You were such a sweet little guy back then. Now you're always sullen and mad. I don't know what we're going to do." She called to his sisters as she went out the back door towards the car.
Ben sat at the table, moping and finishing his Wheaties, until he was almost late for the bus, then he grabbed his black hoodie and ran down the street.
Ben's weekend was everything that he didn't want it to be.
Taking care of Kathy Friday night turned into the highlight. Watching a Disney movie and playing some board games wasn't so bad, though he would rather have been in his room battling orcs, goblins and other pixelated demons.
Of course, his parents weren't satisfied with the job he'd done, and he was dragged from bed at the crack of ten a.m. on a Saturday morning and told to clean up the mess that Kathy had made in the den with all her games and toys. After that he had helped his father clean the garage. Well for twenty minutes he had helped, but then his father went to pick up Vicky, and he was left to bundle the empty boxes and carry the full ones to the attic alone.
Sunday was wasted installing Vicky's new external hard drive; she needed because one of her friends had one. Then he was forced to endure a restaurant meal with his family.
Monday was just like every other school day: Seven hours of daydreaming. But Danielle smiled at him in the hallway, and Amber asked him about the calculus assignment, and laughed when he didn't know what it was either.
After supper Vicky and Kathy were ordered to the den, and Ben was told to come into the living room with his parents.
Ben hadn't forgotten that his parent's had met with one of the school counselors that morning, but had been too worried about it. He had lots of things that he liked to worry about more than what grown-ups were going to say about him.
His father took the big chair. His mother sat right next to Ben on the couch. Ben looked for that perfect balance of not having any concerns at all, and being just attentive enough to not make grownups angry.
At least his father didn't start off yelling. He began his speech quietly: "Ben, there are going to be some changes around here, a lot of changes. And there will be some made at your school too.
"Ben, I think we, your mother and I, had forgotten how hard being in high school can be for some kids, how hard being an adolescent can be. And changing schools is tough too, we know that. We're sorry, it was something we should have thought about."
Ben's jaw dropped and he started to say, "Nah, it's al'rite," but his father didn't pause.
"We all need to remember that you aren't all grownup yet, and still need help some times. You need to remember it too, buddy.
"So we will start giving you help, and start asking for a less. But -- and listen to this. You are going to have to start making sure that all your assignments get done. Your teachers are very annoyed about that. We are going to help you by checking up. And there will be no argument about that. Period.
Also, you will turn off you light and computer at eleven on school nights and twelve on weekends unless you have special permission...."
That was such an insult that Ben did manage to break in with a very loud, "Whaaaaa."
His mother patted his shoulder and said, "Benji, you fell asleep in class twice last week."
"Yes, honey, you did. Your Spanish teacher had to shake you to wake you up."
His father said, "The school is taking you out of History, because your old school covered different material than your new class. That will be come a study hall, and give you a break. They also want you to take Art instead of Music Appreciation, because there are few assignments. This means you will have to change PE classes, into a co-ed one."
Ben was royally pissed!! How could they do this without even talking to him first! "I don't get any say at all? You just all meet up, and decide everything?"
"What do you _object_ to, son? To our want to help? You haven't been doing well in History, and now we know why. You didn't like Music, so we got you out of it. You kept getting into fights in you old PE class, and this new one will have less jock-wannabes."
Ben had to think hard to come up with an _object_ion because his father was right on all those points. "If I don't take a History every semester, it'll be hard to get into a good University."
His father shook his head. "If what we have planed works, you will have plenty of time to get ready for college, buddy. Ms. O'Neil promised that would not be a problem. But that is long in the future, and if you keep doing so badly in school because you are so unhappy, than getting into a good college will be imposable, sport."
Ben, sighed, leaned back and looked at the ceiling.
His mother said, "Ben, do you think it is nice to have people who care about you, and want to take care of you, and do things for you? Have you been very, very unhappy since we moved and tired of having so many demands put on you? Do you know we all love you? If you say no to any of those, we will call the whole thing off."
Ben started to nod to all of that, how else could he respond? But his mother grabbed chin and held his head still.
"Don't answer now. Because if you agree, sometimes things might happen that you won't like at first. Think about it until the morning. Your school wants some medical tests and some new shots, so you have a doctors appointment tomorrow and can skip school; your new classes will start Wednesday; Valentine's Day because it is about our love. But I will ask you for an answer tomorrow."
His father said, "And, big guy, take tonight off from school work too, since you don't have to go there tomorrow. Play your computer games while you think over those questions. But, you know what? I don't think it would be terrible for a fifteen year old to give his old man a hug once and a while, and he could even give his mother a kiss.
Ben did do both of those things, and then he slumped up the staircase completely bewildered.
OK, that's the intro. Is anyone still there? Does anyone want more?
The other two piggy-back questions:
1>When is a diaper warning needed? If someone regressed to a small child is diapered for bed, is that enough, or is it only when scat plays a big part in the story?
2>Would you be happier if I waited to finish the whole thing before I posted anything at all? I have finished stories before, but I have also started things and then lost my muse.