Content warnings for this story (click here for guide):
Leila drummed her fingers on the hatch as the cloakroom attendant searched for her belongings. The pounding music from the dancefloor shook the walls.
She wore a slick silver skirt, ripped black t-shirt, black and silver dog collar and 20-hole steel-toecap boots. It had been a while since she’d ventured out and it was good to feel free again.
The nightmare of the last few weeks, with the postman and his blackmail, were slowly fading. He had stopped called her and texting incriminating pictures of her in her princess dress and pull-ups. Perhaps at last he had grown bored of the game and would delete the photos and leave her alone.
The attendant crossed back and forth in the cloakroom, puzzled. He peered again at the two green tickets Leila had given him.
“What did you say they were again?” he asked.
Leila sighed and repeated: “Blue leather trenchcoat, black leather backpack.”
The queue was building behind her and people were grumbling. It was 3am and everyone wanted to get home.
“Aha!” said the attendant. “34 and 35! Here we go.”
He hoisted the items onto the hatch.
“Those…those aren’t mine,” said Leila.
The attendant checked the tickets against the numbers on the items.
“34 and 35. Yup, those are yours.”
The items were indeed a coat and a bag, but not the ones she had worn to the club. The coat was a prim pink princess number with faux fur hood and bows on the cuffs. Two fluffy heart pockets decorated the front. The bag was pink again, but bulky and functional, like something you might take to a gym, but not quite.
“They’re not mine,” insisted Leila. “I had a blue leather trenchcoat and a black leather backpack. I just told you that. These pink…things…are NOT mine. I wouldn’t be caught dead in them!”
She turned around to the queue.
“Sorry if they belong to one of you,” she shrugged. “But they’re not my thing.”
“Would you just take your stuff and go?” called one drunken guy behind her. “I want my jacket!”
“If he’ll GIVE me my stuff, I’ll TAKE my stuff,” snapped Leila.
“Look, Princess,” yawned another guy, “This cute act might work on some people but stop trying to con some designer gear out of the cloakroom. You’ve got your wickle coat and bag, so why don’t you totter off home?”
“My stuff is still IN THERE!” yelled Leila, maddened. She turned back to the attendant. “This is not mine. Do I look like I would wear this shit?”
“Well…yes,” said the attendant. “Frankly, you do.”
“What?” Leila was baffled. Then she caught sight of herself in one of the mirrored panels on the wall.
Her tough punk outfit had vanished. Leila gasped and stammered as she saw herself dressed in a powder-pink dress with cutesy puff sleeves and a flippy tiered skirt. A huge pink lace-trimmed bow covered her chest. She wore sparkly pink pageant heels. Even her hair had been princessified into two adorable blonde ringlet bunches. She looked like a sweet little girl at her 3rd birthday party.
“But – but this isn’t me!” she cried. “I don’t know how this –“
“Aww, is someone getting tired?” cooed a voice from the queue. Leila span round, incensed, and as she did so, heard a crinkling sound and realised with horror that she was wearing thick pull-ups under her dress. She blushed bright pink and the attendant pushed the coat and bag into her arms, patting her gently on the bottom to send her on her way.
Leila’s blood ran cold as the attendant’s fingers brushed the padding, and she found herself unable to speak. She dashed to the toilets and locked herself in a cubicle.
Realising she needed to pee, Leila lifted her frilled skirts and went to pull down the pull-ups. They wouldn’t budge.
“What the fuck?”
Leila yanked and wriggled, rustling noisily in the stall, but the pull-ups seemed glued to her body. Beginning to sweat with the pressing need to pee, she tried to tear them, but they were strong and would not rip.
“What is HAPPENING to me?” she thought, panicking. Her bladder gave a sharp jab of pain and Leila felt warmth between her legs.
“Nooo!” she hissed, pressing her hands to her crotch, but the flow continued, staining the front of the pull-ups.
Leila was appalled, standing there in her wet training pants. For a moment she could only stand there, disgusted at herself. Slowly, though, she gathered her thoughts and pulled her skirts back down.
“Forget your actual coat and bag,” she thought. “Just get home and we’ll work it out from there.”
She put the pink princess coat on as an extra layer and picked up the big pink bag. Then she took a deep breath, left the toilet cubicle and walked out of the bathroom.
The queue was still long. At the very front was a tomboyish girl with a scruffy haircut, just like hers, and – WHAT? – the attendant was handing her Leila’s trenchcoat and rucksack!
Leila saw red.
“That’s MINE!” she yelled, storming up to the counter and snatching at the items.
“It’s mine – get the fuck off!” shouted the girl.
“Give it back! It’s mine and you can’t have it!” growled Leila, furious.
“Look, Princess, isn’t it past your bedtime or something?” barked the girl, tugging fiercely on the sleeve of the coat. “Let go of my stuff, go find your Mummy and Daddy and, I dunno, go play with your dolls or something!”
“LeeLee, there you are!”
What? For a moment, Leila was distracted by the voice, and the girl gave a mighty tug on the coat that sent her toppling forward. Her skirt flipped up and she fell on her tummy, her wet Huggies on display. There was a gasp from the crowd, and then sniggers and giggles, and the odd “Oh my god, really?”
Leila screwed up her eyes and prayed to vanish into the floor. She became aware of the voice’s owner above her head.
“LeeLee, that’s why you’re being such a grouchy little girl! You wet your pull-ups!”
Leila looked up to see the postman making an “Aww” face at her with a pouty bottom lip. He helped her up, then took the pink bag from the floor beside her.
“Now then,” said the postman, unzipping the bag, “First things first. LeeLee needs her dummy.”
The crowd and the cloakroom attendant howled with laughter as Leila struggled but eventually found herself with a baby blue dummy filling her mouth.
“Awww, wook at the wittle pwincess,” mocked one onlooker.
“Now,” said the postman loudly, “Let’s see. I don’t think you’re quite ready for pullups yet. So let’s take little Leila to the men’s room and get her out of those nasty wet pull-ups. Let’s find Daddy’s little princess something safer to wear…well, these are perfect!”
He pulled out a thick white nappy covered in cartoon princesses. A pink letter L sparkled on the front.
Standing there, wet and miserable in front of the sniggering crowd, Leila began to cry.
“Jesus!” Leila sat up in bed, gasping for air. Oh, thank God! It had all been a dream. She looked down under the covers and was relieved to see her grey cotton knickers. Man, that arsehole had really messed with her head.
Just then, the doorbell rang and Leila froze.
The letterbox flap was pushed open and a mocking voice rang through it.
“Special delivery for a very special little girl. I wouldn’t leave this on the doorstep, LeeLee. It’s going to rain, and Daddy would be very cross to find you’d lost or ruined your new outfit…especially when you’ll need it very soon…you do want to be Daddy’s good girl, don’t you?”
The letterbox closed and Leila heard muffled laughter and footsteps wandering off up the drive.