“Have fun at the book club,” Jack grinned, not believing his words were possible. “Want me to bring you a candy apple?”
Penny rolled her eyes, “Those things are repulsive.”
“Tell that to the kids…”
“Daddy, can I have a candy apple?” Esther asked, “And also the candy apple you were gonna get for Mommy?”
“No candy apples!” Penny warned. “Do you remember last year, Esther?”
The eight-year-old shut her mouth instantly, remembering the whirlwind of hot puke she had spewed onto her new sparkly dress after eating way too much junk food.
“I promise,” Jack replied. He was excited to have a bit of fun with Elias, Edith, and Esther for an evening while Penny and Ezra went to the book club, which was really just a disguised support group for parents of disabled children. It was the last weekend the fair would be up and running before winter and Jack had a hankering to ride the rollercoaster. On their way, they picked up Willis, Ruthie, and Annie.
Elias and his best friend sat in the middle of the van, ranking girls in their grade as hot or not. “I’m pretty sure Frankie is the hottest chick ever,” Elias swooned.
“Kiana was so hot… until she left me for that jerkoff,” Willis moaned.
Ruthie, eavesdropping, angrily stared at them from the back seat, “That’s my brother. He gets whatever he wants. And Frankie Ambrose is a total slut; I should know. She dated my brother and then left him for some freak at another school.”
“Whatever,” Willis sighed, not even turning to face her. He had been less than enthused with most social situations ever since Kiana had left him.
“Frankie Ambrose left him because he cheated on her,” Elias whispered, “I hear she’s single.”
Willis’s eyes widened.
“I’ve also heard she’s coming down to the fair tonight,” Elias continued.
“Ha! You don’t stand a chance!” Ruthie snickered.
Edith gave her friend a glare, “Stop,” she quietly begged. Edith didn’t want to hear Elias’s complaints all evening long about how rude her friends were.
Esther’s shy friend Annie sat with the girls in the back row and remained silent, staring at her feet.
“Daddy, I need to go pee,” Esther whined, wiggling her legs in the front seat.
“We’re almost there, Ess,” Jack replied.
“I have to go right now!” Esther whined.
“Can you hold it for a few minutes, please?”
Esther dug her hand into her crotch and made a face.
“I swear, it’s the next exit,” Jack told his daughter.
Esther was squirming.
“I told you not to have that second soda…” Jack chuckled to himself.
“It’s not funny!” Esther shouted.
Jack tried to suppress his laughter, but continued to grin.
“I’m not laughing at you, honey,” Jack replied, taking the exit that led to the park.
Esther bit her lip and held herself tightly.
“Don’t worry, sweetie, we’re almost there. Just hold on a little longer.”
Esther tried to focus on her breathing, but it was hard to ignore her desperate urge. She rubbed her feet together and crossed her shaking legs.
When they parked, all the kids got out of the van except Esther, who sat there, trying to keep from peeing her pants. She remembered the conversation she had with her mother not one month ago about her incontinence. Esther felt only shame over her predicament.
Jack opened the passenger side door. “Come on, pumpkin. I thought you needed to go…”
“Daddy…” she whined, pressing hard on her crotch. “I’m gonna pee…”
He undid her seatbelt and helped her out of the van. “You can go right here on the pavement. Nobody’s looking,” Jack told his daughter.
Esther sniffled, knowing she wouldn’t make it much longer and took down her pants and underwear, squatting and letting a stream loose in the parking lot.
Jack handed her a tissue to wipe up with and they headed into the park, nobody noticing the aftermath of Esther’s near accident.
Penny and Ezra were approaching the door of the community centre where the book club was held once monthly. “Oh Ez, Mom has to go again…” Penny whined.
Ezra waved his left hand and squealed in response. Penny wasn’t even sure he understood what she was saying, but felt comfort in telling him of her troubles anyway.
“It’s your little sisters again. I think they just like kicking my bladder.” Penny pushed open the door to be greeted by Melody, the receptionist at Ezra’s physio.
“Penny! You’re looking-”
“About 12 months pregnant?” Penny interrupted with a laugh.
Melody smiled. “I was going to say radiant, but you do look like you need to take a load off. Let me take Ezra to say hi to the other boys.”
“Thanks,” Penny replied, trying to hide her desperation. The twins were definitely kicking her bladder and she wasn’t up to the challenge right now. She darted (as fast as a pregnant woman can) towards the bathroom, but was stopped by Melody’s twin sons, Tyler and Trent. Both young men, who had Down Syndrome, were fascinated by Penny’s belly and they were excited to see another set of twins.
“Are they boys or girls?” asked Trent, smiling down at Penny’s stomach.
“Both girls,” Penny replied patiently. She squeezed her thighs together, trying to keep her panties dry for the evening.
“What are their names?” Tyler, who was two minutes older and wouldn’t let you forget it, asked.
“Erin Kayla and Erica Kelly,” Penny replied, smiling proudly. She put a hand on her stomach, and feeling an instant pang of desperation from her bladder, “I’ll let you boys feel them kick when I get back from the washroom.” Penny squeezed her legs harder and continued sauntering down the hall to the ladies’ room. Her hand found its way to her crotch and she held on tight, hoping to god she wasn’t leaking into another pair of pregnancy jeans. The last thing she wanted to do was throw in another load of laundry.
Penny burst through the door of the first open stall. Her hand had found its way to her pee hole and she was pressing down as hard as she could. With the other hand, she yanked down the elastic jeans and her underwear. The flood gates opened with little mercy and her pee sprayed forcefully over her hand. Some drops made their way to her underwear, but mostly she had made it. Penny sat for a few minutes, making sure she was empty. She sighed and rubbed her belly. “No more bladder kicking antics,” she telepathically told the babies.
“Dad, can me and Willis go see if Frankie and her friends are around?” Elias begged. He knew Willis needed some female attention more than he needed to go on the rollercoaster.
“Go for it, boys. We will meet at the front of the park at nine sharp. Be there, or get left behind,” Jack jokingly warned, watching the teens head off to meet girls. He remembered being fourteen and only thinking about sex. Things hadn’t changed much since those years, but he was glad to have a wife that still satisfied him.
“Daddy, can I have a hotdog?” Esther interrupted her father’s nostalgic trip.
“Of course,” Jack replied, “Annie, are you hungry as well?”
The shy, blonde girl nodded but made no eye contact.
“Do you like hotdogs, Annie?” Esther asked, eyes wide with excitement.
Annie shrugged, “Yeah.”
“Edith and Ruthie, do you two want anything to eat or drink before you head off?” Jack asked his older daughter.
The two twelve-year-olds looked at each other and shrugged. “Maybe just two cherry sodas,” Ruthie said, “Hot dogs are kind of… yuck.”
Edith nodded in agreement. Her little sister’s choice in food was questionable at best, but she could remember loving hotdogs at eight as well. “Oh wow! They have ones in the shape of Hell’s Waterfall!” Edith exclaimed.
Ruthie grinned with excitement. “That ride is so scary. Last year, my brother went on it and got so scared he nearly pooped his pants.”
“Three hot dogs, two small cokes, one medium coke, and Two cherry sodas in the Hell’s Waterfall cups please,” Jack said to the counter attendant.
Edith and Ruthie were overjoyed with their giant novelty cups.
“Dad, can we go ride the roller coaster?” Edith asked.
“Of course. Just make sure you’re back here by nine,” Jack told them. “…And maybe go easy on that giant soda, Edie.”
Edith wasn’t listening as she skipped off with her best friend.
“Annie, are you going to eat the rest of your hot dog?” Esther asked, eyeing the deliciously greasy snack in her friend’s skinny hands.
Annie shook her head, “I’m too full to eat all of it.”
Esther greedily grabbed the half-eaten mess of ketchup, mustard, and mystery meat and stuffed it in her mouth.
“Now let’s go ride Hell’s Waterfall!” Esther commanded.
Annie gave her friend a look of pure terror.
“What? Are you scared? It looks so fun!”
“C-can we just do the dragon coaster?”
Esther groaned. The dragon coaster was for little kids!
“Ess, if you want someone to go with you on Hell’s Waterfall, I really don’t mind. But first, let’s check out the ride Annie wants to go on,” Jack reasoned with his youngest daughter.
Annie lead the way to her favourite ride.
Penny sat on the old sofa, wondering if any of the other moms would care if she rested her tired, swollen feet on the coffee table. She suddenly felt so tired.
“Penny, would you like a cup of tea? You look like you need it,” Melody said, handing her a fresh cup.
“Yes please. This pregnancy has been so tiring. I’m only six months in and I feel like they’re a month overdue…” Penny suddenly regretted that whole sentence. Melody understood already and didn’t need the details.
“I remember my pregnancy with Trent and Tyler. Oh my god, there were days I swear I didn’t even get out of bed. Thank god I had my husband.”
Penny jolted up, feeling another kick. This time, they weren’t kicking her bladder. “They’re at it again. Probably fighting,” she joked.
Melody put her hand on Penny’s belly, remembering how her boys were. “Twins are so much fun, Penny. I’m so excited for you.”
“I’m excited to have them out in the world…” Penny felt her bladder filling again as she took a long sip of her tea. “I have to pee again and I feel like I just got back from the bathroom.”
Melody grinned. “It’s okay. That was most of my pregnancy as well.”
Penny took another sip before heading back to the bathroom.
“I dare you to go over there and ask her out,” Elias taunted his best friend.
“She won’t want to be with me anyway. She dated that jerk Chuck Colborne!” Willis whined.
“What if I ask her out for you?”
“No, that’s okay.”
“Come on, Willis! I’m so sick of you being all mopey and emo.” Elias rolled his eyes. “Kiana was super lame anyway. She didn’t even like video games. At least Frankie plays Halo.”
Willis perked up at the notion of a girl playing Halo.
“Go on then, go over there and ask her out!” Elias begged.
“If it’s so easy, you do it.”
Elias groaned and marched over to Frankie Ambrose and her gaggle of girlfriends.
Willis nervously stood there, watching is best friend talk with ease to the hottest girl in school. Elias pointed to him, grinning with excitement, but Frankie did not look impressed. Willis watched in awe as Frankie Ambrose grabbed Elias’s hand dragged him over to where Willis was standing.
“I’m going to the haunted house,” Frankie said. “It’s super lame, but you guys can come with.”
Elias shrugged. She was still holding his hand, so he didn’t have much of a choice. With the other hand, Frankie took Willis and the three headed off to the haunted house, leaving the rest of her friends behind.
Once inside the haunted house, Willis wandered around in the dark, looking at himself in the fun house mirrors. He wasn’t that ugly, was he? He kept walking. Maybe he just wasn’t interesting? Willis turned around to find Elias and Frankie sharing a quick kiss. Willis stormed off towards the exit.
Edith and Ruthie had just gotten off the roller coaster and picked up their giant drinks. “I think I need to wait before doing another rollercoaster,” Ruthie admitted, “I don’t feel too great.”
Edith nodded, though she felt completely fine. “Have some more cherry soda,” Edith offered.
“Maybe we can go on a different kind of ride,” Ruthie suggested, taking a long drink.
Ruthie nodded, breathing deeply as they slowly made their way to the bumper cars, which always had a giant line. “I feel a lot better,” Ruthie said, “this line is really long though…”
“Yeah, usually it doesn’t take too long to get on ‘cause there are so many cars,” Edith reassured her friend. She took another sip of her soda and marveled at the lights for a few minutes.
“I want that black Batman car,” Ruthie pointed to a knockoff Batmobile.
Edith looked around at all the different vehicles, eying the one that was situated near the Batmobile. “I like the purple one with the sparkly flames! …but any of them are fine I guess.” Edith rarely got the car she wanted; a lot of other kids seemed to really like the fiery purple sparkle car.
The ride ended quickly and the line moved up. Edith and Ruthie were very excited as they moved to the very front of the line. This was a first for Edith – perhaps they would have their first pick.
A bell sounded and the ride began, cars bumping into one another at slow electric speeds. Edith was excited, until she felt a sudden and desperate urge to pee. She crossed her legs and tried not to bounce.
Ruthie took another sip of her drink and suddenly looked a little worried. “Oh man… shouldn’t have drank all that soda,” she mumbled.
“We can go after the ride,” Edith replied, “There’s a bathroom right over there.” She pointed to a small building only a few meters away.
Ruthie nodded and reassured herself saying, “I can hold it.”
Edith squirmed and crossed the opposite leg. She hoped she could hold it too; thankfully, sitting down usually made holding it a little easier.
The bell rang and the ride ended. Edith and Ruthie set down their nearly empty drinks and awkwardly ran towards their favourite cars. Ruthie’s legs were shaking as she pressed her thighs together. Edith pressed on her privates with one hand and held the steering wheel with the other. Neither of the girls were enjoying themselves.
“I have to go so bad,” Ruthie moaned, bouncing her left leg.
“You can hold it,” Edith tried to reassure her friend. She was losing the battle as well, trying to plug herself through her underwear.
The bell rang and the ride began. A boy with curly, black hair immediately bumped into Edith’s car and she felt herself leak from the shock. She bumped the boy back, trying hard to keep the rest of her pee at bay, but she could feel her soaking panties grow damper.
Ruthie shot her friend a worried look as she stopped her car and winced, holding herself with both hands, fingers curling inward to hold as tightly as possible. Ruthie didn’t look like she was going to make it either.
The bell rang again and the ride stopped. Both girls hurriedly grabbed their cups and headed to the bathroom.
“My bladder is so full!” Ruthie complained, “I don’t think I can make it.”
“We can try and run,” Edith suggested, knowing full well that neither of them could run.
Ruthie shook her head and stopped. Her legs were twisted together like the braided bark of a bonsai tree. She pulled up her skirt, revealing her pink panties, which were stained fuschia from where she had lost control. Ruthie pulled her panties tight against herself, letting down her skirt again. The girls slowly made their way to the bathroom, not saying a word.
When they finally made it to the ladies room, it was blocked off by a garbage can and a maintenance sign that read “out of order.”
Edith gasped. She could’ve cried. “I…I think there is another bathroom over that way…” she pointed towards the ferris wheel on the other side of the park.
Ruthie shook her head. “I can’t make it!” she cried, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I have to go to the bathroom right now!” She jammed her hand in her crotch, placing her giant cup on the ground.
Edith’s situation wasn’t much better. She was slowly leaking into her already soaked panties. Suddenly, it struck her. “I know what to do,” she told Ruthie. She opened the lid of her giant cup, hiked up her skirt and pulled down her underwear. Edith placed the cup over her privates and began to relieve herself. She sighed deeply.
Ruthie shook her head. “I can’t…” She couldn’t uncross her legs without leaking. The pressure on her bladder was almost unbearable and she couldn’t hold it much longer.
“Just a second, I’m going to help you do it.” Edith was undoing the lid of Ruthie’s cup.
Ruthie gritted her teeth, trying to hold on. Her whole body trembled from trying to hold it all in. Edith slid the cup over to her friend, who tried unsuccessfully to pull her panties down. Ruthie began to sob as she flooded her underwear and part of her skirt.
“It’s okay,” Edith said, “it was just an accident.”
Penny returned from the bathroom again, seeing that her spot on the couch next to Melody was still vacant. The other mothers were courteous like that. “Sorry for interrupting – the twins seem to be making a game out of kicking my bladder,” Penny joked.
“We haven’t even started yet!” Karen, the leader of the book club/support group replied, “We thought we’d wait for you, Penny. But now that we’re all here, did anyone get time to read ‘Fall On Your Knees’ this month?”
There were laughs from within the group. Penny herself smiled. She hadn’t even had a moment to go to the book store and find a copy. There were a few mothers who had the chance to read, but most of them were busy working and caring for their children.
Karen grinned. “I hope those of you who had a chance to read enjoyed it. It comes recommended by Oprah, so it’s bound to be good. Anyone have any news to share? Any milestones?”
Melody raised her hand. “Trent and Tyler gave an amazing and touching sermon last Sunday. The boys have started helping out with their local youth group, with meal prep and leading games. I’m so proud!” Melody was ecstatic that her boys took such an interest in church, and that they were accepted despite their disability. It made Penny envious that Melody’s sons were verbal and physically able.
“Wow. Can we have some applause for Trent and Tyler? You guys are amazing!” Karen beamed.
Penny finished her tea and gave the twin boys a big thumbs up. She looked over at Ezra, who was sitting in his chair next to the three other non-verbal, physically disabled children. One of them gave a shrill yelp, as if to applaud with the rest of the audience. Penny wondered if he even wanted to be here. This whole thing was for her, not for him.
A few other mothers shared the joys of their autistic children regulating their emotions, kids learning to use their prosthetics, and the fascinating world of child-sized feeding tubes. Penny had nothing new to share about Ezra. He hadn’t changed at all, apart from his stature. He was six years old now and should’ve been in first grade, learning how to read and write and do basic math. But Ezra would never learn any of that. Penny tried not to cry. She told herself it was just pregnancy hormones. She suddenly needed to pee again; one cup of tea was definitely one too many cups.
Karen looked at Penny, “Anything new with Ezra?”
Penny shrugged. “Nothing much. He’s going to be a big brother in a few months. I think he’s excited to meet his little sisters.” She squeezed her thighs together, flexing her kegel muscles.
“And how is the pregnancy going? Have you had all of the tests?” Karen asked, almost morbidly excited to hear if either twin had a genetic condition. Karen’s three daughters were all disabled. Her youngest was born with cerebral palsy, though not as severe as Ezra’s. Her oldest had Aspergers Syndrome, and the middle daughter was deaf. Karen had a bit of a complex, feeling as though she had suffered more than the other mothers, being that all three of her children were disabled.
“Everything seems to be on track and normal,” Penny replied. “We had a bit of a scare a few months ago, but it was just stress.” The pressure in her bladder was building and she was beginning to feel horribly uncomfortable again.
Karen nodded. “Well, congratulations. We’re all so excited for you.”
Penny smiled back, her leg bouncing up and down. She looked towards the bathroom, but just as she was about to get up and go, Melody’s twin boys approached her.
“Can we feel the babies?” they asked in unison.
Penny winced. She had promised them earlier and didn’t like to let them down. “Of course,” she said, crossing her legs tightly. She was trying not to draw attention to her predicament, but it was only a matter of time.
Each of the boys lay their hands on Penny’s stomach and waited to feel something.
“I don’t feel any kicks,” Tyler scoffed.
“Where are the babies?” Trent asked.
“They might be sleeping,” Penny replied, “They don’t kick all the time.” She was very thankful that they were not constantly active. But with that, she felt a violent kick to her bladder.
“Wow, I can feel the babies,” Tyler said to his twin.
Penny gasped, feeling her bladder spasm uncontrollably, unleashing a short stream of urine into her panties and jeans.
Melody’s eyes widened as she saw what had happened. “Oh my goodness, boys, can you let Penny alone for a minute,” she shooed the twins away, whispering to Penny, “let’s try and get you cleaned up in the bathroom.”
“Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed,” Penny admitted, trying to dry her wet jeans with paper towel.
“Don’t even worry about it, Pen. It happened to me a few times when I was pregnant. Honestly, don’t let it bother you. I’m not offended.”
“Thanks,” Penny replied, sheepishly. “My youngest daughter has been having so many accidents lately and I’ve really been on her case. I think I deserved this one.”
“I don’t think so,” Melody replied, “You have a pretty good excuse.”
Penny patted herself down one last time with paper towels. “I’m gonna duck out early and head home to change.”
Jack checked his watch as Esther and Annie exited the ferris wheel. “It’s nearly time to head back home, Esther.”
Esther pouted, “Daddy, you said we would go on Hell’s Waterfall!”
“I really don’t wanna go on that,” Annie said, almost inaudibly.
Jack tried to hide his disappointment that his daughter hadn’t forgotten about his promise. The last time he had taken Esther on one of the adult rides, she’d been sick. Penny had blamed the questionable candy apple their daughter had eaten, but Jack was certain it was just motion sickness. “Alright, pumpkin. I’ll go with you. Annie, do you just want to watch or is there another ride you want to go on in this area?”
Annie shrugged. “I, um, I kind of…” Annie crossed her legs.
“There’s a bathroom right there,” Esther pointed to the building next to the ferris wheel. “You can just wait for us at the exit! It won’t even be that long cause this ride is too scary and nobody wants to ride it… except me.” Esther beamed, grabbing her dad’s arm and heading to the entrance of Hell’s Waterfall.
As Jack and Esther stood in line, they watched as the giant bench spun around one way, then the other, eventually plunging into the water and splashing its patrons with dyed red water. Painted red flames adorned the contraption, along with demonic faces that seemed to vomit out more red water. “This is so cool,” Esther whispered.
Jack faked a smile, feeling instant regret as they lined up for the next ride.
A bell rang, and the ride was over. Esther and her dad took seats in the centre of the giant bench. As she buckled herself in, Esther felt her stomach gurgle. She had eaten one too many hot dogs and she winced as her stomach burned with discomfort.
“You okay, Ess?” Jack asked.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to do this-”
“I’m not scared!” Esther shouted, perhaps too loudly. She felt her stomach cramp again, pursing her lips. She tried to ignore her body and so far it was working.
The ride operator pulled down the bar and strapped everyone into their harnessed seats. Esther closed her eyes tightly, hoping the nauseous feeling would go away. She heard the bell ring and the ride began to slowly turn, raising the cabin to its peak position. Esther opened her eyes, looking down on the vast theme park, its lights brightly twinkling like its own peaceful kingdom. Soon, the peaceful moment was over as the ride recklessly spun its guests, gravity clinging to their bodies, forcefully pushing them into their seats. Esther held her breath. She could feel the waves of nausea getting worse. Her stomach felt like it was doing cartwheels as the ride spun. She gripped the bar of the ride, her knuckles turning white.
Jack turned to his daughter, who was turning a concerning shade of green. He held her hand, “You okay?” he managed to bark over the mechanical churning and ambient hum of the park.
Esther shook her head. She could feel the vomit creeping up her esophagus and burning as it made its way to the end of the tunnel. Esther tried to swallow it back down, but there was no use. As the ride began its final plunge into the red coloured waters, Esther threw up all down her shirt.
Penny was exhausted. After getting Ezra changed into his pajamas and putting him to bed, she felt as though she’d spent all day at the gym. She lay down on her bed and closed her eyes for what felt like just a moment, but when she woke up to the sound of Jack and her other children returning home, she realized it had been more like an hour nap. She slowly got up, realizing she was still wearing her wet jeans that smelled vaguely of urine. Penny sighed. The last thing she wanted to do tonight was laundry.
“Mom and Ezra are probably in bed, so please don’t go barging in and bugging them,” Penny heard her husband tell them. For that she was thankful. Penny felt another kick to her bladder and stroked her belly, trying to calm the twins to no avail.
Jack crept into the room slowly, but realized his wife was still awake. “How was the book club?”
Penny cocked her head to one side. “Fine I guess. I never have anything to say, but Melody is always helpful. How was the amusement park? Did you let Esther go on Hell’s Waterfall?” Penny gave her husband a sudden, stern look as she tried to control her bladder.
Jack sheepishly looked down at the bedspread, finally seeing the wet spot on his wife’s jeans out of the corner of his eye. “I did,” he admitted, “And then she managed to puke up her whole dinner. So… I guess we both learned our lesson.”
“I can’t believe you took her on that. She is way too young and you know how she is on those spinning rides!” In her rage, Penny nearly forgot about her urge to pee.
Jack sighed. He knew his wife was right, but he had a hard time denying Esther the things she wanted. “I’m sorry. But she’s fine now. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and I think it probably did her some good. And she’ll know for next time that spinning rides aren’t for her,” Jack reasoned. He reached over, stroking Penny’s thigh from knee to crotch. He could feel the wetness in her panties.
“I… I didn’t make it in time,” Penny whispered, trying to maintain the hold.
Jack began to stroke her crotch, grinning.
“Oh god,” Penny whispered, “I need to…”
“Don’t,” Jack commanded, pulling down the elastic jeans. He pried at the soaked crotch of her underwear and began fingering her.
Penny moaned in both ecstasy and pain. “Oh god, Jack… I can’t hold it!” she moaned.
He began stroking her faster, feeling her muscles contract from the inside and then, all of a sudden, the dam broke and she flooded his hand and their bed sheets.