“Will ya look at that” she said to no one as she gazed into the microscope, watching the enzymes react to the foreign stimuli she had just added. Curious, very curious indeed.
She was searching for a cure for aids, trying to entice the body's enzymes into creating antibodies without destroying the carrier cells, but this was something different.
She leaned back from the microscope and absently strummed her pen against her lips.
Not what she had expected at all. Not the cure, but something radically different.
She shifted her weight and her stool groaned beneath her. It seemed that those little enzymes she was spending so much time with were producing not antibodies but were reacting as a catalyst to some sort of bodily secretion. Just what that secretion may be, and what if any effect it may have on a human was yet to be determined.
She leaned down to her notebook, her belly straining against her labcoat and circled the group of figures that encoded the stimuli. She pushed her glasses up on her nose, rose from her stool and began pacing the room, absently smoothing the labcoat over her wide hips.
Mary had always been a little heavy. A plump child with a slow metabolism, she still managed to stay, while not thin, then at least acceptably chubby. At least until grad school. The long hours of sedentary study, and her bad eating habits had put on an unwanted extra twenty-five pounds. Still, she was immersed in her studies, and although she had to admit to occasionally feeling lonely and wishing for someone to sweep her off her feet, she had to be realistic. She certainly wasn't any great catch, and her social skills tended to get sidetracked by too much shop talk, or a sudden idea that would spring into her mind, erasing all other concerns. Couple that with her too wide face, glasses, stringy mud brown hair and her dumpy body and . . . sigh. At least she had her studies. Thank god for the grant she had received. That way, at least for now, she could keep the outside world at bay.
Mary was a realist. She also had to admit to herself that, in the year and a half she had been working on the aids cure, that she had been so absorbed she had taken no notice of that world around her, as well as her own appearance. Now, for some reason, as she stood on the threshold of some kind of important discovery, she paused to take stock in herself. She realized that she had taken to wearing stretch pants under her labcoat as she had outgrown most of her wardrobe. She looked down over her cleavage to the bulging belly below, mesmerized by the pink flesh that poked out from the gap between the straining buttons of her labcoat. She looked over at her lab table nodding her head at the near empty large bag of Doritos lying there. OK, she thought. Here I've been gorging myself without even noticing, because I've been so absorbed in my work. No wonder my clothes don't fit. I've got to start changing my routine.
Mary really didn't mind being heavy, she was just afraid of being unhealthy. “Got to get into better shape” she sighed as she patted her expanse of tummy. “Starting tomorrow I'm going to walk to the lab and make sure I take a break to walk to the gym for some aerobics” she promised herself, although she neglected to promise to cut out the Doritos.
She returned from her reverie, her mind refocused on the enzyme reaction to formula 67.
She needed a test so she called over for two test groups of mice. For some reason she separated the male and female mice and, choosing one of the females, injected her with formula 67. The mouse laid still for a time, then began moving about the cage, stopping periodically to groom herself. The male mice in the other cage began acting erratically, as if they were perturbed by some stimuli. Mary took one of the males and placed it into the female's cage, whereupon it immediately began mating with the female. An unusual reaction, for the mice usually only mated when the female was in season.
Mary tried a control group with a different female and male and the result was the same. What was going on here? She wondered. Was the formula causing the enzymes to secrete something that put the females into heat, or was it just something that tricked the males into believing that the female was in heat? She spent the next several days pursuing an answer, not forgetting about her promise to get herself some exercise. After several more control groups and testing all sorts of variables Mary was convinced that what was going on with the mice was that the female was secreting some sort of aroma that made the males horny, in spite of their instincts.
Hmmm, not what she was hoping for, but . . . her mind daydreamed to a night out with some hunky movie star who found her irresistible. I wonder if, she sighed.
Mary then spent the next couple of weeks measuring a proper dosage of formula 67, and screwing up enough nerve to act as her own guinea pig. Finally, one Thursday night she decided to take the plunge. The day before she had invested in some new clothing, silently chiding herself that she was now a solid size 18.
A 44D wasn't bad but her 38-inch waist was just a bit overboard. Still, she decided that her new clothing, all solids and dark colors, while conservative, did not make her look too obese.
She dressed in a mid thigh length black cotton dress under a silver blazer that hid most of the unsightly bulges and hinted at just enough of her ample cleavage.
She looked at the vial of thick, deep blue serum, opened the cap saluted her reflection in the mirror, and murmuring “for science” chugged down the sweet tasting concoction.
Not bad, but it'll never replace a strawberry milkshake, she admitted. She recapped the vial and waited for something to happen. After about ten minutes she started to feel flushed and slightly nauseous. Oh, Oh, she thought, hoping that she hadn't just made a terrible mistake; but soon the nausea subsided and, while feeling somewhat warm, couldn't see where the serum had effected her at all. Still, she decided to go on with the experiment and head down to the Watering Hole, her bar of choice as it was close to both home and campus. She had been there several times before, being about as noticed as a raindrop in the ocean. “That's OK” she decided. She'd just go in, have a cosmopolitan and return home; no big deal.
She walked the three blocks to the bar, the light spring breeze playing with her stringy hair. Outside the door she realized that she hadn't put on any makeup, but then decided that since she hardly ever wore any anyway, it wouldn't be a true test if she now decided to pile on the stuff like some cheap tart.
Mary paused at the doorway, asked herself what she was waiting for, took a deep breath and entered. The bar seemed especially noisy tonight, and it took a moment for her senses to adjust to the din and the poor lighting. Finally she walked across the threshold and took a seat at the bar.
“Hello gorgeous, what can I do for ya” the hunky barkeep asked.
“Cosmopolitan please” Mary replied before being interrupted by a voice from down the bar. “Hey Frank, I sure hope you're not going to let such a beautiful woman buy her own drink. You haven't had a real looker like her in here in ages”.
“You buyin' Joe?” asked the barkeep.
“Not if I buy first” came a voice from the other end of the bar.
“Hey, no fair, I asked first” Joe whined.
“Ya snooze ya lose” said her left hand admirer. “Excuse me miss, would you allow me to purchase your beverage?”
Mary looked him over. T.D&H, definitely.
“If you'd like to” Mary replied, dazed at the sudden attention.
“Love to. I'm Matt, and you're gorgeous. Have a name?”
“Mary. Mary Reilly”.
Mary couldn't believe it was happening. She scanned the rest of the bar through the large mirror behind the bar and she noticed that just about all the male eyes, and most of the female ones were on her: plain, bi-spectacled, overweight Mary. The serum must be doing it's magic; or to be more precise, the serum was causing her enzymes to put her body into overdrive producing the olfactory stimulus that drove these men crazy.
Matt came closer, moving down the bar until he was seated beside her, receiving several angry glares from the rest of the male patrons. “I've gotta tell ya, you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen”.
“Well, thank you for saying so” Mary replied. “I hope you're not just saying that as a pickup line”.
“No, no, of course not. I mean, it's true and all, but I really want to get to know you. I just feel, I don't know, like I'm sure that you're fascinating. Let me guess, you're s scientist right?”
Mary blushed. Here goes, as soon as I start talking shop his eyes will glaze over and he'll suddenly remember he has a more pressing appointment, like getting a root canal.
But, to Mary's chagrin, Matt seemed totally taken by her, hanging on her every word, all the while nestling closer to her until they seemed to be joined at the hip. They moved to a booth, continuing to chat, Mary feeling better about herself than she had in a long long time. Matt at some point had taken her hand and was caressing it and her arm lightly.
Finally Matt could take it no more. “Mary, you have got to be the smartest, cutest, sexiest woman I've ever met. I feel so lucky just meeting you. Would you consider going out on a date with me?”
Mary chortled and decided to press her luck. “So you got a thing for fat chicks or what?”
“Fat” Matt looked at her astonished, his eyes drinking in her form. “Hardly. Voluptuous, yes, I mean a guy can't ignore cleavage like that, but FAT, no way”.
Mary pulled her blazer away from her frame “C'mon, you can't tell me you haven't noticed this gross expanse of belly?”
Matt gave her a quizzical look. “Hey I've got no problem. Not that I'm into fat like you suggest; but hey, you're not fat anyway. You've got one hell of a body lady. Curves in all the right places, if you know what I mean . . .Sorry for being blunt but you asked me so – I still think you're about as sexy as they come”.
“OK, OK, point made”. Mary couldn't believe the reaction she was getting. Either this guy seriously needed glasses of he was so short-circuited by the scent she was producing that his hormones were controlling his judgement. 'This could get interesting' she chortled to herself.
She allowed Matt to take her back to her apartment where, using proper precautions, she received a wonderful round of sex. Despite some initial misgivings as she allowed Matt to disrobe her and see her in all her flabby cellulite ridden glory, her fears were vanquished by his hungry gaze. His fingers caressing all her folds and rolls; Matt really was turned on by her, and did all he could to impress his manliness upon her. Mary, for her part was quite satisfied, and not only because it had been years since she had had her bell rung. 'Thank you serum 67' she whispered as she fell towards sleep, resting comfortably in Matt's arms.
When Mary's alarm went off the next morning Matt showered her with kisses and then asked if she had time for a little loving. She'd make the time, so after a frolicking romp followed by a morning shower together, she was thoroughly sated and as happy as she'd been in recent memory. They parted company, promising to get together again on Saturday for dinner and a movie.
Mary spent the rest of Friday starting a private journal of her experience with serum 67, and daydreaming over what this startling discovery really meant. She started to formulate a plan, but she'd have to do a bit more research before she could commit to it fully.
When Saturday night rolled around Mary prepared by curling her hair to put some body into it. She tastefully applied makeup and wore her raciest outfit; a low cut sheer blouse and darted a-line skirt, belted with a wide interwoven belt. She hadn't partaken of any additional serum since Thursday, which was an intentional, calculated move on her part.
First, she wanted to see how long the effects of the serum lasted; and secondly, she was curious to see what happened when the serum lost its effects. She wondered if Matt would still be enamored of her, or would have suddenly come to his senses (now that they weren't being sabotaged by her scent) and wonder just how in God's name he was ever attracted to her in the first place.
She didn't have long to wait for her answers.
When Matt arrived to pick her up it was immediately apparent that the serum had worn off. She even gave him a big hug, hoping that their proximity would give him a good whiff of her. Nope, no effect at all, and it was also obvious to her that her worst case scenario was coming true. She could tell that he was gazing at, not her abundant cleavage, but the fleshy innertube around her middle, all too visible through her sheer blouse.
Matt, for his part, was too much of a gentleman to just cut and run, but after dinner and a smattering of small talk he complained of a headache and said he'd call her some indeterminate time later. Mary considered taking the serum and making him jump hoops again, but figured there were bigger fish to fry. Over the next several weeks Mary tried to re-apply herself to her aids research, but found that her heart just was no longer in it. She was overwhelmed about the endless possibilities that serum 67 could produce. She could sell the discovery to the highest bidder and make a small fortune, but she wondered about the effects of such a drug on the open market. If it were readily available to everyone then what good would it do; for it would be back to square one, with all the guys horny all the time for all the girls. She worried about an increase of rape and God knows what else. She considered if she was to sell to a more select clientele, but then it would only be available to the rich. No, that definitely wasn't the way to go. But then she hit on a plan that would perhaps maximize her profit while minimizing the risk.
She had been increasing her workouts during this period, and while losing a pound or two, she felt firmer and in much better shape. Good, she was going to need it, she decided.
She made another couple of trial runs, walking into different bars after enbibing the serum, and the result was always the same: the guys were falling all over themselves trying to get her attention. Six, seven bars in one evening and she was a hit in all of them, even in a gay bar, which she thought was curious. All the attention was increasing her courage and also giving her a much better sense of self worth, even though she knew in her heart that it wasn't really her, just the scent that the serum was allowing her to produce. That was the heart of the issue, wasn't it? That all her newfound admiration was false. But, as previously noted Mary was a realist and understood that, in most things, you could not change human nature. Still, a girl had to try. She took a hiatus from her research and moved to New York City where, if one looked closely enough, you'd begin to see her face in the at large page of fashion magazines. It appeared so innocent at first: 'hot designer so and so with friend' in Harper's. Then 'Broadway star so and so with friend Mary Reilly' in Vogue.
As the months passed Mary started to become a celebrity in her own right: 'Mary Reilly, in a gold Dior gown toasts the opera opening with Sandra Bullock and Donna Karan'.
If one were keeping track from her first magazine picture you would have noticed that Mary was putting on more weight. The pictures chronicled her assent past 200, then 225, and hitting 250. Still, thanks to the serum, Mary was able to get whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Various suitors were taking care of her bills, and her meals were fit for a queen. Mary took it all in stride, loving being able to taste all the fabulous cuisine New York had to offer without any of the accompanying guilt. It was all so delicious and her plan was going right on schedule.
She was soon able to manipulate her way into meeting a certain Mr Hyde, who owned one of the countries' largest media empires. He was, of course, smitten by her, and proposed, without any prenuptial, in record time. Now Mary was in a position to put her plan into full gear. She was soon seen on the cover of every important fashion magazine in the country. Interviews in New Yorker, Cosmo, People, all selling her story of inner strength. How sexiness was a state of mind and how all girls had the ability inside them if they would just unlock the key and let it out.
She lectured all over the country, filling the auditoriums with her scent, so that the audience would buy into whatever she said. She already had the groundwork in place, anticipating the rush she was creating. She had wrapped all the fashion designers around her ample finger, and the new fall fashions premiered by all the high and mighty were all designed for plus sized models. Soon, they were all experimenting with bare midriffs and tight dresses that accentuated the corpulent belly. The flabby midriff soon made the cover of Vogue, and from there became all the rage.
Mary, herself swelling to an even 300 pounds, became the guru of the new ideal. She opened a series of gyms and beauty palaces, helping women everywhere to gain weight healthily. Anorexia and bulimia became a thing of the past. Women were no longer starving themselves and denying themselves the basic pleasure of consuming. Restaurants were doing landmark business, and pastry shops were all the rage.
Women were healthy and happy: and fat. Three years after the first wide hipped, fat butted beauty graced the cover of Bazaar, the average weight of the American woman had gone up 65 pounds.
And men? Men loved it. They had secretly always enjoyed a zaftig figure and now they were everywhere. Take a walk down any street in America and you'd see rampant cleavage, wide, sturdy hips, humongus backsides, and round protruding bellies.
Mission accomplished, and with more money than she could ever hope to spend, Mary retired from the limelight and went back to working with her enzymes. The cure for aids was there somewhere. Maybe, just maybe she'd be able to change the world twice. The end