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Old 03-18-2015, 08:38 AM   #151
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Is there any chance for an Epilogue concerning their normal
lifestyle afterwards? It's apparent that Raleigh is still Fat for a reason just as Scarlett is Not. If you're
completely through then thanks for a wonderful story.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:09 AM   #152
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Chapter 45


It had been one of the harshest winters the state had seen in a long time, but it was followed by one of the most pleasant summers in memory.

After a few false starts, spring had arrived abruptly. Few, if any, seemed to notice that one lake in the suburbs had broken and thawed before all the rest. A handful of calls to the police about “gulping sounds” near the park were dismissed as a prank. Evidence of a large wave that had carried past the usual shorelines confused a couple of naturalists, but it didn’t seem to have done any lasting damage. Moreover, the plump young woman who lived in the only house that deep into the park claimed to have seen and heard nothing.

It was a warm and rainy spring that packed the local food co-op with lush produce. The subsequent hot and sunny summer packed the lakes with kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, fishermen, jetskis, wakeboarders, sailboats, and swimsuits stretched out a little by winter weight that the locals had found unusually difficult to lose that year.

Every evening felt like vacation time. The sun set later and later each night as children’s laughter and the lapping of waves on shorelines echoed across the calm waters. Loons called in the distance.

Overlooking one of the more populated lakes, a little south of the cities, stood an old manor-style home. It was set back into the hill, with a stone staircase winding from the back porch down to the boatlifts at the shore. The waters of a small inlet reflected the warm glow of its bay windows.

Adam frowned out of one of the windows and tapped his chin. He turned back to face the lavishly decorated living room and took a deep breath.

“That’s a fascinating tale, Mrs. Gunderson,” he said, scratching his scraggly beard. “Now, I don’t want to be alarmist, but the phenomena you’ve described are generally consistent with a paranormal event.”

Mrs. Gunderson swallowed. She was sitting upright in a plush, fashionable chair, drumming her fingers on the armrests. She was a thin, overly athletic middle-aged woman, clearly used to feeling in control of her home.

Behind her, Scarlett and Ruby were scanning the walls with Adam’s makeshift detection equipment. Next to the tall, obese Ruby, Scarlett looked absolutely frail. She had retained her usual slenderness once Soren’s added weight left her, but the advent of some cellulite could be seen below her short skirt when she reached up to scan the mantelpiece.

In a chair to Mrs. Gunderson’s left, Rory sat with his eyes closed, frowning. To her right, Raleigh listened politely. Raleigh had stopped gaining at her supernatural rate since the fateful event, but there was no doubt she’d slowly grown a little heavier in the intervening months. Her bulk filled the chair and her hands lay folded across her generous belly. Her thighs, where much of the recent weight had accumulated, squeezed up against the armrests.

“So do you think my husband is possessed?” asked the homeowner.

“It’s certainly possible,” Adam replied. “But it’s just one possibility…psycho-habitation is a diverse phenomenon and can take many forms. There’s possession, there’s channeling, there’s outright identity replacement…” He waved his arms. “For example, two of our, uh, agents here have both found themselves hosting entities and experiencing the effects of those entities’ presences.”

Mrs. Gunderson followed his gesture to Scarlett, who rolled her eyes, and then to Raleigh, whom she’d been trying to ignore.

“When Scarlett here was expunged of her invading spirit, the effects of its presence, thankfully, dissipated. Raleigh, however, had more of a mutual relationship with her spirit. Thus, even after it departed her, she has retained that spirit’s, um…”

“Gifts,” Raleigh finished.

“I see,” Mrs. Gunderson murmured.

Adam wandered the room. “Point being: we’ll need to learn more about the entity and its interactions with your husband before we can define the precise nature of the phenomenon.” He straightened his hat. “Now, you said he’s never cooked like this before?”

“He’s never cooked before, period,” she stated, arms out. “He…comes from money, like myself. We’ve always…hired out our homemaking.”

“Interesting. But now he cooks every night.”

“Yes. Huge, fancy meals. Dishes I’ve never heard of, even at the finest restaurants.” She pursed her lips. “And I’ve been to the finest restaurants.”

Adam smirked. “I don’t doubt it, ma’am. Rory, have you made any contact?”

“I believe so,” said Rory, his eyes fluttering open. “It’s a male spirit…I keep running into the phrase ‘lonely chef’ or something like that.”

“Interesting,” Raleigh purred.

He smiled at her. “I’ll keep listening. See if he’ll tell us what he wants.”

“Good deal. Be careful.” Adam folded his arms. “Ladies?”

Scarlett compared her notes to Ruby’s. “Well, we’ve just done a cursory sweep of the main floor here, but from what I can tell there’s a huge surge of ectenic energy emanating from…” She squinted at Ruby’s notepad. “The refrigerator.”

Mrs. Gunderson craned her neck. “The refrigerator is haunted?”

“Interesting,” Raleigh purred again, licking her lips.

“Haunted fridge,” Adam echoed. “Mrs. Gunderson, you called the right team. We shall happily take your case. We have quite a bit of experience with gastronomic ghosts and food-focused phantoms…I think this is certainly something we can help with.” He watched Raleigh extract herself from the chair, the red gemstone in her necklace gleaming. “Now, if you’ll lead us to the offending appliance…”
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:14 AM   #153
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Thank you to everyone for reading and for your kind feedback! I've had a great time with this one and hope to be back with more stories in the future.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #154
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AMAZING!!!! Can't wait for your next creation!!
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:31 AM   #155
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Thank you for this wonderful story!
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:17 PM   #156
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Thank you for this great story.
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:46 PM   #157
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Wonderful tale!
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:43 AM   #158
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This was fantastic! A great story that included weight gain, but anyone who wasn't weirded out by the weight-gain could enjoy the story I'd think

Thank you so much for it, and I too look forward to what you do next!
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