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Old 07-07-2016, 04:22 PM   #51
DaveTheBrave
 
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Amazing writing!

Is it bad that I'm also wondering what the aftermath will be like? How would these women readjust to life at these sizes once (if) this is all get sorted out?
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:35 PM   #52
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Chapter 26

Roxie gathered up her discarded clothes and piled them atop her hat. The whole bundle tucked under her arm, she tossed the hair from her eyes and strode to the exit door.

She glanced back at the sanctuary door. It remained shut. The sanctuary seemed much quieter, now, with only the faint chords of Jethro Tull's ‘Locomotive Breath’ drifting through the walls. Ms. Nott lay unmoving on the floor nearby.

"In the shuffling madness..." the song opened.

Taking a deep breath, Roxie reared up and gave the door a kick. It failed to budge, however, and she toppled back onto her plump backside.

The warmth of the tea was receding rapidly and the sensation of invincible strength had begun to fade. “I guess the packet really was a one-time use,” she grunted, clambering awkwardly back to her feet.

The door was locked and Ms. Nott had no keys on her. Roxie sucked in a long breath and glared at the window.

It was growing dark enough outside to show her a transparent reflection and she beheld herself standing slouched in nothing but a thin tank top. Her belly hung down over her lap and her breasts sagged under the tank.

She knelt down, set her clothing bundle aside, and sized up Ms. Nott. The woman’s skirt had split fifty pounds ago, but she was wearing a pair of black spandex undershorts. They were holding on for dear life around over fifty inches of hips.

Roxie glanced to make sure she was still out cold, then peeled the shorts off. Ms. Nott’s rump snapped back and rippled free and Roxie tumbled back, shorts in hand. She held them up and as they shrank back to their original size she marveled at how far they’d been able to stretch.

Once she’d squeezed herself into them, she gathered up her things once more and turned to the window. She swallowed, hesitated, and pried it open. Sucking in as much as her girth would allow, she poked her head and hands through.

The rain had lessened, but a steady drizzle still fell and Roxie could hear the sound of running water from all directions. Her shoulders fit through the windowframe and she reached out to brace herself. Her breasts slid over the sill without much difficulty, but there her ease ceased as her midsection filled the frame from edge to edge.

She cursed and tried to suck in more. Twisting around, she pushed in on one side of her gut and tried to wrangle a separate handful of flesh through. After a few minutes of shimmying and sloshing herself around, she managed to pour enough of her mass from the inside to the outside and she flopped forward with an audible pop.

She splashed unceremoniously into a foot of water. The flood was rushing through the parking lot, swirling around the streetlights and gurgling along a guardrail.

Roxie picked herself up and shook out her hair. Her soaked tank top clung to what little skin it still covered. She reached back through the window, snatched up her bundle of clothing, and waded across the parking lot to her car.

It was slow going. Her legs were already unaccustomed to carrying all her new weight and now had to navigate a torrent of knee-deep water. She made it, however, and collapsed into the passenger seat with a huff.

Sliding the seat back to accommodate her bulk, she set her bundle down and checked the radio—still no service for any of her devices.

“Yeah, it’s probably way too late to do this one by the book,” she sighed, twisting around.

She experimented briefly with her uniform shirt, but quickly abandoned it. Her arms had grown too thick for the sleeves and there was clearly no hope of it reaching around her midriff. She found her badge and clipped it to the strap of her tank top.

She’d recovered her belt with the uniform, but could only drape it uselessly across her paunch. She experimented with fastening it around her ribcage and one of her thighs before simply slinging it across her chest like a bandolier. Her pistol and taser nestled in atop her lovehandle.

The last of the sun, already barely visible through the cloudcover, disappeared behind the hill. Roxie reached over and pulled the shotgun from its rack.

The squadcar creaked and lurched as she stepped out. Standing in the torrent of water, Roxie shoved her hat back onto her head, slid a pair of aviator sunglasses onto her face, and rested the shotgun against her shoulder.

She drew her face into a grimace of unwavering purpose. Her chest heaved. Her stomach grumbled. She set off on her long slog back toward the church.

Hesper stood on the other side of the building, glaring at the front doors.

She reached down and tried to wrap the old plaid skirt around her waist, but couldn’t make the ends meet. No matter how she squeezed, one of her legs remained exposed. Surrendering, she tied it there with a strip of leather, leaving her left leg out and allowing the head of her snake tattoo to peek out from under her wobbling midsection.

Her tube top was hanging in there, though it served as little more than a bra. She’d managed to get her leather jacket on, but only by hacking off the sleeves. She felt like a bloated, overgrown mess, but she couldn’t stop thinking about all the power she now contained and licked her lips at the prospect of accessing it.

She slung her tote bag over her shoulder, sucked down the last dregs of an extra-large pop, and headed up toward the door.

Dag found himself alone in the kitchen. Their task apparently complete, the cooks had chained him to the wash basin, smacked him around a little more, and then headed upstairs.

He watched the door shut and waited a few moments. Confident they were gone, he contorted himself enough to reach his handcuffed hand into his back pocket.

His fingers found the other sugar packet. His mouth stretched into a mad, vengeful grin.

“The train, it won’t stop going,” the song upstairs wailed. “No way to slow down…”
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:14 PM   #53
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Chapter 27

Roxie checked the handcuffs she’d slapped on Ms. Nott. The woman was still heavily unconscious, but Roxie had cuffed her to a desk to be safe.

A mild commotion echoed from the sanctuary. Cradling her shotgun, Roxie tiptoed to the door and slowly unlatched it. She pushed it open, just slightly, and peered through the crack. Her girth squeezed uncomfortably against the doorframe. It was nothing compared, however, to how Laila’s girth had been squeezed into her wooden throne up on the dais.

She was more on the chair than in it and spilled out resplendently in all directions. Her apron belly hung nearly to the floor between her fattened calves. Her breasts slumped down beside it onto the throne’s armrests; her arms hung limply to the side behind them, too short and too flabby to achieve much else.

Her robe, torn at the seams, had been peeled from her shoulders and summarily discarded, leaving her a naked mass of jiggling flesh. The twins had cleaned off the crumbs and dribbles of a twelve-hour feast and painted upon her overflowing abdomen the coven’s signature orange heptagram.

The congregation stood circled around the burning brazier. Their circles were significantly wider now, though, as the women were each significantly wider themselves. None had experienced the exponential expansion their leader had, but none had added fewer than a hundred pounds to their frames.

Any who had been fit that morning were now flabby; any who had been overweight were now obese. Some had packed away more than others, but on the whole the congregation had nearly doubled its collective weight and now presented themselves proudly to their benefactor.

They came as apples and pears and melons: many with breasts too big for their bras, many with posteriors too ponderous for their panties, many with waists too wide to walk without waddling, and all with stomachs too stuffed to stand steadily. They shifted and swayed, bloated bellies jutting, hanging, and rolling happily from their midsections, anointed with orange paint.

A line of men—the cooks, Roxie surmised—knelt in a line at the back of the sanctuary, heads down. Roxie stared and searched, but Dag was not with them.

“Sisters,” announced Leila, bulk quaking with the effort of speech, “the last tendrils of daylight have faded from view. The sun has fallen and we seize now our opportunity to rise!”

The crowd ululated with glee. Roxie tightened her grip on the shotgun.

“We have invoked our matron; we have filled this day with fullness in her honor; we have accumulated arcane energies in amounts ere unknown on our earth. We peer now over the edge of our mortal world and reach into the depths of the nether.” She held up her pudgy arms. “Stewards of the breach, attend to our portal!”

The brazier coughed and its fire rose to a towering plume. Arcs of flame lashed out and seven blazing orbs floated out from the fire. They began to orbit the brazier, pulsing with an unearthly spectrum of color.

A voice boomed from within the flames, one voice containing many. “The stewards of the breach attend.”

Leila grinned hungrily. “I would commune with the nether, seeking the invoked, who has acknowledged with fire.”

The orbs swirled. “Forget not that thou art oft fallible, mortal,” the voice continued. “A singular lapse shall deny thee thy portal.”

“My rite is prepared.”

“We remind thee the taste of but one interruption shall be answered most swift with destruction; corruption.”

“I heed your warning, stewards. Sisters, I exhort you to heed them as well.” She glared down at her congregation, many of whom were trembling or glancing uncertainly back and forth. “We’re dealing with the boundary of two planes of existence. It’s very fragile and its integrity is fiercely defended. Once we start the rites, the tiniest slip-up could cost us everything. There’s an army of spirits ready to jump out and punish us for any error in protocol.”

They swallowed and took some shaky breaths, but nodded their understanding.

“Once we begin, we’re committed to the finish. If anyone has anything to say, say it now.”

Roxie grabbed the doorhandle and steeled herself.

“I have something to say,” said a husky voice.

Leila craned her head over her bulk to look. Roxie froze, eyes widening.

Hesper sashayed into the circle, bootheels clicking on the stone floor. Her plaid skirt could no longer reach around her waist and left her jiggling left leg exposed. She stopped in front of the brazier, just out of the reach of the orbs, silhouetted in the flames. Her bag hung from her shoulder and the bandana pinched the softness of her neck as she grimaced up at Leila. A cheap plastic ring sparkled on her finger.

Roxie stepped back from the door, gasping. An uncontrollable smile broke over her face at the sight of Hesper and she mouthed her name in relief.

The twins started down from the dais. Hesper reached a hand into her bag, holding up her other hand in parley.

“Leila, I reckon that a gal as big as you’ve gotten can do a lot with corporeal quintessence,” she offered hurriedly. “Probably put me down without much effort. But I also reckon y’all would prefer not to have to use any of that energy. You’ve been storing it up for something more important. So just hear me out for a minute. Don’t like my offer; I’ll go away.”

“Go away; I have no interest in your offers.”

“You might gain a great deal.” She cleared her throat. "Er, a great deal more."

Leila eyed her. “What deal could we possibly make? I see you’ve been enjoying the local cuisine, or what’s left of it. If you think I’m sharing the secrets of corporeal quintessence with the likes of you, you’re dead wrong.”

Hesper chuckled and patted her belly roll. “You’ve got me all wrong, Leila. This gut here is a gift…a gift for you. I spent all day…urrp…making it for you.”

“You’re offering to join the sisterhood.”

“Better.” She nodded to the empty chair next to Leila’s. “If I have my detective work right, y’all are planning to channel your new demon-friend into a mortal vessel. Y’all want to contain her and command her power. I got that about right?” She grinned. “I thought so. And you’ve got the deputy back there as your vessel.”

Leila shifted in her throne. Her body rippled.

Hesper swallowed. “Roxie’s my friend. And she doesn’t deserve this. Let me take her place.”

Roxie flushed. “No,” she murmured.

“Let the cop and our trucker friend go free. I’ll willingly submit to the rites.” She dropped her bag to the floor and stepped toward the pulpit, hands raised. Her plastic ring gleamed in the firelight. “You need a righteous vessel, yeah? I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve got a good enough heart that I couldn’t give in to death without at least coming up here and making the offer.”

“That sure is sweet,” Leila yawned. “Not sure what I stand to gain, though.”

Hesper cocked her eyebrow. “You gain any more and you won’t be able to stand. Look at it this way: I’m a practitioner. Magic’s been flowing through me since I was born. Y’all use me as a vessel…imagine how much more I could magnify the power being channeled compared to a…vanilla body unconnected to magic.”

She walked across the dais and dipped her finger in the cistern of paint. Puffing out her belly and tugging down on the skirt, she traced an orange circle around her deep navel.

“I’ll add my stored energy to the pool. You get that boost and you get a more efficient vessel for better channeling. You get it from a willing participant instead of a resistant prisoner. You get a prodigy who's been manipulating arcana since childhood.” Hesper set herself in the empty chair, stomach creasing. “You get all that. I get the satisfaction of having done at least one good thing for someone else before I die. That’s all I’m asking.”

Leila stared at her for a moment, then turned to one of the twins.

“Tommy, go tell Ms. Nott to come out and prep our new vessel.” She turned back to Hesper. “And release the deputy. She and the truck driver are free to go.”

He nodded and headed to the office door. His brother looked down at Hesper’s hand, suddenly missing its ring.

“I’m not going anywhere,” shouted Roxie. She shoved the door the rest of the way open, pointing her shotgun at the twin’s face. Her badge gleamed in the firelight and her stomach heaved with each adrenaline-fueled breath.

Hesper shot up from the chair. “Roxie? No, you’ve got to get out of here!”

The deputy shook her head. “I’ve got a community to protect. If that means protecting it from demons and the crazy bitches trying to summon them, then I’m right where I need to be. Hands up, all of you.”

The twin stared her down. She cocked the gun.

“Roxie,” Hesper begged, “just run. Find Dag and run. I’ve made my choice.”

A splashing sound interrupted them.

Leila craned her neck. “Tommy?”

Everyone turned to look. The other twin was standing next to the cistern, holding up the plastic ring he’d fished from within.

“Damnation,” hissed Hesper.

Leila rounded on her. “Trying to steal my secret after all?” She clicked her tongue. “Sorry, officer, but it looks like your ‘friend’ didn’t come to sacrifice herself for you…this is just a ruse to buy time. Let me guess, Hesper: you thought if you could copy my quintessence conduit, your little starter-belly there might give you just enough power to delay my rites and foil my plans. I got that about right?” She grinned. “Thought so.”

Hesper glared, gritting her teeth. The orbs pulsated impatiently around the brazier.

Leila straightened. Her belly poured over the side of the chair as she turned. One of her breasts flopped off the armrest and swung free.

“I’d say you ‘reckoned’ wrong, Hesper. Your meager store of power would achieve nothing. And you’ve run out of time for schemes.”

She began to rise from her throne. She rose not to her feet, however, but into the air, the heptagram on her massive belly glowing.

The congregation lifted their hands. The circles painted on their stomachs began to glow with hers. Their heads tilted back and they commenced a droning incantation. Leila’s fat began to float and lose its heaviness, as though gravity had released her from its bonds.

The seven orbs rose from their orbit around the brazier. They drifted up toward the vaulted ceiling of the sanctuary, where they began to spin around one another in a frenzy.

“No,” said Hesper, stepping back. “Oh, no.”

“I have begun the rite,” Leila declared, shutting her eyes. “If either of you plan on surviving, someone needs to get in that chair.”

Roxie aimed the shotgun up at her. “Not happening. Get down.”

“Leila, listen to me—” Hesper pleaded.

“Get in the fucking chair,” she growled, tilting her head back. “I’m out of patience and you’re out of time. Either receive my blessing or be destroyed.”

“Screw this,” Roxie hissed, storming down from the dais. “How about I just mess up your circle again?”

Hesper blanched. “Roxie, no!”

Leila’s eyes shot open. “Get your lapdog in line before she kills everyone, Hesper.”

“Roxie,” Hesper panted, grabbing her arm. “This isn’t like earlier. The breach is open. If we…look, the only thing worse than Leila succeeding would be to disrupt the breach mid-channel.”

“What?”

Hesper frowned. She gestured to the orbs spinning overhead. “The stewards weren’t kidding about the fragility of the breach. Once the channel opens, it has to be maintained and closed correctly. Otherwise, interruption means the breach cracks and chaos can flow freely. An army of corruption fiends will come pouring out and unleash all kinds of hell.”

They stared up at the orbs. A heptagram had formed between them from tendrils of flaming light. The center of the star swirled and the air within seemed to open, showing the black void of the realm beyond.

Hesper pointed at Leila. “We have to get her to shut it. It’s the only safe option.”

The massive floating woman resumed chanting, her voice ringing off the stones. The congregation stood with their hands aloft, oblivious to the intruders.

“Well, I hope you have a plan,” Roxie murmured. “I doubt she’s gonna just give up.”

The twins began to stride down toward them.

Hesper swallowed. “Most of one. But I’ll need a little diversion—”
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:44 AM   #54
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Chapter 28

An engine roared outside. The east wall of the sanctuary exploded inward, sending debris flying and the congregation scrambling as Dag’s semi plowed its way into the church. It skidded, twisted, and came to a halt, its cab crumpled and smoking.

Floodwater gushed in through the ruptured wall. The brazier, overturned in the crash, was quickly submerged and its flames extinguished. Leila’s eyes flashed open and she fell out of the air. Her weight cracked the platform of the dais and she found herself in a crater of broken floorboards.

Dag emerged from what remained of the truck’s cab, outfitted in a bike helmet and brandishing his sledgehammer. His bearded face beamed with a triumphant grin.

“Crashed the hell out of this party!” He cheered. “Roxie, Hesper! Come on, let’s get…what’s wrong?”

Everyone was staring in horror at the ceiling. The orbs had stopped moving. The black void at the center of the heptagram remained open, but it began to flicker and lightning was crackling about it.

“That was not the diversion I had in mind,” sighed Hesper.

Roxie shuddered. “Interrupting the circle was the worst possible outcome, huh?”

“Yep.”

The seven orbs flared and flattened into fiery discs. The nearest one fluttered and a tongue of fire dropped down from it.

As the flame hit the water, it flashed and grew, stretching into a tall, glowing shape: a hulking, almost humanoid shape. The glow faded and suddenly a huge, orcish monster stood in the center of the room, snorting and glaring around. Oversized tusks bent up from its slobbering mouth and spikes ran down its back in varying lengths.

The other orbs sputtered and began to rain tongues of fire.

“Run!” screamed Hesper, gesturing to the congregation. “All y’all, get out of here!”

The sisterhood, shrieking and splashing, scrambled toward the doors. Fat as they’d grown, they couldn’t move with much speed or grace, but they fought past each other with reckless desperation.

As the flames slowly formed themselves into more monsters, the first fiend turned and stomped toward those on the dais. It roared and reared back with a clawed hand.

Its chest exploded with an ear-shattering blast. The monster toppled back into the flooded sanctuary. Roxie pumped her shotgun and let out a trembling breath.

“Oh hell,” she panted, watching the other monsters take shape. “Oh hell.”

“Pretty much,” sighed Hesper.

“What do we do?”

Hesper turned to Leila. “We fight. And you…you’re six hundred some pounds of quintessence. Time to put that stored up energy to some use if y’all want to survive this.”

“You idiots can pay the price for your interruption,” Leila screamed, trying to crawl up from the broken floor. One of the twins rushed over to help her. “I will see my dream to its fulfillment!”

The second twin seized Roxie’s gun by the barrel. Hesper lunged at him, but his other hand caught her by the throat.

“Kill them,” Leila howled.

Dag burst onto the dais, hammer flashing, and knocked the twin to the floor. Roxie stumbled back and found her balance in time to shoot the next fiend as it charged up the steps, her flab rippling with the gun’s recoil. Hesper toppled back onto her plush behind, catching herself on the empty throne.

Leila was on her feet, leaning on the remaining twin. Her hand was glowing.

Dag hurled the tote bag into Hesper’s lap. “Found this on the floor,” he grunted, picking up his hammer.

“You’re a saint,” she gasped, rifling through it.

Lightning flashed from Leila’s hand. It streaked across the dais in a sweeping arc but was suddenly caught up and absorbed by a coat hanger—Hesper had pulled it from her bag at the last second. The lightning dissipated and the coat hanger disintegrated in her hands.

“That was lucky,” she breathed.

A brutish fiend lurched onto the dais. Dag shoved it back with a kick.

“Got a plan?” he asked, helping her up.

“I had one,” she shouted. “But it, uh, went a little pear-shaped.” She looked out at the sanctuary, where there were now more than two dozen fiends taking shape and lurching toward them.

Roxie blasted one of the fiends and glanced at Leila, who was readying another spell. “How about a new plan?”

Hesper grimaced. “Well, hm…here: y’all hold off the uglies for a minute. I’ll deal with the lunatic.”

She dug a hand into her bag and rounded on Leila. The massive woman lifted her hand with a snarl, setting her bulk a-jiggle. The twin at her side was clearly struggling under her weight, but unsheathed a long knife and stared Hesper down.

Hesper plucked a cocktail umbrella from her bag, opening it toward her foes. With a hateful cry, Leila unleashed a ray of yellowish energy at her.

The beam struck an invisible force field in the air around the umbrella and dispersed. Leila pulled back her hand in a huff; the umbrella burst into flame and Hesper tossed it aside.

Before Leila could ready another spell, Hesper lunged forward and tackled the twin out from under her arm.

He was over a foot taller than Hesper and covered with muscle, but she had nearly a hundred pounds on him and her low center of mass bowled him over. They hit the floor together and rolled down the steps, splashing into the floodwaters.

Without her support, Leila staggered and fell back. She caught herself on the wall and struggled to stay upright, her pendulous breasts and belly pulling her off balance with every heaving swing.

Hesper drew a stapler from her bag and slammed it down on the twin’s forearm. No staple pierced him, but as he writhed around he discovered that the arm was pinned to the floor. While he strained against it, she pinned down his other arm and one of his legs. After the third staple, the stapler fell apart in her hands and she tossed it into the water.

A giant paw seized her by the hair and lifted her off her feet. One of the fiends had caught her, a hideous hunchback with three eyes and a pair of tiny, useless bat wings. It roared at her as she kicked uselessly at the air.

Dag’s sledgehammer caught it upside the head. It dropped Hesper and whirled around to face him. Roxie blew a hole in its chest and reloaded. She looked ridiculous in her hat, sunglasses, and underwear, but she and the burly trucker were keeping the brutes at bay for now.

“Whatever you’re gonna do, Hesper, do it quick!” shouted the deputy. Dag cracked another fiend with his hammer.

Hesper threw her bag aside and dropped to her knees. “I’m working on it.”

She pulled her cheap plastic ring from the twin’s pinned hand. Dipping it in the rush of water, she washed most of the paint from its fake gemstone and pressed it onto her finger.

“Okay, buddy,” she muttered, “if you’re ever actually going to work, now would be the time.”

She turned and looked up at Leila, who had finally managed to stand free of the wall. Hesper tugged on her bandana and held up her hand. It began to glow.

Roxie blasted another fiend. Out of shells, she cracked the next one’s face with the butt of the shotgun and reached for her pistol. Dag smashed his hammer into a monster’s stomach; it howled in pain but stood its ground and swiped a clawed hand at him.

Hesper took a deep breath and stood. “Dag, Roxie…try to keep those things here in the church. Can’t let this get out into the world.”

Leila’s eyes widened at Hesper’s glowing hand. “Your trinket worked, after all,” she sneered. “A replication spell…an artifact with a facsimile of my artifact’s power. Very clever.”

“I thought so,” Hesper replied, circling up to the dais.

“Congratulations, I suppose. You have your own second-hand corporeal quintessence conduit. You can use all the arcane energy you stuffed into your little tummy. But it won’t be enough.”

Hesper spread her fingers. “It’ll be plenty.”

Leila shook her head. Her chin wobbled and her whole body quaked. Her enormous breasts heaved with a pitying sigh. “Hesper, look at me. I’m more than twice as fat as you are. That makes me more than twice as powerful. Don’t you get how this works?”

“I do,” Hesper said coolly. “But you clearly don’t understand how my ‘trinket’ works. The ring didn’t copy your artifact’s essence…” Her hand flashed and little arcs of lightning began to jump between her fingertips. “…it stole it.”

Light flared from her hand. Orange energy rushed out, heaved Leila off her feet, and crushed her against the wall.

Lashes of fire and lightning shot forward and surrounded Leila, lifting her into the air and hauling her hands behind her back. Her torso arched forward, pushing her chest and belly out even further. The heptagram on her stomach lost its glow.

Hesper grunted with effort. “Means the access is mine now. And you’re weighed down by six hundred pounds of quintessence you can’t wield.” She dove her other hand into the cistern. “I was never any good at learning spells for myself. But I’ve always had a talent for putting other people’s work to good use.”

She pulled a large gemstone out of the cistern. Despite having been submerged in paint, it was uncovered—but bright orange in color on its own.

Leila wailed and writhed, but the magic bonds tightened. Hesper looked up and they began to rise together into the air, lifted by a platform of swirling fire.

The sanctuary was all but filled with fiends, crawling over each other and fighting for space. They clawed at the walls and shattered the windows, eager to get out and bring ruin. Energies of all colors snaked out from the portal and across the ceiling as the orbs danced in a spark-spitting frenzy. The whole building rumbled; debris crumbled from the broken stones and décor fell from the walls.

Hesper’s platform floated her and Leila to the ceiling and the swirling orbs. Straining to keep both spells in place, Hesper gazed up into the opening at the center of the star. The void gazed back.

“Ilta!” she called, voice growing hoarse. “Ilta, I know you can hear me…these portal rites began with your invocation…Ilta, your servant seeks your aid.”

A pair of glowing orange eyes blinked open in the void. Ilta’s sultry voice filtered out. “You succeeded in preventing the rites, darling Hesper. Our goal is achieved and thus our contract is concluded. I owe you no further aid.” A flash of teeth grinned somewhere in the darkness. “Though I must remind you that you owe me that artifact in your hand.”

Hesper narrowed her eyes. “We’re looking at a full breach collapse. That’ll affect more than just the mortal world, Ilta…you know that. And if y’all didn’t want Leila’s trouble, I’m willing to bet y’all don’t want this trouble.”

The eyes studied her.

She held up the gemstone. “Y’all want your artifact back, I suggest you get off your unknowably fat backside and simmer these stewards down!”

“I prefer not to expend my hard-earned energy on the affairs of others, dear Hesper. I will consider your offer, but I suggest you…sweeten the deal, as it were.”

Exasperated, Hesper threw back her head. She glanced down at the sanctuary below; Dag and Roxie were surrounded by fiends and wouldn’t last much longer.

A hand seized Hesper by the bandana. Leila had wriggled free and hauled down on it with all her incredible weight.

Pawing at her throat, Hesper fell back onto the larger woman. The bandana twisted and slipped around her neck and she worked to keep it spread over her wound.

“I know what’s under there,” Leila growled, “and I will rip it open if it’s the last thing I do.”
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:28 AM   #55
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Chapter 29

The fiends swarmed over the truck, bashing at it and rocking it to and fro until with a metallic moan it teetered and fell over on its side. The resulting crash sent a wave through the flooded sanctuary that knocked Roxie off her feet. A cackling imp leapt onto the dome of her stomach and clawed off what remained of her tank top.

She sat up and swatted the fiend off. Climbing to her feet with a wincing grunt, she threw her shredded shirt away and glanced around, breasts banging against one another as she twisted back and forth.

The fiends had backed her into the corner, behind the overturned semi. Roxie waded cautiously backward until she felt the cold wall against her plush backside.

“Officer,” whimpered a voice, “help me. I’m sorry—help me, officer.”

Roxie turned. It was one of the sisterhood, cowering under the buffet table. She was one of the smaller cultists, but she still barely fit and as she sat clutching her knees her lovehandles spilled out to either side.

Across the sanctuary, Dag was wrestling with a pair of larger fiends. His face was bloodied and his flannel had been torn open, but the hammer was still in his hand. A handful of brutes left the main pack to help pick on him.

Roxie checked her pistol: it was empty. The shotgun lay broken on the pulpit and her taser seemed to have only mildly tickled the fiend it had hit. She fingered her nightstick and took a deep breath, then noticed that, just behind the approaching line of fiends, gas was spilling out from the truck.

“Sorry, Dag,” she murmured, reaching a hand along the table.

She seized one of the candelabras. Only a couple of the candles still burned. Roxie fiddled with them for a second, trying to pry them loose, but quickly gave up and with a muttered curse she hurled it at the truck.

The oil floating on the floodwater ignited immediately.

“Dag!” she screamed. “Get down!”

He struggled against the brutes, who had been trying to drown him. “What? And just let them—oh shit.”

The truck exploded, scattering the fiends and setting many alight.

Roxie hauled the cultist out from under the table. The woman clung to her immediately, squishing their exposed guts together, but Roxie shoved her off.

“Get out of here!” she shouted. “I don’t know how much time that’ll buy us!”

The woman scrambled toward the door. Roxie turned; it hadn’t bought them much time at all. The fuel fire blazed across the water and more new fiends were rising from its flames.

Dust and sparks rained down on the platform where Hesper and Leila fought. Hesper wheezed, engulfed by Leila’s girth and desperate to keep the bandana on her neck.

“Leila, enough!” Hesper choked. “It’s too late for your stupid plan.”

Leila wrapped her in her flabby arms. “You…will not…ruin…my dream…”

Hesper thrashed atop the woman’s gargantuan stomach. “The breach could destroy everything!” she begged. “There won’t be anything left for you to conquer! At least help me fix this!”

“I’ll be damned if I help you with anything!” Leila shrieked.

“Fine,” Hesper hissed. She reached a hand back and seized Leila’s face. The hand glowed, lashing out with tendrils of fire. Wailing, Leila released the bandana and clawed at her.

Hesper rolled off and lifted her hand. Sparks flashed under Leila and a wave of energy hurled her up and into the opening of the void.

“Go to hell,” she muttered, fixing the bandana.

Leila’s plump body didn’t quite fit through the opening and for a moment the portal was plugged by a massive paunch and a pair of colossal breasts. But Hesper thrust her other hand up and another wave of energy sucked Leila through with an audible pop.

Hesper glared into the portal. “Ilta, y’all don’t want to expend your energy, fine—use hers. A gift from me to you.” She jabbed a finger at the glowing eyes and held the ancient crystal at arm’s length. “Now un-fuck this breach before I shatter your precious artifact right here.”

The eyes drew nearer. Hesper could almost make out the silhouette of Ilta’s shadowy projection against the black of the void.

“Such initiative,” Ilta purred. “Such assertiveness. I knew I liked the way you taste. Mmm, I’m tempted.”

“Hesper!” cried Roxie’s voice from below.

Hesper swallowed. She blinked and the fiery platform flickered, but she caught herself. “Ilta, please.”

She held out the gemstone and threw it up into the portal. She could see it glowing for a moment in the void and the lightning around the breach surged with a new orange energy.

“I shall grant you this favor,” Ilta’s voice announced. “Your gift is welcome and our bargain is amended. I will heal the breach. Hmm…I haven’t had fiends in a while…not sure how best to season them…ah.”

The magic platform vanished and Hesper fell. She shot out a glowing hand and spun as she plummeted, but splashed down into the floodwater.

The portal widened. The seven orbs slowed their frenzied dance, then stopped and began spreading away from the breach.

Long snakes of fire reached out from the orbs, slithering down from the ceiling. Seeing them, the fiends stopped and stared, tittering with sudden confusion and fear. Dag shoved his brute off and waded over to Roxie. She nodded and they made their way to where Hesper had fallen.

The flaming tentacles whipped around the fiends and lifted them up. One by one, the panicking fiends were tossed, pushed, or hurled into the open portal. The ceiling blared with orange light, sweeping from wall to wall. More tentacles appeared and the fiends began to flee, but they were snatched up before they could reach the doors and windows.

When the last fiend had been swallowed up by the portal, the tentacles coiled back up into the orbs. The orange light and the multicolored lightning on the ceiling began to spin and swirl and disappeared into the portal like water into a drain. The orbs, after a few moments of resistance, were sucked up in turn.

A wind howled through the sanctuary, extinguishing the fires. The heptagram around the portal throbbed with light, then the chamber fell silent.

A belch rocked the building, its magnitude nearly as violent as the exploding truck. A pleased sigh drifted out of the portal, followed by Ilta’s sensuous voice.

“Still not very filling,” she lamented, “but a rare and commendable flavor. Your efforts are pitiful, mortals, but I welcome and acknowledge them. Farewell, darlings, and stay forever hungry.”

The portal closed and the heptagram faded to the sound of smacking lips.

Dag lifted Hesper from the water. She coughed and sputtered.

“I’m alright,” she gasped, as surprised as the others, “I’m alright. Did some…magic.”

The trio stood quiet for a moment, catching what breath they could. Part of the east wall collapsed behind them.

Dag shrugged off his vest and handed it to Roxie. She gratefully draped it over her naked chest and smiled; it was the only thing she’d worn in the past day that hadn’t been too small for her. Hesper shifted the waistband of her skirt and retied the knot in her bandana.

“Is that the bandana they gagged me with?” asked the deputy.

“You kept that?” scoffed Dag.

Hesper nodded. “It’s more of a bandage than a bandana at this point. But, yeah…I reckon have to keep it on.”

Roxie tipped her cap. “Hesper, I’m sorry I doubted you. This was…it…are all your cases this…interesting?”

“Uh, no,” she laughed. “And certainly not this fattening. Usually I track lost wedding rings or talk idiot teenagers out of cursing their classmates. Sometimes I get to hunt snipes. But this one…this one takes the cake.” She stared off into the distance. “Cake sounds pretty good right about now, actually.”

Dag smiled. Roxie nodded absently.

Hesper clapped her hands. “What happened to the other priestess? The librarian-looking one? Didn’t see her at the pulpit.”

“I left her in the office,” Roxie recalled. “Thanks for the insurance, by the way.”

“That how you got out? Glad it went to good use.” She waded off toward the office. “Pretty good flavor, right?”

Roxie watched Hesper’s backside wobble up the steps. “I see you’ve lost your fear of sugar.”

Hesper smirked. “Reckon I developed a taste for it.”

Ms. Nott blinked and stared around groggily. She was handcuffed to a desk, looking at a bloodstained truck-driver, a plump, half-naked county cop, and a fat-bottomed, tattooed witch in black leather.

“Is that my old school skirt?” she asked Hesper, cocking an eyebrow. “Wait…what’s happened out there?”

Hesper sucked her teeth. “Leila got to meet Ilta after all. Just…not on her terms.”

Ms. Nott bowed her head. “It’s over, then.”

“Yup,” said Roxie.

“You should know—all those women out there, they really had no idea. Leila was in their heads…they really believed they were at a church potluck. They probably feel like they’re waking up from the weirdest dream…”

“And probably wondering why they’re a hundred pounds heavier.” Hesper eyed her. “You’re not claiming the same thing? Would be a pretty convenient way out of trouble.”

She arched her eyebrows. “Can’t hide what I did. What I helped her do.”

“So you were her apprentice?”

“She promised to grant me some of her new power.”

“Sure she did.” Hesper grimaced. “I’ll have to report this to the Council. She tell y’all about the council?”

She nodded.

“Then you know what’s coming. But tell you what…you help us clean up some of this mess—and, more importantly, help us keep this shit quiet—I’ll make sure the Council hears about your cooperation.”

Ms. Nott took a deep breath, staring at Hesper’s neck. “I understand. Thank you. And I’m so sorry.”

Hesper paced around, tapping her chins. “No reason to do anyone more harm.”

“So what happens now?” asked Roxie. “Can we get out of here? Can I call in some response teams?”

“Good question,” said Hesper. She turned back to the prisoner. “You helped with the enchantments. What’s the half-life?”

Ms. Nott twisted her face, thinking. “The barrier spell will begin to fade with the next dawn. Storm will dissipate tomorrow at first light. Phones and radio should work again by, uh, noon. The adipimancy will linger…a little longer.”

“So we hang out here one more night,” Hesper concluded, looking at the others. “Maybe even get some real sleep—I reckon we’ve earned it. Then tomorrow, Roxie, you radio in and we’ll chalk this all up to the storm.”

Roxie looked out at the ruined sanctuary. “They gonna believe that?”

“Might take a few minor glamors…we’ll just have to get creative.”

“And the adipi…the fattening spell, or whatever it was? She said it’ll take longer?”

Hesper shrugged. “So folks’ll get a little more out of their breakfast for a few days. Nothing sinister there.”

Roxie narrowed her eyes. “And the fact that the town’s entire female population has doubled their weight in twenty-four hours?” She waved a hand at her midsection. “How am I supposed to go back to the station like this?”

“…so maybe some major glamors, too. Like I said, we’ll have to get creative.”

They looked at each other for a moment, eyes relieved but weary. Floodwater lapped at their feet.

“That hotel bed does sound pretty good right now,” Dag mused, yawning.

“So does that cake you mentioned,” added Roxie. Her stomach growled—it hadn’t been fed in over half an hour.

Hesper laughed at it. Her own gut whined in response. “Not sure if there’s anything left in this town to eat.”

“Roxie did just bake the rest of my pizzas,” said Dag, looking out at the flaming wreckage of his truck.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Roxie murmured. “How about a drink? Hesper, you got any of that bourbon left?” She pulled off her hat and sighed. “After all…this…I could use a stiff one.”

Hesper nodded, lips broadening into a smile. An image of the unopened bottles in her glove compartment jumped into her mind. “Yeah. Or three.”
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Old 07-30-2016, 05:20 AM   #56
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Chapter 30

The streets continued to run with torrents of water, like so many criss-crossing canals. The flood had slowly begun to recede, but many of the houses in the lower town were still islands. Streetlights flickered and above them a handful of stars peered down as the stormclouds finally began to move on.

A middle-aged couple sat on their porch-swing, watching the water drain from their front yard. The swing listed awkwardly to one side, for the wife now outweighed her husband by a good hundred and fifty pounds. Owning nothing that fit her newly enormous figure, she was wrapped in an old bathrobe.

The robe did nothing to conceal her overflowing midsection, however, which creased into two thick rolls atop her lap. She hefted her belly up and watched it flop heavily back down. She took a long, shaky breath and gave her husband an exasperated, anxious look.

But the man laid his hand on her paunch and returned the look with a reassuring gaze. He shrugged, mouthed something with a smile, and gave her a kiss.

She nodded and bit her lip as he sat back. He raised an eyebrow. She gave her belly a more playful slap and giggled as it bounced, then leaned in to ask him something.

The man’s eyes widened. His smile broadened and after a few moments or realization he shot up and hurried inside. As the kitchen window lit up behind her, the woman leaned back, hands folded over her gut, and licked her lips.

Thunder rolled overhead, muffled and more distant now.

Lilith looked down at Renaeville from her attic window and popped a French fry into her mouth. From the Nott’s hillside home she could see the old motel: a police cruiser and an old cargo van were the only cars in the parking lot and only one second-floor window was aglow.

She turned back from her window and lit a pair of candles. She set them on either side of a long mirror and bowed.

The candles were snuffed out and the attic was plunged into darkness. A pair of orange eyes glowed in the mirror, illuminating the silhouette of a voluptuous woman.

“I thank you for your assistance, Lilith,” purred Ilta, stepping out from the mirror. “You have without question earned your reward.”

Lilith remained in her bow. “You honor me, mistress. My role in your grand scheme was minor at best.”

“But not without significance, darling. Rise.”

Lilith straightened. Ilta sashayed around her, draping a hand over her shoulder.

“Thanks to your very timely and very discreet interventions,” the demon continued, “we were able to turn the machinations of our rival to our ultimate benefit. The artifact has been returned to my possession. The schemes of this mortal Leila have been thwarted and the uncommon quantities of quintessence she amassed were…delectable indeed. The breach is healed and the vanguard of corruption made for a satisfying dessert. Though with their numbers thinned, we may see more crossover between worlds in the coming years…” She walked to the window and peered down at the motel. “Most significantly, I have gained a most intriguing and promising new ally. And you know, darling, how I do adore gaining.”

“Hesper Ashling? I would hardly call her a promising ally, mistress.”

Ilta pouted at her. “You are not impressed with our adorable occult detective?”

“For a detective, she isn’t very perceptive. She was with me for hours and never seemed to suspect my true allegiance. She never bothered to check for any.”

“Yes, I recognize that she’s rather narrow in her focus. Hence the corner-cutting and the spell-thieving. But it’s why I have taken such interest in her: her appetite. It’s an appetite that drives her beyond constraints and it’s an appetite she seems not to have realized she has.”

“But she’s no devotee of yours. She’s a lapdog for the Council. An ally who isn’t loyal to you is hardly an ally, mistress.”

“On the contrary, dear Lilith, think how strongly she will work for me if she but believes she is working against me.”

Lilith smiled and shook her head. “I think you’re growing soft.”

“That would hardly be new territory for me, darling.” The demon glanced around the attic. A pile of fast food cartons and bags had been hastily shoved into the trash can. She sauntered over and patted Lilith’s stomach, which had begun to pooch a little. “Ah, I knew you’d give in. And so will Hesper—she’s tasted true power and she’ll want more.”

“But that’s just it!” Hesper tittered. She gesticulated wildly with her bottle, knocking a plate off the dresser. “Ilta got her artifact back, sure, but I still have the power. I kept it, hee hee. Sucked it all…sucked it all up into my little ring here.”

She held up her hand for the others to see. The cheap plastic ring glinted in the light of the hotel room. Its little toy gemstone had turned a faint orange.

“Finally, after ten freaking years…” She took a drunken step back and paused for a hiccup. “…I finally got that damn spell to work. Same stealing spell that gets me kicked out of the academy now saves the—hic!—saves the whole damn world!”

Hesper threw up her hands in triumph. She staggered and fell back against the wall, but managed to keep any bourbon from spilling.

“But thank makes you a…thief!” said Roxie, a little too loudly. She was lounging on the bed with the second bottle perched on her stomach, steadied by a pudgy hand. “What if I arr…arrest you for ssstealing?”

“I’ll just tell the chief how you were drunk on duty,” Hesper teased. Her belly lurched with another wet hiccup.

Roxie belched. “I’ve had like…one drink,” she slurred, lifting the bottle for a swig.

“One bottle,” said Dag, who’d had none. It wasn’t for lack of trying—the girls had simply proven too voracious.

He sat down on the bed next to Roxie with a plate of pizza and set an empty glass on the nightstand. Roxie snuggled up against him, ducking her head under his arm, and stole the plate off his lap. He shook his head as she chomped into a fresh slice.

Hesper staggered over to the bed. “Roxie, Dag, I just…hulp! I wanna say what great partners we were tonight…today…whatever.” She took a pull from the bottle.

“Hear, hear,” replied Dag. He grabbed his glass and tilted it at Roxie, glancing at her bottle.

She smiled, filled the glass, and drank it down herself. Dag sighed.

“No, seriously,” Hesper continued, crawling onto the bed and standing unsteadily over them, “y’all are the…greatest. Your good hearts…you—hic!—you make me, like, a better person.” She put a hand to her gut and belched. “I feel like I’m a bigger woman than I was when I got here, you know what I mean?”

They stared at her, then burst out laughing. “Trussst me, I know what you mean,” Roxie teased, shaking her own fat stomach.

Hesper swayed and fell sideways onto the bed. She slid back to lounge under Dag’s other arm and tossed her voluminous hair back. “I was being meta—hic!—metaphorical.”

“An’ I was being face…facie…faaaa…” Roxie frowned.

“Facetious?” offered Dag.

She nodded and swallowed the last of the pizza. “That. Yeah. Shit…I haven’t been this drunk since…pff. Fuck it. Maybe if I get drunk enough, I’ll forget alla crazy shit that just…happened today. Urrp.”

“Everything?” gasped Hesper, leering at her across Dag’s chest. “Y’all don’t wanna forget me, do you?”

Roxie held up a hand, trying to order her thoughts. “Nonono. Jusht the…scary stuff. Not you. You’re…you’re bootiful.”

Hesper beamed. “Thank you kindly. Now, if I remem—hic!—remember correctly, somebody promised me a kiss if we…if we survived today.”

Roxie set her bottle down. “Oh! I think somebody promised you that, yeah.” She giggled. “An’ I’m an occifer…offficer who always keeps…her word.”

She twisted around and stretched herself over Dag, her belly smothering his. Hesper leaned to meet her halfway, her skirt falling open over one side of her butt. Their lips met in a long kiss that grew more and more aggressive until Dag looked at the ceiling and cleared his throat.

Hesper pulled back, but not before tugging at Roxie’s bottom lip with one last bite.

“Wow,” breathed Roxie. Hesper raised her brow, but the seductive look was interrupted by another hiccup.

“Get a room,” Dag chuckled, reaching for Roxie’s bottle.

She snatched it from his hand. “We already got one,” she lilted, taking a swig, “an’ it looksss like you’re in here with us.”

Hesper craned her head up and kissed him on the cheek. He turned in surprise and she locked her lips with his, grabbing his hand and pressing it against her gut. She hiccupped mid-kiss and pulled away in a fit of giggles.

Roxie pulled his head around and went in for a deep, passionate kiss herself, venturing her hand between the buttons of his shirt. She rolled over and straddled his lap, her uncovered girth spilling everywhere. The vest he’d loaned her slid right off.

Hesper braced herself and stood up on the bed behind her. Swaying, she tilted her head back and drained what remained of the bottle. As she gulped, her free hand unfastened her jury-rigged skirt and flipped it away.

Dropping the empty bottle, she belched and knelt down to wrap her hands around Roxie’s plush midsection, kneading her lovehandles and cradling her belly. Dag reached out and grabbed a handful of Hesper’s wobbling derriere. Roxie leaned her head back against Hesper’s shoulder, losing herself in the conjuror’s endless, untamed strawberry curls.

Hesper nibbled on her ear. “So you never gave me an answer…you want your glamor to make everybody think you—hic!—you’ve always been this big, or should…should I read up on some rapid weight loss spells?”

Roxie rubbed her hands over her stomach. “You know, I…” she closed her eyes, drifting away into bliss. “I’m thinkin’ about keeping this. It…feels really good.” She stifled a belch. “How ‘bout you?”

“Me?” Hesper purred. “I’m still—hilp!—I’m still hungry.”

She dove forward, tackling the other two down onto the mattress. The bedframe creaked, groaned, and cracked. By morning it had been broken beyond repair.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:06 PM   #57
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Renaeville, IN—New details on flooding in the southern part of our state last weekend paint a frightening but inspiring picture.

Lavern County, along the Ohio River, received the brunt of the storm, with areas of Renaeville submerged under three to four feet of water as a local creek spilled over its banks.

Matters were made worse when the rushing floodwaters carried a parked semi-truck into the side of the Renaeville Chapel, endangering those who had taken shelter within the building. Local store clerk and community activist Leila Jones, 22, was reportedly washed away during the ensuing panic. She has been declared missing and is presumed deceased.

Many other lives were saved, however, by the efforts of Deputy Roxanne Page of the Lavern County Police. Deputy Page helped the congregation to safety and restored order until additional emergency services could arrive. As electrical interference from what is already being called “the storm of the century” had shut down all lines of communication, it wasn’t until the following afternoon that crews were able to reach the town.

“Roxie was a big hero down there,” said Police Chief Bailey. “She had a lot on her plate, dealing with a situation like that. But she’s always had an appetite for doing the right thing.”

When asked about her heroics, Deputy Page commented, “It felt at first like I’d bitten off more than I could chew…but I just followed my gut, you know?”

With the storm behind them, Renaeville residents have begun the long and bittersweet process of rebuilding. And Deputy Page has already been on hand to help.

“We can’t thank Roxie enough,” said one local. “First chance we get, the wife and I want to cook her a big dinner.” Overhearing our interview, his neighbor shouts, “Get in line!”

With so many thankful residents in her debt, it looks like Deputy Page can expect plenty of dinners in her future.




Council Emissary:

Miss Ashling,

We have received your report on the Renaeville case and wish to extend our gratitude and congratulations. Clearly you were able to diagnose the nature of the cult’s activities and address both the infractions and those responsible. It is our opinion that you have acted with honor and valor, representing the interests of this council and the laws of magic in a commendable manner. We salute you and, in light of your deeds, will be reviewing the transgressions which have heretofore blemished your record.

We acknowledge your request and hereby grant you leave to remain in the Ohio Valley Region until such time as you deem the cult and its influence satisfactorily expunged. We advise you to continue to liaise with your contact in local law enforcement. We will likewise keep you apprised of any future cases which may arise in the area.

We would ask, though, for some clarification in the matter of the ‘artifact’ your report mentioned. We find it surprising, improbable, and certainly concerning that its whereabouts should remain unknown. Please update us at your earliest convenience; we should be happy to commission a dousing crew.

We wish you luck with your investigations. With gratitude,

The Council of Magic
In session,
Regina, Saskatchewan





From: Amluth Frozen Foods fulfillment and logistics division
To: Dag Hemera
Subj: re: Incident report


WHAT




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Old 08-02-2016, 06:11 PM   #58
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Epilogue

Rain trickled down the windows of the all-night diner. Outside, a pair of headlights turned onto the old highway and swept away into the night. The diner’s lone customer craned her neck, squinting at the lights.

Turning back to her coffee mug, she shifted in her seat and tugged at her belt with a wincing grunt. Her gun holster was digging into the thick roll of flab around her midsection.

“Everything alright, deputy?” asked the old woman behind the counter.

“All good,” the young police officer replied, smiling. “Just breaking in the new uniform. Went up a size recently.”

“And up a rank soon, I hear. Congrats, hon. And I’d say you’d earned a little indulgence, so don’t fret your waistline.”

“It’s the last thing on my mind. And thanks.”

The server clucked approvingly. “You do great work out there. But they’ve still got you on the graveyard shift, those tyrants.”

The deputy sipped at her coffee. “Eh, I don’t mind it so much anymore.”

“Well, I for one don’t mind some company here in the witching hour.” The old woman folded her arms across her apron. “You want a couple doughnuts for the road? Best in the state.”

Roxie looked down at the bakery case and took a deep breath. “I’ll need more than a couple. They all look amazing…maybe a dozen?” She grinned up at the server, mouth watering. “Definitely need another slice of pie, too.”

The drizzle had grown to a full-on shower by the time the deputy waddled out of the diner, pastry box in hand. She tugged on her wide brimmed hat with a belch and played a little more with her uniform top—the grey-brown fabric refused to cooperate with the pot belly she’d developed. It was a new uniform, supposedly capable of containing the obese body she’d brought back from her night in Renaeville, but she’d only continued to grow since then. Another half a year sitting idle in a patrol car had been very kind indeed to her now nearly four hundred pound figure.

Half an hour later, she was sitting idle in her patrol car once again, staring through the rain at a roadside billboard. It showed the skyline of the big city, full of light and activity. A couple of tourists were superimposed over one side, laughing and enjoying the magic of cosmopolitan nightlife. They looked trapped, though, confined within the frame of the billboard and the grid of the city. Behind the billboard there was nothing but farmland, highway, and absolute freedom.

Roxie reached up to adjust her mirror. It was a real stretch, as her massive, bulbous belly tended to bunch up against the steering wheel. She often had to peer over her bosom to see the dashboard. Her lovehandles spilled out over the emergency brake and she’d had to extend her seatbelt.

Her gut seemed more swollen every night she came back here. She took a long pull from her two liter bottle of pop and wished she’d had more of the pie. The last two doughnuts called out to her from the box in the passenger seat, though, and she licked her lips.

Across the county, a parcel of bar patrons laughed at their bartender’s joke. They slapped their knees and tipped their trucker hats to him. Most of the remaining customers had gathered around him at the bar; it seemed they’d rather be there than anywhere near the strange woman who sat at the corner table.

She was a short, round, bottom-heavy woman, indulgently beautiful. She wore a contented, contemplative expression on her face and a bright orange bandana around her neck. Her flabby hips were wide enough to curl over the sides of the chair and her plump rear peeked half-out of her skirt, showing off the tail of an intricate lace thong. An inadequate bustier showed off a very large chest and an even larger midriff; looking closely, one could see the tail of a snake tattoo all but swallowed by her squished-up belly.

Heavy eyeshadow, black lipstick, and black fingernails hadn’t made her any more inviting in a bar full of good old boys, but she’d made a good friend of the waitress. She’d finished off two full entrees from the kitchen and an entire pitcher of beer, but showed no signs of having done so outside of some rosiness to her cheeks and the occasional stifled burp.

The patrons eventually elected to ignore her, not totally convinced she wouldn’t eat them. A little after midnight she took a call on her cell phone, nodded eagerly, and got up to waddle out the door.

They watched her go, paying rapt attention to how the bottom of her butt sagged out of the short leather skirt. Rolls of backfat bounced over the skirt’s overworked waistband.

She giggled into the phone as she squeezed through the door. “That you at the end of the lot? Hey, I like the new truck!”

She disappeared into the passenger seat of a shiny new frozen-foods truck, though not without some help from the burly man inside. The barflies shook their heads, whistled, and turned back to their beers.

Roxie’s radio crackled. The screen showed her personal frequency. She set down the now empty pop bottle and picked up the receiver. “Urrp.”

“Heya, very nice,” Dag’s voice buzzed. “Your favorite trucker here calling, en route to Renaeville. Figured I’d stop in at Bill’s Fuel Stop while I wait.”

Roxie lurched with a hiccup. “You won’t have to wait too long. My shift’ll be done in a bit.”

“Good to hear. And you’ll want to hurry, ‘cause I just picked up Hesper and she’s already got a head start on you.”

“Roxie!” sang Hesper’s voice in the background. “Don’t keep me waiting, now.”

Roxie smiled and folded her arms across her belly. “Wouldn’t dream of it. What’s this I hear about you getting started without me?”

“It’s a long way up here from where I had my last case, like...ugh, Dag, just give me the thing—” There was a scuffle, then her voice became much closer. “Reckoned I could rest a few minutes at my usual pit-stop.”

Dag cleared his throat. “It’s my fault, really. I offered to give her a ride.”

“Yeah. So then, since I wasn’t gonna have to drive, I stopped in at the bar while I waited. Had some beer.” She giggled. “And it turned out the bar had a kitchen. So…yeah. I have a head start, hee hee.”

“Some beer?” Roxie echoed. “How much is ‘some’?”

“Uh, a pitcher. Hee. Look, we all know I’m impulsive. And you can quit bellyaching about being behind—I hear y’all smacking your lips over there.”

Roxie froze mid-cruller. “It was only a box of doughnuts.” She opted to leave out the extensive list of offerings she’d enjoyed at the diner.

“Now don’t get mad at each other for eating,” Dag chuckled. “It’s not like you’re gonna spoil your appetites.”

“As if I mind being spoiled,” Roxie mused. “And as for my appetite—”

A car blew past her, roaring through the rain. Roxie nearly choked on the last bite of cruller, but managed to swallow it down.

“I’ll call you back in a few minutes, guys. Got an idiot out here.” She wiped crumbs from her bosom and flicked on her siren.

“Don’t take too long,” Hesper’s voice chimed. “I might not leave you any dessert.”

Roxie gunned the engine. Her cruiser lurched back onto the highway, listing noticeably to the driver’s side. Her flashing lights danced over the billboard and then over the cornfields beyond as she raced into the night.

Knuckles white on the wheels, windshield wipers swinging frantically against the downpour, she caught up with the speeding car in under a minute. As she approached, rather than slowing and pulling off, the car bounced with a hurried gear shift and accelerated.

“Please don’t,” Roxie sighed. “I have delicious food and sexy friends waiting for me. I’m not in the mood for your shit.”

She chased the car a few more miles down the highway, blaring her siren and every noise the patrol car could make.

Suddenly the fugitive car spun out on the rain-slicked road. Roxie braked, swung past it, and trundled into the emergency lane.

Checking her mirror, she saw that the speeder had spun its way off the highway and into the grassy median a few hundred feet behind her. It was still right side up and hadn’t hit anything, but had finally skidded to a stop.

Roxie reached under her gut to undo the seatbelt. She kicked open her door, tugged on her wide-brimmed hat, and stepped out into the rain.

She paused, sighed, and reached back into the car for the last doughnut.

Steam rose from the tires of the other car. The left turn signal blinked uselessly.

Roxie swallowed the last bite of her doughnut as she reached the car and leaned against its trunk for a moment—the walk wasn’t a long one, but it was enough to leave her four hundred pound body somewhat winded. Licking her lips, she waddled up to the driver’s window.

It rolled down. The driver was a young man, haggard and sallow. A beautiful woman sat at his side, looking equally shaken.

The veteran patrol officers often recommended wearing sunglasses at traffic stops to intimidate wrongdoers. Roxie had developed a new method: she simply filled the open window with her massive midsection and forced wrongdoers to reckon with it.

“You want to explain that stunt?” she asked, trying not to sound too out of breath.

The young man craned his neck, trying to peer past her paunch. “We’re in trouble.”

Roxie stifled a belch. “You got that right.”

“No, not…you don’t…” He stammered, wringing his hands.

The woman leaned over. “We had to get away, officer. As far away as possible, as fast as possible. There are…monsters coming for us.”

“Monsters,” Roxie echoed.

“For real,” said the man. “We’re not on drugs. Nothing. They were in our house.”

“Okay, then. What kind of monsters?”

The woman shook her head. “Like…my ex-boyfriend got into some weird cult shit lately. I didn’t think any of it was serious, much less real…”

Roxie bent over to stick her head in the window. “What kind of monsters?”

“Food. They were made of food. The pantry opened up and a big hulking dude walked out, made of food. Then the fridge…and the basement freezer…”

“Please, officer, you have to believe us. I know it sounds—”

“Stay here,” Roxie snapped. “You’re damned lucky I’m the one who pulled you over.” She stepped back, adjusted her cap, and began the long waddle back to her cruiser.

She squeezed back into her seat and grabbed the radio.

“Hesper, you still there?”

“Still here and still hungry,” chirped the radio.

Roxie sighed. “Good. Because I think I just pulled over your next case.”
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:43 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
Roxie sighed. “Good. Because I think I just pulled over your next case.”
Hoorah! Excellent work!! Please tell me there won't be another story with these guys...I can only imagine how they'd have to solve crimes at a barely-if-mobile size. Holy crap!

This was great, and thank you.
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