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A Big Choice - by ~edx(~BBW, Magic, Introspection)

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Tad

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~BBW, Magic, Introspection - high school graduate target of a spell has a big choice

Author's note: this is a spin off of Charles and the Dragon's Curse, from an as yet unpublished (and for that matter unfinished) chapter. But I got interested in what the background characters in that story might think if they knew what had happened to them. Of course, I'm still an FA, so this is a size positive take on it.

A Big Choice
by ~Edx

I rang the bell by my Aunt’s front door, then made sure I had my face locked into a friendly smile. I already had good practice at this, after being student council, working retail, and dealing with Mom’s country club friends.

If I could schmooze leering freshmen, convince middle-aged women that they looked cute in that dress, and make the club bores believe that I cared what they thought, I could surely deal with Aunt Agatha’s eccentricities.

Apparently she did not get the memo about controlling one’s expression. She opened the door and shrieked “Pam, what happened to you!”

Her look was of pure horror.

“Um, hi Aunt Agatha. How are you? My trip was good.”

“What are you babbling about, girl? When did this happen?”

“When did what happen?”

“What do you think?”

I looked at her blankly. Well, probably also with some frustration, as I guess my ‘holding a fixed expression’ skills weren’t quite up to dealing with Aunt Agatha just yet.

She snorted, grabbed my arm and pulled me inside. “Get in here and tell me about it, you know you can tell me.”

“I still don’t know what you are talking about.”

“I’m talking about you being fat! When did this happen?”

My facial expression management skills gave things up as a lost cause. “I don’t know, kindergarten maybe? More in each grade after that? I think you might remember from seeing me at Christmas, just six months ago.”

“You weren’t fat at Christmas.”

“Well, I kind of agree, in that I think I look great, and most people use fat to mean ugly. But I wasn’t that different at Christmas.”

“Yes you were, you were thin!”

I sighed, and admitted “Well, I’ve put on ten pounds since then.”

Looking at her face I amended that “Well, I’d put on ten by the prom, maybe another ten since then, it has been a good summer!”

She was shaking her head violently “No, no, no! You were thin, a cheerleader!”

“Yes, I was on the cheerleading squad. My friend Molly was too, and she was as fat as I am.” Which was only a small lie, but she was at least close in size.

My Aunt rolled her eyes melodramatically, and demanded “Come into my work room. This smells of magic.”

I sighed, and followed along behind her, regretting mostly that it seemed supper would not be any time soon. You might have thought I’d be more freaked by her mention of magic, but you see Aunt Agatha is a witch. A real, honest to goodness, witch. Not many people know, but she’d let me know since I was pretty small, and I’d seen plenty of proof over the years.

I think she’d hoped I’d follow her into the trade, but to be honest it had never interested me that much, it reminded me of computer programming or plumbing: no doubt it took real skill, and had its own rewards, but I’d much rather make my way through life using my people skills. Maybe that makes me some sort of a bimbo, but I promise you I’m not an air head, and I knew that spending most of my life locked away in a work room was not my thing.

Anyway, I followed my Aunt to the extension at the back of her house, waited while she opened normal and magical locks, and let us in. I’d been here a lot of times, but I always found it a bit freaky. Have you ever been in one of those super sound absorbent chambers, or somewhere totally, absolutely, black? You know that weird feeling of hearing or seeing absolutely nothing at all? Well it was a bit like that, the room was totally sealed against outside magic (and the magic in the room was sealed in as well). And that gave it a weird feel, even to me.

“Look,” said my Aunt, I’m pretty sure you have somehow been magically fattened.”

I didn’t even try to control the expression that said I thought she’d finally gone totally around the bend. “Magically fattened? The only magic in this fat is the magic of good cooking!”

“You don’t believe me? Tell me this then, when you visited me last summer, were you fat?”

“Of course I was, like I told you, I’ve always been fat.”

“I know you don’t like thinking about magic much, so tell me, have you recently thought about the ritual we did while you were here?”

I shook my head, and she was right, I’d done what I could to block it from my mind.

“Now, I want you to think back. Do you remember the robe I gave you to wear, one of my robes?"

At my nod she continued “How did it fit on you?”

“It must have been super tight, I remember,” I trailed off, because that was not what I remembered.

“Well, out with it!”

“I, I remember it was loose on me. I laughed about it, but I was just glad nobody would see me in something so big and shapeless. But how is that possible?”

“It was because last Summer you were thin. As you were at Christmas.”

“No, that is impossible! I’d remember if I’d suddenly gotten fat, and everyone else would have noticed!”

“For it to have happened without you having any memory of it, well either a second very difficult spell changed your memories, or else it was one of the fundamental magics.”

“Fundamental magics?”

“When I work a spell it is quite complex, difficult, and limited. But the fundamental magics are sort of like the foundations of the world. You change something there, and reality changes, including how reality always was. So you didn’t just become fat, everything changed to match up with you being fat. But reality is lazy, it doesn’t get around to changing things until it has to. So when anyone looks at an old picture of you, it will show you as fat, when they remember you, you were fat, when you think back, you remember being fat. But those things aren’t really locked in until someone looks at the picture, thinks about the memory, and so on.”

“Then how come, now, I remember being thin?”

“That is why we are in my workroom. It is shielded against magic, remember? Except it is deeper than that; it is sort of anchored in a deep magical reality that doesn’t change easily. Whatever magic was worked on you can’t affect in here. That is why I wasn’t affected I suppose, I must have been in here when it was cast. And in here, it can’t affect you more, so when you think of some memory that hadn’t already changed, you remember the way it originally was.”

“So, I really was thin at Christmas? When did this happen then?”

“I don’t know. Let’s see, aha, I have it!” She went rummaging in one of the many cupboards, and came back out with a scrap book.

“I save cuttings about you in here, where they are safe. I never thought that would matter, but now I’m glad I did.”

She flipped through. There were pictures of this skinny little girl. Pretty, in a scrawny sort of way. Gradually growing up through a series of school photos and family snap shots. In my grade six graduation picture I was still flat as a board.

“Hey,” I added, “Molly was thin too!”

“Ah, that is interesting, the spell must have affected all three of you, that will help to narrow it down.”

“Molly has been in Europe the past two weeks.”

“Then it was earlier this summer. Let’s keep looking at pictures.”

She kept flipping pages, soon entering my high school years. There I was at the top of a pyramid of skinny cheer leaders. “Oh, it looks like we were a traditional cheerleader squad, instead of the Spirit Squad.”

My Aunt ignored me, and kept flipping through the book.

“Here is Christmas, see the picture?”

I did, I couldn’t believe the tiny little thing was me. “Geesh, what was I, like a B-cup?”

My Aunt turned the page. “Here we go, you and a Molly Christianson came second in the regional tennis championships.”

“What? No way! We entered for fun, because our school didn’t have a team. We actually beat one team, which made them mad because they were skinny but they were really bad, so we came second last. But we got a trophy for best spirit.”

With a cracked fingernail my Aunt tapped a clipping from the school photo “No, see right here, you came second, and have a trophy for that.”

“That is totally not what I remember.”

“Fine, then we know the spell happened after that. How about this, this was your prom picture, when was that?”

“Wow, I had a great dress! That would have been one advantage of being thin I guess. And the prom was June 14th.”

“Good, we are narrowing it down. Between June 14th and about the third week of July.” She thought for a moment, sucking on a lock of her hair. Finally she burst out with “A recall spell, we’ll go over your breakfast each day. You aren’t likely to have thought about those much.”

I don’t much like having magic done on me, but I didn’t argue. At least I got to sit down finally and get off my aching feet. Soon I felt like I was dreaming, and as she asked me I found I was able to bring back memories of each morning in order. At first it was a litany of “half a grapefruit and a piece of dry toast.”

Then suddenly on July sixth it was “A piece of cinnamon toast, a bowl of corn flakes with slices of strawberries on top, and three pieces of bacon.”

I was still under the spell, unable to feel much, but I heard my aunt hiss. She worked me back through the previous day. I’d had a bowl of strawberries with sugar before bed, a second baked potato at supper, I’d gone for ice cream with Molly in the afternoon, before that we’d been at the country club, goofing around on the tennis court hitting easy lobs to each other, but before I’d met up with her I’d gone for a morning jog.

Aunt Agatha banished the spell, and finally it hit me. “The magic, it must have been before we played tennis?”

“Or it could have been later that day, if you remembered back and so changed those memories for good. For example if it was on the way home from tennis, and you were talking about it with Molly when you were getting ice cream.”

“You know, I remember something else, as we were heading home, just before we went for ice cream. There was this massively fat woman, like as big as the two of us together or something. Anyway, she was coming out of the bathroom at a gas station, and her dress was caught up in her underwear. We were laughing at her because she looked ridiculous. Then we noticed there was this guy in a car waiting for us, he was looking at us really strangely, like he was really mad, but trying to remember something, or something like that. He kind of creeped us out, and we decided to go get ice cream at the Dairy Queen next to the gas station, instead of standing there waiting for the bus.”

“That may have been the moment. He was probably concentrating on the magic. But did you see him with a book or spell or anything like that?”

“No, not that I remember.”

“You’d remember, instruments of spells have a way of burning themselves into your memory. That probably means it was one of the fundamental magics, which makes it harder.”

“Why are they harder?”

“A simple spell I could banish. But fundamental magics are changes in the world. Because we have the old reality anchored in here, it should be possible. I wonder about that man though. Humans can’t normally wield fundamental magics. He must have been some sort of temporary agent.”

“If humans don’t wield that sort of magic, what does?”

“Oh, spirits, dragons, unicorns. That sort of thing.”

“There are real unicorns?” that was the best news I’d had out of this.

“Of course, but nothing like in modern kid stories. From what I’ve read they are quite terrifying. Something like nature incarnate, so the gentle sun beam but also the hurricane. Dragons though, they are more about life essence as I’ve read it. That's why alchemists are after their hearts, thinking they can find ways to use them to extend their life.”

“Can they?”

“I don’t know, I don’t think so, but my books don’t go into it much. Still dragon magic could maybe do something like this. But I still don’t know how that man could have access to it, or why he’d use it on you.”

“I have no idea how he got it, but if we were laughing at his girlfriend, that could be his motive, couldn’t it?”

“Girlfriend? I thought you said she was massively fat?”

“Yah, so?”

“If he had the power of dragon magic, why we want a fat girlfriend?”

“Nice, Aunt Agnes. You know, I’ve had boyfriends. The fat me has, I mean.”

She waved that away. “It doesn’t matter. Dragon magic gives me somewhere to start with. The first thing we’ll do is fix your memory, then we can banish the magic.”

“You can do that?”

“The memory is easy enough, the magic will still have left traces, so we can sort of reverse those. That will leave you with both sets of memories for now, to some degree, both fat and thin. And it will stop any more memory changes from the magic. We can do that now, it will only take a couple of hours. Reversing the physical change will take more preparation.”

So it was that by the time we finally sat down to supper, I was having the weird experiences of double memories. I recalled many dinners here where I was skinny and hardly ate a thing, and many more where I begged my disapproving aunt for seconds.

I couldn’t help but ask for seconds that night too. She never did serve enough the first time around.

Lying in bed later that night it took me a long time to get to sleep. It was hard to imagine your life being changed so totally, yet not being aware of it. I felt almost compelled to go back to various memories, and examine them both fat and thin.

The next morning, my Aunt said that she was going to be busy researching her spell, so I was on my own. I drove into town to go to the outdoor pool. I had a rocking tankini, and both sets of memories assured me that I always wore a two piece suit.

After I swam for a bit, I lay in the sun and sorted through memories. In the fat memories there had been occasional rude comments, but the odd things was that overall they were happier memories. The thin me had been so worried about what people would think of her, so worried that she would have put on two pounds and it would show, so worried that some other girl would be even thinner.

Thinking about becoming her again, I treated myself to a large ice cream cone from the concessions stand, enjoying life’s luxuries while I could. While I was on a roll, on the way back to my Aunt’s I went through a drive through and picked up an early first course of supper.

Over supper, as I was buttering my third slice of bread to bolster my Aunt’s meager spread, I asked “The magic made me fat, but I’m also a lot hungrier, I think. I seem to eat a lot more than I used to. But I know not all fat people eat much, so why is that?”

“How should I know? It isn’t like I….oh, wait. Yes, that would make sense. I said reality is lazy. Changing your fundamental genetics would be hard, but a change in your appetite and how you indulge it easy. Your family is still all thin, so the easiest explanation of why you are fat is that you eat a lot more than they do. Which probably means that if you wouldn’t eat so much, you could lose weight. Not that it will matter much, once I reverse the magic.

The next day my Aunt was still preparing, but it was raining so the pool did not appeal. The town was not so big, so it had only a modest mall, but that still sounded better than hanging around my Aunt’s all day.

I poked around Lane Bryant, remembering both shopping there before, and being in every store in the mall but it before. Leaving the store after half an hour, with a new t-shirt, I wandered off to the food court for a snack, and realized how much more relaxed I was. It was too bad that I didn’t have more choices for shopping, but instead of feeling like I had to hit over a dozen stores to get the best outfit or the biggest bargain, I could go to one store, then relax. I wasn’t as driven to be prettiest, the most fashionable, the best, and instead I could just enjoy life more.

The pimple-nosed kid at the Dunkin Donuts was totally leering down my cleavage while giving me my change, but for once I didn’t mind. Fat me normally would have been bothered about my boobs being what all the guys noticed, thin me would have been insulted that the kid thought he was worthy even to ogle me. But just at that moment I was kind of re-assured to know that some guys found me attractive. For some reason I really didn’t want to think that fat me hadn’t been attractive.

While I ate my two donuts I thought back, and I was able to see how lazy reality had been. I’d had a lot of the same dates and even the same boyfriends, with just subtle differences in the relationships. Jeff had still started to get abusive, whether it was calling me fat or calling me a slut, when I wouldn’t sleep with him. John was still mostly gay, unfortunately. Everyone knew Mike only went for athletic girls, so it was no surprise that skinny me had dated him while fat me hadn’t, but fat me had found out that his younger brother Max had a thing for bigger girls.

In fact, I’d gone to the prom with Max when I was fat, Mike when I was thin. There was a significant difference! But maybe not so surprising, I’d thought a lot about my prom night, and it had been recent history, so maybe it had been changed more?

The donuts had disappeared by this point in my thoughts, so I wandered off to the bookstore. On a sudden impulse I went looking for books about fat, but found there wasn’t much. Well, there were lots of books about diets, but nothing much with fat characters or about living as a fat person. Finally I picked up a junky romance, then grabbed a supply of chocolate, and went back to my Aunt’s to spend the afternoon with book and treats in the guest bedroom.

That turned out to be a really weird experience, maybe the weirdest of them all. I could remember reading similar books and seeing myself as the thin heroine, and reading those books and wondering how come the fat girl was never the heroine. Every hackneyed passage and classic cliché unleashed these dual memories, so that by supper my head was swimming. I admitted as much to my Aunt, to excuse my lack of conversation.

After supper I went for a drive to clear my head. I remembered that thin me used to go for a jog for the same reason. I toyed with trying that, but I realized I’d not brought any running clothes or shoes. Fortunately my fat memories included where to find the nearest drive thru that would be open, and I got a large milk shake which did an entirely adequate job of soothing my nerves.

This gave me something else to consider: which had I enjoyed more, doing all those exercises, or eating all that food? That was kind of mixed, some of the exercises I’d really enjoyed, when I’d been doing them for the simple joy of doing them. But most of the time I’d been more worried about was I doing enough, was I fast enough, would I be approved for how well I did. The food, I’d also enjoyed when I’d eaten it just to enjoy it or because I’d been hungry. But sometimes I’d been feeling bad, and tried to drown that out with food, which had mostly just made the food unpleasant too.

Then I remembered sitting in Max’s parents car with fat loving Max, having a milkshake in the small hours of the morning, on the night of my prom. With Mike I’d been bouncing from party to party for most of the night. In both sets of memories we’d ended up in a hotel room. With Mike it had been brief, then we’d been off to another party; when we’d entered it Mike had clasped his hands like sports champion, and his friends had all given him high-fives. I’d felt like such a piece of meat at that moment. With Max we’d spent hours, caressing and licking and kissing each other. When we’d finally met up with friends for breakfast Amy had commented on how I looked like the cat that had just eaten the cream, and we’d all giggled about the double entendre.

I knew I’d probably been lucky in Max versus Mike, but I realized it hadn’t just been them, it had been me too. When I’d been thin, I’d wanted to be the trophy, because that was something people competed to win, and that was what I wanted guys to do for me. When I was fat, I wanted to be appreciated, but more as an equal. So what I’d looked for in guys had been different, maybe even what I’d brought out in guys was different. It was a pretty heavy thought. Heavy enough to drive me back to my Aunt’s and to seek the embrace of sleep.

Lying in bed though, I couldn’t stop remembering being in bed with Max. I remembered that he was now off tree planting in Oregon, but that he’d be back in a few more weeks. The mere thought of being in his arms again made me feel all hot and bothered. I tried to shift my thoughts to being with Mike again, and it just didn’t work. I eventually fell into dreams of Max stroking my belly.

The next morning I woke early, feeling energized and cheerful. I pulled on some clothes and went for a walk along the trail that my thin self had jogged on many times. I only walked about half as far as I used to jog, and it took longer, but by the time I made it back to my Aunts I was feeling pleasantly tired. I was really pretty strong and energetic under the fat, but the extra weight did slow me down and burn more energy. As I showered it hit me “Actually, everyday life is more of a work out now, and when I do exercise I get more of a work out faster.”

As I worked on my second bowl of Cheerios I mentally added “And I work up a much better appetite!”

As I was washing up my cereal bowl, my Aunt strode into the kitchen and announced “I think I have the spell. It should unroll all that the magic has done to you, you’ll be thin again, and you won’t remember the fat you at all. Well, you’ll remember that all of this happened, but the fat history will be erased.”

“Wait, I won’t remember my fat memories at all?”

“No, they won’t be part of reality anymore.”

I felt drained. Bad enough to not have that reunion with Max, but to not even remember the first time? But what I asked was:“What about Molly, she’ll be affected too, right?”

“No. Even if you brought her here I couldn’t fix her. I can only do it with you because I have so much history of you in the workroom that I can use as anchors for the spell. You have no idea how hard this will be.”

No Max, and leaving Molly with this issue when I was totally different and didn’t remember what it was like? A little to my own surprise I found myself replying “Then, why don’t you save the effort?”

My aunt stammered “What, but this magic, it was forced on you!”

“I know, but well, it doesn’t seem fair to my friend. I mean, if it would affect her too, I'd do it for her, I guess, or at least talk to her about it.”

“Well, if you are thin, maybe you’ll inspire her to diet.”

“Diet? Ewww. You know, thin me was always on a diet, I was always hungry. But I don’t think it made me very happy.”

My aunt looked at, wide eyed. Finally she said “But, but, you are fat!”

Again I couldn’t keep those fixed facial features. The smile just refused to stay off my face “Yah, isn’t it great?”
 
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