Phantom Gains - by Marlow ~BBW, ~MWG, paranormal, intrigue

Discussion in 'Fantasy/Science Fiction Archive' started by Marlow, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Dec 24, 2014 #41

    BiddyGal

    BiddyGal

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    this really is a marvelous story. Thanks for sharing it, and hope it keeps going. A perfect balance between plot and gain, and your pacing and characters are spot on. love this.
     
  2. Dec 25, 2014 #42

    Hologram

    Hologram

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    Excellent writing...keep up the awesome :)


    Cheers
    Holo
     
  3. Dec 26, 2014 #43

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    Chapter 15


    Raleigh put the date off for a while, letting a couple more weekends slip by.

    Part of her wanted to avoid distractions from work. Her first binder had been completed by a ghostly miracle, but it wasn’t a miracle she had any desire to repeat. With her spare time at home she pored over one of her three new assignments and was making slow progress. There hadn’t been any major ghostly activity since and she was starting to hope that the spirit had been satisfied by finally being acknowledged and humored that night.

    Another part of her was still coming to terms with the extent of her body’s growth and dreaded the idea of dressing up her weight gain for a hot date. She even returned to her diet in an attempt to at least be on the way back toward her old self.

    But as progress on her assignments stagnated and her loneliness flared at the approach of Valentine’s Day, she finally gave Rory a call. They settled on a Saturday night dinner at a casual place downtown. Despite her reluctance to make the call, when she had hung up she couldn’t help but feel a flutter of excitement. She was bubbly the rest of the week, unused to having something to look forward to.

    But when Saturday came, it brought with it a frustrating milestone: 200.

    “Holy shit,” Raleigh shrieked at the scale. “No way.”

    There was no denying it, however. She couldn’t deny that she had to crane her neck weirdly when she looked down at the scale, since she had to peer around her jutting gut and bulging breasts. She pushed her fat aside to get a clearer angle, but the three digits on the scale wouldn’t change.

    She shivered and reached for her bathrobe. “Ugh…with this layer of blubber I shouldn’t be so cold, then, right?”

    But there was no escaping the cold, not in Minnesota in February. She marveled at the thermometer outside every night before bed, witnessing temperatures she’d only read about in scary stories.

    It didn’t help that her seemingly limitless growth had rendered her wardrobe increasingly limited. She had a hard time finding outfits that didn’t expose her flab to the cold—and to co-workers’ stares—and was afraid to waste money replacing what she had with something she’d only quickly outgrow.

    Her belly was the center of her swelling, but on the whole her body had taken on a uniform thickness. Her thighs had widened considerably and had torn through multiple pairs of jeans; when she sat down they rolled out wider than her doughy rear. And her lovehandles reached almost as far out to each side as her stomach reached forward, striated with stretchmarks and curling over the waistband of anything she tried to wear. Her cleavage was popping the buttons off blouses and straining bra-hooks.

    “Thick,” she echoed to herself as she stripped off the robe in her bedroom, trying to plan an outfit. A stretchy skirt finally volunteered itself; it had once been loose and flowing but now became translucently tight. A decent blouse accompanied it and although it couldn’t cover all of her midriff a long cardigan was able to reach. Getting it to reach meant leaving a lot of cleavage exposed up top, unfortunately, but nothing else would stretch. The deep cleavage and snugly-skirted butt gave the outfit a much more provocative air than intended, but it would have to do.

    She tried not to think about the last date she’d had back home. She’d worn a trendy black dress that had perfectly accentuated her toned abdomen and ended short enough to show off her long, slender legs. She still had the dress, she realized.

    Out of grim curiosity, she dug it out of the closet and tried to tug it on. It wouldn’t slide over her one thigh, though.

    “Fuck me,” she wheezed. “My thigh by itself is thicker than my waist was back then.”

    The doorbell chimed. She panicked and tossed the dress aside. She pulled the skirt back on, buttoned what she could of the cardigan, covered her cleavage with the thick red scarf, and bounced her way downstairs.

    She regretted not cleaning the kitchen before the date. With the dishes and cookware strewn about as they were, there was no doubt Rory would see her as a slob. She regretted having used the kitchen at all that evening, but she was hoping that the huge meal she’d eaten would keep her from being too unnaturally hungry in front of her date.

    Rory cleaned up well. He hadn’t shaved, but the ruddy beard looked a little more presentable than usual. He had traded his usual frayed flannel for a dark fleece, although this still had plaid accents around the collar and cuffs.

    “Look at you,” Raleigh cooed. “You gussy up nicely, for a lumberjack. Oh, hold on—need my purse.”

    “You know, I’m told flannel’s very hip these days,” Rory said, watching her climb back up the stairs.

    “Maybe in flyover states,” she called down.

    Smirking, he waited a moment, till he heard her steps overhead. Then he began easing his way across the kitchen to the back door Scarlett had used at Christmas. “It’s a good thing we’re going downtown tonight, actually,” he said loudly, to cover his footsteps. “You’ll see all the high winter fashion of our local elite.” As he spoke, as nonchalantly as possible, he reached out and unlocked the door.

    He returned to the main room just as Raleigh was coming back down. “How quaint,” she huffed, out of breath from the exertion of the stairs. “Shall we?”

    He nodded and opened the door for her. The sun was making its final descent below the treeline as they left, dimming the world to the bleak greys and blues of a below-zero night. The house glowed red in the reflection of Rory’s taillights for a moment, then darkened.

    A few minutes later, the house shone in a pair headlights. A new car rumbled up the gravel driveway and rocked to a hurried halt. Adam blustered out and hefted a large duffel bag onto his back, dialing his cellphone.

    “Scarlett? Scarlett!” he hissed, plowing his way through the deep snow to the rear of the house. “Hey. I’m here. At the house. I’m going in now.”

    “Seriously?” asked the phone in disbelief. “How?”

    “Rory’s got the girl out on a date. He got inside just long enough to unlock the back door.” He knocked a pile of snow aside and shoved the door open. “Haha, I’m in. You ready to hunt some ghosts with me?”

    “Oh, this awesome. I wish I could be there. But didn’t Rory warn us off last time? I thought you were heeding that.”

    “I did. But I brought my wards this time.” He dropped the duffel bag on the kitchen counter and jingled the mass of pendants and lucky charms around his neck. “I’m ready for anything now. And now that it’s nighttime and I’m not in as much of a hurry I should get better readings than when I went for my ‘official consultation,’ haha.”

    “Gotcha. So any more apparitions since then?”

    “She hasn’t reported anything. But I’m convinced she’s hiding something for some reason. And Rory doesn’t get visions for nothing.” He opened the bag. “Okay, we’ve got a few minutes while I set things up. Talk to me—how’s the new semester?”

    “What? Oh, not too bad so far. I’ve been in kind of a funk, but otherwise, meh.”

    “A funk, you say?”

    “Yeah, I guess. Had a lot on my mind. I don’t think I told you…the night I drove back here from home I didn’t actually leave right away. I just drove the truck around town for a while to try and clear my head. Probably anxiety about going back to school, you know?”

    “Probably,” Adam grunted, half-listening.

    “And then the day I get back, Leslie breaks her ankle.”

    “Leslie? Oh, your roommate.”

    “Yeah. She’s a dancer, so this kinda throws things off for her. We’re not super close or anything, but she’s my roommate and I’m feeling all her frustration and pain, you know?”

    “Sure. Bad auras, man.” Adam opened a long telescoping pole—it had begun life as a fishing rod—and began unraveling a ball of twine. “How’d she hurt it?”

    “I’m not really sure,” Scarlett admitted, her voice dropping. “I was asleep that night and woke up to her screaming. She said she tripped on a handkerchief, but neither of us owns a handkerchief and I didn’t see anything on the floor when we got the lights on.”

    Adam set the pole standing straight up on the kitchen table. “Weird. Maybe she was drunk.”

    “Leslie? Pfft. Never. Her one focus in life is keeping her body in top shape. Hell, she’s a healthier eater than I am.”

    “And that’s saying something.” Adam began stretching the twine from the pole to a guest chair across the room. “Well, hope she feels better soon. So is your paranormal class as exciting as you’d hoped?”

    Her sigh was audible through the phone. “Not at all. Just a bunch of skeptics picking apart famous hoaxes. I try to throw in some optimism now and then, but I think they just chalk it up to me being a weird goth.”

    “They’re a bunch of sheep,” Adam declared, running another line of twine, this time to a cabinet handle. “Well, soon you’ll have some sweet evidence from this house here and they’ll have to face the truth.”

    “Can’t wait. So what’s the plan?”

    “Almost ready.” He tied off a few more pieces of twine and stepped back to examine his handiwork: a three-dimensional web of twine spread from the pole to various points in the kitchen. He rifled through the bag and pulled out an armful of dried leaves. “I’m constructing a room-sized matrix connecting a number of salient household features to a central vortex. At each nexus of the web I am hanging a sprig of holly, for clarity and sight, and at the vortex itself I am setting up my ectometric sensors and a strip of birch bark, to focus the energies.”

    All this done, he switched on his ectometer (a spray-painted fishfinder) and sat down in the only un-twined chair.

    “Now we’ll see if we can make contact with anyone,” he announced grimly, “or anything.”

    “Want me to stay on the line?”

    “Definitely. Tell me if you can hear anything that isn’t me. Sometimes phones will pick up spectral sounds that the naked ear can’t hear alone.”

    “Gotcha. Okay. I’ll listen. You do your thing.”

    “Putting you on speaker.” He set the phone on the table, near the ectometer. “Here goes.”

    He stood back up and spread his arms. His charm necklaces danced against his chest. He had bracelets of holly on each wrist; the leaves fluttered in a faint draft.

    “Spirit or spirits of this home, I come humbly before you, willing to hear and see and feel,” he enunciated, as slowly and clearly as he could manage. “I am a seeker of truth. If you are here, I beg for a sign of your presence.”

    He waited a full minute, but nothing happened. His stomach suddenly whined and regretted not getting something to eat beforehand.

    “Scarlett, you hearing anything?” he asked quietly. She didn’t respond. “Scarlett? Still there?”

    The smell of smoke reached his nostrils. A faint smoke, vaguely herbal, like—

    “Burning leaves,” he realized. He gaped around. At each nexus of his makeshift web, the leaves of holly were turning black and shriveling up, each consumed in its own unseen fire. The smell deepened as the smoke thickened.

    Adam checked the fishfinder’s monitor. The lakebed texture presented on its readout flickered and danced. It reported a small fish, soon joined by two more. They swirled around one another.

    “Holy heck,” Adam gasped, staring.

    The kitchen lights flashed. The oven clicked on and the microwave set its timer to 5:00. On the fishfinder, two of the fish were growing rapidly, with the third, smaller fish frantically circling them as they expanded.

    “Who are you?” Adam shouted. “What do you want?”

    The back door crashed open, allowing a gust of frigid February wind to thrash its way into the kitchen. It toppled the fishing rod, snapped several of the lengths of twine, and knocked Adam out of his chair.

    The whole web collapsed, sparks flying from the shriveled leaves of holly. The smoke swirled in the wind, filled with otherworldly shapes and figures.

    Then the wind calmed, as suddenly as it had arrived. The smoke slowly dissipated. Adam pulled himself up, detangling himself from the fallen twine, and peered at the overturned fishfinder.

    The lakebed texture was empty, save for the lone smaller fish, which floated calmly.

    “Adam? Adam?” called Scarlett’s voice.

    “I’m here,” he replied, picking up the phone from the floor.

    “I didn’t get everything you said there toward the end. What was all that?”

    “Huh? I asked ‘who are you?’ and ‘what do you want?’ That’s all.”

    “No, after that. Something about the old world and cities in the clouds. Sounded really really angry.”

    Adam’s eyes widened. He began shoving his equipment back into the duffel bag.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2014 #44

    The_Hero

    The_Hero

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    Might be time for the spirit to start replacing her wardrobe with larger sizes, albeit with older fashioned clothes, or perhaps she finds an old trunk with larger clothes in it...
     
  5. Dec 27, 2014 #45

    DIrtyOlive

    DIrtyOlive

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    Don't make suggestions to someone else's story. What is wrong with you?
     
  6. Dec 27, 2014 #46

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

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    OTE=DIrtyOlive;2112948]Don't make suggestions to someone else's story. What is wrong wit. h you?[/QUOTE]

    It happens all the time. And how is it your business to chastise on behalf of the author?
    Matter of fact why don't you read his other stories and see if he hates getting suggestions.
    Before you go popping off.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2014 #47

    Phrozen

    Phrozen

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    Not to mention that he could also just be musing in an intrigued sort of way :(
     
  8. Dec 28, 2014 #48

    Q Bomb

    Q Bomb

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    Constructive suggestions are fine, authors are free to disregard them but every now and then someone has a useful idea that gets incorporated. I do like the idea.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2014 #49

    booyahmanx

    booyahmanx

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    Why do you care if he makes a suggestion? What's wrong with you?
     
  10. Dec 28, 2014 #50

    DIrtyOlive

    DIrtyOlive

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    Well. Guess I'm never commenting on fucking anything again in this forum.
     
  11. Dec 28, 2014 #51

    JimBob

    JimBob

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    OK!

    ...If that makes you feel better!

    I...honestly, I don't know what you hoped to achieve here.
     
  12. Dec 28, 2014 #52

    The_Hero

    The_Hero

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    Geez, guys, it was just idle speculation...calm the heck down.
     
  13. Dec 28, 2014 #53

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

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    I agree. But you are a longtime member who contributes positive comments.

    The comment towards you just rubbed me the wrong way. Lots of us make suggestions or conjecture .Myself included.
    And now.
    Looking forward to the next chapter of this great story. :)
     
  14. Dec 29, 2014 #54

    The_Hero

    The_Hero

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    I am curious about one thing though...

    Raleigh got an internship doing projects for a company, and is having trouble with projects she's been assigned...

    Curious as to what the job is and what kind of projects...
     
  15. Dec 29, 2014 #55

    jacob286482

    jacob286482

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    Seriously, they are offering the other constructive ideas. You don't have to act like a 2 year old just because people don't want you jumping their posts. Calm down, grow up, and come back later.
     
  16. Dec 29, 2014 #56

    Phrozen

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    He does mention that she's doing graphic design. So she was given the big assignment at first that presumably the ghost did for her, and, impressed, her boss assigned a stackload of other assignments with the promise of a permanent position if done well.
     
  17. Dec 29, 2014 #57

    The_Hero

    The_Hero

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    I caught the project that was ghostly inspired, but I never caught that it was graphic design...thanks.
     
  18. Dec 30, 2014 #58

    grasso

    grasso

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    enjoying this story
     
  19. Dec 30, 2014 #59

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    Chapter 16


    “I can’t believe I let you talk me into dessert,” Raleigh groaned as she extracted herself from Rory’s car.

    Rory, holding the door, smirked at her. “Is that how it happened?”

    She stifled a burp. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

    “You seemed to like it enough.”

    “Oh, it was delicious. Everything was. Oof…everything.” She shook her head at herself. “Except maybe this playlist.” She giggled at the tinny song playing in Rory’s car.

    “What? This is Paul Simon. ‘Boy in the Bubble’ was my absolute favorite song growing up. It’s genius. Clearly you have no taste.”

    “No, I think I tasted plenty tonight,” she laughed, placing a hand on her food-baby. “Well, hey, thanks for a fun evening. Normally I would invite you inside, but tonight I’m gonna have to ask for a rain check. Disappointing, I know.”

    “Hey, no worries. Glad you had a good time.” He was putting on a good face to be polite, but Raleigh could sense a real disappointment.

    “I just promised myself I’d get work done on my assignments this weekend. And, as you’ve seen, the house is in a real state. But seriously, next time—you’re more than welcome. I had a great time.” She bounced up and gave him a peck on the cheek, a motion which her churning stomach regretted. But that seemed to suffice for Rory.

    “Well, next time, then. Have a good night.” He gave a little bow and headed back to his side of the car.

    Raleigh waved and worked her way up the icy steps to her front door. Rory waited till she had gone inside, then his headlights turned their way toward the road.

    Raleigh shut the door behind her and unleashed a long, long belch. “Oh, finally. Wow. And he did not bat an eye at me having all that food.” She sloughed off her coat and plopped into a chair at the kitchen table. “How could I let that happen? It’s bad enough I overeat when I’m here,” she complained to the house in general, “and now I’m doing it in public with a cute boy watching.”

    Her stomach gurgled. The house creaked.

    “Yes, I called him cute. Deal with it. Urrp.”

    Her eyes drifted around the room. They overlooked a few crumpled, blackened holly leaves on the countertop before finally focusing on a piece of tangled twine lying in the far corner. She rose gingerly and stepped over to examine it.

    It hung limply in her hand, telling her nothing. “Huh,” she grunted with a frown. “I really do need to clean.”

    She tossed the twine back to the floor and made her way to the sink.

    The first clean glass she could find was a large wine glass. She filled it from the tap, dropped an alka-seltzer into it, and sat back down at the table.

    “Last time I was this full I saw a ghost,” she mused, swirling the glass. “Wonder if she’ll come out and play tonight.” She raised the glass and gulped it down.

    When she lowered the glass, she was no longer alone. The ethereal young woman stood silent on the other side of the kitchen. She seemed even less real up here, out of the basement, not fully opaque; the edge of the countertop behind her and the spice rack were still vaguely visible through her image.

    Raleigh fought off the surge of adrenaline, but couldn’t help her trepidation. “Holy shit. That was a joke. I was hoping I was wrong. Or nuts.”

    The woman smiled. Behind her, a cabinet door opened.

    “It’s probably too late for either, though,” Raleigh sighed. “So, Heloise? Is that right? I’ve had that name on my mind for the past few weeks.”

    The woman nodded slowly. A bottle of the wine levitated out of the cabinet and floated in the air next to her.

    “Wow. Well, Heloise, I hope you can talk at some point, or something. Because I’m still pretty lost.”

    Heloise strode across the kitchen. Raleigh watched her body move within the old silk gown and her mouth dropped open in shock.

    “You’ve put on a little weight, there, Heloise,” Raleigh said, less confidently than she’d intended.

    The ethereal young woman smiled proudly. She was noticeably softer and heavier than the last time. When she had appeared during Raleigh’s pizza party in the basement, Heloise had looked like an unhealthy supermodel, if not a malnourished starvation victim—nothing but frail skin draped over a lanky skeleton. Now, as she sidled over to the table, she looked forty pounds heavier somehow, at least.

    Her boniness had disappeared, replaced by a gentle softness. She looked healthy and strong, with a smooth bulk to her upper body. Beneath the translucent gown Raleigh could see the beginnings of a happy, wobbling little gut.

    “I’m glad I’m not the only one, I guess,” Raleigh muttered with a nervous laugh, watching the wine bottle drift over and uncork itself. “Hey, I don’t know what ghosts eat, but you might want to cut back, haha.”

    Heloise cocked her head and sat down opposite Raleigh. The bottle tilted over and filled the glass.

    “I’m just saying…the rate you put that on, you’ll be fatter than me in no time.” She nervously watched the animated wine bottle go about its business. “So, seriously, what’s the deal here? You made it seem like you needed help. What sort of help do you need?”

    The woman straightened in her chair. She raised both arms at right angles, hands curled into fists, and flexed. She stuck out her chest and craned her neck. The 5:00 showing on the microwave glowed through her transparent forehead.

    “What is that? You’re getting stronger? Yeah?” Raleigh bit her lip, trying to understand. “Okay. How? And for what?”

    Heloise smiled sympathetically. She leaned across—no, through—the table and gave Raleigh a long, slow kiss.

    Raleigh couldn’t feel the physical touch of the kiss, but goosebumps flashed onto her skin and she shuddered with a sudden cold thrill. Her vision narrowed, darkened, and then she was gone.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2014 #60

    oxxnard

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    This is great reading!!
     

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