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

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

  1. Mar 8, 2015 #141

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    Chapter 42


    Ruby tried the door again. Whatever force had shut it was holding it closed. She backed away from it and frowned up at the web of twine overhead.

    The door exploded outward in a burst of antique splinters. Five hundred combined pounds of Raleigh and Scarlett toppled out into the basement. Ruby spun out of their path, cursing and tumbling into the cluttered corner.

    Scarlett kicked Raleigh off, sending her flying across the basement. While Raleigh rolled and recovered, Scarlett stood, her fishnets torn and her corset askew, and stretched out her arms.

    Some of the clutter beneath Ruby shifted, then rolled out from under her. The boxes and tools and detritus levitated up off the ground, drifting toward Scarlett’s outstretched arms and beginning to swirl around her.

    Raleigh sprang to her feet—her flab rippling with the motion—and stretched her arms out as well. The fallen bricks from where the kitchen’s sealed wall had been broken floated up and whirled around her, joined by pieces of broken masonry.

    The two women leapt at each other. They collided in midair and fell heavily to the floor, punching and kicking and wrestling while their respective swarms of debris skirmished around them in the air.

    “Fuck fuck fuck,” Ruby shrieked. “Raleigh, you didn’t say this shit was hallucinogenic!”

    “Dammit, Ruby!” Adam shouted from the little room. “Get in here and untie us!”

    She hurried in, dodging a coatrack that the battle hurled her way.

    “What’s happening out there?” Rory asked as she fumbled with his bonds.

    “Uh, they’re fighting. And there’s all sorts of furniture and decorations and shit flying around and running into each other.”

    “They’re vying for dominion over the house,” said Adam. “Now that each spirit has a living conduit for their power, they can go toe-to-toe in the material world.”

    The armoire crashed into the doorframe of the little room, cracking apart. Sheets of old paper spilled out—the sketches of Heloise, sliding down in reverse order, from starved to sated.

    Freed, Rory kicked the chair away and ran to the armoire-filled doorway. “Thanks, Ruby,” he added, peeking out through what little opening remained.

    He could make out Raleigh, scarf flying behind her, holding Scarlett up off the ground by her neck. As he watched, a large storage chest bounded out of its place on the other end of the basement, scraped across the floor, and bowled Raleigh’s legs out from under her.

    Raleigh crumpled, releasing Scarlett. Scarlett levitated the chest up over her and slammed it down onto Raleigh’s shoulders.

    Rory kicked at the armoire, trying to dislodge it from the doorframe.

    “I don’t think that’s a fight you’ll be able to help with,” Adam said, shaking out his untied wrists.

    “They’re wrecking the web, Adam.”

    “Oh. Oh, shit.” He rushed to help with the armoire. “Let’s get this thing going!”

    Raleigh ripped the old chest into two pieces and scissor-swiped the two halves into Scarlett’s face, splintering them. She sprang up, driving her shoulder into the smaller woman’s abdomen and knocking her back on her plush backside. The corset split open with the impact and her pale tummy pooched out.

    “It’s not much,” Scarlett pouted, “but it’ll be a lot bigger after I carve you up and eat you raw.”

    Raleigh got back up and steadied herself on her feet. In the process, her breasts nearly jiggled themselves out of what was left of her ruined dress. The fight had not been kind to it.



    She took a deep breath, gritted her teeth, and put up her dukes.

    A loud crash made Adam and Rory jump back from the door. A table had been upturned and covered the opening they’d been peering out.

    “Damn it,” Adam coughed. “Okay, new approach. Brute force.”

    “What, like all three of us ram it at once?” Rory asked.

    “Sure. That’s like seven hundred pounds of impact.”

    Ruby scoffed, incredulous. “How fucking heavy do you think I am?”

    “Well, there are three of us. I’m two-twenty, Rory’s like one-eighty or something, and you’re…a little bigger than the last time I saw you.”

    “I had a big breakfast,” she retorted.

    “Guys, not now,” Rory sighed. “We need to get out there. Come on.”

    It was actually only 690 pounds, but at bruising speed they more than sufficed to knock the armoire and table out of the way. The trio flopped out into the basement, which was unexpectedly calm.

    Raleigh and Scarlett were gone. The trio gaped around, amazed and concerned, until a thud from the ceiling announced that the women had taken their duel upstairs.

    “Plan?” Rory asked, helping Ruby up.

    Adam was already picking up snapped twine from the floor. “Ruby’s going to stay down here and help me put the web back together. The cages are mostly still in place, so we should just need a few minutes to restring the twine.”

    “Hold on, what?” Ruby snapped.

    Rory shushed her. “And I’m going up there?”

    “Yeah,” Adam grunted. “If Heloise manages to get the upper hand, you’ll see Soren’s control over the material world start to slip.”

    “How will I see that?”

    “Maybe he won’t be able to levitate stuff or animate things as well. Maybe he loses his grip on Scarlett. I don’t know. But you will—you’re the medium. Figure it out. And when it happens, shout down to me so I can catch his disembodied ass in my web.”

    “Our web,” Ruby corrected him, picking up his ball of twine. Adam sighed.

    Another crash sounded upstairs. They instinctively ducked and covered their heads.

    “I don’t recommend trying to interfere,” Adam continued. “But don’t let them out of your sight.”

    Rory took the stairs three at a time and vaulted himself into the kitchen. He regretted the reckless jump immediately; the oven had been pulled from its housing and he sprawled right into it.

    “Fuck,” he groaned, looking up. He was just in time to see Scarlett hurl Raleigh out the old side-door.

    Raleigh’s mass knocked the door off its hinges and she sprawled on top of it on the porch. Her belly slammed down atop her. She looked up and found Scarlett stepping out of the house after her, a swarm of knives flanking her shoulders in the air.

    The door under Raleigh floated up and slid off the porch, carrying Raleigh out of the way just before several knives thwacked into the floorboards.

    She sledded down the sideyard of the house, composing herself on the door, and skidded across the iced-over street before flipping over into a snowbank on the far side.

    Scarlett launched herself off the deck and hustled down the yard, her thick lower half quaking with each out of shape step. She reached the edge of the road but was sent sprawling as one of Rory’s snowshoes clipped the back of her head. The second snowshoe flew over to swat at her, but Scarlett rolled out of its path, and parried it with the first shoe. The crampons caught each other and the shoes ended up tangled in each other’s cleats.

    Scarlett tossed the snowshoes behind her and gestured to the mailbox. It obediently uprooted itself and shot across the road. Raleigh raised the door as a last-minute shield, but the force of the mailbox threw her backwards down the hill and into the forest.

    Scarlett threw herself down the slope after her and they both disappeared in the trees. Branches could be heard groaning, snapping, and splintering.

    Rory struggled down the driveway, losing his footing on the ice at every turn. He executed a perfect baseball slide onto the street, recovering his snowshoes and pulling them apart. Swearing and occasionally casting a glance into the woods, he strapped on the shoes as quickly as he could.

    He stood and kicked the ice. Finding traction, he raced into the woods.

    “So you’re sister’s possessed?” Ruby laughed as she hung a length of twine. “Crazy shit, man. Awesome.”

    He cocked an eyebrow at her over a birdcage. “I’m not sure that’s the word for it.”

    “Aw, I figured you’d be pumped. You’ve been trying to catch a ghost your whole life.”

    “Well, yeah,” he sighed, “but we haven’t actually caught him yet. And as excited as I am to have been right, my sister is more important than my hobby.”

    “And you think this thing will work?” Ruby tied off her strand.

    Adam centered the fishbowl in its huge birdcage. “I have no idea. I designed this thing in college based on a heated discussion I saw on 4chan.”

    “That’s encouraging.”

    “You have a better idea?”

    “Are you kidding? My involvement in this situation has amounted to eating a fuck-ton of pancakes and driving Raleigh over here.”

    “Well, you’re a lot more involved now. You got any more sage in the car?”

    Rory pushed his way through the woods, snowshoes tossing up clouds of white behind him. He could see Raleigh and Scarlett up ahead; their fight having carried them to a small clearing by the lakeshore. A large white blob seemed to be moving between them and Rory squinted to make out what it was.

    It was a massive, rotund snowman, weathered scarf flapping in the wind. As Rory neared, the snowman reared up, looming over Scarlett, and swatted her with a thick treebranch arm.

    The blow knocked Scarlett into the air and hurled her out onto the frozen lake, where she slid another twenty feet before regaining her footing.



    She flung up a hand and with a rending crack one of the trees at the edge of the clearing uprooted and fell down upon the animated snowman. The snowman crumbled beneath it, arms falling limp.

    Raleigh stepped out onto the lake after her foe. The ice crackled with each footfall.

    Scarlett got to her feet and they stood opposite one another for a moment, preparing. Scarlett’s burst corset hung open, her stockings were shredded, and her garters had snapped, but the green handkerchief remained snug around her neck. Her quaggy, pear-shaped body quaked as she assumed a defensive stance.

    Raleigh’s dress was in tatters, a memory of something that had once tried to contain her, but the bright red scarf continued to fly like a battle standard. Her breasts swung, her belly wobbled, and her thighs jiggled as she marched forward.

    Scarlett met her with a flying tackle. They spun, rolled, wrestled, got up, and fought their way further out of the inlet.

    Deep, bassy groans emanated from the ice. Rory raced across the clearing, climbing over the collapsed snowman and the felled tree.

    Scarlett got her arms around Raleigh’s neck, effecting a bizarre hold, and forced her to her knees. “This time, Heloise,” Scarlett hissed into her ear, “I shall leave nothing of your spirit to haunt me.”

    Raleigh shot her hand between Scarlett’s arms and seized the handkerchief around her neck. With a desperate heave she ripped it off and shoved Scarlett’s face down against the ice with a deafening thud.


    She tossed the handkerchief into the wind, let out a battle cry, and fell down upon Scarlett with a three hundred pound body slam.

    The ice fissured beneath them. Scarlett cried out, but it shattered with a mighty crack and they both plunged into the darkness below.
     
  2. Mar 8, 2015 #142

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ,
    This is great!! More please!!!!!!!
     
  3. Mar 12, 2015 #143

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    Chapter 43


    Darkness rushed past Raleigh’s vision. The water was overwhelmingly cold, but as she plunged deeper and deeper her body no longer seemed to mind.

    She hit the lakebed like a meteor striking the moon. A cloud of mud billowed up, blotting out what little light filtered down through the ice. The murk drifted out, spreading a black ceiling over Raleigh and separating her from the world above. She sat up in the crater she’d created, blinking.

    The pendant around her neck was glowing, its gemstone casting a dull red light. She slowly climbed to her feet and glanced around, aware that she was underwater but strangely unconcerned about breathing. The last scraps of her ruined dress floated away into the darkness, leaving her in nothing but the scarf. Her fat felt weightless in the water. There was no sign of Scarlett.

    Swirls of dust began to rise up from the lakebed, glowing dimly in the red light. They surrounded Raleigh and slowly took shape, forming lanky, forlorn-looking figures.

    She watched as they settled into the detailed likenesses of individual people. One was a portly young man with a bag of old schoolbooks around his neck, dressed in turn of the century tweed. Another was a slender girl in a tie-dye shirt and hiking boots. Others wore much older attire, the rugged gear of the inn’s early guests. They looked to Raleigh with desperate eyes. It was the plea for help she’d seen on Heloise’s starved face.

    She nervously clutched the pendant, swallowed, and nodded to the nearest phantom.

    The schoolteacher bowed in gratitude. He reached out a hand and pressed it gently against Raleigh’s soft, floating belly. He looked into her eyes, closed his, and disintegrated in a swirl of stirred-up lakebed. A gentle warmth flared in Raleigh’s belly.

    The other phantoms were still looking at her. Raleigh grimaced for a moment, still unsure of what was happening, but then spread her arms and gestured for the phantoms to gather in close, nodding.

    They reached their collected hands to her midsection. It was large enough now, fortunately, to offer enough surface area for them all.

    All at once, they burst into clouds of sand, and at once Raleigh felt the warmth in her belly flare up. It was an overwhelming sensation, one she’d never felt before. It wasn’t the bloated fullness she was used to feeling there, but a deep, tingling mystery spreading out from her fat. She doubled over and fell onto her hands and knees, belly kissing the lakebed.

    Raleigh looked up. The murk had parted enough that she could see what looked like a stone structure rising up from the mud. Three monoliths, covered in muck, one lying horizontally atop the other two.

    Between the upright stones was an opening, wide enough for even Raleigh to squeeze through.

    She heaved herself to her feet, thankful for the buoyancy of her blubber. Hands cradling her gut, she waddled slowly over to the monoliths. After a moment’s pause, she bit her lip, shut her eyes, and stepped through.

    Rory’s snowshoes clattered onto the ice. He sprinted several steps out, then abruptly skidded to a halt. A roar had rattled the lake beneath him and several jagged fissures crisscrossed the bay. He gaped around, panting.

    Back at the house, Ruby had finally made her way down the slick driveway to her car.

    “Hey, Ruby, wanna try this sweet new shit?” she growled, fumbling with her car keys. “No side effects—all you have to do is eat a shit ton of pancakes with me…well, fuck you, Raleigh. Bad trip. This is a bad fucking trip.” She finally got the car door open, but a massive rumble from across the street made her look up.

    The ice under Rory’s feet began to buckle. Looking out, he saw the ice in the middle of the bay swelling, as if something beneath were pushing it up. Mist sprayed out of the fissures. Swearing, Rory clambered back to the shore, falling off the edge of the ice just before the lake exploded.

    Ruby dropped her keys as two massive shapes burst up out of the lake. They rose in a colossal tower of white water, unleashing a heavy cloud of mist. Slabs of the ice that had covered the surface of the lake rained down from the two figures as they stretched upward.

    As Rory stared up at them, squinting through the cloud of mist, he could make out the two figures taking form.

    The nearest, made entirely of the lake’s cold, dark water, took the shape of a slender, severe man. Ripped-up lake weed and several very confused fish swirled through him. A pair of faint green lights served as eyes on his hateful face.

    The other figure had swelled to a much rounder form. It was made entirely of clear ice, like an ice sculpture, so transparent that it must have been hollow. Rory recognized the figure’s rotundity, girth, and ringlets immediately: Heloise.

    The two giants faced each other for a moment in the mist. Righteous anger was evident on Heloise’s face; bafflement was evident on Soren’s. He lashed out with a watery hand to strike her, but she intercepted it, seizing his wrist in her frozen grasp. He wrestled with her arm, but seemed to have no leverage.

    Heloise pulled his hand slowly to her mouth, tilting her head sideways. Soren writhed in her grip, clearly growing panicked. Realization hit Rory and he took off back toward the house as fast as his snowshoes could carry him.

    A terrible sucking noise filled the air, followed by the sound of huge, rhythmic gulps. Heloise was drinking from Soren’s liquid hand; the lakewater could be seen flowing down inside her icy throat, trickling down to her monumental stomach.

    “You wretched sow,” Soren’s desperate voice carried over the wind. “How have you gained such power?”

    Heloise paused her gulping and leered at him. “Soren, you poor fool. Gaining is what we do best.”

    The gulping resumed, faster now. Soren’s animated water giant began to shrink and Heloise’s belly began to fill up like a fishbowl.

    Ruby glanced down, catching sight of Rory as he dashed recklessly out from the woods.

    “Ruby!” he was shouting. “Now! Tell Adam, now!”

    “Tell him what?” she called back.

    “Now!” he screamed.

    Ruby hesitated, then scrambled up the driveway. She tripped up the front steps and sprawled out through the front door, but was able to shriek down to Adam on her way. “Now, Adam! Rory says now!”

    “Holy heck,” Adam wheezed. He had sat down in the corner to fix his bandage, but now limped his way across the basement, dodging lengths of twine and hanging birdcages.

    He reached the table at the center of the room and plugged the fishfinder into the waiting extension cord. It flashed to life, but the monitor only showed a garbled mess.

    “Come on, come on,” he muttered, slapping it.

    The monitor flickered, then showed an image of a huge fish. Adam pumped a triumphant fist and slammed his hand down on the fishing reel he’d taped to the monitor.

    A shower of sparks sent him flying back. One by one, the birdcages slammed shut. The caps to the bottles, milk jugs, and flasks jumped back onto their respective vessels. The lidless cups flipped themselves over.

    Outside, his message delivered, Rory rushed back toward the lakeshore, casting glances up between hurried steps. There wasn’t much left of Soren’s water giant, now merely a little doll in Heloise’s hand. The green glow blinked and disappeared from his eyes.

    The huge brass birdcage in the center of Adam’s web slammed closed. The fishbowl bubbled briefly, then all was quiet.

    The ice sculpture of Heloise, filled now to the brim with the dark water of the lake, opened her empty hand. Soren was gone.

    She pressed the hand to her generous chest, leaned her head back, and loosed a watery belch. She gave the sky a long sigh of satisfaction and deep, deep relief, then shut her eyes and let herself fall backward. Her mass toppled slowly, like a felled redwood; she hit the water and disappeared behind a surging tidal wave.

    Rory had just reached the edge of the lake again the wave hit. It washed clear over him and well into the woods beyond.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2015 #144

    hap helium

    hap helium

    hap helium

    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ,
    Hands down one of the best stories posted in 2014 and 2015 with a clever and highly entertaining variation on a familiar genre. Your story telling is descriptive and lively with fully realized, believable characters (as well as real "characters" - Ruby shout out, anyone?). This is always more than a ghost story or a weight gain story or a fish out of water story. And the updates, though very timely, are always worth the wait.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2015 #145

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    Chapter 44


    Raleigh opened her eyes. She was still standing in water, but it was only up to her waist. It was moving now, too, babbling around her thighs. Looking down, she found herself suddenly wearing a thin white gown, scarf slung around her like a sash.

    The sun filtered down through treebranches overhead. They were thick with leaves. Looking around, Raleigh beheld a lush, peaceful grove; streams of water, like the one she was standing in, flowed into a glittering pool at the center.

    She turned around. The stack of monoliths stood behind her, straddling the creek, covered in moss. In the distance, she could see similar structures over the other streams. The warmth in her belly throbbed.

    Someone stood up out of the water next to her. It was the schoolteacher, no longer a phantom of lake-mud but a breathing body in a white tunic. He smiled at Raleigh and the others rose up out of the water behind him, joy and relief in their eyes.

    They gaped about, amazed, then took off together downstream. They clapped Raleigh on the back as they passed, beckoning her to join them in the glimmering pool. She watched them go, hesitant and confused, but then followed slowly. She could hear their laughter echoing surreally through the woods.

    “Not in Minnesota anymore,” she muttered to herself.

    The pool opened up before her, its water rich and sparkling with a full aurora of colors. Another stone structure stood on the other side, this one made of marble slabs. Beneath them sat a hugely round man, humming and dipping his toes in the water.

    “Sven,” Raleigh realized, stopping at the pool’s edge.

    He brightened. “Yes. I am overjoyed to see you, Raleigh. Welcome.” His voice rang with a distant, echoing tone, as though it came from somewhere else.

    “Holy shit,” she breathed. “I’m dead.”

    “You have crossed over, indeed. You came here, however, not by the route of destruction, but by the transcendent power within you. And by this passage you shall be, in turn, empowered.”

    Raleigh bit her lip. “What?”

    “Through your self-sacrifice,” he replied, gesturing to the former phantoms, “you have freed these imprisoned spirits. And you have given my Heloise her long-sought justice.”

    “So it worked?” Raleigh sat herself gingerly on a nearby rock, staring into the distance.

    Sven stood and waded into the pool. The other freed souls quieted their frolicking and watched.

    Raleigh looked up. “I can’t believe…damn it. When I came to Minnesota, my biggest concern was finding a way to look fashionable in a winter coat.” She shook her head.

    “And behold how much more you have become, Raleigh. And I don’t mean only your size,” he added with a hearty laugh. “Your incredible compassion for a few long-dead strangers has not gone unnoticed.”

    She fidgeted with the pendant. Sven gestured for her to join him in the pool; she cautiously stepped down and waded in up to her navel.

    Sven pressed a hand to her head. “The souls of this place empower and implore you to continue your good work,” he declared. He shoved her back with a sudden thrust of the hand and concluded, as she toppled into the warm water, “spirit-walker.”

    Rory tumbled about in the water, feeling the cold draining all the energy from his body. Within moments he was too exhausted to fight against the current and had lost the dexterity in his fingers to reach down and release the snowshoes.

    Then he was on the ground again, gasping for air as the water receded. He forced himself up and gaped out at the lake—large chunks of broken ice floated calmly on the dark water, but there was no sign of the giant Heloise.

    Rory picked himself up, gasping for breath, and realized he wasn’t the only one gasping.

    A little ways down the shore from him, coughing and bedraggled, Scarlett was pulling herself to her feet. She seemed to have shriveled up, all the extra weight she’d squeezed into the corset having suddenly disappeared.

    “Scarlett,” Rory called, clicking out of his snowshoes and jogging over.

    She looked up, shivering. What little clothing survived after her long fight had been stretched out by her expanded girth and now hung limp and useless from her lean form.

    “Are you alright?”

    “That was fucked up,” she spat. “I am going to murder Adam in the bloodiest way possible.”

    Rory draped his jacket over her narrow shoulders. It didn’t do much, sopping wet as it was. “Glad you’re back with us,” he laughed. “Your boyfriend was a real piece of work.”

    “I’ve had worse,” she scoffed, teeth chattering. “This girlfriend of yours, though…”

    “She’s—”

    Rory stopped and followed Scarlett’s wide-eyed gaze to the lake. A dozen yards from the shore, the dark water bubbled in a small ring between a pair of ice chunks. The bubbling intensified, almost frothing, and then the wide, decadent figure of Raleigh stood up out of the water with a splash and a toss of her brilliant red hair.

    She was wearing a white silk gown; it clung to her curves and rolls and, soaked through as it was, proudly displayed all three hundred pounds of her. She was submerged up to mid-thigh and the gown splayed out across the water from there in a broad swirl. Her scarf hung limp from her shoulders and the ruby pendant bounced back and forth between her wobbling breasts as she waded to shore.

    “Oof-dah,” she said, stepping onto the beach.

    Rory wrapped her squishiness in a relieved hug. “You okay? Your aura feels…different.”

    “I think so. Sven said some weird stuff…” She turned to Scarlett. “How about you? Feeling better?”

    “Thinner,” Scarlett replied. “Cold as balls, though.”

    Rory nodded. “Yeah, let’s get you two back indoors.”

    He collected his snowshoes underarm and the trio began trudging back up toward the house. Scarlett, her once again bony form quivering in the breeze, hurried ahead. Raleigh, however, who seemed to take no heed of the temperature, waddled leisurely along.

    She rested one hand atop her bouncing gut. Her other hand slowly reached out to touch Rory’s arm, then snaked its way down to entwine her fingers with his.

    Sven gazed down at the sparkling water of the pool as the ripples from Raleigh’s departure died away. He breathed deeply and turned around, back toward the monoliths at the pool’s edge.

    Below them, stunning in her white gown, Heloise was squeezing her massive body out from between the stones.

    A boyish grin spreading on his face, Sven splashed his way across the pool, girth heaving with each great stride. He scrambled up to the monolith and took her hands in his.

    Sven and Heloise hauled together and soon her fat was liberated from the stones with an audible pop. They tumbled backward and flopped their reunited enormity onto the grass, laughing and kissing and squeezing.
     
  6. Mar 17, 2015 #146

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    (44, continued)



    The house, shockingly, was in pristine condition. The windows were unbroken, the decorations rehung, and the furniture unburned, as if nothing had happened.

    Ruby had hurriedly fetched a pile of linens for the three drowned rats that had returned to the house. Scarlett sat huddled in a chair under several layers and Rory clutched his afghan tight as he filled the tea-kettle. Raleigh, towel draped disinterestedly over her shoulders, wandered the kitchen and peeked into one of the cupboards.

    It was packed full with food. She stepped over and opened the pantry; it was full as well. The refrigerator and freezer were likewise stuffed and several bottles of margarita mix stood on the counter.


    The fat little wood-carving sat smiling on the kitchen table. Raleigh smiled back at it and rubbed her own rounded belly.

    The basement door flew open. “Holy heck,” Adam announced. “We got him.”

    They gaped at him. He stepped into the kitchen and held up the fishbowl: the tiny plastic snake was swimming around it frantically, bumping its head into the glass and writhing in anger.

    Rory clapped Adam on the shoulder. “You finally did it, man. You caught a ghost.”

    “Um, ‘we’ caught a ghost,” Ruby corrected him, clearing her throat.

    “That’s right,” Adam agreed, setting the fishbowl on the table. “I’m really proud of this team.” He pressed his hands to his hips and puffed out his chest. “Well done, everybody. We took on a real challenge here and worked through it together. I look forward to our next case.”

    Scarlett raised a hand. “Excuse me, what?”

    “Next case?” Ruby laughed.

    “Well, yeah,” Adam replied. “There are tons of ghosts out there. And judging by what we as a group just accomplished, I’d say we’re the best people for the job.”

    Scarlett sighed. “You could also say that we as a group just got very lucky. We might want to just be grateful and move on with our lives instead of pushing that luck.”

    “Maybe. But think about it.” Adam spread his palms, his eyes gazing dreamily upward. “We have my technical expertise. We have your medium abilities. We have Scarlett’s experiences as a victim of possession. Raleigh seems to have some connection with the spirit world. And Ruby…Ruby was here, too…”

    “Wow, thanks.”

    Raleigh didn’t look up from the carving, but nodded. “We should help people if we can,” she added, “living or dead. We should…continue our work.”

    Rory set the teakettle on the stove. “You’re planning to stick around up here, then?”

    “Turns out the Midwest isn’t as dull as I thought,” she teased, turning. “Plus, I figure it can’t be winter all the damn time.”

    He smiled. “Nah. And the summers up here make it all worthwhile.”
     
  7. Mar 18, 2015 #147

    Tom the pig 8

    Tom the pig 8

    Tom the pig 8

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Excellent!
     
  8. Mar 18, 2015 #148

    Jake (JMJ)

    Jake (JMJ)

    Jake (JMJ)

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    ,
    This is an amazing story, and I really enjoyed how you were able to blend the supernatural and weight gain elements so nicely together. You're a very talented writer.

    Jake (JMJ)
     
  9. Mar 18, 2015 #149

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ,
    Thank you for the splendid story. I look forward to reading more of your stories. You are an amazing writer. ;)
     
  10. Mar 18, 2015 #150

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    ,
    I agree Smileykatz
    One of the best stories in a Long time!
     
  11. Mar 18, 2015 #151

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

    strataadvance

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    ,
    Is there any chance for an Epilogue concerning their normal
    lifestyle afterwards? It's apparent that Raleigh is still Fat for a reason just as Scarlett is Not. If you're
    completely through then thanks for a wonderful story.
     
  12. Mar 19, 2015 #152

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    Chapter 45


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Gifts,” Raleigh finished.

    “I see,” Mrs. Gunderson murmured.

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

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

    “Interesting. But now he cooks every night.”

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

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

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

    “Interesting,” Raleigh purred.

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

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

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

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

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

    “Haunted fridge,” Adam echoed. “Mrs. Gunderson, you called the right team. We shall happily take your case. We have quite a bit of experience with gastronomic ghosts and food-focused phantoms…I think this is certainly something we can help with.” He watched Raleigh extract herself from the chair, the red gemstone in her necklace gleaming. “Now, if you’ll lead us to the offending appliance…”
     
  13. Mar 19, 2015 #153

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    ,
    Thank you to everyone for reading and for your kind feedback! I've had a great time with this one and hope to be back with more stories in the future.
     
    MattB likes this.
  14. Mar 19, 2015 #154

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Smileykatz70

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ,
    AMAZING!!!! Can't wait for your next creation!!
     
  15. Mar 19, 2015 #155

    Sparrow

    Sparrow

    Sparrow

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    ,
    Thank you for this wonderful story!
     
  16. Mar 20, 2015 #156

    searcher

    searcher

    searcher

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Thank you for this great story.
     
  17. Mar 22, 2015 #157

    ALS

    ALS

    ALS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    ,
    Wonderful tale!
     
  18. Mar 23, 2015 #158

    Tad

    Tad

    Tad

    mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    13,013
    Likes Received:
    1,878
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The great white north, eh?
    This was fantastic! A great story that included weight gain, but anyone who wasn't weirded out by the weight-gain could enjoy the story I'd think :)

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

Share This Page