BBW The Uncontainable - by Marlow

Discussion in 'Recent Additions' started by Marlow, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Apr 29, 2019 #21

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    (9, continued -- first half is on the previous page)



    Miranda was still staring at her phone when Bridget woke the next morning.

    Bridget sat up slowly, grimacing at the knots in her back. She’d been relegated to the fold-out cot, with Miranda taking up most of the bed. She pushed her matted hair from her face and blinked at Miranda.

    “Did you sleep?” Bridget asked hoarsely, struggling out of her oversized nightshirt.

    “Hm?” Miranda grunted, turning a page. “What time is it?”

    Bridget leaned over to squint at the microwave. “It’s almost ten.”

    “Oh, wow.” Miranda set her phone aside and rubbed at her eyes. “I looked up that text…The Queen in Yellow, in English. It’s apparently a play.”

    “Like a theater play?”

    “Yeah. It’s really old, though. And a little controversial.” She grabbed the photo. “Performing it is banned in a lot of places and there are only a few copies of the full script that haven’t been lost or destroyed. Juliana and Diana were getting a lot of letters from an archivist at Thalia University…”

    Bridget fumbled through her bag for a fresh pair of shorts. “Why would anyone want to destroy a play? Plays are fun.”

    “Not sure. I couldn’t find anyone who’s written about it who’s actually finished the whole thing. They mention something about human sacrifices, but won’t say much else. But there have been riots in cities where it’s been performed, sometimes. Paris, Arkham…people died. Must be some disturbing stuff.”

    “So…your cousins were reading a scary play?”

    “Or trying to, at least.” She shrugged. “It sounds to me like they were involved in something shady…maybe even illegal. Mom always said the Kade branch was up to no good. It would explain why they’ve been on the move so much and so hard to get a hold of.”

    “Should we tell the police?”

    Miranda scoffed. “Fuck no. We’re gonna get my money and then we’re gonna get the hell out of here. The rest of their business is none of ours.”

    “I like the sound of that,” Bridget agreed, pulling on her shirt. “You want some breakfast?”

    Miranda paused. Her eyes finally rose from the phone. “I am pretty hungry.”

    “I think if we get in early enough, we could beat that rush at the diner.”

    “Good idea.” She tugged at her waistband. “Think you could get something to-go and just bring it back here for me? I’m pretty sore from all that walking yesterday.”

    Bridget fidgeted for a moment, but nodded. She plucked up her keys and headed out.







    The diner was already growing crowded, as though yesterday’s patrons had never left. Bridget was grateful she’d decided to walk over, seeing the overfull parking lot.

    Overfull from what must have been an extravagant breakfast, two locals were plodding out as Bridget reached the entrance. She held the door for them and though she beamed with her usual cheery smile, they paid her no attention.

    “Maybe I just don’t have it anymore,” she wondered, watching them go.

    “I’m not doing this anymore,” shouted a voice. “I’m leaving this crazy fucking place!”

    As Bridget held the door, a young woman stormed out: the girlfriend she’d seen the night before. She yanked open her purse and reached in for her keys.

    Bridget shoved the door closed and hurried after her. “Hey—hello—‘scuse me. Hi.”

    The woman whipped around. Seeing Bridget, she furrowed her brow in confusion. “Are you…look, I don’t know what my boyfriend told you, but I’m not interested.” She turned up her nose at the diner. “Ex-boyfriend.”

    “What? No. I…I wanted to ask you some, like, advice. I’m not from around here.”

    “My advice would be to continue not being from around here. Around here is fucked up.”

    “Yeah, I’ve…it’s kind of a weird town. I was wondering if you knew, like, why, I guess.” She bit her lip.

    “Not sure I can really help you. My boyfriend moved here a while back…he grew up here and when they offered him some work up at the Whately place…he figured it’d be a good way to live cheap and make some money. He ended up staying longer than he told me he was supposed to and so I came out to maybe move in with him. Make things official.”

    “Aw, congrats. Wait. Oh.”

    “Yeah, it’s not working out. I’m leaving.”

    “Sorry. You said he was working at the Whately farm?”

    “He does construction.” The girl dug out her car keys and started toward the end of the lot. “The barn, up on the top of the hill…there’s some project going on in there.”

    Bridget followed, watching attentively.

    “Place gets deliveries all the time. Vans from some of the shops around town, trucks from some of those bulk stores…earlier this year I started seeing livestock trucks heading up that road. Fuck, with all the animals around here gone, I can’t imagine where they were ordering those from.”

    “Is your boyfriend…ex-boyfriend…so is he still working up there?”

    “I don’t know. He goes up there all the time, but he doesn’t bring his tools anymore. And all he talks about are those weekly seminar things. Keeps trying to get me to go.” She opened her car door. “Fuck that. I don’t know what they do up there and I don’t know what they’ve got in that barn, but I don’t fucking want to know. I’m leaving…and you should, too.”

    She climbed in and shut the door. Bridget watched her peel out and speed away.

    A flock of crows flapped overhead. The diner doors opened as another handful of patrons emerged and Bridget perked up, her stomach reminding her why she’d come.

    She squeezed her way through the line, weaving toward the counter, hoping she could place a to-go order and bypass the waiting crowd. She glanced around for the waitress.

    A clattering plate caught her attention. Bridget pushed past a rotund customer and peered over the counter.

    On the floor behind it sat the waitress. Three empty plates lay discarded beside her, sticky with syrup. Her eyes were glazed over with pleasure and she leaned back against the cupboards with a hiccup.

    “Order up,” called one of the cooks, laying a platter in the warming window. “Eggs for table nine.”

    Grinning, the waitress twisted and reached up, a distended food-baby pushing out against her apron. She seized the platter, sat back down, and set about devouring the eggs.
     
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  2. Apr 29, 2019 #22

    Tad

    Tad

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    The great white north, eh?
    I'm looking forward to seeing how our anti-heroes (or un-heroes?) resolve this situation :D
     
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  3. May 5, 2019 #23

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    Chapter 10

    “Feeling alright?” asked Bridget, glancing over at the passenger seat.

    Miranda nodded. She hadn’t put her hair up and her crop of blonde locks fell over her pained face. “Stomach kinda hurts.” Leaning back, she closed her eyes and massaged it. It was unusually soft and pliable, being so empty.

    “Sorry. I guess not having breakfast doesn’t help much with a hangover.”

    “Hm, no. It doesn’t feel like a hangover. I didn’t have that much, anyway.” Seeing Bridget’s knowing glance, she rolled her eyes. “Don’t give me that. That wasn’t nearly enough last night to feel…look, I may not have your insane capacity for beer, but I’ve had…” She grimaced, pushing her hand deep into her midsection. “Can’t deny I’ve had a little more practice lately.”

    The truck rolled over a pothole. Miranda’s stomach was jostled free of her waistband. She hurriedly tucked her girth back in and peeked sheepishly over at Bridget, who was likewise busy readjusting her bra.

    “Anyway, I assume it’s just that I missed breakfast,” Miranda continued. “I…haven’t missed a meal in a while.”

    “We can try somewhere else. I just…I didn’t think we were going to get anything from the diner, the way things were going there.”

    “It’s fine. I think at this point I’d rather just get this talk with the twins over with. The sooner that’s done, the sooner we can get the hell out of this freaky town.” They passed a pair of farmers in an untended field, lounging in a hay-cart and splitting what looked to be a sheet cake. “Much as I may fit in here.”

    Bridget caught sight of a flock of crows out her own window, circling in the distance. “Yeah, leaving sounds good to me.”

    “And we can grab lunch on the way home.”

    The truck rolled onto the Whately’s dirt path and started uphill, but slowed to a stop before the imposing gate, padlocked shut.

    Bridget shifted to park and looked at Miranda, who could only frown. Miranda sighed and reached for the doorhandle, but froze.

    The corn rustled and the wiry man stepped out onto the path. He stiffened awkwardly and slowly turned toward them; he was still wearing the blindfold, but managed to stare directly at Miranda through the windshield.

    Bridget waved. Miranda rolled her window down and leaned out, at least as much as her mass would allow. “Uh, good morning.”

    He stood silent. A breeze passed over the cornfield.

    “Great.” She lowered her voice. “Bridget, work your charms.”

    “Me?”

    “Sure. You can make anyone like you. Just do your usual thing.”

    She arched her eyebrows. “You want me to take my shirt off?”

    “What? No, just—”

    The man took a sudden step forward. He unfastened the padlock, unwound the heavy chain, and hauled the gate open. He stood holding it, staring ahead.

    “Should we go through?” Bridget hissed.

    “Yeah, I think that’s the idea.” Miranda watched the man as they drove past. His covered eyes met her gaze until she looked away.

    The homestead looked no livelier by daylight. The old whitewashed siding of the house was dirty and peeling, with several of the panels missing. Part of the roof was sagging in. Faded curtains were drawn over almost every window. A porcelain rooster lay on its side on the front porch, staring helplessly out toward the rise of the hill and the shadowed barn atop it.

    Bridget parked the truck at the end of the gravel drive. There were no other vehicles. One extension of the house looked like it might have served once as a garage, but the broad opening appeared to have been hastily bricked up.

    Miranda stepped out of the truck and peered around, tugging her skirt back up over the bottom roll of her belly. Bridget closed the driver door, bit her lip, and went back inside for the keys.

    As soon as they’d rounded the corner of the house, the front door burst open and Diana floated out, a golden-haired skeleton in a thin sundress.

    “Morning,” Miranda grunted, heaving herself up the porch steps. “Well, afternoon now, I guess.”

    “Yes,” Diana gasped. “You came back. Fantastic. It’s so nice to see you. Our family has grown so far apart since grandmother passed on.”

    “Life does that sometimes.”

    She nodded. “We were all so young the last time we were together. You’re all grown up now. Yes.”

    “Grew more out that up, I think.” Miranda forced a nervous chuckle. “This is my friend Bridget, by the—”

    Bridget promptly tripped on the step and sprawled onto the porch.

    Diana backed out of her way. “Are you alright?”

    “Sorry, yeah, sorry,” Bridget sputtered, climbing to her feet. “I just...lost my balance all of a sudden. I do feel kinda lightheaded, though, actually.”

    Miranda’s stomach gave a gurgling whine. She pressed a panicked hand against it. “Sorry.”

    Diana’s sunken eyes darted from Bridget, holding her head, to Miranda, holding her belly. “You haven’t eaten.”

    “Wha…I mean, we did skip breakfast. But—”

    “No. You must be starving. We should have lunch. Or I would be a terrible host. Lunch. Yes.”

    Miranda shook her head. “We were hoping to get back…we…it’s…” Her stomach burbled again. She swallowed. “Maybe just a little something.”

     
  4. May 5, 2019 #24

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    (10, continued from above)


    The house’s interior proved as poorly-maintained as its exterior. Water damage rippled through decades-old wallpaper, floorboards were rotted, and cracks had opened around corners where the foundation had settled away from the building’s frame. The Whatelys’ customary messiness appeared to be at its worst here, too: some of the rooms they passed on their way to the kitchen were too filled with junk to enter. Diana hurried to close their doors.


    The kitchen was relatively pristine, however. There were only two chairs at the dining table, beside each other, leaving open a long side that faced the doorway to a darkened room. Miranda craned her head to peer in. The door itself had been removed and the frame widened.

    “Make yourselves comfortable,” Diana lilted, opening one of three huge refrigerators. “I’ll get something right up.”

    Miranda slid a chair out from the table and lowered herself onto it. It was a tiny, frail antique, though, and she heard one of the struts crack as soon as she’d settled her weight.

    “Oh my god,” she spurted, springing up with a wobble and reaching to Bridget for support. “I’m so sorry. I…”

    Diana turned, surveyed the chair, and wrung her hands. “It’s okay. It was just old. I have a better chair. Yes. You should use that.”

    “Sure, yeah.” Miranda watched as she disappeared into the darkened room. “Again, I’m so sorry. I really need to…get my weight under control.”

    “There’s no judgment in this house,” replied Diana, reemerging. “Only support. That is the goal of our seminars.”

    She brought out a mobility scooter and pushed it to the long side of the table.

    “The battery’s dead, I think, since it’s been out of use. But it will make a fantastic chair. Yes.”

    Miranda took a shuddering breath, staring at a perturbing future. She sat slowly and adjusted herself. The scooter was a little too comfortable. “Out of use,” she echoed. “I meant to ask…is your sister around?”

    Diana paused mid-step. Her dreamy smile faltered for a moment and the weariness in her eyes seemed to deepen. “Juliana’s gone.”

    “Gone?”

    “She…entered the world of dreams,” Diana said softly, gazing out the window. “She is on the ultimate journey, opening the doors to the beyond…following our grandmother.”

    “Oh my god,” Miranda realized. “I hadn’t heard. I would have…come to the memorial…what happened?”

    Diana laid a hand on Miranda’s shoulder, then turned back to the refrigerator. “Lunch! Let’s get you fed. Yes.”

    She hefted a large serving tub to the table and peeled back its cellophane cover. A pair of place settings followed.

    “It’ll take a few minutes to warm up the casserole. But I can see how hungry you both are. Yes. Here is pudding to tide you over. It’s fantastic. A family recipe.”

    Miranda straightened, but couldn’t lean over herself to reach from the scooter. Diana was already scooping up a bowl for her, though, with practiced ease.

    Bridget served herself, poking tentatively at the wobbling yellow dessert. After a moment she pressed a small spoonful into her mouth, though, and her eyes went wide.

    “Oh, wow,” she exclaimed through the mouthful. “That is good.”

    “Fantastic,” Diana agreed, bustling around the kitchen, glancing over as Miranda tucked into her bowl, as well. “Eat up. There is plenty. Yes.”

    It was exactly what Miranda needed. Relief flooded her body as pudding flooded her stomach. Pausing to swallow, she turned to peer back into the darkened room.

    A stack of mattresses was visible, weak centers caved in with a collapse much too reminiscent of Miranda’s couch cushions. Against the far wall were stacked several rows of moving boxes. In the dim light she could see the labels of some, identified as “XXXL” and “6x” or, in later stacks, “Red Shirt.”

    Miranda cleared her throat and forced herself to look away. “So, Diana…I have to ask about the trust fund.”

    “Yes! Of course. Please.”

    “Right. The thing is…I haven’t received this year’s check, and last one’s was really late…and not for the right amount.”

    “Oh no. That’s terrible. No.”

    “Yeah. Oh, Bridget, could you scoop some more in my bowl while you’re in there—thanks. Mm. Anyway, Mr. Ward told me you and Juliana are the trustees now, apparently, so I was hoping we could figure out what’s up and maybe get, you know, get back on track with that.”

    Diana closed the pantry. “Oh. Yes. Of course. Back on track.”

    “I really hate being the…like, the money-grubbing cousin or whatever. But the stipulations of the fund were pretty clear and…” She glanced at Bridget. “…I’m in a place right now where I kind of have to rely on that check coming on time.”

    “Do you? Yes. Of course. Yes.” Diana crossed to the table and sat in the broken chair. It made no sound beneath her. “I can only imagine how much trouble this has caused, Miranda. Cousin, I am so sorry.”

    “You don’t need to apologize. Let’s just…”

    “I have been so busy, keeping the project going without Juliana. She was always much better at keeping up with things than me, yes. Fantastic at it. So…yes. Oh! Yes. I will do that.”

    “Wait. Sorry, do what?”

    Diana shot up and left the room. Miranda looked at Bridget, who could only shrug, her lips closed around her spoon.

    “There’s so much to do,” Diana explained, bursting back into the kitchen, folder in hand. “I’m no good at bookkeeping. Yes. And without Juliana to help…you deserve more reliability. So…yes. Here.” She signed something in the folder and slid it across the table.

    Miranda set down her bowl and reached, with a grunt, for the folder.

    “There is a check your share of the fund. In full. Right now. Yes. This way I can’t cause you any more trouble or delay. No.” She stood and scooped another serving of pudding into Miranda’s bowl.

    “Oh my god,” Miranda choked. She snapped the folder shut. “That’s…” Her chest heaved. “Are you sure? Oh my god.”

    Diana met her gaze and clasped Miranda’s pudgy hands. “I hate…hate that you had to drive all the way out here and…waste your time.” There was a smile on her lips, but her eyes conveyed only terror. “This way you won’t ever have to visit again.”

     
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  5. May 6, 2019 #25

    DaveTheBrave

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    Intrigue continues!!
     
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  6. May 11, 2019 #26

    Benny Mon

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    It's an amazing story. Every time I think you've teased the full extent of the mystery, you reveal another layer we don't understand. Excited to see where this goes.
     
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  7. May 13, 2019 #27

    Marlow

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    Chapter 11

    “You’re not gonna believe this,” Bridget giggled, storming back into the motel room, “but I managed to fall down right in a giant puddle of mud.”

    “Mm-hmm,” replied Miranda, not looking up. She was lounging once again on the bed, bulk propped against the headboard, eyes staring transfixed at the open folder.

    Bridget twirled in front of the mirror, sucking her teeth. Her crop-top was soaked with mud. “I managed to get your bag to the truck, but when I started heading back for mine…boom: some guy hurries past and runs right into me.”

    “Hmm?”

    “He was on his phone, of course. Didn’t even say sorry. Just kept shouting, like, ‘she’s missing, she’s missing, she went for her jog and hasn’t come home,’ and ran across the street.” Bridget steadied herself on the wall and reached to slip off her shoes. “I guess he didn’t even hit me that hard. I just got, like, caught off-guard and went right down. Plop. I feel like my balance is just getting worse.”

    “Mm.”

    “Yeah, it’s weird. Dunno what’s changed.” She washed her hands in the tiny sink, pausing to frown down at herself. “What’d you think about that pudding?”

    Miranda glanced up from the folder. “Mm. That was something else.”

    “I know, right? Really good.” She pressed a hand to her sternum. “Really, really filling, though. I can’t remember the last time I felt this…” Her bosom heaved as she stifled a hiccup. “…bloated.”

    “Definitely filling. I almost didn’t have room left for the actual lunch.” Miranda had managed to put it all away anyway, though, and as she returned to her reading she snuck a hand under her blouse to massage her gurgling, tautly-distended paunch.

    “Ugh. This shirt is ruined. And my bra’s all wet, too.” Bridget dried her hands and opened her duffel bag. “I’m gonna get changed quick, and then we can get on the road if you want.”

    Miranda belched.

    Bridget pulled out her remaining change of clothes, set them aside, and quickly peeled off her muddy top. Unclasping the bra was a sudden relief and she stood uncovered for a few minutes, idly massaging the flesh where the straps had been pinching in—more painfully than usual.

    She was no stranger to being undressed in front of others, but still cast a glance over at Miranda. Miranda seemed almost unaware of her presence, though; the big woman’s eyes were fixed on the what lay in the folder and her attention was only periodically interrupted by bubbling whines from her stomach or long, burbling belches.

    Bridget cleaned herself up and toweled herself off, occasionally pained by pangs of the unfamiliar fullness in her own belly. She could feel the heartburn high in her throat and a bulging pressure behind her eyes. She hiccupped and blew out a long breath.

    The sun was already sinking, casting a golden light through the dingy window. Had they been at the Whately house that late into the day? How many servings of that elaborate lunch had Bridget watched Miranda shovel into her never-satisfied mouth?

    Diana had certainly shown no surprise at Miranda’s appetite. She’d seemed all too used to serving, in fact, and too well-equipped to handle and assist someone who’d quickly grown too full to comfortably move. She and Bridget had pushed a delirious Miranda back to the truck in her scooter and Diana had helped her obese cousin aboard with a practiced heave.

    Bridget wrapped a fresh bra around herself. The clasp refused to reach. Furrowing her brow, she sucked in and pulled it tighter. She closed one clip, then two, but as she gritted her teeth and pushed for the third, she heard a heartbreaking snap.

    She held the bra up to examine it, then turned to her reflection in the mirror and choked.

    “Oh my god,” she sighed, turning from side to side. “I thought I was just super bloated, but…I think I’ve been putting on more weight than I realized.”

    Her beer gut jutted almost as far forward as her chest. Her muffin-top wobbled atop her slender legs.

    “Oh my god, Miranda, I look pregnant.”

    “You look fine, Bridget,” replied Miranda, without looking up.

    Bridget poked her stomach. There was a layer of softness on top of the taut swell. She grabbed it with both hands and pulled it side to side, then bounced it up and down. “There are stretchmarks, Miranda. This is awful.”

    “You’re fine, Bridget. People put on weight sometimes. It’s normal.” She winced at a deep rumble in her own stretchmarked abdomen. “I would know. It’s not the end of the world.”

    “The club’s gonna fire me. It’s not like anyone comes to the shows for my dancing skills. They pay to see these bounce…” She shimmied her chest. “…not this.”

    She jiggled her gut. Miranda finally looked up. “Bridget…you’re thinking too small.”

    “Small? What? Miranda, you aren’t listening. I have the opposite prob—”

    “Bridget, listen to me.” She closed the folder and pulled out a slip of paper. “It doesn’t matter anymore. The club doesn’t matter. Your dancing doesn’t matter. The overdue bills don’t matter. This check…” She waved it in the air. “This check is all that matters.”

    Bridget slumped into a chair. Her stomach creased. “How much is it for?”

    Miranda gave a quivering smile. “It’s for…it’s for a lot, Bridget.”

    “Oh my god.”

    “Yeah. This is way more than I would have made if I’d gone crawling back to Silver Key. More than I would have made if I…if I’d never left in the first place.” She read it again, as though afraid it had changed since she’d last looked. “And after what you’ve done for me the last few years…everything you’ve given me…we’re sharing this. We’re both getting a fresh start. We get to make our lives whatever we fucking want this time.”

    “Oh my god.”

    “Yeah. So be as shitty a dancer as you want, because you don’t need that job anymore. Be as goofy and fun and silly as you want, because you don’t need to impress Colin or any of those loser local boys anymore. And eat all the ice cream you want and all the onion rings you want and drink all the beer you want because if you get fat…” She spread her flabby arms. “…it won’t matter anymore.”

    “So much for that diet, then?”

    Miranda cocked a mischievous eyebrow. “This check’s big enough that I could open my own personal Chickin Kitchin franchise.”

    Bridget bounced up and pulled on a loose white tee. Without the bra, the shirt only made her bust more prominent. “This is so much. I don’t even know what to think. What should we do? Where do you want to go?”

    “I don’t know,” Miranda admitted, breaking into a broad, relieved smile as moisture gathered in her eyes. “We should put together some options. See what’s out there.”

    “We could go somewhere fancy. Like...Clear Lake. Oh my god.”

    Miranda chuckled. “Don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, Bridget.”

    She took a shaky breath and gazed out the window. Her belly rose and fell under her folded arms, lifting the check.

    “I never thought coming to this town would…” She wiped her eyes. “It’s weird, here, sure, but everyone’s been really friendly. I can’t remember the last time I felt this…”

    “Full?” Bridget giggled.

    “…welcome. Maybe mom was wrong about Kade…about this side of the family. Seems like a lot of good folks here. I’m almost…sorry to leave already.”

    Bridget crossed the room and perched next to her on the bed. “What are you thinking?”

    Miranda gave her a conspiratorial smirk. “I think news like this…” She held up the check. “…deserves a celebration. When was the last time you cut loose a little?”

    “Me? I dunno…things have been…you know.”

    “That settles it.” She clapped her hands. “Let’s go across the street and at least have a drink or two. Mark the occasion properly.”

    Bridget nodded, grinning. “Yeah. Okay. Yeah! Just one or two, though. I do want to get home soon.”

    “It’s a deal. Here, help my fat ass up.”

     
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  8. May 18, 2019 #28

    Hamburgerhelpme

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    the buildup you have in all of your stories is out of this world, truly exceptional, the worlds you create and bring together for scenes are so realistic and keep me hooked for more. mad props
     
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  9. May 22, 2019 #29

    Marlow

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    Chapter 12

    “It really just snuck up on me, you know?” Miranda explained, a little too loudly. “I mean, I’m sure part of me knew it was…knew it was happening, but I honestly didn’t realize till it was way too late. Oh, hey, do you do burgers here?”

    The bartender nodded, but then turned to take someone else’s drink order. His bar was lined with patrons, their corpulent girths squeezed up against one another and spilling over the sides of their stools.

    Miranda’s own wide frame was wedged between the hips of a woman whose derriere was perched atop two stools and the backfat of a man leaning his considerable weight at an unintentionally invasive angle. She didn’t mind the squeeze, but it was beginning to annoy her that neither were paying any attention. Most of the crowd was watching something on the far side of the room.

    She continued anyway. “It’s like…you’re an athlete for so long, with a teenager’s metabolism…you never really have to pay attention to it, you know? Cuz getting fat is something that happens to…other people.” She waved a vague hand, nearly knocking over her neighbor’s mug. “You categorize people in your head and in your head you’re always just someone who’s in the ‘skinny’ category.”

    A cheer drifted across the tavern. She saw a flash of motion reflected in the bottles behind the bar, but ignored it.

    “You want another one of those, miss?” asked the bartender, tapping her glass.


    “Hm? Yeah, load me up.” She watched him reach for the tap, belly peeking out from behind his apron. “It’d always been so easy. Just like school…that’s always been easy, since you’re surrounded by dumb people. And sports, since you were surrounded by people that didn’t, like, try.” She accepted the new glass and took a long, frothy pull. “Mm. You grow up like that and there’s no reason to think you’ll ever, you know, stop being good at…whatever you want to do.”

    The reflection passed again. Several others at the bar turned their heads.

    “But then…but then you’re an actual grown-up and you have to do actual grown-up stuff...suddenly nothing’s easy anymore. At least…nothing that’s good for you is easy. Suddenly things you never thought about before, like ‘eating healthy,’ are suddenly so fucking hard all of a sudden.

    “So every once in a while you order out instead of cooking something fresh. And everyone’s all telling you about ‘meal-prepping’ and fad diets…but all you can think about is that fried chicken place you tried once on a road trip and how it wasn’t as disgusting as all your friends here say and that it sounds way better right now than another fucking kale salad.” She took a long gulp of beer. “You try on that amazing dress that Esmee talked you into buying for the holiday party, but it doesn’t fit anymore. What happened? How? You tell yourself maybe Esmee’s right…maybe you should fight the temptation to hit the drive-through on the way home more often.

    “But it’s so easy. It’s the only thing in life that’s still easy. It’s only been a few years, but you’re so far away from who you were and where you thought you’d be by now and none of it’s…none of it’s any fun. You spent your whole life teaching yourself to work hard, to be an achiever, to be better than everyone around you…you’ve always been the best.

    “But now what you’re the best at is avoiding hard work. All that preparation, telling yourself you want success…but now you’re acting totally unlike yourself in every way and giving all that up…” Her eyes widened with realization. “…it all feels so right. Like you’ve finally found yourself.”

    She shifted on the stool, trying to get comfortable. Doing so shoved the man’s bulk, spilling some of his drink. He glowered at her.

    “And suddenly it’s all normal. So many things are changing that the change is normal…it’s so normal you stop noticing it. Like when your sleeves start ripping cuz your arms are so thick…or people are staring ‘cuz your butt’s peeking out from your skirt or your thighs are tearing open your tights…and when you can’t see the scale around your big fat gut, you just give up on looking.”

    The man heaved himself up and turned around, whooping at whatever he saw.

    “You get good at giving up. You’ve always been the best at whatever you’re doing, so why not be the best at that, too, right? You quit. You go home. You move in with the one person in your life who doesn’t judge you for all that.” She gulped down the rest of her beer.

    The woman next to her pushed away an empty French fry basket with a belch.

    “All that work, all those extra…extracurriculars, all that college, all that grad school…the internships, the independent study, the extra business classes, all that time going above and beyond to get ahead at the best possible company…all to end up a fat slob on your stripper friend’s couch. No money, no job, no ambitions...just cravings.

    “And that’s when I finally felt like I was who I was supposed to be. Couldn’t escape fate or destiny or whatever.” She pushed the mug away and turned to her immense neighbor. “The family curse. You know what I mean?”

    The bottom-heavy woman finally glanced over at her. “Eh, I don’t know. Not really. I’ve always been skinny.”

    Miranda stared at her with a sigh. The woman outweighed her by at least thirty pounds.

    “You should try these seminars that Whately girl’s doing up at her farmhouse,” she suggested, patting Miranda on the shoulder. “She’s real inspiring. Helped me give up fried food.”

    The bartender dropped off a fresh basket of onion rings. The woman purred and shoved a steaming handful into her mouth.

     
  10. May 22, 2019 #30

    Marlow

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    (12, continued from above)


    Miranda tapped her glass and the bartender obligingly refilled it. Steadying herself on the counter, she slipped her bulk off the stool and turned around to watch the show.


    The bar, crowded with tables, offered little room for dancing but did have a small raised platform in the far corner. Patrons were clumped around it, fat bodies pressed against one another as they jostled for the best view. Lights beamed through the dust, illuminating Bridget’s busty profile.

    She sashayed to and fro across the short stage, teetering unsteadily and clearly very drunk, but tantalizing the gathered crowd with a lusty grin, coyly teasing views of what waited beneath her tight clothes. She hadn’t solved her bra situation before going out and it was all too apparent that she wasn’t wearing one.

    Miranda waddled closer. Part of her wanted to haul Bridget away from this embarrassment, but another part of her noticed a smile she hadn’t seen on her friend’s face in years.

    Bridget turned around with a wink and slowly, to a crescendo of cheering, unbuttoned and slid out of her shorts, showing the whole bar her tiny butt in a yellow thong. Miranda’s breath caught in her throat.

    “Chill,” she hissed to herself. “Bridget does this every day.” She tried to imagine herself up on stage, her square, quaggy backside pinched by her long outgrown panties, her cellulite-rippled thighs wobbling with each nervous wiggle.

    A tall, bearded man leapt up and tucked a wad of cash into the strap of Bridget’s underwear. She turned and cooed at him; he stepped back, riffling the rest of the bills in his hand.

    “Buck, man, that better not be the two hundred you owe me!” hollered another man. Buck replied with his middle finger and a hearty grin.

    Licking her lips, Bridget straightened and smiled out at the crowd, pushing out her chest, crossing one foot ahead of the other. The drinks caught up with her and she nearly tripped off the stage, but caught herself just in time. She laughed it off, though, playing up a ditzy character, flustered by the audience’s attention.

    She tilted up her head, seized her short-cropped tee shirt, and with a slow, practiced dance peeled it off. Her breasts tumbled free and the crowd erupted. Her gut, swollen with cheap beer beer, shone under the hazy lights. Conversations had ceased as eyes turned in amazement; even the bartender had joined in the cheering.

    Hands shot into the air, waving cash. Bills fluttered onto the platform. Miranda gaped.

    Bridget trotted and twirled a bit to either side. It wasn’t much of a dance, given how little coordination she possessed even when sober, but every little motion sent a wave of excitement through the crowd.

    She sauntered to the front of the platform, locking eyes with the bearded young man. On her last step her balance finally betrayed her, though, and her performance ended in the usual manner: she sprawled off the edge of the stage and landed bodily on the man, knocking him into a chair.

    The audience backed away. Bridget glanced around in a brief moment of panic, but no one was laughing. They simply looked on in anticipation.

    The man cocked an eyebrow. She’d landed on his lap, or at least what little of it wasn’t covered by his beer belly. Apparently struck by an idea, Bridget pursed her lips and feigned shock.

    “Oh my, Mister Buck,” she lilted, “it looks like I’ve fallen for you!”

    The crowd hooted. Miranda frowned; Buck grinned and reached for his beer.

    Bridget snatched the glass from his hand. She spun and straddled him, steadying herself with one hand on his shoulder and tossing her hair from her face.

    She raised the glass to her lips, winked, and leaned back. She opened her throat and began chugging with practiced ease.

    “Oh my god,” Miranda breathed. “She’s back.”

    The beer flowed without pause. The crowd grew louder and rowdier, pulsing with anticipation in time with her steady, bosom-heaving gulps.

    She slammed down the empty glass with a sigh and basked in the applause. Buck helped her into her own chair and she thanked him with a sharp hiccup.

    “Finally,” he shouted over the din, “somebody who knows how to fucking party.”

    “You just keep ‘em—hic!—keep ‘em coming, then.”

    He slung an arm around her. “All night, babe. We’re keeping this celebration going. Afterparty’s at my place and everyone’s invited.”

    She ran a finger down his nose. “An afterparty? Will there be more beer?”

    “Lots more, babe. And I’ve got some really great grass, if you’re into that.”

    “Grass?” Bridget giggled. “Am I a cow?”

    “You better hoof it on over, then.”

    She blinked at him. “What?”

    “It’s a pun, Bridget,” Miranda sighed, dropping into a chair next to her with a weighty huff.

    “Oh, right. I’m bad at those.” She eyed Miranda with a grin, her flushed cheeks dimpling. “What’s wrong?”

    “Nothing. Just checking on you.” She stifled a belch and handed Bridget her discarded shirt. “You know you’re not at work, right? You don’t need to be—”

    “Pff. Miranda, when you love what you do, it’s never work. Plus, I’m still getting my free drinks and…hic!...and this time they’re ending up in me instead of on me! Big im…improvement.”

    Buck leaned in toward Miranda. “You’re welcome to keep the party going with us, too. You look like you can hold your beer.”

    “I’m already holding several, dude.” Miranda patted her paunch. “And not to break up this meet-cute or whatever, but aren’t you engaged?”

    He scoffed. “Engaged? Not that I know, babe.”

    She studied him. “Buck, right? Firefighter?”

    “That’s me,” he replied, striking a heroic pose.

    “Right. Aren’t you and…whassername…Tabatha…a thing? How would she feel about you hitting on us?”

    “Who’s Tabatha?” asked Bridget, rocking with another hiccup.

    Miranda glared at him. “That blonde girl we met yesterday. ‘Jogs’ all the time. Lives in the blue house down the street.”

    “That house is empty,” said an older man, pulling up a chair and handing Bridget another beer. “Ain’t been anybody in there for years. Look, I know just about everybody in town and there ain’t nobody around here named Tabatha or anything like it. And Buck here definitely ain’t engaged.”

    “But…” Miranda furrowed her brow. She recognized the man: he’d been on the porch the day before, telling her about Tabatha.


    Buck held up his fingers. There was no ring. “Point is: I’m available to party,” he concluded, winking at Bridget. “And babe, you have got to come check out the afterparty. You think you’re popular here…those folks are gonna eat you right up.”

     
  11. May 22, 2019 #31

    Tad

    Tad

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    The great white north, eh?
    I hope that last line isn't prophetic!
     
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  12. May 23, 2019 #32

    The_Hero

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    Probably a bit early, as Bridget is the smaller of the two and not sized for ascension yet...
     
  13. May 27, 2019 #33

    Marlow

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    Chapter 13

    A shadow stretched across the bar ceiling, a looming void outlined against the refracted moonlight. It curled and twisted as Miranda’s vision swam, briefly taking the shape of a bird in flight.

    “Crow,” Miranda croaked under her breath. Blinking, she tried to remember when she’d fallen asleep. It hadn’t felt like sleep, but she’d woken from something.

    The all-too vivid dreams had taken her to another world, in another life. She remembered forgetting her own body, abandoning in its own old, dusty world.

    Suddenly unsure, she ran her hands over her stomach, pinching and prodding it. It was her familiar flabby form, though she couldn’t explain why that was such as relief. She sat up with a long groan and realized that she was still quite drunk.

    Her head swirled, seemingly determined to continue the raucous party. The raucous party had moved on, however: from what she could see from the booth where she’d been lying, the bar was largely empty. A rotund figure lay splayed on a broken table, surrounded by empty beer pitchers, snoring gently. In the shadows beyond, another much slimmer figure sat slumped at the bar.
    With a grunt, Miranda extricated herself from the booth. She’d grown wary of booths as her body had grown wider, but squeezing out proved more of a challenge than usual: her stomach was bloated to an unusual and uncomfortable fullness.


    Her paunch typically sagged with heaviness, but now swelled forward in defiance of gravity, too bloated to even wobble. Miranda was used to the width of her hips and midsection, but she couldn’t remember her gut ever being so distended.

    She wasn’t wearing her blouse, which was fortunate. With such a swell in her abdomen, its buttons wouldn’t have stood a chance. Its replacement, she discovered, was a man’s tee-shirt, which pinched her fat arms and covered only the top half of her glutted stomach. Her navel peeked out from under its hem as she got to her feet.

    A deep belch burbled up from within her. Steadying herself against a nearby table, she pressed a hand to her chest and released it, but felt no less full. The long, rumbling burp resounded off the walls.

    The figure at the bar mumbled something in reply. Miranda brushed her hair from her face and turned to follow the voice, bleary eyes struggling to focus.

    On the furthest stool sulked a malnourished, withered old man whom Miranda couldn’t remember seeing earlier. On the bar before him sat a half-empty bottle of whiskey and a sweating glass. He slowly turned to peer at Miranda, scratching his wiry beard.

    She tugged down, in vain, on the shirt and realized, too late, that she was otherwise only in her underwear. “Uh, ‘scuse me,” she ventured with a polite wave, trying not to fall over. “Think I…overdid it a little.”

    His eyes widened. “That hair,” he wheezed. “Golden, angelic hair…you’re one of them Whatelys, from up on that…blasted hill.”

    Miranda waddled toward him, cradling her sloshing belly. “I am a Whately…but not a local one.” She weaved between a pair of tables, knocking over a chair in the process, and piled herself onto the barstool beside him. “You know the Whatelys, then?”

    “All too well,” he grumbled, pouring himself a drink. “They took everything I had.”

    “Oh…I’m sorry.” Miranda grimaced. Holding herself upright was taking everything she had. Her overfull stomach was squeezed against the bar.

    “They get in your head,” he rambled, tapping his temple. “They make you do things you’d never do. I went to those seminars…I had the dreams, same as everybody else. They were so beautiful and so…frightening.”

    He threw back the drink and refilled the glass. Miranda watched the liquor swirl within it, feeling everything she’d poured into her stomach that night churn and bubble.

    “We all knew not to trust them. That whole clan’s always just been trouble. My grandfather…he was here the day they moved here from out east and he told me he could smell all kinds of bad history on them. All their crops would wilt and die, year after year, but they kept planting. And they never once came to church, mm-mm, but if you got close enough to that house you could hear their old matriarch chanting and shouting at night.” He turned up his nose at the memory. “Strange foreign folks used to visit all the time, wearing masks. We’d see fires up on the hill, but they’d be the wrong…the wrong color for fires.”

    Miranda reached for a nearby glass, but only succeeded in tipping it over. It rolled away.

    “I tell you: when the old woman finally passed on, we all felt some relief. But things up at the house ain’t got any less unholy since then. Uh-uh.” He swallowed, shivering. “With her gone, it’s like something’s been unleashed…something she kept contained, that now ain’t. You know what it is?”

    “Urrp,” Miranda replied.

    “Mm, me neither. Nobody but Diana does. But there’s something up in that barn, I tell you. I heard it in there. You heard the noises?”

    Miranda shook her head. A deep noise emanated from her midsection.

    “I heard ‘em. And I ran. Whatever’s in there, in’t going in to see it. Nobody who goes in ever comes back out. But I heard it, growling in there. And I heard something huge scratching and rubbing up against the walls.”

    “Rubbing,” Miranda echoed. Inspired, she reached a hand to begin rubbing her stomach.

    “I told Diana I wouldn’t go up the hill anymore, but she came down to my house instead. Did a seminar right there on my doorstep. And then I…” He picked up his glass and gestured out the window, to a cattle fence in the distance. “Then I sold her whatever they wanted. She bought up all my pigs, one by one, till there weren’t any left. And then she moved on to Bernard’s cattle…now they’re all gone, too. And once everyone ran out of animals…” He drained his glass. “She said she was done with me. I wouldn’t be any use, I was too old…so I should go away. And now all I can do is…is try to forget.”

    A question reached Miranda, through the haze. She stifled a belch and looked over at the man. “Do you know what happened to Diana’s sister? Juliana?”

    He paled. “Juliana…she was the first. After they ran out of livestock to steal from us, they…they carried her into the barn instead…” He spread his quivering arms. “She was so fat, it took half a dozen of them…and she never came out. They gave her to whatever’s in that barn. And since then it’s just been hungry for more.”
     
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  14. May 27, 2019 #34

    Marlow

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    (13, continued)





    “Hungry,” Miranda breathed, her stomach stirring at the word. She shook her head. “More? Other…other people went in and…urrp…and didn’t come back out?”


    He nodded. “Bernard’s wife. She’d let herself go, too…got too fat to walk around. She was the next to go in. And then that big portly fella from the diner…the manager. And then…” He opened his mouth to continue, but a noise outside caught his attention.

    A crow flapped down and lighted on the windowsill with a perfunctory caw.


    The man shot up from his stool. “It…it was very nice to meet you,” he stated, loudly.

    “Wait, but…” Miranda paused to stifle a lengthy belch, squeezing her eyes shut. When she opened them again, the man was gone.

    The bar’s front door clapped shut. The crow cackled quietly from the window.

    Miranda winced at a sudden, throbbing pang in her gut. She massaged it and turned back to the bird; it spread its wings and flew off across the fields, toward the cattle fence.

    “The fuck,” she grumbled, sliding off the stool. She arched her back, trying to find a comfortable position to carry her bloated stomach, and steadied herself on the bar. She started toward the door, paused, and reached back to grab the man’s whiskey bottle before continuing on.

    The night breeze was refreshing, raising goosebumps on her naked legs. Her thighs rippled as she staggered out into the grass and the tee shirt gave up on covering her belly as she stretched up to take a swig from the bottle and gaze at the cloudless night sky.

    She weaved across the field, not sure where she was going or why she was on her feet at all, but certain that something out there smelled inviting. She weaved toward a tree and leaned against it for a minute, catching her breath and taking a long pull from the bottle.

    As she lowered it from her lips, a sound drifted out from the shadows: a long moan, like the lowing of cattle. Miranda frowned, waited as her stomach lurched with a burp, and decided to investigate.

    She shoved herself off the support of the tree and set off toward the wooden fence. It was a long walk, made longer by her strangely uncooperative feet and periodic losses of balance. The wavering journey began to feel like her childhood nightmares about running harder and harder but never escaping the monster on her heels.

    But finally, breathing heavily, she reached the edge of the enclosure. She leaned against the fence like a trusted friend, setting her gut on one of its sagging ropes. She sucked down what remained of the bottle, tossed it away with a massive belch, and peered into the shadows.

    A long burp answered her own. Miranda turned to follow the sound, wishing her eyes would adjust.

    A hulking body sat in the pasture, a dozen yards further down the fence. It turned and stretched up, its shadow slowly taking shape: the rotund figure of a corpulent woman, sitting in grass, idly caressing her paunch.

    Miranda inched closer, squinting.

    As she watched, the woman in the field rocked forward and hefted herself onto all-fours, her heavy stomach scraping the ground and her swollen breasts hanging nearly as far. The thick pouch of a double-chin drooped from her neck.

    She crawled forward, toward the fence, where a feeding trough waited. She peered into the trough, grunted at its apparent emptiness, and looked up at Miranda with expectant eyes.

    Miranda choked. The obese young woman was stark naked, but even without the outgrown jogging gear there was no doubt she was Tabatha, her stretchmarked flanks wobbling and her pudgy cheeks dimpled with a wistful pout.

    More groans drifted across the field. Looking up, Miranda could see other figures lounging in the stockade, their naked, sated bellies gleaming in the moonlight.

     
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  15. Jun 19, 2019 #35

    Fcfa

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    Really enjoying this story so far! Hope to see you continue it soon, whenever you're able. Love all of your work, Marlow!
     
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  16. Jun 27, 2019 #36

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    Thanks for reading! I'm polishing up the new set of chapters and will begin posting next week.
     
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  17. Jul 1, 2019 #37

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    And we're back!


    Chapter 14


    Bridget tromped across the motel parking lot, grimacing at the late morning sun.

    The clerk, emerging from a room with a stack of towels, froze mid-step to gape at her. Pausing, she gave him a coy smirk and took a swig from the wine-bottle in her hand. He replied with a nervous smile and shuffled off, but cast frequent, leering glances backward.

    The sun disappeared behind a layer of darkening cloud. Bridget breathed out a long, weary sigh and adjusted her sunglasses. She resumed her weaving trek, briefly losing her footing as she stepped up onto the walkway.

    She was tightly wrapped in a short, silk bathrobe, clutched shut over something stiff beneath that pushed up a valley of cleavage. Her legs were bare save for splashes of glitter. Her dark hair was a mess and her makeup smeared, but behind her bug-eye sunglasses her puffy face wore an expression of blissful contentment.

    Reaching her room, she pawed at her pudgy midsection a moment in search of the keys she’d lost hours earlier, only to discover, while reaching a hand to steady herself, that the door was ajar. She took a swig of wine and kicked it open.

    “Iowa’s finest takes the stage,” she announced into the wine-bottle microphone. “Miranda! Miranda, check this out!”

    She twirled into the bedroom and cast off the robe, revealing the garment beneath: a rigid, front-lacing bustier that all but crushed her chest. It barely fit. Her navel peeked out between the straining laces and the roll of her muffin-top protruded from beneath the panels.

    Miranda wasn’t in the bed. Turning, Bridget found her slumped against the minifridge, draped in a blanket.

    “Bridget?” she muttered hoarsely, forcing an eye open. “What…what’s…”

    “It’s my new costume!” Bridget informed her, too loudly. “I’ve got, just, so many new ideas for my dance routine. The show’s gonna sell out. I know it. Miranda, I had, like, the most…the most amazing time last night. I’m still high from it all…and maybe still high from it all.”

    “No, but…I saw…I left and went out and…oh god…” Miranda tried to sit up, pushing hair from her bleary eyes.

    Bridget whistled. “Oof. And I thought I was in for a hangover. Hair of the dog?” She proffered the wine.

    Miranda snatched the bottle and took a long pull. “Ugh. Bridget, listen—”

    “Hey, do you have your sewing kit? Can I borrow the scissors for a minute?” Bridget trotted to the counter and began digging through Miranda’s purse. “There’s this tag on the inside of this thing and it keeps, like, tickling.”

    “My head,” Miranda managed, wincing. “I can barely remember…there was a…there was…what happened?”

    Bridget located the scissors. “Well, I went to the afterparty at that guy’s place. Huge bash.” She twisted around in front of the mirror, trying to find the best angle to cut from. “Apparently they’re all part of the, like, production team for the community theater and they’ve got a play opening in a few weeks.”

    “Play,” Miranda echoed.

    “Not that I saw much planning happening,” Bridget continued. She gave up on the knot in her laces and resolved to simply shove the scissors under the bustier’s panels, squishing her pudge. “Though I may have been a little…distracting. God, Miranda, last night was so fun and, like, eye-opening. It’s like I finally remembered how to be me.”

    “You seemed…happier.”

    “It was amazing. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. They even invited me to be in the show!” She pulled her hand back out and struck a pose in the mirror. “Hence the outfit. One of the girls said I could try on an old costume. She seemed to think it was too big for her, but I think maybe she meant that, like, the other way around or whatever.”

    “Too big.” Miranda finally finished struggling to her feet. She clasped at the blanket, discovering that she had nothing on beneath.

    Bridget grinned at her. “I take it you made a friend last night, too?” She glanced down. “Wait. What did I do with those scissors?”

    Miranda frowned. “I met someone…but…not like that. There was this…”

    “I guess the locals just needed some time to warm up to us, you know? They’re all so much more…welcoming now. See, Miranda, like, I’m starting to think we were all creeped out about nothing. Maybe this place isn’t so bad, after all.”

    She rubbed at the hickies on her neck and admired herself in the mirror. Catching Miranda’s distant, wavering stare in the reflection, her giddy smile faded and she turned to reach out a reassuring hand.

    “Sorry. Tell me what happened.”

    Miranda shook her head. “I hope it’s nothing. I keep hoping I was just…seeing things. Or maybe they were all just as wasted as I was or something and just acting weird. But I…”

    Bridget guided her to a chair and headed to the kitchenette for a glass.

    “There’s a part of me that wishes we could get to the bottom of all this,” Miranda continued. She shifted her legs to make room for her paunch. “But there’s a much bigger part of me that thinks we should just get as far away from here as we can as soon as possible…that what we’re gonna find there isn’t anything we want to find.”

    “We can leave if you want. You’ve got your check.”

    “But…if there’s…The last time I let myself overlook something that felt wrong, just because dealing with it seemed too hard…” She took a long breath. “…I lost my job. And everything that came with it.”

    Bridget filled a tall glass with water and sipped thoughtfully at it.

    “What’s this play they invited you to?” Miranda asked, reaching for a bra.

    “I don’t think they said the title.” Bridget blushed. “I, like, wasn’t really paying attention at that point. There was…other stuff going on.”

    “Do you remember anything? What kind of show is it? What’s it about?”

    Bridget furrowed her brow. “I dunno. Dreams and stuff. Some artsy, sexy parties and rituals. There’s, like, a goddess…and an altar…and there’s a big sacrifice…” She nodded to herself. “I remember something about the sacrifice being really big. They were, like, really focused on that part.”

    “Right. And is there a queen?”

    “Is…oh.” Bridget pursed her lips and set down her glass. “Yep.”

    Miranda met her gaze. “Yeah, I think I met some of the cast members last night.”

     
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  18. Jul 9, 2019 #38

    Marlow

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    Chapter 15

    “Oh, ow,” Bridget hissed, stopping mid-step, fumbling a hand under her shirt. “Hold on a sec, sorry…”

    Miranda paused and hung her head, allowing herself a deep breath. Their walk had only taken them a few blocks down the road, but she could already feel her heart pounding. She took the opportunity to pull down on her blouse: still bloated from the night of debauchery, she’d been only just able to fasten the garment’s buttons. Her skirt, unwilling to zip, hung concerningly low off her hips and threatened to slide off with each plodding step.

    She turned back to Bridget. “You alright?”

    Bridget nodded. She’d pulled on an oversized tee shirt, but as she reached under it she revealed the stiff panels of the bustier.

    “Oh my god,” Miranda sighed, “Bridget, why are you still wearing that? No wonder you’re in pain.”

    “It takes too long to unlace. I just figured I’d deal with it when we got back. You were all in a hurry to go look at this place.”

    “Not if you’re going to suffocate before we get there. Come on—”

    Bridget straightened up. “It’s not that. It’s…the scissors are stuck inside. I cut that tag off and then, you know, forgot. Now they’re wedged in under the, like, panel thing. They aren’t cutting or anything, but I can feel them poking.”

    “Uh, okay. You want me to help you get them out?”

    “I’ll get it when we get back. It’s fine. I don’t wanna take this thing off yet, anyway.” She blushed. “I feel sexy again. People are staring.”

    Miranda glanced around. People were definitely staring. A pair of crows in a nearby tree were also staring. “Fine. Come on, let’s go.”

    They resumed their trek, crossing behind the bar. Bridget waved excitedly at her new admirers, who beckoned her back inside, but Miranda dragged her on into the fields.

    She’d imagined the walk would be shorter in the daylight, especially now that she was more sober, but the acres seemed to stretch further as they crossed. They had to stop a couple times to reorient themselves, finding themselves suddenly looking at a different edge of the field.

    The sky had grown overcast as they walked and a drizzle began to patter on the grass. Bridget grew quiet, or at least the pounding in Miranda’s head grew loud enough to drown her out. A flock of crows circled in the distance.

    “There,” Miranda huffed. “That stockade. It’s right there.”

    They stumbled up to the fence. Miranda leaned against the nearest post, closed her eyes, and tried to slow her breathing.

    “Oh my god,” whimpered Bridget. Miranda opened her eyes and followed Bridget’s gaze.

    They’d stopped near the feeding trough Miranda had seen the night before. It was no longer empty, but instead now filled with a pale yellow substance, viscous and smooth.

    “That looks awfully familiar,” Miranda croaked. “And it smells awfully familiar.”

    Bridget poked her finger into the trough, hesitated a moment, and then tasted the goop. “Oh my god. It’s that pudding. Like Diana gave us.”

    “Yeah.” Miranda nodded at something in the pasture. “And you were right…it’s really filling.”

    A naked, obese woman had emerged from behind a decrepit old building, crawling on all fours, stomach dragging on the ground. Miranda recognized the topheavy build, the stretchmarked flanks, and the puffy face and the terror of the night before flooded her thoughts again.

    “Remember her?” she asked Bridget.

    Bridget bit her lip, eyes bulging. “That girl we saw jogging. T…”

    “Tabatha,” Miranda confirmed.

    “What’s she doing?”

    “Well, she definitely isn’t jogging.”

    Bridget gaped, mouth quivering. After a moment she furrowed her brow and waved her arms. “Hey! Tabatha! Hi!”

    The girl paused and turned her head slowly, expression blank. She licked her lips and began wobbling over.

    “Yeah, hi, again,” Bridget continued. “You probably don’t remember us. We’re from out of town and we’re, like, I guess we’re wondering…oh.”

    Tabatha reached their portion of the fence, glanced at Bridget and Miranda in turn, and then shoved her face into the feeding trough.

    At the sound of her gulping, Miranda stiffened and stepped back. “I was really hoping this had been a bad dream.”

     
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  19. Jul 9, 2019 #39

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    (15, continued from previous post)



    Bridget reached a hand through the fence and tapped Tabatha’s shoulder, but got no response. The girl slurped up her fill, gave a satisfied belch, and turned to hobble away, toward the building.


    Two other naked figures spilled out of the cattle-door as she approached, a man and a woman, each even rounder than Tabatha. The man was nearly too fat to crawl; he reached a pat of soft grass and flopped over onto his side, belly spilling out over the ground. The woman, bottom-heavy by no less ponderous, slumped down next to him and nuzzled into his paunch, absently massaging her own.

    Miranda glanced at Bridget, then ducked and began working her bulk through the ropes of the fence. Bridget looked around in a panic, but bit her lip and followed her through.

    The building was little more than a broad shelter, its roof sagging on one end and its walls only thin slats. Two sets of cattle-doors opened into different areas of the enclosure; on the far end of the pasture lay the ruins of a farmhouse, burned and rotted. Next to it sat a mobile home, its windows dark.

    Weaving around the lounging couple, Bridget and Miranda tiptoed up to the closest cattle-door. The pleasant scent of the Whately secret-recipe pudding floated out to greet them and Miranda had to hush her growling stomach. They steeled themselves and headed inside.

    The paved floor was covered in a thick layer of hay and discarded blankets. A wide central are filled the shelter, ringed by a series of stalls. A line of feeding troughs ran down the middle of the room, mostly emptied. Bridget dipped her hand into one and scooped up a blob of the remaining pudding.

    Obese bodies occupied most of the stalls, often in pairs, some in groups of three, their corpulent flesh squeezed up against one another’s. Many were asleep, snoring heavily, but most just sat staring into the distance. Tabatha crawled across the hay and slumped down into an empty stall, grinning absently.

    Miranda cleared her throat and grimaced pensively, taking it all in, her chins creasing.

    “You okay?” whispered Bridget.

    “I just…it’s hard to remember the last time I was the smallest person in the room.” She pushed her hair back. “Not including you, I mean.”

    She’d guessed Tabatha had been a little over four hundred pounds, but everyone within the shelter looked to be even heavier; some by what must have been a hundred more, if not two.

    Their bellies weren’t just plump and round, but sagged and hung and spilled out, folding over themselves or flowing into whatever areas they could, forcing legs apart or covering them to the knees. Breasts stretched and hung to the sides, smothering the throats of those lying on their backs. The backsides of the more pear-shaped flowed out over the floor into plush mattresses; flabby thighs striated with cellulite flattened out into thick, wobbling slabs. Some legs and ankles looked simply too heavy to move.

    In the furthest stall lounged the heaviest of them, a tall, massive woman, her proud, freckled face buried in her chins. She sat against the wall, legs splayed, her apron-belly all but pinning her in place.

    With one hand she rubbed what little of the expansive paunch she could reach, pushing against it, lifting and dropping it, caressing its dimpled surface. With her other hand she fed herself globs of pudding from a nearby pail, pausing only to belch.

    Miranda swallowed and turned away, chasing off images of herself sitting in that same pose on her couch, reaching into a bucket of chicken. Two men at a nearby feeding trough shoved at one another with pudgy hands, fighting over the last drops of pudding.

    Bridget tried in vain to get their attention. She turned to poking at some of the women in the stalls, who could only halfheartedly recoil or roll over in their sleep.

    The west wall was open and Miranda peered around it into a small room, lined with a workbench on one side and a series of heavily marked calendars on the other. Miranda studied them, but couldn’t recognize the language of the writing; its alphabet was made up of awkward, curling sigils.

    Hanging from the wall between some of the calendars were a collection of chains, collars, and prods. A pair of wheeled washbasins were tucked into the corner, armed with mops, sponges, and bulk-sized bottles of lotion and shampoo. A huge, industrial scale sat on the floor in the middle of the room. Miranda stepped toward it, but shook her head and turned away.

    Bridget crept into the stall of the immobile, freckled woman. Staring in awe, she caught sight of a tag tied to the woman’s thickened ankle and bent down to examine it.

    “Ros,” it read, alongside a photo and what looked to be financial information. The woman in the photo was almost unrecognizable: a waifish girl, barely a fifth the size of what she was now, dwarfed by a mane of red curls. The red curls were still there, but flowed down her back, flattened by their length, hidden by the breadth of her fat face and neck.

    The woman’s hand shot out and seized Bridget’s wrist. Bridget yelped, but couldn’t wrench herself free. Sniffing, Ros yanked Bridget’s hand to her lips, grunted, and began sucking the dribbles of pudding from her fingers.

    Bridget squirmed, whispering a plea for help. Returning from the back room, Miranda blanched at the sight. She hurried to the nearest trough, scooped what little pudding she could find into a pail, and splashed it onto the woman’s voluminous chest.

    Ros squealed. Releasing Bridget, she tilted her face into her own bosom and set about slurping up the pudding. Miranda helped Bridget to her feet and they staggered into an empty stall.

    “You alright?” asked Miranda.

    “Yeah. Just…startled.” Bridget shook her head. “What is this? Why are they here like this?”

    Miranda looked at her. “The man I talked to…he was talking about the town’s, like, biggest people…getting carried into the barn up at the Whately farm. There’s something in there…something hungry.”

    Her stomach grumbled. She pressed a hand to it, amazed at its volume, but realized there was another sound in the air: a distant growl, growing closer. She glanced at Bridget, who seemed to be hearing it, too.

    “Is that an engine?” she asked.

    “Sounds like a tractor,” Bridget agreed.

    They turned toward the door. A huge yellow tractor was grinding its way across the pasture, a flatbed trailer in tow.

     
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  20. Jul 17, 2019 #40

    Marlow

    Marlow

    Marlow

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    Chapter 16

    “Other door,” announced Miranda, shuffling off. “I have a feeling we don’t want to be caught in here.”

    “Yeah,” Bridget agreed. She grabbed the upturned pail, making sure to give Ros a wide berth, and hung it back on its hook. Swallowing as the sound of the tractor neared, she hurried after Miranda.

    She slammed into Miranda’s backside, though, and had to catch herself before she tumbled to the floor. Miranda pulled her away from the door, face pale.

    “What is it?” whispered Bridget.

    Miranda swallowed, trying to flatten herself against the wall with little success. “There are men coming out of the trailer,” she hissed. “They’ll see us if we go that way.”

    “We can’t go the other way. Look, I’ll…I’ll work my charms on them.” Bridget started lifting her shirt.

    “This isn’t like last night.” Miranda shook her head and pulled Bridget’s shirt back down. “One of them has a gun.”

    The tractor outside sputtered to a halt. Boots hit the mud and muted voices drifted in from the pasture.

    “We have to hide,” Miranda decided.

    Bridget scampered through the room, peeking under feeding troughs and trying to pry open nearby crates. She spun around in a useless panic for a moment, then dove under a pile of horse blankets in the corner.

    “Ow, shit,” she squeaked, twisting herself. “Stupid scissors.”

    Miranda shuffled over, but hesitated.

    Bridget lifted the corner of a blanket and waved for her to join. “Hurry!”

    “I’m…I’m not gonna fit in there. It’d give us both away. Shit. I’m too…” Her eyes widened. “I’m too big.”

    Bootsteps drew closer, from both sides of the building. Miranda took a deep breath, gritted her teeth in exasperation, and tore off her blouse. Several buttons clattered to the floor, relieved. Extracting her fat arms from the pinching sleeves, she tossed the blouse down and reached to wriggle out of her skirt.

    “Oh my god,” Bridget gasped, glancing at the doors. “What are you doing?”

    “Fitting in,” Miranda snapped. She stepped out of her underwear and unslung her bra. Bundling her clothes, she stuffed them under the pile of blankets and hurried into a nearby stall.

    With a hushed apology, she sat herself in the hay next to a big-bellied woman: Tabatha, smiling obliviously. Miranda adjusted herself to sit back to back with the woman, trying to puff out her stomach to the size of Tabatha’s glutted belly, finding herself wishing, for the first time, that she were a little bigger. She pulled out her ponytail, let her hair fall over her face, and forced her expression into a blank, distant stare.

    The bootsteps reached the door. Three men entered through the trailer-side of the building. All three were eerily lean and gaunt, wearing old, stained farmhand clothes. All three were blindfolded; one carried a hunting rifle.

    Three others entered from the roadside door: another man and a woman, equally slender and unkempt, likewise blindfolded, and finally a reedy, blonde, barefoot woman in a floral sundress.

    Diana scanned the room. Her weary eyes looked darkened by sleepless stress, but she took a long breath and marched to the back room. Her two companions beckoned the three men over and began hefting plastic tubs into the building.

    Miranda watched as much as she could from her angle, stealing glances and staring dumbly whenever anyone’s face turned her direction. A familiar aroma wafted through the room; her mouth began to water and she could feel Tabatha’s stomach rumble.

    Diana emerged from the back, paging through a ledger. She set it aside with a sigh and held up a hand. Despite their blindfolds, her workers all paused and turned to look.

    “We’ll need to prepare…Ros,” she declared, lips quivering. The others nodded. “She isn’t quite big enough yet, but we can’t afford to get any more behind schedule.”

    She crossed the room, clenching and unclenching her fists. Miranda thought she almost glanced in her direction, but thankfully remained fixated on the enormous woman in the last stall.


    Diana stooped over Ros and inspected her, pinching the woman’s rolls and cheeks and wiping dribbles of pudding from her lips. Two of the men joined her and grabbed Ros’ plush arms.

    “Ros,” said Diana, in a suddenly much more confident voice.

    The woman stiffened and glanced around, as though waking. “Hrrm? Wha…whatsis?”

    Diana smiled. “Ros…stand up.” She stared into the woman’s eyes.

    Ros furrowed her brow, but nodded. With a concentrated effort, she pulled in one leg—hefting her colossal belly aside to make room—and then the other. She placed one foot on the floor, grunting, and pushed herself up with a grunt.

    She managed to get to a half-kneel, her upper body wavering, unused to supporting itself, the bottom roll of her paunch still resting on the floor. She smiled triumphantly.

    Diana nodded to the men. They grabbed her flabby arms and helped her the rest of the way to her feet. Once she was on her feet, she draped and arm over each one and they shuddered as her weight settled on their shoulders.

    “Clean her and take her to the temple,” Diana commanded. She gave Ros a polite smile. “You’ve done so well, Ros. It’s time for you to take your own special dream-journey.”

    Ros gurgled happily.

    “Yes. It will be fantastic. You have an opportunity to meet divinity…your offering will do so much for us. Yes. Go on, now.”

    The men led Ros out of the building. She paraded before her fellow livestock like royalty, a satisfied grin on her plump face, her paunch bouncing against her knees, her pudgy hand giving a little wave. The others stared or slept on, oblivious to everything around them.

    Diana watched her depart, then turned to her companions. “We’re behind. We’re supposed to get in at least two more before the end of this cycle. And then we need to be ready to immediately increase the intake rate as the next cycle starts.”

    They didn’t reply.

    “We need more,” she concluded, gazing around the room but stopping before her eyes reached Miranda. “The hunger just keeps growing and this just isn’t going to be enough anymore. No. We’ll need another cowshed and we’ll need at least twice as many volunteers.”

    A mechanical squeal sounded outside as Ros’ bulk settled onto the trailer.

    “And they’ll need to be bigger, sooner,” Diana continued. She swept a hand in Miranda’s direction; Miranda’s breath caught in her throat. “That one over there doesn’t look like she’s even four hundred yet. We need to do better. Yes. The divine commands it.”

     
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