Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 16 – by lostandwhatever
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Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 16
Continued from Chapter 15.
When Carol and Candice made it up to the conference room, Candice was surprised to see the cow and chicken were gone. In their place were three unfamiliar men in workout clothes. There was also a young boy seated at the table. Alice was there as well, and she was much easier to spot now that she was over 15 feet tall, naked, and seated in a corner of the room. All of them had their attention directed towards a television showing a news broadcast.
Carol and Candice entered the room quietly so as not to distract them from the news. Then, they watched the TV with the group.
A familiar silver-haired reporter said, “Welcome back. We are covering a breaking news story, a new development in the magical attacks from yesterday. The magic spell cast yesterday appears to be wearing off.” The text at the bottom of the screen read, “Magical Attack: Cured?” He continued, “As we reported yesterday, a magical attack had occurred yesterday in the Washington DC area involving people in schools and daycares. The majority of the victims were only children. All of them were either made older or younger by magic, which we have confirmed was caused by drinking milk from a single dairy in the area. The tainted milk has been quarantined, and facilities that had processed the milk are being searched and cleaned. Amy Chung is currently live at the dairy that is suspected to have produced the magic milk. Amy?”
The screen displayed a woman holding a microphone. She was standing at the entrance to the Contented Cow Dairy Farm. Cows were visible, grazing in a field behind her. “Hello, Andrew.”
“Hello, Amy. What have you learned from the authorities relating to the milk?”
“Well, I have just spoken with an FBI representative. The official word at this point is that the FBI has located a single cow that is responsible for the tainted milk. They say the cow has now been removed from the farm. We have footage of that, actually.”
A short clip of video played, showing a large pickup truck pulling a livestock trailer. The black and white coat of the cow inside was faintly visible through the holes in the trailer as the truck turned onto the road and drove off.
“We have asked if this means that milk is safe to drink in the DC area again, but we were told it is too early to say right now.”
Anderson asked, “Do we have any indication of why the cow was producing magic milk? Are there any suspects?”
“The FBI would not say definitively who might be at fault for the magic, but they did not deny that Mary Cole may be involved again. She is, of course, the elf who had perpetrated the magical attacks last Christmas, and she remains at large.”
“Do we have any more information regarding her whereabouts from the FBI?”
“No,” Amy said. “There were unconfirmed reports that she had been spotted in Eastern US in the past couple of months, but, as I said, authorities would not confirm if they were tracking her here. That is what we know at this hour. Andrew?”
The screen cut back to Andrew in the studio. “Thank you for your report, Amy,” he said and added, “I have just gotten word that we have a video that has been posted to Yootoob, depicting the effects of the age changing spell wearing off. We will play that for you now.”
A shaky cell phone camera video began to play. A frustrated young boy, looking just a bit too young for middle school, shouted at the person holding the camera, “Give it back!” He swiped at the camera, but it was held above him just out of his reach. “Joey! Cut it out!”
The voice of somewhat older boy holding the camera said, “Call me ‘Joe’…” and added, condescendingly, “Billy.”
“Don’t call me that,” the young boy said. “I’m Bill.” He crossed his arms and pouted, and it became evident that he was wearing a T-shirt that was several sizes too big for him, which only made him seem smaller.
“Well,” Joe said. “I don’t see why I should call you that anymore. You always called me ‘Joey’ even though I told you not to. You liked to treat me like a little kid just because you were my older brother. Well, It’s my turn to be the older now. Isn’t it?”
“What do you want?” Billy said, annoyed.
“I want to have some fun with you. We never play together anymore.”
Billy sighed. “What do you want to play?”
“Here,” Joe said, and the camera turned to face a young girl who looked just old enough for first grade. “Kimmy, just keep it pointed at the two of us,” Joe said as he walked into frame. He looked to be almost old enough for high school.
“Okay,” said the little girl holding the camera as she turned it to frame the two boys.
Joe walked over to a table and said, “Come over here.” He took a seat on one side of the table and pointed to the seat opposite him. “Have a seat.”
“What am I supposed to do here?” Billy said as he hopped up onto the chair and sat across from his brother.
Joe set his elbow on the table and held his hand up with his palm open and waiting. “We’re going to arm wrestle,” he said.
“Why?” Billy asked. “I’m not strong enough to beat you now. I give up. You win. You’re the bigger one. Happy?”
Joe shook his head. “If you can beat me,” he said, “I’ll give you your phone back and clean your room for the rest of the year. I’ll even do all of your chores.”
“Really?” Billy said. He started to size up his brother again, calculating if he might have a chance to actually win. There was a definite size difference due to the few years of age difference, but little Billy seemed to have a bit more muscle than one would expect to find on a boy his age. “What if I lose?” he asked.
“Then, you’ll have to clean my room one time, and you’ll take out the trash for me whenever it’s my turn,” Joe said, holding out his hand a little closer. “Deal?”
Billy took a moment to do some calculations of his odds and must have decided it was worth a try. “You’re on!” he said and took hold of Joe’s hand with his own. He looked worried when he felt his brother’s grip. The little hope he had was hanging on by a thread.
Then, something started to happen. Little Billy started to get bigger. It was subtle at first. His head was getting higher as his feet, which had been hanging above the floor, started to brush against the carpet.
Joe, it would seem, did not notice his brother growing. He counted down, “Three, two, one, go!” and the two of them began to flex and pull at each other’s arms. At first, Joe had a clear advantage. With very little effort, he managed to pull Billy’s hand back almost to the tabletop as the smaller boy struggled to hold off defeat. Joe smiled, smugly at how weak his brother had become. “Looks like someone’s about to take out the trash tonight,” he gloated.
Then, Joe frowned as he found his brother was fighting back. Billy had begun to regain his strength as he grew larger. Now, it was Joe’s turn to struggle. He focused on their hands as he noticed Billy’s grip getting tighter. He looked at Billy and realized his brother was now the same age as him. “No!” he cried as he worked out what was happening. “Not yet!” He redoubled his effort and pushed his whole body into the match, pulling Billy’s arm back again, hoping he could win before his brother got any bigger, but it was too late. Billy was already older than Joe again. Billy smiled as his T-shirt tightened around his swelling bicep. He held his hand still just inches off the table, tantalizing his brother with the possibility of a victory. Finally, as he stopped growing older, Billy pulled his arm over with all his might and tossed a yelping Joe out of his chair and onto the floor.
Then, Billy… Bill stood up to his full height. The lose clothes he had been wearing now fit him tightly and emphasized his muscular teenage body’s shape. He walked over to his defeated little brother and stood over him. “Looks like you’ll be cleaning my room now,” he said and added, condescendingly, “Joey.”
Joey clutched sore arm and whined, “Not fair! This is so not fair.”
Bill walked over to the camera, and held his hand out. “I’ll be taking my phone back now, Kimmy,” he said.
“Okay,” the girl said.
Bill took the phone in his hand and held it up to frame himself and his brother on the floor behind him. “You know what?” he said. “I think I’m going to post this on Yootoob. I bet your friends would love to see how your little game worked out.” He waved at the camera and said, “Bye!”
The video ended there.
Once more, the screen cut back to Andrew in the studio. “This is not an isolated case,” he said. “We have widespread reports that most, if not all, of the people affected by the milk yesterday are returning to normal today.”
“Yeah, well what about me?” shouted the boy seated at the table in the conference room. “I’m still little.”
“Well, at least you aren’t a girl anymore,” said one of the men in workout clothes.
“This sucks!” the boy said and groaned. “I’m tired of being little.”
Alice spoke a bit too loudly, “You ought to be happy you’re a normal size for a human at least.”
“Hey!” one of the men wearing workout clothes said, nudging another man next to him. “Look Carol and Candice are back.”
“Hi, Justin,” Carol said.
“Hey,” the other man said. He held out his arms and looked down at himself, then back at Candice. “Check us out. You were right.”
Carol said, “Looking good, Bill. Good to see the three of you back to normal. What are you wearing?”
“Luckily someone had some spare exercise gear,” Justin said. “Feels good to have clothes on again. Being covered in feathers is no substitute. I still felt naked. Right, Bill?”
Bill shook his head. “Nope,” he said. “I’m trying to forget the whole experience.”
Carol then turned to the older man who had remained seated next to the other two. “How are you feeling, Doctor?”
“Better,” he said, rubbing his temple. “I’m still a bit foggy, but I’m feeling much clearer now.”
“So?” the boy at the table said. “What about the two of us? I’m still a kid.”
“Yeah,” Alice said. “Why am I huge again? This is some serious bullshit.” She suffled her giant feet in frustration.
Bill said, “We were thinking it was because they both had a double dose of the food. That’s why it’s taking longer for the effects to wear off on them.”
Justin asked, “Does that sound right, Candice?”
“Um, yeah,” Candice said. “It will probably wear off soon, though.”
“Oh,” Alice said. “I’m feeling something.” As she began to shrink, she started chanting, “Please, go back to normal. Please, go back to normal.” To her relief, she stopped when she had reached her normal size again. Justin handed her a blanket and another pair of workout clothes to put on. “Thank you!” she said as she wrapped the blanket around herself like a cape. “And, thank God!”
“This is so unfair!” Ken said and crossed his arms in a huff.
Bill said, “Just a little more patience, big guy.” He patted the boy on the shoulder.
Angela showed up at the door then and said, “Good to see you all back to normal… well, almost all of you,” she added when she noticed Ken. She then turned to Carol, “So, you have some good news for us all.”
“That’s right,” Carol said. “We have the offending cow in custody, and we found where Mary had been hiding out over the past month.”
“Awesome!” Justin said. “Any sign of Mary?”
“Not yet,” Carol said. “But, we have a lead or two. At the very least, we’re much closer to catching her now.”
“Carol,” Bill said. “You are the best. Thank you for being a badass.”
“Hear, hear,” Alice said.
“Well,” Carol said. “I couldn’t have done it without some help from Candice. We were following her theory.”
Justin said, “Hell yeah! Way to go, Candice!”
Bill said, “Yeah.”
Ken said, “Wait! I feel it. It’s happening.” He stood up and started to grow older. His limbs stretched longer as he grew thicker by the second. He moaned as his body shot upwards through a growth spurt, causing his soprano voice to drop to a bass. Soon he was back to his normal age. “Yes!” he cheered in his adult voice and thrust his fists into the air.
Everyone averted their eyes.
“Damn it, Ken,” Alice said. “Put some pants on.”
Ken looked down past the shirt that had covered him like a dress. His naked crotch was now clearly visible to everyone in the room. He covered his genitals with is hands and said, “Hey, where are my pants? Someone find my pants.”
Angela said, “Let’s give Ken some space as he gets dressed.” Then, she led them out of the room. She turned to Candice. “Would you mind giving the five of them a quick examination to see if the curse on them is actually gone?”
“Sure thing,” Candice said and started to rummage around in her bag for another detector. She found a smaller crystal and started to wave it around Bill.
Angela turned to Carol and said, “So, I hear that there was a man being held captive at the house you raided.”
“That’s true,” Carol said. “It appears that he was the actual owner of the house. Out theory is that Mary shrunk him and somehow made a double of him to work at the dairy. We think she also used the double to help her break in here. We’re not really sure how.”
“So,” Carol said. “Her accomplice is not actually human?”
“Like I said, we don’t know who or what he is.”
“We’ll have to interrogate the man you found in the house. He and the little cow are being brought in along with the milk and eggs and any other evidence we found there.”
Angela turned back to the rest of the group to see Candice finishing up her scan of Alice. “Well,” Angela said. “Once Candice clears you all, I think you have earned the afternoon off. Go home, get cleaned up, and put on some clothes. If you want, I can treat you all to dinner tonight. Of course, I would understand if you would rather get some rest.”
“Hey,” Justin said. “We never got to have a proper party for Alice.”
“Yeah,” Bill said. “The last one sucked.”
“You don’t need to have a party for me,” Alice said.
“Who’s having a party?” Ken asked as he joined the group. To everyone’s relief, he was now wearing pants.
Dr. Shultz spoke up, “It would seem, we are going to have a dinner party for Alice’s birthday tonight.”
Angela said, “Right, then, I’ll make the arrangements.”
“You guys have fun,” Candice said as she checked out Ken. “It looks like all of you are clear of the curse now.”
Alice said, “Aren’t you coming?”
“Me?” Candice said. “I thought this was a birthday party. I figured you would rather be with your friends.”
“Ken is hardly a friend,” Alice said, jokingly.
“Hey,” Ken replied sarcastically. “That hurts.”
“Besides,” Alice said to Candice. “You were there for us during a bad time. We at least owe you a dinner for that.”
“Please come,” Justin said. “It’ll be fun, and you can let us in on all the inside dirt about the North Pole.”
Candice smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “I’ll be there.” She reflected on how much had changed in such a short amount of time. It would seem she had friends now. She wondered what might happen next.
In a motel room in a nearby town, Mary was on a laptop computer, reviewing surveillance footage that had been recorded from a small camera she had set up in Chuck’s farmhouse.
She watched the FBI enter the kitchen with rifles and armor as they swept the house. Then, she fast forwarded the video to the point when a woman and a girl walked in. The girl began waving around a crystal, and Mary smiled when she recognized what the girl was.
“Hello there,” Mary said to the image of the girl on the screen. “Welcome to the US, elf girl.” She ran a finger down the computer screen, gently caressing the image of the elf. Then, she looked at the stolen ring on her finger. “So looking forward to meet you.”