Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 12 – by lostandwhatever
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Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 12
Continued from Chapter 11.
“You’re telling me that Mary got herself milked on purpose?” Carol said, incredulously, after listening to Candice’s theory about the milk. She turned the steering wheel, and the car went around a bend towards the lights of a town ahead of them.
“That’s what it looks like,” Candice said from the backseat as she adjusted her glasses.
“Wow,” Carol said. “I mean, I breastfed my kids, but that’s a bit different than having somebody squeezing it out of me with their hands. Though, now that I think about it, my breast pump was a bit aggressive sometimes.”
Candice said, “That’s a good point, though. Who was it that milked her? Someone must have milked her, or at least, put a pump on her teets. If she was a cow, then she couldn’t have done it herself.”
“I’m betting it was her accomplice in the break in this morning,” Carol said. “So far, we don’t have much information about him. His face didn’t show up on any of the databases we have.”
“Hmm,” Candice said. “We solve one mystery, and now we have another.”
“That’s what makes the job fun,” Carol said. “…and frustrating.”
Candice decided that she liked Carol. The woman had the warm, welcoming attitude you would expect from a mother mixed with the fierceness of a mother bear protecting her cubs. Candice was glad that Carol was friendly with her.
Carol pulled her car up to a well-lit multi-story hotel building and parked near the door. “Did they check you in yet?” she asked.
“No,” Candice said. “I came straight from the White House.”
“I see. Hold on,” Carol said. She unbuckled herself, got out of the car, and walked around to open Candice’s door. “The child safety locks are still on,” she explained. Then, she proceeded to unbuckle Candice’s seatbelt. “Oh,” she said when she realized what she had done. “I’m sorry. I suppose you can do that for yourself.”
“Yeah,” Candice said.
“Of course you can,” Carol said. “Argh, I didn’t mean to treat you like a kid. I’m just so used to having my own kids in the back seat, and one of my girls is almost your age… I mean, the age you look. I just went on autopilot.” She rubbed the bridge of her nose between her finger and thumb. “I must be getting tired.”
“It’s okay,” Candice said as she stepped out of the car. “I know what I look like, and I’m pretty much used to people treating me like a kid by now.” It was a kind lie.
“Let me help you get checked in,” Carol offered. “I’ll even help you take your bag up.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Just give me this chance to make amends for insulting you.”
“I don’t feel insulted.”
“You should,” Carol said, bluntly. “You’re a damn smart analyst. You deserve some respect for that at least.”
Candice smiled faintly.
Carol shut the car door and fetched Candice’s suitcase from the trunk. “Oof,” she said. “Are you transporting rocks in here?”
“Something like that,” Candice said.
Back in Department 8, Angela was finishing up her report to the president and some of his staff on the speakerphone. After the box incident, there would be no more teleconferences with Department 8. “So, that’s the good news,” she said. “Candice says it should only take another day or two for all the changes to revert to normal.”
“Good,” the president said. “We’ll put out a statement tomorrow morning.”
Secretary of Defense Taggart said, “What are your thoughts on the elf?”
“She seems very intelligent, and she was helpful tonight,” Angela said. “I think she might be just what we needed to catch Mary, someone who thinks more like Mary does, when it comes to creating magic, at least.”
“Do you trust her?” the president asked.
“I haven’t had a reason not to trust her.”
“She’s an elf,” Taggart said. “That’s reason enough.”
“Has she seen anything in the vault or the new research room?” the president asked.
“No,” Angela said. “We’re keeping her on a need-to-know basis with the department as you requested, although, to help with the investigation, we may have to expand what she sees.”
“Let me make this clear,” Taggart said. “Never let her near the new research room. Do you hear me?”
“I hear you,” Angela said. “What’s in that room anyway? Even I haven’t seen it.”
“And, after what you did today, you never will,” Taggart said. “It’s Department of Defense business. Keep everyone out.”
“Understood,” Angela said, burying her emotions. “I’ll be in contact when there are new developments in the case.”
“We’ll be waiting. Goodnight,” the president said, and the call ended.
After Carol finished with the check in, she and Candice rode an elevator up to Candice’s hotel room and opened the door.
“This looks comfortable,” Candice said, looking around at the queen-sized bed and separate sitting area by the window.
“Yeah,” Carol said, while wheeling Candice’s suitcase into the room. “Uncle Sam sprung for a Junior Suite for you, and you have a mini fridge. Normally, I would warn you against taking food out of there, but, since you’re not paying for it, take all you like. The government is picking up your tab.”
“Nice,” Candice said. She swung open the fridge to find candy bars, soda cans, and bottles of beer. Would they mind if I tried a beer? she wondered. She shut the fridge again.
Carol flipped on the lights in the bathroom. “Ooh,” she said. “You have a full bathtub in here. I am officially jealous.”
“That’s a relief,” Candice said. “I hate showers.”
Carol walked to the door. “Well,” she said. “I really need to get going.” She looked at Candice and paused. “Here.” She took out her notepad and wrote something on a page. Then, she tore it out of the pad and handed it to Candice. “This is my cell phone number. Call me if you need anything. Okay?”
Candice took the piece of paper. “Thank you so much, Carol.”
“Good night,” Carol said. “I’ll pick you up in the morning around seven. Sound good?”
“I’ll be ready. Bye.”
Carol left Candice alone in the hotel room.
Candice took off her sweater and hung it from the back of a chair. When she removed her glasses and set them on the bedside table, she felt her elf ears grow back to normal. She pulled her cell phone out of her suitcase and hopped up on the giant bed. Then, she checked her messages and set up an encrypted call to the embassy.
After a few rings, a boy elf’s voice answered. “Agent Cain?” he said.
“Speaking,” she replied. “I’m in my hotel room now.”
“Are you ready for a debrief?” the other elf asked.
She thought about the tub for a moment but decided that it could wait. Then, she proceeded to give the elf at the embassy a quick summary of what had happened at Department 8 today.
“A cow?” the other elf asked, after she finished.
“That’s my theory. It makes the most sense.”
“I see. Well, good work, Agent Cain. Is there anything else?”
“Chief,” she said. “Remember what we talked about when I first arrived at the embassy?”
“Are you referring to your request about removing your glamor?”
“Yes,” she said.
“You are well aware of the rules about our glamors.”
“I know the rules.”
“There are no exceptions to those rules.”
“I know,” she said. “But…”
“What is it?”
She sighed. “The humans don’t take me seriously most of the time. There’s always this awkward moment when I meet a new human, and I have to explain that I’m not a child. Even after that, they forget sometimes.” She thought about the condescending tone of the secretary of state earlier that night and the moment with the seatbelt in the parking lot just now. “If I looked more like an adult, it would make all of this a lot easier.”
“Candice,” the chief said.
“I’m not asking for you to remove my glamor permanently,” she explained. “Just for while I’m working on this case with the humans. Right now, I’m at a serious disadvantage because of how I look. It could help us catch Mary faster.”
“The answer is still no,” he said. “You just have to make do with how you look now. I mean, do you think I don’t want to look more like an adult when I have to deal with the humans? Of course I do, but this is who we are. Our glamors exist for a good reason: to make the humans fear us less. Do you want them to fear you?”
“I want them to respect me.”
“Then, earn their respect while looking how you do now. I know you can do it.”
“Right,” she said, hiding the disappointment in her voice as best as she could.
“Contact me anytime tomorrow if there are any major developments.”
“I will,” she said. “Bye.”
“Bye,” he said and hung up.
Mary lay on the bed for a few minutes after the call, just staring at the ceiling. At least the enormous bed was soft and comfortable, even if she felt nowhere close to comfortable with her current situation. “We look like children so that we might serve children best,” she recited to herself. “What about the adults? How well am I serving them now like this?” She sighed and slipped off the enormous bed. After contemplating drinking a beer for a few seconds, she pulled a candy bar out of the mini fridge. As she ate it, she considered watching some human TV, but the idea of seeing more humans right now did not interest her.
“Bath time,” she declared and headed for the tub.
Candice plugged the drain, turned on the tap, and started filling the tub with water for her bath. As the water ran, she stripped off her silly school uniform and gathered up soap and shampoo, but it seemed to be taking forever to fill the huge tub.
To Candice, all the furniture looked huge: the tub, the bed, the chairs, the table… The mirror was too high for her to see anything in it but the top of her head, and all the door handles were awkwardly high. She felt as if she were marooned in a land of giants. Back in the North Pole, everything was made for a person her size. Here, nothing was. It made her feel small, and that feeling weighed on her like a stone on her shoulders.
Candice shut off the tap and stepped into the warm water of her bath and just sat in it for a few minutes, trying to forget the weight on her. When she felt more relaxed, she shampooed her unruly red hair and began to soap up her body. Her mind wandered back to the videos she had watched earlier that night. She remembered the girl from the daycare video, the one who had changed first. She pictured the girl growing older and bursting out of her clothes. She saw her womanly curves and her body hair. Then, Candice felt her own smooth skin as she soaped it up and wondered what it would feel like to have hair down there. She wondered if the hair would just be inconvenient or if she would appreciate what it meant: that she was a woman. She pictured the girl, now a woman, stretching out her hands high over her head, reaching for the ceiling and the sky beyond it. She pictured the pleased look on the woman’s face.
Candice felt like screaming or throwing something across the room, but all she did was pull the plug on the tub and towel off her small body until it was dry. After a prolonged and difficult battle against her hair involving a hairdryer and brush, she put on her girly pajamas and set an alarm on her phone. Finally, she climbed into the enormous bed and let sleep take her.
Candice found herself working on an assembly line in the North Pole, putting together some wooden toy that she could not identify. Pleasant holiday music played as the machinery hummed around her. She was surrounded by other elves working on the line and gleefully chatting in their traditional festive garments, and she was dressed just like them. Everyone was about the same height as her, and she felt the right size again.
Then, she felt dizzy for a moment. Her clothing seemed shrink tight to her skin. She looked down in time to see her toes burst out the front of her shoes as her feet grew too large for them. Then, her legs stretched longer and thickened, tearing her tights. Her hips spread wide, and she felt her ass swell out, tearing off her underwear and skirt.
The elves around her gasped and pointed at her. They muttered terrified statements to each other as she towered above them all on her womanly legs.
The changes spread up to her stomach and chest, ripping off her shirt and jacket and exposing her ballooning breasts. They ripened on her like sweet fruit, while she gently cupped them in her adult hands.
At last, the transformation reached her head, and she felt her face change.
The elves around her screamed. Someone shouted, “Oh no, it’s her!”
She turned around and noticed a mirror on the wall behind her. There was a woman in tattered clothes reflected in the mirror surrounded by terrified elves, but it was not her face and red hair that Candice saw in the mirror. It was Mary’s face, with her cruel eyes and dark hair. “No,” Candice said as she touched her face. The image of Mary reflected in the mirror did the same thing. “That’s not me!” she yelled.
Then, she felt dizzy once more, and her body began to grow larger all over. The last remnants of her clothes tore away from her giant body as her head rose higher towards the ceiling. “Look out!” she yelled at the elves below her. “I can’t stop it!” The elves ran for the doors, as her head touched the ceiling. She crouched down as the factory closed in on her, until she could no longer fit inside it and bust through the roof, like a chick hatching from an egg.
She stood up tall. Beneath her, surrounding the ruins of the factory, the North Pole looked like a collection of toy buildings occupied by toy elves. An alarm began to blare again and again. She kept growing. Her expanding feet spread out of the factory and knocked over other buildings. “No! Please, make it stop!” she cried, desperately. The screams of the elves grew fainter as the North Pole shrank smaller and further away beneath her endlessly growing body, but the alarm did not quiet at all. “I’m destroying everything,” she moaned, helplessly. She felt her home, her parent’s home, her school, and even Santa’s home crumble into rubble under the soles of her feet. Soon the whole of the North Pole was crushed flat under her foot, and then it was only a speck of dust under her big toe. She stood naked in the cold north with her head high above the world, utterly alone. She screamed silently into airless space, and still the alarm blared seemingly from everywhere… again and again and again.
Candice opened her eyes to see the light of the morning. She was sweating and panting as she shut off the alarm on her phone and quickly forgot her nightmare.
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And, that’s the last chapter of this cluster. I’ll try to have more out next week. Thank you for reading this far.
Hello. Quick update. I’ve been working on a big project with Bela recently. Now that that’s done, I’ve started on the next chapters of Mary. Sorry it has taken so long. Expect some interesting stuff soon.