Early Retirement (AP, WG)

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Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:43 am

This is an on-going story that I've been working on for some-time. I'll be uploading bits here and there when I can.

Part One

You could tell it was the last day of term at White Peaks University. The hallways were abandoned of the usual rabble and busyness that plagued the average Friday here. The student's over-eagerness to hurry through the day and into the weekend often pouring forth in their demeanor, but not today. Being the very last of the school year, the vast majority of students had decided to simply ditch their last remaining classes; reasoning that the deadlines and exams were enough to contend with without having to attend last day seminars that could truly be of no benefit to anyone at such a late stage. Many students had even packed up their bags and headed home for the summer already, leaving the campus in a sleepy emptiness, with only a few lingering students and staff left, spread sporadically across its grounds, doing very little.

Cutting straight through this slow dreariness however was 23 year old Maggie Harris. Ever focused and with real direction, she clicked and clacked in her expensive black boots against the old stone paths of the campus, marching her way towards the College of Arts building. Maggie had no classes left of course, finishing up all of her scholarly duties far earlier and with greater concentration than a great deal of the student body. Maggie rather, was on her way to an advisory meeting. The young fashion-designer/journalist/industry mogul to be was committing herself whole heartedly to the mission of her future. Involved in numerous extra-curricular programmes, events, societies and projects Maggie had rightfully cultivated for herself the image of an ambitious and hard-working young woman. Her future career in the fashion industry truly was everything to her, and during her time at College and even as far back as High School, Maggie would always put the needs of her future first. Although at times, and especially recently, this dedication was often to the detriment of her personal life. The Summer break was a mere day away, and whereas the rest of the student body her age were currently planning trips with friends, holidays abroad, family time and just generally taking the time to relax and have fun, Maggie was planning for interviews, internships and for more work opportunities. Her graduation ceremony was still a number of months away, but as she saw it her time as a student of White Peaks University was over by the end of the day – and that left little to no time to sit back and just allow opportunity to pass her by.

Maggie made her way through the Art Building and up the stairs towards the main offices for the teaching staff with her trademark confident stride, and as she pushed open the door, she saw none other than her boyfriend Billy fussing away at reception. True to his own nature as a slacker, and diametrically opposed to Maggie in a lot of ways, Billy was frantically scribbling his name across a hand-in sheet for an essay. Putting all the random pieces of paper together and in order in a messy rush before practically throwing it to the woman who sat behind the reception desk. It was 2:55, and his deadline was 3. Maggie smirked to herself and shook her head as Billy, in a slight sweat, began tidying up the mess of sheets and folders he had made on the large table in the foyer, where he had obviously poured out the contents of his cluttered bag in search of this last essay.

'Punctual as ever I see' Maggie said, interrupting him from his frantic state.

Billy turned and saw Maggie staring back at him with some light concern and fascination. She did often worry about Billy's tendency to leave things last minute, to rush into things without preparation, and to someone like Maggie, acting in such a manner and to be such a mess about the whole thing was really unthinkable. Compared to her own hard-working self however, many people seemed to operate in Billy's position. He smiled back with just a hint of embarrassment as he combed hair back behind his ear with a finger.

'Caught me' he said, walking over to Maggie and giving his girlfriend a delicate peck on the lips which she returned as they held each other's arms gently. He hefted his heavy back-pack around his arm and looked down at his girlfriend. The figure of pristine beauty and order, clashing against his own shaggy albeit charming demeanor.

'Didn't you tell me that you were nearly finished that thing yesterday? Your ability to procrastinate is almost impressive' She said with a dry humor.

He nodded, looking away from her.

'I like to think so...But what's your excuse for being here? Don't tell me that the queen of deadlines has a late submission?'

Maggie rolled her eyes and smirked.

'You're very funny. I'm all up to date. I'm gifted with this thing called “time management” Billy, you should give it a try sometime. And I'm here for my advisor meeting with Deborah, I told you this already.'

'Ah, sill managing to keep yourself busy when you're all finished, does it ever get boring being so sensible? It's a real shame I don't share your insane work ethic Maggie, but I work better under pressure anyway. '

'That's easy to say now that you're finally finished.' Maggie placed her delicate hand against his face, stroking sweetly before tapping it playfully.

'Speaking of being finished' he replied, a slight anxiety creeping into his voice as he approached the subject, 'Are you definitely still coming to Hayley's end of term party tonight?'

Maggie's face contorted in mild confusion, her face consciously displaying a muddled thinking.

'That's tonight?' she said innocently.

A frustrated sigh escaped his lips.

'Come on babe you've known about this for ages now. It's the last day of the term, it's a Friday, please don't give me the usual speech and tell me you can't make it cause of work.'

She tried to appeal to him in her expression, Billy already knowing what was going to come next.

'Billy I know, I'm sorry but I really do still have a lot to do.'

Billy puffed his nose in frustration.

'I don't get it' he says 'What could you possibly still have to do?'

'The work related stuff. Preparing for interviews. Research into some of the different companies. Sorting out my actual applications. All of that. That's why I'm going in to talk to Deborah about it now. We have a meeting scheduled in like 5 minutes. And besides, I'm working late at the bar tonight.'

'Well...' He scratched his head. She hated letting him down like that. It was far from the first time she had flaked on a party invitation. '...can't it wait? Do you have to work on all of that right now? It's not like you don't have the time Maggie, I'm only asking you to come out for one night.'

'I know but--'

'Maggie, c'mon. No buts. You work super hard, harder than anyone I've ever met and you know that I'm proud of you for doing so well. I really am. But don't you see that you just need to take a break once in a while? I mean when was the last time you actually came out with all of us?'

'I...honestly don't know'.

'Exactly. Babe you're 23...start acting like it.' He joked, gently stroking a strand of blonde hair out of her eye.

'Look..I don't want to keep you from your meeting, can you just promise me that you'll take tonight off from the heavy workload? Even if you're not coming to the party tonight?'

Maggie smiled somewhat hesitantly as she looked down towards her velvety black boots. Taking the second to ponder before looking back towards her boyfriend.

'Okay, I promise. I'll take it easy tonight.'

'Well that's good to hear' he responded with a half-defeated smile, disappointment peppering his voice as his hand hovered over the door, ready to take his leave.

Maggie recognised the disappointment in Billy's face, it was an expression of his she had come to know quite well. Feeling guilty Maggie walked over to her boyfriend and embraced him tightly, kissing him with some passion as she said 'I know I keep letting you down babe. I'm trying to get better. It won't always be like this I swear'.

Billy nodded, 'It's ok Maggie, it's not the end of the world. I'll come around tomorrow to your place if you still want to hang out or something?'

'That sounds great' she beamed.

'Ok, have a good meeting with Deborah.'

With that, Billy pushed through the door and headed down the stairs with Maggie watched on, wishing she had handled the whole situation better. She didn't forget the party at all. She just didn't want to go and waste what she saw as valuable time that could be spent working towards her goal. This was an important period of her life she would often think, and she wished she could express that to Billy in a way that would really let him understand. She loved him truly, and she hated that she kept letting him down, but her social life would always come second to her career, and that wasn't going to change any time soon.

Maggie walked onward further down the hall, then chapped at the door which read “DEBORAH PARKER”. She heard Deborah from the other side telling her to come in. Maggie found Deborah sitting at her desk, her back facing the door as she stared out of the window down below, to the Campus Garden, colorful and vibrant in the summer sun.

'Beautiful day Maggie isn't it?' she said, her eyes unmoved.

'Uh...yeah, I haven't really noticed.'

'Oh really?'

Deborah turned in her chair to face Maggie. She patted her auburn hair gently, it being perfectly coiffed and maintained as is common among these classy older women. She held her glasses in her red-tipped fingers, playing with them just a little as she met Maggie's gaze.

'Let me guess sweetheart, you've been so swamped with all of this work you didn't have the time to notice? '

Maggie huffed through her nose in protest, taking a seat.

'Deborah please, not you too. I just had a run in with Billy and got the lecture of a lifetime about overworking myself and taking breaks. You're my career adviser, advise me on that.'

'I've clearly touched a nerve' Deborah chuckled 'Y'know he's a clever young man that boyfriend of yours, maybe you should listen to him more.'

'Oh? And end up submitting all of my work last minute and only ever doing just enough to scrape by? What's so wrong with being a workaholic?' Maggie joked as she took out her notepad from her well kept bag.

'Well, I wouldn't go that far dear, but it's important to lighten your load here and there. Keeping a healthy balance between work and play is a vital component to success you know.'

'I do know Deborah. It can just get pretty hard to maintain that balance a lot of the time. I think right now, I just want to focus on one thing at a time y'know? Work first, play later.'

'You're a tenacious young woman Maggie, I admire that....Actually Maggie, before we get into it, I need to let you know something. It's nothing too pressing and you don't need to worry, my time with you won't be affected by this. It's just that after the graduation later in the year, I'm going to be taking my leave from the University.'

'Oh. Is it a new position somewhere else?'

'No Maggie, I'm going to retire.'

Maggie raised her lip.

'Retire? Really? I'm kind of surprised to hear that, I just always thought you'd stick at it.'

Deborah sighed.

'I can't keep it up forever dear. It wasn't an easy decision, but me and Malcolm have made our money. At our age it's far more difficult to keep up with the work-load. We're going to do it together. I think it's quite romantic.'

Maggie sat on her true thoughts as she expressed her best well-wishes.

'I can't say I'm happy to see you go Deborah, but I do wish you all the best, and hope that you're able to find retirement...rewarding.'

'I'm sure I will dear, thank you. Me and Malcolm have got a cruise planned in celebration and everything.' Deborah was a tad giddy at the thought. The older woman sat and pondered for a second.

'Y'know, I thought I'd be far more upset about the whole thing. Forgive me for sounding like such an old biddy but I was a lot like you when I was younger Maggie. Work, work, work – it was all I could focus on. I'm certainly proud of what I've accomplished of course, but now, I'm really looking forward to retiring. No more running around chasing documents or marking essays just--'

'It sounds nice' Maggie didn't mean to cut her off like that, but the topic was beginning to weigh on her. Deborah's lips formed a knowing smile in response.

'I'm sorry honey, I don't mean to lecture you. I know you're getting it from everywhere at the moment. You want to get to work don't you?'

Maggie nodded as Deborah put her glasses on, taking out numerous folders from beneath her desk.

'Okay then dear, let's get started.'

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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:48 am

___________

The session had proved fruitful for Maggie. Her books brimming with fresh notes and plans for her summer of work ahead. She felt satisfied but stressed as she drove through busy 5 o'clock traffic towards Shelley's Bar. She had a busy night ahead of her still, working Friday night at a bar is never fun or easy. She had taken the job last summer when she was struggling for money and truly detested it. The people she worked with were nice but boring and the endless conversations about the work itself drove her mad, as if they absorbed themselves entirely into waiting tables and cleaning glasses as she did to her fashion career. They all thought very small, she thought. It was another distraction from the fashion focus too. A necessary one, but still a distraction. She'd much rather go home and take the time to go over her notes and do some further research. Maybe fix up her resume some more? Deborah had been a great help that afternoon.

Deborah's news of early retirement acted as the background noise to Maggie's drive to work, swirling away in the back of her head. Deborah was 68 years old, she thought. 'I mean it's old, but not that old for someone in academia' she reasoned 'Don't most people retire at like, 80 these days?' She was genuinely happy that Deborah had managed to find some kind of solace in the end of her career, but for Maggie the idea was all together unthinkable. Things hadn't even begun for her yet. Taking it slow was just not an option.
___________

Maggie often had to distract herself from the monotony of the bar work with visions of her success. Winning awards for her writing or her designs, engaging with the best and most talented of her chosen field, constant victory scenarios playing repeatedly as Maggie rather mindlessly started picking up empty glasses and bottles from the deserted tables of the bar. Shelley's had been busy, and Maggie was run off her feet, deciding to take on a few extra hours now until closing at the beginning of her shift when her co-worker Michael had phoned in sick. Now at 10:30, the place was largely dead. The many patrons of only a few hours earlier having moved on to clubs and beyond, leaving just Maggie and her manager John to clean up the mess that had been left in their wake.

A few stragglers remained though. In one of the booth tables closer to the bar, a few young guys were finishing up their drinks. Two couples had finished a while ago but remained, having a quiet chat at one of the center tables. Then finally, in the booth seats in the far right corner of the room an older woman sat alone. She was dressed rather glamorously in a large and almost certainly pricey fur coat. Glistening earrings dangled gracefully about her as the old woman fixed a stray hair out place with gloved, velvet fingers. And she had sat there the whole night by herself, peacefully reading a book. Maggie had noticed her later in the night once things had died down a bit. She couldn't remember seeing the woman entering the bar, or being with anyone before hand. She had smiled, made eye contact and even tried to chat with Maggie periodically during her shift, and while Maggie would humor her for a minute she kept cutting these encounters short – gathering a strange sensation from the lady. The younger guys took their leave as Maggie hauled the empty glasses onto the bar. Her manager was cleaning glasses as she approached. John nodded towards the strange old lady.

'Do you know her then?'

Maggie turned around to look at the old woman, still peacefully turning the pages of her book with a Melon Ball by her side.

'No. Why?'

'Well she keeps trying to talk to you and looking over, thought she was your grandma or something.'

Maggie chuckled.

'Sadly John my Grandma is dead, and I can safely say I've never seen that woman before in my life.'

'She seems nice enough. You should let her talk to you. Be a little nicer and you might get a good tip.'

'What do you mean? I've been nice' she retorted

'Yeah but she's old Maggie, she's probably just looking for someone to sit and chat with her for a little while. There's not much to do around here now...go on, humor the old girl.'

Maggie rolled her eyes.

'John come on, she's reading her book, leave her be.'

'She keeps smiling your way.' He said with a grin, purposely trying to irritate her.

'Well that's creepy.'

Maggie slyly took a glance across towards the woman in question once more.

'Just my luck' she thought, the older woman had just finished her Melon Ball. With John watching on, finding the situation funny, Maggie trudged her way across the floor of the bar, an uneasy and fake smile ready in anticipation for the mysterious old lady. Standing over her, she cleared her throat a little before making contact.

'You all finished there ma’am?' she asked quickly.

The older woman looked up with a warm smile. Book still in hand.

'Oh yes dear, thank you' Maggie picked up the glass from the table as the woman placed her book down. Taking just a second to pause, Maggie finally took notice of what the woman was reading. It was Siddartha by Herman Hesse.

'It's a great book' the old woman uttered, noting Maggie's attention to it. 'Have you read it?'

Maggie hesitated.

'I um, no, I haven't actually... my boyfriend's read it a few times. It's one of his favorites.'

'Then he has good taste' she smiled, the laugh lines framing her mouth deepening 'Do you read much yourself?'

Maggie realized that John was right. The old lady was harmless and just looking for someone to talk to. Maggie looked to the clock on the wall, reading 10:45, her shift would be ending in about an hour she thought, and she might get a pretty decent tip from the woman if she played nice. A little extra spending money couldn't hurt. Maggie's demeanor got a little warmer towards the lady.

'I do actually. I've just not had many chances to sit down with a good book as of late.'

'Oh why's that?' the woman asked, concern coating her voice 'Take a seat honey, if you're able, I don't mind the company.'

Maggie nodded awkwardly and sat in the booth. The bar was practically empty and John did encourage her to engage with the customer after all.

'I just work quite a lot. Don't get a great deal of time is all.'

'Just here at the bar?'

'No, not just here. I've just finished up my last year at college and have a lot of work related stuff I'm, well...working through. It just keeps me pretty busy all the time. Seems to be a topic that keeps coming up today.' She laughed sheepishly.

The woman's expression changed. The warmth conforming to genuine concern, as if the topic had gotten suddenly very serious.

'I could tell dear. I could sense it from you.'

Maggie stifled a laugh at the word 'sense'. Taking another look at this woman, all adorned in glamorous and outlandish clothing, makeup done to perfection and colorful, she could only assume that this woman thought of herself as some sort of psychic. The idea made Maggie roll her eyes internally but she played along so as not to cause offence.

'You could sense it from me?'

'Yes. These sort of worries, they send out vibrations into the universe, and only the right people can pick up on them.'

Maggie's expression couldn't help but convey her feeling that this lady was some sort of whackjob. Maybe off her meds.

'This busy life that you lead, does it fulfill you?'

'Well I--'

Maggie was going to retort with something fast and clever. Of course she found that sort of lifestyle fulfilling she thought. She was working towards her dream goal. But as she went to express herself the realization hit her that she didn't feel satisfied. Not in the least. Satisfaction would only come once she had achieved everything that she wanted, and for all her hard work and struggle and stress, that could still be many years off.

'---I don't know' she finished.

With her gloved hand the older woman gently patted Maggie's arm.

'You need to reward all of that hard work with a break my dear.'

Maggie nodded. It was weird. She had resisted such advice from all of those closest to her but there was something charismatic and magnetic about the older woman she spoke to. She could be a bit more honest, perhaps safe in the knowledge that this woman was a stranger.

'I do but...I have to keep working' She said defiantly. 'It's all for something. It's all worth it.'

The older woman cast her eyes downward, a little sad and disappointed before picking them up once more and with a warm, if not uneasy smile, she began reaching into her large mauve handbag.

'I can assure you young lady...this relaxation you're so desperately in need of will find you sooner than you think.'

'Do you sense it?' Maggie replied, her eyebrow cocked in sarcasm.

The woman's smile had a clever and knowing quality to it as she returned from scouring the contents of her over-sized bag.

'You could say that...Here.'

In her hand was a wad of rolled up bills. Clearly enough money for all the drinks she had purchased throughout the night and a more than healthy tip for Maggie. Instead of just handing over the wad however, the woman oddly first began to take off a single glove...and as she did, Maggie noticed the strangest thing. While the lady herself was not haggard in the least, (classy and refined if anything) she did look her age. Yet...her un-gloved hand looked so soft and young and pretty, with mauve colored nails painted to perfection and shiny. With this same hand, the woman slowly passed the money over to Maggie. Recognizing the sheer amount that she was being offered Maggie was taken back at the generosity.

'Oh ma’am thank you, but that's far too much' she said, waving her hands in protest.

The woman gently took a hold of Maggie's arm with her gloved hand and with the other she softly pressed the money down into Maggie's. Their skin touching as she did so. In that moment a strange sensation took a hold of Maggie. Spreading through her outstretched hand, up her arm and through her chest, stomach and onward. The feeling was warm and comforting and as it spread and subsequently settled, all momentary, Maggie made eye contact with the woman across from her.

'Here's a second tip' she said, smiling 'Learn to enjoy yourself honey. In my own experience...that's all that matters.'

Maggie sat still as she tried to take in the relaxing glow she felt through her entire body, the woman got herself up from the table. Maggie was coming out of her momentary daze, the effects lessening. The woman looked down at Maggie with sincerity and kindness.

'It keeps you young' She winked before saying goodbye and making her way out of Shelley's.

Maggie held onto the warm feeling for only a few seconds more before it gently faded. She blinked a few times, confused before looking down at the highly generous tip in her hand. Unfolding it in a hurry Maggie realized that there must have been close to 300 dollars there. Her mouth hung open in shock as she could hear John coming back to the front of the bar from the storeroom in the back. Turning, she saw him with his coat on, as if ready to leave.

'Your friend gone home finally?' John asked, looking a little impatient.

Maggie took a look around the bar and noticed that every other seat was empty. The lights towards the back end of the room had been turned off, every table cleared, chairs stacked. Her hand pressed against her forehead, trying to figure out what had just transpired, as she walked over to John. The manager took a look at the wad of cash in Maggie's hand.

'So...looks like it was an early Christmas from granny glam back there' he joked.

'Yeah..' she droned, still thinking and trying to comprehend her odd experience. 'She was...really nice.'

'She must have been. I haven't seen you gab away to a customer like that in the entire time you've worked here.'

'What do you mean?'

'You were laughing up a storm over there, like you were old pals. Hope she comes back, I might start chatting to her for near an hour if it got me cash like that.'

Maggie's eyes lit up in subtle panic.

'An hour?'

She turned to the clock hanging on the wall, and even though the room was darkened, she could see that sure enough John was right. 11:55. Her shift had ended five minutes ago.

'I started closing up' John said 'It was just you and her left. Not like you to hang around here past your shift though I must say.'

Maggie was trying to understand how she could have misplaced so much time. How a conversation that she thought had barely scraped five minutes managed to be over an hour. And “laughing up a storm, old pals”? She certainly couldn't picture how John could possibly perceive any of that. John interrupted her thinking.

'Hey are you okay Maggie? You seem a little bit elsewhere?'

Maggie forced herself out of her own head for a second and focused on John. She nodded, trying to reassure him (and herself) that nothing was wrong.

'I'm fine. Honest. It's just...been a long day is all.'

'If you say so' he said as he handed Maggie her coat. 'Come on, home time.'

The two headed out to the desolate car-park and said their goodbyes before John drove off. Maggie just sat in her car for a couple of moments collecting herself. She looked down at her hand where the strange woman had touched her, tracing her palm lines with a light finger. 'It really has been a long day' she said aloud, trying her best to shake off the strange encounter and blaming the whole thing on just how overworked and tired she was feeling. Maggie had wanted to get some last minute work done in fact, at least giving her resume a once over before heading to bed but as she sat in the car, she could feel herself sinking into a deep fatigue. There was no way she was going to be able to stay awake long enough for that, and was even a little dubious if she should drive home feeling such a way. It was strange she thought, as she started the engine, she had been tired sure but not this much. Maybe Billy, Deborah and the weird old woman were right, maybe she just needed to take it easy for a while.

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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:53 am

__________

It had taken her longer than usual to get home that night. The weariness only having grown in strength as she drove. Avoiding any potential accidents she had purposely driven slow, perhaps slower than she should have in fact which became fiercely apparent to her when a rather angry man behind her some ways back had honked his horn and called her a 'granny' from his rolled down window as he recklessly sped by her. The scenario had been embarrassing but this tiredness was nothing to take lightly. Feeling the struggle to keep her eyes open. Strangely this feeling, as fuzzy and disconcerting as it was, was making Maggie feel very comfortable. It was as if that warm sensation from earlier had grown steadily from somewhere inside her after it had settled and now had taken full effect. She saw that the living room light was still on as she pulled into her driveway, her mother Julie must have still been up. She sighed as she stepped out of the car, knowing that she simply did not have the time or the energy to hold a conversation with her mother. And no doubt seeing her in such a state would bring upon yet another speech concerning her being overworked and taking on too much at once. It's not like the point hadn't been hit home hard enough already.

The lights were dim and calming as she entered the house. Her mother, sitting on the couch watching television, turned as Maggie closed the door behind her.

'Hey sweetheart.' She called from behind the couch, wine glass in her right hand.

'Hey..' Maggie stood half in the doorway, indicating physically her lack of commitment to any meaningful conversation.

'You're home late. Did you end up going to that thing with Billy?'

Maggie shook her head.

'No. I took an extra shift at Shelley's. One of the....' Maggie yawned deeply '..one of the staff phoned in sick.'

Julie took note of her daughter's exhaustion, and raised an eyebrow behind her stylish glasses.

'Are you okay Maggie? You seem really tired.'

'I am. It's just been a really long day, I'm actually just going to go straight to bed I think.'

'Oh yeah of course, don't let me keep you. Goodnight hun. You have a good night's sleep it looks like you're coming down with something.'

Maggie said goodnight to her mother as she headed up the stairs. Her body feeling ready to collapse with every laboured step. She passed by her younger sister Ashley's door, noticing through the creak the cold blue light of a phone or laptop in the dark. She shook her head, slightly wowed that the 9 year old could still be awake as she was surely about to fall into one of the deepest sleeps of her life. Sure enough as she closed her own bedroom door behind her, the neat warmth of her well-kept bed was practically dragging her. She dropped her coat on the floor, kicked off her boots and then fell into her bed, taking off anything else just felt like too much hassle. Immediately satisfied and relaxed as her head hit the pillow, Maggie wrapped herself up in her covers, warm and safe, a content smile stretching across her face.

Before quickly falling asleep, Maggie's heavy eyes glanced over to her large vanity mirror directly across from her bed. The image appeared to her as being rather strange, as from what she could see, the mirror made it look as if she was still moving beneath her many covers, even though she was perfectly still, almost as if she was growing. Too tired to really comprehend what was happening, she resigned herself to sleep. Her eyes closed. Peace.

__________

Maggie could feel beams of sunlight decorate her face as she grew to wakefulness. She was practically buried in her covers, with just her right foot, still encased in her black tights poking through. As she came to, she couldn't help but think of what a strange experience last night had been. The mysterious warm sensation that plagued her yesterday had vanished, and while she was worried about what potential illness such a feeling could signify, there was no denying, now as she hugged her covers that bit tighter, that it had provided her perhaps the best night's sleep of her life. Her eyes somewhat blurred, she blinked repeatedly to stir them into clarity as she noticed her mother standing over her.

'...Maggie? Maggie are you awake?'

Maggie couldn't shake the fogginess from her eyes. It wasn't anything too debilitating, but just a slight fuzz that made things a little bit harder to make out.

'Mom? What time is it?' she croaked, only half noticing that her voice seemed deeper and even a tad brittle. Julie stood sharply still, and Maggie could make out an expression of fear and panic upon her mother's face.

'Maggie...stay calm hun okay, but I think something might be wrong.'

This expression forced Maggie to full wakefulness. Her eyes opened wide, her body raised. Her mother looked like a deer caught in the headlights, as if something terrible had happened, like she was in shock.

'Mom what's wro--' Maggie stopped herself as she heard her voice again, this time more clearly. She was right. It was deeper and cracked. She placed a hand to her throat and panic set in even deeper as she felt soft, loose skin around her neck. She looked away from her mother and down to her hand upon her chest and was met with with a number of frightening surprises. The first thing she noticed was a fleshy softness that had formed beneath her chin upon directing her head downward, her hand was slightly wrinkled and rough looking contrasting greatly with her freshly manicured, pastel pink colored nails – and finally, just beneath her hand she saw that her once pert and perky breasts had burst open her bra, and ripped the tight white t-shirt she had worn to work, having now grown into the jiggling, slightly drooped bosom of a middle-aged or elderly matron.

Maggie could only scream in horror as she jumped up from the bed, her body heavier than she had expected, her poor mother trying to calm her down. As Julie stood there in shock, unsure of what to do, watching Maggie flail and cry in this strange body, the mother's eyes widened as she took in the full effect of what had happened to her daughter's body. She was racking her brain trying to think of what could possibly have done this to her, perhaps some skin condition, some extreme allergy, but there was no denying that whatever was responsible for this, Maggie had in all simplicity, just aged overnight. Her daughter's long hair only yesterday having been a strong blonde now sat somewhere between shades of straw and grey. She had also gained a considerable amount of weight, with Julie noticing the ripples of cellulite in the girl's chunky legs and massive rear which were greatly straining the black tights she had slept in, tearing in certain places. Her slender and well toned frame was now buried beneath the flabby belly of a mature woman that wobbled and swished with Maggie's frantic movements, supported only by wide child-bearing hips. It's jiggling flesh exposed as her torn white t-shirt rode above, unable to contain it. Taking all of this in Julie tried in vain to get her transformed daughter to remain calm, rubbing her wide back jaggedly in a vain attempt at motherly soothing and shouting over Maggie's wails that they'll get a doctor, that they'll fix this.

Maggie broke free of her mother's uncoordinated comforting and made her way towards the bathroom where she locked herself in. Julie ran after her, knocking on the door, trying desperately to bring the situation down to a calm.

'Honey please open the door. Maggie?! Please! We can fix this sweetheart, just stay calm!'

Maggie couldn't hear her mother. The adrenaline and panic was so high that a bomb might as well have gone off, she could barely keep from collapsing. She took a moment and calmed just enough to pay greater attention to her body. Looking down she gasped as she saw what her mother had already, her new gut. She grabbed a hold of it in shock, feeling it wobble, fold and flop beneath her wrinkled fingers. Immediately her hands started to grip other parts of her body randomly and suddenly, taking in all of the fat she now possessed around her thighs, legs, arms and of course her ass. She moaned audibly, as if grieving for her young and supple physique before noticing her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Maggie stopped. She could only focus on the figure in the mirror before her. As she moved closer and closer, her no longer perfect eyesight taking a moment to catch up, she placed her hand hesitantly against her cheek as she truly saw herself. Her hair was grey, still thick, but drained of nearly all its natural color. Her cheeks were chubby and round and along with deep laugh lines around her mouth had the very beginning of jowls. The fleshy sensation around her throat, as she discovered, was a gentle double-chin. Her face was sprinkled with wrinkles. Around her eyes bags had forming, edged out by crow's feet. In the horror and panic of the last few minutes Maggie was unable to see that she was still pretty, that she had still retained her beauty, albeit the kind of beauty where upon one would remark that she was 'looking great...for her age.' But all that Maggie could see was the one very simple reality. She was old. With a fragile and shaky hand she pushed and prodded her matured face, her mind working overtime to try and process what had happened, why, how. Julie was still banging on the door, trying to get in.

'Maggie I'm going to phone 911 okay?! The doctors can help. We'll fix this sweetheart!'

Staring at the old woman that she had become in the mirror, Maggie's mind was quickly met with visions of the night before. The obscene, sudden tiredness, the creeping warmth that had spread throughout her body, the strange old woman in the bar. Maggie could hear her mother trying to get through to the emergency services, her own panic making her press the wrong buttons in frustration. Maggie realized then that this was no illness, no medical emergency, this...as amazed as she was to admit it....was the result of magic. That old woman, that....WITCH had done this to her. With a defeated expression Maggie turned away from the mirror and opened the bathroom door, her mother just managing to get through to 911 as she walked through. She could hear the operator asking 'Hello?' on the other end as Julie looked upon her changed daughter with teary eyes and a similarly despondent expression.

'Hang up' Maggie managed from her throat, uneasy about saying anything, not wanting to hear the husky older voice escape her lips.

'But Maggie?'

Maggie's expression was serious. Her furrowed brow giving way to more wrinkles in her skin. With that look Julie did as her daughter asked, and hung up the phone. The panic had subsided, the mood settled and morphed. The insanity and terror of only a few minutes before, now a heavy sadness and confusion. Scared for her daughter Julie embraced Maggie tightly. Finding the sensation of her hands sinking slightly into Maggie's newly acquired back-fat unnerving.

'I....' Maggie struggled '...I know what did this.'

Julie looked into her daughter's old eyes.

'What did this to you sweetheart?'

'A witch.'

__________
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:51 pm

__________

It had been about an hour since things had calmed in the Harris household. Julie had locked all the doors and closed all the curtains at Maggie's request as they sat there. The two of them in the living room, silent and unable to talk. Maggie sat with her bed-covers wrapped around her, trying to hide her new fat, old body from her mother's gaze and also her own. Sitting perfectly still, with only her face exposed to view. Julie now settled herself, was able to see some aspects of her daughter that had survived this change. Her lips were just as full as they had always been, perhaps a little dry and obviously touched with subtle lines around the edges but full none the less. Maggie's skin itself wasn't haggard or riddled with wrinkles like a lot of older women's skin might, these wrinkles were far fainter and distinguished looking – the only prominent areas affected being her neck and the deep laugh-lines around her mouth. Julie noted however that this was perhaps due to the large amount of weight her daughter had gained, her new fat smoothing her out some. Her eyes also still held that youthful, shining blue that had always been a defining feature of her image, marred only slightly by the creeping crow's feet and heavy bags in place around them. All in all, she thought Maggie was was still a good-looking woman, however this only held up she realized, once the word 'mature' or 'older' had been added to that description.

'Where's Ashley?' Maggie managed, breaking the silence.

'I sent her to her friend Susan's house before I woke you up. I didn't want her to be here if things got too out of control, I didn't want to scare her.'

'Good idea' Maggie croaked 'I wouldn't want her to see me like this.' Maggie sank deeper beneath her covers as she said this, clinging to her covers tighter to prevent any other body parts from being exposed. Julie looked over to her daughter with a pained expression, she didn't know what the next step was to take, where to begin trying to save her daughter from this insanity, and it made her feel so helpless.

'I already phoned Susan's parents and told them that we had a family emergency, they've agreed to look after her for tonight. So you don't need to worry.'

'You must have thought I was dead when you saw me' Maggie said, still uncomfortable with the deepened timbre in which she now spoke.

'I...I didn't know what to think Maggie but I knew you weren't dead.'

'How come?'

'Well...you were...snoring.'

'Snoring? I don't snore' Maggie retorted.

'I know Maggie. It was just this one time I'm sure, but that's how I knew...it was kind of loud'

The mother and daughter sat there in awkward silence before Julie addressed the most pressing topic.

'You mentioned something about...a witch?'

Maggie turned towards her mother, still primarily hidden beneath her cloak of bedding.

'I know it sounds crazy' she said 'But it's true.'

'Maggie sweetheart no explanation seems crazy enough at this point. What happened? What did this person say?'

'She was sitting in the bar alone just reading a book and then she started talking to me. She said she could...sense...that I needed to rest or something and then she gave me 300 dollars and told me to enjoy myself.'

'And that's all?'

'That's all I can remember. My manager John said I had spoke to her for over an hour but it felt like 2-3 minutes tops to me.'

'What book was she reading?'

'It was...Siddartha. Billy likes it.'

'Well do you know what that book was about? Maybe...maybe..it holds some clue or something? Maybe she cast a spell and --- oh god I sound ridiculous.'

Julie held her panicked head in her hands, fear and uncertainty written all over her.

'No. You were right the first time. At this point nothing is too crazy...the book's about someone who goes on a journey to find inner pea--'

A large buzz interrupted their conversation, it's intrusive vibration causing the mother and daughter's hearts to sink in anxious surprise before they realized it was a message coming through on Maggie's phone that lay on the table. Maggie looked over to her mother, still not wanting or able to move, her wrinkled eyes telling her mother 'you do it'. Julie understood, and picked up Maggie's phone.

'It's from Billy' she said, a quiver of hesitation in her voice.

Maggie's tired eyes widened slightly.

'What does it say?'

'He said “Hey babe, missed you at the party last night it was a lot of fun. Hope you took my advice and had an easy night instead! Still cool for me to come round? Xxx”

Maggie sighed beneath her duvet hood. In all of the chaos of the morning she had forgotten all about Billy wanting to hang out.

'Let me see it' Maggie said, extending her arm out from her fortress of covers.

Julie placed the phone in Maggie's hand and couldn't help but absorb its aged details. Looking slightly rougher and wrinkled around the knuckles especially. There were even some faint liver spots, and all around there was a sort of soft plumpness to them. She watched as Maggie typed her response, her old hands looking out of place texting with the ease of a millennial. The idea that her own hands looked more youthful and healthy than her 23 year old daughter's deeply disturbed Julie, who pulled the sleeves of her warm jumper over, and hid her own hands beneath them.

'What did you tell him?' Julie asked.

'I told him that I was sick. That I'm at the hospital and it's serious.'

'But don't you want to--'

'He doesn't see me like this. No-one does. I'm going to tell him that it's not something I can explain, that it's serious and he won't see me for a while.'

'He'll come around here looking for you Maggie. You know he will.'

Her mother was right. The excuse was dramatic, ill thought out, rushed and completely lacking in any sort of detail. Billy loved her, and he wouldn't take such an insane situation so lightly. As much as he could be lazy and more interested in having fun most of the time, Billy got serious when it came to Maggie. He'd made that clear in the past and he'd want to make sure she was safe and be there for her in any way that he could.

'Then I can't be here' Maggie blurted, her hidden expression deep in thought.

'What are you talking about?'

'I...I can't be here if he comes looking for me. I don't even want to be here for Ashley getting back tomorrow. I just...I need to hide or something.'

'Maggie you can't just hide, you need to deal with this. Maybe we should take you to the hospital, we have to exhaust all the options.'

'Mom enough!' Maggie's tone was serious, the deeper, uneasy cadence of her aged voice sounding like a mother scolding her child. She calmed herself as she turned towards Julie.

'I'm sorry...but...no' she continued 'This isn't some illness or disease. This doesn't just...happen. A doctor can't help me. It was the woman at the bar that did this, I know it.'

'But if you're right Maggie, how do we deal with that? Where do we start?'

Maggie looked down towards the phone in her wrinkled hands. The black screen reflecting her shielded face with enough clarity for the aged girl to make out her proto-jowls, chubby cheeks and heavier eyes.

'I don't know' she said, closing her eyes, suppressing tears. 'I just know that I need to get away from here, I can't risk people seeing me.'

Julie mediated on Maggie's words and recognized the severity with which she said them. She wanted to help her daughter as any mother would but didn't know where to begin. There was nowhere else Maggie could really retreat to, even if it was just for a short time. Ashley needed looking after also, and would have school again in just a couple of days which greatly complicated matters and Maggie didn't even want Ashley to see her in this state. The mother and daughter sat there in contemplative silence as Julie probed her mind, it was only when she was about to give up did she realize that there was in fact, one place where Maggie could stay that would guarantee her anonymity, especially given her condition. Julie gulped a little, not sure how Maggie would take the suggestion.

'Maggie I don't know how you'll feel about this...but do you remember my Aunt Doris?'

Maggie did remember her. Her Great Aunt Doris was her grandmother's older sister, and used to be a big part of their lives when she was just a kid. She remembered her large presence at birthday parties, Christmas dinners and other family gatherings, Doris eventually fading away from such events after her sister's death. Maggie's grandmother was named Margaret and was in fact the aged girl's namesake, she had died many years ago, back before even Ashley was born and it was this untimely death that had forced Doris to gradually retreat from big family events. She had kept in touch very briefly over the years, but Maggie hadn't heard from or about her in a very long time.

'Yeah...I remember her, why?'

'Well you're probably not going to like this but I need you to just hear me out. She's been staying in this...retirement community called Easy Springs.'

Maggie remained silent beneath her make-shift hood of bed covers, making Julie feel uneasy as she continued.

'It's one of these fancy places where rich people go--'

'You mean old people' Maggie interrupted.

'Well...sure, there are a lot of older people that live there' Julie said, trying not to aggravate the conversation '...but it's 55+ and these places are entire towns just built for luxury and--'

'What is it you're trying to say?'

Julie took a deep breath.

'I'm saying...if you really want to get away from everyone right now, we could get in touch with Doris and see if she'd let you stay with her for the time being. This Easy Springs is about a 3 hour drive from here, which in my mind is far enough away that you won't risk running into anyone from town but it's also close enough that I could still travel back and forth with little effort in order to see you.'

Maggie held onto her silence, pondering the offer. As much as she hated the idea of living in such a place, especially in her current condition, she realized it would be the perfect location to hide from the rest of the world right now.

'How long would I stay there exactly?'

'Well I don't know...just until you get better. Until we fix this.'

Maggie's expression changed.

'You know something I don't? We don't know how long this will last Mom, or even if it can be fixed. What if I'm stuck like this? What if...what if this is it from now on?'

Julie could hear the emotion building in Maggie's voice. She couldn't even begin to imagine how difficult this must be, how confused and scared her poor daughter must be. She got up and sat closer to Maggie on the couch, the aged girl shifting uncomfortably beneath her protective duvet.

'Maggie, sweetheart' Julie placed her hand against Maggie's back, gently stroking it in soft soothing circles as Maggie fought back tears beneath the covers.

'I know you must be terrified right now. I'm scared too. I don't know how we're going to do it, but I swear to you we will get to the bottom of this. We will get you back to normal again. I promise.'

Maggie looked up at her mother, the tears running quietly down her plump, softened face as she nodded and edged her head in closer to her mother so that Julie was now holding her. In between her stifled sobs Maggie said that her mother was right.

'I want you to phone Aunt Doris.'

__________
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:54 pm

__________

The three hour drive out of town to Easy Springs felt like an eternity in the car, made worse by the general silence and occasional bouts of stiff conversation that did nothing to alleviate the sheer oddity of their situation. The mother and daughter were both still in shock after the events of the morning, still trying to wrap their heads around what had happened, what might happen now and what they could possibly do to fix the insane predicament they found themselves in.

Julie had spoken to Doris on the phone for quite some time before they had left, trying to explain to the best of her abilities what had happened, with elements like the 'witch' being softened and abbreviated in her description. What was important was that Doris managed to somehow understand the very strange fact that Maggie had simply woken up that morning as an older woman, and that she now needed to stay somewhere out of town to avoid dealing with everyone. Doris naturally struggled to grasp exactly what Julie was telling her, but understanding that her grand niece was in some serious trouble and needed her help she had agreed to take Maggie in with little hesitation, regardless of what insane circumstances had brought forth this event.

Maggie sat in the passenger side of the car staring out at the endless trees that passed them along the highway, trying to keep her mind as far away from her body and as distracted from her incredible situation as she possibly could. She sat there in a purple sweat-suit borrowed from her mother which was incredibly tight and ill-fitting, but there was simply nothing else in the house that had even come close to covering up Maggie's plump, overweight body as successfully. Her flabby gut was poorly contained by the purple top, and every few minutes or so Julie would notice from the corner of her eye Maggie fidgeting, trying and failing to pull it down far enough to hide her soft and exposed belly.

Doris had agreed on the phone to get some new clothes for Maggie that were more flattering to her new figure, the old woman having ran to all of the clothing stores in Easy Springs and buying in bulk from plus-size sections in something of a blind hurry. This was all discussed out of Maggie's earshot of course, the aged still not quite being able to process the idea that she was now a fat woman. Maggie had never had any issues with her weight before, having always been on the skinnier side and taking after her mother. It was a note of pride for the 23 year old that she had managed to stay so trim and toned without ever obsessing over her body the way many others do, and now she couldn't move without feeling her far heavier body jiggle all over, the soft flesh of her gut pouring out of the restrictive sweat-suit, and her sagging bosom awkwardly straining against the top, threatening to bulge out entirely. The aged girl looked over to the 44 year old Julie driving the car, eyeing up her mother's svelte and well maintained body. Maggie closed her eyes as she tried to fight the negative thoughts that crept into her mind, noticing to her disgust and shame that as she compared her mother's attractive and even youthful figure to her own frumpy and mature one, she had felt an overwhelming sense of both disbelief and even envy.

They pulled into Easy Springs sometime in the late afternoon, Maggie's eyes still fixed to her passenger side window and failing to really pay attention to the time or anything else. The aged girl had even insisted before they left that her mother take her cell-phone and deal with any and all inquiries from Billy or her friends as to where she was or how she was doing. She didn't want to risk the temptation to call or contact them, and if she was to remain like this for a long time, perhaps even indefinitely, the last thing she wanted to do was check up on them via social media and see them living up their young lives as she was doomed to hide away in a retirement village. At this point all Maggie really wanted to do was just to shut out the rest of the world and sleep until the whole thing was over. Easy Springs, as much as she was reluctant to really admit it, was in fact the perfect place for her to do just that. The small town was a very remote gated community that was situated way out in the country side, meaning the likelihood of running into people she knew were so slim as to be none. The walls surrounding Easy Springs were large and stately, and as they made their way slowly through the well decorated gates and headed inside they could quickly see that the cheesy commercials on TV were no joke. The place was simply gorgeous. Every house was large, fancy and new. The air had the summer smell of freshly cut grass and the town itself, from the sidewalks, to the walls and to the market-place in the town's centre were pristine and clean. A healthy amount of people walked around soaking up the remaining sunlight, and to both Maggie and Julie's surprise not everyone looked so ancient as they had anticipated. Granted, the vast majority of people they saw were indeed elderly, but the vibe that emanated from the place was an overtly happy and laid-back one. Julie even thought to herself that with it's sparkling lake and expansive golf course Easy Springs had a holiday resort kind of feel. A lot of these positives were of course lost on Maggie, who tied a scarf around her head, hiding her dull and graying hair as they pulled up to Doris' lavish home.

As Julie fussed with Maggie's bag, containing essentials like toiletries etc. Maggie saw Doris opening her front door to come and greet them. Doris looked so old now Maggie thought, trying to ignore the obvious irony in that thinking. Her Great Aunt had just turned 72, and as Maggie hadn't seen her since she was around 11 years old, the difference in appearance from then to now seemed somewhat dramatic. All together Doris was not an unattractive woman for her age and not unlike Maggie's current appearance, Doris held some youth in her eyes, although this was blocked in part by her chain-beaded glasses. Her visage though, was that of a woman who had clearly been stunning in her youth. On the other side however, Doris was a large woman. Noticeably bigger than Maggie in fact. Her short, mature and clearly dyed dark hair was complimented by her hoop earrings, Doris' style of dress being a little gaudy. With her over-sized bracelets and overtly glitzy necklace that dangled and chimed ever so slightly as she waddled along the garden path up to the car, waving her sharp red nails around with a folksy turn. Julie looked across at Maggie, a sincerity in her eyes.

'Are you ready to go inside?' she asked.

Maggie simply nodded.

__________
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby riptoryx » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:29 pm

This is very well-written! While it doesn't quite fit my personal preferences when it comes to kinky stuff, I can still recognize its quality. Great job; the time you have put into it shows.
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby Bob » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:16 pm

Really enjoying this so far. Can't wait to see where it goes!
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby Islewing » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:24 pm

Very nicely written. Looking foreward to the next part.
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby red_loves6 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:17 am

Thank's everyone, glad people are enjoying it. Here's the next part of the story.


__________

Doris' living room was subjected to long bouts of awkward silences as the three women sat in there, a cup of tea either in their hands or off by their side, with Maggie having quickly told Doris that she 'didn't drink tea' and so her cup sat cooling rapidly on the little doily decorated coffee table ahead of her. The conversation was as one could imagine, awkward and difficult, with poor Doris trying her best to keep things light and casual in among the horror and madness of this situation, her eyes unable to hide her shock and worry whenever she looked in her Grand Niece's direction. She kept asking Julie and Maggie the everyday, basic kind of questions you would any relative you hadn't seen in such a long time. 'So how have you been? How's college going? Are you seeing anyone? Any plans for the summer?' The hapless old woman was simply trying her best, and Maggie did realize this despite the annoying line of her questioning.

'Maggie's just finished her final year at White Peaks Aunt Doris' Julie said, trying to play along in the strained normality 'She graduates in a couple of months, right honey?'

Maggie barely nodded as Julie turned to her, lifting her weary eyes to her mother briefly before sinking them back into the now undrinkable tea ahead of her.

'Well...that's fantastic dear, well done Maggie' Doris said an uneasy smile adorning her face as she tried to express her very genuine elation at hearing of Maggie's success.

Maggie sat in a single chair adjacent to the couch her mother was sitting on, and even further away from the entirely separate chair her Aunt Doris was sitting in. Maggie's matronly new frame feeling uncomfortable but made far worse by her sheepish and withdrawn posture. The aged girl managed a simple 'thanks' in response to her Great Aunt.

This strained atmosphere persisted for sometime, Maggie staying largely quiet and breaking only for one word responses to Doris' astoundingly irrelevant questions in such a drastic situation. After perhaps two and a half hours of such an atmosphere Maggie finally shifted the dynamic by asking where the bathroom was. She plodded off down the hallway to the downstairs bathroom as her mother fretted with widening eyes at the sight of her daughter's swaying, fat behind that was barley contained by the purple sweat-suit. This moment did leave Julie and Doris a chance to talk in private however.

'Are those your clothes?' Doris asked with some hesitation.

'Yes' Julie sadly sighed 'It was the only thing in the whole house that fit her well enough. I've never even worn it before, it was always too big for me.'

Doris leaned forward and with a seriousness capturing her hushed tones she replied.

'Julie dear, what on Earth has happened to that poor girl?' Doris was shaking her sullen head, her jowls swishing slightly with the movement.

With watery eyes Julie pinched her hand against the rim of her black glasses, removing them for just a moment to wipe the tears away.

'I wish I knew Aunt Doris. I wish I knew. I'm going to investigate this...this...witch talk when I get back home. I'm going to go to Shelley's bar and ask around, see if she's been there before, if...if she knows anyone. I'm going to find the terror that did this to my daughter and I'm going to make her fix it I swear.'

Doris nodded along with Julie's words, understanding and respecting the conviction with which she spoke. She felt however that the worst case scenario had to be addressed, and choosing her words carefully she slowly responded.

'I believe you Julie. I know you, you're a good mother, a great mother, you'd do anything for your girls. But dear, the possibility might exist...what if this can't be undone?'

Julie turned sharply to meet her Aunt's gaze, sniffing the tears away.

'It can and it will. I'm not giving up on my daughter. That is not an option.'

She possessed that same tenacious streak that her daughter was so famous for, it's where Maggie had learned to be so strong and direct.

'I understand Julie but it's something you're going to have to think about. I hope to high heaven that it's not the case. I hope that when she comes out of that bathroom she walks through here leaping and yelling, back to her beautiful young self again...but Julie I'm going to be frank...I've never seen anything like this before.'

Julie understood her Aunt's words and she was right. This might really be it for Maggie now. Julie cast her eyes downward, fighting back tears.

'I know...I...I just wouldn't know what to do if she was stuck like this. All I want to do is save her Aunt Doris but I don't know how.'

Doris placed a reassuring hand upon Julie's arm, her rings and gaudy bracelets glistening slightly in the dimming sunlight from the window as she did.

Maggie returned from the bathroom a few minutes later, still meek in her movements as the aged 23 year old was so unused to the slight ripples in her fat, namely her meaty thighs. Her eyes were a little red and puffy when she entered the room, clearly from crying although she didn't want to address it. Her quiet bathroom sobbing had been in response to her now considerably chunkier thighs squishing and spreading in their softness as she had sat down on the toilet seat, the moment yet another hard reminder of her odd circumstance, that she was now a fat old woman. Maggie looked down at her mother sitting in the outdated looking couch, cutesy flowers in its design and knew that it was probably time to move things along. Her mother was clearly reluctant to leave and Maggie's mind turned to thoughts of her young sister Ashley, who by now was probably getting worried and scared, unsure of where her mother and sister had gone.

'You should probably get going' Maggie said, standing awkwardly above her mother.

Julie looked up at her daughter, standing there with her arms folded beneath her heavy bosom. The purple sweat-suit top riding up again, exposing her soft, pale stomach. It seemed like Maggie didn't notice this time, or perhaps she didn't care.

'For Ashley' she continued 'She'll be wondering where you are.'

'I don't have to leave just yet if you don't want me to, Susan's parents are--'

'No it's fine' she interrupted 'I need to get settled in here anyway.'

Julie could tell from her daughter's expression that this whole ordeal was beginning to tire her out, Maggie just wanted to move things along and get the emotional goodbyes over-with. Julie also recognized that Maggie was right about Ashley, the poor girl had been left completely out of the loop and was more than likely terrified at her sudden inability to go home from her friend's house, smart enough to know when something was wrong.

Julie stood up and smiled sadly at Maggie, her daughter's body language withdrawn and a little stand-offish. Maggie could barley look at her mother as she hefted up her heavier breasts in discomfort, her belly pushing through and forcing her top to rise once more with the movement. Julie nodded in agreement with her daughter as she grabbed her coat from the rack in the hall. The situation was tense and uneven as Maggie stood still, her eyes staring down at her feet which was a habit of hers in such awkward situations. She was wearing plain white sneakers that she barely ever wore as they were the only shoes that had still managed to fit her fattened feet, and Maggie was reluctant to come out and say it but they still weren't comfortable. Julie held her bag, ready to leave when she and Doris said their goodbyes.

'Tell Ashley that her Aunty Doris said hi' Doris said, squeezing her niece tight.

'I will' she replied, patting her Aunt's back.

Julie now stood in the doorway, the door already open as Maggie lumbered slowly over to her mother. As she got closer the emotions proved to be too much for Julie and she embraced her daughter with a readiness Maggie hadn't quite prepared for. Much to her own surprise, Maggie felt a tight pull in her lower back, a creak...and she involuntary let out a little moan.

With her arms still gracing her daughter's shoulders Julie pulled back, concerned.

'Is everything alright Maggie?'

The aged girl could feel the pain in her back persist. It wasn't excruciating by any means, but felt like a tightness, preventing her from moving as fast or as flexible as she'd like. Maggie just gulped and tried to ignore it, not wanting to alarm anyone.

'I'm fine mom, honest' she said, her smile contorted slightly beneath the weight of her fatter features. Julie took her gentle, far younger looking hand and stroked the side of her daughter's aged face. She was choked up as she leaned in and softly kissed her right cheek.

'I'll fix this Maggie. I promise you' She said with a quiet certainty before making her her way out the door and towards the car. Maggie and Doris stood at in the doorway together, watching Julie retreat down the perfect little garden path. Getting closer to her car, Julie took a look around her Aunt Doris' neighborhood. This place Easy Springs was truly scenic, like some suburban dream town. This relieved her somewhat, knowing that her daughter would be able to take some rest from all of the stress and panic in a place that evoked such calm and peace.

Opening her car door Julie turned back towards the house and saw her daughter and Aunt waving sadly from the doorway. Her daughter clad in the ill-fitting sweat-suit, from this distance looking like some plump little grandma whose walking clothes had shrunk in the wash. Maggie and Doris looking like just two fat little old ladies waving off their younger relative. It sickened her to think of her own daughter this way, to see her like this. No mother should get to see her daughter in old-age she thought to herself, it was like some cruel punishment. The worst and most unnerving part, which had been in the back of her mind since the change but really only now was she allowing herself to reflect upon; was that Maggie, standing there next to Doris looked so much like her own mother Margaret. She retroactively kicked herself in this moment for naming her daughter after her own mother, thinking at the time it was a sweet gesture and hoping that it would allow for two separate generations to find some common ground and kinship in one another as Maggie got older and their relationship grew. But her mother had been dead for a long time, and Maggie had been changed in ways she couldn't have ever imagined, it all felt like some twisted joke.

Julie shook off these thoughts as she got in the car finally, turning on the radio to try and get herself focused and calm for Ashley when she returned home...and really just for the long drive back. There was a lot to think about on the drive ahead...a lot. She waved and smiled one final time through the window, trying not to burst into tears as she did and then drove off down the road. Not quite able to look back.
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Re: Early Retirement (AP, WG)

Postby Islewing » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:17 am

This is getting interesting. Great work.
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