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Unread 01-01-2019   #46
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Re: New Story "Take It All In" by Clovis

Chapter 9.4

Unbeknownst to even herself was the fact that while her mind was so fully engrossed with Dawn’s sideshow performance, Etna’s body had taken it upon itself to resume the more important work. The mouthful Etna was withholding was swallowed down right along with her two heaping handfuls. Already, one of those freshly freed hands was off hunting for more- Etna found it burrowing into her cleavage to retrieve a smoked shoulder that had tumbled down there.


Etna couldn’t understand how all that got eaten without any fuss or muss. Though, on further inspection… “Oh-oh-OWWW!” It clearly hadn’t. Etna gasped as her every nerve sent up sirens of pain. Those added bites had come at a cost. They may have gone down quietly, but Etna’s many strains were now amplified in accordance to that new intake.


Again the query came, but this time as a shout from Lydia who was holding up two large and empty platters.

“SIS! I made the mistake of once serving you plain yellow mustard only to watch it reduce you to a sweating, gagging mess crying for a hospital because you found it so intolerably spicy. So how is it you just polished off TWO HUNDRED jalapeņo poppers without the slightest complaint?”

Not waiting for an answer, Lydia went off in search of new ammunition. For her, the question was clearly rhetorical and besides, Amber wasn’t granting Dawn’s busy mouth so much as a second to retort.

“Oh, we’re well aware of your sister’s delicate palette,” Amber laughed as she pelted Dawn from her seemingly endless supply of tater-tots. “And it’s not like you didn’t give me ample warning in-between mild threats about treating her nice and the endless sob-fest over leaving her that first day. I assumed you were just being over-protective. Still, for our first movie night I made up a batch of the very weakest of weak-sauce salsas. Dawn didn’t even get one chip in before she was writhing on the floor, gasping and turning red. I was in a panic, not sure whether to call you or 9-11, but Holly scooped up the little twitching ragamuffin and ran her down the hall shouting for help. Someone thought to give her milk, which ended up being a whole other kind of bad idea. That’s when we learned Dawn was also severely lactose intolerant and I had to spend the night at Holly’s.” (This last part was said rather wistfully, and clearly wasn’t the inconvenience Amber made it out to be.)

“I didn’t think keeping her away from dairy would be a problem for a vegan,” Lydia replied wryly. “Still, I’m pretty sure I covered that as well.”

“Maybe,” Amber chuckled, “it was probably somewhere in that giant binder you gave me. Seriously, what roommate comes with an instruction book?”

“The best one,” Lydia said proudly.

“Yeah,” Amber admitted sheepishly. “Though as thorough as you were, you somehow left out any hint her being capable of tonight's various monkeyshines,” she said grabbing a fistful of tots and throwing the whole lot Dawn’s way- none of which went missed by her swelling roomie.

“This… this is new,” Lydia admitted with a shrug. “And sorry about the lactose thing. Our apartment wasn’t much bigger than your dorm room- you have my sympathies. But look at her now, our little Dawn’s become tolerant of so many things.” To prove the point, Lydia plucked up a golf-ball sized wad of wasabi and hurled it Dawn’s way. Her once sensitive sister wolfed it down without flinching.

Etna was surprised to learn the girl had been plagued by more physical failings than she could have ever guessed. Where such deficiencies filled Etna only with disgust, she assumed the others took pity on Dawn as one might some sick little stray. What baffled her however, was how Dawn allowed them to banter on at her expense when at her age, Etna barely tolerated praise let alone mockery.

Etna supposed Dawn wouldn’t begrudge them making light of her so long as they continued to make her heavy. But Etna was a firm believer in the hierarchy of scale, and thought by now Dawn should have known that she no longer needed to begrudge anyone anything (excepting of course Etna who remained her size-superior.) A tight, fit little body may be admired, but true deference went only to the exceedingly large. As mammals, it seemed something hard wired in us from back in our days spent scurrying beneath the feet of Earth’s prehistoric titans.

However long her list of afflictions had been, Dawn was now full of vim, vigor, and pretty much everything else. With the room constantly set to shaking, it was clear Dawn knew how to throw her weight around, but the idea of exploiting her new size for intimidation remained a foreign concept. Etna was certain that as she grew, Dawn would come around to her way of thinking- though she wasn’t sure she wanted to be around when Dawn realized her full potential. Then again, perhaps, despite all her growing, Dawn still saw herself as some pathetic runt for nothing else really made sense to Etna.

Etna watched an emboldened Lydia lay out a flight of assorted hot-sauces ranging from tabasco to ghost pepper between herself and Amber so they could kick things up a notch and see if there really wasn’t anything Dawn couldn’t handle. Amber called out her count as she still worked her way though an absolute mountain of tater-tots. Her now fiery comets were reaching truly astronomical numbers “1,279, 1,280, 1,281!”

“Come on Dawn,” Lydia shouted as she prepared a round of atomically spicy empanadas, “I’ve seen you lose bladder control just from smelling a buffalo wing- at least give us a gag for old time’s sake.”

What had Etna confounded more than anything else was how these ongoing japes came across as far more affectionate than any load of lauding she’d ever received. It was an observation that sat worse in her gut than any kind of indigestion.

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