Definitely well written, but I'm kind of confused about what the device was. There seemed to be a lot of set up for the characters. -- which is good! -- but there was not much payoff during the expansion descriptions and, again, I just don't know what the foil packet was supposed to do or how it was supposed to work. I realize that was not the point. :) but I want to breeding it twice just to see if there was some sort of establishing fact I had missed, and I couldn't find it.
Evening News, The
Carmen looked herself over in the bathroom and made some final touches to her hair and makeup before feeling confident enough to talk in front of the camera. There wasn't much she could do. Even though she had a small kit with her, there wasn't much she needed to change.
"Alright tiger, get out there and knock 'em dead."
She walked toward the door and hesitated.
"But, maybe I should just make sure everything is perfect one more time."
Carmen walked back to the mirror and, for the fourth time, looked herself over. She needed to be perfect. She could not show a fault, an unruly hair, a freckle, or a blemish. It was pointless, really. All the effort to style up her silky chestnut hair, smooth out and touch up her makeup, and practice talking in the mirror would become nothing more than evidence of wasted time as soon as Camera One's red light blinked on. Everyone would be staring at her triple D chest and Jessica Rabbit hips, even the cameras. Especially the cameras. To some extent, she must have known this deep down somewhere; her form fitting purple dress was no coincidence.
On the other hand, she was as oblivious to the world around her as the ancient pyramids of Giza, which guarded the long ago raided tombs of long dead kings of a long dead empire. Nothing went through her because it always sailed over her head; jokes, snickers, wandering eyes, and calendar dates to name just a few. On the plus side, every birthday party was a surprise birthday party. It was truly a miracle that, three years later, she still believed that she was hired as an anchorwoman for WMFB's midnight news briefing for her great communication skills and double Bachelors' from UNH.
"Okay, now I'm ready."
Carmen took a deep breath.
"Let's do this!"
Carmen put on a brave face and walked into the studio. Today, she was doing her first live interview. Nerves jittered up and down her spine with every step she took, and her head felt like a ten ton weight balancing on a matchstick.
Paul Slocum was Carmen's co-anchor, and her first choice when it came to her weekly urge for storage closet sex. Second to Paul was Steve, the married meteorologist. Then came Job -pronounced Johb not Jahb, he'd correct her-, who was the eight o'clock news anchor. The last person on her list was Herb, the teleprompt writer. He was short, fat, rude, and ugly, but she liked him because he would sometimes write flattering or dirty messages in the teleprompter when no one else was looking. Little did she know, however, that she was Paul's second choice -Pam, the front desk secretary was first-, Steve's fourth -he didn't like her nose-, Job's only choice -he wasn't very handsome or charismatic-, and Herb's third choice -he was bisexual-. None of them liked her on a personal level.
Paul walked beside Carmen and discreetly goosed her before resting his hand on her pelvis.
"Paul!" Carmen giggled.
"How are ya feelin'? Ready ta give yer big interview?"
Carmen smiled and blushed. She felt safe around Paul's Army Veteran physique.
"Well I'll be honest, I'm kinda nervous."
"Aw, you'll do just fine! With yer wonderful smile and voluptuous..."
Paul glanced at her breasts.
"...eyes, you'll win 'em over fer sure!"
"Thanks, Paul!" God, even off camera she sounds like an anchorwoman, Paul thought. "But, is there any donuts left? I'd love something to hold me over for a bit."
"Oh, of course! They're over where they usually are."
Carmen walked over to the breakroom and kept her brave face on. Paul looked over and winked at Herb, who then looked over and winked at Dave the Intern, who then slipped a suspicious foil packet under the cover of Carmen's seat. He then gave a thumbs-up to Herb, who gave a thumbs up to Paul, who then turned around and gave a thumbs up to Michael the Operator, who would make sure the cameras were rolling the entire time.
"Alright, people! We're on in ten, nine..."
Everyone ran to their positions, except for the anchors who were already seated and practicing their vocal exercises.
"Eight, seven, six..."
Carmen took a deep breath.
"Five, four, three..."
Paul thought of what was to come and tried not to snicker.
"Two, and one!"
Carmen put on a big smile and straightened her back, unintentionally heaving her breasts forward like a pair of wrecking balls at the camera.
"Good evening, Heavensport. I'm Carmen Louise-"
"-And I'm Paul Haversam."
"And it's time for the eleven o'clock news!"
Paul folded his hands and spoke clearly; his accent, vague of origin but clearly not entirely American, vanished instantly.
"Tonight, we have a special set of exclusive news segments for today and today only!"
"That's right! It's the first day of April, and Spring is coming in slowly but surely. So, as part of ushering in Spring we have a special interview coming up next with local writer Howard P. Laufmann!"
"Hosted by none other than our very own Miss Louise."
"That's right, Paul!"
Carmen stood up, the camera trained on her every movement, delicately coordinated to be as smooth, effortless, and human as possible. She spoke as she walked to the interview set ten feet away.
"Mr. Howard Phillip Laufmann has been writing short stories for most of his life, from science fiction to historical fiction, to what's he's known for the most; writing fantasy stories for children's magazines. Yet, despite time and effort, his fame has done anything but skyrocket. Still widely considered a 'hidden gem' of the Massachusetts literary circuit, his fantastical stories of mystical lands and magical beasts have been described as everything from 'eye opening' to 'mesmerizing' by his small but dedicated readership, and have even played crucial roles as inspiration for fellow writers and artists alike."
Carmen came to her sabotaged seat and Laufmann hobbled into view. He was a short, pale strip of beef jerky in the shape of a human. His suit was ill-fitting and bland, and his eyes were weak and dead of energy. He cordially shook Carmen's hand before quickly sitting in the chair opposite of Carmen. Sitting looked like his natural state.
"Good evening, Mr. Laufmann."
"Good evening, Miss Carmen." His voice sounded like saltwater and sandpaper.
Carmen sat down gently and felt a small shift in her seat.
"How are you? I hope it isn't too late in the evening for you!" Carmen joked. It was part of the script.
Laufmann laughed a dead, wispy laugh and waved his hand, "It's fine, it's fine. I'm a night owl, myself. I haven't even seen a sunrise outside of pulp and paper in ten years!"
"That's good to hear! So, what was it that inspired you to be a writer?"
Whatever it was shifting under Carmen's seat grew far too big in far too little time for it to be ignorable, let alone comfortable, but she tried her best to continue as if nothing were different or odd in any way.
"Well, I want to say Theodor Seuss Geisel -Dr. Seuss- but I feel like everybody says that. It was the books I read in my youth, The Lord of The Rings, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Robert Frost's poems, that gave me this feeling that the world was a beautiful, colorful place full of magic and wonder, and that all we needed to do to see it was to close our eyes and let our imaginations run free."
"And were there any people in your life that pushed you to it?"
Laufmann bitterly laughed.
"No, not in the way you mean. My father wanted me to enlist, fight in the Marines like he did in Double Ya Double Ya Two. A big, muscled man's man, my father. Hated his guts. My mother pushed me into business school back in the days when you could pay for college with a summer job being a lifeguard- which is coincidentally exactly what I did. Ugh, I hated business. Hated it. Every second I spent in that field was like slowly drowning in paste. I started writing in- "
A small, dense pop from under Camen's seat broke his train of thought. Carmen blushed intensely, knowing that it absolutely registered on her lapel microphone.
"I'm sorry, I don't know what in world that was."
"It's quite alright, uh, where was I? Ah, yes. I started writing around '68 when Bobby Kennedy got shot. 'Course I was writing anti war speeches like every other shmuck with too much hair! But, that got old when Nixon took over so I went back to slowly drowning in paste. Was a salesman for a glue company. My grandfather died in '81 -was born in 1910 in Luxembourg. Got the hell outta Europe as soon as he could!- and the first thing ma did when he passed on was raid the house of its valuable antiques and throw everything else away. Pragmatic, that's what she called it." Laufmann snorted scorfully. "Pragmatic. Well, my ma was already starting to get old and decrepit, so she had me do the heavy lifting with my pa. I was hauling the trash bags away -they were all full of old books and magazines- when one of them ripped open. Spilled all over the place, it was embarrassing. Well, I pick one up- are you alright? You look a little flushed."
Carmen nodded her head, trying to keep as discreet as possible her sudden and violent stomach pain that had lunged onto her. She had an arm wrapped around her gut and another at her mouth, where she very subtly was biting her finger.
"Are you sure? Well, as I was saying, Ma was yelling at me and I pick up on of those magazines, and you know what it was? It was an old copy of Weird Tales. I open it up and the first thing I read was one of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories. The first thing I did was stuff those trash bags fulla gold in my car and take off. I never looked back."
Carmen nodded, visibly uncomfortable. Commercial break wasn't for another few minutes.
"Wow, that's something. Tell me, was it stomach pain- I'm sorry, I mean was it... Ugh! I'm sorry, I just..."
Carmen doubled over, gripping her stomach with her arms.
"Oh my goodness! You look ghastly! Here, uh, you!" He snapped his fingers at Dave, who shook his head. "Young man, get over here!"
Carmen's face was contorted in embarrassment and pain.
"No, no! Let's get back to- Oh, my!"
Suddenly, Carmen's stomach billowed forward like a sudden pregnancy, pushing into the table and knocking her backwards. Carmen flailed her arms as she tumbled, but luckily her fall was cusioned when her butt blew up as well.
"Wah? What in the-"
"Oh, dear! What in blazes is happening?"
Paul, Herb, and Steve snickered off screen. Carmen's dress felt like a tourniquet on her body, pulling tighter and tighter on her ballooning form. It quickly hiked up beyond her bottom, and Carmen -not realizing her dress had taken some of her modesty- accidentally displayed her expensive back lace panties to her entire audience when she not only fell over -giving a healthy shot of her crotch- but also when she rolled over on her stomach to get on her feet. The cameras continued to roll.
"Ah! Ngh! W-what's going on?"
Carmen grabbed her chest and blushed as her breasts, now the size of volleyballs, shot out of her dress and displayed the top half of her lace underwear. Her bra strained and the steel clasp warped. Her thighs swelled out and pushed against each other, shoving her slightly puffed up crotch into the forefront.
"What the? Wh-What?"
Suddenly, just when it couldn't get worse for Carmen (even though it absolutely could) the inflation stopped. There she was, on live TV, with her underwear exposed to thousands of people, and her body inflated like a balloon! Carmen did her best to cover herself, and Laufmann even draped his jacket over her chest.
"I... But, what..."
Tears welled up in Carmen's eyes. Suddenly, ten or twelve coworkers rushed onto the stage and gave Carmen a big group hug (half to touch her breasts, half to cover her up) and shouted in unison,