Date Written: 



'Hi Jody, how're you doing?'

I interrupted my doleful perusal of the newspaper racks to glnnce round at Pavel.

'Oh, fine thanks.'

You know how you're not supposed to say you're fine when you're not so the other person doesn't have to get into the whole thing? This was such an occasion.

Gving up on the too expensive but still very cheap newspapers, I went over and looked for washing up gloves. I was of course disappointed.

'Pavel, you know, if you just ordered some latex-free gloves for me, I'd buy them every time. You wouldn't lose out.'


'Okay, Jody, I'll bear that in mind.'


He wouldn't of course. Nobody ever does. I was going to have to leave the shop empty-handed. I glanced longingly at the baskets of bananas and avocados and the packets of dried figs near the door, more as a distraction from my embarrassment.


A reluctant ferret through my purse revealed what I already knew. I didn't have so much as a penny left. In view of that fact, I headed over to the public library. Free books and heating, can't argue with that. I bundled myself up in my inadequate coat and scarf against the autumnal wind and took up my customary seat near a heater.


I picked up a copy of the Metro from the desk. At least I didn't have to pay for that paper although whether it was actually worthwhile reading was another question. Or so I thought at the time. Rob would be back by now, according to the wall clock, so I cut my visit short, rolled up the paper and stuffed it into my shoulderbag before walking the couple of blocks between the library and our flat.


Even from this distance I was able to confirm my surmise at his return, as his bright yellow bike was chained to the rack in the tower block opposite our place. I arrived, climbed the stairs and pushed open our door. Sure enough, the best thing about my life was sat there on the sofa cutting his toenails into a mug on the coffee table. This was only one of several pieces of dirty washing up on that piece of furniture and the sink was similarly piled high.


"Er, Rob, do you think you could possibly...?"

"Do the washing up? Did you get gloves?"

"They don't sell the latex-free ones."

Rob sighed.

"Could you not just for once do it without?"

A flash of scarlet fingernails demonstrated the unfeasibility of his suggestion, and he reluctantly entered the kitchen and set about the task. I cleared the table onto a tray, emptied his clippings into the compost and sat myself back down, spreading the paper out on the table.

It hadn't always been like this. Once upon a time I'd been a successful small business owner. In fact it was how Rob and I had met. I actually owe it, though, to my first boyfriend, who had a latex fetish. He couldn't get off at all unless his partner was wearing something shiny, black and stretchy, not even if it was PVC because the smell was important to him too. Although I've never been specifically into it myself, I loved the sense of control it gave me in driving certain men utterly wild and when I wore it, far from finding it restricting it made me feel like a superheroine. The roleplay aspect of it was also important because I was less inhibited, with the escape route that it was the persona I was playing rather than me, although deep down I knew it was really me all along, giving myself permission to come on to people and pushing me into what I truly desired. The fact that I was never straightforwardly into it in itself was pretty irrelevant.


As time went by, I tracked down wholesale sources for the gear and I started to hold parties where people could try it on and then maybe buy it. At the same time, I realised I could dance in it and that would attract paying customers, although it was strictly no sex and the confidence it gave me helped me reinforce that aspect of it. I was making money hand over fist.


Then I noticed that there was a quiet guy, really dishy, hanging out at every session I put on. After a few times, I approached him, in persona, and sat down and had a drink with him. Pretty soon we were both back at my place doing, well, you know. And although I'd taken a risk, he had everything. He was great: really sympathetic, a good listener, gentle, caring, and also clever and witty. His only drawback was his messiness and obliviousness to social mores, but I didn't care.


Naturally it turned out too good to be true. Not with Rob, but in other ways. Rob was still the best thing in my life by far, and still is. He'd stand by me no matter what, as I was eventually to discover in a most surreal way. I'll tell you about that later.


A few months after he'd moved in with me, I started to get rashes. No matter how much lube I used, there was redness and soreness. At first that was all. Then it got worse and I also noticed the smell seemed to set off my asthma. Then, one day when I was completely covered head to toe in tight black shiny rubber, I suddenly found I couldn't breathe, I felt sick, my lips were swollen and I found myself coming to in Accident and Emergency having my rather embarrassing garb cut off me on a ventilator. Yep: developed a severe latex allergy due to overexposure.


Not only that. It also turned out I couldn't even eat various foods. Avocados, bananas, figs and quite a few other foods were completely out. I couldn't even be in the same room as party balloons without reacting. It got worse. Not only did it mean Rob and I couldn't do our favourite bedroom thing, but we couldn't even use barrier methods of contraception for vanilla sex, so I had to go on the Pill. Needless to say, I had to give up my business. I sold it, and for a while things were okay but I'd got so used to spending money so fast that I frittered it all away and it wasn't long before it was all gone.


You might be wondering why Rob didn't go out and get a job. The answer is that he was too nice to get through interviews. He would get that far, but when he was actually sitting there in the waiting room, he'd see all the other candidates and feel for their desperation, and sabotage himself by doing something like stuttering a lot. Of course you might also ask why he thought they were more important than me. I didn't ask that.


So we were poor and our sex life was problematic to some extent, mainly because we couldn't do what we wanted although we did other things and fantasised about it.


Then I saw the ad, tucked away on an inside back page.



Volunteers for medical experimentation

No significant risk to health

Hansomely rewarded

Must be allergic to latex


With an email, address and phone number.


My eyes practically popped out of my head.

"ROB! Look at this!"

Rob dried his hands and came back into the living room.

"Wow, sounds like it was written for you personally. Are you gonna ring them? Go on, do it now!"

I'd already dialled.


Not half an hour later I was in a medical lab being interviewed. I couldn't believe my luck. I'd filled in the necessary forms and was sitting at a bench over from an attractive young man called Simon with a shaven head and a bit of stubble. But I was loyal to Rob.


"Jody is it?"

"Mmhm" I nodded.

"I understand you have some associated food allergies."

"Yes. What's this about?"

"Well Jody, we think we might have found a quick way of curing latex allergy and we can check it with antigens from the foods which affect you."

"Woo, not sure I want to risk that."

"Don't worry. We'll do it with a blood sample in a test tube first, so to speak. We'll need to do various tests."

I was outwardly calm, but inside I found it hard to contain my excitement. If it worked, this could be a way out of our poverty trap! Granted, it might take me a while to get back into the market and I presumed certain people would've taken my pitch, but even so, what an opportunity! And I was even going to be paid for it! It seemed I couldn't lose.

"Is there any risk?"

He smiled.

"Well, no medical procedure is completely free of risk, but I can assure you that so far there has been absolutely no indication that it could cause any problems."

"And I would actually be able to . . . er, handle latex again."

"Seriously Jody, you could be clad in it head to toe 24/7 and you'd be fine."

With hindsight the irony of his statement has not been lost on me, but at the time my main concern was whether he'd seen me blush.

"I have just one question then. Where do I sign?"

He pushed a form over to me and I scrawled my name with a leaping heart.

Taking the form back, he continued.

"Would you like to know about the procedure?"

I nodded enthusiastically.

"Okay, well we have developed a substance we call 'Xetal'. It's kind of anti-latex if you like."

"How do you mean? Is it like 100% non-elastic or something?"

"Haha, no! How much do you know about the immune system Jody? More specifically, how do you understand your condition with regard to latex? Do you understand it's what we call a Type 1 anaphylactic reaction?

"Yes. It's to do with antibodies setting off swelling isn't it?"

"Yes, basically. Now listen to this."

He took two speakers out of his pocket, turned one on and it played a beepy version of "Three Blind Mice". Then he turned the other one on and it played what sounded like the exact same tune.

"They sound exactly the same don't they?"

I nodded.

"Right, well just try to listen to them both at the same time."

He turned both speakers on and I didn't hear a sound.

"Huh? What happened?"

"The second sound is the same as the first one except that it's 'turned upside down'. Every time the wave on one side gets louder, it gets quieter on the other side and they cancel each other out, so you hear nothing. That's what we're going to try with your allergy."

"Er, I don't get it? How can sound have anything to do with allergies and antibodies?"

"Well, we've made some of this."

He delved under the desk and brought out what looked like an ordinary spray can with XETAL printed on it. It suddenly clicked.

"Ah! Latex backwards!"

He lifted a finger.

"Exactly. It's like a jigsaw piece that fits exactly into the latex molecules, with dents where the bumps are and bumps where the dents are. The idea is that rather than setting off an allergy, it will cancel it out by making antibodies which mesh with the anti-latex ones. You can close your mouth now if you like."

I lifted my jaw from its dropped position and giggled, then rolled up a sleeve.

"Oh my God! Where's the syringe?"

"Woah, woah, hold your horses! It doesn't quite work that way. Anyway, once your immune system has encountered the antigen, it should keep making antibodies to it, but it has to be introduced to your body the same way as the original latex was or you'd probably just develop another equally dangerous allergy. Now I understand from your notes -", Simon looked down at his tablet, "- that you used to wear it a lot."

"Er, yeah", I said rather sheepishly.

"Oh it's okay, we don't judge here and I wouldn't anyway."

"So what do you do then?"

"First, can I just ask, have you removed body hair recently? On the bits I can't see?"

"Um, yes."

"All over? Sorry but I have to ask."


"Okay, well that saves time anyway."

"What are you going to do then?"

"Well, there's a process. First of all, we would've removed all your body hair but clearly we don't need to do that. After that, you put silicone rubber socks and gloves on so you retain use of your hands and feet while the desensitisation procedure takes place. Then you soak up to your neck in a warm bath of a special fluid which kind of hydrates your skin to help the xetal penetrate. Then, you step out of the bath and get evenly and automatically sprayed neck to ankles with an unbroken layer of xetal. The theory is that your body will absorb it via your skin and develop antibodies in your skin which will later enable you to come into contact with latex harmlessly.

"What about food and asthma?"

"When the spray is applied, your white blood cells will sample it and move microscopic bits of it to your lungs and digestive system, where they'll develop similar antibodies to your skin."

"So – I have to be naked for this?"

"Yes, but it'll be in private. There's a special booth, like a steam bath. In fact, if you're ready we'll proceed."

He pulled out his chair and together we went through a door into another room. In it was a white metal object about five feet high with a neck-sized hole in the top which reminded me somewhat of a washing machine. Simon pressed a button and it opened like a clam into left and right halves.


I removed my shoes and put on the socks and gloves he'd handed me.

"Would you like to step in Jody?"

"Sure. What about my dress?"

"Oh yes. I'd like you to remove your dress and underwear once you're in there and post them up through the hole. You can push your head through the opening like a pullover neck, it'll be fine."

I got into the chamber and crouched on the clean, padded floor. Simon operated the controls to close me into it.


It was dark and cramped inside the machine, with only a little light penetrating through the neck hole and I lost no time shedding dress, bra and panties, and throwing them up through it, whence Simon must've whipped them away. I stood up to find the hole only admitted the crown of my head due to my height.


"Er, Simon?"

"Don't worry, we've thought of that."

With a humming noise the padded floor started moving upwards and my head gradually emerged into the light through the hole.

"Born again!" Simon quipped and I grinned. "Right, ready?"

I nodded. The padded hole fit snugly round my head.

Simon pressed another button and a glugging noise heralded the entry of a warm liquid, which I felt lapping around my ankles at first, then up my calves, thighs, buttocks, belly, chest and finally reaching my neck, at which point it spurted out slightly before he stopped the flow. I was floating in a warm bath of something blue, apparently, according to the leak around my head.

"This is really nice!"

Simon nodded.

"Uh-huh, make sure you don't leave any bubbles or dry bits."

I sloshed around a bit.

"This'll take about twenty minutes. I'll come back when you're done." With that, he left the room.

It was so warm and relaxing I found myself drifting off to sleep as the fluid soaked into my skin. I wondered if I'd go kind of "pruny" after a while. The only thing was, it was a little disconcerting to have bone-dry feet and hands while the rest of me was completely sodden.


I was awoken by Simon's clap and the sound of the pump removing the fluid. I shivered.

"Getting a bit chilly? Don't worry, we'll start the spraying in a minute..."


"Sorry, science thing. I'LL start the spray in a minute and you'll have an extra layer, nice and cosy."

A gurgle announced the exit of the dregs, soon replaced by hissing. I felt a cold line gradually sliding down my back.

"Should I spread my arms and legs out?"

"Oh yes, sorry, I forgot."

I did so, and apparently extra nozzles began to cover me from the armpits downward and along the insides of my legs. It tickled, and I found myself giggling again.

"Second pass. Of three, Jody."

The process repeated, warmer this time but just as tickly, and then again.

"Now the drying. Won't be long."

Warm blasts of air ensued and it was over just a few seconds later. I lowered my arms to feel a kind of slight crinkling sensation on my armpits and elbows, and a similar feeling as I moved my legs back together. There was a springy resistance to my movements at my joints. I was tingling all over, and that tingling began to get stronger and deeper.


"But I'm naked, aren't I?"


"Oh, of course. Silly me."

The clamshells opened again and I was greeted by the familiar sight of my chest and shoulders encased in shiny black elastic material, only this time even tighter than usual. I smiled quietly to myself and reached up to my midriff. Surprisingly the stuff was wrapped around the lower parts of my breasts. I glanced down my arms as they reflected the strip lighting above me, then lifted my legs and saw the same reflection. I could actually see my face in my thighs.

"Ready for the tests Jody?"

I nodded. I stepped out of the machine and made my way into the other room, managing to evoke my former confidence and superheroine spirit like I'd never been gone. That said, physically it was starting to feel a bit odd. I'd stopped feeling the resistance from the elasticity of the xetal for one thing: for another, a kind of warmth seemed to be filling me from inside.


I bent over to pick up my shoes in the corner. On the way down I was greeted by a pretty serious case of cameltoe and decided a dress would also be in order. Pulling off my socks proved rather difficult, being stuck under the xetal. A similar problem accompanied glove removal. I scratched an itch on my arm and was surprised to find it just felt like scratching an itch, with no layer between nails and skin.


Simon had a blood pressure machine on the table. He gestured for me to roll up my sleeve. After some futile plucking at my wrist, I realised I wasn't getting anywhere.


"It's okay Jody, we'll just do it through the sleeve. It shouldn't create any problems."

Blood pressure was normal, as was pulse.

"Looking good. Now I need to take another blood sample from the inside of your elbow, is that all right?"

"Er, yeah I think so."

I made a second attempt to roll up my sleeve, and again I got nowhere. It actually hurt, like I was pinching my skin rather than a cuff.

"Er Simon, the stuff seems really stuck to me. I don't seem to be able to peel it off my skin."

He looked pensive.

"Hmm. Can we just leave that issue until we've done the tests? I want to be able to see if you're cured. We'll get it sorted out, don't worry. Is it all right if I take blood from the back of your hand instead?"


He pulled some blood out using a hypodermic and mixed it in some rectangular compartments labelled with the names of food stuffs I was allergic to, then compared it with another one which he'd clearly done earlier. Whereas the blood in the earlier one was curdled, the one he'd just done stayed clear and even looking.

He squeezed my upper arm with enthusiasm, and again I was surprised at the feeling he was touching me on a bare arm rather than through latex. Maybe this xetal stuff was unlike latex in other ways.

"I really think it's working Jody! This is really exciting!"

I have to admit his keenness was infectious.

"Is it okay if I try something else? Just a suggestion."

"What is it?"

"I've got a normal party balloon outside. I want to bring it into the room just to make sure you're not going to react. I've got an epipen right here."

My heart started to beat a little faster at the very suggestion. Then I remembered this was not the old Jody any more but the new all-conquering superwoman who wasn't going to let a little thing like a party balloon stop her in her tracks.

"Bring it in."

Simon left the room, then I heard a hissing and he brought an enormous black balloon almost as wide as the door back through. I could easily smell the latex, usually a major warning sign for me, but nothing happened. Then he brought it closer and nothing continued to happen apart from the odour getting a bit stronger. He put it down on the table between us.


"Here's my epipen."

I handed Simon the syringe and touched the latex. Still nothing. I rubbed my hand on it, and all it did was make a kind of balloony bouncy noise. Then, daringly, I picked it up and licked it. My throat entirely failed to close up and I flashed hot and cold with excitement.


A fruit salad of avocado, figs, bananas and kiwi fruit later, the problem of the xetal seeming to be stuck to my skin occurred to me again. Fortunately though, by this time I'd visited the bathroom and found there was no problem with those particular functions, or I wouldn't have tried shovelling food in the other end for completely different reasons from allergies. Somehow, although the xetal was stuck to my skin, it didn't seem to have stopped any of that. How far had it gone in though? Did I have a built-in diaphragm? Was I a "virgin" again?


Going to the bathroom had also given me a chance to look at myself in the mirror. I was basically in a shiny black "latex" unitard from the base of my neck, with ankle-length leggings and wrist-length sleeves. It was very flattering but also incredibly revealing, with clearly visible nipples and the like. Nonetheless, I didn't bother to put my dress back on when I left the bathroom. Possible leverage with Simon I thought.


Regardless, I needed this layer off me.

"Lovely food Simon, but how are we going to deal with the problem?"

"Well, there's the solvent used to get the xetal into a liquid form. We could maybe try that. It's safe to use on skin."

He delved under the table again and whipped out a small glass bottle.

"This stuff. Look, it's fine."

He uncorked the bottle, dabbed some on a bit of cotton wool and then onto the back of my hand. It was indeed fine. I couldn't feel a thing, there was no redness or soreness, just a coolness like perfume evaporating. I rubbed it off using my other wrist and -


It was stinging like anything. I looked at my wrist where the xetal had been, and blood was literally dripping from a hole that looked like an acid burn.

"Hang on."

Simon sprayed the wound and the bleeding stopped immediately.

"Phew, thanks for that! My turn to think of something. Have you got a spatula?"

He handed me one and I fruitlessly scooped at my wrist.

Simon frowned, pondering the balloon.

"Um, I may have an idea but you'll probably want to do it alone. Back to the other room."

"Er, fine."

What was he thinking of? I followed him into the spraying room and he went out. The chamber lay open and quiet. The trundling of wheels announced his return backwards through the door with a wheeled examination couch. Underneath lay my clothes, neatly folded and the air cylinder which had clearly been used to inflate the balloon.

"Right Jody, could you lie on the couch please?"

I stretched myself out supine on the padded bed, noticing its assiduous absence of anything latex-related. PVC cushioning seemed to be stuffed with gel of some kind rather than foam rubber.

Simon indicated my clothes.

"You're going to need these afterwards. Anyway, here's my plan. I'm going to try inflating the xetal off you. I'm going to pump air into it and hope it ends up popping. You'll be fine because you're at the centre and it'll burst outwards, but I need to go in the other room because I need to avoid flying bits of elastic when it pops and of course you'll be naked afterwards. I'll operate the tank from the other side of the door."

I thought about this.

"Won't it be really loud?"

"No. Remember the active noise cancellation earlier? That'll neutralise the noise. Okay, you ready?" He lifted the hose with the nozzle on the end.

"I'll thread this through the wall and inflate you – sorry, the suit – from the other side. Now where shall I insert it?"

He looked over my shiny black body before settling on the upper part of my back between my shoulderblades. He jabbed it in.


"Sorry, soon be over."

He hefted the cylinder, which was about my height, using a wheeled truck, through the door, came back and guided the hose through the face hole in the couch before slipping it through a hole. I heard him screw the hose into the cylinder and return through the hole. The nozzle was still quite painful. He came back in.

"I'll have to give you the full content of the tank Jody because otherwise I might come in to find you naked and I don't want to embarrass you, so I'm going to turn the tap on full and let you have the whole volume. There's about a cubic metre left. Okay?"

I nodded.

"Here goes then. It'll take about thirty seconds. Good luck."

With that, he closed the door and left the room. I quietly did a bit of mental arithmetic. A thousand litres over thirty seconds? About thirty litres a second. Sounded like it'd be a heck of a blast.


The pain between my shoulder blades was still considerable.


A loud hiss started and the hose convulsed. I felt air kind of bubbling up my sides and moving round, but it didn't feel right. In fact it felt like it was sort of ripping at my skin. I assumed this was because it was having to part the xetal from it at first, but it didn't feel quite right somehow. I looked at my chest to find the front was swelling quite fast. I've never been that well-endowed, so I wished my inflating boobs were real. They were quickly joined by my belly,which overtook them soon after. Now I looked like I had a beachball and two overinflated balloons stuffed inside my unitard.


I reached across just as my upper sleeves were starting to balloon, to rub the belly of what I thought was my suit. At about that point, I began to feel a stinging, stretching feeling right across my front and a growing sensation of pressure inside me. As my hands landed on my belly, I realised I could feel every fingertip. It wasn't a suit at all! It was me! I was being blown up like a balloon! I was a balloon!


My fingers began to spread as my belly expanded and I felt a sense of panic as the air forced itself down into my thighs, where it started to blow them up too. The pressure was building and building.


Nothing happened. The hissing was now earsplitting and my arms were filling up with air, forcing them outwards and upwards. My whole body was arranged like a five pointed star now and I couldn't budge an inch. I was just going to have to lie here and be inflated until – what? Until I popped like an overinflated balloon?


I was absolutely crammed full of air now and the flow showed no sign of slowing. The hissing was starting to echo inside me and I could feel the vibration of the air blowing me up. I wasn't inflating evenly either. My breasts were blowing up on their own in addition to the rest of my body and I could feel my buttocks and even my back expanding and lifting me up on the couch. The chances of being able to reach round and pull the hose out were now zero.


The stinging reached a climax and began to fade as I was pumped up even bigger. Although I could still feel and see myself inflating, the pain was gone, perhaps having been choked off somehow by the pressure, which was huge. The only bit of me which were still normal size were my head, hands and feet, which had been free of xetal and therefore still normal human skin rather than the rubberised substance the rest of me had become.


It had been about twenty seconds now and I had become an enormous balloon woman, with massively inflated thighs and calves, arms like overstuffed sausages, each breast and buttock the size of a giant watermelon, all dwarfed by my vast abdomen, whose sheer bulk had to be seen to be believed. What a way to go, I thought ruefully. What a bizarre fate, to be pumped and pumped full of gas, blown up into a vastly inflated rubbery balloon and pop into a thousand smithereens like this.


My body started emitting creaking and squeaking noises. I was hardly getting any bigger at all by now. The pressure was really building to a peak, dark grey wedges starting to spread across my stomach and breasts. My skin was getting really tight and tense, and I started to wobble and vibrate all over. This was it. I must be about to explode. I screwed up my face, uselessly steeling myself for the final deafening bang which would surely end it all, and almost be a relief from the tension inside me, filling me, air crammed into every corner of my body. There was no room. This was it...


...And the hissing faded away as the final millilitres of gas emptied into me. It had been the longest half minute of my life. I lay there quivering, unable to move of my own volition, a massively puffed up parade float of a woman, ready to burst. My nipples had to be a forearm's length above my already ballooning chest. God knows how deep inside my ribs were buried. Glancing to my right, my chin brushing against the top of my right breast, I saw a dimple about a foot across from which my upper arm emerged, girth as great as my waist used to be, tapering slightly at the elbow before swelling again into my forearm. If I'd been standing, my now outstretched arm – there was no option but for it to be – would have ended in a hand about six inches above the crown of my head. The same situation doubtless obtained for my left arm.


Then there was my belly. Incredibly this managed to be visible even past the vast, air-stuffed beachballs of my breasts. In fact the slightly see-through triangular heralds of my explosion that never came enabled me to glimpse its curve through them faintly. I reflected that by volume at least nine-tenths of me must be air by now. If I'd been able to move my arms, I could've rested them on the upper curve of my stomach with about a third still to go before my navel at the top. It also carried on round my sides and back, and of course up into my chest. There must have been room inside it for a whole nursery of full-term babies.


Just like my breasts, the stretching had provided glimpses of what had become of the rest of me. It was possible to see shadowy outlines even of my thighs through the just-transparent windows of my breast and belly. Not that I was exactly an invisible woman. It also demonstrated very clearly to me that most of this enormous bulk was just air, hundreds of litres of it, under tremendous pressure. I felt incredibly fragile and vulnerable. Like my arms, my legs emerged from dents in my torso and splayed out to the sides, although unlike them they met in the middle. I was just about able to slide them slightly against each other, to feel the weirdly smooth balloony skin with no give left in it gliding against its neighbour, and, as I said, also just about see them. It would've been possible,just, for someone to hug them, and oh God, how I needed a hug right now. My eyes were wet and my breath came in spasms. At the same time, I was afraid to breathe in case those final few sips of air would prove to be the last, though I had little control over the sobbing. I needn't have worried actually, because it hardly made any difference given my bulk.


The door clicked.

"Oh, it didn't work."

"No Simon, it didn't."

"No worries, I'll just pop it with a pin."

"NO! Please don't pop me!"

"Pop you? How could I pop you? I'm talking about the xetal."

"Simon, this is me. The stuff has somehow replaced my skin."

"Oh. Yes, now you come to mention it I can see how that might have happened. Stupid of me not to have thought of it before! Don't worry Jody, I'll get the air out of you immediately."

Simon walked over and yanked out the nozzle. There was a tiny "plpt" and then nothing happened.

"Oh for God's sake, get me deflated! I'm nearly bursting. I don't wanna pop!"

Simon looked through the face hole.

"Um, I think the pressure has sealed the hole – pressed it together and it's gone."

"Gone? Oh, what am I gonna dooooo-o-o-o-o?"

But Simon was already dialling.

"Ambulance please".

While we waited, I started to worry about Rob. He wouldn't want to be with a balloon woman, would he? Simon was effusively apologetic, but it so happened that I really couldn't find it in my heart to blame him. Apart from anything else, he'd done exactly what he said he would – I wasn't allergic to latex at all any more.


When the paramedics arrived, they had great difficulty getting me through the doors. I was terrified I'd catch on one of the metal bits on them and pop. They managed to fit me in the ambulance okay because of the double doors, and they strapped me down to the floor. Luckily, the lab was very close to the hospital.


In the Emergency Department, I had to lie there while the staff debated whether they could prick me with a pin or whether that would kill me. I was pretty sure the latter would happen, so I refused consent. They also considered putting me in a high pressure chamber like a decompression chamber for divers, but I wouldn't fit in. Then they moved me up to a ward. I couldn't stand everyone staring at the huge balloon woman I'd become. We'd all hoped the air would gradually get reabsorbed or pass out but unfortunately it turned out xetal was extremely airtight. I would get very slightly wrinkled or tighter depending on the temperature as the gas inside me expanded and contracted. I had to be kept really warm all the time anyway or I'd get hypothermia. I slept under a tent on a double mattress.


I did find that I was able to sort of crumple my limbs down into a more natural position after a while although I still had to make some effort to keep them in position. Also, as time went by some kind of healing process seemed to make the transparent bits darker and more opaque, meaning that my body was somehow laying down extra xetal naturally.


I was so relieved by Rob's reaction. He turned up after a couple of days. Up until then I'd been so afraid that I refused to see him. I could not have been more wrong.


"Oh my poor Jody! Don't worry, I'll take care of you."

"But I'm just a balloon now", I sobbed.

"But you're my balloon and that's all that matters."


The hospital did some kind of scan and took blood samples, revealing what had happened. After the liquid had "hydrated" my skin, it had been replaced by xetal as part of the plan, but the stimulation of my immune system had then caused my white blood cells to destroy my real skin and to engulf the polymer and deposit it on the digestive system. Now, both my skin and the walls of many of my internal organs had been plasticised, as it were, converting much of my body into a kind of balloon made of xetal. Although it would neutralise the latex and similar substances, it did so at the cost of that transformation. It was also self-healing, hence the nozzle, although it would of course catastrophically fail if pierced with a sharp object. On the plus side, the fact that I now had a thousand litres of air inside me under pressure meant that I could go without breathing for hours at a time, since the oxygen and carbon dioxide did gradually exchange. It also turned out that the stuff could be used for burn victims and skin grafts for other reasons, and to treat a condition called systemic sclerosis. Because I was so useful, the university decided to make me their project and paid us a small stipend, so although our money worries weren't quite over, they were considerably resolved.


I'll never forget how neat our flat was when I came home. Rob had worried about me catching myself on a sharp object and popping, so he'd cleared everything away and kept it that way. It was also borne in upon me that since the xetal was now my skin I'd effectively been naked the whole time I was in hospital. So began a new phase of my life together.


Looking at myself in the mirror each morning took a bit of getting used to. I wasn't spherical by any means. It was more like I was some kind of woman made of balloons, with a huge round torso, the aforesaid watermelon-sized breasts, similar stuff happening around my butt and each of my arms and legs like pairs of egg-shaped balloons joined rather thickly at the ends. My extremities were just normal. Washing was quite easy too – my skin just wiped clean, squeakily, although it was often difficult to reach round and Rob usually had to sponge me down. A bath was impossible because I'd just float. My new skin was hairless of course, so there was no need to do anything about that.


I managed to walk, just about. Eating and drinking were doable, although I hadn't much appetite. The air pressure inside me tended to squeeze my digestive organs and I felt full very quickly. Appearances became highly deceptive, since I shed many pounds in weight in spite of staying the same size. Another thing which helped there was the difficulty my body had maintaining my temperature when I was full of air. Clothing was a bit of an issue, but I found that I could cram myself into oversize sweatsuits and they would compress my body somewhat, although I would often burst out of them without warning or split the seams, and I still looked enormous.


Going to the bathroom was manageable. That's all I'm going to say about that.


When we went out, the wind proved to be a bit of a problem because although I was still much heavier than air I was also much less dense than a normal human being. I could easily get blown over, or end up blowing down the road end over end, which was terrifying although I never got help. Rob eventually solved the problem by fixing a zip-tie round my wrist and tying a string to it, so when the weather got really blowy it might briefly lift me off the ground but I would never do anything like blow into traffic or scrape my head on the pavement. Even so, if the wind was strong enough it could easily bowl me completely over and I could go full circle.


After a while, I realised I could use my buoyancy to my advantage. If I wanted to get downstairs quickly, I could just jump off the top step outside our flat and gradually float down to the lobby, and on a calm day I could even jump straight out of the window and drift down to the ground. We were only one flight up. Rob would sometimes make a game of it, pushing me around and keeping me airborne for minutes at a time, provided I was in the mood. In time, I came round to the idea that I could almost adopt a superheroine persona as my real persona, in a way, in that I could go for an hour without breathing, practically fly, jump off tall buildings without hurting myself and stay cool even in the hottest summer weather. On the other hand, my mobility is quite limited, our heating bills are sky-high, and any sharp object could just pop me like the balloon I am.


I've got my latex business back now by the way. It was very memorable to have a human balloon selling people it, and I was a (just about) walking advert for it, although I also accept that it might carry the subliminal impression for some customers that they might end up inflated and made of latex, basically like me. On the other hand, for some of them that might double the appeal on some level.


Rob and I have a routine. He drives me there in our van, then rolls me out to the party across the ground and into the venue, where I start pitching my merchandise. I've even got themed stuff. People dress up as me sometimes, which is a little disconcerting but sweet on the whole.


You might think that my state would get me ridiculed at every turn and I'd spend all my time hiding indoors. Not a bit of it! The attitude of mind is so important. I am queen of all I survey and any naysayers shrivel before my piercing glare. I've made it!


The university has kept working on a cure but if they find one, I'm going to have to be careful. If I go back to before and forget I'm not a balloon woman any more, I don't want to do something stupid like jump out of a window and accidentally kill myself. Maybe one day, but then again I might not bother.  After all, I've grown into this role.

Average: 3.8 (10 votes)
Pennsylvania Ki...
Pennsylvania Kite Weather's picture
The complexity of this main

The complexity of this main character in the introduction -- her livelihood and the dilemma she faces -- is the perfect fit within this one-part scientific, one-part biological, one-part biographical story. I think the summarization of her new life towards the end is suitable despite its sort of "telling" nature; it completes the arc that this very likeable main character deserves.


Thanks for your feedback, er, may I call you Pennsylvania ;-) ?  It's quite unlike my usual thing.  If I wrote something similar, I'd probably try to make the inflation more a prelude to her life as a balloon.



doubleintegral's picture
This was a really interesting

This was a really interesting read, especially the idea of applying the concept of phase cancellation to curing an allergy.  And of course the fetishy results were fun, even if they didn't satisfy my exact personal tastes.  Well done!


Thanks.  It was actually a request and doesn't work sexually for me as well as being less focussed on realism than usual but I still had to come up with a justification in my head for the situation.  I'm glad it's interesting. A bit of a departure for me.  The Aurelian story is underway incidentally.