Maureen assured Caitlin she would arrive as soon as possible, and hung up promptly. Caitlin listened as the line settled into a dial tone, and eventually an anxious beeping before powering it off and dropping it to the bed. She gazed about the room, taking in the sight that would be greeting her friend when she arrived. Outside of the broken picture frames, shattered phone, and mountain of clothes strewn about, everything actually seemed fairly normal. Caitlin actually had barely moved a muscle since her most recent growth spurt, not wanting to acknowledge any of her physical changes. This took a certain amount of denial on her part, since she couldn’t fit all of her body under the blanket and she could feel her expanded breasts cradled in her arms as she held the blanket tightly around herself.
How bad could it be?
Throwing caution to the wind, Caitlin shut her eyes, tossed her blanket aside and pushed herself off of the edge of the bed and onto her feet. In addition to the sooner-than-expected impact of her feet to the floor, her weight distribution was ridiculously out of whack, and she opened her eyes halfway through the maneuver to keep from plowing forward into her dresser. She ungracefully caught herself by grabbing onto an open drawer, but didn’t dare look up into the mirror atop the dresser. With her head hanging forward and down, the first thing that greeted her eyes was the text on her bargain bin t-shirt which, due to the protrusion of her breasts, now looked straight back at her. She read the upside down text to herself.
“Take a picture. It’ll last longer.”
She was still leaning forward onto the dresser, and her hair hung into her face, obscuring her view of the mirror. Did her hair seem…longer? The feeling of being so out of place in her own body made her chest feel hollow, and she slowed her breathing to prevent a panic attack. Pushing herself upwards, she worked her way to her feet, still averting her eyes from her reflection. If I look even half as different as I feel…
She allowed herself to straighten up, but kept her eyes closed. Pushing as few strands of hair out of her eyes, she took a deep breath, exhaled, and opened her eyes. She looked straight forward, then down.
Where’s my head?
She stared into the mirror, but all that looked back at her was the bottom half of her gaping jaw and the oddly distended message on her t-shirt. The image of herself in the mirror stopped just above her shoulders, while everything above was cut off due to her towering height which now extended above the mirror. She opened her mouth to scream, but a crippling weakness in her body suddenly overcame her. The world, already a funhouse mirror, started spinning as she could feel the impending grand return of her impromptu dinner.
A gruesome, muffled, retching was heard by Caitlin’s parents, gathered downstairs in the family room quietly reading. Her mother looked concerned, while her father only raised an eyebrow.
“I imagine we’ll be seeing Maureen soon,” he said, before returning to his articles.
Naturally, Maureen’s mother asked her where she was going at 8:45 on a school night during finals week. “Caitlin’s having a crisis” was a pretty stock answer by this point. She considered a variation, but “Caitlin is turning into a giant” seemed too, well, honest. This was her mother, and she was in high school. No more honesty would be necessary.
Caitlin’s mother greeted Maureen with the same cordial greeting that always seemed to say, “thanks for putting up with our basket-case of a daughter.” Maureen embraced her back with a hug that replied, “No problem.” Given the nature of her visit and Caitlin’s supposed condition, Maureen watched closely for any unusual body language from Caitlin’s mother, though it seemed to indicate a run-of-the-mill monthly Caitlin meltdown. Maureen was convinced Caitlin could walk down the stairs headless with three extra limbs and Caitlin’s mother would probably just make her a cup of tea and suggest she stay home from school for a couple days.
Maureen made her way up the stairs toward Caitlin’s room, pondering over how nothing really prepares one for the sight of a semi-grown person in a hyper-grown state. Maureen, who had always been fascinated by biology, felt she should be picking up the shattered pieces of her perception of reality by now. Then again, Caitlin’s problems had always seemed psychological, and, strangely, this case didn’t seem any different. As per her usual routine, Maureen knocked twice, identified herself, and opened the door.
Caitlin sat motionless on the bed, uncomfortably hunched over with a blanket wrapped about her in an inadequate attempt to hide her predicament. Her long feet poked out from beneath the blanket, and her lengthened torso bent at an extreme arch. Caitlin’s face wore a mixture of nausea, despair, and embarrassment. Maureen stood in the doorway staring at her friend for a few moments before bursting out laughing, and Caitlin simultaneously vomited over the side of her bed into a trashcan. The sound of retching cut short Maureen’s fit of laughter, but she was still wiping away tears as she approached the bed. Caitlin frowned, swapping despair with anger.
"You’ve got a lot of nerve," Caitlin choked out. “What kind of fucking friend are you?”
“You look ridiculous,” Maureen replied, still grinning.
“You’re a bitch.”
"Nice to see you too," Maureen said, leaning in to hug her friend. Caitlin tightened up at the embrace, not returning it, but rather gripping her blanket tighter. Maureen hugged her tightly, suppressing her discomfort with the noticeably wider circumference of Caitlin’s shoulders. Caitlin finally let her head fall on her friends shoulder and Maureen patted her on the back before stepping back. “Now, will you drop that stupid blanket, please?”
"No," Caitlin snorted. Messy strands of her dyed hair hung into her face, and her blonde roots were showing, indicating that her hair had recently grown at an unnaturally accelerated rate. Maureen waited, letting the silence settle uncomfortably while Caitlin, who had yet to look up at Maureen, fidgeted with her blanket.
“In case you forgot, you invited me over,” Maureen said, but Caitlin didn’t reply. Maureen rolled her eyes, “...and try not to vomit again, please.” Caitlin frowned in response, but her hair still obscured a full view of her expression. Her hands gripped tightly at her blanket, which now seemed more an idle preoccupation than an attempt to cover herself. "Caitlin," Maureen began again. “Either you take of the blanket, or I take it off of you.”
Caitlin frowned, sighed, and abruptly dropped her blanket. Maureen, unprepared, barely concealed a gasp at the sight.
At first, Caitlin appeared to be all limbs, legs, and digits, each twitching and fidgeting as Caitlin fought the urge to stretch. Caitlin’s body hadn’t simply increased in size, but had changed shape, lengthened, to the point that, if not for the head perched atop the body, Maureen would never have recognized her. In an attempt to minimize the space taken up on the bed, Caitlin wrapped her limbs around her body, obscuring a full view. Caitlin had detected Maureen’s reaction and began tearing up again. “I didn’t ask you here to gawk at me like a freak.”
"Then act like a normal person," Maureen shot back. "Relax and quit acting like a caged animal."
Slowly, Caitlin unfolded herself, first allowing her legs to extend from underneath her skirt. She moved slowly and carefully, as if she were seated on a layer of broken glass. Maureen monitored her own breathing, using all her resolve to appear unfazed at the sight before her. As Caitlin extended her legs over the edge of the bed, she felt with her toes for the floor. Despite her efforts, her feet met the floor with another audible thump. Hesitating only briefly, she relaxed her arms, revealing an oversized t-shirt which visibly clung to her chest, exposing the outline of her breasts overflowing the confines of her bra.
"Stand up, Caitlin," Maureen requested, as Caitlin seemed content with a seated position.
Caitlin shut her eyes again, took a breath, opened her eyes, and lifted herself to her feet. Caitlin winced at a slight creaking in the floorboards, which probably had always been there, but never really affected her until now. Maureen seemed to shrink in front of her as she rose, higher and higher, feeling like she were on the ascending end of a ferris wheel. As she reached her full, standing height, Caitlin noticed that her view of Maureen, now slightly over a foot shorter than her, was partially obscured by her expansive chest which jutted prominently before her. Again, the two girls let the silence hang between them. Caitlin still avoided making eye contact with Maureen, while Maureen remained captivated by the sight of her friend before her. She did some quick mental calculations, noting that while Caitlin wasn’t in danger of crashing through the ceiling, she might have to look out for door frames. “How tall are you now?” Maureen asked, her wonder evident.
"I was about 5’9” this morning, before my fight with Nicole," Caitlin stated, emotionless. She could barely comprehend what she was saying. “I was around six foot when I left school. Now…” she made an exacerbated gesture at her body with her hands, “your guess is as good as mine.”
Recalling rumors of Caitlin’s altercation with Nicole, Maureen chuckled softly. “You’re just full of surprises today. Any idea what’s causing it?”
“Literary metaphor, apparently.”
Maureen mulled this one over briefly, before letting her eyes fall upon Caitlin’s chest. “You certainly personify character development.”
“Life making you feel small?”
“So, why didn’t you tell me?”
Caitlin didn’t answer.
“Did you think I wouldn’t understand? Well, I don’t, but I can’t imagine anyone else does either. Did you think I would report you the X-Files? Why, all of a sudden, could you not tell me anything?”
Uncomfortable with their orientation, Caitlin sat down on the bed to speak to Maureen on the same level. "I’m sorry Maureen," she said softly before continuing. “You’ve been the best at everything as long as I’ve known you. You’ve always had better grades, you always dressed better than me, you’ve always been a better athlete, and you’ve always been better looking than me.”
"No," Caitlin cut her off. “Don’t try to cheer me up, because I don’t need it. I don’t have a problem hanging in your shadow. I never have. I never compared myself to Alex, either. Shit, the girl’s like a cartoon character. Anyways, as long as I remember, I’ve always had you there to see what I’ll never be, and I’ve liked it that way. I didn’t want to be taller than you, I didn’t want to have bigger boobs than you, and I don't want to draw attention away from you. I need you to…well…be the bigger person I guess. In all ways.”
Maureen waited a bit before asking, “Who are you?”
“Who are you?”
“What is this? Some kind of Alice and Wonderland caterpillar thing?”
“Who are you?”
“What do you mean?”
“I want you to tell me who you are.”
“I’m your best friend.”
Maureen shook her head. “Uh uh. Try again. Leave me out of this. Who are you?”
Caitlin looked up to reply, but nothing came.
“Caitlin. I’m not going to flatter you by giving you the ‘you’re special in your own unique and beautiful way’ talk. We’re too good of friends to for that kind of shallow bullshit. You’re a disaster. You are neurotic, bitchy, and, on some days, just plain bat shit crazy. And you know what? I love you for it. You’ve got more attitude than the cheer team and the tennis team combined. You’ve got personality, and yet you go to such incredible lengths to squelch that. Don’t compare my grades to yours because we both know you hate academics. Don’t compare our fashion, because I know you hate how I dress. Don’t compare us athletically, because you’re only half-assing it to put it on your college application. Finally, don’t compare our looks, because you were prettier than me before and you’re definitely WAY hotter now. Your problem is you just put so much effort into making yourself invisible that your body is fighting back.”
Caitlin rubbed her fingers at her temples. “So you buy that symbolism thing too?”
“Seems like the obvious answer. Unless you’ve been bombarded with radiation, volunteered for crazy medical testing, or eaten magic mushrooms, that’s the best solution I can come up with.”
“So, how long will I grow?”
"Honestly, I have no idea," Maureen shrugged. “I figure, you’ll grow until you become who you’re supposed to be.”
“So why doesn’t anyone notice?”
“To put it bluntly, because there was nothing to notice. You’ve spent so long suppressing your individuality. As long as you did that, it wouldn’t matter if you were bright green, you were still going to be the same, shallow, bitchy person you’ve always been. Anyways, who, besides Alex and I, hangs out with you enough to really notice anyways?”
As always, Maureen’s fearless honesty put Caitlin at ease. She looked, yet again, at the wreckage of her room and the expanse of her body. “I guess I really am growing into myself.”
"Indeed," Maureen affirmed. "So, that aside. Who is it?"
“Who is who?”
“Don’t play stupid with me. We’re done with that. Yeah, yeah, growth spurts, blah blah blah, whatever. You’ve been having those for weeks now and, all in all, it really hasn’t phased you much. Vomiting, breaking things, violent sobbing, I know you, Caitlin Rachel Landry. You’ve got a crush.”
Caitlin bit her lip in anticipation of the impending grief she was about to get from her friend.
“Seriously, Landry. Spit it out. Who is he?”
Caitlin took a breath before muttering almost inaudibly. “She.”
Maureen’s eyes went wide as saucers before re-composing herself. “She? My my Caitlin. You are full of surprises.”
For the first time in weeks, Caitlin drifted peacefully into waking life. She’d had trouble sleeping as of late, and waking up without a sudden start felt wonderful. She rolled over to see Maureen still sawing logs next to her. They had been up until nearly 2:30 in the morning, and had fallen asleep still talking to each other. There was a photo album on the floor, as well as a mess of textbooks and notebooks from some tutoring Maureen had offered. After a couple hours of heart-to-heart gushing and recollecting old times, Maureen offered a few tips for the finals that Caitlin would be making up later that day in detention.
Caitlin smiled. “Thanks, nerdlet,” she said, putting her hand on her friend’s shoulder, receiving a gentle reminder of their new size discrepancy. Her hand seemed massive against her friend’s comparatively small shoulder, but Caitlin didn’t draw back immediately. She was so grateful for Maureen's support, she was able to put aside her current situation for the moment, and take in the fact that she had the greatest best friend she could ever ask for. To Caitlin's surprise, after their initial greeting yesterday, Maureen had gone the remainder of the evening without mentioning Caitlin’s unusual growth or even alluding to it. It was almost as if she’d forgotten about it completely. Caitlin, however, knew her friend and had a sneaky suspicion that Maureen had been holding out on fully expressing her thoughts and feelings regarding Caitlin’s changes.
It was still a bit early to get up, and Caitlin decided to let her friend sleep. Learning from her past mistakes, she slowly lowered her feet to the floor, letting her toes, then heels, gently touch to the carpet. Next to her feet on the ground were her old bunny slippers. Caitlin smiled, and whimsically slipped her toes into the slipper as far as they would go. While she was able to cover her toes, the heel of the slipper barely reached the ball of her foot. She stepped on the heel with her other foot and gave a bit of a push, but the sounds of protesting fabric stopped her suddenly. Was she that strong, or were her shoes that old? She shoved the question aside along with her slippers, and scanned her floor for something she could wear. She’d picked up a pair of flip-flops at the outlet store the previous day, and they would probably still fit adequately, but if she wanted to ever dress with any semblance of style again, she’d need more than bargain-bin sandals.
Caitlin lifted herself off of the bed, taking her time both to avoid waking her friend, and to avoid vertigo or any other shock to the system. When she reached her feet she did a quick mental diagnosis and determined that she was the same height as she was when she went to bed, as far as she could tell at least. Her t-shirt still clung to her chest in the same manner as it had last night. Looking down, she smirked at her boobs as they jiggled and shifted beneath her as she padded softly toward bathroom. The floorboards creaked loudly in the hall, but she knew that her father had left early and her mother wouldn’t be up for another hour. She slipped into the bathroom and hesitated. In the low light, her large silhouette combined with her unkempt bed-head seemed frighteningly imposing in the full-length bathroom mirror. After a moment she clicked on the light. Caitlin blinked, rubbed her eyes, and blinked a few more times.
"Hello, me," She said aloud to the mirror.
Standing far enough back in the bathroom, she could see her whole self. Taking up so much more space in the bathroom than she was accustomed to only exaggerated her size. She took in how her lengthened body made her seem like she had become someone else entirely. Looking down, she followed the hypnotic contours of her legs, flowing from her ankles upward in a series of dips and curves that nearly left her breathless. She pulled her fingers gently across her thigh, around her hip and abdomen where her fingers dipped at the cinch of her waist. There, she met the hem of her t-shirt, which hung loosely under fullness of her jutting bosom.
The roundness and fullness of her breasts intrigued her. From hanging around Alexis all these years, she had grown accustomed to hearing the word “jugs.” The word always seemed fitting enough, since Alexis’ breasts, particularly in relative proportion to the rest of her body (or anyone else’s for that matter), were almost comically large. Now, however, Caitlin looked at the defined creases in her t-shirt, framed by the outer bulges of her breasts and knew that no one, not even Alex, could compare to her now. Caitlin slowly pulled her t-shirt up and over her head, and simply took in the sight. Even on her 6’5” body, her breasts poured out from her torso into two round, full—there really was no other appropriate word—jugs.
As Caitlin continued her tactile exploration of herself, her thoughts drifted away to images of Ivey. Ivelene. The small, spry girl who, despite being over a foot shorter than Caitlin, took up a world of space in Caitlin’s head. Caitlin ran her long fingers across her breast, pressing her fingers into the soft, pliant, flesh, and recalled how Ivey seemed to just disarm her. Caitlin prided herself on being in control, but Ivey had instantly cut through to her core. The way Ivey seemed to just know how to weave past all the bullshit Caitlin usually hid behind ironically made Caitlin feel safe. She was vigorously massaging her breast now, running the flesh through her fingers and letting her knuckles pinch the nipple at the end. A soft and sudden moan escaped her lips as Caitlin had unconsciously let her other hand slide up the inside of her thigh, and then further. In the mirror, Caitlin envisioned Ivey gazing back at her, watching, controlling her body. It was as if she were surrendering her body to Ivey’s thoughts, to her desires, to her.
*BANG! BANG! BANG!*
Caitlin took in a huge gulp of air, and a piercing yelp escaped her lips. She was sweating.
And a little wet.
“I hope you’re done with whatever adventure you’re having with yourself in there, because I’ve got to shower,” Maureen shouted through the door. The handle jiggled, and Caitlin was still gathering herself when the door opened behind her. “I’ve known you for twelve years, it’s not like your packing anything I haven’t…” Caitlin turned around just as Maureen pulled open the door to come face to face with a well toned arm cradling an explosion of cleavage that could seemingly swallow her head whole. Maureen trailed off as her breathing went shallow and her eyes shot wide, not knowing what to look at or not look at first.
“Jesus,” Maureen breathlessly stammered. “I didn't...you...you’re…big. Really big.” Her eyes darted about Caitlin’s frame as if someone had presented her with a seven-course meal for lunch. Caitlin waited patiently, both concerned and entertained at her friend’s uncharacteristic speechlessness. Abandoning her initial intentions, Maureen tossed her towel and toiletries to the ground and turned for the stairs. She paused, and she spoke slowly and carefully, without turning around. “I’m going to go make coffee. You take a shower, if you can fit in it, put some clothes on, if you can fit in any, and give me about a half hour to regain my shit.”
Caitlin waited a few moments, listening to her friend make her way down the stairs, stumbling over a few on the way down. She stretched her hands in the air, pressing her palms against the ceiling, and tapping her fingernail against the overhead light which chimed in response. Rising up onto her toes, she craned her head up, and peeked over the shower curtain at the faucet that would likely spray her at chest level.
“I think I’ll take my time.”
The only sounds audible in the kitchen were the percolating coffee pot and the faint running water of the shower upstairs. Maureen focused on these sounds as she used every ounce of strength and resolve to keep from cracking under the ludicrous improbability of what was going on. Caitlin Landry, her best friend since the second grade, had grown from a slight 5'4" to an imposing 6'5" in less than a month. What was happening defied logic, physiology, and reason, but Maureen felt as if she alone were carrying this burden of this acceptance. Keeping a cool demeanor during the previous night's therapy session and the morning's shock of seeing a nearly-nude oversized version of her friend had pushed her to the brink of crumbling.
The gurgling of the coffee maker settled into a halt, and with a trembling hand, Maureen poured herself a small mug of coffee. Replacing the coffee pot, she set the table and took a moment to center herself. Don't think about it too hard. Sure, none of it makes sense. Sure, I could turn my best friend in for government testing. Sure, I could commit myself to an institution. But none of that matters. What matters is that you are always there for your best friend. No matter how craz…
A dull crash resonated through the house, causing Maureen to spill her coffee. She cursed softly before stomping up the stairs toward Caitlin's room. Caitlin's mother, disheveled but curious about the racket, peeked her head out of her room.
"Don't worry Ms. Landry," Maureen urged, striding quickly past. "I'm sure Caitlin's fine. Go back to bed." Ms. Landry responded by nodding softly through squinted eyes and retreating back to bed. Maureen stopped before entering the room, pressing her hands to her face and taking another breath. She entered to the sight of the two sliding closet doors dislodged from their hinges and laying about the room. Such a display of strength, while hardly inhuman, certainly exceeded the normal bounds of a typical, run-of-the-mill, Caitlin Landry tantrum.
"This is insane!" Caitlin fumed, strewing clothes about. "I just bought half a wardrobe just two days ago and I've pretty much outgrown all of it!"
"Cool it," the always rational and cool-headed Maureen commanded, approaching the piles of clothing. "My mom asked me a while back why today's fashion makes guys look like they just shrunk six inches and girls look like they just grew six inches. You were around six foot when you bought all this, right? We'll simply put that fashion theory to the test." Maureen sifted through some clothes and started making stacks on the bed. "I've already got a couple of ideas."
With Maureen's help, Caitlin assembled an ensemble that made her look reasonably normal, albeit obviously quite tall. A pair of long jeans that stopped a few inches above her ankles resembled a pair of capris, and a dark stretch tee underneath a semi-sheer white blouse looked reasonably fashionable, complete with the distraction of some modest cleavage and three buttons fastened underneath a formidable expanse of bosom that she had no hope of being able to hide. She showed a bit more midriff than she preferred, but given her undersized wardrobe, something would have to give (and she hoped it wouldn't be a seam).
The true dilemma came in the form of footwear. Caitlin's size 11.5 feet proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for a collection of shoes sized 10 at the largest. After sorting through the large pile of shoeboxes from her weekend shopping trip with Alexis, she was left with only two options: a pair of $1 bin shower sandals an inch too short, or a pair of size 12 shiny 3" heeled black boots Alexis had drummed up at a novelty store, clearly intended for a transvestite. She looked at Maureen who reflected indecision right back at her. "Take your pick: tacky or towering."
Caitlin smirked. "No contest." Just as she reached for the sandals, however, a crash of lightning exploded outside, and a heavy storm unleashed its fury on the suburban landscape. There was a brief pause before Caitlin kicked the sandals aside and snatched up the boots. "Someone out there is testing me today," she said, making her way toward the staircase.
Tell me about it, Maureen mused, following her friend out the door and into the downpour that ushered in the second day of finals week.
The two girls said little to each other on their drive to campus, opting to settle for the ambient sound of windshield wipers working overtime in a torrential downpour. Maureen offered a ride, and Caitlin had gladly taken her up on it, only to find herself uncomfortably cramped into Maureen's small Dodge Neon. Even after letting the seat as far back as it would go, her knees still pressed into the underside of the dash. Maureen wasn't sure what to say to ease Caitlin's obvious discomfort, so she kept quiet, rather than inadvertently making things worse.
Caitlin's confidence and vigor that she had awakened with had deflated out of her like an old bicycle tire. Despite Maureen's urging, she couldn't help but feel grossly oversized in her clothes, and in spite of her efforts to conceal it, Maureen had visibly cringed at the sight of Caitlin's stature in the heels, which nudged her up to a staggering 6'8". To make matters worse, in the couple minutes it took her to negotiate her way into the passenger seat, the rain had nearly soaked her to the skin. The sunny Spring weather of the previous week caused her to underestimate her need for outerwear, and the only rainy-day articles she owned were pitifully undersized.
Maureen dropped Caitlin off at one of the less crowded side entrances to the school near the freshman lockers. Still unsure of what to say, Maureen managed to mutter "good luck" before speeding away toward the parking lot. Standing under the awning outside the hallways, Caitlin couldn't help but notice how different everything around her seemed. She knew that the longer she waited, the more likely she would be to psych herself into some kind of panic attack. In full fight-or-flight mode, Caitlin yanked open the double doors, and bounded into the hallway, head held high.
A sharp and sudden pain to her forehead left her gasping for breath and seeing stars. The pain was followed by a metallic crashing sound immediately in front of her. She reached out for the door frame, her eyes squinted shut in pain as she desperately tried to gather her bearings. Her head throbbed and she hunched over, soft curses seeping out through clenched teeth. She had only been waiting for a few moments when the sound of murmurs and whispers saturated the air around her.
Caitlin looked up to see the shocked looks of a small group of students standing just inside of the door. The gathered students all looked up at Caitlin boggle-eyed. Even hunching over, Caitlin stood significantly taller than any of them, the tallest being 5'6" at the most. As Caitlin looked up and made eye contact with a boy whom she recognized as a freshman, he gasped and backed up, as if she were some kind of mutant. One of the girls gave him an accusatory look and approached Caitlin, though with a hint of caution in her body language.
"You okay? You really smashed into that thing."
Still dazed, Caitlin continued clenching her forehead. "What thing?"
"The exit sign. They really should be more considerate of people your height."
Caitlin looked down at the wreckage of metal at her feet. Sure enough, the remains of what had once been an exit sign lay scattered in front of her. Looking up, Caitlin saw hanging wires serving as the sole evidence that there had been anything there at all. The girl asked to see Caitlin's head to check for injury. Sure enough there was a small cut at her hairline.
"You may want to get that checked out. You got nailed pretty hard."
Caitlin nodded, but really only half-listened. The whispers around her burned at her ears, and she tried to zone out the voices and remember where she was headed. She knew she had a final exam soon, but all she could focus on were the voices around her:
"Jeez. That's a big girl. Who is she?"
"I'm glad I wasn't in her way. I could have been killed!"
"I bet she could have burst through the door if she wanted to."
"What is she? Like, seven feet tall?"
"You sure that's a girl? Looks more like a dude in drag."
"Looks like a transfer student from the circus."
Still clutching her head, Caitlin rose up, doing her best to ignore the resounding gasp around her as she straightened to her full height, and headed toward the main hallway which would take her to her first final. After seeing what had befallen the exit sign, students parted like the Red Sea around her, giving her more than enough room to pass by. It was little consolation to Caitlin, as she felt a small knot forming just above her hairline and tears welling behind her eyes. She silently told herself that this was would not set the tone for the rest of the day.
She was wrong.
Her German final was a disaster. Caitlin struggled with both the answers as well as with the discomfort of the undersized chair-desk which left inadequate room for her lengthened legs. Making matters worse were the stares she endured from her peers, male and female, who could not seem to pry their eyes away from her. Whether in envy, wonder, lust, or just plain curiosity, students seemed so entranced by her that even when she made eye contact, many continued gaping at her, almost hypnotically. Caitlin's nervous, wandering eyes caught the attention of the instructor, who promptly approached Caitlin and snatched up her exam, accusing her of both causing a disruption and cheating. Caitlin’s made a few vain attempts to explain herself before she was asked to leave the classroom. Caitlin tried to get up promptly, but her larger body complicated the maneuver and sent the desk noisily crashing to the ground.
Following a lunch period spent huddled alone behind the library, the stares continued to plague her in her American History final. Growing frustrated by the days' events, Caitlin caught a particularly slimy guy unabashedly ogling the profile view of her substantial bust. Following a futile attempt to fasten her blouse that only seemed to excite and encourage him, she cleared her throat, hoping to inform him that she was aware of his visual trespassing. After multiple attempts at the same tactic, Caitlin abandoned subtlety.
"Quit staring at my tits," she said aloud, breaking the silence of the room.
"Excuse me," Mrs. Gold spoke up. "Is there a reason we need to hear your voice during the final exam?"
Caitlin held her ground. "Yes, there is. This scumbag is groping me with his eyes."
"I find your language inappropriate, and if you will not be quiet, young lady, I will have to ask you to leave this classroom."
Caitlin was flabbergasted. "Excuse me!" she yelled. "I have had a really shitty day already and I would just like to do my final without this sick fucker staring while I'm trying to work."
"Young lady, consider yourself dismissed from this class."
Caitlin stood up, inadvertently tipping over yet another desk, and drawing the attention of the entire class. Mrs. Gold, an elderly woman on the verge of retirement, attempted to maintain control, despite being slightly intimidated by the furious, extraordinarily tall girl disrupting her class. This time, Caitlin seasoned her exit with an emphatic middle-finger to both her ogler and her instructor. "Consider that," she replied, storming out. The ogler, embarrassed, did his best to return to the exam while the Mrs. Gold reached for her stack of discipline report slips. She got no further than writing the date before she looked up at the class. For the life of her, she couldn't recall having seen that girl, or any girl that tall, ever before in her life.
"Class, can anyone give me the name of that girl?"
To everyone's equal surprise, no one could.
The moment Caitlin emerged from the classroom, she knew what she needed. It was sick that this was becoming such a routine, but there was no use crying about it now. After tipping her second desk for the day, she had actually contemplated making an even bigger scene and screaming some more, possibly even throwing the desk. Regardless, the deed was done. She had let them get to her, and now she'd suffer the consequences.
She needed food now. Critically.
It was surreal for Caitlin. She had walked these halls for three years, thinking all the silly, superficial thoughts of any girl her age. Now, she imagined how she looked, a hulking, ravenous monster, only thinking of her hunger and how she could satisfy it. Sure, she relented, she was being a bit melodramatic, but when you’ve grown over a foot in less than a month and were craving food like you never have before in your life, it was easy to let the drama of the moment get away from you.
Her mind raced with possibilities. She considered a vending machine, but she knew she didn’t have enough cash for the amount of food she was craving. She would likely end up attacking it and tipping the damn thing onto herself. I’m stronger than I was, but not strong enough to avoid being crushed by a vending machine. A few unlocked lockers seemed appealing targets, but the few she checked were either empty or contained merely a few books or school supplies. Caitlin winced slightly as the moaning of her stomach indicated that within minutes her hunger pangs would likely reach a painful level.
Suddenly, an idea hit her like a divine ray of light. A girl on work study (bless these private schools) had informed her that many student workers save food to take home in the cafeteria fridges and ovens. Recalling this, Caitlin promptly burst into a mad dash toward the lunchroom. She knew she was taking a chance running in the hallway, but she figured that her chances of being stopped by faculty while class was in session were slim.
As if on cue, Mr. Dallas, the most anal math teacher in his particular school district (he’d actually won the title at a regional education seminar), stepped out of his classroom to investigate the disruptive sound of running footsteps. A solid, relatively tall man of 6’1”, he stepped into the hallway, in front of the offender, whom, judging purely from the volume of the sound, he’d initially assessed as belonging to a male athlete. When the sight of an altitudinous young girl appeared, he flashed a brief look of wonder, before firmly resolving to hold his ground. Freak of nature or not, running, let alone sprinting, through the halls was highly inappropriate.
The sight of Mr. Dallas had been on her short list of worst-case scenarios, and after whimsically entertaining the option of barreling over him, she screeched to a halt, stopping right in front of him. Mr. Dallas was an upper-division math instructor, whom she seen only in passing. Like many other faculty, Mr. Dallas had always given her grief over her attitude and wardrobe, which annoyed her more since she was not a student of his. This particular showdown had an entirely different flavor, as Caitlin looked down at him. A man who had always seemed intimidating, Mr. Dallas seemed slightly less imposing when, in their close quarters, his eyes were about level with her mouth. Unflinching, Mr. Dallas sized up the student in front of him.
“I must ask what could be so important for you to justify your sprinting through school the hallways.”
Caitlin didn’t have time for an extended ordeal. “I’m really not feeling well,” she said. She wasn’t exactly lying, since she was starving and a bit afraid of what would happen to her if she didn’t get food soon.
“Well you’re feeling well enough to run apparently.”
“Sir, I’m sorry. But I really need to go now.”
“You are not excused. What is your name? I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”
“Sir.I need to go now.” The cafeteria was just around the corner, and she wasn’t sure if she could actually smell the food of if she was just hallucinating out of desperation.
“What is your name?”
“Answer my question!”
A pang of hunger hit Caitlin like a ton of bricks, and a searing heat shot through her limbs, causing her such pain that she gasped softly and clenched her teeth and fists. A dizzy spell then washed over her, and she clutched her stomach with her arms. The episode lasted only a few seconds, and when she opened her eyes, she expected to see the angry, condescending eyes of Mr. Dallas. Instead, she saw the eyebrows of Mr. Dallas riding at near-hairline level. It didn’t take her long to realize why. Where Mr. Dallas had previously been eye-level with her mouth, his eyes were now about level with her chin. Not only that, but her momentary vertigo had caused her to lurch forward slightly, bringing her substantial chest just under his chin, brushing lightly against it.
There was a brief pause before a pale and sweaty Caitlin staggered past him, unintentionally nudging him aside with her breast. Mr. Dallas said nothing, but silently logged the episode away, wondering if, or when, he would run into that particular student again.
Caitlin’s vision had gone blurry by the time she crashed through the doors into the cafeteria. Initially, she had been concerned that there would be staff still there, but those concerns had melted away as her need for food surpassed critical. Fortunately for her, the lunch periods were over and the staff was long gone. Caitlin headed for a large economy oven, overjoyed to find a few pizza boxes. Grabbing the first box she saw, she tore open the box and began stuffing slices of pizza into her mouth without resolve. It almost hurt to get the first bites down, and in under two minutes flat she had finished an entire large pizza. It meant nothing to her, however, as she reached for the next box and heartily dug in.
Hours seemed to go by, though in reality it took Caitlin under fifteen minutes to finish three and a half pizzas. She slowed to a nibble, when she finally became cognizant of her surroundings and reality set in. Empty boxes were strewn about her, and she had pizza stains all over her clothes. Before she could fuss about those, the sound of a door opening caught her attention. She ducked, lurched to her feet, and headed for the back door, pizza box in tow.
Adjacent to the cafeteria, the art building was her best bet for avoiding anyone. It was nothing short of a miracle that she had thus far avoided anyone outside of Mr. Dallas, but she could hardly even remember the encounter. Knowing me, she thought, I probably did something stupid. The art finals had already passed, so Caitlin figured the art room would be a reasonable place to crash. The side door was propped open, and, after a quick scan of the room, Caitlin staggered in and collapsed onto one of the couches in the back of the room, tossing the pizza box onto the ground. Caitlin was still munching on another slice of pizza as she did her best to piece together her day.
Okay, I demolished an exit sign, freaked out half of my school, made two scenes in two different classes, flipped off my teacher, and now I've stolen a substantial amount of pizza from the cafeteria kitchen.
The events of the day seemed minor, however, in comparison to the physical discomfort of her current situation. The couch, a two-seater, clearly was not designed for a person of her stature and her legs hung over the edge up to mid-calf. Not only that, but her clothes, already ill-fitting, now noticeably clung to her body more so than merely an hour ago. Caitlin rubbed her distended belly, which clearly bore evidence of the nearly four pizzas she had put away.
“Jeez,” she muttered aloud, unbuttoning her pants and allowing herself some breathing room. After a moment, she decided to unbutton her blouse, which looked silly with her midsection stressing the remaining buttons already at high tension due to her overflowing breasts. While she could justify the tension of her shirt, she could feel that her pants were tighter than they had been all morning. Caitlin was puzzled, before she recalled her brief encounter with Mr. Dallas. She did some quick estimates in her head, figuring she had sprouted a couple inches then, and that was before…
Caitlin could almost feel her metabolism kicking into high gear. Her first growth spurts had made her extremely tired, but the last few had, if anything, almost energized her. As her body prepared for its metamorphosis, the feeling of every inch of cloth on her body shifting and sliding across her skin nearly overwhelmed her heightened senses. As she took in breaths, her substantial chest rose and fell, though it seemed with each breath her chest would fall less and rise more. All about her torso, and particularly around her exposed breasts, the fabric of her top stretched to accommodate the expansion of her body. She cooed softly, as she absent-mindedly groped one of her breasts with her hand; her long fingers sinking into the soft mound, which even felt massive in her lengthened hands.
While preoccupied with the expansion of her upper half, Caitlin’s legs had taken on an impressive growth of their own, gracefully stretching further out of the former cuff of her pants, which now nearly reached her knees. A seam along the side gave way slightly, and the tearing sound accompanied a slight feeling of relief around her thighs from the formerly constricting pants. In near-ecstasy, Caitlin moaned aloud and turned about on the couch, relishing the feeling of the old, rough fabric against her body. The furniture seemed less like a couch and more like a large armchair, as she struggled to find a position where her larger body could lie comfortably.
In spite of her posture, however, Caitlin felt oddly serene as she relished the euphoria of her current state. She arched her back and extended her arms in a full body stretch, and seams all over her undersized wardrobe protested in response. Additionally, her stretch tee crept up to just under her breasts, exposing all of her midriff. Allowing one leg and arm to hang off the side of the couch, she let her long, dark locks drape into her face. and she gave a passing thought to the absence of her blonde roots, before settling into a soft doze.