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cheddarlion

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  1. Hi folks - if you're enjoying this, just reassuring you that there will be more in a couple weeks, but I have to take a brief break for now. This is my first piece and I really like how it's turning out; hope you do too!
  2. Loop 37 Claire looked over as the day reset - and Jake was gone. "Huh??" She'd put the dog's and cat's ears in her mouth, and they appeared beside her in her bed the next loop start. She'd have to figure this out. Of course she couldn't ask Jake for help on this issue; he could never know about this. Or I guess he could, what was he going to do, hold a grudge? "Hey Jake, I need some help kidnapping future you into my hell loop." Claire put on her size-6 top (she hadn't taken her mom's top along this loop; she had other things she needed to pull along), wandered into the kitchen for her breakfast - and saw Jake there, looking bewildered. Uncle James said "hey you two, do you think you're gonna find some Christmas presents or something?" Jake laughed politely, and pulled Claire aside into the hallway. "Um what just happened?" "What do you mean?" "Um," Jake pulled Claire into her room so they could talk privately "I was just in your bed, and then I'm suddenly waking up in my bed - in different clothes than I was wearing last night." Huh, maybe it did work. "Oh, huh - YEAH I mean, that's super-weird! I was WONDERING where you went!" Claire was wondering that, but in a different context. "Maybe you sleep-walked? And um...sleep-changed?" "I...I guess I must have." Yawning exaggeratedly, "Oh boy...well my plan was to sleep in today, so...off you go!" Jake returned to his room, still a little confused. Claire sighed with relief. OK, so Loop 36 Jake is here now in Loop 37, she thought...humans must work under different rules. He doesn't know he's looping and he doesn't know that I know that I'm looping. Claire decided to avoid Jake as much as possible today, early on, to avoid any slip-ups. The main question in her mind was whether Jake was permanently looping with her, or if she was going to have to seduce him again. The clothes she pulled into one loop hadn't been reappearing unless she continued pulling them along (when she needed to wash her mom's top after 3-4 loops, she just pulled a different top along with her for the next loop). Claire decided to try letting Jake alone today, to see if he'd come along in the loop naturally. This was going to require a bit of an acting job at first. Re-emerging from her room at 10am or so, she saw Jake was already a little frantic. He made his way over to her "OK something weird is going on, right Claire? Everyone is wearing the same clothes as yesterday - and so are you?" She looked around and feigned surprise "Well, to be honest, this semester I've outgrown everything I own except this top, and I figured today would be a little more casual. This is weird though. Looks like there are some pretty awesome appetizers again today though! I'm STARVING." This was not a lie; she hadn't gotten breakfast with this morning's encounter. Jake was more on guard for the supernatural after waking up in a completely different place than he'd gone to bed in this morning. "Look, Claire, you mom is making another turkey. Are - are we time-looping? You remember we had Thanksgiving yesterday, right?" "Um...no. Well I mean yes, yesterday was Thanksgiving, but time-looping? No, there's probably a reasonable explanation for this." "But what? Look, I checked it out - remember when Aunt Phyllis spilled wine yesterday? There's no stain on the carpet or on her clothes!" "OK...I don't know if we're looping, but that's definitely weird. I think we need to keep it cool and observe. No one else seems to notice so maybe it's just us. They're going to think we're crazy if we bring it up. Just pretend this is the first time we're doing Thanksgiving dinner." Claire convincingly tucked into plate after plate of food, her now very tight size-6 top riding up a smidge further than yesterday. Jake was kind of confused by Claire's nonchalance but agreed with her analysis. He made meaningful eye contact with her every time something repeated. When Uncle James put on the Bears-Lions game in the living room, he pulled her aside. "See we're DEFINITELY re-living yesterday!" Claire finally pretended to be convinced. "So what should we do? Maybe things will just go normal tomorrow?" Jake agreed that they should wait and see. They reconvened in Claire's room that evening, over beers. Claire was frustrated with how she was going to have to bring Jake slowly along, pretending to rediscover all the rules of the loop...but once that happened, Jake would be an asset and a companion. She was also wracked with guilt over lying to him, though. She decided to release him from the loop, if possible, by not sucking on his finger as 6am struck. Loop 38 Claire awoke and weighed herself - she'd really gone for it the last two loops, out of necessity. Shit. The scale read 148. She'd have to cut back some for a few loops even if it meant no evening meetings with Jake for a while. She was about to go to the kitchen when she heard a quiet but frantic knock on her door. It was Jake. "Claire, you remember yesterday was Thanksgiving right? And the day before?" She pulled herself together, not expecting to have to continue acting. "Yeah...better go check whether it's Thanksgiving again." Of course, it was. Jake pulled Claire aside again. "You know, I've been thinking and this might not be the worst thing in the world for us. Let's have some fun with it. I mean I'm not that big of an eater, but you clearly - " "I clearly what, Jake?" "I mean...the way you were going after that food. You're not fat. I just mean...based on how you were eating the last two days, you enjoy it. And the best part is, you won't gain any weight!" Claire started to correct him, but caught herself "Oh umm...yeah! Wow! Are you sure it works that way?" "So this is kind of a coincidence, but I've been studying stuff like this in school. Basic mass accounting suggests that we can't take anything with us from prior loops, including food we ate." Claire's stomach rumbled - she didn't need much convincing to make something a "feast" loop. Now she had the added need to not give herself away. "Oh wow, that's so cool! Thanksgiving number 3, here we come!" The next 10 loops, Claire made a moderate pig of herself - she went on runs under the guise of doing reconnaissance. She was trying to cut back, but not so much that Jake got suspicious. She basically allowed her intense hunger to guide her into a convincing performance, while she tried to figure out how to convince Jake that he was wrong. He'd notice eventually. They gradually "discovered" rules of the loop, and even made some new progress. She was leaning back in her chair after her last bites of Loop 49's Thanksgiving, back in her mom's flowy size-10 top for these last few loops, although it was becoming less flowy by the loop. Jake had just come back from the bathroom, looking relatively pale. He motioned for Claire to come with him; they met in her room. "Claire...there was corn." "Huh?" "Umm...in my poop. I don't know if it was there before, but I saw it this time...and I haven't eaten any corn...except for at this very meal." "Wait, so you're absolutely sure it's a rock-solid law of physics that matter can't make it through these loops, and you're convinced by some corn?" "There's just no other explanation...so can I ask you to weigh yourself? I haven't noticed any impact on my waistline but I haven't been eating all that much." Claire stepped onto the scale; it read 155; she tried to avoid gasping, although she knew it had to be something like that after ten straight loops of feasting. "OK so that's the baseline - let's weigh you in a few days. Just eat normally and we'll see if anything changes." Jake looked at Claire...he was trying to remember if she looked this soft when they'd first started looping but he couldn't quite remember. Claire was relieved - she needed to get her weight under control, and she'd be able to stop the charade in a few days. In recent loops, her mom had gone from gentle mentions of the need to stay in shape, to her eyes starting to bulge when she saw Claire for the first time since the start of the semester. This most recent loop she didn't even pretend. "Oh Claire, honey, what happened? You've put on a LOT of weight!" "Oh mom, I just...I twisted my ankle at the beginning of the semester, and I've just been partying too much I guess!" That explained it, right? "I mean, maybe we should get your thyroid checked? This looks like more than just party weight! You're still my beautiful girl and I love you but I'm worried!" "I know, mom, but it's fine. I just have to get back on a healthier diet and exercise routine." "OK let's talk about that...tomorrow! Today is about the food! I don't want you worried about it, just for this one day of the year!" Claire nodded, and dutifully (ok it was more than duty) dug in to her Thanksgiving feast for the next few loops - to appease/reassure her mom, and *for science*. They weighed her after the meal in Loop 52, and sure enough she was up a few more pounds to 158. Jake was convinced. "Damn...I'm sorry Claire. Guess you'll have to just cut back a little." Claire didn't need to feign distress "Dammit, though, that's the problem: every day I wake up STARVING. This is going to be so miserable - I'm surrounded by amazing food, I'm starving, and now I have to resist that shit? Forever!? Let's take tonight off; I want to be alone." Claire looked herself in the mirror - she'd moved up to her mom's size-12 top, which concealed most of the increase in her body, but her face was definitely showing the gain. Even the slightest look downward pushed a double chin into view. Taking the top off, her love handles and stomach now slightly concealed the band of her yoga pants, which were stretched nearly to their limit by her thighs. Her breasts bulged comically out of her B-cup bra - she still hadn't managed to acquire any well-fitting underwear, but she had plans to raid Ashley's suitcase next loop. Back in his room, Jake was curious about something. He was wondering how bad he was at noticing Claire's gain - he could usually tell when someone in great shape put on a little weight, but once they were a little chunky like Claire was - or was now after this last semester of college - it was harder to tell. He clicked into an album on Facebook, which was arranged chronologically. WOW. The first picture was from August 20; Claire had been THIN, and quite recently. He remembered now seeing her around late August, and it matched well. Claire's behavior in the first loop, the drinking, the indifference to getting fat...it had matched well with her roughly 30 (now 40?) pound gain. Jake readied himself for an onslaught of photos of Claire doing keg stands and gradually plumping up. *click* September 3 - a picture of Claire with one of her running buddies, seemingly after a 10K, looking slim as ever. *click* September 16 - Claire doing stir-fry night in her dorm's kitchen, the wok full of vegetables and Claire looking waifish. Jake clicked faster through the photos. October 31 - Claire in a "sexy Karl Marx" costume, not a scrap of fat on her. *click* November 25, i.e., yesterday - a selfie with her friends, captioned "bye for the week!" Claire was in skinny jeans and a crop top that showed off her perfectly flat stomach and nearly curveless hips. The implications washed over Jake like a bankruptcy - gradually, then suddenly. Claire wasn't being honest with him!
  3. Loop 29 Claire went to the kitchen in her mom's blouse, grabbed a smaller breakfast, and skipped the eggnog, leaving her pretty hungry. But she was determined to keep this under control. Her mom again failed to claim that Claire would be swimming in the size-10 blouse, giving Claire little nudges of shame. She was telling everyone that she wasn't feeling well, and despite the gnawing hunger, skipped snacks and even passed up on any of the Thanksgiving feast. Sitting across from Jake, not eating, she watched Ashley going to town on plate after plate of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and then dessert. Jake was watching intently, too. "So, Jake, I'm wondering if there's something you can help me with? Can you come by my room while we're all watching A Wonderful Life tonight?" "Yeah, sure, uh huh." Jake was still a little mesmerized by Ashley. Claire retired to her room, partly to avoid the temptation of food, partly to work on a particularly tricky math problem that Jake had given her as "homework" in a past loop, almost unable to concentrate over her hunger. The hours ticked by, and Claire looked up at her clock to see it was 2am. Jake had never come by. She stole around the house, poking her head into guest rooms, until she found the one Jake...and Ashley were in. Claire wrote this loop off in terms of collaboration with Jake (or anything else with him), but at least she'd managed to not make a pig out of herself. Loop 30 After a sensible breakfast and long run, Claire realized she needed to get Jake's attention this loop. She ate with extra fierceness at the alternative table. "Oh my god, I can't control myself around this food! I'm going to put on so much weight during the holidays this year!" Ashley gushed between bites. "Claire, you and I are going to be rolling out of here." "Oh my god, I know!" said Claire, patting her stomach. "I'm definitely going to have to cut back after the semester I've had." Sure enough, Jake came over to Claire's room that evening. Well that was easy enough. After the weird conversation, they got busy in multiple ways. Claire brought up an idea that had been building: "Look, this is a big ask but...I'm tired of explaining this all to you every loop. We could work so much faster if we were looping *together*. And this is lonely!" "Umm...wow, I'll have to think about that. Will it even work? How would we do it?" "Well...I'd just have to put part of you inside me...right as the clock ticks to 6am. That's nothing we haven't done at this point." "Look, it's one thing to take a blouse with you, but have you tried anything living?" "Ummm...no." Claire and Jake worked out that she'd have to try it on the dog before she tried it on him. "Look, Claire, no offense, but I don't know that I'm willing to take this plunge even if it works. It seems like we've made some progress, but I don't know if it'll even be possible to get out of this. You're practically asking me to marry you, but this is an even more intense commitment." Claire thought about it, and realized what she was asking of Jake. It was difficult, because she had gotten to know him so well over the past few "weeks" of loops, but the next day she would have to convince him all over again. And now she knew that in any loop where she wanted to make progress with Jake, she was probably going to have to make a pig of herself. Loop 35 Claire had done the necessary experiments to determine that at least a dog and a cat had the ability to come along with her in the loop. She was happy to observe that it seemed that living things didn't duplicate - it would have been tough to deal with or explain two Jakes to the rest of the family, and the purpose of this was partially to make her life in this loop a little MORE normal, not less. She'd been eating well - the loops were beginning to drive her batty, and now the hunger, the desire to be with Jake, and the desire to make progress towards getting out were all pushing her to make quite a pig of herself. Her morning runs got longer and longer in an effort to counteract this - she was rapidly regaining her former lung capacity, although the extra weight was also progressively making the running harder. Had she done the math, she'd realize that her runs were burning roughly 1000 calories at best, and mostly undone by the fact that she was even hungrier later in the day. Claire returned to the main table for this loop; drinking a lot of beers and snacking heavily in front of Jake, with maybe a subtle hint of showing off her food baby seemed to be enough to lure him to her room. Phyllis watched Claire demolish plate after plate with a concerned look on her face. "Honey, so tell me about school. I remember my days as a Delta; I was about your size when I started out, and that chef we had in our house probably did me in." "Oh, you know I've just been working so hard I don't have a ton of time to do much else, I guess." "Yeah I imagine it's hard to find the time to exercise." Claire was growing weary of the backhanded remarks but she didn't know what to do about them, and frankly they were justified. At least she wouldn't have any trouble drawing Jake out this loop. Back in her room, she explained the usual to an incredulous Jake. She was going all-out in trying to convince him to join her in the loop: awesome Thanksgiving dinner, good company, the likelihood that they could figure out how to leave...the more she pulled, the more adamantly against it he became. This loop was her life, but it was scary and a new concept to Jake. By now she had started to fall in love with Jake, but he didn't know her all that well. She was asking him to jump off a cliff with her, without knowing where the bottom was. They finally went to sleep next to each other around 2am, and Claire awoke alone, with corners of various articles of clothing in her mouth and that goddamned Arlo Guthrie song on the radio. Loop 36 Claire weighed herself to check in on the damage - she was up to 144, continuing her gain of nearly a pound per loop. Her stomach definitely stuck out now, with soft pooches of fat pouring over her yoga pants. Her thighs had grown significantly, too - she'd been progressively running with more and more weight every morning. Claire's boobs had picked up their share of the weight - she was going to have to figure out her new cup size one of these loops, and find one of the women here of the same size so she could steal their underwear. She added "steal bra - try on" to her mental checklist of tasks. She skipped stopping Aunt Phyllis from knocking over wine today - she had called her fat yesterday! Like she had room to talk! Claire felt grim today. She had made a decision, and she didn't know if it was right, but the stress of the situation was getting to her. Instead of her mom's top, she wore her original outfit from the earlier loops. It was much tighter than it had been of course; it clung to her stomach and love handles. It was a little disconcerting, seeing everyone's eyes bulge as they saw Claire's nearly 30 pound gain in all of its glory. It was a lot for a semester, but not unheard of. At the alternate table, Claire went absolutely all out. "Oh my god I don't understand how this is so good. I can't even stop myself," she gargled, her mouth full of potatoes and gravy. Her top rode up as she ate, exposing the lower inch or two of her stomach. "Ashley, you're hardly eating. Come on, who do you think can eat more dinner rolls?" Ashley was certainly doing a number on the food herself but was in awe. "Umm...I think you can. I really have to keep myself under control these days - I wouldn't want to..." "Get fat? Oh come on it's the best." Jake shifted nervously in his chair. He couldn't believe how hot this was. It was like Claire knew every button to push. When Claire was finally at her limit, she leaned back and relaxed her gut. It pushed forward out over her lap, hanging suspended by all the food inside. She looked right into Jake's eyes. "Wow, I'm going to need a nap after all that." She waddled gingerly towards her room. Jake couldn't help himself. He knocked on her door after a discrete amount of time. She knew who it would be. "Sorry, admission is 12 beers minimum." Jake went and grabbed two six-packs from the fridge and returned. "OK maybe I was a little premature - I'm gonna have to digest this all before I start pounding beers." "Claire, what is going on? Are you ok?" "Oh yeah I'm fine. Just hungry." "Forgive me but...you've put on some weight since I saw you last summer." Now was usually the start of the talk. But not tonight. "Oh yeah I've just turned into a total pig. You like that though, don't you?" "Wha - no. I mean...well I don't have a problem. You're beautiful." "Oh I can tell the way you're looking at me. You want it don't you? Just be careful - there's a full load here," slapping her belly, as it made a noise not unlike a ripe watermelon. They carefully but passionately rolled around on the bed for the next two hours, and Claire was ready for some beer. "How about we play a drinking game? Kings?" "Sure thing!" Jake wasn't a huge drinker but he would go along. Claire pulled out a deck of cards that she had stacked earlier in the day. Jake found himself drinking at least double what Claire was. A few hours later, he finished his 8th beer. "Well that (hic) looks like that." He was soon sleeping soundly on Claire's bed. Claire looked down at him. This was the way. She set her phone's alarm for 5:58am and went to sleep next to him. ::BEEP BEEP:: God, it was nice to not wake up to Arlo Guthrie for once. Jake still lay next to her, stirring a little with the alarm but then going back to sleep. Claire looked as the clock moved to 5:59am. She snuggled up next to Jake, took his hand, and started tenderly sucking on his forefinger.
  4. Loop 16 Claire decided after breakfast to go for a run...maybe if she ran enough in the mornings, she could stay ahead of the Thanksgiving onslaught. She ran five miles, puffing the whole way. She'd never consciously had to count calories or exercise to stay slim, so she didn't realize that even this large amount of running was only burning about 600 calories. Claire tugged at her lycra shirt - sure enough that was getting tight as well, showing off her slight love handles. Getting back, she decided to do something about her now too-tight-to-comfortably-feast top. She snuck into her mom's room, and looked at the selection - the size 14s would be a tent on her, but the size 10s were appropriately loose without being absurd. Claire's loose and flowy blouse had been a size 6, and this was much looser. She said hi to her mother again, and explained that she'd forgotten to bring anything nice enough for the meal home. "Oh honey, my clothes will just be swimming on you! At least plenty of room to put all this food today!" Claire was hungrier than ever, after her run. The mid-day and afternoon went by in a blur, with numerous heavy pours of wine, four plates of food, and the traditional six helpings of dessert. This time, she sat at the alternate table, so she could get a head start on chatting with Jake. Among the other folks at the alternate table was her cousin Ashley, about a year younger than her and Jake. Ashley was in great shape, but naturally a little curvier than Claire, perhaps 115 pounds but only at 5 foot 3 inches. "Oh my god, I can't help myself around this food. I'm going to put on so much weight during the holidays this year! Claire I can't believe you eat so much and stay looking like that!" Ashley had always had to work to stay in good shape. Jake (again, no blood relation) sort of shifted uncomfortably in his seat as Ashley talked. Claire knew the look on his face from last night. Claire pulled Jake and a couple of six-packs of beer into her room after dinner. "Jake: I'm time-looping." "Whaa?" "OK, so I know you won't believe me because you didn't at first last time. But I'm living the same day over and over again. Here's a picture of me from yesterday, right?" Claire took her top off, to reveal her comically bloated form, to go along with the start of some soft love handles going over the sides of her yoga pants. Jake saw her face was clearly puffier than it was in the picture. "Um...wow." Jake tried to pull himself together between shirtless Claire in front of him and her insane claim. "But how do I know that's a picture from yesterday?" "Oh you don't. But last loop, you told me how much this turns you on." Jake stammered. "Wh- no it doesn't. I mean..." "You can't deny it because you already told me right here, maybe about 2 hours later into the last loop. Look, you're studying stuff like this in school...maybe you can teach me, and you can help me figure out what's going on." Claire put her top back on, and she and Jake started speculating about how it worked. She told him what she'd figured out - that eating in past loops was causing her to gain weight (he was very impressed with her control study), but that her hunger was carrying over from the prior day. She mentioned the beer from the night before. "So it seems like if it's inside your body, it comes along for the next loop? The beer can you were holding was gone, right?" "Yeah. And the clothes I'm wearing revert back to what I went to bed in on Wednesday. Speaking of, I kind of like this top but it was a pain to sneak into my mom's room and get it. I'd rather have it in my room in the morning so I can go out in it." "Hmm...so I have an idea about that. Can you scrunch it up, and get it into your mouth, and then you'll have it tomorrow, like the beer?" "Huh, maybe!" They continued to talk about the looping, and then of course gave in to their desires after about four beers apiece. Claire learned a lot about topology and math, and considered writing her notes down on a paper and eating it...but that would be too gross. Probably wouldn't survive the trip through her digestive system. The clock wound past 5:58am..."so Jake, this is where we say goodbye. It's so weird to me that you won't remember any of this tomorrow. Or maybe you will but I'll be gone? Are there now 16 timelines where I've disappeared from existence, but everyone else continues on?" "Huh, yeah I guess *I'll* find out. Oh, the top, don't forget!" Claire hurriedly started pushing it into her mouth, but there was too much material. She only got about half of it in when she found herself on her back, listening to Arlo Guthrie. Gagging, she pulled the cloth out of her mouth. The top was whole! This was interesting. She really needed to get some larger exercise gear, though. She threw it on and thought about breakfast. Was this a starving day? She'd really gone hog wild the last couple of days, and the underwear she was waking up in was getting pretty tight. But she was SO hungry, as usual. The morning runs would probably be good enough to keep things under control. For the next 10 or so loops she continued to carry over her mom's blouse (she checked the closet one day - there was an identical copy in there!), and go for a long run in the morning, only to be absurdly hungry for the Thanksgiving feast. She continued her late-night fuck-and-think sessions with Jake, and found herself holding her own more and more during the conversations, getting a little bit further into understanding what was going on each time, despite Jake starting from scratch. She established that indeed, a continuous object just had to be partially in her mouth in order to take it along for the next loop. One day she convinced her mom to loan her her engagement ring, and duplicated that for the next loop, before realizing that it wouldn't really do her any good. She'd pilfered some athletic clothing from her mom that she took along with her for the morning runs. Claire was in a pretty good rhythm, and between the progress being made in figuring out the rules of the loop, and her confidence that she'd eventually figure her way out of it, she stopped thinking quite so long term. The runs were probably keeping her weight under control. It was a bit of a shock to her when, after greeting her mom some time in loop 28, telling her about why she was wearing her top, her mom failed to remark that the top would be swimming on her. Instead she said "oh you know tomorrow we'll have to take you shopping for some new clothes. I know how college can be! But for today I don't want you to worry about that." Claire had a feeling she knew what she wasn't supposed to be worried about. She ran back to her room, slightly panicked. She looked at herself in the mirror - was that a hint of a double chin? Was that there a few days ago? Was that giving her away? The change would be so gradual to her, but no one else at that party had seen her for months, so to them she was showing up with her bloated face. The top covered everything else, but lifting it up she saw some pretty serious love handles pushing over her straining yoga pants. Nervously she stepped onto the scale - she couldn't have put on 5 pounds since the last weigh in, could she? She looked down to see 137 flashing up at her - a gain of 11 pounds in just two weeks worth of loops.
  5. Loop 15, continued Claire went through Loop 15 with a sense of relief; while her hunger stayed about the same every loop, her willpower was wearing thin. She had intended to take it easy, but once she started eating, and people started noticing her taking it easy, their encouragement combined with her hunger led to her getting pretty well-stuffed. She downed three large plates of traditional Thanksgiving food, a few ribs, and then the assault-by-dessert. Phyllis, between her own large plates of food, seeing her take her third glass of wine gushed "oh Claire, it's so good to see you finally loosening up a bit!" That stung Claire a bit, but she was getting used to this idea - no one would remember a thing tomorrow. After dinner, Claire embarked on another mission that she'd been meaning to - she wasn't sure why it had taken her this long or why she was so nervous, but she finally went over and talked to Jake. "Hi, Jake, how's your semester been?" Jake looked down at Claire and blushed a bit. Claire had always been kind of willowy for his tastes but it seemed like she'd been indulging a bit this semester, or at least had had a healthy Thanksgiving feast. No, it was more than that...her face was a little fuller, which doesn't happen from just one day of indulgence. "Oh, great! I'm taking this fascinating topology class. It's really interesting; along with my cosmology stuff, I've been learning so much about like...the fabric of space-time. Did you know that the universe is possibly infinite, but more like a 4-D loop than a vast endless field? Like, there's no end of time; it's just a repeat of another time and place from the past? Of course on our scale, we could never tell." "Oh um, totally. That makes sense." "Wait, really?" Claire had forgotten herself; "oh I mean like it makes sense that you'd be into that stuff. You've always been such a dork!" "Ha, says the accounting and biology double-major! You know, a lot of cosmology is like accounting - there are rules and everything has to balance." Claire had thought of this, of course...but it sparked some new thoughts that she might try out later. "So I was wondering if there's something you could help me with...come over to my room during A Wonderful Life tonight?" "Uhh...sure. Aren't people watching the game, though?" "No, silly, I mean later when we're all watching A Wonderful Life. I mean, probably that'll be on, cuz that's what people watch once Thanksgiving is over, right? I'm not sure that's what we'll watch because I don't know the future or anything." The wine prevented her from determining whether the coverup job had been sufficient. "...uh, ok, see you in a bit then." Jake wandered away, a little confused. Claire once again retired to the living room and started downing beers to get herself nice and ready to make her move on Jake. She had the game results down now - she hadn't interrupted the Lions player earlier today during her run, so she knew Stafford would complete his scramble. She bet Uncle James 6 beers if she lost, and $100 plus choice of movie if she was right. He took the bet, and finally she won, which was lucky because she was dangerously full, finishing her fourth beer as the Bears kneeled out the clock. She took the crisp $100 bill from her uncle, and requested Miracle on 34th Street. A few minutes into the movie, she looked across the room to Jake and motioned towards the hallway to her room. Entering, she looked at herself in the mirror to make sure she was presentable. Oof. Her loose flowy blouse was much less loose and flowy than it had been. This was her largest, most forgiving top...she'd have to do something about this. Not bad, though...her boobs were looking fuller than they ever had, and if this didn't work maybe she could starve a few days in a row and make another run at Jake. Her head spun a little, with the roughly 8-9 drinks she'd consumed over the course of the afternoon and early evening. Jake knocked gently, and came in. "So what did you need help with?" Claire lost her nerve and possibly her better judgment. "Um so...have you ever heard of a time loop in real life? Like in Groundhog Day?" "I mean I've seen Groundhog Day." "No, I mean could that really happen?" "No, definitely not. Well...I mean maybe in theory...I don't like to say never to these things, but also in theory a tiger-antitiger pair could materialize in front of us. It's just never going to happen." "What if I told you it is happening?" "Oh I see. You're fucking with me. Very funny." "No! I swear I'm not. How can I prove it?" "What am I going to say next?" "OK, well first, that's not how it works because tiny disturbances earlier in the day have changed things...but also this is the first loop I've had this conversation with you. I'll be better next time." "Holy shit. You're serious. I mean I don't believe you but you think this is really happening." "OK, so for future loops, tell me something that no one else knows, and then I'll be able to prove it to you next time." "Um...wow. So humoring you, how many loops have you been through?" "I think this is 15. Man, how else can I prove this to you this time? I don't want to waste this loop. Wait, ok I got it. Look at this picture of me and my friend. How long ago do you think this was taken?" She held up her phone, showing him the photo of her in extremely tight jeans and a form-fitting top. "Well the leaves are off the trees...so probably a year ago or so?" "Yesterday." Jake involuntarily looked Claire up and down. "Uhh...wh..." "You don't have to be polite, I've put on some weight. Sort of an unbelievable amount of weight, for one day, right?" Jake felt a stirring. "Umm...wow. How much?" "A little more than 10 pounds, as of this morning." "OK but wait, doesn't everything reset every day?" "Well in this type of loop, apparently I don't reset...it's as if I ate the food from my last loop...except for some reason I'm starving every morning. I hadn't eaten anything since 'yesterday' morning, so I'd be nice and hungry for today. I didn't know today was going to last forever." "What else have you done so far? Oh and I think I have an idea for what I can tell you that no one else knows." "Honestly, it was only a couple of days ago that I discovered that the food was sticking to me for sure. I was kind of just enjoying Thanksgiving over and over again. I'm getting a little nervous now, though...like I'm going to be enormous if I don't find a way to stop this." "OK so...I can't believe I'm saying this. Here's my secret that you can tell me next time to prove that you're looping: I've always been kind of into women gaining weight." "Uhh...what??" Claire looked at Jake as if he had two heads. "Um, that's fucking weird." "Oh I see, so you're time looping and I'm the weird one." "You're not fucking with me?" "No, I'm - wait holy shit YOU'D better not be fucking with ME. Oh shit I can't believe I just admitted that." Claire, realizing the irony, felt bad, but remained absolutely shocked. She'd never heard of this as a thing, and Jake always seemed so normal, if kind of a dork. "Um, ok...I'm gonna get us some more beers." Claire grabbed two six-packs from the fridge with the rest of the family in the living room, and stole back to her room. They both cracked one open. Claire remembered that nothing mattered. "So I'm gaining roughly a pound a day. In a few more loops, I won't even be able to get this top on I bet." Jake got a look in his eyes that was unmistakable. Holy shit, he wasn't fucking with me, Claire thought. Or at least...he wasn't fucking with her metaphorically. Because they immediately started literally fucking. An hour or so later, exhausted, Claire decided to continue her inquiry. They talked long into the night, speculating about time loops and how this could be happening to her. Jake was worried about the implications for the universe, if matter as well as Claire's consciousness was being preserved over the time loop. "Wait, so time is looping and you're worried about conservation of matter or something?" Claire asked incredulously. She was so fascinated, she didn't notice the radio alarm clock had just flipped over to 5:59am. She took a big swig of beer as Jake delved into another mini-lecture. "So even if we're in a new--" ::splutter:: Claire spit up a bunch of beer from her position on her back, coughing as Arlo Guthrie's familiar song came over the alarm clock radio at 6am. Jake was gone. The beer in her mouth was an interesting new twist - this was end-of-loop beer that had made the trip with her. This would be a new good piece of information to bring up with Jake tonight. Claire considered whether today was going to be a feast or famine loop. Her gnawing hunger perpetually pushed her in one direction, but she knew she had to keep things relatively under control by resisting it. But she remembered the other new information she had learned last night, about Jake's preferences. Fuck it, today was definitely an eating day.
  6. Loop 11 Claire decided to test whether her indulgence was indeed carrying over from past loops. It's possible the scale was miscalibrated or that she had put on a little weight earlier in the semester. She first tried on a pair of non-yoga pants, and found them to be fairly tight, and give her a slight muffin top. Was it a muffin top or just a little extra skin? She thought it was arguable. She'd already seen her uncle this morning, so pretending she was sick was off the table, so she decided she would indulge as much as possible for the next two loops, to get a statistically significant change, and then force herself to starve two loops in a row, to see if that pulled weight off. She was also curious to see if James' change in behavior was a fluke, or if other people were noticing. As usual, she greeted her mom in the kitchen at the turkey station. "Hi mom!" "Oh, Claire! Turkey hands! But let me get this bird in the oven and we'll talk about your semester!" Over a bowl of chips, Claire mentioned that she'd been running every morning, which normally prompted the offer of a meal plan increase and an observation that she was skin and bones. "Oh that's so good to hear! It's important to stay healthy! Except today of course. You'd better bring it kiddo." Huh. Shit. One more for the pile of evidence that this was real. Claire was still coming to grips with the long-term implications of what this meant, but for now on a mission to determine scientifically and for certain what the rules of this time loop were. And that mission meant eating with gusto for the next two loops. She got to five plates again, plus dessert. Phyllis and a few members of the family noticed the indulgence and looked on, amazed. Phyllis thought back to when she was Claire's size, and a hint of worry crept into her mind for Claire's future. Claire had stopped messing with betting her uncle for the last few loops, but she'd grown to enjoy the beers. She made her way over to the living room a little early (she was getting better at recovering from the food coma post-feast), and watched the game with James and a lot of the guys. She managed over the course of the evening to put down five beers, more gradually this time, but still an immense amount of liquid. When she stood up, she noticed that her bloated stomach was nearly showing from underneath her loose and flowy blouse. Possibly just a result of pushing her limits? Loop 12 was an approximate repeat of Loop 11, as planned, although the twinge of shame Claire felt the prior loop, when she suspected her family members were gradually changing their treatment of her, was reduced...none of them remembered this in Loop 12, and so she was getting a fresh start. When Claire woke up on the morning of Loop 13, she got her traditional breakfast (since she had weighed herself after breakfast in Loop 11), and nervously pulled her scale out...this was the moment of truth. She looked down to see 127. This definitively proved to her that the indulgence from previous days was sticking to her. The consequences of this started to hit her - who knew how long she'd be in this loop, or if she'd ever get out, but she was gaining almost a pound a day doing the default amount of indulgence. Perhaps she could ease back a little rather than go absolutely all-out, but the fact was that she was waking up every morning absolutely starving, and surrounded by massive amounts of incredible food, being encouraged to indulge by all of those around her. This was going to take some incredible will power. Claire went for a run for the first time in about 10 loops, and sure enough found herself getting much more winded than she had previously. This time she tried to get a better look at the large African-American man in the Lambo, and realized that she recognized him from a close-up during the third quarter yesterday - he was a lineman for the Lions! She realized that she must have subtly disrupted his day on Loop 2, when he almost hit her, and this was enough to mess with Stafford's scramble on 4th and 13. Going back to the house, she decided to just tell people she was sick, and thus not eating. She winced when no one insisted she was skin and bones or worried that she had an eating disorder...but that was to be expected at this point. It was just as hard as she remembered from the earlier loop where she was testing out how hunger worked. The good news was that she was marginally less hungry when she woke up the next loop, and merely had to repeat the sheer will power of the prior day. On the morning of Loop 15, she tried her non-yoga pants on to see if there was any progress...they were still incredibly tight, and gave her what was now undeniably a muffin top. She tested out the breakfast routine with James...no spontaneous offer of eggnog yet. Her post-breakfast weighing showed her to be 126 pounds. Claire sighed. She was hoping to have lost at least the three pounds since her two all-out loops. She figured out that she could probably have a normal Thanksgiving meal one time for every two loops that she starved herself. As she thought about how hungry she felt each morning when she woke up, and the will power it took to get through just these last two days, Claire was filled with dread for the first time.
  7. Claire made her way to the kitchen, grabbed her plate of food, heard her uncle's jokes and remarks about how skinny she was, and accepted her glass of eggnog. She decided today to figure out who almost hit her while jogging, so she went on another run, watching for luxury cars this time. She started a couple minutes early, and hid by the intersection where it had happened yesterday. Sure enough, a Lamborghini came barreling down the residential street at at least 45mph. She saw an enormous African-American man driving it, decked out in Detroit Lions swag. She got the license plate number, too...for future fun. Back inside, she took her traditional nap, and joined the festivities. She saved the wine from spilling again, and avoided giving any hints that she was looping this day repeatedly. Claire decided to really push things today, and so she got the same three helpings of food as her first day, an additional pile of ribs, and then the ungodly amount of dessert. She leaned back, hardly able to breathe. Phyllis again looked on with envy. Finally remembering how the game ended up, Claire made the bet "OK Uncle, there's no way the Lions score here - I'll drink three of those beers if they scored and get the two-point conversion." James guffawed "yeah no shit, it's pretty unlikely...it'd be just my luck, but you gotta give me better odds than that. FOUR beers, but if they don't, you get to watch whatever you want." Claire confidently took the bet, and when it got to 4th and 13, she knew Stafford would come up just short...but he didn't! What was going on? As Claire sipped the first of her four beers while watching A Wonderful Life, she pondered the mystery. That night, taking her top off, Claire woozily giggled at her absurd form, which was even more bloated in the middle, from the extra indulgence and four beers. The next seven loops went by similarly - most days, Claire absolutely stuffed herself to the gills with food and beer, which she was really developing a taste for. As she realized there were no consequences and she could eat even more without literally bursting, she increased her capacity to five plates plus ribs and dessert. Her goal was to make herself laugh in the mirror each night, looking absolutely pregnant with food, and she succeeded. One day, she tried an experiment - she told her family she was feeling sick and didn't eat much at all. That was incredibly difficult, but she was curious why she was waking up famished every morning. By the time she went to sleep, she felt like her stomach was digesting itself. She woke up the next day very hungry, but identically hungry to the other days. She also tried staying up all night, eating as much as she could all night, but when the clock struck six, she found herself lying down in her bed, feeling as if she hadn't eaten for nearly a full day. Apparently her hunger was re-setting from the last non-loop day. On day 11, she pulled on her loose/stretchy clothes, and made her way to the kitchen. "Oh look who decided to wake up early!" her uncle James whispered from the dimly lit kitchen. "You know Santa doesn't come for another month, right?" "Guess I'm just looking to make a down-payment on the pig-out session later today," she said as she leaned into the fridge to load up her plate. Turning around, she anticipated the tall glass of eggnog. "Oh, I can't wait either," said James. Huh. That was weird. "You sharing that eggnog?" "Oh sure thing," pouring her a tall glass, as was the tradition. "Just be careful with that stuff, it's a bit of a calorie bomb." Claire was a little weirded out - she'd found that later in the day, things tended to change a bit (still hadn't figured out the football game yet), but this had been a rock-solid routine for the first 10 loops. She got back to her room and after eating her breakfast and washing it down with eggnog, she looked at herself in the mirror, as she hadn't other than to evaluate how well she'd done at gorging herself, in the evening. Her face seemed a tiny bit puffier than she remembered...but who could remember? She looked up the selfie she had taken while saying goodbye to her college friends "yesterday" - sure enough she definitely had sharper features in the photo. Nervously she pulled out the scale from under her bed. She hadn't weighed herself in months, but Claire was pretty sure she was right around 115 when she'd started all of this. She stepped on and looked down (suddenly she noticed her stomach was sticking out a bit as well - from breakfast?) - it read 124.
  8. Claire glared at her uncle, who was again pouring a bit of eggnog into his morning coffee. He loved his callback jokes. "Eh, I just thought I'd grab some breakfast. I did a pretty solid job yesterday but for some reason I'm starving this morning!" "Well it's not like you can't afford it! Tell me, do you do ANYTHING other than run and study up at that college of yours? You're skin and bones! Here, have some eggnog to wash it down." Claire did a start as the words sounded eerily familiar, and she opened the fridge to see untouched plates of food. Her relatives must have all brought doubles of their dishes. She gathered this and that from the dishes in the fridge, and walked away with a loaded plate. She belatedly grabbed the glass of eggnog as well, remembering that it had been damn delicious yesterday. She'd let herself eat today, but it was back to healthy living tomorrow. She patted her full tummy after finishing off the plate, and dozed back to a nap. Feeling a little guilty for her continuation of yesterday's indulgence, she went for a brief jog in her neighborhood. A Lamborghini driving at twice the speed limit almost ran her over, but it screeched to a halt just short of her. A little shaken, she ran back to the house, showered, and put her loose blouse and yoga pants back on. As she wandered into the kitchen and living room, the din of relatives rang out just as the day before. James bellowed from the other room "see, traditionally, if the turkey sees his shadow, it's 6 more weeks of thanking!" Claire raised her eyebrow a bit, and walked to her mother, who was...preparing another turkey? "Another turkey??" Claire laughed as she massaged her mom's shoulders from behind. "Oh hold on a second hun, I've got raw turkey hands! Gimme a second and once I get this bird in the oven, I want to hear all about your semester." "Well I mean nothing much has happened since yesterday but I did raid the fridge this morning." "No, silly, tell me how your classes are going! Did you meet any boys?" Claire laughed nervously and sort of wandered away without knowing how to respond. She looked up to see her aunt Phyllis moving backwards towards a TV tray with a glass of wine on it. Not wanting a repeat of yesterday, she weaved her way across the kitchen and grabbed the wine just as Phyllis' rear was making contact. "Great save, Spiderwoman!" James bellowed from his station in the couch. Phyllis looked up with relief. "Oh wow, glad you have those reflexes!" Phyllis gasped. "This is my favorite top, too!" "Oh, and you wouldn't want to stain another o-" Claire looked up to see her wearing the identical top from the day before. It was stain-free. She looked around, and realized that everyone was wearing their clothes from yesterday. What was going on?? Sure enough, everyone seemed to be gathering momentum for another feast. There were certainly enough leftovers from yesterday, but that didn't explain the brand new turkey her mother was roasting up. Claire had a few glasses of wine, hoping they would blot out this weirdness. She was glad of the re-do on the feast by the time the table was set; she'd been starving when she woke up this morning, and her pilfered plate of breakfast staved off the hunger a bit but by early afternoon she was famished again. Somehow her uncle Joey's ribs hadn't been demolished yesterday - the pile of them on the counter was enormous. Claire looked across the table to her mom and motioned to the ribs "aren't those AMAZING?" "I don't know, you tell me kiddo. Go grab some and bring one back for me." "Oh you had some yesterday, too, don't lie." Joey interjected "Ha! You'd have quite a stomachache, they were raw yesterday!" Claire looked at the table, perfectly set, her relatives all dressed identically to yesterday, save Phyllis, who was wearing her unstained blouse. Her head started spinning. She started to ask what she suspected, and realized that she was going to sound crazy for asking if she was looping the same day. She had to figure this out herself for now. Fortunately, what she wanted to do anyway was what she needed to do to blend in: eat a Thanksgiving-sized amount of food. She managed to ease back a bit this time, saving a bit more room for the dessert attack she knew was coming. Her mother noticed. "Oh what's wrong dear, you're skin and bones...don't be shy!" Claire didn't give in to the temptation (yesterday's gorging was a little too much to be enjoyable)...but her mother's words triggered something in her mind. If time was somehow looping for her, this was amazing luck. She could have looped on midterms day or something else unpleasant. Instead, she got to enjoy family, a day off, and an incredible feast! She was still probably going mad or something, but you know...could be worse. The disoriented and stuffed girl slumped back after swallowing the last bites of bread pudding, feeling pregnant. Phyllis looked enviously at Claire again, whose slender face belied the food baby pushing out her yoga pants underneath her unrevealing top. When Claire felt like she could walk, she heard the football game again from the other room. This convinced her of what was going on, finally - Uncle James wouldn't be cheering this loudly as a joke. As she walked in, James offered her a beer, and she decided to have her first fun with the situation. "Tell you what, uncle. If the Lions score on this drive and get a two-point conversion, we have to watch whatever I want. If they don't, I'll drink THREE of those." James didn't know his niece was so into football, but he was never one to pass up a good bet. Sure enough the Lions faced a 4th and 13, as they had yesterday. Matt Stafford rolled out, and started scrambling...and slipped short of the line to gain! Claire's confusion compounded, but she dutifully cracked the first of three beers as James was a good winner and put on A Wonderful Life for Claire. Maybe Claire had forgotten exactly what happened yesterday. Oh well, she'd probably get another chance "tomorrow." Back in her room, Claire again gazed at her absurd silhouette, possibly even more bloated around the middle than the first go-round, from the third beer. She closed her eyes gradually... **You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant...** "Rise and shine, campers! --" ::SMACK:: Claire looked over at her radio alarm clock, showing 6:00am...and after remembering her situation, she smiled. Who knows how long this was going to go on, and she'd try and find a way out of it...but in the meantime she was going to enjoy it. She pulled on her flowy top and yoga pants, and made her way to the kitchen. She was famished.
  9. Claire wandered into the kitchen after composing herself, to see lots of extended family, in for the long weekend. Her uncle James was yukking up a storm in the living room, flirting with one of her dad's sisters. "You see, traditionally, if the turkey sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of thanking!" Claire found her mom, putting the final touches on the turkey before it went into the oven. Claire had gotten in late last night and this was the first time she'd seen her mom in months. Anne was a well-preserved, robust woman of 52, with a standard middle-age spread. She looked nothing like her younger sister, Phyllis, who was the largest of Claire's aunts, probably pushing 300 pounds. When her mother was at a stopping point, Claire walked over to give her a big hug. "How's my favorite chef?" Anne awkwardly gave Claire a hug with her elbows - "Raw turkey hands!" Always the pragmatist. "Gimme a second, and once we get this bird in the oven, I want to hear all about your semester!" Claire turned around to see Phyllis walking a little too close to a TV tray with a glass of wine on it, and bumping it with her ample rear. The glass fell onto the carpet, splattering wine all over Phyllis' tent-like blouse. Claire moved to help sop the wine out of the carpet while Phyllis returned to her room to get a new top. There was a slight stain, but Claire managed to get most of it out. Her mom pulled herself away from meal prep long enough to sit down with Claire. She was famished, but Claire's goal was to keep the snacking light until mealtime. Her willpower was sapped by the glass of wine her mom poured for her, and she found herself crushing almost an entire bowl of chips and dip that had been set out next to her on the couch. "So you're certainly not giving into the college lifestyle, I can see. You're so skinny! Do you need more money on your meal plan?" "Oh come on mom, I'm 21 - I can pretty much eat whatever I want for now. Not that I do." Claire had been to a few parties this year, but always kept it to one or two beers. "I'm looking forward to going all out today, though!" "You'd better bring it, kiddo. We have a 30-pound bird, and it looks like everyone has brought enough sides to feed an army. Good thing they're sticking around the rest of this weekend, or we'd be digging out of leftovers for months!" The next few hours went by in a bit of a blur - Claire caught Jake's eye from across the room, but didn't manage to say hi. He was as wiry and handsome as ever. Claire found herself picking at this and that, but still had quite an appetite when the meal began. And what a meal it was! Her mom had not lied - the table was filled with the turkey, stuffing, rolls, gravy, and cranberry sauce. The counters had been put into use holding sides like corn pudding, creamed spinach, cinnamon rolls and so on. Her aunt on her dad's side, Jenny, had moved to the south and just married Joey, a large southern gentleman. Joey had bizarrely brought ribs...sort of a Thanksgiving faux pas, thought Claire. But on Claire's third trip to the sides counter, she thought she ought to try one...and immediately regretted that she was feeling nearly full. It was the most succulent, tangy, perfectly seasoned thing she'd ever had in her life. She had planned for this to be her final plate so as to save some room for dessert, but as soon as she had cleared it, she inhaled deeply, got up from the table, and loaded up her plate with three more ribs (and some creamed spinach; gotta balance all that meat off with some veggies). When she was done, she was more full than she'd ever been in her life. She was glad Jake was sitting over at the satellite table in the other room, so he wouldn't see her face smeared with barbeque sauce, or how gingerly she had to walk over to the dessert buffet. Claire didn't know how she was going to deal with dessert - she'd spied about 5 different pies and cakes she desperately wanted to try when getting a sneak peak at the fridge early this morning. She figured she could get away with cutting minuscule slivers of each, but when she arrived at the buffet, her relatives had formed a murderer's row, looking expectantly at the folks approaching, ready to cut simply massive hunks of the item they'd brought. Claire couldn't say no and she walked away from the dessert table with two plates, loaded down with six full-sized servings of dessert. The three glasses of wine she'd been poured at dinner left her head spinning a bit, but also helped her to really relax and loosen up her stomach muscles. With the pressure of not disappointing any of her relatives greater than the pressure on her stomach, which she had now sort of tucked over her yoga shorts, she worked her way through the piles of pie and cake - lemon meringue, apple, pumpkin, pecan, German chocolate, and a bread pudding that her uncle Joey had brought that hadn't looked like much this morning, but turned out to be the best of the bunch. Claire felt high. She slumped back in her chair. It's amazing how we feel versus how we look. She felt like she was going to burst, like she was 8 months pregnant. The rest of her family saw a drowsy-looking waifish girl with a delicate chin. Phyllis looked enviously at her. True, had Claire been wearing a more revealing top, they'd have seen a pretty serious food baby, but surely one that would pass and leave Claire's delicate hips and thighs untouched by the time tomorrow rolled around. A couple hours later, when Claire became ambulatory again, she wandered into the living room where the men (and most of the women) were watching the final Thanksgiving Day game - the Lions were down by 14 against the Bears with three minutes left in the game, on their own 10 yard line. Her uncle James, of course, was a bit of a degenerate gambler, and had bet on the Bears -6.5. He offered Claire a beer - even though her stomach had settled a bit since the feast, the thought of 12 ounces of bubbly carbs in her stomach didn't sound great. She declined. "Oh come on, have a little fun," James implored. "Can't we change this to a Christmas movie? As soon as the Thanksgiving meal is done with, it's time to turn the corner! Plus the Lions aren't going to come back!" "Sure, they won't win, but they could still get a touchdown and two-point conversion, and then I'm fucked!" Claire didn't know football that well but knew the tone of her uncle's voice - he was grasping at straws. "Tell you what - if you lose your bet, I'll drink TWO beers. But if you don't, I get to pick the next thing we all watch." The room agreed and they settled in for the last three minutes. Improbably, Matt Stafford started throwing laser beams over the middle, and the Bears defense didn't seem that interested in stopping him. A sack left the Lions in 4th and 13 with 0:40 left, but Stafford scrambled for 16 yards and went out of bounds inside the 20 of the Bears. The next pass was a quick out to the sidelines that the Bears defender tried to jump for an interception, which left the wide receiver with a waltz into the end zone. One of the announcers, Chris Collinsworth, chimed in "now it's unlikely, and most teams wouldn't do this, but the stats say you should go for 2 here." His partner, Al Michaels, a bit of a degenerate gambler himself, cheekily said "well this probably won't matter a lot to the Lions or Bears, but a lot is riding on this." Sure enough, the Lions went for 2 - and converted! Claire heard the sound of two beers being cracked, and her uncle moaning at his misfortune. The Bears recovered the onside kick, and kneeled out the clock. Claire gingerly sipped her first beer. James put on It's A Wonderful Life before leaving the room, muttering to himself. A woman of her word, Claire found herself sloshing herself to bed after the two beers and random munchies that made their way into her mouth during the movie. It had been a glorious day of eating. Back in her room, she took off her blouse, and laughed at her absurd silhouette - a mound sticking out of the middle of an otherwise willowy body. Good thing this was just once a year. Although there were going to be plenty of leftovers hanging around all weekend, tempting her. She'd have to go for a run tomorrow, she thought to herself as she dozed off. **You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant...** "Rise and shine, campers! Love playing that classic from Arlo Guth-" ::SMACK:: "Goddammit!" Claire looked around the room, a bit disoriented. She'd forgotten to turn off her alarm clock again. The DJs must have had Friday off, and were playing the tape from yesterday. Kind of a bad decision, since Alice's Restaurant was good for maybe once a year, tops, and from there got a little tiresome. Claire looked down at her slightly bloated stomach and thought about going for a run. But first...she felt a weird hollowness...as if she hadn't eaten for an entire day. This was how she'd felt yesterday morning, but she had *certainly* eaten yesterday. Before her run, she'd just grab a snack from the kitchen to give herself a little energy. She pulled on her yoga pants and loose flowy top, which she somehow must have ** folded before going to bed last night? She didn't remember doing that but they were right on the top of her suitcase. Stealing into the kitchen, she was surprised by her uncle James sitting there. "Oh look who decided to get up early! You know, Santa doesn't come for another month, right?"
  10. **You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant...** "Rise and shine, campers! Love playing that classic from Arlo Guth-" ::SMACK:: Claire cursed herself for forgetting to unset her radio alarm clock the night before. She'd been working her ass off at college all semester, waking at 6am to go on her runs, before showering and getting ready for classes. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday, and she'd even forgone eating since a small breakfast the prior day, so she could be ready for maximum gluttony today. Her plan was to sleep in until maybe 10 or so, and begin the feast. But now she was up at 6am, famished, with none of her extended family likely to wake for several hours, and no appetizers likely to appear for several more. She threw on her stretchiest yoga pants underneath a loose and flowy top. She'd managed to avoid the freshman 15, and any sophomore 60, and junior...jellybelly? in her first nearly five semesters of college. But her 5'7", 115 pound frame would look absurd with the amount of food she intended to put into it today, and she didn't feel like showing her dozens of relatives her likely epic food baby. Especially not her cousin, Jake. Woah, don't worry, this isn't that kind of story. Jake was her aunt's adopted son, and she got to see him once a year when they came to visit on Thanksgiving. He had grown over the years into a wiry, handsome devil. The fact that he wasn't technically a blood relation became more important to Claire every Thanksgiving. She'd never really found a way to broach the topic with him...have YOU ever thought about how to ask your cousin out? Now that they were both 21 and their parents would let them have some wine and beer this year, maybe inhibitions would be lowered? Maybe something would just happen? Despite her intentions to save her appetite for the feast, Claire realized she couldn't wait the five hours before the deviled eggs appeared. She tiptoed into the kitchen, with vague designs that all ended in some sort of hearty breakfast. "Oh look who decided to wake up early!" her uncle James whispered from the dimly lit kitchen. "You know Santa doesn't come for another month, right?" One of James' go-to jokes was pretending not to know what holiday it was. Never got old. James had even brought a carton of eggnog as a practical gag, which he was adding to his coffee at the moment. Claire leaned into the fridge and realized that it was chock-full of everyone's Thanksgiving ingredients and dishes, with nary an egg or a carton of orange juice to be found. "Guess I'm just looking to make a down-payment on the pig-out session today," she said, gathering what she thought would be undetectable morsels from the side dishes that had already been finished and were chilling in the fridge. When she turned around to face her uncle, he looked shocked at the large paper plate she held, heaped with corn pudding, cranberry sauce, three kinds of mini pies, and other assorted goodies. "Well it's not like you can't afford it! Tell me, do you do ANYTHING other than run and study up at that college of yours? You're skin and bones! Here, have some eggnog to wash it down." He poured her a tall glass of eggnog, and she thanked him as she carried it back to her room. She liked her uncle, but just was not quite ready for his energy so early in the morning. Claire dug into her pilfered goods with relish. Cold or not, this was the best breakfast she'd had in months, probably partly because she hadn't eaten for nearly a day. She found herself modestly satisfied after finishing the plate, and maybe a little more than satisfied after chugging the 8oz glass of eggnog, just to keep it from going bad. She found herself drifting off back to sleep... *You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant...* "Rise and shine campers! Love playing that classic from Arlo Guth-" "WHAT THE HELL?" Claire woke with a start, crumbs of mini pies falling off of her loose flowy top. She looked at her radio alarm clock, which had just flipped over to 10:01am. After re-orienting herself, she remembered that the classic rock station plays Alice's Restaurant every few hours on Thanksgiving. She heard noises from the kitchen, and felt her stomach rumble - phew. She hadn't ruined her appetite with her morning smorgasbord, and now she was awake at just the right time to start eating. This was going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.
  11. Is she going to match you pound for pound? Do you want her to?
  12. Surprised you haven't gotten any replies to this. Great story, and almost more impressive is the way you've captured the characters. This is entirely believable Annie behavior.
  13. She's having a biscuit and another biscuit
  14. I sort of figured out my own question--the girl (Chelsea) is in this thread, but there were definitely more pics at one point, on the old forum--anyone know where they might be?
  15. She looked kind of like Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) when she was thinner--she gained a lot of weight and one of her bigger pictures, she was wearing a yellow dress. In one of her intermediate pictures, she was in a tight volleyball uniform. Anyone remember who she was?
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