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Weird, But Sweet (Complete Story, 1/18/23, Bonus Material added 1/25/23)


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Chapter 20

            Zack closed the door to his office behind him so we could have some privacy.  He’d sent his assistant (a gorgeous little twink named Neil) on lunch break as soon as he’d delivered ours, so it was just the two of us.

            At first, we were just eating our lunches and chatting about nothing in particular.  Then, when we were about 75% done with the meal, Zack looked at me and said, “What’s this about, Roy?  Not that I don’t enjoy your bonhomie, but I was expecting something witch-related.”

            “I didn’t want to dive right in to witch stuff.  It feels rude.”

            “Please,” Zack encouraged.  “Dive.”

            “Well, it turns out,” I explained, “I’m a healing he-witch.  I take after my mother, who was also a healing witch.  Healing witches are incredibly rare in the witch community.”  I took the journal out of my bag.  “It’s all in this book.”

            “Healing witch.  So, like a doctor?”

            I screwed my face up and said, “Not really.  If what I’ve read is correct, healing witchcraft is really good at treating acute injuries, boosting your immune system, healing you from mystical afflictions, things like that.  I can’t, like, cure cancer or give someone a heart transplant.  It’s not a replacement for traditional medicine.”

            In a ghoulish, Boris Karloff voice, he asked, “Can you bring back the dead?”

            “What?  No!  What?”  I emphatically shook my head.  “No!  Why ask that?  It’s healing magic, not necromancy.  I’m more like a witchy first aid kit.  One that comes with vitamin C, echinacea, and a bottle of Curse-B-Gone.”

            “Still, nifty skill set to have,” Zack said, nodding enthusiastically.

            I showed him my book, pointing to the handwritten name “Katherine Whitaker.”  “My mother wrote this.  I just got it last night, and I’m still making my way through it.  She was an amazing witch.  She intuited and understood this stuff in a way that’s breathtaking.  When I read this, it’s like I can hear her in my head, and it makes just as much sense to me.  She invented half of the spells in this book.  She was trying to blend Western medicine with witchcraft and had even seen some success.  Like, here.”  I flipped to the relevant page. 

            Zack squinted at the page, scrutinizing it closely.  Then, he looked at me with a confused look on his face.  “What am I looking at?”

            “What it says it is,” I responded, finding his answer bizarre.  “It’s a blessing that makes medicine more potent.  But, it doesn’t last very long.  You have to take it immediately after the blessing, or the spell doesn’t work.  She was trying to solve that problem when she died.  According to her marginal notes, she lived six months longer than she should have because she was blessing her own kidney medication.”

            Zack nodded, prompting me to continue.

            “I’m still processing this stuff, but it all clicks for me in a way that curses never did.  If I understand some of the material in this book, I can use it to help me on my quest for muscle growth.”

            “Like with Mason?” Zack asked, flexing his completely non-muscular arm.

            “No, not even a little.  A change that sudden and that dramatic that isn’t just a glamour?  That’s curse territory.  And even if I could get that big, I wouldn’t get that big.”

            “Did you hear what you just said?” Zack asked.

            “I mean, I’ve always wanted to be big, since I was a teen—250 or 260, something like that.  But I didn’t put my all into it because I like being the smaller guy.  If we’re talking wet dreams and fantasies, I want to be undeniably huge, but I want my man to be undeniably huger.  But I’d put that dream away because I fell in love with a skinny hipster…”

            “And now Mason Schwarzenegger is so gigantic that you can get as big as you want and still be the little missus.”

            “Exactly!” I said.  “And healing magic can help with that.”

            Zack’s look of incomprehension showed me he needed more.

            I continued.  “To build muscle, when you work out, you actually make tiny tears in the muscle fibers, and when your body repairs the tissue, it’s a little bit bigger.  You do that consistently enough, the muscle gets noticeably bigger and stronger.”

            “And there are spells in here that help you with that.”  Zack picked up the book and leafed through it.  He looked at me puzzled.  “No wonder you haven’t finished reading it,” he said, a cryptic tone in his voice.  He scrutinized one of the spells.  “This book makes sense to you?”

            “Eerily so.”

            With a sour look on his face, he closed it and slid it back to me.  “As far I’m concerned, it’s useless, but I’m not the one casting spells.”  He shook his head.  “How can this help you get bigger?”

            “There are spells in here that boost your body’s own tissue growth.  It’s usually used to speed up the healing of a wound or getting rid of a scar, but I could modify it.  And I could couple that with a blessing on my supplements, make them more efficient.  If I’m successful, less muscle fatigue so I can work out more often and work out more intensely without overtraining.  If I’m successful, less time for my body to repair the muscle damage, so I get bigger faster.  If I’m successful, I can make progress in months that should take years.”

            “Sounds peachy keen,” Zack said.  “Why tell me?”

            “I need someone to tell me if it sounds crazy.”

            “Of course, it sounds crazy.”  Zack got wide-eyed.  “Crazy awesome!  If you were some beginner, I might advise against hitting fast-forward, but you’ve been lifting for years.  You’ve already got great conditioning, you know how to eat right, you know how to lift properly and without injuring yourself…”

            “And even if I didn’t,” I said, interrupting.  “I’ve got this.”  I tapped my mother’s book.

            “Exactly,” Zack said weakly, eyeing the book untrustingly.  More assertively, he continued with, “I say go for it.  Was that all you needed?  Someone to say hell yeah?  If so,” he cleared his throat, “Hell yeah!”

            “That, and…”  I exhaled loudly.  “I need someone to know what my plan is in case it backfires.  I can’t foresee it backfiring, but if it does, I need someone to know that the cause is mystical so that the appropriate people are contacted.”

            “Got it.  And you don’t want to worry Mason.”  He winked.

            I didn’t quite understand the wink, so I said, “Yeah.  Thanks.”

            Zack dismissed my thanks with a wave of his hand.  “You know, if I was a he-witch, I’d find some way to take Mason’s glorious cock up my ass.”

            “That’s my fiancé you’re talking about!”

            “And you’re welcome for the lovely compliment I paid him,” Zack said, spinning idly in his chair.  “I’m a size queen and a big ol’ bottom, and Mason’s cock is the stuff of legends.”

            “I’ll tell your husband you said that.”

            Zack blew a raspberry.  “We’ve already role played it.  Sammy’s hung like a horse, and it’s our favorite sex game to pretend his cock is even bigger.”

            “Sammy’s hung?”

            Zack nodded gravely.  “Until I’d seen your man naked, Sammy had the biggest cock I’d even seen.  He hides it so people don’t stare.”

            “I’m not much of a bottom,” I admitted.

            “That’s another way of saying you’re sometimes a bottom,” he pointed out.  “So, as long as you’re training your muscles, train downstairs, too.”

            “Mason’s cock is like a fire hydrant.  I could seriously injure myself.”

            Mein Gott, du bist ein Arschloch,” he said, exasperated.  “You’re a mystical first aid kit.”

            “Good point,” I said. “Thanks for the idea.”

            “Game of backgammon before you go?”

            Zack really had a way radically swinging the topic of conversation.  I looked at the clock, and said, “I’ve got time.”

            “If you cheat with magic, I’ll know.”

            I glowered, saying, “Like I told you, I’m a healing he-witch.”

            “Don’t play coy with me, bub.  I’ve seen you float a weight rack.  If I see you so much as look at the dice funny, it’s game over.”

            “Fair enough, I said.”

            As I rolled, he said, “Hey, can you cure a hangover?”

            I nodded and moved my pieces.  “There’s a spell for that.”

            “Expect my call Sunday morning.”

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Chapter 21

            When I got back from lunch, I ran up to the apartment to change clothes real quick.  I popped into the kitchen to tell Mason I was home, but only found a half-eaten lunch.  I went to look for him, and I found him sitting naked on our living room couch. 

            He was flexing his left arm, watching the muscle bulge and swell, its prodigious roundness draped in too-tight skin, a thick vein running down its length.  He just stared at it, contracting and relaxing it, transfixed by his own arm.  His right hand was on his cock, lazily stroking it.  It was half-hard; his hand didn’t fit around it.  His eyes were red and bleary, and I could tell from the flush on his cheek and the crumpled towel nearby that Mason had just jacked off, and his cock was deflating, not inflating.

            I cleared my throat.

            “Hey, Roy,” he said dreamily.

            “Seems like I just missed a show,” I said.

            Mason was still staring at his arm.  “Show’s still going,” he said, continuing to flex his arm.  “It’s so big.”  With his deeper, sexier voice, all the words had a sultry bass to them.

            “Gigantic,” I said, joining him on the couch, sitting behind his arm so we could both stare at his immensity.

            “It’s inhumanly big.  And it’s attached to me.  It’s my arm.  My arm is big, and it’s mine.  I’m big.”  He flexed more powerfully than he had before.  “I’m used to my arm being this spindly little thing.  Not malnourished, but undersized.  Been that way my whole life.  And now, there’s this giant arm, corded with thick, brawny muscle, an arm bigger than a bodybuilder’s, and it’s my arm.”

            “It is,” I said, cozying up to him, putting my chin on his round, muscular shoulder.

            “I was washing my lunch dishes as a surprise for you, and it was swelling bigger every time I scrubbed.  It was mesmerizing.  This bulge of flesh that would periodically grow every time I exerted any force or bent my arm even a little.  This mass of muscle that got in my way as I stretched to put things in the drying rack.  This giant slab of flesh moved with me. And suddenly, I was hard.”

            “Your arms are gorgeous,” I agreed with him.  “Whenever you wear one of your t-shirts, the mass of your arm exploding out of your clothes is an erotic thrill.  I love looking at it.”

            “My own arm got me horny,” Mason said.  “I turned myself on.”

            “I’m not too proud to say I’ve done that to myself, too.  And I’m nowhere near as big as you.”

            “I wanted to get to the bathroom or the bedroom ASAP, but I only made it as far as the couch before my cock demanded immediate release.  I jacked off, staring at my arm like this.”

            “I’ve gotten off on myself too,” I shared.  “It’s hot.”

            “It’s really me.  It’s all really me.”  He was still staring at his biceps.

            “You’ve been this big for a few days now.”

            “But it felt like a costume.  Hell, that’s half the reason I did the fashion show.  I keep expecting to take off the muscle suit, or wake up and be me again, but this is me.  I’m this heavy, massive muscle blimp now.”

            I playfully nibbled on his shoulder, then said, “The sexiest muscle blimp I ever saw.  With the biggest cock.”

            Mason looked down, leaning over his pecs, and saw his deflating cock.  “That’s right.  I’m big everywhere.  I’m giant.”  He squeezed his cock, and it started filling back up with blood, starting getting hard again.  He stopped flexing his left hand and grabbed his chest.  “Holy fuck, this pec is all me.  This is me.”  He looked side to side.  “I’m so wide, and thick.  And big.”  He was fully hard again.

            “Want me to take care of that?” I asked, pointing to his cock.

            “Oh, god, Roy, I’m immense!”

            “I’ll take that as a yes,” I said as I knelt in front of him.  I licked my tongue up and down his shaft, stopping periodically to put as much of the head of the shaft in my mouth as possible.  It was mere seconds before he was cumming again, what was likely part two of the orgasm I’d missed.  He bellowed loudly, his eyes rolled back into his head, every inch of his body quivered and trembled in ecstatic bliss.  He burst like a geyser, his warm cum coating my face, clinging to my lips and chin, getting stuck in my scruff, and dripped down onto my shirt.

            When his last spurt subsided, Mason’s breathing started to return to normal, and he looked down on me.

            “You’d look good with a beard,” he said, smiling.

            “Maybe I’ll grow one,” I said.

            “Maybe you should.”  Then he pointed at the cum dripping down my chest.  “I ruined your shirt.”

            “I was changing it anyway,” I said, stripping it off and wiping my face clean.

            “You might want to keep some clothes on.  You are delicious.”

            I slapped his thigh and stood up.  “Come on, sweetness.  We got a bakery to run, a workout to do, a world to conquer.”  He stared at my torso.  I couldn’t blame him.  My abs were sharper than they’d ever been, and my body hair highlighted them well.  “If you behave, I’ll fuck you senseless before bed tonight.”

            “You’d better,” he said, seducing me with his voice.

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Chapter 22

            When we went to the gym later that afternoon, Mason was still feeling himself.  He wore the most scandalously small workout clothes I have ever seen in my life.  Instead of his usual t-shirt, he wore a skimpy tank top that showed off all his glorious chest hair and one nipple (as the shirt was apparently designed to do).  His lats, visible from the front if he even slightly raised his bulging arms, exploded out of the armholes, almost like a whale’s tail exploding from the sea.  Instead of his usual leggings, he wore gym shorts that were so small they may as well have been Daisy Dukes.  If he wasn’t under Melody’s spell, his balls and cock would have been tumbling out rather than precariously packaged as an unignorable protuberance.  And, of course, his clothes were in a fluorescent green color, drawing attention to him even more. 

            As we jogged to the gym, I couldn’t help but stare at his massive, meaty thighs.  How he had to maneuver around them as he ran, a slight sway to his canter; his legs were just too thick to move normally.  It caused his mighty ass to shift hypnotically as he ran, especially as each cheek flexed and contracted with its own exertions to keep him moving.  And every time a foot hit the ground, his leg would quake and reverberate with the force of his own godly strength. 

            His display was such an erotic thrill that everyone we passed on our way to the gym stared.  Everyone.  Two people pulled out their phones to film him; one more tried but dropped it to the sidewalk.  Then, a car slowed down to stare at him, which caused a mild fender bender.

            At this point, I knew I had to get in front of Mason, or I would add to the pedestrian chaos.  As I sped up to pass him, I first had to get even with him.  That was when I noticed that his overfilled basket bounced and swayed ponderously with each footfall, even more hypnotically than his ass.  I looked up to break the trance and saw Mason’s face.  He was grinning ear to ear from all the attention.  I expect he was even exaggerating his sway to draw more onlookers’ gazes.

            As I passed him fully, Mason slapped my ass forcefully.  I looked back over my shoulder, and he had an innocent expression on his face.  “What?” he said.  “You didn’t slap mine.  The universe felt out of whack.  One of us has to touch the other inappropriately, or who even are we?”

            I jogged the rest of the way looking forward, mostly oblivious to the distraction Mason was causing.  When we got to the gym, I was shocked to notice that three men had joined us in our jog.

            “Can we get day passes?” they asked the receptionist while staring at Mason.

            Mason winked and blew them a kiss—a friendly, not flirtatious one.

            “If they follow us home,” I said, “it’ll be your responsibility to feed them and clean up after them.”

            When Tank saw Mason, his jaw literally dropped—he stood there with his mouth hanging open.  Then, there was a twitch in his pants that quickly thickened and lengthened. 

            “You two enjoy your workout,” I said.

            “We’re not working out together?” Mason asked, looking a little worried.

            “You’ve surpassed me,” I responded.  “You’re in Tank’s capable hands,” I reassured him, and went to prepare my supplements and blessing. Thankfully, as a professional baker, I had everything I needed to make the blessing work, even the palm sugar and sea salt.  I put in my Airpods—connected to nothing—so when I recited my spells under my breath, it would look like I was just singing quietly to my music.

            With my first exercise of leg curls, I pushed myself past the breaking point to exhaustion.  To remedy that, I did my twist on one of my mother’s healing spell, and I no longer felt on fire with lactic acid.  I honestly felt refreshed, like I hadn’t even jogged to the gym.  But when I looked down at my thighs, they were still pumped.  So, I decided to do another set at my max weight, and it was like starting my whole workout over, but I was already warmed up and primed.  That last set may have been the best, most effective set of leg curls I’d ever done.

            Every exercise was like that.  By the end, my legs had pumped up so red and swollen, I could see every vein and sinew.  My legs were fighting the seams of my leggings.  And yet, I felt no discomfort or pain.  Even though I was covered in sweat, I could have done my whole, grueling, freakishly intense workout over again.  I knew that if I pushed myself too far that my legs would just split open, and I didn’t have any spell that could solve that problem, so I stopped when my legs looked purple with anger.

            Mason, for his part, had done his own grueling leg day with Tank.  His legs were similarly pumped, but as he was in short shorts, his bloated quads were of full display.  A crowd of gym-goers had formed around him just to watch the show. 

            Tank, saluting me, said, “Mister’s all yours,” and then took the hand of one of his daintier admirers and went off to the locker room, likely for a surreptitious fuck. 

            When I came over to Mason for our jog home together, he was lying flat on his back, rubbing his poor, distended thighs.  His gigantic crotch bulge was wobbling in time with the motion.

            I grabbed his left thigh and began massaging it.  “This help?”

            “So much,” he said, gritting his teeth on the threshold of pleasure and pain. 

            “Did Tank call you Mister?” I asked.

            “He did at that.  They’ve all started calling me Mister,” Mason said, then, still flat on his back, he launched into a screed.  “Why did you abandon me to that sicko?  And why do we jog to and from the gym on leg day?  Do you hate me?  Are you punishing me for some grievous wrong I have committed?”

            “It’s part of the workout.  It’ll help your recovery.  And Tank approves.”

            “We have a car, though.”

            “Which you haven’t been in since you weighed 130 pounds.  Promise me I can watch you try to get behind the wheel of our car for the first time post-curse.  I’ll want my phone ready to record it.”

            “Why aren’t you in pain?” he asked.  “Your legs look fit to pop.”

            Refusing to blow my cover, I said, “Trust me, I’m in plenty pain.  I’ve just been working out for longer, so I’m used to it.  You’ll adjust too.”  As I said that, I redoubled my massaging efforts and said a quick pain relief spell under my breath to get Mason off his back.  “This should help loosen things up.”  It was different from the one I’d cast on myself; I didn’t want Mason to get suspicious.  It would probably only last until we got home, but at least he would be mobile.

            “That does help, thanks,” he said.

            I lovingly tapped his absurd crotch bulge, and helped him stand.

            Once Mason was standing, a muscular man in his late 50s with mostly-grey hair and a ruddy complexion came over to us.  I knew who it was—he was Carey Sullivan, the owner of the gym I’d mentioned to Mason when he first started coming here.  In fact, he owned over a dozen gyms in over a dozen cities.  I’d seen him poke around this place because it was his favorite of all of his gyms.  As it was a gay gym, it was also his favorite spot to pick up unsuspecting twenty-somethings.  I’d never actually interacted with Carey, but he wasn’t hard to recognize.

            “Mason Lombard?” he asked, offering his hand.  “Mister?” he clarified.

            “I am.  And you?”

            “Carey Sullivan.  He owns this place,” I said quietly.

            “Love your gym, Mr. Sullivan” Mason said, disingenuously.

            “Carey.  Only bankers call me Mr. Sullivan.”

            “Carey, then,” Mason acquiesced.  “Big fan of the gym.”

            “Emphasis on the big,” Carey said.  He looked Mason up and down, scrutinizing him lasciviously.  “You’re a damn sight near naked, Mister.  The receptionist called me in to talk to you.”

            “Oh, am I violating some dress code?” Mason asked.  “I’m kinda new to this gym, sorry.  Won’t happen again.”

            “Seems you drew a crowd with this little get-up.”

            “Comes with the territory,” Mason said.  “I’m sorry if I caused a disturbance.”

            Carey circled Mason, continuing his visual evaluation, as he said, “Three days passes, four new memberships, and six people buying expensive upgrades—all just in the time since you stepped foot through that door today.  Who knows what our juice bar receipts will be?  I’d wager we made a killing in cold drinks the way you raise the temperature in here.  If this has been you making a disturbance, Mister, I’d like to see you cause a ruckus.”


            “This gym caters to a gay clientele, and most of my men would kill to look like you.  Hell, half of them would sell their mothers to look at you.”

            “What’s the problem?” Mason asked, rubbing his stomach absent-mindedly, the same way he’d earlier rubbed his thighs.

            “No problem.”

            “Then, I’m not violating a dress code?”

            Carey scoffed.  “Fuck no.”  Then, he added, “There’s no rule against you working out shirtless or wearing nothing but posers.”  These sounded more like suggestions than statements of fact.  “Feel free to wear as little as humanly possible.  Hell, I could probably get special dispensation from the mayor to let you work out in the altogether.  She and I are strip club buddies—I know what she likes.” 

            “You came down to ask me to wear less clothing when I work out?”

            “No.  I just came down to look at you.  Receptionist sent me a photo, had to see you in the flesh.”  The word “flesh” sounded wet and suggestive coming out of his mouth.  Then, he whistled.  “You’re older than I normally go for, but I’ll make an exception for a specimen as fine as you.  Please tell me you’re single.”


            “Open relationship?”


            “Fiancé’s away a lot?”

            “Fiancé’s right here,” I said.

            “Of course, he is,” Carey said, looking at me.  “Yeah, it takes a man like you to get a man like him.”  He stopped for a second, then said, “Could I talk you both into a no-strings threeway?”

            “No,” Mason and I said at the same time.

            “Had to shoot my shot,” he said, then sauntered away.  When he reached the front door, he threw up one hand, pointed at us with it, and said, “I wasn’t kidding about the mayor.  Let me know.”

            Shrugging off that weird encounter, Mason and I gathered our things and left.

            As Mason and I jogged home, our legs over-pumped from our workout, I was amazed at how easy the jog was for me and how little it felt like I’d worked out.  Clearly, anyone looking at my legs would know I’d just tortured them at the gym, but they felt like I’d just got out of bed or a warm shower.

            Mason was similarly feeling no pain, but he was stiffer than me as he moved.  Once we were two blocks from the gym, he asked, “What was that all about?  With Mr. Sullivan, and all the guys drooling over me and calling me Mister?”

            “You’re a gorgeous, muscular, hung man dressed in practically nothing while exercising.  That is the plot of many dirty films.”

            “But I’ve been to the gym before at this size,” he pointed out.  “Sure, I pulled focus and people watched, but their reaction today was cartoonish and surreal.”

            “You were dressed sensibly those other days,” I reminded him.

            “Me?  Dress sensibly?  Never,” Mason joked.

            “You were dressed like an average hipster,” I corrected, “not like a porn star from the ‘80s.”

            “Yeah, I got these from a knock-off Ken doll.”  He rubbed his stomach again, this time gingerly like it was bothering him.  “Thought they’d make me feel sexy.  I’m going back to dressing like me.  This was a fun experience, but it’s not one I’m anxious to repeat.”

            “Glad to hear it,” I said.  “If you made this a regular habit, I’d have to learn armed combat to keep the other men away.  And I’m a healer, not a fighter.”  Then, I slapped his ass and sped up.  “Race you home.”

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Chapter 23

            Over the next two weeks, I kept up the steady double workouts and blessing my supplements.  And, oh, what an amazing two weeks it was.  By the end, I was 196 pounds.  Five pounds in two weeks.  It was probably more than that, actually.  Despite all the extra food I was eating, I was more shredded than I’d ever been in my life, and I had low body fat to begin with.  My clothes were fitting me a little more tightly, my pecs and ass especially fighting my clothes.  And my core had tightened up something fierce.  I’d never even dreamed of having abs this defined: an honest-to-goodness six-pack with a deep, tantalizing Adonis belt.  I was hornier than I’d ever been, sneaking off for furtive jack-off sessions at the gym and in the office.  And then plowing Mason like crazy before we curled up next to each other to sleep.

            As if that wasn’t delightful enough, the business continued to boom.  Beyond boom.  We were making money hand over fist—running out of some of our standby products by 10 AM.  I was deliriously happy.

            But I could see something was off in Mason’s eyes.  He was less and less thrilled with our love making.  His eyes were often raw and swollen, and I more than once caught him holding his stomach, rubbing it gently.  When I asked him what was wrong, he’d put on a fake smile, say nothing, and then go back to whatever he was doing.

            One afternoon, when we came home from the gym, Mason crashed on the couch, and I went into the kitchen to make us a snack.

            When I came back out, I saw Mason on the couch, shirtless, swollen and red from the workout.  This time, he wasn’t just rubbing his stomach; he was cradling it with both hands.

            I handed him his snack, and he refused it.  “No.  Giles made me drink two additional extra-large protein shakes today, and they aren’t sitting well.”

            “What’s up?” I asked him, joining him on the couch.  “Something’s definitely wrong.”

            Mason said nothing and just kept rubbing his stomach.

            “Is this about the curses?  Do you need me to call Gramps?  It’s been two weeks.”

            “Nothing like that,” Mason said.  His eyes were even more red than I thought they were.  But he said nothing more.

            “Spill, Mason.  Whatever you’re holding back, just tell me.”

            With a sigh, he asked, “I put up a good fight, didn’t I?”

            “I’m gonna need more info, sweetness.”

            “These last two weeks, I’ve tried to do the work to maintain this body, right?”

            “Of course you have,” I said as I gripped his thigh and shook it affectionately.

            “And if I surrender, you won’t think less of me, right?”

            “Surrender?” I asked.  I put down my snack and sidled up next to him, embracing him soothingly.  “What do you mean, ‘surrender’?”

            “I can’t do it,” he said.  “I’m always sore, I always reek of sweat, and I hate working out.  I just hate it.  I could put up with it when I was 200 pounds.  That was excruciating, but livable.  I dealt with being overfull and all the pain because I liked how I looked, and I was spending time with you, and I thought I’d eventually adjust.  But now, at 300?  Everything that was too hard to begin with is twice as hard.  My stomach is constantly full to bursting—it’s painful all the time.   I just can’t do it.  And I’m not even spending time with you anymore!  I’m spending it with Giles.  And that Carey guy is always perving on me now.  I kind of like the other gymgoers’ attention—I even like that they call me Mister.  But Carey stalks me like a wolf stalks a rabbit.  It makes me so uncomfortable, and a little scared.  And the gym takes up so much of my time.  I haven’t seen any of my friends in weeks, I’m behind on work for the bakery, I’m behind on planning our wedding, and I’m always so tired.  I just can’t do it anymore.”  He began rubbing his stomach harder.

            “It’s ok,” I said, rubbing his stomach with him.  “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”

            “I want to; I just can’t.  I like being the bigger guy, and I know you like bigger guys.”

            “I agreed to marry you when you were a skinny twink, if you recall.”
            “It’s not the same.  You don’t do it on purpose, but you’re just differently sexual now that I’m bigger than you.”

            “I’m sorry.”  I squeezed him.  “That must be dehumanizing.”

            “On the contrary.  You’re more attentive.  You look at me with more intensity.  I love it so much, but I can’t survive the upkeep of this body.”  He rubbed his stomach harder. 

            “Want me to make you some easily digestible food to settle your stomach?” I asked.

            “Don’t mention food.  I might have this huge body, but I still have my old stomach.  That didn’t get much bigger, if at all.  I can’t eat as much as I’m supposed to.  I was starting to eat more, sure, but then I got inhumanly huge in a blink.  And now Giles has me eating to bulk.  My stomach is always in shooting pain from constant overeating.  And the supplements agitate it further.  I’ve been half-finishing most of my shakes, and I’ve been hiding the food I can’t eat from you.  And…” he stopped, looking ashamed of himself.  “With all the intense workouts and overeating, I’ve been throwing up a lot, which just makes the pain so much worse.”

            “Why have you been hiding this from me?” I asked, concerned.

            “I thought it was growing pains, that I’d get over it.  But Giles weighed me at the gym today.  Over the last two weeks, I’ve lost seven pounds.   He just confirmed what I already knew.  I can feel myself getting smaller.  Giles has been having me bulk, and I lost seven pounds in two weeks.  Whatever magic made me this big isn’t keeping me this big.  Giles has been talking about steroids as a way to compensate.  But that wouldn’t solve the underlying problems, and I don’t want to prolong this nightmare.”

            I rocked him back and forth a little.  “Don’t do this to yourself.  I love you, not your muscles.”

            I love my muscles,” Mason said.  “But I can’t keep them.”

            “I can end that stomachache in two minutes if you’ll let me,” I said.  “But it’s a witchy solution.”

            “Do it!” he said.  I went out to the kitchen and came back with a ginger root.

            “Suck on this,” I said.

            He obeyed, and after he’d sucked for a full minute, I recited a quick little spell while rubbing his stomach counterclockwise.

            “It’s gone,” he said, a look of ecstatic relief washing over his face.  “For the first time in two weeks, not even the slightest pain.  Thank you.”

            “Now, if you really want to keep this muscle, I have a potential solution.  But it, too, is witchy.”

            “Really?” he said, dubiously.

            “There’s this spell my mother was working on before her kidneys started to give out.  The spell is supposed to prevent people who are chronically sick, or suffering from a prolonged illness, from losing too much weight.  But, she eventually stopped working on it.  She could never quite get the results she was looking for.  And it wouldn’t have made anyone better; it would’ve just stopped them from losing too much weight.  Her goal was to keep them nourished enough so they could fight the infection.”

            “That doesn’t sound like it applies here.”

            “I could amp it up to stop you from losing any weight.”  Then, after a pause, I added, “If I can get it working.”

            “You want to try an amped-up version of an unfinished spell on me?”  Mason looked at me leerily.

            “Don’t sound so scared,” I replied defensively.  “It’s healing magic.  It’s not like I’d be sacrificing a goat and feeding you its raw entrails.  The potion is somewhere between custard and Jell-O.  It was intended for the chronically sick to eat, after all.  The ingredients are almost entirely fruits and vegetables.  There’s some gelatin in it.  That’s like the harshest thing…”  I stopped dead.  I suddenly saw the inner workings of the spell and knew what to do.


            “Agar-agar,” I said, running to the kitchen.

            “What?” Mason said again, following me.

            “Agar-agar.  Or, just agar if you prefer.”  I was rooting through our cabinets, pulling out boxes and canisters, inspecting each one.

            “Agar-agar?” Mason asked.

            “My mother was thinking like a doctor-witch, not a baker-witch.”

            “I’m not a doctor, a baker, or a witch.  Explain it to me.”

            As I continued scouring the cabinets, I explained it.  “The potion needs a thickening agent, or it won’t coalesce.  My mother, who worked at a hospital, naturally thought of gelatin.  ‘Cause they give Jell-O to people at the hospital.  But gelatin is made from animal bones and skin.”  I found what I was looking for, and showed the small canister to Mason.  “Agar-agar is a gelatin-like thickening agent made from seaweed.  The spell wasn’t working because it needs to be all fruits and vegetables.  It just has to be.  Bones and skins in a plant-based potion is just asking for the spell to fail.”

            “How long would it take you to cook?” Mason asked.

            “Since I already have the agar-agar?  Half an hour to cook, four hours for it to set.  I’ll have to bless your spoon, and you’d have to eat the whole serving within 20 minutes of it setting for it to have any efficacy.”

            “And how often would I have to eat it?”  Mason asked, taking the agar-agar from my hand, shaking the mostly empty container.

            “Once every ten days should do it.  Once a week to be safe.”

            “I don’t know…”  Mason sounded skeptical.

            “If this works, you won’t even have to go to the gym anymore.  You won’t get any bigger, but…”
            Mason interrupted me.  “You had me at no more gym.  I’ll have it for dessert tonight.”

            That night after dinner, I served Mason the gray-burgundy thickly jiggling concoction.

            “Even if it’s foul, make sure to eat the whole bowl,” I reminded him.

            He took his first spoonful and said, “That is an unpleasant texture.”

            “How does it taste?”

            “Weird,” Mason said.  “But sweet.”

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