Jocelyn finished her sixth glass of wine and settled in to finish reading her newly acquired book on the occult. She had paid an enormous fee to get the book, the word being in the underground that some of the incantations actually worked. She considered what she would do if she had magical powers to transform her life. There would be many changes. Yes, many changes.
Jocelyn was wealthy, alone, miserable, and drunk. Wealthy because her company had gone IPO just over a year ago, and she was able to sell some of her shares and reap the benefits of so many years of hard work. It was nice to to have millions of dollars to play with. More importantly than the money was the validation. Validation to all the naysayers who said that a woman couldn’t succeed in the digital media business because it combined technical know how with the ability to be hard headed and obnoxious when the occasion called for it. She acknowledged that it was, perhaps, the need to be obnoxious which was one of the reasons she was alone. That, and the fact that she was obese, weighing in at two hundred and fifty pounds distributed in a rather unattractive way across her body. Yes, that was the primary reason that she was alone and miserable. She had never managed to get her obesity under control, and undertook constant dieting, none of which worked, but all of which put her in a continual bad mood. She focused on taking this out on her competitors, but acknowledged that perhaps a bit of it leaked through to her subordinates at work. And would probably even had an impact on friends, if she had any. And finally she was drunk, not heavily so, because it took more than six glasses to make someone her size drunk. Rather she was heavily tipsy.
She continued reading the book, then, after finishing it and finding that there was not much of interest, slammed it to the ground, and leaned back in her chair to drink another bottle of wine. As a result, she was well and truly drunk when she finally felt sleep enough go to bed, and only then glanced down at the book and discovered that she had cracked the binding and a sliver of parchment was hanging out of it. Intrigued, she picked up it and started reading it, struggling a bit with what looked to be two hundred year old English. The document contained a description of a demon which required no blood sacrifice and no binding of the soul to hell, but rather one which balanced karma. The demon could modify bodies and people’s perception of them and their own perception of the world. Generally, no material rewards ensued and there were limits, but it was definitely intriguing. Essentially, the evil received their just desserts in their lifetime and the good were rewarded and the people in the middle were nudged one way or the other. All it took was a summoning and signing of a contract.
“This is great,” she thought. Finally a chance to get the rewards that she deserved - more than just money. She avidly read through the description of the summoning: It required a pentagram sketched from ash, a candle, and a willing believer, all of which she had available in this very room. She was believer, though the extra bottle of wine may have had something to do with that. She thought about what she wanted out of life, and then set about the summoning.
With the candle burning and chanting a few nearly unpronounceable words, there was a flash, and a slightly built gentleman wearing an old style suit and hat appeared in the middle of the pentagram. He looked around a bit startled, his eyes went white for a few seconds while he reviewed the modern plane of existence, and then with a wave of his hand, he re-appeared with a modern, though nondescript, grey business suit.
“It’s best if I keep to an ordinary suit. Too many references to devils wearing Armani. I’m not that kind of demon,” he said to Jocelyn with a nod and assuming a slight English accent.
“Shit, it worked! I was trying to bluff myself that it would work, but now I really am a believer.”
“I get that every time,” stated the demon. “It is not unusual for humans to go through the eight stages of demon summoning, starting with rejection and finishing with acceptance and then contract. You seem like an intelligent woman, how about we skip the intervening stages and go directly to acceptance and contract.”
“You’ve got that right. I am ready to go.”
The demon noted her slurring her words, but simply considered that a modern day speech affectation. He had gotten used to the evolution of language through the ages. This was better than the grunts of Neanderthals in ages past.
“OK, please describe what you want as concisely as possible”, he said.
“I know exactly what I want: As you can see, I am pretty heavy and unattractive. What I want is to be beautiful. And I know exactly the look. I have my eye on the VP of marketing, he is a real hunk of man. However, he would never look at me because he is married to a gorgeous blonde, slim twit. Well actually, she probably isn’t a twit because she is a VP of sales at some company. Now what I want is to look just like her - long blonde hair, thin body, beautiful face, elegant arms and legs. But something extra, she is a bit thin up top and I want to have a bigger bust.” As she said this, she held her hands in front of her chest, showing figuratively what she wanted. The demon took careful note of the placement of the hands in this gesture.
“I want men to worship me at my feet for my beauty. I want them to desire me. They want to have sex with me.” Jocelyn waxed lyrical on this theme.
“OK, you want to look like Emily, the wife of Jack, your VP of marketing, but with larger breasts as you have noted in your gesture. And you want men to desire you deeply and worship you at your feet. Is that it?”, the demon stated. He scanned the pathways to evaluate the karmic effect and judged this request to result in neutral global karma when enacted.
“No, I want more. I want Emily, Jack’s wife, to become obese, more than I am. She’s a goody two shoes, so I want her good aspects to become bad and I want her bad aspects to become good. I want Jack to be separated from her.” Jocelyn described this with drunken glee.
“You want Emily to become obese and for her good aspects to become bad and her bad aspects to be good and to be separated from Jack.” Again, the demon scanned the pathways, looked quite startled for a moment, and acknowledged that this was well within his power to manage with neutral karma.
“And finally, I have the hots for Jack. I’m a great CEO you know, and it’s time that Jack to married the CEO. I want the company to build on its success with the most intelligent, beautiful, and charming CEO in the world!” She went on, again, waxing lyrical in her drunkenness, using the type of management speak so common in the corporate world.
“I see. You are a great CEO. So you want Jack to become infatuated with and the marry the beautiful, intelligent, and charming CEO of your company.” stated the demon.
“Yes! That’s what I want”.
“OK, let me see, Ah. I’ve got it. That took some work, but, by Jove, I think that we can do all of this and maintain neutral karma.” Stated the demon with satisfaction.
“And here is the contract with all the terms. Note that there is no soul in hell clause, no fine print, just the agreed upon points as discussed. No money back after the fact.” The demon handed over a parchment in which the words were etched in flame before turning black. He handed over a fountain pen to Jocelyn, and Jocelyn, with great drunken flourish, wrote her name at the bottom, and collapsed back into her chair and started snoring.
Jack arrived early, looked over at the open door of the CEO, sighed thankfully that she was out, and then went into the office of Julia, the Chief Financial Officer. Julia worked long hours, kept the finances in order, worked with all the teams, was committed to the company, and, most importantly, was the person everyone came to for help with the “wicked witch” CEO. When needed, she interceded between the CEO and the rest of the organisation, trying to manage the inevitable conflicts when Jocelyn went on a tirade. Julia was often on the receiving end of these verbal tirades, but seemed to manage it with calm and aplomb, though what she was feeling internally about this, she never discussed. To her credit, Jocelyn always supported Julia publicly, and they presented a united front to shareholders. As a result, the board looked favorably on Julia as a stable influence on the company executive team, and nicely counterbalanced the CEO’s admitted brilliance but overly strong personality. Julia was in her mid thirties, but unmarried, either from her work ethic, or more likely because she would be considered plain looking by any measure. Stick thin, with no real figure, and a plain face with hooked nose, she dealt with her lack of beauty with the same lack of judgment and calmness she did anything else. As a result of all of these factors, Julia was liked by all and judged harshly by none.
Jack eased himself into one of the chairs and Julia’s office and waited patiently for her to finish the email she was working on. Jack viewed her office as an oasis of calm in an otherwise hostile world. Jack could only imagine what life would be like if he could go home to someone like Julia and relax in the evenings. She had become his closest friend and his feelings for her were far from neutral. Studying her, he thought that she seemed more attractive this morning for some reason. He wasn’t sure if it was the luster of her hair, maybe her clothes seemed nicer, and even her nose seemed a bit straighter for some odd reason.
Julie looked up and smiled at Jack. She didn’t let the turmoil she felt whenever she saw him appear on her face. She was hopelessly infatuated with him, but was careful never to show this, and possibly losing his valued companionship. Julia had met his wife, Emily, and no one could compete with her looks, her elegance, her stylish clothes, and her intelligent demeanor. Jack and Emily seemed like Hollywood stars when the were together. But she saw Jack every day and saw past his looks to the admirable person that he was.
They reviewed the standard morning issues, identified hot spots to deal with, and then, door closed, discussed the real issue of the day.
“She’s getting worse, you know”, said Jack. “There isn’t a day that goes by when she doesn’t come to my office and yell about something. It’s as if she is re-living a ‘Bad Bosses of the 1980s’ drama. I know that she has driven the company forward, but she is getting out of control. I am not sure what to do”.
“I know, I know, I see it also, though she is not as hard on me as on you,” said Julia. “Weirdly, I think that this might be because she is attracted to you. You don’t see it, but she tracks you around the office with a hungry look in her eyes.”
“Oh, God, don’t tell me that’s part of the problem. I can’t do anything about my looks. It sounds like something from a school yard - she hits you because she likes you.” Jack rolled his eyes at the thought.
“If you have any thoughts on how I can deal with this, please tell me.” continued Jack.
“I will,” promised Julia.
As he left, he noticed that Julia was looking even more attractive than a few moments ago. Her dark hair had lengthened, her features seemed more regular and defined, and her nose seemed smaller yet again. Her top was a bit tighter fitting than before and showed off medium sized attractive breasts. Jack didn’t recall ever noticing Julia’s breasts before.
Jocelyn rolled off the couch where she had fallen asleep. She thought back to the occurrences from the previous night, and then dismissed it as a weird dream. However, as she stood up, she found that she was able to rise from the couch more easily than she had in years. She almost bounced off the couch. Quickly she ran to the bathroom and then stared at herself in the mirror. Her legs, arms, torso, face, everything had lost fat. She was by any measure still a heavy woman, but no longer would people think of her as obese. And her hair, blonde highlights streaked through her hair, looking like a very well crafted job at the hair dresser. She noticed that her clothes had shrunk to fit her, and fit quite nicely. Her boobs weren’t any larger, but whereas yesterday they were loose and hung down, needing help from her bra, today they had firmed up nicely. She stood there for almost a half hour, staring at herself in wonder, feeling her body, touching her face which was had also changed, becoming more regular, more refined. As she watched, she thought that she could see slight changes happening, her hair had turned just that little amount more blonde and less curly, and even her boobs had firmed up even more and then were suddenly a bit larger.
“Yes!” she shouted, “it’s happening.”
“I can’t wait to see what happens to Emily,” she said with nasty smile.
Emily had woken that morning after Jack left and went to the bathroom to shower. Curiously, she felt unusually slow and heavy as she moved around the shower, as if she had gained weight. She went over to the scales to check, and gasped when she saw that she was twenty pounds heavier than she should be. She ran over to the full length mirror in her bedroom and looked in horror at her body. Her smooth svelte legs, arms, and torso, were now soft and had a thin layer of fat. She pinched her tummy, and saw several inches of fat appear that wasn’t there yesterday. Also, her platinum blonde hair, of which she was so proud, looked a bit darker, and the hair was a bit frizzy, instead of the smooth lustrous locks that she normally had. Not knowing what to do, she went to her closet to put her clothes on to go find a doctor to see what was happening. She stared at her clothes. They had changed. Her designer outfits, so lovingly purchased on her Amex card were no more and she saw what looked to be a set of off-the-shelf department store blouses, skirts and pants. Even her panties and bra were different - the store brand rather than from a designer lingerie shop. She selected a coordinated top and skirt and found that, surprisingly, they fit her well. Her shoes had also changed, from the designer wrap around stilettos to some basic black heels that fit with her now generic corporate outfit. She stared at herself in the mirror for a few minutes and, to her horror thought that she saw her hair get a bit darker and frizzier, and her face fill out a bit with loose fat under the skin. And her entire body felt a bit heavier all of a sudden. She ran to the phone to call the doctor.
Fortunately, her doctor was available to see her, so she rushed to the doctors office. It took an hour to get to the office with the heavy traffic and during that hour she was convinced that she continued to feel changes happening. She kept glancing at herself in the rear view mirror and thought that she saw her hair continue to darken. She was in the waiting room only ten minutes before the nurse ushered back to the office, bringing her over to scales.
“You said on the phone that there were problems with your weight, so let’s check and compare to your baseline”, the nurse said.
Emily stepped on the scales and felt an internal horror as the nurse balanced the scales at 160 pounds, forty pounds more than her normal weight. The nurse looked down at her card.
“Yes, right on target. The notes comment that you are on a diet to try to lose about twenty pounds but it doesn’t look like you have been having much success.”
“But, but, that’s not right. I should be about 120 pounds, not 160.”
“Yes, dear, I know, that is an excellent target to strive for, but you might find it difficult to achieve with your large bones.”
As they passed a full length mirror, Emily noticed a mildly heavy set woman reflected in it. Then she realized that she was seeing herself. Her hair was brown and looked bit frizzy like it had been subjected to a bad perm. Her whole facial structure had changed, coarsened, and even her bones were larger. Her clothes had changed too, and she was now wearing Target brand blouse and pants and sensible flats on her feet. She reached into her purse to take out her drivers license to convince the nurse that she should have blonde hair and blue eyes. However, what appeared on her license was the same brown haired brown eyed woman she was seeing in the mirror. Her weight on the license said that she weighed 160, no wait, 180 pounds. She suddenly felt a bit heavier and a bit slower.
“Wait,” she asked the nurse, “can I get weighed again?” To Emily’s further horror her musical voice had disappeared and now sounded raspy and harsh, like a twenty year smoker.
The nurse rolled her eyes, “You won’t have changed in three minutes honey, but sure.”
Emily stepped back on the scales, and the scales now said 185 pounds.
“Yes, just like before, 185 pounds”, said the nurse. “You really do need to pay more attention to that diet, remember, your target of fifty pounds off is probably out of reach, but go for it. And stop that smoking, it certainly doesn’t help.”
Emily felt tears come to her eyes, she was living in an unreal dream. Something was happening to her and she had no idea what it was. She felt herself get heavier again and when she reached up to touch her chest, she felt her breasts that she had always been proud of hanging loose and feeling like mushy fat. She sat down to cry.
After a few moments, she stood up with resolve: Obviously, she was the only one noticing this happening. Since there was nothing she could do about it, she might was well go to work and see if anyone noticed.
By the time that she got to work, she had gained more weight and seemed to be well over two hundred pounds. She looked in the mirror in the entrance to her work and she recoiled. She had a triple chin, small chubby hands, and her legs had folds of fat. Her clothes had changed again and now looked like a dollar store reject brand. Worse, one of her buttons had popped off and there was a blob of food on her blouse, as if it had dropped from her mouth while eating breakfast. Her hair was a frizzy, partially permed, and unattractive mop on her head and she could see dandruff falling off the hair ends. Her carefully cultivated pin perfect style and elegance were completely erased.
She continued to gain weight as she waddled clumsily through the aisles to her office. Her coworkers gave her a nod in acknowledgement, but gone were the admiring glances that she was used to, rather she received stares of indifference or mild disgust. No longer were the men opening the door for her. No whistles. She was an anonymous blob of a person. At least she was still a VP. She wobbled to her office and settled into her chair as she hit her full and final weight. The chair remolded around her body into one with heavy duty support in order not to collapse, yet it still creaked dangerously.
As Jocelyn drove to the office, she could literally feel fat leaving her body. She was initially worried that her clothes wouldn’t fit, but after parking, she stepped out of the car and looked at herself in the side mirror. As far as she could tell, her clothes kept shrinking to fit. More importantly, they were very nice clothes. Jocelyn had never been able to wear designer clothes before. The demon had thought of everything. Feeling a bit unbalanced, she looked down, and gasped when she realized that her breasts had expanded. They were no longer hanging low and they were no longer innocuous, rather they jutted out of her chest like her own breasts never had. She reached out and touched them, feeling a weakness in her knees as she caressed her nipples. She studied herself elsewhere in the mirror. Other than her breasts, she was thin. Her hair was now platinum blonde and her face bore a close resemblance to Emily. She smiled at the thought.
As she walked to the office, a construction worker on the side of the road gave a wolf whistle as she walked by. She smiled and nodded in acknowledgement, unconsciously jutting her chest out in response. One thing she noticed walking into the office was that her bad temper seemed to have disappeared. Her anger had gone, replaced only with a mild desire for men to appreciate her new body.
Her male employees nodded their hello, giving her admiring looks as she walked up through the aisle to her office, it was always nice to acknowledge the boss, particularly if your boss was hot like a fox. Interestingly, no one made any comments on her new looks.
She called Jack into her office to see if her new looks had any effect. As he walked in, he gave her a double take. Whatever the reality distortion was that affected everyone else, it didn’t seem to affect Jack.
“What do you think of my new looks?” Jocelyn said, standing up and slowly circling around.
Jack looked at her without expression for a moment, then what looked like a touch of fear entered his eyes. His face turned white. He swallowed.
“Very nice. I am sure that your new looks will play well with the shareholders. Umm, I have something to sort out with Julia. Do you mind if I go jump on it? It’s kind of urgent”, Jack said.
Jocelyn looked at him uncertainly, this wasn’t quite the reaction she had expected.
“Sure, go ahead. I have work here to catch up on”.
Jack quickly went over to Julia’s office and went in and closed the door.
“Can you come offsite with me for an hour? It’s really urgent.”
Julia looked up with concern, glanced at her calendar and found that she had no bookings for the next two hours, and stood up to go out with him.
As they walked out of the building, Jack noticed that Julia’s looks had improved yet again. She was now anything but plain, but rather would be considered very good looking by anyone. He kept glancing at her as they walked trying to figure out what he was seeing. Her hips had widened quite a bit, yet her waist had stayed the same size. Her breasts were now medium sized, swaying enticingly as they walked. Her dark hair had lengthened now past her shoulders and was beautifully styled. Her face, stark and plain before, was now striking, her nose was quite a bit smaller, her eyes were dark brown and seemed larger than before. Her skin looked very smooth and, if she was wearing any makeup, it wasn’t obvious, except for the red lipstick.
“Have you looked at yourself lately?” Jack asked.
“What do you mean?” said Julia.
“I mean, have you looked at yourself in the mirror?”
“Umm, no, not since I left my house. Do I have something on my face?”
“Let’s go find a mirror in the hall so you can see what I mean”.
The walked found a clothes store and were able to both go back to the change rooms. Julia stared at herself in the mirror for a while and then glanced up at Jack.
“I’m, I’m good looking.” Julia said with a touch of awe. “My body has changed and my clothes even seem to still fit me. In fact, I don’t recall buying these clothes, they are nicer that what I ordinarily purchase”.
“Julia, you are not just good looking, you are on the path to gorgeous.”
The continued to look in the mirror for ten minutes, and Jack was convinced that the changes continued, Julia’s hips had widened a bit, her waist was smaller, and her breasts were bigger. Her face was now more than striking, it was flat out gorgeous, and her hair shimmered black. He felt a deep stirring inside of him at the sight.
He caught himself.
“As exciting as the changes in your looks are, this is only one thing that’s happening. Did you see Jocelyn this morning?”
“She’s changed also. She is now thin, she’s lost an enormous amount of weight. And her looks have changed. Ummm. Julia, she is starting to look very much like my wife. She has the same hair color and the same hair style, and her face is starting to look like my wife’s. And her clothes look very similar, too. Except her breasts are a lot bigger for some reason. Let’s go sit down at a coffee shop. I have something to tell you that I have never told anyone.”