Charlie sprung from bed, ready for the day. No work, no family around and no obligations, she was ready to have a day to herself. She threw on a loose shirt and shorts. “Hopefully not for long,” she thought as she tucked her black wool cap into her back pocket, and headed for downstairs. A quick breakfast and she’d be on her way to whatever adventure the day held for her. With ideas swimming in her head as to what to do, she opened the door to her room only to notice a folded note taped to the outside of her door.
She pulled the note free, unfolding to read it. “Charlie, I need you to do a couple errands for me…” she read aloud, her voice trailing off as she skimmed over it. A look of disappointment slowly grew on her face. She pouted and groaned melodramatically, “Moooommm, whhhy?” Her plans were dashed before they’d started. “These aren’t a couple errands! You’re going to have me driving around town all day!” She wound her arm back to throw the note down but hesitated. Her frustration grew until she stamped her feet in a little tantrum dance and stuffed the note into her pocket in resignation. Projecting as much dissatisfaction as she could to any of the nonexistent witness of her inconvenience, she stomped through the house. She picked up the dry cleaning left for her to drop off, the list of groceries and cash on the kitchen counter, and from her dad the color code for a few gallons of paint he wanted which annoyed her even more as she knew it meant she’d probably had some painting to look forward to in the near future on top of everything else. She grumbled unintelligently out the house and into her van, forgetting her desire for breakfast. Her brow furrowed in a foul mood. She pulled out the driveway and headed down the street.
She had already mentally prepared her trip in her head, figuring groceries would have to be last no matter what. The dry cleaning was the furthest point of her journey as her mother insisted on using a particular dry cleaner that was over towards the more business oriented end of town. Her mother had used it for years and Charlie had been there many times but it was always hard to spot as it was wedged in an area of nearly identical warehouse and storage units with the occasional hotel mixed in.
A bit later she reached the general area and began to search. She swept her eyes from side to side looking for landmarks that would indicate what street she would have to turn on while she also looked at the street names.
“No...no….no…” she muttered to herself, rejecting each intersection. As she passed one of the hotel complexes, her eyes glanced over their marquee. She looked away as it wasn’t relevant to what she was looking for but then her eyes suddenly bulged as her brain had digested what she had seen. Her eyes snapped back as she realized that it was actually something oh so very relevant. Luckily, there was no traffic on the street as she suddenly slammed the brakes and skid to a halt. She stared hard at the marquee, checking and rechecking to make sure she was seeing what she thought she was seeing.
The sign read:
Largest Pregnancy Expo In North America!
Charlie gulped, her mind blank. She robotically turned the wheel, maneuvering her van into the hotel parking. She hopped out and hustled across the lot to a cluster of cars gathered around the convention side. She fidgeted with her hat, kneading the course wool between her fingers in anticipation despite having seen nothing to use it on yet. It took a moment for her rational mind to catch up. At that point the realisation struck her that what she sought would naturally be inside the building and she would likely not be allowed in as she did not have a pass to do so. She thought quickly and looked around. Inspiration struck her as she saw that further back, around the bend of the convention building, a great number of trucks and busses were parked. These would likely be where the companies and vendors for the expo had parked to unload their wares through the rear service area. She formed a quick if somewhat stupid plan and went that way to implement it.
She found her way to where she saw people bringing in boxes labeled with the corporate logos for various maternity fashion lines. It wasn’t extremely busy but everyone seemed to be focused on what they were doing. She slunk along the edges of this activity until she found what she was looking for, a paper sign marked ‘Dressing’ with an arrow pointing towards an open door. There was a rather bored looking man standing near it with a badge marked ‘security’ hanging from a lanyard. She watched from a discrete distant to see if her plan was viable. After a moment a woman, very pretty and sporting a pregnant bump, walked up to the door. He straightened up attentively and smiled at the woman who smiled back, flashing her badge marked ‘model’. He did nothing to stop her and went back to his bored stance at the door after she passed through. Charlie nodded grimly and set her plan into motion. She snuck nearer to the entrance and waited. After a few minutes another pregnant woman came along, quite good looking though not as large as the first that had entered.
Charlie slipped her cap over her head and waited for the woman to get near. Mentally she reached out, focusing on her desire for the woman’s pregnant state to be her own and as she got within range the model’s belly fell flat as Charlie’s own swelled outward in a sudden thrust. Charlie smiled down at, running her hand down it pleased. It wasn’t very large, looking like maybe on the border between second and third trimester but enough to go on to the next part of her plan. The woman continued unaware of the sudden change in her figure and flashed her badge to the guard who merely acknowledged her with a wave and a nod.
Charlie ducked around a corner and straightened out her shirt. She took a couple of deep breaths to settle her nerves tried her best to mimic the previous model’s air of indifferent haughtiness. She strode out from the corner, nose lifted a bit in the air. She suddenly stopped and hopped back around the corner, removing her hat off her head then continuing on as casually as she could. She walked confidently towards the guard giving him a nod which he returned as she passed by him. She was cheering herself inside until she felt her blood run cold with a simple phrase.
“Excuse me, miss?”
Charlie slowly pivoted around to face the guard, an uneasy smile on her face. “Y-yes? Me?”
He gave her a terse smile. “Your badge miss?”
“Badge?” Charlie stammered.
The guard pulled up his lanyard, jiggling the badge hanging from it, “Yes, your badge?”
“Oh, well I’m one of the models.” Charlie said, putting her hand on the bump at her middle as if that explained everything.
“I see, but you’re supposed to have an ID badge.”
Charlie gave a blank stare for a second then smiled quickly, “Oh, yeah, right, but they told me to get one inside. I’m a last minute fill in.”
“Uh huh.” The man said sounding incredulously. He gave her a good look up and down. “Who are you here with?”
“What?” Charlie asked confused.
“What company? Which designer? I’m going to need your name too, so I can call them to verify you’re with them. You understand right?”
“Uh.” Charlie sidestepped a bit, inching a little closer through the doorway. “Pierre.” She blurted out as the guard looked like he was about to lose patience with her.
“Pierre?” he repeated back to her
“Yeah, Pierre is who I’m modeling for.” Charlie took the confusion to take a couple more steps backwards through the door.
“Pierre? Pierre who? Is a company or a person?” The guard was confused and getting annoyed. His hand started drifting down towards his walkie talkie.
“Pierre, just Pierre. Ya’ know, like Cher.” Charlie rolled her eyes, sighing in annoyance. “Look, there he is now, just talk to him yourself.” Charlie pointed over his shoulder.
The guard, utterly confused as to what this was all about, turned around to look. He looked but saw no one that looked like a ‘Pierre’ or anyone else for that matter coming in his direction. He realized his mistake at about the same time he heard sneakers thudding down the hallway behind him. “Oh for…” He spun around and saw Charlie sprinting down the hallway just before she skidded around the corner of the intersecting hallway. With an angry grunt he took off after her.
He came around the corner into a hallway that lead into the dressing areas. There were a few people standing out in the hallway, mostly pushing rolling clothing carts to the dressing area and out to the floor for display. There were a handful of women, some pregnant, many not, but none that looked like his gatecrasher. He huffed heavily to catch his breath and scanned the crowd. Nothing seemed amiss. If she had come through here, she was long gone. “How the hell someone pregnant move so fast?” he wheezed aloud before giving up his search. He turned and headed back to his post.
As he did, Charlie, her dirty blonde, shoulder length hair tucked up into cap, turned to watch sided eyed from where she was pushing one of the clothes carts. Having released the pregnancy and looking slim again, simply tossing on a shirt from the rack over what she was wearing was enough to slip past his attention. It was too bad she had to ditch the belly but she knew there was plenty of opportunities before her. She took off the shirt and returned it to the cart which she pushed to the side of the hall while looking around for what offerings were at hand. It was a bit of a let down as most of the women here who were pregnant weren’t very. She normally liked them as big as she could find them but she wasn’t feeling too picky so just chose the two largest in the immediate area. Between the two of them she looked fairly large had she just been carrying one which was good enough for the time being. Especially as she felt she needed to keep up the fiction that she was here as a model. She slipped into an empty dressing room to see if she could find an unused card but the best she could find was an empty lanyard and card sleeve. She got an idea and found a bit of card stock from a box. Carefully she cut it until it fit in the sleeve. The badges that she saw had all been a white plastic with an emblem of the convention center and the word ‘model’ ‘vendor’ ‘guest’ printed on the front with the convention logo. Slinging the badge on she looked down. At a cursory examination, it looked like a badge that had flipped around backwards. Charlie beamed a proud smile at her own cleverness and after a quick check to make sure the coast was clear, headed out on the prowl.
The main expo floor was a bizarre mix of stages with models and mannequins showing off the latest in maternity fashion. Charlie thought were either hideous or designed to hide the pregnancy rather than accentuate it. The model themselves were also rather disappointing. If they weren’t wearing a rather bad fake belly they were not very pregnant themselves. The two she had found before seemed to be par for the course. While there were more pregnancies in general then she typically found at any venue, the choices weren’t great.
“Security. All security, be advised.” A nearby radio crackled on the hip of a security guard. Charlie stopped, placing a clump of convention goers between herself and the guard. “We have a gatecrasher on premise. Description as follows, young woman, late teens, possibly early twenties. Dirty blonde hair. Slim but pregnant, probably about six months.”
Another voice crackled on to the radio, “Gee Frank, that’s about half the girls modeling here.”
There was a snicker from the guard who she was watching and he added, raising the radio to his mouth, “Yeah, you want to be a little more specific?
“Yeah, haha, hold on, I’m getting to that. Wearing light blue t-shirt and black shorts. And definitely doesn’t look like a model. Real plain Jane.”
Charlie took offense to that. But more importantly she realized she would need to change her look. The two undersized bellies she had taken made her look certainly more than six months but that was a rather subjective thing so she decided that different clothes would be in order. She regretted having put the shirt she had thrown over her own earlier back on the rack, but ironically, she didn’t feel right about stealing. She joined a group of people moving away from the guard for cover and looked around. After a moment she found what she was looking for, a booth advertising a line of skin care products that seemed to be handing out t-shirt with their product logo. Keeping an eye out behind her, she slipped up to the booth, pretending to look over their literature. She skimmed over it, information blurbs about various ointments and creams. There was a lot to do with ‘natural oils’ and ‘reinvigorating energies’ mixed in with what looked like unfounded medical testimony giving her the impression that the snake oil was thick in these products.
“Hi, do you have any questions?”
Charlie’s eyes snapped up to the smiling booth attendant who had suddenly appeared next to her. “Oh, no, well, yeah.”
“All our products are guaranteed 100% organic, gluten-free, vegan compliant and only acquired from responsible sustainable sources.” The attendant chirped proudly.
Charlie blinked and looked at the jars and tubes filled with goo. “What do you do, eat it?
The attendant laughed a little too loud for Charlie’s comfort but shook her head in amusement. “Oh no no, although it does nurture the skin. Would you care for a demonstration?”
“No not really.” Charlie answered but before she knew what was happening, the woman had her by the wrist and was squeezing a cold gloppy dollop on the back of hand. She cringed as attendant cooed over it and worried it into her skin. The combination of gritty, slimey and clammy cold made her recoil in disgust. “That’s….” Charlie searched for the words.
“Revitalizing? Energizing?” the attendant helpfully offered.
“It’s certainly woke me up.” Charlie admitted, trying to pull her hand free.
“That would be the ground pure quartz crystals aligning your micro chakras.” She looked down to Charlie’s protruding belly with a gleam in her eye. “Of course, this is intended to be applied on the belly swelling with new life to ease…” She said slowly and deliberately as her free hand drifted down to Charlie’s middle, fingers reaching out as if to lift the hem of her shirt.
Charlie interrupted her with a quick yank and got her hand free, hopping back a couple feet away from the evidently nutty attendant. She crossed her arms over her middle defensively. “Hey, that sounds great! Maybe you could just give me a sample to try out own my own. Maybe one of those t-shirts too?” Charlie nodded to the folded pile on the table.
Nonplused by Charlie’s reaction the attendant gave a very pleased smile, “Of course!” She turned and took one of the shirts off the counter and scooped an assortment of bottles and tubes off the table and tossed them into a plastic bag. She turned and offered them to Charlie who took them cautiously from as far as she could stretch to reach.
“Okay, thanks, bye!” Charlie waved quickly as she retreated from the booth.
“You’re welcome, enjoy the convention!”
Charlie shook her head, “What a weirdo, and that’s coming from me.” She dug out the bright yellow shirt from the bag. She shook it out to figure out the top from the bottom and slid it on. It was fairly large, fitting over her belly easily with room to spare. It was long enough to cover up some of her shorts which helped as a disguise. She already had her hair tucked up her hat so there wasn’t much more she could do there. She figured she looked rather conspicuous the way she was dressed but she didn’t match the description she had heard earlier she figured. Looking for a mirror she decided to see. “Let’s see, let’s see…” She paused and examined her reflection. She couldn’t do much about her hair but hide it, she couldn’t do much about her youthful appearance. Maybe find a pair of sunglasses or something was about it. Her belly was larger than described but not by much. “Huh?” That brought her attention to what was on the t-shirt. The bright yellow shirt, clearly made to attract attention, had scrawled on it in large black letters over her belly
Charlie frowned, shoulders slumped. She felt ridiculous. “Well, maybe it’ll distract from the rest of me.” She gave a sigh and continued on.
Pickings were still slim. She had picked up one more passenger during the hunt, now barely looking like a satisfactory twinner in her opinion. She was considering just cutting the hunt off as despite her optimistic hopes the convention had been turning into a bit of a bust. Charlie’s expectations of a pregnancy convention would be finding a hall full of the largest, ripest bellies she’d ever seen, but that was more of a biased belief than something grounded in reality. Models for maternity clothing weren’t likely to actually be pregnant, and if they were, they certainly wouldn’t be in their late pregnancy and travelling. She was somewhere in her mind dimly aware of this logic and becoming irritable as she slowly was becoming cognizant of it. With a huff she pouted and turned to head out the conventions from entrance when she saw it. The absolutely illogical motherlode.
Off the main convention floor, tucked into a corner near the front of the hall there was a large stage set. There were rows of seats arranged before it and some booths to the side. I was a rather elaborate set up for a company she didn’t recognize. The name was something that looked Scandanavian in origin based off the characters used and there were images of waterfalls and streams. Perhaps some sort of mineral water or energy drink, Charlie thought dimly. Dimly because her attention was focused almost exclusively on the stage itself. Or rather what was on it.
There were a dozen models arranged on the stage, six to each side of a short, older man in a sky blue suit, which matched the general color palette of the rest of the stage decorations, addressing the crowd. The women were tall, athletic looking, and trim and each sported a rather prominent, largely rounded belly beneath their sleek dress. Charlie continued to study them as she approached the pavilion area quickly. She felt like any moment she’d discover that they were actually wearing some sort of fake bump or that their size was just a delusion in her mind, play of the light or some other trickery but as she got closer the opposite became more clear. She scooted her way to the closest seats to the stage she could find, plopping down hurriedly amongst the other spectators.
The women were much taller than she had thought. Each looked to be approaching 6 foot in height and rather than the stretched waify look of most models, they looked much more like the sort that ate heartily and exercised regularly and lived an active lifestyle. This only impressed more on her the size of their middles as usually a very tall women would not appear as relatively large as a shorter woman. If they were all carrying twins, it wouldn’t have surprised Charlie one bit, but listening to the announcer on stage, this didn’t seem to be the case.
“Our specially formulated prenatal beverage is made to provide one hundred percent of all the vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients to provide maximized health for your precious unborn child. These women,” the man gestured the women sharing the stage with him, “have each taken our product throughout their pregnancy, along with good diet and regular exercise, and I think the results speak for themselves.” He finished with a wink. He waited for the applause to end before continuing. “The babies of each of these fine mothers-to-be show excellent health and are in the top percentile of development.” He paused momentarily for some applause and went to the woman nearest on his right.
“And the mother’s themselves have had a happy, healthy pregnancy. But don’t take it from me, let’s see what lovely Astrid has to say. Astrid how are you feeling?” He leaned the microphone to the blonde woman, who smiled warmly.
“Oh, I feel fabulous!” She earnestly exclaimed, speaking with a nordic accent. “I am very full of energy!” She emphasised with a clenched fist. She then placed it top her belly, rubbing it with a little anguished look, frowning dramatically for the audience. “And so is little Jensen.” She mocked reacting to a kick from her belly and she and the announcer joined the audience in laughing.
“Not so little Jensen, right?” The announcer joked with her.
“No, very big Jensen!” She joked back, cradling her belly.
There was another round of laughter along with more applause.
“Thank you, thank you. Now, please, feel free to speak with our representatives about our amazing Alemona Natural Prenatal Nutrient Formulas.” There was a final round of applause, for which Charlie joined in enthusiastically for completely different reasons then the rest of the crowd and the models turned to exit the stage, half going one direction while the others headed in the opposite.
Charlie thought quickly. If she raced to either end of the stage, she could have her pick of half the models before they disappeared behind stage. That would leave her six, more than enough as she’d never been able to handle more than five. Given the pronounced size of these, she wasn’t even sure she’d be able to handle four! With haste she decided she’d go with the left wing exit as Astrid’s talk of ‘little’ Jensen’s kicking had whet her desire to judge for herself. First things first, she dismissed the three much smaller babies she’d been carrying, mentally wishing them well even if they weren’t up to snuff for keeping around. No, she had much bigger prizes in mind.
She raced down the edge of the stage, earning dirty looks from the confused photographers that were snapping off the last few pictures or already packing their equipment. Charlie beat the women by a wide margin, giving her time to plan out her actions. Charlie’s excitement mounted as they came closer. The size of their gravid bellies only seeming to grow as they approached. She patted her flat belly and gave it an anticipatory little rub as the first of the women entered range. She mentally reached out, imagining in her mind’s eye an arm stretching out to the woman’s middle. There was an illusion of a tug in head and the woman’s belly suddenly collapsed, the domed surface of her dress suddenly fluttering down against her now flat, toned belly. Charlie felt a surge at her middle which made her straighten as her own belly swelled roundly. In an instance she felt the elastic band of her shorts slide down below her belly button to rest snuggly below her now pregnant belly. It was certainly a big baby, she thought to herself as she involuntarily let out a puff of air from the compression against her diaphragm. She placed her palm a top her belly and gave an ‘oof!’ as her belly quivered from the baby’s kick. It jostled a little, seemingly trying to find a more comfortable position. Charlie grinned and brought her eyes back up as the next model approached. “Don’t get too comfy junior, you’re going to be getting some company.” Once again she willed the woman’s pregnancy to be her own and her belly grew in a quick burst once more. This time Charlie was forced the lean back to give the second baby room. The wrinkles of the once oversized shirt smoothed over her expanded middle, the word ‘GLOW’ angling up to her view along the top of her belly, albeit upside down to her perspective. Charlie slump forward and stumbled, even as her belly twitched with the second baby settling in snugly. She gripped her middle and giving it a little shake as if to get the attention of the two babies within. “Hey, c’mon, settle down in there! Ah crap!” Charlie chastised herself as she noticed the third woman was nearly off the stage and ready to turn backstage out sight.
Hastily she commanded the hat into action. She held her belly to support it as it explosively grew larger. Her eyes went wide as she felt her balance shift forward. She staggered towards the edge of the stage and shot an arm out, holding on to keep from tipping forward. These kids were bruisers! Huffing for breath, she leaned over with one arm for support holding her up and ran her other hand over her middle. It was already very tight and felt heavy. Every so often a little internal jolt would hit her as one of the babies struck her in the ribs, kidneys or other internal organs. “Oh man, I don’t know if I can do this, you guys are huge!” She watched in disbelief as the fourth model walked past her and was unable to summon the willpower to continue. “C’mon girl, you can do this!” She told herself. She had done quintuplets before, a few times in fact. But this time she had a little voice of doubt inside that told her she had bit off more than she could chew. She grit her teeth and furrowed her brow. “No! I can do this!” She admonished herself with a clenched fist. “I can do this! I will do this!”
She looked up and stood straight, focusing on the fifth model, now halfway down the stairs. She blew out a slow breath and defiant to her inner doubt braced herself. She let out a small groan as her belly stretched fuller with the fourth baby’s arrival. Her belly thrust outward and swelled to the sides, her knees buckling at the increased weight. Already she felt she was as large as she had ever gotten. The surface of her belly felt tight, practically quivering from the internal pressure. She truly wasn’t sure if she could handle more but the last model was on her way down the steps. In a moment the opportunity would be gone forever. She ran her hands down her middle, feeling the weighty swollen solidity of it. She had to try. Summoning up the will and courage to continue, she resolutely focused on Astrid’s middle. “Alright Jensen, let’s see what you got.” Charlie snarled through gritted teeth. “Ungh!” Her look of determination quickly changed to a stressed look of uncertainty. Her breath rushed out as her belly grew once again. The amount of growth was not nearly as dramatic, as say, from the first to the second, but it felt much more substantial to Charlie. She stumbled, knees wobbling and managed to stumble over to the nearby chairs. With a sharp pain to her posterior she plopped down on the chair, her legs giving out short of actually lowering her onto the seat. She gulped for air as she held her overly swollen middle. “Oh man,” she said between gasps, “I think I’m going to pop!” She considered for a moment that she may have crossed the ill defined line of her limits and should release the babies back to their mothers but decided to wait a moment before commiting. She felt shifts and kicks from her middle as she got her breath back. Her belly quavered and shifted as the babies within jockeyed around for position. Slowly she felt a modicum of relief as it seemed that the contents inside her abused womb reached some sort of equilibrium, a peace reached between its occupants.
Charlie sighed in relief and ran her hands slowly over the hugely swollen form of her belly. She happily smiled as her fingers slipped apart, not quite reaching over the furthermost part of the swell. As the tension eased a bit she felt a growing sense of accomplishment. She chortled happily and patted her belly with both hands, the taut surface drumming a slight thump with each impact.
“Ah, miss? You okay?”
Charlie jumped and turned to look at the photographer looking at her with concern. “Uhhh.”
“Do you need some help? Should I call security?” He asked, looking her over nervously.
“NO!” she shouted, louder than she had intended making the photographer hop in alarm. She forced a mellow smile, trying to reassure him. “No! No, thank you, I’m fine.” She started to rock to get to her feet. Time for her to make a ‘discreet’ exit.
“Are you sure, ‘cause you kind of looked like you were-HOLY COW!” The photographer suddenly let out, leaping back as Charlie got to her feet.
Charlie rocked, hands on her back as she stretched causing her belly to jut out even more. The words ‘GLOW as you GROW’ stretched across the giant sphere, just barely draped off the bottom of the protruding mound. The letters cracking apart from the strain but still legible. “What?” She looked down at her middle, not being remotely able to see her feet even when she lifted one up a bit. “Oh, yeah, um, guess that’s a bit startling.” She tried to look around it, looking towards the ground. “Do you happen to see a plastic bag around here?” She turned in a circle, her belly swinging wide to give the shocked photographer a frightful view of it in pure profile. “Oh, there it is.” Charlie squatted down parallel to the chairs slightly to reach the bag.
From behind her, the photographer could clearly see the swells of the side her belly past what normally the be young lady’s waist. “Look, I think maybe you should just sit. I’ll get some help, okay?” He stumbled back and ran, giving her a last quick look before dashing into the convention floor crowd.
“NO! No, no, no! Don’t do that...oh crap.” Charlie quickly gathered her things and waddled off, cradling her titanic belly for support. “Part one of the plan complete, now on to part two, making a clean getaway!”
Charlie broke out the hustle and double time waddled her way out of there. She spun around in an ungainly wide u-turn as she neared where the main concourse met with the seating area with a look of dread as she spotted the well intentioned but unfortunate return of the photographer with three security personal in tow. Charlie cut across the rows of seating to get to the opposite exit. She forged through the still dissipating spectators, causing many to nearly fall over their seats in their haste to get out of her ways. There were shocked and surprised looks on their faces, stunned at seeing someone so hugely pregnant in such a hurry to pass.
“Pardon, excuse, pardon, MOVE!” She hissed at people, looking back behind her occasionally to see if she was being pursued. The photographer had led the guards near the front row where he had last seen her, seemingly explaining his concern and gesticulating wildly about her size. To her distress she noted that one of the guards was ‘Frank’ from earlier and he looked over in her direction only just as she managed to look away. She hoped he hadn’t seen her but that hope was dashed as she heard a flurry of activity across the seatings from where the men stood.
“Yeah, that’s her.” She imagined she heard the nosy good samaritan say. It might have just been her paranoid imagination but she wasn’t taking any chances. She redoubled her efforts and tried to merge into the crowd to lose them as she exited the seating area. Unfortunately she didn’t have much luck there as the inconveniently large size of her belly drew attention from the crowd around her like a flare. People gawked, some amused, thinking it was some sort of gag prosthetic and others in slacked jawed surprise at such in exaggerated pregnant form. Whatever the reason, the effect was the same, she left a wake of turned heads and parted crowd wherever she went. She could hear her chase party some distance behind her, asking the crowd that reformed behind her to move. She cursed her position, stuck between being slowed down but also unwilling to ditch the burdensome bounty she had purleoned. Belly pendoulously rocking back and forth before her as she waddled as fast as she could, she pressed on but felt she was losing the race.
She finally caught a break as she heard a loud ‘look out!’ behind her. She only snatched a quick look but did notice one of the booths behind her shake and tip and watched the pressboard signage over it fall over into the crowd, evidently in the path of the guards. She was counting her blessings at the fortunate accident when she noticed the strange booth attendant from before standing behind her fallen smiling benevolently directly at her. The woman gave a little wave and Charlie felt an ernest smile as she shot back the lady a thumbs up of approval. Her distraction had given Charlie the break she needed and she quickly peeled a sharp turn towards the double doors of a fire exit. She thanked her continued luck as she pushed open the doors without being treated to the sound of a triggered alarm. As she stepped through though, she did consider momentarily whether this was the best course of action as once through the doors would be locked behind her. Her decision to go came easy as she spotted the pursuit party coming so slipped inside and closed the doors. She leaned back on them, both in a vain effort to brace them should they have seen her and decide to come through after her and to gasp huge gulps of air to catch her breath. She peeked through one of the safety glass windows carefully and watched them past, Frank at the tail of the group. He stopped blinking, almost as if he sensed he was being watched but Charlie ducked aside before he looked her way. She waited a few tense seconds and then hazarded another look but he was gone, most probably rejoining the pursuits with the others.
Charlie let out a long, drawn out breath and focused on getting her breathing back to normal. Her enormous belly heaved big and bigger with every ragged gasp. She giggled softly from the release of tension for at least temporarily throwing off her tail and patted the top of her huge belly. “Geeze, the troubles I go through for you.” She said to her middle which briefly shifted and kicked in response. She put her hands to the small of her back and twisted from side to side, hearing a few pops in her spine and feeling the tendons relax and gave her a belly a quick but hearty rub. “Okay, let’s all get out of here, k guys?” She said down to her middle as if expecting an answer. There was a few flutters she interpreted as agreement and set out towards a way outside, following the evacuation arrows placed in case of fire.
About halfway towards the end of the building where it faced the main parking lot one of the fire exit doors creaked open. A black capped head, some blonde strands of hair streaming from beneath it, poked out, took a quick look around and closed the door again. After a moment the door opened again and the same head poked out but took a longer look. Satisfied the coast was clear, a yellow shirt clad young woman came out, removing her wool cap and giving it a kiss before shoving it into her back pocket. The shirt was pulled tight, the words ‘GLOW’ and ‘GROW’ stretched across the front of what appeared like a tremendously huge round sphere bulging out from the girl’s abdomen which looked it stuck out nearly half her height from the back of her waist to around it’s furthest point. The girl smiled proudly like she didn’t have a care in the world and proceeded across the parking lot picking her way between cars. Her belly swayed widely from side to side as she did, so large as to cause her to backtrack occasionally as she failed to comfortably squeeze between cars that were parked too close together.
Charlie started fishing her keys out of her pockets as she neared her van, angling away towards the back of the van as she decided that it would probably be easier to get in through the back and squeeze into the driver’s seat rather than climb in through the driver’s side door due to her girth and weight. She unlocked the door and was pulling it open as a hand slapped down next to her’s and slammed the door shut. Charlie staggered and drew back in surprise to see the smirking face of Frank the Obstinate Security Guard.
“Gotcha!” He triumphantly spat.
Charlie shivered and opened her mouth but no words came out, too scared as she realized she’d been caught.
Frank waggled a finger at her, “You think you can get past me, nice try girl!”
Charlie gulped and looked around. There were no other guards here which wasn’t much of a comfort as she knew all Frank had to do was radio for help. For all she knew, he may have already done so and was just delaying her until their arrival.
“You think you can just waltz in wherever you like? This is private property and what you’ve done is trespass kiddo.” Frank gloated.
She couldn’t run from him, not in her state. She could will her precious cargo back to their proper mothers and make a break for it but what would that accomplish? He knew this was her van so she’d be pinched even if she made a clean getaway. And to give up her titanic prize now? After all this work? Her face hardened as she watched the triumphant look on Frank’s face, raising his walkie talkie to his mouth.
Frank paused with confusion as he saw the now stoned face Charlie raise her arms to him, hands closed together, wrists up. “Go ahead.” She sneered at him.
Charlie took a step forward and brought her wrists closer to his face. “Go ahead, cuff me.”
“I don’t want to if I don’t have to...” He started and Charlie cut him off with a wry grin.
“No no no, I insist. Slap the cuffs on me. Call the cops, go on.” She taunted him.
Frank scowled at her, “I will if you want me to.”
Charlie grinned mischievously at him, “Oh, please, I do, I really do.” She took a step back from him as he suspiciously glared at her. She waved her hands down to her middle. “Please, go ahead, be the guy who arrested the very pregnant teenager.”
A hint of concerned flashed across Frank’s face.
Charlie continued, stroking her pregnant belly tenderly, “Be the guy who called the police to drag the poor little pregnant girl to be dragged off to jail.”
He scowled, seeing what she was playing at but was cut off before he can protest.
Charlie gave him and evil grin, “And when they get here, you know what they’ll find?” She hissed at him. Then her face turned angelic, her eyes widened and her mouth drew into a pout. Her lip quivered and eyes grew watery, “This poor defenseless girl, crying her eyes out, frightened by the mean ole man that says he’s going to throw her in prison.” she jutted her belly out, rocking side to side, “And her poor babies too.”
It finally seemed to hit Frank at last exactly what Charlie looked like. She looked ready to burst, more so literally than anyone he had ever seen in life. That staggered him a bit, he couldn’t imagine why she’d been so hard to spot looking so ridiculously pregnant even if it was a convention for pregnancy fashion and products. And then the look on her face! Even knowing it was an act, the puppy dog eyes were very convincing. She put on a good show of looking helpless and frail and didn’t doubt she was someone that could cry on command. His will to continue was fraying. Looking down at her middle, as she held it, giving him a convincing wince of pain as he watched, he worried. What if she had a complication from stress? What if she went into labor? What would the guys think of him?
He fumed, “Fine, get out of here!” Putting his radio back on his belt. “You win, you, you...you little devil girl!”
Charlie bounced triumphantly with a smile, opening the door again. She smiled sweetly and fluttered her eyelids, straining up into the back of her van. She slammed the back door shut and flipped Frank double fingers unseen through the closed doors, sticking her tongue out for good measure. She swayed through the van and squeezed around to the front seat after setting it fully as back as it would go and still only barely squeezed in. She rolled the window down to adjust the mirror and saw Frank still behind the van, glaring at her with folded arms. As she turned over the engine he walked up to her window. She nonchalantly extended the seatbelt and exhaling as much as she could to fit it under her pendulous belly.
“Hey, you better watch it.” Frank warned her.
“You think this is all fun and games, but you’re heading down a bad path.” He dramatically warned him.
With a snort, Charlie rebutted, “Of sneaking into conventions?”
He vaguely gestured through the door, towards her middle. “Well, you think you’re funny? What do you think your future is going to be like, in your condition.”
Charlie delayed her answer until her van was in reverse and pulling away, “Oh well gee, guess you’re right. I certainly don’t want to end up AS A SECURITY GUARD!” She yelled as she slammed it into drive and drove away.
She had a good laugh, patting her belly as she turned back on the main street. She shook her head and wiped a tear of laughter which was interrupted as she noticed there was something irritating her back side. She squirmed and shifted, pressing her belly against the steering wheel as she dug under her butt and felt something there on the seat. She pulled out a crumpled piece of paper, the words, ‘Charlie, I need’ just visible. She blinked, memories suddenly firing. She looked to the passenger’s seat and saw the fold stack of shirts and slacks. She groaned and rolled her eyes, slapping her forehead, “Oh damn it, the errands!”
She looked at the laundry, looked at the note, and then looked down at her enlarged middle. She repeated the process a couple times and then stared out the window, her left eye twitching. Vaguely she felt a few kicks at her middle.
“Ungh!” She groaned. She took a deep breath and calmed down, “Okay, no problem. I do a few errands, I get home, and I’ve still got plenty of hours to enjoy this. No problem!” She turned down the street, looking for the dry cleaners again, knowing it wasn’t far. “No sweat, right?” She patted her belly, talking to the boisterous babies within. “You guys can keep me company, it's like a fun outing for all of us.”