"Let it go," Jenna sighed, rolling her eyes. "Santa's a myth."
"And if he is real, then he's far too clever for you to ever catch him," Sadie smirked.
"Don't encourage her!" Jenna scolded, poking her housemate. Jenna was astounded that Robin, an otherwise brilliant and rational person, still believed in Santa Claus.
"Why not? It's fun."
"Do you have to go through all this?" Jenna asked, gesturing to the Goldbergian apparati adorning the living room. "Can't you just set up a camera?"
"Nope, Santa's way too smart for that," Robin said. "He knows when someone's watching, even remotely. No, I'll need quite a bit more guile to capture Mr. Kringle."
"Do you really think he won't see these?" Jenna asked.
"Of course he will," Robin replied with a devilish grin. "He'll see most of them. But all he has to do is miss one, and I've got him! It's all about misdirection."
"I'm sure plenty of people have tried to trap Santa before," Jenna said. "They've all failed."
Robin held up a shiny metal dart. She'd already loaded dozens like it into several spring-loaded mines hidden around the living room.
"But they don't have what I have," Robin said. "It's my special formula, a potent mix of chemistry and alchemy. He'll probably get past the snares and nets, but if even one of these hits him he'll be incapacitated until I come down in the morning to administer the antidote."
"As fat as he is, I doubt he'll be able to dodge," Sadie snickered. Jenna glared at her.
"And now, the final piece." Robin gave a tiny blue capsule to each of her friends, keeping one for herself.
"Do we have to?" Jenna whined.
"Yes," Robin said sternly, handing out glasses of water. "He sees us when we're sleeping, and he knows when we're awake. Santa won't come if there's any chance that we'll see him. These will knock us out eight hours. We'll wake up shortly after sunrise, and then we'll see who's laughing. Come on now, bottoms up!" She swallowed her pill, and her friends grudgingly followed suit.
At least Jenna did. Sadie stealthily palmed her pill and waited in her bedroom for an hour before emerging to make sure Jenna and Robin were out cold. She went downstairs carrying a pair of large black boots; she needed them to pull off her ruse.
Sadie fetched a broom from the kitchen and used it to trigger the net by the fireplace. She ground the boots into the ashes before putting them on so she'd leave believable prints while she went about dealing with the remaining traps.
The snare by the tree was easy to set off from a safe distance. The dart traps were trickier, but she managed it. She almost missed the tripwire strung in front of the table where Robin had set the milk and cookies.
"Clever girl," Sadie said as she cut the wire. "Now I just have to make sure she knows that Santa was here."
Sadie grabbed one of the cookies. Robin was an excellent baker, and chocolate chip was Sadie's favorite. She finished the cookie and reached for the milk.
Her stomach sank when she heard a click as she lifted the glass.
"Shit!" She dropped the milk and jumped back.
A flurry of darts flew past her, one of them snagging her nightshirt. She landed flat on her ass, and the rest of the darts embedded themselves in the far wall. She carefully removed the one that had caught in her clothes and pulled up her shirt to check for damage.
Sadie smiled. She was unscathed. She threw the dart into the wall to join its brethren.
"Santa one, Robin zero," she said gleefully as she left a trail back toward the fireplace. She stumbled halfway there, feeling lightheaded. Her stomach gurgled, bubbled, roiled, then blew up to a size resembling pregnancy in mere moments.
"Urrgh!" Sadie pressed her hands against her belly to fight her sudden growth, but the pressure was unyielding. She continued to swell.
"But, the darts, they all missed," she moaned as the pressure spread throughout her torso. Her hips broadened, her chest heaved outward as though she were taking an impossibly large breath. Her breasts, once petite and perky, grew pump and round.
"Oh fuck, the cookies!" Sadie cursed. Misdirection, indeed. Her nightshirt stretched about her expanding bulk, lifting to reveal panties pulled tight about her enormous ass.
"Robin! Robin, help!" Sadie screamed, growing panicked. She knew it was no use; Robin and Jenna were both out cold for the night. Her fear was heightened by the sensation of her bloated belly gently pulling upward. As she was getting bigger, she was also getting lighter.
"Shit!" She desperately staggered toward the stairs. Maybe if she could get to Robin, she could wake her before it was too late.
Sadie shivered as she briefly contemplated what "too late" might mean.
The hiss of surging gas filled her ears as her entire body ballooned, accompanied by the sharp pops of the seams in her clothes bursting. Her legs thickened, her swollen arms stuck out straight from her sides. She could barely manage a waddle as her blimping body was rapidly filling and overwhelming her limbs. She neared the stairs, but her rate of progress slowed, then stopped.
Sadie screamed in frustration. She was too swollen to move.
Huge and immobile, Sadie had grown buoyant enough to lift from the floor. She hadn't bothered lacing up the boots, so they easily slid off of her swelling feet as she rose.
"Robin! What the fuck -- wha the fuck did you --" Sadie's voice faded and her vision blurred as she ballooned. Robin's potion was knocking her out as well as blowing her up. She was enormous; almost all of Sadie's vision taken up by her own billowing bosom. The pressure inside her increased as she grew, showing no signs of slowing.
"Oh shit, I'm gonna blow..." Her last memories before losing consciousness were the touch of a cool breeze across her body and the sound of her own overstretched skin groaning against the unrelenting strain.
Sadie awoke to the sound of Robin pounding on bedroom doors and shouting for her and Jenna to get up. She flew down the stairs, followed by a still-groggy Jenna.
"Haha!" Robin cheered, seeing the massive flesh balloon up against the living room ceiling. "I've finally caught you, you -- whoahmygod!"
Jenna wiped her eyes and blinked several times to make sure she what she saw was real. "Holy shit, you got Sadie!"
"What the hell are you doing here?" Robin asked.
"Help me," Sadie whimpered. "I feel like I'm gonna pop."
"Of course you do," Robin said. "The dose was calculated for someone much larger and presumably with a resistance to enchantments."
"Just shut up and get me down from here!" Sadie screamed, thrashing. She quickly stilled herself after her struggles elicited soft squeals of strain from her huge body.
"Hold on, I'll get the antidote," Robin grumbled. "I bet you scared off Santa." She went upstairs.
Sadie saw Jenna looking toward the plate of cookies. "Don't eat those!" she warned.
But Jenna had no interest in the cookies. A sparkle drew Jenna's gaze to an ornate crystal snowflake resting next to the plate. Underneath it was a handwritten note. Her jaw dropped as she read it.
I appreciate your efforts. There are so few faithful left. No hard feelings, you're still on my "Nice" list. Better luck next year.