“Edda, don't get hair spray on that dress, now.”
Edda's heart pounded. “I'm just brushing my hair, Mom.” She stared into the mirror: her apple-cheeked face and her tangled, sticky hair. All she had to do was say the spell.
“You almost done?”
“In a minute!”
“These presents aren't going to carry themselves!”
Edda took a deep breath and looked herself in the eye. “You look very old. Everyone says this,” Edda chanted “...but you know better. You have always known, and to others say nothing, that you are not as old as you appear to be.”
Edda breathed in and grew, as if inflating. Her slim, short body grew curves, hips stretched her skirt and breasts that filled her blouse. Taller and taller she grew, her waist thinning, her neck elongating. Edda's kinky, sticky hair cascaded across her shoulders, bouncing and shining in gently curled ringlets. Her lips plumped and pouted, parting only to let a gasp pass through.
The baby fat evaporated and exposed her high cheekbones. Edda stared at her long, graceful fingers. They flew to her hips which peeked out from either side of her. The feeling was difficult to describe, but she liked them: somehow the perfect width, arcing out from her tight tapered waist, and above them, her crowning glory, were tight, perky...
“Boobs!” Edda gasped. She swagged her finger at the mirror. “My bosom,” she corrected, slipping a hand under the neckline. Underneath appeared a red brassier: perfect with her green velvet dress.
“Edda!” shouted Mom. “We're late for Christmas dinner!”
“I'm coming, Mom!” Her new voice echoed down the stairs: smooth like pumpkin pie and twice as sweet. She still had her hands inside her bra. Gently she lifted her bosoms out, cupped in her hands, her long fingers sinking in. “I can't believe I have boobs. Thank you.” She kissed them. “Thank you, thank you...”
Mom burst through the door. ”Edda!”
“Mom! It's not, I mean--”
“I can't leave you alone for two seconds! It's Christmas, for God's sake.” She stuffed Edda back into her dress. “Show a little restraint, and don't forget your suitcase. We're going.”
It worked. “It totally worked! Oh, thank you, thank you!” Edda kissed her reflection and bounced down stairs. “It's the most wonderful time of the year!” she sang, twirling in her green Christmas dress. Her family, blind to the change, all sang with her all the way to Grandma's house.
Edda got to sit at the adults' table. She managed to get her share of stuffing before Uncle Mark ate it all, and she took all the sweet potato casserole she wanted. While the kids were crammed in the side room with the piano and the couch, whining about presents or flinging their food, Edda devoured her own bowl of vanilla ice cream.
“Have some wine,” Grandma said. It was bitter, but Edda drank the whole glass. Red faced and stomach burning, she savored every moment.
After dinner Edda won the family Scrabble tournament for the first time. “OXIDE, that's 39 points!” she squealed. “I didn't even know I knew that word!”
“God-damn it,” said Uncle George. Grandma slapped him on the wrist, and Edda was thrilled.
While the kids were asleep, Edda watched It's A Wonderful Life. As the adults left for bed, Edda dried her eyes on the couch. She'd never understood the movie until now.
“Edda,” whispered Aunt Sharon. “You're still up?”
“Yeah,” she sniffed. “I'm sorry.”
“It's alright. I need you to help me with the presents.”
“What presents?” she asked.
“For the kids. Come on, they're in the attic.”
“Why didn't you put them under the tree?” Edda frowned.
“Because,” Aunt Sharon winked. “Santa put them there.”
“But Santa doesn't--”
The realization chilled her like a blizzard. Edda silently put the presents under the tree, each one marked with a tag: “From Santa.” She went to bed and watched the snow fall outside the window, as if for the last time.
A Christmas story for everyone who grew up.
Contains age progression.
Contains age progression.
That took a sharp turn. It was fun though!
Well that got abruptly depressing for such a short thing.
I prefer not to think about it as depressing. It's somber, yes, but it's all a part of growing up.
Little kids, always in such a hurry to grow up; then when they do, realize that the world was a much nicer place when they were young.