Alright you guys. I didn't half this one up. That seemed to cause confusion. It's long but I hope you like it. It's about eight pages, so hope you're ready for a read! Feedback is always wanted, especially from Tsara! LOL! MUAH!
Fat and Sassy
Terry and Nora Burris had just bought the home of their dreams. With their two and a half year old daughter, Marnie, in tow, the little family pushed in through the double front doors of their 1800's colonial style home, and crossed the threshold of their new place of residence.
"Wow! I can't believe this is all ours!" Nora said, setting a box that was marked 'kitchen', on the floor.
"Put me down, Daddy, un go play." Marnie said, wriggling in her father's arms.
"Stay downstairs." he called, and Marnie happily ran off, her soft, strawberry blonde curls bouncing with her stride. Nora smiled, then looked to her husband.
"First thing we have to do is fix the railing there on the second flight of stairs and, then this big hole in the wall here on the first landing, but all in all, that is the only thing that needs to be fixed. Everything else is in good shape."
"WE HAVE A BIG HOUSE!" she shouted in victory, and then leaped toward her husband. Catching her around the waist with his free hand, and trying to save a small box of odds and ends from falling, Terry laughed, and kissed his wife's face, then pulled away to see the smile he loved so very much.
"Now that we have all this space, you know what we have to do, don't you?" Terry asked with a sly look on his face. Nora frowned.
"What?" she asked.
"Fill it with babies!" he chuckled, and pulled Nora closer.
"Terry." she said, her cheeks turning pink.
"Lots of babies." Terry added. When Nora felt his hand fall below her lower back, she widened her eyes, and smiled. Her cheeks now a deep red.
"The baby is awake." She said, then pulled away, and grabbed the kitchen box and made for the kitchen.
"What?" Terry smiled, "It'll just prove that her parents are in love!" he called, following her to the kitchen. Setting his box on the kitchen counter, he slid behind Nora, and brushed her hair from her neck. Giving the gentlest of kisses to the nape of her neck. Nora shivered.
"Wait until Marnie is asleep." She said, moving out of his reach. Terry mimicked her words in a exaggerated manner. Nora laughed.
"Daddy!" came Marnie's voice.
"Marnie!" Terry echoed, making his eyes big, as if he were surprised.
"The big big lady gots canny!" Marnie said, enthusiastically.
"She does!" Terry asked.
"Uh huh! And hers gon gimme some!" Marnie squealed. Nora turned around and looked at Marnie.
"What lady, honey?" she asked.
"The big, big, bigger, big, bigger lady!" Marnie said, pointing way over her head, and standing on the tips of her tiny tennis shoes. Nora smiled.
"Oooh! Is she a giant, Marnie?" Nora asked.
"Yesh ma'am!" Marnie answered, clapping her hands, and laughing.
"And she has candy for you?" Terry asked.
"Yesh shir!" Marnie giggled.
"How tall is she!" Nora asked. Marnie got ready to answer, stopped to think, then frowned.
"No." she answered, still frowning, "She jus BIG!" Marnie corrected.
"Oh! Well," Terry said, looking to Nora as if she had made a terrible mistake, "She's just big, Mom."
"No no, she's BIG!" Nora said, aping Marnie. Marnie laughed.
"I gon go see her!" Marnie said.
Terry watched her go, and it was then that he realized that Marnie was heading towards the stairs.
"Marnie, stay downstairs." he said, then lowered his head and bit and gave her a disapproving look.
"Dat big lady uuup." Marnie said, pointing up the stairs.
"Well tell her to come down here and play with you." Terry said.
"Nope, her can't." Marnie said, letting her head fall to one side, and throwing her little arms out to her sides.
"Marnie has to stay downstairs." Nora said, walking up next to her husband.
"Why?" Marnie whined.
"Because you could get hurt." Nora explained.
"Dat bigger lady gon watch me!" Marnie explained. Nora frowned at Marnie's reply. It was sort of out of character for Marnie to insist on playing somewhere all by herself. But she was indeed growing, and perhaps becoming more independent.
"Were you upstairs before, Marnie?" Terry asked, though he knew she more than likely hadn't been.
"Uh huh!" she squealed, happily. Terry looked at Nora, they both huffed, thankful that Marnie hadn't gotten hurt, but knowing that Marnie was still compelled to misbehave because of the terrible twos. Now they looked back at Marnie.
"The bigger lady has to come down here, or Marnie can't go play with her." Terry said. Marnie dropped her chin to her chest, crossed her arms, and sat right on the stair where she stood.
"Now I get no canny." Marnie cried softly. Terry walked over to her, and sat on the stair with his daughter.
"Daddy will get Marnie her own candy. How's that?" he said softly. Marnie thought about it for a few seconds, then nodded her head to the affirmative. In another moment, Marnie was in her father's arms, fiddling with her fingers, and looking a little sleepy.
"Nap time" Nora mouthed silently to Terry. He gave her a wink, and nodded in agreement.
By the end of the day, Terry and Nora had managed to set up all the beds, the majority of Marnie's bedroom, and their own, one of the spare rooms, moved the furniture inside, and only half of the kitchen. Tired and worn out, Nora sat on the toilet, scrubbing Marnie with soapy sponge, and trying to keep the water off the floor.
"Where Daddy?" Marnie asked.
"He's in our room, probably stealing a nap." Nora said, washing Marnie's back and shoulders.
"Dat not you room, issa bigger lady room." Marnie said.
"Well, then we'll just have to share." Nora said, working her way down Marnie's arm.
"Dat bigger lady don't like you. Don't like Daddy too." Marnie said.
"Marnie, that's not nice. Don't play like that." Nora scolded. Marnie looked at her mother for a moment. Then she sighed. Nora waited for an apology. Marnie was silent. Nora raised an eyebrow.
"I sorry, Mommy." Marnie said quietly.
"You can play all you want to. But don't be mean, okay?" Nora said, with an apologetic look on her face.
"Yesh ma'am." Marnie answered.
Spread out across his king sized bed, Terry laid on his back in a big X, and dozed to the sounds of his wife and daughter. He drifted in and out of consciousness, and soon he was asleep. His slumber was brought to an abrupt halt when he felt an enormous pressure on his abdomen, and all his breath being heaved out. He couldn't breath, and he felt like he was being crushed. The pressure grew and grew, and Terry could feel the blood in his face and neck build as the weight on his body increased. Paralyzed from his shoulders to his knees, he tried in vain to inhale, but there was no use. Frantically, his eyes darted around the room to try to find something, anything he might manage to knock over with his hand or foot. But he was square in the middle of the bed, and most of everything was still in boxes. Terry felt his body begin to tremble with the lack of oxygen. He was going to pass out, if not die! Again and again he tried to breath, but his lungs would not open. He couldn't even whisper.
On the headboard of the bed was a small wooden vase that matched the decor in bathroom. Terry had set it there until Nora could find a better place for it. An object he hadn't thought of for more than a few seconds was now his possible only chance to alert someone that he was in trouble. He patted the mattress with his hand. The vase wiggled. Again and again he patted the mattress, and the vase toppled a little, almost fell, then settled. Terry felt his eyelids fluttering, and his toes and fingertips going numb. With his last bit of energy, he slapped the mattress. The little wooden vase, toppled, rolled every so gingerly to the end of the headboard, lingered for a moment. Terry saw stars, and felt cold. The vase left the headboard, and clacked onto the floor with a dull tock-tock-tocketa-tock.
"Terry?" came Nora's voice. There was no answer.
"Mommy, go get Daddy." Marnie urged, and Nora realized that her daughter looked more than a little concerned. She looked scared.
"Terry, you okay, hon?" she called. Still no answer.
"Mommy." Marnie urged. Grabbing a towel, Nora wrapped Marnie, and sat her on the carpet bathmat.
"Stay right there." she said, and rushed off to the bedroom. Terry was sprawled out on the bed, in an X, his face red and strained, and his eyelids fluttering.
"Terry! Oh my god! Terry! What's wrong! What's wrong!" Nora cried. Hearing the commotion, Marine got up and ran to her parents' bedroom.
"Daddy!" she cried, from the bedroom door. The pressure lifted, and Terry sat up and inhaled so long and so loud it seemed humanly impossible! He coughed, breathed in and out a few times, coughed again.
"Terry, oh my god, Terry what happened."
"I have no idea. It just came out of no where!" he panted, "All of the sudden my wind was just cut off....I couldn't breath!"
"Well did you choke, or swallow something?"
"Nora, I don't know. I just couldn' breath no matter how hard I tried."
"It's dat bigger lady." Marnie said. Terry still recovering, and Nora shocked and bewildered, only replied to their daughters statement with silence.
Six month later, the Burris household was not a happy place. Terry had been to three doctors, and two specialists, but not one of them could find a single thing wrong with him. There were hypothesis, and guesses, but nothing could explain Terry's sudden attacks of not being able to breath, and near suffocation. Nora had explained that Marnie's presence was the only thing that seemed to stop the attacks. The last specialist suggested that Terry see a psychologist. Upon hearing the accounts of the ailment, the attacks, and Marnie being the cure to Terry's episodes, Dr. Alan Barryton suspecting that Terry had acute separation anxiety when he wasn't around his daughter.
"I think you have a terrible fear that something will happen to Marnie, so you have conditioned yourself to go into a dangerous, for lack of a better word, sort of panic when Marnie isn't in your presence." Dr. Barryton said.
"But I don't feel that way at all." Terry countered.
"It sounds like this is something that you are unaware of." Dr. Barryton said.
"What about Marnie talking about this [i]bigger[/i] lady?" Nora asked.
"Mrs. Burris, I'm sure you know children create make-believe friends. The bigger lady is Marnie's manifestation of a naughty playmate that hinders her father. She sees Terry having an episode, speaks out to her playmate, and when Terry sees your daughter, his attack is ended because he has proof that she is just fine." the doctor replied.
"This only happens when I'm at home, though. I am able to work, go places, do things, but when I am at home, this is when this happens." Terry said.
"That too has an explanation. You are distracted by your fears when you are going about your daily routine. At home, you think of all sorts of fears, or dangers, if you will, and they mount into a full blown attack of asphyxiation." Dr. Barryton explained.
"That just doesn't fit." Nora said.
"Well, you have also just moved into a rather large house. A larger environment could hold certain dangers for a little child, and the fact that you are not totally familiar with the house could pose a threat to Terry, and cause him to panic."
Two hours later, Terry and Nora came home.
"Absolute poppycock!" Nora hissed, watching Terry get a glass of water from the sink.
"Maybe he's right, Nora, I mean, I am getting tired of trying to find what is causing this, and more than anything I want it to just stop."
"I know, babe. I know." Nora said, rubbing Terry's shoulders as he stood at the sink.
"I'll try the relaxation exercises, and play the detoxification tapes, and meditate, and give it a go. I have to do something." Terry huffed.
"Why don't you go and try to get a nap in. Marnie's in her room, busy organizing the candy that you bought." Nora smiled.
"Yeah, her and the bigger lady are up there pretending to have a candy shop." Terry smiled back. Nora didn't mean to, but she rolled her eyes.
"Well, she better not eat all it at once, or no more candy for her, or the bigger lady." Nora said, then watched in concern as Terry climbed the stairs, and out of view.
Sue Mason was a neighbor. During the six months that Terry and Nora had lived in their home, Sue had become quite a friend. She babysat for Marnie when Terry had to be rushed to the emergency room, or go to a doctor's appointment, and was always willing to lend a hand or help out. Her home, just a few yards away from Terry and Nora's was also close enough for her to hear any commotion. It was during one of Terry's attacks that Sue came running over to see if she could help. From that day on, she had been to Terry and Nora, and God-sent. Now, as Nora sat brooding into a cup of tea at her kitchen table, Sue sat across from her, and tried to just listen.
"I don't know what I'm going to do."
"Well, sweetie, it could leave just as mysteriously as it came." Sue offered.
"Oh, I wish it would." Nora sighed, "And I wish Marnie would cut out all this bigger lady talk! I know it's just a make-believe friend, but I am beginning to hate a person that doesn't exist!" Nora said. She tried to smile, but Sue could see the tears brimming in Nora's eyes.
"You want to hear something sort of funny?" Sue said suddenly.
"Sure." Nora shrugged.
"Before you all moved in here, there was a big lady that lived here."
Nora's interests were peaked, and Sue had her full attention.
"It was before I moved to this part of the neighborhood, but some of our neighbors have been here for years. Some of them are children of the parents that bought houses here. This is a old neighborhood. Anyway, I think like, maybe in the 1950's, there was this married couple that lived here, and they wanted children so bad. When the wife became pregnant, they were just thrilled. To make a long story short, the wife has a daughter, and they spoiled that little girl something terrible! Oh! She was horrible! She was also extremely overweight. Since she got anything she wanted, she was usually pampered with toys and sweets. And they say that little girl could eat. She was so mean, none of the other little kids in the neighborhood wanted to play with her. She was just so fat, and sassy! So I am supposing that this child had a lot of free time on her hands, and she made herself feel better by eating." Sue said.
"That's sad." Nora sighed, "I don't think this is funny at all."
"Well, I meant strange funny, not ha-ha funny, and the story gets worse. She grew up to be a grossly overweight adult. She never married, and her parents doted on her like she was still a child even when she was grown. It was absurd. But back in those days, people didn't say anything, and mostly kept stuff like this to themselves or just gossiped about it behind closed doors, or after church on Sundays. " Sue chuckled, and so did Nora.
"The way the story goes, is that this woman wanted a car, and her father didn't want to buy it for her, not because he didn't have the money, as I understand it, they had pleanty of that, but because he knew his daughter wouldn't even fit inside the car!"
"Are you serious?" Nora asked, a little skeptical.
"Oh yeah, so she threw an all out tantrum. Can you imagine, a grown adult throwing a tantrum like a child?" Sue asked.
"That's disturbing." Nora said, with a disgusted impression.
"Her father tried to calm her down, and she just wouldn't do it, and she grabbed a hold of that man, and sat on him!" Sue said. Nora busted out laughing. Sue was smiling, but with her next statement, Nora's laughter ceased.
"She killed him."
"Yes she did!" Sue said, "And then wife had to raise that monstrosity all by herself. Of course she was afraid of that woman, and always did her bidding with pep in her step for fear of the same fate."
"Well, weren't the cops called, I mean, she killed her own father."
"It was listed as an accident." Sue said, with a sarcastic look on her face.
"That's incredible." Nora said.
"Once that woman's mother died, she had to hire a staff to cook and clean for her, and she treated her staff the same way she treated her parents."
"What happened to her? Why did she move from here?" Nora asked.
"Well, she didn't move. I don't know that much about her, except the gossip around here in the neighborhood, and I what I heard from town, but I know that her name was Courtney Parchmont, and she died trying to walk down the stairs." Sue said.
"Here!" Nora said, her eyes widening.
"Yeah. Courtney hated adults, not hard to figure that one out, but she did love kids. I think she was still lonely for playmates and still wanted a somewhat normal life with friends even as an adult. She got so big that she couldn't get out of bed. Ballooned up to some seven hundred and sixty sum pounds. Halloween was her favorite holiday, and she would have her staff haul her body downstairs so she could hand out candy and see the children." Sue said. Nora felt her blood run cold, and suddenly Marnie's words rang in her ears.
[i]"The big big lady gots canny!...And hers gon gimme some!"[/i]
"One year, Courtney had gained so much weight, they just couldn't lift her anymore, and she decided that she would get out of bed herself. Her staff kept trying to stop her, but she wouldn't listen, and she clawed, and dragged herself to the stairs, and tumbled to her death. I heard she was somewhere in the eight hundreds when she died. They had to hook up a pulley to get her body out of the staircase, because she was so heavy, she was partially lodged into the wall, what with all that weight falling on it from that high up."
"Oh dear god." Nora gasped.
"People say that she hated men, a grudge she held against her father for years, and that she only had females on her staff. The only men that were allowed in her home were her doctors, and when she died, the men that removed her from the wall."
Nora wasn't hearing much, but the pieces were now in place, and she was getting a clear picture of what was going on.
"You knew about this all this time, and you didn't tell me!" Nora shouted.
"Well, sweetie, what's the matter with you." Sue asked in a calm, but confused voice.
Suddenly, from upstairs, Marnie's voice rang out over the calm of the house like a bell at school.
[b]"NO! NO! NO! YOU STOP BIGGER LADY! LEAVE MY DADDY 'LONE!"[/b]
Nora and Sue jumped up from the kitchen table and made for the stairs. As Nora passed the location of the mended hole on the first flight of stairs, she screamed out.
"COURTNEY! LEAVE HIM ALONE!"
Up the second flight they flew, Nora taking the steps two at a time, and pulling her weight with the railing. Passing the area where the railing had been replaced, she called out again.
"COURTNEY! GET OFF OF TERRY!"
"You think Courtney is causing Terry's..." Sue began.
"NO NO, BIGGER LADY!" came Marnie's shout, again.
"COURTNEY! YOU LEAVE MY HUSBAND ALONE YOU FAT BI...!"
Silence filled the room when Nora reached the doorway to her bedroom. There, transparent as mist, and visible as any other object in the room, stood a grotesquely obese apparition. She was dressed in a huge sailor outfit, that looked like white, but aged to a cream color, and trimmed in pink. Her arms and legs were rolls upon rolls of flesh that were riddled with sores, and the hands and feet looked tiny in comparison with the rest of her body. Her face was small, and set in a mound of fat, and large spiral curls surrounded her head, and atop the pristine hairdo, a tiny pink bow that matched the trim of her clothes. The eyes looked hollow, and beneath them, were dark circles equivalent to the hue of a moonless night. Courtney appeared to smile, but it did little to change her facial expression being that there was so much skin around her face. It was a sinister expression none the less.
"I don't have to listen to you." replied Courtney, in strangely child-like voice.
Terry was sitting on the floor, his mouth agape, and his eyes huge with disbelief.
"Yes you do, Courtney. Terry didn't do anything to you!" Nora scolded.
"I don't like Terry!" Shouted Courtney.
"Don't hurt my daddy, bigger lady." Marnie said in a gentle voice. With that, she walked to her father, and put her arms around his neck. Terry embraced her protectively.
"Daddies are mean!" Courtney sneered, looking over to Marnie.
"NO! You mean, bigger lady!" Marnie snapped. Courtney's face appeared to take on a hurt expression.
"But I thought you were my friend." The horrid sight said whined.
"No, becuss you hurt my daddy." Marnie said, gravely serious for a child so small. She shook her head from side to side, and furrowed her brow.
"Just go way , go way, bigger lady. You not nice!" Marnie said, shaking her finger at the ghost.
"Leave this house, Courtney. You aren't welcome here." Nora said in a low voice, quite comparable to a growl.
"I'm not welcome anywhere! No one likes me! So I'll do what I want!" Courtney shrieked. The room filled with a whipping wind, and the entire house shook as Courtney stamped her foot on the floor.
It was little Marnie that broke the silence.
"I like you, but not when you mean." she said, matter-of-factly, and stepping out from her father's arms. Terry was reluctant, but couldn't deny that his little girl was the only one of the three of them that was getting through to the ghost. Marnie put her little hands on her hips. Terry kept his hands on his daughter from where he sat on the floor.
Courtney's tiny hands hid her face. She sounded like she was crying.
"But when I'm not mean?" Courtney asked.
"I like you okay." Marnie said, "You my friend!" she squealed, throwing her arms up! Courtney gave a gasp of overwhelming happiness.
"You're my friend too. My first friend." Courtney said. Marnie ran towards Courtney, and Nora, Terry, and Sue jumped forward. Turning to the adults, Marnie reassured them with a strange look, then turned to Courtney.
"Here." she said, and reached out a little chubby fist to the ghost. Courtney's ghostly hand came just below Marnie's, and with that, the little girl dropped a brightly wrapped piece of candy into the outstretched hand. Amazingly, the little token of friendship did not pass through the ghost's hand. Instead, Courtney clasped the gift to her heart, and smiled. Her sickly appearance began to fade, as with the sores over her body, and the darkened circles below her eyes. Two bright blue eyes replaced the hollowness, and a bright peachy color flooded her body. The sailor dress turned from cream to a brilliant white, and Courtney began to fade.
"Thank you, Marnie....goodbye...."
The whispers of Courtney's last words lingered for a moment, and then faded all together. Terry made a full recovery, and the Burris household was never again troubled by Courtney's ghost.