Halloween Gift for Phil
Phillip was always finding fault with everything I did. It didn't matter what it was, he saw everything in such a negative light. We were having problems.
My name is Carrie, and Phil is my husband. He seemed particularly critical of me. Not a day went by without him finding something wrong with me, with what I was doing, or what I had done. There was how I dressed, how I walked, how I made love. In fact, our love life had grown almost non-existent due to Phil's complaints. The list of my faults grew, and each new offense reminded him or my other failures, my personal failings which he had so carefully memorized and catalogued to use against me daily.
He had really been down since losing his job last year when the factory he worked at moved to Mexico. Now, not being the provider, instead of making him grateful for my job and money, it made him bitter and even a frequent complainer. On top of all this, he had gone on a fitness regimen - not that he needed it! Despite my wanting a man with a bit more meat on his bones, Phil had lost weight since our marriage, and now, he was exercising and dieting. He'd even quit smoking and drinking beer and other alcohol - habits which I found made him more endearing and human-like.
More and more, he was turning into a loathsome creature who sought no pleasures, nor wanted any - especially in bed. I tried to please him in all the usual feminine ways - fancy lingerie, oral sex, being on top, dangling my breasts in his face. Nothing helped. He was like a skinny mean monk, troll or ogre - critical of all in his life, unable to experience the pleasures of life.
He even started mentioning that he wanted a divorce. Our life together was a real mess. I tried doing everything I could think of to make things better, but nothing seemed to help.
The day before Halloween, I stopped on my way home from work at a little gift shop which had just opened on the corner near my job. This corner shop had been empty for years, and it was great to see that a new business had moved in.
As I walked in the door, sinister chimes rung out. I saw that this little shop was kind of a throwback to the hippy-dippy days of the 60s, a lot of buddah statues, peace signs, incense, candles, tshirts, teas and more than a little bit of stuff from the occult. In fact, there seemed to be a few special displays with Halloween themes of witchcraft and devils.
I was looking through a shelf of curios and little gifts, thinking of buying my disagreeable husband something beautiful or interesting or masculine, maybe a silver ring or book or a dragon or horse statue. I hoped I could find something to improve his moodiness, at least for a day or two.
As I looked through the books and trinkets, I kept imagining Phil saying disparaging things about each item I pondered. Trying to get a gift for someone so disagreeable was quite depressing. I was just about to give up and leave.
Just then, the shopkeeper came up quietly behind me, and I shivered in shock when she whispered in my ear, "Is there anything I can show you, ma'am?"
I turned to see a stunning tall sleek woman with dark hair. She was wearing an extremely detailed witch's costume. It was more than your usual Halloween costume. It looked like it had been specially designed for her, and it hugged her voluptuous curves. Even in the dim lighting of the shop, her eyes burned brightly as she looked at me intently, waiting for what seemed like minutes for me to speak.
"W-W-W-well, I don't know," I stuttered, still shocked at how she suddenly appeared behind me. "I am looking for something for my husband. He's been in a bad mood for a while and I wanted to find something to improve his outlook."
"Ah, I see," she said kindly, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "I see a lot of women with that objective in mind. There are so many moody husbands in this world. How much were you looking to spend?"
"If it would work," I said with a sigh, "there would be no price too high, but I'm really just looking for something simple and inexpensive."
"Very sensible," she said. "Come with me, and I will show you something inexpensive that will improve his outlook on life."
I followed him over to the corner of the shop, where there were hundreds of little bottles with curious labels. They reminded me of old fashioned apothecary bottles. She took one from the shelf and held it out to me. "This," she said, "will allow you to change your husband's outlook."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"It's really very simple," he replied. "You must add this to your husband's morning coffee or tea tomorrow. You must do this on Halloween! When he drinks it, he will fall into a kind of trance for exactly one minute. When you speak to him, he will hear you and when he wakes, in about five minutes, he will not recall that you have spoken to him or that any time has passed. He will nevertheless change her views and behavior to conform to what you said to her."
"I am not sure I understand," I said doubtfully. "What do you mean he will conform to what I have said?"
"I mean just this," she said with a wave of her hand over top of the bottle. "If you tell him that he thinks you are perfect, he will never again be able to find a single fault in you. If you tell him that he desires you, he won't be able to restrain his lust for you. If you tell him he is too thin, he will grow fat as you want him."
It was as if she had read my mind. I had always wanted Phil to grow a little belly, but he had remained a stickler for staying thin and proper, and I felt his rigorous diet had just made him even more of a sourpuss than ever. In fact, I always thought if I could get him to eat, he would be more satisfied with life. Plus, I wanted him to grow a belly. This was my secret, and I wondered how this witchy shopkeeper had known this.
"Grow fatter?" I asked coyly, trying to sound shocked at the idea, as if I had never imagined such a thing. "Why would I want that?"
"Well, a lot of women want their men to grow fatter," she said, her mouth forming a sinister twist as her eyes danced an evil waltz.
I was lost in thought for a moment, imagining Phil growing a big beer belly and even starting to smoke again for me. I was gazing absently into the smoky incense of the shop for what seemed hours. Finally, the shopkeeper cleared her throat to bring me back to reality.
"You mean that I can tell him to become just like I want and it will become so?" I asked, still doubtful.
"For one minute and one minute only," she replied. "You can only use this once on him, and whatever you say, he will become. So, be careful what you wish for, for you will get it. I suggest you think about it well, write down what you are going to say, practice saying it and time your delivery. You cannot take more than 60 seconds. When he wakes, everything you have said will come gradually to pass."
"How much does it cost?" I asked, doubtful this time if I could afford it.
"As you asked," she said with a smile, "it is inexpensive: only $20."
"I'll take it." I said, offering her a $50 bill. "Keep the change."
"Remember," she repeated. "You must tell Phil all that you desire on Halloween, and you only have 60 seconds."
After leaving the shop, my mind whirled. I kept thinking of things I wanted to say to Phil, wondering how many of them I could say in just one minute. I was so engrossed in thinking about this, that I was two blocks away before I realized that the shopkeeper had said "Phil" even though I had never said my husband's name.
Curious, I turned back toward the shop, but something seemed different as I approached it. The corner shop was closed, dusty, dark, with broken windows, exactly as it had been before its recent opening. Maybe I was on the wrong corner? No. Where was the shop, the curios, the shopkeeper-witch.
I had no idea what this all meant, but soon my thoughts returned again to the potion I had bought and the directions for using it. I knew that I had to be careful, precise, logical, and thorough.
I bought some flowers and some steaks at the local supermarket and then went straight home. Phil had never been the romantic type, and so the flowers went unnoticed. I cooked the steaks with potatoes. Immediately after eating, Phil went to the living room and started doing pushups and crunches in the floor while watching an exercise show on the TV.
I did the mountain of dishes in the sink, tidied up the kitchen and joined Phil in the living room. All evening, I thought of things to say. I pretended to do work I had brought home on my iPad, but all the while, I was deciding what to say and how to say it. I typed as Phil worked out, and I thought to myself, "Yes, he needs to exercise because soon, I am going to make him into the kind of man I have always desired, and exercise will be the last thing on his mind."
To get my timing right, I figured I would practice in the morning before Phil got up.
The next morning, I got up earlier than usual. I revised my notes from the evening's work. I practiced them quietly while I made a simple breakfast and a fresh pot of Earl Grey tea - Phil's favorite. When I heard him stirring, I poured the contents of the little bottle into his teacup, added cream and waited for him to arrive.
(More to come, of course. I started this as an homage to the BBW anonymous weight gain classic "Peggy's New Life." At some point in the writing and editing, this story took on a life of its own and grew along with Phil's waistline.)