As the snow fell down heavily around him, Stephen fished around his pockets for his house keys with one hand while balancing his laundry basket against his underarm with the other. He could feel the outline of the keys in the cloth, but there was some sort of weird fold that was preventing him from reaching them, so he gave up and banged his elbow against the door a few times to knock.
The door opened and Veronica greeted him. “Hey Steve! You made it back!” she said helping him out by taking the basket off of his hands which freed him up to grab the duffle off of the porch of the row house.
“Yeah, the roads are getting really bad out there. Took me five freaking hours to drive back. And I nearly slid off of the exit ramp when I got off the interstate!” He said, stomping snow off of his shoes on the welcome mat before entering the house. He set the duffle down in the hallway and made his way to the kitchen. “Is the party still on?”
“Still on. Will be a much smaller crowd though. Blake just texted from the grocery store and said the lines are atrocious.” she said while leaning against the door jamb while Stephen searched the cabinets and refrigerator frantically.
“No food until he gets back?” he asked while pulling the last 3 crackers from their wrapper and popping them into his mouth. “I’m starving!”
“He should be home soon with snacks and beer. I have some tofu in the fridge if you want?” she offered with a wink knowing full well what the response was going to be.
“I said I’m starving, not desperate.” he joked back. “Did you have a good Christmas?”
“Yeah. I went over to my mom’s. The usual family drama with my sister, but it was mostly pleasant. Came back here the next day so it was short. What about you? Did you get any good presents?”
At this question, a lightbulb went off above Steve’s head. “Yeah… I did get something good!” he said reclaiming the laundry basket from Veronica and digging through the various items it contained. “Aha!” he declared proudly as he pulled out a small square fancy black box with the letters DM etched in glossy black type on the side and a black bow on top.
“Devious Majik, huh? They have some really cool stuff! What is it?”
“Food!” he said as he opened the lid and pulled out a very nicely decorated caramel apple on a stick from the box and immediately took a huge bite out of the side. “Holy crap that is so good!” he said with his mouth full.
Veronica looked at him with a bit of concern as he tore into the candy covered fruit. “You know about their stuff right?”
“Who’s stuff?” he said taking another bite.
“Devious Majik.” she stated.
“Never heard of it before.”
She picked up the box and showed him. “They sold the candy apple you’re eating.” She looked at the text towards the bottom and read it out loud: “Enjoy a special yummy treat straight from ‘The Garden’.”
“All I know is that it tastes amazing. It’s like caramel with cinnamon mixed in and just a hint of sea salt.” He ate some more. “I ended up with it during our white elephant gift exchange. I wanted the handheld bug zapper but my aunt stole it from me in the last round and left me with this instead. I am so glad now because I was about to pass out from hunger!”
“Yeah, but their products often do weird shit. Just want to make sure you’re prepared.” she said knowing it was too late as he had taken the last bite of the apple, leaving the core.
“What do you mean by ‘weird shit’? Is it going to make me vomit or break out or something?” he licked the remaining caramel off of both the top and bottom of the apple before tossing it into the trash can.
“Nah, nothing like that. You’ll just probably grow a monkey tail or bat wings is all.”
“Ha ha. Very funny.” he patted his belly in satisfaction.
“You think I’m kidding, but I did see a girl from my office actually grow a monkey tail after eating some of their candy.”
“Wow. You are really committed to this bit, aren’t you?” he laughed as he reached up for the cabinet above the sink.
She smirked at him. “Hmmm… are you standing on your toes to get a glass down?”
He looked down at his feet, that were indeed fully extended to give him a few inches of added height, but even with that, he still had to stretch his arms as far as they could go to grab the cabinet handle. “What the hell?” he asked in shock as he put his feet flat on the ground. “I’ve never had a problem reaching that before.”
“C’mere” she motioned to him with a finger while looking him over with a mix of fascination and concern. “Stand next to me.”
He shuffled over to her, his shoes now entirely too big and his feet sliding around inside of them. His eye-line was at her nose. “I’m shrinking???” he was panicking because he was easily four inches taller than her just a few moments before, and now he was an inch, then two inches… no wait, now three inches shorter than his housemate!
“Honey, I’m afraid you’re doing more than shrinking.” she said as she motioned towards his chest which was slowly, but very visibly inflating into a pair of female breasts.