The fog was finally lifting, but visibility was still low in that murky God-forsaken swamp. People avoided the miles of wetlands like the plague, but for the three scum-soaked figures that now plodded through it, it was their salvation, the perfect hide-out for three fugitives from a minimum security women's prison. Their only hope was that the authorities would continue to think that they were heading north, giving them a chance to lay low for a while, then make their break to the south and ultimately freedom.
They were walking in file, but keeping close together. Taking the lead was Jackie, a natural leader, she had the confidence that the other two lacked. Nature endowed her with a near genius IQ, but unfortunately bad judgment. Her crime was Grand Theft Auto and she was doing hard time for it. It didn't matter much to a hard-ass judge if her relationship had failed and the stress caused something inside to snap, a crime was committed and he gave her ten years in prison for it.
Then there was Margie, a follower, a small city girl who had plans for the future, whose only real crime was hanging out with the wrong kind of friends. Her luck had run out as she waited in the car while her friends went into a store to buy beer, the only problem was that they didn't have any money, and so Margie stood trial for armed robbery with the rest, and received a hard sentence for her non-involvement.
Bringing up the rear was Francis, the proverbial "Bad Girl". She had been in and out of the prison system since she was fifteen years old. It may have been the tough neighborhood she grew up in, or her broken family life, but either way she was headed down a destructive path, and the Louisiana Judicial system decided to put her away for her own good and for the good of society.
Together they had planned this escape, it would be daring but they were desperate, for months they talked about what they would do once they were free, and now freedom was close at hand. Jackie had gotten them on a work detail cleaning up highways, and made sure that they were trusted by being very cooperative for several days, but after a while, the guards became too complacent, giving the three women the chance that they needed, and as the sun went down on one blistering July evening, the three of them disappeared into the woods.
They ran all through the night, heading straight for the biggest swamp on the map. Margie thought they were crazy for going to a swamp, but this was Jackie's plan, and she knew what she was doing. Anybody would be hard pressed for wanting to chase them into such a deadly area, if the bugs don't eat you alive, some other deadly animal will get you. It was a horrible situation, but perfect if you're trying to elude a posse. There were no trails left behind, and now that dawn was breaking they would need a place to hunker down for a while.
"God, we've only been in this swamp for one night, and I'm sick of it already." Francis' words could speak for all three of them, but she would never give up the swamp to go back to prison.
Marge was more delicate than Francis, she wasn't used to the outdoors, much less a swamp "I'm feeling kind of sick, how long are we going to be in here?"
"A few days, maybe a week, we'll have to feel our way." Jackie spoke with an authority that made the other two relax "Just don't do anything foolish, and we'll be out of this soon enough."
To look at the three girls, one would never suspect that they could ever be convicted of anything. They were all around five and a half feet tall and maintained a feminine poise. Only Francis seemed a little tougher than the others, which made sense since she ran with street toughs since she was a teenager, but even with the years of hard living, she seemed to maintain some grace about her. Margie was slender and light, which made her thick brown hair look even bigger, but after a night in the swamp her once beautiful hair was a gnarled mess. Jackie was the kind of girl that made men stare, she was beautiful and sexy, and a college graduate with plans for a career, but her one mistake threw her life into turmoil, and escaping seemed to be the only option now.
It was a bizarre sight, a building that would have been commonplace in any neighborhood, except that it was hidden in the middle of a swamp. It was built on a mound of land that rose only a few feet from the water, with gnarled cypress trees growing around it, if there had been any more leaves on the trees the house would have been completely hidden. As it was, the Spanish Moss that grew out of the rotting wood of the house kept it pretty well camouflaged anyway. The dampened wood around the base of the house was rotting and several of the windows were boarded up, it was also obvious that birds had been nesting on the roof for many years.
"Hey, look at that! Who would build a house in the middle of this awful swamp?" Margie wondered.
Francis stood there staring in awe. "Maybe it wasn't a swamp when it was built."
Jackie quickly shot back "Couldn't be, this swamp has been here for centuries. The person who built this house obviously wanted to be secluded, and judging from the architecture, I'd say it was built about a hundred and fifty years ago."
Francis and Margie accepted Jackie's analysis of the situation. They all stood there for a few moments more staring at the house, then at each other, then at the house again. Jackie decided it was time to move "Let's check this out closer."
Margie was a bit nervous "What if there's somebody living there."
"If there is, then they'll have to get use to a few house guests for a while." Jackie was starting to form a plan as she spoke "You know, this would be ideal for hiding out in. We can lay low here for about a week, then head south."
"Hey, maybe we can get dried up and a change of clothes." Margie's outlook was starting to brighten up.
Francis sloshed through the mire as she spoke "Assuming there's any clothes there, or anybody there who would give us any clothes."
The three women were within a few feet of the front porch. Jackie was trying to be cautious as she put her foot on the first step "Shush you guys, let's be careful, and keep your eyes and ears open."
The steps creaked as all three climbed up the stairs. Jackie took a breath, then slowly pushed open the large heavy door. "It looks deserted, but be alert anyway." The three of them walked in and stopped in the foyer. Indeed it looked as though nobody had lived here for quite some time, but then Margie noticed something in one of the rooms and grabbed Jackie's arm. "What do you see?"
Margie spoke very softly "In that room, it looks like a small fire in the fireplace" They walked into what appeared to be a living room, it was dimly lit by the smoldering embers which had caught their attention "Not much of a fire here."
"Which explains why we didn't see any smoke coming out of the chimney." Jackie was always examining clues, which gave the other two a lot of confidence in her. They knew that if anybody were to get them out of this situation, it would be Jackie.
They all stood there examining the room. There was garlic, potatoes, and other tubers hanging in front of all the windows. Jars filled with unknown animal parts were in the corners, but what caught their attention the most were the wax dolls that stood on the mantle. "Look at these" Jackie called to her companions. The three women stood there examining the dolls, some were cute and some were ugly. Two of the dolls were tied together with red twine, and then there were four of them that didn't have any features. "It looks like these are unfinished."
Margie was examining one that looked like it had hair strung around it "These things give me the creeps." She put it back on the mantle and backed away.
Frances then noticed something on the stone hearth, it appeared to be several of the wax figurines, except that they were hideously formed; one had several extra arms, and three others were molded to look like humans but with various animal features such as hoofs and horns. For a moment, Frances lost some of her toughness "This is weird!"
Margie wanted to meet whoever was here, but her shaky voice betrayed her nervousness "Hello - hello, anybody here?" silence follow for a few seconds. Again Margie spoke "Hello - is anybody…"
There was a sudden creak as a door swung open, and standing at the threshold was the most crooked old woman that any of them had ever seen. Her clothes were repugnant with years of swamp living, her fingers were arthritic and her hair was white as snow.
"Who are you?" She snapped. "What are you doing in my house?" She was definitely annoyed. She then noticed Jackie holding two of her wax figurines "Put those back, don't ever touch my poppets!" she said angrily as she pointed to the wax figures.
Jackie quickly put the poppets back on the mantle, and tried to be apologetic. "We're sorry."
The old woman stepped forward. "Why are you here?" As she stepped into the light, her face became more visible. Her skin was like leather, and her teeth were few. The most striking feature about her though was her right eye - it wasn't there. It wasn't just an empty socket where her eye should have been, it appeared that her skin had grown over orbital area, possibly the result of a fire. In any case, the sight of her revolted the young women.
"We were looking for a little shelter." Jackie said, trying to be as diplomatic as possible. "I hope that isn't too much of an imposition?"
The old woman paused to examine the three younger ones. She sniffed at the air a few times and then slowly walked around Francis, stopping to take another few whiffs "Ah, the smell of evil is around you!"
Francis became annoyed "What the Hell?" She turned to Jackie. "I say we snuff the old bitch!"
Jackie grew immediately angry at Francis' rude behavior. "Shut up France!" Then she turned her attention to the old woman "Look, don't listen to Francis. We just need a place to stay for a few days, then we'll be on our way."
"On your way, eh?" The crippled old women laughed mockingly "On your way to where? I know evil when I smell evil, and you'll be leaving this house right now!"
Margie was becoming intrigued with the woman. "What do you mean, can you really smell evil?"
"Hmm" The woman grumbled as she hobbled closer to Margie. "Believe me, evil knows evil. I've been hiding in this swamp for a long time, to escape the persecution." As she moved closer to Margie, Margie became repulsed at the woman's odor and covered her nose with her hand. "Believe me, you don't know anything."
Jackie was now more curious about the woman herself "What do you mean? Why were you persecuted?
The old woman carefully sat down in a rotted chair "That's what they do to you if you're different. That's what they do to you when the ignorant superstitious people band together, when they peg somebody as being unholy, when they order you stoned, when they convince the townsfolk to do evil themselves, then they try to kill you by nailing you to a tree." She then held up her hands and the three girls saw the mangled holes in her wrists. "People know how to hate, and I had to hide."
"What did you do?" Jackie's voice offered sympathy. "Why did they do this to you?"
The old woman looked up at the light filtering through the dilapidated curtains "Because I refused to abide by their way of life, because I worshipped the Earth. I performed rituals that they didn't understand, and I could work magic"
Francis' face lit up. "Oh Jesus, I get it, she's a witch!" She looked down at the old woman. "You're a witch, or something like that, aren't ya?"
"Call it what you like. I've lived too long to care. Now I must rest and you must go!" The old woman stood up from her chair and began to walk toward a door.
"Hey, wait a minute you old hag!" Francis was very perturbed and became mean-spirited toward the old woman "I don't think we're communicating here. We're not leaving!"
The old woman stopped and turned around "That's just what the solders said, but they paid the price."
Jackie, who had become very interested in the old woman's story, stepped closer. "Solders, what solders?"
"I think they were from the North, yes, that's right, from the North. They were Union solders." The three young women stood in cold silence, chills were running down their spines. Could this old woman be talking about the Civil War? The old woman continued. "There were three of them, just like you, all cock sure of themselves, hiding out in this swamp and ready to destroy anything."
Margie felt her skin turn cold. "You mean you were here during the Civil War?"
Francis was also stunned, but only for a moment. "Oh I don't believe this shit! The bitch is lying. How can anyone be that old. I've had just about enough of this bullshit!"
Now the old woman was growing angry, she had just about enough of this herself. She pointed her cane directly at Francis and walked toward her. "Sure I'm lying. That's right, this is all a joke, and when I cause evil to befall you, you will be laughing like a mad woman!" For the first time, Francis was showing fear. She stepped back as the old woman got closer. "That's right you stupid fool, you better think about the way you treat people, especially scary old hags like me. Who knows, maybe this crazy old witch will turn you into a toad!" The old woman's cane began poking Francis in the chest. After a few more pokes Francis grabbed the cane and tried pull it away, but the old woman wouldn't let go, and started screeching like a Banshee. In no time they were both involved in a scuffle for dominance.
Margie didn't want to see things turn ugly and moved to separate them, but the old woman scratched at her, the lunged at Francis. Francis tried to swing her around, hoping to break free, but the old woman grabbed a hold of Francis' hair and pulled her down to the floor. They fell hard, knocking a chair out of the way. Jackie was shocked at all of this, she stood by not knowing what to do without getting involved herself. It was obvious that the old woman had gone mad, she was wailing at Francis like a lunatic! The old woman now had the upper hand and gripped her gnarled fingers around Francis' neck, intending to snuff the life out of her, when out of the shadows rushed Margie with a leg that had broken off the chair, and with a burst of fury, whacked the old woman three times on the head, causing her body to go limp and fall down beside of Francis. Silence fell upon the house for a few moments.
Margie dropped her weapon and put her hands to her head. "My God, is she … dead?
Francis looked over at the old woman laying next to her, relieved that it was over. "Damn girl, you really came through today!" Then she examined the woman's head "I don't know, these blows look fatal enough."
Margie became distraught, and walked away from the scene.
Jackie finally spoke up. "Okay, alright, let's pull ourselves together." For the first time, Jackie was at a loss for words. "Let's think this out, we've got to think."
"What's there to think about, the old woman attacked us and we killed her, the end." Francis seemed to be totally unfazed, and turned to Margie and said teasingly. "Or rather, Margie killed her. Hey Margie, how does it feel to kill someone?"
Margie turned toward Francis screaming "Shut up, just shut the fuck up. God, don't you ever quit!"
"The both of you shut up!" Jackie was ready to take control again. "Look, we're in this together. Now she didn't mention anything about anybody else living here. I say we look for some clothes and food, and then we blow out of here."
What about your plan of hiding out here for a week?" Francis was annoyed. "You've got it all figured out now, don't you!"
Jackie wasn't taking any Francis' grief. "Change of plans, we'll be finding another place to lay low. But right now, scavenge what you can."
Jackie went looking for a kitchen to find some food while Francis and Margie went upstairs to find some clothes. It didn't take long for Jackie to realize that the old woman lived on swamp crud, there wasn't much in the kitchen that seemed edible except for some soft oranges. Jackie grabbed a sack and threw several oranges into it, then she went upstairs to find her two companions. Margie and Francis met Jackie at the top of the stairs. "Ain't much here in the way of clothes, except for some formal gowns." Francis said "How about if we stay at least one day, I'm pretty beat."
"Maybe, I want to have another look at the old lady first." Jackie was still the unofficial leader, and the other two followed her down the stairs to the living room. The fog filtered sun was shining brightly through the windows and lit up the room quite well, which made no mistake to what the three girls saw - the old woman's body was gone!
Jackie was silent, and even Francis was stunned. Then Margie's quivering voice broke the silence. "Look, on the mantle, some dolls are missing!"
"Three of them," Jackie spoke. "Three dolls are missing. This isn't good."
Then the three of them heard a cackling laugh echo through the house!
Francis threw up her arms. "All right, that's it. I'm outta here!" Then she started walking toward the door. The other two girls turned around and followed, but just as Francis reached the front she stopped and grabbed her thighs.
"What's wrong?" Questioned Jackie.
"Nothing, I just had some sudden sharp pains in my hips" Then Francis straightened up and continued out the door.
The swamp suddenly looked more inviting to three girls than the house did. As Jackie and Margie walked down the steps, Margie stopped and spoke to Jackie. "You know, I don't feel so good either, I'm getting a tight feeling in my stomach!"
Jackie stood there for a moment and watched as Francis and Margie walked away into the swamp, and wondered what the hell was going on.
Today was stickier than yesterday. The three girls trod through the endless muckiness. Jackie had started off behind the other two, but was now taking the lead, while Francis seemed to be slowing down. She appeared to be having trouble with her walk too. Twice during the past hour they had to stop because Margie thought she was going to throw up, but the tightness in her torso would not expel anything from her stomach.
Another half an hour went by, then Francis had to take a break. She sat on a mound of muddy ground and started untying her shoes.
Margie walked toward her. "Francis, what are you doing?"
"These shoes are killing me, they're feeling so tight - I've got to get them off!" Francis had an agonizing look on her face as she tried to pull off the first shoe. Jackie went to help her, after a few seconds the two of them managed to pop the shoe off, and were taken aback at the sight of her foot! It appeared to be swollen horribly, and not just the skin and muscles, but the bones too.
Jackie stood back and stared. "Wow, that looks pretty bad." Then she helped to remove the other shoe. "It looks the same, both of your feet are the same, and it looks like your legs are starting to swell too!"
Margie had her hand over her mouth. "Maybe you caught some infection in this swamp."
"Well let's get out of this stinking disease infested place before it gets worse" Francis said as she threw her shoes into the mud. Then she slowly hobbled back into the water, it was obvious she was in pain.
The three of them commenced trudging through the swamp. Jackie continued to lead, she had determined a southern route and the other two girls followed. The midday sun was beating down on the three fugitives now, and made them all feel rather ill. Jackie figured that whatever was making them sick must be the reason for Margie's nausea, and the tight feeling she was experiencing in her abdomen. Another ten minutes had passed by when Jackie realized that Francis was having difficulty moving her legs. It looked as though her legs were getting fatter, but it was hard to tell with the baggy blue pants that she was wearing, but something still wasn't right. As they marched along, Jackie would continue to glance back, it was strange how Francis' thighs seemed to be getting bigger on the sides, but not on the front and back, and her hips were getting wider too.
After a few more minutes, Francis couldn't stand it any longer and crawled to another muddy bank "Jesus, I can barely move my legs!" She started shaking from the waist down. Jackie and Margie were completely befuddled, was this some kind of swamp illness? Francis' pain was becoming more agonizing "What's happening to me, help me!" She tried to sit down but her pants were becoming too tight around the hips and thighs.
Jackie quickly examined her. "Man, you're swelling up from something. We've got to get these pants off of you." Then she called to Margie who was just reaching the bank "We're going to have to cut these pants off, do you have anything sharp?"
Margie reached into her pocket. "I grabbed this knife from the hag's kitchen."
"Great, give it here." Jackie grabbed the knife and started to tear at Francis' right pant leg. Both legs were shaking uncontrollably at this point which made the operation more difficult. Jackie instructed Margie to start ripping at the material that she just cut as she jumped to the left pant leg and started to cut it as fast she could.
Francis was quite frightened now. "Oh my God, am I going to die?!" She tried to help get her pants off, but they were too tight. Jackie and Margie worked feverishly to shred the pants off of her. About a minute later they successfully cut the pants off, and were aghast at what they saw - Francis' hips had grown almost twice as wide, and now the rest of her legs were twice as wide too. Her skin was getting lumpy in places and stretching in other spots, and continued with whatever it was that this strange metamorphosis was doing to her. Francis grit her teeth and tried to look down at her legs, but the pain was too much for her. The other two girls watched as the skin around her legs looked like it was tearing apart, in many spots the skin was starting to crack open and pink puss would ooze out. Then Jackie looked at one of her kneecaps, it started to appear normal again, except that a few inches to the outside of the swollen leg there seemed to be another kneecap forming. It was becoming more distinct with each passing second. Just as she was becoming aware of what she was seeing, both of Francis' legs started kicking wildly. Francis held onto her hips and started screaming "What's happening, what's happening, make it stop!" There was nothing that anyone could do!
Jackie and Margie both took a step back. As Francis legs continued to kick, the sound of tearing flesh filled the air. Her legs were quickly widening and reforming. Jackie shook with fear as she kept her eye on one leg, then she glanced down at the foot. The toes were splitting apart, then the bones in the foot sounded like knuckles cracking, for a moment it was one wide foot with ten toes, but within a half a minute the foot started to split, the splitting continued up to the ankle, she now had a wide leg with two feet at the end! The other leg was the same way, but it didn't stop there, like a zipper the splitting raced up both legs, two distinct legs were coming apart at each knee section, now her thighs were splitting, and the ripping of skin didn't stop until it reach her hips. Blood splattered out from where the skin was ripping, but then the skin would heal up just as quickly. From Francis' wide hips, there extended four legs, two right legs and two left legs. All four legs were moving asynchronously to each other, but were slowing down while the scarred flesh from where the legs had split from each other quickly healed. Francis propped herself up enough to look down at herself "Oh my God!" She couldn't say anymore, her face twitched from the horror of what had happened.
Margie was shaking as she watched Francis' four legs move slowly on the ground, then with a weak voice she observed. "It's the witch, I know it is, she's cursed us. I've got to get out of here." Then she took off, trying to run as fast as the mud and water would let her.
For the first time Jackie was confused as to what to do. As she moved to chase after Margie, she was stopped by Francis' plea. "Please don't leave, help me!" For a moment Jackie thought about staying to help her friend, but what could she do? If this was indeed a curse brought about by the swamp witch, then for her own sake she had better run too. She looked at Francis and shook her head with a "No" reply, then turned and ran in the direction of Margie, leaving Francis laying there in tears, and with four legs that was to become her prison.
Jackie just missed stepping on a mud snake as she stomped up onto land, the only guidance she had now was Margie's occasional hysterical scream emanating through the mossy underbrush. She now was on a large tract of dry land, but the heat and humidity made it no better than if she was still waist-deep in the swamp. The screaming appeared to come from several directions, but the occasional footprints in the mud kept Jackie on the right track. The harsh foliage braised her skin roughly as she pushed her way through the woods, stopping every few seconds to check the direction of Margie's screams. Then Jackie heard a blood-curdling scream! She looked up at the trees and zeroed in on a flock of birds that had suddenly took flight, and ran in the direction that they flew from.
Jackie emerged into a small clearing to find Margie sitting against a small tree, her arms wrapped around her waist. She looked at Jackie with blood shot eyes and said in a weakened voice. "Oh God, it hurts."
Jackie put her hands on Margie's shoulders. "Where does it hurt?" Margie looked down at herself. "Is it your stomach? Where?" Jackie continued her inquiry. "Can you walk, can you get up?"
Margie was more frightened than ever. She saw what had happened to Francis, and the thought of what horrible fate could be awaiting her was starting to hit home. She moved to try to stand up, but was suddenly hit with more pain. "Oh my God, I'm burning up!" She rubbed her hands on her abdomen, squeezing at the skin, then started rubbing at her breasts. "Something's happening, my boobs feel tight, like they're going to burst!"
"Try to calm down a little," was all Jackie could think of saying. She was at a complete loss as how to help Margie. Margie sat back against the tree and continued to rub her breasts, the pain causing her to gasp for breath. Jackie thought she had better check out what was happening so she unbuttoned Margie's shirt. As she opened up the shirt, her eyes grew wide with what she saw. "Good Lord Marge, your breasts have swollen something awful!"
Margie looked down at herself and stared for a few seconds as a chill ran down her spine. "Oh no. Quick, help me get this stuff off," she said, referring to her shirt and bra. She wrestled to get her shirt off quickly, then they both stopped for a few seconds and stared at her breasts, which continued to increase in size. Her bra was now pinching her breasts in two, creating a trench across them, and large veins were swelling on the surface of her breasts. "I've got to get this bra off, help me!" Margie bent over painfully to prop herself on her hands and knees while Jackie undid the bra clasp in the back. Suddenly the bra snapped away and fell off her torso and to the ground. Jackie move back a little and stared at Margie, the veins throbbed as her breasts slowing increased more in size, they were getting fatter in all directions and her nipples were getting larger too. Margie, still on her hands and knees looked down at her breasts, then looked up at Jackie, tears were running down her cheeks.
Suddenly Margie started moaning in agony again, sat up and held her hands to her temples. "Jesus, my head hurts!" Jackie felt totally helpless, if this was the work of the swamp witch, there was nothing she could do but watch. Margie squeezed her head and moaned, then she shut her eyes and grasped at her hair. Suddenly she opened her eyes, looked at Jackie, and screamed. "Oh my God, something's happening!" As Jackie watched, Margie's hands slowly started moving away from her head, not because she was moving her hands away on purpose, but something was pushing her hands away, something underneath, something was growing - growing out of the sides of her head! Margie screamed some more. "What is this, what's happening?!" Jackie watched as Margie's hands moved away, and saw the ivory colored growths pushing out the sides of her head! They were one inch long now, and poking into Margie's palms, as some blood ran down the sides of her face, they grew to two inches, then three inches. It became evident to Jackie that her friend was growing some sort of horns out of her temples, but things didn't end with this.
Margie let go with another scream as her hands left her newly formed horns and grabbed the ground, she then crawled several feet over to a small tree and grabbed it, hoisting herself up a little. Her greatly swollen breasts wobbled about as she gripped tightly to the tree, still sitting on her knees, her nipples were clearly an inch long at this point. She shut her eyes tightly, gushed out short moans and panted for breath. The pain had moved back again to her torso, her flesh was pulsating and starting to thicken up on her abdomen. She gripped the tree even tighter, and violently arched her back, the pulsating flesh continued, but with each throb her skin pushed out a little farther. The area beneath her enlarged breasts was growing, at first it seemed to be one mound pushing out, but then it split into two distinct mounds, and each one continued to grow, pushing out a little farther with each throb! Veins were starting to form on these new mounds and slowly grew too. Margie gasped for breath even harder now, her skin stretched and grew with these two new appendages, then a small bump formed on the end of each of the two new sacks of flesh, the bumps darkened and grew larger with every pulse, they pushed out to form new nipples! Her body shook nervously as the new mounds filled out until they were the same shape and size as her original breasts, becoming new breasts themselves, but just when Margie thought it might be over, all four of her breasts started to increase in size even more! Margie gathered enough air to scream again. "Oww, the weight is becoming too much!"
Jackie stared at this horrific metamorphosis; she now watched as Margie's breasts continued to grow, the skin seemed tight as they grew to incredible proportions. The nipples grew larger too, reaching three, maybe four inches by now, and veins were pumping out of all four boobs everywhere! Her body continued to shake, causing all four of her extremely large breasts to slap haphazardly against each other. Still bending over and holding onto the tree, Margie tried to get up onto her feet, but her back was obviously being strained to the limit from the weight of her massive mammaries!
"Black magic!" Jackie thought. "Evil black magic!" Jackie couldn't sit and watch this transformation anymore, she had to run, she had to get as far away as possible. With her legs shaking, she stood up and started to back away. Margie opened her eyes and looked at Jackie pitifully, tears of anguish poured down her face, but Jackie could no longer stay and watch her friend's pain, she slowly turned away and walked back into the trees, moving faster and faster until she was in a full run. Through the hazy air she could hear Margie crying, which turned into a scream, a scream whose echo eventually died into silence.
Hours passed, and dusk was upon her, but Jackie kept moving. Spanish moss was entangled in her hair, and she ripped at it, but the filth of the swamp covered her now. She tried to make out the direction of the setting sun, but it became impossible in the stagnant fog, and a frightening realization entered her mind - she was lost!
She moved through the stinking forest and muck as quickly as she could, constantly pacing herself so that she wouldn't collapse from exhaustion. It was dark now, and the sounds of wild animals frightened her, but she kept thinking about which would be the worse scenario; facing the wild animals of the swamp, or facing the swamp witch! She saw what happened to her two companions, and the horror of it kept her moving. Still, she wondered, why hadn't anything happened to her yet?
Jackie stopped to rest a few times during her journey, but only for a few minutes at a time. She was exhausted, but knew that she had to keep moving, and every so often the images of her friends would enter her mind - Frances with four legs, and poor little Margie with four huge breasts, what would become of them? What will their lives be like now?
It was about midnight or so, Jackie thought. Having no watch she could only guess at the time, and she needed sleep badly. She decided to try to get some sleep, and sat down against a tree, but sleep would not come easy, the sight of her friends becoming horrible freaks was like a recurring nightmare. She closed her eyes and tried to rest anyway. The sounds of insects ripped through the forest, and flies buzzed about her head. In the distance she could hear toads croaking, but further in the distance there was another sound - wait - what was this she was hearing? It sounded like singing, a woman's voice humming a light tune! Jackie opened her eyes and looked around, the sound was coming from across a flooded area. If she was going to investigate the singing, she'll have to get her feet wet again.
She sloshed through the water, with the singing as her only guide, since the darkness and the foggy mist reduced her visibility to only a few feet. After ten minutes it became clearer to see, and she found herself standing face to face again with the old woman's house! She had gone in circles! Was this the work of the swamp witch? Was the witch guiding her back here for some reason? Jackie's exhaustion muddled her thinking at this point, and she grabbed a hefty branch from the water and slogged her way to the front porch. "Where are you?" She yelled. "Come out of there!" The singing had stopped.
Jackie walked into the house. "Come on out, you bitch!" Anger was taking over, and any sense of strategy to what she would do next was gone. She walked into the large room where the fireplace was and saw a full raging fire consuming a large pile of logs. She glanced at the wax dolls on the mantle and noticed that a few were missing. Her eyes became transfixed on the dolls, she stared intently, and became mesmerized. She felt something hypnotic about it all; the house, the poppets, the witch, the swamp - what the hell was all this? It was during this fatal lapse of attention that she failed to notice the shadowy figure approach from behind her, and with a swift movement, Jackie was hit over the head with a hard object, and everything went dark!
Jackie awoke to find herself sitting in a wooden chair, but as she regained consciousness she realized that she couldn't move. "What the…" she mumbled, then she looked down at her arms and saw that they were strapped to the arms of the chair, and her legs were tied to the chairs legs.
The room was dimly lit by the flames dancing in the fireplace. A table was in front of her, and sitting across the table was the old woman. Jackie spoke sporadically. "Wha… what happened? Did you hit me?" As Jackie's vision came into focus, she could see the old woman working with something, it looked like one of those wax dolls, and she was molding it into something.
"Yes my dear, it was I who hit you. You broke into my home. You and your companions wouldn't leave, so I taught them a lesson." The old woman then gave a snarling grin.
Jackie's thoughts raced back to her friends, and then a chill crawled on her skin. "You did that to them, why did you?"
"It's their just rewards, but don't worry about them, they're fine, in fact they're here." The old woman turned her head and called. "Why don't one of you nice girls bring your friend a drink."
Jackie wondered what was going on. Had her friends fallen under some spell? Are they willfully working with the old woman? Then she heard somebody coming from another room, the steps sounded clumsy as they grew closer, then from around the corner came Francis! She wore a red Victorian style gown, which looked rather elegant on her, except that it spread wide at the hips. It was a front slit style which exposed her legs - all four legs! She move cautiously, still unaccustomed to synchronizing four legs. She had four matching shoes on too, which sometimes clumped and brushed against each other as her legs would move. She walked over to the table and slammed the glass of stinking water on the table in front of Jackie. Jackie looked up and spoke softly "Francis, are you okay?"
Francis gave a looked of disgust. "Sure, sure I'm okay. Thanks for leaving me in the swamp!" She said with rigid sarcasm.
The old woman spoke more harshly. "It seems that your friends aren't too pleased with you these days. Don't worry though, they'll be happy working for me. They're already becoming accustomed to their new bodies. In time though, you'll all be friends again, I'm sure."
It then dawned on Jackie that this old woman had something in store for her too. This was becoming a hellish nightmare, being tied to a chair and awaiting 'Who-knows-God-what'! Then Jackie's voice sprang to life. "Where's Margie? Is she here too?"
Francis turned around slowly in a very curious manner - using her outer-most left leg as a pivot point, her other three legs marched around, until she was facing in the opposite direction. "Marge, hey Marge," she called. "There's someone here to see you." The sarcasm in her voice was obvious. Then Francis moved across the room and pivoted around to face Jackie again "You know, in time I'll have walking with these four legs down pretty good, and I actually might start to like it."
Jackie then heard clumping coming down the hallway. She thought about the change that Margie went through, and started to shake at the thought of seeing her again. She saw Margie's shadow approach first, it seemed to be low and hunched over, then Margie came into the room. She was indeed hunched over, and she was using two canes to hold herself up. Even with a cane in each hand, she still walked with a waddle. She wore a tattered old brown skirt, and over her back and shoulders she had draped a blanket, which hid her upper torso from view. Things almost appeared normal except for the two horns that sprung from her temples. Her face was red and wet, as though she had been crying. She looked at Jackie and with a quiver in her voice she said. "I never wanted this. Why, why did it turn out like this?"
Francis, still acting brash, walked over to Margie. "What are you crying about kid, you're beautiful! Why don't you show Jackie just how beautiful you really are!" Then Francis grabbed the blanket which was draped over Margie, and yanked it off. Margie screamed, her balance was thrown off by the sudden jarring of the blanket being pulled off, and it wasn't hard to see why it was so difficult for her to steady herself, even a slight movement would send her new, large, and extremely heavy appendages swaying. Jackie was shaken even more at the sight that was before her. Margie stood hunched over, balancing herself with the two canes, and from her body hung four massive breasts, each one must have weighed more than twenty five pounds, and her nipples looked like giant dark pink teats. The breasts looked larger than they had the last time Jackie saw them, and they seemed to be in a state of perpetual motion, constantly jiggling and hitting against each other. Margie walked across the room, it looked painful and extremely hard for her to get around. She sat down in a chair next to the fire, it was obviously a relief for her to get off her legs. Her breasts flopped down, the top two were resting on the bottom two, and the bottom two were resting between her legs, which she had sprawled to the sides.
"Hmmm," the old woman muttered. "In time, I'm sure she'll enjoy her new self." Then she turned toward Jackie. "Now you, I don't know about. You're a smart one."
For a moment Jackie thought she might be able to spare herself. "Let me go, let me go and I won't tell anyone."
"I'm afraid I can't do that." Then the old woman turned her attention to her wax poppet.
Jackie felt herself fill with anger and couldn't control herself anymore. "You bitch! You hideous smelly one eyed bitch!" Jackie struggled with her bonds, but they were too tight. Then she tried to appeal to Margie. "Marge, please untie me, please." Margie just turned her head away and continued to sit.
Francis started to laughed and sashayed around the room as best as her four legs would allow her to. "Hey, maybe you'll get some extra appendages too. How about some extra arms?"
"No," the old woman interrupted. "I have something in mind for her. In a way, it will exemplify her narrow vision." She looked up at Jackie. "You shouldn't have come back. You were home free. You see, I had something personal from your two friends. During the fight I managed to grabbed some hair from each of them, which is what I needed to combine with the dolls for the magic to work. But I had nothing personal from you, until now." The old woman produced a locket of hair from a pouch, and tied it around the poppet. Francis and Margie both stared intently, remaining totally quiet. The old woman continued. "It's taken me some time to figure out what to do with you, but you yourself have given me the answer." She then finished molding the poppet and held it close to her bosom, a low hum started to emanate from her. Jacket's fear increased, she knew something was about to begin. Then all was quiet in the room.
Jackie sat still for a moment, then she started to feel a pain in her head, it felt like a sinus headache was developing, but too quickly. Pressure was building up in her forehead and behind her eyes, and she started to moan and shake, something was happening! She shut her eyes tightly for a few seconds, then opened them, her vision seemed a little odd. She looked around the room, but she couldn't judge distances as well, her peripheral vision had somehow become impaired. Then the pain increased. Francis' jaw was agape, and Margie watched intently. "What is it?" Jackie asked of Margie.
Margie stuttered. "Your eyebrows, they… they're moving together. Your eyebrows are joining together in the middle!"
"Oh shit!" Jackie yelled. "What the hell is this?"
Francis moved in closer to get a better view "Oh my God, and your eyes are moving closer!"
Jackie was trembling with both anger and fear, her vision was getting worse. As the others looked on, her eyebrow became one large eyebrow across her forehead, and her eyes continued to push closer together. Suddenly the bridge of her nose flattened, creating a space between her eyes. Jackie tried to struggle some more, but it was useless. She could now feel her eyes moving closer together, the inside tips were starting to touch in the space created above her nose, and they continued to push together. The sides of her single eyebrow moved up, becoming a smaller brow in the middle of her forehead. The pain of the transformation continued to throb behind her eyes, which were now joining. Her eyelids merged and moved up in the middle, creating one long eyelid over her two eyes. The two eyes formed themselves into one large eye socket, but still with two eyeballs. There was a lull in the transformation as Jackie sat there looking around, she had one big eye socket with two eyes in it, and she could feel them rub against each other as she looked back and forth. The other two girls were transfixed on Jackie's changes, and Francis said without thinking. "Holy crap!"
Suddenly a sharp pain shot through Jackie's head again, and she reeled in agony. Her two eyeballs started to push together, it almost looked like they were going to pop out of her head as they began to meld. Jackie shook her head wildly and screamed. "No no no…", then she shut her eye tightly and stomped her feet. She screamed again and again, but not with words, just screams. After a half a minute, her screaming quieted down, the pain let up, everything was calm. Jackie sat up again, her big single eye above her nose was still closed. Francis, Margie, and the old woman watched as Jackie slowly opened her eye, the process was finished, her two eyes had fully merged, she had only one eyeball in her eye socket now, she had been transformed into a Cyclops!
Jackie knew she had now joined her friends in becoming some sort of freak. Leaving the swamp wasn't much of an option now, there wasn't any sense in it anymore. They would probably have to live their lives out with the old woman, perhaps to serve her needs. She sat there pondering this, contemplating it over and over, realizing that there was no more life for her in the outside world, no more freedom, she was now a prisoner more than she ever was before.
Then a tear began to well up in her big single eye!
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