The Sponge!

**The Sponge!

Susan Whitmore was born to Jeanine Whitmore and her husband Lawrence. Her father was a safety engineer at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility around the time of the accident, and thereafter he drowned his guilt about the incident with alcohol. He left her mother when Susan was nine, forcing her to take a job as a waitress in addition to her job as a hospital lab technician in order to support Susan and her younger sister Jennifer, who was only three at the time. Susan took charge of the housework and practically raised Jennifer between baby-sitters.

(Four Years Later . . .)

It was Susan’s first day of Junior High, and Susan hadn’t seen her friends all summer, as she and Jennifer had been at her grandparents' all that time. Running late, she jumped into the shower. While in there, she felt as if she were bloating. Upon toweling off and getting the soap out of her eyes, she discovered that her body had expanded, appearing to gain about fifty pounds! Panicking, but realizing her mother had already left for work, she threw on one of her mother’s bulky bathrobes and proceeded to get Jennifer off to school. She then grabbed an oversized t-shirt and squeezed into a pair of her mother’s jeans, running out of the door to class.

At school, she was made fun of by her friends for porking out so much during the summer. Getting upset with them, she ended up eating lunch with the “Moo Crew”, a clique of fat girls she originally would have shunned. They welcomed her with open arms, going so far as to chip in to buy her an extra dessert for lunch.

By the time she got home, her mother’s jeans had finally stretched out to feel more comfortable on her. She quickly arranged for the sitter to pick Jennifer up at school so she wouldn’t have to see her like this. When her mother got home to change for her second job, she was alarmed at seeing Susan and asked what happened. Susan started with describing what happened in the shower that morning and ended with her friends' abuse. Her mother told her that a full doctor’s visit was more than they could afford at the moment, but that she could perform a blood test on her when she got home from work tomorrow. Until she finds out what’s wrong with her, Susan should just try to blend in as well she can.

The next morning, Susan woke up in a soaking wet bed and back to normal size. Stripping her bed and throwing the linens into the dryer, she went to take another shower. Relieved that she had lost the weight of the day before, but realizing she couldn’t explain such a dramatic weight-losses natural, she jumped into the shower thinking about gaining the weight back. She promptly lost her balance and fell, wedging herself into the bathtub with all the fat she put on. Her body started to overflow the tub as she reached out to turn the water off with her foot. Now stuck in the bathtub, she got to thinking that if she could pull the water in, maybe she could push the water back out. Concentrating on pushing out, suddenly all the water came out with a WHOOSH, overflowing onto the bathroom floor! Looking down, she found she had lost all but the original fifty pounds of water weight she had gained the day before. Since she was still sitting in the tub full of water, she had to concentrate to keep from ballooning back up again. Keeping concentration, she finished her shower, got dressed and went back to school.

When her mother got home that afternoon, Susan told her what happened. Her mother said that she might be a mutant, but not to worry, that together they’d get through it. Maybe with more control, Susan could slowly reduce the amount of water weight gain she suffered until she became normal sized.

Over the rest of her school years, Susan acquired better control of her powers, lowering her weight gain to about ten pounds under normal circumstances. During which time she became fast friends with the “Moo Crew”. Between eating lunch with them everyday and binge-fest sleepovers on weekends, she ended up putting on about forty-five pounds naturally, making her fairly heavy-set. That and since she wasn’t dating, she used food as a social and emotional release.

Attending a community college for courses in computer systems, she soon got a job in a freelance computer systems analysis company, still fighting the battle of the bulge, especially during the rainy season . . .