Size Two: A Brief & Horrific Cautionary Tale!

From Rest In Fleece:  Ghosts, Tall Tales & Horror Stories by Jan Olandese


Rest in Fleece cover

Drucinda longed to be a size two. She’d been a fourteen ever so long, when finally she’d dieted and exercised herself down to a ten. But she had yet to meet the standards of the magazines she read, or those of her circle. She felt judged by the others.

She was resigned to her fate, that of the girl with the good personality to make up for her chunkiness.  She was indeed clever and witty.  Still, though.

Downtown one day, Drucinda was window shopping and espied a sign:  Genie Inc:  Your Wish Is Our Command.  She laughed to herself.  Well wouldn’t that be something.  It has to be some gimmick.  As she was deliberating, someone said

“You won’t know if you don’t ask.”  She looked up and an attractive older woman stood at the door.

“Why not come in,” she said.  “We can answer any questions you may have.  I assure you, we do make wishes come true!”

Having time on her hands, Drucinda smiled and followed the woman inside.  There was a comfortable waiting area; she took a seat. The woman joined her.

“My name is Elaine.  I’m here to facilitate whatever your hopes might be. I don’t judge: after all, it’s your dream.  But I sense there is something you very much want.  Would you care to talk about it?”

“Honestly, I have a good life. My job’s okay, I have enough to meet my needs, and I live in a nice part of town. My problem is that I’ve always wanted to be thinner. No matter how I try, how much I diet or work out, I seem stuck here at size ten. I so want to be a two. I’d give anything.”

If Elaine’s ears had been visible under her hairstyle, they would be seen to have perked right up.

“We may have the answer for you,” said Elaine. “Just for the sake of conversation:  what would you be willing to give up if you could be a size two?”

“Anything,” replied Drucinda. If I could be a size two, I’d give up my family, friends, job, you name it.  I’d give up my cat.  I’d give up my car. I’d give up my apartment.  Just name it.”

“Fine.  Come this way.  You’ll want to meet our genie in residence.  His name is Babael.” Drucinda followed Elaine into a well-appointed office, where an older man sat behind a desk.  He looked quite conventional in his Brooks Brothers suit and tie.  He stood, reached over to shake Drucinda’s hand (she felt a faint electric shock. Static, she thought), and offered her a chair.  Elaine joined them.

“Hello, Drucinda,” said Babael.  “I hear your wish is to be a size two.  I can understand why.  And I can help you achieve that goal if you work with me.”

“Just say the word,” replied Drucinda. “I can think of nothing more important to me.”

“All right.  There’s just the matter of the contact here. No, not that one, that’s the Swamp Land In Florida Purchase Agreement.  Ah, here it is.  The Your Wish is My Command contract.  If you’ll look it over and please just sign here, here and here . . .”  Babael was worse than a realtor with sales paperwork.  “. . . and here, and here, and here.  And initial here, and on these pages at the bottom.”

Drucinda took a moment to review the paperwork. Nothing stood out as unreasonable. Unfortunately, she had left her reading glasses on her desk. There was, as you surely expected, some very, very fine print.  Not that it would have made a difference.  Babael always used disappearing ink.

“It all looks fine,” she said, and signed off.

“When does the transformation happen?” she asked excitedly.  “I can’t wait to begin!”

“It has begun already.   You will see that when it’s complete, you will be a perfect size two, and you won’t gain anything back.  I think you’ll see we complied in every respect.”

“Thank you!” bubbled Drucinda.  Elaine led her out and gave her a bottle of Your Wish Come True water.


Drucinda noticed no different at first. But sure enough, gradually her clothes got very loose. Every day she noticed she was a bit thinner, she weighed a bit less. People congratulated her.

One day, she woke up and she fit into the size two jeans she’d purchased for just this occasion.  Her joy knew no bounds! She couldn’t wait to show her friends (who would be green!), her doctor (who was always at her about her weight), her ex (she’d show him!) and to change her profile information and photos on the two dating websites she used: Match Dud Com and E Harm Money.  Now she could honestly put in a low weight, and say she was thin – she’d look it, too!

She stepped outside her door that morning to see:  absolutely nothing. Everything was white.  There was nothing there at all.  No street, no people.  No one to see her new size.


People said what a shame it was about Drucinda.  She’d lost so much weight and had tried so hard.  So sad:  right as she’d finally achieved her goal, she’d died of an aneurism.


About Ghosts: Needy Ghosts

(from About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook by Jan Olandese

about ghosts cover

Like people, ghosts can be needy.

In Okinawa, it is customary on Obon holidays (the lunar New Year celebrations) to go to the family tombs and place offerings of food, drink, and money there, so that the departed have what they need.  Of course, people only leave play money, so maybe appearances are what counts on the Other Side.  (It is generally believed that if people don’t appease the ghosts in this way, they’ll be very sorry).

Similarly, the tombs of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were well-equipped with things for use on the Other Side, from gold chariots to the organs of the deceased, which were preserved in jars for future use.  Also, the remains of many slaves: it’s hard to get good help.

Many ghosts seem velcro’d to the land of the living.  They can’t detach.  Like people, they become attached: to places, people, mindsets or things.  These are the kind of entity portrayed as repetitively wandering about a place, as if lost.  They may not know they’re dead.  They may be obsessed with some issue which has ceased to matter, but which ties them to a place and certainly prevents them from moving on.  (They resemble the living in that way).

The behavior of these needy ghosts, could be described as obsessed and compulsive.  They keep repeating themselves, doing the same thing, unable to break out of prisons of their own making.  Whether anger or frustration or loss ties them to a spot, there they remain.

Mob Haiku: Filler Up

The girls got fine lines

botoxed, nose jobs, the works:

facial erasures.

Photo:  By Alinamusic (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Ghosts: Was It A Ghost, or Something Else?

This month, I facilitated an online seminar about the spirituality of the ghost story.  Something came  up that’s worth sharing here, because it ties in so well with our conversation about ghosts.

One story (The Lawn Jockey, from my book Death Be Not Loud) was about a small statue which appears to be evil and which gradually gains power over its owner.  In reviewing this story, one of the very clever participants opined that the lawn figure in the story wasn’t a ghost, but instead, the repressed nature of the character who purchased it and was drawn to it.

This resonated for me in terms of our ongoing discussion here about ghosts. I’ve talked about ghosts as dysfunctions – what a great example!

In the abovementioned story, each time the main character is injured or harmed, the statue/monster gains strength.  A very interesting  juxtaposition, no?

If you think in terms of wholeness and health – whatever the ‘disease’ (dis-ease) is, as it progresses, one becomes less whole, healthy, integrated. It takes recognizing the disease (or cause of your dis-ease), acknowledging it, and addressing it in a therapeutic way to return to wholeness/healing/health.

Perhaps if the character in the story had faced the issues, about which his subconscious was screaming at him, he might have found safety and redemption. Instead, he puts his emotional earplugs in tightly, ignoring the warnings.  This only served him in the present (as do our dysfunctions or addictions) but in the long run, it led to a bad outcome.

This motif appears to be a common thread in the cautionary stories in legend and lore, and in many ghost stores.  The big takeaway:  “Pay attention! Listen to your gut!”

Mob Haiku: Suiting Up

Margie wears Prada.

Connie’s in stripes: the It Girl

at the federal pen.


Mob Haiku: She Klept It

Kiki’s sticky palms:

free lipsticks.  Handbag  purloined

from Louis Vuitton.

Ghosts: Small But True Accounts

(Excerpts from About Ghosts:  A Useful Handbook©  by Jan Olandese)

about ghosts

I know of an old home in an American Midwest city that was quite haunted when I visited.  I had heard nothing of its reputation, but when I went up the stairs, I felt a strong push at the top, and nearly fell backwards.  The creepy feeling left me when I got away from the stairs, but I was always very careful after that.  Later, I asked others if they’d noticed anything there.  A reliable source who had spent a great deal of time at the house said that there had been sounds of activity and people downstairs at night, when no one else was present.  And that water faucets would turn on by themselves.  Many others said they felt something strange at the house.


I attended theological college in England.  The parish church across the lane from my house there was definitely haunted.

Nothing ever happened when I was there with others.  But I had to go alone very early one day.  It was still quite dark out. I was sacristan, and it was my job to prepare for the morning service.

While I was laying things out, I heard heavy footsteps.  They were not echoes of my own as I was wearing rubber-soled shoes which made no noise.  The church was a typical English Norman church, built in the early 1200’s.  It was all open inside, so you could see the whole place.  So, there were footsteps, but no one to go with them.

I finished my tasks and left as swiftly as possible.  I never had another negative experience there; but I was never there alone after that.


Mob Haiku: Vito’s Bad Dream

The ‘burbs: no action.

Overcooked pasta, poly-

ester, smile pins.   smiley-163510_640

Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons (South San Jose)