Thursday, 7 August 2008

Enforced Weight Gain: A Possible Story Thread Or Just Too Cruel?

As those of you that are regular visitors may have guessed by the paucity of posts in the last few days, my Internet connection has been decidedly dodgy. There are bursts of noise on my phone line that continually knock the modem off which is why few, if any images, accompany the posts that I have made recently. Meanwhile I've been working away on writing and now have quite a body of work for both volumes 2 and 3 and perhaps even for a fourth volume (it might seem strange working on two volumes at once but I have a lot of ideas and they don't necessarily all fit together in a linear pattern). I am I going to be staying at a friend’s house for the next few days (where they have a good fast broadband connection) while the local telecoms company fixes my line. I have just loaded up all of my old files, scans and images etc onto a DVD, which I am going to be taking with me, so I can load it all on to a computer there and get this blog properly up and running again.

Anyway for now I am mostly posting text, images take a little longer to upload and the connection tends to crash while it's happening. But once I'm working from my friend's address, ie over the next few days, I'll start posting suitably illustrative (I hope) images and start tagging them on to the big, wordy, text-rich things I have recently posted.
Enforced Weight Gain: A Possible Story Thread?
Meanwhile: as anyone out there in blog-land ever had any thoughts about the subject of enforced weight-gain? Now, I'm not thinking along the lines of the ‘feeder’ style stories wherein the author's wife, girlfriend or whatever becomes a three hundred pounds blubber-whale. (If you know where there are any suitable weight gain stories or relevant blogs, please let me and I'll add the necessary links to them - one of the things I am trying to create with this blog is a sort of multidimensional multi fetish resource node).

I am not saying that the following vignette or prospective plot development will actually make its way into any part of the INSTITUTIONALISED series, but it is an idea I've been toying with and there is a nice subtlety to the cruelty involved (if exploitative cruelty can ever be subtle). Forget canes, the tawse, martinets, chains and prison bars for a moment - think instead: food (yes, food), mealtimes, weighing sessions, measurement sessions, long hours standing in front of mirrors with hands-on head - think enforced inactivity, think agoraphobia rather than restraints.

What I have in mind is far, far crueller; imagine, if you will, a lithe young thing - always has one eye on the mirror, the other on the calorie sheet. She misses meals but never aerobic sessions; she drops pounds but never dance classes. She has already done a bit of catwalk work and quite successfully at that, but she has prodigious talent and her passion is the ballet, the Royal Ballet at that, nothing less than prima ballerina will do for her - and she has the potential to make it. She has a future place lined up at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, should she wish to accept it, but her problem, as with so many aspiring young things today, is her lack of funding. She has a small regular allowance from her late father's estate but the bulk is all tied up and under someone else's control until she reaches the age of 21. Her father's intention had always been that she should gain financial control of her affairs at age 18 but having suffered a crisis of confidence (and therein hangs another interesting tale) she has fairly recently been persuaded, with some reluctance it must be said, to forego that privilege and accept the more traditional age of majority - a day that lies some five years off, or very nearly.

There is little in terms of part-time work available to her, and more importantly, that she would be willing to accept - she sees herself as flying far above such things. The sun-drenched summer months stretch ahead but that time will pass all too soon – yet that narrow window is all she has if she is to gain her financial independence, drag herself from under her stepmother's thumb and grasp her future.

She finds it hard to believe the amount on offer for just a three month residential stay in a West Country care home as part of a research project. No novel drug trials are involved, she is assured - all the work carried out comes under the general heading of behavioural psychology and involves being monitored in a ‘controlled environment’ (she is uncertain as to exactly what that means - but it sounds safe enough) and undergoing certain simple psychological tests at baseline and from time to time throughout the trial period. She understands that should she fail to complete the full three month trial she will get nothing. But the notion of spending three sun filled months wandering through the spectacular rural hospital grounds depicted in the brochure, occasionally reporting to some laboratory for a few tests, or lying back watching television in a beautifully appointed room that would put most high-quality hotels to shame, would seem to make that caveat a remote possibility indeed.

Of course, as those of you who have read INSTITUTIONALISED volume 1 already know (or as those of you who've ever read any of the extracts or story ideas I have ever posted on the newsgroups etc will now) she is unlikely to see much of those balmy summer days and little of the fluffy white clouds drifting above, let alone the hospital’s lush green conifer-bordered parkland grounds. Not once she is behind the high walls and steel security grilles of that institution and safely ensconced in the protective womb of the secure psychiatric wing…

… at this point, and through discussion with the project’s supervising psychologist, enters the dietician…

(Oh my God! I can see it all, now, it's delicious - if you pardon the pun! I just hope it's not too cruel because I really like it - what does that say about me? No, I don't want to know.)

PS: if you don't know what a dietician is, or does, (and let's face it, not everybody does) just ask – I’m married to one (someone has to be!).

PPS: have dictated this using voice recognition, straight out of my head and purely for the blog. I haven't had much time to check it so it may contain all sorts of strange grammatical errors and typos. When I have a bit more time later on I'll go over it again and correct whatever needs doing as well as add some sort of suitable illustration (possibly).

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