Saturday, 23 December 2017
The screen of Alfie's phone flashed red and green as a candy-cane striped logo filled its expanse. SANTA-FY! A gimmicky app he found recommended in the app store, which he downloaded to waste some time before getting ready for the office party. After the festive loading screen vanished, the app switched to camera mode. Alfie posed in front of the mirror and snapped a photo of himself. He grinned at his image, an Adonis with hard earned muscles that looked as rock-hard and precise as a Grecian statue. His handsome visage blurred and darkened as an hourglass symbol appeared over the top. The words "Santafying" slowly pulsed underneath. A minute passed with nothing else happening. "Pft, figures it's a piece of shit" he mumbled under his breath. "At least it was free...". He chucked his phone aside, along with his towel, and dug out a pair of fresh underwear.
When he noticed something peculiar. His usually perfect body was looking rather imperfect. His washboard abs appeared fainter, almost as if they were being swallowed up. Maybe it was the lighting in the room... He dismissed that thought, recalling how rocking he looked in his photo. He placed a hand on his stomach and felt an unfamiliar flatness, along with the harsh prickles of growing hair. Hadn't he only waxed his torso smooth a few days ago? How could it have reappeared so quickly? It felt like there was more of it too. He wasn't a particularly hairy man, yet new follicles were definitely appearing on his pecs. Alfie shifted uncomfortably, did his underwear always feel so tight? Something was wrong with him, maybe he was getting sick. Some kind of hormonal disease. Typical, falling ill before Christmas. He placed a hand on his forehead to feel his temperature, then squealed in surprise. Slowly, he slid a shaky head up and over his scalp. There was nothing there. He was bald! Where did his hair go!? He frantically patted his nude head, desperate to find even a single strand of hair. Alfie ran back to the bathroom mirror and squealed again, even louder. He looked like he'd aged more than a decade in minutes! He confirmed the absence of his bouncy mop of hair, yet was shocked to see it had moved downwards, coating his cheeks and chin with a voluminous, curly beard instead of the manicured designer stubble he usually bore. His hands dropped to the growth, giving it a slight tug in disbelief.
While he had been so distracted by his face, he failed to notice what had happened to his body. Gone were his beloved herculean muscles. In their place was a big, solid belly that hung significantly over the waistband of his tightening underwear. Thick hairs spread across his meatier pecs, twirling down and blessing his gut with a similar coating. Alfie glanced up in fear, wincing at the sight of his heavily furrowed brow and chubby cheeks. He looked even older now, white hairs were dominating his beard. There was a quiet chime that emanated from his phone. The phone! He scrambled for it and checked the app. The hourglass was still there, still Santafying. He swiped across the screen, trying to find any way of stopping this madness. A pop-up message appeared. "Impatient?" It read in bold letters, with YES and NO underneath it. Without thinking, Alfie pressed the YES button.
Alfie immediately regretted his decision as a great surge of power flooded his body. He stumbled backwards in shock as his already rotund belly swelled ever bigger in size. It grew, and grew, and grew, until it resembled a hairy exercise ball. His chest followed suit, packing on the pounds until sizable moobs sagged and slumped onto his overfilled belly with an audible slap. Alfie tried to escape, phone in hand, as he waddled down the hallway, his belly bouncing with every heavy step. His thighs were ballooning outwards, crushing into each other and shredding his underwear yet still he persisted. Alfie groaned, exhausted by the additional weight he was now carrying. It was a great strain on his knees which buckled under the pressure, causing him to collapse onto a nearby sofa. He could see himself reflected in the black screen of his television. There were dark bags under his sunken, crinkled eyes, and a pure white beard spread over his reddened, weathered face. He breathed heavily, rubbing and squeezing his newfound stomach in disbelief. He couldn't even wrap his pudgy fingers around the ball of flesh that now rested on his tired legs.
A faint chiming eventually caught Alfie's attention. It was his phone, vibrating on the other side of the sofa. With some effort, he reached across to see what it was. "Your photo is ready!" it said in big, bold letters. Alfie tapped the screen to be greeted with a picture of himself from before, when he was young and handsome. A corny graphic of sprinkling magic dust covered the screen as the old him disappeared. His hair vanished, a white beard filled his face, and a large, hairy belly comically swelled out from his stomach. The towel around his waist morphed into a pair of red pants, accompanied by a matching pair of suspenders. Even the backdrop changed to match his living room. Tinsel surrounded the outside of the image as it finally revealed the picture of himself. The new him.
"You've been Santa-fied!" it chimed merrily. Alfie glared at the screen, taking in the fat, old man he knew he had become. Then he looked at himself. He was wearing the same pants as in the picture. It was as if the app had changed everything about him... A small chuckle escaped his mouth. Then another, and another, until he couldn't contain the deep, bassy laughter. A belly-shaking, jolly laugh that would make anyone smile upon hearing it. Alfie managed to calm down, wiping away the tears that were soaking his snow-white beard. It had infected his mind, the final step in Santafication. He really was Santa now, and Santa would harbour no hatred towards anyone. Alfie looked at his phone one last time to see a new message blinking on the screen. "Enjoy this app? Share with your friends and spread the yuletide merriment!". A mischievous grin widened on Alfie's face before he raised a meaty paw and tapped SEND.