Day 5 – C-Sweet

Charlotte held her chin in her hand as she scraped her fork slowly across the empty plate. No food had touched it at all, and she was getting hangry. She wasn’t the type of person to lash out at others when her stomach was neglected, but that day she felt that she might not able to control herself. Why hadn’t she been able to take a break away from her colleagues to eat? This normally uncommon situation was becoming more and more of an issue, and she wasn’t appreciative of it at all.

When she started, the work culture at her company was laid back – people could come in when they wanted to, so long as they completed all of their tasks before the end of the day; there were ping pong tables at each corner of the building, including the roof; there were beanbags all over the place that you could just plop right into. However, the company was under the rule of a new CEO, and she was an absolute nightmare. Everything that Charlotte had loved about the company was slowly disappearing, though she’d been putting up with most of it without a complaint.

The one thing that she was finding she wasn’t fine with, however, was the working lunches. Even though they were called “working lunches” there was more work than there was lunch. And now, she had to wait even longer for dinner because the restaurant was backed up. An angry growl vibrated Charlotte’s stomach and sent zaps of pain all throughout her abdomen. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in through her nose. The chatter and dish clinks of the restaurant started to fade away. She held that inhale for ten seconds, allowing the pain of hunger move to a less prominent part of her attention, and then she exhaled. She repeated that sequence twice more.

She recalled the mindfulness breathing technique from her meditation teacher, remembering her words: “There will be times when you want to hurt people, when you want to lash out in anger or frustration. In those moments, choose mindfulness. Choose to take less than three minutes to step away from those emotions, from a potential negative situation that may last you well over three minutes in consequences. Just close your eyes and breathe.”

While the mindfulness practice was usually helpful, she found that the hanger crept back up little by little. To make matters worse, from the corner of her eye, she caught the shiny, platinum blonde hair of what looked like the head of her CEO. Wait, was that her CEO? She rose up from her seat to get a better look.

It was.
Charlotte’s hanger swelled within her as she watched the CEO laughing and smiling, as though the CEO’s employees weren’t out in the world suffering because of her draconian work policies. The CEO was seated in one of the reserved areas and was immediately brought a basket of bread, a basket of bread that should have been on Charlotte’s table. Charlotte’s lips curled up into one of the saddest frowns ever to appear on anyone’s face in the history of mankind, ever. With that frown, another strange thing started to appear on Charlotte: dark, greenish-blue leathery skin and sharp, hard scales. She wasn’t aware of these new formations, as she was attempting another round of mindfulness.

As she finished her last exhale, her whole body was covered in the leather skin and scales. Concerned stares and whispers emerged from the other patrons of the restaurant, which didn’t help matters at all. In fact, Charlotte’s temper began to flare as she shot angry glares at the innocent by-eaters.

While you’re staring, why don’t you offer me some of your appetizers? Huh? HUH?

Murmurs filled the restaurant as Charlotte grew to be about 1.5 times her size and as her fingers turned into sharp, claw-like phalanges. The wait staff and nearby patrons began to leave the area, leaving plates full of food and empty glasses of wine to create a smell smorgasbord that riled Charlotte up even more. She shot a dirty look in the direction of her CEO who was, at that point, stuffing her face with the exact same appetizer that she’d ordered and had yet to receive.

That was the last straw. Charlotte flipped her table and terrible roar and began to stomp over to the CEO. Neither the CEO nor her guests had any awareness of what was taking place in the restaurant. As Charlotte strong-armed tables out of her way, her teeth turned to fangs, sharp canines now protruding from her mouth. Everyone from the CEO’s table dived out of the way once they saw what had arrived.

The CEO was taken aback and almost ran herself, but there was something familiar about this creature. She squinted her eyes and ran through all of the faces she held in her memory rolodex, until she saw the one of the quiet girl from the morning project meetings.

“Charlotte…Wellston? Is that you?” The CEO placed her hand on her chest.
Charlotte let out an unintelligible grunt, and before the CEO could say another word, Charlotte opened her now abnormally large mouth as wide as it could possibly open, and fit the whole CEO inside of it. In just a few munches, Charlotte was satiated; her hunger was finally gone. 

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