The going gets tougher.
pregnancy book in his skeletal hand. Sally nodded. She stood by a wall calendar in their
kitchen. Since their announcement to the town, two months had passed. Two months during
which time Sally had expanded exponentially. Dr. Frost, true to his word, visited
Halloweentown periodically to check his patient's progress. Jack made every effort to hover as
close as possible during these appointments. Naturally he wanted to be informed on every aspect
of his family's health, but there was also no small measure of entertainment to be had watching
the Christmas doctor squirm when confronted with the daily realities of life in Halloweentown.
Sally's biology still confounded him to a degree, that was clear.
"I am getting huge.", she said. Jack kissed her head.
"Oh come now, Sally. Huge? You're just self-conscious."
Sally scowled, examining her profile.
"I look like the mayor."
Jack laughed. Halloween approached concurrent with his impending fatherhood. Everyday was
a balancing act.
"You look beautiful love."
Sally smiled. Jack kissed her on the cheek, then turned to leave. There was so much work to be
done, so many townsfolk working on holiday projects.
"Are you coming out later?", Jack called back to his wife as he stepped out the front door.
"We'll see, Jack.", she answered. Jack lingered a moment longer, then closed the door.
It had been a most difficult week for the queen of Halloweentown. Her natural shyness, paired
with growing town interest in her condition meant that she chose to spend most days working in
the mansion rather than among the citizens. Jack urged her to come out, to be proud of her
blossoming physique. She tried to be game, but the house itself seemed to mock her.
Jack's narrow front door had always required Sally to slip in sideways. Her rather curvaceous
figure could not otherwise fit. Now that her stomach and breasts were growing with each
passing day, the doorway would no longer accommodate her no matter how she tried. Jack
brushed the matter off as nonchalantly as possible.
"It's no worry Sally, none at all! I'll simply speak to the Behemoth. He does wonderful
things with carpentry, you know. He'll widen the doorway and make it nice and comfortable for
you. This is nothing unusual. Why, I'm sure many, many woman have to change their doorways
when they're expecting! Don't you think? Sally?"
She had nodded, lips trembling as she held back frustrated tears. Imagine the amusement that
this news would cause in town. Not sure what else to say, Jack embraced his ragdoll. She
spent the remainder of that day sitting dejectedly in the parlor, listening to sawing and
The following days proved no less embarrassing. Sally finally conceded to leave the house one
evening for a peaceful walk with Jack and Zero. Moonlight walks were a favorite activity for the
couple. They always walked hand in hand, but now Sally found herself having to lean on Jack
for balance. She had barely learned to walk properly before the pregnancy, now her body's
expansion made things still more difficult. They paused three times en route to allow her to
catch her breath.
"Are you alright Sally?", Jack asked. His voice was filled with concern. Sally nodded.
"I'm fine, just out of breath. Doctor Frost said that there might be pressure on my lungs.
If I have lungs that is. I don't know. He doesn't either really. No one knows about me but Dr.
Jack nodded. He supported Sally in his arms.
"Sally, I know you might not like what I'm about to say, but... I think that perhaps we
should talk to Dr. Finklestein at least once. Just once, just to get his opinion, just to make sure
there isn't anything we need to know." Sally began shaking her head "no" before Jack even
finished speaking. Jack chuckled gently. He turned her body, cradling her against his ribs. "I
would be with you Sally. We'd go together." She sighed. What Jack suggested made sense. It
made sense, but she hated the very thought of it. Hated the thought of going back.