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Old 03-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
Marlow
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 150
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Default Beaming - Part 1

~BBW, stuffing, contest - A rivalry at a dinner party escalates.

[Note: Hi, everyone. I won't pretend there's anything too groundbreaking here, but I enjoyed putting it together and thought I'd share. I'll update with subsequent chapters as I finish revising.

Resemblance of any characters to actual folks is coincidental and so forth, and all the named locations are blatantly and shamelessly fictional.]

Beaming
by Marlow


Part One: wherein are gathered for a genteel dinner several graduates of Thalia University at an apartment near the downtown campus of that illustrious and storied Midwestern institution.

Chapter 1

Leslie felt out of place. She hadn’t expected to be so uncomfortable, as it wasn’t any new or extraordinary situation, but there were enough bothersome little details to lend the young evening an air of dread. It was to be a harmless social gathering, but Leslie felt disaster looming.

Blythe had invited her, lauding the joyous potential of the festivities, and had politely introduced her to the other guests, but had then promptly abandoned her. This was a habit of Blythe’s, apparently believing that once someone’s name had been announced to a group the newcomer would be able to participate as satisfactorily as any lifelong member. She was a caring friend, Leslie couldn’t deny that, but Blythe was the sort of extrovert who believed that introversion was a disease she was ethically obligated to cure.

So Leslie had retreated to a corner of the apartment’s lavish common room. Nestling furtively into the softest armchair she had ever encountered, she quietly studied the small party.

Blythe’s handsome boyfriend, Myron, who owned the apartment, Leslie knew already. He was standing over everyone in the center of the room, telling a well-received story, master of his domain. There was also Hollis, whom Leslie recognized from the university library, apparently who apparently lived in the apartment next door. Hollis wasn’t part of Myron’s audience—he was across the room in the kitchenette, cutting vegetables with a curious determination.

As for the other guests, Leslie had already largely forgotten their names. She felt no obligation to remember them. They were Myron’s friends, a separate social circle, and Leslie already suspected that she herself had only been invited to give an otherwise ordinary dinner party a sense of occasion—the event had been made significant enough to reach beyond existing circles.

Leslie felt out of place visually, as well. This was a gathering of the beautiful people; they were all fit and well-composed, ready at all times for a publicity shot. Leslie hadn’t realized that such people existed outside of the television and now wished they would go back inside it. They made her feel very small, for she was easily the shortest in the room and was dwarfed by both their physical and charismatic presences. But they also made her feel fat, flaunting their taut abs and toned butts the way Leslie wished she still could. Myron’s friends were all athletes—Blythe herself was a physical trainer. They had snazzy jobs and snazzy hobbies and snazzy personalities and dressed in way that said so.

Leslie felt her wardrobe said less of her. He blouse wasn’t particularly revealing, but it had tightened recently and tended to ride up, retreating from the little muffin-top she had begun to develop. She felt her skirt’s snugness wasn’t too flattering, either.

Self-conscious of her midriff, she sank as deep as possible into the chair in a vain attempt to hide. This was new. She knew she had gained weight since leaving her job a month prior, but it hadn’t particularly bothered her—rather, the lazy, beer-soaked indulgence of her idle month had been strangely satisfying and it had seemed that a minor beer belly shouldn’t warrant much worry—until now, when there were so many well-sculpted figures around, ready to judge.

She wondered about the confident aura they all exuded. She remembered that feeling of pride once, when a classmate in high school had confessed a strange obsession with her wild red hair. Although more embarrassed than anything, she had inwardly beamed then, and envied now that these people could beam so constantly.

It seemed, she admitted, shallow and immature to allow herself to feel belittled by people who had been nothing but open, friendly, and kind, but the forced socialization had put her in a sour mood and it was difficult to shake.

Myron finished his story and called over to Hollis, wondering if he would ever be done. Hollis replied in a stammer about ensuring sufficient portions, only to be interrupted by the guests’ jovial impatience. Hollis surrendered and rejoined the gathering, presenting two trays of light appetizers to the oohs and aahs of those gathered.

The reactions were warranted—the trays were piled with bruschetta, cheeses, vegetables, and several dipping selections. The group praised Hollis’ culinary achievement as he served them in turn; he firmly asserted that he had only cut up what had already come prepared. Leslie, waiting in the corner, listened to the gushing reviews and realized that she was immensely hungry. She stared at the trays as they navigated around the room, unconsciously beginning to emerge from the depths of her chair.

A paper plate landed suddenly in her lap; Blythe had tossed it across to her. Leslie held it up in acknowledgement, then looked up as Hollis reached her with the trays.

After a moment’s consideration, Leslie organized a sampler for herself, as everything looked too good not too try. She paused, trying to measure her hunger and decide on appropriate social graces. Hollis was looking away now, listening to someone behind him. Leslie picked up a few more bites, filling her plate, then hesitated with her hand over the last slice of bruschetta.

“Oh, go for it,” said Hollis, smiling.

Leslie started, embarrassed. “Well, it doesn’t seem fair to anyone else that wants one, I—“

“Nah, you’re the last, so everyone’s got some. And if they want more, I’ll cut more. Take it. You know you want to.”

“Maybe when I’ve cleared some room on the plate,” she mused, setting to work on doing so. “And you’re right, I do love it.”

“Haha, thanks.” He squatted down on the floor by her chair and nibbled on a baby carrot. “Leslie, right? I used to see you in the library all the time.”

"Uh, that’s me, yeah. And I remember you from the circulation desk, I think.”

“Yes, I am that lame guy behind the desk. But, it helps pay for grad school, so I can’t complain too much.”

“And you live next door to Blythe and Myron. Who knew?” The food was warming Leslie’s mood. She curled around her plate, trying some of everything.

“Small world. But mine is a far tinier and far less impressive apartment. Now that their roommates have moved out, I can’t imagine what they’ll do with all this space.”

“Oh gosh, yeah. Jealous. If I didn’t have a place I’d beg to move into, I dunno, a closet or something here.” She pondered her plate for a moment, deciding what to taste next. “Of course, then I’d have to live on the east side, and I may not be cut out for that.”

“You’re a westie?”

“Shh, don’t tell, or they’ll think I’m a barbarian. My job was out there, so it was just easier.”

“Was?”

“I left about a month ago. Time for new things.”

“New things like what?”

She took a large bite to buy time to compose an answer, chewing slowly. “Uh, don’t quite know yet for certain. But it was time for a change. I mean, I’ll miss the money—it definitely paid well—but the stress and the need to maintain an image and just all of it, well, I guess it didn’t really fit my, uh, my identity, or something like that.”

“I feel that. This last piece of bruschetta is still calling your name, by the way. So you’re on the job hunt?”

“This is gonna sound horrible, but not really, not yet. I had some savings, so I’ve kind of taken some time to relax and wander a bit before jumping in again.”

“Actually, that sounds fantastic. I’m jealous.”

“Yeah, it’s been a good month. Let’s see that tray.” She leaned over the side of the chair, careful not to tilt her plate, and reached down to snatch the bruschetta.

“So what have you been doing, then?”

She smiled, her mouth half full. “Drinking beer and eating junk food, mostly.”

Hollis laughed, then turned to look at something. Leslie followed his gaze—everyone’s gaze, now—to the front door, where Myron was greeting and ushering in a new guest.

“Hey, everyone, this is our new neighbor from upstairs,” Myron announced. “Volla, meet everyone; everyone, meet Volla.”

“Hello!” said the new arrival, “it is very nice to meet you all.” There were traces of a curious European accent in her voice. It lilted with an icy confidence.

Leslie marveled, her envy rising again. Volla was an amazon, a stunning specimen, tall and commanding. She wasn’t lean like the others and was certainly heavier than Leslie, but had somehow quite unfairly molded her curves into a classic hourglass. The group collectively stared at that golden hair, those proud shoulders, that smooth midsection, those astonishing hips… She had poured herself into a tight white cocktail dress that caressed her statuesque form. She beamed brighter than everyone.

“Sorry I’m so late.” She looked across to Hollis. “Are there appetizers left? I am absolutely starving.”

Leslie paled and sank back into the chair as eyes turned to the nearly empty trays. Hollis apologized, stammering again, and offered to cut up some more. He trotted after Volla back to the kitchenette, leaving Leslie deep in the chair.

“Good thing you brought an appetite,” laughed Blythe. “After all, we brought you all here to get rid of all this food.”

“Aha!” cried one of the guys from the couch, grinning, “I knew you didn’t just invite me for my company. There’s always an ulterior motive.”

“They’ve found us out, babe,” Blythe lamented.

Myron feigned remorse. “Look, can you blame us? Our food-obsessed roommates moved out in kind of a rush and they left behind a kitchen full of half-prepared meals.”

“They were kind of weird,” added Blythe, “but boy could they cook.”

“You’re so right!” exclaimed Volla, leaning over the counter with a slice of bruschetta, “it’s incredible!”

“I’m sure it’s more than even you folks can put away in one night,” Myron sneered, “but I bet we can make a good dent.”

Last edited by Britt Reid; 03-03-2013 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
Marlow
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Chapter 2

Leslie wasn’t sure how she felt about this. She was sure, however, that she had eaten too many appetizers. She shifted uncomfortably, feeling bloated. The sense of dread returned and she silently cursed Blythe for luring her into so much potential embarrassment and regret.

“What our roommates didn’t leave us, of course,” Myron continued theatrically, “was their booze. Fortunately, there’s a good shop just down the block. Now that everyone’s here, I’ll take requests and head on down.”

“Oh, I know that shop!” said Volla, sliding back into the main room, “They are the only one in town that carries the beer I used to have back home—so good. I can go with you and help pick it out. It is the best you will ever taste, I promise.”

“Sounds good to me. Anyone else?”

The guests shouted a variety of requests, both realistic and not, and Myron was eventually obliged to write everything down. Blythe called out to Leslie, who had remained quiet, demanding her preference.

“Oh, um, there’s this one,” Leslie began, “It’s like a microbrew they make in this place on the west side. I don’t remember the name, but it’s got a big river on the label, I think, and the cap is purple—“

Myron stopped her with a gesture. “Just come with us. It’ll be easier. And if anyone else wants to come and help carry all this crap, feel free.”

“Alternatively,” cooed Blythe, “anyone who wants to help me and Hollis warm stuff up is welcome to help us in the kitchen.”

“Good deal. Alright, crew, let’s move out.”

Leslie hesitated, feeling an urge to protest, but there was no point and it was now too late. She hopped obediently out of the chair, pulled her blouse down over her exposed muffin-top, and weaved around the couches and tables to the door.

She followed Myron, Volla, and one of the unfamiliar guys out into the hall, through it to the stairwell, down, and out into the fading daylight, where they were stopped by a gust of cold autumn air. Leslie shuddered, her skinny legs exposed, and noticed Volla smirking at her as they resumed walking.

“You look so cold!” She remarked, her icy voice carrying a condescending note, “Back home, we still call this quite warm. Sometimes, when I was a child, I could ice skate all the way to school.”

“In the summer, right?” Leslie chided, hoping her sarcasm sounded friendlier than it may have been.

Volla laughed. “And uphill.”

“So, uh, at the risk of sounding ignorant, where is this magical land of uphill summer ice skating?”

“Wolkenkuckucksheim. It’s a little—“

“Oh, up near the Baltic!” interjected the unfamiliar guy, eager to impress, “I backpacked through there a few years ago. Well, just a corner, since we were on our way to—“

“Volla, you should tell Leslie what brought you here,” said Myron, ignoring his friend.

Volla beamed. “Oh, I came for the dance program! I came in an exchange program, and I liked America so much, I just stayed and finished my degree here.”

Leslie gaped. “Here at Thalia?”

“No, at Miskatonic. I was hired here as an instructor after I graduated.”

“Gotcha. I was going to say, if you went here, we would have met. I was, uh, pretty into dance too.”

“She was the best in the state,” added Myron. “She taught me and Blythe to tango.”

“I was okay.”

“Do you still dance?” Volla asked, delighted.

“Well, I was with a troupe over on the west side for a while. Taught there a bit, too. I’m taking some time off, now, though. But congrats on getting hired here at the university. That’s a selective program; I don’t think I ever had a chance for a fellowship.”

“Yes, they have very high standards.”

Volla either wasn’t aware or didn’t care that her comment came across as arrogant. Leslie tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, being unfamiliar with the culture. She forced out a friendly laugh.

Myron swung the door of the bottle shop open before them and they filed through, grateful to be back inside. The group split up, eyeing the impressive variety. Myron and his friend set about filling a cart with the requests on the notepad while Volla sauntered off in search of her particular imports. Leslie sulked over to the aisle with her favorite microbrew, gauging how best to get through what was almost certainly going to be an unbearable evening surrounded by so many superior, beaming people.

Finding her bottles with the purple caps, she grabbed a six-pack and made her way to the counter, where she found Volla flirting shamelessly with the clerk. The poor man was enraptured. With only light coercion, he was happy to pull her a curious black bottle from the back, give her a preposterous discount, and include for free a decorated glass she had been eyeing.

Volla was then able to have him extend the discount to Myron for the rest of the beverages and he even offered to help carry the bags. This offer was declined, but Myron and his friend were ecstatic and hailed the European beauty as a heroine as they hauled the treasure back up the block. Volla herself was excluded from carrying.
Leslie lagged behind them, trying to remember if the clerk had even once glanced her way.

Returning to the apartment, they received a heroes’ welcome. There was background music now and several of the guests were busy in the kitchenette with Blythe and Hollis. With the sun all but set, the curtains had been drawn, and the party became its own finite world. It was so pleasant and welcoming that Leslie suddenly felt willing to try to enjoy herself.

Volla tossed a bottle of her magic ice country beer to Blythe, shouting, “Blythe, you have to try this. You’ll never want to drink anything else ever again.”

Blythe tasted it and politely acknowledged its quality. She passed it around; it continued to receive positive reviews. Leslie opened one of her local beers and proffered it to Volla.

“Ah, yes, cheers!” said Volla, misinterpreting or ignoring the intent of the gesture. “Let me open another of mine and we shall start this party properly, as we do back home—with a race!”

“Oh, um. Well, okay.” Leslie was taken aback, but enticed. The sense of inclusion was invigorating and this at last was something in which she could participate with some confidence. “Let’s do it. I’m game.”

Volla popped the white cap from her bottle with practiced style and met Leslie’s eyes. They tapped the bottles together, nodded, and raised them to their lips.

“Haha, awesome,” Myron sneered. “And go!”

Leslie reared her head back and opened her throat for the flood of cold, smooth refreshment. She swallowed in a quick rhythm, staring up, her eyes following the level of liquid as it lowered itself, one step at a time, down the bottle. This beer was thicker than she was prepared for, though, intended for slower savoring, and soon would not go down so easily. Its bite threw her off her rhythm and suddenly she couldn’t keep up with the flow. She coughed violently and pulled away, dribbling much of what remained before catching herself. She hung her head in frustration, gasping for air.

She looked up. Volla was finished and had watched Leslie make a mess of herself.

“Guess you win this one,” Leslie conceded, wiping her chin. “Sorry for the mess, guys, I guess it’s been a while.”

Volla shrugged. “Nothing to be ashamed of. I have a small advantage, anyway—in my country we are raised on beer from childhood, so you might say I have a head start.”

“Sure, yeah.”

Leslie excused herself and retreated to the restroom to dry her face while the guests slapped Volla on the back in amazement. It had been a fantastic beginning to the party, certainly, and nothing but greatness and camaraderie could be expected from the evening now.

When Leslie returned to the living room, somewhat calmed and still willing to try to enjoy herself, she found a crowd gathered around the television. Overcome with nostalgia, someone had broken out a video game system from their childhood and a duel of epic scope was raging between Myron and another of the guests.

Leslie didn’t know this game. She didn’t know many from that era, as her parents had preferred her time be devoted to her dancing. She watched with interest, however, happy to be out of the group’s attention for a time. Blythe acknowledged Leslie long enough to return the half-emptied bottle to her before leaping in to bother her boyfriend as he fought his greatest ever battle.

After a protracted and tense melee, Myron finally emerged victorious. Leslie finished her beer and joined in the applause.

“Leslie!” shouted the icy voice. Volla was pointing with feigned menace. “I challenge you!”

“Oh, um, I have never played this game.”

“Don’t worry, I’m terrible. It’ll be a blast, come on.”

“Girl gamer fight!” shouted one of the guests, then, all of the guests, with adolescent glee.

“Um,” said Leslie.

“But it’s the last one for now,” interrupted Hollis from the kitchen. “You two have your game, then it’ll be time to eat.”

It occurred to Leslie that the sooner she gave in and played, the sooner they could just eat. She was still feeling famished and if this one minor opportunity for embarrassment would facilitate the opportunity to dive into whatever smelled so delicious, it was worth it.

Volla destroyed her. Leslie found herself utterly defeated with absurd ease as the foreigner, despite her claims, demonstrated a preternatural ability with the game. The men cheered the victor and argued over who could challenge her next.

It was a harmless game played for amusement, but the loss burned at Leslie as yet another mark of shame. She was overwhelmed with an uncharacteristic feeling of cattiness and deep in her mind she declared war on Wolkenkuckucksheim and its beaming ambassador of perfection. She cursed her parents and her abandoned life of dance and cursed her inability to beam like everyone else present and cursed Volla’s magical utopian homeland and opened a second beer.

With the most of the guests occupied in congratulating and slavering over the champion, Leslie moved over towards the kitchenette, taking a long pull of the beer and opening her nose to the rich scents rising from the other side of the counter. Blythe was skipping back and forth with the fury of a dedicated host while Hollis, who had yet to really join the party, finished up a garnish. Leslie sipped at her beer and watched the process unfold.

“Doesn’t that smell magnificent?” Hollis asked, pleased with himself. “Beer cheese soup here, with intriguing flair, and what appears to be an entire botanical garden worth of salad.”

Leslie filled her lungs with the aroma—rich, hearty, warm, and comforting, like a fireplace in winter. “Incredible. Oh man, if we don’t eat soon I might cry. Blythe, those old roommates of yours knew their stuff.”

“Well, they were in the culinary school, so I should think so. They cooked constantly; it was ridiculous. And if you think the soup smells good, just wait for the main courses.”

“Courses?” Leslie whimpered. She unconsciously tugged down on her top and pressed her hand against her stomach. It rumbled greedily; she grimaced.

“Yeah, hope you’re hungry,” laughed Hollis. All these covered dishes here are thawing, ready to go and just waiting to be warmed. The fridge and the freezer were full of these things. And they had a backup freezer in the basement, like a commercial one. I found a package in there—eight rotisserie chickens, I kid you not. These people were insane.”

Blythe laid a hand on his shoulder. “Hollis, let’s get this going, or the night will be over before dessert. I’ll go round everyone up. Leslie, babe, go find a seat. Table’s set up in the next room, through there.”

Leslie tipped her bottle in acknowledgement and took another pull at it. Now that she wasn’t coughing it all over her face, it was as flavorful as she remembered. She held it up, checking her progress, decided to grab another from the pack to bring for later in the dinner, and made her way through an arched opening into the room Blythe had indicated.

The room was only barely large enough for the long dining table, decadently set with fine plateware and silverware Leslie felt graduate assistants and fresh young professionals shouldn’t have been able to afford. She felt another pang of jealously, for while she had been living fairly well on her savings the last month, she knew she wouldn’t be able to sustain that and would probably never see such décor on her own table. The whole table, the whole room beamed in way she envied.

Hollis shuffled in behind her, carrying a steaming pot of the soup. The return of that aroma soothed her again and she resolved once more to simply enjoy the evening for what it was. Leslie picked a chair at random toward the foot of the table, near the door, and watched Hollis ladle out soup as the other guests filed into the room.

Apparently unwilling to allow the defeated any respite, Volla giddily sat herself directly across the table from Leslie and greeted her with what seemed too much good will. Leslie was spared from having to come up with a reasonable response to this as a battle of politeness broke out amongst several of the guys vying for a chance to sit next to the European beauty. Volla, clearly prepared for this probably familiar situation, subdued them with a cool diplomacy and soon all were seated more or less to their satisfaction.

Myron, beaming at the head of the table, the undisputed lord of the house, raised his glass. “Thanks again, everyone, for joining us. I think we’re in for a real treat here tonight. Before we dig in, let’s all thank Hollis and my lovely Blythe for warming everything up and making it look so good…”

He waited for the small applause to subside, then continued, “And most of all, let’s thank our weird roommates for leaving us all this delicious but perishable food to get rid of! Haha, yes. Now let’s get after it, people, I’d hate to have to throw anything away.”

Last edited by Britt Reid; 03-04-2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
Marlow
 
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Chapter three

The soup was gone, the pot scraped dry. Only insubstantial scraps of green remained of the salad. All present leaned back in their chairs with satisfaction. Only Hollis seemed to have demonstrated any restraint; he had spent most of the time scurrying about, serving. The athletes had eaten as only athletes can, but Leslie had outdone them, giving in to the hunger the rich smell had roused in her. She had opened the third beer at some point to wash things down, and now, as she worked on what remained of it, she realized that someone at the table had out-eaten her.

“Oh, that reminded me of a recipe from home,” sighed Volla, tapping her spoon to her lips. “My grandmother used to make us a very similar treat on our birthdays…I would eat until there was no more to be had.”

“Must have been lovely,” Hollis commented, collecting dishes at the other end of the table.

Leslie stifled a burp.

“How does this compare to the original, then?” asked Blythe.

Volla put up a finger.

“Let me answer you as accurately as possible:” her chest heaved and she let out a terrific belch.

The room erupted, the guests thrilled by her performance. Well done, well done, she should go on tour, she had emasculated them all, where had she learned such a skill…Volla was slurping up the praise as ravenously as she had the soup. How had she sucked down such a quantity and why was she so celebrated for it while Leslie sat in comparative shame, feeling the soup’s creamy richness making itself at home in her accursed midsection?

“A rave review, then!” Myron celebrated.

“Oh, yes. Now, obviously I can’t call it truly what grandmother made, but for an American creation it is all it can be.”

This was again probably not intended to be as arrogant as it initially seemed, but the smugness grated and Leslie was tiring of it. She drained the last dregs of her beer, giving her an excuse to step away, and pushed herself up from the table.

Her stomach was fuller than before, though, and the beer was settling in, so she had to catch herself after swaying for a moment. Her muffin-top was peeking again; she tugged her top down, then tugged it down again before it would stay.

“I’m refilling,” she ventured, remembering to try to be polite, “anyone low?”

“Oh, if you are going,” chirped Volla, checking her own bottle. “The ones with the white caps. Gotta make sure I keep up with you.”

“Um, sure.” Leslie found the girl truly confusing and tried to decide if it was a cultural issue as she sidestepped to the door. Emerging back into the living room, she paused for a deep breath and noticed, to her frustration, that this had pulled up a bit on her blouse and a sliver of pink skin had opened up again. She tugged down again and crossed over to the beverage stack. Retrieving the beers required bending over, though, and this allowed the blouse to ride up once again. Laughing quietly to herself in exasperation, she tugged down hard and hissed at it to stay.

She heard a crash from the dining room and the tinkling of glass, then a mess of voices, one apologetic, another reassuring, most deriding the party foul. Hollis came skipping out, crying, “Hold on, I’ll get it, I’ll get it.”

Leslie checked to ensure she had retrieved the right bottles—Volla’s white-capped, her own purple-capped—and followed Hollis into the kitchenette, beers in one hand, the bottom edge of her blouse in the other. She watched him open and close a series of cabinets before finally happening upon some cleaning supplies.

“Somebody’s wine went for a walk,” he sighed. “Whup, excuse me here…”

He reached around and snatched a roll of paper towels from behind her on the counter.

“You seem to do a lot more of the hosting work than our actual hosts,” Leslie remarked.

He spun the roll, trying to judge how many sheets to take.

“Ah, playing butler keeps me busy. If I weren’t helping I wouldn’t be able to function. I’m, um, not always great at the whole ‘social interaction’ thing.” He frowned and tucked the roll under his arm, apparently resolving to bring the whole thing.

“Sure, I feel that. Maybe I should try your way. Usually I just distract myself with the food.”

He laughed nervously, grabbed the dustpan, and shuffled back towards the dining room before stopping, having forgotten something: “Oh, hey, uh, in the cabinet right over your head, there—yep, that one—there are more wine glasses, if you could grab a replacement.”

“Gotcha. No problem.” She waited for him to leave—an awkward moment—then let go of her blouse and reached up with the freed hand.

The wine glasses were on the top shelf of the cabinet and, short as she was, Leslie was obliged to hop up to grab one. She successfully did so, but landed awkwardly; the contents of her stomach sloshed about wildly and she stumbled back a few steps before righting herself.

She stood there a moment, holding the glass and the bottles out for balance, catching her breath. She shook her head a bit to clear it and noticed her reflection in the oven’s glass door.

“Oh, gosh, stupid thing,” she whispered. At its level, the reflection didn’t show all of her, but it was enough to see that in the brief excitement her blouse had retreated up above her navel. Leslie’s muffin-top sat there happily and shamelessly, perkily staring out at the world. The skirt had shifted a bit, too, revealing something Leslie hadn’t noticed before—her midriff was rounding on the sides in a new way as some lovehandles were beginning to take form. The month of lazy indulgence she had enjoyed since leaving the studio had caught up with her more than she had realized.

Rolling her eyes at the uncooperative blouse, she pulled it back down around its softening prisoner, juggling the bottles and the glass back and forth between hands. This process completed, she stared down at the blouse for a moment like a mother at a punished child, daring it to misbehave again.

It promised to cooperate, its violet fabric blushing, but she wasn’t entirely satisfied and poked around at the idea of asking Blythe for a shirt to borrow, perhaps under the pretense of the spilled beer…no, it wasn’t very likely that anything the sporty little Blythe owned would cooperate any better…probably worse, in horrible ways…Giving up on the idea, Leslie navigated back to the dining room, stepping carefully, making occasional preemptive tugs.

“Hollis, I spilled it, I’ll take care of it,” Myron was saying. “Here, just hand me the thing. Oh, there are more glasses in the cabinet for—“

“Yep. Leslie grabbed one. Here she is.”

“Here I am!” Leslie sang with her best attempt at cheeriness. “If you would pass that to our culprit”—she handed off the glass—“thank you. And Volla, here you are.”

She leaned across the table to hand Volla her drink, immediately conscious that the blouse was of course sliding up again. She could swear she saw Volla smirk at this and sat down in an embarrassed haste.

Volla thanked her cheerfully and popped the cap. She raised the bottle for a sip, but suddenly leapt up, reaching toward the center of the table. “Wait! Wait, wait, wait.”

Hollis, the object of her reaching, froze—he had picked up the empty soup pot in an effort to help clear the table and now stood awkwardly, cradling it. Volla, having seized the room’s attention, leaned across with her spoon and scraped together one last mouthful of soup.

She made a show a swallowing it and basking in the inward glow of its flavor, then commenced a soliloquy: “Hope you all don’t think it’s weird. I have a big appetite. More than Americans usually expect. See, back home, we have these overbearing mothers and aunts who take their cooking very seriously and they get super offended if you don’t finish everything. Growing up there, you get used to a lot of food. It’s normal for us. It’s a point of pride.”

She took a moment to gaze ceremoniously around the table and concluded, gesturing with the spoon for emphasis, “I bet I could out-eat any American.”

Leslie had heard enough. The smugness was overwhelming and now unbearable. This foreigner had methodically demonstrated superiority over her in every possible way since arriving and it needed to stop. Leslie may not have been raised in Whateverkuckucksheim with their amazing older-than-time traditions of better-than-you-ness and may not have been as successful in her career and may not have been so able to command the attention of a room of men but damn it, if the petulance of her blouse was any evidence, Leslie could eat plenty.

“Alright, then, Volla,” she said, her hidden anger lending her some small confidence, “I think it’s my turn to challenge you.”

To emphasize the moment, she cracked the cap from her bottle, though with much less ease and grace than her opponent.

Volla’s eyes shined. Leslie hadn’t surprised her at all, merely delighted her.

“Ooh, challenge time again,” said Myron.

“I’m, uh, hoping third time’s the charm,” Leslie replied, locking eyes with Volla.

Volla gazed back. “What’s the game?”

“You think you can out-eat any American. I think you’re wrong. I think I can out-eat you.” She was smiling, but not sure why. She couldn’t tell if it was a sensation of power, or exasperation, or enjoyment. But she knew she believed what she was saying, bizarre as the situation had become.

The other guests, finding the situation hysterical, listened intently, mouths agape with amusement. Myron had finished collecting the shattered glass and stood there, waiting. Blythe glanced back and forth, concerned for her friend, but captivated. Hollis very slowly and very quietly crept out of the room with the soup pot.

“Well,” announced Volla at last, “I think I must happily accept your challenge. National pride is at stake.”

She looked up the table to the hosts. “Provided there is enough food, of course.”

“Oh, trust me,” called Hollis from the other room, “there’s more than enough.”

Myron laughed. “Holy balls, yes. We aren’t gonna get through half this stuff as it is. If you two want some extra servings, I won’t complain.”

“Yes, please get rid of it,” Blythe begged.

“Well, you have been warned,” said Volla, pointing with an authoritative finger. She swung it round to Leslie. “And so have you.”

It was probably spoken in jest—everyone laughed—but Leslie was in warrior mode. “Warn me all you like. As they say in, um, other parts of America: I’m calling you out.”

Their audience cheered. “This is intense!” cried Myron, ecstatic, “We should throw in some sort of prize, yeah?”

Blythe pondered this. “Hmm, is there anything else we need to get rid of? There’s that hideous chair the roommates left.”

“Oh, man, the one in the living room? Nobody would want to win that thing.”

Volla was intrigued. “Why, what’s wrong with it?”

“The color, haha. That absurd purplish-paisley travesty.”

“The one I was sitting in earlier?” Leslie asked, startled. “But that is the most comfortable chair my butt has ever touched! I could spend the rest of my life in that chair.”

“Sounds nice,” Volla mused.

Blythe put her head in her hands, laughing. “You’re not seriously going to put up an ugly old chair as a reward…”

Leslie suddenly wanted the chair more than anything in the world.

“I’m gonna win that chair,” she announced, taking a confident swig of her beer.

“Not a chance,” said Volla, pulling at her own.

Myron, sensing a chance to reassert himself, stood and addressed the party. “Okay, well, I guess as proprietor of the chair, I’m in some sense governing this thing. So let’s try this: as we go through dinner, we’ll have a, uh, noncombatant serve you two, making sure you get equal portions or something and keeping track of what you finish. Sound reasonable? Awesome. So we just need someone—Hollis, you wanna take care of—cool, thank you, sir. Right, um, if someone taps out, I guess that’s it, or throws up (please don’t), or in whatever way demonstrates to me that it’s over, it’s over. Whoever lasts, well, they get the chair, apparently.”

“Provided the winner finishes one more thing than the loser does, right?” one of the guys chimed in.

“And beverages count,” added another.

“I said I planned to keep up,” said Volla, grinning.

“Right, all good. The rest of us will continue with the dinner as planned, unless anyone else wants in. Taking them on, babe?”

Blythe laughed and shook her head. “No thanks. They can have their fun.”

“Right on. Well, then, let’s do this.”

Last edited by Britt Reid; 03-07-2013 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Chapter four

During the subsequent lull as dishes were cleared and exchanged, Leslie thought back to the last time she had felt such a swell of competitive fire: her final dance competition, a farce of futility and failure that had gnawed at her heart and made her run screaming from her chosen career.

It was an inauspicious thought. She washed it away with a swig of her beer. Across the table, as now obligated, Volla took an equivalent pull on her own bottle. The two opponents locked eyes, eyebrows cocked, daring one another.

“We may need our other beers before this is over,” said Volla with her impenetrable grin.

She stood and sashayed out, putting on her customary show for all the eyes following her. The sway of those hips were mesmerizing…Leslie grimaced. How did Volla’s taut little dress hold all that soup without complaint while Leslie’s own blouse was fighting her with such worrisome tenacity? What quantities could she truly contain? Leslie dismissed the line of thought as uncomfortable and strange. The whole evening, though, had become quite strange.

Volla returned with the packs of their respective beers and deftly set them down. She sat and beamed as chat resumed around the table.

A new scented wafted into the room. Once it reached Leslie, its origins promptly replaced all running lines of thought. It was a smell from long ago, from picnics in a warmer place, somewhere south, somewhere full of loud cousins.

“Alrighty, folks,” ventured Hollis from the archway, a wry smile creeping onto his face, “I will now, uh, take orders for legs, thighs, breasts, and wings.” It was the rotisserie chicken. Guests around the table gasped in anticipation. “Plenty of each for everyone.”

Volla took command. She had a statement to make and a chair to win. “Pieces! Don’t be coy, Hollis. Bring me a whole bird.” She caught sight of Leslie gulping involuntarily and winked. “You were warned.”

Leslie searched for a retort. “Listen, you weren’t the only one here with pushy relatives. Hollis, whatever that chicken’s slathered with, you slather mine some more. And, uh, I’m gonna need some napkins.”

“There are a couple I haven’t carved yet,” Hollis stammered, looking over to Myron for permission, who merely shrugged, “I guess I can just slip those onto some plates. Everyone, ah, go ahead and organize your requests while I fetch the birds.”

Out he went. The guests rattled off various combinations of bird parts to Blythe, who wrote them dutifully on a napkin, refusing to let anyone just get up and grab their own. This was a fancy dinner party, damn it, and they would be served by their hosts…and Hollis, who couldn’t be prevented from serving. Leslie began to feel as hungry as ever, as though she had eaten nothing all day, her mouth watering more as each selected piece of white and dark meat was listed off. She felt Volla watching her; she took a sip of her beer, forcing Volla to do the same.

Hollis returned, an enormous roasted bird in each hand. He set them before the ladies as simultaneously as he could manage, then caught the crumpled-up list of orders tossed his way and backed obediently out of the room.

Unwilling to be showed up again, Leslie tore immediately into her chicken, seizing its body and snapping off a drumstick. Seeing that Volla had hesitated, she celebrated the minor moral victory and chomped down on the leg before Volla could finish prying off a wing.

The erupting flavor was overwhelming. The caramelized baste dripped off the perfectly browned skin, under which waited meat that practically liquefied as she bit into it. She had sucked the leg dry before she could even react to the sensations and marveled for a moment at the bare bone. She plucked off a wing; this second piece was as good as the first, possibly even better, even without the value of the surprise. She ripped off a thigh—she wasn’t eating chicken this juicy, she was drinking it—and alternated briefly between the light and dark meat, unsure which amazed her more. The second wing was required for further comparison, the first depleted, then a second thigh, at which point the dark meat seemed to be claiming a significant lead. But she realized her test was imbalanced, for it had not included the best of the white meat. In a controlled frenzy, suddenly recalling a motion she had not had to execute since those childhood picnics, she cracked open the chest cavity and extracted the breast meat with surprising fluidity. These magnificent specimens ready, she took a long draught of her beer to cleanse the palate, to recreate that initial explosion, and took a breath. Then it was time. She did her best to savor the first breast, chewing slowly, but it was just too good, and the second and final piece had disappeared before it occurred to her that she had bit into it.

An empty skeleton sprawled on the platter before her, a pool of juices lapping gently at the bones. Leslie stifled a petite burp, puffing out her cheeks, and reached for the extra napkin that had appeared. Her hands with dripping wet with baste; it was all over her setting, running down her chin and the label of the beer.

Seconds later, Volla announced her completion with her own more overt belch, once again drawing light applause. Everything was a show. She ran her tongue over a legbone, pretending to be seductive, distracting the guests from their own meals.

Leslie had finished the chicken faster than she had ever finished anything. She worked a bit more on her beer, impressed with herself. There was a warm pressure in her stomach, not fullness, but a sensation of being lovingly hugged from within. She burped quietly again and wiped up what she could with the napkin.

Volla suddenly twisted around and threw the legbone through the archway. It clattered onto the kitchenette counter. “Hollis!” she shouted, “What’s next? Bring it on!”

Pleased with herself, she drained her beer in a long pull. Leslie took a moment to recognize this, then hurried to finish off her own.

Pasta was next, apparently, a bed of thick noodles drenched in a creamy garlic and rosemary sauce. Three serving bowls were placed on the table, one for Leslie and Volla to share. Hollis, not sure what else to do, simply handed each of the competitors her own ladle.

“Look, just, ah, try to match what you grab, somehow,” he said, hands open.

“Well,” offered Volla, “let’s just agree that whenever I take a serving, Leslie takes a serving, and vice versa. That alright with you?”

Leslie was preoccupied by the aroma. “Sure.”

They each pulled for themselves a plateful of the noodles, inspected one another’s to see that they were about even, and off they went.

It was an ideal pasta, an excellent balance of flavors. The smoothness of the cream sauce made it easy to eat and Leslie was able to twist up huge forkfuls to stuff into her mouth. She shoveled noodles in ravenously, working in a spiral towards the center of the plate, drowning out the hum of conversation at the other end of the table. She hadn’t come here to party, she had come to win. She had come to eat this incredible pasta.

The plate was empty. She looked up. Volla was waiting, plate empty, eyebrow cocked. Leslie glared back and picked up her ladle. They paused a moment to coordinate and dug in again.

The plate full again, Leslie readied herself for more joyous shoveling. But she noticed that a new bottle had lost its white cap and much of its contents and she had to take a moment to relieve a new bottle of its purple cap.

The second plate disappeared much more slowly. It was no less delicious and certainly rewarding in the sensations it caused, but Leslie was beginning to feel sluggish. But a mixture of competitive zeal and a persistent, deep, new hunger drove her on and she wasn’t too far behind as they started on the third serving. Volla had taken the lead also on the drinks, moving quickly through the fifth bottle. Leslie kept up, though, for her hoppy brew complimented the pasta well and helped the thick noodles go down.

The other guests, though eating their fair share, finished this course quickly and were able to watch the balance of the pasta battle. It was clear that the competition was tight and would likely continue on into later courses—Volla may have demonstrated a speed advantage but it hadn’t deterred Leslie and neither seemed too discomfited by the quantities they had consumed.

They reached their ladles in again, but there was no more pasta to scoop. One lone noodle clung to the side of the bowl; Leslie snatched it and sucked it up, puckering vindictively. Volla belched mightily in reply to this and sat back in her chair, popping open the sixth beer.

Hollis reappeared in the archway. “Okay, so there’s gonna have to be a short break. This next one’s taking longer to warm up than expected.”

There was a general groan of disappointment, most of it feigned. Leslie would have preferred not to stop, worried a break would allow fullness to catch up with her. She and Volla sipped impatiently at the last of their beers.

“I have to say, Leslie,” Volla sighed from her slumped position, “you are a worthy opponent.”

Leslie returned the affected chivalric tone: “It has been an honor to…” She stifled another burp. “ …to do battle with you.” She wasn’t sure if she meant it—beneath the recent wave of forced mutual respect still lurked the anger that had incited the duel.

“Indeed. But I still fully intend and expect to win that fine chair.”

“Oh, please.”

“I can imagine it even now in my house…in front of the T.V., maybe, or in the bedroom…”

“You haven’t even…haven’t even sat in that chair. You don’t know it like I do. We’re already best friends, that…chair and I.”

“Well, since we have a break, Leslie, I think you should introduce us. Yes. Let’s go ogle the prize before I win it. Come on, come on.”

“Alright, alright, hold up.”

Most of the other guests had already filed out to visit the restroom or check their phones, anyway, so it made more sense than sitting alone in front of an empty bowl. Leslie heaved herself out of her chair and immediately fell backwards. Reaching out, she steadied herself on the wall and let out an embarrassed giggle. “Ah, tipsy.”

She was reassured to see that Volla, despite her show of invincibility, also swayed a bit as she stood up, but was making an effort to keep it from being too apparent. “No surprise there. Here, let’s go.” She grabbed her beer and headed out into the living room.

Leslie checked her blouse and almost yelped. It had slid up above her navel, forced up by the biggest food-baby she had ever seen on her small frame. She tugged at the fabric, but to little effect—her bloated stomach was beyond its capacity. Where was Volla’s embarrassing food-baby? But there was nothing to be done. Accepting that her favorite blouse was now a belly-shirt, Leslie grabbed her beer and followed her opponent out of the room.

Volla was bending over, peering at the feet of the chair; the men in the room stared without shame at the full, round backside she presented them. Leslie crossed the room, tripping slightly as she passed the coffee table, and gave her opponent a tap on that backside. Volla straightened up, tossing her hair to one side and leaning over momentarily with the momentum.

“It definitely looks like a comfy chair. Let me test it.” She sat down and beamed up at Leslie. “Oh, this is nice.” She pulled at her beer, stared into space for a moment, then continued, “You should get used to this sight. I’m gonna be in this chair all the time after I win it.”

Leslie sipped as well before retorting, as amicably as she could muster, “Nah, you should just enjoy it now while you can, since this is the last…the last time you’ll be able to enjoy it.” Feeling her sense of balance beginning to betray her again, she stepped forward to rest her elbow on the back of the chair. Leaning there, she looked down at her opponent, and proffered her bottle. “Here, you know what, you should try this while there’s some left. I know it’s not as good as yours, but it might surprise you.”

“If you’ll try some of mine, of course.”

They traded bottles and in perfect unison took a long swig. They each swirled it around for a moment, deciding, then conceded an appreciative nod to one another.

“That is pretty good stuff, Volla.”

“So’s yours. May I finish it?”

Leslie shrugged and began to drain the white-capped beer herself. There was more left than she expected, though, and choked before she could quit finish it.

Volla tipped hers back and watched the last of it disappear without pause.

Leslie wiped the dribbles from her chin and sighed. “At some point I’ll get that right, I swear.”

“Takes talent,” laughed Volla. “You’ll get there.”

Leslie shook her head and put it out of her mind. Instead she stood quiet a while, watching the other guests converse, enjoying the glow deep in her stomach.

“Okay, folks, sorry for the delay,” called Hollis after a while, “I think we’re ready to go now and there shouldn’t be any more hiccups.”

The party gave a relieved cheer.

Myron led the charge back to the dining room. “You heard the man, everyone, we have a feast to finish…and a contest to conclude!”
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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Chapter five

“Oh, Myron,” cooed Volla, easing back into her seat, “Leslie and I have finished our beers. Is there any chance you could fix us up with a new beverage? Maybe whatever that is that Blythe’s having; it looks tasty.”

“No problem.”

It was a ridiculous fruity drink, tangy and strong. It served to help what must have been an entire school of shrimp make their way down Leslie’s throat.

Her tastebuds were certainly grateful, but her stomach was becoming less so—the glow had become a fire and whatever entity had been hugging her from within now seemed resolved to push its way out, either by coming back up or bursting its prison. The break had disrupted her easy rhythm as she had feared. She was sweating and between courses undid a couple of the buttons at the top of her blouse. Now her cleavage peeked enthusiastically out and she caught several of the guests peeking back.

She and Volla had stopped talking, devoted to their food. A course of light vegetables arrived and this would have been more of a respite if they hadn’t driven each other to commandeer one of the other guests’ bowls after emptying their own.

They needed a new beverage—they refused a repeat of the fruity drink and opted to split the curious dark bottle Volla had acquired at the liquor shop. Hollis was required to attend to this also, finding them a pair of short glasses. It was amazingly sharp, like swallowing a sword, but it complimented the next few courses and its use was thankfully more sparing.

Leslie needed more air, gasping between bites of baked potato. She slipped a fumbling hand under the table and furtively unbuttoned her skirt. Her food-baby promptly swelled into the opened space, still confined but far more comfortable. She sighed and looked across the table.

Volla had already moved on from the potato to the entrée of the course, a choice cut of beef, onto which she was carefully spooning a sweet steak sauce. The sauce had been provided in a cup with each plate and it was apparent that Volla intended to use it all.

The last of the potato disappeared into Leslie’s mouth and she scrambled to cut the meat. In what she decided was a stroke of genius, she grabbed her cup of sauce and simply drank it down, then folded the beef over and used it to create a sandwich of the remaining sides. It wasn’t pretty and certainly wasn’t clean, but it allowed her to catch up to Volla before the next course.

By this time the other guests had had more than their fill and, satisfied with their dinners, had moved on to the rest of their party. They came in and out to check in and taste new arrivals, but mostly occupied themselves out in the living area as the video game reemerged, the music grew louder, and the drinks flowed more freely. They chatted with happy satisfaction; snippets of conversation about the job market and politics and professional sports floated about.

Leslie ignored them. She didn’t have attention to spare for such things, consumed with purpose for the first time since she had lost interest in her career. All her cognitive faculties were concerned with only two sensations: the endless joy her mouth was experiencing and the bizarre confluence of satisfaction and strain in her stomach. It hurt, indeed, but it was an encouraging pain, the pain of productivity, of growth—the sort of pain that alone could serve as currency in purchasing victory.

Occasionally a small sliver of her mind would pause for a moment to wonder about her opponent. Volla had seemingly made no adjustments, seemed perfectly comfortable, completely at ease. Her eyes were bleary now and she swayed ponderously when she didn’t have her nose to the plate. Every so often she would loose one of her mighty belches; without the partiers to cheer her, she would cheer them herself, giggling, before returning to the meal.

Blythe walked through to see their progress, distracting Leslie for a moment. Leslie’s eyes felt as though they were bulging out. She needed more room and without thinking tugged down on her skirt just enough to let her gut swell out again, which it did gratefully. It jutted prominently, floating just above her lap, the top of its outward curve brushing up against the table.

The skirt had been pulled down in the back, as well. Blythe looked down as she sidled past and laughed. She leaned in, breathing her ridiculous fruity drink in Leslie’s face, and reaching down tugged at the exposed lace of her panties. “Your quarter-slot’s showing, babe.”

Leslie almost neglected to respond to this. “Uh, sorry,” she managed eventually, “just…just don’t let anyone take…pictures…or whatever.” Satisfied that she had addressed the situation, she dove back into her turkey.

Suddenly, Volla shifted in her seat. It was the first comfort-motivated adjustment Leslie had seen her make all night and it gave her a rush of encouragement. Volla, realizing her error, compensated by reaching for the bottle of liquor to refill her glass. Leslie refused to be deterred; she may appear less graceful in her half open blouse with her underwear hanging out, but the competition was eating, and she was doing that just as well as the composed, if intoxicated, competitor across the table. Leslie let her wild hair down in the back, completing the disheveled image.

“Such pretty red hair,” said Volla, looking sideways at her. “Is it natural? It must be. Very pretty.” Her accent was much stronger now and she seemed to be searching for the right words.

“Uh, th-thanks. All me. Like yours, I assume.”

“Ya. All me, blonde. Hey, here’s to pretty hair.” She raised her glass.

Leslie reluctantly raised hers, but they were interrupted by an announcement outside.

“Hey, folks,” Hollis was saying, “I’m sure we’re all still full…”

Leslie and Volla giggled and finished their toast.

“…but I’ve got some of the desserts ready and, trust me, you’ll want to try some of these.”

They were worth trying. Handmade cookies, small tarts, and various fruits dipped in chocolate. Hollis hefted a tray into the room, fending off greedy hands. Leslie and Volla reached to pick the delicasies off the tray, until an exasperated Hollis pulled it away.

“Look, stop, hold on, we need to—just wait a second. I have something I can divide equally for you. Just wait.” He handed off the tray and went back out.

Leslie watched the tray circle the table as the partiers returned to their seats. They couldn’t miss such a great dessert spread and they could sense that the eating contest was nearing some sort of climax; Volla was lolling listlessly in her seat, paying little attention, and Leslie was an absolute mess, half undressed and covered in crumbs and sauces. The end had to come soon and the audience watched eagerly.

Hollis returned with two plates, on each jiggled a heap of bread pudding. The girls stared as these were laid before them. Leslie poked hers with a fork. It squirmed unnaturally; her stomach squirmed in response. She took a sip from her glass, then tried a bite of the pudding.

Once again she was overwhelmed by a rush of flavor. It was rich, so rich, and so sweet. She looked up at Volla, who was simply shoveling it into her mouth, unfazed. Leslie rushed to keep up, scooping up spoonfuls before she could swallow the previous loads, washing them down with sips from her glass. Tired of lagging behind, she bent forward, face to the plate, and sucked. She inhaled a great deal of pudding, but not as successfully as she had hoped and abandoned the idea. Instead she seized a second spoon and tried to double her intake. It wasn’t much more effective either, but it entertained the other guests, who grew silent in anticipation.

After a herculean effort, Leslie wiped the plate clean. Volla had of course finished before her, but for once was not wearing her smug grin—her head was tilted open, mouth agape. She had a hand on her abdomen, squeezing uncertainly.

Leslie burped softly, hesitant. She wanted to undo more buttons somewhere, make more room.

“Volla, you alright?” asked Blythe.

After a tense moment, Volla raised an expectant finger. It dipped and suddenly she let out a greater belch than they’d heard all evening, rattling the glassware. It was met with thunderous applause and Volla collapsed in a fit of giggles.

“Hee…that cleared some room, ya. Ready for the next round. Les, you still good?”

Leslie hesitated, trying to take deep breaths. Her tiny burp had cleared no room.

“Hee hee,” Volla continued, lifting her glass, “here’s to my new chair, I think.” She downed what remained in the glass and banged it down on the table.

Leslie looked out through the archway. Leaning far enough, she could see Hollis cutting something. She sat back, picked up her glass, thought a moment, downed it, banged it down, and thought for another moment. Trying to ignore the captivated audience, she called out, “Hollis, what are you…what are you cutting over there?”

The audience listened patiently.

“Cutting?” came the tentative reply. “Um, some cake. Somebody said they wanted to try a piece.”

“Stop…stop cutting it.” Leslie’s voice wavered. Words were eluding her. She searched her mind for what it had intended for her to say, but it kept rearranging itself.

The audience gasped. Was this the end?

“Stop cutting?”

“Yeah, stop cutting the cake, ‘cause I want the whole—“ she hiccupped “—I want the whole thing.”

The guests oohed and aahed, impressed.

After a few moments, Volla registered what had been said. “You have two cakes, right?”

Hollis entered with the cake, a basic circular affair. Chocolate showed beneath the frosting where he had cut it. “Uh, no, actually. Look, I’ll just give you each half and we’ll go from there.”

They agreed, and watched him slice the cake in two. He set the pieces down and backed away as if he had lit the fuse on a firework.

Volla picked up her fork and shot Leslie a glare.

Leslie glared back, tossed her own fork over her shoulder, and grabbed the cake with her hands. She forced it into her mouth and down her throat. Her whole world was suddenly compressed into a handful of chocolate cake, drifting hazily in and out of focus, rotating strangely as her equilibrium called in sick. She stuffed it into her mouth and she chewed it and she swallowed it and something deep inside her revealed that she enjoyed it.

She opened her eyes, gave them a second to focus, and saw that only a small chunk of cake remained on the plate. Could she do it? She was having difficulty keeping things in order. Had she only been given that small chunk of cake? What happened to the appetizers? Was this the first or the last course?

She looked up. Only a slightly larger wedge remained on Volla’s plate. Somehow Leslie had finally overtaken her; somehow Volla had slowed down. Volla looked back at her blearily and—to Leslie’s horror—mustered that smug, victorious grin.

But then it disappeared as Volla’s body lurched slightly. She pursed her lips, looking pale and concerned. She swallowed hard, a look of shock now in her eyes, and slowly lowered her head to the table. There it sat for a moment before turning on its side; Volla let out a last breathy belch, and was silent.

Myron looked down the table at her. “Fast asleep,” he announced, laughing with awe.

Everyone looked at Leslie. She put a hand to her chest and hiccupped. She stared at Volla the invincible in disbelief. She hiccupped again; her stomach sloshed. She took a deep breath.

Leslie grabbed her remaining chunk of cake and swallowed it whole. She pushed herself up a bit to reach across the table, grabbed what remained of Volla’s cake, and stuffed it in her mouth. She successfully rose to her feet, stepped backwards, then forwards to find her footing. Steadying herself, she seized the dark liquor bottle, hiccupped, raised it to her lips, and slowly, methodically drained it.

“Got there,” she whispered, setting the bottle down.

Everyone continued to stare, amazed.

Leslie straightened up and stood proud, skirt askew, blouse half opened and pushed up almost to her bra-line, her food-baby on display for all. It was stretched taut, poking out as far as her breasts, so replete it defied gravity. It heaved when she hiccupped.

Swaying, she held up a finger, then let out a burp. It wasn’t like Volla’s; it was her own and she was proud of it. The party broke out in cheers; she quieted them.

“Alright, Volla—hic!—despite all your claims and your superior Euro…European culture and your skill with—hic!—with video games, I have un…deniably bested you—hic!—you at the ultimate challenge. As I said I would, as I warned you, you…you have been out—hulp!—eaten. By…me. So you can go back to your cloud cuckoo land or whatever it is and tell…tell everyone there that this girl, me, Leslie, beat you, and she here…by claims the official royal title of Queen—hic!—Empress of eating!”

The partiers applauded riotously.

“Damn right, girl,” said Myron, “that chair is yours.”
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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Chapter six

With the competition concluded, most of the other guests wandered out of the dining room, returning to the party proper. It had grown late and they were growing raucous. A similarly raucous party was being thrown in Leslie’s stomach, but it felt nice, somehow. She was overwhelmed with an unfamiliar satisfaction emanating from her abdomen and had sat back down at the table to reward her distended belly with a much-deserved rub.

But there was a chair out there waiting for her and she soon grew impatient. Carefully steadying herself, she pushed herself up and began to sidestep around the table, leaning on the backs of chairs as she went. She giggled at how difficult this was between the sloshing heaviness in her stomach and the swirling haze in her head. She hadn’t been this drunk in recent memory and had certainly never been so full. But somehow it was pleasant.

She rounded the table and staggered to the archway. She reached out to catch herself on the frame, but missed entirely and fell through, colliding bodily with Blythe, who had suddenly danced into her path. They collapsed together to the floor, laughing.

“Oh, Leslie, babe,” Blythe gasped, “are you alright?”

“Sure, sure. Great, great.” She tried to pick herself up but fell back on her rear. “Figured I’d come out and—hiccup!—come out and claim my prize. My, uh, the chair. Just might need…need a hand up. Kind of unsteady right now…hic!”

Blythe watched her pitifully attempt to stand again with no success. “Look, hold on, babe, I’ve got you. We should get you somewhere where you can lie down.”

She reached out and wrapped an arm around Leslie. Together they were able to rise to their feet and stood swaying for a moment before falling back against the wall, giggling.

“Oh, sheesh,” said Blythe, scanning the room, “I’m too drunk myself to be any help. Hollis! Hollis. Come here.”

Hollis, who had been cleaning dishes, obediently came round in rescue, looking concerned.

“Hollis, babe, I think Leslie needs to go lie down. There’s a guest bedroom at the end of the hall on the right. Can you, uh, give us a hand?”

Leslie hiccupped loudly. “I can lay down here.”

“No, let’s get you a nice bed,” Hollis soothed her, wrapping an arm around from the other side. “Here we go, come on.”

The trio stepped slowly and deliberately away from the wall and nearly collapsed again. Hollis managed to keep the girls up, though, and was able to pivot them toward the hallway. He lead them staggering through to the guest bedroom, losing them only once to a tumble into the wall.

Eventually they made it into the bedroom. Hollis shut the door and set about attending to the bedsheets.

Watching him, Leslie burped, twirling her fingers around her navel. “Looks very—hic!—comfy.”

“It is,” Blythe assured her, still holding Leslie’s shoulder to keep her standing. “Sheesh, babe, look at this, your shirt is a mess. You’re a mess all over.”

This was certainly true enough; Leslie had eaten much of the meals with her hands and not with much precision, particularly in the latter stages of the contest. She was covered in various dribbles, crumbs, oils, and spilled beer. “Yeah—hic!—I guess I was a kinda messy eater.”

“I guess so. Hollis, pass me one of those towels there. Thank you, sir. Here, Leslie, wipe your face, babe. Good, there you go. Now just help me out here a sec—we’re gonna get your messy clothes off and then you can get to bed.”

“Sure, get ‘em off. Hic! They’re all screwed up and tight, an—hic!—anyway.”

Leslie’s skirt, tight as it was, was beginning to slip off, so it took no extra effort for Blythe to tug it down. Hollis dutifully held Leslie up as she freed her skinny legs from the fabric.

“Blythe, I have to—hic!—gotta say, this has really been awesome tonight. Way way more fun than I thought it would—hic!—I would—hulp!—have.”

“Glad you had a good time, babe. Hold still.” Blythe was fumbling with the blouse, now, struggling to undo the buttons.

Leslie was not holding still, too excited. “And I really showed Volla. Hic! Good guys won. Go America, or…or something.” She stifled a burp. “I feel really cool, y‘know, like I kinda—hic!—kinda—hulp!—kin—urp—ooh, ‘scuse me.” She was departing for an unknown dreamworld. There were clouds, a city, and a lot of…chicken. “Gonna…nnf…hello…kooky, gee…uh. Hiccup!”

“Leslie, babe, hold still. Last button. Okay, Hollis, help me out here. Um, just pull.”

Leslie contorted as they pulled the blouse off each arm. When it had finally been yanked from her she twisted awkwardly and both Hollis and Blythe were thrown to the floor.

Collecting themselves, they looked up in awe.

Leslie stood over them, swaying happily in her underwear, one brastrap hanging down off her shoulder, her swollen gut protruding absurdly from her otherwise lithe frame. It stretched forward as though reaching for something in the distance. It sloped up from her panty-line, jutted in a clean arc, and receded as it met her chest.

It was her trophy, a token of a personal victory. It was her precious food-baby. She cradled it lovingly, closing her eyes, aroused. She was beaming, as she had feared she never again would.

She swayed forward; she swayed backward, then further backward, and fell lightly onto the bed, dancing away into her dreams.


(Continued in post 10 of this thread)

Last edited by Britt Reid; 03-28-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Marlow, that was astounding! Simply magnificent. Welcome aboard, and I hope you write lots more.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:27 AM   #8
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Really well written!
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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Glad you're enjoying things! Part two will be ready shortly.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Presenting PART TWO: wherein is served dinner for two

Chapter seven

Leslie had put away almost all of her dance-related decorations and memorabilia since giving up on that dream. Doing so had somewhat robbed her small apartment of its character, leaving only a cluttered cloister that didn’t appear to belong to anyone in particular. Just one photograph remained in a black frame propped up on the nightstand.

It showed Leslie at one of her finest moments, having just finished a perfectly-executed solo performance, as she gasped for air and soaked up what had been a thundering applause. She had looked heavenly, lithe in tights of dark Russian violet. It was the last time she had felt she belonged in that world, having inhabited it for twenty years. It was the climax of what her life had been to that point; everything since had been a slow deflation. Now dance was all but removed from her life and the beaming girl in that picture with her lean fitness, toned muscles, tight abdomen, and confident grace seemed increasingly distant.

Leslie knocked the picture over, reaching hurriedly between the nightstand and the wall. Her hand finding something, she jostled the stand again and the picture fell off. It bounced off a stack of books on its way to the floor, where it landed next to an empty wine bottle.

Her hand had found some fabric. She swallowed the bite of candy bar in her mouth and gave the fabric a pull; when it finally leapt free she stumbled backward and, as she hadn’t yet pulled her slacks much above her knees, she ended up on her backside. Sighing, she found that what she had liberated wasn’t the shirt she had been after and tossed it back to the floor.

It landed next to a purple blouse, which she realized she had not yet tried. She stuck the rest of the candy bar between her lips, crawled over, knelt down, and slipped herself into the blouse. It hugged her shoulders with a familiar friendliness and her mind began to wander to less frantic areas while she slowly buttoned it down.

It was unseasonably warm that early winter day. The areas of town she would soon be heading through would be bustling with life as fervently as possible before it once again became too cold to bustle.

But the last button would not cooperate. It refused, in fact, to reach its counterpart hole and as she looked down Leslie recalled that it was the blouse she had worn to that fateful party the week before. It hadn’t really fit that night and it definitely didn’t fit now. She ripped it off and stood up, standing there frowning in her tank top, slacks only half on, candy bar in her mouth. “Oh, hell,” she winced, “there’s got to be something left I can wear in public.”

It had become a recurring problem: all the clothes she owned had been purchased before she’d left dance. In the subsequent month she had put on almost fifteen pounds as her body adjusted to her new idle lifestyle. This hadn’t bothered her greatly, as with such a change it was to be expected and the slight muffin-top hadn’t shown much. She had merely appeared out of shape, with an incidental and harmless pocket of softness on her stomach evidencing her love of beer.

But then she had gotten herself into that ridiculous eating contest at Blythe’s dinner party, where she had eaten probably a week’s worth of food. This had had a significant impact on her relationship with hunger and fullness and despite a dedicated attempt to control her food intake—hoping somehow to compensate for that night of indulgence—she found now that she was always craving something or other and the cravings were very hard to satisfy.

It had been a little over a week since the party and she had probably added almost ten more pounds, seemingly all in her midsection.

Her chest had grown slightly since quitting dance, but it was the abdomen that displayed all the marked change; there was a noticeable pudginess creeping in around her midriff. Her lovehandles curved happily even when compressed by her ever-tighter shirts and she found she could no longer suck in her gut. Looking over to the mirror on her closet door, she now tried, but it only shifted upwards slightly. Her food baby wasn’t going away and was making itself at home.

Finishing the candy bar, she pushed tentatively against her gut. It no longer pushed back. Instead, it wobbled gently.

She laughed at the wobble, finding herself weirdly amused. Figuring it to be a laugh of sad exasperation, she shook her head and resumed hunting for a suitable top.

Eventually, after a few fierce debates, she forced herself into a decision and headed outside.

Her emerging little gut now wobbled also as she walked, gently up and down. The tight pink sweater she had settled upon still left a strip of pale skin uncovered, a ring of softness tapering into the tight waistband of her belted slacks. On one hand it was almost enough to make Leslie wish for colder weather and an excuse to cover it with baggy winterwear. On the other hand she had accepted that it would be no great disaster, for she was heading to a college campus near the end of its semester and would be surrounded by plenty of young coeds sporting their freshman fifteens; one more beer-belly wasn’t going to cause a scene. She also had to admit that there was a mesmerizing comfort in the way it wobbled.

This beer-belly crossed to the east side on a bus, wobbling again when the bus crossed ponderously over train tracks and when it once mounted a curb. It was a crowded bus. Short as she was she could barely reach the support bars and with her arm stretched up the belly poked out. It wobbled as she carefully disembarked and hopped up to the sidewalk, sucking down the bottle of pop she had brought to appease her misguided appetite.

The bus had deposited her in front of the liquor store they had raided for the party. She snickered a bit, remembering it, and tossed her empty pop bottle in the bin near its door.

She had only taken a few steps when the door crashed open and a young man—Leslie recognized him as the clerk—stormed out, swearing under his breath. Behind him from within a voice was shrieking, “and you can’t just be giving my private stock away because some pretty girl bats her eyelashes, meathead!” The clerk slammed the door shut and stalked down the street, continuing his own hushed verbal rampage.

Leslie headed up, away from the scene, to the apartment complex.

It was an old brick affair with a preserved façade, in no way indicative of the contemporary, spacious furnishings within. She scanned the list of rooms by the door and rang the appropriate bell. She was buzzed in without interrogation and skipped up into the lobby, which was full of young adults milling about. They all looked immensely pleased with their lives, enjoying a cosmopolitan existence of thrill and success, making the best of their primes. They beamed at her.

They were so enviable in their smug congeniality. They could treat everyone with cheerful goodwill because all they knew was cheer; it hurt that they were so supportive because they seemed to never quite recognize that failure was actually a real thing that could really happen. It was difficult to resent them, but Leslie managed.

She managed to find the elevator, too, having recently lost interest in stairs. If she was going to fight off feeling ashamed of her midriff she could fight off feeling ashamed of taking an elevator to the second floor. It was a slow old lift, infrequently used, allowing her time to push away her thoughts about the beaming people in the lobby.

Her thoughts had finally turned to anticipation of the evening’s potential when the elevator let her out into the hallway. Mostly there was worry, accompanied by shy disinclination, but hiding somewhere was a small portion of optimistic curiosity. She made her way up the hall, nervously whistling.

She stopped in front of the door to Blythe’s apartment. It suddenly occurred to her that she hadn’t heard from her friend since the party. It suddenly occurred to her also that she was owed an extremely comfortable if hopelessly ugly chair. Perhaps she had repressed the thought. She toyed momentarily with the idea of knocking, to say something and reconnect, but nothing appropriate came to mind.

As it stood, her destination waited further down the hall; she continued down to the next door and knocked out a percussion solo upon it.

The door swung open and she smiled sheepishly.

“Hello hello,” said Hollis, “just let me grab my keys and I’ll be right out.”
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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Chapter eight

Leslie had wheedled Hollis for days before he accepted her invitation; she was going to buy him a nice dinner and he wasn’t going to do any of the serving or clean any of the dishes or wipe up any mess. She felt an obligation to do something for him, feeling that she had behaved horrifically at the party and that he had borne the majority of the burden she became that night.

In addition to paying the presumed debt, she was looking forward to learning more about him; she was running low on good friends and if nothing else he seemed like a calm and amiable person. He was small for a guy, though still a good bit taller than Leslie, short as she was, and generally came off as scrawny and somewhat weak. Despite this, there was still something attractive about him in his dry humor and well-meant attentiveness.

He was irritatingly quiet, though, and Leslie realized she was doing most of the chatting as they walked across the street. Only when she opened the door of the restaurant and he realized where she had brought him—the restaurant Bryonia—did he speak unprovoked.

“Gosh, Leslie, you didn’t say we were going here. This is really expensive, you can’t—“

“I can and I will. And you have to deal with it. I look over at this place every time I come over here and I’ve never been in. Is it expensive because it’s good?”

“Well, yeah. But—“

“Then get inside.”

He hung his head and shuffled through the door, hopelessly discomfited by the role reversal—she had forced him to leave his cash behind and had held every door for him so far. She skipped out in front of him to greet the restaurant’s hostess and announce the reservation before he could and when they arrived at the table she held his chair as he sat down.

“Okay, Leslie,” he begged, “I appreciate all this. I do.”

“I’m glad. You deserve all of it and more. I was an ass and I owe you.”

“You had a good time, everything worked out fine, and you don’t owe me anything. It was…an interesting night for everyone.”

“It couldn’t have been much fun for you. On top of dealing with my stupidity, you were already taking care of everyone else. You should have just been having a good time.”

“Nah, I had a good time. It was fine. And you to be fair, we put you to bed pretty early, relatively. There was plenty of party left.”

“But I would bet anything you spent all that time doing dishes and keeping sharp objects away from the rowdier guests. Yeah, I think you did.”

“How did you know about the knife situation?”

“And something tells me you didn’t leave Volla face-down in her plate.”

“Uh, no, we moved her to the other open bedroom. Had to keep the guys off her.”

“You know, I don’t think I saw her when I left the next day. Was she alright?”
Hollis laughed. “She had a monster hangover, but—“

“But wouldn’t let it show. Of course,” Leslie sighed, rolling her eyes. “Mine wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, actually. Although I think I was still drunk days afterward. Augh, what a mess. Again, I’m really sorry.”

“And I’m begging you not to be sorry.”

Their waiter interrupted them. Leslie hadn’t read the menu at all yet, but felt obligated to order and picked a dish at random. Everything was in a strange attempt at French, anyway. The waiter gave her a skeptical glance, which she answered with a feigned confidence to make him go away.

Once he had, she leaned across the table and whispered, “I have no idea what just happened.”

“Um, I ordered some fish.”

“Sure, but what did I order?”

“I don’t really know. I hadn’t looked at that page much. It was the list of, ah, those meals-for-two and whatnot.”

“Haha, crap. Well, that’ll take care of lunch for the next few days, I guess.”

“There you go. Impress everyone at the office by pulling some fine gourmet leftovers out in the breakroom.”

“Exactly. Except for the office part.”

“Oh, right. The breakroom of the studio.”

“Uh, nope. No more studio, sadly, or any breakroom anywhere.”

He ran a hand through his hair, distressed. “Aw, I’m sorry. I’m an idiot—I thought you were still with that dance group or whatever. You always had the jacket on when you came into the library…”

“It’s fine. I left the troupe around…mm…a little over a month ago, I guess.”

“Oh, I remember you mentioning that now. Sorry.”

They fell into a silent lull. Leslie excused herself to the restroom and after she returned, something struck her.

“Hold on. I haven’t been in the library on campus in at least a year. You remember my jacket?”

“It’s not a very exciting job,” he offered defensively, “I tend to watch people, especially people who come regularly, and I notice their habits. I don’t that remember much about you, to be honest, but I’m pretty sure you always came by on Thursdays with a stack of books and you definitely would always be wearing that jacket. It was black, I think, or some kind of really dark purple…”

“Wow.”

“I hope that’s not too weird. But you were so regular, like clockwork, and you would always chat a little when you came to check out. It just makes you stick out in my memory for some reason.”

“It’s not weird. I’m just not used to sticking out, I guess—” although part of her was becoming pretty good at it, she thought, “—or just didn’t think you were paying attention when I came up. You generally just stared at the desk.”

“Ah, I’m not the only one who remembers, apparently.”

“Hey, trips to the library were the best part of my week back then. After I graduated I kept coming once a week to work with my old instructor. She was trying to help me get into a better troupe and it was always one mess after another. I would stop by the library after to grab something to distract myself.”

“Gotcha. Oh, look at that.”

Their food had arrived; Leslie’s required its own tray.

“Wow, that was fast,” she marveled, “and holy cow does it smell fantastic.”

It was not cow, but lamb, indeed in a portion large enough for two, likely with leftovers for both. It was accompanied by a spread of potatoes and pile of buttery roasted vegetables. The meal glowed before her like gold; she basked in its warmth as the aroma sent her hunger into a frenzy.

“Bon appétit, I suppose,” said Hollis, cutting into his fish.

“Absolutely,” she agreed, starting with a potato. She was trying—with very tenuous success—to proceed with some restraint and come to some reasonable terms with her out-of-control appetite. “So are you still watching people at the library, then?” she asked, trying to avoid more silence.

He laughed. “Yeah, I’m still there. Still behind the desk like a champion, living the dream.”

“Your dream is to be a librarian?”

“Well, there was a little sarcasm in there, but it’s kind of true. I majored in library science—yes, that’s a thing—and I stayed here for grad school. The circulation job’s just for spending money while I wait for bigger things. I’ll have my master’s done when this semester ends, actually.”

“Hey, that’s not too far off. Then off you go…to where?”

“I’ve applied to a few places for research and such. Good responses so far here and there, but it’s…you know, it’s a process, like how you were training for a better troupe.”

“Sure, definitely. But don’t take me as a great example; like I said, I gave that up over a year ago and decided to stick with the troupe I was in. And that, ah, that didn’t work out, either, eventually.”

“Well, as I recall, you left because it wasn’t right for who you are. You’ve left to find something that is.”

“I haven’t done a very good job of looking, so far. I thought I would have a better idea of who I want to be, now, but I’ve just been sort of drifting. I thought I would finally be able to pour my effort into something new and exciting, but I’m just pouring it into being lazy.”

“It’s good to have some time off, though. Sounds like you needed a break.”

She wiped a dribble of the lamb’s marinade from her mouth and stifled a burp. “Maybe. I mean, I definitely did, but the savings can only last for so long. At some point I need to get on a new path.”

“Something’ll come along. I’m sure there are lots of things you’d be great at that hadn’t even crossed your mind.”

“Yeah, like how it turned out that I was really great at being lazy.” She had been talking with her mouth full and had to wipe her chin again before continuing, “Oh, and eating like a barbarian, apparently.”

Hollis shrugged. “That’s what napkins are for.”

They continued to chat amiably through the meal. Leslie felt that she still was doing most of the talking, but it was her own fault for rambling and it did little to interrupt her eating. She took consolation in that Hollis did slowly seem to be opening up a bit. It became apparent that he was a keen observer with an impressive memory, so she pressed him for more highlights of his library experiences; he recounted the habits of a tottering old professor Leslie knew and a trustee’s daughter who had gradually read through every available text on astrology.

“Ah, and I remember some post-doc coming in once, desperate to find some weird thing in the antique text archives…some kind of sea-journal, I think, some dude’s private record of his…are you okay?”

Leslie was staring down at the table. “Um. I…ate it all.”

Her collection of plates was all but emptied. A pile of bones, completely stripped of meat, lay in the center like a grave marker. Even the marinade was gone, for without thinking she had sopped the juice up with the last of the bread. The conversation had distracted her, the hunger had taken over, and the eating had continued unchecked until there was no more to eat.

She felt the glow beginning to bloom in her stomach and she looked down with dread, wondering how she had completely failed to notice what she had been doing. The strip of revealed flesh above her waistband had widened in the front; her thin layer of pudge was being pushed forward by an inner swelling. The waistband had become painfully constricting and she could feel the cold brass of the belt buckle pressing against the bottom of her gut.

“I don’t believe this. Hollis, I’m so sorry. This is—” she stifled a burp “—this is just ridiculous. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine, don’t be sorry. Clearly it was delicious.”

“Oh man, it was so good. But seriously, I’ve been a monster again. I can only imagine how much this weirds you out.”

“Really, it’s okay. Food babies can be kind of cute, in a way.”

“Hollis, don’t be weird, come on.”

“And look, it’s not like I haven’t seen you eat a lot more than this.”

Leslie gaped for a moment, then burst out laughing. “What are you saying?” she asked between giggles, “my first album was way better?”

He chuckled back. “I felt like it had…more to it.”

They laughed together, until Leslie ran out of breath.

“You know,” said Hollis, still smiling, shaking his head, “despite all that damage you and everyone else did that night, there’s still some of that food left.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“No joke. I was doing laundry down in the basement yesterday and peeked into that extra freezer—the commercial one I told you about—and swear on my life it’s still almost packed full. There was a still a whole pan of that bread pudding. Huge pan. I’m pretty sure the little bit I plated up for you girls for dessert was just extra they had after putting this thing together.”

She was staring off at something far behind him. “That stuff was so good. Holy crap was it good.”

“It looked good. Smelled good, as I recall.”

“So good. I remember wishing I had more time to, like, actually enjoy the flavor.”

“Well, hey, if you ever want to sometime, just let me know. I’m sure Myron and Blythe won’t mind if we thaw it out; they’re still trying to get rid of all that stuff.”

“I may take you up on that,” she said absently.

“Excellent.”

“I may take you up on that…” she suddenly straightened up, returning to the present, “tonight, maybe. For a taste. If you’d be willing.”

“Uh, sure, yeah,” he stammered, apparently startled that his offer had been accepted with such immediacy. “It would just take some time to warm it, I guess.”

“That would be so awesome. Bread pudding. Oh, now I’m craving it.”
Leslie beckoned the waiter, who jumped when he caught sight of her empty plates but in an admirable show of professionalism presented her with a dessert menu, as he was required. Her eyes gleamed when she glanced at it, but remembered that something even better was in store.

“Not tonight, thanks,” she sang politely.

Hollis smirked, adding, “We already have plans for dessert.”
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:54 PM   #12
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They split up at the elevator. Hollis handed her the key to his apartment; Leslie was surprised by his open trust.

“Head on up and make yourself at home. I’ll head down and grab dessert.”

“You want a hand?”

“Nah, I got it. It’s kind of hard to get to the freezer as it is, since people store so much crap down there. You’d just get your nice clothes all dirty.”

“You’re a true gentleman. Well, I’ll see you up there.”

The elevator door opened and she sidestepped inside. He gave a mock bow as the door shut, making her smile.

The slow ride to the second floor was even less smooth than before. She watched her protruding gut wobble as it reflected in the chrome elevator door and tried to push down on the waistband of her pants. They didn’t have anywhere to go; they were hugging her rear too tightly to be pushed down and they were too intimidated by her muffin-top to be pulled up. She squeezed her tummy gently, trying to make it more comfortable. Through the layers of anticipated embarrassment, its fullness and softness felt somehow gratifying.

She was still massaging it when the door opened, enjoying the strange feeling. The door had begun to shut again when she finally perked up and had the slide through in a hurry. She tugged instinctively down on the sweater, looked down the hall, and froze.

“Leslie!” Blythe shrieked, waving. She was standing halfway through her doorway, apparently on her way back in.

“Blythe! Wow, hey…”

“Hey yourself! What are you up to? Come on in!”

“Oh, well, actually,” she searched for potential alternative explanations as she made her way down the hall, “I was hanging out with, uh, Hollis—”

“Holy crap, yes! I knew it! I’ve been saying for years we should set you two up. Myron, have I not been saying for years we should set them two up?”

Myron grunted something inaudible inside the apartment.

“Oh, Leslie, I’m so happy for you.”

“Look, seriously, we’re just hanging out.” She kept walking past Blythe’s door down to Hollis,’ eager for this to end. “I, uh, felt like I owed him dinner.” She pulled out the key and after a few tries pried open the door. “And I believe you owe me a chair, by the way.”

Blythe, who had followed her down the hall, bounced with amusement. “Oh, sheesh, I think I do. Well, you need to come pick it up sometime. Have Hollis help carry it. Where is he, anyway?”

“Uh, down…stairs…he said he had, um, a load still in the dryer. Figured I’d come up and…say hi to you while he folds things.”

“Hollis is doing chores during a date. Classic. Well, look, then, you should come in and say hi properly. Myron and I are having pie and you have to try some of this thing.”

“Well, I just ate, but I guess I can come in and be polite.”

“Of course you can. Come on, just leave that. Myron! Myron, get a plate for Leslie, babe. And a fork, or whatever.”

Myron was on the couch, playing the video game that had humiliated Leslie. There was an untouched slice of pie on the cushion next to him, a half-eaten slice on another plate on the coffee table, and on the counter waited half a pie in its tin.

Blythe bemoaned his game and went into the kitchenette for a plate. “It’s so good, Leslie, you have no idea. I had two pieces. I feel like a fatty, but it’s so good.”

Leslie barely caught a fork that was suddenly tossed her way.

“Hey, Myron,” shouted Blythe, “where are the rest of those paper plates?”

He didn’t look up from the game. “I think these were the last of them, babe.”

“Oh, whatever. I don’t feel like dirtying any more dishes. Um…” she glanced around, but nothing leapt out at her. “Look, just go ahead and have a bite from the tin. Do you want anything to drink?”

Leslie clung to the fork, afraid to move. “Uh, no, I’m good, thanks.”

“Sweet.” Blythe skipped over and leapt onto the couch, where Myron steadfastly refused to be distracted. She whispered, “He’s trying to beat his high score. It’s been over an hour!”

Leslie poked at the pie. It was apple; it smelled of sweet cinnamon. She collected a forkful and tasted it thoughtfully.

“Blythe, babe,” Myron was saying, “these things take time. I’ve set my mind to this and I’m gonna see it through.”

“Just so long as you remember to set your mind back on me afterwards. How is it, Leslie? Amazing, right?”

Leslie nodded. It was beyond amazing.

“Well, have as much as you want. I know I did. Two pieces!”

Blythe and Myron resumed quipping back and forth to each other, soon both engrossed in the action of the game and her attempts to distract him from it.

They seemed like a fitting couple to Leslie. Their personalities, grating as they could frequently be, appeared to complement each other. They had different individual interests but a well-entwined set of life goals they were more than capable of attaining. They had succeeded at everything in life and it was only natural that they would succeed with each other. Myron had set her mind to Blythe and thus would see it through; Blythe, just as she had so easily caused Leslie to conform with her whims, would do likewise with Myron.

The two of them sat on the couch, beaming.

The fork scraped the metal of the tin. Leslie woke from her musings and grimaced, refusing to look down at what she implicitly knew would be an empty pie tin. Her stomach was quite pleased with itself, like a child proud of the dirt it’s artistically smeared on a wall. It radiated warmth.

Leslie’s head, however, still felt shame and sought the best way to avoid it. She backed slowly into the kitchen, watching for movement from the couch, reached into the open pantry, and as silently as possible slipped the tin into the garbage bin. The disposal complete, she carefully stepped toward the door.

There she paused, cautiously announced, “uh, I think I hear Hollis,” and hurled herself out into the hallway before they could reply, shutting the door behind her.

She stood a moment to catch her breath, wincing. Her stomach was so happy, but so confined, and the tightness was getting worse. The waistband still wouldn’t budge, but she had to do something and so pulled off the pink sweater.

Straightening the tank top, she tried to judge if it was passable. It let a bit more of her midriff show, but there was no more fighting that. Now her cleavage was out on display, too, and her sense of propriety was conflicted. Eventually comfort won out and she was able to persuade herself that it was a fairly fashionable tank top and would perhaps allow her to appear more casual. Regardless, Hollis had seen her in much less and in far worse a state.

“Hey, there she is,” said Hollis wryly as she sheepishly entered his apartment. “They finally let you out?”
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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“Hollis, I am so sorry. I literally just left your apartment door wide open and walked away like an idiot.” Leslie draped her sweater over the back of a chair and wrung her hands, cursing herself.

Hollis just smiled, however, apparently failing to see what was so wrong. He responded only with the same quiet, genuine politeness that was his custom. “Leslie, it’s fine. I leave it open all the time. These things happen.”

“Blythe saw me and, you know, she does that thing—“

“That thing where she gets her way? Yeah, she does that. Look, if anything, I’m sorry I was too antisocial to come join you guys myself. I heard her talking at you when I came up and figured I could start working on this beast while you hung out.” He gestured to the pan of bread pudding, which rested patiently on top of his oven.

The thought of dessert helped to calm Leslie. “Still, I did a dumb thing and I’m sorry. Again. And you weren’t supposed to play server tonight, but here you are dealing with dessert and oh my gosh you are covered in dust.”

He looked down; his navy jacket was now a pale blue and his jeans were caked with a grayish-brown. “Like I said, it’s dusty. And I had to crawl around a bit more than usual. The fuse was tripped, apparently, and the whole unit was off, so I had to find the breaker and reset it. Couldn’t just let everything melt.” He shrugged and pulled off the jacket, remarking, “I assume you don’t mind if I go more casual, since you’ve done the same.”

She blushed; her stomach rumbled.

“Anyway,” he continued, trotting into his kitchenette, “the tripped fuse works in our favor, since we won’t have to wait for this thing to thaw. I think, if it’s cool with you, we’ll be lame and just nuke it for a little bit—make it all gooey and warm like it’s supposed to be.”

“Sounds great.”

“Alrighty.” He hefted the glass pan up into the microwave—it only just fit, after some maneuvering—and set the timer. “So, um, I’m gonna run and switch into some cleaner pants. Feel free to find something to drink; make yourself at home.”

He scurried off around a corner, leaving her in the kitchenette. She watched the pudding in the microwave for a bit, then opened the fridge. Inside she was impressed to find a few bottles from her preferred microbrewery. It was one of the company’s other offerings, a bit more bitter than the beer she had swilled at the dinner party; its cap was a lighter shade of the customary purple.

She popped it open and looked around Hollis’ apartment. It was structured much like Blythe’s, but significantly smaller, designed for a single tenant. Well, presumably a single tenant, although, as Leslie now realized, she had not concretely established that this was indeed the case. The furnishings were fairly Spartan, there was little in the way of real décor, and most of the furniture had been repurposed as bookshelves. Aside from all the books, there were few signs of inhabitation. Leslie pulled at her beer and frowned, thinking of her own cluttered home.

Hollis reemerged from his bedroom, sporting a clean new set of jeans. “Much better,” he announced. The microwave beeped and he jogged back over to the kitchenette.

Leslie watched him handle the pudding pan and, allowing herself some boldness, suddenly asked, “I get the impression that your bachelor pad here hasn’t seen much woman’s touch in a while. How is there no sexy librarian lady in your life?”

“My bachelor pad resents your harsh judgment of its style. And as for the sexy librarian lady, I guess there was one around a little bit last year, but, ah, she moved on to a job elsewhere, and that was the end of that.” He uncovered the bread pudding, which immediately filled the air with its presence.

“Ohohoh, man,” breathed Leslie. “I’m not even sure where to begin.”

“Well, there are spoons in the drawer behind you. You can begin there.”

Suddenly impatient, Leslie twisted around and pulled out a pair of spoons. Hollis set the pan down on the counter, graciously accepted one of the spoons, and turned to hunt down some plates.

Leslie failed to hear the word ‘plates’ and a subsequent mention of the ‘table’, instead already dedicating her whole attention to the bread pudding before her. She spooned up a hearty scoop and delivered the jiggling mass into her mouth. There its wild richness flooded her senses; she tilted her head back and closed her eyes, memorizing every last detail of the flavor.

Hollis, turning back around, watched her swallow and decided to leave the plate in the cupboard. Leslie shuddered with ecstasy as the pudding went down and met her stomach; she was beginning to recall the sublime fullness she had experienced at the party and entertaining a desire to somehow someday recreate that. As slowly as she could, she helped herself to a second spoonful, repeating the whole process before opening her eyes.

She glanced about in amazement. “That is the best. It’s even better than I remember. Wow.” She washed it down with some of the beer and leaned back against the counter, feeling the pudding begin to expand in her stomach.

“It’s something else, definitely,” he agreed, hopping up on the far counter, dangling his feet. “Your turn to tell a story, though. Why is a sexy lady with a dancer’s flexibility not attached to some enormous studly fellow?”

She laughed. “Well, back when I actually was that dancer, there wasn’t time once I became a professional. And more recently, that side of life just hadn’t been on my mind much. Too busy enjoying other things.”

“Fair enough.”

“I mean, in college, sure, there were a few of your enormous studly fellows, but those aren’t the fellows who last, you know? Okay, I need more of this. Oh, so good. Mm. So, um, I’m sorry if I end up eating, like, more of this than I probably should. Ever since that stupid dinner, my appetite’s been kind of wonky.”

“Hey, it’s fine; enjoy it.”

Leslie took a deep breath downed another spoonful. It filled her again with delight; she could feel her abdomen radiating. She exhaled slowly, feeling everything come to a rest. Hollis snickered at her, amused by such thorough enjoyment.

“Oh, hell,” she sighed, taking a pull of her beer, “look, I hope it isn’t too weird if I do this, but I just can’t deal with the damn thing any longer…”

He didn’t seem to catch her meaning, but shrugged regardless, clearly not going to be bothered by whatever she did. Setting her bottle and spoon aside for the moment, she reached down and unbuckled her belt, then unbuttoned the waistband of her pants.

She didn’t get a chance to touch the zipper, for it was immediately unzipped by the force of her gut as it took the opportunity to swell outward. Leslie rejoiced at being able to breathe freely again, but frowned at the expansion of her now free paunch.

“Oh, gosh, look at that,” she marveled, “this thing is starting to get kind of big. Man, I haven’t really wanted to admit it, but I’ve really put on some weight.”

Hollis seemed to be searching for something to say; his mouth opened and closed several times but couldn’t get anything started properly. Seeing this, Leslie realized she was making him uncomfortable, but at this point he would just have to deal with it.

“I had been just looking at it as this food baby that just wouldn’t go away, but now it’s getting soft. I mean, like, it wobbles now. Heh. Can I make a confession? I’ve started to stand in front of the mirror sometimes and sort of push at it to make it wobble; it’s really kind of entertaining, in a weird way. Here, see?” She lifted up the tank top, letting the gut stick out happily like a dog’s head from a car window, eager to see the world. She shimmied her hips side to side a bit, letting the pooch jiggle slightly to and fro. “Haha, isn’t that hilarious? And weirdly sensual, like a belly dancer, or something.”

Hollis nodded tentatively, giving her a questioning look.

“All those big meals and all that junk food wobbling back and forth,” she continued. She leaned back against the counter, leaving the top rolled up. She reached for her bottle. “Actually, to be honest, a lot of it is beer. I, uh, really like beer. So I guess more than anything it’s a beer-belly, and that’s pretty normal, right? My cute little beer-belly, sometimes joined by its friend the food baby. They like to hang out and…wobble, mostly. Haha.”

He laughed with her, though nervously.

“Sorry. I’m being weird.”

“You’re fine, Leslie. Really. Be as weird as you want.”

“Actually, Hollis, re-thinking all this, I think I’ve had an idea. I’ve been looking at this wrong, all afraid to take it out in public—but maybe it doesn’t have to be a mark of shame or failure or ugliness or whatever. Because what is it really? It’s the result of enjoying yourself. So maybe instead I should look at my tummy as more of a reminder of all the good, tasty things that, ah, contributed to it. Like, each little wobble is a photo, let’s say, and my gut, as a collection of those, is like a scrapbook of happy memories, or something. You know, I think I…” She trailed off, eyebrow cocked. “Hollis, is…are you…are you, uh…turned on?”

She watched him try to formulate some face-saving, deflecting response, but he apparently couldn’t find anything.

“Hollis, does my food-baby-beer-belly turn you on?”

He sighed. “Uh, well, yeah, a little.”

She gaped, astonished, but also amused.

“Sorry if that’s weird. But I guess I can’t deny it now. Seriously, I'm sorry. I--”

“It's, uh, it's okay. At this point, I’d say we’re both a little weird.”

“Haha, yeah, maybe.”

They fell silent for a moment, looking at other parts of the room, uncertain how to proceed. Hollis bit thoughtfully on his unused spoon. Leslie sipped at her beer and poked idly at the bread pudding. She looked down at her gut, then finally to Hollis.

A bizarre idea floated up from the back of her mind. It poked lightly at her attention, aware that it was frightening in appearance but genuinely eager to be helpful. She wrestled for a bit with the idea, then, suddenly giving in, blurted, “You know what I think?”

He set down the spoon. “What’s that?”

She handed him her spoon. “I think…I think you need to feed me the rest of my dessert.”

He tilted his head, considering her, before finally replying, “I suppose you’re right.”
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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Leslie set her unfinished beer on the counter and slowly, playfully, backed out of the kitchenette, motioning for Hollis to follow. She made her way across the room the couch, cleared a few of the books off its cushions, and sat herself down with care. Slouching back, she pulled her tank back down to cover up what it could of her gut—it couldn’t quite reach to her belly button—and looked up at Hollis with nervous anticipation. She wasn't sure what she was doing or why, but it somehow felt natural.

He sat down facing her on the coffee table, setting the pan of bread pudding gently onto her thighs; she could feel its warmth through her thin slacks. Hollis spooned up some pudding and held it for a moment in the air. He looked up at Leslie, raising an eyebrow inquisitively; blushing, she shrugged, winked, then opened her mouth. The spoon reached slowly forward to her and into her open maw.

Leslie closed her lips over the spoon; it slipped itself out with practiced smoothness, tilting slightly up as it departed. The rush of the pudding again electrified her as she swallowed ponderously. She flirted briefly with the radiant trance-world to which the sensation of satisfaction invited her, then opened her eyes and gave and exhilarated sigh.

“So good every time,” she breathed, absent-mindedly tugging at the tight waistband of her unzipped pants. “It’s so weird how you can feel the bread pudding swell in your tummy.”

“You can practically see it,” he replied, preparing another spoonful. “As I imagine, though, that’s partly why it’s so enjoyable. Essentially a full sensation of holistic indulgence in every bite.”

“Somebody knows how to sweet-talk a girl.”

He fed her the spoonful. “Was that a pun? Hold on, we dribbled, let me get a napkin…”

“Mm. Oh. Whatever, hey, just leave it. It’s warm and I’m sure I’ll make more of a mess anyway. Really, Hollis, stop.”

He threw his hands up, dropping the napkin. “Okay, sorry. It’s a habit.”

“You’ll have to fight it. If you don’t want a mess, just make sure more of it ends up in my stomach than on it. So get back to stuffing it in my mouth and explain to me why a career librarian is so good at serving food.”

He obeyed with the biggest spoonful yet. “I do also have some professional experience with providing people with their meals.”

“Mm. Aah, mm. What, did Myron pay you for warming up everything for his dinner party?”

“Pff. I wish. No, actually, back when I was an underclassman here I worked a little bit at one of the campus dining halls.”

“Fun fun. I never had time for a campus job. I thought I was just supposed to just train all day. I would have been useless at something like that, anyway. I have no idea how to cook.”

“Well, there wasn’t all that much skill involved. Dining hall kitchens are more like mass production factories. But I did make friends with the head chef before he got fired and when it wasn’t busy he taught me a lot of stuff.”

“Aha. Why’d he get fired?”

“Budget cuts, probably. He moved on to better things, anyway. He runs that buffet place on the south end. He invited me to come work there after I got in trouble, but I ended up at the library instead.”

Leslie almost choked, but managed to swallow. “You? In trouble?”

“Haha. Listen, don’t tell anyone, but I snuck some friends into the dining hall one night for a party and they made a real mess. I don’t think the school ever actually figured out it was me, but I was pretty sure people suspected and it seemed best to find a new job. Totally worth it, though.”

“I just can’t see you doing something like that.”

“Hey, I can be adventurous one in a while.”

“I guess so. Um, lift the pan off me for a sec. Hold on.” She shifted uncomfortably as he did so, looking for a better position. Her stomach had continued to slowly swell outward. Finding no success, she opted to be bold and arched up to pull her pants down; they complained as they were slid off her rear but then fell easily to her ankles. She twisted awkwardly and reached down to slip each of her feet out in turn, showing off a pink thong. It cut gently into the new softness at her waist, lightly outlining her bottom half.

“Casual it is, I guess,” Hollis joked, making room for her as she contorted.

“Felt like they were about to rip open, anyway,” she grunted as she sank back into the couch. The tank top rode up even further. “You may continue. And I guess you can be adventurous, considering that most people would probably consider what we’re doing somewhat unusual.”

“This is probably not something that happens on most first dates, no.”

“Mm. So this is a date?”

“Well, you’ve bought me dinner and taken off half your clothes…sounds like a date.”

“Infallible logic, sir. Mm. Well, if that’s the case, I think it’s been a pretty good date so far, even if we have taken it in an…unusual direction.” She stifled a burp.

“I’m gonna have to agree. Still room for more in there, or—“

“Don’t be coy, Hollis,” she snapped, in a haughty but not very accurate imitation of Volla’s accent. “We’re not even halfway through the pan.”

Hollis laughed and looked at the pan—they were indeed just shy of halfway through.

“You know,” she continued thoughtfully, “thinking back to our contest, I bet it was the bread pudding that finished her off. It did its spongy expanding trick and that dress of hers was too tight and cut off circulation or something.”

“Or you’re just better at bread pudding.”

“Mm. Uh, duh, obviously I am amazing at bread pudding.” She presented her bloated gut as evidence.

She thought for a moment while she chewed and swallowed the latest spoonful, then mused, “I wonder what she’s done since that night.”

“Dunno. I mean, she lives right upstairs, but I haven’t seen her around much. She travels a lot. A few days ago I thought I saw her go into the breakfast diner up on campus, but that’s been the extent of our contact.”

“Haha, of course you noticed a hot girl heading into a restaurant. I bet that’s like…porn for you.”

“Now now, don’t be mean.” He vengefully pulled the next spoonful back before it reached her mouth.

“Ah, hey! Come on, give it…” she grabbed his arm and pulled, simultaneously leaning forward just enough for her mouth to reach the spoon.

The spoon poking out from her mouth, she looked up with a wryly innocent smile. She had hauled him off the coffee table and he now stood frozen above her, carefully balancing the half-empty pan of pudding in his other hand.

She slipped the spoon out of her mouth slowly, but held her grip on Hollis’ wrist. Swallowing, she pulled it down, gently bringing him closer. He twisted as he descended and navigated around so that he landed sitting next to her on the couch, setting the pan carefully back onto her thin bare thighs.

“I seem to recall, thinking back to the party,” she cooed, “that even at the very beginning you were pushing an extra piece of bruschetta at me.” Giving him a knowing look, she guided his hand and the spoon back into the pan for another scoop, then back up to her mouth for a big, if somewhat messy, serving.

“And I recall that you were more than happy to eat it,” he countered, watching the spoon’s path. “and everything else I brought you that night.”

She used the entrapped arm to pull him in closer, swallowing, and breathed, “You made me so full…and I think I liked it.” Someone else was speaking for her now, it seemed, but she reluctantly agreed with whoever this new speaker was.

He continued leaning in; she tilted her head, closing her eyes. Their lips met in a long, slow kiss, sweetened by the taste of the dessert. They pulled back and paused a moment, gazing at one another.

Leslie’s face broke into a soft smile. “This has definitely been my weirdest ever first kiss…” She guided his hand into feeding her another spoonful, savored it, and swallowed before continuing, “but I think it’s definitely the best.”

They kissed again, then continued kissing, slowly but passionately. She gently wrested the spoon from his fingers and pushed his hands to her waist, where they began to caress her stomach. Shuddering at the sensation, she reached up and unbuttoned his shirt, tracing a finger down his chest as she continued down.

When she had undone the last button, his fingers slid up the slight curve of her lovehandles and began to pull up on the thin fabric of her tank top. He slid it up over her breasts, supple mounds probably now too big for the pale blue bra tasked with containing them—rounded softness could be seen below the bottom edge of the cups—when she stopped him suddenly, motioning for him to wait.

She reached down and spooned up a serving of pudding. Then, with the spoon in her mouth, she winked and helped him finish pulling to top off and over her head. While she slipped her arms from the straps, Hollis sat up to extract himself from his own shirt and lift the pan off her lap so that she could turn and face him. She pulled the spoon from her mouth.

They embraced and kissed more passionately. She ran her hands up and down his chest, then around to his back. He caressed her round bulge, dipping a thumb into her stretched belly button, then slid down and traced his fingers around the lip of her muffin top. It tickled and she had to pull back and giggle. He followed, though, and laid her down, her head propped on the armrest.

The new position shifted the contents of her stomach and she moaned with pleasure, gasping, “Oh, Hollis, I need more.” Filling her stomach was filling Leslie’s mind and heart with euphoria; she was addicted and desperate for more.

Happy to oblige, Hollis slid off the couch and knelt beside her with the pan. There he resumed spooning pudding into her ever greedier mouth. She sighed happily after swallowing each large, jiggling spoonful, massaging her stomach. She would gently press the mass within from one side to the other, feeling the little layer of pudge wobble atop the pudding-filled balloon.

Aroused by her own body, eventually she moved her hands down and around her waist, following her thong down between her legs. From there she ran them around her hips, then up the sides of her torso, rolling over her love handles, then stayed a moment to feel her bosom. At last she reached up, placing a hand on Hollis’ cheek and pulling him in close.

He set down the pan and rolled himself back onto the couch, lying down upon her. He pressed the hardness in her pants against her groin and she arched her back with joy, heaving her gut at him. His hands following the outline of her form, they kissed again. She settled back into the couch, running a finger down his chest and slipping it into his pants; he palmed a cheek of her soft rear and ran his other hand through her red hair. She pressed her distended stomach against him, reveling in the fullness.

As they continued to kiss she reached down off the couch and felt around in the pan for the spoon. Finding it, she gave Hollis a wink, turned her head, and lapped up a spoonful of pudding. They kissed some more; she scraped blindly around the pan with the spoon until Hollis took it from her and continued to feed her. They repeated this several more times: he would spoon up a helping while they kissed, feed it to her, wait for her to swallow, and kiss her again.

A little over a quarter of the pudding now remained. Her hunger only soaring higher, Leslie suddenly pushed Hollis up off her and, following, continued pushing until she had reversed their positions, laying him down.

She reached down for another spoonful and while enjoying it was struck with inspiration. Picking up the pan from the floor, she scooted up and straddled Hollis’s chest, arching her back so that her belly jutted almost to his face.

She stifled a burp and gave him a proud look. “I want it all.”

“Have it all, Leslie,” he replied, in awe.

She lifted the pan to her face, her mouth to one of the rounded corners, and tilted her head back. She spooned the gelatinous mass of bread pudding jiggle by jiggle down her throat, practically drinking it. She felt it funneling directly to her gut, delighting in it as it swelled. She paused once to belch, giggled, and then resumed and slowly, deliberately, and inevitably finished it.

She licked around the rim of the pan with a sultry glance down at Hollis. She then tossed the pan to the floor and licked the spoon seductively, though the gracefulness of this was interrupted by the onset of a bout of hiccups.

“Whoops,” she giggled, “maybe too fast…hic!”

“It was the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen,” Hollis replied, running his hands over her thighs. “Incredible. Majestic, even.”

“Well, I am the Empress of gluttony, after—hic!—after all. Ooh, my stomach. Yes, massage it.” She stifled another burp.

He did so, squeezing, pushing, and pulling slowly at her abdomen. It wobbled as she hiccupped. She closed her eyes and let her head roll back on its own, adrift in euphoria.

Hollis craned his head forward and kissed her navel, then the bottom ridge of her paunch, then around to the right side for the tiny roll of her love handle. She straightened her leg and stepped off the couch; he followed, planting kisses up her side, on her breast, on her neck, on her chin. They stood and kissed passionately. He unclasped her bra; she let it slip off and pressed herself against him.

He lifted her up with surprising strength and spun her round, then pressed her up against the wall.

Between kisses, grinning, gasping for air, she wheezed, “I never want this to end.”

He squeezed her belly. “Then don’t stop.”

“No, I don’t think I will. I’ve decided. I love this scrapbook—I’m going to take it on the journey of a lifetime and I’m going to fill it, fill it, fill it with memories.”

“A brilliant idea,” he agreed, kissing her lower, then even lower, making her gasp.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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This story has been incredible so far! I am a big fan of Swordfish and this story really reminds me of his style and quality.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #16
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Leslie left the apartment the next afternoon with an eager new optimism. She skipped out of the elevator, wobbling proudly, winking at a couple staring at her across the lobby. She was so warmed by her blushing glow that it took half a minute after emerging onto the sidewalk for the biting wind of the incoming cold front to catch her attention.

“I suppose it was nice while it lasted,” she remarked, shivering suddenly, looking up at the grey clouds that were beginning to roll over the city. Winter was preparing to announce its arrival in grand fashion.

The bus was still some ten minutes out from the corner stop. Leslie glanced around for an open atrium into which she might duck and, recalling the bottle shop behind her, scuttled inside.

She browsed idly and pondered picking something out for later. If she were indeed going to follow through on the decision she’d made the night before, good beer was probably going to need to be involved. If, in fact, the ‘journey’ upon which she was now so eager to embark was to start that day, there was no sense in being unprepared.

Making her decision, she picked out two cases of the pink-capped beer she had tried at Hollis’ and hefted them onto the clerk’s counter. He was a new clerk and seemed pleasantly surprised to meet her.

“Looks like someone’s stocking up for the blizzard,” he joked, searching one of the cases for its code.

“Something like that,” she replied uncertainly, unprepared for smalltalk.

“Everybody’s buying stuff up like it’s the end of the world. But I guess it can’t hurt to be ready for anything. I saw the reports and it looks like it’s gonna be one hell of a blast.”

“Fortunately, I have nowhere to be.”

He handed her back the cases, smiling wryly as she coped with their weight. “Well, in that case, I hope you enjoy your storm.”

“Count on it.”

The storm hit later that evening, winds howling between buildings, snow whiting out all visibility and burying the frozen city. Leslie noticed none of it, however, for she was tucked cozily into her cluttered apartment and enjoying the beginning of her own private storm.

Hers was a storm of indulgent satisfaction and corporeal pleasure. Her storm would far outlast the blizzard’s frigid gasps and thus slowly paced out its accumulating intensity. After a few more days, when the snow finally came to a rest and all that remained of the raging blast was only a quiet white landscape, Leslie’s storm was only beginning to gather strength.

She was experimenting with various ways to explore her newfound interests. Despite her appetite food had never required much of her attention before and now that greater quantities and qualities were sought she was presented with unfamiliar challenges.

The first few days were filled with leftovers and microwavable meals. Unfulfilled, she then moved on to commercial dining, exploring several new restaurants and becoming a valued if peculiar customer of a pizza delivery service. This was far too expensive, however, and her savings were not limitless. After a week Hollis was finally available again for an evening of feeding; afterward, she begged him to teach her some basic cooking skills and he was compelled to do so, hypnotized by her growing gut.

Despite some wretched early errors, she found she took to it quite naturally. She had made a living out of following directions and adding personal flair to execution, after all, and that was all any cooking recipe could ask. It was just as well that she learned quickly, as Hollis remorsefully couldn’t be relied upon for regular lessons—he was generally and understandably very busy attending to his career.

Leslie was more than happy to avoid attending to her own, however, and so busied herself with her culinary discoveries. Each day she would select a new recipe, whatever seized the attentions of her immense appetite, and spend the day preparing a heaping meal of it. She usually ate as she cooked, trying variations of the flavor, then settled down for a private feast each evening.

She was able to supply the majority of her own supplies from a cheap store nearby, though on her occasional visits to Hollis’ they would raid the basement freezer for a special treat. This they eventually abandoned, however, as the freezer’s contents began to dwindle—it seemed that other parties had discovered the treasure within and were helping themselves—but Hollis was able to reconnect with his chef friend at his buffet and soon struck a deal for extra bulk supplies.

It was a thrill to be good at something again. Leslie soon replaced the photo of her dancing triumph with a picture she forced Hollis to take one night: in it she stood proudly over a mound of pasta, wearing an improvised chef hat, brandishing her lucky tongs in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, stomach pooching greedily out from a strained tee shirt.

The tee shirt was not alone in its struggles to contain her midsection. Nothing she owned fit even reasonably well now. Tops refused to be pulled all the way down and bottoms refused to be pulled all the way up. There was no more need for belts, but they were frequently worn anyway for the amusement of undoing them after meals. The few blouses that could still be buttoned now allowed little eyelets of swelling skin to peek out from the gaps between buttons. Her gut found a way to peek out from beneath everything she owned, no longer interested in being hidden from the world.

A soft band of pudge encircled her waist, a thin spare tire resting casually above her belt. She would twist and turn, watching this ring shift to and fro—she had learned a multitude of dance styles, but had never gotten into belly dancing and was growing curious. Her belly was her centerpiece and she enjoyed showcasing it to herself.

Her new weight accumulated also in other areas, though to a lesser degree. Most noticeably she had had to upgrade her bra collection and would likely need to do so again soon. She was having more and more trouble, as well, pulling legwear around thickening thighs and a more rounded backside as both began to join her midsection in wobbling.

But the majority of the swelling was overwhelmingly reserved for her stomach; it jutted out before her and jiggled as she walked, a living repository for all her adventures in indulgence.

She observed its development with rapt fascination as a journal chronicling her new life, each day a new page in the scrapbook. She associated each new detail of her growth with a memory of some replete delight:
When her gut began to wobble in an entertaining new way, she decided it was a result of her experiment with crème brulee. When in the mirror she noticed a new puffiness to her cheeks, she linked it to her marshmallow marathon the night before. When the slacks she had worn to Hollis’ had to be retired, it was because of the seafood spectacular he had prepared for her. When in the shower she noticed a slight new curvature to her lovehandles, she chalked it up developing a ‘shower beer’ habit. When her now ampler bosom earned her a discount from the clerk at the bottle shop, she thanked the watermelon party she had thrown herself. When a few very faint stretch marks appeared around her waist, she figured it to be the barbeque ribs. When even her lazy-day baggy hooded sweatshirt would no longer completely cover her paunch, she assumed it to have been taco Tuesday’s doing. And when she discovered while lounging on the couch that her cleavage could hold her beer bottle for her, she looked down and gave the beer a gracious nod.

Every day added something new, it seemed, no matter which culinary route she explored. She found satisfaction in the local Midwestern fare, in the soul foods of her southern cousins, in southwestern offerings and Mexican food, in the various styles of Europe and Asia. There was so much out there to try.

After each meal, lost in the pleasures of her private storm of fullness, she caressed her stuffed belly and dreamed she could feel each individual morsel building itself a new home in her body; most joined the crowded city life of the sprawling metropolis in her gut, but others preferred the suburbs of her chest and hips and more adventurous types opted for the remote areas elsewhere. She imagined she could feel herself sinking further into the couch or the bed or Hollis’ lap as she grew heavier.

Such rapid change could not go unnoticed, though, especially without any real experience with adapting to or concealing growth. Leslie had to contend with an increase in knowing gazes from anyone she met and as she grew plumper she grew even more self-conscious in public. The judgment of passers-by and store clerks and astonished, giggling coeds weighed on her more heavily than her stomach. As much as she was gratified by her belly at home she was shamed by it on the streets. She retreated further into her private world, limiting her environment to home, the grocer’s, Vernon’s Buffet, and Hollis’ apartment.

Hiding from the world didn’t seem to be the right thing to do, she knew, but as she dealt with the changes in her life it felt safe. She promised herself the cloistering wouldn’t last—it couldn’t, pragmatically. But for the month that it did she enjoyed herself as thoroughly as her circumstances would allow. And she wasn’t entirely alone.

She took joy in bothering Hollis whenever he had an evening free. Power was hers in his apartment as she strutted about with her jutting gut and he soon stopped resisting it. She felt she had utterly hypnotized him and it filled her with pride. He was otherwise such a composed, restrained, and withdrawn person, but in her presence and vulnerable to her whims he could be reduced to stammering obedience.

Leslie’s belly, her trophy, had become a powerful weapon over man, even if just one man. Knowing that she could arouse him by shoving her gut in his face was strangely empowering. It made her forget the disgusted stares she received outside.

“Do you like my belly, Hollis?” she would breathe seductively, watching him shudder, “Do you like my big bad beer belly? Touch it. Yes, that’s it. Yes…mm.”
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:05 AM   #17
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Begin part three, wherein two become one and one becomes part of three:
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:09 AM   #18
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Chapter thirteen

Leslie hung the skirt back up on its rack and looked helplessly around the department store. It was midday and there were a good number of other customers milling about, making things worse. As they appeared to be having far less trouble with their selections, the looks Leslie received were unhelpful; in one face she detected derisive amusement and in several others outright contempt.

It was a bit hurtful and served only to frustrate an already unfamiliar endeavor. Leslie had been the same size for years and picking out clothes had during that time merely been a matter of aesthetics. Her wardrobe had been simple and flexible and had for at least the first month after leaving her dance troupe continued to fit even as her fitness declined.

But in the second month she had begun her journey of indulgence and now, as the third month began, she had reached the point of no return. She had gained some small weight in the first month; in that long and gluttonous second month she had gained twice that and then some. It had accumulated rapidly and her small frame had made the changes appear more significant. She had been out of shape, then a little pudgy, and now, with over fifty pounds added to what had been a graceful dancer’s body, she felt fat.

Her belly, the undisputed primary landing spot for accumulation, had advanced from wobbling to jiggling. What had been a little pooch and then a beer gut was now an outright pot belly, a swollen ball of pudding. It continued to jut forward in a way that seemed to defy gravity, cradled by a pair of appreciative love handles. The whole midsection bounced happily atop her waistband as she walked, belly dipping slightly over the belt. Nothing she owned would contain it, even the lazy-day baggy sweatshirt she now wore, and the time had come for an expanded wardrobe.

This was a long time coming, certainly. She had needed new clothes weeks ago. She had seen little need, however, for she rarely ventured out in public now. There were the periodic trips across town to Hollis’ apartment for dessert and the regular trips to the grocer, but for the former outgrown clothes were no impediment to the fun and for the latter they were easily concealed by the large outerwear warranted by the winter cold.

She had grown somewhat reclusive in addition to growing larger, engrossed in her new interests. The only people she saw with any regularity were Hollis, who wasn’t going to mind her size, his friend to buffet owner, who never seemed to notice or acknowledge it, and the various clerks she patronized, who, though suspicious, were simply happy for her business.

But now she found herself in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by people who did seem to notice and certainly seemed to mind. Leslie found it to be an unwelcome surprise. She had perhaps naively assumed that she would feel more confident when these people looked at her, expecting to be flattered when they marveled at her belly just as she was when Hollis did so. But they were not looking at her the way he did and she was not beaming for them as she would for him.

They were not impressed by what had become so precious to her. It had defeated a mighty opponent and won her a lover, but no one seemed to respect this. Was her beloved trophy a gilded fake? Was her deadliest weapon a blunted toy? For all its power, it seemed to affect only Hollis.

She wondered now about Hollis as she rifled idly through racks of clothes that would never fit her. Their evenings together were magnificent but sadly infrequent and she was unsure of their meaning. If what they had could be called a relationship, it wasn’t much of one—she and Hollis rarely spoke or met outside of their dessert-filled evenings and there was gradually less and less spoken during those.

This was as much her own fault as his, she had to admit. He had made an effort to make himself more regularly available, though this had recently been interrupted by a series of out-of-town job interviews. Meanwhile, despite languishing about with more spare time than she could figure out how to waste, Leslie usually all but ignored his existence until he was available for feeding or a supply run to his friend’s buffet.

She grimaced at the tag on a pair of jeans that had caught her eye and, quivering a bit, threw them to the floor in frustration.

Suddenly a soft hand touched her shoulder. A woman’s voice reassured her, “Don’t worry, honey, I’ve got it,” and the hand reached down to retrieve the pair of jeans from the floor.

It was one of the store’s sales associates. Leslie shook her head. “Sorry. There’s a lot on my mind.”

“It’s okay. Having trouble finding the right thing?”

Wishing she could somehow spite all the people giving her pitiful or sneering stares, Leslie rolled her eyes. “I dunno…it’s just…nothing fits quite right. I’ve, uh, been kind of packing it on recently and I’m not sure—“

“Oh, don’t you worry, darling, we’ll take care of you. There’s a lot you can do with some sultry curves here. Trust me; I would know.” She winked and gestured to her own ponderous thighs.

Leslie tried to give her a wry smile. It wouldn’t quite come.

“Tell you what,” offered the saleswoman, “for the sake of building customer loyalty or whatever…you come back this way and I’ll pick you out a nice party dress. If what I find you doesn’t make you feel sexier than you’ve ever felt, you can have it for half price.”

“I’m not really looking for a dress, uh—” she squinted down at the woman’s nametag “--Theresa. More like…well, anything.”

“Then we’ll start with the dress. Come on.”

Leslie surrendered and soon found herself in the dressing room, staring into the mirror. The dress was a pale lavender and hugged her perfectly, wrapping itself around her bulges and almost caressing her skin. It stretched perfectly over her belly, accentuating it and presenting it like a prized gem. It made her feel…supple.

Seeing her body so pleasantly displayed lifted Leslie from her sour mood and worrisome thoughts. She remembered suddenly the joy her midsection could bring her and she took a minute or so in the dressing room to feel its girth and massage it gently.

She had lost her little bet with Theresa, but the saleswoman made it up to her with a selection of discounted everyday outfits, all of which both fit her well while allowing her to feel attractive. Leslie’s dwindling finances limited what she was able to take home, but she did splurge uncharacteristically on the dress. She had no events planned that would warrant something that formal, but it had so effectively restored her self-image she felt she owed it a purchase.

Pleased with herself and emerging from the store with half a new wardrobe in shopping bags, she decided to continue her new penchant for unusual activity by making her way over to the University rather than straight back across town to her flat. She had to stop and rest a few times as she went, no longer accustomed to long walks and already struggling for breath in the brisk December air.

A gentle snowfall began as she crossed the quad, quieting the campus. Although outside, she felt alone once again, nestling back into her own private world. Her belly bounced happily beneath her heavy overcoat as she walked and its innocent pride comforted her.

She pulled open the door of an enormous, bunker-shaped building, shook off the snow on her shoulders, and shuffled inside.

It was the library, a far cozier establishment than the building’s harsh exterior suggested. As most of the students had departed campus to begin their winter holiday, it was largely empty, save for a lone figure busying himself behind a desk in the center of the room.

Leslie dropped her bags on the desk and purred, “I’m looking for a book with something hot and steamy...like maybe a cookbook…”

Hollis looked up from a bin with a terror that quickly gave way to refreshed delight. “Why, hello, there. You know, I might have what you’re looking for back at my place.”

They laughed. Leslie hopped herself up onto the desk and leaned over for a kiss.

“I’m glad you came by,” he said, “it’s been totally dead here.”

“Poor thing. What did you do with yourself, stuck here all alone.”

He scratched his head, seeming suddenly a bit nervous. “Well, checked e-mails, mostly, and then spent a lot of time reacting to one of them. I was just about to text you about it, actually.” He motioned to his phone, which waited patiently on the desk with its tiny keyboard slid open.

“About what?”

“Well, I got the job,” he admitted, almost as if it were a confession of sin.

Though confused by his demeanor, she exploded with happiness, congratulating him with a cushiony hug. “I knew you’d get it. Nobody can say no to you. Oh, this is so exciting!”

“Yeah, definitely. It means I have to leave, though.”

The significance of this finally reached Leslie. She sank visibly and released him. “Ah. Right.”

She wrestled with the thought for a few minutes while Hollis recounted the message he’d received, his story made somewhat ridiculous by the apologetic tone with which he felt compelled to tell it. Leslie wondered if she should feel that he was being inconsiderate or callous, or perhaps that she should try to follow him, or perhaps that this was an opportunity to be freed from the awkward half-relationship in which they’d trapped themselves.

She decided instead to alter course to other topics, preferring distraction. They talked for a bit about the article he had shared with her—a young artist’s essay on treating one’s own body as sculpture—then about Leslie’s shopping spree, concluding that she would have to model her new acquisitions the next time they met.

He had bad news about their dessert rendezvous, however: the basement freezer was empty.

“What?” Leslie exclaimed, incensed, “I remember for a fact that there were two big tubs of ice cream in there just a few days ago.”

“And now they’re gone. I checked this morning. It is completely empty.”

“Man, no ice cream,” she pouted. “I was looking forward to ice cream. What about your friend? Buffets usually have ice cream machines or whatever. Maybe he can sneak us some.”

Hollis had bad news about that, too. The buffet was going out of business.

Leslie sprawled herself across the desk in disbelief. “You’re kidding me.”

“Vernon said it hasn’t been doing very well. Said he wants to try and open a nicer restaurant anyway, so he’s just gonna shut down.”

“Oh, this can’t be happening. I don’t even know what to think.”

Hollis sat down and shook his head. “Leslie, I’m sorry.”

“No, damn it, Hollis, don’t be sorry.”

“But I am. Look, I don’t want to leave. The last month has been amazing. But it’s time I got started on a real career and, you know, make sure I have a future. This is probably my one chance.”

“I know, I know. I think more than anything I’m worried about not having my own at this point. It’s just…no, I think I see it. You’ve made me so happy, Hollis. But as great as that’s been, something like that can never last until I can…I don’t know…make myself happy, right? And since I’ve been kind of avoiding going anywhere in life, I feel like I don’t have a future of my own to move on to, I guess.”

He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. “You’ve just been telling yourself that. You have a great future ahead of you. You’ve just had to wait through some changes for it. I know I did.”

She groaned.

“You’ll find something, I promise. You’re a lot closer than you think. Hey, just a month ago you discovered something new and amazing about yourself. You found something that made you happy in incredible new ways.”

“It made me horny in incredible new ways, I suppose.”

“It wasn’t just that. Maybe this is hard to swallow from somebody with my, uh, tastes, but I haven’t been doing all this just because it’s hot when you eat. I do it because when you eat you have this…I don’t know…awesome look in your eyes, this satisfaction, this determined confidence—a real happiness. I’m sure this sounds dumb, but it’s kind of inspiring. Hell, it made me work all the harder on my applications. I thought maybe if I finally got that job I’d feel that way, too.”

She lifted her head up to glare skeptically at him, but his face was dripping with honesty.

“And do you?” she asked. “Now that you’ve got the job?”

“Do I feel that way? I think…when I got the message finally…yeah, maybe I did.”

Lying back down, Leslie thought about that feeling, that sensation of beaming with the deep pride that radiated out from a satiated stomach. She had only felt it when he was there; it was something he activated in her with his adoration. It was something that she sensed should have been permanent but was too limited by circumstance. She ran a hand over her belly, feeling its mound beneath the heavy coat. It was comforting.

“It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt,” she ventured after a time, “and it was you that helped me feel it. You helped show me something about myself, I guess. I think before anything, I should just say thank you.”

He smiled and gave her thigh a supportive rub.

“And I’m happy for you. Really. If you’ve found a way to feel the way you helped me learn to feel, then that’s awesome. And I think—” she sat up with a grunt “—I think we should celebrate.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah…in a big way,” she announced. “I’ll think of something special. You should…let’s see…you should probably make sure you’re free, like, the whole weekend.”
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #19
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Chapter fourteen

Vernon’s Buffet’s going-out-of-business extravaganza had not attracted much of a crowd. A few families shuffled in and out and as the day drew to a bittersweet close only a few patrons remained: a table of underwhelmed teenagers, a group of retirees who had frequented the place since its opening, and a curious couple who had been relegated to a booth in the back. Most of the staff had already gone home. It wasn’t the usual Saturday evening rush, but it had never been a terribly busy place anyway.

The ‘extravaganza’ had consisted of an absurdly discounted cover charge, free soft drinks, and the cooking up of the store’s remaining stock. The teenagers had come to satisfy the hunger they had worked up after a long afternoon of pot-smoking. The retirees had come because they had always come. The couple in the back, it appeared, had come because the girl had set her mind upon eating the buffet out of whatever it had left.

She had dressed for the occasion, too, wrapped in a smooth lavender dress. The dress was pulled taut around a round stomach and the silky fabric’s cold, pale color contrasted with the bright warmth of her red her. This strange sight would waddle to and from the serving counters every so often, piling onto her plate another new assortment of unrelated foods or mixing new soft drinks from the dispenser. She would sit and methodically devour everything on the plate and suck down the beverage as though there were no substance to either. She would joke and laugh with her companion, then heave herself up for another plate.

“I’m trying to see how many different things I can combine,” she whispered to one of the dumbfounded teenagers.

He was making his final visit to the counter, his group having finally reached dessert. He was confused but impressed; he could have sworn she and her boyfriend had already been in the place when he and his friends had arrived.

“Behold,” she announced to Hollis, setting a new plate upon the table, waking him from his thoughts, “turkey and meatloaf.”

“Behold,” she announced on her next return, “teriyaki chicken and, uh, at least a pineapple worth of pineapple rings.”

“Behold,” she announced again later, “an interlude of assorted desserts.”

“Behold,” she announced still later, with some difficulty, “well, that’s probably most of a pig.”

She slowed noticeably on this last serving. It was larger than the others—there had been no reason to leave behind any bacon that tasty—and the evening’s tone was beginning to shift. The ‘open’ sign in the window was shut off and doors were being locked. The retirees had long since departed and the teenagers were gathering up their wits and their coats.

When they, too, had gone, the curtains on the windows were drawn and the doors were locked. Several of the remaining cooks and cleaners waved their goodbyes and headed out.

Hollis hopped out of his seat and jogged over into the kitchen. Out of the corner of her eye, between bites, Leslie could see him chatting with Vernon. The large, kindly-looking chef said something hilarious and slapped Hollis violently on the back, then helped pick him up off the floor.

Hollis gave him a thumbs-up and jogged back out to the table.

“All set,” he wheezed, still recovering from the blow, “Vernon’s probably just going to clean up back there for a while, so we’ve got the run of the place out here.”

“Seriously? Now I’m full of bad ideas.”

“Well, everything’s up for grabs at this point, essentially. Do whatever you like.”

“Holy crap, Hollis, this is even better than I thought it would be. I’m gonna…no, no, I’m…I don’t even know where to start.”

Hollis merely stood there, laughing, watching her indecisive ecstasy.

“Don’t laugh, this is a huge deal. I have an entire restaurant to destroy.”

She finished the last slice of bacon, slurping it up like a spaghetti noodle, and stifled a burp. Then, apparently coming to a decision, she shimmied to the end of her bench and heaved herself out of the booth. In doing so she swung her belly out over the table, knocking a plate to the floor.

She froze momentarily as it clattered in the empty restaurant, but a voice boomed out from the kitchen, calming her: “Hey, don’t worry about it. It’s all just getting thrown out anyway.” She looked at Hollis with disbelieving delight. He smiled and bowed, gesturing her towards the serving counters.

Laying a hand lightly on her belly, she waddled slowly over to the counter area. She tentatively picked things out of a few trays, amazed at the opportunity to breach normal commercial dining protocol by eating straight from the counter. Giggling mischievously, she scooped up mashed potatoes with her hands. When it became clear that there indeed to be no consequences for this misbehavior, she tore a drumstick right off one of the rotisserie chickens in the warmer; she stuck her head under the glass and sucked up a few swallows of gravy. The freedom was intoxicating.

Hollis shuddered sarcastically at her messiness, feigning exasperation. She puckered her mashed-potato covered face and stuck out her tongue. She was in rare form, a spirit of gluttony loosed amidst a feast. She danced from counter to counter, tossing a grape into her mouth from the salad bar, plucking a shrimp from the seafood section, helping herself to a handful of noodles from the pasta counter…

She appeared from behind one of the counters in full regalia, royalty on display: signet onion rings on her fingers, a necklace of pork ribs joined by noodles, a crown of interlocking fried bone-in wings, and an overflowing goblet of some soft drink concoction. She marched up to Hollis.

“Kneel before the empress of gluttony,” she commanded with a belch.

He did so. They broke into laughter.

She tried to compose herself. “Swear your oath of fealty to the empress of gluttony by kissing the immortal seal of the empire!” She broke out laughing again, then managed, “Kiss my big fat gut, you sexy little man.”

She thrust it in his face; it swelled happily within the conforming dress. Hollis leaned in and kissed her navel, his lips sinking slightly into her soft flesh. He reached up with his hands and began to message her belly as well. He squeezed gently at the bulge and rocked it gently to and fro.

Rolling her eyes and tilting her head back with joy, she moaned softly. She twisted slightly as Hollis rocked her stomach, feeling the fullness slosh within. He continued to work around her midsection; she bit into one of the onion rings, drifting away into euphoria.

Her thoughts about her uncertain future and her concerns about the appalled gazes she received in public had dissipated. For now there was only the present and a confidence that the future couldn’t possibly be all that bad; for now there was only flavor and fullness and fulfillment. There were no condescending or pitiful looks in here, only Hollis’ adoring eye. Even the former Leslie, increasingly distant in that photo from her triumphant dance, remained outside as new Leslie reached a zenith in her new passion.

She was ultimately unable to eat the buffet out of quite all its remaining stock, and in fairness she spilled just as much as she ate. But she had given a herculean effort and had certainly surpassed the impressive quantity she had forced down at the fateful dinner party a month prior. Her belly bulged absurdly, stretching the already generous fabric of the dress such that it became translucent around her abdomen.

Finally conceding that a limit had been reached after a gulp of soft drink—sucked straight from the dispenser’s spigot, simply for the fun of trying—she slid to the floor, flushed and a bit uncomfortable. She breathed deep and moaned softly as she tried to find a position that might better accommodate her sensitive bulge.

“Now that,” she said, stifling a burp, “is a food baby.” The belly that would normally have rested upon her lap in this position was instead forced outward by the mass packed within. Gases bubbled noisily. She felt her whole being was stuffed, her extremities flooded with overflow from her repleted stomach.

Hollis smiled appreciatively, wiping some of the mess from her face. “You look like you need a nap.”

She waggled a finger at him. “I believe you’re forgetting something.”

“Sorry. You look like you need a nap,” he sighed, rolling his eyes, “your highness.”

“That’s better.” She craned her head back and moaned, both hands massaging her gut through the dress. She caressed it and kneaded the layer of fat cradling what seemed like half the buffet. Something gurgled violently deep within her and she belched shamelessly. “And how dare you suggest such a thing, Hollis, knowing that we have such festivities planned for the evening!”

“Well, if you think you can stand…”

“That’s not something you have to worry about till I start drinking. And I do intend to make sure that becomes an issue. But, since you’re here,” she groaned, “you’re welcome to help me up.”

He reached down and heaved her to her feet. She nearly fell forward as she came up, still unused to the mass in her belly.

“You’re sure about this?” he asked, stabilizing her.

“Yeah, I want to do it. Come on, I never go out. It’ll be a blast.”
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:35 AM   #20
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Chapter fifteen

Club Eustasia was comfortably crowded, full enough to be active, and inclusive without being so packed as to be suffocating. It was far enough away from campus to attract more young professionals than students and thus rather than the musk of coed desperation to the place offered an air of sultry class.

The music greeted Leslie as she waddled in and at once she could feel it lifting her up. It had a gentle but driving rhythm that conveyed a subtle energy; the meter synced up with how her girth jiggled. She unconsciously altered her steps to follow the music’s groove as she and Hollis entered the crowd and crossed the room.

She glanced over to the dance floor as they passed it. A small riot of beautiful figures twisted and spun and leapt and undulated like a professional troupe. Their movements so perfectly reflected those of one another and the driving power of the music they might well have been choreographed.
Watching them, Leslie felt a wistful envy creeping out of the back of her head. She put the thought out of her head, along with the wheedling little awareness that many of the other patrons were peering sideways at her stomach.

She and Hollis reached the bar and her good mood was restored when her ampler-than-ever cleavage stole the bartender’s attentions away from another party.

The bartender was very sorry to tell her that they did not have in stock any of her preferred beer, but he was able to recommend a selection of similar imported beers she might enjoy. The crown jewel of this menu was a white-capped bottle from the famous old breweries of—

“Wolkenkuckucksheim?” Leslie laughed. “Yeah, I tried that once. Bring me two, for now. And two for Hollis here.”

“Leslie, I’m driving,” Hollis muttered as the bartender turned away.

“Then just hold on to them for me. It’ll be fair, since later on I’ll be holding on to you.”

The four bottles appeared and their white caps were popped off in succession. Leslie gave the bartender the best sexy wink she could muster, though this seemed to merely confuse him and he moved on to another customer.

Undeterred, she winked then at Hollis, clinked one of her bottles to his, and proceeded to chug it down. This she finally managed to accomplish with ease, maintaining a perfect rhythm—in time with the music, no less—until she had drained the bottle entirely.

“Badass,” remarked a group of men next to her at the bar, impressed.

She blew them a kiss, whispering to herself, “Eat it, Volla.” Then, turning to Hollis, she asked, “Shall we find a seat?” and followed him off, sipping playfully at the second bottle.

They found a small table overlooking the dance floor. It was off in a darker corner of the room on a raised platform and thee Leslie felt somewhat freed from the stares she had been receiving. People seemed fascinated by her body—perhaps an unusual sight, with such a swollen gut seemingly pasted on to what was still a relatively small, if softened, frame—and the now translucent garment unfairly tasked with containing it. As she lounged in her chair, her buffet-bloated belly pressed up against the edge of the table.

They sat for a while, watching the coordinated wildness of the dancers, chatting about Hollis’ new job and its potential. Leslie made her way more quickly than intended through the beers and was soon laughing more frequently and speaking a bit more loudly than was necessary.

She drained what was left of the fourth bottle. The music’s tone had shifted; a new song she didn’t recognize was playing and everyone on the floor seemed to know exactly how to move with it.

Noticing how intently she watched this, Hollis changed the subject. “Do you miss dancing?”

She frowned. “I’m not really sure. A lot of me does, sure—it was my whole identity for a lot of my life, you know? But a lot of me hated it and has felt really free since I stopped.”

“I can see that.”

“Yeah, but still, it’s kind of weird just watching.”

“I can imagine. But Leslie,” he sighed, scooting his chair closer, “you didn’t drag me to a club to watch other people dance, did you?”

“Well, no, I guess not. But to be honest I hadn’t really thought enough about it…I hadn’t expected to look out there and be…um…scared.”

“It’s okay.”

“No, but I want to. I think. Or at least I think I should, for whatever reason. It seems like the right thing to do, uh, somehow.”

“Okay, then, let’s dance.”

“What if I don’t remember how?”

“Then you and I will be on the same skill level. And if you’re not comfortable, we don’t have to.”

“Yes, we do,” she asserted, standing suddenly, her stomach shoving the table half a foot, “but I will probably need one more beer first.”

They stopped by the bar for this beer, then cautiously approached the dance floor.

There was a pocket of open space at the outskirts of the crowd. The couple eased their way in to this and awkwardly set about joining the action.

Beer in hand, Leslie tried to remember how to move with music, finding instead it was trouble enough to remember how to move at all. She would bounce and twist for a moment and then pause, flustered, sip at the beer, think back to her training, remember a move, attempt to perform it, frustrate herself, and repeat the cycle. It had been too long and her body’s mass and shape had changed such that muscle memory could not take over.

They were a pathetic pair, she thought. Hollis at his best danced like a wilting plant and Leslie could manage only to feel like a water bed falling down an escalator.

The latest song was fading to an anticlimactic, throbbing conclusion. Leslie stopped, panting slightly, a hand sympathetically petting her jostled gut.

Hollis’s compassionate look was beginning to sting, despite its honest intentions. Shaking her head, Leslie handed him her empty bottle, needing him to go away for a bit. Though he clearly wished he could do something more to help, he gave a goofy servile bow and slid off the dance floor.

The song reached its end and the crowd cheered, pleased with itself. A wave of excited leaping swept through them and Leslie found herself knocked to the ground. It took her a moment to get back to her feet, tentative and a bit unsteady, and when her senses had returned she realized that she knew the new song that had begun.

It was an older piece, a club favorite with a slow, powerful beat and a building intensity. The introduction was long and mesmerizing, allowing time for memories to flood upon Leslie’s attention, for this was the song to which she had performed her one triumphant solo long ago.

Leslie thought about the beaming girl who had performed that solo and how far away she had become. She wondered if that girl had broken apart and degenerated into what Leslie now was, or if that girl was trapped somewhere in the prison of fifty lazy excess pounds, or if that girl had been a false prison from which a truer, less talented Leslie had broken free. That girl, at least, had seemed to have a future, and had had that glimpse of real pride. She was reaching out to her now, beckoning, but Leslie knew she couldn’t be that girl anymore.

Suddenly Leslie remembered that she no longer wanted to be, anyway. She had shut her former form away and had created a new form. But the new form was unhappy. The song’s introduction was intensifying; soon the melody would take over and sweep the crowd away and leave Leslie behind.

But she noticed now that she was moving slightly. It was a gentle sway. For a brief moment she faulted the beer, but quickly realized that it was in time with the music and there was a haunting familiarity to how her legs were shifting her weight…

The melody exploded into being and simultaneously Leslie exploded into motion, spinning deftly on her toes. Her body remembered the song and the associated routine perfectly—she had choreographed it herself after all—and it even seemed that now that there was more of her body there was more of the dance.

The dancing, beckoning girl of her past was reaching forward and showing her how to move again; at the same time her new indulgent spirit was reaching in and updating the movements for her new body. Empowered by the two forms Leslie became a being of new motion: the grace of a lifetime dancer reconstructed and lifted to a new level by the sweeping, slow, tracking arcs of her curves. The wobbling and jiggling and rocking of her belly and soft areas supplemented and further explored the pithier gyrations and contortions of the body beneath.

She seemed two dancers in one, their respective styles and appearances integrating to create an emergent new dancer greater than both.

In a wild trance she had spun and writhed her way to the center of the dance floor. The crowd was taking notice as she outdanced them all they formed a tight circle, transfixed. But they were not appalled by her body; rather, they seemed gleefully amazed. They were clapping and cheering their praise, lost in her movements.

As the song reached its climax they closed in upon her, joining her dance in a moving embrace. They wrapped themselves in and around her cushioned contours. She welcomed them, blessed them with the motion of her belly. The crowd became a unified mass, wavering as one.

The song blasted its final note and faded into a slower, calmer tune; the mass separated out. Leslie received an ovation of impressed compliments and high fives and she stood there a moment, reeling, she caught sight of Hollis, who applauded. She beckoned him over and he weaved through to her.

He handed her the beer. “That didn’t look like someone who’s forgotten how to do something she had hated to do. Very cool, though…it was kind of like a belly dance, almost.”

She said nothing, but turned around and fell back into his arms. He caught her there and held on awkwardly, unsure what was happening. But soon she began swaying gently to the new song and her happiness was unmistakable and irresistible.

He cradled her fat stomach from behind and they swayed together. She sucked on the beer, eyes closed, replete with a sense of self-actualization. She felt it was an apotheosis; it was truly a fine moment, a real triumph, and she was beaming—not because her belly had won a contest or attracted a man, but because it was making her happy on its own. It had commended itself to her identity. It could be what it was and allowed her to be who she was. She wished that there could be some way to swallow the evening whole, some way to add it to her scrapbook, to make it the centerpiece of her precious belly.

“Leslie!” cried a barely familiar voice, “I thought it looked like you!”

Some members of the surrounding crowd were suddenly shoved aside and Volla herself barreled through to lift Leslie up for a hug.

“Hey, wow, hi,” Leslie managed as she regained her breath, gaping.
Volla was wearing the same little white cocktail dress in which she had stunned everyone at the dinner party, but it was clear she would not be able to do so much longer, for she, too, had put on some weight. It was no more than fifteen pounds, probably, but it had made itself apparent; she was spilling shamelessly out of the top of her dress and rounding out the bottom. The dress now seemed too short for her widening thighs and too tight for her bouncing derriere. She was still an hourglass, but a zaftig one carrying a greater load of sand.

“You were incredible in that last song,” she was saying in her soft accent, “it was incredible. I was hypnotized. Whatever that dance was, you have to teach me. Have to. Hollis! Hi. Do you mind if I borrow her?”

“Not going to argue,” Hollis managed.

Leslie grabbed Volla’s hand. “Yeah, I’ll show you the steps. But I’ll warn you I’ve had a few—” she presented her now empty bottle and tossed it back to Hollis, “—so I’m sorry if I step on your feet.”

“It’s fine, I’ve been at the bar most of the night anyway, too.”

“Well, then, we’re the tipsy troupe.” Leslie bowed; they giggled together.

They closed up to dance, Leslie pointing out some basic footwork for her dance. They made a suitable pair, visually, as Leslie’s gut and rounded midsection could fit snugly into the slight concave created by Volla’s hourglass curves. They promenaded about, giggling, too amused to really get into whatever the new dance was.

“That’s such a pretty dress,” Volla marveled as they turned, “it’s perfect on you.”

“Aw, thanks, Volla. I just got it today, actually. Had to find something new, to be honest…I’ve, uh, been putting on a little weight.”

Volla laughed, perhaps too loudly. “Me too! It’s been really strange. My appetite has been so weird lately.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“I have these cravings all the time. I try to ignore them when I can, but sometimes I cave in and have to find some junk food. And last week I found—don’t tell Blythe or anybody—I found that big freezer in the basement where her old roommates stored their food and I’ve kind of been borrowing some things.”

Leslie started. “So that’s where it went, haha! Hollis and I were using that stuff to, uh, help me learn how to cook. It’s so good, isn’t it?”

“Amazing! I can’t get enough. I mean, I brought the ice cream up thinking I could use it for the department’s social next tuesday and it’s just been sitting there tempting me all week. Thought I might open one of those tubs up and sneak a snack after I get home tonight. Big as those are, I figure I can sneak a snack out of them for weeks!”

“Oh, jealous.”

“Hey, I’ll share. I’ll share,” Volla thought for a second. “I can share tonight, even. You and Hollis—you’re with him, right? So cute—you should come back to my apartment later and we can try some of the ice cream! My treat, since you taught me this amazing new dance.”

Despite her unprecedented dinner, Leslie’s mouth was watering again. “Hollis!” she hissed, “Hollis, did you hear that? What do you think—ice cream at Volla’s?”

“Not going to argue.”
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #21
Marlow
 
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Chapter sixteen

Leslie and Volla were apparently best friends now. Hollis poured them out of his car and lead them carefully through the otherwise quiet apartment lobby to the elevator. They were still dancing merrily with each other while they waited for it.

Before they had finally left the club, Leslie had managed to spill a beer on Hollis, and now he parted with them to run up the stairs to his own apartment to change shirts. Watching him run, they giggled mischievously.

The elevator dinged and opened its door for them. Volla bowed to allow Leslie in, but bowed a bit too far and they fell into the elevator together in a tangled heap.

“Careful there, now,” Leslie cautioned through the laughter as they worked to extricate themselves, “this is a very, very full belly and gets real sensitive when she’s full.” Sitting against the elevator wall, she rested her paunch on her lap and petted it affectionately.

Volla stumbled over and slid down next to her. “That’s so cute, hee hee,” she mused, leaning in. She was tall enough that leaning so pressed her enormous bosom against Leslie’s face, but seemed not to notice, occupied with tickling Leslie’s lovehandles. “Aw, you really have developed an appetite. You’d make my grandmother proud.”

Leslie cringed away from the tickling and cradled her pot belly in her hands, giving it a little wobble. “Like I said, I’ve put some on. But I kind of like it. Makes me happy.” It occurred to her that such statements were likely to seem weird, but she was sloshing with courage and Volla’s comfort seemed unassailable.

Volla patted Leslie’s gut and gave it a gentle caress. Leslie closed her eyes and a smile spread between her puffy cheeks. Through the thinness of the dress and the too-small bra it was apparent that was aroused, glowing with the warmth of the drinks and the radiance sensual pride.

“Then we should get you your dessert,” said Volla, carefully climbing to her feet. She leaned over and pressed the button for her floor, missing twice before finally setting the elevator in motion.

They spilled out onto the third floor and they stumbled down the hall, holding one another for support. When at one point they fell against the wall, Leslie found her hand on one of Volla’s breasts. Giving it a playful squeeze, she found the fleshy orb soft and supple, a swollen treasure of indulgent memories—like her own stomach. This was all washed away with laughter and they continued their swerving journey to Volla’s apartment, where they found Hollis waiting patiently outside the door.

It was a pristine and enormous apartment, more luxurious even than Blythe’s below it. Leslie surmised, as she gaped at its décor, that Volla had in her customary fashion teased the landlord into renting her the finest room available at a ludicrous discount.

“Wow, Volla,” said Hollis, “what a great place you have here. I live right downstairs and it’s nothing like all this.”

“Thanks! Make yourself at home. I’m gonna get us some bowls for the ice cream.”

“Bowls?” laughed Leslie, “I figured we were each just gonna take one of the tubs.” She giggled again, feeling that this ought to be conveyed as a joke, although she was admittedly entertaining the thought. The buffet she had consumed earlier protested at additional company, but was silenced.

Volla pondered this, then announced, “Fair enough,” and opened the freezer.

Watching Volla bend over, Leslie tried to decide if the girl was seriously open to the idea or simply drunk. But such decisions were becoming a bit harder to make through the beer and soon she was distracted by the arrival of two full tubs of French vanilla ice cream.

Volla then gave her a spoon, a glass, and a wry smile.

Leslie cocked an eyebrow. “Why the glass?”

Volla then produced a tall black liquor bottle, identical to what she had procured for the dinner party, but noticeably larger. “Well, since you seemed to like it so much last time, I thought you might want some. And it would be very contrary to my culture not to offer a guest my best bottle.”

“Oh, of course, then. Um, Hollis, can you get these open?” She pushed the tubs of ice cream across the counter to him and pouted plaintively.

He obediently nodded and began tugging the tight lid off the first carton.

Volla carefully filled Leslie’s glass and held hers up, toasting, “to great dancing.”

“And great dessert,” Leslie added.

They giggled, clinked glasses, and drank. Leslie shuddered at the bite, but enjoyed the sensation. The plan for the weekend had been to celebrate in a big way and the celebration seemed to simply keep getting bigger. As were the celebrants, she mused, smirking to herself, as the drink began to tickle her thoughts.

Hollis finished prying off the second lid and slid the two tubs back across the counter.

Leslie and Volla now clinked spoons and dug in with playful fury. Leslie scooped as large a spoonful as she could balance, her sudden greed unfazed by the great fullness already in her stomach. She noticed that Volla had done the same and after glancing at Leslie’s spoon had tried to add even more to her own.

As she shoved the spoonful in her mouth, Leslie wondered if Volla was truly that hungry as well or merely continuing to act upon the weird competitiveness that had instigated their contest at the party. Either way, she concluded, it seemed Leslie would be free to eat as much of the ice cream as she desired. Volla wouldn’t complain, for she would likely eat just as much, either out of desire or her compulsion to keep up.

Thus Leslie continued on to her next spoonful in earnest, vindicated to see that Volla did the same. After a dozen greedy spoonfuls it became clear that the plan was no longer to merely ‘taste’ the ice cream and they paused to wash it down.

They had been too engrossed to sit down anywhere and remained leaning awkwardly on the counter. Leslie had to twist about to face her tub, for when standing facing it her belly pressed up against the counter and held her too far off. As she sipped her drink she experimented briefly with setting her belly upon the counter to rest, but she proved too short and so hefted it in vain.

Instead she returned to the ice cream, methodically wolfing it down. The cold richness mixed strangely with the hot, dance-churned food already in her belly; she imagined it spreading gradually around into her flesh already.

The thought of continuing to grow aroused her. “Hollis,” she cooed across the counter, “can you come around and unzip me in the back? I’m still kind of full from dinner and need more room.”

He leapt up on the counter and slid across. She waddled over to where he now sat and spun around to lean back against his knees. There she drained her glass as he faltered with and eventually unzipped the back of the already much tighter dress. It was unlikely it would zip back up. The gap opened wide on her back as her belly pulled all the fabric forward, revealing her softly arched back and the strap of a strained bra.

She faked the pout again, feeling seductive. “Aw, I left the ice cream over there.”

It was only just beyond her reach, but Hollis happily leaned over to retrieve the tub. As she continued to contentedly lean back against him he reached around and ladled a spoonful of ice cream into her mouth.

“Stop making me jealous,” Volla teased, refilling their glasses, “How can I keep up when you’ve left me here to fend for myself?”

Leslie giggled. “Well, look, get your big butt over here and we’ll get some ice cream in you. Because if you’re trying to keep up, Volla—” she gestured to her own swollen gut, then to Volla’s comparatively slim waist, testing her, “—you’ve got some catching up to do in the belly department.”

Volla did not reply, but sauntered over and stood expectantly before her, swaying gently.

Taking the spoon from Volla’s hand, Leslie scooped up a sizeable helping and poked it at Volla’s mouth. She missed, however, smearing it across her face, and they nearly collapsed with laughter.

“I don’t think that’s how that was supposed to work,” giggled Volla, holding onto the refrigerator for support.

“No, not quite,” agreed Leslie as Hollis held her up. “Hollis is pretty good at this kind of thing, though. It’s, like, his talent.” She craned her head back and winked up at him. “Hollis, help her out, huh?”

“Oh, very well,” he sighed and hopped off the counter, leaving Leslie to fall back against it.

He picked up a tub and Volla’s spoon and began scooping. Volla leaned over, hanging from the refrigerator handle, mouth patiently agape.

Hollis looked back at Leslie, seeming unsure. After a swig from her glass Leslie nodded vehemently, appalled by his hesitation, and picked up her own tub. Shrugging, Hollis spooned the helping into Volla’s mouth—a careful operation, for it was a moving target. Volla swallowed, grinning, and opened up for another. He obeyed.

Now Leslie sidled up against him, clutching his jacket. “Now some for me, handsome.”

Hollis turned and fed a spoonful to Leslie. Volla danced off the refrigerator to fetch her glass from the counter. Leslie pulled on Hollis’ jacket and guided him back to the counter as well.

There, with Leslie and Volla side by side, Hollis alternated feeding them from the tub, often having to hurry to keep up. The girls had returned to the competitive ravenousness of their contest, motivated no longer by a spiteful rivalry but by a strange, drunken alliance.

As the melting ice cream became more difficult to cleanly scoop, Hollis’ progress slowed. When he paused at one point to wipe his sticky hands, an impatient Leslie grabbed up the second tub and served herself a sloppy helping, offering one also to Volla. They quickly abandoned this, realizing less ice cream made it into their mouths this way, but found it all hilarious and Hollis was obliged to wait for them to stop laughing before he could resume feeding them from the first tub.

Eventually his spoon was scraping the cardboard at the bottom and he remarked that they had completely emptied this tub. Leslie winked at him and stifled a burp; Volla drained her glass slowly, seeming not to notice what they had achieved.

She could not ignore it for long. As soon as she set down her glass everyone froze at a sudden tearing sound. They looked at Volla; she looked down at herself.

The little white cocktail dress had ripped. Two slits had opened up, a thin triangle of flesh peeking on the outside of each thigh, reaching all the way up to her hips, revealing the edges of her lingerie. The zipper had sprung open as well, opening her pale back to the world.

She gaped for a moment in horror, face contorted with a look of reluctant realization, then collapsed in a fit of giggling.

“Maybe…” she belched mightily, “maybe I’ve been giving into my cravings more than I thought. Hee hee.”

Leslie pinched at Volla’s softened hips. “Well, you have…have been trying to keep up with me.”

Volla nodded, still grinning. She looked down and fiddled with the split sides of her dress, trying to cover at least the exposed lace of her underwear, but to no avail. “That’s no good. No decorum. Let me…let me go find something to change into quick…stretchier.” She shuffled carefully out of the kitchenette, sheepishly tugging down on the dress, halting momentarily to steady herself on the counter.

Leslie watched her former rival slowly make her way to the bedroom, then looked at Hollis, who was still standing awkwardly with the empty ice cream tub. He smiled innocently back at her. She drained her glass and raised an eyebrow.

She sidled up close, pressing her gut against him, feeling his own arousal press back against her. With one hand she began to play with the top button of his shirt; with the other she felt around for and grabbed the black bottle. It took a moment to find a good grip, the bottle being as large as it was. Her bleary eyes staring seductively into his, she lifted the bottle to her lips and drank deeply, feeling the sharp liquid dance its way down her throat. Her mind danced with it; so did the room.

When she’d had her fill for the moment she opened her eyes slowly and sighed happily. She reached out and replaced the bottle on the counter. Her incautious hand nearly spilled what remained, but Hollis’ steady free hand shot out to right it. She didn’t acknowledge this; instead she lifted up his other hand, which still held the empty tub, and ran a greedy finger around the rim to collect the melted cream.

She sucked the finger clean, still staring at him.

“You are a hungry girl tonight,” he observed.

“You’ve made me a very—” she hiccupped “—very hungry girl,” she replied, craning her head up to his. She gave him a long, hungry kiss, then added, “I’m gonna make this the best—hic!—the best night of both our lives.”
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:01 PM   #22
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Chapter 17

Hollis opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by a crash and a shout from the bedroom.

Leslie giggled. “You okay in there?”

“No damage,” came Volla’s lilting reply through the half-open door, “but I may need a hand…”

“We better go see,” Leslie whispered loudly.

Hollis set down the ice cream tub and wrapped an arm around Leslie. She leaned over to grab the black bottle, leaned back against him, and continued leaning against him as they left the kitchenette and approached the bedroom.

They pushed the door open. Volla was lying face down on the floor before them in her underwear, the torn white cocktail dress around her ankles.

“I tripped,” she confessed with a grin. “Think the ice cream is weighing me down.”

Leslie carefully left Hollis’ arm and knelt down. “Hee hee, you poor thing. Hic! Come on, just roll your big butt over and we’ll get you up.” She slapped the butt for emphasis and giggled with gratification—it wobbled just like her own belly.

Volla’s only response was to groan softly and belch. Leslie reached over to the girl’s shoulder and hauled with all her uncoordinated might. Hollis hesitantly knelt opposite her and began to help push. Eventually Volla conceded to assist herself and they together succeeded in flipping her over.

As they sat there for a moment to catch their respective breaths, Leslie marveled at Volla’s now unbridled softness. Her thighs flattened against the floor, accentuating their new width; her breasts were even larger than their attempts to escape the dress had suggested and the pitiful bra could now do little but sit helplessly upon them.

They helped Volla sit up against the side of the bed—her abdomen, though still comparatively thinner, creased into several little rolls—and Leslie handed her the black bottle.

“Sorry for being…being indecent,” Volla said, her accent growing heavier, “I’d worry more about it, but, see, in my culture…” She gave up on this line of thought and instead sipped at the bottle.

“Not a problem,” Leslie reassured her, leaning over to pull the dress off her ankles, “see, you were getting your pretty dress all—hic!—getting it all sticky with ice cream, anyway. Hollis! Hollis, where’s the ice—hulp!—cream? You what? Go…go get it, silly!”

Hollis gave an amused sigh and jogged out of the room.

Leslie stole back the bottle and took a swig. “Assuming, of course,” she said, giving it back, “you’re still hungry for—hic!—ice cream.”

“Pssh, don’t be coy,” Volla laughed, “now I don’t have to worry about getting my dress messy or ripping it or…or anything, I can have all the ice cream I want.”

Seemingly impressed by this statement, Leslie put a hand up on the bed and heaved herself to her feet. She waited a moment, hiccupping, for the room to stop rocking, then announced, “That’s a great point, there. Think I’m gonna follow—hic!—follow your lead on that one.”

She reached up, tugged her dress’ straps off her shoulders, and proceeded to slowly peel the stretched fabric down. She lost her balance twice, but recovered each time and soon had removed the dress and tossed it out through the doorway. And thus she stood, swaying proudly in her outgrown bra and new special-occasion panties, her gut floating happily before her on display to the world, as Hollis returned with the tub.

He gaped a moment at her unrestricted girth, then handed over the ice cream and a spoon.

Leslie bent down slightly and exchanged these with Volla for the black bottle. She sipped at it seductively and pulled Hollis closer, using her free hand to untuck and finish unbuttoning his shirt. They kissed, and were again interrupted by Volla as she moaned in plaintive distress.

“You—hic!—you okay down there?”

“It’s all melty. Can’t spoon it right.” Volla’s face was dripping with disappointment and melted ice cream that had utterly failed to find her mouth.

Leslie spun around—too quickly, requiring a moment to balance—and smiled compassionately. She reached down and traded the bottle for the tub, patting Volla on her swollen thigh, then scooped up a sloppy helping with her cupped hand and in this fashion attempted to ladle the ice cream into Volla’s mouth.

This also proved unsuccessful, but it lead to a fit of giggling. Leslie stood and wiped her messy hand on Hollis’ chest, distressing him greatly.

Leslie laughed at him, then purred, “Don’t worry, Volla, darling—hic!—I’ll take care of the ice cream.” She turned back to Hollis, a hand on him for support, lifted the tub to her lips, and drank down the rest of the melted ice cream. Much of it ran down her cheeks and chin and dripped onto her chest.

She finished it with a flourish and stifled a burp, dabbing a sticky finger onto Hollis’ forehead to bother him further.

“Sticky,” said Volla.

Hollis nodded in agreement, murmuring, “Might want to clean up, at least a little…”

Leslie lit up. “Ooh, what a great—hic!—what a great idea!” Losing her balance again in her enthusiasm, she clung to Hollis, ensuring a hand landed lightly near his groin. “Volla—hic!—where’s your shower? We should all go…go get cleaned up. Hulp!”

The contagious excitement beginning to reach her, Volla lifted herself up. “Yeah, definitely! It’s right through there, in the bathroom. You know,” she said, wrapping her arm around Leslie and batting her eyelashes at Hollis, “it’s a pretty big shower. Should fit…all of us.”

Somewhere deep within Leslie there was a whisper of surprise and amazement, but it was smothered by the waves of excitement. There were no more inhibitions and no more wondering about Volla’s unknown motives.

“Oh, awesome,” Leslie exclaimed, running a finger in a little circle around Volla’s navel.

“I’ll get the water running,” Volla whispered and staggered into the attached bathroom, sipping on the black bottle as she departed.

Leslie gave Hollis another long kiss and pulled his shirt off his arms. She flipped the shirt up, wrapped it around his neck, and used it to guide him slowly to the bathroom. Her gut jiggled pleasantly against him as she stepped backward, arousing them both.

Volla was bent over in the bathroom, turning knobs in the large, luxuriant shower booth, her derriere wobbling. The water began to hiss.

Leslie sidled up behind her, trying to suppress mischievous laughter, reached out, and unhooked Volla’s brastrap.

Volla yelped gleefully and had to steady herself on the shower door. She stood up and turned around, pulling the straps around her arms. The bra fell to the floor and her breasts tumbled ponderously free. Impressively unashamed, she shimmied them playfully as she sipped at the bottle.

Giggling, Leslie backed up into Hollis. “Would you kindly un—hic!—do me, sir?”

After some minor fumbling, he unhooked her bra. She finished pulling it off; she did not possess Volla’s enormous chest but her bosom could not be found lacking and her own breasts were happy to spill down and rest comfortably atop the ledge where her belly began to protrude.

“Alright…Volla,” she said, beckoning her over, “we need to get this—hic!—this handsome man’s pants off ‘im.”

Hollis gave a nervous laugh.

“Don’t you worry, Leslie,” Volla replied, setting the liquor bottle down on the tiles, “I can get the pants off anyone I want.”

They knelt; Leslie worked to undo Hollis’ belt, giggling, “Oh, I don’t doubt it, Volla. Every time I’ve partied with—hic!—partied with you I’ve ended up without my clothes on.”

“Your sample size may be a bit small,” sighed Hollis, unbuckling his belt as her fingers proved uncooperative.

“Shut up and get naked,” Leslie hissed, popping open the button on his waist.

Volla, in a bold move, leaned in, took the zipper of his fly in her teeth, and pulled it open. Leslie slid her fingers in under his waistband and tugged. His loose slacks fell off him easily. The girls squealed in their amusement.

Leslie and Volla helped each other to their feet, arm in arm, breast knocking against breast. Leslie’s belly jiggled; Volla’s chest and butt jiggled with it. Leslie threw her other arm around Hollis, pulled him close, and gave him a passionate, encouraging kiss. Then, after pausing thoughtfully for a moment, she turned her head and gave Volla an equally fiery kiss. Volla seemed unsurprised and kissed back; they spent a moment continuing this.

Pulling away finally, Leslie tossed a glance in each direction, smiling drunkenly at the satisfaction of the new experience, then announced, “Shower time. Hiccup!”

She disengaged from the arms around her and stepped out of her panties. Hollis reached out to steady her when she tipped forward. The task completed, she inhaled sharply with anticipation and jumped into the shower.

Following Leslie’s lead, Volla slipped out of her own underwear—a more difficult task, for she had outgrown them weeks ago and they dug tenaciously into the fat around her hips—and when with plenty of Hollis’ assistance she had succeeded, she slid into the shower.

The two girls embraced, giggling, their bodies fitting snugly and softly against one another’s under the hot cascade of water, and nearly fell over. When they had righted themselves, Leslie reached outside and picked the black bottle up off the floor.

“I need more—hic!—more in my belly,” she sang to Hollis as he eased out of his boxers, "more, more, more...hulp!"

She offered some to Volla, but found her distracted with selecting a bodywash, and so elected to drain the bottle herself, rocking unsteadily under the falling water. There was plenty left, but she sucked it down without pause.

Finishing it, she peered drunkenly into the empty bottle, hoping for even more. Finding none, she shrugged and tossed it out to Hollis. He caught it deftly, set it down, smiled at her, and joined them in the shower.

The booth proved spacious enough for the three of them, but only barely. They squeezed up against one another on the slick porcelain square. The cone of water from the showerhead was only wide enough to fully anoint only one of the indulgent triumvirate at any given time, but with some careful rotation they were able to thoroughly drench one another.

Volla eventually succeeded in opening a fragrant, foaming bodywash and excitedly dumped most of its contents onto Leslie’s belly, which had quickly become the de facto center of their circle of flesh. Hollis reached in and smeared the foam around her gut, across her hips, and lower; she turned her head for a kiss. Volla reached in as well; she cupped some foam in her hands and lathered it on her own body, then returned to push foam up to Leslie’s chest, caressing her breasts, then shoulders, then neck. Leslie turned from Hollis to receive a ravenous kiss from Volla.

It was a decadence Leslie had never known and she was its centerpiece. She faced Volla and they rubbed the soap over each other’s bodies. Leslie’s swollen, jiggling belly squeezed itself assertively against Volla’s soft little waist; Volla’s ponderous breasts met and squashed Leslie’s. They lathered. They kissed. Hollis pressed against Leslie from behind, biting her gently on the ear, reaching around and cradling her satiated gut.

Volla wrapped her arms around Leslie and pressed closer, giving her an animalistic stare. Leslie felt Hollis’ hands slide off her gut and down to her groin; she gasped sharply with pleasure at the pressure from both sides. She slid one hand to the back of Volla’s head and pulled her in. The other hand traced its way down the outside one of Volla’s thighs, then back up between them, giving a sly grin as Volla purred with delight.

Leslie rolled her eyes back in ecstasy as the tangle of limbs and wobbling flesh began a rhythmic sway, disappearing into the rising steam. She moaned gently; she hiccupped.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:51 AM   #23
Marlow
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Chapter Eighteen

Sunlight slipped gently into the bedroom through half-closed curtains. It cast a golden glow upon a small rectangle of the otherwise dimly grey chamber. Included in this warm rectangle was a portion of a large bed in absolute disarray.

The sheets were strewn wildly about the room. The down comforter was draped haphazardly off an armoire. Only one pillow remained on the bed; slumbering heavily upon it was a pale, golden-haired amazon, her zaftig, uncovered body sprawled diagonally across the mattress. A smaller, pudgier girl was curled up—as best as her pot belly would allow her to curl—next to her. This girl’s head rested softly between the blonde’s cushioning breasts, her fiery red hair burning bright in the morning sun.

The radiant warmth of the sunlight tickled Leslie’s skin. She groaned quietly and blinked as consciousness reluctantly began to return to her. She slowly lifted her head from Volla’s bosom and endeavored to sit up.

She sat there a moment in confused uncertainty; she was naked in an unfamiliar bedroom next to another naked woman. But she quickly regained certainty about several things from the night before: she had never been so full, so drunk, nor so horny. And now she was certain about the most important thing; she had never known such satisfaction. She brushed away the hair that had fallen over her face and smiled, remembering the night.

Something bubbled uncomfortably in her stomach and she let out a strange half-burp-half-hiccup. She shook her head and exhaled slowly, squinting against the sun. She poked at her gut, which jiggled affectionately atop her lap. She poked at Volla, who only snored in reply.

Hollis was missing. Leslie listened for him, but the apartment only offered silence. There was no way he had remained, anyway, for otherwise he would be cleaning up the violently ransacked room.

Leslie slid off the bed and promptly fell forward. One more thing was certain: she was still quite drunk. She picked herself up and staggered carefully into the open bathroom.

Her underwear was there, waiting patiently. The empty black bottle was there, too, and she managed to trip over it. She steadied herself against the sink and looked up at her reflection in the full-length mirror. A heavy, rounded, jiggling pot belly gazed back.

Leslie beamed at herself; at her fat, happy self. She felt beautiful, she felt appreciated, she felt whole, she felt proud. Beaming. She felt she would beam forever.

She tugged on her underwear—already tighter, somehow—and waddled back out into the bedroom.

Her dress was nowhere to be found. Having left the warm rectangle of sunlight she was feeling chilled and so rifled through the scattered sheets, but found only an empty ice cream tub and a partially torn piece of silky white fabric.

Through her mind’s haze she eventually recognized this as Volla’s dress. She pondered it for a moment, then, hoping that Volla’s greater height and wider hips would mean enough room, pulled it on.

It refused to zip up completely in the back and her bulging belly stretched the thin fabric rather absurdly in the front, but it would have to do. She stood a moment, swaying gently, ensuring that the slits that had opened along the sides weren't egregiously inappropriate.

She waddled out of the bedroom. Still failing to locate Hollis, she grabbed her purse from the kitchenette counter and carefully opened the front door. She glanced around furtively, took a deep breath, and slipped out of the apartment.

She padded slowly up the hallway, stumbling once or twice, belched shamelessly as the elevator ride jostled her stomach, and after emerging onto the floor below made her way back down the hall, running a hand along the wall for support.

Suddenly a door opened and Blythe stepped cheerily out into the hallway, dressed for her morning jog. Her face froze as she caught sight of Leslie heading toward her, absurdly bloated, disheveled, and wrapped in a ripped dress stretched to the point of transparency.

“Morning!” Leslie chirped, unabashed.

“Oh, Leslie, hi!” Blythe managed, staring in what was probably horror down at Leslie’s midsection. “How, uh, how have you been?”

“Magnificent,” Leslie replied. She patted Blythe on the stomach as she sidled past. “We should do lunch some time. Catch up on things.” She strutted on down the hall, noting her exciting absence of shame, and held her head high. She promptly tripped over herself, but recovered and resumed strutting.

She reached Hollis’s door and without thinking pushed on it; it was unlatched and swung open, allowing her to tumble into the apartment.

Hollis, appearing from nowhere, caught her as she fell. He helped her back to her feet, tickled her belly, and kissed her. “You’re up earlier than I expected,” he said softly, rocking her gently in his arms, “I figured that drink would have you out all day.”

She grinned up at him. “Well, I’m definitely still feeling it. Won’t deny that. But I wanted to come see you.”

“I’m glad you did. Want some breakfast?”

“Is that a joke?” she giggled, pinching him, “You’d better have a whole bowl of pancake batter ready if you’re planning to feed me breakfast.”

He gestured to his counter, on which sat a plate with a preposterous stack of pancakes. Leslie could hear sizzling from the kitchenette—bacon. Hollis squeezed the side of her belly, replying, “I’m sure it’s not quite enough for your appetite, but I do what I can.”

“It smells incredible.”

“Here, just have a seat.”

Hollis gestured across the room to an ugly old armchair.

Leslie yelped with joy. “The chair! Hee hee, my prize!”

“Yeah, I thought you might actually want to claim it at some point.”

She skipped over to it and sat down happily. “The empress in her throne,” she mused.

Hollis headed to retrieve the pancakes from the counter, but kept an admiring eye on Leslie.

She sat there perkily, bare legs crossed, engorged belly resting on her lap, the stretched fabric of the dress doing little to conceal it, revealing her flattened navel and the beginnings of a roll. Her smile was genuine and invincible and her whole being seemed to contribute to that expression of true, pure satisfaction. She beamed at him.

“I’m gonna miss you, Hollis,” she said.

“I’m going to miss you, too, Leslie,” he replied, crossing the room with the pancakes. “I want to thank you for everything you’ve done and for being everything you are.”

“And thank you.”

“I wish I weren’t leaving.”

“But you should. Your life is waiting for you.”

“Look, Leslie, if…” he swallowed, “…if you want, you could come with me. I can float you for a little bit while you find a new job or something out there.”

She bit her lip, thinking for a moment. “I’m sure I would love that…I know I would…but I think first I need to make my own way. Maybe someday, after I’ve put things together, we can try again. But for now I need to get my life straightened out and I think for once the person straightening it out should be me.”

He scrunched his face for a moment, as if deciding if he felt hurt, then relaxed into a compassionate smile. “Look, if there’s ever anything I can ever do for you, please, just ask.” He knelt beside the chair and proffered up the plate. “There’s an exciting future waiting for you, I’m sure, and I’ll do whatever I can to help you get wherever you end up going.”

She picked out a pancake from the stack. “You already have, sir. I…I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’m going to do, but I know that there’s something out there for me and I’m gonna find it and I’m gonna be amazing at it.”

“Exactly,” he agreed.

She chewed on a bite of pancake thoughtfully. “There are lots of opportunities out there. Maybe I’ll take my new moves back into dance. Maybe I can cook. It could be anything. And I won’t be alone—now I know you’re out there somewhere, and there’s a girl upstairs who I still don’t quite understand but who seems to be a big fan. Things are gonna be okay. I’m in a good place, I think.”

"I'm glad."

He handed her another pancake. She bit into it greedily, swallowed, and leaned over to kiss him. Hollis reached up to massage her warm belly.

Leslie beamed.
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