Like Halloween When We Were Kids

Originally published October 26, 2016.
Contains: accelerated weight gain, behind-the-scenes encouraging.

I actually got the idea for this one in late June and have been sitting on it since July, wanting to post it at a more seasonally appropriate time.

There are a lot of weight gain stories out there that take place on Halloween and center around someone using magic to make another character gain weight, usually out of spite or revenge of some sort, perhaps for a prank played on them. My idea for this story came from wondering, what if the weight gain came not from spite, but gratitude? What if rather than the weight gain resulting from someone using magic to ruin someone else’s night, it came from them using magic to make someone’s night?

Synopsis: Bill, Tom, and Joe are three coworkers who can’t get into the Halloween spirit, until Joe gets the idea for them to go trick-or-treating that night. They dress up in costumes and head out hoping to capture the magic of trick-or-treating when they were kids, but they get turned away at every house and shunned between them. That is until they visit an old woman who says she hasn’t had any trick-or-treaters in years. She assures the three they’ll have a better night now that they’ve visited her, but little do they know just how much better, or how much candy they’ll get, or how much they’ll eat of it in one night…

It was Friday night, just over a week before Halloween, and Bill, Tom, and Joe were winding down at the bar after work. The three met up every Friday night to take a load off at the end of the week, sometimes more often when the week had been particularly stressful. This week, it was their third time at the bar.

The three sat slumped over at the bar as they tried to shed the stresses of a long week. Bill was a fairly muscular guy, though you couldn’t see it under his blazer and suit pants. Tom was a scrawnier man, with glasses that didn’t fit quite right and a pale complexion to match his pastel-colored button-down. Joe, with his scraggly beard and plush cheeks, was the most leisurely of the bunch, wearing a tee shirt and jeans for casual Friday.

After taking a long swig of his beer, Bill asked the other two, “You excited for the holiday?”

“What holiday?” asked Tom as Joe looked at Bill just as blankly.

“What do you mean, ‘What holiday?’ Halloween!”

“Eh,” said Tom. “I’m not really that excited for buying overpriced individually-packaged candy for the trick-or-treaters.”

“I just turn my lights off and pretend I’m not home,” said Joe.

“Maybe I should start doing that.”

“Aw, come on, guys. You don’t get excited at all?”

“Do you?” asked Joe.

Bill stared in Joe’s direction before turning his head back towards his beer, not giving him an answer. The truth was, he wasn’t excited for Halloween either, but he’d hoped talking about Halloween he could at least bring the mood up a bit. “I wish I were.”


Bill looked back at his friends with weary eyes. “I wish I could be excited for Halloween, like I was when I was a kid. When all that mattered was dressing up and free candy”

“Those were the days,” Joe concurred.

“What’s there to get excited about now?” asked Tom. “We don’t have kids to take trick-or-treating, we’re certainly too old to go ourselves, and I don’t know about you two, but I didn’t get invited to any parties. Not sure I’d want to go even if I were.”

“I probably would,” said Joe. “But yeah, I didn’t get invited to any either.”

“Me neither,” Bill said as he took another sip of his beer. “Are we getting old?”

“We’re only in our twenties,” Tom answered. “I sure hope not.”

After some silence between the three, Joe looked up with a pensive look. “What if we’re not too old to go trick-or-treating ourselves?”

With a bemused smirk. Tom asked, “How long has it been since you went trick-or-treating?”

“Dunno, but now seems like a good time to start again.”

“What for? What would you even do with all that candy?”

“Eat it, what else?”

“Hey, you could bring it into the office,” suggested Bill. “People leave leftover Halloween candy in the break room all the time.”

“Do you think people would even give us candy?” Tom asked. “We’re not exactly kids anymore.”

“I’m just saying,” Joe said. “I always hear people complaining about how teenagers don’t put any effort into their costumes, how they just show up in sweatpants and hoodies, and still expect candy. Not about how they’re not kids anymore and they’re still trick-or-treating, just that they’re lazy with their outfits. If we put some effort into our costumes, maybe people will take to it.”

“You think?” asked Tom.

Looking back tiredly at his coworkers, Joe asked, “What else are we going to do that night?”

Tom looked unconvinced, but Bill lifted up his beer and said, “I’m in.”

Tom let out a sigh and raised his as well. “I’ll give it a shot.”

“And hey, let’s use pillowcases to hold the candy,” Joe suggested. “Let’s really bring it back to when we were kids.”

With raised eyebrows, Tom said, “I don’t know about you, but my parents gave me a plastic Jack-o-lantern bucket to use. Might still be somewhere in their attic.”

“Mine painted a Jack-o-lantern on an actual bucket,” Bill said. “Might have been cheap, but it sure was spacious.”

“Did you two ever fill your buckets?”

“Nah,” said Tom. “My parents always made me go back before I got too much candy. They said Jack would get uncomfortable if he got too full.”

“I think they just didn’t want you to have too much,” mused Bill.

“Yeah, I know that now,” Tom chuckled. “You ever fill yours, Joe?”

“Kinda hard to fill a pillowcase. It was always a dream of mine, though,” he said wistfully.

“I remember I cared more about quality,” Bill said. “The more chocolate I got, the better.”

“Chocolate’s good,” admitted Joe, “But peanut butter cups were where it was at.”

“I guess. I always preferred trading those for something else. You could get a lot of mini chocolate bars for one peanut butter cup.”

“What about you, Tom? What was your favorite?”

Tom was sipping his beer, and put it down slowly with a mildly embarrassed smile before answering. “Jolly ranchers.”

“What?” Joe asked, sounding genuinely shocked. “Those things that break your teeth?”

“The ones.”

“Well, if I get any of those, you can have them.”

“Hey, I’ll gladly take them.”

The two both laughed, bringing a smile to Bill’s face. “See, this is exactly why I’m on board with this. Let’s bring this kind of energy back.”

Tom nodded before looking forward again. “Here’s hoping it works.”

The three convened at Bill’s house on Halloween night. Of the three of them, he lived in the neighborhood with the most kids, so they figured their chances would be best around his place. Bill had dressed in full pirate attire, with a plastic cutlass for good measure. Tom had dressed in an old fashioned suit with a powdered wig to look like one of the founding fathers. Joe had gone the mad scientist route, with a long white jacket draped over an outfit that didn’t look all that dissimilar from his Friday work clothes. At the very least, the goggles on his head and the frazzled white wig helped sell the look. True to their agreement, all three had brought pillowcases.

“Looking good, gents,” Bill enthused. “Ready for this?”

“As ready as I ever will be,” answered Tom.

“You make it sound like an exam,” said Joe. “Come on, it’ll be fun!”

But on the first block they walked along, it wasn’t fun. In spite of their most enthusiastic delivery of “Trick or treat!”, every house they visited turned them away. Some people said, “Oh, we’re not doing that this year.” Others were less tactful and outright asked, “Aren’t you men a bit old to be trick-or-treating?”

Things weren’t any better between houses. All of the parents out with their children became suspicious of the three when they realized they weren’t out with any kids. Many parents gave them a wide berth. At one point, Bill tried to say, “Ahoy, matey!” to a boy dressed as a pirate, at which the boy’s mom pulled him away and kept walking.

“This was a bad idea,” Tom said after they’d been turned away from their eighth house. “Look at us. Grown men, dressed like kids.”

“We’re not dressed like kids,” objected Joe, with a tone like he only half believed what he said. “We’re dressed like a pirate, a founding father, and a mad scientist.” Joe looked at the next home down the line, not ready to give up yet, and beheld a ramshackle house that was barely bigger than a shack. “You know who lives here, Bill?”

“No, they mostly keep to themselves. Their lights are on, though.”

“I dunno,” said Tom. “You think they’d be giving out candy?”

“Depends,” said Joe. “Do you think those cobwebs are decorational or real?”

Joe and Tom both chuckled to themselves, before Bill turned around and asked in all seriousness, “Wanna give it a go?”

As the other two halted their laughter, Joe shrugged, before Tom asked, “Why not?” with a defeated tone.

The three men walked slowly and somewhat cautiously up to the house, seeing that the cobwebs were indeed authentic. Bill knocked on the door gently, as if he might knock it off the hinges if he hit it too hard.

The three didn’t hear any stirring inside, and were ready to leave when the door opened, revealing an old woman about two heads shorter than any of them. She looked about 70, in a way that would make one believe she was much older than she looked. Her black dress was of an old-fashioned design, but it looked well-maintained, as did the interior of the house. It looked like an entirely different building from the outside, with vibrant house plants and tchotchkes and books aplenty filling shelves and tabletops. Around a corner peeked a black cat with wide, curious yellow eyes.

“T-trick or treat!” the group said out of sync.

“Oh my, is it Halloween already?” the woman asked. “You boys are the first trick-or-treaters I’ve gotten tonight,” she told them in her spry, high-pitched voice.

“Oh… that’s a shame,” Joe said awkwardly.

“The real shame is that I don’t have any candy to give you boys. And you made such great costumes too,” she lamented in a slow, deliberate cadence. “Hang on, let me see what I might have in here.”

As the old woman retreated into her house, Joe leaned in and asked, “Do you think she really thinks we’re kids?”

“Maybe she can’t see very well,” Bill mused.

“At least she was nice to us,” Tom said, “That’s a first.”

The three waited at the woman’s doorstep, extra conscious of the passers-by looking at them suspiciously. When the woman came back, she had three individually-wrapped candies in her hand. “I hope you boys like Werther’s originals.”

“Oh, t-that’s lovely, thank you,” Bill said, sticking out his pillowcase, at which the other two followed suit. The woman dropped a candy in each bag.

“Thank you, miss,” Joe said. “You’re the first person to give us candy tonight.”

“Oh my, what an honor that you boys started your night of trick-or-treating at my house!”

“Actually, you’re more like our ninth house,” Tom said.

“Oh dear. Did the other houses all give you tricks?”

“They didn’t give us anything,” said Joe.

“Oh heavens. What is the world coming to?” she asked, sounding genuinely distraught. “You boys don’t deserve that.” With a pensive look, she put her hand up to her chin, before a smile spread across her face. “Well, you boys soldier on. You’ll have a better night now that it’s gotten off to a good start.”

“I sure hope so,” Bill admitted.

“Oh, you will, darling.” With a smile, the woman gestured at the three, her fingers curling and extending in sequence like spectators doing the wave at a baseball game, assumedly a wave goodbye.

“Well… thank you,” Bill said. “Have a good night.”

“You too, boys. Try those Werther’s originals and see if they don’t lift your spirits a bit.”

As the three turned away from the house, Joe pulled his candy out of his bag and unwrapped it.

“You’re really going to eat that?” asked Tom.

“Why not?” said Joe before he popped it in his mouth with a loud crunch. The other two shrugged and followed suit, chewing up the underwhelming candy. At the very least, it did feel good to finally have something to show for the night.

“I say we quit while we’re ahead,” said Tom.

“Yeah,” Bill admitted. “That’s seeming like a good idea.”

“Avast, ye scallywag!” the three heard a voice say behind them. They turned around to see an older boy, also dressed as a pirate, with his sword drawn at Bill. Bill looked up and saw the boy’s mom look at them both with a smile, looking almost apologetic for her son’s behavior.

Although caught off guard, Bill smiled and stuck out his own sword, “Now now, matey,” he said as he lowered the boy’s sword with his own. “There’s plenty of treasure in these seas for both of us. Go forth and plunder!”

“Ay ay, captain!” the boy shouted excitedly. “Come on, mom!” he said without an accent as he ran excitedly down the street.

With a giggle, the mom walked after him, but not before leaning toward Bill to say, “Thanks for humoring him.”

“Hey, no problem,” Bill said before she ran off. The three looked at each other, all pleasantly surprised. “Maybe we should keep going after all,” Bill wondered. Tom and Joe looked at each other and shrugged before looking back at Bill and nodding in agreement, and they moved on to the next house on the street. Bill rang the doorbell and when it opened, they hoped for the best.

“Trick or treat!” they all said in unison.

“Oh I love this!” the woman behind the door beamed. “Oh this is great. What a treat to see adults still getting into the holiday spirit.” Reaching into her bowl, she asked, “I assume you’re here for treats?”

“That we are,” said Bill.

“Ha, well, you’re never too old for free candy. Here, hold out your bags, gents.”

The three did as instructed, and the woman gave them each a generous handful, for which they thanked her enthusiastically. With their spirits lifted, they moved on to the next house, where their reception was just as positive. For the next half-dozen houses, the people who greeted them at the door were all delighted to see people as old as them still dressing up, and they got candy at every house.

“Man, six in a row after how many duds? Did we just get all the curmudgeons in your neighborhood in one go, Bill?” Joe asked.

“I guess,” Bill answered with a chuckle.

“And now look at us!” After a pause, Joe’s tone turned more serious. “Uh, guys? We’ve gotten candy from, what, six houses, right?”

“Seven if you count the old woman’s.”

Joe stopped walking and looked in his pillowcase. “How much candy do you have?”

Bill and Tom stopped to look in their pillowcases. “Holy shit,” Bill mumbled.

“Yeah,” said Tom. All three of them had far more candy in their bags than they expected after only six houses, enough to create a sizable lump in the bottom of their pillowcases. If they’d ended the night with that much candy as kids, they would have called it a good night.

Joe was the first to break his shock. With a chuckle, he said, “Alright!” and reached in for a peanut butter cup. “This night is shaping up after all,” he said as he unwrapped it and popped it in his mouth.

As Joe stuck the wrapper in his lab coat’s pocket, Tom cocked his head and asked, “How spacious are those pockets, Joe?”

“A lot more so than they look,” he mumbled through a mouth full of peanut butter cup.

“Could we… give you our wrappers to hold onto until we get to a trash bin?”


“Great,” Tom replied before moving to the other side of Joe, putting Joe between him and Bill. Tom unwrapped some taffy and put the wrapper in Joe’s pocket before popping the taffy in his mouth and chewing it happily. With a shrug of his shoulders, Bill took out a mini chocolate bar and followed suit.

The three kept snacking happily on their candies as they went from house to house, filling up their bags even more with every visit. And no matter how much they ate, they never ran out. The spirit of the holiday was finally with them again, and they feasted on their candy gleefully between houses.

And the night only kept getting better as they went. At one particularly large house, the man who answered the door was so amused by seeing three adults out in costume that he gave them all several king-size packages of candy of their choosing. Bill got several king-size bars of chocolate, Joe got several packages of peanut butter cups that had four each, and Tom was lucky enough to walk away with several packages of licorice.

They each tore into one of their king-size packages as soon as they walked away from the house. As they did, two kids walking by saw the candy in their hands and their eyes grew wide. “See?” the girl said. “I told you this house gives out king size candy. Come on!” she shouted as she ran past the three, the boy with her following close behind.

With a chuckle, Bill reminisced, “Man, I remember the rumors about which houses would give out king size candy bars on Halloween.”

“Never did get around to seeing if they were true,” said Joe.

“I don’t think my parents would have let me,” said Tom.

“Well hey, we finally got them, after all these years,” proclaimed Bill as he held up the bar he was still eating.

“Yeah!” the other two said in unison as they kept snacking on theirs.

Before long, the three reached a garbage barrel, allowing Joe to dispose of the wrappers he, Tom, and Bill had been stuffing in his lab coat. As Joe inverted his coat’s left pocket to empty it into the barrel, he was surprised by how many wrappers fell. His right pocket yielded even more, since he’d been stuffing his own wrappers into that pocket along with Tom’s. When they were finally empty, the three looked in the barrel with awe at the layer of plastic and foil that now covered everything that was in there before.

“Man,” Joe observed.

“We sure went to town on that candy,” said Bill.

“I don’t know about you guys,” said Tom, “But my bag’s only been getting more full in spite of it.”

The three looked down and confirmed that, indeed, in spite of all their snacking, they all had about three times as much candy as they did when they first noticed how much they’d gotten. They all seemed shocked until Bill spoke up. “Well hey, that’s the point of the holiday, right? To eat an irresponsible amount of candy?”

“It is only once a year,” said Joe. “What’s the harm?”

“I mean, normal I’d say the harm is the headache,” said Tom. “But I’m feeling fine, surprisingly.”

“Me too,” said Bill. “I don’t think I’ve been able to eat that much sugar and feel fine since I was a kid.”

“I don’t think I was even able to eat that much candy as a kid,” said Tom.

“I could,” said Joe. “Definitely couldn’t since, until tonight.”

Bill looked at the other two with a smile. “Shall we continue, then?” And the three walked on to the next leg of their journey. Joe absentmindedly pulled his shirt down, not giving any thought to the fact that it didn’t cover his stomach with quite as much length to spare as it used to. Bill was just as unaware of his button-down shirt feeling tighter around his waist, the cloth around the buttons parting to make more room. And though Tom’s button down vest had more give than Bill’s shirt, it too now provided him less wiggle room.

The three fared just as well over the next leg of their journey, snacking on their candy along the way. Even Tom was now snacking on candies outside of his usual pallet, happily eating whatever he fished out of his steadily growing supply of sweets. All the while, the bulges in Joe’s pockets grew larger, as the bulges in their shirts were starting to match.

At one of the more notable houses on that leg of their journey, a woman answered the door surprised to see people in costume. “Oh no, is it already Halloween?” she asked. “Ah, I gotta be honest with you guys, we don’t get a lot of trick-or-treaters around here, and I forgot to buy candy this year.”

“Ah well, that’s alright,” said Bill.

“No, no, let me see what I have in here,” she insisted. “You dressed up so nicely. I don’t want to send you off empty handed,” she said before she ran off into the house. The three looked at each other and shrugged, agreeing to wait it out.

When she came back, she was holding a box of brown milk cartons. “Here,” she said. “Let me give you some of the chocolate milk I give our kids to take to school with them. Chocolate milk is sweet, right?”

“Oh, really, miss, it’s oka–”

“I insist,” she said, with an assertive kindness the three couldn’t turn down. “Take two, they’re small.” The three did as instructed and bid her good night. Soon after she closed the door, they saw the lights in the house turn off.

All three took one of the cartons of chocolate milk out of their bag. “Good timing,” said Bill. “I’m starting to get thirsty.”

The cartons were bigger than they remembered them being when they were kids. They must have held at least a cup each, though it was hard to read how much milk they held in the dark. “‘They’re small’, huh?” Tom said.

“Not complaining,” said Joe as he opened his carton and started gulping it down. The other three followed suit, finishing them quickly. Though it wasn’t as sweet as they remembered, they all enjoyed their blast from the past, as evidenced by the “Mmm”s. They found a garbage can right after the woman’s house, and tossed their cartons in it. Before they could walk off, Joe took the second chocolate milk out of his bag and started drinking it too.

“You going to drink that now, Joe?” asked Tom.

“Might as well, while we’re near a garbage can. That way I don’t have to carry it.”

Bill pursed his lips and nodded before taking his second carton out. With a shrug, Tom did the same. They all drank their second cartons more slowly than the first, feeling the pressure built up from the first carton and all the candy they’d eaten.

“Man, when was the last time you had chocolate milk?” asked Joe.

“Probably some birthday party,” said Tom. “My parents never let me have it at home. Said milk was supposed to be good for me.”

“I got it every once in awhile,” said Bill. “Always took some convincing on my part when my parents took me grocery shopping.”

“‘Convincing’, huh?”

“It’s a nice word for it.”

The other two chuckled at Bill as he took another sip. “Think about it, though. We could go out and buy this any time we want. We don’t need anyone’s permission now.”

“Now you’re speaking my language,” said Joe before he took a large gulp.

Before long, all three had finished their second chocolate milks and tossed those cartons too. Joe opened his labcoat to turn the pockets inside-out, producing a flood of wrappers even more voluminous than the first. This time, the group merely chuckled as they strolled along to start the final leg of their night.

Though Bill hadn’t noticed it, one of the buttons on his shirt had popped, allowing a bit of his swollen belly to peek through. Tom’s vest felt even tighter, and was riding higher up his stomach than it was before, giving him a more of a Benjamin Franklin look. As for Joe, his shirt had ridden up past his beltline with no hope of covering his stomach, exposing a stripe of skin below his belly button. But the three still strolled on, too caught up in the spirit of the holiday to notice their shrinking wardrobes, let alone stop now.

As the three continued, they found just as much success as before. As they departed from the last garbage can, their pillowcases were all well over halfway full. Even as they kept snacking, their bags kept filling up. If anything, that part of their journey proved particularly fruitful, as they visited houses on less-traveled roads that were desperate to get rid of the candy they had left.

As a result, the candy accumulated much faster than the three could eat it, in spite of how much they were eating. And it seemed to be starting to catch up with them, as they walked more slowly down this last stretch of their journey. There was a stumble in their walk, a hobble as they tried to maneuver their bloated bodies. Whether it was due to how much sugar they’d eaten, or how blown out their stomachs were, they didn’t bother to guess.

As they rounded the corner to Bill’s house, Bill eyed one house in particular. “I know the woman who lives there. Name’s Carol. We should go see her. I bet she’ll get a kick out of seeing us like this.”

The three stumbled up to the door before Bill rang the doorbell. After some time, a woman in pajamas answered.

“Trick or treat!”

“Bill? Holy shit, dude,” she laughed. “You’re really out trick-or-treating?”

“You bet! These are my friends, Tom and Joe.”


“How do you do?”

“Man, and you three even dressed up,” she marveled. After looking down toward their stomachs with a pause, she looked back up with a smirk. “I take it you boys have been enjoying your Halloween?”

“Sure have!” Joe answered with a slurred sort of jubilation.

“Great, great. Uh, listen, I’m afraid we’ve already given out all our candy–”

“Ah, Carol, you’re killing me here,” Bill said with an exaggerated tone a disappointment.

But,” she continued, “I do have something else you might like. There was this event at work, and long story short, I walked away with a pumpkin pie. Problem is, I don’t really like pumpkin pie, and neither does my wife. If you guys want it, it’s yours.”

With raised eyebrows, all three looked at each other and nodded. “Sure,” said Bill.

“Awesome. Give me a sec,” she said before heading into the kitchen. Soon after, she emerged with three paper plates, each topped with a slice of pumpkin pie that accounted for a third of the whole thing. “Here, thanks. You’re doing me a favor, really.”

“Talk about mutually beneficial,” said Tom as he took his slice in hand, his eyebrows raised high upon seeing the treat.

“Man, thanks, Carol,” said Bill.

“No prob,” she beamed. “You three enjoy your night.”

“We will, thank you!” said Joe before they turned to walk back to Bill’s place.

“Come on, let’s go back to my place to eat these.”

“Why wait?” Joe mumbled through a mouth full of pumpkin pie. In his left hand, he held the pillowcase closed by the top, looking like a sack of potatoes for how full it was. In his right hand, he held the slice of pie with his thumb as he pushed it past the edge of the plate and had taken a bite. Tom soon followed suit, eating the pie even more enthusiastically than Joe.

“You can eat it however you like,” said Bill with a mock sort of condescension. “I’ll eat it with a fork when I get home.” But as he listened to Joe and Tom saying “Mmm” as they ate their slices, he became impatient and started eating his too.

All three had wolfed their slices by the time they got back to Bill’s house. “Here, hand me your plates,” said Bill. “I’ll throw them away inside.” As he leaned ahead to reach for Joe’s plate, a second button popped off of his shirt. The smattering of body hair that adorned his swollen belly could be seen between the cloth.

“Ha! Been enjoying yourself, Bill?” Tom taunted.

“You’re one to talk,” Bill said with a smirk. “How’s that vest fitting?”

When Tom looked down, he saw that the buttons on his vest had all come undone. He could only barely button the top buttons, and there was no hope for the bottom. An impressive paunch, contained within a dress shirt that has fit loosely at the beginning of the night, jutted out in between the edges of the vest.

“Guess that makes three of us,” said Joe as he tried in vain to pull his shirt down. The bottom hem stubbornly stayed above his belly button, rising to an inch above it once he let go. His gut was extra round and firm, like it was the result of years of beer drinking, not a night of eating candy.

“Well hey, looks like we all had fun tonight,” said Bill as he gently rubbed his stomach. Patting their own, the other two chuckled and said, “Yep.”

“Alright, you two get home safe,” Bill said as he finally took their plates. “I’ll see you on Monday.”

“See you then,” said Tom.

“Adios,” said Joe.

Tom had the least eventful night of the three after they parted ways. A night like that was more excitement than he was used to, so when he got home, he put his bag of candy on the kitchen table, brushed his teeth thoroughly, disrobed, and collapsed into bed. His swollen paunch defied gravity once he landed, sticking out and up. It rose and fell with his heavy breathing as his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep.

Bill’s night didn’t end quite so quickly. When he got in the house, he threw away the paper plates and put his pillowcase down to separate the candy he wanted to keep from the candy he’d bring into work on Monday. He pulled out two gallon-size ziplock bags to sort the candy into, before realizing it wouldn’t all fit in them even if he split them evenly. His pillowcase had been filled nearly to the top, and he wasn’t sure what he had that could store that much candy.

Eventually, he settled on using two buckets, which he brought to the kitchen table and put next to his bag. Looking at the two buckets, he remembered trick-or-treating as a kid and wondered if he could find a marker around the house that he could wash off later. After fumbling through a drawer for a bit, he found a water-soluble black marker that looked like it would do the job. He brought it to the table and drew a Jack-o-lantern face on one of the buckets, smiling giddily when he finished. He knew he was being goofy, but he felt happy all the same.

After putting the marker away, Bill started pulling candy out of the bag. The ones he wanted to keep went in the Jack-o-lantern bucket. The ones he didn’t want went in the other bucket to be left in the office. As he dropped things like lollipops and things with nuts in them in the reject bucket, he reminded himself to find a more presentable container to bring into the office.

When Bill pulled out a mini chocolate bar, his eyes perked up and he unwrapped it to pop it in his mouth. At that, he started snacking again. About a third of the candy he pulled out ended up in the reject bucket, leaving a full two thirds he intended to eat. As such, he never found himself without something to snack on. If he didn’t pull a good piece of candy out soon enough after finishing another, he’d take one out of the bucket to eat.

Bill was nearing the bottom of the pillowcase when he heard a pop. A third button went flying off of his shirt and into the pile of plastic and foil wrappers that had now accumulated on the table, making a rustling noise. With a chuckle, he patted his belly, which now protruded noticeably over his beltline. He kept snacking as he finished sorting the candy, not dissuaded by ruining his shirt. What was another button when he’d already lost two?

Once all the candy was sorted, he sweeped the wrappers into the pillowcase to make them easier to throw away. As he walked toward to the trash bin, he found himself hobbling more slowly than he usually walked. His steps were belabored by the massive mound of candy now in his stomach, which swung side to side as he walked. He wasn’t used to carrying this much heft with him as he walked.

After he threw the wrappers away, he turned towards his bedroom with a sigh and got ready to tuck in for the night. After brushing his teeth attentively, he threw off the various parts of his costume and changed into a tee shirt and boxers to sleep. Even the loose-fitting shirts he liked to sleep in didn’t quite cover his belly all the way, letting a bit of his spherical gut peek out. He lay down with an “Oof” as his stomach was compressed before he lay on his back and let it push out. His stomach felt like a ball in front of him, but it was very much of part of him, sticking out stubbornly due to all of the candy inside of it. He rubbed it gently as his eyes closed and he fell into a deep sleep.

Joe, though, had the most eventful night of the three. After tasting chocolate milk for the first time in years and realizing he could buy it at any time, he wanted more. With his pillowcase full of candy in the well behind his seat, he drove to a supermarket on his way home to pick some up.

As excited as he was about the chocolate milk, Joe had completely forgotten that his shirt didn’t fit him anymore. Luckily for him, he get to the store late, and there weren’t many people walking the aisles. The few people he did run into complimented him on his costume, if they said anything at all. But thanks to milk being close to the entrance and the self-checkout, he was in and out in no time.

When Joe got home, he ditched his lab coat, wig, and goggles in the kitchen before heading to the living room. He brought his chocolate milk and pillowcase full of candy with him and plopped down on his couch. With the milk at his side, he looked into his bag and it hit him that it was full to the top. He’d finally fulfilled that childhood dream of his. A smile spread wide across his face as he pulled a peppermint patty out of the pillowcase. He turned the TV on and switched to a channel that was playing old B horror movies. It was a perfect way to end the night, so he settled in, pulled out a piece of candy, and kept the chocolate milk on hand.

Joe kept snacking on his candy and drinking his chocolate milk as the movie played. The pillowcase, stuffed as it was, emptied slower than he expected as he snacked. The milk disappeared much faster at first, but once he’d drunk about a third of the container, he had to slow it down to sips, caught off guard by how filling the milk was when he drank that much. But he kept snacking as the movie played on, for each sip and each piece of candy was so small that it never filled him up noticeably enough to make him think, “Maybe I should stop.”

So he didn’t. As the second B horror movie of the night came to its end, Joe pulled a king sized peanut butter cup that he’d been saving for last out of the pillowcase and ate it, chasing it with the last of the chocolate milk. He hadn’t expected to have the hulking peanut butter cup that night, but it made a great finale to his gorge.

Surrounding Joe was a mess of plastic wrappers and foil from devouring an entire pillowcase full of candy. It looked to Joe like there were more wrappers than could have possibly fit in the bag, but he chalked that to them being ripped open and thus taking up more space.

Looking down, Joe was greeted by a massive gut that dwarfed even the ball he’d grown while out walking. He tried to pull his shirt down and found it couldn’t cover even half of his belly. When he let it go, his shirt crept back up to bunch up just below his chest. Chocolate milk dripped down from the edges of his mouth to land on the collar of his tee.

He put his hands on his belly, surprised by how soon they hit his skin even though he could see how big his belly was. He rubbed his gut over and found his skin was taut. His scant body hair seemed to be standing on end, the follicles stretched straight up by the tension. When he extended his arms down, he found he couldn’t reach the bottom of his bulbous gut.

When Joe tried to lean forward to stand up, his stomach immediately protested and he had to lean back. He didn’t quite fall back, as he wasn’t able to lean forward far enough to put that much space between him and the couch. With a sigh, he relaxed back into the couch and turned the TV off. He rubbed his distended gut as his mouth opened and closed reflexively, like it was replicating all the swallowing he’d done that night. The sound of his tongue against the roof of his mouth provided the only soundtrack as he lay back on the couch, gently rubbing his gut. “Happy Halloween to me,” he said quietly, too full to speak much above a whisper, before he let his eyes close as he fell asleep.

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