The Prize-Winning Pumpkin

Originally posted November 20, 2016.
Contains: instant weight gain, forced weight gain, supernatural encouraging, entrapment.

It figures that I’d get all my ideas for Halloween-based weight gain stories after Halloween. But hey, inspiration is inspiration, regardless of when it hits. This is also almost certainly the longest story I’ve written, edited, and posted all in one day, taking about six hours for the whole process. But at nearly 5,000 words, I don’t think I can call this one “[quick]”, so even though I’ve used that label to refer to stories I’ve finished in one day, I’ll leave it off.

Synopsis: Adam is a hefty fellow who gets his belly painted to look like a Jack-o-lantern for a Halloween costume party, a party where he has a bit too much to drink. As he’s stumbling home, he decides to cut through the yard behind the abandoned shed to make his trip shorter. On his way through, he trips and falls in a bed of pumpkins, before having an encounter with the ghost of a woman who intends to grow a pumpkin big enough to win her a blue ribbon at the state fair. And she doesn’t seem to care whether that pumpkin is plant or paint.

It was the night before Halloween, and Adam’s roommate, Todd, was painting his belly for the costume party he was about to attend. As Todd painted a Jack-o-lantern’s face, he ran the brush across Adam’s ticklish stomach with slow strokes. This, combined with how cold the paint was, made Adam jerk his belly inward as Todd painted. “Stop doing that!” Todd yelled as he was trying to paint the smile.

“I can’t help it! Your brush tickles, and the paint is cold. Maybe we could microwave it?” Adam suggested, trying to be helpful.

“Nah, that’ll ruin the consistency. Just hold sti–goddammit Adam!” Todd yelped in half-sarcastic frustration.

“I’m sorry!”

It was a mildly frustrating experience for both of them, but Adam knew it would be worth it. After years of watching his skinny friends attend costume parties in skimpy costumes, he wanted in on that kind of fun. All he needed was a costume that could make people get on board with the idea, rather than tell him to put a shirt back on. And once he had the idea to attend the party as a pumpkin, he knew he had to do it.

Adam’s belly, round and at least 50% wider than it was tall, couldn’t get much closer to being the perfect shape for a pumpkin costume. The only way it could be a better fit was if he could somehow fashion some vertical grooves to go down his gut. However, Adam didn’t trust himself to be able to paint a decent Jack-o-lantern face on his own belly. Thankfully for him, Todd liked the idea enough that he agreed to do it.

Perhaps he was regretting it now. “Look, if you can’t keep your gut steady while I’m doing detail work, how do you expect to keep it still while I pull out the big brush to paint on the orange?”

“Hang on, I have an idea.” With a deep inhalation, Adam pushed out his gut as much as he could, tensing the muscles underneath. “How about that?” he asked in a strained voice.

“Looks like the prize-winning pumpkin at a state fair to me,” Todd replied snarkily before he resumed painting. When Adam felt the brush hit a blank patch of skin, he felt the impulse to jerk his belly back, but his taut muscles stayed firm. “How was that?”

“Better. I sure hope you can hold this pose for a while.”

After Todd finished the smile, it didn’t take long for him to outline the eyes and mouth with orange paint, or to fill in the rest of Adam’s belly. With some green paint, he added a stem on top as a finishing touch. Once Todd was done, Adam let out of a sigh of relief. The top of his belly descended as his muscles relaxed, but his gut remained pushed outward, much to his amusement.

“There. Should we do the vertical lines too?”

“Nah, you’ve suffered enough,” Adam chuckled as he patted Todd on the shoulder.

“Honestly, this is pretty great. I wish I could be there to see people’s reactions.”

“I’ll let you know how it goes,” Adam promised as he reached for a shirt.

“Woah!, woah!, you’re going to put on a shirt and ruin all my good work?”

“It’s a 4XL! Usually I wear three. I can’t very well walk to the party shirtless.”

“Mmm… alright, but at least wait for the paint to dry.”

Though it was a brisk October night, Adam went out in just his tee shirt and a tan pair of shorts, trusting his newly-decorated bulk to keep him warm. The night air felt cool on his bare arms and legs, but once he got moving, he built up enough body heat to carry him through the five-minute walk to Jason’s house.

Adam briefly considered cutting through his neighbor’s yard and the yard of the abandoned shack to cut down on walking time. But for as reasonable as Adam considered himself to be, even he couldn’t shake the suspicion that something wasn’t quite right about that place. As he walked past it, he looked through the windows and saw only darkness. Looking in the back yard, he saw wild pumpkins growing along scraggly vines, a surprisingly unsettling sight even at this time of year. With a shake of his head, he kept up the pace and walked on.

As Jason’s house came into view, Adam reached down and gingerly lifted up his shirt, not wanting to ruin Todd’s hard work. With a sigh of relief, he pulled his shirt off of his head and stuck it in one of his side pockets, letting it hang out like a dishwasher’s rag. If anything, he felt it added to the look. It made a statement that he could put his shirt on if he wanted to, but he didn’t want to, and the other partygoers were going to have to deal with that.

Adam could hear the percussion of the music quietly thumping from Jason’s house as he approached. He’d arrived on the earlier side, and didn’t spot anyone else as he made his way to the door. Once he opened it, he leaned his head in and saw a few folks standing at the base of the stairwell in the foyer, with a few other small groups scattered throughout the adjacent rooms. The music played loud enough to hear over the conversations, but not so loudly as to drown them out.

The overall mood still seemed mellow, but that changed once Adam walked in. Once the group by the stairs could see his full costume, the man dressed in a gender-bent skimpy cat costume looked at Adam with wide eyes and mouth agape. “Dude!” he shouted as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe looked toward Adam and all three started smiling from ear to ear. “That is awesome!”

“Thanks,” Adam replied cooly as he sauntered in, emphasizing his gut’s side-to-side sway. If his thighs weren’t so thiick, he would have walked with one foot in front of the other like a runway model.

“I’m jealous,” Chaplin chimed in. “I could never do something like that.”

“Hey, maybe one day,” Adam said with a smile, coaxing a chuckle out of the three.

“Adam!” he heard Jason call out from the dining room. “Holy shit, dude, that is awesome!”

“Aw, this old thing?” Adam replied facetiously.

“Did you do that yourself?”

“Nah, my roommate did it, bless his heart,” he replied, to the amusement of the other guests. With a grin, Adam puffed his belly out again and rotated it left and right. “I think he did a pretty good job.”

“Definitely. So, pumpkin king, how do you feel about cannibalism?”

“I… what?”

“Just hear me out on this. We got some pumpkin beer in the kitchen. I know that sounds a bit odd, but I think you’d really like it.”

“Hey, I’ll give it a try.”

“Cool! Come on, I’ll get you a bottle. Just don’t knock anything over with that prize-winning gourd of yours,” he joked.

Predictably, Adam loved the pumpkin beer, and lost count of how many bottles of it he drank over the course of the night. In between the seasonal beer, the candy, the company, and the number of people who complimented his costume, it turned out to be a great night, one Adam was sorry had to end as he started the walk back.

Remarkably, the pumpkin painted on his stomach had remained largely intact throughout the festivities. It still bore the Jack-o-lantern’s face as Adam stumbled back to his apartment, drunk off of one too many pumpkin beers. He’d told himself he’d stop when he felt buzzed, but the hint of sweetness provided by the pumpkin flavor made the beers too difficult to say no to. But he’d gotten home in worse states before; he hadn’t even thrown up that night. He was confident he could handle a five-minute walk.

As Adam walked past the abandoned shack again, he gave it a pensive look and wondered why he was as suspicious about it as everyone else. He didn’t believe in ghosts, and the shack had been uninhabited for as long as he’d lived there. If he took a shortcut through the yard, he could cut a whole block off of his walk. When it was as cold outside as it was that night, that was a very appealing thing to do. With a smirk, he turned toward the shack and walked past it into the back yard.

The overgrown, unkempt lawn of the abandoned property proved to be more difficult to navigate than Adam anticipated, but he made his way through the scraggly grass. The pumpkins proved more of a challenge, with Adam nearly tripping on the vines a few times. Midway through the patch, his leg caught a vine again and he wasn’t able to catch himself, and he fell on his side. “I’m alright, I’m alright,” he slurred toward no one in particular, thankful to have not fallen on any of the pumpkins themselves. With a grunt and a push, he took a sitting position and decided to stay there for a bit to get his bearings again.

Looking around him, Adam saw that the pumpkins in his vicinity seemed healthier and more full-bodied than the ones he’d spotted from the road. They looked like someone had been tending to them, although he wasn’t sure who would be doing the tending. Looking farther up, he was surprised to see that even the pumpkins he’d walked past earlier looked better now than they did before. Did beer goggles apply to pumpkins too? Adam tittered and shook his head side-to-side at the question.

But even with the pumpkins looking better now than they did before, Adam drunkenly told himself that he was the biggest and bestest pumpkin there. With a proud smile, he straightened out his back and puffed out his gut, asserting his dominance over the lowly gourds. “Bow to your leader, oh tiny ones,” he said in a low voice before giggling in a higher pitch.

But Adam’s laugh wasn’t the only noise he heard in the yard. With wide eyes, he closed his mouth to listen more intently, and soon he could distinctly make out the sound of a woman humming. And she sounded like she was close.

Looking toward the source of the noise, Adam saw the figure of a woman in a long, old-fashioned blue dress walking toward him on his right. In fact, everything about her was of a blue hue, translucent, and just luminescent enough for him to make her out in the darkness. Her hair was tied up in a bun which he caught a glimpse of as she turned her head to look over the pumpkins. “Oh, they’re coming in lovely this year. So round and healthy. Especially this one,” she said as she looked toward Adam.

Adam was too shocked to say anything, let alone move from the spot. With eyes wide open and mouth agape, he watched the woman take a cloth measuring tape out of her pocket and stretch it out. Soon he found it wrapped around his stomach, not passing through him the way he expected the ghostly tool would. As she stretched the tape around him, he felt her phantasmal hands come to rest coolly over the surface of his belly. Even through the body paint, he could feel the light layer of moisture left by her touch as she pulled the end of the measuring tape tight.

“57 inches. Mmm, yes, coming along quite nicely. Still, perhaps a little bit of fertilizer to help the process along. 57 inches isn’t quite blue ribbon size yet.” With that, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a small burlap bag. After opening it, she reached in and pulled out a handful of soil, which was glowing just like her. Though she tossed it in Adam’s direction, he couldn’t feel any of it land on him, nor could he feel it when she pulled a watering can out of the tall grass around him and watered the area where he was sitting. “There, that’ll help you grow nice and robust. Oh, we’re going to have such a good showing at this year’s fair,” the ghost enthused. With a smile, she turned away from Adam and walked back toward the house.

Adam certainly felt sobered up by his spectral encounter, though he wasn’t sure how to explain it other than him being so drunk that he’d started seeing things. Either way, he was sure that he’d seen enough. With his hand pressed down on the ground, he pushed himself up… only to feel himself immediately get pulled down again.

After he landed with an, “Oof,” Adam put his hands on his legs and felt that they’d somehow become tangled in the vines. He wasn’t sure how, as he hadn’t moved since his fall, and he knew vines didn’t grow that fast. But as he felt over his lower body, it was clear that he’d somehow become hopelessly entangled in the pumpkin plants around him. His legs could barely bend from their position sticking out in front of him, and his hips couldn’t move around at all. It was like he was now part of the plant itself, another growth like the pumpkins, and just as helpless to free himself.

As Adam considered his predicament, he felt a strange sensation in his stomach. “Great,” he grumbled. “Now I’m going to throw up too?” He put his hands on top of his belly, thinking that if he rubbed it, he might be able to sooth what he thought was intestinal distress. But to his surprise, he felt his gut push back against his hand. He thought it was bloat at first, but as he looked down, he saw it wasn’t just his intestine that was bulging out.

In the light of the moon and the dim smatterings of streetlights that made it as far as where Adam was sitting, he saw his belly growing outward. The front and the sides all swelled outward, maintaining their rounded shape as they ballooned. The top of his stomach bulged up too, growing skyward when his legs prevented it from sagging down. The growth was slow but steady, like a time lapse of a pumpkin growing to maturity. But it was happening right in front of Adam’s eyes in real time.

When the growing stopped, Adam’s gut had swelled out about two inches to either side and three in front of him. He breathed heavily, not sure whether it was from nervousness or because growing a gut like that was hard work. With his legs out of commission, he tried leaning side to side and found his new heft gave him a lot more inertia as he tried to move. Attempting to lean forward, he found his gut rolled farther down his legs than he was used to. He thought it felt like it was approach his knees.

Adam gave his belly a nervous pat, still not feeling like this new growth could be real. But as his hand came to rest of his stomach sooner that he expected, he was forced to accept that it was very much real. Remarkably, his body paint didn’t feel cracked or chipped beneath his hand. In spite of having more surface to cover than it did when it was painted on, the paint still felt smooth under Adam’s touch. Additionally, his touch revealed a divot that ran vertically along the center of his belly, from the top to as far down as he could reach. He’d only ever seen that line on strongmen who had a lot of both muscle and fat, and yet now he had one.

As Adam was feeling over his newfound heft, he saw the ghostly figure walking toward him again with a smile on her face. This time, she didn’t look at any of the pumpkins; just him. “Oh splendid! It’s coming along just great.” Adam sat motionless as the woman pulled out her measuring tape and wrapped it around his swollen belly again. “70 inches!” she enthused. “At this rate, we just might break the record we set last year. Oh I can’t wait until the judges see this!”

As the woman pocketed the measuring tape, Adam struggled against the vines around him, trying to move from his spot. But they held fast, tying him down and ensuring he couldn’t go anywhere. The spectre didn’t seem at all perturbed that her prize pumpkin was moving. She merely reached in her pocket for her bag of fertilizer, sprinkled a healthy handful of it over the patch, and watered the area again, before turning back to her house. As she walked away, Adam leaned back with his arms splayed out behind him, propping him up. He breathed heavily from trying in vain to move, his exhaustion soon turning to panic as he realized what was going to happen next.

With Adam anxiously looking down at his belly, he noticed the growth start soon after the strange sensation in his stomach returned. He watched tensely as more of his legs slowly disappeared under the advancing front of fat. Soon he felt his hands slip on the moist dirt underneath him, and he came crashing on the ground. He tried to sit up again, to maintain at least that much control of his position, but he couldn’t make his newfound girth budge. When he tried to bend upward, it pushed back even harder. So he fell back with a sigh as his belly kept swelling outward.

With Adam’s head propped up by the vines, he could do naught but watch as his rounded gut grew higher and higher in front of him. The stars in the night sky disappeared and reappeared behind the ebbing and waning of his belly, fluctuating with his heavy breathing, before they vanished entirely behind the shadow of his growing mound.

When the strange sensation in Adam’s stomach dissipated, he held his breath to see if his belly would expand outward anymore. The stars in front of him remained in his view, and he let out a sigh, relieved that, at the very least, his latest growth spurt was over.

Once Adam’s breathing had leveled out, he tiredly lobbed his hands on his belly to get a feel for the damage. Once they met the sides of his flab, he felt like they were a yard apart, and looking down confirmed that suspicion. In spite of him lying on his back, his gut still stuck out stubbornly toward the sky, putting up quite the fight against gravity’s pull. It rose and fell gently with his tired breath, but maintained an impressive bulk.

Looking down farther, Adam could just make out the stem Todd had painted on his chest earlier. It felt like insult added to injury now. He could also see that the surface of the paint was somehow still smooth and still covered his belly entirely, even with the canvas having grown so much. It didn’t make sense to Adam, but it was also the least unusual thing about that night.

“Oh, what a lovely pumpkin!” Adam heard the familiar voice say, prompting him to groan. “Don’t you think, Herald?”

“This’ll knock the socks off of those judges for sure. You’ve really outdone yourself, Gertrude.”

“I give all the credit to the pumpkin personally,” she beamed. Adam gave a half-hearted smile at the dubious praise.

“Well, it certainly wouldn’t have gotten this big without your love and care. Now, whaddaya say we get this big boy on the cart?”


At that, Adam heard the sound of clippers being clipped together. After a brief moment of panic, he heard the clips at ground level, and the tension of the vines on his legs was released bit by bit. He laid still, not sure what else he could do, but feeling some relief that it seemed he was finally being freed.

After the last clipping sound, Adam felt two ghostly arms on his back, leaving the same residual moisture left when the woman measured his stomach. “Oh Herald, shouldn’t we get one of the boys to help?”

“I got it,” Herald grunted before, against all odds, Adam felt himself lifted from the ground beneath him. After a final grunt from the man, Adam found himself placed in a spectral wheelbarrow. Sitting up, he could finally see the woman’s husband. Like his wife, he looked to be on the lower end of middle age and had a translucent, blue glow. He wore overalls over a plain shirt, and his skin was pockmarked by a life of hard work.

“Oh, let me measure it before we load it up,” the woman insisted. As her cool hands wrapped the measuring tape around Adam’s waist again, he leaned his head back, wishing he didn’t have to hear the measurement. “83 inches! Eighty-three, Herald! That’s two more than last year’s!”

“That’s my girl,” the man responded proudly before he picked up the wheelbarrow’s handles. When he did, Adam’s read end slid down to the wheelbarrow, and he found himself lying in it with his legs bent over the front edge. At that point, he was too exhausted to struggle any more, so he lay back and accepted fate. All he could see in front of him was his bulbous belly bulging out to take up most of his field of view and the night sky above. Even the stars soon faded out of sight as Adam felt steadily more tired. The wheelbarrow swayed back and forth as the ghost pushed it, rocking Adam to sleep. Soon he let his eyes close and finally succumbed to his exhaustion.

When Adam opened his eyes, it took him a moment to realize he was waking up in his own living room. He was so used to seeing his bedroom around him first thing in the morning that it didn’t register as a familiar environment at first. As the events of the previous night came back to him, he strained his head to look down and saw that his gut was no longer swelled out comically like it had been the night before. With a sigh of relief, he leaned his head back on the couch pillow, ready to doze off a while longer.

“Woah, dude. What happened to you?”

Adam opened his eyes to see Todd standing over him with a concerned look. “What do you mean?”

“I mean… you came back around 1:00 AM, you seem to have forgotten your shirt, and you fell asleep on the couch instead of your own bed. Far be it from me to tell you how to live your life; I just don’t think I’ve ever seen you party that hard.”

At the very least, that was a more tame description of Adam’s current state than he expected, given the encounter in pumpkin patch. “Sorry for waking you,” Adam grumbled before turning his head down, away from the light. Now that he’d woken up more, he could feel a splitting headache that was not going to get any better as he became more alert.

“Nah, dude, don’t worry. I only heard you come back because I was awake anyway, and you just stumbled in and passed out on the couch.”

As Todd explained himself, Adam felt around under his right leg and was thankful to find his shirt still hanging out of his pocket, merely hidden by his belly. “Here’s the solution to your other mystery.”

“Ha, okay, well… Is that… pumpkin on your stomach?”

Adam’s breath froze. After a pause, he let out a long, exasperated sigh. “Probably. Drunk me decided it would be a great idea to cut through the yard behind the abandoned shack and save some time. There were wild pumpkins back there. I tripped. It wasn’t fun.” He decided to leave it at that, thinking Todd didn’t have to know about Gertrude and Herald and the fertilizer and all that. At that point, even Adam didn’t know what had happened. Was it a dream? A drunk hallucination? Some assholes playing a prank of some kind? A combination of them? Adam didn’t know, and as long as he didn’t know, he reasoned Todd didn’t need to know either.

“Well… at least you made it back. You have work today?”

“No, thank god.”

“Mmm, good.” Todd was quiet a while long, though Adam didn’t hear footsteps to indicate he was going anywhere. “Did, uh… did people like your costume?”

“Oh yeah,” Adam replied, trying to sound as enthusiastic as he could with his face still in the pillow. “Yeah, it was great. They loved it.”

“Cool… alright, well… I’ll, uh… I’ll see you later,” Todd eventually stammered out before Adam heard him walk to the door, open it slowly, close it behind him, and leave.

Once Adam felt ready to get up, he pushed himself into a sitting position before slowly rising from the couch. Hunched over and with eyes only half-open, he hobbled into the bathroom to look at himself. The Jack-o-lantern painted on his stomach was mostly smudged and faded, with the unblemished paint having cracked. Adam took the bigger pieces of pumpkin he could find on his body and tossed them in the trash, before he dropped his shorts and underwear and started the shower.

When the water felt warm, Adam stepped inside. He leaned his head back as the water hit his chest and flowed down his body. With a palpable relief, he felt the dried paint and the crusty pumpkin remains wash off his skin, with more of it flowing once he started rubbing his belly. Looking down, he saw that the water had an orange coloration as it flowed down the drain. It was like he washed himself clean of the night before.

After Adam finished his shower, he picked his clothes up off the floor by hooking his feet in them and tossing them up before grabbing them out of the air. Leaning out of the doorway, he shouted out, “You home, Todd?” When he heard no response, he strode through the living room to his bedroom, not bothering to wrap himself with a towel. He was now more aware of how his belly bounced as he walked, but that just made him more grateful that it was no longer 83 inches around.

Adam walked into his bedroom and tossed his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. Usually he wore one pair of shorts between laundry loads, but he wasn’t going to risk wearing a pair that smelled like pumpkin. He went through his draws to pick out an outfit for the day, pulling out a green tee shirt, a pair of pants, and some underwear and socks. He started to get dressed, hoping to go out and still make something of the day in spite of his hangover.

But when Adam tried to button his pants, he couldn’t pull the button and the hole together. He knew those pants fit him before, which made him pull even more forcefully to try to button them. But all his efforts couldn’t bring the two corners together.

Looking up to his full-length mirror, Adam saw that his shirt didn’t quite fit either. He knew the shirt had fit him before too, but now its bottom hem had ridden up to show the bottom lobes of his belly. The shirt itself wrapped tightly around Adam’s gut before a little bit of it hung off cylindrically, the bottom hem not quite as wide around as his belly.

Adam thought it might have just been a fluke, but all his other clothes fit similarly. Only a pair of sweatpants and the 4XL he’d worn the night before fit comfortably now. He shed the shirt to look at himself more closely in the mirror. He didn’t think his gut had grown any bigger, but after the previous night, any growth that wasn’t measured in a double digit number of inches probably wouldn’t even register.

After putting the 4XL back on, Adam walked back out into the apartment. He riffled through the kitchen draws until he found a metal tape measure. With some difficulty, he wrapped the tape measure around his waist, pinched it where the end met the tape again, and pulled it up to look at it. Beyond the edge of his thumb was a big black numeral “59”.

Adam stood still as he looked at the tape measure with weary eyes. With a long exhalation, he let it retract and tossed it back in the drawer. “Better than 83,” he sighed.

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