The Slime in the Cave Back Home

Originally published June 15, 2016.
Contains: sentient slime, inflation, long-term weight gain.

Inflation via sentient slime is a theme I’ve seen in a fair amount of visual art, and it’s one that definitely appeals to my fascination with gaining and guys generally growing more rotund. Naturally, I wanted to try portraying it in my writing. But slime inflation is usually portrayed as a single image, rarely as a scene, and just about never as a story, making it better suited for a visual medium than a written one. That left me with a challenge: how do I write a compelling story about slime inflation, without it feeling like any non-inflation scenes are just filler?

The answer came in addressing another personal obstacle, which was that most slime inflation in art seems to happen against the subject’s will. To each their own, but I can’t get into erotic stories, including gaining and inflation stories, where what’s happening isn’t consensual. (Though I can sometimes make an exception if a character willing but unknowingly got himself into the circumstances that make him gain weight.) So I was faced with the question: how do I make a character willingly put himself in a situation where he gets inflated by sentient slime? In answering that, I found my narrative, and this story is the result. I’m pretty happy with how I addressed both questions, and I hope you are too.

Synopsis: Young Timmy lives with parents who fight regularly, and takes shelter in his back yard when they do. One day, he stumbles upon a cave on the far end of their property, where he finds a pool of thick, sweet-tasting slime. The cave becomes a haven for him when home gets to be too much to bear, and the slime becomes a comforting snack… until his parents catch him there after an ill-conceived swim and forbid him from entering the cave again. And he doesn’t, until 15 years later, when he’s grown up and moved back in the house after his parents have moved out. While living in a house of bad memories, as his parents’ relationship continues to take a toll on him, the cave and the pool become a haven yet again, the only place left with good memories. It isn’t long until he starts falling into old habits and eating the slime, more voraciously than he did as a kid. But the more he comes back to the pool, the more he puts on weight from all the slime he’s eating, and the more he discovers that the pool might not be so placid as it seems…

Eleven-year-old Timmy didn’t have a great home life. His parents fought constantly over things his young mind couldn’t understand, and as children are liable to do, he assumed he was the cause. So when his parents argued, he ran out of the house to go play in the back yard, thinking that if he left, things would get better. He usually stayed out until his parents called him back in, after they were done fighting. In his mind, this only proved that he made things better when he left.

Timmy’s family didn’t have a big house, but what they lacked in house size, they made up for in yard size. Richardson was the kind of out-of-the-way town where the houses were far apart and a property with a big yard was within most homeowners’ means, giving Timmy a lot to explore. There was a big tree with a tire swing hanging from it and a tree house his dad had built for him when he was younger. Farther out, a collection of large boulders gave him mountains to conquer when he needed to feel triumphant. Even farther out was a cliff face that ran along the back side of the property. He had dreams of climbing it one day, but getting out there was a hike on its own, let alone getting up it.

It was one night when his parents had gotten into a particularly bad fight that he found the cave. With plenty of time to kill, Timmy wandered along the cliff, scouting for a section that would be easier to climb when he finally felt ready. As he walked to the far corner of the property, he walked around a portion of the cliff that jutted out, and behind it, he found the mouth of a cave. The entrance looked gigantic to his young eyes, and enough light shone in that he could see that it looked traversable. The floor sloped down steadily as it went on out of sight, and though he couldn’t see how far the cave went, he wanted to find out.

Timmy put it in the back of his mind for that night. He’d read a book at school about caves and the people who explored them–splunkers, he was pretty sure they were called–and he knew he’d at least need a flashlight. For the night, he walked along the cliff face some more until he felt comfortable walking home.

The next night, Timmy prepared for another trip. He brought a flashlight, some glow sticks he’d brought home from a school event as a backup light source, his bike helmet, and a length of string, not having access to any rope. That was everything he needed, he thought. As he ran through the living room, his dad asked him, “Where are you going with all that?”

“I’m going to explore the cave!” Timmy answered excitedly.

“Oh… okay, have fun, kiddo.”

With his dad’s blessing, Timmy ran out and made a beeline for the far corner of the yard

Looking up from his newspaper, Timmy’s dad looked to Timmy’s mom and remarked, “We don’t have a cave anywhere around here.”

“He’s probably just playing pretend,” she said, prompting a “Hmm” out of his dad before he went back to reading the paper.

When Timmy got to the cave, he put on his helmet and pulled out the string to wrap it around his shoulder, just like the splunkers in the book. He flicked the flashlight on and aimed it inside. The cave extended back linearly into the cliff, maintaining a fairly consistent height and width as it twisted its way down. Timmy expected more stalactites and stalagmites from what he’d seen in the book, but he pressed on, hoping to find more inside.

Occasionally Timmy had to sit down to safely hop down a ledge, but the cave proved remarkably traversable for a child his age. His only major obstacle was that the cave floor became progressively wetter, and thus more slippery, as he got deeper into the cave. He hugged the walls as he walked, ready to catch himself should he slip.

Before long, Timmy reached the end of the cave. The walls were cracked with crevices too thin for him to see into, out of which seeped a green liquid that pooled into a what he thought was was some kind of lake. Approaching the shore with wonder, he kneeled down to look more closely at the substance. It reminded him of jello, and thus he did what any reasonable child would have done: he dipped his finger in to taste it.

The slime had a viscous consistency like jello, but it flowed around Timmy’s finger, like molasses, rather than fragmenting and breaking the way jello did. When he licked his finger, it tasted sweet, though a bit like that leaf he’d eaten that one time. But the sweetness more than made up for it, and he dug his hand it to pull up a handful. Though it started to flow out of his hand as soon as he’d picked it up, it was viscous enough for him to take several sips before it fell out. It felt strange between his teeth, feeling like he had to chew it to swallow it, even though it moved like a liquid.

After nibbling on a few more handfuls, Timmy decided he should head back before his parents started to wonder where he was. He rubbed his hand on the “shore” of the lake to get as much of the goo off as possible, licking the rest off his hand as he made his way back. The trek out of the cave felt a lot shorter than the trip in, and before long he was running back home for dinner. He decided to keep his find a secret from his parents, since his mom alway told him not to eat sweets before dinner, or he’ll ruin his appetite.

When Timmy got back in, he went toward the bathroom to wash his hands. “How was the cave, kiddo?” his dad asked.

“Um, fine.”

“Did you find anything cool?”


“Well, that’s a shame.”

Timmy strolled on, trying to look innocent until he got out of his parents’ eyesight, when he ran to use the bathroom.

“You know,” his dad whispered to his mom, “You’d think if the cave were imaginary, he’d find plenty of cool stuff in there.”

“Maybe he just doesn’t want to share it with us.”

“Wonder where he learned that from.”

“Oh don’t start, Harold,” his mom said sternly, looking her husband in the eyes over her glasses. “He’s already home. Do you want to make him run away again?”

Without looking at his wife, his dad got up and stated, “I’m going to go make dinner.”

The next night, Timmy was in his room when he heard his parents start to argue again. He instinctively got up to run outside, but before he reached his bedroom door, he ran back to grab his flashlight before running out toward the yard. He didn’t run to the cave so enthusiastically this time. It was hard to be enthusiastic when he was going out of shame of making his parents fight, rather than for the thrill of exploration. But if anything could make him feel better, it was having something sweet to eat.

Now that Timmy was more familiar with the layout of the cave, it didn’t take him long to get to the lake of slime. He immediately leaned down and grabbed a handful of the goo to stuff his face with, and upon tasting the sweet substance, he felt much better. One handful disappeared down his mouth, then another, then a third. At that, he felt satisfied, and sat on the shore to lick his hand clean and look around until he felt comfortable going back.

The ceiling of the cave was especially high in this end portion where the pool lay. Looking up, Timmy could see several large stalactites hanging from the ceiling above the pool, much larger than any he’d seen in the rest of the cave. Knowing how they were formed, he deduced they’d made no stalagmites because any water that fell from them would fall into the pool, where it mixed in before it could make a stalagmite.

When Timmy felt comfortable going back home, he got up and licked his lips, realizing he had to wipe his face too to remove all visible evidence of the slime. He used his free hand to do just that as he made his way out.

That day set the tone for many of Timmy’s self-imposed exiles when his parents fought. Though he still occasionally ran away to his treehouse or the boulders, he found himself going to the cave more and more as time passed. The treehouse and boulders didn’t have free snacks, after all.

More than that, being alone in the cave felt different from anything else he did to distract himself from what was happening back home. In the cave, he could sit where he couldn’t even see the house, letting him truly put it out of his mind. Sometimes he’d turn the flashlight off, immersing himself in such utter darkness that he couldn’t even see his hand in front of him. When he did that, the goo tasted especially sweet.

But Timmy’s parents not being able to see him while he was in the cave eventually caught up with him. One evening, his parents had gotten into a particularly bad fight, and he ate five handfuls of the slime. The slime had become such a source of comfort that Timmy wanted to do more than just eat it, especially now, when he was so stressed out. So on that night, he took off his shoes and socks, left them on the shore along with his still-lit flashlight, and walked into the pool.

The goo felt squishy under his feet, and he had to walk extra slowly to drag them through the viscous lake. But as he stood ankle deep in it, he felt a certain sense of security, compounded by the thrill of feeling almost “stuck”. He waded deeper, enjoying the resistance of the slime against his steps, but upon stepping the wrong way on the pool’s floor, he slipped back and fell.

The slime didn’t so much splash as cushion Timmy’s fall, something he was thankful for. Though he could still move in the goo, it resisted his attempts to pull himself out, something he found even more thrilling now that he was sitting in it. With his hands now dirty again, he saw no problem with taking another handful of the slime and stuffing it in his mouth, getting it all over his face in the process.

Before long, he heard his parents calling his name. Without thinking, Timmy called out, “I’m in here!” to them, his voice echoing against the cave wall. Soon he heard his dad’s voice echo back, “Wha–there’s actually a cave?” Soon after he called out, “Timmy, come out here now!”

Timmy sighed at his escape having to end so soon and pushed himself out of the slime, which squelched beneath his as he did. Once he got to the shore, he realized with horror that he wouldn’t be able to clean up quickly enough to get out to his parents. “I-in a minute!” he shouted out.

“Right now, mister,” he heard his mom yell, before his dad said, “Come on. If he got in here, we can too.”

Timmy stood mortified, with nowhere to hide in the open space of the cave. It took his parents much less time to make their way down there than it took him. He soon saw their flashlights shining from around the last corner.

“Timothy! What have you done!” his mother shrieked.

“Christ, Tim, what were you thinking?”

“And you ruined your pants, too.”

“If that sh–stuff doesn’t come out in the wash, you’re in big trouble, mister.”

“He’s in big trouble either way,” his mom added with a huff. “God–come on, Timmy.”

“But my shoes!”

“Harold, grab his shoes.” With Timmy’s arm in hand, she pulled him out of the cave, speaking to him with a deadly quietness “When we get back to the house, you are taking a long bath to get this… whatever it is… to get yourself clean. If you ever come back to this cave again, you’ll be grounded for a month.” At that, she stopped and turned her flashlight on Timmy. “Do you under–oh, fantastic, you ate it, too. Now we have to make an appointment with Doctor Schultz to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’ll be okay, mom. It’s okay to eat.”

“You don’t know that, mister. God, who knows what could be in there?”

“But I’ve been eating it.”


“These past few weeks. And I’ve been okay”

Timmy’s mom was frozen in place, as was his dad, who had just caught up to them, with Timmy’s shoes and flashlight in hand. “The only reason you’re not going to go without dinner tonight,” she said slowly and deliberately, “is because some real food will help your body get rid of that stuff.” She grabbed his arm again and marched on, approaching the mouth of the cave. “From now on, when you play in the yard, you play where we can see you. Do you understand?”

“Yes, mom.”

And Timmy obeyed his mother’s words. As comforting as the cave had been, the idea of being grounded and now allowed to run out of the house when his parents fought was even worse. So he kept to the treehouse and tire swing, afraid to even venture out to the boulders until a few months had passed. Though his parents eventually forgot about the incident in the cave, it stayed with Timmy, and he didn’t venture near the cave again for a long, long time…

It was 15 years later. Tim had graduated from a respectable state school nearby with a degree in finance. Though he would visit his parents during his college years to keep the peace, he never stayed with them long-term again, choosing to stay in his apartment during the summer and winter breaks. He moved out of his cramped, dorm-like apartment into a proper one after lucking out with a job after college. The only problem was that his commute ran right through Richardson, and his parents used this to guilt him for not visiting more often when they were right on the way home.

That was, until the divorce. Tim’s mom moved out of the house with his help, and without her income to supplement his, his dad couldn’t afford to live there any longer. But Tim’s finance job meant he could afford to keep paying the mortgage on the small house, and his dad insisted it stay in the family instead of being sold to someone else. Though Tim wasn’t wild about the idea of moving back into his childhood home, it would cut his commute down from 45 minutes to 10. He couldn’t easily justify not making the move.

So Tim’s mom and dad went their separate ways, getting their own apartments and leaving Tim living alone in the house of bad memories. He certainly tried to make the best of it. Rather than sleep in his childhood room or his parents’ bedroom, he turned his dad’s study into a bedroom, moved the study furniture into his childhood bedroom, and turned his parents’ old bedroom into a guest room. With his mom’s and dad’s decorations gone, he was free to redecorate the place to fit his sensibilities. He installed an AC unit in his new bedroom, a luxury that went a long way toward making the place feel less like his childhood home and more like his own.

But he could never quite get rid of the atmosphere, something intangible that he imagined would stay with the house no matter what he did. He hoped that, with time, that aura would dissipate and the house would feel like his own. In the meantime, he didn’t much look forward to going home at the end of the day.

During his first weekend living in the house, Tim took a stroll in the backyard, a place he hadn’t explored much since middle school, when he graduated from playing outside to playing video games. It didn’t quite live up to his memories of it, not that he expected it to. The old treehouse looked dilapidated and sad, like he would plummet through the floor if he climbed into in. The old tire swing didn’t look much better, and he didn’t want to risk seeing whether it could hold all his adult weight. The rocks farther out that once gave him mountains to conquer now made seats that he could sit on with ease. He looked at the cliff face in the back, which no longer looked so high up, and sighed, knowing that with a quick drive across town and back, he could easily get to the top. And he knew there wouldn’t be much waiting for him there, just some woods that provided a buffer between the cliff edge and more properties.

As he walked back to the house, he briefly remembered the cave, before deciding not to go back to it. The memory of that last excursion had left an unpleasant taste in his mouth, a taste more powerful than the pleasant aftertaste of the slime. But after sitting in the house with no real plans for the night, he decided that if he was going to shake his parents’ hold on him, he had to reclaim the cave, even if it didn’t live up to his memories. After grabbing a flashlight from the kitchen, he headed out again.

The cave entrance was in fact rather tall, as he remembered. He realized this shouldn’t have surprised him, since his parents were able to move around the cave without much trouble. Flicking on the flashlight and walking through, he found that the ledges he remembered hopping down on his bottom were no obstacle to him now. He still walked carefully, though he found the slippery cave floor wasn’t as much of a hazard to him.

It wasn’t long before Tim reached the slime pool. A shiver went down his spine as he beheld this once favorite hideaway of his for the first time in over a decade. Though it didn’t seem as grand to him as it did back then, he was pleasantly surprised to see it was indeed rather wide across, having the rough diameter of an above-ground backyard pool. Tim sat on the shore with his flashlight in hand, looking around the cave, occasionally turning off his flashlight to relive the thrill of that sensory deprivation.

The stalactites looked as he remembered them, though not as high up, nor as long. The pool was the same green color, and he was thankful to see that all his snacking and his ill-conceived dip hadn’t ruined the ecosystem of the goo. In fact, aside from the size of the cave, it was exactly as he remembered it. And for once, that was a positive thing.

The slime oozed from the cracks in the wall faithfully as ever, as it had probably done for hundreds of years and would continue to do for hundreds more. Something about the eternity of it was comforting to Tim. His life could take whatever twists it would. His parents could neglect him, fight over him, guilt him, or ignore him. And through all that, he could count on the pool in this cave to stay as it was.

When Tim finally felt ready to head out, he took one last look at the slime. In spite of all his better judgement, he wanted to taste it again. He wanted to throw off this shackle his parents had put on him and relive that childhood comfort, if only once. It felt ridiculous, and he had a hard time rationalizing the urge. Sure, it didn’t seem harmful to his younger body back then, but that was no guarantee it wouldn’t mess with his digestive system now. And what if it didn’t live up to his memories?

But as he sat alone in that cave, knowing no one was watching him, judging him, or coming in to bust him, he said to himself, “What the hell,” and dipped his finger in the goo. It had exactly the consistency he remembered, and formed a long strand as he lifted his finger out of it, before it finally snapping.

When Tim took a taste, his eyes immediately lit up. Just like all the sights in the cave, it was exactly as he remembered, and suddenly a flood of memories came back to him. Memories of quiet nights spent in the cave, of the feelings of peace of safety, of the comfort this verdant snack provided. For once, being taken back so vividly to his childhood felt like a good thing.

Tim shook his head and chuckled. He remembered picking up handfuls of the goo to eat and thought to himself that he nearly fell back into his old habits. After licking his finger clean, he got up to make his way out of the cave. He took one last look at the pool before he turned the corner, and a smile spread across his face.

That Wednesday was a rough day for Tim. He’d been assigned several new projects at work, all with close due dates and all designated “top priority”. He had to pass on going out drinking with his coworkers because he had to go help his dad fix an issue with the wifi at his apartment. What made that trip extra exacerbating was his parents using him as a messenger now that they weren’t on speaking terms anymore. He’d hoped he could at least get them to text each other, thinking that would be removed enough for them, but they’d refused even that.

By the time Tim got home, the summer sun was already starting to set. He fell back on a chair in his living room, too exhausted to even want to watch TV. After a day like that, he didn’t think anything could make him feel better. Until he thought of the cave.

Tim sat by the pool of slime with his flashlight off. The total darkness and silence broken only by his breathing provided exactly the environment he needed to relax. He felt disconnected from the world outside the cave, like this was a haven he could come to and not be bothered by his worldly worries. They were out there, he thought. What happened out of the cave stayed out of the cave. In here, it was just him.

And knowing it was just him, Tim felt less hesitant about taking another taste of the slime. He stuck his finger out in front of him and lowered it until he felt it hit the slime’s surface, dipping it up to his first knuckle before pulling it out again. He spun it around until he felt confident he wouldn’t get any slime on himself, and took a taste.

The thick goo was more viscous than honey, and harder to eat. Though Tim’s instinct was to let it spread over his tongue, he found that chewing the slime made it easier to swallow. It also brought out more of the taste, including the hints of a leafy taste, but mostly more sweetness.

With the first bite having been so good, it wasn’t hard for Tim to take another. He turned on his flashlight so he could see what he was doing and dipped his finger again, a little deeper this time, hooking it as it came out of the slime to dredge up more. This time, he leaned over the pool and stuck his finger in his mouth before the tendril snapped, causing him to get a line of the stuff on his chin. It felt like getting melted marshmallow on himself while trying to eat a s’more, and tasted as good too. He let his tongue swim through the goopy substance before swallowing it, finding it not so difficult to swallow as before.

At that, Tim’s inhibitions let up. He dipped his whole hand in the slime and picked up a pile of it. It started to seep out of his hand once gravity got a hold of it, but as he remembered, its descent was so slow that he could easily gobble it up before it fell out. He tilted his hand toward himself so the goo would flow in his direction, taking a bite before it could fall out of his grasp. As he ate more of the slime, it seemed to coat his throat like honey, allowing him to swallow it without having to chew it first. Now free to eat it as fast as he liked, he picked up another handful and devoured it even more quickly.

With his inhibitions now completely gone, Tim scoped up handful after handful of the slime and devoured it giddily, greedily even. It brought him back to when he used to nibble on the stuff as a kid and how it made him feel better about his parents’ fights. Though he was no longer taking shelter from his own home, absconding away to this cave and guzzling the slime lifted his mood in much the same way. Most simple pleasures from his childhood just weren’t as enjoyable to him as they used to be, but it was like no time at all had passed since his last trip to the cave as a child.

Tim lost count of how many handfuls of the goo he ate, but he was forced to stop and ponder it when he felt them started to build up in his stomach. When he leaned back from the pool, his stomach swelled forward into the newly available space. It felt like when he went out to eat and ordered an appetizer and dessert along with his meal, or when he went to a Superbowl party and had too many wings. But it was a pleasant fullness. Whatever was in that slime, his stomach seemed to like being full of it. Tim didn’t have much of a belly to speak of, but his stomach bulged out enough to give him something to rub with his clean hand as he sat back. His belly felt tense, but warm. He reveled in the satisfied feeling as he licked his other hand clean.

When Tim was happy with how clean his hand was, he grabbed his flashlight and pushed himself up. His stomach stretched out a little more now that he was vertical, prompting another rub as he started his way out of the cave. Tim told himself he couldn’t eat that much every time he came to the pool. But it was a casual scold, like when his parents used to tell him to take his elbow off the dinner table. It was something they said even though they both knew full well he was going to do it again.

Those after-work trips to the cave became a habit for Tim. After he’d been living in his parents’ house for about a month, he was visiting the cave nightly. And he was perfectly happy with that. He was living in his childhood home, while constantly trying to distance himself from memories of his childhood and claim the space for his own. It was an exhausting place to live. In this space where so many of the memories of his childhood were memories he tried to push away, it was nice to have one space where he felt nostalgia rather than melancholy, where the memories provided comfort rather than stress.

And comfort was indeed what he got from the cave, as the slime made for better comfort food than anything his parents ever cooked. So it was little wonder that he came to gorge on it every night while he was still dealing with the fallout of his parents’ separation, still juggling a multitude of demands at work, and still living in a house of bad memories. He occasionally considered bringing a spoon or a glass with him to the pool, but scooping the stuff out with his hands just felt more comforting. And in the privacy of his cave, no one was going to judge him for it.

But what happened in the cave didn’t stay in the cave, and the portly stomach that Tim wore as a souvenir of his gorges wasn’t disappearing when he finished digesting. What started as a modest paunch that he could easily suck in turned into a pot belly that wasn’t worth trying to hide. His coworkers were all too polite to say anything, but his parents told him he needed to lay off the beers. Instead he upgraded his wardrobe to XL shirts and bigger pants and moved on, having too much on his plate to worry about a little belly.

If anything, Tim liked his new heft. He liked being able to carry a reminder of something that made him feel better everywhere he went. When so much of his life was stressing him out, either due to old stressors being dredged up or new stressors being piled on, his tummy reminded him that at the end of the day, he could go back to that cave and feel better. And it was a constant reminder. When he sat, it pushed out just a little over his belt. When he walked, it gave him a little extra inertia to maneuver. And if he found himself getting used to his new size, his nightly gorges ensured a little more girth was just around the corner.

And it was always around the corner. The longer Tim ate at the pool in the cave, the more slime he was able to eat each time, and he took full advantage of his increased capacity. Some nights he had trouble getting back up after sitting down by the lake. Some nights he had to lean on the wall before starting the walk out. Most nights, as he walked back, his arms swung extra wide at his side, and he walked like his stomach was leading the way and he had to just follow behind.

It wasn’t too long before his gains caught up with even his XL shirts, and they were riding up his stomach after his trips to the cave. No matter how hard he tried to pull his shirt down, he could feel his knuckles rubbing against his soft, warm belly as the tugged at the bottom hem. It only rode up farther as he walked back to the house, sometimes riding up far enough to expose his belly button. Even his shorts were getting tight, and he often unbuttoned them before he made it back in, letting out a sigh of relief as his advancing belly pushed down the zipper. He knew he’d have to replace his wardrobe soon.

It all came to a head one Friday night after Tim had spent the evening buying new shirts, pants, and shorts. Though they fit loosely when he tried them on, he knew he’d be glad he bought them when they weren’t so baggy. He just didn’t know how soon that would be.

After a rough week at work, TIm was especially looking forward to his trip to the pool that night. He didn’t even put his new clothes away when he got home, instead dropping the bags in his living room and immediately walking out the back door, grabbing his flashlight on the way out.

When Tim got to the end of the cave, he set his flashlight on the cave floor to point his way and got on his hands and knees to lean over the pool. He scooped up a handful of the slime, this time not bothering to wait for it to separate from the rest. He took it in his mouth and sucked it up like broth in a bowl of soup. Of course, the slime was far more viscous than broth, and Tim didn’t even need to use his hand to hold it to his mouth. Once he had a firm hold on it, he let his hand down beside him.

To Tim’s surprise, a girthy tendril of the slime still ran from the pool to his mouth, not yet having been snapped by gravity pulling it in one direction and his wolfing it down pulling in the other. Whatever had caused this to happen, he wasn’t sure he’d ever see anything like it again. So he decided to take advantage of the opportunity and see how much of the slime he could gulp down before the tendril broke.

At that moment, Tim’s flashlight flickered before shutting off, leaving him unable to see anything in the pitch black of the cave. He didn’t panic, as he knew his cell phone had a flashlight mode and he could use that to get back out. If even that didn’t work, the cave wasn’t especially hazardous, and he could easily walk along the walls until he found his way back to the entrance. If anything, he was amazed the batteries in his flashlight had lasted as long as they did. So with only the feeling of the goo in his mouth and slathered all over his lips to tell him the tendril was still holding strong, he kept gulping down the slime.

Tim had a hard enough time keeping track of how much slime he’d eaten when he had distinct handfuls to count, so he had no idea how much he was guzzling that night, especially without any sort of visual reference. It couldn’t be that much, he thought. The tendril wasn’t especially thick or long, and surely the slime wasn’t so viscous that he could pull up more of it as he gulped it down.

But maybe he could. Either that, or he’d pulled up more slime than he realized when he pulled up the first handful, because no matter how much he wolfed down, it seemed to keep coming. Maybe the darkness was playing tricks on him. Maybe his perception of time was somehow skewed. Whatever the reason, Tim kept gulping down the slime. He didn’t even think of trying to cut off the stream of goo before it ended naturally, too astounded by the surrealness of the situation to think much at all. Not even when he started to feel full, as it was the same warm, comforting fullness he loved about the slime.

But Tim came back to a sort of awareness of the situation as his stomach started to get painfully full. When he ate the slime by hand, he always had enough self-control to stop when the fullness became less pleasant with each bite instead of more. But this time, he’d been so engrossed in trying to swallow as much of the slime as he could that he didn’t stop until he could feel his belly straining to hold it all in. Though he wanted to know how long this could go on, he didn’t want to find out what would happen if he ate beyond his limits.

After taking one final gulp, Tim closed his lips and pushed them shut to cut off the stream. As he struggled to swallow the last mouthful, the tendril grew thinner as the slime fell beneath him. The last of it snapped off his face as he finally swallowed what remained, before letting his mouth open and panting from the workout he’d just endured.

Tim tried to resume a vertical position, to give his overstuffed belly some much-needed room. But as he tried to push himself up, he was immediately pulled down by the weight of all the slime in his stomach. After a few failed tries, he stayed on his hands and knees to catch his breath. He tried shuffling his legs ahead so he could maybe kneel down, but his swollen stomach immediately protested, and he had to pull them back. Most movements made his stomach hurt more, and he wasn’t sure how he was going to move from that spot.

With a series of shifts and movements even Tim wasn’t sure how he accomplished, he managed to scoot back from the lake and sit down, legs splayed in front of him as he leaned back to give his engorged stomach more room. As he caught his breath, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and switched on the flashlight to survey the damage.

The light landed on the pool first. Tim could see that in the area where he’d been, there was a noticeable dip in the surface pool as the slime flowed slowly to return to its previous shape. There was also a protrusion in the “shore” of the lake, as the receding slime had exposed more of the cave floor. Tim was amused by the symmetry of it, like the cave floor had grown with him.

As he lowered the flashlight to himself, though, his sentiment went from amused to shocked. Tim knew he’d gulped down a lot of the slime, as evidenced by his painful fullness and his trouble moving, but he was not prepared for how big his belly had grown. It was now the size of a large beach ball, something he didn’t think possible. Nevermind how full he was, he thought; he was just thankful he hadn’t popped. He put down his phone with the light facing up and tried to pull down his shirt, knowing full well it wasn’t going to cover his bulging gut. It didn’t even go half way down, popping back up as soon as he let go.

Tim switched off the flashlight mode and put his phone back in his pocket, not wanting to drain the battery before he was ready to make his way out of the cave. With his left hand now free, he rubbed his distended belly to try to make it feel better. His stomach felt firm underneath his hands, a far cry from the softness he was used to. Occasionally he had to put his hand down and use both hands to support himself. He knew if he lay down in that cave, he wasn’t going to get back up until the next morning.

Tim wasn’t sure how long he’d been sitting there, but he realized standing up wasn’t going to get any easier unless he waited until the next morning. He took out his phone again and saw the time was 9:27, nearly 30 minutes since he’d sat down. He turned on the light and scanned behind him, looking for a ledge about shoulder level, settling on one next to the side of the cave. He rubbed his right hand on the ground to get as much of the remaining slime off as he could and started moving.

Tim needed both his hands and legs to push himself back, so he put his phone down behind him and pushed himself back until he was next to it, repeating until his back hit the ledge. Tim reached up and put his phone on top of the ledge, knowing he wouldn’t be able to reach down for it once he was standing. Thankfully, this portion of the cave wall was smooth, so he backed up against it, put his right hand on the ledge, he left hand on the wall behind him, and pushed.

The pressure in Tim’s stomach became unbearable as he strained to push himself up. He knew that would happen. He also knew he wasn’t going to make it out of the cave that night if he waited until it didn’t hurt to try to stand up.

When Tim was finally upright, he leaned back against the cave wall and breathed heavily, rubbing his belly with both hands in the hopes of quelling its protestations. He got some slime on it due to his right hand not being entirely clean, but he was okay with that if he could make his stomach feel better. When he felt ready to continue out of the cave, he put his right hand against the cave wall for support and pushed himself off, thankful he could at least stand up on his own. He turned around to lean to the side and grab his phone with his clean hand.

It was about then that Tim realized he’d left his flashlight behind. Shining his phone near where he’d knelt down, he could see it still lying by the pool, and decided to get it the next morning when he could bend over again.

The trip out of the cave was the hardest one that Tim could remember. Every ledge seemed as insurmountable as the cliff the cave was embedded in. Even walking on the flat surfaces felt like a perilous task as he tried to balance with a bulbous belly jutting out in front of him, his every movement exaggerated in its sway. But with one hand on the wall of the cave nearly the entire time, he managed to make his way to the entrance.

Tim had hoped the walk back to the house would provide a welcome relief, but lugging a belly bulbous with goo across the yard turned what was usually a brisk walk into a slog that had him gasping for breath. He let out a lengthy sigh when he finally got to his back door, heading inside and finally washing his hand in the kitchen sink. He then went right to his bedroom, not entertaining any ideas that he was going to do anything but sleep that night.

Once in his bedroom, Tim took a look in his full-length mirror and his eyebrows shot up. Seeing his gut from above and maneuvering it around hadn’t prepared him for the sight he now beheld. It didn’t look real, like it had to be one of those circus trick mirrors. But a trick mirror couldn’t morph his body that perfectly. His belly jutted out like it had been blown up by a bicycle pump, round and bulging. It didn’t feel like a part of him, seeming more like a backpack or accessory of some kind than a part of his body.

But the shock of seeing himself like this could only temporarily jostle Tim for his glutted stupor. As he felt his eyelids start to fall closed again, he turned away from the mirror and toward his bed, sitting down with a groan. He left himself fall to the side and hoisted his legs up. Usually Tim prefered to sleep on his back, but that proved impossible that night, because it meant lugging his swollen gut upward. After a few failed attempts, he let out a sigh and rubbed his belly as he drifted off to sleep.

Tim slept until noon the next day. He didn’t know how long he’d slept until he turned over to look at his clock and saw the 12 looking back at him, something he did not expect to see first thing in the morning. He shook his head and swung his legs out of bed, thankful to have a full range of motion again, but still sore from the night before.

Tim walked up to the mirror to take a look at himself. The button had popped off of his shorts at some point during the previous night, something he hadn’t even noticed, and his shirt was still bunched up around his chest. When he tried to pull it down, it barely covered his stomach, leaving a thin stripe of skin exposed. Tim raised his eyebrows; just the day before, this shirt fit fine, although he couldn’t lift his arms up without exposing his belly. It looked like he would have to switch to those 2XLs sooner than he thought.

Tim went back to the cave to retrieve his flashlight that morning, wanting to take care of it before he forgot to do it. He took a quick look at the lake while he was in the cave and saw that in the spot where he’d knelt the night before, the lake had resumed its previous volume. The area where he’d drunk up all the slime and moved the shoreline, previously marked by the thin layer of goo that remained, was covered again.

Tim brought the flashlight back and changed the batteries. He then pulled some of his bigger clothes out of the bags he’d left in the living room and exchanged his current shirt and shorts for them, thankful to be wearing clothes that fit again, before heading out for his day.

That incident stuck with Tim, but try as he might, he couldn’t get it to happen again. He tried again and again to recreate the endless flow of slime that seemed to happen that night. But every time he brought the slime up to his mouth, as he tried to gulp it down, he watched the tendril between his mouth and the lake stretch and snap exactly as one would normally expect it to. So every night, he ended up sitting on the side of the lake and scooping up the slime with his hand as usual. He certainly didn’t mind that–the slime was as delicious as always–but it meant he was denied any explanation of what happened that one night.

But as time passed, the incident faded from Tim’s mind, and he resumed his usual habits of eating the slime by the handful until he felt pleasantly stuffed. Things were back to as they were before, except that Tim was eating a little more during his nightly gorges. Perhaps his stomach capacity had increased after that one night. Perhaps he was just more confident about how much he could eat.

Either way, Tim kept growing, until he was fitting snugly into his 2XL shirts. His belly now pushed out well past his belt when he sat down, and his walk had changed noticeably since his large shirt days as he had to move around more mass. He was starting to see the evidence elsewhere on his body too: a double chin dangling from pudgy cheeks, love handles that spilled out above his belt, and a chest that jiggled and bounced like his belly.

His parents still scolded him for his expanding waistline, but he was able to minimize his time around them now, and did so without hesitation. He’d started hanging out with his friends from his old city again, and they were just happy to see him, regardless of what he looked like. Some of them teased him for his new weight, but never more than once. After all, Tim’s eating habits outside of the cave hadn’t changed, and since he ate like he did at his old size, his friends probably figured he had the situation under control.

Which he did, though not like they imagined. Tim didn’t have to eat big to maintain his size when he was gulping down massive quantities of the decadent goo every night. It was getting to the point where he was amazed he hadn’t put a dent in the pool yet, that every night he came back, it was just as full as before. The slime didn’t look like it was seeping out of the cracks in the cave walls that fast, but perhaps Tim just couldn’t appreciate the speed of its movement when he didn’t stay in the cave for very long after his feasts. Or maybe it was coming out from cracks on the bottom of the pool.

Either way, the pool stayed full as ever, even as Tim ate more and ballooned bigger. As his shirts got tighter, he knew he’d have to upgrade to 3XL before too long. So he replaced his wardrobe yet again, but this time, he picked up something he hadn’t picked up the past few times: a bathing suit. For there was one more part of Tim’s past he wanted to relive, but this time, he was going to be smart about it.

Tim waited until the time was right, and that time came Friday night at the end of an especially stressful week. Work had piled the assignments on him at the beginning of the week, all of them due by the end. He’d managed to finish them, and he used the fact that this was becoming a pattern to convince his director they needed to hire more people to split the workload. But that relief was only a consolation prize after all the late nights he’d had to work that week, and he needed something more indulgent than his usual feast.

When Tim arrived home, he had only one thing in mind. He took off his clothes, took a shower, and changed into the bathing suit, one of his more grubby tee shirts, and a pair of flip flops. He considered bringing a towel, but didn’t think it would do much good. He changed the batteries in his flashlight to make sure they were fresh, and grabbed a spare just in case, as he was leaving his phone in the house. Light sources in hand, he walked to the cave, exhausted but with a new determination budding from what he had planned.

When Tim got to the pool, he turned on the main flashlight and set it down by the shore, facing towards the slime. He took off his shirt and stepped out of his flip flops, setting foot on the cold cave floor. He lifted one foot to dip his toes in the slime. As he pulled it out, a sheet of it came back up with his foot before turning into tendrils that dangled off of each toe before they snapped off. With a deep inhalation, he stepped forward.

Tim’s feet sunk slowly into the slim as he took his first couple of steps. As cool as the cave floor was, the slime was a more moderate temperature. Tim tried to lift his back foot out of the slime to step forward again, but even in this shallow part of the pool, the slime resisted, making a squelching sound when his foot finally came free. From then on, he dragged his feet through the slime to move forward instead, careful to move slowly enough that he wouldn’t trip.

The bottom of the pool leveled out before even Tim’s knees had been submerged. The middle of the pool was warmer than the edge, making it a very comfortable temperature. From this distance, Tim could see that the walls on the other side of the pool were quite smooth, and he eyed a clean spot between where the goo seeped out from two cracks. He made his way to the other side, finding that the pool stayed roughly the same depth as he approached the wall.

When Tim got close, he turned around, leaned back against the wall, let his legs slip out beneath him, and slid down. The viscosity of the slime slowed his descent to a comfortable speed. As he slid farther down, he could feel the surface of the slime move up the bottom of his legs as it slowly enveloped more of them. His slide slowed to a crawl when his butt hit the goo, but he still sank farther until he felt his bum hit the bottom of the pool.

The slime was deep enough to cover Tim’s legs entirely, but it only went part of the way up his stomach. It went high enough to submerge his belly button, though not much higher. As Tim sat in the viscous pool, he dipped both of his hands in the slime around him and waved them back and forth, enjoying the resistance of the thick goop against them. He put his hands on the pool’s bottom and tried to push himself up, and it was like the slime was pulling him back down, not wanting to let him go. Even trying to bend his legs up was a challenge, as the slime resisted letting them move up as much as it did letting them fall back in.

It was exactly what Tim wanted. And only one thing could make it better.

After taking a deep breath, Tim cupped both of his hands, lifted them out of the slime, and shoveled it in his mouth. The goo he dredged up splattered on his belly and chest, building up more and more as he ate. Handful after handful of the stuff went down his greedy gullet as he stuffed himself, until he finally felt the contented fullness in his stomach.

Tim had slid out farther from the wall over the course of his feast, giving his belly room to swell out. He felt drowsy from food coma, and pleased from how much of the sweet stuff he’d eaten. With his sticky hands, he rubbed his stomach as he revelled in how good it felt to be that full in a pool of the very slime he’d stuffed himself with. He was a mess, and he didn’t have to answer to anyone for it.

Tim’s indulgence was interrupted when he heard a noise on the other side of the lake. Looking up, he saw that his flashlight had slipped from its perch and fallen. Thankfully, it still worked and hadn’t fallen into the pool, but it was facing away from Tim, not giving him much light to see by. But at the very least, it could guide him back to the shore when he felt ready to get out. With a nod, he leaned back to enjoy his stuffed state a little longer.

Tim pulled up another handful of the slime to snack on for good measure. As he put his hand back down and sat back with mouth agape in gluttonous bliss, he felt like the buildup of the slime on his body had thickened. Maybe he’d dropped more of this latest handful on himself than he realized. That was totally possible in his fatigued state.

But it didn’t explain why the slime on his face seemed to be growing thicker. Or why it felt like it was dribbling into his mouth. But Tim didn’t care much either way. If he could snack on a little more of the goo without having to pick it up, that was fine by him. With a satisfied smile, he leaned back, content to let the slime do what it may.

And what it did was keep getting thicker. The buildup on Tim’s chest and belly went from a thick splatter to a solid layer of goo, a layer that crept up his body, along his chin, and into his open mouth. His throat had already been coated by his feast, making for easy passage as the slime slithered down his gullet. It was the ideal situation as far as Tim was concerned: he could sit back and let a constant stream of the sweet goo pass over his tongue without having to lift it up himself.

It only started to seem less-than-idea when Tim surpassed his contented level of fullness and instead felt painfully full. But as he started to have second thoughts, he felt the slime on his belly, built up from rubbing his hands along it, grow thicker too. Slime seemed to be climbing out of the pool through whatever strands of it he’d left on his stomach, the tendrils expanding and merging until he could feel two streams of the stuff perched on his gut.

Once their volume evened out, Tim felt a gentle pressure on his belly, not unlike when he rubbed his stomach. The slime on his gut seemed to not be accumulating, but rather moving with a will of its own to massage his gut. He could feel that the tendrils stopped at the top of his stomach, so they weren’t trying to get to his mouth like the rest of the slime. They seemed concerned only with rubbing Tim’s swollen belly, relieving the feeling of pressure within.

And it worked. Tim’s uncomfortable feelings of fullness were gently worn away, leaving the satisfied fullness he loved so much in their place. Even as the slime poured in faster, surpassing a trickle and now flowing in a stream from either side of his mouth, the pool’s two limbs ensured Tim remained comfortable as his belly filled with the decadent goo. He felt like a king, being fed and pampered as he reclined and relaxed.

If he resembled any king, it was Henry VIII. Tim’s belly had grown disproportionately bulbous in comparison to the rest of his body. Its top arched in front of him, rising up from his chest before descending down and pushing out. But unlike the night of the last seemingly endless stream, he didn’t feel any discomfort from how swollen his gut was. Maybe it was because he wasn’t trying to walk with a stomach sodden with goo, instead leaning back and letting the night take its course. He instinctively wanted to feel over his distended gut, to rub it out of disbelief that it could be real. But between the effort required to pull his hands out of the pool and the relaxing feeling of the arms of lake on his engorged belly, he was more than happy to let the slime do it for him.

The slime seemed aware of Tim’s complacency. The tendrils climbing up his sides and into his mouth had grown even thicker, approaching the girth of the arms that massaged his engorged gut. He was now so full that he could barely stay awake, let alone do anything but lay back and let the slime pour in his throat. Maybe it was because of how far he’d leaned back, or maybe he’d just swollen up that much, but looking up through half-closed eyes, he could only see the top of the halo of his flashlight over his swollen gut. It had blown up enough to block his view of the shore.

It was the last thing Tim saw before he succumbed to the fatigue of his fullness. It was as if the muscles of his stomach, stretched tight by the task of holding so much slime, were pulling his eyes closed too. His mouth hung open just as wide as before, though, as the goo cascaded down his throat. That feeling was the last thing he was aware of before he gave up the fight and fell asleep.

When Tim woke up, he pushed himself up to sit more upright against the wall. He then remembered how big he’d grown the night before and was astounded that he could maneuver himself at all. He saw the flashlight across from him without issue, now that a bulbous belly wasn’t blocking his vision.

What’s more, Tim could feel the cool air of the cave against all of his skin that was above the surface of the pool. There wasn’t any slime left over from the arms that had covered his belly to massage it, or the tendrils that piped it up to his mouth. It was like there was no evidence that the events of the previous night had happened at all.

But Tim knew better than that. After pulling his hands out of the slime, he put them on his belly and found his gut stopped them an inch or two before he expected. Feeling over his newly added girth, it was undeniable that some of the expansion of his last gorge had stuck with him. He supposed that if he was going to wolf down that much of the decadent goo in one sitting, it was to be expected.

Perhaps even anticipated.

Tim reached forward as far as he could and painted two large stripes of the slime up his stomach, ensuring they connected with the pool. He then grabbed two handfuls of it and plopped them both on his mouth, gulping down some of the goo, but letting most of it spill out before he spread it down his cheeks, neck, and sides, sliding it down to the pool. He let his arms fall down and leaned back against the wall behind him. When he felt all four stripes of goo become thicker and slide up his body, his open mouth curled into a smile, just before it filled with slime again.

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