Originally published January 16, 2017.
Contains: long-term weight gain, unintentional encouraging, sexual scenes. It also contains hunting, so if animal death is a no-go for you, I suggest skipping this one. Not recommended for underage readers.
It’s been a long journey to get this story out to you good folks. I initially got the idea in April of last year and wrote what ended up being part 1 and the first one-and-a-half sections of part two. Somehow, in the midst of writing the farming scene, I decided I didn’t have enough to keep the story going and scrapped it, relegating it to the trash of my Google docs. Eight months later, I was in the midst of a bout of writer’s block while working on A Human on Board, and out of nowhere decided to go back to this story. I read through what I had written so far and concluded, “I totally have enough to finish this story. What was I thinking?” So I resurrected it from the trash and finished it. It ended up not taking as long to edit as I thought it would, so here it is, finally seeing the light of day!
Synopsis: Having recently moved to a new city, Sam gets lost in the woods and stumbles upon the home of Tom, an eight-foot-tall Paul-Bunyan-esque woodsman living on his own. Tom takes Sam in for the night, promising to lead him home the next day, but not without first giving him some dinner. However, Tom doesn’t want to feed his guest less than he feeds himself, leading to Sam eating and, to his surprise, finishing a giant-sized meal. Once Sam falls to food coma, Tom concludes that Sam is too tired to go back, and the next day, he offers to let him stay. Sam ends up staying with Tom longer than anticipated, learning to live off the land like him and finding he enjoys it more than he expected. The daily giant-sized meals certainly don’t hurt either…
Sam had been wandering around Bunyan woods for the better part of that Saturday. Having recently moved to a new city, he’d scoped out nearby nature locales where he could go when he needed to get away from it all, and thought that Bunyan Woods would make for a good place to wander around. It was a lovely spring day, perfect for a hike, and Bunyan seemed a manageable size from the map he’d looked at. What he didn’t know was that the map only showed the size of the reservation, not including the mountainous woods beyond its borders. Judging by the fact that he hadn’t seen a walking trail since noon, he was long past those borders now.
Sam had tried to not get too worried about it, not wanting to stress himself out on a day that he’d set aside as a break from his usual stress. But the light above him was starting to dim, the only sign he had that the sun was starting to set. The tall trees around him, whose height had given the forest its name, made it impossible to see the sun on the horizon. Now he was starting to worry. He’d wanted to be out of the reservation before sundown to avoid needing to find his way around in the dark. His cell phone had long ago lost signal, with no sign of finding it again, and as a lifelong city boy, he had no wilderness survival skills worth mentioning. Without the benefit of trails, it seemed even more hopeless.
That was until he smelled smoke. He panicked at first, thinking he was about to fall victim to a forest fire. But looking around, he couldn’t see the bright light of flames or the billowing clouds such an inferno would produce. Instead, through the trees, he saw what seemed to be a brighter spot in the woods, a place where the canopy must have not been so thick.
Walking towards it, he came upon a clearing with a log cabin in front of him. To the left of the cabin was what looked like a plowed field, with some plant shoots peeking out of the dirt and a shed on the other side. To the right was a fire circle with some burnt logs left in it and some girthy sticks tied together to make what looked like a rack, the charred center of which suggested it had been placed over the fire. Smoke was rolling out of the cabin’s chimney, telling Sam there must be someone inside, someone who might be able to help him.
As Sam walked toward the front door, he was struck by how tall the cabin was. From a distance, it looked like it could have been two stories, but the architecture didn’t seem to support that kind of setup. The door was about three feet taller than Sam, with the doorknob closer to his chest level than his abdomen. The door looked thick, so he knocked forcefully, hoping whoever was inside would be able to hear him. It seemed to work; Sam heard heavy footsteps approaching the door and stepped back, not sure who or what would answer.
As the door slowly opened, a veritable giant of a man was revealed standing behind it. He had to be eight feet tall, but unlike the scrawny men Sam had seen in the record books, the giant was built proportionally for his height. His arms were so muscular that he looked like he’d bulked up by moving the logs used to build the cabin. Through a form-fitting plaid shirt, Sam could make out a firm chest and protruding abdomen, much like the strongmen he’d seen on television. The man’s hair, though by no means long, had the scraggly look of someone who only paid attention to his hair when it was getting long enough to fall in his eyes and he had to chop it off. It definitely wasn’t as long as his beard, which was long enough to come to rest on his chest. Both had a vibrant auburn color that contrasted with his tired green eyes.
“You lost, boy?” he asked in an earthy timbre. His tone didn’t sound patronizing or diminutive, but rather carried an attitude of genuine concern. The man’s voice conveyed all the authority and world-weariness of an elder, someone who would get away with calling a man Sam’s age “boy,” even though the color of his hair and smoothness of his face suggested he wasn’t much older than Sam.
“Yes, actually,” Sam replied, less intimidated by the man that he was on first sight. The combination of his voice and his amiable look had put Sam at ease. “I was walking around Bunyan woods earlier today and, uh… I got lost.”
The man let out a quiet chuckle before he told Sam, “You sure are lost if you started in Bunyan and ended up here.”
“Yeah,” Sam sighed, scratching the back of his neck nervously. “So I was hoping… maybe you can help me find my way back?
The man looked up from Sam and gazed into the woods behind him, letting out a contemplative “Mmm” that transitioned into him replying, “You’re a long way from home, boy. Wouldn’t be safe to send you back now. You’d be walking in the dark for a long time. Don’t want you to wake up a bear and catch one of them in a bad mood.”
Sam’s face lost some of its color as his eyes grew wide. “There are bears out here?”
Nodding solemnly, the man replied, “Not so much of a problem during the day. They’ll leave you alone because you don’t have enough muscle to be worth eating. But if you startle them, it’s not about hunger. It’s about survival, and you won’t be the one who survives that fight.”
When the man looked back down at Sam’s scared face, he let out another chuckle, this one carrying a hint of embarrassment. “But look at me, scaring the bejesus out of you when you’ve been lost all day. Come on in. You look like you could use some rest.”
Indeed, Sam was parched, sore, tired, and hungry from walking through the woods all day. Though he wasn’t sure how much he trusted this gigantic stranger, he trusted bears even less. So when the man stepped to the side and extended his arm inside, Sam accepted his invitation graciously.
The cabin had a simple setup, and was definitely built for the comfort of a man the giant’s size. Scanning the inside, Sam could see a table with two chairs the height of bar stools, a cooking pit with a chimney above it and a fire already lit, shelves filled with food and cooking implements, a bed big enough for the giant to sleep in, and a couch that was also taller than the couches Sam was used to.
The couch was most appealing to Sam, so he hobbled on over and fell onto it. The couch was long enough that Sam could comfortably lie on it lengthwise with a foot to spare in each direction, and tall enough that he didn’t sit down on it so much as back into it. It seemed to be made out of some sort of animal hide, albeit one as comfortable as the leather couches he’d sat on in some of his richer friends’ houses.
When Sam hit the couch, he loosened all his muscles and let out a long, deep sigh, one that surprised even him with how loud it was. The giant seemed amused, letting out a chuckle as he looked over the shelves. Sam looked vaguely in the giant’s direction with his mostly-closed eyes. He stayed in that position until he heard the man’s footsteps coming closer to him, when he opened his eyes and saw that man’s hand outstretched with a glass of water. In his hands, it looked normal size, but as Sam took it, it resembled a pitcher more than a glass. “Hope it’s not too much. Don’t get many visitors here, so most everything is sized for me.”
Sam wasn’t sure where the giant would have gotten water from around here, or glass for that matter, but he didn’t much care either. He took the glass in both hands and drank two thirds of the water in one go, letting down the glass with another side of relief. He met the giant’s eyes as the giant gave him a warm smile before returning to the shelves. “Thank you,” Sam mustered through his exhaustion. The giant nodded as he looked over his shelves. “I’m Sam, by the way,” he told the giant, who for a moment was still quiet.
“Tom,” he finally replied. “You came at a good time, Sam. I’m about to make dinner, and you look like you could use some.”
“Yeah,” Sam confirmed with a slow, tired drawl. “I thought I’d be back home by dinner, so all I brought to eat was a protein bar. Not exactly very filling.”
Tom let out a brief “Mm,” like he didn’t know what Sam was talking about but took his word that whatever he was describing didn’t make for a very satisfying lunch.
“So… you live out here year-round?” Sam asked, trying to make conversation in spite of his exhaustion.
“How long you been out here?”
“Not sure, honestly. The years start to blur together after a while.”
“So you didn’t grow up out here?”
Tom paused before answering, though he still moved around the kitchen area working on dinner. “Growing up was….” His actions slowed down as he contemplated his next words. “Let’s just say it’s better this way.”
Sam was intrigued, but he didn’t have the energy to encourage Tom to reveal any more. “You like living out here, then?”
“Suits me fine,” he replied matter-of-factly. “Gets a bit lonely sometimes, but critters make good company once they know they can trust you. Certainly doesn’t hurt when I get the occasional lost traveler whom I can help get back where they came from.”
With a tired chuckle, Sam asked, “I’m not the first?”
“Nope. Not to say I get a lot of people out here. It’s hard to end up out here accidentally.” Sam looked down embarrassedly, though it sounded like Tom didn’t mean anything by it. “But when I do, I give them a good meal in their belly and a place to stay the night if they need it, then guide them on their journey back until they can find their own way.”
Sam nodded a slow nod, trying to pay attention to Tom’s story in spite of wanting to fall asleep. “I take it you know the area well?”
“You have to if you’re going to live out here. It’s not hard once you get used to it. I can get you back to Bunyan Woods no problem, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“I wasn’t doubting it, but I’m glad to hear it.”
Tom nodded, still turned towards his cooking. “There’s a stream nearby that’s a big part of how I find my way around. Giant rocks, too big to be moved by wind or time, help too. The woods are full of landmarks if you know how to look for them.”
Sam let out an affirmative “Mmm” before admitting, “If I knew how to do that, I probably wouldn’t be out here.”
Tom looked back at Sam with a warm smile before he turned back to his cooking. Sam could make out the sound of sizzling over the fire, though he didn’t care much to open his eyes wide enough to see what was cooking. “Well, don’t you worry. We’ll get you back after you get some grub and some rest.”
Sam nodded again, his head struggling to return to an upright position as he did. Tired from walking all day, he let his head fall forward and drifted off to sleep.
“Pst.” Sam’s eyes slowly opened to see a sideways Tom bent down to look at him. Smiling at Sam, he whispered, “Dinner’s ready.” Sam rubbed his eyes and pushed himself into a sitting position. He scooted forward until he slid off the couch and his feet landed on the ground.
When he felt awake enough to walk again, he looked up at the table and was taken aback by what he saw. Tom had laid out what looked like two family-sized feasts, one on each side of the table. Each featured baked potatoes, cobs of corn, a mix of vegetables, and a large slab of meat that Sam couldn’t identify, as well as butter in the middle, though goodness only knew where Tom got that. Each item on its own looked like Sam would have trouble finishing it in one meal.
“You like it?” Tom beamed proudly.
“It’s… it all looks delicious, but it’s certainly a lot.”
“I didn’t want to give my guest less to eat than I gave myself. That would be bad manners, don’t you think?” In the midst of trying to figure out how to explain to Tom without offending him that there was no way Sam could eat this much, his stomach growled loudly. The pangs of hunger soon followed, overwriting Sam’s shock and pulling him right to the table. He backed onto one of the chairs the way he’d back onto a barstool and was thankful to discover he could reach the table while sitting down.
“Dig in,” Tom encouraged. “After the day you’ve had, you can definitely use it.”
Sam didn’t have to be told twice. Though he was still sure there was no way he could finish all this food, he pulled the plates close to be able to sample each one.
“What kind of meat is this?” Sam asked before digging in.
“Venison,” Tom replied as he stuck a napkin into his shirt. “Hope that’s alright with you.”
Already cutting into the meat with his knife, Sam assured him, “Totally fine,” before taking a bite. He’d never had venison before, so he wasn’t sure how “good venison” was supposed to taste. But given how hungry he was, any venison sounded like good venison to him, and that juicy morsel was no exception.
Sam reached for a potato next, cutting it open and spreading some of the butter inside. Hungry as he was, he ate it in big bites and it disappeared into his mouth faster than he anticipated, so he took another one and ate it just as quickly. He moved onto the vegetables next, practically shoveling them in before he regained his composure. He decided to take a cob of corn next, in the hopes of slowing down his munching by eating something he couldn’t scarf down. But when he found that the kernels were perfectly juicy and sweet, he didn’t slow down much.
“I thought you’d like it,” Tom chuckled. Sam’s cheeks grew red when he realized Tom had been watching him and he hadn’t even been making conversation with his host. Looking over Tom’s spread, he saw that Tom had been eating the potatoes first and was over halfway through his bowl, having eaten them at a consistent pace like this was just a normal serving size for him. No wonder he’d given Sam so much, he thought.
Trying to save some face, Sam swallowed his corn and asked, “You grow all these yourself?”
Tom nodded proudly. “The soil is real fertile here. Makes growing easy. And since the weather is always warm, I’m never at a loss for food to grow. Still try to keep a reserve, though, in case.”
Nodding as he finished another bite of corn, Sam observed, “Didn’t seem like a lot of farmland outside, though.”
With a shrug, Tom replied, “It’s enough.”
“There must be some secret to making it work,” Sam pressed on before taking another bite of corn. “I can’t imagine that little patch of land growing enough food for one person, let alone someone with an appetite like yours.”
Tom seemed at a loss to explain it. “I just plant my seeds, and a few days later, the crops are ready to harvest. Save the seeds for the next round, and repeat.”
“A few days?” Sam asked, his eyes having shot wide open after nearly choking on his corn.
“Yeah…” Tom seemed surprised by Sam’s surprise. “How long does it take you?”
“I mean, I’m no farmer, but I know it takes them a lot longer. Weeks, if not months!”
With a chuckle, Tom replied, “No disrespect to your farmers, but it sounds like they could learn a thing or two about cultivating the land.”
Trying to shrug endearingly, Sam suggested, “Maybe tomorrow you could show me how you do it.”
“Nah, I just planted these potatoes today,” Tom said as he pointed out toward the garden behind them. “They won’t be ready for harvest for a few days. I imagine you’ll want to get heading back before then. Wouldn’t want to keep ya.”
“Oh, please,” Sam pleaded before swallowing his bite of corn and taking another ear. “You’ve been a wonderful host. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend the night.”
Behind Tom’s beard, Sam could see a blush fade in on his cheeks like the red sun setting over the horizon. “I do try.” Regaining some of his composure, he continued, “Then again, out here, it definitely is the best place you could spend the night. Can I get you some more corn?”
Sam furrowed his brow, knowing good and well Tom had already given him more corn than he could finish. But as he started on the ear in his hands, he looked down to his plate and saw that indeed, all of the ears of corn that had once been stacked on it were replaced with shaved cobs. “Oh, um… I’m alright, thanks. Believe me, it was delicious, but… I mean, I still have three other dishes to finish,” he explained, knowing full well he couldn’t actually finish them, but not wanting to hurt Tom’s feelings.
With a nod, Tom assured him, “It’s no trouble, but you eat how you like.” At this point he’d finished his potatoes and moved on to the corn like they’d barely filled him up at all.
In contrast, Sam was feeling noticeably full from all the corn on top of all the other dishes he’d sampled. Even as hungry as he was, he hadn’t anticipated finishing any of the dishes. His stomach stuck out just enough to be noticeable against his once loose shirt, standing out against his average frame. He found himself at a comfortable level of fullness, a level he might reach after going out to eat the guys and splurging by getting dessert.
But he felt like he couldn’t stop now, not after he’d told Tom he didn’t want more corn because he hadn’t finished the other dishes. Once he finished his last cob of corn, he pulled the vegetable medley close to him, figuring it would be the least filling dish. Nibbling on the roasted vegetables, he asked Tom, “So what do you out here other than farm?”
“Whatever has to get done. Hunting, gathering firewood, making clothes, repairing the cabin–”
“You make your own clothes?”
“Yup. I grow the cotton, spin it, and weave it myself.” Tom said it like it wasn’t that impressive, in spite of Sam’s obvious amazement. “Have to if I’m going to live out here on my own.”
“So you never go out to…” Sam thought referring to the city as “civilization” would be too patronizing, given how much Tom was able to accomplish on his out in the woods. “You never go visit anyone else?”
“Don’t need to,” Tom answered assuredly. “I got everything I need out here.”
“I’m sure you do. I’m not doubting your survival skills. But…” Sam mulled over his next words as he kept nibbling on the vegetables. “Doesn’t it get lonely?”
Tom stifled a chuckle at Sam’s question. “People staring at you nervously ain’t exactly great company. At least out here, people give me a chance because they might die otherwise.” Looking back at Sam, Tom’s face turned from one of amusement to one of embarrassment. “S-sorry. I shouldn’t assume the worst of you.”
Sam quietly poked at his vegetables, still mindlessly nibbling, trying to pick his next words carefully. “I mean… I can understand why you would.” Maybe not the best choice, he admitted to himself, as Tom looked from his corn to the window, still looking self-conscious. “I mean, is it really that bad? You’re… tall, sure, but not, like, superhumanly so.”
“You don’t have to sugarcoat it, Sam.”
“I’m…” He wanted to say he really wasn’t. But Tom overshadowed anyone else Sam had ever seen by a foot, at least. Staring out the window himself, he kept nibbling the vegetables for something to do, something to pass the awkward moments when he wasn’t sure what to say.
“You might be the first person to try, though.”
Tom looked from the window to his last cob of corn and slowly pulled the husk off. “You might be the first person to try to tell me I’m… not that gigantic. Can, uh… can I get you some more vegetables?”
Looking down at his plate, Sam sat dumbfounded at the fact that he’d managed to finish yet another one of the giant dishes. Once his attention had been turned to how much he’d eaten, he quickly became aware of the growing tension in his stomach as the entrées piled up. The comfortably satisfied feeling had been replaced by an uncomfortably stuffed sensation. Shifting in his seat, he tried to get the food to settle, to get his stomach to stretch out more, anything to make some kind of room. “N-no thanks,” he replied, too surfeited to offer much of an explanation.
With none of his attempts to settle his stomach working, Sam undid his belt, hoping relieving the tightness would make him a bit more comfortable. But it only made it worse, as his stomach now had the freedom to stretch out even more.
And stretch out it did. His belly stuck out well over where his belt once lay, forcing his shirt to ride up and reveal the bottom of his tummy. Trying to subtly poke at the side of his gut, he found it was rock hard, a testament how much volume the food inside of him provided. He’d never had much pudge on his frame before, being of fairly average figure, so for his belly to stick out this much was an unfamiliar experience.
“You feeling alright?” Tom asked, sounding genuinely concerned.
“Oh, uh, y-yeah, fine.” Trying to act natural, Sam took one of the potatoes and buttered it. Before he took a bite, he asked, “So, uh… have you… always been this big?”
Tom stared at Sam for a second before he resumed munching on his plate of vegetables. “That’s what they told me,” he finally answered, admitting it like it was a confession. “Doc wasn’t sure what to make of me when I was born, and when it was clear I was only going to get bigger…” He kept nibbling on his veggies, having forgone his fork. “Things didn’t get better.” Looking up with eyebrows raised, he finished with, “To say the least,” face slowly relaxing into a smile like he was trying to diffuse the situation.
Sam had more he wanted to ask. but Tom seemed to want to move the conversation away from that topic. “Well… you seem to do pretty well for yourself out here. Did you build this cabin yourself?”
“That I did,” Tom beamed with pride. “There used to be a smaller cabin where the close side of the field is now. I moved into that one first, and when I got sick of the cramped space, I built this one from the ground up. Once I could move in here, I chopped the old one up for firewood and used its foundation to expand the field. Things have been a lot more comfortable since then.”
“It must be a good feeling. Being able to come home to a home you built and feel that pride every night.”
Sitting back in his seat, Tom looked around with a smile. “It’s nice some days. But when something breaks, it means I only have myself to blame.”
“At least you can fix it when that happens. When something in my apartment breaks, I have to call my landlord and hope he’s free to come by… Then again, most of the things that break in my apartment are things you don’t have here.”
“The stove, the fridge…” Tom looked at Sam like he was listening intently, but he seemed to be hiding a blank expression. As old as Tom looked, he had to have lived through a time when these appliances were commonplace, Sam thought. Then again, maybe he came from a community that hadn’t embraced modern technology, the kind that might effectively exile someone for being too tall. “Anyway, you seem make due without them, and if you don’t have them, you don’t have to worry about them breaking.
Tom’s expression melted into a soft smile as he laughed quietly to himself. “That’s a nice way of looking at it.” Resuming using his fork, he skewered several of the vegetable pieces before asking, “Why do you use them, then?”
Sam nearly went on the defensive, but Tom’s tone sounded like one of genuine curiosity, not like that of a judgemental technophobe. “Convenience, I guess. I don’t really have time to do things like grow my own food and make my own clothes.”
“Oh yeah?” Tom asked through a mouthful of vegetables. “What keeps you so busy?”
“Well, my job. I mean, my job used to keep me busy. I recently moved to a new city and haven’t found a job there yet, but I’m looking.”
“So you have all of these… time-saving devices, and nothing taking up that extra time they give you?”
“…I guess so.”
“Man,” Tom sighed, sounding genuinely jealous. “You must be able to do so much with your days.”
“Hehe, yeah,” Sam chuckled uncomfortably, knowing full well he was spending all that time procrastinating on the internet, but not having the heart to tell that to someone who probably worked harder each day than he would in any job. “I mean, what do you do for fun around here?”
“Mmm,” Tom said as he finished chewing. “I try to find my fun in the small things. A successful hunt, a bountiful harvest, getting creative when I make my own clothes. That’s my idea of fun,” he finished before he took another bite. After he finished, he looked down and asked, “I’m guessing the answer will be no, but would you like some more potatoes?”
Sam didn’t even have to look down before his attention was drawn back to the ever expanding mound of food in his stomach. At this point, his stance resembled leaning back on the couch more than sitting down. With how stuffed he was, he couldn’t manage any other posture. The tension in his stomach had taken on a life of its own, completely unaffected by any attempt he made to reign his bulbous abdomen in. Trying to subtly take stock of the damage, he felt that his shirt had ridden farther up his stomach and cleared his belly button. Trying to pull it back down didn’t get it very far.
“Um, n-no thanks,” Sam stuttered, suddenly feeling quite exhausted from how much he’d eaten. How he hadn’t felt it before was a mystery, but it was hard to shake off now. “So,” he practically sighed, “what’s an average day like… for you out here?” In his stupor, he had trouble even committing to sentences, and figured it better to let Tom talk.
“It depends on what needs to be done that day. Tending to the crops, or harvesting, or planting, depending on where they are in the process. Collecting water from the river. Checking my traps for game and setting new ones. That’s how I caught that deer you’re eating. Also fixing up the house and my tools. And cooking, of course. I might go fishing if I don’t have too much to do.”
“That sounds nice,” Sam muttered through a mouthful of venison, too out of it to say much else.
“Heh, well, I guess it has its highlights. Not something civilized folk like you would be interested in, though.”
“Hey. You’ve got… a pretty good… one-man civilization going here,” Sam stammered, sounding like he did on nights when he went out with his friends and had a bit too much to drink.
“Heh, well… thank you.”
“No ‘don’t sugarcoat it’… this time?”
With a chuckle, Tom told him, “I don’t think you could do that right now even if you wanted to. You alright, bub?”
Tearing off another bite of venison with his teeth, Sam insisted, “I’ll be fine.” He’d forgone the fork and knife that Tom was still using to finish his own venison, too dazed to give any thought to using his own utensils. He continued munching on the slab of meat in much the same way as conversation tapered off between the two, Tom deciding to not burden his tired guest by making him talk. Sam didn’t seem to notice, biting off more and more of the flank like he was in a trance. As full as he was, it wasn’t like it made much of a difference.
They carried on that way until Sam had finished even the venison, cleaning off every plate of the feast that he’d once thought he couldn’t finish even one plate of. “Good?” Tom asked, to no avail. For not long after Sam had finished his final dish, he fell asleep in his chair, as evidenced by his noticeable snoring. Tom stared his way for a moment before a sympathetic smile crept across his face, his eyebrows arching outward. “Poor guy,” Tom whispered to himself. “So exhausted from his day he couldn’t even stay awake through a meal.”
When Tom had finished the last of his venison, he walked over to Sam’s side of the table and pulled out his chair. Being as big as he was, Tom had no trouble picking his exhausted guest up and carrying him over to the couch. He laid him down and gently draped a blanket over him, figuring that would be enough in the warmer weather. With a contented sigh, he walked back to the table to clean up from dinner.
Sam awoke with foggy memories from the previous night. He remembered something about a giant man who cooked a feast for him that he could never possibly finish. He remembered finishing it. What he knew for sure was that he’d been lost in the woods the day before, and now he had a roof over his head and a blanket over his body, so at least he had found shelter.
Sam looked over and saw a large figure at the other end of the cabin. The cabin must have been doing some kind of forced perspective on him, Sam concluded, because the man looked about eight feet tall. After rubbing his eye and looking again, Sam realized that the figure was indeed as big as he looked, and it was Sam who was the wrong size for this cabin.
“Didn’t want to start on breakfast until you woke up. After last night, I figured I better let you sleep as much as you need.”
As Sam resumed a sitting position, he felt an odd sort of soreness in his stomach muscles, like they’d been intensely worked out recently. He remembered the feast from the previous night, but didn’t feel stuffed like he’d expect to given how much he ate. It all seemed so surreal, but if he was indeed sharing this cabin with an eight-foot-tall man, then maybe the rest was true too.
When Sam stood up, he was struck by an unfamiliar pressure in his abdomen. Not like he was full, but like the muscles were pushing out. Upon touching his stomach, he could feel that it wasn’t noticeably flabbier than it had been before, but it was definitely more voluminous. Feeling it over revealed it was firmer in some spots, like his abs were tensed up. Sucking his stomach in, he found it took a more familiar shape, one it maintained naturally. It seemed his muscles were used to holding a tension of some kind, but for most of his life, that tension came from sucking his stomach in.
“I hope you like acorn pancakes,” the giant–right, Tom was his name–said as he mixed the flour and water.
“Never had them before, but I do like pancakes.”
“Good! I figure we’ll have a light breakfast before we start our trip back.”
“Back? Back where?” Sam asked, still not fully awake.
With a chuckle, Tom responded, “To take you back home, of course. To Bunyan Woods?”
“Oh, yeah…” Sam affirmed sleepily as he remembered what had brought him out here in the first place.
Turning around to face Sam, Tom revealed a worried expression. “Unless you don’t feel ready to go back.”
Sam looked back with a blank expression before rubbing his eyes with the palm of his hand. “Let’s talk about it after breakfast,” he mumbled.
Sam took a seat at the table and leaned forward with his head bent down. Hearing what sounded like metal clinking, he looked to the side and saw Tom pull down a chain near the fire pit, before hanging it out of the way on the wall. With some flint, he lit the fire he’d already set up before Sam awoke, tending to it until it was hot enough to cook pancakes. He left a griddle to warm up on top of the two large logs and sat down at the table with Sam.
“How’d you sleep?”
“Well enough, I guess.”
“Good to hear. You were tired last night. Couldn’t even stay awake through dinner. Must have had a hard day.”
Sam didn’t have the energy to correct Tom and tell him his tiredness was due to food coma, so he merely replied with a groggy, “Yeah.”
“Getting around these forests can be hard if you don’t know your way.”
“Yeah, well, at least you do, right?”
“Yep,” Tom replied assuredly. “I’ve lived here long enough, I better.”
With a yawn, Sam replied, “Good. ‘Cuz I sure as hell can’t find my way back.”
The two chatted quietly some more until Tom got up to check on the griddle again. Sprinkling some water on it, he found it sizzled and steamed up nicely. He poured four rather large pancakes on the very large griddle, and set out forks and knives for him and Sam. He also pulled out a bottle of some kind of thick, brown liquid that resembled maple syrup, though there weren’t any maple trees in the region, so Sam could only guess what it actually was.
Taking a giant spatula in hand, Tom flipped the pancakes, producing some more sizzling. The tops were a nice golden brown, something he seemed quite proud of. They were the right size that two of them would make a satisfying breakfast, which was a relief to Sam after the previous night. Not exactly the light breakfast Tom had promised, but more manageable than the feast of a dinner he’d served the night before.
When the pancakes were done, Tom stacked them two each on two plates and brought them to the table. “That’ll get us started, huh?”
“Mmhm,” Sam mumbled, not giving much thought to what Tom was saying beyond the fact that he was bringing food. He poured a healthy amount of the syrup on his pancakes and cut them up to take a bite. The acorn flour gave them a taste he wasn’t used to, but the syrup complimented it nicely, more so than maple would.
As Sam ate his pancakes, he became more animated now that he had some food in his system. Though he couldn’t match the pace with which Tom ate his breakfast, his movements became less sluggish now that he was finally waking up. He and Tom talked more about life in the woods and what cooking was like when he had to grow all his own food.
Tom finished his pancakes while Sam was still eating his. After taking his last bite, he walked back to the fire and poured four more on the griddle. All of them ended up on Tom’s plate, much to Sam’s relief, as he finished the last piece of his first one.
Sam ate his second pancake more deliberately than the first one, with one of the hefty pancakes already leaving him quite satisfied. But given how good they were, he didn’t want to let it go to waste. In contrast, Tom maintained a consistent speed as he ate his four pancakes, clearly not feeling full from the first two. The two ate over quiet conversation, mostly making pleasantries as Tom wolfed down his second portion of breakfast.
To Sam’s amazement, even that second portion of pancakes didn’t seem to be enough for Tom. Once he finished his stack of four, he got up and poured another four on the griddle, using up the last of the batter. Sam marveled at the magnitude of the giant’s appetite as he finished the last of his second pancake. Given the feast they’d enjoyed the night before, however, he told himself he shouldn’t be surprised.
But there was a different surprise in store for Sam. As he ate the last piece of his second pancake, Tom took his plate, remarking, “Just in time.” Before Sam could chew and swallow to say a word in protest, Tom had already stacked the four last pancakes on his plate and brought it back.
With eyes open wide in surprise, Sam swallowed his last bite and insisted, “Really, Tom, you shouldn’t have.”
“Oh it’s no trouble at all. I wouldn’t want to be a bad host and give myself more than you,” he replied with a smile that Sam couldn’t bring himself to say no to. But he could scarcely imagine eating another pancake, let alone four more. “I’ll go ahead and clean up as you eat these, then we can head out and get you home.”
As much as Tom clearly cared for Sam, Sam felt like he should have felt okay with gently turning down Tom’s offer of more pancakes. But the previous two were so good, and Tom had grown or harvested the ingredients for them himself. So Sam figured he could at least put a dent in them to show his gratitude, then stop and tell Tom they were so good, but he couldn’t eat another bite.
So Sam poured some syrup on his stack and cut a piece out of the top pancake with his fork. He worked his way down and in, forgoing the one-at-a-time approach he’d used before in the hopes of making it appear as if he’s eaten more by eating some of each pancake.
The question became, how much more should he eat? Sam wanted to put in a good effort before admitting defeat. But with each bite, he could feel his stomach get just a little bit tighter, just a smidge fuller. If he ate too much, he’d surely regret it.
And without eating the pancakes one at a time, it was hard for Sam to tell how much he’d already eaten. When he’d made what resembled a small valley in the pancakes, he knew he was getting to a point where it would be reasonable to stop. But as more syrup cascaded down his stack like slow waterfalls, he found himself exhaling exhaustedly, knowing the next few bites would be the hardest.
So Sam settled in and kept on eating. Though his stomach felt a little bit tighter with every bite, he developed a rhythm and focused on the motions, trying to shut out the resulting sensations. It seemed to be working. His awareness of his stuffed feeling faded into the background, as did his appreciation of the pancakes. As delicious as they were, he knew he couldn’t focus on how good they tasted without becoming aware of how much he’d eaten. Thus he worked his way through his second batch, telling himself he’d stop when he couldn’t eat anymore.
But Sam never found out what that point would have been. As his fork made an unmuffled clanging sound against the plate, he looked down more intently and realized he’d finished all the pancakes. All six of the giant flapjacks now lay in his protruding belly. Once again, his shirt had ridden up his stomach to show the firm mass underneath.
“Alright, just let me clean this up and we can head out,” Tom assured him as he took his plate and utensils. Once Tom turned away from Sam, Sam lifted his arm to rub his belly and found it was firm underneath his touch. He gently patted the top of his gut, finding it felt like he’d swallowed a stone. When he finally stood up, it only felt more so like a rock had grown in his gut. His stomach resisted any sort of compression as he tried to bend into a standing pose, and when he managed to stand anyway, he felt off-balance. He arched his back as his stomach pushed out even farther, insisting on making room for itself. Trying to pull down his shirt proved to be of no avail.
“All set,” Tom called out as he put the last plate on the shelf. When he turned around, he was greeted by the sight of Sam leaning on his chair, struggling to keep his balance. “You feeling okay?”
“Yeah… fine…” Sam tried to reassure him.
“Hey, look,” Tom said in a soft voice as he walked over to Sam. “Don’t feel like you have to leave if you’re not ready to go. You’re not a burden or anything. And… really, having someone to talk to has been… well, I didn’t realize how much I missed it.”
In Sam’s current state, he definitely didn’t feel like walking all the way back to Bunyan Woods. And as tuckered out as he felt after the feasts Tom made for him, they were still quite tasty. “You mean it?”
A smile spread across Tom’s face, and he patted Sam on his shoulder. “My cabin is yours as long as you need it. In the meantime, you should probably get some rest.”
Sam nodded and hobbled back to the couch, swaying back and forth from the weight of the pancakes in his stomach. The couch felt especially comfortable in his turgid state, and as he lay back to nap off his meal, he found himself thinking, “I could get used to this.”
It was at least a few weeks after Sam had stumbled upon Tom’s cabin. Not wanting to be a mooch, and not wanting to sit around the cabin doing nothing, Sam had been helping Tom out with his usual daily activities. He didn’t know much about living off the land, but Tom was able to teach him to the point where he could lend a helping hand.
On this day in particular, both men walked around Tom’s field with baskets, picking the corn off of the newly grown stalks. It was the first time Sam had helped Tom with something so strenuous, and under the hot sun, he frequently had to lift his shirt up to wipe the sweat from his face. By the time they were nearing the end, he’d soaked every part of the shirt he could reasonably reach to his face.
By that point, Sam no longer tried to pull his shirt down after using it to dry himself. In part, it was because his clammy shirt wasn’t exactly comfortable in the heat, and the more of himself he left exposed, the cooler he stayed.
But it also wasn’t worth pulling the shirt down when it didn’t fit him. Tom’s feasts were starting to pile up on Sam’s waistline, and he’d outgrown the shirt he’d worn into the woods. Even if he pulled the shirt down, it wouldn’t reach his belly button. He walked around the fields with the sweaty cloth bunched up on top of a respectably-sized belly that stuck out from his once average frame. His stomach was round and firm, maintaining the shape it took when he was stuffed from Tom’s cooking.
“I think we’re all set,” Tom called out over the stalks. As the both turned to take their corn inside, Tom continued, “the next step will be to plow the stalks into the ground to replenish the soil. I’ll do that myself. I think the plow would be too heavy for you.”
“Fine by me,” Sam panted, out of breath from the work of the day.
“What do you want to plant next? I was thinking some yams.”
“Uh, maybe some cotton? You said you make your own clothes, right?”
“Yeah…” Tom replied slowly.
“Well… I could use a new shirt.”
“What’s wrong with your shirt?”
“It doesn’t fit,” Sam replied, surprised Tom hadn’t noticed.
“Looks fine to me. You got it on.”
Sam was about to correct Tom, but he realized that Tom was the only one around to see him in this ill-fitting shirt. If Tom didn’t mind it, why should he? A bigger shirt would only be hotter in this heat. “Yeah, you’re right.”
“Besides, I have a reserve of cloth I can use whenever you need it. Now, while I’m working the fields, maybe you could start on dinner.”
After they brought the corn in, Sam peeled a dozen ears for them to share as Tom plowed the stalks back into the fields. It didn’t take Sam long to finish, so he started chopping up the vegetables too, finishing just as Tom came in. With the two of them working together, dinner got done in no time. They sat down to a feast much like the one they’d enjoyed during Sam’s first night at the cabin, but with the potatoes replaced with homemade bread.
The two dug in as soon as they sat down, Sam famished after his work in the fields. Between bites, they bonded over comparing Tom’s life in the woods with Sam’s life back in the city. Often, Tom concluded that modern city life seemed wondrous, but not worth the hassle. The more they talked, the harder Sam found it to disagree.
By then, Sam had gotten used to the gigantic proportions Tom served and was long past being shocked when he sat down to eat. After a long day of working outside, Sam was managing with Tom’s giant-sized portions more easily than he expected. As all of the entreés were depleted at a consistent pace, he didn’t find himself falling victim to food coma. While it was still a lot of food for him, finishing it all seemed daunting, not impossible.
And with Tom’s conversation helping to keep Sam from focusing on his food, he did finish it all. He certainly felt full, but unlike previous nights, he didn’t feel ready to pass out. He lay back in his chair as Tom took the plates away and gently stroked his stuffed belly when Tom wasn’t looking. Thanks to the height of the chairs, he was able to stand up by sliding off, rather than having to lean forward, which his stomach would have certainly complained about.
As Sam arched his back, his engorged stomach relaxed to make use of the extra room. He tugged at his shirt only to find it stood no chance of covering anywhere near as much as it used to, leaving his bulbous gut to hang out in plain sight. He hobbled over to the kitchen area, where Tom was cleaning up.
“Any way I can help?” Sam asked in a strained voice.
Looking back at Sam with eyebrows raised in surprise, Tom ask, “You don’t want to go to sleep?”
“Not immediately,” Sam groaned.
Tom’s surprised expression softened into a warm smile. “Glad to see you’re finally getting better.” Pointing toward a towel with his elbow, he continued, “I only have one cloth for washing them, but you can dry them as I finish.”
Sam only had the energy to dry about half of the dishes, never mind putting any way. Before long, he could feel his eyelids being pulled down by the weight of his stuffed belly. He bid Tom good night before stumbling to the couch, denying Tom’s offer to help him but still somehow managing. When he fell on the couch, he barely had the energy to pull the blanket over himself, feeling it glide over his distended belly before he fell asleep.
Sam had lost track of how long he’d been living with Tom. With his phone long dead, he had no way of knowing the date. Only his rough idea of how many nights he’d slept on that couch gave him any sense of how many days it was since he’d gotten lost in Bunyan woods. If he had to guess, he would have guessed it was well over a hundred.
However many it was, Sam was definitely enjoying his time spent with Tom. The longer he spent working the farmland and making meals with the giant, the less he missed the conveniences of city life. Rather than spending his days aimlessly browsing the internet and endlessly trawling job listings to no avail, he knew where all his time was going each day. It went right onto the table, or right into the house, depending on what he was helping Tom with on any particular day.
That particular day, it was right onto the table, for Tom felt Sam was ready to start hunting for the two. With his bow and quiver slung over his back, Tom lead Sam through the woods around the cabin, showing him the various traps he’d set up to catch animals. He learned how to set them, and what signs Tom had left for himself to avoid falling to his own devices.
“They’re mostly snares,” Tom told him, “so you could probably get yourself out of one of it came to that. Hell, the hanging rope might not even have enough counterweight to string you up at this point,” he joked as he patted Sam’s ample belly. It didn’t come across to Sam as mean-spirited; if anything, it was his trap that was the butt of the joke, not Sam.
But Sam had certainly gotten bigger, which was all the more evident as the two walked around wearing only tan pants and their respective footwear. Tom had insisted they leave the cabin that way, as their shirts would make them stand out more against the forest. “Won’t someone like you stand out anyway?” Sam had asked.
“Thanks to how long I’ve lived out here, no. You will, though, until you learn to walk more softly and be one with the woods.”
Sam wasn’t sure that would ever happen. He was already pretty awkward when he’d walked into the forest, and growing bigger hadn’t exactly helped. For sure, all the work he did helping Tom in the fields gave him more than enough muscle to carry his new weight around. But he still walked with a bounce that surely stuck out in the tranquility of the woods. His arms swung widely at his side as his legs came pounding down on the earth, carrying the weight of his newly added mass. When he did, he could feel his belly bounce just a little from the impact.
Sam’s belly had grown big enough that he found himself having to maneuver his tools around it as he worked the land. It had grown out to a solid sphere, round and protuberant in a way his starter belly wasn’t. Now it stuck out like a backpack in reverse, and he similarly found himself leaning back as he walked to compensate for the added weight. But it was wider around than all but the heftiest of hiking packs. Though Tom didn’t have a measuring tape Sam could use, he guess that his stomach seemed to be about two feet wide and stuck out just under a foot from his now firm, muscular chest.
If anything, Sam’s body now resembled a more heavyset version of the strongmen he’d initially compared Tom too when he arrived at the cabin. He didn’t consider himself flabby, and certainly not out of shape. And his now scraggly beard helped him look the part of a wildman. But he still doubted he’d ever walk softly through the woods, even if enough time passed that he became one with them.
Not long after he patted Sam’s belly, Tom craned his head away from Sam, his eyes pointing upward like he was listening intently. He then crouched down, motioning for Sam to do the same. “Wait here,” he whispered.
“What is it?”
“Dinner, hopefully,” Tom answered as he pulled the bow off of his back. As he withdrew an arrow, he turned to Sam and told him, “I’ll be back. Lay low for now.” Soon he snuck off into the wilderness, notching his arrow as he did.
Sam found himself unable to hear Tom before he’d even snuck out of view. He was left crouching on one of the flatter stretches of earth in the forest. Not knowing how long he’d be waiting there, he leaned back against a tree and let his legs splay out beneath him, trying to make as little noise as possible as he sat down.
Once his butt hit the ground, he let out a quiet sigh, relieved to no longer be straining his legs. While he initially remained still, it didn’t take long before the tension of the situation vanished, and he let his mind wander. As his feet absentmindedly swung back and forth, he ran his fingers along the dirt next to him, making patterns with his fingertips.
As Sam sat in place, he heard a quiet thumping to his left. He looked up to see a rabbit slowly hopping his way. Once the rabbit was close, it ran its paws over its head like it was cleaning itself. Sam was astounded. A wild animal had never gotten that close to him before. Even the squirrels in the parks, brazen as they were from years of desensitization to humans, wouldn’t get so close so casually.
As gingerly as he could, Sam reached his hand out toward the rabbit, hoping to pet it. But as his hand got close, he heard a “thwip” in the not-so-far-off distance, followed by the pained grunt of a creature that sounded much larger than the rabbit. By the time Sam processed what he’d heard, the rabbit was already dashing away, and soon it was out of sight.
Sam remained seated until he heard the distinctive rustling that could be made by a man of Tom’s stature walking through the underbrush. Soon he saw the giant emerge into view with a buck slung over his shoulders, with one of his giant arrows sticking in one side of the animal’s neck and out the other. “We’ll eat well tonight,” Tom boasted.
The two walked around with Tom still carrying the deer over his shoulders as he showed Sam the rest of the traps. Tom was thankful he’d made his shot, for they didn’t find anything in the traps. “Maybe next time,” Tom lamented. “For now, let’s take this back to the cabin.”
Sam worked the field as Tom hung the deer up to let the blood to drain out. Soon he joined Sam out in the field to harvest the sweet potato crop. Once that was done, they started on dinner, where Sam noticed a distinct lack of venison. “We’re not having the deer tonight?”
“Nah, we need to let it hang for a while.”
“But you said that was dinner.”
“Not dinner tonight,” Tom clarified. “Don’t worry, we still have enough turkey to last us until then.”
And so the two prepared a dinner of turkey, bread and butter, a green bean medley, and sweet potatoes made with the mystery syrup that the two spread on their acorn pancakes. The resemblance to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner was not lost on Sam, though he doubted it was deliberate. While most people he knew waited for special occasions to eat dinner like this, Tom simply ate them whenever he wanted. It was one more thing Sam liked more about cabin life compared to city life.
As the two ate, they chatted about hunting and what it might take for Sam to become good enough to take down a deer himself. Having lived with Tom for as long as he had, Sam found the size of the meals easier to manage. It was still a veritable feast, but it was a feast he could handle without passing out at the end. Once the two finished, he stood up and leaned back to give his stuffed gut more room to stretch out. Though he walked around the cabin with a bit of a waddle to accommodate his newly added girth from the meal, he had no issue shuffling his way to the kitchen area to help Tom with the dishes.
Sam always tried to help Tom with the dishes after meals, but it took a long time of him living at the house before he could stay awake long enough to help dry all of them. It was only more recently that he didn’t fall asleep immediately after finishing the dishes, the food coma not being quite so incapacitating. This ended up being new territory for the two, as Tom wasn’t used to entertaining his guest past dinner hours. But they made it work, spending the time chopping firewood, taking walks around the woods while the sun was still up, and whittling by fire light once the sun went down.
By then, the two spending time together after dinner had become the new normal, just a part of their day that neither gave much thought. At least, not before that night. As they sat around a bonfire outside, running their knives across their respective projects, Tom asked, “Say, you used to fall asleep after dinner, didn’t you?” His tone was rhetorical, like he knew the answer, as Sam would expect.
“Uh, yeah…” Sam answer, unsure where Tom was going with this.
“Aw, this is great,” Tom continued. “I was worried you wouldn’t ever recover from your ordeal in the woods the day you stumbled upon my cabin. I still remember the first night; you were so tired you couldn’t stay awake through dinner. And now look at you! You’re finally better again!”
There was a silent pause between the two, marked only by the sound of Tom running his knife over his piece of wood, trying to aim his strokes such that the shavings fell in the fire. It was a little game the two of them played as they whittled, just one of the little things between them that had made Sam more than happy to stay with Tom, even though he knew good and well that he was well enough to walk back to Bunyan woods.
“So uh…” The enthusiasm was lost in Tom’s voice. He kept his eyes on his knife and the lumpy piece of wood that was just starting to take shape, seeming unwilling to look Sam in the eyes. “I guess that means… I can take you back to Bunyan woods soon.” If Tom had said that back when Sam first arrived at the cabin, his voice would have been full of excitement about Tom’s apparent recovery. But now, there was none of that, only resignation and a bit of dejection.
Sam remained silent. He couldn’t honestly say he didn’t feel like he was ready to go back, but he couldn’t bring himself to say he was ready to leave Tom and the cabin behind. Instead, he merely kept whittling away at the piece of wood that was starting to come together in his hand. Slowly but surely, each shaving was flicked away to reveal the shape he had in mind: a cabin, not unlike the one they sat next to.
It was a rare lazy day at the cabin: the firewood was all chopped, the crops were all planted, and Tom and Sam had everything they needed to make dinner that night. There was no meat that needed to be tended to, no repairs that needed to be done, nothing demanding their time other than each other.
That tranquil day found the two at a lake that was about an hour’s walk from the cabin, putting the fishing rod Tom had recently helped Sam fashion to good use. The two sat by the shore, legs dangling off of a rock face just low enough that Sam could splash the water with his feet if he wanted to. Tom’s feet sunk more deeply beneath the surface, but he seemed happy to let his feet soak as the two spent a lazy afternoon drawing their lines across the surface of the water.
It was one of the hotter days of summer, and both men sat with their button-down shirts open to try to keep cool. Flanked by either side of Sam’s shirt was his gargantuan belly, having grown even bigger the longer he’d stayed with Tom. His gut now stuck out well over his thighs, encroaching on his knees when he could sit with his legs together. More often, he let his legs spread, pushed apart by the weight of his round belly pushing on them. It now stuck out well over a foot in front of his still-solid chest, and he guessed it had to be around two-and-a-half feet wide.
Sam was, of course, wearing a shirt that Tom had made for him, as the shirt he’d worn into Bunyan Woods that fateful day was far too small to use as anything but a rag. “Where did you get the buttons?” Sam had asked him when he first got the shirt.
“I made them,” Tom answered matter-of-factly. “From bones. I told you: I use every part of the deer.”
On most days, Sam made use of the buttons, but now, as he and Tom sat in the sun by the side of the lake, he was happy to leave them open. It wasn’t especially strenuous work casting the line and pulling it in again, but in this weather, it was enough to make him work up a sweat. He tried to avoid wiping the sweat off his face with his shirt, as that moisture against his skin would only make the weather feel muggier. Instead he rubbed the back of his flabby hands against forehand before flicking it toward the lake.
As the two sat by the lakeside, a rabbit hopped over towards them and stopped in between them, resting in the shade cast by Tom. It reminded Sam of the rabbit that had approached him the first day Tom took him out hunting. But this time, when Sam reached his hand out to pet it, it wasn’t spooked away. Instead, it rubbed its head with its paws as Sam gently glided his fingers across the top of the rabbit’s head. After a while, it flopped over on its side, landing a few inches from Sam.
“That means it trusts you,” Tom told Sam softly.
“Rabbits are prey animals. They might need to make a getaway at any point from all the critters out here trying to eat them, so they often can’t afford to lie down like this. This means it feels safe around us.” As Sam kept gently stroking the rabbit’s fur, over its head and down its back, Tom concluded, “Especially around you, it seems.”
But the tranquility of the scene was soon broke, this time by Sam, who felt a strong tug on his fishing line. He grabbed his rod with both hands and pulled it back, grabbing the line with his right hand as he fought against the pull on the other side. He alternated between his two hands as he pulled the line in closer, wrapping it around his palms so it wouldn’t slip out. Soon enough, he saw the splashing on the surface.
“Ohhh, that’s a big one!” Tom called out as Sam kept pulling. With a few more tugs, he had the fish above the surface of the water and pulled it on shore with them. “Oh, that’s a real nice one. We’ll be eating good tonight,” Tom enthused as Sam stood up with the fish in hand. It was over two feet long, still flopping as it hung from the line. It had a lot of strength as it thrashed around, but with all the work he’d done helping Tom, Sam had enough strength of his own to keep his hold on the fish.
“Do you want to gut that or should I?” Tom asked.
“I think you better. I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Nodding his head back toward the cabin, Tom said, “Come on,” as he got back up. “I’ll show you.”
The two made their way back, thankful to once again be in the shade of the trees. They took turns carrying the catch so Sam’s arms wouldn’t get tired, and they talked about what else they might eat that night. Once they got back, gutting the fish proved to be easier than Sam expected, although he surmised that might have been because Tom had more strength to pull its innards out than he did.
With the fish ready to cook, the two set about making dinner for that night: smoked fish fillet, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, and a large bowl of sweet corn for each. Sam and Tom split the fish between them, each taking half of it to eat that night. Sam was especially grateful for the large portions, because after all that walking, he was famished.
Conversation between the two remained lively over dinner. Sam’s appetite had grown large enough that he could finally match Tom’s without much issue. While he certainly felt pleasantly stuffed after dinner, he no longer found himself waddling around the cabin as he helped clean up. It was a nice, comfortable fullness, a far cry from how he used to feel about those meals.
Of course, that appetite increase was hard-won. It was the result of eating the mammoth meals Tom had laid out for him for… at that point, Sam had no idea, but it had to be over a year. He wore his bulbous belly like a medal for that accomplishment, both a symbol of it and a consequence. Even at his present size, it still stuck out round and rigid, something he attributed both to the muscles he’d built up from all his work and to his giant meals stretching it out. And thanks to those muscles, he didn’t have much trouble moving his bulbous form around, though he had to be conscious of his belly when he maneuvered his tools in the fields.
With some daylight left, both Sam and Tom took their whittling knives outside to do some detail work on their pieces. Sam had previously abandoned his rabbit carving, but had enthusiastically decided to take it up again. Tom seemed to be working on an ox. As they sat around the fire pit, tossing their shavings toward it in anticipation of the fire that night, Tom paused his carving and looked up toward Sam. “Do you ever regret leaving behind city life?”
It was a question that caught Sam off guard, causing him to pause with his knife still in a groove and look up at Tom with wide eyes. Those eyes softened when he beheld the look of genuine curiosity on Tom’s face, and his mouth curled into a smile. Lifting his arm to pat Tom’s shoulder, he assuredly replied, “Not a bit.”
[Author’s note: When I first had the idea for this story, I had conceived of the relationship between Sam and Tom being totally platonic. But as I was finishing what became part 2 of this story, writing about these two massive guys living on their own together out in the woods, the evil Kermit side of my brain was saying, “Make them fuck.” And once I started coming up with of ideas for a sex scene, the desire to write it became overwhelming. But I also knew there would be people in my audience who wouldn’t want to read that sort of thing.
So I came up with a middle ground. The sex scene was written as a sort of “epilogue” to the story, and I kept all of the actual plot and weight gain to the story propper. This way, I got to write the scene I wanted to write, any readers who come for the weight gain and plot don’t feel compelled to stay for the sex scene, and any readers who are interested will still get to read it. It ended up being my favorite part of the story, so I’m glad I wrote it after all. That said, it contains minimal advancement of the story. So if you’re only into the gaining stuff and not the sexual stuff, you can comfortably stop reading here. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy!]
Tom had been looking at Sam differently for the previous few weeks. Not maliciously, for sure, but there was something in the way his eyes lingered on Sam when they worked the fields or made dinner. Something that definitely wasn’t there when Sam first arrived, or even for a long time after. But now, when Tom looked at Sam, he’d sometimes lower his eyelids, sometimes look him up and down, and sometimes twist his lips just a little.
Sam had his suspicions, but after well over a year of living with Tom, he could scarcely believe them. If Tom hadn’t seem him that way for as long as they’d lived together, why would he now?
On the next lazy day at the cabin, Sam got his answer. The two had lit a large bonfire during the afternoon, over which they’d placed the rack and laid their meat to cure. With nothing more pressing to do, they sat around it as they did when they whittled, enjoying the sound of the crackling logs and the aromas of the meats.
“This is nice,” Tom said gently, breaking the quiet the two had been enjoying as they watched the fire.
“Yeah,” Sam concurred, his voice just as soft.
“You know, Sam,” Tom started, shifting in place to face Sam more head-on. “A big part of the reason I moved out here was because I never thought I’d meet someone else like me. Out here, I can’t be the weird one, because I’m the only one. Even when you started staying with me, it wasn’t so bad, because neither one of us could be the normal majority,” he chuckled.
“But… something interesting happened,” Tom continued. “In short… I think I rubbed off on you,” he claimed with a smile, reaching over to put his hand on Sam’s shoulder. Sam felt Tom rub his thumb gingerly over him, a far cry from the shoulder pats he was used to.
“W-what do you mean?”
“Aw, don’t be so humble,” Tom said with a quiet chuckle. “Look at all you’ve done while you’ve been here. At first, you could barely plant a seed, had no idea how to hunt, and couldn’t repair the cabin worth a damn. Now? You’re a veritable woodsman, a damn survivalist!” he boasted proudly. “Not to mention,” he said with a more casual tone as his hand migrated around Sam’s side to the top of his stomach. “You’ve become a bit more gigantic yourself.”
With his wide hand on Sam’s gut, Tom started rubbing back and forth. As gentle as he seemed to be trying to be, the force of his touch still made Sam sway side to side with his touch. To Sam’s surprise, he didn’t mind it. He quite enjoyed Tom handling him so strongly, moving even his hefty frame like just another animal brought in from the hunt. As big as he’d become, he found something thrilling in the touch of someone who could still dwarf him.
It wasn’t long before Sam found his eyes closing from Tom’s touch. A deep hum escaped his lips, bordering on a moan. “You like that?” Tom asked with an assured tone.
“Yeah,” Sam gasped in a higher pitch.
Soon Sam felt Tom’s immense fingers undoing the buttons of his shirt, starting from the top and working his way down. The buttons occasionally proved cumbersome for Sam, as they were made by and for hands the size of Tom’s, but Tom’s fingers deftly slid them open. Sam breathed heavily as a few of the buttons came undone before he called out, “Wait.”
Tom withdrew his hand immediately. “I’m sorry. I went too fast, didn’t I?”
“No, it’s just… should we be doing this out here?”
“You’re worried about the fire?” Before Sam could object, Tom grabbed one of the giant sticks he kept nearby and prodded the logs until they collapsed in on themselves. After a brief flare up, the flame quickly died down, flickering a bit before the logs were reduced to embers. “There. We can get it going again afterward,” Tom told Sam assuredly, looking in his eyes with that smile yet again.
“That’s nice, but… Shouldn’t we be doing this somewhere private?”
Tom’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked at Sam. “I don’t understand.”
“What if someone sees us?” Sam asked, realizing how ridiculous he sounded at precisely the moment when it was too late to stop himself from saying the words.
The look of confusion on Tom’s face unfolded into an amused chuckle. His hand returned to Sam’s shoulder, this time landing with that familiar pat. “I don’t think the critters will mind, Sam.” With his hand still resting on Sam’s shoulder, he asked, “Were you really nervous about that?”
“Yeah…” Sam’s answer was drawn out, conveying just how absurd he knew his worry was.
“Is that… all you were nervous about?” Tom asked more coyly, leaning his head toward Sam and looking up at him as if he were looking over a pair of glasses.
“I… yeah, actually,” Sam answered, trying to match the sultriness of Tom’s voice. With his own hand, Sam held the top of Tom’s hand, barely able to wrap the tips of his fingers around Tom’s palm, and pulled it back over his chest.
With half-closed eyelids and a rejuvenated smile, Tom dragged a single finger down Sam’s exposed chest until he reached the still-closed buttons. He resumed undoing those, progressively opening the shirt until the lowest button was undone. The flaps of the shirt fell to the side, for Sam’s gut stuck out too far for them to remain in place on their own. With a deep, eager inhalation, Sam looked up as he felt Tom’s finger running up the center of his belly, sending a tingling shiver down his gut. It crept up his chest to finally land on Sam’s beardy chin, along with Tom’s other digits. Holding Sam’s head as gingerly as he could, Tom looked him in the eyes and leaned in.
Both men’s eyes closed slowly on the approach, shutting when their lips touched. It was strange to Sam at first to kiss the lips of someone so much larger than him, someone whose lips he could barely get his own around. In contrast, when Tom’s lips separated, he had no problem getting them around Sam’s. It was a bit overwhelming, the kind of overwhelming Sam could get into.
When their lips both opened at the same time, Sam curiously stuck his tongue into Tom’s musky mouth, before Tom’s tongue practical pushed Sam’s out of the way. It felt almost more like fellatio than Frenching, but Tom’s tongue danced around Sam’s own in a way that put both on equal footing. As he did, his hand dropped from Sam’s chin and wrapped around his shoulders, pulling him closer. Sam reached out toward the front of Tom’s shirt and started undoing his buttons, finding it not quite so easy as Tom had.
With a chuckle, Tom pulled away and undid his buttons himself, speeding through them even more quickly than he had through Sam’s. His shirt didn’t fall away quite so easily, so he flung the two sides apart once the buttons were undone. Under a sturdy chest stuck out a firm and rounded stomach that seemed to be as much muscle as fat. In terms of relative size, Sam’s belly dwarfed Tom’s; in absolute size, the difference was obvious but not as stark.
Tom stood up from the logs they sat on and offered Sam his hand to help him do the same. Once Sam stood, they both realized a problem: Tom had at least two feet on Sam, making bending down to kiss him a tall order. “I don’t know if this is going to work,” Sam lamented.
After looking out toward the forest, Tom looked back at Sam with a mischievous smile on his face. “I have an idea.” With Sam’s hand still in his, he strolled toward the trees. Sam followed close behind, bounding across the open space with his arm angled much higher than Tom’s to keep a hold of his hand. Tom lead him to an inclined area near the cabin, forcing Sam to walk sideways down the slope.
Tom lead Sam to a giant tree on a particularly steep section of the incline. Tom let go of Sam’s hand to lean against the tree and look up the slope at him. Unfortunately, Sam lost his footing and fell right into Tom.
“Oof!” Tom exclaimed as he caught him. “Boy, you really have become gigantic,” he grunted as he strained to help Sam back onto his feet. Once Sam was upright again, Tom kept his hands on Sam’s shoulders. “Okay, there, there. You okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine now. I mean, that was a bit more thrilling than I would have liked but…” Sam grew silent when he looked up into Tom’s eyes and realized the two weren’t nearly so far apart now. He looked at Tom with eyes wide open and mouth hanging agape as Tom looked back with a gentle smile and eyes half closed. All they had to do was lean their heads toward each other and…
Their lips touched yet again. This time, Tom was more tender, perhaps aware of the precariousness of their perches and not wanting to risk rolling away. He wrapped his arms securely around Sam, like a bear hug they might have exchanged if they hadn’t seen each other in years. Unlike the passion of their first kiss, the was one shared in comfort. This was Tom finding another way to use his lips to say “I got you.”
Leaning up as far as he could, Sam wrapped his arms around Tom’s shoulders, resting them in the crook between his back and the tree. He could scarcely reach his hands far up enough to lock his fingers behind Tom’s neck, but once he did, he felt even more secure. Maybe that was why he felt comfortable opening his lips and kissing Tom just a bit more passionately. It was a passion Tom met, and soon the comforting pecks grew more wild.
Now that the two were so close, Sam could feel the warmth of Tom’s body against his own, both men’s stocky frames radiating into each other. Tom’s gut stood firm against the weight of Sam’s heavier belly, making Sam’s girth compress as he leaned in toward Tom. Sam felt a certain amount of bounce as stood against Tom, his belly pushing back against his own weight while also pulling him in.
With one arm still securely around Sam’s shoulders, Tom let his other hand wander back down to Sam’s belly. This time, he ran his fingers along the sides of Sam’s heft more gingerly, pressing just far enough into the skin to feel Sam’s belly push back. After some gentle touches, he let his fingers dig more deeply into Sam’s gut, casually giving it a shake the way only a man of his strength and stature could.
“This is nice,” Tom said gruffly, Sam’s belly still in hand.
“That’s all thanks to you and your wonderful cooking,” Sam assured him more softly.
With a low chuckle, Tom continued, “I told you I was rubbing off on you.”
After letting out an affirmative “Mmm,” Sam leaned in to keep kissing Tom, only for his foot to slip. Tom caught him with both arms under Sam’s shoulders, but Sam still said, “Maybe we should take this back to the cabin.”
“Yeah,” Tom concurred as he helped Sam regain his footing. Taking Sam’s hand in his, he started back up the hill.
Sam found the upward trek easier than the downhill one, and soon the two were back in the clearing. Though there was no flame coming out of the fire pit, the logs still glowed bright red, shining even in the light of day. As the two approached the cabin, Sam bounded ahead of Tom, up the steps, and onto the porch. “There,” Sam said proudly as he stood nearly eye level with Tom. “How about that?”
The giddy grin on Tom’s face was too much for Sam to bear, and he leaned in to cover it with his kiss. Tom returned the favor even more passionately, pulling Sam close and forcing him to lean forward, pivoting over his belly to reach his lips to Tom’s. His squeeze was tight, and Sam found his grip go from comforting to strangling. With a distressed moan, he patted his hands on Tom’s shoulders, causing him to pull away. Gasping for breath, he said, “You gotta give me room to breathe, big guy. You’re could have crushed me.”
With an embarrassed chuckle, Tom hung his head before looking back up at Sam, his head still pointed downward as he looked up with wide eyes. With a smirk, he placed his giant hands on Sam’s belly, covering far more of it than Sam expected. As before, Tom had an easier time handling Sam’s heft than anyone else would, digging his fingers into Sam’s gut and kneading it to his liking. As he moved his hands, Sam couldn’t help but sway back and forth with Tom’s caress, half from pleasure and half from the sheer force of Tom’s touch.
“I put this on ya, huh?” Tom asked huskily.
A whimpered, “Mm-hm,” was the only answer Sam could manage.
“Mmm,” Tom moaned, his hungry eyes locked on Sam’s belly. “It suits you.” Lifting Sam’s belly up as effortlessly as a log for the fire, he let it fall down into his hands, making Sam lean forward as his mound’s momentum pulled him into Tom’s hands. Once he’d leaned back up, Tom ran his hand under the bottom of Sam’s gut and grazed over his hard-on, sticking up under the loose cloth of the pants Tom had made for him. With another low chuckle, Tom grazed it again, this time intentionally. He looked into Sam’s eyes with lowered eyelids and asked, “What d’ya say we explore that neck of the woods?”
Sam’s heart started beating even faster, his breath quickening to match. But his eyes opened even wider, and he nodded eagerly, much to Tom’s delight. He let go of Sam with one hand and slid the other around his back and onto his shoulder, before leading him into the cabin.
For as long Sam had lived in the cabin, he’d never ventured to the side with Tom’s bed, never having a reason to. But now, Tom guided him to this unexplored territory with an eager grin on his face, rubbing his shoulder as roughly as he’d handled his belly before. It made Sam even more keen to see what would come next.
Once the two were on either side of the bed, Tom hooked his finger over the beltline of Sam’s pants. As he slid it along the hem and around Sam’s back, Sam felt his pants slide down off of him. Soon they were bunched up around his feet and he was left standing in his boxers, another garment Tom had made for him. Along with his pants, he stepped out of his shoes, the only thing he’d worn into the the woods that he hadn’t worn out or outgrown.
Tom quickly followed suit, bending over to unlace his boots before dropping dropping his pants around them. Once he did, Sam’s eyes went wide at the sight of the bulge in his boxers. He knew should have expected Tom’s length to be as gigantic as the rest of him, but he hadn’t considered it until then. “I, uh…“ he stuttered. “I dunno if, uh…“
“If you’re ready? Hey, that’s totally fine–”
“If I can,” Sam blurted out. “I don’t know if I can take all that.”
Tom followed Sam’s gaze down to his crotch before he nodded as he rubbed it absentmindedly through his boxers. From the outline, Sam gathered it had to be about ten or eleven inches long, and girthy to boot. It was mostly proportional for Tom, but still intimidating.
Tom looked down pensively before he raised his eyebrows with a smile on his face. “I have an idea.” Turning away from the bed, he flicked his boxers down to his feet and stepped out of them before sitting on the couch. Once Sam got the full-frontal view, it became abundantly clear to him that he certainly couldn’t take Tom’s entire length. But Tom still extended his finger out toward Sam and curled it back, beckoning him to join.
As Sam approached the couch, Tom slid forward until he was lying down as much as he was sitting. He spread his legs apart and patted the bottom of his stomach. “Take a seat here.”
“R-really? I won’t crush you?”
Tom merely let out a good-natured chuckle, which was all the assurance Sam needed. After dropping his boxers, he tried to sit on Tom’s lap, but ended up falling between his legs and onto the couch. With a giggle, Tom told him, “Higher up than that.” With Tom’s help, Sam moved up until he was sitting on Tom’s stomach. “Now lean back,” he cooed. Sam did as instructed, and with the height difference between them, he head landed next to Tom’s, resting on his shoulder. In that pose, Sam’s imposing gut stuck out even farther, bulging out in front of the two like a third participant in their encounter.
With one hand beneath Sam’s belly for support, Tom resumed rubbing it with the other. Sam let his legs down between Tom’s, hoping to give himself some sort of footing, but he soon felt Tom shift beneath him. He’d shoved his pelvis up against Sam’s legs, making Sam feel his stiff member rub against the crevice between his thighs. It was even warmer than his stomach, and compounded with the feeling of Tom rubbing his belly, Sam was finally getting into it.
But the pelvic thrusts didn’t stop there. Soon Sam felt Tom’s length running back and forth along the bottom of his thighs. The head was soft against his skin, compared to Tom’s work-roughened hands. After one particularly strong thrust, Sam felt his legs spread apart before coming back together on Tom’s shaft. “How’s that?” Tom groaned?
“I…” rather than answer, Sam merely crossed his calves to keep his legs together and held onto the hand below his belly. Tom slid easily between the flab of Sam’s thighs, with just enough fat on top of the muscle to make way for his girth. As he started thrusting, he tightened his grip on Sam’s belly with his free hand, rubbing over the bulbous mass and coaxing many a groan out of Sam.
Sam tried to maintain his composure, helping to keep himself supported and balanced on top of Tom. But as Tom hastened his thrusts and tightened his grip on Sam’s belly, even doing that much seemed unfeasible. All he could do was arch his head back Tom maneuvered his belly around and the head of his member popped in and out between his thighs.
“Oh gosh… don’t… don’t loosen up yet,” Tom gasped in Sam’s ear as he kept thrusting. Even focusing on keeping his legs together seemed like a tall order with everything that was going on. But he pressed on and pressed them in, goading another moan out of Tom. It ended up being the first of several, as Tom quickened his pace, springing Sam up and down even farther. Sam could feel his gut bouncing with Tom’s movements, his arched back giving it free reign to jiggle.
But it was working for Tom, as his moans grew louder, sounding more like gasps every time. When they reached their loudest, his pleasure erupted from between Sam’s legs and splattered all over his belly.
While Tom breathed a sigh of relief, Sam was too worked up to stand it anymore. Rotating his belly to the left, he reached his right hand down and took his own length in hand. It didn’t take long for his own pleasure to splatter across his gut, sprinkling itself among Tom’s as he let out a breathy groan.
Both men lay panting on the couch, Tom’s stomach pushing Sam up and down as his own gut rose and fell with his breath. “Do you… think you could… get up now?” Tom gasped.
With a chuckle, Sam shuffled to the side and plopped down on the couch next to Tom. He soon felt Tom’s arm come down behind his head and rest over his shoulders. When he looked up at Tom, Tom was looking down at him with an open-mouthed smile, still breathing heavily. Once the two had a moment to rest and relax a bit, Tom bent down and gave Sam a pick on the lips, rubbing his shoulder tenderly as he did.
“Yeah?” Tom replied with a smile.
“What do we do about all this?” Sam asked, motioning toward his climax-stained belly.
“We could go wash off in the river.”
“But what if someone sees–nevermind, yeah, let’s do that.”
The two picked up their clothes, leaving their footwear behind, and headed out the door. Sam was hesitant to follow Tom at first, leaning out of the doorway to look around. But when he only saw Tom looking back at him with an amused smirk, he stepped out. It was thrilling in its own way, the rush of exposing himself tempered by the assurance that in all likelihood, no one but Tom would see him.
Once the two arrived at the river, they dropped their clothes on the riverbank and waded in. Tom had lead Sam to a particularly deep stretch of the river. Where when Sam reached the middle, the water was up to his waist. With a deep inhalation, he plunged his upper body into the frigid water before popping back up with a “Brrr!”, prompting a chuckle out of Tom. The second time, he stayed under and rubbed all the crusty stuff off of his belly.
At least, all of it that he could reach. “I can’t quite get it all,” he lamented coyly as he pawed in vain at the front of his gut, unable to reach the bottom near his belly button. “Could you get the rest?”
Tom’s concerned face turned into a smirk as he sauntered over to Sam. With his arms extended straight down in front of him, he splashed some water on Sam before he put his hands on Sam’s belly and rubbed the parts Sam couldn’t reach. He then bent down to rub the underside, looking Sam in the eyes from a more equal elevation. “Better?” he asked quietly with a soft smile.
“Mmm,” Sam cooed. “I think you better keep rubbing.”