Originally posted February 1, 2017.
Contains: long-term weight gain, slobbification, direct encouraging, supernatural encouraging.
The Munchies come from an old PSA which warned kids not to eat just because they’re “bored or blue”, instead encouraging them to go outside and play or exercise. It personified this kind of mindless eating via grey blobby creatures that made you eat if you fell victim to them. As you would expect, they’ve become something of a staple of gainer fiction, with plenty of writers giving their take on the idea.
That includes me, as I’ve written two stories based on the Munchies: Mike Meets the Munchies, about a bored office worker who becomes fatter and lazier due to the Munchies’ influence, and The Munchies at the Office, about an office worker who wants to move up the corporate ladder, stress eats due to his long hours at the office, and ends up fatter AND more successful.
But I’ve been wanting to come back to this creative well. In a way, I was inspired by a slobbification sequence I recently commissioned FutoBara to do. I guess I’ve been on a slobbification kick lately, and seeing Futo’s amazing finished product made me want to write something in a similar vein. And what better time to bring back the Munchies than that?
In a way, I see this as me finishing a trilogy that was started by my first two Munchies stories. In Mike Meets the Munchies, Mike certainly becomes fatter and lazier due to the Munchies’ influence, but it’s of his own volition. At the end of the day, he knowingly lets the Munchies fatten him up, and he doesn’t submit to them entirely, still keeping his job as he grows. So his life is simply changed by the Munchies. In The Munchies at the Office, Trent’s life is outright enhanced by the Munchies, as he utilizes them to help him work longer hours so he can keep getting promoted, until he’s the director of his department.
So I have a story of a guy who’s life is augmented by the Munchies, and one where a guy’s life is improved by them. What’s missing is a story where a guy loses all control of his life to the Munchies, one where the guy falls under their influence entirely. No control maintained, no life outside of his slobbish ways, just total submission. And that’s what I’ve written here.
Synopsis: Brad seems to be living the good life, as his parents pay for his rent, food, bills, and other expenses. But that lifestyle leaves him with little motivation to look for a job like he keeps promises them he will. Growing steadily lazier and more unmotivated, his lifestyle becomes more sedentary, until he attracts the attention of The Munchies, who enable and encourage his slobbish descent. Soon he’s getting out less, eating more, and growing ever wider…
Like my previous Munchies stories, this story borrows heavily from ADigitalWarrior’s story, Munchies: Apartment Complex – Jake, particularly the interludes and how he wrote the Munchies as always talking in rhyme. A year later and that story still inspires me. If you read this, ADigitalWarrior, thanks for everything!
It was 10:30 AM, and Brad had gotten out of bed only five minutes prior. After making himself a breakfast of cold cereal without milk, he’d retreated back onto his computer and was aimlessly browsing the internet. He told himself, like he always did, that he should look at job listings at some point that day. Whether he would actually look at them was a crapshoot.
After all, it wasn’t like he needed the money. His parents paid his rent and bills, and had given him a credit card to use to buy food, gasoline, and other necessities. Post-college life was difficult for this generation, they always said, and they didn’t want poor Bradley to have to worry about whether he would have a roof over his head or food in his refrigerator. All they asked was that he keep up the job search. As long as he was doing that, they were happy to give him a little bit of help along the way.
So Brad kept his parents happy with a constant stream of stories about jobs he’d applied for and interviews he’d gone on. Sometimes they were even true. But over the course of the previous few months, Brad had been putting less effort into earnestly applying for jobs, finding it easier to just lie to his parents. He still put a token amount of time into browsing job listings, which had become an exercise in finding excuses for why he wouldn’t be suitable for whatever job he passed by. But he kept some of them in the back of his mind, so when his parents called, he could describe some of the places where he’d supposedly applied.
Brad didn’t accomplish even that much that day. Around 2:00, he felt his stomach growling again, which he took as his cue to go grab more food. As he walked to the kitchen, he knew that pickings would be slim. Looking in his cupboards for cereal and checking the fridge for milk that morning revealed that he needed to make a trip to the grocery store soon. He’d initially figured he’d make the trip after lunch, but by the time lunch came around, he was feeling like it would be closer to dinner. It wasn’t like he had any plans that night anyway.
But to Brad’s surprise, he opened the refrigerator door to find it was better stocked than he remembered. The shelves were full of all sorts of delectable-looking treats and ready-made meals. Even the milk jug that he was certain had been empty was now full. All that was missing were the fruits and veggies that he usually bought at his parents’ insistence that ended up spoiling and needing to be thrown away. Now, everything in the fridge looked like something he wanted to eat. Checking the cabinets revealed much the same bounty, as did the freezer, where he found a large frozen pepperoni pizza that looked especially appealing.
Brad had already preheated the oven according to the package directions when he paused, having realized the absurdity of the situation. He looked at the box in his hand suspiciously, knowing for sure that he never bought frozen pizza. He wasn’t sure when the last time he’d gone grocery shopping was, but he knew he hadn’t bought that much food for himself. And while he’d been tired that morning, he surely couldn’t have been tired enough to miss a full jug of milk. Something was amiss.
The beep of the oven interrupted Brad’s pensive thought process and he saw that it had reached 400°F. Looking at the box again, he saw that the instructions specified to put the pizza right on the oven rack. It seemed odd, but he just shrugged and did as instructed, taking the pizza out of the plastic and tossing it inside.
As the pizza baked, Brad looked around his drawers for something he could use as a pizza cutter. He never made pizza for himself, so he supposed a knife would have to do. He also had to find something to put the pizza on when it was done baking. A cutting board given to him by his parents to use for all those vegetables he never ate served the latter purpose. All he had to do was locate some potholders to use when the pizza was done, which he found in the back of a drawer as the last few minutes were counting down.
Once the timer went off, Brad opened the oven door and grinned at the sight in front of him. With the cutting board in one hand and a potholder in the other, he slid the pizza out of the oven and put it on the cutting board, which went on top of the counter. Slicing it with the knife proved more cumbersome than he expected, so he settled for cutting it into fourths. He stacked two of the slices on a plate and brought them back into his bedroom to munch on as he kept browsing.
The two slices disappeared faster than Brad expected, so he brought his plate back into the kitchen to retrieve the others. Though he felt pleasantly full, he also wasn’t going to waste good, hot pizza, especially when he didn’t know whether it would be any good reheated. So he stacked the remaining two pieces on his plate, intent on finishing the pizza before lunch was over. As he kept scrolling through his various feeds, the third and fourth slice disappeared more slowly, but just as mindlessly as the first two. He’d focused so little on the food that when he finished the fourth slice, he thought for sure he had one more left.
But after his hand landed on an empty plate, Brad looked down and was surprised to see he’d already finished off the pizza. He stood up to bring his plate into the kitchen, caught off guard by how full he felt once the food had space to spread out. Giving his stuffed stomach a rub, he walked in the kitchen and tossed his plate in the sink. He told himself he’d wash it later, the same thing he’d told himself about all the other dishes that were stacked up beneath it.
As Brad stared at the pile, he was surprised to hear what sounded like giggling behind him. He spun around, expecting to see some kind of intruder, but only saw his empty apartment. That was, until he looked down. Around his feet was a group of puffy grey blobs that reminded Brad of Care Bears, though they didn’t look like they were there to spread love and positivity. Between their chubby cheeks rested big pair of eyes and bigger smiles.
“What the shit?”
“Did you like your ‘roni pie?” the blobs asked in unison.
“You can talk?”
“Perhaps we should have started with ‘hi’,” they responded, making a few of them giggle.
“Who… What are you?”
“We’re the Munchies! And don’t be shocked. We’re the reason your shelves are stocked.”
“You… things… put all that food in my fridge?”
“And your cupboards and your freezer. But that one meal was just a teaser.”
“We’ve watched you waste day after day, scrolling your adult life away. Job searches turned to an excuse-fest. But we think that’s what you like best.”
“Hey, I’ve been trying, okay? It’s hard out there right now. Not a lot of place are hiring,” Brad told the Munchies, feeling more like he was trying to convince himself than them.
“You know you’ll always come up dry, if you don’t bother to apply. From how you devoured that cheese and meat, it’s clear to us you’d rather eat. Searching for jobs is such a bore. Grab that plate and have some more!”
“More? You mean more food? Ha, no thanks, guys. I’m already full.”
“That didn’t stop your piggish vices after you ate the first two slices. Even employment can be so fleeting, just stay in and keep on eating!”
“I, uh… I can’t. I have plans.” Before the Munchies could object, Brad raced into his room to grab his phone and keys, stuffing them in his pocket before he raced out through the kitchen and locked the door behind him.
The whole thing seemed like it had to be a hallucination. Care-bear-ish blobs that spoke in unison and in rhyme? It seemed like a fever dream, like the pizza had made Brad fall into food coma and experience that nightmare. But he was very much awake, and as he stood with his back to his apartment door, he found himself breathing heavily from the whole ordeal. He wanted to look inside to convince himself he’d imagined the whole thing, but he decided he’d be better off getting out a bit.
Pulling out his phone, Brad texted his friend Pete to ask if he wanted to hang out. He walked slowly down the hallway, making his way down the stairwell at a leisurely pace, before he felt his phone vibrate.
“Dude, I’m at work. I know you have all the free time in the world, but not all of us are so lucky.”
Brad frowned at Pete’s reply, but he understood where his friend was coming from. It wasn’t the first time he’d texted him during the work day to ask if he wanted to hang out. This far into unemployment, Brad seemed prone to forget that other people had obligations and couldn’t just hang out at any time like he could.
Soon Brad felt another vibration. “Sorry, that was uncalled for. Want to hang out after I get out of work at 5:00?”
After sending off a confirmation, Brad looked at the time and saw that he had two or three hours to kill. Reflexively, he got in his car to go to the grocery store, only to remember that he apparently was plenty stocked on food. It reminded him of the strange hallucination he’d had, which made him shake his head as he tried to to put it out of his mind. Instead he got out of his car to take a cab to the bar where he and Pete were meeting, so he wouldn’t have to worry about getting his car home. He figured that if nothing else, he could kill some time talking with the other people who didn’t have anywhere to be between 9 and 5 on a weekday.
Early on, he puts up a front,
Tries to disguise his deepest want.
His plans merely a hasty diversion
From his idle, slobbish submersion.
Why spend your days searching for jobs,
When you could just eat gobs and gobs?
Soon his life will descend into sloth
And we’ll take over a wider swath!
That night, Brad got home too drunk and tired to do anything but stumble to his bed and fall asleep. Whether the Munchies were still there when he got home, he couldn’t remember. But when he woke up the next morning, he looked out over his bedroom and was thankful to not see them. His relief was short-lived, soon replaced by a headache that made him regret drinking so much the night before. He rubbed his eyes, kicked his shoes off of his feet, rolled out of bed, and got on his computer. He figured there was no point in exchanging his clothes for some pajamas if he’d just have to get dressed again.
That day started out much the same as all Brad’s others. He browsed his various social media and content feeds, with some job listings open in another tab that he swore he’d get to that day. The headache, however, didn’t seem to be going away, and he figured it wouldn’t do much good to look for jobs with that distracting him. So he stood up to walk to the kitchen, hoping a glass of water would provide some relief, and figuring having some breakfast wouldn’t hurt either.
When Brad turned the corner into the kitchen, rather than finding something to eat, he found the Munchies strewn around. His attention was drawn to the ones on his counter when he heard them pop open a tin of cinnamon rolls, which they arranged in a pan to put into the already pre-heated oven.
“We know you’re tired from your raucous night, but we know just how to make it right! Here’s a drink for that headache,” they said as a few more of the munchies poured a glass of milk, which was brought over to Brad crowd-surfing style. “Drink up while the pastries bake!”
Brad was too tired, thirsty, and hungry to say no to the Munchies’ offer. “Ah, what the hell,” he sighed before he hobbled over to the kitchen chair, as the Munchies near his feet dispersed to make way. After pulling the chair out, he slumped down with a grunt. “I could use some breakfast anyway.” Raising the glass to his mouth, he drunk the entire thing in one go before letting out a satisfied, “Ahh. That hits the spot. Hey, lemme have some more of that.”
With gleeful giggling, one of the Munchies hopped over the table and swiped the glass out of Brad’s hand. As Brad reflexively reached out to try to grab the cup, the others brought the nearly-full gallon jug to the table. “So much work to pour a glass first. Drink from this and quench your thirst!”
Brad opened his mouth to object, but soon he instead leaned back in his chair and grabbed the jug. “Aw, why not. Not like I’m sharing it with anyone else.” Holding the jug by the handle, he brought it to his mouth and took a swig, drinking until he felt satisfied. When he put the jug down, with what looked like nearly of a quarter of the gallon emptied, he let out a small belch. He then took on a pensive expression, finding the milk more filling than he expected and giving his abdomen a gentle rub.
It caught Brad by surprise, but the Munchies seemed thrilled by the whole thing. “Isn’t it nice to fill that belly? Make it soft and jiggly like jelly?”
At that, Bred went on the defensive again. “What belly?”
A wave of uproarious laughter came out of the munchies. Some of the ones who were closer to Brad started poking his midsection, before he swatted them away. Much as he didn’t want to admit it, he could feel their plush fingers prod into his abdomen, meaning it had indeed gone soft. “Exactly the belly that you can expect when your idleness goes unchecked. You could have interviewed, gone out more, but really, it’s all such a chore. You’d rather stay in, and take it slow. And now that inertia is starting to show!”
Brad felt a few more fingers prod at his stomach, sticking even more deeply into his flabby midsection. “What, are you calling me fat?”
“You’d be a fool to deny it. If you did, who would buy it?”
“I’m no bigger than most people my age,” Brad insisted, poking his own stomach in the hopes of proving his point, only to find his finger sink a good inch into his flab.
“Don’t poke so hard you let out the hot air. It’s not your size, Brad; it’s how you got there. Spending your days idle and board, job search going quite ignored. Some days you would barely budge, and now it’s showing in your pudge!”
As the munchies finished their rhyme, the timer on the oven went off. The Munchies closest to the oven opened the door and pulled the cinnamon buns out, seemingly not needing oven mitts to handle the hot pan. Soon the icing was spread and the buns looked quite appealing, so much so that Brad forgot all about the conversation he and the munchies had been having. The Munchies lifted the giant rolls out of the pan and placed all five evenly spread on a plate, which soon made its way to the table where Brad sat. “Some cinnamon rolls for you to enjoy, to put more rolls on a growing boy!”
Their last comment neutered Brad’s excitement, causing him to glare at the Munchies as his smile slowly drooped into a scowl. But he still took the plate in hand, bringing it into his bedroom and shutting the door behind him.
Brad looked around and was thankful to see that none of the Munchies had followed him into his bedroom. He was finally free of that nuisance. He put the plate on his desk and sat down at his computer again, hoping the Munchies would disappear on their own before he ventured out again. Wanting to prove the Munchies wrong, he closed all the tabs he had open except the jobs site. Taking a cinnamon roll in one hand, he started scrolling through the listings.
Brad let out an, “Mmm,” when he took the first bite of the first cinnamon roll. Keeping the roll in one hand, he scrolled with the other until he found a data entry job that looked promising. I could do that, Brad told himself. However, after clicking the “Apply” button and seeing all the text fields, he knew it would be a lot easier to fill out the application with two free hands. With half of the cinnamon roll remaining, he figured it couldn’t hurt to open Facebook and browse until he finished the roll.
Once Brad had finished the cinnamon bun, he licked his fingers clean before taking another one as he continued scrolling through his news feed. It wasn’t until he’d taken a few more bites out of the second bun that he remembered telling himself that he’d apply for the data entry job once he’d finished the first roll. With a shrug, he kept eating the second one, figuring he’d apply for the job once he finished it.
He didn’t even think of it before he took a third roll, then a fourth, then a fifth. As the final bite disappeared down his mouth, the tab with the data entry job was already six tabs deep. Brad licked the icing and crumbs off his fingers, slowly pulling each digit out of his mouth as his lips scrubbed them clean. At least, clean enough for him. Rubbing his hand on his shirt took care of the remaining mess well enough.
As good as the cinnamon buns were, they left Brad feeling a bit parched. He pushed his chair out and stood up with a groan to bring his plate into the kitchen, only to pause by the door. He pressed his ear against the wood and listened for any sign that the Munchies were still there. Not hearing any shuffling or giggling, he slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open.
Nothing. Just an empty kitchen, with even the baking pan having been cleared off the stove top. The only evidence that the Munchies had ever been there was the still-open jug of milk sitting on the table. It looked like it would hit the spot, before Brad realized it had probably warmed up due to being left out. With a sigh, he picked up the milk to put it away, but to his surprise, it still felt nice and cool in his touch. Giving it a sip, he confirmed the temperature was still satisfactory. He briefly considered grabbing a glass to pour it in before he decided it wasn’t worth the effort. It’s not like he was sharing it with anyone, and the Munchies weren’t around to mock him for it anymore.
Brad brought the milk back in his room, this time leaving the door open now that he wasn’t trying to keep anyone out. He sat down before he took a swig of the milk and kept browsing. As he drank, his number of open tabs grew again, pushing the job listing farther and farther back until it was pushed off of the top of his browser completely. The more tabs he opened, the less he cared that it was disappearing out of sight.
Whenever Brad had a moment where he wasn’t scrolling, like reading a more lengthy block of text, he brought the milk up to his lips and took a sip. When it had been a while since he’d drunk any, he took a big gulp before letting it down with a loud sigh of satisfaction. By the time the tab with the job listings got pushed out of sight, he’d drunk his way down to the last fourth of the gallon. After taking another gulp, he let the jug fall down on his desk hard enough to make the milk inside splash around. He let out a belch that reverberated across his bedroom before letting his hand come to rest on his stomach
The Munchies might have been right about the softness of Brad’s belly, but after all that milk, it felt more firm underneath his touch. As he kept scrolling, his left hand lingered on the top of his comfortably full stomach, mindlessly tapping it softly or slowly dragging his fingertips along the surface. Underneath the cloth of his shirt, his stomach stood firmly against his touch, though a layer of flab ensured it remained pliable.
As full as Brad was, he had every intention of finishing the milk. Having lost patience with sipping it, he grabbed the jug and brought it up to his lips, raising it until he could gulp it down continuously. Brad soon found himself forced to raise the bottle high enough that he could barely see anything else, tilting it up to throw back the remaining milk.
As Brad neared the end, he let out a grunt as he felt the lump of cinnamon rolls and milk in his belly growing bigger, heavier, and harder to ignore. He could feel each gulp as it settled into his turgid stomach, building up the pressure as he drank. But he didn’t want to stop until he could have the satisfaction of finishing the whole jug. So he kept swallowing, raising the jug higher as he leaned back to give his swollen stomach more room. The milk dribbled down the sides of his chin as he swallowed the last of it.
When the milk was all gone, Brad’s right arm went limp and fell at his side as he let out a loud, satisfied, strained “Ahh.” Holding onto the jug, he brought his left hand up before letting it flop on his belly. He leaned farther back, letting his rear end slide forward in his chair, to give his stomach some more room to stretch out. As his one arm hung down, the fingers on his other hand crawled across his stomach, sliding over the sodden mass to try to give it some measure of relief. Underneath, his belly had grown quite firm, stretched out by the cinnamon rolls that were now soaked with milk. He could feel a curvature on the top of his abdomen, which he didn’t think had been there before.
“Seems you’re feeling like a slug, now that you’ve drunk the whole jug”
Brad kept staring up toward the ceiling, not wanting to look down. He supposed that he’d brought this on himself by leaving his bedroom door open, though that brought up the question of what right the Munchies had to be in his apartment in the first place. It was that thought that emboldened him to look down at the smiling grey blobs. “Aren’t you technically trespassing? I bet I could call the cops on you.”
“Your legal reasoning runs quite thin, for it was you who invited us in.”
“When?” Brad asked more angrily.
““When you sat listless, feeling drab, losing track of that job search tab. Responsibilities ignored, feeling steadily more bored. And when you’re feeling bored or blue, the Munchies come; it’s what we do!”
“Okay, first of all, I was going to apply to that job.” A wave of laughter from the munchies ensured Brad couldn’t get another word in the conversation.
“But we’ve got something for that malaise, and it’s another treat with glaze!” Before Brad could keep arguing, he saw the munchies pull out of box of a dozen doughnuts. It had a variety of flavors, some with chocolate glaze, some with white frosting, some a lighter shade of brown with the standard glaze, and all of them solid circles. “A dozen doughnuts, all with filling, for you to snack on while you’re chilling.”
Looking down at the doughnuts, Brad couldn’t stay mad at the Munchies. With a smile, he took the box and put it on the desk where the cinnamon rolls had been before. He picked up a glazed one and bit into it, finding a thick, creamy filling inside. In spite of how full he was from the milk, the doughnuts didn’t seem to fill him up the same way. Each bite fell into his stomach without much added pressure, as if it were dissolving into all the milk. So he kept munching happily as he browsed, chowing down the doughnuts like they were mini cookies in a snack-size pack.
It wasn’t until Brad neared the end of the box that he could feel the doughnuts starting to accumulate in his stomach on top of the cinnamon rolls and the milk. His breathing had turned louder, shallower, faster. It felt like his stomach was pushing up into the space used by his lungs, forcing them to accommodate with shorter breaths. Rather than slouching over in front of his computer, he was leaning back, chest bent backwards over his chair as his stomach pushed out for whatever room it could get. He had trouble keeping his eyes open as his body kept fighting to fall asleep, like it was begging for a chance to digest the doughnuts he’d already eaten before he ate more.
But Brad powered through, shoving the doughnuts in one by one as the caked-on mess of crumbs and frosting built up around his mouth. At first, he’d kept up with licking it off, but as he felt increasingly more full, he thought it more prudent to save that stomach space for more doughnuts. When he finished the last doughnut, his stomach marked the occasion with a tiny burp, for there wasn’t much room for extra air that could be let out. The burp was followed by a groan, as he leaned back in his chair and ran his distended stomach over with both hands. It was sensitive to touch, like it was lashing out against any sort of comfort Brad tried to give it. But he pressed on, needing to relieve the pressure somehow.
That relief came in the form of sleep, as Brad soon found the droop of his eyelids too compelling to fight against. He told himself he’d just rest his eyes for long enough until he could get out of his chair and get in bed. He was even optimistic enough to think that he could give the meal some time to digest and then go right back to his browsing, maybe even apply for that job in the tab that had disappeared. But his body had other ideas, falling into a deep sleep that lasted several hours, more like his nightly rest than a quick nap.
When Brad woke up, he was disoriented to see that it was darker out. He assumed he’d slept through the night, and that it was the start of a new day. The clock on his computer seemed to confirm that, reading 7:05, which was the earliest he could remember waking up in a long time. That made him smile, thinking that maybe he was now turning over a new leaf. Until he did a double take and saw that it was 7:05 PM. That’s not going to help my sleep schedule, he thought.
Long midday naps like that were not fun for Brad. He always woke up disoriented, feeling less well rested than he did before he’d fallen asleep. Sleeping in his chair certainly hadn’t helped, though he supposed he really needed the nap if he’d managed to fall asleep there. And he always had the most vivid and strange dreams during his naps. He remembered drinking a whole gallon of milk and eating an entire box of a dozen doughnuts. That should have been the tip off, he told himself; no one could eat that much at once.
Eating remained on Brad’s mind as he concluded it was time for dinner. He pushed himself up out of his chair, working through his sore stomach until he was standing. He hobbled out of his bedroom, still feeling groggy from a restless sleep, and rounded the corner into the kitchen.
It was there that Brad saw the Munchies rushing around preparing a dinner more ambitious than anything he would have made for himself, but of much the same character. There was a plate of pizza rolls on the table, one of chicken wings, a family sized lasagna in a plastic container, a plate of cheesy garlic bread, and a tin foil tray of brownies that were steaming.
“We thought you’d wake up feeling unideal, so we took the liberty of making your meal.”
As smile crept across Brad’s face before he sat down at the kitchen table. “Good. I could use some grub.”
Stationary, he remains in his seat,
As long as he still has something to eat.
Sweet treats, snacks, and prepared meals,
He’ll eat it all, if it appeals.
He eats and eats, and as expected,
The job search remains neglected.
As long as he stays in this slump,
We’ll ensure he grows more plump!
The light creeping in through the blinds stirred Brad from his slumber. After opening his eyes, he shut them again and rubbed them with the back of his soft hand. His plump fingers ran across his eyelids before he could open them for good. Once he felt ready to get out of his bed, he tossed the blankets to the side, his flabby arm moving slowly as it traveled above him. With a sigh, he rolled over to the side and bent his thick legs forward until his knees were past the side of the bed and his calves fell down.
That gave Brad the momentum he needed to push himself up in spite of the extra inertia he now wore on his torso. His new heft was obscured by his baggy shirt and boxers, some recent purchases he’d made after outgrowing his previous sleeping clothes. Beneath the cloth were two soft lumps making up his chest sticking out above an undeniably hefty midsection. His modest bit of padding had expanded out in all directions to make a veritable belly. His love handles stuck out far enough to rest his arms on when they lay at his side. As he bent forward to stand up, he could feel his belly bunching up over his thighs before stretching out again once he was upright.
Walking toward his dresser to put on some pants, Brad could feel his belly bouncing in front of him with each of his steps. It had recently grown big enough that it no longer blended in with the other flab on his torso, but rather stuck out with its own presence and weight. Walking around, Brad felt like he had a backpack full of textbooks hanging in front of him, for his stomach just as taxing to maneuver around. He felt like he had to swing his arms extra wide to account for the sideways sway of his belly.
Once Brad had pants on, he grabbed his phone from his desk and shuffled out of his bedroom, anticipating some breakfast to help wake him up. As they always were, the Munchies were hard at work in the kitchen, putting together a breakfast worthy of his appetite. “Morning, guys.”
“Morning! How’d you sleep last night?”
“Eh, not great I’m still tired.”
“We’ve got something to make that right!”
“Good. Bring it in the living room, will you?” As the Munchies labored away, Brad shuffled to his couch and fell on it with a grunt. He was thankful that he’d landed with the remote in reach, and he turned on the TV to get some show streaming. Those days, he was becoming increasingly fond of watching shows rather than staying online all day, as it took less effort to let the shows fly by than to keep scrolling. The only part of it he resented was when the TV asked him if he was still watching.
Once Brad picked out a show and put the remote down, the Munchies were close behind, bringing him a stack of pancakes tall enough that he was too lazy to count how many there were. As two of them carried the plate, two walked ahead of them with a TV dinner tray, while two more followed behind with one sitting on the other’s shoulders, pouring plenty of syrup on the stack. “A stack of pancakes to start your day. When you’re done, who knows what you’ll weigh?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Brad dismissed as he took the fork and knife from the little table. As soon as the pancakes were down, he dug right in, working his way through the stack with little rhyme or reason. Sometimes he’d cut off a piece from the top one and savor it before soon taking another. Sometimes he’d cut through several of them and scarf down a few pieces at once. As he ate, the Munchies kept him topped off with syrup, pouring more whenever there was a dry spot. “Wouldn’t want breakfast to taste icky, so here’s more syrup, so good and sticky.”
“Mmhm,” Brad concurred through a mouth full of pancake. With the Munchies keeping the syrup coming, he finished the stack in no time, a bit alarmed that they didn’t fill him up more, but mostly curious what was next.
“Something fresh-baked for your lips: buttered muffins with chocolate chips!” Brad saw the Munchies bring him a serving plate filled with large chocolate chip muffins cut in half, with the exposed sides covered in butter. The pats were still partially solid, but much of them had melted into the muffin and shone under his apartment light.
Brad grabbed a muffin and bit off the entire bottom half. The muffin itself was moist and soft, with the chocolate chips oozing smoothly over his tongue, and the addition of the butter made them taste even better. He couldn’t quite fit the entire top half in his mouth at once, so he bit off half off what remained and tossed in the other half once he’d chewed it enough. As the show droned on in the background, he kept wolfing down the muffin halves, eating more with each bite and chewing less before taking another.
When Brad picked up the last muffin on the plate, he swallowed the previous one with a gasp before shoving the entire half in. Chewing as he pushed it, he eventually got the whole thing in his mouth. His mouth was so full he could barely get his lips to close over the mound of muffin and chocolate and butter he was up against now. But he pushed through, swallowing the last of it with a relieved gasp before giving his belly a few pats.
“And now, to help the day go by, enjoy this fresh-baked pumpkin pie.” The Munchies brought over a pie that wasn’t sliced or otherwise partitioned in any way, but Brad didn’t care. Lifting it out of its tin, he broke it into two halves and put one half on top of the tray that had previously housed the muffins, now stained with melted butter and chocolate. Holding the other half in his hands, he broke it in two. With one rough piece of the pie in each hand, he started munching from both quarters at once, alternating them as he kept eating more and more. “Tastes so good, and with the TV on, we know you’ll keep eating until it’s all gone!”
Indeed, Brad kept munching until he’d eaten both of the pieces of pie in his hands. He leaned forward to grab the other half from his plate, only to fall back when his full belly had other ideas. But he pushed on, grunting against the pressure until he could reach far enough to pick up the other piece. Once he had it in hand, he fell back with an “Oof” before he got back to business, splitting up the remaining half into two pieces like he had before.
This time, Brad ate more slowly, feeling the accumulated weight of everything he’d eaten that morning pushing out against his tightened stomach. Every bite of the pie that he swallowed was followed by the suspense of waiting for it descend down his esophagus, then the wave of tension that emanated out from the top of his belly. In spite of the pain, he kept eating, intent on finishing everything that had been laid out before him. Every swallow was followed by a gasp or a groan as he kept forcing more of the pie in.
When the last morsel of pie had joined the rest in Brad’s stomach, he leaned his head back with a grunt. His mouth was flanked by flakes of crust and crumbled bits of pie filling as it lay agape, open wide so he could breath heavily. With one arm lying limp against the couch, he brought the other up to rest on top of his full gut. In contrast with the bottom of his flabby belly, the top felt quite firm, putting up more of a resistance against his fingers as he rubbed it. Those days, it took a good deal more food to make his belly that solid.
“To stop right now would be just awful, so we’ll bring you some fluffy waffles.”
“Ugh, no, uh… no thanks guys. I need to… not eat so much… if I’m going to get out today,” Brad insisted, so out of breath he couldn’t speak in full sentences.
“Why go out on the unfriendly street, when you could stay in and simply eat?”
“I gotta… see some people… it’s been too long.”
“Friends are fickle, they come and go. Stay inside and eat solo,” the Munchies insisted, as Brad saw two of them bringing a plate full of waffles.
“Uh huh.” Brad pretended not to listen as he pulled his phone out and started texting people, trying to make some plans happen that day. He sent his texts out rapidfire to anyone whom he thought might want to hang out. After they’d been sent out, he hopped on Facebook to see what was going on that day and if he’d be able to join. As he browsed, the replies started coming in, flashing across his notifications:
“Sorry, man, I’m busy.”
“Wish I could, but I have work.”
“Nah, I’m seeing my parents today.”
“Holy shit, dude, you’re alive! Anyway, wish I could, but…”
Brad tuned out their answers like the din of the TV, browsing Facebook as unthinkingly and reflexively as he’d browsed job listings before. He soon grew bored of that, locking his phone and seeing the reflection of his face in the dark screen. His cheeks and chin had both grown out like the rest of him, with his cheeks puffed up like pillows and his double chin hanging from his face like a valance. Covering both of them was a thick layer of facial hair that wasn’t quite beard level yet, but had grown well past stubble.
Brad put his phone away, only to be greeted by the sight of the waffles again. Now they had syrup poured on them, making them even more tantalizing. He licked his lips before shaking his head. “No, I shouldn’t.”
“Why do you put up a fight? We know you could eat another bite.”
“I shouldn’t. I’ve been eating… a lot, lately. I need to cut back.”
“All this talk of “gotta” and “should”; you should do what makes you feel good.”
“I feel good when I get out.”
“If you felt good going outside, by now you would have surely tried. You stayed stuck on your couch and seat; we just made sure you had plenty to eat.”
“Well I… no,” he sighed, his voice taking on a softer tone. “You’re right. You’re right,” he repeated with a higher pitch. He was ready to tell the Munchies that he did indeed enjoy staying in and stuffing his face more than going out. That making plans and coordinating schedules took effort, and he’d rather lounge around and eat. But he knew he didn’t have to tell them that. They knew it long before he did. “Let’s get some butter for those waffles.”
The Munchies cheered as a few ran off to oblige Brad’s request. They returned quickly with a stick of butter and an appropriate knife, slicing off pats until half of the stick was on top of his top layer of waffles. “We’ll go ahead and slice the rest once the top ones start to digest.”
“For sure, little guys,” Brad replied as he sliced off a giant piece of the waffle and used the fork to bring it to his mouth. As he did, the syrup dripped off and landed on his shirt, leaving a trail from the plate to his mouth. He didn’t much care, leaving it in place as he licked up the bit that had dribbled onto his chin.
When you’re feeling bored or blue, watch out for the Munchies.
We’ll find ways of making you munch when you’re not hungry.
You were living aimlessly, job search had you beat.
Now you do just what you love, sit around and eat.
Every day you’re getting bigger, body keeps on swelling,
Eating more and more, less inclined to leave your dwelling.
Every day you’re doing less, goals are growing hazy.
You’d rather just lay around, steadily more lazy.
Now you’re just a good-for-nothing layabout, a slob,
All because the Munchies found you, and we did our job!
When Brad woke up, he opened his eyes to see the TV asking, “Are you still watching?” It had increasingly become a valid question, as more and more days ended with him falling asleep on the couch, the TV droning on as he slept. His eyes and mouth both hung half open as he looked at the screen, eyes drawn to it just by how bright it was, until he was awake enough to function again.
What shook Brad from his fatigue was his cough, compelling him to bring the back of his fleshy hand in front of his mouth. His sausagey fingers could barely curl up all the way to make a proper fist, instead hanging out in front of the soft palm of his hand. After letting his arm drop, he could feel it jiggle when it stopped, wrapped in enough flab to make his arms wider than his legs had been before he met the Munchies.
“Good to see that you’re awake. Let’s see how much that gut can take!”
After a haggard sigh, Brad grumbled, “Ha-hang on, guys.” With several tired grunts, he pushed himself forward to try get up off the couch. It wasn’t so easy those days, even on an empty stomach, as his belly didn’t need any food inside to get in the way. Pushing his hands against the couch behind him, he finally achieved an upright position, letting out a relieved sigh once he stood up.
Brad waddled to the bathroom to relieve himself before settling in for his day of eating. His tree trunk legs had to maintain a decent distance apart to keep moving, as his massive thighs now rubbed together as he walked. He was thankful he didn’t walk often, or that rubbing would get annoying. As he hobbled over, he could feel his chest and belly bounce as they stopped traveling downward before his feet did. His chest stuck out far enough to droop down onto the top of his belly, causing a layer of sweat to build up between the two.
Brad’s belly itself, though, had taken on a mind of its own, and not just in how he was now ruled by his appetite. His belly had the approximate size and weight of two full trash bags hanging down in front of him. It stuck out far enough to enter a room before he did, rounding the corner a solid foot-and-a-half before the rest of him did. His love handles jutted out far enough that his arms had to stick out diagonally at his side as he walked. They didn’t swing as he walked so much as hang down limp as his entire upper body swayed to maneuver his newfound girth around.
All of Brad’s new heft was plainly visible in what passed for his outfit. He walked around in a button-up pajama shirt that he hadn’t been able to button up since about 50 pounds ago. If he tried to close it, he likely wouldn’t have been able to button it beyond the top three. The sleeves were bunched up around his elbows, showing off just how hefty his forearms were. The sides of his shirt had long ago lost their sturdiness, crumpled up under his arms to show off just how wide his belly had gotten. Underneath, a pair of boxers was the only thing covering his lower half, just about the only thing left that fit Brad.
After a long walk, Brad finally got to the bathroom. Those days, he found it easier to sit down to do his business so he wouldn’t have to aim, for he couldn’t even see the bowl when he stood in front of the toilet. Sitting down and standing back up wasn’t his idea of a good time, but at least it didn’t leave him with a mess that he wouldn’t bother to clean up. Once he was done, he stood up to give his hands a quick rinse. In the mirror, he was greeted by the sight of a man whose beard had grown wild and thick enough to obscure just how pudgy his cheeks and chin were. But when he bent his head down to turn off the faucet, the thickness of his double chin became obvious as he felt it bunch up between his head and his neck.
After Brad finished his business, he made his way back to the living room. The couch creaked under his weight when he sat down, even though he tried to lower himself slowly, afraid he could break the thing if he didn’t. He let out a tired “oof” when his rear end hit the cushions, closing his eyes from the impact before opening them half-way again, leaving his mouth hanging agape as his heavy breath passed through.
“Time for your buffet breakfast, to help you grow even more vast.”
Brad let out an affirmative groan before he reached for the remote to confirm that he was still watching. The Munchies brought him a plate piled high with bacon, making a small mountain nearly as tall as the plate was wide. They deposited it on top of his gut; when he leaned back, it was rotund enough to support a plate, and more practical than the TV dinner tray.
The rest of the meals that morning passed in a blur, as they often did. Brad remained reclined on the couch, eating whatever the Munchies brought him and filling up his gut. Often times, the full plates were stacked tall enough to block his view of the TV, giving him motivation to eat faster. In between dishes, he licked his lips clean of the crumbs and grease his meals left around his mouth, before licking his fingers clean and rubbing them on his stained pajama shirt. The grease and crumbs that fell on his chest got no such treatment, remaining where it had fallen and where it would stay for the foreseeable future.
As Brad reached his limit, he found his vision turning hazy as he had a hard time keeping his eyes open. Only the occasional belch kept him awake, as his stomach struggled to make more room for food when he wouldn’t stop eating. Even the pain of his overly full belly faded into the background as much as the TV and the sound of the Munchies ferrying foods in and out of the living room. He couldn’t evade the food coma forever, and soon he found himself too tired to even lift his hand to the plate of brownies resting on his engorged belly and bring one to his mouth.
At that, the Munchies swooped in and took the plate off of his stomach, with a few sticking around to give it some much-appreciated rubs. The relief their plush hands offered made Brad throw his head back, groaning with approval as his stomach’s protestations quieted. “Sleep for now, you could use the rest. Give your meal some time to digest. Let your flab have time to accrue, and your meal turn into more of you. Soon you’ll wake up with just enough vigor, to keep on eating and make yourself bigger!”
Brad doubted he’d wake up with any sort of “vigor”, as he hadn’t felt that in ages. But other than that, he was quite happy to follow the Munchies’ suggestions. “Sounds like a plan,” he mumbled, barely able to articulate the words, as if even his mouth was tired from all his chewing. With his mouth hanging open and his eyes steadily closing, Brad found himself falling right back asleep thanks to the Munchies’ belly rubs. They were the last sensations he felt until his strained, heavy stomach pulled him back into slumber.
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