Originally published March 16, 2017.
Contains: accelerated weight gain, behind-the-scenes encouraging.
I’ve written a lot of holiday-themed gaining stories in my time on here, but they’ve always been either Halloween-themed or Christmas-themed. For sure, there’s plenty of inspiration to be mined out of both holidays, which is why I’ve kept coming back to them. But with Saint Patrick’s Day coming up, a holiday that’s usually celebrated with copious drinking and has lore about magic-wielding creatures (that is, leprechauns), that seemed like the perfect chance to diversify my holiday sources of inspiration. This story is the result.
A big source of inspiration for this story was the piece “Larger Lout” by FutoBara. If you keep up with my DeviantArt favorites, you know I’m a big fan of Futo’s work, and “Larger Lout” is probably my favorite piece of his. The stages of the transformation in “Larger Lout” served as my reference while I was writing this story, and trying to capture them in writing made this writing process a lot of fun. Also huge thanks to Xenobody for coming up with the name of this story when I couldn’t come up with one.
Synopsis: Pete is a bothersome regular customer at Connor’s bar, The Old Spot, who’s always trying to stir up conflict once he gets drunk. When he ends up on the wrong side of a short man with magical abilities, the man charms his drink to never get him more inebriated than a pleasant buzz, and never run out. But all that alcohol has to go somewhere, and it goes right to Pete’s growing beer gut, as he balloons up before Connor’s eyes.
“Connor! It’s your favorite customer!”
Connor gritted his teeth when he heard Pete’s voice ring out over the pub’s hubbub. The night was just starting, with about two-thirds of the seats filled and the customers keeping things civil so far. It was the calm before the storm, when Connor and his staff would be rushing to keep up with everyone’s orders. The Old Spot was lucky enough to generally attract a customer base that kept things peaceful even as they got loud, crowded, and hectic. But all it took was one bad customer to ruin things for everyone else, and Pete was one of the bad ones.
What made Pete especially bothersome was that he never crossed the line to the point where Connor or his staff could kick him out, let alone ban him like they’d done for customers as persistently troublesome as him. He was pompous but tolerable until he passed a breezy buzz and drunk himself into an intolerable stupor. At that, he’d chat up everyone in the bar, including customers who clearly didn’t want to be bothered, trying to stir up some sort of conflict or argument. “I like to keep things interesting,” seemed to be his motto for how often he said it. The more he drank, the worse he got.
And Pete was a man who liked his liquor. As he drank, his previously flat stomach would swell outward into a paunch more appropriate of his age and drinking habits. Oftentimes, his nights ended with him losing that gut before he even got home, as all his drinks and food ended up on The Old Spot’s floor. As much as Connor hated making his staff clean up such a predictable and preventable mess, it at least gave him an excuse to politely but firmly ask Pete to leave.
As Pete threw back a giant swig of his first mug of stout of the night, Connor had a sinking feeling it would be one of those nights when Pete overdid it. When Pete finished the mug and called for a refill, Connor took his time, ambling at a leisurely pace as he brought the mug to the spouts. “I’m gonna go take a leak while you do that,” Pete shouted loudly enough for the whole bar to hear.
The bathrooms were situated down a hallway just off the entrance of the building. As Connor watched Pete make his way over, he saw an especially short man in a green sweatshirt and knit cap enter the bar. The top of his head barely reached Pete’s chest, even standing as tall as he could as he walked in jovially. His arms swung at his sides with his elbows bent up, and he smiled like he had nothing but goodwill for everyone in the bar.
“Move, shortstuff,” Pete jeered as he passed, pushing the man aside. Though the man stumbled, he remained upright, and glared at Pete as he walked off toward the bathroom. The man remained silent as he approached the bar, though Connor could see a golden glint of anger in his eyes. He stormed with a cartoonish amount of rage, arms bent straight down as he walked, with his hands balled up in fists. He sat down at the end of the bar where it curved around to meet the wall. When Connor walked up to take his order, he could see red roots at the base of his beard, the rest of which seemed to have been dyed black. “What an arsehole, eh?” he asked Connor in a high-pitched voice.
“You’re certainly not the only one who thinks so.”
“Get’s a bit too… Enthusiastic, let’s say. And he only gets worse when he’s drunk. Buzzed, fine, but beyond that, it brings out the worst in him.”
“Is he drunk already?” the man asked disbelievingly.
With a solemn nod, the man continued, “Let me have an Irish coffee.”
“Sure thing. Let me just take care of Pushy’s order before he get’s back,” Connor said, lifting Pete’s mug into the man’s vision before he walked off.
Connor moseyed back to the spouts and raised Pete’s mug to one of them. Once the mug was refilled, Connor brought it back to Pete’s spot at the bar and left it on the counter. As he turned back toward the drink shelf to mix an Irish coffee, he saw a stream of golden sparks jet from the short man’s finger and past himself. He turned around just in time to see them settling around the mug of stout.
Connor stood in place briefly, eyebrows raised as he tried to convince himself that he’d really seen what he just saw. He looked around to see if any of the other customers were as stunned as he was, but they were as engrossed in their conversations or phones as always. When he got his bearings, he supposed it was his responsibility to do something when one customer messed with another’s drink, no matter what form that took. He walked up to the man and asked as sternly as he could, “What was that all about?”
“Oh, just a bit o’ the ol’ peacekeeping, lad,” the man said coyly.
“Look, we don’t take kindly to people tampering with our customers’ drinks. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t call the cops like you put roofies in his beer.”
“Whoa-ho!, it’s nothing o’ the sort, lad! Besides, what would ya tell the cops? A short little man used his short little man magic to curse one o’ yer customer’s drinks?” he asked, with an exaggeratedly spooky tone over the word “curse”. “Why they’d laugh ya off the phone.”
“So what did you do then? And no more talking in riddles, if you want that Irish coffee.”
The man rolled his eyes and exhaled out the side of his mouth, like Connor had just taken all the fun out of it. After leaning in, he explained, “The spell will ensure his mug never runs out, refilling in quantities he won’t notice so that he always feels like he’s making progress toward finishing his drink, but never does. Sorry for the lost revenue, lad.”
“That’s not the worst thing you’ll have to be sorry for,” Connor started frustratedly, think of Pete’s drunken antics.
“Oh, but it doesn’t stop there! As long as he drinks that particular stout, he’ll never go past buzzed. He’ll come closer and closer to the perfect, comfortable level o’ tipsy feeling, without getting outright drunk. After all, it’s just one drink,” the man said slyly, giving Connor a knowing wink.
“Well… if I believe the beer will never run out, I guess I can believe it never making him sloshed either. I’ll have to see this to believe it.”
“Oh you’ll see it. He’s going to be harder to miss the more he drinks.”
“How? You said it won’t get him drunk.”
“Oh it won’t,” the man confirmed. “But all that alcohol has to go somewhere, and it’s going to go from one stomach…” After leaning back in his stool, the man patted his modest paunch, jutting out enough to be clearly distinguishable even under his baggy sweatshirt. “To the other.”
Connor chuckled when he got the man’s meaning. “He does tend to drink until he’s sporting a temporarily belly. Usually vomits it all up, though.”
“Not this time,” the man said cheerfully. “No, that belly is going to stick quite nicely to our little friend. Well, little for now,” the man giggled.
Looking back toward the stout, Connor wondered if that counted as the kind of tampering he should interfere in. It seemed like too drastic a change to just let happen without Pete’s knowledge. But when Pete came back to his seat and took a big swig of his second mug, Connor didn’t find it in himself to stop him. He looked back to the man and said quietly, “I can’t wait to see that.”
As Connor walked back to mix the man’s Irish coffee, he saw Pete take another huge swig of his stout, and wondered just how inconspicuously the mug could refill itself. Once Pete finished drinking, he slammed the mug back down on the counter, causing the stout inside to slosh back and forth. As it did, Connor watched the liquid rise to meet the higher side of the slosh, before sloshing back to the other side as if the drink had always been that full. It didn’t refill all the way initially, for even someone as dense as Pete would have noticed that. Once the beer settled, the line between the stout and the foam rose nearly up to the foam’s surface, without the foam itself rising.
Connor nodded to himself before he turned toward the shelf of bottles to mix the Irish coffee. The man’s magic indeed worked, and worked subtly enough that Pete hadn’t noticed its effect. When he went to take another sip of the stout, he didn’t pause as if anything were amiss about his beverage, but merely picked it up, took a drink, and kept talking to the people sitting next to him. For once, Connor found himself curious to see how Pete’s presence would play out that night.
After his first big swig, Pete took to sipping his beer continuously when someone else was talking, which wasn’t very often. When he was the one boasting about something or other, he’d take back sizeable gulps during the pauses in what he was saying, before he’d keep blathering on. Connor wondered how the people Pete talked to tolerated him, but as long as he wasn’t stirring up trouble, that was enough for him.
It didn’t take long for Pete’s usual bloated belly to show itself. Where his light blue shirt had once fallen flat over his seemingly featureless torso, the round outline of a belly started to appear underneath his chest, pushing his shirt out before it draped over. His shirt still had enough slack to cover his torso, but was losing that spare length.
But something looked different about Pete’s belly this time. Unlike the ominously round paunches of nights past, this one wasn’t quite so bulbous or stubborn. When Pete walked around The Old Spot, it had a bit of bounce to it, swaying naturally with the rest of him rather than jutting out like a hard mini keg. It also seemed to have filled out just as much on the bottom as the top, a sign that his new girth wasn’t merely a full stomach. It seemed the magic of the stout had worked exactly as described.
“Yo Connor,” Pete shouted after making a trip back to the bar. “How much stout did you put in this, dude? It feels like it never runs out.”
“The usual amount,” Connor told him. “Enjoy it while you got it,” he said with a smile.
“Cheers, dude!” Pete concurred, lifting the mug up before returning into the crowd.
Connor went about his business, taking care of other customers and managing the team, and for a while, he forgot Pete was even in the building. Once all the seats filled up and groups of people were mingling in the standing area, even a personality like Pete’s could get subsumed by the crowd, becoming one of the many voices in the place. Without his drunken antics, only his loud laugh reminded Connor that he was still there.
By the time Connor was able to catch a glimpse of Pete again, he had a hard time believing it was the same man. The short man’s promise that the stout would stick to Pete’s ribs had been unmistakably true, as Pete’s frame had grown in a way that could not normally be explained by one night’s worth of beer consumption. Many nights’ worth, certainly, but not just one.
What was once a modest paunch that resembled Pete’s beer bloats of nights before had grown into a veritable belly with just enough heft to start hanging over the hem of his shorts. It still had a beer drinker’s curvature, having swelled out widest near the top where his stomach sat. But Connor could see the divot starting to form between the two lobes on the bottom of his gut, a sign that he’d put on some real heft there. He could see those lobes thanks to Conor’s shirt having ridden up his belly, finally reaching the limit of how much it could cover and leaving a visible swath of the bottom exposed.
The rest of Connor’s body was starting to show signs of the change too. His once non-distinct chest has now bulged out into two lumps that pushed out distinctly through this shirt. His arms and legs had lost some of their definition as they padded out to match the belly they flanked. His once trim face had been softened by two pillows of fat springing from his cheeks and a lengthy one running under his chin, framing the familiar features that kept him mostly recognizable.
Connor looked out of the corner of his eye and saw that the short man was still sitting at the end of the bar. He looked like he was in a better mood than he was after Pete pushed him aside. After sneaking over to speak to him, Connor asked, “Say, about that magic of yours…”
“What about it?”
“Is he going to notice how… big he’s getting.”
“That depends from case to case, really. A drinker like him will usually convince himself he’s always been that big. Yer own mind will play tricks on ya that I couldn’t even match to convince ya yer past is consistent with yer present.”
“What about the other customers?”
“Even harder to tell. But most o’ them are so wrapped up in their own goings on that they won’t even realize it’s the same guy.”
“And the ones he keeps talking to?”
At that, the man sighed and raised his eyebrows. “Well, some o’ them might think something’s odd. But hey, their minds will play tricks on them too, to keep their present consistent. Might just work on them as well.”
“Hope so. I don’t want anyone worried my beer is going to make them gain weight too.”
“If they want that, that can be arranged.”
“Don’t you start,” Connor commanded as he pointed at the man, walking away while keeping his eye on him, before turning around entirely to keep working the bar.
Connor served the other customers a while longer before he heard that familiar voice shout out, “Hey Connor! What’s your shirt and shoes policy, my man?”
Connor turned around to see Pete standing behind two seated customers, and at his size, it was a valid question. He’d grown so much bigger that the bottom hem of his shirt had gone up well past his belly button and into the center of belly, barely able to cover even the top half of his gut. Two love handles now stuck out visibly over the hem of his athletic shorts, which miraculously had grown to stretch around his newly bigger frame. His belly had grown wider too, now extending past the side of his chest, which was still held in by his increasingly ineffective shirt. In front, his gut stuck out well over the top hem of his shorts, by a distance nearly as long as the height of a beer bottle. He was big enough to stand out among the bar patrons, a size Conor never thought he’d see Pete reach. His left hand held a mozzarella stick, while his right hand hung onto the mug of stout.
Connor was enjoying the spectacle too much to bring it to an end. With a smile and half-closed eyelids, he waved Pete off and shouted, “Enjoy the night, dude.”
Pete gave Connor a thumbs up and strode back into the crowd. Connor could see a difference in how he walked too, for there wasn’t quite as much side-to-side motion in his body. Rather, his arms swung at his side more widely to counteract the new momentum of his midsection. Connor had to hand it to Pete: he’d adjusted to moving his new heft with remarkable efficiency.
Things picked up at The Old Spot from there, and Connor lost sight of Pete for a healthy chunk of the night. As he and his staff were running back and forth, taking orders and bringing out drinks, he scanned the crowd for his old bothersome regular but couldn’t find him. He briefly worried that if Pete grew too big, he might not recognize him. He then supposed that would make Pete easy to pick out.
And when Connor finally did see Pete again, that was exactly the case. Near the bar, he saw a figure with an unmistakably large gut, bulging out of a light blue shirt far too small to contain it while wrapping tightly around his hefty chest. It was nearly as wide across as the height of a beer keg, as big around as the tires of a pickup truck. His increasingly sparse body hair stuck out scraggly over the rounded mass, now plainly visible for all to see. For a moment, Connor wondered whether it could really be Pete, but when he looked up, he saw Pete’s facial features wrapped in a ring of fat that started at either cheek and joined underneath his ample chin. It was him, and he was growing bigger still.
But Pete’s new weight didn’t seem to have slowed him down. Not long after Connor saw him, Pete had bounded back into the crowd, his bulbous belly leading the way and bouncing quite noticeably as his feet hit the ground. His arms seemed to be doing extra duty to help move all of his new mass, as they swung widely even with his slowed pace. In his left hand, he held a chicken wing smothered in barbecue sauce, while the full mug of stout remained steadfast in his right hand. As he walked, the crowd parted to let him in before he disappeared back into the sea of people, something Connor was amazed he could do. But The Old Spot was quite busy that time of night; if he could blend into a crowd anywhere, it was there.
Connor didn’t catch another glimpse of Pete until the night calmed down again. The standing space had cleared out, some of the seats were starting to empty, and only a few small groups remained on their feet, chatting away over empty glasses. As Connor was getting caught up with the cleaning, he finally saw Pete standing around a tall table with two other customers, chatting nonchalantly, with none of the firebranding he usually brought out by that time of night. That was only the second most remarkable thing about the scene; the first was just how gargantuan Pete had grown.
Pete’s features had grown nigh unrecognizable as the mounds of fat swelled out around them. His cheeks had puffed out wide like they were containing all the hot air he’d usually be blowing that late into the night. After pushing out to the side, they seamlessly wrapped around the bottom his face before joining to make a double chin so thick it hid the rest of his neck. Wrapped around his neck was a wider rubbery ring of fat that jiggled as he talked and ended right above his chest.
Connor was amazed Pete’s shirt fit at all without having ripped somewhere. It stretched snugly around his newly expanded chest, the two droopy lobes of his chest sagging down while still looking pulled in by the shirt’s tight fit. The sleeves clenched around his expanded forearms tightly enough that his arms looked wider beyond their hems than within them. For even his arms had grown to match the rest of him, dwarfing the mug of beer in his hand with their width. His legs had bulked up especially, looking both strong enough to carry a man of his weight and hefty enough to be worthy of a man of his girth. His tree trunk thighs were testing the limits of his athletic shorts, stretched around them like tights several sizes too small. But they held strong, sparing Connor from needing to kick Pete out for public indecency.
But all of Connor’s other features, as much as they had swollen out, were like window dressing for the mammoth beer belly that now bulged out under the bottom hem of his shirt and hung over the top of his shorts. He had to stand over twice as far from the table as the other two customers he was talking to, for his gut protruded far enough in front of him to require that much space. It was even wider than it was thick, having swelled out into a rotund mass, the girth of which rivaled that of a wooden beer keg. It was rounded out on top, like it had been stretched tight by the night’s beer consumption, while the bottom was more flabby and soft, sagging down just enough to cover the fly of his shorts.
Connor had seen some impressive bellies in that pub. He’d seen old men drag their beer bellies in like rolling suitcase with one wheel missing. He’d seen men stroll in with their vast guts leading the way like a marching band’s leader. He’d seen men who loved nothing quite as much as booze, except for food, hobble in like they were carrying in their own kegs.
But Pete’s, he reckoned, had to be the biggest of them all. It stuck out nearly as big as a yoga ball, and looked just as bouncy. His curly body hair was sparsely scattered over his rounded belly, except for a line that ran down the center of his gut, accentuating its curvature. Pete had to lean back to counteract the added weight of his bulging abdomen. Yet arching his back only helped it stick out even farther, looking rounder and fuller from all the posturing. His head, too, was forced back by his pose, giving his bulging neck plenty of room to stick out as he looked back and forth between his new friends.
“Hey this guy’s great!” Connor heard one Pete’s tablemates says loudly. “You want a drink–okay scratch that, you want some food?”
A bit more conversation lead to the man coming over to order some queso dip, which he brought back to the table. As Pete dug in, Connor understood why he kept seeing him munching throughout the night. He wondered if the food had contributed to Pete’s expanding waistline as much as the enchanted stout.
As the evening was winding down, even Pete and his new friends decided to call it a night. Pete shuffled toward the bar, his mug now half full of the stout he’d clearly drunk plenty of. “Guess I better close out my bill.”
Connor gave him a nod as he walked toward the register. “Two stouts, right?”
“Correct. I had plenty of food too, but I don’t think I ended up having to pay for any of it, funnily enough.”
“You want to finish that stout?” Connor asked, wanting to say it with a teasing tone but knowing better.
“You know, it’s funny: it was good, really good, like your beer always is. But I just… didn’t find myself wanting to finish it. It’s weird; I never stop at one-and-a-half drinks. But hey,” he said as he gave his new giant belly some hearty thumps with his closed hand. “Maybe I should some time,” he chuckled.
“Hey, just enjoy responsibly,” Connor commented before they settled the bill. Pete slipped a five-dollar-bill Connor’s way at the end, coaxing a, “Hey thanks!” out of Connor.
“No problem, dude. Enjoy your night,” Pete bade before he bounded out of the bar. This time, he moved with more of a pep in his step, resulting in his mountainous belly and compressed chest bouncing with each step. Every time his foot hit the floor, it sent a shockwave up his gut that ended with the firm mass of beer and food the rounded out his stomach up top.
But even that pep was relative, as he still couldn’t moved quite as quickly as he could when he first came in. He strode ahead at a lumbering pace, moving his bigger body forward carefully to maneuver all of his new mass. With his hands finally free, his arms swung widely at his side while his shoulders rotated to help counteract the movement of his heavy legs. His gut also swayed as he walked, too big to not accentuate his movement somehow. The last view Connor got of Pete was him walking out through the bar door, into the night, not having bothered to cover up.
Connor looked to the bar and saw Pete’s half-empty mug of stout, seemingly having lowered its level just enough to convince Pete he was making progress on the drink. With a shrug, he picked it up and tipped it into the sink, hoping he wouldn’t be stuck pouring forever. But instead, the stout merely poured out and dripped as the foam slid out too. After Connor washed out the glass, it seemed no worse for wear in spite of its previous magical properties. Out of curiosity, he poured a bit of the stout it in and drank it himself, finding he emptied the mug without difficulty.
“The magic won’t work anymore,” he heard a familiar high voice say. “It was tied to our friend there. Now that he’s gone, it’s an ordinary mug again.”
“Well that’s good,” Connor called back before he washed the mug again. “You heading out too?”
“I suppose I should.” he lamented. “I had another Irish coffee and a shepherd’s pie, too.”
As Connor rung the man up, he leaned in close and asked, “So what happens to Pete now?”
“Mr. Pushy over there.”
With tired eyes, the man raised his eyebrows and answered, “Ah, the swell one. Well, he’s going to have a hard time going out to buy clothes with nothing that fits. Might find his car hard to drive as well.”
“But what about the… you know,” Connor said as he moved his hands in front of his stomach, imitating a round gut. “Surprise. How will he react when he’s sober?”
“Probably fine,” the man said. “He had that nice buzz to help him get used to the change tonight. He’ll remember that much, and the tricks o’ his mind will fill in the rest.”
“If you say so,” Connor said as the cash register finished printing off the man’s bill. “Here’s your tab.”
“Cheers, lad,” the man said as he pulled a small cloth pouch out of his pocket. He tossed it on the bill so it landed like a paperweight, with the distinctive click of a bag that contained a lot of coins. “Keep the change,” he called out as he hopped off of his chair.
When Connor turned back to where the man was sitting, he was already gone, leaving him and his staff alone with the last few stragglers. When he saw the small bag of coins, he didn’t think it could possibly contain enough to pay for the bill, making him curl his mouth into a frustrated frown. With a sigh, he approached the bill and opened the bag, pausing with shock when he peered into it. Inside, there were about a dozen of what seemed to be genuine gold coins.