Originally published March 21, 2017.
Contains: accelerated weight gain.
Usually I don’t tell my friends about my stories in detail, because doing so would require revealing the fact that I write gaining stories. However, I told a lot of my friends about Kiss of a Merman, because it made for good conversation without me having to even mention the weight gain element. So when I was in an inspiration rut and asked one of my friends what I should write next, she told me I should write a spiritual successor to the merman story involving sirens instead.
I was intrigued by the idea, as well as the challenge of figuring out how to incorporate weight gain into a story about sirens. I wanted to make the sirens male, and in my (admittedly brief) research, I couldn’t find any info on male sirens ever being a thing. So I took some liberties with the siren mythos, on the basis of the fact that I was already doing that by making the sirens male. The result was this story.
Synopsis: Tiro is a renowned swimmer and a sailor on the Aigeus. On a trip, the Aigeus is forced to pass a group of sirens on a rocky shore, so all the sailors plug their ears with wax. The male sirens are capable of not just singing to woo sailors to their doom, but also conjuring the image of what they sing about to make their appeal all the more tempting. When a strong wave makes the Aigeus lurch and sends Tiro hurdling into the mast, it makes the wax plugs fall out of his ears. Recognizing this opportunity, the sirens conjure and sing of a great feast of all the fresh foods Tiro hasn’t been able to eat out at sea. Captivated, Tiro leaps into the ocean, but against all odds, he survives and makes it to the shore. The sirens, not sure what to do, decide to just let the hypnotized sailor eat the feast, which makes him swell up quite quickly as he sings the feast’s praises…
Tiro had been sailing with the crew of the Aigeus for a few years, long enough to have weathered several encounters with sirens. The procedure was standard: know where the rockiest shores and most turbulent waves were, as that was where sirens often waited to lure sailors to their deaths. Have the lookout scan the rocks for the accursed creatures before the ship came within listening distance of the shore. And once they were spotted, everyone passed around wax to stick in their ears and block out the creatures’ song.
Tiro knew the drill. He knew how imperative it was to stick to the procedure if he was going to make it home. And when the lookout sounded the warning of sirens on the horizon, he made sure he took plenty of wax from the pile to plug his ears.
There was a joke among the crew that if anyone could survive falling to the sirens’ call, it was Tiro. He was renowned for his abilities as a swimmer, and was one of the few crew members in the Aigeus’s history to survive falling off of the ship in a storm and make his way back onboard. When Koinos, another member of the crew, fell off the ship during a lesser storm, Tiro had lept into the water and got them both out safely. When the crew joked about Tiro making it to the sirens’ shore, Tiro laughed as much as anyone else. But when there were real sirens on the horizon, he wasn’t going to take his chances.
Once everyone in the crew had plugged their ears, the Aigeus went full speed ahead past the shore, intending to pass the sirens as quickly as possible. As the ship drew closer, Tiro could see that these were male members of the species. Male sirens had voices that could rival those of the female sirens in their beauty, but they often supplemented their performance with visuals. They were masters of conjuration, summoning the very pleasures and temptations they sang about to sweeten the deal for passing sailors. Luckily for the sailors, the sight of those temptations alone was not enough to tempt them to their water grave, without the sirens’ voices to sing the praises of their creations.
Tiro had an even easier time of it than the rest of his crew. As the ship drew closer, the sirens summoned the images of beautiful women that rivaled the fairest in Greece, trying to maximize their appeal to as much of the crew as possible. Quite a few of the men on board were indeed distracted by the beautiful images, at which Tiro playfully hit them over the back of their head, a silent reminder to his crewmates to focus. But the alluring women had no appeal to Tiro, nor did the sculpted and handsome sirens themselves, who resembled statues carved out of marble by the finest craftsmen. Tiro simply wasn’t captivated by fair folks like that, which made keeping his own mind on the task at hand easy.
But that wasn’t the only trick the sirens had up their sleeves, as Tiro learned the hard way that day. A strong wave sent the Aigeus lurching to the side, at which Tiro collided with the mast hard enough to make the wax fall out of his ears. As soon as he was vulnerable, the sirens changed their tune, singing not of beautiful people, but bountiful feasts. Tiro, having spent months at sea eating only foods that could store well on such long trips, was immediately captivated.
When Tiro looked to the shore, he saw not alluring maidens, but tables laid out with all the foods he missed from home. He saw freshly baked breads with plenty of olive oil for dipping, fresh fruits and vegetables that looked like they’d been picked right from the tree or pulled right from the ground, platters of olives and beans for copious consumption, jugs of milk and platters of cheese, fish and game cooked to perfection, and plenty of wine to accompany all of it.
Tiro had only one thing in mind when he saw the feast: eating as much of it as possible. Nothing was going to get in his way. Not his crewmates shouting his name and trying to hold him back. Not the wall of the ship’s deck that took several tries to climb over, especially with all of his crewmates trying in vain to pull him down. Not the waves beneath him that had knocked him into the mast in the first place. Not the chill of the water that felt like it might freeze his muscles before they could carry him toward the shore. Not the waves bashing his body against the rocks that threatened to knock him unconscious. Not the slippery surface of those rocks, soaked with algae and other flora that kept Tiro from maintaining a firm grip on them. Not the swells of the ocean pounding against his back even as he scaled the rocky shore. None of them were going to keep him away from this feast.
And none of them did. Once Tiro climbed his way over the last rock face that stood between him and the sirens’ feast, he beheld the melodious creatures standing on the rocks in their silken garb, strands of cloth swaying in the wind like spindrift blown off the crests of waves. Between Tiro and the sirens stood the feast that had tempted him to the shore, looking even more appetizing up close.
Once Tiro made it safely onto the shore, the sirens dropped into a quieter song as he hobbled up to the table upon which the feast lay. In spite of everything he’d been through, in spite of how battered and tired he felt, the prospect of enjoying all that food pushed him forward, until he fell happily into one of the chairs.
Unbeknownst to the hypnotized Tiro, the sirens looked at each other with confused faces, not knowing what to do now that one of their victims had survived the trip to the shore. While they continued singing as they always did, they took turns dropping out of song to converse amongst themselves. “He… survived?”
“Has that ever happened before?”
“Not that I can remember.”
“So what do we do now?”
The creatures pondered their predicament as Tiro wolfed down all of the food within his reach. As the sirens kept singing their song, any dish he finished was immediately replaced by a full one. His last bite of a loaf of bread dipped in olive oil summoned another loaf to take its place. When Tiro nibbled the pheasant’s bones clean of all their meat, another perfectly cooked bird appeared upon the plate. It seemed the sirens’ powers of conjuration worked even when they weren’t intentionally calling upon them.
“I guess we keep letting him eat. Seems the feast isn’t going anywhere.”
Shrugs and unsure nods were shared among the sirens as they kept up their quieter song. With Tiro on the shore with them, rather than on the ship, they didn’t have to sing quite so loudly to keep him in a trance. Soon they stopped singing of the feast, reducing their singing to gentle hums, as only their dulcet voices were required to keep Tiro’s attention on the food in front of him.
For Tito had overcome so much to reach the feast–the chilly water, the currents, the rocks, the waves, and even his own crewmates–that he had nothing else on his mind except wolfing down all the delicacies he’d made his way to the shore for. He spared no thoughts for the crew he’d left behind, or the life back home that he’d abandoned, or just how lucky he was to have survived his swim.
Nor did he spare any thoughts for the fact that his robe was tightening around him as his growing stomach tested its capacity. It seemed the sirens’ magic had altered his body’s ability to take in food as much as it had altered his mentality, and all the food he ate made its way to his waistline immediately. His belly grew past the proportions expected of nobility, past even those of royalty, until it was wide enough to rip out of his robe.
Tiro’s robe ripped in several places at once with loud shredding noises. It tore around his stomach first, revealing the sun-kissed skin underneath, as one split ripped perfectly down the center of his abdomen, showing his deepening belly botton. As he chewed, Tiro tugged at the robe to tear it farther, growing impatient with its tight fit as he grew wider. Soon the robe had been reduced to loose lengths of cloth not unlike those that adorned the sirens, rippling over his enlarged body with the sea breeze.
Soon a strong gust blew all the cloth to the side until it was flapping like a collection of flags, revealing what Tiro’s once athletic body looked like now. Reclining back in his chair, his belly protruded out like a ship’s figurehead, having grown to match the size of the largest serving dish on the table. His belly was smooth like the rocks behind him, and the sun glistened off of the tanned expanse, having plenty of skin to reflect off of. His body was still wet from his swim, making the sun’s light shine even more brightly off of his flabby midsection. And as he ate, it was only growing wider.
If Tiro had any awareness of his expanded frame, it was a positive one. As he leaned back to chew a particularly big bite of pork, he let out an approving groan and he massaged his hefty belly. It was firm underneath his touch, barely giving in to the pressure of his hands as they rubbed it over. They had grown softer too, and his flabby fingers gently glided over his heft. Even his arms felt softer as they rubbed against the sides of his gut. It all added up to enough pleasure that Tiro kept emoting, “Mmm,” as he felt over his grown frame.
He didn’t stop as he took his next bite. Through nonstop mouthfuls of food, Tiro kept humming his approval as he wolfed down more and more of the feast. A tune came through more clearly as he ate, until the tones of his sung praises matched those of the sirens’ song. He fell into harmony with them, matching and complementing their melodies with his own. As Tiro fell in tune with the sirens, they sang more loudly, a volume that Tiro matched with his own singing. He couldn’t match their words, however, as his constantly full mouth meant he could do little more than mumble.
But he sang anyway, even as mouthfuls of food prevented his singing from sounding like an alluring siren song. It wasn’t until he finished the feast to his satisfaction that he could properly join the sirens in their odes. By the time he did, he could barely stand up from his chair.
Koinos couldn’t help but blame himself for what had happened to Tiro. If it weren’t for Tiro jumping into the water after him during that storm, Koinos wouldn’t still be sailing with the crew of the Aigeus. Yet when Tiro had lept into the water, Koinos did nothing to save him as he swam to his certain doom. The crew constantly told him there was nothing he could have done, that a sailor who’d fallen to the sirens’ song was as good as dead. They told him jumping in after Tiro would have just resulted in them losing two sailors instead of one. Some days, he even believed them.
But Tiro was still on Koinos’s mind when they had to sail through that particular part of the sea again. The captain had reminded his crew to make sure they plugged their ears with wax securely, so they didn’t lose another sailor. Koinos took that warning to heart, and when the lookout shouted, “Sirens ahead!”, he was sure to stick the wax plenty far in his ears.
Looking toward the shore, Koinos saw a similar sight to the one he’d observed on their last trip. The sirens all stood behind images of beautiful maidens, lips moving as they sung. Koinos couldn’t hear the song through his wax, but he could feel the ship vibrating underneath him in a way it hadn’t on the trip before. The vibrations matches the rhythm of the movements of the sirens’ mouths, but there had to be one singing particularly deeply to shake the ship with his voice. It was when Koinos came to that conclusion that he saw there was a new siren among the creatures’ ranks.
In the back was a siren whose silken raiment wrapped around a corpulent body heftier than any Koinos had seen before. Unlike the muscle-bound monsters around him, this siren had a gut as well-filled as the heftiest sack of grain they carried on their ship. It was firm and stately, jutting out like a gladiator’s shield, well beyond the bounds of the siren’s chest. His legs had more in common with the ship’s mast than the sculpted limbs underneath the other sirens. As he sang, he waved his arms as enthusiastically as the others, in spite of the flab that wrapped around them like the algae coating the rocks.
Even with his arms fully outstretched to the sides, the siren’s belly was wide enough to almost reach out as far as his elbows. Koinos could only imagine how far it must have stuck out in front of him. He got a clue from how far back the siren was leaning, compared to the stately poses of the others, who stood with their backs straight up. The rotund one stood with his back stretching behind him, causing his ample chin to bunch up around his face. As a result, his oddly familiar facial features were surrounded by a ring of fat that extended around his cheeks and under the mouth that produced his alluring song.
Surely, Koinos thought, this siren must have been the source of the singing deep enough to shake the ship beneath his feet. Why he had so little in common with his fellows, Koinos wasn’t sure. But it would make for quite the story once they made it home.