Originally published January 23, 2018.
Contains: long-term weight gain, direct encouraging, forced weight gain.
My original foray into the “Fattened Fairy Tales” series, started by TommyKat with his story Fattened Fairy Tales – The Gingerbeard Man, was a take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears called Gordolocks. It was a quick little bit of fairy tale interpretation, but it was fun enough for me to want to come back to that well again.
This time, I wrote a story based on Hansel and Gretel. Much of the original story is there, except Hansel, Gretel, and the Witch are all grown men, now named Harold, Greg, and Willie. Also, Willie cages both men with plans to fatten up both of them. And the ending… well, I’ll just say no one gets eaten, and let you find out what does happen.
“This is exactly why we should have brought a map,” Greg grumbled as he and Harold wandered around the woods.
“Oh fat lot of good that would have done us. You really think you can look at all these identical-looking trees, then point to a place on the map and say, ‘Ah yes, here we are’?”
“Well what do you propose we ought to have done instead? Going off the path was your idea.”
“How was I supposed to know that our phones would lose reception once we got this far out?”
Greg sighed as he ran his hands over his face. He pulled out his phone to check again whether the towers might have found them, but nope: zero bars still.
“And my stomach keeps growling,” Harold complained.
“Of course it is. If you hadn’t turned down that trail bar I offered to bring for you in case we were out here that long, it wouldn’t be.”
“I know, I know. I thought we’d be out of here in time to grab lunch somewhere.”
“But you didn’t want to take one just in case?”
“Bars like that are meals for people who are afraid of food,” Harold insisted. “I need more than that to satisfy me.”
Given Harold’s eating habits, Greg wasn’t altogether surprised he would say something like that. When they went out to eat, Greg often stuck to an entrée salad or something from the lighter fare section, while Harold would order an appetizer, a meal that Greg would have had to take part of home, and ask for more bread. And Harold had the body to show for it, carrying somewhere between 75 and 100 more pounds than Greg. While Greg had a slender frame typical of people who liked to take extra long walks in woods, Harold looked more like the kind of person who had to be dragged along for those trips. Normally, though, he went along happily, enjoying the forest as much as Greg. But that day, both of them had had their fill of it.
“I should have just grabbed that map. If we had a map, we could at least orient ourselves if we run into a river or a hill or a landmark–”
“Or a clearing?” Greg asked in a suddenly less aggressive tone.
“Cl–sure, that would work too–”
“Let’s see what’s this way,” Harold interrupted again, taking a hard right off the non-path they were walking on. Greg stood in place, watching his friend walk off as he raised his arms above his head in frustration. That was, until he noticed, the light did seem to be shining through the trees a bit more brightly in the direction where Harold had bounded off to.
By the time Greg caught up with Harold, they were already close enough to the edge of the woods to see that they were indeed on the border of a clearing. And as they walked out of the tall trees and past the shrubs, they saw an unbelievable sight: a cabin in the middle of it all, with smoke rising from the chimney.
“Come on!” Harold called out. “There might be someone in there who could help us!”
Greg wasn’t going to argue with that, and he followed after Harold at the slow jog that was the fastest Harold could move.
As the two neared the cabin, they realized it wasn’t like any other cabin they’d seen before. Rather than logs, the walls were built out of bricks made of some sort of brown material. It resembled mud, but the color was more vivid. And the mortar that held it together was a brighter white than any mortar the two had seen before, having a smoother texture as well. A shiny substance of a deeper brown filled in some of the cracks in the bricks. And none of it had the texture of any sort of construction material the two were used to.
Approaching the front of the house, Greg reached out first to touch the wall. “Never seen anything like it.”
“The texture isn’t rough like brick. It has more give to it, like rubber, or… no, it can’t be,” he muttered.
“Hey, look at this,” Harold called out. He showed Greg his fingers, which had been stained by the darker brown substance used to fill in the cracks in the bricks. “The stuff melts when I put my fingers on it. And the consistency is like…” Greg, it seemed, wasn’t as doubtful as Harold, and brought his fingers close to his nose to smell them. “Like…” At that, Harold licked his fingers, causing Greg to start to object. But before he could, Harold’s eyelids shot up, and he said, “Chocolate.”
“It tastes like chocolate.”
At that, even Greg’s curiosity got the better of him. Reaching for one of the bricks on the corner of the house, he dug his fingers into the wall and, to his surprise, pulled out a chunk. He gave it a sniff before popping it in his mouth: “Gingerbread.”
“So that would make the mortar…” Harold wondered aloud, before running his finger between two of the “bricks”. Though the mortal had had some time to harden, Harold was able to break off a few pieces and taste them. “Icing.”
“So we’ve found a cabinet that’s basically a life-size gingebread house?”
“At least we won’t go hungry if we have to stay here tonight.”
“I dunno. I’d rather sleep in my own bed tonight.”
But as Greg finished speaking, Harold had already stuck his fingers into the wall and pulled out a whole brick, which he started biting into. Various “Mmm”s let Greg know it was fresh enough to eat, though he wondered about the ethics of eating what was ostensibly someone else’s house. Until he realized that it would be foolish for someone try to living in a house like that, surrounded by animals who wouldn’t think twice about munching on the house until it was all gone. While he wasn’t sure what could have brought the house into the woods, he was happy to be part of what brought it out.
So both men ate from the house, with Harold wolfing down bricks of gingerbread to satisfy his hunger, while Greg ate with curious nibbles as he tried the various parts of the architecture. Taking a cracked piece off a window pane revealed them to be made of rock candy, dried in flat sheets, and affixed in place with taffy. Once Harold had made a big enough hole in the wall, Greg could see that marshmallows made up the insulation for the cabin. For a place where no one lived, someone seemed to have taken quite a bit of pride in its construction.
At least, Greg thought no one lived there. But as he was nibbling a piece of the roofing–butterscotch toffee–both he and Harold froze as they heard the door slowly open, and a man’s voice mutter, “Damn critters. The woods have plenty of food for–well I’ll be,” he paused, before looking at the two with his eyes squinting thinly. Though they only stood a few feet away, he seemed to have to strain to see them well enough to conclude, “You’re no critters.”
Out of the cabin emerged a man a few inches taller than either Greg or Harold, with a thick black beard speckled with white hanging a few inches from his grizzled face, framed by a shaved head. He wore blue jeans held up by suspenders than ran over a white tank top. Under that tank top was a a stocky frame featuring a strong chest and an ample, round belly, flanked by burly arms. His arms looked strong enough that he could have built the cabin himself, while his belly jutted out rotund enough to look like he’d eaten all the leftover supplies.
“You boys must be hungry, to go and munch on a man’s cabin like that,” he chuckled.
“Oh, uh, w-we’re so sorry sir,” Greg stammered out.
“It’s just, we got lost in the woods, and we haven’t eaten since lunch. We… we weren’t thinking.”
“Oh, you must be lost if you made it all the way out here. Why, you won’t make it back before dark even if you leave now.”
A sinking feeling in Greg’s throat was accompanied by a nervous swallow.
“Why don’t you come on in? Have you something to eat and a place to rest until tomorrow.”
“I… you mean that?” Greg asked.
“Even after we ate part of your house?” Harold continued, at which Greg elbowed his arm.
The man’s genial smile momentarily collapsed into a snarl, with the flared nostrils to match. But it as a short-lived frustration, as he was soon all smiles again, assuring the two, “Eh, a little nibbling won’t make the house come crashing down.”
With a nervous smile, Greg looked at Harold, who seemed to be a lot less suspicious about the whole thing than Greg was, as he looked at the man with a wide smile on his face. He stepped up first and extended his right hand. “I’m Harold, by the way. This is Greg.”
“Willie. Nice to make your acquaintance. I’ll, uh, probably have a hard time telling you apart, I’m afraid. My eyesight ain’t want it used to be. Come on in,” he beckoned.
Willie let the two go in ahead of him. They barely had a chance to look around the cabin before they felt his burly hands on their backs, pushing them forward with a massive thrust. They stumbled into two tall cages, which Willie promptly closed the doors to. After the doors were latched, Willie grabbed both cages, which had been knocked over in the tussle, and stood them upright.
The cages were tall enough that the entrance was taller than either Harold or Greg’s head, while they were wide enough for the men to sit down comfortably. But in that moment, they only rattled the cages, grasping at what seemed to be the lock and failing to open it. “What the hell, man!?” Greg called out.
“I thought we were cool!!” Harold shouted out.
Their protestations only coaxed a chuckle out of Willie, who stood staring at the two boys in their cages with his hands on his hips and a smirk on his face. “Seems no one ever learns unless they learn the hard way,” he said.
“What are you talking about?”
“You really thought you could nibble on a man’s home without any consequences? Well, since you love eating the sweets I built this house out of so much, I’m going to be making a lot more for you boys to eat.”
“And you better eat them. Otherwise, you’re going to get acquainted with what a pot full of boiling sugar water feels like poured all over you. Let me tell you, that stuff burns like a sumbitch when it splashes on you.” As Willie finished his statement, he raised his right arm and displayed the burns on his forearm to show just what the hot sugar water could do in small amounts. “You don’t want a whole pot poured on you.”
Both men were completely silent as they stared in terror at Willie, who seemed contented by the tense silence. “Now, let me feel your pointer fingers, so I can know what we’re starting with.”
The whole situation was too bizarre for either men to think to object. After Willie placed his open hands in front of the cages, Harold and Greg both stuck their hands out with their pointer fingers extended, shaking in nervousness. Once they touched Willie’s hand, he grasped them and grabbed at them with various pressures. “Hmm, seems one of you likes sweets more than the other,” he said before looking in Harold’s direction. “No matter,” he continued before turning around. “You’ll both have a plenty big sweet tooth by the time I’m done with you. And a plenty big everything else,” he concluded with a dark chuckle. “Now… I think it’s time for me to make dinner.”
Willie walked over to the kitchen corner of his cabin, from which plenty of sweet scents were wafting. In any other context, it would have been an exciting smell. But in that moment, it was just unsettling. The two watched Willie in agonizing silence as he whipped up large batches of chocolates and butterscotch and cakes and taffy and what seemed like a s’mores pie, as well as icing to drizzle over everything, and, of course, gingerbread.
Once the meal was finished, Willie brought it over course by course and placed the courses in front of the two’s cages. “There. That should get your started. Now, I’m going to go out there and assess the damage you caused. In the meantime, get to eating.” And with a swift few steps toward the door, he was gone.
Both men were stunned speechless for a moment, before Greg reached down and picked up the taffy. “Harold,” he whispered, worried that Willie might hear them through the walls. “We can take this taffy and mold it into fake fingers. Make it a bit bigger than ours, and when he wants to feel our fingers again, give him that instead. That’ll buy us some time to figure out a way out of here before he eats us.”
“Wha–” Harold looked back at Greg with his eyes open more widely than Greg had seen before. “Look, dude, I know we’re in a desperate situation, but you really think a man who works with candy like him isn’t going to be able to tell the difference between taffy and skin? And what do we do with the extra food?”
“Eat as much as we need, then throw the rest in there,” he said as he motioned toward the lit fireplace. “He already flooded this place with baking smells. He won’t be able to tell the difference.”
“Uh uh, man. I’m not risking it. I don’t want that hot sugar water on me. And why do you think he wants to eat us?”
“Why else would you fatten someone else up?”
“I dunno, man. He doesn’t seem like the cannibal type.”
“You’re telling me you’re acquainted with the cannibal type?” Greg asked facetiously.
“Look, just… if we make it out of this, I don’t want you coming out with third degree burns, man.”
With a sigh, Greg concluded, “Look, if you don’t want to take that risk, that’s your decision. But I do.”
All Harold could do was take a deep breath and look at Greg pleadingly. Once Greg picked up the taffy and started molding it, Harold let out an audible sigh and sat down, before he started wolfing down the food in front of his cage. As Greg watched, he concluded Harold must have been a nervous eater, as he’d never seen the man eat so much so quickly. After eating a moderate amount of the gingerbread, the closest thing to real food in the bunch, Greg tossed the rest in the fire, thankful to find that even chocolate and toffee could burn with enough heat.
When Greg had finished sculpting his fake finger, hoping that giving it some time to dry would make it feel more realistic, he looked up and saw that Harold had eaten all of the food Willie had left for him. He was still sitting down, reclining with his back against the cage as his eyelids sunk down and his mouth hung open. As he tried to catch his breath, his hands were wandering over his rotund stomach, slowly rubbing the rounded ball of fat. If Greg didn’t know better, he would have sworn Harold’s belly was even bigger than it was before the meal.
It had been at least a week since Harold and Greg were captured. The weather outside had warmed up enough that the fire in Willie’s fireplace wasn’t strictly necessary. As such, Greg found himself leaning against the far end of his cage to try to put as much distance between himself and the flames as he could, while he and Greg waited for Willie to get back. Not that it did much good. Against his better judgement, he was thankful that Willie baked as much as he did, because otherwise, the cabin would have surely smelled like his and Harold’s B.O. Greg was so sweaty that when he finally pulled himself away from the side of the cage, he had a sticky residue on his hands and arms.
“Great,” he grumbled, starting to lick off the grape-flavored residue before he froze in place. As his eyes slowly opened wide, he looked to the back of the cage and licked one of the bars. “Jolly Rancher,” he whispered. Without thinking, he tried to bite one of the inch-wide bars, before remembering that hard candies like that couldn’t be conquered that way.
But perhaps he could lick his way out.
“Harold,” Greg called out in a loud whisper, unsure how close Willie was. “Harold.”
Harold seemed to be napping, leaning back against the side of the cage with his mouth hanging open as he quietly snored. Slouching forward, his belly looked even bigger than it had been after his first meal. Even his face looked more rounded out.
At that, Harold snapped to attention and sat upright, looking at Greg with wide-open eyes.
“My cage is made of Jolly Rancher. Try yours, and we might be able to lick our way out of here.”
With eyebrows raised, Harold pushed himself off the ground, making a few grunts until he was up. Once he was up, however, Greg could see that the reason Harold looked bigger was because he was bigger.
It was most obvious at the bottom of Harold’s belly, where his gut peeked out from underneath his shirt a good inch or two, while the shirt wrapped tightly around the widened top of his stomach. His chest had pudged out too, the two lobes more distinct as they pushed out from behind the shirt. His arms had become a bit more like the loaves of gingerbread he scarfed down day after day, looking soft to the touch and plenty bulky. And his double chin, previously a somewhat subtle accessory, now hung down from his face with an obvious presence.
That double chin jiggled as Harold opened his mouth to lick one of the bars of his cage. “Yeah, Jolly Rancher,” he confirmed, not sounding quite as enthusiastic as Greg was expecting.
“So we can lick our way out of here. Come on! There’s a lot to get through. I think I can slip out if I break through one bar, but… well, you might need to break two.”
“Mmhm,” Harold replied, causing Greg to raise his eyebrows as Harold’s nonchalance. But now that Greg had found a way to escape, he was focused entirely on getting out. So he picked a spot at face level on one of the bars and got to work, licking side to side constantly and taking a sip from his water bucket when he needed it.
By the time Willie got home, Greg had managed to get barely a fourth of the way through his bar. He stopped when he heard their captor come in, not wanting to risk him hearing them try to escape. But as Willie cooked dinner for both of them, Greg looked over and couldn’t help but feel like he couldn’t see any dents in Harold’s bars.
“Alright, boys, while this is cooking, let me feel your fingers.”
It was the moment of truth. Willie stepped in front of the cages and put out both of his hands, into which he received Harold’s real finger and Greg’s taffy fake finger. As he squeezed them both, he got a frown on his face. “Hmm… seems one of you is growing faster than the other. I better give you more food,” he concluded before letting go.
After quite a few tense moments, Willie brought them both platter after platter of sweet, fattening dishes. It didn’t take long for Greg to realize Willie had brought him even more than usual, meaning he was the one Willie intended to fatten up more.
“Get eating, boys. I’ll be back in a while to check up on you,” he said he said before he left the cabin once again.
After listening for his footsteps in the distance, Greg turned to Harold and saw him already sitting on the ground, scarfing down his meal. “Greg,” he whispered, causing Greg to look up with cheeks bulging with cake and icing. “Did you lick your bars at all?”
“Oh, uh, not yet. But I’ll get to it.”
“You better start soon,” Greg told him. “I’ve been licking all afternoon and I’m maybe a fourth of the way through the bar. I have a long way to go, and you have even longer.”
With his warning out of the way, Greg ate a moderate amount of the gingerbread, wrapped some more toffee around his fake finger, and tossed the remaining food in the fireplace. He spent the rest of the evening licking at his bar to get himself closer to freedom. And every time he looked over at Harold, Harold was still sitting on the ground, eating up all his treats.
It took two more days for Greg to lick his way through the hole he’d started. Once he’d gotten most of the way through, he resorted to pulling the bar apart in opposite directions until he got what little candy held the bar together to snap. After that, all he had to do was detach the bar from the bottom, and thanks to the minimalist design of the cages, it would give him just enough space to slip through.
Greg didn’t spend much time encouraging Harold to lick his bars. After all, he thought, he shouldn’t have had to. The appeal of escaping their captivity should have been obvious. And yet, any time Greg looked over to Harold’s cage, he never seemed to be trying to make his way out. At most, he’d stand looking contemplatively at the bars, as if he had to make up his mind about his decision. Did he not want to escape?
It was a possibility that Greg couldn’t comprehend, let alone consider. So he focused on his own escape, until he broke through the bar at the top. At that point, he wondered if there had to be a smarter way to work through the bottom of the bar. He looked at the bucket of water Willie had left him that he’d been using to keep his mouth suitably moist for the job. As he absentmindedly fingered the holes he’d torn in his shirt, he got on idea.
Greg ripped his shirt horizontally until the rip was about a foot long. He then ripped toward the bottom hem, until the strip of cloth separated from his shirt. After dipping it in the water, he wrapped it around the bottom of the bar and started pulling it back and forth.
After five minutes of frantic work, Greg pulled the cloth back and saw that he’d already made a noticeable dent in the bar. At the rate he was going, he could probably be through within an hour.
Greg’s companion looked back at him from the bottom of his cage, where he sat leaning back against his bars. In such a position, the size of his growing belly was only accentuated more. But Greg’s enthusiasm caused him to stand up, at which point his belly fell so far out of his shirt that Greg could see his belly button.
“I’ve found a faster way out! Rip off a piece of your shirt and dip it in your water, then wrap it around the bar and pull it back and forth. You’ll get through faster than you can lick your way through!”
A dispassionate “Hmm” was the only reply that Harold gave.
“Well, come on! There’s no time to waste!”
After Greg returned to working on his bar and had slid the cloth back and forth for a few minutes, he heard Harold finally admit, “I’m not going.”
Greg paused mid pull, before dropping the cloth while it was still wrapped around the bar. He slowly looked over toward Harold, who was once again sitting down. “What do you mean you’re not going?”
Their conversation was cut off by Willie returning, at which Greg pulled off his strip of cloth and pocketed it, just in case.
“Alright, boys. I’m back, and it’s lunch time.”
“What’s for lunch, Willie?” Harold asked, causing Greg to look at him with his eyelids open wide in disbelief.
“Oh, you ought to know by now,” Willie chuckled.
“Do you only eat sweets?” Greg asked angrily.
“Oh no, I go hunting too to round out my diet. But even if this hadn’t been a bad few days for it, I wouldn’t share with you two,” he chuckled. “That would defeat the purpose.”
“What purpose?” Greg snarled. “Getting us fatter so you can eat us?”
Willie froze as he held a pan of gingerbread in his hands. After he stood up, he looked toward Greg with one eyebrow raised and a confused frown. “Is… is that why you think I’m keeping you two here?”
“Why else would you keep someone captive and fatten them up?”
After chuckling at Greg’s question, Willie answered, “Why, for the love of getting you fatter, of course.”
“You… you just want to make us fatter for the sake of making us fatter?”
“And to teach you a lesson about eating other people’s houses,” Willie said as he started to bring the two their lunches. After giving both men several trays of cookies, he concluded, “But that’s more of a secondary benefit.”
Greg was silent as Willie kept bringing the two more food. Once he was done, he turned to the two and said, “Now eat up and get nice and fat for me,” before turning toward the door.
Greg didn’t even bother picking out some of the food to eat. Instead, he grabbed his scrap of cloth, dipped it in his water, and went to town on the bottom of the pole of his cage. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, nor did he much care. Somehow, knowing Willie’s true intentions made the whole thing scarier, and he wanted out as quickly as possible.
And soon enough, the bar came off, landing against the wall before it fell on the floor. Greg was surprised when it didn’t shatter or even crack, though he supposed it wouldn’t make good cage material if it did.
But now wasn’t the time to ponder that. After slipping through the hole he’d created, he was finally free.
Greg then looked over to Harold and saw him sleeping as he sat on the floor of his cage. It was maddening to him how Harold could want to stay in a place like this, in conditions like this, under the control of a man like that. It maddened him so that he picked up the bar he’d broken off of his cage, walked across the cabin, and swung the bar at Harold’s cage like a bat.
It was no use. The bars merely bounced off of one another, though the vibrations were apparently enough to wake up Harold. “Ah, hell, what was that?” he asked groggily.
“That was me,” Greg grunted as he swung again, to no avail. “I’m getting you out of here,” he said as he swung again, and again, and again. But the bar didn’t seem to be able to break Harold’s cage.
“Just go, man. Get out while you can.”
Greg made one last swing that he put all his strength into. But the bar only bounced back so hard that it flew out of his hands and back toward his own cage. Panting, he asked, “How can you possibly want to stay here?”
“How could you not?” Harold asked nonchalantly, not even looking at Greg.
Greg stared disbelievingly at Harold until he’d caught his breath enough to close his mouth. Afterward, he went back to his cage and drank enough of the water to last him as he made his way back. He then took some gingerbread for the road, and picked up the strip of cloth he’d used to free himself. He brought it over to Harold’s cage and dropped it at Harold’s feet, causing him to look up at him. “In case you change your mind,” he whispered, almost with contempt, before he turned toward the door. He didn’t even given Harold one final look before he opened the cabin door and took a peek around outside. As such, he didn’t see Harold toss the piece of cloth back at Greg’s cage.
After peering around outside, Greg made sure he saw no signs of Willie and stepped out. He had no idea how to get back, but he did know he didn’t want to be caught by a man who knew those woods better than he did. So he walked behind the cabin, figuring Willie would build it to face out in the direction he most often went when he left in the morning. After so many days in a cage, his legs were stiff, and walking was taking some getting used to. So he crept along at a slow pace, keeping his ears out for any noises that sounded human as he nibbled on his gingerbread.
Once Greg had finished the loaf, he felt like his legs had loosened up enough that he could finally move normally again. And with that newfound freedom, his walk turned into a jog which turned into a sprint, and he ran. He ran as far away from the cabin as he could, caring not where he ended up. Any place in those woods was better than that horrible house. He kept running until he was out of breath, and leaned against a mossy tree to catch his breath.
That was when he felt his phone in his pocket, and remembered turning it off so he could save the battery to use it if he ever escaped. Without taking the phone out, he stuck his hand in his pocket and held down the power button long enough to turn it on. He then let his arm fall at his side, where it hung limp as he caught his breath.
Greg nearly jumped when he heard his incoming text tone, a nearly unfamiliar sound by that point, play several dozen times in a row. Looking through his text messages, he saw his friends, coworkers, and family all worried sick about him. “Where are you, man?” “Why aren’t you answering? Did something happen?” “Greg, please tell me you’re okay.”
They’d all get their answers in due time. For now, Greg had to use what remained of his battery to find his way back. As he opened his maps app, he was relieved to see a silver lining in the whole experience: he’d managed to find his way close to the forest entrance where he and Harold had begun their walk. With an exhausted smile, he pushed off the tree and started the last leg of his hike.
Harold awoke to the sound of the cabin door opening and Willie walking back in, feeling groggy and nearly ready to go back to sleep. Reflexively, he looked toward Greg’s cage, before remembering Greg’s escape. At that, his eyelids shot open properly, as he realized that he’d have to find some way to look like he wasn’t involved. After all, if Willie found out he knew about Greg’s escape attempt and hadn’t said anything… well, Harold didn’t want to find out what would happen.
“Uh, Willie? Did you do something with Greg?”
“What do you mean ‘do something’?” Willie asked in a confused tone.
“Well, uh… he’s not in his cage anymore… so I was wondering if you took him out–”
Before Harold could finish his sentence, Willie was bounding over to Greg’s cage. He squinted as he looked inside it, before lifting it up, seemingly surprised by how light it was. Harold braced for him to smash it on the ground, shouting angrily about Greg’s escape, maybe even yell at Harold for not warning him about Greg’s intentions.
But Willie put the cage down gently. After feeling at the lock and finding no signs of tampering, he started feeling around the bars of the cage, until he found the spot where Greg had removed a bar and slipped out. As he felt over the nubs where the bar had come apart, he merely made a “Tsk, tsk, tsk” sound, before muttering to himself, “Some people just don’t want to learn their lesson.
After stepping away from Greg’s cage, Willie walked toward Harold’s and looked in his direction. At least, he looked where Harold’s eyes would have been if he were standing up. This disconnect between the stare of his cloudy eyes and Harold’s own made his stare all the more unsettling. “So how about you?” he asked. There was no anger in his voice. No aggression. No threat of any kind.
“Are you going to make a break for it too?” Considering what Willie was asking, Harold felt like it should have been a rhetorical question, a warning to not even think about trying it. But it didn’t have the tone Harold would have expected from a man who’d kept him and Greg captive to feed them fatter. He sounded disappointed. He sounded like a friend asking Harold if he was going to abandon him just like Greg had. He sounded like he expected Harold to leave.
His tone caught Harold so off-guard that it took him a few moments to collect himself. He had already resigned himself to his fate, and was ready to remain Willie’s growing captive without any choice in the matter. But after taking a deep inhalation, he gave Willie his answer in a tone of total confidence: “No.”
Willie’s sad expression with raised eyebrows slowly changed to one with a smile and eyebrows lowered, seemingly scheming on what would come next. “Good.” After he turned back to walk to the kitchen area, he said over his shoulder, “You know, with your friend gone, you’re going to have to eat his food too. Should mean plenty for a growing boy like you.”
As Harold looked down at his bulging stomach, he gave it a contemplative rub, and smiled. In his mind, that was quite alright.
Harold wasn’t sure how long he’d been living under Willie’s watch. He used to use his phone to check the date, but about two months in, it shut off for the last time before it refused to turn on again. He’d considered using tally marks to mark the days, but in his mind, that only made sense if he was in a place that he intended to be out of some day. And given the situation he and Willie had going on, he wasn’t planning on leaving any time soon.
That long into his “stay”, Harold had outgrown the cage he’d started in, such that he couldn’t sit in it comfortably. Having earned Willie’s trust, he was allowed to sleep on a bed of his own, albeit one he was shackled to by a chain made of the same Jolly-Rancher-like material that had made his cage. As thin as the chain was, he could have licked through it in a day if he wanted. That is, if he could bend down far enough to get his tongue close to his foot.
For all of the decadent meals that Willie had fed Harold were definitely showing their effect. They’d shown as soon as Willie had giving him his own bed, originally made out of chocolate, gingerbread, and cotton candy. But in his sleep, and in the groggy state between waking up and true wakefulness, he found himself munching on his bed as often as he munched on the food that Willie gave him to eat. Though Willie was happy to see Harold eating so much, after getting tired of literally making Harold’s bed every day, he opted to make him one out off more conventional, inedible materials. While he was at it, Willie also built a table he could put Greg’s meals on, allowing Harold to sit on the edge of his bed and enjoy all the food Willie left for him. And those days, it took a lot of food to fill Harold up.
As he sat on the edge of his bed, Harold’s massive belly pushed apart his thighs as it sank between his legs, hanging all the way down to the bed to hide the fact that he’d outgrown all of his clothes, including his underwear. His flab flowed like cake batter off of his torso and into the space below. But even as his thighs were pushed apart, the sides of his rotund belly still lay on top of them, too pudgy to fit between his legs entirely. On top of his belly, the two lobes of his chest pushed out like two marshmallow pies, and were just as fluffy. His flabby arms jiggled as he ate, while his hefty legs merely spilled out over the bed were he spend most of his days. And on his face, his marshmallow-like cheeks and jello-like chin had merged together into a single ring of fat that jiggled any time he moved his head around.
That day, the fat around his face jiggled as he heard the door open and saw Willie come in with a grin on his face. “Alright, Harold, it’s dinnertime. But first, let me feel your belly.”
“Of course,” Harold beamed as he pushed himself up to sit up in his bed, those days, not an easy task. But with plenty of jiggling and flab sloshing back and forth, he finally took a sitting position. “Careful of the table.”
“Of course, of course, thank you,” Willie said as he reached the table and put it aside. He approached Harold from the front, and let his hands wander all over the mound of flab he’d put on him. Sometimes he’d kneed it like dough, while other times he merely let his hands glide over the surface. That day, he pushed down with some pressure, allowing Harold to feel his flab yield underneath Willie’s touch. “Mmmm, this is so much better that feeling a finger,” he said quietly, coaxing a chuckle out of Harold, who just sat back and let it happen. But he enjoyed the attention, and the approval, almost as much as he enjoyed the food Willie provided.
Soon Willie finished feeling up Harold and walked back toward the kitchen area. “You’re coming along nicely, Harold, but I think we need to take things up a notch from here.”
“Oh yeah? What were you thinking?”
“We can keep your breakfast and lunch the same for now,” Willie started. “But for dinner, it’s time I start feeding you batter instead of baked goods.”
“Batter, huh? It won’t have raw eggs in it, will it?”
“Oh, of course not.”
“Then let’s give it a try.”
“Oh we will,” Willie said as he took a big batch of brownie batter in hand and a ladle. Walking over to Harold, he continued. “We will be giving it a try, and then sticking with it, because this is not a choice.”
After Willie put the brownie batter on the table, he moved the table back in front of Harold and went back to the kitchen area to prepare more. Harold, meanwhile, took the ladle and started scarfing down as much of the brownie mix as he could. It was rich, thick, and decadent, all things that made it a delight to eat. But it was also a challenge, and before Harold was even halfway done, Willie brought over another bowl, this one looking like gingerbread batter. “The nice thing about this is the batter is easier to make than the final baked goods. I look forward to seeing you eat it all.”
“I’ll eat as much as I can,” Harold promised him between bites.
“Oh no,” Willie replied. “You’re going to eat it all.”
Harold’s eyelids went wide, but with Willie’s vaguely threatening encouragement, he felt like he could do it. All he had to do was finish the brownie batter first… then the gingerbread batter… then…
Harold could feel the batter filling him up faster than the baked goods did. Each scoop of the slop hit his stomach like the press of an air pump, making him feel a bit bigger, a bit fuller, and a bit rounder. As good as each bite was, he seriously wondered if he’d be able to finish them. But he was making good progress, with the scoops of each bowl blurring together until he had none left to scoop from the bottom. After a half-dozen bowls had been emptied, Harold looked up and saw that the table was covered exclusively with empty bowls.
And boy could he feel it. His belly didn’t just feel full, but heavy, like he’d shoved a sack of wet cement down his shirt. Any attempt he made to move resulted in him feeling his inertia pull him back to where he’d been sitting before. He couldn’t budge, as his heavy, bloated stomach made him merely roll back to where he’d been sitting before. All he could do was sit in place and digest, and hope that at some point he’d be able to lie down to sleep. Perhaps, he wondered, that was Willie’s plan all along.
“Hey, Willie?” Harold tiredly called out. “I’m done.”
Willie turned toward Harold with a smile on his face. After he approached the table, he lifted up each bowl and felt how much was inside, stacking them as he found them to be suitably empty. “Good, good. These are going to plump you up nicely, Not that you aren’t already nicely plump,” he added as he moved the table before taking the bowls to the kitchen area.
As he considered Willie’s words, Harold looked down at the massive mound of blubber he’d built up in front of him and gave it some rubs–gently, so as to avoid aggravating his stomach–he smiled as he reclined back to give his stomach more room to expand out. He agreed: he was nicely plump. And he looked forward to seeing what came next from there.
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