Co-Winner: Most Original Story
Co-Runner Up: Best Story
After the meal, Alicia burped. Loudly.
Around the campfire the other girls looked up, disgusted rather than perturbed. But screw them. Alicia was counting on them being too polite, in addition to their other faults.
There was a moment; right between feeling gassy and before the swelling; where you could burp. Make the biggest, rudest belch you could imagine, and let the gas out, up, and away. She remembered the games back in the bayou of her youth. The secrets and dampness of the woods, running with the trash folk her parents condemned; sitting by their fires and learning their lore over plant and bone. The boy and her would pestle the beans to paste; the acrid taste with the heat of summer pressing their bodies together. They would dare each other to hold on through the feeling of fermenting bubbles, and those times it went too far…
Alicia shifted, awkward with the thought. She hoped her three companions didn’t notice, or took it as an echo of their own discomfort. Even now they twitched between chattered inanities, their hands subconsciously massaging their bellies, faces pinched. But the light was poor, the camp-fire embered low under a starry sky. They were too self-absorbed to notice each other loosening the top button of their jeans.
They had called it a picnic, which in itself dis-honoured the traditions of the trail; this meal of their last-evening. But she could hardly talk, given the spice she had added to the pot. Now as thin smoke contrails stroked the sky, lighter than air, she spoke to silence her doubts.
“They call it Haricot Mauvais” she said simply. Her companions looked up, surprised. She had been quiet all evening and when she spoke now it was with a veiled menace so removed from the subservient tone she had formerly adopted.
“Spoilt little rich girls from a fancy university”, she purred, “all of you. A few days on horseback and you think yourselves cowgirls. You come out here riding Daddy’s cheques, treat good people like dirt, and steer half the herd into a field of alfalfa. ”
The cool hush of the desert settled about her words. The look of surprise was changing into shock. The oldest girl, Jennifer, seemed about to say something when concern cut across her perfect pale features and straw-blond hair. Her tiny note wrinkled at some invisible sensation as her hands clutched at her midriff.
“Feeling bloated, sweetie?” Alicia inquired, gently. “Well, you know what happens to cattle in alfalfa”.
The other two girls, Katie and Maria, rose, or tried to, but folded at the knees, their eyes widening in the orange light. As they cradled themselves the hissing began, a low and long rumble, audible over the soft pop of the fire. Immediately the buttons of their coarse white blouses shifted, tautened and they grunted with something between nausea and arousal. Pale skin became visible between the gaps, bulging outwards before their disbelieving eyes. The same thought was reflected in each of them; Inflating.
Alicia stood up slowly. Her charges were mute with shock. The Hispanic, Maria, with dark eyes and ruby mouth, was desperately gulping as it to burp, but Alicia knew it was already too late. As she walked across the few yards separating them, the flickering light showed their bellies slowly expanding, their waistline growing one foot, two; rounding as if pregnant.
Pregnant? Heh. Well, maybe if they’d been fucked by a helium balloon she thought viciously.
Alicia stood over Katie, the youngest. Her short, tawny hair was streaked with perspiration and she was trying to say something but the noise was compressed by the sounds of gas within her. The curvature spread up her body, tearing away her blouse button by button, pushing her smoothed denims down over a globing ass. A lilac designer bra and panties now struggled to contain her, with breasts that perked and stiffened, adding cup sizes in seconds.
In a moment of compassion, Alicia leant down and unfastened her bra. At once her tits ballooned free, matching the dome of her belly as they pointed at the sky.
“How does it feel?” Alicia whispered.
“Feels like…bubbles.” gasped the girl. Her pale blue eyes shone with terror and delight. The invisible pressure massaged her, held her spread-eagled, limbs waving weakly astride the swelling globe of her body. The disparate spheres of her inflation began to join, subliming a bloated parody of femininity into a ball. Her arms and legs shrank helpless against the four-foot globe of her body.
Alicia curiously placed her hand over the Katie’s pneumatic form. The warmth and slow percolation within sharpened the hissing to a razors’ edge. She let herself drape over the smooth pink expanse, feeling it press upwards in her embrace. A sudden sharp snap made her victim whimper, but it was just the thin cord of her panties parting. Now naked, the ballooning girl seemed cupped by the breeze, quivering before the lifting caress of the night air. Alicia felt her body bounced once, twice, leaving a soft indentation in the white sand.
“Hsssh.” Alicia smiled. “The next bit feels good”
She stepped back, releasing her charge with a soft boing. At once the young girl started to float upwards, pawing weakly at the ground. Impossibly buoyant, she rotated as she rose, gasping at the sensations that filled her. For a moment her rose-flushed sex was scented with jasmine and excitement as she drifted above Alicia’s head. Then she was higher than the surrounding cacti and rising fast; a pink bubble in the sky.
Distractedly, Alicia was aware of the other two other girls following suit, rising. Part of her called out to lasso and ride them like an errant balloon, but she held back. If they had too much gas they’d float straight up until they burst: she didn’t care.
She just waited until all three were lost from sight before gathering her gear and heading for the trailer. Miles to go before dawn.