Riley was a young woman whose life was seemingly defined by "a little more." Compared to other redheads her hair was a little more red and she had a little more freckles. She was a little taller, had a little more muscle, and at the same time a little more padding, usually where it mattered but often where it didn't. When not working or studying she ate a little more, not out of greed or gluttony, but simply as her nature. Attributing malice to it would be akin to attributing malice to a hunting bird or the tides.
So it was, ultimately, only natural and to be expected that she would eventually find herself at a party in a sorority house, itself home to certain excesses.
"So." Riley dropped onto the couch, putting her arms up on the sides and crossing her legs. "What's it take to join Kappa Sigma Chi?"
Claire gestured. "Well, we did have our own special hazing ritual, but we had to stop after we lost our last house, so we've gone back to binge drinking."
"That's fine. Binge drinking never hurt anyone."
"Right, sure. So, what'll you have? There's everclear, wine coolers, a few kegs..."
"Do you have any stout?"
Claire thought for a second before turning to one of the other young women. "Do we?"
She shrugged. "I'unno. There's probably a ton in that fridge downstairs. We won it in a contest but nobody bothered drinking it."
Riley relaxed, waiting patiently for a few moments. The young woman returned with two twelve packs in hand, and there was the clanking of glass as she set the cardboard packages roughly on the table beside her. Riley removed one of the bottles, turning it over in her hand to inspect the label. "Good."
Claire said, "let me get you a bottle op-" She was cut short by a pop and the fizz of escaping gas as Riley casually wrenched the top off with her bare hand and raised the bottle to her lips. To say she drank it would understate the sheer speed at which the liquid poured down her throat, and to say she chugged it would indicate a certain gracelessness to the gesture. As it stood, she drained the beer down her throat in a matter of seconds, replacing it in the package. "Or you could do that."
"Keep 'em coming," she said, removing a second.
"There's twenty-four bottles here."
"I know, keep 'em coming."
She looked over at Claire, who shrugged helplessly, before turning and leaving again.
Riley drank in a steady rhythm, bottles of beer sliding down her throat one after another with no sign of hesitation. Bit by bit her trim stomach began to show the results of her binge, pushing her shirt outward. By the time the first package was finished she had a soft, round gut poking out from beneath the hem of her clothes, a band of flesh with a navel sunk into it. She reached down, unbuttoning her jeans, letting her belly force the zipper open in its search for room.
Claire's friend appeared again, dropping off two more packages on the table. Riley removed another bottle, cracking it open as the girl stared. As she tilted it up their eyes met, and the girl looked away, taking the empties with her. Shrugging, she resumed drinking.
As time wore on and more bottles were drained, Riley's gut became more pronounced as it filled with stout. Casually slumped on the couch as she was, it spilled between her legs as it grew larger, filling her lap more and more. This did not escape the notice of other party-goers, some of whom tried their best to gawk at her without looking like they were. By the time she was finishing the fourth twelve-pack newcomers were asking others if she was pregnant. She certainly looked it to the untrained eye, but her belly was softer and more teardrop-shaped.
As Riley replaced the last bottle, Claire entered the room, stopping dead in her tracks upon seeing the swollen newcomer. "Are... are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm..." Riley frowned, pressing both hands against the sides of her stomach. Her belly churned and gurgled, swelling outward as the stout inside of her fizzed and bubbled, rapidly taking up the entirety of her lap. Her skin seemed to ripple and vibrate, and just as Claire began to fear that she would burst, Riley opened her mouth and let out a long, ear-splitting belch, her stomach shrinking down almost, but not quite, to its previous size. The ambient noise in the sorority lowered as its inhabitants went quiet in stunned silence, picking up their conversations again after a few seconds. "I'm fine."
"You don't feel... sick or anything, do you?"
She thought for a second. "Got a little bit of a buzz. So, am I in?"
"Uh... yeah, sure."
"Great." She raised her legs and, with a grunt, turned and laid down on the couch, her bloated belly looming over her body. "I'm just going to crash here for the night." She put her hands behind her head, glanced over at Claire and did a double take, her eyes following another young woman as she wheeled a keg past. "Hold it," she said, pointing. "Are you going to finish that?"