Melinda was a whirlwind of productivity in the lab that day, combining chemicals, running tests, minding the centrifuge, and engaging in all sorts of distillation and refinement. Everything went smoothly and her work went undisturbed; it was one of those mornings where, for once, she felt that lying about having a Master's Degree wasn't a bad idea after all.
She watched the burner as the chemicals inside a flask simmered and rolled, removing it just as it began to boil. Setting it aside, she picked up a bowl of powdered substances she wasn't entirely sure how to pronounce and slowly added it, watching as it faded from clear to an opaque purple. Studying it for a moment she thought about what to do next before shrugging, opening up a nearby can of diet soda, and pouring it in.
A small purple mushroom cloud erupted from from the flask, quickly filling the room. Melinda coughed and sputtered, waving one hand in front of her as she backed away. The mist dissipated quickly, but seemed to cling to her skin in a clammy film for a few seconds before evaporating.
"Wow," she said. "That was the biggest reaction I've gotten in days."
Suddenly there was a quiet creak followed by a low hiss, and her stomach and sides bulged out from beneath her clothes. Melinda let out a yelp as her shirt rode up on her, the lab coat draping down over her sides as her waist disappeared. She pressed her hands into her belly; there was an unusual amount of give and softness to it, the skin bulging up between her fingers. As she watched she felt her skirt grow tight around her hips, the stitches popping as she grew rounder. It was unexpected, but she couldn't help but feel calm about it. Maybe if she could separate the inflating aspect from that she could turn it into a sedative.
Equally unexpected was the lab door slamming open, and she turned awkwardly to see her co-worker Janet staring at her in shock. "Melinda?"
"Janet, hi!" She waved, her arm's mobility limited by its growing thickness.
Janet's lips curled up in a sneer. "You..." She stormed in, poking Melinda between the domes of her breasts. "I should have known you would try to one-up me in my research."
There was a quiet ripping as her legs took on a conical shape, tearing apart her stockings. "I would?"
She gave her a shove, forcing her onto her curved backside. "Look at you, still playing dumb." As Melinda's limbs widened, forced to the sides and gradually absorbed, she rocked back forward to see Janet holding a vial of liquid. "But I'll show you that a copy can't surpass the original!"
"But I wasn't trying to-"
Janet downed the contents before throwing the empty container across the room. Melinda's eyes followed it as it bounced off the wall, sinking perfectly into the trash; as she looked back Janet was undeniably rounder, and within seconds she burst through her clothes and was the same shape and size as she, dome-shaped breasts and limbs spread across a spherical body.
"Oh. Oh well."
The two women swelled to their own sounds - Melinda to hissing, Janet to gurgling. Their growing bodies tore the last bits of their clothing to shreds, leaving tatters on the floor and dangling from their wrists and ankles. There was a barely audible "bump" and Janet's eyes widened for a brief moment as her back pressed against the door. A few seconds later there was another, louder and more hollow, as their bellies met, and Janet looked at her smugly. As they inflated they pushed against each other, sliding across the floor as their feet flapped above the tiles, shoving over and aside tables in their path. The room was starting to feel somewhat small to Melinda, though she wasn't too worked up about it, knowing that it was simply an accident and a misunderstanding.
A loud slam across the room caught their attention, and both turned their heads just as a severe-looking woman in a skirt suit stormed in; Melinda and Janet immediately recognized her as Arlene, their boss.
"So," Arlene began, "I leave you two alone and -this- is what happens."
Melinda looked back at Janet, who rolled her eyes. "Sorry?"
"Sorry won't save you," she replied, pulling off her coat. Throwing it aside, she undid her skirt, letting it fall to around her ankles. "Perhaps I should show you two who the -real- big shot here is!"
Raising her thumb to her mouth, Arlene took a deep breath and blew. Her cheeks swelled up like baseballs as her ass and thighs billowed out, looking as if she had beach balls stuffed in her pantyhose. She blew again, and her body from beneath her arms grew round, merging with her hips and backside. Puffing away, her legs were forced apart as she rose higher on the ball of her body, keeping pace with the room's other two occupants.
As Melinda's head neared the ceiling she had but one thought: It was starting to get crowded in here.
By the afternoon most of downtown was taken up by what looked like large balloons of various sizes and skin tones. A good portion of buildings in the area were damaged in at least some capacity from having their occupants grow out of or press against them while growing. It was a highly disruptive state of affairs and not at all funny to the police officers manning the cordon around the area.
"How does this even happen," the first officer asked.
The second shook his head. "Couldn't tell you."
Behind them a car screeched to a halt and a young woman nearly fell out, clutching a bicycle pump. "You think that's BIG? I'll show you BIG!"
The cops turned as one. "Ma'am-"
"I'll be bigger than you!" she shouted to no one in particular as she charged the barricades. "Bigger than the city!"
"BIGGER THAN THE MOON!! BIGGER THAN THE WOR-"
The second officer yanked the pump out of her hands. "No."