Inflation Types:
Date Written: 

"This is such bullshit."

Tia was the very definition of "statuesque," standing just over six feet and fantastically fit.  Though as head of the college cheerleading team she would have to be, as well as a competent and firm, yet compassionate leader.  At the moment her firmness was coming to the fore.

"Tia," one of the other cheerleaders said, "we drew straws.  You lost."

Worth mentioning is that the cheer team consistently maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA average, and Tia in particular had a 3.8 and built working Stirling engines in her spare time.  So spare me your outrage, please.

"What's even the point of parades?" Tia retorted, folding her arms defiantly across her chest. "It's a bunch of people walking in front of other people when nobody even wants to be there."

"True," another said, "but we've done it for the past thirty-three years and the Dean isn't about to stop now... and, you -did- lose."

Tia scowled, hoping that by being imposing and defiant she could somehow bend reality to get her out of the situation she was in.  She failed. "Fine," she sighed, uncrossing her arms. "Let's get this over with."

One approached her with a large aerosol can, pulling off the plastic top before spraying her down.  The substance was thick and clammy, soaking into her outfit and coating her skin.  Tia grimaced as her clothes stuck to her, layers of the spray building up. "I hope this is worth-" She stopped, sputtering and blinking as the other cheerleader brought the can up to head level, covering her face and hair before stepping away. "Was that really necessary?!"

She checked the can. "It says to cover everything so... yes.  Make sure you keep your arms and legs spread."

Tia did as she was told, shifting her stance and keeping her arms away from her sides.  The clamminess faded, replaced by an unpleasant stickiness; she wiggled her fingers and toes to keep them from attaching to one another but that only seemed to make it worse.  Rolling her shoulders, she noted a gradual stiffness in her body that spread to her limbs, making them harder to move.  With no small amount of effort she managed to turn her head briefly, looking down at one arm to see the details and blemishes on her fading away as it took on a uniform color with an unnatural hue and sheen - not her skin tone, but a rubbery facsimile of it.  Her fingers stuck together and, somehow, she felt her clothing no longer touching her skin.  She tried moving a part of her body, any part, and none of it responded; she couldn't even blink, and any hopes of speaking disappeared when the corners of her mouth turned up in a wide grin and stuck that way.  There was a quiet series of squeaks and creaks, and she was suddenly overcome by a bout of light-headedness, feeling her body very slowly tip backwards before someone effortlessly caught her.

What she could only assume, others could plainly see: Tia was now a balloon, her cheerleading uniform printed on her rubbery body just as surely as her cheerful expression.  Much to her dismay.

As Tia contemplated the choices which lead her to this point, the others set about securing ropes around her ankles and wrists, ensuring that the loops could slide freely.  She wondered what for, up until someone rolled a large tank of helium into view.

Oh no, she thought.  No, no, no no no...

One of them uncoiled the hose, turning the knob on the tank a few times before giving the nozzle a tap, being rewarded with a burst of gas.  She plugged it into Tia's navel, and Tia heard a hissing resonating inside of her as every part of her body began to stretch, her line of sight rising higher.  The others watched her with a mixture of emotions as she grew to double her normal height, then turned their heads skyward as she felt her feet leave the ground.

I'm floating?  This is kind of nice, I- no, I shouldn't be... what was I thinking about, again?

The cheerleaders took hold of the ropes as she ascended, pulling her into a face-down position overhead as the hose still piped gas into her.  Every part of Tia swelled with helium, round and full but still human in shape even as she increasingly dwarfed them in size.

So much gas, but more is coming in.  So big.  So... floaty.

One of them looked up at Tia before turning to another. "How much bigger does she need to be?"

The second checked the back of the aerosol can. "It says the average person takes an entire tank, so we'll let it drain before we walk her to the parade site."

Parade?  Parade sounds fun.  Don't know what it is, but sounds fun.

A gentle breeze buffeted her body, limbs swaying as she reached her full inflated size, longer than two cars put together.  Her fit figure had been reduced to a series of bulging curves, her smile a foot wide.  Her thoughts circled in a mantra - "fun, floating, floating, fun" - as the last of the helium filled her; the tank emptied and they trailed off, and were then no more.

A cheerleader gave the hose a tug, freeing the nozzle from Tia's navel.  Looking up at her she asked, "you think she's mad with us?"

Another shrugged. "She -did- lose, and if she's worried about being embarrassed I don't think anyone is going to make the connection." She waved. "Come on, this stupid tradition isn't going to do itself."

Author's Note: 

Reupload due to poor formatting.

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