Inflation on 10th Avenue

Date Written: 

The mirror confirmed what Ballard Wilcox feared: He was getting bigger.

There was no change in his diet; in fact, he’d been eating less since he’d become chronically unemployed. Yet his clothes were tighter, his shirts impossible to button, his pants barely closing around his waist. Stranger yet, he gently pinched his puffy arm, and it just felt…light. And hollow. Almost balloon-like.

“Putting on a few, Bal?” his wife Dana chided him from the doorway of the bathroom.

Although she’d passed the 40-year-old mark by a few years, Dana still looked like the beautiful, leggy brunette that Ballard married when she was 28. She seemed to have frozen in time, just as her large, pert breasts continued to defy gravity. Her ass had gotten mildly bigger, but still caused men to stare when she wore her usual tight-fitting jeans.

However, Dana was a perfect example of the phrase, Show me a beautiful woman, and I’ll show you a man who’s tired of her shit.

They started to fight when the money got tight. When Ballard lost his job a few years back, the sex stopped. Now it had been several months since the couple even slept in the same bedroom.

“I just woke up like this!” said Ballard. “I wonder if I should see a doctor.”

“Great, yeah,” Dana spat bitterly. “That’s all we need: Doctor’s bills on top of everything else. Unless he has a cure for ‘loser,’ I doubt it would do any good.”

“Dana, please,” he implored her. “I’ve got a job interview today.”

“And you’re going to go in looking like that?”

“Well, I’m going to have to wear that big sweater,” he admitted. “It’s not really good for a job interview, but I don’t have anything else that will fit.”

“Well, good luck, dear,” said Dana. “I’m sure you’ll do great.”

Struck by the first kind thing she’d said to him in years, Ballard was genuinely touched. “Thanks, dear.”

Dana walked away, holding her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

Following her usual routine, she sat on the couch to watch TV. She longed to do more, of course: travel the world, meet celebrities, live on Easy Street instead of this 10th Avenue dump. But none of that would happen, she knew, because her husband was not a man of wealth and never would be.

She hated him. She’d realised that years ago. She hated him!

Ballard passed her on his way to the front door. Even his giant sweater seemed a size too small, just as his pants barely contained his torso. “Well, here I go!” he announced.

“Shhhh!” Dana ordered him, before returning to her daytime talk show.

A few minutes passed, as Dana watched from the window as her husband wobbled his way to the bus stop.

The suspense was unbearable, but she knew she had to wait.

Finally, the bus collected her loser husband and a smile broke out on her lovely face. Heart beating excitedly, Dana raced to her bedroom and threw open her closet door.

The Voodoo Balloon that she’d purchased from that old woman at the curio shoppe really worked!

She extracted the balloon from a small box in which she’d hidden it. It looked like a typical orange balloon, save for the word “Ballard” written on it in magic marker. She’d only barely puffed on it the previous night, and now her husband was plump version of his former self.

The balloon was still small—too small to tie shut, so she used a clip—but last night was only a test. Dana now knew that what happened to the balloon would also happen to her husband.

She thought about what happens when a balloon is over-inflated, and it made her giggle.

She returned to the sofa, contemplating the balloon. The TV was on, but she heard none of it. She pictured her husband showing up at the job interview, only to start inflating in front of his prospective employer! She giggled again. Whatever would they say? What would Ballard do? It would be so humiliating—so blessedly, wonderfully humiliating.

She knew she should wait. But she couldn’t help herself. She took off the clip and let the air out.

Several blocks away, Ballard, who had been stuffed tightly into his bus seat, suddenly deflated.

The woman in the seat across from him, turned her head and stared. Wasn’t that guy fat just a second ago? Ballard could only smile back at her before looking himself over. He sighed in relief: Whatever had happened to him, it’s over now, and just in time for his job interview.

Blocks away on 10th Avenue, Dana rubbed her teeth over the mouth of the balloon.

“Yikes!” Ballard’s hand shot to his crotch, and the woman across the aisle shot him another suspicious look. Ballard ignored her this time, wondering if he replaced one trouble for an even worse one.

After sensually licking her lips, Dana puffed up the balloon once more.

Ballard puffed up as well, his clothes returning to their former clinginess. This time, the woman across from him dropped her jaw. Ballard inwardly cursed. How long is this going to go on?

Before he could think of more questions, his body surged again. Ballard went from anger to shock as his body expanded more than ever, tightening his pants around his waist until it was painful. The oversized sweater began to burst stitches. He wheezed from exertion. Please let this be the end of it!

But back at home, Dana looked at the balloon and smirked. The word “Ballard” was stretching across the balloon’s skin, and she could only imagine what the real Ballard looked like. If he was fat after one puff, imagine two puffs!

…Or three.

She put the balloon to her lips and blew again.

Ballard yelped as his body swelled a third time, his sweater audibly stretching and ripping. His pants tightened some more until—


The button tore off his pants, setting his gut free to expand against the back of the bus seat.

Now other passengers were beginning to stare, including the bus driver. “’Ey, now, wot’s all this, then?” the driver asked his rear-view mirror.

The bus pulled over to the kerb. Ballard thought maybe the driver was going to stop to get help.

“Is this some kind of hidden-camera prank?” the driver asked Ballard, as all the annoyed fellow passengers looked on.

“No, no!” Ballard insisted. “I think I have some kind of medical condition!”

“Roight,” said the driver. “A condition that makes you blow up like a balloon?”

“Well, I realise that it sounds silly when you put it—”

“Get out.”

Ballard sat stunned for a moment, then nodded his head, causing his puffy neck to bulge out comically each time. “OK.” He gave a few vain tries to stand. “Um, I’m stuck.”

“Oh, fer—! Come here!” The driver grabbed Ballard’s stubby arm and tugged until, with a “poink!” sound, Ballard popped out of his seat. The scene was closely repeated while getting Ballard out of the door, with the driver pushing instead of pulling.

Clothes torn, humiliated, blocks from home, and looking like a balloon-doll version of himself, Ballard carefully waddled back to 10th Avenue as passers-by pointed and smiled at what they were sure was an elaborate gag.

Dana put the balloon to her lips again…

But no. It took some willpower, but Dana replaced the clip on the balloon and held it in front of her. She didn’t want to get carried away. She wanted to draw out his misery, just as she had been miserable with him all these years of marriage. She would take her time.

He would burst soon enough.

It was late that evening when Dana heard the door open. “So how did the interview go?” she called out.

“I didn’t go,” Ballard gasped.

“What?!” Dana stood up from the couch and looked fully at her husband.

Then her head rocked backward in laughter. It wasn’t a mirthful laugh, but a cruel, mean-spirited one.

“Dana! This isn’t funny!”

“It isn’t?! Look at you! All puffed up like the Pillsbury Doughboy!”

“Dana, please! I’m so tired. It took me hours to get home. If I’m not better in the morning, I really think I’m going to need an ambulance.”

“You need a parade,” Dana corrected. “So you can be with all the other balloons!”

Ballard winced. “Are you enjoying this?”

The smile left Dana’s face, which turned to cold steel. “Of course I’m enjoying this! What’s not to enjoy? I get to watch you blow up like a balloon! I think it’s great! Wonderful! I hope you blow up so much that you POP! I hate you, don’t you get it?! I hate you, I hate you, I HATE YOU!”

Stung into silence by her sudden rage, Ballard could only gape at the attractive yet vindictive woman he once loved. “I’m…going to bed.”

“You do that, Bal,” said Dana, waving him away dismissively. “Or should I call you ‘Ball’ now? Cuz you’re turning into a balloon ball?”

“I get it.” Wheezing with the resumed exertion, Ballard waddled to his bedroom to sleep alone again.

It would not be a sound sleep.

It was long dark when Dana roused herself from the nap she’d taken on the sofa. The telly was still on, and on the screen a famous comedian opined, “It was so hot today, that a fat guy exploded.” The joke received only a few laughs, so the comedian added, “Yeah, you’re right. After all, he probably had family.” The audience laughed a little louder.

Dana looked at her watch and became instantly alert. She knew she was in for a fun night.

She retrieved the Voodoo Balloon from her closet and crept as quietly as she could to Ballard’s bedroom. She knew Ballard couldn’t prevent what she was going to do, but she still didn’t want to wake him.

She peered into the darkness, a taut bulge on the bed shining in the moonlight. He was too weak, or didn’t have the arms, to pull the sheet over himself, so his rubbery skin just shined bare in the moonlight.

She stood outside the doorway, removed the balloon clip, and gently, very gently, puffed into the balloon again.

And Ballard’s midsection grew slowly upward, like bread dough. It was all Dana could do to suppress her laughter as she watched her hated husband expand even more, his belly growing outward and his arms and legs sinking inward as he became more ball-shaped. It was a slow, steady breath, and Ballard continued to sleep as his body inflated. He moaned softly in discomfort as more stitches began to snap on his pants and sweater, his boxer shorts becoming tighter around his groin, but the exhausted man did not stir yet.

Dana paused to gaze banefully at her husband through the darkness. He lay there, totally helpless and immobile, nothing but his wife’s toy balloon. He continued to exist only because it amused her.

And her balloon wasn’t nearly as big as it could get.

She puffed up the balloon again. This time, Ballard’s clothes began to audibly rip apart, and he finally stirred from his sleep. Dana quickly ducked around the corner as she heard her husband begin to panic.

“Wha—? Oh my god! It’s happening again! Worse that ever! Dana!”

But Dana remained outside his bedroom door, blowing and blowing.

The balloon was becoming nice and full, and so was Ballard. His head rose off his pillow as his neck disappeared, merging into the sphere that was now his midsection. He could no longer turn his head, something Dana noticed as she carefully poked her head inside the room.

Ballard was enormous—a big, full, shiny balloon of a man, his only remaining clothes the strained boxing shorts that stubbornly clung to his bottom hemisphere. That, of course, was easily rectified with another puff of Dana’s balloon.

Riiipp!! The last shred of Ballard’s decency was now gone, leaving him a round, naked balloon ball.

“Dana!” he called out. “Help! Dana!”

Dana paused for a moment before answering. “What’s the matter, Bal?” she asked innocently. “Are you getting closer to bursting?”

“Dana, please!” he begged her. “Whatever I did to you, I don’t deserve to explode! Call an ambulance! Hurry!”

“Oh, of course,” she said, nodding with a sarcastic flair. “I’ll get right on that.” She walked away, suppressing her laughter.

“God, I feel so tight!” Ballard called out. “I don’t know how much bigger I can get! Please hurry!”

Dana sniffed in contempt. Listen to that pathetic balloon-man whine! Then her eye caught a tiny portable heater, and she grinned. Turning on the heater, she held the balloon in front of it for several seconds.

Ballard gasped. “Dana! Can you open a window? It’s getting really hot in here!”

Dana didn’t respond. The balloon in her hand got warmer and warmer as it absorbed the heat.

Beads of sweat ran down Ballard’s puffy face. “Oh, god, I’m so hot! I feel like I’m going to explode like a bomb! Dana, are you calling that ambulance?”

“It’s on its way, dear,” she assured him.

“Could you please get me some water? I’m just burning up!”

“Of course!” Dana called back. She stepped away from the heater and went into the kitchen. She ran cold water in the sink. And then she put the balloon directly under it.

“Aaaaahhhh!” Ballard screamed from his bedroom. “Cold! Cold! Cold!”

“I thought you were hot, dear,” said Dana, smiling.

“I don’t know what’s going on! Please tell that ambulance to hurry!”

Dana turned off the water, but her smile remained as she put the balloon back into her mouth and blew.

“Nooooo!” Ballard called out. “I’m getting even bigger! Make it stop!”

But Dana kept right on puffing, making the balloon bigger and tighter.

“Dana! Help me!”




By now, Ballard had blown up bigger than a weather balloon. He bobbled on his bed, shaking from the internal pressure. One more surge, he thought, and he would explode for sure!

“Dana? I don’t want to burst! Dana? Dana?!”

Dana looked over her balloon. It was a beautiful thing, this source of her husband’s misery, so big and so round. She rubbed it with her hand.

Ballard moaned again, though with just a hint of pleasure behind the discomfort.

The balloon was so taut and sheer. She could see her pretty face in it behind the elongated letters B-A-L-L-A-R-D that were stretched across its glowing, fragile surface.

Her contemplation was interrupted again by her husband’s incessant mewling. “Dana? Are they coming?”

He no longer amused her. He was now just a problem to be disposed of. Dana casually opened a nearby drawer and pulled out a large steak knife. She held it over the balloon, savouring the moment.

“Dana? Dana, are you—?”

She thrust the knife into the balloon, and it burst into shreds.

Average: 4 (12 votes)
Login or register to tag items