Out of Sprout

Date Written: 
01/08/2021

(Highly recommended you read the first part, Out of Drought, before continuing!)

It was the pleasant morning sun that roused me awake as I turned my head on the pillow to face my window.

I stuck out an arm and let it dangle off the mattress, flexing my fingers in the refreshing coolness that existed out from underneath my bedsheet. I knew the air conditioner was running fine and the weather was just summery and warm enough. …A stark contrast from the miserable time at this point last year.

Perhaps this weekend morning was a good one for a bike route through the park, right after I watered the plants out back.

Grrrrrrrr… The entire floor lurched and the bedposts rattled, and kept rattling as I bolted upright. Scenes in movies and on television taught me all I needed to know.

Earthquake.

Tearing the sheets off my legs I had to get out of this one-story home now. I leapt into a pair of pajama pants and saved myself from toddling around the neighborhood in boxers, then I stuffed my toes into moccasin slippers. A navy bathrobe hanging on the closet knob was tossed on over my tank top like a coat. I couldn’t tie a knot to close it—the entire world was shaking and it was impossible to hear myself think…!

Once I threw open the bedroom door, I saw my diploma frame collapse from where it hung in the hallway and thud upon the carpet. I frantically caught the living room lamp before it fell across me, and still the ground grated as I stumbled and shuffled toward the front door like I was on an icy lake.

Boooom!

Again my home seemed to suddenly heave, and the impact took my legs out from underneath me. Before I could pick myself up with the help of the coffee table, I looked across the space and watched with shock as the kitchen floor away to my left began to splinter, the planks snapping apart from some kind of mound pushing its way up…

A massive, green-colored arm clawed up through the accumulating wreckage. As it began feeling the cupboards, I saw it attached to a shoulder beneath a head of long, leafy petals tinted a fiery orange. After an emerging plant-like woman shook off the dust and sighted me with a pair of red irises, I went pale with dread—

Liliace…!

“There you are…” the gigantic alraune glared, leaning on her forearm to wrench the rest of her upper torso out of my basement.

With a clattering of pots, pans and crumbling foundation, she kept rising until she dented in the ceiling with her scalp. She hunched over, making space to lift her breasts from underneath and squeeze them out of the gaping hole she left, their undersides bouncing and settling on the uneven floor. Each were nearly twice as big as her head, lacking nipples and smooth all around.

The top of a fat, and what had to be waterlogged stomach, peeked up through the void and parted her bust slightly. A thick vine of ivy trailed down from within her hair like a braid and disappeared into the rift. Liliace’s cold, satisfied gaze watched me crawl backwards to the foot of the recliner.

“How’d you…?! What happened to you?!” I shouted as the trembling faded away. I was practically witnessing a titanic sea monster and a ghost from a nightmare all in one.

Since last summer, the backyard had regrown and I was able to replant my flowers and vegetables because her bulb disappeared without a trace. And after having weathered the police knocking with questions about reports of an explosion…

That messy period was supposed to be over, and yet the talking flower was lounging within the ruins of the kitchen, sunlight streaming in on her side through the window over the smashed sink.

“So you figured I wouldn’t grow back?” Liliace asked, chin in her hand, another arm relaxing across the counter space. The entire structure creaked as she took a deep breath and leaned up and reached for the light fixture over the dining table between us. “Once I took some time to build myself back up underground…” she said, idly winding her index finger around the suspending chain and pulled, prying it free with a flash and fizzle of sparks. “I decided to pay you a more direct visit.”

The severed chandelier on the table was every indication she likely wanted to kill me. I sprang up and made a dash for the deadbolt. The vicious rocking started again almost immediately and I tripped, then collided my face against the front door before I sprawled out in a daze.

Out of the corner of my eye the air duct overhead burst open, and a multitude of overgrown stems poured out and slithered, rumbling as they extended. Coiling stalks wrapped around the doorknob, while others began forming a drape and thwacking at me to shoo me away. I gasped as one even took me by the ankle and dragged me back a few paces, having sprouted from a nearby floor vent.

I kicked and looked about wildly between the whips guarding the exit, watching me like snake heads, and then I noticed the surrounding windows getting blotted shut. Triangular, thorny roots began to stretch up over the sills outside, a row of extra fencing to imprison me. I could’ve never expected all this destruction and menacing behavior out of Liliace, and yet she now regarded me with a steady, icy frown, the trashed floor merely like the surface of a hot tub for her enormous size.

“Stay here,” the alraune stated, and the vine let go of me. “Let’s just calm down and talk…”

Still on my knees, I waved my arms. “But y-you just ruined my entire place!” And now I had a sore cheek.

Because you tried to ruin me!” Liliace shot back and sunk a finger into her chest. “Do you think I don’t have feelings? No right to have somewhere to call home?! Maybe I’ll just take the indoors for myself, and you can have the garden out there instead.” She giggled at herself while her head lay tilted against the ceiling, and she slumped down a bit further to straighten her neck. “Mmmph, I’ll admit it’s getting a bit cramped in here though…”

I picked myself up, clutching the back of my neck. “These places aren’t really fit for giant plant women…” My living room was looking more like a jungle with each passing minute, as stray stems kept crawling up the white walls, slowly creeping across the ceiling. The air grew denser with a grassy smell of freshly-fallen rain, a sweeter aroma growing stronger as I warily drew nearer to her. Her queen-like posture scarcely budged even as I moved within range of her arms.

She didn’t seem quite as tall as when I found her in her post-hurricane state, but she had to have gorged on enough water somehow to make herself at least two stories. I tried seeing down into the basement, but there was nothing but soft, shiny flesh in the way, getting squeezed by the edge of what was still intact on the floor beams.

I tied my bathrobe as I leered up. “So what do you want, Liliace? There’s no way you can get away with all this damage…” I’d be found – hopefully alive – and rescued eventually if I could stall for time. “Is it an apology? …A friend?”

She gave a somber shake of her large head, and kept her voice calm despite her extra volume. “I’m not sure what I desire yet.” A smile cracked. “I didn’t have a plan than to store up as much rain as possible, for days and days… Now that I finally see how much I’ve grown…” Liliace leaned back and slipped her hands under her breasts that hovered inches from the floor, smooshing them upwards. She gingerly teased around the weighty water balloons. “…I might have the chance to appreciate all this now. Hm!”

I winced at hearing her jugs slosh as she fluffed them and let them fall over and over. My chances were better off if a vending machine tipped over on me than either of those.

“Ugh…!” Liliace grunted and let her melons flop. She started to shift about uncomfortably, shimmying her back between the corner of the kitchen walls. “There’s something leaking on my petals and filling me up still…”

The floor groaned like a leather belt around her waist as I balanced myself on a dining chair and watched her poke the slow rise of belly pudge. It dawned on me after a moment. “The water supply in the basement. It’s probably flooding everywhere if you broke a pipe.”

“Well, can it be stopped?” she huffed and glowered. “I’m not sure where it’s coming from, and this tight feeling is getting worse.”

“Sounds like you didn’t think this through,” I only answered. Then realizing that was a bad remark, I sidled back at a set of her fingers drumming contemplatively against the floor. “Uh, look, I can probably run downstairs and shut off the water.”

“That’d be smart,” Liliace smirked, easing further back for headroom. “Otherwise I can’t promise this house will stay up, or that I’ll stay in it. You better get moving.”

Reluctant to turn my back on her, I made a brisk walk to the opposite side of the house. I paused in the living room just to hear past the slight tremors and stretching vegetation around me; a shout, sirens, any sign that there was something out there noticing what was going on.

“And remember I can sense you quite well…” Liliace’s singsong voice carried around the partition in the way. I flinched as she managed to reach around and break most of the wall dividing the two rooms like a graham cracker, the drywall crumbling to dust in her fist as she peered at me.

After stepping over a vine, I started to go back the way I came but turned right, towards the cellar door and the back porch down the hallway beyond it. No good, I knew at a glance. The window just showed more pillars of thorns.

With the dark depths of the basement below I flipped the wall switch and heard a jarring, electrifying crackle, then a lightning flash, and only half-lit steps afterward.

“Yeeek!” Liliace’s voice carried. “That strangely tickled, haha…!”

Sighing, I hurried downstairs to see the extent of the missing lights and the source of the agonizing trickling sound.

Near the foot of the flight, awaiting me was a watermelon-shaped, grassy-green blob that spanned from floor to ceiling and then some. Turgid and tight, yet wobbling slightly with her breath, Liliace’s vast stomach cast an intimidating shadow across the concrete floor — the portion of foundation that wasn’t breached into a pile of a million pieces around her, anyway. I realized her girth punched out a few support columns, and her belly was likely keeping most of the first floor from collapsing.

Her middle moaned and gurgled as its underside inched forward, its crest disappearing above. With the damp, smashed carboard boxes spilling my childhood books, art projects, and miniature collector cars I kept down here, the basement smelled way more musty than usual.

But the air was freshened slightly thanks to the massive orange flower blooming from the crater, the thin but expansive petals draped outwards like a spider’s legs, dipped into the watery film on the ground. I skipped onto one as if boarding a raft and the petal ends shriveled and curled. I must literally be stepping on her toes.

“Sorry, sorry…!” I called out, starting one way around her to get to the utility closet in the opposite corner. I stopped once I saw another greenish curve smooshing into the far wall — one of her asscheeks, taller than I was, joined to her flared, flabby hip. …Wasn’t worth it.

I tiptoed in front of her gut and knew I had to touch her to squeeze past a part of the wall that protruded out. Tucking in my shoulders I put my head down and leveraged my way in.

When I pressed my palm into her skin, I was stunned at the feeling of going back in time for a moment — the denseness, that indescribable combination of resilient plant matter and cool, comforting liquid that I felt about a year ago when Liliace trapped me in a hug. Like a memory foam mattress and waterbed in one, a giant mass of some artificial gel. I recoiled out of my trance as it rumbled and quivered from my touch like I was about to set off a bomb.

On the other side of her, I backpedaled away and let her weight settle again. Instead of this basement suddenly becoming an aquarium, a harmless belch and wobble escaped.

Liliace called out with an impatient whine. “Could you hurry…? I’m so full, I’m afraid to touch my stomach…”

In moments I was at the closet door in the corner that guarded the water main, which awaited within a crevice that I had to edge my way into to avoid contact with the side of her tush.

But as soon as I threw it open, there was just a tangle of vines nesting around the valve. I gasped as I witnessed the strands twist… They snapped off the old rusty knob as if to spite me and dropped it at my feet.

“Got you,” came her voice.

I took in a sharp breath on instinct; something a kidnapping victim would do when they realize a bag’s about to be thrown over their head. “Lil…!” I slammed my hands into her shifting bulk, but they didn’t do a thing as her hip barreled into me and flattened me against the wall with a thunderous boom.

How I survived that impact I would never know, but my next move was to collapse into a ball on the floor and stick out my elbow to make a precious air pocket, trying to fight off the tons upon tons of alraune that smothered me.

I couldn’t see, only able to feel the shudders as Liliace slid and grinded up against my cowering form, laughing as she tried to reposition herself for just the right angle to get more weight on top of me. The water inside her sloshed and slapped against the side of the basement. I wasn’t in pain — only buried against suffocating softness.

“You’re like a mosquito!” she cackled from above. “Like an annoying little itch to me right now that I just… wanna… squish!” Before I might’ve succumbed to the pressure, she paused. By some miracle, she let up only a fraction for me to fill my lungs. “Oh… Hang on, I think I have a much better idea to play with you…”

“Whatever it is, I don’t care!” I bellowed, inching toward the crack of light that emerged as her bulk retreated.

“Oh come here, you big baby…” Liliace snickered. Creeping stems wrapped and bound my wrists, fishing me out and dragging me swiftly along the concrete, and I could only shout. In front of the steps, the vines traded me off to another group that latched onto my ankles and brought me backwards up the steps on my stomach. It happened so fast, so roughly, I think my bathrobe was what saved me from being covered in bruises, and from rug burn as I was hauled into the living room.

The place was dismantling; cracks ran from the walls and the ceiling, brown and green stems winding from them, intricate curtains of ivy draping like motionless waterfalls from other fissures.

Liliace commanded it all from her proud perch up at the ceiling, her two behemoth breasts grazing the floor, parting ways for her gut that practically oozed over the edges of the ring she created in the floor.

“I’ve been thinking,” she began endearingly. “What if I just kept growing and growing and took you out in the explosion? I know I’d come back…”

“You wouldn’t!” I shrieked, but Liliace didn’t flinch.

One of the vines slipped over my feet, darted up my shin and yanked on the robe’s tie, and then held my collar as two of its brethren wrestled off the sleeves. Getting reduced to my tank top and plaid trousers, I swatted at them and gripped one in a stranglehold, but didn’t see Liliace’s hand reaching towards me until it was too late.

She swept me up like a doll and brought me to eye-level, hovering my flailing legs over the sloped surface of the kitchen and dining room floor that struggled to hold down her engorged stomach.

“We barely had any time close together back then, don’t you think…?” the alraune teased. “Let’s spend as long as we can… But first, I need more water!~”

“No! I want… to talk about this!” I protested, wrenching at her delicate hold around me, but it was as tough as trying to pull bark off of a tree. “I… I’m sorry, Liliace!” It blurted out of me, but I meant it. “I should’ve just talked to you, trusted you…!” My emotions weren’t because I wanted safety — it was because now I understood where I went wrong and what she wanted most.

Liliace seemed to ignore me and hummed a little tune, stroking her exposed middle, then she responded by reaching for the kitchen faucet and snapping off the head with ease. The plumbing hissed and began to spray, and I watched a vine dip into the rapidly filling basin while the rest misted against her side, and was being absorbed in moments. She comfortably rolled her head as the hum rose to a moan and the house rattled louder, foundation shifted and her green flesh slowly ballooned.

“Please…!” I begged her, and heard a clamor towards the bedroom of pressurized water and pipes being pillaged.

“There’s the bathroom sink and shower opened up…” she giggled, her eyes half-lidded. “And look…!”

I whipped my head around over my shoulder as a living room window crashed inward and the end of the garden hose flopped in and started pouring its contents over the carpet.

“It’s our old friend…!” Liliace winked, and settled back with a sigh. She let her tongue hang from her mouth, pink and with a gloss of cream-yellow nectar coating it. “Ahhh, this is going to feel amaziiiing…!”

“Stop! We can work this out!” The sound of squealing timbers and grating floor made my teeth clench. With a pit opening up from the girth of her swelling belly, I feared she could let me go and I’d slide off and plummet.

But Liliace reared back and thrust her chest out and upward, her body undulating and rippling. “Don’t worry… Maybe you’ll be safer in here…!” She tilted me flat and smacked me down between her breasts, stuffing me into the crevice, prodding down on my back and finally barring her arm across in a gentle half-hug. “Am I soft…?” she teased.

I wailed, because as much as I tried pushing to separate her cleavage, I was firmly wedged and her skin was getting stiffer. As the alraune bounced softly, innards galoshing and gloonking, her surfaces shone like they were waxed, all smooth and rubbery, yet faintly fraying with a deep, Velcro-like tearing I heard nearer and nearer in my ears. Liliace was practically sprawled out flat, her breath occasionally catching as her eyes watched me and her bloating stomach.

I cowered from her gaze. “What?!” I spat out and hid, wriggling backwards and touching my toes to her belly’s crest. Over my shoulder, I could see her globular gut was just as high as her head now, jutting up proudly and holding together valiantly.

“It’s just… A-Ahh…!” Liliace’s voice quivered as her arms jerked wide and slammed against the walls, bracing herself, then relaxing. “I wish we could get along… Heh… Hrrff…” She turned her head, relishing the struggle. “You’re just so cute!” she blurted out with an unabashed smile.

What?!” I flushed red in her eye contact, and pulled my way up from between her hulking breasts as the fibrous creaks and groans suddenly worsened. I tried to shimmy out from her overflowing bust, the flat of her ribs quaking underneath me, her belly surging and looming higher with the subtlest swaying and sloshing as Liliace was too excited to keep still. And to either side of me, I noticed her torpedoes had giant round nubs jutting out…

Amid the rumbling, before I could voice my surprise, Liliace voiced hers with an elated whimper, followed by a crackle and a blinding flash of foaming white water—

KRRSPLOOOSH—!

As my eyes snapped open, I shot up in bed. I sat there in my bedroom with my heart pounding, hit with the same feeling of loss that I realized when Liliace first vanished in a tidal wave. What was this guilt? What was that dream?!

I was just confused, and dry. I went to check throughout the silent house.

The kitchen was intact. The basement lights switched on immediately and all my stuff was sitting there. I hurried to put on my robe and go out to the lawn.

Once I emerged from the back porch, I trekked in my slippers towards the garden patch at the rear fence. Within the perennial bed, a new growth stuck out amongst the purplish phlox, the cool-colored aster, and the pastel peonies. It was an orange, gumdrop-sized bulb — something of a prophetic sign.

 

I called a neighbor not five minutes later.

“Hi, M— Yeah, yeah, it’s Logan from down the street, I’m sorry to bother you this early, I—” I stood a few inches from the back door, watching my smile appear in the window’s reflection as the middle-aged woman on the other end chattered away. “Well great, great. Listen, can I be honest with you about what I’m dealing with? You’re the only other person I know who’s good with plants.”

Author's Note: 

After about two and a half years, a personal favorite early story of mine gets a sequel and builds upon the interactions these two main characters have with each other. I'm thinking there'll be a part three down the line that connects some more dots, but no timetable on that.

Thank you so much for reading.

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