Escape Room, The

Inflation Types:
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“Let’s hope this Escape Room is more of a challenge than the last one,” Lindsey remarked to the group. “If we’re done in under ten minutes again, I’m asking for our money back.”

“Relax,” Jake reassured the curvy blonde. “I signed us up for the extreme package. From what I’m told, it’s supposed to have a few pretty wild curveballs we’ll have to contend with.”

“I didn’t see an option for an extreme package,” Kirsten, the shortest member of the group, reflected as she pushed her glasses back up to the bridge of her nose. “The only choices were easy, regular and hard depending on your presumed aptitude.”

Jake smirked at this sliver of inside knowledge. “Yeah, you have to ask for it special,” Jake disclosed to the three girls. “Todd told me about it…apparently he did it with a group from work, but he refused to tell me what made it so different.”

“Really? Your boyfriend left you high and dry?” asked Tessa. “I smell a set-up. What did you do to piss him off?”

“Nothing, honest,” Jake asserted to the leggy redhead. “He was just very tight-lipped after he came home about what went on in the Escape Room.”

“And what’s with the outfit change?” asked Kirsten, tugging at the sleeves of the plain grey tracksuit all four of them uniformly wore. “Why did we have to change out of our regular clothes?”

“Maybe they’re afraid something in the room will mess them up,” ventured Lindsey. “You know, in case something spills or whatever.”

“If there’s slime involved, I’m out,” expressed Kirsten vehemently.

“I still smell a trap,” the tall redhead repeated to Lindsey and Kirsten. Trap or not, the game attendant chose now to show up and escort the four players into the antechamber to the Escape Room. Outside of a plain, grey door, the employee spoke ominously.

“Once you step through these doors,” the attendant began her spiel, “you will be locked in and left to fend for yourselves against the various challenges you’ll face off against.”

“If you find the...pressure...too much to handle, there’s a podium in the middle of the challenge room with a large, red panic button,” she continued. “Press that, and myself or another attendant will come to rescue you from your predicament.” Two of the girls, Tessa and Kirsten, snorted in derision at the idea of such an easy out.

The attendant smirked as she turned to walk away. “Oh, and if you manage to finish in under ten minutes, we’ll happily refund the entire cost of the game.” By the way the girl chuckled, it seemed apparent she didn’t have a lot of faith in the small group of friends completing all of the challenges ahead that quickly.

The doorway waited before them.

Jake and Tessa went in first, followed closely by Kirsten and Lindsey. The door closed automatically behind them, locking itself with a dramatic ‘thunk!’ The only features in the room were an identical door directly opposite the entrance and a table in the middle of the room. Set atop the table were four red pills and four plastic cups of water.

Jake immediately crossed the room and tried the other door. “Locked,” he announced needlessly.

“So, what, we’re supposed to take these?” asked Tessa as she picked up one of the capsules, turning it between her fingers for a better look.

“I don’t like this,” said Lindsey. “This is a little weird.”

With nothing else to occupy their attention, all four were now circled around the table in the middle of the room. So far, only Tessa dared to actually touch one of the red pills. Everyone else seemed unduly apprehensive.

“Todd said nothing about this?” Kirsten asked Jake, hoping he could provide some kind of insight.

“Nothing at all,” replied Jake as he picked too up a pill. “I think we need to take these to move to the next room.”

Tessa shrugged with indifference. She popped the pill into her mouth and chased it down with a quick swig of water from the cup. Jake and Kirsten quickly followed suit before Lindsey finally swallowed the fourth pill, draining the cup of water in one big gulp.

A moment later there was another loud ‘thunk!’ as the second door unlocked and swung open. The room beyond appeared to be a run-of-the-mill mad scientist’s laboratory, complete with a Van de Graaff generator and various bubbling test tubes and beakers. A large desk sat to one side of the room, with an even larger bookcase filled with books against the other. In the middle of the room sat a squat podium, just above waist high, with a large red button on it.

Kirsten was the first to comment. “There’s no timer anywhere.”

“What?” asked Lindsey.

“The countdown timer,” Kirsten explained. “You know how in most escape rooms you’re under a time limit. There isn’t one here.”

Jake looked around, concurring with Kirsten’s statement before speaking. “Regardless, let’s get-”

“Guys,” Tessa interrupted, a hint of concern in her voice and a strange expression on her face. “I feel funny. Like really funny…like something’s bubbling in my stomach.”

Lindsey’s hands instinctively went to her belly as well as her eyes grew wide. “Me too…what’s happening?”

All four of them paused, similar puzzled looks crossing each of their faces in turn as they began to experience the same bizarre sensation.

“I think we need to get out of here,” said Lindsey, moving toward the panic button.

“Wait…this has to be part of the Escape Room,” Tessa interjected as she idly rubbed her belly. “Jake, I know Todd didn’t tell you anything, but he wouldn’t set us up for something truly bad, right?”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Jake replied hesitantly. “He wouldn’t. But if we’re going to do this, I think we should make it quick…just in case.”

All four of them agreed and began searching the Escape Room for their first clue. It came in the form of a simple substitution cypher hidden amongst a series of chemical equations written on a white board.

Kirsten and Jake promptly went to work on the cypher while Tessa moved about to check the rest of the room; her search proved fruitless though as the Escape Room wound up being too cluttered with stuff and laced with too many false leads, to discern anything worthwhile. Lindsey meanwhile hovered nervously near the podium and, by proximity, the panic button.

The two at the white board made quick work of the cypher and, with a sense of triumph, turned to face their teammates. Their victory turned to stunned silence as Jake and Kirsten gaped at Tessa.

“What?” Tessa asked, suddenly uneasy by the attention she was garnering. Lindsey too let out a gasp as well when she looked over and saw the other girl.

“Tess…your belly,” said Lindsey. “You’re getting bigger.” Tessa glanced down and let out a small sound as she pulled her top smooth against her belly. Originally the most-trim of the three girls, Tessa’s middle now bulged outward in a noticeable fashion.

“I’m…I’m blowing up,” murmured Tessa to no one specific as she pressed her palms flat on the newly formed curve of her abdomen.

As the redhead pulled her immediate attention away from her predicament, she declared to the group, “remember how you said we should make this quick? I think we need to be a whole lot quicker.” Then, under her breath she muttered, “yeah, Jake, you definitely did something to piss off your boyfriend,”

The group of friends dove into the next few challenges after the cypher, with Jake and Kirsten still making notes on the whiteboard while Tessa decided to give the bookcase a good once-over; Lindsey meanwhile chose to stay in the center of the room.

Jake was the next to notice his midsection thickening, followed soon after by Kirsten. By the time Lindsay’s body exhibited a filling out of her abdomen, Tessa’s belly had expanded so much that it appeared that she had swallowed a watermelon. Lindsey was now so agitated she began pacing circles around the podium nonstop, her eyes never drifting far from the panic button.

“Ohhh…I’ve never felt so full in my life,” Tessa moaned as she paused to catch her breath. “I’m glad these outfits have some give to them.”

“Oh my God, you’re huge!” Lindsey blurted out before she had a chance to stop herself.

“Yeah, tell me something I don’t know,” Tessa retorted, then added, “you’re looking pretty inflated yourself. Wait…why are you looking so inflated?” Lindsey continued her nervous circuit around the platform, cradling her belly which was rapidly surpassing Tessa’s in size. “You’re blowing up pretty fast…”

Tessa’s belly looked pretty full, but Jake’s and Kirsten’s were barely noticeable; Lindsey, however, was swelling up at a much faster rate, already growing wider all the way around in her midsection area with no signs of slowing, and her steps had begun to turn into a waddling gait.

Kirsten and Jake looked up from their progress as Lindsey started whimpering quietly. It only took Kirsten a moment to make the connection.

“She keeps moving!” Kirsten said in a voice that was half-statement and half-guess. “Tess…you were walking all around the room so you got bigger first, but Lindsey’s been moving nonstop around the panic button since we started. It must make the stuff work faster.”

“Makes sense,” Jake agreed. “Kirsten and I have been mostly standing still, so we’re the least affected. We have to conserve our movement from here on out.” Lindsey stopped walking ceaselessly around the podium, but her nerves caused her to shift her weight from foot to foot, still fueling the process.

“I know it’s been said before,” said Jake in a low voice, “but we have to hurry.”

“Well, the solution to this puzzle says next clue is in an old book called… ‘The History and Social Influence of the Potato,’ by Redcliffe Salaman,” said Kirsten dubiously. “That can’t be a real-“

“Found it!” declared Tessa, pulling a surprisingly thick book from the top shelf. By now, she had begun growing wider as well, and teetered precariously while retrieving the book.

“Are you kidding?” exclaimed Kirsten, momentarily distracted from her own growing plight. “It really exists?”

“Apparently so,” replied Tessa, heedless of her own expansion. Tucked in the back was a library card that gave them a login and password to the computer on the desk.

Kirsten and Jake, being the closest, looked at each other momentarily before Jake spoke up, “I’ll do it.” He moved as quickly and smoothly as possible to the computer, unfortunately hastening his inflation in the process. By the time he finished typing in the password, his stomach stuck out prominently, making it appear as though he had stuffed a pillow in his grey tracksuit.

“Jeez, you’re right,” Jake conceded to Tessa. “I’ve never felt so full before…”

“Umm, guys…it gets worse,” Lindsey’s voice trembled. The other three looked over to see their friend nearly completely round, her once loose-fitting outfit stretched tight across her massive frame. “I don’t think I can blow up much more…”

Two clues later and Tessa was rendered spherical as well, rocking back and forth like a giant ball on tiny feet. “I think the longer we take, the faster we’ll inflate,” observed the rounded redhead.

Jake was the next participant to find himself immobile, his body ballooned up and wedged behind the desk as the group struggled to solve the final puzzle. As for Lindsey, she had blown up so much her top began to ride up as her pants ended up being pushed down, exposing a taut band of flesh around her bulbous middle. Tessa, being the tallest, fared worse than the others as her larger frame swelled wider than the rest.

“Ugh, I feel like such a blimp,” Tessa groaned.

“Tell me about it,” both Jake and Lindsey agreed simultaneously.

“Guys, I think I figured it out…the last clue,” announced Kirsten triumphantly. “There’s a secret compartment in the base of the podium…” The swollen girl waddled awkwardly over to where Lindsey wobbled about.

“I’m sorry about this, Lindsey,” Kirsten said as she stumbled forward, pushing the once-curvy blonde out of the way, causing Lindsey to slowly roll onto her back like a giant ball. Kirsten fell flat on her distended midsection, scrambling to find the hidden niche, feeling her body slowly lift upward as she too ballooned rapidly. She pulled the concealed panel open and spied four blue pills resting on a shelf inside. Without hesitation she grabbed one and popped it in her mouth and swallowed.

“Well?” Jake asked tentatively.

“I…I think I stopped inflating,” Kirsten replied as she grabbed the remaining three pills and struggled slowly to her feet. True to her words, Kirsten may not have been any smaller than the moment before, but she wasn’t getting any bigger either. She shuffled first to a now-horizontal Lindsey and dropped one of the pills in the girl’s mouth.

Tessa and Jake proved to be more problematic; her for her height (and given that Kirsten was the shortest of the group), and him for his place stuck behind the desk, but Kirsten finally managed to get each a blue pill into their mouth, which they promptly swallowed.

As soon as all four had taken the antidote, the door unlocked with a loud ‘thunk!’, after which it opened and the attendant walked in.

“Congratulations on completing all of the challenges,” she announced. “Now that you have found the counteragent and all four of you have taken it, you will begin to return to normal.” She smirked at the collection of rounded players. “You may leave whenever you are ready,” she glanced back at the portal through which she entered, “but it might take some time before you will be able to fit through the door.” The attendant turned and departed the room, leaving the four friends to sit and wait out their return to normal.

“Oh yeah, Jake,” Tessa spoke up after a minute or two, shuffling her bulk around to face him and flapping her hands uselessly against her body, “Todd is definitely annoyed with you about something.”

Average: 4.5 (6 votes)
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Well written!

This was very well done and I'd love to see a follow up or two of it!


Great story

This was an awesome read, I would say you should do a follow up escape room, with one of them having to maybe waddle down a long hallway or something but by the time they get to the door they will end up getting stuck in it and helpless!