Mango Macro March
“Another visit huh?” Alkali asked, dropping his bags at the door with a grin. “I suppose I owe you an apology from last time.” The grey furred kangaroo hopped gently back and between his feet, betraying his excitement just as much as it betrayed how not-sorry he actually was. The scientist was responsible for a bit of a growth mess last time he’d been invited to spend the evening with his ottery friend. Maybe tonight would be slightly more normal.
Mango’s otter tail swished back and forth, a half-blush on his face. “I-It’s fine. No apologies needed. Just took a little while to… put the house back in order,” Mango said with a slight squeak at the end. He seemed to be quite distracted by the thought of their last visit. Who could say why?
The two parked themselves in the living room, playing games and chatting, taking their time to simply enjoy the evening as it came. It was a nice change of pace from their previous night together. At least this time there wasn’t furniture to rebuild or ceilings to repair after Mango’s head cracked it from a growth spurt.
It was several hours into their evening when Alkali yawned, before asking a fateful question. “Have you ever heard of an event called Macro March?”
Mango perked up from his plate of takeout Chinese food, slurping the remaining noodles in his bite. “No. Haven’t heard of it. What’s it about?” The otter watched as his marsupial friend started rubbing his hands together, his eyes shining with excitement. Mango had only seen this side of Alkali a few times before. The last time was… when he’d been grown with a size ray. And filled up his entire house.
“WELL. Macro March is a celebration to all things large and growing. An entire month for people to be larger than life! It’s my favorite month of the year, by far. There’s so much personal growth to have. HAH. See, I made a joke,” the kangaroo said with a crazed grin. Mango suddenly had second thoughts. Maybe inviting Al over for another visit wasn’t the safest idea.
Mango raised an eyebrow. “Are you alright? You look a little… uh. Mad?”
Alkali crossed his arms and adjusted his glasses. “Of course, I sound crazy. A scientist sometimes strays into madness in pursuit of his work,” he said, nodding his head thoughtfully. “But the month is real. I assure you. Wanna give it a spin?”
“N-No! Didn’t you learn your lesson last time?” Mango asked.
“Not really,” Alkali said with a shrug. He was already starting to dump out the contents of his visit bag onto the floor. Spellbooks and assorted science experiments scattered across the wood paneling. Mango’s eyes widened again; there seemed to be no end to the items that spilled forth. Growth potions… growth rays… growth collars… superfoods… candies… even more growth potions… just how many things did Al have for causing growth anyway? A familiar feeling of dread started to creep up the back of the otter’s neck.
“I-I dunno Al. This looks like a lot of stuff. And… being big is your thing, not mine.”
The kangaroo stopped shaking out his bag, even as the pile of growth-related plot devices reached 2 feet tall. He crossed his arms and put a hand to his chin, deep in thought. “Hmm. You’ve only really tried it once before. What if we do something weaker than last time?” The marsupial scientist started to dig through the piles of items, pushing aside a small orb with runes carved in the side. It rolled up toward Mango’s foot, causing the otter to lift it out of the way. No way was he about to touch any of Alkali’s things. He’d heard all the stories from Buizilla; no good ever came from messing with Al’s experiments.
“AHA!” Al cried, as he held a single vial of something glowing orange between two of his fingers. The vial couldn’t be any larger than his pinky but it generated an eerie, neon luminescence as if powered by some horribly dangerous chemical. Mango didn’t really understand what it was but when Al tossed the glowing liquid his way the otter caught it regardless, nearly fumbling it. Who knows what it might do if it shattered on the floor?
“What the heck is it?” he asked.
“Adrenaline based growth. You drink that, and every time you get worked up you get just a little bit taller. It’s a much slower growth trigger, so you shouldn’t get too big. And at the end of the weekend I have the antidote.”
Al smiled as he approached, tapping at the glass in the vial. “Yup. As long as you stay relaxed, you’ll be nice and small.”
Mango looked at the vial and gulped. He could feel his heart pounding. Maybe one more try wouldn’t hurt? He had a feeling that Al would spike his drink if he didn’t say ‘yes’ now. And the otter didn’t want to be looking over his shoulder all weekend. The cork top on the vial popped away easily, and the room was instantly filled with the scent of tangerines.
The otter’s nose scrunched up at the invasive smell. It wasn’t like a candle, with a sweet and gentle smell. This vial was filled with something that punched his nostrils like a heavyweight boxer. “Do you have something I can use as a chaser…?” he asked hopefully. But the kangaroo just shook his head no. Al hadn’t taken his eyes off Mango for the past 5 minutes, intently observing his friend, the thick kangaroo tail swishing against the floor.
‘Well, bottoms up,’ the otter thought. He plugged his nose with a pinch in one hand, and tilted the vial back into his mouth with the other. The taste was sharp, tangy, not totally unpleasant. It didn’t have any of that medicinal aftertaste at least. But when he handed the vial back to Alkali, he set both hands against his chest waiting for something to happen.
A minute passed and still, nothing happened. Alkali watched his friend, never averting his gaze for a moment, waiting for anything. And still the otter remained just as short as ever. Al sighed and his head drooped. That was the end of that. The potion must’ve been a dud.
“Shoot. I’m sorry Mango. Didn’t think I’d brought any bad potions with me.”
“Aw. Well, that’s fine. Maybe later,” Mango said, internally breathing much easier now that he didn’t have to worry about Alkali’s experimentation. “Let’s get back to Splatoon.”
Over the course of the next hour, Mango and Alkali continued to fire paint at friends and foes across the internet. Neither of them fully noticed what began at the 15 minute mark though. Mango’s clothes tightened around his shoulders with each additional game they played. And on the particularly stressful battles, the controller felt slightly smaller in his hands. The otter was too engrossed in the game to notice anything aside from repositioning his fingers every few minutes. One inch here… another inch there… pretty soon the couch cushions sank deeper, too deep, creaking under an increasingly large weight of otter.
At the end of their final game, Alkali stretched his arms upward and collapsed into the couch. “Okay. That was fun. Move your tail out of the way you dork, it’s taking up the entire couch-” the kangaroo started as he pushed at Mango’s rudder. He paused when those words registered fully. Mango was sitting at the other end of this couch. And his tail definitely didn’t reach that far at the start of their day. The kangaroo looked slowly, cautiously, over to his friend. 7 feet tall, and still climbing.
Apparently Mango was slowly making the same realization. His orange yellow tanktop was stretched out; the slightly pudgy belly of brown fur peeked out from beneath. That shirt looked several sizes too small. And his swim shorts were approaching thigh-clinging size. At least he hadn’t worn anything too restrictive; these clothes were meant to stretch a bit.
The otter rolled his shoulders gently, trying to get comfier in the overburdened outfit when…. RIP. A seam tore from the strap on his left arm. No way to deny the proof that was right in front of his eyes. He’d gotten taller. In fact, as he looked at the tiny Switch controller in his hands, Mango was amazed he hadn’t noticed it earlier. And now that he knew, the otter’s heart started racing.
“A-Al, what’s happening?” Mango cried. Though the otter had a sinking feeling in his stomach that he might know what caused his size change. “Is this the potion? I thought you said it was no good.”
Alkali stood up from the couch, hand to his chin in thought. “Well, maybe it was just a delayed reaction. I don’t use these adrenaline potions too frequently. Too slow for my taste. Oh, and you did just spend an hour playing competitive video games with me, that might kick start it- HEY, watch the paw!”
But Mango was more preoccupied with his current inability to halt his growth. His paw slowly pushed forward in little bursts, almost in time with his quickly beating heart. Unlike the professional scientist kangaroo, Mango wasn’t nearly so used to being on the larger side of life. Last time Al brought him along for a growth experiment he’d ended up breaking most of the furniture and all the doorways in his home. Mango would be lieing if he said he didn’t find the experience intriguing. But overall? This mustelid just wanted to avoid making a scene or getting embarrassed.
He stood, and the couch creaked with the effort of springing back to place. Its wooden frame cracked straight down the center beneath the spot Mango used as a seat. The ceiling fan was hung a scant few inches above Mango’s head now.
“Can’t you do something to stop it?” he asked, hands pulling down at the hem of his tanktop. All he’d managed so far was to rip the fabric even worse.
The scientist shook his head no. “Sorry. There’s no way around it. You’ve gotta ride out the effects for now. I have an antidote, but it’s back at the lab. And we have an entire visit weekend to enjoy first.” Alkali shrugged, obviously sorry and definitely not at all pleased with the outcome so far.
Mango wasn’t buying Al’s story for an instant of course. He huffed and crossed his arms. “Alright. But we stay here, at the house. I don’t want to be seen outside like this. None of my clothes- OUCH!”
The ceiling fan collided with the otter’s head, knocking him back to the couch. Of course, it was already damaged, so it came as no surprise when the furniture split in half like an axe through firewood. Mango’s head spun as he saw red and green spots fill his vision. He groaned, laying back on the floor atop the remains of his couch.
“Okay. L-Let’s just take it easy. I’ll find some new clothes to wear, something larger.”
Alkali shrugged, the mischievous grin never leaving his face. “Whatever you want buddy. I can solo some matches while you figure it out.”
When Mango left, ducking through a doorway into his bedroom, the living room was silent aside from the tapping of buttons and joysticks twiddling in place. Alkali tried to ignore the sounds of crashing furniture and cursing coming from the bedroom. It didn’t sound like Mango was having an easy time adjusting. That’d mean he would keep growing…
Al’s grin grew wider. If Mango didn’t end up enjoying the growth by the time the weekend was over, Al would eat his own hat.
The doorbell rang. A supremely bored pizza delivery man, barely out of college from the looks of it, waited in front of the doorway with a box in one hand and his phone in the other. He was far more interested in his phone than in the light rumbles coming from inside the house. Someone inside was having a tough time navigating the hallway; a head thudded into a hanging fan, and a tail thudded against the walls with a house splintering crack. Mango reached the door and pulled it open slowly, the hinges squeaking.
Not even the opening door could distract the him. “Total is $42.15. Do you want napkins or plates…?” the husky said without turning away from his texting.
When he looked up, the husky nearly dropped his phone. Standing in the doorway was an otter, easily 11 feet tall, hunched over so that most of his body could be seen through the tiny door. But that wasn’t the most shocking part. This otter was naked. One hand was covering his crotch, and the other held a handful of bills.
“H-Here, keep the change, don’t mention this to anyone, thank you!” the otter squeaked in rapid succession, before dropping $100 in the husky’s hand. He carefully plucked the pizza up, and slammed the door shut. Mango could feel the hot flush in his cheeks transferring into a rush of growth as his adrenaline kicked into overdrive. Tingles shot across his fur, a familiar sensation of goosebumps and vertigo. He’d answered the door completely naked, but that was only to convince Alkali to help with getting him clothes to wear. Al only agreed to use the growth ray on a shirt and pants if Mango agreed to pick up the pizza when it arrived.
Mango wanted those clothes badly. He couldn’t help but feel a little buyer’s remorse as he felt his head push into the ceiling yet again. His heart pounded in his chest as he hunched over and carefully stepped forward. Soon he’d be forced to crawl around the house. That was a thought the otter wasn’t quite willing to entertain yet.
It was the groaning that woke Alkali up first. Soon after that, it was a feeling of intense heat that filled the room. The kangaroo was practically sweating. Mango’s bedroom was far too hot for it to be natural. Was something on fire? He turned over in the bed to get a look at his surroundings. The bed felt off somehow. Slightly more uncomfortable, but in a way that was hard for Al’s drowsy mind to piece together. Where were the blankets anyway? He sat up in bed to get a better perspective before his eyes settled on the elephant-sized otter in the room. That’s where his blanket had been dragged, apparently caught beneath Mango’s arm.
Mango completely filled the bedroom, from end to end. The otter’s bed was a splintered mess beneath the 20-foot-tall otter. With each second that the roo watched Mango, the otter’s panting breaths were accompanied by small spurts of growth. Alkali’s mind went blank. How? How had his friend grown this much overnight? Mango was tall before they went to sleep, but no where near like this. What could’ve made the otter’s adrenaline kick into gear?
Once Al saw the otter’s eyes were still closed, he realized it: Mango was dreaming. The otter’s legs kicked and twitched, thudding into the far wall with enough force to pull plaster away each time. Whatever was happening in Mango’s dream was kicking off his fight or flight instinct. The roo wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad dream. But it might not matter either way. His adrenaline was going to be in overdrive. It definitely explained why the room felt so hot. That otter had plenty of body heat to share.
The scientist realized all at once that he needed to wake Mango up. As soon as possible. He climbed over Mango’s arm and onto the chest. By now the otter was large enough that his torso could’ve replaced Al’s bed. He yelled in the otter’s ear to no effect, and tried bouncing up and down on his slightly pudgy stomach. None of his ideas were having any effect. The longer he took, the wider Mango’s body grew.
When Al was finally able to push on Mango’s side hard enough to wake the otter, the bedroom’s structural integrity was already hanging by a thread. “Nnnff… Al, whasit? S’three in the morning…” the otter yawned. He started to sit up in bed, but with a THUNK Mango fell back to the remains of his bed. That was going to sting in the morning.
“Shhhhh shh shh!” Alkali said, trying to quiet the cursing before Mango could say anything. “Just relax. Stay calm. You were having a dream and, please don’t panic, you got slightly taller.” The roo tried to give a reassuring smile, but it just came out pained and forced, said without any sincerity.
Of course Mango did not relax. On the contrary: his eyes shot to completely wide open, and the bedroom walls collapsed shortly afterward around him.
By the end of the weekend, Mango’s house was a mess. Literally. The entire first floor was filled with otter. He’d made due so far with a bed’s blanket to cover himself, but the walls of the whole first floor were totally shot. His head, shoulders, and upper chest were still inside the bedroom, and his legs stretched all the way toward the front door in the living room. Meanwhile his lower chest and hips had filled the kitchen and hallways between all the rooms. He was afraid to move even an inch in any direction; the walls creaked ominously around his brown fur.
“Al better hurry back with that antidote soon…!” the otter huffed. A few hours ago Al left to go get his equipment. Mango insisted; the weekend was over, and it was time for the antidote. No matter how much the roo wanted Mango to enjoy the size, there was no arguing.
Finally, Alkali slowly walked back into the bedroom climbing carefully over Mango’s arm to get inside. “So. I have some bad news about the antidote,” the kangaroo said, sheepishly shuffling his paws. In his hand was dirty, ripped bag that vaguely resembled the visit bag he’d brought. At least, it would’ve resembled it if there weren’t stains of mud, and brightly colored potions dotting the outside. Al opened the bag and debris fell to the carpet. Broken glass, wires, cracked microchips… Mango thought he recognized a few pieces of ruined growth tech amongst the pile.
Mango’s pulse quickened, and the familiar sensation of tingling started at his toes. “Well maybe the antidote is still okay in there?” he said hopefully. He saw the way Al was frowning and his tail twitched, thumping against a wall. Plaster cracked and ceiling tiles fell to the floor. “Er. Okay. Can you make some more? If you made it once, you could make it again.”
The scientist averted his gaze away from Mango’s face, wide as a billboard and pleading for help. “Yes, but there’s a catch. It will take a long time to make an antidote again.”
Another half foot of height surged onto Mango’s frame. “H-How long, Al?”
“…a few weeks. Maybe a month.”
“A month?!” the otter cried. As he felt the walls closing in on his shoulders, Mango tried to stay calm. Deep breath in, deep breath out. It wasn’t working very well.
“I promise I’ll make this right,” Al said apologetically. “But you’re going to have to spend… most of Macro March huge. Sorry.”
The ground rumbled ominously, the same way it had for the past week. Alkali’s estimate had not been off; it was taking a long time to synthesize a new antidote. By now it looked likely that Mango would be stuck as a giant throughout the entire month. The embarrassment of being unable to fit into his house anymore had thrown his growth trigger into overdrive. Every time he blushed, he could be sure that another foot of height was on its way with a tingling sensation through his entire body.
Mango carefully walked down the street, apologizing the entire time. Giant monster movies made it look so easy to walk through downtown. Maybe that was just because they weren’t so worried about cars, or watching their tails to avoid bumping into buildings. It took days of practice to get the technique right, and even then he still left cracks in the pavement no matter where he planted his paws. The lack of clothes was even harder to get used to. At least at the end of March the weather warmed up much more. It made the experience of being stuck huge all the time slightly more bearable.
A park waited at the end of the city street, his final destination. Mango breathed a sigh of relief once he was free from the confines of office buildings and parking garages. It was a long time coming but now… Al was going to meet up. The roo hadn’t spoken a word for weeks now, spending hours on end in his laboratory. After all this time, Mango assumed this meant the antidote was ready.
He sat crosslegged atop half the entire park, hands over his crotch, waiting patiently for the scientist marsupial to arrive. His tail twitched each time a bird landed on it, tearing up bushes and grassy hills in the park by the unconscious movement. Most city residents had long since become accustomed to their temporary giant-sized visitor; only the tourists walking through the park took pictures or attempted to get closer. Mango practiced his calm breathing, deep breath in, deep breath out. Don’t focus on how many people are staring at you. Don’t let your heartrate creep higher, just like your height. It was hard work, and Mango still needed more practice. But it kept the worst of his growth spurts at bay. 30 minutes of waiting later, Al arrived at the park, eyes darting over the otter’s body.
“Well,” Alkali said through a speaker, amplifying his voice enough to be heard as more than a squeaking whisper. “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is… it’s going to take even longer to make the antidote. My notes for how to make it are missing; means it takes longer for me to reverse engineer the formula.”
“WHAT?” Mango yelled, causing the birds throughout the entire park to take flight as the ground rumbled. “What’s the good news then?!”
“…ever heard of Astronomical April?”
It's Macro March, and Mango the otter invited Alkali over for a weekend visit. What happens next will shock... absolutely no one. (It's giant otters)
This Story Includes:
It has been forever since I wrote something for Buizilla, and Macro March is as good a reason as any to write a gift!
Buizilla can be found here: https://twitter.com/Buizilla