Harvard man

by JayPat

Luke’s barely into his first week at Harvard, and he’s already figured out what he’s going to be studying—muscle.

Added: 21 Mar 2020 17,469 words 5,125 views 5.0 stars (7 votes)

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“Yeah, you wouldn’t believe how massive he is. He’s on the football team, a lineman or something. I don’t know how he could be 18. I’d have thought it’d be impossible for him to be 18 and that freaking huge! And he just loves to hang out in wife beaters. I don’t know where they found wife beaters to fit him—correction, they didn’t find any that fit him. Those things are so tight on him, you can clearly see every gigantic muscle beneath! His biceps are like footballs—and I’m talking NFL footballs—and that’s when he’s not flexing them. When he is they’re bowling balls! His shoulders are at least the size of basketballs and you can see every muscle fiber in them. His back is made of gigantic plates of muscle so wide, he has to slant his body a little to fit through the door. These dorm rooms are too small for two guys when one of them is a freaking mountain! I swear I have to hug the walls every time I pass him,” said Luke. “I bumped into him once; it was like hitting a freaking rock wall!”

“He can’t be that big, man. You’re exaggerating,” said Will.

“You think so? Well, after we’re done here, you should come up and meet him. But be prepared to shout. His ears are so high up, he has trouble hearing me when I speak in a conversational tone,” said Luke.

Will just laughed. “You crack me up, man.”

The two young men were sitting in the waiting room of the Harvard Medical Center. It was Luke’s first week at the Ivy League School, and he’d started things off by passing out right in the middle of the Yard. Unfortunately, this was nothing new. He’d had fainting spells all through his last year of high school. He thought it was just because of stress, since he’d been working himself crazy making sure he got a scholarship. When he’d finally gotten a full scholarship—he remembered opening the smooth, egg-white paper of the Harvard envelope with world-ending dread—he’d hoped that the fainting spells would stop. But, through the summer, his eighteenth birthday had come and gone, but the fainting spells stayed with him.

Fortunately, when it had happened this time his new friend, Will, had been with him. And when Luke had recovered, Will had marched him straight to the Medical Center where the doctor had had a look at him. And now they were waiting for the results.

The Doctor returned to the waiting room, chart in hand.

“Is it anything serious?” Luke blurted. He didn’t want anything to ruin his first year at Harvard.

The Doctor chortled harmlessly and said, “Oh, no, nothing we can’t fix. Simple lack of proper nutrition. It’s pretty common around here, actually, with the schedules the student’s keep.”

“Nutrition?” thought Luke. He’d never thought of himself as unhealthy. Vegetarianism at a young age had helped him keep a relatively trim figure as he’d grown up. He wasn’t the most fit guy in the world—a natural byproduct of his intellectual lifestyle, he thought with pride—but he wasn’t overweight.

“All you need to do, like most of the kids around here, is eat right and exercise. You’re a little underweight, but since eating right is not going to happen, I suggest you take a full regimen of vitamins,” continued the Doctor, “and get as much sleep as you can. I know asking for 8 hours is a pipe dream, but do what you can.”

Luke sighed with relief.

“I’d also recommend some gym time. You have almost no muscle tone. Don’t exert yourself; just try and get a little physical exercise in. Might even be good for your brain!” The Doctor chuckled and showed them to the door.

“You gonna be ok, Bro?” said Will, as they stepped onto the street. “I’ve got a lecture in 10 minutes.”

“Yeah, sure, I’m fine. Thanks a lot,” said Luke.

“Call me later. We’ll grab a bite,” said Will, backing away and making the phone gesture with his hand to his ear.

“Sure,” said Luke as he watched his friend turn and make a dash for his lecture.

Fortunately, Luke was done with classes for the day and since Harvard Square had no shortage of Health Food stores, he went out and bought himself an alphabet of vitamins. Every vitamin they had, he bought, A, B, C, D, E, all of them and a multi to boot.

When he got back to his dorm room, he got hit with a surprise. His roommate was gone. Not just out, but gone. All his stuff had been removed. Luke was looking at a bare mattress, bare walls and an empty desk and closet.

He dropped his shopping bag and back pack on the floor and stared for a full minute at the emptiness. What the hell had happened?

His befuddlement was interrupted by a knock at the door. It was Jimmy, the RA, scraggly hair, scraggly beard and wrinkled clothes; as usual he looked like he hadn’t slept in a week.

“Hey, ah, Luke, right?” said Jimmy.

“Yeah,” said Luke, nodding rapidly.

“Yeah, your roommate’s gone,” said Jimmy, as though it were a struggle for him to keep his mind on this particular subject.

“I sort of noticed that,” said Luke. How do you miss the absence of a mountain?

“They kicked him out. Performance enhancing drugs or something.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah,” said Jimmy. “They wouldn’t even let him back up here to pack his stuff. I had to do it. They gave me 10 minutes. Sorry about the mess.” He turned to go, then stopped, and said, “Hey, let me know if I packed any of your shit by mistake. No offense, but I figured all the rubbers were his.”

“Ah… yeah…,” said Luke, unable to think of anything to say to that.

And then Jimmy left, leaving him in HIS OWN PRIVATE DORM ROOM! YEAH!

He took a moment to survey his suddenly mountain-free abode. It was obvious Jimmy had been in a hurry. A scrap of paper here, a sock there, he was going to have to fix things up a bit.

He briefly wondered if he’d miss his roommate. He didn’t think so. They hadn’t had many conversations. After all, how do you relate to a guy who is more than a foot taller than you and three times your body weight in solid, bugling muscle? It was like he was a different species.

He began to check the place out in more detail. He found the desk full of pens, paper and an ink cartridge for a printer he did not own. And in the bottom drawer, the Mountain’s high school yearbook. He’d have to give this to Jimmy to mail to him.

Under the bed, he found… ew… dirty underwear wrapped in a ridiculously large pair of gym shorts. Those were going into the trash. And pinched between his thumb and forefinger, so he came in contact with as little of the cloth as possible, that’s exactly where they went.

And finally, in the closet, he found a set of adjustable dumbbells. He was pretty sure Jimmy had left them there on purpose, because they looked freaking heavy. Who would want to mess with them? Luke sure didn’t. And at the back of the top shelf, Luke thought he could make something out. It was hard for him to see, not being the tallest guy in the world, so he pulled over a chair and hopped on it. Sure enough he retrieved a small cardboard box. And to his delight, he discovered it was filled with lots of vitamins!

He started going through the box. There were many of the ones he had just bought. Damn! If only he’d come back to his dorm room first he might have saved a lot of money! There was also Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin Y, a tub of protein powder, something called BCAA, and something else called Creatine Monohydrate.

The Zinc and Magnesium, he could use, and Vitamin Y? The store hadn’t had any Vitamin Y, and he needed all the vitamins he could get; so that was good. A quick internet search told Luke the other stuff was all bodybuilding supplements for which he had no use. Luke quickly added the useful bottles to his vitamin alphabet, and suddenly realized how hungry he was. Damn, he’d better eat. No more passing out for him. A lot of these vitamins had to be taken with food; so, Luke gathered one of each, stuffed them into his pockets, and called Will to meet him at the dining hall.

“So, he was just gone?” said Will, as he stood with Will in the food line.

“Yup, the vanishing continent, that’s him,” said Luke. “I didn’t think anyone could be that huge at 18, naturally. I mean you should have seen his muscles, insanely overdeveloped, hard, veiny; he looked like the freaking hulk.

“Some guys are just big,” said Will, with an odd look in his eye.

“Yeah, not that big. At least, not naturally.”

“I kind of wish I’d seen him now,” said Will.

“Well, he left his high school yearbook,” said Luke. “There’s probably a picture of him in there somewhere. I’ll point him out.”

“Maybe later,” said Will. “I’ve got to get through 3 chapters of Sociology and write an essay on classical Greek Sculpture and its influence on the Romans.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty much buried, myself,” said Luke. “Maybe tomorrow.”

While they were waiting in line, this redheaded dude, cut right in front of them. The same dude was always pulling this. Both Will and Luke scowled but neither of them said anything. Luke told himself it just wasn’t worth it, but truth be told he was just a little bit scared to say anything.

The two boys ate their meal while comparing notes on their first week at Harvard. And Luke swallowed each and every vitamin pill he brought with him. It was an effort, but he did it.

Later, on his way back to his dorm, he found himself passing the school gym. He never really noticed it before, but suddenly the doctor’s advice to make some gym time came back to him.

“Was that really necessary?” He wondered. The gym was probably filled with a bunch of muscle heads like his roommate, and who needed that? After all, he was taking the vitamins. And working out took a lot of time, time he didn’t really have.

Later that night, having finished his studying, Luke was awake, mesmerized by the glow of his laptop. He was looking over Student Health columns. Apparently cardio and light weight training were recommended for the ambitious student on the go.

I’m an ambitious student on the go, Luke thought vaguely, jotting down a few tips onto a notepad. Maybe I should give it a try, just to see how it goes. Maybe it’ll help with the fainting.

He began researching different free weight exercises he could do. He read all the descriptions and watched all the videos. He glanced at the time in the lower-right corner of his screen: 11:56 PM. It was late, but what did he care? People kept all kinds of hours around here and the gym was open 24 hours. He felt adventurous. He packed a bag with some gym clothes and discreetly snuck down to the main floor.

On the way out he passed the security station.

“Hello there, young man. What’re you up to?” asked the security guard.

“Oh, just, uh, going out to the… ah… to the library,” said Luke, unsure of why he was lying. It just didn’t feel right to say he was going to the gym. What would people think of him?

“You sure that’s safe? Y’know, for smart kids, you can be pretty dumb sometimes,” said the guard.

“Safe?” Luke raised an eyebrow. “Cambridge is pretty safe, isn’t it?”

“Relatively, yes,” said the security guard. “But like anywhere, it pays to take precautions. For instance, a gentleman of your stature should not be out alone this time of night.”

“Of my stature,” thought Luke, his hackles slightly rising. “I think I’ll be ok,” he said to the guard somewhat huffily.

“Well, if you feel at all unsafe when it’s time to leave the library, call security and we’ll have someone come and walk you back.”

“Walk me back? What does he think I am, a girl? What an asshole!” thought Luke, as he walked through the night. “Insinuating I can’t take care of myself.” But walking across the dark, empty campus, the guard’s advice began to make more and more sense. He kept noticing shadowy figures, just this side of visible, walking in the dark, but he couldn’t make out any of them clearly. At one point he was positive one of them was following him. Luke was glad when he finally reached the gym.

The place was pretty quiet, he thought, as he flashed his ID at the desk. Not too many people around. Good. He didn’t know how this was going to go and the fewer witnesses the better.

There were half a dozen people on the bikes and treadmills, but only one other guy in with the weights. The guy was big, an obvious jock. He was wearing one of those low cut muscle shirts so you could see the valley between his large shredded pecs, and every inch of his big, segmented, striated shoulders, not to mention his bulging biceps crisscrossed by protruding veins. Of course compared to his former roommate, the guy looked like an anorexic midget. But in ordinary terms, the dude had some size.

Luke had laid out a plan for a light full body workout for himself. He decided to start with the bench press. Not sure how much weight he could handle, he decided that starting with just the bar would be smart.

He laid down on the bench to begin his first set and couldn’t help but notice the Jock had decided to do bench presses also and had selected the bench right next to his for his workout.

“Just my luck,” thought Luke. “Of all the things he could be doing in this big empty gym, why does it have to be bench presses?”

Luke carefully grasped the bar exactly as it showed in the videos, lifted it out of the supports and brought it carefully down to his chest. Then with some effort, lifted it back up. “Whoa,” thought Luke. That had been difficult but somehow had felt good. He repeated the movement 10 times and somehow felt a kind of pleasant electrical sensation running through his chest, as he did each repetition. When he finally wracked the weight, he was surprised how good the exercise had felt. He could get used to this.

Then he noticed the jock watching him with a slight sneer on his face. Smirking, the guy went and loaded his bar with two 45 pound plates and two 10 pound plates on each side. Then giving Luke a cocky grin, laid down and started a set, making his large chest flex and bulge with each set.

Luke did a quick calculation. Damn, the guy was pressing 265 pounds! And he had been proud of his 45 pound set. Crap. He suddenly felt like a complete weakling. He had to remind himself that he was at Harvard because one day he wanted to be a medical researcher. And that he had it all going on upstairs where it counted. This guy was probably here on an athletic scholarship like his roommate, might even be on steroids, too.

Luke decided to add 20 pounds to his bar, making it 65 pounds. It was way heavier, but somehow knowing that the cocky douche next to him was watching, enabled him to power through it. And damn, even though he was pushing himself to his limits, didn’t it feel good!

With great effort he finally wracked his bar and sat up.

“Light workout tonight?” asked The Douche.

“Yeah,” said Luke, thinking that had been his intention, anyway.

“Me too,” said the guy, bounced both his pecs, lay down and easily pounded out another 10 reps at 265.

Luke watched the big muscle orbs that were his chest bulge and relax as the guy lifted, once again making Luke feel like a total wimp.

“Fuck you,” thought Luke. He’d had enough of this asshole.

He moved over to another station to try some bent over rows for his back. But he looked over and saw The Douche setting up shop right next to him again. Really?

“Bent over rows?” asked The Douche.

“Yup,” said Luke, and he began a set, once again, with just an empty bar. Once again as he strained, Luke felt that wonderful electric sensation running through his back.

When he finished, he got to watch The Douche do a set with 180 pounds, his triceps bulging out like defined horseshoes on the back of his arms and his wide heavily muscled back heaving and surging beneath his shirt.

Luke knew he shouldn’t be pushing himself at this stage. He knew he should just do another set with no weight. But with that smirking asshole watching him, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. On went another 20 pounds.

He barely finished 8 reps, but damn, couldn’t believe how great it felt.

Next he went to do some squats. Sure enough The Douche set up right next to him. Damn.

And the rest of the workout went pretty much the same. The Douche would do whatever exercise he was doing, but with 3 or 4 times as much weight. And Luke got to watch every veiny muscle on his impressive frame heave and bulge as he did them.

Luke had meant to go light his first time, he really had. And he knew that even his best was laughable compared to the weight The Douche was lifting, but he couldn’t help himself; he had to give his absolute best.

By the end Luke could barely move.

“New, huh?” asked The Douche.

“Um. Yeah.” Luke had to take a breath between words. The Douche, meanwhile, barely sounded tired.

“Everyone starts somewhere.”

He tried to walk but his legs weren’t working. They felt like jelly. The Douche laughed.

“Nice, kid. You need to learn when to quit. Let’s see what you got?”

“What?” asked Luke.

“C’mon, flex your arm,” said The Douche.

“No, I… Not… really…,” stammered Luke.

“C’mon,” said The Douche. Luke saw the guy was serious, and that he wasn’t going to leave Luke alone until he did.

So, Luke flexed his arm. The trouble was, there wasn’t any difference from when it was unflexed.

“C’mon,” said the Douche, “don’t just bend it, flex!”

“I am flexing,” snapped Luke.

Then The Douche started laughing.

Luke dropped his arm and started toward the locker room but his legs collapsed underneath him and he fell to the floor.

The Douche only laughed harder.

Luke tried to get up, but he couldn’t. His legs just didn’t want to work.

Eventually, The Douche’s laughter subsided and he said, “Check this out!” And he whipped off his shirt, display his impressive chest, and carved-up six-pack abs. Then he hit a double bi pose and displayed his baseball sized biceps, followed by a most muscular pose which made his big traps bulge up on either side of his thick, corded neck.

“That’s what you want,” he said relaxing. “That’s what you’re working for. But looking at you…” He shook his head. “I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.”

Luke was burning inside from the humiliation. But it was ok, he told himself. That kind of build wasn’t what Luke wanted. That wasn’t what he was looking for. He just didn’t want to faint anymore. He was going into medical research. He’d leave the muscles for muscle heads like The Douche.

“C’mere, let me help you up.” Big biceps bulging, the guy picked Luke up like he was nothing.

Luke didn’t think the guy was being helpful so much as showing off his strength again. Luke laughed self-consciously as the guy helped walk him back to the changing rooms. The Douche shamelessly stripped down, showing off his entire heaving muscular frame and not inconsiderable package, before heading to the showers. Luke made a point of not looking at his ripped, bugling body.

Luke started to get changed, but he was so weak from his workout, he could barely move. There was no way he could make it back to the dorm like this. And he couldn’t take the humiliation of calling security to escort his wimpy butt back to his dorm, especially not after dealing with The Douche.

Luke flipped out his cell and dialed Will. He was awake, but around here, that wasn’t any big surprise.

“Hey, Will? I need your help. I went to the gym like the doctor said, but, um, I think I might have strained myself.”

“Strained yourself?”

“Yeah. I can’t really walk.”

He could practically hear Will rolling his eyes over the phone. He arrived at the gym shortly, having freshly showered himself. Luke didn’t think he was up to facing a shower right now. He managed to make his way out to the front entrance and then immediately leaned on Will’s shoulders.

“Woah, you really did yourself in, huh?”

“Yeah. Guess I don’t know my own lack of strength.” Luke laughed at his own bad joke, then groaned. “My entire body is useless.”

“You’ll get used to it. Just make sure you can walk out the front door the next time.”

Luke grinned. “I’m not doing it like this again,” he said. “Thanks, Will.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Luke woke up the next morning in his bed, though he didn’t remember getting in. He must have stumbled in the door and just thrown himself on top of his sheets. Everything ached, but it was a strangely satisfying kind of ache. He sat up and grimaced at the tight contraction in his stomach and side.

Tenderly, he swung his legs out over the edge of his bed and looked at himself in the mirror. His spiky blonde hair was plastered to the side of his face. He groaned and reached for his dresser, using it to pull himself up. He blinked. He looked down.

Where once, he’d had a bit of a tummy, he now had a flat stomach and a svelte waistline. His legs had lost a little of the harmless flab he’d developed. His arms were a little tighter, and more toned.

“Whoa!” Luke whispered. Everything he knew—and he knew quite a bit—about the way the human body worked told him that his accidentally sadistic workout shouldn’t have gone to work that quickly. Luke stumbled into the shower, still a little sleep-drunk.

He turned on the hot water and stayed in the shower for a very long time His muscles felt sore, but the pain was fading rapidly. Was that normal? He wasn’t sure. He did know the water felt wonderful, sliding over his skin. He felt great, actually.

With some regret, he turned off the water, and dried off in a towel. He examined himself in the mirror, twisting his back so he could see his butt. Whereas before it had been—saggy, now his posterior formed two firm hollows. He slipped out of the bathroom and through the hallway to his room. He closed the door behind him and picked up his shirt and skinny jeans. To his surprise, the waist of his jeans was a little loose, but not in the thighs. They seemed tight.

“I must be imagining things,” Luke muttered beneath his breath. He couldn’t have changed so much in such a short time. Could he?

Suddenly, his slimmer stomach grumbled, reminding him of his nutritional issues. He had better hurry up so there’d be time to eat before his first class. He quickly finished dressing and assembled a collection of all his vitamins, before dashing out the door to the dining hall.

He grabbed a breakfast of eggs, potatoes, bacon and fruit, all the standard stuff, and quickly sat down to eat it. There was plenty of food in front of him, yet when he was finished he was still hungry. Even the small mountain of vitamin pills didn’t help fill him. That was funny. But he decided to listen to his body, because his body probably knew best. He got himself a second breakfast… and then a third, but he had to leave after that to get to his first class on time.

Later that day, he ate a huge lunch, and then even later, met Will at the cafeteria.

They were talking in the food lines, when once again the red headed guy jumped in front of them. Luke had had enough. He took a step forward to say something when he felt Will’s hand on his shoulder.

“Forget it, man,” said Will. “It’s not worth it.”

“Not worth getting into a fist fight? I agree with you,” said Luke. “Not worth saying something? My self-respect is definitely worth that.” Luke wasn’t sure what had gotten into him, but he knew it felt good.

“Excuse me,” said Luke getting the Red Headed Guy’s attention. “You probably didn’t notice but the line starts back there.”

The Red Headed Guy looked appraisingly at Luke and Will for a second, before he said, “Oh, sorry, dude, my bad.” Then he left the line and cut back in about a half dozen people behind them.

“Can you believe that guy?” said Luke. “He just did it again.”

“It’s not him I can’t believe,” said Will, “It’s you. You don’t know what that guy might have done.”

“Will, this is Harvard,” said Luke. “It’s not like he’s going to pull a knife and stab me. Grow a backbone, will you?”

Luke heard the words leave his mouth and he knew they were right, but they just didn’t sound right coming from him. Weird.

Will finished in the food lines first and went to get them a table. A few minutes later Luke showed up with 3 huge plates of food.

“What’s up with all the food, man?” said Will.

“Just hungry,” said Luke, through a full mouth.

“And what’s with the chicken?” continued Will, “I thought you were a vegetarian.”

“I don’t know,” said Luke. “I just feel like meat, today. It’s kind of like I’m listening to my body and it wants meat.”

“You know how crazy that sounds?” said Will.

“Not really,” said Luke. “It’s documented that sometimes we crave certain foods, and when we do, it’s usually for a reason.”

“If you say so,” said Will, shaking his head.

“Look it up,” suggested Luke.

Later that night, Luke was finishing up a paper, when he suddenly felt restless. It took him a few minutes to realize what was wrong with him, but eventually it hit him. He felt like a workout. A workout? Him? Unprecedented. But since it was what the doctor ordered, he decided to just go with it.

He didn’t want to run into that douche again. Nor did he feel like facing the security guards insulting insinuations. He had an idea and went into the closet.

Luke immediately spied what he was looking for: his roommate’s old pair of adjustable dumbbells. He’d looked up the top recommended low-weight strength exercises that could be performed with a simple pair of dumb-bells.

His roommate’s dumb-bells sat in a dock that had a switch to allow the bars to come off carrying different weights. He dialed them for ten pounds in each hand and pulled them out. They were a little heavy, but not awkward. He took off his shirt and pants, left only in his underwear. No need to get those sweaty if he was working out in his own room.

“All right, let’s start.” He clicked on a demonstration video on YouTube and followed along with the weights. They started with simple bicep curls. Luke found them almost frustratingly easy. Maybe he’d underestimated his own strength? He paused the video, reset the dumb-bells for 15 pounds, and restarted. This time he felt a more tangible burn in his arms as he swung the weights. As he brought his right arm up and clenched, holding the weight at its peak, he noticed a definite bump on his upper arm.

“Where was that yesterday when I needed it?” He thought, as the demonstrator moved through a series of other exercises focusing on the arms and upper body. He followed the movements faithfully, stretching his arms out and back and inwards, all the while holding the weights. Only towards the end of the half-hour session did he begin to feel at all tired. He laid the weights down as the video closed. He was sweating, but not much. Not nearly as much as he had been last night, at the gym. A restless need to continue working out gnawed at him, though he couldn’t really explain it. He eyed the rack that the dumb-bells had rested in, still loaded with weight. No doubt these were finger weights to his roommate. Now, there was a big dude.

It reminded him of what the security guard had said to him last night. He’d needed some big dude to protect him just because he wanted to go out after dark! The thought made him angry. With almost spiteful fervency, he reset the weights for their maximum, 50 pounds. He pulled them out of the rack and found he could barely lift them. On pure grit, he jerked them up to his sides and stood in the middle of his room, facing his computer. He clenched his teeth and tried to lift the heavy weight, his entire body going taut with exertion. He watched his slim arm tensing as he tried to raise the dumb-bell. His slight, barely-there bicep strained and bulged pitifully, and the weight moved an inch. He let out a muffled scream of frustration and he managed to get halfway through a proper bicep curl.

“Come on, come on!” Driven by inexplicable need, he jerked the weight all the way so that it was touching his upper shoulder, then let it collapse. He fell to his knees with a thud. He stood back up with the other 50-pound weight in his left hand, repeating the process. It was just as painful, nearly impossible, but he managed it.

He slid the weights back into their rack. His arms felt like they were on fire, but somehow he couldn’t stop. He wanted to feel the pain. He wasn’t sure why, but he liked it. He adjusted the weights down to a more reasonable 25 pounds and got back up to shaky feet. He forced his way through the same exercises he’d performed with the YouTube video, only this time he could really feel himself working. By the time he was done, he collapsed in a sweaty heap, his skin glistening from the effort. His limbs felt shaky.

“Why am I doing this?” He asked himself. He was frightened to realize he didn’t have a rational answer. It just felt good, really good, amazingly good, deep down in his genes good, like it was something he seriously needed to be doing. He tried to convince himself that he was getting in shape to stop the fainting spells, but this had gone way beyond that. It was like an animalistic obsession. That was no good. He was a man of intellect, not some grunting Neanderthal. He took another quick shower and changed into the same clothes he’d been wearing. Damn, he was starving.

The dining hall was closed, but there was an all-night sandwich shop in Harvard Square, and they delivered. He called them quickly.

“Hi, can I have a pastrami sandwich, no two, no three, no four! Yeah, four. And can you put extra meat on them? Double, or triple, yeah triple’s good. Do you take cards?”

It took 30 stomach rumbling minutes for the food to get there. And when it did, it was delivered by some kid with board shoulders and big arms. Guess he didn’t have to worry about being out at night.

Luke wolfed all four sandwiches down in less than 10 minutes. Then he thought, “I really ought to review that last economics chapter again.”

But still, sleep was so inviting….

He woke up in a panic and checked the clock. 5:30 am. He’d been asleep for 3 hours.

“That’s enough,” Luke whispered. He got to his feet and found, to his surprise, that he didn’t feel tired. In fact, he felt positively rejuvenated. He got off the bed, wincing a little when he moved his arms. They still ached a little, but not much, not nearly as much as they should. He remembered reading about that burning feeling. Wasn’t it supposed to happen as your muscles were torn and rebuilt themselves? Should it really feel so diminished already? Maybe his workout hadn’t been as intense as he’d thought.

He went back to his laptop. Since when was it so hot, anyway? He was starting to sweat, not from exhaustion, but from the uncomfortable warmth. He took off his shirt, looked at himself in the mirror and his jaw dropped.

OMG! Yesterday morning, he’d been trim. Now the barest impression of abs was visible on his stomach, which was cleanly divided down his belly button. In disbelief, he touched his finger to the line and drew it along the firm groove that was now mysteriously etched into his skin. It felt unreal. His arms were bigger, toned and curved; his biceps and triceps even bulged a little. In pure awe—and a little excitement—he raised an arm and flexed it. He felt his hard bicep bulge to the size of a tangerine. He squeezed it – like a rock! He realized he could actually bounce his chest muscles. Whoa. What was going on? Just yesterday he’d hardly had any chest muscles to speak of. And now… whoa. It was exciting, but also worrying. Logically, by everything his mind was telling him, this shouldn’t be happening.

But, fuck, it felt good, really fucking good. And suddenly he felt a surge of lust for muscle so powerful, that it frightened him. He wanted to be bigger, way bigger. But that wasn’t who he was, High School Valedictorian, Captain of the Chess Club, not some moronic muscle head! Despite the heat—which he realized was in his own skin—he forced himself to pull his shirt back on.

“Okay, this can’t be normal,” he whispered. He went back to his laptop and opened up a window, searching frantically for anything relating to quick muscle development. Most of his searches only returned scam fitness systems that promised overnight transformations. There was almost nothing on anything like what Luke was going through.

Suddenly he looked up at the clock and realized he had to go. He had classes to get to, had to have breakfast, take his vitamins. There was no time for this now. He could continue this later, and off he went to eat an even larger breakfast than the day before, and later, a larger lunch.

And then in the food line at Dinner—that red headed guy, once again, cutting in front.

“Hey!” shouted Luke, pointing right at him. “Back of the line. Now!”

The guy, looked at the angry Luke, looked around and turned bright red—almost matched his hair.

“And this time, I mean back of the line,” said Luke. “I don’t want to catch you pulling this shit again.”

There was a moment of awkward silence, and then someone in the line applauded. Then another person joined and then another. And suddenly there was a wide spread, if somewhat subdued, clapping filling the room. He even got a slap on the shoulder from Will.

Apparently, other people had experienced the red-headed guy, too. Luke felt a weird kind of visceral satisfaction, as the red-headed guy slunk to the back of the line. It was a good feeling, a feeling of being strong and in charge, but an alien one to Luke. Seriously, what was up with him?

At Dinner, Will was looking at him oddly.

“What?” asked Luke, “What are you staring at?”

“You look different somehow,” he said. “I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something different about you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Luke, hoping his freakish growth wasn’t starting to show. The last thing he wanted was to become a subject of study at Harvard Medical Center. “I think I might be having an allergic reaction to some of the vitamins,” said Luke, “You know, swelling a little.”

Will looked at him critically and said, “Yeah, I can see it, but that’s not it. Stand up.”

“What?” said Luke.

“Just stand up for a second.”

“Ok,” said a mystified Luke, and stood. Will rounded the table and stood right next to him.

“You’re taller,” said Will.

“What are you talking about?” said Luke, sounding annoyed although he was actually frightened. Taller, how could he be taller?

“We used to be the same height. Now, you’re, at least an inch taller than me, maybe two,” said Will.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Luke. “I’m 18. I’m done growing.” Luke wasn’t sure who he was trying to convince, Will or himself.

“No, man, you can grow all the way through your mid 20’s,” said Will, “and you are taller.”

Suddenly Luke felt like a deer caught in headlights. Seriously, he was getting taller, too? What the hell was happening to him? Impending doom seemed to be rushing at him at breakneck speeds. He didn’t know what was causing these changes and he felt powerless to stop them.

But then there was a part of him that didn’t want it to stop, fuck no. That part of him wanted it to continue, hell yeah, even get more intense.

No! Luke shut that voice off. He didn’t want to hear it. This was wrong. It needed to be stopped.

“I don’t know what you’re so upset about,” said Will. “I think it’s awesome. I wish I’d grow a little more.”

Luke couldn’t get back to his dorm room fast enough. His brain was whirring. He normally preferred to take things slow, to appreciate his surroundings, but now he felt like someone had stuck a livewire into his brain.

Luke threw open his dorm room door only to find a middle aged man standing in the middle of his room, staring at his desk. At first he thought it might be a professor, but this guy’s suit was too expensive.

“Can I help you?” asked Luke, a little nervously, not having any idea who this guy was or what he wanted.

“I beg your pardon. Forgive my intrusion,” said the man. “I’m John Winton, Todd’s father. We met briefly when he moved in.”

It took Luke a second. Oh yeah, the Mountain’s name was Todd.

“Oh, yeah,” said Luke, vaguely remembering the man. He once again noted how much larger the son was than his father. “What can I do for you?”

“I just came by to see if there was anything he might have left behind,” said Mr. Winton.

“Ah, yeah, there were a few things,” said Luke about to get the box of vitamins, but then he noticed Mr. Winton looking him over hard, paying particular attention to his feet.

“Is there something the matter?” asked Luke.

“I’m sorry I was just noticing your pants appear to be too short,” said Mr. Winton.

“Oh yeah,” said Luke, a little nervously, “I guess I’m having a late growth spurt.”

There was a moment of awkward silence and then Luke said, “I was sorry to hear about Todd.”

“The accusation was spurious,” shot Mr. Winton, “We’re fighting it. Don’t worry; he’ll be back.”

“That’s good. He was um… Well, he was… um…”

“You didn’t really get on with him, did you?” smiled Mr. Winton.

“Ah, no, I wouldn’t say that… We just sort of operated on different… levels,” said Luke.

“You know Todd was valedictorian of his class,” said Mr. Winton.

“Really?” said Luke, his eyeballs bugging out unintentionally from his head. “No, I didn’t know that.”

“You’re surprised,” said Mr. Winton. “Of course you are. It’s a flaw in our culture, that we assume for a man to be intellectually successful, he has to be weak in stature.”

For some reason, Luke got the feeling that the “weak in stature” comment had been aimed at him and he didn’t appreciate it.

“Frankly, Mr. Winton,” said Luke, “It took me every second of every day, working my hardest at my studies just to get in here. And I just don’t see how your son could have managed it and still built such an impressive physique…”

The word, “naturally” hung unspoken in the air for an awkward moment. Luke wondered at his own outspokenness. That was not like him. He usually kept his thoughts to himself, especially if they were at all controversial.

Mr. Winton raised an eyebrow at Luke’s outburst and then the corner of his mouth rose up in an odd sort of half smile.

“Well, that’s a discussion for another time,” said he said, looking at his Rolex. “I really must be going. Sorry to have disturbed you. I’ll leave my card in case anything comes up and you need to get hold of me.” He placed a business card on Luke’s desk.

“But what about Todd’s stuff?” asked Luke.

“Why don’t you keep it,” said Mr. Winton. “There’s nothing we can’t replace. Use it in good health.” He nodded at Luke’s desk, turned and left.

Luke figured Mr. Winton was referring Luke’s large collection of vitamin bottles sitting on his desk, a few of which had come from Todd’s stash. That was weird; why had Mr. Winton come for Todd’s stuff and then left without it?

But now that he was gone, Luke was free to explore his bigger problem. He hopped on his computer and opened four different browser windows. His fingers whirred over the keyboard at lightning speed. He had to find out what was happening to his body. Had to gather all the information he could. Had to understand. Had to learn.

He stayed at his computer for hours ignoring his homework. So far he’d read about fourteen different medical conditions, none of which described what he was experiencing. Did people ever just wake up in young adulthood and become naturally larger and more athletic? Not as far as he could tell. If only he knew what was happening, it’d be alright, because he didn’t actually feel bad. He felt alive. He felt amazing.

At some point he’d discarded his hot shirt and restricting jeans and was sitting in his underwear at his computer. He couldn’t help but notice the dull glow of his laptop reflected onto his skin, highlighting the new curves and grooves of his larger, more defined body. It was actually pretty cool. He ran his hand over his firm chest and stomach, licked his lips and kept studying, consuming knowledge as hungrily as he’d consumed his huge meals.

He dozed off, but snapped back awake almost instantly. He’d almost wanted to believe that he’d been imagining or dreaming the whole thing, but no; when he reached up to brush his hair out of his eyes, he felt his bicep bunching into a tight ball. He swallowed nervously and made his way into the bathroom. Once in there, he looked at himself in the mirror. It was unsettling.

He knew this couldn’t have happened in two days, not normally. His neck was even a little defined, the lines of his neck meeting his collarbone at sharp angles. His shoulders had swelled and rounded slightly along with his biceps. If he clenched his stomach, his abs actually protruded out slightly. On one hand, it was exhilarating. What guy grew up in America without dreaming of a body like this?

On the other, it was terrifying, because there was no possible way that this could have happened. He knew. He’d checked every single article on the matter he could find. His brain was in full revolt.

Is it really such a bad thing, though? Instinct beckoned to Luke, inviting him to let go of the mystery, to relax and embrace the changes. They were, after all, pretty cool. He arched his back to get a better look at his rippling stomach. He brushed his firm abs with his fingers and grinned. I mean, it’s not like I’m suddenly unhealthy. He slipped his underwear off his thicker, harder thighs and hopped into the shower.

He realized that before he’d always made the trip into the shower as quick as possible, so he wouldn’t glimpse all the little, flabby imperfections that his clothing normally hid. Now he didn’t have to. He had actual pecs, his love handles had been replaced by a trim waist, and his legs, once flabby, were now bulging slightly when he knelt down. He took his time and meticulously cleaned his new body, exploring it like unknown territory. There were no uncomfortable little flaps formed by a bulging tummy now. His body was tight and firm, muscular. He felt amazing. He gave himself a thorough scrubbing down and cleaned his hair, then stepped out of the shower.

Suddenly the exhilaration of his new body was gone, once again replaced by the dread of not understanding why he had it, of drowning in the paradox of the change.

He dried himself down, returned to his room and got back on his laptop. What had he been doing differently that could have caused this? He glanced at his collection of vitamin pills and looked up anything to do with dietary supplements. There was absolutely nothing suggesting anything like this could happen. Besides, vitamins weren’t causing this. It had to be something inside him. But what could explain such sudden change? Even steroids didn’t work that quickly—and he hadn’t noticed any of the usual side effects, which presumably would have been as rapid as his muscular enhancement and weight loss.

With a start he realized it was 4 AM and quickly closed his laptop. He dove onto his bed and tried to sleep, blinking rapidly. He tapped his fingers impatiently against his hard thighs and tried to sleep. He just couldn’t stop thinking.
Luke didn’t fall asleep until 5 in the morning. He slept for two hours, woke at 7, and felt perfectly rested. Of course, it was Saturday and he didn’t really need to get up, but he did anyway.

But as he was getting showered and dressed, he had two realizations. First, his clothes barely fit him. All his jeans were uncomfortably tight and noticeably too short; the cuffs were above his ankles, half way to his calves. His shirt sleeves were short, too. But they could be rolled up to hide it. What could he do about his pants? He didn’t know, maybe new ones?

Second, he hadn’t gotten any more muscular overnight. He felt a confusing mix of emotions over this. He was relieved, thinking maybe the whole thing might be over, but also disappointed at the same time, as part of him had been enjoying the increases in muscularity.

But no, he couldn’t let himself feel that way. This was some kind of a condition and he had to resolve it. Of course, why he hadn’t grown was just as much of a mystery as why he had.

“There’s no mystery,” he heard a voice inside him say. “You didn’t grow yesterday because you didn’t work out.”

Of course, it was obvious. Exercise was somehow exacerbating the situation.

“Okay, Luke,” he murmured. He had a bad habit of talking to himself. “No more exercise for a while. Take it slow.”

What?! Even as he said it, he found something deep inside him bucking against the idea. Unbidden, the memory of the security guard warning him not to go out alone at night came to mind. He was suddenly angry. Not at the guard because he had been right. Luke couldn’t have defended himself. Luke was angry at himself. He should be able to defend himself! He’d been able to get that scholarship, earn his way to Harvard; why shouldn’t he be able to take a freakin’ walk at midnight?

The answer was he should be able to. He was going to exercise, was going to get bigger, and was going to get stronger. He enjoyed the way it felt. Why shouldn’t he? Why shouldn’t he be able to protect himself? Muscles were ok in moderation. In fact they were a good idea.

By the time he was done wracking the question in his head, he’d resolved to return to the gym. He’d just try and make sure he didn’t exert himself too much, so that he didn’t run the risk of developing too much. There wasn’t even really any assurance that whatever was happening with his body would continue. He smiled, having reassured himself, packed an old book bag with gym clothes, and left.

Luke’s first stop was the dining hall where he scoffed a record setting breakfast. Since he was eating so much, he wondered if he shouldn’t be doubling up on the vitamins, too. But no, he figured that probably wasn’t necessary.

Luke arrived at the gym and walked past the desk again, idly checking to see if The Douche was there. He wasn’t. That was reassuring. He flashed his ID and went through to the changing room, switching from his undersized clothes to his gym shorts and tank top. He stretched with a little pride and walked out onto the gym floor. There were plenty of people here, but they were all too busy training to notice him, which suited Luke just fine.

There were dozens of machines that he frankly had no idea how to use; luckily, there was a large rack of dumb-bells available at the far end of the gym. He walked over and grabbed a pair of 25-pound weights. He figured lifting the 50-pounders again would be suicidal, and would probably just trigger another drastic transformation. 25 seemed to be a good middle ground.

The weights did feel a little light in his hands, though. He tried a few bicep curls and found them almost embarrassingly easy. He set the weights back and grabbed a pair of 30s. They felt a little more solid, at least. He swung the dumbbells up in each arm, one after the other, his new muscles easily dominating the weights. After eight or nine repetitions, he started to feel the weight in his hands, the burn in his muscles. Oh yeah, this was what it was all about. He gritted his teeth and pulled the weight up slowly, watching his biceps peak at the top of the movement. The sight was waking something in him, a feeling he didn’t completely understand. He loved that pumped up bicep, fucking loved it! He let the weights fall back to his side with a shuddering gasp and looked at himself in the mirror. He liked what he saw. His arms, pressed against his side, looked bigger than ever. Yeah. A thin sheen of sweat had his hard body glistening, the smooth grid of his abs sharply visible beneath the fabric of his shirt. The image was mesmerizing, and it also drove him to move on!

He went through another set of reps. As much as he loved watching his bicep bulge, he moved through the other exercises as well. He exercised his chest until he lost the pump and his back until it swelled hard with blood. He hadn’t meant to push himself so hard, but fuck, he couldn’t stop. He shifted to some weighted squats, surprising himself with how much he could lift. A leg press machine was free, so he hopped on that, pounding out a few repetitions with fervor. He didn’t even notice the numbers he was setting the weights to. He was past that; he just wanted whatever burned.

By the time he was done, he was sweating buckets. His muscles were swollen from all the blood rushing to them. He checked himself out in a mirror and saw that his musculature was larger and more pronounced than before. The faintest outline of veins were even visible on his biceps. Feeling a kind of primal, visceral pride, he grinned and stumbled back to the changing rooms. When he checked his phone, he saw that it was nearly 1 PM.

I got here at 9:30! Luke thought, feeling slightly uneasy. He hadn’t been able to keep track of the time. He’d gone from one exercise to the next, slowly trying out the complicated-looking machines until, by the end of his session, he’d been on nearly everything in the building. He realized a couple guys—both about as thin-but-chubby as Luke had been just two days ago—were staring at his arms. Luke grinned and flexed his bicep. His arm swelled eagerly.

“Check out the guns,” he said, sounding more than a little cocky. He immediately felt mortified. Without another word, he pulled on his too small t-shirt and pants, then left the changing room as quickly as he could.

What’s getting into me? That’s not the kind of thing I’d say! I’m an intellectual for crying out loud! He headed back to the dining hall, his stomach screaming for food, his thoughts flashing through his head like beams of light. While he’d been at the gym, time had seemed to go away. Why had he enjoyed that so much? What was it that had prompted him to show off like that? He just wished he knew more of what was going on with his body, and his mind.

He ate another record setting meal and then walked back to the dorm, his longer strides moving him much quicker than before. He didn’t feel lethargic or tired, but rather impossibly energetic. It was like an electrical current was running beneath his skin.

But somehow, as soon as he laid down on his bed, he dropped right off to sleep.

As Luke slept, he felt the real world intruding on his dreams, pressing through the thin membrane between the waking and sleeping worlds. He felt pressure, all over his body, as though he were constantly moving outside of himself. He felt his arms bulging, his stomach tightening, his legs burning and throbbing. Through the sleepy haze of the dream he felt faint stabs of pain as his muscles rebuilt themselves. It hurt, but it felt good, too … and his dreams were only about himself, a genius, succeeding at Harvard, with a body fit for an Olympian….

Luke woke up groggily and slapped a hand to his face to try to wake himself up, and flinched at the pain. “Ow.”

He felt strange. As the pall of sleep slipped away from him, he felt refreshed, though he was starving. A feeling of dread—tempered by anxious excitement—settled into the bottom of his stomach. He pushed himself to his feet and looked in his mirror again.

“Whoa…”

He was big. His biceps, once just a distinctive curve unless he was really flexing them, now protruded off of his arm, thick and heavy, even as they hung loosely at his sides. His triceps bulged up behind his arms, giving them substantial size. The vein that had been present at his workout had settled into permanent residence, snaking down his now beefy bicep and towards his wider forearms. His shoulders had grown as well, their curved shape defined and unmistakable, now. His back was definitely broader, pushing his arms off from his sides as they rested against the broad, thick muscles there. His abdominals were now unmistakably defined, and his thighs had a slight teardrop shape even when he was standing perfectly relaxed. And damn, he was pretty sure he’d gotten taller again, too. It looked like another couple of inches. He took shallow breaths, trying to calm himself.

“Okay, it definitely didn’t stop,” Luke whispered under his breath, half-elated, half-terrified. He was torn between punching the air and running to hide under his bed.

He darted into the shower and stripped down. When he saw himself naked, the effect was magnified. His back tapered down in a v-like shape down to his thin waist that blossomed out into his larger thighs. Biting his lip, he raised an arm and flexed the bicep, gasping in elated shock. The muscle curled into a hard ball nearly half again as large as it had been before and featured a prominent peak. He began rotating his wrist repeatedly from the front to the back, from the front to the back, causing his biceps to leap and dance, the vein on his peak twisting as his muscles bulged. Fuck. He felt himself getting stiff, and marveled to see that his member was now longer and thicker than before.

He slipped into the shower without another word. He turned on the water and took care of himself with one hand as he meticulously washed every hard bulge and etched crevice with the other. When he was done he dried off hastily, and pulled his clothes back on. He realized with some anxiety that you could see his sculpted shoulders, chest, back and arms bulging through the fabric.

“I definitely need some new clothes,” he said to his reflection. “Although…,” he said and flexed, watching and feeling his big, hard muscles, swell up into stark definition and stretch out the cloth, “…this has its appeal, too.”

“Discretion, discretion,” he thought to himself. “This is going to have consequences, definite consequences.” He just didn’t know what kind or how severe. And until he had some idea, it was better to keep the changes on the down low.

He pulled on his gym shorts (there was no way his longer, meatier legs would fit into those skinny jeans now). Even his shoes barely fit. So limping, he discretely made his way to the clothing shops of Harvard Square.

As he walked, he was running things in his head, trying to think of something that could explain what was happening to him.

Increased metabolism? That would make sense. It doesn’t seem to be hormonal. No abnormal emotional state, just heightened mental alertness. It was the best theory he had so far, but he had no idea what was causing it. Maybe a reaction from the vitamin pills? No, that was impossible; no compound when combined with vitamins would cause this sort of reaction. Maybe something in the water?

Perhaps it was genetic. Maybe some sort of delayed onset of certain DNA markers, a switch in his genetic code that had failed to go off. He knew there were some people whose bodies produced an abnormal amount of muscle tissue—the same abnormality was intentionally bred into cows—but those people, as far as Luke knew, were always born with the condition. Perhaps his condition was simply unique, or extremely rare.

If that were the case, he definitely wanted to keep this under wraps. He didn’t want to have to spend his first year at Harvard being some Ph.D. student’s pet project. As a student on a scholarship, he’d be particularly vulnerable to the whims of a faculty member. He’d always had to be aware of his own dependency on others. It galled him.

He was still steaming when he walked into the clothing store. It was quiet. The salesperson was helping a student couple. Luke looked around. Suddenly, he realized he didn’t know what size he took in anything! He was going to need help.

The student couple seemed to be making up their mind about something. The guy turned to the sales person and said, “We’re going to need a few minutes to decide. You should probably go help that jock over there before he flexes out of his shirt.”

“I am not a jock!” Luke shot back. The vehemence surprised even him.

“Ok, you’re not a jock, bro. Chill,” said the guy looking a little nervous.

Suddenly, a realization struck Luke. He almost laughed. That guy was scared of him, scared of Luke, the nerd! Why? Because Luke the nerd was bigger and stronger than him. Luke the nerd had bigger, harder fucking arms, a larger chest, and broader fucking shoulders. It made him a little light headed. He felt and odd sort of thrill run though him, and he ran a hand over his hard bulging arm. He could probably beat the crap out of that guy!

Wait, what? No! No, no, no, no, no! Luke was getting really carried away. He would never beat the crap out of anyone, even if he did call him a jock. So what if he did? What’s wrong with being a jock? What’s wrong with being muscular? Nothing. It was good. It felt good. There was nothing to get upset about here.

“Can I help you?” asked the sales person, breaking Luke out of his reverie.

Luke bought some new clothes, all on the large side. Not only did he want to de-emphasize the changes, but he also wanted them to last a while, and the way he was growing, he’d better get them down right baggy.

He went back to his dorm, closed his door and walked into his room. His eyes immediately went to his roommate’s weight set, still sitting on the floor.

No. I’ve already taken this way too far, Luke thought. It really isn’t wise to push this until I know exactly what’s going on. Instead he went to his computer to research metabolic anomalies, but he found his mind constantly drifting back to his body. He had to admit it was one hell of a distraction. He could feel it bulging under his clothing, his hard, powerfully built, buff body. Fuck. He took off the shirt and baggy pants and turned to look at his sculpted physique in the mirror. When he twisted his sides, he could see little oblique muscles popping out around his ribcage. He brought a hand up and touched them. They tickled. He licked his lips and rubbed a hand along his abs, watching the skin brush across his defined muscles. I do look good, though.

He put his hands behind his head and clenched his stomach, his abs locking together like armor plating. His lats spread out with the motion, showing off the width of his back. He laughed. Just two days ago he didn’t even have lats!

“I can’t hide this anymore,” Luke whispered. He was noticeably taller and starting to look like a bodybuilder. His muscles were almost completely depleted of body fat. It was like his body had burned through every bit of energy he’d provided for it.

Probably something metabolic, then, Luke thought rapidly, even as he tried to think of what he could do now. He’d have to tell someone what was going on. Who could he trust?

Will. Luke didn’t feel quite ready to show the rest of the world his body, though. Instead he just picked up his phone and called Will.

“Hey, buddy,” he answered. “Long time, no hear. What’s up?”

“Will, can you come up to my dorm room, please. It’s urgent.”

“How about meeting you at the dining hall for Lunch,” said Will.

“That won’t work,” said Luke. “You have to come up here. Please, it’s really important.”

“Okay, I’m coming.” Luke unlocked his door, stepped back from it, and waited, shirtless. He heard the rapid clunking steps of Will ascending the stairs, and took a breath, trying not to think about how the sunlight pouring in through his dorm room window struck his large, defined muscles and illuminated them with highlights and shadows that emphasized their threatening size and veined hardness as he felt them shift heavily with his every movement. Fuck. He was getting stiff again.

Will knocked on his door. “You decent?”

“More than decent.” The words were out of Luke’s mouth before he could stop them.

Will walked in the door and his jaw dropped in mute shock. Almost independently of the rest of his body, his arm reached for the doorknob and forced the door shut.

“What the fuck? Luke, you’re jacked!”.

“Um, pardon? Will, I, ah—”

“Wait. Are you taking steroids?—”

“What? No! I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t know why I’m getting bigger. I just keep exercising, and then I wake up with another ten pounds of muscle! Well, it was ten pounds when it started. Now I think it’s more like twenty! It’s insane!”

Will stopped and nodded. “Really? How long as this been happening?”

Luke’s heart leapt into his throat and he nearly cried with gratitude. He grabbed his friend in a bone-crushing hug.

“Woah! Careful, big guy,” said Will. “What’s this all about?”

“Sorry.” Luke relaxed his grip a little. “I just don’t know what to do. I was scared you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Luke, I met you the first day, and you weren’t… like this.”

Luke shrugged.

“Damn! You’ve really got some guns on you.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know how, or why, or what to do about them,” Luke said, intensely grateful to have someone to talk to about this. “My brain’s working about four times as fast as normal. I’m always hungry. I think my metabolism must be through the roof, and the only way to calm my thoughts is to work out. But whenever I work out, this happens!” He gestured down at his muscular frame helplessly.

“You should go see the doctor, Luke. I know this is scary, but you’ve got to do what’s right. You don’t want to jeopardize your chances at Harvard, do you?”

“No and I don’t want to become a Harvard case study either,” said Luke.

“I take your point. Ok, we’ll figure this out, just the two of us, ok?” said Will.

“If you can figure this out, you’re a heck of a lot smarter than I am,” said Luke. “I’ve read everything on the internet even resembling my case and there’s nothing.”

“Maybe, you’re just too close to it,” said Will. “You just need a fresh perspective.”

“Ok,” said Luke, “What’ve you got?”

Will began pacing the room. “Ok, ok, your roommate, he was a big dude, right? Got kicked out for performance enhancers. Any chance you got effected by any?”

“Effected? They’re not like viruses or anything. I’d have to have—” It hit Luke like a thunder clap! It had been right in front of him all the time and he hadn’t seen it! He ran over to his vitamin collection and retrieved the small bottle of Vitamin Y. He handed it to Will.

“I got this out of the supplements he left behind.”

Will looked it over. “Vitamin Y? There’s no such thing as Vitamin Y.”

Quickly the boys scavenged the internet looking for information on Vitamin Y, Luke on his lap top and Will on his phone. Both of them came up empty.

“Ok, ok,” said Will. “If there’s no such thing as Vitamin Y, what is this shit and where did your roommate get it?”

“We could call him and ask,” suggested Luke.

“We could,” said Will, “But this shit is obviously illegal, probably experimental. One thing’s for sure: he shouldn’t have it. Who’s to say he’d tell us the truth?”

“Good point,” said Luke. “But if we don’t ask him, how do we find out?”

“We start by finding out everything we can about him,” said Will. “You said you had his year book?”

“Yeah, right here.” Luke opened the desk drawer and removed the tome. It had an index in it which quickly enabled the boys to find every page on which he was featured.

The first page was the football team photo. There he was in the back, looking as huge and massive as Luke remembered.

“Football Team, no surprises there.”

The boys flipped through the pages to the next photo. It was the chess club, in his junior year they had won the state championship. There he was, in front this time, looking appropriately nerd-like—and skinny as they come.

“That’s impossible,” said Luke.

“But it fits, doesn’t it?” said Will “What does it say about him?” Will flipped through the book until he hit the page he was looking for. “Chess, Football, Honor Student, hopes to go to Harvard, like his father! He’s a legacy!”

“So, his dad went here. So what?”

“Think about it, Muscles,” said Will, picking up the bottle of Vitamin Y and shaking it, making it rattle. “It’d take somebody pretty smart to come up with this shit.”

“His dad?” questioned Luke.

“It would fit,” said Will.

“And he was right here…” said Luke.

“What do you mean he was here?” asked Will, and Luke told him all about Mr. Winton’s strange visit.

“He must have come for this,” said Will shaking the bottle of Vitamin Y. “Let’s see what we can find out about him.”

They found him listed on the alumni page. He was a research geneticist. “My spine’s tingling, which means I’m on to something,” said Will. “We need to read everything we can about this guy where he works, what he’s working on, if he’s published anything; we need to read it all.”

And so they did. For the rest of the day, they scoured the internet and Harvard’s intranet for anything they could find.

Finally Luke stood up. “It’s all here,” said Luke tapping the screen. “His dad was researching the degeneration of the Y chromosome.”

“The Y chromosome? That’s the chromosome that makes us male, right?” said Will.

“Yup, and it’s degenerating. It’s already lost most of its functional genes.”

“What,” gasped Will, “That’s terrifying. If the Y chromosome fails…That means no more males, no more humans!”

“Calm down,” said Luke, “We got another 10 million years before it loses all its functional genes. I’m sure we’ll come up with an answer way before then. If fact, it looks like my old roommate’s dad is already hot on the trail.

“He’s come up with an idea to reconstitute the lost genes in the Y chromosome. He wants to use gene therapy to beef it up, so to speak. But there’s some controversy as some of these genes haven’t been in the Y chromosome for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of years. Nobody knows what the effect of reintroducing them will be.”

Luke sat down again.

“Well, almost nobody,” said Luke, flexing his big peaked vein-ridden bicep.

“Y chromosome. Vitamin Y,” said Will. “It all fits.”

“Fuck,” said Luke. “I’ve got some experimental genetic substance running around inside me.” But his objections seemed hollow and empty, even to himself. He liked the way he looked. He liked the way he felt. And he was now more male than any guy on campus, and by extrapolation, more of a man than any guy on campus. That thought sent a palpable thrill running through his hard, muscular body.

“Now, at least, you know what the substance has to be,” said Will. “And if the guy gave it to his own son, I think we can surmise there’s no risk to your health.”

“But why would he leave it for me?” asked Luke.

“Dude, this guy is trying to save the whole human race,” said Will “He’s not going to do it by altering the chromosomes of one guy, even if it is his son.”

“So, what do I do now?” said Luke.

“It looks like you’ve got two options: stop taking the pills or continue taking the pills. But I have to say, looking at you, I wouldn’t mind a dose or two myself.”

“Here,” said Luke, handing the bottle to Will. “You’ve helped me a lot. It’s the least I can do for you… and for humanity, apparently.”

Will helped himself to a handful of pills, dry swallowed one right away and put the bottle back on the desk. “Thanks, Bro!”

Later on, after Will left, Luke looked at himself in his mirror and admired his new body. Now that he understood what was happening and that it probably wasn’t going to kill him, it didn’t scare him at all anymore. Damn, he looked good, and all those big, strong, hard muscles felt amazing shifting under his skin. And he could get bigger… But how much bigger? How much bigger would he get?

He sat down at his computer and fidgeted with his mouse. What were we like as a species a million years ago? A little quick research showed him no one knew. Our recorded history only went back a paltry few thousand years, the smallest fraction of humanity’s history. Who knew the full extent of the changes these reconstituted genes would bring. He flexed an arm and watched his bicep bulge up. So far, he liked what he was seeing.

There was that excess energy again. He found it hard to concentrate on anything. His brain was still working unbelievably fast, but it was like he was in the seat of an F1 racer and he’d just hit an ice patch, or something. He’d lost control of his thoughts; it felt like he was trying to think through a thick fog. Typing suddenly became a task too slow and mundane for his fingers, which flitted across the keys with imprecise haste. He grew frustrated and turned away from his laptop.

He got to his feet and started pacing around the room. He kept coming back to the dumb-bells, as though they were drawing him, as though they were the sun and his room the solar system. Everything came back to them. But they were no longer just dumbbells, were they? They were a catalyst. They would alter him further. Did he want that? Did he want that kind of muscle? After all, he was going to be a research scientist. What did a research scientist need with all that muscle? The answer was nothing. He didn’t need it at all.

But was a research scientist all that he was. Wasn’t he a man, too? Of course, he was. He knew being big and strong wasn’t all there was to being a man, but wasn’t it a part of it, maybe an important part? Of course it was. Humans are physical beings too, not just intellectual. Hither to, he had pretty much ignored that side of his nature, even suppressed it. But now, he thought as he stared at his bulging, striated chest, it would no longer be ignored. He could feel it calling to him almost as if it had a voice. “C’mon Luke, be a man,” it seemed to say. “Let’s just see how much man you can be.” Luke surrendered to the call, let go of his thoughts, reached down and picked up the dumbbells, not thinking about anything other than how good it felt to pump up his muscles. He craved the burn.

The dumb-bells were set to 50 pounds. They were heavy, but not unmanageable anymore. As he held them at his sides, he felt his biceps and forearms going taut, the dormant strength in his arms being readied for duty. He looked at himself in the mirror and smiled greedily, admiring his abdominals, admiring the perfect taper and curves of his waist, admiring the vein that was popping out of his bicep thanks to the stress. He pulled one weight up, slowly, evenly, gritting his teeth with exertion and closing his eyes. When he got the weight to its peak, the opened his eyes and looked at his bicep, swollen to a beautiful peak. He licked his lips and let the weight down, before he raised the other, and kept repeating the bicep curls. He did as many exercises as he could, though he was finding them disappointingly easy. His muscles burned and bulged and coursed with strength, but he was increasingly dissatisfied. He needed to get back to the gym where he could push some real weight. The fifty pounders were pushing him to his limit, but they wouldn’t do that for long, not with the rate he was getting stronger.

He let the weights down back on the rack. His body felt hot and sweaty, and his arms felt weak from all the exercises. He’d focused a bit much on the bicep and triceps curls. He checked the time—nearly 10 pm. Nowhere near the time to sleep, yet. He got back to his computer and found it was at least possible to concentrate; most of the excess energy had been worked off. Unfortunately, if he kept using exercise as his solution, his development would quickly get out of control.

So what?

As the night went on, he tried to get back into his homework. He was mostly successful, but every now and again his brain went into overdrive. He’d start multitasking about a dozen different things, and then the noise of constant thinking became too much to handle and he’d have to take the weights in hand and pound out a few bicep curls. He found it only took a little exercise to vent the extra mental activity; the hard part was putting the dumb-bells down, even if his muscles felt like they were on fire. The veins in his biceps started to become more visible as he worked them harder. He liked them, liked getting them to pop out of his arms.

It wasn’t until 4 AM that he managed to get to sleep. He stumbled into his bed in his underwear, sweat gleaming on his skin, coming down in rivulets between his abs. His entire body felt swollen and sore.

A warm contentment flooded him. He knew he’d done it again. He knew he was going to get bigger, maybe much bigger, and he was looking forward to it, a lot. Perhaps these new genes were effecting his thought processes as well. He was obsessively enjoying his workouts, enjoying his muscles’ size and strength. But was that a good thing? Was it a smart thing? In the final moments of consciousness, before drifting off to sleep, he realized he no longer cared. He just liked it.

Luke had another weird sort of waking dream. He was lying in bed, staring down over his pecs at the rest of his body. He could see his chest muscles, rising up a bit as he breathed. His arms were at his sides, lying on the bed with their biceps facing inward. He tried to move his neck and found he couldn’t.

Suddenly, he felt a burning, an awesome burning. Was that even possible in a dream? He tried to wake himself up, but found he still couldn’t move. His chest heaved faster and faster, his pecs rising and falling like the rounded ornaments of a muscular tide. And then as the burning reached intolerable levels, he saw it: his body was actually starting to expand. Whoa! His arms twitched in fits as his biceps literally started to bulge outward, veins pressing against his skin like a roadmap. Oh man! His pectorals started to rise and thicken, faint striations appearing beneath his skin. Oh fuck! He couldn’t see the rest of his body, but he could feel it, feel his legs burning and pulsing with strength, feel his powerful thighs thickening and expanding with pure lean, brutal muscle. Yes! He began to yell, not with fear but with ecstasy. “ARRRGGHHHH! YEAH!!!! YEAH!!!! OH FUCK YEAH!!!! ARRRGGGHHH!”

Luke snapped awake, the echos of his yells, still resounding in his ears. He remembered the details of his dream, still felt the burning. Had he really been yelling?

He immediately swung his legs over the side of his bed and felt them rubbing against one another, his thighs chafing. He spread his legs out and looked down, half-expecting to see his old, flabby legs again. He did not. What he saw instead were huge, long, thick, muscular stalks.

Oh fuck!

He bounded got out of bed and looked at himself in the mirror. Holy fuck, he looked huge! First, he was taller, well over 6 feet, now. At least six inches taller than when all this started. His chest and back were wider than ever, now definitely substantially wider than a normal guy’s. Even his neck had grown thicker, so that it was nearly wider than his head, supported by noticeable trapezium muscles that obscured where his neck ended and his body began. His shoulders were half the size of his head, leading to huge biceps and triceps that bulged with burgeoning power. Even his forearms had grown thicker. His abdomen had become a study in grooves. He had an eight or ten pack now, each individual muscle bulging out of his mid-section like a cobblestone. The oblique muscles along his sides were impossible to miss, now. His legs had grown as well, particularly in his thighs, which had grown so large that unless he broadened his stance, they rubbed together. He took deep breaths, staring at his unbelievable physique. He remembered The Douche from the gym just a few days ago: at the time he had seemed pretty muscular. Now Luke was bigger, way bigger. That made him grin. When he breathed, his entire body rippled. He raised an arm and flexed it slowly, savoring the motion. His bicep grew and peaked, separating from the rest of his arm, the veins along it writhing as the muscle exerted itself.

Irresistibly, one hand slipped down into his Jockeys and he started massaging his huge stiffening cock, licking his lips and flexing his muscles. His stomach clenched and bulged as he touched himself, even as he flexed his arm for his own enjoyment. He leaned forward and flexed his traps, which snapped to life with astonishing power. From this angle they looked huge. He groaned softly and finished himself off, falling to his knees with force of his orgasm. He hit the floor with a thud. He took a heavy breath and looked at himself in his mirror, on his hands and knees. Aside from his face, he barely even recognized himself.

Why am I enjoying it so much? He was so different. He knew he really should be afraid, but he wasn’t. He was excited.

Luke slowly got back to his feet, bracing his palm against his knee. As he stood up, he naturally assumed a wide stance, his legs held apart so that his thighs weren’t competing for space. His arms were hanging lazily off of his muscular sides, which expanded and contracted slightly with each breath. He swallowed and he could see his neck surge with power. He licked his lips and tried to straighten his thoughts.

What am I becoming, Luke asked himself, staring at his Herculean physique in his mirror. He raised a hand to his chin and his bicep bunched up to the size of a grapefruit. Whoa. He looked dubiously to the overlarge shirt that he’d discarded last night. Would it even fit?

Only one way to find out. He pulled the shirt over his head and felt it tightening against his new bulk. It was tight, but not too uncomfortable. When he looked at himself in the mirror, though, it was plain that he was no longer skinny. The shirt was tight around the muscular contours of his body, and if anything, the pale fabric actually highlighted Luke’s transformation. When he pulled on his pants, they were stretched nearly to breaking around his thighs, though his tight waist didn’t prove a challenge. He took a breath and felt the fabric of his shirt straining against his hard bugling torso, and grinned. He liked the feeling. He liked it a lot. At least that was clear.

He looked over at the innocuous looking bottle of Vitamin Y, and pondered his next big decision: Should he continue taking them? Why shouldn’t he? He knew that he had already passed by the bounds of conventional muscularity, but there was nothing wrong with it. He was free to get as jacked as he liked.

“Yeah,” Luke muttered, feeling unusually cocky. “Jacked.” He raised his arm and flexed the bicep, watching it swell up huge and hard and veiny. He could feel the fabric straining; if he kept this up, it was going to tear. So, he kept it up. RRRIIIIP! Oh fuck yeah. That was it. He was sold. He took the Vitamin Y.

Luke went out and bought some Olympic size weights and a bench for his dorm room. He was committed now, ready to go for it, all the way, come what may. And he was damned excited about the possibilities.

He pulled off his baggy pants. His current shirt was squeezed uncomfortably across his pecs. He flexed his chest and felt the fabric stretching nearly to the breaking point as his chest exploded into a bulging plate of striated lines. He lifted the front and rubbed a hand along his washboard stomach, feeling each individual ab muscle barely contained by a thin layer of skin. He thought about them even bigger. Oh, fuck yeah.

He immediately got to work, loading up the barbell with massive plates, until it weighed 300 pounds. He knew he’d be pushing it, and he didn’t care. He laid down on the bench and reached up to grab the bar, wrapping his hands around the corrugated metal surface. He bit his lower lip and heaved the weight off of its rest, immediately feeling the incredible pressure bearing down on his chest and arms. His face worked itself into an expression of rage as he slowly lowered the heavy weight and forced it back up, his muscles pushed to the brink of what they could do, bulging against his skin. Veins spread across his chest and biceps like spider webs as blood pounded through his muscles to fuel his insane workout. But now his insanity had a clear purpose and vision, no more uncertainly. He knew what he wanted. He thought about his muscles getting bigger, becoming inhumanly huge. He imagined shoulders like boulders, biceps more muscular than a python’s body. He grinned.

I’ll walk naked at midnight if I want.

He pumped the weight up and down with reckless fury, grunting at the apex of each repetition. Just as he felt his arms shaking out of control, he forced three more repetitions and finished with a savage scream. He put the barbell back onto its resting place and let his arms flop to his sides. His breath came in exhausted heaves, his lungs inflating like bellows as he inhaled huge gulps of air. A drunken smile was plastered on his face.

After he took a rest, he removed some of the weight from the barbell and heaved it up onto his back for squats. He didn’t bother holding back his grunting anymore. It felt good to release his animal fury as his muscles were pushed to exhaustion. It cleared his head. Made it possible to think clearly. He went through a series of squats with burning intensity. Years of quiet rage burst back to his consciousness as he lowered himself beneath the deep weight of the barbell and forced himself back to a standing position. He remembered all the times people had called him a nerd, or belittled him just because he was smarter than they were.

“Now—” he grunted in between reps, “I’m—bigger—and—stronger—than—them—too—yeah!”

He dipped down for another squat and momentarily panicked as he realized his muscles were too exhausted to bring his back up. Somehow that enraged him, and on nothing but the power of blind, primal fury, he pushed himself back to his feet. He awkwardly made his way back to the weight set and laid the barbell back on its rack. The strength went out of his legs and he fell to his knees, leaning against the weight set. He laid on the weight set, his arms and legs flopping uselessly over the sides. With every deep, heaving gasp, his body heaved and swelled, revealing deeply striated muscles overlaid with a road map of veins. He found the strength to raise his right arm and just stared at his unflexed muscle, the huge bicep separated from his arm and criss-crossed with thick veins. He smiled.

The work was done. Time to grow.

After he recovered enough strength to stumble to the closet, he found the keg of protein powder his roommate had left behind and mixed a gigantic drink. He slurped it down immediately, then made two more. He’d meant to eat some fruit he’d bought earlier, but somehow that slipped his mind entirely. He wiped chocolate-flavored mush from the corner of his mouth and mixed another glass to take to his bed. He stumbled back to his bed and then popped another vitamin as he swallowed the rest of his drink. Finally, he flopped onto his bed and chuckled to himself as he fell asleep, savoring the burning in his muscles, the sweat on his skin, and hungering for the metamorphosis that was about to come….

Luke didn’t dream, this time, and his sleep passed as soundly as it ever had. When he woke up, it was with the sudden clarity of someone who had had exactly as much sleep as they wanted.

He rolled out of bed and found his body big and clumsy. Barely able to contain his excitement, he pushed himself to his feet. Whoa, he was so fucking far off the ground now. He looked to the mirror and ROARED!

He was fucking MASSIVE, a monster over 7 feet tall and all enormous, shredded muscle after shredded muscle after shredded muscle! He had to step back so the mirror would reflect his entire massively muscled body. He started to laugh, a deep rumbling, frightening sound. His carved biceps had swollen to the size of his head, and his shoulders were like boulders. His arms rested at a slight angle on his broad back, rising and falling with each deep breath. Veins pulsed on his biceps like writhing snakes, and had even started to wrap around his muscular forearms. His chest was buried by huge, beef-like slabs of pectoral muscle. Veins spread from a knot in his collarbone across his pecs, like a fine, branching road map that twisted as he breathed. Over-sized abs bulged and competed for space on his slim waist, almost making it look like he had a gut. Veins spread from his crotch over his abs and down to his thighs, which had become as thick as tree trunks. He had to widen his stance to keep his veiny inner thighs from touching one another. His calves had grown as well, moving from svelte, contoured muscles to bulging spheres in the shape of hearts. He turned around and examined his back, a brimming landscape bulging and twisting with huge muscles. He could see faint veins there, too. When he twisted his neck to look at himself, his giant traps resisted him, making it hard to look over his huge shoulders. He turned himself back around, clumsily adjusting to his new stance, and looked at himself from the front.

He couldn’t help but stare at his barely-contained gigantic, ripped and bulging frame. He smiled, raised both his massive arms, and flexed his huge biceps, forming miniature mountains of muscles on his arms. Veins spread from his huge chest, across his giant shoulders, and through his enormous peaked biceps, bursting beneath his skin as huge muscles pushed them to the surface. He flexed his abs and watched them clench into brutal ridges of throbbing beef.

Oh… fuck! Look at me! I’m a fucking massive genetic freak! And I feel… I feel fucking amazing! He knew that he wasn’t supposed to be proud of being a freak, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t a boy anymore, he was a genetic muscle monster, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He flexed and growled into his mirror, watching his godlike physique swell and bulge into astonishing shapes.

He glanced down at the clock. Midnight. He snorted contemptuously. “Think I’ll hit the gym.”

Of course he was stark naked and nothing he owned would fit him anymore. Then he remembered his old roommates Gym shorts. He pulled them from the wastebasket, shook the old underwear free from them and pulled them on. They were a perfect fit.

Of course there was nothing else he could wear, so he’d have to go in only gym shorts. Ha. Fine with him.

As soon as he stepped out his door he ran into Jimmy, the RA, looking sleep deprived as always.

“Hey,” said Jimmy, as quizzical expression on his face, “I thought they kicked you out.”

“That was my roommate,” rumbled Luke in his new baritone.

“I thought your roommate was a little guy,” said Jimmy, looking more confused than ever.

“I wouldn’t call him that,” said Luke, with a sly smile.

“No, of course not,” said Jimmy. “Sorry if I gave away all your rubbers.”

“No problem,” said Luke. “If I need any I can always borrow some from you.”

“Nah, man,” said Jimmy. “They’d never fit you.”

“No, they wouldn’t,” said Luke, tugging up on his gym shorts so they emphasized his ample package.

“See you around.” Then he headed down the stairs to the lobby.

He stopped by the security guard’s desk and said, “I’m going to the gym. Is that ok with you?”

Luke saw the security guards eyes bug out at the unapologetic display of bugling, vein-ridden, masculine power standing in front of him. “Absolutely, sir. You go where ever you want whenever you want,” he said.

“That’s what I thought,” said Luke, shooting the guard a cocky smile. He flexed his massive pecs for the guard, making them leap and dance, before heading out the door with his new rolling gate, courtesy of his gigantic, muscular thighs.

As he walked across the campus, he saw the same shadowy figures moving just out of eyesight, but now they seemed tiny and inconsequential. And they seemed to be scurrying away from him just as fast as they could. Luke felt a self-satisfied smile manifest on his face as he enjoyed the sensation of his huge iron-like muscles shifting across his towering frame as he thundered through the night.

When he got to the gym, he realized he had forgotten his ID card, but he went in anyway. Who was going to stop him?

As soon as he walked in all eyes were on him. Of course they were. No one had seen anything like him in about a million years. One glance around showed him that The Douche was there. Could the night get any better?

The Douche was doing Military presses; so, naturally, Luke set up right next to him.

The Douche had one plate on each side of his bar. Luke added 4 plates to each side of his, knowing instinctively that his mammoth striated shoulders could easily handle the weight.

He saw The Douche looking up at him with uncertain eyes as Luke began his set. Oh Luke loved this. He loved the feel of the weight in his hands. He loved feeling his muscles extend and contract powerfully as he raised and lowered the barbell over his head. He could feel his shoulders burning, his massive back heaving, his stone-like abs tightening. He felt like muscles were bulging out of his muscles as he finished his set and wracked the weight.

He looked down at the substantially shorter Douche, and nodded at the guy’s barbell. “Light workout tonight?”

“Yeah, yeah, sure,” said the Douche.

“Me too,” grinned Luke, adding another plate to each side of his bar, and giving The Douche a good view of his monumental bulging, veiny biceps at the same time. “Do you think you could give me a hand?”

“Ah… ah…,” stammered The Douche. “I’m kind of at the end of my workout. My shoulders are pretty beat. I don’t think I could spot you.” He began rubbing one of his shoulders and moving it around.

“Spot me?” Luke laughed. “No dude, I was just noticing there aren’t any more plates nearby. I was going to ask you to grab onto the bar with both hands and hold on tight.”

“What, you mean like this?” asked The Douche grabbing onto the bar.

“That’s perfect,” said Luke grabbing the bar himself and lifting it out of the supports. “Hold on tight. “

Then Luke began his second set of military presses, lifting the bar with ten plates and the Douche hanging off of it, up and down over his head. Luke felt the burn intensely. This was actually turning out to be something of a challenge.

The look on The Douche’s face was priceless. He looked torn between being scared, awestruck and humiliated. Good.

Luke finished his ten reps and replaced the bar in the supports. The Douche was still hanging on for dear life.

“You can let go now,” said Luke. “Thanks.”

“Sure, sure,” said The Douche.

“Let’s see what you’ve got,” said Luke.

“What?” said The Douche.

“Go on, flex. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

“Ah… ok…,” said The Douche and flexed. Up came his baseball. Luke flexed, and up bulged his giant, throbbing, vein-covered mountain. Oh fuck yeah. The Douche’s eyes bugged out of his head. “I’ve… ah… gotta go now.”

“Ok,” said Luke, “And cheer up. We’ve all gotta start somewhere. Although, looking at you…”

And then it happened. Luke could tell The Douche had suddenly recognized him. The Douche’s mouth dropped open, he turned pale white and he looked like he was going to shit his pants.

“It’s all about taking the right vitamins,” said Luke grinning, and intermittently flexing his massive pecs.

The Douche turned and practically ran to the locker room. Luke just broke out laughing. Life was good.

“Picking on the little guy, Muscles?”

Luke turned around and there was Will, except it was more like Will and a half. His friend had gotten substantially bigger. He was at least f 4 inches taller, still dressed in his old street clothes, Luke could see big pecs were now stretching out his shirt, straining the buttons and pulling the front slightly apart. His upper arms had substantially expanded, and once again his shirt was challenged to contain both them and his meaty shoulders. And obviously muscular thighs were stretching out his pants. Soon he wouldn’t be alone. Soon there’d be another behemoth walking around Harvard. In fact, Will seemed to be growing faster than he had. Luke grinned.

“Whoa Dude, what happened to you?”

Will grinned. “I wanted to catch up with you so I embarked on an accelerated program of eating, sleeping, working out, and vitamin Y,” Will flexed causing his big arm to bulge up in his shirt and pop a few threads in his sleeve. “I feel like a new man!”

“More like a rebooted ancient man,” said Luke, grinning.

“So what do you think they’ll call us?” said Will. “I mean there’s been Cro-Magnon Man and Chancelade Man… What will we be called?”

“I don’t know,” said Luke. “How about Harvard Man?”

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