Mariposa Halloween

by Cris Kane

 Lance brings a special surprise before he and his friends head out to West Hollywood for the Halloween block party.

Added: Nov 2021 Updated: 13 Nov 2021 8,551 words 3,928 views 4.2 stars (5 votes)


“Is this dip vegan?” Clay asked, holding a bland-looking chip uncertainly above the tub of greenish-brown goop.

“Dunno,” replied Nigel, his host, shouting into the living room from the kitchen.

Clay decided not to risk it and choked down the dry flavorless chip undipped.

“How long are we gonna wait for Lance, anyway?” asked Randall, fidgeting as he munched on a baby carrot.

Nigel entered from the kitchen and wearily rechecked the text message he had received. “On my way,” he read without inflection. “Bringing an amazing surprise. Hope no one already has a costume.”

“Would’ve been nice to have had some warning about not wearing a costume,” Randall grumbled, looking down at his thoroughly authentic reproduction of a classic ‘60s Robin the Boy Wonder outfit. His hair was slicked into a perfect Burt-Wardian side part, but he was leaving the eye mask draped around his neck until they headed out to the Halloween block party. The tunic hung loose on Randall’s slight five-foot-six frame, although his legs did a better job filling out the skin-toned tights.

“It was a group text,” Clay informed Randall.

“Yeah, but like twenty minutes ago. I was already in the car dressed like this without a change of clothes, and I’d already put my phone in the glove compartment because…” He gestured to his wardrobe with frustration. “Robin doesn’t exactly have pockets.”

“Isn’t there a phone in your utility belt?” Clay asked.

“You look great,” Nigel told Randall reassuringly. “Some of my clients would kill to have legs like yours.”

Randall wasn’t used to hearing praise for his body, especially not from Nigel, an insanely buff personal trainer whose muscular thighs were nearly the circumference of Randall’s waist. He unleashed a toothy grin, showing off dimples in his smooth cheeks. “Seriously?”

“Sure. My older lady clients, but still…”

Clay cackled, while Randall slumped against the wall. “Uh…thanks?”

“Just yanking your chain, mate,” Nigel said in his gruff British accent, walking over to give Randall a friendly fist-tap to the shoulder. “You’ve got some shapely pins on you. Damn right you should show them off. Give me a month or six and I could beef the rest of you up into a right looker.”

“I’m afraid you’re a little out of my price range,” Randall grumbled.

“I’m sure I could swing a friend’s discount for ya,” Nigel said with a wink.

“Hey,” whined Clay, “how come I don’t get a friend’s discount?”

“Because,” Nigel explained patiently, “you were my client first and then my friend. If I suddenly gave you a discount because we’re mates, that wouldn’t be fair to all my clients who I don’t like, now would it?”

Clay puzzled over that, unsure if he’d just been complimented or hoodwinked. At first, Clay had been delighted to have such a jacked personal trainer, his dark skin shining with sweat as he loomed over Clay, barking out commands and putting him through his paces. He had hoped that Nigel would somehow pass along the secrets of his own studliness and reconfigure Clay into his considerably shorter, red-haired, pale-skinned equivalent, but Clay’s body fiercely resisted all efforts at extensive remodeling. Clay had been paying handsomely for Nigel’s services for nearly two years now, but still could charitably be described as wiry at best. Clay typically left their sessions aching less from the exercise and more from the blue balls he got from staring at Nigel up close for an hour. Meanwhile, between his training clients and his modeling gigs, Nigel’s income was so swole that he could afford the fancy West Hollywood condo in which they now stood, its balcony offering a spectacular view stretching all the way to the fading sunset over the Pacific.

“So what does Lance mean anyway?” Randall wondered aloud. “Is he bringing costumes for all of us?”

Nigel held up his phone toward Randall. “I can read it to you again, mate, but it’s not gonna be any clearer. I’m not a bloody mind-reader.”

“Knowing Lance, it’s something disgusting,” Clay groused. “Probably a Human Centipede costume. And, of course, Lance would insist on being at the front, since he loves making everyone else eat shit. Why are you even still friends with him, the way he insulted you last year?”

“What’d he say last year?” Randall asked. As a relative newcomer to Nigel’s circle of friends, he was always eager to feel included in the group’s shared history.

“It was the end of the night,” Clay dished, “and Lance was plastered and obnoxious as usual. Nigel was trying to get him to chill, and Lance was definitely not chilling. Finally he pushed Nigel against the wall and told him, ‘The only reason anybody fucks you is so they can pretend they’re fucking Idris Elba!’”

“Uh huh?” Randall nodded, hoping to hear the rest of the story, but Clay simply returned to sipping a sparkling water and silently judging the contents of the snack table. “What, that’s it? ‘Cause being told you look like Idris Elba isn’t exactly an insult. I’d be thrilled if somebody said I looked like Idris Elba!”

Nigel laid a massive hand on the twink’s bony shoulder and said, “Dare to dream, my boy. Dare to dream.”

The intercom buzzer sounded and Nigel walked over to answer it. Lance’s voice crackled through the speaker. Nigel told him they would be right down, but Lance insisted that he needed to come up. Nigel buzzed to let him into the lobby. A minute later, Lance arrived with a knock on the door. He entered carrying a plastic shopping bag which, to Clay’s relief, was far too small to contain a Human Centipede costume.

“Hello, boys and ghouls,” Lance announced. With his unkempt blond hair and doughy physique, Lance looked like an ex-surfer who’d traded hanging ten for drinking 7 and 7s, which was pretty much exactly what he was. “I see young Robin here is the only one who got my message not to wear a costume.” He rummaged in his bag and produced a bright red lollipop which he handed to Randall like a doting neighbor doling out Halloween candy to an adorable little kid.

Randall stared at the gift, puzzled. “Is this an edible?”

“No, it’s a fuckin’ sucker,” Lance barked with annoyance. His tone softened when he surveyed Randall’s costume and offered a surprisingly sincere verdict of “Nice legs.”

Lance’s attention shifted to Clay. “Over here, we’ve got that ‘Rick Roll’ guy.” He sang a terrible version of “Never Gonna Give You Up” as he fished a bag of pretzels from his shopping bag and tossed it to Clay, who made a feeble reach for them before they thwacked into the glass door to the balcony.

As Clay bent down to pick them up, he asked Lance, “Are these pretzels vegan?”

“Oh, are you still vegan? I wasn’t sure because you hadn’t mentioned it yet in the thirty seconds since I walked through the door.”

Clay grew defensive, his usual posture in Lance’s presence. “Unlike you, I’m trying to be careful about what I put in my body.”

“Well, that’s a new policy,” Lance shot back. “Will this last as long as your vow of celibacy did? As I recall, that lasted nearly twenty minutes, until you saw some Latin dude at Fubar dancing in silver booty shorts.” Lance turned to Nigel. “And, as always, our host, Stringer Bell.”

Nigel grinned, taking Lance’s incessant jibes in stride. He pointed to Lance’s shopping bag. “I hope you brought a goodie for me.”

Lance’s eyes widened with genuine excitement. “Oh, I brought something very goodie indeed, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to share. Voila!” From the sack, he pulled a six-pack of bottles filled with colorful liquid and placed it on the snack table with a flourish.

Nigel stared, astonished. “No fuckin’ way.”

Lance nodded. “I know, right?”

Randall approached the table with fascination. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Oh, yeah,” Lance replied, blowing away an accumulation of dust from the bottles.

Clay bent forward to make a closer inspection of the packaging, with a rainbow-hued butterfly against a gold-leaf background. He read stiffly from the label without even attempting proper Spanish pronunciations. “‘Mariposa. Variedad de Otoño.’ What the fuck does that mean?”

Randall translated. “It means ‘Autumn Edition’.”

Clay grimaced. “Eeugh. Not some more pumpkin spice shit. I’ve already had so much pumpkin spice this year, I feel like I’m gonna turn into a pumpkin”

Lance smirked. “Kinda the way you swallowed so much dick that you became a huge one?”

Nigel extended a powerful arm to hold back Clay, while leveling Lance with a serious “Be cool” glare.

Randall knelt down, gazing at the bottles with awe like Indiana Jones beholding a precious relic. “I’ve heard about this stuff. I saw some YouTube videos where guys drank the stuff and you could watch them as they turned into a whole ‘nother person, but I just figured it was CGI.”

“No, siree,” Lance said. “Mariposa is the real thing.”

“It’s one of those rare things that totally lives up to the hype,” Nigel assured Randall, “like ‘Hamilton’ or orgasms.”

Randall was stunned. “Wait, you’ve actually done it?”

“Shit, yeah. Probably six or seven times before you couldn’t find it any more.”

Lance chimed in. “I heard the government seized the formula and confiscated all the existing bottles so the military can use it in their covert operations.”

Nigel shook his head. “The way I heard it, they had to stop selling it because they got sued for copyright infringement because it was turning people into look-alikes of celebrities without getting their permission.”

“I could see that,” Lance said. “One time, it made me look exactly like Channing Tatum, right down to his tattoos, and I probably I had more sex in one night than Clay’s had in his whole life. I even got on TMZ. They caught me getting blown by a guy behind the Abbey. They pixelated out all the good stuff, but apparently the real Channing Tatum got blackballed because of what I did.”

“Bullshit,” said Clay.

“Oh yeah? When’s the last time you saw Channing Tatum in a movie?”

Clay remained dubious. “Are you honestly telling me this shit is supposed to make you look like somebody else?”

Nigel nodded. “Not just look. Act, talk, feel, fuck. You literally become another person. It’s like having an out-of-body experience without leaving your body. It’s indescribably incredible.”

“Bullshit,” Clay reiterated.

“So where the hell did you find this?” Nigel asked Lance.

“You know that weird little liquor store on Fountain? I was looking for something exotic to bring tonight and I just happened to catch a glimpse of the butterfly way back on a bottom shelf. I couldn’t believe it. It was like winning the lottery while getting hit by lightning. I took it up to the counter, acting like it was no big deal, just something I was picking up to go with my pretzels and my lollipop. Clerk tries to scan it, but it’s not in the system. He’s about to look up what it is so he knows what to charge me. I don’t want him to realize what it’s really worth, so I tell him I’ll take it off his hands for ten bucks.”

“Ten dollars?” Nigel is stunned.

“I know, right? The guy had no clue what he was sitting on. I’ve seen people selling single bottles of the stuff on eBay for thousands of dollars, and I bet most of them are just fakes full of colored water.”

“How do you know these aren’t fakes full of colored water?” Clay asked.

“If they are, then I’m just a dumbfuck who wasted ten dollars,” Lance said. “But if they’re genuine, we’ll find out soon enough. One bottle for each of us, then I’ll see how much I can get for the other two.”

Clay remained cautious. “Well, maybe I’ll just take my bottle and see how much I can sell it for.”

As Clay grasped toward a bottle, Lance yanked the six pack out of his reach. “No fuckin’ way. I bought these so we could all do them together. But if you’re too scared…”

I’m not too scared,” Randall said, snatching a bottle containing a aqua blue concoction.

Lance smirked at Clay. “See? Wonder Boy here’s not scared.”

Randall stared at the bottle, entranced. “So what’ll this change me into?”

“That’s the thing,” Nigel informed him. “You never know what it’s gonna do to you. You just have to wait for it to kick in.”

Randall seemed both excited and terrified at the prospect. He attempted to twist off the bottle cap, but Lance slapped his palm over the top of the bottle. “Wait. We’ll all do it at once, so no one chickens out.” He stared across the table at Clay.

“Maybe I’ll take a sip,” Clay said begrudgingly.

“It don’t work like that, mate,” Nigel told him. “You gotta down the whole bottle to get the full effect. One time in Ibiza, I had like a third of a bottle and all it did was turn me slightly Norwegian for a couple hours.”

Clay’s resistance was weakening. “So it only lasts a couple hours?”

“That was with a partial dose. Full bottle should wear off by morning. Noon at worst. Best part is there’s not even a hangover.”

“Well…”, Lance interjected with a smirk. “There is kind of a hangover.”

Nigel grinned. “True that. It does always leave behind a little trace of whatever you turned into. Kind of a souvenir.”

“Like what?” Randall asked eagerly.

Nigel gazed over at Randall. “Haven’t you ever wondered how I got such stunning blue eyes?” He batted his eyelashes to call attention to his stunning peepers.

“I always figured they were contacts,” Clay said.

Lance held out the six pack tauntingly, grabbing a green bottle for himself. Nigel extracted a bottle containing a clear liquid. All eyes turned to Clay as Lance gently rattled the package, the three remaining bottles clinking lightly against each other. “Okay, fine, whatever,” Clay said, randomly selecting an amber bottle.

“Aren’t you gonna ask if it’s vegan?” Lance asked him.

“Why, is it?”

Lance cackled. “How should I fuckin’ know? It completely alters your entire body and fucks with your brain, so, no, it’s probably not the safest fucking thing in the world. But me and Ol’ Blue Eyes here have done it a fuckload of times and we’re still standing, so just drink the fucking thing and don’t be such a monumental pussy.”

Clay sneered and defiantly twisted the bottle cap, shredding the skin of his palm enough to draw a trickle of blood. “Fucking hell!” As he sucked at the fresh wound, Nigel calmly picked up a bottle opener from the table, snapped open his drink, and offered the opener to Clay. Grumbling, Clay used the opener on his bottle, then passed it along to Randall. Finally, Lance removed his cap and extended his bottle toward the middle of the group for a toast. The four friends touched the bottle necks together, then brought the bottles to their lips.

“Oh, wait,” Nigel interrupted, stopping them before anyone could take a sip. “A couple other things you need to know. It’s going to make you very, very, very horny.”

“Okay by me,” Randall blurted out too loudly with a nervous chuckle.

“I’m serious. Just be prepared to want to fuck a lot. Also, never mix different Mariposas. So, Randall, don’t think you’re gonna drink half of yours and then half of Clay’s just because you’re curious what his tastes like.”

“Why, what would happen?” Clay asked. “He turn into some kind of mutant?”

“You never know,” Lance said menacingly. “But whatever it is, you’ll be stuck that way…forever!”

Clay was exasperated. “Okay, now you’re laying it on too thick. Is this all some stupid Halloween prank? Because if this is just one big bullshit joke so you guys can watch dumbass Clay drink a bottle of piss and laugh your asses off, I’m gonna kill every fuckin’ one of you.”

“Only one way to find out,” Lance said, putting the bottle to his mouth. The others followed suit. Clay took a cautious sniff of his bottle which, to his relief, did not smell like piss. It actually smelled pretty enticing.

“Okay, we all drink our entire bottles at the count of three,” Nigel instructed. “One. Two.” A pause for dramatic effect. “Three!”

The foursome chugged their Mariposas at different rates, with Randall surprising the others by finishing first. He licked his lips, unable to place the tangy, slightly acidic flavor of what he’d just guzzled, but tingling with anticipation as he felt its warmth begin to flow through his body. Nigel and Lance, the experienced Mariposans, savored their drinks more casually, enjoying how it percolated like Pop Rocks over their taste buds as it flowed toward their throats. Clay paused halfway through but persevered, slamming down his empty on the table.

The four stood quietly motionless, glancing at each other expectantly. Randall finally broke the silence, asking, “So how long do we wait?”

“It kicks in pretty fast,” Nigel advised, starting to slip his gray cardigan over his head.

Clay looked unhappy. “What, now we have to get undressed?”

“You don’t have to,” Lance answered. “Some people are a little fussy that the transformation might muss up their clothes.”

Nigel responded, his head still ensheathed in the sweater he was removing. “This is fuckin’ Armani cashmere. I don’t wanna turn into some kind of incredible hulk and ruin a fucking brand new twelve-hundred dollar jumper!”

Clay stared blankly at Nigel. “That sweater cost twelve hundred bucks?”

Lance laughed at Nigel. “You’re six-four and more jacked than the Rock! If anything, the odds are you’re gonna get smaller. I’m sure your fancy sweater would survive just fine. Me, I always wear something cheap and disposable.” He gestured to his current ensemble of a white stringer tank, pale pink board shorts and flip-flops. “I kinda hope I do get bigger. I always like the way it feels when my body rrrrriiips through my clothes.” He clenched his fingers and grit his teeth as he began to feel the rush of Mariposa in his system.

“Maybe I oughta take this off,” Randall suggested, tugging at the collar of his Robin costume. “I mean, it is a rental.”

Before Randall could begin to disrobe, a shudder swept through his body, toppling him backwards to the floor. Nigel rushed over to make sure Randall was okay and to move Randall clear of any of the more expensive and fragile items located nearby. “You okay, mate?” Nigel asked, but the only answers he needed were the euphoric expression on Randall’s face and the thickening bulge in his green bikini-briefs. Nigel smiled up at Lance and Clay and announced, “It has begun.”

Lance gazed down at Randall’s contortions like a proud father watching his son take his first bike ride by himself. “Hey, Robin, is that a batpole in your speedo, or are you just happy to see us?”

Nigel stood up, leaving Randall writhing ecstatically on the floor. Nigel unbuckled his belt and cautiously removed his undoubtedly expensive black slacks, draping them carefully over the back of his sofa. He stood in the middle of the room wearing only bright-red boxer briefs which tightly encased a massive cock which Clay hoped, for the sake of his own self-esteem, was at least partially engorged. Nigel looked over at Clay and asked, “Ain’t you gonna drop your trousers?”

“Nah, I’m good,” Clay replied, idly scratching at an itch on his forearm. “Anybody else feeling warm? Mind if I…?” He pointed to the door leading to the balcony, and Nigel nodded his okay.

Clay slid open the glass door and stepped onto the balcony. The air smelled unusually fresh and fragrant, and he could hear the hubbub from the West Hollywood festivities clearly, even though they were over a mile away. He felt a prickling on his cheek and, when he reached up to his face, his nails scraped his skin. He glanced down at his hand in the light flooding from inside the apartment and could see red droplets on his unexpectedly long fingernails. He placed his palm over the area he had scratched and felt an abundance of bristles. He was puzzled. He had never been able to manage more than an anemic goatee in his life and had been clean-shaven when he arrived tonight. Lance and Nigel hadn’t been yanking his chain. This shit really worked.

Clay returned inside, lunging his way past Lance and Nigel and vaulting over Randall’s squirming body toward the full-length mirror by the front door. He was unprepared for what he saw reflected back.

Clay’s ginger hair was in the process of growing, his usual short-back-and-sides having sprouted into a swept-back pompadour with a tail that was already brushing against the collar of his long-sleeved plaid shirt. The forearms extending from his shirt sleeves were also lush with a coating of red fur, and his pants spontaneously unzipped as his newly hairy thighs swelled with muscle. The stubble which had spread across his chin and cheeks was visibly thickening into a full beard, and his typically well-groomed eyebrows were growing unruly, hovering over his sunken eyes. His nose twitched as if he was smelling something bad, but he quickly realized that he was smelling everything. He could smell the salt on the pretzels in the bag across the room and the sickly sweetness of the sucker Lance had given Randall, even though it was still wrapped in cellophane. He could detect the scent of Nigel’s cologne and Lance’s deodorant and the cum that was seeping onto the fabric of Randall’s green shorts. Across the room, he could hear Lance whisper jokingly to Nigel, “You got any depilatory cream Clay can borrow?”

Clay spun furiously and leaped over the snack table, clutching his hirsute hands around the straps of Lance’s tank top. “You think this is a joke?” he snarled, blasting hot breath into Lance’s face. “Look what you did to me!”

Behind him, Nigel spoke calmly. “Settle down, Clay, all right? This is a little more…extreme reaction than I’ve seen before, but you’ve just got to relax.”

“Relax?” Clay bellowed, swiveling his head toward Nigel. “I don’t see you turning into a fucking dog.”

Lance tried to lighten the mood. “He’s right, Clay. You gotta embrace the changes. Think positive. Right now, you’re the odds on favorite to win the costume contest tonight. Or if that doesn’t work out, maybe best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club!”

Clay turned furiously and landed a punch in Lance’s gut, but felt more resistance than he anticipated from Lance’s flabby midsection. In fact, it felt like punching a brick wall. Clay crumpled to his knees, clutching his aching knuckles in agony, while Clay stood unfazed. “Jeez, man, give a guy some warning before you punch him like that. You know, that’s how Houdini died.”

Clay growled up at him, “Since when you got abs?”

Lance realized his own transformation must be progressing. He lifted up his shirt and discovered, instead of his beer gut, a perfectly defined six-pack that appeared to be glistening in the light. But as he brushed his fingers over their undulations, his skin felt smooth and cool to the touch. He gave Nigel a worried look. “I think I’m getting hard.”

“Yeah, we all are,” Nigel said casually. “That’s just part of the process.”

“No,” Lance said, a tremor creeping into his usual bluster, “I don’t mean my cock’s getting hard. I think everything’s getting hard.” He clutched at his shirt and tore it off, revealing a slickened torso that shone under the light, as if encased in a shell of clear enamel. What at first seemed to be abdominal muscles now appeared be scaly panels– not just six or eight, but a full dozen, climbing in matched pairs until they reached his chest, which was broadening into a breastplate covered with natural armor. His skin tone was shifting too, taking on a greenish tinge. For the first time in their many years of friendship, Nigel saw fear in Lance’s eyes. “This isn’t right.”

Nigel looked down at himself and saw no noticeable changes yet. He grabbed the Mariposa package and examined it. The product was notorious for not listing its contents, but he did notice some text imprinted on the cardboard which suddenly seemed relevant. “The expiration date,” he said weakly, “was five years ago.”

“What?” Lance staggered over, his joints suddenly stiff, making walking difficult. He grabbed the package and noticed that the backs of his hands were now covered in smaller scales and that rubbery webbing had begun to form between his fingers. “I’ve seen this stuff do plenty of weird shit to people, but you were always still people.”

Nigel tried to remain positive. “Maybe it’s gotten a little unstable sitting on a shelf for years, but that’s still no reason to panic.”

“Seems like a perfect reason to panic!” Clay charged toward Lance, pounding his fists in futility against the faded surfer’s now-impenetrable skin. Lance struck back, furiously battering Clay but similarly having no impact, his punches thudding harmlessly into the masses of red hair that coated his body.

Nigel rushed over and pulled them apart. “Fighting each other isn’t going to accomplish anything. We’ve got to figure out what’s happening to us and get through this together!” He realized that Lance and Clay had stopped tussling and were both staring at him open-mouthed. “All right,” Nigel said, proud to have had a calming effect on the situation, “glad you’re seeing things more clearly.”

With some difficulty, Lance swallowed and gasped out, “Nigel, you’re fading.”

“What do you mean? Like I’m turning white?” He wasn’t too concerned. Nearly every time he’d taken Mariposa, his skin had turned paler than his natural shade, everything from A-Rod tan to Anderson Cooper alabaster. The experience had always been eye-opening. He thought a lot of the world’s problems could be solved if everyone would drink a Mariposa and experience what it was like to be someone else.

“No, you’re not turning white,” Clay said in his newly gruff voice. “You’re turning…clear.”

Nigel released his grip on the two fighters and looked at his hands, which were now semi-opaque. He turned toward the mirror by the door and saw his pigmentation dissolving, with Clay and Lance clearly visible behind him through what was left of his reflection. Only his red underwear remained vivid, suspended in midair, solidly packed with muscle and still showing the outline of Nigel’s erect cock.

The room fell quiet as the guys grappled with the changes they had undergone. The silence was broken by an unfamiliar voice, deep and resonant. “Guys?”

Lance, Clay and Nigel turned toward the voice and saw a rugged, exaggeratedly masculine beast standing in the center of the room in the tattered shreds of a Robin costume, a wavy brown forelock dangling past dark, intense eyes. His formerly cute face had reshaped itself into one that was more classically handsome, a fresh five-o’clock shadow calling attention to prominent cheekbones and a firm angular jawline. His flesh-colored tights were shredded, the irregular gaps torn in the fabric revealing thickly muscled legs beneath. An enormous turgid hard-on was barely held in place by a straining green scrap of spandex.

“I don’t feel so good.”

Randall wobbled unsteadily on his suddenly longer legs, having difficulty finding the center of gravity of a body now topheavy with new muscle.

“Maybe you ought to sit down,” Nigel urged from across the room.

“Probably a good idea,” Randall replied, groping his way toward the sofa and sinking into its cushions.

“You gonna be okay?” Clay asked.

“I’ll be fine as soon as the room stops spinning.” Hearing the lowness of his voice, Randall massaged his thick neck and said, “I think I’m coming down with something.”

“How about a drink to settle your nerves?” Nigel suggested. “Want me to fix you up a Negroni?”

Randall grimaced. “I don’t want any of that fancy shit. Just gimme a beer.” He propped his bare feet on the coffee table, the green booties and tights from his Robin costume having failed to accommodate the dimensions of his now size-12 feet.

Lance and Clay gave each other curious looks, and Nigel surely would have joined them if his expressions were visible. Randall was their resident cocktail snob. None of them had ever seen him voluntarily consume a beer, let alone request one. Nigel’s red undies strutted through the air on the way to the kitchen where the refrigerator door swung open and a bottle of Sam Adams floated out.

Randall gradually opened his eyelids, let his eyes focus, and took in the scene before him. “Look at you guys. Great costumes! The ginger werewolf’s gotta be Clay, and I can tell from the shorts that it’s Lance as the Creature From The Black Lagoon. Where the fuck’s Nigel?”

“Right here, mate,” Nigel said, stepping from behind the kitchen counter so Randall could see his underwear.

“Oh, Invisible Man. Sorry, I didn’t see you. Ha! Get it?” Randall seemed unfazed by the sight of well-packed undershorts floating his direction accompanied by a bottle of beer. “Very impressive. Where’d you get these outfits anyway?”

“Same place you got yours,” said Clay, gesturing toward the empty Mariposa bottles on the snack table.

“Well, then I got screwed, ‘cause my costume is ripped to shit.” Randall looked down at the remains of his Robin costume stretched thin across his athletic physique. He saw the beer bottle which Nigel was holding, plucked it from mid-air and swiftly guzzled down the contents, punctuating it with a satisfied sigh and a deafening belch. He slammed the bottle onto the coffee table, far from the nearest coaster. Nigel frantically picked up the empty bottle and grabbed a napkin to wipe away the moisture ring.

Lance had experienced many Mariposa transformations and witnessed plenty more, but he had never seen a first-timer so instantly comfortable with—or perhaps oblivous to—the changes they had undergone. “Maybe you oughta take a good look at yourself in the mirror, Randall. See if you notice anything… different.”

Randall pushed himself to his feet and swaggered confidently across the room. Clay’s nose involuntarily twitched as Randall sauntered past. When Randall caught his reflection in the mirror on the wall, he wasn’t startled or even mildly surprised. “Yeah, I definitely don’t think I’m gettin’ my deposit back. What is it I’m supposed to be looking for?”

“Don’t you think you look kind of… big?” Lance asked.

“Damn right I do. I’m one jacked motherfucker.” He ogled himself unashamedly, grinning as he clasped his hands behind his head and flexed his biceps. The unruly fringe of dangling hair shading his eyes only added to his smouldering appeal. “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna snag some major ass tonight for sure. Can’t say the same for you bunch of freaks.” He brought his hands down, his fingers having burst through the seams of his gloves. Yanking his lapels, he snapped the last intact laces on the remains of his Robin tunic, fully exposing the heavy slab of his inflated pecs and the symmetrical crevices of his recently-acquired abdominals. His system awash in testosterone, Randall watched as his swollen cock burst apart the scrap of green fabric which had been tenuously holding it in place. Reduced to his primal instincts, Randall grabbed the thick tool in one hand and began to stroke it vigorously, just one dude casually masturbating in front of his buddies.

“Oh, hell no!” shouted Nigel’s disembodied voice. “I just had this carpet installed!” His unseen hands grabbed Randall by his beefy shoulders and pushed him toward the bathroom. Randall put up little resistance, blissfully continuing to jerk himself as Nigel guided him into the bathroom and slammed the door. “No jacking in the living room! I would have thought that went without saying!”

As Nigel walked back into the living room, Lance chided him, “Take off that stupid underwear, will ya? You look ridiculous with your happy little red shorts bouncing around.”

“I look ridiculous? Have you taken a glance around the room lately? I’m fuckin’ invisible, and I’m the most normal one here!”

Lance held the Mariposa package in his webbed and scaly hands. “So I guess ‘Autumn Edition’ is like heir Halloween collection.”

Clay pointed his hairy index finger at the six-pack. “That harmless little butterfly is false advertising. This is the shit they should call Monster Energy Drink! I mean, if they’ve got the technology to turn us all into this, who knows what other shit they can do that we don’t even know about?”

Pondering his investment, Lance speculated aloud, “Makes me wonder what the other two bottles do.”

Clay began to prowl the room, increasingly agitated. “So if we’re a wolfman, a sea monster and an invisible man, what the hell has Randall turned into?”

“Frankenstein, maybe?” Lance suggested.

Nigel shook his head. “Frankenstein was never that sexy.”

“Frankenstein was the doctor,” Clay muttered.

“Could be Frankenstein,” Nigel agreed. “I mean, he does have an enormous schwanzstucker.”

Clay growled insistently, “Frankenstein was the doctor!” He pounded on the snack table for emphasis.

“It was so bizarre to see meek little Randall acting such a twat,” Nigel said. “Maybe he’s one of the less famous monsters. Like the Amazing Colossal Ego.”

“The Toxic Male?” Lance suggested.

“The Incredible Douche?” Clay offered.

“Still,” Nigel said, “he may have turned into a right prick, but I’d fuck him in a heartbeat. Total smoke show.”

“No kidding. The second I smelled him, I got instantly horny,” Clay said.

Nigel said, “Me too! He must be exuding some kinda musk that says ‘Fuck me, I’m an outrageous prick.’”

“I know,” said Clay, trying to find the right words. “It was like this mixture of fresh coffee, potting soil, a gym locker and… entitlement.”

“Where the fuck was I? I didn’t smell a thing.” Lance attempted to sniff through the lumpy green cartilage that had replaced his nose, still getting used to his transformed body. “I don’t even know how to smell in this. How do fish smell?”

A spooky voice in his ear whispered, “Terrible.”

Startled, Lance leaped in the air and lashed out his arms in hopes of accidentally swatting Nigel. “Don’t sneak up on people like that!”

He could hear Nigel’s laughter beside him. “You were right, mate. This is way more fun without the underpants.”

“Yeah, yeah, fuck you,” Lance said. “I’m being serious here. Usually Mariposa gives me an instant boner, but even when Randall was standing there molesting himself, I didn’t feel a thing.” Curious, he pulled the drawstring of his board shorts and pulled them down, revealing that his crotch was now a smooth codpiece connected to his scaly abdominal panels. “Jesus! What the fuck? Where’s my dick?” He clicked his talons against the slick impenetrable surface, finding no trace of a cock or balls. In a panic, he clutched at his ass, feeling desperately for an opening there. “Shit, I don’t have an asshole either.”

Lance crossed the room, his limbs moving stiffly, and stopped in front of the mirror for a thorough inspection of what he had become. His face was truly hideous, with glassy eyes and a gaping maw surrounded by flabby green lips. His skull was covered with dozens of chitinous lumps instead of hair and his ears flared out in netlike wings. He found himself gasping for air, feeling increasingly claustrophobic inside his rigid exoskeleton. “I can’t breathe.”

“Why don’t you step out on the balcony? Get some fresh air,” Clay suggested.

Lance said, “I don’t think that’ll help.” He walked to the snack table, jabbed a can of sparkling water with his talons, and doused his face and neck in the gusher that flowed out. Skin-like flaps on either side of his jaw expanded and contracted, sucking up the carbonation. The new organs fluttered in unison and vibrated as they issued an otherworldly approximation of a belch. “So… I guess I got gills now.”

Lance wasn’t the only one growing increasingly agitated by the changes Mariposa had wrought. Clay had already unbuttoned and torn off the sleeves from his flannel shirt, and his tight pants felt too confining. “We gonna get out of here or what?” Clay asked, prowling the apartment restlessly. His ears, reshaped into sharpened points and abundant with sensitive hairs that heightened his hearing, were picking up the sounds of the distant festivities. “The DJs have already started playing.”

“I’m not leaving Alpha Randall alone here,” Nigel declared. “I’d probably come back to find him fucking the sofa and the walls spackled with jizz.”

“Well, let’s figure out what we’re doing soon. I’m going stir crazy. My clothes are too tight. Feels like I’m walking around in a straitjacket.” Clay looked at Lance’s shorts enviously. “Loan me your board shorts.”

Lance told him to fuck off.

“What, it’s not like they’re covering up anything.”

“What if this shit wears off all of a sudden?” Lance asked. “I don’t want to be standing in the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard with my dong flapping around.”

“From what I hear, it wouldn’t be the first time.” Clay turned toward the last place he’d heard Nigel’s voice. “How about you, Nigel? Can I borrow something of yours?”

“You bulked up a bit, mate, but you’re not exactly my size.”

“Better something too loose than too tight. I feel like these pants are gonna split apart the second I squat.”

Nigel grumbled. He had always been uncomfortable letting anyone handle his belongings, and loaning clothes to a werewolf seemed like a particularly unwise choice. Nevertheless, he could see how constrained Clay’s legs seemed as he scuttled around the room. “Okay, check the third closet on the right. That’s where I keep my old stuff I’m tired of.” Clay gave him a hairy thumbs-up and headed toward the bedroom.

“You’ve got three closets of clothes?” asked Lance from the kitchen where he was running the tap to fill a basin of the sink with water.

“Four, technically,” replied Nigel. “Plus a storage locker.” As an afterthought, Nigel shouted toward Clay. “And keep your bloody paws off my shoes!”

As Clay loped down the hallway, he could hear heavy panting from the bathroom and was nearly overwhelmed by the potent stench of Randall’s pheromones seeping through the door.

Inside, Randall had made a discovery. As he became even more aroused, he grew even bigger and stronger. Each of his hefty muscles was pulsating in rhythm as he stroked his unit methodically, holding himself at the edge, torn between the desire to climax and the curiosity to see how much more massive he could make himself. He clenched his teeth as he watched his face turning purple in the mirror. The yellow cape around his neck, the last remnant of his Halloween costume, constricted around his broadening neck. He snapped the cord and let the cape fall to the floor. His shoulder muscles had swelled to the size of softballs and snaky veins bulged along his sinewy arms. He imagined the jealousy his body would elicit as he strolled through West Hollywood, attracting envious stares from every guy he passed. Just the thought of all that lustful desire aimed in his direction stiffened him to the point of no return. He began to yowl with each stroke, thick legs spread wide, big feet braced against the wall, broad back thudding repeatedly against the bathroom door. “Yes. Yes! Yes!!!”

But as he surrendered to the inevitable release, he could feel the power ebbing from his body. To his dismay, he could watch himself deflating in the mirror over the sink, his muscles rapidly losing their heft, his bones squeaking as they retracted to their initial size, the fresh growth of hair on his face and body fluttering to the floor like autumn leaves. His elation shifted swiftly to distress “No. No! No!!!” He vigorously shook his dwindling and increasingly flaccid cock, trying to will it back to erectness, but by this point his wad had been shot, leaving abundant residue in every direction. His back slid slowly down the door as he gazed at his reflection, reduced once again to the harmless twink with the scrawny body and the soft face, trapped in eternal boyishness.

Returning from the bedroom, Clay no longer detected Randall’s scent and the bathroom had fallen eerily silent. He tapped a fingernail on the door and softly asked, “You okay in there, Randall?”

From inside, he could barely hear a defeated and deflated “Yeah.”

Clay walked into the kitchen where Lance had submerged his head in a sink filled with water, a relieved “Aaaah” gurgling up with a flurry of bubbles. Clay only knew Nigel’s location by the hovering carrot stick which became shorter with the sound of a crisp chomp, the bitten chunk vanishing inside whatever unfathomable force field had rendered Nigel transparent.

“What are you wearing?” Nigel’s voice demanded to know. “Which closet are those from?”

Clay looked down at the destroyed jeans he had selected, tufts of red hair puffing out of each strategically-placed tear. “Sorry, but your skinny jeans are the only thing small enough to fit me.

“Those are designer jeans, the location of each rip personally chosen by Stella McCartney!”

Clay defiantly snagged the faded denim with a long fingernail and ripped a ragged new opening to the right of his crotch. “Oops! Does that hole make them more valuable or less valuable?”

“Take ’em off,” Nigel said, his voice moving ominously closer to Clay.

Clay instinctively lowered himself into a defensive crouch, thrashing out with bared claws and snarling to reveal that he’d also developed fangs. “Want to see if your blood comes out red or clear?”

Lance lifted his head out of the water and walked across the kitchen, standing between Clay and where he assumed Nigel must be. “Would you guys lighten up? I know it may not look like it, but we’re not literally monsters here. Let’s not do anything we might regret in the morning.”

“Obviously a new philosophy on your part,” Clay said with a chuckle, lowering his arms to defuse the moment.

“We cool, Nigel?” Lance asked in vaguely Nigel’s direction.

“Yeah, we cool,” said Nigel not particularly coolly.

“So, can we get going soon?” Clay asked as he opened the refrigerator. “I’m fuckin’ starving.” He rummaged around, excited to find a cooked chicken breast that he could smell through the Tupperware. Without asking, he tore open the container and began to devour the hunk of poultry with animalistic fervor.

“Oi,” Nigel asked, “is that meat vegan?”

“Fush you,” Clay mumbled, his mouth full of half-chewed chicken. Clay stalked out of the kitchen and onto the balcony, gazing at the rising full moon as he continued gnashing away at the cold chunk of meat.

“You really gotta chill, Nigel,” Lance said, grabbing a dish towel to dry off his face. “This shit is weird enough for you and me, but at least we’ve been through this before. For those two, this is their first time. No wonder they’re freaking out.”

“But we got no idea what expired Mariposa does. I mean, what if the formula went bad? What if these changes turn out to be permanent? Look at me! What’s more useless than an invisible model?”

Lance thought for a moment. “A mime doing a podcast? Listen, you think I want to get stuck looking like fuckin’ Swamp Thing for the rest of my life? You wanna swap? ‘Cause I’d much rather have an invisible dick than no dick at all. At least being an invisible model would be unique. You’d have a gimmick nobody else has. Who knows? Turning invisible could be the thing that finally gets you noticed.”

A weak but familiar voice across the room asked, “So, are we still going to the block party or what?”

They turned to find Randall, returned to his normal appearance, standing in the living room wearing nothing but his yellow Robin cape wrapped around his slender waist like a bath towel. His hair was disheveled, his skin once again smooth and hairless, his torso scrawny, his legs… still not bad looking. His face conveyed a mixture of bewilderment and embarrassment.

“Hey, look,” Lance announced, “Fun-size Randall is back!”

“How you feelin’?” Nigel asked with genuine concern. “You kinda freaked us out there.”

“How do you think I felt? All of a sudden, it was like some macho shithead took over my body and I had to watch helplessly. I mean, I gotta admit, it was pretty cool to get taller and grow big muscles and all that, but it was scary to not have any control over what I was doing. It’s like I was just along for the ride with some maniac at the wheel.”

Lance snapped his clawed fingers as a realization dawned on him, although the name he was searching for was escaping him. “You’re the Doctor!”

Randall corrected him. “I keep telling you, I’m not a doctor, I’m a nurse.”

“No, that’s what you turned into. Doctor… Doctor Jekyll! And the asshole you turned into was Mister Hyde!”

“More like Doctor Randall and Mister Hide-The-Salami, am I right?” Nigel offered.

This revelation wasn’t particularly comforting to Randall. “So, what does that mean? Am I gonna change back into… him… again?”

“Guess we’ll have to wait and find out,” Lance replied. “What made you turn back to normal?”

“I don’t know. He… I… just kept getting bigger and bigger, and then I… he… started jerking off like crazy and then, as soon as… we… came, I was me again.”

“That’s bizarre,” Nigel said. “Usually the transformation gets more intense every time you get off. Maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe the Mariposa really has lost its potency. Maybe it’ll will wear off for all of us once we have an orgasm.”

“And what good does that do me?” Lance wondered, pounding his fist against the carapace covering his crotch. “I got nothing to jerk off! Maybe someone’ll have to give me a gill job or something.” Behind him, Lance heard the soft brush of skin against skin. “Nigel, are you fapping right now?”

The sound stopped and, after slightly too long a pause, Nigel replied, “No.”

“So you really think it might be out of my system?” Randall asked hopefully.

Nigel invisibly shrugged. “Not gonna lie, brother. We got no fuckin’ clue. We’re in uncharted waters.” He patted Lance on his plated shoulder. “No offense, mate.”

At that moment, a plaintive howl was heard from the balcony. They all turned their attention to see Clay standing on the concrete railing, pounding his fists on his chest, his jaw jutting forward as he barked at the moon.

Randall screamed, “Oh my god!”

“Shit,” Nigel yelled. “If he falls offa there, the condo board’s gonna pitch a fit!” He shoved Lance aside and bolted toward the balcony, upending the snack table that was blocking his path, dumping the evening’s refreshments onto his pristine carpeting. “Clay, get the fuck down from there!”

Clay’s head swiveled toward the source of the voice. His eyes, now yellow, glinted in the light coming from inside the apartment. He grinned widely, his gleaming choppers dripping with saliva, looking like he was preparing to devour Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. “Try and get me,” he snarled, and leaped nimbly off the side of the balcony.

Nigel rushed forward, but Clay’s legs were out of reach before he could grab them. Lance and Randall raced in from behind, unintentionally ramming into their invisible friend and sending Nigel hurtling toward the edge. Nigel caught himself from toppling over the railing, and spotted Clay on the next door balcony one floor down, perched upon the rail on all fours. Before Nigel could yell, “Stop!” Clay had already made the jump to another balcony further down, grasping the rail in one hand before springing to his next landing spot. After two years of futility as Clay’s personal trainer, Nigel was amazed to see the red wolfman’s newfound agility in action. From below, they could hear their friend barking with delight, his howls echoing off the nearby buildings.

“Well, boys,” Lance announced, “looks like we’re going werewolf hunting.”

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